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Rediscover Brunei Darussalam through the eyes of the People

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 07:22

The sharia penal code announcement has thrust Brunei into the global news spin cycle. Reports and comments have been polarized. I will be watching the next cycle closely. Have an opinion about it? Share it in the comments section below.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 13:03

Hi from Australia folks! Will be here for the next two weeks with the family. Here are some pictures from the trip so far; we are currently in Brisbane. I gotta admit - it is nice to be back here in Oz! Feel free to follow the journey on Instagram and Twitter - look me up @BruneiTweet.



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Thursday, 17 October 2013 11:28

In September, I was in London for the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Sponsored Media Visit hosted by the Sporting Opportunities Unit at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. I was selected by the British High Commission in Brunei to represent Brunei and was involved in meetings across the 2nd to the 4th of September with key organisations involved in the building, planning, marketing and Legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The trip included a tour around the Olympic Park and focused on the legacy of the Games across all angles. There were also other media representatives; from Singapore, Qatar, Russia, Argentina, Uruguay, Beijing, Shanghai, Taiwan and St Lucia.

Day One
We were coached to Stoke Mandeville Stadium where we met with Martin McElhatton, Chief Executive of Wheelpower and Ian Barham, Buckinghamshire Legacy Manager. The state-of-the-art Stadium is the national centre for disability sport and has become known as the ‘home of wheelchair sport’ and the ‘birthplace of the Paralympic Games’. 

Close by was Stoke Mandeville Hospital where we met with Sally Hills, CEO of Specialist Services. We were brought to the rehabilitation unit and saw first-hand physiotherapists and exercise specialists working with patients and athletes. Sally then elaborated about the vision of Dr Ludwig Guttmann, a neurologist at Stoke Mandeville Hospital whose work laid the foundations to disability sports.

Martin McElhatton, Chief Executive of Wheelpower

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Ian Barham and Sally Hills (left and second left respectively)

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Photograph from Ian Barham's Twitter @IanBarham1


Following this, we met with representatives from the Global Infusion Group (GIG), a global catering, logistics and brand support company. They are a live event support specialist company and here we learned about the importance of dynamic logistics support.

We then visited Dorney Lake, the site which hosted the rowing and kayak events during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. Constructed and privately-owned by Eton College, Dorney Lake is managed and operated by the registered charity Dorney Lake Trust. Ivor Llyod, Chief Executive of the Dorney Lake Trust shared the Lake’s history and about how the venue was still thriving 12 months post Games.

This was probably when the penny dropped in my mind regarding the notion of “Legacy”. Until then it had been a seemingly abstract word on the front of my program guide. “Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Media Visit” Up until that point, the preceding meetings had been niceties, showing the origins of the disability sports, the importance of holistic rehabilitation, and the need for nimble operations. Those elements were part of the bigger picture, but I now started processing the trip through different lenses. I started looking for what had happened since the London 2012 Games. In other words, what legacy did the Games leave behind? Was the economic groundswell in 2012 a temporary inflammation? Or was it more akin to something more long-lasting? I would spend the rest of the trip seeking to find out.

Ivor Llyod

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Monday, 07 October 2013 23:58


I was in Kuala Lumpur in August for my first ever TEDxKL event. What's TED? TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading which started in 1984. You can read up about TED here. The 'x' in the TEDx means it's an independently organized TED event. In my own words, TED related events are designed to inspire people to action, to challenge preconceived ideas and to motivate people to think without boxes.

The theme of the fifth TEDxKL was Life Hacking. "Life Hacking refers to any productivity trick, shortcut, skill or novelty method to increase productivity" and they had an impressive lineup of speakers. There were three 'sets' spaced across the afternoon in August, with four speakers back to back. Each speaker had an average of 15 minutes each and topics varied: smartphones for the blind, poetry, recyclable rubber, passionate photography, 3D printing, etc - all connected in that they each brought forward a Life Hack.

I should say at this point that one of the things on my bucket list is to speak at a TED or TEDx event. So I was stoked to be there! Baby steps, right?

It was held at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre and it was a free-seating event. I was travelling solo so I was mobile [read: I made sure I was as close as possible to the front of the hall through each set]. After each set, there was ample break time (45 minutes), enough to network or go for a short walk around sections of Mid Valley. I am involved in the events and conferencing game so I was well aware that breaks are opportune times to try connect in person with the speakers. Mind you, TED related speakers are held in high regard worldwide so it was a treat that they lingered around during the breaks. I got to speak and do selfies with a few of them (see below).

I learned a lot from TEDxKL. It lived up to my expectations and I am glad I made the trip to KL to experience it.

Here are seven life lessons from TEDxKL 2013.

1. The future is not set in stone. In fact, it seems that it will be set in polymers. Jonathan Buford from Makible made a case on how the increase in accessibility to 3D printing could very well disrupt the way industry works.

2. Music connects people. This is a truism I know, but Cheryl Tan and Az Samad's session had the audience mesmerized. There was clapping, wolf-whistling, "wooOOOooo's", and then there were moments of silence as the crowd just soaked in the music.

3. Solutions take time. We live in instant times. We want faster internet speeds. We like quick replies to our messages and emails. We want quick solutions. We don't just want things to be quick, the consumer in us demands things be aesthetically pleasing too. However, sustainable solutions to complex problems usually takes time. In fact, as Gopi Sekhar shared, it takes a heck of a lot of research and development.

4. There is power in the spoken word. Kosal Khiev served 14 years in prison. There he discovered spoken word poetry. He shared his story and he held us captive. No props, no fancy slides, no whiteboards. Just Kosal and his heavy words.

5. Passion knows no barrier. Zung, an award winning international photographer from Malaysia, started his session with a confession. "I don't speak very good English." In fact, he actually didn't. He did however have a story to tell, and man, did he pour his heart into it! Zung has a dropped-out-of-school story and a and-then-I-found-my passion story. His advice: to work hard, to be passionate, to take risks.

6. Shine. If you have a talent or skill, don't hide it. Find a way to share it with others. Hong Yi did via YouTube and she is now making headlines across the world with her art. And no, she's not a one-hit-wonder. She continues to create and connect with her fans through digital media (google Red Hong Yi to see what I mean). Is there anything this girl can't do?!

7. Laugh at yourself. Rizal van Geyzel, a top Malaysian comedian took the stage and started cracking out jokes; jokes about himself. He then proceeded to deliver funnies about Malaysian stereotypes. As Rizal crisscrossed between jokes about himself and Malaysia, the crowd laughed with him. I remember my dad telling me as a kid, "Don't take yourself too seriously." That message still rings true today. It is a healthy sign when a society is able to laugh at itself. It shows openness and tolerance, which comes along with maturity.

The 'Before I Die' blackboard



With TEDxKL host Kavin J


With funny man Rizal van Geyzel


Red Hong Yi

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Monday, 30 September 2013 13:28

I watched many wedding proposals on YouTube but this might just be the one to rule them all.

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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.