Showing posts from August, 2017

Bandar Seri Begawan among Top 100 Liveable Cities

BSB in top league
August 19, 2017

| Azlan Othman |

BANDAR Seri Begawan (BSB) has been ranked as Southeast Asia’s third most liveable city after Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The capital city of Brunei is placed number 100 in a global ranking of most liveable cities.

The latest Global Liveability Ranking released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) this week puts Bandar Seri Begawan ahead of Bangkok (No 102), Manila (No 104), Jakarta (No 118), Hanoi (No 119), Ho Chi Minh City (No 122) and Phnom Penh (No 123), thanks mainly to improvements in infrastructure.

“Half of the improving cities are based in Asia where Shanghai, BSB, Phnom Penh and Colombo saw improvements in their rankings in the past year, which the survey attributed largely to infrastructural improvements and broadening cultural availability,” EIU said in its report.

BSB’s latest ranking shows an improvement over last two years. The Sultanate’s capital ranked 101 in 2016 and 2015.

Commenting on the report, an exp…

Brunei History - Splitting Pelompong Spit for Muara Port

It was on 8 July 1967 when it was reported that the Pelompong Spit will be split to allow ships to pass through to the new Muara Port.


The split spit port plan

JULY 8, 1967 – A canal will be cut through Pelompong Spit to give ocean going ships access to Brunei’s new deepwater port at Muara.

Test drilling for foundations has begun on the proposed site of the port works. It will soon be extended across the spit and out to sea to check that there is no rock formation to interfere with the course of the canal and its approach channel.

Drilling is also under way on Pulau Muara Besar opposite the port site. The western side of the island may be developed to handle repair facilities for shipping using the port.

The port scheme prepared for the Government by its consultants, Sir Bruce White, Wolfe Barry and Partners, provides for more than 1,5000 ft of berthage.

However, the overall scheme foresees much bigger development. Provision is made for oil storage tanks behind the wharves for sh…

Brunei: 10 Students to1 Teacher Ratio

Every 10 students have a teacher in Brunei
August 18, 2017

| Azlan Othman |

ON AVERAGE, there were 10 students to a teacher across schools in Brunei Darussalam last year, according to the 2016 Education Statistics and Indicators Handbook from the Ministry of Education (MoE).

The statistics, which was revealed this week, showed that last year saw an average of 443 students and 44 teachers per school. As of last year, the number of schools stood at 252, while the number of students totaled 111,698 and teachers 10,985.

Brunei-Muara District surpassed other districts with 158 schools, 85,846 students and 8,188 teachers; followed by Tutong (with 42 schools, 9,483 students and 1,109 teachers); Belait (38 schools, 14,407 students and 1,436 teachers) and Temburong (14 schools, 1,962 students and 252 teachers).

There were 192 pre-primary and primary schools last year (compared to 195 in 2015), while the secondary and sixth form centres maintained at 40 schools for both 2016 and 2015.

Brunei-Russia Law Enforcement Cooperation

Brunei, Russia discuss law enforcement cooperation
August 18, 2017

MINISTER of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and General of the Police of the Russian Federation Vladimir Kolokoltsev recently held a working meeting with Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy bin Haji Muhd Shah Al-Islam

Kolokoltsev focussed on the expansion of collaboration between the Russian MIA and colleagues from Southeast Asia which was promoted by granting in 2014 the Russian party the status of a dialogue partner to the Association of National Police Forces of the Asean region, which includes Brunei Darussalam.

According to the minister, the comprehensive cooperation is developing, including within Russia-Asean meetings of senior executives on combating transnational crime, the Working Group on Combating International Terrorism, the Asean Regional Forum on Security and Aseanapol.

From September 11 – 15, the Russian MIA delegation will take part in the 3…

Brunei's Tremendous Contribution to ASEAN

Kudos to Brunei’s ‘tremendous contribution’ to Asean
August 18, 2017

| Danial Norjidi |

BRUNEI Darussalam is important in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and will continue to make a tremendous positive contribution to the grouping.

Dr Surin Pitsuwan, the former secretary-general of Asean and former foreign minister of Thailand, shared this with the Bulletin on the sidelines of the recent Asean Media Forum in Manila, the Philippines. Asked for his thoughts on Brunei’s role in Asean, he said, “I think the fact that you get along with everyone well and the leadership has been long-lasting in collecting a lot of experiences, would give Brunei a continued contributing role into the Asean process.

“It’s very important. Size is not decisive,” he said, noting the ideas and initiatives that come from Brunei. “Brunei will continue to make a tremendous positive contribution to Asean.”

Dr Pitsuwan was one of the featured speakers at the Asean Media Forum that took place…

Brunei: Simplifying Motorcar Accident Claims

MCG comes into force
August 15, 2017

| Azlan Othman |

BRUNEI began official implementation of the Motor Claims Guidelines (MCG) for motor vehicle accidents yesterday.

The guidelines were introduced to “speed up the clearing of accident scenes and expedite the settlement of insurance claims,” according to Acting Director of Land Transport, Pengiran Mohammad Amirrizal bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud yesterday.

It is normal to see – in the event of an accident in this country – motorists from both lanes slowing down their vehicles to check and have a look on who is/are involved in the accident, and this creates traffic jams, causing employees to arrive late for work,” Pengiran Mohammad Amirrizal pointed out.

“On average it takes a maximum of 110 minutes to disperse an accident. This includes contacting the police, conducting of accident assessment by the police, waiting for the tow truck, and placing the vehicle on the tow truck.

“Accidents will not be covered under the MCG if they inv…

Brunei has Unique Advantages with Regional Countries and Beyond

Brunei has unique advantages with regional countries and beyond
August 14, 2017

| Danial Norjidi |

BRUNEI is an important member of Asean, as well as an active promoter and contributor to regional peace, development and prosperity.

This was said by Yang Xiuping, the Secretary-General of the Asean-China Centre (ACC) in a speech during the Trade Dialogue on ‘Asean Beyond 50: Benefits, Opportunities and Challenges’ at the International Convention Centre in Berakas over the weekend.

She said, “Brunei has unique advantages in economic cooperation with the regional countries and beyond.

“In recent years, encouraged by the Belt and Road initiatives, more and more Chinese investors are cooperating with their Brunei counterparts in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture, energy, logistics and other areas which have achieved fruitful results.”

“The ACC would like to cooperate with friends from Brunei and other Asean member countries and its dialogue partners to further promote Asean-…

History of Brunei Students Hall in London (First Used in 1977)

The Brunei Hall in Paddington was first used in 1977. This news from Borneo Bulletin dated 6 August 1977 tells the story:


Super hostel makes Brunei students feel at home… it’s the most luxurious in Britain

AUGUST 6, 1977 – There is a part of Brunei in the heart of this huge city which is a showpiece to other countries.

This is the five-storey Brunei House, a palatial building and by far the finest student hostel in Britain.

New arrivals in England immediately feel at home after walking through the glass doors as they are almost bound to see some familiar faces from Brunei.

The building accommodates up to 170 students, with at least 100 usually in residence. But it is not merely a hostel. It is more of a social gathering point for all Bruneians in Britain, with the busy restaurant serving up to 270 meals at a time.

Situated in a quiet square in Paddington, and only a short walk from Hyde Park, the hostel was formerly an American hotel which the Brunei Government bought for $2.9…

Policy Statement of Brunei Darussalam Monetary Authority

Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam
Policy Statement 1/2017
Date: 19 Zulkaedah 1438H/ 10August 2017M

Global and Regional Economic Developments

1. The global economy continued to expand, though at a relatively moderate rate. Growth in the U.S. is likely to accelerate in Q2 2017 following an under trend performance in Q1 2017. Growth and near-term growth prospects have improved in the European Union and Japan. Among Asian economies, the economic expansion in China remained close to trend, while India's economic performance improved, further benefiting from the decline in inflation.

2. The prospects for modest near-term acceleration in economic growth in the environment of still supportive monetary policy have improved investor sentiment in the financial markets. Some commodity prices have recovered albeit still below their cyclical highs. Crude oil prices remain at moderate levels, driven by developments in crude inventories and supply dynamics among OPEC and non-O…

Royal Regalia Building: An ASEAN Landmark

Royal Regalia Building declared Asean Landmark
August 9, 2017

| Hakim Hayat |

THE iconic Royal Regalia Building in the capital was officially declared as an Asean Landmark in a colourful ceremony last evening, which was also held to mark the 50th anniversary of the 10-member country bloc.

Present as the guest of honour was Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof who is also Chairman of Asean Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (AMCA) 2016-2017.

Top diplomats from Asean member countries and its dialogue partners were also present.

Hundreds of spectators witnessed the event held in front of the Royal Regalia Building that was lit in a colourful laser light show to mark the occasion.

Welcoming the guest of honour and special guests were the beating of the traditional ‘hadrah’ and a traditional dance, followed by a vibrant procession led by the musical band from the Prisons …

Ketuanan Brunei: A Historical Perspective (MIB Series)

‘Ketuanan Brunei’ – A historical perspective
August 7, 2017

| Dr Muhammad Hadi bin Muhammad Melayong, Senior Special Duties Officer, Secretariat Office, Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) Supreme Council |

BRUNEI is one of the oldest Malay empires that has existed since the Sixth Century, according to historical Chinese records.

Few of the well-known empires in the Malay world include Funan, Campa, Langkasuka, Old Kedah, Negeri Gangga, Angkor, Jambi, Pan-Pan (Kelantan), Sriwijaya and Tanjung Pura.

The majority of these empires were influenced by Hindu-Buddhism, but were later introduced to Islam by the third Khulafaur Rashidin, Saidina Uthman bin Affan in the Seventh Century, with Islamic influence spreading throughout Asia to the Far East.

Through the pages of Brunei’s history, it is acknowledged that we had practised a monumental tradition of monarchy for over 1,400 years – a legacy where the Brunei government had influenced the Malay civilisation before the advent of Islam.


Brunei established Competition Commission

Commission set up to uphold competitiveness
August 7, 2017

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 consented to the establishment of the Competition Commission of Brunei Darussalam, an independent body that is mandated to promote business competition in Brunei Darussalam economic landscape through the enforcement of the Competition Order 2015.

The Prime Minister’s Office announced that His Majesty also consented to the appointment of
Dato Paduka Eddie bin Dato Paduka Haji Sunny as the Chairman of the Competition Commission, together with six members of the commission. They are
Haji Mohamad Azmi bin Haji Mohd Hanifah, the Permanent Secretary (Industry) at the Prime Minister’s Office; Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism; Haji Abdullah Soefri bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saifu…

Permanent Secretaries and Deputies in Brunei (5th August 2017)

LATEST LIST OF PERMANENT SECRETARIES AND DEPUTIES IN BRUNEI (5 AUGUST 2017) (Including updated list of titles since the award ceremony on 15 July 2017)

New Deputy Permanent Secretary at Prime Minister’s Office
August 5, 2017

BY COMMAND of 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, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced that His Majesty has consented to the appointment of Pengiran Jamra Weira bin Pengiran Haji Petra, Director of Electrical Services, Department of Electrical Services at the Prime Minister’s Office as Deputy Permanent Secretary (Power, IT and E-Government) at the Prime Minister’s Office, effective today, 12th of Zulkaedah 1438 Hijrah corresponding to August 5, 2017.



Prime Minister's Office (PMO)
Dato Paduka Haji Jamain bin Haji Julaihi (Energy)
Dato Paduka Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman (Economy and…

Brunei's Education System Praised

Thai Deputy Minister of Education praises Brunei’s education system
August 5, 2017

| Azlan Othman |

BRUNEI Darussalam’s bilingual education system, with its combination of secular and religious schooling, drew admiring remarks from Dr Krissanapong Kirtikara, Thailand’s Deputy Minister of Education.

Dr Krissanapong who is also the Chairperson of the Princess Maha Chakri Award Foundation (PMCAF), was in the country recently to meet this year’s potential recipient of the foundation’s prestigious award.

“Brunei Darussalam has embarked on a very good bilingual education system incorporating Malay and English in early childhood. In addition, the combination of religious and secular education in Brunei Darussalam has also attracted the interest of Thai educational authorities,” he told the Weekend Bulletin, when asked about his meeting with officials from Brunei’s Ministry of Education.

“Thailand needs this kind of approach in education,” he added.

Dr Krissanapong also broached the …

HRH Brunei Crown Prince: Strong Islamic Philosophy Key To Be Finance Hub

Strong Islamic philosophy key to be finance hub
August 3, 2017

| Danial Norjidi |

BRUNEI Darussalam’s key competitive edge towards becoming an international Islamic Finance hub lies in its strong Islamic philosophy, which is embedded in its way of life and naturally contributes to the purity of the country’s Islamic finance.

This was stated in a sabda yesterday by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Chairman of Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD), during the opening ceremony of the Brunei Darussalam Islamic Investment Summit 2017 (BIIS 2017).

“The global and regional economic environment has changed dramatically over the last 10 years, bringing with it new risks and challenges. Against this backdrop, the Islamic finance industry has seen extraordinary growth and has continued to evolve,” His Royal Highness said.


HM Sultan Brunei: Youths Must Be Active

His Majesty urges youths to be active
August 2, 2017

| Azlan Othman |

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 urged youths to be active, not passive.

“Don’t just know how to count your days,” His Majesty said delivering his titah at the 12th National Youth Day celebration at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas yesterday, adding, “We want youths who are lively and fill their times or days with welfare activities and not let them be empty or pass by just like that.

“Using your time wisely is crucial… youths now fill their time with too much fun. If we let our youths have too much leisure, then this is very bad for the future.

“The country may face a problem of lack of competitiveness to face various challenges,” His Majesty said.

“Producing quality youths is no doubt an investment. It requires the commitment of all parti…

The Real Origin of Monopoly Game

The Real Origin of Monopoly Game

BBC wrote recently about the above which you can link for yourself here. If you are too lazy to go there, here is the article by Kate Raworth:


28 July 2017 ‘Buy land – they aren’t making it any more,’ quipped Mark Twain. It’s a maxim that would certainly serve you well in a game of Monopoly, the bestselling board game that has taught generations of children to buy up property, stack it with hotels, and charge fellow players sky-high rents for the privilege of accidentally landing there.

The game’s little-known inventor, Elizabeth Magie, would no doubt have made herself go directly to jail if she’d lived to know just how influential today’s twisted version of her game has turned out to be. Why? Because it encourages its players to celebrate exactly the opposite values to those she intended to champion.

Born in 1866, Magie was an outspoken rebel against the norms and politics of her times. She was unmarried into her 40s, independent and p…