Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April Fool? Tune Hotel opens in Penang 1st April 2009

Tune Hotels.com – Downtown Penang hotel opening its doors to the public 1 April 2009.

The hotel chain offering a “5-star sleeping experience at a 1-star price” in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and the KLIA-LCCT Airport is opening its doors in Penang from 1 April 2009 onwards.

The new 258-room Tune Hotels.com - Downtown Penang is located along Burmah Road, next to New World Park and within 5 mins drive to Komtar and all the heritage sites in George Town.

The unique demand-based pricing system means the earlier you book, the less you pay… so clean, secure rooms with 5-star beds and private showers are available from as low as RM8.00/night* for stays 12 April – 31 October 2009 and from as low as RM0.05/night* (yes – 5 sen!) for stays between 1 November 2009 – 31 January 2010. Book online for best rates now at www.tunehotels.com or call 03-7962 5888 (Mon-Fri 9:00am-9:00pm, excluding Public Holidays).

What about the Tune Hotel at LCCT? Any news update? I'm thinking of using the facilities there come Oct this year. Hopefully it'll be ready and done by then...else I might need to overnight at the LCCT...poor me :(


Bidor Run 2009 is here again...

Date: 26th April 2009 (Sunday)
Venue: Dewan Muhibbah Bidor, Perak
Starting Time: 7:00am

THE Bidor Half Marathon 2009 is back again and is inviting all to join in the fun.

The marathon has 12 categories to cater to all age groups.

Interested participants can take part in either the 21km, 10km or the 3km fun run for both children and adults.

The entry fees for adults is RM35 per person while school and higher learning students need to pay RM20 each.

All the top three finishers for eight categories could stand a chance to win a two-day, one-night Explore Nature package for two at My Gopeng Resort.

Medals and certificates will also be issued to all contestants who finish the run within a stipulated qualifying time.

Please take note that light breakfast would be served to all participants between 8am and 10am.

Entry forms can be downloaded from www.pacesetters.com.my, www.runnermalaysia.com.my or www.ipohroadrunners.org and closing date for registration is April 10.

Participants can collect their T-shirts and running numbers at Tukang Jahit Mexico along Jalan Panggung Wayang, Bidor, from April 18 to April 25 from 2pm to 5pm.

Hmm, I'm wondering how many of my Saturday hiking gang members are going this time. Me? Haha....count me out! Hehe.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hypertension on the increase for Malaysians...

Adult Malaysians generally are unaware they suffer from hypertension...and the statistics keep rising.

A random health screening held 2 weeks ago of 100 adults showed that 44 per cent suffered from hypertension and were not undergoing treatment.

The percentage merely confirmed what the health ministry knew all along, adding that three years ago, the ministry carried out a mobility survey and found out that 43 per cent of adult Malaysians suffered from hypertension.

In a survey in 1996, the figure was 33 per cent. So, it's obvious more and more Malaysians have hypertension.
Some of the symptoms of hypertension can include:


-being tired all the time

-blurred vision


-ringing in the ears

-chest pain

-irregular heartbeat

-feeling of confusion off and on

-heart failure

If you experience any of these signs and symptoms of hypertension, get to your doctor immediately. Don't wait until it's too late. Your doctor can perform tests and get you on treatment that will reduce the risks of this deadly disease.

Jenson Button cruises to F1 victory in Australian grand prix for a Brawn GP 1-2....a grand intro to the F1

Having led all the way, Jenson Button headed an extraordinary one-two for the Brawn team on their debut in the Australian grand prix. The race finished behind the safety car after a collision between Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica two laps from the end allowed Rubens Barrichello to move into second place. Lewis Hamilton finished a creditable third after stewards imposed a 25-second time penalty on Jarno Trulli for attaining his initial podium finish after passing under the yellow flag.

Button made a clean start from pole position, unlike his team-mate. Barrichello was slow away from the front row and caused a multi-car collision when he ran into the side of Mark Webber's Red Bull at the first corner. Heikki Kovalainen was caught in the confusion but his McLaren team-mate, Hamilton, starting from 18th on the grid, made up seven places on the first lap.

Button extended his lead over Vettel to 4.5 seconds in the first 10 laps, just before the first pit stops began. When the Williams of Kazuki Nakajima crashed on lap 18, the Brawn team brought Button in for fuel and tyres, a clever move which allowed the Englishman to retain his lead before the safety car appeared for five laps.

At the re-start, Button once again pulled away from Vettel and maintained that advantage through the second round of scheduled pit stops. Any threat from Vettel disappeared as he dealt with Kubica, who had gradually closed in on the German. When Vettel ran wide, Kubica tried to seize his chance to take second, the two cars colliding after attempting to run side-by-side at the next corner. This allowed Barrichello, who had been as low as 12th, to move forward and give Brawn a one-two, the first clean sweep for a team on its debut since Mercedes-Benz in 1954.

Hamilton's attacking race also benefitted from the Vettel/Kubica incident following the penalty imposed upon Trulli, whose Toyota team intend to appeal the decision, while both Ferraris retired. Vettel's day went from bad to worse as he received a 10-place grid penalty for next weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, along with a $50,000 (£35,000) fine.

The penalty was issued for causing the accident whilst the fine was imposed as the stewards ruled that he failed to leave the track as soon as it was safe to do so.

So sad...Ferrari bad showing...hopefully they can recover and plug the gap fast in the up and coming Malaysian Grand Prix next...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Apple iPhone

THE Apple iPhone is actually a little computer that happens to be a great phone.

And as with all computers, it has an operating system (OS). The OS in question is called iPhone OS.

Apple recently announced a major update to the iPhone OS.

With iPhone OS 3.0, over 100 new features will be making their way onto the iPhone in June this year, including copy-and-paste capability, MMS or multimedia messaging, a new Voice Memo app and expanded Search capability.

Owners of iPhone 3G will be getting the upgrade for free, Apple said.
The much in demand cut, copy and paste can be done within or across applications. MMS enhances otherwise normal SMSes with photos, contacts, audio files and locations.

Voice Memo arms the iPhone with the ability to capture and send audio recordings on the go. And Search capabilities in iPhone OS 3.0 will allow users to search within Mail, iPod and Notes or search across all key apps by typing a key word or phrase into the new Spotlight search which is accessible from the Home screen.

Another strength of the iPhone platform is the availability of tiny, third-party software that users can add to their phones, called apps.

To date, there are over 25,000 apps available at Apple’s App Store in categories ranging from productivity and lifestyle to entertainment and games.

For iPhone OS 3.0, developers are already working on new apps that will take advantage of the features in the new OS.

Among these features are In-App Purchases, Peer-to-Peer connection and interface with accessories.

With In-App Purchases, newspapers and magazine publishers, for example, will be able to sell premium subscription via their iPhone app.

Peer-to-Peer connectivity will be great for gaming, whereby iPhone users will be able to discover and engage each other in multiplayer games using a seamless Bluetooth connectivity that does not require pairing.

And the thousands of third-party iPod and iPhone accessory makers can now build apps that talk right to the accessories, such as an equaliser app that adjusts the settings of speakers.

Apple’s App Store is available to customers in 77 countries worldwide including Malaysia, allowing the company to reach 30 million iPhone and iPod Touch users.
NST Features

WiFi WiFi come come....the more the merrier...

The public can now surf the Net at 26 hotspots in Penang for free under the state’s Wireless@Penang initiative.

Provided by the REDtone-Hotgate Consort-ium, the free wireless broadband service is available around Komtar, Penang Road, Chulia Street, Bukit Jambul and Mayang Mall on the island and Permatang Pauh on the mainland.

“This is just the beginning,” REDtone group managing director Wei Chuan Beng said at the Wireless@Penang launch by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng yesterday.

“By year end, we should have a total of 350 hotspots at selected shopping malls, residential and commercial areas and by December 2010, the number will increase to 750.”

To enjoy the free broadband service, Wei said all users had to do was register themselves online at any of the hotspots, adding that the consortium hoped to see a return on investment (ROI) in 18 months to three years.

In his speech, Lim said Wireless@Penang proved to be a successful business model.

“This business model, as the consortium has shown, is viable for companies to consider. Despite providing a free service, the company can still see a ROI,” he said

Lim noted that the free Internet connection would put Penang on the map as being among the world’s “most interconnected” cities.

“As far as safety issues go, we have done everything, including getting a World Health Organisation report to verify that blanket WiFi is not harmful to the people’s health.”

The Star 27th Mar 09

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sushi King RM2 -- 13-16 Apr 2009 is back !!!

WOW...rm2 per plate sushi is back !!! Expect to see lines if queues come 13 - 16 April again at all Sushi King outlets. What economy crisis? Crisis what?

Scholarship channels in Malaysia

School leavers out there, please take note. If you need help to further your studies or if you are in financial constraints even though you obtained good results in your recent SPM or STPM, then please read on. Following are all the links that you will need to obtain a scholarships. Good luck and all the best ;)

MARA Scholarship Programs http://www.mara.gov.my/english/division/BPP/default.htm

Yayasan Proton Scholarship http://www.malaysia-scholarship.com/yproton.html

PTPTN Education Loan http://ptptn.gov.my/

The Star Education Fund http://thestar.com.my/edufund

Astro Scholarship Award http://www.astro.com.my/v5/astrolife/scholarship/

PETRONAS Education Scholarship Programs http://esu-spmtrial.petronas.com.my/

2007 MNRB Scholarship Fund http://www.mnrb.com.my/

OCBC Bank Scholarship http://www.ocbc.com.my/global/aboutOCBC/Gco_Abt_Community.shtm

Bank Negara Scholarship http://www.bnm.gov.my/

ABM 50th Merdeka Scholarship http://www.abm.org.my/

Curtin Sarawak Scholarship http://www.curtin.edu.my/

The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus High Achievers Scholarships http://www.nottingham.edu.my/students/MISC/High%20Achievers%20Scholarship%202006-July06.pdf

HELP University College http://www.help.edu.my/scholarships/index.php

Adelaide Achiever Scholarships International (AASI) http://www.international.adelaide.edu.au/future/scholarships/ug/

Curtin University of Technology Scholarship http://www.emaac.org/

Charles Darwin University Scholarship http://www.malaysia-scholarship.com/www.cdu.edu.au/engineering/scholarships_ug_int_eng.htm

Kolej Disted-Stamford Degree Scholarships http://www.disted.edu.my/

Leeds University Scholarships http://scholarships.leeds.ac.uk/

Loughborough University Human Science Scholarships http://www.lboro.ac.uk/

MAAC Scholarship - La Trobe University 2006 http://www.latrobe.edu.au/international/courses/ug.html

NUS / Asean Undergraduate Scholarship http://www.nus.edu.sg/admissions/undergrad/scholarship/nus_asean.htm

UCL Pathfinder Scholarships http://www.ucl.ac.uk/

University of Sheffield Scholarship http://www.shef.ac.uk/malaysia/entry.html

UTAR Scholarships http://www.utar.edu.my/

Nanyang Technological University Scholarship http://www.ntu.edu.sg/oad/scholarships/nanyang.htm

Tasmanian International Scholarships http://www.international.utas.edu.au/documents/internationalApplication.pdf

University of Malaya Fellowship Scheme http://ips.um.edu.my/

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Scholarship http://www.unimas.my/

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST Discovery Scholarship) http://apply.embark.com/kaust/discovery/

Universiti Malaysia Sabah Scholarship http://www.ums.edu.my/pasca

Source obtained from Malaysia-Finance blogspot. Some of the link are just general main link to the institutions, so please put some effort and be patience to search through yea!

Gurney Drive Clean Up Campaign 29th March 2009

The Star 24th Mar 09

THE dirty stretch of beach along Penang’s famous Gurney Drive promenade will be a thing of the past with the launching of the ‘Brighter Penang Campaign’ by the state government this week.

Pulau Tikus assemblyman Koay Teng Hai said the two-day campaign would include sprucing up the road and pavement at the Gurney Drive promenade from 8am on Sunday.

The project, he added, was conceived to raise civic consciousness and cleanliness awareness among Penangites as well as to get the community involved in the project.

“Cleaning up public and tourism spots should not be the sole responsibility of the local council but a shared responsibility with the public.

“The promenade stretch at Gurney Drive is a famous tou- rist spot and we cannot allow it to be dirty and strewn with rubbish.

“I hope this project will trigger an awareness to keep Penang clean and inculcate civic consciousness among locals who frequent the place,” he told a press conference yesterday.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Little Penang Street Market


So if you are free on Sunday, you can consider this a place for you to have your morning walk walk before heading to Transfer Road for the famous roti canai as breakfast...good idea? That is of course if you can wake up early as I understand many people nowadays sleep till very late on Sunday morning!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

PIKOM PC fair is here again...

All gadgets lovers and pc fanatics....It's time again for you to look for bargains to upgrade ur pc or get a latest electronic gadgets for your entertainment. The PIKOM PC fair is here again...check out the picture poster (click to enlarge for more details and time and date schedules) : Special reminder to my dear colleague, Mr. J...don't miss it yea...hehe

Friday, March 20, 2009

No Car Day on 25th March 2009

Hmm...I must say this is a very brave effort by the state government to organize such activity. From time to time since many years ago, there has been many party being held responsible for reducing the traffic problems in Penang but to no avail. The number of vehicles in the island is getting more and more serious, and we can see that almost everyday Penang Bridge is having bumper to bumper traffic. Hopefully the 3rd lane of the extension exercise will complete faster to help ease the traffic a bit. 2nd bridge link? It's a GO plan but it will not be ready in a few more years. Till then, we have to make do with what we have a joint hand for such activities. So let's work together and try to make 25th March a no car day, or at least a less car day ;)

Press release by the state tourism board:

THE public have been urged to either cycle, car pool or take a bus to work during the No Car Day campaign in Penang on March 25. State Tourism, Culture, Arts and Heritage Committee chairman Danny Law pledged to participate in the event.

By participating in the No Car Day, it is one step to create awareness on global warming and of the dire consequences on mother earth that follows. It is one way to show that everyone can make a difference!

The organizer for WWF Earth Hour Penang has planned several events which would lead up to 28th March with a message on environmental sustainability to ensure that we can continue to save resources for Penang. These events, such as the Essay Writing Competition, distribution of butterfly food plant, a colouring competition for children, a No Car Day and event a Green Concert are educational events which involve the participation of the community, NGOs, businesses and even the government.

Being one of the leading states in tourism in the country, it is important that we take care of our state and educate everyone on the importance of environmental sustainability.

This will also ensure that Penang remains attractive and continue to attract more visitors. Furthermore, through our participation we help ensure that places of interests, especially in eco-tourism our beaches, Penang Hill, Penang National Park at Teluk Bahang, Taman Botanic, Pulau Jerejak and Pulau Aman and many other places would be well preserved not only for now but also for the future!

Some general info regarding the Rapid Penang's free CAT bus services:

MPPP Rapid Penang CAT is a free shuttle bus service that ply the streets of George Town. It was launched on Friday, 23 January, 2009. CAT, which stands for Central Area Transit, is an initiative of the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) and Rapid Penang. It covers a route from Weld Quay to Penang Road and back. Along the way, it makes 19 stops at strategic points of interest. The service runs from 6:00 am in the morning until 12:00 am midnight. Apart from the route around Komtar, the shuttle service ply roads within the core and buffer zones of the George Town Unesco World Heritage Site.

Rapid Penang has prepared three air-conditioned buses which were specially painted with the CAT livery for easy recognition. In front of the bus as a "Hop On Free" sign. On the sides are the words "City Hop On" and "Central Area Transit". The 19 bus stops along the route have also been properly signaged. The bus stops are numbered to help visitors identify their location vis-a-vis the tourist attractions of the vicinity.

Roar !!!! Tiger Park in Penang???

Wah...a tiger park in Penang? This is interesting....I mean if there's gonna be one in Penang, I will for sure go for a visit...provided they do not charge so expensive...let me think... below rm20 is reasonable for the entrance fee? It's still not a definite move yet as the state government is now gathering feedbacks from all quarters... To me, I support the idea as long as it's properly planned and the resources is being fully optimized and managed well ;) Fair enough? I certainly think so...hehe.

(Bernama) -- The Penang government plans to open a tiger park at Relau Community Park aimed at attracting more tourists to the state.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the ecotourism project would only be implemented after considering views from non-governmental organisations (NGO) and the local community.

He said this was in line with the state government's Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) principle of implementing projects transparently and fairly by listening to views from others.

"The free Wifi project opposed by many people is a good example. We want to prevent a repeat of such problem and want to get views from others before approving the tiger park project," he told reporters after visiting Relau Community Park here today.

Lim said members of the public have two months to give the state government their views on the project to be sited far from housing areas, with a new public access road be built via Jalan Paya Terubong.

"The lush greenery of the 100-acre Relau Community Park will be a good place

for Malaysia's first tiger park.

"The cost for the government-private sector joint venture project will only be determined after the tender is issued," he added.

For now, just imagine that you will be looking at the 2 pictures above for real...time will tell...

Hold on Tight !!!

Here we go again...another round of waves coming...did you read about the retrenchment statistics that came out in the papers few days ago? It was reported that last year's retrenchment count stands at 26,000 people in Penang alone, and that also mainly comes from the last quarters of 2008!!! So not the government is predicting at least another 50,000 people going to lose their job in Penang...haiz...what a sad news for us...

Penang is bracing for more lay-offs and cut in work days as factories feel the effects of the global economic crisis.
Some 1,600 people were retrenched in the first two months of this year.

State Labour Department deputy director Abdul Razak said most of those laid-off were in the manufacturing sector.

"We are monitoring the retrenchments and will help the laid-off workers," he said.

The latest multinational to cut its workforce is computer giant Dell Inc, which will be laying-off 700 staff in the state under a voluntary separation scheme.
InvestPenang executive committee chairman Datuk Lee Kah Choon said more firms, especially factories, were expected to slash their headcount by offering VSS or reduction in work days.

He appealed to companies to lay-off workers only as a last resort.
"The majority of corporations have opted to retain their employees with salary cuts instead. There is absolutely no need to go for this drastic measure at this juncture as we are committed to provide re-training to job seekers who have experience," Lee said.

On the VSS exercise by Dell, he said it was part of the company's restructuring exercise being carried out worldwide.

On the positions affected by the VSS, Lee said the exercise involved staff across the board, which included production, sales and other support divisions.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Hmm...come 28th March 2009, which is next Saturday, anyone out there for this? Any caring Malaysian takers? If you are one, please try to support this exercise to try save the world for a better place to live for ourself and also for our future generations. Read on as below are the official info regarding the Earth Hour program. For my part, I will definitely try my best to switch off my electrical devices during that hour (switching on laptop without charging can consider ar? kekekekeke). Let's do our job, it's everyone's responsibility...

This year, Earth Hour has been transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming.

For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF are urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.

This meeting will determine official government policies to take action against global warming, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol. It is the chance for the people of the world to make their voice heard.

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.

In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. VOTE EARTH is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday.

We all have a vote, and every single vote counts. Together we can take control of the future of our planet, for future generations.

VOTE EARTH by simply switching off your lights for one hour, and join the world for Earth Hour.

Saturday, March 28, 8:30-9:30pm.

If you would like to pledge your support of Earth Hour log on to http://www.earthhour.org/malaysia and sign up. If your company would like to participate in Earth Hour, please call WWF-Malaysia at Tel: +603 7803 3772 or Email: ARaj@wwf.org.my

Todt says 'goodbye' to Ferrari

Wah...this is really shocking to me...the so called Mr Ferrari (hehe...the name was given by me only, so it's not familiar to you out there reading this :p) is leaving the great pranching horse team, and better still - cut all the ties with the Italian team... read on for more...

Former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt is to step down from the Italian manufacturer with immediate effect; since retiring from the role of F1 Team Principal in 2007, the Frenchman has still been part of the Board of Directors as well as holding other smaller positions within the company

At the board of directors meeting on Tuesday the announcement was made by President Luca di Montezemolo, who subsequently thanked Todt on behalf of the everyone at Ferrari, for the major contribution he has made to the success of the Scuderia over the years and commitment and dedication he has shown in all positions he has held since arriving at Maranello in 1993. Mr Todt's appointments at Ferrari included those of GES Director, CEO and member of the Board of Directors.

"Jean Todt has been one of the leading protagonists of the Ferrari story over the last 15 years," said Montezemolo. "Skill and passion have always characterised his work and have won him my personal respect and affection, that of the company as a whole and of the prancing horse enthusiasts everywhere. I would like to wish him the very best for the future, which I hope will prove extremely satisfying both personally and professionally.

"All of these years we've spent together - victories and tough times included - have forged a link between Jean Todt and Ferrari that will never be broken."

Personally, I really feel that Jean Todt and Ross Brawn made the best combination team and they must be really credited for what Ferrari is since the Michael Schumacher era. Let's hope you can enjoy life with our very own Datuk Michelle Yeoh and wish you all the best in your whatever future plannings...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Secret Recipe latest promotion...

Eleven bids for 2018, 2022 World Cups

There are a total of 11 announced bids, including combined bids, for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, FIFA said Tuesday after the deadline for candidates expired on Monday.

England, Australia, joint bids from Belgium/Netherlands and Spain/Portugal, also the USA, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia have applied for both tournaments while South Korea and Qatar have targeted solely 2022.

"We are very satisfied with the enormous enthusiasm which our top competition has engendered and to see that all the countries who initially declared their interest have officially confirmed their bids," said FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Wow...did you see the list??? Indonesia is one of the bidder??? What about our very own country Malaysia? Isn't we have the Malaysia Boleh spirit? I believe we are much more wealthier than our neighbour country...so why not??? Actually it's a good thing also we didn't submit any bid, since I don't see any reason how are we gonna be capable of staging the world biggest event. Furthermore, with our current sorry state of football level, it's better that we keep quiet and stay sidelines...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Time to Switch???

It's always been toying in my mind whether or not for me to change my mobile phone network from the current Hotlink 012 to Digi 016. To me, I felt that Hotlink really cheats...the reason? They do not charged accordingly even though I have set my gf's number in my Activ 10 list. Furthermore, each calls were count based on the 60 seconds block while digi's prepaid only counts on 30 seconds block. This means, with hotlink, even if you speak for 5 seconds, you will be charged 1 minute call rate...how unfair!!!

Now here's one more exciting news coming from Digi:

DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd and Microsoft have started offering Windows Live Messenger (IM), a chatting service, to DiGi subscribers on a free two-month trial basis.

Provided by Sybase 365, Microsoft's reselling partner in Southeast Asia, the mobile version of Windows Live Messenger services has the same look and feel as the personal computer version, DiGi said.

After EPF, it's now ASN's turn for dividend

Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd today announced an income distribution of 6.25 sen per unit for Amanah Saham Malaysia (ASM) for the financial year ending March 31, 2009.

Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid said the income distribution involved a total payout of RM407.58 million and would benefit 402,513 unit holders who had subscribed to 7.21 billion ASM units.

At a media briefing here, he said it has been a challenging year for the ASM fund due to the global investment environment which was severely affected by the world's financial crisis and worsening economy.

PNB president and chief executive Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman said while the income of 6.25 sen was the lowest for ASM since it was launched, it was still better compared to payouts from other instruments.

"We feel 6.25 sen is reasonable. We could have easily paid 7.29 sen but did not in order to create reserves for next year," Hamad Kama Piah said.
"We are actually conserving cash for buying opportunities in the market.

One of the things we should do is to look at stocks that are now under-valued," he said, adding that they have around RM2.1 billion cash to buy stocks for ASM.

EPF declares 4.5% didvidend rate for 2008

Hmm...you do the calculation...FD giving 3% return while EPF posted a slightly lower dividend for the year 2008 at 4.5%. My advise to everyone out there is that if you don't really need the money, don't ever withdraw money from your EPF!!! Putting your money there is still considered an investment ...at a lower risk and not so bad return :)

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Board on Monday announced a lower dividend rate of 4.5 percent for 2008 citing the worldwide economic crisis as the reason.

EPF declared a 5.8 percent dividend for 2007.

Despite the financial meltdown, EPF recorded its highest ever earnings of RM20 bil in gross income for 2008 which represented an increase of 9.36 percent over the previous year’s gross income of RM18.29 bil.

“While the year 2008 was challenging due to the unprecedented global financial crisis that had impacted economies worldwide, EPF’s investment portfolio for the year performed better at the gross income level compared to 2007.

“However due to the sharp decline in the equity markets, a large provision had to be made resulting in marked reduction in net income,” EPF chairman Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said in a statement on Monday.

Equities remained as one of the major contributors to the EPF’s returns in 2008, representing 34.82 percent of EPF’s total gross investment income.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Penang International Food Festival - iFOODex

Date: 13th ~ 15th March

Organizer: Intrenasionale

Location: PISA (Penang International Sport Arena), Penang

iFOODex is the largest consumer food exhibition in Malaysia.

Visitors to the event will be delighted to taste and purchase new products from more than 100 local and international food and beverage manufacturers as well as be involved in non stop audience-interactive stage activities.

iFOODex 2009 will also be co-located with the ever popular Battle of the Chef.

All aunties and uncles...please take note of this. As far as I know, they are many food samples to be distributed FOC and also they will be a lot of food testing there....come come and enjoy yourself :)

They are the next to go???

Company laying off workers and reducing salary of their employees are very 'bad' in the eyes of their employees. But what about if the company plans to totally close shop and close up the entire plant?

PENANG is looking at yet another wave of layoffs from the manufacturing sector.

Business Times has learnt that Marvell Semiconductor Sdn Bhd is set to close its Penang factory and part ways with some 300 workers.

Sources said the employees were notified yesterday that the facility located in Bayan Lepas will cease operations by May 15.

"Only less than 20 people are expected to be retained for design work and workers are expected to receive their termination letters next week," one source said.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Something to share...

Got this image from one of the financial blog that I read daily. It's showing the amount pumped by each country's government in their stimulus package to save their nation's down trending economy. Surprisingly, Malaysia is placed at no.10 in the world...too bad, amount is so huge but most of it won't reach to normal citizen like us... (click on the picture to enlarge it)...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Second Stimulus Package Highlights - RM60 billions !!!

WOW!!! RM60 bil stimulus plan, where do the government get so much money to feed their corrupted officers as well as ministers? It's all our money actually...haiz...

Following are highlights of the second stimulus package tabled by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in the Dewan Rakyat today:

* Government unveils RM60 billion second stimulus package to insulate the economy from slipping into recession;

* Housebuyers given tax relief on interest paid on housing loans up to RM10,000 a year for three years;

* Additional RM200 million for pulic low-cost housing scheme for low-income earners;

* RM1.6 billion fund to promote investments;

* RM200 million to repair and maintain roads and drains;

* RM150 million for renovation, maintenance and repairs to welfare homes, fire and rescue stations, firemen living quarters and public toilets in mosques, suraus and tourist spots;

* Government to issue syariah-compliant Savings Bonds amounting to RM5 billion this year;

* RM1.95 billion to build and upgrade facilities in 752 schools, particularly in rural areas, Sabah and Sarawak of which RM300 million will be used to improve facilities in government-aided religious schools, Chinese and Tamil schools and mission schools;

* RM230 million allocated to increase electricity supply coverage and water supply in rural areas particularly in Sabah and Sarawak.

* RM350 million allocated for rural road construction.

* Government will provide RM500 million for maintenance of public infrastructure projects, with emphasis to Sabah and Sarawak;

* RM1.2 billion allocated for providing infrastructures and increasing economic activities in Sabah and Sarawak;

* RM300 million for micro-credit programme under AgroBank to assist farmers and agro-based businesses in rural areas and RM50 million for cottage industries.

* RM2 million Fishermen's Welfare Fund to be established and managed by the Malaysian Fisheries Development Authority;

* RM20 million will be provided to improve facilities of day-care centres for the elderly, improve management of women shelter homes and increase facilities for child care centres;

* Existing tax exemption under the retrenchment benefit will be increased to RM10,000 from RM6,000 for each completed year of service;

* Government to establish a Working Capital Guarantee Scheme totalling RM5 billion to provide working capital to companies with shareholder equity below RM20 million;

* Government to establish a Financial Guarantee Institution with an initial RM1 billion in paid-up capital to provide credit to companies intending to raise funds from the bond market. Bonds totalling RM15 billion will be raised under this facility;

* Rights issues by listed companies will no longer need approval from the Securities Commission;

* To encourage takeovers and mergers, the Code on it will no longer be applied to private limited companies;

* Only the Securities Commission has to be informed of any amendments to the terms and conditions of bonds and sukuk issuance;

* Convertible and exchangeable bonds will be exempted from mandatory rating requirements;

* Permanent resident status will be considered for high networth individuals bringing more than US$2 million for investment or savings in Malaysia as an effort to bring high networth and skilled individuals;

* High-skilled foreign professionals may also be considered for Permanent Resident status;

* Government to provide RM2 billion to assist implementation of projects through Private Finance Initiative and public-private partnerships. Private firms to be invited to bid for the funds;

* Government proposes to increase the number of scholarships for entry into local private universities;

* Government-linked Companies to set up 10 not-for-profit private schools;

* The services sector will be further liberalised to woo more investments, bring in more professionals and technology and strengthen competitiveness;

* Foreign Investment Committee to adopt a more liberal approach to bring positive changes and nurture a more investor-friendly environment to attract more investments including foreign direct investment;

* RTM to be allocated RM20 million to implement several projects to develop the local music industry;

* All government procurements will be made through open tenders or restricted tenders except for specific cases.

I'm just wondering, the amount RM60 billions is so huge, but somehow most of the amount eventually will not reach us. Maybe only 20 to 30% will ever reach, and still not all of us. More likely all of those corrupted government officers... :(

Badminton All England - CHINA : Simply Amazing!

CHINA, after closed their down for some military secret training and skipped the 1st ever Super Series Grand Finals last year as well as the first 2 Super Series league this year, they start their campaign in the All England Championships in superb fashion.

For the first time in the modern badminton days, China have managed to clean sweep all the 5 titles at stake. In fact, the last time a country managed to achieved such feat was Denmark back in 1948, that's more than 50 years ago. As usual, Lin Dan trashed our Datuk Lee Chong Wei again and former world junior champion Wang YiHan stunned defending champion Tine Rasmussen in a huge upset. All the 5 matches were simply nice to watch, except for the sorry Datuk Lee's one. The men's double, mixed double game were quite tough call, while other countries are still lagging behind in terms of quality in the women's double.

One thing for sure, the 3 months intensive training really did the magic and brings out the hunger and determination in them, leaving other countries and players in their trails. One would wonder how on earth will Malaysia gonna catch up with them :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy 1 Year Anniversary to Pakatan Rakyat...

8th of March 2008....the political tsunami hit Malaysia and for the first time ever, the Barisan Nasional party lost 5 states to the opposition parties. Since then, the oppositions have formed Pakatan Rakyat collision which consists of DAP, PKR and PAS. Since then also, Anwar Ibrahim is back to the parliment and not forgetting BN has successfully wrested back Perak state from Pakatan led government with some dirty tactics and the drama is still ongoing pending court and sultan's decisions.

Today 8th March 2009, marks the one year anniversary since our last election and also since Pakatan Government comes to office at Penang, Selangor, Perak (for 10 months), Kelantan and Kedah. How well have they done remains to be your own judgement but certainly from my own opinion, we do need these oppositions to counter BN and fight against dictatorship. Whoever it is whether it's Pakatan or BN, let's hope they are doing a good job so that they can be voted in again when the next general election comes...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Today is International Women Day...8th March

Today is the special day for women across the world because it's the International Women's Day. So for all women out there, give yourself a big clap or pat at the back coz today is specially for you. I was watching the local news report that some political party had organised a line dance activity to celebrate the day (name of the party not going to reveal...haha). It was going through my mind...what's the heck political party doing this? An aunt in the interview even said that she joined the party just because she wanted to dance.....fainted!