The first National Day celebration at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in 1984
THE struggle for independence and self-rule by Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam and Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin, with the support of the Union of Brunei Malays (KMB) and the Youth Front (BARIP), demonstrated the depth of their patriotism for Brunei. Their patriotism became the driving force behind the youth of Brunei Darussalam who wanted to preserve the country’s dignity and sovereignty.
In a globalised world, patriotism infused with Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) values is a safeguard within the community and the political arena. As the national philosophy, MIB became a source of peace and harmony for the people and the country as a whole. These values unite and integrate Bruneians regardless of their backgrounds, religion and culture.
The MIB philosophy has existed for hundreds of years and has been an integral part in the lives of Bruneians. It is our national heritage that has been passed down over the generations and its values form the basis for Brunei’s development towards realising the goals of Vision 2035.
According to a titah by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, MIB values are a necessary ‘firewall’ for countering the negative aspects of globalisation which threaten the patriotic spirit of Brunei.
The current young generation must be extra vigilant when using the internet and social media. Some individuals may easily be influenced by unverified information which encourages behaviour contrary to Bruneian ethics and principles. MIB helps filter out information, to ensure that it is beneficial and does not deviate from the simplicity of Bruneian life and customs.
During a student reception in London in 2014, His Majesty reminded the young generation that they must never allow themselves to be exposed to harmful negative influences unconnected to their studies. His Majesty also advised the students to exercise vigilance against destructive elements lurking everywhere and constantly fortify themselves with virtuous acts and deeds.
His Majesty further reminded the students to uphold their identity, integrity and the Bruneian spirit, and to always practise the MIB way of living and thinking. The students were also reminded that national pride is not measured from efforts to become a new nation, but by successfully maintaining one’s cultural heritage and identity.
In MIB philosophy, one of the important components of patriotism is love and respect for the monarch, which is a tradition rooted in Brunei’s socio-politic and economic policies.
The collapse of several countries in the 21st century is caused by increasingly irrelevant political systems that have been compromised by external parties, which breed rage and discontent in the minds of the populace towards their respective governments.
Alhamdulillah, under the sovereignty of MIB leadership, His Majesty has protected and provided well for the people of Brunei as the undisputed leader of the nation.
The ties between the monarch and the people are embedded in the ‘Perlembagaan Negeri Brunei 1959 Pindaan 2004 dan 2008’, which states the highest power and authority is His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
Formulated into the constitution (Dokumen-dokumen Perlembagaan – Pindaan 2008 – Bahagian 111 Perkara 4 Ceraian (1)) is that the highest ruling power in Brunei is His Majesty.
In a titah marking the occasion of His Majesty’s Silver Jubilee on September 20, 1992, His Majesty stated, “It is hoped that [MIB] will enjoin and instil loyalty to the Sovereign, forming a base of strength for the people and the country, while going through various facets of life and challenges every now and then.
“It is an the essence of our culture, which not only functions as a blueprint, but must be developed as a guide to ensure our way of life does not deviate from the concept and spirit of Malay Islamic Monarchy.”
Accepting and abiding by the laws of Brunei Daruss-alam symbolises the people’s loyalty towards their monarch who has contributed to the nation’s welfare. A prime example is the hoisting of the national flag on Brunei’s National Day, which is observed annually on February 23.
The simple act of hoisting a flag is a sign of patriotism, coupled with a show of support and loyalty towards the monarch. It is also a show of appreciation for the favours bestowed by Allah the Almighty, as written in Surah An-Nisa Verse 59, “You who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.”
During the Battle of Mut’ah, between the forces of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Byzantine Empire, in 629 AD, the flag-bearers on the front lines sacrificed their lives to keep the Islamic banner standing tall and preventing it from falling to the ground.
The flag symbolises national pride and dignity and it should not be disrespected, trampled upon or burned. On the occasions marking His Majesty’s birthday and National Day, we show our patriotism by hoisting the national flag as a sign of honour and respect towards the country, religion and monarchy.
Hoisting the flag is a symbol of genuine patriotism which shows that Bruneians will unite together to maintain the sovereignty of an independent MIB state.
We are taught to respect the national flag and to stand at attention when the national anthem is being played, as a sign of the Bruneian spirit.
Additionally, the national anthem serves as a prayer to Allah the Almighty to grant the sovereign, the people and the country lasting peace and prosperity under the protection of Allah the Almighty. We should realise that respecting the flag is an act of patriotism based on MIB principles. A strong patriotic spirit should be cultivated by Bruneians, especially among the current young generation and students, who are the future inheritors of Brunei.
Dr. Haji Muhammad Hadi bin Muhammad Melayong
Senior Special Duties Officer