Monday, August 29, 2011

Parody election video

Singaporeans have been coming up with parody videos about their election experience and have been sharing them online. You need to understand mandarin to understand this video...

Enjoy! The joke came about from the way he pronounces some of the words.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

CPA Curtin Borneo Business Challenge Results

The CPA Curtin Borneo Business Challenge came to a close yesterday evening. The top three prices winners...
Third place went to non Curtin students.
Second place... from Curtin
Champion... from Curtin
Group photo of everyone. To see all the photos, click here.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Blood donation today

Are you fearful of blood donation? Actually, it is not that bad... the experience is almost painless! First...
They pricked your finger to get some blood sample to ensure that you have enough blood and...
check the blood group if it is your first time. Remember to ask them to prick the side of the finger instead of the tip as it is a lot less painful. Well, there is actually no pain!
If everything goes well, you will proceed to take the blood pressure and then the actual procedure... purposely blurred here just in case you fainted!
She is obviously frightened because she expected pain! Later she told her friends that there was no pain as an injection is given first!
The group from the NGOs - Red Crescent, Lion Club (organiser), etc
Melilea was there to give out goodies also.
The rest of my photos will be posted on my facebook later.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Instant Nescafe from the tape

When I switched on the water tape this morning at 8:30AM, I was shocked to see how dirty is our water system! So, I quickly get a white bowl to collect the water...
See how brown is our water...
After running for two minutes...
As I pour out the water, I noticed this sediment in the bowl!

Update: I found out that someone is maintaining the water pipe leading to out house. That explain the dirty water!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lotus and Lilies

These were pictures of lily and lotus taken near the General Hospital in Miri.
Lotus... the major external difference is the center part. Lily is available in pink also. To see more of these photos, click here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fruit picking

I was driving from Leeds to Harrogate and came across a fruit/vegetable farm. The season was on for all the berries. So, we stopped by and decided to see whether we can pick our own fruit... at 4+ pounds per kg. Of course we are not allowed to eat as we pick otherwise the farmer will lose money and eventually have to close down the farm!
This is my favorite .. savoy cabbage. We don't see this in Miri but I think it is possible to buy in Singapore. I like this to be stir fry with bacon.
Strawberry picking. Do you know that strawberry plant is very small?
Closeup view of strawberry....
We didn't pick a lot.
Raspberry ... another very small plant.
Pumpkin ... look, the plant is so small and bear so many fruits! Over here, the creeper crawls everywhere and bear few fruits. We should plant this here!
This is red currant (Thanks to Philip for the name) ... it is sour.
One English lady picked a whole basket of raspberry for making jam.
Gooseberry ... another sour fruit.
More strawberry, they are sweet.
Rhubarb ... the stalk is for making pie. My favorite also!

Monkey with AK-47

Ok, something to amuse yourself...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

CPA Curtin Borneo Business Challenge

    CPA Australia Student Charter (Curtin Sarawak) will be organising a CPA Australia - Curtin Borneo Business Challenge 2011 event on 27th August 2011 at Imperial Palace Hotel.

    This Borneo Business Challenge is a competition that involves undergraduates from public and private universities over the East Malaysia (Sarawak and Sabah). The competition will be jointly organized with CPA Australia.
    The objectives and Mission of this event are:
    • To Nurture the Keenness of Students about the Business World
    • To Encourage Networking among Undergraduates from different Universities
    • To Enable All Students to Show their Business Knowledge and Skills in A Healthy and Fair Competition
    • To Promote CPA Australia Program among Students
    If you are keen to participate, you may download the document by clicking here. If you are not keen, the prizes awaiting may motivate you:

    Champion: Cash prize of RM 2,000, trophies, and certificates of appreciation
    First runner-up: Cash prize of RM 1,500, trophies, and certificates of appreciation
    Second runner-up: Cash prize of RM 1,000, trophies, and certificates of appreciation

    The event:
    Stage One: Multiple Choice Question
    • Multiple choice questions done individually by each team member
    Stage Two: Situation Solving
    • Case study. Points will be awarded based on criteria
    • The 5 teams that get the highest points for Stage 1 and Stage 2 will proceed to the final stage.
    Final Stage: Buzz and Answer
    • Two hours. The team with the highest points will be the champion of the challenge!
    Facebook link:
    Forums - iLoveMiri:

    Financial sponsors: 
    1. CPA Australia - RM5000 (The main sponsors and also the co-organiser for the event)
    2. KPMG - RM2000
    3. Ernst and Young - RM1000

    To retire, you need at least RM1,000,000

    For young people, retirement seems to be so far away!  I remember that when I first started to work.... and that was 30 years ago, retirement or reaching 55 seems to be such a long way. I remember drawing my first salary of S$1000 and they were mostly used up by the end of the month. First month, I bought myself a watch costing S$230. I am still using it today. On my second month, I decided that I need to paint the whitewash wall of my room. The rest was history. At the end of a year working, I saved a little. I came to Miri to work.
    First, I decided that, I am not going to live on overdraft or bought anything on loan. So, I bought myself a small motorbike to travel to office. I saved enough and bought a Toyotal GL for RM19K. Then I went to learn how to drive!
    I read an article on The Star today and it is quite disturbing! To summarise:

    • Average EPF saving at retirement for most people is RM146K and 70%  of them used the whole lot in 3 years
    • Average life expectancy is 74 years - so 20 more years of living without income to "worry" about
    • If we spend about RM4000 a month, a million ringitt could last about 20 years
    • If you want to retire with a million ringgit, start saving and investing before 40. To play safe, start saving the day you start working.
    • Most Malaysia under-invest and under-save
    • If you want your money to grow faster, the return must be more than 4% inflation
    The big question: Are you willing to sacrifice short-term thrills for long-term value which helps to build up your saving and investment to exceed RM1 million?
    You can invest in properties, unit trust and others low risk investment.
    By the way, I am also an unit trust agent. If you are interested, please let me know and we can discuss.

    Flower and Landscape Photos from UK

    I have uploaded (to my facebook) some of my photos of landscape and flower taken during my trip to UK in July 2011. The photos were mostly taken in Wales. Click these links to view them: Landscape; Flower
    Hope you enjoy them!

    Saturday, August 20, 2011

    Our trees... going botak

    Now I understand why a few big trees were chopped down at my road and elsewhere! I read in the paper the other day that the contractor is paid RM250 per ton for cutting down trees!
    A few days ago, they brought in heavy equipment and blocked the busy road so that they can "trim" the trees. After someone complained in the newspaper, the trimming suddenly stopped. However, a few trees look like botak!

    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Air Asia Largest airport in Sarawak

    I am now sipping Starbucks coffee at the Kuching International airport and trying to figure out whether to continue...
    ... eating this blueberry cake with fork and knife or use my fingers! I dropped big chunks everywhere with fork and knife! Ok, you may say that I don't know how to use this thing, but never mind... This is not my topic today!
    As I arrived at the airport this morning, I thought I got to the wrong airport! The whole airport ...
    ... looks like an Air Asia airport with its signature red coloured logo, etc, everywhere! Not just on the outside, but ...
    ... also the inside!
    Their counters are brightly lit up and with lots of travellers!
    On the MAS side, it was dark and only partially lit up!
    The MAS side seems to be so deserted with passengers just walking pass it!
    This airport is also poorly lit up and strangely, they are using yellow light!
    ... ok, have to dash off to my turboprop airplane - will travel to Miri via Mulu! That is the extra tour I got for paying cheap rate.

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    What is the correct time?

    I always have the impression that digital stuff is accurate. So, when the authority replaced the 4-faced analogue clock at the seahorse roundabout in Miri, I was quite excited until two days ago!
    I was checking the time when I was on the flyover and to my horror, the three visible faces all showed different time! I am now more confused!
    I always thought that the 4-faces clock is synchronised. Such technology was available more than 30 years ago during the time of analague clock!
    I hope that whoever put such a clock up, will come out with a permanent solution soon. It is such a shameful thing that we can't even get simple thing like this right!

    Monday, August 08, 2011

    Shopping experiences in UK

    When it comes to shopping, I think the only limiting factor is money! The more the better! Choices could be an issue. I found some shortbread on the shelf at Steph's place. I asked her why is it that such nice cookie is not eaten... "Not nice. You can help to eat!" came the answer. Ok, in Miri, this shortbread would have cost a bomb! When we went to Scotland, the girls bought some Scottish shortbread. They said, "This is good!"... yes, no doubt about it. We all love it... it melts in your mouth! So, the "issue" here is the choices they have...
    ... if you think the shop/supermarket is expensive, then go to the open market. They are cheap and the quality is similar to what we get in the local Miri supermarket. For foreigner, we may be used to certain food. Do not worry...
    ... bean sprout at GBP1.50 (RM7.50) per kg.
    ...Chinese Spinach at GBP5.50 (RM27.50). I paid RM1 per kg here the other day. They normally cost around RM3/kg. So, with money, no problem to buy anything if you are dying for it!
    ... Still feeling deprived of food at home? Just pop in to the Chinese Supermarket! They have most thing you ever need.
    Pink Lady is reputed to be "the best" money can buy. They are fragrant and tasted ok. The colour is surely good. Available at Mark and Spencer at GBP3 for 8 pieces.
    Feeling hungry in the early morning and the fridge is empty?... worry not! Some Tescos open 24 hours! They have ways to reduce operating cost and help you spend everyday 24 hours a day in UK...
    ... self checkout! This system is too clever. Just buy and go to this machine to checkout ourselves. So human can go home at 10:00 PM and machines can continue to work.

    Friday, August 05, 2011

    Our Wales Caravan Holiday

    We arrived safely at Winllan Farm Caravans Holiday (N52deg06'41.9" W004deg11'02.2") in Lampeter, Wales. The setup is simply two caravans at GBP60 each per night. Of course we rented only one of them. Janice is the one who arranged everything. Don't be misled by the size....
    It may look small outside...
    ... but the space is well utilised. It is well equipped, in the kitchen... microwave, fridge, oven, cooker, plates, frying pans, knives, etc. We only need to bring our own food for cooking or eating! the sitting/dining room, ... a TV, 2 sofa beds. Heater is in every room.
    ... while Esther and Janice were busy cooking the dinner...
    ... I was watching Top Gear on TV who was trying to convert caravan into rail coaches pulled by a converted car to run on rail!
    The advantage of having two grown up girls travelling with us is that we never need to worry about food...
    ... They arranged everything, breakfast, lunch and dinner... Look at how cheap is goat milk in UK and compare with those in Miri.
    Although the caravan site is in the midst of farmland, the surrounding is beautiful...
    ... there are beautiful flowers around the site...
    ... birds ...
    ... sheeps and cattle ...
    ... and more flowers of all kinds!
    Meet the owners... Steve and Janette.
    For those who are safety conscious, I noticed that all their electrical appliances are tested...
    There are also smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
    I would recommend the place but you must be driving and have a SAT NAV (unless you read map). The place is clean and tidy and can easily accommodate 6 people.