50th anniversary of the ascension of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to the throne

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (right) granting an audience to Taib, Abang Johari and Awang Tengah during his 71st birthday celebration in this file photo.

MIRI: The golden jubilee of the ascension of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei to the throne was celebrated yesterday with a parade around the capital city.

Being the highlight event of the jubilee celebration, it was attended by citizens from all over the country.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah is the second-longest reigning monarch in the world after Queen Elizabeth of England.

The golden jubilee celebration is closely followed by many in Sarawak, which shares its border with Brunei, with many from both sides of the border sharing family ties, particularly those in Lawas, Limbang and Miri. Sarawak enjoys close and warm relationship with Brunei.

The two sides share many areas of cooperation such as in the Pan Borneo Highway project, Trans-Borneo telecommunication superhighway, power interconnection, livestock, halal food and others.

Not very long ago, the Sultan consented to extending the closing time of the Customs, Immigration and Quaratine complexes (CIQs) to 12 midnight from 10pm following a request from Malaysia, which brought great relief to travellers.

The Sultan had even used his own helicopter to attend the Baram Regatta in 2011, and graced the Sarawak Regatta and many other festivals in Sarawak.

He invited Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan to his 71st birthday celebration this year.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah ascended the throne on Oct 5, 1967, a day after his father Sultan Omar Saifuddien voluntarily abdicated, paving the way for his remarkable reign of rapid growth, peace and prosperity.

To mark the historic occasion, Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, officiated at the launch of the Brunei 50 dollar commemorative polymer note, commemorative coins and the fifth series of coins in circulation, as well as the State Mufti’s Office publications entitled ‘Raja Melakar Sejarah’ and ‘The King who Shapes History’.

He is the patron of the advisory committee for the Golden Jubilee Celebration and chairman of the Monetary Authority of Brunei Darussalam Board of Directors.

Radio Television Brunei (RTB) reported that the Monetary Authority will be issuing 500,000 pieces of the Brunei 50 dollar commemorative notes and the new 5th Series Coins in Circulation which will be available for public exchange at face value in all banks and their branches from Monday, Oct 9.

The sultanate’s national broadcaster reported that an exclusive collection of several types of limited edition numismatic note and coin sets will also be available for pre-order from Oct 4.

Meanwhile, the book entitled ‘Raja Melakar Sejarah’ which is filled with the history of His Majesty’s 50-year reign, is written by the State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz Juned.

The book was published in the Malay and English languages, portraying His Majesty as the Head of State and Head of Government. The books are on sale from yesterday at the State Mufti’s Office, Jalan Pengiran Babu Raja.

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