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DOWN MEMORY LANE WITH BORNEO BULLETIN ARCHIVES
|Compiled by Lance Thoo Sin Lin|
Rise in bus fare angers parents
KUCHING (February 1, 1975) – Parents are asking that a recently increased bus fare for schoolchildren be dropped.
But their agitation is unlike to have any success. The firm responsible – the Chine Lian Long Motor Vehicle Company – says the increase is justified.
Since the start of the year, more than 3,000 pupils have been paying $1 more for monthly tickets on the company’s Kuching service.
The fare went up from $5 to $6, although all other ticket rates charged by the company remained unaltered.
Many parents are unhappy about the higher rate, and say it is particularly unwelcome at a time when families are feeling the crunch of inflation.
They say the dearer bus fare is another burden on parents, and they are asking the bus company to reconsider its decision.
The company is aware of the feeling, but a spokesman said that some parents had also shown they understood the necessity of the move. The spokesman said it was necessary because of the rising cost of vehicle maintenance, higher pay for employees – and the double upward adjustment in petrol prices last year.
Added to all this is the fact that it now costs more to print bus tickets. – K C Jong
Police grab fake notes
FEBRUARY 2, 1985 – Brunei police have seized more than $100,000 in forged Malaysian notes in a major strike against a fake currency syndicate.
But they have warned that the racketeers are trying to dispose of millions more forged Malaysian dollars.
Three men were arrested when police acting on a tip-off seized 103,900 Ringgit Malaysia in forged bills last Saturday.
Brunei police chief Pengiran Omar said Brunei is one of the foreign-based syndicate’s distribution centres.
“Ours is a young country, which is just being exposed to this type of activity and these people are coming here to take advantage of us,” he said. He warned the public to avoid all foreign currency unless it is issued by banks.
Car import duty increased
FEBRUARY 2, 1995 – A rush for new cars is now on in Brunei as anxiety runs high following an announcement of a massive increase of import duty on cars in the country.
The announcement made earlier this week on the increase of up to 200 per cent on import duty of motor vehicles took many by surprise. It has also sent shockwaves throughout Brunei, which has the highest ownerships of cars in the region.
Many fear the increase will shoot up prices of motor vehicles in the country sky-high. The day when almost everyone up from peons can own a car could be over, speculated many residents.
They also feared the increase in import duty will cause some kind of chain reaction that will eventually lead to the increase of prices of commodities and services in the country.
But some observers are of the opinion the increase will pave way for rapid development of efficient public transportation in Brunei.
Whatever it will be, many Bruneians are determined not to be caught by the new tariff. They feel now is the best time to buy their cars, which are in stock and escape the new tariff.
The Ministry of Finance in its announcement has called on motor dealers not to take advantage of the increase by jacking up prices of motor vehicles already in stock.
They will remain the same until the new shipment arrives, said the ministry.
Under the new tariff, importers will now have to pay a 40 per cent import duty for motor vehicles of up to 1,000cc and 60 per cent for motor vehicles from 1,000cc to 2,000cc.
For motor vehicles of 2,000cc to 3,000cc they will have to pay an 80 per cent import duty while 100 per cent for motor vehicles of 3,000cc onwards and 200 per cent for motor vehicles of 4,000cc onwards.
Also included in the new import tax are diesel engine motor vehicles. Import duty for these type of vehicles has also been revised and increased to 40 per cent up to 200 per cent restive of its engine capacity.
Imported used motor vehicles will also come under the new tariff. The new ruling also requires imported used cars to have a catalytic converter.
Exempted from the new tariff are heavy duty machinery, tractors and their spare parts. Import duty for this group will remain the same. – Malai Hassan Othman
His Majesty visits tsunami-hit Aceh
FEBRUARY 2, 2005 – His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday toured the capital of Indonesia’s Aceh province, the first foreign head of state to visit the tsunami-hit region, to view the devastation and inspect Brunei’s relief efforts.
Dressed in military fatigues, His Majesty piloted a Royal Brunei Air Force Blackhawk helicopter himself and flew over the western coast and to Weh island off Sumatra Island’s northern tip.
His Majesty was accompanied by Indonesian Welfare Minister Alwi Shihab, who looks after the relief efforts in the province, on the hour-long flight from the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, and back, Associated Press reported.
His Majesty later visited the town of Sabang on nearby Weh island, where a 50-strong Bruneian military and civilian contingent are operating, before leaving Aceh later in the day.
His Majesty prayed at the main Baiturrahman mosque in the provincial capital of Banda Aceh shortly before embarking on a tour of the devastated city.
The Indonesian minister later told the AP that His Majesty announced that he was considering paying for the mosque’s repairs. His Majesty also brought copies of the Quran for distribution at several mosques.
Earlier, the monarch was greeted on arrival at the Sultan Iskandar Muda Military Airfield, Banda Aceh before being briefed by Alwi Sihab.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan toured the area last month after attending an international conference in Jakarta on the aid effort.
Brunei responded to the victims of the tsunami disaster, which has killed more than 100,000 people and 100,000 more missing in Aceh alone.
On January 12, His Majesty’s government pledged $6 million to all the affected countries in Southeast Asia and South Asia following a meeting on Humanitarian Assistance to Tsunami-affected communities.
As an initial assistance, Brunei had contributed B$670,000 in immediate aid to Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. A Relief Fund for Victims of the Tsunami Disaster, which will remain open for six months, was launched on January 3 and has been receiving financial donations from ministries and agencies, schools, the private sector, business associations and the general public.
Brunei also sent humanitarian relief assistance to Aceh. The first delegation left for Banda Aceh on January 9 and was led by Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, Director General of Medical Services and four RBAF officers. – Azlan Othman
© 2013 Borneo Bulletin Online - The Independent Newspaper in Brunei Darussalam, Sabah and Sarawak