Saturday, September 26, 2009


SH respects those super fit people who continue with their hiking activities even during Ramadhan, fellow bloggers, you know who you are. As for SH, he took a month break and he resumed this hobby on Saturday, 7th day of Raya.

Where to go? The location is none other than Bukit Tabur, West side. He went there with a friend at around 6.30am. While it was still dark, he had the torch light on and started the hiking immediately. As usual, he was not the first, there were 3 groups ahead of him.

It's the second time around that he completed the hiking going through Peak 10 and coming down at a fruit orchard nearby. It was quite fast as we completed it within 3 hours as he didn't take that many breaks to rest and take picture. His hiking partner, it's his first hiking experience, was very fit and never complained at all. SH was glad that his partner enjoyed it as well.

Up on the hill SH had the pleasure of meeting two fellow hikers. One of them is a regular there and he goes up to the hill every Saturday. SH met him several times and always greeted him with the standard hi-how-are-you thingy. Not knowing that he is a Muslim and a Tuan Haji for that matter. Minta maaf Tuan Haji, all the while SH thought he was an Indian. Apparently, he used to participate in marathon. No wonder, he seemed to be at ease going up and down the hill on regular basis.

Can see Batu Cave clearly from Peak 10.
SH also met another hiker, a Malay guy that he thought was Chinese. He looked very Chinese and at first SH was impressed that he spoke Malay fluently and he was also in a group with other young Chinese guys. We promised to keep in touch and been trying to locate him in Facebook but couldn't find him. Anyway, SH met him again at the parking area and was surprised that he injured himself on the way down. He said somehow he felt his knees were weak on the way down. It reminds SH that accidents can happen anywhere and to be very careful in my his hiking activities!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I had it all planned, to 'balik kampung' two days before Raya and with that I'd still have two days to 'buka puasa' with my in-law's family in Kelantan. And when the news came out a few days before Raya that there will be free toll at Karak Highway and Lebuhraya Pantai Timur (LPT), I couldn't change my plan. On the last working day, I had meeting with a client in the morning of which I couldn't cancel.

So, at 2am on Friday, we left for Kelantan with the hope of having ' KFC sahur' before 5am in Bentong. Two years ago, we did exactly the same thing. The children were excited as this would be their only KFC sahur this time around.

Along the way, we noticed that the traffic was unusually heavy for that wee hours and we anticipated there would be jam along the way. After passing through two free tolls, we were supposed to exit to Bentong. Much to my horror, the jam was already starting a few meters before the exit. Unlike two years ago, I could still drive through Bentong with no hassle.

We changed our mind and decided not to take the exit. I was thinking of using the highway all the way until Kuantan and exit towards Ulu Terengganu. That was the only other routes that I know. I was told after that there were other alternative routes instead of taking that Ulu Terengganu route that was much longer. Anyway, to make the story more interesting, I had never used the highway going to Ulu Terengganu before. And true enough, I never noticed the exit and instead I ended up using the coastal road to Kuala Terengganu, which is a lot further than the Ulu Terengganu route. All in all, I drove for 654kms for almost 11 hours. The only consolotions are I heard from a friend that it took him 13 hours from KL to Machang, much shorter distance and I experienced no traffic jam along the way!!

Instead of having the 'KFC sahur', we ended up having Maggi cup noodles and potato chips at Gambang R&R. All the hawkers were running out of rice and no 'mee goreng' or what so ever! This was really a case where the hawkers didn't plan properly and were not able to cash in on the big crowd that night.

It's really a balik kampung misadventure. I also lost my compact digicam as it was soaked in hot water on the 2nd day of Raya. I put it in my car boot together with a thermos that wasn't closed properly and when it fell, the water came out. That's it.. my camera was gone... Alamak. tak tahu bila lah nak dapatkan replacement!

I had the plan of upgrading to DSLR early next year but not now. So, for the time being I am cameraless. A loss is a loss but I am not going to let it spoil my Raya mood. Other than that, I had great time with my family. I ate a lot, slept a lot and relaxed a lot! What a Raya holiday!


Tue, Sep 22, 2009
The Star
Asia News Network

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: A 51-year-old man who went hiking at Bukit Tabur, Ampang, slipped and fell 30m but was saved when he landed on some bushes yesterday.
The hiker, who only wanted to be known as Lim, was stuck there for more than six hours before the authorities rescued him at 6.30pm.

Ampang Jaya Deputy OCPD Supt Amiruddin Jamiluddin said the man, who was from Tanjung Sempat, started hiking in the morning but he was unfamiliar with the terrain.

"He realised he was lost at about 12.30pm," he said, adding that the victim slipped while trying to find his way out. Lim called his family for help on his mobile phone at 3.30pm.

Supt Amiruddin said it took about three hours to locate the hiker. "He suffered light injuries and was sent to Hospital Kuala Lumpur for treatment," he said.

-The Star /Asia News Network

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Tour operators unhappy with Mt Kinabalu Management

KOTA KINABALU: Tour operators yesterday took to task the management company in charge of accommodation on Mount Kinabalu.

The operators said many climbers reported reaching Laban Rata, near the peak of Southeast Asia’s tallest mountain, only to be told by Sutera Sanctuary Lodges (SSL) that their pre-booked accommodations were not available.Several tour operators also reported having booked accommodation at Laban Rata but Sabah Parks had run out of climbing permits.Tour operators raised these issues at a dialogue between the Sabah chapter of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents and the Sabah Tourism Ministry.

Sabah Parks director Paul Basintal said the discrepancy was because his agency and SSL did not have a uniform booking system.“If the Ministry of Finance can implement a proposed computerised system it will be a lot more efficient so that everything will be updated online for everyone,” he said, adding that the park issued 149 climbing permits daily.

Basintal said it was a policy that climbers first obtained permits before making bookings for accommodation.The permit fee per person is RM30 for Malaysians and RM100 for non-Malaysians. Tour operators also complained that they were made to sell a three-day-two-night package by SSL.The package is much more expensive and less popular than the traditional one-night option.

Tourism, Culture and Environment permanent secretary Datuk Susannah Liaw said the problem actually lies with the package and not the climbing permits.“The problem lies with SSL's packages that are inconveniencing climbers, so I think SSL must work with tour operators and look at how to solve the problem so that its a win-win situation for both,” said Liaw.The dialogue also discussed the 120 diving permits a day to Sipadan island, which has to be divided between 12 diving operators.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mount Kinabalu climber slips and falls to his death

Mount Kinabalu climber slips and falls to his death

KOTA KINABALU: A climber slipped and fell to his death when trekking up Mount Kinabalu.
Tan Tzu Hau, 31, from Inanam here, was found dead 5.5km from the Mesilau trail at about 2pm on Monday by a Sabah Parks porter.

Ranau district police chief Deputy Supt Suhaimy Hashim said that Tan was part of a mixed group locals and peninsular Malaysians trekking up the mountain through the Mesilau trail when the incident occurred.

''Tan was trailing behind the group when he apparently slipped and fell. No one knows exactly how he fell but a porter who was behind spotted his sprawled body beside the trail," Suhaimy said.

He said the incident occurred near the Panar Laban rest house at the height of 3,270m of the 4,101m mountain.

''His body has been brought down to Ranau and we are waiting for the post mortem to be conducted, he said, adding that police did not suspect foul play as they believe it was a case of misadventure.

Masilau trail is second but tougher route to the mountain as compared to the more popularly used Summit Trail or South Ride Trail.

Accidental deaths among climbers on Mount Kinabalu is relatively rare though they have been a few incidents with the last reported incident occurring in Aug 2001 when a British teenager Ellie James lost her way and was found dead on the mountain nearly a week after she went missing.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


It's my last weekend of puasa in Shah Alam before leaving for Kelantan for Hari Raya on Friday. I'd like to wish everyone, Selamat hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Maaf Zahir Batin. Let's be careful when driving. It's time to celebrate after a month of fasting. However, I'd try not to indulge too much with the Ketupat, Rendang and Nasi Dagang this time around. I intend to eat moderately so as not to put back whatever weight loss during Ramadhan in just 3 days! Another reason for doing so, my cholesterol reading has increased again. I'd blog more about this later!

I don't make Baju Melayu for myself this year. That happens once in two years when I celebrate Raya on the west coast, where people are proud to adorn their new Baju Melayu complete with samping songket. I still remember years ago when I celebrated raya for the first time in my in-law's kampung, I was the only one wearing full suit of baju Malayu!

I really hope that I'd not get stuck in the jam like what happened two years ago. I left my house at 2am and reached Bentong in time for sahur at 4.15am. By the time, I left Bentong, traffic started to crawl and at certain stretches, it came to a halt as people started to stop over for Subuh prayers. It took me almost 11 hours to reach Pasir Mas!

This time around, I am going to leave on Friday morning, still at the same wee hours. Since Raya is on Sunday and I hope the balik kampung exodus will only begin on Friday night. I hope I am right! Or else, there it goes, I'd get stuck in the jam again, in the middle of nowhere from Bentong to Kuala Krai.

Selamat Hari Raya!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

6 Tips on How to Reduce Debt Completely

Quite a number of us find it difficult to manage our personal finances, there are bills to be paid, car loan and mortgage to service, credit card charges to be paid, so on and so forth. There are so many debts to be paid monthly. Sometimes, we feel that we need to hire personal finance consultant to put our house in order?

The tips below will tell you how you can reduce your debt. They are just tips and ultimately, it depends on our discipline to ensure its success. I put it down here as a reminder for me as I sometimes got overboard with my credit card spending, etc.

Tip #1

If you have credit cards with outstanding balances, you can do the followings:

1. Cut up all your credit cards, except 1 or 2. We still need the plastic money every now and then. So, better not cut all of them.

2. Any new charge you add to the 1 or 2 cards you now have must be paid off every month. Do not incur any further long term debt.

Tip #2
Come up with RM150 to 200 extra per month. Do a very tight budget and squeeze the extra money!

Tip #3
Apply the additional RM150 – 200 to your monthly payment of ONLY ONE of your credit cards. You will now pay the minimum plus the RM150 – 200 on that one credit card.

Tip #4
Once the first card is paid off, then apply the total amount you were paying each month on that card to your next card. You are now paying the minimum amount due on the second card PLUS the total monthly payment you were paying on the first card.

Continue this process with all your credit cards and other consumer credits.

Tip #5

Once all your credit cards and other consumer debt are paid off, now continue with your car and mortgage payments.

Tips #6
Now that you're completely debt free, take the monthly amount you were paying on your last debt, and put that money towards investment. Build your asset column.

It sounds simple, however it's not easy as it requires a lot of discipline and may be to a certain extent it requires a lifestyle change. I always use this principle of paying off the card with the smallest outstanding balance when I got my bonus and I cut off credit cards too. However, the challenge is to resist other debts and credit cards when your finance are back to black.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


During Ramadhan SH doesn't stop his gym activities. The only difference is he reduced the routine by almost half. Normally, he'd spend 30 mins on treadmill/ X training machine. However, during Ramadhan he'd just do 15 minutes. For the sit-up, instead of doing 3 sets of 15 reps, he'd just do 2 sets, so on and so forth.

SH doesn't believe in taking a break from work out activities during Ramadhan. Somehow, he believes it's the right time to lose more of those belly fat. It's a lot easier to lose weight as he was no longer taking 3 meals a day. The only problem is whatever that he lost during Ramadhan he'd gain it back by the 3rd Syawal! Anyway, SH doesn't have that much of weight problem.

Which gym that he goes to? SH doesn't subscribe to commercial gym outlets outside there. He only goes to his in-house gym in the office. It's very convenient as after bath he could just take the lift up to his office. It's very cheap and it has all the basic facilities that he needs. He likes it a lot as most of the time, he's alone in the gym. SH is normally there at the gym at 6am, not many people can have the discipline of waking up early in the morning, so there you go, SH has the gym to himself. He'd just blast off his favourite fast songs from his mp3 player and kick off!

Want to know how to do simple calculation on your ideal weight? Very easy, just subtract 100 from your height (in centimeter) and that's your ideal weight in kg. For example, my height is 172cm, subtracting 100, it becomes 72. That means, my ideal weight should be 72 kg. Simple right? I use that guide to watch over my weight. The only problem is SH's scale at home is broken and so is the one in the gym!

Until a few months ago, SH jogs a lot and it's a must routine to do treadmill at least 30 mins. These days, he doesn't do treadmill anymore. His knees have started to ache due to the high impact of jogging or the production of glucosamine that is necessary for joint cartilage has reduced! Anyway, instead of treadmill, he does X training. Instead of jogging he does brisk walking! I find that X training is low impact and it's suitable for people who are into hiking activity as the movement is like going up steps. It's just as strenuous as treadmill and by the 10th. minutes, he'd start sweating!

SH also does a lot of weight training in the gym. When he started going to the gym, his intention was to do cardio on treadmill and not much of weight training. However, he read that weight training is very effective in burning belly fat. Studies have found that weight training increased the amount of belly fat burned, not only during exercise, but also 40 minutes after working out! It builds lean muscle tissue that burns belly fat even when you're not working out! After all, since he's going to the gym why not have that muscles as proof!
How to lose weight effectively? No myth about it. However, he doesn't believe exercise alone will help much for working people! How much can we exercise? Two hours a day? That's how long it takes to burn 600-800 calories. The answer lies in the combination of low calorie intake and exercise. When he notices that his weight has increased, he'd diet and reduce calorie intake. Instead of having full serving of rice, he'd ask for half. And he'd take light dinner too! Anyway, dinner is the least important meal of the day!
SH sees some over weight people going to the gym. They have the discipline, but for a short while only, for about 3 weeks. Then he doesn't see them at the gym anymore, like chipsmore biscuits, now you see, now you don't! So another rule to lose weight is to exercise regularly. Make it a habit!
When SH first started taking up exercise seriously, he did his exercise in the evening. Then he found out that he could not form the habit as there were always excuses for not doing it, very tired lah, so many things to do lah, got to join friends for dinner lah, the list goes on. That's why he changed the timing to morning. He's an early riser, always waking up around 4am (he never misses his sahur, Insyaallah) so it makes sense to do his exercise in the morning. So, every Mon, Wed and Fri, he'd leave his house at 5.30am to head to the gym straight way. After his subuh prayer at the gym, he'd put on his gym gear and put on his favourite fast songs of the month and start the exercise!
And by 8.00am, he is ready for breakfast before clocking in to the office at 8.30am!