His Excellency Dato Paduka Hj Rosli bin Hj Sabtu and his spouse, Datin Rohana Ering hosted an open house at their residence of the Brunei Embassy to Republic of Korea last Sunday. Korea celebrated Eid Mubarak a day earlier than Brunei. Thank you once again for your awesome hospitality.
Group photo with the Brunei Embassy and students currently studying in Korea. Click image to enlarge.
It’s been a while since I’m away from Brunei Darussalam during Eid Mubarak/Hari Raya season. Of course, in Brunei, the celebration will last for the whole month and the significant times will be the first few days of Aidilfitri.
I accepted the offer (from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Korea) to be granted a slot at the Asian Cultural Youth Leaders’ Camp 2017 in Seoul, Republic of Korea and the timings coincided with the Hari Raya celebration. A big thank you also to the Korean Embassy in Brunei Darussalam for recommending me to attend the 5 day program which was fully sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea.
Funnily enough upon my arrival in Seoul, Siti Han whatsapp me as I reached Koreana Hotel early in the morning and I was fortunate that I had no agenda when she offered me to join them for Brunei Embassy’s open house at the residence. Of course, why not 😀
I was warmly greeted and I was truly amazed by the hospitality of His Excellency Dato Paduka Hj Rosli bin Hj Sabtu and his spouse, Datin Rohana Ering. The ambassador also welcomed Bruneians residing in the country and hence most of them made up of UBD students who are under the exchange program (Discovery Year) while the rest are made up of post graduate and scholarship students.
It definitely felt like home and I managed to learn more about the culture of Korea through our conversations. It was also great to see familiar faces – Anna (Nurfauzanna) binti Abu Bakar and Hjh Rosni bin Hj Mohd Yassin who are posted currently at the Brunei Embassy in Seoul.
Thank you once more for the kind hospitality and I’m sure the Bruneians who were in the vicinity felt blessed and appreciative of your hospitality.
To my family back home and my friends, Selamat Hari Raya Maaf Zahir Batin adn do buckle up while driving.
Photo opportunity with some of the students
His Excellency Dato Paduka Hj Rosli bin Hj Sabtu was a former Managing Director of AMBD before he is being posted to Korea back in July 2015
Taken just outside the embassy’s residence. Very cozy and a safe neighborhood too.
Are you looking to identify, nurture and polish your communication skills? The right place has just opened for you. Articulation, a division of Rhymin & Partners (Coaching and Consultancy), is a training centre that specializes in communication courses and programs segmented for organizations, adults and youth.
All the courses are conducted by Stuart Lee, who is a seasoned trainer and Toastmasters member. Stuart has been training in Brunei for the past few years to government agencies and corporates. I attended his “Getting Things Done” (GTD) course before and I was amazed at how comprehensive he was in helping us understand how to be productive and I was quite moved, considering how unproductive I can be and a huge procrastinator. It’s not surprising since he is a speaker who has won many speech contests, the most significant being the first District (Brunei, East Malaysia, Indonesia) champion from Brunei in 2013.
Stuart Lee mentored two speakers,Pooja Shivanand and Allen Ang and both were successful, reaching the highest accolade in respective categories of Toastmasters contest. This contest was held in Brunei last October 2016 where they competed against Malaysia and Indonesia for the contest.
Since then, he has trained hundreds of speakers. He has an innate ability to identify potential in speakers and nurture their talents to proper skills. He has mentored a few international speech champions in Toastmasters, and one even made it to Finals of the World Championship of Public Speaking. That’s one impressive record!
One thing about Stuart is he uses somewhat unconventional methods in his training, not just textbook theories. He understands the psyche of speakers who have stage fright or going blank during presentations, so his courses are suited to help nervous speakers overcome these problems. He also believes it takes meticulous trainings to convert ‘talent’ into skills, as he has seen many speakers who are even naturally talented, but are unable to channel the gift into proper, controlled skills. So being talented doesn’t mean you have what it takes.
An auditorium for training purposes
Over the years of training adults in government agencies and corporate companies, Stuart realized it’s best to start speakers early, especially during their teenage years. Good news is that he now even has courses specially catered to youth. Stuart believes the youth must be able to communicate to complement academic excellence. So among the many courses that Articulation offers, I find “Presentation Skills for Youth” to be of much value. I’ve seen many students in our local schools fear speaking and presenting in public. Even some of the smartest students are uncomfortable when asked to verbalise their thoughts in front of people. This could hinder not only their academic performance but also their future career opportunities. These are soft skills that are not taught in local schools. So this course is meant to prepare the youth to speak up in schools and tertiary to achieve their full potential.
Another flagship course is “Presentation Skills for Adults”, which is designed to help working individuals who are afraid to speak up at work and miss opportunities for growth in career. The course teaches them to deliver presentations, and articulate ideas during meetings among others. Both these presentation courses are over 8-weeks period.
There are also many other courses such as skills for interview, pitching, business English etc. that you might be interested in.
The courses will be conducted at Articulation Training Centre which is a customized stage to simulate public speaking experience. Speaking on the stage will definitely be a tough experience, but it will help to prepare the participants to battle stage fright. I think this is a great venture since communication is a life skill and being able to communicate effectively can take us places.
Personally I always learned a thing or two whenever Stuart gives his evaluations in toastmasters when it comes to speaking and presentation skills. It was also one of the main reasons I joined toastmasters so I have more opportunities to benefit from his sharing. I’m glad that he has ventured into training of his own. Congratulations, Stuart!
Mr. Ngieng Chew Yong was the grand winner of the ‘Wash ‘N Win’ Lucky as he was won the Volkswagen Vento. Passing him the mock key was Madam Jarol, representative of Southern Lion Sdn Bhd, Malaysia.
Second place winner won herself a 65” inch TV..
Last Sunday marked the Grand Lucky Draw Event of the ‘Wash ‘N Win’ Lucky Draw organized by Bahagia Distributors Sdn Bhd, where the grand draw was held at The Mall, Gadong. During the draw, the participants registered and participated in a fun activity to stand a chance to win the sought for prizes. Out of the 115 lucky shortlisted participants for this weekly draw, Mr. Ngieng Chew Yong successfully won the grand prize, a Volkswagen Vento, which was presented by Mdm Jarol, the Representative of Southern Lion Sdn Bhd, Malaysia.
With registration having started since the beginning of April, the “Wash ‘N Win” Lucky Draw, four weekly draws have been held throughout May to June, with the Grand Draw being held on the 18th of June 2017, Sunday. Each of these draw events have been be premiering several fabulous prizes to be won by the shortlisted participants.
All shortlisted candidates registered for this Lucky Draw event by simply purchasing any product from Biozip, Senang and Dobi at specific department stores and outlets.
With a Volkswagen Vento as a grand prize and other more fabulous prizes to be won including Matrix 65”/55”/50”/32” LED TV, Apple iPad Mini 4 and Mini Bar Fridges, The ‘Wash ‘N Win’ Lucky Draw Event will definitely be an event to watch out for in the future.
100 shortlisted participants carried out their puzzle games
Loads of freebies 😀
There were 110 envelopes inside and outside the Vento. One of the envelopes is the hidden lucky prize.
Few of the top ten prizes
Some of the consolation winners
The management and associates of AV Mobile relaunching their new flagship store at Times Square Shopping Centre
Benny Tan welcoming customers and members of the media to the relaunch last Friday
AV Group is proud to present the grand opening of its Newly Relaunch AV Mobile, Digital Life Store in Times Square Mall on Friday, 16th June 2017. The new AV Digital Life Store is the first open concept lifestyle store in Brunei, bringing different aspects of your digital life together, offering dedicated spaces for great variety of phones, accessories, laptops, travel, storage, eyewear, cases and lifestyle Over 40 brands available in one store! Expect to find the full range of Apple and Samsung products as well as new and exciting categories and brands such as our Certified Premium Selection of Certified phones, Sonic Gear, Razer, Supershades, Console Games, Aztech, Agva, Steelseries, Alcatroz, and many more!
So what to expect for the special promotion at AV Mobile, Digital Life Store in Times Square Mall?
– The best value and prices on mobile phones!
– Up to 50% off Steelseries products
– 20% off all Accessories with any purchase!
– $2 and $3 Mobile phone bundles only at the Digital Life Store
– Up to 50% off Steelseries products
Benny sharing the history of AV Mobile and its transition during the period
Celebrity Aziz Harun was in the house too
Interesting facts about AV Group that brought you AV Mobile. AV Group is one of the oldest and most established retailers and mobile phone chain stores in Brunei with its founding in 1985. AV Mobile offers the largest range of Certified Phones Available in Brunei with worry free 1-1 exchange Warranty. In 2016, they opened a dedicated, fully equipped 1200 sq ft Service, Training and Experience Center at The Airport Mall (Level 2). This cements their commitment of quality after sales service to all AV Mobile customers.
For your info, AV Mobile is the Official and Exclusive Huawei Retailer for mobile devices in Brunei. Hence, only official phones are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
AV Mobile has 9 stores across Brunei at Mall, Times Square, Airport Mall, Yayasan, KB, Tutong, Muara, Sungai Liang, Sengkurong.
The management and team would like to take this opportunity to thank all friends, customers, partners and media for their constant support over the past 33 years. They will continue to bring you new and exciting products and experiences at all our AV Group companies and stores! You can follow on their instagram @avmobilebn
Brothers showing support during the relaunch
Some of the accessories on discount
Check out the timeline of AV Mobile. Click to enlarge.
Hj Omar Abdul Aziz and Siti Rashidah Hassan, co-owners of ZA Barakah with their children during the launch of the pop up event at The Mall
Siti Rashidah Hassan officially launching the pop up sale event
It has been three years since the company has been in fashion/lifestyle industry. ZA Barakah boutique started since 1st February 2014, managed by Hj Omar Abdul Aziz and Siti Rashidah Hassan. Due to their success, the entrepreneurs have also ventured into tailoring under ZA Tailor (hint, hint for those who wants to do their Baju Melayu or Baju Kurung for Raya).
Yesterday they launched a pop-up event leading into Hari Raya, having a concept of a modern Muslimah, showcasing some local and international brands. Do expect items such as Hijab, Jubbah and kids versions from Malaysia (Shazzmin, Dezahra and Julia Betty).
Perhaps the two major brands that are being showcased and sold are MochaFashion and LilyPetuna. Do check them out as they do look quite elegant and affordable.
Lily Petuna brand has a Pario concept, design that suits the modern era and ZA Barakah has made it easier for the locals to have access to their products. The same could be said for Mocha Fashion that has different range for ladies, kids and also men (top). Do expect great quality from both popular brands.
ZA Barakah is also the sole distributor for Capster (Hijab Sport) from the Netherlands. The brand has sold over 1,000 pieces alone in Brunei and that shows how popular Capster is.
Apart from that, ZA Barakah is also a distributor for Nashata Sports ranging from tops and pants for the ladies. The brand hails from Malaysia.
The pop up event is located on the 1st floor of The Mall, Gadong (near the escalator above Chang Ein Hong) and it will be there for the week. Do follow them on instagram @za_barakah for updates.
Some of the ranges from Lily Petuna
Mocha Fashion also have range for the men
Some of the children lines from Julia Betty
Lim Kai Wei, Marketing Manager of Sinofood Express, Deno Goh, Operations Director of Sinofood Express, Izam Ahmad, Marketing Manager of Sinofood Express, Mr. Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer, Alice Chan, Chief Financial Officer of Concepts Computer and Mr. Zul Abdul Rahman, Marketing Executive for Concepts Computer during the signing ceremony
The signing ceremony between Concepts Computer and Burger King Brunei last weekend
Last weekend, Concepts Computer, one of the largest IT retailer in Brunei, along with Sinofood Express, the franchisee of Burger King in Brunei Darussalam, is signing a collaborative MOU for cross-promoting their respective products during the holy month of Ramadhan and the festive month of Syawal.
Signing on behalf of Burger King Brunei is Lim Kai Wei and Izam Ahmad, both marketing Managers with Burger King Brunei. While on behalf of Concepts Computer, Mr. Vincent Pao, General Manager, and Mr. Zul Abdul Rahman, Marketing Executive for Concepts Computer. Also present was Operations Director, Burger King Brunei.
Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer, speaking to the media, said, “There is potential for a great collaboration between Concepts Computer and Burger King Brunei, since both has a large customer base in different sectors of the Bruneian market, so it is very synergistic.”
Zul Abdul Rahman, Marketing Executive for Concepts Computer, added to the media, “Customers who have purchased $200 or more on a single receipt; excluding purchases of Acer PC, notebooks and Acer or Epson projectors; in our store will be able to receive a free $10 Burger King voucher. And on the other hand, purchases of $100 to $199 on a single receipt will get a free $5 Burger King Voucher, redeemable at all Burger King Brunei branches.”
And Lim Kai Wei, Marketing Manager of Burger King Brunei, also added, “And Burger King customers who purchases $25 and over on a single receipt will also receive a $10 Concepts Computer voucher, which can be redeemed with Concepts on any of their products including Acer computers or projectors, Epson printers or projectors, APC power solutions, even softwares or OS from Microsoft.”
Also commenting to the media is Izam Ahmad, Marketing Manager for Burger King as well, ”Burger King Brunei is very happy to work with Concepts during this promotion, with the hopes of offering added value and better services to our customer base, especially since this is the first time we are partnering with an IT retail company.”
Both Concepts and Burger King will be running this voucher program until 31st of July 2017, or while vouchers are still available with either Concepts Computer or Burger King.
For more information call 2233551, 2233552 or 2233553, or visit your nearest Concepts Computer showroom or Burger King branch.
Speaking of Burger King, do get yourself a limited edition BK bottle when you buy a Ramadhan Family Meal from Burger King (while stock lasts)
I got myself one two weeks ago but man, I don’t know where I kept the bottle… Hmmmm..
The Mummy, one of the test bed for the Dark Universe
The Mummy. Days of Brendan Fraser are gone. I grew tired of The Mummy series especially the third instalment. Now with fresher take, coming from Alex Kurtzman’s direction and A-list actor Tom Cruise and even promising trailers, the audience expects a better outing from this blockbuster. I shared the same sentiment and hoped to be entertained at least. So here goes.
The Good. I would be lying if I said there are many good points. There isn’t much to boast about or something of interest on Tom Cruise’s latest outing. The first quarter was perhaps the best part or the most interesting part of the film. Everything else nosedived from there. Oh except when Russell Crowe’s character came on. I was more interested in him than the actual Mummy.
The only redeeming factor is that there might be a sequel considering, judging from the ending of the movie. It was also a brave move for Universal to create another entity Dark Universe and the first being The Mummy. Who knows they might be other spin-offs. Does it look promising? So far it has covered its cost especially from overseas revenue while it performed under expectations in the US box office.
The Bad and The Ugly. Now where do I start? The acting were forgettable and it was a waste of talent especially for Tom Cruise. The chemistry with his co-stars didnt’ bring much to the plate either. I can’t feel the connection and their affections (or the lack of it) were poorly projected. These are just some of the problems.
Shall I continue? What is more interesting is the trailer. It reminds me of how I was duped by Transformers trailers and ended up too disappointed watching them movies. I know I will still watch the upcoming Transformers: The Last Knight and ending up with the same feeling. Same goes to The Mummy. The Rottentomatoes rating of 17% is one of the worst rating for a summer release of 2017.
The action scenes were subpar and it was nothing so wow about it. It was best suited for am HBO viewing back at home. I wonder why the high costs and the result of the movie doesn’t really reflect on the producer’s spending. Hmmmm… The Mummy even tried harder in the fun factor department. The jokes were flat at times.
The worst part for me is the direction of The Mummy or maybe the loss of direction. The movie has no identity as it has no idea what it wants to be. I don’t even know what Tom Cruise wants to be or what he wanted to be portrayed as. It’s very hard to recommend this movie if you haven’t caught this.
The interesting character I wished had more screen time in The Mummy
Pranika gave a solid 5 stars…. out of 10 :p
What others have to say about The Mummy
Makes me appreciate how good Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy was then
Ms Syakirah binti Jamali had the privileged to design Mr. Brown’s 2017 Hari Raya bottles
Mr Brown Coffee, a widely known beverage in the capital, proudly released their limited edition Hari Raya bottles to celebrate Hari Raya among the Bruneians.
Earlier this year in February, Mr Brown held its first Bottle Design Competition, which was won by a local artist, Ms Syakirah binti Jamali. And now her artwork is imprinted as the labels for this year 2017 Hari Raya bottles.
The limited edition bottles are designed with an Islamic geometrical national flower, simpur patten, to showcase the spirit of the festive season.
Started two (2) years ago, Mr Brown Hari Raya version is made specially for the festive season and hence is only available during Hari Raya and exclusively in Brunei. Since its debut, it has become a popular collectible amongst Mr Brown fans.
For this year, this festive Mr Brown is available in the most popular original flavour – Iced Coffee. This outstanding flavour is made according to a famous French recipe blending premium coffee with milk and sugar.
Mr Brown Coffee’s eye-catching limited edition Hari Raya bottles are now available in stores nationwide, and while stock lasts.
On the occasion of Hari Raya. this slim and easy-to-grab bottle is suitable for glassless event, and perfect to be shared among families and friends.
I have my dosage of the latest Mr. Brown limited edition Hari Raya bottles 😀
Ranking for Universiti Brunei Darussalam
A milestone to be proud for. Universiti Brunei Darussalam made it to the Top 400 of Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings. According to the ranking, it reached its highest with a rank of #349 among 26,000 universities around the world.
This means UBD is among the 1.3% of universities worldwide which is a very outstanding ranking, considering Brunei Darussalam being one of the smallest region in the world.
UBD was established in 1985 and it currently offers 8 academic faculties, 7 research institutes and 2 support centres. It has a total stat of 495 with 251 international staff. It houses almost 3,000 students.
So how does the QS World University Rankings work? The universities were evaluated according to the six metrics.
1. Academic Reputation
2. Employer Reputation
3. Faculty/Student Ratio
4. Citations per faculty
5. International Faculty Ratio
6. International Student Ratio
This was written at the QS World University Rankings website —— > Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) has come a long way since opening its doors in 1985 as the country’s premier national university. Guided by its four core values – people, expertise, relevance and leadership – in 2009, UBD implemented the groundbreaking GenNext Programme, which provides students greater flexibility in tailoring studies to the individual student’s learning style. UBD also offers diverse graduate studies with graduate research scholarships. With eight academic faculties, eight research institutes and two academic service centres, UBD is well-equipped to provide multidisciplinary programmes in a bid to produce students with greater adaptability, independence and drive to succeed.
Congratulations once again to Universiti Brunei Darussalam for reaching the milestone. I’m pretty sure His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuanof Brunei Darussalam will be very proud of this achievement. Let’s hope they strive harder to aim higher in the ranks.
The Top 10 ranking universities worldwide
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuanof Brunei Darussalam, Chancellor of Universiti Brunei Darussalam during the UBD Convocation last year
Shazali Dato Hj Sulaiman with his students during the UBD Convocation
Friends graduating from UBD
Towards contributing to the accountancy profession in Brunei, the UBD School of Business and Economics (UBDSBE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) during the BICPA 30th Anniversary Dinner held on 5th May 2017 at the Tarindak d’Polo Restaurant, Royal Polo and Riding Club, Jerudong. Image courtesy of UBD website.
Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), through the Centre of Networking, Employment and Career Training (CoNECT) is organising an on-campus corporate profiling event, in collaboration with Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd (Progresif). Image courtesy of UBD website
Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) held the “Alumni Networking Event” on 13th May 2017 at the UBD Business Library organised by the Office of Alumni Relations and Advancement (OARA). Image courtesy of UBD website
Over 100 attended a public lecture about heart attacks by Nursing Lecturer Md Khairulamin Sungkai on 24th May 2017 held at the Lecture hall of the PAPRSB Instutute of Health Sciences (IHS). Image courtesy of UBD website
NBT Management and Staff in a commemorative group photo with the single mothers and the event coordinators. Click image to enlarge.
This is a continuation of the ‘NBT Donation (Sedekah) To Single Mothers Project’ which is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme that has been ongoing for a few years.
The aim is to bring some Ramadan cheer to assist identified single mothers and their families in the Brunei-Muara District who are in need of assistance.
So what were given were daily necessities such as rice, cooking oil, sugar, instant noodles, biscuits, milk powder, Milo, etc.
NBT believes in giving back to our community and so do NBT Staff and their families who also enthusiastically chipped in with their own contributions for this very worthwhile cause.
NBT Management, Marketing and Sales Staff headed by Hj Ahmad Omar bin Hj Husin, NBT Deputy Managing Director handed over the NBT donations to 47 single mothers. Six single mothers have received their donations during the house visits on 1st June – making a grand total of 53 donations by NBT. Images and article courtesy of NBT.
Awg Abdul Ghani Haji Abdul Hamid, NBT Sales Manager (Bunut) presenting an NBT donation to one of the recipient single mothers
Sharifah Marianah, NBT Senior Customer Relations Manager (event organiser), Dyg Huri Binti Mahal (recipient), Dyg Shamsiniah Hj Kepli (event coordinator) and Dyg Jasniah Binti Jaludin (Dyg Huri’s daughter)