Royalty at Women's Special Assembly
By P Marilyn & Huraizah Ahmad

Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha yesterday consented to attend the Women's Special Assembly held in conjunction with the Maulud Nabi celebrations at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.

Accompanying Her Majesty was HRH Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hjh Zariah, HRH Princess Hafizah Sururul Bulqiah, HRH Princess Hjh Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam and HRH Princess Hjh Norehsani.

Upon arrival, Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha and members of the Royal family were received by the Co-Advisors, Co-Chairman and members of the organising committee of this year's Women's Special Assembly.

The event began with a reading of the al-Quran led by Dyg Hjh Siti Khadijah bte Haji Ibrahim, the Champion of 2007 National Youth Musabaqah Tilawah Al-Quran and the translation was read by Dyg Zurairatul Aini bte Dato Seri Setia Awg Haji Rajid, Religious Education Officer, Ministry of Religious Affairs.

This was followed by a welcoming address by Pg Anak Datin Hajah Masnah bte Pengiran Anak Safiuddin, Senior Special Duties Officer cum Chairperson of the event.

Datin Dyg Hjh Adina bte Othman, Director of Community Development Department, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and an invited motivational specialist from Malaysia, Ustazah Siti Norbahyah bte Mahamood during the 'Nadwah Khas Wanita' also addressed the audience.

The topic was on "Cabaran Keluarga Dalam Membentuk Tunas Bangsa Berakhlak Mulia", chaired by Dyg Hjh Saemah bte Haji Abdul Salam.

The highlight of the event was the announcement of 'Anugerah Bakti Hijrah Khas Wanita' followed by presenting the awards.

Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha presented the 'Anugerah Bakti Hijrah Khas Wanita' to Datin Hjh Maznah binti Haji Mohammad and Dyg Hjh Masurah Hj Abidin.

The criteria of recipients being bestowed with the 'Anugerah Bakti Hijrah Khas Wanita' this year were based on several factors. The prerequisites were that all candidates were citizens of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam, a Muslim according to 'Aliran Ahli Sunnah Wal Jemaah' and 'Mazhab Syafie' and not less than 60 years of age. The candidates were also assessed on the contribution of their loyal services in the development of an Islamic community in the Sultanate such as in Religious Education Affairs, Dakwah, Islamic Administration and work associated with the development and success of the Islamic community and the country.

Candidates were expected to possess certain characteristics such as courage, trust, and honesty as well as determination.

The main criteria would be the candidates' Islamic moral values and characteristics that can be an exemple to the community, to inculcate Islamic virtues to children and provide appropriate teachings until a successful and harmonious family is achieved as well as knowledge in line with the Islamic religion.

This year's Women's Special Assembly was hosted by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Women's Council in collaboration with the Prime Minister's Office. - Borneo Bulletin (30th Mar 2008)