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Archive for February, 2016


You can do it, Leo

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Audi Q7 


The all new Audi Q7. Lighter by over 325kg over the precious model #TheGreatQ


Audi’s new Q7 has earned a Top Safety Pick+ from IIHS, despite requirements being tightened for 2016.

To qualify, winners must earn “good” ratings in each of the IIHS’ five crash-worthiness tests, the small overlap, moderate overlap, side and roof strength and head restraints tests, and to have an “advanced” or “superior” rating on front crash prevention system.

The German SUV did “good” in the five crashworthiness evaluations and scored a “superior” rating for front crash prevention, as the model has standard Audi pre sense city with automatic emergency braking, which can detect moving and stationary vehicles as well as pedestrians, at speeds up to 52 mph (84 km/h) and initiate braking if potential collision is detected.

“This year’s Top Safety Pick+ award for the 2017 Q7 represents our brand’s longstanding commitment to bringing innovative technologies to the market.”, said President Audi of America, Scott Keogh.

The new Audi Q7 also recently earned the top 5-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety rating in January.


The new Audi Q7


Who’s gonna win? 

Photography by Toby Canham. Image from Getty Images.

Who’s gonna take the major awards in the Oscars today? So far Mad Max has six wins out of 10 with two more left to go – Best Direction and Best Picture. I’m hoping it gets another two. I don’t mind Revenant taking the awards too especially for Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor. This will be his fourth nomination in the Oscars but he failed to win any. His previous ones were in The Aviator, Blood Diamond and The Wolf of Wall Street. I believe he deserved this moment to win his performance in the Revenant.

It’s a bit awkward though the atmosphere in the Oscars as it has been some controversy due to the whites versus blacks situation in the nominees. Chris Rock is the host of the Oscars and the #OscarsSoWhite is trending on social media. Let’s hope for more coloured representatives in the next Oscars.



RB Belait Travel Fair 


Royal Brunei (RB) is set to host its 11th travel fair, featuring various promotions, packages and activities.

The news was announced yesterday, in a press conference at the Royal Brunei Recreational Club (RBRC), which was chaired by Ali Rahim bin Haji Abdul Rani, the Marketing Manager of RB.

Seven travel agents are participating in this year’s fair: Pan Bright Travel Services, Darussalam Holdings Sdn Bhd, At-Taqwa Travel Tours Sdn Bhd, Anthony Tours and Travel Agency Sdn Bhd, Century Travel Centre Sdn Bhd, Freme Travel Sdn Bhd and Southern Cross Travel Agencies
Visitors purchasing RB fares at the two-day Belait Travel fair are automatically eligible for RB’s Grand Draw, with a chance to win two return economy-class tickets to Dubai and Melbourne.

Meanwhile, visitors purchasing RB tickets with full payments are eligible for the lucky draw held at 12pm and 8pm on both days. Winners will receive prizes in the form of an economy-class ticket to Shanghai, Bangkok, Jakarta or Bali; and some RB merchandise.


Ali Rahim Hj Abdul Rani, Marketing Manager of Royal Brunei, (2nd from right), chairing the press conference last week

And those purchasing RB tickets in full payment, and a minimum spending of $500, are eligible for “The Betterfly Game”, with a chance of winning a five per cent discount voucher.

In the meantime, one of the exhibitors at the fair, Pan Bright Travel Service, has lined up attractive deals for customers, which will last until March 27. Among the prizes on offer during the promotional period will be a Hyundai Accent, and RB-sponsored flights to London, Melbourne and Bali.

Among the other exhibitors at the 11th Belait Travel Fair are Baiduri Bank, Tourism Malaysia, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), Data Stream Technologies (DST) and Sabre (formerly Abacus).

The Belait Travel Fair will be open to the public at the Pusat Insani in Seria, from 9am to 8pm on March 5-6. Text by Rokiah Mahmud of Borneo Bulletin.


Meanwhile, this picture became viral on social media as it was being shared from Royal Brunei’s Facebook Page. They are RB’s first ever female trio at the flight deck: Captain Sharifah Czarena, Senior First Officer Sariana and Senior First Officer Dk Nadiah in the flight deck prior to operating flight BI081 from Brunei to Jeddah. The image has reached at least 2 million views.

RB associates during the National Day parade last week




BDTA Open Singles 

The photo opp for both Australian Leah Gander and her opponent Chong Ming Rui. The Australian won her semifinal match last night


The semi finals ended on a high note for all the participants. It was the first time I watched a top billing match between Aiman Abdullah and Billy Wong. I have heard many good reviews of their previous matches and to date, Billy Wong is Aiman’s toughest opponent to date.

It was the first time that I’ve seen Aiman (my unofficial coach) in a competitive match and yes, he was stretched to the limit by 4th seed Billy Wong. The rallies were just awesome to watch and it reminds me of the rivalry between Pete Sampras and Jimmy Courier in the 90s. End to end stuff and I do agree with Aiman that the scores 6-1 6-2 in favour of Aiman wasn’t a proper reflection of the match display by Billy. He had great ground strokes and not forgetting his powerful backhand. Good job to both players and I can’t wait to see more matches like this.

In the other semi-finals, Rajvir Jutla needed three sets to overcome Filipino Juliano Licup 1-6 7-6 (4) 6-2 last night. He will now face No.1 seed Aiman Abdullah in the finals tonight. Both have met on a few occasions but Aiman is the man to beat for the tournament. The match will be slated for tonight’s game at 7pm at the National Tennis Centre.

In the ladies’ semi-finals of the Brunei Darussalam Tennis Association Open Singles 1st Leg, Australian Leah Gander beat Chong Ming Rui while Japanese Hiromi Okochi beat Sin Yi. The ladies’ finals will take place tonight also at the same venue.


Chong Ming Rui and Monica Okochi

Rajvir Jutla in action in the semi-finals

Sin Yi in her semi-final match

Hiromi Okochi wining her semi-final match last night

Lena Ang won her maiden match in the consolation category

Ben Sii also winning his consolation match

Aiman Abdullah upped his game against a tough opponent

Billy Wong giving his best he could last night. Love his powerful ground strokes and back hand too.



Peugeot 308  

Drop by The Mall, Gadong, to check out the new Peugeot 308

The soft launch of the Peugeot 308 was marked with a mini Roadshow at The Mall, Gadong. Experience the new hatchback’s modern aerodynamic shape and detailing, with its compact dimensions and a much reduced weight compared to its predecessor.

Its driving experience is unprecedented and its CO2 emissions represent a record by leading the market sector (from 82g/km and 3.1 l/100 km / 91.1mpg). The aerodynamic properties, like the effect of weight, are key factors for reducing the vehicle’s environmental footprint.

Sleek and dynamic, the new Peugeot 308 has well-balanced proportions. Pure lines which follow the engineering structure create a sturdy appearance and a precise balance between elegance, sportiness and high-quality.

At the front, a large centrally-placed grille, surrounded with chrome, emphasises the upmarketelegance of the new PEUGEOT 308. Full LED headlamps are specified as standard on the higher levels of finish.

It also prioritises safety with features such as cruise control, emergency collision alert and braking system, park-assist function and blind spot monitoring. A highlight is its i-Cockpit, which includes the head-up instrument panel. This feature, based on the Peugeot website, displays the necessary information while helping to ‘keep eyes on the road’.

For more information, sales representatives of the sole distributor of Peugeot in the nation, TCY Motors Sdn Bhd will be at the showcase, which ends March 2. The company is also giving a five-year free service to anyone who purchase the Peugeot 208 and 408.



The back rear view of the Peugeot 308


The interior view of the Peugeot 308





Pepper Lunch 

New dishes at Pepper Lunch

As part of the celebrations for their official launch, Pepper Lunch has launched a new dish on the menu, the Cheesy Teppan Risotto.

The rich delicious dish, available from now til the end of April comes in two varieties, a choice of salmon and prawn or chicken and prawn. Priced at $13.90, the risotto is a hearty and decadent meal for your tummy, and for a top-up of $3, you can enjoy it with a drink and a side dish.

Pepper Lunch is located Setia Kenangan 2 Building, Kiulap and operates from 10am to 10pm daily. You can follow ‘Pepper Lunch Brunei’ on Facebook or Instagram @pepperlunchbn







Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News



Listen to the podcast review of Zootopia. A must watch 😀



Vietnam Round 2 

Soon Tiong, representative from Hua Ho Manggis sending Azli Azney of The Brunei Times and I at the Brunei International Airport last Tuesday as we departed for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Traveling on National Day, Royal Brunei Airlines served this on the plane. Awesome!! Well done on the viral image of RB’s women pilots recently. Apparently it has reached more than 2 million viewers, thanks to the power of social media.

It’s great to be back in Vietnam after 10 years. The last time I flew here was backpacking with a friend as we traveled to three cities – Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and Siam Reap. I’m happy that I finally made it to Vietnam recently. I had this fear that I won’t be able to make it to the country as passport or should I say my Certificate of Identity may encounter problem at the immigration counter upon my arrival.

Yes, there have been cases where families have been sent back to Brunei as the immigration doesn’t recognize the brown book (our version of Brunei passport) and this is despite having a valid visa from the Vietnam Embassy in Brunei Darussalam. Then at one stage, Vietnam temporarily stopped from COI holders to enter Vietnam before opening the opportunity again to COI holders. So the back and forth saga didn’t really give much confidence to me and other COI holders.

This time, I had no choice but to take the risk as I accepted to do a coverage in Ho Chi Minh City for a FitFlop regional launch event. As you may have recalled that my previous FifFlop coverage was at Bohol, the Philippines. This time round, it’s in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The application fee is kinda pricey (BND 80). Malaysia is the cheapest I think (below BND 10) while Thailand visa costs BND 50. I’m also given an official letter, written in Vietnamese, from the Vietnam Embassy that the COI document is recognized by Vietnam and acts as my safety net should any problem arises.

I did manage to get my travel document chopped but it took the immigration officer a while to do so. He had to consult with his colleagues on my brown book and also the official letter. So I’m glad after a few minutes of internal discussion, the officer was convinced that my COI document is legit and it was a huge relief for me.

So to all the Certificate of Identity holders, don’t worry about traveling to Vietnam. Just make sure you get bring the official letter to state the legitimacy of the COI document. It really does help. And yes, Ho Chi Minh City is a great city to visit as it has developed in the past 10 years and affordable too.

I will posting a dedicated coverage on FitFlop tomorrow. So ladies, you can check out the latest design for FitFlop for the coming Spring Summer Collection of 2016. Thank you once again to Hua Ho Manggis and FitFlop for giving me this opportunity. I’ve been wearing them at home and FitFlop also gave me two new pairs to bring back home. One word – comfy 😀


How the visa looks like for those holding the Brunei’s Identity of Certificate. It costs BND 80.

The official letter from the Vietnam Embassy in Brunei Darussalam to state that the COI document is recognized and valid. Show this two-paged letter at the immigration upon arrival. It saves the hassle from being interrogated.

Yea, we have our own signboard from FitFlop and thank you, Huong, for taking care of the Brunei delegates

We bought the sim card at the arrival hall of the airport. I subscribed for the 3G bandwidth which ran out after two days (too much IG-ing and Snapchatting). Do get the Viettel line.

The bikes are aplenty but now the number of cars are rising compared to 10 years ago

Emma Saunter unveiling the Miami collection for the Spring Summer collection of FitFlop for 2016 at Villa Song Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City

I kinda like the cinema environment at Cinema Liberty Hotel. Very impressive.

…. and I caught Deadpool for the second time. It’s not censored too.

The hotel room at Liberty Citypoint is pretty awesome too. Spacious and internet speed is pretty fast too. The going rate is BND 170-180 per night.



Brunei’s National Day pics

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


#HK32 Part I 




























Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Education UK Exhibition 

British High Commissioner, David Campbell, with the winner of the Education UK Exhibition at the Indera Samudra Grand Hall, The Empire Hotel & Country Club yesterday.


The Education UK Exhibition took place on Sunday, 21 February, with 40 participating British universities and colleges, at the Indera Samudra Grand Hall, Empire Hotel & Country Club from 2pm to 7pm.

Over 2000 visitors visited the exhibition, taking the opportunity to speak to the representatives from the institutions, who were on hand to offer advice to students on a wide range of topics, including top concerns such as courses, fees and accommodation – every aspect of studying in the UK.The exhibition serves as a one-stop-shop for prospective UK scholars and their families.

Also present were experts from the Ministry of Education, including the Scholarship and National Accreditation Council, who provided guidance on procedures for applying for scholarships.

Seminars were held concurrently with the exhibition, enabling participants to drop in on in-depth presentations from different institutions, on “How to write a great personal statement,” “Choosing your course” and “Studying Law in the UK.”

British High Commissioner, David Campbell, said that the Education UK exhibition was always a highly anticipated event. “The institutions represented cover the length and breadth of the UK, so it gives students an opportunity to get expert advice on the huge range of courses available, and also get help with the important decision on where best to study.”













New player in town

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


The All New Audi Q7 




My CNY updates 

This year’s Chinese New Year celebration is slightly tamer than previous year. Though I would like to say that I managed to attend almost all the invitation surprisingly. I managed to collect a few angpows too along the way (perks of being single). Chap Go Meh is a few days away which will mark the end of the Chinese New Year festive celebration.

Here are some of the photos taken recently to commemorate CNY celebration.


Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism and spouse visited the Chong Fu Li’s residence. Also present were Chang Ein Hong, father of Chong Fu Li, His Excellency Cho Won-Myung, Korean Ambassador to Brunei and his family, Pierre Imhof, CEO of Baiduri Bank, Rino Donosepoetro, CEO of Standard Chartered (Brunei) and his family, Chong Ming Rui, my friend and host :p and others.

Thank Chong Ming Rui for the invitation. This is our tennis family though only one person doesn’t take up the sport

Tennis players from Brunei and Japan

At Leonard and Jackie’s open house. So Jackie, are you planning to visit Katmandu? :p

Visited John Tan’s residence and we had a good chat about toys with Stephen. It’s good to know the other side of John and his army toy collections.

A quick visit to Pat Li’s residence and I truly like the vegetarian home-made roll

Thankful for a wonderful friendship we have though we see each other once in a while

Tasted my first ever Blue Tea at Pat’s house

Even Mr. Brown’s greeting happy new year

Only known for less than 2 years but we have a great bond of friendship. Thanks for hosting my friend

… and Kristy makes one of the best latte in town. You can ask for her to serve you at Piccolo Cafe in bandar

We had an awesome learning experience in Hua Hin among other friends recently. It was a like a solo reunion and see how much both of us have grown individually. See you next time, Sarina.

Truly appreciative of my friend Pranika for accompanying me on my CNY visits this year. More to come …. next year :p

Without knowing, we coincidentally wore Deadpool colours :p

Management and team of Interhouse Company wishes Happy New Year. Image courtesy of IHC Facebook Page.



Game On!!! 

Starting tomorrow

I’m not interested in the other board games apart from Scrabble 😀 So any takers?

Times Square Shopping Centre will be holding a Board Games Weekend from 19th to 21st February 2016 at the atrium this weekend. National Day Board Games Weekend 2016 is organized by Times Square Shopping Centre and is co-organized by Brunei Chess Federation (BCF) and the Department of CO-curriculum Education. Events include Scrabbles competition and Chess tournament. Participants may register for the Scrabbles competition by filling in the forms that can be retrieved at the lucky draw counter and submitted before the event.

Board Games Weekend activities will include a Chess Simultaneous match, Basic Chess Lessons and Chess Blitz games. For the chess tournament, it will be 9 rounds for Rapid and 9 rounds for Blitz using the Swiss Manager Programme organized in accordance to the most recent laws of chess. The time control for the Rapid Event will be 15 minutes for the whole game plus 2 seconds increment and for Blitz Event will be 5 minutes plus 2 seconds every move played starting from the first move. The entry fee for the Rapid Event are $12 for adults, $8 for Under-20 (students), $5 for Under-14 (students) per person and for Blitz Event will be $10 per person (Adults category). Medals will be awarded to the Top 5 finalists of the Open category for National Day Inter-School Chess Blitz 2016 and category prizes for the Top 3 finalists for the Best Junior U14 and Best Junior U10. In addition, trophies will also be awarded to the Best 3 of the schools’ category.

The public will have the opportunity to test their skills against Brunei’s best players and the chance to learn first-hand from a professional chess player. There will be a National Day Chess Festival 2016 where students from all schools in Brunei Darussalam are welcomed to participate in the competition, which will be held on the 19th of February 2016, Friday at the ground floor of Times Square Shopping Centre. The deadline for the registration is on Friday, 19th February at 2.30pm for the Rapid Event and for Blitz Event will be on Sunday, 21st February 2016 at 1.00pm. Interested students can either register directly at the ground floor of Times Square Shopping Centre or contact the organizing committee to register.

Other board games will also be opened for customers to try out and play. These include Snakes and Ladders, Cluedo, Monopoly and Jengga. In the nearest future, Times Square will be having several events such as Japanese Language and Culture week on 18th to 20th March, 9th Mini Carnival on 23rd to 29th March 2016 and a Wedding Exhibition in April 2016. You may also find out about all upcoming events simply by following Times Square Shopping Centre’s pages on Facebook and Instagram.

For further information about the chess tournament, please contact Pg Abd Rahman (+673)8780282, Amir Fakhry (+673)8669759, GM Vakhidov Tahir via Vakjhidovt@yahoo.com and for Scrabbles competition, please contact 2338208 or 2338006.


So speaking of board games, we recently had some board game session at Games & Latte

The gang that showed up last weekend. Let’s do another round.



BIBD Media Appreciation Night 

The Clever Cup demo by It’s a Grind during BIBD Media Appreciation Night. Image courtesy of BIBD Facebook Page.

Members of the press. Image courtesy of The Brunei Times.

Bloggers and radio presenters. Image courtesy of @anakbrunei

Nadzri the magician and entertainer for last night’s event. Image courtesy of The Brunei Times.

Image courtesy of @photobychihb

The colgate potential model :p Image by Allen Shim.

Image courtesy of Conia Kaur.

The best dressed – Adriane Jaafar of The Brunei Times and Rudi Hamid of Pelangi FM. Image courtesy of @pelangifm



One step up

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


The All New Audi Q7 




The Education UK Exhibition 

Click image to enter website

The Education UK Exhibition taken last year.

Interested in furthering your studies in the UK?

The Education UK Exhibition enables you to meet representatives from 40 UK Universities, attend super helpful seminars, chat with UK alumni and find plenty of useful information. Plus, there will be amazing goodies to bring back home too!

You’ll also get plenty of advice from representatives of the participating institution such as course fees and accommodation and perhaps more tips while studying abroad. I’ve never been to the UK for studies and it’s the most popular destination for Bruneians to further their studies. With the A results being released recently, this is a great opportunity for students to scout for the right course. Also involved is the Ministry of Education to cater for Scholarship prospects from Brunei. Hence the Scholarship Unit and the National Accreditation Council will be there for assistance. I would highly recommend The Education UK Exhibition hosted by the British Council.

So remember to join us on Sunday, 21 February 2016 at the Indera Samudra Grand Hall, The Empire Hotel from 2pm to 7pm.

Don’t forget to pre-register at https://bn.edukexhibition.org and stand a chance to win a SMART TV – we’ve got two up for grabs! See you this Sunday!



Prepping for National Day 

The National Day march practice earlier this morning. Associates of BIBD taking part in the march. Image courtesy of @marul69

The Ikrar team practising at the Taman SOAS

About 21,000 people are expected to participate in the 32nd National Day celebrations at Taman Hj Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien in the capital.

Permanent Secretary of Culture, Youth and Sports Dato Paduka Dr Hj Affendy Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin said 126 teams will be involved in the parade including 7,000 students, 5,000 people in the march past while 500 people will make up thehadrah team.

Speaking during a press conference yesterday, he said uniformed personnel, government agencies, the private sector and non-profit organisations will take part in the march past.

In his capacity as co-secretary of the celebration’s executive committee, Dato Dr Hj Affendy said the National Day theme of “Generasi Berwawasan” (Visionary Generation) has been retained this year.

He added that the full dress rehearsal for the celebrations will take place on February 20.

Assistant Chief of Adat Istiadat Pg Dr Hj Hidup Pg Hj Samsuddin reminded guests to confirm their attendance to the department as soon as possible.

He said invitations are non-transferrable and guests must adhere to the prescribed dress code.

Members of the the public were urged to attend the thanksgiving prayers and recitation of Surah Yaasin that will take place in the afternoon of February 22 at all mosques and prayer halls across the country, with the focal point at Masjid Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien in the capital.

Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) Senior Superintendent Hj Md Hassan Pehin Penyurat Hj Ahmad, acting director of the Traffic Investigation and Control Department (JSKLL) said several car park areas need to be vacated before the National Day parade begins starting today till February 23. These areas include the Madrasah car park, the car park area along Jln Kianggeh, Jln McArthur, Jln Sultan, Jln Stoney, Jln Sumbiling, Jln Pehin Isa, Jln Pengiran Shahbandar, and Jln Istana Darussalam. Motorists can use alternative car park areas including the road along Jln Kianggeh towards Jubilee Hotel leading to Jln Subok and along Jln Residency towards the Arts and Handicrafts Centre leading to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

He said four locations have been identified as drop-off points for participants from education institutions, government agencies and private sector that use buses. These locations are the bus terminal on Jln Cator, Jln Bendahara, Jln Pehin Dato Isa and Jln Sumbiling. Text courtesy of Rafidah Hamit of The Brunei Times.



The Brunei youth practising their ikrar at a car park area

The ladies representatives for the ikrar practising at Tennis National Centre

Team RB march practice in town earlier today



BSC has a blog 

Wow, our friend Derby Teo @derbilicious made a surprise visit to her old club, Brunei Speakers’ Club, last week. She’s currently studying in Seoul, Korea, under a scholarship program. Kudos for winning Table Topics last week. To read more, you can click on the image.

Did you know that we actually have a blog for recaps on our Brunei Speakers’ Club (toastmasters) weekly meetings? It’s not just one person behind the scene that keeps the blog updated on a weekly basis and I’m happy to be one of the contributors. We are divided into three roles per week – the copy writer, photographer and proof reading. The club’s Vice-President of Public Relations, Gerald Goh, has been the main person manning the club’s website for this term and he has done a tremendous job so far. And the same can be said for his team players for helping the tasks needed to maintain the blog/recaps. Keep it up..

For those interested to attend our Toastmasters meeting, it’s every Tuesday evening 7:30pm at Seameo Voctech. There will be guest fees of BND 5 and for students, it will be BND 3. The membership presence have been very encouraging and one of the highest for Brunei Speakers’ Club in many years. It’s always great to know my fellow friends willing to learn of being a leader and a communicator. So far my mentees are Shafiq (UBD Toastmasters), Heidi and our new member Syatrah 🙂 Thank you in believing in me to help you guide in your journey as a toastmaster.

If you want to read our recap meeting for last week, you can click here for the blog entry.


The faces of Table Topics Speakers last week at Brunei Speakers’ Club



Prepping for Sri Lanka 

Yee Chun Leong of The Brunei Times taking photo of the Brunei delegates heading to Sri Lanka in March 2016.

Mohd Aiman Abdullah (C) with Kieran Lai (L) and Harry Kwang at the National Tennis Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas. Lai and Kwang will be joined by Ben Sii at next month’s ITF World Junior Tennis Competition in Sri Lanka, where they will be coached by Aiman. Image courtesy of Yee Chun Leong of The Brunei Times.

Definitely not me (for Sri Lanka). I just follow Aiman’s training session with the youngsters on a daily basis. As you may have read today’s paper in The Brunei Times, Brunei will making a presence in the ITF (International Tennis Federation) World Junior Tennis Competition in Sri Lanka this coming March.

Three Bruneians will be presented by Ben Sii, Harry Kwang and Kieran Lai and they will compete in the pre-qualifiers for both singles and doubles. They have been very busy will the training sessions as a group and also have individual sessions with Aiman Abdullah, their head coach. This is a great move for the juniors to participate as it will give them a sense of exposure in terms of competing among the best juniors around the world. For the your info, it has been a while since Brunei took part in the competition overseas and I know the juniors are pretty excited and nervous at the same time. All in all, it will be a great experience for them regardless of the outcome of the matches.

Aiman has been approaching his training methods to accommodate the standards of the our juniors. We may not be the level where regional players are but it’s a good start that tennis is slowly becoming a growing sports in the country and thumbs up to Aiman for his dedication, commitment and contribution to the tennis community in Brunei.

Also big thanks to the parents and families of the participants for allowing them to travel with Aiman for the competition in Sri Lanka. Special thanks to Armtrix Enterprise for sponsoring the tracksuits. They will be heading to Sri Lanka on 2nd of March for at least a week.

Apart from the usual training, Aiman also dedicated a special slot for juniors especially the newbies ages 5 and above every Friday from 5 to 6pm. The responses have been encouraging and hopefully we can find new talent in the making in tennis. I may be in my early 40s but man, tennis is still my passionate sport. So you can catch me there most of the late afternoons at the Brunei National Centre. A big thank you to Aiman for training me and the juniors too. It does make me feel much younger minus my fitness level 😀


Ben Sii will be joining as well

Group photo yesterday with Aiman Abdullah, Brunei’s No.1 tennis player, Ian Chok (grey top), national tennis player, and the trainees – Sin Yi, Henry, RA, Rahul, Zen, Kieran, Tim and Harry

Aiman helping out with the session with the beginners every Friday at Tennis National Centre

Rahul taking some time to pose as a tennis umpire but only for show :p



The Popcorn Panel

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Movie podcast reviews 

Listen to the podcast on Deadpool review with regular co-host Del Goh


Listen to the podcast on The Revenant review with regular co-host Del Goh



His Majesty the Sultan

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Our caring monarch 

His Majesty making an impromptu visit at Tamu Kianggeh. Video by Rudolf Portillo


His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam during the impromptu visit at the Ministry of Home Affairs last Saturday. Image courtesy of Rudolf Portillo of The Brunei Times.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, has been active in recent times, visiting various government agencies and to monitor their progress for the betterment of our beloved country. His Majesty hopes that the relevant government agencies will improve their given tasks to achieve what are necessary. The monarch wasn’t happy with the Tamu Kianggeh environment and a huge question also was given to the Ministry of Home Affairs on the abandoned building next to Tamu Kianggeh.

His Majesty highlighted the lack of hygiene and cleanliness at Tamu Kianggeh after the monarch paid an impromptu visit last week. The Sultan described the area as an unpleasant sight and questioned the municipal agencies on this matter.

As reported in The Brunei Times, the monarch voiced numerous concerns – vendors disorganised, eyesore scenes due to rubbish, drunkards and the list goes on. You can read more of the article here.

And it’s good to know that now the Municipal Department took swift actions after feedback from His Majesty. Apparently Tamu Kianggeh is in its cleanest stage after the monarch’s visit as they visit the tamu every day to ensure of its cleanliness. The usual case would be a bi-weekly cleaning of the area under the care of the Municipal Department according to a vendor at the tamu. However, it hasn’t been consistent and it could be due to the lack of communication between the Municipal Department and the vendors at tamu.

Now I’m beginning to wonder of the status of the Tamu Gadong which has been heavily invested by the Brunei Government. It was mentioned last December that the tamu vendors will have to relocate to Tamu Gadong by end of January 2016 and I believe it hasn’t happened yet. The Tamu Gadong was officially opened in 2012 but hasn’t been a successful one and it is still vacant at this moment.

With the recent impromptu visit by His Majesty the Sultan at Tamu Kianggeh, it gave a sense of hope for the vendors of their future as the monarch was concerned with the cleanliness and hygiene of the area itself. I’ve not heard any conclusive findings on the fate of the tamu vendors but I can say that it’s on their favour. At least, for now.


His Majesty the Sultan showed concerned of the current situation at Tamu Kianggeh and demanded the Municipal Department to take action. Image courtesy of Fazizul Haqimie of The Brunei Times.

His Majesty the Sultan interacting with the public at Labour Department. Image courtesy of Fazizul Haqimie of The Brunei Times.

The abandoned building near Tamu Kianggeh that was highlighted by His Majesty the Sultant. Image courtesy of The Brunei Times.

His Majesty the Sultan during a surprise visit to Tamu Kianggeh two Sundays ago. Image courtesy of Khaliq Roziman of The Brunei Times.

His Majesty the Sultan during a surprise visit to Tamu Kianggeh two Sundays ago. Image courtesy of Rudolf Portillo of The Brunei Times.

His Majesty the Sultan during a surprise visit to Tamu Kianggeh two Sundays ago. Image courtesy of Khaliq Roziman of The Brunei Times.

Tamu Kianggeh after the surprise visit by His Majesty. Image courtesy of Wail Wardi Wasil of The Brunei Times.

His Majesty also visited International School Brunei last week. It was the monarch’s first visit to the newly relocated ISB at Sg. Hanching. The other schools His Majesty visited were Menglait Secondary School Gadong and Mabohai Primary School. The visit by His Majesty showed that the ruler demonstrated the care and welfare of the students studying in Brunei Darussalam. The monarch also interacted with the students who were super excited to get up close and personal with His Majesty. I guess the highlight of the visits among the schools were the continuous high-fives by His Majesty to the adorable kids for ISB.

Studying at ISB were His Majesty’s children, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel and Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah and also His Majesty’s grandson, Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda ‘Abdul Muntaqim ibni Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah. It was a nice touch to see some family bonding along the way.


His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a group photo with His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel and Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah in the recent visit to International School of Brunei. Image courtesy of ISB.

His Majesty the Sultan high-fiving the kids at International School of Brunei. Image courtesy of ISB.

His Majesty the Sultan taking a photo with HRH Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah. Image courtesy of ISB.

His Majesty the Sultan touring the premise. Image courtesy of ISB.

As I was saying before, His Majesty the Sultan has been very active. I have always wanted to catch a Polo tournament where the monarch will participate and I never get a chance to. It happened last week where His Majesty the Sultan led his Black Team to victory in the Richard Mille Pro-Am Gold Cup. The Black Team (also represented by Her Royal Highness Princess ‘Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah) defeated the Red Team 5-4 which was led by His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen.

The tournament was also to raise funds for YASKA, Children’s Cancer Foundation. His Majesty interacted with the children from YASKA and their families after the tournament. The event took place at Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club in Jerudong last week.


His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam (7th L), His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah (9th R), His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen (12th R), His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel (6th L), Her Royal Highness Princess ‘Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah (5th L), Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah (8th L), YAM Pengiran Muda Abdul Qawi (5th R), YAM Pengiran Muda Bahar (R) along with Richard Mille (3rd L) and other officials and players in a group photo during the Richard Mille Pro-Am Gold Cup polo match held at the Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club last week. Image courtesy of Fazizul Haqimie of The Brunei Times.

His Majesty the Sultan receiving the champion trophy from Richard Mille during the Richard Mille Pro-AM Gold Cup polo match last week. Image courtesy of Fazizul Haqimie of The Brunei Times.

His Majesty the Sultan with the children of YASKA and their families. Image courtesy of Fazizul Haqimie of The Brunei Times.




Remix Mini

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


The experience on Remix Mini 


Demo of the Remix Mini


I came across this product at the recent Consumer Fair last month and I did some research as well online. Apparently it’s a kickstarter project that managed to draw in huge amount of sums. The first ever Android PC device created. Yea, funny right, right? I’m pro-Apple and suddenly I’m familiarising myself with a device related to Android. Let’s just say I’m still in highly favour of Apple devices and softwares as compared to Windows and Android but it won’t stop me to try out different things.

The closest Android portable devices that I have are the Shimono box (for video streaming purposes) and not forgetting my secondary smartphone Samsung S6 Edge (for photography purposes). Hence, for this post, I will focus on my quick experience of the Remix Mini.

What sold me is the shape of the device. It’s literally small and it’s as big as my 10,000 Amh power bank. I can fit it nicely inside my sling bag and it’s light weight as well. Now, to have as many things possible on that small device alone. The creators Jide had made this reality possible by even calling it “the world’s first true Android PC.”

Customers even myself will be slightly confused at first because of the common word Android. But have you actually access an Android on PC format before? Ah, that’s the catch.. The device can also operate as a PC or in this case, a portable PC.


The Remix Mini being displayed at Consumer Fair recently

Home delivered to your doorstep. Find out more by reading below.

My other Android device is the Shimono but it is mostly for streaming purposes but the Remix Mini offers more than that

After unboxing the Remix Mini… It’s so small and cute haha

It comes with power cable and also HDMI cable

The available slots – power socket, ethernet, USB 2.0, HDMI and headphone jack.

Using all the ports of the Remix Mini 😀

The specs alone are not pretty high or robust since it’s a compact machine. The processor is up to 1.2GHz powered with 2G of RAM and it has an internal storage of 16GB plus a microSD card slot (handy). It runs on Android 5.1 and only comes in black colour. So with this specs alone, don’t expect a high performance but it was still fluid (as in performance) when I tried it. Then again, I haven’t used it to its maximum just yet.

Now the only thing I would use this device if I plan to do a presentation (plug & play through a projector) or I travel abroad and watch my Netflix dosage through Remix Mini. I have yet to attempt to update my blog but I’m sure it’s possible. The only thing I haven’t tried is the photo application where I usually use Photoshop to edit my photos before posting them up. So a few question marks there if I were to rely Remix Mini alone for my work on my travels. The Macbook Air is still my reliable tool for my travels but I won’t mind to bring the Remix Mini on my next travel too.

The device has multiple ports (impressive…) and I used most of the ports (ethernet, USB, HDMI) and it didn’t give me any problems. Of course, the device is also capable of pairing through bluetooth and it’s also Wifi ready. So it’s good that that they have the necessary capabilities to suit the consumer demands.

The interface itself looks familiar and copies that of the older Windows format. So it won’t be difficult for first time users to master it. The keyboard and mouse worked perfectly once plugged and you can toy around once you are connected. The default items on the OS are Google Play Store and Google Chrome. So you will need to download the other applications to make full use of the Remix Mini. Oh yea, you might need to do some installing in the beginning (slightly tedious but necessary).


Yea, the startup takes a while but not that long.

If you have bluetooth enabled keyboard and mouse, then it’s handier

The default screen though I downloaded two or three application

Browsing my blog through Remix Mini

Yay, I can do some notes or work using this device. Might be ideal if I’m traveling for sure.

Another great thing is that I can do presentation through powerpoint using Remix Mini. Just have to make sure projector has a HDMI cable.

Yes, another good reason.. To watch Netflix on the big screen whenever I travel 😀

Conclusion: For a price of BND 139, the Remix Mini is a great buy. I would treat this as a secondary device and of course, this won’t replace my iMac or notebook as my first choice of computer usage. If you are planning to use it for web browsing and a bit of word processing, this might be suitable for students out there. Then again, you will need an existing keyboard, mouse and monitor to operate the Remix Mini. Oh yea, a touch screen monitor comes in handy if you are more into multi-media application. So far, this is the only software that can be found in any other product. For me, I’m also eager to know what’s their second version gonna be like.

Home delivery: What’s best is that you purchase the device and straight to your doorstep. How so? Through bank transfer and it will be delivered to your home in a day or two. The delivery is only applicable to Brunei-Muara, Tutong and Belait District. Make a transfer of BND 139 to either of these accounts. You can get FREE shipping by inserting RANOADIDAS in the promo code too.

Baiduri Bank Berhad
A/C Name: Seng Hoe Huat Enterprise
A/C No.: 0600110423900

A/C Name: Seng Hoe Huat Enterprise
A/C No.: 00-001-01-9888893

Then once you have done that, you can screenshot your transaction to Remix Mini sales line +6738757508 or email to remixminibrunei@gmail.com and once the bank transfer is acknowledged, Remix Mini Brunei will provide the UPS tracking no for your delivery. Simple. Do check out their Facebook Pagetoo for updates.

So give the Remix Mini a try. Impressive for such as small portable device.





The celebration continues

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Year of the Monkey 

Mr. Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer, Alice Chan, Chief Financial Controller of Concepts Computer with the senior management and associates of Concepts Computer at yesterdays’ open house celebration

Yee Sang with the senior management of Concepts Computer

It’s always fun and heart warming to attend Concepts Computer open house in conjunction with Chinese New Year. For many years, it was held at the inside the premise of the shop. This year, it’s something special. The newly room Brillance Hall have many purposes on the second floor of Concepts Computer and one of the purposes is to stage events such as open houses. Let’s not forget the humble leader of Concepts Computer, Mr. Vincent Pao, whom I have known for many years.

Many turned up for the lunch hour period of Concepts Computer open house and Mr. Pao had special Yee Sang toasts for different organisations. I thought that was a nice touch to recognise the people that have played a part in Concepts Computer success.

Also invited to the event were members of the media, Brunei-Muara Wushu Association, Foo Chow Association and InfoCom Federation Brunei (IFB), Progresif Cellular and many more.

Thank you again, Mr. Pao and the management team of Concepts Computer for the wonderful hospitality. May your business prosper to greater heights and reaching newer milestones.


Yee Sang with members of the media

Yee Sang with relatives and close friends

Yee Sang with Brunei-Muara Wushu Association

Sheikh Hj Abas, chairman of Infocom Federation Brunei, with Concepts Computer senior management.

Mr. Pao always taking good care of the media for many years and one of the reasons why I love working with him and his team. Keep it up!!

A strong crowd yesterday at Concepts Computer open house




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