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Archive for December, 2015


It’s Pay Day

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Shopping with Baiduri UnionPay 


Group photo with the lucky customers of the Baiduri UnionPay Debit Card and the management of Baiduri Bank outside Supa Save Beribi

Baiduri Bank hosted their final prize presentation for their “Take Me Shopping With Baiduri UnionPay Debit Card” campaign at Supa Save Beribi two Sundays ago.

The winners were given 30 minutes to grab any of their favourite items at the supermarket that amounted to $150. They were each accompanied by a bank staff, who assisted them in gathering the items.

The participants were encouraged to make shopping lists for their desired items, and many managed to fill their baskets long before the 30 minutes were up.

The lucky winners of the campaign were Syakira Hj Yusoff, Doris Tan Lian Fah, Siti Arbi Hj Ismail, Hjh Noridah, Nur Razanah Abdul Rahman, Kiew Suh Ci, Hasnal Hadi Ahmad, Hismawadi Hj Mohammad, Michelle Chen Macaulay, Peter Lu Yeong Hwa, Siti Aniza Johaini, Hjh Riffat Sultana Rana, Chai Nyok Sin, Ong Siew Ching and Tang Yik Long.

The Head of Retail Banking and Branch Network at Baiduri Bank, Pg Azaleen Pg Dato Hj Mustapha, was on hand to present the prizes.

In September, Baiduri Bank in collaboration with UnionPay – the fastest growing card brand in the world – hosted a three-month long campaign where Baiduri Bank UnionPay Debit Card holders stood a chance to win shopping sprees when they use their cards at participating outlets with a minimum purchase of $50.


Getting ready before the spree

And the spree begins….


Happy customers after the shopping spree

Pg Azaleen Pg Dato Hj Mustapha, Head of Retail Banking and Branch Network at Baiduri Bank (right) with the participant






Happy Long Weekend

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Happy Long Weekend 

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel leading the Maulud Nabi procession at Taman Hj Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien yesterday. More than 12,000 took part in the procession. Image courtesy of Sazali Ariff.

Sheikh Khalid with his family participating at Maulud Nabi procession too yesterday. Image courtesy of Sheikh Khalid.

Shop at Concepts Computer 😀

Check out the special deals from Royal Brunei Airlines. Click image to find out more. The 20% deal is applicable until 28th December.

One of my favourite dishes of 2015. The beef rendang from Pondok Sari Wangi. I will be doing a countdown to the favourite dish hopefully before the new year. By the way, none of the franchise dishes will be featured.

Congratulations to Farhan Jaafar Ali for reaching his Competent Communicator pin (need to successfully complete 10 speeches) and he inspired us with a simple thought of believing in ourselves especially others can. Liyana Sidek was given the honour to pin the CC badge on Farhan last Monday.

Thank you @progresif_cellular for the holiday gift 😀

I have so much going on for my teeth 🙁 My favourite flavour is Chocolate Chip #singapore

Finally I’ve beaten my conquerer, Minul Abas, on the court after being down 0-3 and ended winning 6-3 😀 Training has been fun with Aiman and the gang. See you all next week and I am probably thinking of another racket. Hmmmm..

Have your heard of the AT-Taqwa Travel Tours? It’s the latest travel agent in town and it’s located at Liang Toon. Just bought my first ticket from them this week 😀

OGDC presents Carnival Science and it will be ongoing until March 2016. It contains 28 interactive exhibitions and surely a good place for families to bring their kids this holiday season.

Join the search for the most loved coffee man in Brunei and be rewarded with a golden trip for 2 to Mr Brown castles in Taiwan. Join 1 game, 2 games or all 3 games! Game 1 – 27 Dec 2015 – Utama Grand Superstore; Game 2 – 13 Jan 2016 – UBD; Game 3 – 30 Jan 2016 – Consumer Fair, ICC. So simply register now at www.mrbrownbrunei.com and you click on the image to register

There will be 3 games played at 3 different locations. Participants can choose to join any game or join all 3 games. For each game played, there will be 1 grand prize winner. This means for 3 games, there will be a total of 3 different grand prize winners. All who registered to find Mr Brown in EACH GAME is automatically entitled to our lucky draw. Prizes per game include one year supply of Mr Brown Coffee (x2 winners) and Mr Brown T-shirt, cap and more (x5 winners).

Take the advantage you deserve. Get B$1,500 Shopping Voucher when you purchase DS3, DS4 or DS5. Visit their showroom to find out more information. Follow @citroenbrunei for more updates

I wonder how 2016 will look like

Something for colourist out there. Thank you Best Eastern

More colouring books available at Best Eastern

The closing date draw will be today. Good luck to all the participants

Hope all goes well before the bonus period *lol*

My third viewing of The Force Awakens and this time on IMAX at Lido, Singapore. My friend Tiffany gave it an 8 and it was her first experience of Star Wars series.



2016 awakens? Not just yet

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


New MD of BIBD 

The Board of Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam today announced the appointment of Mr Mubashar Khokhar as its Managing Director with effect from 30 November 2015. He will take over from Mr Javed Ahmad who will leave BIBD on 29 December 2015, after having successfully led the Bank since 2008.

Dato Paduka Haji Bahrin bin Abdullah, Chairman of BIBD said that Mr Khokhar brings with him a wealth of knowledge and international experience of over 30 years in the financial industry, which is well-suited to BIBD’s ambitious plans to take the bank to the next level. “Mubashar has deep knowledge of the Islamic finance industry and proven executive experience across fifteen developed and emerging markets, including the USA, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Gulf Cooperation Council. He will continue to drive the transformation and continuous improvement agenda that we have set out for the Bank, to generate respectable returns for our shareholders, while continuously providing our customers with world-class Islamic financial services.”


Mr Mubashar Khokhar as its Managing Director of BIBD. Image taken from emirates247.com

Prior to BIBD, Mr Khokhar was Managing Director at Fajr Capital, Dubai, a principal investment firm and, CEO of Ajman Bank, a publicly listed Shari’a compliant bank in UAE, and also served as the CEO of Badr Al-Islami/Mashreq Al-Islami, a wholly owned subsidiary of MashreqBank. Under his leadership at Ajman Bank, Ajman Bank received widespread industry recognition, including the coveted ‘Best Domestic Bank’ award in 2011. He started his career with American Express and Bank of America.

Dato Haji Bahrin also thanked Mr Javed Ahmad for his immense contributions during his tenure at the helm of BIBD. Mr Javed Ahmad was instrumental in the transformation of BIBD into Brunei Darussalam’s largest bank and the sultanate’s flagship Islamic financial institution, serving over 30% of the Bruneian market. Several milestones have been chartered during his leadership at BIBD, including the Bank’s major rebranding exercise in 2013, the introduction of pilot banking innovations and technologies, as well as the Bank’s regional expansion to Singapore. BIBD has also received numerous international recognitions under Javed Ahmad’s leadership, including receiving the impressive A- (Stable) credit rating, the highest in Brunei Darussalam and among the highest in Southeast Asia accorded by international credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s.


Thank you, Mr. Javed Ahmad, for your friendship and continuous support during your capacity as the MD of BIBD. I wish you the best in your future endeavours.


Swipe to Fly 

Pg Suhardy bin Pg Hj Nordin, BIBD’s Head of Branches, present a prize to one of the winners

Pg Suhardy bin Pg Hj Nordin, BIBD’s Head of Branches, present a prize to one of the winners

BIBD last weekend handed over three pairs of air tickets to Kota Kinabalu for the first monthly winners of its “Swipe to Fly” campaign at the Radisson Hotel in the capital. Present to hand over the prizes was BIBD’s Head of Branches, Pg Suhardy bin Pg Hj Nordin.

Throughout the promotion period ending 29th of February 2016, every transaction made using any physical BIBD cards will entitle the card holder one entry, automatically entered into the ‘Swipe to Fly’ campaign. As an added bonus, any transaction on the same cards above BND$50 will also entitle the cardholder an additional five entrees. The four-month promotion will also offer air tickets to Jakarta, Bali and Bangkok.

BIBD is also currently running its BIBD Card Privileges promotion which allows BIBD cardholders, including the BIBD Virtual Mastercard, to enjoy a discount of up to seven percent when you book your travel accommodation with Agoda. This promotion is valid until the 31st December 2015, and is available via the BIBD landing page at www.agoda.com/bibd.

For more information on any BIBD products, services and promotions, please follow the BIBD Instagram account at @BIBDBRUNEI; Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bibdbrunei ; get in touch with BIBD Contact Centre at 2238181 or visit the nearest BIBD Branch. Also, don’t forget to download the popular BIBD Mobile App to get the latest BIBD offers and promotions under “What’s New” feature.


Group photo with the winners



The Peugeot 3008 crossover 

Check out the new Peugeot 3008 crossover now available in Brunei

The front view and now the lights are pretty unique, powered by Bi-Xenon Directional Light

The trend is picking up or it already has been the trend in Brunei Darussalam. Car enthusiasts prefer to drive an SUV than a saloon car. So it’s no surprise that many European car manufacturers are listening to the demands especially in Asia and Brunei is one of them.

Today my post will feature the latest edition to the Peugeot family – the Peugeot 3008. This model will surely attract many potential customers. Why? Because of its affordability for a crossover SUV and its awesome safety features.

The Peugeot 3008 is a crossover SUV capable of seating five in comfort thanks to its MPV-like interior and clever use of space from our fully imported model from France.

Designed to look more like a 4×4 estate than a traditional SUV or people carrier, the Peugeot 3008 stands out on the road and the modern, attractive design incorporates vast boot space for luggage and equipment.

Inside the Peugeot 3008, the interior is kitted out with an almost-executive-level of equipment and the use of quality materials puts the 3008 ahead of many of its rivals.

An excellent petrol engines provide plenty of power matched to low running costs, low levels of emissions and small car fuel economy.


Even the bonnet area is spacious and can carry the human weights of my media buddies

Annison, TCY Motors Peugeot sales manager, adjusting the partition at the boot area. He highlighted how the new SUV is clever in using its space.

Adjustable space at the back

Vincent Hong checking out the new 3008

Now for only BND 539 per month and with the new AMBD directive, you don’t need down payment. Coolio!!

Safety feature. Customers will feel more confident knowing that the 3008 crossover is being awarded a 5* Euro NCAP rating.

The 3008 is the only entry level SUV in Brunei, to be fitted with Bi-Xenon Directional Light (totally cool feature). This feature is very important on safety aspect during night driving. When maneuvering, the light follows the direction of the steering wheel, thus making your driving safer and with confidence.

The New 3008 is fitted with 6 SMART airbags that inflate according to the force of the impact, giving you exactly the right level of protection. Every part of the New 3008 has been designed for maximum safety.

Price? Well, you will be amazed to know that the price is set at BND 34,900 or from BND 539 per month depending on your specification. We had the privilege to have a closer look at the new Peugeot 3008 crossover at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf last week. For those interested to view the car, you can drop by their Peugeot Showroom at Kiarong.

You can also follow their Facebook Page and their Brunei’s Peugeot website for more updates.


The black one looks cool

Close up view of the front

The interior look



Winners feted for video comp 

Muhammad Abdul Mu’iz Darul the winner of the Open Category of the Financial Scams Awareness Short Video Competition and presenting the prize was AMBD Managing Director Yusof Hj Abd Rahman

Ak Sulaiman Pg Hj Aman from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) the winner of the Student Category of the Financial Scams Awareness Short Video Competition and presenting the prize was AMBD Managing Director Yusof Hj Abd Rahman

The creators of the best videos on financial scams were recently given recognition by the organiser of the competition, Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD), at the Theatre Hall, Ministry of Finance Building last week.

The Financial Scams Awareness Video Competition, which was divided into two categories – Student and Open – saw a total of three winners from each category.
In the Student category, Ak Sulaiman Pg Hj Aman from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) took the first place for his video Desperate. In second place were Chung Ming Ru and Nurul Hafizah Zakaria, also from UBD, for their video, Loving Can Hurt. Meanwhile, in third place was a group of students from Politeknik Brunei – Mohd Izzat Afifi Hassan, Ak Md Akmal Muazzam Pg Mohammad Adam Nor-Islam, Amin Yusuf Abd Salam; and Muhd Hafiy Masri – for their video titled Tabung Dana.

In the open category Muhammad Abdul Mu’iz Darul was announced the first place winner for his video Tuah Malang. In second and third places respectively were Mohammad Hanifi Hj Juffri for his video The Pyramid and Amirul Jazli Jali for his video Caught in the Web.

The consolation prizes winners went to Abdul Hanan bin Haji Erwan, Nurul Fatin Haziqah binti Abdul Rahman, Siti Zuraidah @ ‘Aziyah As-Zahra binti Mat Jais and Najihah binti Haji Ali from Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA); and Muhammad Meerza Helmi bin Uzapuspa, Muhammad Afiq Khairuddin bin Kamaluddin, Audrey Lim Hong Eng and Ahmad Fikri bin Zulbahri from Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College (MSPSBS).


2nd place winner in the Student Category

The top three winners in the Open Category

The top three winners in the Student Category

Group photo with the AMBD and the winners and finalists of the Financial Scams Awareness Short Video Competition

Present to hand the prizes to the winners was AMBD Managing Director Yusof Hj Abd Rahman, who also presented prizes to consolation winners. Also present at the ceremony were AMBD’s management and staff as well as external judges Shaikh Hj Hanafiyah Shaikh Hj Ahmad from Radio Televisyen Brunei (RTB); and Siti Kamaluddin from Origins Film Sdn Bhd.

In an AMBD press statement, the competition was organised to develop public awareness on financial scams.

The winning videos, Desperate and Tuah Malang, can be viewed on AMBD’s app, which can be downloaded for free on both App Store for iPhone users and Google Playstore for Android users. All the images courtesy of AMBD and text taken from The Brunei Times.




I am no one

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


The Force is strong in Brunei 

Podcast review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with special guests Nur Iskandar and Pranika Lama



Wu Chun back on screen 

Wu Chun starring in the upcoming movie Nest which is scheduled for shooting pretty soon

Kellan Lutz and Kelsey Grammer will join Li Bing Bing and Wu Chun in 3D sci-fi action film Nest and it’s slated for 2016 release.

The film, follows a group of scientists exploring an ancient labyrinth who must fight off a swarm of deadly, man-eating funnel web spiders if they hope to survive.

The film has enjoyed pre-sales success for Darclight, the genre arm of Sydney- and Los-Angeles-based Arclight Films, which is pitching it at the American Film Market.

Arclight Films’ genre label Darclight, handling worldwide sales, also has sold the film in a number of territories at AFM, including Germany (Square One ), Middle East (Italia), Turkey (Aqua Pinema), India (Viswaas), Philippines (Pioneer), Vietnam (Galaxy), Myanmar (Colorful Garden) and Indonesia (Cinemaxx).

“Kellan Lutz and Kelsey Grammer bolster not only the cast in a brilliant way, but the overall power and commercial value of the film,” says Clay Epstein, Arclight Films’ senior vp sales and acquisitions.

The Nest is being written and directed by Kimble Rendall (Bait & The Matrix Reloaded), an ARIA Hall of Fame member inducted for his work as a founding member of the Hoodoo Gurus.Along with starring, Chinese actress Li also will produce with Gary Hamilton, Ying Ye, Mark Lazarus and Serena Deng, and executive producers Mike Gabrawy and Elliot Tong.

Kellan Lutz’s recent films include Twilight Saga, The Expendables 3 and The Legend of Hercules, and he’s wrapped work on Extraction with Bruce Willis and Money with Jesse Williams. He’s repped by WME and Ryan Daly of Zero Gravity Management.

Frasier star, Kelsey Grammer appeared in Transformers and The Expendables 3, as well as Entourage and the upcoming films Storks and Bunyan and Babe. He’s repped by  UTA and WikkedCat Entertainment.

Wu Chun is longing back to be on the set after a two years hiatus

Wu Chun with Hollywood actor Chris Evans

Quote from Wu Chun: After taking a break from filming 2 years ago, i am super excited to be back and extremely privilege to be given a role in NEST 3D. Its my first movie where i will be working with a strong team of Hollywood professionals and no doubt that its going to be a fruitful experience for me.

This is also my first attempt on a 3D movie production and the fact that i am always a Sci-Fi movie fans makes me even more curious on the set up of this production which will take place mainly in Australia starting this month.



New tyre inflators 

Hj Julaini Hj Latip, Board of Director of Stesen Minyak KOPPMB (third from left), Hj Mat Sarudin Hj Ismail, Head of Brunei Shell Marketing’s Retail (center) and Dato Paduka Hj Ahmad Kadi, Board of Director of Stesen Minyak KOPPMB (right) during the briefing of the new tyre inflators last Friday

When will it stop? We tend to take the small things for granted. It’s a norm that all those who drive will visit the petrol station at least once a week. The thing that we don’t realise are the tyre inflators that are stationed at almost all petrol stations for the convenience of the motorists should they want to inflate their tyres.

However, it’s sad to note that the petrol stations are also subjective to vandalism and yes, the tyre inflators are one of the targeted items – cutting off the hose or spoiling the gauge. For your info, the self-service tyre inflation is FREE of charge and sometimes patrons won’t realised that the faulty inflators were being vandalised and it’s beyond the control of the owners and the management since the inflators are physically located outside and exposed to the public.

This issue was raised by Hj Mat Sarudin Hj Ismail, Head of Brunei Shell Marketing’s Retail and the tyre inflators are provided by BSM to all the filling stations in Brunei Darussalam. Having said that, BSM will be undergoing a replacement program by bringing the latest digital tyre inflators and slowly, they will be installing to some of the filling stations in phases.

BSM are working closely with the their contractors and the Retail Station operators to implement a coordinated response on the tyre inflator equipment upgrading and replacement programme. The most important thing is that the equipment is safe and effective for the consumers’ benefit.

So I do urge the public to be more viligant and do watch out for the culprits who would tamper the equipments. If you have any suggestions on how to improve the service or reduce the vandalism, you can contact BSM at 277 4277 or email at BSM-External-Affairs(a)shell.com


Hj Mat Sarudin Hj Ismail holding a list of filling station that has operational tyre inflators. Image courtesy of Vincent Hong.

Hj Mat Sarudin showing to the media of the dysfunctional tyre inflator that has been tampered


Some of the culprits will cut the hose which makes it difficult for patrons to pump their tyres

The clear glass was initially there but had been broken. The new tyre inflators will have a digitial reading with a more comprehensive manual



Star Wars fever weekend

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


The Force is strong in Brunei 

Podcast review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with special guests Nur Iskandar and Pranika Lama

The Progresif Cellular management all geared up for Episode VII

Progresif team showing their force at Times Cineplex

The US Ambassador to Brunei Craig Allen (5th L) with his family in a group photo with the characters of Star Wars at the Fanboys Infinite movie screening of Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens at Times Cineplex last Friday. Image courtesy of Khaliq Roziman of The Brunei Times.

It was good to see movie goers dressing up. Image courtesy of Khaliq Roziman of The Brunei Times.

I see familiar faces. Image courtesy of Khaliq Roziman of The Brunei Times.

Darth Vader taking a sip of the Red Velvet ice blended drink

The Managing Director of PAR Food & Beverages, YAM Pg Anak Abdul Mun’im (R), presents a mock cheque to a member of Pusat Ehsan Board of Trustee Hj Ahmad Hj Abd Rahman at The Coffee Bean’s outlet in Supasave Beribi yesterday. At the same time, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf also launched two new drinks in conjunction with the Star Wars movie – White Chocolate Peppermint Ice Blended and Double Chocolate Peppermint Ice Blended available until mid January. Image courtesy of Analisa Amu of The Brunei Times.

I recently saw many merchandise being sold at Mall of Asia, Manila.

I watched both movies and both are awesome and are in my 10 ten movies of 2015



Alan Inspiration Salon reopens 

Alan Inspiration Salon reopens and it is now located at Seri Q-Lap Mall

Alan, the man behind Alan Inspiration Salon and he will be available from 23rd to 25th December. Highly recommended 😀

Alan Inspiration Salon is relocated in Brunei and it’s located on the 1st floor at Seri Q-Lap Mall. They provide a one-stop service for men and women hair design/cut/wash and they just started operations quite recently. I met up with Alan the man behind the successful outlet & academy and he’s happy to be back, catering to the Brunei market.

The genius behind Inspiration Alan Salon, has been a hair champion of Malaysia and Singapore and he has trained in London, Europe, USA, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Along the way he has won numerous awards and accolades which makes him one of the sought hairstylists in the region.

Surprisingly he still has his regular customers from Brunei and alan will make himself available from time to time as he is based in Miri too.

This time round one of his hair stylist is in Brunei from 18th December to 23rd December and his name is Wilson Lee (7 years experience in Kota Kinabalu). Alan himself will be in Brunei from 23rd to 25th December and followed by Michelle from 26th December to 31st December. So do make your appointments at Alan Inspiration Salon at Seri Q-Lap Mall because they have a special promotion of 20% discount (wash & cut) for the first ever client of Alan Inspiration Salon.

For now, the hair wash services for wash and blow is only BND 10. Wash and treatment (using Korea crystal shine products) is only BND 25 and Wash and Treatment (using L’Oreal or Schwarzkopf product) is only BND 50. 

The comfy chairs for the patrons

The hair wash section – separately from men and women. For the time being, hair wash and blow is only BND 10.

Some solutions for your hair

Great promotion especially for first time customer.

The schedules of the hair stylists from Alan Inspiration Salon

Alan was the hair stylist during one of the fashion show. He has many accolades under his belt as a hair stylist

Another highly recommended hair stylist – available from 26th December to 31st December at Alan Inspiration Salon

Alvina wins a Mini 

Alvina Ching Sei Ing, the winner of the ‘Baiduri fabulous Promotion @ Mabohai Shopping Complex’ promotion, receiving the a mock key from Pierre Imho, the CEO of Baiduri Bank

Group photo with the winners and finalists with Baiduri Bank management

18 finalists but only one walked away with the Mini Cooper. The campaign lasted for six months at the Mabohai Shopping Complex where all you need to do is swipe ur Baiduri Credit Card and Debit Card while shopping at their premise. The responses have been overwhelming and it was a win-win situation for the retailers and the consumers.

Presenting the prizes was Pierre Imho, the CEO of Baiduri Bank and the grand winner belonged to Alvina Ching Sei Ing who won herself a brand new Mini car.

There were also top three consolation prizes with $300 gift hamper sponsored by L’Occitane and $300 Flexa voucher won by Goh Chee Ming and Victor Edgar Keasberry respectively.

For more updates, you can visit their social media IG at @baiduribank.


One of the consolation winners

During the draw process

Alvina in great joy after winning the Mini


PechaKuchaNight BSB 

PechaKucha Volume 6 is happening tonight. Not sure if the tickets are sold out but I’m looking forward to this event and I hope I managed to catch all of them as I have another event to attend. Amazing that the team have reached the 6th volume of the PechaKuchaNight BSB. Tonight it will take place at The Energy Kitchen.


Happening tonight at Energy Kitchen

All the seven speakers to share their personal experiences for your interest
The seven speakers line-up for tonight.

Finah Yusof was supposed to travel for only about 2 months. But things got topsy turvy as that extended to a life-gripping adventure of 32 months. In 2012, Finah went to many different places on the face of the globe witnessing what most of us now might never ever be able to someday. She returned just this year to tell you all of that very journey.

Josephine On is also a business entrepreneur. Her entrepreneurship journey was full of doubts and even fears. She found comfort in discomfort. Without overcoming those doubts, she would never have found Hoko Creative.

Next up, he is the youngest of the bunch. Malik Som is 17 years old and will tell you his story of his nostalgic camping experience in Ulu-Ulu Temburong. He discovered more than just a great experience, he discovered a lifetime of valuable lessons.

The business world is more than just earning money as easy as you want. There are loads of hard work, struggles and behind the scenes that many might never witness. Fatin Arifin will give an insight on the challenges that the business world could throw at you.

Hilman Omar had an unexpected reaction from his circle of friends when he drew illustrations of them. They loved it! It was gratifying to see that. And it was the first time ever showing his art towards his group of friends. *Hint* an artwork on the event/venue will be drawn by him. Wonder where that will be drawn?

Another presenter Nitisha Kashyap has lived in Brunei for about 3 years. It was challenging for her at first to adapt. Where to find friends? What activities were there to do to fill time?

Lastly, one of the speakers, Amir Noor who is rocking that Star Wars shirt. Amir is a geek at heart and loves, and we mean LOVES longboarding. Will he talk about longboarding? We shall see.




The Force truly Awakens

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


The Force Awakens 

Podcast review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with special guests Nur Iskandar and Pranika Lama

The Force Awakens: (This is not a movie review). My oh my.. I never thought the hype will be this huge. Forget The Avengers: Age of Ultron or Jurassic World. No movie brand can come close to Star Wars in terms of marketing and presence. It’s just everywhere and definitely the word of mouth on the hype just snowballed.

Now the question is will it eclipsed the box office record of Jurassic World in its opening weekend? This is the only movie that stands a chance to reach that milestone and it also remains to be seen if it has the legs to reach the $600 million mark for US box office earnings. Movie analyst has predicted that The Force Awakens will reach in the region of USD 230 million in its first weekend. Let’s hope that it will reach that milestone. I can’t wait to see the results.

Will Brunei also enjoy great success in the box office? From the looks of it, it might just have the legs to do so since it’s the holiday season. However, it could be affected by the fact that some are traveling abroad and there are most likely to catch it overseas.

I’m hoping to catch it on IMAX theatres by next week or so. After 30 plus years, you can really feel that Force has really awakened.


We had the privilege to catch Star Wars: The Force Awakens at The Mall Cineplex last Wednesday midnight

Ticket prices at The Mall Cineplex. Thu-Fri – Before 6:30pm $5/$3.50 After 6:30pm – $7, Sat – Before 6:30pm $6/$4 After 6:30pm – $8, Sun – $7/$4, Mon-Wed – Before 6:30pm $4/$3 After 6:30pm – $6

The Darth Vader from New Era I bought from The Cap City and the 3D glasses of Stormtroopers

They had a real scale version of the X-Wing fighter at the Mall of Asia, Manila. The Star Wars fever was all over Manila. I ended up buying a few t-shirts along the way.

A great read from TIME magazine on Star Wars

My favourite notepad so far.



The Intelligent Set from Tomato KidZ 


The Intelligent Set from Tomato KidZ


Want a good posture while studying? Research has shown that good sitting posture is important to a child’s growth and development and should be encouraged from an early age. And now you can choose the Intelligent Kids Study Station from Tomato KidZ– one of their best sellers which has been created to support your child’s health and well-being.

Designed to be used from kindergarten to university, the excellent construction and adjustable height, enables this study station to grow with your child. It is suitable for children from as young as three years old. The new wide coverage LED light helps to protect your child’s eyesight as they use it to help them read, write and study in a properly lit environment.

However, one of the most important features of the Intelligent Kids Study Station series is the ergonomic design which features an adjustable desk surface up to 45 degrees which helps to ease the stress on the neck and shoulder muscles while also ensuring correct posture.

Dubbed as a study station that grows with the kids, the Intelligent Set has a height adjustable feature for both the chair and the desk that goes according to the measure of the child, so that the child perform their work at the optimal level.

Tested internationally, this Intelligent Kids Study Station has proven to be comfortable for both kids as well as adults; and is also extremely durable, so durable that is comes with a 10 year warranty!
Available in two practical colours: white and graphite, this comfortable and functional workstation can help your kids get straight A’s all the way to university!

For a limited time, Tomatok KidZ is launching Intelligent Set by giving away the Extra Wide LED Light worth $400 with the purchase of each intelligent set. Tomato KidZ is located at Setia Kenangan II (next to Regent Square) in Kiulap.





Loft & Co

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Loft & Co  

Bernard Vinso, Ligne Roset’s Export Director, Loan Forgeron, the French Ambassador to Brunei and Loft & Co’s Managing Director, Kheng Yeoh for the ribbon cutting to officiate the opening

Interested and intrigued visitors filled Loft and Co, a local furniture store in Batu Besurat during their Grand Opening recently.

The main feature of it was to showcase their Ligne Roset collections to the public which can be found on the second floor of the store. Ligne Roset is a French brand selling contemporary high-end furniture for homes. In the past, Bruneians who wish to own any of their pieces have to order through one of their stores in Singapore but with Loft and Co, people can now make their way there to have a look at the collections available locally and make a purchase if they wish.

During the event, a ribbon cutting ceremony was initiated by the Guest of Honour, Loan Forgeron, the French Ambassador to Brunei, Bernard Vinso, Ligne Roset’s Export Director and Loft & Co’s Managing Director, Kheng Yeoh.

I would say that furniture from Ligne Roset are masterpieces. I realised how much of a name Ligne Roset is and they over 200 stores and more than 1,000 retail distributors worldwide. As it was being quoted, the brand “offers consumers an entire lifestyle in which to live both boldly and beautifully via its furniture collections and complimentary decorative accessories, lighting, rugs, textiles and occasional items”. Mind you that the brand began way back in the 1860s. Amazing!!

My personal favourite furniture piece is the Ploum. I experienced it at the show room and I know when I have this in my living room, this will be my personal space be it my bed or my working station. Oh my, I’m just hooked.. I found out that the Ploum is a special combination of two materials – a stretchable covering and ultra-soft foam. Now this combo provides extreme comfort and accommodates different ways of sitting and of course, for my benefit, lying down. It’s so comfy that it’s able to accommodate all types of positions and body shape.


The invited guests during the launch

Bernard Vinso saying a few words before the launch



At Ligne Roset

At Ligne Roset

At Ligne Roset

This is the Fifty chair

At Ligne Roset

At Ligne Roset

At Ligne Roset

At Ligne Roset located on the 1st floor

This is an interesting table


In addition, the store has another collection on their Ground Floor from Red Apple Furniture Co., Ltd. from Hong Kong. The furniture is located on the first floor at Loft & Co and they have plentiful of choices to tailor your needs for your living room or dining room or study/bedroom. Quite a few of my social media followers visited the store a few months ago and purchased furniture for their homes. So it’s good to see that Loft & Co are bringing their items that suit the local taste and their items are quite contemporary and of high quality.

At the end of the launch of Loft & Co, Yeoh shared that some of the pieces caught the eye of some designers who viewed their Ligne Roset collection and expressed desire in possibly working together in the future. I’m pretty sure that both brands will do

Present throughout the opening as well was the Ambassador of Laos to Brunei, His Excellency Amphay Kindavong.


At Red Apple collection at Loft & Co

At Red Apple collection at Loft & Co

At Red Apple collection at Loft & Co

At Red Apple collection at Loft & Co

At Red Apple collection at Loft & Co




The trios

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


New SUVs from Mercedes 

Do visit their showroom today at Jati Transport Gadong from 10am to 5pm. Check out the new SUVs – GLE Coupé, GLE and GLC. Refreshments will be served.

The new GLC being unveiled last night at Radisson Hotel. What a beauty!! Image courtesy of @mercedesbenzbrunei IG

What more can you ask for.. If probably seen on magazines, TV or even movies. Last night, Jati Transport Sdn Bhd unveiled their latest flagship at their Mercedes-Benz line – the all new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé and GLC at the Radisson Hotel (the perfect venue). As many of you are familiar that Jati Transport is the authorized distributor for Daimler AG in Brunei Darussalam.

There were so much love and hype on the new models – GLE 450 AMG 4Matic Coupé and the GLC 250 4Matic Edition 1. I personally find the luxury car to be awesome in design and I’m pretty sure many of the Mercedes-Benz lovers are eyeing on the new SUVs.

Let’s talk about the all new GLE 450 AMG 4Matic Coupé. It is the combination of two classes of vehicle – each with its own distinct style. The sporty nature of a coupé dominates, imbued with the striking characteristics of a robust SUV.

Like the SUV, the GLE Coupé also offers space for up to five people – and the rear seat bench is the widest in its class.

It is powered by a biturbo V-6 engine, 270 kW (367hp) and torque peaking at 520 Nm. The engine’s power is channeled to all four wheels via the 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission. Now that’s pretty sleek.

The standard-fitted Dynamic Select system allows the GLE Coupé to alter its nature, as the driver desires, from blissfully comfortable (in the SUV mold) to dynamic and agile (like a pure-bred sports coupé). Like I said, so much to love about the new GLE Coupé.


Mr. Alfred So, General Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd, giving his welcoming remarks during the launch of the new Mercedes-Benz SUVs. He said that Mercedes-Benz brand won first place in the “World’s Best Brand” award and “Quality trophy for the brand with the fewest complaints”. He also shared that the brand has also maintained its status as the no.1 one position in the luxury car sales segment.

His Excellency Roland Grafe, German Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam and Mr. Andrew Chiam, Jati Transport Executive Director uncovered the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLC last night

Mr. Andrew Chiam presenting a token of appreciation to His Excellency Mr. Roland Grafe

Does the model look familiar? Well, if you have seen Jurassic World, then you will see this model being featured 😀

Of course, for the main event of last night was the launch of the all-new GLC 250 4Matic Edition 1. The new GLC, successor of the GLK and for the first time, this model is introduced to Brunei.

The new GLC represents a further, systematic step in the implementation of our successful SUV philosophy. The Mercedes engineers have equipped the GLC with intelligent technology to make it the perfect vehicle for the urban environment, longer journeys and off-road excursions. It comes as standard with Dynamic Select dynamic handling control and 4Matic permanent all-wheel drive, enabling the GLC to tackle inclines of 70 percent.

The Edition 1 is only available for the 1st year of the market launch. It comprises a host of perfectly matched appointments for the exterior and interior designed to substantially enhance the vehicle’s sportiness, exclusivity and comfort even further.


Don’t they both look so elegant and classy?

Guests registering themselves before the launch last night

Members of the local press covering the event

Today was a special privilege as the public was able to view up-close and personal on the newly launched SUVs. Many showed up at the Jati Transport Showroom in Gadong to view the new GLE 450 AMG 4Matic Coupé and the GLC 250 4Matic Edition 1. Refreshments were also served to the customers and families while viewing the new models.

I’m not sure if the models are already on the road but I won’t be surprised to spot one pretty soon. So what is your personal pick? Mine would be the Mercedes-Benz GLC. Do follow their Facebook Page and also their instagram @mercedesbenzbrunei for updates.


The potential customers viewing the new GLC. I truly love the design

Hmmmm The GLC or the GLE? Decisions, decisions..



Happy weekend :D

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Audi A6  

My impression of the Audi A6: I’ve driven the Audi 6 (the previous model) and of course, it’s an awesome car. A few days ago, the media had the privilege to view the car at the Audi showroom in Kiarong. First impression: sexy and sleeker. The exterior has a sporty, edgier feel and the front grill is different as well from the previous model.

John Tan, Marketing Manager of Audi (Brunei), demoed us a great things on the Audi A6. He did a magnetic test to show that the body of the Audi A6 has many aluminium components which gives the driver and passengers more assurance on safety. I hope to test drive the facelift version of the Audi A6. It’s now available for viewing at their showroom.


The sexier and sleeker facelift version of the Audi A6

Audi A6 press release: The winner in the business class has just gotten better – Audi has thoroughly updated the A6 family. New engines, transmissions and headlights, plus a new infotainment system make the Sedan more efficient, more powerful, more attractive and more sophisticated than ever.

The Audi A6 sets new standards in many technical fields: the lightweight body containing many aluminium components, the powerful and highly efficient engines, the sporty chassis and the advanced assistance and multimedia systems.

Sharp lines, emphasized horizontals, athletically taut surfaces – the design of the A6 models epitomizes precision and sporty elegance. It was carefully honed as part of the model refresh, with changes made to the Singleframe grille, the headlights, air inlets, bumpers, side sills, rear lights and tailpipes. Audi optionally offers headlights with LED technology or Matrix LED technology, combined with dynamic turn signals.

Thanks to its intelligent composite construction concept, the body is extremely rigid and safe. Numerous components of aluminium and hot-shaped steel form the backbone of a systematic lightweight construction concept. The new A6 1.8 TFSI has a curb weight (without driver) of just 1,535 kilograms (3384.1 lb). Vibration comfort is excellent; cabin noise is extremely low.






Comparison between the older Audi A6 (top) and the facelift Audi A6

The engine for the new A6 features a new entry-level TFSI unit with 140 kW (190 hp) output. All engines comply with the limits of the Euro 6 emission standard, and their CO2 emissions have been reduced by as much as 22 percent. At Audi, the most efficient gasoline and diesel engines bear the “ultra” label. Combined with the all‑new S tronic transmission, the 1.8 TFSI ultra consumes just 5.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometres (41.3 US mpg), corresponding to 133 grams CO2 per kilometre (214 g/mi).

The chassis with its sophisticated wheel suspensions also combines supreme comfort with sporty handling. The 5-mode Audi Drive Select dynamic handling system is standard, and Audi Brunei offers a choice of a Dynamic and Sport suspension model with wheels between 18 and 19 inches diagonal.




Sales at Charles & Keith 

Come down to Charles & Keith store at The Mall and you can enjoy up to 60% sales at their store at The Mall (Gadong). There are also clutch bags on sale. The sales are part of the Brunei Salebration which ends on 8th February 2016. So this is a good time to grab some deals from Charles & Keith especially during the holiday season.













The force awakes in a week’s time

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Realistic gaming experience 

Check out the Acer monitors to enhance your gaming experience


Selling like hotcakes 

@ennelynn (left) bought 5 pieces of the the NEW ERA STAR WARS™ limited edition collection at Cap City last Saturday. Image courtesy of @thecapcity.

The snapbacks are gone. During the first day launch of the @thecapcity NEW ERA STAR WARS™ limited edition collection last Saturday, many showed up and chose their favourite caps and some even bought in numbers as collections. With the huge hype of Star Wars movie releasing next week, the Star Wars fever has arrived and this shows how much impact the brand has in the community.

According to the franchise owner Soon Wing, over half the stock are gone after two days of release. I bought my Darth Vader version and I’m happy with my purchase.

Cap City is located on the 2nd floor at the arcade area of The Mall, Gadong. Cap City is an authorised distributor for well-known brands such as Dope, Huf, New Era, Obey and also Negative.


R2D2 caps

Darth Vader (my favourite)

Huge turnout last Saturday at Cap City (Brunei)

Posing with Wil at Cap City

Familiar faces with purchases of the NEW ERA STAR WARS™ limited edition collection



Epson printers 

The best-selling original ink tank system printer in Southeast Asia. Now available at Concepts Computer


No sweeps for the Koreans 

South Korean top seed Jeong Yeongseok (2nd L) the boys’ singles champion with Acting Senior Special Duties Officer at the Department of Youth and Sports, Mariam Ulat (L) and Brunei Darussalam Tennis Association officials John Chia (2nd R) and Hj Zuraimi Abdul Sani during the presentation of the 52nd ITF Junior Circuit Group 5 at the Brunei National Tennis Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah Sports Complex.

Chinese-Taipei’s Shih Hsin-Yuan with her singles title in the 52nd ITF Junior Circuit Group 5.

All the finals were played in the final two days of the 52nd ITF Junior Circuit Group 5 which took place at the Brunei National Tennis Centre. The Koreans blew away their chances to sweep all the trophies in the singles and doubles. Only the top seeded player from South Korea Jeong Yeongseok clinched one title in the boys’ draw where he beat his compatriot Hong Seung Heon (6th seed) in one sided final 6-0 6-0.

In the girls’ finals, Chinese-Taipei’s Shih Hsin-Yuan overpowered another Korean finalist Gwak Mi Ryung 6-3 6-1. It must be a gruelling affair for Gwak as she had to endure hours of tennis, being involved in both doubles and single matches. She also had another runner-ups trophy in doubles losing in straight sets the Japanese duo of Hiyori Ito and Funa Koazaki 6-3 7-6.

The boy’s doubles event also produced some great tennis but it was the Japanese duo that prevailed and held their serve through the match. James Kent Trotter and Shinji Hazawa erased their miseries in singles (quarter-final and semi-final respectively) and overcame the Koreans, Jeong Yeongseok and Hong Seung Heon 6-4 6-4.

It was such a wonderful display of tennis last week and it shows that Brunei is far away from the standards set by the regional contestants. I could see that our young players have the desire and will power to learn and they have the fundamentals of being on the courts with the guidance of the self-employed tennis coach Aiman Abdullah who has dedicated his time and efforts to the students.

I’m an avid player myself and regularly join Aiman’s tennis session from time to time. Thank you for your contribution and I hope for the bright future of tennis in the Sultanate. Keep up the great work!


Izzanie Abu Bakar, BDTA’s assistant secretary general, with James Kent Trotter and Shinji Hazawa with their boy’s doubles trophies

The girl’s doubles runners-up Suh Yuseung and Gwak Mi Ryung

The girl’s doubles champions Hiyori Ito and Funa Koazaki

The boy’s doubles runners-up Hong Seung Heon and Jeong Yeongseok

Group photo with the guest of honour, winners, organisers and helpers

The ball boys and girls of the finals

Aiman’s students

Gwak Mi Ryung serving during the girl’s finals. She lost 6-3 6-1 to Shih Hsin-Yuan.

Some of the spectators during the finals

Shih Hsin-Yuan was seeded 16th and she won the girl’s singles tournament against Gwak Mi Ryung

The girl’s doubles final last Saturday

Aiman Abdullah played the role of a linesman in the finals

Most of the matches he played, top seed Jeong Yeongseok cracked a smile or two




December 2015
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