July 15, 2014

Prius’ new pricing in Malaysia

We all know cars in Malaysia are fucking expensive due to its ridiculous tax structure. But a few years ago, in a bid to encourage people to buy hybrid vehicles, the primate government of Malaysia for once did something right… by introducing some tax exemption for imported hybrid vehicles. That was a period when the sales of hybrids soared and flourished (that was also the time I bought my Prius, at 145k bucks – not exactly cheap but, it could have been more expensive if it wasn’t for the tax exemption). Then come last year, the government decided to pull the fucking plug on the tax exemption thingy (in a wily scheme of things involving Proton) and the prices of imported hybrid vehicles has since gone back to ‘normal’ (fully taxed, like any other fucking cars). Here, take a read of what Paul Tan posted on his website :

[Source]
Toyota Prius and Prius c get new price tags without CBU hybrid incentives – RM153k to RM231k!

UMW Toyota have released the new prices for the Toyota Prius and Toyota Prius c after the government’s tax incentives for CBU hybrid vehicles ended at the end of last year.

The following are the new prices, OTR including insurance for private registration:
Toyota Prius – RM 216,400.52
Toyota Prius Luxury – RM 230,916.00
Toyota Prius C – RM 153,170.43
As you can see, a B-segment Prius c now costs as much as a D-segment Camry, while the Prius and Prius Luxury‘s prices have been pushed up to way over RM200k.

The Prius was first launched in Malaysia in August 2009 with the pricetag of RM175k. The RM175k pricetag was possible because of a 100% import duty exemption and a 50% excise duty exemption. The government later increased its incentives to 100% exemption for both import duty and excise duty, bringing the Prius price further down to RM139,900.

Later, the Prius facelift was launched in 2012 with two spec levels – the normal Prius for RM143k and a Prius Luxury for RM148k. The smaller Prius c came in at two spec levels – RM97k for the normal spec and RM104k for the Prius c TRD Sportivo.

While the Prius and Prius c were pretty popular cars when they had tax-free prices, we don’t think there will be many takers for these two cars at these new price levels, except for buyers who qualify for tax-free pricing such as those under the TalentCorp program.

However, UMW Toyota is set to come back into the incentivised hybrid game with the Toyota Camry Hybrid. Pricing was last rumoured to be slightly higher than the RM181k range-topping Camry 2.5V. In fact, we’ve already seen the Camry Hybrid at JPJ Putrajaya as well as driving on public roads.

This model did not qualify for the previous CBU hybrid incentives which required a model to have an engine of 2.0 litres and below as it had a larger 2.4 litre engine. The Camry Hybrid will be locally assembled to qualify for duty exemptions for CKD hybrid cars provided by the 2014 National Automotive Policy (NAP), which doesn’t set an engine displacement limit. The new CKD hybrid incentives are set to last until end-2015.

If you’d pan over to the comments section, there was a huge outlash by the readers at PaulTan.org – that the price tag was fucking ridiculous, etc, and they could have bought a much better alternative like a Volvo or a fucking Golf GTI or something. Some would even condemn the past owners (like me) for being ‘stupid & gullible’ to buy the car during the ‘tax exempted’ period and now I have to fucking rue about my purchase because spare parts are going to be a problem. Can you fucking believe that? That’s the dumbest shit ever. How can I be ‘stupid & gullible’ if I bought a car with less tax levied on it? I guess it will be smarter to buy a car with full tax and higher price, just as long the person could live at peace with the expectation they’d get a plethora of spare parts around? LOL!

You know, what amuses me the most is, these readers complained like they’ve not seen anything like this before, but little do these amateurs realize that they’ve all been fucked in the ass – all these while – with the same rusty dick full of spikes, with the same rip-off of a tax structure on every goddamned consumer car on sale in Malaysia! A small car with puny engine that costs 60 fucking grands!? (believe me, that’s the best selling vehicle in Malaysia!) And these people think it’s ‘cheap’! (but really, they don’t have much choice, I can understand that. It’s anything but cheap). That’s like a prison inmate jeering at zoo animals for not having freedom! I guess the general Malaysian has been inured to the shit they’ve been dished out all their lives, that they’re now living in a delusional state.

So now, to the question (if one has to ask) – do I feel sore about this whole price hike thing? Of course not! I think I might have just struck a deal of a lifetime! The car I bought 2 years ago, is close to 100 fucking grands more expensive today! How about that? Have you bought a car like that before? I think I might be able to sell it at a profit even… but that’s just wishful thinking.

michaelooi  | automobiles  | Comments Off

cave troll neighbor

My neighbors’ kids are scared of me. That’s because I deliberately acted stern and fierce, so that they’d all stay the fuck away from our house. But there was once, a couple of them came to our house, and something didn’t go as expected.

My then 6 year old daughtert Regine, brought this little neighbor girl (let’s call her Small Turd, she’s 5 years old) to right next to my computer table. I was watching TV at that time, and it was dark. I didn’t actually know they were at my house, and you can imagine that I was quite surprised to see the silhouette of my daughter and a much smaller child standing at the doorway, one of them crying. It was Small Turd. She was crying with a dreaded look on her (like she’s about to be eaten by a cave troll). Apparently, along with Small Turd’s brother (Big Turd, he’s 7), they had been watching TV at our house, when Small Turd suddenly went Blue Screen and started to wail like she had an infected appendix. My daughter brought her to me because
a) She was between concerned and annoyed with the wailing.
b) I was the only adult available (my wife was bathing or something). She had no choice.

I don’t normally speak to them but I had to…

“Small Turd, why are you crying and what do you want??”
“WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!”

She wailed louder just because the cave troll spoke to her. She must be fucking terrified and I swear she was probably going into the rigor mortis stage alive. Not yielding any answer, I then asked my daughter what’s going on, and she told me Small Turd wanted to go home, but her brother didn’t want to budge from the TV. That was when I stomped out of the room and confronted her brother:

“Big Turd! What’s wrong with you and your sister?? Why is she crying??”
“Err… she wanted to go home while we were watching the TV…”
“Then why aren’t you bringing her home??”
“I already asked her to go home herself, it’s just downstairs…”
“She’s your goddamn sister! What kind of a brother are you?? What if she gets kidnapped by a stranger?? Are you stupid or something??”

He almost shat in his pants, and brought his sister home pronto. Problem solved. Probably would never ill treat his sister ever again, thanks to the cave troll. Never saw them come to our house again, and they’d stay the fuck away from me. They’d sometimes play around the corridor, but always with a hushed volume. My daughter, just to get a kick of seeing them terrified, would sometimes tell them ‘you guys should keep the volume down, or my dad would come out and he won’t be pleased!’.

When that happens, my day is usually made. Seeing them annoying kids terrified and behave themselves…

michaelooi  | happenings  | Comments Off
July 7, 2014

3rd world problem

I was peeing in the shower the other day, like I always do, when I noticed that the floor was unusually ‘deep brown’ in color. It was like, someone had just spilled a glass of black tea there. In that mere few seconds, the first thing that came across my mind was blood in my pee… and then ‘Urinary Tract Infection’, promptly followed by the phrase ‘Fuck Me’. Before my panic starts to set in, my pee stopped, and the deep brown color continued to spread across the bathroom floor. That was only then I realized that it couldn’t have been my pee. Then I took a look at my shower and verified it by spraying the water on the wall tiles – and confirmed that it was all along the fucking muddy water.

Ask yourself, how many fucking times have you came across muddy water from your tap? All the fucking time in Penang. Water filter is a thriving business in Malaysia, and it happens for a reason – our water quality is bad. Really bad. So bad, that my Company T Indian counterpart (who has been living in the US for decades, but he grew up in India) dared not to drink any of our iced water. Why? Because that fucker knew that our ice cubes are made from the filthy tap water and that shit will literally fuck him up real good. He’d insist on bottled water every time, and won’t touch anything else. He’d rather risk dehydration through lack of water rather than dehydration through a loose bowel. Can you imagine that? A fucking guy from India, with his mutated guts from years of dirty water/food radiation, abstaining from drinking our Malaysian water. That fucking tells you a lot about our country, really.

And we still wanted to be a developed nation, when we can’t even get clean water (or even water at all, ask the people living in Gombak). That’s like a janitor wanting to be a GM of a company, when the fucker can’t even think past being a janitor. I am wondering why do we even bother building those expensive longest fucking bridge in South East Asia or send another Mangkuk Ayun to the outer fucking space… why aren’t we spending our money revamping the water treatment facilities, the pipings and all? Why are we even bickering cross state with various assholes about ‘water leasing’ and stuff like that? If we want to become a developed nation, shouldn’t the basic necessities be taken care of the very first priority? Food and water for that matter? (and we have ministers wanting to eradicate the poor by shooing off the soup kitchens, how smart).

It’s mind boggling if you ask me. This and many other things. The fucking government. As useless as appendix.

michaelooi  | rantings  | Comments Off
July 1, 2014

the hill people

There was a call for help from someone (let’s call him, The Hill Guy) in Company T, requesting help to ‘donate’ some urgent engineering parts to meet an important schedule. The Hill Guy apparently had been searching the world, and through word of mouth, discovered that I was the only one that could be of help (sort of like, his last resort… else he’d be fucked). Being professionally courteous, I agreed to ship him the required parts on the next business day (expected to reach The Hill Guy’s place only the next day). The reason was simple – his request came in on Friday afternoon and I needed time to locate the parts, pack for shipment and do all the paperwork to facilitate the request (you know how it goes in the corporate environment). The Hill Guy ‘seemed’ thankful in his email reply.

Fast forward to the next business day when I was preparing the charity shipment, my boss’ boss (that’s 2 level above me), sent me an email requesting an explanation over an alleged escalation from The Hill Guy’s department – demanding me to fucking get them the part on the very same day (which was borderlining impossible)… because they have a super important deadline to meet. I went like… “WHAT THE FUCK IN NINE HELL IS THIS LOAD OF FUCKING SHIT??” (in disbelief). Can you believe that?? I couldn’t believe it when I first got the email. It was mind boggling.

If you do not get the gist of this ‘escalation’, this is like complaining someone’s car being not comfortable enough when that someone is sending you to the fucking hospital to save you from dying. If you still do not get the gist of it, well, you can also imagine this akin to a beggar making a police report that the coins you gave him aren’t new enough. Still do not get the gist of it?? Then you should fucking die.

I made a somewhat lengthy reply after that to my bosses about this whole fabricated mess, and luckily they understood what was going on and calmed the fuck down (and I was worried about that). But the disappointing thing was, my bosses still wanted to continue to be courteous after learning about The Hill Guy’s bullshit. I proposed to my boss ‘Let’s delay his shipment. That’ll teach the turd some lesson about being grateful…’ But it was turned down because apparently, it isn’t a ‘Company T’ culture to do such dishonorable thing. Yeah right, like it’s Company T’s culture to be of such low character and backstab people for their own gain… If this were to happen in Company Y, I’d have resorted to not send the whole fucking thing at all and watch The Hill Guy burn (I actually did this kind of thing before).

Anyway, I got the stuff sent out the same day as required, much to the chagrin of The Hill Guy (he wanted it shipped out faster than that, which I have no idea how. Teleportation?). But karma is a bitch, the database that handled the shipment had an expected error and shipment was stuck in the warehouse until late afternoon that day. Never heard of anything after that. Maybe he got fired or something.

michaelooi  | work shit  | Comments Off
June 9, 2014

Penang tourist traps

I don’t fucking understand why you foreigners and outstation rustic bumpkins like to flock to the same few stupid tourist traps in Penang. More often than not (especially during long weekends or school holidays) those few places get unusually congested with people/traffic, and turn the whole Penang into a massive nightmare.

Why can’t you people do a little bit more research before coming here? It’s a digital age for fuck’s sake, getting information should be as easy as scratching your taint!

Here are some of the most popular tourist traps in Penang that people unknowingly walk into, and some suggestions where to go instead…

Penang Hill
I’ve blogged about it before. It’s a massive shithole. Why go there? There’s nothing there. The air there is not any fresher and everything on the hill is frigging expensive. If you’re going there for the view, you’d get a better view when you’re on the plane, trust me. The tram ride up there is congested with people like you and often breaks down. So, why bother wasting your time going to Penang Hill?
Where you should go instead:
Do you guys fucking know that Penang has a ‘National Park’ at the north side of the island? It’s called Penang National Park [duh!]. If nature’s your kind of shit, you should go for a hike there. You’d get acquainted with the local leeches, macaques, snakes and whatnots there. There’s a lighthouse there for you to do some one of a kind selfie, and a couple of beaches for you to relax on at the end of your short hike. If adventuring or climbing in the greens is your kind of dope, just go to Escape Adventureplay Theme Park – which I’ve blogged about here. If you do not fancy a hike or eking any energy out of yourself but just need some trees to get your shit together, you can opt to go to Penang’s Botanical Gardens. You’d get to see the local girls jogging there, on top of the faunas I mentioned earlier. The air is definitely fresh, and the most important of all, they’re fucking free. No traps.

Gurney Drive
For some strange fucking reasons, Penang’s Gurney Drive attracts tourists like a carcass to common houseflies. It’s just a promenade too congested to be enjoyable. The sea is now filled with so much sediment, mud and garbage, that I’m surprised that it isn’t gazetted as a sanctuary for salt water lizards, mudskippers and ultra chemical resistant rats. The food here is expensive, and the traffic here is stroke inducing. Why would anyone want to come here? Escapes me.
Where you should go instead:
Penang has at least a dozen other (better) promenades, I bet not many of you shitfucks know that. There’s an old one called ‘the Esplanade‘, near the jetty. It’s not as flashy, but at least it still has the nice sea view, minus the traffic. There’s one at Straits Quay, which is for pedestrians only, and you can have beers al fresco while enjoying the sea breeze (if you’re really creative, you can even have beer while cycling there). There’s another one in front of Queensbay Mall too, which has a proper cycling track, and stalls selling food and kites (lots of annoying people though, but better than Gurney). What’s special about this place, is that it offers the view of BOTH Penang’s longest bridges. If calm is all you seek (no traffic, not much people) and you needed a peaceful environment to jack off or deep thinking, there’s one under the first Penang Bridge, one near Jerejak Jetty, and another one near Jelutong (recently given a name ‘Persiaran Karpal Singh’). There are a couple of private ones near Tanjung Bungah, but they’re not open to public.

Kek Lok Si
Kek Lok Si is originally intended as a place of worship, but it reeks of tourist trap now. Everything in there is expensive, and revolves around parting your money from your wallet. There are even gossips that the monks there are raking in millions and are driving around in posh cars. Thanks to your contribution. Instead of living modestly and preaching humility to the people, the ‘monks’ are now leading a rock star lifestyle. They are charging a premium for a niche for the dead, keep building ostentatious ‘wonders’ near the surrounding hill that flaunts the might and riches of their religious faith… If you’re into expensive plastic beads and scriptures, then there’s nothing more I can say – go there already.
Where you should go instead:
If your faith is strong, and you want to pray, go to a real temple. One of the oldest temple in Penang is the Goddess Of Mercy temple at Pitt Street (now known as Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling). The place look mostly as it was since it was built more than a century ago. Another unique temple would be Seng Hong Beow, near Katz Street. There, you’d see some deities being worshiped with pure opium (those black stuff on their mouth) and alcohol. Might be spooky if you’re a first timer, but this place screams one of a kind photography opportunity. If you’re fascinated with Chinese architecture, then there’s a whole bunch of them around Georgetown which you can enjoy – some free, some with a little bit of fee. There’s the famous Cheong Fatt Tze mansion, then there’s another one that is teeming with opulence owned by an ugly Kapitan called the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. Then there’s of course, Khoo Kongsi, the place where they filmed the movie Hidden Dragon Tiger’s Crotch (or something like that). There are a lot more around Georgetown, just walk around. Any of them is better than Kek Lok Si. (there are multitudes of places of worship around Penang, of various faith. Just search around).

Occupy Beach Street
Every Sunday morning, Beach Street will be closed to traffic to make way for a carnival called ‘Occupy Beach Street’. I wasn’t quite sure what the whole thing is all about until I saw people started to post pictures of them doing retarded selfies there, and that was when I thought of visiting the place/event/whatever. It was a tourist trap. It’s actually a flea market, selling merchandise with jacked up price which you could have gotten anywhere else at a fraction of the price. The flea market is about, 150 meters long (that’s like comparing an amoeba to a megalodon in the scale of actual flea markets)… but the crowd is usually about the size that could occupy 4 – 5 times the capacity of that carnival. You’d also see some annoying youngsters showing off their skating/skateboarding skills, as if Penang’s lack of the space they could use (hey, it’s all about the attention) and people cycling around like morons there. It’s so over-hyped that it’s borderlining retardation. I lasted only 10 minutes there and I had to fucking bail because I couldn’t stand the whole bullshit.
Where you should go instead:
If you have a Sunday morning to kill for buying bargain stuffs, there are a lot of places you could go. Penang has a lot of markets selling a lot of surprises, like Penang Bazar (or more popularly known as Chowrasta – selling food, souvenirs, clothes, shoes)… or the Balik Pulau town / market (food, durian, shrunken human heads… kidding), or Air Itam market (food, clothes), or Lorong Kulit flea market (real kosher flea market, this one).

Batu Feringghi
Penang’s famous tourist belt – Batu Feringghi. It has long stretches of beaches and a lot of luxury hotels. People like Batu Feringghi because it’s the only place they think they could go for beaches. And naturally, the place turned into a shithole eons ago with so many tourists visiting. Instead of just beaches, now you get dirty beaches, some add ons like paragliding (not sure if that’s the right term, the one on parachute towed by a speedboat), jetskiing, banana boat-ride, horse riding (horse poo and pee all over the beach!) – all for some exorbitant fee. It’s so severe, that the government has to think of controlling the license to operate such activities!
Where you should go instead:
Penang is a fucking island, and it has beaches all around it, why flock to Bt. Feringghi only? Check the fucking map bitch please, north south east and west. We have a whole stretch of beaches along millionaire’s row (if you know where to find it), Tg Tokong and Tg Bungah. We have the Teluk Bahang Beach right after Bt. Feringghi. We have a few beaches at the Penang National Park – Kerachut beach, Monkey beach, Ketapang Bay beach, Aling Bay beach, Teluk Kampi beach, Pantai Mas beach. Then at almost the south west, we have Pasir Panjang beach. Then at the south, we have beaches at Gertak Sanggul, Teluk Kumbar, Sg. Batu. We have more at other areas out of the island as well – all the surrounding islands (Jerejak, Rimau, Aman, et al). So why only settle at Feringghi beach? Why so fucking sohai?

Graffiti around georgetown (semi trap)
When it first started, it surely is something to be reckoned of. The heritage trail around Georgetown has a lot of Ernest SomethingSomething’s art adorning (otherwise) boring and older than shit brick walls. It was alright at first, because people admiring the walls walked or cycled around. But it has now turned into an annoying obsession. We have tour buses stopping on narrow streets and inconsiderate schmucks posing in the middle of a busy road taking selfies. This spells traffic congestion and in some cases, safety issues. It’s not yet a trap now, but is fast turning into a trap.
Where you should go instead:
The essence of Penang lies not on graffiti arts nor the pictures on its old walls. Penang has a lot to offer in terms of diversity, food and its uniqueness. Instead of endangering yourself posing in the middle of the road, try to go round the island on your car / bike. Or you can hail a taxi for that (expensive option). Everyone in Penang has done it, and its fun. Imagine a road trip that will never get you lost (it’s a fucking island, remember?)… and you’d stop at wherever that piques your interest, be it for food, shopping or a photography opportunity. You can never do that in KL, or Ipoh, or anywhere in Malaysia for that matter. This is the most awesome island in the Peninsula, savor it.

Any shopping mall
If you come to Penang with the sole purpose of shopping at one of its malls, then you’re here for all the wrong reasons. Shopping in a mall has never been a strong point in Penang’s portfolio. It’s like going to Singapore for mountaineering. It’s retarded to come to Penang to shop at a mall. Sure, we have nice malls, and equally annoying people inside them, but the malls are always a few tools short of a toolbox. If you’ve been to shop at Singapore or KL or Hong Kong, then you surely won’t miss a thing here at any of Penang’s mall.
Where you should go instead:
If all you wanted is to shop at a mall, go to KL or Singapore instead. Don’t fucking come to Penang you stupid cocksucking piece of shit.

Will add more when I can think of some…

michaelooi  | places  | Comments Off