Monday, August 31, 2015

Brunei Industrial Island Becomes a Reality

The Oxford Business Group reported the following news:

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Brunei Darussalam’s industrial island becomes a reality
Economic News Update
28 Aug 2015

Expectations are high for Brunei Darussalam’s downstream energy sector, as Pulau Muara Besar (PMB) island prepares to welcome the country’s first oil refinery and aromatics cracker complex, highlighting the Sultanate’s growing potential as a destination for value-added processing.

Upon completion, the plant is expected to inject an estimated $2bn per annum into the Bruneian economy and boost GDP by around 2% when fully operational, according to Mohammad Parvez Imdad, an economist at the South-east Asia department of the Asian Development Bank, speaking to local media earlier this year.

Island future

First envisaged in 2011, the PMB industrial island project mirrors Singapore’s Jurong Island, an artificial land mass located south-west of the city-state’s main island. Jurong has become a cornerstone of Singapore's energy and chemicals industry, and home to a portfolio of more than 100 leading global petroleum firms.

The petrochemicals plant is a key part of the 955-ha industrial zone, which is currently undergoing major infrastructure upgrades. This includes construction of a deepwater container terminal, an export processing zone, a bridge linking the island to the mainland and a manufacturing centre with commercial facilities and services.

With production capacity of 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) of petroleum products, the 260-ha plant will be built by China’s Hengyi Industries and is due to begin operations in 2018.

Upon completion of the first phase, which is expected to see $4bn worth of investment, the complex will boast annual production of 1.5m tonnes each of diesel, naphtha cracker and paraxylene; 1m tonnes of jet A fuel; 500,000 tonnes of benzene; 400,000 tonnes of gasoline; and 135,000 bpd of crude and condensates.

The second phase will see the addition of new units for olefin and mono-ethylene glycol production, as well as an additional 1m tonnes of paraxylene output per year.

Adding value

Development of the plant underscores growing recognition of the importance of value-added activities for future economic expansion in the Sultanate.

Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah, the current senior minister at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), highlighted the potential for downstream activity to widen growth prospects. “These spin-off activities are important, as they would provide commercial opportunities for local businesses and create more jobs for locals,” he told OBG last year.

After a site visit in June, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam’s managing director, Javed Ahmed Javed, echoed this sentiment. “This is a major project by regional standards. It will bring in the much-needed impetus in terms of employment and business spin-offs to the economy,” he told local press.

Senior officials have also called for an integrated marine supply base to be built on PMB, saying it would open further commercial and logistics opportunities in oil and gas-related industries.

Through ventures such as these, Brunei Darussalam plans to increase downstream economic output from $300m in 2012 to $5bn by 2035, according to a recent white paper issued by the Energy Department at the PMO.

Building bridges

While the PMB plant was forecast to begin operations in early 2017, the addition of a coking plant and construction of a single-buoy mooring system have resulted in a delay of at least a year. However, progress is being driven by the start of work on a 2.7-km, four-land bridge linking the western shore of PMB to Brunei’s mainland at Kampung Serasa.

The three-year bridge project includes the construction of a four-lane main road on PMB as well as associated utilities such as power, water and telecommunications services.

Following the ground-breaking ceremony in May, Abdurahman Abdul Aziz, assistant CEO of the Brunei Economic Development Board, told local media that once minimum infrastructure had been completed, contractors could start using the bridge to transfer workers, services and supplies, instead of ferrying them across through temporary jetties.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Monetary Authority Issue Commemorative Notes to Honour Sultan


Commemorative dollar notes to honour Sultan
Posted date: August 29, 2015
| Fadley Faisal |

AUTORITI Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) has introduced a limited edition of Brunei dollar notes to mark 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’s 69th birthday celebration.

The uncut polymer currency, which can be used as legal tender, will be available for purchase for members of the public.

“The sales of the limited numbers of the $1 and $10 notes will kick start on Monday, August 31, and the public can buy it from AMBD located at the Commonwealth Drive during government office hours,” said Mardini bin Haji Eddie, Executive Director of AMBD’s Monetary Operations Department at a press conference held at the Brunei Currency Monetary Board Building.

The uncut three-piece $1 block is sold at $40 while the eight-piece $1 block is priced at $100.

The three-piece $10 block is up for grabs for $70 and eight-piece $10 block can be purchased for $200.

These notes carry more value than when it is used as legal tender, Mardini said, adding that more often it is collectors who eye these ‘uncut blocks’ to add to their personal collection.

The public can learn more about the sale of these commemorative notes as well as AMBD’s other commemorative notes and coins by contacting its Currency Management Unit at 2382186.

Mardini also mentioned that previously AMBD sold out its uncut Brunei-Singapore $20 polymer notes that were issued in both countries to commemorate the 40 years of the Currency Inter-changeability Agreement (CIA).

Also in attendance at the media conference yesterday were AMBD officials.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Brunei Soldiers in Peacekeeping Missions IMT & UNIFIL

The flag cession ceremony was presided by the Commander of the RBAF Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Major General Dato Paduka Seri Mohd Tawih bin Adbullah to Head of IMT contingent, 429 Lieutenant Colonel Azman bin Haji Bangkol and Head of UNIFIL Contingent, Captain Mohd Faizi bin Haji Tarif



RBAF 12th IMT & UNIFIL peacekeepers ready for mission
Posted date: August 29, 2015
| Azaraimy HH |

A SEND off ceremony was held yesterday for two Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) contingents on monitoring and peacekeeping missions abroad.

Six personnel from the RBAF and one personnel from Royal Brunei Police Force will monitor the ceasefire agreement between the Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the 12th International Monitoring Team (IMT) mission in Mindanao, Republic of the Philippines.

The outgoing 12th IMT contingent, which is being led by 429 Lieutenant Colonel Azman bin Haji Bangkol, consists of 785 Major Sheikh Faisal bin Dato Paduka Sheikh Adanan; 831 Captain Mohd Rushdi bin Haji Awang Yusuf; Assistant Superintendent Awangku Haji Mohd Khairul Anuar bin Pengiran Haji Ahmad; 9193 Warrant Officer 1 Zailani bin Haji Kamis; 10127 Warrant Officer 1 Pengiran Saini bin Pengiran Haji Jumaat and 11211 Warrant Officer 2 Mustapa bin Haji Salleh.

Meanwhile, 29 RBAF personnel will be deployed in Lebanon under the United Nations Interim Force (UNIFIL) to supervise peacekeeping and security mission in the country. The national contingent will join troops from Malaysia under the command of Malaysian Battalion 850-3 (MALBATT 850-3).Present at yesterday’s ceremony was the Commander of the RBAF, Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Major General Dato Paduka Seri Mohd Tawih bin Abdullah.

This was followed by a flag cession ceremony, which was presided by the Commander of the RBAF to Head of IMT contingent, 429 Lieutenant Colonel Azman and Head of UNIFIL Contingent, Captain Mohd Faizi bin Haji Tarif.

The ceremony was held at the Air Movement Centre (AMC), Royal Brunei Air Force Base in Rimba.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Khatam Al-Quran Ceremony for His Majesty Sultan Brunei's 69th Birthday







Their Majesties attend Khatam Al-Quran ceremony
Posted date: August 28, 2015
| Azaraimy HH |

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 and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohamed Alam yesterday consented to attend the 69 times Khatam Al-Quran ceremony held in conjunction with His Majesty’s 69th birthday celebration at the Istana Nurul Iman yesterday.

The religious ceremony, organised by Mukim and Village Consultative Councils, commenced simultaneously in all four districts on March 2, 2015, ended at the Istana Nurul Iman yesterday.

Accompanying Their Majesties to the event were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman, Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Bini Hajah Faizah binti Dato Haji Nasir, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Muta-Wakkilah Hayatul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Their Majesties and other members of the royal family were greeted on arrival by the Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman.The ceremony began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah led by Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti, followed by a Doa and the recitation of Khatam Al-Quran by the participants.

The event continued with the recitation of Takhtim and Tahlil by religious officers and teachers from the Department of Islamic Studies, and the recitation of Doa Khatam Al-Quran by Muhammad Yusran bin Haji Jahari, a student under the Tilawah Al-Quran Scheme.

The ceremony then continued with a Marhaban performed by 69 mosque officers from the Department of Mosque Affairs and 69 religious officers and teachers from the Department of Islamic Studies.

The ceremony ended with the recitation of Doa Selamat by the State Mufti.

His Majesty then received Junjung Ziarah from the male participants, while Her Majesty received Junjung Ziarah from female participants.

The event has been an annual event to showcase the Islamic way of life in the country during His Majesty’s birthday celebration since 2011.

The event reinforces His Majesty’s aspiration for the citizens to be savvy in the Al-Quran in hopes of gaining blessings and protection for the country from Allah the Almighty.

This year, a total of 1,669 participants comprising 496 men and 483 women, and 690 boys and girls, aged 12 years and under, joined the event.

This year saw a bigger participation from youth and children that included students from Arabic schools, Tilawah Al-Quran Scheme, religious schools and Khatam Al-Quran Scheme for children under the age of 10 years.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Heart of Borneo Corridor Initiative: A Gift to the World

The undisturbed ecosystem within the Peat Swamp Forest in the Belait District. – PHOTO COURTESY OF ALEX COBB, SMART UNDER BRUNEI HOB PROJECT


Photos top, above and below show species of animals found within the Peat Swamp Forest by the project team led by Jonathan Davies and Zuraidah Abd Kamis during a joint Brunei HoB Project (BSP and WI)


Heart of Borneo Corridor Initiative: A gift to the world
Posted date: August 23, 2015
| Mahmud Yussof, CEO of Heart of Borneo Centre & 
Head of Biodiversity Research and Innovation Centre |

DESPITE the world’s third largest island being situated between the Indo-Pacific Basin and Malaysia, evidently, Borneo Island still holds the world’s richest biodiversity hotspot. Its tropical rainforest – straddles from north to south in what is known as the Heart of Borneo (HoB) area – is the world’s oldest tropical rainforest ecosystem, with its evolution estimated to have started as early as 130 million years ago.

According to WWF Malaysia President Dato Seri Tengku Zainal Adlin (PhD), a prominent nature lover and ecotourism key player in Sabah, unlike the Amazon in South America, Borneo Island did not experience the continental drift. Hence, the Bornean tropical rainforest ecosystem is the most ancient ecosystem in the world.

Based on Tengku’s comparison study and experience, Borneo Island is the best biodiversity hotspot in the world. Furthermore, according to the National Geography, an area of 10 square kilometres in Borneo Island has more biodiversity content than a combination of the whole Europe and North America.

According to Tengku, in Borneo Island we can find the highest diversity of orchid and tree species and other associated flora and fauna, a majority of which are endemic to this island. Ten per cent of the world’s orchid can be found on the island of Borneo. On another note, the Bornean tropical rainforest assembles highly diverse wild fruit orchards for the Bornean people.The current no-logging policy for these protected and conserved areas within the designated Brunei HoB area (especially the peat swamp forests) is a noble laureate class approach by the political leadership. It was enforced in 2014.

In view of this, the people of Brunei are blessed with a vast area of pristine tropical rainforest – considered the most ancient biological landscape in the world – as a prime ecotourism destination for the country, serving as a highly potential industry to support national economic diversifications. This tropical rainforest ecosystem can be found in the interiors of Brunei, with a majority turned into reserved forest areas. There is also the peat swamp forest on the state land of Belait District.

Under the purview of the Heart of Borneo Initiative, these areas have been recognised to play an important role not only as a continuous terrestrial ecological route, but also in providing nutrients for the marine coral reef within the Marine Protection Area (MPA) that lies within the Indo-Pacific Global Centre of Coral Diversity also known as the Amazon of the sea.

The HoB Corridor Initiative project proposed by Brunei as the first trilateral efforts will ensure the connectivity of these most ancient forest ecosystems from Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan to serve the core richest biodiversity area representing the Bornean biodiversity. More importantly, the biological strip will provide Bornean citizens a living pharmacy and herbals worth billions of dollars through biotechnology industry and traditional herbal practices as well as a living food supermarket for the rich culture forest communities.

As the core area of the world’s richest biodiversity, the biological corridor is the iconic landmass for Borneo Island that will attract both local and international researchers. The potential of new discoveries is very high for the benefit of the whole Borneo Island community. The Research and Development information from this strip of biological corridor will be the scientific component of ecotourism activities in Borneo within the HoB package ecotourism that will also enhance the people’s appreciation for nature.

The establishment of the HoB Corridor Initiative was further discussed in the 9th HoB Trilateral Meeting on August 11-12 2015 in Sandakan, Sabah. The most notable lessons learnt during the course of the meeting is that Sabah is making tremendous effort in forest protection under the HoB management regime and undertaking the best collective efforts in promoting its ecotourism industry.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri attends HRH Princess Amal Rakiah's Daughter's Wedding

Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohamed Alam at the Bersanding ceremony. – PHOTOS: AZARAIMY HH

Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohamed Alam accompanied by Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah, Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Norhayati binti Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah, Her Roy-al Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Am-bassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam and Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Babu Raja Pengiran Anak Hajah Besar binti Pengiran Anak Haji Metassan at the ceremony

Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman, Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Raabi’atul ‘Adawiyyah binti Pengiran Haji Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Muta-Wakkilah Hayatul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Prin-cess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Nor’ain, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal Rakiah, the mother of the bride and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal Nasi-bah

Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Mujaabah Safaaul Bulqiah binti Pengiran Anak Haji Tahiruddin and Amirul Zahrein bin Colonel (Rtd) Haji Ahmad at the Bersanding ceremony



Her Majesty attends Bersanding ceremony
Posted date: August 24, 2015
| Izah Azahari |

HER Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohamed Alam yesterday graced the Bersanding ceremony for the wedding of Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Mujaabah Safaaul Bulqiah binti Pengiran Anak Haji Tahiruddin and Amirul Zahrein bin Colonel (Rtd) Haji Ahmad, at the bride’s residence, AR Chateau, in Kampong Beribi.

Accompanying Her Majesty were Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman; Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah; Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Norhayati binti Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman; Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Raabi’atul ‘Adawiyyah binti Pengiran Haji Bolkiah; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Muta-Wakkilah Hayatul Bolkiah; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Nor’ain; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam; the mother of the bride, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal Rakiah; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal Nasibah; Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Babu Raja Pengiran Anak Hajah Besar binti Pengiran Anak Haji Metassan and other members of the royal family.

The ceremony began with the beating of the hadrah as the bride first entered the hall beautifully clad in a traditional dark purple ‘songket’ dress, accompanied by dayang-dayang carrying ceremonial candles, followed shortly by the groom’s entrance in equally intricate dark purple male songket attire.

A Doa Selamat was then read to bless the ceremony by Acting Chief Syar’ie Judge Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Salim bin Haji Besar, along with a Junjung Ziarah by the newlyweds to Her Majesty and other royal family members.

The ceremony concluded a series of traditional Malay ceremonies carried out to mark the marriage of Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Mujaabah Safaaul Bulqiah and Amirul Zahrein this week.

The bride is the eldest child of Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal Rakiah.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

69th HM Sultan Brunei's Birthday: Thousands Greet His Majesty

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, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah at the get-together in Bandar Seri Begawan









Posted date: August 24, 2015
| Khal Baharulalam |

THOUSANDS of people from all walks of life converged on Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien yesterday for the get-together ceremony marking the 69th birthday celebration of 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 in the Brunei-Muara District.

Also in attendance yesterday were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik.

A special performance by some 569 Brunei-Muara District residents was one of the highlights of the day.

His Majesty also received greetings from thousands of well-wishers in the much-awaited interaction with their beloved monarch.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

69th Birthday of HM Sultan Brunei: Brunei-Muara Fitting Finale

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 and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office are greeted by Brunei-Muara District residents during the royal get-together. – DEAN KASSIM

Brunei-Muara’s fitting finale
Posted date: August 24, 2015
| Khal Baharulalam |

BRUNEI-MUARA District witnessed a spectacular display of love and loyalty as thousands thronged the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien in Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday to greet 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 during His Majesty’s traditional meet-the-people programme in conjunction with the monarch’s 69th birthday celebration.

Ecstatic schoolchildren in colourful uniforms waving mini national flags lined the streets en-route to the royal dais as the royal entourage made a grand entry into the field.

Also in attendance yesterday were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik.

Upon arrival at the stage, His Majesty and members of the royal family were greeted by Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, the Minister of Home Affairs in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Executive Committee for the 69th birthday celebration; Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Misle bin Haji Abdul Karim, the Acting Brunei-Muara District Officer.Echoes of ‘Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik’ chants reverberated across the field area as the acting district officer stood before the monarch, pledging on behalf of the district’s residents to maintain and strengthen the values set under His Majesty’s wise leadership, particularly the Malay Islamic Monarchy philosophy.

The celebration also saw a special performance by a total of 569 Brunei-Muara District residents, comprising students from 28 different schools, local talents, national athletes, members of government and non-government associations – all collaborating to form a picturesque show – bearing the theme ‘Raja Gemilang Sanjungan Negara’ (A Sovereign Monarch Respected by the Nation).

After the performances, His Majesty made his way to the thousands of well-wishers eagerly waiting to interact with their beloved king.

The Brunei-Muara District event marked the conclusion of the royal birthday get-together celebration which started on August 18 in the districts of Tutong followed by Temburong and Belait.

His Majesty’s Junjung Ziarah is one of the most significant celebrations in the country’s calendar of events as it is a platform for the people to get up close to their much adored king.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

Monday, August 24, 2015

Permanent and Deputy Permanent Secretaries List 2015 Updated

Following a spate of retirements and minor changes, here is the most up to date current list of Permanent Secretaries and Deputies in Brunei Darussalam:

Permanent Secretaries

Prime Minister's Office (PMO)
Dato Paduka Haji Hamdan bin Abu Bakar (Security and Enforcement)
Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Roselan bin Haji Mohd Daud (Penggerak Unit)
Yahya bin Haji Idris (Corporate Affairs and Civil Service)
Dato Paduka Haji Jamain bin Haji Julaihi (Energy Division)
Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman (International, R&D, Economy and Finance)
Haji Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yunos (Media and Cabinet)
Dato Paduka Haji Joanda HA Rashid (Law and Welfare)

Ministry of Defence (MINDEF)
Datin Paduka Hajah Suriyah binti Haji Umar

Ministry of Finance (MOF)
Dato Paduka Haji Hisham bin Haji Hanifah
Haji Nazmi bin Haji Mohammad
Eddie bin Dato Paduka Haji Sunny

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT)
Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi
Dato Paduka Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Yusof
Datin Tan Bee Yong
Dato Paduka Haji Matnor bin Haji Jeludin
Sheikh Haji Fadilah bin Sheikh Haji Ahmad

Ministry of Education (MOE)
Dr. Haji Junaidi bin Haji Abd Rahman (Core Education)
Dato Paduka Dr. Hj Zulkarnain Hj Hanafi (Higher Education)

Ministry of Health (MOH)
Datin Paduka Dr. Hajah Norlila binti Dato Paduka Haji Jalil

Ministry of Development (MOD)
Haji Md Lutfi bin Abdullah (Administration and Finance)

Ministry of Communications (MOC)
Haji Abd Mutalib bin Pehin Dato Haji Yussof

Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR)
Hajah Normah Suria Hayati Pehin Dato Haji Md Jamil

Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA)
Dato Seri Setia Haji Abd Aziz bin Orang Kaya Maharaja Lela Haji Md Yusof

Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA)
Haji Md Abdoh bin Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Salam

Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS)
Dato Paduka Dr. Haji Affendy bin Pehin Dato Haji Abidin

Deputy Permanent Secretaries

Prime Minister's Office (PMO)
Adi Samsul bin Haji Sabli (IT and E-Government)

Ministry of Defence (MINDEF)
Haji Azhar bin Haji Ahmad
Abu Suffian bin Haji Ali

Ministry of Finance (MOF)
Haji Abu Bakar bin Haji Ibrahim
Haji Zakaria bin Serudin

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT)
Haji Sulia bin Haji Mayan
Adanan bin Haji Jaafar
Pengiran Datin Shazainah binti Pg Dato Sharifuddin
Hajah Tutiaty binti Haji Abd Wham

Ministry of Education (MOE)
Dr. Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh
Datin Dr. Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina bte Pehin Dato Haji Abd Aziz

Ministry of Health (MOH)
Hajah Siti Mariam binti Haji Jaafar
Dr. Rahmah binti Haji Said

Ministry of Development (MOD)
Haji Marzuke bin Haji Mohsin

Ministry of Communications (MOC)
Md Riza bin Dato Paduka Hj Md Yunos

Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR)
Khairuddin bin Abd Hamid

Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA)
Haji Harun bin Haji Juned
Haji Roslan bin Tajaah

Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA)
Haji Idris bin Hj Md Ali
Haji Md Sunadi bin Buntar

Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS)
Noorjusmin bin Haji Abd Samad

Note:
This list is superseeded by the latest appointment. Link here.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

HM Sultan Brunei's Birthday in Kuala Belait Overflows with Joy

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. – PHOTOS: DEAN KASSIM, AZROL AZMI & FAZA SURAJ

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, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik during the get-together in the Belait District

Students and residents of Belait District waving the national flag as His Majesty’s convoy passes 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, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah being greeted by residents during the get-together in the Belait District

His Majesty consents to a group photo with members of the Red Crescent Association

The speech delivered by Haji Haris bin Haji Othman, Belait District Officer

All smiles in Belait District … Performers involved in yesterday’s colourful celebration at the Kuala Belait Municipal Field

Belait overflows with joy
Posted date: August 23, 2015
| Faza Suraj |

IT WAS a day of copious jollity as Belait District yesterday came alive for the reception of its benevolent monarch.

Thousands of people flocked to the Kuala Belait Municipal Field as early as 6am to grab the opportunity to greet 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 during the monarch’s traditional Junjung Ziarah ceremony in conjunction with His Majesty’s 69th birthday celebration.

Belait is the third district to host the event which was kicked off in Tutong on August 18.

Also in attendance yesterday were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik.

The anxious wait of thousands turned into excitement as the distant whirring of the Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter which was carrying His Majesty marked the beginning of another Junjung Ziarah – an annual event looked forward by people of all walks of like in the Sultanate as a chance to be close with their beloved King. and residents who have lined the route from the helipad to the venue of the celebration waved national flags with enthusiasm as the convoy of decorated black Rolls Royce cars passed them carrying the ruler and members of the royal family escorted by personnel from the Royal Brunei Police Force.

Upon arrival at the stage, His Majesty and members of the royal family were greeted by Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, the Minister of Home Affairs in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Executive Committee for the 69th birthday celebration.

The Belait District Officer Haji Haris bin Haji Othman expressed the undivided loyalty towards the monarch on behalf of the people of Belait District. He thanked the just and wise reign of His Majesty throughout the last four decades that brought about massive development projects and advancements in the urban areas as well as the countryside of the Sultanate.

“This especially can be seen in the projects and programmes which directly or indirectly contribute towards maintaining the peace, prosperity and safety that have been enjoyed by the people of the Belait District as well as the rest of the Sultanate which will be savoured by the current generation and Insya Allah, the next generation.”

The event continued with the finals of the National Tug-of-War Competition between teams from the Brunei-Muara District and the Tutong District followed by the prize presentation.

The joy and gratitude of citizens and residents to the monarch were reflected in the performance which carried the theme ‘Raja Pencetus Inspirasi Generasi Berwawasan’(An Inspirational Monarch for a Generation With a Vision).

The performance ended on a colourful note as confetti filled the air above the field.

The occasion was enlivened even further with His Majesty meeting with the participants followed by the rest of the attendees.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Gruelling Journey to Miri in the 1970s

Waiting for the Sungai Baram ferry in 1969


Posing for a photo on the ferry ride to Sungai Baram in 1970


The muddy road from Sungai Teraban heading to the Sungai Tujuh Control Post
PHOTOS: Haji Mohd Daud Abd Rahman

Gruelling journey to Miri back in the 70s
Posted date: August 22, 2015
| Haji Mohd Daud Abd Rahman |

A road trip to neighbouring Miri back in the 1970s was considered a rough and a difficult journey. The bus was the only means of transportation if one was to decide on a trip to Miri as the roads were still considered risky if travelling by one’s own vehicle.

The writer remembered departing from Bandar Brunei as early as 6am to catch the chartered bus heading to Kuala Belait and would only reach the latter at around 9am.

After a quick breakfast, everyone would be ushered to a bus belonging to ‘Syarikat Bas Berlima Brunei & Miri’.

The journey to Miri would start by riding on the Sungai Teraban ferry heading towards the Sungai Tujoh Control Post by means of the beach road .

Once the travel documents are cleared, we would head to Baram where we will go on a two-hour ride on another ferry heading to Miri town. would only reach Miri around 5pm where we would then get on a taxi to take us to Kampong Luak. We finally reached our destination at our brother’s residence at 6pm.

Thanks to rapid development and a prosperous relationship with Malaysia, we can now go to Miri in just an hour. Compared to the journey some 40-50 years ago, many Bruneians can make a day trip to the neighbouring shopping haven with total ease.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

Friday, August 21, 2015

69th HM Sultan Brunei's Birthday: Temburong Celebrates








Sultan celebrates with Temburong residents
Posted date: August 21, 2015
| Achong Tanjong |

THE royal get-together between 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 and the residents of the Temburong District took place yesterday at the field of the community hall complex in Pekan Bangar in conjunction with the monarch’s 69th birthday celebration.

His Majesty was greeted by crowds comprising residents, school children and foreigners working in the country, upon his arrival via helicopter at 10.30am. People also flocked to the area to watch performances involving 369 participants that were based on a theme of education throughout the years in the Sultanate from the 1960’s until current times.

Some 40 people representing their respective ethnic groups – Malay, Murut, Tiong Hwa and Iban – were dressed in their traditional attire, helping to make the event an inclusive and colourful one.

According to a representative of the Murut Association, Dora Yating, the event was an opportunity for ethnic groups to showcase aspects of their unique cultures.

The association, like other official groupings representing the country’s different ethnicities, participates in the royal get-togethers annually.“On behalf of the community, I would like to wish His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam as well as other members of the royal family, long life and good health,” Dora said.

Meanwhile, Padan Lasung, also from the Murut Association expressed his appreciation to the monarch for all the developments being made in the district, such as the construction of the proposed Temburong Bridge.

Hand-made Murut traditional attire utilises tree bark known as ‘Pemaran’, for both men and women.Members of the Iban community from the Tanjung Bungar Longhouse were led by their village head, Janlita Anak Mingan, while the Tiong Hwa and Malay ethnic groups were led by Lim Eng Ming from the Tiong Hwa Association and Daud bin Haji Masri, the Village Head of Kampong Batu Apoi. These representatives lined up at the entrance to the community hall complex to welcome the arrival of the royal family.

Meanwhile, a teacher from Australia who has been working at the Sultan Hassan Secondary School in Bangar said, “The field performance was very cool and the traditional attire worn by the different ethnic groups are very colourful and beautiful.”

Pekan Bangar had been decorated with banners of greeting and an archway at locations along the road leading to the area.

The get-together ceremony is a good opportunity for people to personally present their well wishes to the monarch.

69th HM Sultan Brunei's Birthday: Thousands in Temburong Greet Sultan

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 and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, are greeted by residents during the get-together in Pekan Bangar, Temburong District. – BAHYIAH BAKIR

Green Jewel comes alive as thousands greet Sultan
Posted date: August 21, 2015
| Azlan Othman |

THE atmosphere was exuberant in the Temburong District as the “Green Jewel” of Brunei Darussalam welcomed its beloved ruler yesterday.

People from all walks of life in their thousands assembled at the Civic Hall Complex in Pekan Bangar to convey their greetings to 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 during the monarch’s traditional meet-the-people programme for Temburong District in conjunction with the monarch’s 69th birthday celebration.

His Majesty’s Junjung Ziarah is one of the most significant celebrations in the country’s annual calendar of events as it is a platform for the people to get up close to their much adored king.

The annual traditional get-together ceremony will be observed in all the districts. Temburong is the second district to host the event which kicked off in Tutong District on August 18.

Also in attendance yesterday were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik.

Cheering schoolchildren and residents waving national flags lined up the route from the helipad leading to the royal dais to welcome the arrival of His Majesty’s motorcade amid chants of ‘Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik’.

His Majesty and members of the royal family were greeted upon arrival by the Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman in his capacity as the chairperson of the Executive Committee for the 69th birthday celebration and other committee members.

Haji Abdul Hamid bin Dato Paduka Haji Abdullah, the Temburong District Officer, in his welcoming remarks pledged undivided loyalty to His Majesty on behalf of the Temburong residents and continued support to the monarch’s leadership in ruling the nation.

The joy and gratitude of citizens and residents to the monarch were reflected in the field performances that carried the theme ‘Renowned Ruler, Prosperous Nation’ covering four segments and involving 369 participants.
The royal family watched the performances by the residents at the field of the Civic Hall Complex in Pekan Bangar.
The highlight of the show was a special performance portraying the credibility of His Majesty as the 29th ruler of this sovereign nation.
The musical drama performances were presented by government officers and staff, Arabic preparatory school students in Temburong, Sultan Hassan Secondary School, primary school students in the district, members of the National Service Programme (PKBN) and members of associations, NGOs and village consultative councils.
His Majesty also witnessed exhibition galleries covering education, religious and socio-economic aspects that contribute to the upgrading of lifestyle of the people in the district.
Also grabbing the attention of His Majesty was a special performance by students depicting the achievements of Brunei’s education system.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Powdering Ceremony for HRH Princess Amal Rakiah's Daughter










AK MD KHAIRUDDIN PG HARUN
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

HER Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hjh Saleha last night graced the Majlis Berbedak dan Berinai or Powdering Ceremony for Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Mujaabah Safaaul Bulqiah Pengiran Anak Hj Tahiruddin and Amirul Zahrein Lt Col (Rtd) Hj Ahmad.

The powdering ceremony took place at Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Amal Rakiah’s residence at Chateau AR in Beribi, Gadong.

YAM Pg Anak Mujaabah is the eldest daughter of HRH Princess Hjh Amal Rakiah.

The ceremony began with the arrival of Her Majesty and followed by four Awang-Awang lighting the dian empat, or a set of candles.

YAM Pg Anak Mujaabah was accompanied by a group of girls carrying flowers and a woman bringing a candle when she entered the hall.

During the powdering ceremony, Her Majesty applied coloured powder and scented oil onto the palms of the 36-year-old bride.

Other royal family members then followed suit.

Also present at the ceremony were HRH Pg Anak Isteri Pg Anak Hjh Zariah, HRH Princess Hjh Masna, HRH Princess Hjh Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam, HRH Princess Hjh Amal Rakiah and HRH Princess Hjh Amal Nasibah.

Following the ceremony, sounds of dikir marhaban filled the hall and prompted all attendees to rise.

The powdering ceremony concluded with the recitation of doa selamat.

According to information in the wedding programme, the Majlis Akad Nikah or solemnisation ceremony between the bride and 38-year-old groom will be held tomorrow on August 20.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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