Heavy rain expected to hit several states

Heavy rain expected to hit several states

Heavy rain is expected to continue in several areas in Johor, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Terengganu and Sarawak until today.

The Malaysian Meteoro­logical Department has issued a severe weather warning for several areas in Johor and Pahang.

“Heavy rain is expected to continue in Johor (Segamat, Kluang, Mersing, Kota Tinggi, Johor Baru and Kulai) and Pahang (Rompin, Pekan and Kuantan) today,” it said in a statement.

The department has also issued a weather warning alert for Negri Sembilan, Melaka, several areas in Johor including Tangkak, Muar, Batu Pahat and Pontian, and several areas in Pahang including Bentong, Temerloh, Maran, Bera and Jerantut.

~News courtesy of The Star~


Easier for foreign students to get visas

Easier for foreign students to get visas

The foreign students e-Visa Approval Letters (e-VAL) system is up and running, says Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS), a wholly-owned company of the Higher Education Ministry.

In a statement, EMGS CEO Prof Datuk Dr Rujhan Mustafa said this would allow international students to obtain visas through its STARS’ portal.

“A total of 277,000 complete applications were received between 2013 and 2017,” Prof Rujhan said.

“These were processed and the VALs were issued within seven working days, thanks to the support and teamwork of the Immigration Department.

Yesterday, the company hosted the Education Malaysia Industry Townhall 2018 meeting with 180 international education heads from higher education institutions, skills centres and language schools.

It was held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Participants were briefed on operational updates related to the visa application. An open dialogue on issues at hand was held in addition to introducing the line-up of newly appointed Education Malaysia directors for its offices in Chicago, Dubai, Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City.

~News courtesy of Bernama~


Char Kway Teow

Char Kway Teow

‘Char Kway Teow’ or ‘stir-fried ricecake strips’ is arguably one of the most popular dishes among Malaysians of all races. The name is derived from the Hokkien term for ‘fried’ which is ‘char, while ‘kway teow’ refers to the ‘flat rice noodles’, which is the main ingredient.

The latter is stir-fried over very high heat with light or dark soy sauce, chili, while prawns, deshelled cockles, bean sprouts, chinese chives and eggs.

Among the chinese community, the char kway teow is traditionally stir-fried in pork fat with crisp croutons of pork lard and serve on a piece of banana leaf or plate. In some instances, slices of chinese sausage and fishcake are added to accentuate the taste.

Originally conceived as a poor man’s food, mostly consumed by laborers, farmers, fishermen and cockle-pickers, the dish has today evolved into one of the most-loved dishes among Malaysians – but with certain ingredients omitted to adhere to ‘halal’ guidelines of muslim community.

As the dish became more widespread, many cooks have come up with their own versions of ‘char kway teow’ but with the same essential ingredients ‘Char kway teow’ was said to have its origins in S.E.Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei) but the common consensus is that ‘Penang char kway teow’ tops the list when it comes to taste and originality.

In Kampar, Perak, the dish is cooked with cockles but no prawns, unless on request. In East Malaysia, other ingredients are used in the cooking eg beef, onions, sweet soya sauce etc.

There are also so-called ‘gourmet versions’ of char kway teow, especially in Ipoh, Penang, Taiping and even the Klang Valley, where seafood, crab meat and even duck eggs are added to suit discerning tastes.

~Info courtesy of Tourism Malaysia~


More evacuees in Kelantan and Terengganu

More evacuees in Kelantan and T’ganu

The number of flood evacuees in Kelantan and Tereng­ganu has risen with the flood situation in the two states growing more acute.

As of 1pm yesterday, the number reached 8,574, up from 6,961 at 8am, according to the Social Welfare Department’s infobanjir application.

The evacuees are being housed at 96 relief centres in nine districts, namely Kota Baru, Pasir Mas, Tumpat, Bachok, Tanah Merah, Pasir Puteh, Kuala Krai, Machang and Jeli.

Pasir Mas has the highest number of evacuees – 4,370 (1,694 families) put up at 38 centres.

The infobanjir.water.gov.my portal of the Drainage and Irrigation Department reported that the level of Sungai Golok in Rantau Panjang, Pasir Mas, rose to 10.61m at noon yesterday, up from 10.56m at 8am. The danger level is 9m.

The ebanjir.kelantan.gov.my portal by the state government reported that all roads were passable to traffic.

Rain, at times heavy, was reported in several areas of the state until noon.

The number of flood victims in Terengganu increased to 2,432 (833 families) as of 8am yesterday, compared to 2,201 (765 families) at midnight.

The State Disaster Management Committee secretariat said 15 relief centres were opened in seven districts, bringing the total number of active centres to 64.

In Besut district, the number of victims rose to 842 (250 families) in 23 centres, compared to 637 (194 families) on Tuesday night.

~News courtesy of Bernama~


Fanning new life into Terengganu batik craft

Fanning new life into Terengganu batik craft

Beautiful batik: Maryam showing off some of the items for sale at a pop-up booth in Publika.

It was while she was miles away from the country that Maryam Samirah Shamsuddin developed a love for one of Malaysia’s traditional crafts – batik.

Maryam, who is now in her mid-30s, said that she started collecting and learning about batik when she was studying in Britain.

“You miss home and Malaysian items are not accessible, so you start to dig around to find stuff that reminds you of home,” she said.

This love for batik led her to start Cotton and Sago, a social enterprise aimed at helping Kuala Terengganu’s batik artisans, over a year ago.

“At first I read about batik online and learnt how to differentiate the designs of each maker.

“Then I went to Kuala Tereng­ganu and found out that the number of batik producers had shrunk.

“In the 90s, they had over 300 batik artisans, but three years ago, when I visited, they had less than 10 who were still active,” she said, adding that hand-block batik manufacturing is a dying industry.

She said that the slowdown could be due to the fact that artisans were earning very low wages, which led to the younger generation’s reluctance to enter the trade.

“They were earning about 80 sen per sarong!” she added.

Seeing this situation, Maryam set about to create an enterprise that was not only focused on marketing the traditional hand-block batik, but one that will help create a sustainable future for the artisans.

She said that being a social enterprise, Cotton and Sago also tries to help raise the price of the batik products so that artisans can earn more.

“Now it is possible for them to earn a wage of RM1,000 per month, compared to about RM500 a month previously,” she said.

The profit that the enterprise earns, she said, is channelled into training and upskilling the artisans, including teaching them business skills.

Maryam said that there is a need to help revive the Terengganu traditional hand-block batik industry, as it is fast losing its skilled artisans to age.

“There is only one traditional blockmaker left in Terengganu. Now we have invested into getting a few young apprentices to learn from him,” she said.

“Otherwise there is only Pok Ya (Zakaria Ismail) and he is in his 60s.”

The tradition of producing batik needs to be preserved as batik tells the story of Malaysia, she said.

“The history of batik itself is about Malaysia. There is a theory that (the act of wearing) batik was a replacement for tattoos when Islam came into the country.

“The technique itself came from India. The (usage of) pastel colours came from the Chinese traders’ influences.

“Batik is a canvas and every culture that crosses our (country’s) path leaves a bit of its touch on it.”

~News courtesy of The Star~


气象局预测东北季风期间 东海岸砂西部高雨量

气象局预测东北季风期间 东海岸砂西部高雨量









Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak

No visitors will leave Malaysia without tasting our very own Nasi Lemak. Hot cooked rice with pandan aroma steamed with coconut cream goes heavenly well with sizzling spicy sauce or “sambal”. 

Generous sprinklings of roasted peanuts and salty dried anchovies with a hard boiled egg perfect this dish. 

A platter of everything good all wrapped up in banana leaves to further enhance its unique taste. Nasi Lemak is truly a national heritage of Malaysia.

~Courtesy of Tourism Malaysia~