Thursday, January 31, 2013

English Premier League - midweek results

All the big guns played on Wednesday evening (Thursday morning Malaysia time) except for Manchester City who were held to a 0 - 0 draw at Queen Park Rangers a day earlier.

Great chance for Manchester United to stretch their lead at the top to 7 points.

Rooney scored twice in the Manchester United's win against Southampton. BBC photo

Results of interest:

QPR vs Manchester City                    : 0 - 0
Manchester United vs Southampton  : 2 - 1
Arsenal vs Liverpool                           : 2 - 2
Reading vs Chelsea                           : 2 - 2

A nervy second half for United at Old Trafford but they held on to a 2 - 1 win and indeed it is a 7-point gap now with nearest contenders, City. Except  for United, all other top clubs dropped points this week.

All in all, a very good week for United after the stalemate at Spurs last week. A 4 - 1 win on Fulham in the FA cup earlier, followed by this win put smiles on the manager's face. And mine.

Way to go Rooney, and United!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Apple announces iPad with 128GB storage capacity

It is another first for a tablet PC and it's an iPad.

While physical size shrinks, the storage capacity gets bigger. Previously I posted an article about How Thumb Drives can hold so much data, and it is just a matter of time before tablets and smartphones manufacturers started shoving in bigger capacity storage cards in their products.

Come on, where's my 256GB variant?

Apple announces iPad with double storage capacity

Apple Inc said on Tuesday (January 29, 2013) that it will sell a version of its iPad tablet computer with 128 gigabytes of storage, which is twice the capacity of its existing models.

Apple, which has sold more than 120 million iPads so far, said that the new iPad will go on sale February 5, in black or white, for a suggested retail price of $799 (approx. RM2,459) for the iPad with just Wi-Fi model, and $929 (approx. RM2,859) for the version that also has a cellular wireless connection. - Reuters

So, for those keen on loading a lot of stuffs in their tablets, this is a great option.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Malaysia tops bribery table.

This is an article I'm not proud to post/share at all.

Getting the front page coverage for the wrong reason, Malaysia sits on top in the bribery table. How I wish this is FIFA ranking for 2012 instead!

Malaysia called the most corrupt country for business? Source: WSJ

Wall Street Journal reported that Malaysia scored worst in the 2012 Bribe Payers Survey. It asked about 3,000 executives from 30 countries whether they had lost a contract in the past year because competitors paid a bribe—and in Malaysia, 50% said yes. Second on the dubious honor roll was Mexico, at 48%.

Since taking office in 2009, Prime Minister Najib Razak has pledged to eradicate corruption and regain public confidence. Hundreds of cases have been investigated. Yet Malaysia’s overall scores in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index have deteriorated for three consecutive years since 2010.

Malaysia's score for the past 4 years declining: (out of possible 10)

2008 : 5.1
2009 : 4.5
2010 : 4.4
2011 : 4.3   (By comparison, Singapore's score is 9.2)

It's sad, that:
Foreign companies looking to supply to the government have to be aware that they’re likely to be asked for a bribe. - Paul Low, TI-Malaysia president.

Monday, January 28, 2013

RE Project Competition: ASEAN Energy Awards 2013

For those who managed to get the quota for renewable energy projects under SEDA's FiT, and those who have been in the RE business for sometime now, this is the time to showcase your works.

At the same time, get some reward, if yours is/are the ones that are better managed.

Solar-Diesel generator hybrid power in Kinabatangan, Sabah Malaysia. This system was installed and commissioned in Sept 2012 by Optimal Power under KPLW project.


Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA Malaysia) as the coordinator for ASEAN Renewable Energy Sub-Sector Network (RE-SSN) is inviting owners/managers with renewable energy projects in Malaysia to participate in the ASEAN RE Project Competition 2013 organised by ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE).

This includes biomass, biogas, solar, mini hydro projects, and there will be 3 categories namely:


Interested Project Owners or Managers can submit the report by 29th March 2013 (Friday) to:

The AEA 2013 - RE Project Competition Secretariat
SEDA Malaysia
Galeria PjH, Aras 9, Jalan P4W,
Persiaran Perdana, Presint 4,
62100 Putrajaya, Malaysia.
Phone : +603-8870 5800 Fax : +603-8870 5900
Contact Person:
Mr Mohd Idham (, or
Mr Haniff Ngadi (

More details can be obtained from SEDA Malaysia website.

Previous winners

Meanwhile, 2012 ASEAN RE Awards Malaysian winners are as follows:

A. Off grid

2nd Runner-up:

In the State of Johor, Malaysia.
(There was no winner for the Off-grid category last year)

B. On grid


At Sungai Perting, Bentong, Pahang Malaysia.

2nd Runner-up:

At Bukit Tagar Sanitary Landfill, Malaysia

TheGreenMechanics: It pays to go green!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Broken goal during Africa Nations Cup match

Spurs striker Adebayor scored as Togo send Algeria packing in a group match of the Africa Nations Cup 2013 yesterday. That's why he was missed in the Tottenham Hotspurs - Manchester United BPL game last week as they were held to a 1-1 draw.

But that's not the talking point here. It's about the broken goal post during the Africa Nations Cup match that baffled many. Amazing!

Can you imagine watching international level football tournament and the goal frame is broken?
Image: video grab from Eurosport

Broken goal holds up Nations Cup clash

RUSTENBURG, South Africa (Reuters) – The African Nations Cup match between Algeria and Togo on Saturday descended into late farce when a player’s weight caused the goal frame to break.

In scenes familiar in junior football on park pitches on Sunday mornings, one of the goals started to lean over and had to be taken down and fixed, causing a 13-minute delay with the match poised at 1-0 to Togo.

The goal frame started leaning out of shape in the 86th minute after Algeria midfielder Adlene Guedioura hauled himself on to the netting in frustration after another attempt on goal came to nothing.

Play continued for a few moments until Madagascan referee Hamada Namplandraza noticed something was wrong, setting off the delay as a possee of men tried to fix it by holding the leaning post upright.

They then removed the whole goal frame as bemused players and 20,000 spectators watched on.

"The stoppage helped us to score our second goal," said Togo goalkeeper Kossi Agassa after Dove Wome wrapped up the match shortly after the resumption of play with a neatly taken goal.

Stadium manager Gary Parker-Nance said the staff involved were left with little option but to replace the goal frame.

"The bottom of the stantion was broken and had to be replaced. At times like that you just have to get it fixed, keep calm and do it as quickly as you can," he said.

To complete the farce, instead of playing out the last four minutes and whatever stoppage time there was, Namplandraza added an extra 16 minutes to the match.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

What's for dinner: Zimbabwe's mopane worms!

I read an interesting stomach-turning diet coverage by Associated Press' Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi. The writer wrote about people consuming worms, or to be exact, caterpillars. But like what people say - one's cure is other's poison. so, let's not pass the verdict indiscriminately.

That's for today's dinner. Wikipedia photo

Pretty big guy!
Mopane worms are large edible caterpillar found in much of Africa.

A mopane worm hatches and as it grows, it sheds skin 4 times in its five larval stages, after which the mopane worm is considered most suitable for harvesting.

Otherwise it goes into pupal stage and transforms into giant moth, commonly called emperor moth due to it size.

The worms can be eaten dry, as crunchy as potato chips, or cooked and drenched in sauce to enhance the taste.

You may want to try your hands on these:

During harvest season, the compounds are covered with thousands of worms, laid out to dry in the hot sun. AP photo through

Nutritional value

Mopane worms are high in healthy nutrients and contain 3 times the amount of protein as beef. Eating worms is less taxing on the environment than consuming beef because it takes far fewer leaves to produce worms than it does feed to produce the same amount of beef.

Dried mopane worms have even been exported to other countries and can be found in African restaurants in Paris.

A useful recipe

This is a recipe that AP says "is one of the tastiest":

Ingredients (Mopane Worms for 4 persons):
500 grams dried mopane worms; three tomatoes, diced or 1 can of tomatoes; two onions, diced; 1/2 teaspoon turmeric; three fresh green chilies, finely chopped; three cloves of garlic, finely chopped; tablespoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped.

Cooking it:
Soak dried worms in water for 3-4 hours to reconstitute. Fry onions in groundnut oil on medium heat until translucent. Add turmeric, chilies, garlic and ginger. Fry for about five minutes. Add tomatoes and cook on low for about 20 minutes until spices are well blended. Add drained worms and cook until they have softened a bit but still are a little crunchy. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with pap, called sadza in Zimbabwe.

This article was derived from AP

Payback time for teachers?

What would you do when one day you caught your once fierce teacher speeding?

I think I'll do this:

LOL, teachers, it's weekend. Smile please!

Source: shared from fb.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Micro-hydro to benefit Kg Tiku folks in Penampang

A community project coordinated by TONIBUNG, a local non-governmental organisation costing US$50,000 will benefit 18 families in Kampung Tiku Penampang.

This is indeed a welcomed effort of individuals leading to the provision of grant by the GEF Small Grants Programme (a corporate programme implemented by UNDP). Kudos to them!

Micro hydro project kg tiku Penampang
L-R: UNDP's Lai Sook Mei, TONIBUNG's Adrian Lasimbang and Kg Tiku folk Mozes Gisu.
Credit: Daily Express photo.

The micro-hydro system

The micro hydro system is expected to produce 5kW of renewable energy harnessed from the flow of a river in the village. Taking 80% load factor, for example, each family will get 220W of power round the clock. This will power up four 36W fluorescent lamps and one ceiling fan. Also, it is good enough to charge mobile phones (if the area is covered by cellular signal).

Kg Tiku is reachable on 4-wheel drive vehicles for a one and a half hour drive along a timber track. Because of this, it is very difficult to connect the village to the existing SESB power grid.

Among others, the project will benefit the villagers by enabling them to produce more handicrafts, children enjoy longer hours to do school works, and more importantly the people will no longer depend on gasoline/diesel generators which is expensive to operate.

What is there for the environment

UNDP and TONIBUNG believe that having the system in place would give the local communities the incentive to protect their watershed areas. I personally believe this is really the case as we had similar previous experience with Kg Babagon Toki (a school at the far end of Babagon Dam catchment area).

When you get the folks involved in programmes to protect the environment they tend to have some sort of sense of belonging. Of course there's a little bit of 'carrot' given away in the process. But it is a win-win deal.

Through similar programme, two other villages in the Ulu Kaiduan area not far from Kg Tiku have enjoyed similar facilities. They are Kg Buayan and Kg Terian.

Big thanks to the guys who made this possible!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Malaysia to unveil policies for energy efficient vehicles by first half of this year


But one announcement after another is not good enough. Come up with the Policies then talk, not the other way around, shall we?

In October last year the same minister stated that the Government does not plan on cash rebates as an incentive to buy energy-efficient vehicles (EEV) similar to that implemented in the United States or other European countries. This is because the Government is already giving incentive to automotive players to open up their production here.

Is this considered a standard Policy or just bits and pieces of a "tailored policy for each manufacturer"? I think we are not sincere in liberalising the automotive industry in Malaysia. No wonder cars - both local and imported - are still overpriced after so many years of trying.



Policies for energy efficient vehicles in 1H2013
Published: Jan 22, 2013
Via: The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will unveil policies on energy efficient vehicles (EEV) by the first half of this year, which would see the opening up of the segment in the automotive industry.

Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said this would provide good opportunities and a level-playing field for local and foreign players in the industry.

"This is one of the segments that we think is important under the ongoing revised National Automotive Policy (NAP). We have decided this is the segment that we need to open up in the near future," he said at the launch of the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show 2013 (KLIMS13) here on Tuesday.

He said the government is ironing out policy details such as on technology, fuel emission, standards and quality, adding Malaysia is the only Asean country focusing on the EEV market.

"All the stakeholders in the automotive trade have agreed on two things that we should make the production and marketing of EEV the future focus of the industry and that we should seek to establish a leadership position in the region for this sub-sector," he said.

Mustapa said although the government has not announced the final shape and form of the revised NAP, it will first introduce the pre-package customised incentives to support the development of the EEV sub-sector.

This is all part of the transition period towards the opening up of the automotive market towards 2015 and 2016 with the realisation of Asean Economic Community (AEC) and the implementation of free trade agreements between Malaysia and trade partners like Australia and Japan.

"With 2015 and 2016 around the corner, everyone in the motor sector are aware that they have to open up and all of them are gearing up to face new reality and new competition," he said. - Bernama

Take this simple Advise from a tree

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Yingli to be largest solar panel manufacturer in 2012

Final data for 2012 is not yet out, but for 2011 top solar module players are Suntech, First Solar, Yingli, Trina and Canadian Solar, in that order. According to Solarbuzz, the top 5 manufacturers in 2012 is expected to remain the same except that Yingli is tipped to be number one for the first time.

Yingli Green Energy, a Chinese solar manufacturer, has more than 20 subsidiaries and branch offices worldwide, including one in Singapore although none in Malaysia.

Poised for No.1 spot

World's largest panel manufacturer

Yingli expects 2012 panel shipments of more than 2.2GW, exceeding an earlier forecast of 2.1GW to 2.2GW. At that volume, Yingli expects to become the world’s largest panel maker. This feat would be at the expense of Suntech, the world number one for the past two consecutive years.
“According to public data to date, we believe Yingli has evolved into the largest PV module supplier” -  Miao Liansheng, Chairman and CEO of Yingli Green Energy in early January 2013.

Will it come to Malaysia?

Yingli distributes its PV modules to a wide range of markets, including Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, France, South Korea, China, Japan and the United States, with domestic sales contributing to its increased shipment.

European markets for Chinese solar panel have declined and the 'anti-dumping' duties imposed by the US on Chinese imports means that Yingli (and many other China-based manufacturers) will have to look for new markets.

Southeast Asia is one of these markets and you will not be too surprised if PV panels installed on your solar rooftop under SEDA Feed-in Tariff scheme are Yingly products.

I suppose with the reputation as top manufacturer, you will not be far from right choosing Yingli when you install your grid-connected solar power. I may still be wrong though, as many of the Approved Licensed Installers in Malaysia choose either US or German made modules.

Monday, January 21, 2013

English is fun: The family of Four

The English language can 'kill'. Let me explain:-

                                 Have a fun Monday, and the rest of the week!

Source: unknown, this was dug up from my old mailbox.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dual-screen YotaPhone: Would you use it?

The YotaPhone was showcased at the recent CES in Las Vegas.

It is a dual-screen 9mm thin - about the same thickness of an iPhone 4S - device that's half Android smartphone and half ebook reader. On one side is a standard full-colour screen, but flip the phone and you have an electronic paper display, the kind that is found in e-readers.

Colour screen on one side

grey-scale e-reader screen on another

YotaPhone Specifications

Powered by         : Qualcomm's 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus
Memory              : 2GB RAM
Screen size          : 4.3 inch
Resolution           : 1,280 x 820
Thickness            : 9 mm
Connectivity        : 4G LTE, and NFC
Camera               : 12 MP, front camera 1.3 MP
Video                  : 1080p HD video
Storage capacity  : 32GB and 64GB
Expansion slot     : Without
Weight                :139g

Would you use one?

If you've been thinking why would a mobile phone need two screens, the idea is to improve both usability and battery life. The e-reader side will provide an easy interface for reading, while the colour screen will be perfect for browsing photos and videos.

Using the electronic paper display rather than the colour screen to browse the internet, write texts, and check emails should dramatically increase the phone's battery life.

I participated in a mini poll carried out by ScienceFocus magazine and the the following is the result as of today:

Would you use a dual-screen phone?


The YotaPhone is expected to go on sale at premium unlocked prices, arriving first in Russia in the second half of 2013, before coming to other countries. After that, expect another two to three months before it arrives  in Malaysia.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Eye medication helps to regrow hair of balding men

This would definitely be a good piece of news to many balding persons out there. And it coud be on its way to the pharmacies sooner than we thought.

New research in the FASEB Journal shows how a commonly prescribed glaucoma drug may be effective in treating male pattern baldness and other forms of alopecia.

If you're balding and want your hair to grow back, then here is some good news. A new research report appearing online in The FASEB Journal ( shows how the FDA-approved glaucoma drug, bimatoprost, causes human hair to regrow. It's been commercially available as a way to lengthen eyelashes, but these data are the first to show that it can actually grow human hair from the scalp.

"We hope this study will lead to the development of a new therapy for balding which should improve the quality of life for many people with hair loss," said Valerie Randall, a researcher involved in the work from the University of Bradford, Bradford, UK.

"Further research should increase our understanding of how hair follicles work and thereby allow new therapeutic approaches for many hair growth disorders."

To make this discovery, Randall and colleagues conducted three sets of experiments. Two involved human cells and the other involved mice. The tests on human cells involved using hair follicles growing in organ culture as well as those take directly from the human scalp.

In both of these experiments, the scientists found that bimatoprost led to hair growth. The third set of experiments involved applying bimatoprost to the skin of bald spots on mice. As was the case with human cells, the drug caused hair to regrow.

"This discovery could be the long-awaited follow up to Viagra that middle-aged men have been waiting for," said Gerald Weissmann, MD, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal.

"Given that the drug is already approved for human use and its safety profile is generally understood, this looks like a promising discovery that has been right in front of our eyes the whole time. On to the front of our scalp!"

Further reading at The FASEB Journal

Chile approved 3.1GW of solar PV projects in 2012

In the last 2 years Renewable energy in Chile has been on the uptrend. This is good considering Chile, and in particular Atacama dessert in the northern region, is one of the the most irradiated places in the world. This makes it a suitable place to build solar farm.

Chile is surely one of the leaders in the emerging Latin American/Caribbean market for renewable energy.

Rapid development of Renewable Energy (particularly Solar and Wind)

REW reported that Renewable Energy Center in Chile (CER) quoted over 3.1GW of solar energy projects being approved in 2012 through November, and another 908MW awaiting approval.

As for overall renewable energy projects (hydro, wind, biomass, solar, and geothermal), the CER counts 6.7GW of renewable energy projects approved in Chile, and another 3.8GW in the wings.

The summary of the renewable energy progress as of end-2012 is shown in the following Table:

                                        In Operation                 Under                     Approved                In process

Vocabulary: Eolica - wind energy

"Chile faces a growing energy demand from its sustained economic growth. Solar energy in particular has tremendous potential to change the demography and the economy of northern Chile, opening it up to new opportunities beyond mining and fishing, into water desalinization, hydrogen production or large green data centers."

Full article and more data at  RenewableEnergyWorld. Figures and graphs sourced from the site.

TheGreenMechanics' two cents:

Putting things into perspective, Malaysia's maximum demand (West Malaysia) is 14.9GW (2010) and in Sabah it's about 830MW in 2011. It seem that Chile's current RE generation is able to power up Sabah without having to go to fossil fuel. That would be cool!

Chile's population is 17.3 million with GDP of USD248.5 billion (2011). Malaysia's population is 28.8 million and GDP of USD278.6 billion (2011).

Malaysia and Chile are relatively 'young' in their green policy, both having started more aggressively only about two years ago.

Sure, we have more mouths to feed with just slightly better GDP, but we have done nothing (or to be fair, so much less) compared to Chile when it comes to implementing RE initiatives. It is time to get on par with others, don't you think?

Solar and Wind powered prefabricated office

Imagine you are building a temporary office in a remote area where connecting to the power grid is impossible or not practical. Or, for the 'kick' of it, you want a self-sufficient small office behind your backyard.

Why not consider a pre-fabricated one such as this, designed by Victor Vetterlein. In case you were wondering, this is an actual practical unit published at inhabitat, (well sort of) it's just a concept but it's workable):

Ready-made and easy to install

Power is obtained from wind and solar 

It is modular, so, you can add few units in series to build bigger home/office.

What is it

The designer calls it the MOSS, a prefabricated 13 foot octagonal structure intended for home office, powered by clean, renewable energy.

Energy efficient design concept

It has very minimal environmental impact while still providing a comfortable and professional working environment. The main structural frame is laminated tree farm wood and steel connection plates, while the interior consists of insulated panels for energy efficiency.

During daytime, lighting is provided by natural light via the provision of 'sunroof'.

Renewable initiative

The rooftop solar panels provide energy for electricity, as well as providing shade from the scorching sun during hot weather. Shading is achieved by slightly lifting the solar PV panels off the roof to provide ventilation. Small wind turbine is also fitted.

For further reading, I suggest that you visit inhabitat where you can read the full article. All images were adopted from the website.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Moby Dick" lizard found in Madagascar

Remember Moby Dick, the whale in a novel brought to life in film adaptations and science fiction animations many many years ago? Maybe many of us are too young to remember.

The newly found albino lizard must've reminded researchers of the great white whale when they incidentally named the unpigmented skin lizard sirenoscincus mobydick. My point is that, we know just tiny bit of our earth. That makes life interesting.

Moby dick lizard
Great find!  Photo from  pskhun on Novataxa

New lizard species

Montpellier: A new lizard species has been discovered in Madagascar and named “Moby Dick” mermaid skink – after the albino sperm whale imagined by Herman Melville – for its flipper-like forelimbs and unpigmented skin, France’s National Centre for Scientific Research said Tuesday.

The CNRS said the “Sirenoscincus mobydick” presents a unique combination of anatomical features that can be found in amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds.The discovery, made by French, Malagasy, American and German researchers, was published in the Zoosystema journal at the end of December.

The centre said the “Moby Dick” lizard was discovered in the dry north-western forests of Madagascar.

Because of its life underground, the animal’s skin has lost pigmentation and its eyes have almost disappeared. And although the lizard has retained forelimbs, its hindlimbs have completely disappeared.

The centre called it a “morphological organisation” reminiscent of cetaceans, the carnivorous marine mammals such as whales and dolphins. - AFP

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The 7 wonder gadgets from CES 2013

Consumer Electronics Show (better known as CES), the ultimate showcase for the industry's hottest new gadgets ended last week in Las Vegas. Scoured through some popular listings and I suppose the followings are some of the gadgets that will shape the consumer electronics world in 2013:

1. Samsung 85-Inch Ultra HD TV

Samsung 85" Ultra HD or "4K TVs" offers 4 times the resolution of regular HD TVs. This monster is the biggest Ultra HD TV ever made, set in a tiltable metal frame for a sleek floating effect.

2. Samsung Youm

Flexible screens took centre stage at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. OLED technology means that displays, whether they're built into phones or TVs, can now be paper-thin and bendable.

3. HAPIfork smart fork

The HAPIfork contains a number of sensors that record exactly how quickly and how much you're eating. Eat too fast and the fork vibrates to warn you to slow down. It also counts exactly how many forkfuls you're shovelling in. It's unclear though, if it's an effective method of losing weight.

4. Oculus Rift

This virtual reality headset creates a completely immersive 3D world, so the wearer feels like they can simply step into it and touch their surroundings. Pretty interesting.

5. Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon PC

This could be classified into a new class of gadget, probably Table PC. It is touchscreen, 27-inch and can be laid flat horizontally so that several people can interact with it in table mode. Multiple users can share images round a table, read newspapers or play games. It comes with battery.

6. Nvidia Project Shield

This is a handheld Android-based gaming console for hardcore PC gamers. The Shield will stream your games from your PC via your Wi-Fi network and play them on its five-inch screen, providing you with high-end gaming on something that you can carry around with you.

7. Seagate Wireless Plus

The Seagate Wireless Plus 1TB WiFi/USB external hard drive is a standard external USB 3.0 HDD with a built-in WiFi adapter for multiple WiFi-enabled device connections. There is no need for any sort of internet connectivity. The end result is wireless data streaming of movies, photos, files and music.

Source: Sciencefocus, Mybroadband, Gadgetreview

Wordless Wednesday

Other Wordless Wednesday:
Giant concrete wakid
Serene evening
100% Renewable

RM100,000 prize awaits KDM Malaysia Idol champ

Great news for the local entertainers!

A whopping cash prize of RM100,000 awaits the winner in the KDM Malaysia Idol 2013 singing competition starting this weekend.

KDM Msia idol
(L-R): Abu Bakar Ellah, Asmin Mudin, Peter Anthony, Michael Ubu, Jasnin Othman Suman and Azie Florence Kaying at the press conference. KDM M'sia photo.

Cash Prizes:
Winner      : RM100,000
2nd place  : RM50,000
3rd place  : RM30,000
4th place   : RM15,000
5th to 8th  : RM10,000 each

Other prize:
Perodua Myvi: Viewer who send the most SMS

Organized by non-governmental organisation, KDM Malaysia, the event is offering a total prize money of RM235,000 apart from a car for the viewer who sends the most SMS. KDM Malaysia Idol will start its audition in Kampung Kokol, Menggatal on January 19, 2013 and will be continued in 9 other locations throughout the State.

What                       : 5-month long reality tv programme, expected to end in May 2013
Who can take part : Open to all Malaysians between the age of 15 and 45
How to take part    : Purchase a Celcom SIM pack worth RM18.50 at the registration for audition
Pre-requisite          : Able to sing in Kadazan, Dusun and Murut languages
Also allowed          : Amateur singers, artistes who have already produced albums including those
                                  who have won in singing competitions previously

The programme would be aired on television, a station to be decided later.

Audition locations:
  1. January 19 - Menggatal (Kg. Kokol)
  2. January 27 - Telupid (Kg. Entilibon)
  3. February 9 - Kemabong, Tenom
  4. February 16 - Keningau Sports Complex
  5. February 23 - Ranau Community Hall
  6. March 2 - Pitas Community Hall
  7. March 9 - Tamparuli Multipurpose Hall
  8. March 16 - Papar New Community Hall
  9. March 23 - Beaufort Community Hall
  10. March 30 - Buhavan Square, Penampang

The audition sessions will see a judging panel, headed by Asmin Mudin, to select 50 participants. Through elimination process, 12 best participants wil be selected for a weekly concert. Four participants would be further eliminated in 4 weeks and the remaining 8 would go to the final.

The selected participants would be assembled at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) for 6 weeks and given exposure not only in singing but also other aspects such as economy, environment, culture, global issues and politics.

Source: Daily Express - Jan 15, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

LED lighting market expected to double in 2014

The government's decision to ban incandescent bulbs by 2014 does seem to be timely. The pace at  how the development and improvement of the existing LED technology is moving forward makes it very likely that this type of lighting is becoming viable.

In my previous post, I was a bit critical and skeptical about the timing and of our government's capability to  ban them altogether.

According to industry research (part of which is appended below), sales of LED-related lightings will double in slightly a year's time. Malaysia is also targeting 2014 to start using LED street lightings.

The following table by thecleanrevolution  shows device efficacy and price trends until 2020. Prices are expected to continue to decline over the next 5 years as demand and production ramp up.

Note: KLM = 1000 lumens

Sales to double and performance to improve rapidly

While estimates vary widely throughout the lighting industry, a new report by Strategies Unlimited predicts that LED lighting sales should double by 2014. The independent report stated that LED lighting should be an $8.3 billion dollar industry by that time, according to

"LEDs are getting so much better, and the market is flooded with them so there are so many to choose from," Victoria Lee, lighting designer, told the news source.

Strategies Unlimited accounts for the spike in growth due to increased consumer awareness of the energy-saving qualities of the lighting source, improvements in performance and the influx of readily available commercial products for home use, businesses and industrial capacities.

In addition, with the onset of the global economic recession, more and more countries have instituted fiscal stimulus measures that include energy-efficient lighting such as LEDs. The wide-scale phasing out of incandescent lighting has also attributed to the industry's surging growth. The economic downturn has consumers spending more wisely, so they will try anything to reduce the prices of their utility bills.

Ref: Birddog Diostributing

So, yeah, let's light up the streets and malls with LED and save energy.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Latest list of 70 3G smartphones offered with RM200 rebate

MCMC has updated additional 28 models of smartphones eligible for the RM200 rebate for youths. This is part of the 70 models approved by Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture.

Youth Communication Package

Earlier, in December 2012 there were 23 models of 3G phones priced below RM500 approved under the scheme. This make it 51 models so far and you are encouraged to check MCMC's portal from time to time to find out what's next in the line-up.

The latest list includes top-of-the-line models from Apple, HTC, Samsung and other makes:
  1. iPhone 5
  2. Samsung Galaxy S3
  3. Samsung Galaxy Mini 2
  4. Samsung Galaxy Y
  5. Samsung Galaxy Note 2
  6. Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus
  7. Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini
  8. Samsung Galaxy Note
  9. Samsung Galaxy Nexus
  10. LG Optimus LE E400
  11. HTC Desire C
  12. HTC One X
  13. HTC Wildfire S
  14. HTC Desire X
  15. HTC One S
  16. Nokia Asha 311
  17. Sony Xperia Tipo Single
  18. Sony Xperia SL
  19. Sony Xperia Ion
  20. Sony Xperia S
  21. Huawei Ascend P1
  22. Windows Phone 8X By HTC
  23. Ninetology Blackpearl 2 i9400
  24. Ninetology Stealth 2 i9500
  25. Palette i5300 
  26. ZTE Acqua
  27. Buzz 4G Cloud Phone
  28. Insight i9430
In a press release dated Jan 11, 2013 MCMC also announced that telecommunication companies involved in the Pakej Komunikasi Belia (Youth Communication Package) have appointed about 1,000 dealers nationwide and more will be added in time to come.

Also, check here the previous List of 23 3G smartphones offered for RM200 rebate.

TheGreenMechanics' two cents:

Seriously, if you can afford the top-of-the-line iPhone 5 priced at RM2,799 then you really should not be eligible for the RM200 rebate. What is the government thinking? What's next - lifting the age limit of applicant? This decision flip-flop need to stop!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Which is better: Green tea or your breakfast tea?

The other day myself and few colleagues of mine were having our afternoon break when the idea of drinking our tea without sugar popped up. I tried a cup and it was totally okay with me while one colleague felt it is 'incomplete' and few sips was more than enough.

It appeared that he and another are okay with the sugar-less green tea and Chinese tea but not the breakfast tea. The breakfast tea is more acidic than green and Chinese tea, and the guys' low tolerance to it is understandable.

Tea minus the sugar is definitely good.

Let's leave the sugar out of the equation and ask which one is better for our body - green tea or breakfast tea?

According to ScienceFocus magazine, all tea contains antioxidant compounds called catechins (a type of natural phenol and antioxidant). Black tea involves oxidising the leaves more so than green, and so black tea is slightly less antioxidant.

Studies have shown health benefits for both kinds of tea, including reduced blood cholesterol and lower rates of cardiovascular disease, but green tea seems to have the edge. This may be partly because it’s drunk without milk. Black tea with milk has no cardiovascular benefit, according to a 2006 study at Berlin University.

In addition, a 2012 study in China found that green tea also repairs age-related damage to brain cells.

It seems both are beneficial but green tea looks like having the edge. You can google to find out more but here is a good start.

Kota Kinabalu city to use energy-saving bulbs soon

It's a good initiative by City Hall, taking cue of government's intention to use LED for street lighting in 2014. For building illumination, a pilot project by the federal government helped save it around RM3.5 million or 10.3% in power usage, between January and October last year.

Energy saving light powered by solar at Petronas building compound in Kota Kinabalu

Citing what was reported in the Daily Express on Jan 10, 2013 "the use of LED is much cheaper from the existing lamps", I hope the tabloid merely misquoted the Mayor as this is definitely not the case. Infact the use of LED lamps is 'very expensive' if you compare it with sodium vapour and or metal halide street light bulbs.

The major selling point of LED lamps is its extremely low energy usage, and that is why the City Hall will save a lot in its electricity bills when using it. However, initial installation cost is higher than the existing ones.


Energy-saving bulbs for some KK areas
D.Express. 10-1-2013

Kota Kinabalu: City Hall has identified some areas in the city to be lit by energy saving bulbs to help save on utility bills this year. Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir on Wednesday said City Hall would begin the installation of such bulbs like Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs in a pilot project, to determine its viability, soon.

"Certainly the use of LED is much cheaper from the existing lamps, we will not replace them all at once, but the installation will be done gradually, in phases," he said.

Preliminary results of a pilot project in the peninsula, revealed LED bulbs used in 12 government buildings in Putrajaya showed average savings of 10.3 per cent or RM3.5million from January-October last year.

The move could help the Government save up to RM800 million from the RM2.7 billion it spends each year. However, the cost of implementing the plan is costly, revealed Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister, Datuk Seri Peter Chin.

Reference: Daily Express

Friday, January 11, 2013

Digital Pen makes old monitors touch-ready for Windows 8

If you are upgrading your operating system to Windows 8 and your old monitor is not touch-ready (like  many current laptops), you will be forgiven for feeling disappointed.

Apen touch8
Swipe and touch your old monitor with this pen. AP Photo

My laptops are on Windows 7  and  touch-screen capability is not an issue  but with Windows 8, I want to be able to do that on my old Acer monitor. There is a tool for that - the Apen Touch8.

Touch and swipe old monitors with Apen Touch8

AP reported that the device was unveiled this week at the International CES, an annual showcase in Las Vegas for the latest smartphones, tablet computers and other consumer-electronic devices. It is a cordless pen that works in tandem with an attachment that plugs into the Windows computer's USB port.

How it works

The attachment, which is really an infrared and ultrasonic receiver, clips magnetically to the side of the screen, which can be as large as 17 inches diagonally. The pen emits an infrared beam out of its tip. The receiver attachment sends the pen's signals to the computer, which interprets its precise location.

Pushing down on the pen results in a separate ultrasonic signal, which is equivalent to a touch screen sensing when you are touching it. Just like that, you can swipe and tap your way through Windows 8. The pen runs on a watch battery, which should last about 500 hours and is replaceable.

Why it's hot

Windows 8, Microsoft Corp.'s effort to make desktop and laptop computers work more like tablet computers, was released in October to mixed reviews. A major problem is the fact that many of the features require a touch-screen monitor to work, making the experience unpleasant for those with older machines. Apen Touch8 offers a way for those with older computers to experience the newer touch-based functions.


The pen is to go on sale in North America by the end of March for $80.

You can expect this to be available in Malaysia a month or so after that. I expect that to happen in April or May 2013, but $80 (RM240) for a 'pen' would be a bit pricey I think. I'll stick to my mouse.

Source: AP via Yahoo! News

Killer red tide will be here for a while - Avoid shellfish!

The red tide can kill. And it is here to stay (and continue killing) until at least June, according to the Fisheries Department.

Daily Express. Jan 10, 2013


Just few days ago we were taken aback by the death of two victims who consumed shellfish collected from nearby waters. We were shocked not because we come to realise that 'red tide' can kill but by the fact that people continue to consume toxic marine produce. Have they not been informed of the risk?

It is high time the relevant authorities come down in aggressive manner telling people about the real danger of consuming sea produce at this moment. Not that the departments - Fisheries Dept., and Health Dept. - failed to do so. In fact you've read numerous reminders from either of these government agencies in the local and national tabloids. But I think it is just not sufficient.

When I say 'aggresive' I was talking about going down to the grassroots - the sea villages, fisherman communities, the JKKKs. But also not forgetting the consumer side of the food chain. Buntings, leaflets, banners along the main roads for instance, are good means of sending out message. Television adverts and SMS services can be intensified.

Fatality CAN and SHOULD be avoided - via prevention and not by treatment.


All types of shellfish or bivalves including -
  • oysters
  • mussels
  • cockles, and
  • any type of seafood with shells
Don't eat or sell them.


The red tide toxin in shellfish is analysed using the mouse bioassay method and results are given as Mouse Unit (MU). Threshold level considered safe for humans is 400 MU. Anything above this is dangerous.

Some recorded shellfish samples taken so far:
Putatan              - 6,900 MU
Papar District    - 4,010 MU
Tuaran              - 3,300 MU

Past recorded samples of bivalve in Sabah were as high as 11,000 MU.

Take note that,
  • Only the Fisheries Department can detect the presence of toxin in shellfish in its specialised lab. One can't tell through sight, smell or taste.
  • The toxin cannot be washed away or got rid off through washing or through any type of food preparation or cooking.


Among others, but not limited to:
  • tingling of the lips and tongue, which may begin within minutes of eating poisonous shellfish or may take an hour or two to develop.
  • sensation of "pricking of pins and needles" of the skin
  • loss of control of arms and legs
  • difficulty in breathing
If you experience any of the above symptoms, get medical treatment immediately, as, delay in seeking treatment may result in death according to State Health Director, Dr. Christina Rundi.


All is not lost for seafood lovers. Dr. Rundi described the following as safe for consumption:
  1. All types of prawns and crabs including shovel-nosed lobsters,
  2. Mantis shrimps,
  3. All types of coral fishes, and
  4. Fishes which are predatory such as sharks and sting rays, barracuda, tenggiri, jacks and deep sea fishes.
Just remember to throw away their guts and gills and washed them properly.

Hope that helps in a small way.

Facts source: D.Express

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Runaway groom showed up late, only in T-shirt and Shorts!

Ok, this must be the 2013 'wedding of the year' for the wrong reason. A feat you wouldn't fancy copying.

Can someone from Bukit Mertajam, Penang verify this story?

Bride's family left red-faced by runaway groom

A groom-to-be from Bukit Mertajam left his bride and her family red-faced when he failed to show up for their wedding, Nanyang Siang Pau reported.

News of the “runaway groom” spread like wildfire and quickly became the talk of the small town.

The wedding was supposed to take place on Sunday morning but the man, aged about 30, only showed up at the bride's house that afternoon, clad in just a T-shirt and a pair of shorts.

A chef of a catering service, who was hired to handle three wedding banquets for the couple including a 180-table dinner on Sunday, said he could not even collect the RM20,000 for the wedding eve buffet dinner held at the bride's home.

When the chef went to the bride's house to meet the groom for payment, the groom reportedly took out his wallet and said: “All I have is RM35, and I also owe the bank four months' instalment for my car.”

A relative of the bride said they were suspicious of the groom when none of his family members or friends showed up for the dinner on Saturday.

Source: The Star

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Malaysia Monument @ Tugu Peringatan Malaysia

The Malaysia Monument is located between DBKK building and Horizon Hotel, somewhere along Jalan Pantai (some people call it Beach Street) in Kota Kinabalu city centre.

In front of the monument, there is a beautiful replica of the city's mascot, the Great Egret. The monument was erected to commemorate the inclusion of Sabah & Sarawak into the Federation of Malaya on 16 Sept 1963, to form a federation we know today as Malaysia.

Navigate to Jalan Pantai and look for the roundabout with egret replicas.

"Tugu Peringatan Malaysia"

View from the vantage point

For visitors and tourists hoping to get more information about this monument, you'll be disappointed as the plaque has been removed for as long as I can remember, probably by vandals and no effort by anyone to put up another to replace it.

So, there is very little one can tell about it.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Blog for FT contest - Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan FT

Attention photographers, videographers, bloggers.

Show your love for Federal Territories by writing, taking pictures/videos and stand to win cash. Doesn't matter where you are located in Malaysia. Sounds good? Read on.

You have 3 months to send in your entries, starting from Nov 16, 2012 until Feb 16, 2013. You can channel your thoughts and expressions, through blog, upload videos, Instagram and use Twitter for the competition.

KLCC is quite a good place to start your endeavour.

What    : Blog for FT Ekpresi (BFTE) competition
When   : 16 Nov 2012 - 16 Feb 2013
Where  : Federal Territories (Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Labuan)
Who     : Open to all Malaysians but articles must only be about Federal Territories
How      : Send your entries to BFTE website

Attractive Prizes:
    1st place   - RM15,000
    2nd place  - RM10,000
    3dr place   - RM5,000

Further information:

Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister, Raja Nong Chik encouraged residents associations to participate in the BFTE. "We are expecting 5,000 participants and we also hope to see residents associations taking part in this competition. We want them to express their love and support for their neighbourhood and state."

Participants must also promote their entries on Facebook and Twitter to garner as many "Like" and "Retweet" responses as possible, which will determine the winner. This year, the BFTE is divided into two categories -- individual participation and the participation from associations. The first prize for each category is RM15,000, followed by RM10,000 for second place and RM5,000 for third place.

All entries will be judged by bloggers, corporate figures, representatives of various print and online media organisations, officers from the Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry, City Hall, Putrajaya Corporation and Labuan Corporation. Entries must be sent to and participants will be able to view their postings on the website.

Let's do it.

Source: New Straits Times, Nov 5, 2012

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Top 10 longest insects

(excluding stick insects. See note below)

1. Hercules beetle (170 mm)
The strongest creature on earth by size, able to carry 850 times it's weight.

rhinoceros beetle
Hercules beetle is also known as rhinoceros beetle. Photo: de engineur

2. Titan beetle (167 mm)
It's curved, sharp mandibles can snap pencils in half.

3. Giant water bug (150 mm)
It has a venomous bite and can feast on prey 50 times it's size.

4. Giant helicopter damsel fly (135 mm)
It can use its 190mm-wide wings to hover.

5. African termite (125 mm)
The African termite queen can get to this length, while other adults are a third of the size.

6. Elephant beetle (120 mm)
The male uses a curved horn on its head in combat with other males.

7. Goliath beetle (110 mm)
The heaviest insect on earth in its larval stage, weighing up to 110g.

8. Giant weta (100 mm)
It resembles a large cricket and weighs the same as three mice (35g).

9. Giant African mantis (100 mm)
Females can get this long, but males are smaller.

10. Saint Helena giant earwig (84 mm)
It's found on an island in the south Atlantic.

Note: If stick insects were included they would take the top 10 places. The longest stick insect is Phobaeticus chani at 567 mm long, discovered by Datuk Chan Chew Lun in Borneo in 2008.

Longest insect
The Phobaeticus chani. Photo: London Natural History Museum

When will humans stop breaking Olympic records?

Some say that  Usain Bolt's 9.58s 100m sprint record will never be broken again until someone taller than him, and with better or equal body build comes out and challenge him. Bolt stands at 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in) in height and weighs 95kg.

What do scientists say?

The ‘purest’ Olympic sports, such as running, swimming and jumping, are restricted by our anatomy. The 100m sprint record will probably never drop below 8.99 seconds, because the forces required would rip your tendons from your bones, and evolution is unlikely to change our bodies enough to bypass these limits.

But paralympians with ever more sophisticated ‘bionic’ legs will probably break able-bodied records one day, while new sports will no doubt be invented with new records for us to break.

TheGreenMechannics: Err, aren't records meant to be broken?

Kubota Power Station starts operations in Jan 2013


Exactly 1 month ago SESB said in a statement that the 64MW power plant in Kubota, Tawau will start operations.

A gentle reminder, if you care. (DE, 7-12-12)

If you recall, this plant was supposed to have started operations in June 2012. But due to the  hijacking of the vessel ferrying the plant equipment intended for this power station, it is understandable. Hopefully they are true to their words this time and starts operating it this month.The hijacking incident is not totally beyond control as TNB has the technology and money to ensure safety of its vessel.

We are currently facing the possibility of load shedding and power rationing due to the failure of one of IPP's generators in Sepanggar causing capacity shortage of 95MW.

We can't afford further delay. BTW, the turbines are understood to be 16 years old, so, I believe this is only for temporary measure by SESB/TNB.


Kubota station starts ops Jan
DE - Dec 7, 2012

Tawau: The Kubota power station will start producing electricity from Jan.7, next year, and its 64MW capacity is expected to increase supply in the east coast. Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui, who visited the project site, was satisfied with the progress of the RM80 million project.

"The east coast of Sabah has been facing inadequate electricity supply, and the Kubota power station is badly needed to offset the situation," he said.

Asst Infrastructure Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming, who accompanied Chin, said the gas-fired turbine generator would increase Tawau's power generating capacity to 128MW to meet the peak demand of 90MW at present, and would help reduce power outages in the district.

Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd Managing Director Abd Razak Sallim was present. Launching of the station was behind schedule due to the hijack of the turbines, recently, which had caused a set-back when they ended up in the Philippines.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sports Quotes of the year 2012


"The referee, he ate too much for Christmas. He was not in good form."
Roberto Mancini fumes at referee Kevin Friend after Manchester City lost at Sunderland
Dec 27, 2012

"The only person they have not spoken to is Barack Obama because he is busy."
Sir Alex Ferguson feels his pitchside rant at referee Mike Dean has been blown out of proportion.
Dec 28, 2012

"Barcelona want him? Maybe we’ll do a straight swap with Messi."
QPR boss Harry Redknapp's negotiating skills will have to be at their sharpest if he is to get Lionel Messi in for Adel Taarabt.
Dec 21, 2012

"If we got that number of penalty kicks there would be an enquiry in the House of Commons."
Ahead of the derby, king of the mind games Sir Alex Ferguson puts the spotlight on the amount of penalties Manchester City have been awarded.
Dec 7, 2012


"The best present I ever received was space Legos."
Tiger Woods reveals he is actually a man of very simple tastes.

"Sorry, phone's going. No phones at Augusta... Let's pretend no-one heard anything."
Rory McIlroy breaks the rules ahead of The Masters.

“I listened to my DAB radio and my Abba CD. Flying would have been sensible, but this is ‘me’ time.”
Colin Montgomerie explains why he drove 1,500 miles to fetch a putter from his home in Scotland.


"I like cooking, gardening, reading, decorating the house, putting up the Christmas tree and running."
Former world number one Kim Clijsters on her retirement.

"I always felt tennis was easier for me playing as world number one than actually getting there."
Swiss legend Roger Federer after reaching a combined total of 300 weeks as number one in October.


"If a boxer doesn't finish a bout with bruised hands then he probably hasn't thrown any punches."
Amir Khan's father explains why his son was a little sore after his win over Carlos Molina, but denied talk of broken bones.

"I'm too fast, too sexy and too talented to be blown away by a large, slow robot from the Ukraine."
David Haye winds up Vitali Klitschko. There is nothing Ukrainians hate more than a superfluous “the” in front of the name of their country.


“When baby kicks, I will breathe in and breathe out and try to calm myself down and talk to baby: ‘Behave yourself and help mummy to shoot!’”
Malaysia’s pregnant rifle shooter Ny Suryani Mohamed Taibi on her unique team effort.

"It's what I came here to do. I'm now a legend, I'm the greatest athlete to live."
Jamaica's Usain Bolt after becoming the first man to retain the 100m and 200m titles.


“He’s going to teach me cricket. Because I don’t understand what’s going on with that.”
Barack Obama finds a use for David Cameron.


"I think everyone pees in the pool. It's kind of a normal thing to do with swimmers. Chlorine kills it so it's not bad."
Olympic great Michael Phelps admit to a different sort of gold run - his habit of peeing in the pool.

"We never questioned Michael Phelps when he bagged eight gold medals in Beijing."
Jiang Zhixue, the head of anti-doping at China's General Administration of Sport, on suspicions over teenageChinese swimmer Ye Shiwen's explosive Olpmpics.

Latin America and Caribbean PV demand growing 45% annually to 2017

Despite all the bad news - solar companies winding up, unrealistic subsidies in China, etc - the demand for solar PV energy in other parts of the world is expected to grow at explosive growth.

Now that is optimistic but given the current momentum, and the benefits of going into renewable energy, this idea should be supported. Latin America reminds me of the initiative by the Brazil government to power up its stadiums used to stage the football 2014 World Cup, using solar photovoltaic.

Source: NPD Solarbuzz

Solarbuzz reported that demand for solar photovoltaic (PV) energy across Latin America and the Caribbean is poised for explosive growth through 2017, with a forecasted compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45%, according to the new NPD Solarbuzz Emerging PV Markets Report: Latin America & Caribbean.

Historically, PV demand was confined to rural off-grid and niche applications, but new renewable energy policies and incentive programs are now opening up the region for strong PV deployment. Set against a backdrop of strong economic growth, expanding energy demand, and increasing electricity prices, the conditions for PV adoption appear particularly attractive.

Mexico, Chile, and Brazil are emerging as market leaders within the region, driven by a combination of net-metering, Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), and other policies. These three countries are forecast to have almost 70% of PV demand within the region by 2017.

By the end of 2012, energy regulators across the region will have received PV project applications in excess of 6 gigawatts (GW), stimulating a healthy pipeline of new opportunities for PV component suppliers, developers and installers.

Chris Sunsong of NPD Solarbuzz:
    “Electricity subsidies in Mexico and low natural gas prices in Peru are also delaying the onset of PV grid-parity for some end-user categories, while import tariffs across the region are keeping PV system costs on the high side.”

Other interesting topic related to this article:

1) Solar PV powers the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
2)Renewable Energy: Work on Belo Monte dam in the Amazon

2012 REVISITED: Locally flavoured articles

Year 2012 has been the turning point for this site as far as content is concerned. Since its inception three years back, that year it managed to produce 365 articles which is about a post a day on average.

Content is also mostly of local taste as it tried to portray Sabah and Malaysia at global stage. However, as the focus was more on Renewable Energy and technology, it also captured global news on progress and advancement of the same. The followings are selected articles this site was trying to promote - renewable energy, energy, technology, environment culture and art:-

1) International Folklore Festival 2012

Sabah International Folklore Festival (SIFF) was a compilation of beautiful performances by troupes from 18 nations including China, Finland, Czech Republic, Philippine, Egypt, to name a few.

Proud in their traditional costumes. (From L-Right): Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Latvia.
More here: SIFF in Penampang, Sabah

2) The wakid - can you mix technology and culture?

The newest international airport located in Kota Kinabalu suggests hint of the popular traditional basket used by indigenous people of Sabah.

Lifesize wakid at one of the traditional celebration.
Also, see the World's biggest wakid in Sandakan water treatment works in Sigaliud, no doubt.

3) Jatropha for BioDiesel - Terengganu mulls planting Jatropha

One State wants to take Jatropha to the next level - planting a large area of shore land with this cash crop to produce bio-diesel in large scale. Yeap, why not?

4) Malaysia: 5.5% of total energy from Renewable sources by 2015

Pretty much about what the header says. By 2015 Malaysia would have generate 5.5% of its energy from Renewables.

Excerpt from PM Najib's keynote address during IGEM 2012:

Objective              : National energy generation mix to have 5.5%
                              from renewable source

Timeline                 : 2015, and 11% by 2020
Job created            : 50,000 (by 2020)
Economy              : RM70 bil worth of economic activity (by 2020)
CO2 avoidance      : 42.2 mil tonnes, or about 40%

5) What to expect in 2013: 50 Green projects to be approved

Malaysian Green Technology Corp expects over 50 green projects to be approved by financial institutions under the Green Technology Financing Scheme (SPTH) in 2013, compared with 30 in 2012.

The Finance Ministry has allocated another RM2billion (on top of what has been spent) to the SPTH to further push up the production and use of green technology-based products, with the scheme extended until Dec 31, 2015.

6) Poop-powered motorcycle that can travel 300km

Not literally, as you can't just poop in there and expect 'it' to power-up the motorcycle. But that's basically the idea.
Poop-powered motorcycle. Well, 3-wheel to be exact.

7) Worst blackout in history

That happened in India in July 2012. Over 600 million people were affected!

Massive traffic jam in India during the power outage. Read further HERE.

8) First Green Building: Art Gallery Conservation Centre

Sabah’s first Green Building is the Art Gallery Conservation Centre which can save as much as RM400,000 ($125,000) a year in energy.

Sabah Art Gallery conservation centre during construction. Pic by Insight Sabah.

9) SESB offers explanation: The 30 April 2012 total blackout

This (pic) is a typical current voltage transformer, CVT, the equipment blamed for the state-wide power failure on April 30, 2012.

Yet another total breakdown in the power supply system in Sabah. But who would be surprise anymore. Time and again SESB comes out with explanation and excuse. Irony is that, SAIDI (method of measuring performance) is so much on a downtrend and yet one doesn't feel much improvement in terms of power failure.

For Malaysians in Sabah, SAIDI tells nothing but a number

1) Lower SAIDI recorded in recent years look nice on paper but did little to a better power supply experience in general.

2) SESB sets SAIDI target of 600 minutes in 2012. Let's compare this with other states:

( 2011 )
(minutes per customer
per year)

10) Harvest Festival 2012

The annual celebration of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest was capped on 31st May 2012 at KDCA in Penampang, Sabah. Miss Melinda Louis was crowned Harvest Festival queen.

Miss Melinda Louis. Find out more HERE

11) Solar PV Powers the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Renewable energy is the way to go, even for football stadium. One of these in Brazil, the Mane Garrincha Stadium will be embedded with solar module and other sustainable technologies.

Mane Garrincha stadium for World Cup 2014. Read the full story HERE

12) Taxpayers to get refund in less than 30 days

As far as I am concerned, this is nonsense!

IRB headoffice, Kota Kinabalu.

It has been almost a year now and I haven't receive a penny from Inland Revenue Department for the refund of my year 2011 tax excess. Read the IRB statement here.

13) One maid, one task not logical

No, thank you! Read about it HERE

14) The (only) upside down house in Borneo

The first of its kind in Malaysia, although not so much to shout about. A good 'pit stop' though for travellers travelling from Kota Kinabalu to the East Coast.

The upside down house. Read further HERE

Have a prosperous and peaceful year in 2013!