Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2017 @ TPC Kuala Lumpur ( 26 ~ 29 October 2017 )



Malaysia’s most fun golf tournament, the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, returns to the capital from 26 – 29 October 2017.

Staged at the stunning TPC Kuala Lumpur, the four-day festival has built a reputation for the entertainment that takes place off course, as much as the action on it, as organizers continue to up the tempo at this prestigious event.

In addition to seeing the world’s best golfers out on course, visitors can expect a feast of food, live music, shopping, family entertainment and freebies galore in the sumptuous surroundings of TPC Kuala Lumpur.

The tournament’s first two-time champion, China’s Feng Shanshan has confirmed her title defense as she looks to make it three victories in four years. 

She’ll be joined by an all-star cast with former world no.1, Lydia Ko and Canada’s Brooke Henderson quick to announce their participation. With Korean So Yeon Ryu hitting the best form of her career and the likes of Ariya Jutanugarn, Lexi Thompson and Danielle Kang also at the top of their game, golf fans are in for a treat.

Once again, Women with Drive banners will adorn the tournament as it continues to champion women in Malaysia, while raising funds and awareness for long-term partner, Cancer Research Malaysia.

So whether you’re a golf nut, foodie, music lover or just a group of friends looking for a great day out, the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia is the place to be over the last weekend in October.

-AirAsia RedTix.
https://airasiaredtix.com/sime_darby_LPGA_malaysia_2017

Helpdesk for Chinese tourists in KLIA and KLIA2

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and KLIA2 have become the first airports
in Southeast Asia to have a permanent helpdesk to assist Chinese tourists.
(Pix by MOHD FADLI HAMZAH)


SEPANG: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and KLIA2 have become the first airports in Southeast Asia to have a permanent helpdesk to assist Chinese tourists.

Dubbed as the Chinese Travellers Affairs Helpdesk, Embassy of China deputy chief of Consular Office Wu Shenghao said Malaysia was the first in the region to have such a permanent facility.

"Previously Thailand has provided a helpdesk for Chinese visitors at its airport, but it is only temporary," he told reporters at the launch of the KLIA helpdesk by Tourism Malaysia chairman Datuk Dr Siew Ka Wei.

Siew said the helpdesk set up near the Immigration counter at the arrival halls of KLIA and KLIA2 would assist the entry of Chinese tourists by providing Mandarin language support at the two busiest airports in Malaysia.

"Initially, the helpdesk will operate daily beginning Sept 1, from 7pm to midnight when most flights from China arrive.

"In October, the hours will be extended from 5pm to 1am to accomodate a higher number of tourists," he said.

He said the number of tourists from China was one of the biggest in the world with recent forecast that there would be 200 million people from China travelling abroad by 2020.

A total of 2.1 million tourists from China to Malaysia was recorded in 2016 and for the first quarter of this year, there were 551,378 arrivals Malaysia.

Tourist arrivals from China to Malaysia has grown by four per cent in 2015 and 26.7 per cent last year, attributed to the ease of travel formalities for Chinese tourists as well as improved connectivity.

There are currently 470 flights per week between China and Malaysia.
Siew said plans were underway for stage 2 to expand the helpdesk convenience to other airports in Malaysia with the consideration to provide similar assistance to other nationalities with communication issues and lack of English fluency.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said the airport authorities would look at how technology could be used to address language issues so that foreign visitors could enjoy seamless processes when they arrived in or departed from Malaysia.

For now, he said, the helpdesk at the two airports would be manned by volunteers who had undergone tight security screening as they would be at sensitive areas in the airports.

"The common issues faced by the visitors from China are matters related to visas and their unfamiliarity with the signs in the airport."

Also present was Malaysia-China Welfare Advisory Society president Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai.
-nst online.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hotel organises Qurban activity for Singapore Muslims

"Two goats and two cows will be sacrificed by the family from Singapore because this ceremony is to support the government's effort to make Melaka as a prime destination for Muslim residents from Singapore”, said Seri Hotel Malaysia Melaka administration marketing officer Nur Adiyana Ariffin. Pic by NSTP/courtesy of Seri Malaysia Hotel Melaka


MELAKA: Strengthening religious ties is evident here as Tourism Malaysia Melaka is organising the Qurban ritual for their Singaporean counterpart on Sept 1.

The programme in collaboration with Seri Malaysia Hotel is being held here for the third time, with the aim of attracting 120 guests to the sacrifice ceremony.

"We are organising the Qurban activity in conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidiladha for guests from Singapore.

"This is also important to help realise the aspiration of the state government and the Tourism and Culture Ministry to make Melaka a centre for practicing Aqiqah and Qurban for all, especially among Singaporean Muslims.

"The slaughtering and distribution ceremony is to be handed out to the needy group at Homestay Cikgu Maria in Balik Bukit, Bukit Lintang, Melaka," said Seri Hotel Malaysia Melaka administration marketing officer Nur Adiyana Ariffin.

The programme, dubbed 'Visit My Kampung Sempena Ibadah Quran Aidiladha Warga Singapura' will also see the involvement of Ruby Rashid Travel Pte Ltd, Singapore and Homestay Cikgu Maria and Livestock SS Jaya Trading.

"Two goats and two cows will be sacrificed by the family from Singapore because this ceremony is to support the government's effort to make Melaka as a prime destination for Muslim residents from Singapore.

"We are also promoting the age-old tradition of 'naik buai' or 'berendoi' (shaving hair) for Singaporean young children.

-nst online.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Projek RoL, Kolam Biru

NAJIB TUN RAZAK bersama isteri, Rosmah Mansor sambil diiringi Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor melihat sungai ketika pelancaran River of Life dan projek Kolam Biru berdekatan Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad, Kuala Lumpur, malam tadi. – UTUSAN/SURIYA BONMA


KUALA LUMPUR 28 Ogos - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak berkata, projek River Of Life (RoL) dan projek Kolam Biru bakal menjadi ikon baharu kepada bandar raya Kuala Lumpur dalam memeriahkan lagi industri pelancongan di negara ini.

Perdana Menteri berkata, su­ngai merupakan sebahagian daripada warisan serta sejarah negara dan sudah menjadi kewajipan kepada pemimpin untuk menjaga­nya demi masyarakat kini serta generasi akan datang.

“Saya yakin di sinilah akan menjadi satu lagi produk pelancongan di mana saya dapat membayangkan akan ramai pelancong asing bersiar-siar pada waktu malam.

“Sinilah kita akan jadikannya sebagai suatu daya tarikan ikon untuk Kuala Lumpur. Kita dapat lihat air sungai yang coklat pada siang harinya bertukar biru pada waktu malam,” katanya ketika berucap melancarkan projek RoL atau Sungai Nadi Kehidupan dan projek Blue Pool di Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad, Kuala Lumpur malam ini.

RoL yang mula menjalani pro­ses pembinaan pada tahun 2011 adalah projek permulaan Greater Kuala Lumpur di bawah Bidang Ekonomi Utama Negara (NKEA) bertujuan mentransformasikan Sungai Klang dan Sungai Gombak menjadi kawasan pinggiran su­ngai berdaya maju serta memiliki nilai ekonomi tinggi.

Kerja-kerja pembersihan sungai yang menjadi skop utama projek tersebut menelan belanja seba­nyak RM3.4 bilion dan meliputi lapan sungai iaitu Sungai Gombak, Sungai Batu, Sungai Jinjang, Su­ngai Keroh, Sungai Bunus, Sungai Ampang, Sungai Klang dan Sungai Keroyong sepanjang 110 kilometer.

Projek Kolam Biru pula merupakan pertunjukan air pancut diiringi pantulan cahaya lampu berwarna-warni mengikut irama muzik adalah ikon baharu kepada Kuala Lumpur hasil cetusan idea Perdana Menteri yang mahu mengoptimumkan potensi kawasan tersebut sebagai pengge­rak ekonomi negara dan menarik lebih ramai pelancong.

Yang turut hadir, isteri Perdana Menteri, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor; Ketua Setiausaha Negara, Tan Sri Dr. Ali Hamsa; Menteri Wilayah Persekutuan, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor serta Menteri Sumber Asli dan Alam Sekitar, Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

Hadir sama, Menteri Pelanco­ngan dan Kebudayaan, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz; Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom; Menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia, Datuk Seri Dr. Salleh Said Keruak dan Pengarah Eksekutif Eko River Construction, Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo.

Perdana Menteri berkata, imej Kuala Lumpur sebagai sebuah bandar raya yang sibuk dan sesak semakin terhakis saban hari ekoran daripada kejayaan kerajaan memperkasakan sistem pe­ngangkutan awam.

Jelas beliau, perkara itu telah meningkatkan indeks ‘keselesaan’ Kuala Lumpur yang kini setanding dengan bandar raya utama dunia yang lain.

-utusan online.

Opposition to tourism tax not letting up in Malaysia



In Malaysia, the unpopular tourism tax will be enforced nationwide on September 1 but grievances continue to pour in from local hoteliers and agents.

Among them, any tourist who checks in early or checks out late at hotels from September 1 will be made to pay a tourism tax of RM10 (US$2.34) for the extension, on top of the RM10 tax per room, per night.

“It is unfair but hotels have no choice but to charge because we have no letter in black and white from the government telling the hotels otherwise. If we don’t charge the guest, the hotel will have to pay the tax for the guest,” revealed Shaharuddin Saaid, Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners (MAHO) executive director.

Guests who receive complimentary rooms from hotels will also have to pay the tourism tax.

Other issues brought up at the meeting last week with Royal Malaysian Customs Department, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture include whether budget accommodation operators with dormitories of four to six beds are going to charge guests.

Shaharuddin challenged: “Do you charge only one person, or every guest in the room? Also with such budget accommodation where the room rates are as low as RM100, the tourism tax of RM10 per room per night is more than the Goods and Services Tax (GST) of six per cent. This is unfair!”

He had also expected a certain amount of confusion in the early days of implementation. He said: “Tourists may argue with hotels and refuse to pay. We will then be made responsible and pay on their behalf. The government had also not given enough time for hotels to upgrade their accounting systems to facilitate the collection of the tourism tax. The GST should not be charged on the tourism tax but if the systems have not been upgraded properly, this may show."

He opined that the tax will also have an impact on long stay guests such as corporate clients. The association had proposed a cap on the number of days the tax can be applied to, regardless of the number of days the guest is staying.

“We have also stressed to the authorities in our last meeting that starting the tourism tax on September 1 gives unlicensed accommodation operators in the country an unfair advantage as they have not been registered with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to collect the taxes. There are more than 8,000 of them listed on accommodation portals like Booking.com and Airbnb website.”

Moreover, the exemption for clients of agencies that have signed contracts with overseas partners for the current contracting period until March 31, 2018 will not be implemented without an official letter from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

Nanda Kumar, managing director of Hidden Asia Travel & Tours, said the agency still has to pay over RM120,000 in tourism tax to hotels for advance bookings made before the tax was introduced.

Update
The Royal Malaysian Customs Department issued a circular on August 29 stating:

- no tourism tax will be levied on early check-in and late check-out so long as no room charges are imposed. However, complimentary stays offered by an operator to a tourist will still be subject to the tax;

- in cases where more than one tourist is staying in the same accommodation at the same time, e.g. dormitory arrangement, and the tourism tax for that accommodation has been paid by any one of the tourists, the other tourists are not liable to pay tourism tax for that accommodation.

-TTG Asia.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Miss SHOPhia @ bbKLCC Fiesta ( 25 August ~ 3 September 2017 )

-Miss SHOPhia facebook.

Silverstone presents new opportunity for Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders



The Austrian Grand Prix ended earlier than expected for the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders, who crashed out at the midway point of the race. Two weeks on, Bo Bendsneyder and Niccolo Antonelli will try to bounce back this weekend at Silverstone, which hosts the twelfth round of the season. The venue for the British Grand Prix is a track where both riders have previously placed on the podium.

His crash at the Red Bull Ring was a blow for Bendsneyder, who had shown good pace throughout the weekend and had led the early stages of the race. Content with his progress made over recent Grands Prix, the Dutchman hopes to again fight for a podium at the British GP. He was third last year, in what was his first rostrum finish in the World Championship.

For Antonelli, his third place finish in 2015 was not the first of his career, but is just one example of his affinity for the track. The Italian has a podium, another Top 10 finish and two front row starts from five appearances in the British GP. Like his teammate, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider also has some fresh ideas after a post-race test day in Austria.

In addition to last year's podium for Bendsneyder, the Red Bull KTM Ajo team also hold a win at Silverstone, courtesy of Brad Binder.

Sunday’s race takes place at 12:40pm local time.

Circuit information - Silverstone
Length: 5.900m / 3.666 miles
Width: 17 metres
Left corners: 8
Right corners: 10
Longest straight: 770m / 0.478 miles
Constructed: 1948
Modified: 2011

23 NICCOLO ANTONELLI
"Like most of the tracks in the second half of the season, I really like Silverstone. I don’t have a favourite section, but the entire track is very interesting. We’ll see how we do on Friday, but we hope to be quick like we were in Austria and to be as strong as possible. I have always had good results at this Grand Prix. The highlights have been a podium two years ago and two front rows."

64 BO BENDSNEYDER
"I can’t wait to get to Silverstone, where last year I took my first podium in the World Championship. I really like this Grand Prix. Over the last few races we have been fighting near the Top 5, and even for the podium, so we’ll see where we can finish this weekend. In the post-race test after the Austrian GP were able to try out some things that were positive, allowing us to improve our pace and braking. We have to focus and work hard from the first minute of FP1 to the last second of the warmup. We will give everything in the race to repeat a great result."


-Red Bull KTM Ajo Motorsport.

AirAsia X posts 2Q profits, plans group synergies and North Asia focus



In 2Q2017 ending June 30, AirAsia X recorded RM47.4 million (US$11.1 million) profit after tax, representing its seventh consecutive quarter profit.

Revenue grew 17 per cent year-on-year to RM1 billion mainly driven by the 34 per cent increase in passengers, exceeding the 26 per cent increase in seat capacity. Load factor was up five percentage points to 80 per cent despite a 26 per cent capacity injection to 8.4 billion in available seat kilometres (ASK) terms.

Revenue per available seat kilometre was down seven per cent to 12.38 Malaysian sen. However, cost per available seat kilometre was also down seven per cent to 12.32 sen, despite higher fuel prices, on the back of better cost efficiencies and higher aircraft utilisation.

Malaysia AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail said: “Revenue crossed the billion ringgit mark for the first time in the company's second quarter history. Scheduled flight revenue contributed 61 per cent of total revenue, while ancillary revenue grew 41 per cent to RM193.5 million driven by the implementation of dynamic baggage and seat pricing, extension of in-flight entertainment availability to more routes, premium lounge and more.”

While Australia remains its Malaysia operations’ highest revenue contributor, China is fast catching up, AirAsia X Group CEO Kamarudin Meranun said.

Kamarudin continued: “Moving forward into 2H2017, the group plans to re-strategise its position in Australia while focusing on the opportunities available from North Asia. The group is also streamlining operations across the board to further unlock greater synergies with AirAsia Group. We expect this cost reduction initiatives will help us achieve up to 10 per cent cost savings.”

Meanwhile, AirAsia X Thailand posted a strong 92 per cent load factor, an increase of three percentage points, boosted by eight per cent increase of international tourists to Thailand. Revenue was up 28 per cent and passengers carried rose 26 per cent, exceeding ASK capacity growth of 21 per cent.

Kamarudin said: “We expect Thailand operations to extend its promising growth in 2Q2017 as AirAsia X Thailand has been successfully re-certified for its Air Operator’s Certificate by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand in June 2017. We hope that ICAO will remove the red-flag on Thailand soon as it will clear constraints restricting Thai-registered airlines from operating internationally.”

Turning to AirAsia X Indonesia, net loss was narrowed to US$3.8 million from US$9.8 million in 2Q2016. “We foresee an overall improvement from Indonesia in the coming quarters through greater operational synergies with AirAsia Group, especially AirAsia Indonesia,” said Kamarudin.

-TTG Asia.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

AirAsia introduces Johor Baru as hub for first route to India

AirAsia today introduced Johor Baru as its hub for its first route to Kolkata, India. (File Pix)


SEPANG: AirAsia today introduced Johor Baru as its hub for its first route to Kolkata, India.

The new Johor Baru-Kolkata route is set to commence operations on November 28, with 5 times weekly direct flights.

The unique route, which will further expand the connectivity from the airline’s southern hub, will be the airline’s 15th route from Johor Baru and sixth international destination from the hub.

AirAsia Berhad’s, Head of Commercial, Spencer Lee said since 2010, AirAsia has flown about 11 million guests into Senai International Airport and today they are proud to introduce the first route to Kolkata, India.

“Senai International Airport has been a great partner to AirAsia, and we are pleased to introduce more international routes from Johor Baru hub as part of our commitment to provide better connectivity to our guests and further grow the Southern hub.

“Besides the new international route, we have also added two domestic routes this year; Johor Baru-Kuala Terengganu and Johor Baru-Langkawi - as we believe Johor Baru has so much to offer from business, leisure, education, sports to medical tourism.”

“We are also thrilled to be the only airline in the country to offer this direct flight, linking southern Malaysia to the capital of West Bengal directly – and we hope that the announcement of this new connectivity will benefit both cities in many ways, in addition to strengthening the ties between Malaysia and India,” he added.

To commemorate the announcement of the new route, theleading low cost airlines is offering all-in-fares from RM99 one way on airasia.com from now to September 3 for the travel period between November 28 2017 and August 28, 2018.

AirAsia currently operates 150 weekly flights one way to Johor Baru’s Senai International Airport. In addition to Kolkata, AirAsia also flies to five other international routes from Johor Baru; Bangkok, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, and Surabaya as well as nine other domestic routes from Johor Baru; Kuala Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi, Kuching, Miri, Tawau, Sibu, and Kota Kinabalu.

Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal state and India’s second biggest city, is also known as the ‘Cultural Capital of India’. The metropolitan city is rich with attractions such as the Victoria Memorial, a majestic architecture which echoes the design of the Taj Mahal; Belur Math, a temple which stands as an icon of the unity of all religions and many more. In addition, the world’s-famous Darjeeling tea plantation is just a train or bus ride away from Kolkata.

Also known as ‘City of Joy’, Kolkata is also well-known for its silk fabric; Tussar and Vishnupuri Silk besides delicious street food such as Jhal Muri, one of the most popular Bengali street snacks of puffed rice and other condiments; Pani Puri, a hollow chip filled with spiced potatoes, dunked into tamarind water; and Ghugni Chaat; a mix of hot yellow peas with vegetables.

-nst online.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Bantu kerajaan angkat martabat warisan baba, nyonya



MELAKA 22 Ogos - Kementerian Pelancongan dan Kebudayaan memberi jaminan akan terus berusaha mengangkat budaya dan sejarah pelbagai masyarakat di negara ini termasuk baba dan nyonya agar ia tidak akan dilupakan oleh generasi muda akan datang.

Menterinya, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz berkata, walaupun tahap kesedaran tentang peninggalan budaya baba dan nyonya dalam kalangan generasi muda kini kian terhakis namun pelbagai usaha akan dilakukan bagi memastikan budaya dan warisan masyarakat Cina Peranakan itu tidak dilupakan.

“Saya yakin ramai termasuk generasi seangkatan dengan saya tidak mengenali budaya baba dan nyonya apatah lagi golongan muda. Untuk itu kita perlu timbulkan kesedaran tentang warisan baba dan nyonya ini.

“Bukan hanya kerajaan sahaja yang perlu mengangkat sejarah mereka malah semua pihak termasuk pihak swasta dan orang persendirian juga perlu memainkan peranan,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian dalam sidang akhbar selepas melancarkan dua buku berkaitan budaya baba dan nyonya di Muzium Straits Chinese Jewellery di Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock di sini sebentar tadi.

Buku `Straits Chinese Embroidery & Beadwork’ hasil nukilan Presiden Persatuan Baba dan Nyonya Pulau Pinang, Lilian Thong dan buku `A Baba Album’ karya Presiden Persatuan Baba dan Nyonya Singapura, Peter Wee itu mula dijual di muzium tersebut bermula hari ini masing-masing pada harga RM125 dan RM180.

Beliau memberitahu, sebagai langkah mengangkat budaya warisan baba dan nyonya, beliau akan meminta supaya kedua-dua buku yang dilancarkan hari ini dipamerkan di Perpustakaan Negara serta semua cawangan bagi memastikan masyarakat tidak lupa warisan tinggalan itu.

-utusan online.