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DRIVE HAS BEEN THE VOICE OF AAM FOR OVER 2 DECADES. NOW, IT WANTS TO BE YOUR VOICE TOO. WELCOME TO GODRIVE. SCAN THIS! JOIN US ON WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ GODRIVE.AAM


IT’S NOT OFTEN ONE GETS THE OPPORTUNITY TO START AFRESH. TO WIPE THE SLATE CLEAN AND BURST FORWARD WITH RENEWED VIGOUR AND AN ABUNDANCE OF FRESH IDEAS.

LET’S BEGIN. SHALL WE. Well, this is AAM’s chance to do just that. As part of a collective effort to upgrade its brand & services, we have completely revamped the previous publication ‘Drive’ into a modern and contemporary new read, AAM GoDrive, that will cover a wide range of news, lifestyle pieces and human interest stories, both related to motoring or otherwise. In this first issue, we have fittingly chosen to celebrate the remarkable 80th Anniversary of AAM with a truly interesting interview with its Chairman (did you know he is a former race champion?!). You’ll also get a first glimpse at some of our featured sections, including GoDestination, Faint-Hearted, Featured Member and our Featured Car Club, amongst other informative and entertaining reads. As we embark on this brand new journey, make no mistake that you are the star of this adventure. Along with our visual and content overhaul, we promise to bring you new to heights of interactivity. So as you peruse this premiere issue, do take the time and feel free to offer us your feedback and responses to anything and everything that strikes a chord, and also register your interest to take part in a variety of upcoming articles and activities.

WE WISH YOU A DELIGHTFUL READ, AND AS ALWAYS, SAFE AND HAPPY MOTORING!


AN OFFICI AL PUBLIC ATION OF THE AUTOMOBILE ASSOCI ATION OF MAL AYSIA

EDITORIAL TEAM EDITORIAL Wan Zaharuddin Wan Ahmad EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Melinda Ngew EDITORIAL ADVISOR Karan Dhillon ASSOCIATE EDITOR karan@godrive.my CREATIVE Hafiz Idris CREATIVE DIRECTOR hafiz@godrive.my Aaron Gatapia GRAPHIC aaron@godrive.my MARKETING & SALES Chandra Ramasamy SALES DIRECTOR chandra@godrive.my MANAGEMENT Izzul Ahmad Kamar MANAGING DIRECTOR izzul_ak@godrive.my Vinod Nair BRAND MANAGER vinod@godrive.my Imran Clyde MARKETING DIRECTOR imran@godrive.my MAILING ADDRESS 1227, Level 12, Block A3, Leisure Commerce Square, Jalan PJS 8/9, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor T: +603. 7865.8882 F: +603. 7876.1886 PRINTER KHL Printing Sdn Bhd (235060-A) Lot 10 & 12 Jln Modal 23/2 Kawasan MIEL Fasa 8 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan


06

GODRIVE AAM AUGUST 2012, VOL. 01

TABLE OF CONTENTS 20

GODESTINATIONS: p. “Dah Sampai, Belum”

p.

IN THIS ISSUE 08

CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE

10

CELEBRATING 80 YEARS AAM’s 80 years and its exciting plans for the future.

12

AAM NEW SERVICES UPGRADES AAM unveils its newest fleet of support vehicles & one-stop centre at Batu Caves.

16

ON THE COVER CELEBRATING THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF AUTOMOTIVE ASSOCIATION OF MALAYSIA.

20

AAM TOUR : UZBEKISTAN Experience of a charming tourist destination in central Asia, by AAM Travel.

GODESTINATIONS : BELUM RAINFOREST RESORT Discover one of the world’s oldest rainforest and other interesting spots along the way.

28

AAM ADVANCE DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE Go straight into the skids and spins with AAM’s professional trainers.

31

AUDI Q3 A new SUV swoops into town

32

FEATURED MEMBER Mr Khaw Chay Tee

34

SUPER GT 2012 Rocks Malaysia yet again

36

LAMBORGHINI MLE Malaysia’s own Gallardo


TABLE OF CONTENTS

p.

16

36

p.

07

p.

AAM TOUR : UZBEKISTAN

46

MYTHBUSTED

LAMBORGHINI LAUNCHES MALAYSIA’S OWN GALLARDO

p.

45

MALAYSIA ESTIMA OWNERS GROUP (MEOG)

COMING UP

IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF AAM GODRIVE

40

FAINT-HEARTED The Haunted Civic Affair

42

MALAYSIA ESTIMA OWNERS GROUP (MEOG)

46

MYTHBUSTED Are breakdown services provided by car and insurance companies enough?

ROADTRIP Up north along Federal Route 5 for a classic Malaysian holiday SECRET ROADS Route A19: Almost like a rally special stage! FEATURE United Nation’s bold Decade of Action for Road Safety INDUSTRY LED street lighting as good as F1 night race lights?

& MORE!...


CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE

THE EVOLUTION OF AAM

8

AAM GODRIVE 2012


After a long hiatus, I am delighted to present to you AAM’s fresh new quarterly magazine – AAM GoDrive. This brand new look, feel and style is not, however, solely reserved for the magazine, it is also a timely precursor to an overall upliftment of the AAM brand in line with our 80th Anniversary. For 80 years, AAM has been your ‘No.1 Motoring Partner’, but as with all things, positive evolution is always necessary. It is the right time for AAM to undergo a facelift in order to remain vigorous in the face of competition and to cater to the evolving needs of our clientele. This may be a daunting task, but as leaders of the industry, we must take the bull by the horns and harness a new trajectory that will help transform AAM into an association that continues to put people first, engage authentically with our members and care greatly about the communities within which we operate. In line with this momentous inaugural issue, we have prepared a plethora of exhilarating and thrilling promotions that can benefit our discerning members. As an AAM member, you are entitled to a whole host of privileges, and we want to further inculcate this excitement of receiving valuable offers from us. Further to this, a large number of ideas and collaboration plans are also in the pipeline, as we believe strongly that creating longterm relationships is an ongoing process of value addition and innovation. You can rest assured, however, that our progression forward will not leave behind our key valued principles, that of to provide the very best of Quality, Service and Delivery. As with any responsible organisation, we deeply value the feedback and opinion of our members. Should you have any fresh ideas that would improve the quality of our association, please do submit them to us. Your support will enable us to continue being a key player in the industry and strong advocate of Road Safety programmes in the local and international community. In closing, I leave you with some inspiring words. Words that have stood the test of time, much like the AAM itself. We will face challenges everyday, but each day is a new day, and so we shall rise to meet these challenges with unwavering commitment and fortitude. I wish you pleasant reading! Yours sincerely,

Tunku Datuk Mudzaffar bin Tunku Mustapha Chairman, Automobile Association of Malaysia

09


GODRIVE COVER STORY

AIMING AHEAD FOR MALAYSIA WE SPEAK TO AAM CHAIRMAN TUNKU DATUK MUDZAFFAR TUNKU MUSTAPHA ON WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR THE ICONIC MALAYSIAN BRAND THAT CELEBRATES ITS 80TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2012


THE INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS SPEARHEADED THE AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION OF MALAYSIA (AAM) FOR THE LAST 37 YEARS

IS A MAN OF MANY HATS AND TALENTS. THREE-TIME MALAYSIAN RALLY CHAMPION BACK IN THE DAY, A KEY AUTHORITY ON MALAYSIAN ROAD SAFETY AND A BOARD MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL MOTORSPORT BODY, THE FÉDÉRATION INTERNATIONALE DE L’AUTOMOBILE (FIA), AAM CHAIRMAN TUNKU DATUK MUDZAFFAR BIN TUNKU MUSTAPHA IS CERTAINLY THE IDEAL MAN TO STEER AAM POSITIVELY FORWARD DURING THIS ERA OF CHANGE. HERE HE SHARES SOME THOUGHTS WITH GODRIVE ON WHAT HAS KEPT AAM IN THE GAME ALL THESE YEARS AND THE MANY NEW FEATURES AND SERVICES MEMBERS CAN LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2012.

Q: Congratulations on AAM’s 80th Anniversary. What has been AAM’s secret to successfully sustaining its admirable presence in Malaysia? Thank you. It is a poignant moment for many of us who have been with the company for so many years. As you said, we have indeed come so far. Since our establishment in 1932, we have built ourselves a strong brand image and recognition in these eight decades, and there are perhaps four main pillars that have supported our position.

our presence in the Community. This plan covers a vast number of changes, approaches and updates both internally and externally.

Firstly, we have a strong foundation as the first emergency and breakdown assistance road service provider in Malaysia, having offered motorists a peace of mind and all around the clock 24/7 road assistance services for 80 strong years.

Within the organization, we have embarked on a ‘house cleaning’ venture to increase our efficiency and put effective governance measures into place. Key performance indicators have been implemented in the main areas of HR, effective distribution channels, and on sales and marketing to improve revenue for business sustainability. To support this move, a full time training and HR team has been engaged to carry out ongoing theoretical and practical training programs.

Secondly, we have always been regarded as the country’s No.1 Motoring Partner. We are not only actively involved in advocating adequate road planning and road safety for Malaysian roads, but are also the governing and regulatory body for all motorsports in Malaysia.

One of the most important steps we took was moving to our very first fully owned premises In Shah Alam. As a non-profit organization, we have never really had the capital or option to move away from renting office premises, so this step is a big and proud one for us.

We have been blessed with a truly committed and passionate committee and a loyal and long-service workforce in our rescue units across 20 branches nationwide. Through the years, we have built a large fleet of flatbeds, 1- and 3-ton tow trucks and motorcycles, and a vast network of 170 appointed workshops and tow truck operators all over Malaysia.

We have also upgraded our conventional call centre system to a more flexible one that utilises modern headsets that will increase speed and efficiency in handling distress calls from AAM members. Additionally, to further enhance the speed of our service and surpass our customer’s expectations, we have added an additional two depots in Serdang and Klang to complement the existing one in Batu Caves.

Finally, we have an unbeatable number of national and international affiliates, including the Alliance Internationale’ tourism (AIT), the Fédération Internationale’ Motorcycliste (FIM), the Fédération Internationale’ De’ Automobile (FIA) and the Commission Internationale’ De’ Karting (CIK). Our affiliations allow us to provide members global access to similar services on reciprocal basis with 133 affiliates in 102 countries.

A total of RM2 Million was also allocated for 2012/2013 to invest in brand new AAM vehicles for better and more efficient road service, with many new vehicles already in use. (see story on Page __) Another feature we are building on is further synergizing with our business partners such as insurance companies and our FIA Affiliates to provide rescue services to motor policy holders and offer members greater coverage when traveling.

Q: AAM is currently undergoing a transformation plan that began in mid2010. Tell us about these revamps. Yes, we are currently going through a transformation plan that will serve to sustain

Q: In what ways is AAM updating its image to the general public, especially in its efforts to pull in the younger generation of drivers?

This is an important goal for us, to freshen up our image so that we can attract the increasingly growing percentage of young drivers. To do this, we have revamped all our channels of communication. We have revitalized our AAM marketing collaterals and brand building efforts in order to make them more appealing to the younger crowd. We have also added in an E-Business division that will leverage on convenient online technology for memberships (new & renewals), motor & non-motor insurance policies, auto smart shop retail shopping online, hotels & tour packages purchases online and online appointment for car care services, amongst others. In line with this, our new and more proactive AAM website will be launched before the end of this year. I can assure you it will not only offer a new look, but a whole range of new facilities and amenities for our customers to enjoy. In addition, we have added Communications, Business Development and Marketing units to execute plans based on targeting corporate clients for more bulk and mass purchases, along with rolling out a more desirable Member-get-Member programme. Q: There certainly seems to be a LOT going on. In conclusion, what can Malaysians continue to expect from their No. 1 Motoring Partner? In a nutshell, with all these ongoing changes and strategies, it is our belief that AAM will once again be seen in the motoring community as the leader in emergency and breakdown road assist services. The image of an AAM uniform arriving to help will immediately put any drivers mind at ease, as they can always be assured of well-trained, polite, friendly and timely service. AS THE ONLY NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION GOVERNING MALAYSIAN MOTORING, AAM HAS BEEN AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE CHAMPION FOR THE MALAYSIAN PEOPLE WHEN IT COMES TO ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE, ROAD SAFETY AND ANY AND ALL SOCIAL ISSUES CONCERNING MOTORING IN MALAYSIA. THIS IS, AND WILL ALWAYS BE, OUR LEGACY. 11


AAM NEWS

AAM’S TRIFECTA OF UPGRADES AAM UNVEILS NEW AUTOMOTIVE CENTRE, NEW FLEET AND BRAND NEW OFFICE PREMISES IN 2012

12 AAM GODRIVE 2012


THESE ARE SERVICES WE PROVIDE

Collision Repair Reverse the effects of unfortunate accidents with original parts, modern equipment and trained mechanics that will fully restore vehicle’s safety structural integrity and road worthiness qualities. Modern computerized systems make insurance claims a breeze!

Panel Beating & Spray Painting Erase minor dents and touch up fading exteriors to give your car an all-new look. The 60-car capacity centre uses the best PPG automotive refinish products and such is their confidence, offers a one-year warranty on vehicle repainting.

A ONE-STOP CENTRE FOR ALL YOUR AUTOMOTIVE NEEDS

Maintenance Service & Repairs Save time with express lubricant services or send in your vehicle for major repairs, tyre services, wheel alignment and balancing and more. This well-oiled centre caters up to 35 vehicles at a time.

In an effort to provide better service to its customers, AAM proudly unveiled its brand new AAM Automotive Centre (AAC) at the Batu Caves Industrial Park in Selangor. Sprawling across a vast 43,560 sq ft, it is a comprehensive one-stop centre providing mechanical repairs and maintenance for all types of vehicles.

Car Air-Conditioning Service & Repairs

Built at a cost of RM2million, the centre comprises of a Body and Paint Centre as well as a Service Centre, both equipped with nifty state of the art equipment.

Technical Advice & Assistance

Body and Paint Centre • Equipped with a computerized chassis alignment machine • Accurately measures vehicle dimension before, during and after repair • Also equipped with two spray oven booths • Only relies on quality paints for paint jobs

Service Centre • Available for service, diagnose and repair jobs • Equipped with six scissors hoists and a two-post hoist • Experienced and professionally-trained technicians • State-of-the-art computerized engine diagnostic equipment Quality tools to perform engine tuning and repairs

Cool down with a comprehensive suite of services that care for your vehicle’s airconditioning system, all the way from diagnosis to prevention, service, maintenance and repair.

Evaluation & Inspection Services Buying a new car? Bring it in for an exclusive evaluation process that involves a complete and detailed check of the vehicle. You’ll KNOW it’s the right buy when they say it is.

From membership enquiries and on-the-road emergency assistance to legal advice pertaining to various motoring concerns, get all the pertinent information you need right here. Among the thoughtful services provided is the Accident Care Programme, where personnel from the nearest AAM call centre is immediately dispatched to the scene to assist and provide members with guidance in the event of an accident. They will also ensure that members are protected from being bullied by unscrupulous tow-truck services and independent workshop operators.

OPERATING HOURS: Mon –Fri : 9.00am to 5.00pm Saturday : 9.00am to 1.oopm (Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays)

03-5511 1932 (General Line)

13


A BETTER FLEET THAT’S FLEET OF FOOT As the industry leaders in care safety, we are only too aware of the importance of using vehicles that are in top condition. In leading the charge, AAM has recently added SIX brand new Proton Arena vehicles to support our road rescue services. Furthermore, AAM has also added 15 new motorcycles to our fleet. These motorcycles are not only handy for getting to you in traffic jams, but they are also equipped to provide minor on-the-spot repairs to save you time and hassle.

14 AAM GODRIVE 2012


AAM NEWS

NEW INTEGRATED OFFICES FOR SEAMLESS SERVICE AAM is extremely proud to announce the acquisition of new and improved office premises. The new AAM office is located at the Laman Seri Business Park, Shah Alam, with the new building consisting of five floors. The premises will accommodate the new AAM Headquarters, along with the AAM Travel Planners, our travel agency, as well as the offices for AAM Motorsports.

Office Hours: Monday - Friday : 9am - 5pm Saturday : 9am - 1pm

Address: 225, Block 4, No 7 Persiaran Sukan Laman Seri Business Park Section 13, 40100 Shah Alam Selangor Darul Ehsan T: +603. 5511 1932 (General Line) F: +603. 5511 2519 E: mru@aam.org.my


AAM TOUR: UZBEKISTAN

MUSLIM HERITAGE OF UZBEKISTAN

16 AAM GODRIVE 2012


The Republic of Uzbekistan presents one of the brightest pages in the history of Islam. Islam has been a major religion in the Uzbek and Central Asian Region since the 7th century. In Maverounnahr, particularly on the territory of Uzbekistan, Sufism became widely practiced during the period of the feudal wars beginning in the second half of the 9th century. The first Sufist “pir chief” in Maverounahr was Yusuf Khamadaniy (the 12th c.). Later highly respected Sufists such as Abdulkhalik Gizhduvaniy and Akhmad Yassaviy marked the history of region, while in the 13th century, the movement of Sufism called «Nakshbandiya» was founded. There are some well-preserved monuments of Sufi Pirs in Uzbekistan. Beside them, you’ll also find the mausoleum of Imam Ismail Al Bukhoriy, a prominent scientist and theologian who became famous with his khadises (legends and rules of Islam); as well as the mausoleum of Kusam ibn Abbas (uncle of the prophet Muhammad). Located in the heart of Central Asia, in Uzbekistan is not only a holy place for Muslims but also remarkable for its immense architectural beauty.

17


FROM TOP TO BOTTOM 1) Tamerlane’s tomb at Samarkand 2) Women in Uzbekistan selling bread. 3) Tourist happy with their shopping in Tashkent 4) Dancing lady in Bukhara

4 DAY 4 - (BUKHARA)

1

DAY 1

Breakfast. Discover Bukhara, the

Departure from Kuala Lumpur to

capital of Islam. The city recently

Tashkent.

celebrated its 2500 year anniversary. Bukhara got its modern view in

DAY 2 - (TASHKENT)

16-17th centuries when most of its

Upon arrival in Tashkent. You will

amazing mosques and madrassas,

meet with local guide and transfer to

caravan-sarail and public bathhouses,

and check-in at the hotel. (Check in

huge architectural ensembles and

after 9.00 am). Following lunch, you

mausoleums were built.

will embark on your first discovery of

2

the capital of Uzbekistan - Tashkent.

Today more than 140 architectural

An ancient (over 2 000 years old)

monuments refer to the Muslim epoch.

and modern city at the same time,

Bukhara is often called the museum

Tashkent, with its green parks and

of Islamic architecture. Visit to the

numerous bazaars, has a lot to offer.

Poi-Kalyan square- the religious center

Visit huge architectural complex es

of the city. This architectural ensemble

such as the Khast Imam housing

houses the Mir-i-Arab Madrasa, the

Al-kaffal Chach mausoleum (16th

Friday Mosque that has a huge a

century), the Barak-Khan madrassa

capacity of nearly 12,000; and the

(16th century), and the Friday

Kalyan minaret that used to serve as

mosque (19th century). A chance to

a place for summoning people to pray.

see Osman Coran –the oldest in the

Today it is the symbol of Bukhara city.

world, believed to be stained with Osman blood. Day 2 with dinner and

This is followed by the Kosh madrasa

overnight in the hotel.

housing, Ulugbek madrasa and that of Abdul-Aziz Khan. After lunch, you’ll

3 18 AAM GODRIVE 2012

DAY 3 - (TASHKENT–

explore the ancient citadel Ark built in

BUKHARA via FLIGHT)

11-12th centuries to fortificate the city.

Following breakfast, the tour

In the middle Ages such outstanding

continues with sites such as

eastern philosophers as Rudaki,

Independence Square, an Opera

Firdousi, Avitsenna, Al-Farabi and

theatre named after Alisher Navoi

later Omar Hayam worked in the Ark.

and Amir Temur Square. Leisure time

The painted ayvans of the Bolo-Khauz

commences after lunch and in the

mosque together with its columns

evening, you will transfer to Tashkent

reflect in the water of the hauz (pool).

airport to take a flight to Bukhara.

More than thousands of years later, the

Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel,

beauty and splendor of Ismail Samani

followed by dinner.

mausoleum still strikes


AAM TOUR: UZBEKISTAN one with awe. The mausoleum Chashma – Ayub – is connected

DAY 8 - (TASHKENT – KUALA LUMPUR)

with the name of Job (Ayub) Prophet. You will also visit the

Following breakfast, you will say goodbye to

Bahautddin Nakshband ensemble who was a founder of a Sufi

Uzbekistan as you are transferred to the airport to

fraternity Nakshbandiya. For centuries the place has been a place

take flight back to Kuala Lumpur.

of pilgrimage for Central Asian Muslims. Another miracle of the city is the Chor-Minor madrassa built in the 19th century, which got its name because of its unusual shape, “Chor- Minor” means “four minarets”. Dinner. Overnight at the hotel. DAY 5 - (BUKHARA – CHELEK– SAMARKAND) After breakfast, you will drive in the direction of Samarkand, visiting the Imam Al-Bukhariy mausoleum on the way. Imam Al-Bukhariy was the first to “purify” hadiths. Those hadiths he thought to be true he included into his book “As-sakhih”. Muslim theologians estimate the book as the second after Quran. After lunch, you will transfer to Samarkand and check-in at the hotel and enjoy dinner upon arrival. DAY 6 - (SAMARKAND) After breakfast, enjoy a visit to the family crypt of Timurids – the Gur- Emir mausoleum with its sumptuous turquoise dome set amidst the background of Samarkand blue sky. The famous

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3-STAR HOTEL 4-STAR HOTEL Shodlik Palace Le Grande Plaza

Samarkand

Caravan Serail

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gigantic architectural ensembleof Registan Square, the heart of Samarkand, houses Ulugbek madrassa (15th century), the Sher-Dor madrassa (16th century) and the Tillya-Kory mosque (“The gilded mosque”) (17th century).

INCLUSIVE OF • International flight Kuala Lumpur-Tashkent-

Next up on the itinerary is the Bibi-Khanim mosque – the biggest

Kuala Lumpur(subject to change)

in Central Asia. Following lunch, the journey takes you to a calm

• Domestic flight Bukhara-Tashkent

and peaceful place – the Shakhi-Zinda ensemble housing Kussam

(subject to change)

ibn Abbas` tomb who was the prophet Muhamed` cousin. The

• Accommodation based on twin sharing

ensemble represents a raw montage of mausoleums, madrassas

• Full board HALAL meal

and mosques dating back from the 11th to the 20th centuries. This

• All land transportation on A/C coach

ensemble is often called “the Encyclopedia of the architecture and

• Entrance fees as per itinerary

decor of Central Asia”.

• English speaking guide

You will then visit Lug Beg observatory who was Tamerlane`s

EXCLUDES

grandson and a brilliant astronomer. In the 15th century,

• Visa Fee

Samarkand being the capital of Tamerlane`s state, was also a

• Visa Support

cultural and scientific center. You’ll have the opportunity to

• Single supplement

see and estimate the contribution of eastern scientists into the

• Travel Insurance

world of science, before visiting the Saint Daniel’s mausoleum

• Luggage excess

(Hodja Doniyor), which is situated in the northern part of old city

• Services not mentioned in the program

Afrosiab. Dinner will be served back at the hotel. DAY 7 - (SAMARKAND – TASHKENT) After breakfast, you will transfer back to Tashkent, with lunch being served en route. You will also visit the Kukeltash madrassa (Coranic School) with its 150 students and the Chorsu market, where everything that can be sold or bought is being traded. This will be followed by your last walk over the capital before dinner.

AAM TRAVEL PLANNERS SDN BHD

(formerly known as AAM Travel Sdn. Bhd. KPL 0214)

G25, Block 4, No. 7, Persiaran Sukan, Laman Seri Business Park, Section 13, 40100 Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan T 603 5510 4700 F 603 5510 4681 E travel@aam.org.my W aam.org.my • Worldwide Ticketing • Hotel Reservation • Visa Application • Inbound & Outbound Tour Packages • Car Rental • M.I.C.E Package • Travel Insurance

19


GODESTINATIONS BELUM - TEMENGGOR RAINFOREST

“DAH SAMPAI, BELUM”

GoDrive’s escape from the dreary concrete jungle to one of the oldest rainforests in the world was filled with beautiful views, tranquil moments, historical flashbacks and some poignant experiences.


SUBANG TO GERIK

1st LEG

LOCATION : N5.5432 E101.3409 Time of Travel : 6.00pm – 11.08pm (5 hrs 8 mins) Distance travelled : 370km (233km on highway) No. of pit stops : 3 Weather : Clear skies with stunning sunset views Soundtrack : The Cranberries (first two albums)

21


Everyone who has to endure the stifling pace of the crowded city on a regular basis deserves a break every now and again. Fittingly, the GoDrive team took to the scenic highways one fine evening, venturing North to visit some of the oldest rainforests in the world located amidst the Belum Rainforest Resort at Gerik in Perak.

(as instructed by the firm feminine voice of our GPS system – could it be Siri??) and eventually found ourselves crossing the bridge that leads to the tiny lake island of Pulau Banding. Almost immediately after the bridge, we turned right into our destination – Belum Rainforest Resort.

Although we were supposed to leave in the afternoon, the delay seemed serendipitous as we experienced some stunning panoramas of the setting sun on our left as we deftly manoeuvred the North-South Highway. Guided by our trusty GPS navigating system, we took the Kuala Kangsar exit (EXIT 143) and made our way to the trunk road that headed towards Gerik (Route 76).

Just then, one of our team member’s mobile phone rang, with his wife inquiring “dah sampai, belum?”

It is important to note (should you ever make this very trip) that you would be wise to make sure you have enough fuel to travel at least 100km after the Kuala Kangsar exit, as you wont be hitting at petrol stations until the beautifully named sleepy town of Lawin. After a quick bite at the Lawin R&R, we continued on with our journey. The roads were dark and it’s important to keep reminding yourself that this is a two-way road, as the lack of vehicles and light may lead you to believe at some points that it’s a dual lane one-way carriageway. (Ed’s note: Or perhaps that was just our driver’s lack of concentration!) You’ll also likely come across a number of roadblocks along the way. We encountered a couple – one by JPJ and one by PDRM. We later learned that illegal logging was rife in the Temengor rainforests and roads in the area were often prone to checks. Passing by the surprisingly bustling town of Gerik, we headed East towards Tasik Temengor using Jalan Grik – Pasir Putih 22 AAM GODRIVE 2012

“Dah sampai Belum,” he replied.

AN IDEAL ESCAPE FOR THE NATURE JUNKIE As we arrived at Belum Rainforest Resort at night, we didn’t quite have the opportunity to appreciate the stunning beauty that its surroundings offer. Even while watching the opening games of the Euro 2012 tournament at the aptly named Tor Tambra Rainforest Bar (Why aptly named? Find out on Page XX) until the wee hours of the morning, we didn’t quite realise yet what a beautiful setting the resort offered. Even as we walked across the tastefully decorated residential compound (which is located just behind the aforementioned Jalan Grik – Pasir Putih, so you might hear some traffic sounds at night), slept in our comfortable beds proffered in a decently sized and rustically decorated room, and woke up to the partial view of the lake peeking through thick shrubbery outside our tiny balcony (some other rooms had more unobstructed views) – we hadn’t quite been won over yet.


GODESTINATIONS BELUM - TEMENGGOR RAINFOREST

It was only when we ventured out for breakfast the next morning did the full resplendence of the lakeside setting hit us. The Rainforest Café is indeed located at the very edge of Tasik Temengor. Although the lake is man-made, it is surrounded by raw forestation, offering an absolutely magnificent and serene setting of the placid waters against the bright green backdrop of majestic forests. The lake is home to 23 species of freshwater fish and 5 species of turtles, while the 130 million year old rainforest that surrounds it is the ideal place for large animals such as tigers, elephants and rhinoceroses to roam and breed, undisturbed by man. Botanists and horticulturists will also be astounded by the 3,000 species of flowering plants, including 64 species of ferns, 62 species of mosses and three separate species of the largest flower in the world – the Rafflesia.

PARTY ON LAKE, ANYONE? Following breakfast, our guide Hafiz took us down to the Belum Rainforest Resort jetty (just a few minutes walk from the resort), where we climbed aboard a ‘floating hotel’ for a morning cruise around Pulau Banding. The mid-morning waters surrounding the lake were extremely calm and tranquil, making for a beautiful and serene experience as the wind caressed our faces. The boat itself was truly unique and selfsufficient, featuring a kitchen and lounge on the ground floor, four rooms that cater comfortably to 11-12 people on the second floor (together with a bathroom) and an upper lounge deck on the roof that comes complete with hammocks, lounge sofas and even a barbeque pit! It was the perfect boat for a mid-sized social gathering or party on the lake! We were informed that it cost RM3500 for a single night’s rental, which works out to less than RM300 per person if 12 people stayed aboard. Pretty decent, we think, for what could be a truly memorable experience (you might just hear the roar of a disgruntled tiger if you make too much noise though!)

Quickfacts BELUM-TEMENGGOR RAINFOREST “Belum” The rainforest was named “Belum” to mean ‘land before time. Age It is over 130 million years old! Size Around 300,000 hectares –that’s 4 times the size of Singapore!

January and February are the best times to come experience water activities as the water levels will be high, while fishing aficionados usually came to Tasik Temenggor mid-year to catch a bite of one of the many wonderful fresh water fishes like Kelah, Tenggalan and Baung, which although extinct in most other places, can still be found plentifully here. After our lake cruise we stopped by a ‘mock’ orang asli village, which was pretty quiet during the day. However, the resorts constantly runs educational activities for visitors and students to learn about the orang asli (aboriginal) villagers and their lifestyle at this mock village. Visitors often stop by to lend a hand to some of the villagers that live here and at the many ‘real’ settlements around the island.

THE UPLIFTMENT OF PULAU BANDING & BELUM RAINFOREST The island of Pulau Banding and the Belum Rainforest Resort is owned by the Emkay Group, and following a delicious buffet lunch back at the resort, our guide Hafiz took us to some spots where new developments were being planned. We explored the spots where a proposed brand new boutique hotel is in line for construction at a delightfully sheltered bay, as well as the location for other multi-million dollar projects (clearly for those who relish the thought of being ‘at one with nature’). As we bumped along on the back of his pick-up truck, we were privy to some of the most spectacular views of the surrounding waters and islands. Pulau Banding is in fact just one, albeit the largest, of over a hundred tiny islands found smattered across the lake, with large untapped potential for development. Belum Rainforest Resort itself is in the midst of upgrading its facilities – by the middle of 2013, the resort will boast an infinity pool that overlooks the beautiful lake and is designed to make you feel as though you’re swimming within the lake itself (the team has decided that the trip to experience this must be made next year!). Along with this, the resort will be expanding its current repertoire of 70 residences with an additional 36 rooms.

Hafiz was quick to point out that even though these development plans are ambitious, Emkay Group has spent a lot of time, effort and resources into ensuring the conservation of the surrounding natural environment. In fact, Emkay has handed more than 50% of Pulau Banding’s land area back to the Perak state government as a guarantee of its commitment towards conservation.

Permit, please! Belum rainforest is protected (you need a permit to enter).

Rafflesia Three species of the largest flower in the world – the Rafflesia Arnoldii. Rare Species It is home to 14 species of the world’s most threatened mammals – including the Malaysian Tiger, Malaysian Sunbear, Sumatran Rhinoceros, the White-handed Gibbon, Asiatic Elephant & Malayan Tapir.

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GODESTINATIONS BELUM - TEMENGGOR RAINFOREST

Of night trails and morning hikes One of the activities offered at the resort is the daunting task of jungle trekking at night. A group of 10 bravely ventured out into the neighbouring forest at 8.30pm, accompanied by a couple of experienced trekkers. Everyone was given headgear with an attached flashlight, but even so, it was impossible to see what lay more than a few metres ahead with any sort of confidence. It is crucial that you DO NOT wear slippers any time you decide to venture into any jungle of any sort, as the presence of leeches and scorpions are a threat. This and other dangers of the jungle were expounded to us in a nononsense manner as the group of us gathered around the guide for a pre-expedition briefing, many perhaps wishing they could pull out. Nevertheless, we trudged on to the trail, the entrance of which was located nearby to the jetty. As we clambered up and down semi-steep trails, we held on to branches and roots for support, and were told to always check that there was nothing on these branches before grasping them.

Along the way, we spotted some menacing spiders camouflaged against the bark of age-old trees, giant millipedes wrapped around upended roots and humongous ‘forest cockroaches’. The night before, the group had encountered a snake blocking their path and had to carefully crouch past it, but our group had no such luck. Aside from a couple of leech attacks and bee stings, we emerged unscathed from the 45 minute trek, filled with a deeper understanding and respect of the forest.

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The next morning, we squeezed in a trek to uncover the Rafflesia, and were lucky enough to catch one in bloom (albeit a waning bloom).

Travel Tips 1) Beware of monkeys throwing things at you - like durian seeds! 2) Don’t keep food lying around as you are JUST next to the forest. These creatures have crazy scent glands! 3. There are NO TELEVISIONS in the rooms, so don’t forget to bring some entertainment for those rare moments you find yourself bored in your room. 4. If you would like to enter the Belum Rainforest, you need to plan a few days in advance, as the permit takes four working days to process. 5. You MUST try the Tiramisu Coffee Ice Blended at the café. 6. Bring proper hiking shoes and extra socks. 7. Get ready to become friends with a whole host.

Belum datang, belum tahu I suppose the above is my way of saying that the only way you could possibly understand the charm of Belum Rainforest Resort is by actually visiting it and spending a few days there. It really is the kind of charming resort that grows on you as you immerse yourself in it. The air is clean and rife with the oxygen produced by trees that are centuries old and by Sunday morning, we were all feeling incredibly refreshed and healthier. As it is quite a low density resort, you will really appreciate the quietness and serenity of your surroundings here, as well as the landscaped fish ponds that are scattered around the place. Another big plus for the resort is the extreme graciousness and friendliness of all the staff. No one failed to offer a smile and warmly cater to our request. Food-wise, a member of our group remarked that this was one of the few places where the buffet fare was actually better than the alacarte fare. That comment may have a number of implications but indeed, the buffet spread each day was tasty and thorough in terms of options. And I was told that the resort’s restaurant was open 24 hours a day in conjunction with Euro 2012 – as a football fan, I thought that was a nice touch. Overall I was really pleased with Belum Rainforest Resort and what it had to offer starting from around RM230 per night. If you love nature, love being close to nature or love someone who loves nature, then I’d highly recommend you to check this place out with your loved ones. The Belum-Temenggor rainforest is a national treasure. Not many people can say they have access to one of the oldest rainforests in the world – a forest that even the Neanderthals may have walked upon. As Malaysians we do, so don’t let your opportunity to experience it go to waste.


BELUM > KUALA KANGSAR

2nd LEG

LOCATION : N5.5432 E101.3409 Time of Travel : 2.30pm – 4.10pm (1 hrs 40 mins) Distance travelled : 130km (mostly trunk roads) No. of pit stops : 1 Weather : Afternoon clear beautiful sky Soundtrack : Malaysia English Top Ten (Hitz.FM 92.7)

A ROYAL VISIT TO ONE OF MALAYSIA’S MOST BEAUTIFUL TOWNS As we drove from Belum Rainforest Resort to visit the royal town of Kuala Kangsar, we were sad to see brown patches upon the mountains where the illegal forestation was going on, and ultimately unsurprised when we encountered another road block, no doubt checking for unscrupulous loggers. We had heard a lot about Kuala Kangsar, but had yet to visit it, and I have to admit that when we arrive, it did live up to the expectations. The entire town showcased beautiful colonial architecture and indeed had a ‘royal’ feel to it. It is, after all, the town that hosts the official residence of the Sultan of Perak as well as the site where the first ‘Conference of Federated Malay State Rulers’ or Durbar (Majlis Raja-Raja) was held in 1897, an important note for historians. While at Kuala Kangsar, we took time to visit the very famous Malay College of Kuala Kangsar (known as one of the top boarding schools in the country) as well as the Galeri Sultan Azlan Shah, which was built and conserved from an ancient castle called Istana Ulu or Istana Kota. It was built in the year 1898 and was completed on 1903. One of the best things about Kuala Kangsar is its unabashed value for history. Driving down the street, we saw exciting and poignant reminders of our heritage, including a small tank used by our armies in the past, as well as an actual A4 Skyhawk fighter jet! Some say this is one of the most beautiful towns in Malaysia. It is hard to disagree.

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GODESTINATION BELUM - TEMENGGOR RAINFOREST

LOCATION : N4.3322 E101.1562

FORGOTTEN HEROES OF THE “GREEN RIDGE” BATTLE OF KAMPAR

FOLLOWING OUR HISTORY FLASHBACK IN KUALA KANGSAR, WE DECIDED TO PAY A VISIT TO THE SITE OF ONE OF THE BATTLES THAT TOOK PLACE DURING THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION – THE BATTLE OF KAMPAR. ONE OF OUR TEAM MEMBERS WAS FROM KAMPAR, AND HE HAD VIVID MEMORIES OF HIS PARENTS AND FRIENDS TALKING ABOUT THE BATTLE, AND EVEN REMEMBERED THE SIGNBOARD BY THE MAIN ROAD THAT POINTED TO THE SPOT WHERE THE WAR MEMORIAL WAS. To our surprise, when we made our way there, the big sign by the roadside had gone. Yes, this big signboard (picture taken sometime before 2008) was gone! Nevertheless, we scouted around and managed to get the right directions to the place. The entrance was overrun with weeds and shrubs. And as we clambered up the short hill to the site of the memorial, we were in for a bigger shock. Someone had stolen the plaque! It pained our hearts to know that the very heroes that were involved in one of the most historic battles during the Japanese occupation were now almost completely forgotten. The epic battle had occurred from December 30, 1941 to 2 January 1942, marking the Allies last stand in Malaysia, where an estimated 3000 Allied soldiers (also made up of Malaysians) defended the Kampar area against over 6000 Japanese soldiers.

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This was considered the only WWII Allied strategic victory, in the sense that the Allied forces held out for four days, even with the vast discrepancy in numbers. After Kampar, the Japanese marched almost unimpeded down to Singapore . While military textbooks mention the battle, the government has yet to officially immortalise the event. The missing memorial was privately funded and had cost close to RM20,000. We don’t know if we will ever see the memorial rebuilt, but one thing is for sure, thanks to the Internet (and perhaps small articles like these as well) the memories and gratitude we owe the brave soldiers who fought for our country and paid with their lives, will never be forgotten.


LOCATION : N5.5432 E101.3409

ONE PAU TO RULE THEM ALL

Our weekend of adventure across the country was coming to an end. As we made our way back to Kuala Lumpur, we decided to use the trunk road to Tanjung Malim. Those who travel frequently will know that on a Sunday night, the PLUS highway can get a little jammed before it becomes a three-carriageway after Slim River.

As you can see, we made decent time, taking less than 90 mins to travel 90 km, even with a few high traffic towns along the way.

Decidedly hungry after the trekking around in Kampar, we decided our last stop would be Tanjung Malim, where we would taste the Yik Mun ‘Famous Tanjung Malim Pau” that has been serving since 1926. This completely halal restaurant offers a number of local culinary favourites, but as the name suggest, their paus are the piece de resistance. While some members of our team, who had tried the savoury snack before, claim it had lost some of its flavour over the years, those that were trying it for the first time were full of praise. Certainly something to consider next time you’re passing by Tanjung Malim!

ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END It was very late when the team finally returned home to Subang and Damansara respectively, but it was certainly a great experience. In just three days (and over 738km), we had explored one of the oldest forests in the world, basked in breathtaking views of our country’s nature, checked out one of the most beautiful towns in Malaysia and learnt a whole lot about our country’s heritage. A weekend well spent, wouldn’t you agree?

GOT AN ADVENTURE TO SHARE? Please write to editor@godrive.my. Special prize awaits when your story is published. For more info, log on to www.facebook.com/godrive.aam


AAM ROAD SAFETY

E V I S N E F E D E C

E S R U O C G

N A V D A

N I V I R D

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28 AAM GODRIVE 2012


AAM ROAD SAFETY

9AM

12PM

THEORY SESSION Okay, classroom sessions are never really that exciting. 15 of us were seated in a seminar room with our senior instructor, Mohamed Fauzan, leading the theory session. Fauzan spent the first 10 minutes hammering down the main questions and objectives of the course with ease (he must have done this hundreds of times). The serious matters got our attention: • Driving is the most dangerous activity we do every day, and we seem to take it for granted. • 17 people lose their lives in Malaysian road fatalities each day, on average. • That’s approximately 6,000 deaths each year, more than even the worst viral outbreak in Malaysian history. • Accidents can be easily avoided if all drivers had defensive driving knowledge, skill and experience. If that didn’t get the message across, we were reminded about the consequences of beng involved in an accident. If we’re lucky enough to avoid death, we would still face loss of time in making police reports and getting our cars fixed. If it resulted in causing another’s death, that would mean time behind bars! Now that we got the picture, we were reintroduced to things we already thought we knew, such as airbags and the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), albeit with a deeper insight. Fauzan showed us slides and videos of the mechanics behind each equipment, what it is meant to do and how all of them worked together to save lives.

There is no way we can compress 3 quality hours of theory into this article. Ultimately, this session teaches us to value and incorporate a systematic driving approach based on “SIPDE”, which simply means: • Search and scan continuously while driving • Identify your situation correctly • Predict the worst and be prepared • Decide accurately and quickly • Execute your decision in the proper, safe and realistic manner With the theory session concluded, we had our lunch at the hotel and then it was time to put our brains and brawns to the test at the track!

1PM

4PM

PRACTICAL TRAINING We were welcomed by a group of professional trainers at the open air car park adjacent to the Shah Alam Stadium. Waiting for us were 3 C-segment sedans and a test track lined with driving cones. This session would consist of 3 exercises; slalom test, braking test and the skid control test.

We were challenged to illusion tests with Rorschach-like images. The end result was all too clear as each of us constantly had different answers. It’s true that while drivers on the road may see the same thing, each will assess and react differently, based on their own individual experiences and habits. Now we know what we needed to fix; ourselves!

Part 2 – Braking Test Things started looking dicey when an instructor started laying down oil onto the track. We were given a demo about ABS braking on slippery roads, with an instructor attacking the oil-laid track with full brakes once at 60kph, and another at 80kph. To our surprise, while the ABS helped the car stop, it came to a full stop some 70 meters away at 60kph, and almost 150 meters away at 80kph! That extra 20kph makes a huge difference!

Part 1 – Slalom Test Before we got a crack at the track, we were divided into groups of 5 persons per car. Each trainer then explained the basics of correct driving practices. For beginners, it was about how to adjust the optimum seating position, mirror adjustment and steering technique. Some of us would say “Yeah, I knew that”, but at this point, it’s good to just forget everything and absorb the details from scratch. Our task then was to come in hot at 60kph and slam the brakes upon entry. Wait, there’s a cone some 40 meters after that? Yup, we had to avoid that under braking too. So we did it, feeling the ABS pulsating rapidly as it kept the wheels from locking and giving us the grip to steer away from the obstacle. Scary on the first try, but the experience gave us a newfound confidence by our second run.

Up till then, most of us thought “SRS” was a brand of airbags. Nope; it’s a simple abbreviation for Supplemental Restraint System. Why supplemental? Airbags won’t save lives without the use of the seatbelt. Even what we take for granted like the headrest isn’t there for aesthetics; it actually is a head-restraint for preventing whiplash. Of course, engineers and carmakers can throw in generous amounts of safety equipment (leaving us with the hefty price tag that follows), but Fauzan’s journey brought us to the ultimate fact; road safety depends not on the vehicle alone, but more so on the human behind the wheel. This is where it got really interesting.

The simple slalom test eventually lets us practice our new techniques, with other skills such as attention, throttle control and best of all, patience.

For instance, it’s common belief that the best hand placement on the steering wheel is the “10-2” position. This was true in the past. Now with airbags inflating at a whopping 300kph, you wouldn’t want your arms broken by the airbag in an accident, would you? Hence for modern cars, the new optimum position is “9-3”. We were also thought the push-and-pull technique of steering which avoids our arms being crossed in the path of the airbag while driving, for the same obvious reason. Each time we crossed our hands while steering, the instructor would mock us by saying “buat roti canai lagi?!”

On the third try, we had to approach at 80kph. As confident as the first 2 runs, each of us did it without hesitation, until the point when we were about to brake…. someone walked into our path!!! That got our adrenaline gushing on overdrive!

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AAM ROAD SAFETY

It seems that our professional trainers had something up their sleeves. As part of the real-life experience promised, one of them deliberately walked towards the obstacle to add a real hazard moment to throw the trainee into panic. Not to worry though, as no one was harmed or killed during the course. They are after all, professionals and certified trainers! Part 3 – Skid-Control Test Our hearts were still pounding hard from the surprise scare of the braking test when we were briefed about the third test. Some of us had our hands still shivering!

NOT TO WORRY THOUGH, AS NO ONE WAS HARMED OR KILLED DURING THE COURSE. THEY ARE AFTER ALL, PROFESSIONALS AND CERTIFIED TRAINERS!

Before this test, we were given a quick lesson on car physics. Handling phenomenon such as understeer, oversteer and aquaplaning were explained with the use of a water bottle. We can’t show how this water bottle demo unfolded, but we can tell you this; when you accelerate the weight of the car shifts to the back wheels, vice versa the weight moves to the front wheels when you brake. This is the most fundamental basis for car-control. Once again, we speed into the track at around 60 – 80kph. This time instead of braking, we bank left. At this point, the instructor will pull the handbrake. This action locks the wheels behind, throwing the car into oversteer (in other words, a violent skid!). It is the drivers job to release the throttle, lock his or her eyes on the target (an exit marker placed 100m away) and let the hands do the instinctive steering to stabilize the car and take it out of the track safely. Sounds easy, right? Actually, it was. The parking lot where the makeshift track was set up is expansive, giving you much room to manoeuvre. Also, the cars provided were good cars that won’t topple over even in a sideways skid. In our session, we had a Honda City, a Toyota Altis and a Proton Persona.

It was during this last test that it finally sank in; we never had the chance to learn this before. To some of us, there was a feeling of regret for the knowledge and experience afforded today could have prevented an accident not so long ago. Or maybe I’m just speaking for myself! All in all, the 3 hours of sitting in the seminar-styled theory session, enduring the heat of day at the test track, and putting our driving to the test was more than worth it. We explored and mastered the limits of car control, our own driving abilities, and our fears of the unknown. In line with the objectives of the AADDC, we left the track with our certificates and a sense of accomplishment. The results were almost immediate as we applied our new skills when we drove off the car park. But this is just the basic course. AAM offers another advanced day-long course known as the “Commentary Driving Course” that takes defensive driving to a whole different level. We will cover this in our future edition of GoDrive.

Ed’s note: One dark night in 2009, I had an accident when I braked hard to avoid a black dog, on an oily road near Port Klang. I know now that had I attended the AADDC earlier, I would have emerged unscathed. For the record, that black dog survived, but not the car.

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Meantime, if you’re interested to emulate the experience we had at the AADDC, you can contact 03-55104679 or email defensivedriving@aam.org.my for more information.


GODRIVE INDUSTRY NEWS

AUDI Q3

SWOOPS INTO TOWN A premium compact SUV that promises an equally comfortable drive on- and off-road, the Audi Q3 showcases Audi’s expertise in all aspects of engineering, from its lightweight body to efficient drive trains, a dynamic chassis and its state-of-the-art assistance and multimedia systems Launched locally in July 2012, the smallest member of the Audi Q-series offers coupé-like lines that are a visual expression of its sporty character. The sharp edged frame, elegantly arched sheet metal surfaces, and the wedge-shaped xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights give the Q3 a distinctive and formidable presence on the road. Thanks to systematic lightweight design, the basic version of the Audi Q3 weighs less than 1,500 kilograms and leads its class in aerodynamics. The 2.0 TFSI quattro engine combines Audi’s mighty efficient technologies: direct fuel injection, turbocharging, start-stop system, and energy recovery system. Housing 170HP under the hoof with 280 Nm of torque arriving between 1700-4200 rpm, the 7-speed S tronic transmission and quattro-all wheel drive allows you to reach 100km/h from rest in 7.8 seconds. All this while enjoying splendid fuel economy of 7.7l/100kms. This excellent new addition to the Audi’s Q-range is priced from RM258,000 OTR without insurance. For a sportier and athletic appearance, you can also opt for the S line exterior package for an additional RM21,000. The new Audi Q3 is available for test drives at Euromobil showrooms. Audi Q3

2.0 TFSI® quattro®

Engine

4-cylinder in-line petrol engine with direct fuel injection, exhaust gas turbocharging

Displacement (cc)

1,984

Max output (bhp/rpm)

170/4,300-6,200

Max torque (Nm/rpm)

280/1,700-4,200

Transmission

7-speed S tronic

Wheels & Tyres Cast aluminium, 5-arm Trias design 235/55/R17 Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

7.8

Top speed (km/h)

212km/h

Fuel consumption (combined) 7.7/100km CO2 emissions (combined)

179g/km 31


AAM FEATURED MEMBER

SPREADING THE TLC WE SPEAK TO AN OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS BEEN AN AAM MEMBER FOR CLOSE TO FOUR DECADES!

ONE OF THE TRULY GRATIFYING THINGS WE’VE LEARNT WHEN TRYING TO UNCOVER SOME OF OUR MOST LOYAL AAM MEMBERS IS THAT MEMBERS USUAL STAY MEMBERS FOR A LONG, LONG TIME. ACCORDING TO KHAW CHAY TEE, DIRECTOR AT THE TRULY LOVING COMPANY SDN BHD, WHO HAS BEEN AN AAM MEMBER SINCE 1975 (THAT’S 37 YEARS, BY OUR MATH!), THIS MAY BE BECAUSE GETTING ‘SAVED’ BY AAM JUST ONCE DURING A TIME OF TRUE NEED, CAN JUSTIFY THE YEARS AND YEARS OF MEMBERSHIP. Here, we speak to our member in focus for this issue, Chay Tee, about his memorable experiences with AAM, his favourite drives, his truly loving company and even some driving tips. WHAT TIPPED YOU INTO JOINING AAM? I was a member even when I was studying in the UK. I drove an old Austin Healey, and there were a number of occasions when the car broke down and the AA would pop by and do some minor on the spot repairs. Back in Malaysia in 1975. I joined the AAM as soon as I got my first car and I have been a member since. The best thing about it is the peace of mind that it offers. I have had numerous battery changes over the years through the services of AAM and I always make sure I keep my AAM card with me. Now that my company has bought a new Nissan van, I will make sure we sign up for the AAM corporate package.

32 AAM GODRIVE 2012


AAM FEATURED MEMBER

AAM TO THE RESCUE - IN SINGAPORE! We asked Chay Tee for his most memorable AAM experience and here’s what he shared. Back in 2007 (he later checked his records to confirm the exact date as 15 March 2007), my car broke down at the Singapore National University Hospital (NUH). I was driving a Toyota Prado at the time and the alternator had blown. Stranded, I called AAM for assistance. To my great delight, AAM agreed to send a tow truck all the way from Johor Bahru to come and get me. The AAM driver arrived with a low loader (which is bigger than your standard tow truck) to accommodate my 4WD vehicle and even from the get go, I was impressed with his skills. He was very adept in manoeuvring the tricky paths of the NUH, which was no easy feat. I asked him to tow the vehicle to a Singaporean Toyota service centre and he gladly obliged. Unfortunately, when we got there, I was informed that the Singaporean Toyota service centre cannot perform any service on a Malaysian Toyota, with the foreman duly requesting I take my car to Johor to get it fixed. I was truly in a jam. I had to get my vehicle sorted but I needed to be in Singapore as well, so heading back to Johor was not a desirable solution. I decided it was time to pull some strings. Out came my phone out and I made a few calls to friends and family. Eventually, my cousin said he could help if I got my Toyota up to Mandai in the Northern Region of Singapore. All this while, the AAM driver was patiently waiting for me to sort my situation out. Now I know that AAM is usually only supposed to tow your vehicle to a single destination, so I was a bit nervous requesting an additional trip from him. Plus it was quite a distance too! To my joy, the driver turned out to be amazingly helpful. Not only did he take my vehicle all the way to Mandai, he helped to unload the car and even waited as the car was taken up to the sixth floor of a mammoth six-storey car workshop. It was fantastic service from AAM – worth all the years of membership that I have had.

WHAT CAR DO YOU DRIVE NOW AND WHY? I drive a Volvo XC90. One of the reasons I bought it is because I did a check on cars that were most often stolen or broken into and found that Volvos were right at the bottom of the list. I feel extremely safe and secure wherever I leave my car, even if its going to the ‘mamak’.

WHAT’S A CAR TIP YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER MEMBERS? Use diesel! Since I switched from the Toyota Prado (petrol) to Volvo XC90 (diesel), I save about 50% on my fuel. And it’s a much simpler engine to maintain as well. If you travel long distances, you should certainly use a diesel powered car. People tend to think that diesel is for trucks and taxies, but the fact is diesel is also quieter and in my opinion, the power and torque is also good, perhaps even better than petrol. Another tip – did you know that a separate cargo transport driving licence is needed to transport goods for official commercial purposes. This is a little known fact, so be aware when transporting for your company! WHAT ARE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE ROADS TO DRIVE? I enjoy the highways in Malaysia very much. They are very scenic. One of my favourites is the approach to Ipoh, when you can see the hills looming in the distance. I also enjoy driving up the new road to Cameron Highlands. But you have got to be with people who can take the journey – or else you have to keep stopping and letting people relieve their carsickness. It really is a nice challenging drive. With Malaysian roads we are quite lucky, we have great roads. One of the scariest, but still memorable, drives is the East-West highway at night. I get jittery when I drive on that one. You have to make sure the car is in great condition. One of the worst moments is when you lose phone coverage and it is pitch black and the mist comes down across the hills. It’s a really interesting experience – it almost feels like the twilight zone! TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB. WHAT DOES THE TRULY LOVING COMPANY DO? TLC produces personal and household products that are as good if not better than many of the major brands you can name. These include bath & body, kitchen cleaners, floor cleaners,

bathroom cleaners and fabric care. We don’t test on animals nor do we compromise on product standards. And we also have a Green Range of products that are made from fullybiodegradable plant products. What really sets us apart is that 100% of TLC’s dividends are given to charity. While there are many socially responsible Malaysian companies that support charities by donating a certain percentage of their income or profits to charitable causes, TLC gives 100% of its dividends to charity, hence our tagline ‘All quality. All for charity.’ We are also proud to be the winner of the Prime Minister’s CSR Awards in 2009 for the Small Company Category. Simply put, at TLC, we make it possible for your daily routine to become an act of kindness.

ARE THERE ANY TLC PRODUCTS THAT CAN BE USED ON A VEHICLE? We don’t make any products specifically for automobiles, but it’s strange you asked that question, because a lot of people have actually said that our dishwasher works remarkably well as a car cleaner! The best part is that it is kind to your hands and great for the environment.

Ed’s note: For the record, we think this is a really awesome company that allows you to help the needy when you do everyday things like wash your hair or clean your home. It’s a truly inspiring idea. You can learn more at www. thetrulylovingcompany.com.

Would you like to be our next featured AAM member ? Please write to us at editor@godrive.my and we will be in touch with you. 33


GODRIVE MOTORSPORTS

held outside ER GT that is P SU an p Ja k this year one leg of the Malaysia! Bac in ld he T here is only ’s it cky favourite oy, are we lu y were all our ut ea b d an Japan, and b e course, d, styl tivities, and of ith their spee ac w de us si ow ng w ti ci to and ex r makes, fun SUPER GT ca well. t GT girls as the sizzling ho

34 AAM GODRIVE 2012


Held on June 9 and 10 at the Sepang International Circuit, Leg 3 of the 2012 SUPER GT saw Team No. 18 Weider Honda Racing and Team No. 33 HANKOOK KTR claim the chequered flag in the GT500 and GT300 classes respectively. The final race on Sunday was held in really hot temperatures (at its hottest, the track temperature was 47 degrees), which tested both the endurance of the drivers and their machines. In the GT500 class, Machine No. 18 WEIDER HSV-010 took Pole Position during the Qualifying Session, and went on to win the race, although for most of the race, Machine No. 38 ZENT CERUMO SC430 was snapping at its heels. Takashi Kogure, Driver 1 of the No. 18 WEIDER HSV-010 remained steady under pressure and by Lap 13, he was leading by 3.438 seconds. Carlo Van Dam took the wheel in Lap 29 with the car still in the lead, and continued all the way to the chequered flag with a time of 1:47:52.531 seconds. When Van Dam took over, he looked to be in a little trouble putting in quick laps at first. However, when speaking at the Post-Race Press Conference, Van Dam clarified, “I went more slowly at the beginning because I was trying to preserve the tyres so I took it easier – maybe a little too easy. Even so, I could see that the car behind me (No. 38 ZENT CERUMO SC430) was just keeping up, so I decided I would push the car a little more and it couldn’t follow anymore.” In the GT300 class, Machine No. 33 HANKOOK PORSCHE claimed the chequered flag after 49 Laps of furious racing. The HANKOOK PORSCHE, which also took Pole Position in the Qualifying Sesion had a steady race with no problems. Drivers Masami Kageyama and Tomonobu Fujii made consistent and quick laps with the HANKOOK PORSCHE, crossing the finishing line with a time of 1:47:57.011 seconds. At the Post-Race Press Conference, both drivers attributed the win to keeping the tyre pressure and temperature steady.

An 8,000 sq. ft. AFFIN Bank Motorshow, which featured Porsche, Ferraris, Maseratis, Hondas and Mazda makes, amongst many others. Three new cars were also launched during the show – Nissan Livina X-Gear tuned by IMPUL, Nissan SYLPHY tuned by IMPUL, and the Subaru WRX STI – while a great selection of privately-owned automobiles such as the rare Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, the amazing Lamborghini Murciélago SV, the unbelievable Lamborghini Aventador and the beautiful Morgan Aero SuperSports also made special guestappearances at the event. A Dragon Dance performance, Muay Thai Competition, B-Boy Dance Off featuring top dance troupe Katoon Network and the Saturday Night Dance Festival featuring top DJs such as DJ Darling Sabrina, DJ KC, DJ Faith and Leng Yein featuring Sugar Daddy added some grooves to the event. Final Round of the SUPER GT Queen Search 2012 in the afternoon, which saw Ms. Julie Tan taking home the coveted SUPER GT Queen title to represent Malaysia in next year’s SUPER GT event,

while Ms. Cookies Yap took home the 1st Runner-up title and Ms. Mico Lee finished as the 2nd Runnerup. BMX Challenge, which saw many bicycle enthusiasts showing off their skills up and down the ramps, amazing the guests with their speed & thrills. Flash Mob and Cheerleading showcase during the Grid Walkabout Sony Playstation GT5 Competition that provided a platform for many driving enthusiasts to test their skills in a makeshift GT car, where Lee Jian Hong came up tops to be Malaysia’s representative for the Final Round Competition. Driver Talk Shows, GT Queens and Race Queen Appearances as well as a new feature, Akihabara town, which saw wide ranging displays of innovative new technologies.

Not only was the race heart stopping, the off-track activities also kept the throngs of fans entertained. In keeping with their vision of creating the biggest motorsport event of the year, organizers JPM Motorsport pulled out all the stops to ensure nonstop on- and off-track activities. AMONGST THE HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE: The second edition of the Biggest Super and Performance Car Gathering, where last year’s record was broken by 203 cars to set a new Malaysian Book of Records entry of 608 registered cards.

35


INDUSTRY NEWS

THE RAGING BULL SUPERCHARGES INTO TOWN AND LEAVES US BREATHLESS WITH ITS UNEQUIVOCAL MAJESTY

Not many car makes can evoke the kind of awe and inspiration that the nameplate Lamborghini can. Simply saying the words in the delicious Italian accent can send shivers down our spine, never mind actually driving one of these precision speed machines. If you’ve always dreamt of owning one of these ‘raging bulls’, then you’ll be extremely pleased to know that not only has the Lamborghini officially announced its arrival in town with a brand new 3S Showroom at Glenmarie Park, but it has also commissioned an exclusive Malaysian version of the car – the Lamborghini Gallardo Malaysian Limited Edition (MLE).

36 AAM GODRIVE 2012


37


INDUSTRY NEWS

A SUPER-CAR THAT SCREAMS SUPER-PATRIOTISM

I

f you love fast cars, and you love your country, then the Lamborghini Gallardo MLE was MADE for you. Those Automobili Lamborghini master engineers over at Italy, with the support of JH Italia, the official Malaysian importer and distributor have created a new model that’s the ultimate combination of the Gallardo and the Superleggera - which is to say, they took the Gallardo engine and added the basic Superleggera chassis. But you can add further customisation as well, such as mounting the Superleggara front bumper, carbon side skirts and carbon rear diffuser. If you want a spiffier interior, you can also upgrade the inside to sport a combination of alcantara and leather to ensure a high level of comfort and driving pleasure (read: pure undiluted luxury). This monster of a machine is powered by a V10 engine capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds and reaching top speeds of 320km/h. The engine of the MLE also boasts the power of 550 horses and a max torque of 540Nm. It will only have a total production run of only 20 cars,

38 AAM GODRIVE 2012

however, which will only serve to elevate the car to the heights of being a valuable collector’s item in a few years (or months). Mr. Chee Tun Poey, Director of JH Italia Sdn Bhd, said at the launch that the “the Gallardo MLE is designed for those who appreciate the crisp lines and look of the Superleggara but want the interior comforts that come from a car suitable for daily driving. The Gallardo MLE fulfills this objective without question.” “This variant of the Gallardo was chosen to suit the Malaysian driver who enjoys the pleasures of driving on the open road, especially so since we have access to many beautiful and scenic roads and highways across Malaysia,” he further added. (Now that he mentions it, perhaps we should get our hands on one of these machines for one of GoDrive’s classic roadtrips around the country.) Nevertheless, should you wish to instil a deep sense of envy amongst your peers


IT WILL HAVE A TOTAL PRODUCTION RUN OF ONLY

20 CARS

THE LAMBORGHINI GALLARDO MLE Technical Specifications FRAME

THIS VARIANT OF THE GALLARDO WAS CHOSEN TO SUIT THE MALAYSIAN DRIVER WHO ENJOYS THE PLEASURES OF DRIVING ON THE OPEN ROAD

BODY MIRRORS REAR SPOILER: SUSPENSION

by showing up for your high school reunion in a newly acquired Lamborghini Gallardo MLE supercar, you’ll be pleased to know you need only fork up RM 868,000. Oh wait, we forgot the duty, so make that RM 1,668,000, excluding road tax and insurance. Oh, and of course, additional custom options can be added on as well, with additional cost. You can even choose from three awe-inspiring colours – Bianco Monocerus, Verde Ithaca and Arancio Borealis. That’s Solid White, Pearl Green and Pearl Orange, if you missed your Italian classes in school. When all is said and done, we believe this is a great move by Lamborghini to show their appreciation for Malaysians who have supported their brand. And Malaysians, it would seem, are very supportive of this move too. At press time, sources have revealed that close to half the Gallardo MLEs have been booked, so if you want one, you better hurry on down to their new showroom! You can get there in your other sports car… the one you want to upgrade, or give your spouse to use once you buy the MLE.

TYRES & WHEELS ESP STEERING FRONT TYRES REAR TYRES

Structural aluminium space frame, based on aluminium extruded parts welded to cast aluminium joint elements Aluminium with thermoplastic “hangon” parts External mirror with electrical folding system Electronically controlled Double-wishbone front and rear suspension system, anti-roll bar, antidive and anti-squat

Full ESP system with ABS, ASR and ABD Power-assisted rack and pinion Pirelli P ZERO 235/35 ZR 19 Pirelli P ZERO 295/30 ZR 19

FRONT WHEELS

Aluminium alloy 8,5” x Ø 19”

REAR WHEELS

Aluminium alloy 11” x Ø 19”

ENGINE

10 cylinders V 90°, DOHC 4 valves, common-pin crankshaft

MAX POWER

550BHP (405kW), 8,000RPM

MAX TORQUE

540Nm (397lbft) , 6,500RPM

39


GODRIVE FAINT-HEARTED

y r o st e u tr T A H W E M SO a Based on

D E T N U A H THE R I A F F A C I V CI MAN ED VEHICLES? CAN A T UN HA AS GS HIN T ARE T HERE SUCH VE T HIS AFT ER? IF YOU BELIE ER EV ILY PP HA E LIV AND SPIRIT YT HING IS POSSIBLE! AN N HE T , LE TA LY T GHOS

40 AAM GODRIVE 2012


A

round the eerie era of the late 90s, Rick (not his actual name) was delighted when he secured the purchase of a decent condition Honda Civic EG at a public auction for an extremely low price. He wasn’t sure of the reason for the knockeddown price, but assumed that it was due to an accident, and gleefully showed off his new toy to his family and friends. All went well for a few months, until one day he awoke to find that his car was broken into by thieves. At least, that’s what Rick thought, but the strange thing was that although the window had been broken, nothing had been taken nor had anyone attempted to steal the car. During that time, Civics were hot target for car thieves, so once again, Rick went on with his life for a few months… and then it happened again. By this time, Rick had also star ted noticing other strange developments in relation to his car. Such as things being moved around, seats seemingly readjusted in the middle of the night and radio stations reset for no reason.

“Rick was beginning to believe that someone else was living in his car.” His curiosity and questioning drew ridicule from his friends, but Rick was beginning to believe that someone else was living in his car. Someone not quite alive… You know how they say ghosts star t to reveal themselves when you star t to believe? Whether or not that statement is true, it was only a matter of time before the ghost of Rick’s Civic revealed itself. Or to be specific – herself. Rick began to see the ghost of a girl in her early 20s sitting next to him in his car as he drove! Scared at first, he eventually mustered the courage to confront the spirit, and she responded with a tragic tale of loss. She revealed how the car had been a gift from her then boyfriend, Arnold. Arnold had told her very specifically to take good care of the car and drive it safely. Regrettably, she didn’t, and was involved in a fatal car accident that took her life. She never had the chance to apologize to Arnold for not keeping the promise, or even to breathe her last goodbye.

Rick, who was helplessly developing an affinity for his ghost ly female friend, offered to find Arnold and help Mindy find closure. Arnold was extremely shocked to see his old Civic show up one day and even more stunned by the story that Rick told him. Shaking, he confessed that everything that Mindy had said was true, and through Rick, Arnold and Mindy finally shared their last words of goodbye. Having made peace with Arnold, Mindy felt she could now leave the world, but alas, something new was holding her back. After almost a year of following Rick around in the car, sharing her stories and accepting his assistance, she had begun developing strong feelings for Rick. But she knew that by the rules of the afterlife, that was not enough. There had to be something else … and she soon found out why. Rick had also star ted developing similar feelings. It was their mutual feeling of love that was keeping her from leaving the world of the living, and once they confessed, their forbidden relationship officially began. Soon after, she could leave the confines of the car, and moved into his home. Rick’s housemates began to notice a change in him and the house. It stank of gloom and death. The fearful housemates were terrified and even believed that Rick and Mindy were sharing a “physical relationship”.

“MINDY’S PHYSICAL ESCAPADES WITH RICK BEGAN TO LITERALLY SUCK THE LIFE OUT OF HIM.”

Things got worse. Mindy’s physical escapades with Rick began to literally suck the life out of him. Rick began looking like a corpse and in return, Mindy began taking on a more physical form, to the point where even Rick’s housemates were actually seeing her waft around the house! That was the last straw for Rick’s friends and housemates. They quickly vacated the home and lost all contact with Rick, deliberately. Nothing was ever heard from them again. The last they saw of Rick and Mindy, they were still a happy couple in their own world, ‘living’ together, perhaps till death does them par t… Well, at least for one of them. (Story was recounted by one of Rick’s housemates. Names have been changed to protect the identities of the innocent and the ghost loving.)

Fast facts

HONDA CIVIC EG Manufacturer Honda Model Civic (5th Generation) Production 1992 - 1995 Claim to fame Although a popular car among fans of street racing and modders, its place in history was cemented by the “The Fast and the Furious” (2001), which saw Vin Diesel’s group of 3 modified black Honda Civic EGs involved in an epic Hollywood heist during the movie’s opening scene.

If you have an interesting Malaysian read tale to tell, you may send you story to editor@godrive.my. Special prize awaits when your story is published. 41


FEATURED CAR CLUB

ESTIMA ESTEEM AAM GoDrive meets up with the goodnatured folk of the Malaysian Estima Owners Group (MEOG) who share with us their group credos, and by golly, we LIKE IT!

If a friend were to say to you “I’m having a Benbrek during the TT session with the MEOG crew”, it could only mean one of two things. Either your friend needs a speech therapist, or more likely, he or she is a member of the Malaysian Estima Owners Group. These wonderful folk who worship the versatility and greatness of the Toyota Estima MPV sat down with us one fine Wednesday, during a TT (or Teh Tarik session), to proudly share the rich cultures and traditions of this unique car collective over a Benbrek (a special coffee brew the guys invented!).

QUICK INTRO

• MEOG was formed in 2003 • Started humbly on YahooGroups with just 15 members in KL • To date, MEOG has over 200 active members, with 300+ qualified members • It is not technically a ‘CLUB’, but a ‘GROUP’ • Strongly believes in equality, with the tagline ‘Here we Unite’

42 AAM GODRIVE 2012


Ok, first off, it’s not an official club… The group believes in equality. Hence, it is intentionally not registered as an official club. There are no annual general meetings, no official committees, no elections; NO POLITICS… just people who are purely interested in Toyota Estima. It is in fact, not a club, but a group, hence the word “Group” in MEOG. What? All Estimas are imported? Yes, this intriguing piece of info is true. All Estimas in Malaysia are import models, and since Toyota does not officially support Estimas here, the group was formed to share knowledge, tips and tricks and other relevant information such as spare parts, repairs, the locations of qualified workshops, managing the car and (naturally) networking among members. No messy registration process… you don’t even need to own the car! This is a highly non-discriminatory group that welcomes members who simply have an interest in Estima. Simply register on the MEOG online forum and you’ll be considered an “official” active member after attending an organised gathering. Cars brought during MEOG events are not limited to Estimas only. Members may drive whatever car they want. What matters is the members’ interest in Estima and the group. So if there’s no official club, who runs everything? The club is purely based on volunteerism. Any event or activity usually starts with a member proposing it over the forum. Other members then volunteer to take up management of the event. Once the desired number of participants has been achieved, a site recce is held to ensure smooth running of the event, while all other matters such as logistics, accommodation and food are ironed out. What are some of the regular group events? The group organises monthly TT sessions at various locations for members and their respective family members to get together and catch-up. Ad hoc TTs are also organised when an outstation MEOG member is visiting i.e. a Johorean member visiting KL. Another variation of the TT is the Potluck Gatherings (PG). Other events include day trips out of town, overnight camping trips for parents to let kids rekindle their connection with nature, ‘durian trips’ (anyone brought the charcoal?), festive convoys and seasonal drives (such as for Mother’s or Father’s Day). Most commendably, this loving and caring group also conducts charity drives to selected needy homes in rural areas to bring supplies and to help with “gotong-royong”. They believe that it is a great way to give back to the community, while fostering closer relations between members’ families and inculcating a sense of responsibility, especially among the young generation.

43


FEATURED CAR CLUB

Some of the Group’s highlights? In March 2009, MEOG organized its first ever cross-border drive to Krabi, Thailand. A total of 50 Estimas from all over Peninsula Malaysia made the trip, one of the best ever turnouts. Also since 2009, MEOG has organised the MEOG Annual Gatherings (MAG), with the 2009 edition held at Tiara Beach Resort PD, 2010 at Desaru, and 2011 at Glory Beach Resort PD. This year, it will be held in Penang in December, and people who are interested in joining can contact MEOG through their forum. It’s not too late to be part of this awesome group, folks. So if you have a hankering for all things Estima, head on over to www.meog.my/forum and http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/MalaysianEstimaOwnerGroup-MEOG/ to express your interest.

MEOG PRINCIPLES AND FOCUSES • To avoid revealing real names on the forum, each club member has a callsign and a MEOG shirt with their respective call-signs sewn on it. • NEVER talk business during their meetings. • MEOG is a close-knit family. ALL their events revolve around travel and family activities, befitting the purpose of the Estima. Most of the children within the group have grown up together, sharing a family-like bond, even among parents. • MEOG has recently started MEOG-Junior, especially for MEOG members’ children. • MEOG members stick to the group, even long after they have sold their Estimas.

CONVOY SAFETY

Safety is a key priority, with trip locations always recced ahead to ensure a smooth journey. Members are encouraged to check and service their cars beforehand and each convoy has a Safety Committee that conforms to the Malaysia Marshall Community (MMC) standards for convoying, including each car having a compulsory walkie talking and cars designated as the following: 1. ZERO car (ZC), the convoy leader 2. HOT car (HC), for every 10 cars in the convoy 3. Communications Car (CC), to help boost walkie-talkie signal over a long convoy and provide communications support 4. Sweeper (SW), the only car permitted to move freely along the convoy to keep the line in check and “sweep” non-convoy vehicles from the convoy 5. Media Car (MC), to fetch media personnel e.g. cameraman, videographer, journalist, etc. 6. Backmarker (BM), the last car in the convoy, to ensure no one gets left behind. True to MEOG’s philosophy of stressing “family” and pure respect among members, its slogan is “Here We Unite”

44 AAM GODRIVE 2012

• • • • • •

Bin : TCR variant of the Estima Sepet : ACR30 variant ACR50 : ACR50 variant TT Session : The Tarik Session PG : Potluck Gathering Benbrek : MEOG’s own secret coffee brew, the favourite drink to stay alert and energised during long trips, or even just for a TT session


45


GODRIVE MYTHBUSTED

Myth about roadside emergency services WHAT CAR & INSURANCE COMPANIES OFFER - AND IS IT ENOUGH TO REPLACE AAM’S SERVICES? THERE’S A LITTLE ‘MYTH’ GOING AROUND… WE WON’T DENY IT. MANY ARE SAYING IT. NOW THAT MOST INSURANCE PROVIDERS AND CAR MANUFACTURERS PROVIDE ROADSIDE EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS, SOME ARE QUICK TO THINK AAM’S SERVICES ARE REDUNDANT.

46 AAM GODRIVE 2012


GODRIVE MYTHBUSTED

But just how accurate is that presumption? Once upon a time, AAM was the sole provider of breakdown assistance on Malaysian roads. Proudly sporting an AAM sticker on a car meant the owner was wise and prepared. Truth be told, many non-members thought they were wiser saving money by not spending on something they didn’t need. That is, until they find themselves stranded and helpless (touchwood!). We truly commend insurance companies, highway operators and car manufacturers for providing value-added services for their customers. After all, they share the same wishes we have; to provide motorists (that’s you) with enjoyable and safe driving experiences. Of late, some members cited that AAM’s services are no longer relevant, claiming that they are already covered by their car brands and insurance policies. It’s a valid point, until you dig deeper.

AAM-less or AAM-pressive? Let’s get down to business, shall we? For a start, AAM is more than just a roadside breakdown service provider, but you can read more about that on page 12 of this issue. To give you a better idea on what kind of roadside breakdown assistance AAM offers that others don’t, let’s take four real life examples of car breakdowns and compare AAM services with that of two other car manufacturers.

The Verdict Is Yours Myth-busted... to a point. Although car manufacturers and insurance providers are admirable in their efforts to provide ancillary services, emergency roadside services are simply not what they specialise in. It’s what AAM specialises in. AAM has been around for 80 years and it continues to upgrade and improve its services for its members. That’s why it has not only an entire fleet of professional mechanics and modern tow trucks on standby; it also has a purpose-built Automotive Centre, insurance facilities, advance defensive driving courses and more. Also in the works is a dedicated medic response team, especially for major highways. However, should you spend 365 days motoring within your car brand’s or insurance policy’s service coverage zone and never face issues that aren’t covered, maybe you’ll be just fine. But if ‘maybe’ doesn’t cut it for you, then come and be part of Malaysia’s premier motoring association. With AAM membership fees starting from RM75 per year (that’s only 21sen per day!), you’ll enjoy complete peace of mind with more exclusive perks only AAM members are entitled to.

Now, go ahead and adorn that famous AAM badge on your car today. You know you want to.

47


ENROLMENT FEE ( COMPULSORY)

RM25 ( ) 1 YEAR/ RM75

( ) 2 YEARS/ RM130

( ) 3 YEAR/ RM195

( ) 1 YEAR/ RM75

( ) 2 YEARS/ RM130

( ) 3 YEAR/ RM195

( ) 1 YEAR/ RM75 ( ) 1 YEAR/ RM100

( ) 2 YEARS/ RM130 ( ) 2 YEARS/ RM200

( ) 3 YEAR/ RM195 ( ) 3 YEAR/ RM300

iii) CHILD SUPPLEMENTARY (UNDER 21 YEARS OLD) ( ) 1 YEAR/ RM75

( ) 2 YEARS/ RM130

( ) 3 YEAR/ RM195

( ) 1 YEAR/ RM75

( ) 2 YEARS/ RM130

( ) 3 YEAR/ RM195

ORDINARY/ ELITE FEMME MEMBERSHIP ONLY. ii) PRINCIPAL iii) SPOUSE’S NAME


AAM BRANCHES/ SUBSIDIARIES DIRECTORY SHAH ALAM Headquarters (HQ) 225, Block 4, No.7, Persiaran Sukan Laman Seri Business Park Section 13, 40100 Shah Alam Selangor Darul Ehsan Tel: 03 – 5511 1932 Fax: 03 – 5511 2519 Email: mru@aam.org.my KUALA LUMPUR AAM KL Main Lot No.3.22, 2nd Floor Ampang Park Shopping Centre Jalan Ampang 50450 Kuala Lumpur Tel : 03 - 2163 5210 Fax: 03 – 2163 5085 Email: aammain@aam.org.my SELANGOR AAM Subang Jaya No. 16-2, 2nd Floor Subang Business Centre Jalan USJ 9/5T 47620 UEP Subang Jaya Selangor Tel : 03 – 80240808 Fax: 03 – 80235006 Email: aamsbg@aam.org.my AAM Petaling Jaya AM 18, Mezzanine Floor, Corner Unit PJ Industrial Park, Jalan Kemajuan 46200 Petaling Jaya Selangor. Tel : 03 – 7956 3043 Fax: 03 – 7958 1163 Email: aampj@aam.org.my AAM Klang NO.27,PTNO.21298, GroundFloor,JalanTiara5, BandarBaruKlang 41150 Klang, Selangor Tel : 03 – 33431412 Fax: 03 – 33431419 Email: aamkla@aam.org.my AAM South City Plaza F 1.63, First Floor South City Plaza, Persiaran Serdang Perdana Taman Serdang Perdana, Seksyen 1 43300 Seri Kembangan Selangor Darul Ehsan. Tel : 03- 8945 1117 Fax : 03- 8945 1116 Email: mct@aam.org.my AAM Damansara Perdana Lot No. P 1102,FA1 Tropics Shopping Centre Bandar Damansara Perdana 47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan Tel : 03-77105121 Fax: 03-77105891

PULAU PINANG AAM Pulau Pinang 116, Ground Floor, Jalan Sungai Pinang 10150 Pulau Pinang. Tel : 04 – 2820996 Fax: 04 – 2820653 Email: aampen@aam.org.my

MELAKA AAM Melaka 337, Jalan Ong Kim Wee 75300 Melaka Tel : 06 – 2817236 Fax: 06 – 2819643 Email: aammel@aam.org.my

AAM Butterworth No. 2679, Ground Floor, Taman Inderawasih, Jalan Chain Ferry, 13600 Prai, Pulau Pinang. Tel : 04 – 3904545 Fax: 04 – 3971133 Email: aambtw@aam.org.my

PAHANG AAM Kuantan E 2348, Jalan Dato’ Wong Ah Jang 25100 Kuantan, Pahang. Tel : 09 – 5158620 Fax: 09 – 5158610 Email: aamktn@aam.org.my

AAM Midlands 488, B-2-30 Midlands Park Centre Jalan Burmah, 10350 Penang Tel : 04-2281997 Fax: 04-2275989 Email: midland@aam.org.my

KELANTAN AAM Kota Bahru No. 1314A, Tingkat Bawah Wisma Yati, Jalan Long Yunus 15200 Kota Bahru, Kelantan. Tel : 09 – 7461100 Fax: 09 – 7461166 Email: aamkbh@aam.org.my

KEDAH AAM Alor Setar No. 261, Ground Floor Shahab Perdana 05150 Alor Setar, Kedah. Tel : 04 – 7302020 Fax: 04 – 7322020 Email: aamast@aam.org.my NEGERI SEMBILAN AAM Seremban 20, Jalan Durian Emas 3, Betaria Business Centre Off Jalan Dato’ Siamang Gagap 70400 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan Tel : 06 – 7617630 Fax: 06 – 7619561 PERAK AAM Ipoh 128C, Jalan Kuala Kangsar 30010 Ipoh, Perak. Tel : 05 – 5064846 Fax: 05 – 5063075 Email: aamiph@aam.org.my JOHOR AAM Johor Bahru No. 15. Jalan Dato Ja’afar 1 Taman Dato Onn 80350 Johor Bahru Tel : 07 – 2226527 Fax: 07 – 2227259 Email: aamjbh@aam.org.my

KUALA TERENGGANU AAM Kuala Terengganu 76-I, Wisma Ali Long, Jalan Air Jernih 23000 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu. Tel : 09 – 6241897 Fax: 09 – 6241866 Email: aamtrg@aam.org.my AAM SUBSIDIARIES AAM Travel Sdn Bhd G25, Block 4, No.7 Persiaran Sukan Laman Seri Business Park Section 13, 40100 Shah Alam Selangor Darul Ehsan Tel: 03 – 5510 4700 Fax: 03 – 5510 4681 Email: travel@aam.org.my GM :Mr.Raymond Boey AAM Automotive Centre Sdn Bhd Lot 15 Jalan Perusahaan 4 Kawasan Industri Batu Caves 68100 Batu Caves Selangor Darul Ehsan Tel : 03 – 6188 1932 Fax: 03 – 6185 2433 Email: autocentre@aam.org.my AAM Motorsports Sdn Bhd G26, Block 4, No.7 Persiaran Sukan Laman Seri Business Park Section 13, 40100 Shah Alam Selangor Darul Ehsan Tel : 03 – 5510 4679 Fax: 03 – 5511 3426 Email: motorsport@aam.org.my

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GoDrive AAM - November 2012