Brunei Telco Wars 2022

September 1st brought a UNN upgrade and now our telcos DST, Imagine and Progresif have updated their home broadband plans. Below is a summary of the changes for each telco and the latest plans

Pick My Provider updated to help pick which provider could suit your needs (view old plans here)



  • Straightforward upgrade: same price but with either more data (100GB) or faster speed
  • Good
    • Webpage seems to have all necessary information
    • Simple 5 price points and decide if you want more data / more speed
  • Bad
    • 2 year contract
    • No Nationwide WiFi
  • Ugly
    • No real “Unlimited” plan as all plans are throttled after a certain data usage
    • Extra data only being 100GB feels small and doesn’t feel like it differentiates enough between
    • Message is confusing
      • saying all plans have 100Mbps but there are plans with less than that
      • most plan details show a breakdown based on 100Mbps then “Other plans” then “Unlimited” instead of showing the 5 price points


  • Upgrades in general get extra data and extra speed benefits
  • Good
    • Actual unlimited plans
    • Nationwide WiFi and explicitly mentioning multiple device support
  • Bad
    • 1 or 2 year contract
    • Unclear throttling info for data based plans (should be same as previous of limited to 1Mbps)
  • Ugly
    • Dowgranding plans once contract runs out and not directly mentioned on main page
    • Online chat system is not great and got no response (previous chat system was better)


  • Consolidated plans typically with more data / speed at same price
  • Good
    • No contract needed
    • Actual unlimited plans
    • Nationwide WiFi access
    • Has 100GB for $10 data add-on with long 60 days validity
  • Bad
    • Some lower plans now pay more
    • Unclear throttling behaviour for data based plans (had to ask them as not on website)
      • no Internet for “Entry-Level” plans
      • limited to 512kbps/1Mbps for the rest (was told 2 different values from 2 different sources)
    • $10 line fee now for all plans
    • Online chat system is not great and got no response from multiple messages sent
  • Ugly
    • Now with excluding $10 line fee
      • Feels like they are the same as competition and lost an edge
      • Adds confusion for previous customers where it was previously included in the plan
      • So it is less “Simple keeping”(one of their advertised phrases in the past)



  • Comparing to previous plans
    • In general same price but with either more data (100GB) or faster speed (so you only get 1 benefit)
    • Exception: Infinity 38 will get faster speeds when choosing more data (previously 20Mbps now 50Mbps)
  • 5 price points and each has an option for supersize (more data) / superspeed (faster)
    • I did not understand this until I saw the following sign at a store


  • Comparing to existing plans
    • Upgrade gives 100GB more with faster speeds at same price
    • Exception: 1.6TB data plans quota has no data change but $4/month cheaper
  • When plans are out of contract you get less data / slower speed
    • Based on their Instagram post as could not find an info on their website
      • 800GB quota and lower: less data
      • 1.6TB data: less speed (100Mbps -> 50Mbps, 200Mbps -> 100Mbps) and $4/month extra
      • Unlimited data: plans less speed (100Mbps -> 50Mbps, 200Mbps -> 100Mbps)
      • To keep 200Mbps extra $200/month
    • There is mention of less data in Broadband FAQ but no details
      > You will automatically be moved to a no contract plan, but with less data. There will be no changes to your monthly rental. To continue enjoying more data, simply renew your contract to 12 or 24 months.
      > You can stay for as long as you wish. However, you will enjoy more benefits i.e. more data or savings when you renew your contract.
  • Nationwide WiFi available
  • Has real unlimited connection
  • Data based plans should throttle on exceeding data
    • No mention in website, had to ask in person and they did not know the speed
    • Likely 1Mbps as was previously
  • 1 or 2 year contract
  • Online communications not so great
    • Thier ima chat system has had a downgrade since the last time I used it
      • Says “Type a message” but you have to click buttons as they have disabled actual chat?
      • Personal identifiable information is sent in the clear in the address bar
      • Never got a response
    • Instagram direct message reply took 23 hours


  • Consolidating multiple plans to single new plan
  • Comparing to previous plans
    • In general twice speed and slightly cheaper
    • Lower tier previous plans now pay more
      • Previously: One Home 50GB @ 20Mbps for $30 / One Home 250GB @ 20Mbps for $38
      • Now: Fibre 125GB @ 50Mbps for $35 / Fibre 250GB @ 50Mbps for $45 (Data add on 100GB for $10 valid for 60 days)
  • Now all prices **exclude** $10 line cost
  • No contract required
  • Nationwide WiFi available
    • Was told in store that it is only for a single device and multiple devices can be registered but needs to be done in store
  • Online communications not so great
    • Thier “Ask Tia” chat system has never given me a response
    • Prior to this recent upgrade it just said “Message sent” so I presumed it was an email and I would get a reply. Never received one
    • This time around it loads a chat interface but still I never got a respons
    • Instagram direct message reply took 31 hours

Pick My Provider

Ever since we got the revamp internet plans from DST, Imagine and Progresif (which I call the #BruneiTelcoWars) thanks to the work of UNN there have been several comparisons around and now is my turn with Pick My Provider


  • Find top 6 cheapest plans based on expected data usage
  • Shows top 3 cheapest per provider
  • Supports some filtering (e.g. minimum speed / contract)
  • Search Home Broadband (i.e. fibre), Mobile and Mobile Pay-As-You-Go
  • Displays information in tables for quick scanning of information
  • Plans are linked to source telco for more details
  • Copy link to current search to share with others

Most things are there and one current known issue is that Mobile Pay-As-You-Go search does not currently look at the number of days the data is valid: so a search for 1GB can show an addon that is only valid for 1 day. Hope to fix this one day down the road

Brunei Immigration Headquaters’s IC Section Queue Options

If you need to book a slot with the Immigration and National Registration Department Headquarters in Jalan Menteri Besar in relation to IC matters there are the following options

The QueUP app only has limited slots when there are actually more slots available that are not listed. So if you end up doing a walk-in they will just book you into a slot

My on-going Baiduri bank online banking problems

TLDR: Be wary of Baiduri’s new online banking platform: if you lose access to the mobile app (e.g. phone died / broke / app has issues) you’ll be locked out of your account and the only option is for them to delete your account causing you to lose saved details such as payment accounts and beneficiaries and who knows how long it will take them to get your account in order for you to start being able to make online payments again.

Also it would probably be best to email if you want to be alerted of any replies becuase their “email” in the mobile app does not allow attachments and will not send you any notifications

The Details

So as of the time of this writing I’ve not be able to make any online payments via Baiduri Bank’s online banking system for over 2 weeks

Failure #1
It started on 19th June when I opened up the mobile app to see that I was logged out. No bother: tried logging in again and it asked me to go through some extra security checks but on the final step it gives me an error saying that they are currently unable to service my request

Failure #2
Let me try logging in via a web browser and it asked me to enter a soft token from the mobile app which I can’t access because I’ve been logged out of the mobile app which generates the soft token

Failure #3
Called their help line and was told that I was still logged in on my device despite me tell them that I have been logged out and that it asked me to go through some extra checks but still failed to process my request. I believe I asked if there was any other fallback for verification like SMS and seems like there isn’t. They said they could remove my account and I would have to re-register and that would take 2 days. Not having any options, I asked them to proceed with the removal.

Failure #4
The next day I decided to try login again and it seemed that my account was no longer recognized so thought they managed to remove my account early. Managed to re-register and login and have access to my account. Found that my previous payment account details were no longer there. Guess it was tied to the account which they removed and deleted. Tried to make a payment and get an error of having no checking account.

Failure #5
Called into the helpline again and they told me to send an email via the app. The “email” interface is shown below with no ability to send screenshots of the errors or other details. I sent an “email” via the app and waited.

Failure #6
On 28th June after about a week of not hearing anything I tried again and still got errors. This is when I saw that they did actually reply to me 4 days after I wrote in but the only way for me to know about the message is to log into the mobile app to manually check for any new message. I got no emails sent to my email address registered with them: no notifications that they replied. So seems their concept of “email” is a message in the mobile app that you have to manually check every so often in order to see if they actually responded.

Failure #7
So their message suggested that I deregister my device and sign in again. Tried that and I tried to do another payment/transfer and this time I got a different error: “Transaction Initiated” blank screen

Failure #8
Getting really annoyed at this, I decided to write a long message detailing all these issued I’ve had and the inefficiencies of having to manually check messages and after clicking send, it tells me that my session has expired and I’ve lost the entire long message

Failure #9
Got a reply to one of my messages and they were asking me to send an email to for further investigation. Why couldn’ they do this in the first place so I could provide all my screenshots in the first place? Why did I have to jump through all these hoops just to get to this email

Failure #10
Got a call from Baiduri asking me try the payment again but told them that I already paid in person due to the failure of their system. Tried to add a beneficiary to aid future fund transfers and yet again another error message

Failure #11
2 days ago I tried to log in again and couldn’t login in on the mobile app or even access the website via a browser


Failure #12
With a VPN I managed to access the website and when trying to get my Soft Token to login, I see a blank section showing me no Soft Token

Failure #13
Tried to make another payment and still getting errors and I haven’t heard back from them with their last words being “We have raised to our IT department for further investigation and we will update you once we receive feedback from them.” at 3:11pm on the 2nd of July.


So it has been 2+ weeks without being able to make an online transfer/payment. My confidence levels in this bank has dwindled and wondering if all banks have these sorts of problems. Either way guess it is time to go around bank shopping and would be curious to hear of any similar stories with other banks

Brunei Geek Meet : APIs

Continuing on from webhooks of the last meetup we covered APIs in this December’s meetup before breaking into chatting about setting up a developer environment after trying to go through setting up GRPC on a XAMPP VM (unsuccessfully šŸ˜¢)

Slides at

Presentation notes

  • APIs
  • Authorization / Authentication via
    • Simple API keys / Access Tokens
    • More complicated but more flexible Oauth
Oauth flow via

Hour of Code, APIs and Hack Night

Friday, Dec 14, 2018, 6:30 PM

Block B28, Simpang 32-37, Kampung Anggerek Desa, Jalan Berakas Bandar Seri Begawan, BN

7 Geeks Went

It’s the final month of the year and let’s have a night of chatter and code! Last week was the Hour of Code so anybody wanting to learn to code is more than welcome to come and ask questions or if you want to go through any Hour of Code exercises we’ll be available to help guide you through and help you learn! If you’re wanti…

Check out this Meetup →

#fixBruneiWebsites : Telbru’s horizontally scrolling website

As part of the #fixBruneiWebsites movement, we took a look at the Telbru websiteĀ which had some weird horizontal scrolling as I found out and mentioned inĀ this tweet

The Problem

  • Continuing to scroll down when at the bottom of the page seems to do a horizontal scroll
  • In fact, it is even possible to scroll horizontally even if there is no actual real content visible

The Solution

  • Adding the following CSS definition
.owl-wrapper { 
Ā  max-width: 100%;

The Investigation

Note: I’m using Chrome dev tools as I typically use Chrome but other browser should have similar functionality

  • Open up the Chrome dev toolsĀ and head over to the “Elements” section to view the rendered HTML code on the page
  • Start deleting elements in the BODYĀ until the problem stops happening
  • We found that the testimonial-containerĀ seems to be the cause of the problem
  • Expanding the elements the elements we see that a owl-wrapperĀ divĀ has a width of 3300pxwhich seems suspiciousĀ 
  • Setting a max-width: 100% seems to fix the problemĀ 
  • So adding a custom style of max-width: 100% on the .owl-wrapper looks to be the solution we want!

I believe that should fix the problem! šŸš€

Moving on from here, perhaps we could looking a bit more into what is creating this owl-wrapper in the first place: e.g. is it a library that just needs proper configuration or is there an actual bug in the library. But that would possibly be something for another day!

Brunei Geek Meet : Webhooking around

This month we held the meetup at iCentre thanks to the folks at DARe!

Topic of the month was webhooks with and some interesting links for the night

For the #fixBruneiWebsites session, I took a look at the Telbru website that I mentioned in this tweet having weird horizontal scroll behaviour

That seemed to be fixed with a max-width: 100% definition. Full write up of investigation and ways to check and fix it to come soon!

We saw a couple of new facings and a couple old ones but it was a great time! On to next month as we finish end off the year! šŸš€

Webhooking around

Friday, Nov 23, 2018, 6:15 PM

Block B28, Simpang 32-37, Kampung Anggerek Desa, Jalan Berakas Bandar Seri Begawan, BN

13 Geeks Went

Happy November everybody! A night of talks and webhooks. We have a spot over at iCentre and if you haven’t checked out their recent renovation works it is now quite a cosy area! Agenda ———– [6:15] Mingle or get some food from Kontena Park [6:30] Intro [6:35] Webhooks: automate your life and work (and possibly even build a business from them?…

Check out this Meetup →

Intro slides for the night which include upcoming tech related events happening in Brunei!

Brunei Car Prices and #fixBruneiWebsites


  • You can currently find the latest of Brunei Price Controlled Car Prices at
  • #fixBruneiWebsites
    • Let us the community highlight Brunei website issues and tag them on your social media platform of choice
      • Suggest a solution if possible
      • If not, people curious to learn / offer a solution can reply to the post with an answer šŸ™‚
    • Let’s use this as an opportunity to learn and give back to the companies that do have an online presence and let’s make the Brunei web great šŸš€


The story

Did aĀ Google search for “brunei car prices”Ā which brought up a couple interesting results of actual approved prices for cars

Google search for "brunei car prices".png


It showed that the most recent one was June 2018 but curious as what is the latest version if any. As the results are coming fromĀ, did a search for “brunei car prices depd”Ā and found the Motor Vehicles pagedepd old page.png

Which doesn’t seem updated since 2016Depd old motor vechicles page.png

Dead ends

As the PDFs show that there were more recent ones they had to be somewhere, so digging we go

Home was not useful.png

Sitemap does not help.png


More digging around and found theĀ Competition and Consumer Affairs Department pageĀ that has the latest list on the right along with other price controlled items such as Cooking Oil and Formulated Powered Milk

Found on Competition and Consumer Affairs Department page.png

There is also theĀ Price Control Goods pageĀ which has links to Clay Bricks and OthersPrice Controlled Goods page.png

And as it turns out it was under “Consumer Affairs” on theĀ Department of Economic Planning and DevelopmentĀ home page. In hind site, it makes some sense but isn’t too obvious

Consumer Affairs link on home page.png


What can we learn?

So from this I wondered what we could do to learn from this but instead of just complaining, what are the steps we can do to improve this. I have seen a couple websites and in Brunei that don’t seem to emphasise their web presence or just have things set up weirdly and thought it would be great to use these as learning opportunities for the local tech community in general so I’m going try a #fixBruneiWebsites journey

  • Let us the people of Brunei highlight website issues and tag them on your social media platform
    • If you can, try to offer possible solutions
    • If you can’t that is ok too šŸ™‚
  • Then anybody who’s keen or interested could look up posts with the hashtag and could offer and answer and reply back to the original post
  • Take a look at the hashtag on
  • We can have sessions atĀ BruneiGeekMeetĀ for any new #fixBruneiWebsite issues and discussions

Learning takeaways / solutions for Brunei Car Prices listing

  • Have a strategy that allows you to scale
    • While I don’t know the full reasoning why the old page didn’t get updated, it could be that the way it was set up didn’t allow them to make changes easily or locked them into a certain format
    • The old Motor Vehicles page had individual pricing based on car brand. Perhaps it was too much work to break things down and upload individual files
    • There is no current Motor Vehicles page but now it is just a single PDF which helps consolidation and provides simplicity of uploading a single file which is great
  • Don’t be afraid to change things up
    • If things didn’t scale well initially, I feel that modifying the old existing page could have been something they did and not just let it go untouched
  • Update old pages
    • It could be something as simple as a link to the new current page to allow people to get the latest information
    • Or they could do a permanentĀ 301 redirectĀ or a temporaryĀ 302 redirectĀ on the old page so that it automatically redirects to the new one
  • If you have a Sitemap make use of it / update it
    • This would be similar to the point above but Sitemaps are even more important compared to regular pages as they are used inĀ SEOĀ and help your page be found by search engines. While this Sitemap was an HTML page and not a XML Sitemap: HTML Sitemaps are still useful with the added bonus that it helps visitors to your site discover more things
  • Detail features of sections on a website
    • The “Consumer Affairs” link on the homepage isn’t a super obvious choice that it would lead to prices
    • Perhaps a shot


So I hope you come and join me on this #fixBruneiWebsites journey!

Brunei Geek Meet : Hacktoberfest Open Hack Night



It is the month of October and HacktoberfestĀ returns yet again. If you’re not aware of what Hacktoberfest is, it is month-long celebration of open source software run by DigitalOcean in partnership with GitHub and Twilio.

  • It is open to anybody and everybody all over the world
  • It runs for the entire month of July
  • And it aims to give back to open source
  • One way they do this is to encourage people to create 5 quality pull requests to any public Github repository and this year they will be giving away free T-shirts for all those who have completed it šŸŽ‰Ā (This year they have 50,000 compared to 30,000 last year)

We ran a Brunei Geek Meet last night where we covered an overview of making a Github pull request and shared some tips to look for issues

I managed to continue to work onĀ Insomnia

Dev Tools Electron.png

This being the second year of participating in Hacktoberfest, I’m going to try look at tools I use or projects/people that have added value to me in some form over the many years of the Internet. So I’ll be continuing my hunt šŸ‘€Ā and hope you guys have a great Hactoberfest!




BGM Hacktoberfest 2018 slides




Hacktoberfest Open Hack Night: Celebrating Open Source and Giving Back

Friday, Oct 12, 2018, 6:00 PM

D & T Building
Spg 32-27, Kb Anggerek Desa Bandar Seri Begawan, BN

7 Geeks Went

It’s Hacktoberfest 2018 so let’s get together and celebrate open source over food, drinks, learning, and great company! What’s Hacktoberfest? ——————————– Hacktoberfest ā€” brought to you by DigitalOcean in partnership with GitHub and Twilio ā€” is a month-long celebration of open source software. Maintainers are invited to guide wo…

Check out this Meetup →

B-Code: Brunei’s 1st National ICT Hackathon – Launch and Info session

So, B{CODE}Ā –Ā Brunei’s 1st National ICT Hackathon kicked off on Tuesday with essentially an info session with theĀ subject matter experts, SMEs (yeah I know that is a pretty bad acronym when the news uses it in the context of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) of the 9 projects that was available


I went to it with an open mind and tried to make the most of it but felt that someĀ titles and descriptions pitched on the website was at odds with what was said during the session. I’ll detail each project with the synopsis/description provided on the website and what I gathered from the panel session

Brunei Communication Hub – Empowering communication between public and government agencies

Website synopsis: The government has provided several different platforms by which the public can communicate with various agencies. For example, the E-Darussalam Portal presents users with a forum for individuals to express their opinions and concerns. Several government agencies are also actively making use of social media to interact with the public. To further improve communication, the government needs to increase the visibility, responsiveness, and cohesiveness of the different mediums so as to better interact with the general public.

From the panel session:

communication hub.jpg

  • They mentioned about using customer satisfaction survey as a standard for measures like KPIs
  • Had trouble with past survey participation despite “aggressive” push
  • They would like real time reports from the surveys
  • Ideally to cover all government agencies
  • Mentioned distrust in usage of social media due to possible bias
    • Need more official communication platform
    • After Q&A they seemed open to using social media butĀ they didnā€™t want 3rd parties like Facebook to read the data
  • Key take aways:
    • Mainly wanting to use it for taking surveys and needing an official platform that 3rd parties don’t have access to the data
    • Discussion felt at odds with the synopsis which mentioned the use of social media but hesitation to use it as mentioned in the panel?

Interactive / Dynamic Open Data Platform

Website Synopsis: portal site was developed and launched in 2014 to promote Open Data. The portal was developed with the intention to facilitate and help the public, business entrepreneurs and researchers to obtain data that are general data that are collected by government agencies, through the portal. To improve the effectiveness and accessiblity of the website, the portal needs to be further developed to enable automation (API access), as well as incorporating dynamic and interactive interfaces to aid in better understanding and interpretation of data by the general public.

From the panel session:

  • Looking for tools on top of the current portal to bring some interactivity to the data
  • And possibly even tools for making data more machine readable

Intelligent emergency response

Website synopsis: The government has provided four (4) separate hotline to receive the emergency calls from the public; ambulance (991), police (993), fire & rescue (995), as well as search & rescue (998). With the availability of the latest technology, the delivery of this emergency information can be further improved so as to allow the proper emergency authority to provide quick & accurate response and reach the emergency location faster.

From the panel session:

  • Currently every authority (police/ambulance/fire/search & rescue) have their own control centre
  • Wants as easy way for end user to get in touch with the correct authority (e.g. an app with icons for each one). And also an easy way to share location
  • Possibly even have emergency contacts with family instead ofĀ call centres if lesser emergency
  • Possible modes of communication: call / email / text
  • Possible extension to use for dispatching to other non emergency agencies with extra features like ability to take photo with Ā locations so can complaint or sent to appropriate agency

Crowdfunding on community and charity ā€“ Social empowerment through public funding

Website synopsis: Through the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the government has recently successfully implemented the Mosque Fund, and may soon see development of its first mosque from the fund. It would be beneficial to explore the expansion of such activities primarily to support the development of social communities and potentially fund national scale projects that benefit the country as a whole. Challenges in this domain include having solution that have the necessary transparency and accountability built in, while enabling funds from various different mediums.

From the panel session:

  • Wasn’t too clear what the existing problems were and what an ideal solution would be
  • Mentioned of wanting an integrated system to be able to select which funds to donate to
  • Moderator shared examples of related online sites like: GoFundMe / Kickstarter

Brunei Fitness – Tackling the obesity by engaging the community and encouraging the healthy lifestyle

Website synopsis: The scale of the obesity epidemic in Brunei Darussalam is staggering. Recent surveys indicate that 33.5% of the adult population in Brunei are overweight and 27.1% are obese. The implications of this for the development of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke are highly significant and the social and economic consequences are potentially devastating. Without a change, Brunei Darussalam will fail to meet its Wawasan 2035 goal of becoming a top 10 nation for quality of life.

Evidence suggests that to combat the obesity epidemic we need to engage individuals and the wider community to take responsibility for their own health. Individual behaviour has to change such that eating healthily, with moderate portion sizes, and doing 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week to maintain health becomes the social norm. Unfortunately, it is not enough just to raise awareness and educate individuals. We have to move beyond “awareness raising”. Our behaviour is strongly influenced by our environment and the culture around us. In Brunei there is a ready availability and affordability of high calories, nutrient poor foods, alongside a mindset that views over-eating as normal. The task therefore is, how we engage the community, and create a social movement towards healthy living? How do we make healthy lifestyles the new normal and push the message that ‘Health is Everyone’s Business’?

From the panel session:


  • Wants a “very very local” kind of app thatĀ “has to be as unique as our Bruneians” that caters to help people lose weight especially the obese and overweight
  • Mentioned aĀ good example app was “FitnessPal” (perhaps referring toĀ
  • Mention of calories counts of things like ambuyat

Talent Search Centre

Website synopsis: In recent years, a number of talented locals have turned to social media Ā to attract customers and showcase their talents. In order to ensure that this talent can be marketed and has greater visibility, a platform for a talent management and matching may prove beneficial.

From the panel session:

talent search.jpg

  • They mentioned that they have issues with the current JobCentreĀ site (didn’t give exact details but that they are some)
  • Would like to have resources related to job finding such as personality tests, best practises on how to apply for jobs and job readiness assessments
  • MentionedĀ & as good examples
  • During Q&A was asked about how would we patch into the current system and if we would have access to the data. No data access would be given but structure would be possible but no direct access to current system which essentially makes it requiring a complete overhaul of an existing system
  • Take aways
    • Felt this was pretty confusing to me especially with the synopsis. I interpreted “talent” as coming from the creative industry of things like graphic design / arts / performances / e.t.c. butĀ seemed like asking for a new JobCentre site

Public Transportation

Website synopsis: Efficient public transportation can form a crucial part of the solution to the nation’s economic, energy, and environmental challenges – helping to bring a better quality of life to those who rely on it. The government is continuously committed to improving its public transportation. Challenges here include improved access to service times for public transportation and routes, and information about delays and official information.

From the panel session:

public transport.jpg

  • Mentioned about having access to data like
    • location of stops because sometimes it may not be where you think it is
    • real time data to know when the next mode of transportation is coming
    • fare estimators
  • To watch out for complaints for things like unfair prices

Local Tourism – Kenali Negara Kitani

Website synopsis: Statistics of tourists visit to Brunei Darussalam has increased from year to year. Last year alone, a total of 218,000 tourists visited Brunei Darussalam which was an increase of 8.57% compared to the previous year. With the increase in this statistic, it can also help Brunei in boosting the national economy. Challenges here is how to ensure that the tourists feel comfortable and safe, while increasing their enjoyment and ease in the country.

From the panel session:

local tourism.jpg

  • Wanting to make data available to both foreign and local tourists
  • Having listing such as like historical tours / heritage trails / tour packages
  • Being able to cater for foreign delegations like visitors from China

Property Guide

Website synopsis: The real estate market in Brunei Darussalam continues to grow with several types of housing, property and shops being developed in different locations. To further increase and attract more investors (both local and foreign) a tool that enables them to analyse the market trends based on the data may serve to better decision making and development in areas of demand.

From the panel session:

property guide.jpg

  • Mention of knowing of things like prices of houses in different locations, gathering market trends and knowing things like who’s responsible for grass cutting


Truth be told I got pretty weary after the first 2 sessions (i.e. first 6 themes mentioned above) and these were my key take aways in the overall day

  • They faced the typical issue with events in Brunei: running it during work hours. Not everybody would be able to attend due to work commitments and not everybody would have the luxury of taking time off
  • They missed the opportunity for the subject matter experts to be available to the participants. Preliminary schedule mentioned that there would be a session in the morning where they would have booths for participants to ask them questions before the afternoon panel discussion. But this was not the case: there was noĀ subject matter experts from each project available in the morning.
  • Theme description on website and what was discussed during the panel session can be different. Not the case for all but from what was emphasized during the discussion, it seemed to diverge from the theme synopsis.
    Felt that the “Communication Hub” and “Talent Search” projects were the main ones for me here: “Communication Hub” synopsis mentioned of the government utilising social media, but panelist mentioned not wanting to use social media.Ā As mentioned previously theĀ “Talent Search” synopsis made me think along the lines of the creative arts industry.
    As I believe there were some people who couldn’t make the event, feels that they are “flying blind” not having access the possible more relevant things discussed in the panel session.
  • Some of these have ready made solutions out there (particularly the “Property Guide” and “Talent Search”). Thus it feels that having them as a theme without focus particular unique situations as to why current solutions don’t work, will just be like reinventing the wheel (while a good learning process for people, it wouldn’t really bring anything unique to the table).
  • Some solutions don’t really need a full app like solution and having just an updated website or central source of information is sufficient.
  • Some solutions feel that they should just be government tenders as opposed to hackathon projects
  • Perhaps I missed it but not all panelist had a summary slide (the ones that I took a picture of and showed above in each section)
  • Some panelist kept things vague as to what problems they were facing and while I understand that they would want to keep things open in terms of flexibility and creativity, but I feel for a better success rate in terms of a project, it would best to highlight key issues they are having with their current systems. While being creative is great, if it doesn’t solveĀ core issues,Ā I don’t think it would be as effective
  • No Q&A with the organisers directly and no direct means of communication with the subject matters experts post event (will probably have to email in the organisers to get these details)

Feels that I’m rambling on a bit on this but I do hope for the best of this hackathon and that the projects do see actual real world use. Just from my feeling of the day itself, it felt a bit confusing and I needed to decompress the info out a bit. I fully commend the organisers in getting this out the door andĀ all the best to the contestants!