Archive for March, 2018

Loving the Mercedes-Benz GLC 200

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in automative, lifestyle, Social News


Click image to see more of the specs for the GLC 200

Mercedes-Benz proudly presents a further variant in the premium SUV segment in Brunei and provide a wider variety for its customers to choose from. This was launched late last year and it has been a popular choice for Bruneians and I shall reveal to you why.

The new Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 comes generously equipped with numerous high-end features including the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, an Off-road exterior package, 18-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels and LED High Performance headlamps.

The GLC 200 is equipped with the OFF-ROAD Exterior design which underscores the vehicle’s SUV characteristics with rugged design features in chrome. The radiator trim boasts an integral Mercedes star and two louvres in matt iridium silver with chrome inserts. Other select highlights include the 18-inch 5-spoke light-alloy wheels, the chrome-plated simulated underguard and the exhaust system with two visible, chrome-plated tailpipe trims and the anodized roof rails.

In addition to the striking look, the LED High Performance headlamps provide more safety at night thanks to a broad light distribution, a light colour similar to daylight and low energy consumption. The tail lights feature LED technology and create a visual highlight while improving visibility.



I had the privilege to test drive the GLC 200 for a couple of days. Addicted? Yes….

Turning the GLC 200 like my second home
The GLC 200 is powered by a 2.0 litre 4 in-line engine, which produces an output of 135 kW (184 hp) and 300 Nm of torque.  The nine-stage 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission also comes as standard on the GLC 200. Depending on the mode selected for the DYNAMIC SELECT dynamic handling control, the automatic transmission with a torque converter boasts great agility and responsivenes. It offers an impressively high shift speed and perfect transitions for energetic sprinting as well as with gentle, barely perceptible gear changes for enjoyable cruising.

Other innovative features such as the Parking Pilot, KEYLESS-GO with HANDS-FREE ACCESS, Central colour multifunction display, etc were also available in the GLC 200. Parking Pilot with PARKTRONIC and reversing camera makes it easier to both find a parking space and to enter and leave parallel or end-on parking spaces. The system automatically steers the vehicle into parking spaces, relieving the driver of the work of steering and braking.

The HANDS-FREE ACCESS function allows contactless, fully automatic opening and closing of the luggage compartment door – simply by performing a kicking movement under the rear bumper.

For customer who still prefer the 4 wheel drive feature, the GLC also offer the GLC 250 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive. The GLC 250 4MATIC has a power output of 211 hp and 300 Nm of torque.

Other additional features in the GLC 250 4MATIC are AMG Line, 360 degree camera and 19-inch wheels.



Yes, the previous shipment of the GLC 200 didn’t come with Apple CarPlay. Fret not as the incoming batch will have this feature 🙂

The new shipment of the GLC 200 also comes with Apple CarPlay as the Smartphone Integration describe below.

Smartphone Integration allows integrating iPhones® via Apple CarPlay™ as well as Android smartphones with Android Auto into the vehicle, and operating them by voice control – certain functions can also be used via the vehicle controls. This makes safe use possible while on the move. The connection to the smartphone provides access to the latest software and data such as, e.g. navigation and traffic information, media (streaming media and IP radio), as well contact information, telephony/FaceTime and messaging. To prevent driver distraction while at the wheel, not all smartphone contents are duplicated.



Last November 2017, I had a first taste of the GLC 200 in Kota Kinabalu. I also test drove the GLC 250. Guess which was my preference of the two?

Mark Raine, Mercedes-Benz Cars vice-president of sales and marketing (Malaysia), posing with the Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 at Hap Seng Star showroom at Kota Kinabalu last November

Last year, I had a short interview with Mark Raine, Mercedes-Benz Cars vice-president of sales and marketing (Malaysia) and asked him why introduce the GLC 200 if the GLC 250 is already available in the market.

He responded by saying the GLC 250 which is a brilliant product where it’s an SUV 4WD and offers great speed and comfort, positioning it as a very sporty, luxury model.

However to a certain extent, Mercedes-Benz will be only capturing that lot of market but there are customers who want different qualities and traits and their mindsets are different from other customers. Hence the GLC 200 repositions itself in more exclusive luxury segment. It comes standard in on-road package or off-road package. The interior package also makes the value perception of this vehicle very, very high.

The GLC 200 is just a notch below the GLC 250, hence makes it more affordable for most customers in the market. The unique selling point of the GLC 200 will be the exclusive luxurious appeal with high value perception and many features at a very competitive price.



I’m in love with the Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 and it really suits my persona

Hands free assist parking and it also does reverse parking aside from parallel parking

Rano’s thoughts: As I’ve mentioned before, I am in love with the GLC 200. Mercedes has always been my preferred brand because of its status and quality. Driving the GLC 200 reassured my confidence in what the GLC 200 can offer.

The handling is pretty good and I had a good drive from bandar to KB and the most important thing is comfort and safety. The handling is superb especially for an SUV.

Of course, the GLC 250 has much power because of its 4WD option. For me, the GLC 200 is still good enough for me and it still packs some power when I drove up the hilly roads at Kota Batu.

You will be surprised how much the GLC 200 costs on the road. With all the features and the specs plus the brand of Mercedes, it’s priced around BND 76,000ish on the road. When I posted the price on my social media platform, many werent’ aware how competitive the price is for the GLC 200. For an extra BND 6,000ish, you can also enjoy the GLC 250 model.

Hence, this particular model is selling like hot cakes. So visit Jati Transport if you are keen on the Mercedes-Benz GLC 200. Who knows if I have enough “rezeki”, this will be my first choice.

Verdict: Attractively priced and packed with great features. Furthermore, I can be biased because it’s a Mercedes-Benz. You can deny it how much of a steal this is for BND 76k. I shall give this a 9/10.

Plus-EXP launched

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, Business, Social News


Click image to enter website

Aiman Minorhadi, Co-Founder of Grominda Group

Recently Grominda Group launched a new platform called Plus-EXP at the Design & Technology building.

Plus-EXP is an online platform that provides work experience opportunities powered by Grominda Group. Grominda Group is a research company that focuses on fostering the development of human capital through the early stage of career development. Grominda Group’s vision is to be the leading centre for youths’ development in the region. They pledged to develop leaders of the future by believing in their core values, to instill youths with integrity and be competitive in any market conditions by empowering them with innovation thus inspiring them to be ambitious.

Hence, Plus-EXP is created to enable talents (youths) to apply for internships directly from work experiences offered by companies. This platform is intended to make it easier for talents to connect with companies to gain working experiences thus tackling the issue of lack of working experiences. They are also working with both institutions and companies to align university courses in Brunei Darussalam with job market demands.

Another feature included in the website is trainings and workshops. For instance, their own Recruitment Consultant provides CV Clinics and Interview Techniques workshop and talents can apply for this workshop by signing up on Plus-EXP. They will also be looking to cooperate with other companies to provide trainings that will improve work experiences.

For now, registration for both companies and talents are already available. However, they are still consolidating the data for the website thus the full features of the platform will only be available at the end of April.

For more information or any further inquiries, call +6738297027 or e-mail



Firdaus Bohari, Co-founder of Grominda Group

Plus-EXP team


Anthony Sigar, CEO of Grominda Group




BeliHelix II first monthly draw

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in automative, Social News


The winners for the month of February 2018. There were more than 4,000 entries.

Noraziah binti Kunchil bagged herself the grand monthly prize with a flight to Ho Chi Minh City, presented by Mr. Hong Chian Kai, General Manager of Kien Sing (Tan). Apparently, Noraziah has never been to HCM City and only Hong Kong. So, it’s such a fitting prize for her to fly to HCM.

Brunei Shell Marketing Co. Sdn. Bhd. (BSM) launches another round of #BeliHelix promotion after the great response from the last promotion which commenced from 1st November 2017 until 31st January 2018.

This second promotion is to give our customers another chance to win more exciting prizes. It will be held for a period of three months starting from 8th February 2018 until 30 April 2018. Similar to the first promotion, there will be five (5) monthly draw prizes to be won for the months of March and April. The Grand Draw of the #BeliHelix Promotion II is set to be held in May 2018. The date and venue for the grand draw shall be announced by BSM in due course.

Earlier today, BSM feted the top 5 monthly winners for the #BeliHelix II edition which was held at a Shell Helix Branded Workshop, Kien Sing (Tan) in Kg. Medawa (Spg 618).

Present during the draw were Hjh Siti Kurshiah Hj Anuar, BSM Head of Commercial, Mr. Hong Chian Kai, General Manager of Kien Sing (Tan) and Wacharit Engpanyalert, Shell Country Sales Manager.

Noraziah binti Kunchil bagged herself the grand monthly prize with a flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam while second place winner went to Othman Hj Abu Bakar, who won a Samsung Sound Bar. Third place winner was Mohd Shardy bin Narudin who now owns a Samsung J7 Pro. The other consolation prizes went to Abdul Ayyub Hj Yusub and Dayang Haziqah Hj Awang who won a Garmin Forerunner 30 and a Samsung Tab J respectively. Each of the winners also brought back a Shell Helix product.


Othman Hj Abu Bakar received a Samsung Sound Bar from Mr. Hong Chian Kai

Mohd Shardy bin Narudin received a Samsung J7 Pro from Mr. Hong Chian Kai

Abdul Ayyub Hj Yusub, who’s an avid runner, received a Garmin Forerunner 30, from Hjh Siti Kurshiah Hj Anuar, BSM Head of Commercial

Dayang Haziqah Hj Awang received a Samsung Tab J from Hjh Siti Kurshiah Hj Anuar

The #BeliHelix promotion II comprises of monthly consolation prizes such as air tickets, latest gadgets, electrical appliances and more. For this round, the Grand Prize will be a unit of the latest Nissan X-Trail. First runner up will be a Hong Kong Travel Package for two persons and the second runner up will receive B$2,500 cash card. Other consolation prizes will also be available for the lucky customers.

According to Mr. Hong Chian Kai, General Manager of Kien Sing (Tan), he was quite delighted with the ongoing #BeliHelix promotion as it helps to stimulate the economic growth domestically and his business has seen an increase in sales, partly due to the #BeliHelix promotion. Most of the loyal customers would take the initiative to service their cars and trust the products of Shell apart from the advantage of being part of the promotional draw. He was very thankful to BSM for creating such campaign which was more successful in attracting customers. KST has been around for 40 years and with the Shell Helix Branded Workshop, it gives more trust to their customers in ensuring good quality repairs and services to their cars. If you plan to send your car for servicing, do give KST a shot and you’ll also be entitled for the lucky draw and stand a chance to win a brand new Nissan X-trail 😀

For those interested in the draw, Shell Helix customers will be entitled to one (1) entry form for each purchase of 4L of Shell Helix Motor Oil which comprises of Shell Helix Ultra, Shell Helix HX7 and Shell Helix HX5. Drop boxes for completed entry forms are available at participating BSM Authorised Distributors, Dealers and Retail Stations which can be located from


The shortlisted winners choosing their draw

Mr. Hong Chian Kai, General Manager of Kien Sing (Tan) was truly appreciative of Brunei Shell Marketing for their initiative campaign #BeliHelix and also KST’s loyal customers. One of the winners was apparently from KST.

The media did a preliminary draw last week at Brunei Shell Marketing office


Raids: Talk of the town

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, Social News

It has been an interesting month (March) where many things have been unfolded. Cases of robbery has been on a high as of late. An unexpected corruption case has unofficially raised a many eyebrows, putting a shame on an important agency in Brunei Darussalam. A common trend of raids have been conducted in the capital where illegal substances such as drugs and alcohol consumption were the main highlights. As for the LegCo, it proceeded smoothly without much talking points and good job to The Scoop for such an interesting perspective on this year’s LegCo. Keep it up!!

Let’s talk about the robbery case for now. I can see how the Royal Brunei Police Force through the Public Relation Unit have been very active in conducting Neighborhood Watch among the RBPF and the community. This is a great initiative especially for the residents to be extra vigilant when it comes to their homes and possessions. There have been an increase amount of break-ins and car thefts. This month, I have already received three separate incidents of cars being stolen and one of them happened to be my friend. The worst thing was that his cars were stolen from his own home.

Another friend of mine had his car broken into at the vicinity of his own home. Though the thief didn’t manage to find anything in his car, my friend had to fork out a fortune to repair his window. Even his dog wasn’t able to deter the thief as he fed the dog with some bones. Even CCTVs these days won’t be much of use as most thefts have upped their game by wearing masks, making it harder to identify. The best the CCTV can do is to alert the home owners for them to make the conscious decision to either apprehend the thief or make an emergency call to the police.


Just in today’s article about a break-in. I’m pretty sure there are many cases that are not published in the papers and only being reported to the Royal Brunei Police Force.

A successful arrest to the 3 suspects believed to have been involved in the recent car theft. Click image to read article from Borneo Bulletin.

Raids. Hmmm… Surprising these surprise raids have been frequent as of late. Illegal activities such as gambling, drinking and drugs consumption and organizing gatherings without permits. The “drinking” incident is a unique one. For many years, the drinking venues have been in operation and only recently, the raids took place concurrently at the two drinking joints. It was mentioned from an inside source that the attendees were questioned at the police station and released soon after. I remember these raids to be common back in the early 2000s where illegal gatherings or parties were a huge trend. Places such like AquaWave, Excite and RBRC were hotspots for night gatherings back then.

Though there are no such gatherings of that magnitude this time round, the recent gatherings are still considered illegal if there is no permit or approval from the relevant government agency. Last weekend, a music gig was being raided at Gadong and all those being present (176 of them) were escorted to the police station for statement. It seems that there was a tip off, concerning the possession of “plastic package containing dried leaves” and pills believed to be drug, according to the press release. Kudos to the RBPF, Royal Customs and Excise Department and Narcotics Control Bureau as I am strongly against the consumption of drugs. I do feel sorry for the innocent and harmless ones who were present, just to show support to the local music scene. But when drugs are involved, it’s a huge no-no for me. So ladies and gentlemen, SAY NO TO DRUGS.


The items being found during the raid last weekend. Image screenshot from RTB coverage.

Another illegal substance labelled as dried leaves were found as well during the recent raid last weekend. Image screenshot from RTB coverage.

The raid on one of the drinking joints in the capital recently. Image from @upa.ppdb

Tip for organizers: It’s important for you to apply for permit or approval for any such gathering especially involving music or a gathering. I believe the latest music gig didn’t have a proper permit and of course, the attendees do trust the organizers that the event was a safe environment then. It’s important for all of us to be aware of the rules and regulations when it comes to events of this nature. The Big Jam at the end of last year was a success because they had proper approvals and permits and I felt safe attending these events.

Last year, I was offered to be a social media partner for a music gig event. The first thing I asked if he has the approval from MOHA. Otherwise I would not agree to be a partner or such. Let this a learning lesson for all that we cannot take such events very lightly. Apply to the relevant authorities and you can avoid such embarrassment and don’t put others in unnecessary danger and shame.

Brunei makes a mark on CUCKOO’s 40th celebration

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in health, Business, Social News


Mr Brian Koo, CEO of CUCKOO Korea and Mr. K.C. Hoe, CEO of CUCKOO Malaysia doing the honours for the Cuckoo’s 40th anniversary celebration at Seoul Dragon City, Korea last Wednesday.

CUCKOO unveiled the new ambassador for CUCKOO, Lee Seung Gi, who sang two numbers to delight of the attendees


2017 was an excellent year for CUCKOO Brunei. The year in which Cuckoo International Brunei reached many milestones, including the successful introduction of a flexible dual package plan, known as CUCKOO’s UP PLAN, which was launched in January 2018.

These plans were thoughtfully designed to allow Bruneian families from all walks of life to effortlessly own CUCKOO appliances – and enjoy the higher standard of life that comes with them – without overburdening themselves financially. The market’s response was positive beyond expectations, allowing CUCKOO Brunei to achieve results that were Beyond Standards:

 “We wouldn’t have been able to achieve such results without the efforts of my highly supportive team, who believed in our vision,” said Mr Wong Kim Guan, Managing Director of Cuckoo Brunei. Within 18 months, CUCKOO Brunei has already opened 9 brand stores, and Garnered over 3,500 households, generating a revenue of 2 million Brunei dollars.

“Greater plans are coming ahead in 2018 for Cuckoo Brunei, where we aim to provide better plans and services to meet greater expectations,” Said Wong Hui Ting, Marketing Director of Cuckoo Brunei.



The priceless selfie taken by the Korean celebrity

Mr Wong Kim Guan, Managing Director of CUCKOO Brunei receiving award for the Country Arising Sales Award. I’m quite proud to see Brunei on the map.

CUCKOO Brunei team witnessing the 40th anniversary

Members of the media from Brunei 😀

I made great connections with these bunch 😀

I’m proud of Guan and Hui Ting for your efforts in making CUCKOO a household name in Brunei Darussalam

In 2016, CUCKOO has penetrated into the south east Asian markets like Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, and Indonesia. “Our sights are set on expanding the CUCKOO brand to Vietnam, India and Indonesia in 2018. We estimate that our overseas ventures will bring in an annual revenue of USD150 million in 2018, and a total of USD1 billion in the next 5 years. So, we will continue to increase our presence in overseas markets and focus our efforts on the global expansion of the CUCKOO brand,” revealed Mr Brian Koo, CEO of CUCKOO Korea, at CUCKOO’s 40th anniversary celebration.

Held at Seoul Dragon City, CUCKOO’s 40th anniversary celebration was attended by over 500 CUCKOO employees and media personnel from Korea, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia on 7 March 2018.

CUCKOO is a well-known home appliance brand from South Korea. In South Korea, a CUCKOO water purifier is sold every minute and a CUCKOO rice cooker is sold every 10 seconds. Today, CUCKOO has successfully extended its operations to 30 countries across 5 continents. In 2017, CUCKOO’s global turnover hit a record of USD $760 million.

In August 2016, CUCKOO Brunei joined the CUCKOO family. Within 18 months, CUCKOO Brunei has sold countless water purifiers to Bruneians through a revolutionary ownership plan, and also introduced multi-cookers and air purifiers to the Bruneian audience. In 2017, CUCKOO Brunei accumulated 3,500 Bruneian customers and thus, opened over 9 brand stores nationwide.

For more information about CUCKOO, please call the CUCKOO Careline at +673 2333330 or visit or CUCKOO BRUNEI’s official Facebook page.


Unveiling three new markets for CUCKOO – India, Indonesia and Vietnam

Hello Seung Gi

Does this count as a selfie? haha

He is the new ambassador and I can’t believe loads of Bruneians are crazy for him

I’m impressed with the JS Drummers on the opening segment

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About RA

A blogger since 2002, using platforms from blogspot, joomla and now currently wordpress. A readership that stands on average of 20,000 visits per month. Also on active on social media platform on IG, Facebook and Snapchat (@ranoadidas)

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