Ramadhan begins tomorrow

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) - Minister of Religious Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, announced that the holy month of Ramadhan will begin tomorrow.

The minister in his capacity as the President of the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) made the announcement yesterday evening, with the consent of 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, following a conference at the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA), led by the minister himself.

Present at the conference were other members of MUIB, including Minister of Health, Dato Paduka Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Jaafar; Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin; Chief Syar’ie Judge, Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Salim bin Haji Besar; and Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Bahrom bin Pengiran Haji Bahar, in his capacity as the Vice-President of MUIB.

While waiting for results of the moonsighting, the minister and the other members of MUIB performed mass Maghrib prayer at the MoRA’s Multaqa Hall.

The bid to see this year’s new moon of Ramadhan was carried out by judges from the Syar’ie Court, together with officials from the MoRA, the State Mufti’s Office and the Survey Department.

The ‘hilal’ (crescent) of the new moon was not sighted, as confirmed by officials who were present at the DST Tower and Bukit Agok, Jerudong in the Brunei-Muara District; Bukit Ambok in the Tutong District; and Bukit Lumut in the Belait District.

Among those present during the moonsighting event at the DST Tower was Minister of Development, Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar.

The nightly Sunnat Tarawikh prayers, Witir and Tedarus Al-Quran will commence after Isyak prayer this evening, at mosques, suraus and religious halls across the country

Working hours at government ministries and departments are from 8am to 2pm during Ramadhan. For government daily wage employees, their working time will be one hour shorter than usual.

Local eateries are advised not to serve dine-in customers in daylight hours throughout Ramadhan, under a law enforced in May 2014.

This law falls under Chapter 195 of the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013, where eateries caught serving diners during day could be prosecuted for disrespecting the month of Ramadhan.

Consuming food, drinking and smoking in public places during daylight hours are offences under the law, under which offenders can be prosecuted for disrespecting the holy month of Ramadhan.