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Showing posts from June, 2013

Gold Dinars and Silver Dirhams in Brunei

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Last Thursday I attended a nikah ceremony at As-sallehin Mosque. My wife's cousin's daughter was betrothed to her chosen love one. As usual part of the ceremony was a 'mas kahwin' where the groom has to pay to the bride a sum of money. In Brunei, that sum is usually around $200 to $300. I know of one state in Malaysia, Johor, which makes it a mandatory $22.50. Lately many have been following the practise of old where the sum is a gold dinar coin.

I was quite intrigued when the imam announced that the 'mas kahwin' for that wedding was also one gold dinar coin. I could not wait until the end of the ceremony to see for myself what one dinar coin looked like. It looked like this:


I was told that the value of this gold dinar coin was around $300. After the ceremony, I decided to ask around and posted the question on my fb. I got all the answers. Apparently there are several companies selling the dinar gold coins around the region. This one in particular…

New Brunei Road Names

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The Bandar Seri Begawan Municipal Council has named several relatively new roads and renamed some of the more established ones recently.

NO.1 : Jalan Pasar Gadong - Starting from the traffic light at Jalan Babu Raja until the exit of the Kiarong roundabout. This one is easy, the road passing in front of the wet market in Gadong.

NO.2 : Jalan Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien - Starting from the traffic light at Jalan Elizabeth II near the Madrasah Building until the traffic light at Jalan Pretty and Jalan Sultan. This stretch of road has not been named ever since it was built in the lat 1990s. It is nice to see this stretch finally having a name.

NO.3 : Jalan Duta - Starting from the traffic light at the Jalan Kebangsaan junction until the exit to Simpang 336. This road at the traffic light simpang 4 near the Immigration and Labour Department was completed a few years ago and most people do not know where it leads to. This road is to help the embassies which are starting to be built around …

Fake Brunei Star Coin

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Last week, the Brunei Numismatic Club, an online facebook club, with about 600 members decided to suspend any trading among members, the Brunei Star coin. There were too many fake of those coins circulating.

Among coin collectors in Brunei, the star coin or duit bintang as it is popularly known, is a must to have among one's collection. The coin issued by Sultan Hashim in 1886 was the first modern coin before the 1967 coin issued by Sultan Omar Ali Saiffudien. The star coin was minted at the Birmingham Mint. Prior to the Sultan Hashim's star coins, the previous Sultans issued coins known as pitis. These were minted or rather made locally by Bruneians. The star coins were made entirely out of copper, whereas the previous coins were generally iron.

The star coin is not that hard to obtain. About 1,000,000 pieces were made in 1886. It sold locally for around $40 to $50 a piece. Though prices as high as $120 a piece is not unknown. The star coin is also to recognise by it colour,…

Which weekend for Brunei?

When I was in Darjah 1 or 2 (Primary 1 or 2), I remembered I went to school on a Sunday, this was around 1970. I remembered on every Sunday, it would be my father who went to school to pick me up whereas any other day, it would be my mother. So Sunday then was a school day but it was an off day for the government servants. I don't know when school days changed. When my wife was posted to the Ministry of Defence sometime last year, she had to work Mondays to Fridays whereas I am still on Mondays to Thursdays and Saturdays. We only had Sundays as our weekend together. There are other agencies who worked on Fridays as well. Every now and then we would argue which days would make for better weekends. But according to Reuters, the Saudis have decided to change:-

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Saudi changes working week to Sun-Thurs

DUBAI, Monday, June 24, 2013 - SAUDI Arabia on Sunday said it was switching its official weekend to Friday and Saturday, bringing the kingdom's working week in line with other mem…

Brunei's Currency Peg

It has been a while since I last posted anything about economics in this blog. I was sending some payment this afternoon and I saw the Malaysian to Brunei exchange rate was RM2.46. I don't know what it has been all this while whether higher or lower. I read this article in The Brunei Times about the highs and lows of Brunei's currency peg and apparently Brunei dollar has depreciated significantly last week. The argument in the article was that Brunei might have not have to face the depreciation and it only did so because of our peg to the Singapore currency. Many have asked whether this peg is worthwhile. Read the article below:

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The highs and lows of Brunei's currency peg

DR ARNO MAIERBRUGGER

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Monday, June 24, 2013 - THE latest depreciation of most Southeast Asian currencies did not fail to make its mark on the Brunei dollar. Interestingly, this has nothing to do with how resistant the Brunei economy is against currency crises or fiscal imbalances on…

Brunei Unemployed Proactive in Finding Job

I read this interesting comment on Brunei Times facebook site which was referring to a speech I made yesterday. Our Ministry focused on the community welfare launched a program where we invited those who are receiving welfare assistance, unemployed youths etc so that we can motivate them, let them know where job assistance etc can be obtained, or where they can find assistance if they want to start up business etc. The focus was very much on if you have a skill, you can be employable. My speech (very much truncated) as reported appears below the comment by this person:-

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"Ngalih saja dilantik menjadi SUT!!...perkara macam ani pun nda terfikir. Kursus sana sini. Seminar bukan main. Kelulusan macam-macam. Tapi menyelasaikan isu perkerjaan, langsung nada. Mati-mati mengharapkan pihak swasta untuk menyediakan pekerjaan. Cuba tah fikir sedikit, apakah pihak swasta mampu menyediakan pekerjaan kepada semua orang jika nada untung diperolehi?! Tuhur hantap...Jangan luan diisi parut atu…

Brunei Sports Minister attends MINEPS V

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Berlin, 30 May 2013 - BRUNEI Darussalam attended the MINEPS V, which took place between May 28 and 30, at the Intercontinental Hotel, Berlin, the Republic of the Federation of Germany, and was represented by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah.

The conference was officiated by the Chancellor of the Republic of the Federation of Germany, Angela Merkel and Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s Director-General.

The three-day convention was also attended by 130 countries’ representatives.

Also in attendance was Pehin Datu Panglima Colonel (Rtd) Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Jalil bin Haji Ahmad, the Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to the Republic of the Federation of Germany, Awang Haji Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, as well as senior officers at the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.



The convention dis…