Brunei Darussalam has recorded yet another major milestone today with the gazetting of the Shariah Penal Code Act. His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, in a titah, formally announced that the legislation was gazetted today, the 22nd of October, 2013, and will come into force in 6 months, in phases.
His Majesty asserted that Brunei Darussalam had never sought permission from whomsoever in implementing the Shariah Penal Code, and that the Code is a 'Special Guidance' from Allah the Almighty for the country. His Majesty further stated that such a measure does not in any way change Brunei Darussalam's policies and that, on the contrary, the country will continue working together with its friends to establish more cordial and harmonious relationships based on mutual respect. His Majesty made the titah while officiating the Knowledge Convention 2013, yesterday morning, at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was greeted on arrival at the International Convention Centre by the Co-Chairpersons of the Knowledge Convention 2013 Steering Committee, the Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office, Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Retired Colonel Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar; the Minister of Religious Affairs, Yang Berhormat Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr. Haji Mohammad bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman; the State Mufti, Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Doktor Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned; and members of the Knowledge Convention 2013 Steering Committee.
Accompanying His Majesty at the opening of the Knowledge Convention 2013 were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office; His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien; and His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah.
The ceremony commenced with the reading of a verse of Surah An-Nisa of Al-Qur'an by the champion of the 2012 National Youth Quran Reading Competition, Awang Sa'don bin Suhaili. This was followed by the presentation of the interpretation of the verse, which states that Allah the Almighty commands mortals to hand over the trust to those who have the right to, or are worthy of holding it, and to submit to the command of Allah, the Prophet and Ulul Amri.
The Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office, in his welcoming address, expressed gratitude for His Majesty's presence at the function. The minister said it shows that His Majesty prioritises the development of knowledge for the benefit of the Rakyat and residents.
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, in the titah, expressed hope that all citizens and residents of Brunei Darussalam would stand firmly, shoulder to shoulder, in upholding and welcoming the coming into force of the historic Legislation.
HIS MAJESTY TITAH:
"I am most grateful to Allah the Almighty, because today's "Majlis Ilmu", that is to say the Knowledge Convention, in conjunction with my birthday celebrations is to include historic events pertaining to the Syariah Penal Code. With the blessings of Allah, this legislation will be gazetted today, the 22nd of October, 2013, and will come into force six months hereafter in phases. By the Grace of Allah, with the coming into effect of this legislation, our duty to Allah is therefore being fulfilled. The theme of today's convention reads: "Syariah Criminal Legislation Guarantees Justice and Well-Being For All". Why is this so The answer is that whatever comes from Allah is naturally most right and proper, and must be accepted as being able to guarantee justice and well-being for all. The laws of Allah are enacted, not for His own benefit, because Allah is Most Perfect and does not have any need for such laws. It is we, His servants, who have needs, including the need to enjoy justice and well-being. It is because of our need that Allah the Almighty, in all His generosity, has created laws for us, so that we can utilise them to obtain justice. By the Grace of Allah, Brunei Darussalam as a blessed country has never sought permission from whomsoever when we chose Islam as our National Religion. Similarly, we do not ask anyone from anywhere to implement our Syar'iah Penal Code for us, because the Code is a "Special Guidance" from Allah to us all. Indeed this guidance is wholly Allah's right to bestow upon us. Nevertheless the step we are taking does not, in any way, change our policies. On the contrary, as a member of the family of nations, we will continue our work together with our friends, wherever they may be, to establish more cordial and harmonious relationships based on mutual respect. Brunei Darussalam is always mindful of whatever will be of benefit to us in all aspects, including politics, the economy, social and other issues. We are also open and ready to extend our hand to all who wish to join in cooperation with us in matters of mutual benefit and universal understanding. This, then, is our Brunei, a Nation of Zikir and Malay Islamic Monarchy. We view others with clear and unhindered vision, without any form of prejudice. In return, we also have the right to expect that others will view Brunei in the same light. With the Grace of Allah, we will be consistent with this policy. Likewise, in the national interest, we will continue to plan, implement and develop in our own way, based on the principles we believe to be permitted by Allah. I appreciate all efforts, especially by those concerned with the drafting and publication of the Syar'iah Penal Code. Let us, the people and our nation, all hope that together we will benefit from their work in the form of blessings from Allah the Almighty. I hope that all citizens and residents of our country alike will stand firmly, shoulder to shoulder, in upholding and welcoming the coming into force of this historic Legislation. This Act is, without doubt, now part of the great history of our nation. With the Kalimah Bismillah, Walhamdulillah, Wallahu Akbar, I am pleased to officiate this Knowledge Convention 2013 with the theme: 'Syariah Criminal Legislation Guarantees Justice and Well-Being For All'."
The Monarch consented to launch the Syariah Penal Code Act, 2013 and two books on the Syariah Penal Code, in the Malay and English versions.
The State Mufti, then presented his premier paper in which he explored the theme of the Knowledge Convention 2013. Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Doktor Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned among other things stressed that Syariah Penal Legislation, a creation of Allah the Almighty, absolutely guarantees justice and well-being for all. Yang Berhormat Pehin said the laws of Allah are all encompassing for universal well-being, adding that the laws of Allah are not empty but filled with blessing and wisdom. The State Mufti further warned against harbouring fear or doubts towards such laws.
Doa Selamat was read by the State Mufti.
The Knowledge Convention is seen as a beacon that highlights the intellectual and dynamic leadership of His Majesty the Sultan dan Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. The event also serves as an perennial platform for the imparting of invaluable knowledge and information in a way that is highly beneficial to the citizens and residents of the country.
News courtesy of Radio Television BruneiPhoto courtesy of InfoFoto