My MBS experience
The Brunei Tourism team organised a farewell lunch for their CEO's retirement. Image courtesy of Sheikh Jamaluddin.
Sheikh Jamaluddin's quote on RA upon his retirement from Brunei Tourism Board - "What I would like to say is that after 16 years, I have seen many positive changes in Brunei Tourism. Money changers, tourist buses, tour guides, souvenir shops and cultural dance groups have grown tremendously in the last 5 years. Tourist arrivals have shown on average an annual increase of 15% year on year since 2005.
However, the above sentences may be challenged by those who are against tourism. What I like to say to your readers are that they must maintain the respect to protect our environment and keep Brunei clean. What we do reflects how they perceive our country.
I also believe future job prospects for our country lies in the tourism sector. It's the world's number one industry and this has been realised by world leaders and they have taken steps to develop further their tourism industry, mainly to ensure a continuing stream of job opportunities for their people.
Nation building is all about our ability to create jobs for our people. Jobs in tourism sector are much preferred than say jobs in the agriculture or fishery sector where the work are harder and less glamourous and more dependent on foreign labours."
The AITI delegates and representatives from ICT companies paid a visit at IDA
Authority for Info-communications of Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) coordinated a site visit with established companies in Singapore bringing along the participants of this year’s CommunicAsia 2012 and representative from iCentre.
The group visited Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) which has kindly arranged 3 companies to present their products.
COL (Ret) Png Bee Hin, CEO of LDR Pte Ltd, presented a mobile interactive applications that helps users to discover Singapore. Mr Bee Hin created other apps to educate the young people about the history of Singapore through a medium that is most familiar to them. The Learning-on-the-move (LOTM) tool, utilises hotspots in Singapore, and as people who are using the hotspot in every new area will be shown different info based on the landmark of the area. Informations and games of the related area will pop-up on the mobile phones. They are able to learn about history of the place through games too as a medium.
There is an opportunity for this app to be used as a tourism tool for Brunei Darussalam. For more info please visit, www.ldr.sg
The Brunei delegates at the presentations by the three companies
LDR company presented their popular mobile apps which is very educational and interactive
Eric Loh, Strategic Sales Director of G Element , showcased a smart building platform that uses a system called Nucleus which controls the ip Internet Protocol (IP) sensors that of a building that monitors fire alarms, control management system for fire alarm, humidity, temperature and CCTV of a building.
The system utilises a mix of 3D building floor plan and live feed. To date, the company has developed handles several solutions such as Smart Hospital, Smart hospitality, Smart campus and Smart city platforms.
The company had also participated in APICTA 2010. For more info, please visit www.gelement.com
Eric Loh of G Element talked about smart building platform
Mr Tan Ze Chong, Executive Director of Argentra, shared the solutions for paper printing security. They showcased tool based on helps to defined secured printing policy for sensitive information in the office. Ms Olivia Kunardi, Project Manager, explained the functionality of the software. The report printing comes with 3D secured barcode and fine print line for document authenticity. The software keeps an audit trail on all the printed documents by users in the office and also prevents unauthorized printing of classified documents.
Perhaps the session that most of us were finally in-tuned from Argentra
Hadi documenting her presentation on his Galaxy Note
My experience at MBS hotel was pretty good. I used to hear of many complains last year especially upon checking in and how it was pretty draggy then. I suppose it's normal considering the Marina Bay Sands Hotel just opened quite recently and there was so much hype about it. Judging from the room I stayed in, I don't think it stood up to the hype or maybe because it was still new then. The room was pretty good but I guess it's the status of being able to stay at MBS as most people praised it for its price.
I had the special privilege to be invited by AITI to do coverage for their involvement in the CommunicAsia 2012 at Marina Bay Sands and hence I was sponsored a 5 night stay at MBS *woohoo* I didn't have the chance to try out the gym which I heard it's pretty good but I finally found something time to relax by the Infinity Pool, one of the perks of being a hotel guest at MBS.
My room was at Tower 3 and it's quite a walk if you actually walk from the main entrance. By the way, I'm quite happy that there's an MRT now at MBS - Bayfront stop - which is quite recent and this is another good factor if you are seeking for convenience of public transport. I remember back then that I have to stop by Marina Bay stop and take a bus to MBS or go for a 15 min walk to reach MBS.
In conclusion, MBS is a hotel where I would highly recommend you to try at least once if you haven't. If price isn't your concern, then this is As for me, I had a good experience but it wasn't all the hype that it lived to. Like I said, it's all about status and branding. I'm more of an Oasia or Quincy or Royal Plaza on Scotts kinda of guy *lol*. Well, you get the picture :) On my next trip, it's a coin toss between Oasia Hotel or Albert Court Village Hotel.
My work station at my room at MBS *lol* Messy as usual :D
Every 3am I would wake up to catch Euro 2012 matches though 50% of the time, I ended up sleeping halfway.
I love how they presented the amenities of the hotel
I usually would take this home as souvenirs. I kinda forgotten to do so on this trip.
My room is quite spacious and no complains here. Wifi is also complimentary as a hotel guest.
A nice piece of artwork here on the mirror. Strangely I took this photo while I was naked *lol* TMI here
Every time when the room is being cleaned by housekeeping, this tray will be lying on your bed
Ahhh… finally the Infinity Pool on the 57th floor though I didn't enter the pool as I was worried about my belongings
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JoomBah Jobs is a job board component from the Joombah Suite of Human Resource applications that is developed by ISDS - Syarikat Indah Sejahtera Development and Services (Brunei) Sendirian Berhad. ISDS is a private limited company registered in Brunei. It is 100% Brunei owned company that has been in the IT industry since 1999.
ISDS was fortunate that Pehin Abdullah, Minister of Communications of Negara Brunei Darussalam, had consented to launch the latest version of JoomBah Jobs at the opening day of the Singapore CommunicAsia 2012. The CommunicAsia 2012 is a global platform for the ICT industry that companies like ISDS can use to reach a global audience.
JoomBah HR Suite has a product (JoomBah Jobs 1.3) that already has a global installation of over 2000 sites. The multi-lingual installations are from all over the world including Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Singapore. The suite was an off-shoot of a project called where2kerja (www.where2kerja.com) that was an incubatee of iCentre (a Brunei Economic Development Board project) and a recipient of a development grant from the Authority for Information Communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam(AITI). Programming work done for where2kerja was later leveraged to create smaller components that are marketed separately as a Human Resource Suite.
Mohammed Aleng Talib, founder of ISDS (left) speaking to the Minister of Communications (right) while Christopher Ng, Marketing Manager & Business Development Executive looked on
The global sales generated are used to finance the daily operations as well as the research and development activities of the company. The company is registered as a Brunei Government Accredited ICT business (AAB and ICTAB) that actively participates in Brunei e-Government tenders. This gives the company a good platform to provide ICT services to regional SMEs as well as for e-Government projects.
For the SME (and small government departments) market, ISDS have partnered with Dell Computers and Microsoft Corporation to provide Small Business Server Solutions. ISDS is a partner of both Dell Computers and Microsoft Corporation. The solutions are either black-box implementation or a cloud based solution.
ISDS had taken the opportunity to launch its latest version (JoomBah Jobs 2.5) at the Singapore CommunicAsia 2012 so as to reach a wider audience as well as showcasing what Bruneian companies can do. It is hope that this will highlight Brunei as a growing regional ICT player as well as encourage other Bruneians to follow in its foot-steps.
Ak Mohd Khairi, General Manager and Project Manager of PHMD Publishing Company, talking briefly to the Minster of Communications on their latest book where one can easily create a mobile app
Made Simple: m-Commerce and How To Build Business Apps in 30 minutes. This book was published with the collaboration of Infindo Technology. The book is intended to enhance further the understanding on the new wave of m-commerce and what mobile apps can do for the commercial industry. With the edge of a mobile revolution storming through, it is a very vital step for different companies and individuals to capitalise on the power of m-commerce to enhance their business.
Previously, publishing the ground breaking selling book, Business Icons in Brunei, Ak Mohd Khairi bin Pg Hj Metussin, GM of PHMD Publishing Company hopes that “Made Simple: m-Commerce and How To Build Business Apps in 30 minutes” will educate the younger generation on the full potential of mobile and ways to benefit from it,and not merely for telecommunication purposes but even from an entrepreneur stand point. An average mobile user owns atleast a smart phone, this book is intended to provide a brief introduction on what anyone needs to know about the full potential of the mobile phone as well as the future of the next generation of technology.
The book is priced at $14.90 was launched at the regional's largest IT event, CommunicAsia at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. It will soon be available at all major book stores in Brunei.
This is the latest book published by PHMD Publishing Company
Miami Heats are NBA champions after defeating Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1 in the NBA finals. LeBron James was named MVP and this is first NBA championship after two failed attempts.
Idris T Vasi, CEO of DST, at the Brunei Pavilion during the recent CommunicAsia 2012 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Idris T Vasi, CEO of DST talked about the announcement of the roaming rates between Singapore and Brunei which is currently being looked into by IDA Singapore and AITI Brunei and he believed this is a great move especially for the benefit of end users. As you know that both countries are in the works of reducing the roaming rates between Brunei and Singapore in terms of voice, sms and data.
According to Idris, the volumes of voice and SMS are still greater than data though there is still a high significant usage of data as well. He hinted that there has been talks as well between Brunei and Malaysia on a similar issue.
On the issue of LTE or 4G, DST is having an ongoing trial on technology and marketing to see which works best and what frequency to use. From there, they will have a tender process and select the vendors to start the LTE projects. Idris said that the early stages of LTE could start in early 2013. The trials have been going for a few months and it will continue to see what suits the country best.
This will be a good initiative from DST as the 3G network are getting congested due to the high usage of data as quoted by Idris. The existing countries that are already running on LTE are the UK, US and Korea. Other countries are slowly embracing this technology and it's quite evident to see LTE making its presence felt at CommunicAsia 2012.
Cecilia Lee of IA Salon at her recent visit to NY for the Make-up courses
These are the photos of the new trend make ups from a simple make up to a fantasy make up. The make up classes were conducted in New York. Mrs. Cecilia Lee of IA Salon attended this make up classes such as glamour make up, lash, lip and brow excellence, perfect beauty and understanding airbrush make up. You can visit IA Salon at The Mall if you are interested to learn make up.
EnGenius had a demo of traffic light censors at their booth
The ice-cream challenge is always there and it's a good gimmick to bring visitors to their booth
These guys just started their business for two years and they now they are focusing on selling Android box which is ideal for hotels. They also gave me a card on eShineTV where it's a prepaid voucher so you can watch satellite channels through your TV or smartphones. There are more than 5,000 channels, 20,000 radio stations and 20,000 online games on their service. Awesome!!! All the way from Malaysia!!
I met Abhishek from Indus Net Technologies where his company focuses on outsourcing and there's likelihood I'm gonna engage their services soon as they are able to provide what I want in terms of my conceptual ideas
Huawei has a huge booth as usual
These ladies are promoting their booth where you can take photos with them at their booth on Level 1
Karel Lee, a Korean from Neo MetroKhan, is selling water resistant plastic screen for smartphones and iPad. I was sucked into buying the skin for iPhone and iPad. Hilarious guy too!!
This booth also had games for the visitors where you can either win a set of dice or a t-shirt
Level 5 is the quietest among the lot. Maybe because they don't have much to offer. The Brunei Pavilion is located at the basement level and we are fortunate that the basement floor has the biggest traffic. No wonder Level 5 needed more marketing tool to push the traffic.
This level is not my cup of tea…. The floor is full of satellite stuff.. *yawwnnn*
IDA Singapore always have a big presence at CommunicAsia 2012
The CBOSS pavilion was just a few booths away from the Brunei Pavilion and they have dancing session too with their Russian models from CBOSS
Diana and Leong had a photo opportunity with the CBOSS model
The Alibaba booth was giving away recycling bags. This is quite common at CommunicAsia where you see visitors with their hands full of woven bags.
Hadi doing a mic test before the announcement between Brunei and Singapore
Take a photo with these ladies and you can stand a chance to win Singapore F1 tickets
Me, Myself and I
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Most of the Brunei delegate at the CommunicAsia 2012 are staying at Marina Bay Sands hotel and this morning I heard some shocking news about a body being found at the hotel lobby. According to the statement issued by MBS, a body was found outside the Rise lobby restaurant last night.
Just last week, there was another incident where a dead body was found at the food of Marina Bay Sands' Sky Park. A few of my Bruneian friends did come across some policemen who are probably running the investigation on the said discovery. I'm not too sure what's the latest development. Anyway, the hotel is running its business as usual but it has been a talking point among our Brunei friends who are currently staying at MBS.
Group photo with delegates from Brunei at Nanyang Polytechnic
Authority for Info-communications of Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) coordinated a site visit with established companies in Singapore bringing along the participants of this year’s CommunicAsia 2012 and representative from iCentre.
First stop, the group went to Nanyang Polytechnic, Games & Digital Entertainment Technology School of Interactive & Digital Media at which Albert Lim Song Lian, Deputy Director welcomed the Brunei delegation and explained the courses offered for game programmers and animators.
Potential game programmers in this school are given a real work opportunity as the school works closely with Sony Computer Entertainment in developing games for Playstation as well as games for smart devices on Android or IOS platforms. He further elaborated that “in the past game programmers usually comes from a separate computer science school and students of graphic would come from fine arts school and it was observed that the mental requirement were seen not to sync well with each other.” The school then merged the 2 different talents under one roof and has achieved considerable success
Albert Lim Song Lian, Deputy Director of Nanyang Polytechnic, Games & Digital Entertainment Technology School of Interactive & Digital Media
The Brunei delegates watching the presentation
International students are also welcomed into this school at a small percentage due to limited 400 placements per year. The pre-requisite of this school is a minimum of an O-level background and students would need to undergo a 3 year course. Students are encouraged to broaden their horizon by participating in exhibitions such as Tokyo Gameshow in Nagoya and also similar exhibition in Guangzhow, China.
Some students were also sent to do attachments in Los Angeles, USA to gain relevant work experience with Side Effects’ main office, as the school has made a close work collaboration with the company. Side Effects supplies the Houdini software tools, used by major Hollywood studios, for the school.
Young kids were also given opportunity to get a feel of creating or designing a program
Each year they have a different theme
The green screen room where all the motion capture is being done
Mel trying out the F1 simulator
Students working hard to create a visual for the animation
These are special ordered Playstation machines for the purpose of game creation and they have 50 units that were sponsored by Sony Japan
A token of appreciation from AITI to the Albert
Last night 60 people including Board of Members of AITI and representatives from AITI, Brunei International Gateway, iCentre, DST, Folec, Comquest and others attended a networking dinner hosted by AITI at the Straits Kitchen, Hyatt Regency, Singapore. The dinner was also an appreciation for those who attended the ongoing CommunicAsia 2012. As you know AITI is currently leading the Brunei delegation where 9 local ICT companies are exhibiting their businesses at the Brunei Pavilion at CommunicAsia 2012.
Hj Yahkup Hj Menudin, Chief Executive of AITI, gave some praises to the three companies that recently launched their products at CommunicAsia, notably PHMD Publishing Company, Mars Enterprise and Indah Sejahtera Development & Services Sdn Bhd. He also highlighted of the upcoming BICTA which is one of AITI's biggest project which will also lead to APICTA where Brunei is the host nation for the regional ICT award.
I have to say I really love the food there at Straits Kitchen though I just read from my instagram that a friend of mine had a gruesome experience. I didn't even try all the counters but only focus on one area - Indian food - and I was already satisfied and full too :D
There's one week left peeps!! What are you waiting for?
Hey peeps!!! Have you completed your Panini Euro 2012 Sticker album? I just started mine last week but I'm still having fun nonetheless. Some of my friends have finished their albums and some even had two albums to themselves.. Apparently there are two groups of Panini gatherings and I'm more familiar with the one that gathers at Gadong Properties FoodZone. So there will be another gathering tomorrow Friday at FoodZone starting at 4pm.
If you haven't been to this group session before and also wanting to swap or buy/sell stickers, then do join this group ----> click here and you will be updated of current events and gatherings. Next Friday 29th June, there will be a final gathering also at Foodzone food court and I highly recommended you to come as I will be handing out some stickers from my leftovers from 6 boxes of Panini stickers *lol* The event management company Adison Marketing might also make their presence and who knows there might be some things in store for next Friday.
Just to let you know that the Panini sticker boxes have ran out from the main supplier so what remain are the stocks from vendors and retailers. Hence stickers will be very limited especially if you are a late starter like me. I'm currently in Singapore and hoping to attend a swap session if there's one in Singapore. Apparently the end users are selling stickers at 30cents a piece *eeeekkss*
I bought two boxes initially but ended up with 6 in the end *lol*
These guys have completed their books
There was quite a turn out and this was the 5th swapping session. The 2nd day gathering had the biggest turn out.
People of all ages were there too even small kids
Ewa is a big fan of Panini football sticker
So do turn up tomorrow Friday 4pm onwards at Foodzone Gadong Properties for the meet up
I'm pretty sure these guys have completed their book. Last I heard they needed two more stickers and that was 5 days ago
I was a bit messy and my area was the messiest of the lot :D
Despite going through numerous boxes, it doesn't guaranteed me a complete set
It's happening this Saturday
Expansion, not imploding
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Minister of Communications Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar (L) and Singapore Minister of Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, extended handshakes to commemorate the announcement of reducing roaming rates on voice, sms and data for mobile phone users. The event took took place at Brunei Pavilion at CommunicAsia 2012 event, Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, Minister of Communications, Brunei Darussalam and His Excellency Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Singapore, have jointly announced Brunei Darussalam’s and Singapore’s commitment to reduce the prevailing roaming rates for mobile phone users by 1Q 2013. The two Ministers made the announcement at the sidelines of the Ministerial Forum which was held as part of the annual Infocomm Media Business Exchange 2012, Asia’s largest infocomm and media platform.
As part of building strong bilateral ties between Brunei and Singapore, the Ministers have tasked the telecoms regulators of Brunei and Singapore to work with mobile operators to reduce the roaming rates.
The Minister of Communications gave some remarks on the special announcement on reducing of roaming rates for voice, sms and data between Brunei and Singapore
In his remarks at the event, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, Minister of Communications, Brunei Darussalam said, “Brunei Darussalam is really looking forward to further progress in this arrangement. With the reduction in voice, SMS and data roaming services charges between the two countries, international mobile roaming services can be utilized in a more efficient and beneficial manner by our users. It will also spur further growth in the mobile industry”.
It was great to know that the Minister highlighted the usage of social media that plays an important role in the high usage of data among Bruneians. He added, " There are currently 234,060 Facebook users in Brunei and in relation to our population; Brunei ranks No.1 among all countries in Asia in terms of penetration for the social networking site-Facebook, standing at 59.25%. Social networking services in the country are seen to grow at a rapid pace and this would also lead to growing number of data roaming traffic. Because of this, we should not impose very high charges to our customers as we do not want it to be perceived as a hindering factor for efficient connectivity."
"Brunei and Singapore is not only looking into the possibility of roaming rates reduction in voice and SMS services, but also data. And we hope this would minimize the complaints on high roaming charges.Such initiative does not mean that it will overcome the challenges of high retail roaming charges and bill shock."
"However, I also believe it can be done through self-regulation. For example, a systematic price transparency - empowering customers to make more informed choices when utilizing roaming services. We should also learn from the best practice on bill shock measures."
His Excellency Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Singapore, was delighted to announce the special collaboration between Brunei and Singapore for the reducing of roaming charges
His Excellency Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Singapore said, “Brunei and Singapore enjoy a long history of warm friendship with strong cooperation in a wide range of issues of mutual interests, including infocomm issues. This collaboration seeks to provide cross-border communication at a lower cost for the people of Brunei and Singapore. It would also enhance and reduce the cost of doing business between the two countries.”
Both the wholesale inter-operator charges and the retail subscriber charges will be reviewed. As mobile roaming charges involve different price components charged by operators in both countries, any effort to reduce roaming charges would require coordination and cooperation between both regulators and operators to ensure that users from both countries benefit from the decision.
Check out the current data roaming charges from DST. This image is taken from DST Group website.
[RA's summary]: As you can see that this is just an announcement between Brunei Darussalam and Singapore on the reduction of roaming charges between two mentioned countries. The expected time frame of the newly rates could be in the first quarter of 2013. So do expect another special announcement once the rates are finalised and these will be applicable to both telcos in Brunei - DST and b.mobile. AITI and IDA (Singapore) are mediators for the negotiations between both countries and this will result in a more competitive, affordable roaming rates and this will be a win-win situation. As for now, the data roaming is charged at 73 cents per 50kb. So you can image if I were to send an image on Whatsapp which could be as big as 1Meg. So that would be an estimated of $14 if I were to send that image to my friend. Ouucchh!!!
Group photo with the Ministers and representatives from Brunei Darussalam, Singapore and Malaysia
His Excellency Dr Yaacob Ibrahim and Pehin Dato Hj Abdullah sharing a light moment after the announcement
During the short interview, the Minister expressed the frustration of mobile users in Brunei on high roaming charges especially on data usage and this issue have been highlighted on the ministerial level regionally to see how roaming rates can be reduced. He said after an agreement on the finalised rates on roaming charges between Brunei and Singapore, he hinted that Malaysia will be next country to work with on reducing roaming charges.
The Minister was being interviewed by Channel News Asia
Special offer to all b.mobile customers and you can watch The Amazing Spider-Man on 5th July 2012 at M-Vision Empire Cinema 8pm. Offer valid from 16th June to 4th July 2012.
The Minister of Communications with the Brunei senior officials after touring the Brunei Pavilion at CommunicAsia, Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands
Brunei Darussalam makes their presence in CommunicAsia 2012 in Singapore when the Minister of Communications, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar visited Brunei Darussalam Pavilion together with ministers from Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Bhutan and Bangladesh. The ministers toured the booths of the 9 Brunei's ICT companies who participated in the Brunei Darussalam Pavilion. The Brunei Darussalam’s minister also officiated 3 participating companies’ new products during the exhibition. One of them, Indah Sejahtera Development & Services Sdn Bhd (ISDS) launched their JoomBah applications. This application is part of a solution for the human resource industry that has already been installed over 2000 sites all over the world – from Australia to Zimbabwe. The Human Resource suite will include applicant tracking and HRIS (human resource information system) in future releases.
Pehin Dato Hj Abdullah officially launched JoomBah application created by Indah Sejahtera Development & Services Sdn Bhd
Mohammed Aleng Taib, founder of ISDS (left) speaking to the Minister while Christopher Ng, Marketing Manager & Business Development Executive looked on
Mars Enterprise launched their “Mars ERP in cloud and mobile”. Mr Foo Boon Seng, Proprietor presented the solution to Pehin. The solution aims to improve accessibility of traditionally offline-based ERP solutions by adding an online and mobile component.
The Minister pressed on the screen to launch Mr. Foo's latest software called Mars ERP in cloud and mobile
Mr. Foo is very proud of his product and hopes his work will be a big hit internationally and he ended his presentation slide with "Brunei Yakin" motto
The third is an upcoming publishing company, PHMD who launched their latest book from the publishing company called “Made Simple” which is a book on m-Commerce & How to build a business app in 30 minutes. This is a guidebook for anyone who is interested in developing mobile devices applications.
AITI hopes that local Brunei ICT companies, by participating in CommunicAsia, will enable them to promote their ICT solutions, products and services to international buyers or partners.
The Minister cut the ribbon to officiate the launch of "Made Simple" book
The Minister also signed electronically on the iPad to commemorate the launch
Ak Mohd Khairi, General Manager and Project Manager of PHMD Publishing Company, talked briefly to the Minster on their latest book where one can easily create a mobile app
CommunicAsia 2012 kicks off today
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Surprisingly I have never entered this building. This is the H & M building and previously this was California Fitness.
After a two month wait, I finally managed to catch Raid: The Redemption movie which blew my mind completely. I almost caught it in Melbourne back in April but the timing didn't allow me and Brunei didn't bring the movie too. Verdict: 9/10.
I had another meal with Fina and Marianne and it was a pretty good steamboat meal at Ion Orchard
We had a four hour tour to Polytechnic Nanyang and IDA. Representatives from AITI, ICT vendors, iCentre incubatees and BEDB representatives also joined the tour.
Did you know that there's an MRT stop now at Marina Bay Sands? It's at the Bayfront stop. You will need to change platform at Marina Bay stop to go to Orchard MRT :)
Sometimes it's a good reason to wake up in the middle of the night to catch Euro 2012 while blogging :)
The big day is today and the organizers AITI and the 9 invited exhibitors were busy preparing for CommunicAsia 2012 yesterday at Marina Bay Sands convention. I shall be covering the event this morning for the official launch of CommunicAsia 2012 and three companies will be launching their services/products where the Minister of Communications of Brunei Darussalam will officiate the launches of the respective companies.
The guys setting up their booths for the four day event - CommunicAsia 2012
Hui Nee and Jo looking very busy
Coffee lovers in Brunei will be able to indulge in premium and top quality beverages as Australian coffee house Gloria Jean's Coffee finally opened its doors to the Bruneian market at Citis Square yesterday.
This was made possible following the business role of MyFranchise, a subsidiary of Perbadanan Nasional Berhad, which is responsible for the Brunei and Malaysia operations, through Wonderful Lifestyles Sdn Bhd.
Joining allegiance in the successful opening of Brunei's latest coffee store were the Australia Trade Commission and the Australian High Commission in Brunei Darussalam. Gloria Jean's Coffee is internationally recognised especially in the Asean region and popular among Bruneians who visit neighbouring countries. The owner of the Brunei outlet who is responsible for its daily operations is Pg Hjh Jamilah Matarasat.
Gloria Jean's Coffee - one of the world's top gourmet coffee retailers - has outlets in 45 countries, with approximately 1,000 stores worldwide and 470 stores in Australia. It is not only renowned for its genuine and distinctive taste and flavours but it is meticulously focused on the art and techniques of coffee-making to ensure top quality standards.
Awg Mohd Riza bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (3L) with Mr Wes Knight, the Acting Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam (2L) and other distinguished guests during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Image courtesy of Fadhil Yunus of Borneo Bulletin.
Following the opening landmark in Brunei and adding an alternative to the healthy Bruneian market, Datuk Hj Ahmad Shalimin bin Hj Ahmad Shaffie, Chairman of Gloria Jean's Coffee Malaysia said that yesterday's opening was the first outlet for Brunei Darussalam.
Gloria Jean's Coffee is also a registered member with Rainforest Alliance Certified. "It means that we only buy coffee from the farmers that follow the standard operating procedures of coffee farming," Datuk Haji Ahmad Shalimin said. Gloria Jean's Coffee's long extensive line of coffee products contains Rainforest Alliance Certified beans.
"The hero for the brand is the coffee itself and the beans are specially blended according to their recipes and directly comes from Australia. In terms of making coffee and the whole technicality of making the coffee, everything is handcrafted and we pride ourselves in making sure that our baristas actually learn the right and proper way of making coffee," a representative of Gloria Jean's Coffee said.
"As coffee drinkers, we are critical in the coffee we drink and for the market overall, the market is moving towards more places (for people) to hang out but at the same time provide good quality food and drinks," he added.
The investment and training in coffee professionals and baristas are well documented to ensure the highest level of professionalism and quality in Brunei coupled with the varied taste which ranges from one-dimensional to the rich and complex flavours.
"We also have a training centre in Kuala Lumpur where we call it Coffee University. So all the baristas will be sent to our centre not only for the coffee but also the SOP of the whole store," he added.
He said that the local staff in Brunei also received training in Kuala Lumpur. Gloria Jean's Coffee in Malaysia also expertly looked at the convenience of the location.
Originally started in the US in 1979, it was brought over by the Australians in 2005, which considered the brand as an Australian brand ever since.
Meanwhile, Mr Nabi Salleh, the Executive Chairman of Gloria Jean's Coffee International said, "We're incredibly excited about being able to provide the local Bandar Seri Begawan community with the high quality coffee, outstanding personalised services and vibrant store atmosphere that Gloria Jean's Coffee is famous for."
Present as the chief guest at the launch was Awg Mohd Riza bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources. Also present at the event were Mr Wes Knight, the Acting Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam; Dato' Mohd Ali bin Abd Samad, Member of the Board of Directors of Perbadanan Nasional Berhad; and other distinguished guests. Text courtesy of Fadhil Yunus of Borneo Bulletin.
Image taken from Gloria Jeans Brunei Facebook page
The winner of the 5km Fun Run @ Tasek Lama last Saturday
The Surveying Division of the Young Surveyor's Group, under the Institution of Surveyors, Engineers and Architects (PUJA), held the 'Fun Run @ Tasek 2012' event yesterday morning at Tasek Lama Recreational Park.
Present at the event was Permanent Secretary (Professional and Technical) of the Ministry of Development Hj Suhaimi Hj Gafar, PUJA Brunei Chairman Hj Zulkipli Hj Abdul Hamid and PUJA Brunei Surveying Division Chairman Hj Hanafi POKDGSDRDLU Hj Abd Rahman.
There were three categories at the event: the Student Run, 2.5km Run and the Overtime 5km Run. The event began with a flag off for all the runners, which was then followed by a 'Student Treasure Hunt'.
Apart from raising funds for SMARTER and Pusat Ehsan, the fun run also aimed to give the participants a better understanding of the quantity surveying profession. At the event, members of the public got the chance to interact with quantity surveyors and those in the construction industry, and learned more about the profession
A prize presentation was held at the end of the event for the winners of each category. A ceremony was also held to hand over the donations to SMARTER and Pusat Ehsan, with each organisation receiving $2,500
Representing the benefiting charities were Malai Hj Abdullah Hj Malai Othman, president of SMARTER and Dato Paduka Alimin Abd Wahab, acting chairman of the Board of Trustees for Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam.
The Fun Run @ Tasek event was held in conjunction with the 16th Pacific Association of Quantity Surveyors Congress, which will take place from July 7 to July 19 at the Empire Hotel & Country Club. Text courtesy of Zatty Joanda of The Brunei Times.
The winner of the 2km Fun Run @ Tasek Lama last Saturday
Donation handed to Pusat Ehsan
The warm exercise before the event led by Edgar
The flag off for the 2.5 km and 5km Fun Run
It was a day of heroes, as many rolled up their sleeves to donate blood at the RIPAS Blood Bank on Thursday, June 14.
The event was called the 'Hero Blood Donation Drive', where donors came dressed in their best superhero costumes and donated their blood.
Organised by GetFitCrossFit and the Health Promotion Centre (HPC), and supported by the Department of Laboratory Services, the event saw more than 200 people show their support for the cause and a total of 129 successful blood donations received.
The event, which coincided with World Blood Donor Day (June 14), was one of many 'mega drives' all over the country on the day.
"It's much more than just a donation drive. It's something inspiring and you feel like a hero by doing this," said DJ Faye from Pelangi FM.
According to a press statement from HPC, the reason behind making the event a fancy dress was to show potential blood donors, especially young people, that blood donation can be fun and social.
It was hoped that potential blood donors would be inspired to set up their own events and donate regularly in the future. By making the event social, potential blood donors would overcome their fears by having friends and family supporting them. Text by Zatty Joanda of The Brunei Times. Images courtesy of HPC Brunei Facebook and Stephanie Liew.