Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Famosa Resort - Part 2

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We started our final day in A Famosa with breakfast at WaterWorld. As expected, the menu was exactly the same. Can't complain much, I just forced the Western breakfast up to my throat. Our final activity would be a visit to the Animal World Safari. The ticket costs RM45 for adults and RM35 for kids. Quite expensive in my opinion.

Before we went in, my son seemed so eager to have his pic taken with the orangutan. Not to disappoint him, I allowed him to do so. Here's the result:

We then proceed to the entrance of Animal World. Started the trip by watching the elephant show. We were quite impressed with the elephant capability to shoot the hoops from downtown!!

We later continued the trip by hopping on the Safari truck. It was a 20 mins journey around the park and we were shown all the animals there. A lot of deers there. Perhaps for the lions and tigers :)

The lions seemed a bit lazy when the truck approached them. The truck driver need to spurt some water from his water bottle to wake them up. However the tiger looked more aggressive. He tried to chase us by leaping towards the truck. That make the girls in the truck screamed in fear. Luckily nothing bad happened. We then finished the trip by driving thru the giraffe and zebras area.

Our next program was the animal show. It took us quite a while to get to the show area from the point we disembarked the truck. Nothing to shout on the show as the trainers were trying to hard to please the audience. The slapstick comedy shown by the human (not the animals) were somewhat against my likings. We left before the show was over as my daughter was more interested to ride the pony. The pony ride cost RM4 where the kids were taken to a half a circle ride. Another rip-off as the ride took less than 30 seconds to complete.

We then dashed off to the final show of the day, the bird show. I have to admit that before the show I have predicted this show to be the dullest of all. After all what can birds do? How wrong am I. The bird show instead turned out to be the most entertaining. There was a parrot from South America that can sing Happy Birthday! I was totally impressed.

We finished the tour by taking the lunch from the cafe (it comes with the ticket price) and heads out of the park feeling very tired but satisfied. So there u go. Some interesting places to be at in case u wish to go to A Famosa.

In conclusion, I would say there are a lot of things to do and enjoy although somewhat pricey.
Perhaps the Management could improve the food quality and varieties there. But most importantly, my kids seemed to enjoy themselves very much there.

Signing off at 12.20 a.m.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Merdeka Spirit

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This song is so catchy even a 4 year old kid can sing it albeit in her own lingo :)

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Famosa Resort

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Just got back from a 3D2N vacation at A-Famosa Resort. My kids as expected were looking forward at this trip since months ago.

The resort itself was humongous. With a size of 530+ acres, it took about 5mins from the bungalow we rent to the exit/entrance of the resort. I was looking to my odometer and noticed the distance from the bungalow and the exit was about 5km. Such a painful distance to travel.

We checked in on Tuesday, and was given a bungalow lot 1271. The place was quite spacious well equipped with a mini swimming pool at the front. Spent the rest of the evening in the pool. The only setback here was the pool depth. I think the depth was about 5 feet. Definitely not suited to the kids. My brave son swam in the pool himself with the aid of a tube of course, while my daughter forced me to carry her around the pool. Surprisingly my 8th moth old baby enjoyed herself in the pool, sitting in the tube without any fear on her little face.

Cowboy Town
That very night, we went to the Cowboy Town to see some shows. The entrance fee was RM30 for adults and RM25 for kids. Quite decent given that the counter ticket girl have an actress look wink wink :)

We were ushered in and were told that the first show was about to start. It was called the Red Indian show. Upon reaching the place, we noticed that most of the seats have been taken up. The macha guarding the place told us to move back as the fire produced from the showman could get to us if we stand too close. Nothing much on the show. Just a few Malaysian Red Indians drinking a lot of gasoline in their mouth and spurring it to the torch of fire held. It reminds me of Noraniza Idris show in her Juara Lagu cameo a few years back, where she belted a song in Iban if I'm not mistaken.

The next show is called A-Famosa Animal Parade. By this time we managed to find a seat. The show started of with a group of pigeons flying thru the 50 metre stretch. Then some baby tigers, followed with the elephants, horses etc. This was definitely better than the Red Indian show.

After the show the guests were offered to be photographed with the tiger cub. It was announced that the session is free of charge provided we did not use our personal camera. FOC? Too good to be true. It turns out that the photos were nicely pasted on the exit after the show and it cost RM21 per piece!

Anyway, the show ended with a 3 minute fireworks display. Definitely can't beat the firework show in Putrajaya but it was quite a display to behold. After the show we drove out to tapau some dinner and went to bed quite early in anticipation of more activity tomorrow....the Water World.

We started the day with a breakfast at the Seaside Cafe in WaterWorld. Unlike the typical breakfast vouchers where the patrons enjoys the buffet breakfast, it was more like an ala-carte breakfast where we need to choose either to have nasi lemak, western breakfast or fish porridge. The breakfast was bad. Nasi lemak didn't taste like nasilemak at all. We ended up disappointed. In the back of my mind I thought, oh no we'll be having the same menu tomorrow!

After breakfast, the kids urged me to quickly buy the tickets for WaterWorld. The tickets were priced RM40 for adults and RM25 for kids (the package came together with a set lunch). We rented a double tube at RM7 and started the day at the park in the Sand Beach. All went fine until we heard the sirens. What was that for? Apparently the siren was meant to indicate that there will be waves coming on. Sounds fun? Yes to my son but definetely not to my daughter. She cried when the waves started to push us to the "shore" and forced my wife to stay with her at the edge of the beach. Lucky me...I was spred this time. My son seemed to enjoyed himself throughout the ordeal. Rushing to deeper pond and waited patiently for the waves to push him to the shore. We spent more than an hour there.

We went to the other parts of the park. I was forced to push the tube around the Lazy River. It was quite a distance and by the time we finished, I could feel all the strain on my calf. By 12 o'clock my kids were getting tired and we packed ourselves to head for lunch. To our dismay, lunch was not ready and the sour-faced girl told us that lunch is only available at 12.30 p.m. What's the point of 12p.m. on the lunch voucher? After much haggling, she allowed us to take our lunch (it was 12.15 then). I bought another set of chicken rice at RM12 for the maid. Once again we were disappointed with the food quality. The chicken rice sucks big time. And there's no soup that went with it. How can u have chicken rice without the soup? Such a rip-off.

I'll write Part 2 of the trip tomorrow. Need to watch some footie on the tele.

Signing off at 11.20 p.m.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hedge Funds Prepare for Mass Redemption

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WSJ(8/15) Investors Mull How To Get Out Of Hedge Funds

By Jeff D. Opdyke and Eleanor Laise

......Investors who successfully withdraw money from a struggling hedge fund may still be at risk. If a hedge fund fails, in some cases a bankruptcy trustee or other investors may sue investors who have already redeemed money and try to force them to pay that money back into the fund, say Nixon Peabody's Mr. Mungovan and his co-chair of the firm's alternative investments litigation practice, Jonathan Sablone.

The trustee could argue that the hedge fund didn't value its assets correctly and that investors withdrew more money than they were entitled to, the lawyers say. This concept "may well apply to some of the fund failures we're seeing right now," because some funds involved with, say, subprime-mortgage-related securities may have a hard time valuing their assets and could wind up in bankruptcy, Mr. Mungovan says. It's "the Hotel California" syndrome, he says. "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Budget 2008 Preview

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This preview is taken from Asembankers Equity Research

A non-event or more good news to come …?

Budget 2008, to be tabled in Parliament on 7 Sep 2007, appears to have been overtaken by numerous announcements of tax and non-tax measures in the past one year. So what’s left? With the next General Election in mind and elevated risks on the external front, we expect Budget 2008 to be people friendly and supportive of domestic demand.

Topping our list of expectations is the reduction in personal income tax rates – which was last cut in Budget 2002 – following the corporate income tax rate cut announced in Budget 2007, plus a host of “grassroot goodies” to bolster disposable income and address today’s higher cost of living. In addition, the Government’s net development spending allocation is expected to be ramped up to RM50b next year (2007E: RM42b) given the roll out of major infrastructure projects (worth >RM1b each) under the 9MP, which should be good for the construction sector.

We expect the property sector – especially the mass market and the REITs segments – to be a MAJOR beneficiary of this Budget. There may also be measures and incentives to “complement” corporate income tax cuts for 2008 announced in Budget 2007, aimed at spurring investment activities, especially in the launched and soon-to-be announced regional economic initiatives (IDR, NCER, Eastern Corridor, East Malaysia), and activities in high growth and high-potential economic sectors and industries such as modern agrobased and halal food industries as well as energy sector, namely oil & gas, biofuel and renewable energy (RE).

We are not ruling out a “sin tax” hike in Budget 2008, this time hitting the brewery sector. In addition, for cigarettes, there may be announcements on minimum price per pack to curb smoking among the young, despite an increase in excise duties on cigarettes in July.

Anything Goods and Services Tax (GST)-related would be a big surprise in Budget 2008 – we think this is highly unlikely. However, we are not ruling out an announcement on GST next year after the General Election given the possibility of GST being implemented as early as 2009, and in view of the fact that the Government now has acquired the habit of announcing tax measures outside of the Budget.

Key potential beneficiaries of Budget 2008 are REITs (top picks: Axis REIT, Quill Capital Trust, Atrium REIT, construction companies (top pick: WCT Engineering), property developers (top picks: Sunway City, Sunrise) and consumer companies (top picks: KFC, Aeon, Amway).

Key beneficiaries of the regional economic development initiatives are UEM World for the IDR; EPIC and Petronas Gas for Eastern Corridor; Hock Seng Lee and WCT Engineering for East Malaysia; and MRCB, UEM Builders and Equine Capital for the Northern Corridor.

The preview can be summarized in the following table. Click on it to enlarge:

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Joke of The Day - 2

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Indon, Bangla & Malaysian

An Indonesian, a Bangladeshi and a Malaysian are in a bar one night
having a beer.

The Indonesian finishes his beer and suddenly throws his glass in the
air, pulls out a gun and shoots the glass to pieces. He brags, "In Jakarta our glasses are so cheap that we don't need to drink from the same one twice."

The Bangladeshi obviously impressed by this, drinks his beer, throws his glass into the air, pulls out his gun and shoots the glass to pieces. He says, "In Dhaka we have so much sand to make the glasses that we don't need to drink out of the same glass twice either."

The Malaysian, cool as a cucumber, finishes his drink, throws his glass into the air, pulls out his gun and shoots the Indonesian and the Bangladeshi. He says "In KL we have so many Indon and Bangla that we don't need to drink with the same ones twice."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

July's Portfolio Review

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July was not a very good month for stock punters. Subprime issues, liquidity crunch and hedge funds losses, all these factors have weaken the KLSE considerably (about 4% m-o-m) change.

Yours truly is not exempted from the sell-offs. My portfolio gains shrunk by 30% compared to the month of June. The weak sentiment in Dow Jones is definitely not an aid for the market to recover. Expect to see further sell-offs for the new few weeks.

In terms of strategy, I was caught before the sell-offs took place. Was away during those days, and did not manage to execute the proper take loss strategy apart from selling Salcon a day before the crash. I was lucky I still got some of the holding power albeit that capability is depleting on daily basis.

There were a couple of new counters added in my portfolio compared to last month. In July, I purchased Melati, SapuraCrest, Liqua & KHSB. Apart from TSH, all of the stocks in my portfolio are in red:

Lets hope for a better recovery for the month of August.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Free Blog Accesories

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I got this from CariGold forum. Some handy blog accessories for u to liven up your blog. Most of the listings below are free. So go ahead and enjoy yourself with it. Credit goes to Fazarudin for sharing this.


Awesome MP3 Player


Signing off at 4.44 p.m.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Joke of The Day

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There's a saying that laughter is the best medicine. From today, I'll start posting the joke of the day for us to enjoy. All contributions are welcomed.

the 11th Husband....

A young man married a beautiful woman who had previously divorced 10 husbands. On their wedding night, she told her new husband to "Please be gentle; I'm still a virgin".

"What?" said the puzzled groom. "How can that be if you've been married ten times.?"

"Well, husband#1 was a Sales Representative; he kept telling me how great it was going to be.

"Husband # 2 was in Software Services; he was never really sure how it was suppose to function; but he said he'd look into it and get back with me.

"Husband # 3 was from Field Services; he said that everything checked out diagnostically but he just couldn't get the system up.

"Husband # 4 was in Telemarketing; even though he knew he had the order, he didn't know when he would be able to deliver.

"Husband # 5 was an Engineer, he understood the basic process but he wanted three years to research, implement, and design a new state of the-art method.

"Husband #6 was from Administration; he thought he knew how but he wasn't sure whether it was his job or not.

"Husband # 7 was in Marketing; although he had a product, he was never sure how to position it.

"Husband # 8 was a Psychiatrist; all he did was talk about it.

"Husband # 9 was a Gynecologist; all he did was look at it.

"Husband # 10 was a Stamp Collector; all he ever did was........ God I miss him.

" But now that I've married you, I'm so excited".

"Wonderful", said the husband, "but why?

"Your're with the "GOVERNMENT"..

This time I KNOW I'M gonna get


FOMC Statement

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The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 5 1/4 percent. Economic growth was moderate during the first half of the year. Financial markets have been volatile in recent weeks, credit conditions have become tighter for some households and businesses, and the housing correction is ongoing. Nevertheless, the economy
seems likely to continue to expand at a moderate pace over coming quarters, supported by solid growth in employment and incomes and a robust global economy. Readings on core inflation have improved modestly in recent months. However, a sustained moderation in inflation pressures has yet to be convincingly demonstrated. Moreover, the high level of resource utilization has the potential to sustain those pressures. Although the downside risks to growth have increased somewhat, the Committee's predominant policy concern remains the risk that
inflation will fail to moderate as expected. Future policy adjustments will depend on the outlook for both inflation and economic growth, as implied by incoming information.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; Timothy F. Geithner, Vice Chairman; Thomas M. Hoenig; Donald L. Kohn; Randall S. Kroszner; Frederic S. Mishkin; Michael H. Moskow; William Poole; Eric Rosengren; and Kevin M. Warsh.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

How To Clean A Mouse

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Got this from a friend of mine. Have a go. It works!

clean a laser mouse

An illustrated guide about cleaning a slow and sluggish mouse in 2 seconds with just a piece of white paper.

If you are using an external laser or optical mouse with your laptop or desktop computer, you probably know the problems that surface after using the mouse for couple of weeks - the mouse feels sticky or is hard to move especially when you are using it without the mouse pad, the pointer on the screen may not move smoothly with the mouse or jump.

Most of these mouse problem are because of the dust that sticks to the bottom of the mouse surface at points that are in constant touch with the table or the mouse pad - see the red arrows in the above picture - the white circles are actually made from accumulated dust that is disrupting the smooth movements of the mouse.

To solve this problem, hold the mouse over a piece of white paper and gently (but firmly) drag the mouse from the top edge of the paper to the bottom as shown in the picture below.

You will see a trail of grease like substance on the paper - you can also repeat the process sideways - just move the mouse on paper from left to right. You will enjoy using mouse once again as all the wax is transferred from the bottom of the mouse to the paper.

It is advisable that you also clean the grease or wax sticking to your mouse pad or table surface (when not using a pad) at lease once a week. Dip a piece of cloth in mild soap water solution and gently rub - wipe with a clean dry cloth or tissue paper.

The trick is illustrated using Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 8000 with Intellipoint software but should work just perfect with any mouse including those for the Mac.

Signing off at 11.55 p.m.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Once Covered Always Covered

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I received a notice from my HR regarding some outstanding contribution to SOCSO. I never realized that I'm a SOCSO member until I read the memo. Under SOCSO regulation:

1. Employees who have been previously registered and have contributed to SOCSO must compulsorily continue to contribute.

2. Even if the present wage exceeds RM3,000 per month. These employees will be protected in line with the principle of "once covered always covered" to preserve their rights accumulated under the Invalidity Pension Scheme.

3. Employees who receive a monthly wage exceeding RM3,000 and who have not previously registered or paid contributions to SOCSO are given an option to be covered under the Act. Both the employer and employee have to consent to the coverage, by filling the necessary form.

So there u go. Some handy tips on SOCSO. So are u guys covered?

Signing off at 11.30 p.m.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Footer Adsense?

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I've just added the google adsense to be placed at the end of my each posting. You can get the code from google and paste it into your setting - under footer category. Apparently it'll will place an ad at the end of each posting. Not sure how it works and how effective it'll be though. We'll keep u posted on this.

Signing off at 10.15 p.m.