Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fuel subsidy scheme shelved ???

Can anyone out there confirm this piece of news??? Thank you in advance...
The Government’s proposed fuel subsidy scheme based on the engine capacity of vehicles has apparently been shelved.

Sources indicate that the plan, which was originally set to be implemented on May 1, will not proceed even though a lot of the preparatory work has entered the final stage.

“We were so close to getting this off the ground,’’ said a source.

The Government had planned to introduce a tiered pricing system for petrol, depending on engine capacity, while foreigners would have to pay the market price.

According to reports, the plan called for the mandatory use of MyKad to differentiate Malaysians from foreigners, requiring the need for MyKad readers at petrol stations.

Subsidised petrol would be capped to a certain amount of litres a month per user for owners of vehicles with engine capacities of below a certain threshold. The reported upper limit eligibility for the petrol subsidy is 2,000cc. Owners of cars with bigger engine capacities would be exempted from the subsidy.

However, many had considered the proposed scheme to be very unfavourable and cumbersome to enforce and some have suggested that the subsidy itself should be removed.

Bank Negara likely to raise key rate next week

MALAYSIA'S strong economic recovery in the fourth quarter will likely mean that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) would raise the key interest rate as early as next week.

This in turn means that the cost of borrowing for businesses and consumers would rise as the central bank seeks a return to normal conditions for the economy.

Malaysia, like other countries around the world, has been trying to revive its economy by raising government spending and slashing interest rates to a record low.

However, keeping rates too low for too long would have negative implications on the economy, such as share prices that are too high, and BNM has hinted that this is likely to end soon.

Malaysia's economy grew by 4.5 per cent in the fourth quarter, much better than the 2.7 per cent gain that economists expected.

Economists now say that the strong growth should give all the reason for the central bank to hike interest rates on March 4, when the monetary policy committee (MPC) meets.

Oh no...I'm sure many of us out there will cry foul !!! Don't you think so? BNM governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, please have some sympathy on us...pls pls pls!

Business Times

Penang Malay Living Heritage Photo Contest : Dateline 14th March 2010

Photographers out there, what are you waiting for???

In conjunction with the Maulidur Rasul Celebration this weekend to celebrate the history of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W's teaching and in effort to further unite the Muslim Community, the Penang State Tourism Development & Culture will be organising a photo contest opened to all, to capture the uniqueness of the Malay living culture and customs in Penang.

Snap shots of anything from the Maulidur Rasul Celebration to the traditional and peaceful 'kampung' lifestyle, nightly 'pasar malam', the delicious food of curry, 'ikan panggang' and 'kuih-muih' delicacies and so much more, their religious daily devotion of prayers at the mosque, colourful and captivating costumes, enchanting cultural performances such as the gamelan and the kompang and just absolutely all things which represents the Malay culture as you view them through your lens.

Start submitting your best shots of all things representing the Malay culture in Penang now to from now until 14th March 2010 to stand a chance at winning attractive prizes that we have in store for you!

Penang to host junior event after five years

My office is just beside the hotel where these young future champion I know why there are so many fit looking kids around for the past few days :)

THE Penang Badminton Association (PBA) will host the 100Plus National Junior Circuit Zone A competition at the PBA Badminton Hall, Bukit Dumbar, Penang on Feb 25.

Organising chairman Kevin Loh said the last time PBA hosted the tournament was in 2005 and will now host the four-day first leg event while Perlis will stage the second leg in Kangar in April.

He said junior players from Kelantan, Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak and Kuala Lumpur will compete in Zone A and battle for a spot in the National Junior Circuit Grand Prix finals in Kuantan at the end of May.

Kevin said the players will feature in the singles and doubles in the Under-12, Under-14, Under-16 and Under-18 Boys' and Girls' categories.

Each state can register a maximum of six singles and six doubles pairs per category while as hosts, Penang will register about 70 players.

The organising committee has scheduled all matches to start at 9am and finish by 6pm in order to get more school children to attend and to encourage better public participation.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

God of Prosperity's (Twa Peh Kong) Float Procession : 27th to 28th Feb 2010

Date: 27th and 28th Feb 2010
Time: 6pm
Venue: 35 & 57, Armenian Street, Penang
Organizer: Poh Hock Seah

Twa Peh Kong Hneoh Grand Float Procession In tune with tradition, the management of Poh Hock Seah has continued to organize and hold these Chneah Hoay ceremonies and processions annually.

There are basically two types of procession. i.e. the normal yearly procession known as ‘Twa Peh Kong Chneah Hoay’ procession and the once in 12 years, held in the year of the Tiger, which is called ‘Twa Peh Kong Hneoh’ Grand Float procession.

The difference is that the former are held by Poh Hock Seah itself, whereas the latter is done on a much grandeur scale with other participating units joining in. Another human aspect of this Twa Peh Kong Hneoh Grand Float procession, since independence, is that all the past Chief Ministers of Penang have had the occasion to lead the procession in the course of their tenure.
The last Grand Float procession was held in 1998. Come February 28th, 2010 the committee will hold another Grand Float procession. ‘Chneah Hoay’ Ceremony - Saturday, 27th February 2010 (14th Day of Chinese 1st Moon) @ 11:00p.m.Twa Peh Kong Hneoh Grand Float Procession 2010 - Sunday, 28th February 2010 (15th Day of Chinese 1st Moon) @ 08:00p.m.

Route for 27th Feb 2010's procession:
Route for 28th February 2010's procession:
As far as I can remembered, this event is being held at a big and grand scale in Penang every year, so if you happens to be free and eager to find out more, you are welcome to join the procession, but I have to warn you, it's gonna be hot and sweaty yea...

MyPenang CNY Reunion celebration : 27th to 28th Feb 2010

Another great effort by the state government in promoting Penang as well as bringing out the festive mood of Penang folks :)
MyPenang CNY Reunion celebration
Date: 27th February 2010
Location: Esplanade, Penang
Time: 7pm to 11pm
Organizer: Penang State Government

Music + Local Food + Bazaar + Concert + Midnight Party

MY PENANG CNY Reunion Celebration 2010 & 'Chap Goh Meh' Celebration jointly organized by the Penang State Government and go international and co-hosted by MY Astro.

This Chap Goh Meh full moon... get ready for a colossal event in the heart of Penang Heritage city... 今年的元宵节,大家准备好于槟城旧关仔角庆祝这盛大的节日!

Over two days on 27 & 28 Feb 2010, MYPENANG REUNION celebration & full moon street party will be the playground for friends, relatives and visitors. Experience a truly Malaysian Chinese New Year with an exciting line-up of artistes from Taiwan, China, Kuala Lumpur and Penang! There's something for EVERYONE.
-- 27 Feb 2010 --
5pm-11pm @ Esplanade Penang
It begins with vendor stalls kick starting at 5pm followed by a 45-minute MYPENANG Variety Show featuring for the first time, Nyonya PohChu and Bahku Hokkien Rapper, KO-AI. Soon after, catch Astro's young & energetic MYFM radio DJs on centrestage and welcome celebrity entertainers from Taiwan and hot Malaysian stars: popular rock duo from Taiwan Y2J 神木与瞳, Cindy Yen 袁咏琳, Genie 卓文宣, Thomas Jack 东于哲, Danell Lee 李桀汉, Chen Keat Yoke 曾洁钰, Alvin钟健桦, Juztin Lan Kah Fai 刘界辉, Astro battleground 舞极限 as well as the entire MYFM radio DJ troupe! It's going to be fun fun fun! Get your 2-day festival pass for entry!
Then, at the stroke of midnight, adjourn to G Hotel for a full moon party unlike any other in Penang featuring Lap Sap's BLINK and XU as well as DJ Goldfish for a FIRST collaboration between the three - GBX. It's gonna be crazy!
-- 28 Feb 2010 --
5pm - 11pm @ Esplanade Penang is Chap Goh Meh!
Throw the traditional mandarin orange if you're still single, ladies! Otherwise kick your heels back and enjoy the 80s Schooldays Party co-organised by REDfm's DJs. Love songs dominate this Chinese Valentine's day.
The two-day festival pass is NOW ON SALE until 25 February 2010 at only RM28!

GO Penang International: Go-kart & Food Festival 13th-14th Feb 2010

Wow...this is nice! Make sure you don't miss it especially for those who have free time during the weekend :)

Title: Go Penang - Go Kart & Food Festival 2010
When: 13.03.2010 - 14.03.2010 18.00 h - 22.00 h
Esplanade, Penang - George Town

GO Penang International 2010 (Go Kart & Food Festival) is a total experience Mega Festival engineered to make your adrenaline rush and heart pumping throughout the three-day event.

Block your calendar from 12 to 14 March 2010 because you will not want to miss the chance to witness the most happening event of the year - the GO Penang International 2010 Megafest at Penang Esplanade! An event jointly organized by the Penang State Tourism Development & Culture and ROOTS Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd, the Go Penang International 2010 is a total experience Mega Festival engineered to make your adrenaline rush and heart thumps throughout the three-day event with Go-kart and Food as one of the main attractions of the event.

GO Penang International 2010 is a three-day celebration to kick off the Visit Penang Year 2010 – 2012 - a platform for visitors to enjoy the distinctiveness and uniqueness of Penang in which we hope to attract more outstation visitors and foreign tourists to come to Penang for a good time and to enjoy all we have to offer them!

For go-kart, an experienced go-kart operator has been engaged to coordinate an exciting street competition demonstration by seasonal go-kart racers for the public's viewing pleasure. The crowd can then join in the excitement by taking part in the fun-kart activity which will be available for the public throughout the weekend event. A total of 40 go-karts will be brought into Penang, 30 of which are race-karts and 10 fun-karts!

For the food festival, many kinds of delicious food will be available for all to enjoy especially from the list of Penang's 12 Best Foods Must Eat namely our world famous Char Koey Teow, Laksa, Hokkien Mee, Satay, Ais Kachang and more! More food vendors are welcome to join us during this event in order to offer more varieties of food for the public to enjoy while they experience the exhilarating event which also has many other activities in line for all to be entertained by. During that weekend, Esplanade is the place to be where all the good food around Penang will be gathered and available in just one place along with a string of action-packed activities.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Come voice your view !!!

Not satisfy or happy with the Local State government? Well now you have your chance :)
The public can give their feedback next week on the proposal to upgrade the Penang Municipal Council to the Penang Island City Council via the council’s website,

State Local Government and Traffic Manage­ment Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the state government had held discussions with the Housing and Local Government Ministry on the matter.

“There are several procedures that we have to follow. We should be able to submit an official application to the ministry in May,” he told reporters at the Tanjung and Pengkalan Kota DAP Chinese New Year open house here yesterday.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Penang's hill railway makes its last run today's time to say goodbye and so long to our very own trademark of Penang - the Penang Hill Railway train. Being one of the icon of Penang and one of the 'antique' train system that still operates daily, after today it will cease operation to make way for the new one to be built at the same site. Hopefully the new one will continue to propel Penang further as a tourist destination eight months from now :)

Penang Hill’s iconic funicular train will make its final run today after 87 years, leaving residents with only fond memories of the famous attraction.

It will be replaced by a RM63mil upgraded system, which is expected to be ready in seven months.

Septuagenarian Sim Chooi Hoon said the old coaches made her nostalgic because her first trip on the train was with her late son.

“When I was small, I always yearned to go on a ride to view the scenery at the hilltop but my family was too poor.

“My son took me up some 20 years ago and I will remember the trip forever,” recalled the 75-year-old, whose son died 14 years ago.

Technician Carsson Tan, 28, said his first ride on the funicular train was at the age of six with his cousins.
“I was excited, especially when we had to switch coaches at the middle station.

“But I sweated all the way in the coach due to poor ventilation and overcrowding,” he said, adding that the mesmerising scenery at the top and the antics of the monkeys made it worth the ride.

Traders at the train’s foothill station in Air Itam, however, expressed dismay at the loss of business during the suspension of services.

“If I were to work as a clerk with a RM600-700 monthly income, I might have to fork out at least RM500 for baby-sitting,” said Janet Look who operates a snack food stall.

“So I’d rather stay at home and take care of my children.” Another trader, who only wished to be known as Chew, 70, said the exact date to resume business was uncertain.

“It is hard for me to get another job at my age. Still, I hope things will be better after the upgrading,” she added.

According to a sign at the foot of the hill, the upgrading will be completed on Sept 28.

Meanwhile, Penang Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng urged visitors and residents to take one last ride on the train today.

“Be part of the historic moment,” he said in statement yesterday.

He said Penang Hill residents and hotel operators would operate a jeep service up the hill from the Botanical Gardens during the closure.

Penang Hill Residents Association secretary Beh Chin Siang said there would be about 20 jeeps on standby from 8.30am to 7pm during the closure.

“We charge RM70 to RM90 for each jeep, per two-way trip. We can also help arrange for night trips or stay-over at the hotel on the hill,” Beh said, adding that the association could be contacted at 016-4747663.

Last year, the hill was voted as Penang’s top tourist destination by some 1,090 people who took part in an online poll conducted by the state government’s tourism website (

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is expected to be on the last ride at 8.30pm today.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Penang considering water rationing to reduce water consumption

Oh's so hot during this CNY water rationing ??? Please do a bit and save water usage...else just imagine your sweaty body without a bath :(

The Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) has suggested a forced rationing of piped water supply in Penang to compel Penangites to reduce excessive water consumption. Penangites consume the highest amount of water in Malaysia at 286 litres per capita daily.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who is also the PBAPP chairman, said the action was being contemplated as Penangites have over the years topped the national water consumption levels.

Penang's water tariff is also the lowest in the country at 31 sen per cubic metre. Johor, which is currently facing water shortage, has the highest rate at 98 sen for the first 35 cubic metres for domestic supply.

In view of the current dry spell, Lim said that though the water supply from Muda River and Penang's three dams namely the Air Itam, Teluk Bahang and Mengkuang were enough to last from 100 to 276 days, even without a rainfall over the next few months, he urged Penangites to reduce their water consumption.

Lim said reports that Penang's water supply would only last for two weeks were untrue.

"We have to do something to reduce the water usage as at the rate Penangites use water, it could hit 300 litres per person per day while the United Nation's recommendation is 165 litres per person per day.
"Just because the rates are cheap, it should not be the excuse to waste water. It could lead to serious problems if we do not learn how to treasure or value the water supply from now.

"If Penangites can cooperate, we can prolong the availabity of water further," Lim said at a press conference.

He added the state government would also consider raising the water tariff if the situation worsens.

Also present at the press conference was PBAPP general manager Jaseni Maidinsa, who added that the PBAPP is planning a campaign to educate the public to value water if the dry weather continued and the levels at the dams dropped further.

Lim said Penangites should take heed of the situation in Johor, where several towns are facing acute water shortage and water rationing has commenced.

"We do not want this to happen in Penang," Lim said.

The worst drought in Penang was in 1977 when the water supply at the Air Itam Dam was reduced to 15 days.
The Edge Malaysia

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Malaysia's richest getting richer !!!

I DON'T like this !!! Why are they keep on getting richer while many of us continue to work hard for our earnings and savings ???

Malaysia's 40 richest people recorded an increase in their fortunes as they were collectively worth RM156.7 billion as at Jan 15, or 63% more than the RM96.3 billion a year ago, on the back of a recovery in the stock market, a Malaysian Business survey shows.
However, according to the fortnightly magazine's survey results released in a statement yesterday, their combined wealth was still less than the RM171.9 billion recorded in 2008.
The benchmark FBM KLCI has risen 44.3% since its last survey as the world strives to get back on its feet following the global financial crisis.

The full list of the 40 tycoons and details of their wealth were published in the magazine's Feb 16 issue. As in the previous year, the wealth of the top 40 was assessed based on the value of their stakes in listed companies as at Jan 15 this year.

The survey also revealed that close to half on this year's list recorded a jump of 50% or more. There are also more billionaires this year — 22, eight more than last year.

Tan Sri Robert Kuok, the Kuok Group patriarch who relinquished his "Sugar King" crown last year, still tops the list with a wealth of RM42.76 billion, up RM16.1 billion from RM26.6 billion a year ago.

Media-shy and telecommunication tycoon Ananda Krishnan ranked second with RM27 billion.

IOI Corporation Bhd's Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng was third with a wealth of RM11.92 billion, followed by prominent banker Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow at RM10.86 billion.

Genting Group's Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, valued at RM10.38 billion, leapt a full 10 spots to five. This was because he assumed a large chunk of the wealth of his late father Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong.

Hong Leong Group's Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan took the sixth spot at RM7.09 billion while Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary of the Albukhary Foundation, valued at RM6.01 billion, settled at seventh.

Others in the top 10 ranking were Lim's widow Puan Sri Lee Kim Hua, Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King of Rimbunan Hijau Group and Tan Sri Vincent Tan of Berjaya Group.

There were five newcomers to the list, namely Lee Swee Eng of KNM Group, brothers Datuk Shahril Shamsuddin and Shahriman Shamsuddin of Sapura, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak of CIMB Group and OSK Holdings' Ong Leong Huat, who makes a comeback to the list after a one-year absence.


Gong Xi Fa Cai and Happy Belated Valentine's Day 2010...

Sorry, I have been quite occupied for the past few days due to the CNY festive seasons, but still not too late to wish everyone out there Happy Chinese New Year and Kung Hei Fatt Choy....not forgetting happy belated Valentine's Day to all lovers out there.

Hope you'll have a good year of tigers ahead and lovebirds continue to have strong bond and relationship for your spouse / partner !

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Penang Bridge clear but three ferries down for CNY

For those planning to join the Chinese New Year ‘balik kampung’ rush to Penang island this weekend, using the Penang bridge instead of the ferry may be a better idea.

A check with bridge authorities showed that all lanes would be clear during the holiday period while three ferries have been sent for repairs or servicing.

The ferry Pulau Kapas has been sent for an engine overhaul while Pulau Rawa and Pulau Talang Talang had been out of service since late January.

Under normal circumstances six ferries would ply between the mainland and island during peak hours but during the festive period only five would be operating, Penang Port Sdn Bhd ferry services head Kamaruddin Ismail said.

Meanwhile, Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd has assured motorists that all six lanes on the bridge would be open during the Chinese New Year season.

“During festive period, we will try to ensure that there are no repair works being done on the bridge.

“All lanes will be clear, although motorists should know that traffic will be particularly heavy during the weekend,” a spokesperson said.

Penang Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said the state expected up to 140,000 motorists to ply the bridge in both directions during the run-up to the holidays.

Police are expecting a 30% increase in motor traffic the island for the Chinese New Year.
Please please please plan your trip and journey. I do not want to stucked in the jam everywhere I go in Penang ...
The Star

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

CNY 2010 activities in Penang

Got this from the Penang Government tourism website. They have a list of activities happening around Penang throughout this festive Chinese New Year. Looks great, you will never be short of ideas and events of where to go or what to do....enjoy!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ang pow for highway users

Motorists joining the Chinese New Year balik kampung exodus this year will enjoy discounts and free tolls from 17 highway concessionaires.

Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor, who announced the "ang pow" offer, said concessionaires should offer similar gifts during other festivals and Merdeka Day to fulfil their social obligation.
Speaking after launching his ministry's road safety campaign for Chinese New Year here yesterday, Shaziman said there were 26 toll concessionaires in the country but some were not financially well-off to provide "ang pow" to users.
"The traffic volume during the Chinese New Year period this year is expected to exceed the 5.42 million mark of last year."
Motorists are not only leaving cities but also small towns and rural areas.
"However, in accordance with the theme of this year's road safety campaign to encourage the use of public transport, I hope public transport operators will accommodate more travellers by upgrading their services."

He called on express bus operators to enhance the safety of their services, in particular assuring the commitment of their drivers to safety. He said there was also a need to review the speed limit of double-decker buses.

He added that between April and December, his ministry had upgraded 10 of 30 accident-prone road areas.

To all my family, friends and colleagues and you out there travelling on the highway, safe journey and enjoy the trip! :D
NST Online

Monday, February 8, 2010

Higher EPF dividend for 2009 ?

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) dividend for 2009 is expected to be higher compared to the 4.5% paid out in the previous year.
EPF chairman Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said this was due to the local share market’s stable position and good investment returns.
“A meeting on dividend rates will be held this month, while an announcement on it will be made in March,” he told reporters on Feb 7.

In December, EPF announced that it obtained RM5.5 billion in profits in the third quarter last year, which was an increase of RM696.32 million or 14.51% compared to RM4.8 billion in the previous quarter.
EPF CEO Tan Sri Azlan Zainol said EPF funds had now increased to RM361.09 billion compared with RM353.93 billion in the second quarter last year.
For the year 2008, 12 million EPF members received a dividend of 4.5%, which was lower than the 5.8% for 2007.
I do not think that we will be getting as high as 5.8%, but anything in the region of 5% will be a good and fair return for me :)


Friday, February 5, 2010

Putrajaya Night Marathon, Malaysia's first...

Tomorrow is our nation's first ever night marathon, the Putrajaya Night Marathon. I was offered to run for free for this event, with bus tickets, accomodation and registration fee provided as one of my friend had to pull out due to him not feeling well. You kidding me? I didn't train for so looong already, in fact I stopped running since Penang Bridge Marathon last year. Guess I have to be obedient and stick to my regular Saturday exercises are good enough :) My wifey must be happy reading this....hehehehe.

Penang Kek Lok Si light up schedules

Got this info actually from the Penang George Town facebook update. The following are the summary for the Kek Lok Si lighting schedules. So those that are planning a visit or photographers, please take note of the time and date the lights will up up. Else you might have to wait another year to capture and witness the moment :)
Summary of Kek Lok Si Temple's schedule :
Feb 7th - 7pm - Opening Ceremony
Feb 8th to Feb 12th - temple open to public 8.30am to 5.30pm only
Feb 13th to Feb 15th - temple will be light up from 7pm to 7am
Feb 16th to Feb 28th - temple will be light up from 7pm to midnight
Feb 29th to March 13th - temple will be light up from 7pm to 10pm

Below are the shots I found from the Internet. Nice !!!

Hopefully you can too enjoy the festive atmosphere and happy mood there this coming CNY :)