Royalty graces CNY get-together
By James Kon

It was a historical moment as His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for the first time, joined the local Chinese community for a morning of celebration in ushering the Chinese New Year at a get-together ceremony held at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.

Yesterday's Chinese New Year celebration was also attended by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah.

Besides witnessing the reading of an oath by representatives of the Chinese community, the ruler also was entertained by dance and Lion Dance performances presented by the students from Chung Hwa Middle School.

After the performances, His Majesty and the royal entourage consented to tour exhibition booths. Among the exhibitors were Sunlit Advertising, Aifa Sdn Bhd, Court Furniture, Hua Ho, Chung Hwa Middle School, Brunei China Friendship Association, Chung Hwa Middle School Alumni Association and others.

His Majesty's presence at the Chinese New Year get-together ceremony had shown the closeness between the ruler and the local Chinese community.

Currently, Chinese make up around 11 per cent of Brunei Darussalam's population. - Borneo Bulletin (7th Feb 2006)