BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: In Commemoration of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s 66th birthday, the Borneo Bulletin’s frontliners led by Senior Photojournalist Azrol Azmi, seized the joyous opportunity to present their own unique birthday pesambah to the ‘People’s Monarch’. The pesambah came in the form of His Majesty’s photo during last year’s get-together in the Tutong District surrounded by his subjects (students from Keriam Primary School) in a bid to take the golden opportunity for a split-second handshake with the benevolent ruler. It was also the front-page photo used in the Borneo Bulletin, dated July 22, 2011. Tucked in a golden-plated frame measuring 20 inch by 30 inches, the photo portrayed the People’s Monarch as the eager students surrounding His Majesty were all smiles and joyful to finally meet His Majesty in person. Also seen in the photo was a young boy donning the traditional Malay attire, ‘Baju Melayu’, complete with the head-gear or ‘dastar’, holding his fist up to show his success in greeting the benevolent king, Borneo Bulletin reported.
Meanwhile, in the background of the photo, shows a line-up of photographers surrounding His Majesty to capture the moment from a different angle. “But what sets the photo apart is that it shows the ambience and its surrounding. It shows the reaction of people inside the photo and what they were doing – an action connected to the occasion,” said the Senior Photojournalist of the Bulletin. Azrol Azmi, who enjoys the sound of the gulin-tangan, recalls that capturing that ‘decisive-moment’ was not an easy task. “The young gulin-tangan musicians were happy and His Majesty was smiling. That is what every photojournalist wants to capture.”
The photojournalist also recalls positioning himself infront of the students was a huge risk to take as he might capture a back view instead of a frontal view of His Majesty. “As I waited in that small moving space, surrounded by the crowd, His Majesty finally turned around and held out his hand to greet the students. I pressed the shutter release and forever captured that moment in time,” he said. Every year during the royal birthday celebration, citizens from all four districts, representing various organisations and associations will shower gifts on His Majesty, their beloved and caring monarch in appreciation of his tireless efforts in striving to ensure constant improvements in the prosperity and welfare of all the people and residents of the country.
To mark their own special tribute on His Majesty’s 66th birthday celebration the Bulletin editors, reporters and camera crew decided to honour their ruler. Upon consenting to accept the ‘pesambah’, the monarch paused for a few seconds as he took in the photograph, smiling as he admired it before looking up and nodding his appreciation to the assembled lineup of Borneo Bulletin reporters and photographers gathered at yesterday’s media coverage and said, “I like it very much.”