Friday, April 12, 2019

TGV at i-City: Taking the cinematic experience to another level

Technology has disrupted many industries – news, music, TV – and the movie industry is no exception. As more and more people consume entertainment content online through their laptops, tablets and mobile phones, cinema chains have to constantly innovate to stay competitive and appeal to an audience that is spoiled for choice.

One approach could be to offer a bare-bones offering at a very low price and become the AirAsia of cinemas. The other way is to double-down and offer luxury and amenities that will making going to the cinema a whole different experience.

This is what TGV, the leading local cinema chain, has been doing. It’s been gradually upgrading many of its cinemas and has just opened its largest (nine halls, with a total of over 1600 seats, spread over 5500 square metres) cinema at the new Central i-City Mall in Shah Alam. I was there for the opening.

It’s also its most technologically advanced one to date, with immersive sound systems, state-of-the-art screens and luxury seating with generous legroom. And speaking of luxury, it has a Royal Selangor shop that sells movie-related collectables, two spacious lounges and an event space. For consumer convenience there is Wi-Fi, mobile phone charging stations and self-service ticketing machines.

Normally recording video at a cinema is a big no-no (you will get arrested for that!) but the grand opening was an exception and I was allowed to shoot freely, even inside the cinema halls. It was a bit noisy throughout but check out the visuals!

Grand Opening

Family-Friendly Hall

To cater to the entire family, especially those with small children, there is the Family Friendly Hall which has a children’s activity room attached to it. Inside the theatre hall, there will be a mix of family lounger (for the parents and two children), deluxe seats, colourful children seats and loungers situated just below the screen. The restroom is also children-friendly.

Deluxe Hall

The main feature of the Deluxe hall features are its premium gliding seats that are very wide and super comfortable. A total of 160 seats in all.

Samsung Onyx Hall

The Samsung Onyx hall features the largest Samsung LED cinema screen in Southeast Asia, offering top-notch visuals with superb colours. Really ideal for watching those movies with lots of special effects.


If you like the IMAX experience, you will love the massive IMAX hall here which features a premium seating and a floor-to-ceiling screen. Coupled with a superb sound system, it will give you a total ultimate immersive cinema experience.

So, will all these luxury halls cost you and arm and a leg? You’ll be surprised to hear that tickets start at RM16 with premium options at around RM20. Too good to be true? It’s worth making a trip to TGV at Central i-City Mall to experience it for yourself.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Cambridge International University?!?

Cambridge (International) University Graduate

I don't understand why these guys feel a need to get a "distance learning" degree from an unaccredited university. In the past it used to be UMNO hacks who would be exposed to have questionable degrees. Now, it's a Bersatu man.

In case you are wondering, no, Cambridge International University has nothing to do with the famous Cambridge University in the UK.

Cambridge International University is where you can get a Bachelor's Degree by distance learning for US$5000.00 (what a bargain!). Best of all, you can pay for this via PayPal. Yes, it's all stated there in its official website that's "proudly powered by WordPress").

Impressive... NOT!

Thursday, January 03, 2019

There's no alternative

For better or for wore, this is our only viable choice for now and for some time to come.

People are fond of saying, "The people who voted you in can vote you out just as easily". Quite a few people who are disappointed with Pakatan Harapan for failing to fulfill some of its promises have said variations of this statement.

The problem with this seemingly logical statement is that it's just not true in the context of Malaysian politics at this moment.

In order to vote a party (or a coalition) out of office, you will need to vote for some other party. The question is "which other party?".

If you are not happy with Pakatan Harapan, who are you going to vote for instead? UMNO? PAS? MCA? MIC?

As if any of those parties are even a serious consideration. The harsh reality is that we don't have an effective opposition in this country. So there is really no choice because the alternative is far, far, far worse than PH.

Let's say you are not happy that PH is merely watering down repressive laws instead of abolishing them. So what do you do? Do you vote instead for the party that likes to use repressive laws?

Let's say you are not happy that PH has been slow in charging people for stealing public money (e.g. 1MDB). Do you vote instead for the party whose leaders stole that money?

You don't quite like the idea of Anwar becoming PM? Do you prefer Zahid?

Let's say you are unhappy with the state of the Malaysian economy and you declare that if the government doesn't get its act together, you will move to the USA instead. That's all fine and dandy if moving to the USA was an option you had. What if the USA was not an option? What if the only alternative available to you was Somalia?

Would you prefer to move to Somalia?

Let's face it, we don't have a choice but to vote for PH because the opposition parties are so useless, they do not even merit any consideration.

Is this a good thing? Of course not. It's better to have a strong opposition to keep the government on its toes and in check. But if we had to have a one-party system (instead of two), I'd most definitely prefer Pakatan Harapan over Barisan Nasional any day of the week. 

Sunday, December 30, 2018

PTPTN issue doesn't resonate with a lot of people

Pakatan Harapan has had to back down (or delay) from fulfilling its promises on several items in its manifesto.

Some unfulfilled promises may make people really angry. The one about PTPTN is not one of them. The only people angry about this are the PTPTN borrowers who chose not to pay back their loans.

It's hard for the average working stiff, struggling to make ends meet, to empathize with people who don't pay back what they owe.

For most of us, if you borrow money (to buy a house, to buy a car, to pursue further education), you have to pay it back. You can't just say, "Nope, I don't want to pay".

Yet so many PTPTN borrowers say just that, which is why it has over RM40 billion in liabilities. That's not millions, mind you but billions. It's mind-blowing to think about how many people must have decided simply not to pay back their loans.

Don't expect common folks to sympathize or empathize with deadbeat loan borrowers. You borrow the money, you pay it back. Simple as that.

How to achieve stability in PH

There's no denying he played a key role in Harapan's victory in GE14

There are some analysts who claim that Dr M didn't play as big a role in GE14 as some people think he did. I totally disagree. It was Dr M who proved to be the tipping point. So it is true when he says Najib would still be in power if not for Bersatu joining Pakatan Harapan.

But what is also true is that Najib would still be in power if PKR were not part of PH. It is also true that Najib would still in power if DAP were not part of PH. Repeat that sentence with regard to Amanah and Warisan.

The reality is that the various component parties in PH all need each other to form the majority in parliament.

Is this a good thing? In some respects yes because there is some form of mutual assured destruction if any one party decides not to play nice with the others. This mutual assure destruction forces everyone to behave reasonably in order to preserve the coalition government.

But it doesn't make for a very stable government. Any single party could bring down the government should it decide to leave. Which means every single party is actually a kingmaker. A party full of kingmakers doesn't make for stability in the long run.

So what needs to happen for there to be more stability in PH? One scenario calls for PKR, DAP and Amanah to among themselves get at least 112 seats in Parliament. These parties could still continue to work with Bersatu and Warisan but crucially, they don't need them. If the likes of Bersatu and Warisan start to exhibit UMNO-like behaviour, for example, they could be booted out and the coalition government would still hold.

This is stability. And it is achievable in GE15. At last count this trio has 103 MPs among them. They just need another nine more than they've reached the magic 112 number. Very doable and desirable too as it would keep Bersatu in check and ensure it doesn't morph into UMNO 2.0.