His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha recently consented to grace a reception for the monarch’s 76th birthday celebration hosted by diplomatic missions of counties in Brunei.
Their Majesties were accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah.
Also present were Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz.
Their Majesties and members of the royal family were welcomed by heads of diplomatic missions and spouses, led by the Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Maskari, the ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman.
In his speech, the ambassador on behalf of the diplomatic corps expressed their highest respect and deepest gratitude for another wonderful opportunity to extend their greetings, congratulate and extend their best wishes of long-lasting perfect health and happiness to His Majesty.
Sheikh Ahmed Al-Maskari also conveyed that the diplomatic corps took immense pride in the fact that the auspicious reception in celebration of His Majesty’s birthday has been held consistently over the years except for the last two years, which were postponed due to the unanticipated COVID-19 pandemic.
The diplomatic corps was also pleased to applaud His Majesty’s government’s success in fighting back the pandemic and effectively shifting to the endemic phase.
“We, in the diplomatic corps are massively privileged to take this opportunity to express our extreme gratitude and profound appreciation to Your Majesty and to Your Majesty’s government for the prioritisation accorded to the diplomatic community in terms of vaccination and quarantine arrangements over the past two years,” said the dean.
The ambassador has also expressed his gratitude for the dialogue sessions with the health authority in Brunei with regard to issues related to the pandemic.
The different incentives implemented by His Majesty’s government since the first COVID-19-related infection was discovered in Brunei, to support and protect foreign workers in the country and elevate their hardship considering the challenging situation are appreciated.
Furthermore, Sheikh Ahmed expressed the diplomatic corps’ appreciation on the notable levels bilateral relations between Brunei and the respective countries have reached since the establishment of the diplomatic relations.
“Taking this opportunity, we profoundly appreciate all the hospitality, graciousness and support that Your Majesty, the Royal Family, members of the Brunei Government and the people of Brunei Darussalam continue to extend to our diplomatic community,” said the ambassador.
After the speech, the dean presented a gift to His Majesty on behalf of the diplomatic corps which was a carved wooden door frame known as ‘Gebyok’.
The door is made of solid teak wood and full of detailed motifs, giving it an artistic appearance. It was handmade in Central Java, Indonesia presented to His Majesty the Sultan in recognition of Brunei Darussalam’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2021.
His Majesty and Her Majesty as well as members of the royal family then met with each head of mission, conveying their personal birthday greetings to the monarch.
Currently, there are 29 countries that maintained resident diplomatic missions in Bandar Seri Begawan, working to build cooperation, friendship and mutually beneficial relations.
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN