Friday, July 31, 2009

Calling all Melaka Music Enthusiasts.

It's Shouting Time! Sing it Loud and Sing it Proud!
Calling all musically inclined party people,
Pls call the contact below for more info on the WHY,WHEN,WHERE & WHO !
Thank you & regards.
> Abu Hassan bin Ismail> NAZA HOTEL MELAKA>
177 Jalan Tun Ali> 75300 Melaka> >
Tel : 06-288 2288>
Fax : 06-288 2289>
HP : 016-668 5485

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Chinese / Arab Connection

In early 2009, China overtook the United States as the world’s largest exporter to the Middle East, having already raced passed the United Kingdom and Germany. It was the first time in over 60-years that the number one ranking had changed. The event marked an important milestone in what is a rapidly strengthening relationship between China and the Middle East.
But it is not Arab-style Wal-Marts who are responsible for the flood of “made-in-China” imports. It is instead individual Arab traders. Many of the traders can be found in Yiwu, a small Chinese city four-hours south of Shanghai. The city claims the world’s largest wholesale consumer goods market selling the type of cheap gifts and household goods that sell in low-cost retail stores across the world.
Yiwu receives 200,000 Arab visitors annually. It is a virtual Arab market town with over a dozen Arabic restaurants lining its main street. However, the number of Arab visitors only started rising after 2001. Higher oil prices helped explain the increase, as they left Arab governments, and ultimately, Arab households with more money to spend on consumer goods.
However, visa restrictions were also important. How so? Western governments made it tougher for Arab traders to visit the West after September 2001 even as the Chinese government unofficially relaxed its visa policy. A few years ago, an Egyptian national might have taken 18 days or more to receive a visa to visit the United States. The same Egyptian could receive one to China in less than a day.
The number of Arab visitors to China surged as a result, filling up flights between Dubai and the main Chinese cities of Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing.
The economic crisis has only intensified the trend. It’s no wonder. The Middle East’s imports from China are still growing, albeit in low single-digit figures, even as the United States imports from China collapse at near twenty percent rates relative to last year’s levels. And Chinese manufactures are searching for new markets in the Middle East as a result. It is just one more sign of the change in demand.
Take Yang Linshan, for example, a fabrics manufacturer in the coastal province of Zhejiang. The Middle East now accounts for almost twenty percent of his exports. He is looking to set up a branch office in Dubai. Other manufacturers like Yang are meanwhile scouting for locations in the Middle East to build factories even as production costs at home rise. Egypt, with its low-cost workforce, is a particularly attractive investment destination.
There are other signs of the growing strength in trade relations. Wang Weishang, a local entrepreneur, also from the coastal province of Zhejiang, has set up Asia Business TV, a cable television channel. The channel broadcasts throughout the Middle East via Nilesat. It runs regular English-language promotional spots for Chinese products and services to the Middle East’s traders.
It is individual stories such as these that help to underscore the depth of trade relations between China and the Middle East. And while the Middle East’s $58 billion worth of purchases from China annually will grab headlines, it is the efforts of individuals like Yang Linshan and Wang Weishang that provide a more complete picture of strengthening economic relations between the two regions.
Yet economics is not the only area where relations are strengthening fast. China and the Middle East are also finding reasons to turn to each whether through culture, politics, or religion.
Take the Chinese author Song Hongbing. He believes the West is using its currency policy to prevent the East’s rise. His best-selling Chinese-language book, Currency Wars, is being read by senior officials across China. The book includes such chapters as “Nuclear Finance: Target Tokyo” describing how the Plaza Accords, signed in 1985 between Japan and four Western nations, contributed to the collapse in the Japanese economy.
The book’s ideas are not just popular in China. They are also popular in the Middle East.
I was reminded of this while recently watching Al Jazeera. Ahmed Mansour the anchor of No Limits, was interviewing the same Song Hongbing through a translator. Here was a Chinese author speaking on an Arabic-language TV program to an audience in the Middle East about how the West’s currency policy has been used to suppress the East’s rise. It was a remarkable exchange of ideas.
It was also a reminder that the Middle East no longer looks only to the West for inspiration. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has visited China nine times in the past two decades. The Syrian leadership has also long looked to China for inspiration hoping to learn from what President Bashar Assad called the ‘Chinese experiment’ on his visit to China in 2004.
Indeed, he is not the only Syrian official to visit China. Mohammad Dawood Al Sattam a member of the Baath Party Central Committee, visited Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, in late March. He was there on a study trip with fifteen other officials. Hunan is a major agricultural hub, land-locked, and famous for exporting labor to the country’s coastal cities. Its economic reform experience was immediately relevant to the conditions that Al Sattam faces in his own province.
There is even talk in the Middle East of learning from China during the current economic crisis. An article on Islam Online in late April described how Chinese traders are increasingly common in Cairo and its outlying districts. The article, quoting several local professors, argued that Egypt’s youth, or “shabab”, should copy the work ethic of these Chinese traders as a solution to dealing with the economic crisis.
Certainly the relationship has its frictions. A flood of Chinese imports has resulted in the closure of many of Aleppo’s traditional textile factories. The Syrian government has responded by imposing duties on select foreign textile imports rightly worried about the implications of job closures in a country where unofficial unemployment rates are estimated at upwards of twenty percent.
But there is hope. Production costs in China are rising. Land and labor are all increasingly expensive. The Chinese currency is also appreciating in value. Nearly 10,000 factories have closed down in the southern Guangdong province, neighboring Hong Kong, during the past year. More factories will close as the government is no longer willing to prop up low-value added manufacturers.
This is perhaps Syria’s chance to emerge as an export manufacturing hub. It lies not far from Europe, one of the world’s largest consumer markets. It may yet sign a trade agreement with the European Union. More Chinese manufacturers will invest in Syria if this permits them easy access to the European market. Chinese textiles manufacturers are, after all, already investing in Egypt.
Syria will never replace China. But it only has to capture a small share of China’s trade with Europe to benefit. Consider this. China’s exports to Europe have risen $225bn in the past decade. If Syria had captured just 1% of this trade it would have added 0.5 percentage points to the country’s GDP growth annually, not to mention reduced chronic unemployment rates.
The upshot is that relations between China and the Middle East might be flourishing. Yet they are also delicately poised. The fact China has pushed the United States aside as the Middle East’s largest supplier will rattle doors in Washington. But it is important to look beyond the trade figures to the social and political implications of this increasingly complex relationship.

Ben Simpfendorferfor The Daily Reckoning

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

BERNAMA.COM features

July 16, 2009

Sanggul Lintang, The Traditional Head Adorment Of The Bride.

By Nabilah Saleh:

In Conjunction With The Wedding Preparation Promotion At The Craft Complex, Kuala LumpurKUALA LUMPUR, July 16 (Bernama)

-- All bride and groom would want to look the best on their big day.Thus elaborate makeover from the head to the toe to create an impressive appearance is all part and parcel of any wedding preparation.
However, much of the dressing up concerns the bride.The brides in most customs are the ones who wear on the embellishments unique to their origins and traditions.In the Malay custom the sanggul, especially the Sanggul Lintang (horizontal chignon or hair knot) is among the options for the bride to adorn her head. Jamilah Hashim, 64, who was demonstrating the various head adornments especially the Sanggul Lintang at the recent Wedding Preparation Promotion 2009, shared some insights on this embellishment.
The Sanggul Lintang that originates from Melaka is actually the head adornment used by the Baba and Nyonya community in the state.According to Jamilah, the Sanggul Lintang made from copper and gold was once an innate part of the `bersanding' ceremony for the Malays in Melaka.There is also a belief that the `cucuk sanggul' (intricate hairpins) that is arranged in layers on the woven hair signifies the big responsibility to be shouldered by the bride when she becomes a wife.Jamilah added: "In those days, the sanggul denoted the women's dignity. That is why the sanggul is a highly regarded head adornment during weddings".
Also, many may not be aware that there are more than 10 floral motifs to embellish the sanggul. Among the motifs are Senayan, bunga Sundah Belum, bunga Kekwa, bunga Putih Pendek and bunga Paku Putih Panjang.
All motifs are based on natural plants that thrive in the jungles.Apart from this, lines of fresh flowers or known as `bunga Sisih' are also inserted between the layers of the sanggul that has been decorated with the hairpins in floral motifs.
When asked how the Sanggul Lintang could stay in shape, Jamilah explained that several layers of the banana or the pandan leaves are neatly folded or shaped before being placed crosswise on the hair.
"This banana or pandan leaf will then be secured to the hair and it serves as the base where the intricate hairpins will be inserted," explained Jamilah.
Believe it or not, almost 70 intricate hairpins will be inserted covering every one of the seven to nine layers of the Sanggul Lintang.Jamilah admitted that getting ready the Sanggul Lintang takes time and special expertise.

"It takes between one and two hours to set up the Sanggul Lintang."Other than that, an eye for details is also important if the Sanggul Lintang is comes out neat and beautiful apart from withstanding its own weight that sometimes can reach two kilogrammes," said Jamilah.
What is interesting is that the sanggul has changed with times and currently it is shaped according to the wedding themes, the body shape, looks and even to fit those wearing tudung."Now, there is no problem for the bride with tudung to adorn the head with the Sanggul Lintang for the bersanding ceremony," she said.
The sanggul design can be shaped according to the bride's liking including using it to cover the whole head."Normally, most of the bunga Sisih will be inserted at the back of the head with a thread of neatly woven flowers," said Jamilah who has been in the business for the last 38 years and has now team up with her daughter in-law.According to Jamilah, the bride need not worry on her hair length, face shape or their body size as the sanggul can be adjusted with makeup and the use of hair-piece.
In short, the Sanggul Lintang is a unique art form.The intricate weave pattern of the hair to create the layers to make the sanggul and the various motifs created using the hairpins create a stunning appearance for the bride.Though ready made sanggul is slowly gaining popularity, the traditional hand made Sanggul Lintang will have its own followers.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oriental: Malacca waterfront project to be ready in 5 years


AUTO and plantation group Oriental Holdings Bhd (4006) said its proposed waterfront development in Malacca is due to be completed in about five years.

The company's group managing director Datuk Wong Lum Kong said the company will try to fast-track the integrated project at Malacca's Klebang area with support from the state government.

"Apart from a RM200 million specialist hospital we intend to open there, commercial and residential units," he said after the company's annual shareholders' meeting in Penang.Wong said reclamation works on the proposed waterfront project have almost been completed and the hospital, a nursing school and service apartments for families of overseas patients are slated for completion within two-and-half years.

Business Times on Monday reported that OHB plans to open the 300-bedded Melaka Straits Medical Centre.OHB is set to hold a controlling 51 per cent stake in the hospital.Boon Siew Sdn Bhd, the controlling shareholder of OHB will hold another 20 per cent, followed by Bagan Specialist Centre with 29 per cent.

The reclamation project there is handled by Ultra Green Sdn Bhd, a construction and property development subsidiary of OHB.Wong said OHB is hoping to fund the project with internal funds and the development value has not been finalised as yet.

"Our plan is to market the project in countries like Singapore and Australia where we have a marketing presence," he added.

Monday, July 13, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 – Malaysia plans to introduce a ‘Twin City Fellowship’ programme to form a network between cities with historical and cultural links as a means of boosting tourism.
Tourism minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said a number of pairing with cities and countries had been identified for the programme, especially Malacca-Holland, Penang-England and Kelantan-Singapore.
“Holland was chosen as the ‘twin’ for Malacca due to its history as the Dutch had been in Malacca, Kelantan and Singapore because of the railway that links Kelantan-Singapore,” she told reporters here today after meeting 44 Tourism Malaysia directors who are based overseas.
Ng said the programme was a creative and innovative proposal to overcome a drop in tourism arrivals in the country due to the global economic crisis and the influenza A(H1N1) outbreak.
For the month of June, tourist arrivals from China dropped 20 per cent, Japan (22 per cent), Taiwan (15 per cent), South Korea (16 per cent), Saudi Arabia (46 per cent), United Arab Emirates (36 per cent), she said.
She said that the Twin City Fellowship programme will be packaged with the homestay concept whereby tourists can enjoy a new experience during their stay here.
“Homestay is not about just providing accommodation but something that they cannot experience elsewhere. They (tourist) will follow them (villagers) to fruit plantation and join the cultural activities there,” she said. – Bernama

Friday, July 3, 2009

MTA / Melaka Tourism Exco visit to Macau S.A.R.

Beautiful Morning Readers,

Recently the Council Members of the Melaka Tourism Association initiated a Familiarisation Tour of the S.A.R. of Macau, China with the assistance and guidance of the Melaka Tourism Exco.
It was an excellent opportunity for Tourism Industry players within the association to gauge and feel for themselves the power of development in China's S.A.R. regions.
In reciprocating our overtures of friendship and mutual benefit, the Macau Government also made plans to expedite the creation of their Gallery in Bukit Pringgit,Melaka which was earlier initiated by the State Government under the leadership of our Chief Minister of Melaka.
The Macau Government through the MGTO has also made our access to Macau much more easier and friendly with the able assistance of their passionate staffs here in Malaysia, and hopefully soon in Melaka !

More info on business opportunities available and valuable contact info for our Associations' industry players is available at the MTA secretariat for members perusal or you may contact this writer @ 012 6050446.

That's All for Now, Folks!

Cheers !

Blog Archive



"Rojak " Video By The Suleiman Brothers

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The Malacca Story (Chinese version)

with courtesy to asmaliana-BPP

The Malacca Story (part 2)

The Malacca Story (part 3)

With courtesy to Asmaliana-BPP