Saturday, June 27, 2009

Schools are still off!

Apparently, the second term school holidays have been extended for another week, following the rising number of Influenza A H1N1 in Brunei.

As of the time of writing, no less than 25 cases have been confirmed in Brunei. All these happened within a week. The big number of cases reported is due to a few causes; among them are returning travellers during the school holidays and returning students from the oversea studies. It was feared that the congregation of students in their schools might increase the number of confirmed cases. It might be a wise move, but will it really make a difference?

I hope that parents would keep their children at home and not letting them go to crowded places. It would be missing the points of trying to controlling the infections while big gatherings of people still taking place.

Friday, June 26, 2009


(image from

News carriers around the world has reported the unexpected death of the King of Pop.

Michael Jackson has died at the age of 50 and believed to have died of cardiac arrest. More stories from CNN, Yahoo and BBC.

Also, Farah Fawcett, one of the original Charlie's Angels, has lost her battle against cancer.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Coming Soon...

Is Kuala Belait becoming the 'in' town or a hand-me-down town?

Two of the restaurants of the same family, which were closed down in Bandar in the past year, are going to be opened shortly. Zaika and RMS Diner will be opening its doors for the residents of Kuala Belait. Fans of Indian food would be glad to see another Indian restaurant here and so will the fans of Western food.

With a big population of expatriates in Kuala Belait and Seria, I do hope these two restaurants will stay longer than they did in Bandar.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

H1N1 finally landed.....

So far, six confirmed cases of Influenza A H1N1 infections have been reported. All six were returning travellers, so perhaps it was safe to say that they picked up the infections when they were away.

So shall we panic? Shall we skip work and school? Shall we just stay at home? Definitely no. All the patients are being quarantined and unless you were in close contact with someone with the infection, you are probably safe.

So what should we do to prevent infections? Carry on with life as normal. Practice personal hygiene; cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough. Wash hands regularly.

Now with the school holidays are almost over and many travellers are returning home, especially from Singapore and Malaysia, which are Bruneians' favourite country to visit, the number of infections may increase. So the need to be more cautious is now greater.

Whatever it is, I just hope the spread of this flu is contained and controlled, Amin.....

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Here are belated birthday greetings to the two fathers, who celebrated their birthdays yesterday, which coincidentally happened to be Fathers' Day.

To the eldest brother in the family.......

(with his daughter.....)

And to a brother-in-law........

Selamat Hari Jadi. Moga panjang umur dan murah rezeki...........

and to all fathers out there...
Happy Fathers' Day

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Congrats, Brunei DPMM FC!

Many congratulations to Brunei DPMM FC players, coaching staff and support staff on winning the Singapore League Cup. Brunei DPMM FC became the first foreign team to win the Cup. More unbelievable was the fact that Brunei DPMM FC was playing in its frist season in the Singapore League.

We were having some appreciation do at LLRC last night for contractors who were involved in the maintenance activities recently. I was with some of football-crazy colleagues staying put watching the football match. Our MD, who happened to be the Deputy President of Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD), was also there. Together, we were all shouting and cheering at every shot on goal, every miss and every save. It was really nice to see him letting his hair down and showing all sorts of emotion. When the penalty kicks were being taken, suddenly the room became more packed and most of us could not bear to sit down. When the winning penalty was scored, you coudl imagine the euphoria and the scene in the room as everyone cheered on and congratulated each other. The grand luck draw during the appreciation do had to be postponed to let us watch the match till the end.

It was good to see a team from Brunei winning a trophy in a foreign soil. Perhaps this will signal the resurrection of the glory days of Brunei football. Afterall, we won the Malaysian Cup 10 years ago. And I hope that the relevant people in both FFBD and BAFA would sit together and sort out the mess that we saw at the beginning of the year when BAFA became deregistered, FFBD was quickly formed, AFC decided to stick to BAFA instead of FFBD and Brunei DPMM FC was almost thrown out of the Singapore League.

Again, many congratulations. Apparently the team will arrive at the Brunei International Airport in the early afternoon today. Come and welcome the team home.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Niece's birthday

Here's wishing a niece of mine who celebrates her 15th brithday today.
Happy Birthday!
Moga panjang umur dan murah rezeki.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some info on haze...

It was good to see the rain again. I thought the day started beautifully as it rained in the morning. With rain, the haze should clear away. So I thought....

The rain did not seem to reduce the haze. The bushfires along Lumut-by-pass road did not seem to be in a hurry to end. The wind was blowing towards my workplace, so eventually the area got covered by haze. It was quite bad; I could smell smoke in the office. Luckily we had one of those industrial air purifiers, which I put in the middle of my office. It was slightly noisy; but I knew I would choose noise over polluted air anytime.

At the lab, we have one of those machine that monitors air quality. We had started the air quality monitoring since early last week. It seemed like the haze got worse in the evening. It was probably caused by the land breeze that blew the haze towards the plant. On Monday evening, there was a period of three hours in the middle of the evening when the PSI (pollution standard index) exceeded 200. According to the Brunei's Department of Environment, Park and Recreation, PSI of over 200 is considered to be very unhealthy and the wearing of dustmasks is recommended. Fortunately, the PSI reading during the day is below 100, which is considered as good or moderate.

However, please take the PSI reading with a pinch of salt. The PSI reading differs significantly from places to places, as it depends on the air quality at that particular place. I am not sure how many air monitoring equipment the government has, but I recall hearing there are those equipment at the Brunei International Airport and the KB Weather Station near the Pandan Mosque. There is one each at the BSP Lab and the BLNG Lab. Therefore, if you spot bushfire in, say, Muara and the haze is contained within that area, the air quality reading that you see might not tell you the whole picture about the air quality in the whole of Brunei as the equipment is in the Berakas area.

Also, the PSI being reported is normally the 24-hour average. The haze could be very bad in the evening, reaching PSI of over 200, but it could clear up during the day with PSI of below 100. Therefore the average PSI over 24-hour period may be sub-100. It would be good to see the hourly average as it can tell you an almost up-to-date PSI reading.

The haze outbreak that we are facing at the moment is considered to be localised haze, meaning that the haze that the residents in Lumut see is caused by bushfires in the Lumut area and may not be felt by the residents of Seria. The haze episode that Brunei experienced in 1997-1998 was caused by regional haze as it was caused by forest fires in almost all parts of Borneo, which blanketed the South-east Asian region.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Blues

It's Monday morning and I am already feeling like a headless chicken.

I feel lost at work. I could not sit still and I keep going out of the office, looking for things that I don't even know what they are. And I have to think what I need to do this week.

Not a good start to the week. Hopefully it gets better as the week wears on.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Have you got yours?

Facebook announced recently that all users would be able to choose usernames of their own, which would be used to direct to their own profiles on Facebook. Before this, all users are referred to by a series of numbers. Now, with their own unique username, the profile is more personal to the users. The username could be in the form of the user's own name or just about any possible name or word.

I have got mine.

Have you got yours? Go to to get yours.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Finally, he is going.....

Finally it happened. Something that all Manchester Unted fans know all along that it would happen finally happened.

Manchester United has confirmed that they have accepted the offer for the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for a world-record GBP80 million. Now, Real Madrid has been given permission to talk to Ronaldo. The new Real Madrid President has repeatedly indicated that he would bring Ronaldo to the Bernabeu at whatever cost. Ronaldo did not help either when he had expressed his desire to leave Manchester United for Real Madrid, which was becoming more obvious after United's defeat to Barcelona in the European Cup Final.

So how much impact will his departure leave on Manchester United? Will he be missed? Or will he become a hatred figure, someone who betrays Manchester United? Only time will provide the answers.

More news here.

Influenza A H1N1 a pandemic?

It's been reported that the swine flu (Influenza A, H1N1 strain) could be declared a pandemic. WHO officials are due to meet today and it is expected that the declaration will be made, something not seen for more than 40 years. A sharp increase in the Influenza A in the recent days, especially in Europe and Australia, could make WHO to take that action.

It is fortunate that Brunei remains Influenza A-free and I do hope it remains that way. Whatever it is that helps Brunei maintains that status, be it through Government's efforts or divine intervention, it proves to be working well for Brunei.

If the pandemic status remains for the next few months, travel restrictions may be put in place and many travel plans would be affected. And now that we are going through some rough economic climate, I would not want to imagine how this could affect the world economy further.

Read more from Yahoo here.

Car and the Yellow Sign

I spotted this car with one of the yellow signs that read, 'With Money You Could Buy Road, But Not Safety'. So I thought that was true. But I was later disappointed to see that the driver was talking on the phone while driving. How stupid was that?

If you still need to talk on the phone, move over to the side. But remember to indicate that you are moving to the side; there was one time the car in front of me suddenly braked and moved to the side. As much as I appreciated his action to move over, his action was actually as dangerous as talking on the phone while driving. So, be considerate to other road users.

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Angels and Demons - Review

I finally got to watch Angels and Demons last weekend. I was pleasantly surprised when the authorities did not ban the movie at all, considering the heavy references to Roman Catholicism in the movie. When I watched it, I was convinced that they had made the right decision, as the movie was not offensive to any faith; kudos to the censorship board.

When we got our tickets, we were surprised to see that the movie was playing on the smaller screen and we thought that the screening would be limited. Rupanya, the cinema was playing it on the bigger screen too. 

So how was the movie? I was glad they made the movie that way. I felt Angels and Demons was better as a movie than it was as a book. You could spot quite some differences between the book and the movie. I was quite interested to see how they would adopt some parts from the book, which I felt was a bit too far fetched. SPOILER ALERT...... You could read wikipedia here about the storyline from the book and here about the storyline from the movie. One of the biggest difference is the part when the canister containing the anti-matter was brought skywards. You would be glad to know that the movie version was more conceivable and believable. 

The movie started off quite slowly. There were quite a lot of talking at the beginning of the movie; the two ladies next to me dozed off in the first 20 minutes of the movie. Well, it was a midnight show, but again don't come and watch it if you're tired!

Trivia: did you that CERN actually released a statement saying that their experiment with the Large Hadron Collider udner Switzerland was not dangerous and the anti-matter that they produced would not be as powerful depicted in the movie?

Anyway, I'd give Angels and Demons 7.5 out of 10 points.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sis in hospital

One of my sisters went under the knife this morning to remove some ovarian cysts. They had been causing some discomfort to her, especially during those times of the month. She had been delaying the operation for a while, but somehow she agreed to get them removed and she did. 

One other sister will have the same operation in two weeks' time while another went through the same procedure two years ago. No, it is not hereditary; it could happen to any women in a childbearing age. Apparently removal of ovarian cysts is a common surgical procedure done to women. If you would like to read more about it, please go here

Anyway, good well soon Sis. And see back at home soon.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Blogging with no obligation....

I said it a while ago that I would blog more. But lately, I am finding it more difficult to blog. It's a mixed bag of time-constraints and bloggers' block that is making it difficult. If you are a regular visitor here, you would have noticed the days when no new posts were available. You may have noticed that that the posts are getting shorter nowadays.

I remember seeing this logo from Cookie's blog. Guess I'll stick it to my blog too.

I guess this will probably mean less blog posts, but I will drop by from time to time to put up a post. And yeah, thanks for visiting and leaving your comments.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Kicks' Birthday

Just a few days ago, we gave Kicks his birthday presents, which consisted of a badminton racket and a pair of badminton shoes. His birthday was last weekend.

Kicks broke one of his rackets a few weeks ago, so we thought it would be a good idea to replace it. We also knew that he wanted to buy a pair of badminton shoes, so we were happy to oblige. We actually had to think of ways to stop him from getting his own shoes as he had planned to buy them a few weeks ago. The best we could come up was that we told him the Grand Sale was coming up and it would a better idea to wait for the sales for the shoes. He was smart kid, so he could guess that we were getting him the shoes. It was not helped either when one of the gang asked his shoe size, not in a subtle way. That probably gave the game away too. He started playing badminton with his new racket and shoes and he said he liked them! Well, would he say he didn't?

(not in the picture: Alin, Nur and Ben)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Angels and Demons

Oh, good news to all movie lovers in Brunei......

Angels and Demons is going to be shown in Brunei after all!

Catch it from Saturday at the Mall Cineplex, but I expect the tickets to be sold out quickly. And hope nobody makes a fuss about it and get it removed.

I am quite interested to see the movie version of the book, which, at some points, felt a bit too far fetched. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Friends from our past....

I read it something interesting somewhere; it was found that we somehow keep our friends from our primary and secondary schools and not with our university friends.

There seems to be some truth in it.

I tried to go through my memory bank trying to remember what happened to my university friends. I went to two universities (don't ask why!) and I should have lots of friends, right? But, no. I have lost contacts with all of them. There was a time when I first returned home when we would email each other, but somehow work consumed most of our times, so we stopped emailing each other. And ever since then, I did not hear from them. There were also some lecturers whom I kept in touch with throughtheir university email addresses, but I stopped receiving emails from them, so I guess they had left the university.

I still do keep in touch with some of my friends from secondary school. Some of them became friends that would stand by each other, giving physical and emotional supports whenever required.

With the availability of social network sites, such as Facebook and Multiply, it was thought that keeping in touch with lost friends. I am now reconnected with the lost friends from secondary school and perhaps it is time to find those from my university years.