Friday, January 29, 2010

Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) roadmap towards Vision 2020 unveiled

On 28 Jan 2010, the detailed roadmap of Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) was unveiled.

This GTP roadmap is crucial to catch up the progress to reach Vision 2020 in time, and it is indeed well written. It is better late than none that, after almost 2 decades Vision 2020 launched, and only left with 1 decade to fulfil, finally the government come out with a more solid action plan on how to achieve the vision.

The GTP roadmap details the objectives, outcomes and the initial set of actions in areas identified as National Key Result Areas (NKRAs) and Ministerial Key Result Areas (MKRAs, mentioned in Budget 2010 speech).

The NKRAs cover 6 areas which have been the long time concerns (and frustrations) of the citizens:
  • Reducing crime
  • Fighting corruption
  • Improving student outcomes
  • Raising living standards of low-income households
  • Improving rural basic infrastructure
  • Improving urban public transport
Since his ruling, Najib has come out with a few propagandas and slogans such as 1Malaysia, NKRAa, MKRAs, MKPIs, GTP, etc. It is hope that they put real action in it towards a real transformation and a better future, if not, probably we should elect for an alternative ruling party to bring in the long awaited transformation (perhaps... reformation).

Click here to visit the official website of GTP.

Click here to download the GTP Roadmap documents.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

11 principle elements of a good manager

There are many perspective to view someone as a good manager. The following 11 principle elements of a good manager are listed in a management course I've attended, which I find the list is a good measurement as well as direction.

  • Know yourself and seek self-improvement
  • Be technically proficient and know your job well
  • Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions
  • Make sound and timely decisions
  • Set the example and be a good role model
  • Know your people and look out for their well-being
  • Keep your workers informed
  • Develop a sense of responsibility in your workers
  • Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished
  • Train as a real team, not just a group of people
  • Use the full capabilities of your organization by developing a team spirit
Good manager are made, not born. Therefore, we should develop ourselves to be better and better.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Show PageRank and Alexa ranking of websites in status bar of Firefox / SeaMonkey / IE with SearchStatus

By using the SearchStatus add-on, you can show at the status bar of your browser, the Google PageRank and Alexa popularity ranking of all the websites you are browsing.

This allows you to have a rough idea about the website's link importance and traffic importance, which is referenced by major search engines and Internet advertising services.

It could be useful to bloggers and webmasters in improving SEO for their websites. For example, you might want to get the high ranking websites to link to your own website, and SearchStatus can immediately tell you if the website you are visiting is of high ranking or not.

SearchStatus is available as add-in extension for Firefox and SeaMonkey. Beside Google PageRank and Alexa popularity ranking, it can also show the ranking and SEOmoz Linkscape mozRank as well. It is also able to provide many Internet search related information of the website through its extensive menu items.

For Internet Explorer users, SearchStatus is included as a plug-in in the IE7Pro add-on. IE7Pro is a very famous plug-in which can be used in IE 6, IE 7 or IE 8 to enhance tremendously the IE features and usability.

Note that the last version of IE7Pro is 2.4.7, released on 16 Sep 2009. Its development and maintenance has stopped at this point.

The SearchStatus plug-in in IE7Pro is not on by default, but it is very simple to turn it on and include it in the IE's status bar.

Note that in order to gather information to produce the ranking statistic:
  • Google PageRank sends your current URL and a hash of it to Google
  • Alexa ranking sends your current URL domain, your local IP address and a unique constant to Alexa Web Services
  • Compete ranking sends your current domain and a unique constant to Compete
  • Linkscape ranking sends your current URL to Linkscape.

Click here for more information and download of SearchStatus for Firefox and SeaMonkey.

Click here for more information and download of IE7Pro for Internet Explorer.

You are welcomed to inform me if there are similar tools for other browsers such as Chrome, Opera, Safari, etc.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2nd Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2010

Preceding to the great success of the 1st Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta last year, here come the 2nd event with more colourful and attractive balloons to fly up in Putrajaya.

Theme: 1World, 1Malaysia, 1Fiesta
Date: 18-21 March 2010
Time: 7am - 9pm
Venue: Precinct 2 (adjacent to the Monument Alaf Baru), Putrajaya, Malaysia

Activities include:
  • Balloon fun fly
  • Photographing sessions
  • Para motor showcase
  • Children colouring contest
  • Remote control flying aircraft display
  • Paper airplane contest
  • Tethered balloon display
  • Kite flying exhibition
  • Night glow (fireworks display)
  • Sphere rides and Waterball rides
  • Inflatables / bouncing world
  • Lake Cruise by Cruise Tasik Putrajaya
  • Auto show
  • Bazaar
  • and more...
Click here to visit the official website of the 2nd Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2010.

InfoSecurity Professionals Hi-tea Networking @ PWTC

CyberSecurity Malaysia is going to organize an information security networking forum and cocktail event to provide Information Security practitioners an avenue to collaborate and sharing knowledge, enabling them to keep abreast with the latest industry trends and development.

It is also a platform for strengthening the ability to protect information assets from the ever-changing cyber threat vectors.

Theme: Shifting Cyber Landscape; Gearing towards Innovation
Date: 8 February 2010 (Monday)
Time: 3:00 PM - 6:00PM
Venue: PWTC Kuala Lumpur
Entrance Fees: RM 100.00

  • "Significance of mitigating Cyber Threats towards Malaysian economy" by Lt. Col(R) Husin Jazri, CEO of CyberSecurity Malaysia
  • "Information Security: getting the balance right" by Professor Fred Piper, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • "The Enterprise IT Security Landscape and Latest Trends in Research" by Dr. Gobi Kurup, CTO, Extol MSC

    For participants with information security professional qualifications from recognized bodies, CPE points will be awarded based on the terms and conditions set forth by the respective certifying bodies.

    Click here to register for the InfoSecurity Professionals Hi-tea Networking event.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    Filter and block unwanted phone calls / SMS / MMS with MCleaner

    It seems that nowadays there are more and more unsolicited calls from telemarketer, as well as spam SMS flying around. I use MCleaner to tackle them.

    MCleaner is a shareware firewall for smart phones, able to filter short messages (SMS), multimedia messages (MMS), push messages, wap bookmark as well as incoming calls. This will keep you away from disturbance of spam messages, harassing calls, etc.

    MCleaner can be installed in smart phones running on UIQ3, Symbian S60, Linux, iPhone, etc. There are different version for different OS, with different user interface but similarity in features and functions.

    Filtering is processed by rulesets in your Whitelist and Blacklist, as well as your mobile phone's Contact list.

    There are 4 blocking modes available:
    • Phone busy tone
    • Mute ringtone
    • Busy and reply SMS
    • Divert call to another number
    If you want to reject incoming call/SMS/MMS at a specified period only, this can be done with the Scheduler. For example, you can block all stranger calls in midnight, yet still allowing calls from those in your Whitelist and Contact list.

    MCleaner is able to auto-start when your phone is power on, and automatically run the blocking service in the background. It can show an alert icon when there is any blocked call or message.

    Shell Malaysia 2010 Scholarship for tertiary education

    Every year, Shell Malaysia provides scholarships to offer financial support for qualified students study in universities locally and abroad.

    They are currently accepting scholarship application for full-time undergraduate studies tenable at recognized universities in Malaysia or overseas, and Pre-University studies in Malaysia.


    Students who have completed their SPM/O-Level, STPM/A-Level/Foundation Year/Diploma or currently in their final semester of Matriculation studies or in the University (IPTA/IPTS)


    • Excellent academic achievement with emphasis in English
    • Demonstration of leadership skills through active participation in extra-curricular activities
    • Strong academic record and realistic expectation of a high CGPA or its equivalent

    Preferred disciplines for scholarships:
    • Engineering (Petroleum, Chemical, Electrical and Mechanical)
    • Sciences (Geosciences, Chemistry and Physics)
    • Business Administration / Economics
    • Finance & Accounting
    • IT (includes Business/ Management IT)
    • Master of Science (MsC) in Geosciences
    Closing date:

    30 March 2010

    Click here for more information about Shell Malaysia 2010 Scholarship programme.

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    How the PCB for bonus is calculated

    The Potongan Cukai Bulanan (PCB, a.k.a. Scheduled Monthly Tax Deduction) calculation for bonus is not so straight forward.

    Here is how it will be calculated.

    Assuming you are not married, your monthly salary is RM4,000, you are contributing 11% from your salary to your EPF savings, and you received 2 months bonus in January 2010.

    Salary = RM4,000
    EPF deduction = RM440 (maximum total EPF deduction allowed for PCB calculation is only RM500, therefore available balance left is RM500 - RM440 = RM60)
    Salary to calculate PCB
    = Gross salary - EPF deduction
    = RM4,000 - RM440
    = RM3,560

    PCB 2010 according to table for RM3,560 = RM87

    2 months bonus = RM8,000
    EPF deduction = RM880
    Maximum available EPF deduction for PCB calculation = RM500 - RM440 = RM60
    Therefore, the EPF deduction should be RM60 instead of RM880

    Bonus to calculate PCB
    = Gross bonus - EPF deduction left
    = RM8,000 - RM60
    = RM7,940

    The amount for bonus PCB calculation has a formula like this:
    (1/12 x net_bonus) + net_salary

    Therefore, amount
    = (1/12 x RM7,940) + RM3,560
    = RM4,221.67

    PCB 2010 according to table for RM4,221.67 = RM194

    PCB for bonus = (RM194 - RM87) x 12 = RM1,284

    Total PCB for the month
    = PCB for salary + PCB for bonus
    = RM87 + RM1,284
    = RM1,371

    Therefore, for the month with bonus:
    Gross salary+bonus = RM12,000
    EPF contribution from employee @ 11% = RM1,320
    EPF contribution from employer @ 12% = RM1,440
    SOCSO contribution from employee = RM14.75
    SOCSO contribution from employer = RM51.65
    PCB deduction = RM1,371
    Amount you'll get = RM12,000 - RM1,371 - RM14.75 - RM1,320 = RM9,294.25

    Check your payslip for that.

    PCB 2010 income tax deduction rate

    For your information, the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (a.k.a. Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri, LHDN) has come out a new Potongan Cukai Bulanan (PCB, a.k.a. Scheduled Monthly Tax Deduction) 2010 rate.

    The monthly salary deduction amount, across all taxable income categories, is now slightly lesser than the previous PCB 2009 rate.

    According to the previous 2009 rate, unmarried person earning monthly income of RM2,401 and above will be taxable, and the PCB deduction for them is RM13.

    With the new 2010 rate, unmarried person will be taxable only when their monthly income exceeding RM2,451, and the PCB deduction for them is RM10 (previously was RM16 under PCB 2009).

    Click here to download the new Jadual PCB 2010 schedule table.

    Click here to download the previous Jadual PCB 2009 schedule table.

    You might probably be interested to read about:

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Redbook pamphlet: know your rights when stopped by police

    When you are stopped or visited by somebody who claims to be police, how should you identify if the person is an authorized police or a faked one? What should you respond and what is your basic rights?

    The Malaysian Bar (Badan Peguam Malaysia) published the famous Red Book: Police and Your Basic Rights (Polis Dan Hak-hak Asas Anda) in 2006 to inform citizens and non-citizens in Malaysia of their basic rights vis-à-vis the police.

    Further to the overwhelming respond to the Red Book, they've then produced a 2 pages Redbook Pamphlet that outlines the powers of the police in relation to arrests, body searches and the remand process, and the public’s rights when stopped and questioned, and during detention.

    The flowchart below is produced based on the information regarding public’s rights when stopped and questioned by police.

    Make sure you ask for the Police Authority Card (Kad Kuasa Polis) from the officer when stopped. There are 4 different possible colours:
    • Blue: Rank of Inspector and above
    • Yellow: Below the rank of Inspector
    • White: Reserve police
    • Red: Suspended Police Officer. He has no authority to do anything to you. Walk away.
    Here is how the blue and yellow cards look like...

    Click here to download the Redbook pamphlet from Malaysian Bar (English).
    Click here to download the Redbook pamphlet from Malaysian Bar (Malay).

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    I have just won RM15,000 cash! (scam SMS)

    Just received an SMS from a number +60145512667 (a Celcom number huh!) saying that I've won RM15,000 cash. I wonder how they got my number, or they just send by random?

    Well, this is it...

    It is a very obvious scam SMS which trap their ignorance and greedy victims.
    • From the commercial point of view, no company will give you large amount of money for no reason. Do you notice that those genuine commercial contests will require you to buy something from them, or read their advertisement, or do something for them (such as promoting them, etc.) or at least fill up a form (and thus... give your detail to their marketing department), before you can even join the contest and have a very limited chance to win?
    • This SMS is full of spelling, grammar, punctuation mistakes. If want to scam also write properly lah!
    • If a company requires you to call a number, it is always either a toll-free line, or a fixed line. You must get very suspicious if they ask you to call a mobile line, and don't even provide a name of the person at the other end.
    • If they make use of some commonly known company name, such as Power Root, you can always call their office to check. Obtain their office number from their official website or trusted printed media, instead of the one provided in the SMS.
    • If you still believe that you are so lucky to win, you can call in the number, but remember not to bank in even a single cent of money to them, not to disclose too much personal detail, especially not to disclose any of your bank number. If you want to accept the prize, make preference to walk in their office and receive a cheque, or receive by Paypal.

    Friday, January 8, 2010

    Expenses to enroll a kid in Montessori pre-school in Klang Valley

    My kid is now attending a nearby half-day Montessori pre-school this year, and here are the expenses we've spent so far:

    • Registration: RM60
    • 2 x uniform + 2 x sports wear: RM180
    • Insurance: RM20 / year
    • Kids Gazette: RM20 / year
    • Misc. fees: RM550 / year
    • Personal reading books (3 languages): RM30
    • School bag: RM50
    • 2-way transportation by MPV: RM90 / month
    • Monthly fee: RM230 (need to pay 2 months during enrolment = RM460)
    Total spent during enrolment = RM1,460
    Subsequent months = RM320

    The pre-school education is really very expensive in Klang Valley, and parents need to spend a lot during enrolment and for each subsequent months.

    We've decided to let our kid attend the Montessori pre-school programme so that he can learn and master the 3 neccessary languages commonly used in Malaysia: English, Chinese and Malay. At the same time, it provides opportunity for him to play around with classmates from different ethics of Chinese, Indian and Malay.

    Therefore, although the pre-school education is really very expensive, we still have to spend it.

    PS: We feel sad that there are still some political gaffes trying to separate people from different ethics and/or religions who live in this same piece of land for so many years, and we really hope that our current and next generation can mix and unite together as Malaysian. Those political gaffes who like to create issue and tension should feel shameful to see the little boys and girls of young age can befriend and play around with each other without separation of ethics or religion.

    Extension and renewal of Malaysia leasehold land tenure

    If you are planning to buy, or are already the owner of, a property built on leasehold land, you might be wondering (or worrying) about what will happen and what should you do when the tenure of your leasehold land going to expire in the future.

    In fact, the tenure can be renewed and extended to another 30, 60 or 99 years.

    The following info are obtained from the National House Buyers Association.

    Section 197 of the National Land Code 1965 (Act 56 of 1965) governs the extension of land leases.

    Before applying for an extension, the lease must be firstly surrendered back to the state government. Then, both the property developer and leasehold land owner(s) have to submit the Permohonan Serahbalik dan Mohon Semula Tanah Untuk Tujuan Melanjutkan Tempoh Pajakan form, together will all the required photocopied documents such as land title, site plan, quit rent receipt, assessment receipt, etc. to the state's land office.

    If the lease already expired, the form need to submit will be Permohonan Pemberimilikan Tanah (Application for Land Re-alienation) instead.

    The land will then be checked by a settlement officer, who will then submit a report to exco for approval.

    After approval, the land will need to go through re-alienation process by the land administrator.

    If the re-alienation is approved, the land office will issue a Notice that Land Revenue is Due (Form 5A) to the property owner to pay a premium.

    The premium charged is based on a formula factoring the following into calculation:
    • Premium rate (in percentage)
    • Land size
    • Market value per square feet
    • Lease tenure period
    For example, the renewal premium for a residential land at rate of 0.5% of size 25 x 80 with market value of RM20 psf for 99 years is:

    0.5% x 25 x 80 x RM20 x 99 = RM19,800 (RM200 per year).

    The land valuation is done by the Valuation and Property Services Department of Finance Ministry, and is based on the latest transaction values in the area.

    If the owner feel that the premium is too high, he has the option to appeal to the state government for a reduction.

    Upon payment of the premium, the land office will get the land title ready and inform the property owner when it is ready for collection.

    If the owner does not renew the land tenure and let it expire, the land will revert back to the state government, and be available to anyone to apply for its new ownership.

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    Jobs Rated 2010: 20 best and 20 worst jobs of the year

    CareerCast's Jobs Rated 2010 Report has made a ranking for 200 jobs from best to worst using a comprehensive analysis methodology covering the aspects of:

    • Environment
    • Income
    • Outlook
    • Stress
    • Physical Demands
    The resulting 20 best jobs of 2010 are:
    • 1. Actuary ($85,229)
    • 2. Software Engineer ($85,139)
    • 3. Computer Systems Analyst ($76,162)
    • 4. Biologist ($71,279)
    • 5. Historian ($62,226)
    • 6. Mathematician ($95,161)
    • 7. Paralegal Assistant ($46,152)
    • 8. Statistician ($73,193)
    • 9. Accountant ($59,176)
    • 10. Dental Hygienist ($67,107)
    • 11. Philosopher ($60,218)
    • 12. Meteorologist ($81,226)
    • 13. Technical Writer ($62,162)
    • 14. Bank Officer ($88,217)
    • 15. Web Developer ($60,090)
    • 16. Industrial Engineer ($74,123)
    • 17. Financial Planner ($59,353)
    • 18. Aerospace Engineer ($93,133)
    • 19. Pharmacist ($106,070)
    • 20. Medical Records Technician ($31,150)
    Click here to see the slideshow for The 10 Best Jobs of 2010 with their pros and cons information.

    The resulting 20 worst jobs of 2010 are:
    • 1. Roustabout ($31,133)
    • 2. Lumberjack ($32,114)
    • 3. Ironworker ($32,123)
    • 4. Dairy Farmer ($32,114)
    • 5. Welder ($34,122)
    • 6. Garbage Collector ($31,183)
    • 7. Taxi Driver ($22,113)
    • 8. Construction Worker (Laborer) ($29,200)
    • 9. Meter Reader ($33,170)
    • 10. Mail Carrier ($50,041)
    • 11. Butcher ($28,150)
    • 12. Photojournalist ($28,275)
    • 13. Firefighter ($44,227)
    • 14. Sheet Metal Worker ($40,208)
    • 15. Emergency Medical Technician ($29,158)
    • 16. Stevedore ($38,182)
    • 17. Reporter (Newspaper) ($35,285)
    • 18. Sailor ($34,148)
    • 19. Machinist ($36,150)
    • 20. Choreographer ($39,272)
    Click here to see the slideshow for The 10 Worst Jobs of 2010 with their pros and cons information.

    The figure in the brackets above is the median income for the corresponding job.

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Taiwan innovative handmade edible paper

    For the 1st post in 2010, I would like to share with you an interesting and good news from Taiwan.

    Taiwanese couple Huang Huan-chang (黄焕彰) and Wu Shu-li (吴淑丽) who own the Kuanghsing Paper Factory (广兴纸寮) in Puli (埔里) started to make new environmentally friendly and edible paper products from an incredible variety of plants since 2007.

    The ingredients of their creative handmade edible papers include water bamboo, bittervine, okra, pineapple, coffee grounds, sugar cane dross, paddy waste, peppers, onions, carrots, moss, grass, etc.

    They have just showcased over 100 types of edible paper varieties at the "Paper Loves Taiwan – Top 100" (纸爱台湾 - 荣耀 100) exhibition on 23 December 2009.

    Huang says the bittervine (薇甘菊) has severely damaged Taiwan landscape like a "green cancer", a name by which it is known in Chinese. They have successfully transform it into lovely art paper suitable for handicrafts or wrapping gifts, and can also be used for making decorations, CD covers and other projects, turning the "green cancer" into "green gold".

    The couple also turns okra, peppers, tangerines and even radishes into natural, edible wrappings, without adding any traditional paper pulp at all. This type of edible paper can be used to wrap food for deep-frying, yielding a product that is both safe and delicious.

    Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.