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Posts Tagged ‘francophonie’

14
Mar

Distractions, distractions

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Change is the only constant 
 

Being slow is the only constant too. That’s how I feel lately. Things are just heading at a slow pace. The only difference is when I travel. Being away in a short span of time gives me a sense of excitement and thrill. Now I’m back in Brunei, it’s back to square one. I can feel it. The worrying signs, perhaps, of what’s in store for the country (economically). The headlines in the local media hasn’t help either but it’s good thing that it’s being identified because we cannot simply ignore it. It’s about time we step and see what we can do for the country in times of troubles.

I have two mutual friends who sought for help to see if I could connect them to the relevant authorities with regards to their termination of contracts. In recent headlines, it was stated that a major company (government linked) are carrying out “redundancy exercise” to cut costs and reducing “non-essential staff”. Of course, what we read in headlines will spark that fear that haven’t been teased for a very long, long time. We were in the comfort zone and now we are slowly getting a taste of reality checks.

Now with the ongoing LegCo, it’s an indication where our country will be heading for the next year or so, in reaching the Vision 2035 (which is in 19 years’ time). It was noted that government spending will be reduced in times of lower revenues and we will still be running in a deficit.

I still see hope in this country and I trust in the Brunei Government in overcoming the challenges. The transitional period will take some time but it’s a good start. The relevant government agencies have been pro-active in creating new bodies to see how Brunei can diversify and get out of the mentality of heavily depending on oil and gas as our revenue stream for the Brunei economy.

I’ve seen new bodies with government support being created such as DARe (Darussalam Enterprise), a statutory body that will help to empower local entrepreneurs in contributing to the local economy. The newly established is recognized in the LegCo recently and it is spearheaded by the Minister of Energy and Industry Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar. DARe recently held a dialogue with local e-vendors in terms of helping them to set up a physical store and also issues with labour quotas and so on. With this guidance, it will hope to see how the e-vendors grow and create a more business friendly environment for a win-win situation.


Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar, Minister of Energy and Industry, chairman of the board for Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) with other committee having a conversation with the e-vendors held at Design & Technology Building (opposite iCentre) last week. You can even visit their Business Support centre every Monday to Friday or call/sms via 836 3442. Image courtesy of @govbn
 

 

  
 

What happened lately? 
 


The winner of the Mitsubishi Lancer 1.6 Auto, Mah Wai Keun (left), as part of the “The Big Shopping Win”, a collaboration between Baiduri Bank and Hua Ho. Presenting the mock key were Michelle Lo (center), Manager of Card Brand Relationship & Business Banking Support and Lau Soon Lin, Director of Hua Ho. The event was held at Hua Ho Kiulap yesterday. You can website Baiduri website by clicking the image or you can download “Baiduri Deals” on your smartphone or follow their Facebook or IG @baiduribank. Image courtesy of Adib Noor of The Brunei Times.
 


Costume party at a friend’s place for Himari and Takumi’s farewell gathering. Both are my tennis buddies whom we trained under coach Aiman. It was also great to see Mr. Okochi after such a very long time. Thanks for the hospitality and great food.
 


My room mate for the past three nights at Taipei for our @mrbrownbrunei coverage trip with the winners of the Mr. Brown contest. We had this mini competition between us on making fun of each other on social media. It seems I’m dominating so far but we won’t have more opportunities until our next trip perhaps. Thank you, Aiking Sdn Bhd on giving us the opportunity to do coverage on the trip to Taiwan.
 


The Francophonie Week 2016 kicked off last Saturday and it will be ongoing for another week. Many events and activities to look forward too. This image was taken during the screening of the French movie “Win Win” at Taman Jubilee. The event is organised by Alliance Française and The Collective Arts Event. Click image to know more what’s in store for Francophonie Week 2016
 


The past week or so, I’ve been amazed with the stories that are being shared by my friends in their toastmasters journey. Many surprises in terms of content and I’m truly amazed by the growth of my friends. I’m still impressed with the ending of the “Helping Hand” story. Very impactful and witty. Congratulations to the winners of the UBD Toastmasters Club contest yesterday. Nice shot too, Sandy 😀
 


Last week, Inspire Magazine launched a new website to provide a better access to their stories. Back then, there were only magazines and PDF formats. This is a great step to reach more readers globally as well. Shaun Hoon (2nd from left), founder of Inspire Magazine, with his team during the launch of the website. You can visit www.yesinpire.com to access Inspire or click on the image. Image courtesy of Shaun Hoon.
 

 

  
 

08
Mar

Man on a mission

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Francophonie Week 2016 
 

 


Loan Forgeron, French Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam (5th from right), Marina B. Laker, High Commissioner for Canada to Brunei Darussalam (4th from right) with the organiser Alliance Française and event partner The Collective Art Events and sponsors at the press conference for the upcoming Francophonie Week 2016 held at Alliance Française at Batu Bersurat
 

In honor of the 2016 ‘Semaine de la Francophonie’ / “Francophone Week 2016”, which is an annual French cultural week run by Alliance Francaise organisations globally as well as the 30th Anniversary of Alliance Francaise being in Brunei, Alliance Francaise Brunei will be launching a one week program of events to run from the 12th of March to the 20th of March that will aim to promote French culture, and celebrate the good cultural relations between France and Brunei.

The week long program will also aim to showcase the capabilities of Brunei’s local talents in terms of creative industries, events and the arts. Because of the network of Alliance Francaise organisations around the world. We hope to showcase to the world the potential of Brunei as a destination and also Bruneians talents.

The event partner: The Collective Art Events (@thecollectiveartevents) and is supported by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, The Embassy of the Republic of France in Brunei Darussalam, the High Commission of Canada, the Switzerland Consulate, The Laotian Embassy, The Vietnam Embassy.

The companies involved are Jerudong Park Playground, Baiduri Bank, Progresif, Cityneon Brunei, Image Inx, Airfrance, Radisson Hotel, Starlodge Hotel, Expressions Music, The Sequence Music Production, Industrie Brunei.

To Book tickets and view information and prices for each event, the public can visit the website hosted by Progresif.


The organisers and head of diplomats sharing their inputs for the upcoming event
 


Loan Forgeron, French Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Shinny of The Collective Art Events, Marina B. Laker, High Commissioner for Canada to Brunei Darussalam and Cecile Cassou, a French journalist and photographer with Benny and Nabil (behind) from City Neon
 


The French words that will be showcased during Francophonie Week 2016
 

From the looks of it, Francophonie Week 2016 will be a huge event, even bigger than previous ones with multiple locations involved. Kudos to the parties involved in making this possible.

Loan Forgeron, French Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, stressed the importance of such event to promote diversification of culture and language of French in Brunei Darussalam. She highlighted how both French culture and language are linked and they can’t be separated. She also thanked all the partners and sponsors of the event and hope for more residents of Brunei to experience the Francophonie Week 2016.

Also present during the press conference was Marina B. Laker, High Commissioner for Canada to Brunei Darussalam. She shared that the Canada is the 2nd biggest donor after France of the Francophonie Week internationally and Canada has a very rich French culture. Canada has always been a strong member in the Francophonie event. Marina also said the event will show many cultural diversification and one of the events she highlighted was the closing ceremony where Melaine Gall, a vocalist from Canada, will be performing.


The movies that will be screened on the huge screen. First movie will be this Saturday entitled Win Win. Click image to see poster.
 

Outdoor festival event titled “Cine-Cite” (“City-Cinema”)

A three day festival that will transform a location over the opening weekend of Francophonie week with the “Cine-Cite” event. This will be a never before done event concept in Brunei, that combines a unique Franco themed open air night market that showcases local creative businesses, with an outdoor cinema screening a selection of French films selected by the Swiss embassy and Alliance Francaise, and local musicians such as Do It Good Records Preservation Blues Jazz Hall Band and friends, FN DUO, Arif Zainudin, Amal Murni performing throughout the night to supplement.

Each day will feature a changing selection of local vendors, musicians and films, with a special Saturday night showcase by Swiss born musician, Noga along with her French counterpart Patrick Bebey who are cultural envoys of the French Embassy and Alliance Francaise brought in especially for the event.

All to be held at Jubilee Park, Bandar Seri Begawan.

When: 12th March- , 4.30pm -10pm

Activities: Local vendors selling a variety of products from food to crafts

Local artist music showcase

Outdoors cinema of Swiss film Win Win

Photography exhibition for French journalist Cecile Castilla

I shall be posting more actives on the blog along the week for updates. So do stay tune.

 


The Caffé Verve kiosk at Alliance Française
 


The library at Alliance Française at the mezzanine floor
 

 


The interior of Alliance Française on the ground floor
 


Love the flat white at Caffè Verve kiosk. They will be opening an actual cafe pretty soon.
 

 

  
 

 

53rd Brunei ITF Junior Circuit 2016 
 


Group photo of the participants of the 53rd Brunei ITF Junior Circuit 2016 with the committee and tournament referee at the National Tennis Centre. Click image to enlarge.
 

It’s happening starting today till Sunday, the 53rd Brunei ITF Junior Circuit 2016 at the National Tennis Centre. 64 players are slated for the title in the men’s draw with favourites Shinji Hazawa to take the title. He has the luxury of the draw because there won’t be any Koreans playing in the tournament. The Koreans dominated the tournament back in December 2015 but I am not sure why they are not participating in this tournament.

Public is more than welcome to catch some tennis action at National Tennis Centre. Brunei will be represented by Md Nurul Andi Hambali who has been training in Australia, Timothy Lim and Zen Sii.

 


Rahul, Arun, Tim and Zen (coached by Aiman Abdullah) taking part in the tournament. Good luck.
 


Jordan Unger of Australia beat Timothy Lim of Brunei 6-2 6-1 in the first round
 


Timothy Lim in action against Jordan
 


Favourite Shinji Hazawa seed No.1 beat Manuel Balce III in straight sets 6-1 6-0
 

 

  
 

19
Mar

Francophonie Week coming soon

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Financial planning 

BIBD’s Wealth Management Unit (WMU) today, as part of its goal to raise awareness on the benefits of better financial management, delivered a financial planning talk to around forty personnel of the Ministry of Defence. The talk was delivered by BIBD’s own WMU Officer and Islamic Financial Planner, Rozielawati bti Hj Jamil.

One of the motives of these talks was to create awareness among the public on the advantages of current and future wealth management. This is also to support His Majesty’s Titah in conjunction with his birthday on 15th July 2006, “…additional revenue which will be received by the officers and employees of the Government, may be used prudently, while also trying to save through financial planning for future needs.”

Rozielawati started by asking what their financial goals were and commented that one of the basic strategies to achieving it was to manage and plan their finances properly. She continued that every individual will have different financial commitments and concerns throughout different stages of their lives.

She mentions, “When you’re single, you only pay for your personal commitments such as car financing, credit card and personal expenses. However, these commitments change when you get married and have children as you have to consider the expenses of your dependents, takaful/insurance plans, home financing, on top of your own personal commitments.”


Personnel from the Ministry of Defence attending a financial management talk from BIBD’s own Wealth Management Unit officer and Islamic Financial Planner
 

She also explained that financial commitments shift towards pre-retirement and retirement to include their retirement and medical plans. She also shared how to manage earnings with an ideal financial diet on top of TAP and SCP. An example of an ideal financial diet is to save a minimum of ten percent of basic salary for savings, a maximum of fifteen percent for car financing, a maximum of thirty-five percent for house financing, and a combined fifteen percent for personal financing and credit card.

“It is also recommended to have an additional fund which will only be used in case of any emergencies,” she added. This fund, she advised, should have a provision of at least three to six months of monthly expenses. She shared a few tips on how to maintain the emergency fund such as how to budget and allocate for a consistent monthly saving amount until the emergency fund amount for the account has been reached (the more the better). This includes setting up a standing instruction for periodic transfer of funds and to increase the fund amount to reflect any increments in earnings.

Additionally, she also discussed about their spending requirements during retirement with their old age pension of $250 and a minimum of $150 for SCP. Together they calculated how much they needed to save beforehand in order to live comfortably during their retirement days.

The talk ended with Rozielawati informing the participants on financial planning from an Islamic perspective, which included zakat and the distribution of wealth such as Islamic Will (Wassiyah), gift (Hibah), trust (Amanah) and endowment (Waqaf). To learn more about BIBD’s

To learn more about BIBD’s financial literacy and planning talks, please contact the BIBD Contact Centre at 2238181 or email them directly at wmu@bibd.com.bn.

 

 

  
 

 

UBD Spectacle 2015 

It’s the sneaks for the upcoming UBD Spectacle 2015 edition. It has been happening every year organised by the Final Year undergraduates from Art & Design, UBD and they will be showcasing their talents. The opening will be on the 8th April at the Art Gallery, Chancellor Hall, UBD and it will be from Monday to Thursday and Saturday from 9am to 7pm. You can check out their Facebook Page and their instagram @ubdspectacle2015 for updates. Images taken from their Facebook Page.

 


 


 


 


 


 

  
 

Baiduri Smart Executive Programme 
 

The Baiduri Smart Executive Programme (SEP) rewarded its newest members with Smart Executive branded merchandise as well as Empire Hotel and Country Club vouchers at an event at the Smart Executive Centre, Times Square.

The month of February saw a steady influx of new members comprising new sign-ups and upgraded members. On hand to present the prizes were Hjh Maripaz Abdullah, Business Development Manager, Retail Banking and Smart Executive Programme Manager, Baiduri Bank as well as Mr. Evan Wong, Manager of the Times Square branch.

Speaking on the programme, Hjh Maripaz Abdullah said, “The Smart Executive Programme was launched about 2 years ago at this very same location so it only felt right to use this Smart Executive Centre to hold our reward presentation for our newest members. We created this Centre to cater specifically to our members and to hold events such as this.”

 


Hjh Maripaz Abdullah, Business Development Manager, Retail Banking and Smart Executive Programme Manager, Baiduri Bank as well as Mr. Evan Wong, Manager of the Times Square branch with new members and upgraded members of Baiduri Smart Executive Programme (SEP)
 

The Smart Executive Helps U Make the Smart Move promotion was launched in December 2014 in conjunction with Baiduri Bank’s 20th Anniversary to show its appreciation to its growing SEP customer base by offering lifestyle prizes such as hire purchase instalments and Empire Hotel and Country Club vouchers.

Baiduri’s Smart Executive Programme is a unique programme offered by Baiduri Bank which offers a multitude of benefits geared towards the busy, working professional. The benefits include smart banking solutions and special rates across a range of banking products. Smart Executive customers stand to receive exclusive Smart Executive Visa Platinum Credit Cards and Smart Executive MasterCard Premium Debit Cards, subject to Terms & Conditions. More information on the Smart Executive Programme is available on www.baiduri.com or from the Baiduri Deals mobile app. Press release and image courtesy of Baiduri Bank.

 

 

  
 

Good France 
 


Her Excellency, Madam Loan Forgeron, French Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam talking to the press with regards to Good France and Francophonie
 


Edna Boqueo, the chef of the French Embassy residence, Philipina chef, Edna Boqueo and Frederic Gardien, A French chef talking to the media
 

Good France, to be held on 19th March (today), is a celebration of excellence of French cuisine and French style dinner throughout the world. 1000 chefs, 1500 restaurants and all French embassies will be involved in the event.

Her Excellency, Madam Loan Forgeron, French Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam will together with all other French ambassadors globally, invite distinguished guests to a French dinner on the 19 March at their residences. Through a meal savoured together, Mdm Loan Forgeron mentioned that it would foster the values of sharing a French culture that is close to the heart of all French, and of which UNESCO has listed as a World Cultural Heritage.

In  respect to the cultures, tradition & religion, the meals prepared during the evening are halal, and prepared and cooked without any alcohol of course.

The 19 March is also the opening of the week of Francophonie. France shares so many cultures with French-speaking countries, from Africa to Asia through Canada …. and gastronomy represents a pillar of Francophonie.

Guest of honour for the event is Yang Mulia Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Haji Othman, Deputy Minister of Culture Youth and Sports.

Two chefs, a French chef, Frederic Gardien, and the chef of the residence, Philipina chef, Edna Boqueo, who was trained in Paris by the executive chef of the Ministry of foreign affairs and trade, will showcase French culinary flair with a six course menu.

Her Excellency, with the collaboration of Voon, consultant for BusinessFrance, has jointly organized this event in the hope that through this, Bruneians will find France a more attractive destination and that this will be a start of a journey of discovering and appreciating French produce and products.

 In conclusion, HE Mdm Loan Forgeron made mention of the famous French cook in 19th century, Auguste Escoffier, who told that “the art of cuisine is the most elaborate way of diplomacy”.

 


 

 

  
 

Serunai Singers 

Late post: I always enjoy the sound of music and a few weeks ago, I experienced a room filled with jazz music and soothing vocals. It was also the first time I saw Serunai Singers performing. I wish to see more of this in the future. Kudos to the team behind it in making an avenue to showcase their talents to music lovers like myself. Keep up the great work!! Just one thing though – make it slightly longer 😀 Thank you, Rebecca, for letting me know of the music showcase.

 


Young kids belting out some numbers
 


The Serunai Singers
 


It was a packed crowd that night
 


Rachel Drew on the saxophone *me likes*
 


Eia also wooed the audience
 


Now I’m impressed with Mercedes who sang the Girl from Ipanema
 


I love their segment
 


Serunai Singers and friends
 


Eia and Rebecca Chin
 

 

  

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