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Borneo Bulletin, Tuesday 28 February 2017

| A

ZLAN

O

THMAN

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MINISTER of Culture, Youth

and Sports Pehin Datu Lailaraja

Major General (Rtd) Dato

Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi

bin Haji Mohd Yussof yesterday

pointed out that the newly

launched book festival is not

merely for the educated and

the youths, but also for the

young ones.

In

fact,

the

Language

and Literature Bureau has

set activities to get children

acquainted with books and to

inculcate the habit of reading.

Speaking on the sidelines

of the book fair launch

at

the

Hassanal

Bolkiah

National Sports Complex, the

minister said the event was

a commendable effort, and

that parents and guardians

should take advantage of the

fair, where they can learn and

choose books.

With regard to the Sultanate

of Oman’s participation at

the event, the minister said,

“it helps to strengthen the

good relations between two

brotherly nations.”

Meanwhile, Ambassador of

the Sultanate of Oman to Brunei

Darussalam Sheikh Ahmed bin

Hashel bin Rashed bin Hashel

Al-Maskari said the embassy

is delighted to participate at

the fair for the fourth time,

and is keen to share the Omani

culture and publications with

local communities.

“We have over the past years

found that Bruneians are keen

to learn more about the Islamic

and Arabic culture. Besides

showcasing Omani books and

culture, we are also showing

the Omani heritage.

“We have been donating

books to Brunei universities

such as Universiti Islam Sultan

Sharif Ali (UNISSA) and plan to

donatemore books toUniversiti

Brunei Darussalam (UBD) this

year,” the ambassador said.

“It is also an honour to have

UNISSA students who have

studied the Arabic Language

in Oman to man our booth. It

is a joint effort between the

embassy and UNISSA.

“I am also really honoured

that as an embassy, we are

able to make people-to-people

connections. We are the only

two Sultanates in the world and

we always join hands. Brunei is

also taking part in a book fair in

Oman at present, highlighting

the cultural exchange between

the two countries,” he added.

A young avid reader, Danial

Aiman, expressed excitement

about the fair saying, “I visited a

similar fair last year. I am trying

to find the latest Harry Potter

story books this year.”

A total of 97 booths have

been set up, with 45 entries

from

nine

government

publishers, 19 book stores,

two computer shops and 11

overseas participants including

the UAE, Jordan, Sultanate of

Oman, Malaysia, Indonesia and

Singapore.

There was also a prize

presentation for the fast-selling

book written by State Mufti

Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato

Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz (Dr)

Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin

Juned, and the unveiling of 18

new books.

The 10-day book festival,

which kicked off on February

26, will be filled with numerous

activities to enliven it.

NATIONAL Service Programme

(PKBN) trainees yesterday had

the chance to perform for the

first time dawn prayers at the

new facility in Batu Apoi in

Temburong, with Minister of

Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin

Datu Lailaraja Major General

(Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji

Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd

Yussof.

Dawn prayers with the

minister has become a tradition

with every PKBN intake, and it

was the first time being held in

Temburong.

After performing the prayers,

the minister and his delegation

proceeded to the PKBN Training

Camp to observe a series of

activities including the flag-

hoisting, singing of the national

anthem, reading of pledge,

belting out of ‘Ready to Serve’

and recitation of prayers.

After

watching

trainees

undergo

physical

training,

the minister joined them for

breakfast, thus marking the end

of the visit.

The minister’s presence at

the PKBN Training Camp was

a morale booster, the trainees

said.

Also present were Legislative

Council member YB Haji Emran

bin Haji Sabtu, Permanent

Secretary at the Ministry of

Culture, Youth and Sports Dato

Paduka Dr Haji Affendy bin

Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok

Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin,

Deputy Permanent Secretary at

the Ministry of Culture, Youth

and Sports Haji Mohd Noor

Jusmin bin Haji Samad, the

Temburong District Officer and

senior ministerial officers.

Minister’s visit a morale

booster for PKBN trainees

Book fair

to inculcate

reading habit

PHOTOS: BAHIYAH BAKIR

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang

Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof at the Oman Embassy booth

RIGHT: The minister observing the

primary school activity at the book fair

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji

Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof joining others for the dawn prayers