Archive for July, 2019

The new GLE 450

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

 

 


The Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic
 

The SUV Trendsetter brought to you by Mercedes-Benz Autohaus. The new Mercedes-Benz GLE is not exceptionally dynamic and more comfortable on the road, it’s almost more competent off the beaten track than ever before. Well, I hope there will be a test drive version for the latest GLE because the specs and the features are one of the best in the Mercedes-Benz line.

The Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic as the first petrol model is powered by an in-line six-cylinder engine systematically electrified with 48 volt technology. Its performance data 367 horsepower and 500Nm of torque with a further 250 Nm of torque and the best thing is that they have another 22 horsepower available via EQ Boost over short periods.

This is also a 7-seater, ideal for family with kids who can seat at the back. The seats are automated as well for the convenient of passengers instead of using the latch manually to move the seats back and forth.

The exterior design has a powerful presence, even during my first viewing of the new GLE at Mercedes-Benz Autohaus. Let’s just say the design has awaken the desire of many Mercedes fans. The GLE 450’s proportions with a long wheelbase, short overhangs and large, flush-fitted wheels. The front section is designed with upright radiator grille in an octagonal SUV interpretation, the prominent, chrome-plated underguard.

You may even find the latest GLE sleeker and sportier as it cuts an athletic figure from the rear.

As for the interior design, it’s luxuriously elegant and powerfully aggressive. The driver and the passenger will enjoy the robust, progressive features of an SUV. The central element in the dashboard’s design is a sporty, stylish cockpit unit embedded in a striking dashboard support.

It was nice to see two prominent grab handles in between the drive and front seat passenger to indicate that this has a off-road feature. You will definitely enjoy the ergonomics of the latest GLE 450 and you will also appreciate the flowing leather surface that create a modern, luxurious impression.

Do check out the 7-seater Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic at Mercedes-Benz Autohaus from today till Sunday from 10am to 5pm and refreshments are also provided.

 

 


Loving the new display
 


The ergonomics of the new GLE is top notch
 


The back view
 

 

Youth Empowerment Conference, 7-8 Sept

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

 


Shaun Hoon of Curious Mind and Maurina Abd Hamid, Senior Officer of the Group Communications Department of Baiduri Bank during the press conference for the upcoming event, Youth Empowerment Conference
 


Hafiza binti Mohamad, Corporate Communications Manager at Progresif, presents a certificate of appreciation to Maurina Abd Hamid
 

Youth Empowerment Conference (YEC). First we have the Youth National Congress which was a huge success. Soon it will be the National Youth Day and next up will be the Youth Empowerment Conference where 700 youths will be involved, come 7-8 September 2019.

Shaun Hoon of Curious Mind and also the master mind of Youth Empowerment Conference was able to muster great international speakers from Canada, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines and let’s not forget the local youth leaders from Brunei Darussalam.

The Youth Empowerment Conference is co-organized by Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd and Curious Mind with Baiduri Bank as the platinum sponsor of the said event.

A press conference was held as well as handing over of certifications to the contributors and also relevant institution and schools where students will be attending the YEC.

The press conference was chaired by Shaun Hoon, founder of Curious Mind and Maurina Abd Hamid, Senior Officer of the Group Communications Department of Baiduri Bank.

During the press conference, Shaun Soon said that the goal of the YEC is to inspire young people using fellow young people as role models so they are listening to a voice they can relate to and really believe that anything is possible when our young people set their minds to it. His goals of the YEC are 1) to cultivate a global mindset 2) to expose the youth to the future employment and 3) to instill good values in the youth.

Some of the keynote speakers include winner of JCI’s Top Young Person of the World in 2013 Linh Do, who worked alongside Al Gore’s climate change initiative and Harvard Alumnus, Stevie Award winner and VP of United Nations in Western Australia Dr Sandy Chong, together with member of the Forbes Coach Council KarFei Cheah. Such a beautiful line up but sadly, I won’t be in Brunei for the YEC as I will be outstation for work.

As mentioned before, Baiduri Bank is the Platinum Sponsor for Youth Empowerment Conference where they will provide 100 seats on complimentary basis to students from Institute Of Brunei Technical Education, Laksamana College of Business, Cosmopolitan College of Commerce Technology, Kolej International Graduate Studies and Politeknik Brunei. Each seat is worth $100 each for the two-day event.

 

 


Some of the beneficiaries represented by Mahakarya Institute, Cosmopolitan College of Commerce Technology and Laksamana College of Business
 

 


The attendees during the press conference
 

 


YEAB’s president receiving a certificate from Progresif
 

 


Takaful is sponsoring students from UBD to attend the YEC
 

 


Jerudong International School is one of the partners for the conference
 

Chief Executive Officer of Baiduri Bank Ti Eng Hui said, “Baiduri Bank is a great believer in investing in youth, who are leaders of tomorrow. Events such as the Youth Empowerment Conference connect them to international speakers, entrepreneurs and youth leaders.

“It helps them to build a network, increase their global awareness and prepare them for opportunities beyond Brunei through the use of technologies.”

Chief Marketing Officer of Progresif Devin Edwards said, “Support of the Youth Empowerment Conference is part of our Progresif Minds initiative.

“Progresif Minds is a platform that will serve to contribute meaningfully to society by working with thought leaders, captains of industry and change makers in Brunei and beyond,” he added.

“We believe that a progressive mind is a curious one and we aim to feed that curiosity with creative, innovative and inspirational experiences which expand knowledge and help unlock Brunei’s potential.”

Shaun Hoon confirmed that early promotion of the event has already seen the reservation of 500 of the 700 available seats from high schools and higher institutions across Brunei including members of I-Usahawan and i-Ready Apprentinceship programme confirmed to participate at the conference.

It was also shared that complete details about the Youth Empowerment Conference and registration will be available soon at www.progresifminds.com.

 

 


Representatives from Chung Hwa Middle School (BSB)
 

 


Representatives from VitaWorld, Gong Cha and Yippy Tune
 

 


Representatives from Excapade Sushi, Fitness Zone and Luxe Development
 

The Miri International Back2School Run

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Youth, community, family, travel, lifestyle, Social News, Sports

 


Representatives from Sarawak Tourism Board, Tourism Malaysia Brunei Darussalam, SMK Agama Miri and Pan Bright Travel at the starting line of the Miri International Back2School Run last weekend
 


Representatives of Pan Bright Travel supporting the run
 

Pan Bright Travel Service co-organised the Miri International Back2School Run with the SMK Agama Miri which took place at the said school last weekend. The event is part of the “Lakas Tah ke Miri promotion” in conjunction with Malaysia Mega Sales Carnival National Sales Campaign & Visit Sarawak Campaign 2019 in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia Brunei Darussalam and supported by Sarawak Tourism Board.

This is the second run organized by Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Miri and this is the first time SMK Agama Miri collaborated with Pan Bright Travel Service to cater for the residents of Brunei Darussalam. There were three categories overall – 5KM run, 11KM Men’s and Women’s Open and the Mountain Biking Jamboree 44KM Open & Veteran. The event attracted more than 140 participants from Brunei from the 1,3000 participants of the run.

The Lakas Tau Ke Miri promotion is still ongoing until the 31st July 2019 where for every purchase of BND 800 worth of travel products from Pan Bright in a single receipt, you are entitled to a rebate special from as low as BND 35 at Meritz Hotel or BND 75 at Miri Marriot per room per night. There are also special room deals from Meritz Hotel (BND 59) and Miri Marriot (BND 99) which includes breakfast for two.

I can understand why Mertiz Hotel is very popular among Bruneians because of the convenience of shopping at Bintang Mall (Ever Rise supermarket, H&M, Uniqlo and many more). My recent stay saw many Bruneians parked their car at the parking lots though the congestion might test your patience. The same can be said for Miri Marriot where Brunei families and expats would pamper their kids and children at the massive swimming pool and it’s also located a bit further from the busyness of Miri.

For more enquiries about the promotion, do contact Pan Bright Travel offices at 224 0980 (Bandar) or 334 1154 (Kuala Belait). You can also their Facebook or instagram @panbrighttravel for updates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


My room at Meritz Hotel during the Lakas Tah ke Miri Promotion
 


John Teo, General Manager of Meritz Hotel with representatives from Tourism Malaysia Brunei and Pan Bright Travel
 


Our hotel inspection at Miri Marriot
 

 


The sizable pool that caught the eyes of Bruneians
 


Miri Marriot also offer spa services for singles and couples
 


International Buffet on weekends only at Miri Marriot
 

Check out SsangYong’s Rexton 7-seater

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in technology, automative

 


The all-new Rexton 7-seater petrol edition (hi-spec) being launched at the SsangYong’s showroom at TCY Motors Kiarong
 


The classy interior of the hi-spec of the new Rexton
 

The All-New Rexton as the new Authentic SUV will re-establish SsangYong’s brand identity. It’s bigger, better and bolder. It implicitly expresses the Great 4 Revolution through its brand name as it inherits the brand value of the iconic Rexton for a flagship SUV.

In particular, the all-new Rexton is applied with Quad Frame using Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) newly developed based on a strategic partnership with POSCO, in order to offer greatly improved body strength while minimizing weight.

Did you know that SUVs are dominating the automative market in Brunei? So now it’s no surprise that T.C.Y. Motors, the sole distributor of Ssangyong Motor has unveiled the all-new Rexton 7 seater petrol yesterday. Previously they unveiled the diesel version many months ago.

The Korean manufacturer, with the growing demand for stronger off-road driving performance and a larger towing capacity in the large-sized SUVs, expects to see more applications of the frame-type and FR drive systems in the large-sized SUVs in the global market and Brunei is definitely the right market segment for the new Rexton model.

The strong and dynamic styling of the all-new Rexton was inspired from the majestic look of the Greek temple Parthenon and SsangYong’s design philosophy “Nature-born 3Motion” in particular, the Dignified Motion was the motive behind the embodiment of Nature’s magnificent movement in styling.

The interior space aims to be a “redefined deluxe” which can be used for various purposes depending on the seat arrangement. The leather seat (hi-spec) which is the highest grade Nappa leather, the memory system that saves the preferred seat and door mirror positions of the driver are the features that increase the emotional quality for the passengers.

Now if you want talk about luggage space at the back, the all-new Rexton delivers. You can adjust the rear 3rd row seat and you can fit as many as 4 golf bags. That’s how spacious the back compartment can fit in.

For the driving specs, the all-new Rexton 7-seater has a G20DTR petrol engine and Aisin 6-speed automatic transmission (a plus for driver). It’s a newly developed high-efficient 2.0 litre GDI turbo petrol engine, engineered to perform well at low end torque. A combination of a front double wishbone and a rear multi-link independent suspension ensures a high level of driving stability and riding feel.

For the safety features, it has the most airbags in the SUV segment, 9 in total including the knee-airbag for the driver and the side-airbags in the rear and also uses various advanced safety technologies including the newly developed quad frame made of advanced high-strength steel to provide class-leading safety for passengers.

For the tech features, the infotainment system installed in the all-new Rexton is one of the model’s most attractive features. It offers a wide 8-inch touch screen and it offers great connectivity with the mobile device. The Apple CarPlay provide a mirroring service while all the contents including Whatsapp and phone contacts can be viewed.

What I like the most is the 220V/115V inverter at the passenger seat. So you can actually charge your notebook/laptop if you want. A very convenient feature for a person like me.

If you plan to test drive the all-new Rexton, you can visit their showroom at TCY Kiarong. So far, we test drove the standard spec of the all-new Rexton and it was such a comfortable drive.

 

 


The side view
 


The SsangYong’s Rexton standard spec
 


Giving this a test drive around Kiulap
 


The rear interior of the all-new Rexton
 

Baiduri Bank awarded for the 7th consecutive year

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

 


Pg Azaleen bin Pg Dato Hj Mustapha, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Baiduri Bank receiving his award from Tim Charlton, Editor-in-chief of Asian Banking & Finance magazine as Baiduri Bank was ecognised as the Domestic Retail Bank of The Year for Brunei 2019 for the seventh consecutive year.
 

At an awards ceremony hosted by the Asian Banking & Finance magazine at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore yesterday, Baiduri Bank was recognised as the Domestic Retail Bank of The Year for Brunei 2019 for the seventh consecutive year.

Pg Azaleen bin Pg Dato Hj Mustapha, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Baiduri Bank was present to receive the award during the ceremony. “We would like to thank our customers and stakeholders for their loyalty and support over the years. We are honoured to be recognised by the Asian Banking & Finance magazine as the Domestic Retail Bank of the Year for Brunei for the seventh year running.”

Speaking on the efforts made by the Bank last year, he said, “Baiduri Bank’s retail banking division underwent a number of enhancements to better cater to the needs of our diverse customer base. Among others, our customer programmes, namely Baiduri Prestige and Baiduri Smart Executive, were revamped. This revamp saw the introduction of the Mastercard World debit card exclusively for our Prestige members —a first for Brunei.”

He further elaborated that further enhancements were made towards Baiduri’s internet banking offering greater flexibility and clarity for funds transfers and a more user-friendly registration process. Improvements also included a wider variety of investment products through Baiduri Capital as well as the relocation of the Seria branch.
“Our Seria branch has been relocated to larger and more customer-friendly premises offering full banking services and features a contemporary décor to reflect the dynamism and innovative spirit of Baiduri Bank.”

Since 2006, the Asian Banking & Finance (ABF) magazine has been honouring and recognising the best of the best in the Banking and Finance industry in Asia. It focuses on commercial and retail banking and on the securities market from a banking perspective.

 

 


Pg Azaleen in his acceptance speech
 

The All-new Porsche Panamera

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

 

 

I test drove the new Porsche Panamera recently. My other experience driving the Panamera was last year during the Media Driving Academy ((MDA) hosted by Porsche Asia-Pacific at Sepang International Circuit. That model I drove was the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid and of course, it was fun, accelerating like there’s no tomorrow at the Sepang International Circuit.

The one I test drove is the second generation of the Porsche Panamera. According to the press release, the new Porsche Panamera, is a sports car and luxury saloon in one. Its engines and transmission were re-engineered, the chassis perfected, the display and operating concept interpreted for the future with multitouch controls, and its design embodies core brand values even more.

Okay, I have to say I like the multitouch controls though it took me a while to figure out what’s what. But after, it’s pretty convenient and user friendly for both the driver and passenger.

First let me share with your some of the specs of the new Porsche Panamera.

Concept. Four-door sports car. The four-seat Gran Turismo concept combines the performance of a high-performance sports car with the comfort of a luxury saloon. The tailgate, folding rear seat backrests and up to 1,304 litres of luggage volume make the Panamera the most versatile model in its class. Yes, I actually put two medium size luggages with ease. I didn’t expect that it could fit.

Design and Body. New evolutionary stage of the Panamera concept. Expressively designed – with extended, dynamic proportions, flared shoulders, athletic anks and a much faster roof line. This “ flyline” which is typical of Porsche cars creates a stylistic link to the 911 design icon. Body in aluminium/steel hybrid construction: door panels, bonnet, boot lid, wings, side panels and roof all consist of aluminium.

Powertrain. A V6 Petrol engine with a displacement of 2.9 litres, delivering 243 kW (330 hp). New Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK) with eight speeds and all-wheel drive for all models.

Chassis. Broad spread between performance and comfort sets standards in the luxury segment. New features include rear axle steering, three-chamber air suspension, the electromechanical roll stabilisation system Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport) with Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) as well as networking of all chassis systems via 4D Chassis Control.

Electrics and Electronics. New Porsche Advanced Cockpit and state-of-the-art connectivity. Black panel surfaces and interactive displays combine the visuality and intuitive operation of smartphones with the practical aspects of controlling an automobile. New LED Matrix headlights and new assistance systems such as InnoDrive and Night Vision Assist (optional). This one is a clear winner. I totally agree that it’s quite intuitive.

Other features. Standard: 19-inch (4S and 4S Diesel) and 20-inch wheels (Turbo), LED head- lights and LED headlights including Porsche Dynamic Light System (Turbo), LED rear lights, rain sensor, automatic boot lid, Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with online navigation and Porsche Connect Plus (online services and app networking with smartphone), Bose 150-watt sound system, key- less engine starting system, part-leather seats (4S and 4S Diesel) or all-leather upholstery (Turbo).

 

 


The new Porsche Panamera, now available for test drive
 


Such a comfort feeling. Only thing is that I have to keep adjusting the seat to the front whenever I enter the Panamera.
 


How the interior looks at night
 


Driving down to Kuala Beliat was such a breeze in the Panamera
 


How I wish I could drive this for a lifetime
 

My thoughts. There’s something unique about the Porsche Panamera because if you look closely at the design flow of the latest Panamera, it does resembles that of the iconic Porsche 911. Speaking of 911, my favourite Porsche model is the 911 GT3. Now back to the Panamera. This is perhaps the most comfortable luxury segment saloon for both driver and passengers. Firstly it’s spacious.. Yes, very, very spacious for a space of four people. The interior itself are luxurious to say the least.

Let’s talk about the Porsche Rear Seat Entertainment. I like the fact that there is a 10-inch touchscreen located in the centre for the convenient of back seat passengers. The sound of the Rear Seat Entertainment is played back via the loudspeakers integrated into the touchscreens, the vehicle’s sound system. rear passengers can access the radio. The screens can also be used to display vehicle data and the current navigation route with related supplemental information. It is even possible to input destinations for the PCM’s navigation system via the Porsche Rear Seat Entertainment system. The functional range is also signicantly extended by giving rear passengers access to all products available at the Google® Play Store. The Porsche Rear Seat Entertainment system can be controlled by touchscreens or alternatively from the PCM.

Now the driving experience. It’s not just spacious but the new Panamera packs a power. It’s stable during roundabouts and corners even at higher speed. The transition between the gears in the Panamera’s eight-speed gearbox seemed seamless and smooth.

I took it for a spin from Bandar to Kuala Belait and I can assure if you for those who commutes from those points, you will eventually love driving back and forth. It is just simply comfortable and it’s a breeze, driving in the Panamera. Just have to be mindful to check your speedometer that you might exceed the speed limit because you won’t even feel how fast the Panamera can go.

For those interested in the new Porsche Panamera, there are many options to choose from such as optional Night Vision Assist and Innodrive. You can also opt for other models in the Panamera such as the Panamera Turbo or the Panamera 4S. You can contact Porsche Centre Brunei, QAF Eurokars Sdn Bhd if you’re interested for a test drive of the new Porsche Panamera.

 

 


Such a spacious booth for a Panamera. I could fit two medium sized luggages.
 


The Porsche Rear Seat Entertainment
 


Just look at that space
 


I love driving in sports mode but it does eat up petrol quicker than usual
 


Sound system powered by Bose
 

BSM celebrates Raya with donations to underprivileged

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

 

"
Pg Shamhary Pg Dato Paduka Hj Mustapha, Brunei Shell Marketing Company’s Managing Director, giving out donation to the underprivileged students in Temburong District recently.
 

"
The smiles of the students’ faces 🙂
 

During the month of Ramadhan and Syawal, Brunei Shell Marketing Company Sdn Bhd (BSM) and its staff held a donation drive in efforts to put smiles on some 50 selected underprivileged primary school students in Temburong District.

Today, BSM handed over the donations contributed by BSM as well as its management and staff. The contribution included necessities such as school and daily supplies. Present to handover the donations were BSM Managing Director, Pg Shamhary Pg Dato Paduka Hj Mustapha and members of the leadership team.

BSM also took the opportunity to celebrate Aidilftri with the students and their family as well as its stakeholders and business partners. This has been a tradition by BSM since 2014 and these events were made possible by the commitment and partnership between BSM and the Department of School (Cluster 1) under the Ministry of Education as well as Temburong District Office and the Rataie Village Council Consultative under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The event took place at Mukim Bukok Community Hall in Kampong Rataie, Temburong recently.

 

 

"
 

"
 

"
 

Audi A4 Black Edition

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

 

"
The 1.4 Audi A4 Black Edition is available for test drive
 

Yesterday I had the privilege to have a short test drive of the sportier look of the Audi A4 Sedan Black Edition. Yes, yes. The colour of the Audi that I test drove was in blue but the Black Edition was referring to the new Black styling package where the front radiator grille, the side sill trims, side air inlet and front spoiler and also the sporty rear spoiler are in gloss black finish. It does look slicker in the gloss black finish and matches the royal blue colour of the Audi A4 sedan. Though it’s not an S Line version but you will enjoy the S Line exterior finishing touch to give the 1.4 Audi A4 a sportier feel.

The Audi A4 that I test drove is the 1.4 litre spec. The features inside have been upgraded where you will appreciate the inlays has a piano black finish to give a classier feel. The base features for the A4 already includes such premium equipment such as Drive Select, Virtual Cockpit digital display and Navigation plus with additional Side Assist blind spot detector.

The 1.4 Audi A4 comes with 18” exclusive Audi Sport cast aluminium wheels in 10-y-spoke design in gloss black.

The price is quite reasonable if you ask me. The driving experience, though a short one, is still a great one (Wish I could spend more time with it to get the full experience). Despite being a 1.4 litre engine, the horsepower is 150hp and you can feel the difference when you step on the accelerator.

Do test drive the 1.4 Audi A4 Black Edition and get the feel of it.

 

 

"
A quick test drive on the 1.4 Audi A4 Black Edition but I craved for more
 

"
It does look sportier with the gloss black finish on the grille
 

"
The sporty rear spoiler is also in gloss black
 

"
This is the previous base model of the Audi A4 Sedan. You can tell the difference in the grille and such.

Now the quattro (high spec) version of the Audi A4 Black Edition

 

"
This look similar to the 1.4 Audi A4 Black Edition. Just that this is the high spec edition, the quattro Audi A4
 

If you want much power hungry version of the Black Edition, then you can go for the 45 TFSI Audi A4 Black Edition (quattro). This is the higher spec with a horsepower of 252hp, enhancing the driving experience even more. Unfortunately, no drive test edition for this one.

The pedals and footrest are made of stainless steel. The seats themselves are sporty and in leather. The rims are slightly bigger, 19” exclusive Audi Sport 5-arm-rotor matte titanium look. Let’s not forget, the driver and passenger will enjoy the Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system too.

All Audis in Brunei come with 5-year or 150.000km (whichever comes first) Extended Warranty. Do visit Audi Showroom in Kiarong to find out more. Follow them on @audibrunei on instagram and Facebook too.

 

 

"
Check out the 19” rims complemented by brake callipers in red
 

"
In the high spec, you will enjoy the leather finish on the seats
 

"
You will get use to the new numbering system by Audi. The 45 stands for a 2.0 litre engine.
 

"
 

"
In the high spec, you will also enjoy the high quality speakers from Bang & Olufsen
 

Contact RA

ranoadidas (a) gmail.com
Instagram & Snapchat @ranoadidas
Contact: +6738677773

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)

Advertisement rates

You can email me for your interest in advertisement packages. There's also a bundle package with social media postings.