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Brunei Darussalam won 2 merit awards in APICTA 2013

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Brunei Darussalam won 2 merit awards in APICTA 2013

Brunei Darussalam delegates have made Brunei proud again by winning 2 Merit Awards in this year’s Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Awards 2013 held in Hong Kong.  The winning streak for Brunei Darussalam at APICTA began in 2009 when The Sultanate clinched its first APICTA awards.  The 2 Merit Award winners, Chung Hwa Middle School, Kuala Belait (KB) with their project Higher Education Guidance System (HEGS) and Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB) with their project AutiSay, received their awards at the APICTA 2013 Gala and Award Presentation Dinner held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 27th November 2013.


The Merit Award winners and the rest of the participating Brunei Darussalam delegates headed by Haji Yahkup bin Haji Menudin, Chief Executive of Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) arrived yesterday evening. To receive them at the Brunei International Airport are Haji Idris Bin Haji Md Ali, Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications, and Adi Shamsul Bin Haji Sabli, Deputy Permanent Secretary (IT & eGovernment), Prime Minister’s Office as the Acting Chairman of the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI).  Officials from Ministry of Communications (MOC) and AITI, family members and friends of the participants were also present to welcome the returning delegation.


There were a total of 220 entries submitted by 13 participating economies (including Brunei Darussalam) to compete for this year’s awards.  Brunei Darussalam submitted a total of 10 entries in the Schools and ICT industry categories.  The Higher Education Guidance System (HEGS) by Chung Hwa Middle School (KB), one of the Merit Awards, was a project developed to help students and parents with information and guidance about higher institutions of learning (such as universities) and courses most suitable during the transition from secondary schools to under-graduate or graduate programs.  Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB) students’ project Autisay was the other Merit Award.  It is an iPad application specially created for autism individuals as their communication tool which will make it easier for them to speak and learn.  Parents and guardians can even upload photographs and record their own voice to effectuate their autism children’s needs.


Apart from the winning entries, the other participants that took part in this year’s APICTA competition were as follows:


1.    Chung Hwa Middle School, Bandar Seri Begawan for their Android application, Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB) which help local Bruneian and foreigners to learn more about the Malay Islam Monarchy in Brunei Darussalam;


2.    Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB) for their application Brunei History Adventure Game.  The application is an interactive e-learning and electronic game about Brunei’s historic events such as the discovery of oil (which is found in the syllabus of social subject studies for Year 5 students);


3.    Another project by ITB known as Wadihah Haji – Haji Tamattu’ Brunei Darussalam.  It is an application that consists of information about Hajj and focus on what Bruneians are required to do when performing Hajj and Umrah.  It include du’as used during Haj and Umrah, audio of surah as well as videos on how to perform Hajj


4.    .Media In-Service Centre (MiSC), a special unit of the Ministry of Education, which presented the integrated digital learning media and teacher in-service concepts and solutions that will revolutionise the manner in which digital learning and industry-relevant skills will be developed and disseminated to students in Brunei


5.    ZimacSilicon Technologies Sdn Bhd for their ICT Rural Outreach Program (iROP) which aims to bring Internet connectivity, introduce and upgrade ICT knowledge and capabilities to rural communities so that they can leverage on ICT to improve their livelihood and small businesses


6.    Giftbox Enterprise Sdn Bhd for their Malppy & Friends e-commerce portal specialising in fashion apparels and lifestyle accessories.  The unique advantage of Malppy & Friends is the concept of group buying where it provides online payment options for targeted groups such as Friends, Family and Colleagues which can pool the purchases to achieve greater savings and discounts;


7.    PHMD Publishing Company for their product MindPlus: Islamic Knowledge – a mobile learning application designed to support educators and engage students to learn more about Islam through videos, quizzes and etc; and


8.    DotRoot Technologies for their FoodFuel mobile application which allow consumers to easily order restaurants’ take-aways on the go and the convenience of picking up the ordered food at the nearest outlets or locations


The APICTA competition has provided a valuable opportunity and exposure for Brunei’s ICT companies and schools to compete at the international level.  MOC and AITI hoped that the APICTA competition has helped the Brunei participants to hone their competitiveness skills and established networks and contacts with counterparts in Asia Pacific.  Below were some experience shared by the participants:


“At first it was nerve wrecking but towards the end of it, we actually felt relieved. The judges gave good feed backs which push away our nervousness.  The experience we get was different and exciting because it is our first time participating an international competition.” – Siti Nor Bazilah Pg Zulkipli, ITB


"It was an awesome journey and I'm glad there are international judges spending their time listening to our products" – Ikmalina Hakimah Hj Md Yunos, ITB


 “The preparation for APICTA was nerve wreaking but during the judging day we manage to give it our best and it was a unique and an awesome experience!” – Saufi Jamahat, ITB


This participation is a very valuable experience for me as it is the first time I am representing Brunei and our Ministry of Education to attend a very prestigious ICT international competition. It is hoped that with this experience, I can learn from others and have the opportunity to improve myself in terms of helping the Brunei Government to improve ICT development and its wide-usage, as well as to inculcate ICT culture amongst the citizens of Brunei Darussalam” - Pg Mohd Suffian bin Pg Mohd Said, Project Manager of Curriculum Development Department, MiSC, Ministry of Education


“After PHMD has won 3rd place in the ASEAN ICT award, it’s another opportunity for us to build our momentum in ASIA PACIFIC ICT awards. Our objective to get to into this prestigious competition is to see where our real level is in the ICT industry by getting feedbacks from more successful companies and to build our networks with so many Entrepreneurs and Big companies participating in the competition. Getting award is a bonus but building business is the main objective for us.” - Ak Mohd Khairi Bin Pg Hj Metussin, CEO and Founder of PHMD Publishing Company