Sultan opens 'Dirgahayu 60' monument
By Azlan Othman

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday officiated the 'Dirgahayu 60' monument during the get-together ceremony with citizens and residents of the Brunei-Muara District.

Following the unveiling, His Majesty toured the exhibition showing the construction of the monument and the development of Bandar Seri Begawan, including the newly-unveiled expansion of the municipality of Bandar Seri Begawan and the proposed Bandar Seri Begawan waterfront.

Located in front of Kg Ayer and next to Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, 'Dirgahayu 60' monument is a 'pesambah' from the citizens and residents of the country to show their undivided loyalty to the caring monarch in conjunction with the Sultan's birthday last year.

The monument portrays the manifestation of heart and soul, as well as support from citizens and residents for the leadership of the benevolent ruler in establishing solidarity, peace, security, prosperity and development of the nation marching towards excellence.

The concept of the monument is based on the country's philosophy of Malay, Islamic, Monarchy. Elements that shape the structure of the monument dictate symbolism or meaning.

For example, the main structure, which is gold in colour and shaped like '60' in Arabic, depicts the Islamic identity and portrays the age of His Majesty.

By pointing upwards the structure depicts the credibility and charisma of His Majesty as the leader and head of state with his vision to develop the country towards excellence while upholding the sovereignty of the nation.

The gold-coloured cable that supports the number '60' reflects the close ties between His Majesty and the citizens/residents. It shows that citizens and residents from all walks of life uphold and support the wise leadership of His Majesty in guiding the nation.

The five foundations/pillars, located at the base of the monument that is shaped like a pentagon, portray the five pillars of Islam and signify that Islamic values and teachings, based on Ahli Sunnah Waljamaah, will forever become the basis and guideline of His Majesty's rule.

The water fountain from the five foundations/pillars reflects the peace and prosperity of the nation, thanks to the commitment and determination of the citizens and residents in developing the nation.

The 60 lights floating in the water pool whose reflection moves in harmony with the ripple of the pool, depicts the prayer of the citizens and residents to Allah for longevity and continuous good health and prosperity of His Majesty under the protection of Allah.

Built at a cost of around $1.5 million, the monument has taken shape thanks to the sponsorship and generous contribution from the private sector, citizens and residents of the country. - Borneo Bulletin (23rd July 2007)