Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Freebie ...

“Wedding guests get energy-saving gift” front page headline in one of the local paper. It goes on to say .....“A profound energy-saving message was sent out in a novel way yesterday when around 500 guests at a wedding ceremony in Kuala Belait walked away with energy-saving bulbs given away as traditional wedding gifts to the guests..... the energy-saving light bulbs priced at $7 each were generously contributed by the Energy Division in the efforts to cut down on energy costs and also help the environment.... “

Wow! Definitely a novel idea, an excellent wedding gift, an even better way to promote energy saving mentality. It is indeed a worthy action, killing many birds with one stone (in this case 500 stones).

Energy is a critical and strategic area for our beloved country Brunei Darussalam. Being a producer and energy exporting country, we are also one of the biggest user / consumer of energy. Be it petroleum products or electricity, we are way up there among the top user. Not sure what are the actual figures, in terms of electricity usage, in the region, we are the third highest consumer of electricity after Japan. Compounded even further by one of the lowest electricity tariff in the region. May be it is our Brunei nature, doing and consuming in a big way. Big houses, big cars, even bigger number of cars, everything we want big, even hutang also we are known to have big hutangs and liabilities. Big thing is our thing. On another extreme, we Bruneians love freebies...

Coming back to the wedding gift, $7 wedding gift is in my opinion is on the pricey side. I suppose in this case the energy saving objectives made the cost more or less acceptable. Then again, not many apart from few well off group, can afford a $7 per piece wedding gift. Generally, any gift, as long it is free, people will gladly accept. Observe around us, free things will be gone in no time. Remember the near riot scene of the wang zakat applications? Time and time again we hear stories of people seeking assistance. Of course there are genuine cases, but there are also cases due to the person’s own reckless way, living outside their mean.

On a more worrying note, some may see it, now at least they have an alternative agency to apply for assistance especially weddings in particular wedding gifts.... some can now go to the Energy Division he he he .........

When you leave a room, turn off the lights. Save energy by turning off household appliances too when not in use. You can save money when you do these simple things. The money save if collected over a period of time can pay for your wedding gifts.

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