Brunei, the Peaceful Nation

I was going to blog about 'Brunei Tua' or 'Old Brunei' today – Brunei's pre-Islamic Empire days but to blog about history for three days running, no matter how interesting it is, might put some people off. So I will reserve that for future blogs, so be forewarned.

During yesterday's International Financial Reporting Seminar (IFRS) at the Brobudur Hotel in Jakarta, my mind started wandering. Attend an accounting seminar for one solid day and you can no longer tell the difference between IAS20 and IAS40 or the difference between to account and to value, I can tell you, minds start wandering. This is especially made worse after arriving at midnight and by 8 in the morning, you are supposed to look fresh and start the seminar. I started to look around and what I realised was the presence of the many bodyguards and security personnel at the hotel and also at the hotel I was staying in. I think there are more guards here than there are at our own Currency Board back home. But of course, if you are thinking of doing something there, let me tell you, we have the latest security technology. So, don't even think about it.

Back to Jakarta. It is so sad that for us to even go into our hotel here that we have to go through a metal detector. A series of road blocks and checks along the way to the hotel. Cars stopped and inspected, car bonnets opened, under-car inspections – the amount of time and resources spent to check every single car and every single person entering the hotel are tremendous. Multiply that by the number of hotels throughout the country. Resources that should go into productive use are wasted. All these to ensure not just the safety of the hotel guests but also the local hotel staff. And do you know what is the saddest part? The saddest part is that the security guards are guarding against their own countrymen.

We can defend our own country by pouring resources into our defences. We can buy guns, missiles and whatever weapons that you need. We can post soldiers at the boundaries and put up all sorts of defensive barriers. Unfortunately battles are no longer fought that way. We are no longer looking out for the enemies without but the enemies within. We are no longer looking out for alien faces. But faces of our own countrymen. We don't know whether they are foes or friends. When I look at the situation in Indonesia, I am thankful I live in Brunei Darussalam. I pray that we will never ever have to face what Indonesia is facing. I hope you think the same way too.


Anonymous said…
I feel you. I have experienced these security issue when I travel as a represenative of our country. The terror attacks have prompted drastic measure to be taken so as not to put anyone in danger. I even had to delete the 'Bin' in my name so as not to attract any unnecessary attention and be claimed to be related to Al-Qaeda. I am thankful to be a Bruneian and I would never trade my life with anyone around the world.
We are one of the luckiest countries in the whole world. Alhamdulillah.
Anonymous said…
I understand the feeling of our name being associated with Osama Bin Laden. But for myself, I do not have the notion or need to actually change it since its a notification of who's son/daughter ourself is. Its the mentality of foreigners that do not care to learn someone else's culture that leads to their ignorance. We are lucky here in Brunei that most of us is not as ignorant. We can still trust other Bruniean 90% of the time. Since we are still small in terms of numbers, most of us know each other 50% of the time. As the titah goes yesterday, where HM points out the priority of Peace in Country which is achievable through 'Keimanan'. I really believe that we can achieve anything with 'Iman'. But it looks in the forseeable future that if we do not practice and protect our 'Iman' as a citzen of Brunei, all will be lost. I hope in my short life, I will not have to see and go through that.

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