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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Malaysians do feel they don’t have enough holidays


I've always thought Malaysian workers enjoy one of the highest public holidays in the world but I found out recently that there are a good number of countries that are way ahead.

Still, to some of us 16/17 public holidays in a year (depending on location/states) is plenty already -- for many of us are still not able to get away from work for various reasons.

According to the 2016 Expedia Vacation Deprivation survey across 28 countries worldwide, it was found that many Malaysians can only dream of a holiday by a beach, as their circumstances do not allow them to take a vacation.


Based on the results, Malaysians are the third most vacation-deprived nation globally! The slightly good news is that we don’t seem to be as deprived compared to 2015 when the nation was the second most deprived in the world.

The majority are taking only 25% of their allocated leave days. The main reason most Malaysians don’t take their vacations is likely poor finances (36%).

The survey also reveals significant disparity in the number of vacation days received across the globe. From countries like Germany and France where average annual allocation for leave is 30 days, Australia (20) and Singapore (18), Malaysia is close to the lowest world bracket with its 16 days a year.

Only 51% of Malaysians use up all their allocated vacations days. But even then, there seems to be difficulty disconnecting from work as 35% admit to checking work e-mails or voicemail at least once or twice while on holiday.

You can read more about it here: Malaysians feel they don’t have enough holidays


Image source: The Star


Monday, January 09, 2017

Don't drink in public areas in Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru, just across the causeway from Singapore is the go-to place for shopping and entertainment for Singaporeans living on the north side of the island, according to a survey.


With the currency to their advantage, and why not? For one Sing dollar you can now get RM3.11 last time I checked.

Singaporeans, making their Sing dollar stretch even more, now shop, eat and play in Johor Bahru, during weekends. I know. I have relatives who do just that.

A tip here... drinking alcoholic beverages in public is an offence in Johor Bahru. You can only drink alcoholic beverages in licensed or private premises.

Police will take action against those found to be intoxicated especially if they are driving a vehicle as they are a danger to themselves and other road users.

The police would be cooperating with the Johor Bahru City Council (MBJB) to ensure people do not drink alcoholic beverages in the open. Individuals caught drinking alcoholic beverages would be asked to leave the area.

Now you know.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Taste of Malaysian Food in Sydney


Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed recently launched the inaugural "Taste of Malaysia" food festival at The Grace Hotel in Sydney.

The event aims for food lovers, foodies and food travelers to taste and explore Malaysia's unique potpourri of cuisines, from the popular street food to those Malaysian specialities served in higher-end places.


Go on, give it a taste and come on over for more in Malaysia!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Northeast Monsoon is here again


The above is rather a familiar site, i.e., the flooding, this time of the year. The monsoon season is here again.

Malaysia may be lucky enough to not be affected by the Ring of Fire of volcanoes and earthquakes but we do go though spells of heavy rainfall in not one but two monsoon seasons. Right now, we are going through the northeast monsoon which started just a week or so ago and will be until early part of the year.

The northeast monsoon affects primarily the north eastern states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and parts of Johor. If you intend to travel to Malaysia, the year-end is not such a good time to visit if your destination is the east coast of the peninsula, Club Med Cherating included or the islands of Perhentian and Redang though you'd have more beach to yourself.

The Star reported that

Warnings of heavy rain and overflowing rivers have been issued in four states by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID).

This covers selected areas in Kelantan, Terengganu, Johor and Perlis.

More..Alert over heavy rain and overflowing rivers goes out in Kelantan, Terengganu, Johor and Perlis


By the way, an umbrella can be a good companion when you visit. No loss if you forget one because umbrellas are easily available here. You can buy them from roadside vendors, small sundry shops as well as large department stores. And they are cheap too, more so now to the visitor with the current exchange rate.


Image source: The Star

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Malaysia has been voted Best Travel Destination in Asia

People take advantage of the good weather to be outdoors at the Petronas Twin Towers park. Photo: The Star/Muhamad Shahril Rosli

The Star:


Queenstown, New Zealand and Malaysia emerged the big winners at the World Travel Awards Asia and Australasia over the weekend, after being crowned the leading destinations in their respective regions.

Industry leaders gathered at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort in Vietnam to recognise the best in Asian travel over the weekend.

Award winners are voted upon by major players in travel and tourism including senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators, agents as well as the general public.

Malaysia was named Asia’s leading destination over Macau, Singapore and Thailand, while the waterfront city and mountain scenery of Queenstown, New Zealand helped it nab the title of leading destination for Australasia.

The winners of the regional awards will go on to qualify for the World Travel Awards grand finale, which takes place Dec 2 in the Maldives.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Top 10 Budget Travel Tips for an Ultimate Kuala Lumpur Experience

PETRONAS Twin Towers
Source: Wikipedia
Kuala Lumpur is definitely one of the must-visit cities in Southeast Asia. Its unique blend of multiculturism makes it an exciting and vibrant city to explore.

The people you will meet, the places you will see, the food you will taste, the shopping for exciting retail therapy, the nightlife to experience in this bustling city that almost never sleeps can keep any traveller happily occupied and entertained wherever the interests may lie!

Some may find Kuala Lumpur slightly more expensive than most other cities in Southeast Asia, however, there are ways to make your visit more affordable. Here are 10 Budget Travel Tips for an Ultimate KL Experience.

1). Stay at hostels around Bukit Bintang or Chinatown for cheaper accommodation. Dorm rooms can be found from RM20 – RM45 per night, while budget hotels can cost anything between RM90 to over RM100. Check out HostelWorld to see the available hostels around the city.

2). Utilise public transportation in the city. Kuala Lumpur offers easy access to plenty of public transportation including the Light Rail Transit (LRT) or Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) systems where fares start from RM2, buses from RM1 and the GO-KL free bus service that takes you around the major landmarks in Kuala Lumpur including the Petronas Twin Towers and the KL Tower.

3). Experience the local street food that only costs from RM5 – RM15 per meal. Visit the mamaks for Indian food, warungs for Malay dishes and the street hawkers in Chinatown for Chinese street food. Another recommended street food venue that is popular with tourists and locals alike is Jalan Alor (Alor Street) - located off Jalan Bukit Bintang. Here you will find a variety of Asian food from RM10 – RM45 per meal.

4). Shop at Sungei Wang Plaza and Berjaya Times Square for great prices for clothes, shoes and bags. Clothes from as low as RM10 are also available here! Looking for affordable grooming services including manicure, pedicure and hair salon services? Sungei Wang Plaza is where to look. Wigs too as well, of course.

Chinatown
Source: CompareHero

5). Chinatown is not to be missed when in Kuala Lumpur. More shopping opportunity here. Central Market is another place not to be missed if you are looking for souvenirs. When shopping in these two places, time to exercise your bargaining skill. A must try in Chinatown is the street food and a chance to sit back and take in the sights and sounds of a bustling Chinatown.

For a bit of local culture, the vicinity of Chinatown has two nice temples to visit. One is a Chinese temple, the other an Indian temple.

6). Look for the free things to do in the city including free movie screenings. This happens every Monday evening at Publika, or head on over to Pisco’s Bar for their free foreign movie screenings on Tuesdays. If it's art you are interested in, head on to the Petronas Art Gallery at Suria KLCC for some Contemporary Art appreciation. Entrance is free.

7). Experience the nightlife in Changkat even when you’re pinching pennies, there are many clubs and bars that do not charge entry fees and offer free drinks for the ladies every day of the week. Visit Sky Bar at Traders Hotel for a fantastic clubbing experience with view of the entire city for free!

8). Visit the Petronas Twin Towers and experience the view from 1,500 meters high on the deck of the skybridge. Entry costs RM85 per person, but the view is well worth the price, especially at night. Kuala Lumpur Tower also offers a fantastic view at 790 feet above the ground, along with other fun activities for both adults and children. Ticket prices start from RM32 (depending on the package).

9). Check out cultural heritage sites such as Batu Caves, Sri Mahamariaman Hindu Temple, National Mosque (Masjid Negara), Little India and Sin Sze Si Ya Temple that won’t cost you a dime.

10). If a park visit is on your itinerary, enjoy a day in the sun at the Lake Gardens (known as Taman Botani Perdana in the local Malay language) that also houses the KL Bird Park, KL Butterfly Park and KL Deer Park. Admission to the Lake Gardens is free. Entrance fee of RM45 and RM18 respectively for the KL Bird Park and KL Butterfly Park.

KL Bird Park
Source: Wikipedia

There you have it, Top 10 Budget Travel Tips for an Ultimate Kuala Lumpur Experience!

Kuala Lumpur is a relatively safe city. However, best to take necessary safety precautions as you would anywhere else. Commonsense prevails always. Also, as travelers in a foreign land, it is always advisable to have a carbon copy of your passport with you at all times while the original copy is safe somewhere else such as in a hotel safe. It’s also advisable for you to carry less cash and use your use your travel credit card for your expenses. Besides, you get to earn rewards points and cashbacks!

Visit CompareHero.my blog for more financial tips and advice.

Welcome to Kuala Lumpur!

Article was first published on AnythingBeautiful

Monday, August 08, 2016

1MDB: The inside story of the world’s biggest financial scandal

Malaysia is just a small nation of around 30 million people but of late the country has been under the limelight (negatively unfortunately) on the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) issue. Most of us, even Malaysians, are still not sure what it's all about.

But if you are interested, here's an article on MSN that would shed some light: 1MDB: The inside story of the world’s biggest financial scandal.

It's worth a read as it has been touted as the biggest case of its kind worldwide.

Money from 1MDB, the US also claimed, helped to purchase luxury apartments in Manhattan, mansions in Los Angeles, paintings by Monet and Van Gogh, a corporate jet, and even financed a major Hollywood movie.

Take a read. This scheme of things involves a number of countries and prominent personalities.

© Provided by Guardian News United States Department of Justice alleges that money from 1MDB was used to buy Claude Monet’s NymphĂ©as Avec Reflets de Hautes Herbes, valued at $57.5m. Photograph…

© Provided by Guardian News This drawing by Vincent Van Gogh, worth $5.5m, was allegedly bought with money from 1MDB, according to the US authorities. Photograph: Frank Baron for the Guardian


Image source: MSN


Friday, May 20, 2016

On Malaysian Emigration

Statictics... Chinese make up 90% of those who gave up citizenship

From The Star:

ALMOST 90% of the 56,576 Malaysians who renounced their citi­zenship over the past decade were Chinese.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi revealed that 49,864 Malaysian Chinese gave up their citizenship from 2006 to April this year.

In a written reply to Ramkarpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor), Dr Ahmad Zahid also said in that pe­­riod, 834 Malays, 1,833 Indians and 4,044 others had done the same.

On a separate question by Kasthu­riraani Patto (DAP-Batu Kawan), Dr Ahmad Zahid said 43,453 foreigners were granted citizenship since 2006.

“The largest numbers were from Indonesia, India and Thailand,” he said.
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