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The News



Written by Rano Iskandar.

HSBC New Year Special Deals

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The Peugeot Prosperity

Peugeot Prosperity drive is back!! And they are giving away iPhone 5s and iPad minis on select Peugeot models. Click image to enter Facebook page.
Royal Brunei Airlines

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TESS 2014


Total Education Scholarship Scheme 2014

Total E&P Deep Offshore Borneo B.V. is offering the Total Education Scholarship Scheme for the year 2014, which aims to award talented Bruneians with highly valued attributes to pursue their undergraduate studies at top french universities with potential opportunity to continue to postgraduate study and international work experience.

The Total Education Scholarship Scheme (TESS) is a result of the cooperation between Total E&P Deep Offshore Borneo B.V and its Joint Venture Partners in the Commercial Area, the Energy Department of the Prime Minister’s Office, and the support of PetroleumBRUNEI.

Eligible students may submit their complete CV and resume (please indicate clearly TESS 2014 on the top right-hand corner) and to state your interested course to the address below before 3pm on Friday 7 March 2014. Our office opening hours are Mon-Fri from 8am-12pm and 1.30pm-5pm.

Human Resources & Corporate Communications
Total E&P Deep Offshore Borneo B.V. Ground Floor, RBA Plaza, Jln Sultan, Bandar Seri Begawan
BS8811, Negara Brunei Darussalam
Tel: +673 222 9269

Fax: +673 224 1417

Email : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


We need more animation talents


Digital animation is seeing a sudden surge of interest from local talents, said an industry expert recently. The number of entries submitted for the second AITI Next Innovation and Multimedia Award for Sustainable ICT Industry (ANIMASI)-IMMERSE 3D Animation Challenge notes the increase in locally produced animations.

In his opening remarks during the prize presentation and awards ceremony at the Authority for Info-Communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI), Deputy Chief Executive of AITI Hj Osman Hj Ladis said the competition had attracted participation from a broad spectrum of animators ranging from young and fresh talents to more seasoned industry players.

“It is hoped this competition will help us identify local potential that can be further nurtured through collaboration with international players in digital multimedia co-production in future,” Hj Osman said. Themed Nakhoda Manis or Brunei Folklore, the competition took place in September 2013, and was open to Brunei citizens and permanent residents under two categories: the Open Category and the Professional (Industry) Category.

Minister of Communications YB Pehin Dato Hj Abdullah (L) presenting the prize to, Ambuyart Animations, the first prize winner of the Professional Category of the ANIMASI-IMMERSE 3D Animation Challenge. Image courtesy of Joana Tan of The Brunei Times.

Third prize winner, Soft Pixels received $3,000. Khairul Alias and Johar Aston receiving the mock cheque from the guest of honour

The top four winners of the ANIMASI-IMMERSE 3D Animation Challenge

Ambuyart Animations emerged as the grand prize winner of $10,000 with its interpretation of the Nakhoda Manis video.

Mohammad Denny Azriman Hj Madni, 34, owner of Ambuyart Animations, said the unique selling points of his productions stem from the humour element, his experience and interest in cartoons and comics.

Meanwhile, second prize winner Cinematicpro Services won a cash prize of $7,000 with their video entitled “Tales From The Globe – Nakhoda Manis”. Hj Kairul Azhar Hj Rosli, 33, said because of the time constraint, he opted to produce his piece in the form of a movie trailer.

Third prize winner, Soft Pixels received $3,000. Khairul Alias, 28, and Johar Aston, 27, part of the trio that make up Soft Pixels, said animators should be open minded and explore skills as a team. Lava Media, first-timers to the competition, took home the consolation prize.

The ANIMASI-IMMERSE 3D Animation Challenge 2013 was organised by AITI in collaboration with iCentre’s IMMERSE Challenge.

Present as guest of honour was Minister of Communications Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar. Also present during the ceremony were Permanent Secretary of Communications Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yusof, and Deputy Permanent Secretary of Communications Hj Idris Hj Mohd Ali.

Text and images courtesy of Joana Tan of The Brunei Times.


Today is the last day


Click image to enter website and download form

Today is the 20th February 2014 and also the last day to register for Larian Amal Tongkat Putih. You can log on to our website to download the forms and click on the category you wish to join.

Kindly submit your forms and payments at The Indoor Stadium, Berakas. Time will be until 5:30pm today.

Running kits collection will be announced through social medias. Stay tune for more information. Support BDNAB with us, Run for a cause, run for charity.

Some of the participants supporting the event


Only 1,400 seats available


The National Day tickets now available but limited to 1,400 seats only in the 30,000 capacity stadium. Image by Rabiatul Kamit.

Now I remember this rush for tickets. The last time this happened was during the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy 2012 where everyone was eyeing on the free ticket to watch the finals between Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia. Now it’s a different ball. This Sunday will be the celebration of the 30th National Day in Brunei Darussalam and it will take place at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium.

Yes, it has been a while since the national celebration takes place at the stadium. Normally it will take place at the Taman SOAS in the capital. So this will be a great moment to witness a spectacle and judging from the rehearsals, this celebration will be the biggest one yet and also it marks the 30th National Day.

I just posted the information on my instagram and apparently all the lines are pretty busy now *lol* You can call 7221016, 8689130, 8769576 or 2383140 from 8.30am to 11am and 2.30pm to 4.30pm and tomorrow is the last day. Judging from the phone calls today, it’s most likely the tickets will be sold out by today. The ticket entry is free too.

Seats for the public are located in the south and west zones of the stadium, offering an off-centre view of the celebration.

Meanwhile, those without tickets can watch the live telecast on giant screen televisions at the nearby Indoor Stadium and on Radio Televisyen Brunei (RTB). The public will also be able to catch a glimpse of the parade as the participants move in and out of the stadium.

Parking space for the public will be at the Berakas Old Airport, where shuttle buses will be provided for the day.

The Secretariat for the 30th National Day celebration in a press statement encouraged the public to dress in smart attire, particularly in Brunei’s national costumes. They also sought public cooperation and support for the event.

Up to 30,000 people are expected to attend the celebration at the stadium, which is set to be biggest and grandest one yet. Information courtesy of Rabiatul Kamit of The Brunei Times.


The latest Audi TT Coupé


Audi is boosting the character of this iconic sports car with the TT Coupé S line Competition edition. Available for the Brunei base 2-litre turbo petrol engine 155 kW (211 hp), the special edition of the Audi TT combines all the elements of the S line sport package and the S line exterior package, and adds new and exclusive features.

The S line exterior package includes specially designed bumpers, air inlets and side sills, S line badges, tailpipe trims and a distinctive diffuser insert. There is also a fixed rear wing like on the Audi TT RS. Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights provide excellent visibility in the dark.

The paint finishes Samoa Orange metallic, Glacier White metallic, Daytona Gray pearl effect and Misano Red pearl effect are available at no extra charge. With the sporty black styling package, the radiator grille is framed in high-gloss black while the radiator grille insert, the license plate frame and the applications on the front fog light grille are matt black. Other S line competition elements in high-gloss black are the exterior mirror housings, the blade below the front bumper, the diffuser insert, the tailpipe trims and the rear wing spoiler. The imposing 19-inch wheels in a five-arm “Rotor” design are also painted black. The taut S line sport suspension lowers the chassis by 10 millimetres (0.39 mm).

The TT Coupé S line Competition edition. Image taken by Vince Hong.

The interior of the TT Coupé S line Competition edition. Image taken by Vince Hong.

The engine area. Image taken by Vince Hong.

The back view. Image taken by Vince Hong.

Audi is boosting the character of this iconic sports car with the TT Coupé The interior of the TT Coupé S line Competition also offers the features of the S line sport package, including the special door sill trims, the extended aluminium-look trim, the leather package, the sport seats and the short shift travel for the manual transmissions. As in the TT RS, the rim of the leather multifunction sport steering wheel is more strongly contoured and flattened at the bottom. Piping surrounds the floor mats.

The seats come standard with perforated Alcantara upholstery in combination with black leather and silver contrast stitching. S line logos adorn the backrests. The colour black dominates the interior. The inlays are made of matt brushed aluminium; with the Samoa Orange exterior paint, these are replaced by inlays with a paint finish matching the body colour.

For further enquiries, call Audi Kiarong on 2442333 during office hours.



TOWL next weekend


The next one on the 1st March 2014, next weekend

What is Time Out with Liz?

It's a live talk show where host Elizabeth Sim or Liz  gets to know our local talents better through her entertaining interviewing techniques. Inspired by 'The Ellen Degeneres Show" an American live Talk show, Liz brings her own twist to her audiences in Brunei. The live show has been running since her pilot took place in August 2013 which anyone can view on YOUTUBE by typing "Time Out With Liz". Her show also promotes local businesses as her audiences walk away with products, samples or vouchers which her invited guests bring in to share with the audience. To learn more about "Time Out With Liz" you can pick up the  January - March 2014 edition of Borneo. Insider's. Guide (BIG) or the first issue of 'Inspired" Magazine where Liz is also one of the contributors. This show is a start up and Liz continues to look for people who share her vision to work and collaborate with, so if you are interested to be part of "Time Out with Liz", contact Liz at timeoutwithliz(a) or 8826013.

In the meantime, be sure to support Liz by coming to the first show of 2014 at Pusat Belia. Her guests include Osveanne Osman & Shinny Chia who will be sharing with Liz about their newly formed company called "The Collective" and their upcoming hair- raising project. Find out more about one of Brunei's young musical talents, Chiam Shian Li and get a taste of what's cooking in RiceBowl's kitchen as Priscilla Boyd demonstrates one of her favourite dishes with the audience that day. Tickets are selling at $10 from now until 25 Februrary and $15 from the 26 Feb.Contact the details above to book your tickets today. Press released from Time Out With Liz.

The next one on the 1st March 2014, next weekend





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Written by Rano Iskandar.

Crown Prince turns 40


A belated birthday to His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office who recently turned 40. The Crown Prince’s birthday falls on the 17th of February and there have been hosts of events organised to commemorate the Crown Prince’s birthday celebration.

May Allah bless the Crown Prince and happy belated. Below are pictures taken from The Brunei Times on the series of events to commemorate the Crown Prince’s birthday.

HRH Prince General Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, cutting a cake at a reception hosted by the RBAF to celebrate his 40th birthday. Image courtesy of Infofoto.

His Royal Highness the Deputy Inspector General of Police cutting the birthday cake presented by the Royal Brunei Police Force. Image taken by Asdeny Yakub of The Brunei Times.

HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik (2nd L) during the thanksgiving ceremony in conjunction with the 40th birthday of His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office. The ceremony was held at the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex in the capital. Attending the ceremony were Minister of Development YB Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Suyoi Haji Osman (L), Minister of Finance II YB Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Ibrahim (2nd R), Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office YB Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Mohammad Yasmin Haji Umar and senior government officials. Image taken by Asdeny Yakub of The Brunei Times.


The patriotic gesture


The Big 30 coming soon!!

Late post. The spirit of patriotism was flying high in schools across the country after the distribution of national flags to students in all four districts to commemorate the upcoming 30th National Day celebration.

In the Brunei-Muara District, the main ceremony was held at the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (YSHHB) Primary School where the guest of honour at the event was Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Suyoi bin Hj Osman, Minister of Development. Present at the event were YAM Pengiran Anak ‘Abdul Raqiib bin Pengiran Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Rahim, YAM Pengiran Anak Abdul Hafeez bin Pengiran Anak Khairul Khalil and Pengiran Wajeeh Al-Bolkiah bin Pengiran Hj Mohammad Hakimmuddin. Participating in the distribution of the mini national flags were Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Othman, the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports with Hj Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports; Dato Paduka Hj Suhaimi bin Hj Gafar, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Development (Technical & Professional) as well as Awang Hj Brahim bin Hj Ismail, the Managing Director of YSHHB and officials from government agencies.

Some 970 students from Years 1 to 7 were involved in the ceremony which started off with a flag-hoisting ceremony accompanied by the national anthem.

Cikgu Norbaini binti Hj Abdullah, the Principal of YSHHB Primary School in her welcoming remark highlighted the importance of the ceremony, saying, “I believe that the ceremony can instill and strengthen the spirit of patriotism and love for the king, religion and nation among students who in the future will be the leaders of the country.”

The distribution of the mini national flags, she said, “will enable students of Yayasan Primary School to feel the atmosphere of waving the national flag, which has become a symbol of honour and identity. Today’s ceremony is very beneficial in providing students the understanding and awareness on the importance of nationhood”.

The Minister of Development handing over flag to YAM Pengiran Anak ‘Abdul Raqiib bin Pengiran Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Rahim

The flag raising ceremony

YAM Pengiran Anak Abdul Hafeez bin Pengiran Anak Khairul Khalil

YAM Pengiran Anak ‘Abdul Raqiib posing with the flag

Pengiran Wajeeh Al-Bolkiah bin Pengiran Hj Mohammad Hakimmuddin were among the attendees

The Minister touring around the classroom at YSHHB

One of the participating students, Puteri Abd Wahab of Year 5 in an interview said, “This is the first time that I have taken part in the National Day celebration. It’s a privilege to be part of the celebration today.”

With the National Day theme of ‘Visionary Generation’, she explained, “My aspiration is to raise my academic achievement and I hope that my friends and I will be prepared to face any challenges in the future.”

Following the distribution of flags, the minister and guests toured the Years 1 to 5 classrooms and witnessed some of the National Day activities including flag quizzes, poems and more. The minister also signed the Smart Board to commemorate the occasion.

Halfway during the tour, some 400 students from Years 3 to 6 made a physical formation of the number 30 to signify the 30th National Day, followed by a poem recital performed by two students, Awang Md Mirza bin Abdul Rahim and Dayang Hanani Batrisya binti Hj Awang Yusuf. Text by James Kon of Borneo Bulletin and images by Muiz Matdani of Media Permata.




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Written by Rano Iskandar.


HSBC New Year Special Deals

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The Peugeot Prosperity

Peugeot Prosperity drive is back!! And they are giving away iPhone 5s and iPad minis on select Peugeot models. Click image to enter Facebook page.
Royal Brunei Airlines

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BIBD Barakah 5

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Opening with a bang!!


Cutting the ribbon ceremony by guest of honour Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Hj Mohamed Alam, Sydney Quays, Managing Director Starbucks Coffee Malaysia, Dato Francis Lee, CEO Berjaya Food Berhad and Jeff Hansbury, President of Starbucks China & Asia Pacific at the opening of the first Starbucks Coffee outlet at Mabohai Shopping Complex

Coffee culture in Brunei Darussalam is definitely on the rise. With The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf being around for almost 15 years and Gloria Jeans Coffee only making its presence last year, Starbucks Coffee has further deepened the growth of coffee culture in the Sultanate.

Sydney Quays, Managing Director Starbucks Coffee Malaysia, said that education is very important in creating awareness not just about providing the service and the goods but also educating the public on the history and the vision of Starbucks. One strong point that caught my attention is the “human connection” that Starbucks aims at achieving and that for me is very vital for any service industry in the world.

Yesterday was a historical moment for Brunei. Iconic more like it as Brunei official unveiled its first Starbucks Coffee store at Mabohai Shopping Complex. It will interesting to know what is the number store worldwide apart from being the 64th country to open this popular franchise. I paid a visit to the 1st ever Starbucks store at Pike, Seattle and it’s amazing how Starbucks has been around for 43 years and counting.

Gracing yesterday’s official launch was Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Hj Mohamed Alam. In attendance were Jeff Hansbury, President of Starbucks China & Asia Pacific, Dato Francis Lee, CEO Berjaya Food Berhad, Sydney Quays, Managing Director Starbucks Coffee Malaysia and Ricky Ho, Director of Berjaya Food Supreme Sdn Bhd.

“We are pleased to bring the unique Starbucks Experience to Brunei,” said Jeff Hansbury, President of Starbucks China & Asia Pacific during his welcoming remarks. “By sharing our coffee passion and unique third place environment, we look forward to creating an inspired place for people to connect over coffee.”

Her Royal Highness with members of the Royal Family attended the special historic event

Jeff Hansbury, President of Starbucks China & Asia Pacific, during his welcoming remarks and he’s also a certified coffee master :D

Also in attendance was Dato Paduka Timothy Ong

The baristas couldn’t wait to host the patrons yesterday

Her Royal Highness being treated to the first Starbucks coffee, a Caramel Macchiato

Her Royal Highness with her Caramel Macchiato. Image by @emmagoodegg

Members of the Royal family mingling with the guests

During the press conference at the “slow-bar”

Dato Francis Lee, Jeff Hansbury and Sydney Quays with their appreciative cheers to mark a successful franchise in Brunei

Yesterday’s launch proved to be a hit among coffee goers. Tumblers were a big hit especially those on display outside the outlet. The Starbucks tumblers and mugs with Brunei Darussalam printed on them were selling like hot cakes. According to the Malaysian counterpart, every now and then, new batches of merchandise will be sold at the outlet.

Starbucks Brunei also ran a Facebook competition where 50 winners were selected and they received two grand opening launch invitations and two limited edition Starbucks t-shirts.

Tonight the local media and bloggers will be attending a Starbucks coffee seminar and I shall update you on that event. It should be very interesting. For now, a big shout out to the local stakeholders for making the initiative and possible in bringing Starbucks to the Sultanate. Too bad Pg Muda Abdul Qawi wasn’t in attendance as he’s not in the country because I would like to personally shake his hands for his passion and entrepreneurial spirit.

Bloggers and friends turned up for the launch

Reggie Sim, General Manager of Brunei Press and reporters from Brunei Press and Sim Yuan of Adison

It was quite a long queue yesterday and it carried on for a few more hours

The cheerful baristas attending the customers

This reminds me of Ghostbusters but with coffee stock in the bag

SuckMed represent #SBUXBN —> Check out the hashtag on instagram

Tumblers aplenty for sale yesterday

It was pretty jam packed at the outlet

Shaun Hoon of Catalyst having a chit chat with Dato Francis Lee, CEO of Berjaya Food Berhad

The Mabohai Shopping Complex management


US Higher Education Fair


More than 25 universities and colleges from the United States will be participating in the US Higher Education Fair in Brunei today (Monday).

“This is the largest fair of its kind that has ever been held in Brunei organised jointly by the US Embassy in Brunei Darussalam and EducationUSA to promote education in the United States. So we are very excited about that,” said US Ambassador Daniel L Shields during a press conference last week.

The education fair will be held on Monday (today) in the Rizqun International Hotel’s Sutra Hall from 2pm to 9pm.

EducationUSA is a US Department of State-supported network of hundreds of advising centres around the world. Each year, the body provides millions of international students with accurate, comprehensive and current information about how to apply to US colleges and universities. Their staff also work with US higher education professionals to promote international student recruitments.

“It will be the first time for participating US universities and colleges to [come to] Brunei Darussalam and they will be discussing higher learning opportunities with potential students.

“The fair will showcase the diverse educational programmes and specialised degrees, such as medicine, research, engineering, fine arts, and more for students at all level,” the ambassador said.

Shields said he had set a goal of increasing educational exchange between the two countries the moment he arrived in Brunei nearly three years ago. “The fair will be an informing session for those who have questions about student visa applications and if they want to find out about the suitable education institution which best fits their needs.”

US Ambassador Daniel L Shields III (C), Public Relation Officer Edward Findlay (R) and EducationUSA Advisor Mayra Robles after the press conference. Image by Billah Hasan of The Brunei Times.

During the fair, some Bruneian students studying in the US will share their experiences and answer questions about living and studying in the country. Currently, there are more than 800,000 international students studying in the US, about half of whom come from the East Asia and Pacific region. Of those, more than 47,000 come from Southeast Asia.

“So [when] Bruneian students go to the States they won’t be alone. There will be plenty of friends and colleagues who are from around this region,” he said. Since 2010, 208 students from Brunei have studied in the States. The number of Bruneians students applying for exchange education has doubled since 2009 – and the embassy hopes that figure will keep on increasing.

“This year we will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the US and Brunei. I’m optimistic that the relationship will grow in the coming years... I believe education is one of the most important components in the relationship. Hence, to realise the full potential of the relationship, what we need is a group of students going from each country to the other. And that means American students coming to Brunei as well. So that’s what we’re trying to do. “So, we encourage Bruneians students and parents to attend this education fair on Monday,” the ambassador said.

Meanwhile, US Embassy Public Affairs Officer Edward Findlay said: “They [those attending] represent the wide range of opportunities for higher education that are available in the United States. Anyone who is interested in what the United States has to offer should take advantage of the education fair to find out more.” Mayra Robles, an adviser from EducationUSA, said: “We do work closely with the Brunei Scholarship Division and Accreditation Council ... to ensure that the institution chosen by Bruneian students is recognised by the government of Brunei.”

The education fair will be open to the public.

Among the universities participating are Purdue University, University of Kentucky, and smaller institutions such as the University of Mary Washington, Savannah College of Art and Design and Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy.

Further information can be obtained by visiting or by following the embassy on their social networking sites, USEmbassyBSB (Facebook) and@USEmbassyBSB. Text courtesy of Billah Hasan of The Brunei Times.


Concepts Computer Annual Dinner


Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer giving his welcoming remarks during Concepts Computer annual dinner

With the team behind Concepts Computer. They are currently around 40 staff working for Concepts Computer.

The traditional Chinese toast to bring luck

Vincent Pao with members of the local media

Vincent Pao with members of the local media

It’s lucky draw time!!

Vincent Pao handing out a special draw for the media

In the end, Haadi won himself an Acer Aspire V5 from the lucky draw.

Games for the guests and media

Games for the guests and media

The emcees for the night

Lai wasn’t lucky enough for the grand prize but still got herself some speakers

Vincent Pao with his version of drawing the grand prize

The winner of the grand lucky draw



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Written by Rano Iskandar.

Starbucks fever in Brunei


Sydney Quays, Managing Director of Berjaya Starbucks Coffee Company Sdn Bhd (Malaysia) being interviewed by members of the media yesterday at the Starbucks Coffee outlet at Mabohai Shopping Complex

It’s exciting time now in Brunei Darussalam. High Frequency Cafe has just recently opened but the emergence of Starbucks Coffee, one of the strongest brand worldwide, will be the highlight of the week when it opens its first outlet in Brunei Darussalam later today. After years and years of rumours, Starbucks will make its mark in the capital. Members of the media were introduced to Sydney Quays, Managing Director of Berjaya Starbucks Coffee Company Sdn Bhd (Malaysia) and he is such an easy going character as we were interviewing him prior to the launch.

What is interesting about Sydney Quays is that he was the main guy who brought in Starbucks to Malaysia 16 years ago. Now the company he built has over 160 outlets in Malaysia alone. The first store was opened in Kuala Lumpur 17th December 1998. Come later this morning (16th February), Brunei will mark a new milestone of unveiling the first Starbucks outlet. According to Sydney, there were many local potential partners that wanted to bring Starbucks to the capital but never succeeded. In came, Deluxe Daily Food led by YAM Pg Muda Abdul Qawi and Ho Lee Suom (its directors), Sydney was convinced that they had vision, passion and continuous enthusiasm in driving Starbucks as a household name and a successful franchise in Brunei Darussalam.

“Starbucks is about human connection, the people,” said Sydney in relating to the coffee culture of Starbucks in Malaysia and he hopes to replicate that in Brunei. He was also impressed with the number of local Bruneians wanting to work at Starbucks. Sydney shared that on weekends, 70% of customers in Miri outlet are mostly from Brunei. So that alone says how popular Starbucks is as a brand. He hinted that Starbucks will have a second outlet in Beribi and they have planned to make a drive-thru for the second outlet. Awesome!!

Prices of the drinks are most likely the same when compared to Miri. The management have done an extensive research on pricing and reckons the pricing in Brunei is still considered affordable and reasonable. In coming months, Starbucks Brunei will probably provide their own version of the Starbucks Card which is popularly used in other countries. Another drawing factor for Starbucks will be the merchandise with Brunei’s name being printed on the merchandise (another reason to collect mugs or tumblers).

Rest assured that Mabahoi outlet (of Starbucks) will be able to have enough stock to cater to the anticipated frenzy of patrons later today after the official launch. The shuttle service will begin at 9am tomorrow and they will be providing 22-seater buses (two of them) that will be shuttling the customers back and forth at the Indoor Stadium. I’m not too sure if this service is only available for tomorrow.

It was a pleasure to have met Sydney Quays, Managing Director and Salleharon, Manager, Public Affairs & Digital Strategy (Malaysia & Brunei) and Coffee Master of Berjaya Starbucks Coffee Company yesterday. Thank you to Sim Yuan of Adison Marketing for arranging the event for the media. Much appreciated.

The management of Mabohai Shopping Complex also show their appreciation to Starbucks Brunei for choosing their shopping complex to locate Starbucks first outlet. According to the management, they are delighted that Starbucks has joined their family of high profile stores, indicating high standards that they have been maintaining. Mabohai Shopping Complex envisions to be Brunei’s premier family shopping centre and they are currently heading on the right path.

A note from the management: The Management of the Mabohai Shopping Complex seeks the patience and understanding of the general public in view of the limited car park situation at our complex. We apologise if you have to wait longer than usual for a parking spot and encourage you to use the bus shuttle service from the indoor stadium car park to save time.

For your info, Berjaya Food (International) Sdn Bhd, signed a joint venture agreement with Deluxe Daily Food for the subscription of an 80 per cent equity interest in Berjaya Food Supreme Sdn Bhd (BFS). Berjaya Foods will be paying $2.4 million for the stake in BFS. Hence, Deluxe Daily Food will take the remaining equity of 20%.

Later today, the guest of honour will be Her Royal Highness Pg Anak Isteri Pg Anak Zariah, will officiate the launch. However, YAM Pg Muda Abdul Qawi won’t be present during the launch.

Salleharon and Sydney are anxious for the launch later

You can also have your coffee brewed here and see the coffee masters in action

The layout of the interior of Starbucks

Now you can feel like home and I’m quite impressed they even have carpets on some areas

This place is gonna be packed tomorrow

This is considered the first concept in the region

Ah, the power socket will come in handy for many people

Something to add to your collection?

I’m definitely gonna get this mug

Photo opp with Sydney, who based in Kuala Lumpur but Penang is his hometown

Congratulations for the first ever Starbucks outlet in Brunei


Citroën awareness at The Mall


I remember my family had a CitroënCitroën car two decades ago and I don’t know where it is right now as it could have been sold perhaps. Last year, the Citroën brand has been making its presence in Brunei Darussalam and I’m pretty sure not many are aware of the Citroën brand, right? It’s a European brand and Grand Motors Sdn Bhd are the sole distributors of Citroën for Brunei market.

If you want to check out the affordable European cars, they have three models being showcased at The Mall - The DS cars notably Citroën DS3, Citroën DS4 and Citroën DS5. Today will be their last day at The Mall but you can check out at the Grand Motors showroom at Beribi for test drive and they have been many interests from the public for the test drive alone.

If you want to read more about the Citroën, you can read Izam Said’s thorough experience on all the three models mentioned.


Check out Citroën DS3, DS4 and DS5 at The Mall today



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Written by Rano Iskandar.

Energy savings video


You have less than 3 weeks from now to submit a video for the “2 minutes of your creativity on energy savings”. The final submission is on 10th March 2014. Too bad I can’t join since it is open to youth age of 15 years to 26 years :p and the prizes are excellent too with first prize being BND 3,000 followed by BND 2,000 for second place and BND 1,000 for third place. They also have BND 200 for six consolation prizes.

This is a nationwide competition to raise awareness of energy efficiency through youth's initiatives. A bottom-up approach and new media and communication channels will be employed to create actions among the citizens. The event will follow with the Energy Dialogue between the Youth/Participants and the Energy Minister. 

The prize award ceremony, in conjunction with Energy Dialogue between the participants and the Minister of Energy, will be held during the Energy Week. You can check out more information here from their website.


$500 Supermarket Dash


Yesterday five lucky winners were given a chance to grab grocery items as much as BND 500 worth. This was part of Standard Chartered Bank’s Supermarket Dash Hua Ho Chinese New Year Promotion. The event took place at Hua Ho Manggis Mall and the five lucky were given three minutes to grab as much as possible up to BND 500 worth of goods at Hua Ho.

Tong Choi Ben’s collected BND 356.30, Dr Affendy’s team collected BND 500 worth of items, Ting Heng King collected BND 500, Mohd Hairol Iswandi collected BND 456.35 worth of items and Chieng Hock Hee’s team collected BND 500 worth of items. So how were they chosen? The winners were selected from a lucky draw at the end of January. To be eligible, you must spend BND 50 or more with SCB Hua Ho Mastercar.

There was also consolation prizes where an amazing 263 customers were given BND 88 worth of Hua Ho voucher.

General Manager of Retail Banking Products of SCB, Cheok Fui Say, flagged off the event with the presence of Pehin Kapitan Cina Korna Diraja Dato Paduka Lau Ah Kok. Images courtesy of Hock Sim of Media Permata.

Pehin Kapitan Cina Korna Diraja Dato Paduka Lau Ah Kok in a group photo with winners, General Manager of Retail Banking Products of SCB, Cheok Fui Sayand the management of Hua Ho Manggis yesterday

One of the winners that went on a shopping spree yesterday

HSBC New Year Special Deals

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The Peugeot Prosperity

Peugeot Prosperity drive is back!! And they are giving away iPhone 5s and iPad minis on select Peugeot models. Click image to enter Facebook page.
Royal Brunei Airlines

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BIBD Barakah 5

Wanna drive a Jaguar XF? Click more to find out!!
Icon Design Store

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GL 500 AMG Sports Package


Jati Transport launched the new Mercedes-Benz GL-Class yesterday at their Gadong showroom. On display was the V8 biturbo GL 500 with AMG Sports Package. This vehicle produces an impressive output of 435 hp and a torque of 700Nm with acceleration of only 5.4 seconds to reach 100km/h from standstill.

Many Jati Transport customers turned up yesterday to view the newly launched Mercedes and they were quite impressed with the design and the features. The price of the car is around BND 199,000 and Jati Transport already has a few who had booked the GL 500 in the showroom.

Below I’m just gonna post the technical aspect of the GL 500, given by Mercedes-Benz. Have fun reading :D

The newly launched GL 500 at Jati Transport Gadong Showroom. You can view the GL-Class at their showroom.

I’m loving their seats, designed and fabricated by Designo

It’s quite spacious and it’s a 7-seater vehicle

By Designo

The back view of GL 500

The back seats are retractable so you can have more space for the boot area and they are automatically shifted by a press of a button

Daniel Loo, Marketing Executive of Jati Transport (center) with Abu Bakar and Pauline from BIG magazine. Congratulations to Daniel on your new born daughter :D

The new GL-Class has set new standards in every aspect of the vehicle from comfort, dynamics, safety, elegance and efficiency. The drive for both on-road and off-road are one of the great strengths of the new GL-Class. Especially convincing are its NVH qualities (noise, vibration, harshness) which are on a par with those of the S-Class. The high standards of comfort are derived from the combined result of a very rigid bodyshell, a perfected drivetrain, improved chassis and superb aeroacoustic finishing as well as the intelligent use of new-style insulation materials. At the same time, the GL-Class retains traditional advantages of being extremely responsive with outstanding off-road expertise.

The standard package of the new GL-Class is the fully load-bearing air suspension system AIRMATIC with its adaptive shock-absorbing system (ADS) as well as a load recognition feature. In comparison with the previous model, the AIRMATIC ADS provides outstanding comfort with greatly improved handling, roadholding and driving dynamics. For example, both the standard Crosswind Assist and Load Recognition features are able to compensate for varying driving conditions. The optional active tilting stabiliser ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM uses its active lateral stabilisers for the front and rear axles to reduce the roll angle when driving round bends, thus providing a greatly improved response and more fun behind the wheel. At the same time, the system makes for better handling. An improved ride and increased scope when driving off-road by actively decoupling the stabilisers are among the other advantages of the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM.

Improved driving and stress-reduced safety for the new GL-Class is provided in particular by its numerous assistance systems. In addition to the handling control systems ESP®, ASR, ABS and the danger-alert PRE-SAFE® safety concept, for the first time the standard version of the GL is also fitted with the collision warner, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST and the drowsiness detector, ATTENTION ASSIST. Functions such as load recognition or STEER CONTROL reduce the strain on the driver in critical borderline driving situations, for instance by supporting the driver with a steering momentum on the steering wheel if the vehicle is oversteering. One innovation and highlight in the new GL is the standard Crosswind Assist which supports the driver with deliberate braking action when there are strong crosswinds, thus increasing the feeling of safety. Easy parking is guaranteed with the Active-Park assistant. The system is able to detect suitable parking spaces and steers the GL automatically into the best possible position for parking.

Images of Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz.

In addition to its extremely comfortable ride with excellent dynamic driving features both on the road as well as over very rough terrain, the GL-Class spoils its passengers with an interior which comes up to the first class standards of a luxurious saloon. Up to seven passengers are able to enjoy the outstanding seating. The elegant interior decoration is dynamic and full of vigour with high-quality materials and great attention has been paid to detail; the generous space arrangement has a perfect ergonomic design – the interior of the GL-Class conveys the feeling of well-being typical for the Mercedes-Benz brand. Extensive trim elements in various kinds of wood or in aluminium, controls in silver-chrome and upholstery in permeable ARTICO man-made leather material, with decorative topstitching on the seams in a contrasting colour, underline the overall high-quality impression.

The 2-3-2 seating arrangement provides a generous amount of space. In comparison with its predecessor, the passengers have been given a great deal more elbow, shoulder and headroom in all three rows of seats. As a standard feature, the third row of seats can be folded down and up electrically. Another innovation is the EASY-ENTRY system for accessing the third row of seats from both sides.

Mercedes-Benz is the first car manufacturer to evaluate and assess the role of aeroacoustic, which provides the decisive parameters for a comfortable ride especially when travelling at higher speeds. As a result, the psychoacoustic characteristics of SUV models like the GL-Class have been considerably improved. Here, not only the high frequency wind noises were rated, but also the low frequencies – especially those concerning the comprehensibility and audibility of spoken language. A comparison with the S-Class proves just how successful the GL engineers were: the objective and subjective impression of noise lies at the same level for both vehicles. Because of its typical SUV design, however, it took a great deal more effort to achieve these top results with the GL than with a luxury saloon. Furthermore, the full-size SUV provides excellent acoustics for seven passengers sitting in three rows – even under the most unfavourable conditions. The off-roader can be used in a much wider variety of situations than the saloon, including travelling in remote areas far away from sealed roads.

The new Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is now available for viewing at Jati Transport Beribi and Gadong showrooms.

If you buy the GL 500 or any other Mercedes-Benz passenger car, Vito or Viano, you will stand a chance to win a CLA 100 AMG Line. Promotion ends 31st December 2014.


Tasek Brasserie promo


Their famous “Lamb on the spit” is back every Friday and Saturday dinner. BND 30 nett.



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Established in 2003, RA started off from a blogspot in 2002 before owning the domaining. What started off as a hobby, turned into one of the most viewed blog in Brunei Darussalam. Hence, it is branded as a social news blog. More details on this soon.

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Rano Iskandar
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BSB, Brunei Darussalam

Telephone: 673-8677773