Despite the sudden downpour, the capital was abuzz with excitement yesterday as thousands of people gathered to celebrate His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam‘s 67th birthday in the Brunei-Muara District.
The crowds stood unabated in a line, stretching from Taman Sir Muda Hj Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien (SOAS) to Lapau, when brief rainfall and gusty winds occurred following a colourful stage performance of music and dance.
His Majesty, joined by other members of the royal family, were unfazed by the weather as they mingled with the public during an ensuing meet-and-greet session at the event. For several hours, the monarch shook the hand of every man, woman, elder and child.
His Majesty arrived in the morning to a cheerful assembly of school children waving the national flag and the glittering bunga manggar.
The monarch was accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince Haji ‘Abdul ‘Azim, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah.
Three loud cheers of “Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik” (Long Live His Majesty) after the national anthem marked the start of the auspicious occasion.
Brunei-Muara District Officer Hj Jamain Momin, then delivered a welcoming speech, expressing gratitude for the presence of His Majesty and members of the royal family at the annual event.
As overcast began to loom, the celebration continued with the Borneo Cup Tug-of-War final and Brunei-Muara district’s special performance.
His Majesty presented trophies and prizes to the Borneo Cup Tug-of-War teams with Brunei coming in first place, followed by runner-ups Labuan, Sabah and Sarawak. Before retiring for a santap (banquet), the Monarch and Royal Family met the public.
Various gifts of all shapes and sizes were presented to His Majesty during the meet-and-greet session, including a number of grand cakes and framed pictures.
His Majesty’s 67th birthday celebration this year was postponed from July to observe the month of Ramadhan.
[Related story: Thai visitors all praise for HM meet and greet]