Showing posts from September, 2016

Latest Brunei Report 2016 by International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund posted their latest Article IV Consultation report on Brunei Darussalam. You can read it here . +++++ IMF Executive Board Concludes 2016 Article IV Consultation with Brunei Darussalam September 26, 2016 On September 2, 2016, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the 2016 Article IV consultation 1 with Brunei Darussalam. Brunei Darussalam has responded to sharply lower oil prices by launching policy reforms to transform its oil and gas-dependent economy. While the country is able to absorb the oil revenue slump for several years by drawing on buffers built over the past decades, the authorities have begun a process of structural reforms to reconfigure the government towards enhanced economic performance, combined with fiscal adjustment to ensure long-term sustainability and intergenerational equity. Real GDP in 2015 registered a smaller decline than in the preceding two years. Oil production, in particular, has been re

Appreciating Brunei's Landmarks in Digital Game

THE GOLDEN LEGACY, THE BRUNEI TIMES 25 SEPT 2016 Brunei’s Landmarks in the Digital Game By Rozan Yunos The current worldwide phenomena of the new digital augmented reality game, ‘Pokemon Go’ has also caught on by many in Brunei Darussalam. The usage of Brunei’s landmarks and architectural icons as ‘Pokestops’ or places where game enthusiasts can collect their balls to be used to catch their digital monsters have led to a number of Bruneians visiting some of these places for the first time ever in their lives. The car parks around the various recreational parks and places were suddenly seeing record number of cars which were virtually unimaginable before. At the Damuan Park, much to the chagrin of regular runners and joggers, many new visitors can be seen wandering around the park with a number of them reading the various signboards which described the ASEAN sculptures which have been there since 1987, almost thirty years ago.  It would be good if those same players during their vi

Brunei Darussalam To Sustain Agricultural Growth

THE OXFORD BUSINESS GROUP, 20 SEPTEMBER 2016 Brunei Darussalam looks to sustain agricultural growth Rising productivity and higher output from the processing segment is keeping Brunei Darussalam’s agriculture sector on track to meet the government’s medium- and long-term goals. Strong performance in most areas of the agriculture and agri-foods sector saw the industry’s revenue rise by 6.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) in the first quarter of the year to reach BN$97.1m ($71.2m), according to data issued by the Department of Agriculture and Agri-food (DAA) in late July. This came despite dry weather conditions, which impacted the production of rice, vegetables and cut flowers. Growth was supported in large part by double-digit growth in the livestock and processed agricultural products segments. Livestock output was up 14.1% y-o-y at BN$6.9m ($5.1m), while processed agricultural goods expanded by 16.9% over the same period, bringing the agri-food segment’s earnings to BN$28m ($20.5m). By contra

A Culinary Tour Around Tutong District

THE BRUNEI TIMES 18 SEPT 2016 A Culinary Tour Around Tutong District by Ikhwan Salleh WALLED in between Belait and Brunei-Muara rests the third largest district in the sultanate that muffles itself in quietude. Nevertheless, when the blanket of stillness is lifted, Tutong is actually home to different indigenous groups — creating its own name as a museum that houses timeless traditions, powerful literatures and even breathtaking natural wonders. Just like any rich heritage, this one too, promises a compulsive adventure when it comes to finding great eats that are usually served with a side plate of culture. Therefore, The Brunei Times has taken up the role as a guide for a culinary history tour around the riverside burg and have a go at various menu highlights. Located roughly 40km away from Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB), the ideal way to reach Tutong Town is by car. Other means include renting a car and hiring a taxi. A mor

Brunei, the First Southeast Asian Muslim Kingdom?

  THE GOLDEN LEGACY, THE BRUNEI TIMES 18 SEPT 2016 Brunei, the First Southeast Asian Muslim Kingdom? By Rozan Yunos When did Islam come to Brunei? Most western historians argued that Brunei Darussalam only began to accept Islam in the 16th century, that is, after the fall of the Malacca Sultanate in 1511. A number of historians such as K.G. Tregonning in his book ‘ From Earliest Time to 1511 ’ (1957), D.G.E. Hall in his book ‘ Sejarah Asia Tenggara ’ (1979), J.F. Cady in his book ‘ South East Asia: Its Historical Development ’ (1963) and Nicholas Tarling in his book ‘ South East Asia: Past and Present ’ (1966) all wrote that Brunei replaced Malacca as the new centre to spread the teachings of Islam. Robert Nicholl in his book published by the Brunei Museums entitled ‘ European Sources for the History of the Sultanate of Brunei in the 16th century ’ (1975) compiled a number of European sources which also suggested that the Brunei Sultanate was still not a Muslim nation during

Brunei Peacekeepers in Mindanao Philippines

THE BRUNEI TIMES 16 SEPT 2016 Rabiatul Kamit BRUNEI-MUARA BRUNEI continued its commitment to protect the ceasefire in Mindanao, Philippines, following the deployment of new peacekeepers in the International Monitoring Team (IMT). A send-off ceremony was held at the Rimba Air Force Base yesterday, where Deputy Defence Minister First Admiral (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Abdul Aziz Hj Mohd Tamit presented the national flag and IMT arm badge to members of the 13th contingent. Headed by Lieutenant Colonel Abidin Hj Timbang, the peacekeeping mission comprised seven Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) personnel and a Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) officer. Brunei joined the Malaysian-led IMT in 2004 with the primary mission of monitoring the ceasefire agreement between the Philippines military and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who have been seeking for the autonomy of the Moro people since 1970s. “To be able to lead this contingent is a great honour and I am grateful to have been p

Brunei National Land Use Council

Brunei establishes National Land Use Council Borneo Bulletin, September 15, 2016 James Kon HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has recently consented to the establishment of the National Land Use Council, which will be chaired by the Minister of Development and the members will include relevant ministers and permanent secretaries. The announcement was made yesterday by Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Bahrin bin Abdullah, the Minister of Development, in a statement which was read out by Dato Paduka Eddie bin Dato Paduka Haji Sunny, the Permanent Secretary (Technical and Professional) at the Ministry of Development, during a dinner held in conjunction with the annual general meeting of the Institution of Surveyors, Engineers and Architects (PUJA). One area that the council will be looking at, the minister said, “is plot ratio, to address at least t

A Hike to Teraja Waterfall

THE BRUNEI TIMES, 11 SEPT 2016 A HIKE TO TERAJA WATERFALL BY HAFIIZAH MAIDEEN, BELAIT AFTER visiting Rumah Panjang Kampung Teraja at the end of Labi road, why not continue uphill to check out its waterfalls? Today’s article will highlight Wasai Teraja or Teraja waterfall, which you can find when hiking in Bukit Teraja. Continuing the trek from the Teraja longhouse, there are two known waterfalls that can be reached — with a guide, of course — in Teraja hill, namely Wasai Teraja and Wasai Belulok. It would be quite difficult to go to the two waterfalls on the same day unless you have the stamina of a marathon runner, so it’s best to choose one waterfall to go and get familiar with the route before checking the other. Choosing Wasai Teraja was a good decision for me as the route takes less than an hour of trekking. It is about two to three kilometres from the longhouse. First things first, the route involves crossing streams and uphill hike, so hikers have to b

Top Religious Figures in 19th Century Brunei

THE GOLDEN LEGACY, THE BRUNEI TIMES 11 SEPT 2016 TOP RELIGIOUS FIGURES IN 19TH CENTURY BRUNEI BY ROZAN YUNOS DURING the 19th century, there were a number of religious scholars born, a number of whom are considered as prominent religious figures of Brunei. They were documented in a special publication done by the Brunei Museums Department entitled ‘Tokoh-Tokoh Agama di Negara Brunei Darussalam: Pengenalan Ringkas written by a few writers based on interviews and documentation with senior religious officials. The book was published in 1992. The first was Dato Hj Ahmad Hj Abdul Latip. Dato Hj Ahmad was well known in the 19th century as an Islam preacher. He was born in Banjarmasin, Kalimantan and was said to have come to Brunei during the reign of Sultan Abdul Momin (24th Sultan of Brunei 1852-1885). According to Dayang Hjh Joriah Hj Metali who wrote an article about him in the Pusaka journal, Dato Hj Ahmad was born in a cemetery when his pregnant mother died and was burie

Life in Brunei at the Turn of the Century

The Golden Legacy, The Brunei Times 4 June 2012 Life in Brunei at the Turn of the Century by Rozan Yunos THIS writer recently came across an interesting book entitled "The Sea Road to the East: Gibraltar to Wei-hai-wei" written by A J Sargent and published in London by George Philip & Son Ltd exactly 100 years ago in 1912. The book contained six lectures prepared for the Visual Instruction Committee of the British Colonial Office . Most interestingly it contained a description about Brunei in Lecture Five entitled the Malay Region. What does it say about Brunei? This is an excerpt from the lecture: "If we cross the wide bay between the island and the mainland, we shall get a glimpse of past history, and better appreciate the reason for the failure of Labuan." "At the southeast corner of the bay we enter the Brunei river. The forest comes right down to the river bank, and the trees appear to be growing in the water, with a tangle of interlaced

Brunei in 1776

Thomas Forrest wrote about Brunei in 1776 The Golden Legacy, The Brunei Times 21 May 2012 Brunei in 1776 - As Seen Through The Eyes of European Travelers by Rozan Yunos Most European writers who wrote about Brunei in the past can be identified easily. However one in particular called Thomas Forrest was not as easily identifiable. Thomas Forrest wrote about Brunei in his book with the typical long title for books during those period entitled “A Voyage to New Guinea and the Moluccas from Balambangan: including an account of Magindano, Sooloo and other Islands and Illustrated with Thirty Copperplates belonging to The Honourable East India Company during the Years 1774, 1775 and 1776”. The book was printed by G Scott in London in 1780. Printed in the old English style, he described Brunei very vividly in February 1776: “… the town of Borneo is fituate, as has been faid, about ten miles up the river from Pulo Chirming. The houses are built on each fide the river upon pofts,

Prominent Religious Figures in Brunei History (15th to 18th Century)

THE GOLDEN LEGACY THE BRUNEI TIMES 4 SEPTEMBER 2016 Prominent Religious Figures in Brunei History (Part 1) by Rozan Yunos There are two short roads leading to the Arabic Secondary School near the Batu Satu area at Jalan Tutong. The roads are named Pehin Dato Perdana Menteri Sheikh Haji Abd Rahman and Pehin Dato Perdana Menteri Sheikh Haji Abd Halim. The many people who drove past these road signs everyday probably have no idea who they were. It is not surprising. Not many people know who the prominent religious figures in our Islamic history were and not much has been written about them. One of the major publication in this area was a book published by the Brunei Museums in 1992, more than 24 years ago. It was entitled ‘Tokoh-Tokoh Agama di Brunei Darussalam: Pengenalan Ringkas’ or ‘Prominent Religious Figures in Brunei Darussalam: A Short Introduction’. The book was compiled by a few writers who were assisted by a number of Brunei Islamic Scholars and senior officers of the Minist