Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Could This Be the iPhone 5?

iPhone 5 is going to be launched next week!

Of course that was said in my wildest of dream. Apple Inc., is one company that is well known for being so tight-lipped when it comes to information on products launching. But with Samsung Galaxy S II release in the US scheduled for end-August (initially 29-08-2011 and later rumoured to be delayed for a day due to hurricane Irene), it is very much expected that iPhone 5 is well on its way in a matter of days rather than weeks.

Some says that iPhone 5 - or whatever it may be called - is going to be launched in the 1st or 2nd week of September. Some sites like The iPhone 5 News Blog even predict 7th or 12th September as release date with some credible insight and opinion bundled in.

I am a big fan of the iPhone and am very excited about the imminent release hopefully not too far away. I saw this purported clone of the iPhone 5 in giz-china.com and it looks pretty shiny, it could be a clone/fake of the real one.

If you recall, china made iPhone-alike is quite popular in our country and these functional sets look almost exactly like the real deal.

I took some of the pictures published by giz-china.com and compared them with that of my current 3GS. Look glossy actually.

The iPhone 3GS with iOS 4.3

Top- iPhone 3GS, bottom- iPhone5 by giz-china. Now, where is my 4" screen?

Left- iPhone5 by giz-china, right- iPhone 3GS. Note the curvy back of the 3GS.

Top- iPhone 3GS, bottom- iPhone5 by giz-china

Top- iPhone 3GS, bottom- iPhone5 by giz-china

The Galaxy S II is currently regarded as the cream of the Android clans and retailed at RM2,099.00 (US $699). The new iPhone 5 being retailed at RM2,399.00 ($799) is certainly conceivable.

I kind of like the iPhone-y 5 design with curved front glass and curved metal back panel but the display size is nothing new compared to the current iP4 and iP3GS - small and nowhere near to the Galaxy S II's 4.3 inch.

Okay, so let's wait for the release next week, shall we. If you ask me, I'll stand by what I mentioned in the first sentence.

Friday, August 26, 2011

RM5.2bil solar glass plant in KKIP didn't materialise due to Power Supply issue

There's this old saying that reads "opportunity only knocks once".

It may not necessarily be an opportunity that suits everyone or every situation but if it does come one needs to be ready as it will not stay around very long for it to be exploited.

The following is a classic case for Sabah.

Slightly more than a year ago a global player in solar PV industry pledged more than RM5 billion (USD1.7bil) to build a solar glass plant in KKIP, Sabah. That company is Sun Bear Solar Ltd of Hong Kong.

RM5-2b solar glass Sabah

That plan now, as far as I'm concerned, is as good as history. Sun Bear reviewed its position and realised that Sabah is incapable of providing one critical aspect of setting up a sophisticated production complex - POWER SUPPLY.

Insufficient power supply means no manufacturing plant. You can't burn silica with the 'heat' generated from you domestic bickering, can you?

While we were busy debating how we should come up with sufficient power supply for the people in the East Coast, and while people argued on the viability of the Lahad Datu Coal-fired power plant, an opportunity to learn first-hand new technology, and to provide jobs for the locals evaporates in a blink of an eye just like mist in a dry morning.

Fine. There'll always be another chance, you say.


A couple of days ago, US-based Solexel pledged to invest RM2.8 billion to build a photovoltaic cell manufacturing plant in Senai Hi-Tech Park in Johor. Sun Bear initially picked Sabah simply because of the abundant supply of silica here, especially the Northern part of our state. Do you think Solexel would even consider Sabah anymore?

"Sorry Sabah, you are too engrossed with your domestic problem and you are unwilling to accommodate to our fundamental need. Thanks, but no thanks. We'll do business elsewhere for now."

I'd very much like to blame someone else for the opportunity loss, really. But how and why? It is obviously our fault and ultimately it's our loss.

As the leaders of the day, you've got to feel guilty, even if it was just for the slightest of your conscience. Your mighty hands failed to create opportunity for the eager youth to acquire new knowledge, earn decent income, and be proud members of a community of highly skilled human capital.

Come on now! Bring on Kimanis Petronas Power, Lahad Datu Thermal power and Banggi solar farm!

Where there is a will there is a way.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Selamat pagi, jom santai-santai di pagi Selasa. Ada siapa-siapa yang boleh tolongkah? Mana perginya RM1.00 tu?

missing money

Ni bukan saya yang buat atau karang, entah mana punya wall haritu saya nampak. Sudah cuba pakai calculator, computer dan sempoa/abacus tapi tidak dapat jawaban.

Kalau jumpa sudah, boleh pakai untuk beli newspaper karang. Dibuat angpau raya pun macam tidak cukup.

Jemputlah try, test, cuba!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tell Your Story

... I mean, Your Engineering Story.







This is an initiative by IEM (Sabah) to spice up this year's IEM annual dinner by making "Your Engineering Story" part of the event.

I wanted to append the full PDF brochure but it's not hyperlinked. Here is how you are going to do it:

This competition is called "My Engineering Story" and the chosen stories will be published in the IEM Sabah website and printed in the annual dinner souvenir book.

Objective: To collect amazing, inspiring real life stories and hence, motivate more people to love engineering. To provide a platform to all engineers to share their passion towards their living and loving in engineering. [Note: These are words from IEM. Interpret at your own pleasure.]

Simple rules:
1) The competition is divided into two categories, i.e. a) Students, and b) Engineers,
2) Three (3) winners will be selected from each category,
3) Each of the winners will receive RM500 cash.

Include the followings in your submission:
1) Full name, field of engineering, company name, phone number, and email address
2) Your "My Engineering Story" in word file.
3) Your story must be within 400 to 500 words.
4) Your photo or photo related to your story.

So, hit that keyboard of your computer and start writing.

Submit your article by 1st October 2011 to iemyessabah@gmail.com

IEM Sabah Branch can also be reached at Tel: 088-259122 (2 lines) Fax : 088-236749

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Power tariff restructuring - Some win, some lose, and some are losing big time

The sweeping statement by SESB regarding the recent tariff rate increase is somewhat misleading, and to some extent disappointing even if one can understand the justification for the restructuring.

Granted, the more-or-less 75% domestic consumers are safeguarded. Some 70,500 consumers even get kind of pleasant surprise as a result of the exercise, they stand to pay less than the amount they are currently paying.

Those who are currently paying a monthly bill of RM20.00 and below continue to enjoy the rebate from the government. In other words they enjoy electricity for free until further notice.

The electricity supply provider, however, FAILED to mention the painful fact that there would be certain consumers (especially Commercial and Industrial sectors) that would suffer an increase of as high as 45% in energy cost. Now that's what I call HUGE jump! I have few case studies and this is exactly what I found out.

Few weeks ago I found myself in the wrong place at the right time to be sitting among journalists in a press conference. During the briefing, SESB's Managing Director, Datuk Ir. Baharin Din explained that:

The cost of producing 1 (one) unit of electricity in Sabah is -

75.54 cent - without subsidy on gas by Petronas, and
44.60 cent - without government subsidy on fuel.
31.69 cent - WITH govt subsidy.

How much does SESB charge consumers for each unit of electricity? That's 29.25 cent on average. From every angle one look at it, it is a losing business model. But, should it be that way?

Ir. Baharin further explained that even with the revision of tariff rates, the utility company is still not making money yet and it still need the assistance from the government to keep going.

Baharin Din press confrnce800
Ir. Baharin Din explaining the tariff restructuring to journalist

In the water industry there is a term Non-Revenue Water (NRW) to denote water that is lost between point of production and the consumer's tap. Sabah's NRW is currently among the highest in Malaysia. Let's not let SESB fall in the same pit as the Water supply. I recon that SESB's immediate challenge is the non-revenue electricity (if I can call it that) in the form of, or due to
  • power theft

  • equipment/cable theft

  • frequent power outage

  • ageing equipment

  • human resource restructuring
While calling for human resource restructuring may not be justified (and it may not even be an issue), the first four are factual. In fact, if one compares SESB's situation to SESCO and TNB, it is still lagging behind in terms of managing the above.

Summary of SESB Tariff increase WMARK
Table 1: Summary of the impact of SESB electricity tariff revision on consumers.

I mentioned earlier that some consumers (such as industry players) are affected by increase of power cost by more than 40%. The following is a typical scenario:

Company XYZ is taking supply at low voltage and is consuming 320,000 kWh of energy every month with Maximum Demand of 500kW.

Prior to July 15, 2011 Company XYZ would be categorised under Tariff ID2:
MaxDemand - RM7,500.00 (500 x RM15.00)
Energy Usage - RM64,000.00 (320,000 x RM0.20)

After July 15, 2011 Company XYZ is re-classified to Tariff ID1 (due to new criteria):
MaxDemand - none (no M.Demand charges)
Energy Usage - RM102,400 (320,000 x RM0.32)

Increase = RM30,900.00 or 43.2%

That is RM370,800 annually. Maybe the boss would think twice now about giving out bonus this year end. Sadly, this could be true for many enterprises.

The bigger industrial consumers do have associations of their own. They should bring their issues up to SESB through special meeting and or dialogue.

For your reference, check out the new rates you are paying in New Tariff Book. If the link is not working or is slow in downloading, check the simplified table here.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Buy 5-Star Appliances and get some Rebates for yourself

I recall my previous post in June 2011, titled It Pays to Go Green and very little information was available about the SAVE program back then.

I know this piece of info has since been updated by by the government for a while now but I'll mention it here anyway. 

The RM200 rebate for refrigerators and RM100 for air-conditioners is currently on going on a first-come-first-served basis.

If you are currently living in Sabah, the quota is 3,670 units (refrigerator) and 3,946 units (air-con). The biggest beneficiaries are those living in Selangor (17,315 and 11,601 units respectively). Not that many but if you are an early bird chances are you will benefit from this initiative.


This is the excerpt from a lengthy PDF document produced by the ministry. To qualify, the applicant must be:

i) a Malaysian, and
ii) a domestic electricity user. That's all!

a) Refrigerators:
  • Peninsular Malaysia – domestic consumers using an average of 6 months electricity consumption between 200 to 400 kWh per month
  • Sabah and Sarawak - open to all domestic consumers
b) Air conditioners – open to all domestic consumers in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

You are entitled to the rebate only once for each appliance, and this is valid for purchase of 5-Star refrigerators and air conditioners approved by Energy Commission. So, look out for the following labels:

If RM200 is not of an issue to you (it is to me), than this is obviously not for you but please help me and our mother earth to spread the news. Energy efficient equipment use less energy to produce the same level of comfort and they definitely leave less carbon footprint.

For complete list of appliances (Brands) that qualify for the rebate, visit EE Appliance Listing. The recommended retail prices are quite competitive.

To view the detailed information on the SAVE program and how you can claim your rebate, take a look at the ministry's SAVE Program Guidelines For Consumers.

Buy 5-Star aircon/fridge, save some money + pay less monthly utility bill = help mother earth survive another day.

Happy Saving!