Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and your loved ones Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Monday, September 21, 2015

No Haze - Better air quality in the country

The air quality is good today, Sep 21, for all areas in the country. This is attributed to the number of hotspots vastly reduced in northern Sumatra and areas of Kalimantan near Sarawak on the Borneo island. The wind direction is a big help here.

More about hotspots in southern Sumatra and southern Kalimantan.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Hazy time of the year

This time every year (September), Malaysia has to put up with some bad air quality. Today I think is the worst Air Pollution Index reading so far. But I have yet to see anyone donning a face mask. However, the haze could be a challenge for people with respiratory problems, young children and senior folks.

To give you a better picture of what I'm saying, below is the API for today courtesy of DOE Malaysia.

As you can see, the bottom half of the peninsula on the west coast is experiencing unhealthy air quality - indicated by yellow. A reading of between 100 to 200 is considered unhealthy. Kuala Lumpur, the capital city, is smack in this region.

Dry weather conditions and land-clearing (for planting) by open burning in Sumatra (Indonesia) is the source of this annual bother. Sumatra is just across the body of water (The Straits of Malacca) from Malaysia, so it's small wonder that we get the brunt of the smoke aided by the south-westerly monsoon winds. (A little digression here - there are boats plying bother shores just to give you an idea of the proximity between both lands.)

Over in East Malaysia, Kuching (109 reading) and neighbouring towns in Sarawak are also experiencing the same fate - as can be seen on the image above.

So, if you are visiting Malaysia this time of the year, expect some intermittent hazy weather conditions though ours may not be as bad as sandstorms of the Middle-east (a recent one just two days ago, for instance) or the (perennial) haze over in Beijing.

On the hand, what's not to love about Malaysia! There's shopping (lots of it), there's food (lots of it to try too), plenty to see and do. By the way, our next festival coming up is the Mooncake Festival also known as the Lantern Festival locally. This falls on 27 September.

Welcome to Malayysia!

Friday, August 07, 2015

Malaysian Ringgit sliding

On Monday, the Malaysian Ringgit hit a 17-year low of 3.8517 against the US dollar.

An image of presumably a money-changer counting some RM100 bills. Image courtesy of The Star.

As Malaysians anxiously watch the ringgit heading south, businessmen have begun debating whether the 1998 pegging formula can work its magic again.

Some are all for the move, which was credited to have halted Malaysia’s economic decline during the 1997/1998 Asian Financial Crisis but there are also those who are not so keen on a fixed exchange rate.
More from The Star...Businessmen have mixed views over need to arrest currency slide

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Malaysia petrol price for August 2015 - down 10 sen

Retail petrol prices of RON95, RON97 and diesel saw a dip of 10 sen a litre from midnight.

The new prices will see RON95 retailed at RM2.05, RON97 at RM2.45 and diesel at RM1.95 per litre.
Malaysians no longer enjoy fuel subsidy. Fuel prices are now determined monthly based on market price. However, prices here are still lower than the prices at both our immediate neighbouring countries.

Here in Malaysia, the price of petrol is the same across the country meaning to say wherever you fill your tank in any part of the country, the petrol price is the same.

Two types of petrol are sold in Malaysia, RON95 and RON97. The latter being the premium grade is the petrol available to foreign vehicles in the country.

Source: The Star

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday, June 05, 2015

Mount Kinabalu 6.0 earthquake leave climbers stranded

KOTA KINABALU, June 5 — The magnitude 6.0 earthquake which hit Sabah’s west coast here this morning has left an unknown number of climbers stranded on Mount Kinabalu, close to the epicentre of the quake.

KOTA KINABALU, June 5 — A magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit Sabah’s west coast here this morning, with tremors felt all over the state’s capital city here.

According to earthquake watch website, the earthquake’s epicentre was located 14km north of the Ranau, about a two-hour drive over mountain roads from Kota Kinabalu.

Tremors were felt around the city and on Mount Kinabalu at around 7.15am, where it was reported several landslides have occurred.

More than 200 people are stranded on Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, with 89 unaccounted for after a 6.0 earthquake that struck this morning left the trekking path down the mountain unsafe for climbers.
89 missing on Mount Kinabalu after earthquake

Searchers retrieve two bodies from Mt Kinabalu after quake, more expected

The day Mount Kinabalu shook

Malaysia though outside the Ring of Fire does experience earthquakes. The Ring of Fire is a belt of seismic activity running around the basin of the Pacific Ocean that includes neighbours Indonesia and the Philippines. It has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes. It is sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt. About 90% of the world's earthquakes and 81% of the world's largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.

Image source: Wikipedia

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

French warship Aconit at Westport, Port Klang

Malaysia is playing host to a marine visitor in the form of The Aconit, a French stealth frigate which made a stop at the Port Klang Cruise Centre in Westport as part of a peace mission to Asia.

Commander Jean-Pierre Helluy, appointed captain of the ship last August, said the ship sailed from Toulon, France, on March 5 and arrived at Westport on April 22.

The Aconit will be docked at the Port Klang Cruise Centre until tomorrow morning, April 29.

The presence of the frigate is part of the French government’s effort to protect its citizens in Asia-Pacific countries, whose number has increased by 220% in the last 20 years.

The Captain in the captain’s chair on the Aconit’s bridge

According to the Captain, “It was designed to offer security to French commercial ships, particularly in the Indian Ocean area where piracy is rampant.

“Armed with anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles, guns and a helicopter, the ship is designed to not only provide military support but take part in relief missions.

“The deployment to South-East Asia is aimed at achieving the same level of security for French ships and vessels.

“Malaysia,” he added, “is seen as an ally of choice for its stand on maintaining harmony amidst a multicultural and multi-religious society.”

On the way to Malaysia, the ship with its crew of 180 was reported to have performed an evacuation exercise to rescue some 60 people from a war zone in Aden.

The French flag flying at the Aconit’s helicopter landing deck.

The Jalur Gemilang flying from the Aconit’s mast

Source: The Star: French warship Aconit makes week-long call at Pulau Indah

Friday, March 27, 2015

Malaysian Ringgit weakens

The Star reported a week ago that:

The ringgit is expected to weaken to the 4.00-level versus the US dollar in the next six months as investors anticipate a hike in the benchmark US federal funds rate.

The hike may come earlier than anticipated after recent indicators show growth has visibly strengthened in the world’s largest economy.

The ringgit has fallen to the lowest level in the last six years and closed at 3.73 to the US dollar yesterday as concerns mount over the Malaysian economy’s exposure to commodities following the drop in crude oil, palm oil and rubber prices.

Full article..

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

No matter what anyone says the world needs this day, yes, even here in Malaysia, so

Share the love..
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