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Archive for October, 2017

Thor:Ragnarok Review

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in movies


Have you seen Thor:Ragnarok? What do you thin?


In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok–the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization–at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger–the Incredible Hulk!.

The Good.

I could go on and on and on. This could be one of my top 3 movies of 2017 for now. I simply had so much fun, watching as a movie goer and also as a Marvel fan. Frankly speaking, I am not fond of Thor’s character among the avengers but after watching Thor: Ragnarok, I might just have another perspective and have more compassion for Thor.

It was amazeballs from start to finish. Well, not entirely but 80% of the time, I was truly entertained. First thing is the humour. I know it’s not so typical of a Thor movie to head into this direction but the formula seemed to have paid off and I don’t mind seeing this brand of humour being injected for Thor. This was completely different from first two Thor movies and it was never too late to fix what went wrong especially in the second one.

The estranged relationship between Thor and Loki also gave depth to the plot and it was also the first time that I felt some compassion for Loki #nospoilers Loki was more subdued and still very relevant in the Marcel Cinematic Universe. Am I tired to see the family squabbles? Not just yet. The bromance was nicely executed.

The one that I was most impressed with was Cate Blanchett in her portrayal as Hela. She was so intimidating as a villain and totally convincing one too. She still has got what it takes to pull off as a hottie despite her age. To me, she’s like the female version of Loki and I would more of her on screen.

Thor’s final trilogy shared some interesting insight on one under-rated character of The Avengers, the Incredible Hulk. We finally have a deeper understanding of Hulk’s character through his words and actions and I couldn’t have done it any better for Hulk’s screen time. You will come to a point that he could be your favourite Marvel character. Just like how Spider-Man appeared in Captain America: Civil War.

I am also in love with the soundtrack and choice of music, upbeat and chill at the same time. I had the same vibe when watching The Guardians of the Galaxy. Not much emphasis is normally given to superhero movies apart from when Hans Zimmer is involved (Man of Steel, The Dark Knight). Of course, it is tricky to create a music score for a light hearted theme like Thor:Ragnarok and the overall music feel was just fitting to the theme.

A very impressive start for Taika Waititi’s first direction in the MCU. I have not seen his earlier works such as Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows and Boy, movies that are non-action based or Hollywood types. I’m definitely looking forward to his other movies and I hope he will be involved in other MCU movies in the near future.


Friends caught the sneaks at The Mall Cineplex

The Bad.

It’s hard to pick out flaws when you are so engrossed and entertained throughout the film. Every scene was purposeful and I didn’t feel any drag or whatsoever.

Perhaps one pointer if I want to highlight was the different direction taken by Waititi – too much comedy packed in one movie may lose the credibility of the seriousness or the urgency of Thor’s character. The humour could have paid handsomely if this was a Spider-man movie. Nonetheless, I wasn’t too concern if Ragnarok’s tone was lighter than the first two movies.

The Ugly.

None at all. Nothing to report about badly in this category.


Nothing short of brilliance and a superb direction by Taika Waititi in his attempt in the MCU. Ragnarok was purely entertaining from start to finish and I can’t wait for the upcoming, The Avengers: Infinity War Part I. Definitely giving this a second viewing. One of the best films of 2017. 9 out 10 stars.

Friends caught the sneaks at The Mall Cineplex


Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in automative, Social News



Whether by its spectacular latest-generation PEUGEOT i-Cockpit, by its exceptionally inspired design, by its optimised architectural efficiency or by its high-tech equipment, the new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV aims to assert itself from the off as a major player. It inaugurates for PEUGEOT a new SUV range for which it will be the worldwide emblem. With the all-new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV the brand is positioning itself in the C-SUV segment with an eminently desirable product consistent with the best know-how and an upmarket feel..



Check out the latest Peugeot 3008. Launching soon!


Breath-taking interior design

Getting into the all-new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV is to enter another world, surprising, original and oozing quality. A spectacular, almost futuristic dashboard immediately catches the eye. This coherent and highly technological ensemble is the latest generation PEUGEOT i-Cockpit®, a novel concept that has rewritten the book on the car cockpit. Here, everything seems to be at the service of the pleasure and concentration of the driver in a pronouncedly high-tech niche.

The steering wheel is even more compact and has been redesigned with two flats to make it easier to grip and to afford the driver maximum visibility and legroom. The close attention paid to material choices and attention to detail – full hide leather, chrome inserts, gloss black trims – deliver a high level of perceived quality and attractiveness.

The large 8” touch-screen resembles a tablet installed in the centre of the dashboard and is equipped with capacitive technology for greater reactivity and practicality.

It is accompanied by six elegant piano-key “toggle switches” – giving direct and permanent access to the main control functions: radio, climate control, navigation, vehicle parameters, telephone and mobile applications.

The heads-up instrument unit unveils in series production a high-resolution 12.3” screen with futuristic graphics. It can be completely configured and personalised, and brings together all that the driver could want in his field of view. Five different display modes – controlled from a knob on the steering wheel – allow the driver to configure the instrument unit “a la carte”. The « Personal » mode in particular, configured from the touch-screen, allows the driver to display a wide choice of information: driver aids, engine parameters and trip computer. The visual impact of each setting is highlighted by a series of animations and transitions which are a treat for the eyes..



Interesting interior inside the Peugeot 3008

The cockpit display is quite visible from the driver’s perspective and not blocked by the steering wheel


Inspired exterior design

The interior design of the all-new PEUGEOT 3008 is unique to the market. The design is successful and rich, and the on-board technology promises much.

This feeling is carried over to the outside. At first glance, the all-new PEUGEOT 3008 is striking and surprises by the strength of its character. The effect is strong, clear and self-evident: this is an SUV. The all-new PEUGEOT 3008 has adopted all the characteristics of this type of silhouette:
– A vertical front end,
– A long flat bonnet,
– Wide protective bands (bumper skirts, wheel arches, bottom of doors),
– Large wheels,
– Raised ground clearance,
– Shaped roof bars,

But the all-new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV doesn’t just settle for incorporating these characteristics. It adds meaning and emotion whilst keeping in mind consistency. Because what you notice first about the vehicle is a sense of harmony, of well-balanced proportions, of just the right quantity of everything. A shape inspired by the boundless creativity of its designers.

A jubilant driving experience

The all-new PEUGEOT 3008 is a true SUV, but above all it’s a PEUGEOT! And like any true SUV it has genuine off-road capability, especially thanks to Advanced Grip Control.

The driver and passengers just have to sit back and enjoy the ride! Journeys on board, even the shortest and most day-to-day trips, are enriched with new discoveries. This new PEUGEOT is a true invitation to travel, first-class, aided by excellent sound-insulation and numerous comfort features, most of which are above .





Peace of mind driving aids

It is a joy to drive, a feeling amplified by the compact steering wheel, and the driver can make the most of the dynamic abilities of this SUV, especially thanks to the support of the numerous driver aids available to him. These latest generation ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) minimise any source of danger on the road through an arsenal of safety features:
– Active lane departure warning;
– Driver attention warning
– Speed limit sign recognition
– Adaptive Cruise Control
For city driving, the driver is also assisted by a Visio Park (360° all-around vision)

Keeps you connected

The all-new PEUGEOT 3008 is like its driver – it moves with the times. So it meets the need to stay connected at the wheel and to be able to navigate calmly and peacefully, thanks to features like Mirror Screen and Android Auto.

Made in France

The new PEUGEOT 3008 is produced in the Sochaux plant, and the French Trémery and Douvrin factories supply all the power-plants. It will therefore carry from the outset the “Origine France Garantie” label..




A sneak preview for the media at Little Soho recently

Alvin Caro, P.R and Advertising Excective, T.C.Y. Motors (Peugeot) briefing to the media

Checking out the VR on Peugeot 3008. Apparently there will be giveaways for those who try on the VR on Peugeot during the 2017 Brunei Motor Show at Bridex

Rano’s take:

Can you imagine this? An affordable SUV that have high end driving experience. Basically you don’t have to own a luxury car to enjoy this and you can settle for the new Peugeot 3008. I saw the video presentation and why it won many accolades as being Car of the Year 2017. This means that many thought process has been given to this model and it even surpass many branded cars.

Now I’m just waiting for a test drive of the Peugeot to get the overall feel of the car. The Peugeot 3008 will be showcased hopefully at 2017 Brunei Motor Show at Bridex this weekend. So do check it out. The  Peugeot 3008 will be launched sometime in November 2017.


The new Audi A3 Sportback 1.2TFSI S tronic 110bhp/175Nm

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in audi, automative


Posing with the new Audi A3 Sportback 1.2TFSI at Little Soho

The Audi A3 family is a true success story, with a multitude of driver assistance systems and engines available from which to choose. TCY Motors now reintroduces the Audi A3 Sportback which was last offered in 2013.

Design and lightweight construction
The designers have given the Audi A3 family sporty, expressive body lines. A short front overhang underscores the balanced proportions.
The headlights of the Audi A3 are a striking image with their jagged bottom edges. Audi Brunei offers LED headlights/tail lights with dynamic rear turn signals as standard.
Thanks to their body rigidity, the Audi A3 models offer a high degree of crash safety. A sound-absorbing windshield is standard.
Audi pairs the front-wheel drive A3 Sportback with a seven-speed S tronic and 4-mode Drive Select.

The suspension of Audi A3 family boasts balanced, yet sporty tuning. The front axle is a McPherson construction with wishbones; the multi-link rear suspension absorbs the longitudinal and transverse forces. With the S line sport suspension, the body sits 15 millimetres (0.6 in) lower, and 25 millimetres (1.0 in) lower. The electromechanical power steering is highly efficient and very responsive.
17-inch wheels are standard with exclusive 18-inch 10-spoke design matt titanium look wheels for the S line model. Powerful brakes provide for a sportily taut, yet precise pedal feel.

Equipment and trim
Audi provides the A3 family with a generous range of equipment. The package of restraint systems comprises seven airbags and the integral headrest system as well as a knee airbag for the driver. Side airbags in the rear are available as an option. Other safety features include ISOFIX anchors with top tether for child safety seats on the rear seats, the adaptive brake light, tire pressure loss indicator and ESC stabilization control with electronic limited slip differential.

Standard features include bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, exterior mirrors with LED turn signals, the Audi MMI radio plus with a high-resolution 7-inch color display and manual air conditioning. The folding rear seats are split 60:40 in the Audi A3 Sportback. The acoustic windshield, power windows, height-adjustable front seats and the electromechanical parking brake complete the standard equipment.

Audi offers numerous options direct from the luxury class for the A3 family. For the interior, these include the automatic air conditioning, the auxiliary heater, heated, folding and automatically dimming exterior mirrors, the storage and luggage compartment package and the frameless, automatically dimming interior mirror with light and rain sensor. Options for the front seats include lumbar supports and partial or full power adjustment. Customers can also choose a folding rear seat split 40:20:40 for the Audi A3 Sportback.

The Audi A3 Sportback offers sporty versatility at the highest level. It measures 4,313 millimetres (14.2 ft) in length, is 1,785 millimetres (5.9 ft) wide and 1,426 millimetres (4.7 ft) high. In the rear, the A3 Sportback offers ample head, elbow, knee and foot room. The luggage compartment capacity is 340 to 1,220 liters (12.0 to 43.1 cu ft).



The driver’s view

The gear of the Audi A3 Sportback 1.2TFSI

The interior of the Audi A3 Sportback 1.2TFSI

You can fold the back seat

Very convenient if you have big items to bring along

Rano’s thoughts: I haven’t test driven the car but first impressions were good. When a 2013 Audi A3 owner who walked past the newer model, he was impressed with the face lift design. I had the chance to see the standard model as well as the S Line model (grey) during the press viewing at Little Soho yesterday. It seems Audi has listen to the growing demands and the different trends as of late and in Brunei, it’s no different. The trend now more into comfort with a strong brand and affordability.

Hence you are now able to afford the newest Audi A3 Sportback and enjoy what Audi has to offer from the specs given above. I hope to test drive the model hopefully by early November and give a feel of the Audi A3.




Recently launched at their Audi Showroom a few weeks ago

Fireworks galore

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Social News


We bumped into Nuriskandar Hassan and Gary Goh after the first fireworks in BSB

The crowd waiting for the arrival of His Majesty the Sultan and the Royal entourage

So much was talked about the recent Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge  formerly known as Sg. Kebun bridge. I myself have not been on it but I’ve seen various shots on whatsapp where people were stopping by the bridge to take some shots and some even set up a small picnic area. At least the RIPAS bridge have been creating much hype among Bruneians.

The images were from the last weekend when His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam officiated the opening of the 750 metre bridge which costs BND 139 million, built by Swee Sdn Bhd (local company) and South Korean company Daelim Industrial.

I didn’t bother to get a good shot and if I did, I would have to sacrifice my company who won’t have proper access for a better view. We settled for early dinner at Piccolo Cafe where the owner Kristy and her co were working full blast from 5pm onwards till midnight. It was also one of the best business revenues for 2017.

Our journey to town was no easy feat. I believe it took us almost 90 minutes just to reach town from Anggrek. I would have checked in somewhere in town but the rooms were sold out as usual. Same thing happened during the Royal Procession on the 5th of October. I had an idea of either walking from Kiulap or taking a boat ride but the unfavourable weather prediction wasn’t much of a help though it didn’t really rain that night until the ceremony ended. Hence, braving the traffic was a safe (slow & steady) option.

As for the crowd, I have never seen such a packed crowd especially in Brunei. It reminded me of a zombie apocalypse movie and it just felt so surreal. I’m pretty sure places like Jerudong Park Playground or even the queue at the border would be empty. I even bumped into many familiar faces where I thought it would be difficult to spot my friends since there were simply too many people congested along the street.

The fireworks were commendable and lasted at least 15 minutes or so, making the trip worthwhile for fireworks goers and also families. Well, I would say only the first 10 minutes of the fireworks display of the allocated 15 mins and 25 mins respectively were easy to spot or sighted. After that, the after effects aka the smoke clouded the firework effects that were supposed to woo us from start to finish. Nonetheless it was still nice of Hengyi Industries and Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited to sponsor the fireworks to commemorate His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam officiating the RIPAS bridge last Saturday.

Did I had fun? Yes, I did. Thank you to the organisers especially the ministries for making this event possible. I wonder when can we have another event like this again because it felt that our country was united as one and in harmony. Something I will remember for a very long time.



Phone line were congested and I couldn’t make any calls. Just look at the crowd.

Salute to the officers on duty to take care of traffic flow

Pranika Lama and Erra Jamal enjoying the festivity last Saturday


The second firework in the first 10 minutes

Halfway through the fireworks

This was taken with 15 minutes left of the fireworks. I couldn’t even see the tower of the bridge.


The street was filled with rubbish after the event. I believe it might difficult for them to access the bins because of the sea of people and it won’t be visible to their eyes.

We parked some where near Terrace Hotel. Some of my friends parked at Mabohai Shopping Complex. Now that’s a long walk.

Pepsi Bonanza Lucky Draw Event Vol. 1

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in games, Social News


The winners of the first ‘Pepsi Bonanza Lucky Draw’ held at Jaya Hypermart, Gadong

The qualifying round of the lucky draw

The top three finalists playing the sipping game

Last Friday marked the start of the ‘Pepsi Bonanza Lucky Draw Event’, where it’s first monthly draw was held at Jaya Hypermart, 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 10 lucky shortlisted participants for this 1st monthly draw; Dayang Aisah Bte Hj Jumat successfully won the first prize of Jaya Cash Coupon $300, Mohammad Zaim Bin Hj Arun won 2nd prize of Jaya Cash Coupon $200 and Siti Sabarianah Ramli as 3rd prize of Jaya Cash Coupon $100, which was presented by Mr. Paul Thomas, the store manager of Jaya Hypermart Gadong. 7 Consolation Prizes was presented by Mr. Valentine Hon, the General Manager of Kingston Beverage and Creamery Sdn Bhd.

With registration having started since the month of August 2017, The “Pepsi Bonanza Lucky Draw Event” will continue to have 2 more monthly draws throughout November to December, with the Grand Draw being held on the 10th December 2017. Each of these monthly draws will be premiering several fabulous prizes to be won by the shortlisted participants.

Interested parties can easily register for this Lucky Draw event by simply purchasing any “Twin Pack” bottles of 1.5L Pepsi, Pepsi Twist, 7-Up, Revive, Mirinda Orange, Mirinda Strawberry, Mirinda Green Apple and Mirinda Green Fruit at specific department stores and outlets. After purchasing customers can simply staple their receipt to their filled in lucky draw form and drop it off into the lucky draw boxes. In addition, participants can also register for the Pepsi Bonanza 2017 event through participating restaurant outlets: Secret Recipe, Marry Brown, Pelicana, KFC, Ayamku, and The Chicken Rice Shop, with specific terms and conditions apply.

With the savings account of BND $8888.88 as a grand prize, followed by other cash rewards and Pepsi Hampers to be won, the “Pepsi Bonanza 2017” Lucky Draw Event will definitely be an event to watch out for.



Friends and families supporting the lucky contestants

Dayang Aisah Bte Hj Jumat successfully won the first prize of Jaya Cash Coupon $300 handed by Paul Thomas, store manager of Jaya Hypermart Gadong


Mohammad Zaim Bin Hj Arun won 2nd prize of Jaya Cash Coupon $200

Siti Sabarianah Ramli won 3rd prize of Jaya Cash Coupon $100

Consolation winner presented by Mr. Valentine Hon, the General Manager of Kingston Beverage and Creamery Sdn Bhd

Another consolation winner

Another consolation winner

Honey Carsmart 2nd Lucky Draw

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Social News


Mohammad Aiib bin Aslin, Nur Amirah Firdaus bte Hj Mustapa and Lim Teng Luan were the grand winners of the Honey Carsmart Sdn Bhd 2nd Lucky Draw event last Friday

Honey Carsmart Sdn Bhd held its 2nd Lucky Draw event yesterday morning at its main office, with a total of over 200 guests who attended the event. The company also has provided its own shuttle service convenience of the guests.

Light refreshments were served and souvenirs were distributed to all 140 eligible customers who bought their cars from the company between 19th May 2017 – 30th September 2017.

The company organized this annual event to show its sincere appreciation to their customers for their continuous support and loyalty over the years.

A donation of $2,500 were distributed equally to

• Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam represented by Hj Ahmad Bin Hj Abd Rahman, Head of Policy & Planning

• SMARTER Brunei represented by Malai Hj Abdullah Bin Malai Hj Othman, President of the Society for Management of Autism Related Issues

• DANA Pengiran Muda Mahkota Al-Muhtadee Billah Untuk Anak Anak Yatim represented by Hj Puasa Bin Hj Jumat, Assistant Managing Director, on behalf of CEO of DANA

The collective proceeds of $7,500 were collected through Honey Carsmart’s three-day grand sale event in May and customers who bought the used cars during the event are delighted to know that proceeds from the sales are being contributed to charity.



Donation presented to SMARTER Brunei represented by Malai Hj Abdullah Bin Malai Hj Othman, President of the Society for Management of Autism Related Issues

Donation presented to Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam represented by Hj Ahmad Bin Hj Abd Rahman, Head of Policy & Planning

Donation presented to DANA Pengiran Muda Mahkota Al-Muhtadee Billah Untuk Anak Anak Yatim represented by Hj Puasa Bin Hj Jumat, Assistant Managing Director, on behalf of CEO of DANA

The crowd last Friday at Honey Smartcar outlet

This year, the company introduced the new prize system whereby its customers have higher chances of winning more prizes.

The Perdana Prize winners for 3 Units if Iphone 7Plus was presented to Mr. MOHAMMAD AIIB BIN ASLIN , LIM TENG LUAN & NUR AMIRAH FIRDAUS BTE HJ MUSTAPA.

The Platinum Prize winners, SUPIAN BIN HJ ALIAKBAR & ROSE WYNN B CASTILLO, 2 units of SCOTT Mountain Bikes over by Michael Nyau, General Manager (insert photo)

The Diamond Prize winner, MOHAMMAD NOH HJ NAIN & SAJALI BIN KONDIN, 2 Units of SHARP Refrigerator handed over by Leslie Lai, Procurement Manager of Honey Carsmart (insert photo)

The Gold Prize winner, MR.SHINSUKE SAIKAWA & HJ MOHD ZAKARIA BIN HJ MATNOR a 42” Flat Screen TVs was handed over by the company’s Admin Manager, Ms Lim Cha Eng, Centre (insert photo)

The Silver Prize winner, HJ ROY NIFARILAN ZAINI & ZAITUL HIZANAH ISMAIL, 2 Laptops were handed over by the company’s Marketing Manager, Kate Lim, (insert photo)

The management expresses its sincere gratitude for the Guests of Honours and its customers for their continuous trust and support and will look forward to organize bigger events in the future.



The grand winners of the iPhone 7 Plus


Supian bin Hj Aliakbar won a SCOTT Mountain Biikes

Hj Mohd Zakaria bin Hj Matnor won a 42” Flat Screen TV

One of the consolation winners for the grand lucky draw

Hj Roy Nifarilan Zaini won an Acer notebook

A late comer Shinsuke Saikawa was fortunate as he arrived and his number was called out for a 42” Flat Screen TV

Mohammad Noh Hj Nain won a Sharp Refrigerator

Kia Stinger

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in automative


The new Kia Stinger

Grand Motors Sdn Bhd, the exclusive distributor of Kia vehicles in Brunei Darussalam recently launched a powerful all-new fastback sports sedan – the KIA STINGER. It was first unveiled at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Kia’s powerful new fastback sports sedan channels the spirit of historic grand tourers – powerful, elegant vehicles capable of moving their owners in style, at speed. At every stage of development, the Stinger has been designed and engineered to be the perfect gran turismo. The car features a head-turning aesthetic, ample room to accommodate five occupants and their luggage, a stable, unruffled ride, and nimble handling with engaging, rear-biased power delivery.

In Brunei, the Stinger will be available with a choice of two engines: a 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine (255 ps power output, and 353 Nm maximum torque) and a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6. The 3.3-liter engine produces 370 ps with a maximum torque output of 510 Nm, and accelerates from 0-to-100 kph in 5.1 seconds – making it the fastest accelerating and most powerful car Kia has ever produced.

The Kia Stinger is available in rear-wheel drive and equipped with a range of active safety systems, an electronically-adjustable suspension system (Dynamic Stability Damping Control), and a five Drive Mode Select system.

The Stinger is the result of years of dedicated design and development work. “The Kia Stinger represents a number of firsts for Kia Motors. Not only is it the brand’s first fastback sports sedan but it is also Kia’s first truly dedicated, and the highest, performance model to date. Countless decisions regarding design and engineering were made during the car’s conception in order to generate true heart-pounding performance,” said Mr Frankie Ho, Managing Director of Grand Motors during the launch last 7 October.

Kia Stinger is a product of passion. Designed and engineered to head-turning perfection, the Stinger represents the realization of a longstanding dream for Kia’s design team. With an eye-catchingly stunning design and groundbreaking performance, the Stinger marks a turn in design direction that Kia has never taken before. World renowned Kia big names including Peter Schreyer, Gregory Guillaume and Albert Biermann have laboured over the vehicle’s conception for years and there is no doubt that the final outcome of their collaboration has brought the Kia brand to another level.

For more information, visit our showroom in Beribi or call 261 3888 Ext 241 to book for test drive. Follow us in facebook or instagram @kiabrunei to know more details about our products and upcoming promotions.



He didn’t have much impression of Kia until he test drove the Kia Stinger. He was impressed and surprised with the specs.

Media test drive yesterday at Roasted Sip

Rano’s take: Freaking awesome!!! Who would have thought this monster can come from a Kia. The design itself have created a lot of comments when I posted on my IG and I know this car is gonna be a hit. During the launch last weekend, there are already two Kia Stingers on the road and Grand Motors Sdn Bhd has open for pre-orders. The other two units will be for the showroom and also for test drive.

I had the opportunity to test drive the Kia Stinger and it has what it takes to be competitive in their segment of twin turbo cars. It feels that Kia is breaking its tradition and entering the European segment. It’s quite responsive especially with the different driving modes available. I used the comfort and sports mode of course. Oh yea, not to forget the launch control 😀

Handling was good as well on sports mode. I feel safe while speeding (within speed limits :p). Ok, the Kia Stinger is powerful and fast. It doesn’t feel fast even though I was driving at 100kph. Go for a test drive and you will know what I mean 😀 Verdict: I never thought Kia would create such a pedigree. Maybe the most impressive car I’ve come across this year alone due to the surprise factor.


Review: Blade Runner 2049

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in movies, Social News


What my friends thought of Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049. Did it succeed or did it fail? There were quite mixed reviews to begin with for the sequel of Blade Runner. This was also the first time that all my friends whom I watched with gave it a thumbs down. Do I agree with them? Only to an extent. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Here’s my breakdown.

The Good. I am with awe with the visuals. Even though it was set in the 2049, director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario) trusted Roger Deakins the cinematographer in creating a modern, dark, solemn world and yet every shot was breathtaking. Every shot taken in this movie had its purpose and that alone stole my attention. The way it portrayed LAPD Officer K’s (Ryan Gosling) movement on screen, they were all beautifully shot. This is one masterpiece from Roger Deakins and I won’t be surprised that he will be nominated for Best Cinematography in the upcoming Oscars.

Ryan Gosling was the highlight of the show apart from the visuals. Playing a cop in the future, he was placed in a situation where he slowly began to discover twists and plots to his disbelief. I was a bit worried if RG was fit for the role or being passed the baton to continue the Blade Runner legacy and plus it’s an action adventure movie where he is hardly in it. For me, it was his expression and emotions that made me invested in the almost-three-hour long movie. His character kinda bring back the memories of Driver where he acted in.

I love the twists and how the story unfolded from time to time. The music score and the deliberate pacing were enough to gain my attention (though I had a short snooze twice because I had lack of sleep). Yes, Denis captured the essence of the suspense with loud music though it can be too repetitive to some point.

The Bad. Yes, it did have its flaws and first thing’s first. Denis Villeneuve’s taste or direction of movie is not for everyone or even the mainstream movie goers. Those who appreciate Star Wars kinda sci-fi, you won’t get that feeling in Blade Runner 2049. It was mostly 80% drama and 20% or even less of action. The same went for Arrival and Sicario of which I both enjoyed. The only ones who seemed to enjoy as much as I did was Jinn, Del Goh and Nee Khern.

The sound factor or in this case, the music score did annoy a few of my friend’s movie experience. Even some of them were mocking the sound effects during our discussions of the film. Yes, to me, it did suit the theme of the movie but it was at times overkilled or overplayed in an overstretched movie.

The Ugly. The duration of the movie is a big minus for me for Blade Runner 2049. I could understand why all the pieces were necessary to explain the plot and twist along the way but it didn’t need to be almost 3 hours long. Harrison Ford could have more screen time as he was a focal point in the original Blade Runner and the chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford could have been stronger.

Verdict: This is a masterful film making and only Denis Villeneuve can pull off an amazing follow up and paying tribute to the original Blade Runner 2049. Not many will enjoy this but I surprisingly did. 7.5 out of 10.


The Royal Procession

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in royal family, community, Social News


His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri on the Royal Carriage to mark the 50 years of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s Accession to the Throne last Thursday, 5th October 2017. Image courtesy of Infofoto.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam waving to the public who showed up to celebrate the Golden Jubilee. Image courtesy of Infofoto.

Image courtesy of Infofoto

The Golden Jubilee Procession marks the glorious history of 50 years of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s reign. The historic moment is a sharing of experiences between the people as well as becoming the main focus of foreigners as well as through the broad international media coverage in bringing the procession closer to them.

The historic ceremony witnessed His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri in the procession around Bandar Seri Begawan on the Royal Carriage.

The resounding beats of the hadrah, enlivened the atmosphere of His Majesty and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri’s arrival. Five hundred combined participants from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Religious Affairs were involved in the hadrah performance.

More than 22 thousand students from 2 hundred and 16 education institutions from the Ministry of Education Ministry of Religious Affairs and private institutions, waved flags along the route from Istana Nurul Iman until the road in front of the Bandar Seri Begawan Fire Station. The involvement of the students comprising teenagers, in the celebration is a reflection of their love for the monarch.

His Majesty’s characteristic of being the People’s Monarch is difficult to be expressed in words, as His Majesty said in his titah earlier, that when the monarch is happy, hence the people too have a right to rejoice and when he is grateful, therefore the people should also be grateful. The joyousness of the celebration clearly shows the strong ties between the monarch and his subjects.

The cheerful atmosphere is visible here in the Fire and Rescue Station area in the capital, as the starting point of the Ceremonial Procession around Bandar Seri Begawan of this Grand Celebration. It is evident of the love and loyalty of the people towards the monarch and nation. Their involvement in this event enhances the noble values and nationalism towards a more glorious future and further enlivens the atmosphere of this historic occasion.

Soon upon arrival in front of the Bandar Seri Begawan Fire and Rescue Station, His Majesty and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri entered the Royal Carriage. Also present on the Royal Carriage were His Majesty’s sons and daughter, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah the Crown Prince ; His Royal Highness Prince Haji ‘Abdul ‘Azim; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah.

The Procession Ceremony around Bandar Seri Begawan which is full of tradition and customs was led by Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Penggawa Laila Bentara Istiadat Diraja Dalam Istana Pengiran Haji Alauddin bin Pengiran Paduka Tuan Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, Grand Chamberlain, followed by Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, Co-Chairperson of the Golden Jubilee Procession Sectoral Committee for the Golden Jubilee Celebration of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s Accession to the Throne, the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, RBAF Band and the Royal Brunei Police Force Band, accompanied by 40 RBAF personnel carrying the royal regalia, Sinipit and Taming or Spear and Shield. The Changkah which is one of royal regalia followed behind the special vehicle protected by the Manteri-Manteri Hulubalang. Two Manteri Hulubalang walked in front of the Royal Carriage. One carried the Pemuras and Karga or Gun and Ammunition Bag, while the other held the Kalasak and Kampilan or Shield and Long Blade. Also accompanying the procession were the Commissioner of police and Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. Lined up on the left and right of the Royal Carriage were the 16 Royal Brunei Police Senior Superintendents and RBAF Commanders.

At the back of the Royal Carriage which was pulled by 50 RBAF personnel, were 16 RBAF personnel carrying the Pedang and Perisai or Swords and Round Shields with another 16 carrying the Tumbak Benderangan or Spears embellished with gold or silver bands. This was followed by the people carrying the perhiasan tunggal or personal regalia of His Majesty and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri, which was then followed by the special vehicle carrying the Gendang Arak-Arakan comprising of the Nakara, Gendang Labik, Agong, Canang and Serunai. News compiled by RTB news.



His Majesty the Sultan being greeted by the citizens of Brunei and other walks of life. Image courtesy of Infofoto.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah the Crown Prince delivered a heartfelt Sabda’ to His Majesty the Sultan. Image courtesy of Infofoto

His Royal Highness Prince Haji ‘Abdul ‘Azim, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen; and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah. Image courtesy of Infofoto

Image courtesy of Infofoto

The vibrant students. Image courtesy of Infofoto

RB associate handing out goodies to the public.

A look-a-like. Image courtesy of Infofoto.


What a sight!! Image courtesy of Infofoto.

Representing BSP during the celebration.

Sea of people in front of RBA Plaza

This was taken near the Royal Regalia

Good to see that it wasn’t as hot and it didn’t rain until the Royal Procession ended. Blessed!!!


Taken at the end of Jalan Babu Raja

Waiting for the arrival of the Royal entourage as early as 7:30am

Taken at Jalan Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien


From Brunei Shell Marketing


Hello buddies 😀


The kids definitely have advantage for better viewing

Hello Marie :p

The crowd outside Yayasan Complex

Another lucky youngster


To get a better shot


Another vantage point

At the halfway mark and perhaps the most crowded zone near the mini roundabout at Jalan Sultan

Taking shots from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at Bandar

The staff from Hua Ho also enjoyed the occasion


Piccolo owner working at full blast and she had the best business in the day for 2017. Interesting!

Totally jammed after the end of the event.

Even I had to wait for my boat ride to Kg. Tamoi

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About RA

A blogger since 2002, using platforms from blogspot, joomla and now currently wordpress. A readership that stands on average of 20,000 visits per month. Also on active on social media platform on IG, Facebook and Snapchat (@ranoadidas)

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