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Brunei Food Awards 2020

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Social News

Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Abdul Mun’im of PAR Food & Beverages Sdn Bhd receiving an award from Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Ali bin Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism. PAR Food & Beverages won award for Ice Blended Mocha (Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Charcoal Ribs and Sous Vibe Prime Rib from Charcoal BBQ & Grill.
Lifetime Achievement Award for Nasi Katok Mabohai
Lifetime Achievement Award for Chop Jing Chew

After many months of food tasting and judging, the award winning dishes were feted during the Brunei Food Awards 2020 ceremony held at Mulia Hotel. The event was also in conjunction with the Brunei December Festival 2020. 

The Brunei Food Awards 2020 or also known as BFA2020 is a new initiative to promote the local food and beverage industry. The award is the first of its kind and do expect local and international dishes. 

The guest of honour was Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Ali bin Apong, the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism. Also in attendance were Hj Nasir bin Dato Paduka Latif, CEO of Brunei Food Awards, foreign dignitaries, representatives from the participating restaurants, guests and social influencers.

Dean of the Diplomatic Corps Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al-Maskri, dean of the diplomatic corps and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Sultanate of Oman and other foreign diplomats were invited as special judges. 

The highlight of the night was the milestone awarded to two establishments – Chop Jing Chew and Nasi Katok Mabohai – receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Excapade Japanese Cuisine and Kaizen Sushi grabbed the most award winning dishes with six while Seri Damai Restaurant had five dishes being feted. 

Award for Jollibee for its Chicken Joy (Original) dish
Foodies at work
Satay Hj Ibrahim for its Satay
Receiving an award for its Shabu Shabu from Ice Bar Shabu Shabu Restaurant
The award winning dish of Sotong Bakar from Bali Pitstop
An award winning dish for Wajid from Miming Kedayan Stall N0.12 Bangar Temburong
Award winning dishes – Kaizen Maki, Mixed Carpaccio, Sake Spinach Ikura, Hamachi Miso Ceviche, Unagi Kabayaki and Yakitori – from Kaizen Sushi
Award winning dishes – Ayam Penyet and Steam Grouper Fish – from Pondok Sari Wangi Seafood


Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart
Papparich Restaurant
Papparich Restaurant
Secret Recipe
Secret Recipe
Sugar Bun
Excapade Japanese Cuisine
Excapade Japanese Cuisine
Excapade Japanese Cuisine
Excapade Japanese Cuisine
Excapade Japanese Cuisine
Excapade Japanese Cuisine


Original Baked Cheese Tart
Steamed Chicken Rice
Ice 3-Layered Tea
Char Kway Teow
Asam Laksa
Original Chicken Cornish
Red Velvet Cake
Sugar Bun Chicken Wings
Salmon Asparagus
Torikatsu Curry Udon
Harumaki Prawn and Cheese
Horenso Hotate
Three Kind Bluefin
Gindara with Miso

Seri Damai Restaurant
Seri Damai Restaurant
Seri Damai Restaurant
Seri Damai Restaurant
Seri Damai Restaurant
Express Fast Food
Anjung Saujana
Dynasty Restaurant
Buccaneer Restaurant
Buccaneer Restaurant
Buccaneer Restaurant

Little Audrey’s Cafe
Little Audrey’s Cafe
Little Audrey’s Cafe
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Charcoal BBQ & Grill
Charcoal BBQ & Grill
Seaworld Neptune
Seaworld Neptune
Seaworld Neptune
Aminah Arif Restaurant
Aminah Arif Restaurant

Borneo Kopitiam Restaurant
Borneo Kopitiam Restaurant
Pondok Seri Wangi Seafood
Pondok Seri Wangi Seafood
Tien Sing Vegetarian
Tien Sing Vegetarian
Ya-Nur Restaurant
Ya-Nur Restaurant
Aqil Shafiee Restaurant
Bali Pitstop Restaurant
Cendol Hj Saban
Chop Jing Chew

Gwad Basha Restaurant
Ice Bar Shabu-Shabu and Cafe
I Lotus Restaurant
I Luv Café Bistro
Jeruton Lounge
Kitaro Japanese Restaurant
Kitarasa Catering
MeetUALL Restaurant
Miming Kedayan Stall No.12
Bangar Restaurant
Nasi Katok Mabohai

Kaizen Sushi
Kaizen Sushi
Kaizen Sushi
Kaizen Sushi
Kaizen Sushi
Kaizen Sushi
Otto Takeaway
Pho Hoa
Pizza Hut
Satay Hj Ibrabim
Seri Kandi
Syarikat Faisal Fazdil
Tasek Brasserie

Special Naan
Pasha Boti
Chicken Dum Biryani
Afghani Pulao
Chicken Jotrani Handi
Express Fast Food
Nasi Lemak Sri Anjung
Pecking Duck
Buccaneer Beef Burger
Sous Vide Chicken
Garlic Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Churros Waffle
Chilli Soft Shell Crab Pasta
Crispy Eggs Benny
Mocha Ice Blended
Charcoal Ribs
Sous Vide Prime Rib
Salted Egg Crab
Lobster Salad
Crispy Shrimp Chix
Ambuyat Set
Nasi Goreng Belacan

Prawn Fritters
Egg Pie
Ayam Penyet
Steam Grouper Fish
Buttermilk Abalone Mushroom
Xiang Chun Homemade
Oxtail Soup
Beef Rendang
Tom Yum Seafood Soup
Sotong Bakar
Roti Kuning

Family Mixed Grill
Udang Galah Masak Merah
Shabu Shabu
Coconut Prawn
Aglio Olio
Soto Gearbox
Chicken Joy (Original)
Sushi Boat
Roasted Whole Salmon
Coconut Bingsu

Nasi Katok

Kaizen Maki
Mixed Carpaccio
Sake Spinach Ikura
Hamachi Miso Ceviche
Unagi Kabayaki
Pulled Beef Sandwich
Vietnamese Beef Noodle
Honey Garlic Chicken
Satay Ayam
Daging Masak Hitam
Soto Super Banjir
Roasted Wagyu Beef

Award winning dishes – Prawn Fritters and Egg Pie – from Borneo Kopitiam Restaurant
Award winning dishes – Buttermilk Abalone Mushroom and Xiang Chun Homemade Tofu – from Then Sing Vegetarian
Three award winning dishes – Churros Waffle, Chilli Soft Shell Crab Pasta and Crispy Eggs Benny – from Little Audrey’s Cafe
Award winning dish – Coconut Prawn – from I-Lotus Restaurant
Five award winning dishes – Salmon Asparagus, Torikatsu Curry Udon, Harumaki Prawn and Cheese, Horenso Hotate, Three Kind Bluefin and Gindara with miso – from Excapade Japanese Cuisine
5 award winning dishes – Special Naan, Pasha Boti, Chicken Dum Biryani, Afghani Pulao and Chicken Jotrani Handi – from Seri Damai Restaurant

My take: This is an interesting initiative by Brunei Food Award with full support from the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism. I am pretty sure a ton of work was involved, organising visits to restaurants and cafes and locking in appointments with foreign envoys, savouring the dishes and judging them accordingly and lastly to compile everything together before the grand finale within a space of a few months. 

Will this be a yearly thing? The event appeared to be a success for sure and many restaurants were featured. 

I do have my opinions on this award and here are some points, in my opinion, in order to raise the status of Brunei Food Awards. 

Firstly, do keep the concept of having foreign envoys as special judges as it has a nice touch to the BFA. What I felt missing was the inclusion of a renown resident chef and perhaps a local foodie blogger (not me) to make the award more sound and justifiable.  The only setback in Brunei is that we don’t really have a real food critic like how other countries do and to be one, it’s never an overnight feat.

Secondly, I believe not all restaurants are accounted for. With Brunei being a food haven, there were many familiar names that were missing. Just imagine that there are at least 400 restaurants/cafes within Brunei-Muara area alone but less than 100 restaurants are being judged . The organisers of the BFA would then need a very resourceful team to execute their tasks should they target more restaurants in their portfolio.

Thirdly, it’s probably more ideal to feature or judge only a few dishes. For instance, have the awards dedicated to dishes that are quite popular within Brunei context. So, in this case, we can have categories such as the Best Nasi Lemak, the Best Ayam Penyet, the Best Kolo Mee etc and also featured the list of nominees (rather than just acknowledging the winner) in that category. 

So if it’s a Kolo Mee category, the list of nominees (Chop Jing Chew, Ricebowl, Lamee Restaurant, 101 Cafe etc) can be featured and recognised on the projector during the awards and the host then reveals the winner in that category. That would give more essence towards the award ceremony and I am pretty sure the other nominees would appreciate the gesture. This was just a random idea that came when I was browsing through the photos I took and saw the Oscar statues on the stage at the Brunei Food Awards *lol* 

I am sure with new measures in place, who knows we might discover newer or unrated restaurants that really serve worthy of an award or least being nominated.

All in all, this is still a great initiative and I do hope the BFA will happen again in 2021. Thank you for the invitation and the food selection was super good, with some of the award winning dishes being served during the event.

By the way, allow me to share my favourite dishes of 2020

  1. Curry Chicken Rice – Teazone 
  2. Hearty Bolognese Spaghetti – Ximply Chris
  3. Double Hamburg – Pepperlunch
  4. Ayam Bakar – Bali Pitstop
  5. Meshwi Chicken Platter – Amsarra Restaurant
  6. Chicken Aubergine – Ricebowl Restaurant
  7. Kolo Mee – 101 Cafe
  8. Ayam Penyet – Pondok Sari Wangi
  9. Beef Keema – Seri Damai Restaurant
  10. Lamb Mandi – Tandoor Restaurant
  11. Curry Chicken – A.Ayam
  12. Chicken Rice – Kedai Kopi D’Harith 
  13. Kimchi Stew – Brukori
  14. Chicken Chop – Flour & Butter
  15. Premium Chicken Rice – Eats.bn
  16. Red Curry Chicken with long beans – KNY Kitchen 
  17. Sambal Petai – Sawwadee Restaurant
  18. Telur Belado – Pondok Sari Wangi
  19. Curry Chicken – Tuckshop Kopitiam
  20. Hotate To Shimeji Mentaiyaki – Kaizen Sushi

An empowering speech for the youths

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Social News

His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen delivering his Sabda at BIBD Youth Empowerment Summit 2020 (BIBD YES) at JIS Arts Centre yesterday.

Sabda from His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen during the launch of BIBD Youth Empowerment Summit 2020 (BIBD YES) yesterday at the JIS Art Centre. 

“Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim.
Assalamualaikum wafahmatullahi wabarakatuh. 

Distinguished ministers, speakers, fellow youth, ladies and gentlemen. A very good morning to you all. 

I would first like to commend everyone involved in organizing this summit; to give young people a platform to share their ideas and learn from the leaders in the public and private sector, as well as NGOs. It is indeed my honor to be speaking here today to share my views on youth development in Brunei Darussalam.

We have before us the Covid-19 pandemic, wit its devastating impact on the global community, and our community here in Brunei. Businesses, jobs, and our personal well-beings have all been affected by this crisis. 

With 71 million coronavirus cases and 1.6 million deaths around the world, we must all be grateful to the Government for containing the virus effectively and at the same time address the wider consequences of this pandemic. Businesses have had to shut down and schools suspended, leading to socio-economic disruptions of current structures and demanding us to consider how best to operate in this new normal. 

His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen delivered an inspiring remark to the youth

As latest figures from the Government show that the national unemployment rate stands at 6.8 percent, and youth unemployment at 21.3 percent, there is no doubt our youths face a future marked by greater sense of uncertainty. Yet I am heartened to see that the youth were at the forefront of volunteering to help people during these times of need — from distributing food supplies to healthcare workers to raising funds for our communities. 

However, this spirit of identifying the needs in the community is only the beginning, working hard to fill the gap is what will set you apart when you leave school or graduate from college. The results you obtain and the certificates you received will not be as significant as working for a greater purpose that you are passionate about. 

I, myself was not a brilliant student but I found my passion in in the Military, serving my country. We need to realise that the challenges of our generation face will not be the same as before. Therefore, we also need to be adaptable and resilient. 

When I was 18 years old, I was sent to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the UK, where I was I was pushed to my limits time and time again. Often, I thought I could not take it anymore – but I learned not to give up in trying times. I recall one very formative experience where I had to complete a 73 kilometre group race in the black mountains of Wales, all while carrying a 20kg backpack. 

Generally, this takes between 24 and 35 hours to complete, with hardly any rest. The terrain was so unforgiving that I developed a cramp within the first hour, and I didn’t know how much longer I could go on. But despite the intense pain, I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other. 

And in the end, after a gruelling 23 hours and 11 minutes, my group and I finished in first place. This showed me how powerful the mind is, even when the body feels like giving up. 

What this experience, and what being the Military has taught me, is that we need to constantly push ourselves and not be afraid of challenges. Because pressing on and fighting through hardships will only build our resilience and character. 

This pandemic and its lingering effects will put our youth’s resilience to the test. Jobs that you may have wanted when you were younger may not be there in the future. 

A fan taking a video of the guest of honour
Speakers, moderators and sponsors were also in attendance
Teachers and students in attendance

I would like to applaud the Government for implementing programmes to re-train and up-skill the youth, such as the i-Ready apprenticeships and SkillsPlus. I encourage you to explore these initiatives, to expose yourselves to new industries and build new skill sets, constantly improving yourselves. 

I challenge you to create a different set of opportunities for you and your peers, beyond what is currently available, rather than just waiting for a comfortable job, or a corporate ladder to climb. 

I strongly believe that our youth can build new corporations which will be future engines of our society. The youth, with their vibrant energy and fresh perspectives can contribute vitality and creativity to emerging social and economic challenges that Brunei face. 

We are seeing youth-led organisations come up with ideas and solutions to tackle issues such as public transport, food security, sustainable energy, and more. These young people should be recognised for the work they are doing to create real change in our society – change that will make an impact not just today, but also to help us deal with the challenges of the future. 

We want to develop new industries that will future-proof our economy. One example is investing into our creative industries. This was an issue close to my late brother’s heart. 

Globally, creative industries employ more people aged 15 to 29 than any other sector. There are a lot of young people in Brunei who are passionate about the arts, who have started their own creative agencies, production companies and more. They have moved beyond the usual path and out of their comfort zone to make a change. 

I want to encourage the youth to approach the stakeholders in this room with your ideas, in the creative industries or beyond. And together, create an ecosystem that is sustainable; one that creates quality job opportunities – and achieves social and economic progress. 

With that, I wish for you all to have a productive and successful summit, and that there will be outcomes that pave the way for the youth to become pioneers in the continued development of Brunei Darussalam. 

Wabillahit Taufiq Walhidayah, Wassalamu ‘Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh. 

Thank you”. 

His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen touring the exhibition
Students from the BIBD ALAF program
A group photo opportunity with Cosmopolitan College students and teachers
A demo of Wushu from a representative from Sports School
His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen with the honourable Ministers and stakeholders of BIBD Youth Empowerment Summit 2020

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4MATIC

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Social News


The Mercedes-Benz AMG 63 S 4Matic+

With the 2021 model year, in production since September 2020, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4MATIC+ (fuel consumption combined: 12.5 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 286 g/km) is even faster on the legendary Nordschleife of the Nürburgring. Thanks to newly tuned elastokinematics and other fine-tuning measures, AMG development engineer Demian Schaffert set a new record time, putting the four-door coupé from Affalterbach impressively in first place on the official list of best cars in the “luxury class” category. The former racing driver beat his own previous lap record set in the fall of 2018 by more than two seconds. The officially measured and notary-certified values are: 7:23,009 min for the 20.6-kilometre-long version (without straight-line measurement for track section T13) and 7:27,800 min for the 20.832-kilometre-long complete track (with straight-line measurement for track section T13). Exactly this variant and this lap time is officially listed by Nürburgring GmbH on their homepage. Mercedes-AMG has thus impressively regained the crown in this class after only three months.

The 470 kW (639 hp) Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4MATIC+ looked to set a new record in its completely standard form, and it is outfitted particularly well for this: Its equipment includes dynamic driving highlights such as the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive, active rear-axle steering, an electronically controlled rear-axle limited-slip differential and the AMG DYNAMICS agility programme. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tyres fitted during the record-breaking drive, which every customer can also order as an option, provided the final bit of grip for optimum traction and powerful acceleration out of the total of 73 curves in the “Green Hell”. The aero package, which is also optionally available and mounted on the record-breaking vehicle, also increases stability at higher speeds and reduces the cd value.

“Even though I’ve been accompanying our GT 63 through its development for several years now, it’s always impressive to see the wide spread we have been able to achieve with this exclusive vehicle. This is especially true after the recent slight revision. On the one hand, the four-door coupé is comfortable and equipped with many intelligent safety features for everyday driving, and on the other hand it offers this extremely high level of driving dynamics and precision, which we have now been able to demonstrate once again on the demanding Nordschleife,” said Demian Schaffert.

The conditions on the extremely demanding course in the Eifel were anything but optimal, as some sections of the course even had wet spots. At outside temperatures of seven and asphalt temperatures of ten degrees Celsius, Schaffert made optimum use of the full potential of the top model in the AMG GT four-door vehicle family. In the RACE driving programme, the AMG RIDE CONTROL+ suspension specifically tightens the damper characteristics, and the steering characteristic curve becomes more direct. In the “Master” position, the AMG DYNAMICS agility programme also utilises all the possibilities of the fully variable all-wheel drive system – as well as the rapid-response control of the electronic limited-slip differential – to ensure the highest possible dynamic response. As an additional safety measure for the driver, the vehicle was equipped with a bucket seat and four-point seat belts.

The data at a glance

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4MATIC+
Engine4.0 L V8 Biturbo
Displacement3,982 cm3
Power470 kW (639 hp) at 5,500-6,500/min
Max. torque900 Nm at 2,500-4,500/min
Drive systemFully variable all-wheel drive AMG Performance 4MATIC+  
Fuel consumption combined12.5 l/100 km*
CO2 emissions combined286 g/km
Efficiency classG
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 3.2 s
Top speed315 km/h

The Sultanate of Oman’s 50th National Day

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Social News



Congratulations to the Sultanate of Oman for its 50th National Day which falls on the 18th November 2020. This year, the celebration of the Golden Jubilee will be a low key affair due to the global pandemic.

Interestingly enough, the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam have similarities. Both countries are ruled by a Sultan and the economy is dominated by oil. Oman and Brunei have also established 36 years of outstanding bilateral relation.

The Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman to Brunei Darussalam has also launched their instagram account @omanembassybrunei where they will share events relating to Oman in Brunei Darussalam. You can also follow His Excellency’s IG account @ahmed_maskari

Message from His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hashil Al Maskari, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Brunei Darussalam.

On the 18th of November, the Sultanate marks its 50th National Day anniversary. With firm resolve, Omani citizens continue to make more achievements under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, who vowed to upgrade the march of nation building and enhance the pace of progress, striking a high note in Omani people’s enthusiasm for an ambitious renaissance that covers all spheres of life.

Yet, this year’s celebration is impinged by sentiments of sour sorrow for the loss of the Father of the Omani renaissance, the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Bin Taimour, who shaped the Sultanate of Oman to what it is today, from scratch, his vigilant eye not missing a flaw in any side of the monument.


His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah with His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, the Sultan of Oman. This was taken back in 2014 when His Majesty Sultan Haitham, visited Brunei in his capacity as the Minister of Heritage and Culture of Oman.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam with the former Sultan of Oman where the diplomatic relations began between the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam. The first bilateral meeting took place back in 1984. This year marks the 36th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam

Another bilateral meeting that took place in the year 2009
On Oman & Brunei: 36 years of outstanding bilateral relation.

This year marks the 36th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam. The two sultanates established diplomatic ties on 24 March 1984 and, ever since, the bilateral relations have always enjoyed stable and steady development, and has attained remarkable achievements.

Over the past three and half decades, Oman and Brunei have concluded numerous cooperative agreements and Memorandums of Understanding which had strengthened closer cooperation in different fields.

The close relations are also evident by the fact that a Joint Working Group, known as the “Bilateral Consultative Meeting”, was established in (1993) to fortify bilateral relations.

Cultural cooperation is one of the strong dimensions of our bilateral relations. Last February 2020, the Sultanate of Oman participated in Brunei Book Fair, as it consistently did over the past eight years. On the other hand, delegations from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Brunei have been sent on a regular basis over the past six years to participate in Muscat International Book Fair.

Other cultural cooperation includes Omani publication corners at Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) in February 2016 and at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) library in May 2017 and at the Library of the Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) in July 2018 and at the Library of Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) in October 2019.

Additionally, in line with the Embassy’s efforts to make the most of the Bruneians admiration for Arabic language, a fifth batch consisting of four teachers from Brunei’s Ministry of Religious Affairs studied Arabic Language in the Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic Language to Non-Native Speakers, for duration of eight weeks during the year 2019, on a partial scholarship from the Government of the Sultanate of Oman.


Oman Brunei Investment Company (OBIC) has successfully acquired 50 percent share of Golden Corporation Sdn Bhd (GC). An agreement signing ceremony in this regard was held at the premise of the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman.

The State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) of the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) have agreed to increase the capital of Oman Brunei Investment Company (OBIC) by another USD100 million, bringing the total capital of the company to USD 200 million.

Defense cooperation is another dimension of Brunei-Oman bilateral relation that has also grown steadily over the past years. Both countries’ armed forces regularly participate in command and staff courses and other military events and trainings in Oman and Brunei. Two officers from the Sultan of Oman’s Armed Forces participated in the 12th Brunei International Skill-At-Arms Meet (12th BISAM) Technical Meeting which took place during the month of March 2020.

In the investment sector, Oman Brunei Investment Company (OBIC) that was jointly established by our two governments on the year 2009, continued to make the most of business opportunities available in Oman and Brunei local markets, in order to further boost the two countries economic development and contribute to their economic diversification plans.

The State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) of the Sultanate of Oman, which is now known as the Omani Investment Authority (OIA) and Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) have agreed to increase the capital of Oman Brunei Investment Company (OBIC) by another USD100 million, bringing the total capital of the company to USD 200 million. The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 19th Bilateral Consultative Meeting (BCM) between Brunei’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Oman’s Foreign Ministry, in Muscat on 09th December 2019.

Did you know that OBIC has 50% share of Golden Corporation Sdn Bhd? During the month of November 2019, OBIC has acquired (50%) share of Golden Corporation Sdn Bhd (GC), a company that specializes in fish farming, in addition to providing high-quality seafood products, based in Brunei Darussalam. This was OBIC first investment in Brunei.


The 1st Regional Arabic Language Camp in February 2020

Participation of the Sultanate of Oman Embassy in the Brunei Book Fair 2020

The biennial seminar, hosted alternately between Brunei and Oman, was established as a platform to share best practices in areas of mutual interest between both countries and to foster joint opportunities, as well as to enhance understanding of the business and investment environments in both countries, especially in industry sectors.

This relationship is further fortified with the exchange of professionals through the staff cross-posting between Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd and Petroleum Development Oman, as well as Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd and Oman Liquefied Natural Gas LLC (Oman LNG) an arrangement which has been ongoing for several years.

Therefore, it’s evident that relations between the two Sultanates have extended beyond the political spheres to include other important areas of cooperation and we firmly believe that with the joint efforts of both sides, more positive results will be yielded in Oman-Brunei good and beneficial cooperation.

We hope that the friendship and cooperation between the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam will grow from strength to strength and we are confident that with the outstanding leadership of their Majesties Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Bin Taimour and His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, the bonds of friendship between Oman and Brunei will be further cemented in the years ahead.


I had a short dialogue with His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hashil Al Maskari, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Brunei Darussalam prior to the Sultanate of Oman’s 50th National Day at the Sultanate of Oman Embassy recently. Thank you for your hospitality.

Celebrating Renewed Renaissance, Setting Further Milestones

The glory of the Sultanate of Oman blessed march towards renaissance and development is reflected in various areas of life across the country and it is witnessed by the progress achieved and still being made, while the citizens and the community enjoy sustainable development from the Governorate of Musandam in the north down to the Governorate of Dhofar in the south.


The capital city of Muscat

Al Sahwa Public Garden at Oman

The Special Economic Zone at Duqm is one of the worldwide renowned economic destinations with great potentials

Foreign Policy

As soon as he assumed power, in his first nation address, His Majesty Sultan Haitham reaffirmed the permanent stands of the Sultanate of Oman’s foreign policy, saying that the Sultanate advocates peaceful co-existence among nations, good neighborliness and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. His Majesty the Sultan also stressed that he would follow the footsteps of the late Sultan Qaboos Bin Said bin Taimour.

This stance was reaffirmed by the Sultanate’s Government last September in a speech delivered by Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr bin Hamad al-Busaidi before the 75th general assembly of the United Nations. Sayyid Badr said, “His Majesty the Sultan has reaffirmed beyond any doubt that the Sultanate will continue the prudent policy set by the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Bin Taimour, Founder of Oman’s Modern Renaissance and architect of its foreign policy and its international relations over the past 50 years.”

It is worth noting that Omani foreign policy principles are derived from basics of Oman’s centuries-old civilization and original values of Omani society that indicate a sincere desire to promote humanity and moderation. As a result, the Sultanate is widely accepted as mediator in the international arena.

The Mercedes-Benz Actros

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Social News


The Mercedes-Benz Actros

Stuttgart / Warsaw – The Mercedes-Benz Actros has already received numerous awards, including the prestigious “International Truck of the Year 2020” title – selected by a jury of expert international journalists. In a contest run by the specialist magazine “Polski Traker” in Poland, readers have now chosen the Mercedes-Benz flagship as the winner for the sixth time. This year’s contest was the first to be held online. It meant readers had the opportunity to post comments: they wrote that they were particularly fascinated by the modern assistance systems of the Actros. Particularly the young truck drivers expressed enthusiasm for the vehicle with its digital Multimedia Cockpit and MirrorCam instead of classic exterior mirrors. The best way to experience the innovations of the Actros is at first hand: there are 65 “SmartTrucks” ready at dealerships all over Poland waiting to be test driven.

UBD’s 32 Convocation

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Social News


The 32nd Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s convocation

His Majesty Sultan dan Yang Di-Pertuan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, UBD’s Chancellor, gracing the 32nd UBD’s convocation yesterday

    Congratulations to all the graduates of UBD 2020 and the event was held yesterday. The 32nd convocation kicked off the early morning with strict measures in place, following Covid-19 SOPs to ensure the safety of everyone. Graduates were required to undergo swab test and self-isolation before the graduation ceremony.

The 32nd UBD Convocation was graced by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and during the titah, it highlighted Universiti Brunei Darussalam to step up its digital initiatives. The pandemic has definitely changed the landscape and it has spurred the adoption of technology in Brunei Darussalam. This initiative will be in-line with the Digital Economy Masterplan 2025 where Brunei will head towards a Smart Nation, being a digitally, well ready economy with sustainable economy.

This year, a total of 1,182 graduates received their graduation certs. There are broken down to 40 PhD graduates, 265 master’s degree holders, 805 undergraduates, 65 graduate diploma and 7 diploma.

The afternoon session was graced by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince. Thank you to all the contributors of the photos of yesterday’s convocation. Very much appreciated.

 A recipient of the 32nd UBD Convocation
 His Majesty the Sultan mingling with students
 A customary photo opp with His Majesty the Sultan

Lee Ying Shi, a gold medalist winner in SEA Games 2013, one of the graduates of 32nd UBD Convo

Yati Kamis is now a Master Degree Holder. Congratulations.

Rahmat Tarsat also graduated in Masters of Teaching

Graduates from the 9th Command & Staff Course

Anisah Najihah, a bronze medalist in SEA Games 2019, also a graduate from UBD.

Graduates from Bachelor of Engineering

Digital Sedekah made possible by BIBD NexGen

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Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Othman, Minister of Religious Affair, launching Digital Sedekah at Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

Representatives from the respective mosques collected the BIBD QuickPay QR code from the guest of honour

    Members of the public will now be able to donate to individual mosques or to the Mosque Construction Fund via BIBD QuickPay. Powered by BIBD NEXGEN, BIBD QuickPay allows customers to make payments simply by scanning a QR code through the BIBD NEXGEN Wallet mobile app on their smartphones.

This latest initiative is part of BIBD’s drive to encourage customers to Go Cashless and Go Digital, bringing a digital twist to the concept of giving or ‘sedekah’. The BIBD QuickPay Service for Mosques, Suraus and Religious Halls Donation Fund and the Brunei Darussalam Mosque Construction Fund [Majlis Pelancaran Perkhidmatan QuickPay BIBD bagi Kewangan Tabung Masjid, Surau dan Balai Ibadat dan Tabung Dana bagi Pembinaan Masjid, Negara Brunei Darussalam] was launched by the Minister of Religious Affairs, Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Othman earlier today at the Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque.

Also present was BIBD’s Managing Director and CEO, Mubashar Khokhar, along with BIBD management and senior officers also attended the event. Speaking at the event, BIBD’s Managing Director and CEO, Mubashar Khokhar said “Brunei has over 500,000 mobile users, but there is still plenty of room for growth in terms of embracing the usage of digital payments.

One of BIBD’s priorities is to support the nation as we head into a cashless society. We are honoured to partner with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and are confident that this collaboration will serve as a great example to drive a cashless society.”

Through this latest initiative, members of the public can make donations without needing to carry physical cash. With just their smartphones, they can scan and donate ‘digitally’ using BIBD QuickPay; these donations will then be transferred directly to the respective mosque accounts, avoiding the risk of loose cash and theft.

Currently, 65 mosques, suraus and religious halls around the country will accept donations to their respective mosque funds via BIBD QuickPay. Additionally, members of the public can also contribute to the Brunei Darussalam Mosque Construction Fund. The fund was first established by the consent of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang DiPertuan of Brunei Darussalam in 2015.

It is hoped that the provision of BIBD QuickPay will make it easy for Muslims to donate and increase their good deeds and invest in the Hereafter.






Season of Change

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May Cho, Marketing Executive of Indera Motors, announcing the “Season of Change” at Indera Motors Showroom recently

Kapra Coffee @kapracoffee was in the house for a coffee collaboration for customers

@belleskitchenbn was also there

  Yes, the “Season of Change” is on going at the moment at Indera Motors Sdn Bhd. The final quarter of 2020 will be something to be happy about as Indera Motors Sdn Bhd introduced exciting offers for Jaguar Land Rover lovers in Brunei Darussalam.

First thing, Indera Motors is offering an Approved model promotion for Jaguar Land Rover which will end on October 31. Approved models are the pre-owned brands which have undergone stringent routine checks in making sure the cars are up to highest standard and quality. Those who purchased the Approved October Special promotion , he or she will be entitled for a choice of 1) BND 1,000 Cash Rebate Gift Bundle 2) an Aesthetic Gift bundle including JPD Approved Tinted Windows and Black Painted Rims or 3) an Accessory Gift Bundle with terms and conditions apply.

Secondly, there is the Season of Change Test Drive and Win Lucky Draw Promotion which ends on December 31. All you have to do is test drive any Jaguar Land Rover vehicle. Customers will be able to experience the feeling of driving a Jaguar or a Land Rover and they have sale consultants on stand-by to assist you with any queries.

So test drive from today till December 31 and you can stand a chance to win a Jaguar Heritage Watch, a Jab Gym 3-month membership, a Bang & Olufsen E8 True Wireless Ear Piece and Under Armour $50 Sports vouchers. The draw will be held on January 2021. So make a change this season and reward yourself.

The campaign kicked off Indera Motors hosting a coffee event a few weeks ago. They collaborated with Kapra Coffee, a specialty coffee roaster that sources only specialty grade coffees each season for the Coffee and Cars event. Also joining them was Belle’s Kitchen, providing delicious pastries.












Mercedes-Benz GLB test drive

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The most popular segment in the premium SUV – the Mercedes Benz GLB 200

The awesome headlamp from Mercedes Benz GLB

  One of the most anticipated SUVs in Brunei and also the first in its class, the latest Mercedes GLB, which took the public by surprise. It was that popular that the Mercedes GLB’s orders are stretched till next year March 2021. I am not sure why this model is a big hit and I believe it’s because for many reasons. The main one reason is definitely the fact that Jati Transport brought it the newest class in the SUV segment. It feels like a fresher look for Mercedes SUV and we Bruneians like anything that is new.

And also the fact it is a 7 seater which is quite rare in most SUVs and this is very ideal as a family car and still carrying that premium feeling. Don’t be fooled by the letter “B” in GLB as it doesn’t mean that it’s way smaller than the GLCs in the market. It is, in fact, smaller but only by a few centimeter. So if you were to see it visually, you won’t feel that the Mercedes GLB is smaller than the other SUV models from the Mercedes line.

So the fact that it offers 7 seater, this is already a huge plus in the eyes of the customers. So hence, I’m not surprised by the popularity of the Mercedes Benz GLB in the Brunei market.

As for the performance, driving it for a few days, the Mercedes Benz GLB is a great ride though I yet to travel on long distances to experience the GLB to its fullest. The new GLB 200 places its trust in the four-cylinder petrol, with 1.3 litre power. This model has increaser power and improved efficiency and emissions. I have yet to try how powerful the GLB when I drive with a full load but that can be tested at another time.

The interior and the dashboard are something to shout about and this is already an expectation for customers when it comes to the Mercedes brand. Their infotainment is still the best and the aesthetics of the digital panel will give a good driving pleasure for the driver and passenger. Of course, the ambient lighting is already part of Mercedes Benz DNA and it gives the GLB a modern look.

As for body/leg space, this is a clear winner. There are plenty of front space and the leg room is very ideal for the front passengers. The furthest back seats (third row) might be the smallest space among the rows but still ideal for passengers alike. Owners of the Mercedes GLB will appreciate the flexibility when it comes to folding the seats. For instance, the third row seats can be easily stowed away and adjusted if necessary.

If you are really keen to test drive the Mercedes GLB, by all means, do contact Jati Transport and I hope there will be a suitable date for you when you happen to choose the GLB as your car-to-go. Drop by the Mercedes Autohaus and meet your salesman for a more in-depth review and knowledge on the popular Mercedes Benz GLB.


The front space of the Mercedes Benz GLB 200

The 3rd row seat, the feature of the 7 seater of the Mercedes Benz GLB 200


BIBD Securities, a shariah-compliant investment

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Haji Muhammad Yazid bin Dato Paduka Haji Mahadi, BIBD Securities Managing Director of BIBD Securities BIBD Securities addressing a keynote on BIBD Securities latest products at The Empire Hotel recently

Abegail Lo, Relationship Manager at BIBD Securities, delivered a short presentation to Islamic Financial Planning

  BIBD have already introduced BIBD Aspirasi which has the main objective on cultivating the savings culture among Bruneians. The campaign has been a huge success and BIBD has just concluded the second season of Aspirasi and now only waiting for the grand draw where one winner will walk away with a BND 250,000. So after you are familiar with savings, why not up the game by investing where the returns is much higher than savings. Basically, it’s like savings but you earn more.

With BIBD Securities, mutual fund is an investment that allows investors with similar investment goals and objectives to pool their money in a diversified portfolio.

BIBD Securities also provides a professional fund manager that will manage and trade the pooled money in securities such as stocks, Sukuk and money market instruments to match the fund’s investment objectives. BIBD aims to bring into the market investment products that are easier to understand for investors who may have limited knowledge or are foreign to investing.

A few weeks ago, members of the media had the privilege to attend the press conference on the launch of BIBD Securities’ latest product – Franklin Global Sukuk Fund and the Templeton Global Equity Fund. Not to worry as all the products from BIBD Securities are all Shariah-compliant. Last week, BIBD Securities officially launched their latest product with two events held at The Empire Hotel and V-Plaza Hotel respectively.

It’s the first time that BIBD Securities partnered with Franklin Templeton Investments, one of the top 20 mutual funds in the world, and also a global leader in asset management with over seven decades of experience.


YAM Pg Anak Wadood also attended the event

Congratulations BIBD Securities

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  Haji Muhammad Yazid bin Dato Paduka Haji Mahadi, BIBD Securities Managing Director of BIBD Securities BIBD Securities, gave a keynote address last week, unveiling the latest products BIBD Securities had to offer. He believes that the products introduced are easier to understand and they are equipped with well knowledge financial fund managers to guide interested customers and prospects.

Haji Muhammad Yazid announced that the campaign will run until 30th December and he hopes this will also encourage the youth to participate in investing for their future. The best attraction, perhaps, is that you can be part of this investment by forking out as low as BND 100 to begin with on a monthly basis. Investing has been made more accessible and attractive.

The Franklin Global Sukuk Fund invests in a fund offering monthly dividend pay-out and access to a diversified portfolio of Sukuk securities issued by government, government-related and corporate entities in developed and developing countries.

The Templeton Global Equity Fund, on the other hand is an investment fund that offers long-term capital growth with access to a fully diversified Syariah-compliant global investment across various countries and sectors.

If you want to understand more, you can click on the link here to read more or do give BIBD Securities a visit at BIBD Kiulap, 1st Floor, next to Perdana.

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Yang Berhormat Dato Minister of Education also in attendance

Managing Director of BIBD with former Deputy Minister of Home Affairs

Deputy Permanent Secretary of Energy was also present




Contact RA

ranoadidas (a) gmail.com
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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)

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