Thursday, 30 November 2006


Vision for the future
By Azlan Othman

Cataract, which is the number one cause of blindness in Asean countries, is almost eradicated in Brunei Darussalam. This is the result of the continuous effort of His Majesty's Government through the Ministry of Health, which has made cataract surgery very accessible and affordable.

The Minister of Health, Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi, who was speaking during the launching of World Sight Day at RIPAS Hospital yesterday, said that the main cause of blindness in the Sultanate is diabetic retinopathy.

From diabetic screenings conducted by the Eye Department from 1997 to 2000, it is estimated that one in 37 Bruneians would be diabetic in 2006, the minister said.

Of that number, one in five diabetic patients will have some form of diabetic retinopathy and visual impairment, while one in 25 will be blinded from the condition, Pehin Hj Suyoi added.
Fortunately, diabetic retinopathy can be prevented.

On average, it takes nine years for a diabetic patient to develop diabetic retinopathy, and 15 years before a diabetic person is affected visually, the Minister of Health said, adding that these findings stress the importance of diabetic retinopathy screening.

Meanwhile, Pehin Hj Suyoi lauded the initiative by the Department of Ophthalmology in conducting twice-weekly diabetic screening programmes in all hospitals in Brunei.

"I encourage members of the public to utilise these services as they have shown to be successful in the management of the most important cause of blindness in Brunei," he said.

Earlier, the minister said Brunei like many other countries in the world commemorates the global effort to prevent avoidable blindness by 2020.World Sight Day is truly a global event, which is aimed at increasing the profile of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight.

Almost 90 per cent of all World Health Organisation (WHO) member countries have organised prevention of blindness activities in their respective countries, which highlight the global recognition of blindness as an important public health issue.

According to studies conducted by WHO in 2002, 161 million people globally are visually impaired: 37 million are blind and 124 million suffering from poor vision.

It is estimated that every five seconds, one person in the world goes blind. One child goes blind every minute and seven million people become blind each year.

But more importantly, 80 per cent of cases are avoidable, either resulting from preventable conditions (20 per cent) or being treated (60 per cent) so that the sight is restored.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the committee, Mr Nayan Joshi, who is also the Head of Ophthalmology Department, said high quality and up-to-date cataract surgeries are available to all in the Sultanate.

There are well-established nationwide screening programmes to address the problem of chronic non-communicable diseases i.e. glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and childhood blindness, he said.

"In the following years, there are plans to augment these screening programmes by launching compulsory 'Nation Screening Programmes' for diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma," Mr Joshi said, adding that there would also be programmes for schools.

"These will be further supported by Telemetric Remote Screening and Mobile Screening Units. Proposals have been made to reduce amblyopia and childhood blindness by the provision of subsidised corrective glasses to children," he said.

Copyright © 2006 Brunei Press Sdn Bhd. All right reserved.

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

cloud nine

The Nurul Iman Palace with the Water Village in the foreground...or should we say modern + traditional = magnificent landscape.

Monday, 27 November 2006

a different perspective...

the BEnA exhibition in ICC
the Marathon practice run
my birthday dinner

I had my appraisal discussion today but maybe better not write anything about it. I guess everyone who had to go through the same rigours as we do have mixed feelings of the process. But then if you do not go through it, that's one point against you in your appraisal. Life is a circular process.
Went to the wedding of my wife's niece at the ICC yesterday. Saw Rano but he was really busy so did not manage to say hi. I was watching with interest a Canonian photographer who was taking photos of the bride at all the different and sometimes odd angles. Watching him, I don't think I have the cut to make wedding photography as my income earner.
After the wedding, dropped by at the BEnA Exhibition next door. And whilst others are taking photos of the booths, their display and the visitors, I was busy taking photos of the ceiling and making sure that the BLNG booth is in the frame.
Before that, early in the morning I joined the Gemilang photographers for a photoshoot of the final practice of the Brunei International Marathon 2006. Now I'm not sure whether I'm up to it although I think most of my photos are not that bad. I think I just have to have more practice coz to shoot the runners is one thing but to get them framed into a significant Bruneian landmark backdrop, that's another thing. And I suffer from inferiority complex when I saw who the other photographers are and their gears. Not to mention that I was the only Canonian amongst Nikonians! But then I signed up for this and I better live up to it. Thanks to my friend, Mohamad Bakar (always mistaken for my brother because we have the same surname) for providing the ride and taking me on some roads which I never knew existed before. And my, that view of the Nurul Iman Palace fom the top of the hill is breathtaking.

Saturday, 25 November 2006

a year on..

I tried uploading two photos today but with no success. Maybe I'll try writing then. If it get posted, then I'm in luck.
Busy day today... went to the bank to pay my car loan. surprise surprise, long queue. why? i don't know but it seems to be a trend every saturday in seria/kb. maybe it coz some of us don't work on saturday.
Afternoon went to the Royal Berkshire Ballroom, Jerudong Polo Club for the Media Appreciation 2006. First time to this event and "meet" the media people. Well i say meet coz only talk to a few of them. I thought media people are kepoh type who will ask question the moment they meet people. obviouly i'm wrong coz mayb they only go kepoh if there's anything sensational going on. but those flashes are for real coz it blurred my eyes for a while when we took the group photo. now i understand why people look at me with annoyance when i took their photos with my camera flash on.
Tomorrow busy day as well. so decided to treat my family at RBC Restaurant in the airport this evening. the place has just been renovated and my my, its full of people. we got the last seats available. the food was good but didn't take any photos of the food. why you wonder i treat my family to dinner. as if i don't do that every weekend. well this one is special coz tomorrow is my birthday.
and as i said tomorrow is going to be a busy day. 7 a.m. will be meeting the other photographers in front of the royal regalia building in bandar for a "dry run" of the coming marathon. I've registered myself both as a "6 km fun runner" and an "official photographer". Hope I can cope.
11.30 a.m. will be attending a wedding at the ICC. then i'm planning to visit the BEnA exhibition at ICC as well. as usual most probably will be back home around 10 p.m.
well, enjoy your weekend everyone. hopefully its a peaceful one.

Thursday, 23 November 2006

Brunei Energy Association (BEnA)

Although I'm no longer directly involved in BEnA, I'm glad that I've played a part in the setting up of BEnA. I was involved in drafting the Rules of the Association, getting BEnA approved and registered with the Registrar of Societies, convene the meetings of the Pro-Tem Committee and the formal launching of BEnA.

The offical website of BEnA is

In the news today:


BEnA Is Organising A Three-Day Exhibition By James Kon
Bandar Seri Begawan - The Brunei Energy Association (BEnA) will hold a 3-day exhibition entitled "Providing A Platform for Sustainable Development" from November 24-26, at the Plenary Hall of the 1CC in Berakas. Since its formation in 2002, BEnA has been active in pursuing its objectives through activities and organised events, and plays a major role especially in the development of the energy industry as well as in promoting energy conservation and efficiency in the nation.
BEnA also aims to enhance the understanding of the Brunei public on the conservation and efficient use of energy.
The exhibition aims to provide its participants with the opportunity to showcase their products and services, and the chance to network with leading industry players on investment, partnership and sales opportunities.
More than 50 companies and several higher educational institutions will be taking part in the exhibition, including Brunei Shell Petroleum, Total, Brunei LNG, Brunei Shell Marketing, Petroleum Brunei, Brunei Shell Tankers, Brunei Gas Carriers, Baiduri Bank, Adinin Group of Companies, Damit Worley Parsons, Mashhor Group of Companies, Bureau Veritas, the Brunei Economic Development Board and Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD).
The exhibition is open to the public. BEnA is currently conducting a phone-in quiz in conjunction with the KristalFM radio station in the week leading to the exhibition. Members of the public have the chance to win numerous attractive prizes in the quiz, as well as in the other competitions to be held during the exhibition itself.
On the first two days of the exhibition, a local band, Q'Prodigy will be performing to entertain guests and visitors. The exhibition is open from 2pm to 8pm on Friday, November 24, 10am to 8pm on Saturday, November 25 and from loam to 5pm on Sunday, November 26. More information is available from the BEnA secretariat office at 2650117 or e-mail to Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin News

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

The answer...

I've found the answer to my photoblog of 18th & 19 th November:

And this is the description given in

This species is a semi-woody herb from Central Africa and South America. It grows into a small shrub with large leaves of serrated margin. Thorns or prickles are found on the leaves as well as the stem. The flowers are rather small and insignificant compared to the fruits which are brightly colored. Fruits are orange in color, smooth and conical in shape with rounded lobes at its base. They measure about 7.5 cm long and 5 cm across. They also keep well for over a week and when cut can be used for fruit or flower arrangement for indoor decorations. The plant is normally propagated by seeds.



Tuesday, 21 November 2006

What? No water?? Again???


Water Disruption In Belait District
Kuala Belait - Water supply to several areas in the Belait District has been disrupted since yesterday afternoon.
The disruption, which started at 5.30pm, was caused by a damaged electric circuit board at the Seria Water Treatment Plant. For the time being, the ongoing repair works on the problem at hand may persist. During this period, water services through water tankers and distribution of blue water storage tanks will be available to the public until normal water supply is resumed.
The public is advised to use water wisely and to also store water for daily consumption as repair works may take a long time.
The respective department is also taking measure to place the blue tanks at several strategic places, namely The Sungai Liang Mosque, JKR Lumut Branch, JKR Seria Branch, JKR Jalan Nakhoda Ragam Branch, and the JKR Belait District headquarters in Kuala Belait.
The public may call the hotline 140 if the need for water tank service arises. However, water supply is limited. Water supply shall resume as soon as repair works are completed, said the Water Services Department.-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

Monday, 20 November 2006

Macro - Food

sotong goreng
sayur rebung
kari ayam kampung

Macro for me also includes food...

Sunday, 19 November 2006

the inside...

Even after opening up the fruit I still have no idea what it is. The plan now is to plant the seeds and hope it will grow.
Went to my wife's cousin house today for tahlil of his late father. My wife told me the invitation is at 11.30 a.m. Arrived there and they were already reciting the doa. So datang makan sajalah.
One more open house invitation tonight...

Saturday, 18 November 2006


We were at my uncle's Hari Raya open house last night when he showed me this fruit. At first I thought it was plastic but on close examination it was really a sort of fruit/vegetable. He said it's called "terung puteri". What is it really?

Friday, 17 November 2006


Riding the fence
Monday, March 20, 2006
Today I ride the fence between
Disappointment and love
Want to get off this ride
As it’s a pain in the butt

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

Water almost everywhere

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to get on with my life... more like refreshing my life. No, I'm not thinking of having an affair or anything like that. I was thinking of getting a new job... something different from what I'm doing. I was at first thinking of venturing into business but then maybe I will not be a good businessman. So I decided to apply for a new job. Not sure what the outcome will be but now I'm really nervous. Hopefully I can sleep well till I know the outcome. In the meantime, have to prepare myself for the interview, if any... But then have to think of what are the likely questions first.

Tuesday, 14 November 2006


These shops must have been built before I was born. Hmm... that's more than 47 yrs ago.

Saturday, 11 November 2006

self potrait

That how big the front of the Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens is : 77mm.

Thursday, 9 November 2006


Taken at a harbour in Amsterdam before we went for a canal cruise. Fantastic view along the way but not enough light to take photos whilst the boat was moving. What a pity.

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

wall art

Taken at The Dylan Restaurant, Amsterdam.

conference room

The conference room is big and spacious with beautiful chandeliers. The day is long and the schedule very tight.

Sunday, 5 November 2006


Transit at Singapore Airport on my way to Holland on 4 Nov 2006...and testing my new Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens.