Isnin, 23 Disember 2013

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The Star Online: Nation

Be aware of negative perception, Ku Li tells Perkasa

Posted: 22 Dec 2013 08:00 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Perkasa should take a different approach in defending Malay rights or risk being overtaken by negative perception of its struggle, warned Umno veteran Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Although Perkasa's struggle was in line and embodied within the Federal Constitution, he said certain actions by some members of the group could draw negative perception towards their intention.

"Was this negative perception caused by the propaganda of certain groups? Or could it be due to the actions of some of its own members?" he said in his address at the opening of Perkasa's 4th annual general assembly here yesterday.

The Gua Musang MP said the public had a negative perception of Perkasa especially among those who viewed it as a radical, racist and irresponsible group.

Such a perception was held by certain segments of the non-Malay community, he said, adding that Perkasa was also not respected by the Malays who they claimed to protect.

"Even worse, Perkasa is often seen as a divider of unity between races that had been the reason behind a stable Malaysia," he added.

On a separate matter, Tengku Razaleigh, who is a former finance minister, said the subsidy mentality among the Malays and bumiputra community should be eased off gradually to ensure that they could compete in the globalised world.

He said the Government's move to rationalise subsidies was good but it must not be the big businesses which would benefit from the move.

"It is high time that the Govern­ment rationalises subsidies but they must be selective. The subsidies benefitting the industries must first be removed and not burden the consumers," he said.

The Government, he added, had taken many initiatives to help the rakyat cope with the high cost of living but it must also consider controlling trade practices that were too monopolistic.

"It is the monopolistic position that some people hold that are strangling the rakyat. At times, the subsidies could not reach the targeted group," said Tengku Razaleigh.

However, he also expressed concerns that the number of key personnel among Malays and bumiputras in the corporate sector had been reduced significantly.

"Even companies and industries established by the Federal Land Development Authority are not administered by Malays and bumiputras," he said.

MyKuali noodles are hot!

Posted: 22 Dec 2013 08:00 AM PST

GEORGE TOWN: It has been 55 years but Malaysians have not lost that loving feeling for instant noodles.

Much has evolved since the world's first instant noodle product was created in 1958 and these days, Malaysians are going ga-ga over MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodle.

Apparently, it has become an instant hot seller due to its rich curry paste which makes the soup almost similar with the popular Penang hawker curry mee.

People from neighbouring states have been flocking to Penang looking for this relatively new product.

A housewife from Perak, Low Pei Fern, 41, managed to buy a few cartons of the noodles.

"I had to pay more for it. A friend from Penang helped me get it but the price was RM8 for four packets, the retail price is RM6.90," she said.

It is believed that some traders in wet markets here are selling it at prices higher than supermarkets.

Sky Thomas Food Industries Sdn Bhd sales executive Annie Tang said they were increasing production to meet demand.

"We never expected that it would receive such a good response, as we are still new in this field," she said, adding that the product was launched in May.

She said Gama Supermarket & Departmental Store and Sunshine supermarkets in Penang are the only two malls being supplied the products, while in Kuala Lumpur, they are available at Sogo and NSK.

A check at the two malls in Penang showed that the noodles were out of stock.

Sunshine Wholesale Mart Sdn Bhd retail operations director Yee Kam Ming said customers were looking high and low for the noodles.

In Gama, the management had to limit the purchase of the noodles to two bundles (of four packets each) per transaction for each customer.

"I believe the overwhelming response is due to word of mouth," said Gama marketing division manager Alexius Liew.

The popularity of the noodles prompted Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to visit its factory on Dec 20.

Incidentally, a report in Wall Street Journal on Dec 20, quoting the World Instant Noodles Association, noted that demand for instant noodles had surpassed 100 billion bowls last year.

On its website, the association also listed 42 countries which are expanding markets for instant noodles. Topping the list is China/Hong Kong, followed by Indonesia and Japan. Malaysia is placed at No. 13.

New year and new hairdo for pets, too

Posted: 22 Dec 2013 08:00 AM PST

JOHOR BARU: It's a new hairstyle for a new year – even for the pets.

Pet owners are rushing to get their animals groomed for the New Year before the Christmas holiday kicks off.

Global Pets operations and marketing director Leow Kee Wee said the number of their customers had increased by between 20% and 25% as the New Year nears.

"The number of bookings has become so overwhelming that we often have to turn down customers because we are just too full," he said at his store in Johor Jaya here.

Most pet owners, said Leow, were asking for the full grooming session for their pets, including nail clipping and filing, bathing, ear cleaning and shaving.

"We get various breeds of cats and dogs. But we also have the odd hamster and chinchillas," he said.

Chincillas are rodents that are slightly larger and more robust than squirrels, and native to the Andes mountains in South America.

Leow said a groomer usually takes about 90 minutes to finish grooming an animal depending on its size and fur length.

"We also have requests for specialised hairstyles for certain dogs such as poodles, schnauzers and American cocker spaniels," he added.

Pethub Grooming and Accessory owner Melvin Tee said his shop had also seen an increase in the number of customers.

"We are starting to get more orders as the New Year approaches. Most customers make bookings weeks in advance for their pets," he said, adding that owners were also buying "something extra special" like accessories and other decorative items for their pets.

Rott Mastiff pet accessory shop attendant Lim Foo said it had to reject customers.

"The number of our customers always increases at the start of the year-end school holidays until Chinese New Year," he said.


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