Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Lucky Chan's Laundry + Noodle Bar


Had a busy day at work yesterday, finished late and perhaps a little delirious at the end.. 

And this little restaurant in Northbridge who called itself Lucky Chan was lucky enough to be the only restaurant still opened around its vicinity at 11.30PM.

I should have done a preliminary background check (which actually all those horrible reviews!) but I didn't.

Tried their Umami and Danny Ramen.. 

I think they have firmly sealed their spot as the number one worst ramen in Perth for a long long time into the foreseeable future.

  Horrible!!! Their ramen stock had the flavour of stinking socks and stale pork! Maybe that's why they called themselves laundry + noodle bar!!



Sunday, July 26, 2015

Survivor


On call this weekend, but still managed to watch a movie..

The movie that I watched was Survivor.. Not some boring and painful-to-watch reality films with a bunch of talentless people in the middle of nowhere but some pretty solid acting from the casts who were involved in flims like James Bond and Resident Evil..

Despite being named "survivor", quite a few actually died. 

The story goes that Kate, a new security officer, made the visa application for a certain doctor too difficult that the doctor and his gang wanted to kill her..

Somehow the doctor, despite being a general practitioner, was skilled in making explosive gases. This is not the usual curriculum in medical school in case you are wondering (Yours truly is a doctor).

 The doctor and his gang's ultimate aim is to bomb LA during new year celebration. They were single-handedly stopped by Kate despite hiring the world's top assassin. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Terminator Genisys


Watched Terminator Genisys this weekend.. Not bad a movie... Watched it till the end, unlike other movie which I struggled to even watch till half way like Focus (despite its title, it was so boring, I totally lost focus).

 But guess Terminator Genisys is worth a watch because of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Clearly aged but still not too bad acting in his role as Terminator.. Apparently skin of terminator would age too though the machine inside was still not "obsolete".

On the other hand, the actors for John Connor and Kyle Reese were just poor performance.. Don't think they were the right choice for those roles.

The story goes that Skynet had been with John Connor all along in the form of the person Alex. He would have lots of opportunity to kill John Connor but for unexplained reasons, didn't do so until after John Connor managed to send Kyle Reese back in time to protect and in the process also "mate" with Sarah Connor, who would then give birth to himself, John Connor.

Back in time, it was pretty straight forward movie. Kyle found Sarah who was also with the Terminator lovingly called Pups. The Terminator was aged with wrinkles and sagging skins. Despite its outer appearance, this machine was still energetic, better and longer lasting than your Energizer Bunnies.

They moved forward in time a bit to stop Genisys which was basically Skynet, from becoming online. Their rival was John Connor who had been turned into robot. John Connor was defeated by those three with just some magnets. In the process of being defeated, he foolishly even threw the Terminator into a liquid metal mould, which actually upgraded the Terminator. That told us a lot about the super intelligent computer Skynet.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Cape Lavender


In Malaysia, you would have guessed this is yam ice cream.. In the Margaret River region, this is none other than Cape Lavender ice cream..

Cape Lavender is a little cottage selling products from Lavender and other local stuff.. 

It's situated along Caves Road, if you are there, good to drop by..

The Lavender ice cream is pretty good though not as smooth as those you can find in Japan.
 

They also make plenty of scones.. Good place for tea (English tea, not Teh Tarik) and bit of relaxation..



Cape Lavender
2 Canal Rock Road
Yallingup WA 6268

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Proton

Proton is 30 years old.. Almost the same age as me.. It's relatively young compared to other established carmakers..

It has huge potential, unfortunately its future is shaky.. It's Malaysian themselves who want to see it close shop, thinking that they might be able to buy cheap foreign cars if Proton goes kaput..

I have never seen any other nationalities who criticise their national car with as much vigour as Malaysians.. 

Proton's quality has improved and now makes decent car. From what I can see they have the desire to improve further.

They need our support.. If Malaysians don't support Proton, there is no way they can succeed.

It's reasonable for the government to grant some R&D money for Proton. This is what most countries do to keep their car industry competitive.

For consumers, guess you can consider Proton next time you buy a car..

Below is The Star article on Proton and Dr M



Doctor in the house

Proton Holdings Bhd chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks candidly about the national automaker’s product quality and the direction ahead for the auto company.


Proton is marking its 30th anniversary this year. Do you feel the marque could have done better?


It has been 30 years. We have made considerable progress. The first Proton car had only 18% local content. But now, we can have practically 100% local content - design, testing, clay models; everything can be done in-house now. Currently, we are not doing so well, for various reasons. Now, we want to change the image of Proton. It is no longer going to be a producer of cheap, sub-standard cars. We want to produce cars that can be sold all over the world, and conform to all standards including European standards. At the moment, we depend a lot on our local market. If the foreign markets have restrictions with regards to technology - then we will have to achieve that technology. We will introduce new models next year, and they will be very different from the old Proton cars.


Proton will be launching new models. How important is it for Proton to get quality issues sorted out before the cars are launched?


Our system has changed. Nowadays, the quality is determined in the plant itself. Previously, you produce in the plant; at the end of it, you check for quality. Now, we have quality stations. After a certain point, stop and check quality. If it is not right, stop the whole line. Previously, we test one car in 40. Now, we test every car. Every car that comes from the line must be driven to see whether there are any defects. If any car reports something wrong, they send back the car. They not only repair the car, but also find out how and where was the mistake made? Where was the part that caused the problem? We go to the line to make sure that kind of thing does not happen again. But sometimes, people will report getting bad cars. I don’t know why. We try to - for some of these - do exchanges or buy back.

How important is the collaboration with Suzuki?

We need technology partners which are suitable for us. We don’t want technology partners who may practically take over the company. This is a very Malaysian company. I think Suzuki will be providing certain technologies that Proton does not have now. We need to have some expertise with regards to smaller cars. We are not thinking just about the Malaysian market or competing with Perodua. We want to produce Malaysian cars which can be exported. It will not be a pure Suzuki car. Components or parts may come from Suzuki, but we will build and design our own car which will be sold in Malaysia and also foreign markets. So, we are not directly competing with Perodua.


What about proposed partnerhsips and the joint venture to build Indonesia’s national car?


People are coming to us - to partner with us - to ask us to set up auto plants in their countries. There are so many suitors - many people want to do joint ventures with us. If Proton is such a bad company, why do they come? On the Indonesian proposal, we have worked out - what we have to do and contribute and vice versa. They have bought a plant and we have to design the car. There will be a joint venture in Indonesia to produce an Indonesian car, but Proton will also enter the market to sell Proton cars.


How about the local input – for example, design and engineering?


The mistake in the past was not to give them (our engineers) the jobs. Because even in the management - they feel sometimes our engineers were not competent. Today, the policy is our engineers must do things themselves, learn about everything. If we have to send them abroad, we send them abroad. Our engineers are very competent. We learn from our mistakes. Our new car - it will be fully tested. Not like the Preve. For one whole year, we could not even sell a single Preve because it was so bad; every thing break down and all that. We had to correct all those things. So, now - people are buying - you see a lot of Preve cars on the road. Believe me, our engineers are very good. I am very proud of them. They work very hard, until late at night. There is a new spirit among them. They want to compete, succeed and produce good cars.


Can you talk about the design of the new car (Perdana)?


The new design - we invited a lot of vendors, and foreign and local visitors. When we take off the cover - wow! That is the reaction we get. Syed Mokhtar (referring to tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary) has acquired an aircraft company - which also has the capacity to design cars. So they are also working with us. So, everything is being brought in to help Proton to produce quality cars. You see, they (Proton engineers) have the capacity and the skills. But they were not asked to. The easy way out is to farm it to somebody else. For example, the car designed by Italdesign Giugiaro - we spent a lot of money. Now, we do ourself.


How about hybrids?


Actually, our hybrid cars still cannot meet our expectations. We are not ready to market or mass produce them. We are still in the process of research and development. But we believe the future is in electric cars. The problem is the battery cost, which is high. For example, an electric Iriz would cost up to twice as much. So, we think that Malaysians would not be so interested. As such, we need to look at foreign markets. I can claim we have the best electric car. We can go as high as 313km per charge. But if we sell here at RM100,000 – people may not accept. In Europe, governments subsidise. In England, they give £5,000 (RM29,333) per electric car. Americans and China also have subsidies. In Malaysia, the government is not willing yet to subsidise. I drove Jokowi in an electric car. (In February 2015, Dr Mahathir had driven Indonesian President Joko Widodo on a three-lap spin in an electric Iriz at Proton’s Centre of Excellence).


How about government assistance for Proton?


I don’t want to comment about the Government’s role. But I think we will have to fight our own battles. For example, Europe sets high emission standards and we have not achieved that. So, we will do everything possible to meet the conditions in those countries. Previously, the emission standard was not so high. We exported about 400,000 cars. Our total production and sales is about four million cars - so, we were able to export 10%. Development costs is a problem. to develop new engines can cost RM1.8bil. We are not like the giant multinationals – RM1.8bil is nothing to them. They can spend US$5bil (RM6.76bil) to develop an electric vehicle (EV). Here, we spent RM400mil. But we also achieved (produce EV), although they spent more money. We know how to keep costs low. For example, reducing the cost of development by 50%. That is not easy to do. The cost of development for a new car is very high. Normally, it is from RM650mil to RM1.8bil. But we have reduced this to less than half. We find ways. For example, in the past, they project they will 300,000 units per model. So, they ordered dies meant for 500,000 cars. that is expensive. Today, we see our cars may sell 150,000 units at the end of it life. We use a different method of forming. Instead of stamping fast (very hard) - but we don’t need to be fast because we are not producing that much. So, we use a new system which use compressor and hydraulics, etc. Same product, but using slower way of production, at a much lower price. There are many things we studied, and we decided the old ways of doing things are not suitable for us.


The National Automotive Policy (NAP) – has it hurt or benefited Proton?


It has not benefited us at all. It actually supports imports rather than local industry. Recently, Madani (referring to Malaysia Automotive Institute CEO Mohamad Madani Sahari) said competition is good. Well, competition is good between people of the same size. When you ask a midget to compete with a giant, it is not going to work. You ask us to compete with Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, BMW or even Korean cars – we cannot compete. Our base is mainly here. So, we lose out in foreign markets and also, the local market.


Proton has always been close to your heart. Why?


It is a very big step forward in terms of our industrialisation. At one time, Proton was very profitable. It had cash reserves of RM4bil. It could build Tanjung Malim without asking for any help. People may not say it is a success. To me, it is a success and I am very proud of it. That is why, when I was retiring as prime minister, I asked to be advisor to Proton.


Were you always closely or directly involved in the decision-making in Proton, even when you were prime minister?


Not as much as I wanted to. But today, every Tuesday, I sit with the management – I am directly involved. Even to the point of test driving all the cars. Every car that is produced and new models, modifications – I test myself. I drive on the track, and also in town, to see whether the cars meet my expectations.


Your experiences – as prime minister and running a country – is different from running a company like this?


I think I approach things the same way as when I was prime minister. As a doctor, I used to cure people. You must know what the disease is, and the cause. So, I go through the same process. If there is any breakdown or the car catches fire, I want to know why and can it be corrected. We must produce cars not because the engineers think it is good but also because marketing people say we can sell the car.


How long do you plan to continue to work?


As long as I am able. As long as I can still walk, talk, give ideas. Unless the owner (DRB-Hicom Bhd) sack me... I don’t know lah. I enjoy it (test driving cars). Even 90-year-old people can test drive cars. It is fun for me. I look forward to them. I come here, usually on Tuesday. I sit down with all the managers, and have long discussions and briefings on every aspect of the business – quality, production, design, engineering, new models. Some of the work - before, they like to farm it out to other companies. But now, I insist we do it ourselves.


Where do you see Proton in the next five to 10 years?


We think in two to three years, we will have a turn-around. Our expectation is that these new Proton models will be very well accepted. For high end cars – Nissan has Infiniti, Toyota has Lexus. The Perdana will be our high end car. In terms of volume, we want to produce up to 200,000 units per year. We are concentrating also on export markets. For example, in Indonesia, they like seven-seaters. In Europe, they like manual transmission cars. We will produce cars to fit the market. At the same time, we are going to produce reconditioned Proton cars – not for this market; for exports - so there will be secondhand value. We already have the capacity to produce left-hand drive (LHD) units for the Preve, Persona and Suprima. The LHD market is bigger than the right-hand drive market. We also bought the Petronas engine, which we are installing in our cars.





Lake Cave Margaret River

After living in Western Australia for several years, finally I visited one of caves in Margaret River region.. 

Apparently, there is two hundred something caves along Caves Road in the region..Most of them are boring and not even open for visitors anyway..

The one worth visiting is Lake Cave. I think they named it Lake Cave because there is a little lake in it. No fish in it though..

The popular feature in Lake Cave is the "table top" as pictured above.. Only two found so far in the world, this is one of them.. If anything, it looks more like upside down table..


The table top from afar.. If you have good imagination, you could also see a yellow dragon looking at the empty table..


Different illumination of the table top.. This is the postcard view of Lake Cave..


The entrance of Lake Cave.. 


The rest of caves in Margaret River are not really worth visiting, especially when you have to pay a fair amount of money (around $20).. Above is Mammoth Cave.. Nothing much to say apart from it having a mammoth pricetag..

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Najib is no prime minister material

Usually you need a year or two for you to tell if that someone is prime minister material or not.. 

After a year, I was convinced that Badawi was doing a crap job..

Najib has been prime minister for more than five years.. I am more than convinced that he is doing a worse job than Badawi..

At least Badawi didn't spend so much money on dodgy business deals.. 

With RM42billions, you could already have built the "crooked" bridge, high speed rail, Pan Borneo highway and various projects..

This Najib borrowed RM42billion and has nothing to show but worry about how to pay interest.. 

His achievements are introduction of GST and removing petrol subsidies. These are ok but the money saved must be used to benefit the country. What has he done?

Racial and religious tensions are worse than ever. No words from Najib. No leadership at all! 

All Najib is concerned about is keeping his job., All he talked about is people trying to topple him, the serving prime minister, and able to sleep soundly in Sarawak..



Saturday, June 13, 2015

1MDB: Stupid investment

There are many many things you could do if you borrow RM42 billions. Improve infrastructure, education, various projects, military and etc.

Probably the least of it is to spend all the money to buy some non-income generating stuff and yet still need to pay RM1 million of interest per day.

So it's not surprising 1MDB is in trouble. It's just plain stupid investment strategy by them.

The only money they make is by cheating the government and effectively the people's money by buying government land and dirt cheap price and sell it at hefty price.

This sovereign wealth fund is a joke. More like sovereign debt. Everyday worry about how to pay interest.

At the helm is effectively Najib, who still thinks he did nothing wrong and wants to stay on as prime minister. Najib you are the worst prime minister ever!

Friday, June 05, 2015

"Sarawak for Najib" is nauseating

Just the name of the gathering being "Sarawak for Najib" already makes me a bit nauseous.

Anyway, it was an event organised by component parties of Sarawak BN and they sure did a good job polishing Najib's shoes, so much so that Najib felt he and his wife could finally sleep soundly at night. 

I have to remind my fellow Sarawakians that loyalty should not be to any particular person, but to the nation. Loyalty is to Malaysia! Not Najib!

Najib is just too clueless as a prime minister.

Sarawak CM: We will back Najib’s leadership through thick and thin

KUCHING: With the expressed support he has received from Sarawak Barisan Nasional, after Sabah and Perlis, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak says he can now sleep soundly without worry.
“Just now, the Sarawak Chief Minister (Tan Sri Adenan Satem) said to me, ‘you are not alone’, and I responded with, ‘I’m glad that I’m not alone’.

“Tonight, my wife and I can sleep soundly, we sleep on the same pillow, have the same dream. We feel relieved as it is clear that Sarawak Barisan so sincerely supports me. I can read people’s hearts,” he told thousands of Sarawakians at a leader-meets-people session at Stadium Perpaduan here yesterday.


Warrior Najib chickened out!!

A day after warning his detractors about the warrior spirit in him, Najib chickened out in "Nothing2Hide" dialogue after learning that Dr M was present.

It's embarrassing to have prime minister like Najib. Is it little wonder why he has lost the confidence and trust of many people? 

Yet he like to think he is "not alone", has full support and won't step down due to one man. I think he is delirious.




Monday, June 01, 2015

Malaysia Airlines reboots: Sack Khazanah also

Malaysia Airlines could have been saved awhile ago if the government had been more serious but the situation was left till it was critical. 

Today thousands would have received letter of termination, basically sacked.

While the Malaysia Airlines staff have to bear the brunt of the disaster that they are in, those who "called the shots" are spared. 

By that, I mean the government or those who work in Khazanah.

Khazanah was supposed to be like Temasek of Singapore, an investment arm for Malaysia. I heard those who work there are highly paid unlike their counterparts in government services, yet till now they have nothing impressive to show.. Actually wonder if they have any result at all.

Khazanah makes key decisions for Malaysia Airlines yet they are not accountable for their stuff up.


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Top Catch Fish and Chips Hillarys

It has been awhile since I last went to Hillarys Boat Harbour.. So decided to give it a visit again.. The place is still more or less the same, including this fish and chips shop called Top Catch. 

Had their special which was mackerel and chips.. Though being marketed as a "special" by the shop, this dish was nowhere near special. The fish was not fresh.. They must be stingy and sourced some cheap expired mackerel.. 

Also ordered their fried Barramundi, usually a superb dish.. But again this lousy Top Catch restaurant screwed up with their not so fresh Barramundi.

Top Catch Fish and Chips in Hillarys Boat Harbour is a restaurant to avoid.. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Serpentine Falls and surrounding

I heard a couple of rave comments about Serpentine Falls but I was skeptical. How good can it be? Anyway, I went there to see it for myself today.. 

At the entrance, we had to pay AUD$12.00 for entry.. Hmm.. This is above average price for Perth, in fact most places are free. So I thought it better be good..

Walk walk walk a bit, still no sound of waterfalls.. You know, if you go to any decent waterfalls, you can hear its water as you reach closer, to add to the excitement.

Lo and behold, it was the smallest waterfall I ever seen in my whole life.. Since I was there already, I took some obligatory photos (above),, 

 Zoom in to the waterfall.. Even my wife shower would have more water.. 

Nothing much to do really in Serpentine National Park.. Some boring trails..  

This place is really not worth going to.

Serpentine Dam.. I didn't actually see any serpents but I understand this is part of the water catchment for Perth where we get our water from..

On the way home, we stopped by Golden Ponds Restaurant for lunch.. The place is like a mini zoo with its own pony, peacocks, various birds.. They also have their own fish and marron farm..

Black swan.. The symbol of Western Australia.. Yes, they are not for consumption.

 Their food was not too bad.. Their garlic bread was on the crispy side.. Pretty good..

 Their Tasmanian Salmon not bad also despite the not so refined presentation..

Their marron was fresh but its flavour totally overpowered by their garlic sauce..

Their fish and chips look very amateurish but don't be fooled by the look.. It was pretty good stuff.. It's one of the more delicious piece of fish in Perth..  But they were not so good with the chips thought, bit too salty, maybe the chef accidentally knocked the whole bottle of salt into the dish..


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Yet another embarrassing moment for ESSCOM

It's another embarrassment for Malaysian security forces guarding the East Coast of Sabah.. It seems those kidnappers can just come as they wish. This time, it's at a popular restaurant in Sandakan, which happens to be only three KM from ESSCOM or some sort of "security presence". 

Furthermore, it occurred during the curfew hours. What's the use of curfew if kidnappers could zoom in and out of Malaysian water at pleasure?

This is sheer incompetence. 




Illegal immigrants to Malaysia

I read hundreds of illegal immigrants arrived in Langkawi by boats.. They looked pitiful and seemed to have gone through much hardship.. Some kind Malaysians offered them food for which they were grateful.. Luckily they arrived now, rather than during general election, where they would be beaten without questions and called names like "Banglasia". 

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Najib getting dumber

Najib is a sad man.. Even people within UMNO are attacking him and want him to step-down as prime minister.

It's little wonder that he is getting dumber by the day and making silly statements.

I read about his lauching a "30% Club" in order to increase female representation in company's board to at least 30% and saying things like "So I urge the leaders amongst you to do more, to take the next step, to break those glass ceilings and install women on your boards".

Maybe he is too caught up with the feminism of the 1960-1970s or his wife's influence, but nowadays we don't talk about male vs female anymore. It's about talent and capability! If you are are better at the job, then you should get the job regardless of your gender.


Sunday, May 03, 2015

Malaysia Airlines selling its entire A380 fleet?


Rumours have been going around that Malaysia Airlines is putting their entire A380 fleet and a couple of other aircraft for sale..

Malaysia Airlines being leadership-less is neirther confirming nor denying the news, which in itself will lead to much uncertainty and loss of confidence among their employees and passengers..

I hope the rumour is not true.. Selling their A380 will be a big blow to the airline. It's akin to losing their flagship, the pride of the airline.. Staff morale will be hit. Passengers will think twice about flying with Malaysia Airlines especially if they are left with outdated aircraft.

The repercussion will be severe.. 

This is a time Malaysia Airlines need to rebuild their image as a premier airline, not to damage it further.

So I hope the management won't be short-sighted.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Najib just doesn't know how to respond


Well, in reality, it's not that he won't entertain them, he just does not know how to respond to them..

He is not gifted in giving spontaneous response and off the cuff speech.. Everything needs prepared script and much time before he said anything if at all.. 

Even the above quoted article was based on his blog, not something spontaneous out of his mouth..

It's embarrassing that Malaysia has Najib as Prime Minister.. No talent in public speaking at all.. No wonder how he just can't seem to convince people on anything..

Friday, May 01, 2015

Sabah May Day

It seems Bersih is not satisfied with the mess they made in Peninsular Malaysia, now they want to export it to Sabah.

The people in Sabah and Sarawak are different from those from Peninsular Malaysia. In general, East Malaysians are more tolerance and friendly among the various races and religion.. Less extreme for that matter.. 

We don't do street politics.. Just not our style.. 

Despite whatever they claim, I see unruly behaviours, traffic chaos, rubbish strewn everywhere during the so-called Bersih rally.. I bet most of the people who attended rally wouldn't even know the reason behind the rally but to "join in the fun" and causing inconvenience to other people..

So I am very disappointed to read about Bersih trying to stir people up with their May Day Rally in Sabah.. Just go back. Don't want you causing trouble in East Malaysia.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

End of road for Australian car industry

Yesterday I read about the last of the line made in Australia Toyota Camry. In 2017, there will be no more Australian made cars.. All close shop. 

Australia is simply not competitive enough. Not a good thing as a whole for a country.

Now every country is part of the international community. Need to produce something to sell to other nations. Otherwise how do you make a living?

For years, Australia enjoys good profits from its mining industry to the expense of their manufacturing industry. 

Labour cost is just too expensive, even a plumber can charge you more than a hundred dollars to fix your leaking tap! Imagine to build a car.. 

Now the mining boom has gone bust, things are no longer rosy. 

The talk now is to improve on non-mining industries but Australia has just lost their car manufacturing capability. I think they won't get it back in the foreseeable future. It's gone..

In Malaysia, I know many people want to see Proton closes shop, rather than to see it being successful.. Maybe shortsighted or just ignorant or just too anti government.. There is no other country that I know would belittle their national cars as much as Malaysians.. Even Indians and Chinese don't say bad things about their country's cars. If they don't have nice things to say, they just keep quiet.