31 August, 2010

Launching of the KLIA2 Terminal


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak launced the world's first mega terminal for low-cost carriers’s ground-breaking ceremony in Sepang yesterday. The new terminal will be known as KLIA2. The new low-cost terminal will meet the expected high growth rate of low-cost travel needs for the next 10 to 15 years. Currently, the low-cost carriers are using the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) also in Sepang. However, due to increase in demand, the LCCt terminal is getting more congested with passengers and also carriers. The new low-cost carrier terminal is expected to be able to handle 30 million passengers annually. The KLIA2 terminal is llocated only 2 km from the current Main Terminal building.

Both terminals, i.e. KLIA and KLIA2, will be interconnected to cater for easy inter-terminal transfer and better connectivity between the two. According to the news report, KLIA2 will have built-in walkways, bigger space per passenger and total separation between arrival and departing passengers for improved security. Express Rail Link (ERL) service is expected to be extended to the KLIA2 terminal. Read HERE for related story.

Are you Confused Yet?


Stop if you want to turn left or if you want to go through. Give way if you want to turn right. Or vice versa depending on how confuse you are on the road. Hope the consultant, the contractor and the respective agency will be more sensitive to the placement of the road signages so that majority of drivers who are already confused will not get more confused while on the road. The respective guideline regarding the placement of road signages is already in place in order to ensure the safe usage of the road by all type of road users. It is a matter of following and enforcing the use of the guideline.

24 August, 2010

Viva G16 Reunion


After 25 years, our group managed to organize our first reunion dinner in Shah Alam last Saturday. There were about 20 of us in the group studying intensive English for about six months. After that, several of the group members went straight to the States to further their studies whereas most of us stay in the country for another two more years. Then, all of us went to search for our own destiny and busy doing our own businesses without knowing the whereabouts of the other group members except only a few.

However, exactly, a month ago, one of the group members initiated our own private group in Facebook. The name of the group is Viva G16 since we were lucky enough to be grouped together in Group 16. Through Facebook, we managed to gather almost all of our group mates.

After less than a month of planning, the first reunion dinner was held in Shah Alam on the 21st August 2010. Thank you very much to everybody who can make it for the reunion dinner and it was a great time for all of us to get to know each other better. For those who couldn't make it this time, hopefully we will be able to see you at some other time. It was a very joyful and fun reunion since we were able to gather almost everybody for the first time since 25 years ago and there were a lot of things to catch up among us. It was such a happening and memorable reunion since that was the first time after 25 years that we were able to see each other face to face instead of only through the face of Facebook. I would like to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to those who had made the Viva G16 Reunion a reality.

20 August, 2010

KLIA Aerotrain Service

KLIA Aerotrain

As been reported before, the aerotrain service at KLIA will be closed from Nov 1 this year to March 15 next year to allow for complete maintenance and modification works on the two trains currently operating the service. The two trains have been running non-stop shuttling passengers between the two terminals building at KLIA airport.

A new Depot and a new track under construction.

Recently there is a major construction work being carried out near the aerotrain track. Based on this report, the construction is to build a new depot and a new track for scheduled maintenance works of the trains. Additonal train will be parked at the Depot to be used as a replacement during repairs or maintenance of the other two trains.  I think this is the right move carried out by the MAB (Malaysian Airpirt Berhad) to put in place the scheduled and routine maintenance of the aerotrains in order to provide efficient and reliable service to passengers. Without such a move, the train will eventually break down and causes severe disruptions to passenger movements.

Airport Bus

MAB has ensured that there will be plenty of bus services available to transfer passengers within the construction and maintenance period of the two aerotrains. MAB also has carried out dry run of the bus services in order to provide efficient services to passengers. The headway between the buses are ensured to be within the reasonable time to ensure no congestion (due increase in number of passengers using the buses) during peak period. 

19 August, 2010

Stressful Cities

Las Vegas Skyline (#30)
Picture: Las Vegas Skyline, by Christopher Chan

Forbes.com had compiled ten most stressful cities in the United States for the year 2010. Dwellers in those cities often complain of irregular work hours that keep them away from their families, and tensions that result from family health crises.

Forbes found Las Vegas to be the most stressful city followed by Los Angeles and Houston. To identify the most stressful cities, researchers measured several key parameters that can either cause or be caused by stress such as high unemployment, long commute times, long work hours, limited access to health care, poor physical health and a lack of exercise.

High unemployment rate obviously causes any cities to be so stressful due to several fringe benefits associated with it such as increase in crime rate etc.

Long commute times also causes stressful life since everybody has to go to work very early in the morning and coming back from work late in the evening to avoid traffic jam. For those who are in the traffic jam have to spend hundred of hours lost in opportunity cost.

Long work hours is due to the twenty four hours day related to major metropolitan cities where employees are expected to work almost 24 hours a day to meet high demand.

Due to long working hours and long commute times, most metropolis dwellers spend less time on exercise activities. It has been proven that physical exercise can reduce stress.

For more information about America's most stressful cities for the year 2010, read HERE.

New Offstreet Parking

4 by 4 Pick-Up Trucks

The current parking shortage at Kuching Government Hospital is a well known phenomenon especially for those who have to visit the hospital frequently and also for those who works at the hospital. If anybody wanted to have a good free parking, one has to go out very early in the morning and find himself or herself a very good free parking spot. Or else, you have to use your trusty 4X4 trucks so that you can park as you wished as shown in the picture above.

If you were to drive your car you will hardly find any empty parking spaces to park your car. With the new off street parking facilities available outside of the hospital, all vehicles that are parked illegally in the hospital parking lot will have the car wheels being clamped by the authority. You will have to pay hefty amount of money to be able to drive your car again. So be careful next time you illegally park your car at the Sarawak Hospital vicinity.


Luckily, there is a new off-street parking lot just the opposite of the hospital entrance. However, there is no sign board indicating the owner of the lot and also there is no information regarding the parking fee that users have to pay. If you are desperate to get a parking space, as that is the case for almost anybody visiting the hospital, you will have to use the new off street parking facility.

The moment you enter the new premise, the attendance of the parking lot will ask you to park your vehicle first and then pay the parking fees to him later. Well the trick seems to work fine for the parking operator. After you have parked your vehicle, the moment you are asking about the parking fee, the parking operator will tell you that the fee is RM5 and he will further convince you that you can reenter the parking lot as many time that you wish for that whole day using the parking coupon. The parking charges is reasonable if you park your vehicle very early in the morning and if you are planning to sleep at the hospital throughout the day. Also, the parking fee is reasonable if you are planning to drive your car around Kuching to find food for lunch and then you return to the parking lot to park your car so that you can continue enjoying your sleep in the hospital for the rest of the day.

However, that is not always the case since most users wanted to park their vehicle only for several hours to catch their appointment with doctors or to pick up some medicines at the pharmacy or to visit some relatives who are admitted in the hospital. It is good to have several short-term parking places where users can park their vehicles for a short period of time and being charged nominally instead of being charged a flat rate. 


The above picture is a parking receipt for using the new off street parking. The rate is RM5 and valid for multiple entries within the same day. However, it is very unclear about the validity period of a day which is not being mentioned in the receipt. There is no indication on the name of company operating the parking system which is likely being subjected to abuse by the operators or somebody else. Regarding the night market as mentioned in the receipt, I don't think it is applicable to the respective off street parking site.

Hopefully, this entry will be of benefit to those who wanted to try out the new off street parking facility every time that they visited the Sarawak Hospital. Unless you want to spend most of your time in the hospital for the whole day, then the RM5 parking rate is quite unreasonable.

15 August, 2010

Iftar on the Fourth Day of Ramadan


Iftar (breaking fast) on the fourth day of Ramadan at the Department of Chemical Engineering. Thank you very much to all of you for the treats. All of you had done a good job in preparing for the occasion.



13 August, 2010

The Tale of a Brand New Mercedes SLS AMG

Mercedes SLS AMG
Illustration of a Mercedes SLS AMG

One reason to buy a Mercedes SLS AMG is because of its awesome speed due to its powerful six-liter-engine under its hood. But be careful guys because speed kills or you might end up paying hefty speeding ticket. I came across this interesting news which was happening in Switzerland where a speeding Swedish driver was slapped with the world‘s biggest fine of 650,000 euros - around £538,000. The driver was estimated to travel at a speed of almost 300 kph (around 180mph) while driving through Switzerland.

The driver was said to have purchased the Mercedes SLS AMG six-liter-engine at a price of £140,000 from Germany and he was on his way home after picking up the car from Germany. Thus, the total price of the new Mercedes is about £678,000 inclusive of traffic fine. According to Swiss Police, they have no record of anyone being caught travelling faster in the country (May be due to their speed detectors are unable to detect speeding vehicles travelling more than 200 kph).  

It was said that a normal speed trap camera cannot detect the speeding vehicle if the speed is faster than 200 kph. All the while the driver escaped from being detected speeding in the country. However, a new generation speed detector camera installed on the A12 highway between Bern and Lausern detected the car to travel at close to 300 kph. According to the police, the driver needed about half-a-kilometer of road to completely stop his vehicle.

Currently, the Mercedes SLS AMG was impounded by police in Switzerland. However, the driver told the police that the speedometer of the car is faulty which requires the police to inspect the car for any fault. In Switzerland, the driver will not go to prison but has to pay hefty fine. He is expected to be fined with the highest possible penalty of 300 days of fines at 3,600 Swiss Francs a day which is about 650,000 euros. The fine was based on the drivers income and the speed he was travelling.  Since the driver can afford to buy the Mercedes SLS AMG, he is very rich and eligible for the highest fine. Read more about the news HERE.

10 August, 2010

Beginning of Fasting Month of Ramadan

Ramadan Iftar
Ramadan Iftar by Raaid.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, is declared to be the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan for muslims in Malaysia. The Keeper of the Rulers' Seal, Tan Sri Engku Ibrahim Engku Ngah announced Tuesday that the date for the beginning of the fasting month for states in Malaysia had been set for Wednesday, Aug 11 as decreed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after getting the consent of the Rulers.

The Office of the Keeper of the Malaysian Rulers' Seal on last August 3, set Tuesday as the date to sight the new moon of Ramadan at several designated locations in Malaysia.

Following the announcement, all muslims in Malaysia will start fasting tomorrow and all mosques in Malaysia started to hold 'terawih' prayer for the whole month of Ramadan. That is the beauty of staying in Malaysia where all muslims are united in term of starting and ending their fasting months based on the decreed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after getting the consent of the Rulers. It is well understood that several other muslims countries will observe their fasting month of Ramadan starting on August 4th that is on Thursday.

I had an opportunity to experience fasting during the month of Ramadan overseas long time ago and the muslim communities living in those countries started observing their fasting month of Ramadan sometimes based on their country of origin and sometimes also based on the decision of the local leader of the muslim communities. Thus, within the country, not all muslims started observing the fasting month of Ramadan at the same day. However, majority of them will adhere to the decreed as stipulated by their local Islamic leaders. However, in Malaysia, all muslims are united by observing the start of Ramadan based on the announcement made by the The Keeper of the Rulers' Seal.

In this blog entry, I would like to seek forgiveness to everybody for any wrong doings and would like to wish all muslims to have their fasting being accepted by Allah S.W.T.

08 August, 2010

Sarawak Children Cancer Society Food Fair


The Sarawak Children Cancer Society (SCCS) organizes an annual charity food fair today at Dewan Suarah, Kuching. The Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, UNIMAS participated in the food fair by selling potato salad, baked pasta, burger, etc. All of the proceeds from the sales are contributed to the society.

The Sarawak Children Cancer Society provides relieve and care to Malaysian children suffering from cancer and their families irrespective of race, religion and creed. The homepage for the society is at sccs.org.my. There are a lot of activities that you can volunteer to help support the cause of the society.

There are a lot of people turns up for the event and the parking lots at Dewan Suarah are almost full to the brink. Most people parks their vehicle alongside the road in front of the Dewan Suarah because it is really very hard to find empty parking spaces.

I would like to congratulate all of those who are involved in setting up the food fair booth for Unimas especially Madam Rosmina and several others who are very actively involved in organizing such activities from the start. Hope that you guys had done your part in contributing to the society in order to benefits those children who are inflicted with cancer.

Discussing on ways to further increase the sales. I was told that they have to wrap up everything by 11:30 am since the sales is very encouraging.

Everybody seems to be not having enough of burgers, pastas etc. that are on sale.

There are a lot of people visiting the fair and congratulations to the SCCS committee members for successfully organizing the annual food fair.

Preparing very tasty hot dogs.

She knows how to get very good prices for the food item.

Everybody seems to be very busy at the stall.


Preparing for the food items to be sold at the stall.

05 August, 2010

KLIA Aerotrains Due for Maintenance


KLIA Aerotrain links main and satellite buildings of the airport terminals. According to this news report, the aerotrain will be suspended for three months from November to facilitate maintenance works. The aerotrain units require full servicing and maintenance as they have been operating for 12 years.

During that period, buses would be used to transport passengers between the main terminal and satellite building.

I am just wondering why the maintenance and servicing of the train units were not carried out in stages or periodically in order to avoid all of the aerotrain units to be suspended at the same time. May be there are several reasons behind the decision to suspend all of the units at once for certain period of time. Or may be they already carry out periodic maintenance all this while and now is the time for major servicing and major maintenance. Hope all of the aerotrain will be in perfect working order after the scheduled maintenance.

The proposed maintenance activities will ensure that there will less chance for the train services to be distrupted at any time without proper notice and causing more incovenience to users. As of now, I have not heard any compaints regarding the aerotrain services. The aerotrains have carried out its intended purposes reliably and efficiently. Kudos to all parties involved in choosing the type of trains and for maintaing the trains in good working conditions.

01 August, 2010

Sarawak Regatta 2010


Sarawak Regatta is an annual event organized by Resident and District office. The Regatta was said to be held since 1872 at the Sarawak river in front of the Astana. This year event is held from 30th July 2010 until 1st August 2010.

Types of Race usually being held during the Regatta as as follows (2009 events):

1. Balok Boat
      7 paddlers (Men)

2. Bidar Boat
     10 paddlers (Women)
     15 paddlers Mix (8 Men + 7 Women)
     15 paddlers (Men)
     20 paddlers (Men)
     30 paddlers (Men)
     20 paddlers Government and Corporate Agencies (Men)
     20 paddlers Inter Divisions (Men)
     30 paddlers Hotels /Tour Agencies (25 Men + 5 Women)
     30 paddlers VIP (Men) A
     30 paddlers VIP (Men) B

3. Kenyalang Boat
     15 paddlers Tourist
     20 paddlers International
     20 paddlers Inter State (Men)
     20 paddlers Inter Varsity (Men)

4. Tambang Boat

5. Kayak
     Single Men
     Single Women
     Double Men
     Double Women
     Double Mix

6. Jet Ski
    Open Class Below 800cc
    Open Class Unlimited

Competition between boats are taking place.

Very stiff competition.

No room for errors. No 1 must get number 1.

He wish that his team will win the race.

Search and Rescue Personnel on stand by.

New Jet Ski belongs to the Police. Nice looking machine.

One of the team getting ready for the subsequent race.

VIP's Boat

Observation Tents.

Police officers are on petrol.

Support Krew.