Thursday, May 28, 2015

$120m I.M. Pei Designed Islamic Gallery




WAQIUDDIN RAJAK
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Thursday, May 28, 2015

HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam laid the foundation for the construction of the new Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Islamic Exhibition Gallery (BPIS) at Jalan Pengiran Babu Raja yesterday.

Costing around $120 million, the building will be able to house nine galleries with 29 themes compared to old temporary venue in the State Mufti’s Office where it can only house four themed exhibitions.

The building, which will also serve to become one of the country’s landmarks, is slated to be completed by March 2017.

Accompanying His Majesty were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and His Royal Highness Prince Hj Jefri Bolkiah as well as His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel.

The ceremony began with the recital of Surah Al-Fatihah by State Mufti YB Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Hj Awang Abdul Aziz Juned followed by a video presentation showing the interior and exterior concepts of the building.

His Majesty then consented to pour concrete into one of the building’s main pillars, marking the start of the construction followed by a Takbir lauded by the State Mufti.

The monarch then consented to tour around an exhibition showing pictures of the exterior and interior concepts of the new building after signing the memorial plaque for the foundation laying ceremony.

Briefing His Majesty on the exterior concept as he toured along was the Permanent Secretary (Technical and Professional) at the Ministry of Development, Dato Paduka Hj Suhaimi Hj Gafar who was also helped by Toh Tsun Lim, an architect from Pei Partnership Architects, New York.

Explaining the interior concepts of the building to the Sultan was the Co-Secretary of the ceremony, director of administration at the State Mufti’s Office Dato Paduka Ahmad Bukhari Pehin Siraja Khatib Hj Abu Hanifah and Jasper Jacobs from Jasper Jacobs Associates from the United Kingdom.

Besides being able to house 1,000 Islamic manuscripts and hundreds of artefacts, the building will also allow the Islamic gallery to extend its intellectual agenda to conduct research on the exhibits and spread the findings to the general public.

His Majesty was then invited to sign the memorial parchment, before receiving a pesambah and concluding the ceremony with a group photo session with the executive committee of the ceremony and members of the management of the project.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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WAQIUDDIN RAJAK
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Thursday, May 28, 2015

ONCE the new Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Islamic Exhibition Gallery (BPIS) is completed by 2017, Brunei’s facilitation of Islamic studies would get a significant boost and will make the Sultanate a primary research centre in Asia, said the State Mufti’s Office Director of Administration yesterday.

Dato Paduka Ahmad Bukhari Pehin Siraja Khatib Hj Abu Hanifah told The Brunei Times that besides conserving and collecting Islamic manuscripts and artefacts, research facilities will also be introduced in the building to allow experts to share their knowledge beneath such items.

He said the contents and all other knowledge that could be extracted in the old manuscripts could then be verified by various experts, including in sociology and religion, before being disseminated to Muslims in general.

“Brunei is the only country in Asia to collect these manuscripts and save them, and also the first to attempt to study it, collect its knowledge and share them with other Muslims,” the director said.

According to experts, a research on one manuscript alone would take a year to be completed, but His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, has over 1,000 manuscripts, so it will take a millenium for them to be completed.

“However, it is already in our plans to involve hundreds of experts around the world to study these manuscripts at one time, so perhaps in 10 to 15 years, research could be completed,” Dato Paduka Ahmad Bukhari (pic) added.

The director also explained that the facilities to be included in the new building would not only allow them to register newly acquired artefacts and manuscripts in a catalogue but also to repair them and then digitalise them.

“So in the future, people will have no need to touch the actual manuscripts to learn them. They will be able to do so through digital copies of it,” he said.

“Interested individuals, like those who are doing their PhD research, could also use our resources and facilities. We will also associate ourselves and cooperate with some of the universities around the world,” he added.

By associating with higher educational institutions and becoming members of various bodies, the director said that they will be able to acquire some of the services from experts to help conduct research on the available manuscripts, including rare and unpublished ones.

Additionally, the director also expressed hopes that members of the public who have in their possession some of the rare Islamic manuscripts and artefacts could contribute them to the BPIS, since the facility has the capacity to retain their original state.

He added that such contributions would be valuable to Muslims all over the world since they are spreading important knowledge.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

Friday, May 22, 2015

Use MIB Values online




ABDUL AZIM KASSIM
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Friday, May 22, 2015

ADVANCEMENTS in technology have led to some individuals feeling the need to be “connected” but this has led to a lack of interaction between family members.

This was said by Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the Prime Minister’s Office Hj Mohd Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos at the Social Media Forum 2015 held at the AITI building in Anggerek Desa yesterday.

The forum was an initiative by the Content Advisory Council and organised by the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI).

It was held to promote the positive use of social media and educate users about online etiquette.

He highlighted that the “uncontrolled” use of such technology could socially impact the interaction between family members, friends and colleagues.

“Nowadays in many restaurants we walk into, we see many people sitting on the same table yet not communicating to each other but are instead communicating with someone else via their smart phones,” he said.

“We are beginning to lose the art of communication. Our social skills are slowly becoming limited.”

He explained that the Internet has given birth to a new concept called social media which refers to avenues on the Internet where members of the public can generate content.

But for every useful activity generated, the “irresponsible users” have also generated harmful activities, such as spreading false news and preying on others.

“As users of this technology, we should always be alert and aware of content... that are not suitable for our society,” he said.

He gave an example of cyber crimes where in March 2014, Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) statistics showed that approximately 60 per cent of abuse and rape case victims knew their attackers through online dating and that 82 per cent of these victims were children under 16.

He added that the excessive use of smart devices might even cause car accidents.

“For example in the United States, the American National Safety Council reported that mobile phone use while driving led to 1.6 million crashes each year.”

“Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving and one out of every four car accidents in the US is caused by texting and driving. We really have to tackle this issue seriously. This is a statistic that we need to be aware,” he said.

The permanent secretary stressed that these factors are “very worrying” and that Brunei’s younger generation need to be guided by Malay Muslim Monarchy (MIB) values when online, so the good side of social media is utilised.

He said that the pros of social media were that it would allow us to reconnect, to promote one’s business and shape the way information is transmitted to the public.

“Facebook exploded when people found out that they can reconnect long lost relatives and friends, while LinkedIn allows networking at a professional level,” he said.

“Social media is also used for marketing, as a bandwagon to promote products and services while providing trending topics and news before they are (surface) in the mainstream media.

“As smart phones become even more ubiquitous and people find ways to access news sources, we will only continue to see social media directing world events, building awareness and breaking news. Everyone can now be a reporter.”

Hj Mohd Rozan thus reminded the audience at the forum that tackling social media was a shared responsibility.

He hoped the social media forum would promote the effective use of social media to enhance our values and aspirations to be responsible netizens.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Information Department Must Keep Up With Times





RASIDAH HAB
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

THE Information Department is urged to be competitive and keep up with the times by maximising on the use of ICT in order to gain public attention.

The Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the Prime Minister’s Office Hj Mohd Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos said this at an event celebrating Information Department’s 63rd anniversary yesterday.

He urged the Department to keep up with new technologies, adding that this is important in drawing public attention and disseminate information.

“Now we are in an era of information technology. Our society now has many ways of getting information, which is now made easily available with technological advancements,” said Hj Mohd Rozan in his opening remarks.

“We realised that people are exposed to information that are accurate as well as information that are exaggerated. This is a big challenge for media organisations globally, and the Information Department is not exempted.

“Whether the information received is accurate or not, it is very difficult to control. The convenience of receiving information also made it easy for the information to be ‘recycled’ and distributed to other parties,” he added.

Hj Mohd Rozan said the survival or relevancy of an organisation such as the Information Department is tied to the quality of its services and products, he said.

He added that despite having actively implemented various programmes over the past 63 years, the Department must continue to set new benchmarks.

The permanent secretary also urged the Department to find new ways to attract the younger audience.

He also urged the Department to continue to help the government promote its policies and efforts such as in disseminating the MIB (Malay Muslim Monarchy) philosophy and the Brunei National Vision 2035.

The Information Department will continue its 63rd anniversary celebration until May 21.

During the event yesterday, Hj Mohd Rozan launched a photo book ‘Tranquility in Diversity’ as part of the celebration.

The book comprised a collection of pictures captured in and around Temburong district.

It also promotes the natural beauty and activities in the district.

Hj Mohd Rozan also presented certificates of appreciation to nine of the Department’s retired staff for their contribution over the years.

Acting Director of Information Department, Mawardi Hj Mohamad, said there are plans to publish similar books for the other districts.

Other activities for the celebration include ‘Bicawara Pelita Brunei’ as well as quizzes.

An exhibition was also set up showcasing the history behind the establishment of the Information Department.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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