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The Iskandarian

KDN : PP17797/06/2012(032765) Singapore MICA : MCI (P) 095/11/2016

ISSUE 66 | FEB 2018 FREE COPY Official Newspaper

The Iskandarian Iskandar Malaysia’s Official Newspaper, is a synergistic product by True Soul Media PLT & IRDA’s Social Development Division


The Iskandarian Monthly Drill

We interview CEOs & Chairmen with drilling questions

pg 9

Most people who visit us fall in love with Leisure Farm which makes the job of our sales team much easier - Robert Marek General Manager, Leisure Farm Resort


website/e-paper :

Sharing The Road: Drivers and Cyclists


500 cyclists took to the streets of Iskandar Puteri in a memorial ride for one of their own who perished in a road accident

CNY Feasts Galore

- We help you plan your Chinese New Year Feasts outing with the best offerings in town

Read on pg13

Read on pg24


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IRDA Announces Iskandar Malaysia’s Rapid Transit Bus System (BRT) Phase one of the project will cost RM2.56 billion and is expected to be operational by 2021


skandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) Chief Executive, Datuk Ismail Ibrahim revealed that since November last year, a series of eight meetings with the community were conducted as part of a detailed assessment of the implementation and design of Iskandar Malaysia’s Rapid Transit Bus System (BRT). Ismail explained that the meetings were aimed at informing the community about the project as well as the implementation of its development and gather feedback, especially from private vehicle and public transport users. “The entire BRT Iskandar Malaysia will be about 300 kilometres, comprising 90% of service access within the area of Iskandar Malaysia.

“It covers 51 kilometres of BRT trunk lines with special routes, 26 direct-pass systems and 42 feeder systems. “The project will also require 1,000 buses of various designs with the ability to carry between 30 to 200 passengers per trip,” said Ismail. “Various matters were taken into account including the issue of land acquisition, but for this project we have avoided the acquisition of excessive land and the possibility of overcoming the matter and the construction of a multilateral route will be implemented,” added Ismail. Also present was Director of BRT Iskandar Malaysia, Rudyanto Azhar who revealed the BRT implementation cost of RM2.56 billion was funded through the

Chief Executive, Datuk Ismail Ibrahim of IRDA with Director of BRT Iskandar Malaysia, Rudyanto Azhar overlooking the model scale of Iskandar Malaysia’s BRT project

RM1 billion funds by the Federal Government and through privatepublic cooperation worth RM1.56 billion. Detailed studies including

community-led sessions would continue and physical work for the construction of the project is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year. - by Amin Khairuddin TI


Gleneagles MEDINI

“In The Arms Of One Who Cares”

From left) Joyce Yap of Puteri Pacific, Daniel Alcaraz of DoubleTree Hilton, Chairman of MAH, Ivan Teo (3rd from left) with Justin Cheah of Kechara Soup Kitchen, Ryan and Jessie Komatt of Thistle Johor Bahru, Michael Bay of MAH Committee, Jef Kong of Le Grandeur and Merlin Hoo of Kechara Soup Kitchen JB


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he Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Johor Chapter’s CSR Project to ‘Feed the Hungry’ in collaboration with the Kechara Soup Kitchen Society Malaysia for 2017 ended with the last 150 packed food contributed by the Puteri Pacific Hotel as the last member of a series of seven. “As we are in the hotel business, we have the ready resources to help the homeless and hungry in our community. More so that as a Chapter of a membership of hotels, we have the advantage of numbers to collectively make an impact to the project,” said Ivan Teo, Chairman of MAH Johor Chapter. The CSR project called ‘Feed the Hungry’ was initiated by the Chapter Committee on 3rd June 2017 where on every Saturday, seven hotels took turns on a monthly basis to contribute 150 packs of vegetarian meals to volunteers from the Kechara Soup Kitchen who brings the food to the homeless scattered in several areas of the city. Each hotel also provided four employees to go along with the Soup Kitchen to help distribute the packet meals. “We are grateful to M-Suites, Amari Johor Bahru, Thistle Johor Bahru, New York Hotel, Le Grandeur Palm Resort and the Puteri Pacific Hotel for generously coming forward to be a part of the ‘Feed the Hungry’ initiative of MAH Johor Chapter,” said Daniel Alcaraz, General Manager of DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Bahru, who is also

the committee member overseeing CSR for the Association. In thanking the Chapter for aiding in their cause, Justin Cheah of the Soup Kitchen said, “Kechara Soup Kitchen does not just feed hunger, but it also feeds hope. By distributing food each week, we established a trust that allowed us to work closely with them to help them become contributing members of society once

again.” The project will not end here. The Committee Members of MAH Johor Chapter will roll out another series from 12 member hotels again for 2018. The Kechara Soup Kitchen Society was the recipient of The Iskandar Malaysia Social Hero Awards (IMSHA) in 2014 the Poverty & Hunger Relief Category. - by The Iskandarian TI

Published by True Soul Media PLT [No.51-B, Jalan Impian Emas 5/1, Taman Impian Emas, 81300 Johor Bahru] Printed by Twinstar Synergy Sdn. Bhd. [Lot2A, Jln 13/2, Seksyen 13, 46200, Petaling Jaya, Selangor] Copyright of articles, contributions and photos which are published by The Iskandarian is the property of True Soul Media PLT. The Iskandarian does its best to ensure the authenticity and accuracy of its contents, the publisher cannot accept any responsibilities for errors, mistakes and inaccuracies. The publisher reserves the rights of this product and no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the permission of the publisher.


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State Government Announces New Tourist Attraction The B5 Street Market is set to be the new attraction in the Pulai District

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin, JCorp President and Chief Executive Datuk Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim, Johor Tourism, Consumerism Committee Chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong and Pulai Member of Parliament Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed at the press conference at launch of the B5 Street Market


ohor is set to have a new tourist attraction with the development of a local tourism centre that will be built in the Tampoi area. The new B5 Street Market is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2019 with a construction cost of RM80 million. Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin said the B5 Johor Street market will be built on 2.34 hectares of land with a total cost of RM80.47 million and would make it easier for tourists and locals to purchase local products as well as to see the art and heritage of the state there. “The latest development by Johor Corporation (JCorp) will be implemented

over a section of the old Tampoi town which was located here in the early 80s and 90s and with the focus of the residents nearby,” he said at the launch and groundbreaking event. Khaled, who is also the Chairman of JCorp explained that B5 stands for Batu 5, or Pekan Tampoi adding that the name of the place must follow with the changing of times. Also present was JCorp President and Chief Executive Datuk Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim, Johor Tourism, Consumerism Committee Chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong and Pulai Member of Parliament Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed. - by Amin Khairuddin TI

MATTA Johor Chapter’s New Building Wisma MATTA will be able to house meetings, seminars and training programmes


a l a y s i a n Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) enter their 26th year in operation with their very own Wisma MATTA. Located in Adda Heights, the RM1.85 million shoplot is easily accessible and will be able to host visitors and meetings alike. The building was officiated by State Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism Committee Chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong who also presented a token of RM20,000 to the chapter as a gesture from the state government in appreciation of MATTA’s relentless support to the tourism industry. Datuk Tee also highlighted the state’s tourism index during his welcoming speech. “Tourism Malaysia statistics show that Johor

...And the Year of the Dog Leaps in!

Let us kick-off 2018 with Fortune, Blessings & Prosperity! Fortune Menu at RM998 with Salmon Yee Sang Blessings Menu at RM1388 with Pacific Clam Yee Sang Prosperity Menu at RM1688 with Abalone Yee Sang

Exco Datuk Tee Siew Kiong Officiating Wisma MATTA at Adda Heights

is ranked third in terms of attracting foreign tourists, with 2.6 million international tourists visiting in 2016. This means a total of 10 million tourists visited the state in 2016, compared with 3.9 million tourists in 2012,” said Tee. He added that Johor is not to be seen merely as a transit state but as a prominent player in the national tourism sector.

Johor has seen a steady increase of tourist arrivals since 2013 with the tourism sector now playing a key role in the state’s economic development. Johor is now connected by air to 11 domestic cities in Malaysia and eight international cities — Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Surabaya, Guangzhou, Macao, Kolkata and Seoul. - by Edey Suresh TI

...And have a raucous and memorable reunion dinner.


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A New Mobile App That’s Set to Change the Malaysian Football Industry Fanskick aims to be the one stop resource centre for all football fans


here’s a new football app in town, ‘Fanskick’ that’s set to be the one stop centre for the local football fans. The app, launched at Persada International Convention Centre was officiated by His Royal Highness Major General Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim as the

President of FAM. “I want to fix as much as possible in the national team. That will include our playing philosophy, technology, and playing style,” said HRH Tunku Ismail on why technology is vital in the football industry as a step into producing better players for

the local clubs and consecutively the national team. The launch event became a historical moment as it was accredited by the Malaysia Book of Records as the largest gathering of football clubs for Malaysia’s Super League and Premier League in an event.

Director of Fanskick Dato Sahul Hamid, CEO of Fanskick Farouk Mustaffa, FAM President Major General Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim and FAM General Secretary Dato’ Haji Hamidin Haji Mohd Amin launching the Fanskick App

Malaysia Book of Record representative (second from left) presenting the recognition certificate to Fanskick Director Dato Sahul Hamid

The app offers a variety of features including Ticket Purchase, Stats and Fixtures as well as the Buddy system (Story, Forum and Live Chat) which is an online community that offer users to chat with their favourite football players. “By understanding what an avid football fan looks for in terms of convenience and entertainment, we came up with a set of fantastic features targeting men and women aged 12 years old and above. We aim to provide a seamless web of connection

between the fans, players and key players in the industry that is aligned with the President of FAM’s vision of revolutionising Malaysia’s football scene,” shared Farouk Mustaffa, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fanskick Dot Com Sdn Bhd. The revolutionary app is officially endorsed by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP), with an aim to get 1 million downloads by the end of the year. - by The Iskandarian TI


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Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival Comes to Iskandar Puteri A usually sedate Medini City came all abuzz with screeching tyres, roaring of engines, screaming fans, heart thumping music as a carnival of speed and action arrived in the form of Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival on a two-day event

Champions of the inaugural Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival Iskandar Puteri


ven a downpour did not dampen the spirits of the fans, nor the determination of the drivers to be champions of the inaugural Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival at Medini City, Iskandar Puteri. The two-day race under three categories, namely the Sporting, Promotional and Super Sporting Classes saw a total of 38 drivers vying for glory as the first ever winners of the first TGR Festival held in Iskandar Puteri. The first race on Friday was the Sporting Class Vios Challenge

Race Series. The close racing had people on their toes and crashes brought out the safety car twice

The effervescent Janna Nick and a super fan

during the 30-minute race. The final podium places went to Wong Chin Eeg, Brendon Paul Anthony and Kenneth Koh Keik Lun. For the thousands of fans who came on the first day itself, they got a treat getting close and taking selfies with their favourite entertainment celebrities who lent not only their talent but, racing prowess as well to enliven the festival even more. The eight A-class celebrities were actors Fattah Amin, Diana Danielle, Shukri Yahaya actor and singer Janna Nick, model and actor Venice Min, singer Geraldine Gan, entertainer Danny Koo and beatboxer, Shawn Lee. They competed in the Promotional Class. In the second race on Friday, the celebrities got their fans’ adrenalin pumping with so me clo se bumper-tobumper and door handle-to door-handle ra c i n g t h at

saw third place Diana Danielle being nudged into a spin and retirement early in the race by a spirited Danny Koo who was later disqualified when he failed to heed an instruction to take a drive through penalty for the incident. “I didn’t realise it was a demand for me to go into the pitlane for the penalty,” Koo said later. At the press conference after the race, Koo apologised for the incident while Diana took it all in her stride attributing it to a racing incident but vowed to do better in the second race the next day. At one point in the race, the effervescent Janna Nick took Fattah Amin for third but lost it to a wall and the resultant puncture saw her

of the Festival was the Official Opening graced by Kota Iskandar’s Mayor Adib Azhari who did a walk about around the assembled cars and drivers accompanied by President of UMW Toyota Motor Ravindran Kurusamy. The fans were also allowed onto the track to be up close with their idols. The excitement didn’t let up on the second day with close racing for the first event, the Sporting class crashes and shunts and with one turn yellowflagged because a barrier had been punctured by a crash and was leaking water onto that part of the track. The Promotional race had

Drifting Samurais

drop to 6th place at the end. Geraldine Gan and Akio Takeyama, the Deputy Chairman of UMW Toyota Motor took 4th and 5th respectively. The third race of the day at Medini City’s inaugural Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival was the Super Sporting Class. A heavy and prolonged downpour had a telling effect on the outcome of the race with a number of crashes in the early laps which called out the safety car that stayed on for 11 laps before race officials decided it was safe again to race. The final result for the first Super Sporting Class race of the Festival were Ho Wil Liam who took first place with Wong Yew Choong and Syafiq Ali second and third respectively. The second and last day

All ready for the final day of close racing

the celebrities dicing closely with each other once again with overtaking maneuvers and shunts, but emerging victor was again the unbeatable Shawn Lee, with Shukri Yahya taking second and Fattah Amin, third. The final race, the Super Sporting category did not disappoint, keeping the fans perked up staring intently at the many screens put up around the venue and at the main stage. The winner was Keifli Othman, local drift king Tengku Djan Tengku Mahaleel slip-sliding into second place with worn out breaks and Ho Wil Liam taking third. The drivers this reporter spoke to gave a thumbs up to the track, liking the width and long straights. There were many side shows that kept the 17,000 fans occupied and entertained around the venue at various shows such as drifting by World Champion drifters Masato Kawabata and Takahiro Imamura who was quite a character with his Kimono, complete with the Katana. - by Shufiyan Shukor TI


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New Court Complex Soon


he state government will expedite the construction of the new Johor Bahru Court Complex in Iskandar Puteri as a replacement for the current building located along Jalan Ayer Molek and Jalan Dato Onn near Istana Besar, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said. She said the ground-breaking ceremony for the new complex was expected to take place by March this year.

She said Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar had also given his consent to get ideas for the new complex’s design. The new Johor Bahru Court Complex is expected to be more modern and with state-of-theart facilities.The RM200mil complex will be built on a 5.3ha plot of land in Iskandar Puteri. Sultan Ibrahim also expressed his wish to turn the current Johor Bahru Court Complex into a Johor heritage museum reported NST. TI

Junior Chamber International Iskandar Signs MOU with Forest City The local developer agrees to become JCI Iskandar’s corporate patron


he Junior Chamber International Iskandar (JCI Iskandar) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with developers Forest City in Gelang Patah, Johor making them the organisation’s corporate patron for 2018. “This marks the first step in a long relationship to build business opportunities for all and for us to bring more international projects with our international sister chapters and with Forest City,” said 2017 JCI Iskandar President Wilson Ooi. JCI Iskandar was represented by Wilson and the 2018 President Tam Yeng Chuan, while Forest City was represented by its Vice Assistant Manager Zhou Jun and

Datuk Tee Siew Kiong, Derick Basir and Abdul Malik Ismail welcoming Umi Kalsom as she walked into the airport terminal

Senai Airport Received its 3 Millionth Passenger A major milestone in Johor tourism for the country’s only privately managed airport

S Wilson Ooi, Tam Yeng Chuan, Zhou Jun and Wang Bo Cheng at the MoU Signing Ceremony at Forest City’s Sales Gallery in Gelang Patah, Johor

its Sales manager Wang Bo Cheng. Since 2015, JCI has provided various development opportunities to its members through its ‘Active Citizenship’ as well as organising various social service projects and

trainings for the local community. They plan to organise several events at Forest City for 2018, including the annual ‘Ten Outstanding Young Malaysians’. - by Amin Khairuddin TI

enai International Airport recently celebrated a milestone by welcoming its three-millionth passenger for 2017, marking it as an important history for the state’s tourism industry as well the fact that it is the country’s only privately managed airport. The lucky passenger was 32 year old Umi Kalsom Roseli, who was surprised by the greeting party that waited for her at the terminal’s Gate 1. She arrived at the airport at around 4.05pm via AirAsia’s AK6044 from Kuala Lumpur. “It was a good way to end the year and welcome 2018,” said the assistant teacher of SJKC Yong Peng, Batu Pahat who won herself a pair of tickets to Kolkata, India

courtesy of AirAsia. Johor Tourism, Trade and Consumerism Committee Chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong, led the welcoming party who also included Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn. Bhd. Chief Executive Office Derick Basir and Tourism Johor Director Abdul Malik Ismail. “The number of tourists coming in via Senai has increased significantly from 1.99 million passengers in 2013 to 2.3 million in 2014 and then 2.5 million in 2015 and 2.8 million in 2016 before hitting 3.1 million passengers in 2017,” said Tee. He added the number of international air passengers also went up from 137,000 in 2013 to 431,000 in 2016. - by Amin Khairuddin TI


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You have worked at many world renowned hotels around the world like Shangri-La and Hilton so why the abrupt career shift from the hotel world to property development? When Mulpha approached me to manage Leisure Farm, I was living in Hong Kong managing the Conrad Hotel. During the interview process I was brought to Leisure Farm and fell in love with the place. I saw the enormous potential and strategic location of Leisure Farm and wanted to be part of this development. Who would not want to work and have the opportunity to live in such a beautiful unique place!

What are the special features at Leisure Farm that sets it apart from other developments? Leisure Farm is a low-density development complete with parks, waterways and lush gardens. It has a unique Club house featuring facilities such as a stunning infinity swimming pool, a kids’ zone with playground and children’s pool, a fantastically equipped gym, a Pilates Studio, a huge multipurpose field which is used for football, rugby and cricket, tennis courts as well as one softball court. The stables are just adjacent to the Club house featuring picturesque and nice riding facilities through the orchards and lush green gardens all just within Leisure Farm. We are also proud to have KindiZoo Nature Play located at our Bale Club House. They are the first Kindergarten to bring the Forest School concept to Malaysia providing nature-based inquiry and play sessions for children.

Is it challenging to sell your products? Not really, as most people who visit us fall

Robert Marek General Manager Leisure Farm Resort Leisure Farm Corporation Sdn Bhd Former hotel General Manager with 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Robert’s last posting was as the Director of Operations at a 5-star rated Conrad Hong Kong. Robert was then roped in to become the General Manager of Mulpha International Bhd’s Leisure Farm in November 2013 to raise the level of service and comfort offered to residents. The development is a luxurious integrated strata township that boasts lush landscaping, round-the-clock security and a host of resort-style facilities. Since taking charge, Robert has guided the development to win many prestigious property awards, making Leisure Farm a much sought-after piece of real estate.

in love with Leisure Farm which makes the job of our sales team much easier! We are different compared to most developers out there, offering a variety of products which is attractive to a variety of people. The strategic location near Tuas and also close by to Edu-city has established Leisure Farm as one of the most popular places to live for families who move to Iskandar Malaysia because of their children’s education.

What are your thoughts on Iskandar Malaysia’s development as a whole? I believe Iskandar Malaysia is a unique place with its strategic location next to Singapore. It is exciting to see all these changes over the past few years and knowing there is so much more in the pipeline. All these newly added facilities and future projects will attract more people to move here to live and do business. I believe it is very much comparable to Shenzhen located just of Hong Kong which grew from a small fishing village to metropolis. I strongly believe the same will happen with Iskandar.

What is the makeup of your residences, more locals, Singaporeans or international? We have about 38 different nationalities living at Leisure Farm, so it is a very international mix of residents. The previous scenario was that many people invested years ago for retirement or holiday homes, but this has changed dramatically over the past years with mainly young families moving to Iskandar Malaysia because of work or education for their children. All this adds on to the demographics.

The property market as a whole

has slowed down for the past year. Is Leisure Farm affected by it or is it business as usual for you guys? Yes, the past year’s business was slower however, over the last few months we can clearly see that the market is turning around a little as the demand is getting stronger again. All the private schools around Leisure Farm help us a lot to bring people to Iskandar region and luckily they really enjoy the safe and green environment that Leisure Farm offers.

The HSR is among the highly promoted benefit of the region, how do you think it will impact Leisure Farm? We believe the planned station with its

CBD located so closely to Leisure Farm will certainly add enormous value for our residents and hopefully attract more future buyers.

What does Robert do when he is not busy being the General Manager of Leisure Farm? Having spent years in the hospitality industry, Food & Beverage is one of my passions. My wife and I love to explore the huge variety of restaurants and local food stalls in Johor. Other than that, in my spare time I love the outdoor environment and take most of the opportunities to go and explore the fascinating and stunning nature in Malaysia.



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peggy loh

My johor stories

Our resident writer, Peggy Loh, actively writes in her blog about matters that are close to her heart. She can be reached at

Han SuYin in Malaya, The ‘Missing Period’ 1952 to 1964

The classic profile of Dr Elizabeth Chow Kuanghu, also known by her pen-name, Han SuYin, seated on an armchair made of cane; Her husband, Leon F. Comber, in the background


arly last December, Ina Zhang Xing Hong, a researcher with Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Centre for Chinese Language and Culture (CCLC) Singapore, sent an email to introduce herself and said that she enjoys reading my blog, My Johor Stories, especially the stories on Han SuYin. She explained that she is involved in the study of doctor and author, Han SuYin, and had completed her academic thesis on Han SuYin when she was in Malaya from 1952 to 1964, focusing on her as a physician, writer and public intellectual. Written in Chinese language, this thesis for Zhang’s Masters programme in Chinese Studies in 2013 was co-published with NTU CCLCC in a book in 2016.

The academic thesis by Ina Zhang Xing Hong that she presented to me, compiled in a book entitled, Han SuYin in Malaya, Doctor, Writer, Activist (1952 – 1964)

Zhang said she would be visiting Johor Bahru with her husband in the coming week and asked if I would agree to meet up for a chat to find out more about the clinic above the Universal Pharmacy where this doctor had a practice. She would have read, Our Han SuYin Connection, my story first published in the now defunct Johor Buzz, the Southern section of The New Straits Times, back in 2008. In this piece, I pointed out that a renowned personality in the international literary scene, who was also a medical doctor, once had a practice in a clinic above Universal Pharmacy, at Jalan Ibrahim in Johor Bahru. This was the first and only pharmacy here and stocked a wide range of imported product brands. I also shared that my link to the pharmacy or dispensary, was that my Aunty used to work with the pharmacy downstairs and when I was ill, I was taken to consult the lady doctor upstairs, who replaced Dr. Elizabeth C.K. Comber or Dr. Chow after she had left JB. Many former patients still remember Dr. Chow, a Eurasian lady doctor, who could speak Hakka, Mandarin, Cantonese, Malay, French and English. She was born Elizabeth Chow Kuanghu (Zhou Guang-Hu) in Henan Province, China in 1917 to Zhou Yuan Dong and Marguerite Denis, her Flemish-Belgian mother. She obtained her first degree at Yanjing University Peking and an honours degree of Science in French from Brussels University. After graduating from London University as a medical doctor, she started working in the Hong Kong Government General Hospital. In Hong Kong, she was known as


Elizabeth Tang, the widow of General Tang Pao Huang, a one-time Chinese military attaché in London. Later she married Leon F. Comber, a Malayan Special Branch police officer during the 1948-1960 Emergency and they relocated to Malaya. Dr. Chow was also a novelist who wrote in French, Mandarin and mostly in English under her penname, Han SuYin. In 1955, Twentieth Century Façade of the house at Jalan Inderaputra, Fox made her semi-autobiographical where Han SuYin lived in Johor Bahru, in 1956 novel, A Many-Splendored Thing, respectively. into a movie, Love is a Many Splendored Thing Because hardly any records were which won Oscars for best picture, best song, kept, Zhang found it almost impossible to best score and best costume. trace people who were acquainted with Dr. I found it interesting that Zhang had Chow during her time in Malaya. done extensive research on Han SuYin for her But she was thankful to have thesis and when we met, we walked around JB’s connected with Dr. Chow’s adopted heritage quarter, in the area where Universal daughter, Chow Hui Im in Singapore Pharmacy once stood at Jalan Ibrahim. and the lady who worked as Dr. Chow’s Then she shared with me, further details domestic helper here. of her project on this fascinating personality During her stay in Malaya, Dr. whom locals knew as Dr. Comber/Chow. Chow opened two clinics – one in JB with While Zhang found some studies into the other in Singapore’s Chinatown, and Han SuYin’s literary works, her Eurasian identity served as a college health physician and and her controversial views about mainland lecturer with Nanyang University. China, she discovered that there was hardly any After leaving Malaya, Dr. Chow and notable mention or meaningful research in her her third husband, Vincent Ratnaswamy, 12-year stay in Malaya. an Indian military engineer, lived in Hong This gave Zhang the opportunity to Kong for a few years before they settled explore a relatively unknown territory and fill- down in Lausanne, Switzerland. in the “missing period” of her life. In 2012, Zhang and her husband In the span of three years, Zhang carried visited Dr. Chow in her home in Lausanne out research into a wide range of primary and and they celebrated her birthday there. secondary materials. She passed away later that year at age 96. This included the novels, memoirs I appreciate how she shared new and essays of Han SuYin, newspaper archives, insights and rare photographs from her rare photographs and newly uncovered research and was pleased to be presented documents like her lecture notes at the then with her book, Han SuYin in Malaya, Nanyang University, and numerous interviews Doctor, Writer, Activist (1952 – 1964). with her family, friends, former colleagues and This is a meticulous study that students, conducted in Singapore, Malaysia and unearths, reconstructs and packs together Switzerland. – to an unprecedented degree – the 12 Zhang felt that the Malayan period of years that Han SuYin lived and worked in Han SuYin’s life was very significant as it was an Malaya. indispensable period of her life that shaped the Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the person, writer and physician that she matured photos while waiting for the English into. version, which Zhang is currently working The circumstances in the post- on. war period of Malaya played a critical role Order the Chinese version in providing her with the platform and online either through CCLC at Nanyang opportunities to actively participate in public Technological University, Singapore, or discourse. through Singapore Publisher, http://www. Following the publication of her bestselling, A Many-Splendored Thing, while Pictures by Peggy Loh and Courtesy of in Malaya, she continued writing on regional Chow Hui Im TI themes including three full-length novels, two novellas and numerous essays. Zhang said her favourite Han SuYin books were … And The Rain My Drink and The Crippled Tree because they captured the valuable core of post- Han SuYin [Right] at an event graced by His Royal Highness war Malaya history Sultan Ibrahim of Johor [Left] with Princess Mariam and Lady and modern China, Marcella


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Jaya Grocer makes debut in Sunway Iskandar Shoppers can get their essentials at the new 20,000 sq ft grocer at Citrine Hub Sunway


aya Grocer makes its maiden entry in Johor with its 22nd outlet in Malaysia at Sunway Iskandar’s Citrine Hub. The grocer recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and sees itself as an ‘urban fresh grocer’ that features premium produce and imported food items from America, Europe and Australasia. Brand Ambassador Dato’ Fazley Yaakob said they were delighted to join the first community that is being created in Sunway Iskandar. He added that apart from premium produce, the outlet will also carry a range of organic produce and gluten-free food for the health conscious. “We are happy to welcome Jaya

Grocer to Sunway Iskandar, which is another first for Johor. We look forward to Jaya Grocer’s premium offerings to delight our communities here,” said Gerard Soosay, Chief Executive Officer of Sunway Iskandar. The 71,000 sq ft (net lettable area) Sunway Citrine Hub has about 24 tenants which include Jaya Grocer and they are; Mr DIY, 7-Eleven, Awesome Brew, Heaven’s Door Bistro and OldTown White Coffee which have all opened their doors to customers. The Reunion Kitchen, Eyemates Optical, Alley Lab Coffee Roasters, VOID (a wine and tapas bar) and Morganfield’s will soon be part of this establishment as well. by Edey Suresh TI

Population Increases with New Year Babies

Columbia Asia Hospital – Iskandar Puteri welcomes four New Year’s babies


very child is a bundle of joy to the family and four babies made their grand entrance into the world on New Year’s Day at Columbia Asia Hospital – Iskandar Puteri. Four boys were safely delivered by Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Dr. Rajesh Mahendran Radha Krishnan. All three mothers had delivered their second healthy baby boy through normal birth whereas another mother had delivery her first boy through cesarean section. The arrival of a newborn marks a new beginning in every sense of the word

especially for first time parents. Chung Soon Teng, 34 and Teh Chin Weng, were blessed with the arrival of a wonderful baby boy born on New Year’s Day. Baby Chung Soo Teng was born weighing 3.54kg at 10.39am at Columbia Asia Hospital – Iskandar Puteri to the Teh family. Baby of Siti Aisha, weighing 2.89kg was born to the parents Siti Aisha, 31 and Abd Rahim, 40, at 6.07pm. Siti Aisha works as an admin officer in a company and her husband is a businessman. This is their second child born in the same hospital. by The Iskandarian TI

New Year’s Babies at Columbia Asia Hospital – Iskandar Puteri, together with Hospital General Manager, Rahani Yaacob (third from left) and Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Dr. Rajesh Mahendran (sixth from right)



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news 500 Cyclists Participated in ‘Ride for Kimura’ Remembrance The cyclists took to the streets of Iskandar Puteri in a memorial ride for one of their own who perished in a road accident last year


hunsuke Kimura, Kimurasan as he was affectionately known was a 52, Japanese expatriate working in Johor Bahru and an avid recreational cyclist and jogger, died on 28th November 2017 when a car ploughed into him at 7.29 in the morning while cycling with his friends on Lebuh Raya Sultan Iskandar two days earlier.

communities in Johor Bahru, the event provided the opportunity for cyclists to spread the message of consideration and sharing to motorists and other road users; to share the roads with them and to be mindful of their presence when driving. The event also provided the opportunity to plead once again with the authorities for

Committee members and participants with 500 cyclists from Malaysia, Singapore and expatriate cyclists who took part in the event

In memory of his death, cyclists from Johor, Singapore and expatriates from various countries took to the roads of Iskandar Puteri as tribute to a fellow cyclist in a 28 kilometre ride following the planned route that the late Kimura had intended to take but did not finish. On 6th January 2018 his fellow cyclists completed this route for him. Organised by cycling

improvements to the infrastructure so that cyclists can cycle in a safe and conducive environment, be it cycling recreationally, training for sporting events, going to school and to work. “We are here to first pay our respects to the late Kimura-san and secondly to spread awareness that there are more cyclists on the roads in Johor Bahru and for motorists to give us space and be aware of our

presence,” said Dr Sharifah Shahira Syed Hashim, committee member for the ‘Ride For Kimura’ event. “We are also pleading to the authorities to provide bicycle paths and lanes, to put up ‘Beware of Cyclists’ signboards, to place more speed humps and to install bicycle crossing lights on all State and Federal roads. “The committee is also pleading for ‘road transformation’, that is to convert emergency lanes into bicycle lanes as has been carried out in other countries such as Japan and Singapore,” she added. “We are sad that a death had to happen to a fellow cyclist for this event to take place,” said committee member Dr Liew Tuan Hock. “As responsible cyclists, we ride with safety accessories such as helmets, bright and reflective clothing, lights and we ride in single file and never abreast. But we need to educate motorists to share the road with us,” Liew added. They hope that Johor Bahru will emulate Penang which, they say is targeting itself to be a cycling city by 2020. Dr Ahmad Khan was with Kimura-san in a group of three when the accident occurred. “I cannot understand how it could have happened. We were in the innermost lane, it was a bright

sunny morning, there was little traffic, and he was a seasoned cyclist with over five years of experience,”

Cyclists signing the memorial board

he said. “His death was a needless waste and a big loss to us. He was a General Manager with a large multinational company, he had a family in Japan; wife and two grown up boys, and I cannot imagine what the family went through when they learned of the accident,” he added. According to committee member, Claudine Loh, they have written to Kementerian Kerja Raya twice, signed by about 50 cycling clubs all over Malaysia requesting for cycling safety infrastructure and signage be put in place, but have they not received any favourable response to date. The community has heard that the authorities have not been willing to accommodate cyclists because there are still not that many and so the numbers lack critical

From Cover mass to justify the cost. “Where Johor is concerned we have tried with the State government pleading our case without success, then we became less ambitious and we approached Johor Bahru council also with no response and now we are trying our luck with the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) and hope to make progress here because it’s the agency administering Iskandar Malaysia,” said Dr Sharifah Shahira. According to statistics the committee obtained, 200 cyclists cross the border every weekend from Singapore and throughout the year and many riders from the UK, South Africa, China, Singapore and of course Malaysia itself, cycle around the country in tours and expeditions. Cycling not only encourages a healthy lifestyle and all the benefits that go with it for the country as a whole, it also attracts ‘tourist dollars’ too; this they say should be good enough reason to think about the safety of cyclists when building roads and other infrastructure. The organisers distributed 1,100 ‘Share the Road’ car decal stickers with graphics to indicate that a motorist should be at least 1.5 metres away when overtaking a cyclist. - by Shufiyan Shukor TI


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F E B 2 0 18

E D I S iN

y nthon A , r a k Lam h and Top c i r d n Ke Tiffit ” g w lack a B D e p c o u d “T to pro Album g w a D r: The e h t n Pa

FEB 2018 | Page 2

The Iskandarian | WAVES Lifestyle

editor’s W note

e have ushered the second month of the year and this time it’s all about Black Panther! We have Kendrick Lamar, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith and Top Dawg Entertainment to Produce Black Panther: The Album. The movie itself will be screened on 15th of February and will see Lamar write, produce, perform and curate for a major motion picture. As Chinese New Year is also around the corner, fans will be in for a treat in Monster Hunt 2 where Wuba will be in trouble with a bounty on his head! Watch

Priya Manikam

what happens in this adventure journey mid this month. Foodies will be spoiled for choices as we have so many to pick from thanks to the Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day celebrations. From tossing the Yee Sang to prosperous lunar buffets and not forgetting Valentine’s Day treats, be sure to check our F&B column and online for options. In our travel column, I bring you to a less trodden path to Georgia in Eastern Europe without burning a hole in your pocket and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with the place like I did!


By Walt Disney Company Malaysia

Kendrick Lamar, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith and Top Dawg Entertainment to Produce Black Panther: The Album


nternationally-celebrated Grammy Award–winning global superstar Kendrick Lamar and Billboard Magazine’s Executive of the Year, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, are set to curate and produce “Black Panther: The Album.” The album will feature music from and inspired by Marvel Studios’ Black Panther film including the lead single, “All The Stars,” featuring Kendrick Lamar and label mate SZA, produced by Sounwave. “Black Panther” is directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Ryan Coogler and stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira, among others. Lamar and Tiffith will collaborate with Coogler directly in the creation of music specific to the needs of the film. This will mark the first time that Lamar, whom Rolling Stone dubbed “the greatest rapper alive,” will write, produce, perform and curate for a major motion picture. This collaboration represents the first time in Marvel Cinematic Universe history that Marvel Studios will integrate multiple original recordings created specifically for the film. Lamar was hand-picked by Coogler for this first film music collaboration. “I am honored to be working with such an incredible artist whose work has been so inspirational, and whose artistic themes align with those we explore in the film. I can’t wait for the world to hear what Kendrick and TDE have in store,” said Coogler. Lamar added, “Marvel Studios’ Black Panther is amazing, from its cast to its director. The magnitude of this film showcases a great marriage of art and culture. I’m truly honoured to contribute my knowledge of producing sound and writing music alongside Ryan and Marvel’s vision.”

“Working on such a powerful movie is a great opportunity. We’re always working on new goals at TDE, so teaming up with Disney, Marvel Studios and the Black Panther film makes perfect sense,” added Top Dawg. Kendrick Lamar is one of the most streamed artists in the world with his latest album in excess of two billion combined streams. Fresh off his six wins at the 2017 VMAs, including Video of the Year, Best Hip Hop video, Best Cinematography, Direction, Art Direction and Visual Effects, he is regarded as one of the most important, critically acclaimed and creatively inventive artists globally. On 14th April 2017, Lamar released his fourth studio album, DAMN. which sold 603,300 copies in its first week, the largest first week of his career and any other release that year. The album shot directly to number one on the Billboard 200 where it remained for four consecutive weeks. Complex Magazine claimed it is his “most ambitious album to date”, NPR called it “introspective and unforgiving” and Rolling Stone named him “the most gifted rapper of a generation.”

As always, for those wishing to share their fashion collection, travel tales, or like us to review your restaurant/hotel for a staycation, drop me an e-mail at waves. and be featured. For more news, do access www.theiskandarian. com We’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Chinese New Year.


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The Iskandarian | WAVES Lifestyle

The Silent Killer in a Relationship – Part 2

A Rose Osman has intuitive skills in hacking potentials in human energy for success and healing. She coaches through One-toOne sessions, group sessions and via E-courses on

yourpersonalmotivator BucketOfRoses

nother silent killer is Guilt; the energy designed to destruct and condemn. Unlike shame, guilt has more force in its expression where it uses force to destruct whatever foundation, and whereas shame focuses on elimination of life. Guilt uses individual and society to manipulate and condition certain form of thinking and behaviour. Although shame is weaker than guilt, both these silent killers form a crack in our relationship and society.

Feelings associated with shame and guilt The feelings carried by guilt are blame and remorse. It starts as an individual and penetrates into families, society, organisations, government

and nations. Guilt is likely to relate itself to sin and salvation. This is how the silent killer changes its mask. In relationships, we use guilt to punish others whom we think are committing sin or doing something differently than what we do. On the other hand, shame adapts a different form of feelings known as humiliation and paranoia. That is why when we face the energy of shame in others; we are likely to eliminate the same feelings in us by shoving it off. Shame is likely to lead into killing; either by eliminating the host or ending the lives of others, whereas guilt is prone to punishment. Healing shame and guilt

A relationship with an embodiment of Love gives us solid foundation to prolong the relationship. But in the presence of shame and guilt, even a small spark in our emotions can weaken our ability to love and show compassion. To heal, we must acknowledge and address these feelings consciously. Speak about it to the right people. Practise compassion when you deal with shame and guilt (whether it’s in you or others). These energies often feel dark because it has never tasted the Light. Addressing the Truth helps Light shine upon shame and guilt. This way, we heal not just ourselves but our psyche and indirectly heal those who suffer from these silent killers.

An Energy Coach and A Personal Motivator. Rose Osman uses her knowledge and intuitive skills in energy to coach people to live a joyful life through her coaching programmes on personal & career growth, relationship, love and health.


Source: The Walt Disney Company Malaysia

BLACK PANTHER Genre: Action-Adventure Release date: 15th February 2018 Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, with Angela Bassett, with Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis


arvel Studios’ “Black Panther ” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne

Director: Ryan Coogler

and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther, is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of

Producer: Kevin Feige Screenplay by: Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole

Monster Hunt 2 (Chinese)


he story continues with Wuba after he parts way with his human parents Tian (Jing Boran) and Lan (Bai Baihe) for his own journey. Peace has not been restored in the monster world after the death of the evil monster king as a sinister lord has ascended and seized the throne. A heavy bounty is placed on Wuba dead or alive, forcing him to go into hiding again. He encounters an ill-famed gambler Tu (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) who’s deep in debt and seemingly up to no good. Together, they form a reluctant alliance in order to escape from their predicament. Tian sets out on a journey with Lan in search of his long-lost father. They meet the new chief of the Monster Hunter Bureau Yun (Yo Yang), who happens to know the

his people and their way of life.

Source: Sony Pictures Malaysia

power between the human and monster world. Throughout the course of the adventure, Tu has come to realise the value of friendship and vows to protect Wuba. But even with Tian and Lan coming to the rescue, they have absolutely no idea what menacing force they are up against.

Genre: Adventure Release date: 16th February 2018 Cast: Jing Boran, Bai Baihe, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Yo Yang & Li Yuchun Director: Raman Hui

whereabouts of Tian’s father. Just when they are getting closer to locating his father, the couple learns of the bounty placed on Wuba. They are being torn between finding their father and saving their son. Meanwhile, Wuba and Tu find themselves in deep water when they stumble upon a dark secret behind the Monster Hunter Bureau that threatens to reshape the balance of

Producers: William Kong

FEB 2018 | Page 4

The Iskandarian | WAVES Lifestyle

2018 FEB

dar Calen ts n of Eve 2nd Feb – 8th

• Gambus Festival @ TBC • Food & Fashion Festival @ A-Mart Kempas

JB, 6th Feb Cabaran Fitness @ Futsal Padi Ria, BBU

travel Discover Georgia – Part One From beautiful architectures to picturesque mountains and delicious cuisine, Georgia is the place to visit The picturesque Zhinvali Reservoir

JB, 10th Feb Parenthood Seminar @ RTM JB

14th Feb Valentine’s Day

S’pore, 14th – 24th Feb River Hongbao @ Marina Bay, S’pore

16th – 17th Feb Chinese New Year

S’pore, 23rd – 24th Feb Chingay Parade @ 1 Republic Blvd, S’pore

By Priya Manikam


any think of Georgia as in the one in USA, but little do people know that it’s a country of its own. Set in the Caucasus region of Eurasia and located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, Georgia is a lesser threaded path but slowly this perception is changing. Compared to other familiar European countries, Georgia offers everything you need to explore and dine at almost half the price of other EU countries. Friendly on the pocket; it’s time to give this place some serious thought as your next vacation destination.

S’pore, 24th Feb Swiss Education Fair @ Suntec, S’pore

S’pore, 24th Feb Russell Peters @ Singapore Indoor Stadium

Bodbe Monastery at Kakheti region We flew into Tbilisi, its capital for a 5 days 4 nights venture covering the capital city, its wine region Kakheti, old town

Block your dates for this month!

If you need more information on the above mentioned events, drop us an email at:

Traditional Georgian food known as ‘Khinkali’

Freedom Square at Rustaveli Avenue Mtshketa and of course its winter escapade inclusive of guide is 7 GEL per person (RM at Gudauri. The winter season is from end 11) and extras for wine tasting. If wine is not your thing, head to November until April, and armed with our other pretty sights such as the Bodbe winter clothes and our friendly Georgian Monastery overlooking the Alazani guide, Erakli, we were ready to explore this Valley with views of the Greater Caucasus beautiful country. We stayed at a hotel close to the Mountains covered with snow! Another popular place to visit is the ‘City of Metro station and it’s wise to purchase a metro card for 2 GEL Lari (about RM3.10) Love’ called Sighnaghi for picturesque with each way costing only 0.50 GEL landscapes and pastel houses. Head to (RM0.80) per journey. We took the bullet the museum here to learn more about the country and end your day with a local fast metro to the modern city centre called Rustaveli and explored the place which has meal at a restaurant nearby. I especially recommend trying Chicken Barbeque and fancy buildings and great architecture. It houses several museums, galleries, church, ‘Badrijiani’, an eggplant dish stuffed with as well as the old parliament house and the walnuts’ paste. On the way back, our guide drove Freedom Square. Try local foods such as ‘Khinkali’ us through the snow-filled Gombori which resembles the Chinese counterpart Mountain pass which was truly magical of ‘Siow Long Bao’ dumplings and the and a sight to behold forever. The next day we were all set tastiest ‘Kachapuri’ which is a cheese pastry so yummy that you will come back for to head to Gudauri ski resort which is more! As Georgia produces its own wines about two hours away from Tbilisi. We went through a scenic drive passing the and beers, do try some as it slips down Zhinvali Reservoir, before making a pit easily. The next day we had a whole day stop to Ananuri Monastery which used to be a castle along the Aragvi River. To be tour to Kakheti – its wine region. Most of their wine grapes are grown here, on continued… TI land that has been used for viticulture for thousands of years. We had a tour at Khareba Winery tunnel which is a unique wine cellar carved in the rocks of the Caucasus Mountain Range and learned about wine making culture. The entire surrounding is surreal and gives you a feeling of being one with nature. Entry fee River stream at Khareba Winery tunnel for the tunnel tour


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Understanding the Concept of Constructive Dismissal Andrew Pastors Legal Adviser Associate, Dharmen Sivalingam & Partners


ection 20 of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 states that “where a workman … considers that he has been dismissed without just cause or excuse by his employer, he may make representations in writing to the Director General to be reinstated in his former employment; the representations may be filed at the office of the Director General nearest to the place of employment from which the workman was dismissed.” In layman terms, this basically means that the employer (either by words, conduct or both) has done everything possible short of officially ‘firing’ the employee and has made the working conditions so unbearable that the employee is forced to walk away from the company. Hence the employee here considers himself dismissed, even if the employer did not actually dismiss or terminate him. The main element that the courts will look into in a case of

Constructive Dismissal is whether or not the Company has breached a fundamental term of the employee’s employment contract or displayed an intention to no longer be bound by the terms of the said contract. Additionally, the conduct of the Company towards the employee will also be closely scrutinised in ascertaining whether a fundamental term has been breached. These considerations are most relevant when the Company is considering taking disciplinary action against errant staff. While a Company has the right to discipline their employees as they see fit for any indiscretions, misconducts, and etc, the Company

must resist the temptation to put employees in ‘cold storage’ or subject them to mental torture or treatment which may be construed as demeaning or insulting, with the hope that they will leave on their own accord. The most important thing to remember when dealing with or trying to diffuse a potential Constructive Dismissal case is that the employee’s perception, feelings and expectations must be managed accordingly. As an employer, when deciding on taking appropriate action against an employee, especially relating to discipline, the best practice is to always engage

with the employee and treat him as fairly as possible. If the employee can understand where you are

coming from, it is much less likely that he will bring an action against you in court. TI


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Accumulating Wealth Tips & Tricks

A Hopeful 2018

Tey Bin Yuen Binyuen is the founder of BY Enrich Resources and the author of ‘Life beyond the Comfort Zone’ and ‘Profit from Share Investment’. His books are available in major bookstores in Malaysia, Singapore or online profitfromshareinvestment


s we ushered into the Year 2018, many may have felt the market sentiment has turned positive.The Dow Jones, S&P and Nasdaq indexes kept breaking new highs, while the European and Asian stock market indexes have showed that the bull is in control. In addition, the oil price, one of the most important elements to influence the stock market, stood above US$64 per barrel at the time of writing. To add more optimism, the World Bank has forecasted the global economy to ramp up between 3.7-3.8% in 2018, which would positively affect Malaysia’s economy growth. As you can see t h e co r re l at i o n , t h e

Disclaimer: The companies or strategies mentioned in this article are meant for study purpose only. It doesn’t constitute any ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ recommendation. Please consult your financial professional if you want to make any decision.

recovering oil price has helped strengthen the Ringgit to below four against the USD. Since early January 2018, The Malaysia Composite Index KLCI has eventually ‘awakened’, breaking nearly a three-year high and stood above 1800 with daily volume of above 5 billion shares. With such a rarely seen universal optimism domestically and globally, should our stock portfolio perform equally well? Here is our portfolio summary on 15th January 2018: Refer to the table: We have gained 287% of returns since its inception in November 2015, which has outperformed the KLCI gain

of 10.3% by a long way. If you read our column regularly, you would know that we neither hold a company rigidly nor trade it frequently. However, we would sell the company if it does not perform or it is overvalued. For instance, we bought 50000 shares of HSSEB (0185) in April 2017 at 0.91 per share. The company performed very well and was subsequently awarded with many contracts. However, considering its high valuation currently with PE over 30, we sold it at 1.6 after its dividend ex on 10th January 2018, giving us a handsome profit of RM35k or return of 76%.

At the same time, we have noticed that EKOVEST (8877) may offer a good trading or investing opportunity. Ekovest is one of the leading construction companies in Malaysia, specialising in major civil engineering and building works, such as turnkey, design and build projects. Let us see Ekovest’s highlights: • Outstanding contracts of 13.9 billion, which shows high earning visibility for the next 10 years. • Its concession business assets are worth more than its market capitalisation, which means it has attractive

valuation. • Strong track record in executing construction projects, which implies the company is in good hands. • According to the group CEO, Ekovest is likely to perform better in 2018 owing to huge contracts on-hand and more projects to be completed in 2018. • Ekovest’s takeover of IWCITY might turn out to be favourable, as it means Ekovest will own large area of lands in prime location of Johor Bahru and it would make Ekovest’s valuation more attractive. With the above merits, we bought 60000 shares of EKOVEST (8877) at 1.09 with RM65400 cash. After adding the dividends received from JHM (1.5 cents/share), HSSEB (0.79 cents/share) and JAYCORP (6 cents/share), the new cash level is now at RM45920. So, let us discuss the prospect for this year again. We have listed the positive notes earlier but what about the potential unfavourable events? For example, there could be a few ‘black swans’ hidden and ready to frighten investors: • While Bitcoin party continues, no one knows

when the music will stop. One should be aware that Bitcoin’s value is not asset-based. If punters’ belief changes suddenly due to any untoward incident, it could lead to a collapse and affect the global stock market sentiment. • Geopolitical risks such as the North Korea and the US or the Middle East tension would add uncertainty to the stock market, more so if any existing deadlocks become uncontrollable. • The widely discussed 10-year anniversar y financial crisis could be the most devastating event if it were to happen (touchwood). A typical crisis could have the index fall to 3040%, which means your companies’ share price could plunge to 60% or more. Again, crisis also means opportunity, but the question is, are you prepared and able to profit from the crisis? To sum up, I am still optimistic and hopeful that 2018 would be a good year for the global stock market. But, ‘hope’ itself is not a strategy. One should keep on learning and invest in companies with sound fundamentals and manage risks with a cautious mind. TI


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RM120,000 Worth of Reading PTP Kicks off CSR Campaign with Back-To-School Programme 2018 Materials to 24 Schools he Port of Tanjung More than 20 schools received new reading materials through MMC Smart Circle Programme


arrison Keillor once said “A book is a gift you can open again and again” and in this line, MMC Corporation Berhad (MMC), a premier utilities and School representatives at the Southern Region received RM5,000 infrastructure group worth of reading materials from the MMC Smart Circle Programme had successfully stages from November brand new school supplies contributed RM120,000 worth of reading 2017 till January 2018. The to over 200 underprivileged materials to 24 schools materials were distributed students in southern and nationwide through its MMC by MMC and its subsidiaries central regions for the namely, Pelabuhan Tanjung current academic year. Smart Circle Programme. Both MMC Smart The MMC Smart Pelepas, Johor Port Berhad, Circle Programme was Northport (Malaysia) Bhd, Circle and the Back-Toestablished with the Penang Port Sdn Bhd, School programme were objectives to empower Kontena Nasional Berhad, part of MMC’s commitment students with knowledge Gas Malaysia Berhad, Senai for its Corporate Social and encourage good Airport Terminal Services Responsibility programme reading habits to increase Sdn Bhd, Senai Airport City to enhance the social and their intellectual capacity and MMC Engineering and economic well-being of which will simultaneously Services to the respective its communities under the prepare them for their PT3 schools in a closed education pillar. MMC will continue its community ceremony. and SPM examinations. In addition to development initiative to The programme saw 24 schools from the MMC Smart Circle build a better future for Central, Southern and Programme, MMC had also the communities within its Northern regions receiving organised a Back-To School operations, nationwide. - by new reading materials in programme to provide Priya Manikam TI


niversal Business Academy (UBA) has grown from strength to strength and has marked their 8th year by signing collaboration with Pencilar Academy to promote market adaptive graphic and design courses. The founder of Pencilar Academy, Ngu Hie Ling believes that the collaboration will be very fruitful. “We bring over 20 years of experience in the industry and we will help provide the best possible modules that will enable the students to adapt to the working world smoothly,” said Ngu. The collaboration announcement was made during the second graduation ceremony of UBA’s class of 2017.


Pe l e p a s ( P T P ) , Malaysia’s largest container port situated in the Gelang Patah area of Johor, kicked off its CSR programme targeted to schools in the area with a Back-To-School Programme. 170 underprivileged pupils from 12 primary and 4 secondary schools received gifts valued at RM100 each, comprising of a school bag containing all the stationeries that they require for school. Marco Neelsen, PTP’s Chief Executive Officer said in his address to the students, parents and teachers present at the event, that education creates empowerment and it is the catalyst for upward social mobility. “As such we are delighted to be able to play a role in helping students and their families involved in the programme and we hope that this will boost the spirit of the students and further encourage them to strive for a better future,” he said. “Who knows that one day the children here will be CEO of PTP or Parliamentarian for Gelang Patah,” he added, turning to

Marco Neelsen CEO PTP, Tuan Haji Mohammad Khairi A Malik, UMNO Gelang Patah Division Chief, Tuan Haji Shaharuddin Saari, Johor Bahru Education Department and some of the recipients with the back-to-school gifts

Tuan Haji Mohammad Khairi A. Malik, UMNO Gelang Patah Division Chief who was present, along with Tuan Haji Shaharuddin Saari, the official representative from the Johor Bahru Education Department. Neelsen said that PTP has been implementing the Back-To-School programme for 11 years beginning in 2007 with the cooperation of many local parties, such as the Johor Bahru Education department and the Gelang Patah UMNO division to deliver assistance and ease the burden of the needy. Ad d re s s i n g the students specifically, Neelsen hopes that the schooling aid they received will motivate

them to work harder and achieve good results. “I urge all of you to be proactive and seize opportunities that are ever waiting for you because the world is continuously changing and evolving and it won’t wait for you.” PTP’s other educationbased CSR programmes include year-round activities of English language tuition, English Boot Camp, English Communication Workshop and Motivational Camps for students preparing for their UPSR and SPM examinations. Educational trips to local universities are also organised. - by Shufiyan Shukur TI

Benchmark and Best Practices UBA mark their 8th year with collaborations and international partnerships Speaking about UBA’s eighth year in operation, CEO Dr. Shirley Tan stressed that the Academy gives importance to care giving and education by example. Coming from a humble background, Dr. Shirley is a social entrepreneur who has brought UBA to Philippines and helped empower many disabled people to get better education. To date, UBA’s has had

over 2000 students locally. “I like UBA’s ease of learning with correspondence courses which can tailor to my needs with flexible hours,” said Andy Yam, a former graduate from UBA who is taking further courses with the Academy currently. Nantha Balan who is a lecturer at UBA and develops the academic programmes, highlighted

UBA’s graduation class of 17’

that UBA designs’ programmes cater to their students’ working schedules and time. “It’s been challenging to come up with customised programmes but that is the strength of UBA, whereby we develop programmes with flexibility and


offer virtual programmes for our students,” said Nantha. UBA is looking forward to further expansions both locally and in the South-East Asian region with Indonesia being high on the growth list of the Academy. - by Edey Suresh TI



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Sino-Japanese Lunch Buffet at Le Grandeur


ntroducing Le Grandeur Palm Resort Johor’s weekend buffet lunch, a fusion of Japanese and Chinese cuisines that will surely tease the local tastebuds. For only RM88.00 for adults and RM60.00 nett for children, dig into the buffet spread consisting of Fried rice, Fried mee hoon, Fresh salads, Japanese beef curry, and many more. Chefs from the famous Sobasei Japanese and Xin Shan Long Chinese Restaurants have created over 100 dishes to be offered between 11.30am to 3pm every Saturday. Live stations showing Sushi preparations, Deep fried tempura, and the infamous Japanese Teppanyaki style cooking will make anyone anxious for a bite. Serving all halal foods, the fusion delights of these “no pork no lard” restaurants is prepared by Chef Nizam who has more than 15 years of experience

Assorted Sushis prepared by skilled hands

in Japanese cuisine. Be sure to ask for the fiery showstopper at the Teppanyaki station as Chef Nizam will not only make you drool but will leave you at the edge of your toes as he glide and tosses his spatula on Teppanyaki grill pan! “We call it SinoJapanese as it is literally where our Japanese and Chinese chefs cross swords to bring together dishes including our popular Dim Sum that will surely appeal to our regulars,” said Jef Kong, Resort CEO and Hotel General Manager. Speaking about Dim Sum, the buffet includes fresh made-to-order Dim Sums

for dumpling-lovers. Chef Cheong will showcase his new creations as the resort’s Hong Kong Dim Sum Chef. Other than Dim Sum, Asian food-lovers will be able to take a bit of the mouthwatering Sashimi, Baby Cress with Salmon Roe, Double Boiled Seafood Soup, Prawn in Mongolian Creamy Sauce, and many more. End the feast with mouth-watering desserts and we recommend trying the Mango Cheese. Treat your Asian umami taste-buds now and for enquiries or reservations, call +607-599 6000 ext. 8607 or email to fnbsec@ - by Harish Mustak TI

* Image is for illustration only


xecutive Chef Simon Tam and new Executive Sous Chef Gina Kanokwan from Thailand have come up with an amazing array of CNY inspired menus this Lunar New Year. Two Great Prosperity Set Menus include an 8 course meal at RM1,200 nett for a table of 10 persons for Great Prosperity with Wealth set and RM1,388 nett for a table of 10 persons for the Great Prosperity with Enormous Wealth set. Reunion dinner buffet at Amaya Food Gallery will be available from 15th to 17th February 2018 from 6.30pm to 10.30pm which consists of South East Asian and international dishes. Priced at RM128 nett per person and a discount of 50% for children and senior citizens, a complimentary platter of Yee Sang will be served on each table of 10 people. Dishes offered include Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk, Chinese Chicken and Crabmeat Soup Chinese Braised Lamb Stew, Fillet of Fish with Golden Pumpkin Sauce and lots more. CNY Yee Sang Specials will be available till 2nd March 2018 from 11.00am to 10.30pm. To book a seat for CNY promotions at Amari, please call +607 266 8888 or email amaya. or fnbcoordinator. TI


hoose from a choice of three set menus at Ponderosa Golf and Country Club’s very own in-house Chinese Restaurant, Hop Sing. The first set, Fortune Set Menu starts at RM988+, whereas the Blessings Set Menu is priced at RM1,388+. The premium Prosperity Set Menu costs RM1,688+ which includes a Prosperity Sliced Abalone Yee Sang set, Fortune “Buddha Jump Over

the Wall” with Abalone, Ponderosa Crispy Roasted Chicken with Mango and Grapes, and more with Boiled Soya Milk with Snow Fungus for dessert. All set menus have 8 courses and can accommodate around 8 to 10 persons. Guests can also place an ala carte order of Yee Sang starting at RM40+. All Lunar New Year menu items will be available from 1st Feb 2018 onwards. Book your tables at Hop Sing by calling +607 354 9999 or email at enquiry@ TI


oll over with happiness and prosperity as we usher in the year of the Dog at Pulai Spring’s Qing Palace restaurant this Lunar New Year. Indulge and reminisce as you take a bite out of the specially prepared Chinese dishes by Master Chef Lim Ming Cheong. What better way to celebrate a reunion with family and friends by having a village inspired dish called Peng Cai, braised premium foods served in a claypot. CNY Eve Reunion Set Menu starts at RM893 per table of 6 persons and RM1,488 per table of 10 persons. This set menu is exclusively for the eve of the Lunar New Year and will have 3 sessions available at 6pm, 7pm, and 8pm. Whereas the CNY Set Menus that will run from Chinese New Year Day to 2nd March 2018 for lunch and dinner will have two sets; Set Menu A at RM918 per table of 10 persons and RM698 per table of 6 persons or Set Menu B at RM888 per table of 6 persons and RM1,388 per table of 10 persons. Set Menus A and B has 8 courses which include Qing Palace Special Yee Sang with Salmon, Peng Cai, Hong Kong style Steamed Grouper, Chicken Floss Glutinous Rice wrapped in Lotus Leaf, desserts and more. For reservations, please call +607 521 2121 or email to TI


ack by popular demand, Wan Li Restaurant at Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel is serving Poon Choy, a hand crafted Cantonese Style Fortune Abalone and Dried Seafood Treasure Pot. This popular family dish is not part of the Chinese New Year Set Menu. However it is a favourite among families as it’s considered a complete all-in-one family dish with a plethora of ingredients all in one pot. On 15th February 2018, there will be two sessions for the Chinese New Year reunion dinner. Session 1 at 5.30pm to 7.30pm and session 2 at 8.00pm to 10.00pm. Guests have a choice of two sets that can be chosen from which are Set A that costs RM1,888.00 nett per table of 10 persons or RM1,188.00 nett pere table of 6 persons, and set B (9 courses) at RM2,388.00 nett per table of 10 persons or RM1,588.00 nett per table of 6 persons. The sets come with delicious Yee Sang with Salmon

and organic vegetables and Abalone, respectively and includes the Steamed hundred days old Organic Chicken with Himalayan mountain salt and more. Both sets are inclusive of one bottle of red or white house wine per table. Additional wine may be purchased at an exclusive price of RM128.00 nett per bottle. Guests who are looking forward to host a feast can do so by booking directly at Wan Li Restaurant. For reservations, please call +607 381 3388 or email to rhi.jhbbr.wanlirestaurant@ TI


anjong Puteri Golf Resort’s very own He Yuan Chinese Restaurant is opening its doors this Lunar New Year to host family reunion dinners as well as friendly get-togethers with an amazingly scrumptious menu. Three set menus are offered from 16th February to 2nd March which ranges from Harmony Set (RM788 nett per table), Happiness Set (RM1,088 nett per table), and Imperial Set (RM1,388 nett per table). All three sets are available for lunch and dinner, and each table accommodates 10 persons. Family Tuan Nian (Reunion) set will be available on 15th February 2018 only at After 18 Lounge and is priced at RM880 nett per table. This set includes 2 bottles of complimentary house wine and free flow of chilled orange juice. The Golfer’s Café at Tanjong Puteri Golf Resort will also provide a festive mood as the Lunar New Year Buffet Dinner will be available on the 16th and 17th of February 2018 from 6pm onwards, priced at RM60 nett per adult and RM30 nett per child between 3 – 12 years). For enquires and bookings, please call +607 259 6132 or email at enquiry@tpgr. com TI


ome with prosperity down to Thistle Johor Bahru’s Glass Restaurant this Chinese New Year to celebrate with family and friends over a reunion


Indulge in sumptuous delicacies and Prosperity sets starting at RM1288 nett per table of 10 persons with premium ingredients. Enjoy Fortune Salmon Yu Sang, Poached Tiger Prawns in Chinese Herb Broth, and more plus Rainbow Fruit Pearls with Mango Cream.

Honour your guests with ‘Prosperity’ Yu Sang, Braised Shark Fins with Shredded Chicken and Fish Lips Soup and more including Fried Rice with Dried Anchovies, wrapped in Lotus Leaf and Yam Paste with Lotus Seeds for dessert. This set is available at RM1788 nett per table of 10 persons. Dine like an emperor with Executive Chef’s Mohd Kamal Damiri inspiration with Chef’s Blessing Supreme Yu Sang (Whole Abalone per person), Double Boiled Dried Seafood Soup, and more, priced at RM2288 nett per table of 10. The CNY Reunion dinner starts on 15th February 2018 at 6.30pm followed by CNY buffet brunch and dinner the following day. To make reservations, please call +607 222 9234 or email to TI

By Harish Mustak


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The Iskandarian ISSUE 66 | FEB 2018


In line with state government’s agendas, Country View Group launches affordable housing project to benefit the rakyat

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Capital City Johor Bahru is set to be the home to the 5th largest indoor theme park in South East Asia coming end of Q2 2018

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Seri Austin bags The Star Outstanding Business Award 2017 (SOBA)

Mah Sing Group (Mah Sing) and EduCity Iskandar Malaysia (EduCity) have announced a partnership

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A New Affordable Housing Project In line with state government’s agendas, Country View Group launches affordable housing project to benefit the rakyat


ohor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin congratulated Country View Group for their efforts and shared success with the state government to develop affordable homes at its Taman Nusa Sentral development located in Iskandar Puteri. “We want more developers, industry players as well as the private sector to appear and respond to the state government’s call to build more affordable homes,” said Khaled during the launch of the Nusa Sentral RMMJ development. The d e ve l o p e r is set to build 271 units of two-storey terrace houses (RMMJ), priced at RM200,000 per unit at a buildup area of 1400 square feet as well as 60 units of

@home KPRJ Starts the New Year with a New School Quick Reads Johor Chief Minister aims to build 30 more religious schools for the betterment of the state

K Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin and Tan Sri Haji Al-Amin of Country View during the launch ceremony

Community Housing (PKJB) at RM80,000 for a 850 square foot space. Khaled added that with the cooperation and good relations between the state government and the developer will ensure the success of this project for the benefit of all parties, especially the buyers. Nusa Sentral is a new permanent ownership

project built on a 313 acre plot of land located in the Iskandar Puteri area, nearby the state government administration office in Kota Iskandar and is neighbours with other residential developments including Bukit Indah, Nusa Idaman and Horizon Hills as well other several convenient facilities within the vicinity. - by Amin Khairuddin TI

u m p u l a n Prasarana Rakyat Johor (KPRJ) and its subsidiar y KPRJ Builders Sdn Bhd (KBSB) had conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for the upcoming SAKJ Bandar Seri Alam 2 which is part of the Johor State G ove r n m e nt S c h o o l Project (SAKJ) Phase 5 execution. The event was held at Al-Falah Mosque in Seri Alam which is adjacent to the site of the new school. Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin was present to officiate the ceremony. “We aim to build another 30 religious schools to provide Islamic education to the rest of

Johor. We plan to build two more in Muar next,” said Khaled. KPRJ has been entrusted by the state government as the main contractor of the current phase of the SAKJ project. The new school will be built on 2.3 acres of land and will have 22 classrooms including an interactive classroom fo r Johor Islamic Kindergarten (TAJ). There will also be a vault to store examination papers and other important educational documents for the Pasir Gudang zone. The phase 5 of the SAKJ development work started in April 2017 and will end in December 2019.. - by Amin Khairuddin TI

Capital City Bringing in the Capital T in Johor’s Tourism Johor Bahru is set to be the home to the 5th largest indoor theme park in South East Asia coming end of Q2 2018


ho would have known that Johor would be such a huge theme park magnet that has attracted numerous brands such as LEGOLAND, Sanrio Hello Kitty Land, Angry Birds Theme Park and more to set up shop right here in the capital. Speaking about capital, Capital World Limited announced that their new development project, Capital 21 Entertainment Mall, will have a new themed attraction called MCM Studio. Capital World Limited, a locally based integrated property developer, hosted an exclusive launch event at Capital City near Jalan Tampoi officiated by Datuk Tee Siew Kiong, Johor State Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism Committee

Cosplayers one with Datuk Tee

Chairman. Besides Capital 21 Entertainment Mall, the company is also in the midst of developing a set of properties that will be the culmination of Capital City, namely, Capital Suites and Service Apartments, Hilton Garden Inn and more. The epicentre of this giant project is MCM Studio which spans over a whopping 525,000 square feet gross area and comprises of three sections aptly named Movie Planet, Cartoon Planet and Music Planet. Kiril K o l a r o v, a representative from MCM Studios explained that each planet will have its wow factor and will appeal to its own target audience. Movie Planet will bring the most memorable movie scenes to life with Augmented and Virtual

Datuk Tee launched the theme park at Capital City

Reality experiences. Patrons will be brought into the movie world via AR & VR, and they will be able to know what it’s like to be a movie star or a stunt double. Children and adults who are young at heart have a chance to explore Cartoon Planet which will feature classic cartoon characters and anime cos-plays. Also to be a first, Cartoon Planet will be hosting annual Comic Conventions for all those comic enthusiast. The Great British Circus will be the main event at Music Planet that will also feature live musical performances, burlesque shows, and more. Commenting on the development, Siow Chien Fu who is the Group CEO of the company

said, “The Capital City project is an extraordinary development in Johor Bahru that includes Capital 21 Entertainment Mall, two hotels, as well as serviced apartments in the pipeline. MCM Studios is intentionally made the anchor tenant of Capital 21, taking up to six floors in the mall. It is a unique proposition that we are offering to the public. A one stop tourist attraction with experiential activities for visitors.” Datuk Tee added that MCM Studio would be an amazing opportunity to enhance the tourism value of not only for Johor Bahru but Johor as a tourism state. MCM Studio is expected to open its doors by the end of Q2 2018. - by Harish Mustak TI

National Housing Policy 2.0 The National Housing Policy (DRN) 2.0 for 2018-2022 is in the final phase of preparation, said Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar. “DRN 2.0 is formulated comprehensively with regard to improvements, including new housing industry challenges such as the provision of transit homes for the M40 youth category, design and regulation of the latest housing prices,” he said. DRN 2.0 would involve cooperation from Khazanah and state governments. The ministry was also in the final stage of the development of the Housing Data Bank System portal where the public could see sales of houses and availability and more. The portal is expected to be accessible from this year.

More Affordable Homes in the Future According to local news, approximately 100,000 Johor affordable homes (RMMJ) will be built in Johor by the year 2023. Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said it was an additional 40,000 units from the original target of 60,000 by 2020 as had been announced earlier. “From 2014 to October 2017, a total of 16,010 RMMJ units have been completed, which means we have exceeded 27% of the target within only three years,” said Khaled when tabling the Johor Budget 2018 at the Johor State Assembly in Kota Iskandar at Iskandar Puteri, Johor. According to the state task force’s housing projection, 13,536 RMMJ units are to be completed by 2018 and 30,993 by 2020. Moreover, through its subsidiary; Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor (KPRJ) will also build affordable housing for the middle class (M40) priced below RM300,000 in Taman Pelangi Indah and Taman Rinting, Johor Bahru.


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Seri Austin Walking Away With Best Green Initiative at SOBA 2017


MLand Seri Austin has added another feather to its cap by clinching the Silver Award in Best Green Initiative Award (Above RM25mil category) in The Star Outstanding Business Award 2017 (SOBA) at the Connexion Nexus, Bangsar South City Kuala Lumpur. Seri Austin Township is recognised for its continuous ‘Green Living’ campaign for all of our residential development includes having a rainwater harvesting system for water efficiency, solar hot water system for renewable energy, Indoor

Environmental quality whereby it is able to establish indoor air quality (IAQ) performance to enhance indoor air quality in buildings, thus contributing to the comfort and well-being of the occupants as well as Low VOC Paint bond paint to control indoor pollutant. Seri Austin also has fostered a close knit community of gated and guarded neighbourhoods that emphasise healthy outdoor lifestyle with focal points such as parks, recreational areas, jogging tracks and bicycle lanes. SOBA 2017 awards was

presented by guest-of-honour, International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, Star Media Group Bhd Chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow and Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai. Seri Austin Township (developed by Dynasty View Sdn Bhd – a wholly-owned subsidiary of UMLand) is a multiple awardwinning township located within the popular growth corridor of Tebrau in Johor Bahru offering easy accessibility and residential appeal. - by The Iskandarian TI

Mah Sing Group and Educity Iskandar Malaysia Announces Partnership

The partnership will provide students with fully furnished accommodation in Meridin@Medini from RM850 per student per month

(From Left –Right): Mah Sing Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Ho Hon Sang, EduCity Iskandar Malaysia’s Chairman, Datuk Ir. Khairil Anwar Ahmad, Mah Sing Group’s Senior General Manager (Southern), Benjamin Ong, and EduCity Iskandar Malaysia’s Chief Operating Officer, Sugu Maran at the official MoU Signing Ceremony to mark the partnership between Mah Sing and EduCity


ah Sing Group (Mah Sing) and EduCity Iskandar Malaysia (EduCity) have announced a partnership to provide student accommodations for EduCity. Mah Sing’s integrated development, Meridin@ Medini which is located just 3.6km from EduCity, will be the first external student accommodation provider for Iskandar Malaysia’s Education Hub, offering a total of 183 fully furnished units which will cater to approximately 370 students. This was announced during a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Signing Ceremony at Mah Sing’s Academy in Southgate. In attendance were Mah Sing’s Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Ho Hon Sang, Mah Sing’s Senior General Manager (Southern), Benjamin Ong, EduCity Iskandar Malaysia’s Chairman, Datuk Ir. Khairil Anwar Ahmad and EduCity Iskandar Malaysia’s Chief Operating Officer, Sugu Maran. Datuk Ho Hon Sang shared that, “We will be providing quality accommodation for students studying in EduCity. EduCity is providing world class education for Malaysians and students in the South-East Asian region and Mah Sing wants to do our part by providing these students with fully furnished homes during their education

journey. We are also going the extra mile by providing two-way bus shuttle services from Meridin@Medini to Educity for students staying in our development”. “We are very pleased and equally excited to embark on this collaboration with Mah Sing in enhancing and improving various facilities for the 3,000 students currently studying at EduCity. In addition to the existing accommodation facilities at Students Village, we are confident that Meridin@Medini has all the required facilities for students to learn, and at the same time enjoy their stay,” said Datuk Ir. Khairil Anwar Ahmad EduCity Iskandar Malaysia’s Chairman. The first phase of Meridin@ Medini’s residential component was successfully handed over in June 2017. The second phase will begin with handing over Vacant Possession from Q1 2018 onwards, comprising of 583 units of Meridin Executive Suites, Meridin Walk Lifestyle Mall with 188 retail units and 2 block of hotel suites, Ramada Meridin and Ramada Encore Meridin, comprising 644 hotel suites. Ramada Meridin and Ramada Encore Meridin are scheduled to have its soft launch in April 2018 and will both be managed by leading hotel management company, Topotel. - by The Iskandarian TI

KK Wong, CEO cum Acting Group Director of UMLand Townships (left) receiving The Star Outstanding Business Award 2017 (SOBA) in Kuala Lumpur

SKS Group Collaborates with IHG to Debut Holiday Inn in Johor Bahru


KS Group through its member company, SKS Hotel Residences and Resorts Sdn. Bhd., has inked a hotel management agreement w i t h I nte r Co nt i n e nt a l Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, for the first Holiday Inn hotel in Johor Bahru City Centre. The 318-key Holiday Inn Johor Bahru City Centre will be part of the existing Komtar JBCC mixed-use development. Situated in the city’s downtown core, leisure guests can look forward to an array of shopping, dining and entertainment options which is just a quick stroll away. These include the Komtar JBCC and Johor Bahru City Square shopping malls and the Angry Birds Activity Park. The hotel will also be connected to the Persada Johor International Convention Centre via the future Persada Link Bridge, offering convenience for corporate and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions) delegates. Being merely 30 kilometres away from the Senai International Airport, Holiday Inn Johor Bahru City Centre will offer convenient access to international travellers as well as visitors from neighbouring Singapore with its close proximity to the Johor Bahru Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (CIQ) and the upcoming Singapore-Johor Bahru Rapid Transit System (RTS) link. Cindi Sim, Group Managing Director of SKS Group said, “With our growing portfolio in the hospitality industry, it is a natural progression for us to look for a hotel partner with a strong track record

(From left) Alan Sim, Chairman of SKS Group, Cindi Sim, Group Managing Director of SKS Group, Rajit Sukumaran, Chief Development Officer, Asia, Middle East and Africa, IHG, Clive Murray, Area General Manager Malaysia, IHG

of operating internationally branded hotels. We are delighted to work with IHG to bring the Holiday Inn brand to Johor Bahru. The brand’s mid-scale positioning will be an excellent fit for corporate and leisure travellers alike. Coupled with its strategic location, we believe Holiday Inn Johor Bahru City Centre will be well-received when it opens its doors to guests in 2020.” As one of the first hotels in Johor Bahru to offer internationally branded mid-scale accommodation, Holiday Inn Johor Bahru City Centre will be equipped with six meeting rooms, a business centre, as well as an outdoor pool and gym for guests to enjoy their downtime. It will also feature an all-day dining restaurant and a lounge offering the Holiday Inn brand’s signature Kids Stay and Eat Free programme, where kids under the age of 12 can stay and dine for free. “Johor Bahru holds enormous economic potential that is fuelled by its strong connectivity to Singapore especially later with heightened visitor influx expected with the completion of the Singapore-

Johor Bahru Rapid Transit System in 2024. The state government is also investing in developing the downtown area into a tourism and business core. These factors bode well for us, representing an excellent opportunity to bring the most recognised hotel brand in the world, Holiday Inn, to Johor Bahru,” said Rajit Sukumaran, Chief Development Officer AMEA, IHG. Founded in 1983, SKS Group is a multi-disciplinary organisation with core business that spans across property development, hospitality, investment holding and credit finance in Johor, Malaysia and Perth, Western Australia. SKS Group currently owns and manages four Amansari brand hotels with more than 1,000 guestrooms in Johor Bahru and Desaru, Johor. Besides that, the Group is constantly on the lookout to expand its hotel portfolio with one 316room Capri by Fraser Hotel Residences in Johor Bahru Sentral, three DoubleTree by Hilton hotels and one Hampton Inn by Hilton hotel in Perth, Western Australia in the development pipeline. by The Iskandarian TI


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Seri Austin’s Townpark Recognised as NonSmoking Zone

UMLand Seri Austin received the prestigious Blue Ribbon Award for the efforts to stamp out smoking in public places


alaysian Health Promotion Board ( M y S i h at ) o n ce again recognised and gazetted Seri Austin’s Townpark as a smoke free park at the Blue Ribbon Campaign 2017 Appreciation and Recognition Night. The award was presented by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam at Bora Ombak Marina, Putrajaya. Earlier in 2014, MySihat recognised and accredited two out of five townparks at Seri Austin as the First Smoke Free Townpark in Iskandar Malaysia. Chief Executive Officer cum Acting Group Director of UMLand Townships, Wong Kuen Kong (KK Wong) said as the first developer in the state to make such a move, a lot of effort and sacrifices were made to make it happen. The Blue Ribbon Award is an international campaign introduced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific

to recognise and acknowledge people and organisations working to implement and support the WHO Framework Convention provision on Article 8, protection from exposure of tobacco smoke. Seri Austin, spread across 500 acres of freehold land, is planned with homes of quality design and affordable pricing. Together with its healthy and conducive living environment, the township offers a ‘Simply Better’ lifestyle. - by The Iskandarian TI


Price vs Value – Part Two


he Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM) explains that valuers are not just from the private sector. There are equally significant number of valuers in the public sector with the majority of them in the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH). Self-governance of the profession cohesively by the two sectors ensures that valuation is not motivated by profits but instead, as a bastion to uphold and protect the interest of the public at large. NAPIC or the National Property Information Centre, which issues the quarterly and annual Property Market Report, is also under JPPH as is INSPEN, the National Valuation Institute, which is responsible over research and development. Therefore, in practice, valuation is not only part and parcel of the business and commercial world but is also an important element in our nation building and economic prosperity. As professionals, valuers are licensed and governed by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents of the government that will take stern actions on any valuers that breach professional codes of conduct or ethics. Even professional fees charged to the public are being regulated and monitored by the Board. As such, valuers are on par with other professionals such as surveyors, engineers, lawyers and doctors in terms of professional integrity. Malaysian valuers also belong to a global fraternity of appraisers, evaluators and valuers

who constantly network and collaborate on formulating and reviewing international standards of governing valuation practices that valuers around the world have to adhere to. It’s the professional view of RISM that the current state of the property market where prices have risen beyond what is affordable to the masses can be attributed to the primary market where selling prices are being continuously increased, in order to create an impression of price appreciation. This is a marketing tool to attract more purchasers, including repeat buyers and investment clubs. Unlike the secondary market, there is no requirement by the banks to have an independent valuation carried out by a valuer to verify the reasonability of the price before a loan is approved. In fact, the escalation of property prices in the primary market led to an upward pressure on the values of secondary properties where the valuer has to base his/her valuation on market evidence that keep on recording higher values. Valuers cannot and do not just pluck figures from thin air at their whims and fancies. In fact, RISM is of the opinion that it will be in the best interest of the public if valuers are appointed to verify the values involved in any property transaction be it in the primary or secondary market, under all given circumstances. Valuers can be the very solution, and the check and balance required towards ensuring the property market will remain

Sr Khaidzir A Rasip Senior VP at IRDA Sr Khaidzir A Rasip is a Chartered Valuation Surveyor by profession with over 29 years of working experience in the United Kingdom and Malaysia. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), United Kingdom; and a member of the Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents & Property Consultants in the Private Sector (PEPS). A Senior Vice President at Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) which he joined in 2009, Sr Khaidzir has been assigned to various positions in Social Development, Flagship Development, Economics & Investment, Strategic Communications and now, Urban Observatory divisions whilst maintaining a specific role as the subject matter expert in property for Iskandar Malaysia.

sustainable, equitable and inclusive to all strata of society. An edited version of this article appeared in the July/August 2016 edition of Homefinder Malaysia. TI


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