Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Can you park at reserved roadside parking bay after business hours?

Vacant roadside parking is very difficult to be found nowadays. Sometimes when you are able to find a vacant one, the parking bay is marked in red paint instead of yellow or white, indicating that it is a rented as reserved parking space by the city council to possibly the shop right in front of the bay.

If you arrived there after business hours (early in the morning or late at night), or during weekends or public holidays, you might wonder can you park your car at that "reserved" parking bay as legally allowed by the city council?

The answer is YES because the reserved parking bays are rented during specific working hours only, and is free for any car parking outside the rental hours.

The reserved parking time slot of those parking bays marked in red paint is usually following the same time slot which the city council is collecting parking fee for the other roadside parking bays.

For Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), the reserved time is from 7.30am to 6.00pm, Monday to Saturday, except public holidays.

For Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), the reserved time is from 8.00am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays.

For Subang Jaya City Council (MBSJ), the reserved time is from 8.00am to 10.00pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays. However, MBSJ is also renting out a kind of reserved parking at higher rental price, which include reserved time during weekends and public holidays.

Normally, when you see the shop in front of the reserved parking bay is closed, and the time is outside the reserved hours, it is safe for you to park at that parking lot.

Anybody who illegally blocking a public parking bay, including those "reserved" parking bays outside their rental hours, is an act against the law and can be fined for penalty by the city council.

Anyhow, if there is any argument, normal citizens should not take the law into your own hands, and should report the case to the city council instead.

Monday, December 30, 2019

A family day trip to Pulau Ketam (Island of Crabs), Selangor

Pulau Ketam is an island located near to Port Klang, one of the busiest container ports in the world.

There are 2 Chinese villages on Pulau Ketam :- the main Pulau Ketam village and a smaller Sungai Lima village. Although both the villages are quite near to each other, there is currently no road access between them. They are connected with water traffic.

Pulau Ketam is accessible by cruises or speed boats available daily at the South Port Passenger Terminal (Terminal Penumpang South Port) of Klang. It is within walking distance from Port Klang KTM station.

There is a huge golden crab sculpture at the South Port, a good photo-shooting location.

Hourly traffic is available from 9am to 6pm. Tickets are available for to-and-fro or single trip, and the price is pretty affordable. The price of cruises ticket is slightly more expensive than speed boats, selling at RM18 for adults and RM10 for children for to-and-fro trip by Alibaba Pulau Ketam Cruises Services Sdn Bhd.

While the travelling time of speed boats is slightly faster, the cruises are more relaxing with air-cond, large screen TV, comfortable seats, and roofed open air upper deck. It takes about 40 minutes for the cruise to travel between South Port and Pulau Ketam.

The infrastructure in Pulau Ketam main village is pretty well established. It has a nice jetty, free public toilet near the jetty, police station, fire brigade, surau, etc. There is a "pork free" restaurant called Restoran Po Seng next to the surau on the island.

As you can see from the photo above, there are telco towers on the island. You need not worry about getting phone signal and mobile data there.

The village is built on top of a swampy area. All the houses in the village are stilt houses. Even the roads are built on top of the land. This forms a unique scene in Pulau Ketam.

AS its name suggested, you can find plenty of crabs in this island. The crab species in the village is of small size, colourful (blue, orange, red, yellow, ...), and only has one plier. The villagers say edible crabs are located at the other side of the islands, some distance away from the village.

The village is not too large, most of the places are within 1km radius from the main street located near the jetty. Everywhere are within walking distance. The villagers also travel by electric bicycles and bikes on the island. The electric vehicles are available for rent to tourists too.

Quite a number of villagers have converted their house into homestay for tourists who come and visit the island. There are also a few hotels with room rate of around RM100 per night. Anyhow, Pulau Ketam is still a fishermen village, and you can find fishing boats cruising around.

Pulau Ketam is a nice relaxing place for sight seeing and listening to stories about the village from the villagers there.

There are quite a number of wall paintings for photo shooting.

And the village has quite a number of Chinese temples too.

While a day trip is sufficient to explore the village, and one night stay at one of the homestay on the island will bring a more amazing experience.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Which e-wallet is better to claim your RM30 e-Tunai Rakyat? (Boost, GrabPay, TnG)

As you might have aware, the Malaysian government is giving off RM30 digital incentive to eligible Malaysians to encourage e-wallet usage.

The 3 selected e-wallets to participate in this initiative are: Boost, GrabPay and TnG eWallet.

In order to be eligible to claim this RM30 from your e-wallet, you need to be:
  • Have a valid MyKad as a Malaysian citizen.
  • Aged 18 years and above as of 31 December 2020.
  • Have a combined personal income of less than RM100,000 as declared to LHDN in assessment year 2018. If you did not file your income tax for assessment year 2018 due to having zero or low income, such as students, retirees, etc., you have chance to get this RM30 e-Tunai Rakyat too.
To claim for this RM30 e-Tunai Rakyat, you need:
  • To be an e-wallet user of at least one of Boost, GrabPay or TnG eWallet.
  • To have your e-wallet user identity fully verified by going through MyKad and face validation. 
As a reminder, your children, parents, and grandparents might be eligible to claim for this RM30 e-Tunai Rakyat. If they have not registered as e-wallet user yet, you might want to get them ready by registering them as an e-wallet user, and complete their Know-Your-Customer (KYC) verification process as soon as possible.

The RM30 e-Tunai Rakyat can be claimed from one of the three participating e-wallets from 15 January 2020 onwards. It must be used latest by the expiry date of 14 March 2020.

If you have a car and have been using Touch n Go to pay for tolls, TnG eWallet will be a good choice for you to claim the RM30 e-Tunai Rakyat. Nowadays, you can also use TnG eWallet to pay for supported municipal council's road parking. You can also use this e-wallet to pay prepaid and/or postpaid mobile service. Of course, this e-wallet can also be used in supported online and physical shops.

If you don't have a car and/or always use Grab Car and/or Grab Food services, then GrabPay will be your good choice to perform the claiming. This e-wallet can also be used in supported online and physical shops as well.

Boost is a good choice to pay bills, to save money in SSPN account, to buy gold from Hello Gold platform, etc. It can also be used to pay for supported parking, both street parking and also gated parking. It is also well accepted in online and physical shops.

Note that if you buy online using your mobile phone, you can earn Shopback cashback by accessing TnG ewallet or Boost through Shopback app. Grab used to have cooperation with Shopback for cashback on user's spending, but unfortunately now you can no longer earn Shopback cashback from Grab.

You can reload (a.k.a. top-up) your digital money in Boost, GrabPay and TnG eWallet using credit card, debit card and online bank transfer. A better way is to reload them using BigPay Mastercard, so that you can earn Big Points as well.

If you are registering a new Boost account and need a referral code to get RM5 in your e-wallet right after your first spending of RM10 or above in a single transaction, you can use this invite code: foocnm9

If you are registering a new TnG eWallet account and need a referral code to get some toll rebates (100% rebate on toll fees), you can use this referral code: m4sxxm

Grab used to also have referral programme, but unfortunately has been discontinued since December 2019.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Cooking hob type comparison: gas vs ceramic vs induction

Currently there are 3 major types of cooking hob available in the market.

The traditional cooking gas type has been around for a long time, and perhaps is the most commonly used type.

On the other hand, there are 2 types of electrical hob, one type works using radiation under ceramic top, and another is the induction type. The heating source of the ceramic hob can be of cooker ring elements, halogen lamp, or some other materials.

The table below compares the characteristics, pros and cons among the gas hob, ceramic hob and induction hob (click on the image to enlarge it).

There is little doubt that the electrical hobs are better than the traditional gas hob, especially in terms of safety.

While the induction hob seems to be a better choice than the ceramic hob, its limitation in cookware compatibility is a major set back.

Luckily nowadays there exist 2-in-1 cooker hobs that contain both ceramic burner and induction burner on same piece of hob for you to get the best of both.

Another major consideration when buying a hob is the material used for its glass surface, as poor material is easier to get scratched, cracked or broken. Brand names such as Eurokera, Schott, NEG, etc. could give you some confidence on the ceramic glass material quality.

Malaysia year 2020 national and state public holidays

The official 2020 national and state public holidays in Malaysia has been announced by Cabinet, Constitution and Inter-Government Relation Division (BKPP), Prime Minister Department.

There are 14 days of national holiday (12 national holidays, whereby Chinese New Year and Hari Raya Puasa have 2 days of holiday respectively, and all the rest are 1 day).

3 of them fall on Friday, 4 fall on Saturday, 2 fall on Sunday, and 2 fall on Monday. Most of the states will have around 4 state holidays in addition to the national holidays.

Chinese New Year falls on weekend Saturday and Sunday (25th and 26th January 2020). As such, Monday 27th January 2020 will also be a holiday.

Hari Raya Puasa falls on Sunday and Monday (24th and 25th May 2020).  As such, Tuesday 26th May 2020 will also be a holiday.

Unfortunately, Deepavali falls on Saturday (14th November 2020), which is already a weekend off day for many people.

Click here to download the table of Malaysia year 2020 gazetted national and state public holidays.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Upgrade Huawei Mate 20 series from EMUI 9.1 (Android Pie) to EMUI 10 (Android 10)

Huawei has already released the new EMUI 10 firmware with Android 10 to its Mate 20 series smartphones by now.

However, you might not be able to find it under the normal Settings > System & updates > Software update section of EMUI 9.1.

You will need to ensure your Huawei Mate 20 series handphone has been updated to the latest version of EMUI 9.1 (Android Pie). Then, you can proceed to search for EMUI 10 by using the HiCare app and perform the firmware upgrade from EMUI 9.1 to EMUI 10.

After you have open the HiCare app in your phone, make sure it has the latest version first. Go to Me > Settings > Check for updates. Your HiCare version should be or above.

Then, go to Services > Update > Check for updates. You should be able to find EMUI 10 and perform the upgrade there.

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