Your free copy or read online at fireflyz.com.my
Smart A TOUR OF KL WITH FORMER STREET SLEEPERS
12 HOURS IN IPOH, PERAK / OPEN JOURNAL SPRING IS HERE! / STREET CHEF FRIED NASI LEMAK / AND MORE...
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Contents April 2019
4 CEO's Message 6 Editor’s Note
6 Letters 8 Agenda
Calendar of events and happenings
10 Comfort Zone Where to stay
Where to eat
Malaysia’s National Pastry Team wins World Pastry Cup in France
14 Quench Where to drink
Calorie tracking apps to help achieve weight loss goals
See a different side of Kuala Lumpur with former street sleepers
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Volkswagen Golf GTI
Humble Beginnings Malaysian perfumer Josh Lee
Travel essentials for him and her
Alternative summer vacations
Chef Fauzeyâ€™s fried nasi lemak
54 Health & Fitness
Debunking weight loss myths
58 MY List 10 things and facts about Malaysia
Middle Eastern Authors rule the roost
62 At The Movies
Whatâ€™s showing in theatres
64 Firefly News 66 Network Map 68 Fleet & Service Info
70 Viewfinder 72 #FlyFirefly
Our Instagram Stars!
Taman Negara, Malaysia
Open Journal Spring is here!
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FIREFLY EDITORIAL ADVISOR CEO, FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd Philip See Editorial Committee Izra Izzuddin, Saisundary Sundra Kumar PUBLISHED BY FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd (346606-K) CITTA Mall, 3rd Floor, No.1, Jalan PJU 1A/48, Pusat Perdagangan Dana 1 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: +603 7845 4543 Web: www.fireflyz.com.my Email: email@example.com
SPAFAX MALAYSIA Business Director Sue Loke firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL Editor Julie Goh email@example.com
Dear Guests, Is it April already? It is, and yes, time flies! This month marks a very special month for Firefly Airlines as we celebrate 12 long years of excellence in Malaysia, a celebration that will include our staff and management, our esteemed passengers, suppliers, industry stakeholders and our family and friends. It has been 12 amazing years! We have persevered and here we are celebrating over a decade of creating opportunities and wonderful memories for all of you. This milestone provides us an opportunity to both reflect on our past and to look forward to our future. As we celebrate, we say “Thank You” to all of our customers and co-workers, both past and present. We have established a track record of doing the impossible. At the heart of these accomplishments is a great deal of hard work, dedication, and a willingness to take risks to benefit our customers. Although we may be tempted to indulge in a self-congratulatory moment on our 12th anniversary, we remain mindful that the world is an ever-changing place, and if anything, we must accelerate, not relax, to better serve each and every one of you. Our culture of passion for delivering convenience is unique. Despite the many changes we will undoubtedly make going forward, it is this passion, and our relationships with you, our customers, that will remain as the foundation for the coming years. For this, we thank you, and look forward to your continued support. There’s so much for all of us to celebrate but we all know there’s no national public holiday this month, so why don’t you create a holiday for yourself and your loved ones? In this magazine, you’ll discover there’s a lot to be discovered! Why not check out a new place in town, scout out new things to see or be more adventurous in trying new food? We have so many interesting travel ideas for you, so why not surprise your loved ones with a short trip? Do visit our website and plan something once you’ve landed. For now, just sit back, relax and have an amazing flight with us!
Philip See Chief Executive Officer
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Senior Writer Eris Choo firstname.lastname@example.org
Art Director Euric Liew email@example.com
Writer Noel Foo firstname.lastname@example.org
Graphic Designer Nurfarahin Kamarudin nurfarahin.kamarudin @spafax.com
ADVERTISING & MEDIA SALES Senior Sales Manager Shirley Chin shirley.chin @spafax.com
Sales Manager Emmy Aiza emmy.aiza @spafax.com
Sales Manager Vannes Ching vannes.ching @spafax.com
Sales Manager Khairul Adzman khairul.adzman @spafax.com
SPAFAX Chief Executive Officer Niall McBain Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer Simon Ogden
Managing Director, Asia Pacific Jean-Marc Thomas
Spafax EMEA Nick Hopkins nick.hopkins @spafax.com
Spafax USA Mary Rae Esposito maryrae.esposito @spafax.com
Spafax Europe Tullia Vitturi tullia.vitturi @spafax.com Spafax UK Steve O’Connor Steve.OConnor @spafax.com Spafax Asia-Pacific Agnes Law agnes.law @spafax.com
Spafax Canada Laura Maurice laura.maurice @spafax.com Spafax South America Deborah Mogelberg deborah.mogelberg @spafax.com
PRINTER Times Offset (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (194695-W) Times Subang, Bangunan Times Publishing, Lot 46, Subang Hi-Tech Industrial Park, Batu Tiga, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: +603 5628 6888 Fax: +603 5628 6899 Firelyz is published monthly by Spafax Networks Sdn Bhd for FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd (346606-K). No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of Firefly. All rights reserved. Copyright @ 2019 by Firefly. Opinions expressed in Firelyz are the writers’ and not necessarily endorsed by Firefly and/or Spafax Networks. They are not responsible or liable in any way for the contents in any of the advertisements, articles, photographs or illustrations contained in this publication. Editorial inquiries and inquiries concerning advertising and circulation should be addressed to Spafax Networks. Firefly and Spafax Networks accept no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photography, illustrations and other editorial materials. The Editorial Team reserves the right to edit and/or re-write all materials according to the needs of the publication upon usage. Unsolicited materials will not be returned unless they are accompanied by sufficient return postage.
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his month, as with every other month, we dedicate two pages to accessories that would be nice to have. Justifiably, all are stylish solutions to First World problems, but not the be-all and end-all of living a fulfilling life. And that’s why our cover story is a necessary one to tell.
I did not have a good experience with Firefly in 2013. Flights were frequently delayed or re-timed. The frustration led me to move to another operator. In 2016, I started to fly with Firefly again because logistically speaking, Subang is much more convenient to fly into and out from. I must say the airline’s performance has improved a lot. Most of the flights I have been on were on time and the cabin crew is well trained and friendly. The latest issue of the in-flight magazine also appeals to me. The entire presentation is classy and trendy. Content is wellorganised and I love the Firefly News section as it gives us an insight into the airline’s activities.
Writer Carolyn Hong recently went on a tour to see a different side of Kuala Lumpur, guided by a former street sleeper. The tour is one of several organised by Unseen Tours Kuala Lumpur, a social enterprise set on empowering street people and the urban poor by allowing them to earn a living out of leading tours.
JOHOR BAHRU, MALAYSIA
I have been a regular business traveller with Firefly for the last seven years or so, and on my most recent flight, I read with great interest your feature article on Sekinchan. Despite this place being located in our own backyard, I had no idea that there was so much to see and do there! It’s funny that we Malaysians are always dreaming of travelling to faraway countries for vacations when there is so much beauty in our own country. Thanks to your article, I am now planning a short staycation there with my family. I took notes on the specific attractions mentioned in your article and we plan to see as many of them as possible. I can’t wait to share photos of these places with my friends.
While the aim is also to impart a sense of purpose, these former homeless individuals have become adept story-tellers due to their familiarity with the nooks and crannies of our nation’s capital. Hence, while those Louis Vuitton airpods on page 56 are desirable, a shelter over our heads is one of the basic needs that form the base of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Today, it takes more than just breaking news to garner column inches. And when four Malaysian pastry chefs were crowned champions at this year’s World Pastry Cup in France, we couldn’t have been prouder. What use is there in creating something if it doesn’t incite emotion? Therefore, irrespective of blood, sweat and tears, it must, above all, stir our hearts. And that’s not all – there’s also a street chef who has perfected fried nasi lemak and local perfumer Josh Lee, who created scents inspired by his home state of Penang. Likewise, our piece on spring celebrations in the region and beyond is a reaffirmation that new beginnings are possible.
KLANG, SELANGOR, MALAYSIA
I must admit that I have a soft spot for Firefly Airlines. My mom used to work for the airline as a member of the cabin crew for more than 10 years. She has retired now but she still travels frequently. When I was younger, I told myself that I want to travel the world like her. I still hope to, maybe in the near future. Firefly’s service has improved a lot over the years, and this makes me proud. Keep reaching for the skies!
I am personally recommending a road trip to Ipoh, Perak (page 18), preferably in the new VW Golf GTI (page 40). And while you’re there sipping on a cup of aromatic white coffee, I hope you’re reading one of our book picks by a Middle Eastern author (page 60).
April is one of my favourite months, and I am out to make this one better than the last. I hope you are too.
See you in May!
We’d love to hear from you!
Julie Goh Editor
Write to us at email@example.com and stand a chance to win a 3D2N stay in a Deluxe Room at Mei Hotel Penang, inclusive of breakfast for two worth RM456. Letters may be edited for clarity and brevity, and will be published in the language in which they are written. Please include your full name, contact number and location when writing to us.
Your free copy or read online at fireflyz.com.my
Smart A TOUR OF KL WITH FORMER STREET SLEEPERS
12 HOURS IN IPOH, PERAK / OPEN JOURNAL SPRING IS HERE! / STREET CHEF FRIED NASI LEMAK / AND MORE...
ON THE COVER
Street art in Kuala Lumpur
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Suite 1206 - CHAPS USA Johor Premium Outlets, Jalan Premium Outlets, 81000 Kulai, Johor Darul Takzim Tel: +607 6607 539
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Those travelling to Thailand this month will want to pack their waterproof bags and prepare to get soaked as the nation erupts with joy during the Songkran festival. Major tourist destinations will see a party-like atmosphere as people engage in exciting water fights in the streets and douse each other in water, an act that symbolises the washing away of bad luck. Stay to watch other lively activities such as traditional parades, Miss Songkran pageants and music concerts in major cities. When: 13 - 15 April Where: Nationwide, Thailand
HAPPENINGS IN MALAYSIA AND AROUND THE WORLD TO CHECK OUT
Month Of Feasting
Tourists will be seeing food, food and more food in Penang this month as the state celebrates the Penang International Food Festival 2019. With the backing of the state and local governments, this 16-day event will feature several food bazaars on the weekends with side events throughout the month such as mini festivals, food trails, dining experiences, sharing sessions and competitions for professional chefs, baristas and photographers. When: 13 - 28 April Where: Venues across Penang, Malaysia piff.com.my
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Taking the elevator will not be an option for participants of the KL Tower International Towerthon Challenge as they race to the top to conquer the 2,058 steps of the KL Tower. This annual tower running race will test participantsâ€™ physical and mental endurance as they attempt to record the fastest times to reach the Megaview Banquet Hall, located 288 metres above the ground floor. In addition to winning cash prizes, the fastest Malaysians in the Men Open and Women Open categories will also earn the right to represent Malaysia in other international tower running competitions overseas. When: 21 April Where: KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/KLTowerthonOfficial
Theatre audiences will be thrilled to listen to Andrew Lloyd Webberâ€™s most famous songs live as The Phantom Of The Opera, the longest running Broadway musical, makes its way to Malaysia in June during its world tour. With more than 70 major theatre awards to its name, this tale of romance, mystery and drama that has enthralled audiences for over 30 years is not to be missed. Seats can be booked online and tickets are selling fast. When: 15 - 30 June Where: Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ticketcharge.com.my
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C o m f o r t Z o n e : W h e r e To S t a y
PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR, MALAYSIA
Elegance, comfort and quality service define One World Hotel. Located in Bandar Utama, this 438-room five-star hotel offers personalised service at the touch of a button, where customer service will relay guest requests to the intended departments in a timely manner. Savour quality dishes at the hotel’s awardwinning restaurants, which include Cinnamon Coffee House and its extensive international buffet spread, as well as Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant’s authentic Cantonese dishes. One World Hotel also has excellent recreational facilities in the form of its LifeSpa and Wellness Centre, offering fitness equipment, sauna rooms, four tennis courts and an outdoor swimming pool. With a total of over 5,000 square metres of meeting and events space, the hotel is also a top choice for the largest and grandest banquets. Address: First Avenue, Bandar Utama City Centre, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia oneworldhotel.com.my
IPOH, PERAK, MALAYSIA
Situated on the edge of a prehistoric virgin forest and ancient hills, The Haven Resort Hotel strikes the perfect balance of a sustainable yet luxurious resort. Housing 512 units in three condominium towers, this lakeside retreat was developed with the preservation of its surroundings as a priority. Take a relaxing swim in the five-part seahorse-shaped swimming pool, exercise in the 24-hour gym or go for a jog on the 600-metre jogging track around the lake. Work up a sweat while having fun with a game of table tennis, badminton, squash, basketball or tennis. Enjoy a mixture of local and international dishes at the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant Cuisines. The Haven also has an outdoor challenge course with team building packages for groups, as well as outdoor garden venues. Being just a short drive away from the city centre, The Haven is also an ideal stay for visitors who want to explore the best of Ipoh’s tourist attractions. Address: Jalan Haven (Persiaran Lembah Perpaduan), 31150 Tambun, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia thehavenresorts.com
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Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore, a luxury serviced apartment in Singapore’s Central Business District, has now opened its doors to daily stays in addition to serving extended stay guests. Located in the OUE Downtown mixed-use high-rise complex, Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore’s 268 modern one- and two-bedroom serviced apartment units are elegantly furnished with all the luxuries of a hotel room. Guests have access to a comprehensive range of hospitality services such as daily housekeeping, concierge services and 24hour customer service. An expert culinary team provides the finest international culinary fare at their in-house restaurant SE7ENTH, The Bar and the Oakwood Executive Club. Recreational facilities such as the fitness centre and outdoor infinity pool are available for guests seeking some exercise. Business travellers can also host meetings in the beautifully furnished executive boardroom. Address: 6 Shenton Way, OUE Downtown 1, #07-01, 068809 Singapore oakwoodasia.com/singapore-cbd
JOHOR BAHRU, JOHOR, MALAYSIA
Explore what the bustling southern city of Johor Bahru has to offer with a stay at DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Bahru. Located in the heart of the city’s central business district, the hotel enjoys easy access to a wide variety of attractions including popular dining and shopping spots, theme parks, the nearby golf club, various tourist attractions as well as the causeway heading to Singapore. Guests will enjoy the comfort of their spacious rooms, and suites have added features such as kitchenettes, laundry facilities and executive lounge access. Enjoy a mixture of local cuisines at Makan Kitchen, try the hotel’s Italian specialties at Tosca or buy light takeaway bites at the Food Store. Work up a sweat in the 24-hour fitness centre or steam room, or unwind with the family at the outdoor pool. The hotel also boasts up to 1,300 square metres of space for events and even has a dedicated Wedding Centre for couples to plan their dream wedding. Address: 12, Jalan Ngee Heng, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia doubletree3.hilton.com
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B i t e s : W h e r e To E a t
Lucky Tora is a modern Japanese diner and bar serving contemporary Japanese cuisine alongside a variety of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Casual eatery by day, the outlet transforms into a hip hangout spot for dinner and drinks at night, replete with quaint al fresco seating right at the patio. The sharing plates are popular, and include options like crispy chicken karaage, Szechuan-style gyoza and sashimi ceviche. There are also various options for yakitori, okonomiyaki (Japanese savoury pancake) and fresh sushi rolls. Mains come by way of dons (rice bowls) with the Wagyu beef katsu and Tiger fried rice set being popular options. Pair your meal with their specialty sake cocktails or sake by the carafe. Address: 25, Jalan Mesui, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia luckytora.com
Healthy Rice Bowls
The rice bowl has grown in popularity and is an easy way to combine all the food groups in one nourishing meal. With its quirky name, Good Monster offers nutritious hot rice bowls using fresh and mostly organic ingredients prepared in a healthy way. Diners can either create their own bowl with a base of butterfly pea rice, quinoa, beetroot cous cous, virgin coconut oil rice, salad or soba noodles. Following which, they can then add a variety of mains, toppings and sauces. Or they can go for the signature combos catering to fad diets such as Pescatarian and Keto. A popular choice is the Nasi Lemak Pail with chicken satay and beef rendang; or the vegan version with tempeh and mushroom rendang. Address: LG089B, Lower Ground Floor Mid Valley Megamall, Mid Valley City, 58000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia goodmonster.my
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As far as hotel eateries go, Flock deviates from the norm. The décor is slick and sleek, while the menu focuses on contemporary Australian cuisine. Organic vegetables from Cameron Highlands and smallbatch artisanal produce (cheese and chocolates) are also a mainstay. Their monthly Sunday Retox Brunch is a delectable array of moreish dishes from a solid seafood selection (freshly shucked oysters, Alaskan king crab legs, grilled slipper lobster) and a sushi and sashimi station, to roast beef with all the trimmings and an organic salad and juice bar. There’s a touch of fusion decadence in dishes like the Wagyu beef rendang and Foie Gras Chawan Mushi. The cheeseboard is also well worth a visit. Address: W Kuala Lumpur, 121, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/WKualaLumpur
Fun Fusion Dining
Named after its namesake chef-founder, Zoe is a bijou eatery located on the second floor of a shophouse in the quieter – and some say, quirkier – part of Bangsar. The menu is eclectic with Thai nuances for lunch, and northern Italian and Middle Eastern flavours for dinner. The star dish for lunch is the khao soi, which is a traditional noodle dish from the northern regions of Thailand, comprising egg noodles in a curry-based broth. Zoe’s interpretation is generous in size and taste, and diners can have it with chicken or the vegetarian version. Try the khai giao too. It’s a fluffy Thai omelette good enough to have with rice. The menu changes according to what the kitchen comes up with, and dinner offerings run the gamut from ceviche and mutton bone marrow for starters, to lamb ragu pasta and spinach and chestnut gnocchi for mains. Save space for the hazelnut tiramisu or Spanish doughnuts with crème anglaise. Address: 42A, Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar Utama, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/ZoeRestaurantBangsar
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Q u e n c h : W h e r e To D r i n k
Bangkok From The Moon
Bangkok is an exotic, sprawling mega-metropolis with the nightlife to match, and the legendary Moon Bar is where you want to be when the sun sets. Located on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Bangkok, Moon Bar has recently undergone an amazing design transformation. The most remarkable feature is the Moon Wall, a glass bridge overlooking the city, and the diamond-shaped bar, which is the centrepiece of the space. Rooftop bars are still immensely popular and this iconic bar is a must-visit while in Bangkok. Address: Level 61, Banyan Tree Bangkok, 21/100 South Sathon Road, 10120 Bangkok, Thailand banyantree.com/en/ thailand/Bangkok/dining/ moon-bar
Located above a locksmith shop in TTDI, Kuala Lumpur is the elegant cocktail bar Soma. Dim lighting and cosy seating offer a comfortably intimate atmosphere, and the shelves that line almost a full wall holds the bar’s envious stock of alcohol, which includes an extensive selection of gin, whisky, Mezcal and more. Its tagline is ‘Cocktails and Wonders’, and Soma certainly delivers on both. Cocktails here range from the classics like the Gimlet or Charlie Chaplin, to contemporary house concoctions made with ingredients like Nutella, peanut butter, and even Parmesan cheese in a unique reinterpretation of the Bloody Mary. If you’re peckish, bar snacks are readily available. Address: 145A, Jalan Aminuddin Baki, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/soma.cocktailsandwonders
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There’s no shortage of bars in Singapore and Yardbird Southern Table & Bar is a good example of the restaurant and bar combination where you come for a meal and stay on for drinks. As part of a famed American group of restaurants, the Singapore outpost boasts one of Asia’s largest collections of American whiskies and unique handcrafted cocktails, including the popular Watermelon Sling, Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade and Peanut Butter Jelly Time. The al fresco bar actually looks out on Marina Bay and is a great option for sundowners. There’s also a bar bites menu with appetising offerings like pork belly tacos, mac and cheese croquettes and baconwrapped shrimp. Address: 2 Bayfront Ave B1-07 Galleria Level The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 018956 Singapore facebook.com/YardbirdSingapore
Cosy + Casual
Tucked away in a corner of Bangsar’s creative hub APW is Folio, a bar specialising in low alcohol (low ABV) cocktails served in casual surrounds. This cheerful and partly al fresco space is accentuated with brightly coloured walls plus plenty of plants and greenery, with quaint rattan chairs in cosy corners to lounge about in. Folio’s cocktails are well balanced, refreshing (perfect for our tropical weather) and very easy to drink. An example is the Suction, which has vodka, kaffir lime, Limoncello, tea and cucumber. There’s also sparkling fruit juice made with cava, and while there’s no food served, you can order from the neighbouring pizza parlour Proof or Japanese Thai fusion restaurant Kaiju. Address: APW Bangsar, 29, Jalan Riong, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/foliobangsar
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Applify: Apps In Focus
MyPlate Calorie Tracker
Publisher: LIVESTRONG Cost: Free – Gold subscription is RM16.37 per month, billed annually. A single month subscription is RM43.70
IT TAKES SOME SERIOUS MOTIVATION AND DISCIPLINE TO GET STARTED ON A HEALTHY DIET, AND EVEN MORE SO TO STAY COMMITTED AND CONSISTENT TO ACHIEVE A WEIGHT LOSS GOAL. WITH SO MANY CALORIE TRACKER APPS AVAILABLE TO CHOOSE FROM, HERE ARE A FEW STAND-OUTS.
Published by well-known fitness website LIVESTRONG, MyPlate is another app that is fairly easy to use with slightly fewer features. One of its strengths lies in its supportive Community feature, which acts as a sort of in-app interactive platform where users can ask questions and share tips with one another. While not accessible through the app itself, there are lots of interesting health, nutrition and fitness articles that users can read on LIVESTRONG’s website. Gold members unlock a few unique add-ons, including a Gold-exclusive forum section and a seven-day clean eating guide.
Lose It! - Calorie Counter
Publisher: FitNow, Inc. Cost: Free – Premium subscription is RM13.86 per month, billed annually at RM166.36
Calorie Counter - MyFitnessPal
It is easy to see why Lose It! is an Editor’s Choice app on Google Play. Publisher: MyFitnessPal, Inc. User-friendly with a clean interface, Cost: Free – Premium subscription the app also boasts an enormous is RM14.83 per month, billed food database with more than 10 annually at RM177.99. A single million entries and counting for a month subscription is RM36.99 wide range of international foods, and includes a 30-day free trial including a surprising number of Malaysian home-cooked meals. The free version of MyFitnessPal’s Calorie Counter justifiably While the free version provides offers many features. This includes comprehensive the basic features to record macronutrient tracking and analysis, cross-platform calories, track nutrient intake and connection with other fitness apps, to go along with active set simple goals, its inexpensive and supportive community forums. Occasional tips pop up Premium subscription unlocks a lot when you key in specific foods, telling you what specific of additional features, including nutrients it is rich in. While the constant need to log in behavioural pattern analysis and can be a hassle, there is much to gleam from the advice to change bad eating All apps are informative daily blog entries available on the app. habits. There is also access available on The Premium subscription unlocks additional features to fitness guides, as well as Google Play and Apple such as food timestamps and advice, as well as detailed tracking and Apps store. nutrient-specific tracking and goals. goal setting functions.
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Te c h U p : G a d g e t s
Lenovo’s Yoga S940 is an ultra slim notebook, weighing just 1.2kg and measuring 12.2mm in width. It offers a range of intelligent features designed to make life easier, such as the option for hands-free login using facial recognition and an eye-tracking AI function that anticipates a user’s needs. RRP: RM6,100 lenovo.com.my
Designed For Selfies
The Nova 4 is the latest selfie-centric smartphone from Huawei that has a 6.4” punch-hole display. It has a 25MP single-lens front camera that recognises eight different scenes and optimises in real-time to enhance images. Other specs include a Kirin 970 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. RRP: RM1,899 consumer.huawei.com/my/phones
See, Wear, Hear
Bose Frames combines the style of premium sunglasses with the functionality and performance of wireless headphones. With a proprietary open-ear design, it can stream music and information, make calls and access virtual assistants – while keeping playlists, entertainment, and conversations private. RRP: RM810 bose.com/en_us/products/wearables/frames.html
Stay Connected, Do More
The Galaxy Tab S5e by Samsung is a tablet that embodies practicality. At just 400g in weight, it can easily be carried around or stored on-the-go. The battery life of up to 14.5 hours is optimised for long-lasting performance, which offers the freedom to browse, stream and play for longer. RRP: RM1,630 samsung.com.my
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12 H o u r s Text Eris Choo / Illustration Lauren Rebbeck / Art Direction Euric Liew
Revıval ERIS CHOO
A FORMER TIN MINING CAPITAL, IPOH IN PERAK, MALAYSIA IS A GEM OF BEAUTIFUL LIMESTONE HILLS AND CAVE TEMPLES, CHARMING COLONIAL SHOPHOUSES AND DECADES-OLD EATERIES. ERIS CHOO
Han Chin Pet Soo Museum
Concubine Lane in Jalan Panglima
Start the day with breakfast at one of the oldest kopitiams in town: Sin Yoon Loong, widely touted as the birthplace of Ipoh’s famous White Coffee. The recipe was said to have been created by the shop’s Hainanese proprietor over 80 years ago. The coffee beans are roasted with margarine for a lighter, slightly caramelised and buttery flavour, and the resulting brew is served with condensed milk – giving the coffee a rich, smooth texture and a creamy taste. Other must-tries here are dan chi (half boiled eggs on toast), toast with kaya (coconut jam) and butter, as well as caramel egg custard.
For a dose of Ipoh’s rich and colourful tin mining history, join a guided tour of the Han Chin Pet Soo Museum. Formerly the Hakka Tin Miners Club, the place was built at the turn of the 20th century as an important social and cultural gathering place for wealthy Hakka
Chinese tin miners. Today, the three-storey building houses various artefacts and collectibles. Aside from displays of ornate furniture, tin mining tools and household items, parts of the museum are furnished to resemble the old clubhouse,
such as a room where members would go to smoke opium, complete with large, intricately carved wooden beds and cool pillows made from marble. Visits to the museum are by tour only, which can be booked on ipohworld.org.
Jalan Panglima, otherwise known as ‘Yee Lai Horng’ (Mistress or Second Wife Lane), is a short but cheerful alleyway packed with vendors, boutique inns, popup stalls and even a mini
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TAU FOO FAR: Soft and meltin-the-mouth, tau foo far or soy bean pudding is a sweet, silky treat served with pandan syrup. Funny Mountain along Jalan Theatre serves one of the best versions in town.
The queue spilling out onto the five-foot walkway and past several adjoining shops is for takeaways only. For dine-in, simply head into the shop, find a seat and place an order with the staff. Presentation is a mess, but who needs looks when you’re tucking into crisp fried chicken, mutton, vegetables and fish head curries on a bed of hot, fluffy rice?
adultery. Whatever its history, there is certainly no shortage of things to see and souvenirs to buy; from colourful cacti plants to baked biscuits, flowershaped cotton candy, and the latest trend – rainbowcoloured cheese toast.
PHOTOS: TOURISM MALAYSIA, ERIS CHOO
Kong Heng Square
museum. Dating back to the 1890s, the story goes that rich Chinese tycoons would keep their mistresses here, hence the name. Another version says that it was a front for those visiting opium dens, since opium was a vice that was more frowned upon than
Previously an abandoned space, Kong Heng Square is now one of the trendiest spots in town, with chic cafés, fashion boutiques, stores selling handmade crafts and accessories, and even an old-school barber ‘shop’ in a glass box.
There’s nothing illegal about the nasi ganja at Yong Suan Kopitiam – it’s just so addictive, patrons have named it after a drug. It is, in fact, nasi kandar, or steamed rice with a variety of curries and side dishes.
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KAYA KOK: Kaya kok is a flaky puff pastry filled with sweet coconut jam, and the legendary Sin Eng Heong Bakery has been making them since the 1960s. The pastries are oven baked and run out almost as soon as a fresh batch is released.
NGA CHOY GAI: Simple but delicious best describes nga choy gai, or steamed chicken and beansprouts. Ipoh’s bean sprouts are especially plump and crunchy, which is attributed to the city’s good water source from the surrounding hills.
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12 H o u r s
Hidden by the hillside and surrounded by pomelo farms and lakes, the Enlightened Heart Tibetan Buddhist Temple offers a tranquil place for meditation
and solitude. The architecture is markedly different from traditional Chinese temples, with emphasis on the five primary colours and the elements they represent; namely yellow (earth), green (water), red (fire), white (air) and blue (sky and space). The pagoda at the back of the temple grounds is nine storeys high and is well worth the climb, as there is an 11-metre-tall gold Shakyamuni Buddha statue waiting at the top, with breathtaking views of the surrounding limestone hills and beyond.
Parts of the square remain untouched, with dilapidated old buildings overgrown with plants; others have been designed with a raw, industrial-chic look, featuring steel structures, bricks and rough concrete walls. While you’re here, check out Bits and Bobs, which sells ais kepal – ice balls poured over with flavoured syrup, a popular childhood snack for those growing up in 1970s and 1980s Malaysia. Plan B, an Aussie-inspired café and restaurant, is the place to grab coffee and brunch. On weekends, the place comes alive with flea markets and art bazaars.
Gunung Lang Recreational Park
Be greeted by the sight of a majestic man-made waterfall cascading from the top of a limestone hill at the entrance, then take a 10-minute boat ride across a lake, flanked on both sides by emerald green limestone hills. Arriving at a wooden jetty, visitors disembark to a beautifully
Nature lovers should not miss out on a stroll at Gunung Lang Recreational Park, just a five-minute drive from Ipoh.
The Dragon Flight ride at Lost World of Tambun
landscaped garden, complete with well-paved walkways, shady trees and an assortment of plants. Replicas of traditional wooden Malay homes are scattered across the park, and there is a mini zoo with deer, ponies, ostriches and rabbits. Lucky visitors might even spot some wildlife, such as monitor lizards and a variety of birds. The park closes at 6.30 pm on weekends and public holidays.
PHOTOS: TOURISM MALAYSIA, 123RF
After a long day of exploring, unwind with a good soak at the Lost World of Tambun Hot Springs and Spa. The theme park-cum-resort is home to several mineral-rich hot spring pools, including a foot reflexology spa, an infinity pool, a steam cave and a geyser that shoots hot spring water up to 40 metres high. While the springs are also open during the day, the pools are bathed in colourful, glowing lights at night. The place is also a good place for families, as tickets include entry to the mini petting zoo, where visitors are encouraged to get up close to animals such as hedgehogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and more.
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S a vo u r “Found on many street corners in the country, the humble mee goreng or mee mamak – derived from Indian Muslim cuisine – is packed with flavour despite its simplistic nature.”
SOLD BY VENDORS RANGING FROM STREET HAWKERS TO HOTEL RESTAURANTS, THIS STIRFRIED NOODLE DISH IS THE QUINTESSENTIAL COMFORT FOOD FOR MALAYSIANS.
hen it comes to fried noodles, the ownership rights of the dish are often disputed. There’s no denying that each Asian country has its own version of stir-fried noodles and, admittedly, they are all rather good and extremely tasty.
Text Richard Augustin / Photos Tourism Malaysia Sidebar Photos Freeimages, 123rf
•2 tbsp cooking oil •2 cloves garlic (chopped) •1 shallot (chopped) •3 tbsp tomato sauce •2 tbsp chilli paste •1 tbsp dark soya sauce •1 tbsp light soya sauce •1 tbsp water
•2 pcs tofu (sliced) •2 eggs •40 gm bean sprouts •500 gm yellow noodles •Salt and pepper to taste
•½ chilli (thinly sliced) •1 tbsp fried shallots •1 lime (cut into wedges)
•In a hot wok, heat oil and fry garlic and
•Add in boiled potatoes and bean sprouts
•Mix chilli paste, tomato sauce, soya sauce
•Crack two eggs into the wok and
•Add in tofu followed by yellow noodles
•Adjust seasoning and set onto a plate. •Garnish with sliced chilli, lettuce leaves,
shallots until fragrant.
and water and add into the pan. Continue to cook for a minute. and continue to stir-fry.
and mix well.
scramble them quickly with the noodles.
fried shallots and lime wedge on the side and serve.
NOT YOUR AVERAGE NOODLE DISH There are more than a few variations of the mee goreng, thanks to the infusion of local cultures and flavours.
MEE REBUS Also a dish of mamak origin, this gravy-based noodle dish consists of yellow noodles topped with potatoes, tofu, egg, peanuts, sliced chillies and a rich tomato 2019 basedApril gravy.
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•2 lettuce leaves
But Malaysia has managed to carve a reputation for owning its very own version of the dish, which has struck a chord with many foodies around the globe. Found on many street corners in the country, the humble mee goreng or mee mamak – derived from Indian Muslim cuisine – is packed with flavour despite its simplistic nature. Spicy, sweet and mouth-wateringly delicious, the noodle dish consists of egg noodles stir-fried in a hot wok with ingredients such as garlic, shallots, tomato sauce, chilli, tofu, egg, squid, fritters, and vegetables such as Chinese cabbage and potato. The beauty of the dish lies in its simplicity to replicate at home in a matter of minutes.
•1 potato (boiled
CHAR MEE The Chinese version of stir-fried noodles is often vegan based, prepared with soya sauce, chilli paste, bean sprouts and shredded cabbage and topped with deep fried crispy bean curd strips.
MAGGI GORENG This popular stir-fry dish utilises instant noodles as the main ingredient, which is cooked with shredded cabbage, tofu, egg and occasionally chopped fried chicken served with a half cut lime on the side.
HOKKIEN MEE This stir-fry dish uses larger and thicker egg noodles which is wokfried with dark soya sauce, prawns, squid and Chinese cabbage, and served with sambal.
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Insider’s Guide Text Carolyn Hong / Photos SooPhye
GO ON A TOUR OF MALAYSIA’S CAPITAL KUALA LUMPUR WITH FORMER STREET SLEEPERS. April 2019
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e stood in the alleyway, dazzled by the rainbow hues of the pavement and wildlife murals on the walls. If it were not for workmen repairing an aircon unit and the slight whiff of garbage, we might have mistaken the backlane for a playground.
This colourful alleyway in Bukit Bintang, an area within Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle, was spruced up by the City Hall to encourage people to use it, and to discourage the sort of unwanted activities that tend to take place in hidden spaces.
Talking The Walk
Zahren Abdullah, 45, had led us here as part of a street tour hosted by the Unseen Tours of Kuala Lumpur, a unique enterprise which offers tours led by people who had once slept in alleyways such as this one. Zahren, or Rain as he calls himself, had become uncomfortably familiar with these backlanes after he lost his job under the influence of unsavoury company. By night, he slept
(Inset) From L to R: Pushpanathan Varadaraju, Rain and Shyam Priar (From top) Guided tours such as those run by Unseen Tours are already in operation in cities such as London (opposite) Central Market is both a tourist hotspot and a cultural melting pot that Rain navigates with ease
at a storefront, and roamed the streets by day. He knew these alleyways, well before they got a make-over. As part of the tour, he told us that the wildlife murals were painted as a reminder that the alleyway was once a stream, and rattled off an impressive array of facts about the development of Kuala Lumpur. Off-script, Rain reflected on his previous life as we passed places where he once spent his days aimlessly while waiting for soup kitchens to open. “I used to sit here all day, doing nothing. What would have happened when I got too old to do that?” he mused, as we walked past street benches. Fortunately for him, he got off the streets before then. The Unseen Tours was launched in 2017 by Yellow House, an organisation set up by former marketing consultant Shyam Priar to work with marginalised communities.
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Some of Kuala Lumpur’s finest street art are hidden away in alleyways and tour guides such as Rain are able to point them out
Shyam, 44, became acquainted with the homeless community after running a project in 2012 to wash and cut the hair of street people, in collaboration with a soup kitchen. She discovered their vast knowledge of the city, and it struck her that this could help them earn a living by showing people around Kuala Lumpur. “After all, who knows the streets better than the street people?” she said. She was excited to discover that such tours are already being operated in cities such as London, and came up with her own version. She was adamant that it would not be poverty tourism but a way for this community to show people the sights from their own perspective.
On one blazing afternoon, Rain took us on a street art tour, along with Pushpanathan Varadaraju, 38, another former street sleeper who will soon be leading tours on her own. Putting his hand out to slow traffic, Rain ushered us across a busy road from Central Market, and led us down Chinatown’s streets. Engrossed by his stories, we didn’t notice a huge painting covering the majority of a whole wall until we were right in front of it. It was a mural of a goldsmith at work that serves as a reminder of the traders and merchants who used to work here. Scurrying after Rain, we entered a maze of backlanes which we would normally avoid, and discovered that they are full of life. In one lane, laundry festooned a wall opposite a tiny grocery store with barely a handful of items. After a few twists and turns, we entered
Shyam found 10 potential guides. Rain was one of them, his mischievous wit being an asset, although he was initially hesitant. He had attended school where English was widely taught, and also used to work in a factory where it was the language of communication. But his language skills were rusty. Still, he was inclined to give it a go. The 10 trainees lived in a shelter in the city, and divided their time between working for income and attending training by a volunteer with experience in this field. After four months, only three remained, and they became the first cohort of tour associates for the Unseen Tours which held its first tour in December 2017. Since then, another two dropped out, leaving Rain as the sole remaining tour leader.
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Unseen Tours held its first guided tour in 2017 and will soon launch a Haunted Tour
a dim lane filled with market stalls and eateries, and spotted a colourful mural of children. As we wondered why anyone would paint here, Rain led us out into the sunshine. Leaving Chinatown, we went further afield to carparks which host evocative murals of Malaysian life, before boarding a free city bus to the shopping district of Bukit Bintang. Who would have thought Kuala Lumpur had so many murals? Some were on full display, some hidden away. What made the tour poignant was Rain’s reminiscences and stories of a life that most of us would never know.
Third Time’s A Charm
Over the last one year, Unseen Tours Kuala Lumpur has hosted more than 100 groups. Ranging in size from two to 40 persons, the numbers consisted equally of Malaysians and foreigners. But its future remains an uncertain one. The guides have yet to become self-sufficient although they receive 60 percent of the earnings. Both Rain and Nathan still need the benefits of free shelter and food at the Yellow House.
Pushpanathan, or ‘Nat’ as he’s called, is now striving hard to get started. A former lorry driver, he had resorted to sleeping on pedestrian bridges after losing his job. He joined the training to make a fresh start but quickly gave up when he could not cope with speaking in English.
Shyam, however, said things have improved since her first attempt to run street tours with homeless people several years ago. “I actually tried this twice before and failed. There was so much stigma attached to these marginalised individuals,” she said. But today, Malaysians are more receptive, thanks to the many organisations working with street people which have helped to dispel some of the fear, disdain and prejudice.
Later, he decided to give it another go. Soon, he will be leading tours in Tamil, his first language. “I am happy now, I have friends and I know what I want to do,” Nat said.
Add Spirits & Water
Shyam also learnt how to work with the homeless who generally have no social support at all. She found it necessary to provide them with even the most basic of needs such as shelter and food, and to understand that they struggle with their own personal issues. Soon after they started, one of their guides vanished one morning. Rain had to take over his tours, despite having no experience, and was so anxious that he too wanted to flee. “I packed my bags to run away but our trainer called me so many times, so I showed up,” Rain said. With butterflies in his stomach, he led his first tour of seven foreign tourists, and was encouraged by their kind words. “I’m no longer scared now,” he laughed.
As part of the tour, Rain explained that wildlife murals were painted as a reminder that Kuala Lumpur’s alleyways were once a stream, displaying his impressive knowledge of the city.
Shyam said this venture offers them dignity by using their specific knowledge, and places the former street persons right up in front, rather than being hidden away. It turns their “weaknesses” into strengths, using their street experiences to give a unique narrative to the tours which they help to craft. She’s excited about a new Haunted Tour to be launched soon, filled with stories which they have heard as the day darkens into night. She is also working on a River of Life tour, hoping to assist the homeless who live along the river. “We hope that this venture can help create inclusiveness for those marginaised by society,” she said.
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P e r s p e c t i ve Text Eris Choo / Photos courtesy of Diph Photography & Julien Bouvier
Just Desserts THE FRENCH MAY BE KNOWN FOR THEIR CULINARY PROWESS, BUT FOUR MALAYSIAN PASTRY CHEFS HAVE PROVEN THEY HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO TAKE THE CAKE.
onths after their win at the world’s most prestigious pastrymaking contest, the sweet taste of victory still feels surreal for the Malaysia National Pastry Team. After all, it’s not every day one makes history – as the first Malaysians to win the Coupe du Monde de la Pâttiserie (World Pastry Cup), held in Lyon, France, in January.
“When the Negaraku was played after the winner’s announcement, we sang our hearts out,” says team coach, chef Patrick Siau. “It’s not just our win, but a win for Malaysia.” The team comprising Siau, a teaching instructor and head chef at the Sunway University School of Hospitality, Chef Otto Tay of Dobla, as well as Chefs Tan Wei Loon and Loi Ming Ai of the Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia, beat 20 other teams to emerge as champions of 2019’s World Pastry Cup (WPC). Touted as the Oscars of international pastry-making competitions, the WPC sees chefs from all over the globe competing on the world stage after a rigorous series of continental selection events in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Malaysia made the cut after winning the Asian Pastry Cup last year. This year’s edition was the first in WPC history to have a theme; namely ‘Nature, Flora and Fauna’.
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One of the Malaysian team’s winning creations, featuring monkeys in costumes inspired by the late singer Elvis Presly
Teams had to make three chocolate as well as frozen fruit desserts, to go along with 15 fully vegan plated desserts that were identical. That was not all as they were also required to make another three artistic creations made of sugar and chocolate; in addition to an artistic piece carved out of dry ice, a chocolate dessert with a biscuit made out of honey and at least one transparent item in blown sugar.
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Members of the Malaysia National Pastry Team (from L to R): Loi Ming Ai, Tan Wei Loon, Otto Tay and Patrick Siau
With only 10 hours to prepare all of it, the race against time to ensure each dessert was plated and ready was a test of mental and physical endurance. Interestingly, the team’s chocolate dessert ‘La Nature’ was inspired by the lotus leaf, with layers of chocolate sponge, chocolate and vanilla creameux, and yuzu mango jelly on a crispy streusel base, topped with dark chocolate mousse and chocolate glaze. Its creator, Tan, says that the honey requirement was a challenge to incorporate.
cake with strong chocolate flavours. The problem is that honey loses its flavour once it’s cooked, so it was a struggle to bring both flavours out at the same time,” he says, adding that they ended up using chestnut honey and layering to give the dessert an element of texture. On the other hand, Tay’s frozen fruit dessert ‘Le Papillon’ had to be completely vegan. “We had to be creative to find substitute ingredients, such as using coconut oil instead of
“Based on feedback from our seniors who participated in previous editions of the contest, we knew we had to create a
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P e r s p e c t i ve
Wowing the judges was the team’s artistic creation showcasing meticulously crafted monkeys dressed like Elvis Presley, complete with the late singer’s iconic pompadour made of isomalt sugar and chocolate. “We chose to do monkeys as the team is good at sculpting figurines,” Siau explains. “We wanted something fun instead of the usual plants or insects.” Even before the final, there were numerous obstacles the team had to face. “The theme and criteria for each dessert was announced in July last year,” he adds. “We did not have much time to do research and development. Having to create a fully vegan dessert was especially difficult.” They communicated mainly through phone calls, WhatsApp messages and emails to bounce ideas and troubleshoot existing issues. “We also did not have much time to train or do trial runs together due to logistics,” Tan recalls fondly. “Otto (Tay) is based in Vietnam, while the rest of us have our respective jobs. As such, it was hard to find a suitable time for everyone.”
butter to get a similar texture,” Tay explains. The resulting dessert was a beautiful work of vanilla yoghurt ice cream, pistachio meringue, lychee and raspberry sorbet, raspberry coulis and lychee parfait. Topping it off was a butterfly on a flower, inspired by French pastry chef Pierre Herme’s signature dessert, Ispahan. For their plated dessert ‘La Floraison’, the team incorporated the pomelo, Ipoh’s famous fruit, that was presented in a cup-form made of granita.
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P e r s p e c t i ve
After the competition theme was announced, Tay flew back to Malaysia once a month to train with the other team members. Closer to the competition, he flew back almost weekly. Most of the training and trial runs were done at the Academy of Pastry Arts centre in Petaling Jaya.
The Malaysian team beat out 20 other teams to emerge as the first Malaysian winners of the prestigious Coupe du Monde
mean that they are resting on their laurels. As this year’s team captain, Tay will likely be on the panel of judges for the 2021 competition. Meanwhile, Siau is already on the lookout for the next batch of chefs to train. He hopes that the team’s win will help change the public mindset when it comes to appreciating the art of pastry-making and culinary arts in general. “We have many culinary talents here in Malaysia who are as good as those overseas. We hope to motivate more young chefs to enrol in this industry,” he says.
(opposite page from top) Winning creations: ‘Le Papillon’, ‘La Floraison’ and ‘La Nature’
Arriving in Lyon a week before the competition day to familiarise themselves and do a full trial run, the team brought with them a whopping 900 kilogrammes of equipment and ingredients. “We had to be ready in case some of the equipment broke down,” Tan quips. “During the competition, our chocolate warmer caught fire! We had to have backups because there is no second chance.” As 2019 champions, Malaysia is not eligible to participate in the World Pastry Cup until 2023. But that doesn’t
“We can compete on the international level as well. This win is very special to Malaysia as it proves that chefs are not just tukang masak (cooks),” Siau jokes, adding that they are extremely proud to have put Malaysia on the world map.
“We have many culinary talents here in Malaysia who are as good as those overseas. We hope to motivate more young chefs to enrol in this industry.”
“I was once told that I wasn’t cut out to be a pastry chef,” he recalls. “All four of us (members of the team) have experienced being pushed aside or looked down on at one point or other, but it just makes us more determined to prove people wrong,”
And asked about his advice to aspiring pastry chefs, he says this: “You need to love what you do and be patient in your endeavours, especially if you’re keen on having this as a career and not just as a hobby. Hobbies might change, but if it’s a career, you’ll work hard for it.”
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Tracker Text Tracey Petherick
Escape The Crowds In Hawaii
PHOTOS: HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY/TOR JOHNSON
Uncover some of Hawaii’s hidden gems on the aptlynamed ‘Garden Isle’ of Kauai. Relatively undeveloped, it’s less touristy than Oahu and Maui, and drenched in dramatic beauty. Explore the forested trails of Kokee State Park, the rich red landscape of the Waimea Canyon or the jungle waterfalls of the Wailua River. Adventure seekers can try zip-lining, kayaking or horseriding, while those who want to chill out on a beach are spoilt for choice. For peace and tranquillity, head to the north shore. Hanalei Bay is a vast stretch of golden sand backed by mountains, while Kauapea – accessible only by a short but steep hike – is known among locals as ‘Secret Beach’.
Summer With A Difference GET OFF THE BEATEN TRACK WITH THESE ALTERNATIVE SUMMER VACATIONS. April 2019
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Ibizan Yoga Retreat
It might be known as a party island, but Ibiza has long had another type of reputation as a spiritual centre with a bohemian vibe – the perfect spot to nurture your mind, body and soul. Yoga retreats are available across the island for beginners through to experienced yogis, while disciplines range from Ashtanga to Pranayama. Specialist holidays might include spa treatments, Ayurveda sessions or a focus on detox. And when your daily practice is done, explore the island. Ibiza’s beaches and countryside have a magical beauty, the food is fresh and wholesome and the climate in summertime is perfect.
Vietnam On Two Wheels
It has been said that Vietnam is best seen by bike. On a trip from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City you’ll ride past lush mountains, waterfalls, rice fields and ancient ruins. Not to mention the vast coastline dotted with palm-lined sandy beaches. On the way you can explore the temples and tombs of Hue, perhaps climbing the Hai Van Cloud Pass for spectacular views. You might visit the charming trading port of Hoi An, the buzzing beach resort at Nha Trang, and the evergreen hill town of Da Lat. And all the time you’re burning calories – so you have the perfect excuse for sampling Vietnam’s mouthwatering cuisine.
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With over 27 percent of its land protected in national parks, nature reserves or wildlife sanctuaries, Belize has clear ecocredentials for ethical travellers. Along with a rich biodiversity – swathes of rainforest, exotic wildlife and the world’s second largest barrier reef – Belize is also abundant with eco-friendly resorts and lodges. Look up Chaa Creek near San Ignacio and Hamanasi in the south of the country. It’s perfectly located for exploring some of the country’s incredible Mayan ruins. Belize’s vast barrier reef is a haven for divers and snorkelers, and if you want to offset your impact on nature, you can volunteer with local dive companies to get hands-on conservation experience.
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Midnight Sun In Iceland
PHOTOS: GUIDE TO ICELAND
Clean air, vast landscapes, geothermal pools and a capital city that’s buzzing with culture, Iceland is full of magical experiences. Take a dip in a hot spring – the Blue Lagoon is the most famous but they are dotted all over the country, marvel at centuries-old glaciers, or take to the seas for some of Europe’s best whale watching. In the capital Reykjavik, enjoy the architecture, galleries and museums as well as a blossoming food scene. In the height of summer, the sun doesn’t set until midnight, an other-worldly experience that also means you have more time to enjoy your daily excursions. Just remember to pack an eye mask.
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Sweet Scent Of Success PERFUMER JOSH LEE CREATES FRAGRANCES INSPIRED BY MALAYSIAâ€™S RICH HERITAGE.
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Humble Beginnings Text Ng Su-Ann / Photos Louise L.
First unveiled in 2012, GEORGE TOWN is among the trio in Lee’s Malaysia Heritage collection, comprising also of Nyonya and OUD, both released in 2015. The Nyonya eau de parfum (EDP) was inspired by Peranakan culture in Penang. It celebrates the modern Nyonya women whom have stayed true to their cultural identity and traditional values. The fragrance is a concoction of bergamot, neroli, Nyonya flowers (peony, rose, jasmine, lotus, champaca and orchid), cedar, sandalwood and musk. If you prefer a headier scent, OUD is your choice. This EDP distills the combined scent of vegetation, moisture, and soil of Malaysian rainforests. Its blend is built from zesty bitter orange, bergamot, spicy clove, hibiscus petals, patchouli, sandalwood, cedarwood and agarwood (oudh in Arabic).
Lee believes that a good perfumer needs a good nose for scents and is able to strike a balance between being analytical and artistic
f one could capture Penang’s colourful culture, a bottle of Josh Lee’s GEORGE TOWN would surely be it. And its main ingredient? The perfumer’s profound love for his hometown and beloved Malaysian state.
Lee is living his childhood dream and, best of all, excelling in it. “When I was three, my father used to spray some of his cologne on me before I left the house,” he recalls, describing himself as a dreamer, who has been passionate about scents from a tender age.
“This eau de toilette (EDT) is my tribute to the place I grew up in and am greatly inspired by,” says Lee. “I picture a merchant in colonial Penang sitting at the jetty at dawn with a cup of bergamot. As he looks out to sea, idly watching ships docking at the port, he is sipping his tea which slowly diffuses a refreshing and calming aroma.” Aptly named after the island state’s capital, GEORGE TOWN has been classified as a citrus-based aromatic fragrance. Its 41-year-old creator fondly describes it as the scent of water, warmth and nostalgia. The bottle’s wooden cap represents the old heritage houses of yesteryear, while its cyan-coloured content symbolises the sea surrounding the island state. “The cold morning air is fused with a tangy sea breeze,” he adds, recalling an era when spice trading fueled Penang’s economy. “The merchant experiences the infused fragrance of pungent spices – nutmeg, clove, cinnamon and star anise – mingled with the heady scents of local flowers such as hibiscus and rose along with hints of woody incense scents from home altars and temples in the vicinity. To me, this is the quintessential scent of GEORGE TOWN.”
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“Moreover, I grew up in a family that runs a shop selling ingredients for making cakes,” he says. “It was always filled with the aromas of vanilla, chocolate, strawberries as well as spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. In that sense, the shop was the perfect environment for the making of a perfumer.”
Lee established Josh Lee Fragrances in 2012 with the aim of promoting Malaysia’s rich history and culture
After completing his Form Six education at St Xavier’s Institution, Lee could not find any tertiary programmes for aspiring perfumers. The next best thing was to opt for a degree in chemistry at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Armed with the degree, he went to ISIPCA, the top perfumery institute in France, to take up a European Fragrance and Cosmetic Master course. During his time at Versailles, he learnt how to create and formulate perfumes, colour cosmetics and skincare from top perfumers, marketing experts and notable fragrance historians. In 2004, he clinched the Best Student Award for the postgraduate category by IFEAT (International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trade) based on his final-year thesis. Returning to Malaysia, Lee began his career as a fragrance evaluator and market
analyst in the Kuala Lumpur-based representative company for Technico Flor fragrance house from Marseilles. A career milestone followed when he joined SimplySiti, a cosmetic company founded by Malaysian entertainer Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza, as a product development senior manager. There, he developed a wide range of perfumes, skincare and cosmetic products that helped the brand to win several awards, including for Best Halal Brand.
“When I was three, my father used to spray some of his cologne Lee eventually decided to start his own on me before I left brand, launching Josh Lee the house. Since Fragrances in August 2012. then, I’ve always He set up operations in George Town, with the vision been intrigued of becoming an established by different international fragrance brand scents. ” that would help promote Malaysia’s
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rich history and culture. Hence, the brand’s tagline of ‘Heritage Through Scent’. It was one of the first premium brands to be certified Halal by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM). The company also holds a certificate from the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). “All of my fragrances conform to the international quality standards set by the IFRA. We are against animal testing and no animal ingredients are used in Josh Lee products,” he says. When asked for the attributes of a good perfumer, Lee says with a laugh: “A good nose! Well, of course, he also needs to be able to strike a balance between being analytical and artistic. He must analyse which elements would make ideal combinations, while letting his creativity flourish to a certain extent in order to conjure up new and novel concoctions.
Lee’s Malaysia Heritage Collection comprises the delectable trio of GEORGE TOWN, Nyonya and OUD, all of which do not contain any animal products
“A fragrance designer should also be adventurous. In his travels, explore the cultural essence and natural gifts of different cities. For example, France can be represented by lavender and French roses, while Bali is famed for its frangipani. Above all, he should be driven by passion, not profits. He is a story teller. Let his creations evoke feelings, memories or thoughts of the subject.”
Currently, Lee’s perfumes can be found and purchased in hotels, airports, shopping malls and tourist attractions in Penang, Langkawi, Kuala Lumpur, Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore. So, what’s next for Josh Lee Fragrances? “I now want to focus on creating fragrances that are inspired by the flowers and gardens in Malaysia and Asia. They will be out by the end of this year. I also hope to tap into the international market, perhaps Hong Kong and China. This is also a good way to promote Malaysia’s rich diversity abroad.”
Lee says the most influential person in his life is his mother. “She is my mentor and financial consultant. I learnt a lot from her as she is very experienced in running a business. Our cake ingredients shop is still standing and baking lessons are in the pipeline,” he proudly adds.
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F i r s t D r i ve s Text Richard Augustin / Photos courtesy of Volkswagen Press UK, Volkswagen Malaysia
THE VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI HAS BEEN THE BENCHMARK FOR PERFORMANCE HATCHBACKS FOR MORE THAN 40 YEARS, AND IT’S A POSITION IT WON’T RELINQUISH ANY TIME SOON
he Volkswagen Golf GTI clearly needs no introduction. For the last 40 years it’s already carved itself a reputation for being a pure driver’s car, one that delivers on fun and exhilaration. First introduced in the mid-1970s, the Golf GTI singlehandedly created the hot hatch segment in that era.
The GTI badge (the acronym stands for Gran Turismo Iniezion – a direct fuel-injection system which was a rarity for cars then) has since been copied by many manufacturers as a differentiator for a higher level of performance for its models. Despite many challengers over the years, few have managed to usurp the Golf GTI from its throne.
It’s a feat that it has kept on for seven generations, and the latest iteration continues to deliver its renowned performance, sheer driveability and versatility. The car also remains the standard bearer for the compact class and a pioneer for the advancement of leading vehicle technologies. But most of all, the Golf GTI continues to be one of the most fun cars to be in, behind the wheel.
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Hot Hatch Styling
The new Golf GTI retains the charisma of past models with its unmistakeable design, which has been updated with details such as redesigned bumpers, new conceptualised headlights and tail lights. The car boasts new LED headlights with Dynamic Cornering Lights and LED taillights with Dynamic Indicators as standard features and sits on sleek 18-inch Milton Keynes alloy wheels, enhancing its sporty appeal.
Driver Focused Interior
Inside, the refreshed model exudes both charm and sophistication, with a cockpit thatâ€™s both well-equipped and up-to-date. In the direct line of sight of the driver sits a 12.3-inch Active Info Display, which relays information in a variety of customisable information themes. An 8-inch Discover Media, with AppConnect infotainment system affording full smartphone connectivity via MirrorLink, Android Auto and Apple Carplay, ensures constant connection even when on the move. The interior
The Golf GTI is an impressive hot hatch regardless of the driverâ€™s driving inclination
April 2019 April 2019
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F i r s t D r i ve s
also puts all occupants in sheer comfort with GTI ‘Vienna’ perforated leather seats and two-zone climate control.
Thrills On Wheels
The ultimate hot hatch, the Golf GTI features a new 2.0TSI turbocharged engine paired with a 6-speed wet clutch direct shift gearbox (DSG). Output is an impressive 230PS with torque of 350Nm between 1,500rpm to 4,600rpm, ample enough to test and satisfy even the most experienced drivers. The inclusion of a Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), with driving mode selection further expands the handling range of the vehicle, providing drivers with options to match their driving style as well as road and traffic conditions. The driver also benefits from Progressive Steering, which adapts the steering for a more engaging drive – a hallmark of the GTI badge.
The new Golf lives up to its billing as a driver’s car not only in drivability and performance but also safety features. The model arrives with a new Driver Alert System that alerts the driver to take breaks. The car is also equipped with Park Assist, making parking a breeze. Active safety features include Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which applies the brakes to prevent a subsequent impact when the vehicle is involved in a collision; and an Electronic Stability Control that takes corrective measures to bring the car back under control when it detects a critical situation is at hand.
The infotainment system on the instrument panel displays all the information the driver needs
GOLFING THROUGH THE AGES The iconic models that set the standard for the GTI plate:
An All-Round Driving Machine
The new Golf GTI is undoubtedly one of today’s best hot hatches that money can buy – perhaps only second to its sibling, the Golf R, which costs well over RM50,000 more. But the appeal of the Golf GTI is not just about performance. It’s more about its ability to make driving fun again. In an era where SUVs and Hybrids have come to the fore, the Golf GTI continues to stand its ground by offering a practically perfect performance vehicle for everyday drivers.
THE MK 1 (1976-1983)
The model that put the Golf GTI on the map. The original remains a true icon with a compact and lightweight body paired with a 112bhp engine. It was both fast and nippy around corners, making it one of the vehicles of that era that shouldn’t be trifled with.
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THE MK II (1983-1992) The second-generation model continued the success of its predecessor despite being slightly larger and heavier. However it still delivered the performance characteristics that fans have come to love and were familiar with.
THE MK V (2004-2008)
The Golf GTI made a return to form with the fifth-generation model, boasting sleeker styling cues compared to the two previous generation models. It also arrived with a turbocharger, which solidified its credentials as a April 2019 performance machine.
The Golf GTI 2.0TSI is priced at RM247,662, on-the-road, excluding insurance.
Disclaimer: Vehicle images shown here are stock photos and may not reflect the exact choice of colour, trim and specifications available in the Malaysian market.
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New In Showrooms
The unveiling of the Honda HR-V Sport Hybrid i-DCD in Malaysia was a pleasant surprise as it is the first time the model is being introduced to a market outside of Japan. The latest addition to Honda Malaysia’s hybrid line-up, and the newest member of the HR-V family, is powered by a 1.5L DOHC i-VTEC engine with Direct Injection and paired with a 7-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission and Integrated High Power Motor. The combined output of the engine and motor, assisted by the High-Power Lithium-Ion Battery, not only provides a quick response on the throttle but also excellent fuel efficiency. The new HR-V Sport Hybrid features an Electric Servo Brake System for improved energy regeneration and a fully electric driven compressor air-conditioning system. Other Hybrid exclusive features include a 3D Illuminated Meter Cluster Multi Information Display, Shift by Wire and Sport Mode. The Honda HR-V Sport Hybrid i-DCD is priced at RM120,800.
The Power Of M
BMW Malaysia has unleashed the BMW 330e M Performance Edition and BMW X5 xDrive40e M Performance Edition to the Malaysian market. Boasting unparalleled driving dynamics and performance, both will undoubtedly be highly sought-after models, even more so as only 300 units each will be made available locally. The models feature eDrive Technology, providing enthusiasts with the best combination of BMW driving dynamics with benchmark performance and efficiency. In terms of design, both vehicles feature M Performance side skirts, side sill foils and front grilles in high-gloss black, along with M Performance Carbon mirror caps for the side mirrors. Both ends of the BMW X5 xDrive40e M Performance Edition are also framed with a Carbon front attachment and a rear spoiler in high-gloss black.
The Perodua Aruz is priced from RM72,900 to RM77,900.
The BMW 330e M Performance Edition is priced at RM258,800, while the BMW X5 xDrive40e M Performance Edition is priced at RM390,800.
Malaysian automaker Perodua has just lifted the covers off its latest Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), the Aruz. The seven seater SUV arrives with a 1.5-litre, Dual VVT-I petrol engine, which is paired with a four-speed torque converter automatic transmission for exceptional fuel efficiency. The SUV reportedly delivers a class-leading fuel economy of 15.6 km/l, making it the national carmaker’s fourth Energy-Efficient Vehicle (EEV). The Aruz is offered in two variants – the 1.5 X and 1.5 Advance – with standard features that include VSC, ISOFIX and six airbags. The topof-the-range variant gets an upgraded Advanced Safety Assist (ASA) 2.0 suite with pedestrian detection.
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Poomyâ€™s Kitchen founder K.R. Poomy at his stall in Lucky Garden, Bangsar
FROM HOTEL KITCHENS TO A FOOD TRUCK, CHEF FAUZEY SERVES NASI LEMAK WITH A TWIST.
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Street Chef Text David Ong-Yeoh / Photos Raymond Ooi
ny nasi lemak discussion will set off lengthy debates on how itâ€™s best prepared and served. From the taste, texture and fragrance of the coconut rice to the spiciness and sweetness of the sambal and the crunch of the fried ikan bilis (dried anchovies), every Malaysian will have his or her preference in which to partake of this local dish.
Plated on a banana leaf and served either in a restaurant, or at a stall by a tree or under a bridge, the best nasi lemak is the one that ticks all the personal requirements of spiciness, sweetness, aroma, condiments and accompaniments such as the option of an added omelette or hard-boiled egg. Likewise, depending on whether it is eaten as a quick breakfast, brunch, a decadent lunch (after which no work can be accomplished), dinner or latenight post-party snack, itâ€™s always a treat.
The garnish of leftover fried chicken floss (on the top of a large prawn) is often considered the crispy cherry on the top of Fauzeyâ€™s nasi lemak goreng
The most crucial of all is the sambal, which brings every element together, like the matriarch whose influence brings together individual family members to form a dynasty. Simply, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
two variants are ever alike and the best version is probably the one most had as a child and never forgot. This is because the foundation of any nasi lemak is the rice cooked in coconut milk, which brings a richness
Each nasi lemak bears the lingering traits of its sambal which can be sweet or spicy (or both sweet and spicy), with hints of the essential shrimp paste or a strong onion taste. No
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Fauzey wields his wok and ladle over a blazing fire with the skill and ease of a sifu (master). He does this by controling the wok hei (literally, the breath of the hot wok) to impart a smokiness during the cooking process.
and fragrance to the dish that often leads to late-night excursions to satisfy insatible cravings. So where does one go from here for the next level of indulgence? You fry it! And in the experienced hands of Chef Mohammad Fauzey Hassan of Nasi Lemak Goreng Chef Fauzey, the result is a sinfully delicious encounter. Up until a few years ago, the chef had never heard of nasi lemak goreng until the fateful night when a customer requested he fry his order of nasi lemak. He admits that the first attempt did not turn out well. Nevertheless, he persisted over the next few years, tweaking the recipe until he found the perfect balance between all the ingredients.
The rice is fried in small batches with oil that was previously used to fry pieces of chicken
These days, Fauzey wields his wok and ladle over a blazing fire with the skill and ease of a sifu (master). He does this by controlling the wok hei (literally, the breath of a hot wok) to impart a smokiness during the cooking process. The rice is fried in small batches quickly to ensure freshness and served at the correct temperature so that steam does not affect its texture.
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Formerly a chef dishing out western fare in five-star hotels, it’s hard to imagine that Fauzey was not trained in Asian cuisine after watching his deft handling of the wok. He says he got bored working in hotels and prefers his current life where he cooks his nasi lemak goreng from a food truck. Often, he gets tremendous satisfaction from seeing customers enjoying his food. Fauzey begins with cooking the rice, adding his own secret ingredients before steaming it for an hour. When the wok is hot enough, he turns down the flame and puts in the rice together with oil that was just used to fry chicken pieces that were marinated for hours using his own blend of 13 spices. He then adds his homemade belacan paste and begins frying and tossing the rice so that it is evenly coated and does not stick together while being infused with the right amount of flavours.
Some may prefer Fauzey’s more conventional nasi lemak served with his signature fried chicken, thick strips of cucumber and sambal sauce
It is then plated and served with a piquant, sweetish sambal along with fried chicken, a large prawn and thick strips of cucumber. The cherry on top is the garnish of crispy bits of floss left over from the frying of the chicken (some consider this to be the best part of the dish!). At just RM8, it is a deliciously satisfying meal that utterly negates any diet plans that one might have. “I want to make sure that my customers get a satisfying meal that is value for their money,” says Fauzey. “Anyone can cook the rice. It is the sambal that makes the dish special.” Whether it is the regular nasi lemak or his fried take on the dish that is far more gastronomically sinful, Fauzey is very particular about the sambal used, which he says contains ikan bilis. He understandably declines to reveal the entire recipe, but says it is prepared fresh daily in the morning to give the ingredients time to set. His unassuming food truck can be located easily using mobile navigation apps, and is open Mondays to Saturdays from 6 pm to 11 pm. Or until he runs out of rice.
NASI LEMAK GORENG CHEF FAUZEY Jalan Sentosa 3/57, PJ Old Town, 47000 Selangor, Malaysia (Located behind the bus station)
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Open Journal Text Karin Chan
FROM WATER FIGHTS TO FLOWER FESTIVALS, SPRING USHERS IN A SEASON OF BIRTH AND GROWTH OF NEW BEGINNINGS.
f a harsh winter symbolises death, reflection and endings, then spring is the exact opposite. It is an exuberant season of renewal, fresh starts, love, youth, growth and the birth of new possibilities. Numerous cultures and traditions observe festivals that celebrate the arrival of spring. While they may differ from culture to culture, all are joyous and breath-taking spectacles worth experiencing in their own right.
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Japan’s cherry blossom season is world famous – not just because of the beauty of the blossom-laden trees, but also for the transience of the phenomenon. While cherry trees will bloom through the country from end March to early May, each flowering duration only lasts a week. The ‘cherry blossom front’ is faithfully reported in the Japanese news to help people plan their hanami (flower viewing) outings.
PHOTOS: PXHERE, PEXEL
Hanami is said to have originated from people making offerings to spirits – known as kami – dwelling within the cherry trees to ask for a good harvest. During the Heian period, Emperor Saga popularised hanami when he began to hold flower viewings in Kyoto’s Imperial Court with sake-drinking, feasting and poem-writing. It soon trickled down to the commoners and became a widespread practice.
The cherry blossom season is truly a sight to behold in Japan
These days, hanami is synonymous with a picnic full of good food and good company amid the pink-and-white backdrop of blooms. Any park in Japan is likely to feature a stunning array of sakura, but Himeji Castle is a hanami hotspot with 1,000 Yoshino cherry trees framing the pristine castle. Another favourite is Mount Yoshino in Nara Prefecture, its slopes has nearly 30,000 cherry trees.
Hanami can be done in the day or at night, when the blossoms are lit up by tiny lights – this is when it is called yozakura. It can be competitive to get the best hanami spots, so going early is advised. Bring a picnic blanket, food, sake and rubbish bags, and treat your surroundings with respect. One variation of hanami is rowing around in a boat on lakes surrounded by beautiful cherry blossoms.
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Easter involves religious observances such as the Saturday night Easter vigil. On Easter Sunday itself, worshippers attend church services with prayer and music, while some churches also observe dawn service. While it is primarily a celebration of faith, many non-observers do participate in some Easter-related activities such as egg painting or egg hunts. Eggs are an Easter icon and symbolises rebirth and also Jesusâ€™ empty tomb. They are usually colourfully decorated for the occasion, with the tradition said to originate from when they were painted red in honour of the sacrificial blood Jesus shed. In some places, they are cracked on Easter to represent the opening of Jesusâ€™s tomb.
PHOTOS: PXHERE, PEXEL, 123RF
In the Christian faith, it is believed that Jesus Christ, widely seen as the Messiah, was resurrected on Easter Sunday after suffering death by crucifixion on Good Friday. It is always celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox, which means dates can vary from late March to mid-April. Easterâ€™s themes of renewal and life over death are also commonly associated with spring, making the season synonymous with a new beginning.
Easter eggs these days are often colourful. They were originally painted red in honour of the sacrificial blood Jesus shed on the Cross.
Easter celebrations all over the world feature many eggrelated games, with the most popular being Easter egg hunts. Eggs, often of the chocolate variety instead of chicken, are decorated and hidden for children to find. And prizes are given out for finding the most or the largest. Another Easter mainstay is the Easter Bunny, who distributes eggs to children who have been well behaved and is meant to be an Easter version of Santa Claus. Chocolate bunnies are also staples at Easter parties and in candy baskets.
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PHOTOS: PXHERE, PEXEL
Tulip season in The Netherlands starts late-March and ends mid-May, but the best time to see the flowers in full bloom is in April
Spring in the Netherlands sees millions of tulips transform fields into vast swathes of bright colour that are visible even from space. The legendary Dutch tulpenmanie, or tulip mania, can be traced all the way back to the 17th century, during which prized varieties of tulip bulbs were fetching astronomical prices before a dramatic price collapse. Tulip season begins from the end of March until mid-May, but the best time to see the flowers is said to be in April. Amsterdam’s Tulip Festival features flower markets and parades, along with tulip displays at 85 locations around the city that can be admired for free or with a token charge. True tulip enthusiasts can drive the 100-kilometre tulip route through the Noordoostpolder area, which features the largest tulip fields. This route changes every year and is an excellent way to see the flowers. There are shorter trails that you can walk or bike as well. Otherwise, splurge for the Saturday helicopter rides – available only in April – to get a bird’s eye view of the fields in full bloom. Within that area, the Keukenhof in Lisse is a worldrenowned tulip-viewing destination and is only open during this period. Every year, this enormous garden features seven million bulbs from over 800 varieties planted in breath-taking arrangements. There is also a tulip mania exhibition within the Juliana Pavilion. Don’t miss the Keukenhof flower parade in mid-April, which is the country’s most famous procession and features stunning floats bedecked in vibrant spring flowers.
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The word songkran originated from Sanskrit and is said to mean ‘change’ or ‘pass through’. Thailand once followed the solar calendar, where a new year began when the sun moved into the Aries zodiac position. This three-day period is called Maha Songkran and occurs around 13-14 April, covering the last day of the old year, the day in between the old and the new year, and the first day of the new year.
Revelers participate in water fights, while devotees sprinkle perfumed water on Buddha statues; elaborately decorated sand pagodas
During wan nao, the second day, people build and decorate sand pagodas with flowers to ‘make merit’.
PHOTOS: JOHN SHEDRICK, 123RF
Water is the main highlight of Songkran. People sprinkle perfumed water on images and statues of Buddha in a ritual cleansing to wash away the bad and bestow blessings for a new year. It is poured over the hands or feet of monks at temples, and the same is done for elderly family members at home.
People usually travel home to reunite with their families and spring clean their homes. When Songkran arrives, Buddhist-majority Thailand converges upon temples and monasteries to offer prayers, donate food, release birds and fish, and bring bags of sand to replace the earth tracked out by worshippers.
Because Songkran arrives in scorching April, this practice has evolved into a nationwide water fight. Revellers walk around cordoned off streets with water guns and more to drench everyone in sight. They also daub unsuspecting people on the face with white paste made from limestone, meant to ward against evil. Chiang Mai hosts the most exuberant of these festivities, even extending Songkran by a full day for it.
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of Krishna and Radha. In one version, dark-skinned Krishna despaired that fair Radha would never favour him, until his mother suggested that he ask her to colour his face in whatever shade pleased her. Since then, Holi has also been known as a festival of love and lovers will colour their faces in the same shade.
What better way to chase the gloom of winter away than with a raucous colour fight? That’s exactly what you do during Holi, a Hindu spring festival celebrated primarily in India. Depending on the Vikram Samvat Hindu Calendar, this festival of colours happens sometime between March and April. It is a time to pay off old debts, settle differences and come together in harmony.
Coloured powder called gulal is the ammunition of choice during Holi celebrations in the streets of India
Holi is divided into two parts: Holika Dahan and Rangwali Holi. The former is celebrated the night before Holi, during which people will light bonfires to burn effigies of the evil being Holika. They will also sing and dance around the pyre as they rejoice in the symbolic representation of good’s triumph over evil. Rangwali Holi, the next day, is the more famous occasion and commemorates the divine love story
In open areas, Holi is nothing short of a wild free-for-all. People throw vibrantly hued powders known as gulal at each other and spray everyone and everything with water. Singing and dancing happens all over town and traditional sweets like gujiya are consumed. Once the day grows late and people calm down, they wash up and go visiting with offerings of sweets.
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YOU CAN STICK TO IT.
Health & Fitness Illustration Nurfarahin Kamarudin
WE’VE ALL HEARD OF THEM AT ONE POINT OR OTHER: ALL FAT IS BAD, SKIP MEALS TO LOSE WEIGHT AND SO ON. BUT HOW TRUE ARE THESE CLAIMS? FITNESS GURU KEVIN ZAHRI DEBUNKS SOME COMMON WEIGHT LOSS MYTHS.
t may be April Fool’s Day this month, but don’t let these myths fool you. While tips and tricks on losing weight are aplenty, especially on the Internet, you shouldn’t believe everything you read or hear. Let’s bust some of the myths to get you moving forward with your weight loss journey.
STARVING YOURSELF IS THE BEST WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT Reality: You will lose weight by reducing calories, but starving yourself is the quickest way to get your body to lower its metabolism and energy levels. Such a drastic reduction of calories can result in muscle loss and overall health problems. It’s better to manage and balance your calories throughout the day and ‘budget’ accordingly. For most adults, at no point should you be consuming less than 1,000 calories per day.
AS YOU GET OLDER, YOUR MUSCLES TURN INTO FAT Reality: Muscle and fat are two different types of body tissue. Muscle cannot be converted into fat, or vice versa. People tend to associate this myth based on athletes who ‘suddenly’ become ‘fat’ after retirement, although this is usually because they no longer train or diet the way they used to when they were active. A lack of exercise does make the muscles shrink, reducing the body’s calorie-burning rate. The lack of activity further reduces the number of calories you burn, so people who stop working out are indeed in danger of getting flabby. However, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to gain fat after you stop exercising – you just need to cut back on the calories you consume. Of course, the best way to stay slim is to eat a lean diet and continue to exercise regularly.
ALL FAT IS BAD Reality: Obviously, eating more than you should is bad as it can lead to obesity and other health problems – but our bodies need fat to function. It helps to slow the ageing process and keeps hunger at bay for longer periods, compared to carbohydrates. However, you need to identify good fats (like olive oil) from the bad ones (saturated animal fats, for example). The key is understanding that fat is an important macronutrient, but you have to keep it under control – to about 15 percent of your daily caloric intake.
ALL I NEED IS AEROBICS Reality: If you combine weight training with aerobics or cardio, you can achieve up to three times the fat loss. Aerobics is great for cardiovascular endurance but as your only form of exercise, it will lead to muscle loss with no increase in upper body bone density. For example, four pounds of muscle will burn as many calories at rest as running one mile a day. Meanwhile, four pounds of muscle consume as many calories as running one mile every day. After age 35, inactive people lose half a pound of muscle each year and gain 1.5 pounds of fat. Weight training reverses this ageing process.
TO BUILD A LEAN BODY YOU NEED TO TRAIN FOR SEVERAL HOURS EACH DAY Reality: The actual workout or training session should last one hour maximum. Most people spend hours at the gym, and while it’s great to socialise and rest between sets and exercises, there are also many who waste their workout time chatting away or resting near the juice bar!
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IF A WOMAN LIFTS WEIGHTS, SHE WILL GET ‘BULKY’ Reality: Very few women have the testosterone-toestrogen ratio that lends itself to big increases in muscle size. Women who seem ‘bulky’ are simply carrying around too much body fat. It's very difficult for most women, especially those of Asian descent, to build large muscles. Both men and women can build firmer rather than bulkier muscles by working against lighter resistance with more repetitions, rather than heavier resistance with fewer repetitions.
NOW THAT I'M EXERCISING, I CAN EAT WHATEVER I WANT Reality: Once you are exercising, what you eat is even more important! You need nutrients - not empty calories from fat and sugar – to fuel your body during exercise. By giving your body what it needs, you will feel more energised throughout the day, sleep better at night and be able to fight off colds and infections more effectively.
EATING MORE PROTEIN WILL CAUSE NEW MUSCLE GROWTH Reality: Many people assume that protein supplements will work magic and build muscles on its own. The truth is, protein provides ‘fuel’ to the body (muscles). Think of it this way: Does putting more fuel in your gas tank cause your car to move faster? No. The added fuel is there when the car engine needs it. The same applies to the human body. More protein does not cause muscle growth, but provides it with the ‘fuel’ when needed. Don’t confuse this with the ‘fuel’ needed during exercise, which comes mainly from fat and carbohydrates (depending on the intensity and duration). Protein is used for rebuilding the muscles after weight training.
ALL CALORIES ARE THE SAME Reality: If you’re counting calories and wondering why you’re still not losing weight, it might be because you’re not eating the right type of calories. Fat that you eat converts to body fat three times faster than carbohydrates, and five times quicker than protein. Meanwhile, carbohydrates are 1.67 times more easily converted into body fat compared to protein.
I CAN EAT AS MUCH FATFREE FOOD AS I WANT Reality: This is a clever trick used by many companies to make you believe that their products won’t make you fat! What makes you lose or gain weight isn’t fat but the calories consumed. It’s even possible for a fat free drink to contain more calories than a regular drink because they load it with sugar (carbohydrates). It is also easy to overeat on fat-free foods because it is primarily fat that satisfies our appetite.
About Cikgu Fitness Malaysia
Kevin Zahri is an award-winning UScertified personal trainer and nutritionist with over 15 years of experience. He is also the founder of Malaysia’s largest weight loss movement called Jom Kurus. Over the years, he has published several books and e-books, written for fitness and lifestyle magazines, and hosted and appeared on TV shows as well as magazines. Kevin is an avid corporate wellness speaker, web entrepreneur and a member of MENSA, the high IQ society. kevinzahri.com
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Pack Up : For Him
If you want to look fashion-forward during your travels, opt for a leather luggage. Zegna’s cabin-sized design comes in dark blue, grained calfskin, with an ergonomic telescopic handle and four multi-directional wheels. RRP: RM12,330 zegna.us
Luxury On The Go
Combining an EVA midsole with a leather welt, this modern pair of suede boots carries the distinctive Hugo Boss monogram on its sole. A cognac-leather lining further provides luxurious comfort on busy days. RRP: RM1,165 hugoboss.com
FASHION ACCESSORIES ARE AN INSEPARABLE PART OF ANY OUTFIT. FROM BAGS TO SHOES, JEWELLERY AND MUCH MORE, THEY ENHANCE A CHOSEN LOOK – HELPING YOU STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD.
A Pop Of Fun
Cut to resemble miniature cars, these Paul Smith cufflinks speak of British quirkiness. They exhibit the archetypal stripe design with whimsical subtlety, lending the designer’s freespirited nature to sartorial silhouettes. RRP: RM377 paulsmith.com
Sound Of Style
Louis Vuitton has partnered New-York-based audio company Master & Dynamic to release a range of wireless earbuds. It includes a variety of colour options, all of which feature the classic LV logo and monogram. RRP: RM1,232 louisvuitton.com
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Pack Up : For Her *Some RRPs have been converted into Malaysian Ringgit, and are correct at the time of conversion
Time To Accessorise
Omega celebrates its heritage with the De Ville Trésor 125th Anniversary Edition watch. It sports a red enamel dial and matching burgundy leather strap, as well as an 18K yellow gold anniversary medallion on the caseback. RRP: RM70,950 omegawatches.com
Crafted in smooth leather, the Odetta wedge sandal by Coach adds lift to your look. It is finished with a slender ankle strap and the fashion house’s signature buckle for an iconic touch. RRP: RM890 malaysia.coach.com
Classic But Versatile
The Burberry TB Bag, referencing the initials of founder Thomas Burberry, comes with a detachable chain or leather strap for versatility. The leather is chrome-tanned for a longlasting colour and the edges are hand-painted. RRP: RM10,900 burberry.com
Swarovski’s Iconic Swan jewellery collection reflects beauty, purity, strength and elegance. Each design has now been updated with millennial pink hues and a glittering crystal pave finish, adding a touch of shine to all styles. RRP: RM404 swarovski.com
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10 things & facts about amazing Malaysia
PHOTOS: TOURISM MALAYSIA / 123RF
10 Things Malaysian
Text Tuvwxyz1234 / Images 1234567890
University of Malaya (UM) is the oldest and most prestigious university in the country. It was established in 1905 and ranked third in Southeast Asia in 2018.
LPSOLDIER007 WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
*Source: QS World University Rankings
Istana Negara (the National Palace) is in Segambut, Kuala Lumpur. It is the official residence of the Yang Dipertuan Agong or the King of Malaysia.
History Through Textiles
The National Textiles Museum in Kuala Lumpur is dedicated to showcasing Malaysian culture and art through an extensive collection of textiles, accessories and clothing.
Sikh New Year 3
Vaisakhi, which falls on either 13 or 14 April, marks the Sikh new year. The Sikh community in Malaysia celebrate with prayers at the gurdwara. They also wear new clothes, visit family and friends; and enjoy festive foods as well as music, dance and performances.
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Although Melaka was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 7 July 2008, the state celebrates the Declaration of Melaka as a Historical City on 15 April, which is a state public holiday.
Game of Stones
Congkak is a traditional game with Malay origins. It is widely played in Malaysia and involves a wooden board with multiple holes. Quite simply, the objective of the game is to capture the most number of seeds, stones or marbles in one’s ‘house’ at each end of the board.
Endangered Species 7
The Malayan tiger is found only in the Malay Peninsula and southern Thailand. It is critically endangered due to poaching and encroachment of its habitat, with less than 350 left in the wild. *Source: World Wildlife Fund & The IUCN Red List of Endangered Species
Favourite Noodles 9
In Sabah, a tamu refers to an open air market where traders gather. Here, people from all walks of life come to buy and sell local products, fresh produce and exotic ingredients.
Char kuey teow is a well-loved national dish, made by stir-frying flat rice noodles with various ingredients such as cockles, beansprouts, egg, prawns and chives. The Penang version is particularly popular.
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is not actually in Kuala Lumpur. It is located in Sepang within the state of Selangor, some 60 kilometres from the capital. As such, the fastest way to reach KLIA is by taking the airport rail link service KLIA Ekspres from KL Sentral station.
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Reads : Middle Eastern Authors
Three Daughters of Eve
by Elif Shafak This is Turkish author Elif Shafak’s tenth novel, and it wrestles with questions of identity, faith and feminism through the story of Peri, a Turkish housewife and mother. A violent encounter with a vagrant while Peri is on her way to a dinner party in Istanbul one evening causes an old Polaroid picture to fall out of her purse, triggering unpleasant memories of the past that she would much rather forget. The memories are of her time at Oxford University. She and her two best friends, the worldly Shirin and the devout Mona, engaged in lively discourses on Islam and feminism. Peri also took a life-changing course on God with Shirin’s mentor, the charismatic but controversial divinity professor, Azur. Their group is torn apart by a scandal, and its effects are still felt in present day. Elif deftly weaves a tale with philosophical overtones to give the reader much to mull over long after the novel ends. RRP: RM43.90
The Red-Haired Woman
by Orhan Pamuk Turkish novelist, academic and Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk has written a beguiling mystery that explores father-son relationships and questions of patricide in a nod to Oedipus Rex. After Cem’s father abandons the family, the 16-year-old apprentices himself to a master well digger, Mahmut. Cem becomes attached to the elderly man and comes to regard him as a surrogate father. Then one day he meets a stunning red-haired woman, Gülcihan, who is as taken with him as he is by her. A subsequent act by the well puts an end to things. Cem’s relationship with Mahmut also comes to a tragic end. These events change Cem’s life forever and haunt him for the next 30 years. This is an extraordinary novel from one of the great storytellers of our time. RRP: RM75.50
Reading Lolita In Tehran
by Azar Nafisi In this intimate memoir, Iranian author and English professor Azar Nafisi recounts the two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran when she met with seven of her most dedicated female students to read and discuss forbidden Western classics by authors including Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James and, of course, Vladimir Nabokov. This took place from 1995 to 1997 at a time of increased radicalism; when Islamic morality squads would stage arbitrary raids in Tehran, artistic expression was stifled with censorship, and fundamentalists were taking hold of universities. The women, who gathered every Thursday morning, came from diverse backgrounds — some conservative, others secular — but bonded over their shared love for literature. Literary criticism is intertwined with personal stories of resilience in the face of tyranny, and the result is a book that is illuminating in more ways than one. RRP: RM79.90
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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERS Hardcover Fiction & Non-fiction *based on the week of 10 March 2019
The President’s Gardens
by Muhsin Al-Ramli Seeing first-hand the terrible suffering endured by ordinary people in Iraq during the violent and tragic episodes in its modern history was the catalyst for Iraqi writer, poet, academic and translator Muhsin Al-Ramli to write this profound novel. The story begins with Ibrahim, nicknamed ‘the Fated’, whose story is set against the last 50 years of the country’s history, a period dominated by dictatorship, invasion and occupation. Essential to understanding Ibrahim’s story are those of his two best buddies - Tariq ‘the Befuddled’, a schoolteacher; and Abdullah, known as ‘Kafka’, who becomes a soldier and ends up a prisoner of war. Ibrahim, after he was made lame during the invasion of Kuwait, finds a job in the titular garden, an idyllic location by all appearances but which belies the horrors lurking within. This gripping story of life in a war zone is a vivid investigation of love, death, injustice and the importance of friendship. RRP: RM49.90
WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens
by Lisa Gardner
by James Patterson and Max DiLallo
THE SILENT PATIENT
by Alex Michaelides
BLACK LEOPARD, THE THREAT RED WOLF by Andrew G. McCabe by Marlon James
The Map Of Love
by Ahdaf Soueif Egyptian writer and translator Ahdaf Soueif examines the repercussions of the British occupation of Egypt and the fierce political battles of Egyptian Nationalists in an evocative, epic romantic tale between an English aristocrat, Lady Anna Winterbourne, and Sharif al-Baroudi, an Egyptian nationalist, in 1900. A century later, Anna’s greatgranddaughter Isabel Packman finds her notebooks, journals and letters in a trunk and travels to Egypt to piece together Anna’s life. Accompanying her on this journey is Omar Ghamrawi, the man she loves and who happens to be Sharif’s grandnephew. There she meets Omar’s sister Amal, and they become fast friends. Told through Amal’s voice, Anna and Sharif’s story is echoed by the love affair between Isabel and Omar, set against the continuing political turmoil of the Middle East. This absorbing, eloquent novel not only provides a lesson in cultural and political history, but also the intricacies of love. RRP: RM75.50
by Michelle Obama
by Tara Westover
by Adam Makos
by Gary Sinise with Marcus Brotherton
Snap a photo of the front cover of this month’s Fireflyz and get a 5% discount at Lit Books store. Address: P-01-11 Tropicana Avenue, 12, Persiaran Tropicana, Tropicana Golf & Country Resort, 47410 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia TEL: 03-7886 6988
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PHOTO: MARK ROGERS
A t T h e M ov i e s
Based on the Dark Horse graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy (Harbour) is demon Anung Un-Rama, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human. Summoned by members of an occult to do their bidding but rescued by Professor Trevor Bruttenholm (McShane), an adult Hellboy now works for the United States Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD), which deals with supernatural threats. A reboot of the Hellboy series of the 2000s, the new film sees Hellboy battling the ancient sorceress Nimue, the Queen of Blood (Jovovich), who is bent on destroying mankind. He is joined by characters such as Alice Monaghan (Lane), who has magical abilities after she was kidnapped by fairies as a baby and Ben Daimio (Kim), a JapaneseAmerican military member of the BPRD, who can turn into a jaguar when enraged or in pain. The film draws inspiration from Hellboy titles Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt and The Storm and The Fury.
Starring: Ian McShane, David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim, Penelope Mitchell Director: Neil Marshall Release date: 12 April 2019
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Playing at the cinemas Pet Sematary
*Information is correct at the time of printing
Starring: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow Directors: Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer Release date: 5 April 2019
Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary follows Dr Louis Creed (Clarke) who, after relocating with his wife Rachel (Seimetz) and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his unusual neighbour, Jud Crandall (Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences.
Starring: Regina Hall, Issa Rae, Marsai Martin Director: Tina Gordon Chism Release date: 12 April 2019
Little brings an all-new perspective to the body-swap comedy, with Girls Trip’s Regina Hall and Black-ish’s Marsai Martin both starring as Jordan Sanders. Hall is the take-no-prisoners tech mogul adult version of Jordan, while Martin is her 13-year-old version, who wakes up in her adult self’s penthouse just before a door-die presentation. Jordan’s long-suffering assistant April (Rae) is the only one in on the secret that her daily tormentor is now trapped in an awkward tween body, just as everything is on the line. Little is an irreverent new comedy about the price of success, the power of sisterhood and having a second chance to grow up – and glow up – right.
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Josh Brolin, Gwyneth Paltrow Directors: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo Release date: 26 April 2019
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After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, the universe is in ruins due to the efforts of evil demigod and Mad Titan, Thanos (Brolin), who has effectively wiped out half of all living things using the Infinity Gauntlet. Adrift in space with no food or water, Ironman a.k.a. Tony Stark (Downey Jr) sends a message to Pepper Potts (Paltrow) as his oxygen supply starts to deplete. Meanwhile, the remaining Avengers – Thor (Hemsworth), Black Widow (Johansson), Captain America (Evans) and Bruce Banner (Ruffalo) – must figure out a way to bring back their vanquished allies for an epic showdown with Thanos, and restore order to the universe.
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Firef ly News 65
News & Happenings
Firefly Fleet & Service Info
Unearth Malaysia’s Hidden Gems With Firefly Airlines
Firefly Airlines is inviting locals and tourists to discover the unknown treasures of Malaysia through its Discovery – See It, Hear It, Sense It, Feel It, Touch It, Taste It campaign. Running throughout 2019, the Discovery series will complement the airline’s Jom Jalan campaign to further attract business and leisure travellers with creative and interesting activations and holiday packages.
highlights the arts such as batik, shopping and museums, and finally, ‘Taste It’, which shines the spotlight on local cuisine.
“Malaysia is blessed with many hidden places and attractions that are worth discovering, some of which are very close to the city. Even locals might be surprised,” says Izra Izzuddin, the airline’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications.
The Discovery campaign kicked off with a media familiarisation trip, organised by the airline in collaboration with Tourism Selangor and The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The two-day tour saw members of the press visiting various places around Selangor, such as the Mah Meri Cultural Village in Carey Island, Sky Mirror beach in Kuala Selangor and the Blue Mosque in Shah Alam. The trip culminated in the Media Mingle 2019 event at The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur, where there was a brief presentation by Firefly Airlines, Tourism Selangor and the hotel on their business operations and direction for the year.
Each part of the campaign has been meticulously crafted to engage the senses, with ‘See It’ connected to uncovering places, things and people; ‘Hear It’ promoting local entertainment and the latest happenings; ‘Sense It’ relating to beaches, food and nature; while ‘Feel It’ alludes to the enjoyment and satisfaction of the journey. ‘Touch It’
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Firefly was a proud supporter of Swingvy’s 21st Century Women photo exhibition, which was held at Common Ground KL33 in Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with International Women’s Day last month. The exhibition, in collaboration with Malaysian photographer Catherhea Teoh, featured portraits of 100 inspiring everyday Malaysian women, designed to provoke thought on diversity and equality through their stories. Izra Izzuddin, Firefly’s vice president of marketing and communications (extreme left), was a panellist in a discussion about women in business. FYH half page horizontal.pdf
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Net work Map
OLD WORLD CHARM Surrounded by emerald hills and beautiful limestone caves, the former mining town of Ipoh is drawing the crowds with its food, culture and natural beauty. Read our guide on pages 18-20.
Banda Banda Aceh Aceh
Firefly Sales Offices & Counters
Subang Skypark Terminal Ground Floor, Departure Hall Terminal 3 Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport 47200 Subang, Selangor TEL: +603 7846 3622 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 5 am to 10 pm
Departure Hall, Main Terminal Penang International Airport 11900 Bayan Lepas TEL: +604 630 6665 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 5:30 am to 10 pm
Ground Floor, Aero Mall Senai International Airport 81250, Johor Bahru TEL: +607 598 7488 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 6 am to 10 pm
International Departure Hall Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport Banda Aceh EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 8:30 am to 5 pm
Main Terminal, Sultan Abdul Halim Airport 06550 Alor Setar TEL: +604 714 3911 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 7 am to 8 pm
Airlines Marketing Representative
Selected Airport Ticket Offices
Sultan Mahmud Airport 21300 Kuala Terengganu TEL: +609 667 5377 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 7 am to 9 pm
Floor 3, Room 302, Phuket International Airport Maikhao, Thalang, Phuket 83110 TEL: +66 76 351 477 FAX: +66 76 327 312 EMAIL: email@example.com
Level 5, Departure Hall Main Terminal Building Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) 64000 Sepang, Selangor OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 5:30 am to 12 am
Sultan Ismail Petra Airport 16100 Kota Bharu TEL: +609 774 1377 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 5:30 am to 9:30 pm
Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Airport 25150 Kuantan TEL: +609 538 2911 OPERATING HOURS: Sat to Mon, Wed & Thur; 9 am to 6 pm
Langkawi International Airport 07100 Padang Matsirat, Kedah TEL: +604 955 9622 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 9 am to 8 pm
Sultan Azlan Shah Airport 30350 Ipoh OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 9 am to 5 pm
City Ticketing Office
Lot R-01, 3rd Floor, CITTA Mall No.1, Jalan PJU 1A/48 Ara Damansara 47301 Petaling Jaya Selangor, Malaysia OPERATING HOURS: Mon to Fri: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm; Sat, Sun & Public Holiday – Closed
Departure Hall Row Changi Airport Terminal 2 TEL: +65 3158 8279 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 7 am to 9:30 pm
Level 01, Departure Hall Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal (KLCAT) Kuala Lumpur Sentral Rail Station 50470 Kuala Lumpur OPERATING HOURS: Mon to Fri: 9 am to 8 pm; Sat, 9 am to 5:30 pm; Sun – Closed
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Ways you can check in aside from the airport : WEB CHECK IN: At www.fireflyz.com.my. Print out the boarding pass yourself. Available for Malaysia domestic and Singapore flights only. For Indonesia and Thailand inbound/outbound flights, check in is through the counter at the airport only. MOBILE APP CHECK IN: Via Firefly Mobile from your mobile phone. Download the app from Apple App Store and Google Play Store for free. KIOSK CHECK IN: Check in and print your boarding pass at these kiosks at the airport. This service is available for code share passengers as well.
Call Centre General Hotline: +603 7845 4543 / Singapore: +65 3158 8279 Operating Hours: Daily 8am â€“ 9pm
*Correct at the time of printing. Please visit www.fireflyz.com.my for more information.
ANOTHER SIDE See Kuala Lumpur through a different perspective with Unseen Tours, led by tour guides who are former street sleepers. Story on pages 22-27.
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Our Fleet & Service Information
Get acquainted with our service information for a fuss-free travel experience. On-Time Performance
Our check-in counters close 30 minutes before departure. Please allow at least 45 minutes for immigration and security clearance. Boarding gates will close 10 minutes prior to departure and late passengers will not be accepted.
Cabin Luggage Handling
Avions de transport régional (ATR) No. of aircraft
7.65 m Maximum Fuel Capacity
Maximum Cruising Speed
Maximum range with full passenger load
72 (single class) 27.17 m Wingspan
Smoking, including the use of electronic cigarettes, is prohibited on all flights.
890 nautical miles (1648.28 Km)
Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang & Penang International Airport, Penang
Passenger and crew safety onboard our flights is our highest priority. In compliance with the airline’s policy and in observing Occupational, Safety and Health Regulations, cabin crew are no longer required to stow passengers’ hand luggages into the overhead stowage compartment. This is to minimise occupational hazard and ergonomic risks faced by cabin crew
in the aircraft. Cabin crew on duty will, however, assist passengers travelling with infants, young passengers travelling alone, the elderly, and passengers with reduced mobility. Passengers who are fit and in good health must carry, stow and secure their own hand luggage on board. Hand luggage exceeding the 7kg weight limit is required to be checked in before boarding.
January April 2019 2019
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Manual self-propelled wheelchairs can be provided for a fee, subject to availability. Please enquire through our Call Centre upon booking.
Electronic cigarettes must be carried on one’s person or in carry-on baggage only. Recharging of the device in-flight is not permitted.
Refusal to Carry or Restraint of Passenger Onboard
Firefly has the right to refuse to carry passengers that they consider to be a potential risk to the safety of its other passengers and crew. We value courteousness. Any form of threat, verbal abuse or violence towards our staff will not be tolerated.
Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs)
For safety reasons and in line with the Regulatory Guidelines, mobile phones and all PEDs must be switched off once on board the aircraft. Whilst cruising, devices placed in flight mode may be used. The devices must again be switched off during the approach for landing until the aircraft is parked at the terminal building. Devices transmitting strong signals must remain switched off throughout the flight, until disembarkation. The Captain may prohibit the use of devices that can interfere with the aircraft’s system.
Lithium metal or lithium ion cells or batteries for portable electronic devices (PEDs), including medical devices must not exceed 2g for lithium metal batteries and 100Wh for lithium ion batteries. All spare batteries, including lithium metal or lithium ion cells or batteries, for PEDs must be carried in passengers’ carry-on baggage only. These batteries must be individually protected to prevent short circuits. For PEDs containing non-spillable batteries, they must be 12V or less or 100Wh or less. A maximum of two spare batteries may be carried. These batteries must be individually protected to prevent short circuits.
Fresh & Frozen Seafood
Fresh and frozen seafood are strictly not permitted in check-in baggage. They may be accepted in cabin baggage, subject to the destination’s quarantine regulations. They must be properly packed and meet the cabin baggage weight and size requirements. A maximum of 2.5 kg of dry ice per passenger is permissible if dry ice is used to carry these items. We reserve the right to refuse carriage if the items are not properly packed.
January April 2019 2019
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View finder Photo Tourism Malaysia
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xperience the wonders of nature at Lata Berkoh, a spectacular cascade in Taman Negara, Pahang that features a series of shallow rapids and deep, swirling pools. For the adventurous, the cascade is an 8.5 kilometre jungle trek from Kuala Tahan, the parkâ€™s headquarters. Along the way, lucky trekkers might spot local wildlife such as a tapir or even a mouse deer. A less difficult and more scenic route to the cascade would be via a wooden boat ride down the Sungai Tahan river, which is lined on both sides by giant trees that form a shady archway over the water. Once at Lata Berkoh, visitors can enjoy a picnic lunch by the riverside or dip their feet into the crystal clear, cold water, and take in the sights, sounds and smells of this lush 130 million year old rainforest.
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