Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spansion oh Spansion....

My oh my...finally it's true, it's confirmed. Spansion (Penang) Sdn Bhd has offered a voluntary separation scheme (VSS) to more than 700 of its 1,300 employees, after its parent Spansion Inc said it would slash its global workforce by 35%, or about 3,000 employees, at its manufacturing facilities. The news of VSS had actually been circulating around for quite sometimes even before the Christmas last December when profits and sales were badly hit by the economy downturn.
Sources said employees of the flash memory maker were told that they have until this Friday to decide on the offer. It is learnt that two-thirds of the staff to be laid off are from the manufacturing section. Bear in mind that this is for the permanent worker of the company in Penang. There will be more if you include those contract workers. My junior is one of the contract worker and they have been told that their contract will not be renewed, meaning they will only work until March....good luck to him for finding a new job fast!
A statement from Spansion president and chief executive John Kispert released earlier said the global recession was forcing the company to make the very difficult decision in order to bring costs in line with the current expectations of significantly reduced revenues. Well, basically every US company is having hard times now. A real big test for them in 2009...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Current House Owners on Loan, Attention Needed...

This is the latest that I got from the Association of Banks. This news will come out in the newspaper tomorrow. Current house owners on loan repayment program need to pay attention on what's the next move you want to make. Read on and you will know better:

Banks will automatically reduce the loan repayment amounts of their customers and this will be completed by the first quarter of this year, the Association of Banks said.

Borrowers who wish to maintain their current loan repayment amounts need to get in touch with their banks immediately, the association said in a statement on Wednesday.

The association said the move by all commercial banks to cut instalment amounts follows the request by the Government to help borrowers facing difficult economic times.

“Lower monthly loan repayment instalments will allow for more disposable income to be in the hands of the public and we reaffirm our member banks’ commitment to continue to be reasonable as well as responsive to the public’s needs,” it said.

The association said the move to reduce repayments was now possible following Bank Negara’s announcement of the reduction of the Overnight Policy Rate on Tuesday.

That move would bring about the reduction of the base lending rates.

The association said all commercial banks had agreed to cut loan repayment amounts across the board while maintaining the loan repayment period.

However, it said borrowers also had the option of maintaining their monthly installment amounts and have a shorter loan repayment period.

“Bank customers preferring to retain their monthly repayment installments may contact their banks immediately,” it said.

The association said borrowers could call the banks’ respective customer service hotlines if they had queries on the proposed revision and on any other BLR-pegged facilities.

Remember the dateline : March 31...Get your rebate!

Yo all Malaysian folks out there...the dateline is near for you to claim your cash vehicle of rm625 for car and rm150 for motorcycle. Please do so if you haven't act to claim it back. In case you don't want the money, you are always welcome to give it to me after you have claim them. Hahahaha...thank you in advance!

From The Star 25th today:

The cash rebate system for vehicles under 2,000cc, which was implemented in June last year, will end on March 31, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad confirmed.

He said this was because the cash rebate system had completed its one-year cycle, which was the initial plan.

“March 31 is the last date. We will end it in March,” he told reporters after launching the Malaysian Products are Our Choice, and Buy Malaysian Products Campaign here yesterday.

The campaign will last until March 1. “Whoever has yet to collect their cash rebates, please do so,” he added.

PIP Expo 2009 27-29 March 2009

The annual Penang International Property (PIP) Expo is back again this year for it's 4th year. This annual event will be as usual be held at PISA stadium. Expects many potential house buyers as well as investors to squeeze and head towards PISA come 27th to 29th come end of next month, March 2009. I'm just wondering whether many will be just like me in the past few years going there just to join the crowd and see what are the new projects launching. Hehe....
Here are the event details:

Event : Penang International Property (PIP) Expo
Date : 27th (Friday) to 29th (Sunday) March 2009
Venue : Penang International Sports Arena (PISA), Bayan Lepas
Time : 11:00am to 9:00 pm

So mark your calendar yea!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I did my 10th time on the 10th Anniversary...yeah!

Well, if you are wondering what is my post header all about....what is 10th times and what 10th anniversary??? It's actually my blood donation counts. I went for my 10th blood donation yesterday lunch time, donation number 10 since I'm eligible to donate blood back then when I was still studying in Form 6. And if you do a little bit of maths, 10 times on the 10th years....that's average to once per year...Hehe. Actually I wanted to donate more times but recent few years I have been having lots of sports activities, which sometimes kind of make it a bit hard for me to go donate and then do my exercise. Even yesterday's donation was able to finally being done after few times of delays together with my colleagues.
Unlike last time where there's some blood donation drive or campaign be it is school, university, ex-company or some center, this time me and my colleagues purposely went over to the Hospital Pulau Pinang blood donation center to have our blood donated. Imagine our big hearts and efforts driving all the way from Bayan Lepas to the state hospital. My little red book still recorded nine times simply because there was once I help my friend's father to replace back a pack of blood he used for his operation. Nevertheless, I was really happy that I have managed to help people that needed blood with my 10 packs. Hopefully I can stay healthy and help more people time to come :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

AirAsia on ManUtd jersey???

Can you image seeing AirAsia's logo on the famous Red Devils Manchester United jersey come 2010 season in the English Premier League? The current deal with AIG is worth 360million in RM if I'm not mistaken. Currently Air Asia had been approached by the defending premier league champion for the shirt sponsorship, and if this happens, it will be a major coup for Asia after the Formula1, English FA. Way to go Tony and Co...but please don't raise anymore the air flight tickets if you really gonna bid for the deal...
Report from Bernama:
Low-cost-carrier AirAsia Bhd has been approached by Manchester United (MU) to sponsor the jersey of the soccer giants.
This was revealed by AirAsia chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes in his blog on Wednesday.
"Manchester United have just approached me on whether AirAsia would be interested in becoming their shirt sponsor," said Tony in his blog.
He said having the players of the most famous soccer club in the world donning jerseys with the name and logo of a Malaysian-born global brand was something all Malaysians could be proud of.
He, however, did not state whether AirAsia would make the commitment and asked visitors to the blog to give their feedback.
As of today, 88 per cent of the visitors voiced their support.MU had to find new sponsors for the jersey after insurance giant AIG (American International Group), who are faced with financial difficulties as a result of the world economic crisis, did not seek to renew the deal.
Earlier this year, MU was also reported to have invited India's Sahara Group to enter the sponsorship deal.
MU, who are now leading in the English Premier League, have also announced that Malaysia would be one of their destinations in the club's Asian tour this year.
Their match against a Malaysian selection is scheduled for July 26.

The Power of Software

Grabbed this image from one of the financial site that I visited almost daily. This piece of work is really funny and I can't help but laugh out when I saw it...Bush -> Obama...hehehehe. Hope you can share my laugh or at least a smile when you had a stressful or bad day...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mudskippers @ Gurney Drive

Yesterday local newspaper has been reporting that there are frequent sights of mudskippers along the walls of Gurney Drive. It's quite a strange thing to me as I have already witnessed it since many years ago when I went there, just that now only those 'experts' are making a fuss of it. Haha.

Well, in case you didn't know, mudskipper is the name for several fishes of the genus Periophthalmus, of the goby goby, common name for a member of the family Gobiidae, small marine fishes familiar in shallow waters, especially along southern shores. Gobies may be either scaled or scaleless; all species have the ventral fins modified into a sucking disk, as in the clingfish, mostly found in coastal waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans. They live chiefly on mud flats and in brackish mangrove swamps and are adapted for remaining on dry land when the tide goes out.
They have no special air-breathing organs, but absorb oxygen through the skin and gill chambers as long as these remain moist. When out of water, mudskippers use the fleshy bases of their pectoral fins for propulsion on the ground, and members of the larger species can skip faster than a person can move. The mudskipper's diet includes insects and small fish. About 8 in. (20 cm) long, it is olive brown, often with bluish markings. Its protruding, mobile eyes give it a froglike appearance.

Oops...F&N loses Coca Cola rights...

Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) stands to lose some RM420 million in revenue next year as The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) is not extending the bottling and distribution agreements with the company when they expire early next year.

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, F&N disclosed that TCCC does not intend to renew the agreements upon the expiry on Jan 26, 2010.

There's no announcement on which new firm will handle and tie up with Coca Cola for it's bottling and distribution contract, but whoever gets it will be in for a hell of profits. Hehe.

No wonder F&N's share price dropped from rm9 per share to rm7.850 at the close of today's market, a lost of 12.8% in a single day trade. I was a bit surprised to see the high volume and sudden drop of price in the market today for F&N, now I know why :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

iGT - iGeorgeTown is here !!!

iGeorgeTown Penang has launched iGT Connect, a free e-newsletter which is published twice a month.

Linking readers to current items published on its website, it is targeted at those who have an interest in developments in George Town and Penang. This e-newsletter is especially timely, in line with George Town’s status as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

To receive this e-newsletter regularly and enjoy other member benefits, visit the website and register as a member.

All articles are open for comment and members are welcomed to share, debate and discuss everything from George Town’s food and places of interest to culture and developmental deliberations.

In association with this launch, iGT has also introduced new features on its site, iGT Photos and iGT Video, which highlight the many facets of Penang.

iGeorgeTown Penang is a privately-driven and primarily privately-funded platform of integrated formation about George Town’s and Penang’s culture and heritage.

Asia is shaking again....non stop rate!

It's been a very long time since I last write about financial news or updates. Not that I do not look into it anymore, but simple because there's nothing much interesting to shout about. It's all the same this few months, market very volatile and very unstable. Yesterday US Dow Jones went down almost 300 points, so it will be very interesting to see how KLSE reacts later today. My bet will be 'sea of red' today. Even yesterday itself KLSE went down 8+ points when US didnt trade. Below are the market updates across Asia as of yesterday:

Asian stocks fell on Feb 17, with Japan's Nikkei sinking to a near 4-month closing low, while the US dollar surged as investors scrambled for safety from deteriorating global economic conditions and volatile banks.
European stocks fell more than a percent in early trade after Moody's Investors Service warned severe recessions in emerging Europe will pressure financial strength ratings of some Western European banks.

Fiscal strains across Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain gave dealers more incentive to push the euro to a two-month low against the dollar and scoop up US Treasuries and gold -- both viewed by investors as places of refuge during market turmoil.
"The risk aversion trades are likely to keep making money -- albeit amid volatility -- until new measures are unveiled by governments and central banks in key economies," said Dariusz Kowalczyk, chief investment strategist with SJS Markets in Hong Kong, in a note.
"Judging by the insufficient policy response so far, the near-term market outlook remains negative."
Countless economic stimulus packages and open promises to take more action by policymakers have so far all been met with disappointment by investors, with not even the US$787 billion (RM2.83 trillion) rescue bill passed this week in Washington helping sentiment.
Exports across Asia have collapsed and the latest Reuters Tankan poll of Japanese manufacturers shows confidence remains mired near record lows.
Japan's Nikkei fell 1.35%, closing at the lowest since October 2008, as financial shares such as banks and property firms slid on continued credit worries.
Japanese Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa resigned after being forced to deny he was drunk at a G7 news conference, dealing a fresh blow to unpopular Prime Minister Taro Aso in an election year. The yen slipped on the news, but it did not faze stocks.
Bank shares, led by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, slid in the wake of falls by global peers after Friday's profit warning by Lloyds.
Losses in the energy, technology and financial sectors dragged the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks excluding Japan down more than 3.5%.
Hong Kong shares slid 3.8% after the mainland market snapped its long-running rally, but Bank of East Asia finished higher despite a worse-than-expected second-half loss.
Australian's main stock index fell 1.5% on worries about European banks and poor results, though debt-laden companies Oz Minerals Ltd and Paperlinx Ltd gained on deals to ease their woes.
South Korea shares shed 4.1% as worries about the banking sector's outlook deepened amid the won's weakness. KB Financial Group and Hana Financial Group fell 4.8% and 9.7%, respectively.
Losses in China, Taiwan, Singapore and India ranged from 2% to 3%.
US stock futures fell 2.1%, indicating a weak open on Wall Street after a holiday on Monday, ahead of results from the world's largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Investors were awaiting news from General Motors Corp and Chrysler LLC, which were expected to hand in their restructuring plans by a Tuesday deadline, a requirement after receiving US$13.4 billion in US government aid.
"Investors are selling stocks not only in Japan but in other Asian markets as they wait for restructuring plans from GM and Chrysler. There's a view in the market that they might not be able to submit it on time," said Soichiro Monji, chief strategist at Daiwa SB Investments in Tokyo.
The dollar shot higher as investors cut down risks and held on to liquidity amid volatile global markets. It rose about a percent against a basket of major currencies.
The yen briefly weakened to its lowest in more than a month, at 92.75 per dollar, after Japanese Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa said he would resign. The Japanese currency later rose to trade under 92 yen.
The euro hit a two-month low against the dollar after credit rating agency Moody's said the recession in the emerging economies of Europe was likely to be more severe than elsewhere. Emerging Asian currencies broadly weakened against the dollar.
"We believe there is more to come as the schizophrenic gap between rather resilient Asian currencies recently and ugly economic data closes," said Sebastien Barbe, currency strategist with Calyon in Hong Kong, in a note.
The renewed focus on safety funnelled investors into US government debt, pushing yields lower across maturities. The benchmark 10-year yield tumbled to 2.76% from about 2.89% late on Friday.
The 2-year yield fell to 0.87% from 0.97% on Friday.
Japanese government bonds also rose on the back of the rally in Treasuries, with the March 10-year future up by 0.38 point to 139.38.
US oil prices hung below $37 a barrel in Asian trade as bleak economic indicators in Asia returned focus to the worldwide oil demand slump.
The sharp declines in equity markets and rush to safety sparked strong demand for gold. The spot market price climbed to a seven-month high of around $962 an ounce. -- Reuters

Monday, February 16, 2009

WiFi on the buses soon :)

Bus commuters will get another value-added service in June when RapidPenang introduces a free WiFi wireless Internet connection come June.

The possibility of Internet connection while commuting is expected to encourage more people to opt for public transport.RapidPenang, which began its operations here in 2007, will be the first stage bus company to offer such a service.

Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said the WiFi service would be available in all RapidPenang buses by the second quarter of this year. Nor Mohamed said among other value-added services soon to be introduced by the company were the identification of RapidPenang buses location via SMS and an electronic ticketing payment system.
I'm not against these ideas, however there are many things need to be taken care of first and foremost. Usage of the Wifi with handphones and laptops or PDAs increases the risk of being monitor by potential pickpockets or snatch thiefs. One should really beware and becareful with their belongings while enjoying such free services.
Another concern that I have here personally is that rather than providing free WiFi services in the bus, the management of RapidPenang should focus more on working towards a better services, more efficient and on-time schedule and of course better attitude from the drivers :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's Sunday...means Monday tomorrow

Another weekend passed. Yesterday was Valentine's Day. A busy, hot, exciting, fruitful day but it was a happy day with my gf. Today is Sunday, basically it was another hot day here in Penang. A rather relaxing and toning down day, a day to rest. But then again, it's back to work tomorrow. Monday!!! I don't think there are many people out there prefer this day since it's the first day back to work after the weekend. Back to face the problem that I discovered and still yet to solve :( Haizzzzz. Hopefully there's a lighting flash across my mind suddenly to think brilliantly and found how the root cause or comes up with a solution. Hehe...

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Record year for domestic investments in Penang ...HOORAY !!!

It is official. Statistics released by the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) showed Penang hitting investments totalling RM10.2 billion in 2008, the highest-ever achieved in the state.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the total investments were more than than double the RM4.7 billion achieved in 2007.

"This is the year-end report card. Penang recorded the highest investments from domestic investors totalling RM5.068 billion while foreign investors invested RM5.087 billion.

"It is also heartening to note, that at a time when many companies are consolidating and retrenching workers, these investments will create more than 22,215 jobs beginning this year.

"Out of this total, 9,832 job opportunities will be created from new investments and 12,383 jobs for expansions and diversification," Lim said at a press conference after receiving a delegation from the Penang Bar committee.

Attributing the record investments to the hard work put in by InvestPenang Bhd, Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and the state government, Lim said 9,172 posts or the bulk of the job opportunities were from the electrical and electronic sectors.

He added the Penang state government would intensify efforts to ensure that investors in Penang remained, especially those with high value investments.

Reading....Just read!

Ever wonder why the government always and keeps on encouraging people to read more? In fact, I really do agreed that more reading is better than many other things such as shopping, playing computer games or even watching television. The more you read, the more you equip yourself with better knowledge of your surrounding environment and things or people happening around you. It doesn't have to be just novel books or comics, but rather anything that you can get hold of!!!

For example, I hardly read novel or story books (comics included). In today's society, Internet has become so important that you can grab hold of basically anything with the power of online and Internet. Nowadays my gf asked me how can I online so long, is it because I'm doing online chat with friends. The answer is NO. Let me share a bit on what I read online. For news, I have 3 news portal to visit. Although I do not read everything, what I did was to glance through the header news everyday. Then also I visits a financial news portal as well as 3 financial blogs by local Malaysians. Some of the item posted are based on the blogger' view, but I really learned a lot from there. After that of course I have a few of my sports (soccer, badminton, tennis, formula1, motogp etc) website that I visited and get the latest updates. Not also forgetting some general forums, a property blog as well as Dr. M's blog.
So, reading really does helps us a lot. You will get to know many things even though you just stay at your comfort home. Remember, reading also helps us to have much better understanding and common topics when it comes to socializing with friends or family members. So what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Soooo Blur in Penang...

As I was walking out for lunch today afternoon, I noticed that the visibility to the surrounding has decrease dramatically. Seems like there's open burning somewhere nearby. I didn't pay much attention to it after that since me and my colleagues are discussing where to eat and also to try my colleague's brand new car. It's Nissan Latio by the way :)
After my training today and all the work were done, I managed to free myself to online awhile and read some e-newspaper. It was then only I saw a new article to report that the haze that I saw in the afternoon was due to the open burning in Sumatra. No wonder la....
Below were part of the news cut courtesy from NST Online 11th Feb 09:

Haze has descended on Penang, limiting visibility in three areas to between four to seven kilometres.

A Meterological Department spokesman here attributed the haze to open burning in Sumatra, Indonesia. He said as of 11am today, the Air Pollutant Index (API) at Seberang Jaya stood at 72 with visibility of four kilometres followernama here today.The API for unhealthy air quality is over 100.He said the haze in Penang was fair and not cause for worry as it would change when winds blow, forming clouds, resulting in rainfall.

The public have been advised against open burning as it would worsen the haze, despite the fair API.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Air Asia Free Seats is Back !!!

Wow, after MAS now Air Asia comes out with another counter bargain. This time around, they are offering 500,000 free seats to all it's destinations. Though free, you have to slowly search for the free seats as popular seats and days are definitely not free. It's marketing strategy, what do you expect? Grab some if you intends to break away...

A tired day...short snip

Was a bit tired right now, maybe due to the first working day of the week coupled with my jogging after work today. Another reason that I could think of is because I went out yesterday lunch time and upon came back to my home, it was very damn hot and I can't even take my nap. Furthermore, I went to do my gardening at 4+pm, so all these reasons accumulated and therefore I'm tired now. Haha...What an excuses. Hopefully I'm much better after my sleep later tonight because I have badminton again tomorrow evening after work...

Monday, February 9, 2009

A costly derby

Well, Arsenal completed their London derby yesterday against Totteham Hotspur. Again, they didn't managed to claim 3 points and dropped even further behind leader ManUtd. On the bright side, they stretched their own unbeaten run to 9 games. But to be true, it was indeed a truly costly game. First of all, Eboue got his red card for some stupid tackle, then Adebayor was forced off in what looks like a muscle pulled, and even Clichy got substituted from a bloody head. Arshavin didn't play even though he was on the bench. But can he really put Arsenal's season back on track? First, they were out of top 4, and now it seems like their current 5th position is under threat by a form Everton sidee :(

Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair (MATF) 2009

In the midst of economy crisis happening around the world, do you still plan to travel? If yes, then here is one promotion that you should consider in your travel survey and research.
Travellers looking for a bargain should look out for the Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair (MATF 2009) on Tuesday where over one million tickets with up to 70% discount are up for grabs.
The low fares include Malaysia Airline’s latest destinations, Macau and Yogyakarta as well as Chennai, New Delhi and Bangalore. Attractive fares would also be offered to the Orient as well as traditional MATF favourites like London, Amsterdam, Melbourne and Perth.

Among the deals offered are one-way trips to Seoul from RM770, Sydney (RM780) and to London (RM1,400) including those offered by the airline’s travel arm MASholidays.
MASholidays will also be offering a promotion to those buying packages worth RM1,500 or more in peninsula Malaysia such as a Caltex StarCard worth up to RM400 and a cash rebate of up to RM1,000 towards the purchase of a 42-inch Samsung LCD TV.
MAS will also offer a ‘Buy 1 Get 1 Free’ promotion on business class seats for routes to Association of South-East Asian Nations cities as well as to Xiamen, Kunming and Macau.
For more information, log on to or visit the airline’s offices in Malaysia and selected Asean countries.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Chap Goh Meh 2009 Festival : The 15th day of CNY

Boy oh boy, there are so many activities happening around in Penang this weekend. So if you are in Penang, don't ever say that you had a boring weekend come next Tuesday, cause if it is, then you must be your own culprit! This Chap Goh Meh celebration is another interesting one to highlight, but I might not be going since it finishes quite late for both my and my dear. This day is also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day :-)
The Penang State Government is organizing the 'Chap Goh Meh' celebration or the 15th night of the Lunar New Year celebration on 9th February 2009 at Esplande from 7pm to 11pm.

This occasion signifies the first full moon of the New Year and during this celebration you will find fair maidens gathering to toss tangerines into the sea, in hope that their future spouse will pick it up. Besides that, there will be several cultural performances including a Baba Nyonya performance.

This year, Penang State Government is happy to announce that the renowed Kun Seng Keng Lion and Dragon Association from Muar, Johor, whom has won 29 World Championship, will be performing their Lion Dance On Stilts at Chap Goh Meh Festival. Apart from Lion Dance, be ready to enjoy a 12 minutes firework.

Art Exhibition - "Stretch Your Imagination" starts today

Date: 7th to 26th February 2009
Exhibiton Title : "Stretch Your Imagination"
By: Malaysian & Singapore Contemporary Artists Selection Group
Venue: Penang State Art Gallery, Dewan Sri Pinang
Operation Hours: 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday (Close on Sunday)

Admission: FREE

Do you like Art? Feel that you have some free time to spend? Or feel that you want to relax your mind and run away from the hectic life and work? Well, this art exhibition might suits you nicely.
"Stretch Your Imagination" art exhibition includes more than 100 artists from Malaysia and Singapore. The artists are divided into senior artists (60 years old above), middle-age artists (40-59 years old) and young artists (below 40 years old). 6 of the pioneer artists whom are officially recognises by The Singapore Art Museum ( Cheong Soo Pieng, Chen Chong Swee, Chen Wen Hsi, Georgette Chen Ai Ling, Liu Kang and Lim Cheng Hoe) will be exhibiting their art works here.
Go have a walk and see people's piece of arts. But do remember that the exhibition closes on Sunday :)

Happy Thaipusam 8th Feb 09! A special celebration in Penang

Thaipusam Festival is one of major Hindu festivals in Penang. It is a fascinating Hindu festival that includes a parade of purification and cleansing rituals. Devotees carry Kavadi or a colourfully decorated frame to Waterfall Gardens temple, near Penang Botanic Gardens. Some devotees pierce cheeks or tongues with spikes and skewers in show of penance.

Thaipusam is a public holiday in Penang. This year Thaipusam falls on tomorrow, Sunday and therefore, Monday will be a replacement holiday for many of the employees in Penang including me!
Thaipusam celebration in Penang - Schedule:

7th February 2009 Thaipusam Eve
6:30pm - The 114-year-old silver chariot bea-ring Lord Muruga will leave Kovil Veedu at Penang Street and proceed to Beach Street, Chulia Street, Victoria Street, Gat Jalan Prangin, Jalan C.Y. Choy, Magazine Road, Datuk Keramat Road, Jalan Utama and Waterfall Road.

8th February 2009 - Thaipusam celebration
Waterfall Temple and along Waterfall Road

9th February 2009 - returning journey
6.30pm - The chariot will leave Jalan Air Terjun via Gottlieb Road, Tunku Abdul Rahman Road, Macalister Road, Anson Road, Burma Road, Transfer, Sri Bahari Road, Penang Road, Campbell Street, Buckingham Street, Masjid Kapitan Keling Street, Chulia Street, Queen Street, Market Street, China Street, Beach Street, and Penang Street.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Spansion names CEO, linked with Micron

It's been a wild week for Spansion Inc. The NOR-flash leader Wednesday (Feb. 4) named John Kispert, former president and COO of KLA-Tencor Corp., as its new chief executive and member of the board. He replaces Bertrand Cambou, who stepped down earlier this week.

Now, rumors are running rampant that Micron Technology Inc. is looking at buying Spansion (Sunnyvale, Calif.), sources said. Micron is a major player in NAND flash, DRAM and CMOS image sensors, but it has no presence in NOR.

''Micron could use the manufacturing facilities, IP, and perhaps try to sustain some of the NOR/NROM/EcoRAM markets that Spansion created,'' according to one analyst. Spansion's NOR devices are based on NROM technology. Last year, Spansion rolled out a new class of memory that is said to replace DRAMs in the datacenter, dubbed EcoRAM.

Micron declined to comment.

Expect interest rates to be cut further

Asian central banks, including Malaysia’s, are expected to further cut interest rates this year, as the region’s export-reliant economies struggle to cope with falling demand from recession-hit US and Europe, analysts say.

“Aggressive rate cutting is expected to stay in 2009 for several Asia-Pacific countries excluding Japan, in order to cushion the impact of a global economic slump,’’ Inter-Pacific Research said in its latest report.

Asian central banks embarked on hefty interest rate cuts in the second half of 2008 when the global economic crisis widened.

Bank Negara slashed its key lending rate by 75 basis points to 2.5% on Jan 21. This was on top on a 25-basis-point cut on Nov 24.

Lower interest rates will not only spur domestic lending, but will also weaken the local currency against the US dollar.

A weak currency is positive for exporters, as this will make their products more competitive overseas.

The ringgit hovered at about 3.61 against the US dollar yesterday.

It had fallen about 10% against the greenback over the past six months.

My comment on this issue? I do not know when the interest will be cut and I also cannot predict when is the best time to invest into properties or stock market. However, given that I'm in Penang as well as working here, I know there are many outstation people working here coupled with the economy crisis that hit so many factories here, the best I would suggest is to adopt the 'wait and see" policy, try to secure our current job and have some saving as backup. It's always good to have backup right? ;)

McDonald's McValue Meal Promotion !!!

FROM today, McDonald’s patrons can enjoy close to 30% savings for selected products from its McValue Meal line-up between noon and 3pm on weekdays at almost all McDonald’s restaurants nationwide (except at airports and in Genting Highlands).

This follows the launch of its McValue Lunch deals which are designed to help consumers save and stretch their ringgit in the face of economically challenging times.

The McValue Lunch deal offers best-selling McChicken, Filet-O-Fish, Chicken McNuggets and Double Cheeseburger McValue Meals at only RM5.95 per meal (not including tax).

The normal price of these meals range from RM8.95 to RM9.45. (McChicken – RM9.25; Double Cheeseburger – RM9.45; Chicken McNuggets – RM9.35; Filet-O-Fish – RM8.95)

All McValue Lunch meals come with medium-sized french fries and medium-sized carbonated drink.

Customers can, however, upgrade to large size french fries and a carbonated drink for an additional RM1.20.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Property Demands Dropping and Counting

Refresh back, I did posted about the property price in recent time. There have been lots of report saying that the price will be expected to drop in coming months. However, my own thinking is that it will not really drop but instead the demand will be a lot more slower as people tends to be more careful buying property by selecting a better located properties or saving more cash.
The picture attached showing the demands of property between Q3 07 to Q3 08. Noticed that the trend is sliding down. I bet the chart will even look likely to be a straight line down come end of 2009 or at least till middle of 2009.
Here are some other interesting facts that you might want to know:
- Exports in Malaysia fell 4.9% in Nov 2008 from a year earlier, the biggest drop in nearly 7 years
- During the month, manufacturing sales saw an annual contraction of 1.6%, first decline in 13 months !!! Causes? - reduced export and domestic demand, rising unemployment and companies downsize.
- Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) slashed interest rates by 75 points to 2.5% last month. Statutory Reserve Requirement (SRR) reduced from 3.5% to 2% yesterday. This will frees up more capital for bank to lend.

Arsenal finally lands Arshavin

Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that Russian international midfielder, Andrey Arshavin has joined the Gunners from Zenit St. Petersburg on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee.

Arshavin, 27, who played a key part in Zenit’s UEFA Cup winning campaign last season, was also a member of the Russian EURO 2008 squad in which he scored two goals from his three appearances, earning him a place in the ‘Team of the Tournament’.

Manager Arsène Wenger said: “We are delighted to have signed Andrey Arshavin, he is a player I have admired for a long time. He is a versatile player with great experience, who will add real quality to our squad. Andrey is an exciting impact player with a huge amount of ability and has been an influential force with both Zenit St Petersburg and the Russian national team in recent seasons.”

After completing his move to the Gunners, Arshavin said: “I am so happy to be joining Arsenal. They are one of the leading football clubs in the world, with a group of fantastic young players and a great manager. I am looking forward to making the Arsenal supporters happy and helping this great Club win trophies.”

Due to his participation in the UEFA Champions League with Zenit St Petersburg this season, Andrey will not be available to play for Arsenal in this competition for the remainder of the 2008/09 season.

Andrey will wear the number 23 shirt.

Finally, Arsenal is signing a big name. A record signing indeed. But is this a wise move as well as a timely move? Can Arshavin really be able to help Arsenal's faltering season? Struggling in the Premier League at 5th place 5 points behind the UCL qualifying position, looks shaky in both the current campaign of the UCL and FA Cup, Arsenal is really really having a tough and disappointing season. I don't really hope they can mount any serious challenge for titles or trophy. My aim now is just wish to see them can at least claim 4th in the league when the season end in May...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

You're gonna Lovin It

Fast food McDonald fans are gonna love this piece of news. McDonald’s Malaysia is planning to invest RM300 million to open 60 new outlets and remodel 45 others from this year to end-2011 to increase its market share. It currently has 184 outlets nationwide.
The managing director of its local operations, Azmir Jaafar, said the fastfood chain would use mostly internal funds for the capital expenditure.

He said RM85 million would be spent this year to open up to 20 restaurants and remodel 15 others.

He also said the local operations is expecting a 15% sales growth this year compared to the 22% growth last year. Azmir said the value of sales last year was more than RM800 million.
He said sales this year would be slow due to the economic downturn.