Sunday, February 26, 2017

Malaysia To Open Visa Processing Centre In Xiamen - Zahid

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 (Bernama) - The government has approved the opening of a visa processing centre in Xiamen, China in order to get at least one million tourists from Fujian province this year.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he will direct the Department of Immigration and related vendors to operate the visa processing centre.

"I hope that this facility is not abused. I will not compromise when it comes to the security and the social harmony of Malaysia," he said when opening a tourism exhibition organised by the Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (MITA) here, Saturday.

Zahid, who is also Home Minister warned that appropriate action would be taken against those found to be abusing the visas given.

On the tourism exhibition, he challenged the event organisers to attract at least 1,000 exhibitors next year.

"The government would like to give RM1 million for MITA fair next year but you have to use the budget properly and get more exhibitors to participate."

Zahid said he was willing to give a special budget to encourage tour guides to take up language courses to accommodate tourists from China, India and emerging markets in Eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, MITA president Uzaidi Udanis said the tourist target set by Zahid could be achieved as Fujian province has a population of more than 30 million.

"The influx of tourists from Fujian would help the government to achieve its target of four million tourists from China this year," he added.

The new visa processing centre in Xiamen is the fifth in China after Guangzhou, Kunming, Shanghai and Beijing.


Debesay torments Cameron in the Cameron Highlands - Le Tour De Langkawi 2017

CAMERON HIGHLANDS : Dimension Data continued its winning streak with Eritrea’s Mekseb Debesay coming first atop the mythical Cameron Highlands, beating Australia’s Cameron Bayly by the length of a bike while Ryan Gibbons, third on the line only four seconds later, retained the yellow jersey and therefore gave the South African outfit a good chance to become the first team to win three Le Tour de Langkawi in a row after Youcef Reguigui and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg did so in 2015 and 2016.

“This is my first big victory”, reacted Debesay who only joined the WorldTour giants last year. “We rode together with my team-mates all day. The finale was quite hard but I followed some good riders and I outsprinted them. It was always my childhood dream in Africa to become a successful professional cyclist. It’s a dream come true now. I’ve been inspired by my compatriots Daniel Teklehaimanot and Natnael Berhane. They’re my heroes and I want to ride the Grand Tours like them in the same way I did today.”

Bayly of IsoWhey Sports Swisswellness moved up to second overall as he finished right behind Debesay and ahead of a group of nine riders who surge atop the final climb and comprised hot favourites Egan Bernal and Daniel Jaramillo as well as race leader Gibbons. “This is definitely a good result”, Bayly analyzed. “I’m a little bit disappointed to get second and not to win, being so close, but at the end of the day I was just not quick enough for the sprint. There were quite a few attacks before.

The Androni team was really aggressive. Bernal was very strong. I attacked with 1.5km to go. The Dimension Data rider came to wheel. I had to lead the sprint out. It’s good to be second on GC. We’ve got another four stages to go with a few of our riders in the top ten. We’ll try to shake things out, we’re not gonna leave it.”

Gibbons who expected to be in yellow for the last time saved his jersey and became the favourite for the overall classification as he’s got potential to improve his lead throughout the time bonuses in the upcoming sprints. “I’m more shocked than you guys are to still lead the race”, the South African said.

“A group of guys rode away but my team mates kept looking back and saw that I was coming across. Thankfully they didn’t put the pace on. They did a good job making sure that I was still up there. Jacques Janse van Rensburg brought me back to the front a few times. Nothing in my history proved that I could climb that well. This is new for me. I was not bluffing. It’s a surprise for me that I’ve been able to stay up there.”

Stage 5 from Meru Raya to Kuala Kubu Bahru, close to Kuala Lumpur, on a distance of 151.5km, should suit the sprinters.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Malaysia Airlines Earns IATA Fast Travel Green

image: Malaysia Airlines facebook
Sepang, 23 February 2017:  Malaysia Airlines has become the first Malaysian carrier to receive the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Fast Travel Green certificate in recognition of the airline’s efforts in making passengers’ travel more flexible and convenient via its self-service facilities.

IATA’s Fast Travel Programme covers six areas of passenger travel which includes check-in, bags ready-to-go, document check, flight re-booking, self-boarding, and bag recovery. Airlines will then be ranked on the usage of these services by IATA.
By 2020, IATA aims for 80% of global passengers to be offered a complete self-service suite throughout their journey, based on IATA’s industry standards.
Under this programme, Malaysia Airlines has earned the Green ranking by meeting five of the requirements which are check-in, bags ready-to-go, flight re-booking, self-boarding and bag recovery.
The certificate was presented by Sunil Chopra, IATA’s Area Manager for Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives, to Malaysia Airlines’ Chief Executive Officer, Peter Bellew at the airline’s Head Office in Sepang.
Speaking at the event, Peter Bellew said, “We are delighted to be the first Malaysian carrier to receive IATA’s Fast Travel Green certificate. This achievement marks a great milestone as we move towards improving our overall customer experience and the efficiency of the airline’s operations.”
The services are in line with Malaysia Airlines’ strategy to leverage on technology in order to simplify and reduce the time for check in, giving customers more control over their travel experience. The airlines is already working towards Gold status which will require the implementation of the self-service travel document verification to passengers.

-Malaysia Airlines.

Farahdhiya Live @ Hard Rock Cafe, Kuala Lumpur ( 30 April 2017 )

Farahdhiya adalah naib juara Gegar Vaganza Musim Ke 2, sebuah program realiti terbitan Astro yang menyaksikan 12 penyanyi professional lama atau berpengalaman dalam industri muzik di Malaysia bersaing dalam satu pertandingan nyanyian.
Farahdhiya Mohd Amin ialah seorang penyanyi, pelakon dan pengacara wanita yang bergiat di dalam dunia hiburan Malaysia. Beliau yang berbintang Taurus dilahirkan pada 28 April 1984 di Sarzana, Itali.
Beliau merupakan anak bongsu daripada dua beradik. Ibu berasal dari Portsmouth, England manakala ayahnya berasal dari Johor. Mendapat pelajaran awal di Sekolah Menengah Telok Gadung, Klang, Selangor kemudian berpindah ke Sekolah Menengah Taman Melawati, Ulu Kelang, Selangor.
Farahdhiya mula menjinakkan diri di dalam dunia nyanyian sejak berusia belasan tahun lagi di bawah naungan KRU Records. Kini bernaung di bawah NAR Records. Beliau telah menghasilkan dua buah album, Bertakhta Di Hati dalam tahun 2004 dan Yang Ku Puja di akhir 2006. Bertakhta Di Hati mendapat tempat di dalam carta carta di dalam radio Era dan Hot.FM serta mendapat pencalonan di dalam Anugerah AIM sebagai Artis Baru Terbaik.
Selain menyanyi, Farah Dhiya berkecimpung di dalam bidang pengacaraan di mana beliau menjadi hos rancangan realiti, Jaguh Futsal RTM selama beberapa episod. Selain dari itu, Farahdhiya juga telah berjinak-jinak dengan dunia lakonan. Drama pertama lakonannya adalah Mencari Arah Kiblat yang disiarkan di TV sempena Awal Muharam 2007. Pada masa kini, beliau membintangi drama popular di TV3, dalam slot akasia, iaitu Spa Q untuk 60 episod, yang disiarkan pada 23 Oktober 2007 hingga 31 Januari 2008 lalu, sebagai Fatin. Drama inilah yang menaikkan namanya sekarang.
Kemunculan semula beliau dalam pertandingan Gegar Vaganza, Nama beliau kembali diperkatakan dalam bidang muzik bila berjaya memenangi tempat kedua pertandingan tersebut dengan perbezaan markah kurang dari 2 markah dari pemenangnya Siti Nordiana.


Rock Corner outlets:
The Gardens, Mid Valley (TEL: 03 - 2201 4893)
Subang Parade (TEL: 03 - 5613 1139)
The Curve (TEL: 03 - 7733 1139)
Bangsar Village (TEL: 03-22021139)
Victoria Music outlets:
Sg Wang(TEL: 03 - 2148 7208)
Amcorp (TEL: 03 - 7956 0592)
Penang outlets:
Artist Gallery, Gurney Plaza (04-637 0191)
Artist Gallery, Queensbay Mall (04-228 5648)

-AirAsia RedTix.

Jakub Mareczko avenges Filippo Pozzato in stage 3 - Le Tour De Langkawi 2017

PANTAI REMIS : Jakub “Kuba” Mareczko gave Wilier Triestina their first victory of the 2017 season in stage 3 of Le Tour de Langkawi at Pantai Remis the day after his team-mate Filippo Pozzato came close. The diminutive Italian outsprinted stage 1 winner Scott Sunderland who moved into the lead of the points classification whereas Ryan Gibbons of South Africa retained the yellow jersey ahead of the queen stage to the Cameron Highlands.

“Finally I broke the ice”, Mareczko commented. “The whole team was dedicated to bring me to victory. I’m grateful to my team-mates for that. Pozzato, [Alberto] Cecchin and [Rafael] Andriato dragged me to the first positions of the peloton and I could launch my sprint with 400 metres to go.”

Tipped for being the “new Andrea Guardini” [in reference to the 22-time stage winner at LTdL], Mareczko won by a length of a bike over Sunderland. “It was difficult with a lot of people moving up all the time ahead of the sprint as everyone was fresh”, the Australian explained. “I’ve started my sprint from a long way back as I was out of position. I came from 25th wheel at 300m to go while he [Mareczko] was third wheel with 200m to go. His team here is built around him while mine has four guys out of six who are strong in the climbs. They have to protect themselves for GC so I have to ride solo and use other teams.”

Dimension Data did most of the pace at the helm of the peloton behind escape artist Loh Sea Keong (Thailand Continental Team) who was accompanied by Stepan Astafyev (Vino Astana Motors) and Dominic Perez (7/11) with a maximum lead of five minutes.

“In the last two kilometers, I nearly fell about three times”, race leader Gibbons informed. “So my head wasn’t in it. About 200 metres to go, I tried to come out and I just went backwards. Hopefully I can find my head again for the upcoming stages. My team rode all day because they had a lot of faith in me and I was confident in myself. Jacques Janse van Rensburg sat at the front of the peloton by himself for 90 kilometres. I’m sorry to have let the team down. It just wasn’t my day.”

Gibbons added that, being realistic, he expects stage 4 to be his final day in the yellow jersey as his team-mates Mekseb Debesay from Eritrea and Ben O’Connor from Australia will take the team’s leadership over from him. Colombians are set to fill the shoes of their compatriot Miguel Angel “Superman” Lopez who was a brilliant stage winner in the Cameron Highlands one year ago.

Special MATTA packages coming

Solid collaboration: Wong (left) and Liow holding up promotional posters on MATTA Fair after their press conference to announce SOTA’s participation as MATTA’s technology partner.

KUALA LUMPUR: More unique packages will be offered on the website, including those organised by various national tourism organisations.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) secreta­­ry-general Nigel Wong said it had been approached by a number of such organisations, which were beginning to spend more on digital marketing.
“For them, this and the success of MATTA Fairs have made the website – – an attractive proposition.
“Consumers can look forward to very specialised arrangements and deals to different countries for various activities in the next couple of months.
“We are going to keep things fresh and exciting so that consumers can get specialised deals and (tour) themes over the next few months,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Wong was speaking at a press conference to announce digital platform Smart Online Travel Assistant (SOTA) as the coming MATTA Fair’s official technology partner.
He said there would also be packages at both the fair and on to cater to the growing number of free independent travellers, which meant solo or small tour groups.
In conjunction with the fair, Wong said the public had a chance of winning a total of RM15,000 in travel vouchers by joining a slogan contest on the website.
The contest ends on March 12.
SOTA chief marketing officer Joanna Liao said the website would help more tour and travel agents reach out to the online audience.
“Less than 5% of Malaysian tour and travel agents are e-enabled – meaning the ability to sell online – so the website helps them in that. It also benefits consumers,” she said.
She said the website had an average of 300 to 500 visitors daily, 75% of whom were new to the site.
“Every time new visitors come to the site, it helps become more known,” she said.
The MATTA Fair, to be held from March 17-19, at the Putra World Trade Centre, is open from 10am to 9pm daily. The entrance ticket is priced at RM4 daily.

-thestar online.

Friday, February 24, 2017

APAC carriers will lead the third golden age of aviation

North American carriers are enjoying a golden age right now but the future will be in Asia-Pacific, according to IATA regional vice president Asia-Pacific, Conrad Clifford.

Clifford described the present times as the second golden age (after the PanAm era in the 1960s) led by North America where prices are at their lowest; efficiency is better than ever; airlines are re-fleeted, re-consolidated and re-structured; and there is convergence with the emergence of new airline models incorporating the strengths and removing the weaknesses of both the full-service carriers (FSCs) and LCCs.

But he expects a third golden age of aviation where Asia-Pacific carriers will lead the world.

“The market has recognised the turnaround and North American airlines are becoming investment-grade vehicles: this is unprecedented and that’s why I am calling it the second golden age,” said Clifford in his opening remarks on the second day of Aviation Festival Asia in Singapore on Wednesday.

“The top four net profits in 2015 were all North American (airlines): American Airlines made a net profit of US$6 billion in 2015, United Airlines US$4 billion, Delta Air Lines US$4 billion and Southwest Airlines US$2 billion. These four North American carriers accounted for 45 per cent of the total global industry profit for 2015 (US$35.3 billion). And 2016 was estimated to be an even better year than 2015. And 2017 will still be good and deliver real returns to shareholders.

“Of course we may be cynical and say that it’s only due to the low fuel prices…but I would like to say this is not just about the fuel price.”

He said it is about the magic three C’s: capacity discipline, consolidation and charging for everything.

In 15 years’ time, all the world’s most profitable airlines – FSCs, LCCs and hybrids – will all be based in the Asia-Pacific region, with growth fuelled by the region's demographics, Clifford projected.

“North America may be the largest aviation market in the world today but more than half of mankind is within a 5.5-hour flight time – that’s the profitable payload range on the latest Boeing's and Airbus' narrowbody 737 max, A321neo – from us all sitting in this room in Singapore.

“China will be the largest market in the world in less than 20 years, India will be number three, Indonesia number five and Japan number seven. And right now India has the fastest growing domestic market on the planet,” said Clifford.

Presently, the future looks likely to be dominated by LCCs in this part of the world, he said, pointing out that the region with the biggest LCC penetration in the world is South-east Asia, while China is growing fast since last year.

But Clifford believed the future is going to be those airlines “that capture the best of FSCs and LCCs, eliminate the parts of those models that don’t suit our Asia-Pacific markets, and keep on changing and growing”.

-TTG Asia.

Travel Fair Deals - Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Don't miss out on our Special Deals!
See you  at Booth A133 at MITA Travel Fair, Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre from 24 -26 Feb., 2017.
-Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
Website :

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Travis McCabe ruins Gibbons and Pozzato's dreams @ Le Tour De Langkawi 2017

GERIK : American outfit Unitedhealthcare continued its winning streak at Le Tour de Langkawi with Travis McCabe outsprinting Filippo Pozzato and Ryan Gibbons who became the new race leader on the slightly downhill finish in Gerik in the state of Perak in northern Malaysia. They previously won a stage in 2014 with Bradley White and in 2016 with John Murphy.

Exactly like Murphy one year ago, McCabe lined up at LTdL fresh from a stage win at the Herald Sun Tour in Australia. “We came here with the ambition to win”, the American sprinter said at the post-race press conference. “We really wanted to work on the lead out train that we have. I wasn’t trying to fill the shoes of Murphy but it’s great to do the same as him. For me, today, it was all about patience. We showed yesterday that we had the lead out train and the power to take me to the line but I made a mistake by going way too early. Today I went into a small break before the category 1 climb to make it easier when Manzana really hit it on the climb.”

It was a long but eventful day of racing from the East Coast to the jungle via the Titiwangsa Range. It started with a crash involving Pozzato and taking Terengganu’s sprinter Harrif Saleh out of the race as he hit a rock. 49 kilometres were covered in the first hour, making it impossible for anyone to escape from the peloton but a group of 16 riders eventually rode away but the presence of the likes of Jacques Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Bernardo Suaza (Manzana-Postobon) and Robbie Hucker (IsoWhey Sports Swisswellness) forced Androni Giocattoli to chase. Attracted by the King of the Mountains competition after losing hopes of winning the overall classification after a crash in stage 1, John Ebsen (Infinite AIS) went on his own 90km before the finish in order to score important points atop Titiwangsa. The selective terrain reduced the bunch to fifty riders only.

Italy’s Pozzato was close to add his name to the record of stage winners at Gerik after his prestigious compatriots Gianni Bugno in 1997 and Rinaldo Nocentini in 1999 but McCabe outclassed him at the very end of a tight finish. “My day started with a crash while I was in the middle of road at the back of the peloton in order to not risk anything”, Pozzato explained.

“But someone bumped into me after losing control of his handlebar and I fell on my face. My head was shocked by the crash but my legs were going much better than yesterday after the traveling. In the finale I wanted to anticipate the sprint because I’m not as fast as these guys.

But the Unitedhealthcare riders have done a great job as they rode strongly from 1.2km to the end. There was no space for me to attack. When they opened it for their sprinter, I exited on the right side of the road. I hesitated a bit but at the end he was faster than me. It’s a pity because I would have liked to break the ice and take a first victory this year, especially for the team. They need some results after the good work done since the beginning of the year. We’ll try again.”

Third on the line, Gibbons took over from Scott Sunderland in the lead of the overall ranking. “I had a bike change due to a mechanical at about 60km to go”, the South African revealed. “It had a 53 on and I couldn’t get it down to the 11 [gear]. I had a perfect lead out. I thought it was no problem to come round him but I had no speed. I’m disappointed not to win but I’m happy to be in the yellow jersey. It sounds like an excuse but I think I’m quicker than these guys and I want to prove it in the coming days.”

Stage 3 is expected to be a good one for the sprinters, being relatively short (118km) from Serdang to Pantai Remis.

New Tourism Malaysia offices to tap India's growth potential

Inbound agents have welcomed Malaysian tourism and culture minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz’s announcement to set up Tourism Malaysia offices in Kolkata and potentially Amritsar to increase visitors from India’s eastern region.

“Setting up an office in Kolkata is a good idea as it is the gateway from East India to Malaysia,” said Adam Kamal, secretary general of Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association.

Tourism Malaysia currently has offices in three Indian cities, namely Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

The new offices will enable Tourism Malaysia to tap the swelling ranks of middle-class travellers in Kolkata and Amritsar, noted Arokia Das, senior manager at Luxury Tours Malaysia.

“There should be full-fledged Tourism Malaysia offices in major metros like Hyderabad and Bengaluru and smaller offices in second-tier cities. We’ve got to get Malaysia into everybody’s minds. There should also be more carriers between Malaysia and second-tier cities in India,” he urged.

With 188 flights weekly providing 35,915 seats between Malaysia and India, air connectivity between the two countries can be improved still, agents pointed out.

Adam said: “Malaysia Airlines should also open new routes between Malaysia and India as it did with China recently. It is a good way of attracting more tourists, and will also complement the e-visa facility introduced in April 2016 for Indians residing in India.”

-TTG Asia.

Amazing Sabah @ Malaysia Tourism Centre, Kuala Lumpur ( 25 February 2017 )

Hello everyone!

Koniciwa! (especially to Japanese expatriates/tourists)
Sabah Tourism Board ( SABAH, Malaysian Borneo ) and Tourism Malaysia Kuala Lumpur is organising an engagement program for product and services of Sabah called “AMAZING SABAH” as below particulars:
Date: 25 February 2017, Saturday
Time: 12.00 pm – 4.00 pm
Venue: Malaysia Tourism Centre (MATIC), 109, Jalan Ampang
There will be few interesting activities such as below:-
- Welcoming remarks and video presentation from Sabah Tourism Board
- Product presentation from HIS Travel and GRAB
- Exhibition booths from Kadaiku (selling local products from Sabah), Cutting Paper Art and Tairyo Toryo (Japanese arts and craft)
- Cultural performances
- Food demonstration of Sabah desserts (Hinava and Pinjaram)
- Photo booth > free printed picture if you purchase RM20 and above at Kadaiku or HIS Travel booths.
- And Lucky Draw !
We'll see you in MATIC this Saturday!! 

-Tourism Malaysia Kuala Lumpur facebook.

Scott Sunderland suggests Azizul Hasni Awang could also win at LTdL

KUALA TERENGGANU : Former keirin rider Scott Sunderland from Australia won stage 1 of the 2017 Le Tour de Langkawi in Kuala Terengganu and thus followed the path of Dutchman Theo Bos who also successfully made the transition from sprinting on the track to sprinting on the road.

He made IsoWhey Sports Swisswellness’ first appearance to LTdL a big coup as he fended off South Africa’s Ryan Gibbons who is sensational recruit for WorldTour giants Dimension Data while Italian rivals Nicolas Marini of Nippo-Vini Fantini and Jakub Mareczko of Willier Triestina surrendered in third and fourth places.

Sunderland was well aware of winning his first pro race [after stage 1 of the UCI 2.2 Tour of Fuzhou in China in 2015] on the homeland of an old competitor of his: Olympic medalist Azizul Hasni Awang. “I know he’s from Terengganu”, the Australian reacted. “He is a great competitor and such a big presence in keirin racing. I’m aware of his fame in Malaysia. Going from track sprint to this event is definitely a lot different when you have to try to get over the hills and adjust to this style of racing. In the keirin you’ve got five or six other guys. On the road, you have to sprint against fourty or fifty riders. It can be a lot more difficult. But Azizul could definitely make the same move and succeed at LTdL as well. He is a crafty rider. He has a lot of weight on his side. Being a smaller rider [than me], he should be able to get over some of these climbs.”

It was a crash marred finale within ten kilometers to go in Kuala Terengganu once Loh Sea Keong, now riding for Thailand Continental Team, was the last man to be reined in. He was earlier accompanied in a 10-man breakaway by Nur Amirul Fakhruddin Mazuki who delivered for hosting team Terengganu TSG as he brought the first King of the Mountains red jersey home.

“Getting the win and the yellow jersey for IsoWhey Sport Swisswellness on our debut here sets up the team for a good Tour and hopefully I’ll get one more stage victory”, Sunderland declared at the post race press conference. “It was a pretty chaotic finale but the team got me ride in a pretty good position. The crash was close to where I was so I was lucky to get through that and be able to finish off the job with the sprint. Such a win gives you the confidence that you can win another stage. That would be fantastic but it’s already amazing to be here in the lead. I’ll try to hold on to the yellow jersey as long as I can, it’s an amazing event.”

Stage 1 of Le Tour de Langkawi brought neo pro Gibbons under the spotlights. “I’m very happy to be on the podium and give something to the team but I’m also very disappointed to be second”, the Dimension Data rider said. “I kind of waited a little bit too late. The crash happened next to me. I think I was the last rider to avoid it. This result gives me hopes for a stage win by the end of this Tour, hopefully tomorrow.”

“My team worked at perfection”, echoed Marini. “[Riccardo] Stacchiotti and [Giacomo] Berlato helped me tremendously. I had a good sprint. I opened it with Mareczko at 200 metres to go but the first two were really stronger. It’s still long way to go and we’ll try again.”

Stage 2 will be the longest of the 22nd Le Tour de Langkawi, 208km, and also a hard one from Jerteh to Grik where the race last held a stage finish with eventual Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Rinaldo Nocentini won two years after cycling legend Gianni Bugno.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Langkawi Squid Challenge 2017 ( 11 & 12 Mac 2017 )

-Langkawi Development Authority facebook.

SIC RACING TEAM Wrap Up Productive Sepang Test In Positive Spirits

Sepang, Malaysia – Tuesday 21st February

Circuit: Sepang International Circuit
Circuit Length: 5.5 km
Following four productive days on track at Sepang International Circuit, the SIC Racing Team make their way back to Europe feeling positive and motivated to continue their progress at the first official Moto3 test at Jerez in two weeks’ time.
Riders Adam Norrodin and newcomer Ayumu Sasaki took full advantage of their time at the team’s home track in Malaysia, completing four intense days of working through various settings and testing new parts to further develop their Honda NSF250RW machines.
Working closely alongside Japanese Grand Prix motorcycle racer Hiroshi Aoyama and HRC, Norrodin and Sasaki specifically focussed their attentions on adapting to the new 2017 Honda machinery, whilst finding a solid base setting to suit their individual riding styles.
With valuable data collected, the SIC Racing Team leave Sepang confident they can take what they have learnt at this first test and use it to their advantage in Jerez, commencing on Wednesday 8th March.
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“We have had four very productive days here at our home circuit. We have worked through a lot of things and received some great support from HRC. 
What we have achieved at this test will certainly be of benefit to us when we go to Jerez. We found a way with the bike that we didn’t last year and have been able to test some new parts, which have worked very well. The third and fourth day were slightly harder due to the high temperatures and track conditions but nevertheless we used the time well to work through things, which has proven to be very useful. Hiroshi Aoyama has also been with us to work with the riders, which has been great for them both, so I’d like to say thank you to him. We are very grateful to have the opportunity to test at Sepang Circuit, so I’d also like to say a big thanks to Razlan and everyone here at the circuit for their help and support over these days. We leave Sepang feeling very positive and confident. 
We know we are going in the right direction and we’re excited to continue this at the IRTA test at Jerez in two weeks. “
#7 Adam Norrodin
“Firstly I want to say a big thank you to the whole team; everyone has worked so hard these last four days and also to SIC for this opportunity to test here. 
We have been pushing a lot and have achieved what we set out to do here, so I’m very happy. The new bike is great and we found a good base set-up here at Sepang, so it’s been a very positive first test. For sure we still have a lot of work to do before the first race in Qatar, but I’m feeling really motivated for this season. The next test is in Jerez in two weeks’ time, so we will have another opportunity there to continue our work. There will also be all of the other Moto3 riders there so we will get a better insight into where we are at; 
I’m excited to see what we can do. We must continue to push hard and learn as much as we can; the more prepared we are, the stronger we will be.”
#71 Ayumu Sasaki
“We have started the season in a good way; these four days at Sepang have been very useful for us, so I’d like to thank SIC and all the staff for their support. We were able to find an almost perfect setting here. It’s been great to get to know my new team and new bike too. I think we have done a good job and been very productive with our time. In two weeks we will be back on track at Jerez for the official test, so I’m looking forward to continuing our progress there.”

-SIC Racing Team.
PelanconganKini supports SIC Racing Team.

Tourism Malaysia Promotes Sustainable Tourism At OTM 2017

MUMBAI, 21 Feb 2017: The 2017 edition of Outbound Travel Mart (OTM) was launched in Mumbai today. The event was jointly inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, and Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia.

Held annually, OTM is India’s leading travel show focused on outbound travel. It is well-timed to coincide with the start of the peak outbound season and is one of the most popular platforms for marketing to the Indian travel trade, MICE segment and tourists.

The Malaysia delegation is led by YB Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Tourism Malaysia, state representatives and members of the Malaysian travel trade.

Speaking at OTM, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri said, “India is a major contributor to tourism in Malaysia. In fact, it is the sixth top tourist generating market for us. In 2015, we had 722,141 Indian visitors and from January to October 2016 we had 540,530 Indian tourists. This year we hope to achieve 1 million arrivals from the India market.”

He added, “Our marketing and promotion strategies for this year are to focus on sustainable tourism and the wonderful niche products that Malaysia offers to the Indian market.”

UNWTO has designated 2017 as the “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development” and Malaysia is keen to promote its four UNESCO Heritage Sites, namely, Kinabalu National Park in Sabah, Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, Melaka and George Town cities and the archaeological heritage site of the Lenggong Valley.

With niche tourism on the rise, Malaysia is also pushing its special interest packages for premium shopping, luxury travels, sports tourism such as golf, and Malaysia as a wedding and honeymoon destination.

At OTM, Tourism Malaysia will also organise various programmes for travel trade players to meet up and network among themselves, providing Malaysia’s tourism industry players the opportunity to strengthen ties with their Indian counterparts. 

During his visit, the Honourable Minister will also inaugurate the brand new Tourism Malaysia office in Mumbai at the Bandra Kurla Complex. The office has been relocated to be closer to the immigration and visa offices to make obtaining travel information to Malaysia even more convenient for the Indian tourist.

OTM 2017, from 21 to 23 February, is held in Mumbai, the largest outbound market and the main business hub in India. It is expected to attract close to 1,500 exhibitors from 61 countries and 35 Indian States / UTs, and about 200,000 visitors, making it one of the most important travel events in India.
-Tourism Malaysia.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Top riders ready to strike Kuala Terengganu - Le Tour De Langkawi 2017

Cycling superstar Filippo Pozzato and up and coming sprinter Jakub Mareczko (Willier Triestina), GC contender Jacques Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Colombian prodigy Egan Bernal (Androni Giocattoli) and local hero Anuar Manan (Terengganu TSG) attended the top riders pre-race press conference in Kuala Terengganu ahead of the 22nd edition of Le Tour de Langkawi due to start in Kuala Berang on Wednesday 22 February.

Anuar Manan: "We’ve been training and taking part in local criteriums for six weeks in Australia under our new coach Jeremy Hunt who’s been a Team Sky rider. The condition is good but other teams have also prepared LTdL very seriously. For the next LTdL, some young Malaysian riders have a good potential for performing but for now, it’s still up to me and my team-mates."

Jakub Mareczko: "There are many good sprinters on the start line, mostly from Italy with Nicolas Marini from Nippo-Vini Fantini, Marco Benfatto and Andrea Palini of Androni Giocattoli. I also know Scott Sunderland from Australia for racing him in China before. I’ll try to repeat the stage victory I got here last year. We have a strong team for that with Rafael Andriato and Filippo Pozzato to lead me out in the finales."

Filippo Pozzato: "I’ve wanted to do Le Tour de Langkawi many times but I was always doing Tirreno-Adriatico. Since our team hasn’t been invited to Tirreno-Adriatico, I took the opportunity to come here after the Tour of Oman to get a good condition for Milan-Sanremo. I’d like to go for a stage win myself but we also have a great team to lead Mareczko out in the bunch sprints."

Jacques Janse van Rensburg: "This is my seventh time taking part in Le Tour de Langkawi. There’s always a nice atmosphere for racing here. We came with an all rounded team for sprinting and riding for GC, which seems to work for our team as we won this race in the past two years. We have an all African team, except from Ben O’Connor who is an Australian. I hope to be able to fight for GC. Cameron Highlands is always a tough climb at the end and that’s where the GC should be decided."

Egan Bernal: "I’ve trained a lot ahead of this season and I started racing in Argentina with the Vuelta a San Juan. I felt good there, so I want to do well at Le Tour de Langkawi. It’s a good race for me and an important event in my career. Many Colombians have made their fame over here. I’m still very young. I don’t have enough experience yet to be able to tell where and when I’ll be a winner. I want to learn first. I’ve been told that Cameron Highlands isn’t a too hard climb. I hope it’ll be a good one for me."

Organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia and managed by Ciclista Sports Sdn Bhd, the 22nd edition of Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) from 22 February to 1 March, 2017 is set to cover more than 1,200km over 8 stages, the UCI 2.HC (hors category) race featuring again as one of the biggest events on the UCI Asia Tour calendar.

Wilayah International Motofest 2017 @ Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur ( 24 ~ 26 Februari 2017 )

Like big bikes, cool accessories and stunt action? Gather yourself at WILAYAH INTERNATIONAL MOTOFEST 2017, one of the organised event in conjunction of Federal Territory month.

About 15,000 bikers are expected to attend this exciting event. Lots of activities will be happening on this 3 days event such as
> Malaysian @ Ride 2 Wilayah- 10,000 bikers will convoy from Putrajaya to Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur
> Bike exhibition (easy rider, touring, vespa, classic, superbike, custom made etc), stunt action, best bike competition
> Classic car show, bike accessories sales booth and artist performance by Awie, XPDC and Kristal!
Date: 24 – 26 February 2017
Time: 2.00 pm – 12.00 am
Venue: Merdeks Square (Dataran Merdeka)

Organizer: Sport and Culture Club, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (Kelab Sukan & Budaya DBKL) and Kepala Kuasa Motorcycle Club (Kelab Motorsikal Kepala Kuasa -KKMG)

-Tourism Malaysia Kuala Lumpur facebook.

Filippo Pozzato, a star among new faces @ Le Tour De Langkawi 2017

SHAH ALAM: As he received the entry form of Italian outfit Willier Triestina, Le Tour de Langkawi chief executive officer Emir Abdul Jalal was full of joy with the addition of Filippo Pozzato along with up and coming sprinter Jakub Mareczko.

“This is a real coup for our event”, Emir explained. “Pozzato is one of the true stars of world’s cycling, not only because of his look but moreover because of his records. He’s a stage winner in every single Grand Tour: Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana. He also the winner of the 2006 Milan-Sanremo, a race in which he made the top ten again just one year ago. It means he’s still very competitive and he’ll deliver a great show here in Malaysia. It reminds of the times when we were welcoming world class heroes like Gianni Bugno with Mapei, Jens Voigt or Stuart O’Grady with Crédit Agricole.”

A true lover of travelling in Asia, predominantly in Singapore, Japan and China, Pozzato will make his debut at Le Tour de Langkawi at the age of 35 with the aim of gearing up for Milan-Sanremo and helping out Mareczko.

Having signed for a team called UAE Abu Dhabi, stage victories record holder Andrea Guardini (22) will understandably miss LTdL due to a clash of events with the Abu Dhabi Tour but Mareczko is tipped to become his successor following six years of domination in the sprint finishes by the former Astana fast man.

A stage winner in Rembau last year, the Polish-born diminutive Italian recently finished third in stage 2 of the Dubai Tour, beating no less than Mark Cavendish and John Degenkolb.

Other sprinters to watch this time around will be Andrea Palini, also an Italian stage winner at LTdL last year, now with Androni Giocattoli, his compatriots Nicolas Marini of Nippo-Vini Fantini as well as Marco Maronese and Paolo Simion with Bardiani CSF, New Zealand’s veteran Greg Henderson of Unitedhealthcare, Australian sensation Scott Sunderland from IsoWhey Sports Swisswellness who used to challenge Azizul Hasni Awang on the track in keirin competitions, Japan’s Shiki Kuroeda with Aisan, Korea’s Park Sung Baek of KSPO and local stars Anuar Manan and Harrif Saleh from Terengganu TSG.

Following the highly expected inaugural sprinters show in Kuala Terengganu on Wednesday 22 February, GC contenders will be in action on the way to Grik. Defending champion Reinardt Janse van Rensburg has passed the leadership of the WorldTour Dimension Data team to his homonymous Jacques Janse van Rensburg who already made the final top ten of LTdL three times previously.

Colombian sensation Egan Bernal of Androni Giocattoli is touted to follow the path of his compatriot Miguel Angel “Superman” Lopez who won the queen stage in the Cameron Highlands last year. Runner up Daniel Jaramillo, also from Colombia, will be back in contention with an increased motivation at the helm of Unitedhealthcare while his promising compatriots Fernando Orjuela and Bernardo Suaza will make their debut at LTdL with the newly upgraded Pro Continental squad Manzana-Postobon.

Other GC riders to watch will be Italy’s Enrico Barbin of Bardiani CSF, Australia’s Cameron Bayly from IsoWhey Sports Swisswellness, Danish skinny climber John Ebsen of Infinite AIS, Indonesia’s Dadi Suryadi from Terengganu TSG while Kazakhstanis Yevgeniy Gidich of Vino Astana Motors and Maxat Ayazbayev of Keyi Look are tipped for leading the charge to the best Asian rider competition.

“We’ve given more chance to Asians to express their talent this year”, Emir said. “However, this is a starting field that we can be proud of considering the economically difficult time. We have riders from all five continents, from USA, Australia, Europe, Colombia and South Africa, all established cycling territories, but also Rwanda, Eritrea and Brazil in addition to nine Asian nations.”

Organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia and managed by Ciclista Sports Sdn Bhd, the 22nd edition of Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) from 22 February to 1 March, 2017 is set to cover more than 1,200km over 8 stages, the UCI 2.HC (hors category) race featuring again as one of the biggest events on the UCI Asia Tour calendar.