SHIMWORLD.com Feature in THE BRUNEI TIMES
“Love, bond and kinship are indeed special elements in everyone’s life and Mother’s Day is not just about a day of recognition for mothers. It is about spending time with those we care about, and making a difference in someone’s life.
For some individuals, driving home the message and lessons of love on Mother’s Day was a trip to the Old Persons Home in Seria. The old folks home was set up in 1957 and officiated by the late father of His Majesty The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei. Today, it houses about 10 elderly residents. Some of them do not have next of kin, or may have been deemed “inconvenient” to their families due to their old age and lack of mobility.
The visit to the Old Persons Home was organised by Sekolah Bimbingan Seri SiapSiaga, a company which provides consultation and tuition services for Brunei citizenship candidates, and saw about 80 past and present students and their families coming together to partake in the special celebration – one for all and all for one, united in the spirit of unity.
Sheikh Mansor or more affectionately known as Cikgu Mansor by his students, shared with everyone the importance of being a good citizen, loyalty and respect to His Majesty and the role in contributing to the nation. He reiterated that such values, however, begins with oneself, family and the community.
During the visit, tokens of love including “ang pows” (red packets containing some money) and hampers were given away to cheer up the residents. Everyone had the opportunity to enjoy a meal together with a sumptuous spread where those who were not so agile, had help from the citizenship students. In this spirit of togetherness, it was evident that it does not matter whether one knows the other, but rather, the love and care that we can share with those who are alone. Even the simple act of bringing a child to see the old people in the home may cause tears to well up in some eyes, or bring the joy of touch and sense of belonging to some.
And it is not just about the visit to the Old Persons Home that is important for us to reflect in our daily thoughts. Cikgu Mansor, in guiding his students by Sekolah Bimbingan Seri SiapSiaga, has always extolled that regardless of whether one is already a citizen or a student getting ready for the citizenship exam, or for any matter, anyone residing in Brunei Darussalam, should have a passion for the country. After all, Brunei is an abode of peace and if we are residing here, each and everyone of us should contribute to the progress, safety and well-being of the country.
Respect for His Majesty and the “Melayu Islam Beraja” (MIB) philosophy should be a way of life. He has done an admirable job and nurtured in his students the spirit of loyalty, togetherness, harmony and cooperation. He always says, “Jadilah rakyat yang bersatu hati, rakyat yang bertanggung jawab kepada negara. Jadilah tauladan yang baik. Kasih sayang tiada sempadan” (Be citizens who are united and of one mind, be citizens who are responsible to your country).“
To The Class of May 2009 — A New Chapter, A New Beginning — WISHING YOU ALL THE VERY BEST !
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Photograph captured on the EOS 5D MkII EF 17-40mm with a single Speedlite 580EX bounced to light subjects in the back row and with some spill to fill the shadows of the front. As for the diminishing effect of the ultra wide lens, this could not be avoided due to space and time. Regardless, the opportunity to immortalize this memorable event and moment—a priceless gem to all who came. I am humbled again and again by the determination and spirit of my classmates in and outside of the classroom. Seri SiapSiaga is a school like no other and as former student Lin Ji so eloquently puts it — we have become a FAMILY.