Things I’ve Written or Made – Jun 2017

I don’t end up writing here often. I prefer my articles here to be more “complete”, which fuels my perfectionist tendencies and I end up not posting at all (such a bad habit haha).

For those of you wanting to read more recent stuff by me, here are some of my more notable mini-essays, thought dumps, mini-projects, or articles posted on other websites.

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Trying out foodpanda Brunei (2014)

This post hasn't been updated in over 3 years.

So I’d been hearing about foodpanda – and as a mobile app enthusiast of sorts, I do take interest – but although many of my friends and acquaintances had heard of it, none of them had actually tried the service.

food panda avatar

I’m not much of a food enthusiast (boo, bad Bruneian), but was interested in the process of ordering from foodpanda. As easy as it is to use the service, some parts are still not straightforward. I’m sharing my experiences here for anyone who hasn’t tried it out.

Before we start, let’s get some things out of the way:

  • How the service works, in brief:
    • Download the app
    • Select your location via the app
    • Select the restaurant and your items
    • Place your order
    • Wait for delivery
    • Pay cash on delivery.
  • I’m ordering from the Brunei-Muara district.
  • I was informed beforehand that delivery time is generally an hour for all restaurants.
  • I used the foodpanda app on iPad, hence SMS notifications and calls from foodpanda arrived separately on my Android phone. So there’s a mishmash of screenshots below.

1st Try: The code

The first thing to do is to pick a location. The eligible locations for delivery was limited. This can be mildly confusing if you’re not sure which area you’re in.

For my first try, I used the BANDAR CITY area; the second time, I used SERUSOP. Geographically, my location was close to those areas though not exactly in the area. There didn’t seem to be an issue with this.

As of writing this post, though, foodpanda has added on a substantial list of locations for the Brunei-Muara district, including villages (all prefixed by “Kampong”) and Government office buildings:

Screenshot showing some of the locations, such as: Jabatan Sekolah-Sekolah, Jabatan Telekom, JERUDONG, Kampong Anggerek Desa, etc. Yes, I took the screenshot at 1:31 am.

List of locations for Brunei-Muara district

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09
Nov 2014
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Survey on Brunei Government Scholarships Abroad

This post hasn't been updated in over 3 years.

As part of my MA in Digital Sociology this year, I’m doing a class on research methods. I’m interested in finding out the perspectives of Brunei residents on government scholarships, particularly those that send students abroad for higher education.

The survey is currently running (edited) CLOSED; the last day will be 4 April 2014 (UK time).

Survey has ended! Thank you!

I have a totally unrealistic goal of getting 100 responses, so if you like the survey, I appreciate if you could share or tweet this page, or the above survey link. (Note on privacy: The short URL collects statistics on where a visitor clicks from, but otherwise doesn’t collect any personal data. See is.gd’s ethics information.)

Results will also be posted here. If I do not reach the 100-response mark, I will still share the figures. More information here on the research rationale, design, etc.

Updates!
  • 2 Apr 2014:
    This morning I woke up to over 100 responses! It took just a little over 2 days. Thanks so much everyone for your responses! I am especially thankful to everyone who shared and tweeted the survey – I know it doesn’t take much to click the “share” button, but I’m feeling full of gratitude and fluffy feelings at the moment! I can only guess that the survey took off because its topic was something you guys were interested in. So, I’ve decided to keep the survey open for anyone who still wants to participate, but I have changed the last day from 5 April to 4 April. Thanks again all.
    🙂
  • 5 Apr 2014:
    The survey has been closed! Thank you!
    😀
31
Mar 2014
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Criticism and Continuity in Brunei

This post hasn't been updated in over 3 years.

A long post follows. Read-o-Meter says it may take you over 20 minutes. There are three main sections, each broken into a further 3-4 subsections. Thank you for reading.

This is a post which took me a while to do, as I rewrote it many times, over several months. I wanted to promote criticism, which meant two things to me:

  • that we should encourage the writing of informed critiques about the development of various fields in Brunei, such as art, technology, business, and so on;
  • to encourage a culture of being able to question others, in a civil way, while at the same time being able to be questioned by others, and also respond in a civil way.

However, part of me feels that I have waited too long to write this. When I began, I believed that criticism in itself is not really a cause for concern for a Bruneian that wants to question something. I believed that their chosen approach in offering the criticism, and their topic of choice, are the factors that determine whether their voice would stand the threat of censorship. Hence, I felt safe in writing this post.

But in recent times, my belief has been challenged. The government is not to be disrespected, despite the multitude of channels – existing long before Tumblr, Disqus or Whatsapp – where people write all manner of things that insult their neighbours, other nationalities, and the government. Rational comments, calling for clarification and assurance, can be seen as rebellious. Questioning rules or policies can be seen as a rejection.

Also, if my post had been written half a year ago – before the news reports began to closely follow the Syariah law implementations, before we saw a deluge of commentary around the topic – I still think the core of my points would have been the same. But now, posting this seems to be highly coloured by those events, even though it hadn’t been my intention. I regret that it should be the case.

My post below continues, nonetheless. What can I say? I’m a young, stupid idealist.

0

Introduction

There is a culture in Brunei around criticism that has puzzled and frustrated me. The local media is not very critical – or not openly so. And because open criticism does not appear in the media, it is instead carried out in mostly “non-official” capacity: breakfast conversations over teh tarik, private groups on Whatsapp, anonymous or pseudonym-credited comments on websites and forums. You may argue that some of those are private spaces, while others are not. Those who are bolder, or less concerned about their identity, write to their newspapers, or comment on Facebook groups and pages with their short names. There are few blogs with significant readership that present criticism.

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03
Mar 2014
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POSTED IN Critical Me
DISCUSSION 14 Comments

Unofficial e-darussalam Guide (2014)

This post hasn't been updated in over 3 years.

This guide was written in February 2014 and applicable as of then. In November 2014, the e-darussalam (gov.bn) website was revamped. While some features remain, my specific screenshots are no longer applicable. The ability to search all Brunei government domains is still possible at http://is.gd/govbnsearch but I am not sure if the search index is up-to-date. This will be my last update on this post; any writings about future changes to the website will be published in a new post.

You may never have heard of e-darussalam. It is a Brunei Government portal that was launched in 2011 with the shortest Bruneian domain name: gov.bn, in hopes that people would find it easy to remember.

Since its launch, it has been under the management of EGNC, or E-Government National Centre, a department under the Prime Minister’s Office.

I wrote this “guide” because I think e-darussalam has some neat features that are not highlighted well. Please note though, I have focused on the main “website” portion of e-darussalam, rather than its e-services that require login. Also, a disclaimer: I used to work on e-darussalam. Yay.

This guide is applicable to the website as of February 2014. I will update here if that is the case. As of writing, e-darussalam looks like this:

e-darussalam - Home Page

Contents

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19
Feb 2014
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POSTED IN Guides & How-Tos
DISCUSSION 0 Comments