Came back from Brunei on July the 8th, with flu, entailing with a two-day medical leave, a really rare case for me for the whole of my carrier. The air-con at the Rizqun Hotel in Gadong was too cold. Even when the room air-con was switched off, the cool breeze still blew in through from the air-con along the corridor outside the room.
But thanks God, it brought me to a realisation that I am getting old now. I could not stand persistent coolness of the air-con anymore. This was an addition to my tiredness of the journey to and from Sfax, Tunisia few days before that.
It also reminds me of the Green Park Hotel in Istanbul when I was there in February for the Basic Concepts of Islamic Economics Conference and the Chaophya Park Hotel in Bangkok when I was there in May for the 6th Annual Muslim World Conference and the 2nd AMRON Conference. Both hotels have an automatic sensing control along the corridor of the rooms. The light only switches on when the sensing control traces a movement. I am convinced that they save a lot of energy through the system.
However, the trip to Brunei this time was one of the happiest and fruitful trip. Firstly, my wife was together with me. Secondly, the brotherhood and sincerity of the brothers and sisters of Kolej Universiti Perguruan Ugama Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) who hosted me was tremendously wonderful. Apart from the warmest hospitality of those in-charge of me, especially Ali and driver Asrul, the top management of the University - Dr Haji Norarfan, Dr Haji Adanan and Tuan Haji Metuddin - too was very respectable. The Ra'es (Vice-Chancellor) of KUPU SB, Dr Hajjah Masnon even came to my hotel on the last night of my stay to say goodbye and gave a really special gift - the dates from His Majesty the Sultan and the Yang Dipertua Brunei Darussalam. I have been longing for such a gift for so long, especially when I was in Brunei near Ramadhan. It is the normal practice of His Majesty the Sultan to distribute the dates every Ramadhan to all Bruneians. And this year at last, I have got the opportunity to taste the dates through the Ra'es' share, Alhamdulillah.
The discourse on the academic strategic plan of KUPU SB held at Mangrove Paradise Resort too was very fruitful. My suggestion for KUPU SB to be a pioneer and innovator instead of a follower and an imitator, as well as being a "World First" instead of a "World Class", using what I called a "Heart-to-Heart" method, were well-accepted, Alhamdulillah. May Allah help them in translating these ideas into practice, InshaAllah.
Lastly, thirdly, my article entitled "Why the Need for Negara Zikir (in Brunei)" was also appeared in the Brunei Times on Sunday the 7th, the third day I was in Brunei Darussalam. The article was written on the Kuala Lumpur-Seri Begawan flight and completed at the Rizqun Hotel on the first night of my arrival in Brunei. Many thanks to the Brunei Times Group Editor Tuan Haji Bujang Haji Masu'ut, who not only never fail to immediately publish my writings whenever I sent them to the Brunei Times, but also treated me and my wife for a dinner at the Gadong Coffee Beans on the last night of our stay in Brunei, as was every time I was in Brunei. My gratitude too goes to his Managing Editor Azrina Abdul Karim who always encourage me to write for the Brunei Times.