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Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

The Ugly Truth


RA says welcome once again to my edition of the Ugly Truth and yes, a lot has happened in the past few days. Amazing, huh? Then again, the matters which I feel like blogging are pretty subjective and there’s always a fine line on what’s appropriate to publish. Being a blogger for almost 10 years, I’ve learned bits and pieces, here and there and occasionally, yes, “they” do call me to filter things out.

There have been many comments on both telcos in Brunei over the 3G connections. The recent one was today that’s being published in today’s The Brunei Times where one user is actually using both telcos and yet the 3G connections are terrible. I know Gadong have been congested when it comes to 3G and this is due to congestions of having many subscribers at a populated area. I remembered former CEO of DST Idris Vasi said that by implementing more towers will help ease the congestion and make connection smoother. As of now, I’m not sure if these towers are in placed or still at the preliminary stage.

Now with 4G around the corner, it won’t be another easy task especially when it comes to coverage area. Just imagine in Singapore alone that 4G has a nationwide coverage of only 70% and of course, it will grow from time to time. I believe Brunei will follow suit once 4G is made available which is supposedly in the first quarter of 2013. I, myself, can’t wait for the 4G connectivity and test it on the iPhone 5. We shall see once it’s out..

Since I’m on the matter of telcos, there’s one point I want to raise. Once, I predicted how Whatsapp will actually over take SMS and my theory was a year ago when it was during Hari Raya season. I started to realise that friends and families were sending WA messages for their Hari Raya greetings where before we would “traditionally” have loads of SMSes on our smartphones.

One of the officials from a telco company disagreed with my theory that revenue will not be affected and his main reason was subscribers are using 3G data more.. Then again, 3G data doesn’t cost much when it comes to WA-ing unless you are posting photos on instagram or Facebook or surfing my site through smartphones or even forwarding pictures through WA, then that’s a different ball game. But for WA, 3G data doesn’t take much if you are merely conversing or chatting.

By the way, our neighbouring country Singapore has learned about how their users are taking advantage of the unlimited data given and recently they have revamped their packages so the data usage has a cap or limited bandwidth in order to make their business more sustainable. I believe DST will be heading into that direction as quoted by the former CEO of DST by introducing new price schemes. It remains to be seen when this will take place. For now, the most important thing is to make customers happy with the current 3G connection and I truly believe, with the time given, the telcos are capable of delivering better services.

Whatsapp has been more popular than the conventional SMS. What say you?

Perhaps another big news that you may have heard is the recent lucky draw prize incident that took place at the Indoor Stadium last weekend. Oh yeah, guys… please don’t get confused with NBT lucky draw and Consumer Fair because the lucky draw was independently managed by NBT themselves.

I have been hearing different versions of the stories but one thing for sure, a table was flipped by one unhappy customer of NBT. From the information I gather from the witnesses and NBT, I can safely conclude that perhaps the information wasn’t clearly delivered to the audience. Sometimes, we take for granted that the audience or customers know the terms and conditions of the lucky draw even though such presentations have been done over and over again.

Then again, the angry customer might also be in the wrong for his unnecessary vent when he flipped the table in disgust. I believe this kind of things can be done in an appropriate manner and in a more civilised way. Even if the customer is right, there’s no need for this sort of behaviour. This surely shows a bad example of our identity and more on our mentality that we resort to this kind of behaviour when things are seen as unjust or unfair.

According to the press release statement, NBT didn’t break any regulations in terms of the draw. Perhaps if the technical issue of the internet was solved, this matter wouldn’t have arise as well. Apparently, when the BN18,000 lucky draw from NBT was conducted at the Indoor Stadium, there were also customers who were present at the NBT KB showroom and their presence did make them eligible as recipients for the lucky draw.

As I have mentioned before, perhaps the execution of the message or the terms and conditions could have been better. For instance, the organiser would remind the emcee to keep repeating the T&Cs in front of the audience so there won’t be any miscommunicated messages. I remembered Frankie, who emcee-ed for the Consumer Fair lucky draw, and I lost count of how many times he reminded the public about the rules of the lucky draw and guess what? it worked.

Judging from the video that went viral on Whatsapp, I have to salute to the NBT staff for not reacting to the angry customer even though he was nudged a few times. That’s not easy when you are in the situation and being physically provoked too. It would have been a bigger story should both exchanged blows. For this, I admire NBT’s professionalism not to react.

Oh yeah, sometimes it’s best not to spread things if you don’t know the whole story (meaning you only listen to one side of the party). From my general impression, a lot of fingers are pointing to the organizer based on the facts they received from their friends and peers through whatsapp. Some even said the winner was one of the NBT staff which is untrue. There are a few more but I think I just leave it there.

I do hope this won’t affect future lucky draws as the Ministry of Home Affairs are already being strict on the regulations on these kind of prize presentation. Well, this is already our culture in Brunei – to be part of any lucky draw, big or small. Aren’t we spoilt? *lol*

NBT is pleased to announced that TOYOTA owner, Dyg Sukin Binti Sabak (IC No. 129479), who was present at the NBT Kuala Belait Showroom at the time of the draw, fairly and squarely won the first prize [B$18,000], as did the winners of all the other prizes, and that all the lucky draw results including the first prize were independently confirmed and verified by the auditors as correct.

Some of NBT’s KB customers present at the showroom during the draw.

Lately my friends have been wondering what’s up with me? Personally I’m just going with the flow and it’s true that sometimes we don’t see it but others might. Even if it’s such a quick glance, that’s enough to determine how you have been showing up in real life. So far, I don’t feel up or down but just slow and steady. Yes, I do have things that might cloud my mind once in a while but it doesn’t really affect my whole day.

Last year was a great year. Speaking of 2012, I have yet to do my own recap of 2012 *lol* From the rate I’m going, it’s very unlikely that I will post them. Though it was a great one, the hardest part was letting go of a relationship which ended mutually. The process wasn’t easy but it was for the best. I’m still glad that we are close friends and our friendship has kinda rejuvenated. For now, it’s important to focus on my well-being and find happiness within myself and not to be dependent on my happiness from others. That would make a lesser (person) of me and being a love bunny ain’t easy as well. Hmmmm maybe I’m going through a stage of loneliness where I can conveniently talk or communicate with my closed ones or missing that intimate communication (don’t get the wrong ideas haha) or the sense of belonging which could lead to my friends’ concern of me. I don’t know really… The best person to be aware or know of my situation is myself, right? 😀

Now you don’t see this pretty often aye…… This personal side of me especially when it comes to my emotional being. For now, relationship is not my priority. Relationship with myself is more of my purpose and intention. I’m typing this out in the comfort of my seat on flight AK 1693 and I can’t wait to release my energy on tonight’s Golden Disk Awards at Sepang Circuit. For your info, the GDA 2013 is an annual event for South Korea’s prestigious music awards and this will be the first time such event is taking place in South East Asia.

Anyway, here’s RA signing off for the day and my prayers and thoughts to JJ. I don’t know why you are in my thoughts at this very moment but it keeps reminding me to be humble and be who I am. And to Liyana, you’re such a strong woman and your strength have lift hopes for others and not to take things and life for granted. Keep it up and and congratulations on the new born baby, Mohammad Ishaaq Firdaus bin Mohammad Ismael :))

By the way, I haven’t proof read my entry.. So mind me… brb … it’s showtime in Sepang!!!


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