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Archive for March, 2012


Earth Hour kicks off tonight :D

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

Borneo Bulletin gets new layout today

Congratulations to Borneo Bulletin on the new layout and this is something refreshing after many decades of the same layout for Borneo Bulletin. So today marks something special for Borneo Bulletin on the 31st of March. Awesome!!! Too bad I’m not in Brunei to grab a copy of today’s Weekend Borneo Bulletin. Thank you to Jake Ten and Hakim Hayat for the updates. The photos were taken during the printing time at 2am 31st March 2012 at Brunei Press Sdn Bhd.

The new layout of Borneo Bulletin from today onwards

The sports layout of Borneo Bulletin

Let the printing begins

Dean Kassim is one of the photographers for Borneo Bulletin

Hakim Hayat, a journalist from Borneo Bulletin

Jake Ten, another young journalist from Borneo Bulletin

Today’s edition of Borneo Bulletin ready to go

Earth Hour happening tonight

RBA celebrates 1 year at Melbourne

Royal Brunei Airlines celebrated the 1 year anniversary of its inaugural flight to the Australian city of Melbourne on 30th March 2012 at the Melbourne Zoo. The anniversary event is also held in conjunction with the launch of the Brunei national carrier’s daily services to Melbourne that was announced last January.

Present at the event is Yang Mulia, Dato Paduka Hj Awg Alaihuddin Pehin Orang Kaya DiGadong Seri Lela Dato Seri Utama Hj Awg Mohamad, Permanent Secretary of The Ministry of Communications, as the Guest of Honor, and Bruneian High Commissioner to Australia, His Excellency Adnan Jaafar. Joining on Royal Brunei Airline’s flight to Melbourne for the event is the Board of Director and General Manager of Sabah Tourism; Datuk Irene Benggon Charuruks.

Dermot Mannion, Deputy Chairman of Royal Brunei Airlines said, “Today we celebrate not only our one year anniversary of our flight into Melbourne but also the increase of our services from four times to Daily. We would like to thank both the Brunei and Australian government for their continuous efforts to promote Royal Brunei Airlines’ presence in Melbourne. We hope that with this increased frequency, our customers in Melbourne would be able to enjoy efficient connections to Asia and London”

Customers can book flights with Royal Brunei Airlines through travel agents, visit the Royal Brunei Airline’s Melbourne office at Level 10, 45 William Street, Melbourne Victoria, 3000, Australia or visit us online at www.bruneiair.com

The event took place at the Melbourne Zoo. Apparently this venue also offer corporate functions

There was some local tradition music during our arrival

The local dancers and Royal Brunei Airlines welcoming the guests to the RBA dinner event

Guest of honour Dato Paduka Hj Alaihuddin (2nd from left) and His Excellency Adanan Jaafar, Brunei High Commissioner to Australia

It was such a cozy and relax evening at one of the rooms at Melbourne Zoo

Dermot Mannion, Deputy Chairman of Royal Brunei Airlines, gave a word or two, on the anniversary of the Melbourne flight as well as RBA’s migration to Amadeus

The cake cutting ceremony before dinner

The cultural dance performers entertaining the crowd

The Guling Tangan musicians also came all the way from Brunei

The Brunei travel agent sharing a happy moment with the photographers

We had some fun and trying to be creative with our poses on the Royal Brunei Airlines photo

The guests also joined in the fun

HSBC Fair at The Airport Mall

DPMM FC back on the summit

Congratulations to DPMM FC on being back on top o the S League again after their comfortable victory over Gombak 3-0 with goals coming from Shahrazen and Osman Basiru. The other goal was an own goal. The victory means DPMM FC have four wins and two draws and they have taken over Home United and DPMM FC also have one game in hand.

Thank you to Carol who kept me updated and sending me pictures from the Jurong West Stadium 🙂

Before the kickoff between Gombak and DPMM FC

The DPMM FC supporters were also there

My Melbourne trip so far

I’m loving the room at Crown Metropol

Caught up with Lucien Ong and Stephen Ong the night we arrived Melbourne. Thanks for the treat and the company.

The view from my room during sunrise 😀

We paid a visit to the Aquarium.. A must visit place

I could feel my balls at its sensitive level on the 88th observation deck. Yoong braved himself and took photo at the corner of the slightly reclined floor.

One of the most sought places in Melbourne – Victoria Market

At Melbourne Central

I caught up with Ain who’s currently studying in Melbourne *envy* haha and thanks for the company

I bought a few t-shirts here at Adidas store along Bourke Street

I bumped into Brunei students in Melbourne

I finally had this ice-cream – my favourite of all time – Golden Gaytime. Sophia, you think this can outshine the yam ice-cream (at Swensen’s)? hahaha :p


Hello Melbourne :D

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

Exit KL/Enter Melbourne

A few weeks ago, I asked myself if it was possible to accept the invitation from Royal Brunei Airlines for the daily flight to Melbourne which was initially scheduled from 25th March. I turned down because I would physically still be in KL/Terengganu for my Tourism Malaysia Mega FAM trip. Then to my delight, Royal Brunei Airlines rescheduled their invitation to the 29th of March which was just perfect because it was the same day I finished my duty in KL/Terengganu.

So I accepted the invitation which only allow me a two and a half hour window (between my arrival from Kuala Lumpur at 9:10am and my departure to Melbourne 11:50am) to check-in and rush home to shower and refreshen up. And it worked!!! Oh I challenging task was that I was only given the notice two weeks prior to Melbourne trip and I had to make arrangement for my Australian Visa which can be only issued in Kuala Lumpur. So my FAM trip was such a great timing and I managed to get my visa approved the day I arrived KL back in 22nd March.

I’m quite excited that I will be flying over to Melbourne a city that I have left 12 years ago during my high school and university years. So I have to say there will be a lot of emotions once I have touched down Melbourne and we will be busy visiting places in Melbourne during our 3 night stay in Melbourne. Thank you Royal Brunei Airlines @royalbruneiair for making this trip possible and congratulations on making Melbourne a daily flight which is another strong sector.

Dermot Mannion, Deputy Chairman of Royal Brunei Airlines, giving his short welcoming remarks

Mr. Mark Sawers, Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam, spoke of the strong bilateral ties with Brunei and Australia

The cake to commemorate the 1st year anniversary to Melbourne

The cake cutting ceremony

Dermot Mannion and associates of Royal Brunei Airlines with the local travel agents who will be on the same flight as well

There was a short welcoming speech by Dermot Mannion, Deputy Chairman of Royal Brunei Airlines, at the Berakas Room, Airport Restaurant. Also present were the Australian High Commissioner to Brunei, Mr. Mark Sawers and CEO of Brunei Tourism Board, Sheikh Jamaluddin. There was also a cake cutting ceremony to commemorate Royal Brunei Airlines’ 1st year anniversary to Melbourne.

Dermot Mannion, Deputy Chairman of Royal Brunei Airlines, – “This is a unique setting opportunity for Royal Brunei Airlines. We have also have been working around the clock as today we have successfully migrated to a new system. It has been a terrific success and we are among the first in Asia to Amedeus system and Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines will follow suit soon.

Hence this shows Royal Brunei Airlines aiming to provide the best technology, the state of the art service/ system to make the experience easy between the travel agents and the customers. This is an indication that Royal Brunei wants to provide high quality service, better quality system. This is the message that we would like to convey in the next couple of days for the customer to experience the peace and tranquility in Brunei Darussalam as well as the service from Royal Brunei Airlines.

I managed to catch with Carol in the wee hours at LCCT, Kuala Lumpur before our departure to Brunei and Singapore respectively. I wish you the best and I shall be seeing you soon in April. Thank you for showing up in my life and take good care of yourself 😀

I noticed that I’ve been always been positioned by the wing side. I’m quite happy that @AirAsia flew quite early so I was able to make the flight o @royalbruneiair to Melbourne this morning

The media and the new media were also invited for the Melbourne trip. Thank you Royal Brunei Airlines @royalbruneiair

Half of the SocMed gang is on the same flight. We are definitely missing the rest of the bunch. Thanks for your support guys. Next will be yours 😀

We had a quick view of the cockpit and the pilots who will be flying us over to Melbourne

Syazwan and Hamidah enjoying the comfort in business class of RBA Boeing 777-200 ER

Yay!! My neighbour @AnakBrunei at the middle row. Now I’m missing my neighbour Dj Daffy who sat next to me during our KL/Terengganu trip recently

These guys are another factor for the pleasant and awesome service in Royal Brunei Airlines. Keep it up, guys!!

Too bad my sister Rini couldn’t join us for the flight to Melbourne and it was great seeing you at the airport and thanks for sending us off 😀

So many reasons why you should travel in business class and one of them is the dedicated reading light

There are also a few pockets to place your documents or mobile phones and the distance of the screen and the passenger is quite spacious

Another great thing is the food selection and I have to turn down a meal because I’m quite stuffed from eating *lol*

Good course meal I had before my power nap

I love the fact that I can charge my Macbook and iPhone during the 7 hour flight 😀

I love the fact that the seat can recline to horizontal


Teluk Ketapang Home Stay

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

Brunei should follow suit

Like I said in my previous post that Brunei and Terengganu have a similar culture but Terengganu is more laid back in terms of shopping malls or entertainments such as movies (You need to drive at least 2 hours to go to the nearest cinema). Instead Terengganu has more cultural places to visit and the food is awesome too. One of the biggest pulling factor for Terengganu is “resort getaway” and also home stay programme.

The Brunei delegate was given the opportunity to try out the home stay programme at Teluk Ketapang which is also supported by the government via Tourism Malaysia. Though the community is small but most of the efforts were done through volunteerism which is something very unique that I’ve learned from the community of Terengganu. Their warm hospitality is priceless and most of us felt slightly embarrassed by the welcoming party because of the awesome welcoming treatment they gave.

The rooms were pretty decent and if you are lucky enough, the owners might give you their password to their wifi access *Awesome* Oh, by the way, if you happen to be in Terengganu, Maxis line has better coverage. I was using DIGI line but I could only get E signal but I was still able to tweet, whatsapp and post pictures on instagram 😀

Apparently some Bruneians had experienced the Teluk Ketapang Home stay programme and most of them are exchange students. Perhaps, the youth community in Brunei can take opportunity to give this home stay a go because you can benefit and learn on the culture of Terengganu in just a span of a few days.

I would also like to take this opportunity especially for Brunei Tourism to tackle into this industry of “home stay” programme where it can draw quite a lot of visitors to the country as there is a market for this kind of programme. Yes, I did hear of Kg. Matan home stay but I believe it wasn’t heavily promoted and not many people are aware of this. I’m also not sure if the programme is as exciting as the ones provided at Teluk Ketapang, Terengganu.

Anyway, enough of my rants *lol* and a big thank you to the community of Teluk Ketapang for their warm hospitality and also to Tourism Malaysia for giving us the opportunity to experience a wonderful home stay programme.

Apparently one of the guys from Teluk Ketapang can make a “belalang” from leaves.. Cool stuff!!!

One of the activities programme was playing congkak and mat salleh Jake gave it a go

Dj Daffy had an attempt to make roti jala

Melvin had a quick run on the ATV nearby the beach side

Having a quick race with Ari (writer for AirAsia online content). Image courtesy of Melvin

The crystal mosque at Kuala Terengganu and the mosque is located at Islamic Heritage Park. It was officially opened in February 2008.

At one stage, we had 6 meals in one day and one of those meals was the roti tuning.. The texture was totally different and it has a unique taste too 🙂

This was Jake’s foster family during the one-night home stay at Teluk Ketapang

Dj Daffy and I stayed with this family and the owner is a well known architect in Terengganu. Beautiful house too.

Group photo with the Teluk Ketapang Home Stay community


Bye Bye, Terengganu

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

AirAsia’s Big Sale

AirAsia’s Big Sale is back again, with all-in-fares from as low as RM25 one way to domestic destinations and RM55 one way to international destinations across both AirAsia and AirAsia X’s route network.

The return of the Big Sale is available on offer online from 28 March – 1 April 2012, and guests will be able to travel from 1 October 2012 to 31 January 2013. The promo fares will be available on www.airasia.com and all of AirAsia’s mobile booking platforms. All-in-fares are from RM25 one way to domestic destinations such as Penang, Alor Setar, Johor Bahru, Kota Bahru, Kuala Terengganu, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and many more.

Exciting international destinations such as Bali, Jakarta, Batam, Medan, Surabaya, Semarang and other exotic destinations in Indonesia are available from as low as RM55 all-in, one way. Guests can also travel to other great destinations such as Singapore, Hat Yai, Krabi, Phuket, Da Nang, Hanoi, Vientiane, Chennai, Kochi, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Macau and many more from RM55 one way as well.

Guests may take advantage of this Big Sale and fly long-haul with AirAsia X from as low as RM225 one way to China (Tianjin, Hangzhou, Chengdu) and from as low as RM295 one way to Japan (Osaka, Tokyo), Korea (Seoul), Taiwan (Taipei) and Australia (Perth, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney).

In addition, guests may have the luxury of flying long-haul with extra comfort on AirAsia X’s Premium flatbeds one way from as low as RM949 to China (Chengdu, Huangzhou, Tianjin), from RM999 to Taiwan (Taipei), Korea (Seoul), Australia (Perth, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney) and from RM1,699 to Japan (Osaka, Tokyo).

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Kathleen Tan, AirAsia’s Regional Head of Commercial said, “AirAsia recently held our first Big Sale of 2012 in mid-February, with 1,000,000 seats on promotion, and the response was really overwhelming. This time around, we are also expecting massive traffic into our website and we hope our guests will be patient if they face some delays in accessing our flight booking system. We know that there is a huge demand for travel out there especially in the ASEAN region, and with AirAsia’s extensive coverage across 150 routes, 22 countries and 13 hubs in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong (both are virtual hubs), guests should not miss out on this Big Sale to travel to new destinations or revisit their favourite ones.”

Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X said, “The return of the Big Sale, would offer guests another round of X-citing offerings on the long-haul, low fare affiliate of AirAsia; AirAsia X. Guests from Australia, China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea where AirAsia X flies to may connect from its Kuala Lumpur hub to various exotic destinations such as Bali, Phuket, Bangkok, Siem Reap, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong and many more at X-traordinary low fares. In addition, with the additional flight frequencies on the AirAsia X route to Tokyo, Taipei and Perth; connectivity to South East Asia and beyond from Australia, Japan and Taiwan are now more accessible. Guests may also take advantage of our fly-thru services for a seamless travel experience.”

Guests are strongly encouraged to book their value-added services such as Baggage Supersize, Hot Seats, Pick-A-Seat and AirAsia Insure online together with their flights as they are able to save up to 50%. As for in-flight meals, guests can now pre-book more than one meal on board, and at lower prices as well with the recent reduction of in-flight pre-book meal prices.

Apart from that, AirAsia has also recently reduced its processing fees from RM8 per guest per sector, to only RM5 per guest per sector. Processing fees are not applicable for BIG card users.

Counter check-in fees are also waived for international bound guests across all of its hubs and stations throughout the route network.Earn BIG Points every time you spend with AirAsia and other BIG partners worldwide to redeem free flights with the world’s best low cost airline. More details on BIG at www.airasia.com.

Get tips and tricks on how to grab your Big Sale seats at AirAsia’s social media channels by following them on Twitter (twitter.com/AirAsia) and Facebook (facebook.com/AirAsia) apart from getting the latest promotion updates and other AirAsia activities.

*All fares quoted are all-in fares, inclusive of airport tax and fees for one way only. Text courtesy of AirAsia.

Home stay Teluk Ketapang

I’m impressed with Terengganu so far. Initially, my mindset was more of a resort place since lots of people associate Terengganu with Pulau Redang, one of the most sought destinations in Malaysia. Tourism Malaysia (Brunei) decided to give the Homestay a try for our group and I’m glad that we were given the opportunity to do so.

I won’t go to far with the details as yet but I shall further elaborate in next post. The only I thing I might say is that this is one of the key factors of drawing tourism to their country through home stay programmes in Terengganu. Now I believe we can do the same for our Brunei Tourism and this should be given a more aggressive push apart from the sports tourism where loads of $$$ have been pumped in instead.

I shall explain how interesting the home stay programme is in my next post.

Printing our boarding pass at LCCT to catch our @AirAsia flight to Terrenganu

The airport at Terengganu is simple and pleasant looking

This is one of Terengganu’s cultural food – Nasi Dagang

We paid a visit to one of the batik places called Noor Afida and we saw how they handmade the fabric

Pg Azmy of Tourism Malaysia (Brunei) thanking the Kampung Teluk Ketapang

Melvin with his adopted family during the Homestay Teluk Ketapang

We had a great welcoming reception with the live band performance

Dj Daffy was knackered on the first day of Terengganu

Hush puppies promotion

Brustralia 3


The great adrenalin

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

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HSBC FAIR this weekend

Catch the HSBC Fair at the Airport Mall

The Hunger Games

Wowww!!! Simply wow!!! I have never read the book or even heard of the plot or the word “tributes” until my first experience in the cinema catching the premiere of The Hunger Games. It was simply an eye opener in terms of storytelling and I was pretty taken back by the graphic nature during the “Battle” but it was something I’ve never saw coming too. Friends have been recommending me to read the book but I don’t handle fiction books that well.

Another reason why I enjoyed The Hunger Games is because of the lead role played by Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. I noticed her in Winter’s Bone which she played a tough daughter to a meth-cooking dad and she was outstanding too. By the way, The Hunger Games put Twilight series to shame when it comes to the love chemistry/romance. This movie also clocked the 3rd biggest opening of all time with a whooping $155 million on the first weekend.

This movie won’t get a 10 for me. There’s something slightly missing I feel. I can’t wait for the 2nd movie now. Catch in cinemas while you can.. Katniss is one awesome actress. Verdict: 8/10.

Katniss Everdeen played by Jennifer Lawrence

Audition for castings for Yasmine

Brunei’s first feature film! Good initiative by Origin Artistic Management as the Brunei director Siti Kamaluddin teams up with Hong Kong’s director Stephen Tung Wei and Chan Man Ching. They have also working with Indonesian screenwriter Salman Aristo and with all these combinations, they are gonna bring the very first Brunei feature film *Awesome*!!!

Auditions have been extended to the 2nd of April (initially 27th March)! Do email to enquiry@originartistic.com with your headshot photo to attain the casting form. For more info, you can check out their Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/YasmineTheMovie

Looking for Bruneians:
– Aged between 18-25 yrs old (3 Female & 1 Male role)
– Aged between 36-45 yrs old (1 Male role)

Now I wonder this film will turn out to be 😀

The F1 Spirit in Sepang

I dunno why but it’s always great fun to return back to Sepang. I can’t remember how many times I’ve been (a few invites from Tourism Malaysia, one from Maju Motors and one on my own). However this time, the Grandstand we were allocated was at Grandstand K where the first corner is. I realised this is the best spot of the Sepang track for spectators as this is where most of the action takes place (the crashes, the nail-biting start, the over-takings etc). So I do hope the next time Tourism Malaysia will continue to send the Brunei delegates at the same Grandstand and I highly recommend Brunei enthusiasts to select that particular seats too.

I was a bit disappointed that Schumi struggled in Sepang despite being 3rd on pole position. He fell a few positions behind after spinning and he never recovered. The race was put on hold for at least 30 minutes due to the rain. Of course, as a spectator, I didn’t want the race to take a break *lol* i remember two years back, Jensen Button was declared a winner after a few laps due to the heavy down pour.

The race itself was already full of excitement though the momentum suddenly fizzled out midway through the race. One exciting part is the battle between 1st and 2nd place – Alonso vs newcomer Perez. I believe Perez will have a bright future who came 2nd in Sepang and he was pretty close in some occasions but he didn’t have the edge to beat Alonso on the track. Give it some time as this guy will definitely deliver.

Sorry peeps for the late of updates because of the time scheduling here in Malaysia. Sleeping hours are lesser on some nights and at this moment, I’m in Terengganu with my media buddies. Awesome place and I shall share with you my experience in Terengganu.

Sweet looking lady selling Red Bull

Our Brunei Jay Chou version was also at Sepang F1

The beautiful Petronas models

The Red fans of Ferrari 😀

McClaren fans at Sepang Race

Our F1 Sepang view… Awesome!!!

Dermalogist Beauty Therapy


Revving for Sepang today :D

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

So much to offer in Malaysia

I wasn’t feeling well lately and it’s such a bummer that I’m outstation and feeling lethargic on the 2nd day and rested myself for at least 8 hours at the hotel and missing some of the pitstops that I was supposed to cover. The ActiFast Panadol did the job of clearing my head and I even bought some Redoxon to put more vitamin in my system. But I’m glad that I’m feeling much better now after that rest though there are still times my body would just heat up. I have 8 days to go now before I return back to Brunei and for those who trying to reach me on my Brunei line, I’ve switch it off but you email me or for those who have my whatsapp, you know what to do 😀

The Brunei delegates attended the welcoming dinner hosted by The Minister of Tourism, Malaysia, Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen who is one charismatic and outspoken person. Though she said she won’t speak too long in the beginning but ended talking more than 10 minutes *lol* I would say she does sell Malaysia as a tourism industry pretty well though by comparing with other countries in terms of climate, natural disaster, petrol, duty free goods and many more.

The Minister also highlighted Malaysia as “My Second Home” where the Government is heavily promoting foreigners as they can stay in Malaysia for as long as possible on a multiple-entry social visit pass. As you know, the Social Visit Pass is initially for a period of 10 years and now is renewable click here to find out more. She summed up tourism in Malaysia as being “fun” and in the end, she welcomed guests to dance to the 1Malaysia theme song and boy, can she really dance too..

The Minister also joked about Non-duty free goods and discourage the guests to spend on these particular items when they are in Malaysia 1) cars 2) chocolates 3) glassware 4) liquor 5) cigarettes.

The Minister of Tourism of Malaysia speaking to the guests during the opening night ceremony of the F1 FAM trip

Even the waiters and servers were wearing F1 gears

The dance culture were enjoyed by the guests

Even the Minister got the groove.. Oooohh Yeaaahhh (WWF Legend Macho man’s taunt)

The Minister taking photo with the Brunei delegates

Try this OKF

If you purchase any Holika Holika or Sariayu or Follow Me or Mustika Ratu products (above $10) then you will be entitled the OKF Health Beverage for only 0.50 cents while stocks last

The trip so far in KL

I had my blood pressure checked when I was feeling under the weather on the 2nd day. This was taken at Guardian Pharmacy, KLCC. This lady was pretty helpful.

I made used of the Rapid KL since it’s quite convenient to get around KL and plus it’s pretty cheap. Cost me RM3 instead of RM10-20 on taxi

I finally got my Australian visa approved *woohoo* Thank you to the Australian High Commissioner in Malaysia, Royal Brunei Airlines (for the letter), Ogy and Diwi for the paperwork 😀 Now I can fly to Melbourne after a 12-year hiatus

Fans of Girls’ Generation were asked to move to another area 10 hours before the concert. These are real fanatics of the Korean celebrities.

Well done Schumi for making 3rd in pole. Mercedes is heavily promoted in Malaysia due to their partnership with Petronas.

We stayed here on the first night. I love the room.. Huge, spacious and it’s at Sunway Putra Hotel.

Our visit to KLCC Twin Towers and I love how our ticket entrance shows a 3D visual presentation using censor

Guys from the media with a Tourism Malaysia official (Brunei) and AirAsia official. This was taken at the Sky Bridge (41st floor) of KLCC Twin Towers

Is Jake afraid of heights? This was taken on the 86th floor9a

They have many sweet looking police (women) securities working at Twin Towers

Melvin bought this fan spraying water for RM50. He complained that the power of the fan is pretty weak though *lol*


CR has left the building

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

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The countdown for Royal Brunei Airlines

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El Ranchero Sundown Feast

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BIBD’s website gets facelift

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), the leading Islamic Financial Institution in the country, launched the fresh and friendly new BIBD website among several other new services and initiatives at an event held yesterday at the Empire Hotel and Country Club.

Gracing his presence at the launch as the guest of honour was Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar Minister of Communications who kindly inaugurated the new BIBD website and a host of other new services offered by the bank.

The fresh, friendly, interactive and informative new BIBD website provides a modern and trendy “look and feel”, is easy to navigate, provides comprehensive information on all of BIBD’s products, services, and promotions, and also provides accurate map locations of all of BIBD’s branches and ATMs. The new website also provides valuable information on Islamic banking including Islamic terminology, publications on Islamic banking, and more.

BIBD also became the first bank in Brunei to launch an online top-up service for customers to recharge their pre-paid electricity meters. BIBD customers will now have the option to do so through BIBD Online; the bank’s internet banking platform. Customers may pay for and obtain top-up token to recharge their pre-paid electric meter online without having to go through the hassle of waiting in long queues to purchase these tokens or indeed suffering the inconvenience of running out of electricity credits unexpectedly. The system will automatically generate the prepaid token number from the Department of Electrical Services (DES) which can then be fed into their prepaid meters.

The launch of the new BIBD website and the DES top-up service is also accompanied by other exciting new features. For example, BIBD customers can access BIBD Online through the new website. What’s more, BIBD customers can register to receive SMS alerts for all transactions performed by them on their bank accounts, debit cards, and credit cards. Intended to be a strong security feature for BIBD customers, these SMS alerts will notify them of their Credit and Debit Card transactions, when their salary is credited into their bank account and when their eStatement is ready and available for viewing via BIBD Online.

Javed Ahmad, Managing Director of BIBD and Pehin Abdullah, Minister of Communications

Javed Ahmad in his opening remarks

Guest of honor having a look at the new revamped website

Souvenir for the guest of honor

In addition, similar SMS alerts will be sent to BIBD credit card customers who reach 90% of their credit limit, or whose payment is due including the amount of payment to be made. Once the payment has been completed, customers will receive another SMS alert notifying them of the credit.

To provide its customers with further new and innovative services and features, BIBD also introduced an “online kiosk” or self-service terminal which will be installed progressively at all its branches. This self-service terminal gives customers access to the BIBD website and BIBD Online. It provides all the services of an ATM such as bill payments, credit card payments, transferring funds within BIBD accounts, account balances and a host of other transactions except dispensing cash.

Speaking on the occasion Javed Ahmad, the Managing Director of BIBD stated: “At BIBD, we feel really proud of having achieved these important milestones in our journey of transformation. The new BIBD website captures the spirit of our company and communicates the sense of vibrancy that pervades our organization. The DES top-up services and the introduction of the new online kiosk – both unique firsts in the Brunei market – positions us as a leading innovator in the banking market with so much additional value and richness in service being provided to our customers”.

Also present at the launch were the Board of Directors of BIBD, the Shariah Advisory Body of BIBD, BIBD’s customers as well as the management and staff of the bank.

The team behind yesterday’s event.. Thumbs up!! Two big launches in a week too

The new revamped website. Click image to enter

Cooltones final week “WinACar

It’s the final week… So who’s gonna win the car?


Opportunities at SCB

Lots of openings at Standard Chartered Bank Brunei

Rob Jones to feature EPL Masters

Robert Marc Jones (born 5 November 1971 in Wrexham, Wales) is a Welsh-born former England international footballer who made his name whilst he was with Liverpool.

Jones, who grew up in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, began his career with Crewe Alexandra, signing professional forms at the age of 17 on the 20 December 1988 when Crewe were in Division Four. The right-back settled quickly, quietly going about his defensive duties until being spotted during the 1991–92 season, accidentally, by Liverpool manager Graeme Souness who was at Gresty Road looking at a different player. Souness put in an offer of £300,000 which was accepted, and on 4 October 1991, a month before his 20th birthday, he became a Liverpool player.

His debut for the Reds came on 6 October 1991, just 48 hours after he had signed on at Anfield. By the end of the season he had gained his first international cap and had helped the Reds to the final of theFA Cup at Wembley, a final that saw Liverpool beat Sunderland 2-0. However, he was ruled out of England’s Euro 92 squad due to shin splints.

Over the next four seasons he was a regular member of the Liverpool starting line-up and in the sides that beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 in the 1995 Football League Cup final and lost 1-0 to Man United in the 1996 FA Cup final.

When Liverpool signed midfielder Jason McAteer, who arrived in 1995, Roy Evans converted McAteer to right-back and employed Jones on the left-side in a wingback role as Liverpool changed from their normal 4-4-2 to an attack-minded 5-3-2 formation.

Rob Jones, former Liverpool and England player will be in Brunei next month

After the 1996 FA Cup final, Jones was advised to take a six-month break from football due to back problems. He returned to action, but the next two seasons were plagued by injuries, and in February 1998he played what was to be his last game for Liverpool. An injury in his left knee couldn’t be fixed, despite three operations, and at the end of the 1998-99 season, in which he hadn’t played a game, he was released on a free transfer. Jones had played 243 times for the Reds but never scored a goal.

He joined West Ham United, on non-contract terms, on the 17 July 1999, and featured for them in a single Intertoto Cup game and featured in his second and what would be his final professional career match for West Ham United which lasted 45 minutes as a result of re-aggravating his knee, but the knee injury had severely affected him and he retired on the 28 August 1999 aged just 27. At international level Jones was eligible to play for Wales, as he was born in Wrexham, but it was Graham Taylor who selected him and gave him his international debut for England in the 2-0 win overFrance at Wembley on the 19 February 1992. Injury forced Jones to miss the 1992 European Championships choice right-back, but he went on to win eight international caps.

Since his retirement, Jones has left football and owns a children’s nursery in Warrington which his wife runs.

For more information and ticket sales on B-Mobile presents EPL Masters Football Brunei Cup 2012, call – 8231333

Come and get your tickets now

The sponsors and the supporters

Camera and Travel Fair 2012

Companies and consumers converging on one venue in a significant public event. Interest sparked to prove a potential boom to tourism. PDCA Events Company, the organizer of 2011ʼs Musical Garden Wedding Fair, is once again hosting a nationwide exhibition. This time around the dual themes of travel and photography are the order of the day for the Camera & Travel Fair on the 5th to the 8th of April 2012. The exhibition will be held at one of the countryʼs most popular shopping malls – The Mall at Gadong, Brunei Darussalam.

Visitors to the fair will be privy to vendors and sales representatives showcasing, at their respective booths, a myriad of goods and services ranging from digital cameras to holiday packages to be made available for the publicʼs perusal and queries. It will serve also as a high-profile platform to further promote their companyʼs brand and any specific products or agendas. Furthermore, the overarching design of the exhibition attempts to achieve the auxiliary goal of enlightening visitors on the wonders of photography and the power of the image.

It’s happening next month

Not Your Average Marketplace. Visitors will be treated to various specialty merchandise and services offered during the exhibition, namely, camera: Digital SLRs, Polaroids, LOMOs, and even vintage collectible models. Camera accessories include memory cards, photo printers and more. Holiday packages, travel gear, travel insurance, new product launches will also be available, it will be an arena for members of the public to gain more knowledge and ideas on camera, photography and travel-related activities. To kick off the opening ceremony of the fair on the 5th of April, there will be silent auction of a limited number of antique cameras, including good old brands like Canon, Kodak and Yashica. Among them are display models the event organizer collected from their respective partners.

The earliest visitors will get exclusive Canon door gifts that are only available for the first 1000 visitors and are up for grabs during the Opening Ceremony from 1p.m. onwards, commemorating the long-awaited Canon EOS5D Mark III launch which will be launched by Interhouse Company and with their invited Guest-of-Honor, the Ambassador of Japan, His Excellency Mr. Horiki Hirose. Public are welcomed to the fair for viewing and trying out the new EOS5D Mark III.

The Camera & Travel Fair 2012 – “Sometimes postcards and memories just arenʼt enough”. For more information regarding the Camera & Travel Fairʼs updates, vendorsʼpromotion, activities, schedule and anything else, visit www.PDCAevents.info or “Like Us” on our Facebook Fan Page at www.facebook.com/PDCAeventsco or you may reach us at 245 7096.

Launching soon next week. Click image to see reviews from Engadget




Take care, Cuterabbit :)

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

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The countdown for Royal Brunei Airlines

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El Ranchero Sundown Feast

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The 10 day trip

Hello peeps!!! A very good day to you all and doesn’t time fly very fast, aye? My family’s away in Singapore and very soon I will be too in a matter of hours. My next pitstop will be in Kuala Lumpur for the upcoming coverage of F1 Sepang which has been picking up “pace” in terms of excitement. Last weekend, Jensen Button won the Australian GP though I was rooting for Vettel for the championship. So I can’t really wait for the F1 Sepang and thank you to Tourism Malaysia and AirAsia for making this possible.

From the latest update, I found out that the F1 Rocks Events in Malaysia featuring Kylie Minogue have been cancelled. I’m pretty bummed about it as I was looking forward to see Kylie Minogue in concert. It was just mentioned that it was due to unforeseen circumstances so I’m not quite sure why such late announcement was given. Then again, this is not the first that a concert has been cancelled in KL. I shall find out this afternoon if there will be other gig replacement.

For your info, I will be out of the country starting today till beginning of April. So most of my updates will be based on my coverage trip to KL (F1), Trengganu and Melbourne 🙂 If you have any interesting local updates, do email me at ranoadidas(a)gmail.com.

I recently purchased a luggage for my short trip because my current luggage is pretty huge and too huge to my liking. So I wasn’t sure which luggage to buy so I asked on Twitter on the recommendations. All the replies were Hua Ho Manggis and an hour later, I headed there for luggage shopping.. I came across the American Tourist luggage and I didn’t even know the brand is affiliated with “Samsonite” but American Tourist brand is not as expensive as “Samsonite”.

The American Tourist luggage costs in the range of $200ish at Hua Ho Manggis

I even bought a cover so it won’t scratch the luggage 😀

Thank you AirAsia for flying us to KL this morning

Dj Daffy loves the Nasi Lemak that he ate twice.. *lol* Kidding, he was just posing but he truly loves the Nasi Lemak from AirAsia

This is a popular spot among Bruneians whenever we arrive the baggage claim area. DIGI line is good for phone and 3G internet

The lovely ladies from Tourism Malaysia welcomed us at LCCT at noon today and they are really hyper and super friendly 😀

We at Penang Village and the food was superb. I can’t remember the name of the mall but it’s the only one at Putra Jaya

The Brunei delegates receiving a memento from Tourism Malaysia

The boys trying to find free wifi but sadly it’s chargeable

I’m still upset the fact that Kylie Minogue’s concert was canceled a few days before

Guess who’s replacing Kylie Minogue – Girls’ Generation.. Now this is something I might enjoy tomorrow night 😀

I also want to dedicate this post to my lovely friend Carol Lim @cuterabbit84 who will be leaving Brunei for good for her future posting in one of the engineering companies in Singapore. I know this is a happy and yet a sad moment but I truly cherish the moments we spent in Brunei and I shall be seeing you outside Brunei in the near future.

Though we have known for less than a year, it felt that our friendship have blossomed three folds or even more. I’m proud of your courage on the hard decisions that you have to make and this new opportunity will bring more prosperity and even more opportunities. I truly appreciate your friendship and for showing up day in, day out and my apologies if I have crossed the line or hurt your feelings. I know you will forgive me if I have anyway haha..

Enjoy the new environment and we shall keep in touch through whatsapp, msn, Skype, FT, you name it 🙂 See you soon my dearest friend. Already missing you :))

My first coverage when Carol was working at Barely There

I invited her to be part of the food coverage at Pondok Sari Wangi

Our dinner date at Fish and Co in Singapore back in December

Carol in her huge shades during 2012 Brunei Regatta

With the best friends during RA’s bash

Our last picture in Brunei (for now), taken at CheezBox last night

Carol, Sabrina and Patricia taken last July



Decisions are hard to come by

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

Brunei Handball is here!!

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, the president of the BruneiDarussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC), attended the official launching of the Brunei Handball Federation yesterday.

Organised by the Brunei Handball Federation, along with the cooperation of the Department of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, the launching was held at the Indoor Stadium of the HassanalBolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.

The event commenced with the welcoming speech by Col (Rtd) HamidNayan, the president of the Brunei Handball Federation. The event then followed by the video showing of the introduction to the sport and the demonstration of the handball match from the Brunei Handball Federation players.

HBT moments

Submit your photos to any b-mobile branches latest by 25th March. Who knows your name will be printed on b.mobile Top-Up Cards. Click image to find out more

50% discount at Grazie Mauri

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Peugeot 308cc

TCY Motors Sdn Bhd invited the media for a press preview of its Peugeot 308cc (pictured) yesterday at the Peugeot showroom in Kiarong. According to the press release, the Peugeot 308cc gives motorists the freedom to drive in either the coupé or cabriolet configuration.

This is done through the “magic” of a rigid roof that folds into the boot, as it is with their other models. The model subtly incorporates the Marque’s latest stylistic codes as the car’s body follows the contours of the mechanical assembly underneath.

The body shape is more technologically elegant illustrated by the presence of LED front lights with light guide.It also looks more assertive, thanks to new Xenon headlamps with titanium coloured masks.

On either side and extending over the wings, the ruby-coloured LED rear lights with light curtain effect broaden the silhouette and give the 308cc a unique and spectacular visual signature.

Inside the 308cc, the eye is caught also by the elegance of the four seats with integral head restraints and possibility of full leather trim on the fascia panel in different shades which convey a touring car image. All four passengers can benefit from the availability of a large boot capacity (465 litres) in the coupé configuration.

To make the journey even more pleasant, automatic dual-zone air conditioning is available perfect when one is hot and another cold. With its active charcoal filter, it also reduces hydrocarbon odours inside the passenger compartment.

The use of high-strength steel and “multilayer” reinforcements in specific areas has made it possible to raise the level of safety of occupants while reducing the overall weight of the car.

In addition to the performance of the structure, efficient means of restraint are at hand with up to 6 air bags on the cc, including 2 head air bags at the front. There are also extractible safety hoops on the cc in the event of rollover, 3-point seat belts with belt not fastened or unfastened acoustic warnings and Isofix fixtures.

Other features that come in the standard form include 1.6 THP 156ps(154 bhp) turbocharged direct injection petrol engine, JBL sound system, 4 front speakers and 2 rear speakers, leather seat upholstery, sport front seats, ESP, electric memory folding exterior rear view mirror, front wiper blade with rain sensor, map reading lamp and ambient lighting, memory control front seats, monochrome screen level C display, rear radar obstacle sensor, front daytime lights, 18-inch alloy wheels and many others.

For more insight, the public are welcome to visit the Peugeot showroom.



Friendship is the purest form of love

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

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The countdown for Royal Brunei Airlines

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The 2nd BIBD Blessing Rewards

The campaign is back and it’s bigger and better than before. Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) today launched the “BIBD Blessing Rewards 2”, a special promotion for customers who sign up for any of BIBD eligible products or services. Oh yeah, this is eligible for new sign-ups on BIBD products and services.

This new campaign was a sequel to the most successful BIBD campaign which was the Blessing Rewards which ran last year (Sept to Nov 2011). So this time the campaign will run from today to 19th June 2012.

The grand prize will be a brand new and shiny Lexus IS300 Convertible Car. The grand draw itself will be held on 3rd July. Other prizes include 60″ Samsung LED Smart TV and packages of Apple products worth up to $5,000, $3,5000 and $2,000 for the third to fifth prizes. There will also be 3 monthly draws offering 10 Luminix watch each month.

Launching the campaign was Mr. Javed Ahmad, the Managing Director of BIBD, who unveiled the the grand prize. “What is unique about Blessing Rewards 2 is that customers have the opportunity to participate in monthly draws as well as the Grand Prize draw. So if a customer applies for and is approved for an eligible product or service in March, they will not only participate in the monthly draw for March and the Grand Prize draw but will allso be eligible to participate in monthly draws for the 2 next monthly draws,” said Javed Ahmad.

Oh yeah, did you know that those who sign-up for BIBD’s Rumah Plus campaign and once approved, you might be eligible as many as 120 entries into the prize draw (of course, subject to terms and conditions).

Other eligible products or services include BB Home Financing, Home Improvement Financing, Education Financing, Ar-Rahni, BIBD Debit Card, BIBD Online, Remittance, Term Deposits, new account opening, new Perdana World Banking customer and assignment of salary to BIBD amongst many others.

For more information on the campaign, customers can visit the nearest BIBD branch contact BIBD’s Call Centre at 223 8181 or log on to http://www.bibd.com.bn

Mr. Javed Ahmad announcing the grand prize for Blessing Rewards 2

BIBD associates with the grand prize, Lexus IS300 Convertible Car

Mr. Javed Ahmad trying out the Lexus

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Charity run by SEF Runners

The SEF Runners Enterprise held its first charity run yesterday, which was aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle and well-being through the practice of sports, fitness and endurance amongst the citizens of Brunei Darussalam. The event was also to raise funds for Dana Pengiran Muda Mahkota Al-Muhtadee Billah.

The guest of honour was Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Abdul Mu’min, who participated in the Fun Run, flagged off the run and later presented prizes. The event received an overwhelming public response, with over 1,000 participants in all the categories; Men/Women Open (10km), Men/Women Veteran (10km), Junior Male/Female (10km) and the Fun Run (3km).

During the event, Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Abdul Mu’min presented a cheque of $1,000 to Haji Brahim bin Haji Ismail, Managing Director of Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Foundation.

Abdul Malik bin Awg Hidup won the Men’s Open Category, while Alice Zytek claimed the top place in the Women’s Open Category. Pg Nordin Pg Hj Osman and Tan Siew King emerged as winners in the Men’s Veteran and Women’s Veteran Categories respectively.

Meanwhile, in the Men and Women’s Junior categories, Md Shahrifudin Md Salleh and Siti Noraziemah Mohd Khairuddin claimed top spot, with all of the winners receiving $300 and a medal each. Text by Jake Ten and images courtesy of Muiz Matdani.

The morning exercise before the run

Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Abdul Mu’min flagged off the women’s category

Another category during the starting line

The guest of honour also joined run and I salute on your Adidas attire too 🙂

Abdul Malik bin Awg Hidup won the Men’s Open Category

Alice Zytek won the Women’s Open Category

Group photo with the guest of honour. Click image to enlarge

Ariba Ariba…

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For the month of March, the Tasek Brasserie Restaurant, all day dining restaurant at the Radisson Hotel Brunei Darussalam, is the perfect stop for your never ending quest for good Mexican food.

Menu includes sizzling fajitas, tacos, tostada, tamales, beef ribs, marinated chicken, gazpacho, beef with jalapeno salsa, stuffed peppers and our famous whole roast lamb on the spit, and much more. Available every Thursday, Friday and Saturday for dinner, the buffet is priced at B$30.00 per adult and B$15 per child from 4 to 11 years old. Prices are subject to 10% service charge.

“For a complete Mexican food experience in Brunei Darussalam, come to the Radisson Hotel Brunei Darussalam for dinner and enjoy the excellent food with the highest quality ingredients and friendly service,” said Cameron Lawless, the Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Manager.

Tasek Brasserie is an all day dining restaurant located in the Radisson Hotel Brunei Darussalam offering buffet breakfast, a la carte options for lunch and an international buffet spread every night. Brunch is available every Sunday inclusive of pool use.

Do call 2244 272.

The chefs were busy behind the counter to serve the patrons of Tasek Brasserie

Nice choices of appetizers to choose from

Beef and chicken enchiladas

Beef ball with onion rings

Stuffed pepper with mixed vege and eggs

The lamb stall is nearby the poolside

Yummm… look at the slab of beef

The best dish of the lot. I almost went for seconds but I just too full then. Highly recommended – Taco beef

My dinner companions that night :))



March 2012
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