From laughter comes wisdom

My entry on the Brunei kuehs showed just how hopeless I am in certain subjects. But I enjoyed reading the comments correcting me and I hope at the same time other people read those comments too as the education does not stop just reading my entries alone. The comments are part of the education too as out of currently 700 readers a day, I am sure there are many experts on many subjects out there.

Similarly enough Tuesday's entry on Brunei medicinal plants and traditional medicine elicited several professional medical comments. By the way I did have urinary tract infection last month and what I had several years ago wasn't it. Though this time I only relied on conventional antibiotics for the cure. Anyway, there are people who swear by traditional medicine and some would never contemplate anything other than conventional medication. And I have seen one case up close where alternative medicine actually worked. To me the jury is still out. But most importantly, I am glad to see professionals giving their expert views in the comment box. We all learnt something on Tuesday.

My entry on "You know you are Bruneian Part 2" is obviously meant to entertain. It makes Bruneians Bruneian, if you know what I mean. Obviously not every single description applies to everyone. There are Bruneians out there who never did any of the things that were mentioned and it does not make them any less Bruneians. There are some who are offended but then there are some who found the descriptions close to their hearts. However, when we read the 49 descriptions (which I did not write by the way but merely compiled and edited them from readers' submissions) we can associate with them. Some obviously make us Bruneians look bad. I found two comments interesting - honeybee argued that description #5 should not be a norm - that we need to change to be more competitive. An annonymous commentator sighed - worried that none of the description are positive to the point he lamented - why don't we just have a negative sign on our flag?

Laugh loudly but I think we also need to laugh wisely. One interesting quote which I copied from somewhere says - "... we can't be free, until we learn to laugh at ourselves. Once you look in the mirror and see just how foolish we can be, laughter is inevitable. And from laughter comes wisdom ..." Once we are able to laugh at ourselves and to see how foolish we are, hopefully then we are willing to change ourselves. So other than to entertain, I sincerely hope we all learn something from the You know you are Bruneian series and able to learn enough to make the necessary change in us. Educating ourself is important.

I guess the most important take here is more and more education. Quoting His Majesty during the Yayasan's Hari Raya celebrations at the ICC last Tuesday - "... We cannot predict how the future would look like but we need to progress. For instance, years ago, our elders could not have imagined that we might be able to attain the high standard of living that we all enjoy now. They probably could not have anticipated that the nation could progress. Neverthless they worked as hard as they could. One of the main and meaningful contribution they made was to give us education, although the level of education attained was not the same. Through it the nation then enjoyed the progress as we have now. The key to this sucess are efforts and determination. For example, our country would not have been able to produce local doctors if there were no planning. The same goes with other professional careers. All these started with education, then followed with proper planning and providing opportunities for them to further their studies to a higher level ..." (translation courtesy of Brunei Times)

If there is anything good that I hope we all pick up is that we need to educate each other much more.
PS. I really have to make amends to the e-speed people and thanked them for the tremendous effort and services they have provided.

I have not had ANY problem whatsoever since I talked about it last time. My e-speed2 has been on continuously for weeks now and not once has it ever failed on me. Howzat for service?


Anonymous said…
“Once we are able to laugh at ourselves and to see how foolish we are, hopefully then we are willing to change ourselves” There is truth in those words. We should look at it as positive signs in improving ourselves to be a better person. With what has been said, I don’t think we, Bruneian are really that bad. If we look at a broader context, every nationality in this world has its own characters that are not all too positives (I am tempted to say the bad habits of other modern western culture, but I better not) I mean who doesn’t? That makes us unique and special in our own way. But having already known the so-called negative factors, if that what you want to call it, we as individual still has the choice to be the person who you want to be.
Anonymous said…
I must say, after my experiences of working with other nationality and race, I am still thankful that we are keeping our MIB ways of life.
Anonymous said…
Dear Mr BR,

Yeah I agreed with kamakazi that we should look at it as a positive signs in improving ourselves to be a better person. And its individual choice of what kind of person we want to be.

I myself proud to be Bruneian. Our culture and system has allowed us to balance both 'dunia dan akhirat'. Alhamdulillah.

Nevertheless, with the fast growing technology, globalisation and all the things happening around us (the world) etc force us to change. Even if we dont want to change these environment / pressure force us to change otherwise we well be left behind or ? The question would be how the change should be implemented.

Mr BR, I wonder where can I get a compilation of all the HM titah all these years?

Anonymous said…
Changes? I would say as long as the changes are not outside MIB as our national philosphy. An easy example is, the ICT, internet etc... We can access many informations and contribute too, but there is a limit in the 'I' of MIB. Being a Muslim, it should be understood that we are not allowed to do things which are against the faith.

Anyways, that's just my brain
Anonymous said…
Your words of wisdom at the UN e.g.: "Mr BR (Brunei Darussalam) said the world community was faced with a new and demanding environment as it began the twenty-first century. There were rapid economic and structural changes as it took up the opportunities from open trade and investments. Swift innovations in information and communication technology were so widespread that those technologies were affecting the way everyone lived and did business.

Globalization was a large and complex subject with economic, political, social and environmental dimensions, he added. It brought with it challenges and opportunities. It created wide disparities in wealth and knowledge among regions, countries and even among people within a country. Globalization highlighted increasing interdependence, especially in trade and investment. Economic success in that new economy would depend very much on the capacity to acquire and use knowledge and on adaptability in the face of change." And...

"Mr BR (Brunei Darussalam) said the contribution by the United Nations and by Member States had been crucial and commendable. He was pleased with the way UNTAET had discharged its mandate and its contribution to the peace and stability of East Timor. He commended Sergio Vieira de Mello and his team for their outstanding work. He welcomed the Council’s approval last Friday of the establishment of UNMISET and was confident that Kamalesh Sharma would continue building on the success of his predecessor.

The new Mission, he continued, would continue the consolidation of what had already been invested in East Timor by UNTAET, as well as by previous missions. The continued international presence in East Timor was crucial for its rehabilitation and development. UNMISET’s mandate and practical exit strategy would enhance East Timor’s capacity for self-government and its ability to become a viable State within the international community.

He said the recent UNCTAD report on the status of world foreign direct investment flows to developing countries was quite discouraging. But trade alone was not sufficient to lift developing countries out of poverty. The developing countries needed to bolster their capacity if they were to partake in today’s highly interdependent economic activities. There must be readily available software and hardware so that those countries were able to reap the benefits of information technology. To achieve that, governments needed the cooperation of international organizations, the private sector and academic institutions." Also...

"Mr BR (Brunei Darussalam), speaking on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), said that during the past few years, the ASEAN member countries had steadily strengthened their cooperation in countering terrorism and other related transnational crimes. They noted the close link between international terrorism and other transnational crimes, and recognized the growing need to deal with its many forms. Terrorist acts required concerted and sustained action at all levels. With that in mind, the ASEAN leaders had adopted the "ASEAN Declaration on Joint Action to Counter Terrorism" on 5 November, as their regional response.

In that Declaration, the leaders expressed their commitment to counter, prevent and suppress all forms of terrorist acts, he went on. They underlined the importance of strengthening regional and international cooperation in meeting those challenges. At the same time, they rejected any attempt to link terrorism with any religion or race. They also renewed their commitment to pursue effective policies aimed at enhancing the well-being of their people, as national contributions to fighting terrorism.

He said that all cooperative efforts to combat terrorism at the regional level should consider joint practical counter-terrorism measures in line with the specific circumstances of each region and country. Towards that goal, ASEAN Foreign Ministers would consider, at their meeting next month, an agreement on an exchange of information and the establishment of communication procedures within that context. As a follow-up to the Declaration, ASEAN would soon convene an ad hoc experts group meeting, as well as a special ministerial meeting on issues of terrorism in April."

Amongst many other key speeches at the UN must surely qualify you to be nominated as the future UN Secretary General to replace Kofi Annan, Dato! Kempunan Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim oleh kita ni jua:)
Anonymous said…
GOTCHA! For all purpose and intent, I mix you up with the other Dato Tongkat Ali lah:)

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