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Showing posts from August, 2012

Reality in Advertising

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I am currently on leave and a number of people asked me why should I go on leave during the Hari Raya period. The number one reason is that my son is moving to another school and this other school requires a lot of preparation. For instance, my son had to go for an interview, a written test etc and not to mention when he was finally accepted, we had to buy new school uniforms, books and also went for the Induction Day. Leaving the other school also means that there is a number of administrative things that we had to do. And as with most Brunei kids and our ugama school parallel, leaving one school actually means leaving two schools and getting into another two schools. So it has been fairly hectic for us in the family.

Regardless, it does mean that we have a bit spare time especially in the morning and afternoon and we had been fulfilling those time by going to a number of cafes and eating places for breakfasts and lunches. One of the places we discovered that are opened early in Brun…

Royal Brunei Airlines Changes

The Travel Daily News Asia-Pacific on 22nd August 2012 posted this news article about Royal Brunei Airlines:

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Quiet Changes at Royal Brunei Airlines
written by Luc Citrinot

It was more than a symbol: the reactivation of Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) Online Check-In service since the middle of July 2012 shows the commitment of the carrier to be more passengers-focused with a pro-axtive use of modern technologies. Since that date, online check-in services are available from all Royal Brunei Airlines' destinations excluding Dubai, Jeddah and Surabaya. The service is open from 24 hours up to 60 minutes before the scheduled departure time of each flight, excluding London and Melbourne where the online check-in service is open from 24 hours up to 180 minutes before the scheduled flight. Online check-in is directly available on RBA website. Dermot Mannion, Deputy Chairman of Royal Brunei Airlines stated, "We are pleased to re-introduce online check-in services to our passengers in…

Temporary Foster Parents Wanted

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The Community Development Department is now calling for those who are interested in welfare work especially looking after children to become temporary foster parents. You can read it for yourself at the Community Development's website here or you can read my unofficial translation as follows:

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INTRODUCTION

The Community Development Department, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports has introduced a new scheme called the Temporary Fostering Scheme. The fostering sceheme is meant for teenagers and children under 18 years old as stipulated under the Children and Young Persons Act 2006. The children and young persons are:-

(1) Children who are given protection by the department because of domestic violence and abandonment by family members;

(2) Children whose mothers are incapable of looking after them because the mothers are being protected at the welfare homes due to personal or family problems. These include children who are born from incestual relationship;

(3) Children whose p…

Brunei's Focus on Education

The Oxford Business Group on its website wrote the following economic update for Brunei Darussalam:

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Brunei Darussalam: Focus on education
Asia | 10 Aug 2012

To boost the quality of its education system, Brunei Darussalam has formed key partnerships with foreign governments and leading international institutions, as well as taken a leadership role in regional education.

On June 11, for example, the University of Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and the US-based East-West Centre, a research organisation aimed at promoting better relations between the US and Asia, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to provide English-language instruction to all 10 ASEAN countries.

The MoU represents just one education-related partnership the Sultanate has formed in recent years. Indeed, it follows up on an announcement in November 2011 launching the Brunei-US English Language Enrichment Project for ASEAN, a $25m project funded by the Bruneian government to span five years.

Next month will see government…

Pengiran Muda Abdul Malik Mosque, Tungku

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Over the last 4 weeks, Brunei had seen 4 new mosques being officially opened and used for prayers. We had the Masjid Ash Sallehin, then the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Damit Mosque at Mukim Kilanas and the third was the Pengiran Muda Abdul Malik Mosque at Kampong Tungku. It was officially opened on Friday July 27. Here is the news report from The Brunei Times:

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Amir Noor
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Saturday, July 28, 2012 HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam blessed the official opening of the PengiranMuda 'Abdul Malik Mosque yesterday with his presence at the mass Friday prayers.

Located at Kg Tungku/Katok, the mosque was completed on July 9, 2012, as part of the National Development Plan 2007-2012 project and can accommodate about 1,000 people.

His Majesty was greeted by the Minister of Religious Affairs, Yang BerhormatPgDato Seri Setia Dr Hj Muhammad PgHjAbdRahman, upon his arrival with His Royal Highness Prince HjAl-MuhtadeeBillah, the Crown Prince and Se…

Brunei in 1846

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A German Doctor contacted me the other day. He was asking for a translation of an envelope written in Jawi. The envelope was addressed to Mr MSH McArthur in 1910 but the Jawi script indicated that the letter should go to his daugher. Mr MSH McArthur was then the Assistant Governor in Singapore. Anyway, this German was apparently an avid collector of stamps including that of Brunei. I managed to read the Jawi script for him and in return he gave me a pdf file of the above woodcut of a scene in Brunei taken from a Hungarian newspaper in the 1850s.

At the back of the woodcut was this explanatory text:

"This is a woodcut from the "Leipziger Illustrirte Zeitung" of 1846 (original size 232 x 120 mm) entitled "Braunie [sic], Hauptort von Borneo i.e. Brunei, principal town of Borneo. On the reverse side there is a long story about other remote parts of the world, but unfortunately the text related to the picture of "Braunei" did not come with the newspaper cuttin…

British Trade Dollar in Brunei

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I was pleasantly surprised to find these on the front page of the Borneo Bulletin yesterday. Apparently a family in Tutong found the coin and BB decided to make this 111 year old coin headline news.

A friend of mine text me and asked how unique is this coin. I told him that it is not that unique and I have a few in my collection. This is what the coin looked like close up:

But then a lot of people are non collectors so this coin is unique to them. The British Trade Dollar coin was was issued from around 1895 to 1935. This coin was quite popular and used in Singapore and Hong Kong to stop other countries’ silver dollars from being circulated in British colonies. This coin was known as Ringgit Tongkat in Malaya because the Brittania statute was holding a trident.

The coin first appeared in China because China lost the Opium Wars. China had to open up their ports to the British. Many foreign banks were then established ans silver coins from all over the world were used to pay for Chines…

Reef Building Corals of Brunei

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What many people do not know is that in our small peaceful nation of Brunei Darussalam, we surprisingly hosts a diverse fauna of reef corals of more than 400 species! That comprised approximately half the global tally for this important group - the major builders of modern coral reefs.

Corals are notoriously difficult to identify. What the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources of Brunei Darussalam through the Fisheries Department has made that identification task easier by publishing this book "Field Guide to Reef-building Corals of Brunei Darussalam". Thus making this book a boon to divers, students, scientists, and indeed all with an interest in the tropical marine realm.

In the book each coral species is illustrated with high quality underwater photographs of the living coral and a close up image of the skeleton, accompanied by informative text that highlights the key characters for successful identification. We need to document and name the newly discovered species…

With the Wild Men of Borneo

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A couple of months ago, I bought this book from the internet:


"With the Wild Men of Borneo" sounds like an interesting book to read and that probably was the main reason when I bought it. There was a handwritten note inside the book, it was a gift to someone and the giver dated it June 1, 1924. The book written by Elizabeth Mershon was actually printed in 1922. This book is just about 90 years old. Elizabeth Mershon and her husband Pastor Mershon are missionaries and their writing is about how their work is changing the people in the 'far-off' region of Borneo.

I read the book and it was a very interesting description of places in North Borneo starting with their arrival in Sandakan and moving downwards towards Beaufort. Even though the title was of Borneo, not much else is written about the rest of Borneo. However there were a lot of old photographs in the book. I was very interested in the photographs in the book and there were a couple of photographs of Brunei sce…