Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Awang Hj Hamzah bin Sulaiman, Minister of Education, handing out first class honours to Joanne Yen. She said that she dedicated her time for studies and paying attention in lectures are important. She’s also happy with the lecturers and the facilities. Image taken by James Kon of Borneo Bulletin.
Ivan Ninan is also one of the first class honours recipients of the Chester University. Image taken by James Kon of Borneo Bulletin.
Laksamana College of Business (LCB) recently held two graduation ceremonies, one for the University of Chester UK degree students and the other for BTEC Programmes, University Foundation Course and Kensington College of Business (KCB) Programmes Students. A total of 103 graduated from the Chester University courses while over 400 students graduated from the other courses in LCB.
The first graduation ceremony was graced by the Minister of Education, Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Awang Hj Hamzah bin Sulaiman. Also present were Mr. Ian Pirie, Principal Director of KCB/LCB, Awang Hj Suhaimei bin Hj Awang Besar, Director of LCB and Mr. Sivarajah Subramaniam, CEO and Deputy Principal of LCB. The second graduation ceremony was graced by Datin Seri Paduka Dr. Hjh Romaizah bin Hj Mohd Salleh, Deputy Minister of Eduction.
In the Chester University program, 11 students received first-class honours.
Ian Pirie mentioned of a new programme during his welcoming remarks. In September, LCB will open a new culinary school and launching to new degree courses in Hospitality and Tourism. Speaking of culinary, there will be a first Brunei young chef competition. Interesting. These courses are introduced due to the rising demands.
He also mentioned of new Masters and first degree level courses in Computing, Finance and Management in response to the increasing need for computing staff.
He believed the LCB Student Council has played an important role for the institution. They have assisted in the Graduation ceremonies and also LCB 15th year anniversary celebration apart from the sports and social events. He thanked both Zara and Saufi, outgoing President and Vice-President of the Student Council for their contribution.
So LCB has been impressed in building their reputation. Ever since year 2003, they have over 4,000 students who have graduated and completed their courses at LCB. I remember visiting the premises when it only had limited space and now LCB have expanded and upgraded their facilities to cater to the growing demand of students.
LCB is definitely a good college and I have a few friends who are currently studying in Laksamana. There is perhaps room to register for September intake. You can visit their website for more details and also follow their IG @lcb_brunei
Datin Seri Paduka Dr. Hjh Romaizah bin Hj Mohd Salleh, Deputy Minister of Eduction (4th from left) as the guest of honour for the second graduation ceremony
Mr. Ian Pirie, Principal Director of KCB/LCB giving his welcoming remarks
One of the graduates
One of the graduates
Happy graduates of LCB
Over 400 students graduated last Friday
The anticipation is over
The waiting game
Congratulations to all the graduates
Congratulations to @malsdaud who will be continuing her courses in LCB
Parents, families and friends witnessed the graduation ceremony
Feeling relieved after receiving the certs
Click image to apply or register
Another milestone as LCB celebrated its 15th anniversary last weekend
@malsdaud dressed in all white for the special celebration
Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib, Minister of Communications visiting BIBD Pavilion and launching the new products from BIBD, BIBD BizNet and QuickPay at the TechXpo 2018 yesterday
First it was the eTunai (back in 2013) and now BIBD has upped their game by re-inventing the wheel, launching a better version, BIBD’s QuickPay. All you need is a QR Code and a BIBD app to settle a transaction. Easy peasy. The great thing about the QuickPay is that you won’t need physical terminals to carry out the transaction. The current eTunai which will be phased out, requires a presence of the tablet and there are currently 50 vendors using eTunai in Brunei Darussalam.
I believe BIBD’s move to introduce the QuickPay is to make payment more seamless especially among Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Brunei Darussalam and even start-ups. The other advantage is that they don’t have to invest in the cash register of point-of-sale machines to complete the transaction.
It was mentioned from a BIBD representative that they QuickPay will have a lower cost transaction than the current ones with terminal points. The other great thing is that BIBD has also launched its BIBD MSME Account which requires a minimum opening and average monthly balance of only BND 50. Now ain’t that great news?
I’m not sure which vendors have already utilized the QuickPay mechanism but before that, you will need to update to BIBD’s app version (3.8.0) so you can use QuickPay.
The other product launched by BIBD is BIBD BizNet banking platform app provides corporate customers along with government-linked companies in Brunei Darussalam mobile access to the BIBD BizNet web-based platform.
Launched earlier this year, BIBD BizNet is an upgrade to its previous digital Corporate Internet Banking platform that provides day-to-day accounts and payments operations support with real-time account access along with a collection of other enhanced features.
These include single security token access for Parent and Subsidiary accounts, payment approval, fund transfers and bill payments along with information such as foreign currency rates and branch/ATM locator and other services.
Both BIBD BizNet and BIBD’s QuickPay were launched by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib, Minister of Communications at the TechXpo 2018 at International Convention Centre yesterday.
Both products are testament for the BIBD NEXGEN initiative. I just hope one day will see NFC in form of payment where all you need to do is tap with your phone to make a transaction. I know in the UK have already carried out this technology and it’s on the rise. Let’s give it a two years or so maybe?
The Minister of Communications being briefed on BIBD’s QuickPay by BIBD representative. Image courtesy of Ridhwan Kamarulzaman of The Bruneian.
Now payment can be done as easy as 1-2-3
The press conference for BIBD’s new products the day before the launch
Pengiran Sanusi Iskandar Pengiran Haji Ismail, Senior Manager of Corporate Banking of BIBD explaining on BIBD’s new products during the press conference
Eric Tang, Retail Sales Manager for Epson Malaysia handing over a moment to Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer for High Achiever Award for Retail Business Development by Epson
Concepts Computer has done it again. First, the company was awarded Microsoft Partner of the Year and recently, the company was presented with the High Achiever Award for Retail Business Development by Epson in recognition of its business and customer service excellence in the country for the year 2017.
The plaque was presented to Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer by Eric Tang, Retail Sales Manager for Epson Malaysia last weekend.
Epson brand has been performing very well under the leadership of Concepts and they have been working together for the past three years or so. Epson is known for their L-series printers and 3LCD projectors.
According to Vincent Pao, Concepts Computer has always operated with the premise of providing high quality IT solutions to the Bruneian market, while maintaining affordability and quality after-sales service.
Congratulations once again to Concepts for their milestone and keep up the great work!!
The Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI) in collaboration with Brunei Gas Carriers Sdn Bhd (BGC) is proud to introduce the BGC iUsahawan programme, to support the iUsahawan initiative, an entrepreneurship development initiative to support our young Bruneian SMEs to start, own and grow their own business. The programme is also part of BGC’s Social Investment initiative.
Participants will be required to go through a Training (Start-Up Accelerator) Programme and will be invited to a competitive tender exercise For selected contracts. Successful participants will be awarded a 3-year contract, with potential extensions and experienced mentors throughout the contract period.
This invitation is open to:
- Rakyat Jati Business Owners or Entrepreneurs aged between 18-40 years old
- No prior contract with Government or Government—Linked Companies (GLCS)
- Business areas: Cleaning Services, Event Management and Transportation Services.
BGC invites all eligible entrepreneurs to attend a dialogue on the following date:
Date: Friday, 17th August 2018
Registration: 09:00 hrs
Time: 09:30 – 11:30 hrs
Venue: Abadi Training Room, BGC Office, Bangunan Lim Kah Sik, Jalan Jerudong
For more information and to register your interest to join the dialogue, please contact BGC at 7290898 or via email to BGCExternalfirstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, 15th August 2018.
With the organizers and partners for the upcoming TechXpo 2018 event happening this Saturday
The TechXpo 2018 is just around the corner. A few more days to be exact. The highlight of the TechXpo is definitely the TechXpo Cyber Games Tournament, jointly organized by D’Sunlit and Sigma Cyberspace where Progresif will be the title sponsor. A record pool prize of BND 15,000 is slated to be the biggest yet for Brunei cyber tournaments, featuring games such as Counter Strike, League of Legends, DOTA, Tekken 7, FIFA 18 (which I am joining) as well as Mobile Legends and Rules of Survival. All the registrations have been closed for now and there are more than 300 participants already that have signed up for the tournament.
Another highlight for the TechXpo are the robots, all the way from Belgium known as Zora Robotics NV (ZoraBots), a pretty interactive humanoid robot for the public to interact with.
The theme for this year’s TechXpo is “Innovative Technology for All” as the Chairman of InfoCom Federation Brunei, Sheikh Hj Abas, said that everything we do nowadays are linked with technology, even with food. Hence, the theme suits to attract crowd of all ages.
The Plenary Hall will be used for the upcoming TechXpo and do check it out as they will be special offers from participating vendors.
The event will take place this Friday 18th August and ends on 21st August 2018. Oh yea, if you are keen to try out the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 9, you can check out the demo unit at DST booth during the TechXpo before the official launch next week.
The TechXpo 2018 is organized by InfoCom Federation Brunei and D’Sunlit.
D’Sunlit and InfoCom Federation Brunei exchanging documents
Cuckoo (Brunei) will be one of the partners for the event
Progresif playing a major role as the title sponsor for the TechXpo Cyber Games Tournament
Sigma Cyberspace will be organizing the gaming tournament
TelBru is also one of the partners of the event
Registration has already been closed
After a huge success for the first trail game (Epidemic: Race to Rescue), BAG Networks have launched the second edition, an augmented reality mobile game which will take place during the upcoming TechXpo 2018.
Dubbed the “Trail to TechXpo 2018”, registration has already been opened for all of you to participate leading to the upcoming event. The new game utilizes both GPS and AR technology with the help of your smartphones as you gather clues around Brunei-Muara district and the end point will be at TechXpo event itself at the International Convention Centre.
Apparently there will be 8 check points if I’m not mistaken for “Trail to TechXpo 2018” and the new game will three rounds. First step will be checking in on the checkpoints, then solve the puzzles during the TechXpo and final mystery will be on the main stage of the Plenary Hall at ICC. You can register your team here and good luck 😀
The prizes were not announced yet but the prizes will be sponsored by DST.
The Trail to TechXpo 2018 game is open for registration
Representatives from BAG Networks during the recent press conference
Afif Mohamed Ali, Microsoft Brunei Darussalam Country Manager, handing over the 2018 Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Award to Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Group last Friday
Concepts Technology does it again!!! The renowned company was awarded as the recipient of the 2018 Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Award and this is in recognition for its outstanding services and excellent subsidiary engagement in Brunei Darussalam.
Three years ago, Concepts Technologies was appointed as the official distributor for Microsoft in Brunei Darussalam and this year, they won their first prestigious award.
Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Group, expressed his delight over the prestigious award. He was truly grateful towards Microsoft Brunei for their continuous support and their strong relationship among each other. This has helped to tackle the challenging business climate in the country.
Afif Mohamed Ali, Microsoft Brunei Darussalam Country Manager, said, “As our Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, once said, ‘Microsoft has always been a partner-led company, and this ecosystem drives local economies and creates massive growth’. By winning the country partner of the year award, Concepts Technologies showcases the extraordinary commitment towards driving digital transformation in Brunei. As we aim to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more, our partners support us live on this mission.
“I also would like to commend the extraordinary efforts of Concepts Technologies, and I look forward to working with Concepts in empowering every person and organisation in Brunei towards digital transformation.”
Congratulations to Vincent Pao and his team from Concepts for raising the bar.
Group photo with Concepts Group and Microsoft Brunei
YB Dato Seri Paduka Dr. Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Minister of Finance II (center) as guest of honour, Jackson Ting, Managing Director of D’Sunlit Sdn Bhd and Dato Paduka Haji Danial Haji Hanafiah, Executive Director of D’Sunlit Sdn Bhd at the launch of the 21st Consumer Fair at the International Convention Centre.
Who could have thought that the 21st edition of The Consumer Fair is finally up and running. The event has already contributed loads of revenue for event venue, the International Convention Centre and also the SME vendors, be it local or overseas.
D’Sunlit Sdn Bhd, formerly known as Sunlit Advertising, has always impressed the consumers with their highly anticipated consumer fair. This time round the set up is slightly different as compared to previous Consumer Fair. For the first time, the Plenary Hall is vacant due to its unavailability. The other vendors were located to other areas and rooms within the ICC. You might think it doesn’t look as big but honestly, I do prefer this format where other small rooms are being used. It helps to draw more traffic to those areas.
This time round, the lucky draw will be flight tickets if you purchase things at the Consumer Fair at ICC. This year’s theme revolved around glitch and tech. It’s a summation of the nostalgia and the current trend of technology.
Many have asked me if there will be any travel fair. Sadly, not this time. However, there are enough activities to keep you entertained. I love the Saber Game at TelBru and you stand a chance to win Oculus VR set or a PS4 with VR set for topping the scoring charts. There’s the “Best of Thai Street Food with activities where the winner gets a ticket to Bangkok. Water is free where Cuckoo provides an All Day Water Dispenser. Of course, the new gimmick is the Human Claw Machine. I tried it once and it’s pretty cool.
I shall update again later or just stalk me on my @ranoadidas Instagram.
ang Berhormat Dato Seri Paduka Dr. Awang Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah, the Minister of Finance II, as the guest of honour (2nd from left), Mr. Mubashar Khokar, Managing Director of BIBD, Mr. Karam Chand, the CEO of Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) and Mr. Pierre Imho, the CEO of Baiduri Bank
Guest of honour delivering his welcoming remarks at Brunei International Airport
Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) has closed the Islamic financing of one Boeing 787-8 aircraft and five Airbus A320neo and the conventional financing of two Airbus A320neo at a signing ceremony held at Brunei International Airport.
It was interesting to know that two local banks are involved in the financing where the islamic financing is under BIBD’s portfolio while the conventional term loan is under Baiduri Bank’s portfolio.
Present at the event was Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Paduka Dr. Awang Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah, the Minister of Finance II, as the guest of honour. Signing on behalf of RB was Mr. Karam Chand, the CEO of RB whole Mr. Mubashar Khokar, Managing Director of BIBD and Mr. Pierre Imho, the CEO of Baiduri Bank signed on behalf of BIBD and Baiduri Bank respectively.
“The combination of conventional financing for 2 aircrafts with an islamic financing structure for 6 other aircrafts allowed Royal Brunei Airlines to achieve attractive terms. The new fleet allows RB to achieve a leaner cost structure from the combination of lower ownership and maintenance costs and lower fuel burn. Complete fleet renewal is a rarity in our industry and to achieve this by the end of 2018 will be a very significant milestone for RB,” said Karam Chand.
“Alhamdullilah, I would like to congratulate RB on another national milestone with the latest additions to their fleet, and also becoming our latest “Partner in Growth”. Together may we continue to support Brunei Darussalam’s economic diversification while strengthening Brunei’s positioning as a regional hub for economic activity and trade. The acquisition of these aircrafts is also another landmark transaction for Brunei’s Islamic banking and financial industry in general as it highlights our local capabilities to deliver on large complex Islamic transactions,” said Mr. Mubashar Khokar.
“Baiduri Bank is proud to enter into this partnership with RB, where we will be financing two unites of Airbus A320neo aircrafts. As a major local bank with a strong commitment to the Brunei market, Baiduri will continue to play an active role in providing financing to businesses, contributing to the economic growth of the country and its development programmes in order to meet the goal of Brunei’s Wawasan 2035,” said Mr. Pierre Imhof.
The board members of RB and other invited guests
A quick visit to the newly A320neo aircraft
The final straw. Everyone is entitled to appeal after being given a judgment. A few months ago, the High Court ordered the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to pay BND 950,000 in damages to prominent businessman Ramesh Jiwatram Bhawani (BND 650,000) and Abdul Hamid bin Abas (BND 300,000) in the biggest defamation suit in Brunei Darussalam. You can read my previous article here. The ICC then appealed the verdict to The Court of Appeal.
In the end, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s judgment which means the appellants, ICC and 24 defendants, will still have to settle the liabilities of general and aggravated damages to both the plaintiffs.
Presiding Justice John Barry Mortimer with Justices Burrell and Seagroatt handed a written judgment where the judges upheld the previous awarding of BND500,000 to the first plaintiff Ramesh and also BND225,000 to the second plaintiff Abdul Hamid in general and aggravated damages, excluding the exemplary damage awarded of BND150,000 and BND75,000 that was awarded to both plaintiffs respectively in the High Court’s judgment, citing the lack of evidence in proving that the defendants issued the letter for profit gain.
The Court of Appeal handed the final written judgment for the civil case between plaintiffs, Ramesh Jiwatram Bhawani and Abdul Hamid bin Abas against The Indian Chamber of Commerce and 24 of its members on 12th May 2018. Image courtesy of judiciary.gov.bn
It all began with a letter dated 5th April 2010 by the defendants to the Indian High Commissioner. It was written by the second defendant as President of The Indian Chamber of Commerce on the Chamber of Commerce’s headed notepaper and is counter signed by 23 other members or office holders of the chamber.
According the judgment, the letter contained, beyond argument, libellous material against Ramesh Jiwatram Bhawani. It noted that “Ramesh…. developed a business known as YMRM… He deals with counterfeit branded goods …. has recently been increasingly in various malicious activities…” There are even words such as “money laundering” and “mafia style gangster” and said in the lines that “Ramesh is widely suspected of laundering huge sums of money and threatening people in due course if at all someone tends to talk about it or report it.”
Other references were also made on Ramesh such as the use of “dirty words” and “dirty tactics”.
There was a second letter dated on 29th November 2010 also written on the notepaper of the Chamber of Commerce and signed by the fourth defendant as general secretary of the chamber. It generally disparages Ramesh alleging “dubious activities and anti-social behaviour”. It was more of a repetition of the first letter, alleging that his “so-called business activities are in actual fact a sham to cover his illegal money-laundering operations.
Both letters (dated 5th April 2010 and 29h November 2010) called upon The Indian High Commission to “investigate the matter rigorously.. and we are pretty sure that something worthwhile will be unearthed.”
Abdul Hamid bin Abas was also being implicated in the first letter. It didn’t specifically identify him by name but which can readily lead to his identification. The libel is that he abused his office as an officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is identified as the brother of Haji Sabali who works in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Court of Appeal replied to the appellants’ arguments, six of them.
1st ground – That Justice Findlay erred in holding all the defendants liable in damages in relations to the publication of the 29th November 201 when the judge held that only the 1st and 4th defendants were liable for the defamatory matter in that publication.
Appeal of court response – Justice Findlay made it clear in his findings that although he found for the first plaintiff (Ramesh) on the alleged libel in the letter of the 29th November 2010, he made no specific award of damages in respect of it. In other words, he confined himself to the effect of the letter of the 5th April 2010.
2nd ground – Justice Findlay erred by awarding join and several damages against all defendants without apportioning the awards between the defendants according to their respective aggravating and exemplary circumstances.
Appeal of court response – All defendants are equally liable. The form and content of the letter of the 5th April constitutes equal responsibility. The evidence of the 14th defendant could not relieve him of his equal responsibility. He was one of the Public Relations Officers (and probably a management committee member). There is no valid distinction to be drawn between any of the defendants all of whom authored the libel by “confirming their support by signing.”
3rd ground – Awarding exemplary damages was wrong in law.
Appeal of court response – Refer to 6th ground.
4th ground – Holding the defendants responsible for damages flowing from the publication on 16th June 2010 was wrong in law.
Appeal of court response – There is no merit in the argument on absolute privilege. The High Commission acted upon the letter of the 5th April 2010. It circulated the generality of the libel to a significant number of Senior Bruneian Officials – 18 in all. Even if the High Commission itself were to establish some form of privilege, which is dubious, their publication was generated, even demanded, by the content of the 5th April letter from the Indian Chamber of Commerce. The backlisting which lasted for one year, was in their view a direct consequence of that demand. The letter, in the final paragraph, contains the exhortation to the High Commission “unless he is curbed and stopped…” which is in effect a demand that he be blacklisted.
5th ground – The publication on 16th June 2010 was a novus actus interveniens and independent of the defendant’s publications so there should be no liability. [novus actus interveniens means negligence in latin].
Appeal of court response – This area was dealt in the context of ground 4. The chain of libelous publication was not broken by any “novus actus”.
6th ground – The award damages was disproportionately high compared with other cases.
Appeal of court response – The judges agreed that Justice Findlay found these allegations to be “of the utmost gravity”. Looking at the exemplary damages, the court of appeal reviewed if the appellants have deliberately defamed for profit. Only then the plaintiffs be awarded for exemplary damages (punitive sum). There is no evidence that suggested the profit has motivated the defendants though it is possible, simply on the basis of an understanding of human nature, that some defendants had in the mind the commercial or financial benefit to themselves if they affected the destruction of the plaintiff’s business.
As for aggravated damages, the court of appeal reviewed and agreed that it is appropriate to award such damages or include int eh award of general damages an element for aggravating factors. This include malice and the increase injury to a plaintiff by a defendant. It was noted that the civil action by the plaintiffs commenced five years ago though the incident has happened 8 years ago. It was also noted that there has been no apology or offer of amends over the whole period of that time.
The defendants’ attitude has been dismissive and persistently insulting. The plaintiffs have borne the brunt of this arrogant defamatory treatment in this long interim. A serious element of aggravation is beyond argument.
According to the written judgment, exemplary damages has been excluded but the aggravated damages remained. This was a serious libel calculated to destroy reputations using powerful institutiions or authorities to that end. Their motion was nasty, vicious and coordinated.
Conclusion of the written judgement by the Court of Appeal
Upon consideration of similar cases, Justice Seagrott concluded that they are not out of line with what the appellants argued, and decided to dismiss other grounds of the appeal, excluding the punitive damage and ordered them to pay general and aggravated damages award to the plaintiffs as a final judgment. The judgment was written and submitted on 12th May 2018.
The respondents were represented by lawyers Pengiran Izad Ryan bin Pengiran Laila Kanun Diraja Pengiran Haji Bahrin and Too Shu Vin of Pengiran Izad & Lee while the appellants, represented by counsels Kamal bin Shaari and Eugene Loh Jit Kuan of Yusof Halim and Partners.
Rano’s thoughts: Despite the exemption of the exemplary damages, It is still the biggest defamation (libel) case in Brunei Darussalam with a total of BND 725,000. The second biggest case was where Abrahams, Davidson and Co. won a case against the defunct News Express back in 2002. The plaintiff was also represented by Pg. Izad and & Lee and the total award was BND 550,000.
The defendants have used their final straw through the Court of Appeal and they will have to pay a total of BND 725,000 by end of the month (May 2018). Defamation is definitely a no go zone and it has landed many individuals/professionals/companies into trouble. This is definitely one civil case that has been going around for years and after 5 years of trial, the saga of the civil case is over.
I just read an interesting article that even bloggers like myself can be punishable of “libel or slander” and even worse, in addition to being liable in a civil court for damages, defamation is also a crime punishable under the penal code with a fine and a jail term. So, what’s next?
Ladies and gentlemen, do think twice before you make such actions.
Jati Transport Sdn Bhd currently is having a Mercedes-Benz Hari Raya Special in conjunction with Ramadhan and the upcoming Hari Raya celebration.
Receive up to BND 2,000 Mercedes-Benz voucher when you book and register any Mercedes-Benz passenger car from now until 30th June 2018. The gift certificate of up to BND 2,000 will be given to all new car buyers which they can use to exchange for all new car buyers which they can use to exchange for all Mercedes-Benz merchandises, service & maintenance package, accessories and grooming services.
Call them at 244 1763 / 244 1777 or visit their showroom at Beribi showroom or the Autohaus.
The models that you can test drive 🙂