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”.