Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paul, the WCup predicting octopus, dies at 2 1/2

Paul the Octopus, the tentacled tipster who fascinated soccer fans by predicting results at the World Cup, died Tuesday.

Paul had reached the octopus old age of 2 1/2 years and died in his tank on Tuesday morning at the Sea Life aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen, spokeswoman Ariane Vieregge said.

Paul correctly tipped the outcome of all seven of Germany’s games. He made his predictions by opening the lid of one of two clear plastic boxes, each containing a mussel and bearing a team flag.

The octopus seemed to be in good shape when he was checked late Monday, but he did not make it through the night. He died of natural causes, Vieregge said.

“We had all naturally grown very fond of him and he will be sorely missed,” Sea Life manager Stefan Porwoll said in a statement.

The aquarium has not yet decided how best to commemorate their most famous resident, he said.

“We may decide to give Paul his own small burial plot within our grounds, and erect a modest permanent shrine,” Porwoll said.

After rising to global prominence during the World Cup in South Africa in June and July, Paul retired from the predictions business after the final between Spain and the Netherlands—correctly picking Spain—and returned to his primary role of intriguing children who attend the aquarium.

The invertebrate was stepping “back from the official oracle business,” Tanja Munzig, a spokeswoman for the Sea Life, told AP Television News at the time.

Rest in peace, Mr Paul !!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Designated bus lane mulled....can work in Penang???

A DESIGNATED bus lane on Penang Bridge is being considered to ease traffic congestion along the Bayan Lepas coastal highway and Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah on Penang island.

State Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said a special task force had been set up to study the effectiveness of such a lane for high-occupancy vehicles to solve traffic woes.

“We will hold our first task force meeting on Wednesday with Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd, LLM (Malaysian Highway Authority), Frepenca (Free Industrial Zone Penang Companies Association), Rapid Penang and other relevant authorities,” he said in an interview.

He said the meeting would look into Rapid Penang’s earlier proposal to use shuttle buses and the park and ride system to ferry employees working in the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone (FIZ) that the state had accepted.

Chow was responding to a StarMetro report on Saturday that increasing congestion on the coastal highway was attributed to the high traffic volume and numerous factory buses entering and exiting the Bayan Lepas FIZ.

The proposal that was tabled during the traffic management committee meeting two weeks ago focuses on the concept of providing shuttle services for employees in Seberang Prai to the island from 6am to 9am.

“According to the proposal, there will be pick-up points at different parts of the island and Seberang Prai to the FIZ.

“We are looking at a few spots — the Sunway Carnival area, the Seberang Jaya expo site and a piece of land before the Penang Bridge toll plaza for employees to park their vehicles there,” Chow said, adding that the idea might be extended to George Town area should it be successful.

However, he said a study on the effectiveness of the plan would need to be conducted to see the people’s response to the concept.

“We will have to see how many employees actually need the shuttle bus service.

“It may be inconvenient for some of them who prefer greater mobility by using their own vehicles or transport to attend appointments and have lunch,” he said.

It may work at other state, but I think this idea won't work at the already congested roads here. The only way I can think of is IF they managed to widen up the road and the widen road make it into a bus lane :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stoner dominates home race at Phillip Island

Casey Stoner’s authority on his home Phillip Island track continued in style on Sunday as the Ducati rider won at the circuit for the fourth year in a row. Starting from pole position – his third of the season – the 25 year-old led the Iveco Australian Grand Prix from start to finish as he made it a third win of 2010 in front of a partisan crowd.

Eventually crossing the finish line 8.598s ahead of 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo it was the perfect end to a strong weekend from Stoner, who had demonstrated his pace throughout the practice and qualifying sessions.

Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) rode a lonely race in second position as he finished almost ten seconds ahead of third-placed Valentino Rossi. For the Spaniard it was a 14th podium finish in his title-winning campaign – his 32nd top-three result in the MotoGP category in what was his 50th premier class start.

The fight for third place went right down to the final lap and Fiat Yamaha man Rossi edged out Nicky Hayden in what was a fantastically close battle. The Ducati rider appeared to have got one over on his Italian rival with three laps to go when he overtook at Honda Corner, but Rossi returned the move at the same spot on the final lap to beat the American to the final podium spot by a margin of just 0.038s.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies achieved his eighth top-five finish of his debut MotoGP campaign with fellow rookie Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) just under three seconds further back in sixth position.

There were top-ten finishes also for Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Aleix Espargaró (Pramac Racing), Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda). Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) was the only rider who failed to finish the race after he experienced technical problems early on.

Absent due to injuries were Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) – who rode in qualifying but opted not to race as he continues his recovery from a broken collarbone – and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki), who sustained a groin injury in a qualifying session crash. The pair both expect to be fit to return at Estoril in a fortnight.

The result lifted Stoner into third in the Championship standings ahead of Rossi, and with the Italian and his Spanish team-mate’s podium finishes Fiat Yamaha also secured the Team Championship for 2010 with two rounds remaining.

Stoner was on superb form at his home race, Lorenzo a lonely 2nd while Rossi was fighting tooth and nail for his 3rd...

Highlights of Budget 2010/2011

* Government will not raise toll rates for PLUS-owned highways for next 5 years with immediate effect.

* To review existing service tax rates and to generate additional tax revenue for national development, the government proposed the rate on all taxable services to be increased from 5% to 6%, effective Jan 1, 2011

* To widen the tax base, then government proposed that service tax of 6% be imposed on paid television broadcasting services. This service tax is charged on the monthly subscription fees on paid TV broadcasting services with effect from Jan 1, 2011.

* The government has proposed to scrap the sales tax of 10% sales tax on all types of mobile phones, effective Oct 15, 2010, including personal digital assistants (PDAs).

* Mass Rapid Transit in Greater KL to be implemented in 2011, estimated private sector investment is RM40 billion and to be completed by 2020. Upon completion, the utilization rate of public transport is expected to increase to at least 40%.

* Proposed stamp duty exemption of 50% be given on instruments of transfer of residential properties, not exceeding RM350,000 from Jan 1, 2011. S&P must be executed between Jan 1, 2011 to Dec 31, 2012. Residential property includes terrace houses, condominiums, apartments or flats.

* Stamp duty exemption of 50% be given on loan agreements for residential property priced not exceeding RM350,000.

* Permodalan Nasional Bhd to undertake integrated development of the Warisan Merdeka which will include a 100-storey tower costing RM5 billion. The tower will be completed in 2015. The project will retain Merdeka Stadium and Stadium Negara.

* The EPF to undertake development of the RM10 billion Sungai Buloh project at the current Malaysian Rubber Board land covering an area of 2,680 acres.

* Government to launch private pension fund in 2011 which will benefit private sector employees and the self employed.

* Government is allocating RM857 million for local companies to invest in high value-added activities, particularly in Penang and the Kulim High-tech Park in Kedah.

* GLICs be allowed to increase their investments overseas. EPF will be allowed to increase the investments from 7% now to 20%.

* Securities Commission to offer 3 new stockbroking licences to eligible local, foreign, or JV companies

* Government to allocate RM146 million to support oil, gas energy sector, expand downstream.

* Proposed private investment of RM6 billion in oilfield services, equipment centre in Johor.

* Petronas plans a RM3 billion regasification project in Malacca, to be operational by 2012.

* Government allocates RM150 million to provide rebates on monthly electricity bills below RM20.

Hmm...I'm not sure what is the 100 storey building for? Do we really need such ego and fame for the tallest building ???

Friday, October 15, 2010

Penang Starwalk 2010: 12 Dec 2010

The long-awaited 10km Penang Starwalk is back. And those who sign up for the Dec 12 walk early are in for a movie treat.

Entries open on Oct 18 and the first 300 participants to personally register will each receive a Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) ticket on a first-come-first-served basis. The movie tickets are only redeemable at GSC Gurney Plaza.

A total of 150 tickets will be available at Star Northern Hub at 202, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah in Bayan Lepas and another 150 at the newspaper’s George Town office at 15, Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling.

The walk will be flagged off from the Penang International Sports Arena on Jalan Mahsuri at 7am for competition walkers and 7.30am for non-competition walkers.

Registration fee is RM8 for non-competition walkers and RM12 for competition walkers. All participants will each receive a T-shirt and a goodie bag.

Participants who complete the walk within two hours will be eligible for a lucky contest that offers attractive prizes as well as a participation certificate.

The top three schools which register the most number of students will enjoy special incentives.

Entry forms will be available from Oct 18, online at and will also be printed in The Star national edition every Monday and in StarMetro North on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Wow! Free movie tickets, but didn't mention when and which movie...only 150 available at each office...better be hurry!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Air Supply World Tour 2010 @ PISA : 16th Nov 2010

Date: 16th Nov 2010 (Tickets available for sales now)
Venue: Penang International Sports Arena (PISA)
Organizer: Star Planet

AIR SUPPLY IS COMING TO TOWN! Here in Penang as part of their 'Love Never Ends' 35th Anniversary World Tour Live in Malaysia 2010, the Australian soft rock duo will be performing on 16 November 2010 at the PISA Indoor Stadium. Catch them LIVE as they serenade you with their greatest hits "All Out Of Love", "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All" and more! Relive the romance of these old school rock ballads and let them give us a great concert in Penang! Tickets are sold at RM300 for VIP seats, RM200 for PS1 category, RM150 for PS2 category and RM100 for PS3 category. Showtime begins at 8.30pm. Organised by Star Planet and brought to you in Penang by Hydro Star Gateway in Penang, tickets are sold at Lo Hong Ka Gurney Plaza (04-2274450), Speedy Video Queensbay Mall (04-6412653), SIN-PEN Travel - Macalister Road (04-2266161) and SIN-PEN Travel - Bukit Mertajam (04-5306262).

You may even purchase tickets from Impressing fans on their whirlwind tour schedule these past few years, Air Supply held concerts in the US, Australia, Canada, Brazil and other Asian countries. This time, commemorating with their 35th Anniversary, Graham Russel and Russel Hitchcock of popular Air Supply group is back in Malaysia for an unforgettable show! For further information, contact Star Planet at 03-9223 3667.

I kind of love their song, more suit my taste of slow flowing tunes...hehehe.

Penang Bridge International Marathon 2010 Updates

Quoted updates from the organizer:

Good news for all who are interested to register for the upcoming Penang Bridge International Marathon on 21st November 2010, the registration fees going into the Late Period Registration beginning from 16th till 31st October 2010 WILL NOT BE INCREASED and will therefore remain as the Normal Period Registration of Full Marathon RM60, Half Marathon RM40, 10KM Men & Women RM35 10KM Boys' & Girls' RM20 and Fun Run RM15.

Closing date of PBIM 2010 is 31st October 2010, so for those who have not registered, register now on or visit our PBIM Kiosk at Queensbay Mall North Zone (in front of Espirit) or alternatively come to the 53rd Level of KOMTAR (c/o YB Tuan Law Heng Kiang, Office of EXCO State Tourism Development & Culture) or any SWITCH outlets (Gurney Plaza, Queensbay Mall, Sunway Carnival Mall, The Spring - Kuching, The Mines - Selangor).

Also, please take note that the courier service option for PBIM runners will no longer be available after 15 October 2010 and runners will have to make self collection of their race packs at the Outdoor Carpark of Queensbay Mall during the Race Pack Collection Days from 16th till 20th November 2010 (16-17/11 5.00pm - 9.00pm, 18-19/11 11am-9pm, and 20/11 11am-5pm). All race packs will be sent out on the first week of November so do expect and standby to receive your race pack on the first and second week of November!

So this is good news to those late register folks!

Rock To Rock Run 2010 : 28th Nov 2010

Rock to Rock Run 2010
Date: 28 November 2010
Venue: Hard Rock Hotel Penang
Distance: 5km

Kind of charity event. They will contribute to Rumah Kebajikan Seri Cahaya. You can run and wear like a rock star.

30 medal offered to top10 fastest men, top10 fastest women and top10 best rockstar running attire.
You better be hurry! Limited to 1000 participant and the free t'shirt worth RM78 - Let's rock and roll ...

This is more like a fun event for me, you can gather your group of friends and have some laughing running :)

Kebun Bunga Charity Run 2010 : 24th Oct 2010

This year again as usual, YB Jason Ong and his team is back with another charity run.

This year's event will be extra meaningful and special as the Kebun Bunga Charity Run 2010 will benefit Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital “Needy Patients Fund” and Pure Lotus Hospice.

Date : 24th October 2010 (Sunday)
Time : 7.30am
Venue : Amphitheater Youth Park Penang (start/finish)
Entry fees : RM16.00 (adult) / RM12.00
(children age 12 & below)
(T-Shirt; Bag; Bun & 500ml Drinking Water)

Closing Registration Date : 12th October 2010
T-shirt Collection : MPPP Stadium on 22nd & 23rd October 2010

Prizes : Finisher medals for first 500 who completed the run Participation Certificate and Lucky Draw coupon for all who completed the run within 90mins.
A good cause for charity, plus you can relax and enjoy the run while flexing your leg muscles. I heard there are plenty of lucky draws, so you might just be lucky !

Penang 10km Veteran Run : 14th Nov 2010

Penang 10km Veteran Run
Date: 14 November 2010 , 8:00am
Venue: PISA, Bayan Baru, Penang
Distance: 10km
Contact: 012-4746037 (Jordan Lee)

There will be plenty of categories for you to join...I believe you will be meeting all those gurus or siffus of running here :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Investpenang Optimistic To Achieve RM4.2 Billion Investment Target By Year- End

Invest-in-Penang Bhd (InvestPenang), the state government's investment promotion agency, is optimistic of the state achieving its target of at least RM4.2 billion investment by year-end.

Executive Committee Chairman Datuk Lee Kah Choon said the state has been buoyed by a surge in new investments in the second quarter of this year.

"Although we may not know from where the investments are coming from, we remain optimistic to achieve the target by year-end," he told a press conference at the Penang Skills Development Centre today.

Penang received only RM140 million investments in the first quarter of this year but picked up steam by wooing RM1.5 billion worth of projects in the second quarter.

Lee said the state government's aim to move Penang to a higher-income society must be supported by aggressive and pro-active promotion of investments in high-technology products and activities of InvestPenang.

He said Federal Government support was crucial to bring the aspiration to fruition.

Lee urged the Federal Government to promote locally-manufactured light emitting diodes (LEDs) and medical devices produced in the country.

"One of the means is to utilise the locally-made products which are mostly exported," he said.

Last year, the state attracted investments totalling RM2.1 billion vis-a-vis RM10.2 billion in 2008.

The state government announced recently it was setting up a Penang Tech Centre to boost innovations and spur new technology modelled after the San Jose Tech Centre in the United States.

I hope Penang government can get more investment in for the better of everyone from the state.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Burger King Whopper for RM1 only TODAY 6th Oct 2010

Only on 6 October 2010 !!!
Burger King Whopper for RM1 with any carbonated drink purchased !!!

Terms and Condition:

* Ala carte burger only
* Limited to maximum of 3 Whopper burgers per person
* Dine in and take away only
* Price subject to 5% government tax

With the opening of the Penang Burger King coupled with this promotion, I'm forseeing a super long queue and jam pack at the Penang Burger King restaurant today :)

Canon PhotoMarathon 2010 : 16th Oct 2010

Event: Canon PhotoMarathon 2010
Date: 16th Oct 2010 (Saturday)
Venue: Tanjong City Marina, Penang
Time: 9:00am to 7:00pm

From today's Star:

Some 2,000 photo enthusiasts are expected to take part in the annual Canon PhotoMarathon 2010 in Penang on Oct 16.

This is the first time the marathon is being held in Penang since the competition’s inaugural edition in 2007, and participants are in for an outdoor adventure at the George Town World Heritage Site.

The marathon, which will be held from 9am to 8pm, is organised like a treasure hunt with different stations within the vicinity of the island where themes will be handed out to test participant’s creativity and photography skills.

The event is open to all photography enthusiasts using either EOS DSLR or compact cameras.
Participation is free for Canon users but non-Canon users need to pay a RM100 registration fee at the event venue.

Participants will be flagged off from the base at the Tanjung City Marina at Weld Quay and given a few pit-stop locations where they can collect their themes.

After collecting all their themes, they are required to head back to the base to download their photos at the workstations there, then select and submit one best shot of each theme.
Participants using other formats apart from CF/SD must supply their own adaptors or drives.

The grand prize for the overall winner is a trip to Turkey for a Photo Clinic and an EOS 1D Mark IV camera.
This is such an interesting bugs out there, don't miss it!

Monday, October 4, 2010

New civil courts to open in Penang and Selangor in 2011

Two more New Civil Courts (NCvC), one in Penang and the other in Selangor, will be opened next year to settle backlog of civil cases, Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria said.

He said the courts, expected to be operational in January, would enable cases to be disposed of faster, within a period of nine to 12 months after thefiling of the case.

He said the courts would be opened following the opening of the New Commercial Court in Kuala Lumpur.

"We have done it in Kuala Lumpur and it is a success. That us why we are expanding it to Johor today and then to Penang and Selangor, the states with high civil cases," he told reporters after the opening of the Johor Baharu New Civil Court at the High Court here.

He said the opening of the new courts would give justice to those involved, like not having to wait for up to 10 years to get their case disposed, or death of witnesses or missing documents.


Better make sure the efficiency and transparency plus the quality of work are up to the required standard...I'll still go for quality rather than quantity :)
On the general front, if ever the government can improve on the work efficiency of government departments or agencies, then I'm sure we wouldn't have so many backlogs...

Penang Turf Club land up for bids ???

Talk is that major developers like Eastern & Oriental, SP Setia, IJM Land and Mah Sing would have put in their bids to buy and develop the land.

The Penang Turf Club, owner of the single largest plot of prime land in George Town, has called for bids to buy and develop 23.09ha on the island, sources say.

The tender, called two months ago, closed on September 30 and speculation is that major developers already present in Penang, like Eastern & Oriental Bhd (3417), SP Setia Bhd, IJM Land Bhd and Mah Sing Group Bhd, would have put in their proposals.

The club has been around since 1864, making it the oldest horse racing club in Peninsular Malaysia, and owns some 104ha.

However, it is unclear if the remaining land is available for sale or slated for development.Property valuers say the price for that 23ha site could amount to between RM160 million and RM180 million.

It is understood that some 16ha are on a hill.

A valuer contacted by Business Times, who had said that the piece of hillside land in Penang could not be developed, quoted the price at between RM30 per sq ft and RM40 per sq ft.

The land below the hill has more value at about RM150 per sq ft.

Sources said that the racecourse was not part of the sale and development plans. The Penang Turf Club could not be reached for comment.

Plans for the club's redevelopment came to an end in 2008 when Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng rejected a proposal from Equine Capital Bhd associate company Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd due to its failure to submit plans as required by the state.

The land was slated for the RM25 billion Penang Global City Centre project.

Later reports quoted the club's plans to build 25 bungalows to obtain rental income to fund operations.

Members had voted for the project comprising detached and semi-detached houses, and slated for completion by end-2012.

The maximum density allowed for the area is six units per 0.45ha and the development will not interfere with the running of the club. this piece of land is being targeted by all the developers....