Lest We Forget


Compiled by Yazid Aji

Crucial courses for brides & grooms

Azlan Othman

July 2, 2010 – It is said health and wealth lead to harmony. The Syariah Affairs Department has taken the lead to introduce financial management and health guidelines in courses for intended brides and grooms in Brunei.

The content of the course, initiated way back in 1989, was reviewed to cope with the current changes and to make it more relevant to would-be brides and grooms as these two new issues have of late become the bedrock of matrimonial stability.

The launching of extra content for the course was done by Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Haji Md Mahdi bin Pehin Orang kaya DiGadong Seri Diraja Dato Laila Utama Hj Abdul Rahman yesterday.

He thanked the Syariah Affairs Department, especially Family Guidance Service, for the milestone and progress towards one of the core services offered by the department for intended brides and grooms.

“It reflects the concern in jointly upgrading the living standards of future husbands and wives, thereby creating a harmonious community.

“In the health aspect, the content covers information that would assist in enhancing awareness of would-be couples on the importance of looking after their health.

“The information is hoped to bring awareness on the negative consequences that could jeopardise the harmony of family life if one’s health is neglected.

“The financial aspect contains planning and covers TAP and SCP schemes, which would create awareness to would-be couples to plan their finances. A happy marriage depends on the roles and responsibilities every couple has in line with the positive factors that cover love, respect and happiness.

“The establishment of a happy family based on proper guidelines couild lead to harmony in society, particularly at times where the family institution is exposed to all sorts of threats and challenges,” the permanent secretary said.

Without a proper family institution, the society would face all sorts of problems such as crimes, sexual diseases, debts and so on.

The financial management talk yesterday by Hajah Raeyidah binti Haji Bujang, a certified financial planner from TAP, stressed on the need to nurture the savings habit in the event of an emergency and other necessities, to engage in investments of various sorts to reduce risks, to provide insurance protection, to make additional preparation for retirement, to pay tithe and to consult financial management experts to ensure that they make the right move.

A health talk by Dr Ahmad Fakhri DP Hj Junaidi highlighted on health issues prior to marriage, pregnancy, and women’s health. He spoke about sexually transmitted diseases and revealed an increasing trend of gonorrhea, Chlamydia and syphilis over the years reaching a total of nearly 600 infections in 2008 compared to 450 cases in 2007.

Gonorrhoea cases alone reached almost 400 while syphilis recorded about 50 cases. From 1986-2009, HIV/AIDS has infected 42 males and 14 females – 52 per cent of those infected were singles, 39 per cent married, seven per cent divorced and another two per cent widowers.

He also briefed on ways to prevent sexual and HIV infections, preparations before pregnancy, like taking folic acid for healthy newborns, to check weight, stop smoking, stop drinking alcohol, drugs and the need to undergo blood screening to detect hepatitis B, thalassemia, syphilis and HIV.

Issues touched during pregnancy included taking a balanced diet and nutritious meal as well as topics on breastfeeding and women’s health such as breast cancer, pap-smear test and cervical cancer.

Young artists show talent

Jacky Lim

July 10, 2000 – Another new batch of budding artists has emerged at an art competition held yesterday at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddin.

The chief guest, Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Ali bin Hj Mohd Daud, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, launched the contest, which attracted 600 participants, some coming from as far as Kuala Belait.

The art competition, with the theme “I Love Brunei” was divided into several categories. Category A was for colouring participants aged six to eight years and Category B, drawing and colouring participants aged nine to 12. The drawing and colouring categories were divided into Category C for 13 to 15 year olds and Category D for those aged between 16 and 20.

For the drawing and colouring categories, the participants were allowed to draw any object or picture that symbolised the theme “I Love Brunei”. The art competition was an opportunity to discover local talent. Many of the participants drew beautiful mosques in Brunei Darussalam.

Ms Cynthia Bong, the General Manager of Brunei Hotel as the main organiser of the competition said, the art competition started in 1993. Mr Joe Chan, the Personal Assistant to the General Manager of Brunei Hotel said the art competition was held to raise the public’s interest in art.

Some participants of the colouring competition. PHOTO: JACKY LIM

There was no shortage of inspiration. Take for example one participant, who drew the gasing (top spinning), kite flying and durian to represent Brunei. The participant, 20, said “When I was young, I used to play kite and gasing.”

“Other countries might not have these types of game. But in Brunei, kite flying and gasing are traditional games. I am proud to put these games in my drawing.”

Many of the participants showed creativity and concentration as they came up with a variety of drawings.

One parent said all his children took part in the competition and one of them had been well-prepared. At home, he painted and looked for ideas for the drawing and yesterday he was very excited before the competition started. Both of his kids had won “a lot” of awards in school.

This year, the art competition was sponsored by more than 10 private companies. The winners will be announced in a few days and the prize presentation will take place at the end of this month at the International Convention Centre, Berakas.