Swedish Monarch Visit Bolsters Brunei-Sweden Ties
Swedish King, Queen Tour Bruneis Landmarks
Bandar Seri Begawan His Majesty Carl the 16th Gustaf, King of Sweden and Her Majesty Queen Silvia began their separate itinerary of their state visit two hours after their arrival in Brunei.
His Majesty King of Sweden consented to visit the Brunei Darussalam Scout Association Headquarters in the capital.
Upon arrival, His Majesty was welcomed by Pehin Dato Haji Awang Mohd Ali, President of the Brunei Scout Association.
During the visit, His Majesty consented to view various exhibitions outlining the history and activities of the Brunei Darussalam Scout Association.
The President of the Scout Association in his welcoming speech expressed his profound appreciation to His Majesty Carl the 16th Gustaf for consenting to visit the Scout Association Headquarters.
The President of the Scout Association then presented His Majesty Carl the King of Sweden with The Award of Bar to Medal of Merit.
The Swedish Monarch was presented with a souvenir by Pehin Dato Dr Haji Awang Hussain, Chief Scout of the Brunei Scouts Association.
His Majesty then consented to mingle and talk freely with the scouts.
Before departure, His Majesty Carl the 16th Gustaf signed the visitor's book and took part in a group photograph with the senior scout officials.
The Brunei Scout Association was established in 1933 with 12 members.
They now have over 2500 members and aim to increase their members to 10,000 by the year 2013.
Meanwhile, Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden had her own separate programme, visiting the Jame 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah in Kampong Kiarong.
Upon arrival Her Majesty was welcomed by Pehin Dato Dr Ustaz Haji Awang Mohd Zain bin Haji Serudin, Minister of Religious Affairs, and wife Datin Dayang Hajah Yukmas binti Mohammad.
Her Royal Princess Hajah Masna accompanied her Majesty Queen Silvia.
Soon after arrival, Her Majesty consented to sign the visitors book before given a brief documentary about the mosque.
After the briefing, Her Majesty had a tour around the mosque. Her Majesty first visited the mosque's library.
Besides being a venue for important occasions, the mosque is also a place to disseminate Islamic information.
Viewed as one of the country's landmarks, the mosque is among the country's many attractions especially to foreign tourists. After the briefing, Her Majesty the Queen was presented with a souvenir.
Then Her Majesty the Queen had a closer look at the female prayer hall located at the upper courtyard of the mosque. The hall has its own separate access from hidden staircase and a separate ablution area.
Later, Her Majesty visited the male prayer hall.
The hall can accommodate 3,500 worshippers and has an area of 30,000 square feet.
The Jame 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah was officially used for the first time on July 15, 1994 in conjunction with His Majesty's 48th birthday celebration.
The construction of the mosque was started in 1988 and completed in 1992. -- Courtesy of Radio Television Brunei