Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stocks to buy Now and After the General Election

Yesterday, The Star's StarBiz suggested eight stocks to keep on your radar, good for now as well as post-election, the latter, i.e., if you are banking on the current administration staying in power. (Yes, GE13 is just around the corner if you haven't heard or read about it. Duh!)

These are some stocks that are worth taking a bet on, StarBiz suggested. These are stocks of companies that are doing well but which also have a political flavour one way or the other which could be in the form of government contracts, shareholdings or just personalities involved in their key management or ownership.

The eight stocks are:

1. SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd
2. Gamuda Bhd
3. CIMB Group Holdings Bhd
4. MyEG Services Bhd
5. Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Bhd
6. Prestariang Bhd
7. Cypark Resources Bhd
8. Handal Resources Bhd

For more info about these companies, read: The Star's Are you thinking what stocks to buy before and after the general elections?

Or perhaps you may want to check out Manchester United stock? It's now under $17 a share. Forbes Magazine says Man U is valued at a record $3.3 billion making them the world’s first sports team to be valued at more than $3 billion.

Last August, shares of the team were offered to the public at $14 but are now just under $17, boosting the wealth of the Glazer family, which has voting control of almost all of the team.

Famed investor George Soros was among those who purchased a stake in the 19-time English champions after shares went public.

Read more: Forbes says Man U valued at record $3.3 billion - Latest - New Straits Times

Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa runs with the ball during their FA Cup fourth round soccer match against Fulham at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England, January 26, 2013. REUTERS/ Phil Noble

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rest In Peace, William Yau Zhen Zhong

No family should have to go through the pain of death of such a young family member. William Yau Zhen Zhong was only six years old.

William went missing on Jan 16. His body was found nine days later floating in the Klang River at Sungei Sireh jetty. The severity of decomposition of the body did not enable immediate identification. DNA tests matching the boy's with his parents through samples of his parents' hair and bones resulted in positive identification that it is indeed William. However earlier, the yellow t-shirt and the shorts on the body had the parents confirmed that it was their little boy.

Yesterday, William's body was released from the hospital to their parents. His father, Yau Kok Kang and mother, Goh Ying Ying, arrived at the mortuary at 10.20am to collect their son's body.

To perform prayers, William's mother was seen clutching a joss stick while his father held an effigy made from paper in the shape of a little boy. It is a ritual performed so that William's spirit would go along with the body as the body would be brought back to Malacca for funerary rites and cremation.

William's body was cremated yesterday itself. It was an emotionally-charged memorial service for William. The boy's grandmother, Chee Chau Moy, wailed and pleaded to be allowed to hug her grandson one last time. The Star reported that:

Chee, 68, had arrived at the Melaka Memorial Park crematorium at the Jelutong Chinese cemetery in Batu Berendam just as the coffin bearing the remains of the boy was being put into the incinerator.

Weeping loudly as she knelt outside the incinerator area, Chee cried out in Hakka: “I want to see William. Please, let me see him. Please, let me see him. I want to hug him.”

“Why has no one told me about your funeral? Why was Ah Poh, who took care of you, not told?” she asked.

She did not stop crying out William's name despite attempts by Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, to console her.

“My heart is bleeding. It's supposed to be me, not him (in the coffin). Why did God take him away?” she cried to Mohd Ali.

She was then allowed to see her grandson's burning casket.

Earlier on, William Yau's parents conducted prayers at jetty to appease his spirit. They spent an hour there at the Sungai Sireh jetty near Port Klang where the body was found. They were shown around the location where fishermen Yusof Osman, 53, and Satarudin Kamal, 45, made the find. William's parents thanked both the gentlemen for finding their son's body and handed them a token cash contribution.

The couple has two other children, a boy aged seven and a one-year-old girl.

Meanwhile, Police have formed a task force to investigate the disappearance and death of six-year-old William Yau Zhen Zhong.

Allegations of abuse has been rubbished by William's grieving mum. Goh hoped the public could give them some privacy to mourn their loss, adding that they were considering holding a press conference to clear the air.

It was reported that Goh did not rule out taking legal action against those responsible for the allegations.

A RM60,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of William Yau Zhen Zhong's killer(s).

MCA Complaints and Public Services Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong said the reward was contributed by several parties to encourage the public to come forward with any information on what happened to the six-year-old who had gone missing on Jan 16 and was found dead a week later.

“We don't know for sure if William was murdered. But if he was, we want to make sure the culprit is brought to justice.

We will miss you, William Yau. We will remember you. Rest in peace!

William's body was cremated
(All images from The Star)
Related article: - Police wrap up investigations into William’s death

Sunday, January 27, 2013

William's family appeals for space to mourn their loss

What is just an ordinary day for most of us, is yet another sad day for the Yau family of Yau Kok Kang and wife Goh Ying Ying, parents of William Yau, the boy who went missing whose body was later found in the Klang River.

The devastated father of William Yau Zhen Zhong is appealing to the public to allow him and his family privacy to mourn their loss. While thanking Malaysians from all walks of life for their concern and sympathy, Yau Kok Kang said: “We are tired and wish to be left alone while we grieve.” He, however, promised to hold a press conference when he and his wife are more composed.

Yau and Goh have returned to their family house in Taman Seri Krubong in Malacca to make arrangements for William's funeral.

It has been reported that William's body will be released to the family after the post mortem at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang. The body is expected to be cremated at the Malacca Memorial Park in Sungai Putat.

Yau said a ritual to “call back” William's soul would be performed at the spot where his body was found. (This is a Chinese ritual normally carried out so that the soul will not become a stray soul in the afterlife.)
More: The Star..William’s family appeals for privacy during time of grief

Police have asked members of the public and the media to give William Yau Zhen Zhong’s parents the space they need to grieve the loss of their son.

Subang Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Yahaya Ramli said the parents have been deeply traumatised by the whole incident.

“The parents, especially the mother, have been crying non-stop since identifying the body.
More: The Star..Cops: Give the Yaus some space

Although William’s parents identified the body as William’s based on the shorts and underpants he was wearing and scars on his head, police are still awaiting the DNA test results to be 100% sure.

Related articles:
- Help find missing boy, William Yau Zhen Zhong
- Severely decomposed body of boy found
- Parents identify body as that of William Yau
- William Yau's body found - How did he die?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Thaipusam 2013 at Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur

Tomorrow is Thaipusam. Temple officials expect a turnout of 1.6 million people at Batu Caves this year.

If you are living near Batu Caves, you will be able to watch the fireworks display tonight at midnight. The 15-minute fireworks display will be one of the highlights of the celebration this weekend.

The silver chariot carrying the sta­tue of Lord Muruga made its annual 15km journey, leaving the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Jalan Bandar at 12.30am this afternoon arriving at Batu Caves at 2.30pm this afternoon.

Some 150,000 devotees followed the procession and thousands more lined the route holding trays of offerings and smashing coconuts along its path.

Devotees and visitors were advised to refrain from wearing too much jewellery and to secure their belongings.

An information and com­p­laints counter has been open­ed near the temple entrance.

Musical troupes help devotees on their journey to the temple. Here is a troupe in practice.

The Akini Periya Gandhi Amman Urumee Melam group practising for the big day at Batu Caves. — By S.S. KANESAN / The Star

Thaipusam isn’t just about hooks or music — it’s a journey of faith. This article provides a good insight into Thaipusam.

Happy Thaipusam!

William Yau's body found - How did he die?

“No child should have died this way.” These sad words spoken by one of the two fishermen, Satarudin Kamal, who found William Yau's severely decomposed body near his fishing boat got me all choked up.

Satarudin and Yusof recounting their grim find at the jetty

Satarudin, 45, and his friend Yusof Osman, 53, had gone to the jetty to check on their boats well after 6pm on Thursday, and were shocked to find a boy's highly decomposed remains floating next to his boat.

Like many of us, they have been reading about William's disappearance last Wednesday in the newspapers and when they saw the body, their hearts sank.

“The parents must be going through great sadness, and we feel their pain,” Satarudin said.

More: The Star..Duo find child’s body floating next to boat at jetty in Port Klang

Investigators are now trying to piece together what actually happened
to William Yau. Was it foul play or was it a misadventure that he wandered too far off and fell into a drain and got carried away to the Klang River.

While many speculate that six-year-old William Yau Zhen Zhong had fallen into a drain when he went missing more than a week ago, a check by The Star found no large drain near the electronics appliance shop in Putra Heights where he was last seen.

Netizens have rallied around the grieving parents of William Yau Zhen Zhong with words of comfort and sympathy.

The Facebook page of William's mother Goh Ying Ying is flooded with condolences.

How did he die? This is the frontpage headline on The Star today. I hope he did not suffer pain.

Below is a video of the jetty where William's body was found and the interview with one of the gentlemen who found him and how they tied the body to the jetty to prevent it from floating away.

Although William's parents, Yau Kok Kang, 32, and Goh Ying Ying, 26, identified his body based on the shorts and underpants he was wearing and scars on his head, police are still awaiting DNA test results, due to be released on Monday, to be 100% sure.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Frolics - How Cluttered is Your Mind?

This quiz makes me laugh, the results, the last bit, I mean. Take the quiz and see what it says about you.

Your Mind is 20% Cluttered

Your mind is clear, focused, and downright zen like.

You have the amazing ability to almost completely control your thoughts.

Are you sure you're human?

Last Week's Quiz: The Gift Box Test

Parents identify body as that of William Yau

Oh dear! The Star reported that William Yau's parents identify body as that of their son who went missing last Wednesday, Jan 16.

Yesterday, a severely decomposed body of a boy was found in a river. Identification of the body could only be determined after DNA results.
From The Star:

SUBANG JAYA: The police are 75% sure that the boy found in Port Klang is William Yau, said Subang Jaya OCPD Assistant Commissioner Yahaya Ramli.

William's parents identified the body based on the scars on the front and back of the head, as well as the shorts and underpants that he wore.

ACP Yahaya added that post-mortem results did not ascertain the cause of death but showed the boy had been dead for a week.

Related articles:
- Help find missing boy, William Yau Zhen Zhong
- Severely decomposed body of boy found

Severely decomposed body of boy found (Update)

While Malaysians are helping to find William Yau Zhen Zhong since he went missing last Wednesday, The Star reported yesterday that a severely decomposed body of a boy 6- or 7-year-old has been found floating in a river near the jetty of Sungai Sireh, near the Sri Perantau flats at about 6.30pm on Thursday.

The boy was in a yellow t-shirt and shorts and has fair skin. The T-shirt had the words 'Active Group' in white and 'Best Team' in blue on it.

When asked whether the body could be that of missing boy William Yau Zhen Zhong, South Klang OCPD Asst Comm Mohamad Mat Yusop urged the public not to speculate until post-mortem and DNA tests, scheduled for Friday morning, were completed.

“There have been no cases of missing children reported in the area recently,” he said.

William's parents, Yau Kok Kang and Goh Ying Ying, arrived at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital's mortuary soon after midnight and left about 30 minutes later.

Let's not speculate.

Source: The Star..Severely decomposed body of boy found in Klang (Update)

The Star reported that

The parents of William Yau Zhen Zhong, the six-year old boy who went missing on Jan 16, arrived at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang around 11am Friday.

They're expected to give samples for DNA testing to help determine the identity of the body found near the Sungai Sireh jetty Thursday evening, and were seen being escorted into the hospital's morgue.
More..William Yau's parents arrive at Klang hospital

The post mortem has been completed and a forensic team from Bukit Aman was seen leaving the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital morgue around 1.30pm. The final DNA test result will take a few days.

The parents of William Yau Zhen Zhong, who went missing on Jan 16, were escorted out by police around 1.40pm. They left without talking to press and his mother was seen sobbing.

You may also be interested to read:
- Help find missing boy, William Yau Zhen Zhong
- Parents identify body as that of William Yau
- William Yau's body found - How did he die?
- William's family appeals for space to mourn their loss
- Rest In Peace, William Yau Zhen Zhong

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Good and obedient Wives found in all Corners of the World

Today is a public holiday here in Malaysia in celebration of the Birthday of Prophet Mohammad. All schools, banks and businesses are closed today. The malls will be crowded today what with people shopping for the upcoming Chinese New Year. Food outlets will be packed too as Malaysians take the opportunity to eat out during public holidays and weekends.

Let's take it easy here too with a couple of jokes. Both came in the mail so source is unknown. See if you understand this one. Male chauvinists will love this..

And this one is for Retirees. Not giving you ideas or anything. I trust you will use your judgment, of course.

How to Keep Busy When Retired...
Working people frequently ask us, as a retired couple, what we do to make our days interesting.

Well, the other day my wife and I went into town and went into a shop. We were only in there for about five minutes.

When we came out, there was a policeman writing out a parking ticket. We went up to him and said, 'Come on sir, how about giving a pensioner a break?'

He ignored us and continued writing the ticket. So I called him a fascist bastard. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tyres. So my wife called him a total pillock. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windscreen with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket.

We continued to call him every name under the sun, and he just kept writingthose tickets...

This went on for about 20 minutes, and then our bus arrived.

There's always something fun to do as a pensioner...

Happy holiday, fellow Malaysians!

Sources unknown

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Malaysian stock market - opportunity to buy

Do you invest in the stock market? Could this be an opportunity to pick up more stocks?

From The Star:

With the FBM KLCI having dropped by close to 50 points over the last two days, some analysts are seeing a buy opportunity emerge, as prices of blue chips and certain stocks in the oil and gas, property and consumer sectors retrace to attractive levels.

Analysts said that the drop in the last two days was driven mostly by sentiment, rather than real fundamental concerns.

On Monday, the FBM KLCI fell 2.4% or 40.81 points on a volume of 1.83 billion shares valued at RM2.6bil.

This was the single largest daily loss since October 2011.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

No Pants Subway Ride 2013

No, this one will never ever happen in Malaysia.

On Sunday, January 13th, 2013 tens of thousands of people took off their pants on subways in 60 cities in 25 countries around the world.

In Mexico City, hundreds, young and old, shed their pants and skirts to take part in the "No Pants Subway Ride" prank, just for laughs, around the world.

In places as far apart as Bangkok, Jerusalem, London, Sofia, Stockholm, New York and Washington, participants—fully clothed on top—rode the subway while showing off their panties, briefs and boxers, according to organisers. Many wore sunglasses, while some donned brightly coloured underwear and socks.

This year China joined the No Pants Subway Ride with rides in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The prank organizer, Improv Everywhere, requires participants to abide by two requirements: being willing to strip down and keeping "a straight face about it". While the first "No Pants Subway Ride" had just seven participants, recent renditions have counted nearly 4,000 in New York and thousands more around the globe.

The prank collective's founder Charlie Todd called the event a "celebration of silliness" and said its goal is simply to make others laugh and smile - and laugh and smile you will from just looking at the pictures and viewing the videos.

In New York, it was their 12th Annual No Pants Subway Ride and there were over 4,000 participants, spread out over six meeting points and ten subway lines.

This Queens resident won the award for “oldest participant” at 82-years-old at the Downtown meeting point.

Agent Richard Lovejoy, who was at the original ride in 2002 and won the award at the Downtown meeting point for most rides.

Here is No Pants Subway Ride 2013 in New York City. Enjoy!

They announce the date of the No Pants Subway Ride every year in early December. If you’re interested in participating in 2014 in New York or anywhere else in the world, sign up for their mailing list, follow them on twitter, and like them on Facebook so you’ll be the first to hear about it.

Here's the full scoop on Improv Everywhere.

Until the next No Pants Subway Ride, keep up that smile!

Not enough? Want some more? Here's last year's video..funnier!..:O

Psst... if there is one here in Kuala Lumpur, would you go no pants?

- The Daily Chilli
- Improv Everywhere

Monday, January 21, 2013

Snow causes traffic chaos across Europe

The football match yesterday between Tottenham Hotspurs and Manchester United was played with snow falling and temperature was at -5deg according to the commentator. Surprised that match carried on despite. Both teams earned a point each the match being a 1-1 draw with Dempsey of Spurs putting in the equalizer in the last minute of injury time. Ouch for MU!

All across Europe heavy snowfall is causing traffic chaos.

The Star reported:

Air, road and rail traffic across much of Europe suffered major disruptions on Monday as heavy snow and freezing weather gripped the continent.

The problems at airports were particularly severe, with flights scrapped at Europe's busiest three hubs.

Air passengers also faced long delays and disruptions at other airports in Germany, Britain and France, following widespread cancellations on Sunday.

More: Snow causes travel chaos across Europe

Image source: The Star

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lion dance during Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is not Chinese New Year without the lion dance.

Traditionally, lion dances are performed for auspiciousness for important functions including Chinese New Year or the opening of a new business premise. It is believed that the lion dance together with the noise of firecrackers, cymbals and drums will drive away evil spirits replacing the place and the new year with good fortune and growth.

Source: NST

This is not any old lion dance in the image. It is a lion dance performed on stilts by the world-renowned Kun Seng Keng lion troupe from Muar, Johore, the southernmost state in West (Peninsula) Malaysia.

Muar Kun Seng Keng Lion Dance Association has won 51 world and 59 local championship titles over the last 23 years and in recognition of its success in putting Malaysia on the world map, the government has presented a RM100,000 allocation.

In a few short years time, more lion-dancers around the world will be able to learn from this famous lion dance association as a blueprint has been drawn up by the multi-racial association to set up an international academy for lion dancers. The academy will have a training centre for local and international trainers, a museum to house "lion heads" from all over the world as well as exhibition and lecture halls.

A piece of land has been bought in Taman Aman in Parit Bakar, Muar, eight years ago for the purpose. Public donations have been sought to expedite the completion of the academy within three years.

Source: NST..Kun Seng Keng lions get cash incentives

A thrilling lion dance for your viewing pleasure..

Preparation for Chinese New Year

A morning market scene in Kuala Lumpur

There is a frenzy of activities as the Chinese community goes about getting ready for the most celebrated Chinese festival of the year. Following is a short video among a series of videos from The Star on activities leading up to the festival here in Malaysia.

Among the videos is one advising people to shop early before prices escalate approaching the festival. Another shows the types of decorations available for the home and office - lanterns, auspicious symbolic plants, flowers and so forth. .

No, there are no carnivals here in Malaysia, so no throwing knives acts, strongman gigs nor performers on stilts though these were the order of the day way back in China.

Help find missing boy, William Yau Zhen Zhong (Update)

Jan 25 Update:
You may also want to read: Severely decomposed body of boy found
Sadly, the search has ended as Parents identify body as that of their son, William Yau.

The Star's frontpage today features a picture of this adorable six-year-old boy, William Yau Zhen Zhong. He has been missing since Wednesday.

According to the article, the parents left their three children in their car (doors locked but with windows open) while they hopped out for a short stint checking out washing machines at an electrical store in Putra Heights. When they went back after 15 minutes, they found that William was not with them. His elder brother said he went looking for their parents because their younger sister started crying non-stop.

The parents have since received many phonecalls criticizing them for leaving their children alone in the car. However, this is not the time to play the blame-game. The priority is to help find the boy. Anyone with information can contact 03-5631 9800 or 012-2197133.

William's parents - Mother Goh Ying Ying showing a picture of William on her phone while her husband looks on.

I once read that how safe a country is is to gauge how safe it is to let a child walk to the neighbourhood sundry shop or store alone. There have been many incidents in Malaysia of children who went missing on their way to the neighbourhood shop. Would you let your child go alone to get an ice-cream?

Many bloggers unwittingly expose their child(ren) to danger by featuring them in their blogs. The Internet is a convenient place for lurking around for people with bad intentions. Think about it.

Source: The Star..Where is our little William?

This is the poster done up by The Star. Print this poster and stick it up to help with the efforts to find the boy, who was last seen at Jalan Putra Mahkota 7/6c in Putra Heights.

A RM20,000 reward has been put up for anyone who gives a lead on the boy’s whereabouts.

William’s parents contributed RM5,000 to the reward while the KK Group of Companies and the Federal Territories Rela Club donated RM5,000 and RM10,000 respectively.

More Malaysians took to cyberspace to spread the news of six-year-old William Yau Zhen Zhong, who went missing last Wednesday, Jan 16.

Non-governmental organisations, private corporations and the public sector have also jumped on the bandwagon, with the Malaysian Highway Authority, Women, Family and Community Development Ministry and Association of Banks Malaysia websites highlighting his disappearance.

On Twitter, media organisations such as the Star Radio Group, Bernama Radio24 and Elements Magazine tweeted about the boy's details and photograph.

To date, there is still no strong lead on William's whereabouts.

Tips on keeping your kids safe in public places..

You may also be interested to read:
- Severely decomposed body of boy found
- Parents identify body as that of William Yau
- William Yau's body found - How did he die?
- William's family appeals for space to mourn their loss
- Rest In Peace, William Yau Zhen Zhong

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Postcard-perfect pictures

Some of you share wonderful pictures of places you visit on your blog. They are so good they are good enough to be made into postcards to give away as souvenirs of your travel or even for sale.

With the Chinese New Year just ahead, orders must be rushing in for postcard printing online. A former colleague used to have his family portrait printed on greeting cards for sending out to friends and family. I think that's a great idea. The cards not only go out as a greeting card from the family, it also acts as an update of the family from year to year.

Journal making workshop

If you are in the New York area and are interested in learning how to make a journal, I have news for you. Sorry, wish I'd read about this earlier.

On Saturday, in around 10 hours your time, in partnership with the Bronx Council on the Arts, a local artist, Lis Ortiz, will lead a free journal-making workshop at the Huntington Free Library. Participants should bring their own materials to recycle into a journal, perfect for committing any resolutions for 2013. Reservations required.

(Saturday from 12:30 to 3 p.m.; 9 Westchester Square, Westchester Village; 718-829-7770;

Source: NY Times
Image source: Google search

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Frolics - The Gift Box Test

One of the little pleasures I enjoy is wrapping presents. I once watched in amazement and appreciation the skill and care of a bookshop assistant in wrapping a cookbook that I bought for a dear friend. It blew me away!

I pick up little wrapping tips here and there, from books and magazines, from the shop assistant wrapping presents at the customer service counter in department stores and bookshops, from presents that I receive, and many others.

This week's Friday Frolics Personality Quiz involves your choice of a wrapped present/gift box. Give the simple quiz a shot and see what your choice of the gift box says about you.

Happy Friday, everyone! May it be a day filled with joy and pleasant surprises just like the gift inside the beautifully-wrapped gift box you will be choosing.

You Are Generous With Your Friendship

You are a kind and compassionate person. You make friends with people from all walks of life.

You bond easily with people. You highlight what you have in common over where you disagree.

You aren't superficial or status oriented. You love people for who they are - not what they have or how they look.

You believing maintaining and improving relationships. You do your best to be a good friend.

Last Week's Quiz: The Shoe Personality Test

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Giant Pandas in Malaysia at Zoo Negara

Update: Pandas are now open to the public..

When it was first announced last year that the two pandas on loan from China will be housed at the Putrajaya Wetlands Park, I was disappointed. My thinking was (and still is) that Zoo Negara, our National Zoo would be a more suitable place for the pair of pandas in more ways than one.

Am I glad when I stumbled on a video released just yesterday indicating that the Cabinet has decided that Zoo Negara will be the home for the two pandas. Yay!

Construction of the exhibit enclosure will begin in June and come May 2014 visitors to Zoo Negara will be able to see the zoo's latest addition and attraction -- the adorable pair of giant pandas whose arrival has been highly anticipated by Malaysians.

The pandas will be on loan to Malaysia for ten years to mark the 14th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China in 2014.

Forty acres of land have been set aside to grow bamboo - for the pandas consumption - alongside the project in Putrajaya by the Forest Reserve Institute of Malaysia (FRIM).

I expect there might be a little hike in admission fee to the Zoo Negara come May next year. But then again, it is a small price to pay to be able to see live pandas in our very own backyard instead of having to travel to China or overseas where pandas are available.

If you are wondering about the zoo's admission fees, here's a schedule of Entrance fees for Zoo Negara from the zoo's website. Click on image to enlarge it.

Last updated on June 20, 2014. (Click to enlarge image)

The countries nearest to Malaysia where we can view pandas are Thailand and Singapore. Malaysia will be the third country in the region to receive Giant Pandas from China.

Thailand received a pair of Giant Pandas in 2004, now in the Chiang Mai Zoo. Singapore's pair of giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia, made their first public appearance at their new home at the Giant Panda Forest in Singapore's River Safari Zoo in November last year. The zoo will be their new home for the next 10 years. In 1991, the Singapore Zoo received two pandas, called An An and Xin Xing on loan from China for 100 days.

It is left to be seen as to whether Zoo Negara will be drawing up a viewing guideline similar to what Singapore Zoo has drawn up.

At the Singapore Zoo/Giant Panda Forest:

- Each ticket holder is able to stay 15 minutes in the enclosure.

- 150 people can go into the enclosure per viewing session.

- Each adult pays an extra S$5; a child pays an additional S$3 to visit the pandas.

The Giant Panda is the rarest member of the bear family and among the world's most threatened animals. Let's take a look at the countries that have received Giant Pandas from China..

Source: The Star

Here's a map to the National Zoo (Zoo Negara) in Kuala Lumpur..

View Larger Map

Great Jackson guitars

I didn't know there is so much to guitars, especially those great Jackson Guitars. They are within everyone's budget. You can even buy one for as low as $200 to $300. The higher-end ones are between $3000 to $4000.

I had a chat with a visiting colleague last week who again went to a guitar-making factory here in Kuala Lumpur. He seemed to know a lot about Jackson guitars, he himself being a guitar-player.

Influenced by his enthusiasm, I looked up Jackson guitars online and was amazed there are so many different types of Jackson guitars.

Jackson is a brand of electric guitar that bears the name of its founder, Grover Jackson. Throughout the heavy metal heyday of the 1980s, the Jackson brand was associated with high-quality, American-made, custom instruments, and was endorsed by many popular guitarists of the period.

I shall not bore you with more details but if you are interested to know more about Jackson guitars, Wikipedia has the information.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

46 Places to Go in 2013 - NY Times

Holiday-seekers practically have the world at their feet, what with budget airlines and budget hotels plus a million free seats on AirAsia.

There is a whole lot of places to explore in every corner of the world, from one list of hot spots that CNN suggests on their Top travel destinations for 2013 to more recommendations by New York Times in their The 46 Places to Go in 2013. Let's take a look at this countdown.

Topping the list of 46 places is Rio de Janeiro - because the world will be there in 2014, for the World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Click on image to enlarge it..
That must be Christ the Redeemer on the top left, illuminated, statue of Jesus of Nazareth. According to Wikipedia, it is considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world and the 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world.

Coming in at second place is Marseille, the second largest city in France. An ancient port town on the Mediterranean, it has become a vibrant ethnic melting pot. Marseille is also home to an increasing number of contemporary art and avant-garde performances.

Nicaragua comes in third. The article says it's eco and the food is good. Enough said.

..then Accra in Ghana while Bhutan comes in at fifth spot.

6 Amsterdam
7 Houston
8 Rossland, British Columbia
9 New Delhi
10 Istanbul

11 Singapore (yes, Singapore at 11th) - Spot green shoots in a financial capital.
15 Mongolia
16 The Big Island, Hawaii
17 Philippines - A surfing and beach destination goes luxe.
20 Ningxia, China
27 Changbaishan, China
28 Porto, Portugal
30 Koh Phangan, Thailand - A party island goes upscale and family-friendly.
31 Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka
33 Bangkok - Still the party city of Asia but for a more sophisticated crowd.
42 Mergui Islands, Myanmar - Live-aboard diving in a remote archipelago.
44 Washington, D.C.
45 Casablanca, Morocco
46 Paris

No Malaysia. Even Sri Lanka makes the list, no offence. Surprisingly, Japan doesn't either.

For the full list and why you would want to be in these places, visit NY Times' The 46 Places to Go in 2013.

Image source: NY Times

Eyeing a Carrera Tag Heuer watch

I have often heard it said that the Chinese community has far too many superstitions. Did you know that it is not appropriate to give a clock as a present to a person of Chinese descent? That is strictly a no-no because the phrase 'gifting a clock' also implies sending someone off in his last moments.

Giving a watch is alright, however. This is because the word 'watch' in Chinese has a different word and sound (more the sound) for it which does not convey the same meaning as that of giving a clock does.

Talking about time-pieces, I was attracted to this nice, simple-looking Carrera Tag Heuer watch I saw online the other day. It is made of polished steel, with a white Mother of Pearl Diamond Dial, Diamond Bezel and Sapphire Crystal. It is a Swiss Automatic Watch. Nice. Very nice.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

One Million Free Seats from AirAsia

AirAsia is back again offering One million Free seats for holiday-makers.

The promotion covers flights throughout the AirAsia network, with flight codes AK, FD, QZ and PQ, which travellers can book from today until Jan 20 at

Under the promotion, all-in fares start from RM26 one-way to domestic destinations and RM52 one-way to international destinations.

The travel period is from Aug 20 till Feb 9 next year.

In conjunction with the free seats campaign, AirAsia X is also offering promotional fares with all-in fares from as low as RM249.

AirAsiaGo is also offering hotel rooms from as low as RM13 per night at destinations such as Penang, Langkawi, Bali, Bangkok, Guangzhou and Beijing.

This promotion is available for booking at for stay also from Aug 20 till Feb 9 next year.

Booking for AirAsia free seats is normally a challenge so patience would definitely come in handy. Good luck!

Source: The Star

Enroute to Gold Coast Resort Morib in Banting

While on the way to the new resort, the Gold Coast Resort Morib in Banting last year, we passed by a number of townships. I was surprised at how the places have developed. I remember on my visit many years ago, there wasn't much going on. This trip however presented a different experience. There are a lot more buildings and much more traffic and bustle.

Even along the coast, there are lots of sea-facing bungalows not unlike those real estate ocean isle beach homes in the picture.

Another startling development is the prevalence of homestay places. You can see roadside direction boards pointing you to these homestay places. If you are looking for homestay in a kampong (village) environment in that area, you will be spoilt for choice.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lee Chong Wei wins badminton Korean Open crown

Badminton is one sport that Malaysia excels in in the world arena. The other sport that puts Malaysia on the world stage is squash. Nicol David is World No. 1. She recently won her 7th World Open title on December 21 in Cayman Islands.

On Sunday (yesterday), Malaysian shuttler, World No.1 Lee Chong Wei defeated China's Du Pengyu 21-12, 21-25 (in 42 minutes) to win the men's singles title in the US$1mil Korean Open in Seoul.

At the BWF’s World Super Series Finals in Shenzhen, China, last month, Pengyu defeated Chong Wei. So this win is sort of a sweet revenge for the good Datuk.

The victory was worth US$75,000 (RM226,000) and Chong Wei will approach the Malaysia Open, which begins at Putra Stadium tomorrow, brimming with confidence. He will seeking a record-breaking ninth title at home.

Chong Wei is tied with badminton legend Wong Peng Soon winning eight men's singles titles each.
More: NST

Image source: The Star

How to prevent your Credit Card details from being stolen

Sometime ago, I had a post and video about electronic pickpocketing in which your credit card details can be stolen without you even realising it.

Fortunately, there are now rfid blocking wallets in the market. Also available are rfid sleeves for passports and such, and badge-holders to prevent electronic pickpocketing, identity theft and payment fraud.

What these rfid security products do is that they block the personal information being broadcast by radio waves from your credit or debit cards, passports and other ID cards. Not sure if these RFID blocking products are available here but they sure are online.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New currency notes for Chinese New Year

With Chinese New Year fast approaching, it is the time again for getting new notes from the bank for the 'angpow', the money that goes into the red envelope during Chinese New Year.

I was at the bank early last week and overheard a bank customer being told by a bank teller that new notes were still not available.

I wonder if new notes would mean the new set of currency notes that were issued for circulation last year.

The new notes are in more vibrant shades. In the image below, they are the orange RM20, the red RM10 and the green RM5 next to it, and the blue RM1, the second piece from the right. The last three on the left extreme are RM50 notes which are also part of the new issue and have been in use earlier.

The coins on the right are the new issues. 50sen and 20sen are 'gilded' with the 20sen smaller in size. The other two are the 10sen and 5sen coins. Many people (me included) have trouble differentiating the new 10sen and 5sen coins. They are quite the same size and the italicised font type is no help. By contrast, the old coins are easier to differentiate.

The coins on the left are the old coins/last issue though still in circulation. There is no deadline yet for old currency to be discontinued.

When the last issue of currency is taken off circulation, the notes and coins would become hot items on the numismatic market. Collectors will be heading to places like the flea market at Amcorp Mall, for instance, hunting for these priced items.

Amcorp Mall is not just a place for Malaysian coins, you can also find foreign coins here as well as silver coins if you are looking for any to add to your collection.

A little tour of Kuala Lumpur

If you have yet to visit our beloved city, Kuala Lumpur, let me take the opportunity to show you around parts of the city via a few short videos taken by The Star during yesterday's Rally KL112.

From the video below and a few other related videos, you will get to see Stadium Merdeka, once the stadium used for national football matches before Bukit Jalil National Stadium came along. You will see a stadium filled with enthusiastic and peaceful rally supporters at Saturday's KL112 Rally for Clean and Free elections.

You will also see Central Market, a tourist destination for arts and crafts shopping in Kuala Lumpur.

One of the 27 conditions agreed upon was to have only 30,000 people inside the stadium but according to the authorities, the number exceeded that. Apparently, someone was counting?

Peaceful gathering as promised and other related videos..
Hope you will enjoy the little tour of Kuala Lumpur. More videos and sights of Kuala Lumpur and the Rally..

Saturday, January 12, 2013

KL112 Rally in Kuala Lumpur comes to an incident-free end

From the live coverage by The Star, Rally KL112 ended without a hitch - a peaceful gathering. Below some chronology of events from the live coverage.

A crowd gathering at Masjid Jamek early Saturday.

A small group from Padang Timur in Petaling Jaya started marching towards the stadium around 10am.

10.35am: PAS deputy president Mat Sabu gives speech to crowd at National Mosque, says they will march at 11.30am.

11.55am: Crowd at KLCC begins march towards Stadium Merdeka.

1pm: More groups arrive at stadium.

1.45pm: Rally organisers announce event will start around 1.50pm.

1.50pm: Combined crowds from Kelab Sultan, KLCC and Jalan Sultan arrive at the stadium.

1.55pm: Crowd at National Mosque leaves for stadium after prayers. Traffic to Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin diverted to allow group to march.

2.10pm: PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and sec-gen Mustafa Ali arrive at stadium. Some representatives from NGOs have taken turns addressing the crowd.

2.25pm: PKR leaders Anwar Ibrahim, Wan Azizah, Nurul Izzah and Chua Jui Meng arrive. Police say traffic situation under control.

2.40pm: DAP's Karpal Singh and Lim Kit Siang arrive.

DAP sec-gen Lim Guan Eng address the crowd after this.

3.25pm: PAS deputy president Mat Sabu addresses crowd, and thanks police, stadium management and DBKL for cooperating with rally organisers. He hopes the crowd will disperse peacefully after the rally.

3.55pm: Some people are beginning to leave the stadium, while others are staying on to listen to PAS president Hadi Awang, who has just started speaking.

4.15pm: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim addresses crowd.

4.35pm: Many have started leaving the stadium. Rally was scheduled to end at 5pm.

4.40pm: Anwar ends speech.

4.45pm: Rally ends, remaining crowd leaves stadium.