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Posts Tagged ‘SEA games’


One more ride

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Riding ain’t just a hobby 


Pg Mohd Nasir celebrating his birthday with his friends last night

Pg Mohd Nasir with his late minute replacement horse flown from Germany named Federiko in the recent SEA Games 2015 in Singapore

Happy birthday to our dedicated equestrian rider Pg Mohd Nasir and I still owe him a write up on his horse riding journey in the recent SEA Games in Singapore. I happened to catch his final ride in the Jumping finals event a few weeks’ ago and it was also the first time that I saw him live in action. So, guys, just to let you know this is a late post 😀

Though he didn’t win or get a podium finish for his efforts, he did the best he could in the finals given the limited resources. There were many set backs along his SEA Games journey. Just like in all sports, there’s always politics and that sure can play a huge role on your targets as an athlete.

Let’ me sum up what Pg Mohd Nasir shared with me back in Singapore. He couldn’t ride his own horse that he has connection with for many years. So instead he had to settle with a last minute replacement which flew from Germany and the horse’s name is Federiko (love the skin too). Secondly Pg Nasir only sat on his replacement six times coming into the competition. Normally it take years to get the horse used to the environment especially competitive ones. So kudos to Pg Nasir on having that courage to make use of the available resources and compete for the love of the country.

After visiting the stable area for the SEA Games competition, it was kinda of an eye opener. I realised how much investment it takes to be in this sport. I saw all the equipments and the kit for the horse and the rider and that alone is already a hefty investment. The recurring cost will be the food supply for the horses because you will need to feed the horses to make sure they are in good shape for the competition.

The other huge cost will be cargo-ing the horse equipment and also the transporting the horse from A to B especially when it’s international delivery. I saw Pg’s portable cabinet where he stashed his equipments and apparel and he said the whole thing averagely weighs at 150 kg. Now just imagine how much that would costs to transport by air *gulp*

Now I can imagine other regional riders will go through the same ordeal and cost factor will be an issue. So yea, horse riding is not a cheap hobby indeed while joining competition is a whole new level. Most of the athletes from other countries are being funded or sponsored by their respective countries. For Pg Anak Nasir, it was a unique situation. He competed in his own expense but with a huge disadvantage that he couldn’t ride his own personal horse from Belgium due to technically issues.


Pg Mohd Nasir in action. Image courtesy of Samlee

Talking to the Brunei officials of the SEA Games after the competition

Did you know that you can’t many any noise such as cheering or clapping when the riders are in action?

He ran off to the Malaysian team to celebrate on his friend’s gold achievement #priceless

I managed to only catch the final ride. Well done, buddy, on making this far.

Here are some words from Pg Anak Nasir himself.

“I never want to blame the horse (Federiko) for sure even though the final day he let me down. Then again we are new together. We only sat six times. In this technical courses, we get into funny situations and normally the rider know the horse and vice-versa. From there, we will know how to react on situations. If I was riding my personal horse, I wouldn’t have this problem (penalties on his rounds).

Honestly, to come this far and considering all the issues to source for a horse a week before the Games, I’m quite happy to reach this far. My first two rides with zero penalties on the first day was a dream situation. However, with these technical courses, it will boil down to the horse and the rider so bonding is very important. I know I did my best with the given situation and I am doing it for the country 110%. It’s a very challenging situation for me and I will be back next time.”

Nicely way to sum up by Pengiran on his SEA Games experience. One quote that I like though was when he quoted that competing in the Games is like “going to war with a knife” meaning that he has no ammunition. It would have been a different story should his horse made it to Singapore for the Games.

All in all, I truly enjoyed watching the equestrian event and it was also my first experience. I could see all the dedication and passion from the riders. I have high respect to all the riders indeed. Perhaps the highlight for Pengiran Anak Nasir was when his friend from Malaysia Sharmini Ratnasingham who just beat Catherine Yen Yu Chew of Singapore in a split second timing to win gold. I saw Pengiran running from one to another end to celebrate with the Malaysian team.

To finish off my summary, Happy birthday day buddy and let’s catch up with the boys before you fly off to train again. You can follow him on instagram @pg_nasir


With the supporters from Brunei Darussalam

His trusted and most important companions of his horse riding journey – the coach and the groomer.

His wardrobe cabinet is a must where he brings every he rides in the world. This weighs at least 150 kilos. His groomer will take care of his wardrobe.

This is how he keep his riding boots

Pg Mohd Nasir with the Malaysian team

We did good after the competition because we all went for shopping therapy in Singapore. When is round 2? 😀




Consumer Fair kicks off

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


SEA Games update 

Pg Mohd Nasir progressed into the final without any penalties in each of yesterday’s two rounds at the Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre – one of eight contestants to do so in the 21-rider field. He will compete this morning, aiming for a podium finish or perhaps a gold medal. Good luck and see you later. Image courtesy of Infofoto.

Brunei national record holder Md Fakhri Ismail made a mark for himself as he achieved his target – to be in the finals of the 100m sprint. He finished last in the finals of the 100m but he has done the country proud with his achievements. Image courtesy of @fakhri_11


ALAF gets a boost

BIBD recently held a signing ceremony with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, to ensure their continued commitment towards the success of BIBD’s ALAF programme.

Guest of honour at the event was Yang Berhormat Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman, Minister of Religious Affairs. Signing on behalf of BIBD was its Managing Director Yang Mulia Javed Ahmad, whilst signing on behalf of the Ministry was its Permanent Secretary, Yang Mulia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Aziz bin Orang Kaya Maharaja Lela Haji Yussof.

Also present at the ceremony were The Ministry of Religious Affairs Deputy Minister, Deputy Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Head of Departments from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, along with members of the BIBD Board of Directors, Shariah Advisory Body and BIBD management.
The ALAF programme was launched in May 2013 by Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah. The ALAF programme, now in its second year, recently awarded thirty three more students with its assistance, on top of the sixty three awarded last year.

The assistance includes provisions for school and tuition fees, educational materials and welfare, as well as mentoring and counseling necessities amongst others. All this is to help ensure the absolute commitment of these students towards the development of their education, and not let them be bothered by the other commitments that come with. The ALAF programme will also continue to provide support and assistance to these students until the end of their respective educational requirement needs.


Guest of honour, Yang Berhormat Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman, Minister of Religious Affairs (center) witnessing the signing ceremony

Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Aziz bin Orang Kaya Maharaja Lela Haji Yussof, Permanent Secretary of Religious Affairs exchanging documents with Javed Ahmad, Managing Director of BIBD

The ALAF programme was developed in close partnership with the Ministry of Education which will lead to constant efforts and close collaboration between both parties to ensure the successful implementation and provision of assistance to the ALAF programme. At the same time, The ALAF programme is also supported by the Islamic Studies Department from the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

This includes the identification of underprivileged and orphaned students from all schools in the country using meticulously-set selection criteria. Some of the selection criteria include nomination and support of respective schools welfare teachers along with the requirement of a maintained performance and attendance level.

Through ALAF, BIBD hopes to align its support to His Majesty’s 2035 vision of obtaining a 100% level of education to everyone, which in turn is hoped to help reduce poverty, In shaa Allah, leading Brunei towards a more prosperous and peaceful future, making Brunei populated with educated, highly skilful and successful individuals, in line with internationally set standards.

Members of the public wishing to contribute into the BIBD ALAF fund may do so with a minimum donation of B$1.01 into the BIBD ALAF account at 1018181811. Contributing is further made easier as the public can utilise existing BIBD channels such as the BIBD Online website, BIBD Mobile app, BIBD ATM and CDMs, and BIBD branch counters. The public can also set up a BIBD Standing Instruction to ensure a monthly donation into the ALAF fund. As an added benefit, BIBD account holders can also use their accumulated BIBD Hadiah Points for cash conversion into contributions into the ALAF fund account.


CF13 starts today

The latest instalment of the ASEAN Consumer Fair is just a day away, scheduled to take place from June 10 to June 14 at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Berakas with more than 400 booths offering a wide variety of products and services from countries from the ASEAN region and a list of exciting activities and exclusive discounts to booth the latest instalment of Brunei Darussalam’s premiere consumer event is sure to have something for everyone.

Come and celebrate diversity at the ASEAN Consumer Fair as vendors from Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and many more offers a wide variety of products unique to each of the respective culturally rich countries.. Amongst the many items and special exclusive offers that visitors may expect includes, traditional handicrafts, ethnic cuisine and other food and beverages, mobile telephones and accessories, banking and financial services, and home décor and so much more. Visitors would definitely do not want to miss the Thai Grand Fair at the ASEAN Consume fair.

In addition, there are many fun-filled activities for visitors of all ages to participate in. Inlcuding fun exciting challenges brought by Malar Setia Sdn Bhd as well as Kingston Beverage & Creamery Sdn Bhd and also Cebu Pacific just to name a few. Not to forget DST will also be conducting various games and activities for valued visitors. Test your knowledge and win prizes in the DST product quiz, show off your colouring skills in the Disney colouring contest and if you are up for a challenge there will also be the Kristal “Astro Bollyone HD” Competition and many more. Visitors will also get a chance to meet and even see their favourite KFM DJs in action as they broadcast live from the ASEAN Consumer Fair. Not to forget mascots will be on hand to bring smiles to little visitors of the fair who knows maybe your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman might swing by.



ASEAN Consumer Fair will feature the “Mini Kindy Kare” where parents can drop of their children ages 2-4 years old at the Mini KindyKare located at the Blue Zone in Briefing Room 1

The fun does not stop there as visitors of the ASEAN Consumer Fair can enjoy an exclusive deal whereby with every minimum purchase of $10 at the Kingston Beverage & Creamery Sdn Bhd booth customers will receive a free Marrybrown chicken burger. Not to forget, members of the public can stand a chance to win exciting prizes in the Pepsi Bonanza grand draw simply by purchasing any “Bonus Pack” of 1.5 Pepsi, Pepsi Twist, 7-Up, and revive or assorted Mirinda flavours and submit the entry in to the special drop box which can be found this time around at ICC. The grand draw will be held on the last day of the ASEAN Consumer Fair with the grand winner driving home with a brand new Toyota Avanza.

There is also good news for the family as this year’s ASEAN Consumer Fair will feature the “Mini Kindy Kare”. Now visitors can enjoy shopping during the course of the ASEAN Consumer Fair in preparation for the upcoming festive month of Ramadhan and Syawal. At the ASEAN Consumer Fair from 10am to 8pm parents can experience the ASEAN Consumer Fair with ease as they can drop of their children ages 2-4 years old at the Mini KindyKare located at the Blue Zone in Briefing Room 1. Entrance is $12 per entry and additional $8 for every consecutive hour after.The children will be taken care by the friendly “Karegivers” of Kindy Kare international. The little tykes will be kept busy playing educational games, activities, and all under the supervision of their “Karegivers” and for the convenience of mothers there will be a special mother’s room at Mini KindyKare for breastfeeding.

The ASEAN Consumer Fair 2015 will take place from June 10 to June 14 at International Convention Centre (ICC), Berakas. The ASEAN Consumer Fair will be open to members of the public from 10am to 10pm daily except on Friday where it will close from 12 to 2pm for the Friday prayers and will resume again to 10pm. For the convenience of visitors, shuttle buses will be available during the course of the ASEAN Consumer Fair providing transport to visitors from the allocated parking area at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium to the ICC for their convenience.

To find out more those interested are welcome to log on to the event’s official website at www.bruneiconsumerfair.com or contact D’Sunlit’s office at 2453 666. Press release by D’Sunlit Sdn Bhd.




Fun at the beach 

It was a fun filled Sunday for families with Fun Bee Park last Sunday as they bring happiness at Pantai Tungku. The trip was not just an ordinary picnic or beach fun, child friendly and family bonding activities happened.

Fun Bee Park organized outdoor trips to expose young children to local wonders of Brunei Darussalam. Furthermore, they also aim to encourage both child and their parents to contribute to the local community in all means.

The Pantai Tungku Family trip started with safety briefing at Fun Bee Park’s centre with application of sun block cream and mosquito repellants for health concerns. Upon reaching the beach, children were grouped together with their corresponding Fun Bee Park Teacher as their guide. Groups were then walked by the beach to collect sea shells in different sizes for their art project. After picking shells, groups sit together and did their craft art such as Jewelry, Sea shell sail boat for boys, and Funny Sea shell with eyes.

Cecelia with the children heading to Tungku Beach



Children were excited to see giant bubbles made by their parents as well as the 3D kite with the real like image of an eagle flying.

One of the favorites of every child is to go fishing, and for safety purposes, Fun Bee Park provides a kiddy balloon pool filled with fresh water fishes to bring the children to play. Another highlight of the trip was the picnic whereby children and their parents sat down together and enjoyed good food with BBQ.

Children screamed out loud during the group games whereby they were asked to build the highest sand castle. The objective of the game is to develop teamwork and coordination to one another, and moreover, to encourage leadership amongst all.

The trip ended with an ice cream treat and safe ride back to Fun Bee Park where goodie bags were given to every child. Fun Bee Park will be organizing more outdoor trips locally such as the Temburong half day trip, Water village explore, Farm visit, Prawn factory educational tour, and many more. Next in schedule is the “Movie day trip” on 19th June 2015 whereby children with parents can watch Disney movie “Minions” in big screen. For further inquiries and reservation, please call Fun Bee Park at 2457729 / 7178232 or visit them at A6/A7, Ground Floor, Sempurna Complex, Batu Bersurat, Gadong. Text and images courtesy of Fun Bee Park.




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.



Landed in Penang

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Winner feted by Audi 

T.C.Y. Motors as the local Audi dealer/importer in partnership with The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf recently presented prizes to the winner of the Audi Avengers & the Coffee Bean lucky draw which was held in May to coincide with the Brunei premiere of The Avengers: The Age of Ultron action blockbuster. Patrons who spent over $15.00 at any of the six CBTL branches in the Brunei Muara district were entitled to enter the draw.


The winner, Nurul Afizahm of the Audi Avengers & The Coffee Bean lucky draw

Nurul Afizah Ahmad’s receipt of $21.35 from the Ministry of Finance CBTL branch was drawn- winning her a pair of exclusive Audi Sport Gloryfy G1 sunglasses which is retailed at over $300.00 from the Audi Kiarong showroom boutique.

Five other consolation winners from the other 5 branches were drawn to receive Audi goodie bags. The second instalment of the Avengers film franchise featured Audi’s new R8 sports car, TT Coupe and A3 Cabriolet in a continuing partnership between Audi and Marvel since the first 2008 Iron Man movie.



Social media presence

During the launch of JPMC’s rebranded online presence

Dato Dr Isham Jaafar, Executive Director and Medical Director of JPMC with Vivian Suk Kee Tie, head of the Rehabilitation Department at JPMC. Image taken from @jpmcbrunei

Jerudong Park Medical Centre goes social and it’s a good thing that they are focusing on social media for a better outreach to the public and especially their patients. The event took place yesterday at the Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club. Present during the launch was Dato Dr Isham Jaafar, Executive Director and Medical Director of JPMC.

This event marked the launch of their newly redesigned website as well as our social media profiles on Facebook and Instagram. The website offers new features, which will introduced at the launch, and the social media platforms provide an opportunity to interact with the community, and also to provide news and information through Facebook and/or Instagram @jpmcbrunei


@eia25 with Ak Danny, Marketing Department of JPMC . Image taken from @jpmcbrunei

Posing by the management and staff of JPMC . Image taken from @jpmcbrunei

Even the media goes social . Image taken from @jpmcbrunei

Representing from MixMediaWorx. Image taken from @jpmcbrunei

Image taken from @jpmcbrunei

Go on their website and register to win prizes. Click on image.


Baiduri Innovation Hub 

“5 Days Countdown to Baiduri’s Innovation Hub Roadshow”

Baiduri Bank is organizing a “Baiduri Innovation Hub” roadshow aimed towards providing opportunities to the public to explore the financial and banking prospects that are designed to meet specific financing needs. Held at The Mall Atrium, Gadong, the roadshow runs from 11th June – 14th June 2015 featuring different hubs equipped with specialists and consultants to offer visitors the best researched financial solutions.

Apart from loans research hub, and debit card exploration hub, the roadshow includes the Smart Executive advance hub directed towards managing finances and lifestyle of young executives in today’s world. The roadshow also showcases the financial planning hub and the e-Channels innovation hub.

“This roadshow benefits all target groups from students, executives, home owners to families! It’s a hub that meets expectations and needs! This is a unique space of different cultivated interest and pursuit. We wanted a fun and innovative approach that is accessible to the public!” says Dorothy Newn, Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing of Baiduri Bank.




Along with financial health checks, the roadshow features games and activities, inviting the public to bring the whole family to experience the laboratory environment.

With exclusive discounts up to 20% from participating merchants at the Mall such as Essensuals, iTop, KFC, Charles & Keith, Eileen Chen, Best Eastern, Dainty Shoes, Heatwave, Kofom Textiles and more, customers are able to delight in special values via their Baiduri Deals app.

In addition, customers who sign up with Baiduri’s services and products will stand a chance to win a Luminox watch it the lucky draw and also enjoy an Instant lucky gift whilst benefiting from Baiduri’s extensive list of advantages.

Inspiring to be a platform that offers customers a one-stop secure and sustainable financial services, Baiduri Bank aims to lead a new and innovative approach to banking.



Baiduri Innovation Hub 

“5 Days Countdown to Baiduri’s Innovation Hub Roadshow”

Baiduri Bank is organizing a “Baiduri Innovation Hub” roadshow aimed towards providing opportunities to the public to explore the financial and banking prospects that are designed to meet specific financing needs. Held at The Mall Atrium, Gadong, the roadshow runs from 11th June – 14th June 2015 featuring different hubs equipped with specialists and consultants to offer visitors the best researched financial solutions.

Apart from loans research hub, and debit card exploration hub, the roadshow includes the Smart Executive advance hub directed towards managing finances and lifestyle of young executives in today’s world. The roadshow also showcases the financial planning hub and the e-Channels innovation hub.

“This roadshow benefits all target groups from students, executives, home owners to families! It’s a hub that meets expectations and needs! This is a unique space of different cultivated interest and pursuit. We wanted a fun and innovative approach that is accessible to the public!” says Dorothy Newn, Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing of Baiduri Bank.




Along with financial health checks, the roadshow features games and activities, inviting the public to bring the whole family to experience the laboratory environment.

With exclusive discounts up to 20% from participating merchants at the Mall such as Essensuals, iTop, KFC, Charles & Keith, Eileen Chen, Best Eastern, Dainty Shoes, Heatwave, Kofom Textiles and more, customers are able to delight in special values via their Baiduri Deals app.

In addition, customers who sign up with Baiduri’s services and products will stand a chance to win a Luminox watch it the lucky draw and also enjoy an Instant lucky gift whilst benefiting from Baiduri’s extensive list of advantages.

Inspiring to be a platform that offers customers a one-stop secure and sustainable financial services, Baiduri Bank aims to lead a new and innovative approach to banking.



RA Travels

Yes, for those who follow me on instagram would be aware that I’m currently flying abroad but of course, I’m still connected to the world wide web and yes, I will be updating my site regularly when I have the time. Funnily enough I’m more active in posting my work online rather than when I’m back at home. Weird but true.

To recap my travel log, I was in Singapore for a night (for some coverage and catching up with friends) and it was kinda of a miscommunication as I thought my mom and family would still be in Singapore then. Apparently they came back two days before I flew to Singapore *lol* So below are the pictures taken during my one day trip to Singapore before I flew off to Ipoh to meet up with my other buddies around the world.


Team Brunei Wushu preparing to fly to Singapore last Monday. Their event starts today and there will be 118 athletes competing in the Wushu event. Can Brunei bagged gold medals this time round?

AITI hosts 12 companies to Singapore for the CommunicAsia 2015. This was also taken last Monday as they depart together with some of the SEA Games delegates. It was a full flight indeed.

Prayers and blessings for the delegates and players of Brunei Darussalam representing in the SEA Games at the Brunei International Airport

Thank you Winnie for sending me off. See you pretty soon.

Loving the brown colour tone Adidas Supercolor edition. This will be my footwear for the next 3 weeks on my travels.

Thank you Royal Brunei for your hospitality. Love the service and the food. Happy 40th year of flight.

Today’s the last day to book cheaper flights. Enjoy shopping!!

The SEA Games athletes will get a special welcome by the LOs from Singapore. Awesome!! And they are being ushered right after they disembarked the aircraft

I was rushing to the OCBC Arena near the Stadium MRT to catch the match between Brunei and Myanmar in the netball competition. I managed to catch the final 5 minutes of the match where Brunei won 😀

Top notch security in Singapore’s SEA Games. You can see how much they spent in heightening the security. This could be a reason why Brunei pull out because of all these measures that will be taken into consideration for the safety of the public.

Loving the merchandise at the SEA Games. I might shop again once I return back to Singapore next week.

The Brunei mascot for the 28th SEA Games. What do you think?

I love the idea that they are promoting respective sports for the public to try. In this picture, it’s a customized long ping pong table. Interesting concept.

Pilot is one of the sponsors for the 28th SEA Games.

Great range of merchandise. I was already thinking of Armtrix being the official merchandise suppliers for Brunei SEA Games 2019 but has been shelved since Brunei just pulled out as being host nation.

Cheer leaders practicing by the OCBC Arena

I was fortunate to catch the final minutes of the netball event. The $11 ticket was worth it 😀

For rock climbing fans, you can try this at the Kallang Wave Mall (get off Stadium MRT)

I was contemplating in buying this pokka dot Adidas jacket. I didn’t in the end.

Caught up with Frances and Jessie over dinner and thank you, new buddy Nick for treating us dinner.

Awesome stay here at River Valley. I paid only $89 for this room. You should try AirBnb app or website to book. I booked this room through Darrick who owns a few rooms around the neighborhood in Singapore. For your info, Airbnb is a rival to hotels.

This is the studio apartment I’m staying in. You can click image to check out other rooms that Darrick from Singapore is offering.

There is even a washing machine and a cooking area and a fridge as well

You can even enjoy fast internet speed there. Faster than my home 😀

My usual ride in Singapore. One reason why I like to wander around in Singapore. I save a lot especially on taxis. I even catch the bus from time to time.

The one night in Singapore before I travel to Ipoh. This is the second time I fly through firefly. Reminds me of MasWings 😀



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 😀





Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Visit to BIBD

BIBD today delivered a brief presentation to some thirty-five students and personnel from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Thailand’s Mahasarakham University, along with the Universiti of Brunei Darussalam. The presentation included a brief on the basics of Islamic banking and BIBD’s recent development, along with a short tour of the BIBD premises


New products from Bruneihalal

Ghanim International Corporation is proud to announce that it has launched its new traditional and modern local range products under the bruneihalal flagship.

The local products are made up of traditional and modern kueh, biscuits and snacks which are would be perfect for personal consumption, souvenirs and giveaways.  The products have made its debut to the public on social media and local events that were held recently. True to the patriotic spirit of customers, the products were very well-received by the public as they are produced by local manufacturers and with the guidance of local authorities and accredited production facilities.  In most instances, immediate purchases were made upon sampling of the product.


Click image to find out more

According to Omardani, Senior Trading Manager, the local products are produced by locally based Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that have the potential to venture into further business development by penetrating the local market whilst also coming up with more innovative products for all to enjoy.  More local products will be released throughout the year and will include an array of both snack-able and meal-based varieties.

“In addition to locally produced food products that can be ordered for varying occasions, we have released our hamper promotion in light of the upcoming festive seasons” cited Omardani.  Details on the hamper promotion are available on their @bruneihalal Instagram or you can contact the headquarters for orders during office hours, between 0800 – 1700, Monday to Friday.

The bruneihalal earlier and current product ranges are made up of microwavable rice, cooking sauce, ready-to-eat Dishes of India, frozen snacks and flatbreads.  These are still available in major supermarkets nationwide.

For more information on bruneihalal and their products, log on to www.brunei-halal.com.



Faiq Jefri Bolkiah scores 

Faiq Jefri Bolkiah scored from the penalty spot in the 68th minute to equalize but Timor Leste scored the winning goal five minutes later. Brunei 1 Timor Leste 2.

There have been mixed reactions from fans of the Brunei u-23 football team after their third loss of the campaign in the SEA Games 2015. Tonight they lost to Timor Leste 2-1 despite Faiq Jefri Bolkiah’s debut goal for Brunei. It was a similar story for Brunei who struggled to make an impact for the third time. Perhaps it’s the mental and physical preparation that Brunei ain’t ready just yet. The result meant that Brunei won’t be qualified for the next round and now will play the remaining games for pride and glory.

So what’s your take on Brunei’s performance so far in the SEA Games for football? On a positive note, they are still young lads and they don’t have the luxury to play in a much more competitive league to gain more experience and exposure. I do hope Brunei do their absolute best in the remaining fixtures and it will be starting point leading up to the SEA Games 2019 where Brunei will be hosting.



Clearance Sale 

There’s a clearance sale at Harajuku Boutique until 15th June. The boutique is located near Thien-Thien Gadong.

The owner of Harajuku Boutique is also looking for a buyer for the shop. For interest parties, do call 872 2815.



Back in Ipoh

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Mid Year Travel Delights 

Only now until 6th June. Prices are cheaper than usual and only last for four days. What are you waiting for? Thank you RB and congratulations on your 40th year of flight 😀 Click image to enter website.


Netball fever 

Brunei lost to Thailand yesterday 40-45 in the preliminary round of the netball SEA Games 2015. Image courtesy of Yee Chun Leong of The Brunei Times.

Ah, I wasn’t even in the netball match between Brunei and Thailand but I was up to date with the progress of the match. It was quite unfortunate that Brunei didn’t manage to squeeze that victory over Thailand. At one stage, Brunei was leading by 5 points at half time but the third quarter, Thailand upped their game and outscored Brunei and finished the game, winning by 5 points (40-45). The result meant that Brunei must beat the Philippines to be in contention for the semi-final berth.

In the other match, host Singapore failed to capitalize on home court advantage as they drew 35-35 in the preliminary round of the netball competition. This would mean the top of the group will be determined by a better goal difference. Singapore had the edge when they were leading 30-24 coming into the fourth quarter but the host blew their lead and the visitors capitalized on Singapore’s errors to stage a come back.

That’s it from for my updates on the current netball competition.


The Singaporean fans supporting their team in netball. Image courtesy of Netball Singapore.

Singapore vs Malaysia. Image courtesy of Netball Singapore.

Singapore vs Malaysia. Image courtesy of Netball Singapore.


Brunei Toastmasters, a growing family 

When Brunei Speakers’ Club was awarded with President’s Distinguish Club, we invited other Brunei toastmasters club to join the celebration. Thank you all for showing the true value of a toastmaster.

This is the Brunei dancing group – Brendan, Supatra, Jack, Farhan, Seng Yee and I. Thank you to Nora and Joanna from KK for helping us to coordinate the dances. It finally paid off 😀

Late post: Two weeks ago, around 25 members from Brunei Toastmasters Club attended 3-days Toastmasters International District 87 Annual Conference held in Kuching.

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches communication and leadership skills through a worldwide network of more than 14,650 clubs in 126 countries. In Brunei, there are 4 Toastmasters clubs – Brunei Speakers’ Club, Brunei Advanced Speakers’ Club, Oil Town Talkers Toastmasters Club and the newly chartered UBD Toastmasters Club. So far, the journey and the growth have been great and the number of members gradually increasing.

During the 3-days conference, camaraderie between members have developed phenomenally and meaningful friendships have been strengthened. But to me, what is great about Brunei toastmasters is that we are great as a unit and we are united as one. I do observed how the Brunei toastmasters in different clubs operate but we all have the same agenda, to grow and to learn together and not see each other as competition.

In the Award Ceremony, Genevieve Lai, one of the founding members of Brunei Speakers’ Club made Brunei proud when she was among the few who was awarded the Distinguished Toastmasters Award (DTM), the highest education and leadership award from Toastmasters International. This would mean that she completed 40 speeches and completed four leadership manuals and also taking up higher positions in the ranks of toastmasters. So this is no easy feat at all.

She has also achieved Triple Crown awards along with Reuben Chin, Pranika Lama, Jason Koo and Allen Ang. Triple Crown awards were given to achievers who had accomplished three or more education or leadership programmes in one single term. I’m aiming for one next year so we will see how it goes 😀

What do all of them have in common? They all achieved triple crowns 😀 Reuben Chin (UBD Toastmasters), Pranika Lama (UBD Toastmasters), Genevieve Lai (Brunei Advanced Speakers’ Club), Jason Koo (Otters) and Allen Ang (Otters). Genevieve was also awarded Distinguished Toastmasters title that time.

Shawn Cassidy Narcis pitched why we all should go to Bali this November for the semi-annual conference. I’m definitely going 😀

I successfully pitched for the next convention to be in Brunei Darussalam. Now that’s a huge project for me but I’m confident that we can do this 😀

Brunei Speakers’ Club (BSC) was awarded President’s Distinguished Club, the highest rating that Toastmasters International gives to its clubs, in recognition of the club’s effort to maintain high quality meetings and good membership. BSC also achieved it last year and this shows great leadership in our club in recent years.

Brunei toastmasters hit milestones after milestones. During the District Council meeting, Shawn Cassidy Narcis was elected the Club Growth Director for District 87. District 87 is a region of Toastmasters International including Brunei, East Malaysia and Indonesia. It comprises 7 divisions with more than 150 corporate and community clubs.

“I will be working with every member in District 87 to have a greater experience in the Toastmasters journey, where friends help friends to grow and support each other. Every journey begins with a single step. And with every single step we can accomplish and reach our destination” said Narcis, incoming Club Growth Director 2015/2016.

To me, Shawn is our pillar in Brunei toastmasters. He has been a great role model for many and this is one reason why toastmasters is very strong in Brunei and I’m happy that he was elected as Club Growth Director.

Another leader in our community, Reuben Chin, stood up as the Division (K) Director where he will be serving 7 Areas which include Brunei, Labuan and Sabah.

“Over the coming years, we will see a rise in membership as the Toastmasters Program continues to make an impact on more and more peoples’ lives. And as that happens, it is our responsibility to focus on the learning aspect of Toastmasters. The focus on of the coming term will be an emphasis on education” said Chin.

Allen Ang, the incoming Area Director (K6) also added that sharing of best practices among clubs is essential for the club growth and success within Brunei. The current Area Director is Ruey Chong Narcis.

Pranika Lama with world champion of public speaking 2014 Dananjaya Hettiarachchi

So Dananjaya wants to be like me?? 😀

Seng Yee with the charismatic champion

During the conference, Education Sessions were also held where the World Champion of Public Speaking 2014, Dananjaya Hettiarachchi gave a motivational speech highlighting his journey to the World Championship last year. In his speech, he quoted “When you want something as bad as you want to breathe, then you will achieve it”. Best part about Dananjaya was that he actually invested his spare time in Kuching to be with the Brunei toastmasters and wow, he is such an inspirational and charismatic individual. We were all so blessed for him showing up.

Other speakers include Shurooq AlBanna (first Arab woman who won third place in the World Championship of Public Speaking), Johnny Uy (International Speech Contest Semi-finalist), Zaharom Naim (Professor of Media and Communication Studies), Raju Mandhyan (Coach & Learning Facilitator) and Alex Wong (ex-CEO of Pan Global, adventurer, author).

The next District 87 Conference will be held in Bali from October 30th to November 1st organised by Brunei Toastmasters, Shawn Cassidy Narcis. On a better not, I, as a member from Brunei Speakers’ Club also pitched in the District Council Meeting to host the District Semi-Annual Conference in November 2016. To me, it is my deepest intention to spread the awareness of Toastmasters in Brunei for the benefit of the community and I believe this event will bring a new chapter to Brunei.

Brunei Speakers’ Club meets regularly each Tuesday at 7:30 at SEAMEO VOCTECH. For more information about the event and club, please visit www.bruneispeakersclub.com and thanks VPR, Seng Yee for the write up.


We are not just toastmasters, we are family

During the Gala Dinner with the Brunei toastmasters

Rano Iskandar, the organizing chair for Semi-Annual District 2016 in Brunei, Reuben Chin, newly elect Division Director K, Shawn Cassidy Narcis, newly elect Club Growth Director (District) and Allen Ang, Area K6 Director



Go, Go Brunei

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Brunei did their best 

Brunei Netball team before departing for Singapore for the SEA Games 2015. Image courtesy of BNA Facebook Page.

Brunei team and Singapore huddled up before the game. Image courtesy of Steve Lai.

Royal Bees, our Brunei national netball team, have been working tremendously hard and it’s never easy to climb up the ranks especially when it comes to sports. Sports is a dedicated activity and it usually starts at grass roots level if you want to excel to greater heights to compete internationally. Who said it was easy being an athlete or a sports person?

They have been training very hard leading to the tournament and they have been flying as well to gain more exposure to play against other teams to see the level they are at now. I would say that the Brunei netball team has improved tremendously under the guidance of their netball head coach Thilaka Jinadasa and she had made a difference to the team.

This afternoon they lost their opener to the host Singapore 72-21 and they have nothing to be ashamed of. The Royal Bees gave in their best despite being physically dominated and the Singaporeans were simply fast to begin with. Brunei had little answer to the superiority of the host but the Brunei team still gave their best shot as a team and that is the first step to success – determination.

This could be one reason why Brunei hasn’t been performing or close to grinding out results in the international level. One biggest reason for me is they are not a full time athlete or sports person. And of course, budget is another issue as sports is never seen as a priority for the development of the nation. Hence, just to see or witness how Brunei perform on the courts or fields, I’m glad to say that Brunei did their best at the level they are due to lack of resources.

Even the Brunei U-23 football team only has been gelling as a team for the past few months or so. Even You put an Arsene Wenger as a head coach for the past five months, Brunei team will definitely still struggle because of the lack of preparation and approvals. So to expect a bigger milestone for Brunei in the SEA Games will be a tall order. And the media seems to highlight one promising player Faiq Jefri Bolkiah, who signed up for the U-18 Chelsea club last year. Now the pressure is on him to deliver what he can do for Brunei and he was even given the task to lead the team as the Brunei captain.

Two days ago, Brunei performed below expectations in the football arena, losing to a better team Vietnam in the 6-0 rout. Many question marks have been put forth if Brunei is ready to take on the international stage. Yes, it’s true that in football, the ball is round meaning anything can happen and results can go either way. However, it didn’t seem to be the case for Brunei in the opening match. They didn’t even register a shot on target through the 95 minutes. Let’s hope for a better outing tonight against Laos and you can catch it live on youtube at 8:30pm

As for the Royal Bees, they will take on Myanmar tomorrow (Monday, 1st June) at 1:30pm but sadly no live telecast even on youtube.


During the opening ceremony today. Image courtesy of Netball Singapore Facebook Page.

The line up

Imagine this is the substitute GK for Singapore. Image courtesy of Steve Lai.

A huge crowd at the netball match. Image courtesy of Liew Wei Wei.

Nur Hafizah of Brunei aiming for a basket. Image courtesy of Netball Singapore Facebook Page.

Image courtesy of Netball Singapore Facebook Page

Singapore 72 Brunei 21. Image courtesy of Netball Singapore Facebook Page.

Siti Norsaihah being interviewed after the match. Image courtesy of Steve Lai.



Be alert on the road

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


Backlash from the public 

In the paper’s yesterday

In the paper’s yesterday

I knew this is gonna draw a lot of mixed reactions. Actually it was even mixed at all. The comments were 95% negative when I posted this message on my social network. This was to do with the recent directives from the Municipal Board where businesses were to shut down by midnight. Many wanted answers and legitimate reasons to why on such ruling. The Ministry of Home Affairs didn’t hold any press conference but issued statement to the media and in the end of the day, there was a slight u-turn in the statement and now apparently some restaurants can still operate after midnight.

In today’s The Brunei Times, it was mentioned that restaurants are still confused about the guideline. This reminds me of last year’s confusion on the attire and clothing before the implementation of the Syariah Law. Now it’s about small businesses that are operating after midnight. Some have mentioned that they haven’t received any letter from the Municipal Board on the confirmation for the request of extended hours. Let’s hope this issue can be resolved for the benefit of the community and let’s not forget that Ramadhan is just around the corner and these businesses need to prep themselves.

At least, this is some leeway for restaurants and the public that there’s a high possibility for restaurants and convenient stores to operate past midnight.


Posted on @thebruneitimes social media before the actual full details


All eyes on Faiq 

Faiq Jefri Bolkiah in the training session with the Brunei U-23 team. Image courtesy of Yee Chun Leong of The Brunei Times.

Faiq Jefri Bolkiah with the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam and the Brunei U-23 team before flying off to Singapore

A talent in the making. He had trials in Arsenal in the youth academy two years ago before signing a youth club deal with Chelsea early last year. Today he is representing Brunei in the upcoming SEA Games but I have yet to see on the field or in any football matches just yet. He plays upfront and his inclusion to the under-23 football team is a huge boost for the country. He naturally plays wide in attack.

He is no other than Faiq Jefri Bolkiah and he seems upbeat for the competition. According to his interview with The Brunei Times, he will focus on his physical presence and speed and he aimed to work hard both defensively and offensively. He is pleased to play along the ranks of the DPMM FC players such as Azwan Ali Rahman.

Brunei will take on Vietnam on 29th May in the Round Robin Group B, followed by Loas on 31st May. Their third match will be against Timor-Leste on 3rd June before they face Thailand on 6th June and on their final match will be against Malaysia on 8th June. Good luck to the Brunei u-23 team in the SEA Games.


Faiq Jefri Bolkiah was the Brunei Chelsea Supporters Club (BCSC) at Papa Chelsea Shed last weekend. Image courtesy of BCSC.

Group photo of the BCSC in celebration of Chelsea’s crowning of the Premier League. Image courtesy of BCSC.

Chelsea supporters taking photo with Faiq Jefri Bolkiah. Click image to enter BCSC Facebook Page. Image courtesy of BCSC.

Faiq Jefri Bolkiah signing the youth deal with Chelsea FC last year. Image courtesy of @RYO_cleverfish

Faiq Jefri Bolkiah in action for the U-18 Chelsea FC. Image courtesy of @fjbolkiah




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