Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hamilton wins night race in Singapore

A bit late on this post...sorry guys!

Champion Lewis Hamilton has recorded his second race win of the 2009 campaign after controlling proceedings from pole position in Singapore. The Englishman crossed the line first ahead of a career best-equalling Timo Glock in second whilst Fernando Alonso confirmed Renault's first podium of the season. Jenson Button benefitted from Mark Webber's crash to beat Brawn team-mate Rubens Barrichello.

The run-up to the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix has been conquered by events which took place in last year's night race as the Renault 'Crashgate' scandal dominated headlines; with main men Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds having now left the team, the irony could not have been in higher supply as Romain Grosjean collected the Turn 17 wall on Friday.

Lewis Hamilton was handed pole position on Saturday night as Rubens Barrichello's crash brought an early end to the qualifying session. The Englishman lined up alongside Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull with Nico Rosberg third for Williams in a race which would contain a cocktail of incidents, accidents and mechanical troubles, all under lights.

Formula One 2009 Season Final Straight:

With only a trio of races now remaining, Jenson Button holds a 15-point championship lead over Rubens Barrichello and can therefore clinch the title in Japan next weekend by scoring at least five points more than his team-mate. F1's return to Suzuka begins with Free Practice 1 on Friday.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Way to go Nicol ! Proud of you...

So so so proud of Nicol David !!!
NICOL David sealed her place in the pantheon of squash greats by winning her fourth World Open title after an engrossing battle with Natalie Grinham in the final in Amsterdam yesterday.

In a re-match of the 2006 world final in Belfast, Nicol proved her shock British Open quarter-final defeat was a mere blip as she crushed Dutch hopes of a home win with a 3-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-8 win in 51 minutes for her 40th career Wispa Tour title.
"To come back from last week, this week.. it's an amazing feeling for me," said Nicol, still apparently dazed from her stunning achievement.
"I don't know what I'm saying. In fact, I can't believe it still... four titles!"

The triumph put Nicol on par with New Zealand great Susan Devoy on four world titles and just one behind her mentor Sarah Fitz-Gerald of Australia.

Nicol entered the final after an energy sapping 4-11, 11-6, 15-13, 11-7 semi-final win in one hour and two minutes over Alison Waters of England on Saturday while Natalie needed just half that time to sweep past her sister Rachael 11-13, 11-6, 11-6, 11-4.

It set up a much anticipated final between the top two seeds, who were both making their fourth world final appearance, but the odds were stacked against Natalie, who had lost their previous 11 meetings since the last of her seven victories in 29 clashes with Nicol at the 2007 Seoul Open final.
Natalie was hoping to become only the second Dutch world champion after Vanessa Atkinson in 2004 and the partisan crowd at the Frans Otten Stadion were rooting for an upset when Natalie outplayed the World No 1 in the first game as she stormed into an 8-2 lead before taking the opener in 11 minutes.
But in what has become almost routine for Nicol, the defending champion settled her nerves to level the match when she broke clear from 4-4 in the second game.
The third game was over in a flash as Nicol found her rhythm and sped to a 7-1 lead to take a decisive two games to one lead.
Natalie, ranked third in the world, attempted to engineer a fightback in the fourth game when she led 5-2 and 6-3 but it merely delayed the inevitable.
Nicol drew level at 6-6 and after Natalie edged ahead at 8-6, the Malaysian reeled off five points in a row to leave her rival with the runner-up trophy for the fourth time in the last five years.
"Winning that first game gave her confidence but for me, it was a question of not a good game, now move on," said Nicol.

"In the fourth, those points at 8-8 and 9-9 were so crucial. I had to raise my game to take her confidence away, so I just went for it."

The world title is Nicol's sixth on the Wispa Tour this year following her wins in Cayman Islands, Texas, Seoul, Malaysia and Singapore in addition to winning the World Games gold medal.

Samsung unveils new compact cameras, including dual-LCD cameras

Samsung Malaysia Electronics Sdn Bhd (SME) has announced a range of ten new digital cameras for the Malaysian market in the second half of 2009, which includes the introduction of 2View ST550/ST500 that has dual LCD touch-sensitive screens.

The the flagship Samsung 2View range, the 2View ST550 and ST500 feature dual LCD touch-sensitive screens -- one 1.5 inch LCD screen on the front of the camera, and a second one on the back of the camera. Samsung now gives consumers the ability to truly step out from behind the camera and put themselves in the picture.

Haptic feedback for the two screens and technologies such as Smart Gesture User Interface and Smart Auto make it easy for consumers to operate the camera. It also comes with a 12.2 mega-pixel CCD and 27mm wide-angle Schneider-KREUZNACH lens with 4.6x optical zoom.

The 2View ST550/ST500 will be available from end September in Malaysia at RM1,249 and RM999 respectively.

Moon Cake Festival @ Esplanade 3rd Oct 2009

Date: 3rd October 2009 Saturday
Location: Esplanade, Penang
Organizer: Penang State Tourism Development & Culture
The Mid Autumn Festival commonly known in Malaysia as the Lantern and Moon Cake Festival is celebrated widely by everyone in our multi racial society. Everyone gets to enjoy moon cakes, some made from lard and the halal moon cakes made from vegetable oil.In conjunction to this festival that falls on 3rd October 2009, The Penang State Tourism Development and Culture is organising a Pesta Tanglung with cultural events and performances for all ages at the Padang Kota Lama (Esplanade) starting at 8 pm till 11pm.
Yea yea...we are in the 8th month of the Chinese's all gearing up to the end of the year, so you will be preparing yourself to receive lots of red booms a.k.a. Wedding Invitations....haha...I'll be having 2 in 2 weeks starting with this weekend :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Henin is back !!! and wows to do it...

Hooray !!! My idol is back....let's hope she can rise back to the top of the game ;-)

Former World No 1 Justine Henin vowed on Wednesday to return to the top of women's tennis after deciding to come out of self-imposed retirement.

"Today I'm aware that there is more than just tennis," the seven-time grand slam winner said at her tennis school in Limelette in central Belgium.

"But tennis is what I do best. I'm 27 and still physically capable.

"Now the hard work starts. I'm going to have to get back the confidence and go through stages which I'd forgotten about," Justine said.

"Time is on my side. But it'll be a long road.

"I like a real challenge. Ambition is part of me, I need to live something exceptional, to feel the adrenalin. It's part of me.

"Surprise US Open winner Kim Clijsters hailed as "fantastic" the return to the circuit of a fellow Belgian and great rival.Kim triumphed at Flushing Meadows earlier this month after an 18-month break to have a baby while Justine announced her return on Tuesday after more than a year off.

"Justine worked very hard in the past to get magnificent results in her first career," Kim said on her website."

For tennis it's fantastic to see her come back. It's very good for women's tennis and very good for Belgium."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Renault handed suspended disqualification

Formula One governing body the FIA has handed the Renault team a suspended disqualification from the World Championship following Monday's World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) hearing in Paris. The punishment will be placed on hold until the end of the 2011 season and will only become active should a similar happening take place before then.
Monday's hearing in Paris signalled what should be the end of the 'Crashgate' scandal. The FIA believes that the team did indeed cause a deliberate crash in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix but, having taken into account an apology from the Enstone team plus the fact that former chiefs Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds left the outfit last Wednesday, Renault appears to have come off lightly.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Maxis to offer 2.25b shares under IPO

Maxis Communications Bhd (MCB) plans to list its Malaysian operations Maxis Bhd (Maxis), under an initial public offering (IPO) which will involve 2.25 billion shares, of which 2.075 billion will be offered to institutions and the remaining 174.79 million shares for the public and its customers.

The IPO is set to be the country's biggest since 1995 and estimated by sources at US$2 billion, as investors rush to capitalise on booming stock markets, according to Reuters.

Currently, MCB is the beneficial owner of 7.5 billion shares, representing 100% of the paid-up of Maxis. It is the promoter of the listing exercise and selling shareholder.

MCB said in its exposure draft posted on the Securities Commission website on Sept 18 that it will hold 5.25 billion shares, representing 70% of the paid-up of Maxis after the IPO.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri...

Warm wishes to all Muslims celebrating this festive season from Endless Horizon :)

International Lion Dance On Stilts Competition - 26th Sep 2009

Date: 26th to 27th September 2009
Time: 10am to 2pm (26th Sept) and 11am to 1.30pm (27th Sept).
Location: Komtar Dome, Penang
Organizer: Penang State Government

Penang will hold a Lion Dance On Stilts competition at Komtar Dome this September. International level competition on 26th & 27th September 2009.

Teams from China, Hong Kong, Taipei, Brunei, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia will be joining our Malaysia teams to fight fot the championship title.

Our Malaysia Champion team also the 30th times World Champion from Muar, Johor, Kuab Sheng Kun Association will be sending 2 teams to participate in this event.
Everybody is FREE to go !!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

PBIM 09 Routes are out!

The Penang Bridge International Marathon routes are out, check it out below:

Half Marathon - A exact 21km run

Full Marathon - exact???

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Special holiday for schools tomorrow

All schools will be given a special holiday tomorrow in conjunction with the Hari Raya celebrations, with the day itself expected to fall on either Sunday or Monday.

Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Cabinet made the decision to enable parents to make plans for their families to travel earlier to their hometowns and avoid traffic jams.

“This decision covers all schools and educational institutions under the Education Ministry,” he said in a statement.

Muhyiddin said the decision meant the ministry’s earlier circular on additional holidays for Hari Raya was revoked.

Happy Malaysia Day...

In case you forgot, yesterday was Malaysia day. Well, I must say this day doesn't really mean a lot for us since it's just a normal working day. Nothing much to celebrate about or to talk and discuss about. Anyway, it was this great day that Malaysia exist!!! Well, our nation did existed before that but back then it was known as Malaya before our Malaysia Day :)
From Wikipedia:

Malaysia Day is held on September 16 every year to commemorate the establishment of the Malaysia federation on the same date in 1963. It marked the joining together of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore to form Malaysia. The formation of the new federation was planned to occur on June 1, 1963, but was later postponed to August 31, 1963, in order to coincide with the sixth Hari Merdeka. Several issues related to the Indonesian and the Filipino objection to the formation of Malaysia delayed the declaration to September 16 of the same year. The postponement was also done to allow the United Nations team time to conduct referendums in North Borneo (now Sabah) and Sarawak regarding the two states participation in a new federation.

The formation of Malaysia was made possible through the introduction of the Malaysia Bill to the Malayan Parliament on July 9, 1963, and consent from the King on August 29, 1963. Prior to the formation of Malaysia, Singapore and North Borneo unilaterally declared independence from the United Kingdom on August 31, 1963, thus coinciding with the sixth anniversary of the Malayan independence.

Malaysia Day is not a public holiday. However, it is coincidental with the birthday of the Yang di-Pertua of Sabah, making the day a public holiday in Sabah.

Del Potro comes of age

I was a bit late on posting of this piece of news, maybe due to the after effect of me waking up at 4am for the match. Anyway, great match and great fight by both men, even though Del Porto was so much superior in the 5th set. He deserved it truly :)
Roger Federer had contested 20 Grand Slam finals prior to his 3-6, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the 2009 US Open final, but he had only taken defeats to one man, Rafael Nadal, during the five occasions he was unable to hoist the big trophy.
But the world No. 1 had never been asked to do what the 20-year-old Argentine required of him, which was to match his nuclear power over a four-hour period and find a way to hit through and around a younger man who was overmatching him off the ground, was serving bigger and returning with more confidence and force.

Federer had chopped down plenty of pure power players before and had beaten del Potro six straight times coming into the match, but the tall free-swinger from Tandil was less mature then, was lacking in fitness and didn't really believe that when crunch time came he would have more answers.

But outside of a nervous first set, he largely out-played one of the greatest players in US Open history, a man who had won five successive Opens and who had played so well from 2004-2008 that he was never forced to contest a five-setter in a final.

Del Potro kept hitting out with his forehand, even though Federer's is oh-so-dangerous, but made the right decision, as he ended the contest with 37 forehand winners to just 20 from Federer. The Argentine had little trouble hammering into Federer's weaker backhand side with searing cross-court backhands, finally got enough rhythm with his two-handed backhand to be able to pass the on-rushing Swiss, and moved at times, like, well, Nadal.

During the sixth game of the fourth set, after chasing down a Federer blast near the wall and curling it for a forehand winner around the net post, he scooted around, high-fiving the crowd.

A quiet and modest guy, del Potro didn't back away from the occasion and reveled in it, waving to his large contingent of Argentine fans to get himself pumped up and looking up in sheer joy as they serenaded him with cries of “Ole, Ole, Delpo.”

Del Potro is only the fourth player since Federer won his first major at 2003 Wimbledon to break the Nadal-Federer stranglehold at the majors. One of the other men, 2005 Australian Open champion Marat Safin, will retire at the end of this year. That leaves 2003 U.S. champion Roddick, 2008 Australian titlist Novak Djokovic and del Potro to contend with the Swiss and the Spaniard, who have won 21 majors in that period.

Del Potro is the first guy to beat Nadal and Federer back-to-back at a major -- no small feat. Like Safin did to Pete Sampras back at the 2000 US Open, the young guy with a blinding haymaker knocked out a stunned older legend. He has the on-court tools and, apparently, the willpower.

That should clearly make him a significant part of the conversation in years to come in his beloved New York.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

1Malaysia F1 team, just like The Space Project ???

The famous Lotus name will be back on the F1 grid next year, the FIA has confirmed. The governing body revealed on Tuesday that the Lotus F1 Team entry has been accepted to fill the vacant space left by the departing BMW Sauber, which has also submitted what has been described as an 'impressive application'.

With 13 positions currently available on the grid next year and several entries left to select following BMW's July announcement that it will be pulling out of the sport, governing body the FIA confirmed on Tuesday that the Lotus name will be returning to the sport for the first time since 1994.

The latest version of the Lotus team will be funded by both the Malaysian government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs. The full title of the outfit will be 1Malaysia F1 Team, based at the factory of RTN in Norfolk, England. The building, only ten miles from Lotus Cars, was originally built for Toyota's F1 organisation at the start of the decade before Bentley used the facility for its Le Mans team.

Funding will be provided by the Malaysian Tune Group - the company behind airline Air Asia and headed by Tony Fernandes, who will also be Team Principal - with Mike Gascoyne making his Formula One return as Technical Director, having left Force India last year.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Barrichello leads Brawn 1-2 at Monza

Rubens Barrichello has won a dramatic Italian Grand Prix which saw World Champion Lewis Hamilton lose control and crash his McLaren on the final lap of the race. As the Englishman lost third place, Barrichello led home team-mate Jenson Button with Kimi Räikkönen completing the podium for Ferrari.

Sunday's grid was already an interesting one considering that the top three drivers were running with different race strategies to those behind. World Champion Hamilton had achieved his second pole position of the season although Adrian Sutil narrowly missed out due to a mistake in qualifying on Saturday.Heavy rain dampened the rapid and legendary Monza circuit overnight although blue skies and warm temperatures graced the former Royal park venue on Sunday, with the track surface reaching highs of some 40°C before the race had even begun.

Mark Webber and Red Bull's championship chances took a major knock on the first lap as the Australian got together with Robert Kubica's BMW, unintentionally forcing the pole onto the grass on the run to the Rettifilo. It was a second touch between the pairing at the Variante della Roggia's Turn 5, however, which saw Webber spin off into retirement and Kubica forced to pit under the black and orange flag; the Pole's race ended soon after with a suspected oil leak.

Hamilton led away cleanly at the front although a bad start for Heikki Kovalainen - who, fuel-corrected, was on pole position and favourite for the win - saw the Finn sink to the bottom of the top eight. Raikkonen kept second with Sutil and the Brawns rounding out the top five. With the top three needing to pit once more than the white cars, however, both Barrichello and Button were aware that gaps needed to be maintained as Hamilton set a string of seven fastest laps consecutively at the start of the race.With Sutil unable to pass the KERS-shod Raikkonen Ferrari, the order in the two groups of cars remained the same for almost all of the afternoon although Brawn was able to control proceedings after the first round of stops for the leaders. Hamilton inherited the lead as Button, followed by the quicker Barrichello, came in.

Following Hamilton's final pit-stop, the World Champion elected to run on the harder, Medium compound tyres for the second time although the McLaren was not capable of running far enough into the race to rejoin ahead of the Brackley cars. As Barrichello led the final sprint to the flag from team-mate Button, Hamilton continued to lower the gap to his compatriot to as low as one and a half seconds as Raikkonen held Sutil as bay by only half a second for fourth and fifth.Sutil's realistic chance of ceasing the Ferrari's position was gone at his second and final stop as, when pitting at the same time as the 2007 Champion, the German overshot his pit box to take down several mechanics as well as losing his right-hand wing mirror as a result.

Penang 12-Must Buy Products

Penang is a favorite food paradise with exciting and fabulous sites for visitors to explore. Next to these it also offers a wide range of souvenir items and popular local foodstuff for visitors to buy back to share with their family and friends. Here are 12-must buy products from Penang.


This is a traditional Malay cake made from simple ingredients of sugar, eggs and flour and bake in an oven. When baked, they are slightly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, just like sponge cake and have a strong egg aroma. The cake is bake in moulds made from cast iron with a lid. They come with a variety of shape; the common ones are the goldfish and daisy flower. The Kuih Bahulu makes a delicious tea time snack.


This is one of Penang’s delightful and favorite biscuits for the Chinese community. The biscuit has a flaky crust with a filling of fragrant and crumbly green bean (mung beans) which is fried with shallots bits and oil. It comes in two different sizes, one mouth bite size and another larger one measuring 5cm in diameter. There are two versions, one sweet and the other salty. This biscuits is synonymous with Penang and is highly sort after by visitors from other states and Singapore. They are available everywhere but the famous ones are from Ghee Hiang Biscuit and Him Hiang. During peak season it is best to pre-order.


Batik is fabric with elegant design of local flora and fauna, leaves or geometrical patterns imprinted on it. The word ‘batik’ derives its origin from the Javanese ‘tik’ for dot. Malaysian Batik is well received in the international fashion world for its highly skilled handicraft work. Traditionally, the pattern is produce using wooden blocks crafted with design at the bottom and stamped repeatedly dipped with melted wax until the pattern covers the whole fabric. It is then repeatedly dyed and stamped with wax and finally boiled to remove the wax. The other method is whereby the craftsman hand scratches freely using a copper tool containing molten wax (called “canting”) and then colour using a brush. Malaysian Batik is very colorful with attractive designs which make it a worthwhile souvenir.


These potteries hand-made by skilful craftsman have a rich living heritage and cultural behind them. The two famous and most popular sought after by tourist is the black colored jar called the “labu”” which is shaped like a gourd. Each pottery is tediously engraved all around by crafted potters. It is naturally blackens by covering immediately with paddy husks after removing from the furnace. The other is the Sarawak vase that are adored all round with ethnic traditional native painted designed.


Penang has been cultivating nutmegs in plantations since the colonial days. The nutmeg is a favorite with the locals for its multipurpose uses. It is commonly use in enhancing and seasoning of savory and sweet dishes. The fresh nutmeg is used in making nutmeg juice which has a tangy taste while the pickled ones are eaten as tidbits. The older generations extract its oil for its medical purposes. With the long history in growing these fruit, Penang’s nutmegs are of top grade and richer in fragrance then those grown elsewhere.


Penang was an important port dealing in spices and herbs which were greatly demanded by the Europeans in the 18th and 19th century. Till today some spices are indigenous to Penang like the clove, nutmeg, betel leaves areca and gambier. Because of the large Indian community, one is able to source rich aromatic spices used in Indian curries like cinnamon, star anise and cardamom in Little India. In the wet market, you can still buy freshly grounded spices. For convenience, all sorts of spices manufactured in ready powder form are also available.


This traditional beaded shoe also known as ‘kasut manek’ is worn with the Nyonya kebaya in the earlier years. This hand-sewn beaded shoe with exquisite colorful beads remains a favorite until today and is highly sought after by tourist visiting Penang for its quality and workmanship. Favorite designs are the flowers and birds. The cost of a pair of beaded shoe depends on the design and the size of beads used. As it is tedious sewing on the small beads which require a great deal of patience and skill, a pair may cost up to a thousand ringgit.


The Kebaya worn mostly by the Malay women is a tight fitting semi-transparent blouse. Worn together with the sarong, the kebaya is usually fastened at the front with chained brooches known as kerongsang. Most of the kebaya has embroidery motifs especially floral motif either printed or woven into the textile. The kebaya comes in many splendid colors. Customers can have it hand-made with many different embroidered detailing and beading. More exquisite variations on the kebaya come with heavily beaded while some with embroidery of glitter golden ornaments. The beautiful and elegant kebaya is best worn with the colorful beaded ‘kasut manek’.


These are seasoned fruits preserved in concentrated sugar syrup, brine or in some cases vinegar. In Penang the popular fruits used are the nutmeg, unripe papaya, mango and guava. The smell of these sour pickles will make your mouth salivate. Other types of pickles are shallots and young ginger slices preserved in vinegar. These mouth watering tidbits are sold in ready packed, bottled and by weight at the markets and bus terminals.


In Penang when we say “Penang rojak” it usually refer to the fruit salad mixed in a bowl with prawn paste dressing. This dish has a strong fishy taste that comes from the dressing (called hae ko) and shrimp powder (called belacan), the two main ingredients made from shrimp. It is best eaten by topping the rojak with finely chopped peanuts. Visitors can buy the ready packed small container of sauce which is sold widely in most shops and market.


‘Capal’ is the Malaysia’s traditional handmade sandal worn by the Malay men as part of their traditional dress especially during wedding ceremony. This footwear is very comfortable. Certain part of the sandal is made of leather and some of other materials. The soles are usually made of wood and the sandal has a very low heel. They come in a variety of designs with very delicate hand artwork on it. Some comes decorated with attractive brass nails and some with color threading sew on the strap. Different part of the shoe is joined together and hand stitched by the capal maker. There are a handful of them left in Penang.


Songkok is an important headdress usually worn by the Malay men with their traditional outfit of a long sleeved shirt, a pair of trousers and a waist wrap. This brimless headdress in the shape of a truncated cone is worn especially during Hari Raya, religious functions, weddings and important ceremonial occasions. There are different types of songkok with different heights to suit individual style. Made to measure songkoks are available and would cost more compared to the ready-made songkoks sold in the shops. Customers can choose to have it made from cotton and velvet. The prices will depend very much on the style and the quality of the material used.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

The Tribute in Light shines in lower Manhattan September 8 , 2009 in New York. Friday September 11 marks the 8th anniversary of the terrorists attacks on New York, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

Nice photos right? It has been 8 years since the attack....but seems like the memories are still fresh in mind...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Star Property Fair 2009 11-13 Sept 2009

Event : The Star Property Fair 2009
Date : 11th to 13th Sept 2009
Time : 11am to 9pm
Venue : G Hotel & Gurney Plaza
For those property hunters out there, make sure you do not miss this event. Who knows, you might find a good bargain. For more info, go to

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Malaysia drops three notches to 24th place

Malaysia's global competitiveness ranking dropped three positions to 24, according to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report for 2009-2010.
The drop essentially was the result of a much poorer assessment of its institutional framework, said the report, which was released ahead of WEF's annual meeting of the New Champions 2009 in Dalian, China.
The report said every indicator in the area had been exhibiting a downward trend since 2007, causing Malaysia to tumble from 17th to 43rd position in this dimension in just two years.
Asia continued to feature prominently with Singapore at third and Japan at eighth, and Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan all in the top 20. The report also said security was of particular concern in Malaysia with its ranking dropped 25 levels to 85th.

According to the business community, the potential of terrorism (ranked 97th) and crime (ranked 95th) both imposed significant business costs.
Also of concern was the budget deficit, which increased last year, amounting to almost 5 per cent of Malaysia's GDP, it said.
However, Malaysia scored high in most other dimensions particularly in those factors at the top end of the value chain, namely business sophistication (ranked 24th) and innovation (also ranked 24th). - Bernama

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Marking Georgetown Competition

Penang has launched an international search for the best design to mark the boundary of its World Heritage Site.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said several countries had put up such designs to enable the public to know they were within a World Heritage Site designated by Unesco.

“The aim is to provide the heritage zone with a distinct and tangible identity,” he said when launching a website for the design competition at the George Town World Heritage office at Armenian Street here yesterday.

Lim said the online contest – Design Idea Competition: Marking the George Town Heritage Site – was a way to think creatively of ideas to mark the zone as a distinct area within the city.

George Town World Heritage Office head Maimunah Mohd Sharif said the design could take any form, such as landscaping or a signpost.

She later showed several examples used by other countries to mark their heritage zones, such as having special flowers or lime trees planted by the roadside and specially-designed walls.

The competition is divided into two stages, with the winner poised to enter into negotiations with the state government or its representative to implement the design.

Lim said three participants, shortlisted from the first stage to proceed to the next round, would receive a RM10,000 prize each.

Details of the competition are available at

Monday, September 7, 2009

Rossi claims another victory in front of Italian fans

Valentino Rossi has increased his lead in the 2009 MotoGP championship by winning Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix. Rossi dominated the race finishing ahead of team-mate Jorgen Lorenzo and Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa.

A 2.4s win at the Gran Premio Cinzano di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini over his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was the perfect response to his Indy DNF and Rossi now leads the Spaniard by 30 points in the standings, with four rounds to go.

Lorenzo did his very best to stay with his illustrious team-mate over the course of the 28 lap contest, having overtaken Dani Pedrosa after a short battle, but The Doctor was unstoppable in the Italian sunshine.

Having held the lead in the early stages Repsol Honda's Pedrosa could not match the pace of the powerful Fiat Yamaha pair, eventually crossing the line ten seconds behind Lorenzo to complete the podium.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Banks set to pay higher dividends in 2010

Banks, most of which turned in better-than-expected financial results in the April-to-June quarter, are likely to pay higher dividends next year on growing excess capital, analysts say.

This is provided that bad loans, which were stable as at July, continue to remain at manageable levels.
The net non-performing loan (NPL) ratio for banks had improved to 2.1 per cent in July from 2.2 per cent in the previous month.
"Healthy asset quality combined with growing excess capital implies there could be plenty of room for capital management.
"We believe that if the NPL situation remains benign by the fourth quarter of 2009, regulators will ease up on capital restrictions which would have positive implications for dividends, particularly for return-on-equity (ROE)-conscious banks such as Bumiputra Commerce, Public Bank and Alliance Bank," said Danny Goh, an analyst at Credit Suisse.
HwangDBS Vickers Research, in a recent report, also highlighted that "possible capital repayment and/or higher dividend payouts could be a feature" among banks going foward, given that they are generally well-capitalised.
Banks like Malayan Banking, Public Bank and RHB Bank had earlier this year moved to boost their capital to prepare for a potential rise in bad loans in the face of a global recession. The moves were largely precautionary.
"Contrary to expectations, however, we are still not seeing widespread increases in delinquencies in the current recessionary environment. It's growing increasingly evident that the delinquency situation has been well contained," ECMLibra Investment Research noted in a report.
Malaysian banks' Tier 1 capital ratio, a measure of their ability to absorb potential write-downs and defaults, now ranges from 8.7 per cent to 12.7 per cent.
This is well above the required regulatory minimum of 4 per cent and also ahead of a typical "optimal" ratio of 8 per cent.
Two developments next year could potentially further boost the capital ratios of the banks.
The first is the implementation of a new financial reporting standard, FRS 139, which Goh said would likely further enhance the capital ratios for most banks.
The other is a move by some banks such as Malayan Banking and CIMB Bank to adopt advanced approaches of Basel II, which would be "neutral to positive" to capital, a banking analyst from a foreign brokerage said.

LAST SERIES! : Lion Dance On Stilt & Dragon Dance @ Esplanade In Action

Date: 5th September 2009
Venue: Esplanade, Penang
Time: 8pm
Esplanade in Action this Saturday night will bring you the excitement and rousing performances of the Lion Dance on Stilts and Dragon Dance at the current most happening place to be every weekend - the Penang Esplanade! Come and watch the performances of Penang's very own performing acts, the Lion Dance on Stilts and the Dragon Dance as they thrill you with their acrobatic and martial art actions!
The Lion Dance on Stilts, the combination of Lion Dance which is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture in which the performers, two person to a lion, mimics the natural actions of the lion in his habitat with complete synchronization in performing the prancing movements which is much better and more dramatically - on stilts! The performance of the lion dance can mainly be seen only during one's opening of a new shop or the house warming of a new home, in which by having the lion dance performance it summons prosperity, good health and auspicious luck to be brought upon that new venture. Be astounded by the attractive wide variety of colours on the lion's costume which can usually be seen in red, orange, yellow and black with eye catching sequins if you're lucky! Lion Dance on Stilts is an acrobatic act performed on high stilts with actions of tumbles, hops and flirtatious prancing as an entertainment with their inspiring and skillful stunts done by the performers who are usually students of the martial arts.

The Dragon Dance is another traditional dance and performance of the Chinese Culture, which is mainly seen only during festive celebrations such as the annual Chinese New Year. This dance is carried out with a team of more than 10 performers with the dragon's long serpent-like shaped body on poles impersonating the graceful movements of a dragon exuding strength, great power, wisdom and imperial authority. This dance is performed to usher in good luck and fortune to the people and is most commonly performed as "dragon chasing the pearl" showing the dragon's continuous pursuit of wisdom. In this dance, the dragon moves in a wave-like pattern as according to the team's acrobatic creativity in its movements.

Make sure you do not miss out on these two wonderful and awe-inspiring local acts! So bring your family, friends and children along for a night of imperialism. Grab your foldable chairs, mats and sit yourself under the starry sky and enjoy the uniqueness of the performing arts in Penang. This performance is open to the public free of charge.

Oil Painting Exhibition @ Dewan Sri Pinang

Theme : Sense of Blooming
Date: 1st to 14th Sept 2009
Location: Penang State Art Gallery, Dewan Sri Pinang
Time : 9:00am to 5:00pm

Penang Oil Painting Society is established by Mr Woo Seng Non in year 2002 with 17th members. The mission is for those ( artists ) who love oil painting and to have an opportunity to exhibit their artworks, exchange ideas and learn the skills and technique from each members. Through this society, they hope to create awareness of the aestethic value of oil painting and to be appreciate by younger generation.

Since 2002, the Oil Painting Society holds their anual exhibition every year. At present there are 27 members are registerd under Penang Oil Painting Society. Current exhibition showcases in Penang State Art Gallery is their 7th exhibition with the title ' SENSE OF BLOOMING' . There are 105 pieces of paintings displayed and public can view and enjoy the beuty and uniquenss of artworks painted by using the medium of oil.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

'Spiderman' arrested after scaling KLCC tower

French "Spiderman" Alain Robert was arrested Tuesday after successfully scaling Malaysia's Petronas Towers, in his third attempt on the nation's tallest structure, police said.

The 46-year-old began climbing the 88-storey building before dawn and reached the top before being discovered by security officials, Kuala Lumpur police chief Muhammad Sabtu Osman told AFP.

"We have taken him back to the police station for questioning and checking his passport. He can be charged for criminal trespass," he told AFP.

Robert first tried to scale the building on March 20, 1997, and made a second unsuccessful attempt in 2007 after which he was freed without charge.

The French 'Spiderman' caught after successfully scaling one of the Petronas Twin Towers on Tuesday morning.

He has been nicknamed "Spiderman" for his high-profile escapades, which have included climbing the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

World's oldest dog dies in NY at 21 — or 147

A wire-haired dachshund that held the record as the world's oldest dog and celebrated its last birthday with a party at a dog hotel and spa has died at age 21 — or 147 in dog years.

The dog, named Chanel, died Friday of natural causes at her owners' home in suburban Port Jefferson Station, on Long Island.

Chanel, as stylish as her legendary namesake, wore tinted goggles for her cataracts in her later years and favored sweaters because she was sensitive to the cold, owners Denice and Karl Shaughnessy said Monday.

The playful dachshund was only 6 weeks old when Denice Shaughnessy, then serving with the U.S. Army, adopted her from a shelter in Newport News, Va.

Along with her owner, Chanel spent nine years on assignment in Germany, where she became adept at stealing sticks of butter from kitchen countertops and hiding them in sofa cushions in the living room, Shaughnessy said. She also liked chocolate, usually considered toxic to dogs, Shaughnessy said.

"She once ate an entire bag of Reese's peanut butter cups, and, you see, she lived to be 21, so go figure," Shaughnessy added.

Karl Shaughnessy nominated Chanel for the title of world's oldest dog after noticing the Guinness World Records book had no record.

Guinness World Records officials presented Chanel with a certificate as the world's oldest dog at a Manhattan birthday bash hosted by a private pet food company in May.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Disney to acquire Marvel

Walt Disney Co said on Monday it plans to buy Marvel Entertainment Inc for US$4 billion (RM14.12 billion) in a deal that would add characters like Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four to its entertainment empire.

The cash and stock deal values Marvel at US$50 per share, or a premium of 29% to Marvel's closing stock price of US$38.65 last Friday. The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies.

Marvel's shares shot up to US$48.70 in premarket trade. Shares of Disney, which will acquire ownership more than 5,000 Marvel characters, dropped about 3% in premarket trade.

Marvel shareholders would receive a total of US$30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own.