Saturday, October 31, 2009

Congrats to all the Graduates.

Greater transparency sought from TAP
The Employees Trust Fund (Tabung Amanah Pekerja or TAP) should exercise greater transparency in the way it conducts business to assure contributors their money is safe, said some financial planners and business executives.Contributors have the right to know the details on TAP's investments and retention policy because these affect their retirement fund, said one financial planner who is familiar with the pension fund concept.
TAP also owes it to contributors to disclose their operations cost to prevent speculations that monthly contributions are being used to pay for the salaries of the fund's employees, he said.An executive from an information technology (IT) firm said that TAP's transparency on its investments are also important so the public will understand the reasons for any drop or non-distribution of dividends.
A TAP representative, requesting not to be named, said: "We have been holding financial roadshows and basically, we have been sharing with our contributors in terms of where we invest our money."During a roadshow TAP executives usually talk to the public about their "fundamental rules".
"What happens is we tell them where we invest their money, which include fixed deposits, bonds, equities and real estate to name a few," said the TAP representative.Another financial planner said most people think they should have a retention policy, which includes how much they make and disclose it, so when everything is stated, the public will know how much will be re-distributed.
"There could be a (TAP) retention policy for all we know, but they have never mentioned one, so how would the public know about it?" he asked.He said TAP's investments are "rather unknown" because nothing specific has ever been disclosed.Another matter is how TAP does not disclose their operations costs.
"Every business has operating costs involved but, they should not get carried away with the idea of creating jobs as their salaries are based on returns of investment," he said, suggesting that TAP should disclose their costs and should work within the limit so that contributors don't end up paying for their salaries.
A business executive, who wished not to be named, agreed that the pension fund should be more transparent."The fact that it (dividends) is not pro-rated is a problem for some, which underlines why they need to be clear-cut about the investments that they participate in," he said.
Contributors are taking risks with TAP by allowing it to invest their money, but when it makes losses people don't get dividends and when profits are reaped, people don't get extra dividends, the financial planner said."They are declaring no dividends, claiming the financial crisis, but during an economic boom, how much they made through investments (is not known to the) public.
During the economic boom, dividends were not significantly increased," he said."If they don't have a policy in terms of what they are going to invest, at the end of the day it will be chaotic because everyone's retirement funds are in their hands," the business executive said.The TAP representative said that the funds will still be intact even though there are no dividends for the fiscal years 2008 and 2009.
"Decrease in returns is basically due to the global financial crisis experienced by everyone. It's not a normal crisis, but faced by all global enterprises," the official said, adding that on their website they have the rate of dividends that were increased since the trust fund's inception in 1993.
He said data shows a growth of dividends over the years and there are no fixed dividends. In 1993 it was 1.5 per cent and it increased to 4.25 per cent in 2007/8."What happens next year depends on the performance of markets, it could be higher or lower than the previous dividends.
We won't know," said the TAP representative.The financial planner added that the representation of the annual statement shows that contributors are not getting dividends from monthly contributions but only from the previous year."Representation of the statement is unclear, we are contributing monthly and even if we were getting dividends, the statement does not show," he explained.
TAP encourages anyone who has questions about the statements to approach their counters, where staff will be more than willing to help.
During TAP's appreciation night 2009 on October 3, the Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office, in his capacity as the chairman of the TAP Board, said that they made the decision to not issue any dividends after taking into account the financial crisis and the global recession which have affected the performance of the fund's investments.
"The decline in investment performance for the fiscal year 2008/9 is considered out of the ordinary because all investment assets have seen a decrease due to the financial crisis," said Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa Major General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Hj Mohammad Hj Daud. He added that financial institutions all over the world were also experiencing the same situation.
Pehin Dato Hj Mohammad said that as of April this year, the performance on investments has done better as the global economy recovers from the financial crisis. (The Brunei Times)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Haj season.

How about limiting number of cars each motorist owns?
Panelists of a climate change forum yesterday suggested limiting the number of vehicles a motorist may own as one of the "green" intiatives that could be implemented in the Sultanate.
Putting in place the legislation on the number of cars could be done, as it is one way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, said Dr Hjh Sainah Hj Saim, one of the panelists of the forum entitled "Towards a Strategy on Climate Change: How can Brunei Contribute?"
There is "an abundance" of vehicles in Brunei, thus the need to devise alternative means of transportation as public transport is not regularly used by many Bruneians, said Dr Hjh Sainah, senior lecturer and programme leader of public policy at Universiti Brunei Darussalam.
"Carpooling concept is also difficult to implement," she said in the forum, which was moderated by Haslina Taib, chief executive officer of BAG Networks."We need to see what we have and what we don't have before introducing a policy," she added.
There should be a link and supporting mechanism in having a "green policy framework" and "green growth framework" that focus on environmental and economic sustainability, she said.
Brunei is active in preventing climate change, but it is a challenge to continue taking further steps to address climate change concerns, she said. The lecturer also pointed out that local companies are not performing well when it comes to waste management, such as practising the 3Rs concept of reduce, reuse and recycle.
"Being aware of climate change issues is not enough, education must be able to change people's mindset, and create a change in habits and norms," said Dr Hjh Sainah.Lim Boon Teck, corporate sustainability manager of HSBC Brunei, said that Brunei should start conducting research on forests, as data gathered from this area would fit into policy changes.
"We know very little how it (forests) would impact Brunei and Southeast Asia," he said, adding that the country would have a better idea of tackling climate change from research. "Our survival depends on what we do from now onwards. Take action now because time cannot wait," he added.
Dr Suphachol Suphachalasai, an economist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said that identifying strategies would require thinking about the interests of the people. "How would they be affected by climate change?" he asked.
Brunei should start collecting data and begin a monitoring process on what can be improved, and share the information with the public, he said.Organised by the Brunei Economic Development Board in partnership with the British High Commission in Brunei and the ADB, the forum was aimed to promote greater awareness of climate change issues and provide guidance in implementing sustainable development.
The forum was conducted to mark ADB's first regional study on the economics of climate change, which stated that Southeast Asia is one of the world's most vulnerable regions due to its long coastlines, high density of population and heavy reliance on agriculture, natural resources and forestry. About 100 officials, members of the private sector and students attended the forum. (The Brunei Times)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Workhard.

Milestone as Brunei produces first batch of dental therapists
Dental hygienists cum therapists are being trained "to address the huge dental decay and gum disease burden amongst the population of Brunei Darussalam".

Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, Minister of Health (MoH), said this as he spoke at the Inaugural Convocation Ceremony for Diploma in Dental Hygiene and Therapy yesterday.

"This truly is a giant leap for the Oral Health Services in the country because for the first time the Ministry of Health is able to produce our own local dental hygienists who are capable of meeting the high standards that are set by King's College, London, which is an internationally renowned institution for dental education," the minister said.

"This is a significant first step towards being self-reliant in producing dental therapists to meet our dental human capital target.

"This strategy is in line with the policy of the Ministry of Health, which is to increase the accessibility and availability of oral healthcare to all Bruneians, with emphasis on education and prevention.

"It also meets one of the Dental Department's main goals of optimising accessibility of Oral Health Services to the community, as clearly spelled out in the Oral Health Agenda 2008-2012," said the minister.

The ceremony was held by the Department of Dental Services, Ministry of Health, and took place at the Dewan Utama of the Royal Brunei Polo & Riding Club in Jerudong, and saw eight graduates receiving their Diplomas for Dental Hygiene and Therapy after completing a three-year course, which was organised by the Department of Dental Services with the cooperation of King's College in London.

The Minister of Health was the guest of honour at the event. Also present were Deputy Minister of Health, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Paduka Haji Awang Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, Dato Paduka Haji Abd Salam bin Abd Momin, Permanent Secretary at the MoH, and Haji Daud bin Haji Mahmud, Permanent Secretary, Higher Education, Ministry of Education.

Also present were director generals, directors, chief executive officers, senior officers, graduates and their families.

"The treatment of tooth decay in children can now be carried out by dental therapists and the majority of gum diseases can be treated by dental hygienists," said the minister.

"It is more cost effective to train dental hygienists/therapists rather than dentists to provide simple treatment for dental caries and periodontal disease, which are the major oral health needs of the population here," the minister said.

The minister also revealed that there are presently nine trainees in the second cohort who are undergoing the same training and are set to graduate next year.

"Further intake of candidates into the training programme will continue in the future with the recruitment of 10 trainees per year in order to meet the targeted ratio of dental therapist to population aged 18 years and under at 1:800."

According to the minister, as this is the estimated dental manpower required to meet the oral health needs of Brunei's younger population, the initiation of "this innovative programme is fully justifiable not only from the health perspective but also from the social point of view".

"It is important to remember that such local training opportunity will undoubtedly attract others who are looking for careers in dentistry and therefore will provide our youth with more career choices and offer them an excellent opportunity to be associated with the health profession."

The minister then spoke of how "the Dental Department must ensure its sustainability including the availability of various essential resources, finance, manpower, related infrastructures and equipment" now that the training programme has started.

"One option is of rendering the training programme to be more cost-effective is to consider collaboration with other institutions in the country such as the Institute of Medicine, UBD."

The minister also spoke of "the possibility of further developing and advancing the local training programme in the future", where having local training facilities available would allow a flexible training protocol to be "incorporated into the core curriculum so that various training options may be made available to cater to the training needs of the other categories of operating and non-operating dental ancillaries".

"In addition, once the training programme is firmly established, the option of admitting international students, especially those from the Asia-Pacific region, may be explored," added Pehin Suyoi.

"This will enhance the spirit of mutual cooperation between the Asean countries and will definitely raise the status of Brunei Darussalam as a centre for academic excellence and as a direct contributor to oral health in the region and internationally." (Borneo Bulletin)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Focus.

Bring glory to country

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC), yesterday urged the national athletes representing the country at Friday's 3rd Asian Indoor Games to make full use of the chance given to them to compete in the 10-day event in Hanoi, Vietnam.
"The athletes should make full use of the chance since an opportunity like this would not have occurred if not for hard work and sacrifice," said His Royal Highness. "This is the best time to bring glory to the country, create a name (for yourself) and open opportunities in the future.
"Everything that is needed by an athlete to succeed is provided free of charge and there is a big possibility that Brunei is the only country in the world (that does this)," he added.
He made the comments during a flag handover ceremony at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas where he presented the national flag to the national contingent's chef-de-mission Mariam Ulat.
The Sultanate will be represented by 13 athletes competing in three sports: billiards, pencak silat and wushu.Wushu is a surprise inclusion in the list after initial reports by the Department of Youth and Sports stated that the country will only compete in billiards and pencak silat at the Games.
Though the Games have been held for three times, this year will mark the country's first appearance at the event and His Royal Highness acknowledged the importance of yesterday's function.
"This is another important day in the development of sports in the country because national athletes will compete in the Asian Indoor Games for the first time," said the president.
"I wish to congratulate the athletes that have been chosen and my message is always work hard, remain focused and take care of your health, because those three things are important to achieve success.
"We have to understand that this flag handover is not just a routine ceremony because the flag is the country's symbol that all authorities have to respect (and) the athletes' glory is the country's glory," he added.
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, is the Sultanate's only representative in billiards, with 10 athletes flying the flag for the country in pencak silat and two in wushu.
The 2007 SEA Games silver medallist Norleyermah Hj Raya will compete in the triple event with her sister Norleyharyanti and Nurul Aimi Amalina Zanidi, while the only other female pencak silat exponent, Siti Zuliza Omar, will take part in the tanding event.
Hj Md Khairul Bahrin Hj Duraman will compete in the solo event while Freedy Asnrul Choo, Khuzaiman Ahmad, Mohamad Amali Hj Abd Malik, Mohd Kifli Hamzah and Pg Khairul Bahri Pg Ali Umar will compete in the tanding event.
Wushu will be represented by Faustina Woo Wai Sai and Lee Ying Shi.
With all of the pencak silat athletes involved in the Gold Project programme, the team's manager said he had high hopes for them.
"They are all from the Gold Project so there is no bronze or silver (on our mind), all our targets are gold," said Pg Karim Pg Hj Matassan. Including Mariam, the full contingent of 24 is made up of among others 13 athletes and three coaches. (The Brunei Times)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Great encounter...great comeback as well.

Artist at work...saucy nando!


Getty Images
Salam, good day. What a wonderful morning after a great night of football! Liverpool FC with their worst start of the season has silenced the severe critics they had after thumping Manchester United 2-0 at Anfield. Injury doubt Fernando Torres scored the opener twenty minutes after the interval, collecting his ninth of the season. David Ngog hit the second goal in the stoppage time. With Steven Gerrard sidelined due to a groin problem, the Reds doesn't seem looking for his service though. In other results; Bolton 3-2 Everton, Manchester City 2-2 Fulham and West Ham 2-2 Arsenal:)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's getting worst.

Labuan Quits Borneo Games Football Event Dropped
Bandar Seri Begawan - The football event for the third Borneo Games 2009 to be held in Brunei Darussalam at the end of next month has been dropped after the Federal Territory of Labuan suddenly withdrew its participation.

Despite having already agreed to take part during the head of delegates meeting for the 3rd Borneo Games at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Oct 10, the Federal Territory of Labuan sent a letter stating its non-participation.

The letter did not state any reason for the withdrawal. After the news in the last meeting that the Brunei Darussalam Football Association had been suspended by FIFA, Malaysian teams from Sabah and Sarawak had declined although the Borneo Games has no affiliation with AFC or FIFA.

With only Brunei and Kalimantan participating in the football event, it does not have the mandatory three teams to compete. Without football, this year's Borneo Games will comprise nine sporting events badminton, lawn bowling, cue sports, gasing (top spinning), hockey, athletics, pencak silat, sepak takraw and tennis.

Athletes from Sabah, Sarawak, the Federal Territory of Labuan, Kalimantan and Malacca, the host of Sukma 2010, and host Brunei will be contesting in nine events. (Borneo Bulletin)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I wish so...insya Allah.

Bumper fruit harvest this season
According to John Keats, one of England's' greatest poets, autumn is a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.

Brunei has its season of fruits and this year, we seem to have a bumper crop.
The trees are laden with rambutans, taraps, longans and durians.
Fruit season is also a time when mums, dads and the kids pile into their Kijangs or Avanzas and head off for a few hours of fruit picking on their lands or in the jungle, where there is an abundance of fruits ripe and ready for picking.

When roadside fruit stalls spring up every few hundred yards along Brunei's major roads, you know it's fruit season in Brunei. The local fruits are succulent, nutritious and delicious. Health food never tasted so good.

Everyone has their own favourite fruit, but there is no doubt that durian, "the king of fruits", is Brunei's favourite. It has a special place in the hearts (and stomachs) of a great many Bruneians. The seeds of the durian can also be eaten, but you must cook them first. We had a durian at home yesterday. I hope to be able to move back into my house in a couple of days!

My personal favourite is the rambutan or hairy fruit. They seem to be extra juicy this year. My wife told me that the seeds can be eaten raw.

After eating one, I decided to check that out. According to Wikipedia, the seed is mildly poisonous when raw, but can be eaten when cooked. Well, so much for that! I hope I last long enough to see this article in print. (Borneo Bulletin)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Brand new ride.

Unemployment still a major concern

The number of Bruneians seeking jobs has climbed in recent months as the Local Employment Section of the Labour Department has confirmed that it received some 4,700 applicants struggling to find employment from January to August this year.

In the past week alone, the section said it received 300 new applications with many searching for jobs in administration, but most of the unemployed still prefer to work in the public sector.

However, according to Haji Mohd Ideni Hj Ahmad, Assistant Commissioner of Labour, locals are slowly but steadily opening up and are taking up opportunities provided by the private sector.

In an interview with the Bulletin, Hj Mohd Ideni said most private companies working in cooperation with the local employment section in search of employees look at an applicant's willingness to work more than his/her qualification.

"An applicant's willingness to work is one of the major driving factors that an employer considers in a potential candidate. Even if an applicant has a primary six qualification, but if he/she is determined and willing to work, it catches the employer's attention.

"It's a different story if the position offered requires high qualification and an under qualified applicant applies," he quickly added.

He said the Local Employment Section is trying to create awareness not only among job seekers but also the private sector.

Hj Mohd Ideni urged those in the private sector to inform the section on jobs that they offer.

Commenting on the employment figures, the assistant commissioner said of the 4,700 applicants it received throughout the year until August, only 189 got jobs in the private sector.

"It's hard to state the actual figures. The 189 could be under-calculated because some employment-seeking cardholders do not inform us once they get jobs. So, we do not know if the numbers are higher," he added.

Hj Mohd Ideni also advised private companies to look into the public-private partnership initiative as it would help job seekers find employment directly or indirectly.

Yesterday, the Bulletin witnessed first hand the high demand for employment at the Job Centre in the capital. Unemployed locals were seen sending in applications, queuing in long lines waiting to get interviewed while some were looking at advertisements on the bulletin board for vacancies.

The Job Centre, which is now located in the capital behind the Brunei Hotel, was relocated in September 2008 from its previous place at the Immigrations headquarters.

The centre's functions include counselling, training, advertising and interviewing job seekers. (Borneo Bulletin)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What tomorrow will brings?

The emcees Harun & Fadzillah

Guest singer Uji Rashid

Bintang Radio previous winners
(From left: Isamudin, Ampuan Rosnahwati, Ampuan Nur Hafizah Hanum & Khairul Nazri)

Line up of judges
(From left: Cico Harahap, Norhayati, Rosman & Abdullah)

Men's category champion Ak Shahminan

Ladies category champion Nuraqilah Maidin

The most awaited moment...

The emcees in conversation with one of the contestant...

...and the grand finale.

Bandar Seri Begawan - Ten contestants took turns in the limelight to belt out their songs at the final rounds of the Bintang Radio 2009 last night organised by Radio Televisyen Brunei (RTB).

In the men's category, Ak Shahminan Pg Ahmad claimed first place for a crowd pleasing performance, winning himself $2,000 and a trophy.

His performance received a standing ovation from the audience as he sang Menyulam Kasih.

Second prize went to Mohd Ruzaimi Mohamad, 21, while third prize went to a member of the Royal Brunei Police Force, Hj Zul Azmi Hj Mohin.

In the female category, Nuraqilah Maidin gained herself the title of the top female singer of the night's competition after belting the song Burung Pungguk.

The female singer also won similar prizes to Ak Shahminan for her efforts.

Suzann Maidin was named first runner-up of this year's contest while 20-year-old Siti Fairuz Hj Ibrahim grabbed a safe spot at third place.

The first runners-up of both categories received trophies and cash prizes of $1,500 whereas the second runners-up received $1000 and trophies. Consolation prizes of $800 and trophies were also given to the remaining finalists.

On hand to present the awards to the winners was the guest of honour at the event, Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office, Pg Abdul Hails Pg Hj Shahbudin.

Ak Shahminan and Nuraqilah will be representing Brunei at the Nyanyian Bintang Klasik Nusantara 2009 which will be hosted by Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) in Kuala Lumpur next month.

Previous winners of Bintang Radio of recent years, Mohd Khairul Nazri Hj Johari, Ampuan Nur Hafizah Hanun Ampuan Hj Yaakub, Ampuan Rosnahwati Ampuan Hj Yaakub and Isamuddin Samsudin were also present last night to perform during the finals prior to the announcement of this year's champions.

The audience was also treated to guest performances by Malaysia's evergreen singer Uji Rashid, who sang several of her own hits of the 70s and sang duets with each of the past Bintang Radio champions.

In a statement by RTB's Acting Director Pg Hj Mahari Pg Hj Abd Rajak, this is the eighth year that the Bintang Radio contest has been held since its revival in 2002. (The Brunei Times)


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Allah bless.

Salam, good day. Alhamdulillah, first of all I would like to thank my family, my kids (Zahra', Sa'adah & Abdul Aziz), friends, colleagues, long time no sees, for the wishes on my facebook's wall, sms, calls, greetings and dedications. How old? *I prefer to keep it in secret* Oooh...i still feel young nonetheless *hehe* However, all have been great to me. Also, happy birthday to my beloved wife Saraya Abidin which also falls on the same day as me. Today also mark our 6th wedding anniversary too. If you wish to add me on facebook, please add my nick Adi Zulhazmi Mohammad Salleh. Thanks again, Allah bless:)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Unpredictable.

Day of joy for Zakat recipients
The smiles on their faces said it all.

Successful applicants who were promised a cut of the multi-million-dollar financial aid from Zakat collection finally had their share banked into their bank accounts yesterday.

In His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's Titah last Wednesday, the monarch said that these shares were meant to lessen the burden of the less fortunate by providing them with a better, more comfortable life.

From as early as 6.30am yesterday, people armed with files of certificates and documents stating their entitlement had gathered outside a bank in the capital.
When asked what she would do with the extra money, Dayang Rosnah of Kampong Ayer told the Bulletin that her priority was to buy food and supplies for her house.

"I will also use the money to settle my debts," she said.

An elderly man, Awang Abdullah, express his gratitude to Allah the Almighty and His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for easing his burden.
"It has been a while since I had this much money on hand," said the 68-year-old man as he flicked some 50-dollar notes. "Some of this will be used to pay off my debts, while the rest will be kept for a rainy day."

A single mother of two, Hjh Rokiah of Berakas, meanwhile, said that she would receive $30,000 in financial aid from the fund.

However, there were a few sad faces, as they were not able to withdraw the money from the bank due to "procedural mistakes". Some had attempted to withdraw the money from account that was currently under the name of the head of family, either their mother or father.

Bank staff reassured the Bulletin that this matter could easily be resolved as long as the head of family can write a letter authorising one of their relatives to withdraw the money on their behalf.

Some people who visited the bank early yesterday morning were saddened to hear that their accounts had not been updated. They were told to come back after noon to see if the money had been banked into their respective accounts.

However, many people are still confused as to how much they would be allowed to withdraw each month.

It is understood that the funds that are banked into their resistive accounts can only be withdrawn each month to the amount of no more than 1/12 (one-twelfth), 1/36, 1/48 or 1/60 depending on their category.

"I'm still in the dark about this arrangement," said Shamsuddin, a retiree who was told by a bank staff that he was not allowed to withdraw more than $1,000 yesterday.

Understandably, this is one of the mechanisms to prevent any of the recipients form spending the money like water.

His Majesty expressed his hope that the recipients of the shares would use the funds wisely and "avoid an extravagant and wasteful lifestyle" in last Wednesday's titah, which was delivered during a presentation ceremony for the 4,084 heads of families from the poor community.

Out of the 4,084, 2,313 were from Brunei-Muara District, 573 from Tutong, 749 from Belait and 259 from Temburong. Some 190 people were categorised under the al-Gharimin (debt-ridden) category.

The Bulletin has learnt that with the Zakat or monthly assistance, the 4,084 families will no longer be categorised as "poor" and will be removed from any list for the next couple of years.

The financial assistance should be sufficient to cover their basic foodstuff necessities, daily spending money, their children's education and rent for housing.

Meanwhile, recipients from the al-Gharimin category will be receiving funds to settle their outstanding housing debts up to January 31, 2009.

According to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the outstanding housing debt stood at $2,325,296.38, and the money is owed to Housing Development Department, Ministry of Development and Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Foundation. (Borneo Bulletin).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Time chasing.

DST Group Brunei Premier League II
Friday 9/10/09
Menglait FC 1-4 Lun Bawang
Kilanas FC 0-2 KSJ Penjara
Muara Vella FC 2-4 PERKASA

Menglait FC vs Lun Bawang FC match ended Lun Bawang defeated Menglait 4-1


Lun Bawang Manager (R) with his Assistant (L)


Menglait FC's Asst.Coach Rodieno Latif (2nd from right) with their Head Coach Khairul Bakar (3rd from right)

10-man BAB bury Brunei Youth

TEN-MEN Brunei Association of Banks (BAB) edged the Brunei Youth (Under-16) team 1-0 with a goal in the dying seconds of their game at the Berakas Sports Complex last night.Controlling a pass from just outside the box, Md Zahirudin Abd Morad beat the offside trap and calmly slotted home in the 90th minute to hand BAB a deserved win in their DSTGroup Brunei Premier League II match.Despite losing one of their players who was sent off in the last 10 minutes when he was shown a second yellow in the space of seconds for dissent, BAB looked the stronger side in the closing minutes.
Continuing to out-muscle their younger opponents and pass the ball better, BAB were deserved winners though their coach did not seem too happy with his team's performance."I am proud that the Under-16 team know how to play," praised Shukor Sharbini after the match."Our players are lacking fitness, especially after the Hari Raya break so they were a bit slow."I was always expecting the win though. It was a must!," added Shukor, who is also the team's manager.
Coached by 1999 Malaysia Cup winner Rosanan Samak, Brunei Youth were largely limited to long-range attempts.When they did manage to work the ball into the box, their finishing was to blame and they squandered chances that most teams would have put away.BAB always looked the more potent side on the attack, so it was no surprise their efforts were rewarded though it took them the length of the match to do so.Meanwhile at the Balapan Track & Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas, title contenders Liang Lumut Recreational Club Football Team cemented their reputation with a 5-0 drubbing of DST Group FC. The league will take a break today before resuming tomorrow. (The Brunei Times).

Friday, October 9, 2009

Gearing up for sports activities.

Salam, good day. I have another few assignments coming up in these few days, which I believe would minimise my time on the internet *hehe*. Today, the Imams has highlighted the dangers of smoking in their Khutbah. The sermon reminded smokers that smoking not only harms the smokers themselves but others around them too. Research shows that smoke inhaled by the passive smokers is dangerous to health. This is because passive smokers are exposed to unfiltered smoke that contains dangerous chemicals. According to researches, the risk of getting heart disease is 30 per cent higher among passive smokers. The sermon added that smokers could also be committing both sin and cruelty because they could cause others to have cancer and heart disease. In some cases, heads of family who smoke could endanger the lives of their spouses and children. This happens when the family is forced to become passive smokers and inhale toxic chemicals from cigarettes, the Imams said. Which one would you choose now, your helath / family or continue smoking?:)

DST Group Brunei League (Premier II) - 09 /10 / 09
+ MENGLAIT FC vs LUN BAWANG FC - Track & Field HBNSC Berakas, 4pm
+ KILANAS FC vs KSJ PENJARA - Berakas Sports Complex, 4pm
+ MUARA VELLA FC vs PERKASA FC - Berakas Sports Complex, 8.15pm

Thursday, October 8, 2009

No where else, but Brunei.

Historic Chapter Written In Gold, Says His Majesty

Bandar Seri Begawan - "Today, a historic chapter is being written tinted in gold for our country, as we now move towards freeing ourselves from poverty," said His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday.

His Majesty delivered his titah during the ceremony to distribute documents of Zakat funds to the poor community (asnaf Fakir Miskin) and those who suffer from debt (al-Gharimin) at the International Contention Centre, Berakas.

"I see this ceremony not only magnificent in its aim, but also representing an important history that is very meaningful to us all and for the country," said the monarch, who earlier in the year had made a call to eradicate poverty in the Sultanate, which was dubbed the 'Vision 2035'.

"This is not just being done for the sake of doing so, but through a carefully thought out plan, which has been coupled further with hope and with our capability of doing so," the monarch added.

"Should what is to be carried out shortly truly fulfil the complete requirements for the poor community? Once I have duly distributed the Zakat financial documents to the recipients, the country, in that particular moment, can truly be labeled as free from poverty," His Majesty said.

"Praise be to Allah, let us all together now accept this as reality and no longer a dream. Allah the Almighty knows of our intentions, which are in line with His teachings, and will therefore fulfil our intentions, much more than our expectations."

But His Majesty, ever the caring monarch and benevolent ruler, underscored the possibility that there may still be among his subjects, those that have yet to be accounted for in the list of the poor.

"If there are still any individuals that have been left out, who consider themselves eligible, then their plight must be brought forward to the respective authorities for consideration. These respective authorities will determine whether they fit the criteria of Fakir Miskin or otherwise.

"It would be normal after this ceremony that there would still be grievances from the aforementioned individuals, and this would not be seen as a black mark to dampen this new history that we are achieving today".

However, the monarch also lay particular emphasis on "the respective authorities that are carrying out the collections and distribution of Zakat must take on a more in-tuned and proactive attitude in monitoring and evaluating the needs of the community that are considered to be eligible for Zakat".

His Majesty warned them that they should not just simply wait for the applicants to come forward, "as not all of them are capable of doing so, or that even some of them might possibly not be aware of how or who to go about it".

This, the monarch pointed out further "would no doubt add further emphasis to the roles and responsibilities of our community leaders, such as the appointed legislative members, Penghulus and village leaders".

But as the supreme head of religion in this Islamic state, the monarch also called for patience "to those that are still being processed and evaluated, whether they came forward to apply on their own or otherwise, must therefore fulfil and accept each assessment by the concerned authorities, because those assessments have been carried out based on the proper guidelines and measures".

To the more than 4,000 recipients of the Zakat financial documents, His Majesty had these simple words of advice: "We hope that you will utilise your respective shares wisely and purposefully, by avoiding an extravagant and wasteful lifestyle. Those shares are meant to help you provide for a better and more comfortable life. You are now no longer labeled as Fakir Miskin, at least for the specified time".

The monarch also urged them to use this golden opportunity to the fullest, not just for their own sake but also for the sake of their children and their children's children. "And it would also be conceivable that amongst their numbers there will be some of them that will no longer want to look back, but with new-found determined ambitions, as well as with wise planning, they can continue to prosper without requiring the support of Zakat.

"Let us all give thanks and prayers to Allah the Almighty that we and our country continue to receive His blessings, live in peace, safety and prosperity, full of faith and penitence for all time," His Majesty said before wrapping up his momentous titah that has paved the way forward for making his personal dreams and hopes of eradicating poverty for all present and future generations of Bruneians a tangible reality. (Borneo Bulletin)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bless.

The 'ceremony to distribute documents of Zakat funds to the poor community (asnaf Fakir Miskin) and those who suffer from debt (al-Gharimin)' held this morning at the Plenary Hall of the International Convention Centre, Berakas.


HM upon arrival


HM delivering the 'titah'


Some of the cabinet ministers

HM handed over the documents to one of the recipients



Among the female recipients





RTB news reporter Izah Harun & Sofian Ali *hey, what are you looking at?*



...oooh, Jalil Yusof doing an interview...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Make good use.

4,084 Heads Of Families To Get Funds Tomorrow

Bandar Seri Begawan - The Islamic Religious Council of Brunei Darussalam, Ministry of Religious Affairs, in a press release issued yesterday evening, has informed the public that an official 'ceremony to distribute documents of Zakat funds to the poor community (asnaf Fakir Miskin) and those who suffer from debt (al-Gharimin)' will be held Wednesday at the Plenary Hall of the International Convention Centre, Berakas.

According to the press release, a total of 4,084 heads of poor and debt-ridden families nationwide will receive the Zakat funds distribution documents. The figure comprises those that have qualified and are listed as Zakat recipients until July 31, this year.

The press release also stated that the Coordination Committee for the Distribution Ceremony is requesting that all the respective recipients to attend the function at the venue before 7am on Wednesday with their invitation cards and their individual passes that have already been distributed to them.

The attendance of every respective recipient is required at the distribution ceremony, the press release emphasised.

The event signals the tangible response to the numerous queries posed by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam about the distribution of funds from the Zakat collections to those in need.

According to previous figures cited, the total collection of Zakat as of 2004 stood at $239,631,073. But five years on, figure must have increased.

The distribution of the Zakat funds comes under the responsibility of the Islamic Religious Council, which directly assesses, manages and distributes the funds. As such, with the staggering amount that was cited way back in 2004, the Islamic Religious Council has a huge role and responsibility to ensure that the Zakat funds are completely, fairly and systematically distributed to every single member who falls within the six categories of the poor, as prescribed by Islam.

Islam advocates that there are six categories that are entitled to receive the Zakat funds, which include the poor community (Fakir Miskin), tithe collectors, Muslim converts (Muallaf), and the redemption of slavery, Fisabilillah, Ibnus Sabil and debt-ridden families (al-Gharimin). (Borneo Bulletin).

Monday, October 5, 2009

Reds falls at the Bridge.

Salam, good day. Now we are in the mid of Syawal *oooh*. I really miss Ramadhan which I felt goes by that fast. For this year's hari raya, I managed to pay a visit almost of my entire family. It ain't easy since everybody was also leaving their home during these festive seasons. For those who is planning to host an open house, you still have got time. However I'm yet to perform my six days 'puasa sunat'. Hopefully I'm able to do that in these few days. In the meantime, the current weather in the country is very unpredictable. Also, I pay my deepest sympathy and condolonces to our neighbouring country who is experiencing a bad weather condition namely Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. Let's hope all comes good:)

Friday, October 2, 2009