Saturday, August 01, 2015

Biggest Brunei LNG Carrier 'AMADI'

Latest Brunei LNG Carrier 'AMADI'

BGC marks milestone with ‘Bruneianised’ LNG carrier

Posted date: July 28, 2015

| Faza Suraj |

BRUNEI has completed another milestone by welcoming the fifth LNG Carrier for Brunei Gas Carriers (BGC) – AMADI.

The AMADI, whose sister ship AMANI was delivered in November 2014, is now BGC’s largest ship.

BGC Managing Director Haji Shabudin bin Haji Musa led a delegation comprising Permanent Secretary (Downstream and Power) at the Prime Minister’s Office, Dato Paduka Haji Jamain bin Haji Julaihi, which was welcomed by AMADI Captain BGC’s First Bruneian Master, Abdul Mateen Abdurrahman Liew @ Martin.

Captain Mateen said, “Today’s milestone marks the delivery of the vessel by a team that has every rank filled by Bruneians. This is the culmination of the Bruneianisation project that started well over a decade ago.”

The maiden voyage from South Korea to Brunei for AMADI was under the command of Captain Mateen on July 15 and arrived in Brunei Darussalam on July 23.

The captain said the AMADI performed to expectations.

The Dual Fuel Diesel electric engine-powered vessel measures to 154,800m3, which is bigger than Arkat/Amali by 7,800m3 and the length of the ship is equivalent to three football pitches.

“We have internet access, a dedicated prayer room and wudhu area. Halal food is served throughout the Brunei Gas Carriers fleet.

“The impact of the Local Business Development programme initiated by the Energy Department at the Prime Minister’s Office can be felt throughout the oil and gas industry.”

Haji Shabudin said, “This ship fulfils the requirements of most port locations around the world, thus enabling charter’s shipment of products.”

Courtesy of The Borneo Bulletin

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Memukun in Brunei


Sunday, April 26, 2015

IN THE early 1990s when Hj Wahab Jumat was at his peak as a pemukun providing traditional entertainment at weddings, he at one time earned almost $2,000 in one month.

“Every week we would be invited to perform at a wedding. There were so many requests we had to decline sometimes,” he says.

That was back in the day when memukun, a form of entertainment that involves the exchange of poems between a male and a female performer, was still popular in Brunei.

These days, 74-year-old veteran pemukun Hj Wahab no longer gets as many invitations and when he does, it is normally to perform at a cultural event organised by a government agency.

The pemukun, usually the elderly people who exchange pantun poems while traditional music is being played, have been pushed to extinction by modern-day forms of entertainment, including karaoke sessions at weddings.

It is not an easy feat as those exchanging pantun poems have to be spontaneous and able to think fast, and come up with poems that suit the atmosphere of the event. It can be challenging, Hj Wahab says.

“While listening to the other pemukun’s poem, you must already think of a comeback. If you are unable to reply with your own poem it would disrupt the whole performance.”

He said performers must also be familiar with their surroundings, and understand the nature of event where they perform.

Hj Wahab says he began performing at memukun in the early 1980s, and has been active in performing at memukun sessions for about 30 years. Having wit and mental sharpness are abilities pemukun must have in order to deliver an entertaining performance. He says he has no secrets as to how he keeps mentally prepared for each performance.

“I wake up early every day and I perform the Subuh prayers, and after that I make doa(supplication) to Allah SWT so that he will always bless me with good health.”

Apart from prayers, Hj Wahab says he also tries to lead a healthy lifestyle by controlling his food intake and watching what he eats to prevent high cholesterol and diabetes.

“I also do light exercises in the morning. I walk around the compound of my house or do some gardening.”

The memukun performance is slowly disappearing especially at weddings. Other forms of entertainment are taking over, such as karaoke, Hj Wahab says.

Even though sometimes people choose to have a traditional form of entertainment at weddings, it is usually a gulingtangan or traditional musical performance, he adds.

And the performers … only a few veteran pemukun get to perform when the rare opportunity comes.

Memukun is more than just entertainment. It is a Malay traditional and cultural heritage. Through art forms such as memukun, “we could preserve part of our culture, for example, the Malay language”, says Hj Wahab.

“If there is no one to continue the art of memukun, it will disappear.”

The Brunei Times

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

HM Sultan Brunei Attends 26th ASEAN Summit


Monday, April 27, 2015

HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha last night joined Southeast Asian leaders for a gala dinner, ahead of their meeting today.

Malaysian Prime Minister and ASEAN Chair Najib Razak and his spouse hosted the dinner at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s banquet hall.

In his speech during the dinner, the prime minister said with this year’s theme, ‘Our People, Our Community, Our Vision’, the focus is on the creation of a ‘people-centred ASEAN’ to translate that into a tangible reality.

“A people-centred ASEAN is about the realisation of our peoples’ dreams and aspirations – for more effective and responsive governance; for higher standards of living; for strengthened environmental protection; for further empowerment of women and youth; and greater opportunities for all.”

He went on to say that over the years, governments of ASEAN member countries have signed agreements and treaties, and issued communiques, statements and declarations, and that an infrastructure for regional integration has been created.

“I am convinced that ASEAN regional integration can only truly advance once our peoples are fully involved in the process, and invested in its outcome. They must feel that they are not just part of ASEAN; but that they are ASEAN, and its future is their future,” said the prime minister.

Today marks the beginning of the 26th ASEAN Summit, which will begin with its opening ceremony, followed by the summit’s plenary session.

Realising economic integration and the South China Sea territorial dispute are expected to be discussed during the meetings.

Upon arrival, His Majesty and Her Majesty were greeted by Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chief of Protocol Dato’ Kamilan Maksom and Chief of Ceremony and Conference Secretariat Datuk Wan Hamidah Wan Ibrahim.

Before proceeding into the banquet hall, Their Majesties and ASEAN leaders were greeted by the Malaysian prime minister and his spouse, before proceeding to take a group photo.

Accompanying Their Majesties were Second Minister of Finance at the Prime Minister’s Office YB Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade YB Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng and Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office YB Pehin Datu Singa-manteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

Monday, April 27, 2015

Kuala Belait Old Market Building Facelifted

KB’s old market building gets facelift
Posted date: April 16, 2015

| Faza Suraj |

THE old market building along Jalan McKerron of Kuala Belait under the jurisdiction of Kuala Belait-Seria Municipal Department has got a facelift with new painting which highlights a more attractive theme.

The weekly Night Market has been ongoing at the ground floor of the building every weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) since September 24, 2011.

Various food items are available at the market such as cakes, fried noodles, soto, burger, nasi katok, and grilled food among others.

During the revamp, repair works have also been done including cleaning of the area.

The Kuala Belait-Seria Municipal Department informed that it wishes to fulfill the public’s wish for more daily choices and will strive to support local entrepreneurs by providing appropriate places for them.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Keeping Traditional Music Alive in Brunei


Saturday, April 18, 2015

TRADITIONAL instruments such as guriding, tangkong and gandang sadaman have lost their appeal among the younger generation, but veteran musician Hj Nayan Apong has not given up on them.

The 86-year-old from Kampung Kulapis reminisces how the sound of these instruments used to resonate in paddy fields across the sultanate.

The Kadayan Malays used to play them while they tended to their farms, Hj Nayan says. It’s a forgotten art, but he still enjoys playing them and crafting them by hand.

“I learned by looking at other people and because I was interested, I tried and slowly learned (how to play the instruments) myself.”

One of the earliest instruments he learned to play was the guriding. “I began playing the guridingwhen I was very young, in my early teens,” Hj Nayan says.

It is small and thin, a flat piece of wood not more than 10 inches long. It is made from the frond of the Bengkala palm tree. To play the guriding, the instrument is held horizontally and pressed against the lips. To create sound, the musician blows against the part held closest to the lips and use the free hand to pluck the projecting end of the instrument.

“In the old days, the guriding is played to wind down after clearing an area of land for planting paddy … It is commonly played together with the gandang sadaman,” says Hj Nayan. The gandang sadaman is another traditional musical instrument commonly played by the Kadayan people. It resembles a xylophone.

“The gandang sadaman was played as a means of entertainment when people were tending to the paddy fields.”

Older versions of the gandang sadaman were not portable as it used to be made by arranging pieces of wood next to each other and pressing them to the ground.

The name sadaman, Hj Nayan explains, is taken from the name of the wood used to make the instrument which comes from the Sadaman tree.

Another instrument Hj Nayan fondly talks about is the tangkung. It is usually played on its own without accompaniment from other instruments, he says. It resembles a tube with strings that are meant to be plucked. Its strings are thin pieces of bamboo skin carved out from the same piece of bamboo used for thetangkung’s body.

This bamboo instrument is one of the traditional musical instruments that Hj Nayan is able to make by hand. Making one tangkung takes him about a day. It can be sold for $50. However, he only makes them upon request. Among his clients include the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

Occasionally he also indulges in crafting a guriding. “You need to be very delicate when making a guriding because the instrument can be broken easily. It takes about one day to finish making one guriding,” Hj Nayan says.

These days, due to poor eyesight, he rarely makes them.

Unfortunately, there are not many people who know how to make traditional musical instruments such as the guriding and tangkung. The few that Hj Nayan knows of are his friends and some have already passed away.

Hj Nayan says he does not know anyone else in Kampung Kulapis, who knows how to make the traditional musical instruments that musicians used to create melodies across paddy fields in the sultanate.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

Inspirational Quotes