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,