Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Extending Brunei-China Relationship from 2,000 to 3,000 Years


Posted date: March 24, 2015
| James Kon |

THE Brunei Shipwreck Gallery at the Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum has a prestigious artefact donated by Haji Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The artefact, a bronze ritual wine vessel (pic below) that dates back to the Shang dynasty, was discovered in the Brunei river by a fisherman. It offers a glimpse of the historical ties between Brunei and China earlier than predicted. Haji Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yunos when contacted by the Bulletin shared his story on the historic find.

He recalled, “The artefact came from an individual who accidentally found the jue in his net while fishing in the Brunei River. He kept it but did not know the significance of his discovery.”

Known as a passionate collector, Haji Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yunos said, “Someone approached me and offered the artefact for sale. I then researched it and found that it was of very significant historical value. I bought the jue and donated it to the Brunei Museum.”

Asked on the reason for donating the valuable artifact, Haji Mohd Rozan said, “I wanted to share the piece of historical heritage with the public so that visitors can learn about the history of Brunei and China that may have dated back to as far as Shang Dynasty.”

Courtesy of the Borneo Bulletin

China's Quanzhou "Maritime Silk Road Exhibition" in Brunei


The Global Times reported the following article.
Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-3-24 10:04:57                      
China's Quanzhou " Martime Silk Road" exhibition opened here in Brunei Darussalm on Monday.

This exhibition is organized jointly by the Quanzhou Maritime Museum and the Brunei Museums Department under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. It is a showcase of the linkage between China and Southeast Asia including Brunei since ancient times.

Located in northwest of Borneo, Brunei Darussalam is known to be a land of beauty and mystery. Historically, China and Brunei have enjoyed a close relationship. It is believed by some scholars that during the period of the West Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-9 A.D.), traders from China and Brunei began their interaction. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), contacts between the two countries were officially established. Commercial and cultural exchanges expanded rapidly between the two sides in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and reached their peak during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

In 1408, Sultan Majid Hassan of ancient Borneo, known as " Maharaja Karna" in China, led a delegation of more than 150 people to pay a visit to the Ming Emperor, which has been recognized as a historic event in Sino-Bruneian relations. As a result of these exchanges, Chinese artifacts date back to the Tang and Song dynasties were found in large quantities in Brunei Darussalam. These evidences indicate the long and close linkages between China and Brunei.

Quanzhou, as an important seaport, was a destination for merchants, missionaries and nobles from ancient Borneo as well as other kingdoms. Similarly, Brunei was also an ideal place where people of Quanzhou and other places of Fujian Province came to trade and stay.

There are hundreds of exhibits in the exhibition including porcelain, gravestone, ship models, ancient coins, historical images and documents.

The city of Quanzhou, which is in Fujian Province of China, plays a special role in the historical linkages between China and Brunei. It was discovered by some Chinese scholars that during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the local government of Quanzhou dispatched Mr. Zongmin Pu to Brunei for diplomatic and economic missions. Pu stayed in Brunei for 11 years and died here (he was believed to be in Brunei in 1264).

During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Sultan Majid Hassan of ancient Borneo, known as "Maharaja Karna" in China, leading a delegation of more than 150 people, paid a visit to the Ming Emperor, which has been recognized as a historical event in China- Brunei relations. Quanzhou was the place that Sultan Majid Hassan landed after the sea voyage.

After the establishment of diplomatic relations between Brunei and China, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan paid a visit to Quanzhou in August, 1999, which was the first visit to Quanzhou by a foreign Head of State.

Trade not only brought commodities and businessmen. Maritime Silk Road was also a road of cultural and religious exchanges. Quanzhou became a city with different religions and was named as World Religion Museum, where ancient churches, mosques as well as Taoist and Buddhist temples can be found. Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Buddhists settled down in Quanzhou and lived peacefully and harmoniously with each other.

It was recorded that at the beginning of the Tang Dynasty, four disciples of Prophet Mohammed travelled to China, and two of them spread Islam for the rest of their life in Quanzhou. They won high respect of the local people and were buried in the Lingshan Holy Mausoleum.

Chinese ambassador Yang Jiang told reporters in the exhibition hall that the exhibition shows one part of the ancient Maritime Silk Road and coincides with the "21st Century Maritime Silk Road" proposed by China two years ago.

She said "China has a long history of trade and cultural exchanges with Southeast Asia countries including Brunei. Admiral Zheng He, one of the greatest sailors in world history, left numerous footprints and beautiful stories all over the shores in Southeast Asia. Today in a more interconnected world, we hope that China and Brunei, as well as the whole Southeast Asia, will promote more exchanges and win-win cooperation for the benefits of the people of each country."

HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, Brunei's government ministers, high-ranking officials and foreign diplomatic mission in Brunei attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

HRH Crown Prince Opens New Brunei Maritime Museum

HRH Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah touring the exhibition

YAM Pengiran Anak Abdul Qudus and YAM Pengiran Muda Omar Ali, Curator of Natural History

Some of the artifacts on display

Posted date: March 24, 2015
| James Kon |

THE highly-anticipated opening of the Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum, which houses significant artefacts, was officially launched by the Deputy Sultan His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, yesterday.

Located on the banks of the historic Brunei River, where the ancient city of Brunei was positioned from the 14th to 17th century, the latest tourism attraction is built on a 8.74 hectare of land with a cost of $5 million under the 10th National Development Plan.

Divided into three galleries, the exhibition is designed to resemble the front view of a ship, which demonstrates the Sultanate’s role as a centre of flourishing trade in the ancient times.

Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, in his welcoming remarks, highlighted that the opening of the museum was indeed an encouraging achievement.

“The highlights of the Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum are the exhibition of the shipwreck found in 1997 with 13,261 artefacts, mostly porcelain, and the Pulau Terendak, a man- made island found in the archaeological site of Kota Batu.

The island shows that Kota Batu was the centre of trade in the 14th to 17th Century during an era of systematic shipping and trade. The museum not only aims to display the artefacts but also serves as a learning and research institution to provide insight into the building of the nation’s strong civilisation.”

The minister also recalled the history of Brunei when people ventured out to sea by building their own ships using the technologies available at that time. In the 16th Century, it was recorded that 100 combat ships from Brunei were stationed in the river to face any attacks. The museum is currently housing the joint maritime exhibition with Quanzhou Maritime Museum for four months.

The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports conveyed his appreciation to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Brunei, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports as well as Quanzhou Maritime Museum to host the exhibition.

It is hoped that more cooperation can be forged with other nations to organise more maritime museums in the future.

Following the launch, the Deputy Sultan went on to tour the galleries. Before leaving the venue, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah also consented to a group photo with the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports and senior officials from the Ministry.

The Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum is open to the public from 9am to 5pm on Saturday to Thursday; and on Friday from 9am to 11.30am and then 2.30pm to 5pm.

Courtesy of the Borneo Bulletin

Monday, March 23, 2015

HM Sultan Brunei and Her Majesty Attend Coronation of Sultan Johor





Posted date: March 24, 2015

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha yesterday morning attended the coronation of His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, the fifth Sultan of Johor, at the Istana Besar, Johor Darul Ta’zim, Malaysia.

Their Majesties were greeted on arrival at the Istana Besar Johor by Dato’ Abdul Rahim bin Ramli, Yang Di-Pertua of the Johor Council of Royal Court, before proceeding to the Holding Room at Istana Besar Johor, said a statement from Brunei’s Prime Minister’s Office.

From the Holding Room, Their Majesties together with the Malay rulers, heads of Malaysian states, the Prime Minister of Malaysia and spouse and other dignitaries proceeded to Bilik Singgahsana for the coronation.

His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim and Her Royal Highness Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, Permaisuri of Johor, arrived and the ‘Lagu Bangsa Johor’ anthem was played.

The ceremony began with the reading of the promulgation text by Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Chief Minister of Johor, and the reading of the coronation text by Dato’ Abdul Rahim bin Ramli, Yang Di-Pertua of the Johor Council of Royal Court.

The ceremony continued with the Titah Ikrar by His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim which was followed by the crowning of His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim as the Sultan and the Sovereign Ruler of the State and Territory of Johor Darul Ta’zim; and Her Royal Highness Raja Zarith Sofiah as the Permaisuri of Johor by Dato Haji Mohd Tahrir bin Dato’ Kiyai Haji Samsudin, State Mufti of Johor.

The ‘Lagu Bangsa Johor’ anthem was played accompanied by a 21-Gun Salute, followed by a Doa led by Dato’ Haji Yahya bin Ahmad, Deputy State Mufti of Johor.

His Royal Highness the Sultan of Johor and Her Royal Highness the Raja Permaisuri of Johor then received in audience His Royal Highness Tunku Ismail ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tunku Mahkota Johor and wife, Her Highness Che’ Puan Khaleeda binti Bustamam; followed by other members of the royal family, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Chief Minister of Johor and Dato’ Abdul Rahim bin Ramli, Yang Di-Pertua of the Johor Council of Royal Court.

His Royal Highness the Sultan of Johor and Her Royal Highness the Raja Permaisuri of Johor proceeded to the Palace Balcony to receive the Air Salute accompanied by the ‘Lagu Bangsa Johor’ anthem before departing for the royal procession around the City of Johor Bahru.

At the end of the ceremony, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha along with other royal guests left the venue.

Accompanying Their Majesties to the coronation were Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim; Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister’s Office; Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti; and Pehin Orang Kaya Shahbandar Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Mohd Nawawi bin Pehin Orang Kaya Shahbandar Haji Awang Mohd Taha and their spouses.

Courtesy of the Borneo Bulletin

Sunday, March 08, 2015

HRH Princess Sarah of Brunei: Youths Lead Healthy Lifestyles






Rabiatul Kamit
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Sunday, March 8, 2015

HER Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah yesterday urged the youth to lead a healthy lifestyle as governments and communities express mounting concern over the spread of diseases around the world.

In her sabda at the opening of the 11th Borneo Global Issues Conference (BGIC) at the International Convenction Centre (ICC), the princess reminded the youth to “not lose sight of lifestyle-related health conditions and diseases that are more likely to have a direct impact on their lives”.

The four-day student-run event, organised by the International School Brunei (ISB), brought together over 200 pupils from 23 secondary schools nationwide to participate in discussions and debates based on the Model United Nations (MUN) concept.

Commenting on this year’s theme of ‘Combating World Diseases’, the BGIC royal patron hoped the participants will realise the impact of their lifestyle decisions upon the nation’s health and be compelled to lead a healthy lifestyle that will reduce demands on the healthcare system.

“By placing our students in positions that empower them to actively consider the causes of disease and ill health, I am sure that in exploring the range of preventative measures possible, they will also come to consider the critical role that health plays in the development of their nation,” she said.

Her Royal Highness observed that, since the start of the new millennium, the international health headlines have been dominated by the more immediate threats of diseases such as Avian Influenza, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis and Ebola.

“(The theme) is of particular relevance at a time when the world has just witnessed the serious global threat posed by the recent outbreak of Ebola in parts of Africa last year, and continues to face potential threats from other pandemics and disease-related events,” she explained.

“I hope that all participants will not be afraid to speak out to express their opinions and share their thoughts, whilst at the same time also extending the courtesy of listening to others, taking into account divergent views that may reflect different country positions and situations,” she said.

With widespread access to the internet and its constant update of global news and information, the princess pointed out that young people today enjoy a depth and breadth of knowledge on global health affairs “that just twenty years ago would not have been achievable”.

“I would also like to remind our students that the experience and knowledge they earn from this conference will be a direct reflection of how much effort they put into it, so I urge them to work hard and work together to make this year’s conference another success,” she added.

In ending her sabda, Her Royal Highness thanked the Ministry of Education; Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports; HSBC Brunei; and Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd; as well as the teachers and individuals for their support and contribution towards BGIC. During the ceremony, the royal patron also presented a donation on behalf of ISB to the JUMP! Foundation, a non-profit youth empowerment organisation. The mock cheque was received by Tara Yip-Bannicq of UNICEF Haiti and the JUMP! Foundation.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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