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Rediscover Brunei Darussalam through the eyes of the People

Monday, 23 September 2013 15:28


Greetings readers. I caught up with Jonathan Bong over a meal a while back and picked his mind about some of the lessons he has learnt from his entrepreneurial journey to date. You may be asking yourself, "Why does he seem so familiar?" Not surprising really. You might remember him from one of his previous stints, from St Andrew's School or from his time with Breeze Magazine in East Malaysia. Today, he is in the construction industry, "focusing on road base for both industrial and rural roads", working on projects in three international markets.

I asked him, What advice would you give to others looking to make a name for themselves in business? Here are his five pointers:

1. Have realistic goals. "There are no guarantees in business so, unless you have really deep pockets, do not waste your time chasing lofty dreams."

2. Be pragmatic. "Practice due diligence and know your market. Be brave enough to let go of wishful thinking to do that which makes you money."

3. Find good partners. "You are not good at everything. Work with people who complement your skill sets. Also, look for investors and mentors who can coach you through."

4. Do less. "It helps to focus on one thing at a time instead of spreading yourself thinly over too many things."

5. Grow yourself. "Do not be contented and comfortable; be hungry. If you are able, work and learn about business overseas. Expose yourself abroad and then come back with different experiences."

Friday, 20 September 2013 15:46


Photo of Fatin with British High Commissioner designate, Mr David Campbell, Deputy High Commissioner Mrs Sunny Ahmed and the Brunei Chevening Alumni

Photo source: British High Commission FB Page

Shoutout to Fatin, Brunei's Chevening Scholar for 2013/14! She's now in London undertaking a Masters in Emerging Economies and International Development at King's College. I worked alongside Fatin for about two years. Literally; her desk is about two metres away from mine. Fatin is smart, witty, generous and has a tremendous volunteer spirit. [Try googling Fatin Arifin and you'll see what I mean] Check out her Twitter account to follow her journey through this chapter of her life. Fatin, if you are reading this, we are proud of you. =)

Chevening Scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office together with partner organisations. The Chevening programme began in 1983 and has developed into a prestigious international scheme. To date 44 Bruneians have secured the Chevening Scholarship, many of whom have gone on to secure high level jobs in the public and private sector and are active members of the Chevening Alumni.

Find out more about Chevening Scholarships here.

Note: Applications for 2014-2015 Chevening Scholarships in Brunei are now open and will close on 15 November 2013.


Friday, 20 September 2013 14:05

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Hi folks! Keen on scoring a free trip to New York City? Between now and 31 October 2013, bank online with Standard Chartered Bank and stand a chance to win a return trip to the Big Apple. Plus, there are 50 other bonus prizes up for grabs. How it works is that the more you bank online, the more lucky draw chances you receive. See here to find out how you can increase your chances of scoring that free trip to NYC!

Why bank online? It's free, convenient, secure and you don't waste time queuing, stuck in a jam or looking for a car park. With Standard Chartered Bank, you can pay bills (water, electricity, DST / B-Mobile, insurance premiums), transfer funds locally and globally, check account balances, history and recent transactions, redeem card reward points, update personal details and so on.

Don't have an Online Banking account? No problem. Sign up during the promotion period and earn 10 lucky draw chances immediately! To sign up, call their 24-hour phone banking 2658000, drop by any of their branches or visit their website to register on the spot.

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Friday, 20 September 2013 11:15


Hi folks. Registrations for the 38th Panaga Triathlon are now open. There are two options for individual events; the full tri (sprint distance - 500m pool swim, 23km cycle, 5.5km run) and speed tri (300m pool swim, 12km cycle, 3km run). There is also a teaam relay which consists of a 500m pool swim, 23km cycle and a 5.5km run.

Register online for the Individual Events here and the Team Relay here. Otherwise, check out their FB page for more information.

INDIVIDUAL EVENT Distances; Full Tri (Sprint Distance): 500m Pool Swim, 23km Cycle, 5.5km Run Speed Tri: 300m Pool Swim, 12km Cycle, 3km Run Cost of entry: $40 per competitor. Includes Race, T-Shirt, Breakfast and entry to lucky draw.
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 08:56




Photographs sourced from the Entrepreneurship At Campus FB page

I was recently invited to speak at the Entrepreneurship At Campus Hari Raya Open Office. I was the last of three other speakers - Sabrina Wong of Sab Five Five, David Chen of Sunland Agri-Tech Pte Ltd and Hj Azaman, Chairman of GDG Brunei. The Entrepreneurship At Campus or E@C is a collaboration between the BEDB, the iCentre, Universiti Brunei Darussalam and their Entrepreneurship Club. According to their FB page, they exist to "nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship among the students in Brunei; regardless of age and level of education attainment." They invited the four of us to share around the topic of entrepreneurship from our life experiences. Of course I agreed.

I arrived. I scanned the room for familiar faces. I caught up briefly with mates. I sat down, right at the back of the hall. As much as I like having a "Reserved for Mr Keasberry" sign flopped on a seat on the front row, I also enjoy sitting at the back. When I speak, I try my best to speak to speak to the ones least interested in being there. They are often lurking riiiight at the back. Sitting at the back gives me different perspective which is usually followed by last-minute adjustments to my message and tone.

I should also say that sitting at the back is a great way to hide nervousness from the organisers and other speakers.

My turn. I walked up to the speaker's platform, set up my digital timer and started with a disclaimer. "I am a hybrid-entrepreneur." Within 10 minutes, I had touched on snippets of my journey including how BruneiTweet started, the power of social media, lessons from my journey to date, but I probably spent an extra moment explaining what I meant by hybrid-entrepreneur. In my opinion, "true" entrepreneurs are purists, fully immersed into their business without a safety net (read: assured salary) to keep them afloat. Me? I have a nine-to-five, but I also wear other hats, including managing this website. I also spoke about the importance of having an entrepreneurial spirit which is the other side of the entrepreneurial coin.



When it came to q n' a time, there was one question which caught me off-guard. It went something like this.

Q: What do you consider as your strengths?

A: Good question. Hmm. *looks at the clock wondering why time suddenly stopped* Well, one of them is in communications. Offline and online.

I then went on for a bit about the importance of being able to communicate.

Afterwards, I hung around for a bit, got to know a few of them, took a few group-selfies, had a play with Google Glass, thanked the organisers and walked back to my car (parked precariously at a location I will not talk about). It then hit me. Q n' A remorse, specifically regarding the question about strength. Marketing folks love talking about strengths. Why? Because it is easy to mask a shallow answer with fanciful words. I did give an answer anchored to past and current experiences, but in hindsight I should have shared around one of my favorite quotes: "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."

Chew on that.

Shoutout the all you folks at the E@C!







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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 (October 2016), I have over 30,000 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

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 Reach me here.