Sultan joins mass thanksgiving prayers
By Ahmed Shaheeb & Azrol Azmi

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday joined more than 1,000 worshippers for mass thanksgiving prayers to commemorate the 24th National Day at the Jame' Asr Hassanil Bolkiah in Kiarong.

Accompanying His Majesty were His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Abdul Malik and HRH Prince Abdul Mateen.

Pehin Jawatan Luar Pekerma Raja Dato Seri Utama Dr Ustaz Awang Haji Mohd Zain bin Haji Serudin, the Minister of Religious Affairs, greeted His Majesty upon arrival.

The event commenced with a mass Maghrib prayer led by Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Yahya bin Ibrahim, followed by Hajat prayers led by Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Salim bin Haji Besar.

The mass recitation of Surah Yassin was led by Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Othman, the Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs.

The thanksgiving prayer was recited by State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz (Dr) Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned. The mass Isyak prayer was led by Pehin Dato Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Hamid bin Bakal.

This year's National Day celebration carries the theme of "Tunas Bangsa". The country's subjects and residents will witness the climax of festivities today involving a National Day parade at Taman Hj Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien in the capital.

Similar mass prayers were also held yesterday in various mosques, Suraus and prayer halls all over the country. - Borneo Bulletin (23rd Feb 2008)