Thursday, November 26, 2009

Go for Wind

That's right. If there's even a small potential for power generation through wind milling, w should go for it. It's one of the cleanest source of energy available, apart from solar cell and hydro-electric generator.

This year's Wind Power Asia (WPA) seminar was in Beijing, China, visited by a total of 15,065 visitors calling from 43 countries worldwide with some 445 exhibitors featured at the trade fair. Number of exhibiting companies has doubled compared to 2008. I really hope this is a sign of not just awareness of the general public about going green, but also commitment from all industry players in looking for cleaner energy solution.

Travelling to China is not that expensive anymore nowadays with Air Asia flying direct from KLIA. Next year's similar seminar/conference would be in June 2010, it would be very interesting to find out what's in store this year. Given the time and means, I would very much love to visit such event. For now, the nearest thing to look up to is the Low Energy Office initiative undertaken by SESB Kota Kinabalu. I understand that there are still a lot need to be done on the installation of solar panels at their Tanjung Aru show unit. Time to make a visit.

Take your pick:--

A. Coal plant (such as the one proposed in Lahad Datu), RM500mil?

B. Wind mills (such as the one mentioned for Pulau Banggi), or the ongoing Rural Solar project, RM1bil??

C. Possible tie-up of Hydro power gen from the controversial Kaiduan Dam project in Penampang, RM2.8bil?

Take some time out and think about where our billions of ringgit should go to.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009


We need doctors as we can't take care of ourselves when we fall sick.
We need lawyers as we tend to mix things up as we try to persue legal matters. (Hehe, pstttt! lawyers are better than many of us in twisting things up and down to skew things in their favour. Whisper that to them, wud you)
BUT we don't need engineers as most of the daily stuffs assosiated with 'products' of engineers can be done by technicians, or even by the guys on the streets.

LOL, but engineers, please don't take this too hard on your head. Let's share some of the things lawyers and doctors wouldn'n even get to see if not because of you:
"Okay, lady and gentlemen, we are in for a soft landing".
"Tracy, how many stones have we sent out to Guy Sdn Bhd since 9.00am this morning?"
"I heard you loud and clear, Bob! Can you put down that silly toy?"
"Gosh! This is really exciting. I'm gonna need more high heels"
"Mom, can you go faster, we're gonna miss the Wayang Kulit live movie!"
"And then the boy let the dog bark at the tree as the plane hovered over it, bla..bla..bla.."
Happy Engineer's Day!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ticklish Monday

I wanted to write about Prius - the top selling hybrid (greener) car in Japan - but as I opened my email, one particular mail with maybe-not-so-true contents forwarded by friends caught my attention, and they made me smile and brighten up my morning.

So, I'll share them with you.


I walked into a hair salon with my husband and three kids in tow and asked loudly,
'How much do you charge for a shampoo and a blow job?'
I turned around and walked back out and never went back.
My husband didn't say a word..he knew better.

I was at the golf store comparing different kinds of golf balls.
I was unhappy with the women's type I had been using.
After browsing for several minutes, I was approached by one of the good-looking gentlemen who works at the store.
He asked if he could help me.
Without thinking, I looked at him and said, 'I think I like playing with men's balls'

My sister and I were at the mall and passed by a store that sold a variety of candy and nuts.
As we were looking at the display case,
the boy behind the counter asked if we needed any help.
I replied, 'No, I'm just looking at your nuts.'
My sister started to laugh hysterically.
The boy grinned, and I turned beet-red and walked away.
To this day, my sister has never let me forget.

While in line at the bank one afternoon, my toddler decided to release some pent-up energy and ran amok.
I was finally able to grab hold of her after receiving looks of disgust and annoyance from other patrons.
I told her that if she did not start behaving 'right now'
she would be punished.
To my horror, she looked me in the eye and said in a voice just as threatening,
'If you don't let me go right now,
I will tell Grandma that I saw you kissing Daddy's pee-pee last night!'
The silence was deafening after this enlightening exchange.
Even the tellers stopped what they were doing.
I mustered up the last of my dignity and walked out of the bank
with my daughter in tow.
The last thing I heard when the door closed behind me,
were screams of laughter.

Have you ever asked your child a question too many times? My three-year-old son had a lot of problems with potty training and I was on him constantly.
One day we stopped at Taco Bell for a quick lunch, in between errands.
It was very busy, with a full dining room. While enjoying my taco,
I smelled something funny, so of course I checked my seven-month-old daughter, she was clean.
The realized that Danny had not asked to go potty in a while.
I asked him if he needed to go, and he said 'No'.
I kept thinking 'Oh Lord, that child has had an accident,
and I don't have any clothes with me.'
Then I said, 'Danny, are you SURE you didn't have an accident?
''No", he replied.
I just KNEW that he must have had an accident,
because the smell was getting worse.
So, I asked one more time, 'Danny did you have an accident?
This time he jumped up, yanked down his pants, bent over, spread his cheeks and yelled 'SEE MOM, IT'S JUST FARTS!!'
While 30 people nearly choked to death on their tacos laughing, he calmly pulled up his pants and sat down. An old couple made me feel better, thanking me for the best laugh they'd ever had!

REASON 6 (this one's closer to home, lol)
A radio DJ in Malaysia asked her listeners to call
and answer some trivial questions.
The first to answer correctly would get a prize from the sponsor.
She asked, "What is the household name for sodium chloride".
An eager housewife called in but she did not know the answer,
she asked for a tip.
The DJ hinted
"Something you put on your husband's eggs in the morning".
The housewife confidently answered,
" Talcum Powder "
The DJ did not return until after a few songs.

This had most of the state of Michigan laughing for 2 days and a very embarrassed female news anchor who will, in the future, likely think before she speaks. What happens when you predict snow but don't get any! We had a female news anchor that, the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn't, turned to the weatherman and asked: 'So Bob, where's that 8 inches you promised me last night?' Not only did HE have to leave the set, but half the crew did too they were laughing so hard!


If that made you feel good, pass it on to someone you know who needs a laugh and remember we all say things we don't really mean!!!

Have a great week.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Rain and Shine

With my new found hobby, it's a lot of fun taking shots especially during sunset and sunrise. My first love affair is with landscape. Firstly, it is always easy to take pictures of landscapes and secondly for beginner there's less effort put into getting good shots; no messy and tedious preparation. You just need to be there at the right moment and time, and vioalla you are done.
This one is taken during my trip back from crocker range and the South China sea seem covered by thick cloud and at one area there already was rain pouring.

A broader view show a couple of houses built on a hilltop overseeing the phenomenon.

This one is a shot back in Kota Kinabalu during sunrise.

Do drop by my flickr photostream to view more : Floyd's Flickr

Have a good weekend.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Low Energy Office

The Daily Express reported that Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd has set up a Low Energy Office, LEO, using solar power.

It was completed in March but announced to the public only last month.

At this stage solar power is supplying electricity only to the “test building” itself which is smaller but SESB aims to extend the usage of such alternative power supply to the main office building in the future. By the way, the LEO is located at their Tanjung Aru office.

What I can gather from their meet-the media session is somewhat vague and question-inviting information as follows:

53 watts        – is the energy that one PV cell (PV – photovoltaic) can produce.
RM18mil       – is required to generate 200kW of energy (to light up 400 houses).
RM100,000   – is the cost to build a roof solar panel system.
30 years       – is the typical lifespan of solar panel.

One can always debate these figures as cost of setting up solar power systems is becoming cheaper every year due to the various incentives from the Government and popularity of this clean energy source. In fact there are still a lot of variations to that figures if we compare them to those implemented at other places in Malaysia.

In any case, LEO is the way to go!

* picture - courtesy of D.Express

Monday, August 17, 2009

How To Retire Gracefully and Thankfully

I will not talk from the point of view of a Financial Planner because that is one thing that every working person know and remember as retirement years are approaching. After all the hard work, and pain and joy in life as a working individual, the inevitable would welcome you as a member of that club - Welcome to the world of the retired people.
Some wish it had not come while some can't wait to retire. While having enough money in one coffer is always the ideal situation and is desirable, a peaceful mind is attributed to many other factors.
If we:
  • have provided decent education to our children,
  • are ready to live a lifestyle commensurate with the cashflow at retirement,
  • are happy that we can retire and be with our loved ones more often,
  • are not too worry about how to survive after retirement,
  • have faith that we'll always our Providence at hand,
  • have done our job to the best of our ability while still working,
  • have been such a bless to be with,
then I believe we can retire happily, gracefully thankfully. We have nothing to worry about because we have done our part. The rest, let's leave it to Him.
I'm dedicating this message to JM, a recently retired colleague of ours. I fully believe he is graceful and thankful for what he has. He has a lot still to offer to his society and he can contribute in many ways to the community he is living with.

Happy Retirement JM!


Yes! Decent job so far by SESB

For the man in the know, he would read this caption with some sarcasticism. For those who has little knowledge about what is happening with our utility provider, they will take my "words" for it.

I've suddenly fallen head over heels in love with SESB when power supply suddenly went of this morning. I was halfway on my report writing, putting in some final touch on my flickr pictures and some unsaved documents. Puff! and they're all gone. It so happened that I've just removed my UPS for battery replacement, and by the way, UPS should not be a necessity if I was located in Klang Valley. Poor me, poor Sabahans. Yeah, falling in love, if you'd get what I was coming at.

Just to remind ourselves of SESB's pledge back in April 2009 - "that power ration is imminent due to damages in our generators in Tenom and Labuan, plus IPPs' equipment failures at several locations. We are working very hard to put these generators back into operations and we estimate that repair works would be completed by June 2009".

One may understand it differently but that's what I can deduce from what's reported in the local dailies.

Okay, two to three months is fair enough. What about now? It is already mid-August. Wondering now about the top-notch-planning and excellent services. Think it is premature to start boosting about the much-improved power-failure-rate-per person because we know better that general perception has not "improved"  much over the last few years! One can quote what he wants but the bottom line is we have to put a stop to this power ration a.k.a load-shedding.

Let's see,....our plan (or rather SESB's plan) is to:

Mar/Apr 2009     - Old equipment failed, power ration implemented
June 2009            - Critical repair completed and power back to Normal
August 2009        - We are currently here (August). And power shedding is still a nuisance!
December 2009  - What's the next plan?

Okay, the title looks sinister. But that's what you'd want to say when the suffering continues for months.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hazy Sunset

Been away for a while now but not because blogging has taken a back seat. Put the blame on the terrible haze instead, alright. Many would agree that the current haze brings a lot of harmful effects to our health.

Well from the perspective of a landscape photographer, and BTW I'm not one, it is a good time to capture the sunrise and sunset phenomenon in a more interesting and easier way. The sun does not shine too brightly in the morning and you have better chances of capturing the round image without additional tools. Especially good time for people like myself who does not have all the gears and apparatus needed.

Followings are some of my shots recently. The sun currently set at about 6.15pm in Kota Kinabalu but I could take picture of the sun as early as 5.00pm due to the haze which act as softener to the bright sun ray.

A little bit of editing to reduce the highlight.

Pre-sunset in Putatan area. The sun is notably still high over the trees.

View from along KK-Papar highway near Lok Kawi

To view more of my recent captures, visit my flickr site here.
Have a good day, and stay healthy.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

RM100mil for Second Astronaut?

The topic may have taken a back seat lately, but I believe the Government hasn't shut the idea off completely that this would come true in the near future. If the first mission to send our first astronaut to space cost us RM100 million, then you'd expect no less than this amount to send a second man up.

I am no way near to agreeing to that idea. The first mission was not a total failure, or waste, as some believe but it has not benefited the masses in moderate ways, what more in big ways. The MOSTI contracted Dr. Muszaffar for 1 year and during the contract period it was controversially alleged that he did more for himself than to the society, notably the gossip that he charged exorbitantly for talks and speeches.

If the intention is to still send a second astronaut, please call it off now! We have had enough! If inspiration was the reason, we've had one. If cancer cell research is another, we don't need that as even the first so call research is now shelved wit no apparent result, at least that's what I know thus far.

Put the RM100mil to better use!

Spend the RM100,000,000 to help the poor in Kelantan, Sabah, Sarawak, etc., where there are many people still without livable houses. Spend the money on installing solar power systems in the remote areas. No doubt you can be nearer to the solar (sun) when going to the space but that wouldn't harness the energy any better.

RM100m would be able to light up more than 400 rural villages of average 30 household per kampung with average power supply of 1kW - 1.5kW per household. This would be remembered and positively impact the people for sure, and this is more crucially needed compared to spending it to "give the youngs the inspiration" on technological advancement in the area of aerospace.

Please say NO to "Second Astronaut" and YES to alleviating the standard of living in the rural areas!

What do you think?

Related topics and further readings:

Monday, August 3, 2009

The New Pajero Sport

I visited a car road show by EON Automart a couple of weeks ago at Karamunsing Complex lobby. 

On show were a number of Mitsubishi vehicles including the newly launched Pajero Sport. It so happened that I brought along my PnS camera, so, I asked permission from the Sales Consultants and began firing away. The followings are for a treat.

Sold at RM163,690 for Kota Kinabalu registration, I was made to understand that the Pajero Sport is aimed at rivaling the Fortuner. I chatted with few SCs and they were so engrossed with pitting the Pajero Sport with the so-called overpriced Toyota Fortuner. So, I did some searchings and compared the vital stats here:

My observation would purely be based on personal opinion, myself being just another car driver whose choice of ride is just as ordinary as other consumers out there. That I am not a car expert or a car mechanic.

Firstly, this Pajero does not resemble the older version of the full-sized Pajero, or a refinement of the later to say the least. It looks more like a combination of the Triton and the Challenger.

Secondly, the term Sport should imply a little bit of sportiness in the build of the SUV such as the Fortuner Sportivo, Sorento Novus and the face-lifted Rexton. If you are expecting a sporty SUV in the new Pajero then expect to be a little bit disappointed. 

Personally I would like to see a different front grille on the Pajero instead of a familiar looking adaptation from the Triton. A little bit of skirting and spoiler would be more appealing. As it is now, the new SUV looks plain and empty, apart from the awkward choice of side step. A refined Challenger would be more sporty.

Value for money? My answer is yes, if you compare it with the Fortuner solely. Some of its plus points are the combination leather seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, better audio system, keyless entry system, chromed-plated door handle and side mirror. And most importantly it is automatic transmission for ease of driving experience for the urbanites. Compare it with Santa Fe and it may have serious competition in value-for-money.

I was hoping for something different from Mitsubishi and I was sorely disappointed at how they emulate Toyota in producing the Pajero Sport. Just look at how Toyota practically modified the Hilux into Fortuner and you’ll understand the similar case of Mitsubishi’s Triton-turn-Pajero job.

Will I buy it? Have it been available when I bought my current SUV a couple of years back, perhaps I’d have seriously considered it, together with Hyundai’s Santa Fe. It would be a serious contender and rival to the Fortuner if it’s priced at around RM150k.

Overview of the Pajero Sport.

Stylish tail lamp and nice chrome-plated side mirror.

Minimalist’s dashboard?

Familiar looking grille

I would add a spoiler if it was up to me.

Folding second row seat and the combination leather trimming


My favourite – the 17” alloy wheel. A bit expensive but it adds to the car sportiness.
BTW, one of the friendly Sales Consultants I was chatting with at the exhibition was Mr Nazly, or call him Naz. Their office (EON Auto Mart) is in Tg Aru Plaza and you can reach them at 088-255150 or Naz himself at 016-8139381.
You can read further by visiting their website,

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tax incentive for Renewable Energies?

Malaysia may have a law to help spur the development of renewable energy, reports Business Times. It says that the Ministry concerned has consulted TNB to get the power producer's input on the matter. If this happen then it would be a big step for Malaysia to embrace green technologies.

Malaysia is considered to be one of the major players in SE Asian nations in terms of renewable energy, but industry development wise, we are behind Thailand. Thailand has more renewable power connected to the country's power grid and this is where the Law (should there be any law enacted soon) can boost green energy in Malaysia.

According to TNB's renewal energy unit, Malaysia has about 67MW of power from renewable sources connected to the grid, while Thailand probably has about 10 times more.

Another South East Asian nation, the Philippines, have enacted its own RE law designed to expand the supply of electricity from RE sources in the country. The Philippines ways of doing it include:

  • Power plants using RE sources get income tax exemption for the first 7 years of operation.
  • Electricity generated from renewable sources receives preferential feed-in.
  • Targets 60% of its energy demand to be covered with its own RE resources by 2010.

  • Amazing! Malaysia should take cue of this and move fast. Do it big and do it now, or it will remain as just talk and dream.

    Please take some time to further read here.

    Sunday, July 19, 2009

    Nano, the world's cheapest car: $2,500 (RM7,500)

    (Photo by AP)
    You read it correct, it's RM7,500 or starting from USD2,000 for basic model. Welcome abroad Tata NANO, the world's cheapest car unveiled in India by car manufacturing giant Tata Motors. Remember those days when we see a lot of TATA lorries and buses plying our roads?

    The Nano was designed to let people in India who currently risk their family on scooters, motorbikes, and trishaws to be able to afford alternative mode of transportation which is safer.

    It was reported that Tata has 206,703 orders for the car as at launching day. Wow, that is about 4 months of Malaysia's total sales of new vehicles, note that that figure is Tata's alone. Malaysia's projected volume for 2009 is 480,000 cars compared to a total sales of 548,000 in 2008. In one year, our very own Proton sold a total of barely more than half of Tata's order for a single model (Nano).

    Why? Because Tata makes cars inspired by need and requirement of the market. Can we say the same for Proton? If not because of "forced buying" tactic of Proton - through imposing high taxes, fees, tariff, etc. on imported vehicles - its local sales may fall well below those of Toyota's and Honda's.

    If Tata is too far for Proton to look upon, look no further. Perodua, without Proton knowing it, has overtaken it by selling more cars that the masses need. Did Proton take cue of that? Or, the false sense of invinsibility is still very much intact and drilled forever in the management's head?

    Tata's Nano at a glance

    Put aside Proton for a little while and let's take a look at the summary of what is offered by the back-to-basic car, Nano (Image by AP):

    Read the rest of the news here.

    Saturday, July 18, 2009

    New Gear and New Hobby

    I have just taken up a new hobby - photography. If you have some spare time and would like to exchange flickr view, please visit my photostream here: Floyd's Flickr Photostream

    Some of my recent shots:

    1. Likas bay in the evening

    2. Water lilies at Prince Phillip Park, Tg aru

    3. My model is stranded but happy with her newfound Tortoise Island

    Happy surfing. More pictures here.

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    Post What U Like - but watch your back!

    I saw this while reading business news today, really did not expect biz headlines would contain something like that.
    Yeah it's nothing to do with business but it's a good reminder to whoever is using the Internet and cellphone while at work, or in one's everyday life for that matter.
    If you are an employee to a company, you should be mindful of the followings, according to Associated Press (The e-Policy Handbook, 2nd Edition):

    • Remember that anything you do on a company-issued computer or cell phone - in or out of the office - could be tracked by a boss, the courts or a regulator.
    • Many employers monitor Web site use, keystrokes, instant messages and e-mail. Some even archive text messages on work cell phones.
    • Avoid mentioning your company, boss or co-workers in online postings unless you have permission to do so.
    • Avoid using any device to take or transmit any company-related photos, videos or other recordings without permission from management.
    • This includes any images of company buildings or logos and embarrassing or unprofessional photos of co-workers or clients.
    • Know your company's policy on social networking, video Web sites, e-mail and other tech-related activities.
    • Regularly delete personal e-mail from your work account.
    • Remember when searching for a job that many employers check social networking sites, blogs and other online activities.

    Pardon my copy-and-paste job but I've quoted my source, so I guess that's okay with AP.

    Be safe and don't get into trouble!

    "Don't trouble trouble, before trouble troubles you!" - Double D, TraxFM


    Thursday, July 9, 2009

    Teaching of Maths & Science in English - It's back to square One

    Play the Snakes and Ladders and you'll know why I said what I said. I am talking about the Government's decision to make a U-turn on it's noble intention of teaching Maths & Science in English.

    Meaning, for 6 donkey's years we've achieve nothing! Zero! And then we said let's start all over again. We let the big snake swallowed our marker and excrete it at square one, while watching others' march on.

    I'm totally amused at how the leaders acted against the obvious - statistics showed that more people/pupils prefer to answer questions in English - our leaders have just doused the fire of passion and kill of our children's desire to put themselves at par with others globally. I have come across a survey – broadcasted on TV much earlier – that close to 60% of the respondents wanted this medium of teaching stays.

    To drop English Language as the medium in teaching these subjects is akin to them saying “we were wrong in trying to learn and know this language this way”. I’m not a big fan of Dr.M but him on this one. Dr. M said it was a wrong move to decide that way. I hope he won't stay still but come out strongly, consistently and persistent in his rebuttal about the whole thing.

    What has become of the Government? Why is it giving up so easily? Muhyiddin said “not that it was a failure but it has not achieved the objectives” Sound like a hasty decision to me. Trying to leave his mark as the new Education Minister too soon? Hope this is not the case.

    Don't quit. Keep going!

    Having asked those questions, I still have many unanswered puzzles in my mind. If it has not achieved the objectives and intentions, why didn’t some smart people in the Government tell Muhyi to hire good English teachers, from overseas even? Rather than taking the easy way out, they should’ve trained the local teachers who are not proficient in English. Surely it will not be easy and it may take years to prepare them but QUITTING? This is just not us Malaysian! Or, are we?

    Furthermore, there are so many English speaking housewives, auto tellers, expatriates’ wives (hey, I’ve attended a basic French class conducted by an expatriate’s wife!), researchers, retired teachers, to name a few. Hone them and hire them if they are suitable.

    I can go on mumbling and our learned leaders won’t hear a thing. So I’ll put this here as a sign of frustration for I have planned years ahead for the earlier policy and sent my daughter to a school where I felt will benefit her in term of her proficiency in second and third language. Now I foresee she’ll have problem and I can’t just sit down and make no fuss about it.

    Alright, let's look at some of the facts and try to rationalise the flip-flop decision:
    1. 6 years to train teachers to teach M&S in English language - wasted?
    2. 13,933 additional teachers to be recruited to beef up teaching of English language.
    3. Extra 90 minutes for teaching English in primary schools.
    4. Only 19.2% of secondary school teacher are proficient in teaching the subjects in English.
    5. A peanut 9.96% of primary teachers are proficient for the task.
    6. We are going to make another U-turn in 5 to 6 years time.
    7. After 1 year other subjects would cry for reinstatement of the 90 minutes which was "stolen" from them.
      (Errr..the last two are not facts)
    Well, you can have a different opinion but this is mine and I'm entirely entitled to it. 

    It's back to square one, and a monstrous waste at that!

    Monday, July 6, 2009

    Federer - The New Legend

    Roger Federer, my tennis hero once again proved that "you can go down and come back stronger" when he conquered a resilient Andy Roddick last night (morning in the UK).
    Ever since I started blogging, I have always been keeping tab of this icon and he's been an inspiration for me personally.
    He became tennis's greatest men's Grand Slam champion of all time (15 times in total), as he beat Andy Roddick 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 16-14 in 4hr: 16 minutes to claim his 6th Wimbledon crown. This surpassed the all time Grand Slam achievement of Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver.


    A dejected looking Roddick congratulated Federer
    I watched the match for the whole of the 4 hours duel and in the end I must say it was impossible not to feel for Andy Roddick; they were each other's equal for nearly the entire game.

    Past champions of Wimbledon Men's singles.
    Definately contented and happy, I went to bed at 2.00am, thinking there's nothing impossible in this world; when we do things wholehartedly and to the best of our ability, we would not be too worry about what outcome may come our way because we can do only so much, the rest we leave them to God.
    Roger is now in a class of his own and I have nothing but belief that he has a lot still to offer in this sport.

    Read more here.

    Thursday, July 2, 2009

    Malaysians Still Ignorant About Influenza A?

    Have we become immune to the virus that we ironically choose to put aside the fact that swine flu is now a pandemic? Or, have we Malaysian become a bunch of ignorant citizens? If a recent radio talk show is to go by, many Malaysians still do not know what H1N1 is. I really hope it was an isolated case.

    If you are one of them, I - being a responsible citizen that I am (hehehe) - strongly suggest that you read, ask and talk about it now. Know your enemy - I wrote about this before in my postings - because then you'll be better equipped and know what to do best in situations you are most exposed to risk of infection.
    In case you are still not convinced how deadly the virus is, here're some fact (from WHO) for you to ponder:
    • 71,076 cases of influenza A (H1N1) worldwide, as at 30th June 2009
    • 311 fatalities
    • 158 cases in Malaysia as at 30th June 2009
    • there are already cases in Sabah (in Kudat) as reported by the local dailies
    The Government is taking every possible means to put the disease under control but it can never be achieve without the participation of everyone. I said EVERYONE simply because I can be very vigilant in keeping things at bay and I can still get infected easily from an ignorant friend who have just came back from oversea. So the key is commitment from everybody.
    Just to re-cap, the common symptoms of H1Na flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal flu, such as - high fever (>37.7 deg Celc), sore throat, cough, muscle aches, fatigue, chills, headache and vomiting.

    Please refresh ourselves on the simple but the best known ways to avoid getting infection.

    Be safe! Remember Health is Wealth.

    Sunday, June 28, 2009

    Passing of an Unparalleled Talent

    Michael Jackson, a powerful music icon during his era passed away on 25-6-2009. He may have been a very controversial figure, but I, for one will honour him not for the way he lived his life but rather for his incomparable talent. Regardless of whatever human mistakes and weaknesses, his passing is a big loss of an invaluable talent.

    AFP summarised his story as follows:-

    I wasn't a big fan of his but I grew up having to inevitably listen to his music. Not that I had his CDs and tapes but those days, the radio stations were all filled with his music. Some of his songs are really nice and I'll honour them by refreshing their good tunes and noble intentions here:

    And a message about not looking at others by the colour of their skin:


    Monday, June 22, 2009

    Hybrid Solar-Diesel Power - Part I

    If in March 2009, someone by the name of En Hamid (a deservedly Sabahan Hero) showed to the world that one does not need to have a certificate to build a hydro-power generator, this time Tambunan came to light again with the commissioning of a hybrid solar power-diesel generator in mid-June 2009 at one of the remote villages.
    Suitable for places at remote locations, this system supply electricity continuously during wet and rainy seasons. The term hybrid refers to a system in which two or more supplies from different energy sources are integrated to supply electricity to the same demand.

    Schematic diagram of a hybrid PV solar-diesel power generator


    Simply put, an array of PV panels is installed side by side with a diesel power generator and the operations is controlled via centralised control panel manually. The system can be upgraded such that the changeover from solar power supply to starting up of diesel power generator takes place automatically.

    Storage batteries are used to store energy harnessed through the PV panels during sunny days. During wet season, whereby PV panels could not 'collect' sufficient energy so meet night time energy requirement, the diesel power generator would kick in and take over the job.

    Pretty simple isn't it? The big question is determination. I did not put "cost" as the stumbling block as cost can be relative, depending on the focus and determination of the government to alleviate the situation of our rural folks.

    What is the cost then, you may ask. Okay, take a village of about 30 household which would require about 30kW (capped at 1kW/household) of total load. You are talking about RM700k to RM800k for a complete system. Take into consideration import taxes and other regulatory payments which can be discounted for government initiative, we may be looking at half of that cost??

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009


    For everything there is a time under heaven. You may weep today but you will be full of joy tomorrow. You may endure difficulties today but you will rejoice tomorrow, for droughts are made to follow wet days.

    Monday, June 15, 2009

    Theft makes for a really Bad Week

    I read with interest an article about a survey done by Deloitte's Financial Advisory that co relate risk of fraud and corruption during tough economic times.
    You'd have guessed it correctly as the survey revealed a resounding YES as answer to a question of whether respondent believe that there would be an uptrend of fraud and corruption risk during economic downturn.
    And why do you think it should so happen?
    Three prime reasons:
    1. Financial: financial pressure is heightened with expectations for continued growth or achieving targets. As wages stay static and the cost of living increases, employees feel the heat on their personal finances.

    2. Opportunity: due to cost cutting there could be to lack of resources and poor assignment of duties, which would eventually weaken the internal controls'; an opportunity for some to venture into corruption.

    3. Rationalise it: Opss! That means people - both employers and employees - are coming to term with accepting fraudulence and corruptions? What's happening to our conscience? The employee says "I've got nothing to lose" and Employer says "We've got to do what we've got to to to win business." Hence, the rationalisation of such act/behaviour. OMG!
    I'll add this to that:- Thieves and theft become rampant during difficult times. Well maybe not at the same timing with economic downturn, but I have every right to think so. My residence, together with that of my neighbour's were broken into last week by burglars having studied our situation beforehand.
    Have we been able to comprehend those responsible, I would not be able to guarantee that some incensed people wouldn't take the Law in their own hands.
    What a bad week for us. Now should we blessed the culprits or should we curse them? For now, I can't see myself bend on the former, more inclined to the later, so lemme take a deep breath and compose myself before i utter something I might regret later.
    Frightful and shocking weekend!!

    Thursday, June 11, 2009

    Stealing Laptops from Your Car

    Is it real? Or could it be another hoax?
    Should i argue and ignore it? Is it just a myth, urban legend?

    Well no, according to Daily Express.

    Daily Express carried a short story today about the arrest of two foreigners in Selangor, Malaysia for stealing laptops from parked vehicles. Apparently they are specialist in laptop stealing based on the tools in their possession which include special car break-in apparatus and this electronic gadget.

    This gadget is an inductive amplifier commonly used by electricians to detect cable embedded in concrete and concealed conduits; also used to do some quick electrical trouble-shootings.

    This means it is easily available in the market and these enterprising looters made use of it to their "advantage".

    So friends, please be aware. You might have some reservation about such method in the past but things change fast and what seem "mere imagination" 2 or 3 years ago can very much be in existence today.

    As practicable as possible, don't leave your laptop in your car. It could save you a lot of hassle.

    Monday, June 8, 2009

    INTEGRITY is the name of the Game

    Barely two weeks ago we were shocked with the tragedy involving foreign workers while on their routine to demolish the old Jaya Supermarket building. Last week we were again shocked (or, should we be shocked anymore?) by the collapse of roof of Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium.

    Oh, and if some of us have short memory there were countless more "pleasant surprises" of such nature, let's name a few:
    1. MRR2 in Kepong, failed in 2006 and again in 2008 (approx Rm20-70mil)
    2. Land slide at Bt Antarabangsa in 2008 (approx Rm70mil allocated for repair)
    3. Leaking Parliament building (remember some smart Parliamentarians poking jokes out of this)
    4. "Flaking" new Federal Administration building in Jln Sulaman, K.Kinabalu.
    5. Cracked and unsafe JPJ HQ building at Jln Bundusan?

    Photo from Berita Harian showing the collapsed roof. Did we have a slightest tremor that could have shaked the "tough-build" stadium recently?
    Photo from TheStar showing the section of Bukit Antarabangsa which failed and slid.

    Photo by keretadotcom magazine shows motorist being deprived of better traffic flow due to mistake not of their doing.

    Speaking of flake, if you frequent the big shopping mall,1Borneo Hypermart, you'll notice that the tiles are also flaking like the scales of a dead crocodile. They have to cover these sections with non-slip garment or even masking tapes to hide the scaled floor.

    What I'm saying is that, these big structures were build at staggering cost and we choose to go slow and easy in solving them from the root cause. We tend to fire-fight everytime there are problems but we selectively ignore the real problems underlaying. The Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium was built for RM292mil, MRR2 at RM120mil (could someone tell me how much did it cost us to build teh new Putrajaya Building at Jalan Sulaman, KK?).

    If the people seem not to be surprised anymore, it would not be because we are facing man made problems but rather at the pace the entrusted Leaders are handling things. I'm not surprised at why the roof of the stadium collapsed but I'd be really surprised if there is no party/ies held responsible for it after the thorough investigation.

    For your own good, don't include "Act of God" as one of the reason in your report because God is not party to your man-made destruction. It is "Your Acts and My Acts" that ruin things!

    Further readings:
    a) Bernama - Roof Of Stadium Collapses
    b) New Strait Times - Bukit Antarabangsa Tragedy
    c) Daily Express - Sabah JPJ building unsafe

    Thursday, June 4, 2009

    SESB Should Compensate Traders, Factories

    This was not from me, although I'd agree readily to such demand.
    Kalabakan Member of Parliment, Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh said this during a briefing session in Merotai, Tawau recently (D.Express 9/5/2009).
    Of course SESB (Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd) and TNB should compensate us. If electricity supply is disrupted in the peninsula, "the traders are paid for the losses they incurred." So, where is the fairness? Do SESB and TNB has different set of terms and conditions for consumer supply of electricity? If consumers don't pay up their bills, then what? Or put it the other way, what happen if the utility fails to supply power as stipulated in the contract? Something or someone has to give way.
    Experience has tought me that the utility would come up with sufficient reasons, excuses, and explaination everytime they deprive us of this necessity.
    Your application for compensation could not be considered due to....bla bla bla
    "faults in transmission lines beyond our control.."
    "intermittent problem considered not our fault.."
    "transient voltage that is not common and cannot posibly by our fault.."
    errr..excuse me, please keep the jargon to yourself and explain to me in a language less alien to me. I'm just a consumer, you know.
    Every organisation has the right to explain its side of the story, including giving excuses (if that's what the commoners would take as meaning of "explaination"). But wait, when did TNB took ownership of LLS (SEB) from Sabah Government? That's in 1998, what kind of their side of the story we are talking about here? Surely one would not wait for more than 10 years to come out with significantly better services; if 10 years is a time not sufficient, then I don't know what is. I can't imagine someone's hoping for a "puff!! then all things change to perfection" come 2020, our sacred date for Industrialised Nation vission.
    Alright, let's be a little bit fair to SESB and let us take a look at their current situation:
    Current generation mix of SESB shows that half of the capacity is generated through Gas-fired, while a third through Fuel-fired generators (internally sourced + imported). Currently there is no Coal-fired generator in Sabah and recently TNB Chairman, Tan Sri Leo Moggie said that there is no other alternative practical option for Sabah to address the power shortage, apart from the proposed coal-fired plant. We are talking about construction of new plant and operational costs here, so it is not just about one time cost to build the plant.

    In terms of preparing for the future, SESB is not too bad. Plans such as shown above will take care of our need for at least untill 2015. Question is, how far in term of progress and commitment to their plan, have they gone at the moment? Plans are good but how about pruning the countless illegal power connection a.k.a theft.
    Sabah Water Department's NRW (non-revenue water) is the highest in Malaysia, if not in the world at more than 65%. What is SESB's NRE (non-revenue energy)? Could it be as bad?
    This diagram shows SESB's grid interconnection. Major works have been completed in recent times to interconnect East and West coast of Sabah, I believe they have spent a lot of money upgrading and putting up PMUs at strategic locations. So, well done, we are actually "connected", people in the Eastcoast should enjoy supply of power "as much as" of those in the Westcoast.
    Note: I highlighted it in bold as we don't actually have that much of power here in the Westcoast as well.

    Note the grid in green which is the 275KV overhead transmission lines stretching from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan. That would be about 300km in length. Add about, say 400km of similar lines and we are tapping power from Bakun already.
    Of course it would be costly, considering Leo Moggie's contention that at merely 500MW of current demand for Sabah, it is not viable to spend billions of Ringgit in transmission lines. Well, Tan Sri, you need some correction there. SESB MD, Ir.Baharin Din mentioned that the current "regular demand" for electricity in Sabah is at 650MW.
    Surely, SESB can organise a power distribution restructuring if it decides to purchase power from Bakun, it is not so much about "commitment to supply to peninsule is justified due to the greater power demand", but rather the leaders' commitment to solve the power supply shortage in Sabah itself.
    It's partly economic viability of the whole project, but it is also partly on the social obligation of TNB as a sole entity in supplying electricity to the people. Because you are depriving others who might provide better services to the people, you must assume the social responsibility as well; every head has it's price!
    I must shout my mouth off now, so, let the bosses and leaders do the talking now. Read further below and you'll find that other political leaders have voiced out few things as well. Have they gone into silent mode now? That's for you to find out.
    Enjoy this...
    maybe, things like Leader brandishes gun at negotiation talks with SESB maycould've had some bearing on the performance of, whoever.
    'Blackouts got worse after SESB takeover' - CASH. You may not agree with him most of the time, but he barks regularly, at least.
    Uncertain: Decision, decision, decision. When will you come down hard on us?
    Minister Peter Chin - possibility to tap power from Bakun. Looks like ministers have differing answers when the rakyat is asking.
    So which one is a greener option? Bakun power and some restructuring or coal-fired power plant?