Preparations for Sultan's birthday celebration on the talks
By Za'im Zaini & Haji Minor

In preparation for His Majesty the Sultan's 62nd birthday celebration, the Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adanan, presided the 1st National Committee Meeting yesterday at the Lapau in the capital.

The Minister of Home Affairs who is also the Chairman of the committee said in his remarks, "I encourage whatever fresh ideas for events during the celebration especially those that can attract interest and involvement from all levels of society in the country so long it does not neglect or disregard the Brunei customs and is not against the teachings of Islam."

He also hopes that the celebration will sketch a more jovial celebration and will involve more participation from the people and residents of the country, which includes students and educational institutions, the private sector, youth associations, non governmental organisations, ministries, government agencies, members of the consultative and village councils, as well as mosque takmir committees. The celebration aims to reflect unity, understanding, harmony, cooperation and support among all parties as evidence of loyalty to His Majesty.

The Minister hopes that the national committee members for His Majesty's 62nd birthday celebration will continue to give support, cooperation, services and commitment as well as constructive and positive ideas during the preparation of the event. His Majesty's birthday celebration this year will prove to be a feat, especially at the national and district levels where the Sultan will be at the "bersama rakyat" or royal get together in four different districts.

He also urged district officers who act as chairman to the executive committee to the celebration to conduct their meetings at the district level and make preparations as early as possible in order to identify specific events such as the format of the programmes.

"I am confident that with planning, discussions as well as high commitment, will make it easier and make the work smoother, thus we can overcome or avoid any problems that can affect the quality of the celebration," he added.

He also believes that the district officers will hold their own post mortem on events held in 2007 with the aspiration to update and make more efforts to raise the quality of celebratory events this year.

Also present at the meeting was YAM Pengiran Penggawa Laila Bentara Istiadat Diraja Dalam Istana Pengiran Hj Alauddin the Grand Chamberlain.

One of the agenda during the meeting was the nomination of the patron and adviser to the National Committee on His Majesty's birthday celebration.

Suggested dates, format and location for His Majesty's get together event at all the four districts, the mass maghrib, yassin recital, tahlil and thanksgiving prayers, the royal guard of honour on July 15, and the giant flag raising ceremony, arches flags, neon lights and decorations were also discussed. - Borneo Bulletin (20th Jan 2008)