31 October, 2009

Expensive Parking

Originally uploaded by wanhashim

If you one of those who have to drive to work in Kuala Lumpur, most of the time you will have no choice but to park your car at one of the empty lot converted as parking areas. The charge is based on per entry basis and the rate is very demand oriented.

In the above picture, the charge is RM8 per entry. If you parked your car for a day let say 8 hours then the rate is about RM1 an hour given that you did not have any urgent business that force you to drive your vehicle. If you do, then your RM8 is only for a few hours and if you are unlucky you have to re-enter the parking lot and pay another parking ticket.

The charge can be very expensive if you only wanted to park for a short while. For example if you only wanted to do some transaction in a bank, you will have no choice but to pay the expensive parking rate for nothing. I think the operator of the parking lot knew that most of users are so desperate to find a parking place that most of the short term users will have to use their service.

The operator will change the rate based on demand. If the demand is so high, the rate can go up to RM10 per entry (I think they can even go up to RM20 per entry). If the demand is low, the rate can is reduced to RM5 only.

Well, if you have a piece of land in the heart of a city, don't develop the piece of land. But, charge people for using the land. In this case, you can work out the mathematic on the average daily income that they reaped from the users.

Therefore, unless there are efficient and comfortable public transport especially during peak hours, users can park their cars at home and ride the public transport which is much cheaper.
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25 October, 2009

Tambang Fares

Originally uploaded by wanhashim

Just captured this picture yesterday and oh boy the rate is so cheap. "Tambang" is a small boat service to cross the Sarawak River. It is a convenient way of commuting to and fro for both sides of the river. Each side of the river has its own attraction. One side is water front and the other sides are mostly residential area, new Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) building, Palace, etc.

In case that you have the opportunity to travel to Kuching, make sure that you try the "Tambang" boat. Most of hotels are located near the water front and the Tambang is a convenient way to walk around the city and visit the new DUN building.
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24 October, 2009

Free Flights for Mum and Baby

According to this News Report, a mum and her newborn baby will get free flights for life. Can we say that it is a lucky day for the mum and newborn baby delivered during flight for winning a free for life tickets using the airline? Usually, airlines discourage pregnant women especially if they are very near their due date to travel by air because they can deliver their babies anytime within the period.

Even though the women did not have the intention to deliver her baby in flight, the experience can be scary since there are no proper medical facilities available during flight. Furthermore, there is a slim chance that there is a medical doctor travel along during the flight. For the mom, luckily there is a medical doctor travelling on the same flight helping her throughout her ordeal.

While the mum and her newborn baby got their precious presents of their lifetime, what about the experiences of other passengers on the same flight? They have to experience additional flight delays since the flight was diverted to other nearby destination due to the emergencies.

Not all airlines reward their passengers for delivering their babies on board. May be due to their corporate responsibilities, majority of airlines give some form of rewards to the mum and newborn babies. So, any women out there can take the opportunities in case that they are lucky enough to earn some kind of reward but the risk is very-very high.

What about the place of birth for the new born baby; Will it be KLIA airport, or Airasia seat No. 23A, or midair over the State of Selangor. If you have any ideas or any good suggestions, please put down your opinion in the comments below.
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22 October, 2009

Gunung Gading

Gunung Gading
Originally uploaded by wanhashim

Gunung Gading national Park is located in the Lundu District, southwest of Sarawak. The Park is located near the beaches at Pandan and Siar.

There are waterfalls in the upper reaches of Sungai Lundu which is a popular recreational destination for both local and foreign visitors. The highest peak of Gunung Gading is 900 meters high and the more adventurous visitors can take a hike right up to the peak.

The world's largest flower, the Rafflesia tuan-mudae (bunga pakma) can be found at Gunung Gading. At full bloom this giant flower stretches nearly one meter in width.

Mount Gading is under the care and jurisdiction of the National Park & Wildlife Division (Forest Department Sarawak). They have built accommodations and trekking facilities within the park. The Park is just 5 minutes drive from Lundu town or about 2 hour's drive from Kuching. Visitors can choose either day-trips or overnight stays when visiting the Park.

For more information regarding the Gunung Gading National Park, visit HERE.
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21 October, 2009

Internet Connection

It seems that the internet connection has some effect on Foreign Investment as pointed out by this news report. I had experienced how the bad internet connection can affect your online life. Without having access to the line based broadband internet connection, I had to resort to the wireless internet connection and you always experienced some nightmares whenever you wanted to download or upload some large files.

However, it is not that bad because I can still rely on the nearby Cyber Cafes which have the faster internet connections. Most of the Cyber Cafes are using very fast satellite internet connection to support their businesses. Even though their locations are far away from major development, they are still having the luxury of high internet connection.

If I understand it better, for other business owners such as Gas Stations, they also are using some kind of satellite connections for higher internet speed. Therefore, I don't see any problem for any big companies who wanted to do business in this country to get very high speed internet connections.

As individual users like me, I had some problems with the mobile wireless connections. But, after getting my line based broadband connection, so far I have not experienced any slow connection. Now, I can update anything online without wasting my time going to the Cyber Cafes or without wasting my time waiting for the slow downloading time.

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20 October, 2009

Emkay Stories

Kolkata Properties - Real Estate India - Surek...Image by nancyarora2020 via Flickr
This Report is about the story of how Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal, turned himself from a civil servant as a senior assistant district officer (ADO) into a tycoon in property development; the Emkay group that had since sold nearly 50,000 units of residential and commercial properties worth in excess of RM8 billion.

It is about an Emkay gallery that has a story of its own when the then Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal was about to leave his office when an elderly Chinese man came over wanting to have a word with him.

The turning point quotes that the elderly Chinese man left for him to ponder is "I may be rich, but I don't have the authority vested in me like you. It's very unfortunate that both authority and wealth don't mix most of the time. In reality, you can perhaps choose one but not both. It's all about the choice that you must make."

Indeed, the young Mustapha had a great deal of authority as ADO and the elderly man had left Mustapha thinking -- which would be better, authority or wealth?

Soon after, Mustapha left the civil service and made a fortune in property development; his company, the Emkay group.
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19 October, 2009

Siar Beach Resort

Siar Beach Resort
Last Saturday had the opportunity to spend some time at Siar Beach. Siar Beach is located in Lundu. which is about an hour drive from Kuching. There are several resorts at Siar Beach. One  of the resort that we visited is the Siar Beach Resort. The resort has several self contained bungalow units perfect for family vacation. The room is fully air-conditioned and have cooking facilities.

Furthermore, the beach front is only a few steps away from the resort. The Siar Beach is a bay area and the current is not very strong and the water is perfect for swimming.

Will go there again soon to bring along family members to enjoy the breezy ocean front.
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16 October, 2009

Causes of Recent Tremors in Malaysia Being Answered

It is very lucky for Malaysia for being far away from all of the disaster prone areas such as earthquake and also typhoon. For example, the recent spats of typhoon pounding the Philippines and Vietnam only reached Malaysia in the form of thunderstorm and rainfalls.

However, according to this report, there are since the end of 2007, 40 tremors were recorded in Malaysia but the significant fact was that 37 incidences of these seismic activity occurred along the fault line in Bentong, Pahang. The three others recorded were in Manjung (Perak) and Jerantut (Pahang). I was reported that Bentong alone had recorded 29 cases of tremors, also known as 'temblors'.

Also, according to the experts, none of the tremors occur at the Titiwangsa Range which is the country''s backbone.

The report also mentioned that here are 13 seismology stations operating in Malaysia, capable of detecting quakes and tremors that occur in the country. Seven are in Peninsular Malaysia with the rest in Sabah and Sarawak.

The recent tremors in Malaysia is due to a restabilisation process of the earth''s structure at the fault line in the areas. The process followed the movement of the earth's layers in the wake of the large-scale earthquakes that happened in the past few years such as the Dec 26 in Aceh, Indonesia, Nias (Indonesia) on March 28, 2005 and Padang (Indonesia) on Oct 1, 2009.

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13 October, 2009

No Waiting

No Waiting
Originally uploaded by wanhashim

Under this big "No Waiting" sign are several taxis waiting for passengers. By definition, taxis cannot wait for passengers but they have to pick up any passengers that are requesting for their service. May be the sign is kind of misleading because the picture on the signage is a Bus and not applicable for taxi. The signage might be right. But still the taxis are still operating illegally by charging passenger not using their meter.

On the contrary, "Hire Car" can wait at certain designated stations waiting for passengers to use their service.

Taxi also needs to use their meter to charge passengers. The fee is based on the number of kilometres travelled. However, if you purchased taxi coupon at designated location such as at the Kuala Lumpur Central taxi counter, the taxi (if they are in the queue), can also accept the payment and will send passenger to the designated destination.

However, all rules are broken here. Taxi drivers are waiting for passengers who are willing to use the taxi service. The taxi drivers usually offer the passenger certain amount of fee for the intended service, usually multiple times the price of using the metered taxi. They also resorted to using touts to lure passengers to use their service.

I had an experienced once where I heard of a taxi driver of offering an intended passenger about RM70 to send him to the nearest hotel. The distance is not that far to the intended hotel. Upon hearing the offer, I had to resort to other mode of transport to go to the other places.

The difficulty is that during peak hour, there is no taxi willing to stop to pick you up and if you are desperate enough to go to certain locations, then you can end up being a victim of these taxi services.

In order to solve this problem, all of the popular areas (such as the Kuala Lumpur City Center, KLCC) need to have taxi counters where passengers can purchase taxi coupon which rates varies based on the destination and also designated taxi queuing areas need to be provided at the vicinity in order for all of the taxis to wait in queue to send passengers.
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12 October, 2009

Nasi Lemak Kukus

Nasi Lemak Kukus
Originally uploaded by wanhashim

During the current economic downtime, there are several alternatives that can be done to boost our income. In this picture, an entrepreneur is using a small makeshift lorry to promote and sell the local food i.e. "Nasi Lemak Kukus". Nasi lemak is a popular food in Malaysia and kukus stand for "steamed". It seemed that they are selling a variety of Steamed Nasi Lemak.

I personally think that it is a great way of selling nasi lemak where you can drive the lorry to any location where people congregate. Here, the lorry is parked at the Titiwangsa Integrated Bus Station.

The Nasi Lemak seller is very lucky because the enforcement officer is not in sight to chase them away. If there is any of those officer is in sight, just start the engine key and find another location to sell the nasi lemak. I think that is not the case. I believed that the operator must have got some kind of permission to have a right to sell the nasi lemak at the busy location. Otherwise, I can bet you, there will be a lot of scuffle because everybody wanted to park their lorry or stall at the vicinity to sell all kinds of things.

Better even, if you can buy several of the lorries and rent it to any operators who wanted to use it to sell something.
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11 October, 2009

Volatile Combinations

Tank truckImage via Wikipedia
The following math seems to be very easy to understand.

Fuel tanker + Potholes = Overturned Tanker (Can be Fiery accident)

Fiery Accident + several packed Buses = Human tragedies.

That what happened in Nigeria, according to this report, a fuel tanker overturned when it hit a pothole and sparking a massive blaze, setting fire to five packed minibuses in the southern state of Anambra. As of the report, there are at least 70 people were burnt to death in the tragedy.

But what seemed to be a very difficult (difficulty to understand) question is the following:

Bad shape road + very difficult to maintain (given low priority) = human tragedies (high accident rates)

Everywhere else, hopefully, the local authorities will continue o carry out regular maintenance of the roads and highways in order to reduce fatalities especially if the same road is being used t transport hazardous goods.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay condolences to all the family members whose friends and relatives were involved in the accident.
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10 October, 2009

Traffic Jam

Morning Traffic Jam
Traffic jam is a major issue in most city centers. With the increasing of number of vehicles on the road, the traffic jam is becoming more prevalent.

In order to alleviate traffic jam, the infrastructure needs to be expanded. For example, in the case of the Penang Bridge, the expansion of the bridge is near completion. The additional traffic lane plus a motorcycle lane was added to both sides of the bridge. I am confident that with the bridge expansion and removal of certain bottleneck areas along the bridge, traffic jam will be problems of the past. The newly refurbish bridge can carry the intended number of traffic until several years to come. After the completion of the second link to Penang, the Penang Bridge even can be congestion free for more years to come.

However, some incident can still cause the bridge to encounter traffic jam. According to this report, traffic jam occurred due to burning vehicle on the bridge. Traffic jam can also occur due to some incidents such as traffic accident along the bridge. As the bridge is being expanded to be more than three lanes in one direction, even though there is an accident, traffic still can flow through the bridge as compared to before where traffic just cannot flow because all lanes are being blocked by the vehicles involved in the accidents.

In order to overcome this kind of traffic jam, proper traffic management along the bridge need to be improved. The incident detection management system should be more efficient to detect the incident and immediately remove the incident in order to reduce the intensity of traffic jam.

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09 October, 2009

Say No TO Taxi Touts!

Say No To Taxi Touts!

Users of taxi services are having a dilemma whether to pay taxis that are using metered taxi or to pay a certain fee for certain destination. Majority of taxi drivers are resorting to charge their passengers not by the metered charge. Thus, customers are usually being victimized by the taxi drivers who are using the touts.

For example, in the above picture, a big signage is advertised to alert the public about not using the service of touts. But, the problem is that there are no taxis that are using their meter to charge the customer.

This is just to show the serious attitude problems of taxi drivers. They suppose to carry out their duty by charging passengers according to the stipulated charges accrued by their meters.

What do you think about the use of touts for taxi services? Have you ever encountered such experiences?
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07 October, 2009

Mosquito Net

Mosquito Net

If you are Malaysian, you know what mosquitoes can do to you. You will not be able to sleep soundly due to the disturbance by mosquitoes. The scary thing is that you could be infected by mosquito borne diseases such as dengue and the latest is Chikungunya.

The picture above shows a mosquito net for a person or two (if you are married). The mosquito net is practical if you are sleeping in your own home. However, you cannot simply bring the net around with you because of its size. Some tweeting need to be done for the net so that it is more versatile and user friendly.

The price is around RM100 and it is not available locally. The one in the picture is specially imported from Kelantan. I think the net must be imported from the neighboring country i.e Thailand.
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06 October, 2009

Telaga Air Water Front

Telaga Air Water Front

Telaga Air is a small town located near Kuching. It is located near the sea and the main activity surrounding the area is fishing. Telaga Air water front is a newly built feature in the area and it is used for deep sea fishing. Those who are a deep sea fishing enthusiast can go there and can rent the boat at a reasonable price (that what was told to me).

Besides that local also use the facility to unload their daily load of fish. Personally I find the water front to be very beautiful and very practical. I will go there again soon to get more good picture of the surroundings because the last time that I went there I am in  a hurry and cannot really find a good spot to capture pictures.
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05 October, 2009

Recall Recall

DALY CITY, CA - APRIL 23:  Brand new Toyota Pr...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

It was reported that Toyota Motor Corp will recall some 3.8 million vehicles in the United States because of the risk that a loose floor mat could force down the accelerator, a problem suspected of causing crashes that have killed five people. The recall might cost the company millions of dollars.

I just wondering why the recall only affect Toyota cars in the U.S. What about their cars in other countries. I think in term of design, the floor mat must have been designed similarly.

I am just wondering why. They claimed that the floor mat in other countries were produced by different company and no need to be recalled. In engineering term, the answer doesn't convinced me enough. May be the pressure from other countries are not that strong enough.

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04 October, 2009

Tropical Storm Parma

Philippines is hit by another tropical storm known as Parma. The storm is the country's second and cut a path across the region Northern tip.

New Name for Port Dickson

Selesa Beach

Port Dickson now has its new name i.e. Port Dickson - Army Town as announced by the Prime Minister several days ago. The new name is given because Port Dickson housed large concentration of army camps and training centers.

By announcing the changed in name, the prime minister also announces the major development project for the army in the area.
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03 October, 2009

Malaysia is Well Prepared

{{Potd/2005-09-15 (en)}}Image via Wikipedia
According to this report, Malaysia has a well implemented standard operating procedure (SOP) in dealing with the threat of tsunami. Malaysia has set up the National Tsunami Early Warning System (SAATNM) where all of the relevant authorities will be issued warnings through SMS gateway and a Fixed Line Alert System to agencies dealing with disaster management, the public and the media within 15 minutes of receiving the data.

Hopefully, the agency had my mobile number in their system in case they had to issue such a warning. But we prayed that such disaster will never happen to all of us.

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02 October, 2009

Automatic Enforcement

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16:  Traffic enginee...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
According to this report, Malaysia is planning to install the Automated Enforcement System (AES) which will automatically detect offenders and send summons to them.

I totally agree to have the system being implemented at the selected black spot stretch of highways.

However, I am a little bit skeptical on the way the system will be implemented later. Based on previous experienced, the system will be totally imported from whichever country the system will win the government tender. Then, contractors will install the system at the designated location. The system is expected to run without any glitch for one year since the warranty period usually lasted for a year. Then after the end of the warranty period, problems are expected to appear where there seemed to be no technical expertise that could supervise or maintain the system causing the system likely to be abandoned again.

I hope that there are adequate feasibility study being carried out to study all aspects including the operation and maintenance of the system. Most importantly, the total cost of procuring the system should include future upgrade of the system.

Additionally, since the system is expected to utilize embedded inductive traffic sensor loop, ensure that the system can accommodate the unique characteristics of Malaysian drivers where during peak periods, one lane can become two lanes due to severe congestion. Also, hopefully the system can differentiate the differences between several consecutive cars as opposed to 18-wheeler trailers since the system are expected to categorize the vehicles in term of their wheel based and Malaysian drivers are notorious in term of tailgating other vehicles. Also, hopefully, the system can detect motorcycles maneuvering between other vehicles in the queue.
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01 October, 2009

Something for The Senior Citizen

MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21:  A senior citi...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
It is not a home for senior citizen.

It is an education centre, a meditation centre and an activity centre for senior citizen.

It is expected to officially open by early next year, in Ampang.

It is the brainchild of Lin Chua Yap Swee Lin, the founder and chairman of Aged Unite To Organise Rest and Recreation (AUTORR) Foundation.

According to this report, the centre will be a place for senior citizens to have fellowship and at the same time, help provide motivation and mentoring for young orphans.

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