Posts Tagged ‘royal family’
The Sultanate of Oman celebrates its 51st National Day
Message from His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hashil Al Maskari, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Brunei Darussalam.
On the 18th of November, the Sultanate of Oman marks its 51st National Day anniversary. With firm resolve, Omani citizens continue to make more achievements under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, the Sultan of Oman who vowed to upgrade the march of nation building and enhance the pace of progress, striking a high note in Omani people’s enthusiasm for an ambitious renaissance that covers all spheres of life.
At the onset of the message on the auspicious occasion of the 51st anniversary of the national day of the Sultanate of Oman, I am honored to seize this opportunity to congratulate His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on Brunei Darussalam’s successful ASEAN Chairmanship for the current year, in these challenging times, Brunei continued to admirably play an important role as the ASEAN Chair in helping the region bounce back from the global pandemic and deal with other challenges facing ASEAN.
Furthermore, after registering its first locally transmitted covid-19 case in over a year, I am pleased to take this opportunity to commend the Government of Brunei Darussalam’s approach in containing the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak. Owing to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s wise leadership, we are confident that Brunei will overcome this challenge.
Furthermore, thanks to the government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam the vaccination drive has gained momentum and the country is destined to achieve a level which is needed to achieve herd immunity in the nearest future.
Moreover, I would also like to take this opportunity to laude Bruneians and foreign nationals residing in Brunei Darussalam for supporting the measures implemented by the Bruneian authority and for acting responsibly to stem the spreading of the virus. My sincerest gratitude goes to the competent medical professionals, doctors and nurses, law enforcement and border guards and others who are working tirelessly around the clock for the well-being and safety of everyone in this country.
Oman & Brunei: 37 years of outstanding bilateral relation:
This year marks the 37h anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam. The two sultanates established diplomatic ties on 24th March 1984 and, ever since, the bilateral relations have always enjoyed stable, healthy and steady development, and has attained remarkable achievements.
This process was greatly assisted by the official state visits paid by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassnal Bolkiah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to the Sultanate of Oman on three separate occasions. The first being in the 1984, the second taking place in 1985, and the third and the most recent visit in 2009. In addition, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, visited Oman in February 2014.
Furthermore, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, the Sultan of Oman, visited Brunei Darussalam in March 2014, in his capacity as Minister of Heritage and Culture during the reign of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Bin Taimur. These royal visits strengthened the relationship between the two brotherly countries even further.
Since establishing diplomatic relations, the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam have concluded numerous agreements and Memorandums of Understanding in different fields of cooperation.
Bilateral relations are discussed and reviewed on regular basis by the Foreign Ministry of the Sultanate of Oman and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brunei Darussalam through the “Bilateral Consultative Meeting”; mechanism that was established in 1992 to strengthen bilateral relations. So, far twenty meetings have taken place, alternating between the two capitals of Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei and Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman.
Despite the challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic our two brotherly countries bilateral relations continued to grow from strength to strength. On 11th January 2021, the Foreign Ministries of the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam held the 20th Bilateral Consultative Meeting (20th BCM), via video-conferencing.
During the 20th BCM, the two sides acknowledged and agreed to further strengthen the existing bilateral cooperation between the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam in various areas, including trade and investment, energy, agriculture and fisheries, higher education, tourism, health, defense, and people-to-people exchanges.
Cultural cooperation is one of the strong dimensions of Oman-Brunei bilateral relations. Oman has participated on regular basis in Brunei international book fairs. Brunei also took part in Muscat book fairs during the past few years.
In this regard it worth mentioning that, on the year 2019, the Sultanate of Oman was privileged to be the first country ever to be invited as a country of honor at Brunei Book Fair, since it was inaugurated almost two decades ago.
Additionally, in line with the Embassy’s efforts to make the most of the Bruneians admiration for Arabic language, a fifth batch consisting of four teachers from the Ministry of Religious Affairs studied Arabic Language in the Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic Language to Non-Native Speakers, for duration of eight weeks during the year 2019, on a partial scholarship from the Government of the Sultanate of Oman.
The first four batches consisted of students from Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) and the Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB).
So far, a total of twenty-four participants from Brunei had benefited from this program. Currently arrangements are underway for the sixth batch of Bruneian students to study Arabic Language in the Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic Language to Non-Native Speakers during the course of next year.
Furthermore, recently the Ministry of Education of the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei’s Ministry of Religious Affairs established an impressive cooperation in the field of Arabic language teaching and learning, that has resulted in several promising initiatives that further strengthened the teaching and learning of Arabic language in Brunei Darussalam.
The Embassy has also emphasized promoting people-to-people exchanges between Brunei and Oman. As part of this effort, six Omani publications corners were officially launched at the library of Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) in February 2016 and at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD)’s library in May 2017, at the Library of the Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) on 25th July 2018, at the library of Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) on October 2019 and the library of Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Défense Academy on October 2020, with the latest Omani publications corner launched at the Library of the Language and Literature Bureau on 27th July 2021. Thus, the total number of Omani publications contained in these six corners are more than two-thousands (2,000) publications.
Additionally, as part of the Embassy’s effort to foster ties with the People of Brunei, within the framework of public diplomacy, which is considered an effective tool to help formulate people’s perception of each other’s countries and cultures.
The Embassy continued its annual practice of inviting batches of students from local public schools to visit the Embassy’s premise. During these visits I personally presented on aspects of Oman’s cultural and tourism appeal such as its geographic location, natural beauty and diverse landscapes, in addition to its culture and heritage. My presentation also explored some of the similarities between the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam including the form of governance practiced in both countries, and efforts to modernize while maintaining distinct cultural identities, as well as the strong bonds of friendship forged through shared historical, cultural and social ties between the two countries and their peoples.
Moreover, our two brotherly countries enjoy productive cooperation in the field of education; the Sultanate of Oman continued to offer Bruneian students’ scholarships under the Omani program for Cultural and Information cooperation. At the same time, we are also grateful that over the past years the government of Brunei Darussalam has accepted many Omani students to pursue their studies in various local universities and institutions of higher learning on Brunei government scholarship.
Speaking of students’ exchange, several Omani students from Sultan Qaboos University and University of Nizwa studied in UBD for one academic semester, during the past few years.
Oman and Brunei also enjoy promising cooperation in the field of sports, only last April 2021, The National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Oman Football Association. The MOU entailed cooperation in vast areas including conducting more exchanges between the two Football Associations as well as the hosting of friendly matches.
Moreover, in a move that took trade and investment cooperation between the two sultanates to a higher level, Brunei inked a deal with Oman in April 2009, to establish a US$100 million investment fund, shared between the two sultanates and based in the Omani capital of Muscat. This deal resulted in the unveiling of Oman Brunei Investment Company (OBIC).
OBIC invests in private equity of high-growing sectors through acquisition, or by investing in existing companies or starting new projects.
OBIC continued to make the most of business opportunities available in the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam local markets, in order to further boost the two countries economic development and contribute to their economic diversification plans.
OBIC has invested in many projects in the Sultanate of Oman since its establishment 12 years ago. Among the most important of these projects are Kempinski Hotel, located Al Mouj-Muscat; the European Hospital being built in Al Ghubra; and the desalination plant in Sohar.
On the year 2019, OBIC has acquired (50 per cent) share of Golden Corporation Sdn Bhd (GC), a company that specializes in fish farming, in addition to providing high-quality seafood products, based in Brunei Darussalam. This was OBIC first investment in Brunei.
Furthermore, on 9th December 2019, Oman Investment Authority (OIA) of the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) agreed to increase the capital of Oman Brunei Investment Company (OBIC) by another USD 100 million. Thus, bringing the total capital of the company to USD 200 million.
Additionally, both countries have identified and explored over the years during the Bilateral Consultative Meetings between the Sultanate of Oman Foreign Ministry and Brunei Darussalam, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a number of new investment opportunities in various industries including the upstream and downstream, oil and gas sectors, halal food, banking and finance, agriculture and fisheries. With the hope that these investments won’t be limited to either Oman or Brunei, but could also be extended to joint investment in third countries.
Moreover, the longstanding shared values and similar energy landscapes of Brunei Darussalam and the Sultanate of Oman have been key in nurturing close ties between the two countries, with the Brunei-Oman Joint Seminar – first held in 2014 in Brunei and the second held in Muscat, Oman in 2016 and third taking place in Brunei 2019– symbolizing this partnership. We are hopeful that the fourth session of the aforementioned seminar will take place next year 2022, at Muscat.
The biennial seminar, hosted alternately between Brunei and Oman, was established as a platform to share best practices in areas of mutual interest between both countries and to foster joint opportunities, as well as to enhance understanding of the business and investment environments in both countries, especially in industry sectors.
Cooperation in the field of energy and related fields further fortified with the exchange of professionals through the staff cross-posting between Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP), Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and Oman Liquefied Natural Gas (Oman LNG), an arrangement which has been ongoing for several years.
Défense cooperation is another dimension of Brunei-Oman bilateral relations that has also grown steadily over the past years, with both countries armed forces regularly participating in command and staff courses and other military events held in the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam.
With reference to what I have highlighted earlier it’s evident that relations between the two Sultanates have extended beyond the political spheres to include other important areas of cooperation and we firmly believe that with the joint efforts of both sides, more positive results will be yielded in the Sultanate of Oman-Brunei Darussalam excellent and mutual beneficial cooperation.
Therefore, based on these cooperative relations shaped by economic necessity and investment opportunities and incentives, there is ample reason to expect our two countries partnership to reach new heights and cover more sectors including industries, tourism, logistics, fisheries, as well as, technology, health care, water, environment, and renewable energy.
Furthermore, we hope that the friendship and cooperation between the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam will grow from strength to strength and we are confident that with the outstanding leadership of their Majesties Sultan Haitham bin Tarik and Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, the bonds of friendship between Oman and Brunei will be further cemented in the years ahead.
I would therefore like to express my thanks and appreciation to the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for their kindness, generosity support and cooperation in promoting the good relations between our friendly countries.
I am, thus confident that our two friendly countries relations in the coming years will witness further enhancement of closer bonds of friendship and partnership. Ultimately, my heartfelt wishes to Brunei Darussalam to further success, progress, peace and for the Oman-Brunei relation further development and prosperity.
Celebrating Renewed Renaissance, Setting Further Milestones:
It is with great pride, immense happiness, deep love and gratitude to the Builder of Modern Oman, the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Bin Taimur and His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, that Omani people celebrate the 51st National Day on the 18th of November 2021.
The achievements brought about over the past 51 years can be seen in all fields and on every yard of the Sultanate of Oman’s territory. The late His Majesty established the pillars of a modern state on solid grounds of justice, equality, responsible citizenship and rule of the law as part of His Majesty’s keenness on safeguarding the unity of the nation and the solidarity of citizens in every part of the country.
The main focus of the Sultanate of Oman’s Renaissance has been on the creation of a modern nation based upon a system of laws and institutions that reflect the development of its society and state. The Basic Law of the State embodies all aspects and helped establish ‘the state of institutions and rule of law’ and paved the way for wide-scale cooperation between executive and legislative institutions within a framework of equality, in earnest quest to facilitate citizens’ access to justice.
Oman National Day is an occasion in which citizens exhibit their joy over the achievements made, as well as their love and gratitude to their benevolent leader.
The celebration comes at a time the Sultanate of Oman is making progress in every field, inspired by the directives of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, who continued charting the roadmap of the renaissance. That’s how modern Oman has emerged as a country admired by the whole world, because of its civilized contribution to human experience and its dignified presence in regional and international arenas.
Royal directives to tackle coronavirus pandemic:
To contain coronavirus (Covid-19) that wreaked havoc in countries of the world, the Sultanate of Oman formed a Supreme Committee tasked with tackling developments resulting from coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The Supreme Committee has been taking ‘moderate’ decisions and precautionary measures that ensure the safety of citizens and residents, while at the same time catering to social and economic implications on this benign land.
The Supreme Committee is responsible for cooperation with the departments concerned and regulating social response. It worked for the procurement of internationally approved vaccines and oversaw the implementation of a national immunization campaign. This was commended by His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik when he chaired the Supreme Committee’s meeting on 18 August 2021. His Majesty said that, “This improvement could not have happened had it not been for the appropriate decisions taken and the efforts exerted by the departments concerned in the Sultanate of Oman, albeit the health sector.” His Majesty the Sultan of Oman lauded the “high sense of responsibility shouldered by all members of society through abidance with the decisions and the measures set by the authorities concerned to safeguard public health—individuals and society at large”.
The decisions resulted in the improvement of Covid-19 indicators in the Sultanate of Oman, which, the reports said, registered great decline in mortality, infection and hospitalization rates, while recovery from the disease reached 98.5%.
Meanwhile, the government accorded special attention to the ensuing economic impacts of Covid-19. The decisions, which took into account the fallouts of the pandemic on establishments and companies, included exemption from fines of some services. Special exemptions were sanctioned to small and medium enterprises and holders of Riyada Card for Entrepreneurs. This is in addition to a package of incentives for borrowers, individuals, banking institutions, financing and leasing firms.
Jab Gym taken Brunei by storm
His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen, the owner of Jab Gym, with his sisters, Her Royal Highness Princess Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah and Her Royal Highness Princess Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah, during the private invitation of Jab Gym at the Brunei capital.
Congratulations @tmski on the awesome gym. One of his favorite role models is the legendary Muhammad Ali.
Boxing trainer Lex Igwe (left) sparring with the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Yang Berhormat Dato Hj Aminuddin, to the delight of the crowd.
Some of the cabinet ministers and ambassadors paid a visit to Jab Gym last weekend
Check out the 10,000 sq feet premise at Pavo Point. The view is wonderful especially when you are running on the treadmill and you can see the view of Bandar.
This is one of the studios at Jab Gym which focuses on “Boxercise” session. I just signed up for a class with Nadzri. Let’s see how that goes.
Some of the VIPs that attended last weekend
Soon Chong sparring with Lex Igwe
Click image to see more price range
Thailand Grand Fair at CF
Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs accompanied by H.E. Ms. Wanthanee Viputwongsakul, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to Brunei Darussalam with other diplomatic corps at the grand opening of the Thailand Grand Fair at the 23rd Consumer Fair held at the International Convention Centre
Her Royal Highness looked on the hand made design on the umbrella
The Royal Thai Embassy organised the ceremony of the “35th Anniversary of Thailand―Brunei Diplomatic Relations Grand Fair” at Bilik Sepakat 2 and 3 yesterday. On this special occasion, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs graced the Opening ceremony of the Fair as part of the 23rd Consumer Fair.
The Embassy’s annual Thailand Grand Fair is celebrating its 11th edition this year and also coincides with the 35th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Thailand and Brunei Darussalam.
Visitors can expect around 30 booths selling fresh and ready-to-eat food such as fresh spring rolls, Miang Kham and Som Tam (papaya salad), dried food, snacks and delicacies such as mango and durian sticky rice as well as dried, fresh and seasonal fruits.
Visitors can also find at the Fair,Thai silk and cotton clothing, handbags, handicrafts, jewelries and herbal products. So do visit the Thailand Grand Fair at the Consumer Fair which ends this Sunday.
Her Royal Highness receiving a Thai delicacy from one of the vendors at the Thai Grand Fair
Photo opportunity with the guest of honour
Her Royal Highness visited Chatramue booth
More than 1,500 graduated from UBD
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Chancellor of UBD handed out certificate to Nuriskandar Hassan
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Ajeerah Firdausul Bulqiah
Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD)’s 30th Convocation Ceremony saw 1,543 graduates from the sixth batch of its distinctive GenNext programme celebrating their success at the Chancellor Hall of the university last Wednesday.
Gracing the event was His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Chancellor of UBD.
Accompanying His Majesty was His Royal Highness Prince (Dr) Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Pro-Chancellor of UBD.
His Majesty was greeted by Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman and Vice-Chancellor of UBD Datin Dr Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina binti Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Aziz upon arrival.
The ceremony commenced with the recitation of Al-Quran verses, followed by welcoming remarks by the vice-chancellor who highlighted several development initiatives implemented by the university since the previous convocation.
“Focussing on lifelong learning, UBD has expanded flexible programmes to enable the students to further enhance their knowledge and skills without leaving their job. The Centre of Lifelong Learning, which was established last year, offers several lifelong learning programmes,” she said.
She informed that almost 1,700 students are studying in the campus of UBD-FPT Global Centre in Da Nang, Vietnam, and thanked for the awarding of 50 scholarships to the ASEAN Community for five years which saw 35 students receive scholarships and complete their English Language programme from the centre.
The vice-chancellor hoped that the graduates will strive to gain knowledge and adapt themselves in ensuring that they will always be competitive and stay relevant.
The 1,543 students who graduated yesterday comprised 37 PhD graduates, 355 Master’s degree holders, 1,136 Bachelor degree graduates and seven Advanced Diploma and eight Diploma recipients.
Also receiving the graduation certificate was Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Ajeerah Firdausul Bulqiah, the daughter of His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah.
The morning session saw PhD and Bachelor degree holders (Engineering, Arts, Business and Health Science) receiving their certificates while Master’s, Bachelor of Science, Advanced Diploma and Diploma recipients received their graduation certificates in the afternoon session.
Prior to leaving the ceremony, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and His Royal Highness Prince (Dr) Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah toured an exhibition featuring operating businesses and technology and patent-based start-ups UBD entrepreneurs and mingled with the fresh graduates and their parents. Story by Wani Roslan of Borneo Bulletin.
Their Majesties grace JIS Year 6 Graduation
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohamed Alam with His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel and Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah in the group photo. Also in the photo were the Chairman, Board of Directors and Senior Members of Jerudong International School earlier this morning.
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah visiting His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel’s classroom
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohamed Alam this morning consented to grace His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel’s Year 6 graduation ceremony at Jerudong International School (JIS) Arts Centre, organised by JIS Junior School. Also present was Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah.
Upon arrival at the JIS Arts Centre, Their Majesties were greeted by the JIS Chairman, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Paduka Dr Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, JIS Board of Directors – Yang Mulia Datin Paduka Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh, Yang Mulia Dr Haji Azman bin Ahmad and Yang Mulia Datin Paduka Magdalene Chong; Principal, Barnaby Sandow and other senior members of the school.
The Year 6 Graduation ceremony was led by the Year 6 graduating students. Every one of the graduating students spoke at some stage of the event. Some students shared their favourite memories in Junior School. As Year 6 students received their certificates, the graduation was followed by poem recitals by Wa’iz, Iman, Sakhawi and Yi Hui, a memorable photo montage and music performances namely ‘Chanson Napoliante’ on the trumpet by Caitlyn, ‘Prelude’ by Yi Hui and Jordan accompanied by the Foundation Strings, ‘All is Calm’ by Melodee on the Piano. Head of Junior School, Mr Bannister gave closing remarks which was followed by the graduating students singing “Hall of Fame”.
His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel receiving a graduation certificate at the graduation ceremony
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah visiting Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah’s classroom
Their Majesties viewing the Junior School Art Exhibition
His Majesty in a group photo with HRH Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel and his classmates
Their Majesties and their Royal Highnesses in a group photo with the graduating class of Year 6
Jerudong International School is very honoured that His Majesty and Her Majesty graciously consented to attend the Year 6 graduation ceremony. Following the Year 6 Graduation celebrations, His Majesty toured the Junior School campus. He visited the classrooms of His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel and Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah. His Majesty met their friends and teachers. They also visited the classrooms they will study in for the new academic year which starts in August 2018.
Meanwhile Her Majesty, enjoyed meeting Early Years students ages 2-4 years old from the JIS Nursery and Kindergarten classes. At the end of their school visit, Their Majesties were greeted by students from the Junior School and class teachers.
As His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel graduates Junior School, His Royal Highness will be entering Year 7 of the JIS Middle Years, joining 132 other students in August 2018.
JIS Principal, Mr Barnaby Sandow beamed with pride as he said, “Everyone at JIS is tremendously proud and honoured to have Their Majesties join us today at Jerudong International School”.
HBT opening ceremony
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown prince and Senior Minister, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah during the Brunei National Anthem at the opening of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy 2018 at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium.
His Majesty the Sultan officially launching HBT 2018
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam officially launched the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy, HBT, for ASEAN Youths Football Tournament 2018. The ceremony took place at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium, Berakas.
Upon arrival, His Majesty was greeted by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, President of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam as the Advisor of the Executive Committee of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy, HBT, for ASEAN Youths Football Tournament 2018. Also present to greet His Majesty’s arrival was Yang Berhormat Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports as well as members of the Executive Committee.
Soon after arrival, His Majesty received junjung ziarah from the sponsors.
Also present were His Majesty’s sons and brothers, 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; His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah as well as members of the Royal family.
His Majesty then declared the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy for ASEAN Youths Football Tournament 2018 officially opened.
The opening ceremony was enlivened with firework display and Human LED performance.
His Majesty was then introduced to the team managers, coaches and team captains. Seven countries are taking part in the tournament. Group ‘A’ comprises teams from Brunei Darussalam, Timor Leste, Myanmar and Thailand; while Group ‘B’ are Lao PDR, Singapore and Cambodia. His Majesty also presented souvenirs to team managers of the participating nations.
His Majesty then received a pasambah from the HBT 2018 Organising Committee.
The Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy Football Tournament is jointly organised by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam, NFABD. The tournament aims to uphold the Titah of His Majesty to involve the best teams in the ASEAN Region to compete in the ASEAN or South East Asian Football league. Press release by RTB and image courtesy of Infofoto.
His Majesty received junjung ziarah from the sponsors
His Majesty receiving a token from Yang Berhormat Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports
Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman, Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda ‘Abdul Muntaqim ibni Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah and Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Muneerah Madhul Bolkiah binti Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah
Members of the Royal Family and invited VIPs
The marching ceremony
The flag bearers
Faiq Jefri Bolkiah, the national team captain of Brunei Darussalam
Prince Mateen urges forest conservation
His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen delivering a keynote address at the Royal Geographical Society in London, United Kingdom yesterday. Image courtesy of Infofoto.
His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen presented a keynote address at the Royal Geographical Society in London, United Kingdom yesterday. From the keynote, His Royal Highness emphasized the importance of forest conservation as it will have an impact on climate change which is currently an underlying issue we are facing currently.
The keynote address also revealed the efforts and contributions of the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in addressing the climate change.
There were some interesting insights on the keynote address. Brunei Darussalam prioritized its activity in promoting forest conservation. Approximately 75% of our national land area is currently under forest cover.. On top of that, 55% of Brunei’s total land area is official declared as National Forest Estate under our domestic law. This is to ensure that our rainforests will be preserved for decades to come.
Starting 2007, Brunei with Malaysia and Indonesia established Heart of Borneo Initiative. Helps to conserve one of the last few remaining centres of biological diversity in the world by establishing a network of protected areas and sustainable management of forests in Borneo.
His Royal Highness also urged the community to play the part in ensuring the flora and fauna of the forests are protected and conserved. For instance, a number of critically endangered local species inhabit Brunei’s rainforests such as the Helmeted Hornbill and the Malayan Pangolin. Those poachers and forest hunters will be dealt with by the authorities.
His Royal Highness acknowledged as a country that we need to commit to these efforts not just by adopting a “whole of nation” approach but a “whole of world approach”.
It was also mentioned that Brunei is a member of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy and Brunei Darussalam has dedicated three separate forest reserves to the initiative, totaling more than 50 thousands hectares.
His Royal Highness was accompanied by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Paduka Awang Hj Erywan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II, Hj Mohammed Rosli bin Hj Ibrahim, Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, Alasdair Macleod, Head of Enterprise and Resources, at the Royal Geographical Society and Datin Dr. Hjh. Anita Binurul Zahrina, Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Brunei Darussalam.
Shine Cycle Studio opens
Her Royal Highness Princess ‘Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Bahar during the opening of Shine Cycle Studio last Sunday
Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah with @gzul
A new one-stop fitness centre where it caters to all ages is finally opened to public. So much hype has been given to Shine Cycle Studio owned by Her Royal Highness Princess ‘Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah who was present during the official launch of Shine Cycle Studio located at Sumbangsih Bahagia. Also present were Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Bahar.
Now with many fitness centres around, Shine Cycle Studio offers something slightly different from others. They have four instructors who were recently trained in the United States. A visiting consultant from Indoor Cycle Design, the owner herself, Barbara Chancey Hoots, who has been instrumental in creating a boutique fitness centre for everyone.
It’s perhaps the right time and follow the wave of a healthy lifestyle, be it food and exercise. It’s the right trend to be in and if you have the right formula, for sure, any businesses relating to a healthier lifestyle will be a hit.
I tried the spinning session last weekend and it was pretty good. Something different I felt from other spinning studios where the movements were more effective and efficient rather than simply focusing too much on the upper body (if you know what I mean). We were led by Teddy the cycling instructor and he was quite engaging and motivating the attendees and making sure that it’s not about being competitive during the session. We made use of the light weights too to strengthen our arms and shoulders while cycling.
Now the policy which I love about Shine Cycle Studio is a no-phone policy. As we all know that we love to document what we do in our daily lives – eating, socialising and especially when we work out. So this is something unique of the newly opened centre. This will allow one to be focused in their goals and also be more engaging towards others and have that human interaction uninterrupted.
The studio itself was inspired by Her Royal Highness as she was quite active in working out during her days in London. She has witnessed many boutique gyms in the region and it would be nice to see one in Brunei Darussalam too.
For more info, you can visit their website shine-cycle.com or instagram @shinecyclebn for more updates.
With the team from Shine Cycle Studio
Social influencers with the instructors of Shine Cycle Studio
Local athletes also had a taste of Shine Cycle Studio
Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports being briefed by Luc, an instructor for Shine Cycle Studio
Shine Studio apparels
33 cycling equipments
Invited guests during the opening
High Commissioner of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Brunei Darussalam also came during the opening
The price for the sessions
Dedicated shoes for cycling
The counter area for Shine Cycle Studio
You can charge your devices in the locker
Shine Cycle Studio is located at Sumbangsih
A new year
Happy new year, ladies and gentlemen. It’s only the third day of 2018 and I bet everyone’s trying to be in second gear. It has been a fruitful 2017 for myself and many moments those were my highlights. I shall just recapped them in no particular order. For the record, I hardly do any resolutions or milestones. It only works when you really set your intention and you mean it. Don’t just simply make resolutions that you will commit halfway or only in the first week of the year. Yea, I’ve been there and done that.
Business wise, it has been slightly turbulent but it has been encouraging at the same time. It has reminded me how it was when I started my blog as a business entity. 10 years ago, I changed the direction of my blog and now with the emergence of social media, the blog scene has demoted in favour of social media. The great thing is my social media presence has made my blog sustainable thanks to the power of Instagram. Sometimes I would ask myself what if instagram becomes less relevant or even Facebook per se in the next few years. We shall see what happens but it’s always important to keep up with the social trends to be relevant.
A shot with the members of the Royal Family. This was taken at the Royale Chulan Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the SEA Games in August 2017.
The Royal Shot. This was unexpected in terms of the number of likes I received for this photo alone. My average likes are normally from 200 to 300 likes. But this image caught so much attention that I hit the 10,000 likes barrier. Something I can never reached on a normal day. This shows how influential @tmski is on social media, locally and internationally. Sometimes I wonder how does he feel being in the limelight and being bombarded by his fans to take selfies. He is definitely a sporting person who is able to accommodate the wishes of his fans.
My separation with Maggi since October 2017. The struggle is real. So real. This was taken on Day 61 without consuming maggi curry.
The Divorce with Maggi? It’s getting there. Now it’s Day 92 with out having to eat my favourite maggi curry or any instant noodles. This was my mini resolution in October because of my health scare where my blood pressure hit its highest (almost 160). The doctor has advised me to cut down on salt and I finally realised that my daily consumption on maggi curry has done the damage. Yes, it has high sodium content and packed with MSG. So how do I deal with it? With difficulty because it has been 30 years and running that I ate maggi curry. It came to a point that my body has reached its toll. The health scare happened before I boarded a flight in October. In the end, I canceled my trip for the love of my health which also means to sacrifice what I craved for. I created a 100 day challenge and now with a few days left, what would I do? Let’s wait and see. At least, I know that my BP is back to normal. Phew!!!
Finally, it’s surreal that I’m back in the holy land of Makkah and Madinah. Sometimes it’s hard to describe the feeling. You have to be there to experience and you will know what I mean. This was taken in December 2017.
Umrah with At-Taqwa. One of the best memories and highlight for me in 2017 and a huge thanks for At-Taqwa Travel and Tours for making this trip possible for me. I was a bit scared in the beginning because of my health condition (BP). It was a good thing that I remained positive to counter those negative thoughts and Alhamdulillah, that I managed to complete my umrah trip in good health. I also loved the service and hospitality provided by At-Taqwa Travel & Tours and many have shared the same sentiments. Of course, I really missed the holy lands especially Madinah. I hope to be there one day again. InsyaAllah.
Coldplay concert “Pocket full of dreams” was so liiiitttttttt!!!!!!! Both Jolene and I had a great time at the gig.
My first taste of Coldplay. I have been wanting to catch Coldplay for a long, long time. I missed the first two concerts in Singapore until this year in March 2017. This was the best concert I’ve been to because of a different experience delivered by Coldplay. It’s not just the music but the atmosphere, the confetti, the wristband lights, the set up, the huge ass balloons. It was just a phenomenal experience. I have seen many concerts and gigs and Coldplay’s concert was by far the best I’ve experienced as a concert goer. I want more!!!!
TO BE CONTINUED
Majlis Istiadat Membuka Gendang Jaga-Jaga
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen during the Opening of the Playing of Traditional Musical Instruments at the Lapau in Bandar Seri Begawan
The Royalties entering the Lapau before the proceedings
The Golden Jubilee Celebration of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s Accession to the Throne began yesterday with the Majlis Istiadat Membuka Gendang Jaga-Jaga or the Opening of the Playing of Traditional Musical Instruments at the Lapau in Bandar Seri Begawan. The Majlis Istiadat Membuka Gendang Jaga-Jaga was conducted in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince.
Upon arrival, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince was welcomed by Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abd Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar. Also present were His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen and other members of the Royal Family.
Soon after His Royal Highness the Crown Prince was seated, the Juru Laki Awang Haji Johan Areffen bin Hassan, accompanied by other musicians entered, bearing traditional musical instruments such as Serunai or Flutes and Gendang Labek or a type of drum and took their seats at a specially allocated position.
The ceremony began with Yang Dimuliakan Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa (Retired) Major General Dato Seri Pahlawan Awang Haji Mohammad bin Haji Daud informing Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz that the Istiadat Membuka Gendang Jaga-Jaga was in place to proceed.
Yang Amat Mulia in turn informed His Royal Highness the Crown Prince that the ceremony was in place to proceed. His Royal Highness the Crown Prince subsequently instructed for the Istiadat Membuka Gendang Jaga-Jaga to commence.
The Juru Laki Awang Haji Johan Areffen proceeded to the Patarana from the left-hand side to lift the Nakara, a type of kettle drum, and bore it upon his head. Nakara is one of the royal regalia used in an Istiadat such as the Golden Jubilee Celebration of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s Accession to the Throne. The Nakara is the top among the traditional items or the Naubat. Due to these, it is located higher compared to the other Naubat items and carried by the Juru. It is also placed in a special position – on top of the crown box. It is said that the Nakara’s sahap is made from Tuma’s skin.
The beating of the Nakara then commenced followed by the playing of Gendang Labek, Serunai accompanied by Agong and Chanang, types of gongs. The beating of the Nakara was accompanied by a twenty-one cannon-fire salute.
It was followed by the beatings of Gendang Alih-alihan Tengah and Gendang Alih-alihan Hujung, until finally reaching the titir Gendang Perang or War Drum beats. The Istiadat Membuka Gendang Jaga-Jaga is carried out in a special ceremony, just like the The Istiadat Membuka Naubat or Opening of Naubat. However, it is conducted in a specific time, same as other regular ceremonies. The venue, guest, rules, how the ceremony is carried out as well as the lifting of the Nakara is similar to the Istiadat Membuka Naubat. The only difference is that the Istiadat Membuka Gendang jaga-jaga began with the beatings of Gendang Perang, followed by Alih-Alihan Tengah, Alih-Alihan hujung and ended with Gendang Perang.
Doa Selamat was read by Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Doctor Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti.
The Juru Laki Awang Haji Johan Areffen sought consent to carry the Nakara through the centre of the audience. The Nakara was then returned to its original location.
Yang Dimuliakan Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa Retired Major General Dato Seri Pahlawan Awang Haji Mohammad then informed Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz that the Istiadat Membuka Gendang Jaga-Jaga has been duly carried out. Yang Amat Mulia in turn informed His Royal Highness the Crown Prince that the ceremony has been duly carried out.
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, The Crown Prince instructed Yang Dimuliakan Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa (Retired) Major General Dato Seri Pahlawan Awang Haji Mohammad to confer His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam that the Majlis Istiadat Membuka Gendang Jaga-Jaga for the Golden Jubilee Celebration of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s Accession to the Throne was duly carried out.
His Royal Highness the Crown Prince then left the ceremony. Present at the ceremony were Pengiran Cheterias, Cabinet ministers, Members of Councils, Deputy Ministers, Pengiran-Pengiran Peranakan, Pehin-Pehin Manteri, Manteri-Manteri Hulubalang, Manteri-Manteri Pedalaman, Heads of Diplomatic Missions, Members of the Legislative Council, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Government Department. News courtesy of RTB and images courtesy of Information Department.
Members of the Royal Family
The Juru Laki Awang Haji Johan Areffen sought consent to carry the Nakara through the centre of the audience
The musicians belting traditional music to signify the opening of @hmjubliemas
The beating of the Nakara was accompanied by a twenty-one cannon-fire salute nearby Lapau