BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Well over a five thousand uniformed personnel in their mighty and shiny outfits glittered at the Istana Nurul Iman last evening as guests of a dazzling royal evening banquet with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s 66th birthday, Borneo Bulletin reported.
It has been a royal tradition during His Majesty the Sultan’s birthday, where representatives of uniformed personnel from various security’ agencies, organizations and associations gather around to be regally feted with a Royal Banquet, highlighting His Majesty the Sultan’s appreciation towards the many uniformed organizations’ contribution towards maintaining the peace of the country and the people.
Also gracing the evening banquet were Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah the Crown Prince, Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna and as well as other members of the royal family. The evening was also a chance for the guests to meet and greet His Majesty the Sultan in person. Well over 5,000 invitations were sent to uniformed personnel across the country, including to the scouts association and the newly established National Service Programme (PKBN), filling the newly completed extended banquet hall of Istana Nurul Iman with tables and chairs.
Leading the National Service Programme (PKBN) last night was Major (Rtd) Idris bin OKMB Hj Othman. He said, it was surely a memorable night for all of the participants, who may or may not end up as uniformed personnel in their future careers. He said around 211 PKBN course participants and staff members turned up last night for a chance to meet with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang DiPertuan of Brunei Darussalam. It was part of His Majesty the Sultan’s kind gestures to show appreciation and recognition of the importance of PKBN as one of the uniformed agencies in the country.
Major (Rtd) Idris bin OKMB Hj Othman said the PKBN members that turned out last night included members from all four districts, including those from Tutong who participated in a meet and greet ceremony with His Majesty the Sultan early yesterday afternoon, as well as those that will attend today’s ceremony in Temburong District to meet the Sultan. Surely, he said, the evening was very important for everyone at PKBN.
Retired army officer and member of the Retired Army Personnel Association of Brunei Darussalam, Hj Hamdani bin Omar, told the Borneo Bulletin that it had been the fifth time that he had attended the Royal Banquet in conjunction with the His Majesty’s birthday celebration. He said he felt honoured with the invitation. There were around 80 veteran army personnel present at the royal function. Hj Mohamad Yusof bin Hj Mohammad Salleh, Commissioner of Scouts said that there were 420 scout members at last evening’s banquet. He said he had attended the banquet a total of 11 times, marking the event as one of the most important events in his calendar.