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Showing posts from May, 2016

Brunei Expands Financial Base Through Sukuk (Islamic Bonds)

The Oxford Business Group on 16 May 2016 had this report on Brunei:

Brunei Darussalam expands financial base through sukuk

Brunei Darussalam | Financial Services
Economic News Update
16 May 2016

Brunei Darussalam made headlines in April with the announcement of several sukuk (Islamic bond) offerings ahead of the launch of a standalone stock exchange in the Sultanate.

Efforts to expand the scope of the financial sector are aimed at ensuring a greater diversity of public and private sector financing, specifically in support of businesses and large infrastructure projects.

A roadmap of financial sector expansion is laid out in the Sultanate’s long-term national vision, Wawasan Brunei 2035. Launched in 2008, the programme targets an increase in financial services’ share of GDP from 5% last year to at least 8% by 2035.

Short-term finance

In April the Monetary Authority of Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) issued two sukuk worth a combined $150m. The first, a $50m bond with a rental rate of 1.03%, …

Scuba Diving at Pelong Rocks

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Azli Azney
BRUNEI-MUARA
Sunday, May 22, 2016

BLUE waters, blue skies; it was a view that I enjoyed, among other things, one recent sunny day during a trip to Pelong Rocks – also known as the legendary Pulau Pilong-Pilongan – to discover scuba diving.

It’s always been something that I’ve always wanted to try but did not have the courage to do on the account of not being able to swim , but since I recently gained the skill, I decided to give it a try.

Pelong Rocks is located about five kilometres from the coast of Muara beach and aside from being one of the more popular beginner scuba diving and snorkelling locations; it’s also a location that is steeped in legend.

So I set out with a group from the Meragang Sixth Form Centre’s Scuba and Swimming club, led by its head, Norkhairulaney Hj Damit, aboard the Lantaran, belonging to Dive Master Rosland Hj Suhaili and the Lantaran Recreational Dive Tours Brunei to experience what Brunei has to offer in terms of aquatic scenery.

Since s…

The Murder of a British Resident in Brunei

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Rozan Yunos
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Sunday, May 22, 2016

THE citizens of the Straits Settlement Colony in Malaya and Singapore saw this headline on The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser on 22 May 1916 ‘Brunei Acting Resident murdered’.

If there was a newspaper in Brunei at that time, many would be surprised too. But even though there was no newspaper in Brunei then, the small population would have known much earlier that the British Resident residing in Brunei who was the de facto Chief Minister at that time had been murdered on May 18, 1916.

The Singapore newspaper reported and gave a quick summary of his biography as follows:

“News is to hand that Mr Ernest Barton Maundrell, BA (Cantab), acting British Resident, Brunei, was killed on Thursday last by a Bengali or Sikh policeman. Maundrell, who was born on November 9th, 1880, arrived in the Colony in 1903 as a cadet. He passed his final examination in Malay in May, 1905, and was then gazetted as a passed cadet of class fi…

HM Sultan Brunei: Strategic ASEAN-Russia Cooperation Needed to Counter Extremist Elements

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Strategic Asean-Russia cooperation needed to counter extremist elements
on: May 21, 2016

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, on Friday expressed his hope for an increased engagement between Asean-Russia’s security agencies to counter terrorism and other transnational crimes, especially to stop violent extremist elements from coming in and establishing themselves in the region.

In a titah, which was delivered at the Plenary Session of the 20th Asean-Russia Commemorative Summit at Radisson Blu Resort and Congress Centre in Sochi, Russia, His Majesty also touched on the need for regional and international cooperation to be more strategic in addressing issues of terrorism and other transnational crimes and considering measures that could help countries become more resilient to economic uncertainty.

The impact of low oil prices and their volati…

Brunei Deputy Defence Minister Visit Supercarrier USS John C Stennis

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Top defence officials visit US Navy supercarrier
on: May 18, 2016
| Hakim Hayat |

SENIOR defence and military officials from Brunei Darussalam yesterday had firsthand view of the US Navy aircraft carrier, USS John C Stennis (CVN-74) which is currently passing through international waters close to the Sultanate on a routine operation.

The delegation, led by Deputy Minister of Defence, First Admiral (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Abdul Aziz bin Haji Mohd Tamit, arrived from the Rimba Air Force Base via a US Navy C-2 transport aircraft, along with United States (US) Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Craig Allen.

The visit on board the supercarrier was hosted by Rear Admiral Marcus A Hitchcock, the Commander of Carrier Strike Group 3.

While at sea, the group saw a demonstration of an aircraft launching and recovery operations as well as air fire-power demonstration by the assets of the Carrier Strike Group.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the invitation signified the warm state of …

Sumbangsih Mulia Complex Highlights Brunei's Heritage

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Adib Noor
Bandar Seri Begawan
Sunday, May 15, 2016

BRUNEI is truly the land of unexpected treasures, and rightly so. In the busy Beribi Industrial Area is the Sumbangsih Mulia Complex, a unique venue which aims to highlight the heritage of the sultanate via traditional handicrafts and local delights.

The Sumbangsih Mulia Complex was officially opened in 2007 and houses close to a hundred vendors operating in the open food court area as well as a separate air-conditioned section that showcases hand-made intricate local handicraft for sale.

One of the main aim of the establishment of the complex is to help local business entrepreneurs to have a place to sell their products and handicrafts and over the years, there is no denying it has done exactly that.

“We’ve been operating here since it was opened, and it does get busy during lunch time especially during the weekdays,” said Layla who works for Soto CT, one of the popular vendors in the food court.

“It’s never a slow day here, …

Brunei's Ancient Exports

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BRUNEI'S ANCIENT EXPORTS

by Rozan Yunos
Bandar Seri Begawan
Sunday, May 15, 2016

TODAY, Brunei’s main export is pretty well known even to non-Bruneians. Our oil and gas exports are the main items driving our export markets and the nation’s income.

But oil was only discovered in 1929 in Seria. However, historians have indicated that Brunei had been very active in the ancient maritime trade for centuries. So what was it that Brunei did in all those years to ensure that ships from China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malacca and other nations to come and trade with Brunei?

Brunei had geography on her side. Brunei was ideally located among the busy trade routes in Southeast Asia. Its sheltered bay protecting ships from the monsoon winds and positioned as a halfway house for the travel journeys from Korea and China to the Southeast Asian nation states all no doubt played a role in making ships come and stop by to trade with us here in Brunei. Geography alone is not sufficient.

Tra…

HM Sultan Brunei Awards 593 House Keys to Tutong Residents

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Sally Piri, Darren Chin and Khai Zem Mat Sani
TUTONG
Sunday, May 15, 2016

HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, presented 593 people with keys to their Bukit Beruang semi-detached and terrace homes in Tutong yesterday.

Out of the total number of house owners, 160 received semi-detached houses while 433 will be living in terrace houses.

The Ministry of Development in a statement said the $140 million Bukit Beruang National Housing Scheme is sprawled over 127 hectares of 1,500 housing units.

The Department of Housing Development is currently reviewing the national housing scheme to ensure it can sustain meeting the increasing number of applications.

Among the long-term strategies include optimal use of land to build more houses, as seen with the building of cluster and vertical homes.

The ministry said over 27,000 houses were built under the National Housing Scheme (RPN) and Landless Indigenous Citizens Hou…

Pasarneka Kuala Belait: Fresh Food Haven and More

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Hafiizah Maideen
BELAIT
Sunday, May 1, 2016

IT'S BEEN about three years since Pasarneka Kuala Belait was opened, selling fresh fish and meat, retail products, snacks and a place to dine under one roof.

The elongated building, which can be easily spotted when driving to Kuala Belait town, might be fairly new, but the vendors are no amateurs. Most of them are seasoned hawkers for more than 20 years, relocated from the old Pasar Kuala Belait, which has now become a food hotspot on weekend afternoons.

True to the nature of the word ‘pasarneka’, the place hosts a variety of stalls selling diverse products. The building is divided in three sections – fish and meat, light food and retail. The place to dine in is at the middle of the building.

In addition, there's also a weekend market at the carpark vicinity.

Taking into consideration the number of vendors from the old market, which is located further down the road, there are currently more than 30 stalls in each section, exc…