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Transition Phase activated

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Youth, community, health, Business, Sports

The anticipation is over!!! Just a week or so to see if our exam (Transition Phase) is a success or do we need to scale down on opening up. Definitely much different from the first wave when we re-opened then. The feelings are still mixed. But sooner or later, we will have to face the music and trust the process that the Brunei Government is doing their best they can for the country with a balanced act. We simply cannot just stay still in the pandemic/recovery phase for months and months as this alone will hurt Brunei in a longer run. 

My DMs are suddenly on the rise, thinking I have reached a plateau for those seeking for responses. I was wrong. The transition phase is perhaps the “game changer” in our pandemic journey. To me, this could be the deal breaker if Brunei is able to handle the next stage and of course, this boils down to the cooperation from the people. 

If I were to rewind back, the second wave felt like a huge test. It seemed like a long time ago even though it was just a matter of three months. Even with words of wisdom from our leaders in Brunei, it was not enough to slow down the infection rate. Clusters became a new trend especially home clusters. The Ministers had enough and implemented “Operasi Pulih”, two months after the second wave. 

So with the re-opening of the economy, can we trust the people around us to adhere to the Standard of Procedures (SOPs)? Will we be more discipline than ever before? This, I believe, will be a huge test for Brunei after what we have learnt from the second wave. It’s never easy to change a mindset or habits but we just have to constantly remind people around us not to be “too complacent”. 

If you ask me personally, I would practice restrain on certain things such as dining out or have social gatherings. Even with my favourite past time – catching movies – I won’t be rushing myself, playing catch up with the awesome line-up of movies at the cinemas. The only thing I would actually do is getting back to my routine which is tennis since it’s outdoor and not being in a confined space. Furthermore, tennis is a non-contact sport to begin with. 

Finally the Masjids and Suraus are opened

So here are some of the things we have learnt for the upcoming Transition Phase

  • Businesses such as restaurants, cafes, gyms, salons to implement Business Continuity Plan, conducting Anti-Gen Rapid Test every two weeks and to practice controlled capacity (50%). Only those who are fully vaccinated (2 doses) will be able to enter.
  • Restaurants can accept diners up to 50% of patronage. Maintained social distance gap of 1.5 metres. I believe if it’s from the same address then no social distancing required. However, let me double confirm on this matter. No buffet or dome setting allowed during your patronage. 
  • Green and yellow codes on your BruHealth app will be allowed to enter public places
  • Only double vaccination individuals will be allowed to enter public places
  • No need masks while eating/drinking in cafes/restaurants and no buffets allowed.

  • Limitation of people in a premise – 50% or 200 pax whichever is lesser

  • Staying home period will be from 10pm to 4am. We have an extra two hours in the evening during the Transition Phase. This will be from 19th November to 30th November.

  • Weddings can be held at home from 10 pax to 30 pax, depending on the size of your house. No buffet to be served for sure. Suggest for packed food catering.

  • For the Masjids/Suraus, only those 18 and above are allowed to enter. Need BruHealth and double vaccination. No need for identification but do make sure Wudhu from home. Cleaning and sanitizing will be done by every “waktu fardhu”. You are required to bring your own prayer mats. The quotas for masjid and suraus will be similar to that of the first wave.

  • Daycare center are not allowed to be operating yet even during the Transition Phase. It is set to open during “Endemic Phase”, estimated sometime in December. However, the guidelines have already been given.

  • Sports will be allowed but only for training purposes. The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports will be handling out the guidelines for respective sports and leisure centres. 
  • There is no specific or indication on the numbers when the hospitalization rate hits a warning sign for the health care system. 
  • Unvaccinated civil servants will work from home during the Transition Phase. It’s still being discussed with these individuals will have to borne the usage of the ART kits if they return back to work in their unvaccinated condition.
  • There are discussions where Quarantine Order will be revised for the Transition Phase. There is a possibility that the QO won’t be longer than the usual (14 days).
  • Governmental dental services might not be in operation just yet as some of the government dentists are still helping out at the frontline. 
  • Temporary suspension on cross-border activities has been extended to 30th November except for those who have been granted approval from the Brunei Government. 
  • Vaccination hours have changed from 8am to 5pm at the Indoor Stadium Vaccination Centre. 
  • Construction workers with single dose of vaccine can still work in isolation such as road works or outside works. The same applies to those handling landscaping jobs. Those with one dose of vaccine are not allowed to conduct renovations at residences.
  • Those caught outside the hours of Ops Peralihan will pay a fine of BND 500.
  • Owners or Manager of the Premise or Event Organizer, should they exceed the human capacity of the given space, they will pay a fine of BND 5,000.
  • Premises that allowed any individual to enter with only one vaccine then the owner or the manager of the space or the event organizer will have to pay a fine of BND 2,000.
  • Those who haven’t completed their vaccination will pay BND 100 should they enter any premises.
  • Employees or workers who are caught not wearing their masks will be fined BND 100. 

The list will just get longer and longer but if you want to study more in depth, you can check out JPM’s website for updates and I am pretty sure it will be refined from time to time for the convenience and safety of the public.

Mercedes-Benz Ambulance Handover

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

Hassanal Junaidi, Head of Emergency Response & Security, Brunei LNG, Sofian Abd Munaf, Emergency Response Specialist, Brunei LNG, YM Hj Amir Hamzah Pehin Dato Hj Abd Rahman, HSE Manager of Brunei LNG and YM Hjh Khartini Hj Ibrahim, Head of Governance & Performance of Brunei LNG, Asli Rajap, Occupational Health Adviser Lead, Brunei LNG, Mr Alfred So, General Manager of Jati Transport and Mr Jackson Kimbing, Service Manager of Jati Transport during the delivery of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Ambulance to Brunei LNG

On 20 October 2021, Brunei LNG Sendirian Berhad (Brunei LNG) took delivery of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Ambulance at the Mercedes-Benz Autohaus. Present at the event to officiate the delivery was YM Hj Amir Hamzah Pehin Dato Hj Abd Rahman, HSE Manager of Brunei LNG and YM Hjh Khartini Hj Ibrahim, Head of Governance & Performance of Brunei LNG along with Mr Alfred So, General Manager of Jati Transport and Mr Jackson Kimbing, Service Manager of Jati Transport.

The ceremony began with the recitation of Doa Selamat by YM Hassanal Junaidi, Head of Emergency Response & Security of Brunei LNG followed by a group photo session and ribbon cutting ceremony.

After the ceremony, the ambulance features were demonstrated by Mr Onn Chee Wee, Service Advisor of Jati Transport to the senior management and staff of Brunei LNG.

Brunei LNG’s trained and qualified medical team is poised to respond to an emergency as every second counts and the addition of this new ambulance will further elevate the safety performance of the people in Brunei LNG. 

It will also improve the overall effectiveness of Brunei LNG’s emergency response and allowing Brunei LNG to support the surrounding community in the event of an emergency, especially with the second outbreak of the pandemic in the country. 

The ambulance is equipped with the latest Mercedes-Benz diesel engine and 7G-TRONIC transmission. This automatic transmission ensures the smooth transfer of power, while at the same time reducing fuel consumption and keeping emissions low. On top of the latest Mercedes Benz automobile technology, the new ambulance is equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment such as Zoll Auto CPR – which is an automated, portable, battery-powered CPR device, which increases the efficiency of the medical team when tending to an injured personnel that requires CPR. 

The vehicle is also equipped with the latest safety features from Mercedes-Benz – Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist.

Asli Rajap, Occupational Health Adviser Lead, checking out the ambulance
YM Hj Amir Hamzah Pehin Dato Hj Abd Rahman, HSE Manager of Brunei LNG

When September ends

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Youth, community, charity, health, Social News

It was been announced by the Minster of Health that the control measures will be extended until 3rd October 2021

Third week coming. Cases are still quite high considering our population. Even though in a 100 region cases, it’s considered high because of the high infection rate and it also has been confirmed that we already have the Delta variant which is a very infectious virus than the original variant. 

The control measures are to continue up until early October. There are still people who have no regards for the control measures as we speak. Some would appear in public places when they should have been isolated at their own homes. I just hope that one day Ministry of Health will share information on those who has been compound or prosecuted for breaking the Quarantine Act. So it will be a great example so they can take such law seriously. I am even shocked when James Kon of Borneo Bulletin shared how he came across a +ve person, trying to enter the fish market recently because he had a purple code on his BruHealth app. 

Yang Berhormat Dato Minister of Health also shared that if any government officer who broke the Quarantine Act Order will also be terminated from his or her employment. Hence this is regarded as a serious offence. So let’s play our part to fight and flatten the curve.

The virus is definitely here to stay and will be part of our daily lives. Only once we manage to get pass the mitigation stage and contain the virus, then only we can loosen up the restrictions and help restart the slow activity especially in Brunei economy’s status. 

Some guidelines for those undergoing self isolation notice
We have past the 20% mark. 50% more to go!!!

Vaccination program update. A huge blow to those who are supposedly booked for the 1st dose starting September due to the shortage of the Moderna vaccines. This was publicly announced yesterday by the Minster of Health during the press conference. Yang Berhormat reassures the public that the other supply of vaccines will be coming to Brunei soon and Brunei will reach 70% by the end of 2021. Yang Berhormat also apologizes to the disruption in the vaccination program 

However, the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will still and only be provided to the elderly, differently-abled, and pregnant women where they can get the first dose injections from any vaccination centres on a walk-in basis. However, it should be noted that the supply of vaccines for this group is limited. This doesn’t apply to breastfeeding mothers for now. 

Those who already had their first doses, your bookings remain as scheduled and there will be adequate supply for those receiving the second dose. 

As I have shared before on my IG live recap, we are supposed to receive 300,000 doses of Pfizer in the final quarter. It’s still not known what is the situation with the order. Yang Berhormat did highlight that it’s the accessibility to these vaccines that are delaying the vaccination program. With Brunei’s good relations with other countries, let’s hope we can expedite the process of receiving these vaccines. I like the idea how the Australia government have a swap initiative where they secured 500,000 doses of Pfizer from Singapore and they will send back to Singapore the same amount once they have the orders later in December. Who knows the Brunei government can work a similar deal. Then again, every country has their priorities to protect their citizens. 

As of now, we are only at 22% for those who are fully immunised (with two doses). The rate percentage per day is averaging at 0.6 and if you do that Maths, it will be less than 90 days to hit the 70% mark. That, of course, if we have access to the Pfizer vaccine as well. So let’s hope for the best and once we reach herd immunity, we shall see what plans the Brunei Government has in store for us.

Extension of vaccination centers. Some suggested to have more vaccination centres within the district but Yang Berhormat said it will be near impossible should the government were to execute this. There are many things to consider – the paramedics, the specialized cold storage for Moderna, the man power, space and a few more. These are not easily accessible with our current resources. Hence having it at dedicated vaccination centre, it will be a better in the economy scale of things for Brunei. 

The 2nd wave impact. Definitely a much more devastating impact that the first one. To date, we have recorded an additional 8 deaths in a span of 3 weeks as compared to the 3 deaths in the 15-month period. Furthermore, it was confirmed that the variant is Delta which is much more infectious than the original variant.  In just a span of three weeks, cases have broke the 2,000 mark which is considered high for our population. 

The good news is that the majority of the cases are in Category 1 and Category 2 where they are mostly asymptomatic or having just mild symptoms. More than half in Category 1 have been isolating themselves at the confinement of their own rooms due to logistics and centers being overwhelmed. As we speak, newer isolation centers have been identified with the latest being at Mahad, Tutong which can accommodate up to 338 patients. 

As for the number cases where it’s on a downward trend, it is still early to say as the results of the swab tests are still not a true reflection as 94 positive cases from the 146 cases reported recently was based on the second swab during their 12th day of isolation whereas the 50+ cases are results from 24 hours ago. Let’s we come to a stage where numbers won’t be multiplying and Yang Berhormat Dato keeps emphasizing those on Quarantine Order to stay put at home “Teranah di Rumah” because there are those who still snuck out of their homes and this will simply disrupt the plans for us to move forward by reducing control measures phase by phase. 

Will Pfizer makes it way to Brunei soon?
Donate a scrub
Scrubs from YMRM Galleria
Check out Great Eastern policies

Insurance. Speaking of vaccines, I want tot share the Great Eastern Brunei has an insurance product that covers that vaccination. Basically once you are vaccinated, you can get special coverage. I did ask about insurance during the press conference where should one who are vaccinated get better and reasonable premium fees for their insurance since they are considered low risk to those who are unvaccinated. It’s a pretty new ball game and I know Delta Airlines will charge their unvaccinated employees an extra $200 per month. So this could be a game changer but it’s still early days to know how the insurance company in Brunei sees about this or even business entities. 

Singapore will be introducing the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) and guess what… Brunei is part of Singapore’s VTL which means we can fly to Singapore with certain conditions and criteria. Travel insurance is one of their criteria and should cover a minimum of BND 30,000 for Covid-19 related medical treatment and hospitalization cost before they travel to Singapore. Speaking of travel, yea, the first country for me to visit, once everything has settle down, is definitely Singapore. 

Oyen is the new local superstar
Click image to enter website
Got this mask from Battle Proms

Oyen the celebrity. Despite the second wave, there’s always a silver lining and that is Oyen. The orange adorable cat made its debut on social media on August 10 and the responses have been overwhelming and welcoming. It has taken Brunei by storm and kudos to the Ministry of Health for creating such an iconic mascot. 

However, there have been a public backlash for those who have been in a way, profiting from selling merchandise with Oyen’s image without the consent of the Ministry. When being confronted, some of the vendors would go to an extent to redesign Oyen which again can be considered plagiarism as the redesign is still an inspiration from the original artist. 

It then came to the attention of the Ministry and they were kind enough for those who are interested to use Oyen in their merchandise, they can simply contact through email corp.comms@moh.gov.bn 

On that note, Ministry of Health, Brunei is collaborating with Ophthalmology Society and Edy Aswandi (the original creator of Oyen) in selling the official Oyen face masks at 7pm on the 3 September. Just visit https://bruneieyesociety.com/ to pre-order your Oyen mask. The proceeds will go to the Covid-19 relief funds. 

Dynamik Technologies and Progresif on the Goals for Education initiative and there was a digital handover of 48 devices to the Ministry of Education for the students recently

Less support the students. Another device donation campaign is being carried out by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) and the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI). The campaign aims to support online learning and to help students in need as an effort in addressing the impact of the second wave in Brunei Darussalam.

The Device Donation Campaign will take place until 30 September 2021 from 8:30am to 11:30am except for Friday, Sunday and public holiday. Check out the posters for more details on how to donate. Their target is to reach 5,000 devices to the students and last year they managed to raise almost 1,700 devices. Your contribution is much appreciated.

Mental health. Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) is collaborating with Health Promotion Centre (HPC) to promote and raise awareness about mental health among the people of Brunei amidst the local Covid-19 situation and as a long-term plan as part of its partnership to promote health and well-being. T

he collaboration will help promote awareness and education on mental health issues which will be uploaded on BIBD’s and HPC’s Mind Your Mind social media channels. “The re-emergence of the Covid-19 situation in Brunei has caused a huge impact on all of us, in which a number of changes had to be made in order to curb the spread of Covid-19,” said Nor Syahmun binti Hj Matassan, Clinical Psychologist and Mental Health Strategy Lead at the Health Promotion Centre. 

“These changes and uncertainty unfortunately can lead to stress, anxiety, fear, and lack of motivation for many of us. Although this is a common and normal reaction during a pandemic situation, it must be addressed. It is more important now than ever, for us and the whole Bruneian community, to mind our mind and maintain good mental health and well-being,” she added. 

“We, the Ministry of Health through the Mind your Mind Brunei Team at Health Promotion Centre is grateful to have this opportunity to work and collaborate together with BIBD and Community for Brunei to share series of tips and strategies that can hopefully help everyone maintain good mental health and well-being especially during these challenging times.” 

The Ministry of Health would like to highlight and remind the public to not hesitate to ask for professional help if anyone is feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the current situation. They may contact the mental health professionals at Talian Harapan 145 for support, every day from 8.00am to 11.00pm

My view: This is a great outlet especially for those who are experiencing this. During the first wave, it hit me really hard – mentally, emotionally and physically because the fear and anxiety of the virus. I was worried about my well-being and also my family members. I can relate also to a few of my friends who under went quarantine at the National Isolation Centre and they probably had it worst due to the restrictions in place and also being confined to a smaller area than usual for a minimum of two weeks. 

So, do reach out the number 145 and hopefully they can assist you. Let’s not take mental health for granted. 

For those who wants to renew IC and what not

2nd Wave is NO JOKE

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Youth, community

New clusters: It’s time to pull our socks up. Preach what we say and not for the sake of saying it. Our habits must be re-programmed once again to be more vigilant and be more alert. Every single move or step, if miscalculated, can be catastrophic. It’s the time to be “gagah” as quoted by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham bin Hj Jaafar, the Minister of Health. 

Yesterday was no surprise to see the numbers increasing from Day 1 of the second wave and on upward trend. Day 1 saw 7 local cases, Day 2 saw 15 local cases and Day 3 (yesterday) hit a high 38 local cases. 

KB Chung Hwa cluster is the highest with 29 positive patients and this cluster has yet to show signs of decreasing in numbers as the swab tests are still waiting for results. The KB Chung Hwa cluster is related to a 16 year old boy (case 363). A new cluster, ABCi, is also being identified where there are 5 cases while cluster Total has 4 new cases. The Starlodge cluster has no new cases. The #362 case has yet to identify the source of the infection and still undergoing investigation. 

The vaccination and swab centres are overwhelmed ever since the second wave. The Ministry of Health needed more man power and especially the volunteers to once again help to ease the logistic nightmare that was quite apparent such as longer queues with limited social distancing. Last night, private securities have been deployed to help with the queue system and ushering at the populated centres and clinics. So that’s an improvement. But MOH will definitely need more help from the volunteers to help with the overwhelming numbers present at the respective centres. 

Now there are newer tighter control measures:

  • Any mass/social gathering is not allowed 
  • 15 pax allowed for funeral arrangements 
  • 5 pax for “Akad Nikah” ceremony
  • For elderly parents living separately from other family members, only 2 family members are allowed to visit the parents at a time
  • You can hike or jog individually or in 2s if they happen to live in the same household
  • All officers and staff (government and private sector) are required to Work-From-Home (WFH). Only essential staff are allowed to work in their physical space. 
  • Front-liners (health sector, security sector, hospitality sector, transportation sector) 
  • Daily necessities sector (food, retail business)
  • Facilities and utilities sector (electricity, water, telecommunications) 
  • Officers at the border and entrances to Brunei Darussalam
  • Oil and gas and downstream sectors
  • Development sectors
  • Agri-food and forestry sectors
  • Leaving your home without any significant purpose is not allowed
  • Only two people from one family are allowed to buy daily necessities


Price of Masks: This is quite subjective. Not many are aware on the  different prices of masks. Let’s put it this way. If you go visit a fabric shop like YMRM Galleria, you will see the same colour of kain baju melayu at different sections. But… but… you will notice the prices are different from each other because of the quality. Same goes for masks. 

I know there was one particular brand that was stocked up by Hua Ho what was priced at $120 per box. Then again, Yang Berhormat Dato Isham said that this particular mask was legit and perhaps one of the highest grade quality mask because it’s N95. That price alone is considered reasonable for N95 standard. Whereas the rest of the masks in the market are of different qualities. 

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Hj Amin Liw bin Abdullah, the Second Minister of Finance and Economy addressed that there won’t be a shortage of masks in Brunei. Even so, there is no shortages of mask regionally and we are able to import should we are running low on stocks. The same can be said for hand santizers. 

But I do hear reports that some shops deliberately hike up their masks prior to the second wave announcement. For this, it is considered unacceptable practice. If you know of any, you can forward that to me and I can get the relevant agency to deal with them. 

Stay Home: Once again, I would like to advice everyone to stay home, stay calm and stay safe. Don’t forget to wear your mask if you’re out and about!! Let’s hope for the curve to subside. We can do this 😀 

SONAX CUP, a huge success

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

Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Abdul Hakeem, the President of Brunei Darussalam Golf Association, during the prize presentation of the Sonax Cup
Mike Chua, Managing Director of Sonax Brunei Sdn Bhd, handed the gross open category champion, Suhaimi Ibrahim
Mike Chua delivering his welcoming remarks during the prize presentation

The Sonax Cup by Brunei Darussalam Golf Association (BDGA) was completed last Sunday. The tournament ran for three days from Friday 19/3/2021 and a total of 244 golfers participated in the competition in various categories namely: the open (gross and net), senior and ladies. The total cash prizes for this event was $4450 and the list of winners is as attached, including the champion in the gross open category which went to Suhaimi Ibrahim who shot 71 gross, one under par. Suhaimi Ibrahim also received the Sonax Challenge Trophy presented by Mr. Mike Chua, the Managing Director of Sonax Brunei Sdn. Bhd. The tournament took place at Mentiri Golf Club.

There was also a hole-in-one winner, Lim Shen Quan, on hole 13th, and he won the $5000 cash prize. 

This was the first BDGA golf tournament at the national level for the year 2021, with next one planned for 28 to 30 of May at the RBGCC. This tournament was a great success with participation of more than 200 golfers. BDGA thanked Sonax Brunei Sdn. Bhd., the tournament main sponsor, and expressed the hope that its partnership with Sonax Brunei Sdn. Bhd. would continue to grow. 

BDGA also gave $1000 donation to “Tabung Anak Anak Yatim” (Orphans Fund) and the representative from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Ms. Nurul Nazurah bte Jaya, was present to receive the sponsorship.

Since the new BDGA Governing Council was elected back since 5th January this year, it received feedbacks from golfers in Brunei that the most sought after deliverable is golf tournaments. Hence, BDGA decided to organize the first tournament (Sonax Cup) and a few more planned for this year. This will help to provide a competitive platform at the national level for golfers to showcase their skills. In the process, it was hoped that scout for new golfing talents could be spotted and to be further developed to represent the country in the near future. Images courtesy of Pg Azam Omar and Shahiruddin.

Overall Gross:
Suhaimi Ibrahim  71
Ak Syakir  74
Ahmad Yani  75

Overall Net:
Angphula Sharpa  67 OCB
Chong Chee Soon  67
Ak Rizam Faizal Pg Salleh  67

A – Division Category:
Kahar Bakar 70
Irwan Hj Hamid 71 OCB
Pg Zaki  71

B – Division Category:
Hj Rosmadee 69
Dullah Sitai 70
Hj Ramlie Damit  71

C – Division Category:
Mardhini Khan Ali 70
Ariff Dato Suhaimi 70
Pg Ibrahim 70

Senior +60 Category:
Lim Soon Bee  65
Hj Zamri   68
Dato Sheik Adnan  68

Ladies Category: 
Almas  Khamis 74
Salyahrinah Yahya  75
Hjh Rusni Hj Lamat 76

Pro – Category:
Pg Wira Salleh 72 OCB
Qazzri Aslimon 72
Qawim Aslimon 73

Hole in One on Hole no.13 on Friday 19/3/21: LIM SHEN QUAN 

Nearest to the Pin (NTP)
NTP No.7  Hj Shaiful
NTP No.9  Suhaimi 
NTP No.13  Pro John
NTP No.16  Pg Ibrahim

Hole-in-One winner Lim Shen Quan, winning himself BND 5,000
Way to go, Soon!!!

Congratulations Nautical Aisya

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

Guest of honour Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, Second Minister of Defence at the Doa Selamat Ceremony and Tour of MV Nautical Aisya 2021.
The event being feature in the local news

NAUTICAL AISYA has recently completed her 5-year dry docking maintenance in Singapore and has returned to Brunei to continue her campaign for Brunei Shell Petroleum by 1st February 2021.

A Doa Selamat ceremony commemorated the milestone for Jisco Marine for achieving 1 Million Manhours without loss time injury since 2017. This milestone is an accomplishment for the company, especially their team members for their outstanding contribution, dedication and efforts in upholding the highest standards in maintaining safety.

Following that, Jisco Marine will continue with the deployment of our 2nd Bruneian flag vessel – MWV FALGOUT, to service a long-term charter with Brunei Shell Petroleum Company for its Offshore Reliability Maintenance Contract (ORMC) project. The charter will commence sometime in mid-February 2021.

During the tour of MV Nautical Aisya
Guest of honoour checking out the deck

MWV FALGOUT is a Dynamic Position 2 offshore maintenance vessel and will be one of the first hybrid diesel-powered engined vessel working in Brunei waters. She is equipped with a 70 metric tonne crane and will be able to accommodate up to 200 persons onboard.

Present was Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, Second Minister of Defence. Shaikh Khalid bin Shaikh Haji Ahmad, Chairman and Director Serikandi Group of Companies in his speech explained that Nautical Aisya, Accommodation Work Boat, AWB measuring at 85 metres, is in contract under the Marine Department, Brunei Shell Petroleum, BSP since 2018. It holds a good safety and trustworthiness record, and has also received an appreciation for being BSP’s best ship in 2019. 

The function followed by momento presentation to the Second Minister of Defence and Award Presentation to best local crew of the year 2020.

For updates, you can follow their Facebook page and congratulations once again on the milestone and your upcoming contract with BSP.

Brunei Darussalam from the Eyes of Foreign Diplomats and their Families

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in performing arts, community, charity, Social News

Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna binti Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, the Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, officiating “Brunei Darussalam from the Eyes of Foreign Diplomats and their Families” with His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al-Maskari, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Sultanate of Oman at the Royal Regalia Museum recently

On Wednesday, 16th December 2020, “Brunei Darussalam from the Eyes of Foreign Diplomats and their Families” exhibition was officially launched by Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna binti Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, the Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the Royal Regalia Museum in the Capital.

Upon arrival, Her Royal Highness and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, were greeted by The Honourable Major General (Retired) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports and the following heads of diplomatic missions who are also members of the exhibition organizing committee:

  • His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al-Maskari, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Sultanate of Oman.
  • His Excellency Suat Akgun, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey.
  • His Excellency Christian Ramage, Ambassador of the French Republic.
  • Her Excellency Yoon Hyun Bong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea.
  • His Excellency Christopher Montero, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines. 
  • Her Excellency Tiffany Anne McDonald, Australian High Commissioner.  

Members of the diplomatic corps and families and invited guests during the launch
Her Excellency Tiffany Anne McDonald, Australian High Commissioner showing the contribution from the Australian High Commission
A photo by Her Excellency Tiffany Anne McDonald, Australian High Commissioner
His Excellency John Virgoe, British High Commissioner explaining his photo
A photo by His Excellency John Virgoe
Her Excellency Jeanette Stovel, Canadian High Commissioner showing the contribution from the Canada High Commission
A photo from Her Excellency Jeanette Stovel who is also an avid hiker
Her Excellency Yu Hong, Ambassador of People’s Republic of China showcasing their contribution
A photo taken by Her Excellency Yu Hong

The ceremony began with the recital of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa selamat led by Yang Dimuliakan Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Setia Raja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Awang Suhaili bin Haji Mohiddin.

In his welcoming remarks, His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al-Maskari, among other things expressed gratefulness 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 Negara Brunei Darussalam for consenting for the exhibition to be held at Royal Regalia Museum.

His Excellency the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, informed how the Diplomatic Corps was trying to organize the exhibition since the year 2018, by saying: 

“The idea of setting up this exhibition was initiated on the year 2018 and ever since many attempts were made to bring it to fruition, until we realized that having an exhibition of such caliber requires combined efforts from many partners. 

“Thus, the diplomatic corps thought to take on board two partners namely; the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), who both played a vital role in ensuring this long-awaited event finally takes place”.

His Excellency the Dean then expressed appreciation to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports for generously consenting to transfer and organize the exhibition in other districts, while emphasizing that this notable gesture form the Ministry greatly contributed to the exhibition success and continuity.

The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps also thanked Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) for sponsoring the event and reserved further praise for the participating diplomatic missions and the exhibition organizing committee. 

Sharon Chong from the Singapore High Commission showing her photo
Perhaps my favourite photo of the lot. Taken by Sharon Chong.
Rayya Al Maskari from the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman showing her photos
A photo by Rayya Al Maskari

Further enlivening the event was the screening of a short video showing selected photos on display at the exhibition. 

Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna then consented to cut the ribbon to signify the launching of the photo exhibition that features rare glimpses of the surreal beauty and lifestyle of the Abode of Peace.

Prior to touring the exhibition Her Royal Highness was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Her Excellency Yoon Hyun Bong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea on behalf of the organizing committee.

Among those present were: 

  • The Honourable Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy.
  • The Honourable Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism.

The Honorable minister of Culture, Youth and Sports said at the sideline of the event:

“We are very pleased to have been closely involved with the Diplomatic Corps in Brunei Darussalam in organizing this extraordinary exhibition that displays for the first time, how foreign diplomats and their families see Brunei Darussalam through the camera lens.  I was very impressed with the photos on display, demonstrating wonderful expressions inspired by the way foreign diplomats and members of their families view Brunei Darussalam– our people, our scenery and our culture.” 

The Honorable minister of Culture, Youth and Sports also congratulated the exhibition organizing committee on its success by saying: 

“Congratulations and thank you to all those who were involved in the project, especially His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al Maskari, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and all members of the organizing committee”.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mubashar H. Khokhar, the Managing Director and CEO of Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) said:

“As a bank that is Bruneian at Heart, we take great pride in supporting this exhibition. It’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words; the photos on display today give us all a unique view into how foreign diplomats and their families have been welcomed and made to feel like a part of the community, and I hope that everyone will take the opportunity to view and enjoy this exhibition”. 

Liliia Fadeeva from the Embassy of the Russian Federation showing her photos
A photo by Luliia Fadeeva


Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Youth, community



With the host sponsor, BIBD, and other corporate sponsors – Progresif, Total E&P Borneo B.V., CIC Environmental Services and Brunei LNG as part of BIBD Youth Empowerment Summit 2020

BIBD’s Chief Marketing Officer Hjh Nurul Akmar binti Hj Mohd Jaafar during the press conference

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) recently announced the launch of the BIBD Youth Empowerment Summit (BIBD YES!), a youth-focused initiative which aims to inspire positive change by reminding the youth that they are never too young to make a difference.

Themed, It’s Your Turn, the hybrid summit will be held on 12th & 13th December at Jerudong International School. Over 30 schools received their scholarship certificates for the Summit at a press conference held at the BIBD Executive Lounge.

BIBD’s Chief Marketing Officer Hjh Nurul Akmar binti Hj Mohd Jaafar said, “The youth today faces an unprecedented challenge unlike any of the previous generations. However, they are also blessed with an unparalleled amount of resources at their fingertips and support from both the public sector and the private sector who are cheering them on, as reflected by the many corporate sponsors for this initiative. At BIBD, we take the leadership in this particular tough time to stand together with our future generation, to educate and equip them to be mentally ready for the challenges to come in the future.”. She added that BIBD YES! is part of BIBD’s initiative to help prepare the youth for a world of uncertainty and rapid changes, and to address the pressing issue of high youth unemployment in the nation.

BIBD YES! 2020 is departing from a traditional event format in favour of a hybrid model, in accordance with COVID-19 precautions and guidelines. According to the event organizer, Shaun Hoon, “BIBD YES! will be capping the attendance to to 350 delegates, which is half of the full capacity of the venue. However, we will be expecting a larger than ever participation, with over 20 schools locally and overseas hosting part of the programs at their respective schools through live-telecast.” This is the first time a hybrid conference of such scale is to take place in Brunei and represents a sign of things to come as the events industry adapts to the new normal.

BIBD YES! will feature international speakers from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Hungary conducting live presentations online, along with prominent entrepreneurs and youth leaders in Brunei delivering keynote addresses physically. Among them will be Bruneian success story, Steve Lai, ChannelNews Asia’s leading Anchor and Producer. He will be dialing in on Zoom from Singapore to discuss about the importance of maintaining global perspectives amid a world of physical barriers.

This year, BIBD will be the leading supporter of the Summit as the Host Sponsor. Progresif will be the Platinum Sponsor. CIC Environmental Services and Total E&P Borneo B.V will be the Gold Sponsor, and Brunei LNG will be the Silver. The Summit is organized by Curious Mind, endorsed by Brunei Tourism Board, Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports and Ministry of Education, and supported by Young Entrepreneur Association Brunei, Global Shapers and Young Professional Network Brunei.

The Summit was originally slated for July this year, but had been delayed due to COVID19. During this time, BIBD YES! conducted a total of 20 Career Webinars over Zoom on a weekly basis reaching out to more than 1000 students and youths in Brunei, interviewing a wide range of career professionals, which include game designers, engineers, doctors, entrepreneurs and actor. For recordings of theses webinars and full information about the Summit, visit www.BIBDyes.com.


Members of the audience witnessing the event

Hafiza Mohamad, Head of Brand Strategy, Progresif receiving token of appreciation from Shuan Hoon, the event organizer.

Madam Tan, Principal of St. Andrew’s School receiving scholarship entries for the BIBD YES from Javed Ahmad.

Insurans Islam TAIB also sponsoring students from Seri Mulia Serjana School to attend the event in December

Students from Universiti Teknologi Brunei receiving sponsorship from Daniel Wong

Harina Ramlee, Corporate Services Manager, Total E&P Borneo B.V., presenting scholarship for students from Sekolah Menengah Pg. Anak Puteri Hjh Rasidah

Mizan Adiliah Hj Mohamed Deli, Human Resources, Communications & External Relations Manager, Brunei LNG, sponsoring students from Politeknik Brunei

Denny Azriman from Takaful Brunei handing over sponsorship for students from Universiti Brunei Darussalam to attend the BIBD YES event

Shaun Hoon, the founder of the youth empowerment event

Jab Gym taken Brunei by storm

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in royal family, community, lifestyle, Sports


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

Paying respect to the late Tan Yok Chin

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, charity


At the residence of late Madam Tan Yok Chin for the funeral ceremony

Chong Ain Hong with his wife Tan Yok Chin during the Chinese New Year celebration earlier this year

Last Sunday 22nd December 2019, Madam Tan Yok Chin, the spouse of Chong Ain Hong, passed away peacefully. She was 91 years old.

Hundreds of the family’s relatives, VIP guests and friends showered their warmth presence at the residence at Kampong Salambigar during the 5 days of the wake. More than 80 wreaths were delivered to the residence.

The funeral proceedings took place last Thursday, 26th December 2019. Hundreds turned up to show their final respect. Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Haji ‘Abdul Wadood Bolkiah paid respect to the late Madam Tan Yok Chin. Also present were Yu Hong, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Brunei Darussalam, Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Goh King Chin, Yang Berhormat Ong Tiong Oh, a member of the Legislative Council and the Chairman of Chung Hwa Middle School, Malcolm Lim Tiong Han, the President of Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Lau How Teck of Hua Ho Manggis.

During the funeral, donations were made to 17 non-profit organizations including nine private schools.

The late Madam Tan Yok Chin was known for kindness and generousity. She is deeply missed by her families and friends. May she rest in peace.



More than 80 wreaths given during the funeral

The obituaries from families and friends

Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Haji ‘Abdul Wadood Bolkiah (2nd from left) paid his respect to the late Madam Tan Yok Chin at her residence

Chong Ain Hong with his friends during the wake

Yu Hong, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Brunei Darussalam paying her respect

Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Goh King Chin paying his respect

Yang Berhormat Ong Tiong Oh and his spouse paying their respect

The Tiong Hwa Association led by YB Ong Tiong Oh paying their respect. Also present of Malcolm Lim Tiong Han, the President of Chinese Chamber of Commerce (2nd from right)

Lau How Teck (centre) of Hua Ho Manggis and representatives of Hua Ho Manggis paying their respect


The Board of Directors of Chung Hwa Middle School paying their respects and also receiving donation for Chung Hwa Middle School


Friends and relatives paying respect during the wake


The grandsons and granddaughters of the family


Family paying final respect during the funeral


Brunei Basketball Association paying respect and receiving donation


Seri Mulia Sarjana School paying respect and receiving donation

Chung Ching School paying respect and receiving donation

Brunei-Muara Tai Chi Association paying respect and receiving donation

Visitors paid a visit during the funeral last Thursday

Staff of Chang Ein Hong paying their respect

Family members about to leave the residence for the burial

Heading to the burial site

The sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters and great granddaughters of the late Madam Tan Yok Chin

Contact RA

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Contact: +6738677773

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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