Wednesday, June 29, 2011

This piece of news are just announced. Not sure any complications hidden or not. If it's transparent, then I do agree that this is a good news for all first time house buyers :)

Middle class Malaysians who are aspiring to buy a home will soon be able to do so once a new Government-led initiative to build apartments costing less than RM300,000 in major cities is launched this year, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said.

The affordable housing scheme, which is an addition to the My First Home Scheme for units costing between RM100,000 and RM220,000, will see stratified units priced between RM220,000 and RM300,000 being built for those with a household income of less than RM6,000 a month and who do not yet own a house.

“The Government will do whatever it can to ensure the lower income group will have a house and the medium income group will have a chance to buy a property of their own,” he said in an interview with The Star.

Chor said the plan was for units to be between 850 sq ft and 1,000 sq ft and each apartment would have a minimum of three rooms.

The ceiling price of RM300,000 will be for units built in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Baru and the price will be lower in other parts of the country.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Robert Bosch to set up solar panel manufacturing facility in Penang Batu Kawan

This is a great piece of news. It justified why the investors and leaders in the state are stressing on producing more capable engineers :)

Stuttgart-based technology company Robert Bosch GmbH is investing RM2.2bil in a solar panel manufacturing plant in Batu Kawan, Penang, to mainly serve Asia's growing demand for solar energy.

The new plant would provide employment opportunities for 2,000 people, which would be an increase of some 40% of Robert Bosch's current workforce in the country, said Robert Bosch solar energy division head and Bosch Solar Energy AG chairman, Holger von Hebel.

He said this at a briefing yesterday following the announcement of the company's results for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2010 (FY10).

The investment comes on the heels of a recent announcement to build another manufacturing facility in Venissieux, France, to serve the southern European markets.

Von Hebel said construction of the Batu Kawan plant, to be located on an 80-acre site, would begin before the end of this year, with production to start by the end of 2013.

He said the new plant would also support and deliver components to other plants in North America and Europe.

The venture, said to be one of the largest overseas investment ever made by Robert Bosch, would further cement the global strategy of the company's photovoltaics business and presence in Asia, where solar energy demand is expected to see an average annual growth of 30% in the coming years.

“The planned facility will cover the entire value-added chain, from silicon crystals known as ingots and solar cells to the modules which can be installed on roofs or in solar power plants,” von Hebel said.

He said the plant would have an annual capacity of 800 megawatts peak (MWp) for wafers and 620MWp peak for cells. This would be on top of producing solar power plants with a total output of 640MWp and module production lines of 150MWp.

According to von Hebel, the company expect sales from the solar energy division to exceed one billion euros this year.

“The decision to build a new site in Asia reflects general developments in the global market for photovoltaics. By 2020, total installed output in the region is expected to reach some 130 gigawatts peak,” he said.

He added that the company's main plant in Arnstadt, Germany, together with the Batu Kawan plant would complement each other and help secure the future of the photovoltaics business.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Colour-coding strategy for Penang

Penang island will be divided into three colour-coded zones with the red zone designated as dirty under a blueprint proposed by the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) to make the island a cleaner place.

The two other zones are the orange and green zones (moderate and clean zones respectively).

MPPP president Patahiyah Ismail said the blueprint on the strategies and enforcement that should be employed to the council would be tabled to the state government for its approval by the end of this month.

“We realise that we need to be more efficient in enforcing the rules to make Penang island cleaner and greener,” she said when met by reporters.

She explained that the island would be divided into colour-coded zones to differentiate the amount of focus the council should be giving in improving the cleanliness as well as to monitor the progress of each zone more effectively.

“As soon as we get the green light from the state government, the implementation of the blueprint will be done immediately,” Patahiyah said after officiating the ‘Cleaner, Greener Penang Gotong-Royong Perdana’ at Straits Quay.

Hmm, sounds like a good idea. I will support whatever move that can make the island a cleaner and better place to live!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Perodua unveils new MyVi unit, priced RM43,900 to RM57,400

Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) unveiled - the new MyVi -- an upgraded version of the best seller on Thursday night, June 16 and prices range from RM43,900 to RM57,400.

After five consecutive years as the country's best selling car, the Perodua Myvi five-door hatchback has been replaced by a new model that promises better safety, fuel efficiency and a string of new enhancements.

The new model comes in three variants -- standard, premium and elegance – and will be on display at all 178 Perodua sales and selected service outlets nationwide.

Perodua managing director Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh said the new MyVi is more than mere aesthetic improvement to the design of the successful MyVi model which was launched in May 2005.

He said it was an improved variant in terms of both looks and functionality and it has received about 10,000 orders since booking opened on June 4.

The second national carmaker expects to sell about 8,500 units monthly. The price is from RM43,900 for the standard manual transmission and RM57,400 for the elegance automatic transmission on-the-road.

While still recognisably a Myvi, the new car has a more rounded front end and is 5mm lower to improve its aerodynamics.

Buyers can choose from three grades of Standard, Premium and Elegance, and transmission type of four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual.

While maintaining almost the same size as the outgoing model, the latest Myvi now includes electric power steering, projector headlamps and a two-tone dashboard.

In keeping with current automotive trends, the new Myvi includes upgraded safety features.

Where previously only the more expensive variants featured two front airbags, this item is now included across the range.

Also standard are Isofix mounting points for child seats and a three-point seatbelt for the rear centre passenger.

Premium and Elegance grades, however, get additional safety equipment such as anti-lock braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist.

Audio system for the Standard grade Myvi is the radio/CD type with MP3/WMA but the Premium grade features additional USB and Bluetooth support. The Elegance gets a multimedia system that comes with satellite navigation.

The 1.3-litre engine is derived from the older Myvi model but has been retuned to get an extra 4bhp for a total of 90bhp promising improved performance.

The new models come in with a new colour ; mystical purple which is available for all variants. Other colors include ebony black, medallion gray, glittering silver, pearl white and ivory white.

I think we will be seeing more and more MyVi on the road....they will dominate the local car market for at least another few years...

ASTRO price adjustment invalid !!!

Astro must seek the approval of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) before raising the price of its paid television channel services, said the Minister of Information Communication and Culture Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.

The payment for basic services charged by Astro to its subscribers will not be changed. For whatever addition, Astro must discuss first with the MCMC before deciding to increase its service charges," he said on Wednesday night, June 15.

Rais said the ministry would discuss with Astro on the issue and the notice issued by Astro to its subscribers was considered invalid as it did not get permission from MCMC beforehand.

Astro recently announced that it would carry out a price adjustment on the packages offered effective July 11 with the subscription based on the subscribers' package selection.

Some subscribers may be charged an increase of between RM1 and RM15 per month, while some would enjoy a reduction of between RM4 and RM14.95 per month.

OK, now the minister said it's meaning price stay the same as of now?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

10 cent drop in price of RON 97 effective 16th June 2011

The price of RON97 petrol will be reduced by 10 sen effective midnight yesterday, to RM2.80 per litre.

The chairman of the Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM), Datuk Hashim Othman, said the drop in the price of the fuel was in line with the current world market price.

"It's good that the price drops, it can ease the burden of RON97 petrol consumers, although only 10 sen, at least there is a reduction," he told Bernama, here tonight.

Since ealy this year, the price of RON97 petrol had been increased on four occasions to reach the current price of RM2.90 per litre.

However, the price of RON95 petrol remains at RM1.90 per litre. -- BERNAMA

Can we have lower price for RON 95 as well? It's so expensive nowadays especially when there's continuous traffic jam...

Monday, June 13, 2011

The 10 banned websites by Malaysian government

This might be a few days old news, but just in case you are not aware of it, then this might be useful.

In a bid to combat piracy, the Government has declared war on filesharing websites with 10 such websites now blocked by the telecommunications industry watchdog.

The websites were among the most visited sites by Malaysians to illegally download movies.

The image is from last week's Star. So if you are a regular visitor of any of the listed 10 websites and are not able to go to the site anymore, then just be reminded it's being blocked already.

If any of you out there that has a way to bypass the blocking, please private message me! I doubt it can be done :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

10 tips to manage your credit card debt

Here's something I read from the Star yesterday that I found to be quite useful to control our credit card spending. At least I myself practised some of the ways ...

The following are 10 simple, less-dramatic ways to manage your credit card debt:

1. Credit card freeze (not literally)

2. Waive the annual service charge

3. Minimise credit card usage or use it as a last resort

4. Pay bills on time and in full

5. Take advantage of offers

6. Don’t let your points expire

7. Reduce the number of supplementaries

8. Reduce the number of cards held

9. Use a debit card or cash (don’t use credit financing)

10. Don’t spend – if you don’t need to

Hopefully readers out there find this steps useful as much as I do! Spend wisely and manage our wealth wisely !

Friday, June 10, 2011

Taxman expects to collect RM9 bln in taxes through banks...WHEN???

The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) expects to see RM9 billion in tax collections made through its agent banks this year, which would be a 10 per cent rise from the RM8.18 billion collected through banks last year.

"To date the collecting agent banks for the IRB are CIMB Bank, Public Bank, Maybank, Bank Islam, Hong Leong Bank and RHB Bank," said IRB deputy director general Mohd Sait Ahmad at a media briefing on e-payment services.

Sait said online payments were safer than cheque payments sent through ordinary mail.

Last year, it received 224,618 cheques which were sent via ordinary mail compared with 577,046 cheques through registered post, he said.

Cheques sent through mails run the risk of getting lost during delivery, he said, adding that while reports of lost payment in the banking system was less than five percent and mostly due to the carelessness of the individuals themselves. - Bernama

I want my refund back !!! It's been 2 years and all that I got from IRB after I submitted my E-Filling was letters saying they need time to check, WTH!

Toyota forecasts 35% profit slide after quake

Toyota Motor Corp forecast a larger-than-expected 35% fall in annual profit on Friday, June 10 and warned that the strong yen was making it difficult to justify keeping production in Japan.

Toyota has struggled to restore output after a massive 9.0 earthquake in March rocked northeastern Japan and forced automakers to slash output. The ensuing nuclear disaster and power shortages have compounded their woes.

The production disruption will likely see Toyota lose its title as the world's largest automaker this year.

"This is probably another conservative estimate from Toyota, but it's predicting a loss in the fiscal first half so we can tell how serious the damage from the earthquake was," said Koichi Ogawa, chief portfolio manager at Daiwa SB Investments in Tokyo, adding that shares in the company may fall on Monday.

Toyota reiterated its plan to restore output to pre-quake levels by November, helped by a recovery in the supply chain for key parts, and expressed confidence it could claw back market share lost as a result of the quake.

In an encouraging sign for automakers, chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp said on Friday it now expected to restore supply capacity lost due to quake damage by the end of September, one month earlier than previously planned.

Renesas, the world's biggest maker of microcontrollers, had become one of the biggest bottlenecks in the automotive supply chain that forced car firms to curb production.

Now I know Renesas's main business product :) Let's hope everyone over at the affected Japan will have their life back to normal soon...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Astro revises subscription rates AGAIN !!!

See what you get when they are the sole satelite tv provider? You get price increase over and over again !!!

Astro is revising the pricing of its television subscription packages in view of the increase in the cost of global and local contents, coupled with the rise in operational costs.

Tan cited sports which contribute to one third of Astro’s content costs as an example. According to him, the Barclay’s Premier League has raised its prices by 10 times from 2004 to now. “And that is only one of the content providers, every major sporting content provider has increased the same,” said Tan.

Beginning July 11, subscribers will revise some of its packages. Tan said the increases will be dependent upon individual subscription packages. There are some packages that have increased while others decreased.

Depending on the customer’s choice of packages, some customers may experience an increase ranging from RM1 to RM15 per month as well as enjoy savings ranging from RM4 to RM14.95 per month in their subscription. Some packages will retain the same pricing, such as the family pack, which will remain unchanged at RM37.95 per month.

In conjunction with the new pricing scheme, Astro will also launch new packages that include high definition and personal video recording services.

Tan said this is to offer customers value for their money. These packages range from RM125 to RM155 depending on the chosen pack.

The television network service has currently close to three million subscribers, and this number is slowly increasing, with a rise in demand for vernacular content.

They can give all sorts of reason, but what I do know is that their profits are gaining more and about equal playing rights ! For good sake, the government should consider giving more licenses for satelite provider...

Myvi launch brought forward to mid-June

The launch of Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd’s (Perodua) new Myvi has been brought forward to June 16 from the earlier scheduled September launch. Bookings for the model were opened last Saturday at all 178 Perodua sales outlets nationwide with a booking fee of RM400. The actual price will only be revealed on launch day.

The new Myvi will be initially launched in six 1.3-litre variants comprising both automatic and manual transmissions. The existing Myvi is available in eight variants, including a 1-litre variant. Perodua expects to generate monthly sales of 8,500 units from the new Myvi.

The Myvi launch is a critical factor in determining the direction of industry sales as it is the best selling model in the market accounting for up to 17% of Malaysia’s TIV in 2009 and 13% in 2010. The previous Myvi generated sales of an average 7,300 units per month during its peak in its second and third years on the market. In 2010 (the Myvi’s fifth year on the market), the model generated average sales of close to 6,500 units per month.

Recall that the new Myvi was originally scheduled for launch in April. However, due to the Japan earthquake and the ensuing supply chain crisis, the launch was understood to be delayed to September.

This, along with expected sales weakness of other Japanese marques, had prompted our earlier TIV forecast downgrade to 590,027 units — which implies a 2.5% year-on-year TIV contraction for 2011 against an earlier expected 3.5% growth. The earlier than expected new Myvi launch could see our TIV forecast raised by 1.6% to 599,710 units from 590,027 units. This still implies a 1% TIV contraction in 2011.

Wah, with this new launch, I supposed there will surely be more MyVi on the road and helps Perodua captures more market share of the local car :)

Penang Botanical Garden River Contaminated By Leptospirosis Virus

The river water at the Penang Botanical Garden has been found to be contaminated with the leptospirosis virus.

Timur Laut Environmental Health senior assistant officer Alexander Selvam advised visitors not to bath or play in the river.

"The area has not been closed to the public. But signboard warnings have already been put up," he told reporters on Tuesday.

So far no one has been infected by the virus. The health office would be monitoring the situation, he added.

Meanwhile, park director Datuk Tengku Idaura Tengku Ibrahim said signboards were put up near the river immediately after the alert.


Do take note everyone, especially now it's school holiday time. Stay away from the water, stay away from the over your kids :)