On Wednesday, 16th December 2020, “Brunei Darussalam from the Eyes of Foreign Diplomats and their Families” exhibition was officially launched by Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna binti Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, the Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the Royal Regalia Museum in the Capital.
Upon arrival, Her Royal Highness and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, were greeted by The Honourable Major General (Retired) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports and the following heads of diplomatic missions who are also members of the exhibition organizing committee:
- His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al-Maskari, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Sultanate of Oman.
- His Excellency Suat Akgun, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey.
- His Excellency Christian Ramage, Ambassador of the French Republic.
- Her Excellency Yoon Hyun Bong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea.
- His Excellency Christopher Montero, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines.
- Her Excellency Tiffany Anne McDonald, Australian High Commissioner.
The ceremony began with the recital of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa selamat led by Yang Dimuliakan Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Setia Raja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Awang Suhaili bin Haji Mohiddin.
In his welcoming remarks, His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al-Maskari, among other things expressed gratefulness to 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 Negara Brunei Darussalam for consenting for the exhibition to be held at Royal Regalia Museum.
His Excellency the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, informed how the Diplomatic Corps was trying to organize the exhibition since the year 2018, by saying:
“The idea of setting up this exhibition was initiated on the year 2018 and ever since many attempts were made to bring it to fruition, until we realized that having an exhibition of such caliber requires combined efforts from many partners.
“Thus, the diplomatic corps thought to take on board two partners namely; the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), who both played a vital role in ensuring this long-awaited event finally takes place”.
His Excellency the Dean then expressed appreciation to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports for generously consenting to transfer and organize the exhibition in other districts, while emphasizing that this notable gesture form the Ministry greatly contributed to the exhibition success and continuity.
The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps also thanked Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) for sponsoring the event and reserved further praise for the participating diplomatic missions and the exhibition organizing committee.
Further enlivening the event was the screening of a short video showing selected photos on display at the exhibition.
Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna then consented to cut the ribbon to signify the launching of the photo exhibition that features rare glimpses of the surreal beauty and lifestyle of the Abode of Peace.
Prior to touring the exhibition Her Royal Highness was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Her Excellency Yoon Hyun Bong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea on behalf of the organizing committee.
Among those present were:
- The Honourable Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy.
- The Honourable Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism.
The Honorable minister of Culture, Youth and Sports said at the sideline of the event:
“We are very pleased to have been closely involved with the Diplomatic Corps in Brunei Darussalam in organizing this extraordinary exhibition that displays for the first time, how foreign diplomats and their families see Brunei Darussalam through the camera lens. I was very impressed with the photos on display, demonstrating wonderful expressions inspired by the way foreign diplomats and members of their families view Brunei Darussalam– our people, our scenery and our culture.”
The Honorable minister of Culture, Youth and Sports also congratulated the exhibition organizing committee on its success by saying:
“Congratulations and thank you to all those who were involved in the project, especially His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al Maskari, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and all members of the organizing committee”.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mubashar H. Khokhar, the Managing Director and CEO of Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) said:
“As a bank that is Bruneian at Heart, we take great pride in supporting this exhibition. It’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words; the photos on display today give us all a unique view into how foreign diplomats and their families have been welcomed and made to feel like a part of the community, and I hope that everyone will take the opportunity to view and enjoy this exhibition”.
Baiduri Bank and Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today for the secondment of up to fifteen RB employees to Baiduri Bank. The signing ceremony took place at Baiduri Community Space, Baiduri Bank Headquarters. Mr Ti Eng Hui, Chief Executive Officer of Baiduri Bank signed the agreement for the Bank. Signing as witness was Ms Veronica Chong, Head of GroupHuman Resources and Administration of Baiduri Bank.
Signing for Royal Brunei Airlines was Captain Saiful Bahrin Awang Bahar, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Royal Brunei Airlines while Shaarill Fred Teo, Manager Performance and Engagement signed as witness.During his opening remarks, Mr Ti Eng Hui said, “We are proud to be the first bank in
Brunei to seal this secondment agreement with Royal Brunei Airlines. I believe both organisations will benefit greatly from this collaboration.”
He further elaborated that the secondees will be deployed to customer-service related roles for a six-month period. “I am confident that their knowledge, international airline industry training and award-winning customer service will add tremendous value to our continuous efforts in enhancing customer experience.”
He went on to state that both Baiduri Bank and RB are successful and established Brunei brands. “Our organisations have done well in our respective industries, achieving success on a number of fronts and are synonymous with innovation and customer service.”
According to Ms Veronica Chong, “The RB secondees will gain exposure to a different industry which offers unique challenges and development opportunities. They will undergo training specific to the banking industry, thereby broadening their skill sets, opening up more career opportunities in the near future.”
Captain Saiful Bahrin Awang Bahar said, “RB and Baiduri Bank are two strong and proud Bruneian brands with a strong track record in product innovation and service excellence. Through this momentous partnership, both RB and Baiduri Bank have established a commitment to venture into building and expanding the scope of our people through this secondment programme.”
“As one of the brands in Brunei well-known for our award-winning services, we have continuously encouraged the learning and training of our people to help them achieve an even higher standard for their personal and professional development. It is hoped that through this secondment, it will improve their proficiency and level of skills while broadening their knowledge in a new industry,” added RB’s Acting CEO.
Also present at the signing ceremony were management and staff from Baiduri Bank and Royal Brunei Airlines. An ‘open day’ for selection of the secondment candidates will be held at the RB Campus on Jalan Kustin in January 2021. The secondment of RB employees to the Bank will begin on 1 February 2021 until 1 August 2021.
How close the new Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series (fuel consumption combined: 12.8 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 292 g/km) actually is to motorsport has now been impressively demonstrated by GT3 racer Maro Engel on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring. With an officially measured and notarized certified time of 6:43,616 min for the 20.6 kilometre-long track (measured without the straight at track section T13) and 6:48,047 min for the 20.832 kilometre-long total track (measured with the straight at track section T13), the new V8 meteor is placed in the top group of the street-legal “sports cars” category and number one among the fully standard, unmodified models.
Maro Engel made full use of all the possibilities offered by the new Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series as standard: such as the most powerful AMG V8 series engine ever with 537 kW (730 hp), the sophisticated aerodynamics and extensive suspension adjustment options. For example, the front splitter made of visible carbon fibre was extended to the “Race” position, and the lower and upper wing blades of the rear spoiler were each adjusted in the middle position. The adjustable AMG coilover suspension with adaptive adjustment damping was lowered by five millimetres at the front and three millimetres at the rear to further enhance the venturi effect of the front diffuser. The camber was adjusted to the maximum possible values of negative 3.8 degrees at the front axle and negative 3.0 degrees at the rear. In the case of the adjustable anti-roll bars, racing professional Engel opted for the hardest of the three possible settings, and the 35-year-old adjusted the nine-stage AMG traction control between positions six and seven -depending on the section of the track. AMG GT Black Series customers can also take advantage of all these settings and variations.
This also applies to the MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 R MO tyres with “soft compound,” which are completely standard equipment and were developed in collaboration with development partner Michelin especially for the top sports car in the AMG GT series. The highest possible level of safety was ensured not only by the standard AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system, but also by the Track Package with rollover protection system and four-point safety belts offered as standard equipment.
“That was a really impressive ride,” said Maro Engel after completing the record lap. “With speeds of up to almost 270 km/h in the Kesselchen section of the track or well over 300 km/h on the long Döttinger Höhe straight, the AMG GT Black Series is significantly faster than my GT3 race car. To finally drive around the Nordschleife in 6:48.047 minutes with a production road car in these track conditions is really awesome. Like my GT3 race car, the AMG GT Black Series offers a lot of adjustment possibilities, all of which enabled me to create a setup that was tailor-made for me.”
Also in terms of aerodynamic efficiency, the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series takes a great deal from the race car. A direct derivation from motorsport, for example, is the carbon-fibre hood with two large exhaust outlets. These specifically guide the warm air that flows from the slanted radiator setup out of the engine compartment. This increases overall downforce, as does the sophisticated rear wing concept and the largely enclosed underbody.
“It’s really impressive how much downforce the Black Series generates and how confident and reliable it can be driven, even at the absolute limit. My hat is off to the developers from Affalterbach for what they have put on wheels here. And I’m very pleased that I was able to demonstrate these fascinating engineering skills with this great lap time,” said Engel.
Just as they were for AMG development engineer Demian Schaffert, who set a new lap record with the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4MATIC+ (fuel consumption combined: 12.5 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 286 g/km)1 on the same day, the conditions were not quite ideal for Maro Engel either. Because when the GT3 professional drove through the light gate of the timing system on November 4, 2020 at 5:02 p.m., not only were 20.832 kilometres of Green Hell behind him in the dim light – the GT3 professional also set the fastest time at an outside temperature of seven degrees Celsius and ten degrees Celsius on the asphalt. In addition, some passages of the extremely demanding track were not yet totally dry.
The fast lap times were precisely measured by neutral experts from “wige SOLUTIONS”. An independent notary also certified the condition of the vehicle as well as the measurements.
|Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series|
|Engine||4.0L V8 biturbo|
|Power||537 kW (730 PS) at 6,700-6,900/min|
|Max. torque||800 Nm at 2,000-6,000/min|
|Drive system||Rear-wheel drive|
|Transmission||AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G|
|Fuel consumption combined||12.8 l/100 km*|
|CO2 emissions combined||292 g/km|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||3.2 s|
|Top speed||325 km/h|
Bureau Veritas, the leading and the largest third party inspection and certification company in Brunei Darussalam organized an event recently to highlight the importance and the benefit of Third Party Inspection and Certification towards an organisation.
The event, held at the Level 1 Auditorium, Design & Technology Building, Angerek Desa on the 17th December 2020 was catered to better establish a better foothold in various Brunei industries via a collaboration SHENA (Safety, Health, Environment National Authority). The aim of the event was to familiarize guests that are the industrial tenants of DARe: Construction with Bureau Veritas Services and the significance of what Bureau Veritas can offer in terms of HSE and to ensure that all equipment is compliant as required by SHENA.
With its global presence, Bureau Veritas aims to become the leader in the industry and a major player in each of the market segments and key geographical market it ventures into.
Country Chief Executive Mr.Rizan Latif in his opening address said, “As a Business to Business to Society company, Bureau Veritas is dedicated to building trust between client companies, public authorities and consumers. Our mission, he said, “is to reduce our clients’ risks, improve their performance and help them innovate to meet the challenges of quality, health & safety, environmental protection and social responsibility.”
Rizan Latif has been with the company for almost 9 years and started of as a Business Development Manager, then Head of Technical HSE and being appointed Country Chief Executive of Bureau Veritas Group (Brunei) since February 2020. He is also the youngest Chief Executive within the Southeast Asia Region. On a side note, Rizan Latif also heads the Beach Bunch Brunei as the President and Founder.
Rizan added, “We acknowledge the challenges of growing urbanization, anticipating the need for safer, smarter cities. “We anticipate the expectations of an expanding global population, including the need for secure and reliable agricultural production.”
“We understand the impact of climate change, working to ensure people worldwide have access to cleaner energy, while supporting our clients in the efficient management or conversion of their existing assets. We embrace digitalization, while mitigating the risks it brings and support the development of revolutionary materials and technologies.”
Services catered towards the construction industry also help to secure a brighter relationship with government and private sector industries where HSE plays a huge role in developing trust. These include Feasibility /risk analysis, Material testing, Site inspection, Periodical inspections that are crucial to the health and well-being of asset types Residential buildings, Commercial buildings, Equipment, Infrastructure (airport, rail) and so on.
A Bureau Veritas standard certification in any aspect of these fields is projected to greatly benefit both client and consumer as ISO standard certifications under Bureau Veritas are globally recognized and well trusted.
I am always curious what Bureau Veritas offer as a company. All I could relate is that there are involved with oil and gas companies. Apparently, Bureau Veritas offers a wide range of services – Marine (their biggest portfolio), construction, in-service inspection & verification, certification, commodities (inspection, testing on oil, metals, minerals etc), consumer products (eg food) and even government services and international trading.
I am also surprised by their growth in revenue where Bureau Veritas Group Brunei reached a high milestone of BND 2.4 million dollars in revenue in 2019. They have also seen a huge jump in employees from 8 to 85 as they have increased number of clienteles. This is a testament that Bureau Veritas Group is receiving more traction as a more trusted entity as a third party inspection and certification.
The session was concluded with a Q&A session where invited guests, clients were given to opportunity to ask questions. Joining the panel discussion were Rizan Latif, Country Chief Executive of Bureau Veritas Brunei, Nurham Rappe, Industry Manager of Bureau Veritas Brunei and Lydia Lai, Business Development Manager of Bureau Veritas Brunei while the session was moderated by Jenny Malai Ali.
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.
Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart
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
Original Chicken Cornish
Red Velvet Cake
Sugar Bun Chicken Wings
Torikatsu Curry Udon
Harumaki Prawn and Cheese
Three Kind Bluefin
Gindara with Miso
Seri Damai Restaurant
Seri Damai Restaurant
Seri Damai Restaurant
Seri Damai Restaurant
Seri Damai Restaurant
Express Fast Food
Little Audrey’s Cafe
Little Audrey’s Cafe
Little Audrey’s Cafe
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Charcoal BBQ & Grill
Charcoal BBQ & Grill
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
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
Kitaro Japanese Restaurant
Miming Kedayan Stall No.12
Nasi Katok Mabohai
Satay Hj Ibrabim
Syarikat Faisal Fazdil
Chicken Dum Biryani
Chicken Jotrani Handi
Express Fast Food
Nasi Lemak Sri Anjung
Buccaneer Beef Burger
Sous Vide Chicken
Garlic Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb
Chilli Soft Shell Crab Pasta
Crispy Eggs Benny
Mocha Ice Blended
Sous Vide Prime Rib
Salted Egg Crab
Crispy Shrimp Chix
Nasi Goreng Belacan
Steam Grouper Fish
Buttermilk Abalone Mushroom
Xiang Chun Homemade
Tom Yum Seafood Soup
Family Mixed Grill
Udang Galah Masak Merah
Chicken Joy (Original)
Roasted Whole Salmon
Sake Spinach Ikura
Hamachi Miso Ceviche
Pulled Beef Sandwich
Vietnamese Beef Noodle
Honey Garlic Chicken
Daging Masak Hitam
Soto Super Banjir
Roasted Wagyu Beef
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
- Curry Chicken Rice – Teazone
- Hearty Bolognese Spaghetti – Ximply Chris
- Double Hamburg – Pepperlunch
- Ayam Bakar – Bali Pitstop
- Meshwi Chicken Platter – Amsarra Restaurant
- Chicken Aubergine – Ricebowl Restaurant
- Kolo Mee – 101 Cafe
- Ayam Penyet – Pondok Sari Wangi
- Beef Keema – Seri Damai Restaurant
- Lamb Mandi – Tandoor Restaurant
- Curry Chicken – A.Ayam
- Chicken Rice – Kedai Kopi D’Harith
- Kimchi Stew – Brukori
- Chicken Chop – Flour & Butter
- Premium Chicken Rice – Eats.bn
- Red Curry Chicken with long beans – KNY Kitchen
- Sambal Petai – Sawwadee Restaurant
- Telur Belado – Pondok Sari Wangi
- Curry Chicken – Tuckshop Kopitiam
- Hotate To Shimeji Mentaiyaki – Kaizen Sushi
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.
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.
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.
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+|
|Engine||4.0 L V8 Biturbo|
|Power||470 kW (639 hp) at 5,500-6,500/min|
|Max. torque||900 Nm at 2,500-4,500/min|
|Drive system||Fully variable all-wheel drive AMG Performance 4MATIC+|
|Transmission||AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G|
|Fuel consumption combined||12.5 l/100 km*|
|CO2 emissions combined||286 g/km|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||3.2 s|
|Top speed||315 km/h|
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
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
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.
With the host sponsor, BIBD, and other corporate sponsors – Progresif, Total E&P Borneo B.V., CIC Environmental Services and Brunei LNG as part of BIBD Youth Empowerment Summit 2020
BIBD’s Chief Marketing Officer Hjh Nurul Akmar binti Hj Mohd Jaafar during the press conference
Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) recently announced the launch of the BIBD Youth Empowerment Summit (BIBD YES!), a youth-focused initiative which aims to inspire positive change by reminding the youth that they are never too young to make a difference.
Themed, It’s Your Turn, the hybrid summit will be held on 12th & 13th December at Jerudong International School. Over 30 schools received their scholarship certificates for the Summit at a press conference held at the BIBD Executive Lounge.
BIBD’s Chief Marketing Officer Hjh Nurul Akmar binti Hj Mohd Jaafar said, “The youth today faces an unprecedented challenge unlike any of the previous generations. However, they are also blessed with an unparalleled amount of resources at their fingertips and support from both the public sector and the private sector who are cheering them on, as reflected by the many corporate sponsors for this initiative. At BIBD, we take the leadership in this particular tough time to stand together with our future generation, to educate and equip them to be mentally ready for the challenges to come in the future.”. She added that BIBD YES! is part of BIBD’s initiative to help prepare the youth for a world of uncertainty and rapid changes, and to address the pressing issue of high youth unemployment in the nation.
BIBD YES! 2020 is departing from a traditional event format in favour of a hybrid model, in accordance with COVID-19 precautions and guidelines. According to the event organizer, Shaun Hoon, “BIBD YES! will be capping the attendance to to 350 delegates, which is half of the full capacity of the venue. However, we will be expecting a larger than ever participation, with over 20 schools locally and overseas hosting part of the programs at their respective schools through live-telecast.” This is the first time a hybrid conference of such scale is to take place in Brunei and represents a sign of things to come as the events industry adapts to the new normal.
BIBD YES! will feature international speakers from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Hungary conducting live presentations online, along with prominent entrepreneurs and youth leaders in Brunei delivering keynote addresses physically. Among them will be Bruneian success story, Steve Lai, ChannelNews Asia’s leading Anchor and Producer. He will be dialing in on Zoom from Singapore to discuss about the importance of maintaining global perspectives amid a world of physical barriers.
This year, BIBD will be the leading supporter of the Summit as the Host Sponsor. Progresif will be the Platinum Sponsor. CIC Environmental Services and Total E&P Borneo B.V will be the Gold Sponsor, and Brunei LNG will be the Silver. The Summit is organized by Curious Mind, endorsed by Brunei Tourism Board, Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports and Ministry of Education, and supported by Young Entrepreneur Association Brunei, Global Shapers and Young Professional Network Brunei.
The Summit was originally slated for July this year, but had been delayed due to COVID19. During this time, BIBD YES! conducted a total of 20 Career Webinars over Zoom on a weekly basis reaching out to more than 1000 students and youths in Brunei, interviewing a wide range of career professionals, which include game designers, engineers, doctors, entrepreneurs and actor. For recordings of theses webinars and full information about the Summit, visit www.BIBDyes.com.
Members of the audience witnessing the event
Hafiza Mohamad, Head of Brand Strategy, Progresif receiving token of appreciation from Shuan Hoon, the event organizer.
Madam Tan, Principal of St. Andrew’s School receiving scholarship entries for the BIBD YES from Javed Ahmad.
Insurans Islam TAIB also sponsoring students from Seri Mulia Serjana School to attend the event in December
Students from Universiti Teknologi Brunei receiving sponsorship from Daniel Wong
Harina Ramlee, Corporate Services Manager, Total E&P Borneo B.V., presenting scholarship for students from Sekolah Menengah Pg. Anak Puteri Hjh Rasidah
Mizan Adiliah Hj Mohamed Deli, Human Resources, Communications & External Relations Manager, Brunei LNG, sponsoring students from Politeknik Brunei
Denny Azriman from Takaful Brunei handing over sponsorship for students from Universiti Brunei Darussalam to attend the BIBD YES event
Shaun Hoon, the founder of the youth empowerment event