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Archive for 05/06/2015


No 2019

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Brunei withdraw as hosts  

His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah (7th L seated), the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council, in a group photo with fellow members of the Southeast Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) Council during a meeting at the Raffles City Convention Centre yesterday. Infofoto

The notice from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports

I didn’t see this coming but then again, it’s a wise decision and to be honest with themselves that Brunei is not ready to host the SEA Games 2019. It was announced yesterday by His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC), and Hj Muhd Zamri Dato Paduka Hj Hamdani, BDNOC vice-president after the netball match between Brunei and the Philippines at OCBC Arena Hall 1, Singapore.

The confirmation came from the Brunei government that Brunei won’t be hosting the SEA Games in 2019. Even with four years to spare, the reasons stated were 1) lacking of sport facilities 2) accommodation and 3) preparation for the athletes.

I believe they probably missed out an important element but then again, all these reasons given also boils down to this unquoted reason – Budget. In my opinion, when budget is available and sufficient enough, these three reasons won’t be an issue.

I totally disagree with the last reason on preparation for athletes. Won’t hosting a prestigious event like SEA Games will boost more confidence and preparation for the athletes and mind you, four years or even six years is a great build up for a small growing nation like Brunei. It will ensure that respective coaches in Brunei will be focused in improving the athletes with four years to spare. Preparation is of course important but it’s not sufficient reason to put support the Government’s decision to pull out from hosting the SEA Games. Even with less proper preparation with the current athletes, they still send them to Singapore to compete. So what difference does it make if Brunei pulled the plug for hosting, right?

The decision also shows how poor the planning have been for Brunei. Two years ago, Brunei was given the opportunity to host in 2019 if I’m not mistaken. So that’s like six years ahead of time to prepare. The timeline hasn’t been the halfway mark but they took the easy way out by surrendering the given opportunity. Where’s the sense of commitment from the decision makers? Once you break that commitment, then you will also lose the trust from the community.

Well, on the positive note, this will be more excuse for Brunei to be more “prepared” to accept or bid to host the SEA Games in the distant future. Whether this will make Brunei more complacent, I don’t know. But it’s good to know that they are honest and blunt before more damage can be done.

On another positive note, Brunei have shown improvements in the netball competition and now they are guaranteed medals too (the first time for Brunei). Now how can we say that’s not good preparation? That’s heck of a preparation. Enough for my rant from Ipoh 😀


Yes, Brunei made it to the semi-finals and guaranteed a medal at least

His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah with senior officers from the BDNOC and Ministry of CYS and the Brunei netball team yesterday.



Welcome Bernd Siffling 😀  

Maju Motors Sdn Bhd, the sole dealership for Volkswagen vehicles in Brunei, today announced the appointment of Bernd Siffling as its new General Manager.

Mr Siffling, a German national, will oversee all aspects of the Volkswagen business operation in the Sultanate.

He brings with him over 20 years of experience in the global automotive industry. Having started his career in 1995 at Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles in Germany, he went on to handle retail and wholesale functions in Scandinavia. This was followed by various management positions for Mercedes-Benz in the Asia-Pacific region.

Prior to joining Maju Motors, Mr Siffling headed the parts logistics for a Japanese car brand, and then managed the supply chain for a Korean brand in the Middle East and North African regions.


Bernd Siffling, new General Manager of Maju Motors Sdn Bhd (4th from left) with Dionne from Volkswagen Singapore (2nd from right) and members of the local media yesterday

Chan Key Hong, the Executive Director of Maju Motors, expressed a warm welcome for Mr Siffling. “We are delighted to have someone as experienced as Bernd here in Brunei, to consolidate the growth of Volkswagen in the market,” he said.

Mr Siffling himself perceives a bright future for Volkswagen in Brunei. “I can already see that Bruneian car buyers are recognising the importance of choosing technologically advanced, high quality cars with zero compromises on safety,” he said. “We will further expand our product line-up in the near future, catering to a wide range of buyers, while providing an even higher level of customer service for existing Volkswagen owners in Brunei.”

I’m sorry I couldn’t be present yesterday as I’m still outstation and I’m looking forward to meet you in person. You will love our peaceful country and welcome to Brunei 😀





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