Thursday, March 26, 2015

13th Senior ASEAN Officials Responsible for Information Meeting

Nay Pyi Taw, 25th March 2015 - The 13th Senior ASEAN Officials Responsible for Information Meeting-13th SOMRI was held at Ngwehsaung Yacht Club and Resort in Ayeyawady Region on Wednesday.

Present at the meeting were Union Minister for Information U Ye Htut, Ayeyawady Region Security and Border Affairs Minister Col Maung Maung Win, Region Development Affairs Minister U Kyaw Win Naing, senior information officials from ASEAN countries and delegates and guests.
The meeting commenced with the ASEAN Anthem before saluting the late first Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, one of the founding leaders of the ASEAN.
Then, Union Minister for Information U Ye Htut delivered an opening speech and posed for documentary photos with the senior information officials from ASEAN countries.
The meeting focused on Post-2015 Vision of the ASEAN Community, the draft for 2025 Vision of the ASEAN Community, timeframe for strategic plans between 2016 and 2025 and the ASEAN Communication Master Plan.
In the afternoon, the COCI report and other reports of information sub-committee and three working groups were submitted at the meeting. Participants also discussed ASEAN COCI reform, ASEAN-China Cooperation through Information and Media and cooperation with ASEAN plus 3 countries. The meeting continues tomorrow (26th March 2015).

Courtesy of The New Light of Myanmar

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Extending Brunei-China Relationship from 2,000 to 3,000 Years

Posted date: March 24, 2015
| James Kon |

THE Brunei Shipwreck Gallery at the Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum has a prestigious artefact donated by Haji Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The artefact, a bronze ritual wine vessel (pic below) that dates back to the Shang dynasty, was discovered in the Brunei river by a fisherman. It offers a glimpse of the historical ties between Brunei and China earlier than predicted. Haji Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yunos when contacted by the Bulletin shared his story on the historic find.

He recalled, “The artefact came from an individual who accidentally found the jue in his net while fishing in the Brunei River. He kept it but did not know the significance of his discovery.”

Known as a passionate collector, Haji Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yunos said, “Someone approached me and offered the artefact for sale. I then researched it and found that it was of very significant historical value. I bought the jue and donated it to the Brunei Museum.”

Asked on the reason for donating the valuable artifact, Haji Mohd Rozan said, “I wanted to share the piece of historical heritage with the public so that visitors can learn about the history of Brunei and China that may have dated back to as far as Shang Dynasty.”

Courtesy of the Borneo Bulletin

China's Quanzhou "Maritime Silk Road Exhibition" in Brunei

The Global Times reported the following article.
Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-3-24 10:04:57                      
China's Quanzhou " Martime Silk Road" exhibition opened here in Brunei Darussalm on Monday.

This exhibition is organized jointly by the Quanzhou Maritime Museum and the Brunei Museums Department under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. It is a showcase of the linkage between China and Southeast Asia including Brunei since ancient times.

Located in northwest of Borneo, Brunei Darussalam is known to be a land of beauty and mystery. Historically, China and Brunei have enjoyed a close relationship. It is believed by some scholars that during the period of the West Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-9 A.D.), traders from China and Brunei began their interaction. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), contacts between the two countries were officially established. Commercial and cultural exchanges expanded rapidly between the two sides in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and reached their peak during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

In 1408, Sultan Majid Hassan of ancient Borneo, known as " Maharaja Karna" in China, led a delegation of more than 150 people to pay a visit to the Ming Emperor, which has been recognized as a historic event in Sino-Bruneian relations. As a result of these exchanges, Chinese artifacts date back to the Tang and Song dynasties were found in large quantities in Brunei Darussalam. These evidences indicate the long and close linkages between China and Brunei.

Quanzhou, as an important seaport, was a destination for merchants, missionaries and nobles from ancient Borneo as well as other kingdoms. Similarly, Brunei was also an ideal place where people of Quanzhou and other places of Fujian Province came to trade and stay.

There are hundreds of exhibits in the exhibition including porcelain, gravestone, ship models, ancient coins, historical images and documents.

The city of Quanzhou, which is in Fujian Province of China, plays a special role in the historical linkages between China and Brunei. It was discovered by some Chinese scholars that during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the local government of Quanzhou dispatched Mr. Zongmin Pu to Brunei for diplomatic and economic missions. Pu stayed in Brunei for 11 years and died here (he was believed to be in Brunei in 1264).

During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Sultan Majid Hassan of ancient Borneo, known as "Maharaja Karna" in China, leading a delegation of more than 150 people, paid a visit to the Ming Emperor, which has been recognized as a historical event in China- Brunei relations. Quanzhou was the place that Sultan Majid Hassan landed after the sea voyage.

After the establishment of diplomatic relations between Brunei and China, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan paid a visit to Quanzhou in August, 1999, which was the first visit to Quanzhou by a foreign Head of State.

Trade not only brought commodities and businessmen. Maritime Silk Road was also a road of cultural and religious exchanges. Quanzhou became a city with different religions and was named as World Religion Museum, where ancient churches, mosques as well as Taoist and Buddhist temples can be found. Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Buddhists settled down in Quanzhou and lived peacefully and harmoniously with each other.

It was recorded that at the beginning of the Tang Dynasty, four disciples of Prophet Mohammed travelled to China, and two of them spread Islam for the rest of their life in Quanzhou. They won high respect of the local people and were buried in the Lingshan Holy Mausoleum.

Chinese ambassador Yang Jiang told reporters in the exhibition hall that the exhibition shows one part of the ancient Maritime Silk Road and coincides with the "21st Century Maritime Silk Road" proposed by China two years ago.

She said "China has a long history of trade and cultural exchanges with Southeast Asia countries including Brunei. Admiral Zheng He, one of the greatest sailors in world history, left numerous footprints and beautiful stories all over the shores in Southeast Asia. Today in a more interconnected world, we hope that China and Brunei, as well as the whole Southeast Asia, will promote more exchanges and win-win cooperation for the benefits of the people of each country."

HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, Brunei's government ministers, high-ranking officials and foreign diplomatic mission in Brunei attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

HRH Crown Prince Opens New Brunei Maritime Museum

HRH Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah touring the exhibition

YAM Pengiran Anak Abdul Qudus and YAM Pengiran Muda Omar Ali, Curator of Natural History

Some of the artifacts on display

Posted date: March 24, 2015
| James Kon |

THE highly-anticipated opening of the Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum, which houses significant artefacts, was officially launched by the Deputy Sultan His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, yesterday.

Located on the banks of the historic Brunei River, where the ancient city of Brunei was positioned from the 14th to 17th century, the latest tourism attraction is built on a 8.74 hectare of land with a cost of $5 million under the 10th National Development Plan.

Divided into three galleries, the exhibition is designed to resemble the front view of a ship, which demonstrates the Sultanate’s role as a centre of flourishing trade in the ancient times.

Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, in his welcoming remarks, highlighted that the opening of the museum was indeed an encouraging achievement.

“The highlights of the Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum are the exhibition of the shipwreck found in 1997 with 13,261 artefacts, mostly porcelain, and the Pulau Terendak, a man- made island found in the archaeological site of Kota Batu.

The island shows that Kota Batu was the centre of trade in the 14th to 17th Century during an era of systematic shipping and trade. The museum not only aims to display the artefacts but also serves as a learning and research institution to provide insight into the building of the nation’s strong civilisation.”

The minister also recalled the history of Brunei when people ventured out to sea by building their own ships using the technologies available at that time. In the 16th Century, it was recorded that 100 combat ships from Brunei were stationed in the river to face any attacks. The museum is currently housing the joint maritime exhibition with Quanzhou Maritime Museum for four months.

The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports conveyed his appreciation to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Brunei, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports as well as Quanzhou Maritime Museum to host the exhibition.

It is hoped that more cooperation can be forged with other nations to organise more maritime museums in the future.

Following the launch, the Deputy Sultan went on to tour the galleries. Before leaving the venue, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah also consented to a group photo with the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports and senior officials from the Ministry.

The Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum is open to the public from 9am to 5pm on Saturday to Thursday; and on Friday from 9am to 11.30am and then 2.30pm to 5pm.

Courtesy of the Borneo Bulletin

Monday, March 23, 2015

HM Sultan Brunei and Her Majesty Attend Coronation of Sultan Johor

Posted date: March 24, 2015

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha yesterday morning attended the coronation of His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, the fifth Sultan of Johor, at the Istana Besar, Johor Darul Ta’zim, Malaysia.

Their Majesties were greeted on arrival at the Istana Besar Johor by Dato’ Abdul Rahim bin Ramli, Yang Di-Pertua of the Johor Council of Royal Court, before proceeding to the Holding Room at Istana Besar Johor, said a statement from Brunei’s Prime Minister’s Office.

From the Holding Room, Their Majesties together with the Malay rulers, heads of Malaysian states, the Prime Minister of Malaysia and spouse and other dignitaries proceeded to Bilik Singgahsana for the coronation.

His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim and Her Royal Highness Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, Permaisuri of Johor, arrived and the ‘Lagu Bangsa Johor’ anthem was played.

The ceremony began with the reading of the promulgation text by Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Chief Minister of Johor, and the reading of the coronation text by Dato’ Abdul Rahim bin Ramli, Yang Di-Pertua of the Johor Council of Royal Court.

The ceremony continued with the Titah Ikrar by His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim which was followed by the crowning of His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim as the Sultan and the Sovereign Ruler of the State and Territory of Johor Darul Ta’zim; and Her Royal Highness Raja Zarith Sofiah as the Permaisuri of Johor by Dato Haji Mohd Tahrir bin Dato’ Kiyai Haji Samsudin, State Mufti of Johor.

The ‘Lagu Bangsa Johor’ anthem was played accompanied by a 21-Gun Salute, followed by a Doa led by Dato’ Haji Yahya bin Ahmad, Deputy State Mufti of Johor.

His Royal Highness the Sultan of Johor and Her Royal Highness the Raja Permaisuri of Johor then received in audience His Royal Highness Tunku Ismail ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tunku Mahkota Johor and wife, Her Highness Che’ Puan Khaleeda binti Bustamam; followed by other members of the royal family, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Chief Minister of Johor and Dato’ Abdul Rahim bin Ramli, Yang Di-Pertua of the Johor Council of Royal Court.

His Royal Highness the Sultan of Johor and Her Royal Highness the Raja Permaisuri of Johor proceeded to the Palace Balcony to receive the Air Salute accompanied by the ‘Lagu Bangsa Johor’ anthem before departing for the royal procession around the City of Johor Bahru.

At the end of the ceremony, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha along with other royal guests left the venue.

Accompanying Their Majesties to the coronation were Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim; Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister’s Office; Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti; and Pehin Orang Kaya Shahbandar Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Mohd Nawawi bin Pehin Orang Kaya Shahbandar Haji Awang Mohd Taha and their spouses.

Courtesy of the Borneo Bulletin

Sunday, March 08, 2015

HRH Princess Sarah of Brunei: Youths Lead Healthy Lifestyles

Rabiatul Kamit

Sunday, March 8, 2015

HER Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah yesterday urged the youth to lead a healthy lifestyle as governments and communities express mounting concern over the spread of diseases around the world.

In her sabda at the opening of the 11th Borneo Global Issues Conference (BGIC) at the International Convenction Centre (ICC), the princess reminded the youth to “not lose sight of lifestyle-related health conditions and diseases that are more likely to have a direct impact on their lives”.

The four-day student-run event, organised by the International School Brunei (ISB), brought together over 200 pupils from 23 secondary schools nationwide to participate in discussions and debates based on the Model United Nations (MUN) concept.

Commenting on this year’s theme of ‘Combating World Diseases’, the BGIC royal patron hoped the participants will realise the impact of their lifestyle decisions upon the nation’s health and be compelled to lead a healthy lifestyle that will reduce demands on the healthcare system.

“By placing our students in positions that empower them to actively consider the causes of disease and ill health, I am sure that in exploring the range of preventative measures possible, they will also come to consider the critical role that health plays in the development of their nation,” she said.

Her Royal Highness observed that, since the start of the new millennium, the international health headlines have been dominated by the more immediate threats of diseases such as Avian Influenza, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis and Ebola.

“(The theme) is of particular relevance at a time when the world has just witnessed the serious global threat posed by the recent outbreak of Ebola in parts of Africa last year, and continues to face potential threats from other pandemics and disease-related events,” she explained.

“I hope that all participants will not be afraid to speak out to express their opinions and share their thoughts, whilst at the same time also extending the courtesy of listening to others, taking into account divergent views that may reflect different country positions and situations,” she said.

With widespread access to the internet and its constant update of global news and information, the princess pointed out that young people today enjoy a depth and breadth of knowledge on global health affairs “that just twenty years ago would not have been achievable”.

“I would also like to remind our students that the experience and knowledge they earn from this conference will be a direct reflection of how much effort they put into it, so I urge them to work hard and work together to make this year’s conference another success,” she added.

In ending her sabda, Her Royal Highness thanked the Ministry of Education; Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports; HSBC Brunei; and Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd; as well as the teachers and individuals for their support and contribution towards BGIC. During the ceremony, the royal patron also presented a donation on behalf of ISB to the JUMP! Foundation, a non-profit youth empowerment organisation. The mock cheque was received by Tara Yip-Bannicq of UNICEF Haiti and the JUMP! Foundation.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

Friday, March 06, 2015

HM Sultan Brunei: Give Priority to Efforts to Boost Economy

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam arrives for the opening ceremony of the Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting. Also seen in the picture is the new Speaker of the LegCo, YB Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Dato Setia Haji Mohamed Taib

Posted date: March 06, 2015
| Hakim Hayat |

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam said yesterday that members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) should give priority to discussions on employment opportunities for the locals, entrepreneurship development and efforts to boost the country’s economic fundamentals amid the uncertainties in the global economy.

In a titah at the opening ceremony of the 11th Session of LegCo, His Majesty also urged the LegCo members to instil a positive attitude in the people to enable them to take actions that are in line with the current demands and also encourage self-sufficiency rather than dependence on assistance.

His Majesty said particular attention should be given to bolster the country’s economic fundamentals because of the signs of decline in the global economy such as the falling oil prices.

The monarch emphasised the need to enhance the public sector to ensure a more conducive business and economic environment.

Brunei Darussalam’s policy in maintaining fiscal stability is also a priority, His Majesty said, especially in ensuring ‘value for money’ and prudence in expenditure so the country can increase savings to use for future needs. His Majesty said this financial practice must also be followed by individuals and families.

On concerns over the rate of local unemployment, His Majesty said particular attention must be given to ensure that locals are seizing job opportunities.

“We must carefully review (the situation), where and until when will our locals be left out of job opportunities,” the monarch said.

His Majesty said many key positions and job opportunities in the industries that are driving the economy are still being monopolised by foreigners.

“This must not be overlooked, (but) should be monitored and evaluated,” His Majesty recommended.

The monarch said the entrepreneurship sector must not only involve certain parties “but must be (open) for all because this translates to progress”.

His Majesty urged entrepreneurs to continue expanding their business and industries in order to attain an optimal level.

His Majesty called on the members of LegCo to stay focussed on the bigger and more challenging issues of the country.

The monarch said that while paying attention to the issues raised by the people, the members of LegCo should also have a perspective that allows the people to move forward.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Brunei's New Road: Jerudong-Tungku Link Road

Thursday, March 5, 2015

ROAD users can now use the six-kilometre Jerudong-Tungku Link Road after construction was completed and officially opened yesterday.

The $17.7 million link road is one of the projects under the 10th National Development Plan, or also known as RKN-10, for the provision of alternative route and connecting two main roads namely Jalan Jerudong (Simpang 396) and Jalan Rakyat Jati Rimba, the Ministry of Development said in a statement.

The ministry said the project, which was started in 2009, involved earthworks and drainage system as the main item in the scope of works in the first phase as a separate contract costing $12.8 million.

The second phase involved the construction of road pavement which was started in 2013 undertaken by local contractor Pro-Builder Sdn Bhd.

The scope of work under the second phase of the project included re-surfacing the nine-kilometre stretch from Simpang 396 of Jalan Jerudong leading to Simpang 324 of Rimba Utara Link Road and part of Jalan Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah.

Also, it consisted of the installation of traffic lights at the Jalan Selayun Jerudong/Simpang 396-93 junction to improve the safety of road users in the aforementioned areas.

Present to officially open the second phase of Jerudong-Tungku Link Road (road pavement) was Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman.

The ceremony took place at the project site near to Jalan Tungku/Jalan Rakyat Jati Rimba Roundabout.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, YB Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi said that the construction of Jerudong-Tungku Link Road is part of the country’s east-west highway under the RKN-10.

“The idea is, of course, apart from facilitating the traffic in this area…diverting some of the traffic from the main trunk highway and also to open up some of the areas for development,” the minister told reporters.

He said that the new link road, for example, will provide easy access for the public to the Agro-Technology Park at Kg Tungku and housing areas in Katok and in Tungku.

He went on to say, “The next phase of the project is as you can see we are now widening from this roundabout to the Tungku Link and then there will be another link beyond…this is part of the plan. We also, in our plan, have some other roads that we want to build in the next couple of years.”

He explained that the solution to traffic congestion is not by building too many roads but perhaps by (implementing) some other major works. “This is a joint effort…not only by the Ministry of Development but also the Ministry of Communications and other ministries,” he added.

The ministry said that the completion of the project is anticipated to ease traffic congestion at main roads such as Jalan Tutong and Jalan Gadong because the volume of traffic from the direction of Muara-Tutong Highway via Jalan Jerudong will use this short path toward the capital and its vicinity.

The Jerudong-Tungku Link Road is a network that is also important in providing access and passage for land development around the Katok and Tungku areas such as the National Housing Scheme, general housing, government schools and commercial centres.

However, this Jerudong-Tungku Link Road is only part of the road networks under the Ministry of Development’s programme through its Public Works Department for the purpose of providing efficient and effective road infrastructure in order to facilitate the movement of traffic in the country’s key areas.

“InsyaAllah, more road networks will be constructed as a continuous effort in the years to come,” the statement said. – Sally Piri

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Brunei's Hana Soy to Export Soy Paste

Ak Md Khairuddin Pg Harun

Sunday, March 1, 2015

LOCAL soy producer Hana Soy & World Sdn Bhd will begin exporting its ground soy paste to Asian markets in August, said its vice-president yesterday.

“In six months’ time, we’re planning to export our mother soya, which is an intermediate product derived from the grinding process for our soy drink,” said Wan Krisnizaha Hj Osman.

The company’s factory is planning to export the soy paste to international distributors in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan, she said.

She was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a visit by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, to the factory yesterday.

Asked about the selling point of the soy paste, Wan Krisnizaha said it can be used for cooking.

“If you want to open a donut business, for example, you can use this product…let’s just say as a substitute for santan (coconut milk),” she said.

Wan Krisnizaha said there are two types of soy paste: mother soya 5 (containing four litres of water) and 7 (containing 7 litres of water). The former, which will be exported, is used for cooking, whilst the latter is used to process its soy drinks.

She said the soy paste is the exclusive intermediate product of the company’s factory in Brunei.

Wan Krisnizaha added that Mr Bean Singapore, the leading soya bean food and beverage retailer in Singapore, will be one of the factory’s clients.

She also said that Hana Soy & World will open another factory in the next two years.

“The new factory will be opened at the Bio Innovation Corridor in (Kg) Rimba,” she said.

The company currently produces up to 40,000 bottles of soy drinks per month which are sold to around 20 stores in Brunei, she added.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah launches book on Brunei's Tasek Merimbun

Rafidah Hamit

Sunday, March 1, 2015

HIS Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade launched Tasek Merimbun – The Black Beauty of Brunei Darussalam yesterday.

The book, which contains 168 pages contains information about the park, and is filled with pictures of the surroundings and its inhabitants, particularly the birds.

In the book, His Royal Highness said that for us in Brunei Darussalam, for the past 30 years, everything that is contained in the ASEAN Heritage Park concept is represented by the lake known as Tasek Merimbun.

“Like the forests, rivers, hills, valleys, peaks and coastline that surround us, it is part of our natural habitat.”

The author of the book is the Museum’s Curator of Natural History and Manager of Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park, Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Omar Ali who worked with photographer Hj Ilham Rohaidi Hj Mashud.

“Through this coffee-table book, I hope to share the natural wonders of Tasek Merimbun and give a picturesque insight to readers. May this book entice more nature lovers to visit this heritage park and discover what nature has to offer,” said YAM Pengiran Muda Omar Ali.

The release of the book was in conjunction with its 30th anniversary as an ASEAN Heritage Park.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah said that Tasek Merimbun is celebrating its 30th anniversary as an ASEAN Heritage Park this year.

“It became one of the ASEAN Heritage Parks on 29th November 1984, the same year when Brunei Darussalam resumed its full independence.”

“It is therefore most timely that the book is launched to commemorate its 30th anniversary as an ASEAN Heritage Park and more importantly, how it can help in generating awareness and interest amongst our population especially the young ones on what Tasek Merimbun is and what it has to offer.”

“The chapter ‘Birds, Birds and More Birds’ is one that is highly significant to the park. Tasek Merimbun is known as one of Brunei’s important sites for bird enthusiasts.”

YB Pehin Dato Hj Hazair said that the park is a breeding place for birds such the Purple Heron and various egrets as well as a destination for migrating birds.

The park was also included as one of the arenas used in the First Borneo Bird Race in 2013 and is also famous for the beautiful black water lake, the largest of its kind in Brunei.

“It has diverse ecosystems which are home to a number of different forest types, one of which being the peat swamp forest. As such, it was declared a nature reserve in 1967 under the administration of the Museums Department.”

The MCYS Minister YB Pehin Dato Hj Hazair also said that the park has continued to develop its attractions such as the Butterfly Garden which was set up in 2012 and has become one of the popular attractions in the park.

“In line with the garden mission which is “as a sanctuary for the purpose of studying the life cycle of its inhabitants”, the park has accomplished its feat of maintaining steady breeding habitats for butterflies within, having not found the need to acquire any foreign pupas to date.”

“Tasek Merimbun has played host to various important activities including research into numerous fields that relate to the natural world from stingless bees to practical horticulture.”

He added that it has also received visits from researchers from institutions around the world.

Since 2008, Tasek Merimbun has been the setting for an annual weeklong field course on Tropical Ecology and Conservation organised by Queen Mary University of London in the United Kingdom.

The park has also played host to the Young Naturalists Programme, an annual programme aimed at Year 4 and Year 5 students from schools throughout the country.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Hazair said that programme focuses on basic fieldwork in various aspects of zoology. “Last year marked the beginning of some healthy competition amongst schools where a trophy was introduced. The winning team, which turned out to be the Ornithology group, was fortunate in spotting a bird that had never been recorded in Tasek Merimbun prior to this. The bird in question is the Grey Heron.”

The book-launch ceremony took place at the Balai Purun of the Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park.

Also present at the ceremony were the Minister of Education Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awang Abu Bakar Hj Apong, the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman and officers from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

The Tasek Merimbun – The Black Beauty of Brunei Darussalam retails at $55 a copy.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

Monday, March 02, 2015

HM Sultan Brunei Gives Away 594 Houses

Waqiuddin Rajak, Sally Piri and Ak Khairuddin Pg Harun

Sunday, March 1, 2015

HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, presented land grants and house keys to 594 recipients under the Bukit Beruang National Housing Scheme in Tutong yesterday.

The handing over ceremony was held at the Ma’had Islam Brunei.

Saifullizan has been living in the housing facility provided at the Lumut Primary School.

Upon receiving his new house in Tutong, the 43-year-old is now looking at enrolling his four children to schools nearby the area as they are currently still studying in a school in Kuala Belait.

“With the new house, besides from it being comfortable, I am also a lot closer to my family members who mostly live in Kg Kiudang,” he said.

“Furthermore, it is now easier for us as we only have to spend on renovation because the payment of the house is very affordable.

“InsyaAllah when I have completed my children’s transfer of schools from Kuala Belait to Tutong, I will then permanently move to this new home,” he added.

Sharing the same sentiment was 43-year-old Ramri Nona who said that he had submitted his application in 1999.

Ramri said that his new house is much more comfortable compared to the government apartments he used to rent.

He also said that he is due to move to his new house soon after completing the paperwork to transfer his eight children – the eldest 17 years old and youngest three years old – from a school in Brunei-Muara to Tutong.

Mohammad Zin Hj Nudin, a 40-year-old office assistant at the Ministry of Health who had been waiting since 2001, said that the terrace house he received is more than enough for his family of five.

He also said he felt closer to his family now since most of his relatives are living in Kg Lamunin in Tutong.

Jaliah Serudin, a retired civil servant, said that she was very grateful for the three-bedroom terrace house gifted to her by His Majesty.

She received the house after a long wait of 30 years.

She said she submitted her application in 1985.

Meanwhile, Alli Noor Hj Md Suhaili, a recipient of a plot of land at the Kg Bukit Beruang National Housing Scheme said he was honoured to have His Majesty visit his house.

The 50-year-old government official was allowed to develop his house on the 0.338 hectare plot of land in 2010 and yesterday was the official land handing over ceremony.

Alli Noor was thankful for the plot of land because it allowed him to only spend one-third of his salary to pay up his housing loan of $134,000.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times


Waqiuddin Rajak, Sally Piri and Ak Khairuddin Pg Harun

Sunday, March 1, 2015

HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, presented land grants and house keys to 594 recipients under the Bukit Beruang National Housing Scheme in Tutong yesterday.

The handing over ceremony was held at the Ma’had Islam Brunei.

The Bukit Beruang National Housing Scheme comprises 1,500 housing units. The units cost over $140 million to build and were ready in March last year. They were built by the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB).

Of the 1,500 units, 1,000 are terrace houses and the rest are semi-detached units.

The completed units were handed over to the Ministry of Development in May 2014.

Terrace houses comprise three bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and two bathrooms, while the semi-detached houses have an additional bathroom.

Accompanying the monarch were Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman and Minister of Home Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awang Badaruddin Pengarah Hj Othman.

Following the ceremony, His Majesty toured Ma’had Islam Brunei which houses a total of 647 students.

After visiting some of the school’s facilities, His Majesty then stopped by Hana Soy & World Sdn Bhd, where he observed the processing of the Hana Suku-Suku Soy drinks.

Hana Soy & World Sdn Bhd Vice-President Wan Krisnizaha Hj Osman said that His Majesty was impressed by the local soy factory’s workforce 90 per cent of whom are locals.

The total number of employees is 22, of whom, 19 are locals. The factory can produce 40,000 soy drinks a month, the company vice-president said.

His Majesty then proceeded to visit the Perpindahan Kg Bukit Beruang II Primary School where he toured some of the classrooms, the pre-school studies area and the school’s library.

In one of the classrooms, students demonstrated how tablet devices are used to learn the Jawi alphabet. Students scribbled shapes on the devices which later formed themselves into letters, which were then identified by the students. A total of 186 students are enrolled in the primary school which offers education from the pre-school level to Year 6.

The Monarch was received at the school by Headmistress Hjh Nurul Inani Hj Ahmad Kumpoh.

His Majesty also visited the house of the head of Kg Bukit Beruang, Ahmad Aman, before stopping by at some of the new houses under the national housing scheme.

The residents of the new semi-detached and terrace houses greeted His Majesty with smiles, and took pictures with him before inviting him to visit their houses.

Speaking to reporters, His Majesty expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the housing development under the National Housing Scheme.

“I think they are doing well, I am very happy,” His Majesty said, concluding his visit to the housing areas in Kg Bukit Beruang yesterday.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Keeping Brunei's Customs and Tradtions Alive


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

THE ceremonial customs of the Brunei Malays or Adat Istiadat Melayu Brunei is keeping in line with the country's philosophy of Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB or Malay Muslim Monarchy), and is as relevant today as it has ever been.

“Bruneians should familiarise themselves regarding the Bahasa Dalam or Royal Court language as well as Adat Istiadat,” said Assistant Chief of Royal Customs and Traditions Pg Dr Hidop Pg Hj Samsuddin, recently, in a forum dedicated to the importance of the royal court language.

Adat istiadat is the base for nationhood, through its continued practice, and also a form of heritage that reflects a nation's identity.

The appropriate manner of teaching adat istiadat should be within homes, where parents and guardians are expected to teach their children of the MIB philosophy.

“Every race in the world has its own customs. These customs differ from one another because they have been created according to different experiences and views of a race,” Dr Hidop explained.

“Adat istiadat is important because it regulates our behaviour and interactions with our family members, the community and the rest of the country,” he added.

During the forum, Pg Dr Hidop stressed on the functions and purpose of the ceremonial area in the Lapau Building which includes seating arrangements made according to credentials and position of guests.

“Changes over time will never threaten the integrity of adat istiadat because it is relevant regardless of the time and situation — its original purpose is unchanged,” he said.

Referring to Bahasa Dalam, Pg Dr Hidop said that while most of the words in the court language come from Sanskrit, the origins of selected words have yet to be studied.

Bahasa Dalam is widely encouraged by the government because it promotes respect for His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and also reinforces the principles of MIB.

It can be defined as the language used by the royal families and the palace household, but it is also a language of respect used by others when conversing with royalty and government officials.

The royal court language is described as a language of high status. The language of the royal court is also defined as a language of decorum and gentility, diplomacy, respect (through its use of prefaces), as well as a language of allusion and symbolism.

This includes words or phrases with special meanings that are suitable for addressing or referring to members of the royal family and other nobles.

Giving examples of this, Officer at State Adat Istiadat Ak Mohd Noor Hamaddi said that the proper royal salutation used when encountering His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha would be “Ampun beribu ampun”.

An example referring to the use of the salutation, is when expressing joy at His Majesty’s attendance during a visit to a department: “Ampun beribu ampun, Hamba Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik menjunjung kasih atas keberangkatan Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik di jabatan ini.”

Meanwhile, salutations used for His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at Prime Minister's Office or a gahara (born of a noble mother) prince or vizier would be “Beribu ampun”.

One example of this, when inviting the royal subject to deliver a royal speech, is: “Beribu Ampun, junjunglah Duli Tuanku menyampaikan sabda.”

There are also distinctions that have been introduced during the granting of a rank. This is illustrated according to the highest rank which is “diarak” for a Vizier, “diangkat” for a Cheteria and “disampiri” for a Pehin Manteri.

When a male interacts with a Cheteria or noble, “peramba” would be used when referring to oneself or for a female, “kaola”.

When addressing members of the Legislative Council of Brunei, the salutation would be “Yang Berhormat”, however this also depends on the rank and position of the said member.

Ak Mohd Noor added that, Bahasa Dalam serves to acknowledge the roles of the royal family, nobles and dignitaries, and to facilitate communication with them and between them.

Dr Pg Hidop said that though customs may change over time, adat istiadat functions as a unifying mechanism that unites the people to achieve the country's objectives.

He added that Brunei still has its old customs, which have been preserved for generations. Adat istiadatadapts to the modern world without changing its essence, which is why it is relevant to Bruneians today in terms of progress and development.

He also pointed out that adat istiadat is also continuously monitored to ensure that it is suitable and in line with Syara’ (Islamic teachings).

Adat istiadat continues to be preserved and strengthened with the sovereignty of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

“Any elements deemed inappropriate and that go against Islamic teachings will be taken note of and corrected,” he said.

For more information regarding the proper usage of Bahasa Dalam and adat istiadat, please contact 2243071 or follow its Facebook page at ‘Jabatan Adat istiadat Negara’.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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