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Archive for January, 2016


Bang & Olufsen (Brunei)

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Bang & Olufsen opened its door 

Bang & Olufsen now official opening its door to the public, located at Kiarong

A representative from Bang & Olufsen (right) talking to a guest during the private viewing a few days ago at the Bang & Olufsen showroom

The consumer electronics company, Bang & Olufsen (B&O), opens their doors officially today. Known for their distinctive range of audio, video and multimedia products with stylish designs, their showroom in Kiarong brings their high-end products a step closer to Bruneian customers.

Howard Leong, General Manager of Sejalin Enterprises Sdn Bhd, the company that brought in B&O, said that the brand had been looking for a distributor in Brunei, and it fit in line with the vision of his company, which is “smart living”, or products that improved their customer’s lifestyle.

According to Soren Kokholm, Director of Sales, South East Asia, that opening a showroom in Brunei was the progression of being able to further serve their customers. “We have seen over the last few years a development in the market, and there’s a demand for it, especially for the BeoPlay product range. Being here means that we can offer more technical support and service.”

One of the big features of the B&O showroom, is the experience room, where customers are able to not only see the products in action, but get a feel for it in a homelike setting. An 80 inch screen smart TV that swivels and pivots to best serve you, despite what corner of the room you’re sitting in, while sound is powerfully projected and amplified by the aesthetically beautiful BeoLab 90 speakers, make watching TV or even just listening to music, feel like a dream you don’t want to wake up from.

I believe the big hit will be the BeoPlay items from B&O, targeting to a much younger appeal (like myself). The price range is same with Singapore so regular B&O customers who frequent to Singapore won’t need to worry about that. B&O Brunei has the best, if not one of the best, consumer electronics showroom in Brunei.

The B&O showroom is open from from 10am – 8pm daily, except on Fridays between 12pm – 2pm and on Sundays, which they close at 4pm.


The range of speakers at B&O showroom

I prefer the ambience of the showroom in the evenings. Different contrast.

The BeoPlay portable speakers. Highly recommended and pretty handy.

Check out the awesome BeoPlay headsets

Trying out the BeoPlay H7

Maria Grace Koh, the first customer of B&O Brunei (center) with Howard Leong, General Manager of Sejalin Enterprises Sdn Bhd and Soren Kokholm, Director of Sales, South East Asia, Bang & Olufsen.

The Lau brothers trying out the BeoPlay range

These are the popular items from the shelves

The Experience Room – Poweeerrrrr yoooo… So articulate, so precise and the best cinematic experience at the convenience of your home

I used to own this gadget back in the 90s. B&O has discontinued this range in the hi-fi systems a long time ago.

Henrik Meltesen, Regional Sales Manager of Scandinavian Business Seating Asia Pte Ltd, with Howard during the private viewing of B&O. Henrik was excited with the collaboration between B&O and HAG (chair) products which blend and compliment both brands from Scandinavian.



I did find it

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


At-Taqwa Travel & Tour 

Special promotion at At-Taqwa Travel & Tour



What Do You Mean? 

The BB Trail Challenge. It’s happening at the end of February, the first ever Trail Challenge Run organised by The Beach Bunch. There will be two categories – 21km and 42km. Registration has been closed and The Beach Bunch have been conducting practice runs from Tungku Beach to Berakas Forest Reserve Beach. This is to prep up the registrants before the actual Beach Bunch’s Trail Challenge. If you want to follow updates, you can check out their website beachbunch.net or follow them on IG @thebeachbunch #bbtc2016 #beachbunchbrunei and one more thing, Happy Birthday Rizan Latif, the man behind The Beach Bunch 😀


Last Sunday, 50 runners turned up for the practice session for the upcoming Beach Bunch’s Trial Challenge 2016. Image courtesy of @thebeachbunch

There will be free Yoga during the Beach Bunch’s Trial Challenge on 28th February

The 2nd manhunt. Here it is. The second manhunt, happening today at Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Justin Hong was the winner a few weeks’ ago where he won a pair of tickets to Taiwan to visit Mr. Brown’s Castle (factory) at Gadong. Today will be a special occasion as it is only opened for UBD students and the manhunt will be in the vicinity of UBD. Collection of bibs starts at 1pm and make sure you register yourself at mrbrownbrunei.com to be eligible. There will also be consolation prizes in a form of lucky draw. Good luck, UBD-ians. So who will be the next contestant to join Justin this March to Taiwan? Results to be revealed this afternoon.



The game area for this afternoon

5th time. Well deserved. He was snubbed twice in the past two years and it has always been between Leo Messi and Cristian Ronaldo. Both are such great talents but if I were to chose, it will be Messi for many reasons. He’s a clinical finisher, a monster of a dribbler, a great team player and humble off the field. He is even in a dream team with Neymar and Suarez as his attacking partners. The only trophy that has been eluding him is the World Cup trophy. 2018 will be his final chance. Let’s see if he has got what is left by then.


Congratulations Messi

LOL. I love this caption 😀

RIP Bowie. Such a tragedy that David Bowie has passed away due to cancer. A very talented individual and out-of-the-box artist when it comes to music and his attire. My favourite single of Bowie is Let’s Dance. Not many of my friends would have heard of David Bowie because he was popular back in the 70s and 80s. My first recollection of him was when I watch the movie Labyrinth when I was a kid. Now his latest album – Blackstar – has topped the iTunes Chart and I’ve heard some of his songs. It was stated that the album he made was experimental and this genre is not for everyone but its artistic value is very much appreciated. Rest in peace, Bowie.


My first viewing of David Bowie in a movie

Audi Q7. Something for Audi fans to look forward to – the awesome Q. Coming soon to Brunei will be the all new Audi Q7. I just read some news online and apparently the 2017 Audi Q7 3.0T is ranked the top in the Three-row Luxury Crossovers and SUVs and the market price is pretty reasonable and affordable too. I’m not sure when it will be making its way to Brunei but T.C.Y. Motors have already teased the fans with a brief look of the Audi Q7. Then again, I’m also not sure if it will be the 2017 Audi Q7 that will be released in Brunei. For now, I know it’s the newer version of the Q7. We shall wait and see.


Coming soon. The Audi Q7

Check out the A4lution – the versatile Audi A4 model range, starting from BND 49,000

Triple CL. After a year and a half, I have reached a milestone that I thought I couldn’t even be bothered to achieve. I was a member of Brunei Speakers’ Club back in 2011 but contribution was very minimal. Perhaps I didn’t see the value back then and plus I wasn’t even being present and focus. Today, I am very grateful and proud of how far I’ve been as a member of Brunei Speakers’ Club. I have just achieved my Competent Communicator and Competent Leader pins last night. Hence I will have the title of CC and CL as a toastmaster.

After delivering my 10th speech (inspirational objective based speech) last night, I was just mentally drained after hours of refining and practising my speech. Was I happy with my delivery? Well, it could have been better and I knew the moment I finished my speech, something was just amiss. Was I happy with my progress? 110% yes. I’m beginning to learn to advice on my friends on how to improve, the dos and the donts and don’t let my ego get in the way. A big shout out to my friends who came last night – Sophia, Abby, Hui Chiet, Ming Rui, Huaida and Faten. Not forgetting Gary (who hardly comes to BSC meetings) and members of OTTERS. Thank you to my mentors – Shawn, Allen, Reuben, Pranika, Clovis, Ling Ling and those have helped me along the way and my partner in crime, Ciara. Now I’m ready for the next level – Advanced speeches.


My previous mentor and my speech evaluator, Lai Ling Ling, who pinned me for completing my first 10 projects as a Competent Communicator

The toastmasters badge collection

Fancy a haircut. It’s the time of the year before Chinese New Year that you will want to beautify your hair. Do check out Inspiration Alan Salon at their relocated outlet at Seri Q-Lap Mall. One of the top stylist, Michelle, will be in Brunei on the 20th January to 26th January 2016. She has 18 years experience in hair dressing and she has been a regular visiting hair stylist in Brunei. With many accolades under her belt, you will be in for a treat and hopefully you will like the end result. So do make your bookings at Inspiration Alan Salon during Michelle’s visit next week.


Michelle, the experienced hair stylist, will be in Brunei from 20th to 26th January. Do visit Inspiration Alan Salon at Seri Q-Lap Mall for appointments and her service.

Relationship problems. I received this on the whatsapp group and it’s something for us to ponder upon. This could not just apply on lovers but also to close friends to certain extent, families and even colleagues. It’s never easy if you have someone close to you because there’s a level of expectation, be it small or big. Practising unconditional love or care has been my priority but I don’t expect the other party to do the same. It’s important for me to focus on my well being, otherwise I will spend more time pleasing others and draining my energy at the same time. I’m pretty sure many of us can relate to the items below. It’s how you rise from it is what matters.





Finding my mojo

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


At-Taqwa Travel & Tour 

A new travel agent in town



Woohoo… It’s Mooonndaayyyyyy…. Well, I’m more burdened with workload and deadlines. I will be flying off again for Toastmasters meeting this weekend. Hence I will have to kickstart my week with a minor bang. I’m also immersed with refining my script for my finale project speech in the Competent Communicator manual (CC10) and I will be delivering it by tomorrow evening at the Brunei Speakers’ Club meeting at Seameo Voctech. All are welcome to witness (guest fees at $5 and student at $3) my finale speech for the CC manual and I do hope to get pinned by tomorrow evening. All this depends on my speech evaluator Lai Ling Ling if I met the objective of “being inspirational”. Regardless, I’m happy and blessed to be member of Brunei Speakers’ Club and thank you to my friends who have supported and play a part in my growth as a leader.


The moment when toastmasters members get recognized for their efforts in Brunei

I’m proud of them two – Liyana Sidek and Salih (Happy belated dude) as both of them finished their CC project manual on the same day

Movies galore. I have yet to do the Top 10 films of 2015 for both my blog and my podcast [The Popcorn Panel]. My co-host Del Goh is still away on vacation so I will firstly do my blog entry of the Top movies of 2015. It is such a pity that I didn’t manage to catch some of the highly recommended movies such as Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight or Leo DiCaprio’s Golden Globe winning performance in “The Revenant” and not forgetting Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip *eeerr.. I take that back*

2015 has given me a wonderful experience as a cinema goer. There are even some movies that I have caught multiple times because I purely love the cinematic experience and the movie wasn’t just a popcorn movie but has high replay value. Here some of the movies that fell in that category (and also a spoiler for my Top 10 movies) – Creed, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mad Max: Fury Road and Ant-Man. Stay tune for more updates on this.


One of my best experience was watching Marvel’s Ant-Man on IMAX 3D at Siam Paragon last year and I love the movie too.

Bang & Olufsen. Yes, it’s almost close to its opening date. They have shifted their opening day earlier than the slated date. Now fans of Bang & Olufsen can visit their official store located at Kiarong (near Kiarong Complex), Shop No.1, Ground Floor, Lot No. 47322, Simpang 41-1-12. You can give them a buzz at 266 0111. Ok, for those who are not aware of Bang & Olufsen, it’s a Danish consumer electronics company that designs and manufacture audio products, television sets and telephones and the brand is in the luxury category. I used to own a CD Hi-Fi stereo from B&O which has already been discontinued but man, that is one lean machine. This was back in the early 90s.

So I’m happy to announce that B&O is opening its store in Brunei physically. According to Howard Leong, General Manger of Sejalin Enterprise, the authorized distributor of B&O in Brunei Darussalam, there is a market in Brunei because there are many Bruneian customers who shop and repair their B&O products in Singapore (located at Grand Hyatt). Now with the physical store’s presence, customers can purchase the products at the same price as Singapore. Further more, they can send their products for repairs instead of flying to Singapore.

I had the privilege to experience their newly launched speakers – B&O BeoLab 90 Speakers and humungous TV, BeoVision Avant. What an awesome combo!! Watching my blu-ray collections will give me a cinematic experience. You will get to experience both these wonderful gadgets once B&O opens its doors this weekend. Congratulations to B&O for making your mark in Brunei. You can visit their Facebook Page for updates.


The opening date will be on Saturday, 16th January 2016. Ignore the print on the banner.

Finally B&O will open its store in Brunei this weekend. Image courtesy of B&O Brunei Facebook Page.

Wow, wow, wow!!! Simply the best experience to listen and watch on the BeoVision Avant and the BeoLab 90 Speakers..

Prepping for Consumer Fair. Just almost two weeks away and the locals can experience another Consumer Fair, the 17th edition. Wow, it has been a long time coming and I was involved in the first Consumer Fair back many years back. This event is a bi-annual event and it will take place on the final weekend of January (just nice, after payday). It will be a five day event as usual. Last weekend, they have exhibitors’ briefing for the purpose of logistics and regulations for the benefit of the exhibitors and consumers.

The theme for the 17th Consumer Fair will be “Life is sweet. Indulge!” organised by D’Sunlit (formerly known as Sunlit Advertising) and there will be 400 booths, offering products and services. It will be interesting to note especially for Doraemon fans that there will be a first-ever merchandise showcase in Brunei. Other activities will be “Did you c Sairol?” (one of the DPMM FC players) and of course, the most talked manhunt, the search for Mr. Brown as the winner will win a pair of tickets to visit Mr. Brown castles in Taiwan. There is also a charitable drive where there will be blood donation organised by the Laboratory Department of RIPAS on the final day of Consumer Fair.


Exhibitors prepping for the actual day of the Consumer Fair. Image courtesy of D’Sunlit.

Last December, @mrbrownbrunei awarded the lady a one year supply of Mr. Brown. Who will be another consolation winner come this Consumer Fair?

Lifestream Organic store. I paid a quick visit last week before its official opening. Apparently my friend Jordan Yau’s family runs the new organic shop. Recently there has been a demand for healthier options when it comes to food consumption. I quite like the presentation display (thumbs up) and if you are looking for eco-friendly products and organic food, this is the place to visit. If you are also concern about weight, they will provide consultations to make you achieve your goals. Where it is located? Just head to the Setia Kenangan II (near Regent Square) and it’s open daily from 10am to 8pm except on Friday (12pm to 2pm). You can call 223 1178 for details and you can visit their Facebook Page for updates.


Jacinta Yau, General Manager of Lifestream Organic (left) with her mother during the official opening yesterday. Image courtesy of Azli Azney of The Brunei Times.

I want to try this bread which can be chilled for quite sometime and the quality will still be there. Apparently, one of the most popular items at the store.

Some of the healthy ingredients for your consumption. Yea, Why not? 😀



It’s legit

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


The Cooling Effect 

The body can take it. I’m always worried about my health status as I’m not getting any younger. The monkey mind always have its way. Sometimes I just think too much unnecessarily. But all is good. I just recovered from a fever and cough, battling them for a week at least (Thanks Singapore for that). I feel I’m in the mood to blog once more and get the ball rolling.

Thank you once again to my friends and readers for the wishes a few days ago. I tend not to celebrate it and just treat it like any other day. A good surprise lunch and an evening cake surprise were my highlights of the day (thank you, Sandy, Pranika and Ciara). I had an interesting gift from Aron Tan’s Studio – a picture frame of Darth Vader. Awesome!!! Thanks JT for the nice gesture. I spent my day in a relaxed manner, playing tennis and heading to OGDC for an OTTERS meeting.

A special gift from JT and Aron Tan’s Studio. Love it to bits. Thank you very much.

My evening cake surprise at OTTERS. Thank you, Ciara, for the thoughtful gesture!

Another sneaky plan from my buddies (Sandy, Pranika and friends) as my simple lunch turned out to be slightly crowded

We had lunch at Pastamania the other day

Thanks guys for the treat

Wrap in a Box. For your info, Wrap in a Box has relocated to Setia Kenangan II. They sell pretty interesting items especially for the children and newborns. So do pay them a visit. I kinda like how the new shops are popping here and there especially at Setia Kenangan II. Exact location is Unit E7. They sell items like baby strollers, bags, umbrellas, items and many more. So don’t forget to drop by the newly re-opened @wrapinabox (instagram)


Wrap in a Box now relocated at Setia Kenangan II (near Regent Square)


Day of Action. It’s gonna be a special day coming Sunday, 10th January 2016. Why? Brunei will celebrate the International Volunteer Day (IVD) through the campaign called “Day of Action”. This campaign is initiated by the Department of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in collaboration with the local NGOs and this campaign will help to promote the spirit of volunteerism through community development activities. The event will be held at Pusat Belia in the capital.

Among the activities that will take place include soup kitchen, cleaning campaigns of public spaces including mosques, housing areas and beaches, renovation projects and so on. The public is also invited to make their donations on this day. Donations can come in the form of diapers, household necessities, school necessities, sandals, hand washing soap, recyclable items and also a blood donation drive, which will all take place in Pusat Belia. The public can still register before 9 January (tomorrow). For more information about the Day of Action, visit bit.do/DayofActionBN and for any enquiries, email dayofactionbn@gmail.com or call 8626588 (Khairunnisa). You can also check out their updates on IG with #dayofactionBN hashtag.


The meeting with all the NGOs chaired by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports recently. Image courtesy of Iqbal Damit.





Netflix. Woohooo.. Finally Netflix is available in Brunei Darussalam. I used to stream on Netflix using a VNP accessory which is an additional cost. For those who are unfamiliar of Netflix, it is a like media and TV provider, streaming TV shows and movies with a flat fee rate on a monthly basis. Now I can watch my favourite TV shows and movies online. Of course, it won’t stop me to collect blu-rays but with Netflix, I will be able to watch my shows anytime, anyplace. This would be a direct competition to Astro, the only TV cable provider in Brunei Darussalam.

The availability of Netflix would mean more usage of the internet in a long run. TelBru will definitely benefit from this and this will also generate more TelBru subscribers to take advantage of Netflix offers. Am I gonna subscribe for Netflix? Definitely. Starting at US$7.99 ($11.48) for the basic package or opt for the standard and premium packages which are US$9.99 ($14.35) and US$11.99 ($17.22) respectively. So enjoy Netflix, peeps!! It’s definitely a game changer in how we appreciate TV shows and movies.



One of my favourite shows currently. Highly recommended and now available on Netflix.


CNY deals at Concepts Computer. It’s the time of the year where Concepts Computer offers bundle packages in conjunction with the Chinese New Year for the Year of the Monkey. The promotion deal is the “2 is better than 1” promotion which was a big hit recently. What can you expect from the packages? Well, there are some accessories from Logitech (speakers and handheld laser presenters), Acer smart devices, Microsoft Office software, power banks, HDD portable storage, Epson printing solution and many more.

For me, I can’t wait for the official launch of Predator Acer series, a game changer to bring the best in the gaming world. Concepts Computer will be bringing 11 Predator models ranging from desktops to notebooks to tablets. I’ve seen the specs and they are just “Wowww”. The official launch is slated near the end of January.


Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer (4th from left) with the associates of Concepts Computer holding the “2 is better than 1” hampers available for customers. Do drop by their showroom

The new range of Acer Predator series to be launched this month. The reviews have been strong in this one.

Hybrid Movement. Caption taken from their @hybrid_movement IG. Announcing our official hybrid movement grand opening happening this Sunday 10.01.2016 from 12pm – 7pm || This is your chance to drop in, say hello and see what we have to offer to all future hybrids ???????? Hybrid Movement Gym address:

Jalan Menglait, Simpang 51
One Menglait Industrial Park
Unit B26, Menglait

Congratulations also to Darren Chai (owner of Hybrid Movement) and Vanessa on their wedding last weekend. Oh, there will be early bird promotion as well for the first 30 registrants during their grand opening.


Opening this Sunday

The map to Hybrid Movement

Shooting Stars. They have been making a name for themselves – to bring the basics and the love of the sports of basketball in Brunei Darussalam. The man behind the scene, Ken Han (happy belated bro), has been working tirelessly to promote the sport to young kids especially and the organisation has been involved with a lot of charity work by providing workshops for the Special Olympics team last year. Ken’s philosophy of “one kid at a time” had made a difference to the youths and gaining positive feedback from parents. He couldn’t have achieved it with his team, consisting of mentors and coaches.

Now they are back to training again opening slots for “Social beginners” of all ages this January every Saturday starting 9th January at Fitness Zone Kiulap from 3:30pm to 5:30pm. Please do not hesitate to welcome any of your interested friends or family members into SSB basketball family with our friendly coaches who will take you through the basics of basketball week by week! It is also a good time to perhaps, to bond with your family and friends! Contact ???? 7290011 for more information regarding our basketball programmes! You can follow them on @shootingstarsbn IG for updates too.


Ken Han (2nd from left sitting down) with the team from Shooting Stars BN

Any takers?


Breakfast at BK. Now Burger King (Brunei) is serving breakfast from 7am to 11:30am. You can choose from the Breakfast Platter and Croissan’wiches from the menu. The breakfast starts tomorrow onwards at all the Burger King branches.

Recently Burger King also feted awards for the staff of Burger King in the “Coca Cola Upsize Challenge”. This was organised with Burger King (Brunei) and Coca-Cola Brunei in the hope of improving the productivity as well as the enthusiasm of the staff. Siti Hajar Ishak from KB branch was the top winner, winning $500 worth of cash prizes and a certificate. Gladys B Ang Poh came second with $300 worth of cash prize and a certificate while Nuramal Zahidah Roslan came third with $200 worth of cash prize and a certificate. Keep up the great work, guys!! And I miss my taro dosage…


Breakfast now available at Burger King outlets

Siti Hajar Ishak (left) receiving her prize and certificate from Ryan Law, Regional Sales Manger of Coca-Cola. Image taken by Raghadah Agus of The Brunei Times.



CNY promo at Concepts 

Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer (4th from left) with the associates of Concepts Computer holding the “2 is better than 1” hampers available for customers. Do drop by their showroom


Check out the different range of hampers (2 in 1) ideal for CNY corporate gifts.


Press release. To celebrate Chinese New Year for the Year of the Monkey, Concepts Computer will be extending their “2 is Better than 1” promo, where a purchase of 2 separate, selected products can qualify customers for better prices. Also, the good response from our customers regarding the “2 is Better than 1” promo and also our other promos like “Back to School” and “Year End” is also one of the main reason we are extending “2 is Better than 1”. The products under the “2 is Better than 1” promo includes computer accessories from Logitech like speakers and handheld laser presenters, Acer smart devices, Microsft Office software, Epson printing solutions, powerbanks, external storage, and much, much more.

When asked regarding the future of Concepts Computer in the local IT Retail industry in Brunei Darussalam for 2016 and for the Year of the Monkey, Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer, said, “In my point of view, the IT Retail business in Brunei Darussalam is more challenging nowadays, with savvy consumers using the internet and other sources to keep up-to-date regarding IT technological advances, retailers need to focus more on providing better services for customers.” He continued, “Retailers will need to be more creative and more innovative to respond to the ever changing needs of consumers in the Year of the Monkey, to help them grow, not only in terms of physical size but also in terms of their capabilities.” When asked regarding how Concepts Computer as a whole would welcome customers in the Year of the Monkey, “When it comes to Concepts Computer, I always lead with a simple statement, ‘We must always do a good job.’”

Also present during the event, Zul Abdul Rahman, Marketing Executive at Concepts Computer added, “We are extending the “2 is Better than 1” promo as a nod to our large customer base in the Bruneian Chinese community for supporting Concepts Computer through-out the years and to wish them a great and prosperous Chinese New Year for 2016.”

For more information regarding the “2 is Better than 1” promo or any other enquiries regarding Concepts Computer and their range of products, please call 2233551, 2233552 or 2233553, or visit your nearest Concepts Computer retail outlet.









Hope is all around

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Transiting to 2016 

Kicking off the new year with a beach gathering with my tennis buddies and coach Aiman Abdullah at Muara Beach

It feels great to be back on the court. I really love tennis, even at this age of reaching the four zero, my passion will override my physical being. I have many deadlines but only little to do with blog related. Though I have many stories to share, I shall be focusing more on my final draft to complete my 10th speech project.

Toastmasters. My final speech project for toastmasters (Competent Communicator) is scheduled for next Tuesday, 12th January. If you are interested to catch and be inspired, you are more than welcome to catch me live at Brunei Speakers’ Club meeting at SEAMEO Voctech at 7:30pm. As a toastmaster, I’ve learnt not only to be an affluent speaker but learning the ropes of a true leadership in guiding and mentoring members along the way. It’s always difficult to break the stigma that many thought that toastmasters is all about “talking/speaking” in public and that has become their biggest fear than taking a ride on a rollercoaster. So it is always nice to hear guests’ comments that they benefited from being a spectator, witnessing how role players played important roles in helping others to grow with positive criticism.

It took me three years to realise this as I wasn’t being present (in my mind) during toastmasters meeting back in 2011. After returning back to the arena, I rediscovered a whole new game and only then, I saw the true core values that I aspired to be and I never looked back since. Hence, I’m here as a toastmaster to make a difference, be the difference, in aspiring others to take the first step to grow as a leader and we have many qualified mentors to guide you through that journey. A big thank you to Shawn Narcis for seeing and believing in me and now I have a huge responsibility as I’m the organizing chair for the upcoming Brunei Toastmasters Conference in October 2016. I’m excited and also nervous.

Employment. Today’s headlines seems to be bring some hope to our community. It read – “Unemployment declines by 7% in October”. This data was issued by JPKE (Department of Economic Planning and Development). But then again, they have reported that these figures doesn’t really represent that the decline means that the jobseekers have a job. There are factors relating such as the previous registered jobseekers have left for further studies and also a handful have not renewed their registration as job seekers. Hence, it’s not a complete data representation but it’s the most comprehensive data to date. I’m pretty sure that not all jobseekers registered themselves as “jobseekers” to give a more accurate assessment on the level of unemployment in Brunei. With the decline of oil prices, there have been a major shake up in the oil and gas industry with some private companies forced to downsize their operations, hence low employment opportunities as compared to before.

Other streams of opportunities. So much emphasis has been given on SMEs. Let me spell it out – Small Medium Enterprises. It was good news to hear that His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’zzaddin Waddaulah and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam said in his titah to call for a new body to handle SME. This highlights how we are too reliant on the Oil and Gas sector and did you know that almost 90% of our revenue generates from that sector alone. There were also changes in the some of the SME divisions in the Brunei Economic Development Board. Some of the divisions/departments from BEDB have been transferred to the Ministry of Energy and Industries. I’m not sure how the governing body of SMEs will run the system but it will be nice if all the separate bodies of SMEs to work under one-roof and bring out the best in our entrepreneurs. Let’s see how 2016 will unfold for them.

The new eye of Kiulap. There is so much difference when you compare Setia Kenangan I and Setia Kenanga II buildings. The latter is located next to Regent Square and it’s picking up pace in terms of retailers. It’s quite amazing how shops and brands are popping up in times of the depreciating oil prices. We have the likes of Pepperlunch, Tomato KidZ (kids furniture), Wrap in a Box, Nerdee Cafe, Games & Latte cafe, two Escape rooms, WoMen salon (co-owned by Wu Chun), Alsa Living, Yugo Desserts (coming soon), De Cottage and the newly relocated Euro Classic which hasn’t been opened yet. I’m beginning to like the selection and choices of shops at Setia Kenangan II. The only problem is that there will be more road congestion leading to Regent Square and Setia Kenangan II.





Wu Chun, new business line 

Wu Chun officially launched the opening of the WoMen salon in Setia Kenangan II, Kiulap last Sunday. Image courtesy of Vincent Hong.

Wu Chun with his daughter during the opening of the salon. Image courtesy of Vincent Hong.

At the cutting edge of the rising global beauty industry, WoMen Hair, a unisex hair salon which started their first outlet in Taiwan, is a dream team of talents who are driven to create a new revolution in re-defining the real power of Asian beauty.

Behind the curtain of Women Hair is a team of award winning stylists and international celebrities. WoMen hair creates a state-of-the-art technology with top-end platform for aspiring trendsetters and successful figures that pursue an artistic taste of a cosmopolitan lifestyle.

The WoMen Hair salon is now officially opened in Brunei and this is an extension of Wu Chun’s personal philosophy. Wu Chun shared, “Our end goal is to deliver happiness to our clients. WoMen Hair is both hip and incredibly relaxed – the perfect environment for exceptional consultation, styling and attention. It is more about being private than about being exclusive.“

Coined the ‘anti-salon’, WoMen Hair is an ever evolving space with art collaborations and a 2 floors of super chic yet vintage interior with unique features such as container built-up box and a vibrant trendsetting lounge fully designed by Wu Chun.

According to Wu Chun, “We push the boundaries of hairdressing, delivering creativity, quality and consistency to every client. I have to admit our services are a bit pricy but with such good level of standards, its not easily available elsewhere in South East Asia and even if there is, it might be more costly.”

WoMen Hair contributes on a wealth of high profile international campaigns and editorial features in some of the world’s leading publications. Highlights have included Elle, Bazaar, Esquire, Men’s Health, Marie Claire, Madame Figaro, Vogue, Cosmopolitan and more.

WoMen Hair Salon has now opened its door and is located at Kiulap’s new commercial shop lot – Kenangan II shopping complex is situated right behind Regent Square.; (Behind Excapade Restaurant). They are currently having an introductory offer for first-time customers to enjoy a 30% off on all their services.

For all the beauty enthusiasts who wants to have a new great look for 2016, please call 2236262 for the appointment that will re-define your beauty. Images courtesy of Vincent Hong.


Wu Chun with his invited guests

Wu Chun sporting a new hair cut


Wu Chun with the international hair stylists

A celebrity with an entrepreneurial spirit




Dare to dream

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Turning a new leaf 

A mini new year celebration with my buddies to kick off 2016

I know it has been a week plus since I posted an entry. This is the longest gap/break that I allowed myself to stay away from the keyboard in relation to my entry posts. Of course, I’m pretty more active on my other social media platforms – snapchat (super fun) and instagram. Sometimes I wonder if many of you still tweet. I still believe it’s relevant to tweet. I know one twitter that has many retweets every time he posts and he is @faiqAirudin (cool stuff).

Today I feel energized and in the mood to blog once more. Yay! My first entry of 2016… Damn, I had to backspace when I typed the date (you know what I mean). Now it’s getting used to the new digit of the year when it comes to writing and typing. By February, we all will be too familiar with it. Year 2016 will be a fun-filled one because I will be chairing an important event in October 2016 (man, I am still making typos on the numbers). Flying will again be part of my agenda (KK, Hua Hin and Singapore so far) and I just feel that I need more rest with this ageing body of mine.

Yea, it was a strange thing that I had body heat for the past week or so after my Singapore trip. It was quite rare that I experienced fever and I told myself that I’m not getting any younger nowadays. Those body cells won’t be as tough as before so I really need to care of my health. I’m glad today I don’t feel it anymore and my annoying headache had kinda disappeared. Now I can work in full force.

2015 have tons of good memories especially with my loved ones, my close friends, my travels and lastly, my growth in passion for tennis (it’s never too late) and of course, toastmasters. This year, let’s what I can do for the country and pull up my socks!! With all the impact of the oil prices, it’s about time we do something than rather wait for opportunities.

I will be posting more stories soon and this is just the start to an awesome year. I’m ready for the challenge. I am ready.






January 2016
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