Looking for a Partner in Brunei?

The other day one of my junior colleagues, AA* mentioned about how difficult it was to meet someone. He complained or rather commented that it's pretty hard to meet nice girls in Brunei as we don't have the equivalent of pubs or clubs or society meeting places etc. His point was that it is difficult for a boy to meet a girl and vice versa in Brunei's society. This view coming from a young cute looking guy who graduated from a top 10 UK university, with the pay to match it and drives to work in a luxury sports car sounded a tad too pessimistic. (Phone number available on request!)

But in some respect this is a universal view. I remembered way back in mid 1980s when I was still an undergraduate, one Malaysian friend was telling me how worried he was. He had already spent close to 5 years in England and was about to graduate and he hasn't met anyone yet. He said that the only place to meet anybody was at college or university and if you did not meet anyone, then your chances become slimmer. In the working life, your circle of friends become smaller as compared to at university. I thought then it was the other way round. Working life would provide you with all the friends there is.

So come working life in Brunei, it was indeed difficult but to me it was more circumstancial rather than anything else. The mid 1980s were also a different time when compared to now, things were a little bit quieter. There was no Coffeezones, Coffeebeans etc, so there was really not much place for you to hang around in. But again circumstances. I did meet many acquaintances during the Youth Ship program - both fellow participants and those were just interested in it. Until that point, I just did not realise there was this group of very 'potentially interesting' young people who I should get to know and for them to get to know me. So, there are therefore opportunities. One has to look for it. Clubs and associations are available. Even evening classes are also opportunities. Where there is a will, there is a way kind of thing. The Malay proverb works well here - 'kalau hendak 1,000 jalan, kalau tak ndak, 1,000 dalih' - 'if you want, there are 1,000 ways, if you do not want, there are 1,000 excuses'. I still believe it's up to the individual to make their ways.

Another junior colleague, ZH* said that currently the only places for them young people to get to know others was through the internet. The friendsters, the multiplys, the blogspots etc. I am not a child of the internet world. By the time the internet existed, I was happily married but I remembered its potential - it was the internet world which kept my wife and I communicated when I was in the USA - e-mails only as skype was not yet available then. To me, we should make use of whatever opportunity is available. If the internet is it, then use it. I see the friendsters, the multiplies, the blogspots and other places where theoretically one can 'meet' each other. I often passed by the baseball games at JPPC which is another potential area as well.

But having said that, there is a potential timebomb. According to another worried colleague at MOE, there are hundreds of unmarried female education officers and trained teachers throughout the school system. He said we should try to match these groups of unmarried people as otherwise we would have poorer quality children and less population growth. He insisted that we should help them. I remembered that at one stage, the Social Affairs Unit (now the Community Development Department - JAPEM) did go along the line of the SDU and SDS in Singapore where they try to match individuals by holding 'singles' gathering. I don't know how successful the gathering was and how many times it was held. Perhaps if there is indeed a need to have it, maybe someone can contact the Director of JAPEM and indicate to her that there is a need to reactivate that program.

In Malaysia, sometime in May, the issue of 'nikah misyar' became a big issue. According to a Islamic Studies Academy Professor at Universiti Malaya, misyar wedding allows for husbands not to have to be responsible to provide upkeeping for the physical upkeep of the wife but only for the upkeep of the 'batin' (I tried translating that word but I get all sorts of rather too interesting words). Theoretically this subject matter blows up big in Malaysia because men seemed to be given a greener light to take on another wife, this time more professional ones and yet not have to be responsible for her financial upkeep. He argued this would help solve the many unmarried women problem in Malaysia. That opinion has been discussed and rebutted ever since then and if you want to know more, you can always google it (nikah misyar).

Anyway, I have absolutely no real thoughts about these issues other than to tell you the thinking of others. The issue of not just unmarried women but also unmarried men is is a subject matter which may have great implications for the growth of Brunei and yet be too sensitive to be discussed in open forums. Perhaps readers may have lots of opinions on it.


Anonymous said…
About your junior friend comment, i was wondering is it really that hard? or is it just him who's quiet fussy? heheheh the thing is at one point of life sometime before i did think like he did. And i decided to do something about it that is instead of waiting for guys making a move and not knowing whether that guy is interested or not i decided to make the move. So i approached a guy who was single and available. Whether we will live happily ever after was another story for me, because even if it doesnt at least i made another friend. I know some people would think what if he "inda layan and says i am so desperate!" well to me it just shows how so shallow that man is for perceiving me that way. kan???
Anonymous said…
Looking for potential partner..

"Must be very attractive with a good social $tanding to match with my UK qualification & salary & post in the public sector" will be the first impression of some readers on why it is difficult for your collegue to get a date.

"Pemilih" as we say in Brunei. But he / she cant be blamed rather than "Pilih Pilih Langsat!"

Bruneian men may by now realise cars & work positions are no longer "chick magnets". Modern independent educated ladies dont look into those criteria anymore. What they want is honesty & integrity, attention + affection in a relationship. Looks counts an added bonus!!

I know several ladies from affluent backgrounds dating / marrying honest decent men that are way far down in terms of academic qualifications & pay! But a pity that unsuspecting single female officers are also becoming ATMs for vain opportunistic individuals.
Anonymous said…
I did not expect to hear this complaint really. I think this is such a great time to be young, free and single. There's just so many opportunities to meet people that you're spoilt for choices. There's always something going on, lots of activities for different interests. Lots of happening, says the cool people. Like the recent Golden Walkathon for example. Also, if you're seriously looking for a life partner, don't be malu to let others know. Your friends or your sibllings might know someone who could be the right one for you. Arranged to meet with a group of people, first. Then work from there. There are still many other ways. I've mentioned 2, so there's 998 left. Haha! You just have to really want it, then you have to work to get what you want. So get busy, take note of upcoming events, and the likes. Good Luck! (^_^)
Anonymous said…
I am one of the undergraduates from the local university. They said that UBD is sort of the last resort for the singles to meet their jodoh. I agree that its hard for us especially the girls to meet the guys as there are more girls than boys there. Most of the good guys are either taken or married. haha and that left us with the cappy ones. In this case, we have to be choosy or pemilih. Making a decision is like going to the next BIG step. As for me, I dont believe in ubd as last resort.

Im a BIG believer in Fate and love. Macam orang cakap "kalau ada jodoh, takkan kemana" hehe. If there were a 'singles' gathering programme, I would not attend, well maybe i would but just for he sake of having fun. Because I believe in true love comes when we least expected it. Oh theres a quote saying that "Love is like a butterfly, the more we chase it, the more it run away". which I totally agree with it. I knoww im a bit stail lama. Haha. But if u think about it, its quite true.

Oh ya its quite hard to meet gentleman in Brunei nowadays. There are some but like I said they are either taken or maried. Girls hate it when guys just "PSST PSST MINTA NUMBURMU DANG". So rude right?heh

I noticed simillar patterns in Brunei people where we can see plus size men with small size women. I have only seen little numbers of plus size women with small men. So, I just thought that its easy for plus size men to look for partners while its hard for the other case. heh.
Anonymous said…
When you are studying overseas, it is very difficult to find potential ones, unless your conservative family don't mind a foreign husband.And I guess age is a barrier as well, at least for me(cos I know close frens and families who marry with younger men). When I was in UBD, I was 4-5 years older than my male colleagues, and it's sad to say when they knew my age, they gave me the treat-me-like-your-younger-bro vibes. So now in late 20s, I'm stuck studying in a foreign land, and really am terrified that when I go home next year I'll end up as one of the unmarried female officer in MOE.Mr.BR, you just confirm my fears.
to all, my apologies. it is not my deliberate intention to cause any consternation on anyone's part. my opinion is pretty clear - you have to make your own opportunities and go outside your normal circle. cupids can only strike if you are with someone. cupids can't strike if you are sitting down at home and your Mr. Right does not even know you exist.
Anonymous said…
MR.BR, really no worries bout my previous post. Don't take it the wrong way.It wasn't meant to be criticism, but a real eye-opener to what my greatest fear is:)And that I just have to step out of my tiny security box in order to change my fate.I'm just lost to where to begin right now, much less to start approaching men, instead of waiting to be approached.They don't teach that in 'etiquette' school:)And how big the possiblity of finding 'the one' thru the net, I wonder?
not to worry. comment boxes are for your opinions. but seriously, there are ample opportunities in Brunei, one has to work hard at it. i spent 12 years abroad and did not have a single brunei friend when i came back. evening classes, speech clubs, baseball games, you just have to open your eyes a bit. don't worry about age too. beauty is in the eye of the beholder. the more you think about it - the less unattractive you feel and you know what they say, they can smell the fear in you.
Anonymous said…
Comments aside, this is a cruel fact nowadays. Surely, your hot young junior collegues might not have a problem wit it but have a thought about the shy and reserved individuals (a lot of Bruneians) that spend most of their time at home or only go out with their families and close friends. It would not be proper for them to approach people in cafes or vice versa. Of course the internet provides some sort of salvation as well as the initiative by JAPEM but only single persons at the age of 30 could enrol which might be too late for love. Perhaps a change in policy, say 27 for males and 25 for female, plus fun gathering programs such as trips to belalong or KK would turn into happy endings :)
Anonymous said…
Some people just can't be bothered about marriage until they terasa sunyi because people nowadays are engrossed in work. The higher the education, the more things we want such as expensive cars, clothes etc. Marriage takes a back seat.
Anonymous said…
most of my single friends with high education are more comfortable with the single life, and are not worry with finding a partner. some are willing to ask their parents to find them a wife / husband when they are ready to take the next step in life.
rose said…
*smiles* hehe i like this blog.... baru jua baca 1 post... gonna read more later.... keep it up ya... :)
Anonymous said…
mMmMm.. very interesting..
Anonymous said…
very interesting blog indeed. =)
Anonymous said…
hi there, this is quite an interesting blog, i'm a malaysian and still in the peripheral of being single, interested in getting to know the single societies in brunei, some of the comments really caught my attention, well, i'll be back.......
Anonymous said…
hi there, this is quite an interesting blog, i'm a malaysian and still in the peripheral of being single, interested in getting to know the single societies in brunei, some of the comments really caught my attention,
well, got to go now but i'll be back.......
Anonymous said…
A common issue is the issue of bruneian men marrying malaysian women.
This seem to have upset some people.
This seems to be a special situation that have arise in Brunei. Yes there are a lot more Brunei women graduate.
A number of Bruneian man seems to marry Malaysian women. This does not help that there are many single ladies in Brunei.
Why do Bruneian men marry Malaysian women?...
But a what about Bruneian women marry Malaysian men? Here is 1 reason why they don’t?
In the event that they(Malaysian men) lose their job here, they will have to go back to Malaysian.
Government are tightening quotas.
Not all Bruneian likes to go to Malaysia to work.
Lots of the Malaysian men working here are not highly educated.
As you can see a number of Bruneian single women are highly educated. So you know like a degree holding lady just prefers to find degree holding men. (Personal preference or just pressure from family and friends).
So these is 1 reason why some Brunei ladies don't think into the many malaysian men in Brunei.
Ok just some 2 cents worth from me.

Perhaps some reader can comment on this.
Anonymous said…
2006? wow!! that was 12 years ago, this conversation really amazed me and me as a youngster nowadays would say that the mindset of the people then literally still the same. the world is not much really changing eh?

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