Showing posts from April, 2015

Memukun in Brunei


Sunday, April 26, 2015

IN THE early 1990s when Hj Wahab Jumat was at his peak as a pemukun providing traditional entertainment at weddings, he at one time earned almost $2,000 in one month.

“Every week we would be invited to perform at a wedding. There were so many requests we had to decline sometimes,” he says.

That was back in the day when memukun, a form of entertainment that involves the exchange of poems between a male and a female performer, was still popular in Brunei.

These days, 74-year-old veteran pemukun Hj Wahab no longer gets as many invitations and when he does, it is normally to perform at a cultural event organised by a government agency.

The pemukun, usually the elderly people who exchange pantun poems while traditional music is being played, have been pushed to extinction by modern-day forms of entertainment, including karaoke sessions at weddings.

It is not an easy feat as those exchanging pantun poems have to be spontaneous and able to…

HM Sultan Brunei Attends 26th ASEAN Summit


Monday, April 27, 2015

HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha last night joined Southeast Asian leaders for a gala dinner, ahead of their meeting today.

Malaysian Prime Minister and ASEAN Chair Najib Razak and his spouse hosted the dinner at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s banquet hall.

In his speech during the dinner, the prime minister said with this year’s theme, ‘Our People, Our Community, Our Vision’, the focus is on the creation of a ‘people-centred ASEAN’ to translate that into a tangible reality.

“A people-centred ASEAN is about the realisation of our peoples’ dreams and aspirations – for more effective and responsive governance; for higher standards of living; for strengthened environmental protection; for further empowerment of women and youth; and greater opportunities for all.”

He went on to say that over the year…

Kuala Belait Old Market Building Facelifted

KB’s old market building gets facelift
Posted date: April 16, 2015

| Faza Suraj |

THE old market building along Jalan McKerron of Kuala Belait under the jurisdiction of Kuala Belait-Seria Municipal Department has got a facelift with new painting which highlights a more attractive theme.

The weekly Night Market has been ongoing at the ground floor of the building every weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) since September 24, 2011.

Various food items are available at the market such as cakes, fried noodles, soto, burger, nasi katok, and grilled food among others.

During the revamp, repair works have also been done including cleaning of the area.

The Kuala Belait-Seria Municipal Department informed that it wishes to fulfill the public’s wish for more daily choices and will strive to support local entrepreneurs by providing appropriate places for them.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

Keeping Traditional Music Alive in Brunei


Saturday, April 18, 2015

TRADITIONAL instruments such as guriding, tangkong and gandang sadaman have lost their appeal among the younger generation, but veteran musician Hj Nayan Apong has not given up on them.

The 86-year-old from Kampung Kulapis reminisces how the sound of these instruments used to resonate in paddy fields across the sultanate.

The Kadayan Malays used to play them while they tended to their farms, Hj Nayan says. It’s a forgotten art, but he still enjoys playing them and crafting them by hand.

“I learned by looking at other people and because I was interested, I tried and slowly learned (how to play the instruments) myself.”

One of the earliest instruments he learned to play was the guriding. “I began playing the guridingwhen I was very young, in my early teens,” Hj Nayan says.

It is small and thin, a flat piece of wood not more than 10 inches long. It is made from the frond of the Bengkala palm tree. To play the guriding, the instru…

Her Majesty Raja Isteri of Brunei Opens New Women and Children Medical Centre


Thursday, April 23, 2015

HER Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Hj Mohamed Alam yesterday graced the official opening of the $69.2 million Women and Children’s Centre at the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital.

Her Majesty was welcomed by the Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Md Yusof upon arrival, before proceeding to the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Clinic where she listened to a brief introduction of the recently completed centre by the Minister of Health.

She then officiated the centre and watched a video showcasing the extensive facilities, before proceeding to the Paediatric clinic to sign a commemorative plaque.

Her Majesty then toured several floors, interacting with patients, doctors and other health professionals.

She also visited a special exhibition on the fourth floor, charti…

HM Sultan Brunei Concerned over Palestinian plight at 60th Asia-Africa Conference


Thursday, April 23, 2015

THE two-day Asian African Summit 2015 began yesterday in Jakarta, where 21 heads of state/government and delegates from 106 countries, 15 observer countries and 10 international organisations gathered to forge closer ties and find solutions to resolve the current challenges facing by the two continents.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, was among the 21 heads of state/government who had flown in to the Indone-sia’s capital to attend the Leaders’ Summit of the 60th Commemoration of the Asian African Conference 2015.

Other leaders include Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Iran’s President Dr Hassan Rouhani, China’s President Xi Jinping and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. They were welcomed by Indonesia’s President Dato Laila Utama Joko Widodo, who is the host of a series of events for this year’s commemoration, held at the Jakarta Convention Center.

In his…

Royal Navies of Brunei and Australia Maritime Exercises

Brunei and Australia set to boost military ties
Posted date: April 21, 2015

| James Kon |

MILITARY ties between Brunei Darussalam and Australia are set to be enhanced following the launch of Exercise Penguin 16/15, a bilateral exercise conducted biennially between Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Lieutenant Colonel (L) Pengiran Mohammad bin Pengiran Haji Damit, Fleet Commander of the Royal Brunei Navy, said the objective of the exercise was to strengthen the relationship between both parties through operational and naval practices.

“I am confident that the exercise will achieve its objectives,” he said during the opening ceremony at the Muara Naval Base, adding that both navies had been working together for the best part of the last decade.

“The exercise has evolved over the years, from practising basic seamanship and communication evolution to multi-dimensional warfare scenarios.

“It has proven valuable for both navies.”

Task Group 632.1 for the exercise is l…

Brunei's Banks Weather Oil Price Volatility

The Oxford Business Group on 17 April 2015 reported the following:
Brunei Darussalam’s banks weather oil price volatility

Brunei Darussalam | Financial Services
Economic News Update
17 Apr 2015

Banks in Brunei Darussalam have so far weathered the impact of falling oil prices, winning plaudits from credit rating agencies for their resilience and stability.

Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) said in early March that the Sultanate’s strong economic base had dampened the effects of the drop in oil prices on the banking sector, echoing the view of the central banking authority, the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD), earlier in the year.

“In our view, the low loan-to-deposit ratio and strong net external creditor position of the Brunei banking system mitigates [oil price-related] risks,” said S&P. Speaking about oil exporters more broadly, the agency noted the decline in global prices would result in lower government revenues and exports, reducing banking liq…

Brunei's Kampong Ayer Cultural and Tourism Centre

Sunday, April 19, 2015

LOCATED at the famed and historical water village of Brunei Darussalam is the Kampong Ayer Cultural and Tourism Gallery.

This unique gallery — with an enclosed area of 565 square metres — was established to provide visitors and locals a glimpse into Kampong Ayer’s celebrated past while preserving part of Brunei’s heritage as well as to assist in rejuvenating the cottage industries in the area and diversify the local economy.

The $3 million centre was inaugurated by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office in August 2009.

The gallery is built in the style of a grand house and is managed by the Tourism Development Department, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resource.

The historical reminders of Kampong Ayer are exhibited in five mini galleries within the building stretching back to the 10th century and this also includes modern transitions which the Sulta…

Making Songkok in Brunei

Monday, April 20, 2015

“PRACTICE makes perfect”, was an old adage emphasised by Siti Aishah Salleh, 52, the manager of Syarikat Aisma Aishah, when she gave The Brunei Times an insight into the songkok-making craft.

Songkok is a traditional headgear worn by males, primarily in Malay community, to complete a customary attire, especially during formal occasion or any religious events. The headgear is also part of the school uniform worn by male students.

Siti Aishah, who was the overall winner in the Compulsory Sinjang (traditional woven cloth worn around the waist for males) and Creative Sinjang Category at the Making and Wearing of Dastarand Sinjang National Competition last year, saw a niche in the local market that was worth investing for its uniqueness.

According to her, she was inspired to learn the craft by her cousin, who she spent some time observing making the songkok, when she was young.

However, the idea to turn this into a business came later…

Brunei Halal Industry Targets British Midland Business

The Birmingham Post, UK reported on 13 April 2015:
Brunei's halal industry centre targets Midland businesses

05:45, 13 April 2015
By Enda Mullen

The Asian nation, which is located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, is creating what is set to be the largest concentration of firms producing halal products in the world through its Brunei BioInnovation Corridor

Sabri MD Taha, head of the Halal Industry Innovation Centre, Hajah Normah SH Jamil, permanent secretary Brunei Darussalam's Ministry of Industry & Primary Resources and Gary Ho, MD of SQW China

Midland businesses in the food, pharmaceutical and fast-growing biotech sectors are being urged to explore opportunities in Brunei as the country seeks to position itself it the centre of the halal products industry.

The Asian nation, which is located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, is creating what is set to be the largest concentration of firms producing halal products in the world through its Brunei Bio…

Brunei Royal Wedding 2015: Royal Wedding Banquet

Royals & heads of states attend ‘Istiadat Persantapan Pengantin Diraja’
Posted date: April 13, 2015

| Azaraimy HH |

THE week-long glittering celebration of the royal wedding ceremony between His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and YAM Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Raabi’atul ‘Adawiyyah binti Pengiran Haji Bolkiah concluded last night with a dazzling royal banquet (‘Istiadat Persantapan Pengantin Diraja’) ceremony at the Istana Nurul Iman.

Gracing the event were His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha.

Also gracing the event were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah; His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah; His Royal Highness P…