25 years of sovereignty
By James Kon
Photos: Azrol Azmi, James Kon & Jason Leong
His Majesty, Her Majesty and HRH Pg Isteri during the celebration.
Reciting the oath.
Formation of the Keris.
Patriotic citizens waving the national flag.
Special needs people in the march past.
Members of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.
Spectacular performance by government staff.
Colourful display by performers.
The crowd during the event.
Flawless performances by volunteers.
Performers using colourful fans.
It was a momentous event in Brunei Darussalam's history as His Majestythe Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday gracedthe grand Silver Jubilee National Day celebration at the HassanalBolkiah National Stadium in the capital.Accompanying His Majesty were Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, Her Royal HighnessPengiran Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince andSenior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak IsteriPengiran Anak Sarah, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Pengiran AnakIsteri Pengiran Anak Hjh Zariah, and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah.
Also present were His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Azim, His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik, HisRoyal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah, HerRoyal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Hafizah SururulBulqiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Azemah Ni'matul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess FadzilahLubabul Bulqiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal UmiKalthum Al-Islam and other members of the royal family.
This year's Silver Jubilee National Day celebration carries the theme 'Maturity of the Nation' or 'KedewasaanBernegara' reflecting the nation's maturity and progress since gaining independence in 1984.
Following the arrival of His Majesty, the national anthem was played. His Majesty proceeded to inspect theroyal guard of honour.
The grand celebration commenced with a patriotic song performance followed by the march past.
A total of 108 teams consisting some 20,000 people including representatives from ministries, uniformedpersonnel, private sector, non government organisations, associations and education institutions participatedin the march past in front of His Majesty and other members of the royal family.
Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah was one of the participants inthe march past as one of the members of UBD Army Cadet.
This year as many as 25 selected youths representing departments under government, private sector, highereducation institutions and associations took the national day oath.
Leading the reading of the oath was Dr Mohd Munir Faridz bin Dato Paduka Awang Haji Metassan, themedical officer of Internal Medical Department, RIPAS Hospital.
The celebration stepped up a gear with some 4,900 people taking part in colourful field performances.
Divided into six segments, the flawless performances were designed to reflect the theme of the BruneiDarussalam Silver Jubilee National Day celebration "Maturity of the Nation".
The first segment called 'Keris Si Naga' portrayed the existence of the country under the Malay IslamMonarchy that has been inherited from generations.
The second segment was called 'Kalasak dan Kampilan'. Kalasak is a type of sword and Kampilan is ashield. Both items are part of the Royal Regalia.
The third segment was the 'Kitab Terbuka' or open book reflecting the development of education, especiallyal-Quran.
The fourth segment called "Gear, Bunga Padi Dan Api" reflected the country's economy. Gear stood as asymbol of economic activities in the form of industries, entrepreneurship and human resources. 'Bunga Padi'or paddy flower symbolised the economic activities in the field of agriculture and Api or Fire represented thenation's spirit, inspiration and efforts to progress further.
The fifth segment "Globe" signified Brunei's international relations. Brunei is a member of internationalassociations namely UN, UNESCO, APEC, ASEAN, OIC, the Commonwealth Nations and many others.
Concluding the performance was the sixth segment called "the Map of Negara Brunei Darussalam" whichsignified the country's sovereignty, free from any foreign intrusion. The people of the nation would continueto defend its sovereignty and further develop the country's prosperity, peace, as well as the survival of itspeople and the beloved land. The grand finale saw thousands of balloons released into the sky.