Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Countdown in Kuala Lumpur

The New Year's countdown in KL promises to be a fun-filled event, crammed with star-studded concerts, fireworks displays and other activities. And where is the action?

Head out to Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square) and be entertained from 8.45pm onwards by a line-up of local artistes and groups, such as Ella, Amy Search, bands Bunkface and Hujan., the other will be at Bukit Bintang.

The concert – which will be accompanied by City Hall’s 40-member orchestra and multi-cultural dance troupe – will also be enlivened by traditional performances from various ethnic groups.

If you prefer some adventure, make a beeline to KL Tower where 10 local BASE jumpers are scheduled to take a plunge to mark the passing of the old year and on to the new.

In view of the New Year’s Eve celebrations, services at selected LRT, KL Monorail and RapidKL routes will also be extended.

Certain LRT stations on the Kelana Jaya line – Kelana Jaya, Bangsar, KL Sentral, Pasar Seni, Masjid Jamek, Dang Wangi, Kampung Baru, KLCC and Ampang Park — will stay open until 2am.

On the Ampang LRT route, the Hang Tuah, Masjid Jamek and Bandaraya stations will also be opened until 2am. All other stations would close at 12.45am.

All KL Monorail stations will operate until 3am.

There will be road closures, so best to take public transport or you will have to park your vehicle further away from the action.

The road closure for Dataran Merdeka will be from the traffic lights at the intersection of Jalan Hishamuddin and Jalan Raja until those at the Jalan Raja-Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman junction from 7pm onwards.

For the celebrations in Bukit Bintang, the stretch between the Jalan Imbi-Jalan Sultan Ismail intersection and Jalan Sultan Ismail-Jalan Bukit Bintang will be closed beginning mid-night tonight until 6am on Jan 1.

Other roads are expected to be closed according to traffic situations.

Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

MAS: US-bound travellers should check in early

US-bound travellers may want to take note:

Malaysia Airlines has advised United States-bound travellers to check in early in light of the heightened security measures by the US Transportation Secu­rity Administration.

“These include pat-down checks by security personnel and physical inspection of their cabin baggage and personal belongings prior to boarding, restricted access to carry-on baggage an hour prior to arrival and restrictions on the use of communication devices at any time during the flight,” MAS said in a statement yesterday.

MAS also urged passengers to cooperate with the cabin crew on any other in-flight security measures as instructed.

The heightened security follows an attempt by a man to detonate an explosive device on Friday.

Meanwhile, Canada bans hand baggage on flights to US following a failed Christmas Day plot to blow up a plane flying from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Passengers may only carry medical devices, small purses, cameras, laptop computers, canes, walkers, diaper bags, musical instruments and bags containing “life-sustaining items.

Travelers headed for the United States have been allowed to carry on only one bag since Saturday, following 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s alleged attempt to bring down a Northwest Airlines flight as it prepared to land in Detroit on Friday.

Source: The Star

Monday, December 07, 2009

Sunday, December 06, 2009

20-storey Pavilion over the Goddess of Mercy (Kuan Yin) Statue - Penang

GEORGE TOWN (PENANG): Buddhist devotees from 20 countries arrived here for the grand opening today of the 20-storey pavilion over the Goddess of Mercy (Kuan Yin) statue at the Kek Lok Si Temple in Air Itam.

The temple authorities are planning to list the RM40mil structure as the tallest pavilion in the world.

Making it big: Spotlights illuminating the skyline of the Kek Lok Si Temple in Air Itam yesterday. The huge octagonal pavilion to shelter the Goddess of Mercy ( Kuan Yin ) statue will open.

The three-tiered 60.9m roof pavilion, which is supported by 16 granite pillars, serves as a canopy to shelter the 30.2m-tall bronze statue of Kuan Yin.

Source: The Star

Related article:
The New Landmark in Penang - The Goddess of Mercy Pavilion

Monday, November 30, 2009

Free bus services for Lima

If you plan to be in Langkawi for the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA 09), you may be interested to know that twenty buses have been specially chartered to transport visitors to the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC) beginning Tuesday. The bus service is provided to avoid traffic congestion and is free of charge.

The bus would pass through Kuah town, Jalan Pantai Kok and hotels at Pantai Cenang to transport visitors to MIEC.

Besides the bus service, there would also be 12 highpowered motorcycles offering a similar service for visitors, as well as to transport participants from their hotels to MIEC.

Lima will end on Dec 5.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Win an AirAsia Ticket to a Mystery Destination

Here's a chance to win an AirAsia free ticket to a mystery destination.

Kelantan floods disrupt train schedules

If you are heading out by rail to the east coast, i.e., Kelantan, the article below from The Star may be helpful.

Departure and arrival times of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad's (KTMB) intercity train services for the east coast sector, including the Wau and Timuran express services, are likely to delayed between 30 minutes and an hour on Monday.

KTMB corporate communications manager Fazil Ismail said this was because the trains had slow down in areas hit by foods in Kelantan.

"Bukit Abu and Manik Urai in Kelantan are among the flood-prone areas where disruption of train services usually occur," he told Bernama when contacted here Monday.

Apart from the intercity trains, he said the local train service between Tumpat and Gua Musang had to be temporarily halted due to silting caused by landslides.

At present, he said, KTMB had to conduct routine inspections of the track at 5pm and 8pm daily and that the management could not anticipate whether the train service for the east coast sector would run smoothly by the time Aidiladha is celebrated on Nov 27.

"Nevertheless, we are providing shuttle bus services at a few selected stations to transport passengers in case the train services are disrupted along the route.

"KTMB will inform the passengers of the latest development from time to time and we apologise for all inconvenience caused," he added. - Bernama

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monsoon Season has arrived

The monsoon season is here upon us again with rain on a daily basis as early as mid-morning.

This is a picture of a village near Batu Caves.

There is flooding around the country, the worst being in the northern state of Kedah and the east coast states of Kelantan and Terengganu where evacuation efforts are underway to move people to higher ground.

If you intend to visit Malaysia this time of the year, having an umbrella would be helpful.

Picture source: The Star

Related article:
Floods in the East Coast of Malaysia

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Food Galore in Kuala Lumpur

If you are in Kuala Lumpur and need a food guide, hope the list below will give you a good start.

Dim sum galore

ENJOY delectable dim sum at Golden Phoenix, Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur as it rolls out more than 30 varieties of piping hot dim sum. The unlimited dim sum promotion is available until the year-end. Master chef Yau Kim Yew has introduced many new and creative steamed and fried dim sum. Among his recommendations are Steamed Prawn Dumplings, Steamed Pork Meat Dumplings, Steamed Egg Custard Buns, Steamed Chicken Feet with Beancurd Skin, Steamed Fish Balls, Steamed Beancurd Skin in Oyster Sauce, Steamed Glutinous Rice with Roast Duck. Deep-fried Seaweed Rolls, Deep-fried Chinese Chives Dumplings, Pan-fried Cantonese Radish Cake and many more. The Yum Ley Sek Dim Sum is priced at RM48++ per adult and RM24++ per child and is available from noon to 2.30pm (Saturdays) and 11am to 2.30pm (Sundays and public holidays). For reservations, call 03- 2161 7777 ext 8223.

Italian delight

HAVE a great feast with the Italian dish of Filetto Costola di Vitello Con Funghi at Cellini’s Italian Restaurant, Dorsett Regency Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The meal is wholesome with deliciously grilled veal chop, garlic herbs butter topped with turkey ham, mozzarella and Parmesan. This lip smacking dish is lovely savoured with mushroom sauce and is available throughout November priced at RM79.90 per order (inclusive of a complimentary glass of house wine and dessert). For reservations, call 03-2715 1000 ext 188.

Fish in banana leaf

SAVOUR a diverse range of succulent fish in banana leaf at Sun & Surf Café, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa until Nov 22. A variety of fish choices please every palate. The mild flavoured black snapper is marked by a firm texture that makes it ideal for all types of cooking preparation. Grouper is yet another highly versatile fish, prized for its subdued characteristics, firm flesh and ability to retain moisture. For tastebuds that favour hints of sea flavour, John Dory is bound to satisfy. Otherwise, sink your teeth into the thick, white flesh of perch. Its excellent flavour and delicate yet moist flesh makes it particularly suited for grilling or steaming. With a luscious selection to delight in, take your pick of having it grilled to perfection, baked heartily or steamed fresh. Accentuating the fish flavours are an array of accompanying sauces, including Tamarind Sauce, Chilli Soy Sauce, Thai Lemon Sauce, Thai Curry Sauce and Sambal. Buffet lunch is priced at RM55++, from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, and dinner is priced at RM78++ per adult, from 6.30pm to 9.30pm. Children dine at 50% off at the Restaurant. For reservations, call 03-7492 8000 ext 3169.

PASSAGE THRU’ INDIA, 235 Jalan Tun Razak, KL (Tel: 03-2145 0366) with outlet in Medan Damansara, KL (Tel: 03-2094 4366. Business Hrs: Lunch (11.30am-3pm); dinner (6:30pm-11pm). Halal. Try the Cocktail Basket of six mini-naan breads with chutneys and relishes, PTI Masala Prawns, Murgh Tikka Butter, Mutton Rogan Ghost, Kashgar Kebab and Navratna Kurma. The Medan Damansara outlet has the Executive Set Lunch from RM18++ to RM22++.

BANGSAR SEAFOOD GARDEN RESTAURANT, One Bangsar, 63 Jalan Ara, Bangsar Baru, KL (Tel: 03-2282 2555). Business Hrs: Daily, lunch (noon-2.30pm); dinner (6pm-10.30pm). Halal. Menu lists Nyonya and Malay-influenced dishes with Chinese flavours. Restaurant is equipped with banquet facilities.

EDEN@CHULAN SQUARE, Lot 1, Chulan Square, 92 Jalan Raja Chulan, KL (Tel: 03-2141 4027). Business Hrs: Daily, lunch (noon-3pm); dinner (6.30pm-11.30pm). Halal. Boasts an upbeat décor. Specials are Baked Dragon Fruit Salad, Chicken Consommé with Dried Scallop, Fried Lumpia King Prawns with Beef Fillet and Chicken Breast Fillet with Pesto.

CHARMS CAFÉ, Lot S206, 2nd Floor, Promenade 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama, PJ (Tel: 03-7722 2206). Business Hrs: Daily (11am-10pm). Pork-free. The Spicy Gizzie, Rojak, Fried Carrot Cake and Mayo Dip come highly recommended alongside local delights like Lamb Charmer and Charms Laksa.

H&H Restaurant is at 25, Jalan PJU5/12, Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara (Tel: 03-6141 8911). Business Hrs: Daily (11am-10pm). Halal. Set Meal for four at RM41.90 with a choice of four dishes. Available daily for lunch and dinner. Other items are Curry Fish Head, Kapitan Chicken and Assam Fish Head.

VICTORIA STATION, 11-17 Jalan Setiapuspa, Medan Damansara, KL (Tel: 03-2093 8833) with outlets in Ampang (03-4257 3388), PJ (03-7955 8988) & USJ (03-5637 3388). Business Hrs: Daily (noon-midnight). Halal. Still a popular haunt for steaks. Other offerings are Deep Sea Prawns with Teriyaki Sauce, Charbroiled New Zealand Fillet Steak and Grilled Cajun Salmon.

OZEKI TOKYO CUISINE, Menara TA1, Ground Floor, 22 Jalan P Ramlee, KL (Tel: 03-2166 4263). Business Hrs: Mon-Sun, lunch (noon-2.30pm); Mon-Sat, dinner (6.30pm-11pm); Sun (6.30pm-10.30pm). Pork-free. Offers Japanese steamboat with seasonal ingredients. Other specials are Zensai Moriawase platter, Ootoro Steak and Kobe Beef Yaki.

KL RAKUZEN JAPANESE RESTAU-RANT, Block B, Lot 2A Chulan Square, 92 Jalan Raja Chulan, KL (Tel: 03-2145 6200). Business Hrs: Daily, lunch (11.30am-3pm); dinner (6pm-11pm). Pork-free. Contemporary décor but authentic food. Value-for-money set meals from RM28++. Extensive menu with raw, steamed, grilled and broiled items.

BANGKOK HOUSE, Pandan Indah Business Centre, 17G Jalan 4/8 Pandan Indah, KL (Tel: 03-4295 7162). Business Hrs: Daily (11am-11pm). Halal. Serves authentic Thai cuisine. Also does free delivery within a 20km distance. Special menus can be designed for parties and special occasions but two days’ advance notice is needed.

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.

FRANGIPANI RESTAURANT, 25 Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL (Tel: 03-2144 3001). Business Hrs: Restaurant (Tues-Sun, 7.30pm-10.30pm); Bar (Tues-Thurs & Sun, 6pm-1am); (Fri & Sat, 6pm-3am). Pork-free. Fine dining with a contemporary touch. Menu here changes every three months but classics like Warm Tea Smoked Salmon or Pan Roasted Duck Confit are retained.

RESTORAN SERI MELAYU, 1 Jalan Conlay, KL (Tel: 03-2145 1833). Business Hrs: Daily, lunch (noon-3pm); dinner (6.30pm-11pm). Halal. Serves traditional Malay cuisine buffet-style. There is a live cooking station with the Sudut Warisan featuring Malaysian BBQ Special for dinner (6.30pm-10pm) only. The restaurant which exudes Malay rustic charm features live cultural performances between 8.30pm and 9.15pm nightly.

KORYO-WON KOREAN RESTAU-RANT, Lot 19, West Wing, Crowne Plaza Mutiara Hotel, 2nd Floor, Kompleks Antarabangsa, Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL (Tel: 03-2142 7655/03-2142 4939). Business Hrs: Daily (including Public Holidays), lunch (noon-2.30pm); dinner (6pm-10.30pm). Serves Korean royal cuisine set menus and Sunday BBQ Buffet Lunch at RM50++ (adult) and RM25++ (child). House specials include Korean popiah, Five Variety Stew and Syabu Syabu.

O’BRIENS, The Curve, Lot G79 Ground Floor, 6 Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara, PJ (Tel: 03-7727 2181). Business Hrs: Daily (10am-10pm). Part of a worldwide chain specialising in Irish sandwiches and gourmet coffees. Features the “made-to-order” concept where customers put-together their own sandwiches.

ECOGREEN ORGANIC CAFÉ, Unit G3, Bangunan Bakti Siti Hasmah, 6 Changkat Abang Haji Openg, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL (Tel: 03-7729 2789). Business Hrs: Mon-Fri (11am-5.30pm); Sat & Sun (11am-9pm). Halal. Serves vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare. No MSG, no artificial preservatives or colouring in the food. The cafe uses only organic and natural ingredients. Take advantage of the Set Lunch with soup, nasi ulam, pitaya jelly and green tea at RM18.80+.

Source.. The Star

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

AirAsia offering one million free seats

AirAsia, Malaysia's low-cost carrier, is again giving away a million free seats from today to more than 70 destinations in China, India, Taiwan, Indonesia and Thailand.

Those interested in enjoying the free seats can book their tickets from today until Sunday, for flights between May 1 and Oct 30 next year.

With no fuel surcharge and administration fee, this deal offers fantastic value to travellers.

To complement the free flights, AirAsia’s one-stop travel portal is also offering deals and packages including “free rooms” in more than 180 Asia-Pacific hotels online at

For more information on free seats and other promotional tickets, visit or

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Floods in the East Coast of Malaysia

The months of November and December are not the best months to visit the east coast of Malaysia. This is due to the monsoon season where there is heavy rainfall resulting in floods, road closures and evacuations.

An anticipated violent movement of Siberian winds across the South China Sea any time between mid-November and early December will trigger off another wave of thunderstorms leading to massive floods in the east-coast states.

Source: The Star..Sunny respite in last 24 hours may be ‘calm before storm’

Malaysia wins seven Asian travel awards

Malaysia swept seven Asian awards at the prestigious World Travel Awards 2009’s regional finals gala ceremony here Saturday in London.

While Malaysia Airlines bagged Asia’s Leading Airline award, Resorts World Genting scooped Asia’s Leading Family Resort and Asia’s Leading Casino Resort titles.

Tourism Malaysia’s “Malaysia: Truly Asia” tagline was also voted Asia’s Leading Marketing Campaign during the star-studded function at Grosvenor House, a JW Marriot Hotel, in London’s Mayfair.

Two other titles – Asia’s Leading City Hotel and Asia’s Leading Design Hotel – went to Hilton Kuala Lumpur while Asia’s Leading Airport Hotel award went to Pan-Pacific Kuala Lumpur International Airport Hotel.

Source" The Star..Malaysia wins seven Asian travel awards

Friday, November 06, 2009

Hottest band from Jakarta at the Hard Rock Cafe

For visitors to Kuala Lumpur, the Hard Rock Cafe is one place to visit. Food is great there, ambience is hip and for Hard Rock Cafe item collectors, one can pick up some HRC Malaysia souvenirs.

JOGADANZ Band, one of Jakarta hottest club bands will be performing at the Hard Rock Café, Kuala Lumpur till the end of November. They perform from Monday to Saturday from 11pm onwards.

The seven-piece band thrills patrons with its lively and vibrant performance of the latest chart-toppers to evergreens, hot rock to soothing balads.

The band members are known to have a vast repertoire to accommodate the different musical demands of every city and country they play in. The band strives for maximum versatility in their performance and have excellent crowd interaction.

Hard Rock Café Kuala Lumpur is located in Wisma Concorde, Jalan Sultan Ismail, right in the hub of KL’s nightlife scene.

For inquiries, call 03- 2715 5555.

Carrefour Market Going Green

Malaysia is still not up to what the West is doing in terms of going green but Carrefour is taking the lead by introducing last week, a strictly no-plastic-bag policy at its new outlet, Carrefour Market at the Sphere in Bangsar South in Kuala Lumpur.

So if you plan to shop at Carrefour Market, be sure to have your bag(s) ready.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Malaysia International Fashion Week, Nov 4 to Nov 8 - Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

If you happen to be visiting Kuala Lumpur from Nov 4 to Nov 8, you would be right in the midst of a fashion extravaganza, this period being the Malaysia International Fashion Week.

Head on over to Pavilion Kuala Lumpur along Jalan Bukit Bintang where all the action is.

Welcome to the Malaysia International Fashion Week!

Watercraft expo in Pekan, Pahang

The Watercraft Gallery in Pulau Beram (a small island in Pahang River opposite Pahang State Museum in Pekan) will showcase a range of water crafts, models of a fishermen’s houses and floating huts. It is open from 9am to 5.30pm daily except on Mondays. Admission is free.

Art Exhibition in Penang

If you are in Penang, you may want to visit an art exhibition by a group of eight artists from Sabah who travelled to Penang to showcase their artwork.

The art exhibition themed ‘Ngintom Aku Masa Dedoou’, a Bajau phrase for a recollection of memories showcased a total of 64 paintings at the Penang Malay Art Gallery in Chulia Street

Each painting depicts the artist’s own way of keeping links with the past.

The exhibition is on until Nov 30 from 10am to 6pm daily except Sundays.

For more details about the artists, log on to

Source: The Star - Capturing the days gone by

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Diwali

Best wishes,

Durian, the King of Fruits

A first-time visitor to Malaysia may be fascinated by this thorny fruit called durian. This fruit is our King of Fruits. To Malaysians, it tastes like heaven but to foreigners, it smells like hell. LOL!

The odor of durians can be quite (understatement) unbearable for those who are not used to the odor. A whiff of it may send one scurrying to escape the overpowering aroma.

Durians are not allowed in hotels so you can be rest-assured that you will not be bombarded by this funky smell of the King of Fruit in the comfort of the hotel.

Check out Nat Geo's amusing coverage of the fruit.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

MAS starts direct flights to Istanbul on Oct 25

Good news for travellers going to Istanbul, Turkey.

Malaysia Airlines, the national carrier, will start thrice-weekly direct flights between Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul on Oct 25.

Departures from Kuala Lumpur are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

At the moment, the service to the Turkish city is via Dubai. There is a plan to delink Dubai from Istanbul. Instead, MAS will be flying direct to Istanbul.

MAS also plans to link its network from Australia to Istanbul via Kuala Lumpur.

A(H1N1) still active despite reduction in cases

KUALA LUMPUR: Influenza A(H1N1) is still active and spreading in the community despite a reduction in cases of late, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican.

He advised the public to take precautions and abide by the guidelines set by the ministry, and to refrain from visiting crowded areas.

“The are no new deaths from the flu and the death toll remains at 77,” he said in a statement on Monday.

He said 123 influenza-like illness (ILI) patients were admitted while 106 more were discharged on Monday.

Of the 743 ILI patients warded, 9% or 66 of them were confirmed to be infected with AH1N1; 15 of them are in intensive care units including one new case, while one other was discharged, he said.

He said 13 of the remaining patients in ICU were high-risk patients, seven were children below five, three have chronic diseases and three were obese persons. -- Bernama

Source: The Star

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Jetstar doubles flights from Singapore to Penang

Jetstar Asia recently doubled the frequency of its Singapore-Penang flights to twice a day, totalling 14 times weekly to this historic UNESCO World Heritage site.

The route was launched on July 1 and marked the 17th destination for the low-cost airline that serves four Malaysian cities – Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Penang.

This service will create real low-fare access for Singaporeans and the growing number of passengers travelling through Singapore on the Jetstar and Qantas (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Jetstar Group) network.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Malaysia Airlines' Low Fares Promo is Back

Even though not as cheap as budget airline, Air Asia, tickets, full-service Malaysia Airlines is again offering its “Everyday Low Fares” with attractive deals for November.

All-inclusive, one-way fares to Hong Kong, Taipei, Perth and Melbourne are priced at RM368, RM400, RM649 and RM951, respectively. Or fly to Amsterdam, Paris, Rome and Frankfurt at RM1,228, and London at RM1,248.

For domestic flights, enjoy RM79 fares for flights within the peninsular and RM109 to Sabah and Sarawak. MAS has also increased the frequency of flights to Tawau, Sandakan, Sibu, Seoul and Taipei, while flights to Colombo will be increased to five per week starting Oct 28.

For more information, log on to

Michael Jackson This Is It

Yep! This is it!

If you are a fan of Michael Jackson and happen to be in Malaysia October end, you would be able to watch Michael Jackson This Is It movie/documentary which will be released exclusively for two weeks only, starting Oct 29 at selected GSC cinemas nationwide.

To avoid long queues, you can buy tickets from Oct 15 onwards through GSC box office or via GSC e-payment facility @

If you are the first 90 people to buy two tickets via box office in GSC Signature, you will receive one limited edition Michael Jackson collectible poster.

Klang Valley movie-goers will have an option of watching this movie/documentary in either Digital 2D or 35mm format at GSC Mid Valley, GSC 1 Utama, GSC Pavilion KL and GSC Berjaya Times Square.

It will also be available in 35mm format at GSC Signature (The Gardens Mall), GSC IOI Mall Puchong, GSC Tropicana City, GSC Alamanda Putrajaya, GSC Gurney Plaza (Penang), GSC Queensbay Mall (Penang), GSC Sunway Carnival (Seberang Jaya, Penang), GSC Dataran Pahlawan (Melaka) and GSC 1Borneo (Kota Kinabalu).

Michael Jackson’s fans and music lovers will be treated to a rare, behind-the-scenes look at him as he developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts that would have taken place this summer in London.

The film is compiled from more than one hundred hours of behind-the-scenes footage, featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show, chronicling the months from April through June.

Audiences will be given a privilege and private look at the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect and genius as he creates and perfects his final show.

You can log on to from Oct 15 onwards for more details on the movie and schedule, advance cash ticket sales and ticket pricing.

Source: The Star

Related post:
This Is It - Michael Jackson's New Song

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Last MH91 MAS flight out of New York

The 19-hour MH91 flight which took off from New York to Kuala Lumpur at 10pm on Thursday was Malaysia Airlines’ farewell flight from the Big Apple as Malaysia’s national carrier has decided to suspend its Kuala Lumpur - New York route from Oct 1 due to a drop in demand following the global economic crisis.

As the plane prepared for take-off from the Newark Airport, it was given a water salutation normally reserved for aircraft making their debut at an airport.

Onboard were a total of 188 passengers including eight members from the Malaysian national darts team who had just won a bronze medal at the World Darts Championship in North Carolina.

With the suspension of this KL - New York direct flight, direct access to the US has now been reduced to just the KL - Los Angeles flight.

The New York - Kuala Lumpur flight has been operating since 1998, initially transiting in Dubai and since Nov 2004, in Stockholm.

Indonesia says thank you for the help

The Star reported that the Indonesian government has thanked Malaysia for providing assistance to the people of Padang who have been affected by the earthquake.

The Malaysian government has provided aid in various forms, including food and medicines.

Those who would like to find out about their family members in Padang could contact the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

They could also get the latest update on the earthquake from the Padang earthquake hotline at +62-751-9824980 or the Disaster Management National Agency at +62-21-3458400 or e-mail to posko@bnpb,

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Penang beach hotels quick to act

Having learnt from the devastation of the 2004 tsunami, beach hotels in Batu Ferringhi, Penang, were quick to act this time around when the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued an alert following the earthquake in Sumatra.

A Golden Sands Resort resort spokeman said they had put staff members on standby to be on the lookout for tidal waves. However, the alert was later called off.

High waves pounding the Esplanade waterfront in Penang as locals watch.

Source: The Star

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Floating Bookshop Comes to Johor Bahru

If you are somewhere in the south of Peninsula Malaysia, Johor Bahru, to be exact, you may want to visit this floating bookshop that is currently docked at the Pasir Gudang ferry terminal.

The Doulos is no ordinary ship — it has a bookshop onboard, giving it the nickname “the floating bookshop”. Built in 1914, the MV Doulos is the world’s oldest passenger liner.

The vessel has sailed to 600 ports in more than 100 countries over the past 31 years, bringing books all over the world. It has a crew of 320 people from 50 countries.

During its stop in Johor, this is its sixth time, the MV Doulos will be open to the public until Oct 6.

Opening times are from 10.30am-10pm (Tuesday-Saturday) and 2pm-10pm (Sunday and Monday). Admission is RM1.

“Discover Doulos” open day exhibitions will be held on Sept 27 and Oct 4 from 3pm to 6pm.

Latest Update - No new H1N1 deaths as at Sep 27

According to the Director-General of Health, there has been NO new deaths from influenza A(H1N1) recorded for the past one week and the total so far remains at 77. Yay!

He said 45 new cases with influenza like illness (ILI) were warded in 92 hospitals nationwide while 140 were discharged, leaving the total at 761.
Laboratory tests confirmed that 14 per cent or 103 of the patients were infected with H1N1.

18 per cent or 19 of the them were in the intensive care units(ICU) including two new cases while two patients were discharged.

The latest information on H1N1 infection can be obtained by calling the hotline 03-8881 0200 or 03-8881 0300 from 8am to 5pm, e-mail at and on the ministry's website at

Source: NST

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wedding Dresses in Kuala Lumpur

Are you getting married and are looking for a Wedding dress shop? If you are in Kuala Lumpur, below contact information is what you'll need..

Click on image below to enlarge..

You can find more Wedding Dress shops here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

LRT extension - Thousands to benefit

Kuala Lumpur and its suburbs (locally referred to as Klang Valley) are serviced by two Light Rail Transit lines, (besides other modes of public transportation). They are the Kelana Jaya and Ampang lines. Thousands of Klang Valley residents will benefit and are looking forward to the proposed extension to both LRT lines.

The Ampang LRT extension would cover 17.7km, and start from the Sri Petaling Station, passing through areas like Bukit OUG, the Bukit Jalil Golf and Country Club, and into Puchong before ending at Putra Heights. It will have 13 new stations.

There will be seven stations with park and ride facilities, six of which will be developed as multi-storey car park complexes. Adequate parking is essential at LRT stations.

The Kelana Jaya LRT extension starts from the Kelana Jaya station, passing through Subang Jaya and USJ, before ending at Putra Heights. It covers 17km with 13 stations.

The line will also have five stations with park and ride facilities.

All stations will be equipped with the usual lifts, escalators, public telephones, surau (prayer areas), and toilets.

It will also be disabled-friendly with facilities for ramps, lifts, low ticket counters and special toilets.

The image below is an artist's impression of one of the new stations on the line.

From Sep 15 until Dec 14, the proposed extension and alignment of the two LRT lines, as well as the facilities provided at the stations, will be on display for public viewing at the following venues:

Department of Railways (Ministry of Transport)
13th Floor, Menara dayabumi,
Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin,
50050, Kuala Lumpur.

Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur
Ground Floor,Menara DBKL 2,
Jalan Raja Laut,
50350 Kuala Lumpur.

Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya
Lobi Menara MBPJ,
Jalan Tengah,
46200 Petaling Jaya.

Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya,
Level 1, Persiaran Perpaduan USJ5,
47610 Subang Jaya.

Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam
Lobby A, Wisma MBSA,
Persiaran Perbandaran,
40000 Shah Alam.

* Display hours are from Mon to Fri from 9am to 5pm. It is closed on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

Members of the public are invited to give their feedback on the proposed lines at the locations for the company to consider all the options to cater to the people living in the community.

The 35km of lines, estimated to cost about RM7bil, will be elevated and are expected to be ready by 2012. Transport company Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd said another 35 four-car trains to the Kelana Jaya line will be added. It now has 35 two-car trains.

Another 12 to 14 six-car trains would be added to the 30 now serving the Ampang line.

Source: The Star.. Thousands to benefit from LRT extension

Off-peak Highway Toll Exemption and Discount

Hari Raya is most probably set for Sep 20 and 21, so the exodus of city-folk returning to their hometown has already started for some.

For the first time, all vehicles using the KL-Karak Highway and the East Coast Highway (Phase 1) on Sept 18 and Sept 24 from midnight until 5am, will be exempted from paying toll.

The time between midnight and 5am is supposed to be the least congested thus smoother traffic.

About 200,000 vehicles a day are expected to ply the East Coast expressway from Gombak to Jabor, Terengganu during the festive period.

Meanwhile, private vehicles using the North-South Expressway and ELITE highways will enjoy up to 20% discount on toll charges in conjunction with the Hari Raya. The discount will be applicable to private car owners – which are categorised as Class 1 motorists – travelling during off-peak hours on Sept 16,17,18, 22, 24 and 25 between midnight and 7am.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cheaper International Malaysian Passport

Malaysians will be happy to note that the government based on feedback from the people has decided to come up with a cheaper Alternative International Malaysian Passport. This is from Oct 1.

The new passport costs RM100 for a two-year validity versus the normal 5-year passport that costs RM300 for a 32-page document and RM600 for a 64-page passport.

This new alternative passport would be much welcomed by Malaysians who only need make a trip overseas once in a while such as those going for the haj to Mecca or accompanying their children studying overseas.

Source: The Star.. Infrequent travellers can opt for cheaper passports

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More MAS flights to meet Hari Raya rush

In view of increased travel during Hari Raya, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has increased its number of flights to meet an increased demand.

49 extra flights, providing an additional 14,882 seats, have been added to the existing services from Sept 17 thru to Sept 28. Popular destinations will be covered.

Additional flights may be added pending demand and availability of aircraft and flight crew.

For those travelling to Medan, the Kuala Lumpur-Medan services will be increased to 23 times weekly from the existing 14 times weekly to accommodate the expected increase in traffic demand during this holiday period.

Existing promotional fares are also valid on some of these extra flights. Contact MAS 24-hour call centre at 1-300-88-3000 for reservations and enquiries about the additional flights.

Mass Wedding Day 090909

As the world commemorated 090909 yesterday, Malaysian folk too joined in events that made the day memorable and meaningful.

Nine couples exchanged vows at the Kuala Lumpur Tower overlooking the city of Kuala Lumpur.

Elsewhere in George Town, Penang, the heritage city was a hive of activity as mass wedding ceremonies were held against the backdrop of historical structures and sites.

The Penang Chinese Town Hall was a popular venue as two mass wedding ceremonies were held - one in the morning and another in the afternoon.

Thirty-eight couples hopped on trishas to get from Cititel Penang to the hall at about 10.15am.

In the afternoon, 67 couples got married in the same hall witnessed by scores of friends and relatives.

At Macalister Road, 93 couples chose the Che Hoon Khor Moral Uplifting Society building to exchange rings and vows.

At E&O Hotel, 20 couples tied the knot in a full-day wedding programme organised by a bridal house.

Source: The Star..Couple tie the knot on 090909 after dating for nine years

H1N1 Status Update (Sep 10)

If you are planning a trip to Malaysia and is wondering about the H1N1 status? Fear not as the death rate due to Influenza A(H1N1) in the country is within a normal range, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In fact, Malaysia has been praised for its efficiency in detecting and treating influenza cases. As of yesterday, the death toll from the flu remained at 73 with no new deaths reported for six consecutive days. Also, the infection rate in the country is declining.

Welcome to Malaysia!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sheraton Subang Hotel & Towers - Ramadan promotion

The Ramadan promotion at Sheraton Subang Hotel & Towers’s is themed “Nites of Ramadan”, featuring a fusion of four sets of home-grown favourites from the various states of Penang, Malacca, Terengganu and Perak.

The main attraction is the grilled whole lamb which is served with nasi Arab. Well-marinated with spices imported from the Middle-east, the lamb is served with a choice of mint, BBQ and black pepper sauce.

The ‘Nites of Ramadan’ is priced at RM75++ per person (Monday to Fridays) and RM86++ per person (Saturdays and Sundays) at Melati Hall and Grand Selangor Ballroom. Those having their buka puasa at Terazza Brasserie can enjoy the buka puasa at RM80++ (Mondays to Fridays) and RM90++ (Saturdays and Sundays).

■ TERAZZA BRASSERIE, SHERATON SUBANG HOTEL & TOWERS, Jalan SS12/1, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor. Tel: 03-5031 6060 ext 1926. Business hours (ramadan promotion) 6.30pm - 10.30pm daily.

Source: The Star

Breaking Fast at Istana Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

A LARGE selection of food, comprising cuisine from various cultures, is the highlight of the Ramadan promotion at Taman Sari Brasserie in Istana Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

The promotion featuring international and local dishes, offers about 100 dishes daily. Its offering, which includes food stalls and cook stations, extends right up to its breezy poolside for diners’ comfort.

Some of the interesting additions to the promotion this year are the Indian Tandoori and the Szechuan Chinese dishes. There is also a lemang and rendang stall.

There is also a Middle Eastern corner which serves traditional dishes like Fatoush, Tabouleh, Hummus and Mtabal.

If you are a bubur fan, there is a choice of five types of Bubur. They are Bubur Pulut Hitam, Bubur Kacang Hijau, Bubur Jagung and Serawa Durian.

Pickles are also part of the desserts section.

The promotion is priced at RM99++ per person. The buffet is priced at RM90++ per person for early birds on week 1 and 4.

■ TAMAN SARI Brasserie, Istana Hotel, Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2141 9988 ext 3667. Business Hours: Breakfast Buffet (6am-10.30am, weekday; 6am-11am, weekend) ; Lunch Buffet (noon-2.30pm); Dinner Buffet (6.30pm-9.30pm).

Source: The Star

Middle Eastern Break fast delights

Thinking of trying something new to break fast this Ramadan? Why not head on over to Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside Hotel to its swanky all-day dining restaurant, simply christened B’s?

The unique hotel in Precinct 5 near the Maritime Centre and sprawling Water Sports Complex welcomed its first batch of guests last year, in time for the Putrajaya International Water Sports. It is poised to become another tourist draw in the area.

For its first Ramadan, B’s has adopted a Middle Eastern theme and has gone to great lengths to ensure guests are captivated by the food and setting and where waiters sport the tarboosh – a high, flat-topped red cap with a tassel worn by Middle Eastern men.

A whole baby lamb slowly roasted over a fire is the main draw at the Ramadan buffet. A large platter of simmering aromatic saffron-colored Kabuli rice complements the roast lamb.

The buffet features a wide variety of tempting Middle Eastern mezze (appetisers) daily and the person responsible for such a lavish spread is Egyptian guest chef Amr Aly Aly El-Safty who is on a short sojourn at the Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside for Ramadan.

There were Dolmades or rice parcels wrapped in vine leaves, Egg­plant Bil Labnah, Marinated Burghul Salad, Spiced Cous Cous Salad, Pita Bread with Hummus or chick pea and olive oil paste, Baba Ghanoush or eggplant dip, Tabbouleh or cracked wheat mixed with ripe tomato, cucumber and green onion, and Tahina or a thick paste made from ground sesame seed.

The main spread consisted of Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak Bertimun Tua (sultan fish cooked with fermented durian and old cucumber), Udang Masam Manis (stir-fried sweet and sour prawn), Ayam Masak Lada Hitam (braised chicken with soya and black pepper), Kambing Briyani (braised lamb with herbs and spices), Ketam Goring Berempah (deep-fried spicy crab) and Pucuk Manis Lemak Labu Kuning Berubi Keladi (braised coconut with young pumpkin and yam).

The Ramadan spread at B’s, priced at RM87++ per adult with 50% off for children between six and 12 years old, also features 10 stations offering noodles, Japanese and Chinese fare, snacks, desserts and thirst-quenchers.

■ B’S, Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside, 2 Jalan P5/5, Precinct 5, Putrajaya (Tel: 03-8890 0446). Business Hours: Daily, 24 hours.

Source: The Star

SMART tunnel to be closed

The Star reported that the Storm-water Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) will be closed to all vehicles between 11pm tomorrow (Sept 9) and 6am on Thursday for the maintenance of the tunnel system.

Further enquiries can be made via the SMART helpline at 1-300-887188. — Bernama

New Malaysian Stamps to feature Green buildings

Stamp- or first-day cover collectors would be happy to note that three energy-efficient buildings will appear in a special collection of first-day covers by Pos Malaysia to highlight the concern over global warming.

The buildings – Pusat Tenaga Malaysia in Bandar Baru Bangi, the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry and Energy Commission headquarters in Putrajaya – will be commemorated in various denomination stamps to be released tomorrow.

Pusat Tenaga’s green energy office – which is the first public building designed with the capability to generate its own energy – will be featured on the 30 sen stamp while the award-winning ministry’s headquarters will be seen on the 50 sen stamp.

The RM1 stamp will highlight the office for the Energy Commission – also known as the Diamond building for its inverted pyramid concept to create extensive shading and reduce heat.

The first-day covers with the three stamps are priced at RM2.10, folders at RM5.50 and a full set of stamps, first-day covers and folders will be sold at RM43.60.

Source: The Star

National Registration Dept counters open at different times

The National Registration Department counters in Putrajaya and all state headquarters will be open to the public from 9am to 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays beginning this month.

The time was changed from 8am to 1pm.

For Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, the working hours on Fridays are 9am to 12 noon and for Saturdays from 9am to 2pm, according to a statement by the Department.

In conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the Department would be closed from Friday, Sept 18 for Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu; and for other states from Saturday, Sept 19.

All the departments would begin operation again on Wednesday, Sept 23.

For further enquiries, call (603) 88807077/ 7071/ 7067.

Source: The Star

Monday, September 07, 2009

Street Food Guide

Here in Malaysia, cheap food can be found at every street corner at any time of the day or night. In fact, Malaysia is a food heaven. When it comes to local food, the choice is endless in the variety of local fare available - Malay, Chinese, Indian food. Below are three popular local food meals and where you can find them. Each serving would cost you no more than RM5 - not even USD1.50.

SEAFOOD PORRIDGE - Take your pick: The porridge at Joo Leong Café can be customised with your pick of seafood items.

179-H, Sungai Tiram. Bayan Lepas, Penang. Open: 6pm-11pm. Closed on Mondays.

This was the first seafood porridge place in town when it opened 31 years ago, and it remains the top destination for those seeking this dish.

At the counter, containers are filled with fresh seafood (at market prices) such as crabs, prawns, fish maw, fried fish, fish balls and frogs’ legs. Just pick out the ingredients you want, and they will be cooked for you with porridge (or noodles).

The seafood is cooked to just the right texture, flavouring the porridge with its sweetness.

Food takes about 15-20 minutes to get to the table, especially during peak hours. Most diners do not complain however, as there is really good ang koo with a gene­rous, smooth mung bean filling, or buttered toast sprinkled with sugar to tide them over while waiting.

Outside King’s Confectionery, Jln SS2/67, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 012-211 5634. Open: 11am-5pm. Closed on Fridays.

The prawn crackers or keropok elevate rojak into something really special, and most of the stall’s patrons will request for extra crackers. Crunchy and crisp, the crackers complement the spicy-sweet peanut sauce very well. On Saturdays, the stall moves to Jalan SS2/60, in front of the Maruzen light shop. The operators also have another van parked outside Kedai Runcit Chuan Seng, Jalan 21/67, Seapark.

HOE KEE CHICKEN RICE SHOPFlavourful: - Garlicky chicken rice balls are an integral element of Hoe Kee’s chicken rice.
4, Jln Hang Jebat (Jonkers Street, next to the old Chung Kiaw Bank), Malacca. Open: 7.30am-4pm. Closed last Wednesday of the month.

This stall is one of two prominent chicken rice shops at the corner of the touristy “antique street” area. Madam Tan Hin Lee and her brother took the business over from their parents and claim that they were the first to set up the chicken rice business in the area over 40 years ago.

Hoe Kee’s smooth, round rice balls are flavourful and garlicky, with grains that flake when the balls are broken. The boiled chicken is firm and tender.

Apart from the chicken, the shop also serves asam fish curry, black bean soup and lotus root soup.

Source: The Star

Scrumptious dishes for this Ramadan

If you are in the southern region of Peninsula Malaysia and are looking for places to buka puasa (break fast), here is a list of hotels serving scrumptions dishes courtesy of The Star.

MERCURE Johor Palm Resort & Golf will be having a Ramadan Buffet promotion at their in-house restaurant Medan Palma priced at RM49 ++ for adults and RM30 ++ for children. The buffet also features a 9+1 Deal where, for every booking for 10, 1 person gets to dine for free. RM2 from each customer will be given to charity. Tel: 07-599 6000.

DORSETT Johor Hotel’s Ramadan Feast is back. The feast includes a sumptuous meal priced at RM40 nett for adults and RM20 nett for children. The offer is valid from Aug 24 onwards from 6.30pm to 10.30pm. For reservations, call 07-360 1000.

ZON Regency Hotel Johor BARU is organising Berbuka Puasa & Win for diners at its Salt ‘n’ Pepper Café Restaurant (Level 5) and Sukhothai Restaurant (Level 6). Over 52 dishes from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Middle East are available in the dinner buffet. It also offers Sahur by the sea throughout the fasting month. Food stalls and seats have been set up in an outdoor area where one can enjoy the gentle sea breeze. A spread of local delights such as Teochew Porridge and Chef’s Hot Wok Noodles is served from 11pm to 6am daily. Priced at RM60+ (adult) and RM30+ (children aged four to 12 years). For reservations, call 07-221 9999.

Diners can berbuka puasa at PULAI SPRING Resort JOHOR and feast on an array of dishes including ulam, salads, Malay porridge, seafood and grilled lamb. The buffet features a special offer where, for every booking of 10, one gets to dine free. The price is RM65++ for adults and RM38++ for children. For bookings or details, call 07-555 4717.

GRAND Paragon Hotel Johor Baru has a 1Malaysia buffet spread in conjunction with Ramadan. The buffet features a variety of items prepared by house chefs Leong and Syed Ramly. It is priced at RM55++ for adults and RM28++ for children. For bookings and other details, call 07-268 5222 ext 5255/5326 or send e-mail to

SUMMERSET Resort in Kuala Rompin, Pahang, offers traditional fare to break fast with. The buffet promotion costing RM30 nett per person ends on Sept 18. Pay for 10 people and the 11th person eats for free. The hotel also has room packages for Ramadan that cover buka puasa and sahur meals for two people. Buffet dinner on Saturdays and eve of public holidays is priced at RM40 nett (adult) and RM24 nett (child). Guests looking for music after dinner can head to The Lobby Lounge where Cherrie Berries from the Philippines is performing. The live music starts at 7pm nightly except Thursday. For reservations, call 09-4141 888.

DE RHU Beach Resort Kuantan is offering the Citarasa Malaysia buka puasa buffet priced at RM45 nett (adult) and RM19 nett (children aged four to 12 years) while senior citizens enjoy a 30% discount. More than 35 dishes are in the spread, including a selection of nine main courses. Room promotions are available during Ramadan starting at RM85. On the first and second days of Hari Raya, the buffet dinner will be priced at RM35 nett (adult) and RM24 nett (child). For reservations, call 09-557 9000.

Join the traditional breaking of fast while enjoying a spectacular view of the South China Sea at the simple yet elegant Kampung Restaurant in HYATT REGENCY Kuantan. It features over 60 dishes ranging from traditional Malay to Indian and Chinese prepared in open kitchens. It is priced at RM58++ (adult) and RM29++ (children aged five to 12 years). For reservations, call 09-518 1234 or visit

HOTEL SRI PELANGI in Muar, Johor is serving a combination of traditional and contemporary dishes for buka puasa at its coffee house. Asam Pedas, Gulai Lemak, Pengat Pisang and Ikan Bakar can be found alongside Black Pepper Beef and pudding. The Ramadan buffet is available until 10pm. It is priced at RM25 for adults and RM15 for children (seven to 12 years old). There is a 50% discount for patrons aged 55 and above. For reservations, call 06-951 8088.

PUTERI RESORT AYER KEROH MALACCA offers a kampung-style buka puasa buffet that includes roast lamb and traditional Malay kuih at RM23++ (adult) and RM16++ (child). For details, call 06-232 3333.

THROUGHOUT Ramadan, RENAI-SSANCE MALACCA HOTEL offers more than 50 dishes in its dinner buffet priced at RM60++ (adult) and RM35++ (child). Also, buy five Ramadan buffet vouchers at RM350 and get one free. For details, call 06-284 8888.

BAYVIEW HOTEL MALACCA is featuring a dinner spread of heritage cuisine such as Ayam Terutuk, Mee Bandung and Opor Ayam priced at RM48 nett per adult and RM25 nett per child. The hotel also has a 5+1 free promotion. For reservations, call 06-283 9888.

VISTANA HOTEL KUANTAN is offering a buka puasa buffet with a menu themed Ramadan Muhibbah. Prices are RM41.40 nett per adult and RM23 nett per child (three to 10 years in age). For reservations, call 609-517 8000.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Hungry Ghost Festival - the Meaning

The 7th month in the Lunar calendar is the "Hungry Ghost Festival" or "Phor Thor" as it is locally known. This festival is celebrated by the Chinese community and is on a grand scale in the island state of Penang.

The Chinese believe that on this 7th Lunar month, the Gates of Hades will open allowing hungry (thus stray and wandering) ghosts to freely roam the earth, the land of the living. Offerings of food and material items for the afterlife are made to appease and ward off bad luck. Opera performances, stage and puppet shows performed on outdoor stages in neighborhoods are also set up for the entertainment of the roaming beings. Front-row seats are reserved for them.

In Penang, this festival is widely celebrated with scheduled performances throughout the island and throughout the entire Hungry Ghost Fesitval. This year, the 7th month began on Aug 20 and will end on Sept 18. There is much excitement and activity around this festival. These events are held at night.

One important character in this festival is "Taai Si Wong" or "Tua Lau Eaa". He is built to act as the King of the festival to ensure the ghosts are behaving and everything at the festival has been completed properly. At the end of the festival, the effigy of "Taai Si Wong"or "Tua Lau Eaa" is burnt with joss paper to send him back to where he came from until the following year. In Penang, the largest "Taai Si Wong"or "Tua Lau Eaa" is located at Market Street, Bukit Mertajam.

This large scale celebration is normally participated by those who are in business with the hope of a better year ahead at the same time thanking the spirits for success in the current and previous year.

Families who are not in business do their part albeit on a smaller scale. Families who perform this ceremony are only those from the Buddhist faith. Depending on their dialect of origin, either the 14th or 15th day of the 7th lunar month is the day to conduct the prayer.

As they are HUNGRY ghosts, obviously they are hovering outside the home and out there on the streets. So prayers and offerings are conducted outside in public, by the roadside. You might have noticed some praying these few days.

Joss sticks and candles will be lit in a row with offerings of food and drinks, mainly Chinese tea laid out in teacups. After about 30 minutes or so, material things for the afterlife will be offered by way of burning them. They include money, gold and silver ingots (all in paper form, of course), clothes and colourful fabrics. Burning converts the items from our paper form to their legal tender and enable them to be received. Because they are hungry and wandering having no family to take care of their welfare, these offerings would help alleviate a little of their hardship in the afterlife until the next year. (I feel sad just writing this.)

It is because of these spirits wandering around during this one month, that traditional Chinese families discourage their offspring from hanging out too late at night or engage in any water activity. Reminders of being careful on the road, especially driving a vehicle, are often heard. So, be careful out there this time of the year.

This festival of the Hungry Ghost is celebrated all over Malaysia wherever there is a sizable Chinese Buddhist community. Every town and city would be having similar opera and stage shows though puppet shows are a rare treat.

If you are in Kuala Lumpur, head on down to Chinatown for the opera performances and don't leave home without your camera or videocam.

If you intend to visit Penang to witness this annual festival and have memories to take back of a Malaysian festival, below is a list of performances and their venue courtesy of the Penang State Tourism Development, Culture, Arts and Heritage site compiled by Persatuan Tiong Guan Pulau Pinang:.

Teow Chew Opera Shows:

1) 19th - 2nd Sept 7.30pm @ Jalan Pasar, Bukit Mertajam
2) 19th - 22nd Aug 7.30pm @ 1108-A, MK 13, Jalan Paya Terubong, Penang
3) 19th - 23rd Aug 7.30pm @ Vacant land at 24, Lorong Seck Chuan, Penang
4) 20th - 26th Aug 7.30pm @ Vacant land at 1006, Mk 2, Bayan Lepas, Penang
5) 21st - 23rd Aug 7.30pm @ Vacant land at 291, Jelutong Barat, Penang
6) 23rd - 26th Aug 7.30pm @ Vacant land at 618-A Jalan Ayer Itam, Penang
7) 23rd - 25th Aug 7.30pm @ Taman Tun Sardon, Glugor, Penang
8) 24th - 25th Aug 7.30pm @ Tingkat Paya Terubong, Penang
9) 25th - 27th Aug 7.30pm @ 615, Jalan Jelutong, Penang
10) 26th - 28th Aug 7.30pm @ 534A Tanjong Bungah, Penang
11) 27th - 5th Sept 7.30pm @ In front of Block 1, Taman Sri Bunga, Jelutong
12) 28th - 1st Sept 7.30pm @ Vacant land at Brown Estate, Penang
13) 30th - 31st Aug 7.30pm @ 247, Jalan Himat Relau / Jalan Bukit Kechil, penang
14) 30t - 1st Sept 7.30pm @ Jalan Mount Erskine, Penang
15) 30th - 1st Sept 7.30pm @ Vacant land at Lintang Paya Terubong, Penang
16) 31st - 2nd Sept 7.30pm @ Behind market of Lip Sim Lama, Penang
17) 2nd - 3rd Sept 7.30pm @ 663B Sungai Ara, 11700 Penang
18) 4th - 6th Sept 7.30pm @ Jalan Phee Choon and Penang Road
19) 5th - 7th Sept 7.30pm @ Jalan Mount Erskine, Penang
20) 6th - 8th Sept 7.30pm @ 29-31 Lorong Kinta, Penang
21) 6th - 10th Sept 7.30pm @ Inside Pusat Belia, Lebuh Achin, Penang
22) 8th - 11th Sept 7.30pm @ Beside 1028A, Jalan Rambai 1, Penang
23) 8th - 12th Sept 7.30pm @ Jalan Semak Api, Penang
24) 11th - 12th Sept 7.30pm @ Block 6, Lintang Kg Melayu, Penang
25) 12th - 13th Sept 7.30pm @ 74, Jalan Tanjong Tokong, Penang
26) 12th - 16th Sept 7.30pm @ 591, Jalan Teluk Awak, Tanjung Bungah, Penang
27) 15th - 16th Sept 7.30pm @ Block 7A, Lebuhraya Thean Teik, Air Itam, Penang
28) 15th - 17th Sept 7.30pm @ 1, Jalan Anson Pasar, Penang
29) 16th - 18th Sept 7.30pm @ 308, Jalan Jelutong, Penang
30) 19th - 21st Sept 7.30pm @ 725F Jalan Sungai Dua, Penang

Hokkien Opera Shows:

1) 20th - 22nd Aug 7.30pm @ Lorong Selamat, Penang
2) 20th - 22nd Aug 7.30pm @ Vacant land at Taman Free School, Penang
3) 25th - 26th Aug 7.30pm @ Temple Jeutong timor (Pentas Tetap)
4) 26th - 28th Aug 7.30pm @ Tanjong Tokong Laut (Pentas Tetap)
5) 26th - 29th Aug 7.30pm @ Lebuh Tye Sin, Penang
6) 1st - 3rd Sept 7.30pm @ Jalan Osman Bin kadir, West Jelutong, Penang
7) 3rd - 6th Sept 7.30pm @ Lebuh Raya Thean Teik, Farlim, Penang
8) 4th - 7th Sept 7.30pm @ Rumah Pangsa, Noordin Street, Penang
9) 4th - 8th Sept 7.30pm @ Car park of Lebuh Nagore, Penang
10) 13th - 14th Sept 7.30pm @ 32, Lorng Prangin, Penang

Cantonese Opera Shows:

1) 29th - 1st Sept 7.30pm @ In front of Jalan Semak Seni Pelangi, Penang

Puppet Shows:

1) 20th - 21st Aug 8.30pm @ Jalan Lenggong, Pulau Pinang
2) 27th - 29th Aug 2.30pm @ Lorong Samak Api 1, Penang
3) 1st - 2nd Sept 2.30pm @ In front of 192, Carnarvon Street, Penang
4) 1st - 3rd Sept 2.30pm @ Lot 2466 Kampung Jawa, Penang
5) 2nd - 3rd Sept 2.30pm @ In front of 717D Sungai Dua, Penang
6) 11th - 12th Sept 2.30pm @ Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Penang

A Puppet show..

Penang State Tourism Development, Culture, Arts and Heritage site

Monday, August 31, 2009

Price of RON 95 at RM1.80 from Tuesday

I am not sure if the price of gasoline is higher or lower as compared to that of other countries but from Tuesday, the newly introduced RON 95 fuel will be priced at RM1.80 - five sen higher than the previous RM1.75.

Meanwhile, RON 97 is upgraded as a premium product and has gone up to RM2.05 from RM1.80.

Although the price is now 5 sen higher, the Government is still subsidising 33.81 sen per litre (of RON 95) which is equivalent to RM304mil monthly while for RON97, the Government is subsidising 42.72 sen per litre.

The cost for RON 95 went up 102% from USD$ 40.75 per barrel to USD$ 82.30 in December last year and August respectively. Future gas prices will be adjusted accordingly in tandem with changes in global prices

Malaysia's 52nd National Day

Today, Malaysia celebrates the 52nd anniversary of her national day. Malaysia gained independence from the British in 1957. The Prime Minister was then Tengku Abdul Rahman.

Happy Merdeka, Malaysians!

More about Merdeka celebration in Kuala Lumpur..

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Matta Fair '09 is Back

Studying in Malaysia

The Star reported today that Malaysia is currently the world’s 11th most preferred study destination.

The conclusion was based on the fact that 69,154 international students from more than 150 countries have chosen Malaysia as the country they wanted to study in.

Majority of the students are from Indonesia, China and the Middle East. Malaysia has 2% of the world’s international student population according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

The education ministry has already given the green light for Newcastle University of Medicine to set up a branch campus at Iskandar Malaysia’s Educity in Nusajaya, Johor.

There are ongoing negotiations with the following universities to set up branch campuses here in Malaysia: Korean Maritime University, Southampton University, Royal Holloway University, King’s College London, the University of Birmingham and Murdoch University.

So if you are a foreigner and are contemplating about sending your children overseas to further their studies, Malaysia welcomes your children.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Book Fest 2009

If you are a book-lover, you've got to visit the Book Fest at the KL Convention Centre. It's on now until August 31.

There are 509 booths showcasing products from 275 publishing houses, book and stationery distributors from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United States, Britain, Singapore and Malaysia.

In view of the H1N1 flu, visitors are required to have their temperature checked at the entrance before entering the event hall, which is a good move, of course, making sure that the environment is H1N1-free.

There are many activities in store such as autograph sessions, cookout demonstrations and various contests. Authors, novelists, cartoonists, artistes, chefs and other personalities are slated to make special appearances as well.

Entrance fee is a mere RM2.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Tiger Cub named Michael Jackson

One of the five tiger cubs born in the Saleng Zoo in Johor Baru recently is to be named after the deceased King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

If you are in Johor Baru, why not make a visit to the zoo to see its latest attraction.

The zoo opens daily from 9.30am to 7pm. The entrance fee is RM12 for adults and RM6 for children. The zoo is located at Lot 3777, Batu 17 1/2, Jalan Raya, Saleng, 81400 Senai, Johor.

Source: The Star

Strong Winds and High Waves Up North

If you are in the northern states of Perlis and Kedah, and Penang, you may want to avoid recreational sea activities these few days. Read the article from The Star below:

Strong winds with waves up to 3.5m are expected to occur over waters off Perlis, Kedah and Penang from Saturday until Tuesday.

State Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the state Meteorological Department issued an alert that the high waves would be caused by the strong northwesterly winds at the speed of 40 - 50kmph.

“The condition of the strong winds and rough seas will be dangerous to small boats.

“The public should also avoid recreational sea activities and any sea sports during these three days,” he said.

NRD operating hours for fasting month

If you are making a trip to the National Registration Department (NRD), you may want to note the operating hours for fasting month: from 7.30am - 5pm

All National Registration Department offices nationwide are open from 7.30am until 5pm on normal days during the fasting month.

For offices which open on Monday to Friday, comprising the head office in Putrajaya and branches in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan, Perlis, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak, it will be from this Monday.

For NRD branch offices which open on Sunday until Thursday, in Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, they will operate from 7.30am until 5pm from tomorrow.

The offices will resume operating according to normal working hours after the fasting month," said the department in a statement here today.

For enquiries the public can contact its Customer Service Office at 03-8880 7077 or 03-88807071/ 88807067/ 88807068/ 88808203/ 88808206. - Bernama

Source: the NST

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cuti Malaysia - Holiday Malaysia

With the Hari Raya Puasa holidays a month away, lots of people are already making plans for a vacation with the family.

Muslims who celebrate this festival will be going home to their hometowns to celebrate this happy occasion with their family. Others will be making their way to holiday destinations both local and overseas.

Cuti Malaysia has some awesome local holiday packages. If you have not made any plans, you may want to start now as rooms and packages are quickly being snapped up.

Subang-Kelana Link

THE toll-free Subang-Kelana link is now open to the public but many motorists who are unaware of this continue to use the normal route via the Federal Highway to Subang Jaya.

The link, which was opened on Wednesday, connects the Subang airport road to Jalan Kewajipan via a bridge across the Federal Highway.

Fasting month begins this Saturday

The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan begins this Saturday. This is the month of bazaars and crowds in markets and food squares, even along the roadside.

In view of the H1N1 flu pandemic, Ramadan bazaar traders and patrons are advised to wear masks to check the spread of the Influenza A (H1N1).

Traders with flu-like symptoms are to impose self-quarantine and stay home to avoid spreading the disease to others.

To all Muslims, Selamat Berpuasa.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beijing Mosque in Kelantan

A landmark you will not be miss when you visit Kota Bharu, Kelantan (east coast state) is this Chinese-style mosque.

In Rantau Panjang, Kelantan, this RM8.8mil Sultan Ismail Petra Silver Jubilee Mosque, the first Chinese-style mosque in the country, is set to open its doors this Ramadan, the fasting month.

The mosque, known locally as the Beijing Mosque, has a unique design that combines Chinese and Islamic architecture similar to the more than 1,000-year-old Niujie mosque in Beijing.

Indian and Uzbek features are also incorporated in the interiors. The main complex consists of a two-storey building.

The first and mezzanine floors have amenities including a multipurpose hall, library, kindergarten and a bazaar while the second floor houses the main prayer hall and VIP rooms.

Image source: The Star

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Malaysia MegaSale Carnival

If you are on a shopping holiday in Kuala Lumpur, where would you go for shopping?

Of course, the downtown Bukit Bintang area where there is Sungei Wang Plaza and next to it, Bukit Bintang Plaza. Opposite these two plazas, there is Lot 10, KL Plaza and upscale shopping at Starhill. Right opposite it is The Pavilion which is the newest mall in town.

Looking for IT products? Head on over to the plaza for everything IT at the famous Low Yat Plaza.

Looking for some reading material? Borders bookstore is where you would want to go to. Borders is located in Berjaya Times Square which incidentally has a huge indoor themepark.

While in Kuala Lumpur, one place not to be missed is the Petronas Twin Towers. This pair of towers is still the tallest twin buildings in the world. A trip to the skybridge at levels 41 and 42 is not to be missed. Entrance is free via an entrance ticket which can be collected from a groundfloor counter. Be there early to be one of 500 visitors allowed admittance daily.

Of course, one also mustn't miss the shopping experience at Suria KLCC, just in the vicinity of the Petronas Twin Towers.

If you venture out of the city, the Mutiara Damansara Commercial Centre would be a great place to explore for bargains. The Curve, Ikano Power Centre and e@Curve, all part of the Mutiara Damansara Commercial Centre (MDCC.

What better time to visit Kuala Lumpur than now where we are in the midst of the MegaSale Carnival which ends on Aug 31.

As for hotels, this commercial area known as the Golden Triangle boasts of a number of 5-star hotels. There is The Westin, JW Marriott, Grand Millennium and Ritz-Carlton. Others include Dorsett Regency, Melia Hotel, Berjaya Times Square Hotel and a host of others.

Welcome to Malaysia and Happy Shopping!

Floating Library to dock in Kota Kinabalu

Check out latest update: Book Fair on board MV Logos Hope at Port Klang (Sep 22, 2011)

If you are in Kota Kinabalu or visiting from Aug 29, you may want to visit this floating library, mv Doulos, which will be docking at the Sabah state capital for three weeks from Aug 29.

There are about 6,000 titles on board covering books on cookery, health, education, marriage, family, gardening and music, as well as children’s books, novels and encyclopaedia.

While the ship is docked in Kota Kinabalu, a painting competition sponsored by Murobond Paints will be held on Aug 31 for Malaysians aged 13 years and above.

The contest is divided into three categories from 13-15 years, 16-18 years and above 19 years.

The closing date for entries is Aug 22.

The ship will be open to the public from 10am to 10pm (Tuesday-Saturday) and 2pm to 10pm (Sunday and Monday) with the exception of Aug 29 when it will open from 6pm to 10pm. On Aug 31, it will open from 10am to 10pm.

Entry forms and details of the painting competition are available at the Murobond Paints showroom, Lot 2, First Floor, Block B, Kolombong Industrial Develop-ment Complex, or by calling 088-436 339.

Source: The Star..Floating library to dock in KK for three weeks

Monday, July 27, 2009

Penang, UNESCO Heritage Site Celebration

Recently, Penang rounded off their month-long Unesco World Heritage Site anniversary celebrations with two landmark competitions - the All-Star National Chingay Championship and the first Penang Dragon Boat Cross Channel Invitation Race.

Chingay is a test of skills and is more an art-form than an act. Among the most memorable stunts were the catching and balancing a pole on the nose as performed by the Seberang Prai Chingay Association, and catching a pole on the forehead while balancing on a tyre which was performed by the Penang Chingay Association.

The first Penang Dragon Boat Cross Channel Invitation Race at the Tanjung City Marina was flagged off by Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng.

Seven teams from all over the state took part in the 7.6km race across the North Channel from the marina to Pantai Bersih in Butterworth and back again.

The Pacific West Dragon Boat Club won the race.

If you were in Penang for the celebration and have taken plenty of shots of the various activities, why not take part in this Canon photo competition? There are great prizes to be won.

Source: The Star

Sunday, July 26, 2009

MAS flies twice daily to Tawau and Sandakan, East Malaysia

Here is good news for anyone intending to visit Sipadan island either for a diving vacation or simply taking in the beauty and serenity of this exquisite, unspoilt island resort.

From Sept 16, Malaysia Airlines will increase flights to twice daily from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau as well as the Kuala Lumpur-Sandakan route. To get to Sipadan, Tawau is where you land and from there an hour on the road will take you to Semporna and thence on a boat-ride to Sipadan.

Tawau and Sandakan are popular destinations for business and tourism and the second daily flight will enable more tourists to connect easily to Tawau and Sandakan. Domestic travel has also increased.

MAS offers many other benefits at no extra charge, such as the 20kg baggage allowance, assigned seats and meals.
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