Monday, February 23, 2009

Brunei-Australia 1945 Memorial

It is long overdue but... its better late than never...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nothing to do...

During the long break, my friend's family went to KK for a short holiday... on the way back at the Brunei-Limbang boarder, apparently they were stopped by plain-clothes customs/religious officer (?) who ask them, if they bought any meat - ie pork or chicken with them?

See what is wrong with this scenerio?

Why are the enforcement people cared about non-muslims bringing meat that is used for their own comsumption? Had they got nothing better to do? Why don't they catch people who brings in drugs or excessively amount of fruits from Malaysian boarder, and yet keep this stupid antics of stopping non-mulims for getting "non-halal" meat for their own consumption?

CNY is near the corner, and its time to make non-muslims life a bit difficult i guess... according to my friend..

sorry if this is "offensive", but rather than worry about things like this, the customs/religious officers (my friend couldnt tell which dept were they from), our highly paid govt servants should be looking out for more harmful items that crossed our boarder, rather than making people life hell with the long queue that already exist at the boarder...

Religion teaches people to be nice, but ..... sigh....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fighting Corruption in Brunei

Everyone knows corruption exists not only in Brunei, but also the whole wide world, not only in developing countries but in developed countries... it is the scale of corruption done that differs from one country to another country... With less FDI into Brunei and not much major private sector economy in the country cept for the oil and gas industry, corruption in Brunei can be seen as "minute" compared to other countries..

Then again, what is wrong, is wrong...

Everyone knows that corruption in Brunei are mostly due to the red tape that exists... and literally its all about red tapes - the opaque procedures that occur around any "procedures".

Take, the tendering process..

Tenders are supposed to be "open" and published by Pelita Brunei and available on the notice board of the departments' concerned. But if you look at Pelita Brunei now (the website anyway, which is not updated), there's barely any projects going around... then again, is this true?

Then once a tender is being publish, then you have to look at the time allowed for contractors to submit the contract. Is it rationale for a contract worth over tens of millions to be estimated, can be completed in just 2 weeks? of coz... the implications are a lot here... probably a particular contract has been selected here.. hehhe...

Then once contractors submit the tender.. then what happens? No one knows until the contract has been awarded and this may take months... 6 months to 1 year perhaps? Why is this so? How difficult is it the tender board to put out the list of the prices of the contractors have bid? why is this against the law? why is not "transparent"? why allow the "wheeling and dealing" behind the scenes?

If the lowest contractor has been the top priority, then obviously, the performance of the said contractor must be assessed. Yet, people knows underperforming contractors are also allowed to take projects even though their other ongoing projects are delayed.

Then consultants... using consultants are good, supposedly having the latest knowldege building and designing a particular project. Being consultants where their fee is based on the tendered project price, obviously they would recomend higher bid contractor. Mind you, you have to check the materials that they have "recomend" to use. Sometimes, it would be unreasonable to have a gold plated door handle that costs say $50 when a silver plated door handle that works perfectly as well, can cost only $20...

Then once a project has been awarded, the contractor who won the project is not announced. It used to be published in the old newspapers on which contractor won a particular project, with the price clearly stated.... not now though... only after everything was done and "groundbreaking" ceremony starts that the price maybe announced...

Then, incase the contractor's job is delayed, yet why is it allowed to be delayed? which organization has the power and authority to make sure they work? and if they dont work, their contact should be cancelled. yet, most contracts are allowed to remain idle for years... why?

While ACB keeps talking about catching the corrupt regardless of creed or breed, it's a wonder why other depts are not involved in supporting ACB's aims... yes, ACB must be careful because Bruneians love to assassinate a character - get it - character assassination lah - heheh... then again, the leaves wouldnt move if there's no wind? it is based on the wise judgement of the people concern to estimate what is jealously and what is real corrupt behaviour... that is easily distinguised one probing is carefully done..

Psssst.... wasnt it staed in the General Orders that assets of public servants must be declared?... is it practiced?

pssst... the new ACB website looks great... BUT the statistics section is useless... why not look at the years of complaints rather than looking a just a few months of a year????

Friday, October 17, 2008

Houses in Brunei?.... in 15-20 years time

12,000 New Houses In 5 Yrs By Malek Hashim

Bandar Seri Begawan - The Ministry of Development has unveiled plans for the construction of more than 12,000 housing units for the national housing needs.

The housing units are under the Rancangan Perumahan Negara (RPN) or National Housing Scheme and Skim Tanah Kurnia Rakyat Jati (STKRJ) or Landless Indigenous Citizens Housing Scheme under the 2007-2012 National Development Plan, as well as residual housing under the previous National Development Plan.

Also in line with national sheltering strategy, the Infill Scheme and issuing of land titles to qualified recipients have been implemented since the 1980s. To date, more than 2,010 land titles have been issued and more will be issued in the future....

further reading (


Is it realistic to assume that this can be done in 5 years?... as someone simply calculated, it would take 5 or 6 houses to be completed in a day for this to be realised... or about 300 houses per month...

Do you know the current rate of house production for the National Housing Scheme (NHS) in Brunei?

Do you know what they need to do?

1. STOP giving contracts to the CHEAPEST "bumi" contractors who have totally NO experience other than wheel and deal to find the other cheapest incompetent contractor to do (sub to other contractors when they get the contract!!)

2. ENFORCE the rule which says that if they delay their job, they will be FINED up to certain amount of $$$ when projects are delayed

3. Govt also must ensure payment must be made ON TIME when its time to PAY contractors... It's no FUN to be taxed by the BANKS who take INTERESTS from the LOANS need to finance the projects....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Japanese Buffett in Melbourne A$28 per head

pre-order the oyster when you make booking...


Shop's Name: J's Surf and Turf,

133 Were Street, Brighton, Victoria 3186, Melbourne.

If you book from 6.30pm, you have to finish at 8.30pm, and the 8.30pm will finish till whenever you finish, i guess... hee..

Visiting Victoria 4

View from Mt. Dendenong

Visiting Victoria 3

Possibly the highest bridge in Melbourne, The West Gate Bridge ...

The view of Melbourne city from the top of the bridge... on the left of the picture, you can see the soon to be open Melbourne/Victoria Eye... just like London Eye..

Go to the left (green board line) if you dont want to get charged by the Citylink Toll... heee

Visiting Victoria 2

Visiting Victoria 1

An "attempted" trip down to the Great Ocean Road.... took us over 2 hours from Melbourne to reach Geloong/Lorne Road areas... but because it was rainy a bit and the thought of driving another 2 hours just to see the 12 Apostles (now left 7 rocks) wasnt that appealing... decided to turn back after that...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

1st Entrepreneurs Award in Brunei - and Wu Chun gets it??

Well... surprise surprise...

Pehin Lau Ah Kok gets it - is not bad, afterall he's a well known figure in Brunei - the rags to riches story ... he deserved it... it's better late than never :-)

Hope there's a book publish on that - how's that - any aspiring writers out there who wants to write it? they should... I heard stories by uncles and aunties that when they were young, they used to steal from Ah Kok's car (he was like travelling salesman back then) - small items which I'm sure he knows what the kids did but did not take any action... hahah

The guy in the centre is Pehin ("Lord") Lau Ah Kok

The big surprise for me - Wu Chun, gets the "Young Entrepreneur of the Year" award.... how is that possible again?.... If he becomes Brunei's TOURISM representative, thats not bad (he IS that popular among his Taiwanese teenage fans and THE most well known (and the only ???) BRUNEIAN "ENTERTAINER" in East Asia and Southeast Asia) but entrepreneur?... I remembered reading that he wanted to bring the Taiwanese filming crew to Brunei but I guess, there are no nice mansions in Brunei that he used for his dramas... just the Empire Hotel is not enough...

He's an actor la, and ermmm singer.... (ok, i dont actually watch his dramas, cozz.... i dont know, coz i dont think its nice - hahha - no offense, he's a "pretty" boy... after one episode, cant tolerate watching the ending.. sorry... his latest "idol" drama as a supporting cast is Hot Shot, which is currently airing in Taiwan, and you can watch it in Youtube :-) Oh ya, I read that he used to study in RMIT, in Melbourne, so his English should be better than some Taiwanese actors, hahah...

Not that this is relevant to the topic but, but incase anyone wants to watch Taiwanese Dramas, the best ones are Fated to Love You, My Lucky Star and Korean's 1st Shop of Coffee Prince (or just Coffee Prince)... hahha... ehh... out banar...

The newslink to the award ceremony:

Monday, August 04, 2008

Comparative Study...

One of the top cities that international students would love to go to. However, students on tight budgets might consider;

1. No transport concessions for students (unless you’re Australian citizen)

2. Rents are crazy – landlords can change and increase the rent prices every 6 months, hence students who can’t afford the rent has to move to a new place. Shifting houses is no joke because of other costs involved. Calculation of rent is different from Bribane, suffice to say, Brisbane rent calculation is cheaper compared to Melbourne.

3. Movie are not that cheap as those who get student concession in Brisbane

4. Internet download is based on the amount of info you downloaded! (at least still can download compared to Brunei’s e-speed la... heheh... BUT BUT can’t beat Manchester, UK where the download for anything is super SUPER super fast!)

5. Petrol price is around A$1.55 to A$1.70 per litre

6. Buses are not on time, worse during weekend (not that i’ve taken public transport in Brunei much, heheh). No shade on every bus stop!!! (as if it never rain!)

7. Train tickets (where you can use for buses and trams as well) are based on Zones, not on the distance. For example, in Singapore, the charges start from where your journey starts. In Melbourne, it depends on zone. So, if you’re in Zone 1 – city and to go to Zone 2 – which is where Clayton is, you will have to buy Zone 1+2 ticket. Not cost friendly.

8. Parking is expensive. So if you want to complain yayasan or parking bertingkat is expensive, come and try to park in Melbourne. 1 hour can cost up to $10 in the city!!!

9. People ask for money on trains and not even ashamed of it!!

10. Hmmm... why cant they build taller buildings outside the city? And Please... use better materials and workmanship for the construction. Baik lagi rumah yang d buat d Brunei, built by our expatriate workers atu – we haven’t thank them enough for our homes... right people??