Friday, January 30, 2009

Hot Australia

One of the "hot" countries to migrate to and now a real "hot" Southern Australia.

Australia hit by record heat wave

Southern Australia has been hit by a record-breaking heat wave that has threatened rural towns with wildfires, sent heat-stressed victims seeking treatment and plagued tennis stars at a major tournament.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecast that Melbourne would on Friday suffer a third consecutive day of temperatures above 43 Celsius for the first time since 1855, when record-keeping began...


Read more at http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2009/01/200913064249203399.html

Australia Immigration News

Asian immigration growing fast in Australia: census

SYDNEY (AFP) — Australia's Asian population is growing rapidly as more immigrants from across the region pour into a country once despised for its racially exclusive policies, official statistics showed Thursday.

China and India provided increasing numbers of immigrants, while traditional sources of new arrivals in the so-called "Lucky Country" -- such as Britain and Italy -- suffered a decline, a review of the latest census revealed.
...
Apart from China and India, countries providing increasing numbers of immigrants included Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and South Africa.
...

Read more at http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ise_-gS7xtRbittmsXeiK6boY5ng

News For Selangor Born - TAWAS

Are you a parent, born in Selangor. Is your child's birthday from 1st January 2008 onwards. Read on, you are eligible for TAWAS.


Programme to help Selangor folk
http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2009/1/30/central/3115582&sec=central
MANY are still unaware of the welfare programmes offered by the Selangor state government.
...
An example is the Tabung Anak Selangor (Tawas) programme....

“All those born on Jan 1, 2008 and after with at least one parent born in Selangor, are eligible. Through Tawas, Selangor will make a savings gift contribution of RM100 for every eligible child. On the child’s 18th birthday, he or she is entitled for RM1,500 from Tawas....


Check out the Selangor government's website Tabung Warisan Anak Selangor (TAWAS)

PERTANYAAN-PERTANYAAN BERKAITAN
TABUNG WARISAN ANAK SELANGOR (TAWAS)

1. Apakah yang dimaksudkan dengan TAWAS?
TAWAS adalah singkatan kepada Tabung Warisan Anak Selangor. Tabung ini diwujudkan selaras dengan tawaran Kerajaan Negeri untuk membuka tabung permulaan RM100 bagi setiap anak kelahiran Selangor.

2. Apakah faedah yang akan diterima daripada tabung ini?
Faedah-faedah yang akan diterima adalah seperti berikut:-
a) Setiap anak kelahiran akan diberi RM100 melalui pelaburan di dalam tabung ini.
b) Anak-anak akan dilindungi insurans sehingga berusia 18 tahun.
c) Pada usia 18 tahun, anak-anak ini berpeluang menerima RM1,500 seorang hasil daripada caruman di dalam pelaburan dana ini.

3. Apakah syarat-syarat permohonan tabung ini?
Syarat-syarat permohonan adalah seperti berikut:-
a) Permohonan adalah terbuka kepada Warganegara Malaysia sahaja dan tertakluk kepada tafsiran anak Selangor. Bagi tujuan TAWAS tafsiran anak Selangor adalah seperti berikut:-
“Anak Selangor” bermaksud rakyat D.Y.M.M. Sultan Selangor yang memenuhi kriteria seperti berikut:-
• Warganegara Malaysia; dan
• Lahir di Negeri Selangor atau di luar Negeri Selangor; dan
• Ibu atau bapa lahir di Negeri Selangor; atau
• Ibu atau Bapa lahir di Kuala Lumpur sebelum 1 Februari 1974.
b) Kelahiran mulai 1 Januari 2008 adalah layak untuk memohon. Permohonan hendaklah dikemukakan dalam tempoh enam bulan dari tarikh kelahiran dan bagi kelahiran sebelum tarikh pelancaran, permohonan hendaklah dikemukakan dalam tempoh 6 bulan dari tarikh pelancaran.

4. Bagaimana prosedur permohonan tabung ini?
Prosedur permohonan adalah seperti berikut:-
a. Pendaftaran bagi setiap anak adalah RM10.
b. Di peringkat permulaan, Pusat Pendaftaran akan dibuka pada waktu pejabat (8.00 pagi – 4.30 petang) di Tingkat 5, Bangunan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan.
c. Setiap pendaftaran hendaklah dibuat oleh Ibubapa/penjaga dengan menyertakan dokumen sokongan (asal dan salinan) berikut:
(i) Sijil kelahiran / Mykid anak; dan
(ii) Kad Pengenalan Ibubapa/penjaga.
d. Setiap pendaftaran akan diberi Sijil Pelaburan yang perlu disimpan dengan baik sebagai bukti caruman di dalam Tabung ini.

5. Bagaimana sekiranya pemohon ingin membuat tuntutan atau mencairkan pelaburan?
Tuntutan boleh dibuat seperti berikut:-
a. Setiap pencarum boleh memilih untuk mencairkan pelaburan pada:
(i) Ulangtahun Pertama pada jumlah RM110.00;

ATAU

(ii) Ulangtahun ke-18 pada jumlah RM1,500.00.

b. Bagi Ibubapa/penjaga yang memilih pilihan (ii), pihak Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (YAWAS) akan menghubungi pencarum pada ulangtahun ke-18 untuk urusan bayaran caruman berjumlah RM1,500.00.

c. Pihak Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (YAWAS) juga berkemungkinan akan mengumumkan pembayaran bonus pada setiap 5 tahun selama tempoh caruman di dalam Tabung ini.

d. Bayaran akan dibuat kepada pencarum dengan hanya mengemukakan Sijil Pelaburan sebagai bukti caruman di dalam Tabung ini.

6. Bilakah tarikh pelaksanaannya?
31 Ogos 2008

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone

Its the 3rd day of Chinese New Year, and I am back to work. Some of my colleagues are asking, why I did not take a longer leave or why only short break?

My answer, I am taking a holiday from the CNY holidays and will resume my break tomorrow onwards. :-P

Never too late to wish every one a happy Gong Xi Fa Chai.


This greeting card was sent by a friend, and it reminds me of the phrase Carpe diem, popularly translated as "seize the day".

Najib To Be Perak's BN No 1

Najib to take over as Perak Umno, BN chief on Feb 1
http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/Frontpage/2463969/Article/index_html
IPOH: Datuk Seri Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali is expected to resign as chairman of the Perak Barisan Nasional and state Umno liaison committee to take responsibility for the defection of Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim.
...
It is learnt that Tajol Rosli, a supreme council member, will officially step down this week, with Najib assuming both posts effective Feb 1.
...
"Najib is calm about this and will probably take over the helm of the Barisan Nasional in Perak."...

Autopsy No. 2 finds external injuries

Why no further investigation on the body where bruises can be clearly seen on the body during the 1st autopsy?

Autopsy No. 2 finds external injuries

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com.my/index.php/malaysia/16926-autopsy-no-2-finds-external-injuries-
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 – A second autopsy on suspected car thief Kugan Ananthan has found external injuries caused by blunt force trauma, sources told The Malaysian Insider.

The 22-year-old, who died while in police custody on Jan 20, was said to have died of cardiac arrest following the injuries, the sources said.

Initial findings also revealed Kugan was asthmatic, and his condition had caused phlegm to accumulate in his lungs.

The full report is expected to be issued within days after Universiti Malaya Medical Centre pathologists carried out the autopsy that lasted nearly 10 hours on Sunday following a dispute over earlier findings that he had died of "water in the lungs".

The Attorney-General’s Chambers have classified the case as murder and 11 policemen from the Subang USJ Taipan police station have been reassigned to desk duty pending investigations....


Kugan funeral procession: Two arrested
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/28/nation/20090128103302&sec=nation
...The 22-year-old collapsed and died inside the Taipan police station in Subang Jaya on Tuesday last week. The initial post-mortem revealed that he had died due to fluid in his lungs, but Kugan’s family entered the Serdang Hospital mortuary that same day and took photographs of his body, which showed severe bruising.

They demanded a second post-mortem, although that report is not out yet.

While initially saying no foul play was involved, police have now reclassified the case as murder for the purpose of investigation, at the urging of the Attorney-General....

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dengue Alert In Selangor

Even after spraying my home and fogging done around my area, there are still lots of mosquitoes.

Selangor tops list as dengue cases continue to rise

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/25/nation/3116323&sec=nation

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of dengue cases in the country has continued to climb with 12 deaths from the 4,221 cases recorded since Jan 1.
...
Selangor remains the state with the highest number of cases at 2,223 with five deaths, compared to 751 cases and one death in the same period last year.
...


Info on Wikipedia Dengue fever.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Office Team Lunch @ Oriental Pavilion

Today we had our company's functional team lunch at Oriental Pavilion, Jaya 33.

No pictures of the food, busy eating and getting stuffed. The food was good.

Friday, January 23, 2009

ATM Cash Deposit Trick

Seems like the ATM cash deposit machine does not detect fake or tampered notes.

The man has also left a trail to be caught, by depositing into a "known" account, his account maybe, which would just lead the cops directly to him.

Man held over ATM cash trick
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/23/nation/3097132&sec=nation
JOHOR BARU: A man with a history of drug offences thought he had discovered a simple and fool-proof way to double his money quickly.

His method involved cutting a RM50 note near its reflective strip and joining the two cut pieces to pieces of white paper, thus creating two tampered RM50 notes.

He then deposited the tampered notes into an account via a cash machine and later withdrew two genuine RM50 notes from an ATM machine....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lunch @ Jalan 19/1 Roadside Hawker

Had lunch with brother Jo this afternoon at Jalan 19/1 roadside hawker, just opposite Chips Away.

There is this elderly Chinese couple which operates a stall here.

We had the chap fun, reasonably priced and good to eat.

Kadir Maju @ 3 Two Square 24 Hours No More

I've noticed this week that the 24 hour Restoran Kadir Maju in 3 Two Square did not open as early usual when I reached the office in the morning. As a matter of fact, it was closed.

This morning I asked one of the 'boss' at the restaurant while they were arranging the tables and chairs after 'opening' the restaurant for the day. Isn't this suppose to be a 24 hour restaurant?

It is now not a 24 hours restaurant. Due to no customers during the grave yard shift, they have decided to open the restaurant from 7AM to 12 midnight (or until there are no more customers)

The reason is that they are located inside the Boulevard area of 3 Two Square, and can't be seen from either side of the main road.

Tough Crowd
3 Two Square is tough on the food business. If the restaurants don't offer good food, than in no time they will close.

The recently closed restaurants here are Embun Cafe, Dim Sum Bright (now under renovation), Home Delight and UFO Steamboat (relocated).

The restaurants doing well here are The Tram Car, Papa Rich, Old Town Kopitiam, Starbucks, Kadir Maju, 3 Two square food court and Nasi Kandar Zulkifli.

Two other restaurants Baguz and Coconut Cafe doesn't seem to be attracting the customers.

Fried Penang CM and Fried Jelutong MP

Will the Penang CM and Jelutong MPs get fried with WiFi?

P
enang launches free WiFi project despite objections
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/22/nation/3088713&sec=nation
GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Free WiFi project has been laun­ched with a test site each in Komtar and two shopping complexes.
...
“If WiFi is harmful, the first two people to get fried by radiation would be Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi and myself as we work up to 12 hours a day at our offices on Komtar’s 28th floor where there are four hotspots.
...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

2 Milllion People At Obama's Inauguration

I was wondering, with 2 million over people in Washington, the logistics, security, transportation was organized on a large scale.

How about toilets, where would 2 million people go to relieve themselves?

Real portable toilet, diapers, Plastic bottles or modern portable toilets


Barack Obama inauguration: Two million turn out to greet their new president
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/4300880/Barack-Obama-inauguration-Two-million-turn-out-to-greet-their-new-president.html
Two million people turned out to witness the inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington DC.
...
Two million people covered almost every square foot of Washington's two-mile grass runway from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama...

Tens of thousands more lined Pennsylvania Avenue, where an armoured black limousine later took the first black American president to his new home – a house built by slaves. Millions, possibly billions, watched on television around the world, but it was the extraordinary numbers who braved the numbing chill of a harsh Washington winter that really spoke best of the Obama appeal.
...

Rehearsals Are Important

While watching some videos on Barack Obama's inauguration, I could not help smiling at this picture, taken from Inaugural parade rehearsal.

Picture L-R President elect Obama and Mrs Obama

Are the military allowed to hold hands? It shows how much rehearsals are important, even if you can't make it, you can appoint a stand in.

The real Obamas...

*Picture from http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au

FULL TRANSCRIPT: President Barack Obama's Inaugural Address
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Inauguration/story?id=6689022&page=1

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ngaku?

My colleagued asked me this morning, what is ngaku in English. Me? Asking me... wrong person to ask. Is it part of Negaraku? Not!!!

So I just googled it :-D I remember eating this only during Chinese New Year, cooked with Chinese sausage. Delicious.

From www.answers.com
http://www.answers.com/topic/arrowhead
Aquatic plant (Saggitaria sagittifolia); both leaves and root are used in Chinese cooking. Also known as tule potato or wappato.

A root vegetable with a crunchy texture and slightly bitter flavor. It's also known as Chinese potato and swamp potato, the latter name coming from the fact that it's grown under water. Choose roots that are firm and free of blemishes. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 2 weeks; peel before using. Arrowhead is best cooked by braising, boiling or steaming and can also be added to soups.



News on The Star Ngaku crisps, anyone?
http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2008/1/24/north/20018839&sec=North
THEY are crunchy, tasty and addictive. Once you start crunching on ngaku (arrowhead) crisp, it's hard to stop. These crisps, which look like potato chips, are made from the ngaku, a tuberous vegetable from China which has a woody taste.

Also known as Chinese potato or swamp potato because it grows in water, the ngaku is only available during the Chinese New Year celebration as it is a seasonal vegetable....

Arrowhead
http://images.google.com.my/imgres?imgurl=http://www.foodsubs.com/Photos/chinesearrowhead.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.foodsubs.com/Tubers.html&usg=__plvAKqTpjkjaJhGCdBS886LiVYc=&h=263&w=372&sz=10&hl=en&start=10&um=1&tbnid=MVZfH5XC-xkBkM:&tbnh=86&tbnw=122&prev=/images%3Fq%3DChinese%2Bpotato%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-GB:official%26sa%3DG

arrowroot = arrow root = Chinese potato (this name also is used for jicama) = goo = seegoo = arrowhead = Chinese arrowhead = tse goo = ci gu = tsu goo

Notes: The name arrowroot is more commonly associated with a thickener that's made from the plant. A fresh arrowroot tuber looks like a small onion, only without the layers. It should be peeled, and then it can be boiled or stir-fried. Look for it in Chinese markets during the winter. Substitutes: water chestnuts OR jicama

Arrowhead Growing Information
http://www.greenharvest.com.au/Plants/arrowhead_info.html

Want To Watch The Inauguration Today?

The US presidential inauguration will be telecast on Astro channels. I did not see any on our local TV stations.

O
bama takes office
http://star-ecentral.com/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/20/tvnradio/3002142&sec=tvnradio

HBO (411) We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial, the opening celebration for the 56th United States presidential inaugural, at 7pm today.

Astro Awani (501) at 11.30pm today

CNN (Astro 511)
: Presidential inauguration special from 6pm today until 1pm tomorrow.

BBC World (512) from midnight till 5am tomorrow.

Al Jazeera English (513) 10pm today

CNBC Asia (518)

Bloomberg Television (519)

My Car Gear Box Was Leaking

Last Wednesday I sent in my car to Perodua to fix a leaking gear box and replace an engine mounting. The service advisor said it would take 3 days to repair the leaking gear box.

I had to make alternate arrangements during work days for transport to and from the office.

On Wednesday Silas sent me home and on Thursday and Friday I borrowed my mum's car.

The service advisor called me on Thursday and said that the sealant on the gear box was not Perodua's brand or seal. What was that, no original Perodua's? He asked if I have sent the car to any other service centre. So far I have only sent the car to Perodua service centre for servicing.

So it must be when reported that something was leaking under my car, at Perodua Balakong, that the 'seal' was changed. How come it was not an original part?

On Friday the advisor called and said the car will not be ready on that day, maybe on Saturday. Came Saturday the car was still not ready, as the parts to fix the gear box came on Friday evening.

The mechanic finished fixing the box around 5:30pm on Saturday. No calls.

I had to sms the advisor on Sunday to confirm when I can collect my car. "Tomorrow" said the sms.

Asked brother Silas to tumpang me to PJ this morning. What a so called "adventure" we had on the road... I leave that story to Silas and Rach.

The Cost
I just received my "fixed" car during lunch. It was a major repair. The damage... RM236.40.
. Labour charge RM150.
. Insulator sub-assy, Engine mounting, RH(D73A) (under warranty) RM0
. Case, torque convertor & differential (D73A) (under warranty) RM0
. Ring, O RM33
. Seal, type T oil (X369,680,690-ATM,D73A) RM12
. Seal, type T oil (D73A) RM 33.90
. Plus 5% service charge on Labour.

A Note Of Thanks
Thank you Silas for giving me a lift on Wednesday and today. Appreciate your sacrifice, time, petrol, toll, hunger... ;;-)

My Myvi's Similar Problem
Just found this site http://www.carsurvey.org/reviews/perodua/myvi/r111120/
...At 20,000KM
- Gearbox had a huge MAJOR leak! The oil leaked and drained completely after 2 days! Had the car towed to Perodua's dealer and fixed. The seals at the gear control device located below the gear box broke. I was told by the dealer that this could be due to the improper repair works done by them when I first fixed my gearbox minor leakage previously. Said sorry to me numerous times and was fixed under warranty.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Save The Environment, Work From Home

iThe greenest office: No office at all?

(CNN) -- Why don't you tell your boss you are going to work from home this year, and it's not just for your sake, but for the sake of the environment.

If you compare the energy used to power office facilities (such as computers, heating, lighting and other building management services) to the energy consumed when commuting to the office, it could be that the best way to make your office space eco-friendly may be to not go there at all....

Read more at http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/01/16/eco.green.offices/index.html

Barack Obama's Inauguration

20 January 2009. Barack Obama's inauguration as the next President of the United States.


Barack Obama's inauguration: 44-point guide to greatest show on earth
http://news.scotsman.com/world/Barack-Obama39s-inauguration-44point-guide.4888417.jp
TENS of thousands of supporters of Barack Obama began streaming into a snow-bound Washington over the weekend in advance of tomorrow's presidential inauguration.

Up to two million people are predicted to attend the ceremony, the largest gathering ever seen in Washington, and by far the most people to attend a presidential swearing-in.

...


Watch The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial: We Are One online at http://www.hbo.com/weareone/



Or watch We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration on Astro - HBO
. on 20th January 2009 at 7:00PM.

Kellogg's brand peanut butter recall in US

Kellogg's recalls more peanut butter products
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/18/apworld/20090118091021&sec=apworld
WASHINGTON (AP): First it was bulk peanut butter shipped to nursing homes and institutional cafeterias. Now the salmonella case has touched the Kellogg Co., which has recalled 16 products as federal officials confirm contamination at a Georgia facility that sent peanut products to 85 food companies.

Kellogg had asked stores this week to pull some of its Keebler crackers from shelves as a precaution...


The recall includes Austin and Keebler branded Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, in addition to some snack-size packs of Famous Amos Peanut Butter Cookies and Keebler Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookies.
...



What is Salmonella?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmonella
Salmonella is a genus of rod-shaped Gram-negative enterobacteria that causes typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, and the foodborne illness salmonellosis.

Expensive Accomodation In Mount Kinabalu

Did a search for some news on "expensive accommodations in Mount Kinabalu", not only Malaysians are complaining.


Mount Kinabalu Borneo Blog
http://mount-kinabalu-borneo.com/blog/join-mount-kinabalu-belongs-to-no-one-else-cause-in-facebook.html

The issue: Sutera Sanctuary Lodges monopolize Mount Kinabalu for their own profits.
...
It started early this year, January 2008, when they packaged their climbing trip. They also pre-sold all the beds to big travel & tourism company increasing the price, to reap all the profits. That moves had also make us difficult to book a bed in Laban Rata.

Try calling them and ask for a bed 6 months in advance. They will say that their booking is not open yet.

Try calling them again next 2 days - 5 months 29 days. And they will said that the beds are full in Laban Rata. Who do you think have the power and money to book all 140 beds in Laban Rata in that very short time?
...
Gone are the days when you can D-I-Y your trip up to Low’s Peak, where you could pay merely over RM150 for all the expenses - provided we bring our food ourselves.

The package that they created is compulsory. You cannot omit even a single item in the package - that includes the food. And that move have skyrocketed the prices, even worse during this uncertainty of fuel prices and inflation....


TravelPod
http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/staffyandlyddy/1/1221907440.html

...When we arrived at the Mount Kinabalu National Park headquarters on Wednesday afternoon it was still pouring rain from the day before. Our guide book said there were two youth hostels located at park headquarters and a dorm room cost 12RM (1.40 Euro) per night. When we asked at the reception where these hostels were, we were told they were taken over by the same company that runs the accommodation halfway up the mountain - Sutera Sanctuary Lodges - the biggest rip-off merchants in Asia. They now charged 85RM (17 Euro) to stay in the same dorm room in the same hostel that cost 12RM two years ago....


Joannestamplis Blog
http://joannestamplis.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/borneo-part-1-mt-kinabalu/

...But we still had to sleep 1 night lower on the mountain before reaching the summit plateau. And the park has only one option for sleeping on the mountain: Laban Rata. Last year they charged 29RM/person for the dorm-style accommodations. But they decided to raise prices this year, to a whopping 190RM/person. How could prices rise so much? They force you to buy 4 meals to go with the room and all the food has to be carried by porters up the mountain. We tried to get them to exclude the food (we had our own food) but they told us this was not possible. Setting up a tent is not allowed. So we were forced to pay $109US for 1 night at Laban Rata. Sheesh - what a rip off!...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Another Letter On Mount Kinabalu

Another letter on the high price of climbing Mount Kinabalu. Still no response from the Sabah Park and Tourism Malaysia.

High price of climbing Mt Kinabalu
Saturday January 17, 2009
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/17/focus/3046185&sec=focus


I AM not sure if it is only me who find the cost of climbing Mt Kinabalu has risen too much.

I have read complaints in the newspaper and I do not understand why Sabah Park and Tourism Malaysia have not responded. I have been planning to climb Mt Kinabalu with my friend and we have already made our flight bookings.

I had a wonderful experience climbing the mountain previously. My family and I lived in Labuan for six years and we had been going to Kota Kinabalu every month by airplane.

The accommodation in Laban Rata used to be affordable. But now, Laban Rata and Sayat-Sayat have been placed under the management of private companies and the costs have also risen.

As a student, I have a tight budget. Even though I have money, I see no reason why I must sleep at Laban Rata or Sayat-Sayat at such unreasonable charges.

Sabah Park should make clear the reasons for privatising Mt Kinabalu facilities.

NABILAH ABD SHUKOR,

Dengkil, Selangor.



Recent similar post:
David Says: Expensive to climb Mount Kinabalu now
Someone Agrees With What David Said
More Agree That Climbing Mount Kinabalu Is Expensive

More Letters On Mount Kinabalu

RM2 To Deposit Coins?

Can banks with no coin counting machine means extra change for depositing coins? If I deposit RM3.00, I will be charged RM2.... only deposit RM1.... I better not bank in and enjoy a nice pack of nasi lemak and teh tarik at a mamak stall.

Letter from a 'CONCERNED MOTHER' on The Star...


Children have to pay banks to save
Friday January 16, 2009
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/16/focus/3025025&sec=focus


WE have all been taught to save from young, but sad to say these days we have to pay to save as banks impose a service charge of RM2 per transaction for a deposit of coins.

The reason given is that their staff need to spend time sorting the coins. But don’t they use the coin machine to sort them out?

My sons were taught not to waste money unnecessarily and to learn to save for a rainy day. Thus, it is upsetting that they will lose a part of their savings to the bank when they deposit coins into their account.

Do you know how painful it is to a child to be told that RM2 will be deducted from their precious savings?

My sons ask me why they should save so that the bank can take their RM2. Why can’t the banks be more considerate?

We need to send a clear message to young children to encourage them to save and learn to embrace the banking system.

CONCERNED MOTHER,
Petaling Jaya.



ABM wants more info on children’s account case
Saturday January 17, 2009
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/17/focus/3047010&sec=focus


The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) refers to a letter by Concerned Mother “Children have to pay banks to save” (The Star, Jan 16).

ABM would like to urge the writer to contact ABMConnect at 1-300-88-9980 for a prompt resolution of the matter.

Commercial banks cannot charge a fee for the deposit of coins by children.

ABMConnect is a dedicated channel to clarfiy queries regarding member banks’ operations as well as acceptable practices by member banks when dealing with customers and other matters of public interest vis-a-vis the banking sector.

CHUAH MEI LIN,

ABM executive director.

PAS Wins KT By Election

PAS wins KT
Sunday January 18, 2009
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/18/nation/3056252&sec=nation

KUALA TERENGGANU: PAS candidate Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut is the new Kuala Terengganu MP.

He defeated Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Wan Farid Wan Salleh and independent candidate Azharuddin Mamat...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

AirAsia Email on KLIA-East - the Rakyat's Terminal

Dear Valued Guest,

We at AirAsia and AirAsia X appreciate your patronage in choosing us for your travel. As a regular user of the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang, we have heard your concerns and complaints about the cramped facilities at the LCCT. Many of you may not be aware that the terminal is owned, operated and managed NOT by AirAsia but by Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd., a government-linked company.

To help serve you even better, AirAsia – together with Sime Darby Bhd. – proposed to the government that we be allowed to construct and operate a new terminal to cater to the airline’s exponential growth. The Cabinet approved our request for the new terminal – KLIA-East, or as we like to call it, The Rakyat’s Terminal – to be located just a short distance from the KLIA Main Terminal. The new terminal in Labu, Negeri Sembilan, is scheduled to be in operation early 2011.

In recent days, the proposed KLIA-East terminal has generated a lot of debates and discussions in the media – print, broadcast and online. We appreciate the fact that almost everyone who has voiced their view agrees that AirAsia needs a new terminal. For us, the staff of the airline, the new terminal is very much a matter of the company’s survival given the number of new aircraft joining our ranks – at least two are being delivered every month – and the growth in passengers, estimated to reach 60 million in 2013.

We would like to appeal for your support in helping us deliver on our promises to you and in making The Rakyat’s Terminal a reality. We have set up a designated web site where we will try and clear misconceptions regarding the project and provide answers to questions you may have regarding KLIA-East. Do drop by and have a look. We would also like to appeal to you to voice out your support for the project – and for lower fares, convenience and a comfortable environment – by writing to the print media, appearing on broadcast media, responding in the online media, especially blogs, and contacting your elected representatives.

For more facts and enquiries on KLIA-East, please log on to www.airasia.com or head on over to the blog.


*Picture from AirAsia.


Air Asia campaigns for hearts and minds
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com.my/index.php/malaysia/15971-air-asia-campaigns-for-hearts-and-minds
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Stung by criticisms in cyberspace of the proposed Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) at Labu, Air Asia has gone on the offensive and is making an appeal to customers to support the proposal.

It has sent e-mails to customers asking them to support the LCCT, officially known as KLIA-East and cleverly nicknamed by the staff as “The Rakyat’s Terminal”. The e-mail is also posted on its website...

Don't Talk While You Drive

So I am not suppose to talk while I am driving? Ban handsfree...



Govt mulling ban on handsfree kits
http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=29214
PUTRAJAYA (Jan 13, 2009) : The government is considering a ban on the use of handsfree devices by roadusers....

Lift Human Traffic Jams

Celcom moved into 3 Two Square, The Crest building last week. They occupy 5 floors and have around 400 people.

Since they moved in, we have faced with parking problems, where there are not enough parking bays (without walking too far) and human traffic jams in the 3 lifts that service our office block.

We could wait between 5- 15 minutes before we can enter the lifts. This happens 3 times a day, in the morning, during lunch and after work.

It is not Celcoms fault, but I blame it on the building planners. They could have foreseen that the 3 lifts could not handle the occupants in the tower block.

The building management is trying their best to resolve this problem.

This morning, I pressed the 'up' button, and the button light was on, and after a few seconds, the button light turned off. This happen everytime I pressed the 'up' button.



When the lift arrived, there was a security guard in the lift. He said there will be someone stationed in the all the tower lifts during morning peak hours. They will manually control and monitor the lifts Ups and Downs to minimize the human traffic jam problems.

So now their job titles will be "Security guards aka Lift attendants".

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

No Car For 3 Days

14 Jan 2009. I have sent in my MYVI to the Perodua hospital for 3 days. It was reported that there is a leak in my car's gear box. The mechanic has to remove the gear box, hence the 3 days stay for the car, to check the source of the leak and repair it.

Secondly, one of the engine mounting needs to be replaced.

The car is still under warranty. Hope I don't get charged too much for any "consumable" parts.

I should get my car back this Friday.

Queensland Tourism: Best Job in the World

Do you want the best job in the world? Go to http://www.islandreefjob.com/ and apply.

Competition for the "Best Job in the World" tough - 200,000 prospective

More than 200,000 prospective applicants for Tourism Queensland's "Best Job in the World" - a six month $150,000 contract on Hamilton Island - have visited the www.islandreefjob.com website in the first 24 hours, Tourism Minister Desley Boyle said.

Ms Boyle said the innovative campaign, which offers the successful applicant, who can come from anywhere in the world, the chance to live rent free on Hamilton Island for six months in a multi-million oceanfront villa, spend their time exploring the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef and be paid a salary of AUD $150,000 - had received an unprecedented global response
....
"This is not a competition, it is a genuine job, and it will be tough for the successful candidate," Ms Boyle said.

"He or she will be required to live in an oceanfront villa, undertake a range of activities such as swimming, snorkelling, bushwalking and exploring the islands of the Great Barrier Reef.

"They'll need to make friends with the locals and really get to know the destination and then report back on their experiences via blogs, video diaries and media interviews."
...


Island Reef Job
. Check out the job description and other information here.

3 Two Square Flea Market

Saw this on my way up to my office... now we have somewhere to 'shop' during our lunch time and maybe after work.


3 Two Square Flea Market, which starts today 14 Jan 2009.
. Every Wednesday to Friday (12 pm - 9 pm)
. Every Saturday to Sunday (10 am - 7 pm)

News On MAS Fuel Surcharge & Electicity Tariffs

As the crude oil price drops, let the price of other stuffs fall too...

MAS drops fuel surcharge
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/14/nation/3011448&sec=nation

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will remove fuel surcharge for domestic travel in Malaysia starting today....


Ministry seeks lower tariffs for electricity
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/14/nation/3018485&sec=nation

PUTRAJAYA: The Energy, Water and Communications Ministry has joined the call to lower electricity tariffs...

Blessed Birthday Brother Jo

To my brother in Christ, brother blogger, bradder Jo.

Wishing you a
BLESSED BIRTHDAY
on this day 14th January 2009. Not on Valentines Day 14th February huh :-D






* Picture taken from brother Jo's blog. without permission. Ahem!!! Forgive me bro.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

More than RM2.8 million worth of ROASTERS Rewards & Treats up for grabs today!

Just wanted to share the joy to all Kenny Rogers Roaster fans out there. I received email today from my colleague WWF...


Kenny Roger's Rooster web site http://www.krr.com.my

Sabah Parks: Mount Kinabalu

Lets see the functions of the The Sabah Board of Trustees... refer to http://www.sabahparks.org.my/pages/about.html

Based on ...point e. provide such accomodations, ameties, facilities and services as are likely to attract visitors to the Parks... hopefully whoevers decision to place the accommodations under private management will continue to attract visitors to the park.



More Letters On Mount Kinabalu

A mountain too high to climb now
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/12/focus/2996605&sec=focus
I HAVE been planning to climb Mt Kinabalu for some time with my friends and finally we made our flight bookings this year to make our dreams come true.

A few years back, I had a wonderful experience climbing the mountain and I met good and honest people who worked hard for their living as guides or porters.

Anyone who has been up the mountain would tell you of the amazing ladies carryng gas tank using a strap from their forehead to balance the weight 6km up the mountain.

I was told they were paid RM2 to RM3 per kilo.

When a climber reaches Laban Rata where the porters unload food, drinks and gas, all the climbers would praise these hardworking people after completing the same route with them, but carrying only a load of up to 25kg. The women even walked faster than any of the tourist climbers. It’s amazing!

This year when we wanted to book our accomodation in Laban Rata and Sayat Sayat, we were told that all these places have been placed under the management of private companies and prices of all accomodations have gone up tremendously.

Sayat Sayat is now handled by a company that packs a night’s stay with an adventure trip at above RM1,000 a person.

At Laban Rata where the restaurant used to sell fried rice for RM7 now offer the only option of a buffet with accomodation at RM208 a night.

I use to have very high admiration for Sabah Park for managing the Mt Kinabalu well. It was clean and with reasonable charges.

At the current high prices, I wonder if the local guides and porters are benefitting from it. Who are the new concession owners? Are they locals or foreigners?

Sabah Park should make clear the reasons for privatising Mt Kinabalu facilities. Have they been losing money and are they making money now? Is the local community benefitting from this privatisation?

Finally, at the prices now, Mt Kinabalu would be out of reach for many Malaysians.

Y. CHUNG,
Kuala Lumpur


Recent similar post:
David Says: Expensive to climb Mount Kinabalu now
Someone Agrees With What David Said
More Agree That Climbing Mount Kinabalu Is Expensive

Checkout the new rates to climb Mount Kinabalu at the Sabah Parks website http://www.sabahparks.org.my/

Tony Speaks On KLIA-East

NST's interview with Datuk Tony Fernandes on the new plan to build LCCT at Labu as KLIA-East.




AirAsia's case for its own home

AirAsia hit turbulence over its plan for a purpose-built airport in Labu, Negri Sembilan. CEO Datuk Tony Fernandes tells DAVID YEOW that having its own terminal is the only way to accommodate the budget airline’s growth

Read the interview at http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Monday/National/2450577/Article/index_html

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lunch @ Wai Sek Kai SS2

I have not been to Wai Sek Kai in SS2 for more than a year. Last week, I went there for lunch with my colleague.

I thought the stalls would only be opened at night, but I was wrong. Stalls were opened for lunch, mainly near the Mc Donalds side.


I had the char kueh teow, delicious, with fresh prawns and chinese sausage.

My DSLR Fever

I have to share this... getting the "DSLR fever". I will blog about the "My New DLSR" in the near future. Anti climax huh, but first thing first.

Yesterday after church and lunch, I went to the Foto Miami Warehouse Sale (over) with Silas, Rach and baby Sarah. Thanks Silas for the ride, company and advise.


Location:
13 Jalan Tandang
Petaling Jaya
Old Town

I got myself a Tamrac Express 6 Series camera bag. Cost RM 192 (RRP RM300), for my future DLSR. Price on ShaShinKi website is RM299.


At the moment, this bag will house my Canon S3 IS.

Tamrac homepage http://www.tamrac.com

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mr Minister Please Don't Exploit Our Children

Mr Education Minister, leave our children out of this, don't exploit them. Who gave you the right to get my kids to protest on your behalf.


Gaza Under Siege: Ministry plans huge protest by schoolkids
http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Friday/Frontpage/2447834/Article/index_html
PUTRAJAYA: Nearly all schoolchildren in the country will be mobilised to protest against the Gaza offensive by Israeli forces.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said about five million pupils and 360,765 teachers from more than 10,000 schools would be involved.

"This is to create a wave of pressure for the Israelis to stop their violence and oppression of Palestinian civilians." ...


Education Minister exploiting children? — S. Arutchelvan
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/opinion/breaking-views/136-breaking-views/15645-education-minister-exploiting-children--s-arutchelvan
JAN 10 — Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said (NST, Jan 9) that nearly all schoolchildren — about five million pupils in the country — will be mobilised to protest against the Gaza offensive by Israeli forces....

Boycott American Products

More calls to boycott American and Israeli products... Dr Maharhir, The Muslim Consumers Association, Cuepacs...

Well so I should not use my computer, cause I am using Microsoft Windows. Mmm, is there a local oerating system that I can use.. Tingkap version 1.0 perhaps.


Use local goods instead, says Cuepacs
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/11/nation/2994774&sec=nation
SUNGAI PETANI: Cuepacs has joined the nationwide call to boycott American and Israeli products to protest the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians....


Boycott may hurt Malaysian owners, says MB
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/11/nation/2994209&sec=nation
BANGI: Malaysians should choose carefully the American and Israeli products they want to boycott as some products are partly owned by Muslims or locals, said Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

“Some brands are not totally owned by Israeli or American groups. Their shares are owned even by Muslim countries, including bumiputras in Malaysia....


Boycott of US brands to begin tomorrow
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/8/nation/2969563&sec=nation
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association will spearhead the nationwide boycott of US-made products after Friday’s prayers at the National Mosque....

Christmas Deco @ Mid Valley

27 Dec 2008. We went to Mid Valley after Christmas to shop for my winter clothing, for my planned business trip to Europe in February 2009.

Took advantage of the "still up" Christmas deco at the center court.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bandar Mahkota Cheras: Errant cops should be charged

BMC fracas: Errant cops should be charged
http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/96066

The MCA Youth today urged Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar and Inspector-general of Police Musa Hassan to take action against errant officers that were involved in Bandar Mahkota Cheras (BMC) fracas.

The wing's legal bureau chief Gan Ping Siew said charges must be preferred against these officers in order to restore the confidence of the public in the nation's police force.

Yesterday, the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry panel announced its findings that the police had used excessive force during the BMC fracas on May 27 last year.

The panel held the unanimous opinion that there was excessive use of force by the police and the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel on mechanic Chang Jiun Haur and his employer Chan Siew Meng.
...


MCA: Charge cops in Cheras fracas
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/8/nation/20090108200014&sec=nation

KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA has called for action to be taken against the errant police officers found to have used excessive force on two people in the May 27, 2008, Bandar Mahkota Cheras fracas....


MCA: Act against those who use brutality in Cheras fracas
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/9/nation/2978241&sec=nation

PETALING JAYA: MCA welcomes the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) findings that law enforcement personnel had violated human rights when using excessive force on four people during the Bandar Mahkota Cheras fracas on May 27 last year....


Yet another reason for the IPCMC
http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/96088

‘The cops are guilty of employing excessive force on a civilian at Bandar Mahkota Cheras but the perpetrator cannot be identified? Is it not time that the IPCMC be established to set things straight?'...

Read more at http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/96088

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Travel Tips

Just some information when preparing to travel... fromCNN.com/Travel

Staying safe while exploring the world
..."If you're not willing to take chances, then you better stay home or go to safe places with hand rails and training wheels," said Suzanne Swedo, author of the recently published "Adventure Travel Trips" guide....


1. Prepare before you go
Planning ahead is key to staying safe when you're traveling, experts agree. That means reading travel guides, roaming the Internet, poring over local newspapers online and simply learning the lay of the land....


2. Blend with the locals
If you want to stay out of trouble, avoid acting or looking like a tourist. Criminals prey on easy targets, and a tourist is just that, said Melissa Klurman, an editor at Fodor's Travel Guides.

"I think that when you stand on a street corner with a big map and a camera around your neck, maybe people will be nice and try to help you, but you've also sort of lost the edge that might help you not attract negative attention," she said.
...
"If you're in Italy, that means not wearing jeans and sneakers every day," she said.
...
And, like a defensive driver, pay attention to what's going on around you....


3. Let others know where you are
Travelers always should let someone know where they're going to be and where they can be reached. Leave an itinerary for your entire trip back home, and if you're going to be leaving the hotel for more than 24 hours, let the concierge know when you plan to return....


4. 'Inspiring as well as troubling'
Just because a place has a reputation for danger is not necessarily a reason to ignore it....

Read more at http://archives.cnn.com/2001/TRAVEL/NEWS/03/02/safe.travel/index.html

Give Thanks: My Winter Clothing Claim

My company is sending me and some of my colleagues to Europe, namely Greece and
Hungary for the project handover. The project team will handover support to us.

Our company has allowed up to claim winter allowance, but were instructed to purchase with "reasonable expenditures". So what is reasonable? No maximum was given.

Having no experience with winter and winter clothing, since I am living in a tropical country and have not traveled to a place where there are four seasons. I just bought "reasonable" priced jacket, sweater, a pair of thermal wear and wool socks. Hopefully it is sufficient to keep me warm during winter.

The total cost RMx,xxx. I was not sure that it was reasonable.

Today I just want to thank God that the my winter clothing claim has been approved. So one less thing to think about.

2nd Hand Nikon D40x For Sale

Anyone interested in buying buy a 2nd hand Nikon D40x? My friend is selling his as he plans to upgrade, so please click on Mega Sale for more details.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Recognizing A Stroke

Received this from a friend via email...


STROKE: Remember The 1st Three Letters...



STROKE IDENTIFICATION:
During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) and just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food - while she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Ingrid's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00pm, Ingrid passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.


It only takes a minute to read this...
A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.


RECOGNIZING A STROKE

Remember the "3" steps, STR . (Remember "STaR")


Read and Learn!
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.


Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:


S
- Ask the individual to SMILE.


T
- Ask the person to TALK. To SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE
(Coherently) ( i.e. . . It is sunny out today)


R
- Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.


(NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out their tongue... if the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke)


If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.