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Sunday, January 6th, 2013

On the 3oth December 2012, Brunei UK students were up for the night of the year when HM and the Royal Families turned up in the country to greet them. The event took place in Hilton Park Lane Hotel, just 10 minutes walk from the Dorchester Collection, and it attracted over two thousand Bruneians, most of which are students. Being involved as a security officer enabled me to give an opportunity to report to you on a hopefully more wider perspective of the event. So here it goes.

First of all the place was hot and crowded. As mentioned, there were over two thousand people involved, all squeezed into this huge auditorium. The thermal heat generated by the mass was extremely unpleasant. While it posed great challenges to the organizers, I stood there scanning over the horizon, and a voice called on me to do what I do best: To create order over chaos. That was my duty, then and there, as a security officer. And damn, it was fulfilling  One time a group of elderlies were being squeezed in front by the crowd on the back. As Hector led his army to protect Troy from Agamemnon, I pierced through the thick fog of war, commanded the thousands to fill in empty stations on the back, and eventually managed to ease the tensions inflicted on the elderlies. Veni, Vidi, Vici.

Secondly, on HM’s presence many were awed, many were relieved, and many were eager to greet him. The event itself started off by the singing of the national anthem, Dua’ by the grand mufti, an opening speech the BSUnion council president, and finally followed by HM’s Titah and presentation of the UBD Chancellor scholarship award to three of our brightest students. After the formal event ended, HM took off the stage and moved suddenly towards the choir students, greeting and shaking their hands, just a few feet from which I was stationed. Here the crowd started to move in. My security compatriots from the other side quickly organized themselves to secure HM all the way from the beginning to the end of the greeting session. They did an extremely good job.

The final task culminated after HM left the building; The attendees closing registration. By then the auditorium was getting more tense, people tiring out after hours of constant standing, and the tolerance over the drumming noise of the thousands. The tipping point for me was when I saw the eyes of a five-year old boy, struggling to go through the endless crowd. Then it all come back to me: It was time to work. Again. Sweeping through the crowd, I centered myself to the pivotal point in the space between the auditorium and the registration hall. Here I commanded and organized dozens after dozens of attendees to the fore, freeing that child and his family first in the process. As if the crowd was a rising tide, I acted as a dam, partially softening the pressures that go with it. After hours that seemed to last a lifetime, the crowds finally dimmed, relieving my team and I in the process.

In conclusion, the place was hot and crowded, HM’s greeting sessions well secured by the security team, and the final registration process as a good challenge. For the sake of informal duty, I deliberately declined myself the chance to greet HM. But I believe it is well worth it to see that five-year old boy to stay safe and secure. Frankly he reminded me of my two little brothers back in Brunei, leaders by their own birthright whom I would do anything to ensure for their eternal success. Thus is the simple observation of a person on the historic event itself.