It is not only a momentous day for our new citizens, it is also a momentous day for the nation as each new citizen is capable of contributing to the economy and development of the nation.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Dato Paduka Awang Haji Hamdillah bin Haji Abdul Wahab, said this in his speech at the 22nd Certificate of Citizenship Presentation Ceremony held yesterday, where he urged that policy reviews be made to enable more professionals to gain citizenship.
He further encouraged harmony amongst citizens. "Non-Malay citizens should not be discriminated and they have the same rights as any other citizen. Each citizen also needs to support the government efforts and not simply be bystanders as the government attempts to progress."
The 22nd Certificate of Citizenship Presentation Ceremony saw 350 new citizens receiving their certificates; out of which 128 were permanent residents born in Brunei and passed their Malay Language exam, 186 are wives of citizens and 31 were born overseas.
Earlier during the day, the new citizens were briefed by Department of Immigration and National Registration`s senior officers in Citizen Section, Birth and Death Registration Section, Identity Card Section and Passport Section. This was to ensure that all the new citizens are aware of necessary procedures that can be undertaken at the department.
A further briefing was given by Islamic Dakwah Centre, Information Department, Adat Istiadat Department and Universiti Brunei Darussalam, to endow the new citizens with greater understanding of their role and responsibilities as citizens towards developing love and loyalty to the monarchy, people, religion and country, as is characterised by Brunei`s philosophy of Melayu-Islam-Beraja (Malay-Islamic-Monarcy).
"I am very happy to have finally gotten my citizenship," said 67-year-old, Lim Tian Sang, who was born in Brunei.
Said Rozita Junaidi: "Ever since high school I wanted to be a citizen. I wanted to be like everyone else because I feel I am as Bruneian as they are."
Masdianawaty binti Mohamad Irwandi, 25, stated that this was her own choice, being the first of her siblings to have been granted citizenship.
Sangan Anak Klambu, 58, said, "I`ve been waiting for over 10 years to be granted my citizenship. When I was younger I thought that there was not much difference between a permanent resident and a citizen. Now that I have received it, I feel very blessed and happy."
Source: www.brunei-online.com (12 Juli 2007)