Friday, December 30, 2011

Iskandar Corruption Case Growing Bigger Each Day

This seems to be getting bigger each day!

Here's a snippet of recent article from Jakarta Post:

"The New Straits Times (NST), also quoting sources, reported that the foreigners were working hand in glove with officials of state-owned property developer Iskandar Investment (IIB) for hefty kickbacks for projects secured.

This week, two people were charged in relation to the scandal. One was Mohd Amin Suhaimi, 52, the husband of ex-IIB chief executive Arlida Ariff. He was charged with three counts of soliciting and accepting bribes amounting to RM1.6 million (US$504,000) to help a company secure a school construction tender last year.

The other was former senior IIB vice-president Rostam Razali, 51, who is accused of disclosing information on the estimated tender price of a road project three years ago. The allegations of graft first came to light at the end of last year, when an internal audit turned up irregularities."

Read here for the entire article.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rude treatment for journalists during media tour in Nusajaya

A group of fellow journalists were treated not so politely during a recent media tour to theme park organised by a government-linked company (GLC) under Iskandar Malaysia. Read more: Staff lack basic courtesy - Johor - New Straits Times

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

JibJab 2011 Year Review

We received a JibJab Christmas Card from family and found this platform to be fun and amusing, so I'd like to share this with everyone.

JibJab allows us to insert photographs of people's faces into some animated videos and then emailing it as e-cards.

For a bit of a laugh, here's a JibJab video for 2011 recap:

Legoland begins sale of pre-opening annual passes

Legoland Malaysia began the sale of its pre-opening annual passes last Friday at a discounted price in conjunction with the holiday season, via AirAsia RedTix for a limited period.

Read more about this article.

Johor Premium Outlets

A couple of weekends ago we went to check out the Johor Premium Outlets. This place has been aggressively marketed to Singaporeans and has been all over radio, so we're curious to check it out.

The area is nicely laid out and you can find quite a number of popular fashion brands. However, the prices seem to be still quite steep and I did not find it much cheaper than anywhere else, so I was quite disappointed. We did not buy anything, except for Coffee Bean drinks and lunch at George & Dragon Café :).

Based on news report, the area will be expanded from 70 stores to 130 stores in the near future. "Genting Simon Group also plans to build a waterpark, a meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition convention centre and a 2,000 room hotel in the area." as quoted in TheStar.

It is all fine, good and exciting to hear this, but I would hope that Malaysia immigration would step up their services and resources to deal with the increasing flow of tourists from Singapore. Our friends were stuck for 3-4 hours on 2nd link causeway on Saturday noon. It is useless to have MAC pass because all lanes were equally jammed. I hope MY government will take this into account and put some serious actions into expanding the checkpoints.

Restaurants & food court in the compound:

Driving direction from Singapore:
Singapore → Tuas → Lebuhraya Hubungan Kedua Malaysia Singapore → Exit 304 → Exit 302A → Johor Premium Outlets

List of shops can be found here and the outlets are opened from 10 am to 10 pm everyday.

Enjoy & Merry Christmas~

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Legoland urged to lower entry rates

The entrance fees for Asia's first ever Legoland theme park in Nusajaya are too high for locals, said Malaysian Tourists Guides Council president Jimmy Leong.

Based on Legoland Malaysia's site, the price of 1-day ticket for adult is RM140 while ticket for child is RM110. It looks like it's definitely worth getting the annual pass which will be made available at special opening rate of RM195 for adult and RM150 for child.

Legoland urged to lower entry rates

Monday, December 5, 2011

S'pore billionaire to buy 10ha from Johor royal family

It is quite difficult to write a blog entry on iPad!

Anyway, I just found a slightly older article about Singapore billionaire, Peter Lim who invested in a 10ha land to develop a medical hub and marina city in Johor Bahru. I think this is great!

This is very positive news as we've been hearing many more stories about Singaporeans crossing the border to get more affordable medical treatment in Johor. A recent story was Ms. Goh Chai Gek who decided to deliver her baby boy in Johor. The total cost of her cesarean section delivery was about RM8,190, including three nights. It would typically have come up to about S$5,840 (RM14,333) in a hospital here, meaning she enjoyed savings of about 40%. “I could also claim the amount from Medisave,” said the 30-year-old accountant.

In Iskandar area, I am happy to be surrounded by Medical school, hospital and pharmacy :) Neighbour of ours recently brought their daughter to Columbia Asia Hospital for a check up. They were very happy and in fact were impressed by the attentiveness, professionalism and affordability of the hospital's service. I may go check out the hospital for a future blog entry :)

Another neighbour of ours has also opened a compounding pharmacy, Amber Pharmacy, at Anjung which is located outside of East Ledang complex.

With Columbia Asia Hospital, pharmacy and a lot of medical professors + students in our area, I feel well covered in case if there's any medical emergency (which hopefully will not happen of course) :)

Seriously, it's nice to hear that there are reliable medical services nearby. A specialist doctor I used to see in Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore charges per 10 minutes and could not wait to get you out of his room - needless to say, I will not return to that clinic again. So it's also very nice to have good reliable alternatives besides the increasingly super expensive medical treatment in Singapore!

Study being done on undersea tunnel to link JB and Singapore

A study is being done on the feasibility of constructing an undersea tunnel to link Singapore and Malaysia. Iskandar Regional Development Authority chief executive officer Ismail Ibrahim said the tunnel was likely to be about 1km long, slightly shorter than the Causeway.

It's about time, hopefully there'll be more ways to cross between SG & Johor. I think this is important to prepare for the influx of tourists into Iskandar once Legoland and other attractions open in 2012.

Study being done on undersea tunnel to link JB and Singapore