On the 15 November 2016, the Academy of Brunei Studies celebrated its 26th anniversary at the Senate Room in Chancellor Hall at Universiti Brunei Darussalam. The event included the launching of a four-volume book titled Suara Wanita Brunei (The Voice of Brunei Women) by the late Datin Dr Saadiah binti DDW Hj Tamit, a former Director of the Academy. The guest of honour was Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, the Minister of Education, who officiated the book’s launch. Over 200 people attended the event, which included the Academy’s stakeholders from both the government and private sectors, education institutions, individuals connected with the academy through its 26 years and relatives, friends and admirers of the late Datin Dr Saadiah who wished to show their respect, appreciation and admiration for her and the important academic work she produced throughout her career.
In her talk at the event, current Academy Director Dr Siti Norkhalbi binti Haji Wahsalfelah spoke of the important role that the Academy has played over the last 26 years and its many achievements. The Academy’s 26 year journey and achievements were also highlighted through a professional video presentation. Outside the senate room, the Academy presented a mini-exhibition that displayed a number of recent publications by Academy academics, including a book published by Routledge titled Brunei - History, Islam, Society and Contemporary Issues that was collectively written by Academy staff who contributed chapters. There were also short videos where several staff members talked about their recent publications and their importance and impact.
The four-volume Suara Wanita Brunei, which was central in the mini-exhibition, is a compilation of many of the late Datin Dr Saadiah journal articles and working papers she presented in seminars and conferences in Brunei and abroad. Much of the book’s content focuses on women in Brunei and discusses, for example, the reasons why women should be protected and prioritized in family Islamic law. Other papers in the book focus on women in relation to the Malay Islamic Monarchy concept and how this concept protects women in Islam, in particular women who have been abused or given limited rights after divorce.