Saturday, September 14, 2019

Hazier today in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is at an unhealthy level today as the API shows..courtesy of APIMS. Looks like East Malaysia on the Borneo Island is clearing up.



I took a shot of the KL skyline on Sept 11 and pitched it against what it's like on a clear day - the good and the bad. Like life, yes?

A precaution to take in a haze situation is:

To drink more water and increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. They help the body to flush out toxins absorbed through the skin and lungs, and improve the immune system. Taking more anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables also help to reduce inflammation that may be triggered by harmful fine particles in the air. Cut down on alcohol and coffee as they promote fluid loss and may leach nutrients from the body.

Others include:

- Avoid outdoor activities, especially outdoor sports.
Children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those suffering from chronic illnesses, especially heart and respiratory disease, should remain indoors when haze hits unhealthy levels. Healthy adults should avoid unnecessary outdoor activities. If you must exercise outdoor, avoid exercising in highly congested areas near busy roads and freeways, particularly during rush hours.

- Close all windows, doors and any openings that may allow haze to enter your home and office.
Turn on the air conditioner if you have one. Note: If the weather is unusually warm, it can become dangerous if you stay indoor with no fresh air intake and no air conditioner. In this case, seek alternative shelter.

- Use an air purifier to keep the particulate levels low. Choose an air purifier that is suitable for the size and type of your home. Avoid air cleaners that generate ozone as they may generate more air pollutants. If you have multiple rooms, each room may need to be equipped with one air purifier to ensure the air is cleaned efficiently. Regularly replace the filters in the air purifier according to manufacturer’s instructions.

More here on How to Protect Yourself from Haze.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Today, September 13, is Mid-Autumn Festival or what is popularly known in Malaysia as the Mooncake Festival or the Lantern Festival though not to be confused with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the 1st Lunar month, i.e. the last day of the Chinese New Year celebration.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

This festival is one of the important festivals celebrated by ethnic Chinese all over the world. It falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar Calendar. According to Wikipedia, it is also celebrated by the Korean and Vietnamese people.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Here in Malaysia, Buddhist/Taoist families would make offerings to the Moon Goddess. Families would sit down to a hearty meal reflective of a wholesome family coming together. For more information on this Mid-Autumn Festival, you may want to check out Wikipedia.

So if you are celebrating, wherever you are, I wish you a Happy Mooncake Festival!

Courtesy of Travelchinaguide

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Malaysia's 62nd Independence Day - Merdeka!


Malaysia is 62 today. Happy Merdeka Day!
Malaysia is a federation of 13 states and three federal territories. These are divided between two regions, with 11 states and two federal territories on Peninsular Malaysia and the other two states and one federal territory in East Malaysia. Each state is divided into districts, which are then divided into mukim. In Sabah and Sarawak districts are grouped into divisions.

The Malaysian flag..

The Parliament House..

This is our Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
This is his second term in office and he now holds the record of being the oldest Prime Minister in the world. He is 94. He came into office last year after a landslide victory of the new government in the last General Election, and which saw the former administration that had been governing the country since Independence Day way back in 1957 toppled. That was a good 61 years! Pakatan Harapan is a coming together of four political parties that now form the new government.

This is our iconic Petronas Twin Towers, in Kuala Lumpur..

And this is our national drink and national dish - teh tarik (pulled tea) and nasi lemak.
Nasi lemak is a Malay fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. It is served with anchovies, peanuts, boiled egg, cucumber, and sambal at the very least. Other accompaniments would include chicken rendang or other chicken cooked other methods, beef curry and other methods, same goes for lamb. A must-try dish if you visit Malaysia.

Malaysia has the biggest flower in the world, the Rafflesia..


But this is Malaysia's national flower, the hibiscus..


Source: Wikipedia


Thursday, August 29, 2019

Jonas Brothers - Sucker - Best pop category at the VMAs

Ah, here's a video to watch, if you haven't already. The Jonas Brothers‘ 'Sucker' that won them the best pop category at the VMAs.”

It's entertaining, it's flamboyant, it's fun. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

McDonald's at Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur sports a new name

Source

Surprise! McDonald's at Bukit Bintang has a new local name, Mekdi. How about that, eh?

No, it's not a permanent thingy but is just in conjunction with the celebration of Malaysia's Independence/Merdeka Day come August 31 as well as Malaysia Day on September 16.

This McDonald's outlet opened in 1982 is the very first outlet in Malaysia. 37 years ago. That's how long McDonald's has been in this country.

With a Muslim majority, pork is not on McDonald's menu here in Malaysia. But hey, we've got yummy Nasi Lemak McD, a popular local dish fully packed with delightful flavours from the fragrant coconut rice, crispy anchovies, fried egg, spicy sambal and spicy Ayam Goreng McD, it is unmistakably Malaysian and well loved by all walks of life. No matter the time of day ... Nasi Lemak McD will always be the perfect meal anytime, anywhere.



Below is a street view of the outlet at Bukit Bintang from Google circa 2018.
Source: Google 

Psst! Want to explore this part of Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle? Let's go on a walkabout of the Bukit Bintang area then.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

People in protest-hit Hong Kong eye Malaysia's second-home program

Malaysia's “Malaysia My Second Home” (MM2H) Programme, a home-ownership programme designed to attract wealthy foreigners to live in Malaysia is seeing an increase of applications from Hong Kong residents. 251 applications have been received this year compared to 193 approved last year.

Kuala Lumpur city skyline. (REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin)

Real estate agents expect Malaysia and Thailand to benefit the most from some Hong Kong residents’ frustration over the second bout of lengthy demonstrations in five years in the former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

“The push factor from Hong Kong will definitely make Malaysia one of the best alternatives for a new location to reside,” said Sharifah Ikhlas Aljaffree, the director of the program run by Malaysia’s tourism ministry.

“Our strength lies not only in our nation’s friendliness, affordable cost of living and high quality of life (healthcare included) but also the stability of our economy and politics plus our developed infrastructure,” she told Reuters.


Read more... People in protest-hit Hong Kong eye Malaysia's second-home program

Friday, August 16, 2019

Kuala Lumpur has been voted the 2nd Friendliest City in the World

Here's reason enough to visit Kuala Lumpur.


The Star reported that KL second friendliest city in the world, survey finds


PETALING JAYA: Keep on smiling, Malaysians. Kuala Lumpur emerged as the second friendliest city in the world, according to Big 7 Travel.

The capital of Malaysia is only behind Vancouver, Canada in the list of 50 Friendliest City In The World, according to a survey carried put by the global travel site on some 1.5 million people.

Other cities, which made the Top 10, include Bruges, Belgium (in third place), Taipei, Taiwan (4th), Hamburg, Germany (5th), Dublin, Ireland (6th), and Christchurch, New Zealand (7th).

Neighbouring South-East Asian cities to Kuala Lumpur, which made it to the Top 50 list are Chiang Mai, Thailand (11th), Siem Reap, Cambodia (20th), Singapore (24th), and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (46th).


"KL is a top spot for both tourists and expats, " Big 7 Travel wrote on its website.

The website also noted that these cities across the globe make one feel welcomed based on "how easy the city is to navigate or strangers helping you find your way when that pesky roaming data doesn’t work, to making new best friends in a local bar".

Big 7 Travel noted that Asian cities rated highly overall, with several US and Canada cities also making it into the Top 10.

Earlier this year, the travel website named Malaysia among the top 20 "most Instagrammable countries".

Malaysia emerged among the best travel destinations, including Penang, by CNN Travel for one of the best destinations to visit for the ultimate Asia experience in June this year, as well as topping the 2017 Global Muslim Travel Index as the best Muslim travel destination in the world.


Source: The Star


Friday, August 9, 2019

Irish teenager Nora Anne Quoirin - Missing

Msn.com.my..
SEREMBAN: Masjid Kariah Pantai will perform a solat hajat (special prayers) after Friday prayers tomorrow for the safe return of Irish teenager Nora Anne Quoirin, who went missing from a resort near here five days ago.

Mosque imam Kahar Sukin, 73, said the fact that the 15-year-old teenager was non-Muslim was irrelevant as there was no restriction in Islam against that.

“We will perform the prayers in the name of humanity.

“We symphatise with what had happened, especially as she is a teen with special needs,” he added.


Nora Anne Quorin, an Irish teenager has been found missing while on a two-week holiday. Nora has a learning disability. She went missing from The Dusun, a holiday resort in Negeri Sembilan. Nora was reported missing on Aug 4, a day after she arrived at the resort with her parents and two siblings. A glass window in the resort, which can only be opened from the inside, was seen left open.


The Royal Malaysia Police, the Fire & Rescue Department with their K9 unit, and local residents are among the search parties but to-date there has been no sign of the young lady.

The Voice Recording strategy is to be used entering the 5th day of the search.

The words expressed in the recording are: "Nora darling, I love you... mum is here. Mum is here, Nora darling, my love.

He said in the voice recording, Meabh sounds persuasive like how she usually talks to calm down Nora Anne.

We are extremely thankful to The Lucie Blackman Trust for their ongoing support. They are handling all media enquiries for us and everything should be directed to them. Our family cannot face dealing with that at the moment,” the family was quoted.


The family remains hopeful and have asked everyone to keep the teenager in their thoughts, and to continue to support the ongoing search for her.


If you are still following the case below are updates:

Nora’s parents say ‘terima kasih’
Search area for missing teen Nora scaled down
On Shah Alam stage, Westlife pleads for info on Irish teen missing in Negri Sembilan
Fasha Sandha shares plea to find Nora Quoirin
Did searchers miss Nora Quiorin's body?
Parents confirm body is Nora
Trust asks for Quoirin family to be respected in time of need
Nora Quoirin: autopsy yet to determine cause of death, say police
Franco-Irish teen bled to death in Malaysia, no sign of foul play

Friday, August 2, 2019

Haze is back in Malaysia

Was wondering about the grey skies this morning and the irritation in the throat but didn't think much of the latter until I read about the forest fires in Indonesia and the resultant haze. Yes, the dreaded HAZE is back. It skipped us last year though.

Forest fires are raging not only on Sumatra but on Kalimantan on Borneo Island as well. This means Malaysians on East and West Malaysia are going through this phase of poor quality at the moment. A look at the Air Pollutant Index (API) confirms it.


The 103 reading on the map is for Rompin in Pahang.

In Kuala Lumpur..
Image source: msn.com

The affected areas so far are the Klang Valley, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, and several areas in Sarawak according to MSN.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Imagine

You've got to hear this, people, really!

Cover of John Lennon's 'Imagine' sung at the AGT, America's Got Talent by Chris Kläfford from Sweden. I mean like Wow!

Video was published on July 9 and it's garnered 19 million views and counting as we speak.

Enjoy!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Petronas Twin Towers.. by Cesar Pelli

If you have been to Kuala Lumpur, chances are you would have visited our iconic Petronas Twin Towers which are conveniently located in the city centre itself.

And if you are planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur, these iconic twin towers are certainly not to be missed. A visit to KL (short for Kuala Lumpur) isn't complete without setting foot at KLCC, commonly referred to in place of Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

Lots of shopping for starters and a whole lot of other activities in the vicinity as well besides gawking at the buildings from inside and out. I guarantee it.

You can also go to the viewing levels at 41 and 42, at the Skybridge, for a bird's eye view of the city. And there's the aquarium called Aquaria, a science centre called Petro Sains, there's a concert hall, home to our Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, etc. There is a Convention Centre in the vicinity and for hotels, there is Mandarin Oriental and Traders Hotel, both award winners in their category. The SkyBar at Traders Hotel is popular with tourists and locals alike.

A glimpse of SkyBar at Traders and the view outside it..Source
At KLCC, there's a huge park for a stroll or a jog or even a run as well as a wading pool to enjoy some water frolicking for kids mostly. There's also a fountain out front, a musical fountain with special lighting effects at night. And much more one can see and/or do at KLCC. Come see for yourself.

These iconic Petronas Twin Towers look even better at night. By the way, they remain the tallest twin towers in the world to this day, though for a while they were the tallest buildings in the world.

I'd like to pay tribute here to Cesar Pelli, architect behind Petronas Twin Towers, who had died, aged 92.

His famous works include the World Financial Center in New York, Canary Wharf Tower in London and renovation work on New York’s Museum of Modern Art.


Image source: NST.com.my
More images of Petronas Twin Towers.. for your viewing pleasure.


Related article: Dr M saddened by passing of Petronas Twin Towers' architect

Saturday, July 20, 2019

50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

50 years ago today, July 20, 1969, man set foot on the Moon. And so this famous quote came into being, 'One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind' or what is believed to have been said by the first person on the Moon, Neil Armstrong.

Google commemorates this occasion with a Google doodle..


And a video..



Happy Moon Landing Day!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Buying a Bicycle

Ok, let me just take five and share this 'important' message..


Isn't the Internet amazing?! Got this from WhatsApp, so the source is unknown. If you are the owner or know the source please let me know in the 'Comments' and I will give it due credit. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

A Celebration - Selamat Hari Raya 2019

Malaysia has a multi-racial population of which more than 60% are Malays who are also Muslims.

Today, June 5, Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr which we here in Malaysia refer to as Hari Raya.

Eid al-Fitr is one of the most important festivals or celebrations for Muslims, following the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.

I wish all Muslim Malaysians and Muslims around the world "Selamat Hari Raya".

Courtesy of freepik.com

Here's a good local story to tell on this happy occasion..

Meet The Chinese Uncle Who Would Do Anything For His Four Adopted Malay Children

Thursday, April 4, 2019

D is for Durian


D is for Durian... that thorny fruit that tastes like heaven but smells like hell (to some).

If you visit Malaysia at the 'right' time when local fruits are ripe for the picking, second to third quarter of the year, you just might catch a whiff of some strange aroma in the air. Yep, that's our 'King of Fruits', the durian.

This is one fruit you either love it or hate it, even for locals.

Malaysian durians have grown in popularity in the last few years so much so durian fruit tourism is gaining traction. People travel on guided tours from as far as China, Taiwan and even the U.S. (I kid you not!) to savour the Malaysian durian when it is in season.

Prices of this fruit (which is sold by weight) has soared significantly as a result of its popularity. Malaysia now exports a bulk of the produce overseas mainly to China. A good amount of the fruit also ends up down south in Singapore where the fruit is just as popular.

The better species like the popular Musang King could go as high as between RM85 to RM100 (approx between USD21 to USD25) per kg. Each fruit can weigh from between 800gm to one-and-a-half kg. Durian-lovers look forward to a bountiful harvest each year which would result in a glut bringing prices down. We experienced that the last season.

Our durians come in different species ranging from the ordinary Kampung Durian to Red Prawn, D24, Musang King just to name a few. Durians in Malaysia are not plucked from the tree but are allowed to fall on their own when they ripen.

If you are wondering how a durian tree look like here are some images.. courtesy of Bing.

The durian fruit.. courtesy of Bing.

Come on! Give it a try when you are here. It's not that bad afterall. Richard Quest confirms it..


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

C is for Cameron Highlands


C is for Cameron Highlands.

Cameron Highlands or commonly referred to as 'Camerons', is one of two hill stations developed from the British colonial times which still stands today. I'll let Wikipedia take over..

'The Cameron Highlands were named after William Cameron, a British explorer and geologist [7] who was commissioned by the then colonial government to map out the Pahang-Perak border area in 1885.

In a statement concerning his mapping expedition, Cameron mentioned he saw “a sort of vortex on the mountains, while for a (reasonably) wide area we have gentle slopes and plateau land.”

When approached, Sir Hugh Low, the Resident of Perak (1887–1889), expressed the wish of developing the region into a "sanatorium, health resort and open farmland”. A narrow path to “Cameron’s Land” was then carved through the jungle. Nothing much happened after that.

Forty years later, the tableland was given another review when Sir George Maxwell (1871–1959) visited the locale to see if it could be turned into a resort. He spent about nine days surveying the territory. On his return from the highlands, Maxwell described the terrain as being “somewhat oval in shape.” After comparing it with Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka and Baguio in the Philippines, he decreed that the site should be developed into a hill station.'

Tea plantation in Cameron Highlands

You can also read the entry on Cameron Highlands last year - map from Wiki and interesting video included.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

B is for Balloons - 10th Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2019


B is for Balloons.

Even though a small nation, Malaysia plays host to a number of world events, the latest being the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. This is held yearly and the last one being just last weekend.


This year, the 10th Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2019 was held from March 28 to March 31 at Precinct 2, Putrajaya.

We had the honour of Mr Hirosuke Takezawa who is a world record-holder. Hirosuke Takezawa has seen much of the world from a bird’s-eye view.

The veteran pilot has flown hot air balloons in several countries and has even crossed the snowy caps of the Himalayas during his travels in the skies.

His latest adventure has brought him to Malaysia where Takezawa is taking part in this 10th Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2019.


Admission to the event is free and interested visitors could visit the event’s website (https://www.myballoonfiesta.com) for more information.


Source: msn.com

Monday, April 1, 2019

A to Z Challenge 2019 - 10th Anniversary - A is for Asia

The A to Z Challenge 2019 is a celebration of its 10th Anniversary. So Happy Anniversary A to Z Challenge and to all participants this year!


That's part of the reason I'm joining this year - the 10th Anniversary.

The other part is I'd like to complete the theme I signed up for last year but never did complete the challenge. The theme is carried forward so to speak to this year. It is still on Malaysia - what's available here, what you can see and do if you are planning a trip to this tropical paradise (ahem!).

Alright, without much ado, let's begin, shall we?


I pick Asia for A this time around. A for Air Asia in last year's challenge.

Why did I pick Asia you may ask. Several years ago I was on holiday in Australia and New Zealand and the nice gentleman at a train ticket counter asked where I was from and when I said 'Malaysia', he was like 'Where? Is it (he named a country)'. I then realized that more people need to know where Malaysia is. I'm just doing a small part.

In case you too are not sure where Malaysia is, it is in ASIA like here...


The image above is courtesy of Wikipedia.

The capital city of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur and the administrative capital (seat of government) is Putrajaya. However, Kuala Lumpur remains the largest city in Malaysia.

The official and national language here is Malay but English is widely spoken here, so no worries there if you have a concern about communication when you are here.

According to a 2017 census, the population here is over 32 million and are made up of four main Ethnic groups:

68.8% Bumiputera (Natives and Malay)
23.2% Chinese
7.0% Indian
1.0% Others


More information can be obtained on Wikipedia.


All that's for A. And on to B..

Friday, March 8, 2019

International Women's Day

Today, March 8, is International Women's Day celebrated globally with focus on women's rights and the call for action towards gender equality. The day also brings to light the achievements of women around the world.

Google commemorates this year's International Women's Day with this logo...

Google also follows it up with quotes from some 13 exemplary women around the world. Below are three.






Happy International Women's Day!

I'd also like to give a shout-out to someone whose birthday is today. "Happy Birthday and many, many happy returns".