Hasan Malek: No more RON95 petrol, diesel subsidies from Dec 1

PUTRAJAYA: All subsidies for RON95 petrol and diesel will be stopped beginning Dec 1, said Datuk Hasan Malek.

The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister, who announced this at a press conference here on Friday, said the retail prices for RON95 petrol and diesel will be fixed according to a managed float, similar to the mechanism dictating the RON97 petrol price.

Hasan said there would be an announcement at the end of each month to set the following month’s fuel prices.

He said it would be determined based on a monthly average price.

“We monitor the world petroleum prices everyday to get the average prices.

“As for Dec 1 prices, we will calculate the average from Nov 20 to Nov 30,” he told a press conference here.

Prices of RON95 petrol and diesel were last increased by 20 sen on Oct 2.

On Oct 27, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah announced that the Government was mulling income-based fuel subsidies.

On Wednesday, a 20 sen drop in the RON97 petrol price was announced, bringing it to RM2.55, just 25 sen more that the current subsidised RON95 petrol price of RM2.30.

On the same day, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan also said that the country could see a drop in the RON95 petrol price, as global crude oil prices continued to drop.

source : The Star

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Kuala Lumpur mayor to make site visit today

 The abandoned Plaza Rakyat with its exposed rebar, steel pipes, scaffolding and cranes left behind at the site.The abandoned Plaza Rakyat with its exposed rebar, steel pipes, scaffolding and cranes left behind at the site.

AFTER 20 years in limbo, the metaphorical gates of the abandoned Plaza Rakyat project in Kuala Lumpur will finally open as Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has taken vacant possession of the site.

It is learnt that City Hall has finally settled the outstanding loan to the financiers after months of negotiations.

The initial loan taken was RM58mil but the amount snowballed to a whopping RM150mil since 1992.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib is expected to visit the site today.

The abandoned Plaza Rakyat had become derelict with pools of stagnant water and rubbish strewn all over the place, making it a paradise for mosquitoes to breed.

The original plan comprised a 79-storey office tower, 46-storey condominium, 24-storey hotel and seven-storey shopping centre.

The RM1.4bil project was 30% completed about 15 years ago when the then developer Plaza Rakyat Sdn Bhd (PRSB) ran into financial difficulties during the 1997/1998 Asian financial crisis, forcing it to abandon the project.

The Government decided to terminate PRSB’s contract in 2010, 12 years after the company abandoned the mixed-development project.

Subsequently, PRSB went into receivership and came under the administration of a consortium of lender banks.

DBKL Health and Environment Department director Dr Hayati Abdullah said a team specifically in charge of monitoring active and abandoned construction sites visited on Wednesday to make a preliminary assessment and gauge the extent of work required for the clean-up.

The seven-storey basement is filled to the brim with rainwater. - filepics
The seven-storey basement is filled to the brim with rainwater. – filepics

“It is going to be a big job and we have only been informed about it this week.

“The initial inspection will involve the basics, which means identifying what needs to be done where; we have to get our priorities right because it is a big area,” said Hayati.

She said the basement carpark area would not be touched as yet.

“It is not safe and that particular job requires some expertise,” she added.

Hayati said the department had been keeping close tabs on the construction site to ensure it did not become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

In June, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor told StarMetro that three companies had shown interest in developing Plaza Rakyat but the government decided to go with Profit Consortium Sdn Bhd, which presented a better deal.

He also said the new developer would ensure the buyers were duly compensated.

The arbitrators Prof Tan Sri Visu Sinnadurai, Datuk Ghazi Ishak and Robert Lazar, who were involved in negotiations with PRSB and DBKL, confirmed in June that the local authority was lawfully entitled to terminate the agreement because of non-performance and breach by PRSB.

However, they said DBKL had to settle the RM200mil outstanding loans taken by PRSB and reimburse the company and the banks. In addition, DBKL was not allowed to enter the site until they had registered the award with the court.

The new development will include a mall, service apartments and offices, and will integrate with the Plaza Rakyat LRT station.

While relieved over the news of the Plaza Rakyat project revival, the long-suffering buyers want the Government to ensure they got the units they purchased decades ago.

“We have been waiting for years for our units, so we want the Government to ensure that we are given similar lots in this new project,” said Stephen Yong.

Yong, 70, said he had paid a 20% deposit of RM300,000 19 years ago for two units in Plaza Rakyat.

“It was a lot of money back then, a large chunk of my life savings. I want units in the new project. It is only fair that they compensate us with units for all the pain and suffering that we had been put through,” he said.

Buyer Danny G. agreed with Yong.

Danny added, “Since the previous developer failed to deliver the units at the expiry of the extension period, the vendor should pay us liquidated damages (LAD). Going by the sale and purchase agreement from November 1996, the developer was given three years plus one year extension to complete and hand over our shoplots.

“They should have handed over by year 2000, but there has been a lapse of 14 years. So the LAD would run into hundreds of thousands of ringgit.”

Another buyer, who wanted to be identified as only Lee, said she had paid 30% of RM600,000 as down payment to purchase two shoplots.

“Fortunately the bank had not released the balance 70% of the payment when the project stalled, or I would be paying the loan and interest for a property that was not completed,” she said.

There are about 200 buyers, many now in their twilight years, who have invested their life savings in the Plaza Rakyat project almost 20 years ago.

In 2011, about 20 buyers lodged police reports at the Tun H.S. Lee police station demanding compensation and refund of their downpayment for the abandoned project.

A total of 221 business lots were sold.

source : The Star

* Finally, it has been long abandoned project. Looking forward to a new and modern Puduraya lrt station. Dread stopping at this particular station due to it’s current condition.-mydestiny2011

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Doa hari JumaatAamiin…Have a Blessed Friday everyone

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Yo Soy Betty La Fea on Astro Bella

My all time favourite telenovela is now back on Astro Bella Chanel 133 . Just discovered this last nite. It’s shown at 5pm daily Monday to Friday for an hour. Bru shing up my Spanish language again, it has been quite a while :)

Yo Soy Betty La Fea was on air back in 1999 on then NTV7-mydestiny2011

Yo soy Betty, la fea (“I am Betty, the Ugly one”) is a telenovela filmed in Colombia, written by Fernando Gaitán and produced from 25 October 1999 to 8 May 2001 by the Colombian network RCN (Radio Cadena Nacional). More than a dozen versions of the telenovela have been made in other countries. In the United States, both the comedy-drama hit Ugly Betty and Televisa program La Fea Más Bella are based on the Colombian soap opera.

Betty, la Fea re-aired on Spanish-language U.S. network TeleFutura in January 2009. Eight years after the telenovela’s original run, the highly anticipated return of the original version of Yo Soy Betty, La Fea delivered impressive ratings for the network, attracting over one million viewers, more than half a million of which were adults aged 18–49. In addition, the premiere episode doubled and in some cases nearly tripled its prior audience among all key demographics.

Due to the success of re-runs aired in the United States, in June 2009, Yo soy Betty, la fea re-aired in México on Canal de las Estrellas.

Betty, la Fea is one of the world’s most popular television shows and is considered the third most famous Latin telenovelas in history (behind the 1979’s Los Ricos También Lloran and 1996’s María la del Barrio).[1][2] It is the first telenovela to have been remade worldwide and has been regarded as bringing the telenovela to new levels of success.[3]


Beatriz Aurora Pinzón Solano, Betty, is an unattractive but brilliant economist working as a secretary at a fictitious Colombian fashion empire, EcoModa. Betty constantly faces the scorn of EcoModa’s attractive manager-owners but proves herself indispensable to EcoModa’s new president, Armando Mendoza. She becomes Armando’s accomplice in a clandestine scheme to save EcoModa from financial ruin and they become romantically involved.

Though she has a masters degree in finance and graduated at the top of her class, Betty has been unable to secure a job interview, because, she claims, her ugly photograph ruins her otherwise impressive résumé. After searching unsuccessfully for a job to match her education and experience, she applies for a position as the secretary to the president of EcoModa, a highly successful, trendy fashion manufacturer/retailer founded by two families, the Mendozas and the Valencias. She sends her résumé to EcoModa without a photograph, thus securing an interview.

Armando Mendoza, EcoModa’s new president, is the smart, handsome, and well-educated son of the company’s retired co-founder Roberto Mendoza. He is engaged to Marcela Valencia, an EcoModa executive and daughter of the deceased co-founder, Valencia. Armando is in search of a new secretary and first interviews Marcela’s best friend, Patricia Fernández. He is reluctant to hire Patricia because he assumes that Marcela would want her to spy on him, given his reputation as a notorious womanizer. Armando then interviews Betty. While he is concerned about her “ugliness”, he likes the idea that she could be his ally, rather than a spy. In order to please Marcela, Armando hires as his secretaries both Betty, the ugly but brilliant economist, and the very attractive but not so intelligent Patricia.

Since EcoModa is a fashion company primarily concerned with image and beauty, Patricia is seated in the lobby and Betty is seated in a stock room behind Armando’s office. Nevertheless, Betty proves herself invaluable as she maneuvers effortlessly in the business and finance milieu, earning respect among industry insiders and the secretaries whom would become her close friends, lately called El cuartel de las feas (The club of the ugly women). Throughout the weeks, Betty falls in love with Armando but keeps her feelings a secret.

Along the way, Ecomoda falls into a scheme that causes the company to lose millions of dollars, therefore putting Ecomoda into financial ruin. So out of loyalty, and love, to Armando, she helps him launch a risky new business plan that could mean the downfall of EcoModa, but if successful, could bring the company back to firm financial standing. The business plan sets up a fake company, run in name by Betty, as a firm financial backer of EcoModa. The fake company prevents the banks from taking over EcoModa’s stocks, primarily because of Betty’s business savvy and financial contacts. Once the summer fashion line is released, EcoModa will be secure in their finances and the fake company can be dissolved. However, Armando asked Betty to fake the annual budget reports in order to keep the plan a secret from his family, not wanting to disappoint them regarding his leadership skills as the new president of EcoModa. Betty reluctantly agrees to help him and asks her best friend, Nicolas Mora, to go along with it. EcoModa’s vice president (and Armando’s best friend) Mario Calderon is the only other person at EcoModa that knows about the business plan. However, because of how the plan works, EcoModa has been sold (in paper) to the fake company, setting up Betty as the president. Mario is concerned that Betty plans to keep the company to herself and convinces Armando to make her fall in love with him for security. Armando is sure that Betty could never be so devious, but when he suspects that Nicholas and Betty have a romance, he begins to worry that they will stay with the company and all its fortune. He takes Mario’s advice and starts to seduce Betty, even though he is disgusted by the idea. Once the company is back in Armando’s hands, he would break up with Betty and fire her.

As the weeks pass by, Betty falls more in love with Armando. In turn, Armando starts seeing past the “ugliness” and sees the beautiful person Betty is. He falls in love with her for real, but keeps his feelings a secret from Mario, who constantly teases Armando about having to kiss the ugly duckling. A couple of days before the budget meeting, Betty discovers a letter from Mario to Armando describing details about the fake romance.

She is devastated at how Armando could be so cruel and play with her feelings, but instead of confronting him, she decides to play along with his game and makes him believe she is losing feeling for him and falling in love with Nicholas. She begins to torment Armando by spending EcoModa’s money on a luxury car and fancy restaurants and then by spending more time with Nicholas, thus making Armando furiously jealous. After a few days of torment, tears, and fist fights (Nicholas and Armando), Betty realizes she is only making her pain worse by playing along with the game and decides to end it.

She exposes the truth of the secret business plan to his family at the meeting by presenting the real balance sheet and not the fake one. At that moment, Armando and Mario realize that she has known about their vicious plan the entire time. The family (who are also stockholders) are informed that EcoModa is in financial ruin and that Betty is the new owner of the company. However, Betty reveals that the fake company was only set up to prevent EcoModa from going bankrupt and that she is handing back full ownership to the stockholders. Roberto Mendoza chastises Betty on her involvement in such a scheme, knowing her to be an honest woman, and Betty is escorted out of the building. Before she leaves, Armando confronts her, only to find out how much Betty was humiliated by his deception. He tries to confess his now true feelings for her, but she refuses to listen. As Betty leaves the building, Marcela suspects her as a thief and demands to know what she is hiding inside a trash bag where she has been keeping all the love letters and gifts from Armando ever since she discovered his feelings for her were never real. Betty has no choice but to reveal the fake romance, Marcela is devastated and shocked but is told that their relationship was nothing more than a cruel plan to make sure she doesn’t get away with the company. Marcela cancels the wedding and breaks up with Armando. Everyone, including his family, disowns him.

Hurt and heartbroken, Betty immediately takes a job as the assistant to a fashion icon who is in charge of the Miss Colombia Pageant. She runs to the airport to catch a flight to Cartagena. She decides to confide the whole truth to her new boss Catalina, who has also been her guardian angel and close friend throughout her hard times in EcoModa.

Armando is desperate to find Betty, but can not find her. He must also deal with the fallout of the business situation EcoModa is now in. Armando is fired as president and his father comes out of retirement to take over the presidential duties. The attorney realizes that Betty did not correctly turn over the business back to the stockholders, therefore Betty and her fake company are still the owners of EcoModa, thus preventing the bank from seizing control. Knowing that the only way to save the company is to continue with the “business plan” until after the summer fashion line, the stockholders have no choice but to ask Betty to stay and run the company. The only problem is that they can’t find Betty.

Meanwhile, Betty is surrounded by all the beautiful pageant ladies and has become fast friends with a gorgeous French photographer (Michael) who would later find interest in her. Catalina helps Betty come out of her shell and rather slowly helps Betty shed some of her ugliness. First she convinces Betty to accept an advance on her salary so that she can buy clothes that complement her figure better. The next day she took Betty to a hair stylist and asked them to give her a more modern cut. A few days later she is taken back to the hair stylist to have her unibrow and stache waxed out and she is fixed with make up. Catalina “accidentally” breaks her glasses and the new pair is much more suited to her face. It seems that Betty has shed her “ugliness” overnight and looks quite beautiful. But then Betty gets a call from her father saying that she needs to return to finish some business with EcoModa. Reluctantly, she returns home after finishing her work in Cartagena.

When she walks into EcoModa, nobody recognizes her. Everyone is quite shocked at her transformation. Roberto tells Betty about the financial situation they are in and asks Betty to help him save the company. Although hesitant about working at EcoModa again, Betty agrees, feeling some responsibility as to why they are in that situation. She is to be the new president of EcoModa until the company can be financially stable again.

Months later, the new fashion line is a success thanks to Betty’s business savvy and her idea of modeling ugly women (the club of the ugly ones) instead of the usual beautiful models. Although Betty appears to be dating Michael, who came to visit her from Cartagena, she is still in love with Armando but does not believe him when he confesses his feelings for her. Michael offers Betty to move to Cartagena with her family to work and start a new life once she finishes her job in EcoModa. She is unsure whether to take the offer at first, but later accepts it.

Betty tells her friends she is leaving Bogotá and they are all devastated by the news. In fact, she decides to leave earlier than planned in order to forget Armando forever. This puts the company back in danger because EcoModa’s is not yet stable. In order to prevent this, Armando decides to move far away so that Betty can stay and continue as president. The club of the ugly ones(Betty’s friends) try convincing her to stay, truly believing that Armando has changed, but she refuses to stay and give him a chance. This means that the presidential role would go Daniel Valencia, another executive and stockholder, Marcela’s brother, and Betty and Armando’s enemy. He would sell the company and save whatever is left of it, therefore causing hundreds of people to be unemployed. When Marcela hears about this, she decides to swallow her pride and resentment and tells Betty the truth about everything that happened when she left to Cartagena. Because of this, Betty realizes that Armando has really had a change of heart and she stops him from leaving. They both stay and run the company together and after a few months, the two eventually marry.

The final scene shows everyone gushing over Betty and Armando’s new-born daughter, who is just as beautiful as Betty when she was first born


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Couple “Fined” £100 By Hotel For Bad Review

A couple were “fined” £100 by a Blackpool hotel after they wrote an internet review describing it as a “rotten stinking hovel run by muppets”.

Tony and Jan Jenkinson stayed at the Broadway Hotel in August and were so disappointed with their accommodation that they took to TripAdvisor to share their experience.

The couple later found their credit card had been charged £100, with the hotel stating its policy was to charge for “bad” reviews.

The policy, included in a booking document, reportedly says: “Despite the fact that repeat customers and couples love our hotel, your friends and family may not. For every bad review left on any website, the group organiser will be charged a maximum £100 per review”.

But Blackpool Council has now said it understands the hotel will refund the couple’s money and scrap the policy.

Councillor Gillian Campbell, cabinet member responsible for public protection, said the council had spoken to the hotel owner and asked for the policy to be removed.

She added: “This is a unique case and not one that we have come across before. It is worth remembering that the vast majority of hotels in Blackpool are reputable and provide a good customer service to tourists who visit the resort.”

Mr and Mrs Jenkinson, from Whitehaven, Cumbria, had written that the hot tap and kettle in their room did not work, the drawer fronts fell off and there was no phone.

They said they were told by hotel staff that the room was wired incorrectly but the hotel could not afford to put it right.

They added: “The wallpaper was peeling off the walls, the carpet was thin, dirty and stained.

“The bed was something else, it must have come out of the ark, the base was all scuffed and dirty and the springs in the mattress attacked you in the night.

“The curtains were tattered and filthy, there were polystyrene tiles on the ceiling which are a fire hazard.”

At the end of the review, they advised others to stay away, adding: “This place should be shut down, I don’t know if they are ever inspected, but if so, I don’t know how this place has passed!!

“If you are offered this place to stay for a fortnight for 10p, you are being robbed!!”

The Wilkinsons were not the only ones to find the Broadway Hotel falling well short of par, with it being rated 858 out of 894 hotels in Blackpool on TripAdvisor, and more than half of reviews rating it as “terrible”.

One review, posted by Jeanette M in November, said staff were “drinking cans of strongbow while serving breakfast”, while Jessica of Sheffield described mouse dropping-stained carpet and a net curtain “brown in muck” and concluded that “prison would be better”.

When Sky News contacted the hotel, nobody was answering phone calls.

Tripadvisor spokesman James Kay said: “It is completely against the spirit and policies of our site for any business owner to attempt to bully or intimidate reviewers who have had a negative experience.”

He added: “Where we find evidence of a business doing so, we will take action to protect the integrity of our site.”

source : MalaysianDigest.com/ Sky News

* huh? But really some hotels we stayed doesn’t live up to their names and prices/star rating. And we gave feedback, at one point one was deleted.  worst hotel experience- hotel located in Lumut.


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Americans love naming their baby girls ‘Malaysia’

Interesting, an old story I just discovered-mydestiny2011

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is growing in popularity in the United States – at least as a name – with more American parents choosing the country to name their baby girls compared to any other nation.

According to the Expat Go website, over 630 parents in the United States named their baby girls ‘Malaysia’ last year.

The site, which provide insights about Malaysia to expats living in and travelling to Malaysia, said that this was an increasing trend in the United States.

Data from the US social security administration showed that the 630 babies named ‘Malaysia’ were registered in 2013 alone, 570 in 2012 and 964 in 2011.

An online publication, Swimmingly, wrote that Malaysia was the most-popular country name and had been widely trending over the last three years.

The list, however, did not include countries like Jordan, Israel, Georgia and Chad as it was believed such names were not in direct reference to the countries.

Other popular country names included Kenya, America, India, Ireland and Holland.

source : The Star

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Insya Allah, blessed Wednesday people..

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Tun M aka Che Det on BRIM

1. Let me begin by admitting that I am not a trained economist or financier. Still I don’t think it is fair for anyone to say I do not understand BR1M and the good things about it. I have in the past made some decisions on economic and financial matters which seem to have given good results for the country.

2. I have been opposed to giving monetary handouts as a way to increase the income of people right from the beginning. If at all financial aid should be given to the very poor who are unable to work to earn an income. My primary objection is because handouts on such a scale look too much like bribery. And when this is given near elections or the manifesto promises this, the impression that it is about buying votes just cannot be dismissed. If incomes are to be increase it should be by way of creating opportunities for work or business.

3. But BR1M has more negative implications than that. It increases the tendency towards personal dependence on the Government even for one’s income, without any effort by oneself. It weakens the character of people and reduce their competitiveness in the market place.

4. We want high incomes. But high income should come from increases in productivity. High productivity results from better education and training. A manual labourer cannot be more productive than a mechanic or a craftsman. And they in turn cannot be as productive as an engineer. The ability to increase productivity comes from greater added value to the products.

5. It follows that when we promote industries with greater added value, than the incomes of employees would increase due to greater contribution of the employees. We should note that in countries with big Government revenues from the foreign exploitation of resources, and people are given a part of the revenue to sustain a good lifestyle, there is a lack of desire to work.

6. Giving money does not increase productivity. Without increasing productivity, competitiveness will not improve. And the economy will not really grow. These countries invariably depend on foreign workers, executives and entrepreneurs.

7. When Malaysia adopted a policy of encouraging labour intensive industries, it was because at that time the people were jobless and had no income. After that to increase their incomes we switched to hi-tech, knowledge-based industries and our people are educated and trained for these more sophisticated higher income industries.

8. We can increase their wages further by adopting new technologies and management systems. Our workers should now be involved in designing new products, producing prototypes, testing and mass-producing. Marketing and sales of these more sophisticated products will also increase incomes.

9. We want to be a developed nation by 2020. We think that this can be done by increasing average incomes to a certain level. This is misleading. A few people with very high incomes will distort the average income. Per capita income should not be a measure of our achievement of developed country status. The emphasis on high income alone is not enough. In fact by itself it will not make the country a developed country. It would be even more misleading when the income is due to handouts by the Government.

10. To be developed we have to be at par with these developed countries in terms of education, technological and industrial knowhow, research and development, industrialised to a high level, commensurate infrastructure and high earned incomes for all.

11. It is imperative therefore to spend money on education and training to a higher level, to build up engineering and industrial capacities, to be productive and competitive, to expend money on building first-class infrastructure and to be researchers, inventors and developers.

12. Since we want to be developed in our own mould, we can reject the moral values of some developed countries. We see them obviously decaying because of the emphasis on unlimited materialism and personal freedom. We must sustain the good values that we have and acquire good ethnics which will contribute to our productivity and our income. In other words we must earn our income through higher productivity and not through handouts by the Government. The Socialist and Communists have tried to improve their people’s incomes through giving them money and making free availability of support facilities to ensure they have a good life. But Socialism and Communism have failed. They have to resort to free enterprise and hard work.

13. Finally we must not forget that Government money is derived through taxes on the people. Taxes raise the cost of living. Still the people are willing to endure raised cost of living because they expect the Government to give them security, to govern the country well, to have policies which benefit the people generally.

14. But the people would not like to see the taxes they pay to be expended in ways that are beyond this. Certainly they would not want their hard-earned money to be expended on winning popularity for anyone or political parties or administrations


* can’t agree more on this. Govt spent so much money on this give out. And what do they expect in return, more support? Clearly, it doesn’t show that way.-Mydestiny2011


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Aamiin…May our faith keeps us stronger.

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lost in blink of eyes

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