Tuesday, March 21, 2017

LIMA 2017 - Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition

If you are in Langkawi, what a sweet spot to be, that is if you enjoy airplanes and such. This is because Langkawi is hosting the 14th Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) 2017. Set to be bigger and better, the exhibition is from March 21 to 25.

Russian knight: The Russian Air Force’s aerobatic demonstration team’s Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jet landing in Langkawi for Lima 2017 - The Star

The Star reported that:

Aeroplanes and fighter jets worldwide are landing at the airport here and warships and vessels of all sizes are coming in to berth at Resorts World Langkawi (RWL).

With more than 500 maritime and aerospace companies from 36 countries taking part in Lima 2017, the exhibition this year is touted to be the biggest one yet.

There will be 103 aircraft for aerial and static displays and 61 vessels coming in exclusively for the exhibition.

Also in store to provide thrills to visitors are performances by four aerobatic teams – the world renowned Black Eagles of the Republic of Korea Air Force, the Indian Air Force’s helicopter display team Sarang, the Jupiter Aerobatic Team of the Indonesian Air Force and the Russian Air Force’s very own Russian Knights.

The Black Eagles and Sarang will be showing off their skills for the first time in Malaysia.

Air show enthusiasts will be in for a treat as the Russian Knights, who were last here in Lima 2013, are returning to wow the crowd with their spanking new Flanker-Cs (Sukhoi Su-30SM) fighter jets.

Painted in white, blue and red, the performance in Lima 2017 will be the foreign debut for the newly-equipped team.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) will also be displayed.

They include the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator by the United States Air Force, the US Navy’s Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout, the Thales Fulmar UAV by Thales Group, and the AUV62-AT by SAAB.

The organisers are targeting 40,000 trade visitors and some 140,000 public visitors.

The exhibitions and displays for the aerospace segment will be held at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC) while the maritime segment will take place at RWL.

The exhibitions and demonstrations are open to the public from 9am to 4pm on Friday and Saturday, the last two days of the exhibition.

The first three days are for delegates and trade visitors only.

The maritime and warship static exhibition at RWL, however, is open to the public beginning Wednesday, from 8am to 6.30pm.

Entrance to MIEC is RM10 per visitor while it is free at RWL.

Held biennially since 1991, Lima 2017 is jointly-organised by the Defence Ministry and EN Projects (M) Sdn Bhd, with the support of several ministries, Royal Malaysian Navy, Royal Malaysian Air Force, the police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Fire and Rescue Department, and the Royal Malaysian Customs.

For more information, log on to or

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Penang - one of 10 destinations in Asia that seem to be straight out of a fairytale

If you have never been to Penang and may sometimes wonder about it, you might find this little snippet of information useful.

Penang, with its tasty mixture of Indian, Chinese and Malay influences, is literally a nirvana for bona fide lovers. From spicy curries to delectable laksas and savoury soups, Penang has a wide array of mouth-watering treats that will definitely appease your taste buds and cravings. As an added plus, most of the restaurant food in Penang is amazingly cheap, allowing you to binge without breaking the bank.

But, there’s more to Penang than its blooming and established culinary scene. Drenched in history, natural beauty and culture, Penang is also rich in ornate religious sites, sand beaches, kampungs surrounded by rice paddies, and sprawling unbeaten jungles. Furthermore, it is dotted with charming, picture-perfect historic buildings that would remind of your fairytale buildings and scenes.

The piece above borrowed from Homeaway by Expedia lists Penang as one of 10 destinations in Asia that seem to be straight out of a fairytale.

Penang is also drawing tourists for their street art (as in image) and other art installations on the island. The street art pieces are mainly the work of Lithuanian artist.

In conjunction with Penang Georgetown Festival a few years ago, certain old walls within Georgetown (Penang's capital) were given a new lease of life, thanks to the talent and efforts of Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic, Penang Street Art artist.

Mr Zacharevic leaves his mark of beautiful wall paintings of children, of life, all across historical Georgetown. I have friends who have gone a-hunting for these art pieces. The artworks are funny, fascinating, and they tell a story of an era past in this rich historical part of the country.

Some examples borrowed from OnlyPenang below..

Penang Street Art, Ernest’s neighbour, who is actually famous wooden clogs painter, Mr. Ng Chai Tiam, Armenian Street Art Cafe

Penang Street Art, “Children in a Boat” Mural, Chew Jetty, George Town, Penang

Penang Street Art, “Little Children on a Bicycle” Mural, Armenian Street, George Town, Penang

Besides the paintings, another form of art installation to watch out for when in Penang are the wire caricature installations. These metal sculptures blend humour and historical facts of the early settlement days that give some streets their name.
There's even an installation for Jimmy Choo at Lebuh Leith/Lebuh Muntri. This is where the famous shoe designer started his apprenticeship. That's right. Jimmy Choo is a Penangite.

Now, are you stoked enough to go street art hunting (besides food hunting) in Penang? To help you along, here's a map from TourismPenang. It shows all the locations of the art installations, both the paintings and wire caricatures. Print a copy to bring along.

Happy hunting!

For more information about Penang, visit:

- Penang Tourism

- Tourism Malaysia

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Time to invest in Malaysia?

Credit Suisse (CS) said it is now time for investors to put their funds into Malaysian stocks as current valuations indicate that local equities are poised for a strong recovery.

Malaysia has underperformed its peers in the emerging markets due to several reasons, among them being the downward pressure on the ringgit as well the selldown in heavyweight sectors such as banks.

Below are 10 reasons to go bullish on Malaysia..

Continue reading The Star: Credit Suisse: It’s time to invest in Malaysia

Friday, March 17, 2017

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman among top 120 Asian universities

This is great news for Malaysia..

The Star:

KUALA LUMPUR: Universiti Malaya has been listed in the top 100 bracket of Asia Universities ranking 2017 by Times Higher Education (THE).

THE said in a statement that UM, a new entrant in the top 100 list, was placed at 59th while Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar) emerged for the first time in the top 120 bracket.

Other Malaysian universities to make it in the ranking are Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia (within 121-130 band), Universiti Teknologi Petronas (141-150 band), Universiti Sains Malaysia (151-160 band) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (161-170 band).

Universiti Teknologi MARA and Universiti Utara Malaysia ranked at 251+.

THE rankings editor Phil Baty said it was great news that Malaysia has more than doubled its representation in this year's ranking of Asia's best universities, claiming nine places in the top 300 list, up from four last year.

"Overall, this ranking of Asia's best 300 universities proves what a dynamic, diverse and competitive higher education region in the continent is becoming.

Malaysia is a key part of that development but must make sure it does not get left behind," he said.
THE World University Rankings are the only global performance tables that judge research intensive universities across teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. - Bernama

Thursday, February 09, 2017

The deadliest places on earth

Interestingly, Malaysia has an attraction that made it to MSN's The Deadliest Places on Earth .

The place is the Gomantong Caves in Sabah, Sandakan to be exact.

Source: MSN

Why the Gomantang Caves made the list..
Simud Hitam (Black Cave) and Simud Putih (White Cave) are the two dark cave complexes in the Gomantong cave system. Simud Hitam is up to 295 feet (90 meters) high and is more accessible than Simud Putih. The caves are surrounded by a forest having various animals, including orangutans. However, the thousands of live bats, Malaysian cockroaches and huge Scutigera centipedes give way to layers of waste and remains of dead creatures, with rats feeding on them, making this space extremely mucky.

The Gomantang Caves is actually one of Sabah's many attractions. Located in the heart of the Gomantong Rainforest Reserve, the caves have been claimed by the World Wildlife Foundation to be the best managed edible birds' nest cave in the world and has been the focus for birds' nest for many centuries.

They are not as scary as it's made out to be if you enjoy caving or don't mind creepy-crawlies like coaches and centipedes, bats, swiftlets and such. Oh yes, wild orangutans as well in the vicinity.

Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Malaysians visiting Qatar accorded Free visa-on-arrival

From The Star..

Honoured visitor: Dr Ahmad Zahid visiting the Souq Waqif market with Sheikh Abdullah. — Bernama

DOHA: Malaysians will no longer need to pay any visa fee to visit Qatar, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

The Deputy Prime Minister said Qatar’s Prime Minister and Home Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani informed him of this during their meeting here.

He said Malaysians would also be accorded the visa-on-arrival facility allowing them to stay in Qatar for 60 days and an additional 30 days on application.

“This is a new decision which was reached and agreed with the Qatari government,” he told Malaysian journalists here.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said the change would take effect after a follow-up meeting to be handled by Malaysia’s Ambassador to Qatar Datuk Ahmad Jazri Mohd Johar. — Bernama

Along the topic of visa, in another news article as reported by The Star, Indian nationals living outside their country can enjoy visa-free travel to Malaysia now, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“We welcome them to visit Malaysia as tourists,” he said.

“This will help increase our foreign exchange earnings as tourist arrivals will go up.”

Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said this did not mean that the nation’s security would be compromised as they would have to undergo Airline Passenger Security Screening (APSS) before being allowed entry into Malaysia.

This flexibility, he added, would attract some 500,000 Indian nationals currently in Qatar as businessmen, professionals and technical experts.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Langkawi hotels take top three spots in TripAdvisor's 2017 Travel Awards

TripAdvisor’s 2017 Travellers’ Choice Awards for Hotels sees the top three spots for hotels in Malaysia go to three Langkawi hotels:

* The Danna Langkawi,
* The Datai Langkawi, and
* Casa del Mar Langkawi.

The Danna Langkawi has taken the top spot for the third consecutive year in a row.

The five-star Danna Langkawi bags the top spot in the Travellers' Choice Awards for Best Hotel in Malaysia. Photo: TripAdvisor

Other Malaysian hotels that made it into the list in order are: Pangkor Laut Resort in Perak; Grand Hyatt in Kuala Lumpur; Tanjong Jara Resort in Terengganu; Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa in Sarawak; Four Seasons Resort in Langkawi; The Chateau Spa & Organic Wellness Resort in Kuala Lumpur; and Mandarin Oriental in Kuala Lumpur.

In Asia, the top three hotels are all located in South-East Asia. They are: Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, in Ubud, Bali; Shinta Mani Resort in Siem Reap, Cambodia; and Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Mandapa, in Ubud, Bali, wins the Travellers’ Choice Award for Best Hotel in Asia. Photo: TripAdvisor

Read more: Langkawi hotels take top three spots in travel award

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Malaysians not affected by Trump's immigration ruling

Source:The Star

The Star reported that:

Malaysians are not affected by United States President Donald Trump’s Executive Order temporarily blocking the entry of refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.

A spokesman from the US Embassy clarified that Malaysians are not affected by the ruling.

“Malaysian citizens are not affected by the Executive Order. Malaysians can continue to travel to the United States with a valid visa,” the spokesman said in a text message on Sunday afternoon.

The spokesman added that the US government is committed to facilitating legitimate travel for international visitors while ensuring the security of its borders.

The suspension provided for in the immigration ruling will allow the US government to review current screening procedures while protecting national security, the spokesman added.

On Friday, Trump signed the Executive Order, titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States”, which effectively suspended refugee entry for 120 days and Syrian refugees indefinitely.

It also bars the issuing of visas for 90 days for citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries linked to concerns about terrorism.

Those countries are Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

It was reported that green card and visa holders from the affected countries had been blocked from entering the US within hours of the order being signed.

However, Trump’s plans might be derailed after a US Federal Court judge temporarily halted parts of the Executive Order late Saturday night.

Trump has been criticised over the move, and in particular due to the fact that a few of the Muslim-majority countries not listed as part of the order despite facing terrorism concerns, such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, have business dealings with the Trump Organisation.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Terengganu and Kelantan are flooded

Malaysia is in the midst of the monsoon season. We have not one but two monsoon seasons in a year.

The east coast states of peninsular Malaysia are still flooded as we speak. We are experiencing the north-east monsoon at the moment.

Terengganu, for instance is seeing the number of flood evacuees here increased drastically from 54 victims to 1,303 this Saturday morning.

The Star reported that:

'The victims have been placed at 25 evacuation centres.

"In Setiu, eight evacuation centres have been opened housing 266 victims from 47 families.

"In total, as of 6am, there are 1,303 flood victims from 350 family housed in 33 evacuation centres."

While in Kelantan the floods have worsened in Kelantan, requiring the evacuation of 3,232 people in seven districts as at 8am this morning.

The state of Kelantan is the other east coast state that is affected by bad flooding this time each year during the north-east monsoon season.

35 relief centres have been set up in the districts of Kota Baru, Pasir Mas, Pasir Puteh, Bachok, Machang, Tanah Merah and Tumpat where 866 families are being temporarily housed, according to the Social Welfare Department's "infobanjir" app.

But hey, if you are still planning to visit Malaysia this time of the year, there are many places not affected by the floods. Take the west coast for instance, there's the capital city of Kuala Lumpur that has many attractions to provide you with a full and interesting itinerary.

Penang, in the north, is one other place not to be missed if you are here in West Malaysia. The island of Penang has gained much popularity recently. Penang along with Kuala Lumpur has been listed in a survey as one of top destinations for medical-tourism. Penang is also popular as a place to retire for foreigners.

Malacca, a two-hour road-drive away south of Kuala Lumpur. It is a city chockfull of tradition and culture and is rich in history as well - Dutch and Portuguese.

And then there is East Malaysia, i.e., the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo. If you are a diving enthusiast, Semporna in East Malaysia offers one of the world's best diving sites.

Malaysia has been voted Best Travel Destination in Asia

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

Image source: The Star

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Malaysians do feel they don’t have enough holidays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image source: The Star

Monday, January 09, 2017

Don't drink in public areas in Johor Bahru

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now you know.

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