His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Chancellor of UBD presenting certificates to the graduates of Universiti Brunei Darussalam last weekend
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Chancellor of UBD, presented certificates to 921 PhD and bachelor’s degree graduates during the morning session of the UBD 28th Convocation ceremony last weekend.
There were about 1,477 graduates. Graduates this year — the fourth batch of UBD’s GenNEXT programme — included 28 PhD graduates, which also surpassed last year’s record of 20.
According to the press release, there were 481 master’s degreeholders, 893 bachelor’s degree graduates, 62 diploma recipients and 13 advanced/graduate diploma recipients.
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, has approved the establishment of the Centre for Lifelong Learning (C3L) at Universiti Brunei Darussalam.
Serving as a catalyst for higher-level teaching and learning, the Sultan said C3L will encompass continuous and professional education. His Majesty believed it will also contribute significantly to national development and a knowledge-based society and economy. The Sultan said C3L was among the initiatives introduced by UBD in a bid to provide flexible learning opportunities to the public.
UBD Vice-Chancellor Datin Dr Hjh Anita Binurul Zahrina Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Hj Awg Abdul Aziz said that this year’s convocation included UBD’s first cohort of Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical and Process Engineering graduates.
She said the programme — which had been carried out in collaboration between UBD, China’s Zhejiang University and Hengyi Industries — had seen students carrying out their studies and industrial placements over 18 months in China.
Congratulations to all the graduates and now it’s time to convert your knowledge and experience into the real world for the betterment of our country.
One of the luckiest person I know 😀
A tearful citizen during the meet and greet with His Majesty the Sultan
Always a cheerful moment around our leader
A sea of people before the departure of His Majesty the Sultan
Shazali with his students
When you are climbing a mountain there is a summit , in life all you find is an endless wall. You can take the easy way and slide endlessly into the darkness or take the hard way and climb into the eternal light. Either way, there is no end to how far you can fall nor how high you can climb – Dananjaya Hettiarachchi. Image taken of Dananjaya Hettiarachchi’s Facebook page.
He’s known as “Dan” by many and I’ve been following his journey on IG and Facebook and even on the internet. Though he was a champion two years ago, he still is one of the most sought speakers around the world. He has been traveling around the world and his next date will be Brunei before he heads off to Amsterdam (Holland), Hiroshima (Japan) and Richmond (USA) to cap off the year. Awesome!!!
If you meet him in person, only one word to describe him – charismatic (and super cool). He has been in a journey of toastmasters or public speaking for 10 years. He loves to inspire the thousands in bettering their communication skills and he is very popular in schools.
The Brunei Conference committee is very privilege to have his presence in Brunei on 28th October to 29th October. We are certain that his presence and his keynote speech will have a positive ripple effect on the audience and hoping for more youth to attend the conference.
If you are interested, please reach me at 8677773. Tickets are available and the prices are BND 120 and BND 35 for secondary students or BND 50 for tertiary/university students (29th October, Saturday session 9am to 4pm), BND 50 for the Speech contest (30th October, Sunday 8am). If you are interested also in attending the dinner, it will be BND 50 for Friday, 28th October and BND 50 for Saturday, 29th October.
This is slated to be the biggest toastmasters event ever hosted in Brunei Darussalam because we have three world champion speakers – Willie Jones, Dan the Man and reigning champion Darren Tay. So yes, sometime to look forward to and the target audience will be the youth, working class, teachers, parents, students, professionals, government officials and entrepreneurs.
A big thank you also to the sponsors, partners and supporters of this event – Brunei Shell Petroleum, Progresif, Brunei Gas Carriers, Brunei Tourism under the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, RYS Entertainment, Armtrix Enterprise, NBT, BIG magazine, AKK Design, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Rizqun International Hotel, Aiking (03), Royal Brunei Catering and many more. I would also like to acknowledge the Ministry of Home Affairs for approving this event.
So once again, If you are interested, please reach me at 8677773 and you can read more details here on our official website.
He has been a busy man with many cities he has visited this year alone
Dananjaya with Supatra Lee, a Brunei Speakers’ Club member
My photo opp with Dananjaya last year in Kuching.
Another champion making its way to Brunei is Darren Tay. Back in August, Darren Tay, was crowned the 2016 World Champion of Public Speaking in Washington DC and his story revolved around bullying. ’Im still amazed the fact that the past three winners of the World Champion of Public Speaking have come from Asia. Amazing feat!! First we have the charismatic Dananjaya Hettiarachchi (from Sri Lanka) who won in 2014 and he will be invited for the Brunei Conference in October. The following year was Mohd Qahtani from Qatar in 2015.
Looking at his resume, I’m pretty impressed for a man of his age (only 27) to achieve many things. According to his website, he is a prolific public speaker, debater and professional trainer. He founded the Public Speaking Academy in 2009 and has led the Academy to scale great heights in the school and corporate domains; including the successful organization of the annual National Public Speaking Competition since 2010.
He even won the Toastmasters International District 80 Speech competition in 2009, 20012 and 2014 for Speech Evaluation and Table Topics. Amazing feat indeed. He has also published his best-selling public speaking guidebook “Express to Impress” in 2012 and looks forward to subsequent publications in the future.
So it’s a done deal that he will be delivering a workshop in Brunei this October. If you are interested, please reach me at 8677773 or email at email@example.com and you can read more details here on our official website.
That’s not all. In conjunction with the Brunei Conference 2016, we will be hosting the final leg of the Humourous Speech Contest and Speech Evaluation Contest on the final day of the Brunei Conference, slated for Sunday, 30th October. Another awesome news is that two of the finalists are members of Brunei Toastmasters (Area K6) as they won their rights when they became champion in Division level two weeks ago at Kota Kinabalu.
Allen Ang, a representative of The Brunei Advanced Speakers’ Club, won for Humourous Speech Contest. With his winning speech ‘My Dream Job’, he told hilarious tales of the hardship of being a salesman and shared silly situations that induced fits of laughter from the audience. Pooja Shivanand, a member of Brunei Speakers’ Club, won in the Speech Evaluation Contest. She is one of our talented evaluators in Brunei toastmasters and it’s no surprise she made it this far. So both contestants will have to fight it out again in Brunei Darussalam to vie for the District Champion in Humourous Speech and Speech Evaluation.
On his victory and competing in the finals, Allen, a Permanent Resident in Brunei, said, “I’m blessed and grateful for the opportunity to speak in front of my hometown. The contest in KK was very fruitful, as I got to meet people who believe that contests stimulate progress, both in communication and leadership skills.”
Pooja, who lectures for the Microbiology course at the Faculty of Science, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, commented, “I gratefully acknowledge the support and encouragement of Brunei Toastmasters… I consider myself fortunate to represent Division K right here in Brunei. I eagerly look forward to this opportunity to showcase Brunei talent.”
The District 87 Semi Annual Conference in Brunei will also see World Champions in Public Speaking conducting educational workshops on Communication and Leadership Skills, with networking opportunities at the Gala Dinner.
The conference, open to the public, will take place from October 28 to 30. For more information, visit www.d87bruneiconference.com.
Pooja Shivanand won the Speech Evaluation Contest in Division level two weeks ago and now the District Contest awaits her
Sophia came 3rd while Roselind came 2nd in the Speech Evaluation Contest in Division Level
Allen Ang won Humourous Speech Contest on Division level for the second time. He won it two years ago, also in KK. Now he will compete in the final leg in Brunei Darussalam.
Pooja and Allen with their mentor Stuart Lee. All the help really paid off 😀
The Brunei toastmasters members
Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the President of the Republic of the Philippines upon arrival and being greeted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II and The Minister of Home Affairs yesterday. Image courtesy of Vincent Hong.
Guess who’s in town? It’s the President of the Republic of the Philippines Rodrigo Roa Duterte who is on a three-day state visit to Brunei Darussalam. He arrived yesterday afternoon and he was greeted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II and The Minister of Home Affairs at the Brunei International Airport.
Last evening, the president scheduled a session for a meet and greet with the Filipino community at the Indoor Stadium. Today he will have an official welcome at the Istana Nurul Iman before an audience and bilateral meeting with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. A state banquet will follow suit in the evening.
Brunei’s relations with the Philippines has been encouraging and fruitful. The state visit hopes to strengthen the diplomatic relations between the two countries. The president will then head to China on 18th October.
Duterte receiving strong support from the Filipino community residing in Brunei Darussalam at the Indoor Stadium last evening. Image taken by Rudolf Portillo of The Brunei Times.
Duterte with a gesture during his remarks yesterday. Image taken by Dean Kassim of Borneo Bulletin.
Check out the 9th generation of the Audi 80/A4 series- the all new Audi A4, now with quattro® all-wheel-drive.
The new Audi A4 features numerous premium technologies which set higher benchmarks for its class. Elegant design blends with an innovative control concept, and lightweight construction meets new, efficient drivetrain solutions. The A4 is also ahead of its peers in terms of infotainment and assistance systems. As a result, Audi drivers can look forward to a truly high-tech experience ― an innovative synthesis of technology and aesthetics.
Now available at the Audi Kiarong showroom the new Audi A4 also achieves top ratings for efficiency. It boasts the best-in-class drag coefficient of just 0.23 and has shed as much as 120 kilograms (264.6 lb) in weight compared with the predecessor model. Three economical four-cylinder engine variants delivering up to 185 kW (252 hp) also play a major part in this efficiency gain.
The Audi A4 is also available here for the first time with the high-efficiency gasoline engine 2.0 TFSI ultra developing 140 kW (190 hp) which uses an innovative combustion process and has been designed based on the rightsizing principle. The economical power unit reduces the NEDC consumption of the new A4 Sedan to 4.8 litres per 100 kilometres (49.0 US mpg) and CO2 emissions to 109 grams per kilometre (175.4 g/mi).
The new Audi A4 comes equipped with an extensive selection of improved technologies making their first appearance in this model, such as LED headlights, Audi Drive Select with Efficiency mode, sports suspension with damping control, fly-by-wire gear shifter and a top of the line Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System.
In terms of safety, the new A4 has been awarded the highest ratings from both the Euro NCAP and IIHS safety tests.
Premium features will include multicoloured ambient lighting, front/rear parking aid and convenience key with ‘kick’ motion rear luggage door release.
TCY Motors will offer the new Audi A4 Sedan with three engine variants: a 1.4 TFSI (150hp/250Nm), 2.0 TFSI ultra (190hp/320Nm) and 2.0 TFSI quattro (252hp/370Nm) all utilising the 7-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission. Wheel sizes will range from 17”, 18” and 19” based on the respective engine variant.
Congratulations to our Bruneian duo Pengiran Anak Hj Mohd Basheer bin Pengiran Indera Mahkota Pengiran Anak (Dr) Kemaluddin Al-Haj (right) and Lt Col (Rtd) Haji Mahmud bin Haji Yaakup for placing 12th in their respective Group B results and overall joint 24th position out of 55 teams in the Audi quattro Cup World Final 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.
Officiating the relaunch of the store
Roger Plahay, Progresif’s acting CEO with his welcoming remarks
This morning, Progresif relaunched its flagship store at The Mall. It’s one of the store that hasn’t been revamped for a long time. The only one that didn’t change from the store are the windows and the shutter (in front). It was a complete revamped and now it has the Progresif feel and brand to it, complimenting to the other Progresif stores in Brunei Darussalam.
Present during the launch was Yang Mulia Edzwan Zukri bin Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Palawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adnan, one of the board of directors of Progresif. Roger Plahay, Progresif’s acting CEO had a short welcoming remarks in conjunction with the launch.
He shared how the management made a commitment to their stakeholders, their staff and communities that they serve to usher in a new era of innovation for the ICT and telecommunications sectors in Brunei and they promised to support His Majesty the Sultan’s Vision of 2035.
When Progresif launch their brand, they asked one simple question “Are you Progresf. In just a span of 2 years, they have completely rebuilt the network and now they are expanding and rumours has it that the 4G is just around the corner. Currently they have grown from 20,000 to 150,000 subscribers and their staff count is up to 265.
Pretty soon you will notice a new headquarters for Progresif with better facilities. The new location reflects their brand and corporate culture. Another exciting things are such as the establishment of the their own Start-Up Lab where they will be incubating small businesses and working with partners such as UBD, iCentre and DARe.
Keep up the momentum, Progresif. For me, I can’t wait for the 4G network on Progresif 😀
Bob Gill, Progresif’s Chief Sales Officer briefing the media of the revamped store
A breakthrough plan for University students 😀
Madam Evelyn Ang, the Country Manager Brunei at Royal Brunei Airlines presenting to lucky winner Madam Tasanee who won herself a return economy class ticket to Bali sponsored by Royal Brunei Airlines with Nur Khadijah Abdullah, Sales & Business Development Manager of Pan Bright Travel Service
Pan Bright Travel Service have selected their September lucky draw winner on the 06 October 2016. The lucky coupon was drawn by Senior Sales Executive of Royal Brunei Airlines, Dayang Norhaslinda Duraman witnessed by her colleague Pg. Ma’asom Pg. Hj. Ismail.
A prize presentation was held at Pan Bright Travel’s office in Bandar Seri Begawan earlier today by Madam Evelyn Ang, the Country Manager Brunei at Royal Brunei Airlines to the lucky winner, Madam Tasanee who won herself a return economy class ticket to Bali sponsored by Royal Brunei Airlines.
This is the first of a series of monthly lucky draws where customer stands a chance to win an air ticket to either Kota Kinabalu, Saigon, Bali or Singapore from September 2016 to February 2017. The Grand prize will be either a Hyundai ‘Accent’ car OR an exclusive Hermès‘Birkin’ bag which is being sponsored by Pan Bright Travel. Other prizes up for grabs include air tickets to London, Melbourne and Tokyo are kindly sponsored by Royal Brunei Airlines & Singapore Airlines.
For more enquiries regarding the promotion, you can contact Pan Bright Travel’s offices at 2240980 for Bandar Seri Begawan, 3341154 for Kuala Belait or 3220078 for Seria.
The lucky draw promotion starts from 02 September 2016 to the 31 March 2017.
Some of the cosplayers that attended at Bintang Megamall
Two Bruneians won first and third place of the Collectors Exhibition Miri (CXM) 2016 cosplay competition which was held at Bintang Megamall Miri last Sunday.
Nio Tan, cosplaying as Saber from the animation Fate/Stay Night, won first place and Suok Jiuan, cosplaying as Junko Enoshima from the animation Dangan Ronpa, took the 2nd runners up.
Speaking of her winning first place, Nio Tan said she felt happy and tired as it took her six months to complete her costume. The competition marked her first time joining a cosplay competition outside Brunei.
Collectors Exhibition Miri (CXM) was organized by NAJA Enterprise and featured cosplay guests from Thailand and Japan. Story courtesy of Muhammad Khairi Waddin and images by SCP X Brunei Otaku.
Nio Tan receiving the Champion trophy
Suok Jiuan came 3rd in the cosplay contest
The movie plot. A stranger arrives in a little village and soon after a mysterious sickness starts spreading. A policeman is drawn into the incident and is forced to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter. Taken from IMDb.
I heard about the movie from my friend Simon Soo. He texted me out of the blue that and highly recommending me to catch it on DVD a few weeks ago. I never thought it would make it to Brunei screens until I read the papers yesterday. Yes, I’m a huge fan of Korean movies and I am amazed that Korean movies are being screened here and I love Train to Busan (9/10). So did Wailing live up to my expectations? Yes and no. Here goes.
The Good. The direction was great and there’s always this niche about Korean directors. The story itself had different dimensions and made me guess on the motives of the antagonist or in this case,the demon (hope that ain’t a spoiler). So I have to give my thumbs up to Hong-jin Na (The Chaser) who wrote and directed.
I also enjoyed how the mystery teased the audience and it kept me perplexed at same stage. Even with the dark themes involved, the director managed to inject some dark humour to it. Well, that didn’t ease me that much as I was slightly disturbed by uncomfortable scenes. This is definitely not for kids with gore and violence being portrayed.
The Bad. Though I love the idea of the plot twists, they seemed to be implausible at some points. Then again, I believe the director has an intention to create thought provoking moments for movie goers and it successfully does that. I quickly used google magic to help understand further the deep meaning of The Wailing. So to me, I was left a little bemused and I’m pretty sure my interpretation could be different from others.
Like I mentioned before, I felt uncomfortable the scenes especially the demonic ones and if I were to mention in detail, then I would be sharing some spoilers. This also had long duration time, running at 156 minutes. It didn’t feel as draggy but I kinda felt it was a little too long. The ending was ambiguous but I still enjoyed it nonetheless.
Verdict: None of the best Korean mystery movies but it was enough to keep me interested. I’m sure others might enjoyed it more than I did. I will definitely get the blu-ray and it’s already available. If you love mystery with elements of horror and suspense, you’re in for a treat. 7.5/10
The Wailing (trailer)
One of the casts of The Wailing
The cast of The Wailing
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, greets the Emir of Kuwait His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah upon his arrival at the Brunei International Airport yesterday. Also present to welcome the Emir was HRH Prince ‘Abdul Malik (back R)
His Majesty shares a light moment with the Kuwait Emir at Istana Nurul Iman
Text by Quratul-Ain Bandial of The Brunei Times. Brunei and Kuwait have pledged to expand cooperation spanning education, tourism, trade and investment after the countries inked several agreements at Istana Nurul Iman yesterday.
The leaders of both countries welcomed the signing of two agreements and four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) as a “positive step in elevating and deepening bilateral engagement”.
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam welcomed the Emir of Kuwait His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to the capital yesterday, receiving him at the airport for a two-day state visit.
At the palace, the leaders witnessed the signing of an agreement allowing visa-free travel for holders of diplomatic, official and special passports; as well as a protocol amending a previous agreement on the avoidance of double taxation.
The four MoUs cover higher education and scientific research; tourism; training between the foreign affairs ministries of both countries; and the establishment of a joint commission on government-to-government cooperation.
In a joint statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, the heads of state said the increased trade volume between the two nations reflected the “huge potential” to expand trade and investment ties, and urged their officials to explore opportunities in oil and gas, ICT, Islamic affairs, and private sector linkages.
The leaders also acknowledged the need to diversify away from a petroleum-based economy, underscoring the role of the private sector — particularly small to medium enterprises (SMEs) — in enhancing competitiveness.
The statement said the Third Joint Committee Meeting on Economic and Technical Cooperation will be held in Bandar Seri Begawan in December 2016.
Present during the audience at Istana Nurul Iman were HRH Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah; HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah; HRH Prince ‘Abdul Malik; HRH Princess Hjh Masna, Ambassador-At-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as other members of the royal family, cabinet ministers, and members of the Kuwaiti delegation.
The Emir was welcomed to the palace with a 21-gun royal salute, and was also introduced to senior members of His Majesty’s government.
Later in the evening, a state banquet was hosted in honour of the Emir’s first state visit to the sultanate. Text by Quratul-Ain Bandial of The Brunei Times and Images by Khaliq Roziman and Yusri Adanan of The Brunei Times and Infofoto.
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, and the Emir of Kuwait His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah followed by HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, HRH Prince ‘Abdul Malik and other members of the royal family arrive at the venue for the state banquet at the Istana Nurul Iman last night
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Emir of Kuwait His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office during the state banquet held at Istana Nurul Iman last night
His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik (C) and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel (L) during the state banquet