Showing posts from November, 2012

Labi Road in 1955

To mark the 60th anniversary celebrations, Borneo Bulletin digs deep into its archives to show its readers how Brunei has evolved over the decades featuring photos and news of the years gone by. Here is this week's news from the past.


SERIA (November 19, 1956) - An oil exploration access road, which cost the British Malayan Petroleum (BMP) Company a total of $3.4 million to build, has been purchased by the Brunei Government for $344,000.

Known as the "Labi Road", it is 21¼ miles in length and traverses some of the most difficult country in the area, from Bukit Puan on the Belait River to Bukit Teraja, a picturesque hill 1,000 feet above sea level from which it is possible to see Seria's flares glowing on the horizon.

A BMP Company engineer told The Bulletin that work on the road commenced in August 1952 and it was not until December 1954 that the project was completed.

Eight Bailey bridges, seven of them capable of taking 60-tonne loads, were brought in to…

Remembering First Payment of Old Age Pension in KB

To mark the 60th anniversary celebrations, Borneo Bulletin digs deep into its archives to show its readers how Brunei has evolved over the decades featuring photos and news of the years gone by. Here is this week's news from the past.


APRIL 23, 1955 - Photo shows District Officer of Belait, Pehin Orang Kaya Shahbandar Haji Ahmad bin Daud performing one of his "happiest duties" in his entire Government service. He is handing over to 80-year-old Che Fatimah binte Alin her first pension payment at the Government Malay School in Kuala Belait. Looking on are the venerable Penghulu of Kuala Belait, OKSP Setia Di-Raja Abang Bujang, himself an old age pensioner, and Pension Officer Inche Yahaya bin Taha.

Pictured below are some of the 79 Malay and Chinese old age pensioners of Kuala Belait awaiting their turn to receive their first payment.

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin --


Malay Language Skills in Brunei

Bandar Seri Begawan, 25 November 2012 - BRUNEI may face a situation in the future where young people today grow up to be ineffective communicators if they continue with the habit of writing of typing incorrectly as a result of the tendency to use shortened words on social networking sites and text messaging.

To counter the onset of this dire situation, today's students need to use the Malay Language correctly and should be avid readers, said HjMohdRozanDatoPadukaHjMohdYunos during the Mekar/Juara Writing Competition Prize Giving Ceremony for primary and secondary students yesterday.

The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports said, "The incorrect use of the Malay language is becoming common nowadays, especially in children and teenagers. This happens when they shorten their words when typing on social networking sites and may incorporate the habit when they write their compositions," he said.

HjMohdRozan then said that if the habit of writing or …

World Children's Day in Kuala Belait

Kuala Belait, 23 November 2012 - The World Children's Day celebration, organised by the Community Development Centre (JAPEM) with the theme "Appreciate Our Voice", concluded yesterday at the Belait Convention Hall with the presentation of outputs from participants and a resolution presentation by a participant representative.

The guest of honour at the event was Awg Hj Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, who also presented tokens of appreciation and certificates to sponsors and facilitators as well as forum participants.

The forum resolution was delivered by Dyg Haidahtul Aleeyah binti Abdul Rashid, a Year Six excellent student from Tumpuan Telisai Primary School, who later handed the resolution to the guest of honour.

During the forum, a total of eight resolutions were discussed and cohesively formulated by some 150 students from secondary and primary schools in the Belait and Tutong Districts.


Music Scene in Brunei in 1950s and 1960s

This is another article about the past in Brunei from Haji Mohd Daud bin Abd Rahman published in Borneo Bulletin on 5th November 2012: +++++ Reflecting on the music and the entertainment scene of the yesteryears, youths in Brunei started getting into modern music in the late 1950s.
However, the traditional musical instruments and Bruneian songs that have been passed down to our generation by our elders were not forgotten.

In 1959 and 1960, Bruneian youngsters were already forming bands under the influence of famous bands such as The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. In 1959, these youths started to play in bands for wedding receptions, birthdays and anniversary parties.

During that time, most of the songs had classic and slow rhythms which were favoured by the elders. There was also the 'Bintang Radio' competition organised in 1963 for fans of old, traditional Malay 'Keroncong' and 'Zapin' songs.

After that from 1966 to 1969, bands started naming themselves to g…

International Children's Day in Brunei 2012

Together with the world, Brunei celebrated Children's Day on 20th November 2012. The event was opened officially by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports who spoke about concerns of abuse and threat to children. Here is Brunei Times news report about the Children's Day celebrations in Brunei:-


Kuala Belait, 20th November 2012 - A CURRENT phenomena of unlawful treatment of innocent young children who are abandoned and are unable to fend for themselves was highlighted as a cause for concern by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) during the Children's Day celebration yesterday.

Therefore, it is with much hope that the world wide celebration, would serve as a reminder for people to realise their mistakes and halt any unlawful actions that threaten children's rights, said Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah.

More so for parents as they play an integral role in shaping their children's future …

Kuala Belait and Seria in 1954

In 1954, Kuala Belait and Seria were considered as British Borneo's wealthiest area. The Borneo Bulletin recently did a reprint of a 1954 article about these two areas:


DECEMBER 4, 1954 - These two special aerial pictures of (below) the oil town of Seria and (above) the commercial centre of Kuala Belait in Brunei State give a comprehensive idea of British Borneo's wealthiest area.

The blocks of gleaming white buildings seen in the pictures are the recently completed Bazaars of Seria and Kuala Belait, which serve a population whose monthly pay packets run into many millions of dollars.

Recognised by all business houses in British Borneo as the best trading area in this region, these two towns situated within seven miles of each other are today witnessing unprecedented expansion and modernisation as more roads are built, swamps reclaimed and buildings spring up in all directions ... stemming from the colossal oil revenues derived from the British Malayan Petroleum Company&…

Treasuring the Good Old Times in Brunei

Haji Mohd Daud bin Abd Rahman, the columnist on Borneo Bulletin writing about the past in Brunei had this article recently entitled "Treasuring the Good Old Times" where he reminisced about Brunei in the recent past:


Those old bittersweet memories of the yesteryears can only be remembered. As time passes by, sweet memories of teenage years will not be forgotten especially birthdays, celebrations, relaxing in the old capital Bandar Brunei, and watching boat races in the rivers of Kampong Ayer.

Young children and teenagers enjoyed spending their time at the old Customs Wharf in addition to watching boat races, as well as going to the cinemas, coffee shops and other places for entertainment such as brisk walking and going out for leisure. Besides walking around and window shopping, the teenage boys enjoyed resting at home and listening to the local radio station and also from neighbouring broadcast.

Compared to the teenagers of today who would prefer to spend their tim…

Traditional Brunei Weddings

Haji Daud bin Haji Abd Rahman who has been able to write almost weekly articles for the Borneo Bulletin wrote another one recently about old Brunei weddings:-


Traditional Brunei-Malay wedding ceremonies and practices have been passed through and kept alive through the generations and this has ensured the survival of our wedding customs and heritage.
One reason for this is because Brunei-Malay wedding ceremonies and practices have not been altered - it has remained the same since our forefathers.

During the 1950s and 60s, wedding preparations were carried out with a lot of effort and finesse. Before the wedding, copper gangsa, 'dian besar' and 'dian kecil', 'celapa', 'sigup Brunei', 'tikar purun' and 'tikar lampit' will be arranged accordingly.

Cooking utensils and materials such as large pots cooked on mangrove firewood and others are used to prepare dishes such as rice, beef kurma, beef gulai, vegetables, and other delicious dishe…

4G for Brunei Darussalam

The Oxford Business Group on 15 November 2012 reported the following:


Brunei Darussalam: 4G to target traffic jams
Asia | 15 Nov 2012

A surge in Brunei Darussalam’s mobile data traffic usage at the beginning of 2012 has heightened expectations over the impact that 4G technology will have on the telecommunications sector.

In September, telecoms firm DSTCom revealed that in the first eight months of this year, data usage increased 70% over the same period in 2011, largely due to a rise in the consumption of video streaming sites straining the Sultanate’s telecoms infrastructure.

“The existing 3G technology provides speed and performance, which is increasingly necessary as data growth expands and voice traffic stagnates,” Idris Vasi, the CEO of DST, told OBG. “Data is a big driver for 4G, or long-term evolution (LTE); a lot of operators are using 4G as a data offload strategy, because 3G networks are getting congested. New apps and services require more and more data, including more v…

Escaping Poverty

Bandar Seri Begawan, 9 November 2012 - The first Poverty Eradication Workshop, which was organised by the Community Development Department ( JAPEM) in conjunction with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2012, was officially closed yesterday.

Certificates were presented by Awg Hj Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

Also present were other senior government officials and staff of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

JAPEM is meanwhile set to hold charity car boot sales in all four districts for three days starting tomorrow. All proceeds from the sales will be channelled to the National Charity Fund.

A representative of the participants thanked the organising committee for the workshop, which had provided them with beneficial advice and knowledge.

JAPEM, the Brunei Islamic Religious Council and the Ministry of Education shared with the participants factors that contributed to poverty such as the h…

Sports Spur Social Progress

Bandar Seri Begawan, 9 November 2012 - Sports have an impact on citizens at both the personal and national levels, according to said Awg Hj Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) in his capacity as Co-Secretary of the Main Organising Committee 2012.

Speaking during the closing ceremony of the Brunei Sports Convention and Expo 2012, Awg Hj Mohd Rozan agreed with Mr Stephen Baddeley's perspective on the effect of sports at the personal level.

Sports can help contribute towards building up a person's self-esteem and development of mental and physical growth, he said, adding that sports can help inculcate values such as dedication, discipline and responsibility.

On the national level, he referred to the important roles of sports in creating healthy and positive relations within a society, as stated by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports during the opening ceremony.

He hoped that the convention and expo w…

Resolutions of the 1st Brunei Sports Convention and Expo

This morning, the participants of the 1st Innaugural Sports Convention and Expo at the International Conference Centre in Berakas came out with their resolution after their three day conference.  The convention was officially open by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince on Tuesday, 6th November 2012.

So what do our sportsmen need? Here are their wishes:-



The inaugural Brunei Sports Convention and Expo 2012 under the patronage of The Honourable Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Brunei Darussalam held at the International Convention Centre in Berakas on 6 – 8 November 2012, concluded its work by adapting to the following resolutions:

• Recalling that the aim of the Convention is to give special attention and commitment to the development and excellence of sports in Brunei Darussalam,

• Recalling that the aim of the Convention is to inspire and dr…

Brunei Sports Convention, 6 - 11 November 2012

Brunei Sports Convention Expo, Bandar Seri Begawan
6 - 11 November 2012



The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports is taking a pro active action in planning programs for sports enthusiasts in Brunei to share experiences, knowledge as well as get feedback from the commmunity with regard to the development of sports and sports performances thus far.



To provide opportunities to stakeholders and sports enthusiasts to discuss and collaborate experiences and knowledge on currents issues with regard to the development of sports in Brunei and to get feedback from the community with regard to the sports development and sports achivements. This Convention is expected to be attended by 500 particpants from both within and outside Brunei.



The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports with strategic partners



The Convention will be held from 6 to 8 November 2012 and the Expo will be from 6 to 11 November 2012 at the International Conf…
The Oxford Business Group had this report about Brunei issued on 1 November 2012:


Brunei Darussalam: Sowing seeds of self-sufficiency
Asia | 1 Nov 2012

Plans to boost high-tech farming initiatives and enter into agribusiness deals with neighbours bode well for Brunei Darussalam’s long-term food security ambitions. However, challenges such as limited land and human resources will prove hard to overcome.

At a workshop on October 17, Hasnah Ibrahim, the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR), called for the nation to focus on an “agricultural biotechnology” strategy to build capacity in agricultural and food production.

“Food security is one of the MIPR’s most important clusters and strategic initiatives,” she said, adding that one of the key ways to improve agricultural self-sufficiency is to use advances in science and technology, “through the application of biotechnology”.

In May, the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood (DAA) signed a…

Royal Brunei - The New Look

Bandar Seri Begawan - Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) reveals its new livery and logo on 30th October 2012 at an event held at Hangar 1, Brunei International Airport. The new livery and logo was revealed on an Airbus A320, which was painted by RB’s own in-house engineering team.

Attending the event was the Minister of Communications, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar as Guest of Honour, as well as RB’s Chairman and Board of Directors, staff and other invited guests.

Included in the guest list were some of the country’s national icons: Two of Brunei’s Olympians, Maziah Mahusin, Brunei’s first female Olympian who represented Brunei at the London Summer Olympics in the 400m run, Ak Hafiy Tajuddin Pg Rositi who represented Brunei at the London Summer Olympics in the 400m run, the Under-21 football team who were the champions of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy in March 2012, and the Kilimanjaro team an all-f…

Brunei Ministerial Statement at UN ESCAP Disabled Conference

The Ministerial Segment of the  High Level Inter-Governmental Meeting on the Final Review of the Implementation of the Asian and Pacific Decade of the Disabled Persons 2003-2012 held by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific (UN-ESCAP) is this morning. YM Datin Adina gave this statement:


Excellencies, Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of the Government of Brunei Darussalam, allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate the Government of the Republic of Korea for hosting this meeting and on behalf of the Brunei Darussalam’s delegation, I wish to express our sincere appreciation for the cordial welcome and warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation since our arrival here as well as for the excellent arrangements of this meeting.

Disability rights are universal rights to be recognized and promoted around the world.  We join you here today to reaffirm our commitment to take affirmative action to make the rights real for PWDs to ensure their …