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Posts Tagged ‘the popcorn panel’

06
Oct

Help, Help

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

The Martian 
 

Podcast review of The Martian with other movies The Intern, Transylvania 2, Black Mass and Everest with co-host Del Goh and special guest Nee Khern

 


What my buddies thought of The Martian. Have you caught it yet?
 

Review of The Martian on The Reel Show

 

  
 

20
Jan

Can we start again?

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Top 10 movies of 2014 
 

Best top ten movies of 2014 with my regular co-host @delgoh and special guest Zul

 

The Reel Show – [A Year in Review] The best, the worst and the most disappointing movies of 2014

 

  
 

26
Dec

Appreciate your loved ones

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Acer Aspire

 

Now available at Concepts Computer
 

 

ICON Design Store 
 


Click image to enter ICON Design Store website
 

  
 

Test drive or buy a Citroën!! 
 


Click image to enter Citroën Brunei 
 

  
 

Peugeot 
 


Free labour charge on repairs for Peugeot. Click image to enter website to find out more.
 

 

 

BIBD latest promotion 
 


Click image to enter website to find out more
 

   
 

The Popcorn Panel 
 

Review of Annie 2014 starring Rano Iskandar with special guest Singapore blogger Tiffany Yong

Review of The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies. Starring Rano Iskandar with his regular co-host @delgoh

 

  
 

Al-Fatihah 
 


I’ve bumped to him occasionally during my coverages and it was a shock to hear of the tragic news. Syazwan Yussof (1994-2014). Al-Fatihah. Image courtesy of @hamiqie278

I was shocked after learning of the passing of a young guy that I got acquainted with two years ago. Only 20 years old and he has departed us after a fatal car accident two days ago. I didn’t know he was working for The Brunei Times as a photographer and I always sense his desire to take photo of events from time to time.

Jenazah (funeral) prayers were held at his home in Kampung Salambigar before he was laid to rest at the Kg Salambigar Mosque cemetery.

A tahlil ceremony will be held in his memory last night at The Brunei Times headquarters, Wisma Haji Mohd Taha, Jalan Gadong, Bandar Seri Begawan. Syazwan is survived by his parents, Hj Yussof Hj Baha and Hjh Halimah Hj Abidin, as well as his three younger siblings. My deepest condolences goes to his family, relatives and friends and I also feel your loss @waneewano. He is in good hands now. Al-Fatihah.

  
 

Back to normal operations 
 


The long queue at BIBD ATM Hua Ho Manggis during the bonus day last Monday. Image taken by the late Syazwan Yussof of The Brunei Times.

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) is pleased to announce to all of its customers and partners that all of its banking operations, including its BIBD counter operations, have resumed its normal operations as of this afternoon.

Hajah Noraini Haji Sulaiman, BIBD Deputy Managing Director, conveyed her deepest regrets for the service interruptions that were experienced and sincerely apologised.

She further added “Alhamdulilah, we have resumed operations this afternoon as our system was fully restored allowing all our customers to our full range of services. As a growing bank, we understand you expect more from us and we will continue to work harder to meet those expectations. We will also work diligently to ensure that this occasion remains a one-off.”

The main batch processing system encountered unexpected issues that resulted in significant delays in completing the end of day processes. This has forced the Bank to close its branch operations and resulted in intermittent disruptions to the Bank’s alternative channels – Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Cash Deposit Machines (CDMs), Cheque Deposit Machines (CQMs), BIBD Online and Mobile services, and also the Debit card services.

As part of BIBD’s strategic plans for business growth, the Bank is upgrading its main hardware infrastructure, which will be completed in early 2015. This will support the growth plan and strengthen the technical capabilities to ensure that similar disruptions will not recur. BIBD continues to reassure the disruptions did not affect any customer data, and banking information remains secure and protected.

For any enquiries, customers can contact our Contact Centre at 223 8181.

 

  
 

Flood in Malaysia 
 


A resident of Kampung Keroh, Kelantan, uses a water tank to save himself as flood waters continue to rise. Image courtesy of Bernama.

This is another tragedy in Malaysia as more than 90,000 people were displaced due to the flood. Kelantan had the highest number of evacuees at 32,343, followed by Terengganu (28,991), Pahang (24,316), Perak (4,335) and Perlis (265).You can read more of the details here.

One of the popular hotels in Pahang, Mutiara Taman Negera Resort, was affected by the flood. A lot of tourists were stranded and they had to use helicopters to rescue them.

Torrential downpours have wrecked havoc on local transport systems and communication lines, making it tougher for rescue wor-kers to do their job. Most overland public transport services have been disrupted following severe floods which hit the East Coast and northern peninsular states.

My prayers to those affected by the flood and I hope my friends and relatives are safe there.

 


Some of the 102 foreign and domestic tourists evacuated from the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort in Malaysia’s state of Pahang, upon their arri-val at a shelter in Kuala Tahan yesterday. Image courtesy of Bernama.
 


An aerial view of flooded houses in the Terengganu’s coastal town of Kemaman. Image courtesy of Bernama.
 

  
 

 

Concepts Computer

 



 

22
Dec

The Highlight Reel

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Acer Aspire

 

Now available at Concepts Computer
 

 

ICON Design Store 
 


Click image to enter ICON Design Store website
 

  
 

Test drive or buy a Citroën!! 
 


Click image to enter Citroën Brunei 
 

  
 

Peugeot 
 


Free labour charge on repairs for Peugeot. Click image to enter website to find out more.
 

 

 

BIBD latest promotion 
 


Click image to enter website to find out more
 

   

The Popcorn Panel 
 

Review of Annie 2014 starring Rano Iskandar with special guest Singapore blogger Tiffany Yong

 

  

 

RA Highlights of 2014 
 

With 2014 almost ending, I have to say that my year has been fabulous. Normally you will hear familiar things such as having a roller coaster year but if we do end of high note and feel at the present, very likely tend to forget the bad days and sum up the year to be much better than previous year. I haven’t been blogging as I’m currently taking time off for a bit and spending my holidays in Singapore to cap off another awesome year.

So how do I rate my 2014? Honestly it was one of the best years I had in many years. For many reasons but I won’t be sharing all my best moments with you, only some. Maybe the most exciting part for 2014 was able to travel to places like Seoul and Moscow. Well, I didn’t expect to fly to Moscow but Seoul was one of my sought places to travel. I would like to thank you Harley Davidson for bringing me to Seoul for and also to MOE and Bluebox Services for making my Russia trip possible. Where will 2015 bring me? For sure, I have set a date to fly to Manila and guess what? The Philippines is the only ASEAN country that I have yet to travel. Surprise, surprise.

This year, I also truly appreciative of my close friends and my new found ones. It’s true that the closer ones tend to be the most challenging ones because of the level of expectations I have on them. These expectations have been making my relationship with my buddies challenging for many years. Somehow, this year, I feel much lighter than before and I was able to feel much freedom rather than feeling suffocated with my negative thoughts (with having a thought that I’m not enough for them). This year, I’m truly grateful for my strong bonding relationship with my close buddies and you know who you are.

 


I can’t believe that I actually made it to Moscow, Russia, this year and it was an unexpected journey. This is one of the highlights of 2014 as I hardly travel to Europe and secondly, having a ICI document (passport for Brunei PRs), it will be tricky to travel to European countries.
 


Since the first picture was taken at Burger King Moscow, let me share with you my favourite snack of 2014 – Burger King’s Taro Pie. Not the one that Gladys is biting but the one on her left hand 😀 Did you know Taro Pie was sold out? But I’m glad it was re-stocked to the delight of Burger King fans.
 


My other highlight was my Seoul trip back in May 2014. I was happy that Harley Davidson chose me to represent the social media for Brunei. In this picture, Alice and I were at the Trick Eye Museum (adult version) in Seoul.
 


We had a mini dress up competition at Harley Davidson Headquarters at Seoul. This is the first time I bumped into Malaysian celebrity Michele Lee, a presenter of Football Overload.

One of the reasons I’ve been flying out is for the personal growth workshop sessions I have been attending which has been ongoing for many years. The best part of this journey is rediscovering the strengths in terms of my mental and emotional state. Sometimes you will never know what kind of breakthroughs you will have along the way and I’m blessed to have a great environment around me and mixing with the right crowd too. I’ve never seen the core team so committed with their vision of empowering and making this world a better place to live.

Who would have thought my love for toastmasters grown so immensely after rejoining back as a member after a three year hiatus? Of course, all of this was reignited by my close buddy but along the way, I found my core value within myself as a toastmaster and that is to contribute and be a better leader. People who are not aware will think that toastmasters are just platform for good speakers. It’s more than just that. It’s to nurture and give the members and guests a chance to learn something about public speaking at all levels from beginners to advanced speakers.

Speaking of toastmasters, I’m totally impressed with one of my friends, Amran, who has improved immensely as a speaker and a leader and he is a truly a role model for many. He unexpectedly won also his first Table Topics last week and for someone who was so shy to speak in public last year, we have seen such tremendous change. One of my best highlights of 2014 was my mid-year trip to Kuala Lumpur for the Toastmasters International Convention to witness one of our members of Brunei Speakers’ Club to represent our club and District 87 in the International Speech Contest finals. Awesome!!!!! My aim next year to join the contest for International Speech category. This year, I managed to bag 3rd place in the Speech Evaluation Contest *surprised* while I gained experienced in the Humourous Speech Contest.

For the first time in many years, I enjoyed this year’s summer movies as compared to previous years. From Godzilla to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes to Guardian of the Galaxy and finishing off with one of the biggest blockbuster for Bruneil, Yasmine the movie, locally produced by Origin Films. Yes, I’m a movie buff and my love for movie will hardly fade away. I’m also happy that my podcast movie review has been a success for this year and for those, who have been listening and downloading the podcast, thank you so much. The popular podcasts for The Popcorn Panel for 2014 is Yasmine (almost 1,000 listened), Big Hero 6 (650) and Transformers 4 (580). Because of The Popcorn Panel, you will hardly see a written movie review on my blog. I shall be blogging more on my reviews by next year so you will have two mediums of my actual review of the movies. Overall, a great movie experience for 2014. Do watch out for my Top 10 movies of 2014 early in January 2015.

 


This year, I met a bunch of new friends during my travels. Though English is a language for them but we still managed to converse. Life is full of unexpected beginnings.
 


What more can I say? We all cross path back in 2009 and it was always great to look back at older pictures and remind what great friendship I have made with my friends. Though Winnie has left for Penang, the friendship still remains solid.
 


Toastmasters is another avenue to learn and grow as a leader and also support one another in a conducive environment. These are my toastmasters buddies and this was taken during the Toastmasters International Convention 2014 in Kuala Lumpur. One of the top 3 highlights of my 2014 indeed.
 


After slacking off in Year 2011 for Toastmasters, I rejoined back in June 2014 and began doing my speeches. This was my third speech manual (CC3) which was entitled “The Art of Showmanship” where I impersonated The Rock and talked about how much of an entertainment WWE (or wrestling) is.
 


Early in March, I went to Singapore to catch both Hollywood stars starring in The Amazing Spider-man to promote Earth Hour in Singapore. This shows how much I’m a big fan of movies and I even had the privilege to catch a special preview screening of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in Singapore.

My love for WWE might have faded. Maybe because the WWE universe isn’t as exciting as before. My urge to catch RAW on Tuesday also has faded. Regardless of my less interest in WWE, I was more than excited to catch WWE Live in Kuala Lumpur. Ironically I had an invitation to catch John Cena live during a press conference and I’m not much of a John Cena fan. I managed to ask a question to him personally with regards to the title achievement in comparison with Ric Flair. The overall experience was awesome because I finally get up close and personal to a WWE Superstar. The wrestling show itself was full of adrenalin and that is purely due to the engaging crowd at Indoor Stadium. Let’s hope for another WWE in Asia and I won’t mind booking another flight to catch one.

Finally, to finish off a wonderful 2014 is my renovated room which has been so messy and old-school for the past 20 years. I didn’t spend that much on the renovation but more on spending on new furniture such as my single bed (though it has yet to be assembled in my room lol) and I have a new wardrobe area. The only item that hasn’t been completed is the extension of my bedroom to another room (office area). The new feel has made my environment more conducive and I feel so much better that I don’t have the feeling of suffocating and constrained. The extra space in my room does make a difference and I feel much more like home. There are still a few tweaking to do here and there. Other than that, I’m more than happy of my current room. Maybe you can try and renovate your room and see how your energy will be for the next few months. Oh, by the way, I dispelled the rumours that people thought I was gonna get married just because I was renovating my room.

There are many more I wanna share and I shall leave it for here. I won’t be recapping my 2014 in monthly formats but I will be highlighting the happenings in general and how it has impacted the country and myself overall. Thank you for all my friends who have been the change agent in my life. My advice: Always focus on the positive aspect of your journey while those negative ones, well, either you change your perspective of your thoughts or simply ignore the negative (though that’s tough as we are human beings).


Too surreal to be true.. I was only yards away from WWE Superstar John Cena who paid a visit to Kuala Lumpur back in August. Thank you so much for the opportunity though I didn’t like his guts so much but he does have important values such as supporting the breast cancer awareness campaign.
 


Though my room is incomplete in terms of renovation, the newly look has made me feel much more lighter and I feel more energized whenever I wake up or do my work. So do renovate your room because it can make a difference energy wise and a much more conducive environment.
 

  
 

 

The C Class 

 


Check out the C Class at Jati Transport Showroom

  

14
Nov

The Big Difference

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Fundraiser for a good cause 



Click image to enter website

Let’s help Azeemah who will be trekking at Mount Snowdon to raise funds for Syria through the Human Relief Foundation’s Blanket for Syria Appeal. It’s good to know that she has reached her target and the event is tomorrow. Saturday 15th November. You can still donate for the good cause and good luck, Azeemah :))

A message from Azeemah’s fundraiser page: I, Azeemah Natasha Hj Mohd Khairul Zaki from Brunei Darussalam, will be trekking Mt. Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales for the purpose of a charity hike organised by University of Sheffield’s Islamic Circle. However, to make this possible, I need to raise at least 150 pounds.

Inside the war-torn country, an estimated 3.2 million children have been forced from their homes. Another 1.5 million children have fled the country and are now living in over-stretched refugee camps or villages. The most vulnerable children are those who remain inside Syria, who risk death, illness, abuse and exploitation on a daily basis. The humanitarian needs are incalculable, thus we need your help to raise money and awareness for Syria through the Human Relief Foundation’s Blanket for Syria Appeal.

Thank you for your time and generosity! May God bless you. End.

You may click here to donate.

 

  

The Popcorn Panel 
 


Big Hero 6 podcast review with co-host @delgoh and special guest @sengyeeciara

 


Interstellar podcast review with co-host @delgoh

 

  
 

 

Baiduri Deals 
 


Click image to enter website to find out more. Download Baiduri Bank Deals App on your smartphone and enjoy many benefits from the app.
 

  
 

Taro Pie out of stock! 
 


I managed to get a dosage on my way back from Bali the other day. It’s amazing how the Taro Pie is doing so well in Brunei. See, I told you that the Taro Pie is awesome 😀
 

Sinofood Express, the franchisee of the BURGER KING ® franchise, would like to apologize to all our guests for the insufficient stock of our Taro Turnover due to popularity which was not anticipated by us.

Our shipment for the Taro Turnover was delayed therefore this item will not be available for a couple of days in Burger King. We are trying our best to bring the Taro Turnover in for our guests as soon as possible and we apologize for any inconvenience caused.

For further updates on Burger King® Brunei, visits our Instagram @burgerkingbrunei and Facebook at www.facebook.com/bkbrunei.

  
 

Malppy Update 
 


Click image to enter website

Malppy.com is asking the ladies to brace themselves now as it’s that time of the year again when boyfriends/husbands decide to let his manhood go wild. Hey, they are talking about Movember here! This annual 30-day event involves the tradition of men growing moustaches during the month of November in order to raise awareness of men’s health issues.

Malppy.com is not letting go of this opportunity to raise some awareness as well and they are definitely doing it their way. Being an online fashion store, they are getting both the men and women to be involved this time around. Yes, I have spotted some female-friendly moustache items in the store and they are featured in this weekend sale! Yes, expect to see ‘staches here and there and even not, their deal is impossible to miss!

Members of Malppy can now express your fashion sense and at the same time show your care for this cause with Malppy.com as this offer only valid for 3 days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) If you haven’t registered yet, you better hurry and register right away to enjoy their knockout deal this weekend exclusively for members only! Visit their website now at www.malppy.com and don’t forget to Keep Calm and Shop Online.

OH WAIT! There’s MORE…. Malppy is also giving out FREE Movember String Bags throughout the month November for any transaction above $50, now how cool is that?

 


Click image to enter website
 

  
 

07
Nov

Serenity

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News

 

Burger King – Black Pepper Burger 
 


 

  
 

Get Connected through ICONIA

 

 

 

BIBD’s latest promotion


Top up tia. Click image to enter website.
 

  
 

 

ICON Design Store 
 


Click image to enter ICON Design Store website
 

  
 

Test drive or buy a Citroën!! 
 


Click image to enter Citroën Brunei 
 

  
 

Big Cheesy Box 
 


Click image to enter
 

  
 

 

The journey of Asari Rashid 

BIBD, via its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, showed its full support for Asari Rashid to become the first Bruneian to participate in the Polar Circle Marathon. BIBD’s support for Asari was aimed to create and raise awareness for developing a community that cares, whilst playing its role as an integral and strong partner of the community. This partnership is developed to encourage a positive influence and inspire other members of the community to support similar awareness raising efforts.

Asari is an epileptic PhD student from Newcastle University, UK and a lecturer in Institut Teknologi Brunei. He is also the 1st Bruneian to run the Polar Circle Marathon, participating in the Polar Bear Challenge, which tested his ability to run both the marathon and a half-run within the two days of the competition.

Earlier before the Polar Circle Marathon, Asari mentioned, “I’ve had a lot of people telling me it’s difficult but this is something I really want to try.” Asari, clearly unfazed by the idea of the run, continued, “I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2009 with tendency of having seizures but it has never stopped me from doing what I love. I am also very thankful to BIBD for providing me with the opportunity to embark on my dream, as together we are able to show the world that everyone has the ability to succeed, regardless of their drawbacks.

“I was inspired to take the feat in order to raise awareness of the needs of people with diseases and show that we are both resilient and determined not to let it become an obstacle in pursuing our dreams including achieving better education. Everyone needs education and it will start from their adolescence, children need to be given as much opportunity in life as possible.”

Asari is no stranger to long distance running, having trained with the Tyne Bridge Harriers running club, had already competed in numerous challenges including completed a Aviva Singapore Ironman 70.3, three marathons, and an Ultramarathon “The Wall” from Carlisle to Newcastle Gateshead, which saw him running 110km miles in an impressive 15hrs and 55mins. The Polar Circle Marathon included a classic 42.195km marathon and a half marathon. The Marathon was held in the worst running conditions of under – 20°C in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland for two consecutive days.

Starting at Kangerlussuaq, the run passes the endless ice and arctic tundra of Greenland, which makes up the glacial deposit landscapes and soundless arctic desert. Part of the route takes place on the 100,000-year-old ice sheet but the main part of the race is run on roads, mostly covered in snow that connects to the inland ice just north of the Polar Circle.

 


Asari Rashid, an epileptic PhD student from Newcastle University, UK and a lecturer in Institut Teknologi Brunei became the first Bruneian to run the Polar Circle Marathon. Image courtesy of Asari Rashid.


Asari Rashid with new found buddies at the Polar Circle Marathon




A similar effort for awareness, BIBD’s ALAF Programme (Advocating Life-Long Learning for An Aspiring Future), provides a similar avenue for all members of the public to support and provide assistance to underprivileged and orphaned students, through sponsorships of basic needs, educational items and welfare, as well as mentoring and counselling, so that the students can stay focused on their education and maximise their potential. Through ALAF, BIBD hopes to lend its support to His Majesty’s 2035 vision of achieving a 100 per cent level of education and over time, reduce poverty in Brunei.

To further support the aspiration of this program and to enable the deserving students to pursue their education and dreams, members of the public are welcome to provide contributions with a minimum of B$1.01 via the bank’s e-banking channels, BIBD Online, BIBD Mobile, or use any BIBD ATM machines. The public can also use the standing instruction function in their accounts to provide a continuous donation stream into the ALAF account at 1018181811.

 

  


Movie reviews 

The Book of Life

 

Fury

 

  
 

Want to win a Dell notebook? 
 


Netcom 19th Anniversary and you can stand a chance to win a notebook. So far there have been hundreds of shares and likes on Netcom Computer House Facebook page. So keep them coming. Click image to find out more.
 

  
 

Malppy update 
 

Are you always in a rush? Simply throw on one of your favorite pair of jeans, a white tee, and one of our selections of scarves this weekend! We have chosen quite a few great designs that will elevate a simple outfit in one easy step. This weekend, you can layer yourself in this craze and shop gauzy, pretty prints of scarves for only B$11.90 instead of the usual B$19.90 exclusively for REGISTERED MEMBERS ONLY! Hence if you are not registered with Malppy yet, register right NOW. Let its refined look dress up a casual top, or make it even more chic by offsetting its slightly slouchy shape with your structured overcoats for this rainy season.

Weekend Members Special is only valid for 3 days from Friday till Sunday, so be fast before the price is back to original again. For your information, Malppy Weekend Sale will now be exclusively for REGISTERED MEMBERS only hence to enjoy this great deal coming from Malppy every weekend, you need to be registered as a Malppy user.

 


Click image to enter
Also, another reminder for all BIBD customers, BIBD is promoting their eBayar and eTunai online payment service. For the first 50 customers to pay their purchases at Malppy.com with either of these services will get a B$10 Starbucks coffee voucher FREE. To further understand how to use these online payment services on malppy.com, you can simply click http://malppy.com/etunai and http://malppy.com/ebayar for the guide. Have a Great weekend ahead.

 


Starbucks gift vouchers to be given first 50 customers of BIBD customers
 

  
 

JPMC Car Boot Sale 
 


Happening this Sunday – Charity Car Boot Sale organised by Jerudong Park Medical Centre
 

  
 

AITI Grant Scheme 
 

The Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) has opened another window for applications to its “GRANT for the Development of Local ICT and Digital Media Industries” from 1 November 2014 to 31 December 2014.

The AITI GRANT offers partial funding opportunities for local businesses as well as foreign companies with local partners from the ICT and digital media fields to acquire enhancement, ownership and marketing assistance for their existing “Brunei-Made” product or prototype that has significant commercial viability. There are three (3) grant types available, namely:

a) Enhancement Grant – for improving and upgrading existing products;

b) Ownership Grant – for obtaining certification and quality management systems such as trademarks, patent, and IPR; and

c) Marketing Grant – for marketing and improving existing branding, packaging, design or labeling.

The grant amount varies depending on the type of grant applied and the classification of the businesses. Each applicant is allowed to apply for more than one grant type for the same product with a maximum cap of B$300,000 per category within eighteen (18) months project duration.

To be eligible for the AITI GRANT, an applicant must have valid AITI Accredited Business (AAB) Status and has financial capability to inject an initial amount of self-funding prior to the start of the GRANT project. The applicant must also have developed an existing product or prototype and wishes to obtain the grant to improve and enhance the technological aspects of the product, to improve marketing strategies, as well as to acquire a wider coverage of Intellectual Property Rights protection for their product.

Applications will be evaluated based on four main criteria: technical merits, commercial potential, financial resources, and project plan and capacity to deliver. Further evaluation will also emphasize on Brunei-Made elements of the proposed product as well as the relevancy to any of the following areas: application tools and platforms, communication, e-learning, financial industry application, government and public sectors, health and wellbeing, social inclusion and community, industrial application, media and entertainment technology, ICT research and development, retail and supply chain management, security, and sustainability and environment technology.

 


AITI Grant Scheme

AITI’s GRANT was initiated to assist the local ICT companies to further develop their ICT and digital media related products and encourage R&D activities and capabilities in producing local innovative Brunei Made products with commercial potential through Government funding.

Since its inception in 2010, AITI has awarded grant to fourteen local ICT and digital media related businesses with an overall amount of B$1.9 million funded under the National Development Plan. To date, ten recipients have already completed their grant projects where some of these products have been now made readily available in the market. The first GRANT recipient, MARS Enterprise, has successfully developed their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution and has penetrated the overseas market within this region.

Two recipients, John Harith Technology Sdn Bhd and ZimacSilicon Technologies Sdn Bhd, have successfully run their pilot projects on Halal Food Traceability System and iCLID, respectively with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and the Customs and Immigration Department. Other grant recipients include Crescent Sdn Bhd, Alif Technologies Sdn Bhd, BruGPS Technologies Sdn Bhd, Syarikat Indah Sejahtera Development and Services Sdn Bhd, Ambuyart Animations Company, Cinematicpro Services, Mediahikmah, PHMD Publishing Company, SocialBuzz Advertising, MeSixty Sdn Bhd and Giftbox Enterprise Sdn Bhd.

AITI is pleased to invite all eligible ICT and digital media businesses to apply for the AITI GRANT before the closing on Wednesday, 31 December 2014 by 4.30pm. For more information and guidelines on the AITI GRANT, please visit AITI’s website, www.aiti.gov.bn/AITIGRANT. Individual consultation sessions are also provided. For further enquiries, interested applicants can contact Farihah or Tajul Ariffin of Industry Development Group at 2366659/ 2366681 / 2323232 ext. 6681 (during office hours) or
via email at farihah.said@aiti.gov.bn / ariffin.hassan@aiti.gov.bn.

 

  
 

05
Sep

Bonding marathon

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News

 

 

Acer Liquid Smartphones

Check out Acer Liquid smartphones
 

 

Peugeot Hari Raya Promotion 
 


Click image to enter Peugeot Brunei’s website
 

 

Citroën Brunei 
 


Click image to enter Citroën Brunei 
 

   
 

BIBD’s latest promotion


Top up tia. Click image to enter website.
 

  
 

The Popcorn Panel 
 

Our podcast review of Summer Box Office with my co-host Del Goh

 

  
 

 

ICON Design Store 
 


Click image to enter ICON Design Store website
 

  
 

 

’Building a Nation’ 
 


Click image to find out more from Butra HeidelbergCement

Butra HeidelbergCement, best known for their resources of providing cement to the Sultanate, has done more than its reputation proceeds. ‘Building A Nation’ is their corporate social responsibility initiative focusing on developing various aspects and levels of the nation with the mutual goal to succeed as a country. A company centered on sourcing a build, made enough sense for them to help others build their hopes, dreams and ambitions.

A fraction of this movement is devoted towards ‘Building Hope’, efforts dedicated to helping the less-fortunate society by addressing and aiding their needs for sustainable living. Dated back to February 2014, Butra HeidelbergCement was on the search of giving hope to those in need by refurbishing the core of basic necessities; a sheltering home.

Butra HeidelbergCement invited those in need with a chance to have their homes restored and repaired, a kind gesture by the company with hopes of ensuring a blissful Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration. This venture was in collaboration with the Community Development Department (JAPEM) under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and Radio Televisyen Brunei (RTB) in expanding the reach for the initiative and assisting those in dire need of help.

From February, the collaborating delegation began investigating the applicants’ homes up until May when they narrowed down the list to four candidates for the project, two living in Brunei-Muara District and another two in Tutong District. A month long process of reconstruction began simultaneously for all four homes and the team addressed any faults and troubles the candidates previously faced in their distressed homesteads. By June, the candidates were able to enjoy the comforts of their refreshed homes in time for the fasting month of Ramadhan as well as the preparations for the festive season.

The success of the project proved enough for its continued existence as Butra HeidelbergCement has set their sights on sequel venture in the future, holding on to the values and objectives of ‘Building A Nation’.

Building A Nation comprises of other initiatives diversifying its reach towards accomplishing various other goals

Building Champion centers the spotlight on Brunei’s very own Wushu team, sponsored for their achievements in winning gold for the South East Asia (SEA) Games.

Building Careers opens more opportunities for locals in exploring their potential while Building Sustainability channels its inner greenery by championing the needs of our environment for
future generations.

Brunei Darussalam’s future looks bright with Butra HeidelbergCement as they build the pillars to a nationwide success. Courtesy of BHC.

So do check out RTB 1 every Friday at 7:30pm on the program entitled “Membina Harapan”.


One of the homes before it was reconstructed
 


The owner of the home
 


With the faces of Butra HeidelbergCement that helped in the project
 


This is the newly looked home.
 

 

Women of Brunei 
 


Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Datin Paduka Hjh Adina (front, 4th L) with authors of ‘Women of Brunei – Inspiring Life Stories’ Nicola Lynskey (3rd L) and Cecile Castilla (5th L), and the Bruneian women featured in the book. Images courtesy of Amanda Yap of The Brunei Times.

The book took a while to complete but the hurdle is over. Co-authors French Cécile Castilla & British Nicola Lynskey have invested their times with their interviews and writing up articles for the compilation of 21 women of Brunei entitled Women of Brunei. The purpose of this publication is to inspire the younger generation of Brunei women and even those challenging moments can be dealt with.

I caught up with Cécile Castilla over a book signing outside Best Eastern Times Square a few days ago. I’ve known her for quite a while and in those days, she was editor-in-chief for Dua Minggu and she was also in the mainstream media for 10 years back in France, focusing more into female magazine. Back in 2006, she was based in Balikpapan and she was involved with an expat magazine. You can see that she has this urge to write and share her findings to others and that is one great way of contribution.

To her, this is a her second book that relates to women. She finds many rewarding values in interviewing and writing her findings. The publication won’t be possible without the help of their sponsors. Her purpose of this project is to understand women in Brunei Darussalam and she can see the difference between the women in Brunei and the women in France. She found out that even the community in Brunei is friendly and family oriented despite being a tiny country.

You can find the book “Women of Brunei – Inspiring Life Stories”, a 140-page coffee-table book and it is published by local visual and graphic design firm Pentagram Sdn Bhd. It is selling for $30 at all Best Eastern book stores throughout the country, as well as the Crimson Square at the Empire Hotel & Country Club in Jerudong.

Twenty per cent of all sales will be donated to charity while 10 per cent will go to the Council of Women Brunei Darussalam.

Another 10 per cent will also be donated to ALAF (Advocating Life-long Learning for an Aspiring Future), the charitable project under the book’s gold sponsor, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD).


Cécile Castilla explaining to the lady on the newly launched book
 


The book signing happened last weekend outside Best Eastern Times Square and it’s selling for BND 30
 


Liyana also bought herself a copy
 


Available now at Best Eastern
 

  
 

21
Aug

Go team Brunei

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News

 

The Popcorn Panel 
 

Our podcast review of Yasmine the movie with my special guest Seng Yee. Find out what is my best scene of the movie. Yasmine will be officially be released on 21st August 2014.

 

   
 

RB: The Great Race 
 


Register now!! Click image to enter.

In conjunction with Royal Brunei Airlines’ 40th Annivesary, Royal Brunei (RB) will be organizing a charity race for the public called the Great Race. The Great Race will take place on Sunday 19th October 2014.

RB has appointed Green Brunei and Brunei Paralympics to be the beneficiaries for the Great Race 2014. The proceeds from The Great Race 2014 will assist Green Brunei to move forward with the Mangrove Rehabilitation Project along the Sungai Damuna at Kg Bengkurong and likewise, Brunei Paralympics with their activities.

In a statement from Aji Puteh, RB Head of Corporate Services cum Chairman of RB: The Great Race, “RB is very pleased to organized the Great Race as an anchor event for RB’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. The appointment of Green Brunei and Brunei Paralympic as the beneficiaries from the proceeds of the Great Race is a way for the airline to give back to the community in terms of support for green and health sports initiatives. It is hoped that The Great Race will be a different experience from other marathons as it is a marathon that challenges and is tailored with an aviation concept.”

RB has appointed Armtrix Enterprise as the Event Manager for the Great Race. Interested participants are able to register RB: The Great Race at thegreatrace.com.bn from today onwards until 19th September 2014 at 11pm. Good luck, peeps and well done for RB for this initiative. This is something different coming from aviation.

  
 

Team Brunei for WCOPA Showcase 
 


Have you got your tickets?
It’s happening this weekend. Team Brunei Darussalam from the WCOPA competition will be having their own showcase/concert where the public can witness their talents. The showcase will take place at Jerudong Amphitheater on the 23rd August 2014.

Team Brunei achieved a higher medal count compared to last year with 38 medals overall. They collected 12 gold medals, 13 silver medals and 13 bronze medals. The biggest winner was Shian Li Esther Chiam who is just 15 years old. She won the Junior Grand World Champion Instrumental Award and also collecting 6 six gold medals along the way.

Her younger sister Eden Chiam earned an Industry Award and also earned one gold medal, two silver medals and two bronze medals and she only had weeks to prepare for the event. So that’s not pretty bad for an achievement. I have mentioned previously in my post how team Brunei has made it big at WCOPA finals in Los Angeles, considering they only sent 9 representatives as compared to the aplenty from different countries. Having 5 semi-finalists and 3 finalists are considered “over-achievements” as they are plenty of talents out there worldwide.

Maria Grace Koh and Joanna Kwan will also be the highlights of the night. Both were the finalists of the WCOPA event. Maria also known as Eia is no stranger in the music scene and she has vastly improved and it was no doubt she made to the finals where millions witnessed her performance. Joanna, a first timer in WCOPA, also impressed with her 1 minute performance in the finals and I’ve seen her acting before in local drama plays. Just even received a scholarship for acting in the States.

Another vocalist that caught my attention is Ruby Chong who earned herself two medals and an Industry Award. I have seen her singing at JIS Music Showcase and she’s just amazing!!! Another performer for this Saturday’s event is Bridget Ang who earned two medals. The other performers this weekend are Norhidayat Hj Ahim, a P2F winner, who earned 5 medals and Adi Daini who bagged 3 medals.

This is an impressive line up but sadly Elizabeth won’t be performing since she’s currently in KL for the Toastmasters International Convention 2014. Do follow @officialwcopabrunei on instagram for updates.


Brunei team brought it some medals from this year’s competition and the highest tally so far. Amazing!!!
 

  

19
Aug

Brunei miss the cut

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News

 

The Popcorn Panel 
 

Our podcast review of Yasmine the movie with my special guest Seng Yee. Find out what is my best scene of the movie.

 

  

Tiguan coming soon 
 


The media and bloggers heading to Singapore for the test drive organised by Volkswagen Singapore earlier this month

That’s the beauty of driving Volkswagen. You will be spoilt for choices on what model to buy. A few months ago, I test drove the Volkswagen GTI and it is an awesome car indeed. Recently I test drive other models of Volkswagen (Golf Polo 1.2 and 1.4, Tiguan TSI and Golf R) in Singapore. Maybe the right word for that is “sakai” because it was my first experience driving on Singapore roads 😀 It seemed like an unexpected bucket list and I thank you Volkswagen Singapore for making that opportunity a reality.

Today I’m gonna share my experience of driving the new Volkswagen Tiguan TSI. If you know of the Touareg series, then Tiguan has similar design and features. Actually when I drove this particular car, I already have thoughts on replacing my 11-year old car 😀 The Tiguan TSI is almost a perfect SUV car for my liking and it’s also one practical car which is also ideal for my profession. I currently drive an SUV so it would make sense if my next car will be an SUV.

So what are the impressive factors about the Volkswagen Tiguan?

Firstly, the drawing factor for me is that the fact that it is an SUV. I actually don’t mind driving a saloon car but it’s always a bonus if I drive an SUV. Hence, among all the cars that I drove from Volkswagen, the new Tiguan caught my eye. The size is not as big as the Touareg and that’s how I preferred it to be. If you are opting for a mid-size range SUV, this is my recommendation.

Secondly, I’m always concerned about safety measures when it comes to driving. I know my close friends will find me annoying because I drive with caution sometimes. I’m not a fast driver per se but I still make sure that my car is in fine condition on the road. The plus points about the Tiguan is that safety level of this particular model. This Tiguan series have been named the SUV as its “Top Safety Pick” by New Car Assessment Program. For the record, this evaluation covers extensive measures in the areas of active and passive safety. There is so much that I can blabber on especially the multiple airbags and the seatbelt force limiters but I think you will get the gist of my hints about the safety.

Thirdly, the drive factor. Of course, I didn’t really drive full force like I did with the Golf R *lol* The latest Tiguan driving experience was simply worth the drive. It makes my current SUV feel so inferior but then again, it’s an 11-year old car. I drove this among the hills of Singapore and it was just amazing the power it has for the size of the car. It makes me want to test drive the Tiguan TSI once more in Brunei. The handling was also great during the curves of the hills and it felt that I was bonded with the Tiguan for such a long time, considering it was my first drive on the Tiguan.

Fourthly, the price of Volkswagen Tiguan TSI. I won’t reveal the price as yet but wow, I’m amazed how a quality European brand can make produce such an affordable price and I can guarantee you that this model will be a big hit in Brunei considering that it kinda caters to different markets such as the young crowd and also families. Of course, my category is the young one for sure :p

The Volkswagen Tiguan TSI will be launched this Friday so stay tune for updates on that. I highly recommend you to drop by Maju Motors showroom at Telanai this Friday and guess what? They will be having an open house also for the public on that day.

 


A few Volkswagen cars that I managed to test drive
 


The Tiguan TSI that I test drove in Singapore
 


My companions – Dionne of Volkswagen Singapore and Nasroul of The Brunei Times
 


This is an awesome car – Volkswagen Tiguan TSI
 


The other models that we had to test drive
 

 

Michelin 
 


Now available at Sin Hup Huat Company
 

  

TEDxGadong 



Chairman and Co-Partner of the TEDxGadong team Abd Malik Omar (C), Shavez Cheema (L) one of the inspiring speakers and the rest of the team posing for a picture after the press conference recently. Image taken by Nadzri Zailani of The Brunei Times.

A group of youths have banded together to bring in the first TEDx conference in Brunei titled ‘TEDxGadong’ to help inspire youths of the nation in making a difference.

During a press conference at a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf branch in the capital, the TEDxGadong team spoke to The Brunei Times about hosting the first ever TEDx in Brunei at the SEAMEO VOCTECH Building in Gadong on August 24, 2014.

With a team comprising mostly volunteer youths between ages 18 and 22, the chairman and co-partner of the group Abd Malik Omar said that they hope when other youths see them bring in the TEDx brand, they would be inspired.

“TEDx is about unearthing and exploring new ideas so it’s about time that we had our own TEDx conference. Despite us having the lack of resource and most of us being students, we still managed to do it. Showing that where there is a will there is a way,” said Abd Malik.

TED means Technology, Entertainment and Design, which is a non-profit organisation devoted to ideas worth spreading. TED has encompassed the corners of the world spreading ideas and bringing innovation leaders together to inspire the young and old, according to a statement by TEDxGadong.

TEDx is a programme for local and self-organised events, where the x stands for the independently organised TED events.

For the first TEDx conference in Brunei, there will only be 100 tickets for the event ranging from $5 to $20 which will be available for the public on Thursday August 21 at the Core, Universiti Brunei Darussalam Residential College.

Eight local speakers which includes Delwin Keasberry, Denny Ambuyart and Keeran Janin will be speaking about separate topics, and there will also be mystery speakers which will only be announced during the event itself.

“The speakers we chose have the ideas, energy and passion to be able to share their story with the audience. Their passionate about what they do and their contribution to the economy. For us it’s not a matter of age, it’s a matter of ideas,” added the Chairman.

According to the Chairman, helping to inspire the youth is a way for them to actively contribute to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s aim for Vision 2035 as they believe that the youths are the future.

The Chairman added that “through the TEDx event, we may not be able to change the world, but if we can make a one per cent difference to the society we live in, then we have to.” Text courtesy of Nadzri Zailani of The Brunei Times.

 


The official poster of TEDxGadong


Apparently the tickets are fully booked

  

11
Aug

Majaldotcom

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News

 

The Popcorn Panel 
 

Check out our podcast review of another Michael Bay produced movie – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

 

  
 

HBT 2014 
 

Check out the video of the opening ceremony of Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy 2014

 

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam launched the Fifth Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy for ASEAN Youth Football Tournament last Saturday.

Held at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium, His Majesty was joined by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel and Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah.

Greeting His Majesty upon arrival at the stadium was His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC); the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, YB Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah; and the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman.


His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam launched the Fifth Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy for ASEAN Youth Football Tournament. Image courtesy of The Brunei Times.

It’s not a great start for Brunei Darussalam in the opening of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy 2014. They have lost their opening match against Cambodia with a 1-0 score line. According to national football coach Kwon Oh-son of Brunei U-21, they lost on skills and not luck. The dressing room’s confidence is not high due to the loss in the first game. You can read more of the article here from The Brunei Times.

Even my friends shared how Brunei didn’t shine on the opening match. The other down side is that the U-21 players are not fully fit as they have a few injured players taken off during the loss to Cambodia. Maybe the friendly match against Sabah was a bit too close to the tournament as some of the players are recovering from minor injuries sustained during the friendly matches.

Now they will have a huge task against Indonesia, a late entry into the tournament, and Indonesia will want to avenge their defeat in the finals back in 2012 where they lost 2-0 to defending champions Brunei. Well, in football, anything can happen and the ball is round. All Brunei need is just a win under their belt especially in the beginning of the tournament to boost their confidence.

I’m still optimistic that Brunei has a 50/50 chance of making the cut but they can’t afford to slip more after the loss.

Brunei will take on Indonesia tonight at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium, Monday 11th August. I expect a feisty affair as both teams are favourites to get past the group stage. Good luck!! Note: I won’t be covering this match as I am still outstation.

You can follow official updates from their official website – hassanalbolkiahtrophy.gov.bn 


Team Cambodia during the opening ceremony. Image taken by @zackhardie14
 


It was good to see Adi Said back in the match as he was doubtful before the tournament. Image courtesy of The Brunei Times
 


The t-shirt for HBT 2014 available
 


Wristband perhaps from Armtrix Enterprise
 


You can buy some of the merchandise at the national stadium
 

  
 

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