Sultan presents awards
By Azlan Othman

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam last night attended a New Year 1427 Hijrah celebration at the Jame 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque in Kg Kiarong.

Also present were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince, HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, HRH Prince Abdul Malik and HRH Prince Abdul Mateen.

The highlight of the celebration was the announcement of three awards - 'Tokoh/Jasawan Ugama' or religious exemplary award and 'Bakti Hijrah' award, which was presented to two recipients.

Receiving the 'Tokoh Ugama' award was Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Yahya, for his efforts in reviewing the learning system for religious and Arabic schools to meet the curriculum, publishing books on al-Quran for use in primary schools and writing several books.

Pehin Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Yahya is also an expert in economic and Islamic finance and has been trusted to lead TAIB and is on the board of directors for several Islamic financial institutions. He also received the 1987 SEA award and 'Mastera' literature award in 2005.

The first recipient of the 'Bakti Hijrah' award was Dato Paduka Awg Hj Abdullah bin Metassan for his contributions in coordinating the travel arrangements of haj pilgrims by ship in the early years, handling the bodies of those deceased during the 1962 rebellion - a task considered life-threatening, taking part in international al-Quran reading competitions in 1963 and 1965 in Kuala Lumpur and propagating Islam in rural areas.

The second recipient of the 'Bakti Hijrah' award was Orang Kaya Seri Wijaya Hj Abdullah bin Pehin Datu Panglima Hj Abu Bakar for his contributions in proposing the idea that inmates outfits should be in line with Islam, receiving an exemplary award in Tutong during 1422 Hijrah and a special teacher's award in 2003. - Bornoe Bulletin (31st Jan 2006)