'Pesembah' galore for beloved monarch on special occasion
By Aemy Azlena and Sonia K

To commemorate His Majesty's 61st birthday, various mukims in the Brunei-Muara District yesterday presented gifts to His Majesty.

Some gave His Majesty traditional gifts that related to Brunei's history such as the Chupu, a holder of valuable items, which is presented by Mukim Saba.

The Chupu is an antique that was passed down through the generations and is a family keepsake. The gift was an expression of their love and a symbol of appreciation to the Sultan who has protected and ruled the country over the years.

The gift was presented by Penghulu Hj Ibrahim bin Basar.

The Hockien Association of Brunei meanwhile presented His Majesty with a Jongsarat 'Sinjang' made of Batik.

One of the members, Jesse Chin Lee Jin, took the opportunity to wish the monarch good health and a long life.

Another gift was from Persatuan Warganegara Malaysia which gave His Majesty a Batik shirt from Kelantan.

Other gifts included cakes presented by the Brunei Association of Banks (BAB) and the Hockien Association of Brunei.

His Majesty also consented to cut the cakes presented to him.

According to Dayangku Rashidah Pg Mohd Salleh, 105 wives of Penghulu and Village Heads of the Brunei-Muara District presented a pesembah of a miniature replica of a 'perahu' (boat) crafted in silver and made by the Arts and Handicraft Centre Brunei.

One of the more modern 'pesembah' presented to His Majesty was a rotating globe the size of a basketball which was a gift from Mukim Peramu given to His Majesty by the Mukim Director, Hj Ismit bin Pg Hj Naim.

The rotating globe comes with its own light source and is made of marble.

It comes with a remote to control the features. It was procured from Malaysia, costing more than a $1,000 and was to indicate a move towards a global era.

Some of the more artistic and eye-catching 'pesembah' were from Kg Kiarong and Kg Mata-Mata of Mukim Gadong 'B'. One was a foot-long trophy and another was a Keris, both carved out of crystal. - Borneo Bulletin (23rd July 2007)