Book on Brunei’s tradition of monarchic culture and history launched

By Lyna Mohamad, 22 May 2011

The Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Foundation yesterday held a ceremony for the distribution of its publication the ‘Brunei: Tradition of Monarchic Culture and History’ (RH Hickling’s Memorandum upon Brunei Constitutional History and Practice) book, as it becomes part of another relevant library reference resource collection.

The guest of honour was the Minister of Education, who is also the Chairman of the foundation’s Board of Directors, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong.

Yesterday’s event began with the recital of surah al-fatihah and a welcoming remark by the Managing Director of the foundation, Dato Paduka Hj Awg Ali Hashim bin Hj Daud, who noted that in the process of the nation’s and country’s development, studies on the history of the country itself is seen as important in instilling the country’s ideology.

Thus, in this regard, the publication of the book that contains the notes of the Brunei Constitution 1959 Memorandum is hoped to open the minds of readers in getting in-depth knowledge on the history of the country and stimulate the national spirit, particularly in opening the path for studying the values of ideology and philosophy, which is the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB).

Following the welcoming remark, the event continued with a brief review of the book by a history enthusiast who is also active in writing articles on Brunei History, Hj Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary (Administration and Finance) at the Ministry of Development.

Meanwhile, the writer, Associate Professor Dr Hj BA Hussainmiya, in his speech, gave a brief overview of the book and pointed out the need to accelerate the publication of moreBruneiprimary sources such as the Brunei State Council Minutes from 1907 until 1959 and the various letters wrote by Al-Marhum Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien.

At present, he added, there is much discussion about MIB in the country and very often both locals and foreigners want answers to what is MIB.

MIB, in the writer’s view, essentially embodies the ideals and values that reflect the world view of the Bruneians in general and their commitment to retainBruneias a true Abode of Peace.

“This edition unwittingly reveals a body knowledge, albeit historically, about the political dimension of MIB in highlighting the pre-modern system and the unwritten constitution of the monarchic State of Brunei.

“Our author Hickling has compiled such information from various sources to provide a bird’s eye view of the MIB aspects of the Brunei Government prior to the introduction of the British Protectorate Rule overBrunei. I am sure theBruneischolars can analyse evidence and elaborate further the de facto characteristics of MIB,” said the writer.

During yesterday’s event, the book was presented by the writer to the guest of honour, who later distributed the books to representatives of various higher education institutions and libraries in the country.

The publication of the ‘Brunei: Tradition of Monarchic Culture and History’ book is a contribution of the foundation in the development of knowledge in line with its policy to provide support towards research and development activities.

It is also hoped to be a very relevant reference source to graduates and public alike in studying and understandingBrunei’s history.

Members of the public can purchase the book at bookshops identified by the authorised distributor who is also the printer of the publication, Brunei Press Sdn Bhd, at a price of $32.50 for hard cover and $20 for paperback.

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