Brunei Darussalam celebrates its 37th National Day yesterday with the Grand Assembly at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar 'Ali Saifuddien. Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam joined the country's citizens and residents at the ceremony. This year's celebration adhered to the new normal and this made it slightly different from those of previous years. However, the new situation did not dampen the people's spirit in glorifying and enlivening the event. Nearly four thousand participants took part in the parade and performance yesterday morning that carried the theme 'Menjayakan Wawasan Negara'.
His Majesty's presence at the ceremony enhanced the people's patriotism further towards accomplishing Wawasan Negara 2035.
Upon arriving, His Majesty was greeted by Yang Berhormat Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports as the Chairman of the Celebration's Executive Committee, Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, Yang Di-Pertua of Adat Istiadat Negara as well as members of the Executive Committee.
Also gracing the event were His Majesty's sons and brothers:
- His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office;
- His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik;
- His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen;
- His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Wakeel;
- His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah;
- His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, and
- His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah;
The Grand Assembly began with His Majesty inspecting the Guard of Honour comprising personnel of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and Royal Brunei Police Force.
This year's celebration still focusses on the theme "Menjayakan Wawasan Negara' that gives holistic emphasis on all levels of society, especially the youth in together playing a role towards accomplishing the national vision 'Wawasan Negara 2035'. The effort to accomplish the Wawasan Negara will never falter despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic which demands the country to be on constant alert.
The Grand Assembly continued with the march past by eight groups comprising more than two thousand and eight hundred participants in line with the new normals that adhere to the current guidelines of the Ministry of Health. The march past was led by Parade Leaders Group including the Giant-sized National Flag Bearers Team, Oath readers, bearers of the normal-sized national flag and 37th National Day Logo Flag.
This was followed by the National Peace Team comprising the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Royal Brunei Police Force, Uniformed Government Groups, Prisons Department Band and other uniformed groups. The groups are always prepared to defend the nation and are the central nerve that moves the nation besides stemming criminal activities.
Also participating in the parade was Bestari Community team which was comprised of differently-abled persons, OKU, senior citizens and Brunei indigenous ethnic groups team. His Majesty's government is always committed towards the OKU and senior citizens by involving them in the country's development process including in achieving Wawasan Brunei 2035.
Senior citizens are among the country's most valuable assets not only because of their services and contributions in community and national development but also through their knowledge and experience.
The Brunei Indigenous Ethnic Groups Team enlivened the celebration with their traditional dances.
Achieving Wawasan 2035 requires the country's citizens and residents to equip themselves with knowledge and skills, be prepared to contribute in national development and improve their competitiveness, be innovative, creative, build the economy, politics, socio-culture, security and other aspects.
In more than three decades of full independence, the country has proven itself capable of carrying the responsibility of nationhood. In an era full of challenges, unity is part of an essential recipe towards a harmonious nation. Solidarity, security and prosperity play vital roles in ensuring national resilience.
The private sector also plays an important role in various aspects especially in development and economic progress in line with the development of info-communication.
The Education Sector comprising Institutes of Higher Education and Post-graduate Education, Arabic and Religious Core Education as well as Government and private schools plays a vital role in efforts to improve education in the country.
The parade also focussed on the involvement of youth. As an important asset and catalyst of excellent future development, the youth should equip themselves with mental and spiritual strength to become holistic youth.
The Public Movement Group comprising the Community Team is a combination of associations and organisations.
The group was joined by the Professional and General Association Team. It is the generator of professional manpower in national development and achieving the Wawasan towards high standard of living. The solidarity of the government and people makes the process of developing the country easier.
Joining the General Movement Group was the Combined Citizens of Friendly Countries Team which also plays a role in safeguarding community and national peace and prosperity. Diplomatic relations with 172 countries will always be nurtured and maintained.
37 members of the Cycling Association participated in the parade. They began their 37 kilometres expedition from Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien.
The parade ended with the COVID-19 Frontliners Group and combined agencies team comprising doctors, nurses and youth volunteers who readily came forward when the COVID-19 pandemic happened in the country. The dedicated frontliners risked infection, sacrificed time and cooperated with the government in curbing the spread of the pandemic.
The reading of the National Day Oath was led by Pengiran Doctor Muhammad Nadzir Bin Pengiran Mohd. Juanda, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Gleneagles Jerudong Park Medical Centre. The National Day oath reading team is made up of 37 youths from different backgrounds and professions, including differently-abled persons.
The oath reading was followed by the 3 calls of Allahu Akhbar led by Awang Abdul Nur Mafuuz Bin Haji Buhari, a Youth Volunteer assigned as a frontliners at Seria Health Centre.
The solid cooperation of all parties in making the event a success reflected the people's patriotism and pride of a prosperous nation which is much respected on the global arena.