Friday, December 19, 2014

Healthy Lifestyle in Brunei




Information Department promotes healthy lifestyle through sports
Posted date: December 15, 2014

| Rokiah Mahmud |

THE Information Department in collaboration with Kampong Belimbing Subok Consultative Council yesterday organised a healthy living event dubbed as ‘Healthy Leisure Programme’. The event was held at the Tasik Sarubing Recreational Park in Kampong Belimbing.

The programme was one of the strategic plans of the department in further fostering closer ties at grassroot level with the local communities through social and sports activities.

The guest of honour at the event yesterday was Haji Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the Prime Minister’s Office. Also present were Dato Paduka Haji Mohamad Roselan bin Haji Mohamad Daud, Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, and Mohammad Sunadi bin Haji Buntar, Acting Brunei-Muara District Officer.

One of the objectives of the programme was to encourage the involvement of the officers and staff of the Information Department with the community both in Mukim and village level. The programme was also to promote a healthy lifestyle by being actively involved in sports activities.

During yesterday’s activities, the guest of honour led the charity donation. Fund collected will be channelled to the Brunei-Muara District Orphans Fund. The guest of honour flagged off the participants of the three-kilometre hiking at Bukit Markucing. He also took a closer look at the facilities around Tasik Sarubing Recreational Park and visited the exhibition gallery.

To further enliven the event, a tug-of-war match was organised between a team from Kampong Belimbing Subok led by YB Awang Haji Gapor @ Haji Mohd Daud bin Karim and the Information Department led by their Acting Director, Mawardi bin Haji Mohammad.

There were also several activities that were opened for the participation of senior citizens, youth and children.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Jerudong Park Version 2014: Waterpark Opens





JPCC opens gates to Waterpark
Posted date: December 17, 2014

| Azaraimy HH |

THE gates to the Waterpark at the Jerudong Park and Country Club (JPCC) opened for the public yesterday seeing visitors lining up to play the slides and water games.

The waterpark features plenty of exciting games for the young and the old to enjoy such as the aqua slides, waterfall jet, water gun, water mill, umbrella jet, interacting tipping bucket, pipe fall, net bridge, water volcano, interactive arching jets, floor jets, daisy shower and waterslides. It can accommodate up to 400 visitors.

Visitors are urged to wear decent and appropriate attires, and to follow the rules and guidelines when using the facilities at the waterpark.

Various facilities at the waterpark include nursing room, Surau, shower rooms and changing rooms as well as lockers.

Additionally, visitors can purchase various items including souvenirs, towels, sunscreen lotions and many more at the Waterpark Shop located in the vicinity.

Charcoal is the authorised café and restaurant serving light snacks and refreshment to all visitors. There are also a number of other cafes and restaurants selling various kinds of refreshments and meals.

The Jerudong Park and Country Club is featuring its ongoing “December Holiday Specials” promotions throughout the month.

The promotion offers entry tickets of $10 for adults, $5 for children and $5 for senior citizen, above 60 years old. Meanwhile, children below the age of two can enter for free.

Throughout the month of December, the Jerudong Park Playground is open from 4pm to 6pm and 8pm to 10.30pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the operation hours are from 10am to 12noon, 1pm to 3pm, 4pm to 6pm and from 8pm to 10.30pm. The park will be closed every Monday.

The visitors’ favourites include the 25-metre tall ferris wheel and roller coaster, and the country’s very first mini-golf course is an added attraction to the revamped amusement park.

Thrilling rides and exciting activities at the playground include the laser maze, junior coaster, spin zone, jumper and go kart.

Several other classic rides are also set up including the double-decker carousel, bumper cars and pedal boats.

Members of the public will also be able to purchase tickets online via the official website a week after the opening.

Check out all the fun activities on JPCC’s official Instagram and Facebook account at @jerudongpark and Jerudong Park and Country Club respectively.

Traditional Brunei Dance: Tamarok



Video on Tamaruk Dance

Nurhamiza Hj Roslan
TUTONG

Saturday, December 13, 2014

IN THE old days, elaborate thanksgiving events were organised as part of the Dusun people’s old customs and tradition. A part of it lives on in cultural shows: the Tamarok dance.

The Tamarok was associated with beliefs in animism and was organised as a means of giving thanks following the old beliefs of the Dusun.

Nowadays, the Tamarok is still practiced by those who still follow the old beliefs, says Newas Ukoi, owner and manager of Bintudoh Green Spring Resort in Kampung Lamunin, Tutong.

People can a have a glimpse into the Tamarok through the dance that is occasionally performed as a cultural show.

The Tamarok is performed by female dancers, and what this signifies, Newas says, is that in the old days the female Dusun members carried out the activities of giving thanks. He says the belian or what were then regarded as priestesses of the Dusun were involved in the dances and making offerings.

As a cultural show, the Tamarok dance is a window to an old world where the belian held ranks and their place in the hierarchy (follower, leader or higher) spoke of what activities they were supposed to perform during thanksgiving.

Newas says Tamarok events varied in scale depending on the occasion. An example of a big Tamarok event would be the Tamarok Padi, normally held after the paddy harvest season, he adds. A Tamarok event can last up two days. The activities involved include dancing and the making of food offerings such as rice, fruits and coconut oil.

Newas says in one Tamarok event there used to be many dances performed. Some of these were the Ibang-Ibang, Ancayau, Raja Lalu and Ngajat.

The movements to the Temarok dance are not too complicated but it does require practice and there is no fixed number of dancers during a performance, says Newas. Among the musical instruments played to accompany a dance is the dombak (goblet drum), canang (small gong), gulingtangan, gandang and gong.

Today, any dance that is performed as part of the Tamarok event is given the general name Tamarok Dance and when performed in public it mainly functions as a cultural show.

When a Tamarok dance is performed, the dancers normally wear a black top with gold ribbon lining at the edges of the sleeves and a red skirt. Accessories include a hand-held fan and a cloth headband called an asyik. Dancers also wear a red selendang (a stretch of cloth worn on one shoulder).

Newas explains that the red and black attire was symbolic of the clothes that the deities were believed to have worn. This attire, however, is not to be worn by anyone except for instances when a Tamarok event is held.

The Brunei Times

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Brunei Traditional Dance: Adai-Adai





TUTONG

Sunday, December 14, 2014

THE Adai-Adai is a traditional Brunei Malay dance that originated from Kampung Ayer. It depicts life in Brunei’s water villages and fishing as the main livelihood of people back then, says Haji Sisa Nayan, a 64-year-old musician.

Zoom in on the movements of dancers performing the Adai-Adai and you would clearly see artistic depictions of life in a fishing community. Haji Sisa says that when you observe the Adai-Adai dance closely, you could see that one of the movements portray the use of an oar as if mimicking the movement of a person paddling a boat. The idea behind this move, he adds, could have been inspired by how mobility in the water villages in the old days depended heavily on paddling boats.

The song also speaks of scenes between parent and child in a fishing village. Hj Sisa says the song has a message about an indung (parent) trying to get a child to sleep before going fishing to find rezeki (sustenance for the family).

In public performances of the Adai-Adai these days, male dancers wear the traditional cara Melayu with the sinjang (traditionally woven cloth wrapped around the waist). Female dancers wear baju kurung and covered their hair with kain batik.

Haji Sisa, a musician who plays for a traditional Malay orchestra in Brunei, says the Adai-Adai also refers to a folksong that fishermen in the old days sang to soothe themselves upon returning from a hard day’s work. - Nurhamiza Haji Roslan

The Brunei Times

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Brunei Increases ICT Push

On 12th December 2014, the Oxford Business Group issued this economic news update on Brunei:-

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Brunei Darussalam Increases ICT Push

Plans to stimulate Brunei Darussalam's ICT industry have been stepped up with the launch of a new broadband policy and the opening of a software development academy as the Sultanate works towards diversifying its economy away from oil exports through the creation of a knowledge-based economy.

In a bid to increase ICT usage and boost the sector’s contribution to the economy, Brunei launched its National Broadband Policy in November after work on the four-year strategy for broadband development began in May 2013.

With the policy, the government is hoping to increase the household penetration rate of broadband to at least 80% by 2017, from 31% for fixed broadband at present. Brunei's communications minister, YB Pehin Dato Abdullah Bakar, said earlier this year that the government is aiming to reduce prices for household high-speed internet to less than 3% of the average monthly income by 2016.
Cultivating start-ups

Like many other oil producing countries, Brunei as the third largest oil producer in Southeast Asia is working to diversify its economy, a move which has been compounded by the recent drop in global oil prices. The government has targeted increasing the ICT sector’s contribution to GDP from less than 2% at present to 6% by 2015. Currently, revenues from crude oil and natural gas exports account for more than half of GDP.

Brunei is also heavily investing in the sector. In the 2014/15 budget, transport and communications received the third-largest allocation of BN$226.6m ($177.81m), or 19.7% of total planned expenditures.

However, the government is keen to foster private-sector investment and partnerships, as well as drive research & development (R&D) in the space. One such initiative is the launch of the Brunei Solutions Development Centre (BSDC) in December, which will develop new software and application solutions for the government as well as serve as a training centre for the ICT industry, part of a broader government strategy to encourage more start-ups and rebrand Brunei as a regional force in ICT.

The ICT centre, which will be managed by a team from Microsoft, is expected to help overcome a skills shortage that has held Brunei's industry back. Demand for technology has exploded across Southeast Asia thanks to booming sales of smartphones and tablets, but only a few companies in the entire region have the expertise to offer high-end IT solutions.

“Our vision for the BSDC is that the local ICT industry can also start finding solutions outside the Brunei market,” said Mohd Norshafiee, director of the E-Government National Centre, at the launch of the centre where local ICT graduates and vendors will be trained under senior Microsoft architects.
"Made in Brunei" gets more funding

The training facility at the centre will feed into a range of government initiatives designed to rally Brunei's ICT sector as a strategy to diversify from the heavy reliance on local government ICT projects, as the wealthy Sultanate tries to leapfrog regional rivals that have made considerable progress in ICT, such as Malaysia and Singapore.

In June, the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry (AITI) announced it had signed an agreement with Singapore-based consultancy IDA International for services to develop a national ICT manpower master plan in a bid to accelerate the development of ICT professionals. Although the government has done an impressive job of laying down modern infrastructure and providing incentives for IT start-ups, one of the primary hurdles that remains is attracting and retaining enough qualified workers in the private sector.

Meanwhile, it is striving to introduce more "Made in Brunei" products. AITI opened another round of funding to promote research & development (R&D) activities by local businesses in November with 12 ICT companies in Brunei having received grants under the scheme since its inception in 2010.

There are concerns, however, that local ICT businesses are too reliant on the government and foreign expertise, while "Made in Brunei" products are few. "The majority of these companies are resellers, distributors and hardware vendors, which import hardware and software from overseas, and resell them to consumers in Brunei," said Siti Zaraura Hj Mohammed, senior manager at AITI's Industry Development Group. She added that the remaining half of the ICT companies – around 200 in total − are in dormant state or inactive, prompting a sector-wide accreditation scheme.

Inspirational Quotes

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