Tuesday, April 28, 2015

HM Sultan Brunei Attends 26th ASEAN Summit





RACHEL THIEN
KUALA LUMPUR

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






NURHAMIZA HJ ROSLAN
BRUNEI-MUARA

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

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Her Majesty Raja Isteri of Brunei Opens New Women and Children Medical Centre

Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha (5th L), Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah (4th L), Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hjh Zariah (6th R), Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Bini Hajah Faizah (3rd L), Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Raabi’atul 'Adawiyyah (5th R), Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah (2nd L), Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah (4th R), Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna (L) and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam (3rd R) together with the Minister of Health (2nd R) and spouse (R) in a group photo during the official opening of the new Women and Children's Centre. BT/Zaim Kasmat

Her Majesty signs a commemorative plaque to mark the official opening of the new centre. BT/Zaim Kasmat

Her Majesty touring the facilities available at the new centre. Infofoto


Her Majesty (2nd L) visiting one of the patients accompanied by Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah (3rd L), Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah (2nd R) and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Bini Hajah Faizah (3rd R) during the official opening of the new Women and Children’s Centre at RIPAS Hospital in the Capital. Infofoto

Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha (R) is shown a scale model of the new Women and Children’s Centre by the Health Minister during the official opening of the new facility at RIPAS Hospital in Bandar Seri Begawan. Infofoto



Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (R), accompanied by Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah (2nd R), having a light moment with hospital staff members during their visit to one of the consultation rooms in conjunction with the official launching ceremony of the new Women and Children's Centre of Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital yesterday. BT/Zaim Kasmat

Her Majesty (2nd R) together with Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hjh Zariah (3rd R) and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Bini Hjh Faizah (4th R) viewing the exhibits on display. BT/Zaim Kasmat


AARON WONG
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Thursday, April 23, 2015

HER Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Hj Mohamed Alam yesterday graced the official opening of the $69.2 million Women and Children’s Centre at the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital.

Her Majesty was welcomed by the Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Md Yusof upon arrival, before proceeding to the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Clinic where she listened to a brief introduction of the recently completed centre by the Minister of Health.

She then officiated the centre and watched a video showcasing the extensive facilities, before proceeding to the Paediatric clinic to sign a commemorative plaque.

Her Majesty then toured several floors, interacting with patients, doctors and other health professionals.

She also visited a special exhibition on the fourth floor, charting the construction and development of the Woman and Children’s Centre as well as the history of RIPAS.

The Minister of Health, in his introductory remarks, said the centre was a landmark and a “significant achievement” for health services in the Sultanate, reflecting His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mui’zzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s leadership and deep concern for the health and well-being of his subjects.

“The centre, with its 11 floors and 382 beds offers paediatric services, midwifery and obstetrics and gynaecology which are equipped with the latest facilities, infrastructure and quality medical equipment which meet international standards,” said the minister.

The centre also includes a neonatal intensive care unit, a fertility unit, first-class rooms and an operation theatre.

He added that the majority of the skilled health professionals operating at the centre comprised of locals.

Accompanying Her Majesty during the visit yesterday were HRH Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah, HRH Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah, Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Bini Hajah Faizah, YAM Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Raabi’atul ‘Adawiyyah, HRH Princess Hjh Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Hjh Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Hjh Masna and HRH Princess Hjh Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam.

Also in attendance yesterday were cabinet ministers and members of the legislative council.

Construction of the state-of-the-art centre was completed on December 18, 2014, under the Ninth National Development Plan.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

Friday, April 24, 2015

HM Sultan Brunei Concerned over Palestinian plight at 60th Asia-Africa Conference


His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bokiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, delivering a titah during the plenary session of the Asian African Summit 2015 at the Jakarta Convention Center yesterday. Infofoto
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam (L) waves to journalists and other onlookers upon his arrival at the Jakarta Convention Center to attend the Asian African Summit yesterday. BT/Sally Piri

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam (R, front row) attending the Asian African Summit 2015 and the 60th Asia-Africa Commemorative Conference at Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia, yesterday. Infofoto

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah (R) chats with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) as Indonesian President Joko Widodo (L) and Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (2nd R) look on during a photo session on the sidelines of the Asian African Summit 2015 at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia’s capital yesterday. Infofoto

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam (L) is being greeted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his wife prior to a Gala Dinner for Heads of States and Government attending the Asian Africa Summit 2015 at the Merdeka Palase in Jakarta last night. Infofoto

SALLY PIRI
JAKARTA

Thursday, April 23, 2015

THE two-day Asian African Summit 2015 began yesterday in Jakarta, where 21 heads of state/government and delegates from 106 countries, 15 observer countries and 10 international organisations gathered to forge closer ties and find solutions to resolve the current challenges facing by the two continents.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, was among the 21 heads of state/government who had flown in to the Indone-sia’s capital to attend the Leaders’ Summit of the 60th Commemoration of the Asian African Conference 2015.

Other leaders include Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Iran’s President Dr Hassan Rouhani, China’s President Xi Jinping and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. They were welcomed by Indonesia’s President Dato Laila Utama Joko Widodo, who is the host of a series of events for this year’s commemoration, held at the Jakarta Convention Center.

In his welcoming speech, President Widodo said that the challenges and struggle faced by the Asian and African nations are not yet resolved.

Under the theme “Strengthen-ing South-South Cooperation to Promote World Peace and Prospe-rity”, the president drew the focus to those present to the plight of the Palestinians and the need for a new collective economic structure to support the struggle for stability and equality through-out the two continents.

“For me, the global injustice feels more suffocating, when the “Bandung Spirit” that demanded freedom for all nations of Asia and Africa, still left one outstanding debt for six decades. We, and the world, still owe it to the Palestinian people,” said Widodo.

“The world is helpless before the suffering of the Palestinians, who live in fear and injustice, due to years of occupation,” he said.

“We cannot turn away from the misery of the Palestinians and have to continue to fight with them to support the birth of a free Palestine,” he added.

The first Asian-African Conference in 1955 at Bandung created the “Bandung Spirit”, which called on then new nations to build solidarity and friendship as well recognise their mission to fight colonialism.

The leaders and delegates shared experience to strengthen partnerships and discuss strate-gies to overcome common challenges and boost economic development in both continents through stronger South-South cooperation.

During the first plenary session, Dr Rouhani of Iran when delivered his views said that continued crisis and conflicts which have been intensified with foreign military intervention have created humanitarian catastrophe in the crisis-hit areas.

The present unfortunate conditions in Yemen and Syria are clear examples of this situation. “We believe that sustainable peace can prevail if military intervention is ceased and proper conditions are prepared for talks and dialogue among all political groups,” he said.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, ”We must build a market that is open and dynamic. We must turn that market or that frontier into soil that promises pros-perity for our children and our grandchildren.”

In between several plenary sessions, some leaders and delegates also attended bilateral meetings with their counterparts.

Later in the evening, His Majesty and other leaders attended the Gala Dinner for Heads of State and Government attending the Asian African Summit 2015 hosted by the Indonesia’s President at Merdeka Palace.

Accompanying His Majesty was Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister of the Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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SALLY PIRI
JAKARTA

Thursday, April 23, 2015

BRUNEI Darussalam expressed deep concern that the plight of the Palestinians remains unresolved and that they continue to be victims of Israeli aggression and military occupation.

This was said by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, in his titah during the plenary session of the Asian African Summit 2015 at Jakarta Convention Centre yesterday.

The monarch spoke after Mswati III, King of Swaziland, and before Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

Co-chairing the first plenary session were Indonesia’s President Dato Laila Utama Joko Widodo and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe.

His Majesty and other leaders supported the Declaration on Palestine, which is one of the three documents that will be issued at the end of this year’s Asia Africa Conference.

He said the Summit has provided member countries with a unique opportunity to share their noble aspirations for a future that includes the aspirations of their Palestinian brothers and sisters.

“I am pleased to support the Declaration on Palestine,” the monarch told the audience.

His Majesty said that member countries have seen several positive events in recent years, especially the overwhelming recognition of Palestine’s statehood and the elevation of their status in the international arena.

His Majesty hopes that together with all member countries, they will continue to support the Palestinians in their noble struggle to realise their rights to self- determination, dignity and independence.

His Majesty stated that in the years ahead, he would like to see the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) mature into an exemplary platform for inter-regional cooperation that will strengthen people-to-people connectivity.

He called upon member countries not to lose focus on achieving the goals that were declared at the Millennium Summit in 2000. He was referring to the Summit held in September 2000 when the world leaders came together at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals.

He said that he is also optimistic that the vision back then will be renewed and expanded in the coming Post-2015 Development Agenda.

He said that the Asian-African member countries account for more than half of the UN membership and with a population of over five billion people, a global community that is capable of great good, and that can certainly contribute to the wider objectives of the global development agenda.

The Summit has come a long way since the Bandung Conference of 1955, he added.

Since then, he said, the world has undergone much change and has witnessed the rise and fall of nations, as well as historical events such as the end of the Cold War. “Today, there has been much progress in terms of human development and more people-centred multilateral efforts to promote socio-economic growth around the world,” His Majesty said.

He also expressed his pleasure that the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) serves as a bridge of goodwill and friendship that covers political solidarity, economic cooperation and socio-cultural relations.

The partnership is about giving the people of member countries a better life. All member countries continue to emphasise areas such as trade, industry, investment and tourism. “At the same time, there is importance in promoting human development through capacity-building and technical cooperation.”

His Majesty stated that while member countries endeavour to pursue the objectives of sustainable development, peace and prosperity, they are also vulnerable to challenges such as pandemic diseases, economic crises, natural disasters, climate change and terrorism.

In this regard, the NAASP provides another multilateral platform to pursue goals as well as address challenges, he said.

In a way, member countries are striving towards realising the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Therefore, the Summit was very timely in strengthening collective actions as they prepare for the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda.

His Majesty was pleased that the aforementioned three outcome documents have reflected the Spirit and Principles of Bandung, which will continue to guide the future work and interaction amongst member countries.

His Majesty stated that when the actions of member countries are driven by principles such as mutual interest and cooperation based on equality and respect for each other, he believes that member countries will achieve the desired goals that they have set.

Member countries, according to him, should nurture their partnerships based on these principles, whether in the context of South-South or North-South Cooperation, as well as in collaborating with development partners and other stakeholders.

His Majesty said that for Brunei Darussalam, its approach is inclusive and the areas of emphasis include education, good governance, disaster management, trade and investment, health and the environment.

“Brunei Darussalam will continue to cooperate with other member countries within its means and capability,” he said.

He also encouraged people-to-people interactions, particularly in the fields of business, education, youth and sports.

“Brunei Darussalam welcomes cooperation among core educational institutions through exchanges between students, academics and researchers.”

In closing the titah, His Majesty praised that Indonesia has always been a great champion for South-South Cooperation and the Strategic Partnership.

On this, he appreciated their valuable efforts and looked forward to the next event which is the 60th Asian African Conference Commemoration in Bandung on Friday to build on the work of the founding fathers for a peaceful and prosperous future together.

The gathering of representatives of over 100 countries from Asia and Africa at the Summit demonstrated continued support of member countries in strengthening South-South Cooperation towards promoting world peace and prosperity.

Prior to the plenary session, each of the leaders was greeted by the Indonesia’s President. It was then followed by a group photo session at the Main Lobby of the Jakarta Convention Center before proceeding to the Plenary Hall for the opening ceremony of the Asian-African Summit 2015. The ceremony also saw Dato Laila Utama Joko Widodo delivering his welcoming address.

Accompanying His Majesty were Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abd Rahman Haji Ibrahim, Second Minister of Finance at the Prime Minister’s Office; Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister of the Foreign Affairs and Trade; and Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

Inspirational Quotes

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