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Rediscover Brunei Darussalam through the eyes of the People

Saturday, 07 May 2016 21:28

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Editor's Note: In this feature, we chat with Mark Jay from GTXperiment. He has Brunei roots, enjoys movies, working out, video games, and when he isn't studying, he can be found in the studio with the band. Follow their journey on Instagram and Facebook, and check them out on YouTube.

When and why did you start playing drums?

I started playing the drums about 12 years ago. Why? Don't really have the answer, I just really liked it when I picked it up as a hobby and as I got older it grew in me.

Who is your favourite band?
Can't choose one...I have too many haha. E.g. 30STM, The Used, Paramore, Justin Timberlake and Coldplay.

Who are your current musical influences?
Current musical influences now would be Imagine Dragons, Darren Ashley and Tori Kelly.

Who is GTXperiment?
GTXperiment is made out of four people. We are a KL based band who like to bend rules and infuse genres. There's Daryll, frontman of the band and main singer. Jude, guitars, back up vocals. Clinton on keyboard, and also back up vocals. Then there's me. I play the drums.

Terus Menunggu 2
Tell us about some highlights from your musical journey so far.

We had quite a lot of gigs since last year. The most recent one was opening for Sam Willows on March 5th. We did a few charity gigs too. But the biggest gig we had so far was opening for Girls Generation in the  F1 after party in Sepang 2015.

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Is GTXperiment currently involved in any projects?
Yes we are, we are currently working with Coleman malaysia to make a 360 music video in Malaysia. Really excited for its release. And also we have our own project which is our first album, it is still under production, it's half way there, most probably done by end of July.

Christmas Wish
What is the music scene like in Kuala Lumpur compared to Brunei?
Well, there is a huge difference and to be fair Malaysia music scene started out much much earlier than Brunei and they had more exposure then and even now. Brunei music scene is really small and there isn't much exposure for the local musicians in Brunei which is sad because there are talented musicians in Brunei, but they don't really have a place to showcase their talent, sometimes they do but its limited.

Is there something you'd like to do more of in the future?
Defiantly touring. Always wanted to go for a tour as a band haha. And of course write more songs and enjoy what I do!

Lost

Friday, 29 April 2016 09:23

Press Release: Curtin graduates should be proud of graduating from a top university, says Vice-Chancellor.

Miri – 28 April 2016 – All graduates of Curtin University should take pride in graduating from a university that is recognised as being among the top two percent in the world, having progressed more rapidly in major international rankings than any other Australian institution in recent years.

This was highlighted by Vice-Chancellor of Curtin University, Professor Deborah Terry, when addressing the graduating classes of 2015 from the Faculty of Business and Humanities and Faculty of Engineering and Science of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) here recently.

1 The graduation stage party

3 Curtin Vice Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry

Curtin Sarawak is Curtin University’s largest international campus offering Curtin courses and degrees identical to those of its Australian parent. It further provides an undifferentiated student learning experience and Curtin’s strong student learning support mechanisms.

Professor Terry added that Curtin University’s recent achievements have been many, including Australian federal government approval of the Curtin Medical School; launch of Cisco’s Internet of Everything Innovation Centre, only the eighth such centre in the world; membership of edX, the prestigious global consortium of universities established by Harvard and MIT to deliver online courses to students all over the world; and major new partnerships to enhance students and research opportunities with Hockey Malaysia and Jimmy Choo.

She also commended Curtin Sarawak for some of its recent achievements, such as the establishment of the Curtin Sarawak Graduate School to advance postgraduate education; being the first foreign branch campus to host the National Engineering Symposium and the first institution in Malaysia to host the Global Communication Project involving 15 universities worldwide; and the establishment if strategic partnerships with the National Sports Institute, Sarawak Energy and the Sarawak Agriculture Department.

She went on to say that Curtin’s reputation benefits hugely not only from the reputation and profile of Curtin Sarawak but also from the achievements of its graduates, citing the examples of graduates mass communication graduates Keeshaanan Sundaresan and Renee Loretta Foong, and mechanical engineering graduate Chukuwuma Menakaya and chemical engineering graduates Lee Ren Jie, Lim Shih Chiang, Sam Tze Mun and Loo Ying Ting.

Keeshaanan has been active in the world of sports writing since 2011 and is now Chief Editor of the sports news website FourthOfficial.com while Foong is a newscaster for Radio Television Malaysia.

Chukuwuma now works in New York where he is a global affairs researcher for the Peace Island Institute and the United Nations, while Lee, Lim, Sam and Loo were winners of the international Honeywell UniSim Design Challenge, a first for a Malaysian team.

Commenting on Curtin’s role in Malaysia, Professor Terry said she was very proud that the university’s mission to produce graduates of global calibre aligns closely with the country’s aspirations to build a skilled and educated workforce in order to support economic growth.  

She added that in Sarawak, its courses, research and campus community work help to build the social and economic fabric of the state, including helping to meet the manpower and technical requirements of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

Professor Terry also said that as the graduates make their way out of university life, they are in esteemed company, joining nearly 210,000 Curtin graduates from more 165 different countries in Curtin’s diverse alumni network.

4 Graduates celebrating their achievement

 

Wednesday, 13 April 2016 15:22

Belle the musical was held from the 1st to the 3rd of April at Jerudong International School Arts Centre. I did not know what to expect. I went in with an open mind and heart, and I was blown away.

Photo Credits: Faiq Airudin @faiqairudin

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A notable standout for me was none other than Nabilah Hamid who played the role of Belle. She carried the role of Belle very well and her voice captured my attention each time she sang. Another one would be the dancer and choir group. I enjoyed them as individuals with their unique styles. They flow very well together, dancing in sync. The other cast members played the role of their characters very well too: Lumiere played by local comedian Zainal Bostaman, Beast played by Kevin Cheong, Babette played by Ummi Aisyah Binti Mohammad Salim and Cogsworth played by A'aqil Ahmad.

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It was amazing to see a Disney classic translated into a muscial. It was extra special as this was a local production. I am sure the audience was pleased with the show as there was laughter and applause at the end of every act. There was a boy seated in front of me. He was initially not fond of the loud sound and was a little scared of the Beast. But by the second half of the show, he was hooked! His excitement grew as the show went on. That to me was what made the show special.

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I am impressed with the local talents that were showcased in the musical. The acting, dancing, costumes and make-up were impressive. The one thing that could have been improved was the sound quality, in which there were inconstancies with the volume. Belle the Muscial brought out the little kids in all of us, including the little kid in me. All in all, the show was top notch!

Here are a few words from Mardi and Amy from Relentless, Nabilah Hamid who played Belle and Kevin Lo who played Gaston in the muscial.

Mardi Hedus @smartz2102 & Amy Cheong 
@amycheong

It’s been a few weeks since our final show of Belle and we're so happy that people are still talking about it. Belle is our third musical production. Our first was 'Enchanted Forest' in 2013 and second was 'Poppins' in 2015. Organising and producing a musical on a large scale is a Relentlesss' community project we plan on doing annually.

Belle has been the most challenging in terms of production costs. This year we went bigger and better with our venue, props, set design and costumes.

With Belle, we wanted to show Brunei that local talents are capable of pulling off a high quality show while at the same time show our cast and crew what is possible in Brunei with some good old fashioned hard work. We often hear the phrase 'but this is Brunei' when things seem impossible and we wanted to prove to everyone that, that shouldn't be the case.

We've been so lucky to have had the privilege of working with an amazing cast and crew throughout the whole process. As there are only two of us managing everything from directing and choreography to costume and set design and program book design, it can get very stressful but our cast has been extremely understanding and supportive. We definitely could not have done it without each and every one of our cast, crew and volunteers.

Our aim is to build and create an industry in Brunei where performance artists can perform, do what they love and are passionate about full time.

We are very proud and happy of what we have achieved with Relentless so far and we will keep on going and doing our part to help the industry in Brunei grow.

We will be starting preparation for our next musical soon.

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Nabilah Hamid @nabilahhamiddd

My experience with this musical has been a rollercoaster ride. It was so exciting to be doing something that I haven’t done in a long time. I was genuinely terrified and a nervous wreck throughout the whole process.

Everyone in the cast and chorus are so unbelievably talented and have so much passion for music, theatre, dancing, acting and film. I really questioned my ability and why I was even there to begin with. However, the amount of love and support I got was tremendous! These individuals are not shy to share their talents and aid wherever they can. They challenged and encouraged me to grow as a performer and I feel that my performance was dedicated to all of them.

It was absolutely incredible to be part of the musical. I spent so many hours with new friends, creating something together with them. Everyone formed a bond. It made it very difficult to go back to regular day-to-day life. But for now, I am just hopeful that the future will hold more opportunities for myself and others to showcase and explore their talents.

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Kevin Lo @kevinljs

It was a humbling experience working with so many amazing talents, especially the dancers. Seeing the production fuse the Relentless trademark dancing with good old fashioned theatre drama certainly made the whole experience feel fresh and on the edge.

It's a total privilege to be cast as Gaston. Beauty and the beast is a tale as old as my childhood and the scenes with Gaston and Lefou were always my favorite. Getting the chance to fill Gaston's boots was indeed a treat for me and I delightfully hope it was a treat for those watched it.

It is my dream that one day actors / performers like myself would be able to sustain a living performing full time in Brunei. The industry certainly exists but not yet in the phase where it is a feasible career for many people. I believe we can all create this possibility together and bring the exciting world of theatre into the culture of our great nation.


I want to thank Relentless Brunei for creating this amazing platform both for the performers and for the audience without which there would not exist Belle The Musical. I urge other local creatives like Amy and Mardi of Relentless Brunei to summon their courage to follow suit. Courage is not overcoming fear, it is the decision to do it anyways in spite of the fear.

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For more information, connect with Relentless Entertainment on Instagram
 
@relentlessbrunei, Twitter @relentlessent and Facebook.

Contact: +6737186225 or +6738243222

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 13:55

Curtin Sarawak 1

"Our lecturers do more than just teach…they inspire the students of today into the leaders of tomorrow! That’s why we are rated 5 stars in teaching by QS Top Universities."

Curtin 3

"At Curtin, we try our best to help realize your dreams. From providing scholarships to improving access for the disabled, we are committed to bring out the best in you! That’s why we earned 5 stars in inclusiveness from QS Top Universities Rankings."

Curtin 2

"Our state of the art facilities help lecturers and students perform at their very best. That’s why #Curtin is ranked 5 stars in facilities by QS Top Universities Rankings. View the #CurtinSarawak campus map at http://www.curtin.edu.my/CurtinSarawak/map.htm"

For more information about Curtin University Sarawak, visit http://bit.ly/AskAboutCurtinSarawak.

Thursday, 24 March 2016 09:15
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Editor's Note: It's a classic story. Someone has an idea. The idea is fed by imagination. The imagination transforms into action. Action is rewarded. The rewards give birth to more ideas. The cycle continues. That's Stay Traditional Barber and Shop's story. In this feature, we talk to head barber Bryant Leong. Follow their journey on Instagram here, but for now, read on.

Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Bryant Leong, and I cut hair at the Stay Traditional Barber and Shop. I majored in Audio Engineer with dreams of being a producer and song writer, to tour in punk bands and just get my message out to the world with music. But it all changed as soon as I realize how the industry that I loved so much and that I was pursuing, is almost nonexistent in our country, therefore thinking of the next best career to move on in life. Either taking up an apprenticeship as a tattooer or the Singaporean Army. Never would I imagine myself "cutting hair".
 
When did your interest begin?
It was November 2012, whilst walking down the streets of Oxford. My observations became imaginations. It occurred to me that the Brits had a nice slick side parts, very high and tight on the sides. Cut the long story short, I decided to buy a set of Remington clippers, thinking I could cut my own hair. I grew fond of the hairdo, products and blowing techniques it took to form the look. Until one afternoon my friend said he was in need of a haircut, so I suggested he gave me a go. The rest is history.
 
How did you start developing your skills?
Started off trashing up my friends hair, from toilets, to outside of their houses and to eventually my garage, where I built my amateur career as a self-taught barber, learning only by trying and watching how other barbers achieve what they called a 'Fade'. The power of social media played a very big part of what made me who I am today. Posted a few pictures on Instagram, asking people who are willing to give it a try. And one by one, people started showing up in my garage, where I stacked four plastic chairs under a florescent lamp and a stand fan, with my cutting tools. Basically I started cutting with no basic knowledge, but just a lot of trial and error to get where I am today. 
 
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Who are the Stay Traditional Team?
Team Stay Traditional consist of seven of my closest friends who came under my apprenticeship, my senior barber Singhaw, my three junior barbers Hafiz Salim, Eleazar Relex and Ryan Elicay, my shop manager Lester Ong, marketing guy Nafi Amir and myself as head barber.
 
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How has the response been?
In the three years of picking up barbering and eventually opening my own shop, teaching my closest friends to cut hair, and building the name, the response has been overwhelming. It was a challenging move to quit my day job and focus on something I taught myself to do, but it was worth it due to the amount of support I've received from friends, family and clients.
 
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Bryant Pic
 
What are the challenges faced?
The only challenge I faced during the whole process of running this shop, is hiring the wrong person to join the team. Always build your dream team, don't settle for someone who can just work, settle for who fits your team best.
 
Anything you'd like to say to be public? Both those who has been and yet to pay a visit to the barbershop?
We are proud of what we do and who we are, what you see is what you get. How you see us at work or outside, is who we really are. Just real people. We strive in giving you all the best haircuts and the best service. Barbering is all about taking care of the people and that's exactly what we do, not from a script, we do it the way we do it.
 
For those who haven't had an experience in our humble shop, we are the nicest scariest looking people around.
 
We are located at Spg 21, Gadong Central, Menglait, Unit 03 (Next to KFC).
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Any future plans for Stay Tradional Barbershop? 
The future is now, we are currently building our second shop located at Rimba Giant in order to reach a wider audience. And to give the people what they want. we will be launching our soft opening on the 16th of April 2016
 
So what are ya'll waiting for, #getyourdamncuts today.
 
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everyone

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About the Editor

new about me profI am a born and bred Bruneian who lived and worked in Australia for over 10 years. I am now based in Brunei. Having spent time away from Brunei, I have learnt that, to know a country is to know the people. To truly appreciate a new place is to see it through their eyes, to listen to their stories, to taste, smell, do and feel as they do.

Everyone has a Story, and this blog - Projek Brunei, features the stories, music, photography and art of locals and of people who have lived or worked in Brunei before. Join me on this project, a project to discover and rediscover this country they call the Abode of Peace, the Heart of Borneo, this place they call the Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures...through the stories of the People.

You may know me by my online moniker, @BruneiTweet. I created BruneiTweet in 2009, and currently (February 2016), I have over 24,000 followers. I am passionate about community, and use social media to connect with people - both on and offline.

I have an MBA, a keen interest in business-development and marketing, and I am a three-time TEDx speaker. I believe in the power of social media and collaboration. I have worked alongside corporate organisations on various community projects. Some highlights from my journey to date: In 2011, I co-organised Twestival Brunei to raise awareness and funds for Brunei’s Child Development Centre. That year I also organised Convergence, Brunei’s first youth led leadership forum. In 2012, I co-organised Movember to raise awareness on men's health issues. In 2013, I participated at various forums including Brunei's National Environment Conference and the ASEAN Social Media Exchange in Thailand. In 2014, I was selected to represent Brunei at the Australia-ASEAN Emerging Leaders Programme. In 2015, I was involved as a panel moderator in an International Women's Day event, and was invited to speak at the Green Leaders Eco-Camp in Brunei about using social media with purpose.
 
But enough about me.

If you have something interesting to share with the rest of the world about Brunei or are interested in being featured on ProjekBrunei, reach me here or email me at bruneitweet@gmail.com.

I would love to hear your side of the story.

You, You and You

Something interesting to share with the rest of the world about Brunei? Interested in being featured on ProjekBrunei.com? Reach me here.