Lest We Forget


Compiled by Zainul Akmal Zaini

Project to enhance ambulance services launched

Farah Ahmadnawi

OCTOBER 2, 2009 – The Ministry of Health launched Project Emergency Medical Ambulance Services (EMAS) phase one at the Sengkurong Health Centre yesterday.

Minister of Health Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman was the guest of honour.

Also in attendance were Deputy Minister of Health Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Paduka Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health (MoH) Dato Paduka Haji Salam bin Haji Abdul Momin, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the MoH Dr Datin Paduka Hajah Intan binti Haji Salleh, Director-General of Medical Services Dr Hajah Norlila binti Dato Paduka Haji Jalil, Acting Director of Health Services Dr Hajah Maslina binti Mohsin and senior officers from the ministry.

The EMAS project will also be a base to generate trained paramedics in treating and handling pre-hospital patients. The intake of paramedics is not only based on qualifications, but also their passion in their challenging career and to serve with pride.

Therefore, one of the aspects that will be implemented in the project is the focus on the paramedics’ aspect.

Guest of honour Minister of Health Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman sprinkles ‘bunga rampai’ on the ambulance as Deputy Minister of Health Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Paduka Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah looks on. PHOTO: FARAH AHMADNAWI

“Plans have been made with the Institute of Medicine, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) in establishing a Diploma in Paramedics course. At the end of the year, we would invite the former president of American Ambulance Association to visit Brunei Darussalam and make a visit to EMAS,” said Head of Accident and Emergency Department from Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital Dr Ang Swee Hui.

The project aims to shorten response time for the paramedics and in an emergency by placing ambulance units in areas known as despatch locations in the community.

The MoH is decentralising the ambulance service and the first phase will be ongoing for three months.

The Sengkurong and Muara health centres have been chosen due to their closeness to RIPAS Hospital and other clinics that need the ambulance service. Paramedics and ambulances will be placed at the two health centres during office hours.

Within this phase, a survey will be done based on telephone calls, response time, logistic requirements, communication and coordination with the health centres and RIPAS Hospital. All the information will be recorded and be made as reference.

After the trial service period, the phase will be expanded to other health centres in the Brunei-Muara District and in phases to other districts.

Award-winning author hopes to inspire women writers

Rosli Abidin Yahya

OCTOBER 12, 2009 – The first woman from Brunei Darussalam to receive the Southeast Asian Writer (SEA Write) Award after a 23-year wait, Hajah Norsiah binti Haji Abdul Ghafar, returned home on Saturday night from Bangkok after attending the SEA Write Week that culminated with her receiving the prestigious award from Thailand’s Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Welcoming her at the airport were Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Haji Mohammad, Acting Director of the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) Hajah Aminah binti Haji Momin and DBP staff.

Hajah Norsiah said she was happy to receive the award which made her the 24th recipient of the award for Brunei Darussalam and the first woman from this country to do so.

“I accepted the award on behalf of female writers in Brunei and hopefully it will inspire other women to do the same,” she said.

“It is nothing to do with breaking the male barrier, but women writers in Brunei should do their best to be on par with the male writers.”

Hajah Norsiah binti Haji Abdul Ghafar with Hajah Syaharah, a DBP officer who accompanied her to Bangkok. PHOTO: ROSLI ABIDIN YAHYA

She said she received the award from Thailand’s Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, who was accompanied by his Royal Consort Princess Srirasmi, in presiding over the 2009 SEA Write Awards Presentation and Gala Dinner at the Royal Ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok last Friday night.

Apart from her, seven laureates of the 2009 SEA Write Award from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Laos were also honoured at the same event. They received cash cheque honorarium as part of the prize from the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok.

Hajah Norsiah was born in Seria Town on April 24, 1952 and graduated with a Master’s degree in Clinical Chemistry from London University in 1997.

She has been involved in creative writing since secondary school, and has worked in various literature genres such as short stories, novels, radio and television dramas, stage plays and poems.

Fighting ‘rojak’ Malay spellings

Azaraimy HH

OCTOBER 1, 2009 – Correct Malay spelling competition in short messaging services (SMS) is one of the unique competitions that is being organised to encourage Bruneians to make greater use of the language with ‘technical’ accuracy.

For instance in SMS, ‘mother’ should be spelled in SMS as ‘mama’ and not ‘ma2’, or the word ‘you’ should be spelled as ‘Kau’ and not ‘Ko’.

Acting Director of the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) Hajah Aminah binti Haji Momin said there are instances where children and young adults who have adapted to the habit of spelling words that way, have come to a point where they have become unaware, forgotten or unable to tell the differences on the correct way of spelling when composing letters or answering exam questions.

“Such is the danger if this problem is not addressed now,” she said during a press conference yesterday to announce activities being organised in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Malay Language as the official language instituted by the Brunei Constitution 1959.

“And with the current issue of the rojak (cross breed) Malay Language, how can we claim the Malay Language as a national language if our own generation is not adapted to use the language correctly.

“That is why the media (television, radio, newspaper, text books, etc) play a pivotal role in generating Bruneians who are heedful or cognisant with their language. If we continue to rojak our Malay Language in our media, the new budding generation will wrongfully believe that the language is acceptable.”