Archive for June, 2017
Hari Raya in Seoul
His Excellency Dato Paduka Hj Rosli bin Hj Sabtu and his spouse, Datin Rohana Ering hosted an open house at their residence of the Brunei Embassy to Republic of Korea last Sunday. Korea celebrated Eid Mubarak a day earlier than Brunei. Thank you once again for your awesome hospitality.
Group photo with the Brunei Embassy and students currently studying in Korea. Click image to enlarge.
It’s been a while since I’m away from Brunei Darussalam during Eid Mubarak/Hari Raya season. Of course, in Brunei, the celebration will last for the whole month and the significant times will be the first few days of Aidilfitri.
I accepted the offer (from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Korea) to be granted a slot at the Asian Cultural Youth Leaders’ Camp 2017 in Seoul, Republic of Korea and the timings coincided with the Hari Raya celebration. A big thank you also to the Korean Embassy in Brunei Darussalam for recommending me to attend the 5 day program which was fully sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea.
Funnily enough upon my arrival in Seoul, Siti Han whatsapp me as I reached Koreana Hotel early in the morning and I was fortunate that I had no agenda when she offered me to join them for Brunei Embassy’s open house at the residence. Of course, why not 😀
I was warmly greeted and I was truly amazed by the hospitality of His Excellency Dato Paduka Hj Rosli bin Hj Sabtu and his spouse, Datin Rohana Ering. The ambassador also welcomed Bruneians residing in the country and hence most of them made up of UBD students who are under the exchange program (Discovery Year) while the rest are made up of post graduate and scholarship students.
It definitely felt like home and I managed to learn more about the culture of Korea through our conversations. It was also great to see familiar faces – Anna (Nurfauzanna) binti Abu Bakar and Hjh Rosni bin Hj Mohd Yassin who are posted currently at the Brunei Embassy in Seoul.
Thank you once more for the kind hospitality and I’m sure the Bruneians who were in the vicinity felt blessed and appreciative of your hospitality.
To my family back home and my friends, Selamat Hari Raya Maaf Zahir Batin adn do buckle up while driving.
Photo opportunity with some of the students
His Excellency Dato Paduka Hj Rosli bin Hj Sabtu was a former Managing Director of AMBD before he is being posted to Korea back in July 2015
Taken just outside the embassy’s residence. Very cozy and a safe neighborhood too.
Are you looking to identify, nurture and polish your communication skills? The right place has just opened for you. Articulation, a division of Rhymin & Partners (Coaching and Consultancy), is a training centre that specializes in communication courses and programs segmented for organizations, adults and youth.
All the courses are conducted by Stuart Lee, who is a seasoned trainer and Toastmasters member. Stuart has been training in Brunei for the past few years to government agencies and corporates. I attended his “Getting Things Done” (GTD) course before and I was amazed at how comprehensive he was in helping us understand how to be productive and I was quite moved, considering how unproductive I can be and a huge procrastinator. It’s not surprising since he is a speaker who has won many speech contests, the most significant being the first District (Brunei, East Malaysia, Indonesia) champion from Brunei in 2013.
Stuart Lee mentored two speakers,Pooja Shivanand and Allen Ang and both were successful, reaching the highest accolade in respective categories of Toastmasters contest. This contest was held in Brunei last October 2016 where they competed against Malaysia and Indonesia for the contest.
Since then, he has trained hundreds of speakers. He has an innate ability to identify potential in speakers and nurture their talents to proper skills. He has mentored a few international speech champions in Toastmasters, and one even made it to Finals of the World Championship of Public Speaking. That’s one impressive record!
One thing about Stuart is he uses somewhat unconventional methods in his training, not just textbook theories. He understands the psyche of speakers who have stage fright or going blank during presentations, so his courses are suited to help nervous speakers overcome these problems. He also believes it takes meticulous trainings to convert ‘talent’ into skills, as he has seen many speakers who are even naturally talented, but are unable to channel the gift into proper, controlled skills. So being talented doesn’t mean you have what it takes.
An auditorium for training purposes
Over the years of training adults in government agencies and corporate companies, Stuart realized it’s best to start speakers early, especially during their teenage years. Good news is that he now even has courses specially catered to youth. Stuart believes the youth must be able to communicate to complement academic excellence. So among the many courses that Articulation offers, I find “Presentation Skills for Youth” to be of much value. I’ve seen many students in our local schools fear speaking and presenting in public. Even some of the smartest students are uncomfortable when asked to verbalise their thoughts in front of people. This could hinder not only their academic performance but also their future career opportunities. These are soft skills that are not taught in local schools. So this course is meant to prepare the youth to speak up in schools and tertiary to achieve their full potential.
Another flagship course is “Presentation Skills for Adults”, which is designed to help working individuals who are afraid to speak up at work and miss opportunities for growth in career. The course teaches them to deliver presentations, and articulate ideas during meetings among others. Both these presentation courses are over 8-weeks period.
There are also many other courses such as skills for interview, pitching, business English etc. that you might be interested in.
The courses will be conducted at Articulation Training Centre which is a customized stage to simulate public speaking experience. Speaking on the stage will definitely be a tough experience, but it will help to prepare the participants to battle stage fright. I think this is a great venture since communication is a life skill and being able to communicate effectively can take us places.
Personally I always learned a thing or two whenever Stuart gives his evaluations in toastmasters when it comes to speaking and presentation skills. It was also one of the main reasons I joined toastmasters so I have more opportunities to benefit from his sharing. I’m glad that he has ventured into training of his own. Congratulations, Stuart!
If you wish to know more, go to www.articulation.co or visit his Facebook Page or simply contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Maybank Brunei wins Best SME Bank again
Lim Yu Kwang, the Country Head & General Manager for Maybank Brunei, Bobby Sia, Head of Business & Transaction Banking and Woo Chang Huei, Product and Marketing Strategy during the press conference
Maybank Brunei has been recognised as the ‘Best Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Bank, Brunei 2017’ instituted by Capital Finance International, United Kingdom. This marks the second time Maybank Brunei has received the award, with the first being in 2015. The milestone was addressed during a press conference last weekend.
According to the judges’ remarks from Capital Finance International, being the only fully localised foreign bank in the country, Maybank Brunei is fully integrated with the Brunei business community and maintains a vast network of contacts that keep the bank abreast of developments and allow it to help SMEs grow and prosper.
Maybank Brunei’s Head of Business Banking & Transaction Banking, Bobby Sia said, “Despite the challenging business environment, Maybank Brunei achieved a double digit growth in its profit before tax (PBT) for 2016 and will be looking to further build its SMEs presence in the Brunei financial market.
“Winning this award again is a testimony of our commitment to the market as well as our capabilities to leverage our position as the only fully localised foreign bank in Brunei,” he added.
Congratulations on the milestone, Maybank Brunei
The certificate for their achievement
Maybank Brunei has new conference rooms for future training sessions.
The recognition comes close on the heels of the bank receiving the ‘Fastest Growing Bank, Brunei 2016’ accolade from Global Banking and Finance Review, UK for the second consecutive year last year and Maybank Brunei is looking to repeat the feat again in 2017.
Lim Yu Kwang, the Country Head & General Manager for Maybank Brunei said, “Maybank Brunei has been operating in Brunei for the past 57 years. We are a full-fledged bank providing full retail and commercial banking products and services in Brunei. We have a team of dedicated and experienced staff who are committed to serve the needs of our clients.
“We are truly an Asean bank with presence in all 10 member countries with well-established networks. We understand Asean markets better than most of our peers. On top of that, our presence has also been extended to other markets out of the Asean region such as China, Hong Kong, London and New York to name a few.”
Maybank Brunei will strive to continue its strong performance which it has accomplished evidently in recent years and work towards providing better products, solutions and exemplary services to its clients.
Maybank Brunei also hinted on having an online banking after receiving positive feedback from their customers.
Also present at the press conference was Woo Chang Huei, Product and Marketing Strategy for Maybank Brunei.
Yong won a Vento
Mr. Ngieng Chew Yong was the grand winner of the ‘Wash ‘N Win’ Lucky as he was won the Volkswagen Vento. Passing him the mock key was Madam Jarol, representative of Southern Lion Sdn Bhd, Malaysia.
Second place winner won herself a 65” inch TV..
Last Sunday marked the Grand Lucky Draw Event of the ‘Wash ‘N Win’ Lucky Draw organized by Bahagia Distributors Sdn Bhd, where the grand draw was held at The Mall, Gadong. During the draw, the participants registered and participated in a fun activity to stand a chance to win the sought for prizes. Out of the 115 lucky shortlisted participants for this weekly draw, Mr. Ngieng Chew Yong successfully won the grand prize, a Volkswagen Vento, which was presented by Mdm Jarol, the Representative of Southern Lion Sdn Bhd, Malaysia.
With registration having started since the beginning of April, the “Wash ‘N Win” Lucky Draw, four weekly draws have been held throughout May to June, with the Grand Draw being held on the 18th of June 2017, Sunday. Each of these draw events have been be premiering several fabulous prizes to be won by the shortlisted participants.
All shortlisted candidates registered for this Lucky Draw event by simply purchasing any product from Biozip, Senang and Dobi at specific department stores and outlets.
With a Volkswagen Vento as a grand prize and other more fabulous prizes to be won including Matrix 65”/55”/50”/32” LED TV, Apple iPad Mini 4 and Mini Bar Fridges, The ‘Wash ‘N Win’ Lucky Draw Event will definitely be an event to watch out for in the future.
100 shortlisted participants carried out their puzzle games
Loads of freebies 😀
There were 110 envelopes inside and outside the Vento. One of the envelopes is the hidden lucky prize.
Few of the top ten prizes
Some of the consolation winners
Relaunching AV Mobile
The management and associates of AV Mobile relaunching their new flagship store at Times Square Shopping Centre
Benny Tan welcoming customers and members of the media to the relaunch last Friday
AV Group is proud to present the grand opening of its Newly Relaunch AV Mobile, Digital Life Store in Times Square Mall on Friday, 16th June 2017. The new AV Digital Life Store is the first open concept lifestyle store in Brunei, bringing different aspects of your digital life together, offering dedicated spaces for great variety of phones, accessories, laptops, travel, storage, eyewear, cases and lifestyle Over 40 brands available in one store! Expect to find the full range of Apple and Samsung products as well as new and exciting categories and brands such as our Certified Premium Selection of Certified phones, Sonic Gear, Razer, Supershades, Console Games, Aztech, Agva, Steelseries, Alcatroz, and many more!
So what to expect for the special promotion at AV Mobile, Digital Life Store in Times Square Mall?
– The best value and prices on mobile phones!
– Up to 50% off Steelseries products
– 20% off all Accessories with any purchase!
– $2 and $3 Mobile phone bundles only at the Digital Life Store
– Up to 50% off Steelseries products
Benny sharing the history of AV Mobile and its transition during the period
Celebrity Aziz Harun was in the house too
Interesting facts about AV Group that brought you AV Mobile. AV Group is one of the oldest and most established retailers and mobile phone chain stores in Brunei with its founding in 1985. AV Mobile offers the largest range of Certified Phones Available in Brunei with worry free 1-1 exchange Warranty. In 2016, they opened a dedicated, fully equipped 1200 sq ft Service, Training and Experience Center at The Airport Mall (Level 2). This cements their commitment of quality after sales service to all AV Mobile customers.
For your info, AV Mobile is the Official and Exclusive Huawei Retailer for mobile devices in Brunei. Hence, only official phones are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
AV Mobile has 9 stores across Brunei at Mall, Times Square, Airport Mall, Yayasan, KB, Tutong, Muara, Sungai Liang, Sengkurong.
The management and team would like to take this opportunity to thank all friends, customers, partners and media for their constant support over the past 33 years. They will continue to bring you new and exciting products and experiences at all our AV Group companies and stores! You can follow on their instagram @avmobilebn
Brothers showing support during the relaunch
Some of the accessories on discount
Check out the timeline of AV Mobile. Click to enlarge.
ZA Barakah Pop Up Sale
Hj Omar Abdul Aziz and Siti Rashidah Hassan, co-owners of ZA Barakah with their children during the launch of the pop up event at The Mall
Siti Rashidah Hassan officially launching the pop up sale event
It has been three years since the company has been in fashion/lifestyle industry. ZA Barakah boutique started since 1st February 2014, managed by Hj Omar Abdul Aziz and Siti Rashidah Hassan. Due to their success, the entrepreneurs have also ventured into tailoring under ZA Tailor (hint, hint for those who wants to do their Baju Melayu or Baju Kurung for Raya).
Yesterday they launched a pop-up event leading into Hari Raya, having a concept of a modern Muslimah, showcasing some local and international brands. Do expect items such as Hijab, Jubbah and kids versions from Malaysia (Shazzmin, Dezahra and Julia Betty).
Perhaps the two major brands that are being showcased and sold are MochaFashion and LilyPetuna. Do check them out as they do look quite elegant and affordable.
Lily Petuna brand has a Pario concept, design that suits the modern era and ZA Barakah has made it easier for the locals to have access to their products. The same could be said for Mocha Fashion that has different range for ladies, kids and also men (top). Do expect great quality from both popular brands.
ZA Barakah is also the sole distributor for Capster (Hijab Sport) from the Netherlands. The brand has sold over 1,000 pieces alone in Brunei and that shows how popular Capster is.
Apart from that, ZA Barakah is also a distributor for Nashata Sports ranging from tops and pants for the ladies. The brand hails from Malaysia.
The pop up event is located on the 1st floor of The Mall, Gadong (near the escalator above Chang Ein Hong) and it will be there for the week. Do follow them on instagram @za_barakah for updates.
Some of the ranges from Lily Petuna
Mocha Fashion also have range for the men
Some of the children lines from Julia Betty
BK, Concepts signs deal
Lim Kai Wei, Marketing Manager of Sinofood Express, Deno Goh, Operations Director of Sinofood Express, Izam Ahmad, Marketing Manager of Sinofood Express, Mr. Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer, Alice Chan, Chief Financial Officer of Concepts Computer and Mr. Zul Abdul Rahman, Marketing Executive for Concepts Computer during the signing ceremony
The signing ceremony between Concepts Computer and Burger King Brunei last weekend
Last weekend, Concepts Computer, one of the largest IT retailer in Brunei, along with Sinofood Express, the franchisee of Burger King in Brunei Darussalam, is signing a collaborative MOU for cross-promoting their respective products during the holy month of Ramadhan and the festive month of Syawal.
Signing on behalf of Burger King Brunei is Lim Kai Wei and Izam Ahmad, both marketing Managers with Burger King Brunei. While on behalf of Concepts Computer, Mr. Vincent Pao, General Manager, and Mr. Zul Abdul Rahman, Marketing Executive for Concepts Computer. Also present was Operations Director, Burger King Brunei.
Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer, speaking to the media, said, “There is potential for a great collaboration between Concepts Computer and Burger King Brunei, since both has a large customer base in different sectors of the Bruneian market, so it is very synergistic.”
Zul Abdul Rahman, Marketing Executive for Concepts Computer, added to the media, “Customers who have purchased $200 or more on a single receipt; excluding purchases of Acer PC, notebooks and Acer or Epson projectors; in our store will be able to receive a free $10 Burger King voucher. And on the other hand, purchases of $100 to $199 on a single receipt will get a free $5 Burger King Voucher, redeemable at all Burger King Brunei branches.”
And Lim Kai Wei, Marketing Manager of Burger King Brunei, also added, “And Burger King customers who purchases $25 and over on a single receipt will also receive a $10 Concepts Computer voucher, which can be redeemed with Concepts on any of their products including Acer computers or projectors, Epson printers or projectors, APC power solutions, even softwares or OS from Microsoft.”
Also commenting to the media is Izam Ahmad, Marketing Manager for Burger King as well, ”Burger King Brunei is very happy to work with Concepts during this promotion, with the hopes of offering added value and better services to our customer base, especially since this is the first time we are partnering with an IT retail company.”
Both Concepts and Burger King will be running this voucher program until 31st of July 2017, or while vouchers are still available with either Concepts Computer or Burger King.
For more information call 2233551, 2233552 or 2233553, or visit your nearest Concepts Computer showroom or Burger King branch.
Speaking of Burger King, do get yourself a limited edition BK bottle when you buy a Ramadhan Family Meal from Burger King (while stock lasts)
I got myself one two weeks ago but man, I don’t know where I kept the bottle… Hmmmm..
Good luck, apprentices
The newly selected apprentices with Alfred So, General Manager of Jati Transport, Dominic Wells, Senior Manager of Training from Mercedes-Benz (Malaysia), Mr. Stephen Reid, Service Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd, Mr. Jackson, Workshop Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd and the parents of the three apprentices during the signing ceremony
Muhd Noor Najib bin Awang Abdullah, Abdul Wafiy bin Hj Rudzi and Muhamad Azmin bin Abdul Wahab
Yesterday Jati Transport Sdn Bhd signed an apprenticeship contract with two attachment students form the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (ITBE) and one trainee from Jati Transport under the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Modern Apprenticeship (AMA) Programme. Jati Transport Sdn Bhd will be sponsoring all costs including training fees and monthly allowances.
The signing ceremony took place at Jati Transport Beribi Showroom yesterday. Dominic Wells, Senior Manager of Training from Mercedes-Benz (Malaysia), Mr. Alfred So, General Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd, Mr. Stephen Reid, Service Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd, Mr. Jackson, Workshop Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd and the parents of the three apprentices witnessed the signing ceremony.
The AMA programme is a 3-year interactive training that aims to foster the best automative talent for Mercedes-Benz. The apprentices, Abdul Wafiy bin Hj Rudzi, Muhd Noor Najib bin Awang Abdullah and Muhamad Azmin bin Abdul Wahab will work with a team of professional trainers and ambitious young stars, alongside a chance to earn while learning.
Upon successful completion of the programme, the apprentices will gain – City & Guild VTQ Level 3 (Vocational Related Qualification), QMT (Qualified Maintenance Technician), QST (Qualified System Technician) and AMA from Mercedes-Benz. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain professional qualifications and real practical experience for the apprentices to embark on an exciting and rewarding career with Jati Transport Sdn Bhd.
Signing on the dotted line
With Mr. Stephen Reid, Service Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd and Dominic Wells, Senior Manager of Training from Mercedes-Benz (Malaysia)
Rano thoughts: It was great to know of this program made available to Bruneians and a big thank you to Jati Transport Sdn Bhd for making it possible. Initially there were six being shortlisted during the interview conducted by Mr. Stephen Reid, Service Manager of Jati Transport, and in the end, three were chosen. Stephen shared that the company values work ethics very high and the chosen ones have demonstrated good work ethics during their short attachment at Jati Transport.
Abdul Wafiy, Muhd Noor Najib and Muhamad Azmin felt very excited yet nervous on the opportunities given. Their parents who were present during the signing ceremony were proud of their sons achievement and being selected. There were given opportunities to ask questions with regards to the training program in Kuala Lumpur and Alfred So, General Manager of Jati Transport reassured the parents that everything will be taken care of and hope the parents will be in communication with Stephen on their sons’ progress.
The newly selected apprentices will be flying end of June (at least they can spend their Hari Raya with their families before flying) and their Mercedes-Benz Advance Modern Apprenticeship Programme will be at located at Mercedes-Benz Training Academy a the company’s Head Office site in Pouching, Kinrara, Selangor, Malaysia.
I just visited a blog of Paultan.org and he has some nice photos of the head office and training centre. It must be a real privilege for our young local apprentices to be part of AMA programme. I’m quite excited to know they will be posted there for three years to learn the latest technology and training made available by Mercedes-Benz.
Dominic Wells, Senior Manager Training & Technical Market Support Mercedes-Benz Malaysia & Region SEA2 Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, will be conducting parts of the training and shared that the three Bruneians will join 60 other apprentices from Malaysia. I’m pretty sure they will be under the good care of Dominic.
Good luck to all the apprentices and make us proud 🙂
The head office and training centre of Mercedes-Benz in Selangor, Malaysia. Image courtesy of Paul Tan.
How the office looks like. Cool 😀
The workshop training area. Image courtesy of Paul Tan.
This looks pretty cool. Image courtesy of Paul Tan.
Special treats for @audibrunei followers
1. Look for the Audi S3 Sedan at Little Soho, Batu Besurat.
2. Follow @audibrunei IG.
3. Post a picture of the Audi S3 Sedan (with or without you).
4. Include the #s3atlittlesoho on your post.
5. Tag @audibrunei and at least one of your friend’s IG.
6. Show your post to the counter at E.A.T. to claim your voucher.
Find the Audi S3 Sedan at Little Soho, Batu Bersurat and take a shot
This is Little Soho at Batu Bersurat
Terms & Conditions
1. No change will be given if E.A.T. items redeemed is/are under B$5.00 value.
2. Limited to 10 winners per day.
3. E.A.T. will be open from 2:00pm until 9:00pm daily.
4. Voucher only valid until the last day of Ramadhan 2017.
5. One voucher is entitled for only one winner throughout the duration of the promotion.
6. Winners cannot consist from the same family member.
Successful Formula E home race for Audi in Berlin
One pole position, two podiums and 56 points in total: Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport inspired the fans with its strong outing at the home Formula E race on the former airport in Berlin-Tempelhof
For the first time this season, two identical race days were completed on Saturday and Sunday – both with qualifying and race. Lucas di Grassi ensured the first highlight as he claimed the three points for pole position on Saturday with Audi Chief Development Officer Peter Mertens looking on. In the race, the Brazilian, who had led commandingly for many laps, lost the lead just before half-distance as he had to slow his pace due to temperature problems with the battery, but nevertheless defended second place. Team mate Daniel Abt finished sixth after starting eighth on the grid.
24 hours later, di Grassi only started from seventh, but with the Berlin public cheering on in even hotter temperatures than the previous day, fought his way up to third place. With a haul of 36 points in Berlin, di Grassi reduced the deficit to championship leader Sébastien Buemi by eleven points to 32 points.
Di Grassi was followed closely throughout the entirety of Sunday’s race by team mate Daniel Abt, who improved from eighth on the grid to fourth and clinched his best result of the season thanks to his strong home race showing. The 24-year old German contributed 20 points of the 56 points scored this weekend by ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, which also made up ground to the leaders Renault e.dams in the teams’ classification.