Saturday, May 30, 2009

Historic Friday, a surreal moment..........

It’s Saturday, on a plane, almost a week away, now heading home via Singapore. Home sweet home I will be on Sunday morning. The last few days had been hectic yet was fortunate or unfortunate, depends on how you see it, to be in a foreign country experiencing historic events. The death and funeral of a former popular president and the threats from a hostile neighbour (more like a hostile brother in this case). With a room almost overlooking the main square, sea of yellows, sea of people in mourning, watching the funeral live in front of my eyes, at the same time the TV showing live footages of the whole event. The experience started the night before, Thursday evening, when patriotic songs alternating with what I can only make out as prayers can be heard blaring from the nearby square. So so surreal. Woke up on the Friday morning, the scene just got more intense as sea of yellow can be seen building up. Patriotic songs and prayers getting louder and louder. People singing and praying along. A few of the locals we talked to said they never experienced this enormous public outpouring of grief. Needless to say, traffic was on a stand still.

Yet, there we were, a group of people in a room, listening, talking, discussing, sharing, exchanging information and experiences on how to save the world from the dreaded 2 Celsius increase in the earth’s temperature. By all accounts, if this increase is not slowed or reversed in the next 10 to 20 years, it will be catastrophic to us and the next generations. We have to do something, step by step. Do our bit. Little by little but surely, a change of lifestyle we must achieve. Go green we must. Appreciate the blessings our country has with ample cheap supply of energy and water supply other countries found so scarce. Use less energy; reduce our water consumption we all must. This gathering is indeed an historic moment. What is remarkable, a country under such grief and threat did not lose heart. Instead, the spirit of we are all in this together in this endeavour overcame such grief. Saving the world is a far greater concern.

Evening came, funeral done, the streets still filled with people with candles in their hands, gathering, demonstrating. Songs and speeches can be heard through the night as I packed. Morning came, there were still people, a lot of them. Buses lining the streets. Looked like police buses forming a barricade. As we headed to the airport, I can only wish this country the best wishes. Threats of nuclear attack no to materialise, ever.

Back to me on the plane. Watched a wonderful movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You”. The synopsis says “.. the story of an interconnected group of Baltimore-based twenty and thirtysomethings navigating various relationships from casual dating to married life. Each is hoping to be an exception to the “no-exceptions” rule.” Good movie, watched the full length despite feeling so so sleepy.

If I seemed to be rambling from one topic to another, that’s precisely what I want. These ramblings showed how diverse this world is yet so much interconnected. An action from someone somewhere will affect another in a different place. As straightforward and as common sense as that may sound, somehow we always forget that fact.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

In a foreign land ... the sequel

Another day... another road trip. Fortunately today is only an hour’s drive. On the agenda is river watching and burning stuff.

Woke up with very big grin... ha ha ha ... Man Utd lost ... lost is an understatement. They were outplayed! Condolences to all of them! Today will indeed be a brighter day. Some friends, the Man U die hard supporters, are in for a nasty surprise. Expecting not to get any nasty text messages with me being in a DST roamingless foreign land. As the saying goes “kalau hendak seribu daya”. There are ways and means to get the message through to them. Friends on Facebook were already on the wrong end of it.

Yesterday was a long day. The road trip lasted almost 10 hours with almost 8 hours in the car being driven by what we called a mad superman driver. Imagine an MPV driven like a race car chasing the official black mercs. Tiring yet it was worth it. The hours were spent wisely learning the local lingo. At least now I know how to say hello. My I-Pong kept my mind off the scary feeling being driven that fast. The evening was a mellower proceedings with a dinner at our ambassador’s place. Delicious indeed. Food was great. Add to that wonderful stories about the old days and the ever, a must, funny jokes from the boss.

Expecting to watch the Man Utd-Barca game. As usual my tiredness caught up with me. Ending up with the TV watching me sailing into the dream world. The hotel referred to their beds, pillows etc as the dream bed. What a dream it was! To see your bitter rival lost their so called historical game, the game that is supposed to make them among the greats, felt like being rocketed to heaven and back! Add to that the “heated, bidet, sprayed” toilet seat... what a warm smiling start to the day.

With my notebook, handphones and the room’s clock showing different time, telling what time it was last night was very confusing. One moment I was one hour ahead, the next I was one hour behind. Just like in the Twilight Zone, moving between parallel time zones! Thinking it was midnight when in fact it was one in the morning! Woke up, looked at the time on my handphone it was almost six in the morning, actually it was already seven. May be I should consider wearing a watch again. Hey, no watches for my birthday will be accepted.... got other urgent, more important wish list.

The internet access problem sorted itself out. USD 22 for a day’s access is not that steep compared to USD5 for an iced mocha at Starbucks. What’s USD22 compared to the benefits of having the access. Well, I can always sell those indo mees, canned chicken curries and serunding to cover the cost... ha ha ha!

Lahitraot, ja-rit-ruh ..... for now!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In a foreign land....

It’s Wednesday, in a foreign country, in a minivan for at least a three hour, 270 km drive to see the experts “handler” of hazardous waste. Fortunately I have my trusted “I-Pong” (to the not so well verse with this terminology... it is the Chinese copy of I-Pod.. can’t afford to get the real McCoy) and my notebook to keep me company. The last couple of days spent travelling, over 6,000 Km. On the plane, managed to let two movies watched me sleep. Arrived with the roaming phone not roaming at all. (DST please do something about it, your website says you have roaming here but even with 3g set, it is roamingless here.. was told B Mobile is the better option here...). Feeling lost without it, fortunately the hotel provided a local mobile set complete with number. At least, for official matters, we have means of communication. Another bummer, such a upscale hotel does not have free wireless (USD22 per day is a bit steep!) ... so have to look for a place for free wifi... the Coffee Bean and Starbucks behind the hotel looks like a nice place to sit and get free access. But then again a cup of iced mocha is about USD5 here... maybe it is not a bargain at all. Not worth it just to update the Facebook or even upload this entry. Sounds like Hj Bakhil talking here......

Right now, we are on a suspension bridge with a breathtaking view. So far, apart from those mentioned above, everything has gone well. Halal food and delicious ones plenty around. Myriad of cheap things to buy (asal saja wang matusin ada). Last night, briyani with onion nan was excellent. Add to that one quarter of a really enormous watermelon. Not forgetting the juicy sweet strawberries. Sure the indo mee packets and canned stuff will remain untouched.

People are fashionable here. Even the old ones seem to have great sense of fashion. Felt out of place standing next to them. Some know a few words of Bahasa Melayu especially to say “terima kasih”. Tried to learn a few local greetings, but a simple word like “good” ended with a mouthful of the local version, “belingkar lidah” just to say it. Even worse, almost all the signages are in the “belingkar character”.... lucky our drivers know a bit of English.

In general, people here are very friendly and helpful. Special mention must be given to the Hotel Duty Manager here who helped me a lot and made life easier for me (apart from not getting me free internet access... I suppose I should not be greedy he he he). Unlike the one in Singapore who checked me into the wrong, occupied room (Yes, occupied! Lucky there was no one around. Imagine the surprise on the face of the occupants seeing me entering their room.... if they were there) despite checking in at the so called privileged counter.

Weather has been excellent. Before I left Brunei, the Yahoo! weather forecast painted gloomy next few days. But was confident enough not to bring “baju sajuk” ( a strange terminology since it is meant to keep you warm.... if we can call the blanket “kain panas” why not call it “baju panas”? They serve the same purpose....) apart from a couple of suits. May be the Singapore Airlines pilot knew about me not having any baju sajuk, he announced 17C outside temperature when he landed. He must be having me on.... Yahoo! said it is going to be nice comfy 24C not 17C! With wind chilled factor, it is going to be cold. Without baju sajuk, can end up “karau kesajukan”. One of the first things I asked our embassy staff who greeted us was..... “Sajuk kah?”. When he said, the last few days had been warm and will be warm in the next few days, the decision not to take baju sajuk seems to be a very good one. No baju sajuk means a few extra kilos for the shopping.

If there is one thing or rather complaint I have so far, is that some of the street vendors are not that friendly. Some were even angry at us looking and trying the stuff they are selling. Even worse if we don’t buy anything after bargaining. To me, a “marong” face doesn’t help, a simple smile will go a long way in helping to do the selling for them.

Talking about smiles, the first thing that greeted me when I entered my hotel room was a smiling Bruneian lady. Hey! Don’t get me wrong! The smiling lady was on the TV. They were showing a documentary on a special hotel channel about Brunei especially on Kampong Aing. Those smiles sure will help in promoting our beloved home....

Apart from the Bruneian smile, the sight of the special toilet with the heated, “spray, bidet, dry control” toilet seat brought a big grin to my face. It will sure bring a nice warm feeling every morning .....

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dining by the river....

In the last week or so, a few friends had been “pestering” me to try a new “fine dining” place in town, Tarindak d’ Seni. Dining out is not really my thing but I intended to give this new place a try. As if fate has it, my old boss, who I considered to be the best boss I could wish for, rang to invite me and a few colleagues to a dinner. Just my luck, a free makan with pleasant company...

So there I was, a “not dining out person”, sitting in a new dining place expecting the normal makan . To my surprise, delightful surprise, at least to this “not dining out ” and “not a food connoisseur” person, the food was great, cooked by Chefs trained for the Istana. The view was out of this world. A romantic place to bring your object of desire, dinner for two facing the view of one of the oldest “on water” settlement in the world. Top that with being served with waitresses trained for the Istana... a royal experience indeed, even more so being surrounded with exquisite local handicrafts. Fine dining indeed....

Over makan, we got talking, reminiscing, about how life was at this place right in front of our eyes, the place we called Kampong Ayer. A few of us, mixture of older and younger generations had our childhood and a big part of our adult lives in Kampong Ayer. Life were easier, more mellow, friendlier, less distractions.... it was simple yet fulfilling living. As one of my friends said, those were the days when you have “cukup makan”, you will be happy, besyukur. Life was good..... some people may say life was better then....

As the night passes, one thing that struck me is the name we called this place, the place of the beginnings of our country, this placed we called Kampong Ayer. Would not it be better to call it “KAMPONG AING”? Well, it is true most of us called it by the name Kampong Aing but officially it is Kampong Ayer. I am not a history buff so I do not know why it ended up being titled Kampong Ayer. (Those in the know, please shed some light on this to me). Many reasons we can give why we should call it Kampong Aing. To me, the most important one is to be true to our identity. We are orang Brunei. Orang Brunei called this place “Kampong Aing” (at least in my living memory despite I am not a “beliau” @ veteran yet).

To me, to a lot of us, it is and always will be Kampong Aing ...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

U call that Cinta? ....

Lately, the songs we heard in the radio, especially the Indonesian ones, tend to have weird lyrics. Just look at the one below, taken from the song “Ego Kah Aku” by Wali Band:

“Salahkah aku mencintaimu, Walau kutahu kutak dihatimu
Egokah aku memilikimu, Walau kutahu kau tak memilihku
Kuharap tuhan cabut nyawamu, Agar tak ada yang milikimu”

It is really scary when you love someone so much until you wish him or her dead so no one else can have him or her. This must be so very true love. NOT! And look at the band’s name, WALI Band... what an irony!

Another one that caught my attention, is this song, “Camelia” by Irwan Shah...

“kau wanita terhebat, yang pernah singgah di hatiku
kau wanita yang tegar, aku mohon lupakanlah aku,
sudahlah jangan menangis lagi, ku rasa cukup sampai di sini
mungkin di suatu saat nanti, kau temui cinta yang sejati
sudah cepat lupakanlah aku, jangan pernah ungkit masa lalu
ku takut kekasihku pun tahu, kau pernah menjadi simpananku”

On first hearing, the song seems so so very sweet. Talking about the lady by being the best he has ever met yet just good enough to be a substitute, a SIMPANAN. Hey that’s like saying Micheal Owen is the best striker Newcastle has, yet putting him on the subs bench. I am sure the lady must feel so flattered. NOT!

The next one from “Kekasih yang tak dianggap” from Kertas Band....

“aku mentari tapi tak menghangatkanmu, aku pelangi tak memberi warna di hidupmu
aku sang bulan tak menerangi malammu, aku lah bintang yang hilang ditelan kegelapan
selalu itu yg kau ucapkan padaku......
sebagai kekasih yang tak dianggap, aku hanya bisa mencoba mengalah
menahan setiap amarah, aku sang bulan tak menerangi malammu
aku lah bintang yang hilang ditelan kegelapan”

Even the title already makes you smile. Just to get yourself called a lover or “Kekasih” you give yourself the self proclaimed title “Kekasih yang tak dianggap”. But the truth is “kekasih yang tak dianggap”is equivalent to being a nobody to her... Zero!

But the best must be the song “Kekasih Gelapku” by Ungu .... (hey I love this song... very nice melody, good karaoke song for those with suara katak like me)

“Ku mencintaimu, lebih dari apapun, Meskipun tiada satu orang pun yang tahu
Ku mencintaimu, sedalam-dalam hatiku, Meskipun engkau hanya kekasih gelapku..”

If someone requests that song for you on the radio (surprisingly a lot at the height of the song’s popularity), you better start thinking and saying “what a a load of bull!”. Ha ha ha .....

The world is indeed getting “weirder” and “weirder” .............

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kan Membeli Mobile - Needs, Necessity, .... Luxury

Yesterday, my relatively new “Life’s Good” so called smart mobile phone suddenly went stupid on me. Getting a new mobile phone is the last thing on my wish list but it seems I have to get one now. Fortunately, my old and trusted, “Connecting People” very smart very reliable phone came to the rescue. It still works despite lying in limbo on the desk. Good enough for now ......

Nowadays, being in contact 247, within reach 247 seems to be a necessity in life. The most common or shall I say the most popular (the word common and popular conjures different perceptions) is the mobile phone. It seems everyone has one, from the old to the young, different types from the technologically advance smart phones to the very basic to text and call only phones. Go to a mobile phone shop, you can get a phone for less than twenty dollars a month. Yes that’s cheap only twenty dollars a month BUT over seven years. 7 years? Doubt if the phone will last that long. Some people kept changing phones like changing shirts. Some have it like an annual ritual, getting one for every birthday. Some, every two to three years. Seldom we see someone holding to a mobile phone for that long, 7 years! I let you do the maths (I admit despite being brilliant in counting in my school days, years of lack of practice, make the brain very rusty! Betagar, in need of WD40), but I am sure paying $20 over 7 years will have you ending up paying almost double the actual price.

Walk into an electrical shop, you can get a plasma or LCD TV for $50 a month. That’s cheap, on the surface of it. But work it out over 7 years, you are paying a bomb! Yet, more and more people are using this option to get the goods these days. We end up having a society of people in debt (Club HKK... Hutang Keliling Pinggang!). Who is to blame for this? The banks? You can’t really blame them. They are just doing business providing a service that’s in demand. So who? (Hot in the news as I am typing this: the American Government is cracking on the credit card companies... what an irony!)

The list of so call necessary things in life is indeed very long. Cars, TV, phones, handbags, shoes, audio video home theatre systems, astros etc etc. Are these things necessities or are they luxuries? (Not the luxury biscuits we enjoyed in the office).

Maslow stated, in his hierarchy of needs theory, human has 5 levels of need (in order of importance) : physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem and self actualisation. The basic need is the physiological: breathing, Physiological needs , the very basic needs, include breathing, water, sleep, air, food, excretion, sex (really?), clothing and shelter.

Without going into the theory, ( I admit I am not an expert), it can be seen food and shelter are the basics of the basic human needs. Imagine hearing from a friend, whose wife is teacher in a school, of kids being hungry, nothing to eat at home. This alone should make us think and look at our priorities. Not the smart phones, not the LCD TVs, not the cars nor the fancy shoes and handbags. Our priorities should be, must be,to meet our basic needs, food and shelter.

A basic house or shelter will be a good start ...... after all, what’s the use of having the LCD TVs if you have to watch it under the open sky, romantic as it may seems to be.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Saya Putar Halim!

“The World Revolves Around Me” a caption in red I saw recently in one website....

That brought back fond memories of an embarrassing moment when I first set foot in England. To be exact, the first time I set foot in the famous Selfridges in London. Revolving doors were quite a normal sight in buildings in the UK at that time, to keep the cold out I suppose. Selfridges was no exception.

So eager I was to set foot for the first time in Selfridges, I made my way to the main entrance fitted with rows of revolving doors. A simple rule to keep in mind when using a revolving door is one person at a time. With my eyes fixed on the inside of the store, I rushed and pushed the revolving door totally ignorant of the people around me. “Hey!” suddenly I heard a lady shouted. To my amazement and even bigger embarrassment, I wasn’t alone in that section of the revolving door. There, together with me, was an old lady (kalau muda nda jua apa ) with a green umbrella, nearly sprawling to the floor by me. After that I got a good “rollicking” from her. No amount of apologies and excuses would have kept her quiet. Being a first timer and a rookie to the UK scene, I suppose that was good enough excuse.

After that, I had a feeling, every time I went near Selfridges, I was a marked man ......

Fond memories indeed .......

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Brunei Yakin ...

Over the years Brunei has hosted and organised many big international and local events. Majority if not all of these events were held successfully. It is indeed a testament how Brunei as a country and Bruneians as a nation has advanced, developed and matured rapidly to be a regional and international player.

How can a small country with limited human resources managed to organise and host such major international events like APEC 2000, the SEA Games and other national celebrations successfully? In theory, it’s just like managing a project. You define the scope, determine the available resources, check timeline, assemble project team, develop and work a plan, monitor progress, keep everyone informed etc etc.

Hey that’s what the theory says. In reality, it can be very different here. A story I heard many times about a sinking ship gave a true insight of the Brunei way. What does a group of Bruneians do first if they find themselves on a sinking ship? First, set up a committee, have a lengthy discussions and if they are lucky save themselves from drowning.

It seems, the Brunei key to success in almost everything we hosted and organised are:
  • Setup at least a committee (we are legendary in having many committees, sometimes the ratio of committee members to the participants were so big! at the same time we do look after their welfare very-very well);
  • The committee will sit down and make lengthy deliberations on what to do, how to do it, determine resources (money, people etc) and comes up with a plan;
  • As the D day approaches, nothing has been done, everyone slips into panic attacks mode, pray and hope for the best, try to implement the plan and end up just doing anything resembling the plan;
  • Then in truly magical way, everything done and in place, the event or project a huge success.

Some people refer to this sarcastically as “Bujang SiGandam” No planning, all adhoc, always last minute.

To me, the spirit of Bujang SiGandam reflects the “can do” spirit we have. A characteristic we all must be proud off. Nothing is impossible, anything can be done even in the last minutes. Nya orang Brunei selagi baduk or takbir alum bebungi, selagi atu tah perhiasan rumah kan berubah. The Americans will say “it ain’t over till the fat lady sings” ( why must it be a fat lady? Why not a small lady? Why not just any lady?). Bujang SiGandam requires amongst others high self belief, leadership, innovations, creativity, perseverance, competency, patience, passion, resilience and trust. On top of that great teamwork!

So forget what people say, put aside all the so called modern tools. We keep it simple. Use the simple “to do list”, set a timeline and above all, do what we do best, practice the spirit of “Bujang SiGandam”.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Setangah saja, syukurtah ....

Is the glass half full? Or is it half empty? The common conundrum you come across a lot in self development.

Seeing it half empty? You are an optimist. You have a positive outlook, a favourable view on things and realise your full potential.

Seeing it half full? You are a pessimist. You make difficulties of your opportunities.

This is a classic validation of how people see events and objects differently depending on the person’s perception.

In our modest upbringing, seeing it half empty can make you look greedy (tamak). Talking about tamak, “Nda balek untong” a friend once said. This was indeed a very progressive and optimistic view of doing business, counting and expecting the profits before even breaking even. Then there is also the expression “orang tamak selalu rugi”. Who says? If not tamak, it means you have no dreams. Without dreams you won’t go anywhere in this world. But there is a fine line between dreams and angan-angan. See where angan-angan brought Mat Jenin?

Seeing it half full, in our tradition, means being thankful for all our blessings. Sharing what we have even if it may not be enough to meet our own needs. Sedekah even if the amount is little.

But .... human being human, when the sedekah or pemberian is little, I am sure there is a high probability u will get a “tahi gigi pun nda cukup” response .......

Be thankful... bersyukur....

PS: “tahi gigi pun nda cukup” is a perambaan brunei meaning not enough (I think).

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tin Kosong .....

When I first started work, I found it very irritating (“irritatingly annoying” more like it) seeing some of my senior colleagues and bosses not saying anything in meetings even on straight forward issues. On the extreme days, I even wondered if these people have brains or not.

Over the years, as I became more and more of a veteran, I observed a particular trend. The quieter you are, the higher the chance of you being promoted. At the same time, the longer you are in the service, the quieter you became. So my theory that these people were brainless must be totally wrong. If not, they wouldn’t have been promoted. Or could it be the talkative ones were just all noise but just like empty cans.("tin kosong").

I struggled to understand why this was. One possible explanation I can deduce was there must be a direct correlation between the levels of quietness with the level of "work intelligence". In short, the quiet ones are the clever ones, the ones “pandai bekeraja” not the tin kosongs. That’s why they get the recognitions and the promotions. Well I admit this was not scientifically deduced and proven, so take this with “a panyaluru warning advisory”.

If you really want to be respected, valued, admired and promoted, the following rules taken from an international bestseller “The Rules of Work” by Richard Templar, may help:
  • Walk your talk;
  • Know that you’re being judged at all times;
  • Have a plan;
  • If you can’t say anything nice – shut up;
  • Look after yourself;
  • Blend in;
  • Act one step ahead;
  • Cultivate diplomacy;
  • Know the system – and milk it;
  • Handle the opposition.

As for me, may b I should try to be a bit quieter for a start (as if I can)...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Numero Uno @ Nombor Wahid .....

Strolling through one of the biggest supermarket in Brunei, mindful not to be a victim of price targeting (something I learnt from a book I read some time ago), so obvious by the very low price of the chicken and some inexplicably higher prices on some other products (to talk about this will be a long winded entry on its own), I met a friend who happens to be well connected to the supermarket.

After all the pleasantries, I asked how business is. To my surprise, despite the whole world yet to recover from the credit crunch, he seemed upbeat about the prospect of the local business scene especially the local products. After given few tips on what products are really cheap and what products are not (surprisingly my friend gave away the business secret here!), we got talking about how he and his connections can contribute to the market growth of the local products.

According to him, Brunei has the products, marketable, "sellable", tasty and in some cases among the best around. But what seemed to be lacking is our ability to transform from a small family business to a bigger “industry” level business. Add to that the lack of lab facility to certify our products are up to the internationally accepted standards (so far we have our own Brunei Halal Brand, which is indeed a very good start). Another obstacle seems to be the seasonal nature of some of the businesses, where they work “ikut mood”, some months they work, some months on holiday, making supply of the products unreliable. (zzzzzzz.... such a long winded description, I myself is yawning typing this down).

After listening to him, and was about to make my move (I was already late... for sure I will get just telor puyu, if I am lucky, for Jumaat prayers), he said proudly, the store imported everything, every single product you can think of, even the ones produced in Brunei, except for one product. Guess what the product is? I laughed when he told me.... jeng jeng jeng... it is BELACAN! Yes belacan ladies and gentlemen! The red brownish shrimp paste (bubuk nya orang Brunei), the subject of the famous dialog in P. Ramlee movie “Bukan kau tak tau kesukaan aku belacan, kenapa kau masak sayur asam tak campur belacan.” Ha ha ha .... yes belacan. The reason? No imported belacan can rival the Brunei made belacan!

Wow! Something we all must be proud off! Our belacan is Numero Uno, Nombor Wahid, top of the chart in the belacan world! To those who love belacan, next time you have our local belacan, be sure to enjoy every bit of it. You are tasting the best, just the like the caviars of the Caspian Sea.

Myself, I am not a big fan of belacan. Not that I don’t like it. In fact when I was small, I used to take belacan with “ampalam” (kalah orang mengidam!). But lately, any products from the shrimp family will cause me to have, what a lot of ladies dream off by having botox, Vitamin C injections etc, the “Angelina Jolie” lips effect. Add to that, the “Rocky Balboa” face (the face after multiple hits!) and the “itchy & scratchy” cartoon acts from the Simpsons. So the choice is take belacan or suffer......

Well.... like it or not, love it or hate it, scratching or not, Brunei made belacan is Numero Uno!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I wish....

""Walk-in" services to end at RIPAS eye clinic" says the headline on the front page of a local paper.

It went on to say, “The Ministry of Health has informed the public that effective June 1, 2009, the "walk-in" services at the eye clinic in RIPAS Hospital will end and will only provide services to eye patients who have prior appointments.”

Is the economic downturn affecting us so bad? Then again I thought we are not that affected as the articles from the same paper made us to believe. What is happening to our health service? Not enough budget? Are we restructuring in order to focus on the H1N1 (the so called swine flu)? Not enough doctors? Bla bla bla ............. A lot of negatives went round and round my head. That's how shocked I was on reading the headline. I am sure some of you might have similar reaction. ... Well actually I am exaggerating a bit here to make my point.

Only after reading the next part of the news I felt a bit relieved. It went on to say “However, such `walk-in' services will now be provided to the public at eye clinics located at health centres in the morning during office hours.”
Actually, after reading the whole text, to me, the Ministry of Health is improving its services by bringing it nearer to the public and more focus services at RIPAS. All good things which the public should be happy about.

But what is annoying, at least to me (I do hope, really really hope no others see it my way), the whole press release text lost its message by starting with a negative. Why in the world you want to start with informing the public a service will end? Why don’t you start on informing the public on the improvement of services? When will we realise our job is not just to inform the public, but also to "promote" or market the Government agencies.

Look at the way the private sector promote their services (taken from BIBD Wish Campaign):
“Be it a house to share your love, a vacation with your loved ones or simply a new computer, no wishes are ever too big or small. Each wish is personal and special to you, and to us, and we’re here to help you realise them no matter what they may be. Receive a Wish Voucher with one Wish Code for every BND500 deposited in your CASA account.”

See the difference? The emphasis is on the positives. Reading it make you think you can get all you wish taking the focus away from the fact that you have to part with your hard earned BND500.

Is it down to the mentality? Is it down to training? Is it down to the fact in the private sector, it all boils down to dollars and cents while not so true in the Government service? I can only wish (without parting with even 50 cents let alone BND500), how I wish we put more emphasis to the positives than the negatives. Market, promote not just inform.

I wish .......

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

take a break....

Once in a while people get bored at work. They need to do other things, take a break, to rejuvenate, to refresh. The following lot should get the "Most Creative Break at Work" award for these masterpieces:

Monday, May 11, 2009

think safety, work safely.....

The first time I laid my eyes on this picture I laughed like hell as I am sure some of you will do. I still can’t stop giggling.

But on second thought and second look, it is indeed a very very good safety advice. Imagine without the notice, people will fall into the lift shaft. The guy who put the notice there does'nt just have a very good sense of humour (I am sure he does to be able to compose such an excellent piece), he has a very good civic sense. Humour makes a potentially alarming situation in to a less stressful experience. Knowing the lift is unreliable (to deduce this he must also be an excellent maintenance engineer) he put up this notice. Any mishaps will cause the owner of the building a big compensation case. (To have such assessment, he must also be a risk assessor).

So, the next time you see a safety sign or a safety advisory; please do not take it lightly. It’s put there for your own good by well meaning people. The act of putting the sign there takes a lot of effort, expertise and professionalism. Authorship, engineering, risk assessor, psychology, humour and many more.

Think safety, work safely....

latest model....

Latest Nokia phone anyone? Serves multiple purpose. Easy to carry around. Just slip it on. When it rings just lift your leg to answer the call..........


Mama... I love you so much!

I am sure those words have been repeated thousands if not millions of times today as people in many places of the world celebrate Mother’s Day.

A few days ago, a friend asked me what I will do for Mother’s Day. I told him I don’t celebrate Mother’s Day on any specific date as I recalled places all over the world have different dates for it. What a load of bull! In fact the real reason was that I totally had forgotten about it!

Do we really need a specific date to tell our mums how much we love them and to make them feel special? Simple answer, No! In fact, it should be everyday they feel the love, feel appreciated and so so very special. Some of us may have taken our mums for granted. More often than not, her requests came in last after all other things in our life. It is not that we don’t love our mums, we just forgot to show her everyday.

So on this so called special day for mums, let’s make the extra effort and start to show more. Let our mums know regularly how much we love them. Not just by mere words, also by our actions. Don’t just remember her when we need help, to borrow money or even for her kari ikan we love so much. Keep her in our minds always even when we don’t need anything from her.

To my mum, I love you so much. Thank you for everything.

To my better half, thank you for being the best mum our kids could have wished for. And off course I love you too........

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ada Udang Sebalek Batu...

Over lunch, a group of friends were having empty chatter just about everything that came to their mind. Suddenly, upon seeing a packed of wet tissues, one of them remarked “if I see someone who has no children, has a packed of wet tissue in his car, he is up to something dodgy”. Another added, “the same if a guy bought a packed of minty cool sweets, he must be getting the air condition treatment”. The whole group burst into big big laughter. Both statements conjured different pictures in the mind of every person in the group. The “yellow brain” ones with their 18 above rated pictures in their mind. The “not so yellow brain” ones with their innocent puzzled look, not knowing what picture to be framed in their mind.

See, how two innocent everyday items can lead to “dark alleys” of people’s mind when seen from different angle. Perceptions, some people call it. Perceptions rule the world. We live in a world that revolves around perceptions. Masters people’s perceptions, you more or less rule the world.

“80% of what we do is PR” someone said to me once. True, so very true. You don’t have to do what you are suppose to do well. Do the PR well and manage perceptions creatively, you will be in the good books of the public or so they say. Some call this “putting a spin”. I am sure they didn’t mean we put everyone on the merry go round and spin them until they can’t tell the difference between a “cendol” and “air samboi”.

Basically, I am sure everyone knows this, “spin” is putting all the positives of situations while not shedding the light on the rest especially the negatives. Some say this is not telling the whole truth. The experts prefer to call it “image transformation”, “transformation strategy” and even “rebranding”. Whatever, however you call it, more and more we are being “spun”. Our perceptions managed.

So, sit back, take your time, think and don’t take things at face value. In the world of PR, more often than not, “ada udang sebalek batu”.

Friday, May 08, 2009

.... seeing eggs flying ......

Strange phenomenon! Lately I have been seeing so many eggs flying! What? Eggs flying? Some may say I have gone cuckoo. Some may say I must have done something bad and have come to the wrong side of my better half with me on the end of egg missiles barrage from her sweet hands. Others may say it’s the effect of the countless cups of espressos and cappuccinos, the latest craze in the office, playing mind games with the brain.

Well, there is a simpler, more real explanation. Over the last week or so, our office had this creative competition involving eggs, some papers, straws, sellotapes and a pair of scissors. The objective is to design an “egg transporter” that can withstand the impact of being thrown from at least five storey high structure.

So what has this got to do with the biggest technical organisation in the Government service? Believe it or not, a lot! Designing an “egg transporter” requires understanding of the basics of engineering especially in structures and aerodynamics. On top of that, you need understanding of aesthetics hence architecture. Add to that the need to have optimum design with the minimum cost possible, you have more or less the basic ingredients of an engineering or construction project.

So my friends, the next time you see eggs flying, don’t worry. Don’t even be scared. In fact please smile and be happy knowing there is plenty of creative people here which can only bodes well to the physical development of this country.

Goyang Kaki Friday....

With the workload piling up, office room in a mess from a recent move, and a packed calendar for the next few days, I shouldn’t really be “goyang kaki” (relaxing). I should really be in the office clearing things up despite today being a Friday. But that’s what I did this afternoon, “goyang kaki”, sipping tea and do what I do best, my favourite waste of time (there is a wonderful old school song by Paul Owen titled “My Favourite Waste of Time”), watching the fantasy box we all call TV.

Well into my routine of channel hopping, I came across the movie titled “We are Marshall”. At first I thought it was a movie about some security guys going after escaped convicts. In actual fact, it was a movie based on a true story about an American Football team of the Marshall University. Sad, moving, gripping and full of emotional roller coaster as the Marshall University and its’ community came to terms with losing the whole football team, players and coaches, in a plane crash and rise again through sheer determination of the new head coach and the whole community. (Opps! What am I doing? Promoting a movie? Hey the producer didn’t pay me a single cent to do this.)

One scene or rather one quote caught my eye (or was it my ear?). In that particular scene, faced with repeated rejections from the footballing authority to their letters pleading for some “kelonggaran” and allow freshmen to play in the senior team, the Head Coach said to the University President:

“I am willing to bet, you did not propose to your wife over the phone. I am also sure she didn’t say yes in a letter.”

All my senses were “aroused”, my ears stood up, my head turned, on hearing this dialogue! To me, in a nutshell, it is saying, if you really want to achieve something, if you want to get the maximum impact, do it “in person”, face to face. Letters, telephone calls, e-mails and text messages can only do so much to put your message across. There is no substitute to “face to face” conversation. So when in situations requiring decisions, especially importants ones, or you need the other party to understand your point of view, do make the extra effort to meet “face to face”. As my boss used to say and still says quite a lot, more and more people enjoyed playing “ping pong” and the game of “shooting letters”. In the end, nothing gets done, nothing will be achieved........

If you wanna be happy....

I was watching and enjoying the movie "Mermaids" starring Cher & Bob Hoskins, a wonderful movie. At the end, there was this song, very catchy song, If You Want To Be Happy (for The Rest Of Your Life) by Jimmy Soul. I wonder if you can get away with such lyrics nowadays. Here are the lyrics:

If you wanna be happy
For the rest of your life,
Never make a pretty woman your wife,
So from my personal point of view,
Get an ugly girl to marry you.

If you wanna be happy
For the rest of your life,
Never make a pretty woman your wife,
So from my personal point of view,
Get an ugly girl to marry you.

A pretty woman makes her husband look small
And very often causes his downfall.
As soon as he marries her
Then she starts to do
The things that will break his heart.
But if you make an ugly woman your wife,
You'll be happy for the rest of your life,
An ugly woman cooks her meals on time,
She'll always give you peace of mind.

If you wanna be happy
For the rest of your life,
Never make a pretty woman your wife,
So from my personal point of view,
Get an ugly girl to marry you.

Don't let your friends say
You have no taste,
Go ahead and marry anyway,
Though her face is ugly,
Her eyes don't match,
Take it from me she's a better catch.

If you wanna be happy
For the rest of your life,
Never make a pretty woman your wife,
So from my personal point of view,
Get an ugly girl to marry you.

Say man.
Hey baby.
Saw your wife the other day.
Yeah, she's ugly.
Yeah, she's ugly but she sure can cook.
Yeah?. Okay.

If you wanna be happy
For the rest of your life,
Never make a pretty woman your wife,
So from my personal point of view,
Get an ugly girl to marry you.

If you wanna be happy
For the rest of your life,
Never make a pretty woman your wife,
So from my personal point of view,
Get an ugly girl to marry you.

If you wanna be happy
For the rest of your life,
Never make a pretty woman your wife,
So from my personal point of view,
Get an ugly girl to marry you.

If you wanna be happy
For the rest of your life,
Never make a pretty woman your wife,
So from my personal point of view,
Get an ugly girl to marry you.

You can listen to the song here

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Air Mail Par Avion ......

It seems not so long ago we only had two TV channels. Big bulky video tape players churning Indonesian movies the whole Kampong will turn up to watch. A video player then will set u back the price of top of the range slim light ultra portable notebook now. The days the Sony Walkman were the “iPods” with back pack full of tapes.

Those were the days where the main mode of communication were few pieces of paper we scribbled on and “zoomed” to the sender via Mr Postman. If you are lucky, it will reach its destination in a few days. If you are not, it may reach its destination via foreign lands or worse still it will just disappear.

Then, everyone composed, folds the papers, licked the seal and “smooched” the stamp onto the envelope. It was indeed an art to write a letter. The beauty of a handwritten message. The effort made you feel appreciated. More meaningful when the so truly madly deeply in love lover sprinkled some perfume on the pieces of papers. Joy on the face of the waiting lover reading with the intoxicating smell creating a truly romantic effect. Truly magical! Still fresh on the mind waiting for letters to arrive. The wait gave it the extra edge, made the adrenalin flowed with extra vigour. Kissing those pieces of paper.You can’t get that effect with text messaging nor with emails.

Life with its slower pace then, were more manageable. Now, with the crazed for everything instant, from instant noodle, instant coffee, instant messaging to instant response and even instant love, life seems to pass by like a lightning. One blink, you are left behind. Instant response on the Instant Messengers, Facebook, Twitters. Update your status on Facebook, the whole world instantly knows what a fool you are. Add to that, the myriads of comments you will get from the so called friends half of which you hardly meet.

As the world gets closer, as everyone gets more and more connected, I can’t help feeling we are getting less and less “personal”. Long gone is the personal touch. A conversation is no longer face to face. Now a poke means pressing a button. A smile is just a symbol on the screen. How I long for the Air Mail Par Avion days ......

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


So much had happened over the past few days. Heart warming stories of how Bruneians are supportive of charities as can be seen from the crowds and the support shown in the Special Olympics Walkathon and also the SMARTER Giant Walk... Bravo! Bravo! Bravo Bruneians!

And off course the “hottest” story of the week so far in Brunei is how the so called Swine Flu aka H1N1 “reached” our shores. Luckily it was just a scare... phew! The Press Association reported “And around 200 travellers were also placed under quarantine in the wealthy south-east Asian nation of Brunei.” We joined a list of countries “quarantining” (is there such a word?) people which includes Singapore, Hong Kong and China, amongst others. I wonder where they put up the 200 over people. In Singapore, they placed some of the “quarantineers” in bungalows at a holiday resort (free holidays?). In China it brewed into a political storm with the Mexicans who felt being targeted unfairly (aku mun mendangar dari Mexico pun tungkal not that I have anything against Mexico... I still eat the Mexicans flavoured pizzas !)

We cannot blame the authorities for taking such precaution. In fact we must salute them for taking such a swift action to protect all of us. At the same time, we can’t help pity all the travellers “stuck” at the airport. Happened to be at a private clinic last night and in the space of the 30 minutes I was there, at least three people came in to get some sort of flu tablets (was not sure it was Tamiflu or not) and a few enquiries over the phone. Must have been so boring waiting to see the doctor that I ended up eavesdropping (busy body jua eh) on the receptionist conversation. At least some positive impact on some businesses. In Singapore, many stores ran out of thermometers. Schools beware! If you find any thermometers (including the mercury thermometers which you can shove up your ***)missing, very likely some students “borrowed” them.

Fortunately so far there are no travel restrictions just some travel advice. For those travelling, make sure you do not, I say DO NOT urap (put on) the minyak panas (dan yang sewaktu dengannya) or take anything that will increase your body temperature drastically (Kopi Tongkat Ali comes to mind here), you may end up being a “Swine Flu Suspect”. So beware!

This piece is written as if I am an expert on this so called Swine Flu. Well I am NOT! Me, like all of you out there relies on the authorities especially the Health Authorities to keep us informed and more critically protect us. To them we say well done! So far they are doing the right things, taking the right measures and keeping all of us well informed despite some of the “menungkalkan” news. It was good to see the Health Minister in the News last night talking about the flu.

I cannot leave without congratulating a close friend aka “rakan seperjuangan” who just got his well deserved promotion. Congratulation my friend! Good luck with your new job. I am sure you will do well. Your first challenge? Stop the bugger H1N1 from entering Brunei through our “aerial gateway”.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Rita who? .........

Knowledge is power... so people say. I must agree. For people who have watched the Mami Jarum movie, I am sure they will agree. In my case, this revelation came a few years back in a room in Sheraton Utama Hotel (please do not get the wrong idea here... it’s the meeting room lah... nah kan sikit lagi ada orang kan jadi mami jarum...) A few frens managed to convince me, in fact they forced me to sit in (yeah my intention was just to sit and enjoyed the free food) a talk which for the life of me I can’t recall what the talk was all about. All I remember after two agonisingly long hours (with my eyes betungkat) was the lady speaker saying “Knowledge is power... every day try to talk to at least 5 people who has the knowledge”. This stayed with me till this day .... Try it, look for the 5 people every day, keep your ears open and your brain tuned in.... I am sure you will experience a big leap in the your “power meter”....

Another form of gaining knowledge other than talking to people is through reading. I love reading... I read everything... even in the loo. But my better half kept reminding me, reading in the loo will make forgetful.. Well there may be some truth in what she is saying as I kept forgetting things nowadays... lucky I don’t forget my way home hehehe... A friend recently told me reading in the loo will add extra burden to the Government Health Service as there is a higher chance of me getting the “buasir” ... so I better stop reading in the loo to save the Government money and primarily to save me from having discomfort at the strategic location (mun paham bisai ....) Coming back to my habit of reading, when I was a little boy (I am still one in a lot of ways...), we used to take our dinner on a table covered in used newspapers (not that we couldn’t afford proper table cloth, may be my parents were doing their bit on saving the environment... use biodegradables other than plastics)... what did i end up doing? Reading ... at the same time as having my dinner... an example of multitasking pre windows era .......

I read all sorts of things... (I meant everything ...) Among my favourites were the science fiction stories by Isaac Asimov. A box full of the complete series which I had “khatam” many many times is somewhere here... Lately, most of the books I bought are the nonfiction books... maybe I will write about a few of the books in future... Books are mandatory items in my “must get things” list when I travel ...

How do I end up talking about knowledge and book? All because of Rita Levi-Montalcini. (Who? You may wonder ....) I can cut and paste pages and pages about this lady here but it may bore you to death. In short, she is a 100 year old scientist, a global expert on the brain and the Nobel Prize winner in 1986 (she has got a long list of achievement). What struck me despite her failing hearing and eyesight, she is still a full time scientist and add to that a Life Senator in Italy! Most, if not all 100 year olds we know (we are lucky if we know any) are already “lali”. So what is her secret? Her daily routine: get up at five in the morning, eat just once a day, at lunchtime, keep your brain active, and go to bed at 11pm. We may not be able to get up that early, may not be able to eat just once a day (I definitely can’t) or even go to bed early and miss our favourite late night TV programmes, the least we can do is keep our brain active (bukan active angan-angan)... the best way to do this is by reading, reading, reading and reading.....

Monday, May 04, 2009


Brunei, the Land of Unexpected Treasures.. never ceases to amaze me .... Read recently in the Singapore Straits Times ... “ The S-League recorded its biggest turnout for a match in 13 years yesterday. But, the football game was not played in Singapore. Some 10,583 fans attended the game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Bandar Seri Begawan, as S-League newcomers DPMM beat defending champions Singapore Armed Forces FC 2-1”. Wow .. that’s almost 3% of our population...

I still remember and recall fondly the days we have almost 20,000 people in the Stadium supporting our national team in d M-League... that’s almost 6% of the population ... No matter what ... we will always hold the record of the biggest stadium in the world ... I laughed when I first heard this ... rupanya nda pandai panuh stadium ani ... hehehe. Well .. being a Brunei football fan now must be like walking on cloud nine (lawa tu lagu Bryan Adams ah) ... the DPMM FC is doing well .. top of the pile in the S-League...

Recalling back since I was first introduced to the national football scene way back in 1979 ... the first match Brunei played in the Malaysia Cup at Padang Besar (siok kali ah watching from the wodden stands... some people were watching from top of trees...) till now, it has been a roller coaster ride. The climax (lain bunyi nya hehehe) was the 1999 Malaysia Cup win. There were many lows... the days where there were hardly anyone in the Stadium but the hardcore ones ( I am one of them... a certain singing DPS was also one of them). Rain or shine .. win or lose we will be there... no matter what jemputans we had .. we will be at the stadium. A friend even went to the stadium right after his nikah ... I wonder what the wifey felt that time, football more appealing than the malam pertama? Hehehe ... But ironically, a friend once said he wished we kept losing.. less people watching meant less hassle to find a parking spot near the main gate. Hahaha .... atu baru ia supporting team and wishing teamnya kalah ...

Nowadays we have the EPL... everyone seems to be supporting some top team.. Liverpool has their approved legal licensed fan club, the Setan Club aka Man Utd got one albeit not a legal one.. the Chelskis may have one (do they?).. I wonder if there is one for Hull City or kelab orang sundar aka Sunderland?... some tempat makans are associated with the teams ... Le Stadium is the Kopites Liar... Restoran Kaka and Red Canopy are for the Setans .... Chelskis used to be at D Other Office ...

A die hard EPL club fan’s life is like being on Pusing Lagi ride ... the highs of the wins.. the lowest of low when the team lost to their bitter rivals... Imagine if the team lost, your mobile will be the most popular in Brunei .. belatupan with sms from your so called friends .. no matter if it is tangah malam buta.. Recently when my beloved team lost.. I got an sms from a friend in Mekah congratulating me as soon as the match ended.. I wonder was he doing his umrah or .... and that was 4 am in the morning hehee... A friend who is a fanatical supporter of the Setans will be hiding for a week if his team lost..

So what is my point? Hahah I dont know ... I guess I am just rambling about nothing...

But seriously.. (as if I can be serious), if we put our mind, heart and soul into something, we will do anything for it (I am not condoning criminal acts here)... just like being a football fan ... come rain or shine... win or lost... you will still be there giving your all.. even when the crowd has left ...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

450 ...

450 is a number we must keep in mind ... its a significant number ... its the amount of water in litres an average person in Brunei uses. How much do u pay for that? Well only 5 cents ... harga sebiji gula-gula Hanya Aku Cinta Kau Sayang aka HACKS .... That’s dead cheap. But what is 450 litres of water? Its 300 bottles of air sehat botol basar..300 big bottle sehat will set u back $240... That’s in a day.. $240 dollars a day is $7200 a month ... lapas jua Porsche Cayenne tu bayaran sebulan hehehe ...... 450 is also significant ... that means we have the honour.. The top spot as the nation kuat main aing in this region (steady eh dapat numbor wahid!) .. Malaysia with 220 and Singapore 160...

So where does the 450 litres go to? More than half goes to shower and mandi .... the rest to other house chores such as flushing, washing etc etc ... so we as a nation must be one clean nation as we use such big amount of water .. or is it the effect of all the mandi wajibs (mandatory showers)?

So what’s the point? We can’t go on like this ... we must reduce our water consumption ... but how? Can we stop mandi? Hahah I am sure if we do that, we will get number one in being the smelliest nation ... what an honour! So what can we do? Nda barus gigi? Even worse ... rugi tia kadai kaling (sori ah i don’t mean to be racist) as no one will be buying ubat gigi.. our economy will be affected... if kadai lingka closed down we have to drive so far to get our groceries... so our environment will be more affected what can we do?

According to a few friends in the water business, some simple things will help ... First.. jangan mandi lama-lama even mandi wajibs... don’t play with soap with the tap turned on... this will reduce the water consumption from shower by three times. Another simple one is when brushing your teeth... just use a glass of water with the tape turned off... you will reduce the water consumption from brushing by 45 times! Yes 45 times! There are many others ... to know more you should visit the World Water Day exhibition at the Ministry of Development .. you can even check your bills online but make sure you don’t owe them alot as they will display your bills on a big tv screen hehehe......

Oh... while you are checking your water bill .. you can go on the flying fox ride .. just to bawa rasa after people laugh at you seeing your IOU in the water bill .... or to calm yourself down you can do sport fishing or even walk on the reflexology rocks (ani tutup kadai reflexology hehee) at the beautiful new taman.. after that you can go makan at KFC, lalap, ayam panggang etc or better still make youself look sillier by playing the c Tok Sing Game .. a game where you have to carry two buckets across many hurdles just like the famous night soil businessman in the 60s.. on top of that catch the man made waterfall .. great place to take pictures to be put in your Facebook ...

All in all.. you will have a great time and learn a thing or two... so do come to the exhibition at the KACAKEST building at old airport aka the Ministry of Development .. it will be on from Saturday 2nd May till Friday 8th May 2009 ..... you will have a supa dupa fabulous time ...

Friday, May 01, 2009

40% off? .....

Flipping and browsing through the advert section of a well known local paper, suddenly I burst into big big laughter on my own.. If I was in a public location, I am sure I will get strange looks @ jelingan ganjil from people around me ... they will think I am someone who has some loose screws upthere (kurang sintar nya orang brunei....) the reason for my laughter? There in front of my eyes an advert offering “Bust enhancement up to 40% off!” ... ha ha ha... I can’t imagine any sane ladies out there will take this offer of having their prized assets 40% ... yes 40% .. almost half of it reduced! More likely they want them to be doubled! So Advertisers beware how you put across your message or offers .. If I can see it this way I am sure many others can see it too ... 40% off ur busts! Hehehe ..

On a serious note, exactly on the opposite page, something caught my interests... yes .. an advert seeking Expressions of Interest, popularly known as EOI for Feasibility Study for a bridge to Temburong ... Imagine a bridge to Temburong? Imagine the famous cendols, wajids, udang galah just 30 mins drive away? Imagine not having to travel in the flying coffins to reach Bangar? And for the young ones (and may be some of the not so young anymore), the Taman Batang Duri as an option for a dating place? (hahaha.. I am sure I am going to get into trouble for saying this!). Imagine not having to go through Limbang to go to Bangar... the endless queues at Immigration Posts, multiple chops on your passport (capat abis passport mun selalu ke KK via Limbang phenomenon).. those are among the good things if the bridge is ever built ... but as in life, everything has its pro and cons ... the big worry will be its impact on the environment ... not the just at the corridor the bridge pass through, the closer the Ulu Temburong jungle is, the more likely its environment will be affected.. well.. we shall see what the study will conclude ...

Today’s khutbah jumaat very interesting (since when do I stay awake during khutbah... i wonder!).. well i just hope everyone was listening, the ones at masjids and the ones at home too, the message is simple and straightforward... Jangatah luan memilih keraja..... I dare to add.. yang tedapat keraja, keraja tah bisai-bisai, waktu keraja buat keraja, it’s not the time kan bemain nor facebooking etc etc (hahah macam menyindir diri sendiri ni)... well who eats the chilli, they will be the ones who get the padasnya .... hahhaha.........

to be or not to be....

on 4th of july 2006, on the USA independence day, this blog came alive.. just over 6 months and a meagre 4 postings later it went on retirement.. a fate i m sure it shared with alot of other blogs... being an avid follower of the local blogging scene, blogging and to a large extend bloggers intrigued me.. some view blogs as a personal domain so sacred no one is allowed to read them, which i am sure no one bothers to read or interested in them (sad case of self indulgence i suppose), some publicised it to the extend listing it in the local blog list and even compete for honours just like going after the oscars, some even made it into a business earning them big bucks (i love some of that hehehe), some definitely became very popular as they are very very informative...

blogging infact is OLD STORY now so why do i bother about it... well i was reminiscing why or what in the world made me start this blog and then let it went into retirement then out of the blue it arouses itself again (hey dont get me wrong on the choice of words here, may be the malam jumaat syndrome is getting to me hehehe)... in the beginning i tried to justify it by saying its just ramblings of an individual ... i suppose the real reason (again this is relative to time.. no relation to Einstein’s theory of relativity though) is to let out what is in my head ... i dont know if its normal or only applies to crackpots .. i have so much running around in my head .. questions .. arguments .. deep thoughts... 247 even in my sleep.. is that normal? ( i realy realy hope so ....) my brains is always in multitasking mode ... just like an internet forum with multiple threads at the same time (without this i feel i will lose the edge) ... i suppose can be seen with the so many brackets in my postings (as long as as i wont be known as OKB ... orang kaya brackets)... here i go again .. digressing....

back to what i am trying to say ... here i am at this crossroad i suppose other bloggers had or will be experiencing... do i become a closet blogger or let others read my postings.. a well known VIP blogger i talked to recently said bloggers are funny .. they want to remain anonymous yet they want their blogs to be famous .. may be this is true ... so what do i do? I suppose it will answers itself ...