Historical Labuan

Here again I am on Labuan soil for the second time this year. I was here in April and stayed at Sara Hotel. This time I stay at Waterfront Hotel, some distance out of the main town area. Waterfront is a four star hotel with quite good facilities. There’s a large swimming pool, gymnasium, health centre, and even a karaoke and lounge within the premise. However I am not very concerned about all those facilities as long as I can switch on my laptop and log onto the internet. When I stayed at Sara Hotel, I can surf from the comfort of my room. Of course there’s hotspot at the hotel and I think it is well connected at the lobby or coffee house next to it. I can get 1 bar and the signal is very weak. Therefore I found it not worth registering my hotspots account since I will not be connected round the clock.

Oooppps, I swayed away from the topic. Anyway, I am planning to take a round island tour today. FYI I am surfing from the internet cafe inside the TUDM Base in Labuan here.
I went together with Sulaiman, Kamal and Ardina. Our first stop was at The Chimney, one of the landmark of Labuan.

THE CHIMNEY

PEACE GARDEN

After visiting The Chimney we went to Peace Garden, a monument garden in remembrance of the surrender of the Japanese army during the 2nd World war.

Ten Athletes For European Training Stint

June 23, 2007 22:09 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 (Bernama) — The Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) will send 10 athletes for a one-month training stint in Bulgary as well as competing in various competitions in Europe this month.

Its vice-president, Karim Ibrahim said the training was in preparation for the 24th Southeast Asian Games in Korat, Thailand, in December.

“It’s one way of giving them the right exposure to high-level competitions as well as building their self-confidence,” he told Bernama when contacted here today.

Karim added that MAAU’s main objective was winning more medals than the previous Manila SEA Games in 2005.

He said that the final list of Malaysian athletes for the Korat Games would be announced by MAAU president and Perlis Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Shahidah Kassim in a month’s time.

The 10 athletes for the European training stint consisted of six men and four women competing in various field and track events.

The six male athletes are Mohd Robani Hassan (110m hurdles), Muhd Faiz Mohamad (110m hurdles), Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian (110m Hurdles), Mohd Syah Amri Md Suhaimi (Long Jump), Shahadan Jamaludin (400m hurdles) and Lee Hap Wei (High Jump).

While the women athletes are Moh Siew Wee (100m hurdles), Ngew Sin Mei (Long Jump and Triple Jump), Siti Hasdah (Hammer Throw) and Roslinda Samsu (Pole Vault).

He said Roslinda Samsu, who was the gold medalist in Pole Vault at the Manila SEA Games and had qualified for the Beijing Oylmpics next year, will undergo a special training arrangement in Germany under an Australian coach.

“They will depart to Bulgary on June 27, led by national head coach, Mohd Hanafi Latip.

“After the completion of the training, MAAU will evaluate their performance and finalise the potential medalists to represent Malaysia in the Korat SEA Games,” he said.

— BERNAMAPublish Post

Sindirian Terhadap Pasukan Bolasepak Kita

Kenyataan sinis penolong jurulatih pasukan dari negara Teluk itu, Abdulla Hassan Abdulla dengan menambah, “bola sepak anda tidak begitu bagus. Kami harap dapat membantu pasukan anda,” jelas ungkapan yang perlu menerbitkan rasa malu yang menggunung dalam setiap denyut nadi rakyat negara ini.

Demikian adalah petikan yang saya ambil dari Harakadaily. Sungguh memalukan rasanya. Ianya berlaku selepas pasukan negara mengalahkan pasukan Kemboja 6-0 di Stadium MPPJ dalam persiapan untuk Piala Asia.
Harian Metro hari ini malaporkan tentang perkara yang sama di bawah tajuk Malaysia Perlu Bantuan. Jika jurulatih negara berpuas hati dan penonton rasa gembira dengan kemenangan tersebut maka Harian Metro juga melaporkan seperti berikut.

Sememangnya kemenangan atas Kemboja itu tidak memberikan reaksi gembira kepada negara termasuk pegawai atasan FAM sendiri.

Semoga skuad Norizan akan menjadikan segala kritikan itu sebagai satu cabaran dan buktikan telahan mereka salah.

Travel Insurance

The Star today reported that the Tourism Ministry may require travellers leaving the country to have insurance coverage in a move to protect their loved ones. To enable this the Tourism Act will be amended. By imposing this regulation it will increase cost of traveling and it just benefit the insurance company. Even though accidents can happen anytime, but not always happens and the insurance coverage will not benefit the insured.

For example Transnasional charge 10 cents per passenger on its Express buses. 10 cents is not much and passengers pay without any question. Its a good move no doubt but every year how many times did we hear about accidents involving Transnasional buses and how many died? So the insurance all goes to the insurance company coffer and a certain percentage to Transnasional.

Many people today buy personal insurance coverage including medical insurance and some covered mishaps in foreign land. So why do they need to have another insurance coverage. It will be redundant. Public transport too have insurance coverage and does that not mean the passenger is already covered in case of accident happens.

Travel insurance should not be made compulsory but just voluntary. Ministers should not just ape what insurance companies suggest because in their mind it is money they are talking about. Then when an accident happens the process of getting the compensation is a hassle. They will always find ways to avoid paying the maximum. Car insurance is an example. I have been paying my insurance for the last 15 years and not a single cent did I claim from the insurance company. I am a good driver ka?

The Deputy Minister also said that travelers will also see travelers paying a surcharge to guard them against tour companies that go bust. Again why must the traveler be made to pay that to protect travel companies? If the travel companies go bust, then the company must be accountable. They are licensed do they? The travel agent should be the one to pay the deposit and be refunded if the group they are taking care of return safely to Malaysia.

AFC Cup 2007

7th – 29th July 2007

Venues:
Thailand – Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok
-Supachalasai Stadium, Bangkok
Vietnam– My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi
– Army Stadium, Ho Chi Minh City
Indonesia – Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta
– Jaka Baring Stadium, Palembang
Malaysia – National Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur
– Shah Alam Stadium, Selangor

FINAL – Gelora Bung Karno Stadium Jakarta on 29 July 2007

Click here for fixtures.
Click here for Groupings.
Click here for Teams.

Champions Youth Cup 07

Champions Youth Cup that was in the balance a few months ago is now going to land on Malaysian soil. This after Manchester United proposed visit was canceled since it coincide with the AFC Asian Cup where Kuala Lumpur is one of the venue. The happiest person in the issue must be YB Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, the Youth and Sports Minister who worked hard to make this competition a reality. NST quoted her as saying, “I would like to express the Government’s sincere thanks to Fifa president Sepp Blatter who has decided to give back the sanction by the world football governing bodies’ Executive Committee at its meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, yesterday,” .

The competition will be played from 5th t0 15th August 2007 at five venues Alor Setar, Kuantan, Malacca, Kuching and Kuala Lumpur and involving 7 stadiums. See fixtures here.

Participating clubs are here.

Sukan Bukan Lagi Main-main

Sukan bererti bermain secara terancang. Kalau pada satu masa dulu sukan sebagai satu aktiviti utuk menghabiskan masa senggang tetapi hari ini ia sudah boleh dijadikan sebagai satu sumber rezeki. Apabila seseorang itu melibatkan diri dengan sukan prestasi tinggi maka peluang untuk dia hidup atas pendapatan dari bersukan sudah terbuka. Walaupun demikian, bukan mudah untuk menjadikan sukan sebagai mata pencarian.

Di negara kita hanya beberapa sukan sahaja yang boleh dijadikan sumber rezeki. Bolasepak adalah merupakan salah satu sukan sedemikian tetapi pencapaian hendaklah sehinga boleh bermain untuk negeri masing-masing.

Bryan Nickson Lomas kini boleh memberikan tumpuan sepenuhnya terhadap latihan setelah kerajaan memberikannya elaun latihan bulanan sehingga beliau mengambil bahagian dalam olimpik di Beijing. Baru-baru ini Bryan telah menerima sebanyak RM 22,000 dari YB Menteri Belia dan Sukan kerana melayakkan diri ke Olimpik di Beijing. Wang itu adalah termasuk ganjaran kerana melayakkan diri ke Olimpik dan juga elaun bulanan selama 17 bulan sehingga Olimpik. Majlis Sukan Negara telah mengujudkan satu skim baru untuk memberikan elaun kepada atlet yang layak sebagai mengantikan elaun yang diberikan sewaktu projek Asia-Comm yang lalu.

Bryan menerima sebanyak RM5,000 dan bulanan RM1,000 sebagai tambahan elaun bulanan RM2,500 yang diterimanya sebelum ini sehingga Beijing 2008 bermula apabila melayakkan diri selepas menempatkan diri dalam kelompok lapan penerjun saingan akhir 10 meter papan anjal di Kejohanan Dunia Mac lalu

Sementara itu seorang lagi atlet negara yang layak ke Olimpik iaitu Roslinda Samsu pula dilaporkan tidak layan untuk menerima elaun berkenaan. Demikian dilaporkan dalam Berita Harian. Alasannya ialah kerana Majlis Sukan Negara tidak mengiktiraf kelayakan di bawah Kategori B.

Skim Insentif Sukan Olimpik adalah ganjaran daripada MSN untuk menggalak dan mendorong atlit negara bagi melepasi syarat kelayakan ke Beijing dengan lebih cepat dan tidak menunggu hingga saat akhir.

Namun ia hanya diberikan kepada atlit yang layak berdasarkan syarat kategori A yang ditetapkan badan induk dunia sukan masing-masing dan atlit yang berjaya ke Beijing berdasarkan kategori B dan ‘wild card’ tidak akan menikmati imbuhan ini. -Berita Harian.

Brunei Again

I will be visiting Brunei again for the 6th time from 15th – 20th Jun 2007. The first five time I did not write anything about the visit since I wasn’t blogging during that time. I am looking forward to write something on my travel this time around. Hoping anyone who has contact in Brunei or any Bruneian who come across this blog can help me with on the ground information to write about the country.
zaharibb@gmail.com

Alor Setar- The Rice Bowl Capital

All Malaysian Bloggers Project

Alor Setar is the capital of the state of Kedah. The name derived from the activities concentrated on a small river tributaries which in Malay named as Alor. At the place there are Setar trees hence the combination of both names give the place her name Alor Setar. Its difficult to find the Setar tree nowadays. Back in 1982, the Sultan of Kedah Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah planted the Setar tree at the town square opposite the Mesjid Zahir to commemorate the opening of the square and to symbolically represent the name of the town. But since the actual tree planted by the Sultan did not grow as expected and a replacement tree was planted. I took the picture of the actual tree a few days after it was planted but not sure where the album is after I transfered and work in Kuala Lumpur.

This monument was erected at the place supposedly where the Alor town was first born.

Monument marking the official declaration of Alor Setar town to city status in 2003. the building in the background is a two unit double storey building with a date on it as 1324. Maybe its one of the oldest building in Alor Setar. The unit on the left house Thean Teik Printer and is still in business. As far as I can remember the printing shop was there and until today.

Monument marking the history of 250 years of Alor Setar in 1985 (1735-1985)

Going to Alor Setar

Alor Setar is accessible by air, road and rail. Malaysian Airlines and Airasia fly daily to the town from Kuala Lumpur. Express buses also ply from Kuala Lumpur daily. From Penang one can go to Alor Setar on Transnasional and the service is povided hourly from morning till night. KTMB also connect the city to Kuala Lumpur.

The city centre revolves around the Setar Walk where Holiday Inn is situated. The hotel is on the same building of City Plaza, the most popular shopping centre in the city. Staying at The Holiday Inn , one can have easy access to the popular Pekan Rabu for local and traditional foodstuffs. A walking distance away around the Hotel are banks including Maybank, Bank Simpanan Nasional, RHB and CIMB. The Railway station is also situated just about 5oo metres away.

What you can do in Alor Setar?
Pekan Rabu is one place tourist must not miss. Mesjid Zahir, Balai nobat (where nobat musical instruments are kept) Clock tower, Balai Besar are all situated at the same location. Don’t forget the Menara Alor Setar for a birds eyeview of the city and on a clear day one can even see the Straits of Malacca. From a top the tower you can see the breathtaking view of the Kedah plain and know why it is called the Rice bowl of Malaysia.

What else?

Go to duty free island of Langkawi and travel into the legend of Mahsuri. The highest peak in Kedah is Gunung Jerai (1200 m) and feel some adventure going to the top. At the foot of the mountain on the south is Lembah Bujang, a historical site where it is believed the first Hindu settlement started. So if you are into history, do not miss this valley.

Shopping will usually be on ones itenary and if you want to buy football jerseys of any popular soccer team in the world or corporate uniforms of the F1 teams, drive up to the border town of Bukit Kayu Hitam, about an hour away using the PLUS Highway. Of course its not the original but imported from over the border and ad a glance nobody will say its imitation. Oh, you want to buy imititation apparels? Hmmmmm…..its individual taste and preference. Theres also a Duty Free complex at Bukit Kayu Hitam. See the online album here