Brunei Darussalam



While most people I know were on countdown fever on the eve of big ten, summing up my accomplishments of 2009 for this post had left me so exhausted I ended up counting sheep only to wake up to fireworks on CNN! While we usher in the new year, I feel it’s only prudent to reflect (while celebrating) on the year that had left me on an emotional high! So continuing a traditional of being thankful (though not necessarily expressing it publicly on an annual ritual) to family, friends (real and virtual) and clients who supported me throughout a high octane year.

I cannot reflect without also giving credit to Ju Xiang Guan‘s forecast whose accuracy shaped 2009 for me. Never been one to subscribe to all things logical or necessarily of the supernatural, I’m a made believer. And it’s only when you choose to believe then great things happen …

Overall Forecast You will have good wealth luck this year. There are a lot of lucky star this year but there is also unlucky star. Be prudent and don’t be too aggressive. Perform your best and your superior will notice. Those in business can expect results and push forward for expansion. Students can excel in their academic study. Good year to invest in property.

In 2009 I was both in business and a student studying for my Brunei Citizenship exam [ Class of May 2009 ], an opportunity I had waited my entire life to excel having failed it twice previously.  I’m extremely delighted to have overcome this challenging hurdle and passed the exam. I thank my wife, my mom including my son who scribbled a good luck card for their relentless support and friends who prayed for me. I thank especially Sheikh Mansor my mentor and teacher who in his signature ways prepared me for the exam, feelings of which I’ve shared here.

A traditional shield bearing a Royal Crest at The Royal Regalia

As for a good year to invest in property, I think I would fare better by investing in a second camera body! I thank my esteemed clients Baiduri Bank (images for 2008 Annual Report) and Lexus for their understanding and support when our shoots coincided with my classes and exam.

Baiduri Bank Annual Report 2008

LEXUS IS 300 Commercial Stills

Career Good progress in your career and work luck with increase in reputation and status. Smooth business deal and good business relationship. There are chances of promotion and overseas assignments.

“Promotion” came as engagements from international publications and assignments such Singapore Airlines SilverKris magazine, Canada Post magazine and Singapore Tourism Board for the 2009 Christmas in the Tropics campaign in Singapore. “Promotion” included photography judging for  photography competition organized by HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank & Baiduri Bank.

Singapore Airlines SilverKris magazine Sept 2009 editorial assignment

↑ click on image to view large size (~800KB)

30,000 circulation Sept 2009 CANADA POST Magazine
Happy Birthday, Your Majesty! On July the 15th, His Majesty the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam will be celebrating his 63rd birthday, and all of Brunei comes together to pay our heartfelt respects to our illustrious leader.
Cover photo BIG Magazine July-Sept 2009 Edition.

I thank the folks at ASEAN Basketball League and the Brunei Barracudas for the media coverage opportunity in Makati, Philippines.

btsports-abl-barracudas-thumb↑ Click on image to read article (~1MB)
Read post Barracudas Joins The ASEAN Basketball League

… and for the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. experience where the team met on the eve of the event launch.

Inside the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, Makati, Philippines

From Feb 23 to Aug 26, 2009 the Brunei Times newspaper gave me a platform to express my literary freedom. Visit the BT Columns page for past archives.

bruneitimes_asthma_23022009↑ click on image to enlarge
Full story Living with Asthma and Allergies

So what’s installed for the Year of the Tiger? For a start, Louis Pang has given me his blessing to cover the Joe McNally/Louis Pang workshop and seminar in Kuala Lumpur (seats are still available in the one-day seminar at time of this writing), a destination Chinese wedding in Malaysia in the works, coverage of new and exciting attractions/events in Singapore, etc.

More immediate ones include a couple more outstanding blog posts from the recent Singapore trip to include Sentosa, Little India and China Town.

Thank you for making a difference in my life.
I wish you all the best and may  your dreams come true in 2010!

12 thoughts on “RETROSPECTIVE 2009

    1. For a second there I thought BT ran an article I wasn’t aware of 🙂 I keep a copy (sometimes additional copies) of all published columns and I store them in A3 clear folders which are hard to find in Brunei. Fold a BT page in half and it fits comfortably in a sleeve and I found a stationery shop in Gadong which carries folders in this size. I’m honoured to have my story a part of Husini Hall of Fame archives 🙂


        1. Thank you. Although technically we’re still in the year of the Ox before Chinese New Year ushers in Year of the Tiger in 2010, I look forward to your Chicken wings this weekend. You can be sure to see many happy faces then! 🙂


  1. On January 4, 2010 10.24 am Azri HMS wrote:

    Jan, happen that you have the forecast for 2010 do please send me the link. I surfed for the 2010 and yet to find it. Nicking abit of time now from my office, i want to print it out/framed to the empty wall for reminder. Erk! Ju Xian Guan do scare a living demon!

    I guess the 2009 forecast was not meant to be distributed openly. Someone got hold of the PDF and circulated it via email and fate delivered a copy to me. I haven’t got a copy of the new forecast but let’s remember this, “2009” is not yet over in the Chinese calendar even though the 2010 forecast “should” technically be available already. Can I assume the 2009 forecast accurately reported your 2009 developments, retrospectively ?


    1. Azri,

      The power of belief though fundamental is a lot more profound than a mere forecast that “spells” your fate. It’s said that The Power Of Belief , also referred to as Faith, is by far the most powerful and creative force in the universe. What I believe is that you attract what you believe (or don’t believe). When I saw that my forecast was so positively charged for 2009, I made sure I rode the wave and worked towards the things I wanted done since luck was on my side, things just seemed easier to accomplish than a year where unfavourable outcomes may be forecasted. I would pay close attention to the not-so-good items and do everything possible to avoid being “hurt” but a lot of these forewarnings are open to interpretations—keep an open mind and you’ll be OK.


    1. Thanks Nick! So many thank yous so little space and time!

      I wonder if the change from an excellent single digit year “09” to double digit “10” means twice the fun, twice work and eventually twice the exhaustion! 🙂


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