His Majesty 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 in a titah stresses that independence is the Crown of the Race or Nation.  Neglecting it means neglecting history.

His Majesty continues the titah highlighting that although the country already has good infrastructure, technologies, equipment, mechanisms and systems, but if the internal parts are bad, the products will also be bad. For example, His Majesty says, if there is a corrupt mechanism within the government, even if it is from among the learned and highly skilful, the corrupt attitude will not bring good, but instead bring the country down.

Touching on the programmes of the National Day this year, His Majesty recommends that it should emphasise more on the development of healthy attributes such as honesty, trustworthiness and loyalty. His Majesty highlights that without all these attributes, the life or administrative mechanisms will not run well, but become problematic and weak.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam late this afternoon joined his subjects in performing the mass Maghrib and Isya Prayers, reading of Surah Yasin and Doa Kesyukuran in conjunction with the 33rd National Day. The focal point was the Omar Ali Saifuddien mosque in the capital.

The mass Fardhu Maghrib and Isha' prayers as well as the reading of Surah Yasin and Doa Kesyukuran in conjunction with the country's 33rd National Day also took place at all mosques, surau and prayer halls throughout the country.

To ensure the smooth running of the 33rd National Day Grand Assembly and March Pass tomorrow at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar 'Ali Saifuddien in the capital, several main roads will be closed or controlled for diversion starting from 6.30 in the morning.

In conjunction with the 33rd National Day, citizens and residents in the country are required to hoist the national flag until the 25th of February. The giant-sized National Flag has been hoisted at the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassnal Bolkiah Complex since the 16th of this month.

As in the Brunei Muara District, the lively atmosphere in celebrating the National Day in the other three districts can also be felt with the hoisting of national flags at government buildings, business premises and other locations.

Cooperation and solidarity are essential all aspects in order for the country to accomplish Wawasan Brunei 2035. Each citizen and resident should have a determination and work together to realise the country's noble aspiration.

The Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis have decided to establish diplomatic relations with effect from the 21st of February 2017. The signing of the Joint Communiqué took place at the Permanent Mission of Brunei Darussalam to the United Nations in New York.

The official quota for Brunei Darussalam's Haj pilgrims for this year's Haj season has been set to 1000 people. The set quota was made following an agreement by the government of Saudi Arabia during the annual Ministerial Level Haj Management Consultation Meeting between Brunei Darussalam's Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Saudi government's Ministry of Haj and Umrah, which was led by the countries' respective Ministers on the 16th of February 2017, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The plight of 2 families involved in recent house fires this afternoon received attention from the Brunei Islamic Religious Council, MUIB. They received contributions from the collection of tithe money. The tithe money amounting to 2 thousand 4 hundred dollars were presented by Awang Haji Abdul Aziz bin Haji Akop, the Acting Secretary of MUIB.

A local man was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment and 8 strokes of the cane for FOUR charges under Section 304 and Section 324 of the Penal Code Act, Chapter 22 as well as Section 28 of the Children and Young Persons Act, Chapter 219. The 29-year-old defendant was sentenced by the High Court this afternoon.

The Youth Love the Nation Programme exposes the youth with knowledge pertaining to the community's welfare apart from teaching the participants to be independent. This morning, the participant's made a visit to the National Disaster Management Centre, NDMC in Berakas.

The "Celebrity Constellation" cruise ship arrived at the Muara port from Singapore this morning. The arrival of the ship, which was carrying more than 2 thousand tourists from several countries in Europe and Southeast Asia, was welcomed with a traditional Bruneian cultural performance.

The Consumer Price Index, C.P.I in January 2017 decreased by point 3 per cent over December 2016. This is due to lower prices of transport with 1 per cent; followed by Furnishings, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance by 1 point 6 per cent; and Clothing and Footwear with 2 point 1 per cent.