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Ranoadidas.com | Brunei's No 1 Social News » 2015 » October

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Archive for October, 2015


Counting the moments

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


The Volkswagen Jetta 

Click image to enter website



Download SnapFeed 



Download SnapFeed app on your smartphones and check out the latest deals in Brunei and also get rewarded from respective merchants such as BurgerKing, KFC and Sushi Tei to name a few and also check out the new movie listings as well.


RB in Manila 

Mr Dermot Mannion, Deputy Chairman of Brunei Darussalam with Her Excellency Datin Paduka Malai Hjh Halimah Malai Hj Yussof during the ribbon cutting ceremony

Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) the national carrier of the Sultanate of Brunei has launched its newly refurbished and rebranded office in Manila’s Makati City, Philippines on 13th October 2015. Present to launch as guest of honor was Her Excellency Datin Paduka Malai Hjh Halimah Malai Hj Yussof. Also present were RB’s Deputy Chairman, Mr Dermot Mannion, the Secretary of the Department of Tourism, Philippines, Mr Ramon Jimenez; and Mr Carmelo Arcilla, the Executive Director of Civil Aeronautics Board, Philippines; and Mr Mark Lapid, former governor of Pampangga and COO of Tieza.

The event was attended by media and travel trade professionals and it provided RB with an opportunity to showcase new heritage inspired uniforms to be proudly worn by customer service staff in Manila. The warm spectrum of uniform colours ranging from olive to morning sky and fresh mint, together with the new vibrant office layout is all designed to reflect the friendly and welcoming nature of the people of Brunei Darussalam and the RB brand.

RB’s very successful makeover has received international recognition in the 2014 Global Rebrand 100 Awards. Manila is the latest stop on the rebranding journey which is being rolled out across the entire RB network.

Mr Dermot Mannion with the team from Royal Brunei Airlines’ Manila office

RB commenced scheduled services to Manila on 01st May 1977 with a frequency of two flights in a week, and now 38 later, RB’s service to Manila has increased to a daily service.

RB also took the opportunity at the relaunch event to introduce the new Philippines General Sales Agent (GSA) ; Avia-Rh Inc.

Joanne Sarmiento, General Manager for Avia-RH Inc: “We are proud to be a part of the Royal Brunei family and we are committed to building their market in the Philippines, contributing to the growing tourism market in Asia Pacific and connecting Filipinos to destinations around the world with Royal Brunei.”

Dermot Mannion, Deputy Chairman of RB said “We are delighted to mark the launch of our rebranding in Manila with the appointment of Avia-RH Inc as GSA. These days RB has a very good product to sell and passengers from Philippines will also enjoy the newly refurbished terminal facilities at Brunei International Airport. We look forward to working with the Avia-RH team to make RB the preferred choice to all the destinations that we serve”.




KFC’s Potato Wrapped Prawns 

KFC’s new item, only for a limited time

Del Goh, Vice-President of KFC Brunei, doing some quality control before the photo shoot :p

Savour the flavour of KFC’s latest addition to the menu, Potato Wrapped Prawns.

Available only for a limited time, and priced at $5.60, the crunchy snack consists of five pieces of the succulent crustacean wrapped in thin and crispy potatoes.

For those who prefer something more filling, opt for the set meal, which consists of two pieces of KFC’s fried chicken (either original or spicy), three pieces of the Potato Wrapped Prawns along with a regular-sized carbonated drink for only $8.50.

In a press statement, Vice-president of KFC Brunei Del Goh said, “We are glad to be able to provide our customers with this succulent crunch where everyone of all ages can savour the hand-wrapped crispy prawns everywhere and anywhere they want.”

The new snack is available at all KFC branches in the sultanate including the newly-opened Fast Food outlet in Tutong starting today while stocks last. KFC has branches in three districts of the sultanate: Brunei-Muara, Tutong and Belait. Text courtesy of Raghadah Agus of The Brunei Times.


KFC’s Potato Wrapped Prawns and they are pretty good

The photo shoot moment

KFC’s team posing with the newly promoted item.



Motorcross Challenge 2015 

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources as the guest of honour with the winners of the Brunei Darussalam Motorcross Challenge 2015. Image taken by Hj Mohd Ali of The Brunei Times.

The other winners of the Brunei Darussalam Motorcross Challenge 2015. Image taken by Hj Mohd Ali of The Brunei Times.

Indonesians Ariandi and Pedro Wuner kept their titles as the fastest riders in the Brunei Darussalam Motocross Challenge 2015 after dominating this year’s Motocross Open category.

Ariandi was crowned champion of the off-road motorcycle race again yesterday in Sungai Besar, Tutong, winning a cash prize of $500 and a trophy. His compatriot, Pedro, received $400 in cash prize and a trophy for securing second place.

“I’m satisfied with my performance despite recovering from a leg injury. It was a competitive race as the other riders were very good,” said Pedro, who was also the first runner-up in 2011.

Meanwhile, the sultanate’s Abdul Rahman Hj Harith walked away with $300 in cash prize and a trophy for landing in third place. The up and coming rider also emerged as the winner of the 125 Expert category, earning a cash prize of $150 and a trophy.

Joseph Woon of Sabah, Malaysia conquered the Veteran Open category, collecting $150 in cash prize and a trophy.

Locals Mohd Ahyar Mohd Yahya, Mohd Hamlenoor Abdul Rahman and Muhd Ali Hanafiah Lamiah grabbed first place in the 125 Novice Open, Minicross Open and Motocross Brunei Open categories respectively. Each winner scored $150 in cash prize and a trophy.

Muhd Ali Hanafiah said he was grateful for the opportunity to compete as he withdrew from the previous competition due to shoulder injuries he sustained during practice.


Liyana Zakaria, the first female rider. Image taken by Hj Mohd Ali of The Brunei Times.

The Brunei Darussalam Motocross Challenge 2015 also featured its first female rider, Liyana Zakaria. Although the 24-year-old amateur came seventh out of nine places in the Motocross Brunei Open, she intended to garner the experience towards improving her performance in future races.

“It was awesome, but it was awkward as it was male-dominated. Chances of winning this time around were slim as the other riders had way more experience than me,” she explained.
Liyana took up off-road motorcycle racing a couple of months ago after dabbling in the street bike racing scene, but her lack of experience did not stop her from competing. She hoped her participation would empower other women in Brunei to try motocross racing.

“There needs to be a platform for women who want to try motocross racing. My advice for aspiring female riders would be to learn from those who are experienced,” she said.
The United Youth Voluntary Movement (GPPS), organiser of the Brunei Darussalam Motocross Challenge 2015, also called on the wider public to support off-road motorcycle racing in a bid to further develop the calibre of local riders.

GPPS chairman Abdul Khalid Abdul Latip said such competitions provided an avenue to strengthen ties between local and international motocross riders.

He believed that participation in motocross racing could help to broaden the minds of the youth through motorcycle engineering, raise awareness about bike safety as well as teach riders to be tolerant and responsible.

Abdul Khalid added the competition also enabled local vendors to earn income by selling food and drinks to the spectators.

Present as the guest of honour was Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar. Also in attendance was Tutong District Officer Wardi Hj Mohd Ali alongside other officials.

The minister handed over prizes and trophies to the winners as well as certificates to all the participating riders.

A total of 31 riders representing Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia competed in this year’s competition in conjunction with the 69th birthday of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. You can check out more photos here taken by Forest Han Photography. Text courtesy of Rabiatul Kamit of The Brunei Times and images courtesy of The Brunei Times and @foresthan


The Brunei Darussalam Motorcross Challenge 2015. Image taken by @foresthan

The Brunei Darussalam Motorcross Challenge 2015. Image taken by @foresthan

The Brunei Darussalam Motorcross Challenge 2015. Image taken by @foresthan

The Brunei Darussalam Motorcross Challenge 2015. Image taken by @foresthan

The Brunei Darussalam Motorcross Challenge 2015. Image taken by @foresthan


Sunday Seafood Buffet 

Fun Bee Park is once again inviting the members of the public to its Sunday Brunch Buffet. October specials will be the very first Seafood Buffet on 18th October, Sunday, from 10am till 12pm. Tickets selling for only B$5 per person for a free flow of steamed white rice, glass noodles and local yellow noodles. Desserts come for a free flow as diners could enjoy making their own ABC and Ice Kacang, a platter of seasonal fruit cuts; children corner for Chocolate Fondue. Fruit drinks will be served to the diners all throughout the brunch.

Fresh vegetables in plates will be sold at $2 which contains sweet corn, mushrooms, Pak Choi, bean sprouts, and carrots while there will be homemade balls in plates to be sold at $2 which includes fish balls, prawn balls, mushroom balls, sausages, and crab meat sticks. Egg will be sold at 50 cents per piece. Fresh seafood such as fish head, prawns, crabs, local whole fishes, and squids will be sold from $2 – $5 per plate only.

Diners got to experience mix and match their chosen seafood meats and veggies to the soup of their choice. Available soups such as Chicken Soup, Seafood Soup, and Tom Yam Soup will be available at the kitchen. Sauces were made personally to enhance the flavors of the soup. Bali Sauce, Belacan sauce, and Satay sauce were few of the choices at the condiment’s corner.



Aside from the Seafood Buffet, Fun Bee Park also invites the public especially working individuals who were tied up with works and have no chance to prepare their meal to participate in their very first “Salad in a Glass Class”. Class will be held at Fun Bee Park on October 24th, Saturday from 10am till 12pm. Entry fee is B$10 per person and attendees will be advised to bring their own 500ml tall mason glass along with them. For those who ran out of mason glass on hand, Fun Bee Park is selling their 500ml tall wide mouth mason glass for only B$4.

Fun Bee Park is introducing their first healthy salad recipe: Creamy Ham and Green which is mix of lettuce, toasted bread slices, beef / chicken ham, boiled egg, cherry tomatoes and Japanese cucumber. The salad in a glass is a new technique of stacking up meat, veggies, and others into a mason glass with the special dressing and is always ready to eat option.

Attendees of the salad class will prepare their own salad items including washing and cutting into desired sizes, and most especially, to prepare the salad dressing to perfect the taste.
Once every month, Fun Bee Park will be introducing different salad recipes as well as its dressings. For more information and reservation, please call 2457729 / 7178232 or visit them at A6/A7, Ground Floor, Sempurna Complex, Batu Bersurat, Gadong. Text courtesy of Fun Bee Park.




200 years in service

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


200 years of service 


His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam graced the Gurkha 200 Commemoration Parade at Taman Hj Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien yesterday

His Majesty graces the Gurkha 200 Commemoration Parade. Video by The Brunei Times.


His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, graced the Gurkha 200 Commemoration Parade at Taman Hj Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien yesterday.

His Majesty is also the Minister of Defence and Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF).

The parade marks two centuries of Gurkha service to the British Crown as well as the special relationship between the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and British Army.

The British High Commission here in a statement said the parade consisted of two contingents — one from the Brigade of Gurkhas and one from the Royal Brunei Land Forces, making up a total of 750 military personnel.

Queen Elizabeth II representative, Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas, General Sir Peter Wall, also attended the parade.

General Sir Wall said the parade demonstrated the special relationship between the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and British Army.

“The unique and enduring relationship between Brunei and the United Kingdom based on mutual respect, trust and close cooperation in education and defence has never been stronger,” he was quoted as saying in the British High Commission’s statement.

The Gurkhas have been based in Brunei since 1962, the statement added. According to the Gurkha 200 Commemoration website, the first battalion of The Royal Gurkha Rifles is serving in Brunei, where they are the army’s jungle warfare experts.

The booklet commemorating the event stated that the Brigade of Gurkhas’ role in Brunei is to conduct training in the tropical environment of the sultanate’s jungles as the wildlife provides the soldiers with challenging training opportunities. The Gurkha soldiers conduct regular arduous training with the Royal Brunei Land Force (RBLF) to enhance the capabilities of personnel of both contingents as well as foster close friendships with each other.


His Majesty the Sultan talking to the attendees

General Sir Peter Wall, Her Majesty the Queen’s Representative and Colonel Commandant, the Brigade of Gurkhas




A similar parade was last held in 1998 when His Majesty and Queen Elizabeth II inspected a parade of RBAF and the Brigade of Gurkhas at the Indoor Stadium in Berakas.

Before the parade began, His Majesty was accompanied by General Sir Wall to inspect the contingents.

Standing tall, the soldiers marched in unison while their proud family members took pictures. Members and family members of the British Forces Brunei and students of the Hornbill School in Seria also mingled with His Majesty after the parade.

A similar celebration was held earlier this year with a parade through the streets of central London in April and a pageant held on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London in June. Text courtesy of Wail Wardi Ismail of The Brunei Times and images courtesy of Fazizul Haqimie.




MUCH WOW wins CyberFlag 


Lim Chien Yee, Lim Chien Hau and Lim Wan Shen from team “Much Wow” in first place of the Cyber Battle: Capture the Flag with guest of honour Dato Paduka Hj Hamdan Hj Abu Bakar, Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Shamsul Bahri Hj Kamis, CEO of ITPSS last Sunday

Team Copypaste came 2nd place and they will also head to Jakarta for the Cyber SEA Game

Nine teams competed in the “Cyber Battle: Capture the Flag” competition held at the Authority for Info-Communications Technology of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) headquarters on Sunday, with a team of three siblings walking away with the Grand Prize.

Present to hand over the prizes was the Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dato Paduka Hj Hamdan Hj Abu Bakar.

The team will also have the opportunity to represent Brunei in the Cyber SEA Game in Jakarta next month, alongside the first runner up, Team #copypaste.

The competition involved a Jeopardy style scoring system, where competing teams work on fixing security holes and solving challenges of network-based and web-based attacks in designated servers.
In his speech, ITPSS CEO Shamsul Bahri Hj Kamis said that the competition was held to educate the participants on how to strengthen and protect their networks.

He stressed that there will always be vulnerabilities in the web and networks, and so by holding the competition, the public will be more aware of the necessary actions that must be undertaken to defend IT networks.

Third place Tikana with their prizes




Team MUCH WOW did their homework and training through means of coCTF website to prep themselves for the tournament last Sunday and they deservedly won the “Cyber Battle: Capture the Flag”. I’m quite impressed by the turn out from the tournament and this shows that Brunei have the local talent especially in programming and computer science (does that make sense?).

The one-day competition was organised by the IT Protective Security Services Sdn Bhd (ITPSS).




Everyone has a story

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Put e-waste to good use 


Representatives from Concepts Computer and Daikyo Environmental Recycling with the recycling bin for e-waste outside Concepts Computer at Kiulap last Saturday

The signing ceremony to collaborate the partnership of Concepts Computer and Daikyo Environmental Recycling

Sometimes you will wonder or I would myself where would you throw away your old computers or electronic goods. This is hardly been highlighted and many would turn a blind eye and simply throw away their gadgets and computer stuff to bin and let the landfill take care of the old electronics. Did you know that it’s hazardous to simply throw electronic waste or e-waste to the landfill? Every time when the rubbish are segregated at the landfill, they will separate the e-waste and send it to Daikyo Environmental Recycling at Serasa.

Now I didn’t know of that or heard of it but this is something very useful to have in Brunei Darussalam. I own computers like how Brunei household own cars *lol* so there are plenty of old and unused computers lying around at home. These goods can be recycled and just leave the work to Daikyo Recycling.

In comes Concepts Computer, the IT retail leader in Brunei, and the company collaborated with Daikyo Recycling so the consumers of IT can drop off their unwanted electronics at the Concepts Computer showroom.

The deal was signed between both companies with Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer and Alice Chan, Finance Controller of Concepts Group of Companies. The signing ceremony was held at the Brilliance Hall at Concepts Computer.

According to Jeffrey Hung, Project Manager of Daikyo Environmental Recycling, not many people residing in Brunei know that this service exists in the country. He was more than happy when Concepts Computer was willing to collaborate with this initiative. Even my posting on social media have garnered interest especially for those who supported the idea. Jeffrey shared that it’s not a straight away process even when the e-waste is delivered to Daikyo Environmental Recycling. They will dismantled the items one by one and segregate the different components. Then the items will be packed and sent to Japan for recycling purposes.

So what are you waiting for? Send in your old gadgets and e-waste to Concepts Computer showroom at Kiulap. The IT retailer is also having a special promotion where you can trade in for the items on special deals such as laptops, PCs. projectors, monitors and many more.

For more details and enquiries, please call 2233551, 2233552 or 2233553, or you can head down to Concepts showroom.



Jeffrey Hung, Project Manager of Daikyo Environmental Recycling being interviewed by the local press

The e-waste recycling bin. Good move by Concepts Computer. You can send in any electronic waste you feel like disposing.

Some of the old computers and electronics ready to be sent as e-waste



5th branch opens 


Tyre Factory Berakas is now open for business

Group photo with the management of Tyre Factory Berakas

Tyre Factory Berakas is the latest branch opened by Sin Hup Huat and it’s located along Jalan Utama Berakas. To Sin Hup Huat Company, Sunday the 11th of October marked another red letter date in the long successful history of the company.

If you ask me, it’s a very strategic place at Mukim Berakas and for all customers of SHHCO, you are probably aware of the service they provide is always top notch. The company has been incorporated since 1967 and it has been a long time coming.

Tyre Factory Berakas can deal with passenger cars, SUVs and 4x4s and even commercial vehicles. At the back area of the workshop, they have a dedicated service centre for commercial vehicle like buses and trucks. This is the first kind of service offered in Brunei Darussalam especially when it comes to a specialized section. They invested in an equipment that is able to increase efficiency in changing tyres of the commercial vehicles. Pretty cool..

For your info, Sin Hup Huat Company carries tyre brands such as Michelin, Hankook, Nankang & Triangle and many more. So you have the low range to the high end tyres to suit the budget needs of the customers.

Now with the official opening of Tyre Factory Berakas, SHHCo will be running a few promotion. You can contact them at 239 3000 or 239 2311.



Chris Tan, Operations Manager of Sin Hut Huat Company talking to the members of the press during the tour

The first customer during the launch

This is an interesting machine. Why so? It gives nitrogen air to your tyres instead of oxygen. Is it any good? Yes, because nitrogen air is less likely to migrate through rubber than is oxygen. This means the tyre pressure will remain more stable and you don’t have to worry about less air pressure in tyres for a long time. Normally the charges are $5 per tyre but if you change your tyres at SHHCo, the service will be free.


Balancing and alignment for vehicles and of course, the owner of the “Eagle Eye” to make alignment more efficient

They have another warehouse for the tyre brands they carry

The commercial vehicles such as buses and trucks. This is the first dedicated service area for these particular vehicles. The Land Transport Department will be pleased to know of such service.

The machine that will help increase efficiency to deal with changing tyres on commercial vehicles

Recently SHHCo invested in this heavy red equipment called Inflation Cages by Branick. What it does is to prevent the workers from being hurt should for instance, if the tyres explode, then the cage can handle the pressure and won’t impact on the workers. As you can see, SHHCo is also concern of the safety of their workers.


They also sell rims

The first customer yesterday also had a lucky dip as part of their promotion

They even sell quality tyres as low as $29. This has become a big hit for SHHCo

The opening hours of Tyre Factory Berakas


The map to Tyre Factory Berakas





Subscribe and text away. Good luck

Have you heard of NSC SMS club? They recently running an interesting promotion and all you have to do is SMS and stand a chance to win awesome prizes. NSC SMS Club is offering crazy offers and even delivering exclusive offers, promotions and information about the products and events as well. First step is to register in Opt-in list. How can you register? Simple. Have a DST line and just text the word NSC and send to 38855 and you will receive a welcome message from the NSC SMS Club.

There will be monthly charges of BND 3 and if you want to stop subscribing, then you can send a text of NSC STOP and send to 38855. Have fun and currently they are running October-November promotion and the winners will be announced in December 2015.




Almost 2 hours

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Korean Embassy new chancery 


The ground breaking ceremony which took place two days ago. Image courtesy of James Jon of Borneo Bulletin.

Cho Won-myung, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Brunei Darussalam (right) handing over a token to guest of honour Hj Adnan bin Haji Mohd Jaafar, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Image courtesy of James Jon of Borneo Bulletin.

Korean Embassy will be having their new chancery. Chancery means office or department of a chancellor. Apparently this is a 5 year project of the new chancery and also the ambassador’s residence. There was a signing agreement between South Korea and Brunei Darussalam for the lease land for the construction of premises on June 5, 2012.

Currently their embassy and residence is located at Jalan Muara. So when the project is completed by October 2016, the Korean Embassy will shift their embassy and residence at Jalan Kebangsaan.

The ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the new chancery was officiated by Hj Adnan bin Haji Mohd Jaafar, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade who was the guest of honour. Accompany him was Cho Won-myung, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Brunei Darussalam.

Located in a separate plot of land, the chancery has a total land area of 4,250 square metres while the ambassador’s residence has a total area of 6,070 square metres.

The contractors and subcontractor involved in the project are Setia Makota, Soosung Engineering and Gemilang Latif Associates.

According to the Ambassador, this will be the first property owned by the Korean government (in Brunei) and this is a symbol of the bilateral relationship between two countries. He believes this will play an important role as a centre for cultural exchange, people-to-people interaction, business and political communication.

Now I just hope there’s a direct flight to Seoul in the near future 🙂



The new Korean Embassy Chancery (office) to be completed by October 2016. Image provided by the Korean Embassy in Brunei Darussalam.

The new Korean Embassy Chancery (residence) to be completed by October 2016. Image provided by the Korean Embassy in Brunei Darussalam.


The Only Way is Up 


Alice Chan of Concepts Technologies, Haniza Zakariya, the country manager of Microsoft Brunei and Mr. Vincent Pao, General Manage of Concepts Technologies during the announcement of the Microsoft Distributorship recently. Image courtesy of Concepts Computer.

For the first time in the existence of Microsoft (Brunei), they have given the local distributorship to Concepts Group of Companies which will be under the flagship of Concepts Technologies. For many years, there have been one distributor in Brunei Darussalam but this time round, Concepts Group of Companies have been chosen as another distributor because of their exceptional track record in Brunei Darussalam for the past 15 years.

A few days ago, Haniza Zakariya, the country manager of Microsoft Brunei and Mr. Vincent Pao, General Manage of Concepts Technologies had a press conference to announce the official distributorship of Microsoft. Haniza believes that the leading IT retail company can help tap in the Brunei economy and increase the productivity of Microsoft. She also believes that despite the economic setback (oil prices and budget cuts), technology is still relevant as everyone uses it.

This is a strategic move by Microsoft Brunei as Concepts Technologies will be able to create an ecosystem through means of hardware, software, training, licensing and many more. I believe this will also help to drive and educate the public on the copyright issues.

Since year 2000, Vincent Pao has a strong philosophy that he won’t sell pirated software or sell his Acer computers with a pirated pre-install Windows or Microsoft office despite the fact back in those days, the local consumers prefer pirated softwares over original ones. He has maintained that commitment to this very day and still continuing.

Furthermore, Concepts Commercial Suppliers was given a certificate of recognition for selling genuine Microsoft software. Only two companies in Brunei Darussalam achieved this recognition and Concepts Computer was one of them. This was awarded back in December 2014 and to achieve this award is no easy feat due to the high piracy in softwares in Brunei alone.



The beginning of lasting relationship between Microsoft and Concepts Technologies. Image courtesy of Concepts Computer.

The man behind Concepts Group of Companies and Microsoft will be distributed under the flagship of Concepts Technologies

Last December, Concepts Commercial Suppliers got recognized by Microsoft for continuing selling genuine products in Brunei

During the launch of Microsoft Office 365 earlier this year

Mr. Pao has a vision for Concept Technologies to become a trusted and reliable distributor and serve their strategic partners and resellers and this, in turn, will give more confidence to the consumer end. The product of Microsoft are as always reliable and has become part of our daily lives. The extra step now is to educate those who are still using not genuine softwares of Microsoft.

I believe with the track record of Concepts Group of Companies, Mr. Pao and his team will continue to educate the end users and also maintaining their standards in selling genuine products.

Now with the distributorship entrusted to Concepts Technologies, the IT resellers and agencies can get their Microsoft softwares from Concept Technologies. This is one of the biggest milestone for Mr. Pao and his team.

Microsoft Brunei has definitely chose the right decision in trusting Concepts Technologies’ capabilities and most importantly, the work ethics between partners. Congratulations to Mr. Vincent Pao, the founder of Concepts Group of Companies and the distributorship of Microsoft products award was well deserved.




Just say Yes

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Another AUDE experience 

The Audi Urban Driving Experience (AUDE) back in 2014


T.C.Y. Motors as the sole dealer/importer for the Audi brand will once again hold its Audi Urban Driving Experience soon; it will be the second event of its kind after last year’s inaugural launch in Jerudong.

The event is a platform for customers and guests to experience and learn safe dynamic driving techniques and at the same time discover the unique capabilities of various Audi models in real driving situations. As with last year a professional driving instructor from overseas will be invited to conduct the exercises in a safe controlled environment.

With the recent alarming rise in road fatalities, emphasis on safe driving is at an all time high. Through the event participants will be shown simple yet important skills that can be utilised on a daily basis during their daily commute. Participants will also be enlightened on certain active/passive safety features available on current Audi models in the Sultanate.

The second AUDE event will take place at the end of the month at the previously held venue. Information on participation is available by calling 2442333 ext.31 or by visiting Audi Kiarong which is now open on Sundays 10.00am to 2.00pm.



Coming soon. Information on participation is available by calling 2442333 ext.31 or by visiting Audi Kiarong which is now open on Sundays 10.00am to 2.00pm


A chance of a lifetime 


Sam Koay is aiming for bigger success in Hollywood

Sam Koay with his equipment. Yay!! Canon 😀 and this was during his trip to Slovakia

Man, if I had that opportunity, I will grab it. I have always dreamt to be a film-maker since watching movies is my passion and I do appreciate all the efforts of the producers and directors to turn the movie into a final product for the benefit of the audience.

I just recently got in touch with Sam Koay whom I met during his International School Brunei days a few years ago and now, he has the opportunity to shine on a bigger stage and that is film-making and furthermore, it’s in Hollywood.. Yes, Hollywood. He is Malaysian but raised in Brunei, almost his entire life, and I’m more in touch with his mother, Cecilia Lee, owner of IA Salon and Fun Bee Park.

At a very young age, well comparing to mine *lol*, he holds a double major degree in Electronic and Theatre Arts and along the way he has notched several prestigious awards under his belt notably an award for an in-depth television feature into undocumented immigration into the US.

Currently he has signed with independent film-maker Greenstem Enterprises in Los Angeles. So his current project is a TV show with 21 episodes, the first season of “Basics of” and it’s basically an educational series where it gives the audience the know-how on taking on a career or a profession. This TV show will be aired on Discovery Channel in the summer of 2016. Now that is freaking awesome!!

In a very short span of time, he had hands on experience as he traveled to Slovakia while working closely with an award winning documentary film-maker Kelly Whelan. He had the opportunity to be involved in the Cannes International Film Festival 2014 as he worked as an intern in Meyers Media Group. Guess what? He had the privilege to bump into celebrities such as John Travolta and even my favourite director/producer Quentin Tarantino (envy…) Other accolades to his resume was as a camera operator and audio assistant for the Huffington Post during the Sundance Film Festival 2015.


Sam Koay at the Bradenton Film Festival

Sam Koay at one of his shootings at Slovakia

Sam Koay working on his short film at Puerto Rico as a cinematographer

A very good response from my Facebook followers as The Brunei Times article I shared garnered many “likes”

Being a graduate of University of Miami, he has also achieved numerous awards for his work on 30 minute documentary in 2014 on the immigration issue in the US (Society of Professional Journalism) and also for “Best Actor” award in the NOLA O Cinema screening in Miami. He also worked with an international brand Footlocker for a commercial.

Perhaps the highlight moment for me on Sam’s credentials will be his role as a production assistant for Warner Bros on Ben Affleck’s movie “The Accountant”. All these are good signs to come for a such a young talented individual. Apart from the current TV show he’s working on, he is working on a personal featured film, a story of struggles of a Malaysian man living in a Los Angeles. He hopes his featured film will gain interest and he is also raising funds for the production of the movie. Maybe you can try KickStarter, buddy 😀 I’m pretty sure many will support your cause.

For me, Sam can only move forward and I hope you reach the heights of being an accomplished director and actor. For the record, my favourite directors are Danny Boyle, Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan whereas my favourite actors are Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Scarlett Johansson.

Congratulations buddy and I wish you the best in the future.




Athlete of the Year? 


Darren Chai the winner of the Hopper Warrior 2015 CrossFit competition in Kuala Lumpur last weekend. Image courtesy of @hybridmovement

Darren Chai really impressed me as an athlete and he has one great intention – to help Brunei achieve health and fitness at the same time. I know him before as a tennis player and he’s pretty good too. I even saw him taking part in basketball tournaments and he has both the skills and physique to perform on the basketball court too. Now why I think he’s the athlete of the year is because of his contribution as a sportsman in the country and also his dedication.

Now his journey focuses on fitness through his personal training programme Hybrid Movement @HybridMovement and it has been a successful journey for Darren.

He recently won the Hopper Warrior 2015 CrossFit competition in Kuala Lumpur which took place last weekend. Well done, buddy. I believe it was no easy feat as he had a few tasks to complete and the points will then be tallied. The one with the lowest points will win the competition and Darren Chai had the lowest with 10 points whereas his next competitors were 14 points and 16 points respectively. You can read more of the story here written by Yee Chun Leong of The Brunei Times.

This year alone, he also competed in CrossFit Asia Tournament and he finished 15th out of the 34 finalists held in Bangkok back in June 2015. Back in May 2015, he was also champion in the “Beast of The East” competition. He was also being featured in the People section of The Brunei Times. Keep up the great work, buddy!! Maybe we should have a hit on the tennis court one day *lol*



Darren Chai braved the haze which was pretty bad in Kuala Lumpur last weekend

Darren Chai with the crew of Hopper Warrior 2015

Darren Chai at the CrossFit Asia Tournament in Bangkok where he finished 15th



What do you mean?

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


HM inspects site 

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mui’zzaddin Wadaulah the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam inspecting the National Security Exercise yesterday led by the Prime Minister’s Office


His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mui’zzaddin Wadaulah the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday inspected the operations behind the coordination of the National Security Exercise run by several of Brunei’s security agencies and led by the Prime Minister’s Office.

His Majesty visited the exercise sites and various scenarios are being staged including an airplane crash in Mengkabu. For those who are not aware, the operation was codenamed Eksesais Perisai Kebangsaan 04/2015. His Majesty visited various agencies such as the State Control Centre (Royal Brunei Police Force HQ in Gadong), Air Traffic Centre at Department of Civil Aviation, media centre at Brunei International Airport, Royal Brunei Crisis Management Centre and finally a crash site at Kg Panchor, Mengkubau.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam did highlighted that there is still room for improvements.

The exercise involves multi-agency coordination and is aimed at improving the ability of government agencies to respond to security risks and challenges, said Energy Minister Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar, who also chairs the National Security Committee.

“The objective is to test our system across the board – our response to crisis, our response to disaster,” he said. “In this exercise we are more interested in how multiple agencies work together to respond to an incident… Quite honestly there are quite a lot of lessons learned. We need to go back to the drawing board.”

The final exercise of the “Eksesais Perisai Kebangsaan” is today and do expect some roads to be affected such as road blocks and slow traffic. The information of the exercise especially the venue is to be discrete until it’s approved to be shared. This is the fact that it’s a real life simulation and it would be pointless if a warning is issued to the public under emergency situations. So I do hope the public will be understanding and cooperation with the authorities for this every important exercise.

You can read more here and here from The Brunei Times pieces. Source and images from The Brunei Times.









This could be your future 


I just had my visit at SBI (B) Sdn Bhd, a private equity fund manager, located in town and they have a very interesting history on SBI’s journey in the past few years in Brunei. Now they are expanding and scouting for suitable candidates (preferably citizen or permanent residents).

The job position is an Investment Analyst (Associate, Assistant Vice-President & Vice-President). Hence there will be a few spots available on each of the level/position stated. The company is mostly looking for fresh graduates and experienced ones. They will provide intensive training. Mind you the job will require you to travel a lot (my kind of thing) and they have flexible working hours (again my kind of thing). Important that you have at least a bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Finance, Economic, Engineering and/or Law.

Interested candidates are invited to submit their applications with detailed resume including present and expected salary, a recent passport size photograph and contact numbers. The application must hand delivered to SBI (B) Sdn Bhd office at Unit 1, Level 3, Dar Takaful Utama IBB, Jalan Pemancha during working hours (Monday to Friday) no later than 31st October 2015. Good luck.

I shall share more in depth on SBI as a company in my next post. It’s not as boring as you think, working in a fund manager field.




Help, Help

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


The Martian 

Podcast review of The Martian with other movies The Intern, Transylvania 2, Black Mass and Everest with co-host Del Goh and special guest Nee Khern


What my buddies thought of The Martian. Have you caught it yet?

Review of The Martian on The Reel Show




Hotel Jen Orchardgateway

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Hotel Jen experience 

Hotel Jen Orchardgateway in Singapore

Finding a perfect hotel in Singapore is always challenging. It boils down to price or location or preferably both. Those from Brunei who frequent their stay at Orchard area will be familiar with hotels such as Royal Plaza on Scotts, Grand Hyatt or Marina Mandarin are one particular reason – shopping conveniently at Orchard.

Now I can recommend you Hotel Jen Orchardgateway. It’s just one year old and it has been getting rave reviews for such a new establishment. I didn’t know it’s also under the Sharing-La umbrella which means they are under good hands 🙂

The location of Hotel Jen Orchardgateway is smackdown at Orchard (just between Somerset 313 and Orchard Central) and walking distance to Cineleisure, Takashimaya and Paragon. This is just a perfect spot for me to wonder around and plus I’m a regular user of the MRT which mean logistics is way better as I could make my journey from Somerset stop (MRT).


The iconic gigantic chair at the entrance of Hotel Jen Orchardgateway

The trolley for guests to bring their luggages and bags. Very homey and personal.

There are a few check points at the hotel where you can charge your smartphones. Awesome idea!!

The digital page where you can access and find out what you can do at the hotel and also around the area. Very useful for guests.

The Panaroma Club Room at Hotel Jen Orchardgateway.

The Superior Room with the City View

The rooftop pool on 19th floor

This is such a cozy place to be in right now

Nice view at night

There are basic amenities that you can enjoy such as free wifi, 24-hour gym access with facilities and fitness equipment, 24-hour room service and let’s not forget the pool side on the 19th floor.

What impressed me is the service they provide. The staff treat you with great care and I had little fuss during my check in process. I was even more impressed that they use the Windows Surface Pro as their tools for checking in and I signed my signature using their stylus on the tablet. Cool stuff…

Hotel Jen Orchardgateway will also stretch a little more with their service such as airport transfer, express check-in and check-out, local complimentary calls and if you are in need of computer access, you can surf spot with their iMac workstations.


Baoyi, one of the Club Lounge staff, assisted me to my room. All the staff are dressed casually, sporting a red top and blue jeans.

All the guest service staff will wear a badge. Looks legit and cool 😀

My personal message on my room TV and I even got an inbox message on the TV for my parcel. Nice touch!!

My club room on 20th floor. Spacious and I love the bed so much.

You can even relax by the window too to view the city

The bathroom and toilet area. Bruenians will love the fact that the toilet has an automated built-in sprinkler :p

I was given this. I love the classic snack!

The management had it all thought out. Guests tend to request for ice at the room service. Now you can help yourself to an ice dispenser available on every floor.

There’s even a vendor machine for guests to buy amenities and snacks or drinks.

You can even buy the Hotel Jen toiletry kit

The hotel offers different tiers to customers especially when you check in as a club guest. You have an awesome view of the either Orchard Road or Somerset Road from Level 18 or 20. You will also have access to the Club Lounge access and also checking in and out during your stay.

I could tell that Hotel Jen wants to focus in depth with their service as they kept asking me on how they could better their service even the smallest of things. The hotel itself is a gem due to your warm hospitality. I was a bit “sakai” when a message pop up on my TV console to alert that I have a parcel to be collected at the reception. For me, that alone made the experience more personal.

Even the prices are pretty reasonable considering it is at Orchard area. According to a third-party agency, it can cost as low as BND 250 for a superior room (king size bed). It also hit a high average rating on Tripadvisor where most praised for its location followed by the sleep quality and the rooms provided. Furthermore, many have praised Hotel Jen for their great variety in breakfast for the in-house guests.

I would also applaud Hotel Jen on their cleanliness. This gives a lasting impression that you will visit Hotel Jen on your next visit. Apparently, a few Bruneians have stayed at the hotel and the responses have been encouraging. So I could safely say that Bruneians are aware of the new hotel but not all know more of its existence.

You can browse through their website – www.hoteljen.com/singapore – for more details. I like the idea that when you book 30 days in advance, you can enjoy 15% discounts or if 14 days, you can enjoy 10%. That’s quite a good incentive for guests.

Overall, my stay was excellent and I would highly recommend my friends to give Hotel Jen a shot. Do check out my instagram @ranoadidas as I will be running a competition and you will stand a chance to win a one-night stay at Hotel Jen Orchardgateway. Good luck!!!


The 24-hour access gym facilities


Jen Lounge on 10th floor. This is also the home of the Chelsea supporters. The big game will be Liverpool vs Chelsea at the end of October.

Makan @ Jen

The cooking is shown live to the patrons. Unique.

They serve ice-cream during the buffets even for breakfast

The environment at Makan @ Jen. It has become popular among corporate patrons especially during lunch due to the mini buffet package.

I love how they presented their dishes on different section. They have a creative eye.

No surprise there that Hotel Jen has a good rating on booking.com

On the Club Lounge, the club guests can utilize their facilities such as usage of computers and printing their documents and also enjoy hi-tea and breakfast on the designated time.

The reception area on Level 10.

For guests who are on the run, they can buy ready-to-go snacks such as crackers or sandwiches or puffs at the On The Go counter on Level 10.



Halloween Horror Nights 5

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Halloween Horror Nights 5


With Jeremy of Asia361.com, Singapore blogger Tiffany Yong and Dominic at the Media Preview of Halloween Horror Nights 5 at Universal Studios Singapore at Resort World Sentosa

What a “trippy” experience!! I have always hear about the Halloween Horror Nights event in Singapore but I’ve never had the privileged to try it out because of my travel commitments. On the good note, whenever I posted stories contributed by Tiffany Yong’s experience on this particular event, my hits went up so a big thank you to Tiffany for contributing these stories (you can read here) for the past two years. Only recently I had the privilege to attend the exclusive media preview last Monday and thanks to Tiffany as well.

According to the press release, there are 4 haunted houses and 3 scare zones. The latter are all held outdoors so for those people who are afraid of the dark, that might be just some consolation news for you :p I managed to bump into a few friends from Singapore at the event and even popular blogger from The Philippines @itscamilleco was there with her clique.

It was really tough to take photos even with my SLR due to the lack of lighting which makes focuses pretty difficult. The successful attempts were quite minimal but I supposed that’s a good thing so there won’t be too many spoilers (right?).

According to the calendar, the Halloween Horror Nights 5 only available on weekends of October (Friday to Sunday). Tickets are running fast for this weekend and the next weekend. So to the Bruneians out there who are in Singapore or planning to visit Singapore, don’t miss out this spectacular experience of horror 😀



The representatives from the media locally and internationally

We were divided into groups according to the number

The bloggers from The Philippines. I only recognized @itscamilleco (2nd from left)

Tiffany getting ready for the tour

The theme for this year is Blood Moon

It was good to see SuperAdrianMe who is a jet setter

We have a scary visitor to welcome us at the entrance

A few words from Resort World Sentosa

My media pass that night

My personal favourite (haunted house) is the Siloso Gateway Block 50. Why? Because of the simulation from the role players – the police and the zombies. It seems as if I was in a real scenario. The highlights, for me, were the chained zombie by the wall and the over-sized hysterical lady zombie with both hands tied to the bed. Classic!!! Those moments alone warrant another visit if you can bare the long queue.

Now for every haunted house, there is a story behind it to make it more interesting for the “horror” goers. So for the Soliso Gateway Block 50, there was a water contamination with the so called HHN-5 virus that infected the residents, hence they were transformed into zombies. I love how this area was designed and decorated and attention to detail as well. A bit of warning that there will be a slight moment you will be sprayed with water but it was no harm to my camera equipment 😀 Let’s see if you have the same sentiments as me for Siloso Gateway Block 50.


The Siloso Gateway Block 50

Can you trust this person?

The first haunted house we braved was the “Tunnel People”. Now I’m not sure about the story for this one but apparently the Tunnel People have been bidding their time for the rise of the Blood Moon. So as you walk through the tunnel, will you be able to spot them? I really had a hard time taking photos as it was too dark. Even my periscope attempt failed to capture some horrifying scenes. Nonetheless you will be spooked because of the terrifying sound effects and the screams from unexpected spots. Those with the weak hearts will find this slightly more traumatizing because of the dark feel. I was more entertained by Tiffany’s body language as she cupped her ears throughout the tunnel :p


Tiffany Yong covering her ears at the Tunnel section

I kinda enjoyed the “Hell House” and it has an Asian feel to it. Again all the themes of the Halloween Horror Nights 5 relates to the Blood Moon. In this house, the moon has awakened all the “Paper Servants” of the Effigy House. There’s plenty of ingenuity here on how they set up the props. Yes, it may look less elaborated and dark than the other haunted houses but man, this was the first spot that got my nerves tingling especially the narrow corridor that has plentiful arms jutting out of the walls. Nicely done and effective enough to test your fears. I also have to salute one role player in the “Hell House” (do refer to photos below). Cool stuff..


It looks simple but very, very creepy

I salute this particular person for taking this particular spot

Wuusssuupppp….!!! (at the Hell House)

The next one was the MRT spot and it is labeled as True Singapore Ghost Stories: The MRT. The story depicts a scenario of an underground train station built at a Malay burial site and it was cursed by the Blood Moon. Expect to see the likes of Toyol, Pontianak and Hantu Rayas at the MRT. The scares are plentiful and they managed to trick the audience thinking some are just mannequins. Nice one!! It was probably my least favourite of the lot but doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. All in all, the Haunted Houses were nicely decorated to a specific themes and they all have their own purposes on how to startle their victims. As a first timer, I am totally impressed and I highly recommend my friends to take the courage to be part of the Halloween Horror Nights 5 (#HHN5).


The ghosts at MRT area

This is very trippy



The Scary Zones

Let’s not forget that apart from the Haunted Houses, there are also three scare zones – The Invaders (New York), conTerminated (Sting Alley) and Hungry Ghosts (Lost World). All these are outdoors and I really applaud all the role players as they gave it their all to make our experience worthwhile. I even see the senior citizens taking up this role as a ghost and the oldest scare actor is 70 years old. Impressive.. For your info, there are more than 500 people who auditioned of this year’s HHN5. Another interesting fact is that they used 10 gallons of fake blood for the event.

There are also 10 rides, shows and attractions that will be operational during the event. Do check out their official websitefor more details. The general admission is $68 and they have plenty of different prices for different packages.


At The Invaders

At The Invaders

At The Invaders

At The Invaders

At the Hungry Ghost

At the Hungry Ghost. Ok, this is very creepy indeed.

At the Beast Club

Lots of dancing beasts *lol*

Watch some performances at the Beast Club with some rave music

There are four cities in the world that hosting Halloween Horror Nights this year

Check out the dates on the weekends for Halloween Horror Nights 5. Click image to see more.



Charmazing now at Best Eastern

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in Uncategorized


Indulge in Charmazing!!

You can connect your bracelets with on the Charmazing app and earn points

The launch of the Charmazing at Times Square

Forget Candy Crush.. (especially for the young female teens).. I just came across a new addictive game for the girls and it’s more on wearing accessories and earning points through sharing or connecting with other owners of the particular accessories. This items that I’m talking about is no other than Charmazing (bracelets with charms).

Now Charmazing has a unique way of interacting with other Charmazing users – through means of the Charmazing App (now available on Apple Store and Google Play). You can now explore into the virtual world where you can wear, share and trade with friends and connect with other designers, simply by playing with the App. Awesome, huh? This trend has been popular outside Brunei and Best Eastern (leading bookstore in Brunei) has brought in one of the STYLE ME UP collection to the Sultanate and I believe this will be a huge hit among teenagers.


The Charmazing starter kit

The Charmazing starter kit

The workshop of Charmazing at Times Square a few weeks ago



Check out Charmazing on Youtube


They have different range of collections to choose from Charmazing. Of course, the best to start off with the starter kit and it costs below BND 10 and you can also download the App and start connecting with other Charmazing owners. There are four sets in total and the biggest set is the Charmazing Deluxe Kit (the complete set with 6 bracelets with 12 assorted charms).

You can follow Best Eastern’s Facebook page or their instagram @besteastern_bookstore

You can also check out charmazing.com for more details on how to play around with it.


Available now at Best Eastern









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