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Showing posts from September, 2007

Bandar Seri Begawan - a new city, an ancient capital

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[The following article was published edited in the Golden Legacy column of Brunei's national newspaper The Brunei Times on 29th July 2007, 2 days before the expansion of the territory of Bandar Seri Begawan.]

On 1st August 2007, Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei Darussalam will officially be enlarged to about 10 times the size of what it is today. The current size of Bandar Seri Begawan is surprisingly smaller than that of the municipality of Kuala Belait and Seria. But come 1st August 2007, the new size of Bandar Seri Begawan (100.36 sq km) will be comparable to a number of other capitals in the world.

Even though Brunei’s capital city had been in existence for at least 500 years, the capital city on dry land is relatively new. Last year, Bandar Seri Begawan celebrated its centenary being on dry land.

Prior to that Bandar Seri Begawan or Pekan Brunei as it was then known was a city on water. Peter Blundell in his book ‘City of Many Waters’ published in 1923 stated that the…

Bedil - The Brunei Cannons

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[Note: The following article was published edited in the Golden Legacy Column of Brunei's national newspaper, The Brunei Times, on 22nd July 2007.]

As everyone stood rapt to attention at the Taman Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Saadul Khairi Waddien to the national anthem being played, the 21 cannon volleys reverberated throughout Bandar Seri Begawan thus marking the beginning of His Majesty The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei’s birthday celebrations.

The firing of the cannons by the Royal Brunei Armed Forces is a centuries old tradition adopted not just in Brunei but throughout the world.

Not everyone knows the origin of the firing of the gun salutes and even why 21.

It is said that the origin of gun salutes is usually attributed to soldiers demonstrating their peaceful intentions by intentionally placing their weapons in a position that rendered them ineffective.

And one way to render cannons “ineffective" was to fire them as reloading cannons in the ancient days was a …

History of Brunei Newspapers

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[Note: The following article was published on the Golden Legacy Column of Brunei's national newspaper, The Brunei Times on 7th July 2007.]

As ‘The Brunei Times’ celebrates its anniversary of being the new kid in the Brunei’s newspaper industry, it is worthwhile to look at how the newspaper industry have fared since newspapers began to be circulated in Brunei.

Brunei’s media industry is relatively new compared to many other countries. Despite Brunei being an ancient country, it is considered a new nation by some which it is. After the turbulence at the end of the 19th century where Brunei had lost practically most of its territories, Brunei emerged as a new nation, having the first British Resident in 1906 to set up the new modern administration, discovering oil as its new lifeline in 1929, writing its own constitution and self internal administration in 1959 and finally achieving its independence in 1984.

Likewise the newspaper industry only began after the 1950s. Before 1950, there …