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25
Aug

Brahim’s still going strong

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Brahim’s 30 years and counting 
 


Thank you Dato Sri’ Ibrahim for signing your latest Recipe Book and treating me for breakie last weekend
 

It was a privilege to have met the founder of Brahim’s, the man himself, Dato’ Seri Ibrahim, who turned his own product into a global phenomenon. I’m quite familiar with their product especially the paste as I’m not pretty fond of preparation when it comes to cooking and secondly, I’m a curry lover 😀

So after the launch of the first Brahim’s Recipe Book at Times Square Shopping Centre, I had a special interview with Dato’ Seri himself and his two daughters – Nur Fatin Ibrahim, Group Managing Director and Dr. Nur Azizah, Director, over breakfast at Tasek Brasserie.

According to Dato’ Sri, most of the revenue earned for Dewina Group (for Brahim’s product) is from the catering sector. Their core businesses are mainly catering and supplying to retailers in Malaysia and outside Malaysia. The catering business itself is interesting as Dewina Group accepted a huge gamble to buy over MAS catering back in the early 2000s and forked out RM 170 million for a 70% equity. Furthermore, MAS Catering had RM 240 accumulated losses and making a loss of RM40 a year.

Amazingly Brahim’s Holdings Bhd managed to wipeout the losses in a span of two years. However, the company suffered a huge setback after the mishaps of the Malaysia Airlines in the past two years. I do salute Dato Sri’ for not giving up and always looking for opportunities especially outside Malaysia.

You will be surprised that one of the company’s first foreign customer is from Brunei where for a few years they were contracted to supply their products to the Brunei military. Interesting indeed. Now his business has flourished in Japan after all the diligent hard work and research. Apparently there is a demand for halal food even in Japan and now the company has good relations with Japan in providing halal meal. Dato Sri’ is already looking ahead as far as the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and in midst of doing the ground works to capitalize on this opportunity.

So to the entrepreneurs out there (even me), never give up with your business journey. There are plenty of opportunities out there even in a tough economic environment. I truly admire Dato Sri’s drive and he’s still pretty active even in his 70s. A sharp character and humble too. Thank you once again for your time during the short interview. Thank you also to Aunty Jackie for setting up the meeting and nice gesture during our flight back on Royal Brunei 😀

Now you can enjoy Brahim’s different range of products especially the ready-to-eat-meals (MREs). I’m already impressed with the sauces from Brahim’s and with the new addition, the packed rice will be a hit in Brunei. Also the MREs have good nutritional value and no added MSG, preservatives or even artificial colourings. So I’m amazed Brahim’s is able to come up with such an innovative perishable product.

You can visit your nearest supermarket such as Hua Ho and buy Brahim’s product there.

 


Dato Sri’ speaking to her daughter over breakfast
 


It was pleasure to have breakfast with them. Thank you once again
 

  
 

24
Aug

Pocket full of bliss

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Brunei Travel Fair 2016 
 


Happening next weekend and I shall be there to promote the event on my social media too 😀
 

 

  
 

BUBA UK FAIR 
 


Happening today
 

The British Universities Brunei Association (BUBA) will be hosting its fourth annual UK Education Fair on August 24, with 24 UK universities participating.

The fair is aimed at students who are considering studying in the UK in 2017 or 2018, but also offers a final opportunity for students still looking for a place in the September 2016 intake.

BUBA in a statement said the fair will be held at the Indera Samudra Grand Hall 1, The Empire Hotel and Country Club.

British High Commissioner to Brunei David Campbell said: “The UK’s summer education fair is a great opportunity for students to hear directly from representatives of a wide range of British universities about course options and life as a student.

“We are delighted that the UK remains the favoured option for the majority of Bruneians who plan to study abroad.”

The fair will be held from 2pm to 7pm. Some of the participating varsities are Aberystwyth University, King’s College London, University of Surrey, University of Kent, Loughborough University and University of Manchester.

BUBA said the Higher Education Division at the Ministry of Education will also be at the fair to answer queries about education loans for overseas study.

Students are advised to bring in copies of qualifications and transcripts when they come to the fair.
Further details and names of participating institutions can be found at www.buba.ac.uk/he-fair. Press release from The Brunei Times.

 

  
 

23
Aug

The Audi A4 quattro experience

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

I want the A4 pleassee!!! 
 


The Audi A4 Ultra 2.0 TFSI Ultra. I didn’t get to test drive this unit but this version is the most environmental friendly of the lot
 


The new Audi A4 1.4 TFSI which still is a solid car
 

Audi Traffic Light Information System

 

Last weekend, the local press & media were properly introduced to the 9th generation of the Audi 80/A4 series- the all new Audi A4, now with quattro® all-wheel-drive.

The new Audi A4 features numerous premium technologies which set higher benchmarks for its class. Elegant design blends with an innovative control concept, and lightweight construction meets new, efficient drivetrain solutions. The A4 is also ahead of its peers in terms of infotainment and assistance systems. As a result, Audi drivers can look forward to a truly high-tech experience ― an innovative synthesis of technology and aesthetics.

Now available at the Audi Kiarong showroom the new Audi A4 also achieves top ratings for efficiency. It boasts the best-in-class drag coefficient of just 0.23 and has shed as much as 120 kilograms (264.6 lb) in weight compared with the predecessor model. Three economical four-cylinder engine variants delivering up to 185 kW (252 hp) also play a major part in this efficiency gain.

The Audi A4 is also available here for the first time with the high-efficiency gasoline engine 2.0 TFSI ultra developing 140 kW (190 hp) which uses an innovative combustion process and has been designed based on the rightsizing principle. The economical power unit reduces the NEDC consumption of the new A4 Sedan to 4.8 litres per 100 kilometres (49.0 US mpg) and CO2 emissions to 109 grams per kilometre (175.4 g/mi).

The new Audi A4 comes equipped with an extensive selection of improved technologies making their first appearance in this model, such as LED headlights, Audi Drive Select with Efficiency mode, sports suspension with damping control, fly-by-wire gear shifter and a top of the line Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System.

In terms of safety, the new A4 has been awarded the highest ratings from both the Euro NCAP and IIHS safety tests.

Premium features will include multicoloured ambient lighting, front/rear parking aid and convenience key with ‘kick’ motion rear luggage door release.

TCY Motors will offer the new Audi A4 Sedan with three engine variants: a 1.4 TFSI (150hp/250Nm), 2.0 TFSI ultra (190hp/320Nm) and 2.0 TFSI quattro (252hp/370Nm) all utilising the 7-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission. Wheel sizes will range from 17”, 18” and 19” based on the respective engine variant.

 


I love the gear of the Audi A4
 


Now this car is a beast… The Audi A4 2.0 TFSI quattro
 

 


Good thing with this gear is that I can rest my hand and play with the control. Nice work!!
 


The interior has an S-Line finish
 


The display corner for driver
 


You can notice the difference in the design of the Audi A4 1.4 (in front) and the Audi A4 quattro (at the back)
 

 


Members of the media enjoying the ride of both the Audi A4 1.4 and the Audi A4 quattro
 

Rano’s feedback: I test drove two versions of the latest Audi A4 which were the Audi A4 1.4 and the Audi 2.o quattro®. Of course, you will know which one I would highly recommend. If you are just a casual driver that loves the eloquent feel of an Audi, you can’t go wrong with the Audi A4 1.4 and the ride is pretty smooth too. A perfect sedan car with good features and forgetting its safety features.

The one that stole my attention during the test drive is the Audi A4 TFSI quattro®. This means the A4 operates on a four wheel drive or in Audi context, all-wheel drive.  You can really feel the difference and you will know where that added value goes to when you fork out a little more than the Audi 1.4 and of course, in the quattro® version, the sound system is powered by Bang & Olufsen (woohoo). I also love the signal indicators which is applicable to all the new Audi A4.

Do give this a test drive at T.C.Y. Motors showroom at Kiarong and you will get what I mean with the quattro®

 

 


This is me, signing off with the four 😀 What do I think? If I were you, just go for the Audi A4 quattro… It simply rocks and even on a windy road, you will be amazed by the handling of the quattro.
 


For the golfers out there, what are you waiting for? 😀
 

 

  
 

11
Mar

Sponsored banners

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Win with Shell Helix  promotion
 


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Audi A4 
 


The new generation Audi A4. An Evolution in progress #A4lution
 

 

 

Agoda promo on BIBD 
 


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Peugeot 
 


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GLOT Lifestyle 
 


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Citroen Brunei 
 


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22
Aug

Black and blue

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Singaporean crowned champion 
 


Darren Tay Wen Jie accepting his award as he was crowned the 2016 World Championship of Public Speaking last weekend. Image taken off Darren’s Facebook Page.
 

2016 World Champion of Public Speaking, Darren Tay Wen Jie

I’m still amazed the fact that the past three winners of the World Champion of Public Speaking have come from Asia. Amazing feat!! First we have the charismatic Dananjaya Hettiarachchi (from Sri Lanka) who won in 2014 and he will be invited for the Brunei Conference in October. The following year was Mohd Qahtani from Qatar in 2015. Two days ago, Darren Tay, was crowned the 2016 World Champion of Public Speaking in Washington DC and his story revolved around bullying.

Looking at his resume, I’m pretty impressed for a man of his age (only 27) to achieve many things. According to his website, he is a prolific public speaker, debater and professional trainer. He founded the Public Speaking Academy in 2009 and has led the Academy to scale great heights in the school and corporate domains; including the successful organization of the annual National Public Speaking Competition since 2010.

He even won the Toastmasters International District 80 Speech competition in 2009, 20012 and 2014 for Speech Evaluation and Table Topics. Amazing feat indeed. He has also published his best-selling public speaking guidebook “Express to Impress” in 2012 and looks forward to subsequent publications in the future.

I do hope he will be able to make it for the upcoming Brunei Conference as a guest speaker and hoping for a favourable response from him. If it is a yes, then we will three world champion speakers for the Brunei Conference this October. Wouldn’t that be awesome? 😀

 


The top three winners of last weekend’s contest
 


Shawn Cassidy Narcis was there to experience the contest and this is a photo opportunity with all top three winners
 

 

  
 

Groves promotes Primajaya 
 


Adam Groves with the cast and crew of Primaja at KBSentral last weekend
 


One of the lucky winners for Primajaya t-shirt during one of the quiz session
 

It’s less than a month away. The another locally produced movie Primajaya will make it to the local theatres on 15th September 2016. The movie was in production two years ago and I had a privilege to see some of the scenes during the shooting back in 2014. Back then, the good friend Seng Yee was one of the camera operators and I was interested to know how the scenes were shot and all. It was really good to know and appreciate what went behind the scenes and it was never easy since most of them were not full time actors and have other commitments. All of them from the crew and cast volunteered to be part of this project.

I remember two years ago that Adam Groves, the main man behind Primajaya (formerly known as Bahlol), shared with me that he has this project that one day it will hit the cinemas. He finally almost make that dream come true 😀 as it just weeks away before it’s being launched.

Adam Groves recently had a session with the public at KBSentral last weekend to share his experiences in producing his first feature film under the film production company Visual Dimensions Production.

Primajaya tells the story of a local teen who turned his life around after assuming a superhero identity named ‘Bahlol’ in order to fight crime in a fictional city. According to The Brunei Times, Groves reminisced his childhood years in Kuala Belait before moving to the capital where he found his calling for making films. He also shared with the audience the ups and downs he faced in the film industry before offering tips and wisdom to aspiring filmmakers.

Mind you, his upcoming feature film will also mark his 10th year anniversary in venturing into videography. The talk session also saw three lucky winners from the audience as they won Primaya t-shirts.

Good luck bro and see you when the movie hits the screen. All the best. Images courtesy of Visual Dimension Production.

 

The trailer of Primajaya

 


Adam Groves speaking to the public on Primajaya’s journey
 

 

 


Finally it has passed the censorship board earlier this year
 

 

  
 

Kumon turns one 
 


Photo session for the students of Kumon Diligent which was held at Radisson Hotel to mark Kumon Diligent’s one year anniversary. Image courtesy of Kumon Diligent.
 


Yosuke Sagawa, Deputy General Manager of Kumon Asia and Oceania, officiated the event. Image courtesy of Azmi Zainal of The Brunei Times.

I was always curious how Kumon runs its session to their students and there are many institutions that help to educate young students. So what makes Kumon stands out? So I visited the premises, well their first outlet at BT Complex (near Times Square) and I met the owner Caley Lim as she shared on how Kumon Diligent works and I found it very interesting.

Kumon Diligent is a franchise from Japan and it has been a popular and also effective in grooming young children in improving their math and English. Let’s just say it’s an after-school enrichment program. The last I heard from Caley back in January, she has around 100 over students enrolled under her care and now it hs shoot up over 200 students. That’s quite a lot but she is assisted by her trained staff. It’s quite interesting the fact that the students were given tasks to answer on their own and only when required the trained staff will assist or guide them so the students can answer the questions.

Yesterday, Kumon Diligent celebrated its one year anniversary by holding an award ceremony for its students at Radisson Hotel. According to The Brunei Times, a total of 23 students across three categories — advanced student honour roll one, two and three — receiving awards acknowledging them for their efforts in tackling study material, which are above their current school grade level.

Caley highlighted that the event was also the eve of the school’s one year anniversary, and it represented the culmination of hard work and love for her team. She also expressed her gratitude to the students’ parents and the students themselves for their support throughout its first year.

In under one year, Kumon Diligent has seen over 200 student enrolments. As of June this year, 33 per cent of its students, who have been enrolled for seven months or more, are studying above their current school grade level.

Kumon Diligent is open on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday and is located at Unit 31, Ground Floor, BT Complex, Kg Jaya Setia, Bandar Seri Begawan.

The school can be contacted at 7193231 or by email at kumondiligent@outtlook.com and congratulations once again, Caley and her team, for making Kumon Diligent a successful centre for young students. You can also follow on their Facebook page for updates or instagram @kumondiligent

 


The assistant in blue apron assisting the students with their work. The students, however, will do their own tasks and only ask for assistance if required. This helps them to be more independent on answering tasks given and also building their confidence along the way.
 


After their session, the students will clean their own area before another session by other students. It teaches them to be responsible too. Pretty good.
 


The different level of modules catering to different skills of the students.
 


Caley Lim, the chief instructor of Kumon Diligent, is truly proud of the students’ growth and appreciates the parents for trusting Kumon’s methods of enrichment. The numbers do speak for itself. Keep up the great work!!
 


(From L) President of Kumon Asia and Oceania Atsushi Yamada, Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Noriko Iki and Chief Instructor of Kumon Diligent Brunei Caley Lim during the launch of Brunei’s first Kumon Diligent Learning Centre in Kg Jaya Setia last August 2015. Image courtesy of Amanda Yap of The Brunei Times.
 

  
 

 

FZ endorses AOX Natural 
 


Wu Chun, managing director of Fitness Zone with the management form AOX Natural (Brunei).
 

Press release form @aoxbrunei. From month of August onwards, Fitness Zone members can enjoy Natural Antioxidant-rich Alkaline water from AOX Natural. DescGroup Enterprise is the sole distributor for AOX Natural in Brunei Darussalam. AOX Natural was founded with the vision of helping many improve their health and has been awarded as the Asia Pacific Super Health Brand 1st Winner in Singapore Alkaline water industry.

AOX, the champion award winning brand ionises your water through the generous infusion of hydrogen, oxygen and negatively charged ions. This gives your water millions of powerful antioxidants which is highly effective in preventing free radicals damage. Antioxidants works just like Vitamin C! They strengthen your immunity system and promote anti-aging, keeping you looking and feeling fresh and youthful.

AOX mineralises water with health-sustaining minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium and silica to promote healthy cells, bones, joints, organs and skin.

AOX removes dust, sand, rust and other forms of sediments in the water. AOX removes harmful chemicals and cancer causing substances such as chlorine, THM, pesticides and carcinogens. It also eradicates odour in the water, making it smell and taste great!

 


AOX showroom is at Unit 12, spg 1080, Lot 27772, kg Kilanas, Negara Brunei Darussalam. For details, contact 8289089 or 8739948
 

Sam Hiang Kiat, sales manager of AOX Natural
 

“I strongly feel there is a huge synergy between Fitness Zone and AOX as we share the same vision that is to provide healthier lifestyle to our members,” said Wu Chun. He added: “Our members deserve the best that’s why I choose AOX because they are a trusted brand in Singapore supplying water dispenser to thousands of households, offices, hospitals, clinics and government offices including Prime Minister office, 365 Cancer Prevention Society, Kidney Dialysis Foundation, Crossfit boxes, Momentum Lab, etc.”

Sam, the Sales Manager of AOX Natural highlighted, drinking AOX Natural can help the body to eliminate acidity and detox more effectively, thereby preventing many of the diseases which are caused by a diet high in acidic substances. Other benefits includes Daily-Aging, improves metabolism, improve immune system, improves blood circulation, etc.

He continues, AOX also reduces water molecules to smaller water clusters which mean that your body is able to hydrate more effectively than normal water. Any protein drinks make with AOX become immediately more effective, simply because more of it is getting into your cells.

You can follow updates on their IG @aoxbrunei

 

  
 

20
Aug

Brahim’s launching of new products

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Brahim’s making its presence 
 


The book signing by Dato’ Sri Ibrahim for the guest of honour
 


One passionate entrepreneur and still going strong.. Keep it up, Dato’ Sri
 

I’ve tried their paste long time ago and I was hooked. Brahim’s curry paste is the bomb and it was during my university years that helped me a lot. The reason being is that I wanted something of a quick fix especially when it came to cooking. So staying on my own made me strategize on being time efficient and Brahim’s was a life saver indeed.

Yesterday’s event brought some sentiment as the Malaysian company that handles Brahim’s – Dewina Holdings Sdn Bhd – launched their newer products and recipe book at the Times Square Shopping Centre.

The event was graced by High Commissioner of Malaysia to Brunei Darussalam Datuk Ghulam Jelani Khanizaman with the presence of Dato Seri Ibrahim Hj Ahmad Badawi, the Executive Chairman of Dewina Holdings Sdn Bhd and his daughter Nur Fatin, its managing director.

I’ve never seen such a passionate individual who truly believe in his product, Brahim’s, as he shared about the company’s vision and its history during his welcoming remarks. It’s an interesting fact that the Royal Brunei Armed Forces were their first overseas’ customer for Brahim’s.

The price range is quite affordable as well and now available at most local supermarkets. The newly launched product is the MRE rice menus and you can choose the chicken or beef biryani, kampong rice, salted fish fried rice and not forgetting the Arabic lamb rice.

I had a quick food tasting session yesterday and I’m amazed that the rice itself doesn’t feel like it was from a packet. Now it’s time to impress my friends on my cooking skills 😉 If you really want to make full use of Ibrahim’s product, then I highly recommend you to purchase Brahim’s latest recipe book. It’s not just a recipe book. It’s a journey of Dato’ Sri Ibrahim too as a entrepreneur and it can help to aspire the young entrepreneurs in Brunei.

Later I will be having a session with Dato’ Sri Ibrahim himself for breakfast before he heads off to Best Eastern Times Square for a book signing at 11am to 11:30am. So if you want an autograph of him, better head off to Best Eastern today. He’s a very cool guy and I truly admire his dedication as an entrepreneur.


Cooking demo by RBC on Brahim’s products
 


One of the Brahim’s paste that was used for the prawn
 


I’m impressed with the Biryani rice
 


A token of appreciation from Dato’ Seri Ibrahim to Darussalam Holdings for using Brahim’s product for the Haj pilgrims
 


The latest recipe book that I highly recommend
 


Some of the other products from Brahim’s
 

  
 

19
Aug

Music to my ears

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Jude’s Time Machine 
 


Jude with his debut single “Time Machine”
 

Last year, he made to the papers for being part of the World Championship of Performing Arts and earned one silver and two bronze medals for his performance. His biggest milestone was when he came fourth in the Europop International Singing Competition in Berlin, Germany.

Gyver Jude Concon is a Brunei-raised talent and his core strengths are in vocal and composing. Being a student under NeoClassic Music School Brunei, it has helped to catapult his passion as a singer under the guidance of his vocal teacher, Syahminah Rasyidah @ Sharon Jusay.

It was no easy path for Jude or for any artiste for that matter. He faced many roadblocks in pursuing in his dreams. However, those obstacles have shaped him to be a stronger person to this very day.

His hard work has paid off as he has signed with a major record label “MCA-Universal Music Inc” and from there, he was able to compose and release his first ever single “Time Machine” which is now available for downloading and streaming on different platforms such as iTunes and Spotify.

Congratulations Jude on your milestone and I wish you the best in your singing career. For updates, you can follow his Facebook Page and his IG @judeofficial.

 


Jude officially signing with record label “MCA-Universal Music Inc”
 

 


Click image to listen and download his latest single “Time Machine”
 


With his mentor Syahminah Rasyidah @ Sharon Jusay
 

  
 

17
Aug

Charles 2.0

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

CBTL’s Cold Brew 
 

Ak Addeni Pg Tajuddin, Marketing Manager of CBTL (left) and Fairuz Ibrahim, Training Manager of CBTL, with a barista posing with the Cold Brew drinks 

Coffee enthusiasts rejoice as The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf introduces the coolest brew in town. Launched nationwide, The Coffee Bean’s cold brew is made from coffee grounds that has been steeped for 20 hours in filtered cold water. Brewing cold enhances the flavour for a smooth and bold finish. Now why is this special? Because it is able to cater to those who are light coffee drinks and this has a lighter taste than the usual brew coffee or iced coffee. This is something new for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and they have ample stock to cater to the taste of light coffee drinks. So grab it while it lasts.

Training Manager, Fairuz Ibrahim shares “Our cold brew is handcrafted. During the process, every batch is carefully stirred to soak every coffee ground to bring out all of the flavours of the cold brew.” The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s cold brew is available in four flavours – original, latte, hazelnut latte and vanilla latte and is also available as a decaf option. In order to maintain the quality of the cold brew, each outlet only carries a certain amount and a new batch is made and delivered daily.  Fairuz adds that the difference between an iced coffee and a cold brew coffee are very distinct in mainly how both are processed, “an iced coffee refers to coffee that is brewed hot and then chilled by pouring over or by adding ice. Our cold brew uses time rather than heat to extract the flavours from the coffee beans.”

 

Check out the Cold Brew drink from CBTL. Highly recommended for those who does take strong coffee
 

I kinda like it actually and as for the flavoured ones, it will be vanilla latte
 

Marketing Manager, Ak Addeni Pg Tajuddin shares “There is definitely a distinct difference in flavor between our iced coffees and cold brews and we believe our customers will also pick up the difference. Our Cold brew is light and lower in caffeine and is perfect as a quick refreshment.”

Customers can enjoy a cup of cold brew for as low as $3.00. Ak Addeni adds “Customers will also find that we have maintained the pricing of our cold brews to be the same as our iced coffees. We want our customers to enjoy our coffees which ever way that brings them happiness and however they want to experience it.”

So if you wanna try the cold brew, my recommendations is not to add sugar or syrup then you won’t the whole feel of the cold brew. If you want something sweeter, then I suggest try the flavoured ones – latte, hazelnut latte (sweetest of the lot) or the vanilla latte.

To find out more news or promotions follow The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on Instagram at @coffeebean_brunei and like them on facebook at facebook.com/thecoffeebeanbrunei. You can also download the “Coffee Bean Brunei” App on the Google play store or App store to be entitled to exclusive promotions and to get rewarded with a digital e-stamp for every drink purchased and can received a beverage for every 12 stamps.

 

Another great promotion that ends this Friday
 

  
 

Reopening at Tutong 
 


Yusof Hj Abdul Rahman, managing director of the Authoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (4th from left), Pierre Imhof, CEO of Baiduri Bank (centre) during the reopening of the Baiduri Tutong branch
 

A new look. A new feel. Baiduri Bank is heading to the right direction and not just focusing in the bandar area but also outside of bandar. Yesterday Baiduri Bank reopened its Tutong branch at its new location at Petani Mall due to its increasing demands.

Not only that but Baiduri Bank has been in spotlight for achieving accolades such as The Best Banking Group for Brunei 2016 recognized by World Finance (a record feat of making it 8th in a row) and also being awarded “Domestic Retail Bank of the Year for Brunei 2016” by the Asian Banking & Finance Magazine. Following that the global rating agency Standard and Poor affirmed Baiduri Bank’s rating of “BBB” which means the outlook set to stable. This is one of the reasons why Baiduri Bank remains in the top three banks in Brunei Darussalam.

Pierre Imhof, the CEO of Baiduri Bank, shared his appreciation to the customers in Tutong and despite the increase usage of the digital world and e-banking, having a branch presence is still relevant and important and that’s one way to create the bond with their clients.

The bank will be focusing on three main areas namely improving service quality and reliability, increasing professionalism in the workforce and introducing more products and services.

For me, I’m looking forward for this unique product named Merchant Suite which will be introduced pretty soon. With this platform, you don’t need a website to sell your products or services. I will share with you once I have more details on this cool platform and I believe it will be a huge hit among the consumers here in Brunei.

Present during the relaunch was Yusof Hj Abdul Rahman, managing director of the Authoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam who was the guest of honour and also graced the opening of the relocated Baiduri branch. Pg Azaleen Pg Dato Hj Mustapha, head of retail, Baiduri Bank and Tutong branch Sim Ai Hua led the tour of the premises.

The event had an interesting ambience. Decorated with the white followers and white fences, it gave a different touch for the invited guests. Good job, Collective Arts, for recreating a soothing atmosphere for a launch.

Interesting fact. Baiduri bank made its presence in Tutong since 2004.

 


Pierre Imhof delivering his welcoming remarks and shared the growth of Baiduri Bank and its vision
 


Pg Azaleen Pg Dato Hj Mustapha, head of retail, Baiduri Bank, Pierre Imhof and Yusof Hj Abdul Rahman touring inside the Tutong branch
 


Yusof Hj Abdul Rahman with Pehin Datu Harimaupadang Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Husin Ahmad
 


The invited guests during the relaunch
 


The blessings before the launch
 


The newly opened Tutong branch
 


The counter area at Tutong branch
 

 

  
 

16
Aug

Back to normal

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Glad it’s back 
 

Finally I’m back in Brunei after 10 days of holiday and it seemed like a long time. I miss being active with my coverage and furthermore, I miss the familiar faces I see now and then (you know who you are). I’m almost out of shape.. Well, it was more of a reference to my fitness level where tennis is mostly involved. The tennis group recently had a short trip to Miri yesterday for a friendly match between our tennis group and from the Miri side.

I’m kinda out of touch but thanks to The Brunei Times social media updates and the multiple sharing on my Facebook feeds on The Brunei Times’ articles, I feel that I’m in the loop of the happenings in Brunei.

The cycling event was, of course, the highlight of the week. It was rare to see His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam participating in a cycling event and it was lead by over 800 cyclists. Amazing feat indeed and I’ve never known that there are many cycling enthusiasts in Brunei alone. His Majesty cycled in the 15 km bicycle ride to mark his 70th birthday. All I can say is 70 and still going strong.. Amazing!!!

In other news, Pokemon Go seems to have taken Brunei by storm or Asia for that matter. When I was outstation, my social media feeds were dominated by Pokemon statuses and images. Is this a good thing or a negative thing? There’s nothing wrong for sure but just make you don’t drive and PoGo or escape work time to level up on your game. The question is how long will the phase last for? The developers had already made a few hundred millions through their purchase add-ins and in the first 5 weeks, they have earned more than USD 268 million. Amazing!! So for now, Pokemon Go is here to stay and no, I’m not one of them players huhu.

So enjoy your week, peeps and stay in touch through my social media feeds. Oh yea, thanks the Bluehost support team for scanning and cleaning my site. It was attacked by some unwanted Viiiirrruuussss… 🙁 So I’m glad it’s back and running.

 


His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, yesterday led over 800 people in an unprecedented 15 kilometre bicycle ride to mark his 70th birthday. Accompanying His Majesty was His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office. Image courtesy of Vincent Hong.
 


This could be one of the reasons why bicycle sales have increased
 


My final day in Malaysia before heading back. I’ve been lacking sleep but enjoyed my break so far in Ipoh, Penang and Kuala Lumpur
 


A successful event hosted by Honey Carsmart last weekend for their Grand Sale weekend and also getting involved with charities
 


The tennis friendly match between our tennis group (Aiman’s students) and players from Miri. It was held at Miri yesterday. Too bad I couldn’t make it and it was great exposure for the young players to play abroad.
 


It was first time staying in an AirBnB apartment in Kuala Lumpur and it was pretty good. I love the room and the host, Melvyn, is friendly and helpful. I also met a new friend from AirBnB and she’s staying in the other room of the apartment. I’m impressed with her resume as she has worked in Malta before. It was nice knowing you, Michiko. I hope you visit Brunei one day and we both have something in common. We support Liverpool 😀
 


My third Kpop concert and I kinda like the energy of the boy band, iKon. The concert took place at Indoor Stadium Negara. Kuala Lumpur last weekend. I had the privilege to cover the event (many postings on Snapchat). Congratulations to Kelly Wee and Vili Tee on winning the tickets and big thanks to Yuslin for arranging the tickets and my media pass.
 


The second consolation prize draw was held last Friday for the “Win the Helix” promotion. So far they had 5,925 entries for the month of July alone. The promotion ends 31st August. So you still have a chance to win the grand prize – Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 TSI. Image above are the members of the press who drew the names and witnessed by the management of Brunei Shell Marketing.
 


I caught a record of 6 movies in my recent trip. Suicide Squad and Bad Moms twice actually *lol* You can tell how much of a movie buff I am 😀
 


Though I complained too much about Batman v Superman, I still caught again from the in-flight entertainment on Royal Brunei Airlines. Thank you, Aunty Jacky for the upgrade 😀 It was nice catching up again and see you this Friday
 

  
 

12
Aug

Find the source

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

The new Audi A4 
 


The Audi A4 2.0 TFSI S Tronic Glacier White Front. You can view this at their Audi showroom.
 

Press release from @audibrunei. More powerful, more efficient, more intelligent: the new Audi A4 features numerous premium technologies which set higher benchmarks for its class. Elegant design blends with an innovative control concept, and lightweight construction meets new, efficient drivetrain solutions. The A4 is also ahead of its peers in terms of infotainment and assistance systems. As a result, Audi drivers can look forward to a truly high-tech experience ― an innovative synthesis of technology and aesthetics.

The new Audi A4 now available at the Audi Kiarong showroom also achieves top ratings for efficiency. It boasts the best-in-class drag coefficient of just 0.23 and has shed as much as 120 kilograms (264.6 lb) in weight compared with the predecessor model. Three economical four-cylinder engine variants delivering up to 185 kW (252 hp) also play a major part in this efficiency gain.

The Audi A4 is also available here for the first time with the high-efficiency gasoline engine 2.0 TFSI ultra developing 140 kW (190 hp) which uses an innovative combustion process and has been designed based on the rightsizing principle. The economical power unit reduces the NEDC consumption of the new A4 Sedan to 4.8 litres per 100 kilometres (49.0 US mpg) and CO2 emissions to 109 grams per kilometre (175.4 g/mi).

 


Audi A4 1.4 TFSI S Tronic Monsoon Grey Front. You can view this at their Audi showroom.
 


Audi A4 1.4 TFSI S Tronic Mythos Black with Nougat Brown Interior. You can view this at their Audi showroom.
 

The new Audi A4 comes equipped with an extensive selection of improved technologies making their first appearance in this model, such as LED headlights, Audi Drive Select with Efficiency mode, sports suspension with damping control, fly-by-wire gear shifter and a top of the line Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System.

In terms of safety, the new A4 has been awarded the highest ratings from both the Euro NCAP and IIHS safety tests.

Premium features will include multicoloured ambient lighting, front/rear parking aid and convenience key with ‘kick’ motion rear luggage door release.

TCY Motors will offer the new Audi A4 Sedan with three engine variants: a 1.4 TFSI (150hp/250Nm), 2.0 TFSI ultra (190hp/320Nm) and 2.0 TFSI quattro (252hp/370Nm) all utilising the 7-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission. Wheel sizes will range from 17”, 18” and 19” based on the respective engine variant.

 

 

  
 

A refreshing week 
 


7 years in the making. How our friendship have come along. Reunited with Winnie Cheng aka Eryn at Penang. It was a great catch up session. Till next time.
 

For the past week, I’ve been away and taking some time off the keyboard.. Yes, it feels good and liberating. I used to have the mentality of constantly updating my blog every single day and it came to a point that I feel burnt out *lol* Maybe age is catching up on me and I’m already in my 40s so I’m doing the best I could to be energized especially when it comes to posting. Mind you that I still have the energy to do my rounds of coverage here and there. It’s just the finishing of the articles has been slowing me down (or is that an excuse of me being lazy?)

This is my 6th year spending my week in Ipoh and Penang. The major difference – the hotel I stayed at Ipoh. It’s good to experiment with different hotels from time to time and I’m impressed with Weil Hotel at Ipoh, located just adjacent to Ipoh Parade Mall (movies, movies, movies). Don’t be fooled that Ipoh hasn’t got much to offer apart from cultural attractions. I really don’t mind this city from the hustle bustle of Kuala Lumpur and even Penang, Ipoh allows me to be calm and composed and I can still have my dosage of fun and of course, their delicious food (oh yea, try the Assam House there).

It was great to catch up with Winnie once again whom I know for the past seven years. I’m happy for you and your career. You have the courage to pursue your passion in arts and it paid off. A short visit to your art space made me one to have a working space like yours. Keep up the great work and empower others with your talents. I hope one day you can visit Brunei. Truly miss your presence and being in your sold-already-Ford car *lol*

Now I’m in Kuala Lumpur, capping off an awesome week with my friends from all around the world. I’m catching the iKoncert tomorrow with the winners on my IG contest. This will be my third Kpop concert though I’ve no idea who are iKon (don’t go hating me fans huhu). This is surely a guarantee that I will enjoy the concert no matter what.

 


With my friends from Malaysia – Lingly and Siew Li. Appreciate your friendship and companionship. See you again in February in Thailand 😀
 


My first time blogging at Cave Kek Lok Tong. Felt refreshed and how I wish I feel this way whenever I blog
 


Maccha ice-cream at Ipoh are the bomb
 


I didn’t know we have the same age. Welcome to the club, bro #40
 


Hello Zoe and she was happy with the henna artwork. It was gone in two days.
 


The Art Space where Winnie works and pencil her ideas. Good to see you found your footing in Penang. I’m inspired already.
 


The school of knocks. I remember visiting here 3 years ago at Straits Quay.
 


What we all have in common? We are bachelors and bachelorettes *lol*
 


Till next time, ladies 😀
 

 

  
 

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