His Majesty attends CNY get-together
By James Kon

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday morning attended a Chinese New Year get-together ceremony organised by the local Chinese community at the International Convention Centre, Berakas.

The ceremony was a significant event in the history of the local Chinese community as this was the first time the monarch had joined them in ushering the Chinese New Year.

Accompanying His Majesty at the ceremony were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah.

Present to welcome His Majesty and the royal entourage were Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Awang Goh King Chin, Pehin Kapitan China Kornia Diraja Awang Lau Ah Kok, Pehin Bendahari China Kornia Diraja Awang Ng Teck Hock and Pehin Bendahari China Awang Onn Siew Siong and other local Chinese community leaders from all four districts. Also present at the ceremony were various ministers and senior government officials.

Rows of Chung Hwa Middle School's kindergarten students dressed in traditional Chinese costume welcomed His Majesty and the royal entourage.

The Brunei Darussalam National Anthem was aired to begin the get-together ceremony, which was followed by the reading of oath by representatives of the Chinese Community led by Pehin Goh in pledging their loyalty to the monarch and the Government of His Majesty, witnessed by the monarch.

During the banquet that followed, a series of traditional Chinese and Malay dance performances were showcased by students from Chung Hwa Middle School in the capital.

Later, a Lion Dance performance involving eight troupes with stunts and moves on steel tilts as high as eight feet thrilled the ruler.

After the performances, His Majesty and the royal entourage toured exhibition booths set up especially for the get-together ceremony.

On behalf of the organising committee, Pehin Goh presented a pesambah to His Majesty. - Borneo Bulletin (7th Feb 2006)