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Written by alin. Posted in News, RA News


HSBC Personal Internet Banking


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Log on to win points & prizes

Maybe it’s about time I do some personal internet banking on my HSBC account 😀

Manage your account online with HSBC’s Personal Internet Banking (PIB) service and stand a chance to be rewarded.

From now until April 30, HSBC customers who perform selected online transactions such as international transfers, bill payments and opening foreign currency time deposit accounts will earn Transaction Points ranging from 10 to 100 points.

Every month, the first 150 HSBC customers to collect 200 Transaction Points will be rewarded with attractive vouchers: $30 Starbucks Gift Certificate for the month of February, $30 Hua Ho Shopping Voucher for the month of March and $30 RBC Dining Voucher for the month of April. In addition, HSBC PIB customers will also have a chance of winning one of five PlayStation® 4 consoles in the Grand Lucky Draw.

Earning Transaction Points is easy: for example the purchase of prepaid electricity recharge pins (PowerKad) and prepaid mobile phone (Easi) top-ups will earn customers 30 Transaction Points (minimum $50 for PowerKad and $40 for Easi Top-up) and customers who register to receive their credit card statements via encrypted emails will earn 40 Transaction Points during the campaign period. Customers who perform account openings of Foreign Currency Time Deposits, internal transfers, telegraphic transfers, cashier’s orders or demand drafts via the HSBC Personal Internet Banking platform will also earn Transaction Points, subject to its terms and conditions.

For the month of February, successful customers will receive a Starbucks Gift Certificate worth $30 via appointed courier service in conjunction with the American coffeehouse chain’s opening in the Sultanate back on February 16 at Mabohai Shopping Complex. For more details on the HSBC Online campaign and earning Transaction Points, contact the bank’s Call Centre at 2252252 or log on to www.hsbc.com.bn.

The great thing for the monthly treat’s prizes is that they will be delivered to customers through an appointed courier service within 5 working days after end of every month, for the respective monthly treat.

Click image to enlarge poster


Looking for prospective student 

Politeknik Brunei will be holding a two-day Open Day – “Road to Politeknik Brunei” on March 6 and 8 from 8.30am to 12pm and 1.30pm to 4pm at One Stop Center, Level 2, Block 2E, Politeknik Brunei, Jalan Ong Sum Ping. The purpose of the Open Day is to provide opportunities for the public, especially the students that have graduated from the ‘A’ level to proceed to the next level by entering the Advanced Diploma courses (which is equivalent to HND) available in Politeknik Brunei for the 2014/2015 intake.

Among the activities that will be held at the Open Day is a consultation and interaction session between the public especially students and Politeknik Brunei’s lecturers on the entry requirements and the Advanced Diploma programmes offered in 2014; briefings on learning and teaching in the Schools / Departments of Politeknik Brunei; briefings on job opportunities in the government and private sectors; and tours around the Politeknik Brunei building for a look at the campus.

Acting Director of Politeknik Brunei, Denis Ho Mun Tai, delivering his speech last Thursday at Politeknik Brunei Open Day. Image courtesy of Sally Pri of The Brunei Times.

Students who have graduated with A Level and wish to continue their studies to Advanced Diploma at Politeknik Brunei may visit the school at Jalan Ong Sum Ping on Saturday from 8.30am to noon and 1.30pm to 4pm.
The school started its Open Day for the 2014-2015 intake yesterday after an opening ceremony was launched by its Acting Director Denis Ho Mun Tai.

Under the title “Road to Politeknik Brunei” the event provides consultation and interaction between prospective students and the school’s lecturers on the entry requirements and the Advanced Diploma programmes offered this year.

It also provides briefings on learning and teaching available at Politeknik Brunei, briefings on job opportunities in the government and private sector as well as tours around the school building to allow students to take a closer look at the campus.

Advanced Diploma qualifications from Politeknik Brunei is accredited by the National Accreditation Council (MKPK) as equivalent to the qualification of the BDTVEC Higher National Diploma (HND).

A total of 12 Programmes are offered by Politeknik Brunei for the 2014-2015 intake.

The School of Business offers five programmes namely Advanced Diplomas in Business Entrepreneurship, Business Accounting, Business Finance, Business Marketing and Business Management.

Under the School of Information and Communication Technology the programmes offered include Advanced Diplomas in Web Computing, Information Systems and Technology, Computer Network, Information Science and Digital Media. Meanwhile, the School of Science and Engineering offers two programmes namely Advanced Diplomas in Interior Design and Well Engineering.

Also in attendance during the opening ceremony were Acting Assistant Director of Politeknik Brunei Alias Hj Abu Bakar, heads of departments, heads of schools as well as lecturers, officers and staff of Politeknik Brunei. Text courtesy of Sally Pri of The Brunei Times.


Jeff Dunham coming to KL

Jeff Dunham to perform live in May in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

LOL Events is proud to present worldwide comedy sensation, Jeff Dunham, live in Malaysia on 20th May 2014 at 8.30pm. The show will be held at Sunway Convention Centre, Level CP3, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Centre.

Have you heard of Jeff Dunham? Well, I have and I’m pretty sure some of you have. He will be touring in Asia and one of the stops will be in Kuala Lumpur. Jeff Dunham is a popularly known for his stand up comedy with his puppets and yes, he will be bringing a truck load of puppets with him. Even Time Magazine wrote that he is “the most popular comedian in the United States” and Forbes named him to its Celebrity 100 list of most powerful entertainers three years running. Jeff Dunham is a phenomenally successful global entertainment brand.

He will be in Asia for the “Disorderly Conduct tour”. He will perform live on 20th May at the Sunway Convention Centre and he will be performing for 90 minutes.

“We are proud to bring to Malaysia another global comedy sensation. Jeff Dunham’s talent has taken the art of ventriloquism to a whole new level. He will dazzle you with his amazing ventriloquist skills and deliver cutting edge comedy whilst still remain warm and humane. This will be a mind-blowing comedy experience for everyone.” – Rizal Kamal, CEO, LOL Events.

It’s also good to know that this is also supported by Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Major Events.

Jeff Dunham, live in Malaysia takes place at the Sunway Convention Centre on 20th May 2014 at 8.30pm. Ticket prices are RM420 (VIP), RM340 (Cat 1), RM270 (Cat 2), RM200 (Cat 3), RM130 (Cat 4) and ticket sales will be available from 25th Feb, 10am through TicketPro.

I will also be running instagram competition and one of you will walk away with a pair of tickets to catch Jeff Dunham (well, air ticket and accommodation not included). So do check out @ranoadidas instagram soon.

The seating arrangements for Jeff Dunham’s gig at Sunway Convention Centre. Click image to enter TicketPro to buy seats.

The ticket pricing for the gig. Click image to enter TicketPro to buy seats.


Ridzuan wins Jetta 

Ridzuan and his family with the management of Maju Motors Sdn Bhd, posing with the grand prize, Volkswagen Jetta

Finally a winner for the grand draw of the DPMM FC lucky draw has been awarded. 38 shortlisted fans of DPMM FC were invited for the final grand draw. The grand draw prize was the Volkswagen Jetta sponsored by Maju Motors Sdn Bhd. They are also one of the major sponsors for DPMM FC team last season and it’s no surprise that Maju Motors Sdn Bhd has continued the tradition of being major sponsor for DPMM FC this season in the S•League campaign.

Dr. Chan Sui Kiat, Managing Director of Maju Motors and Chan Key Hong, Executive Director of Maju Motors, were present to host the grand draw. From the 38 shortlisted participants, they drew the top 5 participants for the final grand draw. Ridzuan bin Ali emerged as the lucky winner as his son picked the right key to unlock a brand new Volkswagen Jetta.

The Jetta 1.4TSI is a comfortable car as it has a long wheelbase and German engineered suspensions. The 122-horsepower engine is mated with a smooth shifting 6-speed DSG transmission, allowing the car to get from 0-100km/h in just a few seconds.

The finalists choosing their keys for the draw

Others waiting in anticipation for the winner

The first participant couldn’t unlock the door

The lil boy tried his luck with the key

Guess what? He managed to unlock it

Ridzuan was so appreciative of his son’s effort

Will he remember this moment when he grows up? 😀

Like father, like son

Finally a winner was crowned with a Volkswagen Jetta


Consolation prizes where they get a pair of season tickets

Consolation prizes where they get a pair of season tickets


Craft ’n’ Foodies Day 

Are you a “Food Fan” who loves to sample different kinds of delicacies, especially home baked savouries or sweet delights? Do you love to share your creations with other enthusiasts? Or do you love home made products that you can display or use either in your office, home or give as a gift to your loved ones? Or simply want to meet fellow enthusiasts to while away a day of craft or food?

The Mabohai Shopping Complex, in support of local SME’s, will be holding the Mabohai Shopping Complex “Craft and Foodies’ Weekend” at the Event stage of the Complex on Saturday, 8th March and Sunday, 9th March 2014 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The event will start on Saturday, 8th Feb with La Vida Crafts Group offering handmade baskets, cards, quilts and many other decorative items for sale to the general public. In addition, Jo’s Art Gallery will be demonstrating craft activities using recycled materials such as plastic bottles and egg trays. There will also be free face painting for children.

On Sunday, 9th March on Foodies’ Day, different delicacies such as cookies, cakes and pies prepared by local online sellers will be available for sale to the public. The public is invited to sample and buy these delicious concoctions and savour the taste of home made products.

According to the management of Mabohai Shopping Complex, “We are very happy to be able to help groups like La Vida and the local sme’s to share their love for crafts and cooking. Both are works of art expressed in different forms, one is through visual art with the home made jewellery, quilts, baskets and bags, and the other is culinary arts, with the different cupcakes, pastries, desserts that will delight the public. This is a celebration of creativity, and the public is invited to join in the fun.”

Should you wish to book the Event Stage of the Mabohai Shopping Complex for your events and activities, please call us on 8111623 or 8653762. Or find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @mabohaibrunei

Happening this weekend




Written by alin. Posted in News, RA News

I miss public speaking 

Allan Ang, Chris Woo (champion) and Bobby in the International Speech category at the Brunei Speakers’ Club speech competition last Tuesday

Bob Lim, Allan Ang (champion) and Bobby in the Table Topics category

I have neglected my time spent at Toastmasters session hosted by Brunei Speakers’ Club (BSC) which happens every Tuesday. I used to be a member two years ago but I didn’t end up doing any speeches :O I would say that it comes close to a year now that I missed their sessions as a guest and it was great to see new blood, helping the momentum of the BSC to keep it active every now and then.

Last Tuesday, I attended the Toastmasters session because there was a speech competition by BSC for their members. This is held annually where the winners and the runner-ups will represent the club to compete against other local toastmaster clubs before the grand winner will represent Brunei in regional competition.

I totally missed all the International Speech and Table Topic speeches as I had my evening jog prior to that. The event was hosted by toastmaster Fen Ng whom I am so proud of. I remember my friends and I were suggesting her to join the Brunei Speakers’ Club two years ago and now she has achieved so much in the short span of time and she looks more confident than before. For your info, clubs like BSC is an environment that helps and guides one to be confident in public speaking and also building that inner muscles of that confidence trait in you. I do highly recommend students to simply to turn up and be a guest on Tuesday evenings at the Seameo Votech, Gadong (7:30pm to 9:30pm) and get a taste of how the sessions are being conducted.

Anyway, below are the winners of International Speeches and Table Topics from BSC.

International Speech 

Chris Woo – Champion

Bobby – 1st Runner up

Allan Ang – 2nd Runner up

Table Topics

Allan Ang – Champion

Bob Lim – 1st Runner up

Bobby – 2nd Runner up

The next competition will be on Sunday, 23rd March 2014 at 11am. The venue will be at Seameo Votech, Gadong, and you will get to see the best of the best in different toastmasters clubs in Brunei Darussalam. So you are more than welcome to attend the event and witness how the participants will deliver their speeches to woo the audience.

Chris Woo, the champion of the International Speech category, just recently join Brunei Speakers’ Club three months ago and it has already completed six speeches to be eligible for the competition. That’s really awesome!! I’m pretty sure UBD students will be familiar with him as he is currently a lecturer, teaching professional communication, in UBD. Ironically, he gives public speaking consultancy and why he joined BSC is to test his professionalism. Despite his familiarity with public speaking, the competition was still nerve wrecking for him. This is also the first victory in any competition he has joined in his entire life and to him, this is an important milestone in terms of achievements.

Chris Woo receiving the award from BSC President Stuart Lee

Allan Ang receiving the award from BSC President Stuart Lee

Bob Lim receiving the award from BSC President Stuart Lee

The contestants being interviewed by toastmaster Fen Ng

Fen Ng announcing the winners and hosted the competition as well

Great turn out to support the contestants



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Who was the lucky one? 

Chan Key Hong, Executive Director of Maju Motors, holding one of the keys that unlocks the grand prize – Volkswagen Jetta this morning

The five short listed candidates this morning and these are the candidates who participated in the lucky draw for buying home match tickets to catch DPMM FC last season. I shall reveal the winner in my next post unless you have seen it at my @ranoadidas IG

He was the first to go but did he win?

Chan Key Hong also invited DPMM FC management and players for an autograph signing. More pictures tomorrow.


Pancakes galore 

Celebrating Pancake Day every weekend at Paddington House of Pancakes

Few days ago, it was International Pancake Day which fell on the 4th of March. We had a treat, hosted by Paddington House of Pancakes (@pancakesbrunei) last Tuesday and wow, we really had a good feast, just on pancakes.

Now you can enjoy “All You Can Eat” pancake buffet for only $15.50 during weekends (Saturday, Sunday) from 2pm to 6pm for the month of March 2014. That’s a pretty good deal I must say and I recommend you to take advantage of this special promotion.

There are different flavours of pancake to choose from such as chico chip, blueberry, original, banana & raisins to name a few.

You can even make your own pancake and show off your design on social media, post it on their Facebook page and you stand a chance to win PHOP dining vouchers worth BND 20. Good luck!!

My buddies trying out the pancakes toppings for lunch few days ago

Some of the toppings from the pancake buffet

Add more sweet stuff for your toppings

Choco chip pancakes 😀

You can make a good presentation from the toppings

Having a pancake rush!!

Pancakes are made fresh from the pan

I was into the balloons too

Do contribute some pictures on their Facebook page




Written by alin. Posted in News, RA News


HRH happy with progress


His Royal Highness Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Chairman of DPMM FC club being updated of DPMM FC’s progress by Steve Kean, Head Coach of DPMM FC yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium

Group photo with DPMM FC chairman, management and DPMM FC players in their away jerseys. Click image to enlarge.

DPMM FC in training mode in preparation for their away match on the 13th April against Home United

Who will win the Jetta?


The grand prize for DPMM FC supporters last season

Spectators of DPMM Football Club’s home games during last season’s S.League will be happy to know that 38 names have been pre-drawn by DPMM FC and the grand draw will be held in the morning of Friday March 7, 2014, at the newly revamped Volkswagen showroom in Telanai.

The Volkswagen model was never revealed before but the final decision has been made and it will be one of Volkswagen’s most desirable sedan, the Jetta 1.4TSI.

Apart from the grand draw, fans of DPMM FC will also be treated to a meet and greet session with the players. Posters of the team will be given away to the first 150 fans on the day of the event and once the players are in the showroom, they will get the chance to acquire their autographs and meet them personally.

The 38 finalists have been called to confirm their attendance. Those who won’t be able to make it on the day will not be entitled to the draw.

The Jetta 1.4TSI is a comfortable car as it has a long wheelbase and German engineered suspensions. The 122-horsepower engine is mated with a smooth shifting 6-speed DSG transmission, allowing the car to get from 0-100km/h in just a few seconds.

Maju Motors Sdn Bhd, the sole dealership for Volkswagen in the Sultanate is the official car sponsor for the DPMM FC Jetta grand draw. You can follow their instagram too for updates @vollkswagenbrunei

You can get yourself posters of DPMM FC for the first 150 fans

Get up close and personal with DPMM FC players at Maju Motors today (9am to 11am)


BIBD donates Water Jets to NDMC


In their further strides to support and compliment relief efforts in place by the government of His Majesty along with other various agencies to mitigate issues emanating from water hazards, BIBD yesterday agreed to hand over a total of 20 water jet cleaners to the Brunei-Muara District Office, who is receiving on behalf of National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC).

The donation of these water jet cleaners comes from discussions between the NDMC and BIBD to assist in, and bolster recovery and cleaning activities from the current and future occurrences of flood incidents. The water cleaners comes as added contribution to the many efforts prepared, as BIBD reinforces its intentions to maintain itself as a stalwart partner to the NDMC.

Handing over the water jets on behalf of BIBD was Hjh Nurul Akmar Hj Md Jaafar, Deputy Head of Consumer Banking and Head of BIBD’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, which was well received by the Brunei-Muara District Officer, Hj Jamain Hj Momin. Also present was BIBD’s Head of Shariah, Hjh Hanifah Hj Jenan.

Hjh Nurul Akmar Hj Md Jaafar, Deputy Head of Consumer Banking and Head of BIBD’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative handing over 20 water jet cleaners to Hj Jamain Hj Momin, Brunei-Muara District Officer, receiving on behalf of National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC)

Hjh Nurul Akmar, on behalf of BIBD, commented at her pleasure at the ability of BIBD to act swiftly to provide assistance that, not only benefits the community, but also benefits the community in a long run. She continued that “We are also pleased that we can live up to our tagline of being ‘Bruneian at Heart’, always being part of a caring society, and ready to provide support to those in need.”

BIBD has always been on the forefront at being able to provide support to our community, especially in times of need. The act of donating of these water jet cleaners also aligns with BIBD’s annual Sirah Amal donations drive whereby resources are pulled from within the BIBD community-conscious staff, along with BIBD partners in support of the initiative, to provide relief to under- privileged families.

BIBD has also became a pioneer with its flagship CSR activity, BIBD’s ALAF (Advocating Life-long Learning for an Aspiring Future) fund developed in close partnership with the Ministry of Education, which provides school and tuition fees, stationery, transportation and food requirements along with mentoring and counseling necessities amongst others, until the end of their respective educational requirement needs.


Showcase Concert 2014


A show that I can’t wait to see. Happening this Saturday (7:45pm) and Sunday (2pm) and you can get their tickets at JIS Uniform & Stationery Shop. Call 241 1000 ext 5240. The Showcase Concert 2014 will take place at the JIS Arts Centre


Showcase your talent 😀


Do you want to participate in the video competition? Submission ends on 31st March 2014. This is event is brought to you by the committee of the Film Festival Video competition 2014. Good luck, peeps!


Singapore Food Festival


The Singapore Food Festival is back at the Airport Restaurant & Coffee Shop, Brunei International Airport, bringing all authentic Singaporean favourite dishes and delicacies to our shores. This is the sixth time for the festival, which runs until March 16th, was officially launched by the Deputy Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Yussof Hj Ismail with Singapore High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam His Excellency Jaya Ratnam, and RBC General Manager Hj Omar Ali bin Hj Mohd Daud in attendance.

With dishes ranging from Singapore food of Chili crabs, Murtabak Masjid Sultan as well as Sup Kambing (lamb) Beach Road and of course, the signature Singaporean Chicken Rice, it’s a Singaporean gastronomic experience all under one roof, with specially flown-in chef from Royal Plaza on Scotts Singapore, Chef Lee Chin Choong, teaming up with Singaporean Chef Ahmad Tajuddin from RBC, to give a 100 per cent authentic Singapore taste.

Diners also have a chance to win great prizes including return tickets to Singapore sponsored by Singapore Airlines and a two-night stay at Grand Hyatt Singapore in the festival’s Special Draw.Baiduri Bank Infinite and Platinum cardholders are entitled to 25 per cent discount, while the Gold, Classic and Debit cardholders receive 15 per cent discount.

Meanwhile, RBC Dining Privilege Card members will get a 10 per cent discount. The Daily promotion Buffet Lunch, served from 12pm to 2pm, is $19.90 per adult and $10 per child. The Buffet Dinner from 7pm to 10pm is priced at $29.90 per adult and $15 per child. The Singapore Food Festival will be until 16th March 2014.

Reservations can be made by calling 233 1853 or 233 9207.

Deputy Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Yussof Hj Ismail launching the Singapore Food Festival. Accompanying him were Singapore High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam His Excellency Jaya Ratnam, and RBC General Manager Hj Omar Ali bin Hj Mohd Daud









Celebrating Women this weekend


It’s the time of the year that we recognise women all around. Every year, on March the 8th, it is the celebration of International Women’s Day and Brunei has been running a few activities every now and then for the past few years. One of the companies that will be celebrating International Women’s Day is Butik Bajoo, a boutique that will bring out the flavour of the celebration by offering “specials” in-store this weekend.

I’m pretty sure you know of the popular Malaysian designer Jovian Mandagie. Back in 2012, he began a collaboration with Bajoo to showcase his ready-to-wear line. When you have an iconic designer that suits the local taste, you have a winner and it was no surprise that the responses were overwhelming then.

Now there is a new collection for the ladies and guess what? You can enjoy a massive 30% discount on Jovian fashion dresses on 8th and 9th of March.

Check out Jovian’s design, going at 30% discount this weekend only

Check out Jovian’s design, going at 30% discount this weekend only

This year, Bajoo also have a new collaboration with Bayou Batik, a label from Malaysia. Bayou Batik specialises in exquisitely designed and hand-made batik clothing. Using the finest quality fabrics, Bayou Batik’s range encompasses both modern and traditional styles. Based in Kuala Lumpur, they aimed to fill a void in the diminishing art of batik design and printing by modernizing traditional batik designs. By joining forces with Bajoo, together they set out to bring back this unique cultural quality that we share in the region. Bayou Batik at Bajoo is also celebrating International Women’s Day in offering 20% off their in-store items on 8th and 9th of March.

Check out Bayou Batik’s design, going at 20% discount discount this weekend only

CCheck out Bayou Batik’s design, going at 20% discount discount this weekend only

Now that’s said and done, Bajoo will be offering 50% discount (on 8th and 9th of March) on the other items in the store. So another great way to celebrate International Women’s Day. As Carrie Bradshaw once said, “Every year the Women of New York leave the past behind and look forward to the future… this is known as Fashion Week”. In Brunei, Bajoo likes to call this ‘Raya week‘. As this year’s Raya week draws near, the tailors at Bajoo’ are getting ready for the ‘mad rush’. So to avoid disappointment, make an appointment with Bajoo’ and have your slot booked in.

Be sure to look up @Bajoo on instagram or you can view on their website www.butikbajoo.com

If you are location for the location, refer to the map below. Business hours is 10am to 8pm daily.

Check out Bajoo’s collection, going at 50% discount this weekend only

Check out Bajoo’s collection, going at 50% discount this weekend only

Check out Bajoo’s collection, going at 50% discount this weekend only

 Check out Bajoo’s collection, going at 50% discount this weekend only

The map of Bajoo. Located near Supa Save Mata-mata



Written by alin. Posted in News, RA News


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Breaking: His Majesty’s titah

His Majesty the Sultan’s titan at the 10th Legislative Council this morning. Taken from The Brunei Times’ website. Check out tomorrow for more in-depth coverage of the #LegCo


Race pack collection 

The race pack collection starts tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday


United as one  

Below are some of the pictures being shared among my peers on the recent National Day celebration outside Brunei. So far, I have a few photos from different countries and it’s kinda cool to have a compilation of pictures and post them online so we can feel the patriotism among our people. The love for the monarch and the country have always been on a high. Home is where the heart is. Unfortunately I missed the big event at the National Stadium as I was outstation then.

So a big thank you to those who contributed on the photos and do mind me for the late post. Better late than never.

Celebration in Kuala Lumpur


Celebration in Singapore









Celebration in Canberra




Celebration in Phnom Penh





Celebration in Bangkok






Written by alin. Posted in News, RA News

This is Sparta!!

Eva Green playing Artemisia stole the show. Click image to listen our podcast review.

Review of 300: Rise of An Empire. This is an visually awesome movie to begin with. Yes, we are given with a familiar theme and cinematography from its predecessor. The battle scenes were worth the watch but nothing that really stood out for me. It was just enough to satisfy that 6 year wait for a sequel. There are a few flaws that I would like to point out despite it being entertaining. So do bear with me on this one.

Flaw number one: the protagonist Themistokles played by Sullivan Stapleton, a Greek general, didn’t really stand out as a charismatic, dominant leader as compared to Gerald Butler’s portrayal of Leonadis in 300. He did an OK job or more like playing safe or perhaps it was the direction of Noam Murro that forced Themistokles to play a less convincing hero. I certainly didn’t buy him as a charismatic leader. Leonadis, why did you have to die too soon? 🙁

Flaw number two: The film editing might need some fine retuning. I was slightly lost in the first quarter or maybe I didn’t put my full concentration on the plot. My co-host of The Popcorn Panel, @delgoh, managed to grasp the storytelling though he thought it wasn’t a sharp delivery. It took me a while to understand the construction and the setting of the story line and for those who missed the first movie (300), you might be slightly confused. One suggestion could be short snippets of flashbacks to refresh the memories and also for the benefit of first viewers. The idea was there and clever but executed mediocrely.

Enough of the flaws. I still had fun out of the sequel. One of the biggest draw is Eva Green who played Artemisia, the commander of the Persian Navy. I haven’t seen such a dominant female lead especially as a villain in a long time. Every time when she was on screen, I was in awe. She, I thought, was a saviour for this sequel. She’s worth of a ticket admission.

There was a lot of carnage and violence so I doubt this is suitable for children. I did appreciate the stylish slo-mos which can be repetitive and familiar but there were some scenes that were nicely executed. Entertainment value is definitely there and for me, it was enough to keep me satisfied.

On average, my peers enjoyed 300: Rise of An Empire, but majority still preferred the first movie. It’s a notch down for me as compared to the first but still a crowd pleaser. I shall watch this again in Singapore in a few weeks’ time. Eva Green in IMAX 3D is worth a second visit *lol* Verdict: 7/10 @delgoh 7 @swee_ann 8 Rottentomatoes 65%

You can catch our in-depth review in The Popcorn Panel and stand a chance to win a PS4 console when you answer a quiz post on my instagram handle @ranoadidas (refer to image of 300: Rise on An Empire) to be posted today.

Friends enjoying the sequel of 300 at The Mall Cineplex

Sarina needed to watch South Park after *lol*

All smiles before the movie

Hui Chiet trying to eat off the supposedly drumstick from Xerxes :p

If only Brunei has IMAX 3D but it will be a huge investment to have one




Written by alin. Posted in News, RA News, Uncategorized

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BICTA 2014 launch 

In today’s headline in The Brunei Times. Get a copy now!!

The Brunei ICT Awards (BICTA) competition for 2014 was launched today at the Dewan Seri Kerna, AITI building in Anggerek Desa. The Guest of Honour was Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, Minister of Communications. Yang Mulia Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Sertia Dato Paduka Haji Mohamad Yusof, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications, Chairman of AITI and Chairman of BICTA Steering Committee accompanied the Minister to the launching ceremony.

The event began with a recital of the Surah Al- Fatihah and Doa Selamat which was read by ….. The ceremony then proceeded with a welcoming speech by Hj Yahkup bin Hj Menudin, Chief Executive of AITI and Chairman of BICTA Working Committee. In his speech, Hj Yahkup highlighted that Brunei can have a global marketplace and this year’s theme is “Empowering a Digital Nation”. He is right about one thing – opportunities are aplenty and we do have the expertise. Of course, the aim here is to have a global reach in our capabilities and make that a reality. InsyaAllah.

The Guest of Honor then proceeded to launch BICTA 2014 with the BICTA video which gave the audience a glimpse of the timeline and prizes for BICTA. There were three presentations that were conducted by successful companies who have received grant from AITI. The companies are MeSixty Sdn Bhd, PHMD Publishing Company and Socialbuzz Advertising. These companies presented on how the AITI grant has helped in their operational activities.

BICTA, was initiated by the Ministry of Communications in 2004 with the main objective to stimulate innovation and creativity in local ICT industry amongst individual and organizations including SME and education Institutions. It aims to be the benchmark for local software development through competitions amongst each other and winners will be nominated to represent Brunei Darussalam in the annual Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Award held in the regional. This year APICTA will be held in Pakistan..

Interested SMEs, Education Institutions and individuals who are motivated to create and develop the most innovative, intuitive, interactive and creative ICT products and services are welcomed and encouraged to showcase their talents in BICTA and to compete for a chance to win attractive cash prizes. The cash prizes for the top winner in each of the three categories are $10,000 for ICT Industry Project, $7,000 for Tertiary Student Project and $3,000 for School Student Project.

The Minister launching BICTA using Google glass

The Minister and other invited guests from the government and private sector

Chief Executive delivering his welcoming remarks

Aside from the awards for the 3 main categories, there is also the ‘Royal Patron Award’ which will be awarded to the “Best of the Best” product among all the categories, that is, the best amongst the first place winners in all categories. This biennial Royal Patron Award will be handed out by the Crown Prince at the BICTA 2014 Award Ceremony in September. In addition, there are 3 other special recognition awards this year namely ‘Islamic ICT Award’, ‘Community Services Award’ and ‘Young Developers Award’.

The Islamic Award is to encourage local talent to create solutions, applications or software that shares the Islamic knowledge, upgrading the Halal process, increase the Islamic law on business matters or Islamic social life style through ICT usage. Community Services Award is any application software, hardware or its combination to support the community in Brunei Darussalam with the aim to promote the rights and needs of particular groups; or to improve the wellbeing, quality of life and standard of living of the community with the ultimate intent to bridge the digital divide. Young Developers Award is meant for the most innovative ICT software, hardware or integrated solution developed by a participant under the age of 12. Through the Yong Developers Award, AITI hopes to generate the interest and support from the younger generation in ICT.

A series of workshops will be held from April onwards. This will be open to all interested participants of BICTA 2014. All schools and local ICT companies having their own ICT products and services are encouraged to participate. Application form can be obtained online from www.bicta.gov.bn. The deadline for submission online or to AITI’s office is on 11th August 2014.

Image courtesy of AITI

Khairi, one of the recipients from the AITI Grant

Liam of MeSixty, one of the recipients from the AITI Grant

Group photo with the Minister

Total showing the spirit

Yves Grosjean, the General Manager of Total (Brunei), is an avid sailor and he recently competed in a friendly race at the Regatta Brunei Darussalam 2014 with his associates from Total (Brunei). His team came fourth in the invitational race in the private sector category. It’s all about the experience, the team work and the spirit that the organisation had last Sunday. It was good to see them participating in this prestigious event. Hope to see you guys competing again next year. Images courtesy of Total (Brunei).

Team Total posing for the camera in last Sunday’s Regatta Brunei Darussalam 2014 at the Royal Wharf

Yves Grosjean, the General Manager of Total (Brunei) and Rasimoon Adinin of Total

Team Total in action

Team Total in action

That’s a cool t-shirt for the event

Total team high in spirit during the race

Charity booth for rent

Today’s the last day to register

Interested to rent a booth? Go to our website www.larianamaltongkatputih.com and you may get your downloadable forms there. Today is the last day of submission, the 5th of March at the 2nd floor, Bahagian keusahawanan & Pekerjaan, bangunan kementerian kebudayaan, belia dan sukan. #Brunei Full payment is needed upon submission and we will issue a receipt. Don’t hesitate to give this number 8659779 a ring.

Save a life

Blood donation today at The Airport Mall organised by Pizza Hut Brunei starting 2pm later




Written by alin. Posted in News, RA News

Food sampling by bruneihalal 

bruneihalal held a sampling session at Supa save Seria last Saturday, 1st March 2014 from 1 to 6pm and the event was a success as the public had a sampling taste of bruneihalal products. They also had special promotion where customers will be given bruneihalal merchandise when they buy their products last Saturday. For your info, bruneihalal’s locally-manufactured dipping sauces have already been out on shelves in the country. In the near future, bruneihalal will be introducing their frozen range to add to its array of products, which to date include sparkling juices, Dishes of India meal accompaniments, cooking sauces and microwavable rice. Supa save is just one of many major grocer chains in Brunei which carry bruneihalal branded products. You can visit their website at www.-brunei-halal.com or the brand’s official Facebook (Brunei Halal) for a list of supermarkets which retail bruneihalal products.

bruneihalal team recently at Supa Save Seria for their food sampling

Royal charm at CNY event

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at Prime Minister’s Office and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pg Anak Isteri Pg Anak Sarah and members of the Royal Family with the Chinese Community (Tiong Hwa) at the ICC yesterday. Click image to enlarge. Image courtesy of Vincent Hong.

This is another get together event with His Majesty and the members of the Royal Family where members of the Chinese community hosted the annual Lunar New Year celebrations at the International Convention Centre.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at Prime Minister’s Office and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pg Anak Isteri Pg Anak Sarah attended the Chinese New Year event.

Their Majesties were feted with ancient and modern performances and there was also an exhibition to showcase the traditional Chinese wedding ceremonies. This annual event started back in 2006 and it’s under the flagship of the Tiong Hwa community that is funded by 51 associations.

I missed the earlier performances as I was catching up the first half of the Oscars and of course, I wanted to see my friend Hui Chiet in the traditional Chinese wedding gown 😀

The 86th Oscars

Did you catch the Oscars?

My predictions were 70/30 for the Oscars. Though 12 Years A Slave won Best Picture, it was Alfonso Cuáron’s Gravity that grabbed most of the awards (7 out of 9 awards). 12 Years A Slave had three Oscars – Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Gravity picked Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects. Yes, Gravity does deserved all these accolades and my prediction for the Best Picture were between both 12 Years A Slave and Gravity. I recently purchased Gravity on 3D Blu-Ray and even cinemas in Singapore have re-released the movies on IMAX 3D for Gravity. It was my 2nd top movie of 2014 and it has a high replay value. Well done, Alfonso, and I also love your work on Children of Men. Epic!!!

For your info, Brad Pitt is one of the producers for 12 Years A Slave. Awesome!! It’s another big win for Steve McQueen (director and producer) after winning the Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama and BAFTA’s Best Film. So it’s no surprise that a movie about slavery will pick top honours. I have watch this movie as well and it was a pretty disturbing experience but a powerful one. It’s one of those movies that I will watch once and let it be a memory. It’s unfortunate that the movie won’t be making it Brunei screens but you can probably get hold of it on DVD or Blu-ray.

Perhaps the biggest losers are American Hustle as they were nominated in 10 categories but went home with none. David O. Russell, the director of American Hustle, has claimed zero awards in the five nominations he had in the past five years. He lost out in Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter and now American Hustle. The other nominations he had was for Adapted Screenplay for American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook. Oh well, Russell, but a consolation perhaps is that both Gangs of New York (2002) and True Grit (2010) had 10 Oscars nomination and won none.

I was hoping for Leonardo to bag the Best Actor award but he missed out yet again. He was nominated for Best Actor in The Aviator (2005), Blood Diamond (2007) and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1994) as Best Supporting Actor. In the end, he lost out to first time Oscar nominee, Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club which I have yet to catch.

Overall, I enjoyed the Oscars hosted by Ellen DeGeneres and perhaps the biggest news of the Oscars for Ellen was the retweets that she had that had at least 2 million tweets alone and crashed Twitter for a moment. Mmmm it seems people are still used to the word “selfie” while “usie” hasn’t really picked up. For your info, “usie” is a group version for selfie.

Do check out The Popcorn Panel for our thoughts on the Oscars. Till then, enjoy the week 😀

The Winners Lists.

Best Picture • 12 Years a Slave
Best Actor in a Leading Role • Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Actress in a Leading Role • Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role • Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role • Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Best Animated Feature • Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho)
Best Cinematography • Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki)
Best Costume Design • The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin)
Best Directing • Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)
Best Documentary Feature • 20 Feet from Stardom (Morgan Neville, Gil Friesen, Caitrin Rogers)
Best Documentary Short • The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life (Malcolm Clarke, Nicholas Reed)
Best Film Editing • Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger)
Best Foreign Language Film • The Great Beauty (Italy)
Best Makeup and Hairstyling • Dallas Buyers Club (Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews)
Best Original Score • Gravity (Steven Price)
Best Original Song • Let It Go – Frozen
Best Production Design •The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn)
Best Animated Short Film • Mr. Hublot (Laurent Witz, Alexandre Espigares)
Best Live Action Short Film • Helium (Anders Walter, Kim Magnusson)
Best Sound Editing • Gravity (Glenn Freemantle)
Best Sound Mixing • Gravity (Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro)
Best Visual Effects • Gravity (Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, Neil Corbould)
Best Adapted Screenplay• 12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)
Best Original Screenplay • Her (Spike Jonze)

The producers of 12 Years A Slave with their Oscars for Best Picture

The guys behind Frozen for winning Best Animated Feature. Awesome!!

The Best Actor, The Best Actress, The Best Supporting Actress and The Best Supporting Actor 😀

Alfonso Cuarón with his Oscar for Best Direction in Gravity 😀

12 Years A Slave – one of the most engrossing movies yet disturbing at the same time. Verdict: 8.5

I enjoyed American Hustle and it’s sad that David O.Russell’s movie failed to pick an award despite the 10 nominations.

I was rooting for Leonardo DiCaprio to win the Best Actor for his portrayal in The Wolf of Wall Street

The most retweeted picture in history shot by Samsung Note 3 of Ellen’s phone but at back stage, she switched back to your iPhone. Sneaky!!!



Written by alin. Posted in RA News

Regatta Brunei Darussalam 2014 

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan smiles as he leads the Regatta Brunei Darussalam 2014 committee team

The Regatta Brunei Darussalam 2014 was another spectacular event and give it another 2 to 3 more years before it will be one of the most sought events in the Brunei calendar. I only turned up in the afternoon and it was scorching hotttt…… I have lots of appreciation for those who take part in this event because it’s not easy to be under the hot weather for many hours.

One of the races that I missed was the private sector race which was won by BIBD “A”, followed by BIBD “B” and third place went to Royal Brunei Airlines. Total (Brunei) and TAIB finished 4th and 5th respectively. There were more races in the morning that I missed out. There was even a crash in the powerboat category when one of the powerboats struck a wood according to a source.

For your info, The Regatta Brunei Darussalam was initiated by Al-Marhum Sultan Hj Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien and now the event has been revived by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan. The prestigious event took part at the Royal Wharf.

Perhaps the highlight of Regatta Brunei Darussalam 2014 is the race which His Majesty and the Crown Prince participated in yesterday. His Majesty led the Regatta Brunei Darussalam Committee Team A and finished first place. His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office led the Committee Team B and finished second place. Third place went to the “Titled Persons”, a team led by chief of Adat Istiadat Negara Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Abdul Aziz Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Abu Bakar.

I don’t have the result of the race but will post some later this afternoon. For now, just enjoy the pictures I took. I shall be posting more pictures from other sources too as I wasn’t there for the whole event. Thank you Hui Chiet and Lois for the company and I hope you enjoyed the boat experience under the hot sun 😀

Congrats – Hui Chiet & Ivan 

This is the second Registry of Marriage (ROM) that I attended and I would like to wish my close friend Hui Chiet on her new milestone as she signed her vows to be legally married to Ivan. All the best guys and thank you so much for the invitation to witness your special event. Enjoy the new journey ahead.

Ivan and Hui Chiet Chu at the ROM at the Supreme Court last weekend




Written by alin. Posted in DPMM FC, News, RA News

DPMM FC setting pace 

Two out of two. DPMM FC have definitely improved from their previous season in terms of results in having consecutive victories though it’s still early days. Steve Kean’s influence on DPMM FC is gradually showing dividends. Last night, DPMM FC scored a deserved victory against Warriors FC 2-0 after a much improvement display in the second half. Tosi Rodrigo and Rosmin Kamis (Bobby) scored the goals while new signing Roy O’Donovan was denying two scoring opportunities, one being ruled offside.

It was also DPMM FC’s first home game in the S•League but a forgettable first half performance. The home side lacked the final third in attack and played “too direct” football with long predicted passes which the visitors had less trouble to deal with. Ironically the best chance went to the Warriors as striker Nicholas Velez’s unmarked header went straight to Wardun Yussof in a point blank save. Both Miroslavic Pejic and Velez were a constant threat but both central defenders, Shahrul and Boris Raspudic, were excellent in defence, tackling with precision, blocking scoring opportunities and dominating in the air.

The second half was a much different affair. DPMM FC looked hungrier than the two and it was no surprise the home team scored the opening goal through Tosi in the 49th minute. He benefited from a deflection as his shot dipped in, catching the Warriors keeper off guard.

After the goal, DPMM FC piled in more pressure. Subhi Abdillah, Joe Gamble and Roberto Alviz were combining well at the right hand side and most of the attacks came from that area. DPMM FC’s marquee signing player Roy O’Donovan was preferred to their regular scorer Shahrazen Said and he had two scoring opportunities. One was ruled offside which the linesman didn’t give the benefit of the doubt as it looked onside by the spectator’s angle. The other was a penalty claim where O’Donovan was allegedly foul by Warriors Shi Jiayi in the box but the appeal fell on deaf ears.

“Bobby” and Boris could have extended the lead. In the 62nd minute, Captain “Bobby” volleyed a perfect cross from Subhi but his effort went wide. The Croatian defender headed a Bobby corner just above the bar in the 75th minute. Just before added time, “Bobby” scored a late cushion goal as he shot his own rebound effort off the post to the relief of the DPMM FC fans.

Boris Raspudic of DPMM FC was dominant at the back and Steve Kean chose him as his Man of the Match for last night’s 2-0 win over Warriors FC

The win put Brunei DPMM FC on the summit of the S•League table after two games. They are the only team with a 100% record and yet to concede a goal. The other team also in contention is Tampines Rovers FC who will play their second game tonight against Courts Young Lions.

DPMM FC’s Steve Kean spoke to the media after the match and he highlighted about the issue of “trust” within his team. “At half-time, I told them they had to trust each other a little more with the ball. Courage doesn’t always mean headers or tackles, it is also passing the ball to your team mate and trusting him,” said Kean.

“In the heat of the game they were just hitting the ball up the pitch – and that’s not something we do during training,” added Kean.

When asked about the rotation of the roster, Kean said that there will be times the players won’t be having a good game or they might get tired and the bench will get more opportunities. The players still need to get to know each other on the pitch and there is no other way to get to know each other other than playing minutes. “I’m still sticking to this team for now,” said Kean, “But doesn’t mean that I won’t change anyone at all and we have exceptional back up, a very strong bench.”

Prolific striker Shahrazen Said has yet to earn any minutes in playing time for DPMM FC. Fans are hoping to see him in action in future matches.

DPMM FC next match will be against Home United FC at Jalan Besar Stadium on 13th March 2014. I won’t be surprise to see a lot of Brunei supporters there since it’s the school holidays. The next home game for DPMM FC will be on the 23rd March against Tampines Rovers which will be another tough game as they are the defending champions of the S•League.

For now, DPMM FC’s confidence in the dressing room is high after grabbing two wins out of two and setting the pace in the new season of the S•League.

This is a great moment shot after Bobby scored the second goal in the dying minutes to make it 2-0. Image courtesy of S•League website.

DPMM FC vs Warriors FC last night

Subhi defending against the Warriors

Shahrul was dominant in defence

The ball boy had to rearrange the billboard

Fans of DPMM FC last night

Sairol being consoled by Pejic of Warriors after the challenge

The challenge

A foul wasn’t given but a corner kick instead

Before the match at the dressing room

Roy Donovan played better in this match and unlucky not to have scored on two occasions

Steve Kean shared that “trust” was missing from the first half and it was a turn around after the second half


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Written by alin. Posted in RA News



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