Monday, December 31, 2012

Engineering Series - Managing power spikes / tripped fuses

Hi Residents and owners,

Another in the engineering series for residents and owners living in East Ledang.


A fact of living in Johor is power-outs and spikes in our electricity supply. I am sure all of us have experienced power outages in the last few years. Unfortunately there is little we can do for power outs. For those who travel arriving home after time away (even for a day) discovering the circuit breaker has tripped due to a power spike and finding that all that food in your fridge or freezer has gone off (not to mention if you keep fish and the pump has been off for some time).

Power spikes are common (transient voltage issues) and can be managed to some extent. The circuit breaker by design trips (switches off the power) when earth leakage or power spike is detected for safety. This is a good thing. However if we are not around to turn the power back on, the food in the fridge may waste. We can't guarantee we will always been around to switch the power on.


Lucky the fix is a relatively easy one, perhaps a little expensive (depending how much food could be wasted). Hager makes a plug in device which sits aside the main circuit breaker which in effect resets itself after a power spike. It works like this:

1. A power spike is detected - shut power off.
2. After 10 min timer (delay period) - resets the circuit breaker (turns power back on without intervention)
3. The device will try to reset 3 times in 30 mins. If it detects an actual fault (anything other than a power spike), the power will remain off for safety.
This means if the power trips due to a single spike, the power to the house will come back on without anyone needing to be there.

The Device is around the 700 MYR to purchase and needs to be installed by an electrician (it is very easy installation - 10-15 mins) Hager Auto Reset MZ912 - there are different types depending on the load required.


NOTE: If your electrical system is NOT equipped with Surge Protection Devices, protect equipment from transient as it can damage electrical items. This can be done at the distribution board or at the plug level. (another blog another time....)

Hager Auto Rests can be obtained from:

Genuine Electric Sdn Bhd
126, Jln Ros Merah Dua/16
Taman Johor Jaya
81100 Johor Bahru, Joho
r Pic: Mr. Tan Lian Hua / Mr. Loh Chee Kan
Tel: 07-352 5722
Fax: 07-352 5727

Syarikat Elektrik Combi (JB) Sdn Bhd
61 & 63, Jalan Ros Merah 2/3
Taman Johor Jaya
81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Pic: Mr. Lee Chee Boon
Tel: 07-356 0208
Fax: 07-356 0209

C.T.E. Electric Sdn Bhd
33, Jalan Sri Bahagia 5
Taman Sri Bahagia, Tampoi
81200 Johor Bahru, Johor
Pic: Madam Chay Ah Min
Tel: 07-236 5668
Fax: 07-236 5609

Actgen Industry Sdn Bhd
133, Jalan Seroja 39
Taman Johor Jaya
81100 Johor Bahru
Pic: Mr. Tang Pee Tee
Tel: 07-357 3133
Fax: 07-357 3136

All the best, have a great NYE. See you again next year.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Engineering Series - Twin Villa Series I and III leaking landing walls

Greetings from Australia! I hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday and/or celebration. This is a special post, written by my husband and aims to share tips on preventative maintenance of properties. Hope you'll find this useful.

Hi Residents and owners,

This is the first of a series of posts which seek to address issues / defects and preventative maintenance for properties in East Ledang.

IMPETUS: As many homeowners have been facing, defects seem to be normal walk of life in buying properties here (in our case, East Ledang).

Defects are the result of poor design, workmanship or inadequate defect repairs. In so many cases UEM maintenance team will simply 'paint over" providing only a cosmetic remedy,where the defect will only re-appear months later (subject to season) (tips for potential buyers, make sure you pay special attention to defects warranty and fix processes with UEM/your developer before you sign the purchase contract).

Equally unqualified or experienced UEM employes are ill prepared to investigate let alone resolve the root cause of the defect. Hence we decided to resolve these outstanding issues in our building ourselves but also take the opportunity to apply preventative works which reduce potential risks and significantly extend regular maintenance schedules (e.g painting)

DEFECT: Twin Villa Series I and III stair landing water moisture issue/s

Water inclusion (where it is not supposed to be) can destroy the integrity of a structure and damage finishes. We have had issues with our stair landing wall showing signs of moisture. This often results in secondary efflorescence (salting bumpy surface on the wall and possible ponding or pooling of water in the stair landing area) See figure 1

After reviewing a number of possible causes for moisture in the concrete (esp. 2 years after the build), this issue had been tracked down to incorrect installation and/or sealing of the windows by UEM in the original build. The frame seal between the aluminum window and the wall framing has not been sealed correctly and in many cases is the source of the moisture (silicone on the glass will not remedy the issue)

THE FIX Fortunately the repair is both relatively cheap and easy. A few tubes of acrylic paintable multipurpose sealer (10-15 MYR), masking tape and Sika brand acrylic waterproofing compound (looks like thick paint) will do the trick.

Masking tape is applied on the exterior aluminum window frame to protect the finish of the frame, also makes the whole repair process cleaner and easier.

After the masking tape is applied, run a bead of acrylic sealer in the joint between the frame and the concrete structure. Apply liberally as the excess will be wiped off with your finger and if need be a damp cloth. This creates a flexible seal which can manage shrinking and contraction as the building heats and cools. See figure 2

The next step prevents surrounding concrete 'leaching' moisture in behind the window. Apply by brush and roller a liberal coat of Sika Waterproofing compound around the sills and 300mm around the window, ensuring there are not holes, gaps and the compound covers the gap sealer you applied previously. This extends the waterproofing beyond the window area and in conjunction with the gap sealer ,creates a water tight seal all the way up to the window frame.

For extra peace of mind, a membrane can be used on the base sill to increase durability of the seal against movement of the building. See figure 3

After a few days of drying, a good quality exterior paint can be applied (original exterior wall colour) to finish the job.

Basic items are available from the local hardware store in Gelang Patah. Sika products can be obtained from Lin Hoo hardware in JB (Sika® RainTite®).

Best of luck! Thanks for reading.... Ian

Figure 1
Water inclusion from window sill. May not be as visible, moisture can leach without being seen.

Figure 2
Masked window frame (yellow tape) and gap sealer applied (white)

Figure 3
Waterproof compound applied (with fibre matting) on lower exterior sill

Figure 4
Waterproof cover surrounding the windows, ready for final colour coat.

Monday, December 3, 2012

UEM Q3 2012 Profit Rose by RM 42.01M, Yet UEM Falls Short of Delivering Sales Promises

Thanks to increase in sales and construction progress from development such as East Ledang, Imperia, etc, UEM made a very significant increase in pre-tax profit in the recent Q3 per this article. As an investor and resident in UEM's development, I am often very disappointed with the developer. UEM falls short in many ways in delivering against the promises and expectations set in their marketing/sales messages (at least for this area). Yes UEM can market and sell their houses very effectively, but what comes after sales and construction is as important, if not more important because existing estates are reflection of the true value of the developer.

With this profit, I sincerely hope that UEM would finally take action and delivers promises made to its investors. Inaction or lack of actions would eventually generate very detrimental publicity and image to the company. So let's see how this goes.

Best Rice Noodles (Kway Teow) in JB

Thanks to Johor Kaki blog, I've found my favourite soup kway teow (rice noodle) in Johor (actually & Singapore). Soup rice noodle is one of my all time favourite and being a Teochew, it's something that I grew up eating.

The name of this traditional and old shop is Restoran Sekee. It's located at 30, Jalan Segget, JB, GPS: 1.458202,103.764383. The shop is opened almost daily except Saturday & public holidays from 7.30 am to 1 or 1.30 pm.

Since I do not like internal organs, I ordered soup kway teow with pork meat, which cost RM5. The soup is refreshing, light, not oily at all. The pork meat is juicy and tender while the kway teow is light and smooth. This is as close to my hometown's kway teow soup dish as I can get. It's yummy and I would super recommend this to anyone who likes soup rice noodles.

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wow We've Been Living in Johor for 2 Years!

My sincere apologies for being M.I.A for quite a while. We were away for a long holiday and are kinda of back at home now :)

#1 Highlight of our trip - the beautiful snow mountains of Switzerland

Our renovation is unfortunately still ongoing and the house still looks like a construction site. As with 99.9% renovations, we experienced some delays so we're running behind initial plan. I'm hopeful that we can have majority of work done by mid Dec (this year :). I also apologise to our dear neighbours who have to bear with the ever lasting renovation, thank you so much for your patience & support!

Here are couple pictures of our mess:

Study Room extension:

Courtyard folding doors made by dear husband:

We are redoing a lot of things (or should I say poor design & mess) done in our 1st renovation by our 1st contractors. I hope no one will go through the same pain as we did.

Besides holidays & renovation, time seriously fly and without realising it, it's been 2 years since we packed our stuff and moved up north from Singapore to Johor.

Looking back at the past 2 years, here are my thoughts of highlights and low-lights of living in Johor:

Key highlights:
- Generally nice neighbours and community, some of whom are like families now. To think of it, we didn't even know our neighbours in our apartment back in Singapore. I think we're very lucky to have met such a group of wonderful people.
- Fresh air, I love winding down my windows on the drive home from Singapore or when we leave home in the morning to smell the fresh air.
- Think 50% off cost of living in general. Groceries, fuel, utilities bill, vet and more, all almost half price we paid in Singapore.
- As per Ian's words, more relaxing lifestyle, less rushing and more space.

Key low-lights:
- Malaysia Boleh but actually Tak Boleh standard, talk and lack of substance, e.g. UEM who's started to slack off in their maintenance and security standards, hence the forming of East Ledang Pro-tem committee. You'd often hear people say "arr it's Malaysia" when something goes wrong, e.g. TNB power shut down for hours, etc I think Johor has a lot of potential, but I sincerely hope that mentality here would improve, skills will be upgraded and most importantly, more would take pride in their work.
- Lack of facilities still. There's still lack of more established, fine dining, expats options in Johor. Not much has changed since Medini lifestyle and Johor premium outlets open, let's hope that things will be more international in a year. Would be nice to have places like Arab Street, Bukit Bintang area of KL, etc in Johor.
- Of course, transport is always more inconvenient. Before going on this holiday, I was leaving for work at 6.30 am during carpooling days. There are times of course when I wish that I can get a 10 mins taxi ride to/from work, but it is what it is.

Overall, we still have no regrets moving here and are enjoying our space and lifestyle very much so. May the best of years still to come and we'll continue to enjoy our time here.

Have a good weekend everyone. Happy belated Thanksgiving to everyone who's celebrating, we had some nice turkey dinner and hope you had some too :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

All Day Breakfast (Not in Johor unfortunately)

Looking for all day breakfast place can be quite challenging in Singapore as most places serve breakfast up to 12 or 2 pm only (esp in weekdays), so I thought I'd share about the breakfast restaurant we found in SG - Wild Honey. This place serves many types of western breakfasts, from traditional English to Mexican to Aussie.

We ordered the English and special of the day Italian brusceta breakfast meals.

The 2 breakfast meals + 3 drinks cost SGD78.36, definitely quite pricey.

There are two branches for Wild Honey, both located in Orchard area.
Overall, breakfast was quite delicious, though very pricey. But it's always good to know that you can find all day breakfast here when you need it once in a while.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Johor International Ladies Group

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for being M.I.A for so long, life has been very hectic and I hope things are starting to slow down now.

I received an email from a new Johor resident who's just moved over from Singapore. Catherine has created a Meet Up group, called the Johor International Ladies Group. I thought this is a great idea so I'm helping to promote this group :)

Johor International Ladies Group is for ladies of all nationalities and ages living in Johor - especially around the areas of East Ledang, Ledang Heights, Horizon Hills and Leisure Farm. It's for Expats and locals - everyone is welcome.

The purpose of the group is to give women in Johor a chance to make new friends, enjoy social outings and increase their social circle. We can also have Meetups for members with children.

Who should join? Anyone who lives in Johor and would like to make some new friends and increase their social life! Also anyone who has children who'd like to do the same for their kids (and maybe even their partners).


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Legoland Preview

By now, I'm sure most people would have read about the weekend previews of Legoland. A friend of mine went last week so I asked her to share some pictures with us. She found that it was a good entertainment for her kid and good value for money, though food wasn't exactly that great yet (I'm sure this will change over time). Reviews seem to be qreat so far, I'm looking forward to visiting soon!

This is so cute!!!!

And sharing a touching story about origin of Lego

Here we go again. Renovation part 2.

Sorry for being M.I.A for a while. Life has been hectic lately as we kick started stage 2 renovation in our house. We are now back to living in 1 room and without kitchen and TV. I feel a lot more confident that stage 2 will be way smoother and less painful than what we went through in stage 1, now that we have found a reliable designer contractor. We are redoing quite a number of cabinets & rewiring work done by previous contractors. We are expecting to finish stage 2 in 3rd week of October, so I am super looking forward to that! Stage 3 is exterior and we'll start thinking about it in Oct.

Renovation aside, I've also had some interesting time with our car. Besides getting a speeding ticket & demerit points (watch out for your speed on AYE near exit 20-22 towards Tuas) and forking SGD4K for car repair, life's generally good :)

Very much looking forward to October!!!

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Frost & Sullivan to invest RM500mil in Iskandar

We saw Frost & Sullivan sign now put up in building opposite UEM sales office. I was wondering what they were doing here but this news article confirms that Frost & Sullivan is setting up in Iskandar with commitment of over RM500mil in investment and 830 staff in employment by 2020. Great to see more addition and growth to this area.

Frost & Sullivan to invest RM500mil in Iskandar

Monday, September 3, 2012

Anti-Venom Information

Hi Everyone, Following the latest snake cobra sighting in Ledang Heights, our neighbour has investigated steps to take in case if someone is bitten by a snake in this area.

Entry by Wendy:

The nearest hospital is Sultanah Aminah General Hospital in Johor Bahru: 80100 Johor Bahru, along Jalan Abu Bakar! It is 22 kilometers from East Ledang and if you drive FAST I would think you can get there in about 10-15 minutes. Take coastal highway directly there. All parents are recommended to visit this place once as a preparation! You must drive to the EMERGENCY ROOM called KECEMASAN.

Private hospitals such as Columbia Asia and KJP Specialists DO NOT CARRY ANTI-VENOM!!! DO NOT GO THERE...ONLY WASTES TIME.

The most crucial factor to surviving poisonous bites is TIME...get to anti-venom IMMEDIATELY. Also, knowing what type of snake is important - I will research this and send photos and good descriptions.

You should call while driving there to alert the emergency doctors of the situation to SAVE TIME: 225-7000, extension 3248.

The anti-venoms that are available are for bites from: malaysian pit vipers, cobras, kraits, sea snake... and polyvalent anti-venom is available for unidentifiable snake bites.

If ever you find a snake you can contact the security guards (075513367) or wildlife department of Johor (+6072247436) for removal.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Nice place to drink some beers @ Beer Channel

I've noticed Beer Channel a couple of times in our drive to Gelang Patah. Bright lights always attract me :) We decided to check out this joint and have beers to relax for the evening.

We ordered 1 pine of Strongbow (not exactly beer but that's what I felt like having) and 1 pine of Carslberg. Ian also ordered chicken chop for his dinner which was quite good. Overall, the 2 beers & chicken chop cost ~RM55. The atmosphere was nice and relaxing. We'll definitely go back for more. Unfortunately I don't have the exact street address and I can't find it on the web, but this place is located between East Ledang and Gelang Patah. It's in an industrial shop houses complex.

Went to Dentist in Nusa Bestari

Because it's so difficult to get last minute appointment with dentists in Singapore, we thought we'd try visit a dentist in Johor and see how it compares. I found out that Q&M has opened a number of branches in Johor and there's 1 very close to East Ledang.

Q & M Dental Surgery's closest branch is at Nusa Bestari. Here's the address and contact details:
No. 85-01 Jalan Bestari 1/5 Taman Nusa Bestari
79150 Nusajaya
Johor, Malaysia
Tel: 07-5113089
Fax: 07-5123089

The clinic has been opened for about a year. It's a small but decent clinic. We did general check and cleaning plus filling. Total cost for the services was ~RM240 (from memory). The doctor's nice, professional and clinic is hygienic so we'll be back for more basic dentistry procedures.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New bungalow in Ledang Heights for sale

Here's my last posting for the week:

Another bungalow (currently under renovation) for sale.
Bedrooms: 4+1
Land size: 11909sqft
Build Up: 3469qft
Swimming pool: Yes (4mx15m (depth 0.8m-1.5m)

Design illustrations:

Please drop a message if you are or knows anyone who would be interested on the property. Have a great Sunday.

Chez Papa French restaurant @ Taman Maju Jaya

We finally had dinner at Chez Papa. I've heard so much about this restaurant so I was very excited to visit the place. It's also been ranked as one of the best restaurants in Johor.

Starters: Foie Gras & Salad

Main course: Lamb, steak & chicken chop

Desserts: Creme brulee, chocolate mouse & crepe

Chezz Papa is located at:
38 and 40 Jalan Jaya, Taman Maju Jaya, 80400
Johor Bahru
(5 minutes from Woodlands Checkpoint)

Contact Details: Tel :+607-333 4988
Mobile :+6019-750 4988
Fax :+607-237 3888

View Larger Map

For the four of us, the dinner cost ~RM630 (including a bottle of house wine, soft drinks & latte). The food was great (foie gras was the best dish), the service was very very slow during our visit. Though this is relatively cheaper than Singapore french restaurants, it is quite pricey for Johor's standard. It's nice to visit once in a while, but not every weekend.

P/S: Don't park your car underneath the big trees, or you'll have lots of "presents" from the birds :)