Showing posts from February, 2013

Brunei Darussalam: Retail anti-piracy drive

Economic Update from Oxford Business Group 25 February 2013.


Brunei Darussalam: Retail anti-piracy drive
Asia | 25 Feb 2013

Retailers in Brunei Darussalam are being urged to step up their role in the battle against piracy as reforms targeting the sale of illegal counterfeits gain pace. The Sultanate hopes a nationwide crackdown, together with an anti-piracy awareness campaign, will prove instrumental in improving both the investment environment and retailers’ bottom lines. However, critics say there is still room to strengthen legislation and the enforcement drive.

In December 2012, the Recording Industry of Malaysia (RIM) recommended that Brunei Darussalam be removed from the US Trade Representative’s “Special 301 Watch List”, which covers violations of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

RIM backed up its recommendation by citing recent raids carried out by the Sultanate’s authorities on vendors of pirated recordings in the capital. The clampdown came after Brunei Darussalam moved …

Jakarta Post: Brunei Better Than Indonesia

The Jakarta Post on 25th February 2013 had the following news which you can read below or here about the World Press Freedom Index 2013. I wrote about that on 5th February 2013 when I noted that Brunei was the highest ranked among ASEAN Member States. This Jakarta Post news has some nice words about Brunei:


Brunei, Timor Leste much better than RI (Republic of Indonesia)
by Veermalla Anjaiah

Jakarta, 25 February 2013 - Is Brunei, a non-democratic country, much more open than world’s third largest democracy Indonesia in terms of press freedom? Yes it is, says Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a Paris-based non-government organization that promotes and defends freedom of information in its recently released World Press Freedom Index 2013.

The annual index measures the level of freedom of information in 179 countries in five continents. The survey covers six fields — pluralism, media independence, environment, self-censorship, legislative framework transparency and infrastructure — throug…

Charity Works

One of the worthwhile things I like working at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports is being involved in charity work. Everytime I get an invitation to attend either just as a guest or as the guest of honour, I look forward to the event. This one more so as the NGO is from my own village, PERBEKAL from Kampong Lambak and the charity to which the fund will be donated to is the one that I chair:


PERBEKAL collects $10k for various charity funds

 BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Saturday, February 23, 2013 - THE Kg Lambak Youth Association (PERBEKAL) has collected $10, 000 worth of funds to date in their plight to help various humanitarian causes.

This was disclosed during the launching ceremony of the "Save Gaza" Charity Expo posited by PERBEKAL at the open space of the Yayasan Sultan Hj Hassanal Bolkiah in Bandar Seri Begawan.

In his speech, the President of PERBEKAL and the chairperson of the charity expo, Pg Nordin Pg Hj Mahmud said that the funds collection is not solely for …

Halal Food Status

I love technology. But I love technology which can verify the status of food source and its halal status. Well done AiTi and Halal Food Control Division.


New RFID reader can validate, trace status of halal food products

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Friday, February 22, 2013 - THE public can now verify the halal status of food products using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, following the launch of a pilot project yesterday.

An RFID reader was unveiled at Hua Ho Tanjung Bunut department store, allowing consumers to validate the halal status of food products and obtain further information including halal certification, batch numbers and expiry dates.

Tracking using the RFID system can be used on chicken parts, frozen food and processed food ingredients that are embedded with an authentic halal logo issued by the relevant authority.

A ceremony to initiate the pilot project was held yesterday by the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry (AITI), in collaboratio…

Remembering the First National Day in 1984

written by Rozan Yunos
published in The Brunei Times on 23rd February 2013

AT THE end of the 19th century, Brunei's economic situation can only be described as extremely dire. His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah in his book "Time and the River" (2000) succintly wrote that "by the end of the 19th century, we had hit the lowest dip on the roller coaster."

On September 17, 1888, Sultan Hashim Jalilul Alam Akmaddin signed an agreement with the British for Brunei to be placed under the protection of the British Government which His Royal Highness described as a "wise move and it saved us (Brunei)".

On December 31, 1905, and January 2, 1906, a supplementary agreement was signed that allowed for a British Resident to be placed in Brunei. These two agreements marked the beginning of Brunei to be placed under British Protection.

It was not until 1959 when His Royal Highness Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa…

National Day 2013 Titah Sultan

Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Alhamdulillahi Rabbil’alameen, Wabihee Nasta’eenu ‘Alaa Umuriddunyaa Waddeen, Wassalaatu Wassalaamu ‘Alaa Asyrafil Mursaleen, Sayyidina Muhammadin, Wa’alaa Aalihee Wasahbihee Ajma’een, Waba’du.

Kita bersyukur ke hadrat Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala kerana dapat lagi menyambut Ulang Tahun Hari Kebangsaan kita. Sambutan pada kali ini ialah sambutan yang ke 29.

Ulang tahun itu kita peringati kerana ia adalah sejarah kita, sejarah menjawat kemerdekaan. Kita jawat kemerdekaan itu dengan takbir Allahu Akbar iaitu suatu cara tersendiri yang tidak pernah berlaku di mana-mana.

Cara ini tentu saja tidak kosong daripada hikmah. Malah beta melihatnya sebagai satu alamat baik kepada Brunei, yang kini sudahpun jadi kenyataan dikenali sebagai Negara Zikir atau Negara MIB.

Begitulah, semua itu berlaku tentu saja dengan izin dan kehendak Allah jua.

Dengan berkat kalimat Allahu Akhbar kemerdekaan tanah air telah membuahkan hasil yang sangat l…

The First Malay Book in Europe

written by Rozan Yunos
published in The Brunei Times on Sunday, February 17, 2013

IN THE 16th century, European travellers and traders started arriving en masse at Southeast Asian trading ports. They wrote about the cities and the peoples whom they encountered.

Many of the descriptions about Brunei were derived during this period. Among the famous travellers was Antonio Pigafetta, the Italian chronicler who arrived in Brunei as part of Magellan's voyage circumnavigating the globe. Pigafetta's descriptions of Brunei are most often quoted nowadays. There were other travellers as well who were here in Brunei such as the Spanish, the Portuguese and the Dutch. The British and the Americans came much later.

Malay was then widely spoken in the region. In the 15th century, during the Malacca Sultanate, Malay was used as the regional language, a sort of lingua franca in the Malay archipelago. Malay was spoken by both the locals who live in this region and al…

Hotel Cempaka

I found the above news article in an old magazine called 'Malaysia' which is The Journal of the British Association of Malaysia dated January 1966. This magazine in the past regularly covers news from the states of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. This particular entry intrigued me as there is no ten storey hotel in Jalan Kianggeh now. Maybe someone who knows can enlighten us about what happen to this proposed hotel.

Brunei Youths Patriotism

 Cycling tour instils sense of patriotism among youths

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Monday, February 18, 2013 - AFTER cycling a total of 300km in six days, participants of the eighth "Youth Love the Nation" cycling expedition can rest easy knowing that they have not only acquired a heightened sense of patriotism but also the values of teamwork, respect and road safety.

The final stretch of the expedition brought participants along a 29km route in the capital ending at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium yesterday morning. Present as the guest of honour was Deputy Permanent Secretary, at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Hj Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos.

During the closing ceremony, the Acting Director of the Youth and Sports Department (JBS) in his speech said that, besides fostering patriotism amongst youth, the "Youth Love the Nation" programme is aimed at fostering a sense of community and unity.

"It is also to maintain our sense of community living, reli…

Japan's Martial Arts Exhibition in Brunei

I am going to let the photos tell all the story. Come to the Brunei Museum at Kota Batu and see for yourself the Spirit of Budo Japan's Martial Arts Special Exhibition. The exhibition was especially brought by the Japanese Foundation and the Japanese Embassy to Brunei.

Historical Scenes at the Mosque's Lagoon

NOVEMBER 2, 1974 - The Bulletin is not sure when Awang M Raihan of the Audit Department took this photograph of the little clock tower beside the lagoon of the Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, but we believe it was about 1962. There are only two vehicles to be seen.

Above below: The same scene as it is in 1974. Apart from the arch, the big changes are the increase in traffic – and the sprouting of television aerials.

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin --

Preserving Malay Cultural Heritage

BRUNEI-MUARA, Sunday, February 17, 2013 - TIES between Brunei and the state of Pahang, Malaysia, can be strengthened by exploring the arts and culture of one another, according to the President of Pahang Theatre Council.

Roslan Madun said this during the "Night of the People's Arts" event which was hosted by Language and Literature Bureau (DPB) for the 25 delegates from Pahang.

Roslan Madun added that a reason why exploration should be encouraged is to preserve the Malay cultural heritage in the region.

The Director of Language and Literature Bureau, Hjh Aminah Hj Momin, who gave a welcoming speech, emphasised the need to keep the traditional arts alive as it was being threatened by an influx of foreign popular culture.

The main objectives of last night's event included the sharing of cultural heritage between Pahang and the Sultanate as well as to strengthen the professional relationship between poets, literary writers and traditional art enthusiasts.

The highlight of t…

2013 National Day Logo


Bandar Seri Begawan, Sundah 17th February 2013 - A LOGO designed by the CEO of a local mobile software developer, MeSixty, was chosen as the winner of the 29th Brunei Darussalam National Day Logo Design Competition

The logo by Keeran Dato Paduka Janin exudes the elements of tradition and simplicity, said the competition's panel of judges.

His design, a 29-pointed star shaded in red, yellow and grey, was chosen by a panel of judges from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports as the logo for this year's National Day celebrations.

On hand to present the prizes to the winner was Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah.

Keeran brought home a cash prize of $2,000 sponsored by Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam, an Acer 14 inch Aspire Notebook from Concept Computer and a Canon EOS600D from Interhouse Company.

Keeran's design beat out 92 other entries to b…

MIB in Brunei Archtecture

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Friday, February 15, 2013 - THE national philosophy of Melayu Islam Beraja (Malay Islamic Monarch, MIB) will be intimately reflected in Brunei's architecture.

Plans to create MIB-based architecture were revealed at the "Brunei Architecture and its Connection to MIB" seminar during its closing ceremony.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Hj Mohd Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, who presented a working paper, said the seminar's resolution called on the entire of society to embrace Bruneian architecture.

"Now there is an awareness and an understanding that is available amongst the participants (of the seminar) that Brunei heritage in terms of architecture should not be left behind," the permanent secretary said.

"The resolution calls upon Brunei society as a whole to realise that we should make use of MIB architecture, which takes into account the form and design of our way of li…

Fisheries Promise for Brunei Darussalam

Economic Update from the Oxford Business Group on 11 February 2013:


Brunei Darussalam: Fisheries promise for industry
Asia | 11 Feb 2013

The launch of a major seafood processing plant highlights the progress the Sultanate is making in its plans to diversify from oil and resources and position itself as a centre of value-added industry. However, a shortage of available land to further develop the industry sector has been identified as a limiting factor.

In December 2012, the Multipurpose Marine Resources Processing and Business Centre, a $30m seafood processing plant, became fully operational. The facility is a result of collaborative efforts between Semaun Marine Resources and the Golden Corporation, an investment firm.

Innovative industry techniques at the processing centre see unmarketable fish that cannot be sold to consumers re-processed and turned into value-added products, such as surimi (fish puree). Previously, fishermen were discarding 70-90%, or 400-500 kg, of each catch.


Scary Trip to Temburong

Yesterday morning, I was the guest of honour to give out flags to school children at the Amo Primary School in Temburong. The event starts at 8.30 in the morning, so it was decided that we had to leave Bandar Seri Begawan at around 7.15 in the morning. That basically also meant that I had to leave the house at 6.30 in the morning which is not a biggie as I often go to Damuan for my morning walk between 5.45 and 6.00 in the morning anyway.

It was a very misty morning. The mists were unusually thick during the drive from the house to the Royal Wharf. What I did not realise was that the mists were unusually thick too along the river trip to Bangar. We could not see very far ahead and the boat had to keep its lights on to warn oncoming boats. The boat driver had to do this:

One hand on the steering wheel and his head out of the front trying to see where we are going. It was just white mists outside. Every now and then his assistant had to do this cleaning of the mists (yes, there was no …

The Eternal Kampong Ayer

The Eternal Kampong Ayer
written by Rozan Yunos
published in The Brunei Times, 11th February 2013

IN the recent regatta which was held on February 3, many spectators were seen at the Royal Wharf. Their views of the river while watching the regatta include the Kampong Ayer houses on stilts across the Brunei River.

Even though some of the houses especially the newly built Kampong Ayer houses are now modern houses but which just happened to be built on water, all the houses looked as if they blended in and all we can see are houses on water.

This view of Kampong Ayer is just as described by travellers in the past as far back as 500 years ago such as the Italian chronicler Antonio Pigafetta in 1521: "The city is entirely built in salt water, except for the houses of the king and certain chiefs. It contains twenty five thousand fires. The houses are all constructed of wood and built up from the ground on tall pillars. When the tide is high women go in boats through the settlement sell…

The Raising of the Giant Brunei Flag

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Monday, February 11, 2013 THE giant national flag was raised yesterday, marking the start of the 29th National Day celebration.

The flag-hoisting ceremony took place in front of the Sultan Omar 'Ali Saifuddien (SOAS) Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan.

Among those witnessing the ceremony was Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports Yang BerhormatPehinOrangKayaPekermaLailaDirajaDato Seri SetiaHjHazairHj Abdullah, as the guest of honour.

In his speech, HjMohdRozanDatoPadukaHjMohdYunos, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) who was also the event's chairperson said, the hoisting of the national flag marked the beginning of the 29th National Day celebration which will involve all the rakyat.

"Hoisting the giant national flag is an important mechanism through which we portray our love, pride and patriotic spirit," said HjMohdRozan. He added that by hoisting the flag, Bruneians avouch their role as inheritants of the nation …

Kibaran Jalur Kuning Putih dan Hitam

Kibaran Jalur Kuning Putih dan Hitam
Sebuah sajak karya Haji Rozan Yunos, 6 Februari 2013 +++++ Wahai anak watan
Tengoklah dan saksikanlah
Bendera kita berkibar di angkasa
Tidakkah kamu gementar
Tidakkah kamu merasa bangga
Melihat jalur kuning putih dan hitam
Berkibar di angkasa Perjalanan kita amat jauh
Lebih satu abad kita dinoda
Di bawah perlindungan bangsa asing
Pemerintahan dijalankan
Menggunakan nama Sultan
Tetapi jauh dari realitinya
Berkibar di angkasa Apakah malang nasib pertiwi
Tidak berupaya mempertahankan diri
Negara diperkosa tanpa bistari
Tetapi kita bangun
1959 pemerintahan dalaman
1984 pemerintahan keseluruhan
Berkibar di angkasa Tidak ada titisan darah
Hanya keringat di badan
Sultan yang keduapuluh lapan
Memperbetulkan jalan
Dengan perlembagaan diadakan
Bertawakal kepada Illahi
Berkibar di angkasa Nasib kita mula berubah
Illahi kurniakan sumber galian
Menjadi pembela bangsa dan negara
Negara miskin menjadi kaya
Berupaya membina anak watan
Itulah sejarah perlu dijaga

Life Is a Gift

Life Is a Gift
Today before you say an unkind word
Think of someone who can't speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food
Think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife
Think of someone who's crying out to the Al-Mighty for a companion.

Today before you complain about life
Think of someone who died too early on this earth.

Before you complain about your children
Think of someone who desires children but they're barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn't clean or sweep
Think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive
Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job
Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another
Remember that not one of us is without sin.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you d…