Friday, February 27, 2009

Being On Nona.....

Remember when I said here that we were once featured in Malaysian TV3's Nona?

So here it is.......

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Team GNR8 Badminton Tournament

In the past few weeks, I've been joining Jester and his friends for badminton. Jester and his friends formed this badminton team, called Team GNR8, two years ago. We would normally play on Sunday evenings and so far, I have joined them playing at the Centrepoint and the Dar Takaful IBB Building. The Centrepoint badminton hall has good lighting and atmosphere, but the badminton mats are old and the court lines are not aligned anymore. The badminton hall at the Dar Takaful IBB building is newer, but the lighting is not that good and it is hot in the hall. Just being there for a few minutes makes it feel as if you're in a sauna. There are no badminton mats; rather they have wooden flooring. The lines on the court are white and sometimes it can be quite difficult to see the lines. I have  never played at the PGGMB building but apparently it is the best place (which is easily accessible to general public) to play.

Last Sunday, the team organised the Second Team GNR8 Badminton Tournament. The first one was held almost two years ago as a farewell tournament before Jester left for UK and I was working in Bintulu at that time. A total of thirteen players took part, giving a total of six double teams. Why six? It was because one person had to leave early and had to be replaced. Each double team would play the other teams, thus playing in five games. Playing five games was not easy; by the time we all played the third games, everyone was already tired. I had not had lunch or dinner before the tournament and by the second set of the second game, my tummy hurt, probably because it was empty, and I had to rummage through my bag to find something to eat. In the end, all matches were completed just after 11.30pm! I was dead tired by the end of the evening, but I could not really sleep as probably adrenaline was still pumping through me.

The tournament was won by Jester's brother, Aziri and Hj Besar. Second-placed winners were Hazri and his father-in-law, Hj Bahar. Jester and his partners won the third place. I and Manon came in the fifth place (out of six teams).

Here are some pictures.....

The winners!


Some of Team GNR8 members


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

MCL: Treatment in Singapore Part 1

This is a long overdue post. I wrote a series of posts, charting that period of my life when I was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma.

If you missed the earlier three parts, click the links here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.


So here it goes.....

So I was told that an appointment was set with the oncology specialist at the National University Hospital, Singapore on the immediate Friday. I was in the middle of a training session when I was called and told about the news. I bid farewell to my friends and colleagues, not knowing when I would be seeing them again. That evening we had a doa selamat and solat hajat.

The mood at the Airport the next day was somber. It had been a while since I left Brunei with tears in my eyes. I could not remember if there were any dry eyes that morning at the airport too. I left Brunei with my parents and my sister. On a different trip, this could have been a happy occasion, but not at that time. The two-hour flight to Singapore felt long.

During the appointment the next day, I was explained more about the disease. I recall the doctor expressing his surprise that I was diagnosed with this, as it would normally hit older men. The doctor also explained to me the treatment that I would have to go through. As the disease was quite rare, the doctor was opting for a more aggressive treatment. I would have to undergo seven courses of chemotherapy of increasing strength and the last course was expected to be so strong that it would probably kill most of the cells in my body making me very weak and very susceptible to infection. I would have to be isolated in a room for about two months with minimum human contact. The doctor was also planning to harvest my stem cells in between the courses of the chemotherapy. The idea was that they would try to harvest as much as stem cells as they could, which would later be given to me after the final course of chemotherapy. One permanent effect of the chemotherapy would be that I would become sterile. I was to see a reproductive system specialist to discuss on the options of storing some sperm samples.

During the first consultation with the oncology specialist, I passed along my medical records which I had brought over from Brunei. However, the doctor told me that I should have brought the more important item, i.e. the samples of the lumps that the doctors in Brunei had removed. Also, the doctors in Brunei had not completed scanned my body (using CT scan). So he ordered me to go for another round of CT scan, which I learned later to be quite unnecessary if only the doctors in Brunei ordered it. Apparent--ly. I would have had chemotherapy if these were available.....

To be continued....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Slumdog Oscars

As expected, Slumdog Millionaire swept the boards at last evening's Academy Award. It won eight Oscar statuettes, including the Best Picture and Best Director for Danny Boyle. Not bad for a movie that almost wnet straight to DVD. It was made more touching when the child actors, including two who still live in the slums, flew in from Mumbai to attend the ceremony.

This is a nice video of the children of Slumdog Millionaire being interviewed on the red carpet.

Kate Winslet won the Best Actress award for The Reader; her first Oscar after being nominated five times before. Sean Penn won the Best Actor for his performance in Milk. Penelope Cruz won the Best Supporting Actress. Heath Ledger won a posthumous Best Supporting Acretss for his outstanding outing as The Joker in The Dark Knight. His parents and sister accepted the award on his behalf, which will be handed over to his daugher, Matilda, when she turns eighteen.

If you have not watched Slumdog Millionaire, what else could make you watch it if eight Oscars couldn't?

Monday, February 23, 2009

National Day


Here's a National Day greeting to all Bruneians, wherever they might be.

In the twenty-five years after Brunei's independence, how much have we all matured? Have twenty-five years changed the way we live our lives, the way we think and the way we act?

As JFK said, '"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

Happy Independence Day!

Follow it here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Some corrections.....

Following my post yesterday, I was told that there were some mistakes in our random facts.

1. In addition to having 18 children, my mum also had two miscarriages.

2. There are now 18 bedrooms, not 20 as I stated.

3. My mum's cousin have 16 living children and one daughter was died when she was small.

The latest addition to our family is this tiny, beautiful girl. Nur Daania Arisyha was born just over a month ago, a few weeks too early from expected date. Now she weighs just over 3kg.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

We are family....

After reading Reeds' blog entry about blogging, I finally plucked up the courage to properly use Windows Live Writer to post onto my blog. And yes, what a breeze it is to post. If you haven't used it at all, I'd advise you to do now.

Anyway, moving on to today's post....

A while back, I downloaded this television programme from UK's Channel 4, entitled The World's Biggest Family and Me, in which the host was searching for families with 10 children and more. In this programme, the host managed to meet up with families with 10, 18, 15 and 84 children. Except for the one with 84 children (which is obvious!), the rest all come from one mother. One thing that I find interesting is that these people have many children as they follow what has been preached to them (either through Al-Quran or the Bible).

I find this television programme interesting as I myself come from a big family. I am the tenth child, out of sixteen. At the last count, the total number of people in my family was 48 (dad, 16 children, 8 children-in-law and 23 grandchildren).

Here are some random facts about the family:

1. My parents were both single child of their parents. Well, my dad had a sister who died when she was a small girl.

2. According to my dad, one of the main reasons why they chose to have many children was that they were lonely when they were small and they did not want their kids to feel the same way.

3. My mum actually bore 18 children, but one died when he was less than 2 years old in a drowning accident and one died when he was two days old.

4. My mum's cousin also has sixteen children.

5. My parents have 10 daughters and 6 sons, and I am the tenth child and fourth son.

6. Everyone in the family has a name which starts with 'Su', except the two deceased brothers.

7. Our house first started as a five-bedroom house and now after a few renovations, it boasts 20 bedrooms!

8. If everyone is at home and seeing the number of cars parked outside, people had mistakenly thought that we were used car dealers or we were having some functions at home and were entertaining guests.

9. At the moment, 8 of my siblings are married: 5 sisters and 3 brothers. That means another 8 are not yet married: 5 sisters, 2 brothers and myself!

10. We were once featured in the Malaysian TV3's Nona programme when they had a special feature on Brunei, back in 2002. We got featured as Nona wanted to showcase a big family, living under one roof. We were also once featured on Brunei TV.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I'm the Champion....

Together with some friends from work, we have started a mini badminton league at work. Participated mostly by some staff who are regular badminton players, the league consists of monthly matchdays, from which points are scored to determine the league standings. Winners from each monthly matchday get to keep the Challenge Trophy until the next monthly matchday.

The Challenge Trophy that the Winner keeps

So far, two monthly matchdays were played; one each in January and February. And guess who was one of the winners in February? It's none other than yours truly! I was partnered by Jester and we won all our games. Here's the picture of us with our trophies.

Since everyone is partnered with different players every month, I am not too sure if I could retain the Challenge Trophy in March. So, for the time being, the trophy is sitting proudly on my desk, greeting anyone who comes to see me. And it makes a good conversation piece too!

Read more about the mini badminton league here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Birthday I-Man!

Here's a special birthday wish to a nephew who celebrates his birthday today.

Happy Birthday, Aiman! Rajin-rajin belajar & jangan gauk.....

Here's a special song for you....

Aiman's a big fan of Thomas and Friends.

Manchester United Wins and Extends Lead

Manchester United won their one game hand in last night to extend their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to five points. Manchester United beat Fulham 3-0 at Old Traffford, while extending their clean sheets to fourteen matches. A brilliant volley from Paul Scholes opened the account for the Champions and Dimitar Berbatov doubled Manchester United' lead at the half-hour mark. Another goal from Wayne Rooney, in his first match after returning from unjury, sealed the victory for the Champions.

Manchester United looked strong as they marched on towards its eleventh Premier League titles (they also won seven old Division One titles). It will be difficult for the chasing pack to catch up to Manchester United. However, Sir Alex Ferguson has warned that the Premier League is not won yet, but at the same time, has ruled Chelsea out of the Premier League title chase.

Manchester United's next Premeir League match will be a home game against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, 21 February. If Manchester United wins this game, Liverpool would be eight points behind Manchester United by the time they face the Blue side of Manchester on the following Sunday. Another exciting match this weekend will be third-placed Aston Villa's home game against fourth-placed Chelsea.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Who wants to be an Oscar winner?

I finally had the chance to watch Slumdog Millionaire, a film highhly tipped to win many Oscars when they are finally handed this weekend. The film is not yet out in Brunei, and I am not too sure if it will, so admittedly I had to resort to watching one downloaded off the internet.

Slumdog Millionaire is a feel-good movie of 2009 so far. The storyline is original; it's not something that you might have seen or heard in other movies. It is a story of how one could find his/her true love, regardless of the many obstacles and difficulties one might encounter. It is also a heartbreaking and tearjerking story of life in the slums of Mumbai. You get to see the life of the street children and how they grow up in the slums.

I would highly encourage you to watch it. I bet you will not regret spending two hours watching this film. I hope this film wins more awards, to add on its four Golden Globes and seven BAFTAs.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


(from Borneo Bulletin today, on the Comic Strip page)

Hasn't it happened to us all? Has it ever happened to you that, as you hit the send button, you realised that you have sent an sms to the wrong person and you actually moan about that person in that sms?

There was one time that I really wished I had not done it. I was upset with a friend, so to moan about it, I composed a quite nasty sms which I intended to send to another friend. Both of these friends had the same first two letters in their names, so I keyed in the first two letters and then pressed the send button. As soon as I hit the send button, I realised that it was being sent to the person I was moaning about! I tried to do some damage control; I sms'ed and called him to apologise but he was having none of it and did not reply my sms and return my call. Obviously the person was not too pleased and we sort of had a fall out from that incident.

People says time is a healer and I am glad that we are now talking to each other again, but I could not stop thinking that he still remembers that sms and still hates me for it.
C'est La Vie.....

Monday, February 16, 2009

Manchester United Charges On

Manchester United maintained its march towards a 5-trophy haul this season by advancing to the quarter finals of the FA Cup. United beat Derby County in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup last evening, with goals coming in from Nani, Ronaldo, Gibson and Welbeck. Apart from Nani and Ronaldo, the other two names are members of the Reserves team, who are now breaking their way into the First Team. Sir Alex Ferguson fielded a changed team from the last game at Upton Park, with seven different paleyrs started the game at Derby Park. Manchester United will play either Swansea City or Fulham in the Quarter Finals.

Manchester United will play Fulham in the Barclay Premier League on Wednesday, 18 February at Old Trafford.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Yesterday was Valentine's Day, a day to express love to the loved ones. It could not be more appropriate that Seb and Linda chose this day to get their marriage registered. The registration was attended by close friends and family, who were asked to wear something pink, Linda's favourite colour.

The moment the newly-marrieds exhanged rings
A beautiful cupcake arrangement, with pink Me To You bears

Saturday, February 14, 2009

End of the Rainbow....

Ever wondered what could you find at the end of the rainbow? 

In Brunei's folklore, one is not supposed to point at a rainbow (pelangi in standard Malay or balingkawat in Brunei Malay) with an index finger, or else you would lose that finger. One is supposed to point with a thumb or to use another object, such as a pencil.

Here's a news story re-published from here.

Legend has it that at the end of every rainbow sits a leprechaun, hammering on a shoe, who will reveal the whereabouts of a crock of gold. 

Just as well, then, that it's only a legend - otherwise the little imp at the end of this rainbow would have found himself squashed by a 4x4 on a busy motorway. 

While many of us have seen a rainbow, few have been lucky enough to witness where it actually ends.

Even fewer have caught the moment on camera.

This rare picture was taken by amateur photographer Jason Erdkamp as he travelled along a freeway in Orange County, California, in the rain last Sunday. 

And it does seem to have proved lucky for him. 

'There was no pot of gold,' he said yesterday. But I did win $25 that night on a lottery ticket.' 

Rainbows occur when sunlight is refracted through rain droplets to create an arc-shaped spectrum of colours in the sky.

This particular rainbow was caused by a storm last Sunday from a cold front moving through California's Santa Ana mountains.   

Mr Erdkamp photographed it using his Apple iPhone as he travelled along the 241 toll road in Orange County.

He even managed to estimate how fast the rainbow was travelling as it moved northwards.

Speaking from his U.S. home, he said: 'Rainbows seemed very dynamic in movement when you are near their base.   

'The speed of movement across the ground was about 20 to 30mph as the base of the rainbow moved with the storm. It lasted for about five minutes.'

Friday, February 13, 2009

After The Audit...

At last, the audit was done and dusted. I am quite pleased with the outcome. It was not as bad as I had originally feared. If you are familiar with audits, you would be familiar with its related jargon, such as non-compliances and observation. Anyway, there were some non-compliances raised, but I'd consider them valid and unavoidable. They would be quite easily addressed and they should not pose much problems.

During the audit, I realised it more that how close knit we are in the department. There were times when the auditor would pose questions to one person. Later, the person being interviewed would be joined by some of his/her colleagues and help to answer the auditor's questions. There was also an instance when the auditor inquired about a statement in one of our documents and later I saw at least four of the staff poured over the document, trying to find this statement to show the auditor. It really showed how the people here would do their best to help each other. It was really a sign of a good team.

Anyway, I am glad that the audit was over and the result was good. Thanks to everyone who helped in making the audit an easy and reasonable exercise.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Busy days ahead.....

It's going to be a busy and nervous two days at work. My department is being audited by external auditors. The lab I am working for is ISO-17025-certified, so this audit is to assess if the certification should remain or not. It is an annual exercise and this is the second time I am experiencing this. I spent the past two months preparing for this audit, and I hope we pass it with flying colours.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Premiership Round-up

Anything you could do, we could do better!

Yes, it is directed to Liverpool fans. After beating Portsmouth on Saturday evening, many Liverpool fans believed that it was the eventual return to the top of the league that they had been talking about. The victory at Fratton Park, courtesy of two late goals from Fernando Torres, meant Liverpool leapfrogged Manchester United and lead the Champions by a solitary point.

Imagine those poor Liverpool fans' agony when Manchester United won their game at Upton Park with a win over West Ham 24 hours later. The Hammers were beaten with a goal  from Ryan Giggs. Giggs holds the record for being the only player to have played in every Premiership season (all 19 of them) and the only player to have scored in every single of them. He is also part of the rare breed of single-club players; he only plays for Manchester United in his glittering career and is expected to retire at Old Trafford. Being 35, Giggs gets to play less nowadays, but his enthusiasm and the desire to play with possibly the best football team at the highest level surely set the examples to the younger players whichever club they might play for. The match also saw Edwin van der Sar extended his clean sheets to 13 matches, which is already an English league record.

With the win at Upton Park, Manchester United returns to the top of the league, played one game less and having two points more than Liverpool.

Manchester United's next game will be against Derby County in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup on Saturday 15 February. Their next Premier League will be on 18 February against Fulham at Old Trafford, the one game in hand that Manchester United still has to play.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Dad's Birthday

Here's a birthday wish for our beloved dad, who celebrates his 68th birthday today.

Selamat Menyambut Hari Lahir ke 68 Tahun Pa!
Moga panjang umur dan murah rezeki,
dan sentiasa dirahmati Allah....

Terima kasih di atas segalanya 
Kau tidak pernah mengeluh 
Malah sentiasa tersenyum 
Walau digamit keperitan

(extracted from here)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tuts My Barreh

I kept bumping into this expression 'tuts my burreh' and was left wondering what it was.

So I googled it and found this.......


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Landslide again

At 3.00pm today....

If you're driving along Jalan Seria-Tutong, please exercise caution. An area near the Sungai Liang Police Station is quitely badly affected by a landslide. A line of cars has started to form. Delays are caused as the area is being cleared of soil and debris. The house on top of the hill is precariously perched by the edge and it looks really dangerous. I could hope that the occupants vacate the house quickly and hope no serious incidents occur.

Another unpredictable weekend....

Another weekend is upon us. However, this weekend may not be like the previous weekend. What with the unpredictable and unsettled weather hitting us at the moment. A slight rainfall would worry us. Just yesterday, one of my staff had a car accident as he lost control on a muddied road. Lucky he was alright. And for the past two evenings, the road leading to Tutong from Seria was lined with huge traffic jams. They were caused by landslides in Sungai Liang area. A brother was stuck for almost three hours as the Fire and Rescue Services personnel worked hard in the rain to clear the road.

Whatever you do this weekend, please do so safely and with care. 

Click here for Brunei Meteorological Services' website.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rain, Flood, Landslides and all.....

With the current unpredictable weather condition which Brunei is currently experiencing, it was nice to see that the two mobile phone operators in Brunei doing their part in informing the public of what could lay ahead of us.

Apart from the sms'es that you may get from either of the two mobile phone operators, this blogsite also does its public service by detailing the areas that might get affected by floods and landslides.

This is perhaps one of the early warning systems that we all need in times like this.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Remember this, when I was classified as obese? It may well be true...

Help, my waistline and my weight seem to be ballooning up lately. I can't seem to fit into my 28-sized trousers anymore and my clothings seem to be becoming too small for me. 

I think losing weight should be my no. 1 priority now! It's time to hit the hills again then....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Heaps and heaps of congratulations to a niece who scored a very good GCE O-level result recently. It was amazing to know that she has just gone past the O-level phase of her life, as it felt as if it was only recently that she first started school. Time really flew...

Hope her results would encourage the other nieces and nephews to do well in their exams.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Weekend's Sports Round-up

It was good to see Manchester United extended their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League. They won their game against Everton by a solitary goal, scored from the penalty spot by Ronaldo. Last night, Liverpool beat Chelsea to cut Manchester United's lead at the top by two points, but having played an extra game. In the next game, Manchester United will play West Ham at Upton Park.

In Melbourne, Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer in five sets to win the Australian Open Men's Single title. It was Nadal's five victory over Federer in seven Grand Slam finals. The victory brought Nadal his sixth Grand Slam title (the others are four French Open titles and one Wimbledon title); the only title he has not won is the US Open title. The victory also means Roger Federer is still one short of equalling Pete 'the Pistol' Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam titles. It is going to be an interesting year for Nadal and I hope that he can complete the Grand Slam this year.

By the way, I am currently off from work for the next three days due to a skin infection that I got. 

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Another Emblem Night...

We had our annual dinner last night. As previous years, it was held at the Rizqun International Hotel in Gadong. It was initially planned for on 24 January, but was then moved to last night about three weeks, which turned out to be for the better as Gadong area was hit by power cuts for several days last week. 

Like previous years too, instead of having an international artist to entertain the crowd, there were departmental performances. I tend to enjoy these departmental performances, as it showcased the raw talents and creativity of the people involved; the only foreign artist which I enjoyed was Anita Sarawak four years ago. Every department showed a tremendous effort to better last year's performance. Surprises were in store as the last year's winner could not break into the top five and my department which had a bad performance last year scored the forth position. 

Highlights for the evening was obviously the lucky draw. And I was lucky indeed, as I won a Sony Home Theatre!

I did not manage to take pictures using my own camera as I was busy helping others. I will try to steal their pictures and put some when I get hold of them.