Lest We Forget

DOWN MEMORY LANE WITH BORNEO BULLETIN ARCHIVES

Compiled by Lina Gapar

Small racers, big fun

A M Zukarnaen

May 6, 2000 – They are loud, they spit out smoke and they are enjoyable to drive. Remote controlled gas-powered cars were racing over the weekend at Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium.

The race was exciting with flips and crashes, as eight minis raced to the finish line, there was even a commentator, giving race comments as the cars zoom past.

The L-Selection Racing Club sponsored the event. Races such as these are held every two weeks.

The sport is very popular around the world, and is picking up in Brunei, said Peter Chow, who is in charge of organising the event.

He added that there are different sponsors, for each event and each prize depends on the sponsors. Sometimes it’s a car, or a remote, or even airline tickets.

This time there were about 30 participants, the youngest being 11 years old.

Sports at this age and gender is not the issue, but the person’s skill at handling the remote control machine. There are several events depending on the engine and class of the car, per event costing BND25 to enter.

There are no women participants, Peter said. “Sadly most enthusiasts who have cars don’t compete, which is a shame since we want to encourage more for the sport, so that we can hold a big race one day,” he said.

To date, the minimum participants at an event is 30. The maximum number of participants achieved since the sport was introduced in Brunei is 70. The cars range in prices depending on how serious you are at the sport. The normal package with a remote is BND600 to BND800.

Checking the cars before the race

Brunei woos ‘greenie tours’

MAY 12, 1990 – Tourists looking for a swinging nightlife in Brunei will be disappointed.

The only things swinging in the Sultanate right now are construction cranes.

But officials believe that while Brunei has nothing to offer the disco-loving teenybopper or the avid shopper, it’s got lots to attract the “greenies”.

For Brunei is still a green and pleasant land.

With much of the country still covered by tropical forests, the Sultanate plans to open its doors to what has been termed “eco-tourism”.

The scenic beauty of Taman Batang Duri Temburong, with its rich plant and wildlife

“Brunei being rich in flora and fauna can make a big contribution to eco-tourism,” Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Pehin Dato Haji Abdul Rahman Taib said recently.

Representatives from the government and private sector have met twice recently to work out ways of wooing tourists to Brunei.

Taking part in the recent talks were officials of the immigration, customs, welfare, youth and sports and adat istiadat departments, airlines, hoteliers and restaurateurs.

Despite the numerous constraints facing tourism in Brunei, they felt eco-tourism could be gradually developed.

Seventy-five per cent of Brunei is covered in jungle and this has attracted international groups interested in protecting the topical rainforests.

“Apart from the scientist and student, I am confident that many tourists, especially from developed countries, go abroad to get first hand experience of tropical rainforests which do not exist in their own countries,” Pehin Dato Haji Abdul Rahman said.

Several areas have already been developed as sightseeing attractions. The forest centre at Sungai Liang in Belait District is proving a popular spot with locals, particularly for weekend picnics.

There, many species of trees and plants, all neatly labelled, can be inspected by the visitors.

In Temburong, the mini-zoo at Taman Batang Duri which also has a picnic area, has attracted local and foreign visitors.

The Brunei Association of Travel Agencies (BATA) has been charged with the responsibility of drawing up a blueprint for eco-tourism.

“We want to form a body to look into ways of developing this project,” BATA president Pengiran Hajjah Intan said.

Among the problems a fledgling tourism industry faces are limited accommodation and transport facilities.