The Chosen Imam of Masjidil Haram

19 05 2009



Too bloody surreal! :D

18 05 2009

I REMEMBER at school, a few of my Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) teachers taught us kids to never ever control oneself from urinating, if one can’t help relieving oneself no longer. And if one has to stop by the roadside to take a pee, so be it. 😛

Understandably, stopping oneself from leaking it out could lead to various medical problems e.g. urinary tract infection (UTI) or worse still kidney ailment, etc.

In this uploaded YouTube video, two Japanese funnymen took the ‘urine test’ to a whole new level of problem-solving under ‘fiery’ pressure! 😀 Illogically, it’s simply out of this world. Bruneian video flicks look pathetically amateurish by a long shot comparably. 

Oh! What a relief…  🙂 I could drink that tea to keep my blood pressure in check. 😉



18 05 2009

HOW I wish the titled equation could be true. I can’t help thinking about the subject — happiness — after reading popular blogger Mr BR’s posting today in his Daily Brunei Resources blog on Project Happiness by Gretchin Rubins… Most people would shrug off happiness as being a relative matter, though.

In my previous posting I featured a happy-go-lucky veteran world-class singer Billy Joel who turned 60 last week. My last post was about another singer-musician, ‘comeback-kid’ Cat Stevens, who has happily chosen his Muslim name, Yusuf Islam, ever since he reverted to the Islamic religion in the late 70s. Incidentally, Yusuf Islam will turn 61 come July 21st! 🙂

Bruneian citizens who share both the singers’ respective ages are the happiest generation because His Majesty’s Government is the only one in the world to freely hand-out the Old Age Pension allowance of B$250.00 to each of them upon their reaching that ‘Golden Age’ of 60. For Billy Joel and Yusuf Islam, such a scheme is the last thing they’d ever ask for from their governments considering comfortable royalty fees they get from their evergreen recordings. Still it’s a lot of money if you accumulate it to a year’s total of BND3k! 😉 The question remains: Are all Bruneians aged 60 years and above much happier than their counterparts in other countries? Obviously money can’t really buy happiness, can it? 😦

Some years ago, I visited a neighbouring country and met a middle-aged man (in his late 70s) whose daily routine was to walk up and down staircases to and from his 8th floor flat to go to the nearest Masjid or mosque five times a day — no miss! 

One early dawn then, I was taking my ablution ready to perform the Subuh prayers when that particular wise but frail old man asked me if the Old Age Pension Scheme benefits middle-aged Bruneians had been enjoying was true. And somehow the good news had even reached as far as Johore in Malaysia. So I explained to him how my own parents were some of the lucky Bruneians to have been privileged and lived long enough to benefit from it (by the Will of Allah).

In my heart (or I couldn’t recall if I did say it out to him loud enough for him to hear) I told him that he was the luckiest servant of Allah to be getting much more rewarding “Pahala” or blessings from the Almighty for his sincere action of performing the daily prayers for years on end.

Strangely enough, the day after our encounter that early morn’, I heard that that poor old “Hamba Allah” fell ill and couldn’t walk to the Masjid no more since he was bed-ridden. He passed away peacefully in his sleep the following day. I had the opportunity to “ziarah jenazah Allahyarham” or pay my last respects to that deceased pious Muslim and managed to see his face in death — HAPPINESS was clearly written all over his fair-complexioned and patient but calm look! 🙂 

May Allah Subhannahu Wataala bless his soul — Amin! AL-FATIHAH…


“Peace Train” is PLK’s theme song

16 05 2009

I’VE been lucky to have had two chances of seeing Yusuf Islam a.k.a Cat Stevens live in person when he came twice to Brunei. First time was in the 90s when he spoke to a fully-packed audience in the International Convention Centre and his second trip to this Abode of Peace was a few years ago during the 1st International Islamic Exhibition which was held at the State Mufti’s Office. Now, I’m glad that he’s making a comeback in his singing career with the deep-seated sincere intention of showing the world that Islam is not in any way TERRORISM! I pray for all Muslims globally to UNITE for the sake of ALLAH the Almighty! AMIN… 🙂

To my Prince Charming son, B.A.W, CIMG3883 I dedicate Cat Steven’s hit songs to you, Baz! 🙂 Three of my favourites: “Father and Son”; “Wild World” and “Morning Has Broken”…

I LOVE YOU so very much and your pretty li’l sister, BABY TARA, TOO! 🙂 Please study hard for your coming exams, guys! 😉


Bravo UBD for relentless Public Lecture series!

14 05 2009

I SINCERELY applaud University Brunei Darussalam (UBD) for opening its doors of knowledge to high school dropouts like yours truly to partake in what little wisdom I could gain from foreign experts who have been invited to speak during their public lecture series.

This afternoon, I dragged along a young UBD/Strathclyde Uni Computer Science graduate who’s just joined my organisation a couple of days ago. I specifically told this 24-year-old freshie to take notes during today’s talk by a self-made Aussie billionnaire, Lindsay Fox, who like me was a high-school droput, too, BUT who’s made his multi-million dollar fortune from his trucking business (I hope to get a write-up by my young colleague tomorrow and will post his take on it in this blog ASAP).

Lindsay (as he’d like to be called) has that unique charm and wittiness about him which everyone in the audience could relate to. It’s his laid-back, down-to-earth coolness and fun way of sharing his wealth of experience and wisdom that makes him stand out as simply charismatic! His business-savvy style is so back-to-basic and simplistic… when I asked him: “What would you say is your key marketing strategy over the years?”. His straight-forward answer: “Clean trucks!”

It’s that obvious that to him business is simple and Lindsay Fox hates the word ‘networking’ because he much prefers ‘friendship’ instead. I share my sentiments with the moderator, Dr Mona of UBD, that Lindsay’s aura of genuine sincerity could touch many a heart to cry, laugh and to be inspired to help motivate other people to give back to the world in more ways than one.  I will spare all the details for now and wait for my new office-mate’s story about Lindsay Fox’s public lecture at the UBD.

In October last year, I also attended one of the numerous public lectures which was organised by UBD. The speaker was a veteran Japanese top honcho from Mitsubishi Corporation. I also encouraged another young graduate staff (one of UBD’s Economics graduates) of my company to tag along then. And below is her full report:



 The public lecture, which was held at the Senate Room of the Chancellor Hall in University of Brunei Darussalam, was titled “Future Brunei Decade From Now”.  It was presented by Mr Tetsuro Masuda, a Corporate Advisor in the Mitsubishi Corporation. Mr Masuda was one of the pioneering Japanese executives who played a key role in negotiating for Brunei LNG to be exported to Japanese markets in the 70s.

 To start off the presentation, Mr Masuda highlighted the relationship between Brunei and Japan through close cooperation in terms of energy – BLNG had been supplying Japan’s major electrical or power companies through Mitsubishi Corporation.  He mentioned that the long-term contract between BLNG and Mitsubishi Corporation would end in the year 2013 and he highlighted whether the government would make another deal or would the oil and gas reserve in Brunei be depleting within 10 years or so.  And in case of depletion, what should Brunei do?  In presenting his case, Mr. Masuda made several propositions.

 Mr Masuda mentioned that oil producing countries in the Middle East exchange their accumulation of wealth from oil and gas production into “financial” instrument.  However, Brunei should not follow in this footstep; rather Brunei should think of exchanging the wealth accumulated from the export of oil production to bring manufacturing industry into the country.  He mentioned Ireland as a case study or example; Ireland, which is a small country, lowers their taxes for foreign company to set up manufacturing industry in the country.  In order to support the 70% of people working in the government industry, Brunei should follow Ireland’s footstep.

 One of the propositions was to set up car manufacturing industry in Brunei.  A car has over 50,000 parts, and this itself meant there are a lot of job to be made out of making a single car, thus more employment opportunities.  Moreover, Brunei is strategically located in the Asian region and thus has a bright future prospect in the production of car.  Of course, assuming that there would be depletion in the production of oil and gas, Brunei should look into producing economically hybrid car which uses alternative power source like electricity to run.  To make this idea viable, Brunei needs to establish a “Think Tank” like UBD to bring together the people who could make such great ideas become reality.

 Another proposition presented was to set up an authentic veterinary institution in Brunei as a hub for the whole Asian region.  Other short term propositions also included organising an Asian Song Contest, International Sporting events and taking the lead in Asian Cultural Heritage, with Brunei as the host of these major events.

 From the propositions mentioned above, there are five key points which would be useful in setting up a better future for Brunei in the next decade.  The first point highlighted how the country’s service industry and image could be improved.  The second point would be to make a long-term relationship by having other country participate in an activity hosted by Brunei.  Another would be to have a realistic view or mentality in terms of trying to create a better future for Brunei.  The fourth point is to venture into alternative energy, such as solar energy, etc.  And the last point would be “The security in Numbers”, whereby the country should venture into any different production or prospects in order to secure a sustainable development.”

And UBD has certainly lived up to its reputation as the academic provider of a ‘Think Tank’ platform in this country.


Lost Prose

13 05 2009

My Princess of Inspiration

My Princess of Inspiration

Patience and Perseverance

(Specially dedicated to my Mother)

Earthly green color of life

stays naturally, tested by

all elements of nature

throughout the ages


Nature’s brown color

shadows the horizon

penetrates the depths

of the earthly layers


The redness of anger

swells like magma

boiling deep inside

erupting volcanically


The cool white dews

of pure Mother Nature

melt the heart’s desire

to burn bridges in fire


A mother’s true patience

and utter perseverance

have taught her son all the

inner beauties of the heart Smile

Those simple (bit childish) phrases came off the top of my ‘Poet’s hat’ more than an hour ago… Ever since I was in Form 4 ages ago, I’ve had this streak of poetry in me. Funny thing is that I’ve written countless of poems or proses but most have all gone to waste into oblivion. 😦 A few did get published in my old high school magazine, the occasional Poetry Corner in the Borneo Bulletin many years ago as well as in a small Anthology book in late 90s.

I just enjoy flowy, flowery rhymes in my writing although it doesn’t make sense to other people, obviously but I simply put my heart into whatever comes out from my thick-skull head. (LOL) 😀 Call it stress-reliever, if you will. 😉


Great ‘American Idol’ analogy!

13 05 2009

Quite a good piece of advice for job-seekers, this American columnist has written in one of MSN’s career-related sites:

“American Idol and Your Job Interview

By Joe Turner, Career Expert

Are you currently interviewing for a better job? Try watching American Idol. If you follow this huge money-making singing contest from Fox these days, you already know all about this phenom.

Love it or hate it, American Idol (and their other country equivalents) is a good metaphor for life on a number of different levels, which is one reason why it’s so popular. If you’re currently in job interview mode, you could learn a lot by watching this show.

Branding Versus the “Best” Candidate

American Idol sometimes seems like some weird group interview where each candidate makes his or her case to three fickle interviewers and is either advanced or sent packing. Aside from the constant reminder that this is a singing competition, we all know it’s more than that. It’s about that elusive quality called a “total package.” Ditto the job interview. Here’s the reason why all job interviewees should take heed of what happens on Idol: “differentiation.”

Some candidates understand this early, while a few just get lucky. Too often, we’ll see a very weak singer retained while a much stronger performer gets cut. Some may call this an injustice, but it’s not so. What’s happened is that the “total package effect” came into play. One singer won more votes, not for singing ability, but for that fact that his or her “brand” differentiated them from the pack. No one else is like those people by a long shot and that brand triggers visibility, notoriety and votes.

The moral of the story: You don’t have to be the best singer, just the most memorable decent singer. Same for the job interview. You don’t have to be the best candidate with the top skills. You do have to find a way to be the most memorable, hirable candidate.

This leads us to the second important lesson of American Idol:

Know Who You Are

On Idol, almost everyone who begins the show is a decent singer. Those who know who they are early in the show always enjoy a huge advantage over those who haven’t a clue, even though they may be better singers. Those who understand this principle include Sanjaya, Blake Lewis and Melinda Doolittle, to mention three. Sorry, but none of them is a “great” singer. They did know their strengths and they stayed with them, often maddenly so. But in the end, look where they are now. They know who they are, what they do best and they never strayed from that path.

In many ways, this is not about finding and molding raw talent, it’s about finding and marketing talent that’s already well-branded. I believe the interview process is much the same. The branding should occur long before you walk into the interview room.

Too many job hunters try to get through the interview by merely giving the “right” answers. The real issue: They haven’t a clue about who they really are or what they bring to a company.

As a job seeker, you must define your strengths and hone a message (your unique selling proposition). This is called branding. Branding is a process that clearly defines who you are and what clear benefit you bring to an employer.

If you can’t do that, then please watch “American Idol” next week. You’ll see the fate that awaits the next fallen Idol who failed to learn this message in the singing world.”

To those of you out there getting ready for job interviews, GOOD LUCK! 🙂