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The New C-Class

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Social News

For the next three days, you can enjoy a quick test drive of the newest addition to the Mercedes family – The new Mercedes Benz C-Class.

Leading the world’s best-selling luxury sedan, the new C-Class Avantgarde and the E-Class facelift have been unveiled at the Mercedes-Benz Autohaus courtesy of Jati Transport.

Following the high tech and superior features of the S-Class model, the C-Class proves to be a dynamic, modern and sportier interpretation of the S-Class flagship. You will notice the difference in the interior with a fully digitized 11.9 inch MBUX (2nd gen) which is a feature in the current S-Class model.

It features a portrait style multimedia touchscreen display that is a driver-oriented and compatible with both iOS and Android.

When it comes to safety, there is no exception for the Mercedes-Benz brand. The Driver Assistance packages offer superior safety features with additional and improved functions. The C-Class assistance can accelerate, brake and stay in lane on their own time. This also includes a 12.3 inch customisable and fully digital Driver display with speed detection and Blind Spot Assist.

The new C-Class features low fuel consumption with a 4-cylinder in-line petrol engine with 48-volt on-board electrical system that delivers an additional 200 Nm of torque is available via EQ Boost. The additional 200 Nm of torque from the power delivery of the EQ Boost helps accelerate the car at a standstill.

So do visit Mercedes-Benz Autohaus and test drive the latest C-Class. For more information, do call 244 1777 or 244 1763 for appointments.

A test of time

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Social News

The battle continues since the second wave and now we are in the mid of the third wave while other countries are already in their fifth. Despite averaging at 2,000 cases per day (in the past few days), Brunei won’t be reverting back to restrictions.

There are mixed feelings from the public with the current situation. Many are anxious with the increasing number. Some are optimistic as long as we adhere to the Standard of Procedures (SOPs) from the Ministry of Health. Some are even questioning the fact that the National Day celebration/parade is still proceeding though the numbers of participants have decreased from last year’s. I believe as long as strict measures are in place, the upcoming event won’t be a spreader, InsyaAllah.

For me, personally, I am on the fence on attending crowded events. Perhaps, this is a true test for Brunei if we are able to cope with the high numbers. Even the reporting of the Press Conferences have been delivered in a different manner, acknowledging first the number of patients in Category 4 (those requiring oxygen assistance) and Category 5 (those requiring artificial ventilation & treated in ICU) only then announcing the daily number of cases in Brunei Darussalam. I believe that the number of Cat 4 & 5 are better indicators and more important than the number of daily cases.

I am still impressed with some of the actions from the public though. The fact that we are in the “Early Endemic Phase” (with less restrictions), people are quite vigilant and not taking unnecessary risk to head out in public places such as malls and cafes. Dine-ins have recently taken a nose dive ever since the number of cases rose to record numbers. Food delivery apps (GoMamam, TaPow) are back in demand as many opted for take aways. It’s good to see that many are able to make a conscious decision.

It will be interesting how this strategy will panned out in the coming weeks. With a number reaching almost 18,000 active cases, MOH have allowed those in Category 1 and 2 to undergo self-isolation at their own homes so it will help to lessen the strain at the National Isolation Centre.

It’s yet to be known if Brunei numbers have peaked and it’s pretty tricky to predict as well, knowing how unpredictable the latest variant, Omicron, can be. It’s just unfortunate that the number of deaths have steadily increased in the past week.

Honestly speaking, despite the assurance that Omicron is less severe than Delta variant, I am still quite fearful of being infected and furthermore, I have been boosted since January. Just recently I am in a close contact with a friend whom I met at an opened space and I had to do a responsible thing by self-isolating myself for a few days. I know it’s a matter of time that one will either be infected or at least a “close contact” and with lesser restrictive movements and closures, the number of close contacts/QOs will be on a high.

I believe the relevant agencies have done their due diligence, in tackling the virus. We will hit the two year mark since the outbreak in March 2020 and the way forward is to accept that we will have to live with the virus (whether we like it or not).

For now, our greatest weapon to tackle (the virus) is by being accountable and responsible for our actions and adhere to the SOPs that have been provided by the Brunei Government.

This is Rano, signing off. Stay safe and take care.

New Mercedes S-Class

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Social News

Jati Transport Sdn Bhd has launched the New generation of the world’s bestselling luxury sedan: The new S-Class at Mercedes-Benz Autohaus yesterday. Invited guests were given an exclusive private tour to the new S-Class.

The S-Class stands for the fascination of Mercedes-Benz: legendary and traditional engineering expertise defines the luxury segment in the automobile industry. The new S-Class can be experienced with almost all senses — vision, touch, hearing, and smell — and also offers numerous innovations that provide driver support, protection and interaction, for example. The Driving Assistance Package and the MBUX infotainment system with the “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant come with many new functions, and both are integrated as standard. The large central display in portrait orientation is the visual highlight in the interior.

The most important features at a glance:

  • At the touch of a button, the new 3D driver display provides real depth perception of the surroundings for the first time, thanks to eye-tracking.
  • Active ambient lighting with around 250 LEDs is integrated into the driver assistance systems and can visually reinforce their warnings. Furthermore, the lighting can provide feedback acknowledging control inputs or “Hey Mercedes” commands
  • The adaptive MULTIBEAM LED headlamps illuminate the road for you according to the situation, providing excellent visibility. This is because the headlamps react to the current traffic situation with the aid of individually controllable LEDs.
  • Flush-fitting, illuminated door handles in conjunction with KEYLESS GO blend in perfectly with the silhouette and reduce wind resistance.

The Recap

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Social News

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa‘adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam attended the graduation of the Green Beret of His Royal Highness 920 Major (U) Prince ‘Abdul Mateen in the United Kingdom today. Congratulations Duli Tuanku. What’s next? 😀 

The much talked about Omicron is much of bigger news than Delta. It already has announced that it has touched down in Malaysia, our neighbouring country as well as Singapore. Still early days to know the full effects of the latest variant. Perhaps the traveling borders might be put on hold for a while.

Aifa Sdn Bhd (Audiomarc) recently held its lucky draw at their residence where it was attended by His Excellency Kim Soung Eun, the Korean Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam. Also present were Dr. Andy Lau Sie Chuong, Managing Director of Aifa Sdn Bhd and Mrs. Lily Ngo, the Chief Financial Officer of Aifa Sdn Bhd. His Excellency drew 37 names who are shortlisted for the final draw in mid December. Follow @aifaonlineshopping for their products and services. 

Check out Progresif @thatsprogresif latest promotion where for those who switch or port your number, for postpaid new customers, you can get a 20GB FREE data on your phone and on top of that, you will get 5GB every Wednesday throughout December. For Pre-paid users, you will get 8GB FREE data. 

After a long wait, the Abode Resort and Spa is now open for bookings. A luxury glamping experience and a perfect getaway from the busy town. I hope to check it out pretty soon, depending on the availability. Do click on image to find out more or visit their instagram @abodebrunei 

One of the talks of the town a week ago where four individuals were caught stealing three luxury cars – 2 Ford Mustang and 1 Ford Raptor. Surprisingly, their ages are 38, 18, 18 and one under-18. I have to salute them for stealing in the wee hours but lacking the after thought of hiding them from the public eye.

Great knowledge shared by Yazid Mahadi, Managing Director of BIBD Securities and Assessment Management on the new Shariah-compliant ESG Fund. I love the fact that it uses Artificial Intelligence in stock selection to remove human biases and error. Do check out Arabesque ESG Fund from BIBD Securities. Follow @bibdsecurities for updates.

Only 90 cents, ladies and gentlemen. Why I say this is because there are many vendors or sellers selling even up to $4 each for the vaccination book. The lowest I know is around $2. So do check out @samimabrunei for updates and visit their stores. They have better quality lamination cover too. 

Hmmmmm…. Thanks to my tennis gang for introducing this. I know I suck at Counter Strike but I was a huge fan of the defunct Doom and Quake (PC) back in the 90s. And now I am trying on COD Mobile 😀 Other games I play on mobile are Word with Friends, Football Manager 2022 and DLS 2021. 

This is finally the missing jigsaw puzzle in Manchester United’s journey to be on top once again. It will be interesting to see if this would work, knowing how the management has much say on and off the field. The last two games for Manchester United have been great, considering the poor run of form before the sacking of the legendary Ole. 

Have you downloaded Progresif Media app on your devices? Do watch @iwanttobefemes series and see how “influencers” also have their version of mid-life crisis. The final episode will be released next Wednesday. Well done to the director, writers, the cast and all involved in the project. Season 2, perhaps?

Soon, pretty soon, I will be joining as a member of Peak Club (formerly known as Peak Performance). One reason for joining is the newly renovated tennis court (now 2 courts instead of 1) and they have other things to offer such as the gym, badminton court, swimming pool, the functional gym (overlooking the fairway) and a few more. Check out @peakbn for updates or click on the image to find out more. 

A Bruneian at heart

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Social News

Hajah Noraini binti Haji Sulaiman as the Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of BIBD, effective 1 December 2021

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam Berhad (“BIBD”) announced the appointment of Hajah Noraini binti Haji Sulaiman as the Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of BIBD, effective 1 December 2021. Hajah Noraini, currently the Deputy Managing Director I, has been in the financial industry since 1997, holding various posts and directorships within the BIBD Group and its affiliate company. She is also a board member of various organisations.

Mr. Mubashar Khokhar who is on secondment term from Fajr Capital Limited (“Fajr”), Dubai since 2015 will continue as Managing Director and CEO until 30 November 2021. His stewardship and Fajr’s contribution as BIBD’s transformation partner, had facilitated the BIBD’s strategic transformation into the largest and strongest bank in Brunei, producing stellar performance, year on year, with strong profitable growth.

BIBD is now Brunei’s largest Islamic financial institution, ranked the Safest Bank and the Strongest Bank by reputable publishers such as the Global Finance and The Asian Banker respectively. BIBD’s selection as the Bank of the Year by the gold standard of accolades, The Banker magazine, truly epitomises BIBD’s transformational journey into becoming a world-class Islamic financial institution.

YM Hajah Noraini was previously the Acting Managing Director of Syarikat Takaful Brunei Darussalam, on secondment from BIBD. She was also the Chief Financial Officer for Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam, and has held other accounting and financial roles in various Bruneian companies such as Brunei Shell Petroleum Sdn Bhd. Currently, she is the director for BIBD At- Tamwil Berhad, BIBD Securities, BIBD Management Services, Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre and Jerudong Park Medical Centre. She was also a director in Tabung Amanah Pekerja (TAP) and the Chairman for the TAP Audit Committee. She is a member of the Brunei Darussalam Accounting Standards Council. 


Hajah Noraini binti Haji Sulaiman is the first local female lead role in BIBD which also holds the biggest share mark in the banking sector. She has been holding her Deputy Managing Director role for more than 7 years and she has been very active ever since the incorporation of BIBD back in 2005. 

One of her earlier posts in BIBD was Corporate Secretary of BIBD. Later on, she held post as the Chief Financial Officer of BIBD before being promoted as Deputy Managing Director I and CEO of BIBD. 

I wish Hajah Noraini all the best in her role as the Acting Managing Director and CEO of BIBD. She is definitely a Bruneian at heart. Congratulations. 

BIBD Deputy Managing Director Hajah Noraini binti Haji Sulaiman presents a token of appreciation during BIBD ALAF event back in May 2021. Image by Izah Azahari.
Hjh Noraini binte Hj Sulaiman, the Deputy Managing Director of BIBD at the Launch of BIBD QuickPay at UTB back in September 2019
BANK Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) launched BIBD Tiffin Project during a Hari Raya Aidifitri represented by Hjh Noraini binte Hj Sulaiman, the Deputy Managing Director of BIBD back in April 2018. Image by Aziz Idris.
Hjh Noraini binte Hj Sulaiman, the Deputy Managing Director of BIBD, Launching of the ninth edition of Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD)’s Home Showcase back in September 2016
Welcoming speech by Hjh Noraini binte Hj Sulaiman, Chief Financial Officer cum Deputy Managing Director of BIBD during BIBD’s Barakah 5 back in April 2014

Contact RA

ranoadidas (a) gmail.com
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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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