Brunei's giant national flag was hoisted yesterday in the capital to mark the start of His Majesty's 64th birthday celebrations this month.
The giant flag, which measures 3.7m by 7.3m, was raised between the open area between Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien mosque and the Yayasan Shopping Complex.
Officiating the flag-raising ceremony was Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Hj Abdul Aziz, who serves as the royal adviser of the National Celebrations Commitee.
Also present for the annual ceremony was Minister of Home Affairs and Chairman of the National Celebrations Commitee Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Othman and Deputy Minister Pehin Datu Paduka Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Halbi Hj Md Yussof.
The ceremony started with 64 flag bearers consisting of personnel from the Fire and Rescue Department and Prison Department marching into the venue, accompanied by the Royal Brunei Police Force Band.
This was followed by the customary singing of the national anthem and other patriotic songs, Bendera Negara (national flag) and Rahmat (blessing) by the choir from the Language and Literature Bureau, Bandar Seri Begawan Municipal Department, Fire and Rescue Department and school students.
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Hj Abdul Aziz concluded the ceremony by handing over national flags to all four district officers, which would be distributed to penghulu-penghulu.
At the district level flag hoisting ceremony in Belait, the annual event attracted 600 people at the open court of Cendera Kenangan Tower, Belait, where 64 flag bearers patiently waited opposite the giant flag pole for the arrival of the district officer with the national flag.
Hj Abd Aziz Orang Kaya Maharaja Lela Hj Yusof, permanent secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, was present to officiate the event.
The ceremony began with Belait District Officer Matusin Orang Kaya Sura Hj Tuba handing over the national flag to the permanent secretary who then passed it over to Belait's Royal Brunei Police Force to be hoisted.
The Belait event concluded with the handing over of national flags to all penghulu-penghulu in the district as well as representatives of various Belait-based government agencies, youth-oriented organisations and associations.
Meanwhile, in Tutong, the official hoisting of the national flag took place at the open area of the Pasarneka and Tamu Canopy Complex.
Officiating the ceremony was Permanent Secretary (Administration and Finance) Hj Mohd Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos of the Ministry of Development.
A convoy consisting of the Prison Department band, the Four Wheel Drive Association Tutong, KEKAL Motorcycle Association, Scouts Association Tutong, cadets of Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Secondary School, Ma'had Islam Tutong, and Muda Hashim Secondary School were involved in the ceremony.
Acting Tutong District Officer Hj Muhammad Suffian Hj Bungsu handed over the national flags to the guest of honour.
The permanent secretary then handed out the national flags to penghulu-penghulu in Tutong district to encourage citizens to raise their flags high and with pride.
In Temburong, a similar flag hoisting ceremony was held at Taman Perayaan in Bangar, where Acting District Officer Hj Afero Eswandy Hj Mohamad handed over the flag to Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs Hj Mawardi Hj Abdullah. — Syed Rory Malai Hassan, Amir Noor and Hana Roslan.
The Brunei Times