Thursday, November 27, 2008

AirAsia, MAS cancel all flights to and from Bangkok....and my sister is stranded there :(

AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines have cancelled all flights to and from Bangkok on Wednesday.

This comes after anti-government protesters in Bangkok swarmed the airport complex Tuesday forcing the closure of the city's main international airport.

An air traffic control official at the Suvarnabhumi Airport on Wednesday told the media that the airport would remain shut Wednesday.

MAS operations director, Datuk Tajuden Abu Bakar, said that all four flights scheduled between KLIA and Bangkok have been cancelled as the airport has been closed by Thai authorities.

“As this closure is indefinite at this point of time, we are unable to advise when our flight operations will resume.”

Tajuden urged customers in Malaysia to call 1-300-88-3000 for further updates and passengers in Bangkok to call +662-2630572 or +662-1343184.

AirAsia on its website said all customers who were affected would automatically receive a refund through credit - to redeem a seat on the next available flight to/from Bangkok within three days from your original date of travel (subject to the reopening of the Bangkok airport and the availability of seats).

It added that arrangements for the next flight to or from Bangkok would have to be done at the AirAsia Sales Counter at the respective airport of departure after the Bangkok airport has reopened.
The government against the use of force encouraged the protesters more to make the matter worse. As a result, my sister who was supposed to be back yesterday is now stranded at Bangkok with no flights out from there. Luckily she is safe and don't have to sleep at the airport. Hopefully the airport will re-opens today and she can come back safely....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

US stocks soar after good news to Citigroup

The US government's latest bailout of a big financial company - this time, Citigroup Inc. - sent Wall Street soaring Monday for the second straight session as investors bet that the worst of the financial industry's problems might finally be over.

The Dow Jones industrials soared nearly 400 points, while all the major indexes jumped more than 4.5 percent.

The surge gave the market its first two-day advance since the end of October and the Dow its biggest two-day percentage gain since October 1987, the month of the Black Monday crash.

The Dow's 891-point rise over the two sessions also wiped out the 872-point plunge it suffered over the course of Wednesday and Thursday, when investors were anguishing over the fate of Citigroup and financial companies in general, and over the future of the nation's automakers.

Although investors sensed late last week that a rescue of Citigroup was forthcoming, investors nonetheless were heartened, even emboldened, by the U.S. government's decision late Sunday to invest $20 billion in Citigroup and guarantee $306 billion in risky assets.

Wall Street's enthusiasm grew not only because the bailout answered questions about Citigroup but also because many observers saw the move as offering as a model for how the government might carry out other bank stabilizations.

Gunners begin new era under new leader Cesc

New Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has pledged the young Gunners must now "fulfil our potential".

Sacked skipper William Gallas has been reinstated to his defensive role for the Champions League clash against Dynamo Kiev but 21-year-old Fabregas is the new permanent skipper, one of the youngest in the club's history. Giving him the responsibility may also serve to deflect his attention from a raft of continental suitors which may well have been uppermost in Arsene Wenger's choice of on-pitch leader.

"It is a great honour for me to captain one of the biggest clubs in the world. It is a proud moment," Fabregas declared.

"I know it is a big responsibility, but together with my team-mates, I know we have the spirit and commitment to get back to winning ways and fulfil our potential."

Let's hope Arsenal can put all these troubles behind them and turn back their focus to the domestic league as well as their European campaign :)
Source: ESPN Soccernet

Overnight Policy Rate lowered to 3.25%

Bank Negara has cut its benchmark Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 3.25% from 3.50%, and signalled it was ready to cut the rate further.

This was the first rate cut in over five years. The move, which can be considered well-timed as the economy slows, will result in a lower cost of funds for banks. This, in turn, brings down the cost of borrowing for consumers.

To inject more liquidity into the banking system, Bank Negara also cut the statutory reserve requirement (SRR) for banking institutions for the first time in a decade - from 4% to 3.5% - effective Dec 1.
The last time the SRR was cut was in the midst of the Asian financial crisis, on Sept 16, 1998 when it was reduced to 4% from 6%.

EPF moving strong silently???

While the market had been going down steadily since October 2008, Employee Provident Fund have been quietly acquiring many shares from big companies and expanding their fund distribution. Referring to the chart above, look how much have they accumulated? Of course they can do it cause they have the strong fund and capital from their other investment and also from our monthly contribution. Once the market returns to normal routine (one would wonder when will that day come), EPF will be the one laughing non-stop. Make sure you do the right move, EPF! Don't mess with our hard earned money !!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Song for this Christmas during recession

You better work hard
You better act tough
You better not whine
I’m telling you why
Recession is coming to town

You better cut cost
You better cut lines
You better don’t buy (gears)
I’m telling you why
All our jobs are…….on the line

You'd better watch out
You'd better not cry
You'd better keep cash
I'm telling you why:
Recession is coming to town.
It's hitting you once,
It's hitting you twice
It doesn't care if you've been careful and wise
Recession is coming to town
It's worthless if you've got shares
It's worthless if you've got bonds
It's safe when you've got cash in hand
So keep cash for goodness sake, HEY
You'd better watch out
You'd better not cry
You'd better keep cashI'm telling you why:
Recession is coming to town!
Finance products are confusing
Finance products are so vague
The banks make you bear the cost of risk
So keep out for goodness sake, OH
You'd better watch out
You'd better not cry
You'd better keep cashI'm telling you why:
Recession is coming to town.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sighting of moon for Aidiladha on Nov 27

The sighting of the moon to determine the date for Aidiladha will be held next Thursday evening, the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal announced today.

The Council of Rulers has agreed that the date for the Aidiladha will be determined by the sighting of the moon and calculation, it said in a statement.

The date for the Aidiladha will be announced over radio and television the same night.

Pikom PC Fair is back in Penang!

5 - 7 December 2008 (11:00 am - 9:00 pm)
Penang International Sports Arena, Penang

Wonder if flash drive's price will continue to go down this time at the pc fair. The other day I saw one advertisment saying 8GB thumbdrive is now selling at around rm50!!! This was the price for 4GB size during the last pc fair held at PISA. Just image the drop. Expect the price to hit RM40+ come Sunday 7th Dec when the retailers starts throwing price :) Good luck for ur bargain if you are planning to grab something from the fair...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Malaysia among top five with Internet access in Asia Pacific

This is a piece of happy news for everyone here in our country. Malaysia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and Singapore are the most connected countries in the Asia Pacific region, with 55 per cent to 80 per cent of their populations having access to the Internet by 2007. One question: This was in 2007, are we improving in 2008 and even beyond?

In contrast, the bottom five — Myanmar, Timor-Leste, Tajikistan, Bangladesh and Cambodia — have less than one per cent of their population using the Internet while the average for region is 20 per cent.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Unescap) said that despite significant progress that Asia and the Pacific had made in utilising information communication technology (ICT), a significant disparity still remained in access to the Internet between high-income and low-income countries. Personally, technology supposed to be made borderless without based from any level or by countries. Which is why I'm very grateful for our Penang state government to go ahead with the proposal and plans to make our state wide full broadband coverage :)

It said the wide gap appeared despite its study which showed that both phone and Internet use had increased over the last five years since the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was first held in 2003.

For us, this is definitely a happy news and proud news as Malaysian citizens. However do bear in mind that as a developing nation, this is nothing extraordinary to be proud of and we must not rest on laurels but instead should focus on improving our insfrastructure and also in many many other area. Else our vision 2020 to reach the status of developed nation will always and forever be far far away. More efforts needed, so our beloved government, are you listening out there ???

The True Colours of OTK keeps revealing...

Ever since well before the nomination of MCA election begins, I do not have good impression of Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat. To me, he's the guy that keeps on trying to grab headlines and trying to act on behalf of the party even before he is the President of MCA.
After the election where he officially sits on top of MCA, his true colour begins to showed. Acting as if MCA is his, this dictator begins to sideline Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek from any important party post, and begin his one man dynasty show. Such a rift between him and Dr. Chua that they openly go at each other in the press and Chinese dailies even reported that he has never mention Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek's name even once as his deputy president.
Now, MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has effectively closed the door on Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek returning to the cabinet. He said Dr Chua’s current position as the head of the party’s government policy monitoring bureau was best suited for him as he was the former health minister. Let's see what's Dr Chua's reaction and actions to this...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A good time to buy property???

I'm sure that although many of you out there must be thinking that apart from keeping cash is the best option at this difficult economy moment, many out there still pondering the chance to jump into other investment such as buying properties. True to say, because of the worldwide meltdown of financial difficulties, the property sector is one of the most heavily hit area. Many experts and analysts are saying and predicting that because of the slowdown period, it's a good time now to buy property and get a little bit more of discounts.
I cannot say I disagree with such statement that now it's consider a good opportunity to grab a unit of property, be it for investment or for future family planning, but one must also be realistic and aware that in the state of Penang, property prices is one of the most expensive if not the most expensive area in Malaysia.
Take a look at the chart attached. The cheapest you can get is a 700 sq ft apartment at the cost of rm150k. Now for a normal person with 1-2 years of saving from working here in the island, it's not totally impossible but it's still a BIG ask. Don't forget that you will still need to pay the 10% downpayment, all the legal fees and insurance for your house and then the monthly interest and installment from the amount of loan you took from the bank. Of course there are many other considering factors and concerns for those who have other commitments. So be wise and make the right decision as buying a property is not just like buying any vegetables or meat from the market. Once you commits to it, you will be tied up for a long long time...

The Light Waterfront Township

IJM Land's flagship project, The Light will take place in the first quarter next year. The first residential project called The Light Linear to be launched in the first quarter will have a GDV of RM150mil while Light Point with a GDV of RM90mil will be launched a few weeks after that.
The Light Linear will have 328 units with built-up from 1379 to 1513 sq ft, while the more spacious The Light Point units are from 1807 to 4000 sq ft.

The Light Waterfront, a RM4.5 bil residential and commercial development of Penang island's eastern coastline, will be developed over 12 years. The residential precinct will have 1186 residences, including waterfront villas and condominiums.

The commercial precinct will comprise office buildings, four hotels, retail malls, dining and entertainment facilities, a seafront park, floating restaurant and facilities for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Japan into recession, 1st time since 2001

Oh my god!!! Japan has slipped into recession for the first time in seven years as the global financial crisis mauls its export-dependent economy, the 2nd country after Singapore in Asia.

Japan joins Germany and Italy on the list of major economies that are now officially in recession, despite emergency steps by world powers to try to stem months of turmoil on financial markets. I can never imagine this will happen to Japan, our Asia powerhouse...If now it's Japan, then any country can be the next one :(

Japan's economy, the second largest in the world, unexpectedly contracted 0.1 percent in the third quarter -- 0.4 percent on an annualised basis -- after shrinking 0.9 percent in the second, the Cabinet Office said.

The last time Japan fell into recession -- which is usually defined as two or more consecutive quarters of economic contraction -- was in 2001 after the Internet bubble burst.

So like many other experts said, keep cash is the best option now. Always be patience and do not act on wise and be critical :)

Petrol price reduced again....but still not at the old price :(

Petrol and diesel will be sold 15sen cheaper per litre from Tuesday onwards following the Government’s decision to lower fuel prices in tandem with the downward trend of global oil prices.

The pump price of RON97 petrol will be RM2 a litre from RM2.15 while the retail price of RON92 petrol and diesel is RM1.90 a litre, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in a statement on Monday.

The new prices are effective from midnight Monday.

He said this is the fifth downward revision since August in honouring the Government’s promise to the people to lower fuel prices if oil prices dwindled in the world market.

Najib hoped traders would also lower prices of goods and services following the reduction in fuel prices to enable the people to reap the full benefits of cheaper fuel.

The people should continue to use petrol and diesel sparingly despite the lower price in line with the government’s efficient energy consumption plan, said Najib, who is also Finance Minister.

Fuel prices were last reduced on Nov 1.
The Star latest update 17 Nov 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Arsenal's season as good as over before the half way mark?

The picture says it all. In only 13 premier league games played so far. Arsenal have already lost 4. Their number 4 lost was inflited at home yesterday by Aston Villa with the scoreline 0-2. Their previous 3 loses were to Fulham, Hull and Stoke City. I cannot help it but to admit that the premier league crown will not be Arsenal's this season and looking at the performance and trend so far, they might not even made it to the top 6 come May next year. Why are they so inconsistent this season??? One week they performed so good but the next week they were shot back down to earth...speechless!

Penang Bridge Run TShirt + Goodie Bag collection

This year's Penang Bridge Marathon tshirt and goodie bag collection was held at Queensbay Mall from Thursday to Saturday. I personally didn't went to collect the stuff myself as I have some helpful friends to do the work for me, but based on their feedbacks, the organizer did quite a good job.

The distribution and handling was very efficient and everything sorted out properly in order waiting to be pick up by the participants. There were not long queues all the time and many people went away satisfied without needing to wait for long to collect their stuffs.

Picture above are the paper bags sponsored by Digi where in it will be all our goodies from the sponsors. I'm not that lucky though because my friends from Fun Run category got the Digi cd holders while I got the toilet sanitary spray :( Luckily I have a friend who said that I can have it if I really wants it. Hooray! Besides those, I got myself a small pack of biscuit, a digi pen and nothing else. Not really that much goodies...

This year's tshirt is really not that nice. The back is nice with the run logo, but at the front, it was plain with the state government logo on the left hand side. Really not my kind of shirt. Furthermore, full marathon, half marathon and quarter marathon people gets white tshirt while the fun run people gets orange colour tshirt....I would rather want the orangie tshirt than my white one. I have too many white tshirt already!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Air Asia's 500,000 tickets giveaway with NO fuel surcharge...

Folks, AirAsia is giving another round of free tickets starting today. What's more...this time with no fuel surcharge!!! Meaning the total fare from LCCT to Bali is only rm70 while it's rm78 to Siam Reap (Angkor Wat)...I wanted to go toboth, but too bad after consulting with friends, tickets to Siam Reap is no more, and the web pages is jammed like hell...When my friend found the tickets to Bali, oh gosh, I don't have the passport details with me. Ended up empty handed again. I also felt a bit sad cause I just booked my KL tickets 2 weeks ago with extra rm100 for the fuel surcharges...haizzzz. Hope you out there had better luck than I am :)

Penang to create opposition leader position

The Penang state legislative assembly will table an administrative enactment on Thursday to create the official position of Opposition Leader.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the move was long overdue and the enactment would include a RM1,000 monthly allowance for the position.

“Even though this move is 50 years late, it’s better late than never.
“The enactment is in line with the spirit and concept of democracy which requires a constructive Opposition to provide checks and balances in the state.

“Without an effective Opposition, there is no democracy,” Lim said Wednesday after meeting with the High Commissioner of Canada David B. Collins in Komtar.

Lim said there had been moves to give recognition to the Opposition Leader post in other Pakatan Rakyat states and urged Barisan-led states to follow suit.

“In the past, Barisan never thought it would one day be the Opposition. Now, Barisan knows what it feels like,” he said.

State Health, Welfare and Caring Society committee Phee Boon Poh, who was the sole DAP representative in the state assembly from 2004 to 2008, said he hoped the respect given to the Opposition would help bring about constructive criticism.

“When I was the Opposition Leader, we were never given this type of recognition and I hope the Opposition will respond with constructive criticism for the betterment of the Penang people,” he said during the press conference.

The Star 12 Nov 08

Monday, November 10, 2008

2nd Penang Bridge underway....

Construction has begun on the 16.37km sea portion of the 23km-long second Penang Bridge which will have a middle cable stayed span much like the present Penang Bridge.

The two viewing platforms that formed the “pearl” in the original design have been scrapped.
China Harbour Engineering Company, which was awarded the letter of acceptance on Oct 20 for the first of three packages, began its work yesterday and is scheduled to complete the project by May 7, 2012.China Harbour’s RM2.2bil contract for the first package covers the design and building of the main navigation span, which is a 475m-long cable stayed bridge, and the substructure and foundation works of the 15.9km approach spans.
The bridge will have a dual carriageway with two lanes and a motorcycle lane on each side. Its width will be 29.8m for the approach spans and 35.6m for the main navigation span.
At the ceremony to mark the commencement of work at the Batu Maung site, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng hoped the construction would be completed ahead of schedule by end of 2011.

Arsenal proves critics wrong to gun down ManUnited...Hooray!

My oh my...what a game...Arsenal beats great rivals Manchester United 2-1 at Emirates Stadium last Saturday!!!...After 3 winless games (against Tot, Stoke and Fer), many had already count them out against the defending champions Manchester United whom are in their own great runs. Even the gaffer Arsene Wenger are not spared. But what a game to show everyone that they can still have a say in the Premier League crown. Samir Nasri, the 21 years old summer signing had the game of his life, scoring 2 goals to silent all the critics for Arsene's young guns.

I watched the whole game, and was really impressed with both sides. Arsenal's counter attacks coupled with Manchester's dangerous looking striking trio makes the game of of the highest quality I have ever witnessed. Even both managers also described the game incredible and just like "fantasy football game". After last week's round of games, Chelsea and Liverpool continue to set pace in front with 29 points each followed by Arsenal on 23 and Manchester United on 21 with a game in hand. Let's hope Arsenal will not simply slip up again anymore, coz they really can't afford anymore if they were to fight for the title....

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Arsenal vs Manchester United @ Emirates 08-11-2008

Arsenal and Manchester United will renew their pleasantries with a high-stakes encounter at the Emirates Stadium. Both squads come in firing at less than all of their cylinders. Arsenal are coming off an embarrassing draw with Tottenham and a humiliating loss to Stoke City in which Arsene Wenger accused everyone and their mothers of being out to injure anyone wearing a Gunners kit. They’ll be without suspended Robin Van Persie, and could be without Theo Walcott and skipper William Gallas. Arsenal fans are getting antsy and upset with their team, and the feeling is that they need to get their season on track with a win against Manchester United.

As for United, they are coming off
a tense 4-3 victory against Hull City and a 1-1 draw with Celtic. They’re having trouble defending in the back and they’re having trouble finishing off their chances on offense. Plus, there’s that whole problem with figuring out what 30 million pound striker to play. The last thing they’ll want to do is to drop points in a title race that they’re already running behind, especially against a hated rival.

If you ask me, frankly speaking I would say that even though my team is Arsenal and I hope they will win this after winless in the last few matches, I do must admit that with their current form and injuries, they look the best at snatching a draw against the champions. The match is gonna start in 20 minutes time. Let's enjoy the match and may the best team win :) Hope it will be my team...

US stocks rise....but KLSE close today ... haha!

Buyers returned to Wall Street Friday after two days of heavy losses, mindful of the economy's growing problems but attracted by stocks' lower prices.
The major indexes jumped more than 2 percent, including the Dow Jones industrial average, which rose 250 points in light trading.

For the week, the Dow and broader benchmarks like the Standard & Poor's 500 index lost about 4 percent after surging 10 percent or more last week.
The Dow rose 248.02, or 2.85 percent, to 8,943.81.
Too bad it's Friday in US but we in Malaysia it's already no market today. Let's hope this coming Monday will be a good day and market in KLSE will be green again...I love to see green instead of red...Who doesn't???

RPK is freed !!!

Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin, editor of popular news portal Malaysia Today, was freed after the High Court here allowed his application for a writ of habeas corpus seeking his release. Thank god ! Justice is done. But this shouldn't be happening in the first place if not for our selfish and dirty BN government put him under ISA in the first place back in September 2008. Now that he's free, will he continue to criticise government and uncover more scandals by the BN politicians? I wish RPK well and enjoy life with family :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Parliament: Two DAP MPs suspended

Our stupid government today did the stupid thing again. Damn...parliment speakers are supposed to be an independant body but they acted totally sided the BN party. What the F**k !!! Refer to the new cut from Star today:
KUALA LUMPUR: Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) and Chong Chien Jen (DAP-Bandar Kuching) were suspended Thursday from the Dewan Rakyat by Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia for the rest of the day.

Pandikar Amin decided to send Fong out after she refused to accept his reply and continued to argue for a chance to debate.

Pandikar had told Datuk Seri Nazri Abd Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, to wind up for the committee stage after Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) spoke.
At this juncture, Fong stood up, citing the point of order that she did not get to speak and she had been standing up since Wednesday.

“Is it because you did not notice me?” Fong told Pandikar Amin, adding, “I am being denied a chance to raise issues related to my constituency.”

Pandikar’s reply was short: “I did not notice you.”

Fong refused to accept the answer and continue to bargain with the Speaker and he resorted to exercising his power to send Fong out.

Chong, who stood up to support Fong, was also ordered out.

At the Parliament lobby, reporters had a glimpse of Fong sobbing before she cooled down, then came out to meet the press.

“It is very painful (to see) Parliament run in such a way,”she said.

“Why was I not given the opportunity to speak and why was I not seen by the Speaker? I find it difficult to accept when he said ‘I did not see’ because I had been trying to get his attention for an opportunity to speak since yesterday,” she said.

She said she stood up to find out from the Speaker why she was not called out and wanted to know the yardstick for MPs to be called out.

Fong said she had wanted to bring up issues her constituency had wanted her to bring up -- on the indelible ink issue and for the Election Commission to be empowered to take action against abuse and corruption.

EPF contribution cut from 11% to 8%...Stupid Move!

Recently Employee Profident Fund or better known to everyone as EPF announced that our employee contibution can be reduce from currently 11% to 8% starting from Jan 1 next year. At 8pm news just now, the latest update is that 8% reduction will be by default for everyone and those that wants the contribution cut to remains at 11% will have to submit an application form.
For me, this in short term or on the table it looks like a fat meat but in reality, the idea sucks. LOWERING the rate of employees’ contribution to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) temporarily is part of the Government’s bag of tricks to rouse the economy. The idea is to boost private consumption by putting more money in workers’ pockets.
We should bear in mind that the lower EPF contribution rate simply means we have more money in our hands and not that our money is being taken away. It is up to us what we want to do with the extra cash. The EPF main aim is to help us save for our old days. Now with this reduction, it means we have more now but less for the future...I totally disagree with the move...when can our government be smarter and think before implementing something??? arghhhh

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama creates history to become 1st Black US President !

Barrack Obama scored a landslide win (well considered la) in yesterday night's US presidential election over Republicans rival John McCain. Hooray !!! Even though I'm not American, but I do see the light in him leading the US. Well before the election on 4th Nov, the rest of the world had spoken well in favor of Obama, it's just that there have been some upset results in recent history. However there's no such thing this time. (refer to the Yahoo news chart below for the result)

Biden will become the vice president and join hands with Obama to lead the United States and change for the better future. Well, I certainly hope so. Though there are still 2 months away before they are to swear in the office come January 09 2009, I believe many are already looking forward for the post-Bush era days...