Monday, July 14, 2008

(Photos-above and below: Abdul Rashid Haji Tahir. Taken on 10 July 2008)

I get my copy of Monocle magazine Issue 15, July/August 2008 from Best Eastern Plaza Athirah on Tuesday last week for BND19.90.

In this issue, Monocle devotes to about “building better cities, neighbourhoods and residences”. According to Monocle, the world top liveable city in 2008 is Copenhagen. Last year (2007), Copenhagen came on the 2nd place after Munich. Now, Munich comes on the 2nd place.

Singapore, our ASEAN neighbour, comes on the 22nd place in 2008 from the 17th place in 2007.

According to Monocle, a city “need to be a design capital, an ecological champion, a hub for knowledge, and a magnet for creatives.” Monocle uses certain ciriteria to rank the cities in selection, such as “ cultural footprint”, “the ease of opening small business”, “global transport connections, excellent communications, innovative environmental initiatives, a low crime rate, attractive architecture, and a strong public services”.

So, you can ask yourself the quality that Bandar Seri Begawan (including Berakas, Gadong , and Kiulap) (particularly) and Brunei Darussalam (in general) already have and what it should have based on the criteria as a guide.

May be we need a national library with an iconic architectural design that is located in a strategic location.

May be we need an excellent road condition: no more hole here and there, and better road design that can reduce human error, smooth traffic flow, and also can reduce incomplianceness.

May be we need an iconic shopping center that become a ‘must-visit’ place when the tourists come to Brunei or to our region, such as the ICT and electronics shopping mall that can complement to (or better than) the Funan Centre of Singapore .

May be we need more museums, such as motoring museum and gallery (may be build next to a race track).

May be there will be monorail services connected to the National Library, Brunei Motoring Museum, and the ICT Shopping Mall in addition to UBD and ITB Campus, Kiulap, Gadong (The Mall Area), and the Airport.

May be (it is only ‘may be’)….because you have to study the possibility and feasibility first before a project is going to be implemented.

However, in the case of the road condition, it is hoped that the authority will do something as soon as possible because some of the road conditions in Brunei are getting worse and bumpier as days gone by. It is more dangerous if there are holes here and there on the highway. I find that the holes are getting bigger and bigger. Before someone's life gone forever, please do something about it.

Read Monocle Issue 15, July/August 2008 to know more about what are some of the ideas that a city should have. In addition, you can visit their website at

p/s: Next Monocle issue (September 2008) will be on sale from 21st August 2008.

Note: The magazine review does include the quotation from the magazine (especially the “…” phrase) in addition to my personal opinion which is based on my understanding on the topic.