BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Borneo Bulletin reported that more than 8,000 people yesterday received gifts in the form of Raya kurnia from His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam at the Istana Nurul Iman.
Among the recipients were 16-year-old Kimberly Chin, three-year-old Nurul Saqiqah, 11-year-old Mohd Amirul Muttaqin, 10-year-old Nurshahira, eight-year-old Abdul Hakeem and US national Mrs Frances Mathews, who said to the Bulletin, “There is no place on Earth where the people are uniquely cared for by the king like this. Coming from Seattle – a melting pot of various Asian cultures – I can say that Brunei represents something more than that and the relationship between the people, its government and the king is really extraordinary”
Mrs Frances Mathews’ husband, Russ Mathews said, “I fell in love with the country ever since I came here 13 years ago. I only came across Brunei when I travelled to Sarawak, and after I crossed the border to Brunei, I never looked back, I just fell in love with the country The people have so much love towards the Sultan for a good reason and we should appreciate what we have here in Brunei,” he added.
Russ accompanied his wife Frances as they joined the crowd of more than 8,000 just to witness this extraordinary relationship between the people and their beloved monarch. Russ added that it is “always amazing to note that the presentation of ‘kurnia’ is in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfltri but recipients come from a mixed background”.
Sixteen-year-old Kimberly Chin and her mother told the Bulletin how they wanted to convey their admiration towards His Majesty’s kind heart and leadership. The teenager said, “His Majesty the Sultan comes when no other will and the Sultan is always there when we need him most.”
She added that she felt proud of being a citizen of a country in which the welfare of the people is placed at the top of the agenda by the ruler.
“Help is hard to come by these days because other people have their own problems too. But His Majesty is there, somehow he is there to help.”
This was the third time that Kimberly Chin has received a royal Hari Raya gift. She took the opportunity to wish His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam a most joyous and wonderful Hari Raya.
The mother of three-year-old Nurul Saqiqah binti Ali also highlighted the Sultan’s generosity to the people of Brunei Darussalam. We love you, Your Majesty,” said eight-year-old Hakeem and his cousins, 11-year-old Amirul and 10-year-old Nurshahira.