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Showing posts from March, 2013

Brunei climbs up HDI

Bandar Seri Begawan, 23 March 2013 - Brunei Darussalam scored the second highest in the Human Development Index (HDI) in Asean at 0.855 after Singapore, which places the Sultanate at a rank of 30 out of 187 countries, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report revealed this week.

In 2011, the Sultanate stood at 0.854, scoring high in health at 0.917, income at 0.904 and education at 0.757. Life expectancy at birth is 78.1 years, while mean years of schooling (of adults) is 8.6 years with a GNI of $45,690.

Brunei is categorised under very high human development. Between 1980 and 2012, Brunei's HDI rose by 0.2 per cent annually from 0.765 to 0.855 today.

The Sultanate fared better in indicators of adult literacy rate for both sexes at 95.2 per cent, primary school teachers trained to teach at 87.1 per cent, and combined gross enrolment in education for both sexes at 83 per cent.

Norway, Australia and the United States lead the rankings of 187 countries and territories in the…

Brunei Coal Mines in 1883

Straits Times Weekly Issue (Singapore), 19 March 1883 Page 3
The Muara Coal Mines (Brunei)

A correspondent has favoured us with the following account of a visit he recently paid to the Muara Coal Mines in Brunei:-
"On the 13th March 1882, these mines were ceded to Mr. C by the Sultan of Brunei for 20 years. They had been surveyed and partly worked by the first Labuan Coal Mining Company. They extend about 30 square miles. Mr. C has full mining rights, no duties to pay, and the right to wood, &c. He is allowed to erect buildings, wharves, and piers, which he can remove at the expiry of the lease should it be desirable to do so.
   "On the morning of the 5th of this month, we left the s.s. Borneo, and embarked on board the steam launch of the Sultan of Brunei, which had been kindly lent us for the trip. We steamed away at a great pace, and were soon clear of the difficult and tortuous bar of the Brunei river, when we stood almost direct for Muara. Muara is situated N.W. of t…

National Seminar Empowering the Reading Culture

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A TWO-DAY conference to highlight the importance of acquiring knowledge through reading and in building an educated community began yesterday.

The National Conference on Empowering Reading Culture 2013 was officially opened by His Royal Highness Prince HajiAl-MuhtadeeBillah, the Deputy Sultan.

In his remarks, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang BerhormatPehinOrangKayaPekermaLailaDirajaDato Seri SetiaHjHazairHj Abdullah, quoted His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam'stitah, where the monarch urged the citizens to be more educated and learn to think through reading. Books and other reading materials are the mediums used to acquire a reading culture.

"Reading is one of the fundamental blocks of learning and a reading culture too can enhance the quality of life within a community and nation."

The minister hoped that with this year's theme centred on "Empowering Reading Culture", would assist in developing citizens who are educated, …

Brunei's Nominations for World Heritage Sites

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Brunei Nominates 4 for World Heritage Sites

Bandar Seri Begawan, 12 March 2013 - FOUR locations in the country have been identified to have the potential to be recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site and the appropriate framework has currently been undertaken by various agencies, spearheaded by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) in preparing a tentative list to nominate the locations recognised as a World Heritage Site.


The four locations; Tasek Merimbun Park in Tutong, Abana Rocks Coral Reef Formation; the Brunei River and Industrial Heritage of Colliery in Muara are being included in a final report, following a nine-day deliberation in a workshop which was officially closed yesterday.

The workshop, held towards the preparation of the Tentative List World Heritage Nomination Procedure (UNESCO-World Heritage Convention 1972) for Brunei was organised by the Brunei Museums Department and was attended by 20 participants and three observers from various government ministries…

2013 Legislative Council

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His Majesty officially opened the new Legislative Council session yesterday. His speech focused on three things:

+ Members to have meaningful deliberations
+ Estate Duty abolished to spur domestic investment
+ Efforts to strengthen the economy top priority

+++++

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Friday, March 8, 2013 - WITH effect from January 1, 2013, any outstanding taxes on estate duty will be struck off the books as estate duty itself will no longer exist.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday announced this at the official opening of the Ninth Legislative Council as part of efforts to encourage investments within the country.

Even with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently depicting a more positive outlook for the global economic situation, His Majesty's concerns still remain as the world continues to be overshadowed by the global economic crisis which is feared to possibly affect the livelihood of citizens and residents.

The state of the fiscal, f…

Sabah and the Sulu Claims

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Rozan Yunos
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Thursday, March 7, 2013

THE 1968 Programme Book for the Coronation of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Muizzaddin Waddaulah as the 29th Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, had two interesting documents inserted inside. The documents were reproduction of two treaties taken from microfilm kept at the Public Record Office in London.

The first treaty was signed by Brunei's 24th Sultan, Sultan Abdul Momin, appointing Baron de Overbeck as the Maharaja Sabah, Rajah Gaya and Sandakan signed on 29th December 1877. The second treaty was signed by Sultan Jamalalulazam of Sulu appointing Baron de Overbeck as Dato Bendahara and Raja Sandakan on 22nd January 1878, about three weeks after the first treaty was signed.

That begs the question: Who was responsible for Sabah or North Borneo as it was known then towards the end of the 19th century? That probably has a bearing on the event now unfolding in Lahad Datu in Sabah, where a group of armed me…

National Day Forum 2013

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Bandar Seri Begawan, 6 March 2013 - In conjunction with the 29th National Day celebrations, Religious Teachers' University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) yesterday organised a National Day Forum, seeing a panel of speakers from the university deliberating on the role higher education institutions play in inculcating the spirit of patriotism.

Hundreds of students and scholars showed up at the Lecture Hall of Insitut Tahfiz Al-Quran Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah for the forum, which was organised by the KUPU SB Core Education Centre.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Haji Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yunos was the guest of honour.

In his opening speech, the event's chairperson, Md Amirul bin Abdul Rahim, noted that the objectives of the forum are to enliven the country's national day celebrations, instil patriotic spirit and love for the country, as well as foster closer relations within the university college's community.

Norasimah …

Top Ladies in Brunei Government

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While waiting for the Legislative Council session to start this morning, we were ushered into a waiting room. All the ladies permanent secretaries and deputy permanent secretaries seated themselves together. I just had to take this photograph of the most senior lady officers in the Brunei government:

Left to right:
Dr Norlila Dato Haji Jalil, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health (Congratulations! Promoted last night)
Hajah Mariam Haji Jaafar, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health
Hajah Hasnah Haji Ibrahim, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources
Pg Datin Hajah Masrainah, Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (retired Permanent Secretary, same ministry)
Hajah Suriyah Haji Umar, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence
Hajah Naimah Haji Ali, Deputy Permanent Secretry, Prime Minister's Office and Solicitor-General at the Attorney General's Chamber
Dr Hajah Rahmah Haji Md Said, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministery of Health…

The Sabah Treaties

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In the Program Book for the Coronation of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah as the 29th Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on 1st August 1968, there were two treaties obtained from the Public Record Office London. One was signed by Sultan Jalilulazam of Sulu appointing Baron de Overbeck as Dato Bendahara and Raja Sandakan dated 22nd January 1878. This is the treaty which caused all the current issues in Lahad Datu currently:-

However we do have another treaty in that same program book signed by Sultan Abdul Momin, the 24th Sultan of Brunei appointing the same Baron de Overbeck as the Maharaja of Sabah, Raja Gaya and Raja Sandakan signed 29th December 1877. Three week before the above treaty was signed.


When Sultan Abdul Momin signed the treaty, he clearly believed that Sabah was within his control and was never ceded despite the claim of historians, otherwise he wouldn't have been making those appointments. Even when you studied Sultan Abdul Momin's appoin…

Art Charity by Zakaria Omar Foundation

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My deputy minister was supposed to launch the Art Charity by Zakaria Omar Foundation at Giant Supermarket this afternoon. But since our Minister is the Accompanying Minister to the Lao Prime Minister on his official visit to Brunei, the Deputy Minister had to witness the signing ceremony of an MOU on Youths between Brunei and Lao, I had to be drafted in to deliver her speech.

This Art Charity is interesting. The Foundation hopes to collect money for the Fund for the People of Gaza in Palestine. Instead of the usual merchandises, the Foundation are selling paintings and other works of art so that it can raise funds for the fund. Please come to Giant Supermarket at Tasek Rimba to see for yourself an art exhibition. If there is any painting that interest you, by all means buy one and you will be contributing to the fund.

Lowering the National Flag

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I was the Chairman for this year's Raing and Lowering the Brunei Giant Flag Ceremony for this year. This is the second year that I have been tasked to do that. Normally everyone is upbeat about the Raising of the Brunei Giant Flag as that marked the beginning of the National Day events. You get pretty good attendance for that. But the Lowering of the Brunei Giant Flag is a more sombre event. We had been so busy with National Day this year that we did not have a rehearsal for the ceremony. In most cases we do but this time round, the ceremony was only 5 days after the National Day and we had a number of other things in between. Everyone in the committee was saying this is so routine and blah blah blah. I made the mistake of agreeing with them. Lo and behold. Parkinson's Rule. Something happened. Not serious but I have a feeling someone did get an earful on that day. When the flag came down, the soldier who was supposed to grab it, grab the wrong end. He should have grab the lo…

The Golden Warisan Volume 1 Reprinted

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In April 2009, I remembered going to my first printer to make arrangements to print my first book, The Golden Warisan Brunei Darussalam Volume 1. I spoke to the owner and I asked her how many books I should print. She said I should look in the region of 500 books. I told her I wanted 1,000 books. Her advice was that 500 should be good enough and since I am doing my own printing, the more I print, it will cost me more and I have the burden of storing the books especially if they don't sell.

That got me a bit worried. What if the book didn't sell. So I printed 500 copies and after I brought it to a few bookstores, the 500 copies ran out and I had to print another 500.

That 500 ran out too. The bookshops started calling me whether I will do a reprint. By then I was busy doing my second and third book and so the question of reprinting my first one was buried somewhere in the past. I still received enquiries now and then.

So I approached Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka Brunei on the possibi…