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Official FireFly In-flight Magazine

January 2019

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

Fond Farewell FIREFLY BIDS GOODBYE TO DYNAMIC CEO IGNATIUS ONG

12-HOURS IN KUALA LUMPUR / INSIDER'S GUIDE TO SUBANG, MALAYSIA / SAVOUR ASSAM LAKSA / AND MORE...


Contents January 2019

4 CEO's Message

16 Quench Where to drink

6 Editor’s Note 8 Letters 9 Agenda Calendar of events and happenings

12 Comfort Zone Where to stay

14 Bites Where to eat

18 Applify Cool start-of-the-year apps you should have for your mobile devices

28 22

19 Tech’ Up Must-have gadgets

20 12 Hours Kuala Lumpur

22 Insider's Guide Subang, Selangor

28 Perspective Ignatius Ong

32 Tracker

20 January 2019

2

Majestic waterfalls

34 Humble Beginnings TheLorry.com


TOURISM AUSTRALIA

58

38 First Drives The all-new Mercedes Benz A-Class

38 54

42 Street Chef Poomy’s Kitchen

45 Savour Assam laksa

46 Open Journal New Year celebrations around the world

52 Health & Fitness Sticking to weight loss goals

54 Pack Up

46

Travel essentials for him and her

56 MY List

56

10 things and facts about Malaysia

58 Reads Books you should be reading

60 At The Movies What’s showing in theatres

63 Firefly News 66 Network Map 68 Fleet & Service Info 70 Viewfinder 72 #FlyFirefly Our Instagram Stars!

123RF

Penang Avatar Secret Garden

January 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

Happy New Year! Let me welcome each and every one of you onboard Firefly Airlines with a new issue of our FireFlyz in-flight magazine – now with a brand-new look and feel. It’s always an awesome feeling to be holding something new! Aside from the refreshed and updated look, the new content ensures that the magazine keeps up with the ever-changing direction of aviation and lifestyle design, with small elements creating a more modern and holistic look, to allow for a more enjoyable reader experience. It is not just an in-flight magazine, so do take it home! It is a pleasure having you experience our service as we move into 2019 with great ideas and positive anticipation. Just as an eventful year has passed and a new one begins, I would like to take this opportunity to share that I will now move on to the next step in my career, within the same group. While I’ll remain as the Group Chief Revenue Officer for Malaysia Airlines, the Firefly CEO reins will now be passed to Philip See, a first-rate leader and long-time friend. I’ll be cheering on for all to continue with Firefly’s worthwhile and lasting legacy. No words here could do justice to the gratitude and respect I have for all of you. It has been a great privilege to be able to serve, directly and indirectly, all Firefly passengers. Before I sign off, a huge thank you to all of you out there who have been with us throughout this exciting journey. Trust the money-can’t-buy service that our team has to offer, just like in the past. As always, we want you to have a memorable yet efficient experience from the time you arrive at our door to the time you board our plane and arrive at your destination. Do remember Firefly when you hear “being on-time” and “value for money”. Our website and social media platforms are the best avenues for you to get the latest updates, so always check them out. Here’s a toast to new beginnings – a new look and a new everything! Enjoy your flight, and have an amazing journey.

Ignatius Ong Chief Executive Officer

January 2019

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Deputy Editor 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

ADVERTISING & MEDIA SALES Senior Sales Manager Sales Manager Zac Lau Emmy Aiza zac.lau emmy.aiza @spafax.com @spafax.com Sales Manager Vannes Ching vannes.ching @spafax.com

Sales Manager Khairul Adzman khairul.adzman @spafax.com

SPAFAX Chief Executive Officer Niall McBain Chief Operating Officer/ Chief Financial Officer Simon Ogden

Managing Director, Asia Pacific Jean-Marc Thomas

Spafax EMEA Nick Hopkins nick.hopkins @spafax.com

Spafax USA Mary Rae Esposito maryrae.esposito @spafax.com

Spafax Europe Tullia Vitturi tullia.vitturi @spafax.com Spafax UK Steve O’Connor Steve.OConnor @spafax.com Spafax Asia-Pacific Agnes Law agnes.law @spafax.com

Spafax Canada Laura Maurice laura.maurice @spafax.com Spafax South America Deborah Mogelberg deborah.mogelberg @spafax.com

PRINTER Times Offset (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (194695-W) Times Subang, Bangunan Times Publishing, Lot 46, Subang Hi-Tech Industrial Park, Batu Tiga, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: +603 5628 6888 Fax: +603 5628 6899 Firelyz is published monthly by Spafax Networks Sdn Bhd for FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd (346606-K). No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of Firefly. All rights reserved. Copyright @ 2019 by Firefly. Opinions expressed in Firelyz are the writers’ and not necessarily endorsed by Firefly and/or Spafax Networks. They are not responsible or liable in any way for the contents in any of the advertisements, articles, photographs or illustrations contained in this publication. Editorial inquiries and inquiries concerning advertising and circulation should be addressed to Spafax Networks. Firefly and Spafax Networks accept no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photography, illustration 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

H

appy New Year, and welcome to a brand new issue of Fireflyz!

This space is reserved.

As I write this Editor’s Note, the team and I are hard at work, editing and designing the last few pages of the magazine. If you have been following us each month, you will notice a significant change in its design and editorial direction. There are new surprises to love, from the way the stories are told to the playful font used and the specially commissioned illustrations and imagery. It has been an absolute joy to recreate Fireflyz and what better time to reveal it than at the start of a new year. I can’t wait to watch its new beginning unfold.

For you.

Speaking of clean slates, we bid farewell to Firefly Chief Executive Officer Ignatius Ong this month as he leaves to take up a new challenge at Malaysia Airlines. In his swansong interview, which is also our cover story, he speaks frankly about his seven years of helming Firefly. We do wish IO, as he is fondly known, well and we’re sure we won’t be seeing the last of him. In another fresh start article, Malaysian fitness guru Kevin Zahri explains why the most popular resolution on everyone’s New Year’s list – weight loss – is the first to be broken. If you follow his suggestions, then maybe 2019 will be the year when you can finally tick the wish off your checklist.

Stand above the competition when you advertise with Firefly, and maximise your brand reach. We're waiting for your call.

There are more compelling reads in this issue, and I do hope you find them fresh and insightful. This redesigned issue has taken no small feat to curate and put together. If you like the new design and content strategy, let us know. The team will be more than pleased. And if you would like to suggest topics for future issues, let us know too. Bouquets and brickbats are always welcomed.

See you next month.

Julie Goh Editor

ON THE COVER Ignatius Ong

PHOTOGRAPHY Syaiful Azuan Abdul Fatah ART DIRECTION Euric Liew

Contact Spafax Networks Sdn Bhd at +603-7960 0711 or email ffmedia@spafax.com

WARDROBE Giorgio Armani

January 2019

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Letters

We’d love to hear from you! WINNING LETTER

Without a doubt, Firefly has always been my choice for travel within Malaysia. Its Klang Valley hub in Subang is convenient, and makes connections so easy. The service is also efficient. Really, I can’t find any faults. Over the past eight years, I have seen a lot of changes in the airline. It is, of course, not a full service airline but it is nimble and has tried ways to offer alternative products to compensate for what it cannot offer due to its business model. Well done, Firefly! I hope you continue to keep the interests of your passengers high on your agenda.

Write to us at ffmedia@spafax.com and stand a chance to win a 3D2N stay in a Deluxe Room at Mei Hotel Penang, inclusive of breakfast for two, worth RM456.

Marynne Leong

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.

JOHOR BAHRU, MALAYSIA

I’m a frequent flyer for work, and I’ve never missed an issue of Fireflyz. Your story on animal rescuers in the December issue caught my attention. As an animal lover myself, I can understand the motivation behind the rescuers’ efforts. When I see stray cats and dogs on the road, I will stop to give them some food. I carry a bag of dry food pellets in my car, and it has been put to good use on many occasions. I would love to read more about these good Samaritans, so please keep the articles coming!

Tan Mei Ling

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

I’m a fan of Fireflyz magazine, and have the good fortune of being able to read it regularly as I travel from my home in Alor Setar to Subang every month. They keep me entertained throughout the one hour-plus flight. I must say the choice and length of the articles are ideal for the short flight. For the upcoming issues, it would be great if you could include more overseas destinations so that we may discover new and interesting places of interest, besides our beloved Malaysian locations. I am sure there are plenty of attractions, food and art to be discovered in other countries too. Thank you.

Kamarudin bin Ibrahim SELANGOR, MALAYSIA

January 2019

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Agenda

SENG TS, FLICKR

LEOCADIO SEBASTIAN, FLICKR

Upcoming Religious Festival

Events CALENDAR OF EVENTS AND HAPPENINGS FROM MALAYSIA AND AROUND THE WORLD

The Hindu festival of Thaipusam makes for one of the most colourful religious festivals to be celebrated in Malaysia and Singapore. Thousands of tourists flock to Batu Caves in Selangor to watch devotees enter a trance and pierce their skin with skewers or carry milk pots and kavadi (burdens) up the steep 272 steps to the Hindu temple site in an act of devotion and humility to the Hindu god Murugan. Similar chariot processions take place on the streets of Penang, Ipoh and Singapore. When: 21 January Where: Selangor, Penang, Ipoh in Malaysia, and Singapore batucaves.org

Creations of Light

PHOTOS: I LIGHT SINGAPORE

The i Light Marina Bay light art festival returns with the special i Light Singapore – Bicentennial Edition featuring a colourful array of light art installations. With the theme Bridges of Time, the event received its largest response to the call for artworks with 249 submissions from 36 countries in just two months. The festival tells the story of Singapore’s history and growth over the last 700 years. When: 28 January – 24 February Where: Marina Bay, Civic District, Singapore River, and Raffles Terrace at Fort Canning, Singapore ilightsingapore.sg

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Agenda

Superyacht Regatta

PHOTOS: ASIA SUPERYACHT RENDEZVOUS

The annual Asia Superyacht Rendezvous Cup returns to celebrate its 18th year in Phuket. This exclusive event pits superyacht owners, captains and crew in a weekend of racing around Mai Khao Bay and evening social parties. Rivalry between vessels may run fierce but the event promises to be a jolly and fun-filled one. The event accepts both motor and sailing yachts greater than 24 metres in length. When: 18 – 20 January Where: SALA Phuket Resort & Spa, Phuket, Thailand asia-superyacht-rendezvous.com

Test of Strength

PHOTOS: SELANGOR ST ANDREW’S SOCIETY

Organised by the Selangor St. Andrew’s Society, the Kuala Lumpur Highland Games is an exciting annual event that celebrates Scottish culture through traditional contests, music, food and drinks. Watch the big pipe band competition, cheer on teams in the junior and veterans rugby tournament, and watch professional strongmen perform amazing feats of strength in traditional contests such as the caber toss and hammer throw. There are plenty of fun activities for visitors as well such as the spacious children’s playground and the highly anticipated tug-ofwar event. When: 23 February Where: Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort, Kuala Lumpur facebook.com/ KualaLumpurHighlandGames

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Comfort Zone

SELANGOR, MALAYSIA

MICE Haven

Located near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Mövenpick Hotel & Convention Centre KLIA is the venue of choice for meetings, exhibitions and conferences in the region. The hotel has 333 rooms and suites, and a range of eateries offering dishes with Halal certification. Choose from a selection of Malaysian and international cuisine served at Temasya, à la carte specials at Bara, Redup’s Middle Eastern dishes, or drinks and light meals at Beranda Café and Sira. Leisure facilities include separate male and female swimming pools, kids’ club, tennis court, fitness centre and a spa with outdoor spa pods. The adjacent convention centre boasts of 1,287 square metres of open exhibition space, a 777 square-metre circular hall, and a 2,386 square-metre Main Hall as well as seven discussion and 10 seminar rooms. Address: Kompleks TH Sepang, Jalan Masjid KLIA, 64000 Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia movenpick.com/klia

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

Happening Hotspot

In line with the brand’s location-centric philosophy, Travelodge Bukit Bintang puts leisure and business travellers right in the heart of Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur’s most happening district. The hotel is strategically located within walking distance of the Bukit Bintang MRT Station as well as key attractions such as the Jalan Alor Food Street, Changkat Bukit Bintang nightlife zone, as well as Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and other shopping centres. The 168 rooms include large Family rooms that can accommodate as many as four guests comfortably. Guests dining in-house can enjoy the all-day breakfast by popular local café chain Antipodean. The hotel also provides in-house services such as 24-hour gym facilities and a self-service laundry room. Address: 16, Jalan Alor, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia travelodgehotels.asia

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W h e r e To S t a y

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

Bold And Trendy

W Hotels makes its grand debut in Malaysia with W Kuala Lumpur, just a stone’s throw from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. Bold, modern design meets traditional motifs in every space including its 150 stylish guestrooms and suites. Guests are spoiled for choice with six diverse food and beverage offerings – Cantonese cuisine and seafood at Yen, Australian farm-to-fork dishes at Flock, bar bites and cocktails at Woobar, the Wet Deck pool bar, exquisite French eatery Saint Pierre, as well as Wicked, the city’s newest VIP club. W Kuala Lumpur also offers over 1,500 square metres of function space, including the 1,000-square-metre Great Room for events and weddings. Guests can also work up a sweat at the Fit gym or pamper themselves at the Away Spa which offers a wide range of treatments. Address: 121, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia wkualalumpur.com

PHUKET, THAILAND

Cultural Tribute

One of the latest additions to Phuket’s most happening district, Hotel Indigo Phuket Patong pays tribute to Patong’s past as a quaint fishing village with a design that fuses historical, natural and modern elements of Patong’s culture. Savour charcoal-grilled meat and seafood with a Patong twist and a glass of wine at Butcher’s Garden, the hotel’s contemporary restaurant. The street-front bar Pots, Pints & Tikis offers a selection of craft beer, cocktails and small bites, while the sophisticated No Name Bar, the first and only cigar room in Patong, gives guests exclusive password-only access to locally inspired crafted beverages. In addition to the hotel’s rooftop swimming pool and pool bar, leisure facilities include a 24-hour fitness centre equipped with a Muay Thai boxing ring. Address: Rat U Thit, 200 Pee Rd, Patong, Kathu District, Phuket 83150, Thailand ihg.com/hotelindigo/hotels/us/en/phuket/phupp/hoteldetail

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

The Return Of Coca

It’s all about hotpot at Coca, which used to be the go-to restaurant for hotpot and all its trappings. After a hiatus of seven years, Coca is back with a new menu and venue in Bangsar Shopping Centre. For those reminiscing about its signature hotpot and sauces, these still form the core of the menu with rich broths and the ubiquitous fish glue. Interesting additions include ThaiCantonese style dishes with a healthy twist such as the spicy prawn and scallop salad with quinoa as a base, and steamed kampung chicken served with organic black Jasmine rice. Address: Level 3, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Jalan Maarof, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/coca.malaysia

Fine Japanese Cuisine

This cosy sushi bar filled with warm accents aims to bring the omakase dining experience in Kuala Lumpur to new heights. The kitchen is headed by Chef Okabe, a Japanese sushi chef with Michelin stars under his belt, and serves fine Japanese cuisine made with premium ingredients and the freshest produce. The centrepiece of Sushi RYU is the elegant 11-seater sushi counter where the chef works his magic. There are two private dining rooms with separate entrances, and an adjoining bar – Bar Shake, also accessible through its own entrance – offers handsome leather chairs for lounging with Japanese-style cocktails. Address: Platinum Park, Persiaran KLCC, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/sushiryumy

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Café Styling at Lisette’s

Lisette’s Café & Bakery offers coffee, cakes, pastries, vegetarian dishes, sandwiches and a hearty Sunday brunch guaranteed to satisfy. Located in a quaint shophouse in the quieter part of Bangsar, this is the kind of café to hang out and yes, take plenty of Instagram-worthy pictures. Lunchtime specials include the Very Beefy Burger, Kimchi Fried Rice, and Baked Eggs with spinach and mushrooms, but it is its vegetarian lunch buffets on Tuesdays and Fridays that are well worth a trip here. Substantial salads, flavourful frittatas and tasty quiches are just some of the offerings that even non-vegetarians will be happy to indulge in. On a fine day, sit outside for coffee and cake. Address: No.8, 8A & 8B, Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/lisettes.my

Contemporary Asian with a View

The latest wining, dining and partying outpost of the lush Cé La Vi brand is now in Kuala Lumpur offering contemporary Asian cuisine with a strong inclination towards Japanese techniques and ingredients. Located on the 37th floor of the Ilham Tower, panoramic views compete with a sleek interior for your attention. The menu veers from feel-good Pan Asian stalwarts to Japanese classics with an emphasis on the freshest of seafood. After dinner, it’s just a hop and a skip away to the lounge for cocktails and more of the legendary view. Address: 37th Floor, Ilham Tower, No.8 Jalan Binjai, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia kl.celavi.com

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

Poolside Partying

Where there’s a W Hotel, there’s a WET Deck, the poolside party place with a heady combination of awesome views and great music – just what you need to ease into the weekend! The WET Deck in Kuala Lumpur lives up to the hype and it doesn’t hurt that the iconic Petronas Twin Towers seems close enough to touch. Sunset and Late Night sessions see local and international DJs spinning, so all you have to do is sit back with your drink and admire the view, or dance the night away with a swish crowd. Address: W Kuala Lumpur, 121, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/WKualaLumpur

Sunset Views

Located in the stylish Alila Bangsar, The Lido rooftop bar takes up the top three levels of the building. The bar itself is located on the first level where there is also a comfortable seating area. Head to the second floor to enjoy your drink beneath the stars; here, the tables are set far apart enough to ensure privacy for your group. There’s no seating on the third level; instead it’s a viewing deck where you can soak in the sunset and uninterrupted 360-degree views of the surrounding neighbourhood. Pair the refreshing signature cocktails (great for KL’s tropical weather) with delicious finger food from the kitchen. Address: L42, Alila Bangsar, 58, Jalan Ang Seng, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/thelidobar

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Stylish Nights Out

The swanky Bar Trigona in the similarly sophisticated Four Seasons Place is a luxurious setting for a drink. The most prominent feature is the bar, an impressive sight with mosaic tiles designed to reference local traditional weaving patterns, while floor-to-ceiling windows and plush seating give an air of opulence. Bar Trigona offers a cocktail menu that highlights different flavour profiles, and champions the use of local ingredients sourced from around the country, a process supervised by the knowledgeable head bartender Ashish. With Ashish at the helm, the creative cocktails served at Bar Trigona are expertly crafted, delicious and beautifully presented. FOUR SEASONS HOTEL KUALA LUMPUR

Address: Four Seasons Place, 145 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia fourseasons.com/kualalumpur/dining/lounges/bar-trigona

Scaling New Heights

As the tallest hotel rooftop bar in Kuala Lumpur, Vertigo at Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur offers stunning uninterrupted views of the surrounding city skyline. Experienced mixologists are on hand to create cocktails customised to your preference, or you can go for cocktails on the succinct menu that focuses on quality over quantity, and highlights Asian flavours. There are also affordably-priced wine and spirits, as well as non-alcoholic options such as mocktails, coffee and fine teas. To go with the drinks, there’s a selection of tapas that go beyond the typical fries and bar bites; expect dishes such as beef tartare, steak skewers and Atlantic salmon. Address: Level 59, Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur, 2, Jalan Conlay, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia banyantree.com/en/malaysia/kuala-lumpur/ dining/vertigo

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Applify: Apps In Focus

New Year Goals

Learn Languages with Memrise

WHETHER IT’S RESOLVING TO STAY FIT, SPEND LESS OR PICK UP A NEW LANGUAGE, HERE ARE SOME USERFRIENDLY APPS TO KICK-START YOUR YEAR ON A POSITIVE NOTE.

PUBLISHER: Memrise COST: Free – One-month Memrise Pro subscription starts from RM14.00, with a seven-day free trial Memrise makes use of spaced repetition and gamification to make the process of learning new languages fun, yet effective. Learners progress by correctly answering a number of word or phrase reviews before the app introduces new ones. Free usage offers unlimited access to basic word or phrase introduction and review lessons, while a paid subscription opens up a wide range of powerful lessons, including videos and audio clips by native language speakers.

Sworkit: Workouts & Fitness Plans

PUBLISHER: Nexercise Apps, Inc COST: Free – Quarterly Sworkit Premium subscription starts from RM124.99, with a one-month free trial Having little time or not knowing how to exercise is no longer a valid excuse with Sworkit. Users can set workout sessions for as short as five minutes and schedule the app to remind them to maintain their fitness regime each day. Sworkit workouts combine different video-guided exercises and rest in 30-second intervals, and users can customise their workouts by choosing exercises geared at different purposes such as cardio, strength training, stretching and even yoga. Free usage is limited to a one-month free trial before users are requested to subscribe which will unlock harder workouts and more features.

Spending Tracker

PUBLISHER: MH Riley Ltd COST: Free – Pro Upgrade priced at RM13.99 (Android) and RM12.90 (iOS) Spending Tracker is a user-friendly budgeting app that helps users monitor their personal transactions. Preset categories such as clothes, shopping, eating out, fuel and entertainment allow users to easily track specific expenses. You can also customise your own categories. For recurring transactions, set them for a week or a month so you don’t need to manually key in each time. There is also a budget mode with friendly reminders to control All apps are spending. While the app available on Google Play is basic, it is simple to use and Apple and the charts are easy to Apps Store understand.

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

1

All-Around Versatility

2

The Spectre x360 15 is one of HP’s latest convertible laptops. This 15-inch device can go from laptop to tablet in one easy swing. New features include a chamfered design for easier opening with one hand, an angled USB port for better cable management during charging and a kill-switch when webcam privacy is needed. RRP: RM5,787 hp.com.my

Stay Engaged

The Jabra Engage 50 is a professional digital corded headset for better-sounding calls. It features a unique three-microphone system that filters out background noise and breathing sounds, giving callers a superior experience. Stereo sound and super wideband enable vibrant, lifelike conversations. RRP: RM1,200 jabra.com

1

2 4

3

3

4

Retro Charm

Make Your Mark

The 2nd generation Apple Pencil now features an intuitive touch surface that supports double-tapping, allowing for the change of in-app tools without setting it down. Made specifically for the 3rd generation 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, it has a flat edge that attaches magnetically for wireless charging. RRP: RM549 apple.com/my

The Leica M10-D pays tribute to analogue photography. In place of an LCD screen, the camera offers a mechanical on/ off switch with Wi-Fi shortcut and a dial for control of exposure compensation. Yet, pairing it with a mobile app still provides all the capabilities offered by a modern digital device. RRP: RM33,359 leicastore.com.my

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12 H o u r s

TOURISM MALAYSIA

Jalan Alor KL Bird Park

Hub of

is a favourite of joggers and picnickers for its verdant allure. Revel in the beautiful landscaping of the sunken garden, discover the majestic trees that lent their names to several Malaysian states, admire the beauty of the hibiscus and orchid gardens, and rest in the quaint bamboo hut by the serene lake. Best of all, entry is free.

Diversity IF YOU HAVE ONLY HALF A DAY TO EXPLORE MALAYSIA’S CAPITAL CITY, HIT THESE HOTSPOTS FOR THE EXPRESS KUALA LUMPUR EXPERIENCE.

7.30am

Start the day with a quintessentially Malaysian kopitiam (coffeeshop) breakfast at Yut Kee Restaurant (non-halal) on Jalan Kamunting. Patrons flock to this 90-year-old Hainanese restaurant for toast or steamed bread spread with butter and homemade chunky kaya (coconut jam), accompanied by kaya roll, roti babi (bread with pork filling), marble cake and hot coffee, all reasonably priced. If you’re after something heartier, don’t miss their signature gravy-drenched Hainanese pork chop or Mee Hailam (Hailam noodles) with squid and pork. Their famous roast pork with tangy apple sauce also sells out fast on

10.00am

weekends. Come early to avoid disappointment.

East of the botanical gardens is the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, touted as the world’s largest walk-in, free-flight aviary. Opportunities abound here to get up close and personal with over 3,000 birds of 200 species, both local and foreign.

8.30am

The cooler mornings are the best time for outdoor activities, and the sprawling 101-hectare Tun Abdul Razak Heritage Park – the city’s oldest public recreational park – is an excellent place to be one with nature. You can take a guided Segway tour around the attractions, such as the National Monument or Tugu Negara – a bronze sculpture commemorating fallen heroes who died fighting in Malaysia’s struggle for freedom and independence.

The birds fly freely in environments mimicking their natural habitats such as a rainforest canopy, a flowing stream and even a waterfall. Time your visit for the bird feeding sessions to watch lories, ostriches, eagles and hornbills being fed. Better still, feed them yourself.

1.00pm

Within the park, the Perdana Botanical Gardens

For lunch, hit the buffet spread at Rebung, which is

January 2019

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just a 10-minute walk from the Bird Park, atop a multi-storey car park. The cosy restaurant is known for its authentic Malay fare and is a joint venture between celebrity chef Dato’ Ismail Ahmad and Malaysia’s first astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor. For RM40 per person, you get a stunning array of delicious Malay favourites. Sample everything from roti jala (lace pancake) and rendang daging (slowcooked beef) to ayam masak merah (chicken in gravy) and asam pedas ikan pari (sour and spicy grilled stingray), not to mention traditional Malay kuih-muih (cakes) and pengat pisang (banana in sweetened coconut milk).

2.00pm

Central Market in Chinatown is hard to miss. This bright blue building began life as a wet market in 1888; now, it’s a hotspot for quality arts, crafts and food. You’ll find popular souvenirs on the ground level such as Royal Selangor’s renowned pewterware, ARCH Collection’s lasercut wood art and Loka

JUAN R.AZNAR WCOLINO, FLICKR

Text Karin Chan / Illustration Lauren Rebbeck


TOURISM MALAYSIA

GETTING AROUND

National Monument

Made’s pop-up Malaysian postcards. Fashionistas should head to the upper level for batik outfits and traditional garments at bargain prices.

4.00pm

Make your way downtown to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre where Aquaria KLCC resides. Over 5,000 land and water creatures live in different aquatic habitats within the oceanarium, ranging from coast to deep ocean. Go on a guided tour, touch coral and sea cucumber with your bare hands, and catch feeding times for watery fun.

the sunset hour around 7pm. Book tickets in advance and take note that the towers aren’t open on Mondays.

The highlight here is the 90-metre travellator which winds slowly through a transparent tunnel with sharks, turtles, rays and hundreds of other fish swimming overhead. For a more immersive experience, go underwater to watch the fish in the Cage Rage programme, or if you have a diving licence, dive with the sharks! Advance ticket booking is recommended.

7.30pm

Jalan Alor is a foodie’s dream come true. Street food takes centre stage at the fluorescent-lit rows of roadside stalls and restaurants, served to a rousing soundtrack of enthusiastic promotion (“Come try, sir!”), lively conversations and above all, the rattling and sizzling of delicious creations in the making.

6.00pm

A visit to Kuala Lumpur wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. Officially opened in 1999, these 452-metre twin edifices were once the tallest buildings in the world and still hold the title of the world’s tallest twin towers today.

Things to try here: Wong Ah Wah’s succulent charcoal-grilled chicken wings and juicy skewers of beef, lamb or chicken satay; fried oyster omelette from the same restaurant or Meng Kee Grill Fish; streetside fried durian, grilled frog and more. Wash it down with refreshing sugar cane juice and savour a sweet ending with creamy coconut ice cream from Sangkaya. If you arrive before nightfall, check out the vibrant murals around the vicinity too.

You can rocket up by lift to spend 10 minutes on the world’s highest skybridge at 170 metres, which links Towers 1 and 2. Next stop: the 86th floor where you’ll enjoy a panoramic view from the highest point in the city, particularly impressive during

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BY RAIL: Light and mass rail transit (LRT and MRT), monorail and commuter train lines criss-cross the city for easy access. Get a Touch ‘n Go card for quick payment.

BY BUS: RapidKL buses cover extensive routes, while the purple Go KL buses are free. To maximise your time, the Hop On Hop Off bus offers on-board English commentary and free Wi-Fi, and a route that covers the main attractions.

BY CAR: With KL being so vehicle-saturated, opting for a ride-hailing service such as Grab is a better choice than driving. Grab cars are generally safe, affordable and quick. Best of all, there’s no need to worry about parking!


Insider’s Guide Text Noel Foo / Main photo courtesy of Storyfrontier / Photos Raymond Ooi

Vibrant

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Insider’s Guide Text Noel Foo / Opening photo courtesy of Storyfrontier / Photos Raymond Ooi

Enclave

SUBANG’S FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD VIBE OFFERS PLENTY OF SIGHTS AND EXPERIENCES FOR THE CURIOUS VISITOR.

S

ubang is a relatively ‘young’ suburb. Its main township, Subang Jaya, is just 30 years old – but it’s one of the top ten most populated areas in Malaysia, with a mix of residential areas, institutions of higher learning, commercial hubs and recreational spots. Here are some of the things you can see and do within the vicinity.

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Insider’s Guide

Gastronomic Adventure

‘Spoiled for choice’ is an understatement for diners in Subang as there is a huge variety of eateries to choose from, especially in the commercial district of SS15. Meat lovers can satisfy their cravings at Burgertory, a non-Halal burger establishment famed for its juicy pork burgers. Having outlasted the other establishments that had mushroomed here during the gourmet burger boom a few years ago, this cosy restaurant still draws big crowds, especially on weekends. Some of its bestsellers include the Burgertory Classic which consists of cheddar cheese paired with crispy meat and house dressing, and the Burgertory Treasure which features crispy pork lard. There’s nothing more quintessentially British than fish and chips. Cor Blimey, located just a few streets away, serves an authentic version of the dish. Unlike the frozen, breaded version which is most commonly served, Cor Blimey’s fresh fish fillets are coated in batter and prepared to order, served with hand-cut chips and a side of minted mashed peas. For the ultimate British experience, go for an accompanying curry or onion gravy dip. From the West to the Far East, a quieter corner of SS15 opposite the Subang Jaya Medical Centre hides a ‘little Japan’, with a row of quality Japanese restaurants, some of which are owned and run by Japanese nationals. Popular among patrons is Jyuraku for its generous, thick cuts of sashimi and hand rolled sushi, while other establishments offer everything from beef bowls to sukiyaki (hotpot).

(top, right) Subang Ria Park is popular with local residents (bottom, right) Fish and chips restaurant Cor Blimey (inset) Burgers at Burgertory (bottom, left) A game of football in session at the MPSJ stadium (opposite) The cosy interior of the café Jibby & Co

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Stay Active

Join the throng of local residents who flock to sports venues around Subang on a daily basis, such as the Subang Ria Recreational Park. As one of the bigger green spaces in the township, the park is popular with joggers for its scenic lake which offers serene views for their morning or evening run. There is also the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) stadium in USJ 5 which has a proper athletics track. The 3K (Kompleks Kemudahan Kemasyarakatan) Sports Complex in SS13 houses the only public swimming pool in Subang Jaya, and has reasonable entry fees. The Olympic-sized pool with seven lanes is indoors, so swimmers can work out without worrying about the sun or rain. The complex also has other facilities


“Jibby & Co is known for its fusion dishes and charming atmosphere.”

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Insider’s Guide

such as badminton courts, a football pitch, squash courts, table tennis and a multipurpose outdoor court – making it a great place for families and friends to bond while keeping fit. For golfers, practise your swing at the driving range in Subang Racquet and Golf Centre, just down the road from Subang Parade and Empire Shopping Gallery.

(top left and inset) Ener-Z Extreme Park has fun sports facilities for the whole family

Retail Therapy

Subang is home to at least a dozen malls – but the most iconic one is perhaps Subang Parade, the first mall to be built in the township of Subang Jaya. Thanks to recent renovations to the interior, it continues to be relevant as a neighbourhood mall which offers a wide variety of retail, food and beverage outlets, services as well as a cinema and gym. Regular festive events at the mall keep things interesting as there will sometimes be stage shows, pop-up stalls and activities for shoppers to enjoy.

(top and bottom right) Browse for music at Teenage Head Records, or play boardgames with friends at Meeples

A stone’s throw away is the newer Empire Shopping Gallery which houses a higher-end selection of restaurants – most notably Jibby & Co for its fusion dishes and charming atmosphere. The mall also has a karaoke centre and branded fashion retail stores, in addition to healthcare and beauty outlets. Adjacent to it is the 13-storey Empire Hotel, a contemporary four-star hotel with a trendy ballroom and spacious meeting spaces.

(and young at heart) to enjoy in Subang. One of the standout places is the EnerZ Extreme Park in USJ 14 – an indoor complex with more than 7,400 square metres of space, best known for its trampoline park and badminton courts. Channel your inner Ninja Warrior as the extreme park area includes a range of fun physical activities from wall climbing to a suspended rope obstacle course and trampoline dodgeball, as well as obstacle courses and challenges inspired by popular televised game shows. Those seeking a different challenge of wits – minus the increased heart rate – can pit themselves against friends at Meeples in SS15, a board games café that boasts a collection of games from over 150 European, American and Asian games publishers. The cosy spot, which is often frequented by students, features firm favourites like Catan and 7 Wonders, alongside lesser known titles.

Family Fun

There are plenty of fun and interesting activities for the young

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LATE-NIGHT HANGOUTS

MURNI DISCOVERY, USJ 9

well as to develop writing talent and attract more Malaysians to read local books. Today, I Am Lejen carries titles from nearly 30 local publishers as well as a variety of merchandise, from apparel to souvenirs by local brands.

Serving everything from experimental local creations to localised Western dishes in generous portions. A popular halal late-night hangout spot with a wide variety of drinks.

Take to the Skies If you’re unfamiliar with a game, fret not, as friendly and well-versed staff are on hand to guide patrons.

Before KLIA and KLIA2, there was the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, now known as the Subang Skypark Terminal. Far from being a forgotten relic, the city airport has evolved into a hub of restaurants and retail stores, amongst others.

(top) Subang Skypark Terminal (bottom) Channel your inner pilot at SimFlightKL

Off the Beaten Path

Subang is home to some hidden gems and interesting stores. Have a blast from the past at Teenage Head Records, a unique neighbourhood record store tucked in a corner of SS14. The shop boasts of a large selection of imported vinyl records, music CDs and cassettes, and attracts collectors from far beyond Subang. Apart from mainstream titles, one can also find records for alternative and contemporary genres, from bands such as The White Stripes and Misfits.

Here, visitors can experience the inside of a cockpit and take to the skies, both virtually and literally. SimFlightKL allows visitors to experience the basics of piloting a commercial aircraft through a flight simulator programme. Aviation enthusiasts will also be interested in the large selection of aircraft models, collectibles and other merchandise for sale. There are also several companies and flying clubs based at the airport, which offer guests the opportunity to experience flying a small Cessna turboprop aircraft in one-day piloting programmes

Over in SS15, explore modern Malay literature at I Am Lejen. This small bookstore started out as an avenue for aspiring local Malay language fiction writers to get their works published as

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UNCLE DON’S, TAIPAN

Reasonably-priced burgers, pizzas, Western dishes and a variety of Asian dishes attract full-house crowds every day. Beer prices here are among the cheapest in town as well.

BREW HOUSE, TAIPAN

Known for their delicious pork creations, Brew House also offers Asian and Western dishes at competitive prices. Widely acknowledged to be the current best bar in town with cheap beers.


On Ignatius: Tokyo 3 button jacket in geometric texture, slim fit regular collar bone square pattern shirt, and denim dark blue stretch jeans, all from Giorgio Armani. Watch : Seamaster Diver 300M Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer 42MM

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P e r s p e c t i ve Text Eris Choo / Photos Syaiful Azuan Abdul Fatah Makeup Dermalogica & Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Venue Hilton Kuala Lumpur

Bidding Adieu FIREFLY BIDS FAREWELL TO ITS DYNAMIC CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER IGNATIUS ONG. WE CATCH UP WITH THE MAN TO REMINISCE ABOUT HIS TIME AT FIREFLY, AND HIS HOPES FOR THE AIRLINE.

H

e might have taken on the role of Group Chief Revenue Officer at Malaysia Airlines but his feelings for its sister company Firefly will always run deep for Ignatius Ong. After all, he had helmed the airline for seven years, and is largely responsible for nurturing its DNA - quirky and fun, and willing to push boundaries as to what makes an airline. Ong’s reputation as a doer and innovator precedes him. During his tenure as Chief Executive Officer, Firefly has come to be known as a ‘lab’ for unconventional ideas to take flight. “If you let the airline scope limit your thinking, you’re not going to make much money. Today, it’s not just about flight tickets - it’s about all the other stuff as well,” he expounds.

the only airline in Malaysia that sells car insurance!” Ong quips. The idea is to have customers see Firefly as a one-stop shop, true to its tagline ‘Beyond Convenience’. Ong’s ‘do more, talk less’ approach has certainly helped the airline through some tough times. “When I came on board (in 2011), it was an extremely tough year because that was when we wound down Firefly’s jet operations. For the first half of 2012, our sales was terrible due to a loss of confidence,” he recalls.

Collaborations have worked well for the airline, ensuring that Firefly remains focused on what it does best whilst sharing a win-win relationship with partners and providing added value to customers. “We work with disruptors. For example, we had a campaign with ride-sharing service Grab to offer discount codes for passengers travelling to the Subang Skypark Terminal. We also have an online store which sells airline merchandise as well as other products such as handphones and laptops,” he explains. Perhaps the most unexpected offering comes from the airline’s partnership with AIG Malaysia Insurance Berhad. “I think we’re

Ong and the team worked hard to regain public trust, going on-ground to meet travel agents besides investing in advertising and promoting the airline through media and events. “By the end of 2012, we had made a good profit which was enough to counter the losses of the first half. The next year, 2013, was a fantastic year, and we were the best performing subsidiary in the Malaysia Airlines group,” he says.

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P e r s p e c t i ve

But how did an accounting and finance graduate end up in the aviation industry? According to Ong, it was unprecedented. “If I’m not where I am today, I’d probably be the president of a bank,” he laughs. Growing up in a household that was constantly moving about instilled in him a sense of independence and responsibility from a young age. “My father was a government officer, and he was often transferred to posts all over the country,” Ong explains, adding that he was left to live alone with his elder brother when he was in secondary school. “It was different from a normal childhood but not having your parents around to tell you what to do was fun,” he declares with a cheeky grin. After completing his degree at Middlesex University in United Kingdom, Ong returned to Malaysia and joined Pacific Bank where he quickly rose to the position of deputy manager in four years, managing corporate loans for one of the bank’s branches. He later joined Accenture, a management consultancy, before accepting an offer from Malaysia Airlines to come onboard as a pioneer for its project management office in 2004. The rest, as they say, is history. Running an airline comes with a unique set of challenges but the toughest aspect for Ong, is managing people, both customers and staff.

On Ignatius: jacket with velvet piping single button, slim fit small check short sleeve shirt, and denim black with selvedge jeans, all from Giorgio Armani.

grow together. It’s less about your professional degree and more about fundamentals such as manners and the ability to grasp things fast,” he stresses. If there’s one thing that Ong has learned in the course of his career, it’s the importance of a good work-life balance.

Watch : Seamaster Diver 300M Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer 42MM

“I’ve worked at places where if you leave the office before 9 pm, you’re not ‘working’. It was ridiculous. There is no point sitting at your desk pretending to be busy. If you finish your work early, go home,” he says.

“You can’t pick and choose customers but at the end of the day, we embrace the company’s philosophy to serve customers to the best of our ability, in “If you let line with Firefly’s principles the airline scope - convenient, fast, courteous and with a limit your thinking, smile,” he emphasises. you’re not going to As for employees, Ong enforces a strict, no-nonsense policy. “We are not an educational institution. It may sound harsh but when you join Firefly, we expect you to contribute and

A typical day for Ong starts at 5 am. “I wake my twin daughters, get them ready for school and enjoy a morning chat with my family. Then I’m off to the office. If I’m not entertaining, I’m usually home by 7 pm. I spend time with the kids, have an early dinner, and knock off by 10 or 11 pm,” he shares.

make much money. Today, it’s not just about flight tickets - it’s about all the other stuff as well.”

Ong says fatherhood has changed him, in a good way. “Now that I have two daughters, I’ve mellowed. I try to control my temper as much as possible, and see things from a different perspective. I’m also a bit more forgiving,” he says. Asked about a philosophy which he adheres to in life, Ong believes in a lesson imparted by his father - that “money not spent is not yours.”

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“My dad is very straightforward in speech, a trait which I picked up. He told me that if I didn’t buy it and I died the next day, I wouldn’t even have a mini compo – but if I bought it now, at least I would have enjoyed it for a day!” he laughs. “It’s okay to splurge once in a while, to make sure the money you’ve earned is worth something,” he adds. His other pearl of wisdom is to enjoy what you do. “Every day should be fun, or you’ll be dragging yourself out of bed each morning,” he says. On whether he feels his work is done at Firefly, Ong says simply: “Work can never be done.”

QUICK FIRE ROUND Go-to place for a night out? Uncle Don’s or Duke & Duchess in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL. Favourite activity to destress? Play with my twins. Best place for a vacation? Hong Kong. I love the food! Greatest fear? Death. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Being lansi (Hokkien for ‘arrogant’). What is the quality you most like in a person? Honesty. What is your greatest extravagance? My Mercedes E-Class! What is your most overused word? Siao! (Hokkien for ‘crazy’).

“When I was in school, I saw this mini compo radio that I really wanted. I asked my dad to buy it but he told me to use the allowance that I had saved up instead. I didn’t want to because if I spent it, it would be gone!” he chuckles.

If a movie was made about you, which actor would play you? Tom Cruise. Favourite past time? I spend a lot of time with my kids. Something about you that people don’t know? I cook, usually family dinners on weekends. Steak is my best dish. Another thing about you ... I’m a cili padi man.

“It may not be a path I agree with but it’s the next person’s call. Even my predecessor did not agree with many things that I did. Do something new, don’t do what I did,” he concludes.

What some of his ex-VPs think of him ... ‘‘He’s a boss, and a friend. As a boss, you are tough, yet supportive. Your door is always open for discussions, to air grievances or even to argue (you won, mostly)! Being focused on safety, operations and finances and KPI matters to you, and these values have shaped the entire Firefly community work culture.’’ Azmi Jusoh, First VP of Engineering & Maintenance

Sneakers or shoes? Shoes. Beer or wine? Beer.

He does, however, hope that his successor will be able to bring the airline to the next level.

‘‘IO, you are a true leader and I salute you for that. There have been times when your bossy ways have made us frown and complain, but after the dust settles, we admire your persistence to push us again and again. Your positive spirit is contagious. I am grateful that I have been on your team for seven years. I will miss your presence and leadership, IO!’’ Sufira Ibrahim, VP of Network & Revenue Management

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‘‘I’ve always been suspicious of someone who says that he has no problems with his boss. That just shows he is someone who is always in his comfort zone. I have never been in my comfort zone around IO, he is always pushing us to do better – and he leads by example. He never takes no for an answer, always speaks his mind, and is quick to grasp the core of the problem.’’ Anil Nair, VP of Ground Operations

‘‘You have your ways, I have mine but mostly they synced. I once said to you, I told myself that “I can work with this man” when I left your office after my job interview. Here I am staying, even when you are leaving. A thank you won’t be enough, and why a goodbye when I know I’ll meet you still! From Izzy to Iggy.’’ Izra Izzuddin, VP of Marketing & Communications

‘‘The way you take matters into action and your hard work throughout your time here is exemplary. It constitutes dedication at the highest level. At times I feel you don’t sleep because you respond to emails even late at night or early in the morning. Keep yourself healthy as health is wealth, stress is good to promote active thinking but too much would be a calling card for system failures. Wishing you all the best in your career.’’ Capt. Ariff Jamel, First VP of Flight Operations

‘‘He is an action-oriented leader, full of energy for the things he sees as challenging. He enjoys working hard, and is fearless, bold and direct. He is not afraid of being unpopular, necessary, to enforce a safety- and performance-first mindset in the company.’’ Ismail Fahmi, First VP of Human Resource


Tracker Text Helena Hon

123RF

Erawan Waterfall, Thailand

Extolled as the most captivating waterfall in Thailand, Erawan Waterfall in Kanchanaburi Province is a series of seven waterfalls. Each waterfall is set on an ascending tier with its own name and character, and all feature rushing waters tumbling into emerald pools abundant with fish, surrounded by river rocks and jungle foliage. The crowning glory is Phu Pha Erawan on the seventh level which features three rock formations that resemble Erawan, the three-headed elephant god in Hindu mythology.

Hidden in a remote corner of Venezuela’s Canaima National Park in Bolivar State is a national treasure known as the highest, uninterrupted waterfall in the world. Named after Jimmie Angel, a US aviator who discovered it in 1933, Angel Falls is a spectacular phenomenon that plunges 979 metres in a free fall from a cleft at the top of the Auyán-tepui table mountain to the watery pit of Devil’s Canyon below. The fall is so steep that wind and air pressure turn most of the water into mist before it hits the rapids. It goes by the name Parekupa-meru, which means “waterfall of the deepest place” in the local Pemon language.

123RF

Angel Falls, Venezuela

Beautiful, Majestic

Waterfalls

DISCOVER SOME OF THE WORLD’S MOST BREATHTAKING WATERFALLS ALONG THE LESS-TRODDEN PATHS OF PLANET EARTH. January 2019

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The Ban Gioc-Detian Waterfalls is a picturesque wonder of two multi-tiered cascades formed by the Quay Son-Guichun River as it flows along the border between China and Vietnam. Surrounded by scenic paddy fields and dewy wilderness, it is the largest waterfall in Asia. On the Chinese side, the Guichun River pours its waters more than 70 metres down a three-tiered cliff to form the Detian Waterfall or Detian Pubu which means “virtuous heaven waterfall”. On the Vietnamese side, the waterfall, measuring 300 metres across the Quay Son River, is called Ban Gioc Waterfall.

123RF

Ban Gioc-Detian Waterfalls, China and Vietnam

Lasir Waterfall, Malaysia

Asik-Asik Falls, Philippines

Lake Kenyir in the state of Terengganu holds the record as the largest man-made lake in Southeast Asia, and is home to 340 mostly uninhabited small islands which were previously hilltops, as well as numerous rivers, rapids and waterfalls. Among them is the enthralling Lasir Waterfall, a favourite among visitors. Descending 150 metres over five tiers of boulders and rocks, the turbulent gush forms sprays, foamy rapids and deep pools ideal for a refreshing dip. The waterfall can only be accessed by boat from the Gawi jetty of Pengkalan Gawi, a lakeside village 16 kilometres away, but the trip is well worth it.

TOURISM MALAYSIA

123RF

Imagine a verdant mountain wall 60 metres high and 140 metres wide which pours out gossamer rivulets of water down its side into a gurgling stream below. That would be the Asik-Asik Waterfall, a subterranean curtain waterfall hidden in a ravine in North Cotabato, Philippines. Theories vary as to how Asik-Asik was formed, with some suggesting it was the result of a massive flood and landslide disintegrating the mountainside to expose the underground springs that now drizzle out through the mountain wall. Whatever the cause, the waterfall is like no other as there is no river or stream at the mountaintop. “Asik” in the Filipino Hiligaynon language means “sprinkle”.

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Humble Beginnings Text Sharon Tan / Photos courtesy of TheLorry.com

Driven To

Succeed HOMEGROWN START-UP THE LORRY.COM IS AN ASEAN GIANT IN THE MAKING.

I

t started as a simple dream between two friends. Malaysian duo Nadhir Ashafiq and Goh Chee Hau founded The Lorry.com, an ondemand logistics service, in September 2014 with just RM15,000 from their savings. “We wanted to become a RM20,000 per month company, so that we can have RM10,000 each. We never really thought about going regional at all,” says Nadhir, who is also executive director. From these humble beginnings, the company raised a total of RM10 million, and expanded beyond Malaysia to Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. By next year, they will expand further to the Philippines and Vietnam. The company is now valued at an eight-digit number in US Dollars. “It never entered our minds to go regional until our first round of investments. That gave us a lot of exposure to the potential of being a regional company, and led us to think how we can grow this into a US$100 million (RM418 million) company,” Nadhir says.

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The Lorry.com founders Nadhir Ashafiq (right) and Goh Chee Hau


Humble Beginnings

Open Jour nal

The Lorry.com journey began with the idea of connecting customers to truckers, by taking the offline experience online. More often than not, one would find advertisements for a lorry service posted on tree trunks or lampposts. There was also problems with price transparency, where customers ended up paying higher than the agreed price due to the driver’s demands, as well as security concerns – whether a driver can be trusted to enter a customer’s home or premises.

“We started with the ticket size from every trip, a only two drivers. concept similar to private car One was a friend of a e-hailing services. friend. The other was a Like all businesses, there more tech-savvy driver were growing pains. In the who had a website of his beginning, they could not own, so he was curious to persuade drivers to join see what we could do. As them as the drivers were time went on, we gained not convinced that an onthe trust of customers demand platform could and were able to add value to their service recruit more and income. drivers.”

“Our initial aim was to solve the issues of price transparency and security. We do background checks on our vendors and drivers to ensure that they don’t have criminal records. If they do, we remove them from the platform or don’t recruit them at all,” says Nadhir, who left the financial world to fulfil his calling to become an entrepreneur who can create an impact.

(top) The Lorry. com easily connects customers to truckers via an online platform or digital app

With just a few clicks on The Lorry.com app, one can get quotes and hire a lorry within minutes, minus the hassle. The company provides services for individual house-moving and also serves big corporations in delivering items from warehouses to retail outlets. The latter has become one of the company’s biggest revenue contributors.

“We started with only two drivers. One was a friend of a friend. The other was a more tech-savvy driver who had a website of his own, so he was curious to see what we could do. As time went on, we gained the trust of our customers and were able to recruit more drivers. After the first article was written about us in the media, the floodgates opened. People called for jobs,” says Nadhir. There are now more than 6,500 drivers on the platform. “We didn’t know much about management, processes, standard operating procedures and framework. We winged it, and just did whatever we thought was the right thing. If it didn’t work, we tried different things,” says Nadhir. He added that other early challenges included marketing, sales processes and hiring quality talent.

“The corporate business is very regular. There are no binding contracts but we get daily business, especially with our top lines,” adds Nadhir. For its Malaysian operations, 80 percent of the lorry drivers are located in the Klang Valley with the rest mostly in Penang, Johor Bahru and the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The company takes a commission of 10 percent to 20 percent of

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Humble Beginnings

Not managing the company’s cashflow well was an expensive lesson that he does not care to repeat. Without the right person and processes in place, they ended up paying their supplier twice, and their cash depleted faster than they could collect. They finally hired a top-of-the-market financial controller. “She helped us restructure the whole payment process and collections as well as our reporting structure, and basically made it a more stable and credible operation. We were very bad then. We didn’t know where our money went,” says Nadhir. They didn’t even know the quantum of the loss because the accounting was haywire. While they are operationally profitable in Malaysia, Nadhir says they are still putting every Ringgit back into marketing and the people – as an investment for the future. The focus now is to grow the company as fast as possible. “We want to see ourselves as the regional market leader for logistics, and be in all the major cities in Southeast Asia within the next three to five years. When people think about land logistics, trucks and bulky items, we want them to think of us,” says Nadhir. As The Lorry.com operates in four countries, it has learnt to adjust to the varied customer preferences. Its next-day service is popular in Jakarta, while Singaporeans tend to book a week ahead, with Malaysians being somewhere in between. “We do get last minute bookings but we’re able to handle them even if there is a demand spike,” he explains.

(top) Hire a truck with just a few simple taps (bottom) The business has expanded to Singapore, Thailand and indonesia

Asked if he had made a trip with his truckers, Nadhir says he did an impromptu one in January 2015 to the Malaysian state of Kelantan to deliver flood relief items. The trip, which usually takes eight hours, became a 23-hour journey as many roads

were impassable in the floods. They also narrowly avoided an accident when a deer ran across the road. Nadhir describes it as an eyeopening journey as it allowed him to have a deep conversation with the driver, understand his needs and thoughts, and to discuss problems faced on-ground. “I have not gone on a trip since then but I encourage my team to go. Please experience it,” says Nadhir, the passion for his work and company clearly shining on his face. On being named as one of Forbes 30 Under 30, he says: “Obviously it is a special recognition but it doesn’t mean anything if my company doesn’t do well. If the company does well, then we can think about personal awards!” According to Nadhir, there have been many humbling experiences in the past four years, with rejections and criticisms balanced by praise and success. It’s a journey he clearly enjoys as each day presents itself differently.

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F i r s t D r i ve s Text Richard Augustin / Photos courtesy of respective manufacturers

Top Class of the

WITH IMPROVEMENTS ON ALL FRONTS, THE ALL-NEW MERCEDES A-CLASS PUTS ITS RIVALS IN CHECK IN THE COMPACT SEGMENT.

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Fir st Dr ive

T

The Forgettable Early Years

here was a time when hatchbacks ruled the roost but over the years, thanks to the arrival of SUVs and Crossovers, hatches have been on a slow and steady decline. This is not to say that the segment is in danger of going out of fashion anytime soon because there are still models in the automotive market that make a strong case for consumers to sign on the dotted line.

The original A-Class first broke cover in 1997, and marked Mercedes-Benz’s first foray into the compact segment. However, the first generation model came with an odd design, resembling the automotive equivalent of a dinner roll on four wheels. It was also infamously known for flipping over in several high speed swerving tests, which was eventually rectified. Over the course of fifteen years, Mercedes plugged on

The Mercedes A-Class is the perfect example. The fourth generation model launched recently builds on the success of its predecessor in the premium hatchback category. The A-Class is arguably one of the most desirable models in the category at this point in time, but that wasn’t always the case if you look back at its history.

(from top) Designed with the modern driver in mind, the A-Class combines smart tech, drivability and performance

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F i r s t D r i ve s

Stepping Into The Digital Age If you want to pinpoint one attribute of the A-Class over the segment, you’d find the answer within its cabin. With the all-new state-of-the-art MercedesBenz User Experience (MBUX), the new A-Class marks a foray into the digital era of the automobile. Elevating the connection between car and driver to a personal level, the cockpit is equipped with a high-resolution media display with touchscreen control, digital instrument cluster, intelligent voice control and natural speech recognition along with a touchpad on the centre console.

(top) The A-Class features bolder and tighter lines

to improve the model with tweaks and enhancements but it remained pretty much status quo for the A-Class until 2013 when it finally evolved into a beautiful piece of machinery.

(bottom) The cockpit comes equipped with high-tech digital features

Third Time’s The Charm

The third generation model has truly turned the fortunes of the A-Class. Ditching its short wheel base and tall body design of the original, the A-Class ventured into the hot hatch territory. This decisive move did wonders for the order books of MercedesBenz. Last year, sales of the model peaked in markets such as the U.K. where it was the fourth best-selling car of the year, and in Europe, where 311,000 units were sold. Based on this impressive success rate, much was expected from Mercedes-Benz to continue the forward trajectory of the model. The German automaker duly responded when it lifted the covers off the latest iteration of the A-Class.

A Class Above

Mercedes-Benz designers have sharpened the A-Class extensively with tighter and bolder lines. The aesthetics certainly work, with a ‘shark nose’ front and turbine-inspired air vents. Compared to the previous edition, the new A-Class looks sportier and more aggressive – certainly a big plus point for the brand’s hot-selling compact. In terms of performance, the A-Class is offered in two turbocharged variants – the 1.3-litre A200 Progressive Line and 2.0-litre A250 AMG Line. Both mills are paired with a 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission.

Key highlights found in the model include 64-colour ambient lighting, Intelligent Drive features, KEYLESS GO function and multifunction sports steering wheel. The modern refinements coupled with a revised interior provide an element of youthfulness along with a revolutionary step forward in the production of luxury automobiles.

Conclusion: Grade A Automobile

There’s no denying the new A-Class is a move in the right direction for Mercedes-Benz, especially as it focuses its attention on the needs of the modern driver. With a distinct focus on delivering smart intuitive technology along with exhilarating performance and driveability, the boys at Stuttgart have delivered a winner in every sense of the word. Even then, it hasn’t stopped Mercedes-Benz from enhancing the model even further, with a striking sedan version set to go on sale in selected markets in 2019.

The new Mercedes-Benz A Class is available as the A200 Progressive Line and A250 AMG Line for RM227,888 and RM263,888, respectively, excluding road tax, registration and insurance.

Although the A200 sounds tame, its performance numbers suggest otherwise. The model delivers 163 horses and 240Nm of torque, which is more than sufficient for a spirited drive. Those who prefer a more exhilarating performance should opt for the 224hp A250, especially with 350Nm of torque on tap. But with the inclusion of four Dynamic Select transmission modes for both cars, the A-Class will not be short of fun for the person in the driver’s seat.

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New In Showrooms Redesigned Tucson

Sime Darby Motors has brought in the face-lifted Hyundai Tucson which benefits from futuristic exterior and interior designs. The revised model has been upgraded with several design tweaks, including new LED headlights and rear lights as well as 17-inch rims, which provide the SUV with a more dynamic stance. Inside, the cabin has been tweaked to incorporate Hyundai’s latest 7-inch floating display, a new front panel air-conditioner vent design, new meter cluster and new leather seats. The face-lifted Tucson is available as a 1.6L Turbo or 2.0L Elegance variants, both of which are equipped with standard safety features such as Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill-Assist Control (HAC), Downhill Brake Control (DBC), Brake Assist System (BAS) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM). The Hyundai Tucson 2.0L Elegance and 1.6L Turbo are priced at RM123,888 and RM143,888, respectively. Price excludes road tax, registration and insurance.

3.0L Velar Rolls Out

Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia has introduced the 3.0L R-Dynamic variant of the Range Rover Velar, targeted at motoring enthusiasts in search of more power in their drive, with all the modernity and elegance that this luxurious mid-sized SUV offers. Buyers will no doubt find the P380 supercharged V6 petrol engine under the hood immensely enticing. The power plant delivers exhilarating performance that enables the Velar to reach 100km/h in only 5.7 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h. The 3.0L Velar features a sophisticated all-wheel drive system, four-corner air suspension, and a body built with an aluminiumintensive monocoque using Jaguar Land Rover’s Lightweight Aluminium Architecture for enhanced safety and improved rigidity for better handling.

Power Ranger

When it comes to pick-ups, the Ford Ranger needs no introduction. On local shores, the blue oval brand’s fortunes have been built on the success of its bestselling pick-up. In 2019, the Ranger is expected to once again continue to appeal to consumers with a new generation model, especially with several variants to choose from. The new Ranger is equipped with a 2.0L Bi-Turbo engine matted to a 10-speed automatic transmission, which delivers 213 PS and 500Nm of torque, and it arrives with the best in-class technologies. The new Ranger edges out its rivals with features such as Semi-Automatic Parallel Parking (SAPP) and Inter-Urban Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with Vehicle and Pedestrian Detection. The model is also available with keyless entry and pushstart button, Easy Lift Tailgate and SYNC® 3 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

The 3.0L R-Dynamic variant Range Rover Velar is priced at RM722,787, excluding road tax, registration and insurance.

The new Ford Ranger models are priced from RM90,888 to RM134,888 with the top-of-the-range Ranger Raptor set to be priced around RM199,888. All prices exclude road tax, registration and insurance.

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Poomy’s Kitchen founder K.R. Poomy at his stall in Lucky Garden, Bangsar

THIS FAMOUS STALL IN BANGSAR, KUALA LUMPUR HAS SERVED UP DELICIOUS APPAM TO APPRECIATIVE CROWDS FOR DECADES.

Sweet Legacy


Street Chef Text Chris Yip / Photos Yap Chee Hong

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simple rice-based dish of Tamil origin, appam has become a firm favourite among Malaysians from all walks of life.

Although competitors have sprouted up in the area since, Poomy’s Kitchen retains an affectionate spot in the hearts of its patrons as the outlet that started it all.

Often eaten as a light meal or snack, this fluffy Indian pancake, which can be served plain or with sweet and savoury fillings, was introduced by Indian migrants to Malaysia as early as the late 19th century.

(top) Poomy’s nephew K.Chandramohan is continuing his uncle’s legacy

Poomy’s Kitchen in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur is well known to locals, having been in operation since 1976. Founder and coproprietor K.R. Poomy, 73, is the man behind the business. His appam recipe comes from Sri Lanka, and was taught to him by his grandmother.

(inset) Fluffy, delicious appam

On weekdays, it usually serves 100 to 150 people. On weekends, the number can reach up to 500 a day, requiring three people – Poomy, his niece and nephew – to man the stall. They also cater for weddings, events and other celebrations frequently. According to Poomy, a well-cooked appam should be perfectly round in shape, crispy and brown at the outer edges, fluffy further in, and soft and moist in the centre. It is best eaten with fingers, fresh and warm from the skillet.

“There were no appam outlets around Bangsar in those days. You can consider me a pioneer,” says Poomy. The stall was just what the neighbourhood needed for their appam fix, and it was a resounding success right from the start. Having relocated several times, at the time of printing, it is at Lorong Ara Kiri 3 in Lucky Garden, sharing a long simple food court with other food stalls.

Despite its deceptively simple appearance, the process of creating this delectable delicacy is complicated and

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Street Chef

Poomy’s Kitchen currently offers 13 types of appam

corn. There are also unconventional flavours like chocolate, and those with a local twist such as sambal (chilli paste) and kacang (nuts). Some of the best-selling flavours are the sweet appam, banana appam, and coconut and brown sugar appam – each with its own texture but all delicious. Prices are reasonable, ranging from RM1.50 to RM2.50 per piece. However, as any patron will tell you, it is the quality and not just the price that has them coming back for more. Eating an appam at Poomy’s involves first inhaling the tantalising aroma of freshly cooked appam, nibbling at the crispy edges before sinking your teeth into the sticky moist centre which melts in the mouth.

tedious. Poomy shares that preparing the appam starts with soaking the rice for four to five hours the night before. “After the water is drained and the rice is placed in a grinder, we add ingredients such as grated coconut, dry active yeast, salt, sugar and water. Everything is ground and mixed into a smooth batter. This is left to ferment in a large bowl or pan for about eight to 12 hours before it is ready to cook,” he explains.

POOMY’S KITCHEN Lorong Ara Kiri 3, Lucky Garden, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia CONTACT: 014-227 3741 / 010-233 9391 (Poomy), 014-383 2452 (Mohan)

Poomy’s Kitchen currently offers 13 types of appam, among them traditional variants such as plain, brown sugar, mixed fruit, egg with pepper and salt, banana, egg with milk and sweet

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Poomy is now semi-retired but still goes to the stall to help his niece and nephew, 30-year-old K. Chandramohan, who has taken over the kitchen and family business. The next time you are in the Lucky Garden neighbourhood, be sure to pay this stall a visit.

Poomy’s Kitchen opens from 2.00 pm to 9.00 pm on weekdays, and 2.00 pm to 9.30 pm on weekends.


S a vo u r Text Richard Augustin / Photos 123rf, Tourism Malaysia

“The appeal of this northern Malaysian staple lies predominantly in the complex range of flavours that the dish delivers.”

A WORLD OF LAKSA Assam Laksa isn’t the only noodle dish with such claim to fame. These are some of the other laksa dishes that have won many fans from among foodies around the globe.

Assam Laksa

MADE WITH A COMBINATION OF RICH FISH BROTH AND TAMARIND, ASSAM LAKSA IS A DISH THAT TRULY TANTALISES THE TASTE BUDS.

Ingredients

•800gm fresh

mackerel •5 pcs Vietnamese coriander •1 torch ginger (cut into strips) •4 lemongrass stalks (smashed)

Mix & set aside:

•50gm tamarind paste

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here’s prestige and recognition when a dish makes it to any food list, let alone one by a renowned media outlet such as CNN. To make the list repeatedly means that it is certainly no fluke. Assam Laksa has been on CNN’s favourite 50 foods list for a number of years now, ranking at 26 in 2017 before shooting up to seventh spot in 2018. The appeal of this northern Malaysian staple lies predominantly in the complex range of flavours that the dish delivers. It is spicy and sour – with hints of sweetness – derived from the extensive variety of ingredients that include rice noodles, fish broth made from mackerel, tamarind, chilli, shrimp paste and toppings that include mint, lemongrass, onion and pineapple. Hunting down the best Assam Laksa can be as much of a challenge as making it from scratch but the effort will surely pay off in the end with satisfied taste buds.

•250ml water •5 pcs tamarind •2 tsp shrimp paste •salt to taste

Blend & set aside:

•6 chillies •2 tsp chilli paste •1 pc galangal •½ inch fresh turmeric •8 shallots •2 garlic cloves •3 candlenuts Condiments:

•100gm pineapple (sliced) •1 onion (thinly sliced) •½ cucumber (shredded) •1 ginger flower (thinly sliced) •2 red chillies (sliced) •2 limes (sliced in half) •mint leaves •black prawn paste

Method:

•Boil the mackerel in a pot of water flavoured with a

little salt. Once the fish is cooked, remove from the pot and set aside.

•When the fish has cooled down slightly, proceed to flake it for the gravy.

•In a saucepan, fry the blended ingredients in a little oil until fragrant.

KATONG LAKSA This staple Singaporean dish is a variation of laksa lemak, and is made with a spicy stock consisting of coconut milk and dried shrimp. It’s served with cockles, prawns and fishcake.

JOHOR LAKSA The southern version of laksa consists of thick fish gravy served with spaghetti and topped with cucumber, green beans, bean sprouts, onions and calamansi lime.

•Slowly add in the fish stock, followed by the tamarind mixture and bring it to a simmer.

•Add in the flaked mackerel, and season with salt, pepper and a little sugar.

•Add in the coriander, torch ginger and lemongrass, and continue to cook until the gravy thickens.

•Blanch rice noodles in hot water and strain. •Place in bowls, and spoon the fish gravy over the noodles. •Garnish with condiments and a drizzle of black prawn paste, and serve.

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SARAWAK LAKSA This East Malaysian dish combines rice vermicelli, shredded omelette, prawns and strips of chicken doused in a fragrant coconut-based gravy.


Open Journal Text Noor Amylia Hilda / Main photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

Ring in

the New GET TO KNOW UNIQUE NEW YEAR’S TRADITIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD. January 2019

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R

egardless of where you’re from, the beginning of a new year is often seen as a time to start afresh. Different cultures usher in the New Year in different ways but they share a similar objective – to start off on a positive note, in hopes of a good year ahead. Take inspiration from these places where New Year’s Day is celebrated in the most fascinating way.

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Open Journal

The most popular shrine in Tokyo for hatsumode is the picturesque Meiji Jingu in Shibuya but if crowds aren’t your thing, try escaping to one of the smaller shrines on the outskirts of the city.

If you’re in Kyoto on the first few days of the year, don’t miss watching a game of Kemari Hajime (literally ‘first kick’) at the Shimogamo Shrine – an ancient form of Japanese football where up to eight players clad in traditional costumes play the game in front of an audience. Once a favourite pastime in the Japanese Imperial Court around the 7th century, the players are challenged to pass the ball around for as long as possible without touching the ground and without using their hands. There are no goals to be scored as it is mainly a way to nurture skill and teamwork.

Japan

New Year’s Day is the most important holiday in Japan where age-old customs are respected and still practised. Traditionally, it’s also an occasion for people to spend time with family, and it’s common for preparations to begin as early as mid-December. One of the most distinctive traditions is the Joya no Kane where the solemn sound of chiming bells from Buddhist temples can be heard from miles away, just before midnight. The bells will chime 108 times, signifying the number of human sins described in Buddhism. This is believed to purify one’s spirit of undesirable earthly sins. Some temples even allow visitors to take turns ringing the bells. There are a few popular destinations in Tokyo to do so, such as the Azabusan Zenpukuji and Honsenji temples. This is a busy time for Buddhist temples and shrines across Japan as people make their first temple visit of the year for hatsumode, a ritual for offering the first prayer of the year. These visits usually take place from 1 to 3 January but it’s becoming more common for people to visit the temples after the first week to avoid the crowds.

(top) Shrines and temples across Japan are filled with visitors on the first few days of the new year (inset) Hamaya arrows are kept to keep evil spirits at bay (right) Japan’s largest bell at Chion-in Temple in Kyoto

123RF

123RF

Another popular tradition is the purchase of hamaya or “demonbreaking” arrows – a custom dating back to the Edo period where new-born baby boys were given a set of bow and arrows to celebrate their first new year. These decorative arrows can only be purchased at Shinto shrines during the first few days of January. Made from wood, they are used to adorn households or carried around to keep bad spirits at bay.

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VISIT SCOTLAND

Scotland

Scotland considers New Year’s (or Hogmanay to the locals) to be the most important occasion on their calendar of festivities. So important that their public holiday stretches to 2 January. This is likely due to the absence of Christmas celebrations in their past when it was banned during the Protestant Reformation movement. Possibly the most popular Hogmanay tradition in Scotland is “first-footing”, whereby the first person to enter a household from the outside at the stroke of midnight is said to bring good luck. It’s not merely an act of entering a household: there are rules for the firstfooter, who should bring along small gifts that symbolise prosperity and health.

(left) The “firstfooting” tradition, where first-footers bring along small gifts for health and prosperity

The ancient fireballs ceremony is a spectacle not to be missed. Set in the fishing village of Stonehaven about 25 kilometres from Aberdeen, you’ll witness a party of about 60 revellers swashbuckling their way through the village while swinging balls of fire encaged in wire mesh, before flinging the fiery balls into the harbour.

(top right) Parades and torchlit processions are part of the Hogmanay celebrations

This tradition is said to date back to the Fisherman’s Festival in the 19th century but the ritual of torch bearing is said to have been carried out as far back as the Dark Ages when a shooting star was believed to have passed over the area where the village now stands and was taken as a sign of prosperity.

(bottom right) The Loony Dook is a fairly new tradition that sees people taking a dip in the cold waters of the river in Edinburgh for charity

Fast forward to the present day and Hogmanay celebrations are still being invented. The tradition of Loony Dook began as a hangover cure created in the mid-1980s. The aptly named event means, roughly speaking, that you have to be a bit of a lunatic to take a “dook” (the Scot’s way of saying a “dip”) in the freezing cold waters to join thousands of bathers, some in fancy dress, jumping into the Firth of Forth at South Queensferry in Edinburgh. Today, the event is organised to raise money for charity.

There are variations to this tradition but the first-footer is most commonly a tall dark-haired male as a red-headed person is seen as a sign of bad luck, a belief that originated from the days of the Viking invasion. Vikings are often portrayed as being fair-haired.

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123RF

Open Jour nal

Brazil

The popular beach of Copacabana in the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is the place to be for a flamboyant affair at any time of the year. It’s definitely no less alluring for the New Year’s Day celebrations with plenty of live music and dancing till the early hours.

(top) An effigy of Iemanjá, Goddess of the Sea (bottom) Devotees dress in white and make offerings to Iemanjá

The faithful will make offerings to Iemanjá, the Goddess of the Sea, during this time. Devotees carry a statue of the deity, as offerings of flowers, handmade boats and lighted candles are floated onto the sea.

GETTY IMAGES

The four-kilometre stretch of beach is the venue for the annual New Year Réveillon celebrations, where thousands of revellers can be seen wearing white, a colour that symbolises peace and prosperity.

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PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES

Open Journal

Romania

(top) Romanians celebrate the new year with the ‘dance of the bear’, with people dressed in bear and gypsy garbs

Folklore and religion play dominant roles in Romania’s New Year traditions. Mid-winter celebrations normally last from 20 December until 7 January, during which traditions such as carolling and saint day celebrations take place.

(bottom) Villagers of Santo Tomás in Peru have a fighting festival so there is no bad blood between rivals going into the new year

On the first day of the year, groups of children go carolling with the sorcova, a stick decorated with multi-coloured flowers. The children go from house to house, singing carols and wishing people good luck by touching them with the sorcova. The sorcova is usually kept in a household for the rest of the year to usher in good luck. Masks and costumes also play a big role in the celebrations, especially of bears which are regarded as a sacred animal. The “dance of the bear” symbolises the death of the old year and the rebirth of a new one. The performance is accompanied by music with dancers clad in bear and gypsy costumes.

Peru

It’s unusual to start the New Year by picking a fight - but that’s exactly what the inhabitants of the remote Andean village of Santo Tomás in the Peruvian province of Chumbivilcas do. To kick off the New Year, the Takanakuy (which literally translates as “when the blood is boiling”) fighting festival is held for different communities to gather to either witness or stage a public fight, in order to resolve any disagreements from the past year. The fight takes place in an open space with referees to moderate the event. Only hand-to-hand combat is allowed and each fight usually lasts less than a minute. The rivals are also encouraged to hug or shake hands before and after the fight to ensure no hard feelings for the year ahead.

There are also more conventional traditions here; one of them is to toss a coin into a river on the morning of New Year’s Day, with the belief that it will bring luck and wealth for the rest of the year.

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Health & Fitness Illustration Nurfarahin Kamarudin

New Year,

New You

FITNESS GURU KEVIN ZAHRI SHARES HIS THOUGHTS ON WHY PEOPLE OFTEN FAIL TO KEEP TO THEIR WEIGHT LOSS RESOLUTION – AND HOW YOU CAN STICK TO IT.

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t’s the new year! A topic that comes up every year is how to keep your New Year’s resolutions. Topping the list at 40 percent of all resolutions is weight loss – but according to research by the University of Scranton, just eight percent of people actually achieve their New Year goals.

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Having Unrealistic Goals

Blame this on social media. Stories of people shedding five kilogrammes a week or 15 kilogrammes in a month always go viral – but they are misleading and create a false sense of what is realistic and safe. Remember this: any weight loss of more than two kilogrammes a week is mostly water. Fat has to follow the 7,700 kcal theory, which takes time. If you’re losing 0.5 kilogrammes a week, that’s awesome. Only a kilogramme a month? Still awesome. Hey, that’s 12 kilogrammes in a year! Always look at the bigger picture.

One out of every two Malaysians is obese – an alarming statistic. Given the choice, I’m sure many people do want to lose weight but lack the determination and knowledge to push through. Since 2014, I have guided more than 40,000 individuals through my nationwide weight loss programme, Jom Kurus. I have seen endless weight loss success stories and struggles. It is these struggles that I’d like to share with you, in hopes that it will help you find a solution amidst the stress that a weight loss journey often brings. Here are seven reasons why many fail to stick to their weight loss effort, and how to overcome them.

Lacking Know-how

Ask any dietician or medical professional, and they’ll tell you that in order to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. If you plan to lose weight in 2019, spend some time learning to calculate your calorie needs. Trust, me, it’s easier than it seems.

Adopting A “Do or Die” Approach

Many go all out with crash diets, and exercise six or seven days a week. Yes, it may feel good in the beginning but most will burn out, get injured, or simply can’t wait for their fitness programmes to end. Try this: make small changes. I know you are highly motivated to go all out but allow your body and mind to adapt. Weight loss is NOT a 100-metre sprint. It’s a never ending, winding road. Be flexible.

For example: if your weight today is 70 kilogrammes and you consume 1,700 kcal and burn 2,000 kcal. What will be your weight tomorrow? 7,700 kcal = one kilogramme – so if you consume 300 kcal less than what your body is burning, you will be 40 grammes lighter tomorrow. It might not seem much and this is why weight loss takes time.

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Failing To Enjoy The Journey

You can’t sustain something you don’t enjoy. Most people try to force themselves to go through dietary changes and exercises they don’t enjoy. While it can be good to challenge ourselves, ultimately, the journey needs to make you happier. Getting out of your comfort zone, channelling stress properly and committing yourself to long-term changes should make you happier but if they don’t, don’t give up – continue to make changes and experiment. I personally enjoy the journey to success, more than success itself. Embrace the struggles that life brings. You are alive!

Being Too Hard On Yourself

Many don't allow themselves to make mistakes. Consider this: you’re on your way home, and the pakcik from your favourite pisang goreng stall has just whipped up a fresh batch. Do you buy some, or move on? Many may give in, feel guilty afterwards, and abandon their diets, seeing that they’ve already ‘cheated’. The important thing is to keep your diet realistic because it can’t just look good on paper – it has to work in real life as well. For 99 percent of the population who are not fitness models, pisang goreng, nasi lemak and cookies are a real part of life. I’d definitely go for a pisang goreng once in a while.

Giving Up Too Soon

You can’t fail if you don’t give up. Giving up does not solve your problem. Always try to find the positive in any scenario you are facing. If you’re not losing weight week to week, celebrate non-scale victories such as improved stamina, stronger physique or inches lost. There is so much to gain from eating better and becoming more active.

Complicating Things

Buying the latest weight loss supplements or fitness gadgets might make you feel better but we need to understand that if there was a magic weapon for losing weight, the global obesity epidemic would not exist. There is no magic supplement, superfood or special exercise move that is going to be the turning point of your weight loss journey. Weight loss is the ability to manage your calorie intake versus calorie output, and if you put in the effort, you will see the results.

About Cikgu Fitness Malaysia

Kevin Zahri is an award-winning UScertified personal trainer and nutritionist with over 15 years of experience. He is also the founder of Malaysia’s largest weight loss movement called Jom Kurus. Over the years, he has published several books and e-books, written for fitness and lifestyle magazines, and hosted and appeared on TV shows as well as magazines. Kevin is an avid corporate wellness speaker, web entrepreneur, and a member of MENSA, the high IQ society. kevinzahri.com

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Pack Up : For Him

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Effortless Cool

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Take a step in the right direction with these Burberry hightop sneakers. Not only do they stand out with their iconic vintage check print, a neoprene in-sock boldly features the fashion house’s logo as well. RRP: RM2,150 my.burberry.com

Statement Accessory

Thomas Sabo’s pendant skull necklace is presented as a symbol of power and strength. It sports handcrafted details with an artistic surface structure that gives it a rugged personality – and the guy wearing it, an added swagger. RRP: RM929 thomassabo.my

Street Cred

STREETWEAR IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE SOON. MOVING INTO 2019, MORE DESIGNERS AND LABELS ARE EMBRACING THE TREND, AS HAVING CRED AMONG THE FASHIONABLE CROWD NOW NECESSITATES A COOLER AND EDGIER WARDROBE.

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Vintage Tribute

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Louis Vuitton celebrates the counterculture of the 1960s with a delightful earth tone sweater, using the brand’s logo reworked as a peace sign. The classic crewneck cut works as an ideal complement to the everyday look. RRP: RM11,500 louisvuitton.com

Stylish Essential

Backpacks are a must-have for streetwise gents. Montblanc’s Sfumato features a padded compartment for a laptop, plus a storm cap inside a pocket in the back that can be stretched from the bottom to the top for weather protection. RRP: RM6,800 montblanc.com

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Pack Up : For Her

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Must Have

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The cool ladies are carrying a crossbody these days. Coach’s tattoo-embellished design blends sweet femininity with an air of edgy rebellion. First introduced in 1973, the Dinky bag is one of the brand’s favourite silhouettes. RRP: RM2,400 malaysia.coach.com

Bold & Beautiful

Tops with loud and proud brand names or slogans are the ones to be seen in right now. Dior’s statement cashmere sweaters fit the bill perfectly. They come with a carefree slouchy look and the word “J’adior” splashed on the back. RRP: RM9,120 dior.com

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Delicate Details

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A little less bling, a lot more attitude. The free-spirited feel of the street comes to life in this Pandora choker featuring a sterling silver feather pendant. The adjustable closure is set with a single cubic zirconia as a finishing touch. RRP: RM216 pandora.net

All Rounder

Crafted from a modern mix of chain mesh and leather, the Michael Kors Keaton sneakers are a sports luxe essential. Pair them with jeans and a T-shirt or a cute maxi dress to rock an absolutely effortless commuter chic look. RRP: RM729 michaelkors.global

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10 things & facts about amazing Malaysia 10 Things Malaysian

123RF

Text Tuvwxyz1234 / Images 1234567890

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Nasi Lemak

TOURISM MALAYSIA

Literally ‘fatty’ rice, nasi lemak is widely considered the Malaysian national dish. The name comes from the way it is prepared – where the rice is cooked in coconut milk until fragrant. Traditionally, the dish is served with a side of sambal (a spicy sauce), peanuts, fried anchovies, sliced cucumber and boiled egg. It can also be eaten with fried chicken, rendang, curries and other side dishes.

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Gasing

Gasing, or top spinning, is a traditional Malay game said to have been popular since the time of the Malacca Sultanate in the 15th century. Tops are carved out of wood, with some painted and embellished with decorations. Competitive gasing, or gasing pangkah, is still played in many parts of rural Malaysia. The game’s objective is to knock the opponent’s gasing out of a circle, or topple it over.

Petronas Twin Towers

An iconic part of the Kuala Lumpur skyline, the Petronas Twin Towers were once the tallest buildings in the world, a title held until 2004. Each standing at 452 metres high, they are still the world’s tallest twin buildings. With a shopping mall on the lower floors, the towers are joined by a sky bridge at Level 41, offering visitors panoramic views of the surrounding cityscape.

Orangutan

123RF

TOURISM MALAYSIA

The orangutan is one of the three great ape species, and is native to Malaysia and Indonesia. In Malaysia, they can be found in the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo. The name orangutan comes from orang hutan, or ‘man of the forest’ in the Malay language. They have reddish brown hair and eat mostly fruit. Sadly, the orangutan is in danger of extinction due to loss of habitat from deforestation, poaching and illegal pet trade. Conservation areas include the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre and Matang Wildlife Centre in Sarawak, and Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah

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PXHERE

MY List

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Durian

Tasik Kenyir

6

Dubbed the king of fruits, the durian can be fragrant to some, rancid to others. Either way, its pungent smell is so strong that it is banned in hotels and on public transportation in many parts of Asia. In Malaysia, the durian is a firm favourite, eaten fresh or made into traditional dishes such as tempoyak, or fermented durian, which is eaten as a side dish with porridge or rice. More recently, creative restaurateurs have come up with innovative durian-based dishes, including durian pizza, durian fried rice and durian coffee, among others.

123RF

TOURISM MALAYSIA

The largest manmade lake in Southeast Asia can be found in the Malaysian state of Terengganu. Tasik Kenyir, or Kenyir Lake, covers an area of 260,000 hectares and was created in 1985 by damming the Kenyir River. Today, its waters generate power for the Sultan Mahmud Power Station. There are over 300 small islands on the lake which were previously hilltops, as well as numerous waterfalls, rivers and rapids. Eco-tourism is popular in the area, with activities such as fishing and jungle trekking.

7

First Astronaut

Moon Kite

The wau bulan, or Malaysian moon kite, is considered to be one of the country’s national symbols. It is so called because of the shape of its lower section which resembles a crescent moon. The wau bulan originates from the Malaysian state of Kelantan, and requires a high degree of skill to make and decorate. Farmers would fly them after the harvest season. The kite is often as large as a man and features intricate floral motifs and bold colours.

10

9

TOURISM MALAYSIA

8

TOURISM MALAYSIA

TOURISM MALAYSIA

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Al Masrie Sheikh Mustapha is Malaysia’s first astronaut. An orthopaedic surgeon by profession, he flew with the Russian Expedition 16 crew on board the Soyuz TMA-10 in 2007, spending 12 days in space. Sheikh Muszaphar even celebrated Eid al-Fitr on board the International Space Station, sharing packed satay and cookies with the crew.

Ironman - Triathlon

The Malaysian leg of the Ironman triathlon is held annually on Langkawi island, the ‘jewel of Kedah’. Hundreds of participants traverse a challenging race course that takes them through tropical and hilly terrain, passing through quaint villages, mangrove clusters and rainforest vistas. Racers who qualify will go on to compete in the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.

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Largest State

The state of Sarawak is the largest in Malaysia, covering over 124,000 square kilometres. In comparison, the entire Peninsular Malaysia, comprising 11 states and two Federal Territories, is just over 131,000 square kilometres. Sarawak is home to over 40 subethnic groups, each with its own unique culture and practices. These include the Iban, Malay and Chinese, as well as the Bidayuh, Murut, Melanau, Lun Bawang, and many others.


Reads

KICK OFF YOUR NEW READING YEAR WITH THESE

Inspirational People The Antidote: Happiness For Who Can' t Stand

Titles

Positive Thinking

by Oliver Burkeman As the title suggests, there is a certain segment of the population who instinctively push back against overtly cheerful slogans, and who believe that the road to happiness must involve more than mere positive thinking. Oliver Burkeman’s Antidote takes a more sober approach. Rather than overlaying reality with layers upon layers of positivity, he suggests that happiness is really about coming to terms with the imperfections of reality. The Antidote is an attempt to reframe the definition of happiness for reasons both practical and theoretical. In the Guardian’s review of the book, author Julian Baggini, a philosopher himself, likens Burkeman’s book to a shot of Pimm’s on a summer’s day: “refreshing if consumed by those already sceptical about the power of positive thinking, bracing if splashed in the face of those who aren't”. RRP: RM62.90

Books For Living: A Reader’s Guide To Life

by Will Schwalbe Through books that he has read, Will Schwalbe addresses several themes pertinent to our modern workday life, usually in ways that are not readily apparent. For example, in the chapter entitled Trusting, Schwalbe’s book of choice is Paula Hawkins’ excellent Girl On The Train. At first blush, it is not readily apparent how Girl On The Train, a crime thriller, has anything to do with trust but Schwalbe gives us an ingenious explanation. Similarly, in the chapter entitled Choosing Your Life, Schwalbe’s choice is Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita In Tehran. Azar’s book is a memoir of her last class in Iran where she taught and read Nabokov’s controversial Lolita to a group of women in the ultra-conservative state where possession of material such as Nabokov’s book is grounds for punishment. The best thing about Schwalbe’s book is that it doesn’t just show you how books can be relevant to your life, it also entices you to read the books that he discusses. RRP: RM62.90

The Courage To Be Disliked

by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga A unique self-improvement title which is written as a dialogue between a philosopher and his student, The Courage To Be Disliked deals with a topic that appears strange at first. After all, who amongst us does not want to be liked, or more pertinently, who amongst us aspires to be disliked? In a culture where the slightest social opprobrium is grounds for isolation and alienation, authors Kishimi and Koga argue that self-actualisation, at the risk of social castigation, remains the key to happiness and fulfilment. Embedding the theories of psychologist Alfred Adler in the fictional dialogue, the book shows how each of us can determine the direction of our life, free from past traumas and the expectations of others. The Courage To Be Disliked is the most prescriptive of the books that we are recommending in this issue, focusing on the concepts of self-forgiveness, self-care and mind decluttering. A must-read for anyone caught in the grip of anxiety and worry. RRP: RM79.90

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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERS Hardcover Fiction & Non-fiction *based on the week of 16 December 2018

Educated

by Tara Westover Tara Westover was born to Mormon fundamentalist parents in rural Idaho. Voluntarily cutting themselves off from all worldly contact, Tara was subjected to extreme religious indoctrination by her prophet father, and did not step into a classroom until she was 17. But a brush with the outside world sparked her curiosity, and she ended up teaching herself enough grammar, mathematics and science to be admitted into college. Her voracious appetite for knowledge and education eventually took her across continents and earned her a PhD from Cambridge University. Despite her remarkable academic achievements, she is set for a reckoning both with her family and herself in confronting her past. This memoir is at once an inspiration and a reminder that perseverance can bring rewards but dreams can and do come with a price. RRP: RM55.90

Killing Commendatore

by Haruki Murakami Killing Commendatore is the perfect introduction to one of the finest authors of this generation. It is difficult to squeeze Killing Commendatore, which is 750-plus pages long, into two paragraphs but it is a story concerning painting, love, obsession and ideas, with some surreal passages thrown in for good measure. The story revolves around an unnamed protagonist who is a portrait painter by trade. Following an unhappy separation from his wife, he moves into the home of Tomohiko Amada, an erstwhile master of Japanese painting. The discovery of a hidden painting sets into motion a myriad of things. The protagonist, now privy to a hidden secret, must see out the full ramifications of the uncovering. If you’ve ever felt compelled to read a Murakami but felt intimidated by the author’s reputation, rest assured that Killing Commendatore is a gentle introduction to his world. RRP: RM131.90

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KINGDOM OF THE BLIND by Louise Penny

THE RECKONING by John Grisham

EVERY BREATH

by Nicholas Sparks

KILLING THE SS

FIRE & BLOOD

by George R.R. Martin

TARGET: ALEX CROSS

by James Patterson

BECOMING

by Michelle Obama

EDUCATED

by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

by Tara Westover

SHADE

BEASTIE BOYS BOOK

by Pete Souza

by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz

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


A t t h e M ov i e s

PHOTOS: KERRY BROWN. TM & © 2018 TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION

The Kid Who Would Be King

Author: Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Dorris, Angus Imrie, Rebecca Ferguson, Patrick Stewart Director: Joe Cornish Tentative release date: 25 January 2019 Old school magic meets the modern world in the epic adventure The Kid Who Would Be King. Alex (Ashbourne Serkis) is a 12-year-old kid whose problems with bullies at school become the least of his worries after he stumbles on the mythical Sword in the Stone, Excalibur. Now wielding more power than he can ever imagine, he must unite his friends – and enemies – into a band of knights to take on the wicked enchantress Morgana (Ferguson) and her army of dark creatures intent on taking over the world. Guided by the legendary wizard, Merlin (Stewart), and with the future at stake, Alex must become the great leader he never dreamed he could be.

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Playing at the cinemas A Dog’s Way Home

*Disclaimer: Information is correct at the time of printing

@2019 SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Starring: Ashley Judd, Edward James Olmos, Alexandra Shipp, Wes Studi, Chris Bauer, Barry Watson, Jonah Hauer-King Director: Charles Martin Smith Tentative release date: 11 January 2019 Based on the beloved best-selling novel of the same name by W. Bruce Cameron, this is a tale of love, friendship and loyalty. A Dog’s Way Home chronicles the heart-warming adventures of Bella, a dog which embarks on an epic 640-kilometre journey home after she is separated from her beloved owner, Lucas, an aspiring medical student and Veterans Affairs hospital volunteer. Bella touches the lives of many during her unwavering quest, from an orphaned mountain lion cub to a homeless veteran down on his luck. Bella brings joy and comfort to everyone she meets with her unique spirit and faith.

Glass

M. Night Shyamalan brings together the narratives of two of his standout originals – 2000’s Unbreakable, from Touchstone, and 2016’s Split, from Universal – in one explosive comic-book thriller: Glass. Returning from Unbreakable is David Dunn (Willis) and Elijah Price (Jackson) aka Mr. Glass. Joining from Split is Kevin Wendell Crumb (McAvoy) and the multiple identities which reside within, plus Casey Cooke (Taylor-Joy), the only captive to survive an encounter with The Beast, one of Crumb’s personalities. Following on from the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.

@2019 ORION PICTURES CORPORATION . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Prodigy

Starring: Taylor Schilling, Jackson Robert Scott, Peter Mooney, Colm Feore Director: Nicholas McCarthy Tentative release date: 8 February 2019 In her much-anticipated foray into the horror-thriller genre, Orange is the New Black star Taylor Schilling plays a mother called Sarah in The Prodigy. Sarah’s young son Miles’ disturbing behaviour signals that an evil, possibly supernatural force has overtaken him. Fearing for her family’s safety, she must choose between her maternal instinct to love and protect Miles, and a desperate need to investigate what – or who – is causing his dark turn. She is forced to look for answers in the past, and goes on a wild ride where the line between perception and reality is frighteningly blurred.

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@2019 UNIVERSALPICTURES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Author: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Anya Taylor-Joy, Sarah Paulson, Samuel L. Jackson Director: M. Night Shyamalan Tentative release date: 18 January 2019


Firefly News 64

News & Happenings

66

Firefly Network

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Firefly Fleet & Service Info


FireFly News

Total Holiday Experience

Working with travel and airline solutions partner GoQuo, Firefly Airlines recently launched its Jom Jalan campaign with Firefly Holidays to offer travellers awesome deals of up to 50 percent off hotel and flight packages. Firefly Holidays, an enhanced version of the airline’s online travel portal, was launched eight years ago, and now provides a smooth and seamless travel experience and greater satisfaction for customers. Firefly Holidays is all about convenience every step of the way – from the time of booking to the point of arrival as customers have full flexibility to select their preferred flight timings and hotels, as well as to complete their holiday with optional transfers and tours. “As we work hand-in-hand with GoQuo to upgrade every experience, be ready to be spoilt for choice for hotels, deals and activities in Malaysia and worldwide. Car rental services can also be booked via the website for a hassle-free trip,” said former Firefly Airlines chief executive officer Ignatius Ong. “Through Firefly Holidays, we offer all kinds of holiday experiences through a variety of choices, great convenience and affordable packages. These are part of the Jom Jalan campaign initiative to promote undiscovered places and heritage exploration. Firefly is also working on collaborations with potential tourism and corporate partners to highlight segments such as medical tourism, localised packages, eco-tourism, attractions, food, adventure and shopping,” Ong added.

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FireFly News

Memorable Moments

It was an unforgettable, fun-filled day for 40 children from the Association of Social Services and Community Development of Gombak District in Selangor (PSPK), as they celebrated the joy of Christmas with staff from Firefly Airlines, at the Wildlife Park in Sunway Lagoon recently. The outing was part of the airline’s #FYCares Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme to give back to the community. The day began with the excited children and airline staff members gathering at the entrance, before they were briefed by friendly and enthusiastic Wildlife Park Rangers on the day’s activities. After a photo session, the group was ushered into the park for a personalised tour and got a closer look at over 150 species of animals that call the Wildlife Park home. During the tour, the children were introduced to the resident white tigers, Samson and Asha, white lions Zola and Zuri, as well as panthers, white gibbons, the black-eared marmoset, and many more. They even got to feed the rabbits and guinea pigs, pet the chickens and turtles, and learned to fish using a net. At noon, the children were treated to a Wildlife Multi-Animal Show at the Wildlife Theatre before heading to the Harbour Deck for a scrumptious lunch by Marrybrown. Former Firefly Airlines chief executive officer Ignatius Ong presented Christmas gifts of school bags and stationery items to the children. Also present was Reverend Henry Sandanam, founder and president of PSPK.

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Net work Map

Penang

ETHEREAL LANDSCAPE The Avatar Secret Garden in Tanjung Tokong features beautiful trees draped in colourful lights. See it for yourself on pages 70 and 71.

Banda Aceh

Subang

YOUNG & VIBRANT Subang is the focus in this month’s Insider’s Guide. Read what to see, do and experience in the neighbourhood on pages 22 to 27.

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; 5am to 10pm

PENANG

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

KELANTAN

JOHOR

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

INDONESIA

KEDAH

International Departure Hall Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport Banda Aceh EMAIL: aceh@fireflyz.com.my OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 8:30am to 5pm

Main Terminal, Sultan Abdul Halim Airport 06550 Alor Setar TEL: +604 714 3911 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 7am to 8pm

LANGKAWI

Airlines Marketing Representative

Selected Airport Ticket Offices

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

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; 5:30am to 12am

PAHANG

SINGAPORE

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

TERENGGANU

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

THAILAND

Langkawi International Airport 07100 Padang Matsirat, Kedah TEL: +604 955 9622 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 9am to 8pm

Sultan Azlan Shah Airport 30350 Ipoh OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 9am to 5pm

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: 8:30am to 5:30pm; Sat, Sun & Public Holiday – CLOSED

Departure Hall Row Changi Airport Terminal 2 TEL: +65 3158 8279 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 7am to 9:30pm

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KLIA

KL SENTRAL

Level 01, Departure Hall Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal (KLCAT) Kuala Lumpur Sentral Rail Station 50470 Kuala Lumpur OPERATING HOUR: Mon to FRI, 9am to 8pm; Sat, 9am to 5:30pm; Sun – CLOSED


In addition to airport check-in, here are other options. 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. The 2D barcode boarding pass can be scanned at airport security and at the boarding gate. *The Firefly Mobile app is available in 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.

Kuala Lumpur

Call Centre General Hotline: +603 7845 4543 / Singapore: +65 3158 8279 Operating Hours: Daily 8am – 9pm

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

CAPITAL COOL Only have half a day to spend in KL? Maximise your time here with our recommended list of attractions and places to eat in the city. Turn to page 20.


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 gate 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

890 nautical miles (1648.28 Km)

27.05 m

Operation Hubs

Smoking, including the use of electronic cigarettes, is prohibited on all flights.

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 requirements, cabin crew are no longer required to stow passengers’ hand luggages into the overhead stowage compartment. This is to minimise occupational hazard and ergonomic January 2019

68

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.


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 (PED)

For safety reasons and in line with the Regulatory Guidelines, mobile phones and all PEDs must be switched off once aircraft doors are closed. 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. January 2019

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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.


View finder Photo David ST Loh

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


Enchanting Landscape

C

ome night, be transported to the fictional world of Pandora at the Penang Avatar Secret Garden. Inspired by the multi-million-dollar blockbuster film Avatar, which was released in 2009, the garden features a dazzling display of trees draped in multi-coloured lights, their ‘tendrils’ cascading down to form shimmering curtains. The mesmerising sight resembles the Tree of Souls, the sacred tree of the Na’vi – the indigenous people of Pandora. As you stroll through the garden, the vibrant colours and lights blend together to create a dream-like landscape. Entrance to the garden is free.

336, Jalan Tokong Thai Pak Koong, Tanjung Tokong, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia


# FlyFirefly erisgoest

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adyndzr

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

45 likes ast! o Let’s fe erisgoest d! ring sprea outhwate t M ka il e e d sn n u nimb lu maka a Dia sela nurhafesh fé aje hipster ca

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72 likes rachealkwacz Any guesses where we’re heading? elainetay Legoland! happygokl Have fun!

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36 likes sheauyin Lif e is like a set of train tracks - wond er where I’ll be going to next? rachel_khong Such a nice picture iscoolthatwa y this captio n wins

paihdanpaan

153 likes Park, Geoforest hmotoaki ia ys la a i, M Langkaw r The wate beautiful! ! loring So e p e x e e e r. ic ve e nN rld fromthesu of the wo thirdrock_ other side m o fr s g Greetin

mohamadadazuar

180 likes lves uffed with ourse the.tiffie So ch ubine Lane to be nc Co nd fou when we these midday! Aren’t deserted during t? tes cu the t jus s lla rainbow umbre are Those umbrellas veronamars1 ed! fe ow inb ra your just perfect for hometown..:) my e! nic ew sher minh

107 likes paihdanpaan Gerak dulu, apa-apa, roger. Thank you @fireflyairlines cikpuakdatinisak Semoga Allah meluaskan rezeki dan memudahkan segala urusan

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50 likes mohamadadazuar @fireflyairlines sitifatihah788 Super hot wan_muhammad_hanafi somewhere over the rainbow blue birds fly


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