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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

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Selamat berpuasa to my Muslim friends!

In a short few weeks it will be Hari Raya, and many of us, Muslim or otherwise, will be taking the opportunity of the holidays to travel back home to visit our love ones. To ensure a good and safe journey home, it is imperative that we get our vehicles be in a fit condition.

safe balik kampung promotion

For that, Carama by Castrol has something on offer for everyone with their Safe Balik Kampung Promotion - for only RM 128.00, you get an oil change, filter, safety check, and brake inspection worth RM 200.00.

Carama by Castrol is the first online service for trusted car care in Malaysia. With a huge network of certified and listed car workshops (200+) in Klang Valley. This help removes the doubt of choosing the right workshop as the certified shops had to undergo a rigorous accreditation process that assure customers of quality of workmanship, skills, and equipment.

Carama workshop reviews

The Carama site also provides one of the most invaluable features we’ve been waiting for – workshop reviews from customers. In addition to the certification process, this really helps us to choose the workshop we can trust without having to resort to just asking around for recommendations.

search for workshop on Carama
search for workshop on Carama

Using the service of Carama is simple. First, head to carama.com, choose your car make from the drop down menu and search for the workshop by location. A listing of workshop matching the search criteria will appear, alongside a pretty handy map.

Clicking on the workshop of your choice will bring you to the page that shows a photo of the workshop and other important details such as opening hours, full address, phone number, and more.

booking a workshop on Carama
booking a workshop on Carama

Booking an appointment is as easy as filling up the form by keying in your vehicle’s information and choosing the timeslot convenient for you, and you’re done!

Bring the voucher to the workshop to get your car serviced, it’s that simple.

One of the service centres certified by Carama
One of the service centres certified by Carama

The best thing about the service is that in addition to oil change and filter change, there’s also a complimentary 15-point Safety and Health inspection for your vehicle that includes the following:

  • Top up Battery Water
  • Top up Radiator Water
  • Top up Brake Fluid
  • Top up Power Steering Fluid
  • Top up Windscreen Washer Tank
  • Check & Clean Air Filter
  • Check Spark Plugs
  • Check Windscreen Wiper
  • Check Drive Belts
  • Check Cooling Hoses and Connections
  • Check And Adjust Tyres Pressure
  • Check Headlamp, Tail Light, Brakes and Signal Lights Conditions
  • Check Radiator Leakage
  • Check Tyres Condition
  • Check Battery Terminal and Cable

In total, the packge is worth RM 200.00

Castrol engine oil is used
Castrol engine oil is used

Since my car is currently at the paint shop, a friend of mine gave Carama a try and reported very positive experience (not unlike the old Castrol Auto Serivce I tried in 2011).

The workshop has a air conditioned waiting room with free drinking water and a TV for you to chill while the car is being serviced. The mechanic was very professional and took good care of the car while servicing it. It was overall a very fast and simple process that took less than an hour to complete.

So for this Balik Kampung season, head to Carama by Castrol and get your vehicle ready for the long ride home! Remember to use the RAYA128 code.

Back in January 2013, I wrote about KEN Rimba township at Seksyen 16, Shah Alam. At the time we visited the LEGIAN Residences and talked about the then upcoming JIMBARAN Residences. I was so impressed with the development that I ended up the first person to buy a unit of JIMBARAN Residences not long after.

Now, KEN launches KEN Rimba Condominium 1 the first high-rise residential development within the same multiple awards winning KEN RIMBA Township.

Ken Rimba condominium, artist's impression
Ken Rimba condominium, artist’s impression

For those who’re not familiar with KEN Rimba. The township is situated at Seksyen 16, Shah Alam, just a mere 1 kilometer away from the Padang Jawa/iCity intersection on Federal Highway.

The township also has a covered walkway to the Padang Jawa KTM station situated some 700 meters away, or about 10 minutes on foot.

As a bonus for those who love bak kut teh, a 5 minutes drive will get you to Weng Heong and Teluk Pulai bak kut teh. This might have influenced my decision to move to the township. :)

Ken Rimba Condominium and Pool Villa
Ken Rimba Condominium 1 and Pool Villa

Together with 328 units of LEGIAN Residences and 168 units of JIMBARAN Residences, KEN Rimba Condominium 1 comprises 637 units of condominium at 1119 sq. ft. and 1183 sq. ft. as well as 16 units of penthouses (4 for block A & C, 8 for block B) and 26 units of pool villas.

The condominium is priced from RM 399,000, or from RM 357 per square foot, making it a pretty attractive prospect for first time homebuyers.

As you can see from the scaled model in the photo above, the condominium is located next to the JIMBARAN Residences, and right behind a the KEN Rimba Commercial Centre. The 109 units of commercial centre will make serve as vibrant part of the whole community, offering convenience to residents in the township.

living room and kitchen, Ken Rimba Condominium
living room and kitchen, Ken Rimba Condominium 1

We visited the show unit of the condominium located at KEN Rimba recently.

The design of the unit is pragmatic and make good use of space. The living room and dining area greets homeowners as you step into the unit, with a balcony opposing the entrance door that promotes air circulation and maximizes inflow of daylight. To the side is a pretty decent size kitchen that connects to the washing/drying area.

kid's room and middle room
kid’s room and middle room

The first room (closest to living hall) is the smaller of the three rooms that is suitable for kids. Sam C.S. Tan, KEN Holdings’ group managing director, explained that they took into consideration that the width of the room must be wide enough to accommodate the length of a standard size bed. I also particularly like the huge windows for the room.

Second room is slightly larger and can easily accommodate a queen size bed and other furnishing. These two rooms share a bathroom located opposite the rooms’ doors.

I actually like this arrangement as guests don’t have to go into your room just to use the bathroom, and not having it in between the two rooms also make for much easier furniture arrangement since the rooms are now in simple rectangular layout.

master bedroom with attached toilet
master bedroom with attached toilet

Next up is the master bedroom, this is the biggest room in the unit and come with an attached bathroom as well. Like the previous two rooms, there’s also the huge windows by the side that takes advantage of the daylight.

scaled model showing Ken Rimba condominium floor plan
scaled model showing Ken Rimba Condominium 1 floor plan

The picture of the scale model above gives you an idea of how the floor plan is like for KEN Rimba Condominium 1. Each floor comprises of 8 units, with either the pool view or the i-City view. Each block is served by 3 elevators.

There are three blocks altogether and they are connected to the same covered carpark with the facilities floor on top.

pool villa model, ground level opens to the condo facility floor
pool villa model, ground level opens to the condo facilities floor

For those who want something more special, there’s also a limited units of pool villas.

I really love the concept of the pool villa. It is basically built almost like a 2.5 storey terrace house. You park your cars at the covered car park right in front of your own unit’s lower floor, walk up the stairs and get to the living area, kitchen, and dining hall that has direct access to the facilities floor.

The three spacious bedrooms are located on the top floor of the villa and has balcony overlooking the facilities floor as well. Get one right next to the pool and you are basically living the vacation life everyday. Very cool concept, the pool villa has a built up area of approximately 2,600 sq. ft.

The pool villas are priced from RM 800,000, or RM 306 psf.

Ken Rimba condominium facility floor
Ken Rimba condominium facilities floor – scaled model

On the facilities floor of KEN Rimba Condominium 1, there’s a full Olympic length swimming pool (50 meter), a kid’s pool, badminton hall covered with greenery, gymnasium, reading area, children’s playground, community park, multipurpose hall, and cabanas too.

I need a friend who stays at the condominium so that I can visit the facilities floor!

KY & Audrey at Ken Rimba condominium show unit
KY & Audrey at Ken Rimba Condominium 1 show unit

KEN Rimba Condominium 1 obtained BCA Green Mark GoldPLUS (Provisional) Award. If you’re looking for a condominium or perhaps your first home, this is surely one worth checking out.

Website:http://www.kenholdings.com.my
Facebookhttps://facebook.com/KEN.Greenbook
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/SamCS10
Email: contact@kenholdings.com.my
Sales enquiries1300-22-9933
Sales gallery: Jalan Sungai Rasau, Seksyen 16, 40200 Shah Alam, Selangor
GPS:  3.057961,101.484768

Back in the days when I was studying, it was usually seen to be cool to be in science stream while in high school, and some sort of engineering or computer science classes in university. We often made the mistake by thinking that those who chose to go into accounting or financial studies did so because they can’t get into the “cooler” subjects.

I couldn’t be more wrong, and subsequently, thinking about future finances and especially investment were exactly within my radar even years after I started work.

InvestSmart launched by YB Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Youth & Sports
InvestSmart launched by YB Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Youth & Sports

Thankfully, Securities Commission Malaysia is now taking initiatives to encourage the youth and young adults to take a more serious look into this aspect of our lives.

Last week, I attended an investor education initiative by Securities Commission Malaysia at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus and got to learn quite a bit about this particular topic that I should have learned years ago.

The event also launched InvestSmart with the aim to help Malaysians to become more informed and be self-reliant investors who are able to make sound investment decisions in our capital market.

speeches by Mr. Pradeep Nair, Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh, and YB Khairy Jamaluddin
Speeches by Mr. Pradeep Nair, Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh, and YB Khairy Jamaluddin

The event was kicked off by a speech from Mr. Pradeep Nair, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Taylor’s University, who entreated that Malaysia lacks behind Indonesia China Korea Singapore in entrepreneurship rate and that institutions must play larger role to nurture entrepreneurial skill.

Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh, the chairman of Securities Commission Malaysia mentioned that Malaysia has 2.7 trillion ringgit in stocks, or roughly three times our GDP, the country also has the worlds largest Islamic market and we are ranked 4th in the world in terms of investment protection. The key is to educate investors to be money wise, empower them to reach personal financial goal, and to reduce investment scams.

YB Khairy Jamaluddin then took over the stage before launching the InvestSmart application, and mentioned that 60 people in Malaysia goes bankrupt everyday, cost of living is going up, and EPF is no longer sufficient as the sole vehicle for retirement funding. We should start saving more than the mandatory and invest wisely. The government is also providing investment incentives for the youth via PRS scheme to encourage investments amongst the younger population. His key massages were that we need to be wary on ponzi schemes, and the stock market isn’t a regulated casino.

panel discussion with Hidayah Hassan, Hugh Koh, Shanker Joyrama, and Adrian Yap
panel discussion with Hidayah Hassan, Hugh Koh, Shanker Joyrama, and Adrian Yap

The panel of Hidayah Hassan, Hugh Koh, Shanker Joyrama, and Adrian Yap then took over the stage and shared their entrepreneurial journeys with the audience. They were the creative director of Cipela, co-founder and creative director of Pastle and Mortar, Founder & CEO of Orion Social Media, and the founder of Urbanscapes Arts Festival.

Each provided sound advice and valuable lessons to the crowd.

InvestSmart application on iOS and Android devices
InvestSmart application on iOS and Android devices

At the end of the speeches and panel discussion, I immediately downloaded the InvestSmart application to check it out, and I must say that the amount of information packed in this neatly packaged software is quite impressive.

Available in both English and Malay, you can find licensed intermediaries, who to check with for a product, the list of capital market institutions, and so forth.

built in handy financial calculator
built in handy financial calculator

There’s also a handy financial calculator you can use to figure out what sort of return you can expect if you invest certain amount of money. For example, if you start with RM 5000 and invest RM 1000 every month (not different from buying a car) with an expected return of just 5%, by the 10th year you’ll have RM 164,164 in your account. Pretty neat isn’t it?

is this a genuine investment?
is this a genuine investment?

Additionally, and perhaps one of the most useful features is one that is aptly named “Is this a genuine investment?”. This section guide you through a series of questions and advise the user if the investment opportunity is genuine or possibly a scam. When anyone approach you for some business opportunity or quick rich schemes, do run it through this.

Outside the lecture hall, there were also games available for students to learn more about investment. It was overall a pretty cool initiative taken by the Securities Commission. I urge you to download the InvestSmart application on your devices, and to check out  www.investsmartsc.my

With all the handy tools available in the InvestSmart App, start investing and start saving the smart and simpler way!

They say there’s no free lunch in life, but sometimes we don’t need to take what “they” say in face value, for in this case there is really a free meal when you do something that many of us have to do in the first place – by reloading your prepaid mobile plan.

uMobile Free Meal promotion

You see, there’s now the uMobile Free Meal promotion that is going on until 31st August, 2014.

What you have to do to get this free meal is rather simple. With a top up of RM30 you’ll get a free Revive Isotonic Original 500ml, great for quenching your thirst in this heat, or to rehydrate yourself after a game of street football, badminton, or any other physical activity.

With a top up of RM50, you’ll get a Mamee Express Cup Curry Flavour plus the Revive Isotonic Original 500ml, essentially a full meal!

uMobile Free Meal
uMobile Free Meal – Mamee Express Cup Curry Flavor and Revive Isotonic Original 500ml

The redemption can be done at all 7-11 outlets in the country from now until 31st of August, 2014 while stock lasts.

All you have to do is just head to 7-11 and hand in the used reload card to the cashier, it’s that simple!

I redeemed mine at Ampang Park 7-11
I redeemed mine at Ampang Park 7-11

I got mine from Ampang Park 7-11 and it took all of 1 minute to get my Revive Isotonic drink and the Mamee Express Cup noodle. By the way, you can also use the hot water dispenser and most 7-11 and actually eat it there and then.

#TheBestFree available until 31st August, 2014
#TheBestFree available until 31st August, 2014

The redemption is not a one-off thing, if you reload 10 times, you can redeem 10 times! #TheBestFree

To find out how to top up and the listing of top up locations, head to https://www.u.com.my/prepaid-packages/top-up-locations

activated and reloaded!
activated and reloaded!

For those who might not be familiar with U Mobile Sdn Bhd, it is a Malaysian 3G mobile telecommunication service provider founded in 1998 as MiTV Networks Sdn Bhd. The cellphone prefix is the “prosperous” 018, allocated by MCMC. You can migrate your current number to uMobile network.

FIFA World Cup 2014 is finally here, this is the one month where sleep becomes overrated, and football fever is at an all time high. Sure, staying up all night watching the game might not exactly be a form of sports for the spectators like you and me, but it happens only once in four years, so we don’t have to have an excuse right?

Long live football, and long live coffee!

Stadium Astro #OlaBola World Cup Party
Stadium Astro #OlaBola World Cup Party

Last weekend the good people at Astro threw the Stadium Astro #OlaBola World Cup Party just for the football fans among the bloggers. The venue was at Hongdae Moon, located at the rooftop of One City Mall, also one of the taller buildings at this side of USJ.

This was my first time to this relatively new mall, and I really like the concept of having restaurants and hang out places located on top of tall building with great view and unhindered, natural wind.

our hosts Reuben Kang and Jun Yong
our hosts Reuben Kang and Jun Yong explaining the apps

Our host of the day were the duo of pint-size funny man Reuben Kang as well as Astro Supersport TV Host and Miss Malaysia Tourism 2012/2013, Jun Yong.

They did a mighty fine job introducing to us the various Stadium Astro and Astro on the Go, Astro GO 2014 FIFA World Cup and OlaBola Football Predictor mobile applications that are specifically created just for FIFA World Cup 2014  which I will elaborate later in this same article.

OK, abang Nara and I did not win the football prediction game
OK, abang Nara and I did not win the football prediction game

After a bit of explanations, the real fun begins. Together with a few other bloggers, I was invited to play a couple games on the stage with the hosts.

Abang Nara and I partnered up with Jun to go against another team in playing the Ola Bola Football Predictor game.

the venue at One City Mall had quite an awesome view too
the venue at One City Mall had quite an awesome view too

Ola Bola Football Predictor is a pretty interesting application you can use during the actual World Cup game itself.

For example, during crucial events such as free kicks, corners, and penalty kicks, you make predictions on the outcome of those events to accumulate points when you get it right. The champion of Football Predictor gets to bring home a foosball table!

The game is free on Apple App Store / Google Play Store

the Astro apps you should check out

Of course, that isn’t the only mobile applications available from Astro for this World Cup season. There are a few more you should definitely check out if you’re a football fan.

Astro on the Go, watch from anywhere and not just the living room
Astro on the Go, watch from anywhere and not just the living room

First and foremost, Astro on the Go, an application that features all 64 FIFA World Cup matches live on your mobile device (iPad, iPhone, and Android devices) as well as on the web.

30 of the 64 LIVE matches will be available for free for all Malaysian while customers can purchase single games on pay per view basis for RM6 each as well. You don’t need to be confined to the TV to watch the games live, you can literally be anywhere with an internet connection.

Astro on the Go is free for download on Apple App Store / Google Play Store and via my.astroonthego.com 

Astro GO 2014 FIFA World Cup app
Astro GO 2014 FIFA World Cup, check out all the stats!

For the more serious fans, there’s Astro GO 2014 FIFA World Cup application and web player.

This is one serious application for Astro Football Pass customers where all 64 LIVE matches are shown through 6 multi-camera feeds. You can basically be your own producer/director, choosing whichever angle/replay, and check all the match statistics and information in real time. In fact, there are over 4,000 Video On Demand Clips in the app.

Naturally, the application can be found on Apple App Store / Google Play Store and web player via StadiumAstro.com.

Stadium Astro application
Stadium Astro application

If you’re a fan of fantasy football, check out the Stadium Astro Fantasy #OlaBola Edition. You can be a football manager and create your own dream team, transfer player, join leagues, and earn points and rewards based on your player’s performance during the World Cup.

Stadium Astro

Stadium Astro

The best thing is that you stand a chance to win actual prizes if your team comes up on top. Check it out at fantasy.olabola.stadiumastro.com. The website works both on mobile devices and on your computer.

Whose side will you take?
Whose Side Will You Take?

For something a bit more fun and less serious, head on to olabola.my to use the Whose Side Will You Take web application. Here you can make a face-painted photo of yourself and set it as your Facebook profile photo and be a part of the largest face-painting drive in Malaysia.

I’m going Dutch! So what’s your team?