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Archive for 01/09/2012


Honouring the heroes

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

HSBC – Home loan needs

Honouring the fallen heroes

I read this article online on Borneo Bulletin online and it was the first time that their pictures were made public in tribute to husbands and fathers: The fallen heroes. I’m still saddened by the tragic news and a few of them are people whom I was acquainted with or know of.

The article was written in the Weekend Bulletin at the Features section and for those who missed the article, here’s the article. Text and images are courtesy of Borneo Bulletin.

Six weeks have gone by since the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of men and women in uniform. The Bell 212 helicopter crash deep in the jungle of Kuala Belait that claimed 12 lives plunged the nation in sadness as Bruneians had never experienced a tragedy of that scale for a long time. Many across the nation wept as the news tugged at their heart strings.

The feeling of losing a loved one is something that one cannot explain. The void left behind can never be filled and recovering from this trauma is a journey that can’t be done alone.

The fog of this tragedy is slowly lifting and a semblance of normalcy returning and those who were physically and emotionally attached with the fallen heroes and heroines will continue to live on carrying with them cherished memories.

Below is a moving tribute paid by six brave women who, after the passing of their husbands, have found comfort in their strong albeit small circle as they look to Allah the Almighty for guidance. Their determination to face the world despite the tragedy is touching and commendable.

Six men on board the Bell 212 were husbands and fathers. Wives and children waited for them to come home on the afternoon of July 20, 2012 but instead had to learn and accept that they were never coming home. It all felt very real when we had to identify our husbands’ bodies, tell our toddlers and kids that their fathers have returned to our creator, Allah the Almighty. They were sons of good parents, the nation’s heroes, ones who have risked their lives to protect our country.

Until today, all six of us cannot find the right words that will tell you what it feels like to be in our shoes. Describing it is easy and it will make sense to everyone – that the ones who bear the world on their shoulders are expected to feel devastated and hurt. But after the tragedy, life goes on – friends and family have their lives to tend to. But ours have changed completely. We have lost the love of our lives, the fathers of our children, the leader of our family and the ones to wipe our tears away. We will never fall asleep and rise the same ever again.

They were great men. They worked very hard, and they died in the line of duty. These fathers were all strong, hard workers and strong-willed. As mothers, of course we had wished for our children to grow up knowing their fathers like how we had pictured it. We had wished that their fathers would be there to teach them about religion, life and other important things. We had wished that their fathers would be there to watch them grow and turn into wonderful adults and, as wives, to have them as our life partners until the end. Allah the Almighty loves them more and because we love our late husbands with every beat of our hearts, we have accepted their passing and returning to the Creator.

Allah the Almighty chose us six mothers to experience this most difficult period in our lives. And we take this opportunity to brace ourselves and pray for guidance and strength from the Creator. This hardship has tested and is testing us to our very core but hardships are also a blessing and a sign of Allah the Almighty’s love. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Whenever Allah wills good for a person, He subjects him to adversity”. We have received our wake up call, we have cried humbly prostrating to Allah, we have felt the greatest pain in our hearts and our bodies have trembled as this tragedy serves as a reminder as to how small we are and how great Allah the Almighty is.

We have spent weeks together as widows and talking to each other every day. We find comfort knowing that we are not alone. We have also shared our stories of the most beautiful things and memories that we have gone through with our husbands. Our husbands had many great things in common and we have come to realise that all good men return to Allah the Almighty at their best. They were the kind of husbands that treated us right, showered us with love and care and absolutely adored their children.

The one thing that has given us much comfort in our hearts, most importantly, is knowing that not only did they die as Mujahiddiens – those who have passed for the name of Allah the Almighty – they were the kind of Muslim husbands, fathers and men who performed their duties to Allah the Almighty without hesitation and with the purest of hearts. With that, we are thankful to Allah as they did not leave us with the burden of worrying, Insyallah.

Forty days have passed. With patience and the beautiful gift of our children from Allah the Almighty, we have made major life changes. The loss of our husbands have thrown us so far out of our comfort zones that we have created new ones. Within these few weeks, there have been good and bad days with the hardest moments being those when we wish our husbands were around to help us raise our children. The learning process of being a single parent is not easy but we are slowly adapting. The best moments are definitely the times when we are close to Allah and when we have our children, to look them in the eyes and see a part of our husbands looking back at us. Our marriages were short but they were sweet. When we shed tears, we let them fall and believe that each drop is a memory. We all loved the life we had but after this tragedy we have a stronger relationship with Allah the Almighty. We look at this world in a different way and more than anything, we look forward to the hereafter.

We will forever miss them – we miss them now and we will miss them in the future. We will have good days and bad days but we will pull through with Allah the Almighty’s guidance. The sadness will eventually pass and our children will eventually understand. Please do not take us as weak. We carry the world on our shoulders only because we are strong women. Insyallah. Text courtesy of Borneo Bulletin.

MinDEF reveals report

Information taken from The Brunei Times

This has also been a talking point among the families concerned and the people of Brunei. What actually happened and caused Royal Brunei Armed Forces Bell 212 to crash? Of the 14 people onboard, only two survived. His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam made a surprise visit to Brunei International Airport’s Air Traffic Control tower and His Majesty consented a thorough investigation carried by Royal Brunei Air Force with the assistance of international investigators from the USA and Canada.

Apparently it was tweeted on @TheBruneiTimes Twitter account that the report is ready to be published in tomorrow’s The Brunei Times (Sunday edition) and this will dispel any inconsistency of stories that have been spreading unnecessarily among the community.

Below are the tweet feeds from @TheBruneiTimes from last evening. I hope the final report will put to rest all different version of stories. Let’s just continue to “sedekah” our prayers and move on from here.

The inquiry’s report

Taken from Borneo Bulletin (Sunday): “Human Error” was found to be the main factor contributing to the tragic Bell 212 helicopter accident that claimed the lives of 12 military personnel at Ulu Rampayoh in Mukim Labi in the Belait District in July, according to the Supreme Board of Inquiry (BOI) report compiled by the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) with support from international experts. Investigations revealed that the pilot of the helicopter contradicted flying procedures with “unauthorised low-level flying”, causing a “Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT)” accident.

The report also suggested that the Air Traffic Control Unit of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) had failed to follow aviation control procedures to alert relevant parties when the Bell 212’s radio communication went off the ‘Brunei Radar’.

These findings were made public by the Supreme BOI upon conclusion of its five-week long investigation at a press conference held at the Ministry of Defence (MinDef) in Bolkiah Garrison yesterday.

The press conference was chaired by the Deputy Minister of Defence, Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mustappa bin Haji Sirat along with the Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin.

In his detailed report presentation, First Admiral Dato Seri Pahlawan Hj Abd Halim bin Hj Mohd Hanifah, Commander of the Royal Brunei Navy who is leading the BOI said illustrations obtained from the report of its findings suggested that that prior to the crash, the pilot of the helicopter made an “unauthorised low-level flying” at a speed of around 60-80 knots around the Wasai Wang Tebadak area (LP KB 195A) and subsequently made a “banking” of 45 degrees to trail the river’s route.

“The aircraft strayed and was reduced from its original altitude due to a G-force (a unit of force equal to the force exerted by gravity) factor,” he revealed.

He added that consequently, the aircraft hit the branches of a tree and did not follow the intended route after being in a straight and level position.

“At the very last minute, the aircraft attempted to raise its altitude but (it) was in vain and it subsequently crashed into two large trees,” he said.

The report added that the Bell 212 helicopter owned by the RBAF took off from the Royal Brunei Air Force Base in Kg Rimba at approximately 8.55am on the day of the incident, July 20, 2012. “The aircraft carried a total of 14 military personnel of whom three were aircraft crew, two trainers, one staff and eight Officer Cadets during an assignment of transporting back personnel who had just concluded military training from the landing base KB 404 to landing base KB 199. It was believed the aircraft crashed at around 10.15am”, said the report.

The report stated that the aircraft lost communication on the ‘Brunei Radar’ at 9.17am after taking off. “According to the aviation control procedure of the Air Traffic Control Unit of the DCA, all aircraft operating in the country’s airspace are obliged to make bps normal call’ communication every 30 minutes. But no communication was made thereafter and the Air Traffic Control Unit, DCA failed to make an INCERFA (uncertainty phase) alert and inform the RBAF to implement a ‘distress procedure’. This dragged on until a few hours later, causing an ‘alerting service’ that was not implemented according to procedures,” the report added.

Search and rescue operations only started after the aircraft was confirmed missing by the Royal Brunei Air Force at about 1.53pm. The mangled remains of the aircraft were found at nearby Wasai Wang Tebadak at approximately 3.55pm, the report said.

Dato Halim said the BOI also assessed other facts such as ‘environment’ and ‘material’ factors. “The weather at the time of incident was good and did not affect flight operations and the ‘airworthiness’ of the aircraft was at the proper level. No evidence was found that suggests the aircraft had any technical difficulties before it crashed. This has been verified by the three separate international investigation experts,” he said.

He revealed that the BOI was assisted by expert aircraft investigation teams from overseas, including Pratt & Whitney Canada, Bell Textron United States and United States Army Combat Readiness Center – Air Accident Investigation Team.

“MinDef and RBAF had established the Supreme BOI on July 25, 2012. The board had been tasked to conduct an inquiry into the helicopter crash and to find causes and facts related to it and forward recommendations that need to be taken to prevent such incident from happening again,” Dato Halim said. “A number of firm recommendations were put forward in our initial report dated August 6, 2012 and a few measures have been taken especially in reinforcing processes and procedures as well as safety aspects,” he said.

He added that the full report from the BOI will be put forward on September 16, 2012, including recommendations to ensure such incident will not happen again.

The Borneo Bulletin was told that a meeting was held with family members of the helicopter crash victims prior to the press conference to inform them of BOI’s findings. Written by Hakim Hayat and Siti Hajar of Borneo Bulletin.

Treasure Hunt at Charity Bazaar

It’s happening today (Sunday)


AVAILABLE SLOTS – 20 empty slots left for 20 teams
REGISTER tonight and tomorrow morning by 10am at Jubilee Park beside the coupon counter
REGISTRATION FEE: FREE! simply attached 8 pcs the 1st
ENTITLEMENT to charity draw such as Air Ticket to Singapore, IPAD, Apple Mac book Pro, Samsung note, Samsung 55″ Smart TV and lots more!


Pictures of Cosplay at Charity Bazaar last night


Expand, don't implode

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

AITI open house

Open house at AITI yesterday

The month of Syawal is in high spirits in Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI). An open office was held to celebrate Hari Raya with all of the stakeholders of AITI. The event took place at its premises at the AITI Building, in Anggerek Desa.

The Guest of Honour for the open office event Yang Mulia Dato Paduka Haji Awang Alaihuddin bin Pehin Orang Kaya Digadong Seri Lela Dato Seri Utama Haji Awang Mohamad Taha, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Chairman of AITI.

Also invited were Foreign Ambassadors residing in Brunei, Deputy Permanent Secretary from Ministry of Communications, Directors and staff under the umbrella of the Ministry of Communications, companies who are registered under AAB and ICTAB, TelCos representatives, ICT Industry Players, Amateur Radio clubs, Dealers, Media partners and other stakeholders of AITI.

This year the theme of the Hari Raya celebration is “AITI CERIA” which means “Cheerful AITI”. In relation to the theme, there were several carnival games where invited guests can take part and also a special comedy act by the infamous Keluarga 69 and also a karaoke session for the guests. This is one of AITIs way of saying Thank You to all stakeholders who has worked closely with AITI, and to media partners who helped to highlight AITI in any form of publications and organisations that has collaborated with AITI. Press release from AITI.

A few hours before Open House kicks off at AITI

The busy bunch preparing for the event

Good to see their passion into the preparation

They even have directions

The final touches of the decoration

*LOL* This is pretty new coming from AITI. Cool stuff!!

Grilled lamb was one of the most sought dishes during the open house

Hello ladies of AITI. Selamat Hari Raya!

Some joget performances for the guests

Photo opportunity for the invited guests with AITI associates

Logitech gadgets from Concepts



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