Tuesday, September 29, 2009

50th Aniversary of Brunei's Constitution

Today marks the 50 years since the Constitution was signed. It marked an ear, which eventually pathed way to Brunei's independence from the British. Brunei was not exactly colonised; it was rather a British protectorate state. All government affairs, except those that related to the Islamic religion matters and Brunei culture, were handled by the British. All Brunei citizens, as a result, were considered to be British citizens. I remember my parents had British passports. Malay was declared as the official language and Islam is the official religion in Brunei.

Today also marks the 50th anniversary of a number of government departments, which were formed as a result of the signing of Brunei's constitution. Among the departments are the Islamic Religious Department (now upgraded as a ministry) and the Attorney General's Chamber (AGC).

So how much progress, development and advancement has Brunei achieved since 1959? Just look around and decide for yourself.

To qoute a famous American, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country".

Monday, September 28, 2009

Raya Visits?

Aidilfitri has always been a time to celebrate victory; a time to seek and give forgiveness; and a time to visit friends and families. It has always been a tradition where families and friends would go and visit each other. As long as the lights were still switched on, visitors were welcomed with open arms.

Nowadays, open houses is becoming a trend. So much so that people now would only visit their friends and families if there were open houses. It got me thinking a few days ago when a friend asked if I would be visiting this person’s house. Without much thought, I told him that I would go only if there was an open house and I got an earful from my friend after that! We have inadvertently became caught up in the changing times. So if one is not having an open house, does it mean he/she doesn’t need to be visited upon?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

BPL Match 7

Manchester United won their game against much-improved Stoke City side at the Britannia Stadium. This is their fifth straight win after that loss to Burnley much earlier in the season and their sixth win this season.

Both sides were playing with caution in the first half and few chances were created by either side and none of the goalkeepers were troubled much. The second half started similar to the first half. The introduction of Ryan Giggs later in the second half turned out to be a wise move. The Welshman changed the game and made his presence felt when he assisted in both of United's goals. The first goal was a simple tap in from Berbatov and the second was a headed goal from O'Shea, who last scored for United more than two years ago.

The victory took United to the top of the league, with Chelsea suffering a shock loss at the DW Stadium. United frogleaped over Chelsea as it had a better goal difference. Liverpool scored six past a hapless Hull City side which took them to the third spot. Tottenham Hotspur is fourth after beating Burnley 5-0.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bulgemeister? .... Here!

Have a guess what this picture is all about...

It is actually a board at home where our attendance for the daily sungkai was recorded. Every day after sungkai, one of the kids would shout out our names and we would have to respond to that.

Apparently, I could only manage 17 (out of 30) sungkai's at home this year!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

To all the teachers out there......

In the midst of celebrating Aidilfitri, lets take a moment to wish all teachers, especially the four in my family, on the occasion of Teachers' Day in Brunei today.

Happy Teachers' Day to you all! Thanks for everything.

Do you know why Teachers' Day in Brunei falls on 23 September?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Raya.... again!

For the first time since Mum passed away, we took a family portrait in the morning of Hari Raya. It was quite a difficult task to get 50-odd people, which included not less than 25 kids, to organise themselves for the picture-taking. Putting the camera on a tripod and getting someone to press the shutter button were not as easy as I thought it would be. This is the best shot that I got.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri
Maaf Zahir & Batin

Everyone at Teratak Azlina SSZ
Kuala Belait
Syawal 1430

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Petronas Raya Collection: 2007

Note: I find this hard to watch; nine out of ten times, I would shed tears watching this particular video. I could relate to almost everything in the video; a husband who misses a now-departed wife and a son who forgets almost everything that matters to the parents.

This year, it is the third Raya that we celebrate without Babu. And it is not getting any easier.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's not Aidilfitri yet.....

Oh, somehow Brunei will be celebrating Aidilfitri on Monday 21 September, while its neighbours celebrate Aidilfitri tomorrow, Sunday 20 September.

Cue conspiracy theories.......

Petronas Raya Collection - 2006

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Flatulent Celebs!

Did you see Kanye West's outburst at the MTV Video Music Award, as Taylor Swift was delivering her acceptance speech? What was that all about?

Speaking outburst, did you see Serena William's outburst at a line judge, who footfaulted her as she served to stay in the match during the Womens' Final of the US Open? I do not blame the line judge for reporting the incident to the chair umpire. As a result, points were awarded to Kim Clijsters which eventually gave her second US Opens title.

Monday, September 14, 2009

BPL Day 5: Tottenham Sunk!

Manchester United sent a message to the other clubs in the Barclays Premier League that despite losing two of its biggest starts in the summer, by ending Tottenham Hotspurs' perfect start to the season.

The loss at Burnley seemed to have been forgotten. The match started badly for the Red Devils when Spurs took an early lead through a spectacular bicycle-kick goal from Defoe. Ryan Giggs equalised later in the first half, through an equally-spectacular free-kick. Giggs remains the only player to have scored in each and every Premier League since it started in 1992. It is even more impressive to note that Giggs is now nearing his 36th birthday, an age at which many other footballers would have either played for much smaller clubs or hung up their boots for good. Anderson scored United's second and his first-ever goal for United. His 'machine-gun' celebration could only be described as hilarious and rusty! Paul Scholes was sent off after receiving two yellow cards, both as a result of his legendary wayward tackles. It is quite amazing for a player to be good at everything, except tackling! Even at 10-man down, Spurs could not capitalise on their one-man advantage. During one of their attack, they were caught short when United broke and Wayne Rooney took advantage of the almost-deserted defence.

United's victory took them to the second spot in the league; Chelsea remains the only team to have won all their opening matches in the Barclays Premier League.

Manchester United's next game will be against local opposition. The Manchester Derby will be played on Sunday. Carlos Tevez is not expected to return to Old Trafford following his departure to the blue side of Manchester during the summer break.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

In memory of the dearly departed.........

With it being the final Sunday before Hari Raya (well, next Sunday might still be a fasting day if the new moon is not sighted on Saturday), families in Brunei take the opportunities to visit the graves of the departed loved ones. Go past any cemetery, you can see traffic jams (on the second thought, avoid the cemetery areas!).

It is a tradition that families go to pay their respects and offer prayers to those who had eternally departed. Many years ago, families would go in the morning of the first day of Hari Raya. Over the years, the practice changed and families went during the fasting month instead. Apart from offering prayers,the graveyard would be cleared and cleaned, grass would be trimmed and kept short and scented water would be poured over the grave of the loved ones. Certain families woud offer sedakah, normally in the form of a dollar note.

Today, together with some close and distant relatives (to be honest I did not recognise more than half of the faces who came along), we went to visit five places. The first site we went to wason Jalan Putat, an area quite remote and would take an hour to get from Bandar. Some relaties were buried there, as the place was quite easily accessible by boats and my families actually originated from Kampung Ayer. The next place was Lumapas Cemetery, where I was told my dad's mum and my mum's dad were buried. We then went to Kubah Makam along Jalan Tutong, where my dad's dad and my mum's mum were buried. The fourth place was the Subok cemetery, where two of my elder brothers were buried. The final place was the Kianggeh cemetery; I honestly do not know whose grave we were visiting.

Perhaps next week and also on the morning of the first day of Hari Raya, we will be visiting my mum's grave at the Batu Tiga cemetery in Kuala Belait. It will be an emotional visit.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

B'day Greeting

Earlier this week, one of my sisters-in-law celebrated her birthday. So here's a birthday greeting for her.

Happy Birthday, Sis! Moga panjang umur dan murah rezeki. And good luck in your studies.

American Idol

Ellen DeGeneres has been announced as the new judge on American Idol, replacing Paula Abdul who left the show after eight seasons.

Reactions to this news are mixed. Ellen is not exactly known for her formal singing experience, but her humour might be the answer to the now-becoming-quite-boring American Idol. Her humour and her energy may bring that extra somethings to the show.

She would start appearing on American Idol from after the audition shows.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Shaking Car?

I was at the petrol station on the way home from work when I saw the car in front of me was shaking. I knew right away what was happening: the petrol station attendant was shaking the car so that he could put in as much as petrol as he could. Well, liquid does not behave like solid. If you were to pour sugar into a cup, you could shake the cup to cram in more sugar. You just can't do the same for liquid. All you get is a shaking car!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Same old stories....

Some things just remained the same here in Kuala Lumpur.....

1. We took a bus, which took us from the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) to KL Sentral Station. There were ties when I feared for my life as the driver drove the bus at a speed, which could only be described as dangerous and too fast. He drove along this curve and I feared that the bus might leve the road.

2. When we arrived at KL Sentral, we saw there were many men wearing white shirts lining along the bus. Great, as I thought these men were there to unload our luggages from the bus. I was later proven to be wrong as they turned out to be taxi touts. They were one persistent bunch and could not take no for an answer. At one point, one of them actually manhandled me and stopped me from leaving the area. One tip: a coupon-based taxi service is available just down the walkway. It is much cheaper and safer to use.

3. Taxis still charged passenger indiscriminately. Taxi meters were for display only. Make sure you ask and agree for taxi meter before setting off.

4. Budget taxis were generally dirty and perhaps not road-worthy.

5. Taxi drivers drove their taxis as if they were taking part in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

6. Hotels only provided the more expensive executive taxis.

7. People still would not queue at the payment counters.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Air Asia flight... reviewed....

After setting off from home almost eight hours earlier, I finally arrived in Kuala Lumpur. Why it took so long you wonder? The first leg of the trip was perhaps the slowest bit. The company-provided transport had to follow the road rules and regulations and could not go any much faster. We actually broke our fast somewhere along the Tutong-Telisai highway. It took a painful100 minutes to get to the airport.

It was the first Air Asia flight from Brunei that I took. Despite being fifteen minuteslate, I was not too bothered. The seats had been randomly assigned during check-in, so there was no need to push and shove your fello travellers for the best seats. Just a word of advice: if you're travelling in groups, make sure you check in together or else you will sit separately. The flightwas quite packed, a sign that the recession is perhaps on the way out and people are trying to put some normality back into their lives. The plane was relatively new, the seats were leather seats and whatever you were provided with actually worked. I had ordered food when I booked the flight so the food was given to me as the trolley went by. The only thing that I was disappointed was that the food that was given to me was a slight variation from the one I wanted. Apparently for Ramadhan, the nasi lemak had sambal sotong instead of the fried chicken. I tried to get it changed but none was available apparently. I was dismayed later when I overheard the stewardess offered my neighbour the nasi lemak with fried chicken. I would not have made much fuss about it, but I hardly had anything to eat since I broke fast in the car!

We arrived at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport just twenty minutes later than scheduled. I had not realised how big Air Asia has become as an airline carrier. There were more airplanes than the last time I flew with them. The terminal had gone much bigger and obviously busier. We still had to walk on the tarmac all the way from the plane to the terminal. I found it funny that our group was stopped along the way to give way to another group of passengers who were boarding another flight. And also, we were diverted to the upper floor of the terminal just for immigration checks and went down to the lower floor again to reclaim our luggage.

Perhaps, it was not going to be my last ever Air Asia flight. If it continues to offer fares competitively, I would fly on it again in the future.

Friday, September 4, 2009


It's the long weekend again. Off I go then!

Expect some interruptions with new blog posts. Normal service will resume once I am back.

Have an enjoyable weekend! Be safe.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Just a number....

Given the fact that the figure given is not the actual figure and the Influenza A H1N1 pandemic is now considered a community spread infection, what is the point of publishing the numbers then? I found out that many countries now do not report to WHO anymore, on the number of new cases/death, so publishing the number of cases remains pointless perhaps.