Who buried ‘The Brunei Times’?

Image result for the brunei times closure

This was back on July 1, 2010 when The Brunei Times introduced a compact version and I was so kiasu that I headed to The Brunei Times office to grab the first copy that entered the office. Photo courtesy of Rano360.com.

More bad news for press freedom in Southeast Asia.

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY (ANU) CORAL BELL SCHOOL OF ASIA PACIFIC AFFAIRS


THE Brunei Times
, the second-largest publication in Brunei’s small and heavily censored media landscape, has been shut down. The paper was issued an official order to “cease publication and operations on 7 November” just three days prior, leaving 110 employees jobless in face of an economy analysts have describedas “spluttering.

This is a significant loss to journalism in a nation ranked 155th in the world for press freedom, compared to Thailand’s ranking of 136, and Myanmar’s ranking of 143.

image-1

The last issue of The Brunei Times, which has been publishing since mid-2006, contained an announcement stating the closure was due to “business issues, reporting and journalistic standards that should meet the mark set, and also issues relating to business sustainability.”

image-22

However, unsatisfied Bruneians on social media are pointing to a different tale.

An ex-writer for The Brunei Times reported in Pakistani news that the real motive behind the shutdown was a complaint filed by the Saudi Embassy, after The Brunei Times published quotes from an unnamed source in a story published on 26 October. The article covered the increase in Hajj and Umra visa fees for Bruneian residents, with the unnamed embassy spokesperson describing the hike as a result of economic downturn from falling oil prices (click here to view a text archive of the now deleted article).

Although an apology was issued on 4 November, there are angry suggestions circulating on social media that the complaint provided the final incentive for government to shut down the publication, which often toed the line of Bruneian censorship standards — even though they may have annoyed authorities from time-to-time.

According to the report, the anonymous ex-employee source stated, “The government had been angry with the paper for quite sometime for its work but the Saudi Embassy story proved to be the final straw.”

Students and researchers are also mourning the loss of the newspaper, which provides an invaluable source of information on Brunei spanning the last ten years.

In a country where there is virtually no criticism of government and where voices are worn weary under the threat of harsh and repressive legislation, we may very well never know what, or more darkly who, buried The Brunei Times. In an age of wavering press freedom in Southeast Asia, this is deeply troubling, solemn news.

New Mandala

Wed, 9 November 2016

http://www.newmandala.org/buried-brunei-times/  

 

http://rano360.com/2016/11/07/thank-you-the-brunei-times/

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

‘The Brunei Times’ suddenly closes after criticising Saudi Arabia’s Mecca visa price-hike

The unexpected announcement followed an article that suggested Saudi Arabia increased visa prices because of economic troubles

bru-rash

Photo: Courtesy of Rasidah HAB

LONDON

A LEADING  newspaper has allegedly been ordered to close for linking the Saudi government’s latest visa price rises to its “economic problems”.

The Brunei Times, based in the tiny country, which borders Malaysia, unexpectedly announced its closure of all operations from Tuesday in a front-page editorial.

It followed an article published on 26 October, which reportedly suggested that economic problems in Saudi were the reason for a hike in the price of visas for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages to Mecca.

According to a journalist claiming to be an ex-Brunei Times reporter, it quoted an anonymous official from the Saudi embassy who was said to have been “unauthorised to speak” to the press.

The daily paper apologised for the article on its website on Friday but refused to comment on claims surrounding its mysterious shut-down.

The statement read: “The Brunei Times is ceasing media and publication operations with effect from 8 November, 2016.

It also thanked the Brunei government for “bearing with us” and “extending the licence” despite “issues” surrounding the paper.

The “board of directors” also thanked editorial, management and operational staff’s “dedication, zeal, enthusiasm and tremendous effort they have put into their work at all levels over the years”.

The 10-year-old paper has also shut its Twitter and Facebook accounts.

A spokesman for the publication, which said 110 people were employed there, referred a Reuters reporter to its statement when asked about the reason for its closure.

Brunei, which has a population of around 420,000, is home to predominantly Sunnis Muslims.

The Saudi government recently increased visa charges for anyone completing the Hajj to approximately £410, up from around £75.

Muslims are expected to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime.

Economic troubles in Saudi Arabia have been well documented with oil prices falling as low as £21 a barrel in February.

The Independent

Wed, 9 November 2016

bt-close

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/brunei-times-newspaper-close-saudi-arabia-mecca-visa-hajj-economy-a7404616.html

 

China seeks to put Tomb of King Boni in Nanjing on UNESCO list

CHINA is seeking the Brunei government’s help in turning the tomb of Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan in Nanjing into a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Yu Qing, the vice governor of Yuhuatai district in Nanjing, said China is in the process of applying for the Tomb of King Boni to become a World Heritage Site.

Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan is believed to have ruled Brunei before his passing in Nanjing in the 15th century.

“We are hoping that our Brunei counterparts can give their support and assistance for us to achieve this goal,” she said during Brunei Ambassador to China Datin Paduka Magdalene Teo’s visit to the park yesterday.

Yu said the municipal government in Nanjing in May set up a research centre and a team of experts on China and Brunei historical and cultural relations. The Chinese delegation visited Brunei earlier this month.

She added that the park has an exhibition hall illustrating China and Brunei relations. “We need more photos and materials from Brunei for us to showcase Brunei to visitors here and attract them (Chinese nationals) to visit this historical place,” she said.

After its upgrade with the latest exhibits and materials from Brunei in the next few months, the exhibition hall and the park — which is currently closed for renovation — is expected to reopen in June next year.

The exhibition will showcase Brunei-China ties through the use of “modern technology”.

The park, located at the southern foothills of Tortoise Mountain in Yuhuatai district, signifies the historical relations between China and Brunei since 1408.

The municipal government has high hopes that the site will be accepted as a World Heritage Site before marking the 610th anniversary of historical relations between Brunei and China.

“We are also hoping that His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, will visit the tomb himself before the 610th anniversary to signify the milestones of the countries’ relations,” said the vice governor.

Yu said His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah and HRH Princess Hjh Masna visited the tomb in 1993 and 2006 respectively.

An investment worth $23 million yuan ($4.79 million), the park covers an area of eight hectares since the tomb was discovered in 1958 with restoration and maintenance works being done throughout the years.

ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) Secretary General Yang Xiuping said efficient communication between government agencies in China and Brunei is needed to achieve the goal of making the tomb a World Heritage Site.

“We have limited time in our hands before we reach the 610th anniversary, so we need to have a clear roadmap to achieve our objectives.

“The research centre can also provide a detailed list of the materials they need from Brunei to ease the whole process,” she said.

Nanjing and Bandar Seri Begawan became sister cities in 2011 to mark the 20th anniversary of Brunei and China bilateral relations.

The Brunei Times

Tue, 25 October 2016

bru_path_-rozan-yunos-menuju_ke_makam_sultan_abdul_majid-transformed

Pictures: BT/Rozan Yunos

Saudi news report on Bruneian with terror links untrue

A NEWS report about a Bruneian man arrested in Saudi Arabia over alleged terror links is not true, said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The National Security Committee said yesterday that Jeddah-based newspaper Saudi Gazette has admitted to the error in its reporting and published a correction on its website on September 20.

In its editor’s note appended to an article titled “53 terror suspects arrested during Haj”, the Saudi Gazette said it had erroneously reported that one of the suspects was a Brunei national.

Saudi Gazette’s e-paper reported on September 18 that an unidentified Bruneian man was recently apprehended by security forces in Riyadh on suspicion of terrorism, claiming that a growing number of expatriates living in Saudi were falling prey to ISIS propaganda.

However, subsequent investigations by the governments of Brunei and Saudi confirmed that no Brunei citizen was arrested.

The statement issued by PMO added that the National Security Committee, together with other security agencies in the country, will continuously monitor any activities that pose a threat to national security. Brunei citizens and residents were also reminded to abide by the law and warned against taking part in any terrorist or criminal activities in the country or abroad.

The Brunei Times

Thu, 22 September 2016

 

bru-jame-asr

http://bt.com.bn/news-national/2016/09/22/saudi-news-report-bruneian-terror-links-untrue

 

 

 

Brunei gov’t yet to receive verified info on arrest of Bruneian man in Saudi

THE Brunei government has yet to receive information confirming a news report of a Bruneian man recently arrested in Saudi Arabia over alleged terror links, said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

In a press statement issued yesterday, PMO said its National Security Committee together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade are working closely with the relevant authorities of Saudi Arabia to verify the authenticity of the news report.

A story that appeared on the Saudi Gazette website quoted unnamed sources claiming security forces have apprehended a Bruneian man in Riyadh on suspicion of terrorism.

The Jeddah-based English newspaper said the unidentified man was arrested last Saturday without resistance and is being investigated for his involvement in terror operations that took place in Saudi as well as connections or support for terrorist organisations.

However, the sultanate’s National Security Committee has not received any information to date confirming the news report.

The Brunei Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulate General in Jeddah did not report any involvement of registered Bruneian citizens in suspected terrorist activities, while the Ministry of Religious Affairs through its Haj Management Department confirmed no Bruneian pilgrims were involved.

Saudi Gazette did not state which terrorist organisation the accused Bruneian was affiliated with, but reported that a growing number of expatriates have joined ISIS in the past two years.

Its security sources said ISIS was focused on recruiting expatriates particularly those who have lived in Saudi Arabia over a long period, during which they acquired knowledge of the local towns and cities.

The Brunei Times

Saturday, 17 September 2016

bru-soas

http://www.bt.com.bn/news-national/2016/09/17/brunei-gov%E2%80%99t-yet-receive-verified-info-arrest-bruneian-man-saudi

Indonesian VP says Trump’s Muslim comments could spark retaliation

JK

John Chalmers and Kanupriya Kapoor
JAKARTA

INDONESIA’s vice president on Monday voiced concerns over U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s comments on Muslims, saying “discrimination according to religion” could prompt retaliatory policies from other countries.

Jusuf Kalla told Reuters in an interview that the government was “not happy with Trump’s opinions” – the first critical remarks from a top official in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, which come as Trump called for more profiling in the U.S to battle crime.

“Any country, especially big countries, seen making policies about ‘radicalism’ or discrimination according to religion will be a bad issue,” Kalla said in an interview with Reuters.

“There will be ‘vice-versa’ policies from other countries,” he said, adding an impact would be felt on economy and trade.

Trump’s inflammatory remarks on Muslims, including wanting to temporarily ban them from entering the United States, on foreign policy and on international trade ties have raised concerns in some Asian countries over a potentially “isolationist” United States.

In Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, politicians and lawmakers are already thinking about restricting U.S. trade and investment if Trump becomes president. An online petition, urging a ban on the billionaire and his businesses from the country, has received nearly 47,000 signatures.

The real estate developer also has partnerships to operate luxury resorts on Bali and in Java, which Indonesian officials have said could be threatened by his rhetoric.

Trump Hotel Collection last year announced a partnership with Indonesia’s PT Media Nusantara Citra to manage new luxury hotels on Bali and in West Java, the Trump unit’s first foray into Asia.

“Of course there will be an impact, not for Indonesia, but for his business,” Kalla said, when asked about Trump’s involvement in the resorts.

But the Indonesian government was in wait-and-see mode, Kalla said, adding Trump’s comments could be seen as posturing as part of his presidential campaign.

“We still see this as campaign strategy. Campaigning is one thing and realization is another thing,” he said.

(Editing by Nick Macfie)

REUTERS

Monday, 20 June 2016

JK trump-hotel-collection-bali

The Trump Hotel Collection has signed a management agreement with MNC, one of Indonesia’s leading investment groups, for a luxury resort and residential development in Bali. Located on the southwest coast of Bali, the six star property will be the Trump Hotel Collection’s first resort in Asia. It will join a portfolio of 14 Trump properties worldwide. (Picture: http://www.asiaworldindonesia.com)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-trump-idUSKCN0Z60MM

 

 

 

Chinese Moslem Entrepreneurs to establish a consortium with Moslem SMEs in Indonesia

chinese
C09
JAKARTA

CHINESE Moslem Entrepreneurs planned to establish a consortium with Moslem businessmen in Indonesia. The organization of Chinese Moslem entrepreneurs provided opportunities for cooperation and support working capital, particularly to the Cooperatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

“We focus on ASEAN because there is Asean Economic Community (AEC), especially on SMEs business,” said a member of Chinese Moslem Entrepreneurs from Ningxia Cina, Rudy Fang, in “Macthing Business Meeting”, in Tajammu/Resto & Cafe (TRC) organized by KOSAGON, a Gontor alumni cooperative, in Jakarta, Tuesday (27/10).

Rudy said, Chinese Moslem Entrepreneurs is ready to help Indonesian Moslem businessmen to get international funding. According to him, there are some things that need to be owned by cooperatives and SMEs to access international funding, one them is to have clear vision and mission.

“Vision means, there is purpose to be achieved for the next 20 years,” Rudy added.

In addition, Chinese Moslem Entrepreneurs provided opportunity for Indonesian businessmen to follow the trade mission to Xinjiang, China. Rudy stated, Indonesian Moslem businessman could see and learn how Chinese Moslem run their business.

“In China, there are about 100 million Moslems. They have a good economy and it was evidenced by the ability to build and finance their own business,” he said.

Republika
Thursday, 29 October 2015

http://en.republika.co.id/berita/en/jakarta-region-others/15/10/29/nwzgvi317-chinese-moslem-entrepreneurs-to-establish-a-consortium-with-moslem-smes-in-indonesia