Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year, 2012

New Year2012

This is wishing everyone a prosperous and more importantly a peaceful New Year. For some, 2012 is really their doomsday as marks the end of some important favours and privileges they have been enjoying. For some, it is just another number with no specific meaning other than to carry on with life. For some, it is an opportunity to express gratitude to God for being able to breath and live another day, realising that they do things in faith and knowing that there will always be hope and answer when everything seem to be falling apart.

For some, and I mean for people of who live in Malaysia, it is yet another opportunity to be thankful for making a living in a peaceful country. And that, I believe, happen that way it is because of love.

You love your Country,
You love your Neighbours,
You love your Creator.

If 2011 has been a bitter year, remember there's always something sweet worth looking back to. If it was an abundance of blessings, remember you owe it to yourself to think about the less fortunate. It's about how you deal with obstacles and the favours at hand.


Kuala Lumpur

Friday, December 30, 2011

More Than 235,000 Individuals Declared Bankrupt

Ouch! Really?

Yes. The number of bankrupt individuals in Malaysia is almost a quarter of a million. 235,908 individuals to be exact, according to the Department of Insolvency.

Is this figure alarming? According to the Director-General of Insolvency Department, it is, and it should be to us, too.

The department statistics show that there are 41 individuals declared bankrupt every day! At this rate, by the end of this year there would be more than 238,000 bankrupts and if there's no immediate bold action this could well reach half a million by 2020 when we anticipate the country to have attained developed nation status.

Daily Express, Malaysia.

      "A bankrupt is someone who has officially declared that he cannot pay what he owes. In Malaysia, the minimum amount of outstanding debt amount to initiate bankruptcy is RM30,000. Malaysia’s bankruptcy law is based on English law and comes under the Bankruptcy Act 1967." -

The main causes for declaring the 235,908 individuals bankrupt are:
1. Hire purchase, 26%
2. Personal loan, 21%
3. Housing loan, 14%
4. Others - business loan, corporate guarantee,
- wondering where the C.Card defaulters came under.

Between 2005 and October 2011, about 14,000 cases were discharged of bankruptcy, meaning for each discharged case there are 6 others being declared bankrupt, (Ratio 1:6.4). This is not good at all from social point of view, more so with our aspiration to progress and to prosper at higher pace towards 2020.

The government is reviewing the Malaysian Bankruptcy Act 1967 to assist those who were declared bankrupt to continue with life without the debt burden. But if people don't take bankruptcy seriously and think that they can get away from debtors and start fresh with their lives by filing for bankruptcy, think again. If being bankrupt makes life no better than before, don't opt for it.

Think about the THREE main causes for bankruptcy and borrow only what you can afford. Live within your/our means.

Talking about living within your means, how about making one a resolution for the new year? Could be a good idea.

Reference: Malaysia Department of Insolvency

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Renewal Energy Sector to Create 50,000 jobs

This is the expected amount of jobs created by RE sector come 2020.

In 2010, The Star cited experts estimation of creation of at least 52,000 jobs from the construction, operation and maintenance of renewable energy plants in the country by 2020.

Earlier this month, New Straits Times carried an article stating a more conservative figure by economist, estimating 50,000 jobs created by RE plants. If we are to spread this over the course of 9 years, that would be about 5,000 to 6,000 jobs created every year; a very interesting prospect for an emerging economy.

This is very much possible.

The RE sector is fast gaining ground as a new growth area for many countries with the potential it presents environmentally and economically. It plays a major role in meeting energy needs, making it possible for businesses to reap energy cost savings while combating global warming. Currently, Malaysia is world 3rd largest producer of solar cells after China and Germany. Malaysia already already have companies across the entire value chain, from silicon production to solar cell manufacturing and module assembly.

Malaysia 3rd solar producer
Source: Ministry of Information Communications and Culture, Malaysia.

With the committed amount of fund for the rolling out of the first FiT incentive for 2012 - 2014, Malaysia is on the right direction to achieve a targeted revenue of at least RM70 billion from the private sector by 2020.

What does this means to us?

That means more new talents and skills, especially in RE sector, would be needed so much sooner than later. We do not want to go into an industry we have less talent of and end up hiring people from other countries to do things for us. The targeted quantity must be matched with the right quality of our human capital.

It is an opportunity for us to learn new technology, to perfect an existing method to be efficient and be the largest producer of solar related products.

Why not.

Season Greetings From CIMB Clicks

If you happen to have received an email with the above heading recently, take note that this is a Scam. All it is trying to do is to fish you into revealing your sensitive information at CIMB Bank. So, if you are a current user of CIMB Clicks you might be particularly interested.

I received this on Christmas day on my mobile and it goes into my mailbox probably because I have no spam mail filter installed on my mobile device. It looks authentic at the first glance due to the bank logo on the heading.

The thief greets you nicely this Christmas

The URL, ( shown in the email is real and if you type this address on your browser url tab, you will be directed to the following CIMB clicks page:

Actual page of CIMB Clicks

When I right-clicked the link, or rather press-and-hold in my case, it revealed the phishing website -


and the mailing address of this scammer is [] but I doubt it'll stay that way for long. It is perhaps a dynamically generated email that targets one would-be victim per phishing email.

I know this is quite common and it happens all the time but it is always better to to stay safe online and be wary (and worry) of emails purportedly from your bank asking for 'confirmation' of passwords and/or user name.

Better safe than sorry. Happy banking.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas

I would like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May your days be merry and blessed with joy, you and your loved ones.

"Nativity Hut" - a nativity scene at Gaya Street Christmas Celebration 2011, where figurines of Joseph and Mary are in life-size.

This is one of my favourites:
The Christmas Song

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping on your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

They know that Santa's on his way;
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.
And every mother's child is going to spy,
To see if reindeer really know how to fly.

And so I'm offering this simple phrase,
To kids from one to ninety-two,
Although its been said many times, many ways,
A very Merry Christmas to you.

And my childhood favourite:

The Greatest Gift of All

**with lyrics**

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Borang Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia

Salam sejahtera.

Saya pernah membuat entri mengenai Taklimat Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia yang saya hadiri di Daerah Tuaran. Taklimat ini telah di selaraskan dan tidak berbeza dengan taklimat-taklimat seumpamanya di seluruh negara.

Apa yang membimbangkan dan mengecewakan adalah terdapat segelintir pihak yang cuba meneguk di air keruh. Kebelakangan ini kita banyak membaca mengenai kes-kes penipuan berkenaan dengan borang Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M). Ada yang menyebut tentang pihak tertentu yang menjual borang permohonan pada harga RM3.00 hingga RM5.00 sekeping.

Perlu ditegaskan bahawa borang ini diberi secara PERCUMA dan boleh diisi (bantuan boleh dipohon) oleh sesiapa sahaja termasuk pemohon yang grey atau status kelayakannya kurang jelas.

Sehubungan ini saya sertakan salinan borang softcopy yang telah saya muat-naik bagi tujuan kegunaan semua. Borang ini, BK-01 [1/2011], boleh didapati di semua pejabat daerah dan pejabat-pejabat Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri di seluruh negara. Sumber borang: Pegawai LHDN yang membuat taklimat tersebut.

Muat turun BORANG BR1M.

Atau klik konsol di bawah untuk melihat pilihan-pilihan menu yang akan membawa anda ke laman, yang menjadi host kepada borang tersebut.

Interface BORANG BR1M

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What's Better for you: Well-Done or Rare steak?

First of - if you don't fancy steak this is obviously not for you (still, it may be a good read).

Photo credit: ireallylikefood

I used to consume steak on a considerably regular basis and XO Steak House in Kota Kinabalu was my favourite dine in food outlet. It's a 'was' as the restaurant is no longer in operation. Knowing that I'm a steak lover, my wife treated me to some fabulous dinner there. The following is an excerpt from my daily reading of the Daily Express and you'll find it interesting if you love steak like I do.

So, which is better for you?

That depends on who you are. If you are hungry, cooking is invaluable because you need all the fat and calories you can get. Cooking reduces the chewing time and begins the digestive process almost immediately. Some scientists even argue that the invention of cooking drove the evolution of the human brain. Do a little googling and you will understand what I mean.

On the other hand, if you are an over-fed modern person you don't need more calories or more fat. You need the iron, vitamins and possibly the protein in the meat, in which case less cooking maybe better. Above all, if you already eat lots of meat then more is generally going to be bad for you. If you eat little meat then a steak can be good source of nutrition whether well-done or rare.

For me - I like it well-done but I'll take it sparingly now as eating less meat is greener and it is better for my overall health, and yours.

I take more fish now, soup or grilled.

How about you?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Water Before Bedtime

"About 90% of heart attacks occur early in the morning and it can be minimised if one takes a glass or two of water NOT grog or beer before retiring in the evening."

I received this from a colleague and decided to share it, not through email but here, hoping that it reaches more people than the chain mail.

I did a little googling to find out if this is a fact proven scientifically but I couldn't get an assuring figure. But as for heart attacks happening in the morning, it seem to be a common knowledge among health practitioners.

Anyway, everyone knows the importance of water so, it is just a matter of trying to find the truth about the claim regarding the special time/s to drink it.

Here it goes (the relayed info):-

Drinking water at the correct time maximises its effectiveness on the Human body:
2 glasses of water after waking up - helps activate internal organs
1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal - helps digestion
1 glass of water before taking a bath - helps lower blood pressure
1 glass of water before going to bed - avoids stroke or heart attack

If you read Top 11 Benefits of Drinking Water and How, you will be amazed by the facts about the functions of water in your body.

Go ahead, have a good read and share it with people you care about.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Atkinson Clock Tower to Stay

Yes, the clock tower is here to stay,.... at least for now.

Atkinson project800 red <span class=
I like this!

According to Sabah Town and Country Planning Department Director, Mr. Mursidi Hj. Sapie, the Central Board has rejected the proposed multi-storey mixed-commercial project near Atkinson Clock Tower. Read about Life around Atkinson Clock Tower.

Atkinson tower <span class=
Former LPPB HQ building is right on the perimeter of the red circle.

This should be a good news to the many who opposed strongly to the proposed project. Their joy may still be short lived as the developers can appeal upon fulfilling the requirements of the environment impact assessment (EIA) report as well as museum and tourism authorities' conditions.

The project was approved by the former local authority and the old Sabah Housing and Town Development Authority (LPPB) headquarters building had already been demolished. That is the extent of determination by some quarters to bulldoze their plan for a multi-million ringgit worth of commercial project. If it was not for the determination of several NGOs, activists, as well as environmentalists in opposing to the LPPB plan, the clock tower would just be a history today.

Of course the developers would want to recover their cost for doing preliminary works, so they will not just sit and do nothing about this decision to reject the project. In the end it is the tax payers and the people as a whole are the ones on the losing end. And this is because of lack of good planning by those responsible for laying out plan for our city (then town, that is how LPPB got its tag, 'town planning').

So, Atkinson tower is here to stay!

If they decide to build the commercial centre later, the promised buffer zones around the site must be respected and not turned into ugly back alley suitable only for rubbish dumping.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Parabolic Dishes Banned in Malaysia

The public is prohibited from using parabolic satellite dishes to receive transmission from foreign television stations because their content may have a negative impact on Malaysian viewers. This was what the Deputy Minister of the concerned ministry told the Dewan Rakyat recently.

The government has since, through the Customs Department confiscated 193 parabolic satellite dishes valued at RM200,000 in a major crackdown in Sabah. For the record, Sabah and Sarawak enjoyed unofficial freedom of use of such dishes for many years.

Needless to say, people were not happy with the Customs Department's sudden tough act, but for all the furors that followed the big scaled operation by the authority, let us understand that the ban has been there for very long time already. The ban was enforced in 1988 following the enactment of the Broadcasting Act 1988. All types of satellite dishes were prohibited then until amendment to the act was made in 1995 to allow satellite TV, ASTRO in particular, to come into service. Even then, parabolic dishes were legalised only after issuance of licence for very specific applications and upon fulfillment of certain standard equipment or device. Don't ask me what is standard and non-standard in this context.

Parabolic dish <span class=
Big satellite dish used by operator of Poring Hot Spring, Ranau, Sabah.

Section 239 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (ACT 558) states that an offence of "unlawful use, possession or supply of non-standard equipment or device" is punishable by not more than RM100,000 or imprisonment for a term not more than 2 years, or both.

I'm so unimpressed by the lack of enforcement. If there was no amendment to allow for the usage of such devices then take action and be consistent. Don't give leeway at pleasure and put the law in a mess by allowing the use of the devices depending on the situation. I haven't seen any clear guidelines and I believe this has encourage numerous unlawful installation of the banned device especially in Sabah.

I mentioned 'freedom of use' earlier. When you do not enforce the law and allow infringement to happen for so many years, and I say 20 years is very long, you are giving an impression that the law there just for show and probably to save your butts when things get out of control. Also, you are implying that that act of law is redundant. In the case of the issue at hand (satellite dishes), one set of instruction is there for Peninsula Malaysia and another for Sabah/Sarawak.

We seem to be not serious in doing our job putting the law at work.

ASTRO dish is only 60cm in diameter and as the technology advances so is the size of communication equipment and devices; they become smaller. It is near impossible now for the enforcement officers to detect the small 'illegal' dishes. The ministry will then need to employ 'bugs' in every house to spy and catch these culprits which would effectively make Malaysia a police country. All in the name of trying to block contents that may have a negative impact on Malaysian viewers. If that is the case, then we might as well block or heavily filter the internet access as well.

For your reading pleasure:
Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, ACT 558
The changing broadcast media environment: perspectives from Malaysia, 1994
ASTRO: Legality & content. A bit biased write-up but surely a good read.
Is your Parabolic Dish (TVRO), handphone, walkie talkie legal? This is MCMC asking you a question.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Parabolic Mirrors That Produce Electricity

Although not the main source of today's electrical energy, people would probably be more familiar with the term solar power (Solar PV) now compared to 20 years ago. In solar photovoltaic, light is converted to electricity directly using photovoltaic panels. This is one way, and the most conventional means of harnessing energy from the sun.

The other method - not yet as popular but gaining momentum - is through Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). As it name suggests, similar to Solar PV, the the sun is the source of energy but harnessed indirectly. Parabolic mirrors are used to concentrate sunlight onto receivers and convert it to heat. This heat will be used by a steam turbine or a heat driving generator to generate electricity.

<span class=
Image from Desertek-UK

    In a more technical terms:
    In CSP plants, long, parabolic silvered glass mirrors are arranged in troughs that track the sun as it moves through the day. The solar radiation hitting the mirrors focuses on metal heat-absorbing pipes, encased in glass, at the focal point of the mirrors, where it warms synthetic oil to temperatures of 350 - 400 degree Celcius. The super-heated oil is then pumped down the pipe to a central power block where heat exchangers absorb the energy to create steam that drives a steam turbine and generate electricity.

In 2010, Solar PV has a total global capacity of 40,000MW with another 24,000MW expected in 2011. In comparison CSP total installed capacity in 2010 stands at 1,095MW while at least 6,200MW more has been initiated in 2011. This shows that Solar PV is way ahead of CSP in terms of global acceptance.

Is it better than using the normal solar cells to convert the light to electricity directly? Unlikely. CSP is probably more of complementing Solar PV than a direct competitor. Due to the thermal storage capacity of the CSP system, electricity can still be generated during cloudy days unlike photovoltaic.

It is good to diversify, especially if it is sustainable and one that does not harm mother nature.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Taklimat Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia

Salam sejahtera.

Taklimat Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) peringkat Daerah Tuaran telah diadakan hari ini (9 Disember 2011) di Dewan Tun Hamdan, Tamparuli. Taklimat ini merupakan inisiatif Kementerian Kewangan Malaysia melalui Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN), Kota Kinabalu.

Entri ini bertujuan memberi penerangan kepada anda yang belum menghadiri mana-mana taklimat seumpama ini.

Bantuan Tunai RM500 kepada ketua keluarga isi rumah yang berpendapatan bulanan RM3,000 ke bawah akan memberi implikasi kewangan dianggarkan sebanyak RM2.6 bilion yang akan memberi memanfaat kepada 5.2 juta isi rumah.

Borang pendaftaran akan diedarkan mulai 10 Disember 2011 (Sabtu) dengan tempoh permohonan sehingga 10 Januari 2012.

Pembayaran BR1M akan dilaksanakan dalam beberapa majlis penyampaian selama tempoh dua bulan, mulai 15 Januari 2012. Sekiranya penerima tidak dapat menghadiri majlis penyampaian tersebut, baucar boleh dituntut di Pejabat Daerah. Baucar-baucar tersebut boleh ditunaikan di cawangan-cawangan Bank Simpanan Nasional, BSN.

Berikut adalah ringkasan kepada taklimat BR1M peringkat Daerah Tuaran dan difahamkan bahawa format taklimat-taklimat di daerah lain seluruh negara telah diselaraskan bagi tujuan keseragaman:-

Tarikh: 9 Disember 2011
Masa: 9.00am - 12.00 tengahari
Tempat: Dewan Tun Hamdan, Tamparuli, Sabah









Talian Hotline 1-800-222-500 akan mula beroperasi pada 7 Disember 2011
Pegawai MOF akan bertugas dari 9 pagi – 5 petang, (Isnin-Jumaat)
Pejabat SUK dan Pejabat Daerah mewujudkan Bilik Operasi Khas

Dirasakan taklimat sedemikian amat penting memandangkan rakyat Malaysia yang layak mahupun yang tidak layak masih tertanya-tanya tentang cara memohon dan di manakah mereka boleh berbuat demikian.

Akhir kata, jumlah bantuan RM500 tidaklah banyak jika dibandingkan dengan kos sara hidup sekarang tetapi seperti kata orang, kalau dah diberi tu ambik saja lah!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Geothermal Power Plant Soon

      Kota Kinabalu: A local company is set to pioneer renewable energy in the State by tapping into geothermal sources in Tawau.

      Green Energy Sdn Bhd (TGE) which inked a deal with Sabah Electricity Board (SESB) on Tuesday, aims to generate in the next two years 30MW of electricity for Tawau and its surrounding areas for up to 100 years.

      Its RM400 million geothermal power plant at Apas Kiri, which will be connected to the Sabah electricity grid, will also be Malaysia's first renewable energy power plant using geothermal energy resources.

      TGE Project Director Andrew Amalados said work will commence Wednesday and is scheduled for completion by December 2014, is one of the cleanest forms of renewable energy with carbon footprints very much lower than of coal, fossil oil and natural gas.

Read the news further at Daily Express.

The four Renewable Energy type that enjoy special tariff system in Malaysia are Biogas, Biomass, Small Hydro power, and Solar PV. The special tariff is an incentive to catalyse the generation of renewable energy. Geothermal power is not one of the renewable energy sources under the national FiT policy.

Geothermal power is, however, categotised as renewable due to the sustainability of the source of thermal energy and it is much greener compared to coal, fossil fuel and natural gas. As such, initiatives by individuals and enterprises in harnessing energy from geothermal quaify for certain financial incentive from the government as well as global recognition by international organisations.

geothermal energy
Image source.

Put in simple term, geothermal energy is generated from the temperature derived from earth. As shown in the above image, high pressure steam is obtained from underground geothermal hot reservoir, is contained and managed, then used too drive the power plant turbines to generate electricity. Recovered fluid is injected back to earth and the cycle is repeated.

The first ever geothermal power plant in the country is being built and operated in Sabah by Tawau Green Energy Sdn Bhd with vital info as follows:

Location : Apas Kiri, near Tawau Hills Park
(about 20km from Tawau town)
Cost : RM400 million
Generating capacity : 30MW
Energy tapping : via 12 wells, 1800m to 2000m deep
Build up area : 20 hectares
Expected completion : 3 years (due in 2014)
Tenure : 21-year power purchase agreement with SESB

DSC_2070 May 2010
Image from Tawau Green Energy website.

30MW is not much compared to Sabah's total current demand of 772MW but it will certainly help in stabilising the quality of power supply in the East Coast. Higher available capacity means lesser interruption of power at the consumer end.

Hopefully so.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Personal Injury Solicitor

I took this picture 2 days after the train-lorry collision near Kota Kinabalu International Airport on 30th October 2011 and it reminds me of the few personal accident insurance policies I have signed up for.

Scene of Train collision800

It reminds me of a fellow Kota Kinabalu blogger (I can't really recall which one) mentioning the importance of life insurance while at the same time thinking about injuries sustained by the passengers of the ill-fated train. For those who have Personal Accident insurance (PA), I suppose it is a straight forward contact-your-agent-and-sit-wait kind of process they have to go through. I read about Personal Injury Solicitors which is available in other countries, to handle cases involving insurance claim due to negligence of other party. This ensures that nobody unduly suffers from somebody else’s mistake.

I am not saying or passing a judgement that one party or another in the above case is at fault. I'm just wondering if we have this kind of service provider in our country. You know, something like in some countries, solicitors/lawyers look for some faults and collaborate with a willing person to take some legal action and benefit from there. This is an extreme example but, yeah, someone like a helper to 'solicit' on our behalf.

Can anyone, especially insurance agent/solicitor enlighten us?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tablet PC the way to Go?

Feeling like it is year-end holiday yet? Teachers and students would surely say yes.

It is December and people would now be busy preparing for a brand new year. This is also the time when most of us would be shopping for presents for our loved ones or for self reward after a job well done this year.

I don't actually consider myself tech savvy but I like browsing through the latest gadgets, not that I'm obsessed with wanting to buying every new gadget the market has to offer. This year we saw fierce competition among electronic giants like Samsung, Apple, HTC, to name a few. Samsung's Galaxy has been on the helm of the smartphone throne for sometime until iPhone 4S came along. At this juncture, there is no official statistics yet to compare the two most sought after smartphone brands.

Smartphones have clearly gained exponential momentum the last year or two but I believe the next big thing is Tablet PC. This is evident from the popularity and availability of tablets at almost every establish phone or IT premises. In and around Kota Kinabalu, dedicated Tablet PC store is not common yet due to the product mix in the shop inventory but I can assure you that any established store carries at least the major tablet PC brands such as iPad, Galaxy Tab, HP Touchpad, or Blackberry playbook.

So, if electronic gadgets are your present of choice this year, you would probably want to pay a visit to Karamunsing Complex in Kota Kinabalu, Low Yatt Plaza in Kuala Lumpur, or Sim Lim Square in Singapore.

Happy holiday!

Can you really go blind by staring at the Sun?

Let's start the week with a question. Can you really go blind by staring at the Sun?

Short answer: No.

Sunrise captured in Penampang, Sabah.

Long answer (I thought you'd love this): Yes, but....

It's possible, but the hazard is often exaggerated. Even at midday, a normal eye will only let in enough light to heat the retina by about 4°C. You need at least 10°C to cause thermal damage. Looking at the Sun during an eclipse for more than a minute can cause damage, because your pupils are more dilated, but it doesn’t result in total blindness and isn’t usually permanent. If the Sun is within 10 minutes of setting below a sea-level horizon, the more dangerous short-wavelength light is absorbed by the atmosphere and it should be quite safe to look at the Sun.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

SESB Names New Boss

    Kota Kinabalu: Ir. Abd Razak Salim has been named the new SESB Managing Director - the first Sabahan to assume the post since the privatisation of the State's utility agency on Sept 1, 1988.

    Abd Razak, 53, who was SESB Senior General Manager takes over from Datuk Ir. Baharin Din effective Dec 1, 2011. An electrical engineer by training, Abd Razak rose through the ranks after starting his career with the Sabah Electricity Board in 1986.

    Baharin would be returning to TNB in Kuala Lumpur. During Baharin's tenure, SESB managed to lower Sabah's System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) from 2,717 minutes (average per consumer) in 2007 to 687 minutes in 2010.
    Source: Daily Express, 1/12/2011.

Big congrats to Ir. Abd Razak. I've attended some of SESB events where he is a speaker and he is a person who is easy to understand and he cuts down on the un-necessaries.

I have no particular preference for who heads the utility company although common sense would tell you a Sabahan should head a Sabah State Federal agency. In this case, TNB, a GLC under the federal administration. But being someone who hails from the place he is currently serving, it is the least to hope that Ir. Abd Razak would better understand the sentiment of the people and the ultimate goal of 100% power supply coverage in Sabah by 2012.

Ir. Baharin managed to lower the interruption index from more than 2,700 to just slightly more than 680 minutes last year. Ir Abd razak should have his sight on the 70-minute mark set by some states in West Malaysia. As a benchmark Singapore recorded 2-minutes interruption index (SAIDI) a couple of years back. Refer here, and scroll to page 19.

100% coverage and 70-minute interruption index.

Which should be SESB's priority? As a person residing in the interior, I would say go for 100% coverage, but I live in Kota Kinabalu and I'm also entitled to my rights to stable, interruption-free power supply. It is always a question of quantity or quality.

Do you know that to a kampung folk, a power supply is all that is needed no matter how it is generated - gasoline generator, small turbine, diesel powered, coal fired plant, hybrid solar PV, you name it. Whether the supply is stable or flickery, is secondary. They just need the donkey power.

To the urbanites, sorry but we have different priorities. And by urbanites, I mean the leaders who sit comfortably in their air-conditioned office.

So, we shall leave it to the new MD's wisdom to muster his way and negotiate with the state government to come to a compromise, preferably killing the two birds with one stone - quality quantity.

Best wishes to the new head, and hoping for the best for a solution to Sabah's power supply issues.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's Early Christmas for Daily Express

Today's popular news: Party-mood Young Tigers mauled by Syria.

Wrong! I am a football crazy but this time it's the smaller prints that did it for me.

<span class=
My copy of the Daily Express - 24 November 2011

Alright, I admit it. That headline Syria Spoil the party caught my attention. It is a summary of the sad truth about our junior football team Young Tigers, Harimau Muda. They won the SEA GAMES football tourney barely 2 days ago and I bet many of the players are still celebrating as Syria put two goals into their net.

..and it is so important that I circled the word "Sport" on the top left-hand corner.

Not quite. Look closely at the enlarged image below.

<span class=

See it? Yes, it's the date. According to Daily Express it is Christmas eve already. This image is not doctored and you can check your copy if you still have it.

Okay, so, today is 24th December 2011. Pssstt!! It was actually my wife who spotted the small error and I suggested 2412 should be a lucky number for today. LOL

Moving on. Buoyed by our 'massive discovery' and believing that we would make it to the history book, we combed the papers for more golds and true enough we found one in the Bahasa Melayu section.


<span class=
Segmen Sukan Harian Express

<span class=
Khamis 23 November 2011? Hari Khamis bukan 24 haribulan kah?

This is nothing less than bad but I still prefer the 24-December-2011 blip. I really should now start wishing people Merry Christmas.

Sembang kosong kopi-o saja. Jangan marah.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Free Garbage Bins

ALOR SETAR, 19 NOVEMBER, 2011: Three million households that have settled their house assessments will be presented with free garbage bins on wheels until August 2014, said Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung.

He said the bins would be supplied by three companies that had been awarded contracts for garbage and solid waste collection in Kedah, Perlis, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor.

Distribution of the bins would first be carried out in the state capitals followed by municipal council and district council areas, he said.

Read more about it at New Strait Times and New Sabah Times....

This covers only 7 out of 14 states in Malaysia and unfortunately Sabah has not move yet to that direction.

I took the following shot not too long ago at Tanjung Lipat seafront and it is not difficult to see that we in Kota Kinabalu have very low awareness of cleanliness and we don't seem to care much about how this will impact our well-being, today or in future.

<span class=
Sandy beach? maybe not.

Back to the topic, no doubt it would be nice to get free bins but the guys running the show should also ensure regular collection of rubbish. The place where we stay falls under the local government rating area where households pay for certain maintenance services fee and this covers garbage collection. As it is now, the collection is not on regular basis and one needs to call the municipal office numerous time before someone comes to do the job.

What's going on in Peninsula Malaysia is a proactive initiative by Minister Datuk Chor, and if done in the most proper way I believe these states will benefit from the participation of the private sector.

Can we do the same for Kota Kinabalu (for a start) and other main towns in Sabah later?

What happened to the short-lived privatised solid waste management services in Kota Kinabalu is a good example of a mis-management on the part of whoever. In other words it was a loop-sided deal.

Come on! We can do better than a biased agreement. We are all smart people, aren't we?

Pungut bah buanglah sampah tu!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sabah Budget 2012 - Updated

This is an update to the earlier entry posted on 17th November 2012, prior to the tabling of the state budget, titled Sabah Budget 2012. I mentioned that the state government would table a RM3.4 bil budget, an increase of 11% compared to the previous figure. It appeared to be an underestimation as the CM announced the biggest ever budget of RM4.048 billion later that afternoon.

The following Table shows Sabah's historical budget figures tabled by Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman who is also the State Finance Minister:

Budget 2012 was tabled by CM on 18th November 2011

1) The 2009 Budget Speech
2) The 2011 Budget Speech
3) Daily Express
4) The Star Online - for 2010 data.

Where will this RM4.048 bil expenses go to? view source

1) Salaries + administrative expenses
2) Infrastructure - RM1.3 bil
3) Supply of clean water - RM459 mil
4) Roads - RM271 mil
4) Sewage treatment - RM64 mil
5) Agriculture - RM336 mil
6) Tourism - RM159 mil
7) Bringing riches to the village poor - RM169 mil (whatever that means)
8) Training (jobs, scholarships, professional/vocational) - RM204 mil
9) New township and housing - RM123 mil
10) ICT (e-constituency portal, e-community, e-Desa) - RM72 mil

If the figures don't add up, don't blame your mathematics teacher, blame the rain instead.

Biggest ever spending there but it is necessary for continual development of Sabah.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sabah Budget 2012

Today, in less than a couple of hours time, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman will table the State Budget for 2012, during the state assembly sitting.

Chief Minister, Datuk Musa Aman, last year during the 2011 Budget tabling.

Among the highlights in putting the people's well-being first (as mentioned in the budget pre-tabling press statement) , are:

a) emphasizing on agriculture, tourism and manufacturing,
b) poverty eradication,
c) youth and human capital development,
d) balanced development statewide,
e) development of basic infrastructure and facilities

This is the general idea of what we will be hearing this afternoon, a full detailed report to be expected in the local dailies tomorrow.

Note that the government has been telling us all along that we have strong economic foundation and that we have a strong state reserve. While strong economic foundation is quite straight forward factual, "strong reserve" statement is debatable and requires elaboration on the part of the government.

Last year the Chief Minister tabled a RM3.07 billion budget and if the revenue rose as claimed then we can look at probably RM3.4 billion budget this year.

Coming back to strong reserve as reported by Bernama yesterday, that would imply that the state have a lot of money. I do not have access to the state government's account but there was a mentioned in Daily Express not too long ago that it is still using Cash Accounting in its financial reporting. Read about the difference of Cash Accounting and Accrual Accounting here.

Such accounting method does not give a true reflection of the financial position of the government of Sabah. The government would just need to defer payments of its long term liabilities for few years and you will immediately see 'surplus' in its annual report. Does 'few years' of withheld payment sound familiar to you - especially those in long term government contracts or concessions?

I bet it does. In fact, too familiar that some are getting fed-up with the waiting game.

It is no surprise that some opposition leaders are claiming that the state government does not have money and we are spending money that we borrowed. Now look at this objectively and for once don't look at it as political.

Check that your house is in order financially, see if you Buku 555 is not too stuffed and come up with that budget appropriately. Don't withhold payment unreasonably!

Kurangkan tambahlah hutang tu!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Go Ahead, Farting is Healthy

Question: Does everybody fart?

Ok I know, I should've used passing gas instead of that cute little word farting. Anyway, here is food for today:

Source: Daily Express, Nov. 6, 2011

In case the image doesn't work on your display I'll repeat the text bit for you:

    "Without exception! Gas ends up in the large intestine from air that is swallowed and from the action of the bacteria that live there. It is mostly nitrogen and carbon dioxide with some hydrogen and methane mixed in, with tiny amounts of skatole, indole, methanethiol, hydrogen sulfide and dimethyl sulfide to give it a stinky smell. Everyone farts but some people take enough care with the release that they are rarely caught out."

There you go, release the gas to a glorious sound, it's healthy, totally green act on your part and it does not hurt anyone around you. Ok, maybe a little.

Thanks for farting reading.


Monday, November 14, 2011

iPhone 4S Uptrend Pricing

My wife and I were passing by City Mall, Kota Kinabalu a couple of days ago and came across the same retail shop she had a first glance of her current Galaxy S2 earlier this year. This retailer seem to have the upper hand in terms of getting new smart phones early in their product lines.

While we were able to fiddle with the S2 for considerable amount of time last time around, the white iPhone 4S set was out of touch (not literally), it was nicely wrapped in plastic and the salesperson did not allow us to unwrap or switch it on to have a better idea. It was understandable considering at that time not a single premise has this set yet.

I'm fine with the no-fiddling house rule. What irked me was the price tag of RM3,399 for a 16GB variant. That is roughly USD1,085 compared to an unlocked set in the United States of USD649 (RM2033). In Singapore, unlocked set is retailed at SGD948 (RM2,316).

I suppose this is all about brand and people's perception and acceptance of certain products coupled with shortage of supply. But at RM3,399 I just think one should wait for the dust to settle and then decide if that amount of money is well spent.

A more likely pricing scenario (I believe still few more weeks away) is as follow:

iphone price nframe
*iPhone 4S prices are derived from Unlocked iPhone 4S retailed prices, Singapore

So, there you go. Don't pay un-necessary money unless you are a person who wants everything on the dot, or you are buying this for a very, very special occasion and hence money is not an issue in your equation.

Every time this company comes out with a new iPhone, for a similarly specced unit there will be a drop in recommended retail price. This is a common trend for electronic gadgets and iPhone should not be an exception. The above table shows the summary of their previous launchings, and taking 16GB variant as an example the price was lowered on every subsequent release. Expect the same for the 4S.

For a more street-priced feel of iPhone 4S in Singapore, visit here.

For an insight of the overpriced sets in Malaysia, visit here. By the way, this reseller offers iPhone 4S, 16GB here at RM3,099. Still exorbitant.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Testing of Feed-in Tariff Application

Poor Very poor response.

That was my conclusion of the 3-day Gamma Testing of Feed-in Tariff Application on the e-FiT Online System. Only 50 nos feedback received as at the time of this posting, including myself.

FIT feedback1
My response page to SEDA

Say, 10% of the population (28.3mil in 2010) is aware of the Government Renewable Energy (RE) initiative and incentives. That would be 2.83 million and as we don't expect every 'aware' person to respond we'll take a 1% as poor. A humble one percent is 28,000 but would you actually believe that out of 100 persons being aware of a rewarding initiative only 1 or less person would respond?

If I tell 100 farmers that I have been blessed yesterday with a lot of money and I would reward anyone for planting paddy according to a prescribed method and for achieving certain quantity of rice produced, I am quite sure half of them would at least ask what sort of reward and how much can they expect to get in return.

In the case of Malaysia Feed-in Tariff, the lack of response from the public is a strong indication that the population at large is not aware of such reward program. What we hear on the mainstream media is the government's commitment to reduce the CO2 emission and the policies drafted to achieve this. What we don't hear is that you and me can take part in achieving this and at the same time reaping monetary benefit from our participation.

Energy Commission is quite aggressive in promoting energy efficiency in this country, and SEDA should emulate EC's effort by:

  1. Conducting nationwide workshops, seminars and trainings on Renewable Energy initiatives, its objectives and their benefits to the people,
  2. Gamma test - redo the gamma test during weekdays, after publicizing it through the mainstream media,
  3. Advertisement - consider this as business venture and advertise it periodically. Don't keep things at SEDA office.

I have mentioned nationwide but I'll stress it again that SEDA need and must conduct seminars and promotional activities in Sabah and Sarawak. After all these two are the least served states in Malaysia in terms of electricity supply.

Give them alternatives to generate their own electricity through Renewable Energy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

ONLINE Testing of Feed-in Tariff

Image source: SEDA Malaysia

SEDA Malaysia will release a test version of the e-FiT Online System for Gamma testing on the Feed-in Tariff Application.

The online test will be carried out as follows:

Date: 10:00 am 5th Nov 2011 to 5:00 pm on 7th Nov 2011.
URL: (to be activated at 9:55 am on 5th Nov 2011)
Send in your feedback by : 8th Nov 2011.

Members of the public are welcome to test and provide their feedback to SEDA Malaysia by Tuesday, 8th November 2011 to or by filling the feedback online form :

Feedback on the Feed-in Tariff Application via the e-FiT Online System

If Feed-in Tariff (FiT) is new to you, you may want to read about it here:

1) Incentive for Renewable Energy
2) Generate Electricity at home and EARN MONEY
3) FiT - Critical Success Factors

Or, read all about FiT at SEDA Malaysia website here.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

World Population hits 7 Billion

Think about this:

World population 1-Nov-11
A screen shot of the live updates at the time this entry was posted (1-11-2011).
Source: Worldometers

On Monday the United Nations officially declared a baby born in the Philippines as the world's 7 billionth occupant. According to the statement, Danica May Camacho was born just after midnight Monday at a local hospital in Manila. After declaring her the honorary 7 billionth inhabitant of the planet, U.N. officials presented the baby's parents with a scholarship for her education and a financial package to help them open a general store.

The world's population has doubled in the past 50 years, and the 6 billionth occupant was officially born Oct. 12, 1999, in Bosnia - just about 12 years ago.

As shown in the graph below, the world population is increasing at accelerated pace since 1950 and if this trend continues we will have a population of 10 billion by 2050.

World population 7 Bil-a
Source: USA Today

So, what does this mean to us?

It is inevitable there will be an increase in the demand on the world's natural resources and that increase would be exponential. Many of these are already under tremendous pressure from current rate of depletion.

Essential things like water, coal, oil and gas, phosphorus (for plants to grow), rare earth elements such as neodymium (e.g. for electricity generation, etc) will become scarce and as smart as we humans are, there will certainly be a melt-point somewhere not too far away from now where the graph will plot into a plateau.

In short, looking from science point of view, how well we cope with increasing population depends much on how well we manage our WATER, FOOD and ENERGY.

So, as you think of water, food and energy, think green. Act and treat our earth with our children's children in mind.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lowest Household Income

Today is Friday and another weekend is right in front of us. Shopping spree, spending your hard earned money, yes? Then, perhaps a quick glance at our income is a good thing to do.

I saw this in the local daily not too long ago and tried to check it out with Department of Statistics, Malaysia. These particular figures are not made public, so I guess we'll have to make do with what Daily Express shared with us:

Monthly Gross Household Income 2009 lined
Source: Department of Statistics Malaysia (JPM)

First, a bit of jargon buster.
  1. Household income is a measure of the combined incomes of people sharing a particular household or place of residence. It includes every form of income - salaries and wages, retirement income, investment gains, biz income, etc.
  2. Mean and Median - the two terms used by statisticians to find an indicator of household income in certain geographic area. JPM uses mean or average.

In Malaysia, household income normally refers to the combined income of husband and wife as this is the most common finding when census is carried out.

You can see from the histogram that Sabahans are among the lowest income earners, with average of RM3,144 per household. This means that each member of the contributing person earns about RM1,570. If Labuan is removed from the equation, I am quite sure Sabah would fall further down.

Our friends in Putrajaya command higher income with average household bringing home double the amount of what we earn in Sabah.

To put things into perspective, median monthly household income for some of our neighbour countries (in 2009) are:
  1. Singapore : SG$4,850 (USD3,785)
  2. Philippines : P17,166 (USD395)
  3. Malaysia : RM4,025 (USD1,275)
  4. United States : USD4,148
[Sabah : RM3,144 (US$995)]

The United States are not really our neighbour geographically but economically they are considered by many as yardstick.

So, heading for the shopping malls this weekend?

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cheapest Computer

Super cheap but is it fit-for-purpose?

Students showing off the new Tablet - Aakash. Image from Voice of America.
If you recall, a week a or two ago, India introduced a super cheap computer, the Aakash for Rs.2250 (US$45/RM135). Well, a tablet computer to be exact. Over the years India has been well known for its initiatives in producing cheap and affordable stuffs. Not too long ago India's Tata stunned the automobile world with its US$2,000 car, Nano.

It is understood that the tablet can be had at $35 with subsidy from the government, specifically for students. A commercial version would cost around $70 to be made available later.

Enter Bangladesh.

It seem that India is not the only nation building cheap computers. Bangladesh this week introduced the Doel, Android-based laptop in Dhaka priced at 10,000 Taka (US$130/RM390), according to BBC.

Compared to Aakash, the price of Doel is a bit steep but for a $130, who can complain much about a fully functional laptop. I wouldn't. It is a very decent effort by creative individuals. For some, the ability to connect with the rest of the world and the convenience of being able to do away with papers is far more important than the built quality of the tool itself.

Think about people with low household income of $300 to $400 but with decent educational infrastructure available around them. The Aakash or Doel may just be what they need, not iPad2 or the latest HP dv6 series.

Alright, let's have a look at the brief highlight of the comparison between the two latest cheap gadget, see for yourself if the price gap is justified:

Doel-Aakash Specs

In two words - pleasantly cheap. Period. My only hope is that people don't sacrifice green with cheap. Please consider your e-wastes and the environment as you design your stuff, hopefully the smaller (and cheaper) the gadget the smaller the production waste will be.

The Doel is essentially a scaled-down laptop like Aspire One, Lenovo IdeaPad, Inspiron Mini but priced much lower. Come on Malaysian IT enthusiasts, bring on your homegrown RM399.00 laptop/tab now. Afterall, who invented the thumb drive? Phua Khein Seng. He's a Malaysian.

Call it Nuri, Bangau, Kenyalang, or even your name.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Energy Efficiency by SESB

Being the sole licensee for the supply of electricity in Sabah, SESB has initiated a drive to promote energy efficiency in the State. The Energy Efficiency Steering Committee (EESC) meeting is to be called this week at power company's head office in Karamunsing, Kota Kinabalu.

The main focus is to accomplish noble objectives such as:
  1. To identify challenges and solutions to the promotion of Energy Efficiency or energy saving initiatives amongst consumers in Sabah,
  2. To build a strong and effective collaboration of ideals, efforts and results amongst key industry players,
  3. To accelerate a culture of responsible consumerism and an effective energy demand management in Sabah.
There were few other initiatives by SESB in the past but let's hope this one - with the involvement of some ministries and key industry players - would bring about better results towards preserving energy via efficiency.

Stay efficient, save energy, save money!

Let's see if this'd come out in the local dailies tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Siri - Old tech., New makeover

Remember Lieutenant Commander Data in the fictional Star Trek? He is the talking robot, an android they called him but that was all in the imagination of the film makers. He is a very capable 'assistant' that surpass human in many aspects of life.

Later on in the IT era there is this 'lady' called LiNa who answers all your questions on job related matters at She doesn't talk to you much like Android (Commander Data) but she sends you e-mails every other day without fail.

Fast forward to 2011.

Meet Siri, your Personal Assistant who will practicably be there with you everywhere you go. Talking gadget or robot and android (pun intended), is a very old technology but in iPhone 4S you are presented with a whole new approach - and hopefully new experience - to getting virtual assistance from your smart phone.

For a formal introduction of how Siri will be of help to you, watch this clip:

Can't play it here, go to the video link.

If you grow tired of formality and would like to have a laugh or two, check this one out. Perhaps you can also ask her if she'd like to go to a movie with you.

Assistant or nuisance?

I wonder if it would work across the board. Given that in Asia you will come across a wide variety of accents such as Singapore, India, Malaysia , the Philippines where English is widely spoken, I think Siri would struggle in my hands. Someone, some Apps developers need to come up with some decent Apps to help Siri understand the locals.

In any case, the phone will be available in a couple of days time in the US and few other countries while 22 more will follow shortly. Singapore, our nearest neighbour is getting them at the end of the month so Maxis should have them for Malaysians not too far away.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Which Country is the Greenest?

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) is a method of quantifying and benchmarking the environmental performance of a country's policies.

The 2010 EPI ranks 163 countries on 25 performance indicators covering environmental public health and ecosystem vitality. These indicators provide a gauge at a national government scale of how close countries are to established environmental policy goals.

So, firstly there must be an established goals, then there will be a measurement or audit to see how close a government is to these goals. The following is the ranking of countries in the Asia Pacific, according to study by Yale University (Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy):

Asia Pacific

You maybe wondering how the scores are harmonised to facilitate cross-country comparison when different countries may have different policies. This is done through EPI's proximity-to-target methodology.

Let's take a look at countries nearer to us and see how well we fared.

ASEAN nation EPI Score 2010
Singapore tops the ASEAN ranking

ASEAN countries are doing fairly well when compared to many other countries in Asia Pacific region with Singapore scoring just behind New Zealand and Japan. Malaysia makes it to Top Ten in the list.

With the many green incentives, pledges and the countless on-going efforts towards greener environment by the current government, I believe Malaysia will leapfrog a couple of countries above it come next year's audit result. Judging from the works in place now, Malaysia should score at least 66 to 69 in EPI this year. My only wish is that the implementation of the FiT for four renewable energy sources is kicked of earlier by 4Q this year rather than 1Q 2012.

So, which country is the world's greenest?

The top spot for 2010 goes to Iceland due to its high scores on environmental public health whereby it gets virtually all of its power from renewable sources (hydropower and geothermal energy), and its water tight control of greenhouse gas emissions. Switzerland is ranked second followed by Costa Rica.

Passing of an enormous talent

I was contemplating posting my disappointment over the 4th October 2011 release of the not-so-impressive 5th generation iPhone 4S in Cupertino, California when I read first thing today on MarketWatch of the passing of Steve Jobs. Little did we know that the day the 5th iPhone was launched was the very day that this great man last breathed air.

Steve Jobs was the co-founder and former CEO of Apple, and the board of directors offered a statement acknowledging his passing on Wednesday:

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.

“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.

“His greatest love was his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.”

Image from MarketWatch

Goodbye, and rest in peace Steve. Thank you, thank you, and thank you for improving the quality of so many lives. You will be deeply missed.

Let's dedicate the S in the new iPhone 4S to Steve.

Friday, September 30, 2011

What's wrong with Undilah

My wife and I were on our way to work early this morning when we're tuned in to the 7.00am national news.

In simple terms the news talked about 'Undilah' video clip being BANNED and taken off-air.

I have not seen it on TV myself but the announcement of its immediate stoppage from being broadcasted irked me and that prompted a quick google session first thing in the morning. The reasoning by the Minister was lame, or, am I a 'lame duck' now for failing to understand that the "video clip offended certain segments of society"?

I'm not going to hurl comments here but I will let you read for yourself what the big guns have to say:
  1. Rais said it offended certain segments of society
  2. Contains anti-BN messages - claimed Kota Belud MP
  3. The MCMC comes under fire from the 'stars' themselves. Now I get it!
  4. MCMC says nothing to do with contents. Should've blocked it long ago if not approved.

We've had enough of what others said. Let's see in the following clip, which part of the play "offends" you:

My personal view is that it is something good. I'm also part of the society but I don't feel offended by the content of the clip. Now, where has the pledge to-express-yourself-freely-without-discrimination gone?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

iPhone 5 Announcement, finally!

IMG_1179 copy
October 4, 2011 @10.00am California

It'll actually be less than a week now for the official announcement of the new iPhone, shall I say, iPhone 5.

I was browsing through The iPhone 5 News Blog for my daily dose of news about iPhone today and was pleasantly surprised - or, should we be surprised anymore after the long wait - to read the headlines.

So, it's official. The Loop's Jim Dalrymple reported that he has been invited for the announcement as follows: "Let's Talk iPhone" October 4 at Apple’s Cupertino, Calif. campus. The event begin at 10:00 am PT.

IMG_1180 theloop1
Screen shot of The Loop's posting using my handset

Jim said he will be at the event, and will bring a live update of the announcements as they happen.

So let tune in to The Loop this Tuesday and get to hear it first hand; well almost.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Energy Efficient Singapore

In my previous postings It Pays to Go Green and 5-Star Appliances and Rebates for You, I mentioned rebates of up to RM200 for energy-efficient appliances.

For the time being these rebates are for air-conditioners and refrigerators with 5-Star labels. This is one of the steps taken by Malaysia government towards wider usage of household appliances with high efficiency.

For Malaysia, energy-efficient equipment requirement is voluntary.

Singapore is a step further. The city state has imposed standards for minimum energy performance (MEPS) and it is now mandatory for exporters and manufacturers, including Malaysia, to comply with new standards if they want to continue selling these products there.

Among the specifications in these standards are types of goods, cooling capacity (in kW), minimum coefficient of performance, adjusted volume and maximum annual energy consumption (in kW).

What does that mean to our many manufacturing companies and consumers in Malaysia? A handful, both negatives and positives:
  1. Higher production cost, product differentiation between export quality and 'local use'. Expect lower efficiency for local market. Remember, our carrots (rebates) are based on voluntary participation from manufacturers.
  2. Accelerated acceptance of green technology. Manufacturers will now have to innovate to produce goods that are more efficient but cheaper in order to stay competitive.
  3. Malaysia will have to come up with MEPS sooner than later. This should fulfill the government's pledge to reduce carbon emission.
My opinion: Incentives are good, it helps in many instances and no doubt it can spur the advancement of green technology on to certain feel-good level. But couple with regulatory measures, the pace of such growth will certainly be better.

Read about the imposition of new standards here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

United Move Clear

What a week of football for the BPL - to United fan that is!

nani celebrate
Nani doing his trademark celebration after scoring a screamer.
Photo credit: soccernet/AP

Check out the other selected results from this week's fixtures (those that concerns the potential title contenders - M.United, M.City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspurs):

Week 5 BPL Result
All of the other teams in the "Big Five" dropped points except for United.

For my English speaking friends and readers, that sums up my excitement for a fantastic week for Manchester United FC and the fans from all over the world.

Untuk rakan-rakan peminat bolasepak di Malaysia, izinkan saya kelentong sikit a.k.a trip macam pengulas sukan terkemuka Haji Hasbullah Awang, hehe.

90 minit pertemuan United dengan Chelsea yang dijangka menyajikan persembahan menarik nampaknya akan diingati sebagai yang sebaliknya. Apa tidaknya, lihat saja fakta-fakta berikut:
  1. Rooney gagal menyempurnakan sepakan penalti
  2. Torres yang berdepan dengan gawang kosong memilih untuk menguis bola ke kiri (blunder of the season lah kiranya)
  3. Berbatov nampak masih 'berkarat' selepas gagal menjaringkan gol pada jarak 5 meter dari gawang dengan penjaga gol Chelsea sudah tertewas.
  4. Dua gol United kelihatan offside tetapi ini tiada bezanya dengan jaringan Terry musim lalu di Stamford Bridge yang menyebabkan Chelsea menang tipis 1 - 0.
  5. Rooney sepatutnya menjaringkan hattrick atau 4 gol.
  6. Torres, seperti Rooney sepatutnya menjaringkan hattrick.

Apa-apa pun 3 matalah yang penting dan ini telah mengekalkan rekod 100% United dalam kempen musim ini. Musim masih panjang tetapi siapa mungkin yang tidak cemburu dengan permulaan hebat seperti ini?

Come On UNITED.....all the way now!