Saturday, June 30, 2012

A380 tarikan baru perkukuh khidmat MAS



Pesawat dijangka mampu tingkat jumlah penumpang

Penerbangan Malaysia (MAS), memulakan era baru perkhidmatannya dengan menjadikan pesawat penumpang terbesar dunia, A380 sebagai tarikan utama mengukuhkan jumlah penumpangnya.



Pesawat itu dibawa pulang semula ke Malaysia semalam selepas menjalani kemasan terakhir di kilang Airbus di Toulouse, dengan warna serta hiasan korporat MAS yang baru menjelang penerbangan sulungnya ke London, esok.
Bersandarkan tempahan awal yang diterima, faktor muatan bagi pesawat A380 adalah 10 peratus lebih tinggi daripada yang dicatatkan penerbangan serupa yang menggunakan pesawat Boeing 747. - Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Ketua Eksekutif Kumpulan MAS
Ketua Eksekutif Kumpulan MAS, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, berkata sambutan memberangsangkan yang diterima untuk penerbangan dua minggu pertama A380 memberikan isyarat sangat positif kepada syarikat penerbangan kebangsaan itu.

Katanya, bersandarkan tempahan awal yang diterima, faktor muatan bagi pesawat A380 adalah 10 peratus lebih tinggi daripada yang dicatatkan penerbangan serupa yang menggunakan pesawat Boeing 747.

“Faktor muatan A380 untuk penerbangan dua minggu pertama ini ternyata sudah melebihi jangkaan kami. 

“Pesawat baru ini menyediakan daya tarikan yang besar dan ini sudah dibuktikan oleh syarikat penerbangan lain yang turut menggunakan A380. 
“Kami mahu meraih faktor muatan setinggi mana yang mungkin, namun pada masa sama apa yang lebih penting adalah bagaimana MAS dapat menetapkan harga yang berdaya saing,” katanya pada sidang media menyambut ketibaan pesawat A380 itu di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur (KLIA), Sepang, semalam.

Ketibaan rombongan disertai 91 tetamu dan kakitangan MAS, termasuk Ahmad Jauhari disambut Menteri Pengangkutan, Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha. Pesawat yang diterbangkan Kapten Norshid Ali itu tiba di KLIA kira-kira jam 10 pagi selepas membuat penerbangan terus 12 jam dari Toulouse. Ia akan membuat penerbangan sulungnya, MH2 dari KLIA ke London malam esok dan penerbangan sulung MH3 dari London ke KLIA keesokannya.

Pada majlis semalam, MAS turut melancarkan Lounge Kelas Pertama dan Perniagaan Antarabangsanya yang baru dinaikkan taraf. MAS adalah syarikat penerbangan kelapan dunia yang menggunakan pesawat A380, yang dianggarkan bernilai AS$390 juta (RM1.2 bilion) setiap unit. Syarikat penerbangan kebangsaan itu akan menerima lima lagi pesawat jenis itu sehingga Mac tahun depan.

Ahmad Jauhari berkata, MAS akan membuat keputusan berhubung destinasi serta tempoh kekerapan penerbangan bagi lima lagi pesawat itu pada suku ketiga ini. “Kami sudah menghantar kertas cadangan, termasuk kepada Lapangan Terbang Narita di Jepun, dan lapangan terbang di China. MAS dijadualkan akan membuat pengumuman pada akhir suku ketiga ini,” katanya.

Pesawat A380 yang pertama itu dikhususkan untuk penerbangan ke London dengan kekerapan tiga kali seminggu. Sementara itu, pesawat kedua yang dijadualkan tiba bulan depan akan membuat penerbangan harian ke London, dengan penerbangan sulungnya dijangka pada 25 Ogos ini.

Ahmad Jauhari berkata, ketibaan pesawat baru yang merendahkan usia angkatan pesawat MAS itu juga memberi isyarat bermulanya tahap produk dan pengalaman baru kepada penumpangnya. “Ini sebahagian inisiatif pembaharuan angkatan pesawat untuk menurunkan purata usia pesawat kami, yang kemudian akan menghasilkan pengurangan kos dengan ketara,” katanya.


-Berita Harian online.

The BIG card is more than just a frequent flyer programme


AirAsia’s global loyalty programme, BIG, kicked off this week through a joint innovative programme with Visa International that enables Visa credit card members worldwide to convert their respective reward points into BIG Points.
RHB Bank Berhad (RHB Bank) and Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad (Alliance Bank) have become the first commercial banks to participate in Malaysia. Under the programme, Visa credit card members of RHB Bank and Alliance Bank can now convert their credit card points to BIG Points and fly AirAsia and AirAsia X for free.
For both banks, the partnership with BIG means an extension of their respective rewards programmes. BIG is the global loyalty programme of AirAsia that allows members to travel and shop with AirAsia and other BIG partners and merchants worldwide and accumulate points that can be redeemed for free flight seats on AirAsia and AirAsia X as well as other rewards. BIG is a joint venture between AirAsia and Tune Money, the financial services arm of Tune Group.
Blue skies ahead: Miller, RHB Bank director of retail banking Vince Au Yoong, Alliance Bank head of consumer banking Ronnie Lim and Tomlinson.
To be eligible for the points conversion programme, Visa credit card members must first sign up to become a BIG Shot at www.tune2big.comor www.airasia.com. Points conversion can be done once the application is approved and completed. Conversion rate is set at 3,000 reward points to 1,000 BIG Points and can be done via the BIG portal or the respective bank’s website. And soon they will be on their way to fly AirAsia and AirAsia X for free.
Flight redemption can be conveniently done at the BIG portal. For those without enough number of required points, they may also top up the reward flight seats with cash or credit card payment. Redeeming free flight seats is simple and members can redeem as many flight tickets as long as points required are sufficient. BIG had earlier on collaborated with RHB Investment Bank for a special rewards programme for its stockbroking clients.
“We are pleased to extend our partnership with RHB which already includes RHB Investment Bank and commence partnership with Alliance Bank. This Visa points conversion programme is testimony to the BIG card’s universality — that we can work with any partner in any business area. BIG should be seen as a complementary, value-adding product partner that enhances benefits for the customer. At the end of the day, BIG is the only card that allows you to fly for free from as low as just 500 BIG Points during our low-redemption promotions to selected destinations like Singapore, Penang and Semarang (Indonesia), just to name a few,” said AirAsia Malaysia commercial director Jasmine Lee.
Tune Money CEO Peter Miller added, “The BIG card is more than just a frequent flyer programme; it is indeed a very innovative loyalty scheme. Credit card members of RHB Bank and Alliance Bank can continue spending using their Visa cards and enjoy free flight seats on AirAsia and AirAsia X. With over 28 million Visa merchants worldwide, it would be very easy to achieve free flight seats. Pay your grocery and dining bills with your Visa credit cards and within weeks you could be having a weekend break in Langkawi or Phuket. Through our analysis, converting credit card points into BIG Points will certainly reward you with more flight seats as compared to traditional loyalty programmes.”
Visa country manager (Malaysia) Stuart Tomlinson said, “At Visa, we are continuously working to deliver exciting and practical benefits to Visa cardholders. Through this BIG point conversion programme, RHB and Alliance Visa credit cardholders will now have more reason to use their Visa cards for their every day purchases. Besides enjoying the convenience and security that comes with using a Visa card, cardholders of both banks can now look forward to accumulating rewards points that can be converted towards free AirAsia and AirAsia X flights simply by using their Visa credit cards for anything from groceries, movie tickets, books, dining and others.”
In conjunction with the points conversion programme launch, Visa credit cardmembers who sign up for the BIG membership from now until Aug 31 would be given complimentary 250 BIG Points.
-thestar online.

Shop till you drop


You can rest and return for more bargains with Johor Premium Outlets’ ‘Shop & Stay’ package.
There is never enough hours in a day to grab a good bargain or two. At Johor Premium Outlets, the country’s main factory-direct savings centre, the solution has arrived to keep shoppers coming back and as close as possible to the shopping haven in Kulaijaya, Johor. Out comes Johor Premium Outlets’ value-added hotel deals to make it even more unique, fun and affordable to enjoy a shopping spree.
Grab a bargain: Shoppers looking through some of the high-street clothing items at the Johor Premium Outlets in Kulaijaya. The outlet’s ‘Shop & Stay Package’ now also provides special hotel room rates, shopping discounts, free shuttle and much more.
Partnering with various hotels close to the shopping centre, Johor Premium Outlets has introduced a year-round ‘Shop & Stay’ package that provides special room rates, shopping discounts, free shuttle and more. The ‘Shop & Stay’ package is available at all nearby hotels, including Le Grandeur Palm Resort, Mutiara Johor Baru, Pulai Springs Resort, Thistle Hotel, and Silka Hotel. Each package can be purchased directly through the hotels where guests will enjoy a complimentary Johor Premium Outlets VIP coupon book.
As the first premium outlet centre in South-East Asia, the centre has been a big hit with shoppers since its opening in Dec 2011. Featuring more than 80 leading designer and name brands, the outlet offers impressive savings of 25% to 65% every day. The list of leading designers and quality brand names available includes Adidas, Armani, Burberry, Canali, Coach, Esprit, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gap, Guess, Lacoste, Michael Kors, Nike, Oroton, Royal Selangor, Salvatore Ferragamo, Swiss Watch Gallery, Timberland, Tumi and many more.
Johor Premium Outlets is open daily from 10am to 10pm and features various food and beverage options as well as a host of amenities including an information centre, ATM machines, rental for strollers and wheelchairs. For more information on ‘Shop & Stay’ package, visit www.premiumoutlets.com.my.
-thestar online.

Kiwi loves Malaysia so much he has made it his second home


It is not uncommon for foreigners to fall in love with Malaysia on their visits here given our wide spread of good food and lovely beaches.
But for New Zealander Tony Willis, he just keeps coming back. Willis first came to Malacca in 2006 for a 10-month stint with the Salvation Army.
Right at home: Willis eats his noodles only with chopsticks.
He went home to New Zealand after his time with the non-governmental organisation but Malaysia had already made an impression. And when the opportunity came to return to Malaysia, he did not hesitate to come back. He took up a teaching position with UCSI University in 2008 for two-and-a-half years till 2010. “I went back home to New Zealand for awhile but found I missed Malaysia too much and had to come back,” he said. “I really like the warm weather here,” he added earnestly when met with scepticism.
So he took up another teaching contract with London English Academy (LEA), a language centre located in Bandar Utama, and settled into his second home — Malaysia. Willis said he probably has more friends now in Malaysia than back home in New Zealand. “People are really friendly here. I can just make friends with everybody,” said the 34-year-old. And good friends are part of what makes living in Malaysia so enjoyable for Willis.
He spends most of his time catching up with friends. He even keeps a diary to make sure he doesn’t double-book them. “Because there are so many things to do here, I end up doing whatever my friends do. Things like going to the movies, playing board games, badminton and such. It is really more about the company than the activity,” he said.
He also observes that unlike New Zealand, shops and eateries here only close at 10pm. “And after that, there’s always the mamak stalls that you can go to,” he smiles, indicating another favourite hangout spot with his friends. “I like the fact that you can get almost anything anywhere, from Malay food, to fusion, mamak, Chinese and so on,” he said. But his favourite is a good serving of wantan mee. He claimed that the best one he had was from a stall near Leisure Mall in Cheras.
During his two-and-a-half years of teaching in UCSI, Willis had a car which enabled him to travel a fair bit within Kuala Lumpur. He considers himself well-versed with the roads in Kuala Lumpur and probably even better, than some locals.
Occasionally, Willis would get away for the weekend to meet up with friends in Negri Sembilan and Malacca. He loves travelling and likes it that most places in Malaysia are easily accessible. “I like being able to get away every once in awhile. And if you put aside enough money, you can travel quite a bit. And I love beaches and there are quite a number of lovely ones here,” he noted.
One of his favourite places in Malaysia is Penang, which he has visited several times. He takes pleasure in discovering a little more of the island every time he goes there. And like most locals, he thinks only the best of Penang food. On his next trip to Penang, Willis hopes to see more of the northern part of the island. He also looks forward to the day when he can visit Langkawi.
-thestar online.

Shopping centre intends to surprise and delight its Middle Eastern shoppers


Middle Eastern tourists to Malaysia have found a favourite shopping destination in Pavilion KL that ensures a personalised experience.
At the recent 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival launch at Pavilion KL, the mall’s marketing director Kung Suan Ai said it was part of their proactive efforts to provide an engaging experience to tourists by putting together a calendar of activities that aims to both surprise and delight. “We will feature a team of welcome dancers performing the 1Malaysia Dance to introduce visitors to the many flavours of our rich culture and heritage. In addition to various activities, we have stepped up our efforts in providing friendly, personalised, value-added services, one of which includes an Arabic-speaking concierge.
Culture fusion: The Pavilion KL 1Malaysia dancers posing with a Middle Eastern visitor (third from left).
“Our aim is to promote Malaysia as a top-of-mind tourist destination through these efforts,” explained Kung. Mohamed Mohamud Mohamed from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Pavilion KL’s Arabic-speaking concierge said, “The services we provide allow visitors to save time and energy. They can spend their time more effectively and efficiently, enjoying more quality time with their families.”
The 1Malaysia dance performance is a 30-minute show made up of dances and music from Malay, Chinese, Indian and Sabah and Sarawak heritage. This fusion of various dances displays a symphony that is unique to Malaysia, showcasing the nation’s rich melting pot of cultural flavours.
The dance will be performed at Pavilion KL’s Bukit Bintang entrance against the backdrop of its Liuli Crystal Fountain at 6pm on weekends until July 15. The 1Malaysia Dance, Mega Sale offers and personalised services are just a few highlights at Pavilion KL in conjunction with 1MMSC. Through a joint campaign with Tourism Malaysia, each tourist can also enjoy a free Travel Gift Set for accumulated purchases of RM500 and above.
The arrival of Middle Eastern tourists in Malaysia has seen tremendous growth in the last few years, recording 229,000 Arab visitors to Malaysia in 2010, from 200,000 recorded in 2009 (Source: Tourism Ministry) . A majority of these visits are recorded during the 1MMSC period as they continue to be attracted by the shopping scene in Malaysia.
The 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival was launched by Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen recently and will end on Sept 4, 2012. For details, call 03 2118 8833 or check real-time updates on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/PavilionKL or Twitter at @Pavilion_KL.
-thestar online.

Budget airline offers cheap flights to Manila


A third international budget carrier will be operating from the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang.
Airphil Express, the fastest-growing budget carrier in the Philippines, launched their new international route which will take passengers from LCCT to Manila for only RM49. This is a special introductory price which is available until Sept 30. Airphil Express has scheduled flights every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday with flights departing at 11.55pm from the LCCT and arriving in Manila at 4.05am.
Warm welcome: Azmi (third from right) and Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (Asean) director Ishak Ismail welcoming passengers on the Airphil Express inaugural flight from Manila to LCCT.
“Airphil’s presence is most welcome as it contributes towards the growing tourism potential and trade between the two cities,’’ said Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad senior general manager Datuk Azmi Murad. Speaking at a special reception in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia, Azmi said the new service would further provide passengers with more options and connectivity for travel between Malaysia and the Philippines. “However, we hope Airphil will increase their flights to seven times a week to further boost travel potential,’’ he added.
Airphil Express officer-in-charge (airport operations) Cesar M. Chiong said the airlines had gained patronage among discerning budget-conscious travellers in the Philippines and other countries in Asia, mainly due to its frequent Express Sales. It offers ultra-discounted fares for featured destinations within a certain time period.
“We believe the reason for its significant growth last year was due to its excellent customer service together with its much-anticipated Express Sale promotion,’’ said Chiong. He said Airphil Express would increase its frequency to daily flights between the two cities in the near future because there was a demand in this sector.
“As you may have witnessed, we arrived at LCCT ahead of schedule and this is what our passengers would experience on our flights to all our destinations,’’ he added. Currently, the airline operates in 32 local destinations in the Philippines and also serves the international routes from Manila-Singapore, Cebu-Hong Kong, Clark-Singapore and Clark-Hong Kong.
For more information, visit www.airphilexpress.com.
-thestar online.

Grand welcome held for MAS’ latest airbus


PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines’ (MAS) first Airbus A380 touched down at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang to a grand welcome as the national carrier celebrated its entry into the elite A380 club.
Sporting a special celebratory livery, Flight MH5439 arrived at KLIA from Toulouse, France, to a traditional welcome of a water cannon salute. “The arrival of the A380 is proof that MAS has once again taken the lead to support the nation’s aspirations to be a leader in trade and tourism activities,” said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha at the welcoming ceremony. “Despite mounting and continuous challenges in the global commercial aviation industry, MAS has never neglected its obligation to fulfil the corporate objectives required by the Government,” he said.
Kong said MAS’ latest commercial super jumbo aircraft would create excitement and confidence among the public for the national airlines, adding that it was the eighth operator of such an aircraft in the world. MAS, he said, had also ordered six A380, with most of these coming in by the end of the year.
The flight from Toulouse was commanded by Captain Norshid Ali and ferried 91 guests and selected MAS staff from various divisions, including its group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Malaysia Airports CEO Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, Civil Aviation Department director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman and senior Finance Ministry officials. Guests, including Kong and Transport Ministry officials, were later given a tour of the double-deck aircraft and a chance to try out the seats, meals and new amenities.
Kong also opened the upgraded MAS flagship Golden Lounge at the KLIA satellite building, which now features two seating areas – the Platinum Lounge for its Enrich Platinum members and First Class guests and another for its Enrich Gold members, Business Class guests and front-end passengers. He also announced that the total number of passengers handled by airports across the country was expected to increase to 68 million this year from 65.3 million previously.
-thestar online.
www.malaysiaairlines.com

Friday, June 29, 2012

Firefly breathes fire again with new flights


Firefly will launch four weekly services between Kota Bharu and Singapore and re-introduce three weekly flights between Penang and Koh Samui which were suspended in 2009.


The flights will start from August 10. Three weekly services between Subang and Hat Yai will also be launched on August 17. Firefly will be the only airline to provide air links between these destinations.


PYO Travel, senior manager, sales, distribution & global support, John Chan, said: “It opens up opportunities to tourism players in these destinations and allows them to tap the Gen X and Gen Y segments with money to travel and are looking for short breaks to distract them from work and daily pressures.”


The new services and increased frequencies on certain high traffic routes are designed to maximise its 12 ATR72-500 aircraft utilisation. Effective August 10, Firefly will add one service on Sunday between Subang and Pekanbaru in Indonesia, bringing the weekly number of services to four. Services between Singapore and Kuantan will be increased to daily, from four weekly services. 


To make way for the new services between Kota Bharu and Singapore and the increase in frequencies between Singapore and Kuantan, Firefly will reduce its weekly services between Subang and Singapore from 49 to 42 weekly services as it does not have additional traffic rights.
-TTG Asia.
www.firefly.com.my

Tourism Floral Parade 2012 - Magic of the Night

Date: 30 June ~ 8 July 2012
Time: 8.30 pm
Venue: Putrajaya Lake, Presint 2

Last year floats.... (and please come to see this year floats...)













-PelanconganKini.
photo: pelancongankini.

Communicating through art



Zulaiha (left) and Shahwal with some of their paintings.
PETALING JAYA (June 28, 2012): For three deaf artists, art has opened a way for them to convey their emotions and experiences with the hearing world.
Zulaiha Zulkapli sits at a table at the Deaf Art Expose II 2012, painting a rose on a small, white canvas with a deft hand and a delicate touch. “I was born a hearing child, but fell ill with a fever at five years old and lost most of my hearing,” she signed, interpreted by RC Deaf Missions director Agnes Peter. “I fell in love with art when I was growing up in a kampung in Pahang, and although my qualifications are in graphic design, my passion is in art and that is what I do now,” the homemaker said.
“For me, art is a natural thing. It’s a way for me to convey my emotions, how I’m feeling, or for me to treasure good memories in a tangible way,” she said. Many of her paintings are themed around nature, and her large close-ups of various flower species are popular among art lovers.
Shahwal Nizam, another deaf artist, sees life through rose-tinted glasses, reflected through his art pieces that burst with vibrant colours and simple strokes. “I don’t think I’ve ever painted anything when I was sad. My art is mostly naïve art, which is childlike art – bold brushstrokes, happy colours and beauty in simplicity,” the 30-year-old signed.
Shahwal said he is inspired by Ismail Baba, better known in art circles as Pak Mael, his uncle and a renowned naïve artist in Malaysia. “He taught me to love art, and through naïve art I have the freedom to explore and depict Malaysian life in a different way,” he said. His paintings of Kuala Lumpur, bursting with a mishmash of bright colours, are favourites among children and members of the expatriate community.
For Anuar Shahren, his inspiration comes from various places, including Indian cultural dance, Muslim traditions, kampung life and nature. “Each piece is unique to me; I mostly use acrylic paints, but sometimes oil and colour pencils are used,” the 3D architecture designer said.
The Deaf Art Expose II 2012 booth will be at the ground floor of The Curve shopping mall until Sunday.
Peter said members of the deaf community find it difficult to bridge the communication divide with the hearing world, and her organisation was a way for them to show society what they are capable of. “More importantly though, I want to help them express their deepest thoughts and have the courage to step forward and live life fully, and art is a good way,” she said.
-thesundaily.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Pays Courtesy Visit To Minister Of Tourism, Malaysia


Kuala Lumpur: A delegation from the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) paid a courtesy visit to the honourable Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism, Malaysia at the Tourism Ministry in Putrajaya, on Tuesday, 26 June 2012.

The 10-member delegation was led by the Secretary of Social Affairs and Culture Macau, SAR (SASC), H.E. Dr. Cheng U and accompanied by Tunku Iskandar Tunku Abdullah, the Malaysian MGTO representative. Among the topics discussed were the bilateral tourism and the similarities that both cities showcase, especially in history, culture and cuisines, when both cities were once under Portuguese rule. The delegation was enroute to the historical city of Melaka for an official engagement (the Macau Library Gallery Official Opening on 26 June 2012).
-Tourism Malaysia.

Go online, then go on holiday

KUALA LUMPUR: Travel bugs can browse through the new MATTA Fair mobile apps on great deals to be offered at the upcoming MATTA Fair September 2012.


Organising committee chairman Jeffri Sulaiman said that for the first time, all information about the fair will be available via the app for those using Android phones. The app will be available for download from July 4. “MATTA is going high tech. Visitors will be able to find out what great deals are available even before coming to the fair,” he said at a promotional launch of the event at a restaurant here yesterday.

Jeffri said visitors would also be able to buy entrance tickets to the event (RM4 each) in advance via the MATTA Fair website http://www.mattafair.org.my/

Jeffri said corporate bulk ticket purchases would also be offered to corporations and companies to enjoy special rates on purchases. The fair, themed “Making Dreams Come True”, will be held at the Putra World Trade Centre from Sept 7 to 9. Jeffri said more than 80,000 visitors were expected, with a projected sales turnover of over RM85mil. Registration for exhibitors will be open from July 2.

Jeffri said MATTA and non-MATTA members who have taken part in the last three fairs will be able to enjoy a discount of RM500 and RM300 respectively. The Star is the official media partner of the event.
-thestar online.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Apple Group diversifies into tourism education


Apple Group of Companies is expanding its tours and accommodation portfolio to include tourism-related educational courses in tour guiding, ticketing, cargo and hotel management. The company recently received a license from the Ministry of Tourism to set up Apple Institute of Tourism in Kuala Lumpur, and courses are scheduled to commence in April 2013.

Programmes offered include the IATA/ UFTAA Foundation and EBT (Electronic Booking Tools) Diploma, the IATA/FIATA Cargo Introductory Course, a tour guide course and language courses in Korean, Japanese and English, according to group managing director, Desmond Lee, who said he wanted to provide skilled human capital for the tourism industry.

Meanwhile, Apple Aviation, a subsidiary of the group, was appointed sales and marketing agent for Air Logistics earlier this month.
-TTG Asia.

Wang kertas baru di pasaran

Wang kertas baru.


KUALA LUMPUR 26 Jun - Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) berkata, wang kertas siri baru Malaysia akan berada dalam edaran mulai 16 Julai 2012.


Berikutan itu, BNM telah mengadakan beberapa sesi pertemuan sejak beberapa bulan yang lalu dengan pihak berkepentingan bagi membolehkan pengenalan wang kertas siri baru Malaysia ini berjalan dengan lancar. Mereka yang terlibat ialah institusi kewangan, kompleks membeli-belah, syarikat pengangkutan awam, syarikat telekomunikasi, pengendali tempat letak kereta, pemilik kios pembayaran serta pengendali mesin wang tunai dan tiket.


BNM dalam kenyataan di sini berkata, sekiranya pihak berkepentingan tersebut belum berbuat demikian, mereka hendaklah mempercepatkan pengubahsuaian mesin mereka agar boleh menerima wang kertas siri baru untuk kemudahan orang ramai. Seandainya pengubahsuaian mesin mereka tidak dapat disiapkan menjelang 16 Julai ini, penyelesaian alternatif hendaklah disediakan, contohnya penyediaan kaunter pertukaran wang kertas atau kaunter tiket manual.


Orang ramai boleh menghubungi BNMLINK di 1-300-88- 5465 atau menelefon 03-26988044 sambungan 7307/ 8658 atau menghantar e-mel kepada ncs@bnm. gov. my untuk maklumat lanjut.
-Utusan Online.

Rafflesia 10 kelopak

IYLIA Ainuddin (kanan) bersama Pegawai Penyelidik FRIM, Siti Munirah Mat Yunoh menunjukkan bunga Rafflesia yang mempunyai 10 kelopak bunga di Royal Belom, Gerik, semalam. - utusan/Roy Azis Abd Aziz


IPOH 26 Jun - Bunga pakma atau Rafflesia iaitu bunga terbesar di dunia lazimnya ditemui mempunyai lima kelopak. Bagaimanapun, spesies hibrid betina fauna berkenaan ditemui memiliki 10 kelopak berdiameter 46 sentimeter di Sungai Gadong, Taman Negeri Royal Belum, Gerik dekat sini, Sabtu lalu.


Tumbuhan parasit tersebut ditemui seorang pekerja Perbadanan Taman Negeri Perak ketika menjalankan kerja-kerja rutin harian menyelia kawasan berkenaan. Pengurus Perbadanan Taman Negeri, Iylia Ainuddin berkata, penemuan bunga itu yang dikenal pasti sebagai hasil evolusi antara spesies R. azlanii dan R. cantleyi telah disahkan sebagai yang pertama di dunia. Beliau berkata, perkara itu diakui sendiri oleh para penyelidik daripada Institusi Penyelidikan dan Perhutanan Malaysia (FRIM) hari ini.


"Rafflesia merupakan tumbuhan yang terdapat di hutan sekitar Asia Tenggara dan pada kelazimannya, ia mempunyai habitat di sekitar kawasan lereng bukit berdekatan sumber air seperti air terjun dan anak sungai. "Pada tahun lalu, bunga Rafflesia tujuh kelopak juga ditemui di Taman Negeri Royal Belum sementara jenis enam kelopak pernah dijumpai di Sarawak," katanya ketika dihubungi Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.


Dalam pada itu, Iylia memberitahu, daripada 117,500 hektar kawasan hutan yang digazet sebagai Taman Negeri Royal Belum pada 2007, terdapat 12 lokasi telah dikenal pasti menjadi kawasan utama pertumbuhan semulajadi hidupan berkenaan. Beliau berkata, terdapat tiga spesies Rafflesia yang wujud di Taman Negeri Royal Belum ketika ini iaitu R. azlanii, R. cantleyi dan R. kerrii. Justeru katanya, bunga Rafflesia unik yang ditemui itu akan diawet bagi tujuan penyelidikan oleh pihak FRIM bersama Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).


"Kelopak bunga Rafflesia biasanya akan mula kembang dalam tempoh usia lapan hingga 10 bulan, sebelum ia mula mengecut selepas lima ke tujuh hari sehingga warnanya bertukar menjadi hitam,'' katanya. "Selepas ini, mungkin bunga Rafflesia asli itu akan disimpan di FRIM sementara replikanya yang mempunyai saiz sama akan dipamerkan di taman negeri untuk tatapan para pengunjung," katanya.
-Utusan Online.

Potential to be top tourist spot

Photo: PelanconganKini
NUSAJAYA: Johor is confident that the state will be a top tourist destination in the country with new tourism products expected to be launched by this year.

The state recorded a jump in number of foreign tourists arrival with an increase of 147,475 or 0.88% last year compare to 2010. State Tourism and Domestic Trade committee chairman Datuk Hoo Seong Chang said in 2011, a total of 16.7mil foreign tourists visited Johor compared to 16.5mil two years ago. He pointed out that the state government was confident that the number of foreign and domestic tourists would double with the opening of several new tourism products in September this year.

Hoo added that among the latest tourism products were Johor Premium Outlets (JPO), which has become a hit not only for locals but also to foreign tourists. “With the opening of Legoland Malaysia and Puteri Harbour Indoor Theme Park in a few months time we are confident that Johor will see many tourist arrival for this year.

“For the first quarter of this year alone - Jan to March - there was an increase of 729,423 or (18.32%) which is 4.71mil foreign tourists while in 2011, it was 3.98mil within the same period,” he said. He was replying to Datuk Lee Hong Tee (BN-Jementah), Dr Boo Cheng Hau (DAP-Skudai) and Ng See Tiong (BN-Parit Yaani) at the recent Johor state assembly meeting.

Hoo also said that tourists from Singapore, Indonesia, China and the Philippines were frequent to the state while there was also an increase in tourists from countries such as United Kingdom, India, Thailand, and Japan. “The state government through the Johor Tourism Department are working closely not only with the Tourism Ministry and private sector but also with the Immigration Department, the Customs Department, and the police to ensure that foreign tourists not only have a good time here but also to make traveling easier and safer,” he said.
-thestar online.
http://www.johortourism.gov.my/

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

MAS to ramp up frequencies on regional routes

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has plans to increase frequencies on regional routes with high demand in Asia-Pacific, such as Jakarta, Bangkok, New Delhi and Hong Kong, as well as some primary tourist destinations.


The group CEO, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, said Asia-Pacific was a growth area and anticipated high passenger traffic from a growing middle class segment. MAS’ original plans to utilise its new A380 on the Kuala Lumpur-Sydney-Kuala Lumpur route from July 1 have been withdrawn as the aircraft’s seat capacity exceeds demand. However, plans remain intact for the A380 aircraft to commence thrice-weekly operations on the Kuala Lumpur-London-Kuala Lumpur route from July 1.

Ahmad Jauhari said commercial studies were being carried out on new routes to fly the A380, with destinations such as Australia and Japan on the cards. The flag carrier will take delivery of its second A380 next month.

MAS has pushed back its target to turn profitable by one year, from 2013 to 2014. Last year, the national carrier incurred a loss of RM2.52 billion (US$788 million) against a revenue of RM13.9 billion. For the first quarter of 2012, MAS reported a loss of RM171.8 million.
-TTG Asia.

Calling all jetski riders

International and local jetski riders will soon be seen competing with each other off the waters of Pangkor Island during the Pangkor World Jetrace Challenge 2012.


The event, initiated by the state government in conjunction with Visit Perak Year 2012, will be held at Pantai Pasir Bogak on July 14 and 15. Organising chairman Khairul Azwan Harun said to date, 14 teams from Malaysia, United Kingdom, the Philippines, Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia had signed up for the event. “Those interested can still sign up as registration is open until the end of June.

“Both professional and amateur riders can take part in different categories, namely the Pro-Am Runabout 4 Stroke Open, Ladies Runabout 4 Stroke Open, Pro-Am Runabout 2 Stroke Open, Veteran 4 Stroke Open and 800 Runabout 2 Stroke Open (Jet Ski engine 800cc),” he said. Registration fees range between RM150 and RM300 depending on category. “To liven up the atmosphere, a mini concert will be held at the night on July 13,” he added.

State Culture, Arts, Youth and Sports committee chairman Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharudin, who is also adviser of the event, expressed hope it would attract jetski enthusiasts from all over. “We want to introduce the island to our international visitors,” he said, adding that similar championships were previously held in Port Dickson and Langkawi. For details, call 05-255 7725.
-thestar online.

Ice-breaking start to mega sale season

Tourism Malaysia kick-started the nationwide 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival on ice at Sunway Pyramid recently. It will be held until Sept 2.


The grand launch marked the highly anticipated sale season in the country. In her speech, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, expressed confidence that the carnival would help increase shoppers and tourism.

Symbolic task: From left are Cheah, Dr Jeffrey Cheah, Dr Ng, Dr Ong and Mirza.

Sunway Pyramid, this year’s official launch venue of the 1MMSC 2012, is part of the Sunway Integrated Resort City, one of the most iconic tourist destinations in Malaysia that attracts 50 million visitors a year. Besides shopping at the mall, visitors can also look forward to an integrated resort experience where they can have a nice, relaxing sunny day at Sunway Lagoon while enjoying their stay at Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa.
This is also the first time a Mega Sale Carnival has been launched on ice – with an ice rink which can accomodate 300 to 400 ice skaters at one time. Shortly after her speech, Dr Ng and her secretary-general Datuk Dr Ong Hong Peng, Tourism director-general, Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Mastercard Worldwide vice-president, senior country manager, Jim Cheah and Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah launched the carnival by knocking on the 1MMSC ice block together with golden hammers until beautiful icy lights came on, signifying the awakening of 1MMSC 2012.

Then, the zamboni, also known as the ice resurfacer, representing the life-size version of the famous and familiar 1MMSC logo, made an appearance in the ice rink followed by the cast of London, the Summer Musical. The cast did a short preview of the West End musical production and sang Flying the Flag and The One Thing.

The musical, which is now showing at Sunway Lagoon’s ampthitheatre, tells a beautiful story of three American air stewardesses who gave up their dreams to sing only to rediscover it again across the Atlantic. The musical also features famous pieces from Mamma Mia, Last Friday Nite, Let’s Hear it For the Boy, I Will Survive and Glee. Later, home-grown ice skaters gracefully skated around on the ice to showcase their talent. They were followed by other guests which also included members of the international media who were here for Tourism Malaysia’s Mega Familiarisation programme.

One of the skaters who performed is the country’s star skater – Ryan Yee, now 18, and who was the youngest ice skater to have his name recorded in the Malaysia Book of Records in 2010.The performance was followed by the KL Fashion weekend preview, showcasing the latest collection at Parkson and other fashion brands and ended with a singing performance by Irma Lailatul Munirah.

The unique icy launch is just a glimpse of what Sunway Pyramid has in store for all shoppers for the 1MMSC. During this period, shoppers can expect irresistible promotions and discounts, attractive redemption programmes and exciting contests. During 1MMSC 2012, shoppers will also be rewarded when they shop in Sunway Pyramid. Besides getting discounts of up to 70% at most stores, they can also redeem gifts such as musical tickets, Sunway Lagoon all-park tickets and more.
-thestar online.

CEO: AirAsia X made right move in stopping KL-Tianjin route

BEIJING: All signs are showing that AirAsia X has made the right decision to end its Kuala Lumpur-Tianjin route and fly direct to Beijing.


AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman Rani said more than 80% of the seats for the airline’s new four-times weekly KL-Beijing flight for the next three months had been sold since the launch of the route last Friday. In comparison, the KL-Tianjin flight garnered 60% to 70% in sales in the first three months of its introduction in 2009. “Beijing, with its population of 20 million, is a very important metropolitan city, and I think there will be a lot more demand for foreign travel from here. “The potential of growth is certainly there and we are going to extend the KL-Beijing route to daily service starting from Aug 6,” he said at an event here to mark the inaugural flight.

The flight achieved an occupancy rate of 90% with 299 inbound and 333 outbound passengers from the Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), which was the highest among all the airline’s inaugural flights. BCIA Co Ltd deputy general manager Zhang Wei said the inaugural KL-Beijing flight had not only given passengers more travel choices but also brought the low-cost airline model to the airport.

On another matter, Azran said the move by AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes to head the airline’s regional operations in Jakarta would help solidify the low-cost carrier’s position as an Asean airline in its future dealings with China. “The political and economic relations between Asean and China have grown stronger. AirAsia X is proud to be part of this and provide more air links between Asean and China, which are two very huge markets with a 600 million and 1.3 billion population, respectively,” he said.
-thestar online.

Monday, June 25, 2012

State hopes to top five million visitors arrival


NUSAJAYA: The state government is looking at getting foreign airlines to have more chartered flights into the state in an effort to boost tourist arrivals to above the five million mark.
Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs committee chairman Datuk Hoo Seong Chang said the state tourism department was in talks with airlines from Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and South Korea. “We are also hoping to get Air Asia Indonesia to also operate from Senai Airport,” he said during his winding up speech. Hoo added that although tourist arrivals were on an uptrend with 4.7 million tourist arrivals into the state within the first three months of this year, the state hoped to achieve more than 5 million.
Hoo: Although tourist arrivals were on an uptrend with 4.7 million tourist arrivals into the state within the first three months of this year, the state hoped to achieve more than 5 million.
“At the moment, we are ranked forth in the country with Kula Lumpur being ranked first, Pahang (second), Penang (third) and Johor (forth).
“If we top more than 5mil in tourist arrivals, then we will be able to move up a notch,” he said, adding that with the opening of Legoland Malaysia and Tanjung Puteri Indoor Entertainment Park.
Hoo added that the state government had also formulated a six-pronged strategy to increase tourist arrivals into the state.
They include to have national and international tourism events, familiarisation trips, advertisements in local magazines and major newspapers overseas, increasing the quality of the people in the industry, increasing sales missions and engaging with smart partnerships with other players.
Hoo added that out of the 26 tourism products that were being developed in the state under the 10th Malaysia Plan, 11 have been completed with another 15 still under the planning stage. He also explained that presently out of the 16mil visitors and tourists that enter the state annually, 20% were tourists and another 20% comprised those on transit to other places while the remaining 60% were day trippers to the state mainly from Singapore.
“All this statics were obtained from the immigration department,” he added, adding that the state tourism department also planned to utilise the internet to promote tourism products in the state. He added that their website has been well received with 175,915 visitors last year compared with 150,000 in 2009. He added that the department now planned to have a webpage for each district, to have an online travel mart, to have videos promoting its tourism products, having an E-Brochure and having internet kiosks.
-thestar online.