PEACE not to be taken for granted no more

22 07 2011

SECURITY ALERT MODE is now on in full swing in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, as a total of at least 76 people have been killed in a bomb blast in the city and a shooting spree on an island nearby respectively.

In the afternoon of July 22, 2011, this relatively peaceful oil-rich European nation was shaken by a powerful explosion which tore through a couple of important and key government office buildings near the Prime Minister’s Office in central Oslo. Seven people were reported to have died and scores others injured, caused by the bomb blast.

Not long after the bomb attack, a lone gunman dressed in police uniform rampaged into a political youth camp rally on the island of Utoya and shot to death at least 80 young members of Norway’s ruling Labour Party. Reports said that the gunman, a 32-year-old Norwegian, has been arrested by police. It is also reported that both attacks which have shocked Norway and the rest of the world may be related. 😦

Some of the bodies of the Norwegian shooting spree victims sprawled on the Utoya Island shore

So such horrific incidents brought into focus security issues which are becoming more and more crucial in the light of terrorist attacks throughout the world. Root causes of terrorism are still being widely debated but more importantly every nation now has to step up national security measures in order to prevent unforeseen tragic events from happening in their own respective countries.

The Abode of Peace, Brunei Darussalam is no exception given the openness of our sovereign monarch in His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah’s willingness to mingle freely with the people, particularly during current ongoing festivities to celebrate His Majesty’s 65th Birthday. Come Sunday 24 July, thousands of Bruneians will throng the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, to attend another public event of His Majesty’s ‘Meet-the-People’ gathering session in conjunction with the royal birthday celebrations.

And rest assured, the Royal Brunei Police Force and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces as well as other government security agencies will leave nothing to chance and no stone unturned to ensure that it’s all systems go for the event to take place peacefully, Insya Allah (God Willing). 🙂


Sports jubilation and humiliation…

19 07 2011

THE BEAUTIFUL GAME has a new winning team in the recently-concluded FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 last Sunday when Japan shocked the footballing world by defeating the United States in the final which was hosted by Germany.

The captain of FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 Champion Team Japan, Homare Sawa, holds aloft their winning trophy

After a 2-all draw in the full-time match which went into extra-time, the women’s world champions had to be decided by penalty shoot-outs and the Japanese edged out their American opponents by 3 goals to 1 to claim their winning trophy.

It was a historic victory for the Japanese team nicknamed, “Beautiful Flowers”, since they became the first-ever Asian women players to have achieved such an amazing feat. It was indeed a sweet victory for the team from the Land of the Rising Sun that really cheered up their entire nation which has, only four months ago, been devastated by a triple whammy disaster i.e. 9.0 magnitude earthquake; a giant tsunami and a nuclear plant tragedy during which hundreds of lives had perished. It motivated the ‘underdog’ Japanese team comprising mostly amateur footballers to beat the defending champions, Germany, in the semifinal and gradually another all-professional American soccer team in the closely-fought final game.

In contrast, this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup championship has outshone a much lack-lustre performance of the 2011 Copa America Men’s football championship being played in Argentina.

The host nation and another top-ranked team, Brazil, were both humiliated when they lost their respective quarter-final rounds of the South American event. Incidentally, both matches were also decided by penalty kicks resulting in victories by Paraguay over Brazil and by Uruguay over hosts, Argentina, respectively.

Despite the fact that both Argentina and Brazil boast of top-notch skillful players in the likes of the current world’s best footballer, Argentinian midfielder Lionel Messi and an up-and-coming young Brazilian striker, Neymar, luck was just not on their teams’ sides! The only other tournament favorite with high FIFA-ranking, Uruguay, on the other hand may emerge as Copa America champions since they have the formidable striking duo of Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan. But as they say in football, anything can happen since the ball is round… 😛


July birthday celebration and jubilation…

17 07 2011

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzadin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam

LAST FRIDAY, 15 July 2011 marked the 65th Birthday anniversary of my beloved king, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang-Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. His Majesty celebrated his 65th birthday and has been the absolute monarch of my country for the last 43 years.

I don’t have to go at great lengths to describe full details of my beloved ruler who has wisely governed his small nation (nicknamed the Abode of Peace with a mere population of about 400,000 people) since GOOGLE and WIKIPEDIA searches should be able to reveal all correct facts about the sovereign rule of His Majesty.

As a loyal subject, I have no qualms about the greatly-improved quality of Bruneian lives since His Majesty first ascended the throne in August, 1968. After all, I am living proof of a ‘cradle to grave’ beneficiary of my country’s welfare system under His Majesty’s superb leadership… at least I hope so. What’s so great about our working monarch (His Majesty is also the Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Defence Minister, Supreme Commander of the country’s Armed Forces on top of other official portfolios all rolled into one Royal holistic command), ordinary citizens like myself are able to meet and greet to shake His Majesty’s hand at least once a year in the Nurul Iman palace during the annual Eid Mubarak or Hari Raya Aidil Fitri celebrations. This caring monarch has such an amazing people-friendly attitude and down-to-earth personality every time His Majesty mixes freely with his subjects during state functions and regular visits to the community at large. As far as I can remember, His Majesty has spoken to me in passing during walkabouts over the years at least three times simply asking me: How are you doing? Or something like that… 🙂 His Majesty hardly knows me at all personally! 😉

So I think my beloved ruler is as good an exemplary leader as the world’s elderly statesman, Nelson Mandela of South Africa. I just realize that the former South African President is also a July birthday celebrant (to be exact on July 18th). And Mr Mandela is 93 years old this year! Out of that, 27 years of his life was spent in jail. 😦 Now this grand old ‘Apartheid’ Freedom Fighter is one heck of a guy I would love to meet one day (wishful thinking, this may be). HAPPY BIRTHDAY Your Majesty and Your Excellency respectively. Oh by the way, the United Nations has declared every 18th of July as the International Mandela Day. I have forgotten all about the American Independence Day on the 4th of July, too. 🙂

The former President of South Africa, Mr Nelson Mandela and his family

Puisi antara dua potret

17 07 2011

In cognito

On the rocks by the sea...

Sakit gigi tambal kuyu!

Mulanya timbul jerawat di muka
Aiks! Lanjut usia masih naik muda?
Lepas itu degupan jantung, kabak-kabak
Selang sehari, gigi sakit rahang bengkak

Tidur malam tak lena, makan tak lalu
Cucukan urat, kenyat-kenyat ngilu
Alang kepalang sakitnya merata-rata
Naik ke kepala dan turun ke dada

Setiap kali menyuap makanan
Terasa sakit tapi bisa ditahan
Antara dua solusi, pilih mana satu?
Mau cabut gigi atau tambal kuyu?

Sakit diuji Ya Rabbi

Penyakit jangan dipinta
Tanpa diminta datang juga
Sihat dan uzur, tak kira usia
Semua pasti merasa, tua dan muda
Sihat wal-afiat, Alhamdullillah syukur
Sakit menimpa, jatuhlah tersungkur
Begitulah resmi hidup sementara
Penyakit adalah ujian Allah jua
Ada banyak macam jenis sakit
Mata nampak, dalam hati perit
Penyakit zahir atau rohani
Penghapus dosa terkecuali
Sakit hasad dengki, iri hati
Penyakit kronik, akhirnya membawa maut
Paling sakit, nyawa dicabut Malaikal Maut.

Keris Warisan
July 6 at 1:03pm

Getting ready to face the Almighty...