Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cheaper Interbank Transfer from CIMB No More!

If you noticed the new look on the CIMB Clicks website with the cosmetic upgrades recently, well that does not come free my friend. I've blogged about this bank charging only 50 cents for Interbank transfer before. But yesterday I made a transfer from CIMB Clicks to Citibank and I noticed that the service charge is now RM2.00. CIMB is now charging the same as most banks such as Maybank (via maybank2u).

Siot la CIMB ..... ni la orang cakap... harga gula naik 20 sen, bank plak nak naik service charge seringgit setengah!

Healthy Arianna

A few weeks back I went to Mydin with Arianna to buy some bread spread. Nowadays it is so complicated. Last time we had either butter or margarine. Now they have canola, olive, semi butter, half margarine and stuff. I wanted to get something salty because toast with salted spread taste so good! But Arianna chose this Canola Light.. Cholesterol Free... alamak :(

Yesterday morning I wanted to prepare toast with jam for Arianna before she goes to school. I asked her, "do you want white bread or wholemeal?". She answered "wholemeal". Since when my daughter is so health conscious ni??? Luckily she didn't ask for Breakthru bread... with low glycaemic index and load.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Simple Baked Fish Recipe

After so long not blogging about cooking (i need to make sure my direct translation skill doesn't rust), I decided to enter the kitchen yesterday. This time I'm going to blog about cheap dish that we are always charged like crazy at restaurant.

This recipe's main ingredient is the fish. I use frozen fish from the supermarket. You may notice that they sell "Sutchi fillet" that comes in a pack of 2 or 3 pieces of frozen fish fillet. They cost around RM8.50 per pack.

Then the sideline ingredients are potatos, carrot, lemon and capers. The flavoring ingredients are garlic, spring onion , butter, parsley, salt, pepper and lastly basil from my lovely farm :).

While waiting for the fish to thaw, I boiled the potatos and carrot for a while. Chefs would refer this to "blanch the potatos and carrots". When the fish is ready, I rubbed some salt and pepper to the fish and lay them on a baking dish. Cut the potatos and carrot and lay them on the side of the dish. Spread the capers all over the fish, together with the parsley and spring onion. Then I blend some garlic with basil together with some butter. Abang Jamie taught me this... to make herb butter. Add the herb butter on top of the fish and lastly put sliced lemon on top of the fish.

I baked the fish at 220 degree Celcius for 20 minutes and put it under the grill for 5 minutes to get some burnt marks on the dish. This is the result....

I blanched 2 potatos and Wifey told me that it would be too much. Then I decided to make baked potato from that extra piece. Again the herb butter is mixed with chopped spring onion, some mayonnaise and crab sticks. Lastly some salt and pepper.... boleh tahan la rasa dia... haha

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wildan 1 year 3 months

Just to fulfill my target to blog at least once a day, here are 2 pictures of Wildan taken 2 days ago. He can now say "nak" properly. He can also say "ayah" but I don't think he meant to say that to refer to me. There are a few more words in his vocab but the pronunciation is not clear yet, but he is referring those words to the right objects.

He is due for his 15month old injection but his parents are too busy to take him to see the doctor yet.

TM Family Day @ Desa Water Park

After 7 years plus serving the company, Wifey decided to bring her family to join the TM HQ Family Day. I think it is a yearly event that it has always been held at Taman Desa Water Park.

The event was so huge. The whole park is closed down for public, just to cater the amount of TM HQ staffs and families. There were telematches and games. But the main attraction was the pools.
Basically we were there to enjoy the pool and the free lunch - Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The pool was very crowded. We went back home right after lunch as it was getting hot...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Review: Garlic Peeler

If you watch the AFC channel on Astro, then you wouldn't want to miss the Chef at Home. Chef Micheal Smith is not as naked as Jamie Oliver but I like his show because he has this small segments in the show educating people about cooking, food, groceries, kitchen tools and etc.

There is one time he put in garlics into a small gadget, rolled it on the kitchen table and the garlic came out peeled. How cool was that! No need to use any kind of sharp object to peel garlic.

Last week Wifey and I went to Giant Shah Alam to collect more stamps. We went to the kitchen section and saw this:

So this gadget does exist in Malaysia. It costs RM9.99 (half Giant stamp). We just had to buy it. It's not that all this while we are complaining on how difficult it is to peel garlic, but idea or having a gadget same as Chef Micheal Smith is using.... super cool!

As described in the package, the garlic peeler is made of soft and flexible silicone tube. It is easy to rinse and remove the peels. The advantage of the gadget is our hands will stay free of garlic smell.

The picture above illustrates on how to use the gadget. So far I only used it once and it does work perfectly. I complained to Wifey that I did not buy any gadget at all in year 2009... I guess I can't say the same again to her this year...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Arianna Ponteng Sekolah

Tengok gambar2 kat bawah ni, sure ingat betapa happy nya Arianna nak pegi sekolah kan? First day dia pakai baju uniform tadika dia. Posing memang pandai.

Ayah bawak die pegi sekolah, tak sampai 5 minit duduk dalam kelas muka dah mula berubah. Hari Jumaat lepas pon sama, Ibu hantar dan tinggal. Bila datang amik teacher dia cakap... dia nangis berjam-jam dalam kelas. So nak tak nak... Ayah teman la Arianna dalam kelas dia semalam sambil teacher ajar the sound "sssss". Serba salah nak tinggal, Ayah pergi tengok -kereta kejap pon dah meronta-ronta dalam kelas. Disebabkan kena pergi kerja, Ayah pon terpaksa telefon Tok datang tolong. Pukul 9:30am Tok sampai sekolah, teman la Arianna sampai habis sekolah.

Harini lagi la kronik, celik mata je terus cakap... "I dont want to go to school". Puas la memujuk tapi gagal. Daripada Ayah kesedihan melihat anak tak seronok kat sekolah... Ayah pon bagi la Arianna ponteng sekolah harini. Besok cuba lagi!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Sis

Saturday night we went out to celebrate my sister's birthday with my family members. She decided to bring us to Kokopelli Travelers Bistro where once she held a speed date session. I wish I could do a review the place but since we did not bring the maid along, most of my time were spent on guarding Wildan. Arianna was asleep throughout the dinner. She was having a super cranky day that Saturday.

In a nutshell the food is decent, fairly priced and the ambiance of the place located in one of he houses in Section 14, Petaling Jaya is very nice and cozy.

Friday, January 08, 2010


On Friday I did not send Arianna to school as I have to be at the office in the morning. I left the job to Wifey. After she drop off Arianna to school, she went to Tabung Haji to bank in some money into our accounts (with her money) in order for us to be able to register for Haj. It is a known fact that every year the government of Saudi Arabia will provide quotas to the Islamic countries to limit the amount of people flooding their country during Haj season.

Tabung Haji set a minimum of RM1700 of savings for us to be able to register for the quota queue. So once Wifey banked in the money, she was given a queue number. So as per titled, our turn to go for Haj will be in year 2029. Its a long way to go, but at least we don't have to worry about who's going to take care of kids....

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Update buku ASB

Arianna is still the best today. We sent her to class and she straight away knows what to do. So we left her and went to Maybank TTDI Jaya. This time of the year most bumiputeras with ASB savings will take the opportunity to update their ASB book.

As published the dividend and bonus for year 2009 are as below:

Dividend: 7.30 sen / unit
Bonus: 1.25 sen / unit

So IF Wifey and I have RM500k each in our ASB accounts, then at least we will have RM73 thousand of dividend. Boleh angkat Harrier recond sebijik tu!!! But unfortunately I only have RM500 in my ASB book. I just cant do the math for that amount.

After the visit to Maybank, we went to PNB for Wifey to submit application to withdraw EPF account 1 to Amanah Saham Didik. Ultimately the investmest from EPF Account 1 will be our retirement fund to survive. Cukup ke?

Arianna's First Day @ Cambridge

Arianna will be 4 years old this March. Unlike during my time where we all go to kindergarten at the age of 5 or 6, kids nowadays are sent to school at an early age. As early as 3 years old. In my view the kids do not need "formal" education so soon but since nowadays both mother and father are working, we have no choice but to sent our kids to school to entertain them.

In Bukit Jelutong there are a few choices of kindergarten for Arianna. There are Bahtera Ilmu, C.E.C and Cambridge Kids. We've surveyed Bahtera Ilmu, Cambridge Kids and Genius Aulad (in Kelana Jaya). Finally we decided to register Arianna with Cambridge Kids because her parents never made it to Cambridge during their study years. I will need to check with Wifey on what is the total of the registration fee, inclusive books, uniform and et cetera. Obviously she paid for it.

So yesterday was Arianna's first day to school. The orientation is on Wednesday instead of Monday because Monday is when the 5 and 6 year olds go for their orientation. It is a 3 days orientation course and the parents are expected to be there. We may leave the kids but in case they could not adapt, it would be easy for the teachers to give the parents a S.O.S call.

Arianna was long prepared for school. She even asked to be sent to school last year. So we sent her yesterday morning at 8:45am and by 9:15am Wifey and I left her there and went for our breakfast. At 10:30am we went to the school again to check on her and she was doing good that we leave her again to survey for house gate.

At 11:30am we went to fetch her. School ends at 11:45am. It is the first day in school. I think I saw the teacher gave them puzzles to play, colouring book to colour and the teacher read a book to them. Same things that Wifey always do with Arianna. Basically we will be paying RM100 per week to Cambridge Kids to do the same thing that Wifey can do. Maybe I can persuade Wifey to quit her job to do this task.... and pay less than RM100??? :)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Airborne stomach virus

It is 3:40 in the morning and I am in the process of finishing up a bottle of 100Plus. Yes my stomach decided to get upset today. Arianna and Wildan are not doing too well themselves. We all went to the clinic and the doctor said this is a case of airborne virus.

I have yet to go to the toilet or vomited but the stomach discomfort is there. In another 5 hours Wifey and I are supposed to take Arianna for her kindergarten orientation day. Dunno if she is fit enough for school or not.

I am not sure about my condition myself. Surely this will ruin my target to blog twice a day this year. So much for a new year resolution... it did not last even for a week....

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Nursing Kids with Stomach Upset

The new year has not been so good for my 2 kids so far. On the 31st December 2009, Arianna was vomiting a few times and her stool was a bit runny. Wifey and I decided to take her to the clinic that night and the only available doctor is the one who was unlucky enough to have to work during New Year's eve. I have to refrain myself from using the term "food poisoning" in this post as per advised by this young doctor. I bet he just got out of medical school and proud enough to explain to us that "food poisoning" is a terminology used to describe when a group of people go out for a meal and that group of people came back with purging and vomiting. In that particular case, he is obliged to report that to the Health Department for them to investigate the food outlet. In this case since Arianna is the only one having this symptoms, we should only refer it as "stomach upset". In Malay, instead of using "keracunan makanan", we should say "perut kecewa". One day if I meet the same doctor again with the same symptoms, I will tell him that "perut saya kecewa, saya muntah dan berak cair".

Anyway this doctor said kids will have stomach upset as a result of their body wanting to dispose the unwanted items (toxin would be a better term) from the body. The best treatment is to allow the body to run its course while maintaining sufficient amount of liquid in the body and try not to try to make the stomach to work harder. The doctor prescribed vomit suppressant, anti colic and Smecta. Initially he mentioned rehydration salt such as ORS will help to keep the body hydrated, then he mentioned Smecta will serve the same function as ORS. At that point of time, I just had to conclude that this guy really need to have his New Year's eve break. I think most of us have our own experience of "stomach upset" before and we all know that Smecta is absorbent agent to absorb the toxin from the stomach. The doctor even described a bit regarding probiotics on whether it will help or not, what are the difference between Vitagen and Yakult, but by then I just couldn't give a damn on what he says anymore.

So on New Year day, Arianna was getting better. Unfortunately on 3rd January (Sunday) it was Wildan's turn to get the "stomach upset". Apparently Arianna got it back again, as well as the maid. So does 3 people having stomach upset will qualify for this to be called as food poisoning?

Alhamudulillah on Monday the kids are showing good signs of recovering. Thanks Wifey for taking the day off to take care of the kids. To end this post I would like to share a few pointers on how to take care of kids with stomach upset.

  • Make sure the kids are well hydrated. Sign of dehydrated kids are pale tongue, dry skin and feverish. If the kid has purging and goes to the toilet for more than 4 times in a short period of time, it is advised to go to the hospital. High chance the kid needs to be on drip.
  • Rehydration salt like ORS helps but it doesn't taste so nice. If the kid is okay with Isotonic drink like 100Plus, then the parents should shake the gas out of the drink and serve.
  • Stay away from dairy products. I know it is unavoidable for babies as that is the only source of energy for them. One way is to mix the milk formula at a much lower dosage. If before this one scoop of formula to one oz. of water, then try to half the portion of formula. This is another chance for us to mix the Smecta in the babies milk.
  • Consume simple food. While the stomach being upset and working hard removing the toxin out, the last thing that the stomach want is complex food that requires more process to digest. Keep it simple such as bread (toasted if possible) or plain porridge. Avoid oily food.
  • Last but not least, keep the kids comfy. As adults we know how frustrating it is to make the numerous visits to the toilet. They will be cranky and weak, hence why they need their parents to be by their side to endure their "kekecewaan perut".

Rest In Peace Opah 20091229

Tuesday night 29th of December 2009 (12th Muharam 1431 - or is it 13th since it is after Asar?) around 10:30pm I got a call from my sister that our maternal grandmother has passed away. She called me to pick her up so that we can go together to our aunt's house in Bandar Mahkota Cheras where Opah has been staying for the past few months. My parents rushed there at around 9pm as soon as they got a call that Opah has stopped breathing my my aunt.

Opah has been bedridden for the past few years as she has all sort of elderly illness including Parkinson disease, on and off diabetes and others. Last we saw her was on Raya Haji and during that time she has not spoken to us anymore. Her hands and legs are crippled and she can't barely consume proper meals. Her body was totally skin and bones, without the flesh and muscle.

My uncle said she is 79 this year as she was born in 1933. I guess we were all emotional that day that we got our maths all jumbled up that day. The best I could do is wait for the official Surat Pengesahan Kematian from the Jabatan Pendaftaran to confirm on all the details.

We all brought the late Opah back to kampung which is in Lintang, Sungai Siput, Perak. We all drove back in the middle of that Tuesday night itself and managed to bury her before noon. We tried to find a spot next to her late husband but the area was flooded with water. The 2nd best spot was next to her late sister's grave.

I must say that I am not too emotional about the lost that day. I would say it is her time to go and she deserves a better place in this universe other than helplessly lying down the bed all day and night. Few days after the funeral, my heart came to the sense that I lost someone that I used to be very close to during my childhood days. It got me thinking that I always wanted to live until I am 100 years old, but do I want spend my last few years in life the same way as my late grandma did? I am sure she lived a fuller life compared to me by the time she was 30. She has 10 kids to verify that.

Lastly thanks to all the well wishes from all. I am so grateful that we managed to arrange for a proper goodbye on such a short notice. All the 10 kids of hers managed to bring their family back to Kampung for the funeral and I would think that that would be the last time all of us will gather at that house again.....

Monday, January 04, 2010

Withdraw EPF Account 2 Monthly

Even though you can find the details here, I would like to share my experience on withdrawing EPF funds from account 2 to my savings account. Why do I do that? To be frank, with the current amount of credit card debts I have, it will take me a whole lifetime to pay them back with the current salary I am getting. So I thought, instead of getting old paying off credit card debts, I might as well use my old days savings (simpanan hari tua) to pay them now!

There are 2 methods to get the EPF funds out the account 2.

  • Pengeluaran Mengurang/Menyelesaikan Baki Pinjaman Perumahan
  • Pengeluaran Ansuran Bulanan Pinjaman Perumahan
Method number 1 will deposit my funds from EPF account 2 directly to the Home Loan account, which means I will not get any liquid money. The benefit will be, my principal home loan amount will be deducted where I will save in interest and most likely to finish off paying my home loan before the contracted tenure.

Method number 2 - EPF will deposit my account 2 funds into my savings/current account. This is to assist me in doing the monthly loan payment to the home load account. For example if my monthly installment is RM1000 and I withdraw RM200 every month from my account 2, then I just need to find the balance RM800 to pay my monthly home loan installment.

Documents needed for this withdrawal:
  1. Borang KWSP 9P (AHL)
  2. Copy of IC
  3. Copy of saving passbook, or copy of bank account statement
  4. Surat Pengesahan Baki Pinjaman Rumah
  5. Copy of Sales & Purchase Agreement - if this is the 1st EPF withdrawal
On item #4, I had to call up the bank which I have my home loan account with and ask for them to provide the document. I've heard from others that the bank may need up to 2 weeks to prepare the document and in my case they prepared the document for me in 2 days. Be informed that the document is only valid for 3 months. If application to EPF is not made within that period of time, then too bad a new document has to be obtained.

Lastly how does the system works. Let say if I have RM2000 in my account 2. My monthly home loan installment is RM1000. If I want to withdraw the whole lot from my account 2, EPF will withdraw disburse RM1000 to my savings/current account for 2 months. Then if in the 3rd month I still have some money in my account 2 (from monthly EPF contribution), I will have to submit the application form again for withdrawal.

I did my submission on the 17th December 2009 and I am very pleased that I got the money in my savings account on the 27th December 2009. 10 days... not bad. I wish LHDN have the same level of service!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Zubina's Engagement 20091225

A lot of things happened in My Life from Christmas to New Year... in fact till today. Due to my laziness to update the events on the day itself, I am now having difficulties on deciding where to start. I've narrowed down to a few life (and death) changing events to blog about so that I can look back to the posts in the future. And by doing FIFO (First In First Out) approach, here is the post regarding my sister-in-law's engagement day.

Zubina is Wifey's immediate elder sister, and the only girl left in the family who is available before this. In another word, this will be the last engagement ceremony held in the house in Bandar Tun Hussein Onn. It is sort of decided that Zubina and her fiance will not be having their wedding at this house, hence this event has evolved to be quite a huge and grand one.

I did not do much for the event. Initially I thought of snapping a few pictures of the ceremony, but being tall and handsomely dressed in full Baju Melayu made me appointed to be one of the "pengangkat dulang" or the "tray bearer".

During the "negotiation" ceremony, it has been decided that the wang hantaran would be RM8888.88 (the sis-in-law mixed with too many chinese friends, and since she hold her event on christmas, it must be christian chinese friends). Recently JAIS increased the "mas kahwin" value from RM80 to RM300 for those getting married in Selangor. The fiance's family is kind enough to top that up a few hundred bucks more. I am sure it is not RM444. I am not aware as of how many "trays" to be exchanged during the wedding ceremony.

The event ended with a bit of rain. The guests somehow did not make any sign of leaving. As I was very hungry, I purposely find an umbrella and open it up in front of the tent. Being humble malays, they know that is a sign for them to make a move :)

Next update on Zubina's life will be this coming April, Insya Allah.

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