Lest We Forget


Compiled by Zainul Akmal Zaini

Reading key to building civilization

Lyna Mohamad

AUGUST 14, 2009 – Efforts made by the Language and Literature Bureau in making the Mari Bercerita (Story Telling Competition) programme sustainable and draw the interest of young students to participate have been lauded.

Deputy Minister of Education Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman spoke at the competition’s final yesterday.

The programme, which has been running for the past 26 years, has seen some of the past participants all grown up to succeed in their academics with some holding senior posts such as teachers, administrative officers, directors, doctors, engineers and so forth.

He believed the programme more or less has successfully instilled bold spirit among the students in public speaking and has also trained children to express their imaginations in the form of story-telling.

At the same time, it successfully mould the children to speak fluently, which is an ability that is much needed. Touching on the theme of this year‘s competition, Membaca Nadi Kejayaan Bangsa (Reading as the Core of the Nation’s Success), the Deputy Minister of Education said it is accurate and must be appreciated and practised by all levels of the community regardless of their age, as the reading habit has no age boundaries.

Deputy Minister of Education Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman. PHOTO: LYNA MOHAMAD

It is no doubt that if the reading culture exists in a country, its people will advance and succeed, as reading is the key to the building of civilisation of a nation.

Through reading, he added, various valuable information and knowledge can be gained for success in life as stated in the well-known sabda of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that carries the meaning ‘whoever wants excellence in the world needs to be knowledgeable, whoever wants happiness in the after world needs to be knowledgeable and whoever wants both needs to be knowledgeable’.

It is also, said the deputy minister, the first holy words in Surah Al-’Alaq in Al-Quran that state ‘read for the sake of your Allah the Almighty, the creator’.

This is the message of Allah the Almighty to human beings, in particular Muslims, on the importance of reading. This means not just reading emptily but with critical thought which is understanding, analysing and with feedback.

Methods such as these need to be instilled among students, from the young ones to those already in higher education so as to get them to actively practise reading habits to shape them into dynamic, developing and positive intellectuals.

Japanese visitors experience Bruneian way of life

Zainal HJ

AUGUST 24, 2009 – Ikumi Nakamura and Yoko Ono, who hail from Japan, learnt more about the Bruneian way of life when they spent four days and five nights with a foster family in the Sultanate.

“It is an experience that we will never forget,” said the duo who spent the past few days with the family of Zainal bin Haji Jaidin in Kampong Keriam, Tutong.

“Taking part in Sahur and waking up at daybreak were some of the new experiences… we also ate various dishes such as traditional kuih, ambuyat and local fruits.”

Ikumi and Yoko were among a group of 11 representatives from the Shizuoka Prefecture of Japan who arrived in Brunei Darussalam last Thursday (August 20) for a special programme to experience the Bruneian culture and way of life.

Aside from them, the other Japanese visitors also stayed with four other foster families in the Sultanate. They also visited the Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam and Taman Hutan Belalong.

The visitors are scheduled to return to Japan today (August 24).

Ikumi Nakamura and Yoko Ono with the family of Zainal bin Haji Jaidin in Tutong. PHOTO: ZAINAL HJ

Array of Beras Laila dishes sell like hot cakes

Azlan Othman

AUGUST 4, 2009 – An array of colourful dishes and desserts made from Beras Laila sold like hot cakes during a sideline activity of the Paddy Laila 2009 Harvesting ceremony yesterday. Prepared in the style of Briyani rice, Hujan Panas rice as well as a variety of local cakes, the Beras Laila food items received overwhelming response, as did one-kilogramme packets of the uncooked Beras Laila.

Head of the Agri-Food Development Division of the Agriculture Department Pengiran Hajah Rosidah binti Pengiran Haji Metussin said the Beras Laila is a new variety of rice cultivated by the Agriculture Department and several rice producers since 2006.

It contains micro nutrients, carbohydrates, low fibre and higher levels of protein compared to Hom Mali (Thai) rice.

It is also of similar quality to other locally produced rice such as Beras Pusu and Beras Adan in terms of energy, fat, carbohydrate and fibre content.

Meanwhile, the protein content in Beras Laila is higher compared to other locally produced rice.

The department has also made available a BND6 recipe book containing 30 different recipes using Beras Laila.

Visitors purchase packets of Beras Laila. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN