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...

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.