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.