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August 2019

Your free copy or read online at fireflyz.com.my

Eclectic Mix AN INSIDER'S GUIDE TO GEORGE TOWN, PENANG

12 HOURS IN ALOR SETAR, KEDAH / OPEN JOURNAL CONCEPT CAFES / STREET CHEF APAM BALIK / & MORE...

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Contents August 2019

4 CEO's Message 6 Editor’s Note 6 Letters

22

8 Agenda

Insider’s Guide

Calendar of Events and Happenings

Where to Stay

123RF

10 Comfort Zone

George Town, Penang

12 Bites

Where to Eat

14 Quench Where to Drink

28

Perspective

Malaysian Performer Sean Ghazi

18

12 Hours

Alor Setar, Kedah

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42

First Drives

46

Ford Ranger’s Wildtrak 4x4

Street Chef Sambad Muthu’s Apam Balik

17

Tech’ Up

Must-Have Gadgets

21 Savour

38

Nasi Lemak

32 Tracker

Humble Beginnings

Top Destinations for Foodies

Creative Robotics™ Learning Center

56 Health & Fitness

Raising Healthy and Happy Children

58 Pack Up

Travel Essentials for Him and Her

60 MY List 10 Things and Facts about Malaysia

62 Reads

Independence

64 At The Movies

What’s Showing in Theatres

66 Network Map 68 Fleet & Service Info 70 Viewfinder

Merdeka Day Parade

72 #FlyFirefly

50

Open Journal

Unique Malaysian Cafés

Our Instagram Stars!

August 2019

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CEO's Message

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: customer_care@fireflyz.com.my SPAFAX MALAYSIA Business Director Sue Loke sue.loke@spafax.com EDITORIAL Editor Julie Goh julie.goh@spafax.com

Dear Guests, Firefly wants you to go for holidays in August! As this month marks the 62nd year of independence for Malaysia, let us all take the path of ‘Discovery’ to appreciate and enjoy the beauty that the country offers. Malaysia has appeal all year round, thanks to numerous attractions. To name but a few, there is Sekinchan in Selangor, Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang, Pulau Kapas in Terengganu and Gunung Stong State Park in Kelantan, all of which are places that must be discovered, or re-discovered, for some. Plan your school holidays, Hari Raya Haji and Merdeka escapades with Firefly Holidays. It’s never too late to book with us. It could be as simple as travelling in pursuit of food, shopping or the wonders of nature. Better still, combine all of them for a holiday of a lifetime! Get your flight and hotel packages with discounts of up to 50 percent, as well as travel protection to keep you covered throughout your journey. Bringing your family and friends along with you? Take advantage of our seat selection option to make it a fun and memorable trip for everyone. Planning to explore a little further? Seletar Airport’s strategic location offers a convenient and seamless experience when travelling to Singapore. Simply turn to the infographic map on the last page in this issue, and it will show you the distance and time it will take for you to travel from the airport to Singapore’s main attractions. You can get to any of these places relatively quickly, which allows you more time to carry out your planned activities for the day. As a companion to your #Discovery journey, remember to check out fireflyz.com.my. From all of us at Firefly, Selamat Hari Raya Haji and Selamat Hari Merdeka. Enjoy the holidays!

Philip See Chief Executive Officer Firefly Airlines

August 2019

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Senior Writer Eris Choo eris.choo@spafax.com

Art Director Euric Liew euric.liew@spafax.com

Writer Noel Foo noel.foo@spafax.com

Graphic Designer Nurfarahin Kamarudin nurfarahin.kamarudin @spafax.com

Contributors PY Cheong, Caramella Scarpa, Fong Min Hun, Elaine Lau, Rubini Kamal 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 Middle East Jelle De Mey Jelle.DeMey @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 Tracy Miller tracy.miller @bookmarkcontent.com Spafax South America Francisco Azocar francisco.azocar @bookmarkcontent.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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Editor's Note

Letters

P

WINNING LETTER

enang is arguably the most loved state in Malaysia. The island is blessed with food so good, specifically street food, that people from other states travel there just to have their fix. Then there is its famous stretch of beach called Batu Feringghi that has hosted countless numbers of locals and tourists, together with their families, and provided hours of fun. It has cultural attractions, with its many temples and mosques; shopping; and, for years now, no other Malaysian state has come close to what it has done with its creative arts scene. Penang is just a melting pot of activities for visitors.

Firefly was an important part of my commuting life for four years when I was based in Kuala Lumpur and I had to make several weekly trips back to Penang and Johor. After my project ended, I was still eager to fly with Firefly. Besides good leg room, friendly cabin crew and delicious food, Firefly flew out from Subang, cutting my travelling time to the airport by half. So convenient! What inspired me to write this was my recent trip to Penang, whereby the cabin crew thanked me by name, which was awesome. It was a simple yet memorable gesture. No other airline’s cabin crew has thanked me by name, even when I have flown in Business Class. Thank you, Firefly! Keep up the excellent service.

Abd Rahman Hizzatt SHAH ALAM, SELANGOR, MALAYSIA

Kudos to the Firefly crew for their emphasis and commitment in ensuring that all passengers abide by the rule for portable electronic devices during take-off and landing. The checks were thorough and the reference to a specific page in the in-flight magazine for further information shows great guidance from the crew. Also, I find the emphasis on specific key words as well as the differentiation made between ‘flight mode’ and ‘switching off’ mobile phones during the announcements to be most helpful. I have to admit that I never knew the difference but thanks to Firefly, I do now.

Our cover story this month focuses solely on George Town. While we can’t avoid mentioning its street art (which has been written to death, to be perfectly honest) or the Rainbow Skywalk at the top of the iconic KOMTAR, Penang’s tallest building housing retail shops and the state government’s office, we’ve chosen to focus on some of the lesser-visited attractions, including streets where speakeasies with hidden entrances serve some of the most fascinating cocktails (page 22).

Adelene Teo Yee Ming KUALA LUMPUR

Then over at nearby Alor Setar, the capital of Kedah state, discover its political and royal history and picturesque scenery with our 12-Hour guide. While it’s impossible to completely experience the hospitality of the city that is the birthplace of two of the country’s prime ministers – Malaysia’s founding father Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra AlHaj and current premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – in one day, it’s enough to give you a glimpse of it. And if you like it, return for a longer stay next time (page 18).

On my recent trip to Penang from Kota Bharu, I had a chance to read the April issue of Fireflyz. I was surprised by the new look and design of the magazine. I was also surprised that the editor is Julie Goh, which I had known as the editor of Going Places, the Malaysia Airlines in-flight magazine. I assume that the team from Going Places is helping out to give Fireflyz  a new look, and I have to say that the results are amazing. The new design is modern and classy, and the contents are also very informative. I truly enjoyed reading the section about weight loss by Kevin Zahri, as it gave me tips on healthy diet and exercises. Overall the magazine is good and an enjoyable read. Congratulations Fireflyz.

For something a little quirky – because don’t we all need to be a bit zany with the high levels of stress these days? – our Open Journal section lists some out-there cafés to while the afternoon away. Take for example the 2D Cafe in Bandar Sunway. Here, you can “walk” into the pages of a comic book because the owners have cleverly employed the use of colour, space and angles to achieve a two-dimensional effect. No doubt it’s inspired by similar concepts in South Korea and Taiwan, but by marrying it with the latest beverage craze in the Klang Valley – bubble tea – you’ve got to give credit for the quick-thinking marketing game plan. Jumping on the bandwagon, you say? Why not, if it works! (page 50).

Adam Husein

KOTA BAHRU, KELANTAN, MALAYSIA

We’ d love to hear from you!

Write to us at ffmedia@spafax. com and stand a chance to win a 3D2N stay in an Executive Room at G Hotel Gurney, Penang, inclusive of club benefits and breakfast for two, worth RM2,140.

To my fellow Malaysians, Selamat Menyambut Hari Kemerdekaaan yang ke-62.

See you next month!

August 2019

Eclectic Mix

Editor

6

George Town in Penang is a melting pot of food, shopping, art and culture.

12 HOURS IN ALOR SETAR, KEDAH / OPEN JOURNAL CONCEPT CAFES / STREET CHEF APAM BALIK / & MORE...

KIT YENG CHAN

AN INSIDER'S GUIDE TO GEORGE TOWN, PENANG

ON THE COVER

August 2019

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Your free copy or read online at fireflyz.com.my

Julie Goh

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.

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Agenda

Upcoming

Events WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MALAYSIA AND AROUND THE REGION

Musical Success

After the success of its short preview last year, The Working Dead is finally coming on to the stage. Explore prevailing themes like ambition, overwork and sacrifice in pursuit of success in this musical comedy about family, work and zombies. Set in Kuala Lumpur, it tells the story of Edwin who works himself to death and returns as a corporate zombie. Directed by Nicole-Ann Thomas, the musical features book and lyrics by Terence Toh and music by Lydia Tong and Kelvin Loh. Brought to you by Co-Labs Coworking and Paramount Property, the musical is also supported by mental health group organisation ThinkInt, which will be providing talks on workplace mental health issues such as burnout and anxiety during selected shows. When: Until 4 August Where: KLPAC, Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/workingdeadthemusical

Enchanting Night

Over two weekends, head out to the Singapore Night Festival at the Bras Basah.Bugis district to catch an exciting line-up of arts, heritage and cultural experiences, from mesmerising night lights and artworks to performances galore – including FierS à Cheval by Compagnie des Quidams, the Duel by Lord of Lightning and internationally renowned Fuerza Bruta, an Argentinian troupe known for their high-octane and actionpacked performances. With over 50 attractions including tours, workshops, exhibitions and festival performances, there is something for everyone including a wide selection of carefully curated food and drinks at the Festival Village. When: 23 – 31 August Where: Bras Basah.Bugis, Singapore

PHOTOS: THE NATIONAL HERITAGE BOARD / FUERZA BRUTA

nightfestival.sg

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Shooting On Skates

Feel the exhilaration of puck handling and slapshots on a hard court as the MBPJ Malaysia International Inline Hockey Tournament (MIHT) returns after a long hiatus. Watch as ten teams from six countries across Asia compete for bragging rights in the mixed open adult category while junior teams put their skills and teamwork to the test in the under-17 category. Explore sponsor booths at the event, which will include food and drinks, skate accessories and more. MIHT 2019 is organised by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) with the support of the Inline Hockey Sports Club and Malaysian inline hockey team Underdogs. The event is also sanctioned by the Malaysia Skate Federation and supported by Tourism Selangor. When: 30 August – 1 September Where: Kompleks Arena Petaling Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia facebook.com/groups/ mihtmalaysia

K-Pop Weekend

Take in the unique, extravagant and exhilarating choreography, catchy tunes, fashion and personalities that only K-Pop can bring as South Korean sensations: iKON, Momoland, Mamamoo, (G)I-dle and many more descend on Kuala Lumpur this September for Wkndfest. The latest entry in KL’s live music scene, Wkndfest is the brainchild of Khairul Anwar, Amirul Hafiz and Shahrin Kamaruzaman, with the intention of bringing music lovers together for the ultimate live music experience. When: 1 September Where: Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia wkndfest.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

PENANG, MALAYSIA

Family Recreation

One of the top family-oriented resorts in Batu Ferringhi, Penang, the Golden Sands Resort is home to 387 comfortable guest rooms and suites, many of which overlook the swimming pools in the middle of the resort and offer an amazing view of the ocean. In addition to the mini-waterpark at the pool area, children will love the Kids Club facilities and the Adventure Zone, a large indoor playground. Adults have a fair share of recreational facilities to enjoy too, including a nine-hole pitch-and-putt golf course, tennis courts and beach sports such as beach volleyball, beach soccer and pĂŠtanque. Address: Jalan Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Penang, Malaysia shangri-la.com/penang/goldensandsresort

SINGAPORE

Lifestyle Central

Located along the main street and within walking distance of an MRT station, Orchard Hotel Singapore houses 656 tastefully designed guest rooms and suites with a quaint Oriental flavour. Those who plan to dine in have a choice of five excellent dining establishments: the Cantonese cuisine Hua Ting Restaurant, buffet venue The Orchard CafĂŠ, gourmet hotpot at Hua Ting Steamboat, French-influenced bistro Mon Bijou and evening cocktails at Bar Intermezzo. Recreational facilities include a fitness centre and an outdoor swimming pool, which also has a poolside snack bar and a life-sized chessboard for those who want to enjoy a quick game. Orchard Hotel Singapore also has up to 20,000 square feet of function space for events, including a pillar-free ballroom with LED walls and a capacity of 1,500 guests. Address: 442 Orchard Road, 238879 Singapore millenniumhotels.com/en/singapore/orchard-hotelsingapore

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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

Brand New Identity

Formerly the iconic Hotel Equatorial, EQ opened earlier this year with 440 luxurious guest rooms and suites, offering spectacular views of the surrounding city from the new 52-storey Equatorial Plaza. EQ’s quality food and beverage offerings bring together old favourites and new additions: all-day dining Nipah, fine Japanese cuisine at Kampachi, contemporary café Étoile, wines and light bites at Bottega Lounge, as well as European fine dining at Sabayon, and cocktail lounge Blue, both on the 51st floor. The hotel boasts over 2,300 square metres of space in a variety of halls for hosting events, including the breathtaking two-tier Diamond Ballroom. Unwind in EQ’s aesthetically appealing recreational facilities such as the swimming pool, Sanctum Fitness centre and Sanctum Spa. Guests staying in the suites can also enjoy exclusive access to the 47th floor Equator Club. Address: Equatorial Plaza, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia eqkualalumpur.com

PHUKET, THAILAND

Simple & Fun

One of Phuket’s newest hotels, OZO Phuket is strategically located within walking distance of Kata Beach and various attractions. Designed with simplicity and comfort in mind, the hotel offers 255 guest rooms and suites, many of which are spacious enough to cater to families of four. Children can play in the Splash activity pool with its waterslide and wet play area, while adults unwind in the main pool. Dine in at EAT restaurant, snack at the Pool Bar or explore the colourful eateries that the nearby town has to offer. Widely known as one of the island’s best surf beaches and a hotspot for beach activities, Kata Beach also has a night market, various shops and other attractions within walking distance. Address: 99 Kata Road, Karon, Phuket 83100, Thailand ozohotels.com/phuket

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B i t e s : W h e r e To E a t

Hearty Vegetarian

The Bangsar outpost of the Ganga Café is a popular option for diners wanting reasonably priced vegetarian cuisine. It’s one of those restaurants where even the staunchest of meat eaters will quickly succumb to the delights of their brown rice thalis (set meal typically served on a metal plate), various types of chapatti and flatbreads, and dishes like bindi masala and paneer-based specialities. Their second outlet in Petaling Jaya’s Sea Park offers the same home-cooked veggie goodness with flavours derived from spices and fresh ingredients. MSG, artificial additives and eggs are not used in any of the recipes making this a healthy option to your usual Indian meal. Address: 24, Jalan 21/19, Sea Park, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor facebook.com/ thegangacafe

Iconic Chinese

Foodies will recognise this name but for those who don’t, this is one of the most iconic eateries in Hong Kong, having won numerous prestigious awards for its contemporary culinary interpretation of Chinese fine dining. Located within the Marina Bay Sands, Mott 32 is named after the first Chinese convenience store in New York, which opened in 1891 at 32 Mott Street. The menu revolves around the kind of recipes that are passed down through the generations like the apple wood roasted Peking duck with Mott 32’s ‘Signature Cut’, crispy triple cooked Wagyu beef short ribs and meat with soft quail egg and black truffle siu mai. This is delicious decadence at its best elevated by amazing interiors and innovative cocktails. Address: B1-42/43/44, Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave, 018956 Singapore marinabaysands.com/ restaurants/mott32.html

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Mediterranean Flavour

The cuisines of the Mediterranean rely on fresh produce and flavours that will transport you to long summer evenings and delicious meals. Nizza at The Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara launched a new menu focusing on dishes from countries that surround the Mediterranean – the south of France, Spain and Italy. Seafood plays a prominent role with dishes like the plateau de fruits de mer heaving with grilled lobster, calamari, king crab and oysters, and the succulent pan-fried local red snapper with caper berries, pomelo, grapefruit and gooseberries. The Confit de Canard is served with gratin potatoes and a pomegranate sauce and does justice to classic French cooking. Choose to dine indoors or al fresco by the pool and be sure to try their signature cocktails and tasty tapas. Address: 6, Jalan Damanlela, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur sofitel-kualalumpur-damansara.com/ restaurants-bars/nizza

Where Wagyu Is King

PHOTOS: KIN GYU MY

Kin Gyu in Desa Sri Hartamas is all about beef in every form and level of cooking. As the sister restaurant to the ever-popular Shin Nihon (located across the road), diners are already raving about the oh-so-tender Wagyu in its many connotations and the wide variety of dishes on its menu. Begin with the Wagyu tartare where raw beef is mixed with miso paste and topped with bonito flakes and salmon roe, bringing a classic French dish to new heights. Even the typical chawanmushi is given a Wagyu onceover, and the restaurant’s steaks are becoming the stuff of legend – grilled on lava stone from Mount Fuji accompanied by an amazing selection of flavoured salt from truffle to Japanese pepper. The Wagyu maki and sushi selection are also highly recommended. Look out for the gold bull's head on the restaurant’s façade. Address: 1st Floor, No.8, Jalan 24/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur kingyumy.com

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Q u e n c h : W h e r e To D r i n k

Celebration Of A Classic

The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail made from equal parts of gin, red vermouth (Cinzano Vermouth Rosso) and Campari; and garnished with orange peel. This year marks its 100th anniversary and The Landing Point at the Fullerton Bay Hotel in Singapore has created a special Negroni Duo to mark the occasion. The Negroni Bianco has a botanical bouquet courtesy of the blend being aged in jars for five days, strained then transferred to oak barrels, smoked with burnt oak chips and aged. Order the Bianco on its own or with a Classico for the full Negroni effect. The Duo is available at The Landing Point till the end of August. Address: 80 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049326 fullertonhotels.com/the-fullerton-bayhotel/the-landing-point.html

Scenic Views

The rooftop bar with a view is still a trend in Kuala Lumpur. And while the iconic city skyline is the usual panorama, there are now alternatives with Marimbar leading the way. Located on the 35th floor of the Pinnacle PJ, this is the latest effort by the Marini Group and if there’s one thing they know, it’s how to create exciting venues where cocktails and Italian-inspired food rules. Try cocktails like the Pisco Disco, which is Marimbar’s version of the Pisco Sour, made with pandan syrup, lime and lychee liqueur. Gin fans will gravitate towards the Red Rimbar – an exotic mix of egg white, pandan sugar syrup, ginger and raspberry syrup. The food menu is the ideal mix of pizza, light bites and mains, and the view shows there’s more to rooftop bars than just the city centre. Address: Level 35, Pinnacle PJ Tower A, Lorong Utara C, PJS 52, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor marimbar.com

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Firing it Up

The JW Firehouse at the JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur is an elegant hideaway in the city centre where classic interiors and signature cocktails beckon at the end of the day. The décor is all leather upholstery, gold accents and mirrored details with the marble bar being the centrepiece of the space. Cocktails include the Fire Starter (tequila, mango juice, chilli and lime) and the House Old Fashioned (rum, cognac, bourbon, angostura bitters and citrus syrup). For those who want something a little different, there’s an impressive drinks list that includes the Royal Salute Hundred Cask, a rare blend of whiskies from 100 aged casks; and the Modestia Aparte mezcal. Don’t forget to be there for the Happier Happy Hour daily from 4 pm to 9 pm, except Fridays. Address: Lower Ground Level, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur, 183, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur marriott.com/hotels/travel/kuldt-jw-marriotthotel-kuala-lumpur

PHOTOS: PINTS AND PUTTS FB:INSTAGRAM

Golf & Cocktails

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Pints & Putts is a unique establishment that has recently opened at The Hub in Petaling Jaya and combines golf with drinks, bar bites and a menu of Asian influenced dishes. Cocktails have palpable Malaysian ingredients like coconut milk, lime juice, cili padi (bird’s eye chilli) and pandan syrup. The first thing you’ll notice is the large mural of a lady sitting on a large golf ball so there can be no mistaking what sport is in the spotlight here, and true to its name, there’s mini golf for punters to show off their putting skills. This could well be Malaysia’s first mini golf/bar/restaurant combination and we suggest not having too many cocktails if you want to win the golf round! Address: Lot A-G-05, The Hub SS2, 19 Sentral, Jalan Harapan, Seksyen 19, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor facebook.com/pintsandputts

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Te c h U p : G a d g e t s

1

Return Of An Icon

2

Apple has recently unveiled a new iPod Touch. This model is said to be twice as fast as the previous one and will be able to run iOS 13. It also sports a headphone jack (unlike the brand’s other current devices), and comes in six attractive colours: pink, silver, grey, gold, blue and red. RRP: RM899 apple.com/my

Stay Active

The Galaxy Fit-e is Samsung’s latest fitness tracker. Equipped with a 0.75-inch PMOLED monochrome display, the lightweight device comes with automated tracking for walking, running and dynamic workout. It is water resistant (up to 50 metres for 10 minutes) and has a battery life of up to 13 days. RRP: RM139 samsung.com/my

2

1

3

3

4

Don’ t Stop The Music

4

The sleek and chic Jabra Move Style wireless headphones is an update of a popular 2014 model. It has an ultra-light headband and plush on-ear cups designed for comfort, plus a conveniently long battery life that amounts to 14 hours of music time and 12 days of standby time. RRP: RM419 apac.jabra.com

Zooming In

Sony’s 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS super-telephoto zoom lens is designed for real photography buffs. When paired with any of the current E-mount camera bodies, it allows users to reliably track and accurately capture all types of moving subjects including birds, wildlife and athletes in motion. RRP: RM8,348 sony-asia.com

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12 H o u r s Text Alexandra Wong / Photos Tourism Malaysia / Illustration Lauren Rebbeck / Art Direction Euric Liew

Setar-

Struck ALOR SETAR, THE CAPITAL OF KEDAH, IS WORTH A VISIT FOR ITS POLITICAL AND ROYAL HISTORY, GREAT EATERIES, FASCINATING MUSEUMS AND PICTURESQUE SCENERY.

Paddy Museum

Alor Setar’s rice-farming community, painted by 60 artists from North Korea. Check out the lower floors’ exhibits to understand the history and mechanics of the rice industry, then swing by the souvenir shop to enjoy a unique beverage brewed from traditional roasted rice grains.

Rumah Kelahiran Mahathir

9am

Malaysia’s oldest city is the birthplace of two prime ministers and the seat of the country’s longest-reigning royal dynasty but most places of interest open after 10 am, so head away from the city centre towards the bucolic charms Alor Setar is famous for. Hop onto Jalan Gunung Keriang, a scenic highway that winds past swathes of

9.45am

emerald paddy fields, as well as the iconic elephantshaped limestone outcrop it’s named after, Gunung Keriang. Stop for breakfast at Mee Sham, the originator of roti doll, a tasty twist on roti canai that went viral and spawned city-wide imitations. Hint: shredded roti, a secret curry recipe and mata kerbau (sunny side up egg) are involved.

A few kilometres along Jalan Gunung Keriang, the unmistakable silhouette of the Paddy Museum comes into sight. Though its façade, designed to resemble overflowing rice baskets, is undeniably impressive, the museum’s main claim to fame is a revolving platform with a unique 360-degree wall mural that depicts

Travelling with kids? A detour to the Northern Region National Science Centre, less than five minutes’ drive away, might be worthwhile as it offers a bevy of fun interactive activities, including moon-walking and cycling on a tightrope.

11.30am

Loop back to the city centre; traffic would have eased. En route, drop by Rumah Merdeka, the charming mansion where Malaysia’s first prime minister and founding father, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, entertained foreign dignitaries, conceived election strategies and indulged in creative pursuits

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National Science Centre

12.15pm

Continue your historical trail to Rumah Kelahiran Mahathir, the birthplace of Malaysia’s current prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Nestled behind an ice factory, this singleroom wooden house on

stilts was shared by Tun and his eight siblings during his formative years. A collection of rare documents, including records from his school days and newspaper articles that he wrote under the pen name Che Det, provides fascinating insight into his political awakening.

finger-licking good fried chicken, and – if you can handle the heat – ask for kuah campur, an addictive mix of sweet, slow-burning curries.

TOURISM MALAYSIA

such as movie scriptwriting. Parked under the stewardship of the National Archives, the two-storey 1950s home is impeccably maintained, right down to its wooden floorboards and vintage furniture. Perched on a riverbank, the house also gave the sports-loving Tunku ample opportunity to go cruising in his motorboat, viewable in a pavilion within the compound.

1.45pm

By now, the notorious Alor Setar weather is at its hottest, but fear not, Pekan Rabu is just across the road. Originally a Wednesdaysonly street market (hence the name) started by Kedah royalty Tunku Yaacob Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid to nurture local entrepreneurship, Pekan Rabu is now a spacious multi-storey arcade with hundreds of stalls offering local crafts and traditional delicacies. Top-selling items

1pm

Only one place will do for lunch: the original Restoran SMR Nasi Lemak Royale on Jalan Tunku Ibrahim, also a favourite of the Sultan of Kedah. New patrons take note: the “nasi lemak” here is closer to nasi kandar. The “lemak” refers to the addition of ghee, which lends the rice a yellow hue and lovely buttery fragrance. Order the

include pekasam (fermented fish), rice-based kuih such as kuih karas, peneram and bahulu, and Songkok Style Tun, a foldable headgear invented by an enterprising trader to honour the prime minister. More Tun-related trivia: he sold fried bananas here during the Japanese Occupation.

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12 H o u r s

Alor Setar telecommunications tower

Masjid Zahir

3pm

For first-timers to Alor Setar, a walking tour of the public square or Medan Bandar is an essential experience. Rarely crowded except during the evenings, when families gather at the concrete fountain in the centre, this serene enclave of stately monuments was once the site of bloody invasions by foreign forces. For instance, the beautiful yellow-and-white building now known as the Kedah Royal Museum is a 284-yearold former palace that was burnt down, renovated and rebuilt several times following Thai and Bugis attacks. Quiet on most days, its well-captioned exhibits are highly enjoyable – check out the miniature imported sewing machines used by the royal princesses. Located within the palace compound, the Royal Hall, a Thai-influenced, grandly

ornamental structure added on to host the simultaneous weddings of five royal children, is definitely worth a selfie though public entry is not permitted. To the right of the Royal Hall, a pale yellow octagonal tower known as the Nobat Hall holds the traditional instruments typically played in the royal orchestra. Further along the southern flank, the former High Court, possibly the city’s finest example of colonial architecture, has been converted into the Kedah State Art Gallery and hosts seasonal exhibitions by local artists.

city’s oldest commercial districts, though Pekan Melayu is now better known for giant wall murals of Alor Setar’s two most famous sons. Flanked by a leafy waterfront, Pekan Cina still buzzes with traditional traders and wholesalers. Recently, however, a wave of modern food and beverage outlets has introduced a different kind of energy into its narrow streets. Of these, the most outstanding is Caffe Diem, a former prison and opium den restored into a specialty café. For a one-of-a-kind dining experience, order from its eclectic fusion menu (with items such as Harum Manis Cheesecake and Burger Banjir Cheese) and bask in the edgy, nostalgic décor, which includes a perahu Kedah (a traditional boat) suspended from the ceiling.

End your walking tour by paying respects at Masjid Zahir. Dubbed one of the world’s most beautiful mosques, the Moorishinspired edifice with its graceful colonnades and five onion-shaped domes looks especially enchanting against the evening sky.

8pm

Cap a rewarding day with a ride up the Alor Setar telecommunications tower, the country’s second tallest communications towers at 165.5 metres. Resembling a bundle of paddies, enjoy commanding night views on the observation deck, or go one level up to the revolving restaurant and unwind over a drink while soaking in the city lights below.

6pm FireFly operates multiple daily flights to Alor Setar from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang

From Medan Bandar, stroll southward along Jalan Sultan Muhammad Jiwa until you see a yellow, green and red archway. This structure bisects the neighbourhood into Pekan Melayu and Pekan Cina on either side. Over 150 years old, these are the

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THINGS TO BUY

KUIH KARAS: This traditional kuih is made by dropping thick, sweet rice flour batter in thin strands into hot oil. The resulting lacy ‘net’ is then expertly manipulated into shatteringly crispy, halfmoon-shaped foldovers.

BEDAK SEJUK: Made from broken rice, bedak sejuk – literally “cold talcum” – is mixed with water into a paste before use. Its oil-absorbing properties and cooling effects make it perfect for Malaysia’s hot weather.

BAJU KEDAH: Believed to have Thai influence, the Kedah version of the traditional baju kurung comes with a loose, hiplength tunic that features quarter length sleeves, making it perfect for casual activities such as working in the fields.

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S a vo u r Text Richard Augustin Photos Tourism Malaysia

You’ll also find that most races in Malaysia have a version of nasi lemak to call their own.

Nasi Lemak

FRAGRANT, SPICY AND RICH, IT’S OBVIOUS WHY THE HUMBLE NASI LEMAK HAS MANAGED TO STRIKE A CHORD WITH ALL MALAYSIANS.

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hen it comes to local dishes, you will find that nasi lemak appeals to all Malaysians. The beauty of the dish is rooted in its simplicity and the fact that it can literally be eaten at any time of the day. You’ll also find that most races in Malaysia have a version of nasi lemak to call their own. Regardless of whether it comes wrapped in banana leaf or newspaper, or if it’s served with assam (tamarind) prawns or fried chicken with spicy sambal, it goes without saying that we all have our own personal favourites. However, nasi lemak is best consumed in its most basic form – fragrant coconut rice, fresh sambal, fried peanuts and ikan bilis (anchovies), with sliced cucumber and hardboiled egg on the side.

Ingredients:

•1 cup rice (washed and drained)

•1 cup water •75 ml coconut milk •Salt to taste •2 screwpine (pandan)

•¼ cup tamarind juice •salt to taste •1 tsp sugar

•1 cup ikan bilis

Condiments

(thinly sliced)

(washed and drained) •1 clove garlic •2 shallots •2 tbsp chilli paste •1 tsp belacan (prawn paste)

leaves – tied

•2 cm ginger (crushed)

Method

•Place rice, salt, ginger and

screwpine leaves into a rice cooker or saucepan.

•Add in coconut milk and

•In a food processor, blend

garlic, shallots, chilli paste and prawn paste. Add a splash of water if the mixture is too dry.

water and stir over low heat. Cook rice until done (approximately 15-20 minutes).

•Fry the ikan bilis in hot oil until

•Turn off the heat and allow

oil and begin frying the spice blend until fragrant. Add in the sliced onions and stir well, followed by the fried ikan bilis.

rice to stand for a few minutes before stirring it. Cover and set aside.

light brown. Set aside and allow the oil to drain.

•In a pan, heat the cooking

•80 gm fried peanuts •1 hardboiled egg (quartered)

•¼ cucumber (sliced)

•Pour in tamarind juice and stir until mixture combines.

•Add salt and sugar to taste

and gradually stir over a low heat until the sambal thickens.

•Set aside and allow to cool. •To serve, place a scoop of hot rice on a plate and a portion of the sambal ikan bilis on the side together with peanuts, egg and sliced cucumber.

MORE RICE PLEASE! Nasi lemak is not the only carbo-loaded treat that you should break your diet for. Here are some rice dishes that may just have you craving for seconds.

NASI KERABU NASI KANDAR This Malay dish typically A favoured northern has blue coloured rice Malaysian dish due to the butterfly popularised by Indian pea flowers used in the Muslim traders. It cooking process. It’s is essentially fresh served piping hot with steamed rice served an array of condiments with a variety of such as crackers, pickles curries, sambal and May 2019 and deep-fried fish. side dishes.

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•1 tbsp cooking oil •1 small red onion

Sambal Ikan Bilis

Coconut Rice

NASI DAGANG Originating from the East Coast, this dish is similar to nasi lemak as it is also cooked with coconut milk. It is normally accompanied by fragrant fish curry, salted egg and pickled vegetables.

NASI BRIYANI This mixed rice dish from the Indian subcontinent consists of rice cooked with a variety of herbs and spices along with ingredients such as mutton, chicken or fish. It is served with curry and sambal on the side.

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Insider’s Guide Text Marco Ferrarese / Photos Kit Yeng Chan + Tourism Malaysia + 123rf

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GEORGE TOWN IN PENANG IS ONE OF MALAYSIA’S FOUR PROTECTED UNESCO HERITAGE SITES AND DRAWS VISITORS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.

Discovering

Heritage

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Insider’s Guide

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ith its eclectic mix of charming pre-war shophouses, temples and mosques, luxe boutique hotels, hip cafés and quiet corners, George Town is infectious to say the least, but few visitors dare stray beyond the obvious. Our guide scratches the surface deeper than most.

Binge On Hawker Food

Penang street food is praised all over the world, and George Town is a perfect spot to try some of the island’s quintessential dishes. Start from popular tourist enclave Chulia Street, where the rise of tourist guesthouses and hip cafés hasn’t changed authentic local tastes. The boisterous cluster of street stalls opposite The Mugshot Café dish up great Penang Hokkien noodles, wan tan mee, and curry noodles. To the west of the newlyrefurbished KOMTAR, George Town’s tallest building, is New Lane, a small alley tucked between the Sunway Hotel and main thoroughfare of Jalan Macalister. It comes alive after 4 pm, when no-frills stalls spill plastic chairs and tables along the lane, offering a wide selection of Chinese hawker food.

Kimberley Street has another interesting night market that packs quite a lot of local charm. Come here for char kway teow, Penang laksa, and queue up for the legendary Restoran Kimberly Duck Kway Chap – a Teochew delicacy of flat white noodles in a broth of duck meat and, if you fancy, innards.

(From top) Penang’s tallest building KOMTAR in the background; street food reigns supreme here; traditional shophouses come in various historical styles, features and heritage values

FireFly operates multiple daily flights to Penang International Airport from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang

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But if you want to sit next to the sea, looking out at the port of Butterworth looming in the distance, the Esplanade food court is a great choice. Divided into two halves (halal and non-halal), it has delicious stewed mussels and a good selection of seafood noodles.

Take To The Skies At KOMTAR

The Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (KOMTAR) is George Town’s most iconic building. In 2016, it added three floors to the original structure, and aptly named it The Top. Reaching 249 meters in height, it houses restaurants, bars and themed attractions. At the summit is Rainbow Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped transparent glass bridge offering the most thrilling panoramic views of George Town and Penang stretching all the way to neighbouring Kedah state. Coco Cabana Bar & Bistro on the

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Insider’s Guide

68th floor dishes up cocktails and delightful meals, and is the perfect spot to chill out and enjoy the unique views. The Observatory Deck on the 65th floor has floor-to-ceiling walls that offer a 360-degree view over the city and the island. Those not suffering from vertigo can try the Gravityz, a 90 metrelong rope course and zip-line running on the exterior of the building. Dubbed as the highest rope course in the world, it’s definitely not for the squeamish. For kid-friendly entertainment return to the fifth floor for attractions such as 7D Discovery Motion Cinema, Zombie Outbreak, Jurassic Research Centre, the Top Aquarium and Tech Dome, which mixes science with fun activities.

(From top) The Rainbow Skywalk at the top of KOMTAR is not for the faint-hearted; hidden bars such as 12 Senses (inset) and Good Friends Club (below) have proliferated in George Town

Dive Into The Eclectic Nightlife

George Town’s nightlife packs a punch of different options to suit different tastes and crowds. If you want to mix with young locals and foreign travellers, Love Lane – the place where

tycoons used to keep their mistresses back in the old days – is now lined with bars and international bistros. Buskers strum their guitars to a motley crew of international hipsters and travellers who exchange conversations over cocktails and pints, enjoying a range of cuisines from Mexican to French, Chinese and Mediterranean. Just around the corner is Chulia Street, the main tourist thoroughfare that never ceases to attract backpackers and partyseekers with popular bars such as Pokok, Rockafellas, and Chulia Court. Locals prefer hanging out at one of George Town’s many speakeasies. This series of hidden bars distinguishes itself with creative, unexpected entrances. The trend started in 2017 with Magazine 63: set behind a wooden panel tucked inside an anonymous, crumbling shophouse front, it’s a throwback to Old China, with waiters dressed up as old world coolies. 12 Senses, another popular hidden bar, is a nod to the retrochic of 1920s Shanghai, using dim lights and themed mural art. It has a unique entrance: guests must push the right rod on a wing chun dummy set in front of a closed door, while a portrait of Bruce Lee watches over the move. For a more intimate atmosphere and clever blends of international spirits and local flavours – think pandan leaves and coconut rum – try Backdoor Bodega. Set at the back of the inspiring artist hang-

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To rub elbows with local hipsters and musicians, Narrow Marrow is the hip and chic bistro to visit for strong brews, cakes, and picking the brains of the two owners, architect Alvin Neoh and artist Jamie Oon, two goldmines of local artistic information. Alternative types should consider Soundmaker, a full-fledged live music house hosting all kinds of music, from hip-hop to punk, metal and alternative rock. On Sunday afternoons, drop by for their selection of international cinema screenings. Hikayat, a branch of the established Gerak Budaya bookshop, not only sells a curated selection of Asian-focused tomes, but also hosts Penang’s only podcast recording station, and a series of workshops and events ranging from creative writing to photography, social forums to book launches. Just out Good Friends Club, whose cocktails also infuse local ingredients, it’s the ultimate speakeasy; they don’t sell drinks here, just drink-themed pins. Buy one, and a cocktail is served “free of charge”.

Go Beyond Street Art

Parallel to thoroughfare Beach Street, Ah Quee Street and Armenian Street host the best part of the famous street art initiated in 2012 by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic. But the murals are just the tip of the artsy iceberg floating below George Town’s most beaten tourist path. Start digging at former bus park Hin Bus Depot, which promotes rotating art exhibits and the very social Hin Pop Up Market on Sundays, when local and foreign creatives converge to sell their unique products.

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(From top) Murals at Hin Bus Depot; Hikayat sells books but is also a space for creative expression; Penang’s City Hall; the famous Boy On A Bike mural (Opposite page) Alvin Neoh and Jamie Oon, owners of Narrow Marrow

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opposite is shophouse-turned-gallery Art Lane – managed by popular café, bistro and live music pub Chinahouse – where international artists are free to paint the walls as they please.

Cultural Heritage

Take a stroll at the well-manicured Padang Kota Lama to soak up the charm of George Town’s colonial buildings, marvelling at the bone-white City Hall and Fort Cornwallis. From here, cut through Beach Street to see how Penang’s former British architectural legacy blends in with the vibrant colours of Little India, a perfect place to lose yourself people-gazing and shopping for cheap textiles and jewellery. It’s a short walk to the Chinese Clan Jetties from here, where the stilt homes of the first Southern Chinese migrants still stand on the water. They were built here to avoid the hefty land tax imposed by the British. Avoid the very touristy Chew Jetty and stroll to Tan Jetty instead. It’s the quietest and the longest, with beautiful views of George Town’s skyline from the sea.

ALSO WORTH A VISIT: KARPAL SINGH DRIVE

This coastal thoroughfare is a favourite for runners and fishing enthusiasts. It’s also the starting point of one of Penang’s many cycling lanes, skirting the coast all the way to Queensbay, home to one of Asia’s biggest shopping malls.

PENANG HILL

Moon Gate near Penang Botanic Gardens leads up to Station 5, a popular rest stop for local hikers. It’s a sweaty climb through pristine jungle, and a great chance to meet Penang’s population of macaques and monkeys.

BOTANIC GARDENS

Opened by the British in 1884, the Botanic Gardens are popular with local joggers, and a good spot to trade George Town’s buildings with trees and the rare dusky leaf monkeys.

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P e r s p e c t i ve Text Jennifer Rodrigo / Photos SG Private Collection

Sweet Homecomıng

MALAYSIAN PERFORMER SEAN GHAZI HAS BEEN TO PLACES, HONING HIS CRAFT ON THE BRITISH STAGE IN HIS TWENTIES AND POUNDING THE PAVEMENT IN HOLLYWOOD IN HIS FORTIES. HE’S NOW BACK IN MALAYSIA.

Onstage and offstage, Sean’s persona is one of international appeal blended with his Malaysian roots. His speech is peppered with Manglish phrases like syok sendiri or ‘one kind’ – all of which mean ‘being full of one’s self – and which Sean, despite being a renowned singer, dancer and actor, is not. He is known in most circles as “nice”.

S

ean Ghazi’s unflappable charisma was apparent at a recent show in Bobo KL’s elegant piano lounge, where he handled the goodnatured jousting from a celebrity member of the audience with graciousness and aplomb. Once he began to sing, the audience was completely enraptured by his effortless delivery.

“I have to credit my late mother, Vicky, for that. She taught by example, and was the kind of soul who could speak comfortably to whomever for hours on end, whether it’s the chambermaid or the doorman, or people from the more atas (affluent) walks of life. My mum had a big heart; I hope I have half of what she had,” says Sean. Born in Petaling Jaya, Selangor in 1969, Sean’s interest and talent in the performing arts was clear even from a young age, when he performed at an end-of-year kindergarten concert. “I was only three or four at the time, and tipped my hat during the show. The

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audience just roared their approval. It was empowering,” he recalls. What really set him on his path, however, was a trip to London when he was 11 years old. Sean’s father, a well-known businessman and musical buff, took time off a business trip to bring the family to watch the West End musical of The King and I, starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr. “The show was at the London Palladium. So there I was, mesmerised by this exciting new world. The actor playing the young lover especially transfixed me,” he says. By a twist of fate, Sean would find himself playing the exact same role 20 years later, in the same theatre, for a remake of the musical starring Elaine Page and Jason Scott Lee. He was also cast in the same role in the Hollywood movie version of Anna and the King. On set with Jodie Foster in Penang for Anna and The King

In 1988, Sean studied acting, singing and dancing at the Laine Theatre Arts in Britain, a top dance and performing arts school in the country. By the age of 22, after three years of intensive performing arts training, he became part of the immense machinery of the West End musical Miss Saigon from 1992 to 1994.

where they kept an eye on potential hopefuls. The process was quite brutal, but I managed to make it into the show, which I’d like to think of as my ‘Masters’ in the performing arts,” he quips.

“A lot of people don’t know what a big deal that was. It was hard to get into – I must have auditioned six or seven times – and then I was shoved into what they called The Miss Saigon school, which was basically a free weekly class

During his tenure at West End, Sean was appointed Dance Captain, directly in charge of maintaining the show’s

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P e r s p e c t i ve

choreography, and later Principal Understudy to the role of Thuy, one of the story’s two main antagonists. His London experience led to his appointment as Resident Director of the German show, responsible for its dayto-day running and operations. “It was tough as it was all in a foreign language, but I learned a lot – not just in performing but also in terms of maintenance, administration and in other aspects of managing a blockbuster production." While he had the skills and experience to pursue a career in London, complications with his visa saw Sean returning to Asia, where he promptly won a nationally televised talent competition in Singapore called the Fame Awards. He also became active in the local performing arts scene, including having a role in Idaman, the longest running Malaysian TV soap opera in history. In 2006, Sean released his first album, Semalam, which featured contemporary takes on classic Malay songs. One of the songs, Ku Impikan Bintang, a Malaylanguage rendition of Pink Martini's Let's Never Stop Falling In Love, became a smash hit. The album earned him the 'Best New Artiste' and ‘Best Album’ award at the Anugerah Industri Muzik (Malaysian Music Industry Awards) in the same year.

(From top) With his band Tarakucha; a promotional banner for P. Ramlee The Musical; with singer Ida Mariana (Opposite page) As Thuy in Miss Saigon in Stuttgart

In 2009, at the age of 40, Sean decided to seek the American Dream in Hollywood. He would spend six years in the United States: three in Los Angeles, California and three in Portland, Oregon. This proved to be challenging, as Sean struggled to fit into the industry. “I wasn’t a good fit. People in the industry refused to accept that I was an Asian actor. Agents and casting directors would put me into Latino roles, and so it was a futile effort competing against real Latino actors,” he explains. During his time in Portland, Sean continued singing, on occasion working with Pink Martini – an American group he still regularly guests with, having performed with them in the region at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in Kuala Lumpur and the Esplanade in Singapore. Today, Sean is the artistic director of Bobo, the award-winning restaurant and piano lounge in Kuala Lumpur famous for its top acts. He is also the founder of Tarakucha, an ensemble that is already getting its name out in local and international circuits. “In terms of promoting Malaysia, Tarakucha is the perfect vehicle because

August 2019

THREE PIECES OF ADVICE FOR YOUNG PERFORMERS 1. There is no short cut to success. 2. It is better to have the qualifications and the chops, rather than a large following on social media. 3. Learn how to speak and write well in at least one language.

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these are classic Malay songs executed without it being a parody. It has already started to tour regionally. Now, it’s about turning it into a business but for that we need support, funding and corporate and government sponsorship. Sean turned 50 in April. He is often asked, “Are you back for good?” and his answer is always: “I am back for now.” He has a few things that he’d like to accomplish, including starting an animal sanctuary, and writing a book, musical or screenplay for a movie. He would also like to see Tarakucha making it big on the international stage. “You have to find ways to be unique. It’s always more rewarding to take the path that’s not ‘safe’. You learn valuable lessons about yourself. That makes me sound like a young, dreamy idealist, doesn’t it?” he says with a grin.

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Taste The

World

INDULGE IN THE WORLD’S GREATEST GASTRONOMY WITH THESE FIVE TOP DESTINATIONS FOR FOODIES.

PHOTOS: 123RF

Lima, Peru

The Peruvian capital has reinvented itself as a world-class destination for gastronomy, and this thriving food scene is as exciting as it is unique. Leading the charge for Peruvian fine dining is award-winning restaurant Central, in the bohemian Barranco neighbourhood. With a menu that takes you on a tour of the country’s biodiversity, ingredients might include jungle plants, edible bacteria and insects. And don’t expect anything to be served on a plate – you’re just as likely to be eating off stone slabs, driftwood or sea sponge. For more mind-blowing gourmet cuisine, try the vibrant La Mar, or the pioneering Astrid y Gastón.

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Tracker Text Tracey Petherick

San Sebastian, Spain

PHOTOS: DONOSTIA-SAN SEBASTIAN TURISMO

San Sebastian has become a bucket-list destination for serious foodies, boasting more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere else in the world. Fine dining places include Mugaritz and Arzak where molecular gastronomy reigns and the tasting menus stimulate all the senses (make sure you book ahead). But you don’t need to spend big money to eat exceptionally well in San Sebastian. Pintxos bars serving gourmet snacks are literally everywhere and their inexpensive offerings are a delight. These bruschettastyle snacks and nibbles on skewers are perfect washed down with a cana (small beer) or local cider.

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Bologna, Italy

Discover an appreciation of real Italian flavours in Bologna, one of the best culinary vacation spots in the world. Local trattorias line the centuries-old streets, serving up the city’s signature pasta dish (tagliatelle al ragu aka ‘bolognese’), while the bars take cocktail hour to a new level with spreads of tantalizing stuzzichini (finger food). Organised food experiences include cooking classes of all descriptions, and tours of Parmesan, Parma ham and Balsamic vinegar producers. Head to the Mercato delle Erbe, a hidden gem of a food market buzzing with stalls and eateries, or get serious with ice cream at the Gelato University.

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Tracker

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Food is a big deal in Chiang Mai. Delicious aromas will hit you the moment you arrive here and everywhere you look people are either preparing food or eating it. Grab smoky barbecued meats from roadside grills or spicy and sour noodle dishes from local cafés. To really immerse yourself in northern Thai cuisine, take a cookery course – they’re a Chiang Mai institution. You’ll be taken to the food markets to buy your ingredients then it’s into the kitchen for a handson lesson in making signature dishes like khao soi (yellow curry noodle soup) or sai oua (fiery herb sausages).

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Tracker

Tokyo, Japan

PHOTOS: TOKYO TCVB

From Michelin-starred sushi and innovative pickling to yakitori grills and noodle joints, the Tokyo food scene is endlessly exciting. Sushi restaurants across the board serve up the freshest fish prepared by highly skilled chefs. Try Sushi no Midori or Hanamaru for high quality at mid-range prices. Although the wholesale fish market at Tsukiji has moved to Toyosu, it is still a must-visit for foodies with the restaurants and retail shops remaining on site. Another worthwhile venue is the underground food hall at Tokyu Toyoko Department Store. The best yakitori (sizzling chicken skewers) can be found on the bustling, atmospheric Memory Lane or Omoide Yokocho. And don’t miss some of the quirkiest themed restaurants you’ll ever come across – think ninjas, jail cells and Alice in Wonderland.

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S P E C IAL F EATU R E

HOW TO

Win, Big! As a Gold Consulting Partner of Salesforce, a global leader in client

relationship management solutions, Telcowin has been helping businesses serve their customers better for more than a decade. Short for “Tel”ling “Co”mpanies How To “Win”, Telcowin is one of only four authorised re-sellers of Salesforce in the ASEAN region, working to provide companies with a platform that instantly streamlines and automates business processes. This, in turn, allows the sales, marketing, and support teams of the companies to work in sync to enhance customers’ experience with the ultimate goal of generating new businesses. With Salesforce Marketing Cloud – a cloudbased Customer Relationship Management platform – companies are able to manage all sales, marketing, and customer interactions and information on a single platform, which can be accessed anywhere across multiple devices. Using the power of automation and artificial intelligence, the Marketing Cloud is able to provide a unified view of the customer, including capturing and activating first, second and third party data to allow businesses to know their customer better; syncing communications to help manage interactions and deliver personalised communication; allowing realtime engagement; and measuring marketing effectiveness through an exclusive partnership with Google Analytics 360.

PHOTO: 123RF

With these insights, businesses can take action to deliver personalised services to their customers, creating a win-win situation all around. Act now. Get in touch with Telcowin at ask@telcowin.com for solution-fit offerings.

Tel: +60 3 6204 9508 Suite J-05-07, Solaris Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Humble Beginnings Text Chua Siew Ching / Photos Goh Seng Chong

Robo-

Success A CHILDHOOD PASSION PROVED TO BE THE PATH WELL CHOSEN FOR THE KHONG BROTHERS, THE BRAINS BEHIND CREATIVE ROBOTICS™ LEARNING CENTER, A HOME-GROWN ROBOTICS EDUCATION COMPANY.

W

hen he was a young boy, Khong Yee Jian wanted to be a doctor, to find a cure for cancer. Life, however, had different plans for him.

Jian – as he is fondly known – spent his youth tinkering with robots and taking part in robotics competitions alongside his elder brother, Yee Jun. What started as a hobby soon turned into the path that Jian and Jun would embark on, as the founders and directors behind Creative Robotics™ Learning Center, or CR8® (pronouced as ‘create’). “It was Jun who was more interested in robotics at first. I was just the younger brother tagging along to competitions. Eventually, as I joined more competitions, I developed an interest for it,” Jian, 28, recalls.

CR8® co-founder Khong Yee Jian has had a passion for robotics from a young age

The brothers built their own robots, especially Jun who would disassemble electronic gadgetry to see how things worked. In 2004, they took part in their first international competition, the World Robot Olympiad, at the age of 16 and 13 respectively. MiBO, their 55-centimetretall humanoid rhythmic gymnastics robot, impressed the judges, and the boys were awarded the Excellence Award. From then on, they went on to win many awards and soon became known in Malaysia as robotics experts, despite still being secondary school students. “We were often invited to go on roadshows, and talked to principals and corporations about our interests in robotics, and also helped mentor and train other young participants like ourselves to join robotics competitions. We were doing so much that half the time we were absent from school!” says Jian. At the encouragement of their parents, the brothers decided it was time to take their interest one step further – by becoming entrepreneurs. This led to them establishing CR8® 14 years ago, conducting robotics classes for children from the ages of five to 17. They also organised two robotics competitions: the World Robo Masters Cup and the World Creative Robotics™ Challenge.

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Humble Beginnings Text Chua Siew Ching / Photos Goh Seng Chong

CR8® organises robotics classes and competitions for children; (top photo) winner of the World Robo Masters of Malaysia 2019 held in June

“When we first started out, we just wanted to see where it would take us, and if we could monetise the business,” Jian explains. Jun was in charge of creating the syllabus for the classes, which the two brothers taught on weekends while juggling their school work on weekdays. Along the way, the pair were presented with an interesting offer – to franchise their business model. “A student’s parent told us that we had a great business idea and wanted to open something similar in a different location. One thing led to another, and we opened our first franchise in Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam. That was about eight years ago. In total, we now have 35 outlets throughout Malaysia, and 15 to 20 more outlets opening up this year,” says Jian. Similarly, another parent proposed to open up a CR8® franchise in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “His son was interested in robotics, but unfortunately there was nothing that suited his interest in the UAE. He found us through Google and brought his son to Malaysia just to

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Humble Beginnings

At the encouragement of their parents, the brothers decided it was time to take their interest one step further – by becoming entrepreneurs. This our classes, allowing us to study under us during the summer break. He took a led to them establishing good look at our business, was completely sold on work with parents of children CR8® 14 years ago, the idea and decided to open one up in the UAE,” with learning disabilities, on Jian recalls. a case-by-case basis,” conducting robotics Jian explains. classes for children Today, CR8® is available in five different locations from the ages of in the UAE, and is endorsed and recognised by the UAE 2019 has proven to be an five to 17. Ministry of Education. exciting year for the company. “When we first started in the UAE, we wanted to go further with the company. We took part in a tender to be the robotics education provider for the whole country, which was also opened up to other leading robotics providers like Carnegie Mellon University. We worked on a month-long pilot project, got professors involved and at the end of it all, we received this recognition,” says Jian.

CR8® works with the Malaysian Ministry of Education, helping with the syllabus for Design and Technology clubs in schools

In Malaysia, CR8® is involved in helping the Malaysian Ministry of Education to further innovate Reka Bentuk dan Teknologi (Design and Technology) clubs in schools with their syllabus. The company is also part of an initiative to introduce coding as a full-time subject.

In January, they released their own product, the CR8® Beyond+ Developer Kit, using the highly advanced Arduino text-based coding programme to provide their students as young as 12 years old with a higher level of learning, similar to what one would learn during their tertiary education. They are also in the midst of finalising a joint venture in India, which would see them opening 200 outlets in the next two years there. There are talks of centres in France, Brunei, Monaco, Bangladesh, Australia and Saudi Arabia.

CR8® works closely with organisations championing children with learning disabilities, both in the UAE and Malaysia. “We started this initiative in the UAE, where we wanted to see if our syllabus would work with children with learning disabilities. Our project was researched by professors who found that it had a positive effect on these children. In Malaysia, we did the same project with A Plus for Autism, whereby the NGO has endorsed

The brothers credit their success to their tight family bond and parental support. Their father Henry, who worked in the electronics industry, was the one who introduced the brothers to electronic gadgetry, while mother Esther,

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Humble Beginnings

a former kindergarten teacher, ferried them to competitions, workshops and roadshows when they were younger. “We run this business as a family. We work together and we also take holidays together. It’s not easy running a family business but as long as we know how to differentiate between work and play, it’s fine,” says Jian.

CR8® has taught over 100,000 children since the inception of their business

Having survived a volatile business environment for more than a decade now, it is obvious that the Khong brothers have a clear vision. Jian says, “The way we see it, robotics education like ours is an important need to what comes next. Our classes help spark an interest and from there, we will see where it goes for the child. Not every child is going to be an engineer or work with robots but they would have learnt how to think out of the box when it comes to problem solving, which can be applied to anything in life. We want to educate children on how to think and to do this by using robotics. “As clichéd as it sounds, as an educator, it is all worthwhile when you’ve raised someone to do big things in the future. Throughout the lifespan of our business, we’ve taught 100,000 children. If there is just one Einstein among them, it’s already worth it because you never know whom among us will be able to change humanity,” he says.

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F i r s t D r i ve s Text Richard Augustin / Photos courtesy of Sime Darby Auto Connexion, and respective local distributors

Tough

As Ever

THE NEW FORD RANGER REINFORCES THE FACT THAT IT IS STILL THE PICK-UP TRUCK TO BEAT.

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W

hen it comes to pick-up trucks, few models can compare to the Ford Ranger. After all, it is a model that’s synonymous with the segment ever since it established itself here in the 1990s. Since its arrival, the Ranger has consistently been one of the best-selling pick-up trucks around. It is a feat that is bound to continue with the latest-generation model, especially as it boasts significant and highly-enticing upgrades – the Wildtrak 4x4 is deserving of that accolade.

Rugged Design

The new Ranger arrives with several styling changes for a cleaner and more streamlined look. Its signature rugged looks are retained and also enhanced thanks to a fresh distinctive front fascia, revised grill and chiselled lower bumper. The Wildtrak also ups the ante in the looks department with LED

daytime running lights, HID headlights as well as LED front fog lamps, a sports-bar and two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels. To ensure it stands out from the crowd, there’s that stunning ‘Saber’ orange colour as well. Loading is also made easier with the addition of the Easy Lift Tailgate.

Robust Performance

A staple feature of the Ranger has always been its performance. The updated Wildtrak continues to deliver in that department with a new-generation 2.0L Bi-Turbo diesel engine, which maintains the model’s class-leading payload and 3,500-kilogramme towing capability. Paired with an advanced 10-speed automatic transmission, the Wildtrak 4x4 offers greater responsiveness, drivability and improved efficiency.

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F i r s t D r i ve s

With 500Nm from a low 1750rpm, the Bi-Turbo engine delivers a greater torque spread, which makes steep, slippery hill-climbs much easier. The new Ranger’s suspension has also been upgraded for improved control roll, which enhances the driving experience even with a full load, or with a trailer hooked up to it.

Elevated Interior

One of the biggest selling points of the Ranger has always been its interior. Offering a car-like cabin, the Ranger is uncompromising in comfort with modern features that today’s drivers want. The Wildtrak now sports keyless entry and a push-start button and features the new SYNC 3 entertainment system. The system is equipped with Bluetooth and an 8.0-inch full colour touchscreen and is compatible with both Apple

COMPETING PICK-UPS The models challenging the Ranger in the segment:

CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also an in-built satellite navigation system, which comes in handy when negotiating areas beyond mobile coverage.

MITSUBISHI TRITON

The latest arrival to the pickup market features a 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine delivering 181ps and 430Nm of torque. There are five variants of the Triton, all equipped with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), dual airbags and Easy Select 4WD system.

ISUZU D-MAX

The established model may be one of the older offerings in the market but it also remains the most efficient. The model is powered by either a 2.5-litre or 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine and is made available in a multitude of variants and trim levels.

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Advanced Safety

TOYOTA HILUX

The biggest leap for the model is found in the safety department. Ford has certainly gone above and beyond in equipping the Ranger with a number of advanced safety features. This includes the brand’s Pre-Collision Assist feature using Inter-Urban Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with Vehicle and Pedestrian Detection.

This iconic pick-up has carved a reputation for its robust performance. The latest model retains that attribute albeit with a sleeker design and a more refined diesel engine. The new Hilux is offered in either 2.4-litre or 2.8-litre variants.

The system, which functions at speeds above 3.6 kilometres per hour, is designed to detect pedestrians as well as vehicles. It can bring the Ranger to a complete stop to help mitigate potential rear-end collisions and road-traffic collisions with pedestrians. The model also features the first and only in-class Lane Departure Warning & Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Forward Collision Warning. The Wildtrak also sports SemiAutomatic Parallel Parking (SAPP) – a segment first – which makes parking a breeze.

The Pick-Up To Beat

MAZDA BT-50

Based on how good it looks and how well it drives, the Ford

The Mazda pick-up has Ranger Wildtrak does have a few rivals in the segment. But its fair share of appealing once you factor in the model’s impressive features, it is clear features such as a that Ford has a bit of an edge over the competitors. One good design and great may argue that at RM134,888, the Wildtrak is one of the more performance. Two engine variants are available: expensive pick-ups in the market at the moment but suffice to a 2.2-litre or 3.2-litre say, it’s a model that proves it is well worth its asking price. turbocharged diesel, both of which are equipped with a standard four-wheel August 2019 drive system.

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Compact Players

A TRIO OF SENSATIONAL MODELS SETTING THE MALAYSIAN COMPACT CAR SEGMENT ON FIRE.

Efficient Countryman

MINI Malaysia has officially rolled out the new MINI Countryman Plug-In Hybrid Wired to local shores. The brand’s first plug-in hybrid model features a plethora of innovative advancements including the new generation MINI Connected with built-in 4G SIM technology. Convenience is further elevated with features such as Comfort Access, Park Assist, Front and Rear PDC, Auto Tailgate, Rear View Camera, Electronic Parking Brake and the MINI Picnic Bench – a soft two-seater bench cleverly designed with a fender dirt protection flap. Equipped with a TwinPower Turbo petrol engine paired with an electric motor and a 6-speed automatic transmission, the model is capable of 224hp and 385Nm of torque. It accelerates from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in 6.8 seconds, boasts a top speed of 198 kilometres per hour, and a consumption ratio of 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres. The new MINI Countryman Plug-In Hybrid Wired is priced at RM250,888.

The Yaris Returns

After 12 years, UMW Toyota Motor has finally decided to bring the Toyota Yaris back to Malaysia. The new locally-assembled hatchback is available in three variants– Yaris 1.5G, Yaris 1.5E and Yaris 1.5J – all of which are powered by a 1.5-litre Dual VVT-i engine and paired with a 7-speed Sport Sequential Shiftmatic transmission. Sleek, streamlined and sporty, the new Yaris features a minimalist yet roomy cabin with features such as Auto Air Conditioning, DVDAVX system with a seven-inch touchscreen display with USB mirroring for connectivity and Panoramic View Monitor (PVM). It is equipped with seven SRS airbags and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), as well as safety features such as a Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).

Compact Limousine

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has added a new addition to its family of compact cars and it’s none other than the new A-Class Limousine. Featuring a progressive cuttingedge look, the latest model features short overhangs at the front and rear which, in combination with the side feature line, reinforces a sporty image. The engine portfolio of the A-Class Limousine is both efficient and powerful, with the A 200 Progressive Line running on a 1.4-litre engine generating 163hp and 250 Nm of torque with the A 250 AMG Line featuring a 224hp/350 Nm 2.0-litre powerplant. Inside you’ll find the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), the brand’s most advanced in-car multimedia system, KEYLESS-GO, 64-colors ambient lighting and a parking assistance package. The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine is priced from RM229,888.

The new Toyota Yaris is priced from RM70,888 to RM83,888.

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Sweet

Spot FOR SWEET-TOOTHED MALAYSIANS, HAPPINESS BEGINS WITH THE ULTIMATE PANCAKE, APAM BALIK.

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Street Chef Text Alexandra Wong / Photos Saravanan Sambad

way to a warm, fluffy pillow encasing a sticky, almost custardy pool of creamed corn, roasted nuts and melting sugar. That maiden encounter in 2003 marked the beginning of my lifelong love affair with Sambad Muthu’s apam balik. Today his fans span the globe: Malaysians who fell in love with his apam balik come looking for him years after they’ve migrated overseas. “I have customers from Switzerland, England and the United States,” the 62-year-old shares. “When they balik kampung, they will drop by to buy dozens of apam to bring back overseas in sealed bags. After the pancakes have been reheated in the oven, they’re almost as good as freshly made ones.”

Sambad’s apam balik has fans from all over the world, including Malaysians who have migrated overseas

I

still remember the first day I met the apam balik man. On a tipoff from my dad, who’s all-toofamiliar with my sweet tooth, I drove to the Cherry Park kuih station, a collective of roadside stalls that cater to Ipoh’s afternoon tea crowd. I spotted the new guy immediately. Manning a three-wheel pushcart at a shady spot beside a drain, a slim, moustached gentleman with salt-and-pepper curly hair peeking out under a cap, stood guard over a long rectangular stove filled with round copper griddles.

Before Sambad became one of Ipoh’s most beloved apam balik makers, the father of two eked out a modest living as a roti man. Malaysians who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s would remember that iconic mobile vendor who rode around Malaysian neighbourhoods on a motorcycle selling homemade Hainanese loaves, Benggali bread and cream buns.

After acknowledging my order with a silent nod, he scooped up a ladle of batter from a metal bucket and swirled it deftly into the griddle pans, which had been greased with margarine. As the batter sizzled and hissed from the heat, it began to cook, gradually acquiring a pale buttery hue on the inside while the edges began to turn golden brown. A dollop of margarine was added, followed by sugar, peanuts and corn. Using a small spatula, the apam balik man skillfully separated the pancake from the pan and folded it into half, before wrapping it up with greaseproof paper. As I handed over my coins, I noticed that a small crowd had huddled around his stall. The smell emanating from the freshly cooked pancake was heavenly. Despite knowing that I’d probably burn my tongue, I took a bite. The outer rim was paper-thin and shatteringly crispy. As I made my way to the thicker centre, the crunchy crêpe gave

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Street Chef

“Based on their feedback, I adjusted my formula,” he says. Getting familiar with using the griddle pans also took time. "You must have a proper technique or else the pancake will stick to the pan,” he says.

With the advent of giant bread brands, Sambad knew his days were numbered, so in 2003 he decided to explore other options. After asking around, he found two apam balik sellers who agreed to teach him for a fee. Alas, neither arrangement worked out. The first guy’s recipe was too complicated – it involved a whopping 13 ingredients! The second vendor shared a simpler recipe that consisted of only four ingredients, but it never went beyond that.

Six months later, Sambad finally nailed the recipe. He will only tell me that the base batter has seven ingredients – not even his wife knows the exact formula. He emphasizes proudly that no chemicals are used, unless you count baking soda. To cater to the large swath of Indians who are vegetarian, he eventually eliminated egg from the ingredient list, which means, yes, his apam balik is vegan.

(from top) Some of the ingredients used for Sambad’s apam balik such as ground peanuts, sugar and corn

Other than a good recipe, the key to an excellent apam balik is “fire control” – or more precisely, the ability to juggle multiple burners as the pancakes cook simultaneously. “The burners don’t burn at the same intensity, so I have to watch each one carefully. When I see a pan becoming too hot, I

(inset & bottom) Control of the burner’s fire is key to making good apam balik

Sambad recalls, “We made an appointment to meet at Cherry Park, where he promised to teach me how to make apam balik on the spot. I waited and waited with my pushcart and a new set of griddle pans, but he never showed up. Meanwhile, customers were getting impatient. In my panic, I simply whipped something together. Somehow, I managed to get through the day.” Having gotten a hint of the public appetite for apam balik, Sambad knew the business had potential. Using the piecemeal knowledge he’d picked up from his errant gurus, he turned his home into a test kitchen, experimenting with different ingredients and techniques. Over the next few months, he churned out hundreds of apam balik which he distributed to his neighbours in the apartment where he stayed.

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Using the piecemeal knowledge he’d picked up from his errant gurus, he turned his home into a test kitchen, experimenting with different ingredients and techniques.

transfer the pan to another burner that is cooler or else the pancake inside will burn. This has to happen very quickly because the pancake cooks in a few minutes. From a stove with eight burners, I have upgraded to one that has 16. Each time you change stoves, you have to relearn its behavior and quirks, because no two stoves are the same.”

from his competitors, Sambad coined the descriptor apam lipat, which is synonymous to apam balik; both phrases mean pancakes that are folded over. Vegetarian Pancake Apam Lipat Sambad operates from two locations:

Sambad’s biggest challenge is the weather. “Wind is the enemy of apam balik,” he says philosophically. “Rain is still ok, but when a strong wind comes, I get very nervous. It can either put out my flames or make them blaze out of control, and my pancakes end up getting burnt.”

Jalan Sungai Pari, Buntong, 30100 Ipoh, Perak (Near Rumah Pangsa Taman Harmoni Buntong) Opens from 6 am to 9 am from Thursday to Sunday

Not one to sit on his laurels, Sambad has figured out a way to gain better control over the stove. He wrapped around the bottom of the stove with metal sheeting, effectively shielding the burners from wind blowing. To the roof of his pushcart, he tacked on additional canvas sheets which can be rolled down during stormy weather.

Jalan Taman Cherry, Taman Cherry, 30100 Ipoh, Perak (Opposite Kompleks Mahkamah Syariah) Opens daily from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm

I notice with amusement that one side of the canvas sheet, when unrolled, doubles as a billboard. The words “apam lipat”, along with their translations in English, Chinese and Tamil, cover the bright green sheet in big colourful fonts, accompanied by photos of the Malaysia and Perak flags. To distinguish himself

Over 16 years of business, Sambad has only increased his selling price by ten cents every two to three years, despite the escalating costs of raw materials. A “biasa” (basic) pancake goes for RM1.20 apiece. If you want extra corn or peanut topping, add twenty cents. “Some vendors charge as much as RM1.20 for the topping alone – same price as one whole apam balik!” he fumes. Sambad insists on keeping his prices low so that his food is affordable to everyone. “Although I am just a simple roadside hawker, I have served people from all walks of life. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that my food is enjoyed by all Malaysians.”

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Open Journal Text Eris Choo

Lifestyle

Hubs

ART JAMMING, LAUNDRY, CUDDLING WITH PETS – THESE MALAYSIAN CAFÉS OFFER MORE THAN JUST COFFEE.

C

afés are now a dime a dozen in the Klang Valley, where people go not only to enjoy coffee, but also to hangout and socialise. To stand out, an increasing number of places are adopting unique concepts to draw the crowds.

Laundry Café

Tucked in an industrial area in Shah Alam, the aptly named Laundry Café lets patrons do their laundry whilst enjoying a steaming mug of artisan coffee. The brainchild of Puah Shyi Yeong, the idea for the 2-in-1 café was mooted several years ago. At the time, Puah was doing renovation and construction work for several self-service laundromats and decided to open his own, combining the concept with his passion for coffee. Enjoy a cup of imported Italian coffee while waiting for the laundry to be done

Currently, the self-service laundromat has nine machines and 10 dryers. In keeping up with the times, customers can also opt to pay via cashless transaction methods such as Wechat. After dropping off their laundry, customers can pop over to the café, which oozes industrial chic. The space features warm ambient lighting and sleek wooden furniture, paired with a high ceiling and homely touches such as bookshelves and whimsical picture frames. Its beautiful interior design has not gone unnoticed as the café has been used as a shooting location for commercials and local dramas, most notably Astro’s My Coffee Prince. The spacious area seats about 70, and they also cater for events such as birthday parties and product launches.

PHOTOS: ERIS CHOO

Puah’s passion for coffee is evident in the cafe’s setup, from the professional Fiorenzato coffee machine behind the counter to the various coffee drip filters and presses lining the shelves. Most of the equipment comes from Puah’s personal collection. In the early days, Puah would take a break from his full-time construction business to personally train new baristas at the café, on the proper ways to make coffee.

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Open Journal Text Eris Choo

Expect handcrafted beverages such as macchiatos, lattes, flat whites and long blacks, made from imported Italian coffee. As for food, tuck into Western fare the likes of pasta and sandwiches, their signature dish being the grilled chicken chop.

LAUNDRY CAFÉ (Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 7 pm. Closed on Sunday. Self-service laundromat operates 24 hours.) 65, Jalan Apollo U5/187, Subang 2, Shah Alam, 40150 Selangor

While their main income stems from the laundry business, Puah’s wife Qian Ling Mei, who helps to run the business, says they keep the café running out of passion. “We get a lot of office workers from the surrounding businesses who come for the set lunches, while residents from nearby housing areas come to wash their clothing,” says Qian. “By having this space, we hope to provide a cosy place for the local community to gather and relax while running their errands,” she adds.

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PHOTOS: ERIS CHOO, YOROKOBI ART CAFE

Yorokobi Art Café

Sip on a cuppa whilst channelling your inner Picasso at Yorokobi Art Café in Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur. Popular for its art jamming sessions, the cosy art studio-cum-café encourages participants to come together to experience free-style painting, over homemade cakes and drinks.

Sip and paint by yourself or take part in art jamming sessions

“You don’t have to be a professional artist to create beautiful art work – that’s the idea behind art jamming,” says Yorokobi Art Café founder and studio art director, Michael Chong. The name Yorokobi is Japanese for happiness; reflected in the café’s fun and lovable bunny mascot. “When you think of a cute, happy animal, you think of something like a rabbit. It also serves as a reminder that art should be fun at all times,” says Chong.

YOROKOBI ART CAFÉ (Opening hours: Wednesday to Monday from 12 pm to 7 pm. Closed on Tuesday.) 12A-1, Jalan Radin Bagus 8, Sri Petaling, 57000 Kuala Lumpur

At the entrance, visitors are welcomed by an eight-foot tall papier-mâché rabbit. Painting stations with fine art easels and art tools take up most of the floor space. There is a giant mural of a rabbit painted in the style of Vincent Van Gogh, as well as a counter displaying cakes and snacks. Chong explains that the café concept only came about three years ago. “We started off purely as an art centre, but decided to serve drinks such as coffee, ice blended tea and light bites as an add-on service for our patrons,” he says.

CONTACT: +603 9054 9538

No minimum number of patrons is set for the art jams, so you can even go on your own for a little me-time. Chong and several assistants are on hand to provide basic guidance, and all basic art materials are provided. Most of his clientele consists of working adults. “I think adults are bad at going for classes, because it means being tied down to a commitment. It’s like a gym membership. You purchase a bunch of classes but you always end up giving excuses not to go!” he laughs. “Art jams are different, since you can go whenever you feel like it. It gives you the flexibility of choice, and if you want to get serious, you can then join our art classes,” he adds. Bookings are recommended, as the café regularly hosts corporate team building events and workshops. A standard art jam starts from RM65 for two hours, and the session can be extended to three hours for an additional fee.

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Open Journal

PHOTOS: ERIS CHOO, 2D CAFÉ

Step into a black and white ‘cartoon’ world at 2D Café

Inside, the café is divided into several areas, including a ‘classroom’ complete with whiteboard and individual desks, a Japanese corner decorated with murals of Daruma dolls and the famous Great Wave of Kanagawa woodblock print; as well as another section with a ball pit, designed to look like a traditional Japanese bathhouse.

2D Cafe

Ever wanted to ‘walk’ into the pages of a comic book? Then step into the 2D Cafe in Bandar Sunway – a unique bubble tea café that employs the clever use of colour, space and angles to achieve a two-dimensional effect that makes for visually stunning photos. Drawing inspiration from similar concepts in South Korea and Taiwan, the café features all-white furniture painted black at the edges to resemble flatline drawings, as well as Japanese and European-themed murals on its walls.

2D CAFÉ (Opening hours: Thursday to Tuesday from 12 pm to 9 pm. Closed on Wednesday.) Address: F-03, Sunway Geo Avenue, 10, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, 47500 Bandar Sunway, Selangor.

“Everything is about social media these days, which is why we adopted this concept as it has the viral factor,” says cofounder Toh Jung Jin, who started the business along with four other shareholders in April this year. The designs, which are hand painted by one of the shareholders who is also a fine artist, took nearly two months

to complete. The front of the store has murals inspired by European classical art, with a cheeky twist, such as Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam and Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, where the subjects are holding bottles of bubble tea.

Currently, 2D Café serves five types of drinks, their signature being the Brown Sugar Fresh Milk and the Brown Sugar Milk Tea. To fit the theme, the tea bottles also incorporate a cartoon-like design on its packaging. “We will be introducing an ice blended tea range soon, to give customers added variety,” says Toh, adding that they are in the process of franchising the concept, with plans for more 2D cafés with different themes, such as a Chinese or Egyptian setting.

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Open Journal

Huskitory

One of the top rated activities to do in Melaka, the Huskitory is a dog lovers paradise. Housed in a two-storey shoplot in Taman Asean, the building has a pet store, café and informative gallery dedicated to Siberian Huskies. Of course, patrons come mostly to meet the stars of the place – the dogs – which one can interact with during their visit. Known for their friendly and free-spirited demeanour, Siberian Huskies have been human companions for centuries, as guard dogs, herders and sled dogs. Their beautiful, wolfish appearances have made them one of the most popular breeds in the world.

Cuddle and play with cute dogs at the Huskitory, which also serves food and drinks and has an information gallery

Dog lover Henry Chew got his first Siberian Husky in 2010. Wanting to find a bigger home for his furry friends to roam about, he eventually opened Huskitory in 2014 with the support of neighbours and fellow dog lovers. “We’re more than just a pet café. The Huskitory is a platform to share our passion and love for Siberian Huskies and provides an opportunity for visitors to learn, appreciate and connect with these loyal animals,” says Chew.

HUSKITORY (Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11AM to 8PM. Closed on Monday.) 27, Jalan Taman Asean, Taman Asean, 75250 Melaka.

The centre currently has 30 Siberian Huskies, some of which are international dog show champions. Most of them are bred locally, but part of the pack comes from countries such as South Africa, Thailand and Indonesia.

CONTACT: +606 334 2602

Visitors pay an entrance fee of RM25 for adults and RM20 for children. The fee is inclusive of entry to The Huskitory, Champion’s Gallery and Akita Café Gallery. The Huskitory offers a selection of western food, light snacks, salads, sandwiches and pasta, with their best seller being the Signature Crispy Chicken Chop. Coffee and cold beverages are also served so patrons can cool off from the blazing Malaysian heat. The Akita Café Gallery’s interior is designed to pay tribute to Hachiko, the world-famous Akita dog who continued to wait for its owner to return, even years after his death. Meanwhile, the Champion’s Gallery is an information sharing gallery on Siberian Huskies, with displays on their history and origins, breed standards and more. Daily one and a half hour sessions start from 11 am, with last call at 6.30 pm. Visitors are free to interact with the dogs, provided they follow ground rules which are laid out by trained members of the staff before each session. “While we do get strong support from the locals, we’re also proud to have visitors from all over the world – 47 countries and counting! Some come to Malaysia just to visit Huskitory,” Chew explains. As dogs can be territorial, visitors are not encouraged to bring their own pets. Walk-ins are allowed, but bookings are best to avoid disappointment.

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S U STA I N A B LE WE AR

With nature and community at the heart of its brand vision, Timberland’s Nature Needs Heroes collection aims to raise awareness on sustainability to what we wear, and the responsibility of consumers and brands in making mindful choices for the planet.

Featuring footwear, apparel and accessories, expect all the hallmarks of Timberland’s rich heritage of utility, craftsmanship and style – reimagined for today’s youth culture with materials such as ReBOTL™ fabric, recycled nylon and organic cotton – in the collection.

Among the collection’s apparel offerings are the OWL’s Head ‘Do Good’ bomber jacket with ripstop ReBOTL™ fabric, made from recycled PET bottles, and the SS Ellis River Statement Tee in heavyweight 100 percent organic cotton, reminding wearers to ‘Leave Only Footprints’ in their adventures. The rugged Ripcord Bungee boot has also been reinvented this season, with bold new colourways and eye-catching

branding. Boasting a premium suede leather upper from an LWG Silver-rated tannery and treated with Defender Repeller Systems, the Ripcord Bungee ensures long lasting comfort through slip-on styling and an EVA footbed, while the revolutionary AEROCORE™ ENERGY SYSTEM with a rubber lug outsole provides high energy return and solid all-terrain grip. The collection comes in Wheat Suede, Grey Suede and Black Suede to suit any look and lifestyle.

Suite 808 – Timberland Johor Premium Outlets, 81000 Kulai, Johor Darul Takzim Tel: +607 660 6601

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Health & Fitness Illustration Nurfarahin Kamarudin

Hearth & Home

GOOD HABITS AND PRACTICES SHOULD BE INCULCATED FROM A YOUNG AGE. FITNESS GURU KEVIN ZAHRI SHARES HIS EXPERIENCE AND FIRST-HAND TIPS ON HOW HE KEEPS HIS YOUNG CHILDREN HEALTHY AND HAPPY.

H

ey there, readers! My children love the month of August, as they get to see fireworks from the balcony of our house on the 31st, which is Malaysia’s Independence Day. I have two amazing children; Rafael, who is eight years old, and Mikaela, who is six. They are definitely bundles of energy, and they’re always excited for just about anything and everything. As parents, it is our responsibility to offer encouragement and support, and to harness this positive energy for as long as possible. Admittedly, being a parent is not easy. I try to balance between work and family, and while I can’t claim to be an expert in raising children, here are some practices that I apply to my own children to help them grow into happy and healthy individuals.

Have Fun Activities

Not all children are born natural athletes, and some children may be better at other things such as building with their hands, playing music or reading. To make physical activity more fun and engaging, skip the treadmill and typical adult workout routines. Tag games, hide and seek, role playing and play fighting are not only great ways to spend time with your kids, but also help to stimulate their curious, growing minds and promote a healthy and active lifestyle for both parents and children.

Limit Screen Time Lead By Example

As clichéd as it sounds, children are ‘recording’ machines – observing and learning from your every move. If you choose to follow a poor and unhealthy lifestyle, such as constantly indulging in fast food or not doing any exercises, chances are your children will do the same.

Screen time is one of the biggest issues confronting parents these days. It is all too common to see both parents and children with their heads bowed over their phones even during meal times, barely making conversation with each other. While digital devices and gadgets can be useful for learning and play, it is important to limit screen time for your children. As a parent, my rule of thumb is simple – no iPads on school days, during meals and before bed-time.

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Make Time

Make Healthy Living A Lifestyle

Not everyone is privileged to have time to spend with their children. Most of us work nine-to-five jobs to provide a better future for our families, but that is no excuse for not making time to be with your kids. Even something as simple as asking them about their day and listening to their stories with undivided attention can go a long way in forging important bonds and building trust, which is important for their mental health.

Create a healthy and sustainable routine that everyone can enjoy. Don’t wait for Hari Sukan Negara or World Health Day to work out! Try to make it a point to do some form of physical activity with your family to cultivate a habit, such as morning aerobics or jogging at the park on weekends.

Find Their Interest

If your child does not like a certain activity, fret not. It is natural for children to rebel when they are forced to do something they do not like. Ask your young one how he or she is feeling about a particular activity. Every child is different and if, like me, you have more than one child, you may need to make some one-on-one playtime with each of them so that they don’t constantly fight for your attention. Focus on activities or alternatives they will enjoy, for example, if they don’t like jogging, they might prefer swimming instead. A healthy lifestyle is a process, not a punishment.

Introduce Competitive Sports

Competitive sports are a great tool for children to learn crucial values such as commitment, team work, healthy competition and learning to accept defeat graciously. Games like football, badminton and futsal can also be a great way for them to make new friends.

About Cikgu Fitness Malaysia

Kevin Zahri is an award-winning U.S.certified 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

Take Charge

Too often we rely on teachers, the nanny or our maids to raise our children, and while they may have a role to play, we as parents are ultimately responsible for shaping and taking charge of our own children. On average, and in most cases, you only enjoy 12 years with them when they are in their developmental years, before they start to lose interest and become more influenced by peers and friends. Make the most of this golden window of time to inculcate the values and practices you want them to follow in the future.

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Pack Up : For Him

1

Stay Pumped

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Reebok’s new Nano 9 is designed for the CrossFit community. Each pair was built with a midfoot support cage that provides stability for heavy lifting days. Responsive cushioning offers comfort for run-heavy workouts of the day. RRP: RM519 reebok.com

Best Foot Forward

Fendi puts a stamp on classic espadrilles with a design featuring its iconic FF logo. Constructed from calf leather and lambskin, they feature a slip-on style, as well as a statement heel in contrasting colours. RRP: USD590 (RM2,443) fendi.com

Trendy Footwear

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NOTHING COMPLETES AN OUTFIT LIKE KILLER SHOES. FROM SNEAKERS TO SANDALS AND HEELS TO FLATS, THEY COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES FOR EVERY MAN OR WOMAN ABOUT TOWN.

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Bold & Bright

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The Gancini sneakers from Salvatore Ferragamo offer a refined combination of a sporty-chic look and iconic details. They are made from supple leather printed with an all-over pattern of the fashion house’s monogram. RRP: USD560 (RM2,317) ferragamo.com

Easy-On Style

Looking at the latest menswear runways, sandals are back in fashion. Pedro’s colour block design is a perfect accompaniment for any casual weekends. Pair it with lightweight fabrics for a sleek yet laid-back look. RRP: RM249 pedroshoes.com/my

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Pack Up : For Her *Some RRPs have been converted into Malaysian Ringgit and are correct at the time of conversion.

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Pretty Playful

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The Puma x Karl Lagerfeld sneakers denote both streetwise swagger and classic sophistication. Covered in a playful polka dot pattern, the sporty-chic design is crafted from soft leather to combine comfort and style. RRP: RM575 my.puma.com

Casual Chic

Geox’s heeled sandals are suitable for all occasions. They feature an open-toed upper made from suede printed in a muted-grey-and-white houndstooth pattern and finished with a romantic side bow in white. RRP: RM563 geox.com

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True Luxury

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Dior has issued a redesigned J’Adior pumps requiring no less than 230,000 embroidery stitches. The style's emblematic white ribbon adorns, like a trim, the topline of black shoes made using a single, seamless piece of fabric. RRP: USD1,090 (RM4,524) dior.com

Summer Lovin’

Now that summer is in full swing, it is time to bask in the glorious sunshine. Inspired by the golden glow that lights up a city in the warmer months, Charles & Keith’s latest flats are just the thing a woman needs for the season. RRP: RM190 charleskeith.com/my

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2

Stripes Of Glory

SIEW TE WONG, SEPILOK SABAH BSBCC

The Malaysian flag, Jalur Gemilang, was designed in 1950 and originally had only 11 stripes and an 11-pointed star. The version we see today was first raised in 1963, after the formation of Malaysia, which included states in the Federation of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.

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Round & Delicious

Ipoh in the state of Perak is famous for pomelos, the largest fruit in the citrus family.

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Bear Necessities

Economic Hub

Malaysia is the 22nd most competitive economy in the world, according to an annual competitiveness ranking list by Switzerland-based think-tank IMD World Competitiveness Centre. Source: imd.org

The Malayan sun bear is the smallest bear species in the world, with adult males measuring about four feet (122 centimetres) tall when standing. A subspecies called the Bornean sun bear can be found exclusively on the island of Borneo. They feed primarily on insects, honey and fruit.

TOURISM MALAYSIA

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PHOTOS: TOURISM MALAYSIA / 123RF

10 things & facts about amazing Malaysia

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MY List

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Modest Dress 5

Niah Caves

The oldest archaeological site in East Malaysia can be found at Gua Niah in Sarawak. Once a major human settlement dating back to 40,000 years ago, visitors will find iron-age cave paintings, as well as Paleolithic and Neolithic burial sites within its vast chambers.

The baju kurung is traditionally worn by Malay women. The modest attire features a kneelength, long-sleeved blouse, worn over a long skirt with pleats on the side.

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Soupy Goodness

Assam laksa is a dish synonymous with the state of Penang and features noodles in a mackerel soup flavoured with tamarind, which gives it a distinctive, sour taste.

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Popular Sport

Sepak takraw is believed to have been played as a sport as early as the Malacca Sultanate in the 15th century. Players pass a rattan ball from one side of the court to the other, but are only allowed to use their feet, knees, chest and head.

Unique Museum 10

9

Ancient Treasure

At over 130 million years old, Taman Negara is one of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world. Its vast area covers three states, namely Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.

The Submarine Museum in Klebang, Melaka is housed in a decommissioned submarine, formerly used to train Royal Malaysian Navy crews. Inside, visitors can explore the various rooms used by the crew, and look at original communications and navigational equipment.

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Reads : Independence

A People’s History Of Malaysia

by Syed Husin Ali The history of Malaysia’s formation is dominated by the key figures of the day. However, this is by no means a complete account of the nation, with the role of less distinguished men and women as well as activities contributing no less effort in the establishment of the country. Dr Syed Husin Ali, a veteran of Malaysian politics and an academic, corrects this oversight in A People’s History Of Malaysia, which attempts to fill the gaps and provides a narrative of the development of nationalism, the rise of mass-based politics and of independence movements begun by workers, women, students and indigenous peoples in forming our nation state. Admittedly an introductory work to the complex issues raised within its pages, A People’s History nevertheless remains a good introduction to the less touted aspects of the Malaysian independence movement. RRP: RM30.00

Midnight’s Furies

by Nisid Hajari For those familiar with the history of South Asia, the word ‘partition’ immediately recalls the bloody massacres and episodes of sectarian violence which marred what should have been a glorious moment of liberation. Instead, Indian independence and the birth of Pakistan would herald the deaths of hundreds of thousands, and the displacement of up to 14 million citizens of the former British Raj. Rarely has a political decision come at so heavy a price. Midnight’s Furies is a blow-by-blow narrative of the events leading up to Partition, with particular emphasis on three of the key figures: Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohandas Gandhi and Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Hajari also explores the lasting legacy of Partition on Indian and Pakistani realpolitik, making the book invaluable reading for those looking for a better understanding of the current tensions in the region. RRP: RM63.95

Tunku : His Life And Times

by Mubin Sheppard The seminal biography of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, has been republished in 2019 for a new audience. Chronicling his ancestry, early childhood, education, initiation into politics and culminating with his crowning achievement as the principal architect of Malaya's independence, Sheppard’s biography is a complete portrait of Malaysia’s Bapa Kemerdekaan. With his political acumen and influence with both the colonial administrators and local political warlords, Tunku spearheaded the transformation of Malaysia into a multi-racial nation state premised on the ideals of tolerance, moderation and intercommunal harmony. Held in high regard both in his own country and in Britain where he read law and history, Tunku remains the foremost political leader of Malaysia and deserves his place in the annals of Malaysian history. RRP: RM59.90

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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERS Hardcover Fiction & Non-fiction *based on the week of 14 July 2019

Exit West

by Mohsin Hamid Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West is a novel of extraordinary breadth, about a pair of young lovers seeking to liberate themselves from the tyranny of war whatever the cost. Saeed and Nadia meet and fall in love in a conservative Islamic state that has grown increasingly dangerous. Things come to a head when Saeed’s mother is murdered – the innocent victim of sectarian violence – and the young couple decide that it is time to make a run for it. At around the same time, mysterious portals have appeared in doorways around the world. These wormholes transcend space and time to lead to safer, more prosperous countries in the West. Unsurprisingly, these portals become invaluable passageways to the West, and Saeed and Nadia eventually find themselves holed up in a posh part of the United Kingdom, which quickly becomes an immigrant enclave. A fascinating read with lessons about how walls and barriers are not going to be sufficient in stopping those truly motivated to escape and seek out liberty. RRP: RM49.95

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING

BACKLASH

SUMMER OF ‘69

LOST AND FOUND

by Delia Owens

by Elin Hilderbrand

CITY OF GIRLS

by Elizabeth Gilbert

Leaves Of Grass

by Walt Whitman Whitman – arguably the father of American poetry but undoubtedly the quintessential American poet – published Leaves Of Grass in 1855 as the young United States of America approached its first centenary. Although the new world was still gripped by the tyranny of the old world, one can imagine the spirit of promise and liberty suffusing the atmosphere following the nation’s break with old mother Europe. Leaves Of Grass, Whitman's celebration of his philosophy of life and humanity, is very much the spontaneous expression of this freedom and independence, celebrating sensual pleasure at a time when “such candid displays were considered immoral”. The individual, liberated and free, stands at the centre of Whitman’s poetry, and is elevated both in body and mind in its communion with nature untamed. It may seem unlikely today, but Leaves Of Grass was castigated as obscene and puerile when it was first published – always a decent sign of good poetry. RRP: RM74.90

THE PIONEERS

by David McCullough

UNFREEDOM OF THE PRESS by Mark R. Levin

by Brad Thor

by Danielle Steel

EDUCATED

by Tara Westover

BECOMING

by Michelle Obama

SONGS OF AMERICA

by Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw

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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LIONSGATE

A t T h e M ov i e s

Angel Has Fallen

Starring: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lance Reddick, Tim Blake Nelson, Piper Perabo Director: Ric Roman Waugh Release date: 23 August 2019 After hit blockbusters Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and London Has Fallen (2016), Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) returns to the silver screen in Angel Has Fallen. When there is an assassination attempt on United States President Allan Trumbull (Freeman), his trusted confidant, Banning, is wrongfully accused and taken into custody. After escaping from capture, he becomes a man on the run and must evade his own agency and outsmart the FBI in order to find the real threat to the President. Desperate to uncover the truth, Banning turns to unlikely allies to help clear his name, keep his family from harm and save the country from imminent danger.

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Playing at the cinemas Fast & Furious Presents : Hobbs and Shaw

*Information is correct at the time of printing

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Roman Reigns, Helen Mirren, Eiza Gonzales Director: David Leitch Release date: 2 August 2019

UNIVERSAL PICTURES

Ever since hulking lawman Luke Hobbs (Johnson), a loyal agent of America's Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Deckard Shaw (Statham), a former British military elite operative, first faced off in 2015’s Furious 7, the duo have swapped smack talk and body blows as they’ve tried to take each other down. But when cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Elba) gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever – and bests a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent (Kirby), who just happens to be Shaw’s sister – these two sworn enemies will have to partner up to bring down the only guy who might be tougher than themselves.

The Angry Birds Movie 2

Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Leslie Jones, Rachel Bloom, Nicki Minaj, Awkwafina Director: Thurop Van Orman and John Rice Release date: 14 August 2019

SONY PICTURES © 2019 CTMG, INC.

Red, Chuck, Bomb and the rest of their feathered friends are surprised when a green pig suggests that they put aside their differences and unite to fight a common threat. Aggressive birds from an island covered in ice, led by the mysterious purple bird named Zeta, are planning to usher in a new ice age with an elaborate weapon, to destroy the fowl and swine way of life. After picking their best and brightest, the birds and pigs must work together to infiltrate the island, deactivate the device and return to their respective paradises intact.

Good Boys

UNIVERSAL PICTURES

Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon, Keith L. Williams, Will Forte, Lil Rey Howery, Molly Gordon, Midori Francis Director: Gene Stupnitsky Release date: 16 August 2019

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After being invited to his first kissing party, 12-year-old Max (Tremblay) is panicking because he doesn’t know how to kiss. Eager for some pointers, Max and his best friends Thor (Noon) and Lucas (Williams) decide to use Max’s dad’s drone – which Max is forbidden to touch – to spy on a teenage couple making out next door. When things go ridiculously wrong, the drone is destroyed. Desperate to replace it before Max’s dad gets home, the boys skip school and set off on an odyssey of epically bad decisions involving some accidentally stolen drugs, frat-house paintball, and running from both the police and terrifying teenage girls.

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Net work Map

123RF

George Town

HERITAGE SITE Discover a blend of old and new in George Town, Penang. Turn to page 22 to find out more.

Banda Banda Aceh Aceh

Firefly Sales Offices & Counters

SUBANG

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

PENANG

Departure Hall, Main Terminal Penang International Airport 11900 Bayan Lepas TEL: +604 630 6665 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 5:30 am to 10 pm

KELANTAN

JOHOR

Ground Floor, Aero Mall Senai International Airport 81250, Johor Bahru TEL: +607 598 7488 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 6 am to 10 pm

INDONESIA

KEDAH

International Departure Hall Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport Banda Aceh EMAIL: aceh@fireflyz.com.my 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

LANGKAWI

Airline’s Marketing Representative

Selected Airport Ticket Offices

Sultan Mahmud Airport 21300 Kuala Terengganu TEL: +609 667 5377 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 7 am to 9 pm

PERAK

Floor 3, Room 302, Phuket International Airport Maikhao, Thalang, Phuket 83110 TEL: +66 76 351 477 FAX: +66 76 327 312 EMAIL: phuket@fireflyz.com.my

Level 5, Departure Hall Main Terminal Building Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) 64000 Sepang, Selangor OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 5:30 am to 12 am

PAHANG

SINGAPORE

Sultan Ismail Petra Airport 16100 Kota Bharu TEL: +609 774 1377 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 5:30 am to 9:30 pm

TERENGGANU

Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Airport 25150 Kuantan TEL: +609 538 2911 OPERATING HOURS: Sat to Mon, Wed & Thur; 9 am to 6 pm

THAILAND

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

SUBANG

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

21, Seletar Aerospace Road 1 #01-03, Singapore 797405 TEL: +65 3158 8279 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 7 am to 7:30 pm

KLIA

KL SENTRAL

Lot L2.23, Level 2 Nu Sentral Shopping Centre 201, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 10 am to 10 pm (including Public Holidays); Last queue number: 9:30pm

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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.

Alor Setar

RICH PAST Historical landmarks, museums, delicious food and picturesque scenery – Alor Setar has got it all. Read our guide on page 18.

(Seletar (SeletarAirport) Airport)

Call Centre General Hotline: Malaysia +603 7845 4543 (Daily 8am – 9pm) Singapore +65 3158 8279 (Daily 8am – 9pm)

*Correct at the time of printing. Please visit www.fireflyz.com.my for more information.

(Kuala (KualaLumpur) Lumpur)

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Our Fleet & Service Information

Get acquainted with our service information for a fuss-free travel experience. On-Time Performance

No-Smoking Policy

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

ATR 72-500

Manufacturer

Avions de transport régional (ATR) No. of aircraft

12

Height

7.65 m Maximum Fuel Capacity

841 Gallons

Maximum Cruising Speed

Passenger Seating

510 km/h

Length

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)

27.05 m

Operation Hubs

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.

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Wheelchair Assistance

Manual self-propelled wheelchairs can be provided for a fee, subject to availability. Please enquire through our Call Centre upon booking.

Electronic Cigarettes

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 Batteries

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.

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View finder Photo 123rf

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View finder Photo Tourism Malaysia

Pride &

Patriotism T

he Merdeka Day Parade, held annually to commemorate Malaya’s independence from the British in 1957, is a spectacle not to be missed. Celebrations are held nationwide, although the grandest event will take place in either Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur, or in Putrajaya, Malaysia’s administrative capital. Traditionally, the festivities kick off with the arrival of the King or the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, followed by the hoisting of the Malaysian flag and the singing of the national anthem. Seven chants of Merdeka – after the original declaration of independence by Malaysia’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman – is also re-enacted. The main highlight of the celebration is the flypast and parade segment, involving military helicopters and jets as well as various military and civil contingents. This is a good chance for visitors to catch a glimpse of armoured vehicles, tanks, and mobile and mounted units. There will also be patriotic and cultural performances from Malaysia’s various ethnic groups, alongside a procession of colourful floats, vintage cars and motorcycle convoys.

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# FlyFirefly syairinisa

lieen_ewan

Tag us on Instagram @ fireflyairlines and get your photos published. gracemy

u

32 likes syairinisa One of the pit stops during our Hari Raya trip. #flyfirefly 22 likes lieen_ewan Wonde rful refreshment for a short flight.

nikmf2000

ut 107 likes a week b It’s been ot at gracemyu Sh . ft le r I neve i it feels like after jet sk nang, right nd la iis w Pantai Ce ka ping. #lang island hop is really ur photo .perla Yo lla e rc a m wow.

49 likes nikmf2000 #flyfirefly

arasyiqin_kazumi valerielimse

40 likes arasyiqin_kazumi Bon voyage! #fireflyairlines #endofpenangbiztrip

e

6 likes s. One just e Two Fireflie valerielimse ed. Planend la st ju e d on took off an e. af C 66 Hangar spotting at

barefootyachtsindonesia Stunning picture.

rencongdirg

antara

50 likes fly from antara Let’s rencongdirg th wi ng to Pena Banda Aceh ggage ba e Fre s. ne @fireflyairli cabin to 15kg and allowance up g! baggage 7k

shahadatsammy

67 likes shahadatsammy Nature will always be natural, no matter how u capture it. garylebed Nice

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18/07/2019 4:43 PM


IBC_FF Aug 2019_Subang-Seletar.pdf

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