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Posts Tagged ‘brunei’


It’s Monday :D

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Bersama Rakyat BSB 

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam during the meet-and-greet at the get together celebration with the people of Brunei

The celebration for the Bersama Rakyat in conjunction with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s 70th Birthday ended at the Brunei-Muara District which took place at Taman SOAS yesterday. Normally it’s meant to be the biggest of all celebration among all the districts in Brunei. Last year the celebration coincided with my sister’s wedding in August.

Most of the pictures you will see below are the pictures behind the scenes and they contributed to the celebration at Taman SOAS. I would have to say that the crowd weren’t as much compared to last year. Nonetheless the mood was still high as ever. All the royalties spent quite some time with the public, taking photos and selfies. Well, it’s the best time to do so and come to think of it, I haven’t taken one with His Majesty the Sultan. Perhaps, one day InsyaAllah.

As usual, I caught the boat from Kg Tamoi and dropped at Yayasan as I don’t have to worry too much about road closure and the trouble of finding parking. This allows me a better time management too.

Oh yea, I didn’t apply for the media pass for many years though I’m a collector of passes. One reason being is that I hardly cover the official program but more of behind-the-scene pictures. I should also remind myself not to sport a bag pack while covering a Royalty event as a media. My bad.

I didn’t take much pictures as I would like to but focused on more videos. Here you go.


My boat trip to town while having O3 green tea #yummy

The Guling Tangan band livening up the mood during the celebration

With a United Daily (Miri News) reporter who has only been in Brunei for a few months and she likes working in Brunei so far

The portable steps do come in handy if you want better shots of the Royalties

A sea of people taking opportunity to take greet our ruler and also taking photos

Jackson Ting, Managing Director of D’Sunlit, has been attending the event every year and one of the biggest contributor to the celebration. In other news, he voiced out on the unprofessional behaviour of the umpires during the semifinals of the SpeedSend Cup which happened last Saturday.

Sally Pri and Vincent Hong mingling behind the scenes. These are the usual reporters I bumped into once in a while.

Taking photo with Yang Berhormat Dato Hj Mustappa, the Minister of Communications

The Minister of Communications talking to Pierre Imhof, the CEO of Baiduri Bank. Interestingly enough the Minister called for local ITs to help with the logistics (Uber like concept) to improve the transportation in Brunei. Click image to read more from the interview in The Brunei Times.

Progresif team had a special memento to His Masjety yesterday

Some of the booths that were not taken.

The public waiting for the opportunity to greet His Majesty and other members of the Royal Family

The students singing a birthday to His Majesty

The school band

The performers on the field




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.




The only way is forward

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


For the betterment 

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam during his titah and announcement of the reshuffling and appointments of the Cabinet Ministers yesterday. His Majesty the Sultan holds four posts – as the Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Minister of Defence and now Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Image courtesy of Infofoto.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince, retains his position as Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office. Image courtesy of un.org

Who’s who? This has been the talking point for the past few months. The public was teased way back in May as it was supposedly the end of the 5 year term in their respective positions as Cabinet Ministers. The announcement didn’t happen then (in May) but there was a viral message that spread through social media. It was information on the leaked version of the proposed ministers. I remember receiving it as well but to my knowledge (if I could remember), the leaked list and the actual appointments of the Cabinet Ministers didn’t have many resemblance at all. So my point is don’t rely on viral or circulated news unless it’s made official.

I am glad the wait is over and I am happy that His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, has finally reshuffled and appointed the Cabinet Ministers. According to the titah, His Majesty the Sultan carries four posts – as the Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Minister of Defence and now Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Crown Prince, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, will retain his position as Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar Hj Apong has been appointed as the new Minister of Home Affairs, after previously holding the post of Education Minister for the past five years. He was also previously Minister of Communications. Now I do hope I can address the issue especially for permanent residents of Brunei Darussalam who doesn’t have a passport but instead a “Certificate of Identity” document.

Next up is Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman who is now appointed as the Minister of Education. He has been a minister for the past ten years and he has done tremendously well as the Minister of Health (2005-2010) and Minister of Development. I am aware that things were kinda sour between us and I took full responsibility for my actions. I do hope we can work closely and hand-in-hand in the near future and for the benefit of the country.

Another minister that has retained his position is Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim and he is still the Minister of Finance II and furthermore, he is also appointed as a Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office. He’s one of the ministers that I have yet to break the ice with for all these years.

Having being entrusted by His Majesty, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, will be running his third term as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II (since 2005) and he was also being appointed as a Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office. If you see the pattern, both Pehin Rahman and Pehin Lim Jock Seng have two ministerial posts.

Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar maintained his ministerial role in Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office. If you notice now that the ministry name have changed and now it’s called Energy and Industry. Previously it was just Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office. Before he was a minister, he served as a Deputy Minister of Defence. He is perhaps one of the most active (hands-on) ministers that I have come across as he’s always mingling with the public while making his rounds on related events such as the Oil & Gas job fair.

Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman has been moved from the position of Minister of Home Affairs to the position of Minister of Religious Affairs. Again, he’s one of the ministers that I never had the chance to talk or interview.

Now next up are the promotions to ministerial levels. First up with have Dato Paduka Hj Bahrin Abdullah who is now our Minister of Development. He previous was the Deputy Minister of Finance. He is also the chairman of Royal Brunei Airlines.

Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong has been promoted as the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism after holding the Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office. Now this is interesting. This is the first time that I noticed the word tourism used for a ministerial position. Does this mean that Brunei will soon turn their attention to lure in more foreigners to Brunei? Hopefully there will be increased in budget for the Brunei Tourism Development. The previous ministerial post was called the Ministry of Primary Resources and Industry. Anyway, Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong is also the chairman of Brunei Economic Development Board.

Dato Paduka Hj Mustappa Hj Sirat was a former Deputy Defence Minister. He is now appointed as the Minister of Communications. Would that mean he will be automatically be the chairman of the BIT Council? Most likely he will be and this will give more opportunity for me to get to know hime better in person.

We also have a new minister for Culture, Youth and Sports and he is Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof. He previously hold the post as Deputy Minister of Home Affairs. With an army background, let’s see what changes can be made especially to our national athletes. Then again, budget is always the main issue.

One of the appointments that I was very grateful and overwhelmed was the new Minister of Health. He adds dynamism to the organisation and a well respected figure in University Brunei Darussalam where he still holds his post as the Vice-Chancellor. He is no other than Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain Hj Hanafi. He previously held the position as the Permanent Secretary of Education. Of all the current appointments, he had the biggest jump of the lot.



Dato Paduka Hj Bahrin Abdullah who is now our Minister of Development and currently also holds the post as chairman of Royal Brunei Airlines. Image courtesy of The Brunei Times.

Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof, the new Minister for Culture, Youth and Sports. Image courtesy of The Brunei Times.

Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain Hj Hanafi, new Minister of Health cum Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

Dato Paduka Hj Mustappa Hj Sirat takes his new position as Minister of Communications. Image courtesy of The Brunei Times.


All the previous Deputy Ministers are being replaced with familiar faces during their previous roles as permanent secretaries.

Dato Paduka Hj Hamdan Hj Abu Bakar was promoted from permanent secretary (security and enforcement) at the Prime Minister’s Office to Deputy Minister at the same ministry.

Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Roselan Hj Mohd Daud has also been promoted to a Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, after heading the PENGGERAK Unit as permanent secretary since 2014. I had a strong feeling that he will be promoted one day and he’s a very nice guy.

First Admiral Dato Seri Pahlawan Abdul Aziz Hj Mohd Tamit is now the Deputy Minister of Defence. Previously he was the Deputy Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.

Dato Paduka Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah is now the Deputy Minister of Finance and also holds position as chairman of DST and Jerudong Park Medical Centre. He was previously a permanent secretary in the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources.

Also sharing the same position as Deputy Finance Minister is Dato Paduka Hj Hisham Hj Mohd Hanifah. He was previously the permanent secretary (policy and investment) at the Ministry of Finance.

Dato Paduka Hj Erywan Pehin Dato Pekerma Jaya Hj Mohd Yusof has been promoted to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade where he was previously the permanent secretary. Mind you that there wasn’t any Deputy Minister for MOFAT for many, many years.

Pg Dato Paduka Hj Bahrom Pg Hj Bahar, has been moved from his post as Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, to become Deputy Minister of Education.

Dato Paduka Hj Abd Mokti Hj Daud is now Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs and he was previously Brunei Darussalam Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Dato Paduka Hj Suhaimi Hj Gapar has been promoted from his permanent secretary role to Deputy Minister of Development. This position has been vacant for many years so it’s good to see that there is a deputy role in this ministry.

The ministries that have vacant post in the “Deputy” level are Primary Resources and Tourism, Communications and Culture, Youth and Sports and Home Affairs.

Congratulations to all the Cabinet Ministers that were being appointed and it feels refreshing to see a new line-up of leaders taking new responsibilities to move the nation forward and also uphold His Majesty the Sultan and the country’s vision.


Dato Paduka Hj Hamdan Hj Abu Bakar, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office. Image courtesy of Borneo Bulletin.

Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Roselan Hj Mohd Daud, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office. Image courtesy of The Brunei Times.

Dato Paduka Hj Erywan Pehin Dato Pekerma Jaya Hj Mohd Yusof, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. I only saw him during last year’s Asean Summit. Many positive vibes about him. Image courtesy of The Brunei Times.

His Majesty urged the new government cabinet to work as a team and make the country prosperous.

“Although they are of different ministries, they are still members of a team having a common objective: to make the country prosperous. Working as a team, each one of them is expected to contribute or at least lend support to any idea or proposal for the good of other ministries and for the sake of the country,” the monarch said.

“It is my hope that the next line-up of leaders will not ignore the ethics of being fellow members in a team. They are expected to be wise in making decisions and weighing up any matter that has to do with the country and the government.”

“The question is will we be able to preserve and continue to enjoy these favours? It is here where the issue lies. Our religion has provided the guidance that such favours could be preserved, but it still all depends on our own attitude.”

“Justice is to be delivered on the people, not for oneself. Justice for self-interest is not justice but (a form of) cruelty. That’s why at times readiness to listen to good ideas from others below you, or listening to complaints or grievances from others could be deemed to have satisfied the need to be just.”



Of course, in every reshuffling and appointments, the public is always eager to see who will be the leaders in the respective cabinet of the Brunei Government. Change is always good and responses from the public have been encouraging and perhaps shocking to some. I’m certainly shocked of two non-appointments. First is the non-renewal of His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was one of the longest serving Ministers in Brunei Darussalam. He was appointed as Foreign Minister ever since Brunei gained independence in year 1984. Thank you for your leadership for the past decades and Brunei has good bilateral relationship with regional countries and internationally and we are truly grateful for that.

The other non-renewal appointment was former Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman. There have been rumours that she could have been promoted but it wasn’t to be. Then again, she has served His Majesty’s government for more than 35 years and she has retired previously. She has served the country to her best and now she can retire on a high note.

There are other five ministers who were not being appointed – former Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar; former Minister of Communications Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar; former Minister of Health Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Mohd Yusof; former Minister of Religious Affairs Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Pg Hj Abdul Rahman; and former Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah.

His Majesty the Sultan thanked all for their service and contribution to the nation.




Wake up call

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Brunei Travel Fair

Mark your dates this weekend and plan your travels 😀



The cracks are showing

[Edited]: Is Brunei going through a recession? It’s still early days to say for that but I know that some of my friends’ businesses are feeling the pinch(es). These are just from my observations as well as business environment shared by my peers. Let’s not forget some of the outside factors as well as policies that can influence the Brunei economy.

Let’s lay down some scenarios here from my knowledge. I know there could be more (factors) but I will just based them on my findings. First is the falling of oil prices. I remember once a top senior official said that such fluctuating prices won’t affect the Brunei economy earlier this year. However, I’m pretty sure it did (affect) in a long run as oil prices hasn’t been encouraging and it has a detrimental effect on the Brunei economy. Furthermore, at some point, Brunei’s export on crude and oil hasn’t been blossoming like the old days. Have the oil prices affected oil production in Brunei? Earlier this year, it was reported that Brunei’s exports went down by 39% (source: Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE).



It’s no big surprise that oil prices is a big factor here (weaker demand, higher supply). Imagine the previous year that the price of oil was at least USD $113 per barrel and now it’s averaging at USD $50 per barrel. It was also reported in Reuters that despite the improvement in prices, worldwide production won’t be producing last much as it’s “uneconomical” if oil prices are at USD $50 or below.

With low demand for export and also lower oil prices, this will mean that money flowing into the Sultanate will be lower than usual. This would also mean less activities or projects coming from Brunei Shell Joint Ventures or any companies relating to Brunei Shell.

Early in March 2015 during the Legislative Council, the Ministry of Finance that Brunei will be in the deficit in terms of spending (BND 1.58 billion) and this is related to the fall in oil prices. Did you know that 90% of the export of Brunei is oil and gas? So this is what we always mean when we say that we are relying too much on oil and gas.


Now I have touched on oil prices. How about other factors? One thing that has affected Brunei is the recent policy introduced by Authoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) – the total debt service ratio or loan cap (at 60 per cent for those earning a minimum net salary of $1,750). So who will be affected because of this policy? Not the consumers but the car dealers as sales has seen a drop of at least 15% and it keeps dropping every month ever since the introduction of the loan cap in June 2015.

If the car dealers are affected, this would also affect the finance companies such as Baiduri Bank and BIBD At-tamwil who finance the hire purchase of the cars. NBT (Toyota) used to sell an average of 300 units every month but recently the figures have gone below 200 units. Back in 2012, at one stage, cars sold in a month would break the 1,500 mark but recently it has lesser numbers (1,137 cars in July 2015 and 1,005 cars in August 2015). Last weekend, I even bumped into an NBT roadshow at The Mall (which is quite rare) and one of the representatives said that business wasn’t good so they needed to do more roadshow and promotion.

Yes, the business side of the automotive industry is feeling the pinch but the idea of the policy by AMBD is to ensure that the residents of Brunei will have enough savings and finances instead of using their disposable income for loan repayments. With the current situation of oil prices, such move (of the policy) has not benefited the local economy as loans are hard to come by especially those in the lower tier income group. In a long run, the TDSR or loan cap will be good for the country as people will have more disposable income than rather ending up using majority of their salaries to pay off loans. Remember the credit card policy? That really worked well, right? and this shouldn’t be a problem. It will just take time to adjust to the new financial environment. Car dealers will have to come up with better deals or promotions just like how Boustead are currently executing with their promotions with Suzuki and Nissan (tablets and smartphones respectively) to attract customers.


Another theory that cannot be discounted is the fact that the Malaysian ringgit has caught interest of Bruneians. The exchange rate now is BND 1 to RM 3 which is a real steal for us. For many Bruneians, Miri is still considered a shopping paradise. Just imagine this – It was reported that over two million arrivals from Brunei to Miri alone in 2013. I’m pretty sure the statistics will be even more in Year 2015 with the current weak currency of the Ringgit. Shopping will be cheaper and they will even buy their groceries across the border as it’s a cost saving measure.

So who are at the losing end? Of course, our local retailers and the department store owners. I interviewed two sources on how the supermarket business in Kuala Belait and Bandar and both gave similar responses – “people prefer shopping and spending across the border.” One commented that usually after Hari Raya season, their supermarket business is slower but this year, it’s even quieter and slower than last year. Even the extension of the opening hours across the border is not helping the Brunei economy.

Now that I have laid some of my findings based on reports and interviews, it’s not too premature to say that Brunei is undergoing a small recession – budget cuts, deficits, lower car sales and lower revenue in local supermarket as some of the effects.


Need action, less talking: I have attended many lectures, talks, keynote addresses, you name it,  for the past 10 years and the same topic remains – “Diversification” and we all have become accustomed to the over-abused word but it has only become a mere phrase than a means to an end. From the progress of Brunei, we have taken baby steps to diversify by creating new industries – pharmaceutical, the halal brand and also the Mitsubishi Gas Chemicals and Itochu Corporation from Japan for the methanol plant at the Sg Liang Industrial Park (SPARK). These are all good signs to come as it creates more job employment.

Even earlier this year, Brunei Economic Development Board and South Korean company DongYang GangChul, said that the BND 107 million project at the Bukit Panggal Industrial Park in Tutong will be a major boost to Brunei’s economy. The idea is the plant will produce billet and aluminium extrusion and export back to Sout Korea. I’m not really sure what are the status of this project as I have not seen any updates.

My biggest curiousity is the Pulau Muara Besar (PMB) project. There have been many mentions of the PMB project but as far as I know there is very little happening as the big players such as Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd, a petrochemical firm, will only begin their refinery operations by early 2017. Of course, this is no easy project and it requires intensive homework and making sure all the criteria are met. This is perhaps the biggest project for the Brunei economy as the refinery will cost at least BND 4 billion. But now it’s more of a waiting game until early 2017.

From the looks of it, Brunei needs a good number of Foreign Direct Investment, just similarly like Hengyi Industries. It’s never an easy task to bring foreign investors to pump in money into the economy. I believe that Brunei is a very ideal hub for this kind of industries and of course, the foreigners will need our vote of confidence in order to succeed. The PMB project would have been talking point (with action) if nothing was delayed and the refinery plant up and running by now. Maybe I’m just tired listening to the same old phrase and the emphasis of “diversification”.

On a positive spin, what’s trending (and booming now) are the influx of food and beverage outlets such as Rack & Brew, The Library Cafe, Ner|Dee Cafe, Chatime and coming soon (end of the year), Cinnabon. If you are thinking of opening a business, then F&B is a better approach as we still have the culture to dine out or even limteh. And let’s not forget the upcoming travel fair by Royal Brunei and we Bruneians love to travel (so maybe, just maybe, people are saving to spend on traveling).

What’s my outlook on Brunei 2016? It’s hard to say. I just hope that we can help one another and let our egos down that Brunei needs a wake up call. Our voices can be a stimulus and hopefully the Government of Brunei and the private sector can work together to tackle a growing (bad) seed before it can turn to a plant.

This article doesn’t represent the opinions of others apart from my own. I typed this because I feel it’s very relevant to our community and I also want to help to contribute to the betterment of our Brunei economy. If you have any queries or comments, you can drop me an email ranoadidas gmail and I’m more than happy to hear from your end. Sources of facts: The Brunei Times.




Brunei Yakin

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


The story so far 

The medal tally for now for 8th June

Brunei’s SEA Games update: I’ve been missing a lot of the sporting events in Singapore lately and I can’t wait to go and watch other remaining sports. The one that I will covering is the Jumping Individual of the Equestrian competition where our national hero Pg Nasir reached the finals after qualifying in the heats yesterday. Well done, buddy 😀

So how did the rest fare? Currently there are three medals lesser than the previous Games in Myanmar 2013. Back then, they had one gold, one silver and six bronze medals. I believe not all competition have completed yet. There are chances still for equestrian and pencat silat categories for Brunei to win medals.

The Wushu Team was unable to achieve their target of gold as the team of Faustina Woo Wai Sii and Lee Ying Shi settled for bronze. The same also went for the Men’s Duel, the first medal achievement for the men’s category won by the brothers – Mohd Adi Sya’rani Roslan and Mohd Sufi Shayiran Roslan.

Another worth mentioning is The Royal Bees, Brunei’s netball team, who reached their target for a podium finish after beating Myanmar and the Philippines for a top four finish. Well done to the team, the head coach and the management team behind Royal Bees. I’ve seen the hard work they have invested in terms of training and even flying overseas to compete against other countries.

Sepak Takraw also saw Brunei bagged two more bronze medal finishes. Good luck to the remaining contestants from Brunei. Though the numbers of Brunei contestants have been lowered, Brunei still showing some positive results. A gold medal would be a huge bonus for the country. Let’s hope Brunei to finish on a high note.


The Men’s Duel and Women’s Duel for Wushu achieved bronze medal status. Image courtesy of Lee Ying Shi.

The Sepak Tekraw team winning two bronze medals. Image courtesy of The Brunei Times.

The Royal Bees achieving a podium finish as well as bronze medal

A proud moment for two best friends – Tia Jaafar and Hafizah. Image courtesy of @redtwone

Mohd Abdillah failed to qualify for the semi finals in petanque. Image courtesy of The Brunei Times.

The men’s fencing lost out in the quarter-finals against Singapore in the Men’s Team Sabre last weekend

Brunei u-23 team lost all their matches in the football tournament. Faiq Jefri Bolkiah scored one of the overall two goals. Image courtesy of SEA Games Facebook Page.

Taufiq Murni lost his chance for a top 8 finish in the 9-ball pool category. Image courtesy of Borneo Bulletin.

One of the Wushu contestant. Image courtesy of SEA Games Facebook Page.

Brunei sailing team didn’t manage to impress as debutant Lim Jenn Kiat finished last in the youth laser radial (sailing). It will be a good exposure for him for future competition. Image courtesy of of SEA Games Facebook Page.

Another potential medal achiever for Pg Nasir. He breezed in the qualifiers yesterday and looking forward for the finals tomorrow (Wednesday). He said in a short interview that he’s very proud to represent Brunei where it’s an international show in Europe or in the SEA Games. He feels very blessed despite the challenges of not riding his own personal horse but still managed to bring the best of his performance. Good luck, bro, and see you soon.

The Brunei contingent during the opening ceremony. Image courtesy of of SEA Games Facebook Page.

One of the performances during the opening ceremony of the SEA Games 2015 in Singapore. Image courtesy of of SEA Games Facebook Page.

What an opening!! Image courtesy of of SEA Games Facebook Page.



No 2019

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Brunei withdraw as hosts  

His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah (7th L seated), the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council, in a group photo with fellow members of the Southeast Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) Council during a meeting at the Raffles City Convention Centre yesterday. Infofoto

The notice from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports

I didn’t see this coming but then again, it’s a wise decision and to be honest with themselves that Brunei is not ready to host the SEA Games 2019. It was announced yesterday by His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC), and Hj Muhd Zamri Dato Paduka Hj Hamdani, BDNOC vice-president after the netball match between Brunei and the Philippines at OCBC Arena Hall 1, Singapore.

The confirmation came from the Brunei government that Brunei won’t be hosting the SEA Games in 2019. Even with four years to spare, the reasons stated were 1) lacking of sport facilities 2) accommodation and 3) preparation for the athletes.

I believe they probably missed out an important element but then again, all these reasons given also boils down to this unquoted reason – Budget. In my opinion, when budget is available and sufficient enough, these three reasons won’t be an issue.

I totally disagree with the last reason on preparation for athletes. Won’t hosting a prestigious event like SEA Games will boost more confidence and preparation for the athletes and mind you, four years or even six years is a great build up for a small growing nation like Brunei. It will ensure that respective coaches in Brunei will be focused in improving the athletes with four years to spare. Preparation is of course important but it’s not sufficient reason to put support the Government’s decision to pull out from hosting the SEA Games. Even with less proper preparation with the current athletes, they still send them to Singapore to compete. So what difference does it make if Brunei pulled the plug for hosting, right?

The decision also shows how poor the planning have been for Brunei. Two years ago, Brunei was given the opportunity to host in 2019 if I’m not mistaken. So that’s like six years ahead of time to prepare. The timeline hasn’t been the halfway mark but they took the easy way out by surrendering the given opportunity. Where’s the sense of commitment from the decision makers? Once you break that commitment, then you will also lose the trust from the community.

Well, on the positive note, this will be more excuse for Brunei to be more “prepared” to accept or bid to host the SEA Games in the distant future. Whether this will make Brunei more complacent, I don’t know. But it’s good to know that they are honest and blunt before more damage can be done.

On another positive note, Brunei have shown improvements in the netball competition and now they are guaranteed medals too (the first time for Brunei). Now how can we say that’s not good preparation? That’s heck of a preparation. Enough for my rant from Ipoh 😀


Yes, Brunei made it to the semi-finals and guaranteed a medal at least

His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah with senior officers from the BDNOC and Ministry of CYS and the Brunei netball team yesterday.



Welcome Bernd Siffling 😀  

Maju Motors Sdn Bhd, the sole dealership for Volkswagen vehicles in Brunei, today announced the appointment of Bernd Siffling as its new General Manager.

Mr Siffling, a German national, will oversee all aspects of the Volkswagen business operation in the Sultanate.

He brings with him over 20 years of experience in the global automotive industry. Having started his career in 1995 at Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles in Germany, he went on to handle retail and wholesale functions in Scandinavia. This was followed by various management positions for Mercedes-Benz in the Asia-Pacific region.

Prior to joining Maju Motors, Mr Siffling headed the parts logistics for a Japanese car brand, and then managed the supply chain for a Korean brand in the Middle East and North African regions.


Bernd Siffling, new General Manager of Maju Motors Sdn Bhd (4th from left) with Dionne from Volkswagen Singapore (2nd from right) and members of the local media yesterday

Chan Key Hong, the Executive Director of Maju Motors, expressed a warm welcome for Mr Siffling. “We are delighted to have someone as experienced as Bernd here in Brunei, to consolidate the growth of Volkswagen in the market,” he said.

Mr Siffling himself perceives a bright future for Volkswagen in Brunei. “I can already see that Bruneian car buyers are recognising the importance of choosing technologically advanced, high quality cars with zero compromises on safety,” he said. “We will further expand our product line-up in the near future, catering to a wide range of buyers, while providing an even higher level of customer service for existing Volkswagen owners in Brunei.”

I’m sorry I couldn’t be present yesterday as I’m still outstation and I’m looking forward to meet you in person. You will love our peaceful country and welcome to Brunei 😀




Till next time in 2019

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Half chance gone 

The first team line-up last night. Image courtesy of Fazizul Haqimie.

Close but no cigar. Brunei was pretty close. Well, result based yes but performance wise, Brunei still have more rooms for improvement. As Mike Wong, interim head coach of Brunei Darussalam, said that Brunei need more international matches even friendly ones. Last night Brunei failed to capitalize on their home soil advantage as they went down to Chinese Taipei 2-0 and lost out on aggregate 2-1. Brunei Darussalam initially had a slim away lead after winning 1-0 in Chinese Taipei, giving our country a much needed hope to qualify for the next round of the qualifying group stage for the World Cup 2018.

Brunei Darussalam started pretty well and it was the influence of Ak Fakharazzi that create Brunei earlier chances. But Brunei’s shape changed and their performance dipped as a whole when he was taken off early in the game due to a back injury. Brunei’s attacking force was then depleted with Azwan Ali not being featured due to injury as well. It was a performance below average from Brunei and let this be a good lesson for Brunei and also NFABD that more international matches would have benefited the team’s performance.

Chinese Taipei were more composed of the two teams and they didn’t seem troubled by the huge turnout (more than 10,000 spectators). They played a possession game and controlled the match in different patches and looked more solid as a team whereas Brunei struggled to get 5 to 6 passes together. The visitors could have bagged in more goals if it wasn’t for the heroics of Wardun Yussof in goal. He kept the scoreline more respectable and he did the best he could for the team.

Mike Wong didn’t want to fault his players individually and he was happy with the team as a whole with the short given time to gel as a unit. He shared how Chinese Taipei were more experienced and they had more matches and hence looked more composed than Brunei. The bright point for the two performances from Brunei is that the head coach saw the level increased from the team as compared to five years ago. He advised that Brunei should move forward and see the development in the next six months for the national team and sought for long term goals.

Chinese Taipei head coach Chen Kuei-Jen looked happier during the press conference and he was confident that his team can beat Brunei at their own soil ground. He was disappointed that his team couldn’t muster any goals despite dominating in the first leg. He wasn’t surprised when Brunei opted for a defensive approach to shield Brunei’s one goal lead. On a good note, he was impressed with Brunei’s progress in the football scene and it was his first taste of what Brunei is capable of.

Goals by Wang Ruei and Turkish born Chun En-Le sealed the victory for the visitors while Brunei will have to wait till 2019 for another opportunity for a pre-World Cup qualifying spot. Nonetheless it was a great experience for Brunei national team and also the spectators. We are still 100% behind you.


Adi Said couldn’t make an impact last night. Image courtesy of Fazizul Haqimie.

A minor scuffle. Image courtesy of Fazizul Haqimie.

Brunei Darussalam vs Chinese Taipei. Image courtesy of Fazizul Haqimie.

Brunei Darussalam vs Chinese Taipei. Image courtesy of Fazizul Haqimie.

I saw my friends from a distance

Players not happy with a referee decision

Wardun kicking a souvenir ball to a spectator after the final whistle

Hello my friend 😀

Chinese Taipei head coach lifted by his players. Image courtesy of Fazizul Haqimie.

Chinese Taipei head coach in jubilant mood during the post match interview

Mike Wong, interim head coach, wished for more friendly international matches for more experience



Have courage, Be kind

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


The New Scirocco 

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Are you Progresif? 

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Download SnapFeed 

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



Half way mark 

Brunei team posing with visiting team from Chinese Taipei in this morning’s press conference

This is it!!! Brunei is confident that they will get a result out of tomorrow’s big clash with Chinese Taipei. They have initially won the first leg 1-0 away in Chinese Taipei last Saturday. It was a historic moment for Brunei Darussalam as it is their first competitive victory in the pre-World Cup qualifying and the best part is that they achieved the result with a clean sheet away from home.

They have won have the battle but tomorrow is the bigger day. They will need to at least get a draw to get pass Chinese Taipei. The match will be held tomorrow at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium at 8:15pm. Entrance is FREE and tickets will be available at the entrance. Yes, at the entrance and the gates are opened at 5:45pm tomorrow. For the record, there are 10,000 tickets being issued though you can still enter the stadium without the tickets but the tickets printed are part of the requirement from FIFA to calculate the number of attendance for tomorrow’s match.

Of course, the maximum capacity is 20,000 and they will have proper management of allowing spectators to enter the stadium.

Azwan Salleh, captain of Brunei Darussalam, Hj Mohd Noor Hj Hamid, the team manager for Brunei Darussalam, Ameer Lani, Marketing and Communication Executive of National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam, Chen Kuei-Jen, Head Coach of Chinese Taipei and Chen Yi-Wei, Captain of Chinese Taipei in today’s press conference

Azwan Salleh, captain of Brunei Darussalam exchanging hand shakes with Chen Yi-Wei, Captain of Chinese Taipei

Azwan Salleh addressing to the media

The media at the press conference

Hj Mohd Noor Hj Hamid, the team manager for Brunei Darussalam, believes a draw is sufficient for Brunei as they have a goal advantage. He expects Brunei team to give a better performance as this will be a historic moment if they go through the preliminary stage of the World Cup qualifiers. The team manager shared that Chinese Taipei had many scoring opportunities in the last game but it was the heroics of Wardun Yussof in goal and the defence that made the victory. He encourages all the Brunei supporters to come tomorrow to catch the match against Chinese Taipei.

The Chinese Taipei head coach is also confident that they can get a result tomorrow and his players are well acclimatized to the humid weather in Brunei. Of course, he felt disappointed after the 1-0 loss at home but during training the next day, they just forget about the past and focused on the upcoming game as the 2nd match is more important than the first. He believed tomorrow’s match will be exciting for the fans of Brunei and Chinese Taipei and to the fans of football.

Azwan Salleh, the captain of Brunei team, expressed how the matches against Chinese Taipei is the biggest match of his life because it’s a qualifier for the World Cup and this is the biggest tournament that he has ever been in. He shared that this opportunity doesn’t come to Brunei all the time.

I will be expecting a full house attendance tomorrow and the crowd will be filled with yellow and black tomorrow. Can Brunei make it through the pre-qualifying stage? We shall wait and see. Good luck to the players tomorrow.


Get your tickets tomorrow at the entrance. This will be a good souvenir to keep for a very long time.

A few nights ago, Brunei made history when they scored an away victory. Can they repeat the same thing again tomorrow and qualify?


Cinderella the review 

Catching Cinderella with my siblings last night at The Mall Cineplex. A highly recommended movie for all ages and if you like Frozen, you are in for a better treat.

Check out my full review on my podcast (The Popcorn Panel) on SoundCloud on Disney’s Cinderella 2015.




Final entry for 2014?

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


The final entry of 2014? 

Ahh.. Could this be the final entry for 2014? Well, depends on my mood. I’m just back from a 10 day break and spent it in Singapore with my family. This is one reason why I simply took a rest from blogging and just enjoy my mini break. A well deserved mini break and preparing myself for 2015. This is also the first time I’ve been away in the month of December and only a total of 5 days I’m in Brunei. Yes, I definitely missed home and my friends and of course, toastmasters which I ended up going last night at UBD toastmasters meeting.

Though it was a 10 day trip, I packed myself meeting tons of friends from Singapore bloggers Tiffany Yong, Renzze and Adrian to local Singaporeans to friends in Brunei working and residing in Singapore. I also visited Madam Tussaud’s wax museum at Resorts World Sentosa with my siblings though they compared it with the UK and preferred the London version which is way bigger and better. We only lasted last less than one hour at Singapore’s so that really says a lot.

Movie wise, I surprisingly only caught two movies which was Annie 2014 (6/10) and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (6/10). There were simply not much interesting releases in the final third of December 2014. I could have watched another viewing of Gone Girl (8.5/10) which is totally uncensored as compared to the Malaysian version but gave it a pass. Do check out my full review of my Top Ten movies of 2014 on The Popcorn Panel (podcast) with my regular co-host @delgoh.

Perhaps the saddest part of December is the recent tragedy of AirAsia flight QZ8051 which is still reporting missing for the past two days. It was supposed to arrive on last Sunday morning in Singapore from Surabaya and the AirAsia Airbus lost contact a few minutes later after the pilot requested to divert the stormy path. My prayers to the 162 people on board and their family members and next of kin and friends.

I was a bit traumatized as I was catching the evening flight back to Brunei from Singapore and that’s just a trigger reaction after this becomes the fifth major airline crash in 2014. First it was the mysterious MH370, the MH17 being shot down, Tranasia Airways Flight 222 in Taiwan, Air Algerie Flight 5017 and now AirAsia QZ8051. I do hope the search of the QZ8051 will be conclusive. As of now, there are many speculations rather than conclusive findings.

On a high note, my year will end with two of my good friends getting hitched. First up is the couple of Tahir Abdullah (aka Terence Han) and Melati Dato Paduka Hj Yussof who had their nikah recently and I shall be seeing you guys early next year for your wedding celebration. The other couple is Richard To and Joanne Tan whom will be celebrating their wedding later tonight. I had the privilege to be one of the Heng Tais (brothers) and it was my first experience as well. It was pretty interesting because we all had to suit up in Power Rangers outfit *lol* Definitely something for me to remember in 2014.

If this is my final entry for 2014, I wish you all a great year ahead in 2015. Come to think of it, I still remember my resolution for 2014 but only done like 10% of it. Looks like 2015 will be an affirmation for my 2014’s resolution 😀 Happy new year to my readers and thank you for supporting me all this while.


Spend time with my siblings playing FIFA 15 on the Xbox One in Singapore. I’m surprised my younger brother is pretty good in the game.

Tiffany Yong enjoyed more of Annie 2014 than I did. The chemistry was lacking and it didn’t carry enough emotional impact like it did for me when I saw the original Annie.

Had a good dinner with Singapore bloggers Renzze (aka Karen) and Raphael at Le Steak. I suggest to order the lamb rack.

Guess who I bumped into? Oprah Winfrey 😀 … But at Madam Tuassaud’s ho ho ho

A great catch up with Yazid in Singapore. Thanks for the advanced gift bro. I shall see you in January InsyaAllah.

I didn’t foresee this coming at Orchard Road and this was taken an hour after December turned 25th.

I caught PeterPan Musical Broadway at Resorts World Sentosa. My verdict: Only a 7. Winnie enjoyed it more and it was also her first musical show experience.

The headlines to remind the public for future incidents

The Krispy Kreme colour trademark matches my Adidas outfit 😀

Congratulations Terence and Mel 😀

The missing plane AirAsia flight QZ8501

My final toastmasters meeting of 2014 at UBD last night

My first Heng Tai experience at #trickyjotowedding Check out the hashtag on IG for more updates.



The Sochi Experience

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Acer Aspire


Now available at Concepts Computer


BIBD’s latest promotion


Top up tia. Click image to enter website.


ICON Design Store 

Click image to enter ICON Design Store website


Test drive or buy a Citroën!! 

Click image to enter Citroën Brunei 



Free labour charge on repairs for Peugeot



Big Cheesy Box 

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Brunei made to the Top 10 

Representing the team from Brunei from Sungai Tali Primary School and Sayyidina Umar Al-Khattab Secondary School with their coaches and Satinah binti Hj Abang, Student Officer of Science Technology and Environment Partnership (STEP) Centre.

After entering the competition for the sixth time, Brunei finally made it to the Top 10 of the Open Category for Secondary Level. That team is a group of students from Sayyidina Umar Al-Khattab Secondary School with their team project “Robotlifter”.

Though Brunei went back empty handed, the spirit of the students were not dampened. They really had a great time and all of them didn’t expect to fly all the way to Russia to represent Brunei in the World Robot Olympiad in Sochi, Russia. They braved the cold (of Russia), the jet lag from flying and they did the best they could do with the resources given.

Brunei definitely has potential to break into the Top 3 with more competition and exposure such as participation in WRO. The next event will be hosted in Qatar in 2015 and funnily enough, they didn’t announce the following host for the year 2016.

Brunei’s participation in Qatar 2015 looks promising and I do hope this can spur more schools and students to join the Brunei Robotics Olympiad next year and you can stand a chance to represent your school in Qatar WRO 2015. The idea here is not just to represent Brunei but learn and gain more exposure and with this repeating behaviour, everything will come naturally for Bruneians and a bigger chance to break the Top 3 benchmark.

When I saw the students from Brunei did their presentation and Q&A sessions, I believe we can actually go pretty far with more resources and proper training. I salute the kids for their courage and able to speak to the public while showcasing their project.

It was also my first time experiencing how WRO was bring run and this event was no easy feat. The organisers had mixed feedback with regards to the handling issues and our LO for the Brunei team kept on changing and their English wasn’t that bad.

Hence, it made me realised how much effort the Brunei Embassy to the Russian Federation they offered to the Brunei delegate so everything would be smooth sailing. On behalf of the Brunei delegates, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Brunei Embassy especially His Excellency Haji Haini bin Haji Hashim, the Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to Russian Federation, for continuously giving us support in terms of logistics and hospitality. It was also nice of him to drop the Olympic Park every day to give moral support to the kids at their booths.

A big thank you also to the Hanafi, Pg Madihi and Natalia for helping us during our stay in Moscow and especially Sochi in the past few days. It really made our trip less of a burden and I truly appreciate the kindness and dedication from the Brunei Embassy there. Thumbs up!!

As for the students, don’t be disappointed by the result and I’m very proud that all of you made it to Russia and gave your best against 49 countries. I’m pretty sure the Ministry of Education will be pleased with Brunei’s effort for making it to the Top 10 in WRO’s history. I also hope that sponsors will come along as well to help potential students for next year’s WRO in Qatar 2015.


His Excellency Haji Haini bin Haji Hashim, the Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to Russian Federation watching the Regular competition at the World Robot Olympiad 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Thank you so much for your support and the hospitality to the Brunei delegates.

The students also managed to get their jacket signed by the Russian volunteers. All of them wore orange sweaters uniform.

Selfies with the Russians

Political move by China as they wanted Taiwan to lower down their flag and the Chinese team withdraw from the competition.

The robot made of orange.

The Gen II Robot finals between Thailand and …. Thailandd

His Excellency attending the closing ceremony which was slightly disorganised in my opinion especially coming from Russia

The Russian in green is bilingual

The Brunei Team waiting for the closing ceremony and the results

I shall see you next time, Rosmanov (Well, that’s not her name but I just feel like calling her that)

The Russian tradition with the weight bars

Host nation Russia didn’t manage to win any category but made the podium on some categories

Team Malaysia, Team Thailand and Team Taiwan dominated the World Robot Olympiad 2014 with a few gold and silver medals



The Century Run


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U at the centre of Baiduri Bank 

Baiduri Bank introduced a new campaign to celebrate with their customers and educate them on how their products and services revolve around them and everything they do at every stage and step of the way – whether it’s getting his or her first car or setting up their own businesses or building their first home or planning their wedding or their first job or first child or even when u are just enjoying everyday life.

It’s U at the centre of Baiduri Bank because U are the centre of everything we do.






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