Saturday, June 29, 2013

KL Marathon 2013 postponed

The yearly popular KL Marathon, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2013, slated for tomorrow has been postponed to Sept 29 in the interest of public health, due to the haze situation. 33,000 runners have signed up for this year's event.

The decision was made after discussions between the organiser, Dirigo Events Sdn Bhd, partners of the event and local authorities, including Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), Department of Environment (DOE) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. More..Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2013 postponed to Sept 29

Friday, June 21, 2013

Haze in Kuala Lumpur update - June 21 2013

Malaysia is once again going through a haze situation this time of the year when open-burning from land clearing activities in Sumatra, Indonesia, takes place.

The air quality today in Kuala Lumpur is worse than yesterday's Air Pollution Index reading. There is the pungent smell of smoke in the air today. I guess we can say that the Kuala Lumpur haze today is not getting any better and if it gets any worse, air quality will be hazardous to health.

Down south in Singapore, the air quality is even worse hitting a PSI high of 401 at noon today.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Muar town shrouded in haze

Just like in the old days, barter trade is still alive in this part of the world. In Malaysia, this ancient mode of trade is practised between Malaysian traders on the coastal towns on the west coast of the peninsula and traders of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Muar town aka Bandar Maharani in the southern state of Johore, on the Malaysian west coast, is one of the towns engaged in barter trade with traders from Sumatra plying their wares daily in boats along the narrow Straits of Malacca.

Business has been affected these past few days due to the haze that is shrouding the west coast of Malaysia.  The haze is brought on due to the open burning in Sumatra. Every year between June and September, weather conditions deteriorate caused by this man-made haze as a result of land-clearing activities. The thick smog is brought over to the peninsula by the south-westerly monsoon winds this time of the year.

In view of low visibility, Marine police here have warned all barter-trading vessels plying the Straits of Malacca to refrain from navigating the waterway at night due to the haze.

The picture above is of Muar town along the Muar river.  It shows a bleary sight with the haze covering buildings along Sungai Muar yesterday morning.  (Sungai is the local Malay term for River).

Have you been to Muar town? Find out more about this old town from my weekend visit to Muar town Part 1 and A Weekend Visit to Muar Town Part 2.

Source: The Star..‘Don’t go out to Straits of Malacca at night’

UPDATE: Muar’s 200 schools to close temporarily from today’s afternoon session

All afternoon session schools in Muar have been directed to temporarily close following hazardous air pollutant index (API) readings recorded in the area on Thursday.

State education director Mohd Nor A. Ghani said that the API reading had touched 337 and a directive had been issued for schools to close if the reading surpassed 300.

He said, however, that students in the morning session would not be allowed to return home until the session was formally over.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

We are seeing haze again in Malaysia

Malacca shrouded in haze
The haze is back in the peninsula, on the west coast. This is the result of 46 hotspots in Sumatra noted via satellite. This would mean that land-clearing and open burning activities have started paving the way for the planting season. The southwesterly winds are bringing the smog over to Peninsula Malaysia primarily on the west coast. Read more..Haze is back on the west coast

Image source: The Star

Friday, June 14, 2013

Penang freak storm havoc

A rare occasion of strong waves of 3.5metres high hitting the west coast of Penang island and Kedah on the mainland occured on Tuesday.

Two days later, yesterday, a freak thunderstorm created havoc on the island uprooting trees and causing gridlock on major roads including jamming up the Penang Bridge. Fishermen were advised to stay onland with wind going at speeds of 40 to 50km and hour.

More on Penang storm havoc Thursday

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Foreign investors, fund managers can get 5-year multiple entry visas

Multiple entry visas for up to five years can now be obtained by qualified foreign business investors and fund managers. This is a move to attract more talent and investors to spur the country's economy.

Announcing the measures, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the move would make it easier for investors and fund managers to visit Malaysia as they would enjoy entry facilities similar to long term investors and professional expatriates.

More: The Star..PM: Foreign investors, fund managers can get 5-year multiple entry visas

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Malacca’s Jonker Street and Millionaires’ Row

Malaysia's varied architecture is attributable to her rich history of the various occupations throughout the centuries. Malacca is a good example of the different types of colonial buildings that are still in existence today.

This is Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock in Malacca or used to be known as Heeren Street where once the place to live for those who made it to the top.

Originally called “Kampung Belanda” (Dutch Village), it ended up with the nickname of “Millionaires’ Row” because of its well-heeled residents.

The narrow street with houses adorned with ornately decorated fa├žades was the choice neighbourhood for the prosperous Straits-born Chinese (Peranakan or Babas and Nyonyas) in the mid-19th and early 20th century.

These affluent folks competed with each other to build the most flamboyant of houses, many of which stand to this day.

While Jonker Street (from the Dutch Jonghheer) was named after a place for “young noblemen” who had not quite made it to the upper level of nobility.

Heeren Street (originally Heeren­straat), was for the “gentlemen” or “masters” in the upper crust of society.

The characteristic features of most buildings are high roofs, floors and corridors lined with intricate tiles, teak front doors carved with family names or mottos in gold calligraphy.

Most windows are also beautifully decorated with motifs while some homes even have decorated roofs with image of dragons, birds and flowers.

The houses on the street are rather narrow and small when viewed from the outside but are long and spacious inside.

This is because the houseowners then were taxed on the width of the buildings instead of the total area.

Continue reading Malacca’s Millionaires’ Row.. The Star

Malacca City was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with George Town of Penang on 7 July 2008. Malacca is approximately a two-hour drive away from Kuala Lumpur to the south.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Malaysians advised against travel to Turkey

The unrest in Turkey is a concern that Malaysians have been advised against travel to Turkey by the government or if you have to, avoid going to areas affected by protests in the country.

The ministry is closely monitoring developments in Istanbul and Ankara that have resulted in hundreds of people being injured in the last several days.

The unrest, which began on Friday after police cracked down on a demonstration in Istanbul, has quickly escalated to anti-government protests across the country, and at least two people have been reported killed.

Malaysians in Turkey have been advised to remain in contact with the Malaysian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey which can be contacted at +(90)312-4463547 / +(90)312-4463548 / +(90)312-4464130 (fax) / email: 

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