Ensure flawless distribution of dates, urges Prince ‘Abdul Malik

by Hakim Hayat

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ ANN) - Leaders need to demonstrate their trustworthiness in carrying out their duties and responsibilities and should not become a hindrance to any improvement efforts in an organisation or the country.

His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik made this remark in a sabda yesterday while launching the nationwide distribution of the personal gift of dates from 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, at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Building in Jalan Perdana Menteri.

His Royal Highness, who is also Chairman of the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (YSHHB) Committee of Governors, said that while Muslims are expected to intensify their religious activities in the coming month of Ramadhan, trustworthiness needs to be upheld as it can bring one a better and blissful life. “Trustworthiness is a noble and commendable trait and feature of a true Muslim.”

He said that trustworthiness is often associated with leaders, because of their huge responsibilities in leading an organisation or a country to glory, and warned that without this trait, negative phenomena such as corruption, abuse of power, disrespecting working hours and shunning away from responsibilities will be rampant and that can impede efforts of improvement. “Therefore, let us strengthen our will to continue instilling the trait of trustworthiness in us. May what we do be given Allah the Almighty’s blessings,” he added.

Citing the distribution of the personal gift of dates from His Majesty, His Royal Highness said that grassroots leaders such as mukim penghulus and village heads who are directly involved in its distribution must possess sharp leadership qualities in ensuring that the process is implemented with full responsibility and trust.

His Royal Highness lamented that it has come to his attention that many are still not receiving their share of dates. Although YSHHB has prepared acknowledgement forms that have to be signed both by the distributing and receiving sides, disappointingly, there are still instances of mukim penghulus and village heads not distributing the dates according to what they have been tasked with, he added.

This flaw, the His Royal Highness said, points to the fact that there are some grassroots leaders who are untrustworthy and they do not meet the criteria of a leader as a trustworthy and honest person.

His Royal Highness urged the YSHHB management and the district officers to monitor the distribution closely to ensure that the process is flawless this year and no Muslim in the country is left out in receiving their share of dates.

This year, some 157.5 metric tonnes of the Safawy brand of dates supplied by Al Madinah Dates Company, Saudi Arabia will be distributed to all Muslim citizens and residents in Brunei. Every Muslim in the country will receive a box of dates weighing 300 grammes.

Last year, 154 metric tonnes of Safawi dates were distributed during the holy month.

At the ceremony yesterday, His Royal Highness inaugurated the nationwide distribution of dates to all Muslim citizens by presenting them to Penghulus, village heads from all four districts as well as army commanders, commandants of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and Directors of Formation of the Royal Brunei Police Force.

The distribution of dates during Ramadhan is globally unique as it can only be found in the Sultanate where it reflects the ruler’s personal care for the country’s citizens and residents during the fasting month.

Since 1995, YSHHB has been managing the distribution process.