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Monday, September 03, 2007

Biker brudders in Kluang

With a thunderous roar, 20 superbikers cruised through Kluang, turning heads along the way.

These macho men on their mean machines attracted a crowd at the Kluang Railway Station on May 6. The riders had stopped to enjoy a cup of kopi with kaya toast and the company of fellow Kluang superbike enthusiasts, including District police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohamed Fawzi Arshad.

The public often had the wrong impression of superbikers because of the way they looked, said Fawzi who explained that on the contrary, they often helped the police combat crime. As a brotherhood of disciplined riders, Harley Davidson superbikers can work with the police to maintain law and order as Rakan Cop members. To register as a member of Rakan Cop, just send a mobile-phone text message to 32728 or DAPAT.

The superbikers were guests of Gunung Lambak Eco Resort executive director Roslee Yassin.

"We have regular weekend rides to various destinations to savour local specialties," says Azlan Alias, founding member of Jokers Motorcycle Club. Their passion often takes them to Tanjung Malim, Raub and Temerloh.

And now, Kluang is firmly on their list of favourite weekend destinations!

Penang International Floral Festival



Botanical Garden, Penang. Watch the blooming of colour, fragrance and vibrancy at the annual Penang International Floral Festival as the Botanical Garden is transformed into a floral wonderland. There are exhibitions, workshops, contest and classes on related topics while the main attraction is the breathtaking larger-than-life floral floats. Details, visit
http://www.tourismpenang.gov.my

Sandakan Festival


Sandakan, Sabah. Known as the "Gateway to Borneo's Wildlife", Sabah's second largest town will hold a week-long festival with a host of activities to showcase Sandakan's rich culture and tradition. Once dubbed "Little Hong Kong", the town is the entry point to the world-renowned Sepilok Orang Utah Rehabilitation Centre, Turtle Islands Park and the Kinabatangan River. Join the festivities and extend your stay to visit the renowned tourist attractions. Details, call 089-229 751.

Gawai Dayak



Throughout Sarawak. Gawai Dayak is celebrated by the Ibans, Orang Ulu and Bidayuh of Sarawak in early June to mark the rice-harvesting season. There will be traditional ceremonies and dances in the various long-houses. Relatives and visitors are served rice wine or tuak and chicken cooked in bamboo as well as other traditional delicacies.

Tadau Kaamatan



Throughout Sabah. Tadau Kaamatan or the Harvest Festival is a thanksgiving celebration for a bountiful harvest and the selection of the Harvest Queen or Unduk Ngadau. The festival, celebrated by Kadazandusun community, is observed at district level before concluding at State Level in Penampang. There will be activities held at various districts on the weekends and a mini tamu at Hongkod Koisaan in Kota Kinabalu.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Deputy Director-General of Health Datuk Dr Noorimi Morad

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia


DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 26JAN07 - Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia

captured during the session 'ASEAN's 40 Years - A New Future' at the Annual Meeting 2007 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 26, 2007.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi speaks during a news

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi speaks during a news
conference in Putrajaya outside Kuala Lumpur July 19, 2006. Malaysia has set
up a fund worth 5 billion ringgit, or $1.35 billion, to smooth the way for
public-private projects, the prime minister said on Wednesday, a day after
announcing plans for a raft of infrastructure projects. REUTERS/Bazuki
Muhammad (MALAYSIA)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

E &O Property Development Bhd (E&OPD)

E&OPD has been carving a reputation for itself in the Pearl of the Orient since embarking on the freehold Seri Tanjung Pinang (STP) seafront development in October 2005.

The 980-acre township being undertaken on reclaimed land was master-planned by the internation-ally-renowned architectural firm of Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo.

While the scale of the development alone is enough to make the island's population and real estate fraternity sit up, it is the new urbanism concept of providing walkable residential neighbourhoods set amidst landscaped parks, boulevards and seafront esplanades that is setting the company apart from the rest.

In the 240-acre first phase, terrace, semi-detached and detached houses will be developed alongside condominiums and serviced apartments in gated and guarded precincts.

Of these, 90 per cent of the 166 terraces called Ariza have been sold despite prices starting from RM775,000 for intermediate units and RM980,00 for the corners, while the 38 plots of bungalow land have found buyers willing to pay between RM170psf and RM250psf.

Judging from the over-whelming response, STP is envisaged to set the pace for the island's upmarket residential prices as well as design and quality standards for years to come.

SP Setia Bhd (SPS)
Another developer carving a name for itself on Penang island is SPS with its 112.6-acre Setia Pearl island gated residential development.

Situated in the southern segment of the island and about 2km from the Penang international Airport, this RM800 million venture has also been designed for the upper income market segment, with three-storey, five-bedroom terrace houses tagged from RM600,000.

To support the pricing, SPS is infusing the development with lifestyle amenities such as a clubhouse (complete with swimming pool, sauna, squash court and ballroom) and residential precinct names such as the isle of life, the isle of Aroma and the isle of Palm.

Although new to Penang, SPS has a track record of introducing innovative concepts to its developments in the Klang Valley and Johor Baru.

In the south, the company is riding on the resounding response to its 1,054-acre Bukit indah and 452-acre Bukit indah 2 in Gelang Patah; 889-acre Setia indah in the Tebrau Corridor; the 740-acre Setia Tropika located off the Kempas interchange; and the recently unveiled RM2 billion Setia Eco Gardens township in Pulai.

The latter is a 949-acre venture that is expected to raise the bar for residential developments in the state and showcase concepts johoreans have never seen before. Among them:Eco-themes where lush garden oases, water parks, boardwalks and resort-like facilities for fishing and canoeing will prevail.

Cyberjaya here we come


A top indian property developer has made tracks into the country and made Cyberjaya in Selangor its first stop.

The Embassy Group of Bangalore purchased a 10-acre site near the up-and-coming KL-Putrajaya Dedicated Highway at the end of last year for RM20 million (or RM46psf) via a joint venture company MKN Embassy Development Sdn Bhd.

Upon it, work is underway to complete two office blocks, each with 250,000sq ft of space, by the end of this year.

it is understood that the premised will be occupied largely by the IT-related businesses currently renting premises the Embassy Group has built in Bangalore and who now want to blaze an expansion trail into Southeast Asia.

Over the past two decades, Embassy has built for lease over 11 million square feet of residential and commercial space in one of india's most popular IT cities.

According to Cyberjaya developer, Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd, "if the project is successful, Embassy will purchase an additional 20 acres to build more space".

"The construction of the two office blocks in the first 10 acres will involve some RM100 million," said its chief operating officer Lao Chok Keang.

Setia Haruman is controlled by the Emkay group, which also controls MKE group Sdn Bhd. The latter owns 60 per cent of the MKN-Embassy joint venture.

Last week, MKN subsidiary Laketown Sdn Bhd engaged property consultancy Henry Butcher Malaysia Sdn Bhd to lease and manage another of its ventures in Cyberjaya, the RM300 million NeoCyber project comprising shop-offices and serviced apartments on a 20-acre site.

When completed, this project will also provide student accommodation for the Cyberjaya University College of Medical Science.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Health at large

health at large 6Saving hearts Have a change of heart and live a quality life is the resounding message that three organisations are communicating to Malaysians.

Concerned with the growing number of Malaysians suffering from heart diseases, the National Heart Association of Malaysia(NHAM), National Heart Foundation of Malaysia (NHF) and Pfizer has joined forces to create greater national awareness of heart health among the public. One of the group's first initiatives from the public-private partnership was the production of an education video compact disc (CD) on Heart Health which was jointly unveiled by the three organisations at a media briefing recently.

Produced in three languages, the 30-minute video CD aims to provide over 5,000 doctors nationwide a visual aid to raise awareness of heart diseases among their patients and empower them with information to care for their hearts.

"We are happy with this collaboration between the public and private sector to support public education on heart disease. As doctors, our concern is primarily for the well being of our patients, not only in treatment, but also in educating them on prevention of heart disease risk factors such as hypertension, high clolesterol and obesity among others.

"We hope that our patients will benefit from the video to further understand the implications of heart disease and start taking preventive measures to change their lifestyles now", said Dr Ahmad Nizar Jamaludin, President of the National Heart Association of Malaysia.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Malaysia. The number of heart disease related cases in local hospitals have shown significant increase. In 2005, hypertensionrelated disease cases in hospitals rose to 38,445 compared to 32,886 in the year 2000. Other heart disease related cases amounted to 25,362 last year vs. 17,598 in 2000.

Today, 30% of Malaysians suffer from obesity, hypertension and high cholesterol while 8.5% suffer from diabetes, according to the Health Ministry. In calculating those percentages against the country's population of 25 million, approximately 7.5 million people suffer from heart disease risk factors while 2.1 million are diabetic.

The increasing rate of cardiovascular diseases among the people continue to consume a large portion of the country's healthcare budget and the Health Ministry has further allocated funds uner the Ninth Malaysia Plan in a mission to bring down the incidences of heart disease risk factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity through health education and promotional activities.

According to Datuk Dr Khoo Kah Lin, Director of the National Heart Foundation of Malaysia and also President-elect of the Malaysian Medical Association," Our investment in heart disease awareness programmes have been increasing annually as we believe that empowering the community with information and other resources wil help them attain healthier lifestyles.
"We want the public to feel responsible sor their health and we are confident that this education video on Heart Health will yet be another resource to learn about heart disease prevention."
Despite mounting research and advances in treatment, Malaysians are not getting the message that heart diseases is claiming more lives and has become the leading cause of morbidity, if not mortality in the country.

"Our common goal is to save lives", said John Latham, Managing Director of Pfizer Malaysia. "With a collaborative effort, we hope to make the society aware of the risk factors for heart disease and to motivate them-with the help of their health care professionals to take an active role in their heart health," he added.

The education video CD on Heart Health produced by the three organisations with the contribution of cardiovascular experts is distributed through doctors who are registered with NHAM and participating clinics nationwide. To attain a copy of the video, individuals are encouraged to visit their nearest healthcare professionals or contact NHF at 03-26934709 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Cyberjaya here we come

A top indian property developer has made tracks into the country and made Cyberjaya in Selangor its first stop.

The Embassy Group of Bangalore purchased a 10-acre site near the up-and-coming KL-Putrajaya Dedicated Highway at the end of last year for RM20 million (or RM46psf) via a joint venture company MKN Embassy Development Sdn Bhd.

Upon it, work is underway to complete two office blocks, each with 250,000sq ft of space, by the end of this year.

it is understood that the premised will be occupied largely by the IT-related businesses currently renting premises the Embassy Group has built in Bangalore and who now want to blaze an expansion trail into Southeast Asia.

Over the past two decades, Embassy has built for lease over 11 million square feet of residential and commercial space in one of india's most popular IT cities.

According to Cyberjaya developer, Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd, "if the project is successful, Embassy will purchase an additional 20 acres to build more space".
"The construction of the two office blocks in the first 10 acres will involve some RM100 million," said its chief operating officer Lao Chok Keang.

Setia Haruman is controlled by the Emkay group, which also controls MKE group Sdn Bhd. The latter owns 60 per cent of the MKN-Embassy joint venture.

Last week, MKN subsidiary Laketown Sdn Bhd engaged property consultancy Henry Butcher Malaysia Sdn Bhd to lease and manage another of its ventures in Cyberjaya, the RM300 million NeoCyber project comprising shop-offices and serviced apartments on a 20-acre site.
When completed, this project will also provide student accommodation for the Cyberjaya University College of Medical Science.

Building on a flying startRelaxed laws

Building on a flying startRelaxed laws and advent of low-cost long-haul carrier spark hope of more foreign ownership

The foreigners are coming, and at least two prominent township builders are suiting up to welcome them as purchasers.

Recent relaxations of foreign ownership laws, the expected increase in tourist arrivals this year due to efforts by the Tourism Ministry and the evolution of AirAsia into the first lowcost long haul carrier in the region are the fodder TH Properties Sdn Bhd and Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd are feeding on to drive sales in their townships.

"The expansion of the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal(LCCT) in Sepang together with AirAsia's move into the long-haul sector should increase tourist arrivals to our shores," said TH Properties chief executive officer Syed Mohamed ibrahim.

"With the more liberalised package to attract foreigners to own a second home here (under the Malaysia My Second Home plan), I'm confident this increase will translate into better sale of properties."

Syed Mohamed pointed out that his township, the 5,116-acre Bandar Enstek, is "only eight minutes from the LCCT and 15 minutes from KLIA" and besides having lifestyle residential units, also contains educational, medical and commercial properties that would suit foreign requirements.

For Setia Haruman, developer of Cyberjaya, its chief operating officer Lao Chok Keang said the development is "poised to enjoy a spillover of foreign IT firms currently operating in india".
"Indian developers are now coming here to build ITcentres for their (foreign) clients who are expanding into Asia," he said (see sidebar).

"Their top choice is of course Cyberjaya as we have the most modern technological infrastructure in the country."

Lao said with the move, he expects the townships's foreign working population of 3,600-making up 20 per cent of the area's total IT workforce-to grow by another 1,200 by the end of this year.
To tap into their wallets, Lao said he is modifying some up-and-coming launches so that the products are "in tune with foreign tastes and expectations".

"We have converted some condo projects into upmarket villas to cater to middle-management individuals, priced between the RM300,000 and RM400,000mark," he said.
"For the top-management, they can choose from bungalow plots priced between RM75psf and RM80psf."

Lao said in india's IT hotspots such as Hyderabad and Bangalore, foreigners have had to put up with paying exhorbitant rents for old buildings that are often in poor state of repair.
"In Cyberjaya, however, they can look forward to occupying and even owning state-of-the-art property at a fraction of the price."

To educate both locals and foreigners on the offerings and incentives available in the township, he said Setia Haruman will be conducting an investment seminar in April.
"Locals should also consider investing in Cyberjaya as they will be able to rent their properties to foreigners who may not want to buy," Lao said, adding that returns of seven per cent is achievable for shop and condominium units and up to eight per cent for the villas.
Meanwhile, in Bandar Enstek, Syed Mohamed said the spreading of AirAsia's wings means "even middleclass Europeans who want to escape their country's cold winters can now own a home in a warm sunny country".

"We are extremely excited AirAsia has gone long haul, and we're already working with them for mutual benefit," he said.

Syed revealed that the first tie-up will take the form of a Tune Hotel in Bandar Enstek.
Tune Hotel was founded by AirAsia chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes.
"I can say that we are in an advanced stage of discussion and are close to finalising the deal," said Syed Mohamed.

"Hopefully this will be the first of many joint endeavours between our two companies."

Monday, February 26, 2007

Property Talk - Out of the zone

For a moment, i thought i was in the twilight zone. Or at the very least, like Rip Van Winkle, had woken up 15 years in the future.

What brought me to this conclusion was a real estate transaction reported just before Chinese New Year that blue-chip builder SP Setia had sold 38 acres of commercial land in Bukit Indah within johor's emerging iskandar Development Region for RM65psf.

A currently Greenfield site in johor for RM65psf. or over RM2.8 million an acre? What was even more eye opening was the fact that accompanying the report was a quote by Citigroup that it had previously tagged land in the area at RM20psf.

These values have all the oomph of forward thinking. i was tempted to say "wishful thinking", but that would have implied they were plumped up, and that can't be right since the deal has been inked-with one of the country's most respected corporate citizens no less.

Still, i couldn't get my head around the benchmark price. Benchmark? it's more like one of those flags you plant on a mountain after conquering it.

Good on SP Setia....good on the fact that it managed to find Raion Capital, a special purpose vehicle, to pick up the site for RM106.97 million cash. And good for Raion for being able to lease to Aeon Co, operator of the jusco brand, a three storey shopping mall it will build there. The arrangement struck by these players must be at the core of the RM65psf value. Because real estate valuation comparative methods aren't.

One of the most recent deals of a similar nature i could find was back in March 2004, when another public-listed developer, Plenitude, sold also to Aeon 30.03 acres in its Desa Tebrau township fronting the JB-Kota Tinggi Highway for RM39.241 million, ot RM30psf.

That plenitude's site is closer to JB city and surrounded by a more established catchment population-presumably an essential retail requirement-makes the 200 per cent contrast seem that much more glaring. It's even more so when Raion's deal is put next to the humble price of RM4.60psf SP Setia paid to Prolink Development for the whole Bukit indah site back in 1999. And to think, Citigroup said it's now worth RM20psf.

How times have changed.
More than show that wealth can grow in just a few short years when you buy into the right location, the latesttransaction reveals the power of vision. in this case, the iskandar Development Region plan by the federal government which is being implemented by Khazanah Nasional seems to have fuelled such positive optimism that mountains have been conquered.

Wondering how the sums could work out for Raion, i punched out the reported numbers: On top of the land cost, it will build the shopping mall with 600,000sqft of nett area for RM180 million, bringing the whole caboodle to RM287 million, or a shade under RM480psf based on the nett built-up size.

To make investment sense, i figured a special purpose vehicle such as Raion would want an average of 10 per cent returns from Aeon over its 15-year lease tenure. Which means its RM480psf investment would need to generate around RM4psf in rent every month. Certainly, that's no small change for Aeon, especially since it said it is prepared to sink in another RM35 to RM40 million of its own money into the project.

Although records point out that Raion is a RM2 public limited company incorporated just a week before the transaction with SP Setia was done, assuming the deals it entered into were done at armslength, it would be among the first to ride on the wave of investments that is the product of a parallel dimension rather than of real-time transactions.

Whether that dimension is vision linked or financially created will soon be revealed when Raion's financial advisor announces more details on the acquisition in the near future.

Until then, i can imagine fund managers and investors alike are keeping their eyes on the companies with prime tracts of land in land in south johor, in the hope they too will see their asset values blossom.

Like what Rod Serling, creator of the Twilight Zone said, "You're travelling through another dimension-a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's a signpost up ahead: Your next stop-the Twilight Zone!"

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Some like it broad - Wanta Mee


You've heard much about the wantan mee. But there is a variant of this popular noodle dish which oringinated from Shouthern China, made famous by Hong Kong chefs called chou-meen (broad noodles).

While most noodle connosisseurs may be divided on which is the better version, I strongly recommend wantan mee lovers to try chou-meen for a really filling meal at a stall, coffeeshop or hawker centre.


Although the yow-meen (fine noodles) outsells the chou-meen at any given day, savouring the broad noodles is truly a unique experience.


This particular variant of the wantan noodle is also prepared as a kwon-lou (with dry dark soya sauce gravy) or chee-suay (soup) dish. And like the ordinary wantan noodles, the serving is always generous.


A meal costs between RM3.50 and RM5050 depending on the amount of noodles called tan-chor (single serving) or mar-meen (double helping).


The standard garnishing is char siew (caramelised roast pork), chopped spring onions and choy sum. If you order the dry variant, you'll get a small bowl of wantan in soup. I recommend chee-suay chou-meen or broad noodles in soup.


Like the fine wantan noodles, customers do have the choice to customise their orders with siew yuk (roast pork), siew ngap (roast duck) and siew phai kuat (roast spare ribs).
Broad noodles are also used in curry laksa dishes which can be found in small towns and kampung coffeeshops throughout Peninsular Malaysia.


Top five recommendations for chow wantan meen

Petaling jaya
1 corner coffeeshop opposite UOB Bank near Menara MPPJ, New Town. This place needs no recommendation for dishing out the most electrifying wantan noodles ever! Check out the pork ribs broad noodles which came highly recommended.


Kuala Lumpur
2 Meng Shiang coffeeshop at Taman Cheras. It'll be tricky finding this stall run by a husband and wife team. Customers queue up from as early as 11am for takeaway. Highly recommended, is the kwon lou wantan charsiew chou-meen.

Malacca
3 Coffeeshop next to Bunga Raya food court at Jalan Bunga Raya. Down south, people like their wantan noodles hot and spicy and this place lives up to its name for serving a good tasting and generous portion of wantan noodles.

Johor
4 Comer stall at Taman Ser Tebrau, johor Baru. This place is located at the last block adjacent to the shell petrol station. You can see the owner doing his noodle acrobatics but city dwellers here prefer fine noodles.

Perak
5 Pun Chun coffeeshop in Bidor town. Broad noodles a la wantan and a concoction of killer pickled green chilli pepers makes this place a must if you decide to head North. Noteworthy is the awesome prawn wantan and if you love ngap thui meen or duck thigh noodles, this is the place to be.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Road Tax Reduce & Toll Rise in Malaysia.


Road Tax Reduce
Some Malaysian is very happy with the Road Tax Reduce.
Let's look at the simple calculation below.
E.g.
Road Tax Reduce = RM50 for 1 year
For per day = RM50/365
= RM0.1370/day (WAU!!!! What a big saving for Malaysian)
Syabas !!! To our Government!!!



Toll Rise
Imagine a person who is using Kesas Highway from Klang To K.L. (To & From)
(That means - using a full package on this Highway)
Past Toll Rate = RM1.50 per toll x 6 tolls = RM9.00 per day
Present Toll Rate = RM2.20 per toll x 6 tolls = RM13.20 per day
Different = RM0.70 per toll
For 1 day = RM0.70 x 6 tolls (To & From)
= RM4.20 / day

Normal Working Days for Normal Person = 240days / year
For One Year = 240days x RM4.20
= RM1,008.00 (Different - Old & Present)

As such, present Toll Rate = RM13.20/day x 240 days
= RM3,168 per year

But Some Crazy Guyz Work for 365 days / year
For One Year = 365days x RM4.20
= RM1,533.00 (Different - Old & Present)
Full Toll Rate Calculation = RM13.20/day x 365 days
= RM4,818 per year

For others toll ; you can calculate on your own... using the same method.
If Average Malaysian Salary is RM2000.00/mth. (For easy calculation purpose)
That's means he/she will be spending his/her 2 months salary / year just to pay on his toll.
Syabas !!! To all Malaysian…. For Being Deaf & Dumb….

IOI Mall - 7 Ferbruary 2007 - about LDP highway toll


























Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Eye on Malaysia at Titiwangsa

Click the picture




The Eye on Malaysia ferris wheel at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa ( Kuala Lumpur )will be open to the public until Dec 31.

Set up in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2007, anyone taking a ride in its 42 gondolas will be able to view major landmarks such as the Petronas Twin Towers and Menara Kuala Lumpur during the 12-minute ride.

Among those who enjoyed the ride yesterday was broadcast journalist Khairulanuar Yahaya who said it was a new and enjoyable experience that should not be missed.

“For those living in the Pandan area, they can catch Rapid KL local shuttle buses to Pandan Indan light rail transit station and take the LRT to Titiwangsa where they can switch to City Shuttle No.116 to Jalan Duta or Pusat Bandar Damansara,” said the spokeman.

Those living in Ampang can make their way to KLCC using local shuttle and trunk buses to catch City Shuttle No. 116.

Otherwise, they can use local shuttle buses to Ampang LRT station, take the LRT to Titiwangsa where they can catch the City Shuttle No.116.