Sunday, September 28, 2014

Brunei Delicacy: Kueh Takis

I bought the above with a number of old Brunei pots and pans and wondered what it does. It took me quite a while to figure it out until I posted it on my FB page and I got the answer. The above is the tray for making this Brunei delicacy called Kueh Takis.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Brunei Passport: 17th in World

 BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, 27th September 2014 - Bruneian passport was ranked 17th in the world for travelers in a recent survey, based on the number of visa-free countries its holders can travel to out of one hundred and seventy four destinations.

According to the 2014 Visa Restrictions Index, holders of Bruneian passports can travel to one hundred and fifty countries without visas. Singapore and Malaysia were the only two Southeast Asian countries that made it to the top ten in the 2014 index.

Singapore was ranked fifth in the world, as Singaporeans can travel visa-free to one hundred and seventy countries, while Malaysia was ranked eighth, as Malaysians can travel visa-free to one hundred and sixty six countries.

Among Southeast Asian countries, the Sultanate was ranked third, followed by Thailand (62nd in the world, visa-free travel to sixty nine countries), the Philippines (68th, sixty two countries), Indonesia (72nd, fifty six countries), Laos (80th, forty eight countries), Vietnam (81st, forty seven countries) and Myanmar (86th, forty two countries).

“In today’s globalised world, visa restrictions play an important role in controlling the movement of foreign nationals across borders. Almost all countries now require visas from certain non-nationals who wish to enter their territory,” said Henly & Partners, a global consulting firm in international residence and citizenship planning, which held the survey.

“Visa requirements are also an expression of the relationships between individual nations, and generally reflect the relations and status of a country within the international community of nations” it said in statement.

At the top of the Index, jointly, were Finland, Sweden, Germany, the United States and Britain. Citizens of these countries are able to travel visa-free to one hundred and seventy four destinations.

The worst passport in the world for travelers to hold is from Afghanistan, ranked at number 94th, as it allows visa-free entry to just twenty eight countries, followed by Iraq with thirty one countries, and Pakistan and Somalia at thirty two countries each.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Sultan Brunei: Brunei United With World Fighting Terror

Amanda Yap

Friday, September 26, 2014

BRUNEI stands united with the international community in combating terrorism in all its forms and rejects extremism, and supports all regional and international efforts in countering terrorism, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam said yesterday.

His Majesty was speaking at the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly General Debate Session at the UN Headquarters Building in New York.

In his titah at the UN General Assembly, His Majesty said that Brunei has participated in UN peacekeeping, specifically UNIFIL, and other international peace monitoring missions in southern Philippines.

“We are gravely concerned with security developments in many parts of the world where further escalation of conflicts can weaken the international community’s resolve and ability to achieve our world-wide initiatives.

“Whilst there is relative peace and stability in the world, developments over the past year have reminded us how complex security issues, turmoil and instability arising from human activities can hinder progress for long-term development,” the monarch said.

Therefore, His Majesty said, Brunei would continue to participate in global initiatives such as interfaith dialogues and dialogues amongst civilisations to promote understanding, tolerance and respect amongst world communities.

His Majesty urged nations to “take concerted action in resolving the wide-ranging problems further aggravated by the rapid pace of globalisation and inter-connectedness”.

“The overall outlook is further complicated by challenges that are global in nature such as the impact of climate change, extremism, and terrorism, as well as the serious repercussions of pandemic diseases,” His Majesty said.

In this regard, the monarch was pleased at the unanimous agreement on the importance of environmental protection, lauding the convening of the UN Climate Summit in galvanising support to address the impact of climate change, and in ensuring a dynamic and transformative post-2015 development agenda.

His Majesty also underscored the importance of strengthening UN capabilities in disaster management, taking into account the frequent recurrence and greater intensity of natural disasters in recent years.

The monarch made mention of Brunei’s role in hosting a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise amongst military personnel from Asia Pacific nations last year – the first of its kind under the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus process.

His Majesty emphasised that the fundamental principle of mutual respect and trust – putting aside differences, upholding the rule of law and justice, and promoting cooperation – should serve as the basis for resolving conflicts, so that all can enjoy continued peace and stability.

In his titah, His Majesty also highlighted the fast-approaching targeted timeline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), saying that Brunei was pleased to see the concerted global commitment and consensus to eradicate extreme poverty and further promote peace and sustainable development.

His Majesty welcomed the development agenda and its emphasis on the importance of human development which is inclusive, people-centred and sustainable.

“These elements are also integral to Brunei Darussalam’s National Vision 2035 which is dedicated to improving the welfare of our people and ensuring a high quality of life,” the monarch said.

However, His Majesty also stated that all efforts to realise the MDGs would be in vain, if at the same time, the world disregarded commitments to pursue peaceful means of settling disputes, as enshrined in the UN’s Charter.

“The potential escalation of disputes and threats to international peace and security has resulted in appalling human tragedies such as the downing of Flight MH17 and the current dire situation in Gaza,” the sovereign said.

On Palestine, His Majesty stressed that freedom and justice was long overdue.

“The endless suffering experienced by our Palestinian brothers and sisters is a stark example of how little our development goals mean if there is no peace and stability.

“(The Palestinian people) must be granted their basic rights to live in dignity and enjoy economic development,” he said, further expressing appreciation on the efforts of other countries which made the current ceasefire possible.

However, His Majesty was hopeful and confident that the UN’s adoption of the MDGs would ensure that generations to come would enjoy a secure and prosperous future.

Accompanying His Majesty was His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik.

Also accompanying His Majesty were Second Minister of Finance at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Haji Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, and Permanent Representative of Brunei to the United Nations Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Ghafar Hj Ismail.

The Brunei Times


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sultan Brunei: Brunei commits 63% energy saved by 2035

NEW YORK, 24th September 2014: His Majesty the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and the Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in his titah yesterday informed the United Nations Climate Summit that the Sultanate was targeting a sixty three per cent reduction in total energy consumption by 2035.

Brunei Darussalam aims to achieve this by reducing fossil fuel demand for inland energy use, and through a revised power tariff that encourages energy savings. As of 2013, Brunei has managed to attain an average reduction in energy consumption of 13.9 per cent.

The Government of Brunei Darussalam further aspires generate at least ten per cent of total power from new and renewable resources by 2035 His Majesty added.

The Monarch yesterday morning consented to attend the United Nations Climate Summit and delivered the titah at the plenary session. The summit was held at the United Nations Headquarters Building in New York, United States of America.

The Summit was presided over by Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the UN. The ceremony was held at the General Assembly Hall. Following the opening ceremony, National Action and Ambition Announcements were held in three parallel Plenary Sessions, whereby all Heads of State and Government were given opportunity to deliver a speech.

His Majesty was pleased to share and exchange the experiences and ideas on addressing climate change. His Majesty commended the Secretary-General for his continuous efforts in bringing global attention to one of the world’s greatest challenges. His Majesty also thanked the Government of the United Arab Emirates for hosting the Abu Dhabi Ascent, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for its valuable work.

His Majesty stated that frequent occurrences of extreme weather events have led to considerable loss of life and property, and threatened the livelihoods of communities around the world. Failing to act decisively and collectively now may prove detrimental to global security, development and prosperity. This is why it is essential to realize a new and meaningful global climate agreement by 2015.

The Monarch believed that every country has the responsibility to address this issue based on the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities”. The actions in addressing climate change have to be effective and comprehensive. It is important that countries, particularly developing nations, are properly equipped to face climate change and its adverse effects.

“To do this, new skills must be acquired, expertise needs to be shared and the required modern technology should be affordable and accessible to all. These priorities need to be reflected in the new climate agreement next year and would make a positive contribution to the wider United Nations development agenda”

As reflected in Brunei Darussalam’s Vision 2035 development plan, His Majesty said the Sultanate’s priority is to safeguard the welfare of its people. A key part of this plan includes ensuring a clean, green and healthy environment for every citizen. In this regard, various efforts have been undertaken to achieve environmentally sustainable development.

At the regional level, Brunei Darussalam is also pleased to be working with the United States to promote collaboration in renewable energy under the East Asia Summit process.

For the past eighty years, forest conservation has been an important part of Brunei Darussalam’s national development strategy. Today, seventy per cent of Brunei Darussalam’s land area is covered by tropical rainforests comprised of highly diverse ecosystems. In addition, Borneo’s pristine peat swamp forests, which act as a carbon sink to counter emissions, are acknowledged by scientists as being some of the only remaining examples of their kind in the world, the Monarch added.

The Sultanate’s commitment to preserving the environment is further reflected through the allocation of fifty eight per cent of its land area to the “Heart of Borneo” forest conservation initiative. Brunei Darussalam continues to work with its neighbors, Indonesia and Malaysia, and other international partners such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in this endeavor, His Majesty said.

Brunei Darussalam thanks its partners for their contribution and welcome others who are interested, to work with the Sultanate in protecting this valuable asset, the ruler added.

Furthermore, the Heart of Borneo provides priority areas for biodiversity and environmental research.

These forms of research have been conducted by University Brunei Darusalam (UBD) in cooperation with other academic bodies under the International Consortium of Universities for the Study of Biodiversity and the Environment.

The Sultanate’s next step to enhance conservation efforts is through the Coral Triangle Initiative, which will endeavor to protect our marine resources, and thereby protect our environment as a whole, in a more comprehensive manner, said His Majesty.

Finally, His Majesty said the global community has high expectations on what can be achieved at the summit. Brunei Darussalam is ready to play its part in this important global issue with the UN and the rest of the world.

His Majesty emphasized the importance of succeeding in generating the political commitment and momentum to move ahead with both urgency and practical actions to meet this great challenge.

Accompanying His Majesty were Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim, Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO); Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewan Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II; and Dato Paduka Hj Abd Ghafar Hj Ismail, Permanent Representative of Brunei Darussalam to the United Nations.



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Brunei leads on vocational learning

The Oxford Business Group on 18 September 2014 reported the following economic update on Brunei:


Economic Update
Brunei Darussalam leads on vocational learning 

Brunei Darussalam | 18 Sep 2014

Vocational training has become a key focus in Brunei Darussalam as it aims to meet the shifting demands of its economy as well as the challenges that economic integration with the rest of ASEAN is expected to bring after 2015.

In addition to a wider development of the primary education system, the Sultanate is overhauling its technical and vocational education (TVE) subsector. Traditional public and private universities have been complemented by a growing number of technical and vocational institutions over the years as the country continues to grapple with rising unemployment and a growing reliance on foreign workers.

In an August report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Labor Organisation (ILO), the Sultanate was cited as one of the few countries within the bloc that was well advanced in putting in place educational and training programmes that dovetailed with its economic and development priorities. The need to deepen the pool of trained labour is about to become more pressing, according to the ADB and ILO. Demand for highly skilled labour following the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 will surge by 41% – almost double the rate of growth for either semi-skilled or unskilled workers.

Much of the current transformation in promoting technical and vocational education has been laid out in a recent white paper. The fundamental shift in policy is embodied in the retiring of the existing Department of Technical Education in favour of a new, autonomous post-secondary educational institution called Brunei Technical Education (BTE).

Raising the bar

The government is sparing no expense in its education reform efforts. The 2013/14 budget included substantial expenditure on capacity building, especially among youth, and strengthening the private sector. This trend was continued in the BN$5.98bn ($4.7bn) 2014/15 budget, in which the MoE received the second-largest allocation of any government entity at BN$770.78m ($604.5m)

The private sector is becoming more engaged in the educational process by providing assistance such as instructor training, input into curriculum development and evaluation of students' capabilities. By shifting the focus of curricula towards the demand side (the real world needs of the private sector) as opposed to the supply side (curricula developed at higher levels of the public sector), it is hoped that TVE institutions will be able to better match students’ skills with the competencies required in the private sector, as well as promote a more diverse array of occupations.

The government is working with various agencies to target the segments of the economy that require greater assistance in meeting their labour requirements, said the minister of education, Pehin Dato Abu Bakar Apong.

“The main aim of this transformation is to identify the human capital needs required by various industries in Brunei Darussalam,” he told OBG. “As the ministry alone cannot develop all of the technology and software necessary, this represents potential for local ICT entrepreneurs to become involved and contribute, which is already happening … such as the one (programme) undertaken by the Brunei Economic Development Board and the Universiti Brunei Darussalam to develop entrepreneurship in the campus.”

While there have been early signs of success so far in training workers for the energy sector, larger challenges remain outside this industry as other sectors are less mature. The ICT and construction industries are also being heavily promoted in the TVE sphere as the next major targets for increased local participation, with a number of other sectors on the horizon ranging from aircraft services and maintenance to agriculture.

Opening doors

In order to counter the preconceptions that TVE graduates will have limited and undesirable professional opportunities, new programmes are being introduced to educate potential students – as well as their parents – on possible career paths and opportunities for advancement.

“A further goal is to change the perception among members of the public that technical education is secondary to academic education, especially the perception among parents who push their children to follow academic streams despite their interests and talents.” Pehin Dato Abu Bakar told OBG.

Seven technical and vocational education institutes took part in a launch of Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship (TVIES) Day in June where the minister of culture, youth and sports, Pehin Dato Hazair Abdullah, reiterated the message that technical education is not an inferior option. “A country needs a workforce that has technical and vocational skills to improve the capacity of the country’s industrial sector and produce a capable, competent workforce,” Pehin Dato Hazair Abdullah told the state broadcaster.

Interest from students is gathering pace. More than 3750 people applied for the 1400 places available for new students when enrolment opened in June at the Sultanate’s seven technical and vocational schools, according to local media reports. The most popular courses included a Higher National Technical Education certificate (HNTec) in plant engineering, a diploma in information technology, HNTec in electrical engineering and a diploma in marine engineering.

A final part of the reform, outlined in the white paper, includes plans for the transformation of seven technical and vocational institutions into two centralised campuses, a move that will be carried out in two phases and is slated to be finished in 2020. It is estimated that the cost of developing the two new campuses, as well as upgrading existing facilities, will be BN$408m ($322m), making the scheme one of the highest budget projects in the educational sector.

The new system will also focus on providing apprenticeship options that are believed to increase employability and employers’ satisfaction. Currently, there are 60 apprenticeship spots but it is hoped the number will be increased to 200.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Alai Pa Plern 2014 - Brunei-Thai Joint Performance

Bandar Seri Begawan, 19th September 2014 - Jerudong Park Amphitheatre burst with colourful lighting as Radio Televisyen Brunei (RTB) and National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT) hosted a joint musical variety show - ‘Alai Pa Plern’. Artists from Brunei and Thailand took the stage and showcased their talents with traditional cultural performances.

The event started with the exchange of gifts from Brunei who was represented by the guest of honour, Hj Md Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Md Yunos, Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) and Dr Charoon Chaisorn, Deputy Director, Public Relations Department, representing the Permanent Secretary of Thailand’s Prime Minister Office.

This year’s event was held in conjunction with the 30 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Picture: BT/Billah Hasan

Monday, September 22, 2014

Brunei-Thai Meeting Ends on High Note


Friday, September 19, 2014 - BRUNEI and Thailand signed a Letter of Transmittal to mark the closing of the 13th Joint Technical Committee Meeting in the field of Broadcasting and Information held at the Centrepoint Hotel yesterday.

Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Hj Mohd Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos signed on behalf of Brunei. The Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister of Thailand was represented by Deputy Director General at the Public Relations Department Dr Charoon Chaisorn.

In his closing remarks, Hj Mohd Rozan listed out several of the areas that were discussed during the meeting which included the production of a “Joint Musical Variety Show”.

He hoped that the “new format can attract more youth” and is “able to deliver the key message” to a wider audience.

The permanent secretary also welcomed the proposal to produce a 15-year commemorative documentary showing the country’s cooperation in the broadcasting and information field.

The documentary which is set to be broadcasted in 2016, will hopefully encourage “the aspiration of the strengthening of the people-to-people contact”, he added.

On efforts to realise and increase awareness of the ASEAN Community, the permanent secretary said that he hopes that the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT) and the National News Bureau of Thailand will continue to contribute in producing news features and items under the ASEAN Television News.

Hj Mohd Rozan also expressed his gratitude towards NBT for their continuous support in education, training and research proposal.

He said that NBT has been helping personnel from Radio Televisyen Brunei (RTB) archive, restore and preserve audio and video materials, as well as providing work attachments to RTB producers.

The producers were given the opportunity to be involved in the production of a children’s programme and in the designing of the set during the Joint Musical Variety Show in Thailand.

He also noted the progress in the field of information, especially in the exchange of publications, pictorials and features. He hoped that continued exchange visits of government personnel and private media can further enhance cooperation and understanding between both countries.

Members of the public are welcomed to attend the Joint Musical Variety Show, Alai Pa Plern, which will take place at the Jerudong Amphitheatre tonight.

The Brunei Times

Sunday, September 21, 2014

UN Human Rights Council adopts Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Brunei Darussalam

On 19th September 2014, The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a press release of the universal periodic review of several countries including Brunei Darussalam. The Human Rights Council adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Brunei Darussalam as follows:

Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Brunei Darussalam

ABU SUFIAN BIN HAJI ALI, Permanent Representative of Brunei Darussalam to the United Nations Office at Geneva, in opening remarks, said Brunei Darussalam attached importance to the Universal Periodic Review and its role to improve human rights in Member States. The Government of His Majesty remained people' centred in all aspects. Brunei Darussalam had received 189 recommendations that had been considered through extensive interagency consultations. Brunei Darussalam had accepted 97 recommendations, including those already in practice or implemented. It partially supported 14 recommendations and was unable to accept 78 recommendations that were against its Constitution.

Brunei Darussalam had submitted reports to the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. It was considering ratifying the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. Brunei Darussalam maintained reservations expressed to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Committee on the Rights of the Child. It said procedures were available for children of women citizens married to foreign nationals to be accorded Brunei citizenship. It highlighted that women contributed actively to the decision-making processes in the country, reaching senior professions, as a result of Brunei Darussalam's policy to give them equal access to education. The rights of women were protected through legislation such as the Islamic Family Law Act, the Married Women Act and the Women and Girls Protection Act. It thanked delegations participating in Brunei Darussalam's review and welcomed comments from delegations.

Singapore noted the large number of recommendations Brunei Darussalam had accepted and said it would continue to work closely with the Government on the implementation of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations Charter for Human Rights. Sri Lanka was encouraged that education and health remained priorities, and by the inclusion of development policies in the national plan for the environment. Sudan thanked Brunei Darussalam for accepting the recommendation made by Sudan and wished it all the best in the pursuance of human rights. Thailand welcomed the acceptance by Brunei Darussalam of the recommendations pertaining to the situation of the rights of women and urged the Council to adopt its outcome document. United States appreciated the commitment to protecting the rights of children and women and achieving gender equality and said that meaningful progress needed to be made in the legislation and policies concerning the freedom of expression and association. Uzbekistan noted the participation of Brunei in the Universal Periodic Review process and believed that the implementation of the recommendations would strengthen the national system of protection of human rights.

Venezuela said this review had shed light on achievements in the area of human rights for the people of Brunei Darussalam. Its open participation in the process was proof of its commitment to the human rights of its people and it was wished success in implementing the recommendations made during this cycle. Viet Nam said that Brunei’s thorough and responsible consideration of the Universal Periodic Review recommendations strongly confirmed its commitment to continue its endeavours in the promotion and protection of human rights. Viet Nam strongly recommended the adoption of the report of Brunei. Algeria welcomed that Brunei Darussalam had accepted most of the recommendations, including a recommendation by Algeria on ensuring the effective participation of women in the decision-making process in the country. Brunei was encouraged to continue its efforts in promoting and protecting human rights. Bahrain applauded Brunei Darussalam’s efforts to continue protecting vulnerable groups. It welcomed what was announced by the delegation and its readiness to consider all recommendations presented during the review. It was hoped that recommendations presented by Bahrain were also accepted and would be implemented.

Belarus welcomed the significant progress made by Brunei Darussalam in the field of education, health and women’s rights, as well as in combating human trafficking. Belarus wished Brunei Darussalam every success in implementing the new recommendations and recommended the adoption of the report. Bhutan took note of the additional 14 recommendations which Brunei Darussalam had accepted after further consultations. It recommended the adoption of the Universal Periodic Review outcome report of Brunei Darussalam and wished it every success in implementing accepted recommendations. Cambodia was encouraged by steps taken towards the promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Brunei Darussalam’s people. Cambodia commended efforts to enhance the welfare of the people, addressing the core issues of education, food and shelter, and welcomed the acceptance of its two recommendations.

China welcomed the constructive participation of Brunei Darussalam in the Universal Periodic Review process, and its acceptance of China’s recommendations to increase access to education and provide assistance to disabled women. Cuba welcomed that Brunei Darussalam had accepted a high number of recommendations, including those made by Cuba. Djibouti welcomed progress achieved in the area of economic, social and cultural rights and development in Brunei Darussalam. India commended the achievement of Brunei Darussalam for the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals and access to health. It was encouraging to note that Brunei Darussalam had accepted many recommendations, including the one made by India to ratify the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

British Humanist Association said that Brunei Darussalam accepted, during its first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, the recommendation to put its domestic legislation in line with international human rights law, which it had unfortunately failed to do. Brunei Darussalam’s courts had set legal precedents that could be interpreted to allow corporal punishment for children and marital rape in practice. International Humanist and Ethical Union said that the Sharia penal code of Brunei Darussalam threatened the right to freedom of expression as well as women’s rights. Marital rape was legal. Children were considered criminally responsible at the age of 7. It deeply regret that Brunei Darussalam had rejected recommendations to suspend the code. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative was concerned that the implementation of recommendations would not be possible with a comprehensive review of Brunei Darussalam’s legislation. Current legislation on freedom of expression was not in line with international standards, and there were disproportionate restrictions on the activities of journalists and on freedom of association. The situation of sexual minorities was also not compatible with international human rights law.

Amnesty International said concerns had been raised with regard to revisions to the Penal Code as its provisions violated key human rights. It was disappointed that all recommendations to ratify the Convention against Torture had been rejected. Laws introduced also discriminated against women and girls. Verein Verein Sudwind Entwicklungspolitik expressed concern that like many other countries, Brunei Darussalam also held back until the last minute to express the State’s views on recommendations received, which left very little chance for the non-governmental organizations to prepare their interventions and objections.

ABU SUFIAN HAJI ALI, Permanent Representative of Brunei Darussalam to the United Nations Office at Geneva, in concluding remarks said that Brunei Darussalam remained committed to the promotion and protection of human rights. Although its review ended today, its efforts did not. It would continue to work towards the betterment of human rights and face the challenges ahead. It reaffirmed its commitment to exchange views and experiences towards the fulfilment of the promotion and protection of human rights. As a small State of 400,000 people, Brunei Darussalam had limited human resources and would welcome any capacity building assistance.

Out 189 recommendations received, 97 were supported and the rest had been noted.

The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Brunei Darussalam.
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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Brunei Writers Urged to use New Media

Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the PMO Hj Mohd Rozan (L) delivering his keynote lecture, facilitated by Director of DBP Hjh Aminah during the opening ceremony of International Seminar on Southeast Asia’s Literature yesterday. BT/Billah Hasan


Thursday, September 18, 2014 - NEW media can help promote and develop literature, particularly Malay literature, in terms of improving interaction with readers, especially with the current cyber advances and multimedia interfaces.

“A writer is no longer tied to one medium in terms of publishing his works… There are now a lot of ways to publish (their work) such as websites, blogs and others using the (latest) appliances such as personal computers, tablets, phones and so on,” said Hj Mohd Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday.

Speaking during his keynote lecture at the opening ceremony of International Seminar on Southeast Asia’s Literature, he noted that the new cyber and multimedia have made it possible to connect writers and their readers.

He added: “The new media has given new opportunities and potential for writers to contribute to the development of Malay literature. However, writers must know and be aware to balance the risks and problems when publishing their writings and authorship (issues).”

Themed ‘Sastera dalam Media Baru, Potensi dan Sumbangan’ (Literature in New Media, its Potential and Contribution), the two-day seminar is organised by the Southeast Asia Literature Council (MASTERA), Brunei division.

Held at Sarmayuda Hall of DBP building, the seminar saw the presence of prominent international literature figures from France, Korea, German, England, Japan and Thailand, including those from MASTERA member countries; Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Director of Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) Hjh Aminah Hj Momin, in her welcoming remarks, said she hoped that the seminar can become a platform to discuss issues related to copyright, piracy and plagiarism, and benefit young and aspiring writers.

“The theme addressed the contribution and role of the media in raising literature across geographical boundaries. The new media in particular, is now a platform for writers to connect globally and worldwide,” said Hjh Aminah, who is also the chairperson of MASTERA.

The seminar is prelude to the two-day 20th MASTERA Conference which opens tomorrow at Rizqun International Hotel. The resolution will be presented during the conference.

The conference will see the presentation of MASTERA Literature Award 2014 and declaration signing of Thailand’s Malay DPB as the new country member of MASTERA.

The Brunei Times

Friday, September 19, 2014

Joint Exhibition Brunei-Thailand

The Permanent Secretary for Media and Cabinet, at the Prime Minister's Office, Awg Haji Mohammad Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yunos and the Head of Delegation as the representative of the Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office of the Government of Thailand, Doctor Charoon Chaisorn, officiating the launching of the exhibition. | PHOTO: COURTESY OF PELITA BRUNEI (Azmah Haji Ahad)

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, 16 September 2014 : The Joint Brunei-Thailand Exhibition is focused on the ASEAN aspiration to become a community by 2015 as well as the efforts that had been and are being carried out towards its realisation.

The Exhibition themed, 'One Heart, One Community' was declared open by the Permanent Secretary for Media and Cabinet, at the Prime Minister's Office, Awg Haji Mohammad Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yunos and the Head of Delegation as the representative of the Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office of the Government of Thailand, Doctor Charoon Chaisorn.

This exhibition is one of the projects under the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Broadcasting and Information between the two countries. Held at The Mall, Gadong, the exhibition is open to the public until Friday. ©BRUDIRECT.COM

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Brunei-Thailand: Broadcasting & Information Cooperation

The Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the PMO Hj Mohd Rozan (2nd R) and Thailand’s Dr Charoon Chaisorn (R) at the opening ceremony of the 13th Joint Technical Committee Meeting. BT/Rasidah HAB


Thursday, September 18, 2014 - BRUNEI and Thailand’s active role in the ASEAN Digital Broadcasting project is hoped to encourage ASEAN members states to work together to meet the Analogue Switch-Off (ASO) target between 2015 and 2020, said the Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) of the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday.

“As we are a part of the ASEAN Community, we continue to find new ways to produce programmes to generate and enhance greater understanding of our governments’ efforts to realise the ASEAN Community by 2015,” said Hj Mohd Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos.

The permanent secretary was speaking during the opening ceremony of the 13th Joint Technical Committee Meeting under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Brunei government and the Thai government on the cooperation in the field of Broadcasting and Information held at the Rizqun International Hotel.

Hj Mohd Rozan headed the Brunei delegation for the meeting, while Thailand’s Dr Charoon Chaisorn, Deputy Director General of Public Relations Department, as the representative of the Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, led the 13-member Thai delegation.

The two-day meeting will discuss broadcasting and information cooperation projects between Brunei’s Radio Televisyen Brunei and Information Department and Thailand’s National Broadcasting Services and Public Relations Department.

Brunei and Thailand signed MoU on the Cooperation in the Field of Broadcasting and Information in 2001.

Since then, the two nations have continuously collaborated in promoting social and cultural understanding through various joint activities such as exchanges of programmes production, publication, exhibition and media personnel, said Hj Mohd Rozan.

The cooperation from these activities has strengthened our countries’ relationship and the camaraderie among our two people has been enhanced, he added.

“Let our meeting today be a continuation of our never ending effort to continue this relationship by producing more exciting and informative programmes that will be able to satisfy the needs of our people; to see for themselves and to experience the richness of the economic, social, cultural and tourism development of both countries,” Hj Mohd Rozan said.

Dr Charoon represented the Joint Technical Committee Meeting on behalf of ML Panadda Diskul, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister of Thailand.

“Our region and the world context have changed much over the past decade. What has not change, however, are our close relations, friendship and partnership. Our cooperation under the MoU has contributed to the building of the ASEAN Community, which will be in place late next year,” said Dr Charoon.

He added, “Our annual Joint Technical Committee Meeting provides a forum for our staff not only to discuss cooperation in the field of information and broadcasting, but also to share our ideas and experience on other issues of mutual interest.

The Brunei Times

Monday, September 15, 2014

USS Canopus AS-9 Visiting Brunei

I was leafing through one of my old books and found this first day cover which I bought many years ago. It was a first day cover to commemorate the visit of USS Canopus to Brunei on 30 May 1938. I have no idea what the ship is or what it was doing here in Brunei but I checked up on USS Canopus and found this from US Navy's website about the ship:

USS Canopus (AS-9), 1922-1942. Originally USS Santa Leonora (ID # 4352-A), 1919-1919, and S.S. Santa Leonora (American Passenger Liner, 1919)

Santa Leonora, a 5102 gross ton passenger liner built at Camden, New Jersey, for W.R. Grace & Company, was taken over by the Navy upon completion in July 1919 and placed in commission at that time as USS Santa Leonora (ID # 4352-A). She was briefly employed as a trans-Atlantic troop transport before being decommissioned and transferred to the U.S. Army in September 1919.
The ship was reacquired by the Navy in November 1921 and, following conversion to a 5975 ton (displacement) submarine tender, commissioned as USS Canopus (AS-9) in January 1922. Following several months service with the Atlantic Fleet, she steamed to the Panama Canal Zone and subsequently to the West Coast. In mid-1923 Canopus went to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and in the Fall of 1924 accompanied Submarine Division 17 to the Far East. During the next seventeen years, the tender supported the peacetime operations of Asiatic Fleet submarines in the Philippines, Chinese waters, and elsewhere in the western Pacific region.

When Japanese attacks opened the Pacific War in December 1941, Canopus was in Manila Bay. Though hit by enemy aerial bombs in late December and early January, she worked tirelessly to support the hard-pressed U.S. and Philippine defenders of the Bataan peninsula. Many members of her crew, part of an impromptu naval infantry battalion, directly battled Japanese army forces, while her boats were armed and armored to serve as inshore gunboats. On 9 April 1942, when the fall of Bataan made her further use impossible, USS Canopus steamed out into deep water and was scuttled. Many of her men were evacuated to Corregidor, where they continued to fight until that fortress surrendered on 6 May 1942.

 Credit: Department of the Navy

Sunday, September 07, 2014

The Limbang Rebellion

I cannot remember when I first heard of this book and was wondering how I was going to get it. Luckily my colleague went off to Singapore and bought me a copy. The Limbang Rebellion was part of the Brunei Rebellion in December 1962. I noticed that lately many recent books write about the 1962 event as the start of the Malaysia-Indonesia Konfrontasi whereas we in Brunei see it in our own context and less in the context of the wider regional struggle.

Santa Oorjitham of the Malaysian Daily Star newspaper wrote a review of the book:

THE Limbang Rebellion in Borneo was the prelude to Malaysia’s confrontation – or Konfrontasi, as it’s more popularly known – with Indonesia and helped to convince Sarawakians of the wisdom of joining in the formation of Malaysia. Yet it is not mentioned in our school history textbooks and unless our families or our friends were directly affected, many of us know little about the weeklong uprising in December 1962. That’s why Limbang Rebellion should be on your year-end list of books to read.

Sydney-based historian Eileen Chanin brings a very personal angle and touch to her tale.

Australian-born Richard “Dick” Morris was British Resident of Sarawak’s Fifth Division when he and his wife Dorothy were taken hostage. Chanin, who later became their daughter-in-law, had access to the couple’s unpublished manuscripts and letters.She interviewed many of the players – including the Royal Marines who came to the rescue – and delved into archives in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Britain.

In an extensive bibliography, she has meticulously listed all her reference material – right down to the date on which she accessed various websites.But don’t let the pages of maps, glossary, footnotes, bibliography and index overwhelm you. Limbang Rebellion reads more like a thriller, drawing you into the lives of the people caught in the conflict.

Chanin sets the stage, pointing out that rebellion has had a long history in the region of Borneo, starting with the 1841 rebellion which British adventurer Sir James Brooke helped the Sultan of Brunei to suppress.By 1962, Sarawak had passed through World War II and the Japanese Occupation. “Britain wanted out – but most Sarawakians wanted the status quo preserved,” writes Chanin. She traces the responses to the plan for the British territories of Borneo to form a new Federation of Malaysia, noting that “many in Sarawak were wary”.

And she notes that Britain’s Colonial Office was “apprehensive about Indonesian moves in the Borneo region. It was expecting that the Indonesian Government would distract attention from serious domestic problems by launching ‘claim’ to neighbouring territory.”

By Dec 6, although Dick had received reports about a possible uprising from Limbang and from Miri, he accepted the official opinion that there was no certainty of trouble.

“We agreed that the Police should be placed in a state of alert but that no further action should be taken.”

But at 2am on Dec 8, the armed wing of the Brunei People’s Party (which opposed the formation of Malaysia) launched coordinated attacks across Brunei, in Sarawak’s Fifth Division and the western edge of North Borneo (now Sabah). Chanin then picks up the pace with a blow-by-blow account of the rebel action, the experiences of the hostages and the rescue mission that succeeded even though the Royal Marines were vastly outnumbered.

The book is not available in Brunei as far as I know but in Singapore, it can be bought at Kinokuniya Bookshop for S$29.96

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