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Official FireFly In-flight Magazine

March 2019

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




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Contents March 2019

4 CEO's Message

14 Quench Where to drink

6 Editor’s Note

16 Applify Cool apps you should download for your mobile devices

6 Letters 8 Agenda Calendar of events and happenings

10 Comfort Zone Where to stay

12 Bites Where to eat


First Drives Proton X70


Insider’s Guide Sekinchan, Selangor, Malaysia

18 Savour Curry Puff

32 Tracker 5 destinations for females travelling solo


44 Street Chef Ah Heng Beef Noodles

12 Hours

54 Health & Fitness

Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia

Dodgeball, anyone?

March 2019


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Anita Yusof, solo biker and woman of steel


Humble Beginnings The art of accessorising


Tech’ Up

Must-have gadgets

56 Pack Up Travel essentials for him and her

58 MY List 10 things and facts about Malaysia

60 Reads Books you should be reading

62 At The Movies What’s showing in theatres

65 Firefly News


66 Network Map 68 Fleet & Service Info

Open Journal

70 Viewfinder

Honouring trailblazers on International Women’s Day

72 #FlyFirefly Our Instagram Stars!


Soi Romanee, Phuket, Thailand

March 2019


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CEO's Message

FIREFLY EDITORIAL ADVISOR CEO, FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd Philip See Editorial Committee Izra Izzuddin, Saisundary Sundra Kumar PUBLISHED BY FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd (346606-K) CITTA Mall, 3rd Floor, No.1, Jalan PJU 1A/48, Pusat Perdagangan Dana 1 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: +603 7845 4543 Web: www.fireflyz.com.my Email: customer_care@fireflyz.com.my

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

Dear Guests, It’s March already! Here’s this month’s issue for you. I warmly welcome you on board and it is a great pleasure to have you on this flight.

Senior Writer Eris Choo eris.choo@spafax.com

Art Director Euric Liew euric.liew@spafax.com

Writer Noel Foo noel.foo@spafax.com

Graphic Designer Nurfarahin Kamarudin nurfarahin.kamarudin @spafax.com


Are you worried about having to travel, traffic congestion, fuel costs and exorbitant parking fees just to get your favourite items? It’s now easier than ever with Firefly e-store! Get in style today with all the latest Firefly merchandise at amazing prices from the great convenience of your own home, office or favourite café. We deliver to anywhere in Malaysia without the hassle of you moving around. Also, we have made it easier for customers to purchase genuine and must-have Firefly merchandise and collectibles. You can now even surprise your loved ones by either gifting them with gift vouchers or getting their gifts directly couriered to their doorstep. Visit store.fireflyz.com.my and keep your eyes peeled as we will have more products added as we go along, simply to bring you convenience. No laptop in front of you? Don’t worry. There’s more great news for all latest Android high-end mobile gadget users. We have successfully upgraded our user-friendly version of the Firefly mobile app to make your travel easier, from booking to boarding and beyond, all at your fingertips. After the recent hiccup faced by some users, we have worked towards a more stable platform for you to manage your travel plans. So, don’t forget to download it from Android Google Play or Apple App Store and discover the path to a hassle-free and convenient journey with us. Let me wish all ladies out there a Happy International Women’s Day on 8 March. Women’s roles have changed tremendously over the past few decades, to great effect. It is a day to pay tribute to every woman and salute her immense contribution in shaping society. If you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to approach any of our cabin crew. Otherwise, just sit back and relax. We wish you a pleasant journey and thank you for flying with us.

Philip See Chief Executive Officer

March 2019


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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



ello, and welcome to the March issue of Fireflyz!


I’ve always had fabulous experiences whenever I travel with Firefly. There’s been lots of improvement in terms of the image, service and cleanliness. The latest is the new look of the Fireflyz magazine, and the size is also very comfortable to hold. It’s a pleasure to flip through. Perhaps, Firefly might look into adding more destinations so that we can have more options to fly to and explore the world. Keep rocking!

International Women’s Day is celebrated on the 8th of this month. The theme this year is ‘Better The Balance’. It’s a day to celebrate women’s achievements, while calling for a more genderbalanced world. In light of this, our Open Journal feature this month celebrates five trailblazers in fields and industries that were dominated by men in their days. The inspiring stories of Malaya’s Sybil Kathigasu, Japan’s Junko Tabei, Kenya’s Wangari Maathai, and Americans Bessie Coleman and Katharine Graham are on pages 48-53.


What a pleasant surprise it was for me during my recent flight to Penang. My hometown of Sitiawan was featured in the February issue, giving suggestions on the best places to visit and things to do. Being a small town, Sitiawan has often been overlooked by both tourists and Malaysians as a destination to visit unless they are on their way to Pulau Pangkor. For someone who returns to her maternal home twice to three times a year, even I wasn’t aware of the existence of Saloma Vineyard & Nursery! Kudos to the enterprising couple Shuhaimi Ishak and Siti Saloma Saad for starting your grape cultivation venture and to Fireflyz magazine for uncovering this hidden gem. Reading this article makes me proud of my hometown. To think that Sitiawan made it into an in-flight magazine! Well done to the team!

We cannot highlight these women who have challenged male dominance without telling the amazing story of another one of our own. At 48, Malaysian Anita Yusof journeyed through 40 countries on her Yamaha FZ150i for a year, earning her a place in the Asia Book of Records for the longest solo ride across the world by a woman on a motorcycle. I don’t know about you, but I’m more than a little envious of her.

Jessie Lim

Then as if Anita’s story is not enough to make me want to take the bull by the horns TODAY, there is young Harmini Asokumar, who quit the corporate world at age 27 to pursue her first love – art. Jumping in with both feet, her Deeper Than Fashion brand of jewellery is now her main source of income. What a brave young lady!


I am writing this letter after flipping through your magazine on a recent business trip to Phuket. One of your articles in the February issue has made me very curious about Putrajaya. I am an avid cyclist who enjoys long weekend rides with friends. Last month, we brought our bikes out to Kuala Selangor and enjoyed some good seafood while we were there. However, I have not had the chance to see Putrajaya on two wheels yet and from what I hear, the good road conditions there make it a great place for cycling. I’ll be sure to suggest this for our next cycling adventure so that we can see these beautiful sights for ourselves.

I hope these women inspire you enough to effect change for a more balanced world, and where necessary, speak up against misogynistic behaviour. If you have a similarly inspiring story, we want to hear about it. And if you are celebrating this day, let us know how by ‘hashtagging’ us @fireflyairlines on Instagram for a chance to be featured in an upcoming issue. Oh, by the way, I’d like to draw your attention to pages 58-59, where each month we dig up 10 facts and things about our beloved country Malaysia. These little and not-solittle things are what makes us unique, and I can’t think of a better medium to introduce these nuggets of information than through this magazine.


Enjoy the issue.

We’d love to hear from you!

Julie Goh

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.


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.

Official FireFly In-flight Magazine

March 2019

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




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Paddy fields in Sekinchan, Selangor

March 2019


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Tall Tales

Gardner & Wife Theatre presents the musical adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s award-winning children’s picture book, The Gruffalo. On a search for hazelnuts, Mouse meets the cunning Fox, eccentric Owl and high-spirited Snake. In an effort to escape from being eaten, Mouse tells them the story of the terrifying Gruffalo. Will it be enough to save Mouse from becoming dinner? Produced by UK-based Tall Stories Theatre Company, this month-long run includes a special performance on 10 March specially adapted for children on the autism spectrum. When: 25 February – 24 March Where: PJ Live Arts, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia gardnerandwife.com

Birds Of Prey

Organised by the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), the annual Raptor Watch in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan gives visitors the opportunity to sight migratory raptors resting around Tanjung Tuan, the last coastal rainforest on Peninsula Malaysia’s west coast, as they journey 12,000 kilometres north to breed. Take part in guided nature walks, learn about the local flora and fauna, explore the event booths and snap pictures of wild predatory birds such as the Oriental Honey-Buzzard, Black Baza, Grey-faced Buzzard, Chinese Goshawk and Japanese Sparrowhawk. When: 9 – 10 March Where: Tanjung Tuan Recreational Forest, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia mnsraptorwatch.wordpress.com

March 2019


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Dance Of Passion

It’s all about passion and energy with Scent of Tango, a onenight-only concert showcasing the art of Argentine tango. World tango champions Sebastian Acosta and Laura D’Anna, professional tango dancers Roberto Castillo and Julieta Biscione, and the world-renowned Hyperion Ensemble will perform to the tunes of popular classical tango as well as contemporary fusion music by composer Astro Piazzolla. When: 23 March Where: Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC), Sentul Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia scentoftango.com

Taking Flight

The highly anticipated Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta returns to Precint 2 in Putrajaya to celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. Bring family and friends to marvel at the fascinating balloon designs, grab tickets for the opportunity to enjoy a tethered balloon ride or have a pleasant picnic with a spectacular view of the hot air balloons that have gathered from all over the world. The event hits its climax on the final two nights, when all the balloons light up in an array of colours with the Night Glow and Fireworks display. When: 28 – 31 March Where: Precint 2, Putrajaya, Malaysia myballoonfiesta.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


Urban Retreat

Located just 10 kilometres away from the Kuala Lumpur city centre, Sheraton Petaling Jaya makes the perfect base for both business and leisure travellers. Its 253 rooms and suites are spacious and cosy, with a warm and welcoming ambience and a complete suite of amenities to enjoy; from marble bathrooms and separate bathtubs and showers, to lighted makeup mirrors and feather-soft beds. When it comes to dining, guests are spoilt for choice with Japanese, Chinese, international and local options. There is also a classy cigar lounge – perfect for intimate gatherings. Burn off the calories at the hotel’s 24-hour fitness center, or swim a couple of laps in the rooftop pool. Come night, chill at Sala, the hotel’s rooftop bar, whilst enjoying expansive views of the twinkling suburbs. Address: Jalan Utara C, PJS 52, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia marriott.com/hotels/travel/szbsi-sheraton-petalingjaya-hotel


Class and Service


A lofty presence right next to the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur brings the brand’s signature luxury accommodation and top-class dedicated service to travellers in the heart of the Malaysian capital. Sharing the 65-storey skyscraper with the Four Seasons Private Residences, the hotel is home to 198 comfortable guest rooms, 11 lavish suites, as well as 27 luxurious serviced apartment units, which serve as longer-term accommodations. Dine like royalty in a wide variety of food and beverage venues, including Chinese restaurant Yun House, international buffet and all-day dining outlet CurATE, and localised craft cocktail venue Bar Trigona. Spend time shopping without having to step out of the building at the luxury retail podium below the hotel, Shoppes at Four Seasons Place. Enjoy easy access to tourist hotspots via nearby public transportation hubs or unwind with the hotel’s many facilities, which include a spa, fitness centre and infinity outdoor pool. Address: 145, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia fourseasons.com/kualalumpur

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Uniquely Malaysian

Malaysian motifs such as the wau and gasing give a rather local flavour to the identity of the New World Petaling Jaya Hotel. Nestled in the bustling Kelana Jaya neighbourhood in Petaling Jaya, guests are just a short walk away from shopping at Paradigm Mall and can enjoy convenient access to the nearby railway station. The hotel’s 300 guest rooms and 20 suites feature tactile bamboo flooring, sleek furnishings and unique Malaysian-themed artwork in keeping with the local identity. Savour a melting pot of local flavours in the aptly decorated Pasar Baru restaurant or enjoy Western and Asian grilled dishes at PJ’s Bar & Grill, situated next to the outdoor rooftop infinity pool. The hotel’s 1,700-square-metre pillarless grand ballroom is large enough to accommodate up to 1,000 guests, making it an ideal venue for large banquet functions and similar events. Address: Paradigm, 1, Jalan SS7/26A, Kelana Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia petalingjaya.newworldhotels.com


Top Choice

Award-winning 5-star hotel Hilton Kuala Lumpur continues to be the accommodation of choice for seasoned business travellers and tourists seeking luxury accommodation in an unbeatable location. With 510 rooms and suites, it is an understatement to say that guests are spoiled for choice when it comes to dining and entertainment with 10 food and beverage establishments, covering a wide range of specialties from Cantonese, European and Japanese cuisines to the international buffet, alfresco poolside dining, grill room, bars and café. Weary business travellers can also take time out to relax and enjoy rejuvenating treatments at the award-winning spa, work up a sweat at the fully equipped gym or wind down with a yoga session with expert instructors. Hilton Kuala Lumpur’s convenient location next to KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur’s biggest transportation hub, also makes it an attractive base from which tourists can explore the city with ease. Address: 3, Jalan Stesen Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia life.hiltonkl.com

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

Everything Avocado

Avocatier is a café specialising in everything avocado and run by ‘avocado aficionados’. Premium Australian avocados are the base of the concise menu comprising breakfast items (served till 3.30pm) like Avo Meets Benny, an avocado half topped with poached eggs, spinach and hollandaise sauce, and the filling Avo Brekkie with eggs, chicken ham, sourdough bread, sautéed mushrooms and a pretty avocado rose. Mains include the Avo burger (grilled chicken between avocado halves) and pasta dishes with the house specialty sauce of basil and avocado. Vegetarian options are available, and even their smoothies and desserts are avo-based! Address: 10-1, Jalan 27/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/myavocatier

Chinese Vegan Meals

Good Meals is a fully vegan Chinese restaurant and has already made a name for itself for its delicious food using fresh local produce, and everything is made in-house using artisanal methods. The food is flavoured and fermented naturally, and no artificial additives are used. Standout dishes include the mulukhiyah (a wonder herb used in Egyptian cooking) noodles tossed in ginger, naturally fermented soy sauce and sesame oil; yeast-free sourdough buns with sweet and savoury fillings; and steamed dumplings with chayote with homemade chilli sauce. This is the kind of restaurant that makes going vegan easy! Address: The Sphere, Unit 1-6, Level 1, No 1, Avenue 1, Bangsar South, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/goodmealsadaily March 2019


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Fusion Fast Food

Tail & Fin is a popular Las Vegas-based chain that recently opened in Kuala Lumpur. The menu was created by a classically trained sushi chef who was also a former executive chef at Nobu, so the foundation of the menu is a hybrid of Japanese, Hawaiian and Mexican cuisine. This casual dining eatery specialises in sushi tacos, sushi burritos and poke bowls featuring tuna, salmon and soft-shell crab. Most famous is their appetising Pineapple Poke Bowl, served in a scooped out pineapple half with your choice of seafood, toppings and sauce. Build your own taco, burrito or poke bowl or choose from their signature creations like the It’s Stupid Good poke bowl and Flaming Tuna sushi tacos. Address: L1-043, MyTOWN Shopping Centre, Seksyen 90, Jalan Cochrane, Cheras, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/mytailandfin

Tapas Done Right

Spanish cuisine is always a winner and there is now a new addition to the KL scene. El Toro Loco is located near KLCC and a good option to fuel up on tapas, pinchos (small snacks eaten in bars in northern Spain), sandwiches and platters of cold cuts and Spanish cheese. Come here for classic tapas like Gambas al Ajillo (prawns cooked with olive oil, garlic and chilli) and Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes topped with mayo). Don’t forget to try the tasty Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish omelette) and if you want something more substantial, the paella will do the trick. Sangria, cold beer and specialty cocktails round up the menu nicely. Address: Fraser Place, 10, Jalan Perak, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facebook.com/etl.kl

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

A Classy Bar With Great Views

With warm wood furnishings, leather couches and stylishly simple space, Pacific Standard exudes a sense of class reminiscent of mid-20th century Los Angeles bars. Huge windows that open up to a panoramic view of the city skyline let in plenty of natural light, and at night the lounge takes on an intimate vibe with soft lighting. The bar commands most of the space, proudly displaying the premium spirits and ingredients that go into the delicious cocktails, separated into four distinct categories in the menu. Each category represents a different set of characteristics, and include mocktails for designated drivers. Address: Level 41 at Alila Bangsar, 58, Jalan Ang Seng, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur facebook.com/pacificstandardbar

An Authentic Japanese-Inspired Bar

Hidden behind a heavy wooden door in the middle of Kuala Lumpur is Bar Shake, a sleek Japanese-style cocktail bar with dim lighting and dark leather couches. Quality Japanese craft gins and whiskies fill the shelves, and most of the ingredients are made in-house. On the menu are a variety of fruit and saké-based cocktails alongside aged cocktails and even vinegar mocktails – all expertly crafted by Sam Kinugawa, who helms the bar and brings the renowned Japanese meticulousness to technique, precision and attention to detail to his cocktail making, which result in complex nuanced drinks you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in the city. Address: Platinum Park, Unit 3.3A, Level 2, Tower 1, 11, Persiaran KLCC, 50088 Kuala Lumpur facebook.com/barshakekl

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No Place Like Knowhere

In Knowhere, fairy lights on the ceiling create the illusion of a starry sky, and the walls are peppered with brightly coloured prints, offering an interesting experience from the moment you step in. Knowhere serves an extensive selection of original cocktails that are big on flavours and theatrics, providing a feast for all the senses. The drinks are created with the bar’s comprehensive list of liquors as well as spirits infused with local ingredients like pandan and butterfly pea. Pair your cocktails with fusion food from the pork-free kitchen, such as sharing platters, tapas, bar bites, pizza and more; vegetarian options available too. Address: 50, Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur facebook.com/knowherebangsar

Great Cocktails In Fun Settings

While vermouth is typically produced in Italy and France, Los Flowerpecker is serving this fortified wine in vibrant Latin American-inspired settings, with colourful Day of the Dead menus and sombreros lining the wall adding fun touches to this casual vermouthspecialist bar. Illustrious KL bartender Shawn Chong has created a selection of drinks (which include classic tequila and rum cocktails) that go back to basics and then upgraded with a unique Los Flowerpecker touch; with local ingredients offering interesting flavour notes to familiar cocktails. Beginners will do well to try the Vermouth Flight, which serves as a good introduction to this aromatic fortified wine. Address: 10M, Jalan SS 21/58, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor facebook.com/losflowerpecker

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Applify: Apps In Focus



LastPass Password Manager

PUBLISHER: LogMeIn, Inc. COST: Free – Individual Premium subscription starts from RM98.63 per year


LastPass is the solution if you have too many account passwords and sensitive information to keep track of. Using just one password or your fingerprint, you can secure everything from passwords to your passport number and credit card details in a digital ‘vault’ with bank-level encryption. Use the password generator to create and save randomised passwords up to 128 characters long. The service’s handy auto-fill function allows you to auto-fill saved passwords and form information, such as credit card details and mailing address at the touch of a button.

SHAREit - Transfer & Share

PUBLISHER: SHAREit Technologies Co.Ltd COST: Free

SHAREit is just one of many file sharing apps on the market, but it does so with tremendous speed PUBLISHER: Laboratory 27 and minimal fuss. The app uses COST: Free – Add-ons start Bluetooth to facilitate speedy from RM8.49 transfers between mobile devices and computers. Transfer everything Sectograph is a great way to micromanage your daily from documents to videos, photos, activities right down to the hour. The app is essentially a music, apps and internal files. digital version of a chronodex, a visual method of keeping The downside to SHAREit is that track of what you do with your time. Sectograph it is inundated with ads and works in tandem with Google Calendar, where All apps unnecessary functions – such are available calendar appointments that are keyed in appear as its collection of shared on Google Play and Apple Apps automatically on the clock face. The clock face videos that users can stream store, except Sectograph widget can be placed on the home screen for easy – but the extra features can (Google Play access or synchronised to appear on smart watches. easily be ignored. only)


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


Eliminate The Noise


Razer’s new Hammerhead is a complete USB-C earbud package. It has active noise cancellation, plus a dual driver technology that combines bass and high frequency details for a full range of sound. The in-ears are made from durable aluminium, complete with silicone tips. RRP: RM406 razer.com

Built For Power

Recently released, the Lenovo Z5 Pro GT is a powerhouse of a smartphone. It comes with a whopping 12GB of RAM, 512GB internal storage capacity and 6.39-inch OLED display. The dual-camera setup comprises a combination of a 16MP primary and 24MP secondary shooter. RRP: From RM1,636 lenovo.com/my



4 3


Always Ready


The Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is a highly versatile and sleek laptop that claims to offer 24 hours of battery life. It has a conveniently cool feature that detects a user’s presence, automatically waking up for instant logins via an IR camera and Windows Hello. RRP: RM6,555 dell.com

Share Your View

Canon’s Rayo S1 Mini Projector may be small in size but it packs quite a punch. The 105mm x 105mm device has a battery that is reportedly enough to project presentations or movies up to 120 minutes. It runs on the Android operating system and can be controlled through a built-in touchpad. RRP: RM1,599 my.canon

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

Sold in coffee shops and by street vendors, the curry puff is best enjoyed during breakfast or at teatime.


Curry Puff



•2 tbsp curry powder (add water to form into paste)


•175g all-purpose flour •50g butter or margarine •2 tbsp water •¼ tsp salt •1 tsp oil

•2 tbsp vegetable oil •1 onion (diced) •3 cloves garlic (chopped) •400 gm potatoes (cubed) •salt & sugar to taste •1½ cups water •5 pcs curry leaves

Method: Filling


lthough its origins may be disputed, there is one undeniable fact and that is the curry puff is a universally loved snack amongst Southeast Asians. The savoury, sometimes sweet, treat goes by many names in the region such as epok epok, pastel and karipap; but generally it consists of a thick curried filling, enclosed in a pastry shell that is then deep-fried or oven baked. They resemble the empanada, a pastry popular in many Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries. Sold in coffee shops and by street vendors, the curry puff is best enjoyed during breakfast or at teatime. The choice of fillings, as well as sizes, are also varied: ranging from the perennial favourite curried potato to chicken, lamb and even sardine. In Malaysia, karipap pusing features layers of pastry folded in a spiral shape, which gives it a flaky texture. In fact, karipap is so popular that frozen versions are sold commercially in supermarkets and exported to various regions. Regardless of what you choose to stuff this delectable pastry with, you’re assured of a snack that’s amazingly tasty and satisfying to consume any time of the day.

•Heat oil in saucepan and fry onion and garlic until fragrant. •Add in curry paste and stir until mixed and aromatic. •Add in potatoes and stir until mixture is combined. •Add in curry leaves and pour in water. •Slowly bring to a simmer until the potatoes are cooked

SAMOSA Originating from the South Asian region, this pastry is served fried or baked with savoury filling like spiced potatoes, onions and lentils.

and mixture is thick.

•Adjust seasoning, remove from heat and allow filling to cool completely.

Method: Pastry

•In a bowl, mix flour and salt together and add butter into the mix.

•Slowly pour in water and oil and knead until dough is formed. •Shape the dough into a ball and wrap with plastic and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

•On a chopping board lightly dusted with flour, roll dough flat and cut into circles with a round cutter.

•Spoon in curry mixture into the centre of the dough. •Fold the dough in half and seal the edges by gently

FILO PARCELS Using filo pastry instead of pastry dough, this appetizing snack is a slightly different variant of the curry puff. Stuffed with a spicy filling, it’s often served as an appetizer alongside an accompanying dip.

pleating the sides.

•Once the raw curry puffs are formed, cover with plastic and rest for 20 minutes.

•When ready, fry the curry puffs in a wok filled with hot

vegetable oil for approximately five to six minutes or until golden brown.

•Remove from heat and place on a cooking rack to allow the oil to drain.

•Serve when ready. March 2019


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Taking on different shapes and forms, there are various iterations of the savoury pastry found throughout the world.

PASTIES A traditional British pastry, pasties consist of pastry casings filled with beef and potatoes, which are baked until golden brown before being served.

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




8.00 am


Waste no time in scoring your first of many good meals. Touted as the best spot for Kota Bharu (KB) newbies, Kopitiam Kita (literally “our coffeeshop” in Malay) offers Kelantanese staples like nasi kerabu, nasi dagang and nasi tumpang, neatly arranged in trays against a wall of fame displaying photographs of customers, including celebrities such as pop songstress Datuk Siti Nurhaliza. If you fancy something lighter, try the signature roti titab, charcoalfired toast with soft-boiled egg and kaya.

9.00 am

You can’t say you’ve been to KB unless you’ve made a pilgrimage to Pasar Siti Khadijah, a sprawling multi-storey landmark that integrates a wet and dry market, a mosque and a food court under a glassdomed roof. Named after


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12 H o u r s


and grand interior make this one of Kelantan’s best examples of wooden craftsmanship; look out for the grand oval balcony and the pentagonal porte-cochere where royal members could watch ceremonies at the palace gates.

12.01 pm

Prophet Muhammad’s wife, who was also a successful entrepreneur, the stalls are predominantly run by women. While there is a huge diversity of goods traded; ranging from fresh produce, dried goods and spices to brass, silverware and clothes; visitors should stock up on Kelantan delicacies such as serunding, budu and keropok and sample local desserts such as akok, bunga mas and tahi itik at the food court.

11.00 am

At least six museums are located within a stone’s throw but if you’re short on time, make Istana Jahar your priority. This elegant 19th century former palace was converted into the Museum of Royal Traditions and Customs to faithfully replicate the elaborate ceremonial customs involved in the wedding and birth of Kelantanese royalty. Its distinctive yellow-and-black façade, ornate woodcarvings

A short stroll past Istana Balai Besar, a former sultans’ official residence with distinctive high wooden fences, will lead you to the gates of the pastel yellow building known as Istana Batu. Previously a crown prince’s palace that is now a museum for royal memorabilia, much of the building feels more like a home than a museum (albeit a very grand home); giving you a vivid idea of how they must have lived. For example, the dining room table is laid out with a full dinner service and the well-furnished bedrooms have personal possessions on display.

12.45 pm

Lunch is just a short hop away at Nasi Ulam Cikgu, a popular restaurant housed

inside Kampung Kraftangan, a leafy crafts complex established to promote Kelantanese culture. Locals flock here for the wide selection of ulam (edible raw greens); typically enjoyed with hot rice, spicy budu (anchovy jam) and grilled meats. After lunch, stroll round the textile museum, art and batik workshops, and souvenir stalls located within the compound.

2.00 pm

Head up north to Galeri Wau Pak Sapie, where you’ll observe one of the last wau (moon kite) makers in action. Conferred as Adiguru Kraf (Master Craftsman) by the government, 70-something Shafie Jusoh has honed his craft for over half a century, and is regularly commissioned to design waus for Kelantan’s kite-flying competitions. You can even sign up for a twohour wau-making workshop: book in advance at travel site LokaLocal.

4.00 pm

Batik lovers, prepare to indulge in some retail therapy at Sitra Batik. From


From the market, it’s a 10-minute drive to the cultural zone. Loosely straddling the neighbourhoods of Jalan Hilir Kota and Jalan Sultan, this compact area packs a host of historical landmarks that can be easily covered on foot. You know you’re there when you spot the soaring twin arches of Gerbang Kota Sultan Petra Ismail. This stately brownand-gold monument, which features Quranic calligraphic scripts, was erected to commemorate the city’s designation as a cultural city in the 1990s.

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DON’T MISS are long, but you’ll thank us when you sink your teeth into its aromatic and succulent grilled chicken dish.

7.00 pm

From here, it’s a short jaunt to the city’s biggest street market, Wakaf Che Yeh. Over a hundred open-air stalls, laid out in a spacious, easy-to-navigate grid, offer everything from massproduced batik caftans and fashion knockoffs to gimmicky toys and street food. It’s kitschy, but still a fun experience for a KB newcomer.


caftans to blouses, sarongs to scarves, the atelier carries one of the most impressive collections of hand-drawn batik attire for men and women in Kota Bharu. You also get to witness their inhouse batik artists in action, though it’s best to call ahead to check for availability.

5.00 pm

If you have time, squeeze in a stroll at KB’s main beach; if only to say you’ve walked on the strip of sand formerly

known as Pantai Cinta Berahi (Beach of Passionate Love), subsequently changed to the tamer Pantai Cahaya Bulan (Moonlight Beach). The road leading to the beach is dotted with postcard-pretty villages, making it a popular route for cyclists.

8.00 pm

For the perfect ending, head across to Tiny Elephant, an inviting watering hole with an extensive menu of espresso brews and softserves that can give any café in Kuala Lumpur a run for its money. One of several homegrown cafés run by enterprising local youths, it’s proof that KB is a city on the rise.

6.00 pm

Drive southward back to the city, where you’ll be having dinner at beloved local institution Yati Ayam Percik. Sure, the queues

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AYAM PERCIK: Typically chicken leg marinated in coconut milk, tamarind and lemongrass gravy, and charcoal-grilled on a skewer.

NASI KERABU: A rice dish eaten with dried fish or fried chicken, crackers, pickles and salads; distinguished by the blue tint of the rice, derived from butterfly pea flowers.

AKOK: Made from coconut, palm sugar and eggs, this decadent kuih with crispy burnt tops and a custardy centre is indulgent and moreish – call it the Asian answer to burnt cheesecake.

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Insider’s Guide Text Vincent Tan / Photos Kenneth Chan


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

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ocated along the coastline of the state of Selangor, some 100 kilometres northwest of Kuala Lumpur, the small town of Sekinchan is sited on one of the most productive rice granaries in Peninsular Malaysia, and is also popular with locals for its fresh seafood.

Sekinchan’s picturesque rice fields have attracted many city folks looking for a quiet day trip out

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To emphasise the importance of rice in this part of the world, the gallery ends with a question asking visitors when was the last time they sat down to eat rice with their family. The centre also sells several varieties of rice, along with different rice and agricultural products ranging from sweet corn to rice crackers, and even cendol dessert made from brown rice!

Pantai Redang (from top) Paddy planting is carried out twice a year; exhibits in the Paddy Processing and Factory and Gallery; Pantai Redang is popular with visitors for its stunning sunsets; the Wishing Tree with strips of red cloth carrying visitors’ hopes and wishes

No trip to Sekinchan would be complete without a visit to Pantai Redang, a lowkey beach which has been teeming with visitors ever since it was featured as one of the settings for Outbound Love, a wellknown Hong Kong drama. Today, the place is a popular evening destination as visitors gather to watch the sun set and fishing boats returning to the Bagan Sekinchan fishing docks right next to the beach. Besides the ‘Love Sekinchan’ sign and a huge poster of Sekinchan’s popular local representative exhorting visitors to keep the place clean, there is of course the picturesque Wishing Tree.

Paddy Planting

The most striking feature about Sekinchan as you approach the town is the vast paddy fields stretching out for hectares on end. Depending on the time of your visit, the fields could either be green, golden or brown. Planting is carried out twice a year in February and August, while harvesting takes place in December and May. Given the importance of rice to the locality, there is also a Paddy Processing Factory and Gallery located just off the main road. For a small fee of RM5, visitors get a guided tour of the gallery, leading off with a short video explaining the paddyplanting process – from germinating the seedlings to harvesting and packaging. From an observation deck, visitors can also view the processing work turning harvested paddy into rice at the facility, and further in, the gallery showcases the different implements and tools used by rice farmers here before mechanised farming took place.

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Insider’s Guide

Those hoping to get their wish granted can first go to the temple next to the Tree to pray for it. Then, for a small donation, supplicants can write the wish on a strip of red cloth tied to a coin, and try to lob it over the branches; legend has it that if the ‘wish’ successfully lands on the branches, it will be fulfilled. Elsewhere, look for the treehouse for an unconventional photo from the town, and vendors selling refreshments such as shaved ice desserts drenched with Milo powder and dried seafood snacks.

Ah Ma’s House

Just down the road from the Paddy Processing Factory, there is Ah Ma’s House, popular for its nostalgic appeal and snacks on sale. The building is unmistakable, thanks to the windmill replica outside and animal figures made from dried straw.

Opt for a guided tour, Aside from kuih kapit, there are a variety of snacks to which explains the bring home; ranging from prawn and fish crackers evolution of fishing made by locals, to candies wrapped with designs techniques and methods from the old days, which have been revived and in Sekinchan; starting kept in production. from shore-line kelongs (offshore fishing platforms) to the different fish Opposite Ah Ma’s House, you have the Ocean and crab traps Gallery, a local initiative to educate visitors on used. Sekinchan’s humble beginnings as a fishing village.

Ah Ma’s House is a traditional bakery where, during the day, visitors can watch a live session of the making of kuih kapit – a biscuit made from egg and coconut milk batter and baked till crispy over charcoals. The interior is outfitted as how Sekinchan villagers would have lived in the olden days, complete with old-style leather sofas, rattan chairs and vintage television sets.

Sekinchan Ocean Gallery

Here, visitors will find interesting curios such as preserved porcupine and puffer fish specimens. Opt for a guided tour, which explains the evolution of fishing techniques and methods in Sekinchan; starting from shore-line kelong (offshore fishing platforms) to the different fish and crab traps used.

(from top) Ah Ma’s House is a traditional bakery where visitors can see how kuih kapits are made; learn about the town’s history as a fishing village at the Sekinchan Ocean Gallery

Further in, equipment such as GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) units, a ship’s wheel and anchor are displayed together with the different types of fishing vessels used by the fishermen, right up to the open-sea fishing trawlers now docked in Bagan Sekinchan’s fishing village.

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Insider’s Guide

Nan Tian Temple

Tucked in a corner of Sekinchan’s Site A Village, the Nan Tian Temple is devoted to the Nine Emperor Gods, Taoist deities revered as offspring of the Big Dipper. Built over 50 years ago, the temple has since undergone renovations with a much grander facade, but retains its original interior, where deities and temple woodwork have been darkened by smoke from joss-sticks placed by devotees over the years. The major annual event for this temple is the Nine Emperor Gods Festival,

While visitors to the gallery are mostly foreigners and schoolchildren, the tour and explanation give a sense of local history, while the centre itself still keeps in touch with Sekinchan’s fishing roots. The tour guide herself is able to mend a damaged display fishing net with startling dexterity.

(clockwise from top) Exhibits in the Sekinchan Ocean Gallery; Nan Tian Temple is devoted to the Nine Emperor Gods; a devotee offering prayers (inset) Banana chips and other snacks sold outside the Ocean Gallery

Outside, stalls sell quick snacks such as prawn fritters. If you’re in the mood for something more filling, dishes such as lala omelette, an egg dish with clams as the main ingredient, are also available for order.

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Apart from being one of the major rice producing areas of Malaysia, Sekinchan is also a lively fishing village.



Most, if not all, the dining options here have a seafood dish or two, but Heong Kee Restaurant, along the Klang-Teluk Intan trunk road and next to Sekinchan’s Public Bank outlet, combines the traditional bak kut teh flavour with local seafood produce

paddy fields, especially after planting, and just before the harvest season.

Accommodation which kicks off at the end of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar until the first week of the ninth month. In 2019, this takes place from 29 September until 7 October. As the nine deities are believed to enter through waterways, this involves a large ceremony at Pantai Redang, where the temple chairman and other committee members typically fast and adopt a vegetarian diet before the start of the festival.

Sekinchan offers a variety of accommodation, ranging from budget to boutique, as well as homestays. There are also new-style container cabin homestays, such as Padi Box and Farm Ville; with their brightly painted facades and Instagrammable interiors, offering spectacular views of the paddy fields when in season.

(counter clockwise from top) Bagan is the main fishing village in Sekinchan; visitors come for its fresh seafood (inset) Padi Box Home & Café is built using freight containers and offers a quiet and relaxing stay

These lodgings also provide various facilities such as barbeque facilities, bicycle rental to get around, as well as tours around Sekinchan’s sights and also to nearby Kuala Selangor.

The temple’s two pagodas also offer an excellent view of the surrounding

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Perched over a container cabin, this old-style bus has been refurbished with air conditioning and diner seating. The fare is simple but well-done, and offers a good view of the paddy fields when in season.


Located in the same Site A village as Nan Tian Temple, Mango King offers fresh mangoes and other fruits, as well as glutinous rice dumplings, packed dried food, mango smoothies and mango ice-cream bars.

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Have Wheels, Will Travel

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P e r s p e c t i ve Text Ng Su-Ann / Photos courtesy of Anita Yusof



f there was ever a real-life Sarah Connor or Lara Croft, Malaysia’s Anita Yusof would surely be it. At age 45, Anita learnt how to ride a bike for the first time; she was going through a bad patch in her life and wanted to pursue a new passion.

Little did she know that three years later, she would be riding a motorcycle across the four corners of the world – solo. The gritty Physical Education lecturer from Ipoh has given a whole new meaning to the phrase carpe diem.

In 2015, Anita left her home and began an epic journey of a lifetime, traversing 40 countries in a year on her trusty Yamaha FZ150i. The journey spanned North and South America, Europe and Asia, chalking up a total distance of 65,369 kilometres. This historic feat bagged her a prestigious entry in the Asia Book of Records for the longest solo ride across the world by a woman on a motorcycle. “It was a journey of selfdiscovery and a test of human limits. There were nights when I camped in the middle of nowhere and went to sleep hungry. I had to

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P e r s p e c t i ve

ensure that I had enough money to cover the world trip. My priority was my bike. I could eat less but my bike couldn’t,” she says, with a laughs. Anita certainly had her fair share of narrow escapes on her travels. “Nature can be friend or foe. In Argentina’s Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, the bone-chilling winds were brutal – blowing at 103 kilometres per hour, at times. In the French Riviera when the mistral was blowing, I had a brush with death when the strong wind blew me off my lane onto the opposite side, just as a truck was passing by. Luckily, I managed to swerve back in time,” she relates.

“My favourite TV show was Combat! (a war drama). And I was a big fan of the rock band Scorpions when I was in secondary school,” says the bubbly single mother of two grown sons.

(from top) Anita outside a yurt at Altyn Arashan, Kyrgyzstan; raising the Malaysian flag at the Tropic of Capricorn in Namibia

Just as adventure is in her veins, music fuels her soul. She became the bass player for a rock band called SheRox in 1987. In the 1990s, they released an album titled Awek Rocker. After the group disbanded in 1994, she moved to Ipoh and pursued her Sports Science Degree at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, where she clinched the Best Female Student Award. To celebrate her achievement, she decided to backpack around Europe and began scouring the Internet for information and research. “I asked my family and friends to come with me as I had no experience travelling alone, and it would be more budget-savvy to split the costs. But they were not keen on the trip, so I went ahead on my own although I was scared at first,” she recalls.

Another hair-raising incident took place while she was making her way from Canada to Alaska, where she came face to face with a brown bear. “I was making a turn on my bike when it crossed the road, barely 20 metres away. We were both shocked to see each other. The wild creature, who must have been unfamiliar with the sound of a motorcycle engine, beat a hasty retreat into the forest,” Anita recounts.

After her maiden solo trip covering 10 nations in Europe, she was bitten by

When asked what was most memorable about the whole experience, her instant response is: “The people.” “I will never forget how warm and friendly some of the people I met along the way were. Total strangers offered me food, shelter and even money without a thought about our racial or cultural differences. “When I asked a local where I could pitch my tent for the night, she invited me to her house instead! Such kindness simply melted my heart,” she says, with a smile.

Thirst For Adventure

Born on 6 December 1967 in Batu Pahat, Johor, Anita is the youngest among three siblings. She confesses to being a bit of a tomboy when she was young; racing the other kids to the top of a guava tree in their neighbourhood.

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It was a journey of selfdiscovery and a test of human limits. There were nights when I camped in the middle of nowhere and went to sleep hungry. I had to ensure that I had enough money to cover the world trip. My priority was my bike. I could eat less but my bike couldn’t.

the travel bug – hard – and there was no turning back. Her next solo backpacking trip took her to Australia and New Zealand.

Anita at Theewaters Nature Reserve, South Africa

Her life-changing moment came after stumbling across a travel blog by Malaysian adventurer, Zaharis Khuzaimah. “He had beautiful photos of Kyrgyzstan. There were gorgeous blue lakes and mountains with wild horses. I was intrigued and contacted him for travel tips. He told me it would be costly to travel by public transportation, as the country was quite underdeveloped back in 2010. He advised me to bike like he did, but I thought it’d take me forever to explore the vast region,” says Anita. Through Zaharis, Anita was introduced to another fellow Malaysian adventurer, Hadi Hussein. “That’s when I learnt how to ride a motorcycle. Hadi, whom I later came to regard as my mentor, agreed to let me join him on a three-week expedition on bike from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand, Myanmar, up to the Laos-China border and Cambodia before heading back to Malaysia. The trip was exactly 43 days after I learnt how to ride a bike. I fell six times because some of the terrain was quite tricky, coupled with my inexperience,” she says. Two months later, she embarked on her first solo ride – tracing back the same route she had taken with Hadi – but at her own pace. Soon after, she became hooked on adventure riding. Anita had found the perfect escape from stress – along the open roads of foreign lands. Her dream of visiting Kyrgyzstan never waned, and she finally spotted those wild horses, azure blue lakes, and much more. Without the constraints of traveling by public transport, a whole new world of possibilities opened up to Anita. “I could stop when I wanted to and pitch my tent when I needed to rest for the night. With this in mind, I began

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exploring the idea of going around the world on my bike,” she says, adding that she spent 14 to 15 hours daily doing research on the computer as part of her preparations. “Money and age were among my main concerns. I wasn’t young anymore. But I pushed away all the negative thoughts. It’s now or never. “And the trip was simply amazing. As the saying goes, the rest is history,” she says.

QUICK FIRE ROUND First country ever visited: Indonesia, with my mother. Number of countries visited to date: 100. Weight of baggage in solo worldwide ride: 50kg. What it contained: Important documents, winter and light clothing, toiletries, camping gear and pans, rations, medical supplies, laptop and pepper spray. Motorcycles owned: Two Yamahas, a Honda and a BMW. Advice for female travellers: Do your research, travel smart and trust your instincts.

Miles To Go Before I Sleep

Just as passion drove female adventurers like Tiffany Coates, Lois Pryce and Elspeth Beard – who inspired the world with their courage and resolution – the same intensity burns in Anita. Her globetrotting days are far from over. After conquering five continents, her latest trip was to Africa in November 2018; covering six countries in six weeks. “I had three reasons for going to the world’s second largest continent – the African desert, its wildlife and the tribes. And I managed to accomplish all three. “I find that I can’t stay put in one place anymore. There are so many places to explore and experience. So, with a heavy heart I’ve decided to opt for early retirement in October this year,” she says. Anita will pool her pension funds for her travels and give motivational talks in between trips. So, where does she plan to travel next? “Well, I’ve always wanted to go to Antarctica,” she says.

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Tracker Text Mei Mei Chu



Once an off-the-beaten path destination, Myanmar now rivals Thailand and Cambodia as the top Southeast Asian destination. The Buddhist nation is famed for its temples, rich culture, and history, and no trip is complete without a sunrise visit to Bagan, the land of a thousand temples. Some parts of the country are still in conflict, but travelling within tourist centres and using your common sense should keep you safe.



The second largest nation in the world is immensely diverse when it comes to food, language and culture. Its large crowds and the locals’ blunt personalities can come off as chaotic, but it is controlled chaos. Strict laws, abundant surveillance cameras, and heavy police presence make the republic a safe country for travellers. The biggest danger, perhaps, is its unscrupulous tourist prices and unforgiving traffic.

Girls To

Just Want



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New Zealand


With its snow-capped mountains, azure blue lakes and starstudded skies, New Zealand is a nature junkie’s wonderland. With young wanderers flooding into the country for temporary employment via the country’s working holiday visa, it is common to see young women travelling solo whether by car, bus, or hitchhiking. Well-established tourist amenities such as tourist centres, campsites and clear signboards are a huge plus.

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Croatia first became a must-visit destination when hit series Game of Thrones, which was filmed in the walled city of Dubrovnik, became a worldwide sensation. The Pearl of the Adriatic is indeed beautiful, with historical towns complete with castles, and its eight national parks are the stuff of fairy tales. One bus ride away from Slovenia, Hungary and more, it is a popular destination for independent travellers, especially those from Europe. Its welcoming locals are used to the sight of solo female travellers, making it a safe place for the adventurous woman.

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The Land of the Rising Sun is incredibly rich, both in its history and popular culture. Despite being a deeply patriarchal society, Japan is known as one of the safest countries in the world. Respect is also deeply ingrained in the culture, explaining why crimes like pick-pocketing rarely come up in travellers’ stories of Japan. The helpful locals, women-friendly accommodation, and easy to navigate public transportation also make Japan a comfortable destination for female travellers.

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Humble Beginnings Text Yvonne Nathan / Photos Goh Seng Chong


he tattered strings of a damaged dreamcatcher would, for most, signal a trip to the trashcan. For Harmini Asokumar, however, it became a stepping stone towards greater ends.

as a child,” Harmini says, relating a charming story of fashioning wardrobe changes for dolls using sweet wrappers and sticky tape.

Unpicking the threads, she taught herself how to weave them back through trial and error. That was nearly nine years ago. Little did she know then that the craft she learnt would open up a whole new world of possibilities and gain her a fan base of over 30,000 followers on Instagram; through her fashion and accessories brand, Deeper Than Fashion. The bubbly 30-year-old lass greets me for our interview at her apartment-cum-studio, dressed in a mustard yellow pantsuit and a kaleidoscopic pair of tassel earrings that gently sway in time with her movements.

Harmini’s statement pieces are unique and in bold colours

Prowling beside her is Luna, a fluffy grey and white cat. While a wary Luna susses me out, her young entrepreneur ‘mom’ is at once accommodating and lively, expressing her personality through the vibrant collection of handmade accessories laid out on the table.

Naturally, she went on to pursue a course in fashion design at college. It was there that she first dipped her feet into the business world through a blog shop, and where she got the idea of selling artistic wares online. Deeper Than Fashion started off in 2010 as a passion project and a secondary source of income.

Harmini’s affection for crafting began long before her spirit for trade surfaced. The first accessories she made were the commonplace but classic representation of childhood days at school – the friendship bracelet.

“Right out of college, I worked for an online lifestyle and fashion portal, and did stints in freelance writing, copywriting, public relations and marketing,” she recalls.

“At 12, I was already making bracelets and handmade birthday cards for my friends. I was always a bit creative, even

Her first works consisted of finely beaded multi-coloured dreamcatchers,

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Humble Beginnings

traditional Native American accessories believed to illuminate good dreams and ensnare bad ones. She then branched out to making earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Years earlier, her days revolved around a corporate setting, while nights were filled with vivid colours and the wonder of creativity poured into each design. “I’d go to work, then come home and make things. It was down time for me, almost therapeutic,” she reminisces.

“At 12, I was already making bracelets and handmade birthday cards for my friends. I was always a bit creative, even as a child.”

But the tedium of office politics and restricted work environments eventually got to her. “Early on, as I was applying for internships before I even knew what I wanted to do, a friend of mine told me that I was one of those people who can’t be held down by a desk job. I guess it makes sense now!” she exclaims.

and bold colour combinations stand out among the dreary palettes and basic, safe designs on the market; with a distinctive look that is instantly recognisable. “I think – and I’m going to say this with full confidence – that my colour combinations are fantastic! I like playing with colours to see if they complement each other. Sometimes you think they won’t go well together, but they do. I learnt this because a lot of sarees work that way,” she shares.

Harmini regularly incorporates elements she picks up from different cultures around the world into her pieces – especially from her Indian roots.

(from top left) A pair of intricatelydesigned earrnings; Harmini left her corporate job in 2015 to pursue her business full time

“India has such amazing colours, textures and patterns – a million things that you can create with. I feel it’s important to use these cultural influences that some might think are oldfashioned, and repurpose them into things that we can use on a daily basis, that are chic and modern,” she points out.

In 2015, just four days shy of her 27th birthday, Harmini quit the corporate world to dedicate herself fully to her business. Four years on, the ‘side’ hustle has turned into her main source of income, one that is still going strong.

Aside from events and art bazaars, Deeper Than Fashion relies mainly on word of mouth and Instagram; shipping madeto-order pieces in bulk locally, as well as to the United States, Sri Lanka and France. “I don’t even use a website. Social media is such a fantastic tool,” Harmini quips.

Looking at the sea of accessories spread out in her studio, it’s easy to see why Harmini’s work enjoys the popularity it does. Her unique statement pieces

An important philosophy that she adheres to is developing connections with her customers and followers. “I think people

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Humble Beginnings

“When you’re selfemployed, you require strict levels of discipline. At the end of the day, it’s a job. You have days when it’s raining and you don’t really want to get out of bed, but if you don’t work today, you’re not going to make enough for rent,” she says. Ever the creative, she is constantly looking for ways to improve herself beyond the business. (top) Casings, clasps and small ornaments for making jewellery (left) Harmini’s Deeper Than Fashion brand has more than 30,000 followers on Instagram (Inset) Harmini hopes to incorporate silver smithing into her craft

like to know the maker of their products. It builds trust, and makes them want to support you and the brand as a whole,” she adds. While family and friends are her biggest supporters and motivators, she has what she calls ‘Insta-people’ – her followers some of whom she says have become great friends. It might seem all fun and games, but Harmini says she has had her fair share of challenges as well. As a full time business, working from the comforts of home involves self-regulation and willpower.

“Last year I started watercolour painting. Besides creating, I wanted to give back as well, so I’ve been donating proceeds from the paintings to charity,” she says. To-date, she has sold 12 paintings, funds of which are given to animal-related charities. As for future plans, Harmini hopes to employ silver smithing into her craft, and continue travelling around the world to gain inspiration and insight that can be channelled back into her work. “Knowledge is limitless, so it really depends on what you’re passionate about and what you want to learn. It’s important to know your area of interest and build it up from there. “My biggest fear is that I won’t be able to make a living out of what I’m doing right now. I know one earns a lot more working in corporate, but I wouldn’t trade what I have now for the world,” she says.

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F i r s t D r i ve s Text Richard Augustin / Photos courtesy of Proton Holdings Berhad





et’s address the elephant in the room first. Yes, Proton has seen better days and over the last decade or so, it has practically been left behind by its rivals – even though it tried with products like the Saga, Persona and Iriz, as well as rebadged models such as the Perdana and Ertiga from Honda and Suzuki respectively.

While the company has stayed in business, the brand never achieved the heights of popularity that it did in the 1990s with models such as the Wira, Iswara and Satria. However, 2019 may just mark the revival of Proton, as it attempts to reclaim some of its glory. The odds are also in the national carmaker’s favour this time around, as it has the support and expertise of new owner Geely to bank on. Much like how the Chinese automotive brand reinvigorated Volvo, many are expecting the same for Proton – and they’ve evidently put a game plan in place by introducing Proton’s first SUV to the market: the new X70.

Back To Basics

Proton began in the mid-1980s with a rebadged Mitsubishi, so it’s fitting that its new owner has decided to get the ball rolling by rebadging its best-selling SUV, the Geely Boyue, into the X70. First impressions matter and there’s no doubt that the X70 will steal glances. Bar some design tweaks in the grille and Proton scripts on the lights and rear plate garnish, there’s no difference between the X70 and its Chinese sibling. The Proton SUV features projector headlights, LEDs as well as halogen lamps according to variants, and sits on a choice of 17, 18 and 19-inch alloys. Despite its size, the X70 is decisively sharp and sporty and benefits greatly from fit-to-form finishes like the integrated

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twin tailpipes in the rear and broad LED taillights. The Premium variant gets a panoramic sunroof as well. The five-seater SUV measures up nicely against the popular Honda CR-V and is larger compared to its Korean rivals the Sportage and Tucson.

Next Generation Interior

Like the outside, the interior of the vehicle is also heavily derived from the Boyue. Immediately noticeable is how well built and equipped the cabin of the X70 is. The undulating dashboard takes centre stage along with the new Geely Smart Ecosystem (GKUI) Android-based infotainment system. The system features an eight-inch TFT LCD touchscreen and 16 GB of internal storage along with MirrorLink connectivity for Android smartphones. The X70 gets the drop on some of its rivals with a voicecontrol system, which is activated by the term, “Hi Proton�. Upon activation, users can access several in-car functions such as climate control, windows, music playback and navigation

The Proton X70 uses a voicecontrol system to access climate control, windows, music playback, navigation and others

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F i r s t D r i ve s

by voice. Connectivity is also a key feature of the X70, which is why the cabin features six USB ports and integrated mobile data enabled by the built-in Celcom eSIM. A dedicated smartphone app allows owners to access and monitor specific vehicle functions remotely.

parking sensors. The range-topping model also gets Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and Door Opening Warning System amongst its key features.

Turbo Powered

All Proton X70 models are powered by a 1.8 litre turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder petrol engine. Paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, the X70 delivers an adequate power output of 181 horses and 285Nm of torque. The powertrain also features Eco, Normal and Sport drive modes. The X70 is available with front wheel drive as well as an Executive AWD (all-wheel drive) variant.

Spacious & Safe

Space-wise, the X70 offers 512 litres of storage in the boot, and ample head and legroom to transport five adults. Noticeably absent from the features list is a powered tailgate but its standard kit nevertheless remains impressive with features such as keyless entry, pushbutton start and dual-zone climate control with an air-purifier system. Top of the range models get automatic wipers and a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. Safety features are equally impressive with six airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, stability control, hill start assist and hill descent control across all variants. Also standard is a reverse camera with the Executive and Premium variants benefiting from a 360-degree camera system with front

(top left) The Executive and Premium variants come with a 360-degree camera system with front parking sensors

According to stats provided by Proton, the X70 delivers a 0-100kmh sprint in just over ten seconds with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 7.8-litres per 100km. The figures are impressive but they are just one part of the overall package of the X70.

(top right) The undulating dashboard takes centre stage along with a Android-based infotainment system (inset) The SUV has an enticing price point starting from just under RM100,000

With an enticing price point that begins from just under RM100,000, impressive features, good design along with its fivestar ASEAN NCAP safety rating, Proton will have no issue putting a lot of X70s on the road. In essence, it has provided the spark that will help revive the fortunes of the brand in the years to come.


The Proton X70 is priced at RM99,800 (Standard 2WD), RM109,800 (Executive 2WD), RM115,800 (Executive AWD) and RM123,800 (Premium 2WD).

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New In Showrooms

New Vios

The B-segment sedan market is due for a shake up with the arrival of the new Toyota Vios. Boasting a revised design, with elements brought over from its sibling the Yaris, the new model is decisively sharper and sportier than its predecessor. The interior has also been given a makeover with modern refinements that include keyless entry, automatic air-conditioning, a DVDAVX infotainment system with mirror-link and a 360-degree camera system with built-in digital video recorder. UMW Toyota Motor will offer three variants of the model, each of which is powered by the tried-and-tested 2NR-FE 1.5 litre Dual VVT-i four-cylinder engine. Paired with a 7-speed CVT Transmission, the new Vios offers 107Ps of power and 140Nm of torque. Primary safety features of the new Vios include seven airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist and stability control. The new Toyota Vios variants are priced at RM77,200, RM81,200 and RM87,300 respectively.

New C-Class In Town


Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has lifted the covers off its new C-Class, its most popular saloon sedan. More refined and sleeker, it gives the vehicle a more exciting, youthful and sportier look and feel. The immaculate design is further complemented by state-of-the-art safety and assistance systems along with superior technology and excellent driving dynamics. Underneath the hood, Mercedes-Benz has equipped its C 200 Avantgarde Line model with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 48 volt onboard electrical system. This delivers a total power output of 184hp and 280Nm of torque, with an additional 13hp and 160Nm EQ Boost from the electric motor. The Mercedes-Benz C 300 AMG Line features a 2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine which puts out a total of 258 hp and 370 Nm of torque. Power is kept in check via a 9G-TRONIC transmission. The Mercedes-Benz C 200 Avantgarde and Mercedes-Benz C 300 AMG are priced at RM259,888 and RM304,888 respectively.

Edaran Tan Chong Motor whetted the appetites of Malaysian consumers by previewing the second generation Nissan Leaf last November. The all-electric model is due to arrive in the months ahead and will surely draw a tonne of interest with its new features. Nissan has certainly made advancements with the model, considered as one of the most successful electric vehicles ever made with over 300,000 units sold globally. The second generation Leaf will undoubtedly add to that growing number with a new electric powertrain, which boasts a range of between 250 to 400 kilometres on a single charge. The all-new Nissan Leaf delivers 150Ps and 32Nm of torque and is equipped with a 40kWh battery, which takes approximately seven hours to charge via its 6.6kW on-board charger. Price to be determined.

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Positive Charge

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Street Chef Text David Ong-Yeoh / Photos Raymond Ooi


eef noodles are soul food for the hungry diner: thick, delicious cuts of meat, swimming in a flavourful soup, accompanied by delightfully springy noodles.

The version served by 70-year-old Ah Heng (who politely declines to reveal his full name) and his wife Madam Low at Argyle Restaurant in Taman Kok Lian, Kuala Lumpur, certainly ticks all the boxes; with generous amounts of Australian beef tenderloin, tendons, tripe and meat balls that make for a satisfying meal.

Ah Heng uses Australian beef for his noodles

The noodles are served in a soup, or dry and garnished with some minced pork on top with soup on the side. While there is a choice of the usual kuey teow and yellow noodles, if asked, Ah Heng recommends the springy Hakka noodles that resemble wantan mee, but with a slightly thicker texture. The noodles create a nice, springy base that does not intrude on the beef’s meaty flavours. This simple, unpretentious meal provides a good amount of carbohydrates, protein and yumminess for just RM10. It’s hard to miss the stall once you’ve located the corner shop as there’s a massive pot of bubbling beef soup right next to it, from which he constantly stirs and scoops from. The sight of Ah Heng skilfully dishing out bowl after bowl might convince new patrons that he has been making it for decades, but he has, in fact, only been selling it for 13 years. “I was previously selling KL-style lam mee at my mother’s coffee shop nearby. When we shifted here,

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Street Chef

The soup is adapted from a recipe Ah Heng’s mother learnt from a Malay lady

we had to choose something else to differentiate ourselves from other hawkers, so we picked beef noodles,” says the affable Ah Heng, who has been living in the area for over 50 years. While word of mouth and, more recently, social media has gained Ah Heng his fair share of loyal patrons, Ah Heng’s routine has barely changed from when he first started the business. He gets up at 4.00 am to begin preparations before heading to the restaurant. By 8.00 am, he is ready for business, with each bowl meticulously prepared individually by him then served up by his wife. While unmistakably a Chinesestyle beef noodle dish, the recipe for the all-important soup comes from his Cantonese mother who learnt it decades ago from a Malay lady. The recipe for the soup that Ah Heng now serves has been adjusted, by reducing the amount of some of the Malay herbs and spices used, for

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(clockwise from

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Street Chef

a subtler taste that caters to the preference of his Chinese customers, he says. As it has to be simmered for over 24 hours in order to bring out the fullness of the flavours, he prepares the soup at home daily and transports it in several large containers to his stall. The Malay influence is also apparent in the green belacan-based chilli sauce that is served upon request, while the standard red garlic chilli sauce is a more common condiment for Chinese hawker dishes.

While work have taken a toll. Even his unmistakably a day off on Friday is spent Chinese-style beef cleaning and cutting the meat, noodle dish, the so there is barely time for rest. recipe for the allHis legs ache and he has important soup comes to resort to poultices and from his Cantonese bandages for relief. mother who learnt it Although none of his decades ago from children are interested in taking a Malay lady. over the business, Ah Heng says: “If (Malaysian Prime Minister) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, at 93 years old has yet to retire, then I should not be complaining!”

Each sauce creates an alternative outcome, with the green one providing an unusual twist, but both are equally wonderful condiments and it ultimately depends on one’s personal preference. One way to enjoy both sauces is to add the green chilli sauce to the soup and use the red one for the noodles. This is certainly not fast food but Ah Heng’s deft touch ensures that the meat is served tender and melts in the mouth. When the soup arrives at the table, it is gloriously rich, and full of flavour.

AH HENG BEEF NOODLES Argyle Restaurant, 5, Jalan Batu Ambar, Taman Kok Lian, Off Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur

Ah Heng is not sure how much longer he will continue selling the noodles at his stall, as the long hours and hard

Ah Heng is actually reluctant to have more articles about his beef noodles published because he is finding it difficult to cope with the fame. However, if you go before the lunch crowd arrives, you’ll be able to get a quiet moment to savour this beefy ambrosia.

Ah Heng Beef Noodles opens from 8.00 am to 3.00 pm. It is closed on Friday.

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Open Journal Text Karin Chan / Illustration Tan Yi Lin



eld on 8 March every year, International Women’s Day has become synonymous with female empowerment and women’s rights. It is also often used as a platform to highlight female-specific issues, such as violence

against women. This year, the theme is ‘Balance For Better’, which calls for a more genderbalanced world. To commemorate the occasion, we’d like to introduce you to five real-life wonder women – and their truly inspiring tales.

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Sybil Kathigasu was a trained midwife and nurse who helped her doctorhusband run a local clinic in Ipoh, Perak. When the Japanese invaded Malaya in 1942, she and her family fled to nearby Papan, where she became an invaluable supporter of the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army. She and her husband ran an underground clinic from home, providing medical aid, supplies and information learnt from their hidden shortwave radio sets to the resistance fighters. They often called her ‘Mother’. Unfortunately, the Kathigasus were betrayed and the Kempeitai (Japanese military police) arrested them in 1943. Despite being harshly threatened, including having her daughter dangled from a tree over a fire, she revealed very little and was imprisoned for her defiance. While there, she endured countless forms of mental and physical torture for two years, including the infamous “water cure” method. Malaya was freed from the Japanese in 1945 and so was Sybil. She was flown to England for medical treatment and began writing her memoir, No Dram Of Mercy. Three years later, she received the George Medal for Gallantry for her heroics and still remains the only Malayan female recipient. Sadly, her injuries were too severe and she died just a few months after receiving the award.

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Open Journal


BESSIE COLEMAN (1892-1926)

Bessie Coleman was born into a large, poor family in Texas as the tenth of 13 children. After joining her brothers in Chicago, hearing flying stories from World War I pilots inspired her to become one herself. American flight schools turned her away because of her heritage and gender, but France did not. In 1921, she became the first black and Native American woman to earn an aviation licence from the renowned Federation Aeronautique International. Coleman trained in stunt flying before returning to the US to much acclaim. She performed the first public flight by an AfricanAmerican woman in 1922, and her popularity skyrocketed. Over the next five years, ‘Queen Bess’ thrilled audiences with her flamboyant flying style at airshows, gave flying lessons and even survived a major airplane accident. She was well-known for daring moves like figure eights and loop-de-loops. Equality was very important to Coleman. She refused to perform at a show that had segregated entrances, and walked away from a movie deal with an unflattering portrayal of blacks. She dreamed of opening an all-inclusive flight school and encouraging AfricanAmericans to fly. Tragically, she was killed in a test flight crash at just 34 years old. Her legacy continues to inspire pilots worldwide.

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The rise of Katharine Graham began with a tragic end: when her husband Philip, then-chairman of the Washington Post Company, shot himself in 1963. Faced with a decision to sell or run the business herself, Graham swallowed her anxiety over her inexperience and stepped up. Over two decades, she transformed it into one of the nation’s most influential, profitable media businesses, especially during her time as publisher of the Washington Post. Graham forced herself to learn the ins and outs of the media industry, gave her editors a long leash and made important hires that were instrumental in the Post’s turnaround. One of the defining events of her tenure was making the high-risk decision to publish the Pentagon Papers, which revealed that the US government lied about the scope of US involvement in the Vietnam War. Similarly, she backed the Post reporters who investigated the Watergate scandal; their key coverage played a critical role in the collapse of the Nixon administration. Besides making history as the first female Fortune 500 CEO in 1972, Graham also won a Pulitzer Prize for her memoir Personal History, published in 1997. She received numerous awards for her contributions to investigative journalism and press freedom, including being named as one of the International Press Institute’s 50 World Press Freedom Heroes in 2000.

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Open Journal


JUNKO TABEI (1939-2016)

Being a frail child didn’t stop Junko Tabei from falling in love with mountain climbing after joining a class climbing trip to Mount Nasu in Japan. When she entered university, Tabei started climbing more consistently with a friend. After graduation, she joined a mountaineering club. Despite facing sexism from younger male climbers, Tabei successfully summited all of Japan’s highest peaks by the mid-sixties. Tabei founded the Ladies Climbing Club in 1969 – Japan’s first of its kind – which produced the first women-only ascent to Nepal’s Annapurna III in 1970. Junko was the first woman to reach its peak. Five years on, she braved a near-death avalanche experience to become the first female atop Mount Everest, and set another record in 1992 as the first woman to complete the Seven Summits – the highest mountains on each of the continents. Besides being a mountaineering pioneer, Tabei cared deeply about the environmental impact of climbing, establishing the Himalayan Adventure Trust of Japan to preserve mountain environments worldwide and personally leading clean-up climbs. Despite a 2012 cancer diagnosis, Junko continued to attempt scaling the highest peaks of every country up to three months before her death in 2016; her final tally was an astounding 73.

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Environmentalism, education and equality were all close to Wangari Maathai’s heart, and she spent nearly her entire life fighting for them. A tireless academician of biological sciences, she was the first woman in Nairobi to be appointed to senior lecturer, department chair and later associate professor, as well as being the first Eastern African female PhD holder. She studied in the US and first experienced environmental activism there. After realising through her volunteer work that most of Kenya’s problems had environmental roots, Maathai encouraged Kenyan women to plant trees for a small stipend per seedling. From this, the Green Belt Movement was born, which promoted conservation, community development and social activism through tree planting and community education. Over time, it expanded nationwide and even led to the founding of the Pan-African Green Belt Network. Besides her vocal opposition to environmental destruction, Maathai was also a long-time advocate of democracy. She repeatedly attempted to enter politics and was finally appointed as Assistant Minister in the Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources in 2003. The following year, her efforts to champion democratic rights were recognised worldwide when she became the first African woman and environmentalist to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

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Health & Fitness Illustration Nurfarahin Kamarudin

No Dodgy



ou’ve probably heard of dodgeball – popularised by Ben Stiller’s film Dodgeball: An Underdog’s Story back in 2004. Or you might have seen it on TV, where ‘cool’ teenagers throw orange balls at the not-so-popular kids in school. The media often portrays a negative image of the game, as something that is aimed to hurt your opponent – which is far from the truth, as dodgeball is an incredibly awesome sport.

Dodgeball is one of the few sports where scores are not taken into account, because the objective is to eliminate opponents. The winning team is the one where the last man (or woman) is left standing. Teams consist of six players each, with up to four substitute players. A game can involve anywhere from three to ten balls, although the World Dodgeball Association typically sets international games and tournaments at five or six. The balls can be made of foam, rubber or cloth.

Dodgeball’s appeal transcends cultures. Growing up in Germany, I played Völkerball. In Malaysia, there is bola beracun (literally ‘poisonous ball’), which has virtually the same principles – avoid getting hit by the ball.

While there are referees in league matches, the game relies on honour rules, as there is so much action on court that they might not always be able to spot a hit. To kickstart the game, the balls are lined up on a central dividing line and players rush to grab and throw one of the balls to their teammates, after which they are considered ‘live’. The game commences, with players attempting to eliminate members of the opposing team by hurling the balls at them.

These were fun childhood games that most of us will recall with fond memories, but as we grow older, we tend not to play them anymore. Fret not, as the adult version of bola beracun is none other than dodgeball!

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So, Why Dodgeball?

Here are a few more reasons why you should take up dodgeball:

Superb Workout

Dodgeball is a fast-paced, high-intensity and action-packed workout. Players are required to keep an eye on their target and be wary of their surroundings at all times, which is great to get the adrenaline pumping and the body moving. In dodgeball, it’s a flight or fight situation, so survival mode kicks in naturally.

Taste Of Sweet Victory

Unlike traditional sports where being larger, faster or stronger might give you an edge, in dodgeball, it can be anyone’s win. A physically weaker player can triumph against much stronger opponents as the game is more about concentration, aim and tactical strategy. Dodgeball is not just good for one’s physical health, but also does wonders mentally. For those unused to winning at sports and games, the feeling of victory after vigorous competition can be priceless.

Unleash Your Inner Child

Dodgeball is all about having fun. Lacking traditional rules, the free, unconstrained nature of the game harks back to our childhood and reminds us of the carefree days when we couldn’t wait to run out to the park in the evenings to play with friends.

Low Risks Of Injuries

One might think that having balls thrown at you will result in injury – but dodgeball players actually have a lower risk of getting hurt compared to other sports. As players are constantly facing in one direction, there is no sudden need to change course and this reduces the risk from twisting movements – usually a major problem for overweight people. Players are not required to run up and down the court. If they are tired, they can simply stay put and dodge!

#1 In The World!

When a ‘live’ ball hits a player, the player is eliminated. However, if you throw a ball and an opponent catches it, you are out. The ‘live’ ball becomes dead and cannot be used to eliminate other players.

Did you know that Malaysia’s dodgeball teams are world champions? The national men and women’s dodgeball teams competed in Los Angeles in the United States at the end of 2018, with the men’s team successfully defending their world title. The women’s team won in 2016 and again in 2017. Who knows? You might be next. All you have to do is dream, aim and go for it!.

About Cikgu Fitness Malaysia

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

There are several other ways that can cause a player to be eliminated, including stepping outside the court boundaries and moving into the opponent’s zone. Kicking is strictly prohibited. Once you’re down to one per team, a ‘showdown’ is in order, where the centerline is dissolved and players are free to move about the entire court.

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Pack Up : For Him


Suave Look


A well-tailored coat is essential for the debonair gent. Aside from keeping you warm, it will elevate your entire winter look. Topman’s comes in a single-breasted style, with side pockets and a classic fit. RRP: RM559 my.topman.com

Pop Of Fun

Cartoons are not just for kids. They make for visually appealing additions to accessories, as evidenced by H&M’s Mickey Mouse canvas bag. Adding a pop-culture reference to your wardrobe is an easy way to creating a unique look. RRP: RM110 hm.com

Parisian Chic





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Dashing Denim


If you must wear jeans, make sure it is well-cut and sleek. This latest Levi’s slim tapered pair is muted enough, but at the same time comes with red zipper-cuffs for that added dose of attitude. RRP: RM359 levi.com.my

All Inclusive

Sneakers are now acceptable footwear to be worn with everything – yes, even suits. While the Under Armour Hovr Infinite is designed for performance, its bright colours and tapered form can work well for fancier occasions too. RRP: RM649 underarmour.com.my

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Pack Up : For Her

Versatile Piece



Topshop’s burgundy button-through midi skirt is both classic and timeless. The corduroy fabric is restrained enough to be paired with a bold top for that perfectly balanced, casual yet chic look. RRP: RM260 my.topshop.com

Classy And Chic

Nothing says quiet elegance like a soft scarf. This gorgeous one by Ms. Read is perfect for day-to-day wear. The floral motifs denote femininity, and can be paired with everything from sundresses to pants. RRP: RM59 my.msreadshop.com

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Flawlessly Fierce


Urban Essential

The backpack is all grown up. Check out Zara's animal print design, which channels a more urban, refined aesthetic. Sling it over one shoulder or carry it by the top handle to mimic the look of a tote bag. RRP: RM129. zara.com/my

If you fancy denim jackets, make sure they have personality. This leopard print design by Monki is all kinds of trendy. Loosely front-tuck your blouse and finish off your outfit with flats or heels for a runway-ready look. RRP: RM400 monki.com

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10 things & facts about amazing Malaysia 10 Things Malaysian


Text Tuvwxyz1234 / Images 1234567890



Tallest Mountain



Part of the Crocker Range, Mount Kinabalu in Sabah is the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia, at 4,095 metres above sea level.

Lost Treasure

The Straits of Malacca might very well be home to lost treasures. The Portuguese galleon Flor de la Mar was caught in a storm while traversing the area, and sunk in 1511. The exact location of the ship has yet to be found, but a life-sized replica, which houses a museum, can be found in the city of Melaka.

Flora & Fauna

Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries. To qualify, a country should have at least 5,000 species of endemic plants and must border marine ecosystems. Malaysia has over 12,500 species of plants, 306 species of mammals, 742 species of birds and 547 species of reptiles. *Source: Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan)

Islamic Arts Museum 4

Home to over 7,000 artifacts from the Islamic world, the Islamic Arts Museum in Kuala Lumpur is the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia.



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Shadow Puppets


The ancient art of shadow puppetry is prevalent in the northern states of Kelantan, Kedah and Terengganu, as well as Johor in the south of Peninsular Malaysia. It is known as wayang kulit; wayang being ‘show’ and kulit meaning ‘skin’, referring to the leather that the puppets are made from. Stories often feature mythical or moral tales, and are accompanied by gamelan music.

Pulled Tea

Teh tarik is ubiquitous in Malaysia, often served at Malay or Indian Muslim eateries and roadside stalls. Made from black tea with condensed milk, the beverage is poured back and forth between two containers, creating a frothy top.






Sky’s The Limit

Held annually in Johor since 1995, the Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival attracts thousands of kiting enthusiasts and visitors from all over the world. Here, you will see traditional kites such as the wau bulan, soaring alongside creative, modern kites.

Mah Meri

The Mah Meri people are an indigenous group who live in the western part of Peninsular Malaysia, mostly around Pulau Carey in Selangor. They are known for their traditional wood carving skills. The Mah Meri language, Besisi, is endangered, with less than 3,000 speakers left.

The largest flower in the world can be found in the rainforests of Borneo. The parasitic Rafflesia Arnoldii is also known as the corpse lily and has been described as having a strong smell of rotting flesh, hence the nickname.





If durian be the ‘king’ of fruits, then the mangosteen is ‘queen’. Commonly found in the tropical rainforests of Malaysia, the fruit has a distinctive purple hue and sweet white flesh. In season from June until October, they are low in calories and rich in vitamin C.


MY List

*Source: The Repository and Workspace for Austroasiatic Intangible Heritage

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The Silence Of The Girls

by Pat Barker In Pat Barker’s The Silence Of The Girls, the protagonist is Briseis, a captive slave from the Greek invasion of Troy. Falling from her lofty position as queen of her city, Briseis would eventually be remembered in most retellings for her role as the bone of contention between Achilles and Agamemnon. Barker’s retelling gives Briseis back her voice and her freedom, imagining the happenings behind the scenes with the women, as Greek heroes and soldiers war with their Trojan counterparts. This magnificent novel inverts the traditional narrative, sending war into the background and focusing on the experiences of thousands of women wrested from their home and forced to survive in their new reality as slave girls and war trophies. RRP: RM79.95

The Water Cure

by Sophie Mackintosh What if men were toxic, literally and figuratively? That is the premise that Sophie Mackintosh’s haunting Booker-longlisted debut novel examines through Grace, Lia and Sky; three girls who live on an island with their parents, Mother and King. The sisters were raised to believe that men’s uncontrollable emotions and violence are the cause of the chemical destruction on the mainland, and they (the exception being their father) continue to pose as the greatest threats. To keep them healthy, the girls are forced to perform a series of elaborate purifying rituals, including the most extreme one, the water cure. But when the King disappears and three men wash ashore, a psychological cat-and-mouse game ensues, sexual tensions surface, and sibling rivalries erupt. This novel is a taut and riveting exploration of solidarity, sisterhood, the gender divide, and the illusion of safety. RRP: RM69.95

The Unwinding Of The Miracle

by Julie Yip-Williams Born blind in Vietnam in 1976, Yip-Williams narrowly escaped euthanasia planned by her grandmother, only to be forced to flee from the political upheaval following the establishment of the socialist republic. Eventually making her way to the United States, she gains partial sight after undergoing surgery and beats all odds to become a Harvard-educated lawyer. She marries and starts a family only to be diagnosed with cancer in 2013. Inspiring and instructive, The Unwinding is a candid and humorous memoir of a life that was well lived but cut cruelly short. RRP: RM75.50

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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERS Hardcover Fiction & Non-fiction *based on the week of 10 February 2019

The Weight Of Our Sky

by Hanna Alkaf The debut novel of Malaysian author Hanna Alkaf, The Weight Of Our Sky is a work of historical fiction centred on a young Malay girl caught in the crossfire of the 1969 race riots in Kuala Lumpur. Plagued by gruesome thoughts she believes were placed in her head by malevolent djinn, Melati has imagined her mother’s death countless times. When the riots finally erupt, she has but one goal in mind: to get to her mother, the one person she can’t risk losing. With the help of a Chinese boy Vincent, Melati navigates a city in flames, all the while trying desperately to shake away the fatalistic prognostications of the demon in her head. Alkaf’s novel is a thrilling ride which reveals a chapter in Malaysian history that is seldom discussed, let alone used as the background of a young adult (YA) novel. It is a sensitive retelling of a prickly chapter in history, and a refreshing take on the YA adventure novel. RRP: RM55.90


AN ANONYMOUS GIRL by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

THE RECKONING by John Grisham


by James Rollins


by James Patterson and Candice Fox


by Michelle Obama

Her Body & Other Parties

by Carmen Maria Machado Machado’s collection of stories distil the variegated experiences of women in relation to their body – in particular the violence visited upon them in both myth and reality – and situates them in borderless worlds. At once horror, thriller, science fiction and comedy, Her Body uncovers the twisted logic that reduces women’s bodies into a cause celebre that turns people monstrous and the actual body itself becomes inconsequential. In the first story, The Husband Stitch, a woman refuses her husband’s entreaties to remove a green ribbon tied around her neck, which infuriates the husband. It becomes the locus of aggression and frustration – the metaphorical value of the ribbon here is quite obvious, which can only end in heartbreak and defeat. Her Body was a finalist of the National Book Awards and is one of the more unique collections of writings on women in recent years. RRP: RM59.90

March 2019


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by Tara Westover


by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch


by Stephanie Land


by Kamala Harris

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

18/02/2019 11:52 AM

A t T h e M ov i e s


Starring: Colin Farrell, Eva Green, Nico Parker, Finley Hobbins, Alan Arkin, Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton Director: Tim Burton Release date: 29 March 2019 Circus owner Max Medici (DeVito) enlists former star Holt Farrier (Farrell) and his children Milly (Parker) and Joe (Hobbins) to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Keaton), who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland. Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charming and spectacular aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Green), until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets.

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Playing at the cinemas Captain Marvel

*Information is correct at the time of printing

Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Ben Mendelsohn, Clark Gregg, Lashana Lynch Director: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck Release date: 8 March 2019 Sidestepping the traditional origin-story template, Captain Marvel begins with Carol Denvers (Larson) already in possession of her super powers. She’s left her earthly life behind to join an elite Kree military team called Starforce, led by Jude Law’s enigmatic commander. It isn’t long before Carol finds herself back on Earth with new questions about her past. And she’s got a formidable enemy in the form of the Skrulls – the notorious Marvel baddies made all the more dangerous by their shapeshifting abilities – led by their leader Talos (Mendelsohn) on an invasion of Earth. Set in the 1990s, Captain Marvel is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Wonder Park

Starring: Jennifer Garner, Matthew Broderick, Brianna Denski, John Oliver, Mila Kunis, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong Director: Dylan Brown Release date: 15 March 2019 Wonder Park tells the story of a magnificent amusement park where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June (Denski) comes alive. One magical day, June is running through the woods to find her way home, when she discovers an old rollercoaster car and climbs inside. She suddenly finds herself in Wonderland, an amusement park she had created in her mind and put aside. All of her rides and characters are brought to life but are falling into disarray without her. Now, with the help of her fun and lovable park characters, June will have to put the wonder back in Wonderland before it is lost forever.

Five Feet Apart

Starring: Haley Lu Richardson, Cole Sprouse, Moises Arias, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Parminder Nagra, Claire Forlani Director: Justin Baldoni Release date: 22 March 2019 Stella Grant (Richardson) is every bit a 17-year-old. She's attached to her laptop and loves her best friends – but unlike most teenagers, she spends much of her time living in a hospital as a cystic fibrosis patient. Her life is full of routines, boundaries and self-control – all of which are put to the test when she meets an impossibly charming fellow patient named Will Newman (Sprouse). There's an instant flirtation, though restrictions dictate that they must maintain a safe distance between them. As their connection intensifies, so does the temptation to throw the rules out the window and embrace that attraction. Further complicating matters is Will's potentially dangerous rebellion against his own medical treatment. Stella gradually inspires Will to live life to the fullest, but can she ultimately save the person she loves when even a single touch is off limits?

March 2019


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6:06 PM

Firef ly News 65

News & Happenings


Firefly Network


Firefly Fleet & Service Info

Full Forward

It was a joyous occasion for Malaysia Airlines and Firefly Airlines as they ushered in 2019 together with 28 travel agents, with a pre-Lunar New Year gathering. The event, which was held at Starling Mall in Damansara, saw Malaysia Airlines Group Chief Revenue Officer Ignatius Ong presenting some of the airline’s latest products to members of the travel trade. The new Chief Executive Officer of Firefly, Philip See, was also introduced, sharing briefly with guests on his background and new role. With new promotions slated for the year, both Ong and See called on the travel trade’s support for 2019. To welcome good fortune, guests participated in a lou hei (prosperity toss), before tucking into a scrumptious lunch. The event ended with a lucky draw and networking session.

March 2019


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18/02/2019 11:48 AM

Net work Map

Kota Bharu

CULTURAL EXPERIENCE Kota Bharu is a convergence of rich culture, exquisite architecture and delicious cuisine. See how you can spend half a day exploring the capital of Kelantan on pages 19-21.

Banda Banda Aceh Aceh

Firefly Sales Offices & Counters


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


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



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



International Departure Hall Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport Banda Aceh EMAIL: 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


Airlines Marketing Representative

Selected Airport Ticket Offices

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


Floor 3, Room 302, Phuket International Airport Maikhao, Thalang, Phuket 83110 TEL: +66 76 351 477 FAX: +66 76 327 312 EMAIL: 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



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


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


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

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

City Ticketing Office


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

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



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

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18/02/2019 11:32 AM

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. The 2D barcode boarding pass can be scanned at airport security and at the boarding gate. *The Firefly Mobile app is available in Apple App Store and Google Play Store for free.

KIOSK CHECK IN: Check in and print your boarding pass at these kiosks at the airport. This service is available for code share passengers as well.


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

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

BALM FOR THE SOUL Malaysia’s most Instagrammed paddy fields are just a 90 minutes’ drive away from the capital city. An introduction to the quaint rice producing and fishing town is on pages 22-27.

March 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


Avions de transport régional (ATR) No. of aircraft



7.65 m Maximum Fuel Capacity

841 Gallons

Maximum Cruising Speed

Passenger Seating

510 km/h


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.

January March 2019 2019


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18/02/2019 11:59 AM

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 March 2019 2019


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18/02/2019 11:59 AM

View finder Photo 123rf

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

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18/02/2019 10:34 AM




olourful shophouses in Sino-Portuguese architecture line Soi Romanee in the heart of Phuket Old Town, Thailand. Formerly a red light district frequented by Chinese tin miners, the buildings were abandoned about ten years ago when businesses moved elsewhere. Now, they have been resurrected; housing cafés, fashionable guesthouses and bars, and are hugely popular with visitors. Don’t forget your camera. Snaps of the colourful street are prime fodder for your Instagram feed!

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18/02/2019 10:35 AM

# FlyFirefly the.avontuu

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



361 likes the.avontu ur Cheong Fatt Tze: The Blue Mansio n 16 likes eahimalkajai Good Morning Malaysia. Blue & golden hour‌ #fireflyz

azlankhair ud


e ble to th 28 likes ompara ore m Life is c t e s Th a . e aib cean u pphire o e less yo wide, sa know, th u o y k you thin nd. understa


34 likes azlankhairu ddin Kucing itu bayaq tamba ng @fireflya irlines ka dak Peah? Seludup iku t bag ka? iamzarisa Pe ah so cute!


4,671 likes Yk The trip to Malaysia a few weeks ago was with @fireflyairlines, shouts to them for the 20kg baggage check in; visual creators will definitely know it’s a much needed one #FlyFirefly#FlyFY chiaaawunnnn Fly to Sarawak soon icshevchenko Wow great composition


28 likes kakijalans Nothing beats homecooked meals - always miss this when I am travelling. cikmira Yummy!

daricesulem ane So Beau tiful! barbieandp anda Wow guys, glad you had an amazing tim e! And beautiful ph oto


36 likes neenahazmi Holiday is over... #bye2KB#helloKL #FlyFirefly rozalinamustafa Back to life, back to reality jey_travel niceeee!

ha ppygokl

37 likes Seremban. Pantai Hills, ha ppygokl e views is es th ith w t gh Even one ni r urbanites fo s rie batte like charging like us.

March 2019


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18/02/2019 12:10 PM

Empowering Digital Workplaces




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For more info, please log on to www.ricoh.com.my or contact us at 1300-88-8228

RicohMalaysiaOfficial #EmpoweringDigitalWorkplaces

OBC_FF Feb2019_AIG_Jan-edt.pdf



4:11 PM

Profile for Spafax

Fireflyz March 2019  

Fireflyz March 2019  

Profile for spafaxmy