Showing posts from December, 2011

SMS Donations

Datin Adina, Acting Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports receiving contributions from donors through DST (Source: The Brunei Times) The other day, I was accompanying our MCYS Deputy Minister, Datin Adina who was then Acting Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports to receive contribution from donors through sms using DST and B-Mobile. DST subscribers contributed about $38,000 and B-Mobile subscribers contributed around $28,000. These donations will go to the Orphans Fund. Sms contributions is not new to Brunei. We first started using it for the Acheh Tsunami victims around 2004 and later on for the Orphans Fund. At that time the Orphans Fund received some $300,000 about 5 times more than what we received nowadays. Sms donations have been done so often that subscribers have been too inundated that the amount that can be collected has became much less. Lately it was the turn of the flood victims of Thailand and Cambodia. How do we increase the amount collected? These are all good c

New Nama Jalan

I remembered complaining about the lack of road names years before I joined MOD. When I was at MOD, the Jawatankuasa Kebangsaan Nama Geografi was just beginning its task in recommending for road names. Sometime last year MOD started labelling new names for roads outside Municipal areas and if you are paying attention, you will see names such as Jalan Utama Tungku, Jalan Utama Mentiri and the likes. Even for the new housing area in Panaga, the roads are named after birds, Jalan Kruak, Jalan Parak and etc. Even the road in front of the Istana Nurul Iman is now called Jalan Pengiran Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha, the name is used for the stretch of road from the Edinburgh Bridge to the Telanai traffic light. Pretty soon we will have more new names for a number of roads mostly unnamed at the moment and you can probably guess where these roads are: Jalan Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah Jalan Permaisuara Jalan Jame Asr Jalan Industri Beribi Jalan Stadium Jalan Dewan Majlis Jala

Brunei Heart of Borneo

During the 8th Heart of Borneo Council Meeting, His Royal Highness Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince as the Royal Patron of the Brunei Heart of Borneo graced the meeting and listened to the briefings on the works of the Heart of Borneo. Before the meeting, he was presented with a book entitled "Brunei Heart of Borneo: Its Journey". The book was published by the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources with help from Brunei Shell and the Forestry Department. The book contained the history of the Heart of Borneo and everything you ever need to know about the HoB including its strategies, its challenges and where it wants to go.  It also contained a list of endemic plants of Brunei. These plants are only available in Brunei Darussalam and cannot be found or not much can be found elsewhere. It shows how unique Brunei can be. I am not sure whether the book is for sale. However it does inside the covers that if you want copies of the book, the person to write to

The Royal Regalia Coffee Table Book

When I was first posted to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, my first thoughts were that this would be an interesting ministry to work in especially given my interests. This has proven to be true. Recently I was asked to be the Guest of Honour for the launching of the book marking the 15th anniversary of the Royal Regalia building at the where else but the Royal Regalia Building itself. It was sometime ago in 2009, that the Museums Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the publishing of a book entitled Coffee Table Book: The Royal Regalia of Brunei Darussalam. The book is aimed towards increasing interest and appreciation for the country's Royal Family history and to promote the Royal Regalia as a tourist attraction and provide visitors with a souvenir to generate more international interest in Brunei. More than 100,000 visitors visit the Royal Regalia Building every year. This initiative was undertaken by the Museums Department in collaboration wit

Remember, Remember, the 8th of December

[This is an updated entry of an earlier entry I made in 2009. The entry was as relevant then as it is now.] Exactly 49 years ago today, some people thought they heard fireworks. They were wondering why fireworks? Thy did not know that it was not fireworks that they heard. It was the sound of small arms fire. A group of people decided that they needed to take matters into their own hands. Ask many people who had gone through those era and you will get many tales which you don't or even expect to hear today. I was not born yet. I was a two month old fetus in those days. My father was an Administrative Officer Cadet at the Belait District Office. My mother told me that she and my father had to sleep on the floor in case any stray bullet went through their wooden government quarters in Kuala Belait. One uncle told me that he was almost shot at by another uncle when he as members of the armed guards of BSP went to the Panaga Police Station to take refuge. The police shot at them b

Nanjing, Bandar Seri Begawan's Twin City

[Brunei Times asked me to write an article about Nanjing becoming Bandar Seri Begawan's twin city and it was supposed to be published on 21st November 2011. I could not meet that deadline as I was coming back from Bali together with His Majesty's entourage after attending the ASEAN Summit. The article was published a week later on 28th November 2011.] +++++ Nanjing, Bandar Seri Begawan's Twin City What do these cities have in common with Bandar Seri Begawan? Alsace in France, Barranquilla in Colombia, Belo Horizonte in Brazil, Bloemfontein in South Africa, Daejeon in South Korea, Dallas in the Unites States, Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Florence in Italy, Hauts-de-Seine in France, Leipzig in Germany, Limassol in Cyprus, London in Ontario, Canada, Malacca in Malaysia, Mexicali in Mexico, Nagoya in Japan, Perth in Australia, St Louis in the United States and finally Sunderland in United Kingdom. Nanjing Waterfront photo from These cities and B


My brother called me up and said that I had a wide smile when His Majesty was talking to me. So I had to search and found this picture. It was during the Santap at the end of the Majlis Penyerahan Rumah-Rumah Sungai Buloh last Wednesday. His Majesty said that now that I am in the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, I have to start running and do sports! For those wondering about the infrequent posting latley, let me just say that so many things had been happening over the last two months - highs and lows and in-betweens. My beloved aunty, Hajah Armah binti Haji Mohd Hussein, who has been like a second mother to all of us, her nephews and nieces passed away a month ago. I saw her before I went off to Beijing to attend an International Conference on Women and Sustainable Development and on the day I came back, she was in her final stages. We pray that the Al-Mighty will place her amongst the chosen ones. So, it was with sad heart when I had to fly off again a few d