Friday, November 28, 2008

Kampong Boy Stamps

If you have been a fan of local cartoonist, Lat, and if you happen to be a stamp-collector, you may not want to miss this collection of Lat stamps.

Stamping his identity: Lat with the special stamps that feature his Kampung Boy cartoons.

From Dec 1, the 30sen and 50sen stamps will feature Kampung Boy and his depiction of Malaysian life.

Lat, whose real name is Datuk Mohamed Nor Khalid, said having his comics on the stamps was a great honour and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Stamp Week will be held from Dec 1 to 7 and the Lat stamps will be sold at Berjaya Times Square during the period.

Source: The Star

RM499 to fly to London

Who would have thought air travel could be so affordable. Air Asia has made it possible to fly from Kuala Lumpur to London at only RM499.

Malaysians flying to London will also pay RM499 for the return flight while travellers from London going to KLIA will pay £99 (RM541) for the return ticket.

Online bookings opened at 8pm Tuesday (Malaysian time) for the five-times-a-week direct flights which will be for the travel period between March 11 and Oct 24.

Fares start from as low as £99 (RM499) for economy seats and £549 (RM1,999) for XL seats – inclusive of airport taxes and charges.

The latest flights will use Airbus A340 planes which will have 286 economy and 30 premium seats.

Source: The Star..It’s RM499 to fly to London on AirAsia X

Yoga as an exercise is permissible

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Wednesday urged all quarters to understand the content of the yoga fatwa issued by the National Fatwa Council and not twist facts which could cause confusion among the public.

He said Muslims who performed yoga exercise and not chanting any mantra could carry on with their activity as it was good for their health.

More from The Star..Understand yoga fatwa, do not twist the facts: PM

Related stories:
Consider fatwa very carefully, says Nazrin
Jakarta won't follow move

No ban on alcohol sale in Selangor

The controversy over Selangor PAS’ proposal to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages at sundry shops and convenience stores in the state has ended with an announcement by Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim on Wednesday that there will be no such ban in the state.

More from The Star..

Hari Raya Haji on Dec 8

Hari Raya Haji will be on Dec 8, The Star reported today.

The Keeper of the Rulers Seal announced Thursday in a press statement that the date applied to all states in Malaysia.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Yoga has been banned in Malaysia for Muslims

If you are a visitor and a Muslim, and is making Malaysia your home, you may want to note that the National Islamic body has on Saturday, Nov 22, declared that yoga has been banned for Muslims as they fear that the practice which involves three elements of physical movements, worshipping and chanting might erode the faith of Muslims.

Full story: Fatwa Council says yoga with worshipping, chanting is prohibited (updated)

George Town and Malacca receive World Heritage Site Award

The Star reported that thousands of Malaysians and foreign tourists witnessed the official awarding of the Unesco World Heritage Site to George Town (Penang) and Malacca at a colourful ceremony at Dataran Merdeka last night.

The award arrived on an elephant and was passed to Unesco’s regional science bureau for Asia and the Pacific director Hubert J. Gijzen who then gave it to Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammud-din Tun Hussein who is Malaysia’s Unesco national committee president. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, then received the award from Hishammuddin.

Read full article from The Star: George Town and Malacca receive World Heritage Site Award

In an earlier development on four high-rise hotels approved in Penang might cause it to lose it's World Heritage site status, it has been reported that City status not affected as the buildings had been approved as in compliance with guidelines of the World Heritage site status.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Penang may lose World Heritage site status if...

An artist’s impression of the Rice Miller boutique hotel which will be built in Weld Quay, George Town. It is one of four projects to be carried out in the island’s heritage zone, a move that could threaten Penang’s World Heritage Site listing.
Buildings like the above can be found in many parts of Malaysia, particularly in the Straits Settlement areas of coastal regions such as Penang, Pangkor, Malacca, (Singapore), the city of Kuala Lumpur, and holiday places . These are a legacy left behind by our British colonial forefathers.

Some of these buildings are still used as residences while others have been converted to mini-musuems, art galleries while some others have been destroyed and replaced with modern-day high-rises.

The Malaysian government places importance to these buildings and are retaining them as well as restoring the more significant ones.

The island of Penang, which played a key role in colonial times, have many buildings from that era. However, in the name of development, some of them have been replaced. Penang is right now in a bind over one of these buildings as it has been approved to be replaced by a high-rise hotel. Any structure above 18m or roughly 5-storys high, will render Penang as being not complying to the guidelines of the UNESCO World Heritage site. This could result in Penang's delisting.

Source: The Star

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Drab Day In Kuala Lumpur

It's a drab day in Kuala Lumpur today. The sun is taking a break letting the rain take over. It is still raining just as I'm writing this.

The KL skyline is not a pretty sight as buildings are shrouded in mist with the rain still beating down.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day. Looking forward to blue skies and sunshine again.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

15 sen Reduction in Fuel Prices

The Star today reported that petrol and diesel prices have been slashed by a further 15 sen per litre from today.

The new pump price for RON97 is now RM2 per litre while RON92 will be sold at RM1.90 per litre. Diesel will be at RM1.90 per litre.

The latest price cut, the fifth since August, was made in line with falling global petroleum prices.

Yesterday’s price of a barrel of crude was about US$56.

In line with falling fuel prices, supermarkets and hypermarkets across the nation are also cutting down prices of many essential items.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Eye on Malaysia Launch in Malacca, Nov 7, 2008

The Eye on Malaysia which has been relocated from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca was officially launched last Friday, Nov 7.

Some 10,000 locals and tourists gathered at the Malacca rivermouth to witness the launch of the 60m brightly-lit Eye on Malaysia ferris wheel amid a fireworks display.

Local artistes including Ning Baizura and Mawi kept the crowd entertained as they waited to have a ride.

The Ferris wheel which has 42 air-conditioned gondolas would be the main attraction among three on the 1.6ha leisure park. A 30m by 60m water screen will be ready by December and a 4D space exhibition will be operational by February next year.

Source: The Star

Places to wine and dine in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is home to endless good places to wine and dine. Listed below are some of the best that The Star has picked.

Asian flavours

THE best of Asian food is being featured under the ongoing Asian Food Festival buffet promotion at Ancasa Hotel & Spa’s Saffron Brasserie. The promotion runs from Nov 17 to 28 and will feature Green Papaya Salad, Shredded Chicken with Chilli, Pickled Cabbage, Crabmeat Rolls and Sup Ekor. Countries to be highlighted include Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand. For details, call 03-2026 6060.

Nuts galore

GO nuts over the Cuisine with Nuts month-long promotion at the Toh Lee Chinese Restaurant, Nikko Hotel Kuala Lumpur. There will be Sauteed Diced Fish Fillet with Pine Nuts, Stir-fried Diced Chicken with Walnuts, Stewed Duck with Chesnuts and Sichuan-style Sauteed Diced Prawn Meat with Macadamia Nuts to satisfy your palate. For reservations, call 03-2782 6128.

Cheesy delight

CAKE of the month at the Eastin Hotel is the Hokkaido Cheesecake. Each luscious slice is guaranteed to satiate the sugar cravings of cheesecake lovers. Or, why not purchase or order a whole cake to be enjoyed with friends and family. The cake is priced at RM75++ per kg or RM7.50++ per slice. For orders, call 03-7665 1111.

TO DINE FOR FINE THAI CUISINE, Lot B1-A, Chulan Square, 92 Jalan Raja Chulan, KL (Tel: 03-2145 1708). Business Hrs: Daily, lunch (noon-3pm); dinner (6pm-10.30pm). Pork-free. Serves traditional Thai fare like Tom Yam, Stir-fried Prawn with Black Pepper Sauce and Chicken Stir-fried with Sweet Sauce.

SPICE GARDEN IMPERIAL, 205 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL (Tel: 03-2142 2220 /2223). Business Hrs: Restaurant — Daily (11am-midnight). Tandoor food and speciality drink Jal Jeera, which is a mix of soda and 65 Indian herbs and spices, should initiate your visit here. Has live entertainment daily. Set lunches RM20-RM22.

CHUTNEY MARY RESTAURANT AND BAR, 21-G Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar, KL (Tel: 03-2282 9923). Business Hrs: Daily (11am-1am). Halal. Northern Indian cuisine with a smattering of Western and local dishes. House specials are Khairi Chicken Special, Chicken Noor Jahani Biryani and Kulfi.

U RESTAURANT, 69 Jalan Bangkung, Off Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar, KL (Tel: 03-2093 1268). Business Hrs: Daily, lunch (11.30am-3pm); dinner (6pm-late). Halal. Uses the “Omakase Kaiseki” concept where chefs decide on how to cook and present the ingredients.

BIBIWOK RESTAURANT, 16, Jalan Persiaran Puteri 1, Bandar Puteri, Puchong (Tel:03-8060 7659). Business Hrs: Daily, lunch (11am-3pm); dinner (5.30pm-10.30pm). Pork-free. Specials include Ayam Api-Api, Thai-style Butter Prawn, Siamese Steamed Red Snapper and Curry Seafood Combo.

RESTORAN PRECIOUS, M2 Mezzanine Floor, Central Market, KL (Tel: 03-2273 7372). Business Hrs: Daily (11am-10.30pm). Pork-free. Malacca-born chef John Locke whips up Nyonya specialities and innovative dishes like Crispy Pomfret and Hangzhou-style Duck, upon a day’s notice. Ornate interior filled with antiques is great for entertaining.

CANTON-i RESTAURANT, G-208, Ground Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya (Tel: 03-7729 7888). Business hours: 11am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday; 10.30am to 10pm on Sunday. Serves Hong Kong cuisine like Char Siew, Roasted Pork Belly, Roasted Duck and Wanton Noodles with essential ingredients from Hong Kong.

PARKVIEW CHINESE CUISINE, 1F-01, The Waterfront @ Parkcity, No 5, Persiaran Residen, Desa Parkcity, Kuala Lumpur (Tel: 03-6280 7766). Business Hrs: Daily; Mon-Sat, lunch (11.30am-3pm), dinner (6pm-10.30pm). Sundays & public hols, (9am-3pm), dinner (6pm-10.30pm). Non-halal. Dim sum is the favourite for lunch on weekdays with classic favourites like Barbecued Pork Buns, Baked Egg Tarts, Deep-fried Fresh Prawn Balls and Siew Mai. Other offerings are the Australian Lobsters Stir-fried with Ginseng, Toong Sing Garoupa in Two Styles, Homemade Beancurd with Spinach and Egg and Thai-style Fried Meehoon with Glass Noodles.

RESTORAN FORTUNA PALACE, 17 & 20, Jalan ½, Taman Kajang Prima, Jalan Semenyih, Kajang (Tel: 03-8739 3388). Business Hrs: Daily; lunch (10.30am-2.45pm), dinner (5.30pm-10.45pm). Non-halal. The outlet’s interior has a touch of Japanese’s minimalist style. It serves Chinese food with local and imported seafood.

IZZI, 44-2A, 44-3A & 44-4A Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL (Tel: 03-2141 5808). Business Hrs: Mon-Sun (11am-11pm); Fri & Sat (7am-2am). Pork-free. WiFi-able & free valet parking. A casual dining restaurant chain founded in Indonesia. Known for its Italian and Asian cuisine with French-influenced desserts and pastries. Izzi is spread across three floors overlooking the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

RIGHT 4 U CAFÉ, 27 Jalan SS22/19, Damansara Jaya, PJ (Tel: 03-7726 5527). Business Hrs: Daily (11am-1am). Pork-free. Serves local and Western cuisines and recommends food right for your blood type.

SALOMA THEATRE RESTAURANT, Malaysia Tourism Centre (MTC), 139 Jalan Ampang, KL (Tel: 03-2161 0122). Business Hrs: Daily (11am-midnight); dinner with cultural show (7.30pm-10.30pm). Showtime (8.30pm-9.30pm). Halal. For a touch of filmdom, some dishes have been named after evergreen Malaysian movies. Specials are Air Jando Pulang, Sup Tulang, and Daging Dendeng.

ANTONIO’S TRATTORIA CALABRIA, 32A, Jalan Wan Kadir 4, Off Jalan Damansara,Taman Tun Dr.Ismail, KL Tel:03-77254164. Business Hrs: Daily; lunch (11am-3pm), dinner (6pm-11pm). Pork free. A cozy Italian restaurant where the food is elegant in taste and the atmosphere friendly and casual. Famous for home-made thin crust pizzas, pasta and tiramisu.Set Lunch from Monday to Friday at RM12.90 nett.

Air Asia offers 500,000 free seats & no fuel surcharge

Are you due for a holiday next year between June and October? If you are, why not pick an Air Asia destination and make your booking for a free seat today.

Free-seat booking is open from today up to Sunday, and you do not have to pay fuel surcharge anymore as Air Asia has cancelled fuel surcharge for the moment. There are 500,000 free seats up for grabs.

For full story, read The Star's AirAsia does away with fuel fees on all flights

How to book your free seat? You can go online at or call their hotline which I would not advise as you can be put on hold for some thirty minutes listening to their rambling advertisements.

Alternatively, you could go to their AirAsia booking office at the Kuala Lumpur Sentral station in Brickfields.

Yet another alternative is , you could book at any AirAsia ticketing agents but they are few and far between.

A last but very reliable alternative if you are in the Klang Valley is, you can call the ticketing agent that my friends use. He is Mr. Lim and he can be reached at (603)62767233 - office / (6)012 6597039. (No, I do not get any commission from this recommendation. He does not even know that I am putting his contacts here. His service is highly commendable according to my friends.)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Penang's 2nd Bridge

Construction has begun on the 16.37km sea portion of the 23km-long second Penang Bridge which will have a middle cable stayed span much like the present Penang Bridge.

The two viewing platforms that formed the “pearl” in the original design have been scrapped.

Traffic jams that occur almost daily during peak hours would hopefully be reduced when this second bridge is ready.

Below is an artist's impression showing how the second Penang Bridge will look now that the viewing platforms in the original design have been scrapped. Work on the new bridge, which will look like the existing Penang Bridge, began yesterday. It is scheduled for completion in 2011.

Source: The Star

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur

Welcome to Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur. Below is a typical scene when you visit Chinatown - a foreign national manning the stall serving foreign tourists.

Chinatown is a hive of activity any time of the day or night. A visit to Kuala Lumpur is not considered complete without a visit to Chinatown, Petaling Street in particular.

Chinatown has some of the best and authentic Chinese food available. You can find KL's best Hokkien fried noodle, best roast duck, best soya bean drink, and more. A common sight I delight in is of visitors (Caucasians mostly) hanging out having a beer or two soaking in the sights and sounds of Chinatown.

Baunach Ulrich and his wife (above) from Germany said they were fine with foreign workers selling the merchandise, but were not in favour of the cramped placements of stalls. Fortunately, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has shelved a plan to add 94 new stalls at Petaling Street following strong objections from traders who find it increasingly difficult to do business in the area.

Another visitor, Lindy from Australia likes "the atmosphere here - red lanterns, haggling, good food - and I can shop cheaply, it doesn’t really matter if those who man the stalls are foreign workers."

Come, let me take you to Chinatown - through a video. The place is shown in daylight. It never used to be that busy during the day as business only begins at nightfall when the street is closed to auto traffic. These days (since the last few years), business starts early, as early as ten-ish.

Welcome to Kuala Lumpur. Welcome to Chinatown!

Here's a map of Chinatown

View Larger Map

Source...The Star
Tourists have no qualms about Petaling Street’s image
DBKL: No new stalls in Chinatown
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