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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tumpat, Kelantan

Tumpat is a small town just 15 km north of Kota Bharu in Kelantan. It is the terminus of the East-Coast Line, the railway line linking Kelantan with the west coast of peninsula Malaysia. Tumpat is located on a flat plain comprising several river islands.

Today the chief attraction in Tumpat is its many Buddhist temples. Perhaps the most famous is Wat Phothivihan in Kampung Beruk, Tumpat. It has one of the biggest reclining buddha statues in Southeast Asia.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Johor Bharu

Located at the southern tip of the Peninsula, Johor Bahru is the state capital of Johor Darul Takzim. JB, in short, was established in 1855 by the late Sultan Abu Bakar (the Father of Modern Johor) and now serves as the administrative and commercial center of the state.
Connected to Singapore by road and rail via a modern causeway, JB is also the Peninsula's southern gateway. Consisting of a diverse ethnic mix of races, 

JB offers the visitor heritage attractions, colorful culture, delectable local cuisine, and exciting recreational activities. Popular with Singaporeans, JB boasts of myriad landmarks, such as The Grand Palace with its distinct Anglo-Malay architecture, which houses the museum where priceless treasures of the Royal Collection are showcased.

The "Ghazal" music, which is unique to Johor, is usually performed during cultural shows and weddings. Another famous performance distinctly Johorean is the "Kuda Kepang" dance, which is spun from tales of Islamic heroes. Dancers imitate the movement of horses to the music of a traditional orchestra.

Shopping opportunities abound in JB. Modern malls, arcades, handicraft centers, bazaars and markets offering international and local products all vie for attention. Local craftwork is sure to catch the eye and they do make lovely souvenirs of a trip here. Furthermore, there is the JB Duty Free Complex located at the JB International Ferry Terminal. Known as "ZON", it is a large duty free department store and supermarket encompassing 163 retail outlets, a hypermarket, and 30,000 feet of shopping area. The complex offers a variety of goods such as branded designer wear from London, Paris, New York and the likes. Glassware, confectionery, and other items are also offered.

Another interesting side of JB can be experienced when night falls over the city. A sumptuous array of food stalls and vendors appear (as if by magic) and the adventurous tourist should delight in trying out the taste of popular local dishes such as the famous Laksa Johor, flake fish and gravy cooked with coconut milk and served with noodles and vegetables.

Getting There & Moving Around

By Air :Regulars flights from Johor Bahru's Senai Airport connects the state capital with Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, Kuching, and Kuala Lumpur.

By Road :Taxis are a popular and cheap mode of transportation. All urban taxis are fitted with meters. An additional 50% is charged between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. It is also possible to hire an outstation taxi on a shared or individual basis to travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Kuantan, and Kota Bahru. Johor Bahru is also well served by express buses offering comfortable rides at reasonable fares from all major cities and towns in Peninsular Malaysia.

By Rail :Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) offers numerous train services connecting Singapore and other states through the Johor Bahru Railway Station.

By Sea :A ferry link provides a new way to travel between Singapore and Malaysia. It operates daily between Changi Point near the Singapore International Airport and Tanjung Belungkor in Johor.

Bandar Hilir

Malacca City (Malay: Bandaraya Melaka) is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Malacca. The Seri Negeri, the State Administrative and Development Centre which houses the Chief Minister's Office, the State Secretary's Office and the Legislative Assembly Hall are located in Malacca City. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with George Town of Penang on 7 July 2008.

The city of Malacca is located on both sides of the Malacca River near its fall into the Strait of Malacca. The historic central area of the city is located near the old coastline, includes St Paul's Hill with the ruins of the Portuguese fortress, A Famosa and the Dutch Square on the right (eastern) bank of the river, and the old Chinatown on the left (western) bank. 

The modern city has grown in all directions from this historic core, including to the south (because the present coastline of the Strait of Malacca is somewhat farther down to the south than its original location due to land reclamation). The "Chinese Hill" (Bukit Cina), where a large old Chinese cemetery is located, was formerly located to the northeast of the town, but now is surrounded by the city on all sides.


Seremban is the capital of the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan, located within the district of Seremban, one of the seven districts of Negeri Sembilan. The town's administration is run by the Seremban Municipal Council or Majlis Perbandaran Seremban. On 9 September 2009, Seremban was to be declared as a city, however it did not materialise due to irregular rules.

Seremban came into existence with the discovery of tin ore in the 1870s just like most major towns in Peninsular Malaysia. The discovery of tin in a nearby area called Rasah, saw an influx of Arab, Malay and Chinese immigrants to work on the mines and trade there. The local Malays were mostly farmers and were quite reluctant to face the new challenges.

Seremban initially known as Sungai Ujong flourished not only as a mining area but also a business centre. The Linggi River served as the sole outlet to ferry tin and supplies in and out of the town. Revenue came not only from tin trade but also from the large amount of taxes collected, much to the displeasure of the traders and the British colonialists at the neighbouring port of Malacca.

The local chieftains namely, the Dato’ Kelana and the Dato’ Shahbandar of Sungai Ujong were at odds with each other on the rights to collect taxes and ownership and control of the mines. The rivalry to assert influence and authority opened the door for British intervention in Negeri Sembilan. The British sided with the Dato’ Kelana upon invitation and defeated the forces of the Dato’ Bandar who was later sent into exile to Singapore. In a show of gratitude to the British for helping him win the war, the Dato’ Kelana had no choice but to accept a British Resident whose job was to advise him on matters other than religion and Malay customs.

Captain Murray was appointed the first resident and later set-up his residence at Channer Road, now renamed Jalan Dato’ Siamang Gagap. Soon after, the people living around Rasah moved to Channer Road for the sake of security and its orderly administration.


Cyberjaya is a new planned township with a science park as the core that forms a key part of the Multimedia Super Corridor in Malaysia. It is located in the district of Sepang, Selangor and is situated about 50 km south of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. This town aspires to be known as the Silicon Valley of Malaysia. The official opening ceremony for Cyberjaya was held in May 1997 by then Prime Minister, Mahathir bin Mohamad.

The idea of an IT-themed city, Cyberjaya, arose out of a study by management consultancy McKinsey for the Multimedia Super Corridor commissioned by the Federal Government of Malaysia in 1995. The implementation agency was the Town & Country Planning Department of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. The catalyst is the agreement by NTT in 1996 to site an R&D center at a site to the west of the new Malaysian administration center, Putrajaya.
Multimedia Development Corporation (then known as MDC), the agency overseeing the implementation of the MSC was located in Cyberjaya to oversee the creation. 

The real estate implementation was privatized to Cyberview Sdn Bhd (Cyberview) in early 1997. At the time, Cyberview was set up a joint-venture comprising entities such as Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd (SHSB), Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT), Golden Hope, MDeC, Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) and Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Berhad (KDEB), representative of the Selangor Government. SHSB, a consortium comprising Renong, Landmarks, MKLand and Country Heights, was asked to take the lead regarding the development. Federal government linked companies Telekom Malaysia and Tenaga Nasional were conscripted to provide the telecommunication and power supply infrastructure. The ambitious plan was to develop the first phase, comprising 1,430 hactares by year 2006, with the remaining 1,460 hectares to be developed after year 2011. 

The engineering management consultant, Pengurusan Lebuhraya Bhd (now acquired by Opus International Malaysia) was appointed to manage the construction of utilities and infrastructure, overseeing major construction firms of Peremba and United Engineers Malaysia (UEM).
The central theme for the development is providing a quantum jump in standards, summarized as follows:
  • a leading edge multimedia centre that will attract world-class multimedia/IT companies;
  • sophisticated and state-of-the-art integrated infrastructure and IT system; and
  • sophisticated and efficient transportation systems with an emphasis on public transport
However, due to the late 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the undertaking was deemed no longer viable and necessitated the Government taking over of the 55% and 15% stake in Cyberview shares held by SHSB and NTT respectively via the Ministry of Finance Inc (MOF Inc). The transaction gave MOF Inc a 70% stake and Cyberview has remained a government-owned company ever since. 

Cyberview then entered into an agreement with SHSB with shareholders comprising Country Heights Holdings Berhad (CHHB), Landmarks, Menara Embun (an MKLand Controlled Company) and Renong (now UEM World) with equal shares of 25%; granting SHSB the right to develop Cyberjaya as the master developer, while Cyberview became the landowner. In 2004, CHHB and Landmarks sold their equity interest in SHSB to MKLand-controlled companies, namely Modern Eden (12.5%), Impressive Circuits (12.5%) and Virtual Path (25%), resulting in MKLand-controlled companies becoming the majority shareholder of SHSB. 

Due to SHSB's shareholders' reluctance to inject their own reserves into SHSB and the company's practice of awarding contracts at high premiums, SHSB had to take up substantial loans. This has led to its gearing ratio ballooning to an unsustainable amount. Cyberview was then asked by the Government to rescue the ailing SHSB that led to Cyberview's expanded role.

Cyberview's role grew to include implementing various development and government initiatives, while SHSB carried on its role as the master developer. In addition to this, Cyberview was also tasked to undertake city-wide maintenance and spearhead investor interface and community-centric programmes in Cyberjaya.

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre [KLCC]

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre is located in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, fondly known as KLCC. Designed to be a "city within a city", this 40 hectare (100-acre) site includes the KLCC park and PETRONAS Twin Towers to lend a prestigious address to the Kuala Lumpur

The Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) is Malaysia’s one-stop centre for MICE activities, operating as the country’s official Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) in relations to business events.  Its focus is directed towards introducing and promoting potential buyers to Malaysian products and services and securing future MICE businesses through the presentation of formal bids prepared by MyCEB and its partners (TEAM MALAYSIA).

It is the Government’s intention to make Malaysia a “top-of-mind” MICE destination in this region and to encourage more active participation from local associations through the bids done to be ‘host’ country for major conventions and congresses. 

Amongst MyCEB’s other roles and responsibilities include providing business leads for the industry, organising cooperative promotions, independent production of high quality destination materials, providing networking and educational opportunities, technical assistance, training and industry development as well as strategies for product development and improvement. The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre is located in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, fondly known as KLCC. Designed to be a "city within a city", this 40 hectare (100-acre) site includes the KLCC park and PETRONAS Twin Towers to lend a prestigious address to the Kuala Lumpur

KL Tower

Menara Kuala Lumpur stands majestically a top of Bukit Nanas at 421 meters and 94 meters above sea level, is considered a main feature of the city skylineone and perhaps most enduring images a visitor to KL will encounter. 

The KL-Tower's architecture reflects the country's Islamic heritage with the construction detailing Arabic Scripts, Islamic tiles, classic Islamic floral and abstract motifs and soothing colour combinations.

Menara Kuala Lumpur ranks fourth amongst the tallest telecommunications towers in the world and was constructed over a period of four years and completed in May 1996.Besides the panoramic view, Menara KL has something for the city-dwelling, nature enthusiast. The verdant green surrounding Menara KL is the Bukit Nanas Forest - the only oldest gazetted forest reserve in the country. 

It covers an area of 10.05 hectares and is considered the 'Green Lung' of Kuala Lumpur. It is a sanctuary to a wonderful array of flora and fauna which is unique to our tropical nature.