Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Funny word eh, I only knew that this word do exist in the Malay Dictionary days ago when my friend show me his appointment letter as a Security Committee for todays event held at Istana Nurul Iman. I think this is the longest Malay word out there unless there is other words that I'm not aware of. What it's basically mean in English is "Interchangeability"

Today marks the 40th Anniversary of the Interchangeability Agreement between Brunei and Singapore Currency. It was way back in 1967 that the decision to peg both currencies was initiated. Although the agreement was done nearly half a century ago, not many people, especially from Singapore, are aware of the parity of both currencies. I find it really annoying when the cashiers at most of the shopping establishment in Singapore have to look closely at our money and sometimes refer to their superiors/managers before accepting it at the payment counter. This issue never happen in our country as we are all aware of this parity stuff and we never question the retailer when they give out change which comprise of Singapore Dollar, unless it is crinkle or old like what happen recently.

I'm a bit surprise that only now and after today's event the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) will take several actions to educate retailers in Singapore to accept Brunei Currency. Hopefully after this, my Brunei 20 cents will never again be rejected at Burger King like what happened during my trip to Singapore recently!

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Republic of Kazakhstan

Last Saturday my organization was visited by a couple of delegates from one of the bank in Kazakhstan. As a fan of Discovery Travel Channel, I've heard a lot of this country but never met a Kazakh in person. From my observation, as far as appearance is concern, the Kazakh are not like the typical Russian that we usually associated with. The Kazakh are more of a mixture of Mongolian and a little bit of Chinese.

I was with them from early morning till lunch time and also during dinner. Having watched their country only through the tele, I have a couple of question to ask them just to know more about their country coz it is not that often we can meet and talk to a Kazakh in our lifetime. However it was not an easy matter as none of them can speak English! We communicate via an interpreter who is a Russian studying in KL. Since I have to relay all my question to her before I can get an answer from one of the Kazakh, it is like having a commercial break in between so I kept most of the question to myself and hope someday I will meet an English speaking Kazakh like Borat! Ha Ha Ha.

Do you know that Kazakhstan was the ninth largest country in the world. Although they are huge in size, their population of around 15 million people are consider tiny if it is measure in number of people per square kilometer. To get the idea of how big this country is, I was informed that they have three international time line, they are equivalent of the size of the whole country in Western Europe, they can consider themselves as Asian or Europeans, and a picnic trip to the beach of the Caspian Sea, which is located west of the county, is like traveling from Brunei to Singapore and back, four times! No wonder most of the delegates wish to see Muara beach as soon as they land in Brunei last Friday.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Job Responsibility

In my organistion when a successful candidates was recruited, he or she will be given a offer letter which need to be responded by them before there were taken aboard to work with our organisation. I think the same format was use for those who were recruited by the goverment since my organisation is a statutory body within the Ministry. The letter clearly stated the post offered, salary cap, information on TAP regarding how many percent need to deducted every month, the need for a medical check up and lastly there is one clause which I like to ellaborate more in my blog today.

The clause or requirement rather, sounded like this "Bersedia berkhidmat di mana-mana cawangan di semua daerah". This is more of a notification or an instruction for the successful candidates that they may be transfered or assign to any branch in any of the four district of Brunei Darussalam at any given time. However, this one requirement is usually taken for granted by the new employee. I guess they were so excited to read the letter that they stop reading it as soon as they see the amount of salary that they going to received every month hence the last clause were never taken into consideration seriously.

This is what happen to me today when I instructed one of my staff to replace her friend at another branch of ours as she is about to take her annual leave next week. As soon as I told her of my intention, she hastily refuses along with a bombardment of 1001 reason. Although some of her reason are pretty legitimate but the question here is, what happen with the clause that I mention earlier, it is not just for show and when the time comes he or she must abide with what was clearly stated in their offer letter. My friend once told me that I should never ask someone during an interview if she is willing to work extra hours or able to commute daily to different branch or district because we will definitely get a straight YES from them, but when the time do come for them to do just that, their promises vanishes in thin air like magic! Funny eh.......

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Getting Married

Tomorrow one of my close friend will have his "Bersanding" ceremony after having done his Solemnisation or "Akad Nikah" yesterday. Since he is a close friend of mine, I did manage to hear all the things that he did prior to his wedding day in terms of the preparation and all. I guess he had done his homework to insure he will have a grand day tomorrow.

I'm sure organizing a big event such as this is not an easy task but I can't give furthur comment on this as when I got hitched a couple of years ago, I only had my "Nikah" ceremony which was held at SOAS Mosque. I'm sure my experience was not that bad as to compare with what my friend has endure for the past few months. I never had the stress of thinking of what "hantaran" need to be purchase, the number of guest that needs to be invited, what kind of souvenirs to give, how many wedding "tent" need to be set up and much-much more. Me and the missus use to say how fortunate other people are, to have a nice huge wedding but after a while we realised that we were actually far better off for not having all those as to compare to the stress and hassle of having one.

On top of the preparation, one thing that is also important to think of is the amount of money that is going to be spent for the whole thing. The question here is how much is the average amount need to be allocated? I believe no matter how simple you plan to have your wedding you still have to fork out thousand of dollars. Most of my friends agreed that if it is not because of their parents request of having a grand wedding day, they will definitely opted for the "Nikah" ceremony only as they think they can use the extra money for other things.

Anyway, I'm not against all this, if you have the money why not, however the future of our culture and heritage does not look good. If the majority of the newly weds think that their big wedding is just a formality to satisfy their elders, than I will not be surprised that they will not object to the decision of their future sons or daughters having a small but nice and meaningful wedding.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

All Quiet At The Liverpool Front

It is in the middle of June and we yet to hear any news regarding Liverpool new signing. I heard the new owner have dump a lot of money in front of Rafa Benitez to look for new players but until now we heard nothing. Cuti kali masih si Rafa ani? Sibuk sal anaknya kan kawin jua kali? he he he.

Seriously we really do need a good striker, David Villa, Eto'o, Torres and even Diego Forlan (Yuck, Ex Man U kali ah!) have all been link with a lucrative move to Anfield. I did mention in my last blog way back in March that I have my reservation of the two new American owners. Hello guys! I'm still waiting for you guys to proof me wrong. We definitely have to win the Premier League next season, Man U is catching up for the number of League wins where Liverpool is still holding the title of most wins for 18 times.

Other than Strikers I also think that we need to have a solid Defender to support Carragher, but so far no one was link with Liverpool except for a winger and the latest is a Central Midfielder by the name of Yossi Benayoun from West Ham, I admit he is good but Man U fans will certainly have a new thing to say and add to their usual banter if we do sign him up, his an Israeli for crying out loud, abis tah ni semua Liverpool Fans kana ucap penyokong Yahudi!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Royal Wedding

I guess tonight is the last event for the Royal Wedding Ceremonies. After The "Muleh Tiga Hari" ceremony the royal couple will finally have their time of their own and off course their deserving Honey Moon! I bet for weeks their life was pretty hectic with all the "Adat Istiadat" thingy and stuff.

This time I was not involved whatsoever in all the wedding ceremonies even though I was invited for the "Bersanding" ceremony last Sunday, and base on what I heard it was a long wait for all the invited guest prior to the arrival of the groom and subsequently the couple's procession around BSB, so there is nothing to be miss there.

This was not the first time I passed the opportunities to be at Palace and sooner or later I believe my name will no longer be in the "VIP" list and will be cancel by the Adat Istiadat People because of my no show. It is not that I don't want to go but I feel that I don't deserve it in the first place. The only reason I was invited is because my mum is one of those people who are under the category of "Pengiran-Pengiran Peranakan" and since she married my dad who is not a Pengiran, the royal blood line thus ended. Anyway I wish the Royal Couple the best of luck and hope they live happily ever after (Macam ending cerita fairy tale tah pulang ha ha ha....)

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