Showing posts from 2012

Heir to the Brunei Throne

It's the big moment for the 15-year-old prince as Pengiran Bendahara (left) hands over the Royal Kris Heir to the Brunei Throne BRUNEI TOWN, August 19, 1961 - Installed as Crown Prince this week, the Sultan's eldest son said that with the will of Allah, he would do the duties demanded of him to be the best of his ability. The ceremonial rituals at Istana Darul-Hana were traditional and colourful. The solemnity of the occasion was tempered by the bright splash of court colours and the rich gowns worn by officials and onlookers alike. The prince wore a headdress of beaded jewels during the ceremony earlier this week. After the proclamation had been read out by Dato Setia Marsal, the Deputy Menteri Besar, the Pengiran Bendahara presented the 15-year-old prince with the Royal Kris. A special feature of the guard of honour was the inclusion of school children. Wearing floral crowns, girls in neat white and green baju kurongs, walked beside the stately palace guards and spear

Brunei's First Army Recruits

The first batch of 60 Brunei recruits, who form the nucleus of the new Brunei Regiment, is seen here on arrival in Kuala Lumpur in this May 31, 1961 file photo Brunei's first recruits for new army get big welcome KUALA LUMPUR, June 10, 1961 - The 60 Brunei Malay recruits who form the nucleus of the proposed Brunei Regiment arrived here last week for training in Port Dickson. The recruits are mostly students who had just left school. The recruits told the Bulletin they considered themselves fortunate and honoured because they would be the first soldiers of Brunei's own army. The 60 men were chosen out of the 102 who applied to join the Brunei Regiment. A Malayan team led by Major Mohamed Shariff bin Ahmad, recruiting officer of the Federation of Malaya Regiment, had gone to Brunei to pick the men. Major (Dr) G A Lopez, who examined the recruits in Brunei, told the Bulletin: "They are all physically fit. They are the best of those who applied.&q

52 Year Anniversary of BSB's Chinese Temple

The Chinese Temple during the official opening in 1960. (Source: Borneo Bulletin) BRUNEI TOWN (December 31, 1960) - The United Kingdom High Commissioner in Brunei, Mr D C White, declared open the Kwong Chek Choon Ong Temple, in the presence of a large gathering earlier this week. In his opening speech, Mr White, speaking in Malay, said that the temple was one of the finest in the Borneo territories. Mr White said that the temple would help to lend lustre to the name of Brunei. Earlier, the chairman of the temple committee, the Kapitan Cina said that he would like to thank on behalf of the Chinese committee, the Sultan, Sir Omar Ali Saifuddien, the Brunei Government and others who had contributed towards the building of the temple. The Kapitan Cina said that the government had not only given the land for the temple but had also contributed very liberally towards its building. Source: The Borneo Bulletin

Brunei's 1st Water Park

  Brunei's First Water Park at Liang Lumut Recreation Club (Source: The Brunei Times) Seria, 15th December 2012 - THE country's first water amusement park made a splashing opening as gates opened for the first time to visitors across the nation flocking for the chilled, crystal clear waters, and water play areas. The park, which took four years in the making, was thought of for quite some time, according to the park's General Manager Nisa Halim. Despite the opening, thoughts of expansion are set in motion: "We're also looking at more facilities to expand the water park, the area has been cleared, so hopefully we can conjure up a few ideas, such as wakeboarding, and so forth," said Nisa. "This is great," said a mother of three, from Lumut. She added, "Since they closed the previous pool four years ago, my kids have been excited and were anticipating for the opening and now we're happy to be here," The family who lives i

Brunei - 50 years under emergency rule

This is a transcript of a radio interview conducted  and broadcasted by Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Radio Australia and was published on ABC Radio Australia in December 2012. You can link  here  to the website and listen to the podcast yourself or you can read the transcript below:   +++++ Brunei - 50 years under emergency rule Updated 13 December 2012, 15:52 AEST This December marks 50 years of emergency rule in Brunei, the small wealthy sultanate on the North Coast of Borneo.   In 1962, Brunei was still a British protectorate and it held elections that were won by a left wing party. This was at a time when fear about the spread of communism was palpable, prompting the Sultan to annul the election results and declare emergency rule. But that was half a century ago, so why does the state of emergency still exist today? Presenter: Liam Cochrane Speaker: Geoffrey Gunn, Professor of International Relations, Nagasaki University in Japan

Brunei Volunteers Benefit Society

Haji Mohd Rozan presenting  a certificate to one of the training participants. (Source: Borneo Bulletin) Bandar Seri Begawan, 12th December 2012 - FIFTY youth proclaimed "We are strong, we are unbreakable, we are invincible" as the 11th Life Skills Training (LESTARI) organised by the Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council (BDAC) came to a rousing close yesterday at the Female Residential College Hall, UBD. Overcome with emotion, participants shed many a tear after opening their blindfolds to see their parents welcoming them after undergoing the four-day training programme. This year's group of 50 youths, named themselves the 'Titanium 50' to represent the dense and hard metal. Utilising a combination of local and foreign practical training methods, the LESTARI programme used music, storytelling, audio and visual, games and interaction to teach life skills to participants and raise awareness of AIDS in Brunei. Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and S

8th December Revisited

[This is an updated entry of an earlier entry I made in 2009 and 2011. I have added a couple of extra books at the end. 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? They 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 Pana

Labi Road in 1955

To mark the 60th anniversary celebrations, Borneo Bulletin digs deep into its archives to show its readers how Brunei has evolved over the decades featuring photos and news of the years gone by. Here is this week's news from the past. +++++ This picture shows the Labi Road just below the point where it terminates at Mile 21¼ at Bukit Teraja SERIA (November 19, 1956) - An oil exploration access road, which cost the British Malayan Petroleum (BMP) Company a total of $3.4 million to build, has been purchased by the Brunei Government for $344,000. Known as the "Labi Road", it is 21¼ miles in length and traverses some of the most difficult country in the area, from Bukit Puan on the Belait River to Bukit Teraja, a picturesque hill 1,000 feet above sea level from which it is possible to see Seria's flares glowing on the horizon. A BMP Company engineer told The Bulletin that work on the road commenced in August 1952 and it was not until December 1954

Remembering First Payment of Old Age Pension in KB

To mark the 60th anniversary celebrations, Borneo Bulletin digs deep into its archives to show its readers how Brunei has evolved over the decades featuring photos and news of the years gone by. Here is this week's news from the past. +++++ APRIL 23, 1955 - Photo shows District Officer of Belait, Pehin Orang Kaya Shahbandar Haji Ahmad bin Daud performing one of his "happiest duties" in his entire Government service. He is handing over to 80-year-old Che Fatimah binte Alin her first pension payment at the Government Malay School in Kuala Belait. Looking on are the venerable Penghulu of Kuala Belait, OKSP Setia Di-Raja Abang Bujang, himself an old age pensioner, and Pension Officer Inche Yahaya bin Taha. Pictured below are some of the 79 Malay and Chinese old age pensioners of Kuala Belait awaiting their turn to receive their first payment. -- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin -- +++++

Malay Language Skills in Brunei

Permanent Secretary of Culture, Youth and Sports, Hj Mohd Rozan (L) presents a prize to Eunice Lo Ying Ci from Chung Ching Secondary School, Seria, for winning the essay writing competition held by Mekar Magazine yesterday at the Language and Literature Bureau's Balai Sarmayuda in Berakas. Pictures: BT/Saiful Omar Bandar Seri Begawan, 25 November 2012 - BRUNEI may face a situation in the future where young people today grow up to be ineffective communicators if they continue with the habit of writing of typing incorrectly as a result of the tendency to use shortened words on social networking sites and text messaging. To counter the onset of this dire situation, today's students need to use the Malay Language correctly and should be avid readers, said Hj Mohd Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos during the Mekar / Juara Writing Competition Prize Giving Ceremony for primary and secondary students yesterday. The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth an

World Children's Day in Kuala Belait

Awg Hj Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, receives the resolution from Dyg Haidahtul Aleeyah of SR Tumpuan Telisai . Kuala Belait, 23 November 2012 - The World Children's Day celebration, organised by the Community Development Centre (JAPEM) with the theme "Appreciate Our Voice", concluded yesterday at the Belait Convention Hall with the presentation of outputs from participants and a resolution presentation by a participant representative. The guest of honour at the event was Awg Hj Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, who also presented tokens of appreciation and certificates to sponsors and facilitators as well as forum participants. The forum resolution was delivered by Dyg Haidahtul Aleeyah binti Abdul Rashid, a Year Six excellent student from Tumpuan Telisai Primary School, who later handed the resolution to the g

Music Scene in Brunei in 1950s and 1960s

This is another article about the past in Brunei from Haji Mohd Daud bin Abd Rahman published in Borneo Bulletin on 5th November 2012:   +++++   AB Suhaili, an accordian player performing in 1959. (Photo: Haji Mohd Daud Abd Rahman) Reflecting on the music and the entertainment scene of the yesteryears, youths in Brunei started getting into modern music in the late 1950s. However, the traditional musical instruments and Bruneian songs that have been passed down to our generation by our elders were not forgotten. In 1959 and 1960, Bruneian youngsters were already forming bands under the influence of famous bands such as The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. In 1959, these youths started to play in bands for wedding receptions, birthdays and anniversary parties. Rayuan Irama Band, 1968. (Photo: Haji Mohd Daud Abd Rahman) During that time, most of the songs had classic and slow rhythms which were favoured by the elders. There was also the 'Bintang Radio' compe

International Children's Day in Brunei 2012

Together with the world, Brunei celebrated Children's Day on 20th November 2012. The event was opened officially by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports who spoke about concerns of abuse and threat to children. Here is Brunei Times news report about the Children's Day celebrations in Brunei:- +++++ Kuala Belait, 20th November 2012 - A CURRENT phenomena of unlawful treatment of innocent young children who are abandoned and are unable to fend for themselves was highlighted as a cause for concern by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) during the Children's Day celebration yesterday. Therefore, it is with much hope that the world wide celebration, would serve as a reminder for people to realise their mistakes and halt any unlawful actions that threaten children's rights, said Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah. More so for parents as they play an integral role in shaping their children's f

Kuala Belait and Seria in 1954

In 1954, Kuala Belait and Seria were considered as British Borneo's wealthiest area. The Borneo Bulletin recently did a reprint of a 1954 article about these two areas: +++++ DECEMBER 4, 1954 - These two special aerial pictures of (below) the oil town of Seria and (above) the commercial centre of Kuala Belait in Brunei State give a comprehensive idea of British Borneo's wealthiest area. Aerial photo of Seria in 1954 (Photo: Borneo Bulletin) The blocks of gleaming white buildings seen in the pictures are the recently completed Bazaars of Seria and Kuala Belait, which serve a population whose monthly pay packets run into many millions of dollars. Aerial photo of Kuala Belait in 1954. (Photo: Borneo Bulletin) Recognised by all business houses in British Borneo as the best trading area in this region, these two towns situated within seven miles of each other are today witnessing unprecedented expansion and modernisation as more roads are built, swamps reclaimed and

Treasuring the Good Old Times in Brunei

Haji Mohd Daud bin Abd Rahman, the columnist on Borneo Bulletin writing about the past in Brunei had this article recently entitled "Treasuring the Good Old Times" where he reminisced about Brunei in the recent past: +++++ Those old bittersweet memories of the yesteryears can only be remembered. As time passes by, sweet memories of teenage years will not be forgotten especially birthdays, celebrations, relaxing in the old capital Bandar Brunei, and watching boat races in the rivers of Kampong Ayer.  Spending time with friends at the old Customs Wharf with a view of Jalan Residency in the background (Photo: Hj Mohd Daud Abd Rahman) Young children and teenagers enjoyed spending their time at the old Customs Wharf in addition to watching boat races, as well as going to the cinemas, coffee shops and other places for entertainment such as brisk walking and going out for leisure. Besides walking around and window shopping, the teenage boys enjoyed resting at home and l

Traditional Brunei Weddings

Haji Daud bin Haji Abd Rahman who has been able to write almost weekly articles for the Borneo Bulletin wrote another one recently about old Brunei weddings:- +++++ Traditional Brunei-Malay wedding ceremonies and practices have been passed through and kept alive through the generations and this has ensured the survival of our wedding customs and heritage. One reason for this is because Brunei-Malay wedding ceremonies and practices have not been altered - it has remained the same since our forefathers. During the 1950s and 60s, wedding preparations were carried out with a lot of effort and finesse. Before the wedding, copper gangsa, 'dian besar' and 'dian kecil', 'celapa', 'sigup Brunei', 'tikar purun' and 'tikar lampit' will be arranged accordingly. Cooking utensils and materials such as large pots cooked on mangrove firewood and others are used to prepare dishes such as rice, beef kurma, beef gulai, vegetables, and other delicio

4G for Brunei Darussalam

The Oxford Business Group on 15 November 2012 reported the following: +++++ Brunei Darussalam: 4G to target traffic jams Asia | 15 Nov 2012 A surge in Brunei Darussalam’s mobile data traffic usage at the beginning of 2012 has heightened expectations over the impact that 4G technology will have on the telecommunications sector. In September, telecoms firm DSTCom revealed that in the first eight months of this year, data usage increased 70% over the same period in 2011, largely due to a rise in the consumption of video streaming sites straining the Sultanate’s telecoms infrastructure. “The existing 3G technology provides speed and performance, which is increasingly necessary as data growth expands and voice traffic stagnates,” Idris Vasi, the CEO of DST, told OBG. “Data is a big driver for 4G, or long-term evolution (LTE); a lot of operators are using 4G as a data offload strategy, because 3G networks are getting congested. New apps and services require more and more data, includin

Escaping Poverty

Haji Mohd Rozan presenting a prize to one of the best participants (Source: Media Permata) Bandar Seri Begawan, 9 November 2012 - The first Poverty Eradication Workshop, which was organised by the Community Development Department ( JAPEM) in conjunction with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2012, was officially closed yesterday. Certificates were presented by Awg Hj Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. Also present were other senior government officials and staff of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. JAPEM is meanwhile set to hold charity car boot sales in all four districts for three days starting tomorrow. All proceeds from the sales will be channelled to the National Charity Fund. A representative of the participants thanked the organising committee for the workshop, which had provided them with beneficial advice and knowledge. JAPEM, the Brunei Islamic Religious Council and the Mi

Sports Spur Social Progress

Haji Mohd Rozan speaking at the Closing of the 1st Brunei Sports Convention and Expo (Source: Media Permata) Datin Paduka Hajah Adina presenting certificates to one of the particpating delegates (Source: Media Permata) Bandar Seri Begawan, 9 November 2012 - Sports have an impact on citizens at both the personal and national levels, according to said Awg Hj Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) in his capacity as Co-Secretary of the Main Organising Committee 2012. Speaking during the closing ceremony of the Brunei Sports Convention and Expo 2012, Awg Hj Mohd Rozan agreed with Mr Stephen Baddeley's perspective on the effect of sports at the personal level. Sports can help contribute towards building up a person's self-esteem and development of mental and physical growth, he said, adding that sports can help inculcate values such as dedication, discipline and responsibility. On the national le

Resolutions of the 1st Brunei Sports Convention and Expo

HRH The Crown Prince visiting booths at the 1st Brunei Sports Convention and Expo (Source: Infofoto) This morning, the participants of the 1st Innaugural Sports Convention and Expo at the International Conference Centre in Berakas came out with their resolution after their three day conference.  The convention was officially open by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince on Tuesday, 6th November 2012. So what do our sportsmen need? Here are their wishes:- +++++ FINAL RESOLUTION The inaugural Brunei Sports Convention and Expo 2012 under the patronage of The Honourable Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Brunei Darussalam held at the International Convention Centre in Berakas on 6 – 8 November 2012, concluded its work by adapting to the following resolutions: • Recalling that the aim of the Convention is to give special attention and commitment to the develop