RBAF hosts royal birthday banquet
By Lyna Mohammad & James Kon

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Supreme Commander of Royal Brunei Armed Forces last night consented to grace the RBAF royal banquet in conjunction with His Majesty's 60th Birthday celebration, at the Chancellor Hall of Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

The royal banquet was also graced by Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha and HRH Pengiran Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar. His Majesty, Her Majesty and HRH were greeted on arrival by the Deputy Minister of Defence, Pehin Datu Singamanteri Col (Rtd) Dato Seri Paduka Hj Mohamad Yasmin Hj Umar.

The Commander of RBAF, Pehin Datu Lailaraja Maj Gen Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi Hj Md Yussof as well as senior officers of RBAF and their spouses were also on hand to greet the royal arrival.

Also in attendance at the royal birthday banquet were HRH Prince General Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pg Anak Sarah, HRH Prince 'Abdul 'Azim, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik and HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen as well as other members of the royal family.

The royal arrival was followed by the singing of the national anthem by the joint choir of RBAF officers and other ranks, which was then followed by the introductions of RBAF junior officers and Senior Non-Commissioning Officers.

His Majesty then consented to cut his 60th Birthday "Pulut Kuning" and received a Pesambah from RBAF officers and other ranks.

The pesambah comprised a diamond supported by a royal umbrella accompanied by five golden pillars upholding the Royal Crown symbol representing His Majesty's strength and leadership, supported by RBAF members and its major units.

Among the presentations and performances lined up at the royal birthday banquet were a Nasyid and Tausyeh performance by the Armed Forces Unit's Nasyid group and a special documentary video clip entitled "Pemerintah Tertinggi ABDB: Memperkasa Pertahanan Negara", which is a joint effort by RBAF and RTB.

The royal banquet, held annually, was this year held in an especially religious environment at the Chancellor Hall. This Saturday evening, RBAF will also be presenting the Brunei Darussalam International Tattoo (BIT) 2006 at the National Stadium in Berakas.

Prior to the royal departure, His Majesty, Her Majesty, HRH Pengiran Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar and other members of the royal family consented to a "Junjung Ziarah" by RBAF officers and other ranks as well as senior officers of the Ministry of Defence, and their spouses. His Majesty also consented to sign the royal parchment in commemoration of His Majesty's gracing the royal banquet. - Borneo Bulletin (28th July 2006)