Permission for any entertainment – a pre-requisite
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I heard the news that Bruneian residents need to apply for permit if they are to organise any form of entertainment even in their own private premises.
Weekend in Brunei is normally filled with all sort of wedding-related ceremonies – basuruh (fact-finding mission); batunang (engagement); basanding (newly-weds sitting on a special dais); etc. This is part of our Brunei way of life – family gathering. So you can imagine if one have to obtain permit as usually there are some form of entertainment which might either be a memukun or gambus or local band playing at a private function during a wedding ceremony. I imagine that our elders who love to do a badondang (poetry recital with the aid of rabanna) would also need one before they carry on with their generations-long tradition of entertainment.
I think it is too much of a hassle to obtain a permit if you are having an entertainment in your own private place. Maybe hotels and restaurants do have to but not private individuals. So, maybe a courtesy letter to the local authority such as the police would suffice to say that there would be some sort of entertainment at one’s house at so and so date and place. Period.
I just hope that the authority are not slow in giving out a permit as understandably, they must be receiving applications by hundreds every week.