Surfs up, Bru~nei!

Although you can do it in so very few places, surfing is a sport that is quickly growing in popularity among the Bruneian youth. No, you did not just read that wrong, people DO surf in Brunei! Yeah, it was kind of unexpected for me too, if I’m being totally honest.

Tungku Beach, otherwise known as KM26 is an exposed beach break that only favors the surfer when conditions are just right. It wouldn’t technically be like hitting the waves in Malibu or catching some high tides Wakiki, but its still a fun activity that’s worth giving a try. The best conditions for surfing is during the cyclone season, where the best wind direction according to the surf forecast website is from the Southeast. Brunei has also held its first ever Surf Fest early last year as an act to raise money for much-needed lifesaving equipment at both Tungku and Berakas beach. It had a great turnout, with a huge amount of people signing up for surf lessons. It is a festival that they plan to make annually.

So, if you’re anything like me, and surfing is definitely somewhere on your list of things to do before you die, then I suggest to stop waiting and just do it, because life is too short to just “plan to do it in the future”. When the opportunity waves at you, grab a board and ride it.

PTEM’s Greenhouse

By Sarah Eddie

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Earlier this month, on the 12th of February, PTEM decided to put her green thumbs to the test, by initiating her very own enclosed botanic garden. The hothouse is cared by various members of our little community composed of Meragang’s very own. The green house is s step forward to realising and mitigating the wound that climate change has foisted upon our earth, it may be a small step but make no mistake of the impact it is going to make.

This initiative is taken by the From Garden to Kitchen Club. The club would like to introduce, if not enhance, the appreciation of simple and basic cooking skills, while obtaining ample knowledge in food and nutrition, personal hygiene as well as safety. When asked why they wanted to build a greenhouse, the tutors-in-charge said that the idea presented itself as they wanted the members of the club to learn new skills as well as deliver the novel information to the youth, with optimistic ideas such as gardening with hydroponics. So, a new idea arose, and that was the simple concept of Garden to Plate. 

The Club members also expressed their appreciation for the guidance and assistance of Handri, Managing director of UZ urban farming as well as the cooperation and understanding of the existing tutors in the club. Fruits of their labour are still going through their infant stage, thus they feel a need to better their system. They hope to plant a wider variety of vegetables such as other green leafy ones as well as the more fleshy ones such as juicy, ripped tomatoes and fresh aubergine.

It’s a start. To healthier way of living.

“Neil Armstrong – One small step for man, one huge step for man kind.”

Video Games

Video games are a form of electronic recreation that involves interaction on an interface that generates visual feedback on two or three dimensional video display devices such as TVs, computers, laptops and mobile phones. Online games are the most popular and they are primarily played through the Internet which allows us to communicate with other gamers. Based on the personal observations that we have made, most Pusat Tingkatan Enam Meragang students play more video games on their mobile phones and consoles rather than on the computer.

Firstly, playing video games can be beneficial. It can help relieve stress from studying, due to the fact that when we play video games with friends, we can enjoy the games more being able to have fun with others without dwelling on our problems, causing us to focus on the games for the time being. An additional side-note would be that at the same time, video games also can improve our problem solving skill. 

In addition, video games can improve our social skills. It is because we will have the opportunity to communicate with people from other countries. This may aid us in perhaps learning new languages and strengthening our bonds with people from other nations. Our self-confidence may also develop as a result, since we are used to talking with strangers in the video games.

On the other hand, playing video games can also have its drawbacks. We, as students who play video games, may be distracted from our studies, spending more time playing video games rather than focusing on our studies. Moreover, we may also be easily exposed to anonymous people with ill intent. Hackers could easily gain access to our personal information, meaning that, we must attempt to play games which has higher security standards to avoid these problems.

In conclusion, it depends on how we decide to include video game-playing in our daily lives. We must manage our time and make sure that video games will not take over our entire lives. The only people who can allow their lives to revolve around video games are the professionals – e-sport athletes and game developers.

Contributing Writers:

MOHAMMAD NABIL WAQIUDDIN BIN HAJI MOHAMAD
ABDUL YAZID BIN ZULKIFLI
AK MUHAMMAD RAFI’ HAFIZUDDIN BIN PG HAJI JUNAIDI
MUHAMMAD NAJIB FIKRI BIN SAIFUL HARDI

Class: U6 ‘O’ Level Block 5

UnikLearn

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UnikLearn is a training and internship programme for differently-abled youth with the aim to empower them towards independent living by enhancing their social skills and personal interactions. To sustain the project which requires professional therapists, UnikLearn will cost trainees $800 a month. The training component of the programme will be conducted four times a week, in three-hour sessions at Spark Lifeskill’s centre in Kg. Jangsak, with an emphasis on improving interpersonal and situational skills.

Several companies have supported UnikLearn by giving the differently-abled youth opportunities to be one of their interns; one of the companies is Noice. We had a small talk with the Creative Director of Noice in order  to know more about the internships that take place in their cafe. Gladly, the Creative Director with his bright smile talked about his experience in training one of the interns that now have become one of their full-time staff members.

Firdaus Omar, the Creative Director of Noice, came up with two reasons as to why he wanted to collaborate with UnikLearn. From a business perspective, he is always interested in people who want to work and is equally as interested in tapping into a potential human resource. He noticed that the interns from UnikLearn had working experience, seeing the opportunity to employ keen interns who really wanted to operate as a part of the team. Coincidentally, one of the team members, Muhd Syahmi Bin Haji Juma’at who is now a full-time member of staff at Noice, loves to cook so his work blends both what he enjoys doing and his current job at Noice. So, employing interns from UnikLearn helps from a business perspective because employers have dedicated staff members who love their jobs and are willing to work together as a team.

From Firdaus Omar’s personal perspective, he would be more socially responsible in his business and be more open minded with members of the community in working with special needs individuals. It is often that the special needs individuals are judged unfairly based on their abilities and appearance. By collaborating with UnikLearn, he would like to give work opportunities to the special needs individuals as they are not only determined, but willing to work. In addition, this helps to get rid of the discrimination associated against special needs individuals regarding that they ‘do not have the capability to hold a full-time job.’ Firdaus Omar has stated that his partner has someone in his family who is a special needs individual. So, for them, the idea of seeing special needs individuals become more independent and become part of the community is most satisfying. This programme is not just different but is also unique in a way that engages regular members of the local community in contributing their support for special needs individuals who live in our community.

Regarding the work structure for the interns who are working with UnikLearn, Firdaus Omar has stated that the way an employee learns things is different. For example, Syahmi has been given morning shifts for a month where he does all the preparation through memorisation and he has to repeat the same tasks every day. For the next month, Syahmi’s schedule will be changed so Firdaus Omar can monitor his progress in doing his tasks.

Firdaus Omar had expressed himself about his experience in working with the interns of UnikLearn and it was heartwarming. Even though they are special needs individuals, they are also members of society who should be given access to work opportunities. Special needs individuals just need encouragement and support from members of the community. With the help of Firdaus Omar’s friend, McCoy, the founder of Spark Lifeskills, he had met every single intern from UnikLearn and it had been a great experience that made him learn something. It made him more patient and understanding because he had to think about ways to support Syahmi in his learning and development. Furthermore, as readers, we need to open our minds and heart to see that, even with the challenges they will face at work, they still want to work and live for themselves. In addition, they can rely more on themselves in preparation for a society that can be either cruel or kind.

After the small talk, the interviewers also took the opportunity to try some of the popular sandwiches at Noice; a ‘Sloppy Johan’. The taste of the dish was full of flavour, where all the spices were ‘alive’ and the juiciness of the meat could be tasted. The dish was also served with some fruit that had been diced and the taste of cinnamon was also there. For the pastry, the salted egg donut was very delicious. The bun was served piping hot and fresh. The filling melted in the mouth once the interviewers ate it. With the combination of the fresh, soft bun and hot melted filling, it was perfect. On top of that, Noice is a suitable place to spend time with family and friends while enjoying the aroma of the coffee that lingers under noses.

Contributing Writers:

NUR ATHILAH BINTI ABU BAKAR
NURATIQAH BINTI AWANG ROSMAN
BAZILAH BINTI MUHAMMAD YUSSOF
NURUL NABILAH BINTI ISMAIL
NOR IZZAH IZZATI BINTI ZUSLIE

Class: U6 ‘O’ Level Block 5

Mobile Phones

As the world has become increasingly modernised, technological devices have become basic necessities in our daily lives, particularly, mobile phones. In this case, a majority of people would use the mobile phone as an essential tool for a variety of purposes in everyday life. A mobile phone allows people to connect to other compatible devices, surf the Internet, listen to music, play games and capture precious moments in their lives. From the students’ point of view, mobile phones are also utilized as tools for educational purposes.

Given this fact, we took the opportunity to interview a few students from Pusat Tingkatan Enam Meragang on how they use their mobile phones.

Most students whom we had interviewed said that they use their mobile phones almost constantly – as soon as they wake up, while waiting for their parents to pick them up or even while eating. They also mention that they cannot go without their phones in their hands.

Most students also said they often use their mobile phones to gain access to social media and mobile games. They would also send text messages to their friends or cousins from both short or long distances, keeping in constant contact with them to avoid awkwardness in the event that they meet up face to face.

Phones today are not just phones. They also serve as multifunctional tools, especially for educational purposes. From the students’ point of view, mobile phones help them to acquire study notes, past year papers and other beneficial resources, enabling tough academic subjects easier to learn and understand by way of utilizing mobile phones.

In addition to this, mobile phones are also an ideal tool for students to communicate with teachers and classmates, sending messages and being able to complete assignments away from the classroom when they are not able to meet face-to-face. Given this fact, mobile phones are important in the sense that they are able to cope with notes they have missed or ask questions regarding topics covered in class.

Mobile phones are needed to organise locations and time for them to plan study groups or work on projects with friends. Any cancellation or reschedule can be made with everyone’s knowledge.

Contributing Writers: 
NUR AMIRAH BINTI HAJI JAHAIR
ALISHA ERWINA ANAK SAZUALIANDI
NURIZZATI QISTHINA BINTI ABDULLAH MOHAMAD AZROL
NURNAJIBAH BINTI HAJI ABD SAMAD 
HAZIQAH NUR AFROZA BINTI JOHAIMI

Class: U6 ‘O’ Level Block 5

Tell us what you think: New Canteen – yay or nay?

There’s a new canteen in school! Excitedly walking towards the canteen, I feel more motivated to get food quicker (seriously guys, let’s admit we have less time to eat nowadays), but wait, so many questions came into mind while walking there. How’s the food? Will the new canteen make our eating experience better? More varieties of food served?

Upon arriving, man, I still wish it’s Jollibee! LOL! Please help me make up my mind! Post your comments below! What do you think of the new canteen?

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Never fear, Careers are here!

28th January 2019
By Ali Hasan

A great multitude of students in PTEM suffer from a problem that would later define them: their future. Some may be certain of their lives, some are unsure and some may just be lost, looking for an answer. But they all have something in common– a future.

The department attempted to give definition to the future of the students, equipping them with tools in the form of a career talk in order to face this common enemy of feeling lost. On the 28th of January 2019 the career talk gave thoughtful insight into the future, both locally and internationally, through various choices such as UBD, UTB, UNISSA, Cambridge, Harvard, etc.

Furthermore, students were also provided with crucial information regarding scholarship; an opportunity to support a student’s finances should he or she ever attempt to study overseas.

Careers department also informed interested students ways on how they could sign up for such opportunities. Scholarships are definitely beneficial, but it requires a demanding price—hard work and diligence.

A word of advice from a fellow student:

“If somehow you fail during your exams, always be reminded that that doesn’t necessarily mean the end. Seek for help, especially from the careers section, and perhaps you’ll find your way.”

PTEM’s Literature Play: It Was Lit

10th February 2019
By H.M

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Death and the King’s Horseman has to be one of the most exciting event that has taken place in PTEM up to date. Put together by the students and teachers of English Literature, the play happens only once every two years. So to be part of it, even just to watch, is truly a wonderful experience. Co-director Miss Zuliana stated that this tradition has been around for six years now and that Death and the King’s Horseman is the third production the English literature department has proudly produced by far.

Based on a play they studied as part of their course, Death and the King’s Horseman tells a tale of a man named Elesin who failed to keep his oath thanks to personal and external obstacles, coming in the form of love, reluctance and interference, facing the consequences of his actions. After two months of blood, sweat and tears preparing to ensure a smooth running production, their hard work finally paid off with the fantastic performance.

“I have no father, eater of leftovers.” ~ Olunde, looking down upon his dishonoured father, Elesin Oba.


A huge number of students from Sekolah Menengah Sayidina Ali, Maktab Duli and Pusat Tingkatan Enam Sengkurong attended the play that was held in the school’s lecture hall, with many complimenting on how exceptional the production & actors were, with one example coming from Darwisyah, a student from Sekolah Menengah Rimba II who had this to say:

The play was really well-practised, the casts and crew gave all their best and it was really worth watching! My favorite moments lay in Scene 4’s ball dance and the ending because i love the sequencing that lead to the death of the main character! I am absolutely in awe at the well-spoken dialogue within the play as well!”

Another literature enthusiast, taking ‘A’ Levels in Maktab Duli, who wished only to be known as “The Shakespearean” for the sake of anonymity, gave their thoughts on the play:

“Honestly, the play was phenomenal, especially the actors. You could feel the amount of sacrifice made for the production to be as good as it was. Bob and Amusa are top contenders for ‘favourite character’ as I’m a sucker for comic relief characters, & their facial expressions, movement as well as delivery of lines were far better than what I think most people expected (no offense). Additionally, the little detail of drums playing in the background was a good touch as well. Although, for me the character that stood out was the main protagonist, Elesin. The acting was beyond passionate. From movement, to delivery of lines, expressions & an audible acting voice, he without a doubt ticked the criteria of a good theatre actor. It’s not to say that the other actors didn’t meet this criteria as well, as most of them delivered superbly and brought out the best in the play in their own breathtaking way.

The ending was the one event that I still remember rather vividly, the protagonist killing himself with the prison chains. That one scene really left a mark on me. As a fellow literature student, I saw foreshadowing of the main protagonist’s death coming as the play naturally followed the guideline of a tragedy, yet his suicide still burns brightly in my mind as if it had only just occurred. It was just a stunning spectacle. So kudos to him, the other actors and staff for a surprisingly delightful production. Y’all better get or demand money for this as all of you deserve it.”

With the success of this year’s play, it doesn’t seem like they’re planning on slowing down anytime soon. We look forward to the next one that is sure to be bigger and better!

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PTEM’s Futsal pride will be back

30th January 2019
By Qamelya R

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PTEM INFERNO, PTEM CUBS AND PTEM FLYS represented our school in the annual Charity Futsal tournament on the 26th and 27th of January 2018, that was hosted by Maktab Duli. It was a two day competition among 16 teams that were divided into three group stages.

This wonderful event, to which proceedings will go to the institution’s welfare fund which will then be divided among less fortunate students. According to Prophet Muhammad himself, “Giving will never make you poor (empty)”. Hence, we are proud to say that three of our school’s teams are following suit.

Despite the good cause, it was a gloomy day of bitter defeat as we experienced a devastating loss. (Overall winner was SMALHB, where they won against team POLI A.) PTEM fell, but we all know they gave their best(est)! Despite this, all of us in The Equinox know that they will be back and rise again, stronger. We also hope to see our boys on the field again representing us in future events with a changed mindset.

As Muhammad Thufail from PTEM FLYS mentioned, “It wasn’t really the best from us, could have been better but due to certain circumstances it didn’t happen. However, it was rather exciting as we were able to form a team to play against other teams from other schools and to be able to donate for charity at the same time.”

Our very own senior, Syahmi Sofian who played for PTEM INFERNO also said, “Even though we lost and we didn’t make it to the final, I feel really proud of myself, my team and other institutions for participating in the competition because they are helping people in need.”

Syafiq Asran from PTEM CUBS has said, “I felt disappointed to be honest…I did my best but I can’t change the fact that everyone else did have such a natural talent, honestly speaking. I managed to dribble through the defense and help the team to score goals. I’m amazed with the efforts from the other team…such a great great experience.”

Other members such as Ak Zafri from PTEM CUBS and Ashraaf Izzuddin,the captain of PTEM FLYS UNITED have both mentioned similar things.

Hence,we may conclude that even though our school teams did not make it into the finals they still manage to keep their heads held high and look at the bright side.

“You have no choices about how you lose, but you do have a choice about how you come back and prepare to win again.” – Pat Riley

On behalf of the school, The Equinox would like to thank Maktab Duli, for inviting our school to compete, and would also like to say “good game, well played!” to our determined players. Until the next game, boys.