Showing posts from October, 2015

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam Rated A- By S&P

S&P’s top rating catapults BIBD into global orbit
on: October 31, 2015

| Azaraimy HH |

GLOBAL ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has assigned an investment grade credit rating of A- with a stable outlook to Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), the largest bank in the Sultanate, its managing director announced yesterday.

The rating acknowledges the bank’s strong capacity to meet its financial commitments and makes BIBD the safest and top-rated financial institution in Brunei Darussalam, Javed Ahmad said.

With the top rating it received from one of the world’s leading credit agencies, the bank is now looking to bolster its operations in alliance with other major Islamic banks such as those in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and other countries, he said, addressing a press conference.

With this recognition, Javed said, “BIBD will be more than honoured in providing international financing services such as issuance of letter of credit to its clients, for w…

HM Sultan Brunei Chairs First New Cabinet 2015-2020

Sultan chairs Cabinet meeting
on: October 30, 2015

| Danial Norjidi |

A CABINET Ministers’ meeting was held yesterday morning at the Istana Nurul Iman. It was chaired by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Minister of Finance and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Also present was His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The meeting was also attended by Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, the Minister of Home Affairs; Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, the Minister of Education; Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance…

Brunei Passport 18th Best in World

Brunei passport 18th best in world
on: October 24, 2015
| Azlan Othman |

DOES the size of a country matter? No, says Brunei Darussalam’s passport, continuing its powerful journey allowing its holder to move across borders without undergoing the bureaucratic ordeals of a cumbersome visa application process.

The Bruneian passport was ranked 18th best in the world in the latest Visa Restrictions Index published by Henley & Partners, global leaders in residence and citizenship planning. According to the index, holders of Bruneian passports can travel to 150 countries without visas.

A passport from a country in good global standing is a powerful thing.

The Sultanate shared the same spot with Argentina, Chile and Bulgaria in the index which was prepared after evaluating passports of 199 countries.In Southeast Asia, Singapore continues to lead the region, ranking 5th globally with visa-free access to 169 countries, followed by Malaysia with visa-free travel to 163 countries.

Germany and…

Brunei-Japan Joint Venture for Integrated Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG)

BSP JV to boost local employment
on: October 25, 2015
| Hakim Hayat |

A MULTI-MILLION dollar joint venture project between Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) and two Japanese steel giants for the provision of the country’s very first Integrated Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) supply and threading plant is expected to increase local employment and enhance Brunei’s capabilities, the Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar said yesterday.

The minister made this remark in his speech during the foundation laying ceremony for the OCTG plant’s construction site in Salambigar Industrial Park yesterday.

Signed in November last year, the 10-year renewable contract between BSP and Japanese firms Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMC) and Sumitomo Corporation envisages mutual cooperation in a number of areas, including the supply of OCTG to…

HM Sultan Brunei: Make the Country Prosperous


Friday, October 23, 2015

THE new government cabinet should work as a team with a single objective: make the country prosperous.

In a titah announcing the cabinet reshuffle, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, stressed the importance of teamwork and being open to ideas and criticisms from subordinates.

“Although they are of different ministries, they are still members of a team having a common objective: to make the country prosperous. Working as a team, each one of them is expected to contribute or at least lend support to any idea or proposal for the good of other ministries and for the sake of the country,” the monarch said.

“It is my hope that the next line-up of leaders will not ignore the ethics of being fellow members in a team. They are expected to be wise in making decisions and weighing up any matter that has to do with the country and the government.”

His …

Brunei New Cabinet Ministers 2015


Sungai Liang: A Quiet Getaway


Sunday, October 4, 2015

DEEP inside Jalan Kecil Sungai Liang, one can find another of Belait’s many ‘backyard beach’ located just next to Sungai Liang Recreational Park.

The recreational park is mostly used by the nearby community of Sungai Liang, populated by different ethnic groups from Malays to Dusun, Iban and a handful of mixed Chinese, who live there for more than 40 years.

To experience how the residents in the area spent their afternoon at the coastal park, I followed the lead of a 23-year-old resident, Mizi Rosman and his younger siblings who live less than a minute drive from the attraction.

Rather than taking the typical or what they say a ‘normal, boring main route’, Mizi lead us to our destination with a litte bit of adventure, crossing a small road at the back of their house and into the woods. There, we had to walk across rickety wooden planks to cross a small river. Mizi admitted that he has only used this way to the beach for a total of five times th…

Brunei Still Vigilant Despite Low Terror Threat

Terror threat low; Brunei still vigilant
Posted date: October 03, 2015

THOUGH the threat of terrorism in Brunei Darussalam is currently low, the government continues to remain vigilant against any act of terrorism happening in the Sultanate, the Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office said.

As Brunei Darussalam is an Islamic country, some members of the society may be vulnerable to radicalisation due to the present humanitarian situation affecting Muslims in the conflict areas in the Middle East which may lead to feelings of sympathy and a deep sense of responsibility to alleviate their suffering, Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar said.

The minister was speaking at the Special Asean Ministerial Meeting on the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (SAMMRRVE) yesterday in Kuala Lumpur.

The meeting was held back-to-back with the 10th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC) and its related meeti…

Brunei Combats Human Trafficking

Brunei intensifies combat against human trafficking
Posted date: October 02, 2015

BRUNEI Darussalam has intensified its efforts to combat human trafficking and tightened rules to effectively stem the menace.

The Sultanate is currently amending the Trafficking and Smuggling of Persons Order 2004 for the implementation of the Asean Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) and the Asean Plan of Action Against Trafficking in Persons, said Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office, Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar.

Speaking at the 10th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (10th AMMTC) and its Related Meetings, the minister said this includes provisions for enhanced penalties in aggravated cases of trafficking in persons, assistance for victims of trafficking in persons, immunity from prosecution for victims of trafficking and increased powers of investigations for…

HM Sultan Brunei: UN has no equal

The United Nations News Centre on 30th September 2015 reported the following news:
‘UN has no equal,’ Sultan of Brunei tells Assembly, praising scope of new sustainability agenda

30 September 2015 – Despite what some people may say about its effectiveness, the Sultan of Brunei today told world leaders in the General Assembly that the United Nations has no equal, and 70 years of existence is a testament to its relevance.

“With a membership of 193, the expectation is inevitably high on what our Organization can do to address ever-increasing range of issues,” said Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah. “So, I am pleased that our new development agenda has encapsulated most if not all of these concerns.”

The Sultan was referring to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by all 193 UN Member States last Friday to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change over the next 15 years.

“Brunei Darussalam firmly believes that tolerance, compas…

Brunei's Economy Rebounds Q2 2015

Brunei economy rebounds
Posted date: September 30, 2015

| Azlan Othman |

SECTORS across the board turned around in the second quarter of 2015 (Q2 2015) presenting a rosy outlook for the economy in the days to come.

Oil & gas, non-oil & gas, agriculture, forestry & fishery, industry, construction and services sectors all performed well in the quarter, brightening the economic situation.

In the second quarter of 2015, Gross Do­mes­­­tic Product (GDP) at current prices was es­­timated at $4,540.1 million compared to $4,585.4 million in Q1 2015, the Department of Economic Planning and Development said.

In terms of GDP growth at constant prices, Q2 2015 recorded a positive growth of 1.5 per cent year-on-year. This was mainly attributed to the increase of both oil & gas sector and non-oil & gas sector by 0.8 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively.

The increase in the oil & gas sector was spurred by the positive growth of oil & gas mining by 0.2 per cent and manu…

HM Sultan Brunei: Addressing Terrorism's Root Causes


Thursday, October 1, 2015

HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, yesterday underlined the importance of addressing the root causes of terrorism and extremism.

In a titah at the 70th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly General Debate Session at the UN Headquarters Building in New York, the monarch said: “We need to ensure that irresponsible parties do not exploit the despair and suffering of others to fuel their own extremist agendas.”

His Majesty touched on several issues such as Brunei’s commitment to peace and stability, the need to address root causes of terrorism and extremism, the need for preventive diplomacy and fulfilling the UN member states’ national and collective responsibilities.

“With a membership of 193, the expectation will inevitably be high on the effectiveness of our organisation in addressing the ever increasing issues that affect the lives of the…