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Posts Tagged ‘division K’


Well done, Pranika

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Pranika to compete in Jakarta 

The Sandakan Toastmasters Division Conference. Ah, I was away and visited Sandakan, Sabah, for the first time ever. I realised how hot Sandakan is compared to Brunei. It was nice to see friends from Sandakan and our trip was to attend a toastmasters conference and also supporting our friends from Brunei in the Division Level toastmasters contest. I won’t be talking much about the trip but more into my gratitude and appreciation towards my friends who made the experience fruitful and joyful.

The Woo Factor. I don’t know how you do it but you managed to wake up in time for the contest despite having only few hours of sleep. So the theory of you needing at least 8-10 hours of sleep is inconclusive for now 😀 You had such a wonderful and energetic presence on stage that students from Sandakan were woo-ed by you. Always a pleasure to have beaten you in pool last weekend 😀 Hoping for more “woo” effects in 2016. Thank you, Chris Woo, for trusting me to introduce you to the stage.

My roomie. I’ve changed multiple partners but you don’t mind it at all *lol* Jokes aside, you are a very accommodating person and very resourceful one too. You hardly decline people’s requests unless it’s about taking up speech slots (as you need more time :p) Amran Jamaluddin, sometimes it’s okay to say “no” and like Tessa said, “Do It My Way”.

The school boy who acts like a charismatic teacher. Regardless whether you are in your toastmasters costume or not, your intention remains the same – to create a conducive environment for yourself and others to grow. How do you juggle your career, family, commuting and flying all in the same week? That’s what I call proper planning and efficiency. Furthermore, your efficiency as a decision maker has allowed us to enjoy the seafood in KK. Who needs a calculator when you have Allen Ang traveling with you. Thanks bro.

The quiet of the lot with a heart of gold. You’re such a lovely person and a supporting wife (to Allen, of course). Your presence and smiles have made our company livelier. Thank you, Fen, for reminding me of the unconditional support and love.

The JS connection. Both of you are always great supporters to the toastmasters community, giving morale support to Pranika and Julius. Good job, Jason Koo, on accommodating to be a last minute SAA speaker during the contest (and also evaluating my delivery) and Supatra Lee for showing up during the 4 day trip in Sandakan

A respected leader, not just in Brunei. It’s never easy to fly in and out and having two job positions in Brunei. How do you do it bro? Last weekend was just another great testaments on how strong our Division K has been under the guidance of you. Jerry told me how your presence during the short visit before the conference has given them confidence and hope for the Division Conference to be a success and truly it was (Now more pressure on me). Your remarks on the stage showed sincerity and how you have been attentive in the minor things that have happened during the conference. Your duck story still holds in my mind. Very true indeed. Thank you for showing up as a respectable leader in our community, Reuben Chin.

The invisible link. Though you are not around during the trip, you will still very resourceful in connecting our journey to the world through blogs, social media and media print. Let’s hope future VPPR (Vice-President of Public Relations) can emulate your initiatives and commitment in spreading the journey of toastmasters. Thank you, Gerald Goh.


Congratulations, Pranika Lama, on winning the International Speech Contest in Division Level at Sandakan, Sabah yesterday. Click image to enlarge.

A never-give up fighter. This alone has won my heart. It reminds me of a fearless wrestler Cactus Jack is known for sustaining punishments in the ring but still able to fight to the end. For such a short span of time, you are already swimming in the deepest part of the ocean with your hands out of your pockets. Not many have what you have and that’s the desire and the passion to grow as a communicator. Your continuos calls for helps in preparation for your contest showed your dedication to bring the best in you. Keep up the fight and climb the ladder but you are already a champion in our hearts, Julius. Note: He competed in the Table Topics in Division Level in Sandakan after winning in club level and national (Area) level.

The OC/PA expert. Your effort didn’t start last weekend. It began months ago and I never experienced such a meticulous coordinator (Organising Chair for logistics) in getting a dozen of us all the way to Sandakan and back to Brunei. Your constant reminders (even small ones) are crucial in making sure everyone is aligned with the programme. You have truly grown as a leader and you don’t need a CL manual to validate your contribution. We saw it and we are truly grateful for it. Oh, PA stands for personal assistance to Chris 😀 Really proud of your growth, Sandy Tan. Keep it up!

The hair-flick poser. Ah, so much I want to share about you but I will keep that offline. I still remember last year when I wanted you to win (Division) so much because I’ve never seen such a dedicated toastmasters, not just in speeches but other roles. As for now, no one come close to meeting your club attendance even in other clubs. You are living the vision. I did had a moment of tears when Kamilia announced your name. I’m always here to support you and I’m sorry if I might have offend you with my humour or nag you because I truly care for our friendship. If you win in Jakarta, I will help find resources for you. Good luck, Pranika Lama (our Division Champion in International Speech Contest).

The mother of Area K6. I am truly grateful how you are always calm during the storm and that energy spreads among us and without realising, we feel calmer too. Your presence alone breaks the invisible tension and your care for all your “children” is unconditional. A mother icon that we can trust with our challenges and opportunities. Keep calm and thank you, Ruey 😀

Mr. Backbone of Area AK6. ¥ou have earned the legacy from Brunei toastmasters and groomed us to be leaders of our own. This is something that I see in you day in, day out, without fail. You have given me the platform to learn from mistakes and allow me to grow at the same time. I might be scared of you sometimes for not meeting your expectations but that’s just my mind toying with me because I aspire to be a great leader. I can’t imagine this journey without you and thank you in believing in all of us. Thank you, Shawn.

Self appreciation. I’m truly grateful that I feel the growth in me as a communicator and a leader. It’s time to trust in myself that I am capable of being a leader for the betterment of myself and the community. There are times of doubt and that’s just my monkey mind playing with me. This trip have definitely spurred more fire and my passion to carry out my mission. I am a man on a mission 🙂

Notable mentions: Thank you, Jerry, for helping me with the little things that I requested. Thank you, Laurence, for showing up once again though it was a quick one. I shall see both of you in Brunei in October. Also to Jonathan and Joseph for your hospitality in Sandakan.





Brand new, Brand old

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Awesome Wrestlemania event 

Triple H’s entrance promoting the Terminator: Genesis blockbuster movie at Wrestlemania. Image taken from WWE website

Wow, wow, wow!!!! What a Wrestlemania!!!! One of my bucket list is to watch Wrestlemania live in the US. This year it was held at San Francisco at the Levi’s Stadium and it had a WWE Wrestlemania record attendance with more than 70,000 fans. Crazy!! I watched the PPV with Jason Rumpun and we were exchanging predictions on the matches.

I won’t be spoiling the results as Wrestlemania is still one day old and some of my friends will be watching it tonight on their computers. My favourite matches are Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns surprisingly and also Sting Vs HHH. Well, the ladder match was also great and so was Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins. The in-ring promos were awesome and okay, I just almost love everything about it. Royal Rumble sucked bad time and the Fast Lane PPV was a bit of a redemption but Wrestlemania 31 was a huge improvement. I didn’t expect much initially but it exceeded expectation.

I’m definitely buying the blu-ray for this Wrestlemania. I give this a 9/10 and one of the best Wrestlemania I’ve seen in many, many years. Highly recommended.


Brock Lesnar was dominant last night and it’s not surprised that WWE offered him a new contract. Image taken from WWE website

Rusov has been giving the US title more value than before. Image taken from WWE website

One of the best matches – the ladder match for the Intercontinental title. Image taken from WWE website

Is that DX I saw last night? Image taken from WWE website





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The event will take place on Tuesday 7th April at The Empire Hotel & Country Club. It will be a morning event and it will be concluded with a networking lunch.





Reuben sees progress 

Reuben Chin, a dedicated Toastmaster member from Brunei, earned his dual awards in both Table Topics and International Speech in Division K Contest in Labuan last Sunday. He was runner-up in both category.

What a great weekend!! I missed the cricket world cup tournament where Australia won. I missed another Earth Hour event in Brunei. I missed a few activities. It wasn’t that bad after all since I spent my weekend in Labuan to support my toastmaster buddy Reuben Chin who was eyeing for a victory in the Table Topics and International Speech Contest. Only the winner will have the ticket to the District Level to be held in Kuching.

Reuben has already mastered his speeches in Area level (Brunei) and he was the cream of the crop. I’m amazed how the numbers showed up from Brunei toastmasters (from 4 clubs) to witness to conference and supporting Reuben in Labuan. Our attendance alone showed why the toastmasters clubs in Brunei are pretty strong in Division K. The majority in attendance was mostly from Brunei toastmasters. Amazing!!

Reuben may have not won first place but it didn’t let him down. He remembered last year coming third place in Area Contest and now reaching a step higher, finishing 2nd in Division Level. Yes, we noticed the pattern and I hope he will bettered himself and I know he will because his passion is to grow as a community leader through the tools of toastmasters. You did your very best buddy and you have improved not just a speaker but as a role model leader to many including me.

Good luck and I shall see you in Area Contest perhaps 😀


Intan receiving her honors as the Division K Champion in International Speech and her speech touched the audience and great delivery as well.

Celebrating both birthday celebrants including our very own special guest Grace who joined us during the Convention trip in Labuan

Group photo of toastmasters from Division K. Click image to enlarge.

The Brunei Toastmasters attending the conference as well as supporting our Brunei representative, Reuben Chin

Allen Ang trying out Seng Yee’s cactus hat

I’m not sure how to caption this picture

The Brunei entertaining the guests during dinner

Derby and Julius during our popular Wolf game. I was labeled as the professional wolf.

The Brunei gang on the ferry on the way to Labuan




Allen shines in Division K

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News


Red Hot Allen 

Allen Ang produced another masterful performance as he was crowned champion of the Humourous Speech Division K contest. He received the trophy from Division Governor Joanna Liew. He also came 2nd in the Speech Evaluation Contest yesterday.

Allen Ang with his wife HuiFen Kong

Allen Ang did three steps better. First he won on Club Level for OTTERS Club a few weeks ago. Then he went on to beat six other contestants on Area Level (against two top other club winners) for Brunei Darussalam two weeks ago. He competed in both Humourous Speech and Speech Evaluation Contests. Of course, the bigger of the two was the Humourous Contest. I can tell you that it’s not an easy feat to prepare for a humourous speech because of all the preparation and of course, the punchlines and the funny moments that must be receptive among the audience.

After winning on club level, he was given a ticket to compete on a bigger stage which known as Division Level, consisting of 7 Area K. I know it’s a bit confusing to understand when it comes to Toastmasters territories because they don’t go by states or countries but instead they use terms such as Club, Area, Division and District. The District Level is the highest accolade you can go for Humourous Speech and Speech Evaluation. This also goes for Table Topics contest.

So our friend from Brunei, Allen Ang, who represented three clubs (OTTERS, Brunei Speakers’ Club and Brunei Advanced Speakers Club), reached District Level after winning Division K Level in the Humourous Speech Contest yesterday at Menara Petronas SBO, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. He almost did a double but settled for second in the Speech Evaluation Contest and I have to say his competitor Laurence Dumling was simply outstanding in her evaluation of the Test Speaker Gopi Murandi who presented an interesting topic entitled “Bluff About It”.

I’m kinda glad that Allen Ang did the honours of retaining the Division Title to Brunei where Stuart Lee from Brunei was the previous winner. It was such an irony to see Stuart Lee packing and unpacking the Division Trophy for the next competition only for the trophy to return back to Brunei Darussalam. The priceless moment was when the 1st runner-up name was announced and Stuart (Allen’s mentor) was already celebrating because it wasn’t Allen’s name and he was certain that Allen was a clear winner even prior to the winner’s announcement.

Allen shared his experiences and he had been practising his speech over and over and it was being refined numerous times to give the delivery more impact with the help of his mentors. He shared that not being placed (top three) especially in Humourous will be a disappointment but little did he know he was deservedly crowned the Division Humourous Champion. He was also glad that he was the first speaker for evaluation so he could learn more from the other evaluators. He was so impressed with Laurence’s evaluation (the winner) and he learnt many things to improve on to reach that District Level of evaluation. He dedicated his win to his wife and his mentors as well to those who flew all the way to KK to support him.

Now his next step is District Level, the highest accolade that one can achieve for Humourous and Speech Evaluation. The competition will take place in Miri on the 8th and 9th November which sadly I will miss because of my trip to Bali *boohoo* So good luck to Allen for the upcoming competition and just enjoy the ride for now. It has been a fruitful journey indeed.

Overall, the Division K contest held at Menara Petronas SBO, Kota Kinabalu, was pretty good and well organised. I’m glad I made that trip to KK despite having to sacrifice one night of WWE in Kuala Lumpur (See, Allen, I’m your bro :D) and it was good to catch up with some of my toastmasters friends from KK. Also a great job to the organising committee and the Organising Chairperson Georginni Labadin. It was also the first time that I saw co-Contest Chairs – Aaron George and Wynnie Jong and I have to say both their chemistry worked and Aaron, you are one funny guy with all your well executed humour especially during the interviews of the contestants.

Winners for Evalutation Speech Division K

1. Laurence Dumling

2. Allen Ang

3. Jamie Chieng

Winners for Humourous Speech Division K

1. Allen Ang

2. Kamilia Kamaruzaman

3. IR Azmer Shamsuddin



The top three winners of the Humourous Speech (Division K)

The top three winners of the Speech Evaluation Contest (Division K)

All fingers pointing to the champ

The toastmasters from Brunei Speakers’ Club posing with the Humourous Champion

Emylia Marianne Philip opening up the contest as SAA

The audience yesterday

The group photo after the contest. Click to enlarge.

Allen being interviewed by the Contest Chair Wynnie Jong

Kamalia with her toastmasters from her Area K

A heartfelt moment when both husband and wife hugged each other before he received his championship trophy

Humourous Division Contest: Of course, Allen focused more on the Humourous Contest and he had great mentors Stuart Lee (current District Humourous Champion) and Zainal Bostaman (1st Runner up Humourous District Level) to guide him to the top of Division Level. I wasn’t aware of the level of the other Area champion speakers and I rather not know their skills and experience prior to the competition which gives more excitement and unpredictability of the contest. Below are just my own evaluation and interpretation of the humourous contestants and not from the ballots of the judges.

The first speaker Jamie Chieng shared her experiences about superstition and I could relate to her stories because we were always being advised by the elders on taboo things to avoid superstition. She’s a great story teller but the content who have been tighter because such superstitions have many opportunities to entertain the audience and there were a few missed opportunities for better punchlines. She has the confidence (I admire her confidence) as a speaker and definitely more room for improvement especially with her content. It wasn’t a bad start to the Humourous Competition. Humourous Level: 6.5 (No placing)

The second speaker was hilarious to the max. Kamailia Kamaruzaman was so flamboyant and colourful in her delivery. Her experience was about fitting into the right clothes and not being judged. Again, another relatable topic especially for the ladies. She reminds me of my friend Huwaida actually – bubbly and cheerful and it’s good to see Kamalia’s persona being displayed during her delivery. Oh she also reminds me of my bubbly friend Lai Ling Ling who is just simply hilarious to begin with. I was already nervous about Allen Ang when the audience reacting with laughters and giggles through the seven minutes. The only letdown I felt was the underlying message that could have been more effective and impactful and also the structure of her speech. It was a close call between Allen and Kamilia. Humourous Level: 8.5 (2nd place)

Next up was IR Azmer Shamsuddin who was also quite humourous and animated. He shared about how “Life Begins at 40” and I could feel the pressure because I’m not far off that mark *lol* I believe he was the only one that made full use of the stage and he was simply enjoying himself with nothing to lose. His punchline about having difficulties to hug your loved ones is hilarious and even to this moment, it is still fresh in my mind. He actually inspired me to be just a confident with no-holds-bar speaker and the way he speaks, he doesn’t even look in his 40s. Kudos to his courage and humour but sadly, the usage of English needs a bit more polishing and the structure could have been better. Humourous Level: 7.5 (No placing)

The fourth speaker was our very own Allen Ang and I have heard his speech twice and that makes it three times including yesterday’s. His speech title was “Confession of a Married Toastmaster”. However, it doesn’t mean that I won’t have a good time because of the spoiler alerts but his segment reminds me so much of stand up comedies where we will be entertained over and over again by replaying their gigs. The same applies here and Allen Ang doesn’t look like someone who can pull off laughs in general and in person but don’t be deceived my friends. His delivery was quite impactful because of not just the laughters but also of the underlying message. I was a bit worried when the giggles appeared more often than the laughs in the beginning but wooww, Allen raised the momentum and had a strong finishing with laughter and claps. I’m proud of where he is and his mentors have done well to groom him up. The humour were spot on and great body structure. Definitely District level material. Humourous Level: 8.5 (Champion)

The fifth speaker was Saverinus P. Kitingan who shared about the idea of being “confused” which became part of the theme in the later session of the contest. He was quite entertaining as well and it’s always wonderful if the topic can be relate to our daily lives. He shared his experiences with his wife when it comes to decision making and he will be caught in this web of confusion whenever his wife argues. There were many small laughs and giggles along the way but he managed to pull off one punchline that stole the show about “being fat” and it was the best execution of a punchline among all the speeches. There were some things I felt that could have improved on because I felt his content was all over the place. This potentially could have been a winner if the laughs were more than the giggles with a better structured delivery. Humourous Level: 7.5

The final speaker was Munyaradzi Chigiga and her topic was about accidents. The great thing about Munya is her confidence and voice projection. She hails from Zimbabwe (Africa) and she was considered a dark horse as many of the toastmaster members in Division K level haven’t seen her perform. She shared a vivid account of her car accident but there weren’t many subplots to support her story. Yes, she’s a great storyteller but there weren’t many punchlines to begin with and she had used many jargons which reduced the quality of her speech. They weren’t much laughs to carry the momentum of her delivery. The plus points from her speech was her body language and facial expression. It was such a pity that her content was lacking the ingredients of a humourous speech. With more experience and practice, she can give all the contestants a run for their money. Humourous Level: 5.5 (No placing)


The handing over of Division Trophy from former champion Stuart Lee to new champion Allen Ang

The emotional hug after Allen was officially announced the winner

Stuart Lee holding a boxed Division K trophy before heading for the contest

The gang in high mode prior to the contest

Zainal Bostaman getting ready for the event yesterday. His best achievement was being 1st runner up in Humourous Speech competition in Division K back in 2010. He missed out on Area K6 Level and he is glad to mentor Allen Ang in refining his speech and delivery. Awesome toastmastership from Zainal!!

By the way, Donna and I will be emceeing for this dinner event this coming Saturday. Tickets are available and I’ve got some friends to come along too. It’s open for public and it’s a good avenue to learn more about toastmasters 😀



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