Sunday, December 27, 2009

Street Crime Up 27% in Penang... ( from The Star)

Street crime up 27% in Penang
Street crime up 27% in Penang

PENANG: Penang recorded 3,786 street crime cases this year compared with 3,523 cases last year.

State police chief Datuk Ayub Yaakob said street crime involving motorcycle thefts, snatch thefts, robbery and illegal racing saw an increase of 263 cases or 27.5 percent over last year's figure.

"In most of the cases, the suspects, individually, in pairs or in a group, had used motorcycles to commit the crime, especially robbery and snatch thefts.

"We are asking the public to cooperate with the police by giving input or ideas, so that a more effective approach can be drawn up to change the situation," he said after flagging off the Penang Police Community Expedition, here, Sunday.

Ayub was leading a high-powered motorcycle convoy involving 50 policemen and 50 members of the Penang Motorcycle Club on a Rakan Cop and crime-prevention promotion drive.

The one-day expedition started from Batu Feringghi and ended in Batu Maung.

Ayub said street crime made up about 40 percent of all crime cases in Penang.

"No matter how many more policemen we recruit and deploy, street crime committed by motorcyclists will still occur, but what is important is curbing it with the cooperation of the public," he said. - Bernama

My comments:
Come on...it is not rocket science to reduce this. No perceived police presence so that is why criminals are so bold to conduct their "business". Same case with traffic violaters in Penang.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Panaromic Shot of Penang Skyline..


A photo shoot of Penang Northern City Skyline on a clear day. Penang tallest building, Komtar can be seen at the background. 

Monday, November 30, 2009

Last Day of November...Tomorrow Dec!

Today is the last day of November.  1 more month will pass by and we usher in 2010.  Well, lets see what is coming up in the month of Dec..

Dec 3-6  : Penang Island Jazz Festival
Thursday, 3rd December 2009


•Finals of The Penang Island Jazz Festival Young Talent Competition, Bayview Beach Resort

•Jazz Photograph Exhibition by William Ellis, G Hotel, Gurney Drive, (on exhibit from 1st December 2009)

•“An Evening With Michelle Nicolle Quartet” at G Spot, G Hotel, Gurney Drive, Penang

Friday, 4th December 2009

•Jazz Photograph Exhibition by William Ellis, Bayview Beach Resort

•Winning Exhibits of Penang State Art Competition at The Penang State Art Gallery

•Jazz Pics! Deutscher Jazz - German Jazz. A photo exhibition Presented by Goethe-Institut Malaysia at Bayview Beach Resort

•Jazz Gallery at Bayview Beach Resort (Poster, Photograph, Painting & Percussion Exhibition)

•Fringe Stage Performances at Bayview Beach Resort & G Hotel Lobbies and Hard Rock Hotel Poolside

•“Jazz With A Heart” Charity Dinner at Bayview Beach Resort

Saturday, 5th December 2009


•Workshops (Tropical Spice Garden & Bayview Beach Resort)

•Island Jazz Forum ( Bayview Beach Resort)

•Jazz Photograph Exhibition by William Ellis, Bayview Beach Resort

•Jazz Pics! Deutscher Jazz - German Jazz. A photo exhibition Presented by Goethe-Institut Malaysia at Bayview Beach Resort

•Jazz Gallery at Bayview Beach Resort (Poster, Photograph, Painting & Percussion Exhibition)

•Fringe Stage Performances at Bayview Beach Resort & G Hotel Lobbies and Hard Rock Hotel Poolside

•“Jazz By The Beach” Main Stage Performances Featuring 6 Groups

Sunday, 6th December 2009

•Community Drum Circle (Bayview Beach Resort)

•Workshops ( Bayview Beach Resort)

•Jazz Photograph Exhibition by William Ellis, Bayview Beach Resort

•Jazz Pics! Deutscher Jazz - German Jazz. A photo exhibition Presented by Goethe-Institut Malaysia at Bayview Beach Resort

•Jazz Gallery at Bayview Beach Resort (Poster, Photograph, Painting & Percussion Exhibition)

•Fringe Stage Performances at Bayview Beach Resort & G Hotel Lobbies and Hard Rock Hotel Poolside

•"Jazz By The Beach” Main Stage Performances Featuring 6 Groups

“Jazz By The Beach” (Main Stage Performers)
Michelle Nicolle Quartet (Australia), Buzz Bros Band (Holland), Dainius Pulauskas Group (Lithuania), Paulo Bellinati & Cristina Azuma (Brazil), Charlie Jung Band (South Korea), In The Country (Norway), Janek Gwizdala Project (USA/Norway), Studnitzky Trio (Germany), Band of Brothers (Thailand), Sizhukong (Taiwan), Island Palm Beach Boys (Malaysia) and Organamix (Singapore / Thailand).

Get your tickets at : http://www.ticketpro.com.my/jnp/concert/jazz/170338-Penang-Island-Jazz-Festival-2009.html

See the promo video:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

House Prices in Penang Out of Reach for Salary-Man

House prices for average salary-man in Penang is way out of reach.  A typical 3 storey terrace house about 20'x70' will set you back about $900K in the middle of the island. Assuming the current interest at 5.5% pa, and if you have some $$ to pay $200K ( ~20%) of the house, that still leave a balance of $700K, and with 25 yrs repayment period, one will need to cough up $4.3K/ month ( like coughing blood).  Usually the house loan given by the bank shld not be > 30% of the persons net income. So this means, that the person will need to earn or show that he earns about $14K/month.
I guess with market forces where demand exceeds supply, and those who are able to pay for these prices can only be those who have business or earn foreign $$ with more favorable exchange rate to the RM$.
The only option for a salary man will be to live in condos or apt.  However, that too is getting pricier. At the rate of price inflation for properties increasing at a higher rate than salary rate, this category of property may soon be out of reach. Better get one before the prices gets too high. Sigh.



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Malaysia's Biggest Pillow Fight in Penang

From the Star.... All for a good cause

Big pillow fight — for fun and funds


GEORGE TOWN: Penang will host what it says will be the world’s largest pillow fight on Nov 21.
The fun event, with some 4,500 people taking part, is also a fund-raising one with proceeds going to the Children’s Protection Society, SPCA Penang and St Nicholas Home.
The event, Fight for a Good Cause — World’s Largest Pillow Fight Guinness World Record Attempt, will be held at the Penang Times Square open stage.
“We are targetting 4,500 participants to break the record. The event will not only showcase Penang and Malaysia to the world but also show that Malaysians are generous in helping the needy,” organising chairman Tommy Ooi said.
The event will start at 10am. Tickets are priced at RM5 (if you bring your own pillow) and RM15 (inclusive of a pillow).
Tickets can be obtained from the Children’s Protection Society (tel: 04-829 4046), SPCA Penang (04-2816 559) and St Nicholas Home (04-2265 911).
The event is being jointly orga-nised by the New Century Lions Club of Penang Island, Penang Leo Clubs, PCGHS Rangers, In-teract Club and Catcheye.com.my.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Missing Private Investigator (PI) is back...


Missing PI Bala is back with some revelation on his SD that he made last July regarding the case of the murder of Altantuya.
My take is that it will be a matter of time for the truth to come out, be it in a few months or years, but it will be out one day.  Someone is so desperate that they will do anything including murder to protect their hide. This smells of a cover up and an innocent life was lost in the process. 
AMOS 5:24 "But let justice roll on like a river,righteousness like a never-failing stream!"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Malaysia in Top Ten Countries to Visit in 2010 by Lonely Planet

What a pleasant surprise to hear that Lonely Planet rated Malaysia as one of the top ten destinations to visit in 2010. Below is excerpt of the article:
"
Malaysia often gets criticised as being mild in comparison with its grittier neighbours, Thailand and Indonesia. It’s true, natural disasters and coups only seem to happen across its borders, the roads don’t have too many potholes, buses and trains have air-con and plush seats, and hotels are of international standard. While troubles are few, visiting Malaysia lets you leap into the jaws of one of the most interesting parts of Southeast Asia’s roaring cultural smorgasbord – and not be too worried about it. Cheap connections to Europe and great exchange rates mean that you won’t get eaten up by your wallet either.  "
Check the link: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/el-salvador/travel-tips-and-articles/42/15809

My comments:  It is certainly safe from natural disasters and political coups, plus definitely still a cheap destination considering our exchange rate depreciated against a few major currencies except the US$.  Only thing pricier is the "sin" products e.g. liquor.  Must try the many great cuisines and I do miss the food whenever I am away. :P

Friday, November 6, 2009

Something Italian... Bella!


Enjoy one of my favorite singer, Laura Pausini duet with James Blunt.

I am impressed...

There are some semi-govt agencies that offers pretty good customer service nowadays. One recent pleasant encounter was when I wanted to find out how to get the water pipe plan to my apartment unit so that I will know where exactly to hack my wall to install my water filter for my whole house. I went to the Penang Gov't website customer service site ( http://epintas.penang.gov.my/) to get information on how to get the water pipe plan since my developer didn't want to release the plan on grounds that it is classified. Within 1 day I received a reply frm them via my registered email to check with PBA( The PG State Water Supply Corp). I sent them an email (customer@pba.com.my), and likewise within a day they replied to me. I was informed to write a formal letter to request for the plan. I will be doing that and hope to hear from them soon.  This "rakyat" is pleased so far with the level of service from our local state government.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hong Leong Bank Buying Public Bank??

There is news out that potentially HLB might buy Public Bank?? This is a surprise. Not sure if Datuk Teh Hong Piow, the chairman of Public Bank is willing to relinquish control of the bank that he started. Although, there are some rumors that his health is suspect and a worthy successor is wanting. Not sure on the details but the merger will make Hong Leong & Public Bank to be the 2nd largest local bank in Malaysia. Hong Leong Bank has one of Najib's 4th brother as one of its Non-Executive Director.  Let's see for the next few weeks what will happen.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Racket at Island Park

 I am writing this get opinions and suggestions on why must concerts at residential areas need to blast their so-called " music" until everyone in a square mile radius is able to hear them?  Just view attached video and you'll see the kind of "inconsiderate" behavior that somehow our society tend to tolerate in the name of harmony and avoiding conflicts. I am not against them having their concert, but the problem I have is having their concert at such a high noise level especially at residential areas where I am sure a lot of people wants some peace and quiet.  Sometimes these concerts goes on till midnite. Is there a law regarding acceptable noise levels for outdoor concerts at residential area?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

2-Party System in Malaysia forum with Datuk Zaid Ibrahim


There is a talk coming this Monday organized by the sembang-sembang forum. Datuk Zaid Ibrahim will be sharing his thoughts on the political climate and about the emergence of a 2-party system in Malaysia. Something like the Republicans and Democrats in the US, or Labour and Conservatives in UK.  Personally, I feel a 2 party system will help counter abuse of power and provide check and balance to ensure whoever is ruling the country is not "serving" itself but serve the people who chose them to manage the country.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Budget 2010 : Some Unexpected Tax Relief. Every bit counts...

Wow,... didn't expect to see reduction of tax rate to 26%, albeit a low 1% but that is better than nothing. Plus an increase of personal relief to $9K from $8K previously, helps put additional $1K in my pocket.  Only -ve is the $50 tax per credit card. However, I am sure the credit companies will have ways to work around this by giving some rebates or cash-backs to counter this.  Thanks DATUK Seri!   Seriously, our PM is trying to do all the right things to win back support frm the Malaysian public. Question is are the Malaysian public buying into this "carrot"?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Watch out for Nails on the Penang Bridge

Lately, a few of my colleagues who commute from Penang to Kulim( on the mainland) had really bad experiences of their car tire punctured or becoming flat overnight due to nails stuck to their tires. It may seem coincidental, but it appears that someone has been placing nails on the bridge to "earn" some money to fix flat tires esp. motorcycles. These nails are about 1 inch long and are bent in a "L" shape to make it penetrate easier when the tire rolls over it. So to be safe, for those who use the bridge, my advice is to check your tire daily to see any drop in air pressure, as the nails are hard to see with the naked eye once it is embedded in the tire, and to drive on the fast lane, i.e. keep right. I saw on one morning at least 3 motorcycles with flat tires on the bridge. I hope the Penang Bridge management is aware of this and do something more proactive before someone gets hurt badly just because of some greedy persons trying to make a quick buck.

Update (26th Oct): There is a page on the Penang Bridge website that says that they will tow motorcycles to a mechanic FOC. How about cars?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Penang Bridge Marathon... Nov22nd 09


After months of deliberation, I finally signed up for the Penang Bridge Marathon. The reason for the delay was that I may not have the time to train for it since I was away for a while and busy with work. My thought was to run the half marathon which I ran 3 times prev. in 2000, 2003 and 2006. I did the 10K fun run last year with my wife. I decided to not do the half marathon after finding out that the start time was the ungodly hour of 330am, and u need to be there about 2am plus. Usually, this is the time where I am at my deepest sleep, and can't imagine having to wake up that early just to run. Previously, the half marathon started at a more reasonable time of about 5:30'ish. Well, I finally decided to run the fun run again. Will try to beat my prev. time of 1hr 10 min. Got to start training.... 30 days left to go.
Check out the website... http://www.penangmarathon.gov.my

Update : Nov 22nd.  Author completed the run in just under 53 mins. He thinks that this year's route was a little shorter. The early morning weather was cloudy with a cool breeze.  The run started right in front of the new Eastin Hotel, and there were a few colourful characters, e.g. a wedding couple, some Red Indians, and high school cheerleaders. Quite a festive atmosphere. This year's marathon is better planned with enough water at the drinking station. Last year a lot of the station ran out of water. Overall, a great run,.... and probably start training for the 1/2 marathon next year.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1Malaysia Day.. One extra holiday

It was a long time coming but Malaysia Day on Sept 16 will be a public holiday from next year, an announcement hailed across the board in the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak's declaration to this effect in the Dewan Rakyat found consensus
among Malaysians that it was a timely and a natural consequence of the 1Malaysia
concept. With this, Najib said, Malaysia would have two National Day celebrations -
Merdeka Day on Aug 31 when Malaya gained independence from the United Kingdom in
1957 and Sept 16 when Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak became Malaysia in 1963. (NST)

On side note, I am glad for this holiday... but doesn't mean have extra holiday in the year. There will be other holiday which which will be reverted into a working day to replace this holiday for all private or public firms.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Raining Cats and Dogs in Penang

It has been raining cats and dogs in Penang past few days. Looking at the weather forecast ...
# Tonight: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Low around 75F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 60%. Rainfall possibly over one inch.
# Tomorrow: Variable clouds with scattered thunderstorms. High near 85F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Rainfall possibly over one inch.
# Tomorrow night: Variable clouds with scattered thunderstorms. Low near 75F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 60%. Rainfall possibly over one inch.
# Saturday: Scattered thunderstorms. High 86F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
# Sunday: Scattered thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 80s and lows in the mid 70s.
# Monday: Scattered thunderstorms possible. Highs in the upper 80s and lows in the mid 70s.

Looks like if it keeps raining like this I might need a boat to get to work. :P

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tony Fernandez into Mobile Phone Business.. TuneTalk


Tune Talk, which Celcom has a 35% stake in, is finally set to launch a new prepaid mobile
service next Weds. Tune Talk is an MVNO that rides on Celcom's network. "We are
offering voice, SMS and and data services on a 2.5G platform. A user just needs to buy a
SIM card for RM5 and insert it into his mobile phone, choose the number he wants and he is
connected to our network," Tune Talk CEO Jason Lo said.
• Apart from Celcom, Tune Ventures owned by Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes and Datuk
Kamarudin Meranum has 37.5% stake, with the remaining 27.5% held by Datuk Seri
Kalimullah Mashreerul Hassan, Lim Kian Onn, Lo, Gurtaj Singh (COO of Tune Talk) and
Mark Lankaster (CEO of Tune Hotels). Celcom has an option to riase its stake to 51%
within three years when Tune Talk's subscriber base reaches 1.5m. Lo expects the
capex over the next 3-5 years to be RM40m-50m.
• "Our product offering is going to be unique as every day we will be giving out 10 evouchers
to the highest voice users. These vouchers are valued at RM200 each and can
be redeemed for air tickets from AirAsia. We will also provide personal accident
coverage to all our users and this is provided by or partner, Etiqa Insurance." (StarBiz)
Tune Talk's association with AirAsia and Tune Hotels will likely make it one of the
strongest MVNO in Malaysia. We believe it will target the youth and low-end segments,
riding on the "budget" branding of AirAsia. However, with Celcom being a shareholder and
vendor of wholesale minutes, we do not think Tune Talk will be predatory in its pricing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I-Dance Campaign "HIP HOP Night"



Nothing to do on this weekend? Well, there is a FREE 90-minute concert with hip hop dance performances which is a new genre of street dancing.
There will be an exploding Street Jazz, "popping", "locking, breakdance, "krumping", "newstyle" and many more. There will be local hip hop dancers from Danzity, DZ Crew, Floorflava, Dvol, Imagine Force and etc.
Details below:
Date: 8th August 2009
Time: 8pm to 9.30pm
Location: Esplanade, Penang
Admission: FREE
Organizer: Danzity

Schedule:

8-8:30pm
FREE HIPHOP DANCE CLASSES FOR THE PUBLIC - using not just one, but MANY of Michael Jackson's songs

9-9:15pm
LAUNCHING CEREMONY

9:15-10pm
DANCE PERFORMANCE , FREEBIES GIVEAWAY BY THE SPONSORS


I-Dance Campaign Malaysia 2009 (I-DANCE 2009) is a series of dance related activities and events held throughout a period of 5 months starting from August to December 2009.

This project started in 2007, brainchild of Sean Loh, a local dance enthusiast and professional dance instructor.

I-Dance Campaign 2008 was a success with a national audience of more than 1,000,000 with media coverage by TV3, Bernama, The Star, The Sun, News Straits Times , Berita Harian, Kosmo, Sinar Harian, Sin Chew Daily, Kwang Wah Yit Poh, Guang Ming Daily, China Press and etc .

The term “I –Dance” tags this campaign to reflect the objective to increase number of people who choose dance as a part of a healthy lifestyle. These people will say “I dance” or “Saya Menari”.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bull Market??

Frankly, the market is getting ahead of itself. Let's see how this pans out it is in next few months. Someone plotted a table of a sample of indicators showing bullish trends i.e. 50 day moving average above 200 day moving average.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Places to Visit in Penang

I was in Singapore for a few days and was chatting with one of the taxi drivers there. He was asking where I was from, and upon knowing that I was from Penang, he was asking what to do there if he's there for 2-3 days, or what are the attractions there. I told him immmediately to try the Penang Hawker fare but didn't give him an answer on what are the places that he could visit. Now that I am back, a few things that I shld have told him to do when he is here is probably to go for a trip round Penang Island, and stop over at a few places e.g Balik Pulau ( for its famous Laksa, and durian if in season), visit Pulau Betong beach, and the fruit farm and dam near Teluk Bahang. At night, a visit to Gurney Drive and/or Penang Hill will be worth a visit. A walk around historical downtown Penang is also worth a visit with free Penang bus ride that takes you to all the historical sites.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Haze is Back with a Vengeance


Woke up on Sunday morning and lo and behold, can't see most of Penang. The haze is back in Penang. Malaysians are suffering due to so called "dry season hot spots"; more like man's greed trying to clear the forest for the palm oil plantation across Sumatra which, I hear belongs to a number of Malaysian companies. Checking the govt haze index, it is showing 57 + ( I think it is lower than that) See the picture and judge for yourself.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Diving at Sipadan


Just returned from a 5 days/ 4nights stay at Sipadan Water Village (SWV) on Mabul Island ( pic.) The journey from Mabul to Sipadan for the dive normally takes 15 mins but took 45 minutes instead as the seas were rough and choppy due to a typhoon that passed by Philippines. Weather was cloudy for some of the days. It was also just after the full moon and according to the manager usually the sea was a bit rough. The diving at Sipadan as usual was great, and managed to see the school of barracuda and trevally. However, missed the Bumphead Parrot Fish school. I noticed there were not that many turtles this round compared to my previous trip. We only went for 1 day to Sipadan as there is a strict quota of max. 120 divers per day allowed at Sipadan. Each resort is allocated about 12/day. With so many divers wanting to go to Sipadan,most divers only get to go once esp. when it is peak season. Accomodation at Sipadan Water Village (SWV)Resort on Mabul overall was good with friendly smiles from the staffs. Food was overall good but it was better the last time I visited with more variety. On one of the days a police chopper actually landed on the resort. It was one of their rare visits by chopper. Normally, there will be patrol boats surrounding the area so security is good.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Off to Sipadan to visit the fishes

I shall be off to Sipadan, taking the direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau, Sabah onto the van for about 50 minutes ride and spend the night at Seafest Hotel at Semporna by the coast. Next morning will take the boat ride to Mabul island at the dive resort. Sipadan island is about 10-15 minutes boat ride away from Mabul Island. This will be my 3rd trip, and looking forward to see my old buddies underwater.
Video attached is a school of barracuda taken at Sipadan a few years back.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Authentic Indian Food in Penang





Authentic, in this case Southern India cuisine is one of my favourites. And Penang is blessed with some great and authentic mainly South Indian cuisine. Just go to the section of Penang known as Little India which is at Market / Queen St Area, and you get the feeling u are in India where there are shops which sells spices and food products direct from India. Some of my Indian friends shop here as according to them the taste of authentic Indian food requires these spices e.g. shallots,that will affect the outcome of the flavour of the final product. Can't argue with them. One of the many restaurants, which I was introduced is located at Market Street, called " Karaikudi". They have some of the best banana leaf servings. They also have a branch at Tanjong Tokong near Pearl Hill.
If you are there some of the other famous and popular restaurants are Achi, Kaliammans, and Woodlands at Penang Street.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

MATTA FAIR - Penang

Went to the MATTA Travel Fair in Penang. The crowd wasn't that big on a Saturday evening. Must be the economic situation. There were some pretty good deals for most destinations. The Australia Tourism Booth had lots of great brochures and holiday tips that they gave for free, for those interested to visit. I was looking around for tours to Europe, and there was one tour to Italy & Swiss 10days/7 nights costs ~ $5988 from Hong Thai Travels, under their Smart Holidays Packages. AirAsia, MAS had some pretty good deals too e.g. Australian Free n Easy Package in Melbourne for 4D/3N at $1769 and Perth at $1639. Most of the deals are valid only during the fair period. Depending on your persuasion power, u might be able to get the same rate after the fair since I presume that less people are travelling due to the economy and H1N1 concerns.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Tho Yuen" Chicken Rice Shop...



This chicken rice shop has been around a long time. I remember when I was still in elementary school, and my grandfather used to bring me and my brother here not only for the chicken rice, but also one of our favourite dish, i.e. crispy noodle dish.
They still make great chicken rice and crispy noodle till this day. They are located at Campbell and Cintra Street Junction. ( Close to the Rolex watch shop).
Penang Chicken Rice is mainly "Hainan"-style which originally was introduced by the Chinese from Hainan, China. There are other varieties esp. in the way the chicken is roasted and the type of sauce that is used. The best chicken rice shld have really juicy pieces of chicken that is roasted to golden brown and drenched in soy sauce and sesame oil. The rice itself is cooked with chicken broth and ginger. It is usually served with cucumber and spring onions. While typing this, I can actually smell sesame oil. No kidding. Must be my imagination. :P
For the recipe to make this dish just visit this link: http://www.roseskitchenette.com/?p=316

Monday, June 29, 2009

PAPA: Penang Apprenticeship Programme for Artisans




The Penang Heritage Trust is launching a programme that actively promotes intangible cultural heritage. This involves assisting artisans and performers whose skills are considered traditional and core to our Penang cultural heritage. In today's world, these skills are few and far in between, apprentices need to be sourced and skills need to be transmitted, in order that we may not loose these precious assets. The individuals themselves who are usually old, may be experiencing difficulties with evictions, high rentals, lack of help, difficulties of transportation, cost of materials, vulnerability and a loss of significance. This proposal assumes that the time is right for rendering assistance and building capacity by promoting apprenticeship.

This project also views promotion, product development and assistance with marketing as integral in achieving sustainability of the skills.

The goal is to perpetuate & develop traditional skills & techniques, transmit these through a prescribed training system, aid in marketing and strive to generate income so that the skills becomes attractive as a viable life choice career for young people.

It is planned that as far as possible, these artisans be sited in individual shop-houses within a common area, in the heart of George Town. This would make promotion and marketing in terms of a value added site for visitors, much easier to manage. It is envisaged that accommodation is possible on the upper floors if so required for either artisan or apprentice. If cultural reasons exist for usage of other areas, this may be incorporated.

The proposed locations are properties of the Khoo Kongsi Temple and Acheen Street Malay Enclave, Penang's most famous heritage attraction, who have undertaken at their own expense the restoration of their clan houses and Malay shophouses, and are now interested in contributing their efforts to the diversity of urban spaces by forging community partnerships and creating projects which promote sustainable development and are socially relevant for the city's World Heritage status.

ARTISANS IN MIND

1. The signboard carver - Identified
2. The rattan weaver - Identified
3. The rattan & silk lantern maker - Identified
4. Paper glass lantern maker - Identified
5. The beaded slipper maker
6. A kebaya designer & tailor - Identified
7. The songkok maker - Identified
8. Calligrapher
9. Batik artist
10. Koran calligrapher / printer
11. A traditional gold/silversmith - Identified
12. An artist
13. A traditional spice-grinder
14. A traditional perfume
15. The hand-made jossticks maker - Identified
16. The master-cheongsam tailor
17. The clog-maker
18. The hand-made shoe-maker
19. Traditional paper model maker
20. A traditional weaver of mengkuang mats etc


Interested? You may contact PHT at 04-2642631 or phtrust@streamyx.com

Source : Penang Heritage Trust

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sarah Brightman-- One of my 'Passion'

sToday I am going to digress a little on to something that is not Malaysian specific. Just wanted to share about one of my passion which is music. One of my favourite singers is Sarah Brightman. She became well known when she played the lead role in "Phantom of the Opera". One of the few early albums that I have are Eden, Dive,Time to Say Goodbye,...etc. Some people may say her voice is shrilly, but one thing I admire about her, is her ability to push the boundaries to fuse and re-introduce songs from different genre from the classics to border-line new age, to make it contemporary to the times.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Transformer 2 : Revenge of the Fallen



I just watched the most recent Transformer sequel, "Revenge of the Fallen". The movie is about 2.5 hours long, and if I were to rate it, I would give it a 2/5. The special effects as usual is superb, and larger than life. However, the storyline is not so fluid, with lots of flashback as the movie tries to tell the story about the history of the ancestors of the Transformers, who inherited the Earth with the human race. This movie is rated PG-13, but I still see occasional censorship snips here and there, that makes me wonder what happened during that scene. Frankly, I feel that the Terminator Salvation movie is much better. Check out the Terminator Parody in my previous blog.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Tomato just turned Red..


My tomato plant which I planted from just a seed since beginning of the year has just turned red recently. Even in this hot weather, this plant is showing its resiliency in able to produce tomatos. I don't see a whole of bunch of them, but there are ~ 3 fruits budding so far. Just waiting for them to grow bigger and pluck them when they are ripe and juicy. hee hee.
See my previous blog in May on tips to grow a tomato plant in Malaysia.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Visit Penang ( UN World Heritage Site) Soft Launch from July


There will be a soft Launch of Visit Penang Year 2010 ~ 2012 with a number of programs. Some of them are listed here:
1) 1st July 2009. 8pm~11pm. Esplanade, Penang

In conjunction with the soft launch of VisitPenang Year 2010~2012, a diverse programme of performing arts featuring traditional dance performances by Kumpulan Kebudayaan Negeri Pulau Pinang (Penang Cultural Council), Temple of Fine Arts and Spring Production and Art Studios will showcase the unique culture and traditions of Penang.
Experience classic Malay, Chinese and Indian presentation in our open concert setting at Esplanade, absolutely Free.

2) Penang In Retrospect - Air Photo Exhibition
1st ~ 31st July 2009. 12pm. Queensbay Mall South Zone

"Penang in Retrospect" lets you examine the city from different perspective with its 60 carefully selected photos. Panoramic aerial view phogoraphy by Don Law, reveals traces of Penang history amid the development surrounding the old heritage and the new George Town.
See Penang from above, a treasure trove for anyone who loves Penang and photography.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Slow.... Streamyx Broadband


Lately, since Streamyx announced they did a major upgrade on their equipment or services, I see that my broadband is getting really slow. Anyone having the same problem?
I went to a website : http://www.speedtest.net/, to check my download speed to a server in KL, and the result is: 470kbps for download. ( It is slightly below my subscribed 512kbps). However, it still felt slow, so I tried with a server in the US i.e. San Francisco. And it just hanged for a while and moving at a very slow crawl and the speed is 30kbps!! My guess is that there is a big "traffic jam" going to the US gateways from Malaysia. Not sure what is causing the jam. Internet getting crowded with too much traffic, but limited bandwidth??

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New Malaysian Soul Singer to rival Norah Jones- Zee Avi


Just relax and listen to this petite Sarawakian lady with a silky voice.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Haze... An annual event



What else can I say except the "yearly" haze event is back in town. The top picture is taken on 20th June, while the bottom picture is take on 18th June. See my post on May 26th for how Penang looks like under clear sky. advice with this bad air quality is no heavy exercise, and drink lots of water, and write a letter to your Minister of Environment Yang "Berkhidmat" ( not Berhormat yet, since he has gotten my "hormat" yet) Douglas Uggah Embas. http://www.nre.gov.my/BM/Pages/home.aspx, and the Dept. of Environment .
For info. on the latest Air Pollution Index (API) : http://www.doe.gov.my/apims/. If you have $$ or the time, you can get away from here to somewhere where the air is clearer.




Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cendol == Great Dessert for Cooling You Down on a Hot Penang Day



This few days have been hot and humid in Penang. I guess even though we are in a tropical climate, there are just some months that are warmer than usual. Penang "Summer" will last from June till September. And the perfect way to quench your thirst and cool you down is a dessert called Cendol, which is made of coconut milk with shaved ice, black sugar ( gula melaka) and some green jelly-like made from screwpine leaves or pandan, and boiled red beans. It is sweet and is perfect dessert to cool you down on a hot day. The picture on the bottom is "Teochew"-style Cendol, which is very common here.
The most famous stall is at Keng Kwee Street, just of Penang Road near KOMTAR ( the tallest building in Penang) Here's the recipe: http://www.roseskitchenette.com/?s=chendol

Monday, June 15, 2009

Stock Recommendations by CIMB


Went to a market outlook talk by CIMB over the weekend. In nut shell, they started with a 4 slides disclaimer which says that they are not liable or responsible for anything they were presenting. Just spend less than hour there, and managed to get their top 5 recommended stocks i.e. AirAsia , Resorts, Gamuda, Lafarge and MRCB. The last 3 stocks are mainly construction related stocks which are supposed to benefit frm the Gov't stimulus plan. Sectors to avoid are Plantation, Insurance, Shipping and Tobacco. Hmm, just checked the directions of these 5 stocks today and only Lafarge gained while the rest were losers. Hard to predict which way the direction of the market since according to their technical analysis, the market is overbought, but on the other hand there are still buying support whenever there is a selloff, mainly due to large cash still parked outside ( mainly unit trust $), that are nibbling whenever there is a dip. Don't put too much faith in the market, as it has a mind of its own. One important rule, is " don't lose big and cut your losses if the market starts going south."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Old Farmer's Advice

AN OLD FARMERS ADVICE

* Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.

* Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.

* Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.

* Do not corner something that you know is meaner
Than you.

* It don't take a very big person to carry a Grudge.

* You cannot unsay a cruel word.

* Every path has a few puddles.

* When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

* The best sermons are lived, not preached.

* Most of the stuff people worry about ain't Never gonna happen anyway.

* Don't judge folks by their relatives.

* Remember that silence is sometimes the best Answer.

* Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get
Older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.

* Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't Bothering you.

* If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.

* The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever
Have to deal with, watches you from The mirror every mornin'.

* Always drink upstream from the herd.

* Good judgment comes from experience, and a
Lotta that comes from bad judgment.

* Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot
Easier than puttin' it back in.

* If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some
Influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Treat an Orphan to a "Night at the Museum"

Treat an orphan to a blockbuster ( From the Star)

DIE-hard fans of the ‘Night at the Museum 2’ can now watch the blockbuster movie for a good cause.

Pulau Tikus assemblyman Koay Teng Hai service team is providing the opportunity for film enthusiasts to watch their favourite movie not with their friends or loved ones, but with the less-fortunate children.

Koay said the tickets, priced at RM20 each, would entitle one to accompany one of the handicapped children or orphan to watch the movie on Sunday at Golden Screen Cinema in the Gurney Plaza shopping mall.

“Those who purchased the tickets must be present for a photograph session with the children at 10am before the movie and the photo will be given to them as souvenirs.

“We hope to create an awareness that the public should not neglect this unfortunate group as well as the need to improve the facilities for the disabled,” he told a press conference.

Koay said his service team had earlier went to the cinema to see if it was disabled-friendly. “Although the disabled could come all the way up to the cinema, still it is not convenient for them to attend a movie by themselves. They still need assistance,’’ he said, adding that the movie was sponsored by the Golden Screen Cinema operator.

Koay said the money collected would be used to buy popcorn and carbonated drinks for the children.

The remaining money after deducting the cost, will be distributed evenly to five welfare homes – Penang Cheshire Home, St Joseph Home, Handicap Children Centre, ‘‘Sekolah Kanak-kanak Terencat Akal’’ and Eden Handicap Service Centre. Those interested to participate can call 012-4883227 or 04-226 3227.






Thursday, June 11, 2009

Budget Air Travel to Penang



I am currently planning a trip from Penang to Europe. And since the Malaysian Ringgit is "puny", I explored and looked for the cheapest airfare available, browsing online and checking with travel agents. I find that you get better airfare deals via online compared to agents. One tour that I was looking at from Cosmos, was quoted US$1450. This was fine, but the local agent told me I need to pay using a "slightly" higher exchange rate, i.e. US$1=Rm$3.65! Last I checked, the exchange rate was $3.53. What the #$*? ( Pardon my language) :P I went online, and for the same tour I get a discounted price of US$1213. ( A savings of US$237 plus with the correct market exchange rate).
The cheapest budget airline now is via our own Malaysian pride "AirAsia" airline (http://www.airasia.com/). However, this is a no frills flight with narrow seats and no entertainment on board, and you will have to purchase your own meals. Of course the flight only goes from KLIA- London Stansted Airport. I found that there are also other viable alternative other than AirAsia, especially if you plan to leave from Penang, and not have to go down south to KL. You just have to book an AirAsia flight frm Penang to Bangkok, Thailand. ( Cost is about RM$100/pax), and then take Air Berlin from Bangkok, which flies to Dusseldorf, Germany, and from there you can continue on to London, or other major cities in Europe. You just pay a little extra but you get meals, better entertainment on board, and more time friendly. It works for me especially for my return trip from London to Penang, since the flight touches down in Bangkok in the morning, and you can take the direct flight from Bangkok to Penang via AirAsia in the afternoon. MAS is having some really cheap seats nowadays for a full service airline, but the seats go real fast. Check their websites, and try to book at least 3 months or more in advance to get good deals.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Horse Show.. More than just horses



The Horse Show over last weekend was an enjoyable event catering for everyone esp. families as they do not only have horses to show, but many entertaining acts such as jugglers, clowns, and even have snakes. Horse rides for kids were popular judging from the long queue. As with most other shows, there were lots of booth selling and advertising almost everything under the sun e.g. water filter, jewelry, " Boost Yr Kid I/Q" program, massage,...etc. A few charity organizations were also selling handicrafts. Judging from the crowd, there were a number of outstation folks from other parts of Malaysia, and even one of the very sporting kids who won the hula-hoop competition was from Singapore ( see picture below). Overall, it was great fun, so don't miss the next show next year.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Express bus fares are up 30% nationwide

By SARBAN SINGH ( Source : The Star)

SEREMBAN: Express bus fares are already up 30% nationwide.

The Government has allowed a one-month surcharge for express bus fares during Hari Raya last year, and never revoked, to be made permanent.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the increase would be “most minimal” and not hurt consumers and the exact quantum would be announced soon.

Express bus companies were only allowed to impose the surcharge for a month during Hari Raya last year but the government allowed an indefinite extension following appeal by operators.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said since the government had allowed operators to impose the surcharge since then, it cannot allow another hike in quick succession.

Citing an example, he said the one-way bus fare for the Seremban-Kuala Lumpur route which used to be RM4.70 before the surcharge was imposed was increased to RM6 during the Hari Raya period. This was not reduced since then.

He was talking to reporters after handing over taxi permits to 73 individuals from the state here.

Nazri said the Commercial vehicles Licensing Board was in the final stages of coming up with the new fare increase structure for buses and taxis.

“We are getting feedback from the relevant ministries and once this is done, I will get the final approval from the Cabinet before announcing it,” he said.

On a separate matter, Nazri warned bus and taxi operators not to allow foreigners to drive their vehicles.

He said both operator, be it an individual or a taxi driver would be slapped with a RM300 compound each if caught.

“I have friends who tell me that they are greeted with “nak ke mana pak” (where do you wish to go Sir) by Indonesian taxi drivers at KLIA.

“Also, we have Pakistani cabbies who drive around KL not knowing where KLCC is,” he said adding that this was bad for the image of taxi drivers.

He said the problem was serious and that the CVLB would not compromise with operators caught committing the offence.

Asked why the CVLB would give two warnings to such operators instead of automatically revoking their permits, Nazri said the board did not wish to be too strict as some of the operators had loans to service.

“If they are unable to service their loan, even the banks will suffer. But we would not compromise on the RM300 compound each for both parties,” he said.

Nazri said the CVLB received 7,586 applications for permits from individual taxi drivers when the “application window” was opened between July and Oct last year.

The board approved half the applications with 2,897 issued in the Federal Territory, Selangor and Negri Sembilan alone.

He said since the government now allowed taxi drivers to use their vehicles for up to 10 years from seven previously, they could also apply for loans from Mara, Bank Rakyat and SME Bank which provided lower interest rates.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Penang State Symphony Orchestra on June 10th

The Penang State Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (PESSOC) is an orchestra and choral group funded by the state of Penang, Malaysia, with a wide-ranging repertoire that emphasizes Western classical music. The resident conductor is Austrian-trained Japanese, Jascha Shimano. There will be a performance this Wednesday. Details below:
Date: 10th June 2009

Time: Opens: 7.30pm / Starts: 8:00pm

Venue: Dewan Sri Pinang Auditorium, Penang

Tickets: RM10 / RM20

Music Director / Conductor: Jascha Y Shimano

Enquiries: Penang State Symphony Orchestra & Chorus Office

Tel: 04-2622462 or 012-5622117

Program:

Mendelssohn Barthody, Jakob Ludwig Felix (1809 - 1847) - The Fingal's Cave Overture, Op.26

Haydn, Joseph (1732 - 1809) - Sinfonia No. 94 "Paukenschlag / Surprise", G-Dur

Bizet, Georges (1939 - 1875) - Ouverture "Carmen"

Offenbach, Jacques (1819 - 1880) - "Orpheus in the Underworld" Overture

Rossini, Giachino (1792 - 1868) - "The Thieving Magpie" Overture, "The Barber of Seville" Overture, "Wilhelm Tell" Overture
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Friday, June 5, 2009

Penang to go green every Monday starting next month

Penang to go green every Monday starting next month. A good small step forward for Penang. Way to go!
By ANN TAN

GEORGE TOWN: Penang will make every Monday a “No plastic bag day” from next month in a bid to become the country’s first ‘green’ state.

It is learnt that shoppers who do not bring their own reusable bags will be charged 20 sen for each plastic bag when making purchases from shopping complexes and hypermarkets.

The money collected from the sale of plastic bags will go to the fund to help the state’s hardcore poor, a state government source said.

State Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said shopping complexes and hypermarkets have agreed to the state government’s initiative but there must be wide publicity to make it a success.

The state had distributed declaration forms to shopping complexes and hypermarkets to secure their commitment to the “No plastic bag day”, he told reporters after chairing a meeting with some 20 shopping centre representatives.

Phee said the first batch of “No plastic bag day” posters would be handed out to shopping centres a week before the end of the month.

Among the issues raised during the meeting were the high cost of giving out eco-bags and whether it was appropriate to use them for fresh produce.

Source : The Star Newspaper
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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Free Course by the Govt

The gov't of Malaysia is offering free course for any Malaysians mainly for ICT specific course.
MSC Malaysia via its K-Workers Development Initiatives (KDI) is driving the provision of last mile skills training to potential knowledge workers (k-workers) for the ICT industry. Trainings are currently done through partnership with training providers appointed by Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC).

One example below of one of the program:
MSC Malaysia Job Camp : ITO Training - 60 days
Part A : Foundation
Part B : Application / Web Development Specialisation
(J2EE / VB.NET / PHP / ASP.NET / Oracle)
Part C : Hands-On Project
Part D : Soft Skills & Software Engineering Concepts

Requirements :
* Available k-workers (fresh graduates,
unemployed, in-between jobs or retrenched)
interested in a career in the ICT industry
* Malaysian citizen
* Diploma/Degree holders in ICT-related fields
* Minimum CGPA 2.5 and above
* Attend full time training (duration ranges from 10 to 60 days)

Check out the website for details: http://kdi.mscmalaysia.my/Main.action

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Durian Season!

It's Durian Season in Penang! I love eating it. Some don't like the taste and smell. I guess you need to get accustomed to it. Someone actually compiled a guide on the different types of Durian, which a lot of the great ones came from Penang. The plantation owners have been experimenting with different durians types, coming up with many unique durian characteristics esp. the flavour, and color. Here's a run down on the different famous ones:

D11 (pic above) : It has creamy yellow flesh with a pleasant taste and subtle smell.
D604 : Cultivated by the late Mr. Teh Hew Hong of Sungai Pinang, Balik Pulau. It is sweet, and has some 'body' to it as the seed is small.
D600: Also from Sungai Pinang in Balik Pulau. The flesh as a bittersweet taste, with a touch of sourness.

D700: Slightly darker flesh and harder than D600. Crispy, and the smell is not very strong
Ang Sim: It has soft and sweet flesh, with dark yellow colour. Very nice aroma.
Khun Poh: Named after the late Mr. Lau Khun Poh. It has a beautiful orangy flesh, with a slightly bitter-sweet taste and very heavy aroma.

Hor Loh (Water Gourd Durian): One of my favourites! It is very soft, dry and slightly bitter, with a sharp smell. It was cultivated at Brown Estate at Sungai Ara. It's name comes from its appearance resembling a 'Hor Lor' ( pumpkin). If the durian hits the ground hard, the flesh tends to be bitter.

Ang Heh ( Red Prawn Durian): Another popular durian. Originated from Pondok Upeh, Balik Pulau. It is round, and the orange reddish flesh is very aromatic, and soft with a bitter-sweet taste.
Yah Kang ( Centipede Durian): It has a whitish flesh, and the taste is superb and milky. The name 'yah kang' means centipede, which is due to the many centipedes found at the foot of the tree.
Well, there are many more with unique names that reflects its characteristics or even named after famous celebrities e.g. Jackie Chan. Go ahead and experiment, and see which are your favorites.
Update (2nd July 09) : The author just discovered that the information and pictures that he received via email was from http://www.asiaexplorers.com/malaysia/penang_durian.htm
And he would like to acknowledge the source.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Air France Passenger Jet feared crashed with 228 souls on board

Even though this is not related to anything Malaysian, my heart goes out to the many lives which will be impacted from this incident. 228 souls were on board of the airplane. Nothing much I can say except a little prayer for the many families.

Horse Show in Penang ( Good for some Action Photo Shoots)


There will be a horse show at the Penang Turf Club, this Friday till Sunday ( 5th-7th June).
It is an Equestrian Event with competitions in dressage, carriage riding etc. Apart from these competitions, there will be pony rides and carriage rides for the public. A carnival air will prevail with clowns, stage shows for children, food and games stalls. There will also be an exhibition of various types of horses and ponies to educate the public on the equine industry.
It should be fun. I have never ridden a horse before. I rode an elephant once in Thailand, but I am pretty sure a horse shld be more fun. At least I shld as a horse doesn't have a trunk that likes to splash unmentionables on its rider.
The admission is free but the rides will cost ~ $2.
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Monday, June 1, 2009

Little Penang Street Market + Matters of the Heart


Since this Sunday was the last Sunday of the month, I decided to visit the "Little Penang Street Market" which is held at Upper Penang Road ( right across the E & O Hotel), every last Sunday of the month. This market is run by a committee of volunteers whose main aim is to showcase Penang's crafts, arts and culture, since July 2006. It is a perfect place to look for bargains and unique crafts and even some antiques.

Later, decided to have lunch at one of the Steak House nearby, but was stopped at the entrance. Apparently, someone just had a heart attack while having lunch. Red meat was known to be bad for the heart, but didn't realize it has an immediate effect. So, I just mooze along to another restaurant right across the street at the Continental Hotel, which is popular for its reasonably priced food. It has a very latin name, i.e. " SALSA". I opted for the set lunch which came with mushroom soup, main dish ( usual choice of fish, chicken, beef, spaghetti), dessert, and a glass of juice. Total came out about RM$15 including tax. Not bad price for a set lunch at a restaurant in town.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Stuffing Your Face in Penang ( Article frm a local food buff)

Stuffing your face in Penang
PENANG By HELEN ONG
Ready for a food binge this school holidays? Try our gourmet trail in Penang for the best bites.

IT’S amazing there aren’t more people with weight problems up here, considering all the good food we have. Penangites don’t just have breakfast, lunch and dinner; that’s for ordinary folk elsewhere. We have elevenses and a teatime snack, and let’s not forget a bit of siew yeh (supper) to take us through to the next morning.

If you’re planning a weekend trip here soon during the school holidays, it might mean you have just two short nights with but one full day and a bit of time on either side to achieve your objective: stuff your face.
Dip and eat: Two little sisters tucking into a bit of Lok Lok supper in Gurney Drive.

However, despair not. With a well-planned campaign – none of this, “What do you want to eat?” “I don’t know. What do you want to eat?” lark – you can squeeze in as many as 12 opportunities to indulge!

There is no shortage of outlets for you to visit; the only limitations are wallet size, stomach space and cholesterol level. But hey, it’s not something you do every day, right? So here’s a tip: forget the diet and health kick! And pack only loose clothing. This is one way of pigging out in Penang.

Where does one start? Let’s assume you drove, so having just crossed the bridge, it would make sense to start in that part of town. The Genting Coffee Shop in Island Glades for lunch would be in order. They are famous for their Chee Cheong Fun and Hokkien Mee.

It is wise to relax after a big meal, so a gentle amble in one of our many shopping malls will help the food settle. Retail therapy is a good way of getting over any of that “Oh dear, I’ve eaten too much ...” feeling.

However enjoyable shopping is, it does take a lot out of one so as teatime approaches, sustenance will once again be required. This time round, head for one of the Mamak stalls at the corner of Jones and Kelawei Roads for a rejuvenating fragrant plate of Mee Goreng or Mee Rebus, together with some Pasembur (one must, after all, ensure the requisite roughage is consumed).

For dinner, how about a fragrant nyonya meal? Situated along Lorong Abu Siti, off Macalister Road, are two of our popular restaurants: Nyonya Breeze run by Auntie Rosie; and Mama’s where Ruby and her sisters are supervised by their formidable mother. Tuck into some delicious sambal or Jiu Hu Char, an Otak Otak or two washed down with some home-made nutmeg cordial.

As night wears on, take a short stroll along Gurney Drive, where the aroma of food from the stalls that pack the place will bring on another appetite. At times like these, a light repast is necessary; not too heavy that you can’t sleep but enough to last you till morning. A bowl of Kuey Teow T’ng or some Lok Lok would fit the bill. Or both.

In the morning, tuck into a typical Penang breakfast of Chee Cheong Fun, doused with its characteristic sweet, thick black hey ko sauce, at the Seow Fong Lye Café in Macalister Lane, off Burmah Road.

No trip to Penang would be complete without a visit to one of our great Nasi Kandar outlets, and Clear Line in town is a place to consider.

Rice can be filling, so this may be one afternoon to forego tea. But if you feel there is room, then head for Tanjung Tokong where you’ll find Rajah who serves up a mean Assam Laksa from his mobile stall just outside the shops in Prima Tanjung every afternoon. Make sure you soak up the delicious sour fishy soup with a length or two of Popiah Chee (deep-fried spring rolls), and don’t forget to take away a piece or two of his nyonya kueh.

As evening approaches, Batu Ferringhi will beckon. A surfeit of hawker food, delicious though it is, may mean this is a good time to try one of the many restaurants here.

After the meal, an hour or so of browsing through the stalls, haggling over a few “genuine” fakes, will be quite pleasant.
Popular snack: Ah Kheng’s (pic left) home-made nyonya kueh is packed out every afternoon.

And what better way to celebrate your bargains than to finish the night with a spot of supper at the Long Beach Hawker Centre. A bowl of Wendy’s Hokkien Mee wouldn’t go amiss.

The next morning, queue up for the famous Sisters’ Char Kuey Teow in Macalister Road. Be warned, though: like many other popular places in Penang, it will be crowded and so it’s wise to get there early. Failing that, try the Hin Leong Cafe across the road, which offers a good selection of local favourites.

Before you head for home, drop by the plethora of hawker stalls at Batu Lancang Market, off Green Lane, as you go towards the bridge. Here, Ah Kheng’s home-made nyonya kueh is the talk of the town, and his place is packed out every afternoon.

As this meal will have to keep you going until the next visit, take the opportunity to OD in a last taste of Penang. Bon Appetit!

Helen Ong loves Penang and food, not necessarily in that order. Check out her website www.helenong.com.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Chu-Char" ( Home Cooked Dishes with Rice) in Town

There is a popular "Chu-Char" ( Home Cooked Style Dishes with Rice) Restaurant that has pretty good seafood. The name of the restaurant is " Weld Quay Tree Shade Seafood Restaurant". There is a big tree right in front of the entrance, so I guess that it was named because of the tree. One of my favorite dish is their softshell crab dish, and their baked tofu. They are located just right across the ferry terminal, and they are open for lunch and dinner. Try it and give your comments.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Comedy Court - A Singhalese and Tamil Malaysian Comedy Duo




Comedians Allan and Indi of Comedy Court take on the Malaysian social/political scene in their unique satirical style. Check out their website: http://www.comedycourt.com.my/watchvideo.html

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Favorite Hawker Dishes... Laksa


Penang is known as a food paradise as it has great food everywhere at very reasonable prices. The hawker food is sold in mobile carts which are not so mobile anymore. They stay put at sites designed to house all these food at a single place, so that everyone gets to pick and choose their favorite dishes. Of course, if you are looking for the very best of each type of hawker food, then you will need to do some hunting. Of course, opinion varies on which are the best depending on one's preference. One of my favorite dish is LAKSA. It is made of fish( mackerel or wolf herring) and tamarind, that adds the sour flavor. If u have not had fish soup before, you might not be accustomed to the taste. It actually is quite healthy i.e. low fat and garnished with mint leaves, ginger buds, chili, shallots, and lemon grass. There are many good laksa places in Penang. A few of my favorite places are at the Ayer Itam Market, Coffee Shop at the junction of Gottlieb Rd/Burma Road.
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