The 32nd Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s convocation
His Majesty Sultan dan Yang Di-Pertuan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, UBD’s Chancellor, gracing the 32nd UBD’s convocation yesterday
Congratulations to all the graduates of UBD 2020 and the event was held yesterday. The 32nd convocation kicked off the early morning with strict measures in place, following Covid-19 SOPs to ensure the safety of everyone. Graduates were required to undergo swab test and self-isolation before the graduation ceremony.
The 32nd UBD Convocation was graced by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and during the titah, it highlighted Universiti Brunei Darussalam to step up its digital initiatives. The pandemic has definitely changed the landscape and it has spurred the adoption of technology in Brunei Darussalam. This initiative will be in-line with the Digital Economy Masterplan 2025 where Brunei will head towards a Smart Nation, being a digitally, well ready economy with sustainable economy.
This year, a total of 1,182 graduates received their graduation certs. There are broken down to 40 PhD graduates, 265 master’s degree holders, 805 undergraduates, 65 graduate diploma and 7 diploma.
The afternoon session was graced by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince. Thank you to all the contributors of the photos of yesterday’s convocation. Very much appreciated.
Lee Ying Shi, a gold medalist winner in SEA Games 2013, one of the graduates of 32nd UBD Convo
Yati Kamis is now a Master Degree Holder. Congratulations.
Rahmat Tarsat also graduated in Masters of Teaching
Graduates from the 9th Command & Staff Course
Anisah Najihah, a bronze medalist in SEA Games 2019, also a graduate from UBD.
Graduates from Bachelor of Engineering
Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Othman, Minister of Religious Affair, launching Digital Sedekah at Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
Representatives from the respective mosques collected the BIBD QuickPay QR code from the guest of honour
Members of the public will now be able to donate to individual mosques or to the Mosque Construction Fund via BIBD QuickPay. Powered by BIBD NEXGEN, BIBD QuickPay allows customers to make payments simply by scanning a QR code through the BIBD NEXGEN Wallet mobile app on their smartphones.
This latest initiative is part of BIBD’s drive to encourage customers to Go Cashless and Go Digital, bringing a digital twist to the concept of giving or ‘sedekah’. The BIBD QuickPay Service for Mosques, Suraus and Religious Halls Donation Fund and the Brunei Darussalam Mosque Construction Fund [Majlis Pelancaran Perkhidmatan QuickPay BIBD bagi Kewangan Tabung Masjid, Surau dan Balai Ibadat dan Tabung Dana bagi Pembinaan Masjid, Negara Brunei Darussalam] was launched by the Minister of Religious Affairs, Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Othman earlier today at the Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque.
Also present was BIBD’s Managing Director and CEO, Mubashar Khokhar, along with BIBD management and senior officers also attended the event. Speaking at the event, BIBD’s Managing Director and CEO, Mubashar Khokhar said “Brunei has over 500,000 mobile users, but there is still plenty of room for growth in terms of embracing the usage of digital payments.
One of BIBD’s priorities is to support the nation as we head into a cashless society. We are honoured to partner with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and are confident that this collaboration will serve as a great example to drive a cashless society.”
Through this latest initiative, members of the public can make donations without needing to carry physical cash. With just their smartphones, they can scan and donate ‘digitally’ using BIBD QuickPay; these donations will then be transferred directly to the respective mosque accounts, avoiding the risk of loose cash and theft.
Currently, 65 mosques, suraus and religious halls around the country will accept donations to their respective mosque funds via BIBD QuickPay. Additionally, members of the public can also contribute to the Brunei Darussalam Mosque Construction Fund. The fund was first established by the consent of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang DiPertuan of Brunei Darussalam in 2015.
It is hoped that the provision of BIBD QuickPay will make it easy for Muslims to donate and increase their good deeds and invest in the Hereafter.
May Cho, Marketing Executive of Indera Motors, announcing the “Season of Change” at Indera Motors Showroom recently
Kapra Coffee @kapracoffee was in the house for a coffee collaboration for customers
@belleskitchenbn was also there
First thing, Indera Motors is offering an Approved model promotion for Jaguar Land Rover which will end on October 31. Approved models are the pre-owned brands which have undergone stringent routine checks in making sure the cars are up to highest standard and quality. Those who purchased the Approved October Special promotion , he or she will be entitled for a choice of 1) BND 1,000 Cash Rebate Gift Bundle 2) an Aesthetic Gift bundle including JPD Approved Tinted Windows and Black Painted Rims or 3) an Accessory Gift Bundle with terms and conditions apply.
Secondly, there is the Season of Change Test Drive and Win Lucky Draw Promotion which ends on December 31. All you have to do is test drive any Jaguar Land Rover vehicle. Customers will be able to experience the feeling of driving a Jaguar or a Land Rover and they have sale consultants on stand-by to assist you with any queries.
So test drive from today till December 31 and you can stand a chance to win a Jaguar Heritage Watch, a Jab Gym 3-month membership, a Bang & Olufsen E8 True Wireless Ear Piece and Under Armour $50 Sports vouchers. The draw will be held on January 2021. So make a change this season and reward yourself.
The campaign kicked off Indera Motors hosting a coffee event a few weeks ago. They collaborated with Kapra Coffee, a specialty coffee roaster that sources only specialty grade coffees each season for the Coffee and Cars event. Also joining them was Belle’s Kitchen, providing delicious pastries.
The most popular segment in the premium SUV – the Mercedes Benz GLB 200
The awesome headlamp from Mercedes Benz GLB
And also the fact it is a 7 seater which is quite rare in most SUVs and this is very ideal as a family car and still carrying that premium feeling. Don’t be fooled by the letter “B” in GLB as it doesn’t mean that it’s way smaller than the GLCs in the market. It is, in fact, smaller but only by a few centimeter. So if you were to see it visually, you won’t feel that the Mercedes GLB is smaller than the other SUV models from the Mercedes line.
So the fact that it offers 7 seater, this is already a huge plus in the eyes of the customers. So hence, I’m not surprised by the popularity of the Mercedes Benz GLB in the Brunei market.
As for the performance, driving it for a few days, the Mercedes Benz GLB is a great ride though I yet to travel on long distances to experience the GLB to its fullest. The new GLB 200 places its trust in the four-cylinder petrol, with 1.3 litre power. This model has increaser power and improved efficiency and emissions. I have yet to try how powerful the GLB when I drive with a full load but that can be tested at another time.
The interior and the dashboard are something to shout about and this is already an expectation for customers when it comes to the Mercedes brand. Their infotainment is still the best and the aesthetics of the digital panel will give a good driving pleasure for the driver and passenger. Of course, the ambient lighting is already part of Mercedes Benz DNA and it gives the GLB a modern look.
As for body/leg space, this is a clear winner. There are plenty of front space and the leg room is very ideal for the front passengers. The furthest back seats (third row) might be the smallest space among the rows but still ideal for passengers alike. Owners of the Mercedes GLB will appreciate the flexibility when it comes to folding the seats. For instance, the third row seats can be easily stowed away and adjusted if necessary.
If you are really keen to test drive the Mercedes GLB, by all means, do contact Jati Transport and I hope there will be a suitable date for you when you happen to choose the GLB as your car-to-go. Drop by the Mercedes Autohaus and meet your salesman for a more in-depth review and knowledge on the popular Mercedes Benz GLB.
The front space of the Mercedes Benz GLB 200
The 3rd row seat, the feature of the 7 seater of the Mercedes Benz GLB 200
Haji Muhammad Yazid bin Dato Paduka Haji Mahadi, BIBD Securities Managing Director of BIBD Securities BIBD Securities addressing a keynote on BIBD Securities latest products at The Empire Hotel recently
Abegail Lo, Relationship Manager at BIBD Securities, delivered a short presentation to Islamic Financial Planning
With BIBD Securities, mutual fund is an investment that allows investors with similar investment goals and objectives to pool their money in a diversified portfolio.
BIBD Securities also provides a professional fund manager that will manage and trade the pooled money in securities such as stocks, Sukuk and money market instruments to match the fund’s investment objectives. BIBD aims to bring into the market investment products that are easier to understand for investors who may have limited knowledge or are foreign to investing.
A few weeks ago, members of the media had the privilege to attend the press conference on the launch of BIBD Securities’ latest product – Franklin Global Sukuk Fund and the Templeton Global Equity Fund. Not to worry as all the products from BIBD Securities are all Shariah-compliant. Last week, BIBD Securities officially launched their latest product with two events held at The Empire Hotel and V-Plaza Hotel respectively.
It’s the first time that BIBD Securities partnered with Franklin Templeton Investments, one of the top 20 mutual funds in the world, and also a global leader in asset management with over seven decades of experience.
YAM Pg Anak Wadood also attended the event
Congratulations BIBD Securities
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Haji Muhammad Yazid announced that the campaign will run until 30th December and he hopes this will also encourage the youth to participate in investing for their future. The best attraction, perhaps, is that you can be part of this investment by forking out as low as BND 100 to begin with on a monthly basis. Investing has been made more accessible and attractive.
The Franklin Global Sukuk Fund invests in a fund offering monthly dividend pay-out and access to a diversified portfolio of Sukuk securities issued by government, government-related and corporate entities in developed and developing countries.
The Templeton Global Equity Fund, on the other hand is an investment fund that offers long-term capital growth with access to a fully diversified Syariah-compliant global investment across various countries and sectors.
If you want to understand more, you can click on the link here to read more or do give BIBD Securities a visit at BIBD Kiulap, 1st Floor, next to Perdana.
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Yang Berhormat Dato Minister of Education also in attendance
Managing Director of BIBD with former Deputy Minister of Home Affairs
Deputy Permanent Secretary of Energy was also present
With the Ministers and media representatives after a press conference at the Ministry of Health
Yang Berhormat Minister of Health replied to my question on why PCs are important. YB Dato shared that this source of medium is able to keep the public well equipped with the right information and also it will help to dispel any rumours (quite common in Brunei) that can create unnecessary panic among the public. Come 8 months, I can see the positive impact on the press conferences and also a huge thanks to the other media agencies that has helped in sharing vital and true information for the public to digest.
Of course, being invited to be one of the media personnel, is a privileged. It also has its drawback, well, for my case. It’s more about my responsibility as a netizen to be consistent and constantly educating my readers on what has been shared officially. There is no room for second guessing or speculation per se. Whatever I share to my friends and readers, the information must be verified and true. If possible, I will just share my thoughts based on the facts presented from the MOH and that’s how far I will go.
I do feel bad in not replying some of the questions put forward but there were just overwhelming and it was a one man show. I felt like the Yellow Pages, or in this era, the Google, for Brunei related covid updates. The hardest part was putting a calm, collected face when being confronted by strangers who sought for information. Yes, I was criticized at times for the questions I raised during PCs. Simple questions, silly questions, good questions, and there will be never be any satisfaction.
Now, I am gonna just share what goes behind the scene during the Press Conferences and this is from my point of view.
Firstly, if you were to dig my brain, here is an insight on how I approach in providing questions and honestly, this is no easy feat and if you’re in my position, you will understand. The questions are mostly collected and written down on my notepad. I will screen them first and you will be surprised some of the questions you thought may be silly to you but it’s very relevant and important at the same time for the public to know. There are times I rather not asked these particular questions but because there is a huge demand (based on messages from the public), the PCs become the best platform to answer even how obvious or silly the questions can be. To my experience, this strategy somehow worked. This is also beneficial from the relevant ministries especially the MOH in giving factual information that are sometimes not included in the press statement by the respective ministers and press releases. The additional and impromptu questions did add more weight and gives the public more assurance. Because of the nature of the Q&A session, the public kind labeled it as a mini-Legco session.
Secondly, the answers from the respective Ministers feels like “gazetted” (if I were put it that way) which means that it is quoted by the Ministers and hence, the information is verified to the satisfaction of the public. The print media has also played an important role too as the readers will also read verified information and quotes from the Ministers and it will remain as a fact. So rather than myself giving what information I gather, the articles posted by Borneo Bulletin, Media Permata, Pelita Brunei, The Scoop, The Bruneian and other media agencies, will solidify the facts and people will be more confident rather than hearing or believing speculations. We as the media representatives can be easily judged by the public on the questions that are put forward but the questions themselves need to be asked and very relevant especially in the first few months of the outbreak in Brunei.
Thirdly, the questions now are now usually vetted which means the questions will be screened an hour before the press conferences. Some people may get the wrong idea but there are reasons questions need to be vetted. One obvious thing that I can pick is asking the relevant questions to the relevant ministries. There were times questions put forward didn’t involve the respective ministry and it will be put YBs in a difficult situation and it won’t look favourable should the Minister deflect the question. There were times when the media personnel was asking a question that has already been answered during the press statement. This also shows the complacency that we play a part that we weren’t basically listening or perhaps didn’t understand what was being addressed at the time.
Now that being said, I know the questions that we asked have been “questioned” by the public and some media representatives including myself, have been bashed. But I do hope you do have the compassion and understand deeper on the things that we have to go through and cater to the public to ensure we present the right facts and information. Sometimes those silly questions whether you know it or not, do have an impact on people’s assurances. I remember asking YB Dato Minister of Health on predicting the tipping curve. Some appreciated I asked the question, some didn’t. Well, honestly, I have been watching BBC, Astro News, CNN, and this was a common question asked by the media and I thought this would be an interesting question as an indicator.
On that note, I do want to convey my apologies to those I haven’t replied (just too many) on their questions and also for my lack of professionalism as a source of media, if any, during press conferences. I am not a certified journalist to begin with and I am doing a huge favour for the MOH and they are truly appreciative how much I have contributed. I have learnt a lot by just being part of the media team and it has been a rewarding journey. I will do my best to improve and I appreciate all the comments (positive and negative).
Huge thanks to the Ministry of Health in appointing my services and this shows a level of trust and reliability in disseminating the right information to the eyes and ears of the public. It also create good rapport with the Ministers and the people behind the scene. I wish to share more. Perhaps I can leave that for another time.
This is Rano, signing out and till next time 😀
So what has happened since? A LOTTTT!!!!! I don’t have a starting point and it’s hard to recall the series of events in a chronological order. Amongst all things, I am just glad to be alive and healthy (Alhamdulillah) and I truly am grateful to be in Brunei Darussalam with the great guidance from His Majesty’s government especially the Ministry of Health in helping in creating a safe bubble for the residents of Brunei Darussalam. It has even come to a point that mass gathering up to 350 pax at a given time will be allowed in Brunei. That’s how safe and blessed we are in Brunei.
One of the things I have gained in my journey as a blogger (or if you want to to label me as Social Influencer), is my relationship with the Ministers have taken to a newer level because of the daily press conferences that lasted for three months or so. The Press Conferences have been the fulcrum in disseminating the right information to the public and we as the media hold the key in making sure that the right messages get across. Through PCs, I build great rapport especially with Yang Berhormat Dato the Minister of Health and Yang Berhormat Dato the Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance. Many saw the PCs as better version of the annual LegCo session which was cut short due to the pandemic. I am truly honored to be part of the Press Conference and my thanks to the Ministry of Health for the trust and guidance. It’s the best experience in the field of media.
Being in the media scene and having to gather as many information especially Covid-19 related, it was never easy. I became the focal point especially for my followers, requesting for questions to be asked or seeking for legit answers. At the same time, I was captivated and engrossed by the news updates on CNN, BBC and other newspapers. In that sort period of time, I was pretty equipped on Covid-19 information.
And that was when I was at the brink of (emotional) breakdown. It was too much to take. My life was revolving on Covid, Covid, Covid. There was nothing else to share on social media. My clients put on hold of promotions and what not. Everyone was fearful of the pandemic. So I felt like a sponge, absorbing all these negative news and it took a toll on me. I isolated myself in my own room and whenever I exited my home, it was only for one purpose – coverage of the live press conference. It was so routine which carried on for two months and I realised I need a breather. I slowly detached myself from watching CNN or any news on TV for that matter. Surprisingly, it worked, though it wasn’t an overnight solution. But yes, the detox worked and I slowly became more focused and fresher.
My apologies to those who I haven’t entertained through social media, texts, emails and phone calls. I don’t know how they get my number and I can understand their situation on seeking the right information. I wish I have my own media team that can assist me and going solo was really overwhelming indeed. So I am truly sorry if I didn’t reply or entertain your messages. It was just difficult to handle with overwhelming messages and also feeling emotionally and mentally unstable. Thank you for understanding and your patience.
Now it’s already September and I don’t think time flies really fast. With Covid, everything seems to be at a slower pace. Though I would say that we are already in third gear. Economy’s booming surprisingly especially cars and properties. Money is well spent inside Brunei. This is the counter effect when one can’t travel. I ain’t complaining. As much as I miss traveling, health is still my biggest priority and safety, of course.
So guys, here’s just a quick update of how I’ve been in the past few months. I am super grateful to be alive. I’m also proud that I finally managed to Khatam during Ramadhan. So till next time, I hope to post more and if you have anything to share, you can just slide on my DM on instagram. It’s me, Rano, signing out 🙂
The A 200 AMG Line can now be yours at just $385* monthly with our Special Financing Subsidy*. Featuring a high-resolution 10.25-inch instrument display with selectable display styles, the car is also intuitive and intelligent, thanks to the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) Multimedia System which can be activated by a simple ‘Hey Mercedes’.
Call us now at 2441777 to book for a test drive or visit Mercedes-Benz Autohaus today for more information. You’ll be glad you did!!
Terms and Conditions:
*The monthly repayment is calculated based on HP Plus Financing. Special financing subsidy only applies to first 6 months of instalment after which the monthly instalment should be $785. Offer only valid until 30 September 2020. Terms and conditions apply.
Powerful proportions with short overhangs and off-road-oriented design as well as optional 4MATIC all-wheel drive and a special off-road light which helps detect obstacles immediately in front of the vehicle at low speeds – the new Mercedes-Benz GLB is a versatile SUV. And a spacious family car: on request it is the first Mercedes-Benz in this segment available as a seven-seater. The two seats in row three can be used by people up to 1.68 metres in height.
At 2829 millimetres the GLB has ten centimetres more wheelbase than, for example, the new B-Class. Together with the function-oriented greenhouse this is decisive when it comes to the generous amount of space. The headroom in the first seat row is 1035 millimetres – a best in this segment.
Ready for boarding: up to seven seats
The GLB is the first compact vehicle from Mercedes-Benz to offer a third seat row with two additional individual seats. The seats offer people up to a height of 1.68 metres a comfortable amount of space. The extensive safety equipment includes retractable head restraints, seat belts with belt tensioners, a side window airbag which also protects the passengers in the third seat row plus ISOFIX and TOP-Tether anchorages for suitable child seats. These can be used to attach up to four child seats in the rear.
Comfort details in the third row include two drinks holders between the seats as well as two stowage compartments with a rubberised insert on the left and right in the load compartment trim, each with a USB port. The seats can be lowered so that they are flush with the load compartment floor in order to extend the load compartment.
With aluminium details: the interior design
The instrument panel consists of a single piece, which has optical cut-outs in the driver and front passenger area. The driver faces a widescreen cockpit, with control and display via MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). A new feature is the characteristic off-road tubular element in an aluminium look which rounds off the lower section of the instrument panel and houses the three round centre air vents. These give the dashboard support an impression of robustness, power and a certain fun factor. Below the nozzles is the air conditioning control panel, whose buttons create the impression that they have been milled from a solid aluminium cylinder.
The robust character of the interior continues in the centre console. Tubular elements in a machined look lend solidity to the design of the components and controls. Along the doors, the SUV character is underlined by the horizontal grab handle that, from the design and equipment line Progressive upwards, forms a robust part of the door panel structure and resembles a machined aluminium tube.
Powerful and efficient: the engines
The new GLB 200 places its trust in the four-cylinder petrol which were completely updated to relaunch the compact model series. In comparison to the previous generation, they are characterised by significantly increased power, improved efficiency and emissions.
The gateway to the petrol-model range is the M 282 with a displacement of 1.33 litres in the GLB 200 (combined fuel consumption 6.2-6.0 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 142-137 g/km). This engine has cylinder shutoff for efficient operation in the partial-load range.