Thursday, 31 July 2014

MH17 Statement By Prime Minister Najib Razak ‎During Joint Press Briefing In The Netherlands ‎With Prime Minister Mark Rutte - Thursday, July 31, 06:40 PM GMT +0800

Ladies and gentlemen,
Like the Netherlands, Malaysia is in mourning. We mourn the loss of all 298 lives on board MH17.
And as we watched the first bodies arrive in Eindhoven, our hearts reached out to the people of the Netherlands, who have lost so much.
The flags flying at half-mast told their own story: of the nations who lost their sons and daughters. And of our determination to work together to bring them home.
Malaysia stands with the Netherlands, with Australia; with all countries whose people have been lost. We stand together, united in grief, and ready to help however we can.
Earlier, Prime Minister Rutte and I spoke about the continued military activity at the crash site; the inability of international investigators to deploy across it; and the human remains that may still lie there.
For the sake of the grieving families, it is imperative that all remains at the crash site are repatriated as soon as possible. Every single victim must be given dignity and a decent funeral.
Our other priority is to ensure the international investigators are given full and unfettered access to the site, so that they may collect evidence and carry out their vital work. Only then will we be able to find out what happened to MH17; only then can we achieve justice for the victims and their families.
The conflict in Eastern Ukraine may not be easily resolved. But the people on board that plane had no part in it.
We ask that there be an immediate cessation of hostilities in and around the crash site – by both Ukrainian and separatist forces.
We ask that all sides respect the lives lost, and the integrity of the site, so that the investigation may proceed. The long walk towards justice begins with this step.
A team of 68 Malaysian police has arrived Kiev today. They will work together with the Dutch and Australian teams to help secure access to the site.
Malaysia fully supports the international investigation, and we are grateful to the Netherlands for their lead role in the international team.
Repatriating the remains of victims as fast as possible is a shared priority. Malaysian experts are already helping here in the Netherlands with the painstaking task of identification – and we stand ready to provide more assistance if required.
On behalf of Malaysia, I would like to thank Prime Minister Rutte and the Dutch people for all they have done, and continue to do, for the victims of this senseless and tragic act.
Thank you.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Low medical costs make Asia top for medical tourists

Asia is claiming top spots as medical tourism destinations, according to the PHD Chamber's Medical and Wellness Tourism Report for 2013 with the first five places going to Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, India and South Korea respectively.

The report predicts medical tourism in Asia will grow at 18 per cent annually through to 2017. Singapore has 22 medical facilities certified by Joint Commission International, the US-based quality- and safety-accrediting organisation. In contrast, third-place Malaysia has eight.

Debjit Dutta, director of Impression Tourism Services that does outbound medical tourism from India, commented: "We send critical care patients to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore for their overall expertise, infrastructure and reputation. Many of our British clients, unwilling to wait in queue for National Health Service facilities, travel to Asia as it is quicker and much cheaper.”

Similarly, Reuven Sagi, director of RAS International Tours Mexico, noted: “Many US citizens save thousands of dollars by having a surgery done in Mexico, Singapore, Thailand or India. Some insurance companies encourage medical tourism and incentivise their clients’ trips abroad.”

Not only do tourists benefit, but local hospitals do as well. Said Parvez Dewan, secretary, Ministry of Tourism India: “The growth of medical tourism in India has led to the enhancement of better and advanced medical facilities in the country.” 
-TTG Asia.

4x4 World Explorer's Trans-Asia Expedition Kicks Off In Singapore

SINGAPORE, July 29 (Bernama) -- The 4x4 World Explorer's Trans-Asia V expedition kicked off in Singapore Tuesday, aimed at promoting Malaysia and fostering a gesture of goodwill and friendship.

The event was flagged off by Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore, Datuk Husni Zai Yaacob at the High Commission complex here today. Congratulating expedition leader Thomas Foo, the high commissioner said the event was good for the country as it promoted Malaysia.

He said the event also promoted relations between Malaysia and the other countries as the expedition was going to visit Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, China and Russia, among others. "We also want to promote goodwill among those countries in Asean, China and our dialogue partner, Russia," he told Bernama before the flagging-off event. As the expedition coincided with the Visit Malaysia Year, Husni said it would be good for the country as it promoted the countries in the region to visit Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Foo, who is founder of the 4x4 World Explorer, the organiser said: "The trans-Asia event is Malaysia's effort to make friends with the world." He said this had been going on for the past 25 years.

He said, every year, under the auspices of the Prime Minister's Department, they were sent on a trip lasting about two months. For this particular trip, he said the expedition began from Singapore, the bottom end of the Asia continent and ended at Russia's most remote city of Magadan.

"The convoy will have 17 vehicles flying the Malaysian flag as a gesture of goodwill and friendship to the countries we are visiting. We will be travelling for 65 days," added Foo.


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

An All New Experiences For MotoGP™ In Sepang

Creating another first in maximizing spectators’ experience, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) has introduced a special ticket that provide fans access to all grandstand and hillstand areas at the 2014 Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix this October.

Called the Premier Roving Tickets and offered with an option to purchase race tickets only or with exclusive event merchandise, sale of the special tickets has started and are currently offered on an introductory price for purchases between now and August 31.

“The tickets will allow fans to experience the fantastic atmosphere and enjoy the spectacular actions on track from various vantage points around the circuit,” SIC Chief Executive Officer Datuk Razlan Razali said in a statement today.  

The roving tickets are currently offered at RM250 or RM310 with special SIC’s MotoGP™ merchandise against a normal price of RM300 and RM360 respectively for access to all three days of race. 

With the special access tickets, the fans can move from both sides of the North and South Main Grandstand, the Main Grandstand Tower seats, the F Grandstand as well as the C2 Covered Hillstands.

“As you all know, each seating area will have their own attraction. Fans at the North Grandstand, for example, can enjoy actions and activities at the starting grid and the pitlane. Those at the South Main Grandstand, on the other hand, will enjoy the best of track actions with clear view of Turns 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 as well as the back straight.

“For those at the Main Grandstand Tower, they can have a close view of the riders showing of their skills as they take the sharp Turn 15. This is also a very popular location for those who love photography. “Grandstand F, on the other hand, provides the thrills of watching these world class riders taking the fast corners of turns 5, 6, 7 and 8. While fans can enjoy the race from atop the hills at the C2 Covered Hillstands. 

“With these Premier Rover Tickets, you can have all the enjoyment especially coming with a good SLR camera and getting all the different photos. In the absence of this special tickets, you would need to purchase tickets for all areas, which will come up to a total of RM640. Imagine a savings of up to RM340. However, it is only opened to the first 1,000 tickets so fans are urge to get theirs now as it is selling fast,” added Razlan.

Slotted as the penultimate round of an 18-round championship this season, the 2014 Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix would be held at the circuit from October 24 to 26 – a week after the Australian Grand Prix in Phillip Island and a fortnight before the traditional season ender in Valencia.

Malaysia will have four local heroes in the world championship with Hafizh Syahrin Abdulllah and Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman competing in Moto2; and Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Amirul Hafiq Azmi challenging the Moto3 class.

Targeting more than 80,000 spectators for the race day, SIC will be lining up a host of off-track activities at the spectators’ areas as value added excitement for the fans.

Tickets are priced as low as RM40 and they can be purchased via internet at or by calling TICKET HOTLINE at 03-87782222. SIC Ticket Counters are also available around town. Please visit the official website for locations.

-Sepang International Circuit Sdn Bhd

Malaysia's First Owl Museum Eyes 20,000 Festive Crowd

GEORGE TOWN, July 29 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's first Owl Museum, dedicated to introducing the fascinating world of owls and their cultural relations to humans, expects to draw more than 20,000 visitors during the current festive period and coming school holidays.

The art and craft museum, located on a 2,500 sq ft area at Penang's main tourist attraction of Penang Hill, has a unique owl collection of over 2,500 exhibits. Its owner, Footprint Tourism Penang Sdn Bhd director Adrian Soh, said the idea of establishing an owl museum came in 2010 from his friend who was collecting almost anything about owls.

He said many other countries, such as South Korea, Cyprus and South Africa, had owl museums and it was time that Malaysia had its own owl museum to attract more tourists. "Our fascination is recorded and reflected in the huge number of artistic representations of owls in the form of carvings, sculptures, paintings and tapestries throughout history at the museum," he told Bernama.

He said the museum opened its doors to the public on June 7, 2012, and that among the interesting exhibits is a blue ceramic owl with gold and platinum accents from Uruguay. The museum features a collection of over 2,000 rare and unique art and craft artifacts obtained from more than 20 countries.

Soh said the owls on display were made from all kinds of material such as stone, metal, glass, wood, clay, plastic, buffalo horn, seashells, beans, porcelain, plant fibres, crystal, earthenware and paper and recycled material. "Visitors can also purchase souvenirs, including fashion accessories, fridge magnets and home decorative items at special prices," he said.

The museum opens from 9 am to 6 pm daily. The admission fee is RM10 for adults and free for children under 12. Senior citizens aged 60 and above and students are entitled to a 50 per cent discount.


Monday, 28 July 2014

Summernats Malaysia 2014 @ Sepang International Circuit ( 29 ~ 31 August 2014 )

The BIGGEST Automotive & Lifestyle Event
A Historic Event, For the First Time in Malaysia
"We want you to be a PARTICIPANT, not a spectator"

Event description:
The much loved, family friendly annual Street Machine Summernats Car Festival is Australia's BIGGEST horse power party, will be coming to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August 2014. It began in 1988 and has been voted as Australia's Favourite Event in 2013 & attracting more than 100,000 crowd at each event for the past 2 years.

This is a family friendly festival of the street machine lifestyle, which attracts enthusiasts from around ASEAN, Australia and overseas to experience and be a part of an iconic event.

And we invite you to come as a PARTICIPANT in this historic occasion. Don't just come as a SPECTATOR. We offer the best opportunity for you to gather and parade your best machine against the best from the region, to watch and participate in the stunning car & bike competitions, along the backdrop of the Auto Fair and Showcase Gallery & Exhibitions. Your creation and creativity on your machines might just prove to be a winner in Summernats Malaysia.

If you are more into a healthy lifestyle and love the fresh air, we invite you to PARTICIPATE in these fun and unique Merdeka Day activities on the Sepang F1 Track. Come with your family and friends to gather with other like-minded on the F1 Track for a FUN RUN or FUN CYCLE from 0700hrs to 0900hrs.

  • Sepang 11.08km Run (2 Full Laps) On Sepang F1 Track
  • Biggest Summernats Bicycle Gathering- Unlimited Laps on F1 Track for 2 hours
  • Biggest Summernats Bike Gathering on Sepang F1 track
  • Biggest Summernats Car Gathering on Sepang F1 track
  • Summernats Cars & Bikes Judging Pavilion
  • Summernats Adventurous & Fun Zone
  • Ultra Racing Gymkhana
  • Miss Summernats
  • Australian/Malaysian BBQ buffet dinner/supper
Well, if you insist, you can still be a fun spectator in our SEE IT, HEAR IT EXPERIENCES FOR YOU:
  • Summernats Auto Fair
  • Summernats Showcase Gallery & Exhibitions
  • Summernats Bazaar
  • Summernats Stage Activities
  • And many more…
Please install the Official App “Summernats Malaysia” for latest information and updates:
Play Store (Android) :
App Store (IOS) :
For more information, please refer to or call us during our office hours (9am-5pm, Mon-Fri), +603 7712 8762
Event Show

29 August 2014 (Friday)
12 PM- 6 PM
Sepang International Circuit
30 August 2014 (Saturday)9 AM-1 AM 
31 August 2014 (Sunday)7 AM-7 PM 

Ticket Price
CategoryTicket Price
Buy Now
NormalRM 1003 Days Entry
Early birdRM 50Now till 15 Aug 2014

Get your tickets from:
1. Online at
2. Rock Corner outlets:The Gardens, Mid Valley (TEL: 03 - 2201 4893)
KLCC (TEL: 03 - 2181 5560)
Subang Parade (TEL: 03 - 5613 1139)
The Curve (TEL: 03 - 7733 1139)
3. Victoria Music outlets:Sg Wang(TEL: 03 - 2148 7208)
Amcorp (TEL: 03 - 7956 0592)
Tropicana (TEL: 03 - 7722 2955)
4. Tune StoreLow Yat Plaza

For enquiry only: Please call AirAsiaRedtix Ticketing Hotline at +603 - 8775 4666. Hotline is operational from 9am-6pm on weekdays.


Malaysia Secures Agreement For Iinternational Police Deployment To MH17 Crash Site - Sunday, July 27, 05:33 PM GMT +0800

Malaysia has secured an agreement with Ukrainian separatists, who control the area around the MH17 crash site, to allow a group of international police personnel to enter the area in order to provide protection for international crash investigators.

Pursuant to the earlier agreement between Prime Minister Najib Razak and Alexander Borodai, leader of the separatist forces, Mr Borodai today agreed to allow a deployment of international police personnel to enter the crash site.

Prime Minister Najib has today spoken to the prime ministers of the Netherlands and Australia, and the three grieving countries have agreed to work closely together in deploying police personnel.

68 Malaysian police personnel will leave Kuala Lumpur for the crash site on Wednesday as part of the international deployment.

Under the original three point agreement brokered between Prime Minister Najib and Mr Borodai last week, the Ukrainian separatists agreed to:
transfer the black boxes to Malaysia;
handover the human remains to international officials;
and grant full access to the crash site for international investigators.

So far, international air crash investigators have been unable to properly deploy across the vast crash site in eastern Ukraine and collect evidence due to ongoing security concerns, including continued military activity. Malaysia calls for an immediate cessation of all military activities in and around the crash site.

Malaysia is concerned that these security concerns are preventing full and unfettered access to the site, and therefore a proper, independent investigation from being carried out. Moreover, Malaysia is particularly concerned that some human remains may still be at the crash site.

Malaysian officials are discussing the details of the police deployment with the Netherlands and Australia. Malaysian Foreign Minister, Anifah Aman, has been speaking to his international counterparts and officials from the Ukrainian government on the legal and diplomatic framework for the deployment.

Malaysian Transport Minister, Liow Tiong Lai, has been leading on the MH17 investigation, working closely with the head of the investigation in the Netherlands. 


“I am deeply concerned that international investigators have been unable to properly deploy to the crash site because of the volatile security situation. It is imperative that we deploy a full team of investigators to ensure that all the human remains are removed from the site, identified and repatriated. Everyone who was on board MH17 must be afforded proper dignity and respect.

“We also need a full deployment of investigators to have unfettered access to the crash site so we can understand precisely what happened to MH17. I hope that this agreement with Mr Borodai will ensure security on the ground, so the international investigators can conduct their work.

“Three grieving nations have formed a coalition to secure the site. Through our joint deployment of police personnel, the Netherlands, Australia and Malaysia will work together to achieve justice for the victims.”


Wish all of you a Happy Eid Mubarak
- from PelanconganKini team.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Malaysian Premium Travel Fair 2014 and the Global Cruise Tourism Conference 2014

Two PREMIER and NICHE events in the Malaysian Tourism Calendar is close to being a reality with the impending date of these events not too far away. At a Press Conference held today to update the media and guests of the progress of the Malaysian Premium Travel Fair 2014 and the Global Cruise Tourism Conference 2014 to be held from the 7-10th August 2014 at the prestigious Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the Chairman of the Malaysian Premium Travel Fair 2014 and the Global Cruise Tourism Conference 2014, YBhg Dato’ Mohd Khalid Harun was accompanied by partners of the event namely YBhg Dato’ Azizan Noordin, Deputy Director of Tourism Malaysia, YB Dato Hj Mohd Sharkar Hj Shamsudin, Chairman of Pahang Tourism Exco and Puan Rafeah Ariffin, Senior General Manager, KPJ Healthcare Berhad.   

YBhg Dato Khalid stressed the fact that “This is the right market segment that the tourism players of Malaysia have to target. Malaysians are becoming more affluent and with that they want certain lifestyle and luxury benefits. They are willing to pay Premium price for these Premium and Niche products. Quality and Service is Paramount to these consumers. So, the Malaysia Premium Travel Fair & Global Cruise Tourism Conference 2014 is the ideal opportunity for the travel and tourism industry sector to reach out to over 30,000 high end consumers”

The Travel and Tourism industry of Malaysia simply cannot be going for only quantity and neglect the quality. We have a target of 36 Million visitors and an income projection of RM136B to achieve by the year 2020. To achieve that, we must change our focus to the tourism products and services that provide a higher return. Events like the Malaysia Premium Travel Fair & Global.

Tourism Pahang, who are the Favourite Domestic Destination Partner, shall be promoting the high end tourism products and services from Pahang during the event. Tourism Pahang Pavilion in Hall 5 shall have a variety of exhibitors ranging from Travel Agents and Tours operators, Hotels & Resorts, Nature and other tourism attractions.

KPJ Healthcare Berhad’s Puan Rafeah added “KPJ shall be providing FREE Basic Health Screening i.e. Blood Pressure and BMI during the 3 days of the Event from 8- 10th August 2014 in Hall 6, KL Convention Centre”.
“For those wanting to check on their Cholesterol & Glucose Levels, these tests would also be conducted but at a very minimal cost”. KPJ is synonymous with high end Health and Medical Tourism. “We are the market leader in Malaysia for Medical Tourism and it is only right that we are part of the leading Premium Event in Malaysia whose focus is the leaders of the corporate & government sectors, which is the ideal target market for KPJ Healthcare” 

Date: 8-10 August 2014 ( Friday – Sunday)
Venue: Halls 5 & 6, KL Convention Centre
Time: 11.00a.m – 8.00p.m
No. of Booths: 220
No. of Exhibitors: 55
Favourite Domestic Destination Partner: Tourism Pahang
Main Exhibitors: Tourism Pahang
Expected No. of Visitors: 30,000 over 3 days  
Date: 7-8 August 2014 (Thursday-Friday)
Venue: Plenary Hall, KL Convention Centre
Time: 9.00a.m – 6.00p.m.
No. of Delegates: 350
Speakers from: Egypt, Malaysia , Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand
Theme: Advancing the Growth in Cruise Tourism”  

-WITM Events Sdn Bhd

Malindo Air To Add Six More Planes By Year-End

KUANTAN, July 25 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's hybrid airline, Malindo Air plans to add six more planes to its fleet of 15 aircraft by year-end to strengthen its operations.

Public Relations and Communications director Raja Sa'adi Raja Amrin said the airline would acquire Boeing and ATR aircraft to beef up its service. The current fleet of 15 aircraft had been in service for 16 months, he told reporters when receiving 45 passengers on Malindo Air's inaugural flight from Subang to Kuantan at the Sultan Ahmad Airport here Friday.

Also present were Pahang Culture and Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin, Tourism Pahang general manager Ishak Mokhtar and Pahang Tourism Office director Idrus Yahya.

Raja Sa'adi said Malindo Air would fly four times a week from Subang to Kuantan, namely on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

"The introduction of the new flights is timely as they would enable more people to fly home for the Aidilfitri celebration and avoid traffic snarl along the highways. "It will also enable more Kuala Lumpur dwellers to visit tourist destinations in Pahang such as Cherating and Tioman Island," he added.

Meanwhile, Mohd Sharkar said the new flights augured well for Pahang tourism.


Friday, 25 July 2014

Tune Hotels property opens in Malaysia's Cyberjaya

Tune Hotels is offering business travellers another accommodation option with the opening of a property in Cyberjaya, dubbed Malaysia's Silicon Valley.

The 162-room Tune Hotel DPulze Cyberjaya in the heart of the central business district is part of the DPulze Cyberjaya integrated development that comprises hotels, apartments and a shopping centre.

Tune Hotels group CEO, Mark Lankester, said: “With its high concentration of multinational establishments, Cyberjaya is undoubtedly one of Malaysia’s most international satellite towns to Kuala Lumpur, apart from being one of the most technologically advanced and best planned.

“We look forward to providing international-class, value-for-money accommodation to not only business but also leisure travellers to Cyberjaya. Corporate and business enquiries have been very healthy indeed.”

Lankester revealed the hotel benefits from having two floors of the Regus Business Centres, providing serviced offices, and conference and meeting rooms within the property.

He added: “Sitting directly above the DPulze Shopping Centre (which opens next month), the hotel is perfectly placed with easy access to all the shopping and entertainment facilities within.”

As part of opening celebrations, the hotel is offering its rooms at all-inclusive promotional rates from RM88 (US$27.70). Bookings can be made from now until August 3, 2014 for immediate stays up to October 31, 2014.
-TTG Asia.

Media Statement 12 : MH17 Incident - Thursday, July 24, 11:00 PM GMT +0800

Malaysia Airlines today organized a tahlil prayer and recital of Yaasin in remembrance of the passengers and crew of MH17.
The prayers, which was held at Masjid Tengku Kelana Jaya Petra, Kelana Jaya, saw more than 500 Malaysia Airlines staff as well as fellow Muslims congregate to seek blessings for the souls lost in the tragic downing of MH17.
The airline will also be organizing a multi-faith prayer session for families and invited guests including embassy representatives at the Malaysia Airlines Academy Auditorium in Kelana Jaya tomorrow.
The special prayer session will be held to give the opportunity to staff and family members of other religions to offer their prayers for the passengers and crew of MH17.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

PATA Gold Awards For “Malaysia Truly Asia” Video

PUTRAJAYA, 24 July 2014 – Tourism Malaysia is pleased to announce that the award winning video ‘Malaysia Truly Asia – The Essence of Asia’ has received yet another recognition -- the 2014 PATA Gold Award for best ‘Promotional Travel Video’ under the Marketing Media category.

It is the fourth award bagged by Tourism Malaysia since the video was made public in January 2014, as part of efforts to promote Visit Malaysia Year.
“I am proud that this Malaysia Truly Asia video to promote Malaysia as a world-class destination has recorded so many impressive results. It’s great that Malaysia is now not only acknowledged by travellers but also by the global travel industry,” Director General of Tourism Malaysia Dato’ Mirza Mohammad Taiyab says.

Featuring the soothing voice of popular Malaysian songstress Yuna, the soundtrack in the music video is a romantic and inspiring version of the popular "Malaysia Truly Asia" and it showcases Malaysia’s beautiful rainforest, islands, beaches and other attractions such as food and culture. It is a joint effort made by Tourism Malaysia and its advertising agency M&C Saatchi.

Deputy Director General of Tourism Malaysia, Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin, who is also Chairman of the PATA Malaysia Chapter says, “It’s a great honour for Tourism Malaysia and all Malaysians to have won this award. It shows that the Malaysia Truly Asia branding, portraying the true essence of Malaysia, is still relevant today and we will continue to use it for years to come.”

The success of the video ‘Malaysia Truly Asia – The Essence of Asia’ this year also includes the bronze medal in the Music Video Category at the 35th Annual Telly Awards; the Ecotourism and Responsible Travel Award at the 3rd Deauville Green Awards International Film Festival; and the 1st prize in the “Country” category at the 13th International Tourism Film and Media Competition “The Golden City Gate” 2014 Awards.

This year’s PATA Gold Awards attracted a total of 181 entries from 66 travel and tourism organisations. Open to both PATA and non-PATA members, the 28 Grand and Gold Awards recognise the achievements of 20 separate organisations and individuals such as Capilano University, Canada; Garuda Indonesia; Khiri Travel; Korea Tourism Organization; Tourism Malaysia; and Travel + Leisure magazine.

The awards luncheon and presentation will take place at Diamond Island City Hall in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Friday, September 19, 2014 during the PATA Travel Mart (September 17-19) and PATA Executive Board and Board Meeting (September 19 – 21).

To view the award-winning video, visit
-Tourism Malaysia.

Leadership changes at Sunway Lagoon

Sunway Lagoon and Lost World of Tambun has made new appointments to its team, effective August 1.  

Calvin Ho will be senior general manager of Sunway Theme Parks, though he will remain overall in charge of general management until a suitable candidate is identified for the post of theme park manager for Lost World of Tambun. Ho continues to report to Chan Hoi Choy, CEO of Sunway Shopping Malls and Theme Parks.

At the same time, Sean Choo will assume overall general management responsibilities of Sunway Lagoon, reporting to Calvin Ho.  
-TTG Asia.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Chinese mega-incentive an indicator of returning confidence

Perfect China will send a total of 4,000 of its high-performing delegates to Malaysia for an incentive-cum-conference trip next month.

The leading health and personal care direct selling company’s delegates will visit Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Penang between August 2 and 10, said Mint Leong, director of Sunflower Holidays, which is the appointed local destination management company for the event.

She said: “This group of Chinese arrivals is very important for Malaysia as it shows that the Chinese corporate sector is supporting Malaysia in light of the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on March 8, which was on its way to Beijing with 153 Chinese nationals on board.

“Perfect China has not given up on Malaysia. More than half of the delegates have booked seats on Malaysia Airlines. We hope their decision to choose Malaysia will give confidence to other business and leisure travellers from China to do the same,” Leong added.

Sunflower Holidays also handles leisure group tours from China and saw a 90 per cent drop from this market since April due to the MH370 incident.

Leong said: “At this point of time, we cannot tell what impact the MH17 air disaster will have on China. We thought we would see the market recover in October but now we are not sure.”  
-TTG Asia.

Penang's Blue Mansion gets new lease of life

Hospitality and restaurant group Samadhi Retreats has signed a long-term management agreement to brand and manage The Blue Mansion, A Cheong Fatt Tze Legacy.

The boutique hotel is one of three heritage buildings in Penang to have won awards from UNESCO. It was built by renowned Chinese tycoon Cheong Fatt Tze just before the turn of the 20th century.

Under the helm of Samadhi Retreats, The Blue Mansion’s 18 rooms have been restored to reflect the tycoon’s opulent lifestyle. Each room is individually themed and furnished with luxurious amenities alongside precious heirlooms from the family’s private collection.

A new addition to The Blue Mansion is the Cheong Fatt Tze Restaurant, serving modern Cantonese cuisine. Other facilities include a swimming pool surrounded by Chinese gardens, and a Samadhi Spa.

The Blue Mansion will be the group’s third property in Malaysia after Japamala Resort Tioman Island, a 13-chalet jungle-luxe resort that opened in 2004, and Villa Samadhi, a 21-room urban retreat in Kuala Lumpur that opened in 2011.

Samadhi Retreats is poised to open a fourth hotel, a 22-room colonial escape in Singapore's Labrador Park, at the end of 2014. This will be the company’s first hospitality foray outside Malaysia.

Federico Asaro, founder and owner of Samadhi Retreats, said in a press release: “Samadhi Retreats is thrilled to be associated with The Blue Mansion, which holds great cultural value and is such an integral piece of Penang’s historical fabric. Its iconic status makes it a perfect match with Samadhi Retreats properties, which are identified by their unique locations that are true to its strong sense of place.”
-TTG Asia.

MH17 Black Boxes: Statement by Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Transport, Malaysia - Wednesday, July 23, 09:30 AM GMT +0800

"Following the agreement Prime Minister Najib Razak brokered with rebel leaders, Malaysia has taken custody of flight MH17's black boxes. As the Prime Minister said, they will be passed to the international investigation team for analysis.

The international investigation team, led by the Netherlands, has decided to pass the black boxes to the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch for forensic analysis. It is normal procedure for black boxes to be sent for analysis to the nearest laboratory authorised by the International Civil Aviation Association.

The black boxes will therefore be flown to Farnborough, UK, accompanied by Malaysian experts and other members of the international investigation team."

Media Statement 11 : MH17 Incident - Tuesday, July 22, 10:05 PM GMT +0800

The current general enquiry number +60378841234 for the MH17 incident will be deactivated effective Wednesday, 23 July 2014 at 12.00midnight.
Families of passengers and crew of MH17 may still contact the airline’s Family Support Centre hotline.
For media queries, kindly contact +603 8777 5698/ +603 8787 1276.
For latest updates, please also visit our website at
Our thoughts and prayers remain with the passengers and our colleagues on board MH17 as well as their families and loved ones.

Response to the Arrival of Bodies at Kharkiv by Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Transport - Tuesday, July 22, 08:49 PM GMT +0800

1. We are relieved that the train has safely arrived at Kharkiv about 11am local time.
2. This is an important milestone in relation to the MH17 tragedy.
3. Malaysia sent 18 DVI personnel to Kharkiv to assist in the tagging and transfer of bodies to the plane,  I have been briefed that the forensics team and relevant support teams will now have to undergo a process that will take a few hours prior to the remains being flown off to Amsterdam.
4. We still need to get to the truth of what has happened and we hope for the investigators to commence their work at the crash site to determine this.
5. Families are suffering across the world and once the remains are with the respective families, I am sure they will demand for justice to be served on those who have caused this horrific crime.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Prime Minister Najib Razak Welcomes Progress on MH17 Agreement - Tuesday, July 22, 06:45 PM GMT +0800

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has today welcomed progress in the agreement Malaysia brokered with rebel leaders, and praised the Malaysian team for their work in securing the return of the remains of the victims, and taking custody of the black boxes.
Speaking today, Prime Minister Najib Razak said:

“Last night, I reached an agreement with Alexander Borodai to bring an end to the standoff over the MH17 crash site. Our agreement rested on three conditions:

the return of the remains of those who lost their lives;
the handover of the black boxes;
and full access to the crash site so that the investigation may begin.

“I am pleased to confirm that the first two conditions have now been met. The train carrying the remains of those who lost their lives has arrived in Kharkhiv, where arrangements will be made to move them to Amsterdam.

“And the Malaysian team have taken custody of the black boxes, which appear to be in good condition. They will held securely in Malaysian custody while the international investigation team is being formalised. At that time, we will pass the black boxes to the international investigation team for further analysis.

“These were extraordinary circumstances which called for extraordinary measures. There were risks involved in pursuing this agreement. But we felt an obligation to explore all avenues to break the impasse, and secure the return of the remains and the black boxes. After meeting the families, I felt that we owed it to them to act.
“So far, the agreement has been honoured. Malaysia requests that this co-operation continue, and that investigators are granted the full access to the site which was agreed.

“I am relieved that we have been able to secure the breakthrough that has allowed us to move forward.

“I would like to thank the Malaysian team on the ground, who have worked hard to support this operation. Thanks to their efforts, we are closer to finding out what happened to aircraft, and fulfilling our shared responsibility to those who lost their lives.”