Monday, November 30, 2009

Penang budget rises nearly 50%

The Penang government has proposed an almost 50% rise in the state budget to RM713.79 million for 2010 from RM477.24 million for this year.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who presented the Supply Bill, said operating expenditure would climb by 22% or RM72.8 million to RM404.02 million from RM331.2 million while development expenditure would increase by 104.13% or RM193.73 million to RM379.77 million from RM186.04 million.

Lim, however, expressed confidence there would be a surplus for 2009 and 2010 as achieved by the state government in 2008 of RM87.99 million.

More money needed! Somehow I read from another report saying that the state government managed to save a BIG sum of amount to various cost saving projects...Good job! Keep up the marvelous efforts...

My 1st Badminton session in 3 weeks !!!

Hmm, when was the last time i stopped playing badminton for such a long period of time? I can hardly remember. The only lucky guess that I can come up with is back in 2005 when first came back to Penang after my studies. Before that, I only get to play once a while when we can find enough members.
So for the first time since 2005, I did actually stop badminton for almost 3 weeks!!! I myself cannot imagine that I went through it. I stopped badminton for the whole month of Nov for Wed session due to the training that I needed so badly for my PBIM09 run. For my Sat's session, 2 weeks ago I skipped for the Tanjung 10km Run and again last weeks for the Penang Bridge International Marathon 2009. So last Sat was the first session in 3 long weeks for me.
The result? I feel GREAT getting to play with my Sat members and catching up with them again. It wasn't a really tiring session even though I had my regular hiking on the very same morning; probably because we have extra 2 guests as well as the full rest I had for the whole week after the PBIM09 run. Just wanna say, I'm glad that I can continue back my favourite game :)
ps: I'm not a very good badminton guy, I just like to play the sport :P

Friday, November 27, 2009

Completion of Octagon Pavilion of Kek Lok Si's Kuan Yin

THE Goddess of Mercy (Kuan Yin) statue at the Kek Lok Si Temple in Air Itam is now lighted up following the installation of spotlights by workers rushing to complete the 20-storey pavilion.

Spotlights have been put up in some areas as work is being done round-the-clock to complete the top of the octagonal pavilion where nine pagodas will be installed.

If you are living in the Ayer Itam area like I do, you can see now that the banners are everywhere to inform the public that the grand opening of the pavilion will be on the 6th Dec 2009.

Temple trustee Datuk Steven Ooi said he was confident that construction works would be completed ahead of the pavilion’s grand opening ceremony on Dec 6.He said workers occasionally test out the decorative lights in the pavilion, which may be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest in the world.

The three-tiered 60.9m roof pavilion, which is supported by 16 granite pillars, serves as a canopy to shelter the 30.2m-tall bronze statue of Kuan Yin.

The cost of the pavilion is RM40 million while the bronze Kuan Yin statue, which was completed and unveiled in 2002, costs RM30 million.

The grand opening of the pavilion will also mark the 118th anniversary of the Penang Kek Lok Si Temple, which is expected to be attended by more than 10,000 people.

This is really coming to age. From my house, I can see how from the very 1st day the statue of Kuan Yin being built, assembled, painted and now the pavilion being built day by day. Every night when I go to sleep, I saw lights of workers doing ironing and metal works and again in the early morning of 6+am when I woke up for work. I was thinking....are they humans or robots? As time goes by, I came to understand that they need to rush for the grand openings coming soon, and YES, they are human after all since they have been working on shifts....thankfully!

Let's hope this will further boost up our state's tourism, but please do take care of the cleanliness as well as the well being of residents living nearby like me :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pesta Pulau Pinang : 21st Nov - 31st Dec 2009

Saturday, 21 November 2009 to Thursday, 31 December 2009
Venue: Tapak Pesta, Sungai Nibong
Organizer: Penang State Government
Tel: 04-2623505
Operation hours: 6pm to 11.30pm

A month-long fun fair with rides, games and a trade exhibition to cater for the whole family. The event actually started last Saturday, but you can always pick the date to go based on your preferred show on respective date :)

Schedule for Pesta Pulau Pinang:
21st Nov 2009 - Concert Dangdut - Band Chadni
22nd Nov 2009 - Artist: Deb Gab C
23rd Nov 2009 - Hip Hop Night / Abaracadabra
24th Nov 2009 -Band MPSBS
25th Nov 2009 - Concert Malam 60-an SP Group
26th Nov 2009 - Nasyid: Kumpulan Saujana
27th Nov 2009 - Local Artist: Fire Bird
28th Nov 2009 - Presenting Artists: Dkna, Rini, Aiza, Aril AF / Band Pengiring
29th Nov 2009 - Malam Perasmian Pesta Pulau Pinang 2009
30th Nov 2009 - Cultural Performance - Kebudayaan SUMUT Pemeintah Kabupaten Serdang Bedagai
1st Dec 2009 - Shanghai International Troupe & Cultural Performance by Kebudayaan SUMUT
2nd Dec 2009 - Bintang Pesta (Saringan)
3rd Dec 2009 - Concert Tom Tom Bak (First Step & The Young)
4th Dec 2009 - Chinese Singing Contest (Final)
5th Dec 2009 - Bintang Kecil RTM Pesta 2009 (Saringan)
6th Dec 2009 - Bintang Kecil RTM Pesta 2009 (Final)
7th Dec 2009 - Local Artists
8th Dec 2009 - Traditional Boria performance
9th Dec 2009 - Traditional Boria performance
10th Dec 2009 - Traditional Boria performance
11th Dec 2009 - Bintang Pesta (Saringan)
12th Dec 2009 - Artist: Kumpulan Spider
13th Dec 2009 - Artist: Helmi The Gimik / Band Pengiing
14th Dec 2009 - Traditinal Singing and modern pertandingn Kugiran Maksak Pulau Pinang
15th Dec 2009 - Traditinal Singing and modern pertandingn Kugiran Maksak Pulau Pinang
16th Dec 2009 - Cultural Keudayaan Pemerintah Kabupaten Labuhan Batu, Sumatera Utara
17th Dec 2009 - Nasyid: Kumpulan Hijjaz & Persembahan Kebudayaan Pemerintah Kabupaten Labuhan Batu, Sumatera Utara
18th Dec 2009 - P Ramlee Broadway
19th Dec 2009 - Festival Combat Sports
20th Dec 2009 - Local Artists
21st Dec 2009 - Festival Silat
22nd Dec 2009 - Bintang Pesta 2009 (Semi Final)
23rd Dec 2009 - Bintang Pesta 2009 (Final)
24th Dec 2009 - Presenting Artist: Nabil
25th Dec 2009 - Preseting Artists: Wings
26th Dec 2009 - Presenting Artists: Hujan / Band Pengiring
27th Dec 2009 - Presenting Artists: Farahwahida, Zehra, Kat Mentor, Pija Mentor / Band Pengiring
28th Dec 2009 - Presenting Artists: Mila
29th Dec 2009 - Presenting Artists: Kristal & Butterfly
30th Dec 2009 - Presenting Artists: Ani, Shikin, Haiza, Mama/Rini / 2 Irama
31st Dec 2009 - Presenting ARtist: Bunkface & XPDC

Charity Walk with TYT : 29th Nov 2009

Charity Walk With TYT
Date: 29 November 2009 (Sunday)

Time: 7:15am
Venue: Botanical Garden
Distance: 1km
Telephone: 012-4882419

From some blogs and report, you'll get a chance to win some lucky draws in the form of air flights - 5 tickets to Medan, Phuket, Langkawi, Subang and Acheh complimentary from Firefly.
If you are too free and want a slow morning walk, why not? :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

5th Penang International 12 Hours Walk : 9th - 10th Jan 2010

Date: 9 January 2010 ~ 8pm 10 January 2010 ~ 8am
Venue: Esplanade, Georgetown, Penang
Distance: How far you do within 12hour.
Category: 6 category - 3 for men and 3 for women.
I joined this event back in 2006. It was rm40 per entry that time, but these year it's only rm20. Somehow this so called International event is a bit let down due to lack of sponsorship and not so well-organized back then. Hopefully this time around can be a good and nice event :)

Penang Beach Carnival 2009 : Penang Beach Run @ 28 Nov 2009

Date: 28 Nov 2009
Time: 7:30am
Venue: Golden Sands, Batu Ferringhi
Distance: 10km

This run is part of the Beach Carnival 2009 in Penang. But be careful though, running on the sands can easily injured your leg if you don't land your foot properly. Good luck and enjoy the fun!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sabbatical year for Räikkönen in 2010

After nine years in Formula One, Kimi Räikkönen will not appear on next season's grid, according to his manager. Having been encouraged to leave Ferrari in order to make way for Fernando Alonso, the Finn's only serious option was believed to be McLaren although negotiating has now seemingly come to an end.

"The option in Formula One was to be at McLaren or nothing," driver Manager Steve Robertson told Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat. "Kimi and McLaren were unable to come to an agreement, so he will not drive in Formula One, at least not in 2010."

With the Mercedes team - formerly Brawn - unwilling to pay any driver too high an amount of money and McLaren's limit unlikely to be as high as that of Ferrari, Räikkönen will in fact earn more by not racing next season, as Ferrari must pay off the remaining year of prematurely terminated contract.

Hmm...sounds good to me that he's earning more by not racing next year, but the question is....will it just be a 1 year stop or will turn into a permanent retirement from F1? I really hope to see Kimi back...

Champions Line-Up at McLaren for 2010

McLaren will boast an all British Champion line-up next season after Jenson Button's move from Brawn was confirmed on Wednesday. With the latest two title holders racing in the same colours in 2010, the Woking team will house two Champions for the first time since Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna in 1989.

With Button having accepted a significant pay cut ahead of this season and then desiring a rise to £6m for next season, his crown-clinching Brawn team - now Mercedes Grand Prix - refused this, with demands eventually being met at McLaren, which continues to be a customer of the German engine manufacturer for at least another six seasons.

Although the amount of years is unspecified at this stage, the Button-McLaren contract has been confirmed as a 'multi-year deal' as a team signs to the two most recent Champion for the first time in F1 history. The last time two Champions were partnered in one team was another all-British affair with Graham Hill and Jim Clark being Lotus team-mates in 1968.
Wow...will we see the repeat of teammate racing each other as in Hamilton-Alonso few years back??? Wait and see...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Malaysia slides 9 places to 56th spot in 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index

Facts don't lie. People are not stupid! We have our own capabilities to see and judge what's good and what's supposed to be done in many suspectable and brought up issues. Personally, I'm not surprised we fared worse this year...
Malaysia dropped nine places to 56th position out of 180 countries surveyed in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2009, the anti-corruption watchdog announced yesterday.

Malaysia’s decline from 47th spot in 2008 is the steepest among the Asean countries in the ranking this year, although it fares better than all member countries except Singapore (3rd) and Brunei (39th), which is participating for the first time.

In the latest survey, Malaysia scored 4.5 points out of 10, where 0 means highly corrupt, and 10 is the best possible score.

“A fall of 0.6 from 5.1 in 2008 to 4.5 in 2009 is alarming not only to the people of Malaysia but also the government of the day,” said Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) president Datuk Paul Low at a press conference here to announce the survey results.

He attributed Malaysia’s poorer showing to the perception that there had been little progress in combating corruption and that political will was lacking in implementing effective anti-corruption measures.

“There are several examples in the survey period giving rise to grave concern,” said Low.

“They include no action being taken against parties implicated in tampering in the appointment of judges, the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) fiasco, where the cost rose from an estimated RM1.1 billion to RM4.7 billion and a possible RM12.5 billion, and political crossovers particularly in Perak.”

So it's the government still going to act dumb and do nothing? Or how much and what 'actions' will be taken after this survey results is being widely debated among us? Seat back and wait to see what's going to happen...

PBIM09 - Bridge and Road Closure info

Here are some of the traffic control and road closure for this Sunday's PBIM 09 gotten from PBIM's facebook page. Plan your journey nicely ya!
- Bridge closes at 2am and reopen at 10am.
- Road leading to Queensbay Mall south entrance from Bukit Jambul round about will remain open through out the competition.
- Road leaving Queensbay Mall South Entrance will close from 2am to 3.30am.
- Expressway from Bayan Lepas to George Town... will remain open 24 hours.
- Sweeper bus on the bridge will start at 8.30am.
- Sweeper bus on Jelutong Expressway will start at 9am.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Leonid meteor shower on 17th and 18th @ Penang

Astronomers are predicting that the Leonids could experience an outburst of about 500 per hour on November 17. Although Asia is favored for the outburst, observations are encouraged around the world on the mornings of November 17 and 18, as better than normal rates could be seen. The moon will not be an issue.

The Leonid meteor shower has produced some of the most spectacular meteor displays in history, but it is unfortunately periodic in nature.

The Leonids generally begin on November 13 and end on November 21, with maximum generally occurring during the night of Novemer 17/18. The Leonids are barely detectable on the beginning and ending dates, but observers are generally treated to displays of about 10 meteors per hour on the night of maximum. About every 33 years, the Leonids enter a phase of enhanced activity that accompanies the return of its parent comet. During these periods, rates can amount to hundreds and even thousands of meteors per hour. The last such enhanced period occurred during the period of 1998-2002 and the Leonids have been winding down ever since.

There will be a viewing gathering at the Penang National Park on these 2 days...but alternately, you can also head on to the hill top or beach to have your pleasant views...Good Luck !!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Training's over....resting time ...

Had my 10km Tanjung Run yesterday, and today collected the PBIM goodies and vest during the lunch time. Below are the scene at the collection counters in front of Queensbay Mall.

After work, did my final round of jogging preparation for this Sunday's PBIM. Now the remaining days are just rest rest and rest....

Some of you might noticed that I'm having irregular timings of my blog postings due to my work, wedding preparations and after work trainings for my running events. Hopefully in few weeks' time, all can be sorted out and I can have a smooth enjoy daily routines again...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dog Fancy Dress Show : 22nd Nov 2009

PAA Dog Fancy dress Competition + Mini Dogs lover Gathering
Date & Time : Sunday, 22 November 2009, 11:00am - 4:00pm
Location : Han Chiang Indoor Stadium
PAA organize the Dog Fancy Dress Show coming 22 Nov 2009 , those interested to participate on this events , please register yourself on the spot 60minutes before the show start , below is the details for this events :
Dog Fancy Dress Show :
Venue- Han Chiang Indoor stadium.
Date- 22/11/2009.
Register at between 11am to 12.30 pm on 22/11/2009.
Entry fee is RM5 per dog.
Time of judging is 1pm.
Dogs lovers, what are you waiting for? Go and have fun watching and seeing the cute dogs in action!!!

International Meatless Day Charity Carnival : 15th Nov 2009

Sunday, 15 November 2009 - 8:00am to Saturday, 21 November 2009 - 8:00pm
Venue: Jalan Padang Kota Lama (Esplanade)
Organizer: Malaysian Meatless Day Campaign Committee 2009

The staging of the carnival aims to promote Penang's cultural diversity and ethnicity through our multifarious vegetarian foods for locals as well as visitors and tourists, including those from Europe, USA, India, China and Taiwan.

The organizer intend to show and promote Penang as place where meatless cuisine is rich, plentiful and accessible. This carnival will have several food stalls selling vegetarian food cooked by participants and chefs from restaurants, hotels, hawkers, and also from non-government organizations.
Don't always just eat meat...sometimes have to go green too :D

Facelift at Penang Airport roundabout

Ever noticed something different happening at the roundabout when you reach the Penang Airport or when you came out of the airport? Well, you will see many gigantic balls being placed around the roundabout. I myself was in a surprised mode few weeks back when I first saw them. Actually it's very nice thing to do given that the roundabout used to be a dull and 'normal' looking one. It's certainly not a way which we want visitors to see upon stepping onto Penang island :)

From The Star today:

THE mundane-looking roundabout, which is one of the first things that tourists see after leaving the Penang Interna-tional Airport in Bayan Lepas, is undergoing a major facelift.

The Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah-Jalan Tun Dr Awang roundabout in Penang was recently adopted by the SP Setia Group and the company has undertaken a project to beautify the roundabout at a cost of between RM500,000 and RM600,000.

Its northern region property general manager S. Rajoo said the roundabout was an ‘eyesore’ to frequent travellers like him, who regularly flies between Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

“Pearls were chosen for the project, which is expected to be completed by Nov 23, as we wanted to remind the people, especially the youngsters, that the other name for Penang is the ‘Pearl of the Orient’.

“A curved wall has been erected at the roundabout with the main pearl structure being positioned on the wall with a ‘Welcome to the Pearl of the Orient’ sign.

“There are 15 pearls adorned with multicoloured LED lights that will glow and dim at intervals. The pearls are already be erected along the road leading to the airport and all around the roundabout,”.

Rajoo said bamboo plants would also be planted at the back of the wall to form a curtain, adding that the roundabout would be a thing of beauty when completed in a week’s time as even the pillars of the flyover would be decorated with colourful lightings.

Thank you SP Setia !!! Good job and well done...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

6th Penang Career Expo & 2nd Postgraduate Expo 2009

Date : 14th Nov 09 - 15 Nov 09
Time : 11am to 9pm
Venue : Penang International Sports Arena (PISA)

The Penang Career Expo, organised by PenExpo, was first established in 2008. It offered businesses and postgraduates located in Penang the opportunity to meet.

Objective :
- The most effective platform for higher education and training institutions to showcase the institutions and courses.
- To increase the awareness of existing higher educational and training opportunities
Ideal place to meet face-to-face prospective students interested in higher education
- To assist government on promoting higher education available in both local and oversea.

Penang 32nd Round the Island Relay 09 : 20th Dec 2009's back it's back....the round the island relay....get your running kakis and join this event....I saw them running last year....quite fun with each person running 10+km....good luck!

Round the Island Relay 2009 - Organised by PAAA

When : Sunday 20 Dec 2009

Time: 6:30am

Each Team to consist of 12 runners (with 3 reserves)

Route: Esplanade >7.5km > Gelugor > 7.3km > Bayan Lepas > 6.3km > Sungai Batu >3.9km > Balik Pulau > 5.0km > Genting > 6.4km > Sungai Rusa > 5.7km > Sungai Pinang >7.5km > Telok Bahang > 5.3km > Batu Ferringhi > 6.3km > Tanjung Bungah > 6.4km >Tanjung Tokong > 5.1km > Esplanade

Total Distance : 72.7km

Categories :

Men Open (16 years and above)- Qualifying Time 5 hours

Men Veteran Open (35 years and above)- Qualifying Time 6 hours

Entry Fees : RM40 per team (Affiliates) and RM60 (Non-Affiliates)

Closing date: 30 November

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Eastin Penang targets 70pc occupancy for first-half 2010 fast opened already while furnishing and renovation works still ongoing! Really want to rush for PBIM participants to stay...hahaha.

THE RM130 million Eastin Hotel Penang, which will open its doors for business on Thursday, is looking at an average of 70 per cent occupancy for the first half of 2010.

Hotel manager Mary Ann Harris said the first chain hotel of the Eastin group, which is located in the Queensbay waterfront township, will be looking to its neighbours for business.

"Owing to our proximity to the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone, we are eyeing business travellers linked to the multinational companies and small- and medium-sized businesses operating here," she told Business Times yesterday.

The 14-storey hotel, which is the second hotel owned by the CP Group, will focus on filling up its 328 rooms with corporate travellers from Penang and the northern region, while the weekend stays will be targeted towards leisure travellers from neighbouring states and overseas.

"We will not limit our market to corporate travellers from Penang island alone, but will also be targeting businesses from the industrial parks on the mainland and in Kedah," she said.

Calling all NOKIA new owners : Nokia recalling 14m mobile phone chargers

Nokia Corp announced yesterday that some 14 million mobile phone chargers could be dangerous for users and said it will replace them free of charge.

The chargers, bearing Nokia's name and made by Chinese battery and auto part maker BYD Co, are models AC-3E and AC-3U, made between June 15 and August 9 this year; and AC-4U, manufactured between April 13 and Oct.ober 25, 2009. They were mostly sold in Europe and North America.

Nokia said the chargers' plastic covers might work loose and expose wiring, which could cause an electric shock if touched if the charger is plugged into a socket. It said it had received no reports of injuries or accidents related to the chargers.

Nokia is the world's largest mobile phone maker with an estimated 38 per cent global market share of all mobile devices. In the third quarter it sold 108.5 million units.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Toyota leaves Formula One...who's next?

Toyota has become the third major car manufacturer to pull out of Formula One in the space of twelve months. With word of the exit having circulated already, confirmation of the Japanese marque's decision came on Wednesday; the news does, however, mean that there is now space on the grid for the Qadbak-owned Sauber outfit.
With Honda having pulled the plug on its F1 project last December and the same news coming from BMW in July, the latter's Hinwil-based team now looks to have secured a position on the 2010 grid after Toyota's announcement arrived.

Having moved out of rallying at the end of the last decade to concentrate on its F1 plan, the Cologne-based team first moved onto the grid in 2002 with Mika Salo and Allan McNish as the driver line-up. Despite its significant budget, no podium result would come until the Malaysian Grand Prix of 2005, courtesy of Jarno Trulli, who followed up on the success to grab pole position at Indianapolis the same year.
Along with Brawn and Williams, Toyota looked to have finally succeeded in gaining an advantage over the rest of the field by being an early developer of a revolutionary double diffuser this season, although the red and white cars eventually fell back into the midfield as the likes of McLaren and Ferrari became stronger.
Toyota's declaration this week underlines the ever-present economic issues of the sport following teams' refusal to support a budget cap earlier in the year.
Nevermind, it's OK....we do not need our Camry or Vios to be as fast as formula one cars on our roads....hehehehe.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Practise Note 17 (PN 17)

Well, whenever people talk about PN17 about some stock counter, I was always wondering what is PN17? The only thing I knew is that the said counter is in some financial mess. From my reading today, I finally found out what exactly is PN17 referring to. Something interesting to share out ;)
On the pages of Bursa Malaysia Quotes, classified stocks are highlighted in 'red'. These are Practice Note 17 (PN17) companies or companies in financial distress. Criteria for a listed company to be classified as a PN17 company are as follows:-

1. Shareholders' fund is equal or less than 25% of the total issued and paid up capital of the listed company; or
2. Receivers and/or managers have been appointed to take control of at least 50% of the total assets employed of the company on a consolidated basis; or
3. Winding up of a subsidiary or associate company which makes up at least 50% of the total assets employed of the company on a consolidated basis; or
4. The auditors have expressed adverse or disclaimer opinion on the listed company's latest audited accounts; or
5. For any default in payment, the listed company must announce its inability to provide a solvency declaration through Practice Note 1/2001 or PN1; or
6. The listed company has suspended or ceased all or a major part of its operations.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Latest Penang Bridge Half Marathon Map with Landmark

Latest updated map of the PBIM half marathon with landmark drawing. Meaning turn back right after the half way top mark and turn again right at e-Gate instead of Tesco...i love this map!

Vettel wins 1st Day to Night race!

Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates his win at the Abu Dhabi’ s brand new F1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit on Sunday, with Australian teammate Mark Webber coming in second. The day-night race – the final round of the Formula One Season – was the first of its kind in the sport and the first chance for some of the world’s best drivers to tackle the state of the art street circuit.

More than 50,000 fans and hundreds of celebrities and businessmen descended on the Gulf’s second Formula One track, built at a cost of $1.3billion by over 14,000 workers.

In spite of a number of drivers expressing concern about the light quality as the sun set, the race passed without major incident, giving fans a chance to take in the spectacular lights of the Yas Hotel – which straddles the track – the VIP Sun Tower or the man-made marina.

Designers and organizers are hoping to turn the circuit into a major tourist attraction incorporating the racing theme park Ferrari World, due to open in 2010.