Friday, September 30, 2005

Budget message: Adjust lifestyle

HEAVY LOAD: Abdullah posing with his bag, containing his Budget speech, which he jokingly said was too heavy to carry at the Finance Ministry last night after going there to check on the final preparations for today’s Budget 2006. At his right is Nor Mohamed.

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Adjust your lifestyle to the new circumstances and don't expect too many goodies from the Budget.

That is likely to be the main message from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Parliament today, according to observers canvassed by The Star.

There will certainly be some relief for the people, particularly the poor, but most of the measures had already been announced last month, said one analyst.

Read full story...Budget message: Adjust lifestyle

Budget 2006 highlights

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi presenting the Budget for 2006 to Parliament Friday


The 2006 Budget strategies focusses on:
1. Implementing proactive Government measures to accelerate economic activities
2. Providing a business-friendly environment
3. Developing human capital
4. Enhancing the well-being and quality of life of Malaysians

o Cigarette tax increased by 13%, while tax on liquor up by 9%.

o Bonus for civil servants to be paid in two equal instalments in October and November.

o Automatic income tax relief of up to RM4,000 for each child (RM9,000 for disabled children) studying in local institutions of higher learning.

o With the exception of vehicles in Sarawak, private diesel vehicles exceeding 1,600cc will be given road tax deduction of 40%, effective Oct 5.

Read the full list...The Star

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Dengue outbreak imminent

The subject of dengue is again on the frontpage of The Star indicating an urgency for both the Government and the people to seriously fight against this dreadful sickness.

The Star

PUTRAJAYA: A dengue outbreak is imminent.

And this time, the Government fears that the death toll and number of cases may be higher than last year’s nationwide outbreak.

The warning comes less than a day after The Star reported that authorities were getting worried over the increasing number of dengue cases and related deaths.

Read more...Dengue outbreak imminent

Related stories:
Selayang council puts more bite into its fight
Do not pay, residents told
Allow workers inside homes, folk urged
1,491 cases of dengue in Shah Alam
Fogging alone not enough
Steps to prevent mosquitoes from breeding

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Dengue cases on the rise

Dengue deaths worrying Government. Sit up, people, we should be worried too.

KUALA LUMPUR: Dengue fever is on the rise in the country. And the number of deaths related to the disease has got the authorities uneasy.

Besides the lackadaisical attitude of the people in keeping their surroundings free of breeding grounds, the fogging carried out by local authorities and health officials has also not been effective.

Read article: Dengue deaths worrying Government...The Star

Monday, September 26, 2005

Daniel the Malaysian Idol

Behold, this is the face of the 2005 Malaysian Idol - the result of 1.2M out of the 1.67M votes cast.

He was the novice and she was the veteran. But Daniel Lee served up a delightful repertoire to woo the crowd, the judges and, more importantly, the SMS vote to emerge as the Malaysian Idol over Norhanita Hamzah.

The Star

GENTING HIGHLANDS: He was literally the little guy facing the odds during Friday’s Malaysian Idol 2 Grand Finale. But 23-year-old Daniel Lee prevailed when the nation voted him as their Idol.

Daniel, as he is popularly known among fans, beat 9,000 other aspirants and survived four gruelling months to become the second Malaysian Idol.

Read full story: Daniel the Malaysian Idol

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Insider's Guide to Opening a Restaurant

If you're thinking about opening a restaurant or a food business this is a great course to enroll for starters.

Traffic summonses

The deadline to pay up traffic fines has come and gone and thanks to the extension to September 30, more people will be able to meet the deadline. There are ways to check the status. One such is through the Internet.

It is wise to bring along a printout that shows the discounted rate.

The public can check the status of their summonses through the Celcom SMS.
To check, key in the word SAMAN followed by the vehicle, identity card number or business registration number and send it to 32232.

Related article: Police net RM47mil in fines...The Star

Friday, September 16, 2005

Mid-autumn festival

This Sunday, September 18, being the mid-autumn festival or Moon-cake festival or even sometimes being referred to as the Lantern festival, thought I'd put together some stories about it.

What it means in Hong Kong.

Even the Japanese are cashing in.

A version from China.

Visit Singapore to celebrate the festival.

In Vietnam, it's called the Harvest festival.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Coloured bands

Coloured bands are making a statement worldwide, Malaysia included. There is a band for anti-bullying (David Beckham), the pink Cancer awareness, the yellow Livestrong initiated by Lance Armstrong, after he was stricken with testicular cancer, the black and white anti-racism Stand Up Speak Up (Thierry Henry), even McDonald's has its own bands with messages like Aim High, Respect, Never Say Never and a host of other motivational messages. If celebrities Like Madonna and Pamela Anderson are wearing them, they sure will be around for a long, long time. Have you got yours yet?

Anyone can wear them, even if you are 85 years old, like Ruby Chan

The coloured bands boldly indicate the wearer's beliefs, mission and focus on life

Related article: Adding colour to their lives...The Star

The RM1 coin

People, you do not have to accept the RM1 coin as change when you shop. Sez who? Sez Bank Negara. Business folks such as petty traders, restaurants and retailers are not to supposed to pass them off to customers but instead collect them back to help the government mop up the RM1 coins that are in circulation before they cease to be legal tender on December 7.

Bank Negara, aware of the above, held briefings for traders, hawkers and business associations telling them to stop the practice and bank in the coins to help the central bank mop up the coins by the deadline.

The central bank said that the public should refuse to accept RM1 coins as change.

The RM1 coins can be exchanged at all branches of commercial banks, the main branches of Bank Simpanan Nasional and Bank Negara Malaysia’s branches in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Baru, Kuala Terengganu, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

Bank Negara officials would go to hypermarkets, supermarkets, pasar borong and other areas to collect all the RM1 coins before the deadline on Dec 7.

You can do some charity by making good use of the RM1 coins by giving them to The Star, which is collecting the coins for charity.

The public have until Dec 5 to donate their RM1 coins at Menara Star here, the Star Northern Hub in Bayan Lepas or The Star bureau offices nationwide.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Financial security for wives

Listen up, Muslim first wives in Malaysia.

The Star

First wife cover: Muslim wives can get part of the wealth amassed during their marriage if their husband marries again under the soon-to-be standardised Islamic Family Law.

The new law serves to give a sense of security to the woman in the event her husband wastefully spends his wealth on his new wife.

Read story: Financial security for wives

Monday, September 12, 2005

Refund for early road tax payers

More good news...

The Road Transport Department (JPJ) will refund vehicle owners who had renewed their road tax in advance. It was announced on Wednesday that road tax would be reduced by between 25% and 80% from Sept 12.

Director-general Datuk Emran Kadir said the department would refund vehicle owners whose road tax expire after Sept 12 but had made advance payments.

“They need to apply through our department, and it will take some time for us to process the refund,” he told reporters after attending the AGM of the Union of JPJ officers in Peninsular Malaysia.

The AGM was launched by the secretary-general of the Transport Ministry Datuk Mohd Safaruddin Mohd Sidek on behalf of Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy at a resort in Ayer Keroh yesterday.

Emran said about 60% of vehicle owners in the country will enjoy the road tax deduction.

Till June, a total of 14.2 million vehicles had been registered with the department, he said, adding that the majority were vehicles under 1,600cc.

On the decrease in government revenue due to the road tax cut, Emran said the department had yet to calculate the details, but the amount was believed to be huge.

“Earlier, the Government lost RM240mil following road tax exemption for motorcycles under 150cc. This time the losses will be even bigger,” he added.

Emran said his officers had been given instructions to change the computer system according to the new road tax payments.

“They have started their work (upgrading the computer system) and we will test the system today (Friday). Hopefully everything will be smooth on Monday,” he said.

Source: The Star

Illegal to fix bright headlights without JPJ approval

The RTD has my vote on making these xenon high-intensity discharge (HID)lights illegal. Why in the world were these approved in the first place.

A gist of the article...

By Royce Cheah
The STar

KUALA LUMPUR: Fitting bluish-white headlights to their vehicles may be the latest fad among motorists but the blinding lights have caused not only discomfort to road users but also some confusion.

Thousands of motorists may have to get them changed to the normal yellow lights as the Road Transport Department (JPJ) says it is illegal to install the xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) lights without approval from the department.

Read article: Illegal to fix bright headlights without JPJ approval...The Star

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Whopping RM1.5b remains unclaimed

A whopping RM1.5b remains unclaimed. Yep! That's exactly what The Star said on its frontpage on Friday. This is money belonging to people who have forgotten about their money, lost their passbooks or had died. All this is waiting to be claimed from the Registrar of Unclaimed Monies.

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Govt announces steps to ease the public's burden

PETALING JAYA: The Government has announced four steps to ease the public’s burden brought on by escalating prices of consumer goods.

The steps, which were announced through a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday, are:

·NOT to increase the price of fuel until the end of this year.

·REDUCING the road tax by as much as 80% depending on engine capacity and type of use.

·DEFERING any toll increase for this and next year.

·INCREASING aid distributed by the Social Welfare Department to senior citizens, disadvantaged children and the poor.

Read article...Govt announces steps to ease the public's burden..The Star

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

King Cobra charms thousands

PUCHONG: Thousands thronged a humble-looking temple here after a five-metre long King Cobra, which appears to be albino and had coiled itself around the Amman deity at its main altar since Monday, became the talk of the town.

The rare spectacle has attracted both the curious and the pious to the 123-year-old Sri Maha Mariamman temple. The people were there not only to catch a glimpse of the snake, but also to offer prayers and “for good luck”.

The multiracial visitors comprised housewives, young girls and office workers, among others.

Read article: King Cobra charms thousands

And the next day, the news read King cobra leaves temple

The aftermath of hurricane Katrina

Just like efforts needed in the aftermath of the December 26 tsunami, the same efforts are needed for hurricane Katrina. There is a critical need for housing for the thousands who are left homeless. Malaysia is too far away to be able to help where housing is concerned but we can certainly help in cash donations. is one of many organizations that are organizing efforts in bringing aid to the needy. Below is an extract of an email received from regarding housing for the victims:

In the face of the enormous tragedy unfolding in the Southeast, the response from MoveOn members and the general public to our volunteer housing efforts has been amazing and heartwarming. Since last Thursday, offers of over 150,000 beds have been posted at, with over 50,000 of those spots in the Southeast.

The thanks that mean the most, of course, are those of the people who have found a place to stay. Here's what Mary, one of the Katrina survivors, had to say: "I bought a condo in Biloxi just 10 days before Katrina to be closer to family after my husband's death last Jan. No motels were taking reservations so I looked on the web...that is how I came across What a blessing in this time of need. I'll be staying with wonderful Susan and her cats for one week."

Over 1,500 people like Mary have responded to the postings, seeking housing for 11,000 hurricane victims—even as most relief organizations are still focused primarily on saving everyone they can from the most immediate dangers. With over a million people displaced, as attention shifts to finding medium-term solutions for those crammed into churches and other makeshift shelters, we expect that the housing offered so far will be snapped up.
That's where you can help:

Offer housing: If you can shelter someone in need, even if you're nowhere near New Orleans, you may be able to make a difference for someone who has lost everything. The need is most urgent in the following locations: all of Texas and Louisiana; Washington, DC; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Memphis and Greensboro, North Carolina. But victims are also being moved to cities further afield, including Boston, Chicago, and even St. Paul, Minnesota. Post your offer of a spare room, or a bed, or even a couch here:

Donate: We've also partnered with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). As part of their effort to help victims of Katrina, they're working to match victims to available housing, and providing additional transportation out of New Orleans and emergency supplies to those affected. They're strapped for funds to do this important work, and need our help. You can donate online right now at:

We're doing everything we can to get these offers into the hands of those in need. We've set up a toll-free hotline so people without internet access can call in and get help finding housing. Celebrities—from Rosie Perez to Moby to Tim Robbins to the Beastie Boys—are helping us publicize the website and hotline through public service announcements and other outreach.

Special Thanks to all these great artists for helping getting the word out...
and more...

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Postcards that tell a secret

A simple art project that turned into an avenue where secrets are channelled. This is what happened to Frank Warren's project.

This is where you can read the selected postcards that tell the secrets.
Below are a few samples.

Monday, September 5, 2005


Do you believe that our life is determined by numbers primarily our date of birth? To a certain extent I believe these numbers do have a bearing on our personality and traits. See whether you agree. Below is a reading for those of us born on the 1st, 10th, 19th and 28th of the month. This is the source "" but site is under construction. You may want to check back later on but here's the extract.

Your Psyche or Nature Number is 1

Your Personality and Traits
You have a strong mind and body. You are attractive to members of opposite sex. You love to lead your life on your own terms. You have clarity of vision, fixity of purpose and like to be top of your profession so that people respect you, and your subordinates "look up to". You are brimming with ideas and fondness for novelty and latest technology. You are materialistic in nature and have a fondness for luxuries and comforts of life. You are conscious of your public image. Though you are likely to enjoy the fruits of other person's labor, you encourage your colleagues and young people to grow.

Generally high spirited and jovial, like your ruling planet Sun, you are a source of light and delight and are dedicated to serve humanity at large. You should refrain from being overly ambitious or too independent. You must also restrain yourself from being reckless or dictatorial. You should not be too critical of others and avoid being boastful or be demanding attention all the time or over indulgent (if you are a male person). You should not struggle alone, without seeking help of others only to prove your individuality.

Special Notes:

For those born on 1st:
You have originality energy, enthusiasm, and artistic nature verging on brilliance. Though you may have a large social circle, you are a loner at heart. You desire leadership and loose interest in work otherwise. You are cheerful, bright and optimistic.

For those born on 10th:
You have a magnetic personality and are respected for your intelligence and knowledge. You usually get your optimum success after the 46th year. You may get financial benefits from your relatives. You may get fame or notoriety depending upon your character and will power.

For those born on 19th:
You are full of vitality and enthusiasm. You are quick at taking decisions and like to work in a systematic and methodical way. You are essentially a sports person. You may not be good speaker but you are good at writing. You are usually successful and honored. At times you may become hasty and impetuous.

For those born on 28th:
You are very generous and like to spend on charity for schools, institutions, hospitals etc. You have unyielding will power and you do not hesitate to carry out your plans. However, you may not be as lucky as other members of 1 Nature Number. You should select your marital partner carefully. You should take care of your expenses and save money for the future as you may have to suffer losses through trust in others and litigation.

Your Ruling Planet
Sun is the ruling planet of number 1. He is the beginning, the origin of life. The other planets all revolve around the Sun. The basis of all numbers is 1 - the basis of life is 1. The Sun passes through one of the zodiac signs each month. Sun is at its peak in Aries and is exalted in Leo, the ruler of this zodiac sign. From Libra, the energy starts diminishing till it reaches Pisces, only to rise again till it reaches Aries.

Your Favorable Days, Dates, Periods, Year

Best Days: Sunday and Monday
Good Days: 1st, 4th, 10th, 13th, 19th, 22nd, 28th and 31st
Strong Periods: March 21st to April 28th, July 21st to August 28th
Weak Periods: October, November and December
Good years in life: 1st, 10th, 19th, 28th, 37th, 46th, 55th, 64th, 73rd, 82nd and 91st

Your Compatibility with with other Psyche/Nature Numbers

Friendship: 1
Business: 1, 4, 8, 9
Romance: 1, 3, 4, 6, 8
Marriage: 1, 2, 4, 8, 9
Best Suited Profession:Administration, Department heads
Karmic Lesson:Renunciation
Outlook: Open to change
Tendency: Materialistic

Special Guidelines

Favorable Colors All shades of gold, yellow and bronze to golden brown.
Gems Ruby, Topaz, Amber, Yellow Diamond and all stones of these colors

Meditation To the Rising Sun

To be repeated 7,000 times from new moon to full moon (bright half of moon).

Health Though strongly built, you may have problems in circulatory systems and suffer from high blood pressure in old age. You are prone to ophthalmic and blood related diseases.

Food Habits You should avoid meat, spirits, yogurt, and oily and spicy food after middle age, You should try to have early dinners.

Hurricane Katrina

Here's an informative site on hurricane Katrina. The devastation she wreaked brings back memories of the December 26 tsunami.

Sunday, September 4, 2005

Big cancer scam

Today's The Star frontpage says "The Big C scam". Amazing, how crooks would even stoop so low as to use cancer to cheat. The nerve.

Cancer test by bogus NGO


The modus operandi is sleek. A sweettalking “Datin” calls up the human resource unit of a company and introduces her NGO's cancer awareness programme. She claims it is endorsed and subsidised by the Health Ministry and is compulsory for all companies in the private sector. Once the bait is taken, a talk will be held for all women staff at the company's premises. Horror stories about cancer are presented and participants are asked to sign up for blood tests to detect cancer.

Read more...The Star

Related articles:
What is Cancer?
Cancer: The facts
Information on Cancer

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Most Malaysians flunk Tunku test

Now here's an interesting one. I flunk too.

PETALING JAYA: If asked, most Malaysians today would probably answer that Tunku Abdul Rahman cried out “Merdeka!” three times during the independence ceremony on Aug 31, 1957.

But Tunku’s cry of freedom rang through the air seven times on that august day, which puts many Malaysians in error over at least one historical fact.

Source: The Star

More articles National Day celebration...