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Day 85 + 1 RMO: Recovery Phase

As of yesterday, 10 June 2020, Malaysia entered into the Recovery Phase of the RMO (Restricted Movement Order), 85 days after the RMO started on 18 March.

This Recovery phase, with end date 31 August 2020, means MOST businesses can operate as usual – but with new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that constitute part of the “new normals” in 2020 A.C. (After Covid-19) in place.

The most welcome change in this phase is that domestic travel within Malaysia is now allowed and no longer restricted like in the previous stages. That also means tourism within the country can re-start and the tourism industry can start on the long road to recovering, being the industry worst-hit by the pandemic that forced travel restrictions worldwide.

How does this translates to our daily lives?

Well, it definitely spells the end of the work from home (WFH) period for most people, self-included. (Though it would be nice if more business start moving towards that and make working remotely easier.) And travelling within Malaysia for work is more convenient without the need for official authorisation letters and police permits.

However, international travel is still not allowed and our borders are still closed. That means Malaysians are still not allowed to leave the country and foreigners are not allowed in. Malaysians can return from other countries/overseas BUT will be placed under 14-days mandatory quarantine at quarantine centres (most are hotels) upon arrival, with a swab-test on day 10.

In general, Malaysians have so far been obedient in following the rules set by the government since the RMO began. SOPs have been followed and restrictions abided by. So when domestic travel was allowed, it was not a surprise that some popular travel destination saw up to a thousand of hotel bookings in less than an hour! No, actually that turned out to be fake news, but heck did it sound legit! Hehehe…

Legit news: AirAsia was quick to offer a RM399 “AirAsia Unlimited Pass” (for purchase for 3 days only starting today) that allows pass-holder to redeem unlimited point-to-point flights within Malaysia from 25 June 2020 till 31 March 2021. The gist of it, it will allow pass-holder to purchase “zero-fare” flight tickets by paying only the taxes and service charges etc during the travel period. Worth it or not? Perhaps if you are going to be travelling often during the period… In any case, read the terms and conditions and FAQs before you purchase the pass and make an informed decision. Don’t anybody got time for regrets y’all.

2020 been an eventful year and we’re not even halfway through!

Let me leave you with this “recap” of what has happened so far:

Defuq bro..

Defuq bro..

Posted by Asam Manis Rame Rasanya on Ahad, 7 Jun 2020

Stay safe y’all!

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Day One of the Restricted Movement Order (RMO) and Working From Home (WFH)

2 days ago, 16 March 2020, Malaysia’s Prime Minister announced that the Government would implement the Restricted Movement Order (RMO) , from March 18, 2020 until March 31, 2020, throughout the country. This control order is made under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967. Full announcement attached and the most important points quoted here:

(TLDR: Everyone is to stay home or WFH (work from home) as ALL PLACES except for essential services are to be CLOSED from 18 March until 31 March 2020.)

First, the general prohibition of mass movements and gatherings across the country including religious, sports, social and cultural activities. To enforce this prohibition, all houses of worship and business premises must be closed except for supermarkets, public markets, convenience stores and convenience stores selling everyday necessities. Specifically for Muslims, the adjournment of all religious activities in mosques and mosques including Friday prayers.

Secondly, all Malaysians who have just returned from overseas are required to undergo a health check and to do a quarantine (or self quarantine) for 14 days

Third, there will be restrictions on the entry of tourists/foreigners to Malaysia.

Fourth, closure of all kindergartens, government and private schools including daily schools, boarding schools, international schools, tahfiz centers and other primary, secondary and pre-university institutions.

Fifth, the closure of all public and private higher education institutions (HEIs) and skills training institutes nationwide.

Sixth, the closure of all government and private premises except those involved in essential services (water, electricity, energy, telecommunications, postal, transportation, irrigation, oil, gas, fuel, lubricants, broadcasting, finance, banking, health, pharmacy, fire, prison, harbor, airport, security, defense, cleaning, retail and food supply.

Of course, the purpose of the RMO is to create “social distancing” in the community – considering the HUGE spike in the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the days before (553 people to be exact as of 16 March 2020) – sadly, SOME people are either really ignorant or really selfish. These people, putting into jeopardy the purpose of the RMO in the first place, are taking the 2 weeks mandatory “leave” from work/schools to go to other parts of the country, or go on vacation, or dine-in and hang out in public places – all with the possibility that if any one of them is infected, they may infect others as well. (Don’t get me started on the THOUSANDS of people that flocked all over the country last night before the RMO took effect, crowding the highways and bus stations and police station to get permit to leave. HOW IRRESPONSIBLE!)

Well, today is 18 March, DAY ONE of the RMO (and Day One of WFH for me) and while I am home, social media reports that some non-essential businesses that are supposed to be closed are still open and some people are still dining-in / gathering in public! It was so bad that as I was writing this, with COVID-19 positive cases now up to 790 people, the Prime Minister had to spell it out to everyone to JUST. STAY. HOME. I hope everyone is more considerate of their actions and cooperative with the RMO in the coming days…

Having stayed home all day, I decided to try FOODPANDA and had my dinner delivered. Read my review on FOODPANDA here. A gift awaits you.

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Wanderlust

I’ve always had wanderlust (that’s a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world, if you don’t already know) and in 2008, I finally grew the wings I needed!

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This list is meant to keep track of where I’ve been through the years and I hope it inspires YOU, too, to travel! Life’s not meant to be lived in one place…

Year: COUNTRY (City or Town etc.)

2008: PHILIPPINES (Manila)
2009: SINGAPORE
2010: MALAYSIA (local travels)
2011: INDONESIA (Bali). SPAIN (Madrid & Barcelona). FRANCE (Paris). ENGLAND UNITED KINGDOM (London & Manchester).
2012: MALAYSIA (local travels)
2013: CAMBODIA (Siem Reap)
2014: PHILIPPINES (Manila & Pangasinan). SOUTH KOREA (Daejeon & Seoul). CHINA (Shanghai & Wuzhen).
2015:MALAYSIA (local travels)
2016: VIETNAM (Saigon/Ho Chi Minh). POLAND (Katowice, Kraków, Warsaw, Częstochowa, Oświęcim). CZECH REPUBLIC (Prague).
2017: INDONESIA (Palembang & Jogjakarta). TERRA SANCTA (+ Abu Dhabi UAE + Jordan).
2018: MYANMAR (Yangon). INDONESIA (Jakarta). 2019: VIETNAM (Hanoi & Halong Bay)

Let’s see where this year takes us! 😉

Blessed New Year 2020!

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AirAsia, care to explain yourself?

So I was looking at flight tickets the past few days on AirAsia and I stumbled unto something that completely took me off guard.

If I was drinking something, I’d probably have spurted it all out in my disbelief.

Or choked on it in my horror.

You might want to swallow that drink first before reading on.

 

Are you ready?

 

It was THIS:

Click on image to enlarge

A DOMESTIC flight ticket from BINTULU to KUALA LUMPUR cost THIS MUCH???!!!

It’s only a 2 HOURS flight!

The usual price for the Bintulu to Kuala Lumpur route is a few hundred ringgit.

Is there something special about this particular flight that it cost that freaking much??!!

And it’s WITHIN THE COUNTRY, MALAYSIA – or did someone forget their History and Geography lesson when fixing the ticket price?!

Well, here’s a Geography and Mathematics lesson for you.

Disclaimer: I have nothing against Australia. (I would love to go to Australia in the near future.) I’m just using it as an example to state my point.

Click on image to enlarge

Bintulu is in indicated by the green arrow.

Kuala Lumpur is indicated by the red arrow.

Both are in Malaysia.

Now, Gold Coast is indicated by the yellow star. And Gold Coast is in Australia.

So, tell me kids, by looking at the map, which distance is further if one was to fly?

From Bintulu, Malaysia to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia?

Or, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Gold Coast, Australia?

No brainer right?

Of course, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Gold Coast, Australia is further!

While Bintulu to Kuala Lumpur is a 2 hours’ flight, according to AirAsia’s flight schedule below, Kuala Lumpur to Gold Coast takes 8hours:

Click on image to enlarge

So WHY on earth is Bintulu to Kuala Lumpur flight as expensive (and even more so!) than if one were to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Gold Coast??!!

To make myself clear, this is not an argument of “we can always use another airline if it’s too expensive” but it’s a matter of being charged REASONABLY by airlines for the routes that they provide. Especially in the case of us in Borneo (the island where Bintulu is on, just fyi), my fellow Sarawakians and Sabahans, who have limited options to fly anywhere if we do not first fly to Kuala Lumpur.

And so, by what logic is such a price like this justifiable?

AirAsia, care to explain yourself?

Note: Ticket price correct as at time of writing.

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I am going to planet Mars – again!

Seriously!*

My boarding passes:

I went in 2014 for the Orion Flight Test.

Orion Flight Test

And I will be going again next year (2018) for the InSight Mission!

Insight Mission

Martian-status since 18 October 2014 – exactly 3 years ago.

FF

Frequent flyer yo!

ff2

The Mission Patch for both trips:

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Orion test flight mission patch, 2014

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InSight Mission patch

SO EXCITING!

“What this is about?” you ask.

Well, the gist of it is:

In 2014, the names of 1.38 million people were encoded in a chip and loaded on the Orion spacecraft on its first spaceflight test – including mine. 🙂

See the chip here: https://mars.nasa.gov/resources/6752/

And now, applications were opened on October 2 and until Nov. 1, 2017 for the InSight Mission in 2018. Again, the names will be loaded into a silicon microchip which will fly with InSight for its mission to Mars. I have just submitted my name for this mission! 🙂

Here is an image of the chip mounted on the InSight Lander. They will put this second microchip next to this one.

I may not have “physically” been to Mars, at least I can legitimately say I have (even if it’s just in the form of my name in a microchip) gone where not all names have gone before. 😀

(You can read more about the mission here.)

So, are you going to join me?

Submit your name here: https://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/participate/send-your-name/insight/

Let’s go to Mars!!!

P.S. NASA plans to develop Orion into a vehicle that could one day carry astronauts into space. Who knows, maybe “frequent flyers” will one-day get to call shotgun on a trip. 😉