Showing posts from March, 2016

The Sireh Leaf and Betel Nut Culture in Brunei

Rozan Yunos
Bandar Seri Begawan
Sunday, March 27, 2016

IT WAS not that long ago that Bruneians’ mouths were red from chewing their ‘sireh pinang’, which a mixture of ‘sireh’ leaf mixed with tobacco, slaked lime and areca nut.

WH Treacher in his book ’British Borneo: Sketches of Brunai, Sarawak, Labuan and North Borneo’ (1891) wrote that in Brunei, “both before, during and after a day’s work, the Malays, man and woman, boy and girl, solace and refresh themselves with tobacco and with the areca-nut, or the betel nut as, for some unexplained reason, it is called in English books, though betel is the name of the pepper leaf in which the areca-nut is wrapped and with which it is masticated.”

It was a common practice, not just among Bruneians, but throughout the region to chew a mixture of pinang or betel nut, lime and gambier wrapped in a ‘sireh’ leaf, a practice that apparently dates back to more than 10,000 years ago.

According to Dawn Rooney, author of the book ‘Betel Chewing Tra…

Brunei Darussalam Focus on Flight

The Oxford Business Group had this report on Brunei:-


Brunei Darussalam Transport
Economic News Update
16 Mar 2016

The aviation industry in Brunei Darussalam is looking to expand its contribution to the economy, with a new code-sharing agreement and ongoing investment in flight training facilities expected to increase passenger figures and stimulate employment.

In mid-February Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) finalised a code-sharing agreement with Turkish Airlines (THY) that is expected to increase passenger demand for flights into the Sultanate.
Network reach

Under the agreement, which came into force on February 22, passengers of the two airlines will be able to make connecting flights between Bandar Seri Begawan and Istanbul via the Middle East hub of Dubai.

The agreement greatly extends the reach of RBA, which operates 10 aircraft on 16 routes, as its new code-sharing partner has undergone its own rapid expansion in recent years: THY now serves 284 destinations with some…

ASEAN Economic Community 2015 (AEC 2015): What It Means For Brunei

AEC 2015: What it means for Brunei
on: March 20, 2016

THE Asean Economic Community (AEC) has been formally established by the countries of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on December 31, 2015. But what exactly is the AEC, and what does it mean for Brunei Darussalam?

According to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MoFAT), the creation of the AEC in 2015 is simply another milestone, albeit an important one, in Asean’s journey of economic cooperation that has been going on for the past 40 years.

What started out as a group of countries in Southeast Asia trying to overcome significant political and security challenges at the time when Asean was created in 1967, has slowly evolved into a movement to transform the region into an economic powerhouse.

Today, if Asean were to be considered as a single country, it would be the 7th largest economy in the world, with a population of 622 million people. Data has also shown that the region’s gross…

Si-Tanggang and The Theory of Human Origins

Rozan Yunos
Sunday, March 20, 2016

IN THE book “Malay Magic” (1900) written by Walter William Skeat, there were many descriptions of the Malay world-view and of techniques – Malay magic – for dealing with its uncertainties.

The Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Society of Arts (JMBRAS) which reprinted Skeat’s 1900 book in 2005 commented on his book that in describing the Malay magic, Skeat begins with the Malay traditional picture of the world, the creation of it and man’s place in it. Then comes an account of the supernatural beings with whom the Malay villager, often using the services of the local magician (pawang), had to deal, in order to conciliate or even manipulate them.

After putting Malay village life in this context of tradition and belief, Skeat comes to his main subjects, which take up about three quarters of his main text; describes the rituals for coping with the forces, sometimes anthropomorphic, of nature, and a long description of Malay life…

Brunei's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II: On Brunei's Policy

The World Policy Institute posted an interview with YB Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Brunei's Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II on 16th March 2016. Founded in 1961, the World Policy Institute, a non-partisan source of informed policy leadership for more than four decades, develops and champions innovative policies that require a progressive and global point of view. Here is the published interview:


Brunei, a Southeast Asian nation with a population of only 400,000, ranks among the world’s wealthiest nations per capita due to its extensive oil and gas resources. Situated strategically on the South China Sea and a member both of APEC and ASEAN, it is also a central player in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact now awaiting Congressional action. David A. Andelman, editor emeritus of World Policy Journal, sat down with Yang Berhormat Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Brunei’s Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and a close…

Kunyit 7 Lodge - Homestay on Kampong Ayer

Azli Azney
Sunday, August 30, 2015

IT WAS a desire to share her beloved childhood and heritage that drove Dk Kemariah Pg Hj Duraman to open up her grandfather’s house and convert it into a cosy bed and breakfast for locals and tourists alike.

Hearing about it from a friend, I decided to pay Kunyit 7 Lodge a visit by making a short boat trip to the house, less than one minute from the Yayasan jetty in Bandar, where I met the gregarious owner of the lodge, who is also known as Kem for short.

The house, located right behind the No 2 jetty of Kampung Bakut Berumput at Kampong Ayer, has a mixture of classical Bruneian architecture – there since the 1920s and was last rebuilt in 1988 – and modern with the recycled wooden furniture, the decking and the French doors.

Named after her late grandfather, Pg Tujoh, which means seven in English, and the fact that he loves the spice Kunyit, or turmeric, the lodge is both a homage to her late grandfather as well as a way to…

The Missing Kingdoms of Borneo

Rozan Yunos
Sunday, March 13, 2016

IN most history text books, one will find that many areas around the Borneo Island to be littered with ancient kingdoms and sultanates. Most of the well-known ones obviously are Brunei or Bo-ni or Po-ni or the various ancient names of Brunei; Kutei, Bolongan, Pasir, Banjarmasin, Sukadana, Pontianak, Mempawah, Landak and Sambas.

Other than Brunei, most of these kingdoms were found in the southern and western parts of the Borneo Island.

However, in the north and north east, other than Brunei, there are no ancient states or kingdoms stated. Sarawak and North Borneo as separate states were in the maps only towards the end of the nineteenth century.

One answer could be is that the Brunei Kingdom had been in control of these areas for so long that in most maps, only the Brunei kingdom was ever known.

However if we go deeper, we will find that there are other kingdoms or states which existed in these areas in the past which had been published…

Competition heats up in Brunei Darussalam’s telecoms industry

From Oxford Business Group on 29 February 2016:


Competition heats up in Brunei Darussalam’s telecoms industry

Brunei DarussalamICT
Economic News Update
29 Feb 2016

Faced with an increasingly competitive marketplace, Brunei Darussalam’s telecoms operators are working to broaden their services as they look to attract new customers and gain market share.

The coming months are expected to bring significant developments across the Sultanate’s telecoms industry, in the form of infrastructure advances and a regulatory overhaul.

Expansion strategies, which include overseas link-ups and the rollout of competing 4G coverage, should improve service and speed, and generate cost benefits for mobile customers.

Market foundations

Although a relatively small market, Brunei Darussalam benefits from substantial telecoms penetration; the country reached 100% digitalisation of the phone network in 1995, while mobile penetration surpassed the 100% mark in 2008.

According to the latest data f…

HM Sultan Brunei Newest Granddaughter (2016)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

By the command of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Office of His Majesty yesterday announced that the monarch’s newborn granddaughter has been named Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Muthee’ah Raayatul Bolqiah.

His Majesty’s granddaughter was born at 1.09pm on March 2, 2016 to His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Raabi’atul ‘Adawiyyah. Their royal wedding was in April 2015, 11 months ago.

His Majesty and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha expressed their gratitude to all those involved during the delivery of the monarch’s granddaughter, and for the messages of congratulations received following the royal birth.

Picture: Infofoto

The Brunei Times

Closing the Gender Gap in Brunei

Quratul-Ain Bandial
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

WOMEN all over the world continue to contribute to economic, social, cultural and political growth.

But based on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2015, today’s observance of International Women’s Day is dimmed by the fact that progress towards gender parity has slowed in so many places.

While Brunei has made remarkable strides in achieving gender equity, it has only managed to close the gender gap by 4.5 per cent in the past eight years, according to the WEF’s latest report.

In the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report 2015 – which measures the level of disparity between men and women – the sultanate ranks 88 out of 145 countries, moving up 10 places due to more female legislators, senior officials and managers, as well as professional and technical workers.

Brunei has a near perfect score for gender parity in education and health, and also ranks highly in women’s participation in the economy, but has a…

His Majesty Sultan Brunei and Her Majesty Attend Chinese Lunar New Year Celebrations 2016

Julius Hong and Rachel Thien
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

THE Tiong Hwa community treated His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, to a magic show and acrobatic performances during the Lunar New Year celebration at the International Convention Centre.

More than 1,000 people came together for the Lunar New Year celebration, the 10th year since His Majesty attended the first gathering that showcases Chinese culture and to promote cordial relations in the country.

Accompanying the monarch were Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah and other royal family members.

The royal family was welcomed by Yang Berhormat Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Goh King Chin, and chairman of the Lunar New Year c…

The Relationship Between Brunei and Minangkabau

Rozan Yunos Bandar Seri Begawan Sunday, March 6, 201

BRUNEI Darussalam is associated with some of the former sultanates in Indonesia. Two in particular was the Sultanate of Sambas and the Sultanate of Matan.

The Sultanate of Sambas connection can be attributed to Sultan Tengah, the first Sultan of Sarawak and the younger brother of Sultan Abdul Jalilul Akbar, the 10th Sultan of Brunei who married the sister of Sultan Muhammad Safiuddin, the Sultan of Sukadana.

After Sultan Tengah left Sukadana to go to Matan, his eldest son, Radin Sulaiman carried on his father’s work in propagating Islam, and eventually moved to Sambas. In Sambas, Radin Sulaiman was crowned as the first Sultan of Sambas – Sultan Muhammad Safiuddin I in 1584. Before he was coronated, he sent a message to his uncle, Sultan Abdul Jalilul Akbar in Brunei that he wanted to use the title “Sultan”. His uncle granted him use of the title on the condition that they must pay Brunei a visit prior to the coronation…