30 MINUTES WITH MR. SIVA
Every great nation needs a leader, in this case, a pristine college such as Laksamana College of Business needs a great leader, and that great leader is our very own gracious Mister Siva. Mister Siva, the Deputy Principal and Chief Operating Officer of the college, has been with the college for more than thirteen years now and a lot of successful changes has happened since then.
We at the LCB Times had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing Mr Siva, and so in order to learn more about our inspiring leader, and for a little extra encouragement, we urge you to read on!
Izyan Anver, a journalist at LCB Times, conducted the interview. And here it is appearing in the final issue of 2016!
Izyan Anver: What is your greatest accomplishment as the COO and Deputy Principal of the college?
Mr. Siva: Nothing (said jokingly). I don’t believe it's one person’s job or accomplishment to what we have achieved as a college now. It’s a team, and a great team at it. We’ve had Ms. Bogusia & Ms. Sinah from the very beginning, and of course, we’ve built up with Mr. Mahen & Mr. Simon as well. Although over the years, we’ve had people who have come and gone, they have contributed to the success of the college. When we first started, we had only twenty students, now we have over a thousand students. In terms of space, we used to have about only 8000 ft2 but now we have about 50,000 ft2.
Izyan Anver: How long have you been working here?
Mr. Siva: I’ve been working here for thirteen years, since day one of Laksamana College of Business.
Izyan Anver: What do you love about your job?
Mr. Siva: Students. I think it’s just nice to deal with the younger generation and of course there’s always something new, it’s a very challenging market, there’s always something new you need to do to stay competitive and that helps stimulate your brain and that makes it interesting. Working with the younger generation, seeing them growing and graduating, and eventually seeing them outside working and starting their own business is nice to see. For the past thirteen years, seeing students come and go, seeing them outside achieving success is the best part of my job.
Izyan Anver: Besides being the COO and DP, we know that you are teaching as well. How do you handle the workload?
Mr. Siva: I think teaching is something I am passionate about. COO is a day-to-day job, I deal with the college, it’s my co-job, but lecturing has always been nice, I love to communicate with students, it’s my way of being in touch with the students. If I stop this given opportunity to teach then I wouldn’t be able to know what problems student face within the college.
Izyan Anver: What drives you to be interactive with students?
Mr. Siva: By nature, I am an interactive person. It’s the way I was brought up. It’s a different approach. I don’t have that barrier between academic and being deputy principal of the college. I go to the college café because it’s always nice to see the students and allow them to be willing be more open. They’re less likely to approach me in the office since there’s a barrier. I don’t want to create that barrier. It’s always nice to have that touch with the students. It’s an open-door concept in the college; we always want the students to approach us. It’s important to interact with students.
Izyan Anver: For a man who values furthering education, are you by any chance furthering your education as well?
Mr. Siva: That’s a good question. I believe that learning cannot be stopped, a person can learn for any period of time. It’s a matter of discipline. I always encourage my students to never give up. I am currently doing my doctorate; it’s a four-year program. I just finished my first year. I have to juggle everything with my studies. I have to submit something every week. We have to always enhance our knowledge. I hope for the same thing for my students.
Izyan Anver: Next year, the first batch of Chester student in LCB will be graduating, what are your thoughts?
Mr. Siva: Excellent. I’m very proud of the students graduating next year because it’s tough, we never know what to expect from Chester. It’s a tough program. We always have to make sure that the module is delivered properly so we are really proud of the first batch. Having a British university in Brunei’s market is challenging so we hope for the best. I have to emphasize how proud we are for the first batch of students. It will most likely be a very emotional time for us. Some students have dreamt of studying in the UK, and it’s very difficult for some parents to send them off. Now, they get the opportunity to graduate with a degree from the UK.
Izyan Anver: Do you have anything to say to the lecturers of LCB?
Mr. Siva: I think the lecturers need to be more punctual. They also need to stop using handphones in their classrooms.
Izyan Anver: What would you have to say to the students who are currently studying in LCB?
Mr. Siva: The current generations have to be more independent; they depend too much on their lecturers. They have to change their mindset. They shouldn’t have to think that they are in a school but in a higher education institute, the lecturer puts in 30% of the effort and the remaining effort has to be made by the students themselves. Students need to take the time to read, more research, and be more independent. They should also take part in extracurricular activities, it help teaches students in balancing everything in their life, time managements. I think this is important. They can learn to communicate and network by taking part in other college activities as well.
By Pauline C.
READY FOR A SMASH?
WITH the upcoming LCB Badminton Tournament that will be held on December 17th and 18th at The Centerpoint Hotel, Gadong. The committee of LCB Badminton Club sees this as an opportunity as part of selecting players to play for LCB if there's any higher institute badminton team event tournament.
It is an encouragement for LCB students (including Staffs and Lecturers) to join the tournament, and you may have the chance to represent/play for LCB!
Deadline to register for the tournament is on December 10th. Contact Izyan (+673 866 0185) or Fairie (+673 890 2444) for more information.
THANK YOU LCB
November 22nd marks the last day of our classes in Laksamana College of Business. I want to take this opportunity to personally thank all the team of LCB, Ministry of Primary Resources and Trade (MPRT) and invited lecturers. Training to be a tourist guide in just a month is easier said than done. It is not just about completing the course and passing the exam. There is more to it that meets the eye. Coming from a reserved personality, communicating to impress and to master the art of a story telling was a challenge to all of us. Lack of information was never an issue, as we had a lot of outfield trips. Some of the highlights were visiting Lapau, Temburong, and Tutong. LCB offers very good facilities and the interior design gives the impression of being in an overseas college. Thank you for making our course different, fun, memorable and more of a holiday while studying. Will be sure to make use of our new found skills in our profession to make our guest happy the way we are trained to do.
Sincerely, Noraine M A Kunju
HERE FOR PEACE
Monday, November 7th, 2016 - I, Ezwa Raziq, and my fellow colleague, Nashrul HAB, ﬂew off to Tokyo, Japan, for a Peace Building Programme - a program organised by JICE called JENESYS. On our arrival at Narita International Airport, Japan, we were welcomed by a young Japanese travel agent. He then took us to Imperial Palace Garden by chartered bus, where we met our coordinator, Mr. Taki. Later on, we proceeded our way to Toranomon Hills Front for a brieﬁng and orientation. This is where two delegates from each country involved are put into one group; Group A, B, and C are those going to Hiroshima, whilst Group D and E are those going to Nagasaki.
On the ﬁrst day in Japan, all ﬁve groups did a number of activities. We attended a lecture on Japan and their culture which was presented by a Senior Assistant Professor of Meĳi University, Dr. Kazuyuki Sasaki, at Toranomon Hills Front. We then visited various interesting sites, including Sensoji Temple, Edo-Tokyo Museum, Arcakit Kinshicho.
On the following day, the groups separated their way according to the prefecture set. As for my group - Group C - we made a move to Hiroshima by Shinkansen Bullet Train in the morning and was welcomed by a JICE staff, Ms. Shibata, in Hiroshima. We arrived at Hiroshima City Youth Centre at about 2 PM. An atomic bomb survivor, Ms. Seiko Ikeda, shared a melancholy, true, personal story of her experience. She described the surroundings that were completely destroyed by the Uranium atomic bomb. In her lecture, she mentioned a quote that she’s been keeping in her mind which says “We will never exist if hatred exists.”
A director of International Peace Promotion, Mr. Matsushima, gave a rough idea of how the nuclear bomb looked like and how bad it affected the people of Hiroshima and the land itself. He also stressed the importance of peace and the strategies to achieve it.
After leaving the Youth Centre, we took a five mins walk to the Atomic bomb building, otherwise called as Peace Memorial building, and later on proceeded to the Peace Memorial Park. On one of the memorial monuments, there was a saying written that caught everybody’s eyes: “Let all the souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil.” From there, we visited the Peace Memorial Museum where we get to really feel/get in-depth knowledge on the effects of the bombings.
We visited the Hiroshima Institute of Technology on the following morning, for an exchange program. In the afternoon, we went to Miyajima Island, one of the most visited places in Japan. It is known for the Itsukushima Shrine - ﬂoating “torii” gate, and pagoda as well. We had the chance to make rice spoon. Around 5.30PM, half of us were sent to Hatsukamachi City Cultural Exchange Plaza to meet our respective host family. We stayed with them for two nights at their own residents. I went to Miyajima Island with my host family, but at a different area - temples. “Let all the souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil” - Memorial Monument for Hiroshima.
On Sunday afternoon, November 13th, we had a farewell party with our host families at the Exchange Plaza where we had lunch together. At 1.30PM, we went to meet our coordinators and Ms. Shibata and made a move to Kintai-Kyo Bridge later on. There, we met delegates from Group A and Group B - everybody was dead happy (but it’s only been 3 days!) We were taken to Iwakuni City Central Community Centre for a workshop. This is where we brainstorm our ideas for our action plans that are to be presented on the last day in Japan.
On the last day, we ﬂew off to Tokyo from Hiroshima in the morning. We attended a reporting session as well as a closing ceremony in the afternoon, at Toranomon Hills Front.
10 DAYS IN THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN
On November 7th, ten delegates from Brunei Darussalam, including myself were sent off to a week-long “JENESYS 2016” program conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade under the Government of Japan with the theme of “Peacebuilding Exchange”. The aim of this program is to promote global understanding of Japan’s society, history, diverse culture, politics and diplomatic relations. Through these, the Japanese Government hopes to build mutual trust and cooperation between Japan and the ten ASEAN countries.
One of the very first activities in the program was the keynote lecture from a Politics Professor, Prof. Kazuyuki Sazaki, in one of the most prestigious universities in Japan. He went through a brief but significant overview of the Japanese Modernization from as early as the 17th century up until today. The visit to the Edo-Tokyo Museum also sparked my interest. It was amazing how the history of Japan comes to life in precise details from the reign of the Samurais and the reign of Tokugawa Shogunate.
We had the chance to visit one of the historical landmarks in Japan, the Senso-Ji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo. This is one of the most ancient Buddhist temples in Tokyo and one of the many tourist attractions in the country. The temple showed me the fire of passion in the eyes of the Japanese people in which they apply to their crafts until the present day that gives them the distinction from any other country in the world.
The delegates from all twelve countries were represented by 10 youthful leaders and were further divided into groups to be sent to different prefectures in Japan. I happened to be in a cheerful group sent to Nagasaki Prefecture.
Upon arrival to Nagasaki prefecture, the mayor of Omura City in Nagasaki held a brief courtesy call where we were greeted by the staff of the city hall with endless applause and smiles that made me somehow nervous and glad at the same time for such kind gestures. The mayor welcomed us with light-hearted jokes about the nature and fresh air of the beautiful prefecture.
A successful food company, Omura Yume Chou Chou Farm catered to much fresh produce, including vegetables, fruits and even fresh loafs of bread. A product that would peak the interest of many is Gelat, which means ice cream in Italian. The gelat has a wide variety of flavors from seasonal fruits and matcha flavor to the flavor of a rice! Not only did we get to roam around the bread-making classes, we also got to try some of their fresh fruits and bread. It amazes me about how presentable space looked despite the very limited area to conduct everything.
My group had the opportunity to witness a Japanese tea ceremony at Tarami Public Library. The ceremony experience was held at a completely traditionalist space made up of bamboo floors and walls as well as bamboo roofs. Here the tea server or owner of the place wore full on Kimono costume to mimic the traditional tea ceremony back in the old age. This was a ceremony full of an eye opening experience as we observed in-depth of the culture of Japan that is still carried out in some places in Japan, today.
We also got to dive more into the Japanese culture and learn some skills in Origami. This is the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative figures. With help from the sensei, the group made one of the most iconic figures, the crane and a basic figure, the spinning top. The best thing about that session was bringing home the figures we made and retracing the steps to remake these figures ourselves.
An eye-opening experience was when we listened to a story from an Atomic Bombing survivor of Nagasaki in World War 2, Mitchiaki Ikeda. His story painted vivid images and it brought us back to the day the weapon of mass destruction exploded off the skies of Nagasaki City, killing and have scarring thousands of lives. He emphasizes more on how younger generations in the audience can take steps and actions to avoid conflict with each other. This way, the bond with each other can help us look beyond our differences and unite as one.
Mitchiaki Ikeda’s story was brought to life at the Atomic Bombing Museum of Nagasaki. The museum offers a wide range of types of exhibits including the life size of the atomic bomb that was dropped. There were horrifying mannequins of people that were impacted directly by the explosions. This visit opened our eyes on how bad a conflict can affect innocent lives and that we all should start taking care of each other despite our differences in culture and history.
All 12 countries had the chance to present and introduce their countries to the students of Nagasaki University. It was also an amazing opportunity to mingle with some local high school and university students. The diverse background and ethnicities made it even more interesting!
My homestay experience was shared dearly with a Muslim student from Thailand and a very hospitable family, the Mori. There, we got to experience the daily lives of the locals and were brought into their families and relatives as if we were their own. The host family planned out the activities for our 2 nights and 2 days stay with some fishing in the Nagasaki bay and a leisure walk on The Great Himiyume Bridge which was built over the Tachibana Bay, Susukizuka Area in Nagasaki. We also got to experience the distinct food that is served daily in their homes from delicious raw fishes to eggs heavy breakfast in a unique dish of local cheese.
Our days in Nagasaki were brought to an end with a farewell party and performances from the delegates as well as the foster families that attended. We parted ways and flew back to Tokyo filled with gratitude for their hospitality and with hopes that the short bond will last a lifetime.
JENESYS has taught me many things but among the things that stuck to me, the most were the lesson of bond and friendship. As future leaders, we have decisions to make and shots to call. This trip has taught me that the bonds we make with the people around us are a significant factor that should always be considered, kept in mind and kept close to heart.
Thank you, JENESYS for the experience of a lifetime!