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June 2019

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

Rich History AN INSIDER'S GUIDE TO MELAKA

12 HOURS IN PHUKET, THAILAND / OPEN JOURNAL EID AL-FITR / STREET CHEF CHICKEN BURGERS / AND MORE...

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Contents June 2019

4 CEO's Message 6 Editor’s Note 6 Letters To The Editor 8 Agenda Calendar of events and happenings

10 Comfort Zone Where to stay

22

12 Bites

Insider’s Guide

Where to eat

Melaka

28

Perspective Mohd Nizamri Md Yusoff of Hotel Sri Petaling

14 Quench Where to drink

16 Applify Popular photo editing apps for smartphones

21 Savour Beef Rendang

36 Humble Beginnings Bespoke footwear label XALF Design

18

12 Hours Phuket, Thailand

54 Health & Fitness Minimising weight gain during Eid

56 Pack Up Summer Essentials

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32

Tracker Best places around the world to see autumn leaves

44

Street Chef Fried chicken burgers in Petaling Jaya’s Damansara Uptown

17

Tech’ Up Must-have gadgets

40

First Drives 58 MY List

BMW 6 GT

10 things and facts about Malaysia

60 Reads Travel Literature

62 At The Movies What’s showing in theatres

64 Firefly News 66 Network Map 68 Fleet & Service Info Singapore’s Sultan Mosque

72 #FlyFirefly Our Instagram Stars!

48

Open Journal Eid al-Fitr traditions

123RF

70 Viewfinder

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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 Art Director Euric Liew euric.liew@spafax.com

Writer Noel Foo noel.foo@spafax.com

Graphic Designer Nurfarahin Kamarudin nurfarahin.kamarudin @spafax.com

Contributors PY Cheong, Caramella Scarpa, Fong Min Hun, Elaine Lau, Jason Kwong, Neil Mogol

Dear Guests, Greetings from Firefly and welcome to the June issue of Fireflyz! It gives me great pleasure to welcome you onboard Firefly Airlines, your home in the air. We aim to ensure that all our passengers’ in-flight experiences are enjoyable and comfortable. Whatever your reason for travel this month, whether it’s to celebrate Eid – Hari Raya as it is more commonly known in Malaysia – or for school holidays, we at Firefly thank you for flying with us. Our greatest joy is in making meaningful connections with our guests while delivering them to their destinations safely, on-time and with a warm smile. For those flying with us during this Raya period, secure your travel with our travel insurance. If you are driving – we do care about that too – don’t forget that you can renew your car insurance via our Firefly website and get a 10 percent discount. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our Muslim friends Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. May you be blessed on this auspicious month, and may it be a new beginning of greater peace, prosperity, success and happiness for each and every one of you. To our other guests, Happy Holidays! Thank you for your continued loyalty and trust in us. We will continue to offer you more products and innovation that will make travelling with us even smoother.

Philip See Chief Executive Officer

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Senior Writer Eris Choo eris.choo@spafax.com

ADVERTISING & MEDIA SALES Senior Sales Manager Shirley Chin shirley.chin @spafax.com

Sales Manager Emmy Aiza emmy.aiza @spafax.com

Sales Manager Vannes Ching vannes.ching @spafax.com

Sales Manager Khairul Adzman khairul.adzman @spafax.com

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

Managing Director, Asia Pacific Jean-Marc Thomas

Spafax EMEA Nick Hopkins nick.hopkins @spafax.com

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

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

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

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

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Editor's Note

Letters

T

WINNING LETTER

he festival of Eid or Hari Raya Aidilfitri, as it is known in Malaysia, is a nostalgic time for me. It reminds me of my childhood growing up in the small town of Segamat in Johor, where children of families of various faiths living on the same street would congregate after dinner at the nearby field to play with firecrackers. The younger children would light up sparklers and ground spinners, while the older ones would light up the Thunderclap Rocket, the one that screeches as it flies through the air and ends with a loud “pop”.

The stewardesses are familiar with their orange uniforms but an unfamiliar face was on the cover of the magazine. I see that it’s an introduction to the new CEO of Firefly. I like his vibrant look and the interview was insightful. Looking forward to new offerings and changes. I was happy to read the different write-ups on travel ideas, as well as entertainment and tech news during my short one-hour flight. It was a time for me to relax and take a break before heading to my business meeting upon landing. In particular, I never knew there was so much to do in Sitiawan and it could very well be an option for my next weekend escapade.

Man Shee Leong SUBANG JAYA, MALAYSIA

The first time I took Firefly was to attend a media trip in Selangor. Honestly, the whole in-flight experience was great. The cabin crew were approachable at all times as they kept a happy face and not forgetting the really sweet crew who was more than willing to check in my hand luggage after boarding. The seat was comfortable enough for me take a nap before a long day. Working in the magazine field, I was actually very impressed with Fireflyz. It is compact with all the details a traveller needs. From places to stay and eat and even facts about Malaysia. It is definitely a good read.

My closest childhood friends, three boys from a family of 11 children, lived next door to us. With such a large family, Hari Raya was always a huge and spirited affair at their home. Coming from a small family – I only have an older brother – I looked forward to visiting them and enjoying the delicious food prepared for the first day of Raya. This month, nearly two billion Muslims around the world will celebrate Eid after a month of fasting. In Malaysia, Eid is expected to start on 5 June. In the spirit of the most important festival in the Islamic calendar, we take a look at some of the traditions behind the occasion, starting from a purification bath known as ghusl on the first day of Eid to the giving of an “Eidee” or gifts of money to children instead of a present. Food is central to the celebration, often turning it into elaborate family feasts (page 48-52). One of the festive favourites is chicken rendang, of which we have the recipe in our Savour section (page 21).

Sezzvyniia James PENANG, MALAYSIA

I must admit that FireFly is not my airline of choice when I frequently fly out of Subang Airport for work. I have been often frustrated with frequent delays and flights that were retimed. It’s not a good thing for business commitments. On a recent trip to Penang, I was reacquainted with Firefly because of the timing convenience. And … wow! There are many new updates and Fireflyz, your in-flight magazine, was refreshing and a wonderful read – I was totally immersed! Now I have a reason to give Firefly another go.

Kevin Zahri, our resident health and fitness writer, follows up with an article this month on how to avoid overeating during the festive season. It’s easy to lose sight of our weight goals under normal circumstances, what more after a month of fasting (page 54-55).

Allan Khong

To our Muslim guests, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin.

PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA

We’d love to hear from you!

See you in July.

Julie Goh Editor

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.

June 2019

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

Rich History

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.

AN INSIDER'S GUIDE TO MELAKA

12 HOURS IN PHUKET, THAILAND / OPEN JOURNAL EID AL-FITR / STREET CHEF CHICKEN BURGERS / AND MORE...

ON THE COVER

The front view of a Peranakan shophouse in Melaka, Malaysia

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Agenda

Upcoming

PHOTOS: KLPAC LET’S ROCK 2 / ROBIN WONG

Events EVENTS FROM MALAYSIA AND AROUND THE WORLD TO CHECK OUT

Rock & Roll

Grab your favourite denim outfits and get ready to rock out to some of the most iconic rock music in history at Let’s Rock 2. Back after a successful first show in 2017, Let’s Rock 2 will bring back the same headliners – Fuad of Kyoto Protocol, songstress Bihzhu and singer-songwriter Nick Davis, to perform together with the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC) Symphonic Band, the Young Choral Academy (YCA) Chorus and a fourpiece band. The concert, which aims to raise funds to support KLPAC, will feature songs of artists such as Coldplay, U2, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica, The Carpenters, The Beatles and Cyndi Lauper. When: 20 – 23 June Where: The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC), Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia klpac.org

Flying Motorcycles

Prepare to get your adrenaline pumping as Masters Of Dirt makes its way to Kuala Lumpur this month. Founded by Austrian freestyle mountain biker Georg Fechter, Masters Of Dirt has established itself as one of the world’s most thrilling freestyle motocross shows over the past 15 years. Watch as daredevil riders soar through the air performing death-defying flips and stunts on motocross bikes, BMX and mountain bikes, mini bikes, quad bikes and even snowmobiles. Raise the temperature further with DJ Mosaken’s hot beats and the famous fire and pyro performance by the Fuel Girls. When: 22 June Where: Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia mastersofdirt.com/events/masters-ofdirt-malaysia

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One of Malaysia’s most highly anticipated homegrown music festivals, the Good Vibes Festival returns to its usual venue at Genting Highlands next month with a plethora of musical acts to enjoy. The long list of international artists includes headline hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, whose hit song Black Beatles gained viral popularity as the background track of Mannequin Challenge videos, and Grammy Award-winning R&B singersongwriter Daniel Caesar. Over at the Electric Fields stage, move to the beats of electronic music acts such as Norwegian DJ Cashmere Cat and Australian DJ Anna Lunoe. Also appearing at the festival are top local performers such as the funky RYÖT JONES, DJ duo BATE and indie-pop band Lost Spaces. When: 20 – 21 July Where: The Ranch, Gohtong Jaya,Genting Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia goodvibesfestival.com

Party At Sea

PHOTOS: IT’S THE SHIP / ALL IS AMAZING

It’s a party on the high seas with It’s The Ship, Asia’s largest festival at sea. Back for its sixth year, this highly popular music festival on a cruise ship has seen many internationally renowned music acts grace its decks; including Showtek, Kaskade, Lil Jon, Chvrches, Basement Jaxx, Knife Party and Far East Movement. Partygoers will experience an uninterrupted three days and two nights of lively parties aboard the Genting Dream and enjoy all of the fun activities the cruise ship has to offer, such as its large water slides, glow bowling alley, mini-golf course and zip-line over the sea. Cabin bookings are already open and the line-up of performers will be announced in due time. When: 13 – 15 November Where: Marina Bay Cruise Centre, Singapore

PHOTOS: GOOD VIBES FESTIVAL / ALL IS AMAZING, MICAIAH CARTER

Festival For All

itstheship.com

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C o m f o r t Z o n e : W h e r e To S t a y

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

Suitably Convenient

Located on the outskirts of the capital city, Hotel Sri Petaling is a modest accommodation that caters primarily to corporate events. The hotel’s close proximity to the Bukit Jalil National Stadium and Axiata Arena makes it a prime choice for travellers who are in town to attend the many sports tournaments and concerts held there. Hotel Sri Petaling contains 158 spacious and reasonably-priced guest rooms and suites, tastefully decorated in warm colours. The attractive price point makes it a popular venue for meetings and events too, with its ballroom able to host up to 250 guests in a banquet configuration, and up to 400 guests for conferences. The hotel restaurant, Dine Coffee House, serves an array of continental, Chinese and local dishes. And being just a short ride away from the nearest light rail transit station also makes it convenient to reach other key locations in Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley. Address: 30, Jalan Radin Anum, Bandar Baru Sri Petaling, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia hotelsripetaling.my

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

Quality Necessities

Positioned as ‘affordable luxury for the people’, citizenM Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang has opened its doors to travellers in Malaysia. The award-winning Dutch hotel brand runs on a select-service concept, trimming down on excess services that most travellers don’t need and focusing on the ones that matter. The 210 cosy little rooms are fitted with cutting-edge technology and designed for comfort, with features such as extra-large king-sized beds, high-pressure rain showers and the MoodPad with one-touch controls for lighting, music, blinds, temperature and wake-up alarms. The lobby is designed to look like a cosy living room with designer furniture and contemporary art to make guests feel at home, while the grab-and-go concept canteenM enables guests to help themselves to quick snacks and drinks at any hour of the day. The hotel’s quirky design extends all the way into the meeting room to ensure that no meeting at citizenM is a boring one. Address: 128, Jalan Pudu, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia citizenm.com/destinations/ kuala-lumpur/kuala-lumpur-bukitbintang-hotel

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PENANG, MALAYSIA

Contemporary Comfort

With the famous Gurney Drive open-air hawker enclave located just a stone’s throw away, the ultra-chic and stylish G Hotel Gurney is an ideal choice of lodging for discerning travellers. Boasting contemporary interior décor and top designer furniture, the hotel has 312 guest rooms with stunning views of the waterfront and the surrounding cityscape. Guests can savour good food and drink, not just outside the hotel, but in it too with the all-day dining Taste Café, the lobby’s G Lounge, alfresco venue Tree Bar and the G Pool Bar. More dining and shopping options are just a few steps away with Gurney Plaza and Gurney Paragon shopping malls located right beside the hotel. G Hotel Gurney also has ample facilities for hosting events and meetings, with a total of nine meeting rooms and two ballrooms fully equipped with state-of-the-art features. Hotel guests enjoy access to other facilities such as the infinity pool, 24-hour gym, complimentary G Cycle bicycle for sightseeing, a free weekend shuttle service to key tourist destinations, spa and hair salon, in addition to shared facilities at sister hotel, G Hotel Kelawai. Address: 168A Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia ghotel.com.my

SENTOSA ISLAND, SINGAPORE

Stylish Luxury

Boasting a stylish and luxurious ambience, The Outpost Hotel is tailor-made to elevate guests’ experiences while being just a stone’s throw away from major attractions. Located on Sentosa Island, this getaway hotel offers 193 modern and chic guest rooms in a stylish black, white, gold and metallic palette. Unwind in idyllic settings with the hotel’s four themed pools – most notably, the Pamukkale Pool, an infinity pool with a spectacular view of the seaside and horizon. Guests can also enjoy the same view with a cocktail in hand by the pool bar. The hotel will soon unveil an exciting rooftop restaurant and bar concept that promises revolutionary dining with a panoramic view of the sea and a prime spot to watch fireworks displays at Siloso Beach. While the location is within easy reach of the beach and its surrounding fun attractions, the hotel also offers a limousine service for guests to get around comfortably. Address: 10 Artillery Avenue, #03-01, Singapore 099951 theoutposthotel.com.sg

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

Homegrown Flavours

The Puntry does ice-cream and does it well. Flavours run the gamut from classic to downright nostalgic and because this is an artisanal outfit, it’s advisable to always check their Facebook page for what flavours are available. This is a casual space where you go for at least two scoops of ice-cream – ‘Rum, Raisin, Rum’ and ‘Chocolate Vegannings’ are crowd pleasers – and then bring a few tubs home. The menu is divided into Classics and Specials, with the latter offering unique flavour combinations like ‘Lap-is In The Air’ (kuih lapis) and ‘Rabbit & Turtle’ (White Rabbit cereal). There is a small savoury and sweet menu, where waffles and pancakes come with either fried chicken or ice-cream. Bonus points for the clever puns! Address: 5 Jalan Robson, Taman Persiaran Desa, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/punsicecream

Blurring The Lines

For those of you who are old enough to remember, British indie rock band Blur had a hit in 1994 called Parklife. Suitably, Chef Ling is the co-founder and head of the kitchen at this Bangsar South eatery and yes, Parklife is partly inspired by the song and by London’s Hyde Park. The focus of the menu here is Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavours, top quality ingredients and the kind of feel-good dishes that appeals to everyone no matter what their dietary preferences are. From innovative salads using wholesome ingredients like organic quinoa, pumpkin, beetroot and chickpeas, to tempting desserts (the signature carrot cake is a must), Parklife’s ideology is to feed everyone. Meat lovers to vegans should make this restaurant their next Bangsar South stop. Address: Unit 5, Level Upper Ground, The Sphere, Bangsar South City, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia parklifemalaysia.com

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Italian But different

Italian food can be found in every corner of the world. And when diners say they fancy Italian, it’s usually antipasti, pasta and pizza. Italian cuisine is so much more than that, with each region boasting completely different flavours and types of food. It’s interesting that Gooddam (a combination of the chefs’ names) has chosen the barely trodden path of northern Italian cuisine with dishes like tajarin (hand-cut egg noodles), wild rice risotto with mortadella sauce making an appearance. The seven-course tasting menu is a good way to experience a spectrum of flavours from the Piemonte region and includes starters, pasta, a choice of meat main dishes and dessert. Address: Lot B-G-07, The HUB SS2, 19 Sentral, Jalan Harapan, Seksyen 19, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia gooddam.com

Delicious Cuisine

Those familiar with the delicious fare offered by the Kenny Hills Bakers will be happy to know that they are now in Damansara Heights. Nourish by Kenny Hills Bakers may be the new café on the block, but the breakfast punters are already packing in. Finding an eatery that creates food using healthy ingredients and makes everything taste amazing is always a welcome. All cakes, pies, pastries and bread are baked daily in-house; salads are a wondrous melange of goodness using all manner of vegetables and fruit and there’s a selection of meaty mains for the flexitarian diners. Cakes are refined sugar-free and gluten-free and you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to sweet treats. There’s also a good selection for vegans and vegetarians. Likewise, coffee is superb, and it opens at 8 am for breakfast. Address: 35 Jalan Medan Setia 1, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/nourishbykhb

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

Cool Clubbing

What was once the domain of crowds wanting a bit of cool highland air and to escape the city, is now a veritable mini metropolis of shops, cafés, restaurants, entertainment and nightlife! Genting Highlands is now home to the latest Zouk outpost, the most famous of Asian superclubs. If you’ve partied at the Singapore and Kuala Lumpur clubs, you’ll know what to expect – international DJs, state-of-the-art sound systems and incredible lighting and pyrotechnics. DJs like Ferry Corsten, Markus Shulz and R3HAB have already graced the decks. The club is part of a group of entertainment outlets that includes pre-drinking spot RedTail and Empire, so you can really make a night of it. Address: SkyAvenue, Resorts World Genting, Genting Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia zoukgenting.com

Hardly Boring

If there was a prize for the most curious name of a bar and eatery, Super Boring Club would be a good contender. Located on Jalan Mesui, the quieter and much cooler neighbour to Changkat Bukit Bintang, this eclectic restaurant and bar serves Japanese and Korean fusion cuisine and a very interesting selection of sake-based cocktails that will encourage you to stay on after your delicious meal is finished. The Sake Lemonade and Sake Lychee (sake, lychee juice, ginger syrup) come highly recommended. Suntory whisky is also the star of a few cocktails while the Root Beer Shochu is an alcoholic play on the classic root beer float. Address: 15 Jalan Mesui, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/superboringclub

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Rooftop View

The trend of rooftop bars with stunning views hasn’t abated with 2018 being the year the city was inundated with them. Most of these are located in the city centre and all boast views of the most iconic of towers and skyline, but if you want a different view Ten37 Sky Pool Bar in Mont Kiara is your best bet. Head to Hyatt House at the Arcoris complex where the bar is located on the 37th floor. Sunset drinks are always in order and the view really is very nice up there with the entire neighbourhood, surrounding hills and yes, the Petronas Twin Towers but from afar and still looking amazing. There are cocktails (the HH signature comes recommended), beer, wine and a Sip + Savour menu featuring tasty comfort food. Address: G-2 Arcoris, 10 Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/ HyattHouseKLMontKiara

Coffee On Tap

There’s something very interesting brewing for KL coffee connoisseurs at this new café in Mont Kiara. First of all, the décor is uber hipster in a good way – white walls, sleek design, minimalist ambience; and then there’s the funky chrome taps where baristas ‘pull’ your coffee from. This is a whole different level of coffee drinking. Suitably called What’s On Tap, espresso-based beverages are their forte and there’s also nitro brew concoctions with their signature Orange Nitro Fizz, a successful melding of citrus flavours and cold brew coffee. Prices are competitive, the baristas make good coffee and the concept really is unique. Address: B-OG-05 Plaza Mont Kiara, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/whatsontap.kl

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Applify: Apps In Focus

Picture Perfect

Snapseed

Publisher: Google LLC Cost: Free

LIVING IN A DIGITAL AGE MEANS PICTURES HAVE BECOME MORE IMPORTANT AND MORE ACCESSIBLE THAN EVER BEFORE. WITH SOME OF THE WORLD’S BEST CAMERAS IN OUR POCKETS, THE SOFTWARE TO EDIT IMAGES TO BRING OUT THE BEST IN THEIR VISUALS ARE JUST AS ACCESSIBLE TODAY. HERE ARE THREE OF THE MOST POWERFUL AND POPULAR PHOTO EDITING APPS FOR SMARTPHONES.

It is not hard to see why Snapseed is so popular with professionals and budding photographers alike. For an app that consumes so little memory and power, it boasts some of the best and most useful editing tools at no cost and ad-free. Snapseed has a variety of fun preset filters, frames and text you can add to photos; but also offers professional features such as the perspective, healing tool and double exposure function. The app’s minimalist interface also makes it easy to navigate through the functions, and professionals will love the Stacks function, which allows non-destructive editing of individual layers. While using Snapseed does require basic image editing knowledge, it becomes very easy once you get the hang of it.

VSCO

Publisher: VSCO Cost: Free – Membership subscription priced at RM81.99 annually or RM6.83 per month and includes a seven-day free trial

Adobe Lightroom CC - Photo Editor

VSCO is a robust photo editing app that is loved by professionals Publisher: Adobe everywhere for vintage colours and the Cost: Free – Upgrade to Premium natural look and feel that gives photos for RM20.99 per month a rather artsy quality. VSCO boasts a library of over 160 preset filters, but only Adobe is arguably the leader in 10 are available for free at the start. multimedia and creative software, and the mobile version of Most of the common editing sliders are its photo editor, Adobe Lightroom CC, is among the best for available to free users, but subscribers professionals. The clean interface is pretty easy to work with will also have access to borders and and can be used in both portrait or landscape orientation. the HSL (hue, saturation, lightness) Beginners to photo editing will benefit from the short tutorial sliders, as well as video editing. The for new users as well as an auto-adjust button. While the price subscription fee is quite affordable and point is a little higher than other photo editors, upgrading to photographers who love the signature a Premium subscription unlocks numerous features from VSCO look will find it a worthy selective adjustments to healing brush, perspective, investment. The in-app camera All apps are improved cloud storage and automatic tagging for is fairly basic but VSCO has its available on people and objects. However, the app is sizable and own online community for photo Google Play and Apple uses a fair amount of power, so it is better suited for sharing, where photographers App Store. newer devices. can also exchange opinions.

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

1

Elevated Experience

2

New from Acer is the OJO 500 Windows Mixed Reality Headset. It features a detachable design that makes for easy cleaning. There is also a built-in audio system, eliminating the need for headphones – allowing users to remain aware of their surroundings while still enjoying an immersive experience. RRP: RM1,899 acer.com

Sleek On The Wrist

Huawei has unveiled a smaller 42mm design of its GT smartwatch. The device (dubbed the ‘Elegant’) sports a 1.2inch AMOLED display at a resolution of 390 x 390 and comes in two colours: pearl white and pearl black. The battery can last a full week with heart rate monitoring on. RRP: £229 (RM1,070) huawei.com

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Music Untethered

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Power Up, Size Down

The Cybershot RX0 II is Sony’s latest premium ultra-compact camera. Despite its small size (59.0x40.5x35.0mm, 117g), it comes with a 15.3MP Exmor CMOS sensor and ZEISS Tessar T 24mm f/4 wide-angle lens, as well as a waterproof, 180-degrees tiltable LCD panel to accommodate different shooting angles. RRP: RM2,799 sony.com.my

The Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones offer total freedom when it comes to music. This updated design by Beats is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, plus nine hours of usage per earbud – or more than 24 hours of combined playback using the built-in battery of the magnetic charging case. RRP: RM999 beatsbydre.com

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12 H o u r s Text Eris Choo / Photos Neil Mogol / Illustration Lauren Rebbeck / Art Direction Euric Liew

Tropical Paradise THE LARGEST ISLAND IN THAILAND, PHUKET OFFERS PLENTY OF ATTRACTIONS, BE IT SANDY BEACHES, AUTHENTIC LOCAL FLAVOURS OR CULTURAL EXPERIENCES.

Windmill Viewpoint

day. Located within the courtyard on the upper level is a small Buddhist shrine, surrounded by elephant statues. Elephants are important animals in Thai culture, and locals bring their own elephant figurines to add to the circle, in the belief it will bring them good luck and fortune. There is also a lighthouse that doubles as a museum of historical maritime artefacts, as well as a statue dedicated to Admiral Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse, known also as“The Father of the Thai Navy”.

11.00 AM 9.00AM

Start the day at Karon Viewpoint, one of the island’s most popular spots for photography. Locals call it Koh Sam Haad, or "Hill of Three Beaches". True to its name, you will see three beaches, namely Kata Noi Beach, Kata Beach and Karon Beach as you look north, nestled between

outcroppings of land to form a fork shape. The vista is a great overview of the best Phuket has to offer – sandy white beaches, emerald green hills and sparkling blue sea. A short drive away is the lesser known Windmill Viewpoint, so called because of the giant wind turbine nearby that generates electricity around the island. It is possible to hop from

viewpoint to viewpoint as you make your way to the southern tip of the island.

10.00 AM

Promthep Cape is renowned for its sunset views, but the place also has something for day-trippers, as one will be able to see the outlines of Koh Racha Yai and the Phi Phi islands on a clear

Aside from its beautiful beaches, Phuket’s most recognisable icon is the Big Buddha, which sits atop Nakkerd Hill overlooking the entire island. Built in 2004, the concrete statue is an architectural marvel, measuring 45 metres tall by 25 metres wide, and is covered in white Burmese jade marble that glitters in the sun. Visitors make their way to the base of the statue via a sweeping marble staircase

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of thatched roof huts on stilts, where patrons can enjoy dining on mats on the floor or at simple wooden tables. Don’t be fooled by the rustic settings, as the restaurant has a Michelin Bib Gourmand award, and counts international food host Andrew Zimmern among its satisfied clientele. Try their signature Pla Tu Yat Sai, or boneless mackerel – a tedious dish that involves deboning the fish, blending the scraped flesh with chilli paste, then stuffing it back in and deep frying. The result is a crispy exterior, packed with the flavour of fish and spices. Other notable dishes include the tom kha gai (chicken boiled with coconut milk and galangal) and flambe-style morning glory.

to contribute to the building fund by purchasing a brick or marble tile, which will then be placed within. The compound is also home to a smaller gold Buddha and other statues in various positions representing different days of the week, as well as a small garden with well wishes written by visitors on heart-shaped metal plates. TOURISM MALAYSIA

Big Buddha on Nakkerd Hill

flanked by Naga statues (mythical serpents in Buddhist and Hindu mythology) before entering the body of the Big Buddha, which has a space for monks to conduct prayers. Construction of the interior is incomplete, but devotees and visitors are welcome

12.30PM

Dine as the locals do at Mor Mu Dong, a unique establishment located off the beaten path, just past the Phuket Zoo in Chalong. The restaurant, which sits on the edge of a mangrove swamp, features dozens

2.00 PM

Cashew nuts are an addictive treat, and the best

place to get them is at the Sri Bhurapa Orchid Co Ltd in Thanon Kwang. If you’re wondering about the curious name, it pays tribute to the business’s early days as an orchid farm. The showroom has several workstations, where staff members work deftly to remove the cashew nut shells with gloves and a special machine, since the shells contain a corrosive toxin. Meanwhile, a glass wall allows visitors to view the sorting, roasting and grading process taking place on the factory floor. Sample interesting flavours such as tom yum, wasabi, honey, chocolate and barbecue; or take your pick from the large variety of local products such as rice crackers, noodles, dried seafood and snacks.

3.00PM

Built on the riches of tin, the historic area of Old Phuket Town is a charming enclave that spans several streets, including Thalang, Dibuk,

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12 H o u r s

Karon Temple

GOOD TO KNOW

Old Phuket Town

Krabi, Phang Nga and Yoawarat. Like Penang and Melaka in Malaysia, Phuket is home to a community of Straits Chinese, or Peranakan – the result of immigrant Chinese tin-miners intermarrying with local women. The community’s unique culture and heritage can be seen in the area’s beautiful Sino-Portuguese buildings, which blend Chinese and European influences. Visitors will find an eclectic mix of businesses, from family-run pharmacies to gold shops, jewellery stores, clothing shops, boutique hotels and cafés. Vibrant graffiti by local

Firefly flies to Phuket, Thailand from Penang. Flight schedules and hotel deals can be found at fireflyz.com.my.

7.00 PM

artists can also be seen on the sides of several buildings. Detour to Soi Romanee, a short lane that connects Thalang Road to Dibuk Road, and marvel at the colourful facades that make for perfect Instagram fodder.

Plan your visit to coincide with the Karon Temple Night Market, held within the grounds of Wat Suwan Khirikhet on Tuesdays and Fridays. Although the offerings are pretty touristy, the market still provides a genuine experience for those who have never visited an outdoor night market in Thailand. Stalls sell cheap T-shirts, nicely packaged local products, carved soaps and handcrafted souvenirs; while the food section features a delicious spread, from grilled meat on skewers to pad thai (glass noodles) served fresh from the wok. Adventurous foodies might want to try fried bugs – crickets, grasshoppers and silkworms – tossed in seasoning. On non-market nights, visitors can head to Karon Plaza, a bazaar-like area with plenty of shops selling souvenirs and gifts. Also within this area are numerous seafood restaurants, with display tanks containing live lobsters, shrimp, cockles, mussels and different varieties of fish to woo customers.

5.00 PM

Travel down the west coast to Karon Beach, the third longest beach on Phuket island. Unlike Patong Beach up north – known for being party central thanks to its clubs and bars – Karon Beach is more popular with families, and is less crowded. The beach stretches for three kilometres and is lined with upscale resorts and beach clubs. It is also much cleaner, with swaying palm trees, warm white sand and sparkling turquoise waters that make it ideal for diving, snorkelling and other water activities. Wile the evening away with a swim, then wait for sunset with a refreshing cocktail in hand at one of the restaurants or cafés along Beach Road.

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GETTING AROUND: Public transport is limited, so the best way to get around is by private driver or tuk tuk (auto rickshaw). Alternatively, travellers can rent a scooter. Note that traffic can be hectic in town centres, especially during peak hours.

WEATHER: High season in Phuket is from November to February, when the weather is cool and dry. March to May is hot and humid, while wet season falls from May to October. If you’re on a budget, consider booking during this period as accommodation prices are lower.

DRESS APPROPRIATELY: Be respectful when visiting sacred sites such as Buddhist temples. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not allowed, but most temples will have sarong-renting facilities for visitors at the entrance.

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

“A dish with origins in Malaysia and Indonesia, it is synonymous with the celebration and is largely considered a ‘must-have’ dish on the dinner table.”

Beef

Ingredients:

Rendang

GREAT WITH KETUPAT OR A PLATE OF HOT STEAMING RICE, THIS DELECTABLE TRADITIONAL DISH IS A MUST-HAVE FOR HARI RAYA (EID)

A

sk anyone what dish they most look forward to during Hari Raya and chances are they will answer beef rendang. A dish with origins in Malaysia and Indonesia, it is synonymous with the celebration and is largely considered a ‘must-have’ dish on the dinner table. Rich, spicy and creamy, beef rendang goes well with ketupat or nasi himpit, or accompanied by nasi minyak, biryani or just plain white rice. It even tastes great on toast. Over time, many variations of the dish have sprung up with chicken and mutton being firm favourites. One thing for sure, though, is that it is never ever served crispy! Beef, however, seems to be the oddson favourite version and despite it being time consuming to make, the trade-off is a dish that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Try it and see for yourself.

•800gm boneless beef shank or short ribs

(cut into cubes) •2 pcs lemongrass (cut into 2-inch pieces) •5 pcs kaffir lime leaves •2 cm galangal (sliced) •1 pc cinnamon stick •1 cup coconut milk •1 cup water •2 tbsp tamarind juice •1 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar •salt and pepper to taste

Method

•Mix and blend curry paste ingredients in a

food processor. Blend thoroughly until mixture is smooth, then set aside. In a pot, heat some oil and slowly heat the spice paste until fragrant. Add in beef pieces and continue to stir-fry until ingredients are well mixed.

•As the beef begins to brown, gradually add in lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal and cinnamon stick and continue to cook until fragrant. Pour in coconut milk, followed by half of the water and continue to cook. Mix the remaining water with the tamarind

•1 tsp ground coriander •¼ tsp ground turmeric •200gm shallots (chopped) •2 cm fresh ginger (cleaned and chopped) •4 cloves garlic •10 pcs dried chillies (soaked in warm water and seeded)

•1 tbsp chilli paste •3 tbsp vegetable oil

juice and pour into mixture. Continue to stir until ingredients are incorporated and mixed.

•Reduce heat to a minimal and allow the

rendang to slowly stew. Continue stirring from time to time to prevent the beef from sticking and caramelising at the bottom of the pot.

•Continue to cook over slow fire for 90 minutes

until the mixture thickens. Adjust taste with sugar as well as salt and pepper. Ensure the beef is cooked until tender, then remove from heat and allow to cool. Serve with ketupat or a serving of hot white rice.

THE WORLD OF RENDANG Try out these variations to the dish at home or whenever you come across them

CHICKEN RENDANG A variation of the dish using chicken pieces cooked with an array of spices and coconut milk. The result is a dry chicken curry that is tender, fragrant and extremely delicious.

MUTTON RENDANG Made with mutton or lamb instead of beef, this version of rendang is equally as tasty. Due to the nature of the meat, mutton and lamb rendang has the tendency to have a bit more oil compared to May 2019 the normal dish.

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Curry Paste

RENDANG TOK This dish has a longer preparation and cooking time, resulting in the beef having a softer, stringy texture. Many claim the named tok was derived when the dish was served to dignitaries at the royal palace.

RENDANG MINANG Originating from the Minangkabau in Negri Sembilan, this version of the dish is slightly spicier and sweeter due to the use of cili padi and additional onions. Its core ingredients consist of turmeric, galangal and kaffir lime leaves.

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Insider’s Guide Text Carol West / Photos Robert Muir

Irresistible

History WITH ITS EXOTIC TRADING PAST, MELAKA IS ONE OF ASIA’S MOST FASCINATING DESTINATIONS.

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

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A replica of the Portuguese vessel Flor de la Mar, used during the conquest of Malacca, is now the Maritime Museum

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Step Back In Time

Easy to navigate on foot, the rising sun casts long shadowy fingers across a row of colourfully restored 17th century Dutch traders’ houses on Heeren Street, or Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock as it is now known. Part of a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Site trail, a relaxing self-guided tour through Melaka is a fascinating introduction to charming narrow streets populated with unique architecture through the ages. After the anonymity of big cities, there’s an air of easy familiarity here, a welcome respite from the bustling world beyond. At the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum housed in a Chinese Palladian-style building at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, we’re given a glimpse into the opulent lifestyles and fabulous wealth fuelled by the spice and rubber trades. Descended from the Chinese who came and inter-married with local women, the Babas (men) and Nyonyas (women) – also known as Straits Chinese or Peranakan – and their mixed culture injects Melaka with its cultural heritage and piquant cuisine.

J

ust two hours south of Kuala Lumpur, slipping in a detour to Melaka isn’t a new idea. Mid-way between China and India on the west coast of Malaysia, this 15th century seaport once attracted so many traders that it was referred to as the “Emporium of the East”. Its founding in 1396 by an exiled Sumatran prince was soon followed by the awe-inspiring sight of Chinese admiral Cheng Ho’s mighty fleet sailing through the Straits of Melaka and establishing an alternative maritime trading route for silk and spices, precious gems and textiles, porcelain and pepper.

From the early 16th century, its transformation from a sleepy fishing village to the nerve centre of the fabled spice trade accelerated as Western trading companies from Portugal, Holland and England competed for the fortunes to be made in cloves and nutmeg.

(from top) Dutch Square, with a view of the Stadthuys and Christ Church; front view of a traditional Straits Chinese house; an elaborately decorated rickshaw on Jonker Street

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Insider’s Guide

Hunter Gathering

Along Jonker Street (officially Jalan Hang Jebat), Melaka’s Chinatown, modest homes are transformed into art galleries and boutiques. Popular with antique hunter-gatherers, rummaging through here can yield porcelain, bronze statues, old coins, jade and authentic artefacts, among a few undesirable less-thanauthentic copies! Just off Jonker, we discover Malaqa House museum, a furniture and art gallery in an immaculately restored Dutch house. Favoured by private customers looking for authentic furniture and antiques, wooden shutters open onto two central courtyards, complete with tropical plants and a 150-yearold Chinese frieze. Nearby along the aptly named Harmony Street (Jalan Tokong), we encounter a mosque, as well as Chinese and Hindu temples all co-existing within metres of each other. Built in 1673, the colourful Cheng Hoon Teng Temple (Temple of Green Cloud) is Malaysia’s oldest, functioning multifaith Chinese temple and we join a few saffron-robed monks paying their respects to the Goddess of Mercy. At the impressive Melaka Town Square, tourists gather for Insta-moments

in front of a striking trio of red brick buildings, including Christ Church and the acclaimed Stadthuys, one of the first Dutch buildings erected as the official residence of Holland’s governors, and is now a museum. Just a few steps away, we encounter Portuguese links at the picturesque Porta de Santiago gate, crumbling stone remnants of Alfonso Albuquerque’s A’Famosa fortress erected half a millennium ago. Along the river, the tall masts and great timber hull of Flor de la Mar is now re-imagined as Melaka’s Maritime Museum. A replica of the Portuguese ship that sank off the coast, it now provides an encapsulation of 600 years of maritime history.

(from top) A street art mural in Melaka Old Town; Malaysia’s oldest Chinese temple, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple; elements and design common in buildings that fuse Dutch and Chinese architecture

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Insider’s Guide

the combination of ginger, galangal, garlic, lemongrass and shallots. Acquiring his Baba-Nyonya cooking chops at his mother’s and grandmother’s knees, Koh is an expert and in no time, we’ve prepared an array of dishes including cincalok egg that’s a popular family supper omelette dish and bowls of cendol for a sweet finish. This unforgettable taste of Melaka, shared at a riverfront table as river boats cruise by, truly brings the spice of everyday life into sharp focus.

Simple yet sublimely spicy, Melaka slices and dices its cultural diversity through its cuisine with a robust attitude.

Food Trail

Simple yet sublimely spicy, Melaka slices and dices its cultural diversity through its cuisine with a robust attitude. Otak-otak is a Nyonya favourite that’s a mix of fish meat, coconut milk, shrimp paste, lemongrass and spices. Barbecued squid and crunchy sweet pineapple cakes are hawker stall staples but it’s chicken rice balls that is the Melakan go-to dish. And look no further than the plump ducks and chickens tanning in windows along Jonker Street and the constant stream of people at the many vibrant local cafés to find them all. On the other hand, vegans can head to Man Yuan Fang for an extensive and well-priced Chinese or Western menu.

(clockwise from top) Learn to cook BabaNyonya dishes at Casa del Rio; ducks and chickens tanning in a restaurant window; Casa del Rio’s Chef Ronny Koh; an assortment of local spices

You can sample spicy Baba-Nyonya food in a Straits Chinese house, at the Hotel Puri Melaka or any of the atmospheric cafés peppering Jalan Tukang Besi. I decide to join Casa del Rio’s Chef Ronny Koh, a Straits Chinese man, for some spicy instructions at the hotel’s waterfront cooking class. We’re tasked with producing a tiffin lunch and surrounded by small bowls of powdered spices and pastes, the first dish out of the gate is udang masak lemak nenas (or prawns with pineapple cooked in coconut milk). Chilli paste hits the oil with a sizzle and pungent smoke rises from

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TRAVEL TIPS Any time is a good time to travel. Tropical temperatures hover around 30 degrees Celsius with rainfall heaviest in September and November. Pack lightweight, easy-care clothing including long sleeve tops, protective hats, sunscreen and insect repellent. Comfortable walking shoes are essential. Include a few smart casual attire for night-time.

Trading Places

The Melaka river provides a tranquil escape from the oppressive heat and taking a cruise on the river is enormously popular with locals and visitors alike. Under an indigo velvet sky, we embark from Casa del Rio’s jetty as lights dance on the water, creating a magical wonderland for the flotilla of tourist craft that have replaced the trading ships of the past.

Gliding past a public gallery of vibrant street art that decorates riverfront buildings and side streets, café owners along the nine-kilometre riverside walk welcome diners with warm smiles and cold drinks. Hovering beneath ancient bridges, I can see neon-lit trishaws gathered in groups above with pop music blaring to entice customers to take a ride through Melaka’s compact streets.

(from top) The Orangutan House is a gallery-studio that sells local artworks; beaded Nyonya slippers; trishaws embellished with lights line up downtown

Disembarking, we join the throng at the Jonker Walk Night Market, held Friday and Saturday nights, to take in the sight of more local food, in addition to souvenir hunting and shopping for various knick-knacks and trinkets.

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Step into Colour Beads on Heeren Street for a pair of highly embellished beaded Nyonya slippers. Shop at Jonker Gallery for inexpensive clothing items then hang with the hipster crowd at Calanthe Art Café or Limau-Limau Café. Relax at Casa del Rio’s Satkara Spa with a Melaka Palm Sugar Scrub, and Ginger and Kaffir Body Scrub. Discover a waterfront settlement where the 16th century Portuguese dialect is still spoken, and local dishes are served at Sea Terrace restaurant. Check out Cheng Ho Cultural Museum at Jalan Hang Jebat and view a replica of his mighty armada.

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P e r s p e c t i ve Text Noel Foo / Photos courtesy of Hotel Sri Petaling

Strength

In Focus ATTRACTIVE PRICING AND EASY ACCESS TO POPULAR EVENT VENUES HELP HOTEL SRI PETALING TO THRIVE.

W

ith new hotels opening in Malaysia every month and a long list of Airbnb lodgings and homestays to choose from, it is easy for hotels in the country to feel like they are beset on all sides by competitors. For Hotel Sri Petaling, the best way to tackle their challengers head-on is to focus on their strengths and advantages.

Hotel Sri Petaling is a business and tourist hotel located in Sri Petaling, towards the southern edge of Kuala Lumpur. Opened in 1997, the hotel was later acquired by PNB Management Services Sdn Bhd in 2010, adding to the group’s portfolio of 10 hospitality properties across the nation today. “Our hotel serves quite a mixed clientele from corporate groups to government servants, associations, universities, schools and all kinds of business travellers,” said Hotel Sri Petaling executive assistant manager, Mohd Nizamri Md Yusoff.

Nizamri. The hotel’s 168 clean and brightly-decorated guest rooms and suites are equipped with standard room features and wireless Internet connection to cater to every need of the modern hotel guest.

Guest House

Mohd Nizamri (centre) is the executive assistant manager of Hotel Sri Petaling under PNB Management Services Sdn Bhd

Being a business-oriented hotel, the property has a ballroom that can accommodate groups of up to 250 and 400 people in banquet and conference configurations respectively. Six

Mohd Nizamri’s career in the hospitality industry spans over 20 years, having worked his way up into management positions at a number of well-known local resorts. Some of his previous workplaces include Mines Beach Resort and Spa, Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside Resort, Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson, Ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur and Eastin Hotel Kuala Lumpur. He joined Hotel Sri Petaling in 2015 and was made the executive assistant manager in January this year. “Hotel Sri Petaling offers tastefully furnished guest rooms and suites at affordable prices along with friendly and professional guest service,” said Mohd

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other function rooms situated on the floor above the ballroom are equipped with LCD projectors, an AV system and speakers, as well as Internet connection to host business meetings and events of similar nature.

Hiring good frontline staff and the right talent to manage hotel operations are crucial towards continued success

Hotel Sri Petaling also has two modest dining venues, namely the Café Lounge, where guests can enjoy sandwiches, pastries, cakes and brewed coffee; and Dine Coffee House, the all-day dining restaurant that serves a variety of local and Western dishes. According to Mohd Nizamri, the hotel’s banquet kitchen gets fairly busy as Hotel Sri Petaling is often a choice venue for corporate events. “Our restaurant’s signature dish is the cili padi chicken chop, which is grilled chicken chop with a localised Malaysian taste. It’s our most popular à la carte dish among diners,” said Mohd Nizamri. One of Hotel Sri Petaling’s key advantages lies in its strategic location near event centres. Situated at the crossroads of key highways in Kuala Lumpur, popular shopping malls and other attractions in the city centre are just a short drive away from the hotel. “We are just three minutes’ drive away from the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil. The Bukit Jalil National Stadium and surrounding venues are

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P e r s p e c t i ve

popular venues for sports events, while the Axiata Arena often hosts concerts and musicals. Being so close to these venues means that we get a huge influx of guests each time a big event is being held here,” he said.

Hospitality Management

But like any other hotel in Malaysia, their biggest challenges are ever-growing competition and hiring the right talent to manage hotel operations. Good frontline staff are fairly hard to come by too, but Hotel Sri Petaling manages this by providing an attractive salary and proper training, both internally and through programmes by the Malaysian Association of Hotels Training and Education Centre. “The industry has become highly competitive these days, with new hotels mushrooming yearly that contribute to the oversupply of hotel rooms,” said Mohd Nizamri. “Since 2017, one of the biggest threats is competition from Airbnb. According to a report, the valuation of Airbnb is well over USD10 billion, which is even higher than a lot of the international hotel chains such as Hyatt,” he added.

Hotel Sri Petaling is a business hotel and the banquet kitchen can get busy as it hosts a fair number of corporate events

While little can be done about Airbnb’s popularity, industry players like Hotel Sri Petaling and PNB Management Services Sdn Bhd does what it can to focus on its strengths when coming up with promotions to attract guests. The hotel’s website and social media pages constantly put up announcements on packages that are tailored to appeal to their target market. “Some properties have the advantage of providing facilities such as a swimming pool. Hotel Sri Petaling does not have those kinds of leisure facilities, so we focus on what we can provide such as dining promotions in order to drive our social media engagement,” said Mohd Nizamri.

“This area is fairly competitive for hotels, so our rates have to be affordable is order to compete with the other hotels in the same segment.”

While Hotel Sri Petaling itself has no definitive expansion plans in the near future, Mohd Nizamri said PNB Management Services Sdn Bhd is constantly looking for opportunities to expand their portfolio. “This area is fairly competitive for hotels, so our rates have to be affordable in order to compete with the other hotels in the same segment,” he said. “We constantly hear news about new hotels opening up, so it is very important for our group to conduct adequate market research and offer attractive prices in order to stay competitive.”

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Tracker Text Tracey Petherick

Rocky Mountains, Canada

PHOTO: BANFF & LAKE LOUISE TOURISM / PAUL ZIZKA PHOTOGRAPHY

You probably associate the Canadian Rockies with snow-covered mountains and ski resorts, but in the fall this region’s National Parks are alive with a combination of evergreen conifers, golden spruce and fiery aspen. The Icefields Parkway that links Jasper and Banff has been billed as one of the world’s best drives, with colourful foliage from every vantage point. Take an accessible hike to Johnston Canyon’s waterfalls or the more challenging trek from Lake Louise up to Lake Agnes (you’ll be rewarded at the gorgeous Tea House). Not feeling that energetic? The gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain sweeps you over the treetops for an incredible birds-eye view.

Autumnal Adventures FOLIAGE FANS REJOICE WITH THE BEST PLACES TO SEE AUTUMN LEAVES IN FULL TECHNICOLOUR SPLENDOUR June 2019

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Black Forest, Germany

PHOTO: CHAYAYOGARETREATS.COM

It’s no surprise that the dense woodlands, scenic waterfalls and tiny villages of the Black Forest (or Schwarzwald) were the inspiration for the world-famous Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The largest nature reserve in Germany has a magical atmosphere that is heightened by the enchanting colours of autumn. From the elegant spa resort of Baden-Baden to the charming medieval town of Freiburg, the rolling hills are covered in trees and the mix of evergreen pines with spruce, larch and oak make for a dazzling display of colours. Side note for foodies: try Black Forest cake, the delicious local treat made with chocolate, cherries and cream.

Kyoto, Japan

Perhaps most famous for its annual Springtime cherry blossom viewing or hanami, Japan has an equally colourful equivalent in autumn. The leaf-viewing tradition, known as koyo, typically begins in mid-September in northern Japan and works its way down with the changing weather. The huge variety of maples will range from deep red to bright gold, while Japanese sumac, gingko, poplar and elm all add to the eye-popping burst of colour. The historical city of Kyoto is considered one of the best spots for koyo with maple trees in almost every temple, shrine and garden. But for a real treat head to the breath-taking Tofukuji Temple – it’s popular for a reason.

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Tracker

Westonbirt Arboretum, U.K.

PHOTO: FORESTRYENGLAND / PAUL BOX

PHOTO: FORESTRYENGLAND / JOHN HUGHES

In the heart of the stunning Cotswolds – a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – Westonbirt is a world-class arboretum, created in the mid-19th century that boasts over 15,000 trees across a 600-acre site. A combination of native and exotic species, they include birch, hickory, red oak, conifer and a vast acer collection, all of which provide a vibrant colour spread from September through to November. Use the Autumn Seasonal Trail guide to navigate the 17 miles of paths or call the Autumn Hotline (listed on their website) to find out where the most dazzling displays will be during your visit.

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Vermont, U.S.A.

With forests covering three quarters of the state, and the highest number of maple trees in the country, Vermont has an incredible natural landscape that bursts into colour come fall. Get a panoramic perspective from Mount Mansfield (head to the towns of Underhill or Stowe) or marvel at the dramatic display surrounding the fjord-like Lake Willoughby. Hiking trails with fiery fall foliage include the infamous Long Trail, while the state’s small highways and local roads are perfect for leaf-seeking cyclists. Or take it easy with a hot-air balloon ride over the lush mountains and forests below.

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Humble Beginnings Text Chin Mui Yoon / Photos Courtesy of XALF

s Shoes of Success BESPOKE SHOE BRAND XALF DESIGN STEPS UP.

B

usiness guru and motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary”. This holds true for the dynamic duo behind XALF Design, a luxury bespoke shoe brand in Malaysia, Xavier Mah and Alfred Hor.

Now in its seventh year, XALF was birthed from a simple dream to create a truly luxurious Malaysian brand of handcrafted shoes. Back in 2011, Mah was running a burgeoning public relations consultancy. In September, he had an opportunity to attend New York Fashion Week in Manhattan, one of the pinnacle events of the international fashion industry, and it blew him away.

was wearing a knee-length dress with a passionately red pair of heels and complete with flowers adorning her hair. It was so simple, so bold, and so beautiful!”

“The fashion scene there was so vibrant and exciting,” he recalls. “The ensemble of models, designers, celebrities, fashionistas, and amazingly stylish women was breath-taking. And then, these ladies caught my attention. One was wearing a white dress with a brilliantly colourful pair of shoes. Another

Xavier Mah (left) and Alfred Hor founded XALF seven years ago

The urge to create his very own brand grew with intensity. “I kept wondering, why can’t we see this back in Malaysia with our distinctive multicultural society? We tend to blend in instead of standing out in a crowd,” says Mah. “Shoes can truly transform a person. But why isn’t there a brand of our own here? I instantly felt there was a market for this idea.” By chance, he became friends with Hor, who was fresh out of RMIT Melbourne with a degree in fashion design and was a winner at the 2010 Malaysian Footwear Design Competition. He also represented Malaysia at the International Footwear Design Competition in Guangzhou. A discussion on the possibility of a partnership rapidly took on an energy of its own. “It was crucial that we were both driven by the same vision and were on the same wavelength,” explains Mah. “The fashion industry is notoriously challenging and even more so with what we were attempting to do.” Call it serendipity or fate, but the partnership was a perfect synergy of

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Humble Beginnings

skillsets. Hor loves designing, but did not enjoy the marketing and business aspects of managing a fledgling brand. This is where Mah’s expertise comes in with his previous experience with the media and brand collaborations.

Handcrafting bespoke shoes is a painstaking process that requires time, labour and premium materials

Without any investors, grants, or funding, Mah and Hor placed around RM50,000 for their first collection and launch. While Hor was busy with designing, Mah planned for the launch. With a price point starting from RM1,000 at the time, a level of prestige was required. XALF was turned down by a major luxury car brand for a collaborative use of their showroom. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as Bentley offered their showroom as a choice venue instead. “The Law of Attraction truly works!” says Mah. “One door shuts, a better one will open. Every brand starts small, so it was incredibly difficult to find collaborators as we were not an established brand. A hotel launch with decor and crew would require at least RM40,000. We didn’t have that kind of capital. Having Bentley’s trust in us was such a boost and it really set the benchmark for us.”

Creating XALF came from a dream of solving people’s problems. They couldn’t find shoes that fit them. Our goal was to meet this need, and build a brand we could be happy building.

Carcosa Seri Negara, Marini’s at 57, and Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur. Despite the milestones, an entrepreneur’s journey has endless hurdles and bends along the road. Customers queried the value of a homegrown brand while many initially could not understand the tedious process of crafting a bespoke pair of handmade shoes. “We never copy, and we’re the only shoe brand that creates prototypes based on each individual’s uniquely sized and shaped foot,” says Mah.“Sometimes, we create several prototypes until it is perfected. Every single step costs time, labour and materials. It has been a long but rewarding journey for us over the past seven years to showcase just what a bespoke brand is all about.”

The launch was a huge success with over 300 guests, followed by a stream of exposure and positive publicity. The launch collection was inspired by the HBO hit comedy series Sex and the City as a showcase of women’s success, confidence, and self-expression, and it captured the imagination of the many guests in attendance.

Much of XALF’s income from then was spent on marketing and a programme educating consumers on the intricacies of handcrafted bespoke shoes. In keeping with the brand positioning, XALF collections were presented to an exclusive clientele over intimate high teas in regal settings such as at

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A second collection, Metamorphosis, was launched at the Lotus showroom, followed by the Merdeka collection. Customers and celebrities loved the brand. The supremely comfortable shoes are sleek and stylish with an effortless ease of a master’s touch.

Last year, a bespoke men’s collection was introduced. “We needed to establish our brand overseas particularly in Singapore and Shanghai because the market there fits our brand positioning,” explains Mah. “Members of the elite society and high-flying working executives appreciate tailored shoes made just for them in a private setting.”

Offerings from XALF meet the custom footwear needs of both men and women

Nevertheless, the challenges of running a business is always present. “We are facing an extinction of skilled shoe craftsmen,” says Hor. “Many people are attracted to the glitz and glamour of the fashion world, but the backend of the industry is tedious and requires backbreaking work. Factories are closing down and young talents avoid the shoe industry because of the long hours and non-air-conditioned workshops.”

XALF launched in Singapore in 2013 with the first high tea organised at the beautiful Antoinette café at Palais Renaissance along Orchard Road. It was a success, where one guest walked out with an order for nine pairs of shoes. XALF quickly gained a foothold in Singapore, as satisfied customers introduced the brand to their circles of acquaintances.

“We never looked at profitability when we started XALF,” Mah reflects.“Creating our own brand came from a dream of solving people’s problems. They couldn’t find shoes that fit them. Our goal was to meet this need, and build a brand we could be happy building. Some 60 percent of our expenditure goes into marketing and 40 percent on operations and sales. We set a deadline for ourselves to stick to our commitments, and only after the third year did we start seeing a profit.

XALF went on to participate in shows with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) in Shanghai, Beijing, Doha and Paris. There were also launches done in Hong Kong and Dubai – cosmopolitan cities that are thriving with the targeted consumers.

“In the first three years of our partnership, we argued a lot. We come from different cultures and backgrounds,” recalls Mah. “I am business oriented, while Alfred is very much a creative person. But we had to learn to meet half-way and compromise. We are proud of how far XALF has come over seven years. Our dream is to have a presence at the New York Fashion Week, where the inspiration for XALF truly began.”

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F i r s t D r i ve s Text Richard Augustin / Photos courtesy of BMW Group PressClub and Respective Manufacturers

BMW

‘6’

Hits A

THE GERMAN PREMIUM AUTOMAKER DELIVERS A LUXURY HATCH WITH VERY FEW RIVALS.

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T

Sporty Elegance

here is always a certain amount of pressure when an automobile billed as the ‘first-ever’, is introduced. Mostly because there is no benchmark for comparison and then there is always that unquantifiable measure of expectation from the market. This may prove to be an issue for some brands but for established car makers like BMW, it serves as an opportunity to raise their game and truly show what they are capable off.

The BMW 630i GT is both dynamic and sporty but it also benefits from an aesthetic appeal perfected no doubt by decades of designing awardwinning automobiles. The new model boasts a profile that is distinctive of a large classy coupé with a long bonnet, an elongated window outline stretching deep into the rear end and a sweeping roofline. The model sits on 20-inch M light-alloy double-spoke wheels.

Built For Drivers

There’s no faulting BMW’s track record in producing vehicles that are fun to drive. They did, after all, market their cars as the ‘ultimate driving machines’ not long ago and that has practically become a mission statement for the brand. The new 6 Series GT is proof of that. With an improved chassis and Adaptive suspension with Dynamic Damper Control and air suspension for both axles, it offers increased ride comfort and enhanced handling.

This is why we have the BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo, which is a rather unique offering that has found a lofty position for itself between the executive estate and coupe-styled premium SUV segment. Offered in Malaysia as the BMW 630i GT, the model arrives offering a middle ground for buyers in those segments by delivering unrivalled space, comfort and functionality in the luxury vehicle class.

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F i r s t D r i ve s

Efficient Power

Tucked in under the hood of this driving machine is a 2.0-litre BMW TwinPower Turbo engine, which is teamed with an eightspeed Steptronic transmission, delivering 258hp with 400Nm of torque. Despite that, it still manages to post a combined fuel consumption of 6.6 litres per 100 kilometres and CO2 emissions of 152 grams per kilometre. The ride can also be adjusted for better manoeuvrability around steep ramps or dirt tracks, and when the driver wants to engage in a more spirited drive.

Spacious Versatile Interior

Like most BMW models, the BMW 6 Series GT has been designed from the ground up to be driver-focused. This is reflected in the cabin with impeccable ergonomic arrangement of the controls for all vehicle functions and infotainment features. Voice and BMW Gesture Control, as well as the new-generation BMW HeadUp Display, are standard features. In terms of luggage room, the 6 Series GT offers 610 litres, which is expandable to 1800 litres by folding down the seats electrically.

surroundings. There are also active driver’s assistance features like corrective steering inputs and warnings and Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go functionality.

Under the hood is a powerful 2.0-litre TwinPower Turbo engine that is capable of delivering 258hp along with 400Nm of torque

Polished Sophistication

The BMW 6 Series GT may be a ‘first-ever’, but it has undoubtedly surpassed the expectations of many. The vehicle comes with a fair amount of kit, including BMW ConnectedDrive, the digital personal mobility assistant and a full suite of driver assistance systems that monitor the vehicle’s

Priced at below half a million ringgit, the BMW 630i GT is considerable value especially as you get quite a lot of car in return. But there are obvious contenders in that price point as well, some even in the current BMW Malaysia portfolio, but it’s apparent that BMW has put together a winning case for their new first-ever 6 Series Gran Turismo.

The BMW 630i GT is priced from RM450,000, excluding insurance.

Disclaimer: Vehicle images shown here are stock photos and may not reflect the exact choice of colour, trim and specifications available in the Malaysian market.

SIX FEATURES OF THE BMW 630i GT What makes the new Gran Turismo great.

A TOUCH OF GLASS

The BMW 6 Series GT features a very cool two-part panoramic glass roof for a lightflooded interior and an increased sense of space.

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INCREASED AERODYNAMICS An active rear spoiler, Air Curtains and Air Breather are deployed at speeds in excess of 110kmh, enhancing the car’s aerodynamic properties further.

LIGHTER AND STRONGER

The car’s intelligent lightweight construction and use of aluminium and high-strength steel for the body and chassis components helps to significantly reduce its weight.

ONE WITH THE DRIVER

At the heart of the interior is the iDrive system, complete with the Touch Controller on the centre console and the Control Display, now in the form of a freestanding touchscreen.

FAST AND FURIOUS

There’s no risk of this 6 Series GT lagging behind on the open road as it achieves a top speed of 250kmh with the century sprint clocked at 6.3 seconds.

COMMANDING PRESENCE

The distinctive and powerful 630i GT exterior is enhanced with sleek Adaptive LED headlights, accentuated with the signature BMW kidney grille

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Riding In Style & Substance

MERCEDES AND AUDI UP THEIR SUV GAME WHILE HONDA GIVES ITS JAZZ A TUNE-UP

Next Generation Luxury SUV

Mercedes-Benz has raised the benchmark in the luxury SUV segment with the new GLE 450AMG Line. The new model features bold styling, technology-packed features and true off-roader performance. Available as a 5-seater and 7-seater, the new model features a 3.0-litre turbocharged engine that generates 367hp and an E-Active Body Control suspension system for improved comfort and driveability. One of the key new features is the MBUX Mercedes-Benz User Experience, which is an infotainment system that can be viewed and accessed via the two large 12.3inch screens. Continuing the revolutionary journey into the digital era of automobile, the new GLE 450AMG Line arrives with state-of-the-art assistance systems and the latest telematics generation with Internet access. The Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Line is priced from RM633,888, excluding insurance.

Jazzed Up

Honda Malaysia has enhanced its best-selling compact hatchback, the Jazz, with a Mugen body kit. The end result is a model that is equipped with a sportier outlook thanks to the addition of a new front aero bumper, LED front fog lights, sport front grille as well as tailgate garnish. The new kit uplifts the look of the compact hatchback considerably, giving it a more rugged outlook as well as a sportier silhouette. Other than the cosmetic changes, the vehicle offers the same tried and tested 5L i-VTEC engine paired with a Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) along with features such as Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS).

Compact Urban Mover

Audi has extended its SUV family with the Q2, a compact urban mover designed specifically for everyday driving and recreation. Boasting a sharp and edgy design, the Q2 is both sporty and practical, fitting the mould of a youthful sport utility vehicle. Inside, the cabin carries the same motif with a clean cut layout with ample space for five adults and up to 405 litres for cargo. Powering the Q2 is a powerful and efficient 1.4 TFSI engine, which is paired with a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission. With 150 horses on tap, the Q2 is capable of a spirited drive, on both tarmac as well as off-road thanks to Audi’s drive select handling system. The Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI COD S tronic (Sport) is priced at RM 219,900.

The Jazz Mugen in Modern Steel Metallic and White Orchid Pearl is priced at RM88,600 and RM88,720 respectively.

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

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Street Chef Text Eris Choo / Photos Raymond Ooi

Chicken-licious A HUMBLE POP-UP IN DAMANSARA UPTOWN TAKES PRIDE IN ITS HOMEMADE FRIED CHICKEN BURGERS.

I

t is just after rush hour, and a crowd of people are seen milling about in front of an alleyway in Damansara Utama’s Uptown district. Closer inspection reveals a stall with a black tarpaulin roof, sandwiched between a hair salon and a kopitiam. This is where Arthur Cheong, chef and proprietor of The Burg, opens for dinner service, dishing out gourmet fried chicken burgers.

Arthur Cheong sells gourmet fried chicken burgers from a stall in Damansara Utama

Despite being new, the business already has a steady following among foodies. What the menu lacks in variety it makes up for in creativity, with intriguing flavours such as Salted Egg and Buttermilk, as well as Japanese Curry and Roasted Sesame. “I like playing with flavours and trying new things. Usually you only get Japanese curries on katsu (fried cutlets) in Japanese restaurants, but I don’t think anyone has thought of putting it into a burger. Same goes for the buttermilk, which is a good flavour but more commonly found in dai chow (Chinese-style casual dining) places,” says Cheong. A culinary arts graduate and a chef by profession, he started The Burg in December 2018 with a business partner after a casual discussion led to the idea of a pop-up burger joint. “When we think of burgers, we think of roadside stalls that serve cheap, tasty burgers, or gourmet ones at restaurants, which are typically quite expensive,” says Cheong, who has six years of experience working in kitchens in Malaysia and Singapore. “We wanted to create something that would fit both categories: premium burgers, at affordable prices.” Although neither Cheong nor his partner knew how to make burgers, Cheong’s experience working in kitchens helped with the process, as he had knowledge of how to handle produce, cook in bulk as well as properly store and label ingredients. Research and development took two months, during which he perfected the recipes by having friends taste test his creations.

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Street Chef

However, just a few weeks into opening, Cheong and his partner went their separate ways, leaving him to manage the stall alone. “It was an extremely difficult time. I was running a one-man show, so I had to do everything – from taking orders and cooking to serving, handling payment, cleaning and washing. It was overwhelming at times,” he recalls, adding that this went on for close to three months. He only recently hired an extra hand to help with operations at the stall.

What makes a good burger is the wholesome balance of flavours and buns that hold everything together

Fried chicken burgers are relatively uncommon – a point that differentiates The Burg’s version from the typical cheeseburgers or chicken patty burgers that are widely available. What is notable, however, is how well the

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We wanted to create something that would fit both categories: premium burgers, at affordable prices.

different elements of the burger come together as a whole. Cheong uses chicken thigh, which tends to be juicier and less likely to dry out during the frying process, resulting in a crisp, perfectly golden-brown exterior and tender insides that retains much of its moistness. If you’re expecting fast food-style service, look elsewhere – Cheong prepares each burger to order, so anticipate at least 15 minutes of wait time. Sauces are rich but not cloying. Take the Salted Egg for instance, which coats the fried chicken in a smooth blanket of creamy goodness, sandwiched between warm, lightly buttered buns. Also try the Roasted Sesame, which boasts a fragrant aroma and lighter taste. All the burgers are topped with coleslaw and greens to help cut through the heavy sauces. Even without the condiments, the burgers never feel overly greasy or ‘processed’

Cheong personally selects the cuts of meat, which are then marinated overnight for maximum flavour

– perhaps because Cheong prepares most of the ingredients at home from scratch. Preparations usually begin as early as noon, with Cheong readying some items earlier in batches. He personally selects the meat cuts, which are then marinated overnight for maximum flavour. Cheong thinks that what makes a good burger is the wholesome balance of flavours. “It’s about how the sauce and the vegetables complement the protein. The bread can’t be too crumbly either, and it should hold everything together,” he elaborates. Each burger goes for RM9, with an additional RM1 for fries. Diners can have them for takeaway or dine-in, although seats are limited, and drinks are ordered from the kopitiam next door, as they are allowing Cheong to use some of their facilities. The location’s high foot traffic attracts a diverse crowd of working adults, students and families. Although the stall has only been around for a few months, Cheong is optimistic about the future. His initial plan is to have several pop-ups in the Klang Valley to get his brand recognised, before moving on to permanent premises. Of course, more items for the menu are also in the pipeline. “It’s difficult at the moment because of limited manpower, as I need time to do research and development. Hopefully, I’ll be able to come up with more flavours and sauces in the coming months,” he says.

THE BURG (Opens from 6 pm until late. Closed on Mondays.) Jalan SS 21/39, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

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Open Journal Text Amylia Hilda / Photos 123rf, Tourism Malaysia

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Eid

Mubarak! EID AL-FITR IS A TIME TO FEAST, A TIME TO GIVE AND A TIME TO REFLECT. HERE ARE SOME TRADITIONS BEHIND THE CELEBRATIONS.

E

id al-Fitr is celebrated by nearly two billion Muslims across the world and is one of the most important days in the Muslim calendar. Eid al-Fitr, or Hari Raya Aidilfitri as it is known in Malaysia, is simply translated as “the feast of the breaking of the fast�. It marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, which is observed in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims believe the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. During this time Muslims observe fasting from dawn to dusk. Although traditions vary from country to country, the foundation of the Eid al-Fitr is the same the world over, which is to nurture peace by strengthening bonds, count your blessings and celebrate after a month full of self-restraint. In the following pages, we list some of the traditions observed during the celebrations.

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Open Journal

Morning Cleanse

What’s unique about Eid al-Fitr is that the date for the holiday varies from year to year and is announced depending on the sighting of a new moon. If a crescent moon rises on the horizon, it officially marks the beginning of Eid. In modern times, Muslims don’t have to gaze at the sky in hopes for the appearance of a new moon. These days, TV broadcasts or even apps will keep you updated, while some countries such as Saudi Arabia even use infrared cameras for times when the moon is not visible to the naked eye.

Muslims seek forgiveness from family and friends for any wrongdoings on the first day of Eid

It’s customary to wake up early on the morning of Eid al-Fitr to perform the ghusl (purification bath), dress in new clothes and slather on perfume – symbolising spiritual renewal after a month of fasting. Some cultures opt to wear traditional attire but in some countries, it is also common to don contemporary clothes.

limited to just the first few days of the festival – many different prayer sessions are conducted over the course of the month. Some countries have even taken to host public Eid al-Fitr gatherings, where Muslims assemble to pray and also enjoy some food after the prayers. Even non-Muslim majority countries such as the United Kingdom have held such gatherings, like the one in London’s Trafalgar Square last year which saw over 25,000 people attend.

Paying Respects

After the conclusion of morning prayers, another tradition during Eid al-Fitr is to pay respects to family members who have departed. Muslims often head to cemeteries to recite prayers and ask God to forgive their late family members for any wrongdoings and for their souls to find peace. Families will also clean the gravesites and scatter flowers over the graves. Amid all the festivities during Eid al-Fitr, this custom is a way of reminding oneself of the humbling reality that death is inevitable and is also a way to reflect on one’s earthly deeds.

Special Prayers

Most Muslims will then head to the mosque or an outdoor venue to pray the Solat Eid al-Fitr in a congregation. It is a special set of prayers only performed during the celebration in large groups to give thanks to God. Muslims unite on Eid morning to spread Eid Mubarak greetings as a way to create a feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood among other Muslims. Eid al-Fitr prayers are not

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Open Journal

Get Together

The preparations for Eid al-Fitr is undertaken well before the holiday begins, when people start sprucing up their houses and preparing the menu for the feast. Similar to Christmas, fairy lights are a popular way of decorating in Malaysia. Some houses will feature ornaments depicting ketupat (rice dumplings wrapped in diamond-shaped woven palm leaf containers) to add a festive flair to their abodes. After the morning prayers and rituals, people will head home to feast with their family. It’s also common for relatives to visit one another and catch up with family members they might not have seen in a while. During this time, Muslims will seek forgiveness from one another and apologise for any wrongdoings, which is where the term “maaf zahir dan batin” comes from. It is a way of starting things on a clean slate. The festivities are not only limited to Muslims,as nonMuslims are also invited to join in the celebrations. In Malaysia, it’s common for Muslims to host an open house where they’ll invite large groups of friends to attend. Meanwhile, countries such as the UAE even organise large festivals with concerts, entertainment and plenty of food for everyone to participate.

Non-Muslim friends are often invited to partake in Eid al-Fitr feasts while children are usually given duit raya as part of the festivities

Time To Feast

After an entire month of abstaining oneself, it is prohibited for Muslims to fast during Eid al-Fitri – the pleasures of food are meant to be appreciated at this time of the year. It is thus not surprising that food is such an essential element to the holiday. Breakfast on Eid al-Fitr morning is usually kept to a minimum, as most are too busy preparing to head to the mosque in the early hours. Hence, lunchtime is when the ultimate feast begins as families gather to enjoy a meal together. The variety of traditional Eid al-Fitr food varies from country to country, but in Malaysia you’ll be hard pressed to find a meal that doesn’t consist of beef rendang, ketupat and peanut sauce, and an abundance of sweet treats such as cookies and traditional desserts. Meat, especially lamb or beef, is always a mainstay in most Eid al-Fitr dishes. The feasting normally lasts for days with some people using the entire month of Shawwal (the 10th month of the Islamic calendar) as an excuse to indulge.

Presents For Everyone

Children are the luckiest bunch when it comes to gift-giving during the celebrations, as presents are often given out to the younger ones in the family. Presents for children usually come in the form of new clothes or shoes and also “duit raya”, which literally translates as “celebration money”. It’s also common for adults to give money to other adults, especially among family members and even colleagues. Although there are no set rules to this tradition, typically married folks will give money to those who are single. This practice symbolises the spirit of giving during the celebrations.

Giving Back

Muslims are also encouraged to give back to the community. The tradition of Zakat al-Fitr is normally carried out at the end of Ramadan to aid those who are less fortunate, so that they are also able to participate in the celebrations. The zakat, which literally translates as “almsgiving”, is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It’s also common to see organisations giving out charity dinners, usually to orphanages or to the homeless, towards the end of Ramadan and throughout the month of Shawwal. The tradition is meant to bring out the feeling of compassion for others.

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YOU CAN STICK TO IT.

Health & Fitness

SYAWAL

Illustration Nurfarahin Kamarudin

Mindful

Feasting

FITNESS GURU KEVIN ZAHRI SHARES TIPS ON HOW TO MINIMISE WEIGHT GAIN DURING EID CELEBRATIONS WHILE STILL ENJOYING THE GOODIES ON OFFER.

01 Celebrate!

Eid is a time for feasting – a reward for all the fasting many have committed themselves to for 30 days during the holy month of Ramadan. While it’s okay to ‘let go’ for a few days by enjoying all the delicious lemang and rendang, know your limits. Always ask yourself: how many cookies do I really need?

S

elamat Hari Raya ! May Allah bring you joy, happiness, peace and prosperity on this blessed occasion. Eid, or Hari Raya as it is more commonly known in Malaysia, is a month of festivities and celebrations – which means good food aplenty! Aside from the New Year, weight loss resolutions following the days after Eid are the most common. While I urge you to enjoy the celebrations, here are some ways to help keep the weight off, so you are less likely to succumb to post-Raya blues.

Keep To Limits

In Malaysia, Eid celebrations last up to 30 days, with open houses organised all month long and irresistible food served almost round the clock. Some festive dishes and snacks are only available around this time of the year. While it may be tempting to feast for the entire month, it’s important to keep your intake in check, so allow yourself to indulge for the first couple of days then get back on track.

Take Your Time

119 KCAL

Our first instinct when faced with a scrumptious spread of food might be to try a little bit of everything. Remember to eat slowly; as it takes about 20 minutes for you to feel full, you are less likely to overeat.

35 KCAL

Count Your Calories

Raya food may be delicious, but many of them are high in calories. If you are serious about keeping your weight gain to a minimum, make sure that you are fully aware of the amount of calories you are consuming. For example, one serving of homemade lemang is approximately 206 calories and that does not even include the rendang yet!

110 KCAL 140 KCAL

246 KCAL

Never Start With Desserts

Everyone enjoys tucking into kuih muih, but it is always best to start with a proper, balanced meal of rice, meat and vegetables. Desserts are often packed with sugar and fat. If you are one of those with a sweet tooth and can’t live without your cakes and pastries, reduce the calories accordingly from your main course, so that you can enjoy more desserts after.

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It’s Okay To Say “No”

Stick To Water

Food is a big part of Malaysian culture, and as a guest, you might feel obligated to eat whatever that is being served. While this is polite, it does not mean you should eat until you drop! A good way to avoid this is to anticipate, or ask the host, the number of expected dishes or courses that will be served, so that you can pace yourself. Remember, those cookies and kuih muih may look tempting, but you don’t have to try everything.

If you are planning to go all out on the food and snacks, the least you can do is stick to water or low-calorie drinks, such as sirap kurang manis (low sugar syrup drinks) or coffee without cream or sugar – bring a zero calorie sweetener with you if you must.

“Stretch” Your Buffet

Go Easy On The “Kuah”

Compared to meals that are served over several courses, buffets allow you to control your portions and choices – provided you have good self-control and don’t overeat. This may be difficult if you have well-meaning relatives who are constantly telling you to make more trips to the buffet line! Minimise your intake by going on frequent trips but with smaller portions, which gives the impression that you are eating a lot.

Most protein or meat-based dishes, such as beef rendang and chicken curry, come with lots of kuah (gravy). However, it is easy to lose track of your calories when you’re sopping up that flavourful goodness with rice. Try to limit the amount consumed, especially when heavy agents such as cream or santan (coconut milk) is used.

“Exercise” At Open Houses

The ‘open house’ concept is unique to Malaysia, where we welcome family, friends and even strangers to our homes to enjoy a feast during the different cultural and religious festivals. With so much delicious food on offer, we tend to eat more than we need. Aside from regular exercise, there are plenty of other ways to burn extra calories, even when you are attending an open house. Try walking around the premises, standing while having a chat, parking your car further away from the house, or helping the host to serve food or clean up.

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 June 2019

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Pack Up : For Him

1

Comfortable Yet Trendy

2

Looking for a way to layer in the heat? Resort tops are the way to go. Dockers has a wide range of designs that stand out. Made out of lightweight fabric, they are simply an essential in warmer weather. RRP: RM118 dockers.com.my

Stay Cool

With summer in full swing, it is time to keep your beard neat and trimmed. Look to the Philips Beard Trimmer BT3206, which uses a “lift and trim” system to give an even cut and precision styling. RRP: RM165 philips.com.my

Summer

1

Essentials

SUMMER STYLE IS ALL ABOUT BEING BRIGHT AND CHEERFUL. THAT, AND THE NEED FOR COMFORT, OF COURSE. HERE’S A LOOK AT THE ESSENTIALS THAT WILL KEEP YOU GOING – EVEN IF THE WEATHER HEATS UP.

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Pretty Fly

4

Sleek, distinctive, rugged. Giorgio Armani’s shades for men embody the spirit of cool sophistication. It features a round front with a metal double bridge, alongside blue smoke lenses and a patterned frame. RRP: RM1,159 armani.com

Best Foot Forward

The Under Armour Curry 6 is a pair of lightweight sneakers that provides a compression-like fit. Designed for the basketball court, this model offers the best traction with superior cushioning. RRP: RM729 underarmour.com.my

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

1

Irresistibly Retro

2

Ray-Ban’s Nina is this season’s hottest act. Spinning a fresh look out of the cat eye silhouette, this pair of shades mixes flat lenses in intense solid colours with a modern spotted havana pattern for a throwback look. RRP: RM879 ray-ban.com/malaysia

Easy Breezy

Monki’s latest collection embodies the playfulness of summer. By combining strong silhouettes with earthy tones, playful prints and a dash of colour, it brings to mind the season’s warmth and cheer. RRP: RM110 monki.com

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Milky Smooth

4

KOSÉ’s Sekkisei White UV Milk sunscreen is a light emulsion that prevents dark spots and dullness caused by UV rays. With a blend of natural ingredients including coix seed, it is quickly absorbed to help hydrate and protect the skin. RRP: RM109 kose.com.my

In Love With The 90s

Puma introduces the Nova, an all-new pair of sneakers with a bold and unapologetic style. Fusing classic 1990s design with fashion-forward detailing, it is said to be the go-to for women who embrace bold choices. RRP: RM499 my.puma.com

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10 things & facts about amazing

Malaysia

1

3

The Fortress

All that remains of A Famosa, a 16th century Portuguese fort in Malacca, is a gatehouse at the base of a hill in Melaka. During its glory days, the fort housed an extensive Portuguese settlement, which included hospitals, living quarters, buildings to house ammunition, and churches.

Nesting Grounds

Four species of turtles, including the critically endangered leatherback turtle, the olive ridley turtle, the green turtle and the hawksbill turtle, make their way to the shores of Sabah, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor and Perak to lay their eggs.

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Passport To Travel

TOURISM MALAYSIA

*Source: Henley Passport Index

TOURISM MALAYSIA

2

The Malaysian passport is one of the most powerful passports in the world, with visafree or visa-onarrival access to 177 countries and other territories.

Multilingual

Bahasa Malaysia is the national language, but English is also widely spoken. Many Malaysians are able to converse in other languages and dialects such as Mandarin Chinese, Hokkien, Cantonese, Tamil and Bahasa Iban.

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MY List PHOTOS: TOURISM MALAYSIA / 123RF

5

Satay

Satay is grilled meat on skewers served with peanut sauce and compressed rice. Kajang, a town in Selangor, is often called ‘Satay City’ due to the abundance of restaurants and eateries serving the dish.

8

Lake Of The Pregnant Maiden

Tasik Dayang Bunting in Langkawi, Kedah is steeped in local legend. A fairy princess was tricked into marrying a mortal prince, and when their child died of a mysterious illness, the grieving mother left the child’s body in a lake and returned to her realm. The belief is that barren women who take a dip in the lake’s waters will be blessed with child.

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No Shoes

Like many Asian cultures, Malaysians observe the practice of removing one’s shoes before entering a home.

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Traditional Music

A traditional Orang Ulu lute, the sape is synonymous with Sarawak state. The guitar-like instrument is gaining popularity among the masses, thanks to events such as the Rainforest World Music Festival and local musicians such as Mathew Ngau Jau and Alena Murang.

Perlis Kedah Perak

Kelantan

10

9

Neighbours

Peninsula Malaysia borders Thailand in four states, namely Kedah, Perak, Kelantan and Perlis.

Vibrant Art

The streets and buildings of George Town in Penang are peppered with beautiful murals, earning it the moniker ‘Street Art Capital of Southeast Asia’.

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R e a d s : T r a ve l L i t e r a t u r e

Super Sushi Ramen Express

by Michael Booth Malaysians love travel, food and all things Japanese. Indeed, ask most who travel to Japan and the quest for good, authentic Japanese food invariably pops up as a key reason. What better book to whet one’s appetite for both travel and food than Super Sushi Ramen Express, a culinary journey through Japan, arguably the preeminent food nation on earth – a Mecca for the world's greatest chefs, with more Michelin stars than any other country. Michael Booth takes the culinary pulse of contemporary Japan, learning fascinating tips and recipes while accompanied by two fussy eaters under the age of six. He and his family travel the length of the country to experience the Japanese food culture – both happy and not – as they seek to understand the whys and hows of Japanese cuisine. RRP: RM79.90

The Salt Path

by Raynor Winn Who would’ve thought that losing one’s home and livelihood, and having one’s partner diagnosed with a terminal illness, would be the catalyst to embark on a 630-mile journey on foot? That is exactly what happened with Raynor Winn and her husband, Moth, and their impulsive decision to trek the sea-swept South West Coast Path in the U.K., which goes from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall. Even as they navigated the hilly, cliff-edged route carrying only the essentials in a rucksack, the journey would prove to be redemptive. They experienced the restorative powers of being in nature and to come to terms with their situation. Most importantly, they dared to hope again. RRP: RM57.90

Curiosities And Splendour : An Anthology Of Classic Travel Literature

by Lonely Planet This is a wonderful collection of classic travel writing from great authors and adventurers, including Mark Twain, Robert Byron, Edith Wharton and Charles Dickens. Collecting tales from a time when travel was deemed a dangerous and even foolhardy enterprise, this anthology captures a period when most of the world remained an unknown quantity. These writings and reports were the only insight that most of the general public would ever have of far-flung places, including the new world, the Middle East, Scandinavia and the South Pacific. Each author is introduced by Editor Mark Mackenzie, who gives context to the work and provides an insightful look into how travel has changed since they were originally published. A perfect collection of tales for travellers new and old to remind them of the value of discovery and curiosity. RRP: RM109.90

June 2019

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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERS Hardcover Fiction & Non-fiction *based on the week of 12 May 2019

Arabia: A Journey Through The Heart Of The Middle East

by Levison Wood Travel writer Levison Wood’s fourth travel book chronicles his incredible trek through 13 countries across 5,000 miles in the Arabian Peninsula. In an expedition that took four months, Wood explored the fraught land and the lives of its people, encountering tales of despair but also hope. From war-torn Syria, Iraq and Yemen to the oil-rich Gulf states, as well as Jordan, the West Bank and Lebanon, Wood witnessed the harsh realities of the region, but also its searing beauty and the warm hospitality of its people. The stories here challenge the perceptions of an often misunderstood part of the world, despite the continuing and growing influence of the Middle East on world economics, politics and social development. This book is a must-read for anyone looking for a greater understanding of this enigmatic region which is unified and yet fractured at the same time. RRP: RM89.90

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens

REDEMPTION

NEON PREY

by John Sandford

LOST ROSES

by David Baldacci

by Martha Hall Kelly

WAR OF THE SPARK: RAVNICA

by Michelle Obama

BECOMING

by Greg Weisman

A Year In Provence

by Peter Mayle Peter Mayle relocated to Provence, France in the late 1980s to write his novel. Alas, the novel was never finished as he was overtaken and overwhelmed by the pleasures and challenges of Provençal life. Instead, he leaves behind A Year in Provence, a witty and warm-hearted account of realising a long-cherished dream, and a move into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the remote country of the Lubéron with his wife and two large dogs. He endures January’s frosty mistral as it comes howling down the Rhône Valley, discovers the secrets of goat-racing through the middle of town, and delights in the glorious regional cuisine. A Year in Provence transports us into all the earthy pleasures of Provençal life and lets us live vicariously at a tempo governed by seasons, not by days. Mayle died last year and a new collection of his reflections was published posthumously as My Twenty-Five Years in Provence. Nevertheless, the original book remains a superior account and remains a travel classic till this day. RRP: RM54.95

EDUCATED

by Tara Westover

THE SECOND MOUNTAIN by David Brooks

THE MOMENT OF LIFT

by Melinda Gates

LIFE WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME by Chelsea Handler

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

June 2019

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A t T h e M ov i e s

Dark Phoenix

MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT / TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Jessica Chastain Director: Simon Kinberg Release date: 7 June 2019 The 11th instalment in the X-Men series and a sequel to 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix picks up nearly a decade after the events of the last film. The X-Men now face their most formidable and powerful foe – one of their own. When a solar flare hits the group during a rescue mission in space, Jean Grey (Turner) is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with the entity inside her, Jean unleashes her power in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. The X-Men must now band together to save not only her soul, but the very planet from aliens who want to use Jean’s new abilities to rule the galaxy.

June 2019

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Playing at the cinemas Men In Black : International

*Information is correct at the time of printing

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson Director: F. Gary Gray Release date: 14 June 2019

SONY PICTURES

Move aside Agents J and K: there’s a brand new duo in town. The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, new recruit Agent M (Tessa Thompson) is paired with Hemsworth’s Agent H. While M is less than impressed with H’s work ethic, it isn’t long before they have to tackle their biggest, most global threat to date – a mole in the Men in Black organisation. As the only agents left to combat an alien invasion, the pair must now work out their differences if they are to have any chance of saving the world.

Yesterday

Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Kate McKinnon, Ed Sheeran Director: Danny Boyle Release date: 28 June 2019

UNIVERSAL PICTURES

Jack Malik (Patel) is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town, whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie (James). After a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed. Performing songs by the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them, Jack’s fame explodes with a little help from his steelhearted American agent, Debra (McKinnon). But as his star rises, he risks losing Ellie – the one person who always believed in him. With the door between his old life and his new one closing, Jack will need to get back to where he once belonged and prove that all you need is love.

Toy Story 4

WALT DISNEY PICTURES / PIXAR

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Tony Hale, Keanu Reeves, Annie Potts, Joan Cusack, Jordan Peele Director: Josh Cooley Release date: 21 June 2019

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The beloved toys of the Toy Story series are back, with more heart-stopping adventures and lessons in love and friendship. Sheriff toy Woody (Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. When Bonnie’s new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (Hale), declares himself as 'trash', Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. Out on a family road trip excursion with the rest of the toys, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour and eventual reunion with his long-lost love interest, Bo Peep (Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realise they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as toys, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries.

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Firef ly News 64

News & Happenings

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Firefly Network

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Firefly Fleet & Service Info

Cause For Celebration

the team did not give up as we believe nothing is impossible,” said Firefly Chief Executive Officer Philip See (photo, centre), who was present with former CEOs Dato’ Eddy Leong (left) and Ignatius Ong (right).

Firefly Airlines marked its 12th anniversary in style, with over 600 guests converging at the Skypark Regional Aviation Centre hangar to celebrate the momentous occasion. Themed “12 Discovered Years”, long-service awards were given out to employees and senior management; and special appreciation awards were given to loyal passengers, travel agents, partners and corporate clients. The airline also celebrated its return to Singapore via Seletar Airport, which it now flies to six times daily from Subang.

During the event, several exciting reveals were announced, including the airline’s in-depth direction for 2019 through its ‘Discovery - See It, Hear It, Sense It, Feel It, Touch It, Taste It’ campaign, which encourages passengers to explore Malaysia through various experiences, be it local entertainment, events, culture, arts or food. To complement the Discovery presentation, guests were invited to board an aircraft sporting new interiors, and experience first-hand the new leather-like laminated seat covers, which will provide added luxury and comfort for passengers.

“Any business has its ups and downs and Firefly is not exempted; in this case, the airline’s key route, Singapore. The suspension impacted the business, but

June 2019

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Firefly News

Back On Track

Firefly Airlines returns to Singapore, with flight FY3126 departing from Skypark Terminal, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport carrying an entourage of VVIPs, media and commercial passengers onboard. The official delegation, including Malaysia’s Transport Minister Anthony Loke, officials from the ministry, as well as Firefly Airlines and the Malaysia Airlines Group senior management team, arrived at Singapore’s Seletar Airport, where they were greeted with a traditional water cannon salute. The group was received by Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, and top-ranking officials from the republic’s Transport Ministry and Health Ministry and Changi Airport. Special goodie bags were given out to commercial passengers, who witnessed the official ribbon-cutting, memento exchange and speeches at the reception site. “We are excited to return to Singapore. A door-todoor journey from Subang to Seletar takes less than 2.5 hours, given smooth traffic, and customers will be at their meetings or family gatherings on-time. This new airport will offer a hassle-free and seamless experience for our customers at both ends of the journey,” said Firefly Airlines Chief Executive Officer Philip See. The airline will progressively add more points from Peninsular Malaysia and study the feasibility of resuming flights to Singapore from Kuantan and Ipoh, and potentially, Melaka, as a new destination.

June 2019

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Net work Map

Phuket

PXHERE.COM

BEACH LIFE The largest island in Thailand is a tropical paradise. Turn to page 18 to see how to fully spend half a day there.

Banda Banda Aceh Aceh

Firefly Sales Offices & Counters

SUBANG

Subang Skypark Terminal Ground Floor, Departure Hall Terminal 3 Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport 47200 Subang, Selangor TEL: +603 7846 3622 OPERATING HOURS: Daily; 5 am to 10 pm

PENANG

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

KELANTAN

JOHOR

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

INDONESIA

KEDAH

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

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

LANGKAWI

Airlines Marketing Representative

Selected Airport Ticket Offices

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

PERAK

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

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

PAHANG

SINGAPORE

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

TERENGGANU

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

THAILAND

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

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

City Ticketing Office

SUBANG

Lot R-01, 3rd Floor, CITTA Mall No.1, Jalan PJU 1A/48 Ara Damansara 47301 Petaling Jaya Selangor, Malaysia OPERATING HOURS: Mon to Fri: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm; Sat, Sun & Public Holiday – Closed

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

KLIA

KL SENTRAL

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

June 2019

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Ways you can check in aside from the airport : WEB CHECK IN: At www.fireflyz.com.my. Print out the boarding pass yourself. Available for Malaysia domestic and Singapore flights only. For Indonesia and Thailand inbound/outbound flights, check in is through the counter at the airport only. MOBILE APP CHECK IN: Via Firefly Mobile from your mobile phone. Download the app from Apple App Store and Google Play Store for free.

123RF

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.

Singapore

PLACE OF WORSHIP The Sultan Mosque in Kampong Glam is the island nation’s most historical mosque. See it on pages 70 and 71.

(Seletar (SeletarAirport) Airport)

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

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

(Kuala (KualaLumpur) Lumpur)

June 2019

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Our Fleet & Service Information

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

No-Smoking Policy

Our check-in counters close 30 minutes before departure. Please allow at least 45 minutes for immigration and security clearance. Boarding gates will close 10 minutes prior to departure and late passengers will not be accepted.

Cabin Luggage Handling

ATR 72-500

Manufacturer

Avions de transport régional (ATR) No. of aircraft

12

Height

7.65 m Maximum Fuel Capacity

841 Gallons

Maximum Cruising Speed

Passenger Seating

510 km/h

Length

Maximum range with full passenger load

72 (single class) 27.17 m Wingspan

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

890 nautical miles (1648.28 Km)

27.05 m

Operation Hubs

Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang & Penang International Airport, Penang

Passenger and crew safety onboard our flights is our highest priority. In compliance with the airline’s policy and in observing Occupational, Safety and Health Regulations, cabin crew are no longer required to stow passengers’ hand luggages into the overhead stowage compartment. This is to minimise occupational hazard and ergonomic risks faced by cabin crew

in the aircraft. Cabin crew on duty will, however, assist passengers travelling with infants, young passengers travelling alone, the elderly, and passengers with reduced mobility. Passengers who are fit and in good health must carry, stow and secure their own hand luggage on board. Hand luggage exceeding the 7kg weight limit is required to be checked in before boarding.

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Wheelchair Assistance

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

Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes must be carried on one’s person or in carry-on baggage only. Recharging of the device in-flight is not permitted.

Refusal to Carry or Restraint of Passenger Onboard

Firefly has the right to refuse to carry passengers that they consider to be a potential risk to the safety of its other passengers and crew. We value courteousness. Any form of threat, verbal abuse or violence towards our staff will not be tolerated.

Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs)

For safety reasons and in line with the Regulatory Guidelines, mobile phones and all PEDs must be switched off once on board the aircraft. Whilst cruising, devices placed in flight mode may be used. The devices must again be switched off during the approach for landing until the aircraft is parked at the terminal building. Devices transmitting strong signals must remain switched off throughout the flight, until disembarkation. The Captain may prohibit the use of devices that can interfere with the aircraft’s system.

Lithium Batteries

Lithium metal or lithium ion cells or batteries for portable electronic devices (PEDs), including medical devices must not exceed 2g for lithium metal batteries and 100Wh for lithium ion batteries. All spare batteries, including lithium metal or lithium ion cells or batteries, for PEDs must be carried in passengers’ carry-on baggage only. These batteries must be individually protected to prevent short circuits. For PEDs containing non-spillable batteries, they must be 12V or less or 100Wh or less. A maximum of two spare batteries may be carried. These batteries must be individually protected to prevent short circuits.

Fresh & Frozen Seafood

Fresh and frozen seafood are strictly not permitted in check-in baggage. They may be accepted in cabin baggage, subject to the destination’s quarantine regulations. They must be properly packed and meet the cabin baggage weight and size requirements. A maximum of 2.5 kg of dry ice per passenger is permissible if dry ice is used to carry these items. We reserve the right to refuse carriage if the items are not properly packed.

January June 2019 2019

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Place Of Worship

T

he Sultan Mosque in Kampong Glam, known also as Masjid Sultan, is Singapore’s most historical place of worship. Located at North Bridge Road, it was originally built in 1824 for Sultan Hussein Mua’zzam Shah ibni Mahmud Shah Alam of Johor, who was also the first sultan of Singapore. It was fully reconstructed in 1932, with the current iteration designed by Denis Santry of Singapore’s oldest architectural firm, Swan and Maclaren. The Sultan Mosque was designated as a national monument in 1975 and each onion-shaped dome is decorated with glass bottle ends.

FireFly operates multiple daily flights to Singapore’s Seletar Airport from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang

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View finder Photo 123rf

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# FlyFirefly

ek.kemo

freidarazali

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

31 likes ek.kemo It was th eir first fli we were ght and their first custome Thanks Fi rs. refly for th e safe and comforta ble journ ey.

21 likes freidarazali Morning at Bukit Jambul, Penang. #flyfirefly jaket_murah.zamia Wahh... Menarik pic ini!

offandwhoa har iza

l_rang

o

93 likes rnoon flight iamsyaz Afte an in an be ya so ld + co airlines cup fly ire @f orange a fire Your page is laur ynsnapp ep it up! Im Ke n! tio ra pi starter for ins digging it!

lattemamainkl

27 likes offandwhoa Listen to the waves, heal my tired soul.

juliajaa

e s with th 30 like o Flying rew l_rang c a s z e ri lin a h air @firefly aha friendly ia hah k tag d ta a p a Ken fdzlr sl

far78_ muhamadfadh17

28 likes lattemamainkl An evening swim at Belum Eco Resort on the manmade lake separating two vast areas of rainforest. #flyfirefly poi_sun Was looking at it a month ago but did not had a chance to give it a go. Looking forward to your review.

23 likes juliajaa far78_ A bang DN Pilot. #fly with Mr firefly

59 likes muhamadfadh17 Happy 12th Anniversary, Firefly Airlines! June 2019

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IBC_FF June2019_Aster Spring.pdf

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DC-Ombak Festival-Inflight Magazine-Fireflyz_FAOL.pdf

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Profile for Spafax

Fireflyz June 2019  

Fireflyz June 2019  

Profile for spafaxmy