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Found 91 results

  1. Carbon82

    Datsun, Go or No Go

    OK, it not about the Go model, but the Datsun brand under Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance... Datsun Brand Might Bite The Dust As Part Of Nissan’s Recovery Plan Nissan might ditch the Datsun brand altogether as part of its upcoming recovery plan, which includes axing some of its unprofitable products and closing down under-utilized assembly lines worldwide. Quoting sources with direct knowledge of the matter, Reuters reports that the recovery plan marks a 180-degree turn with Nissan’s ambitious strategy under ex-CEO Carlos Ghosn, who was arrested and charged with financial misconduct. Things with Datsun, which was revived as a brand for emerging markets, didn’t exactly go as Nissan hoped after launching it in 2014 in regions like Indonesia, India, Russia and South Africa. That’s because, following a relatively good start, the budget-conscious brand started eating into Nissan’s own sales. “We ended up pushing two mainstream brands in a market where you have a one or two percent market share. You cannot do that,” one of the sources said. Shutting down under-utilized production lines will also impact Nissan’s factories in emerging markets tasked with producing Datsun models and other small cars, according to the same sources. “We need to chart a recovery but the rot goes deep,” one of them said. All markets with factories outside China are being examined for possible reductions in production capacity, but there are currently no plans to close an entire plant or withdraw completely from any country. Nissan, which is on course to post its lowest operating profit in 11 years, also plans to kill unprofitable variants of the Titan full-size pickup truck, like the single-cab and diesel models. The US remains one of Nissan’s biggest markets, but the recovery plan will demand a new effort to put a stop at the company’s practice of buying market share by selling its models to rental car and other fleet operators at heavy discounts, something that has plunged the company’s profitability and brand image. “We’re trying to clean up what had happened in the past,” one of the sources said, adding that under Ghosn, Nissan had to meet sales objectives at any cost, and that included “practically giving away cars” to fleet customers.
  2. Some of my pics during all the short trips I have taken in Asia in the past year. http://www.keehian.com/asia2019/
  3. We cannot make a flight on Air Asia next week for family reasons. Anyone know how to reclaim the cost of the flight?? My missus tried for a couple of hours yesterday but got nowhere.
  4. Xi Jinping signals intent to remain in power by revealing politburo with no successor https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/25/xi-jinping-signals-intent-power-successor-politburo-china China’s president unveils his all-male cabinet, but crucially no member is young enough to take the reins from Xi at the end of his second term Xi Jinping has kicked off his second term as leader of the world’s second largest economy, vowing to spearhead the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” and signalling his intent to tower over Chinese politics for decades to come. At just before noon on Wednesday, Xi unveiled the new line-up of China’s top ruling council – the Communist party’s politburo standing committee – leading six besuited comrades out into a blaze of camera flashes in the Great Hall of the People. “Here, on behalf of the newly elected central leadership, I wish to express our heartfelt thanks to all other members of the party for the trust they have placed in us. We will work diligently to meet our duty, fulfil our mission and be worthy of their trust,” Xi said in a 21-minute address that marks the formal start of his second term. Crucially, the all-male group contained no potential successor, since none of its five new members – all aged between 60 and 67 – is young enough to take the reins from Xi after the end of his second term, in 2022, and to then rule for the customary decade. Such is the secrecy that cloaks Chinese politics that the identities of the standing committee’s incoming members were known only as Xi escorted them out onto a scarlet-carpeted stage. Joining Xi and premier Li Keqiang on the elite committee are: Li Zhanshu, 67, Han Zheng, 63, Zhao Leji, 60, Wang Yang, 62 and Wang Huning, 62. “I still can’t get over the fact how the world’s second largest economy, which is declaring this new role of global leadership, is nearly as opaque as the North Korean political system,” said Jude Blanchette, an expert in Chinese politics from New York’s Conference Board research group. “I just find that absolutely striking and in a way almost unacceptable for a system that wants to play such a fundamental role in guiding and shaping the 21st century.” China’s propaganda apparatus has touted this week’s political show as an example of openness and transparency. However, a number of major western news organisations whose coverage of Xi’s rule has irked Beijing were excluded from Wednesday’s event without explanation including the BBC, the Financial Times, the Economist, the New York Times and the Guardian. In his address, Xi outlined his vision for what he called China’s “new era”, an era in which an emboldened and purified Communist party would play an even more prominent role in returning the country to its former glories. “It is my conviction that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will become a reality,” he said, urging his party to become “the backbone of our nation.” “We should never entertain the idea of taking a breather or halting our steps. Instead, we must continue to rid ourselves of any virus that erodes the party’s fabric, make great efforts to foster a healthy political environment of integrity and generate waves of positive energy throughout our party which can build into a mighty nationwide force driving China’s development and progress.” Xi also pledged “a resolute push” to eradicate poverty, to “open China still wider to the world” and hinted at the more assertive and muscular role Beijing is expected to seek on the world stage in the years ahead. “With confidence and pride the Chinese people will be steadfast in upholding our country’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” he said. The unveiling of China’s new ruling council came one day after the end of the 19th party congress, a week-long political summit at which Xi established himself as the country’s most dominant leader since its revolutionary founder Mao Zedong. On Tuesday, Xi’s eponymous political philosophy was enshrined in the party’s constitution alongside those of Mao and Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China’s economic opening to the world. Experts say that momentous and highly symbolic achievement puts Xi in a virtually unassailable position at the pinnacle of the 89 million member organisation. Having failed to anoint a successor, he is now likely to be calling the shots in Chinese politics well into the 2030s. With Xi now entering his second, although perhaps no longer final five-year term, thoughts are turning to what the next stage of the Xi era might hold. Supporters claim that having used a ferocious anti-corruption campaign to purge rivals and consolidate his grip over the party during his first five-year term, Xi will now turn his mind to comprehensive reforms of China’s economy. “I think the real reform just began,” said Wang Wen, a pro-establishment scholar from a thinktank linked to Renmin University. Wang argued that Xi would enter his second term with “much more authority” and a greater ability to implement his blueprint for China. Such optimism was echoed in China’s party-run media on Wednesday as cadres lined up to heap praise on their all-powerful leader. “We firmly believe that if people all over the country roll up their sleeves under the guidance of Xi’s Thought … we will move steadily into the future with the irresistible force of a high-speed train,” Chen Meifang, a Shanghai railway official, was quoted astelling the Beijing Daily. However, such hopefulness is widely disputed. Blanchette said he expected to see a “super-sized version” of Xi’s first-term policies in his second stint, as China’s leader pursued what he saw as his “program of Chinese greatness”. That would mean accelerating efforts to build a modern, battle-ready military that could begin to push the United States further and further out of what China saw as its Pacific backyard; an increasingly assertive foreign policy in regions such as the South and East China seas; and continued efforts to promote a hi-tech economic revolution by championing huge companies that were either controlled or heavily aligned with the state. It would also mean that the Communist party – and the Communist party only – would continue to lay down the law, in all aspects of Chinese society. In an editorial celebrating the start of Xi’s “new era” on Wednesday, the People’s Daily, the party’s mouthpiece, argued: “History has shown and will continue to show that without the leadership of the Chinese Communist party, the idea of national rejuvenation is a fantasy.” “We should hunker in for a long winter of tight political control,” Blanchette predicted. We should hunker in for a long winter of tight political control Jude Blanchette Elizabeth Economy, the director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said she saw this week’s congress “as affirmation of the direction in which Xi has already been moving the party as opposed to a point at which now we are going to see the real Xi Jinping and his real reforms emerge”. She added: “I think what we are going to see is an intensification along the same lines.” Economy balked at the suggestion that Xi – whose first term has witnessed an unusually fierce crackdown on party opponents and human rights – might suddenly emerge as a political reformer. “I don’t think a crypto-liberal would do what he has been doing over the past five years. I don’t think a crypto-liberal lets Liu Xiaobo die in jail, and the arrests and the intensification of the attacks on the [human rights] lawyers. That is not a crypto-liberal,” she said. Blanchette said Xi had shown a remarkable “mastery of the political system” in China during his first term in power: “The second question though is does that mean he has an omniscience or an omnipotence to deal with all the significant challenges that China is facing? “There is a huge list of challenges that Xi Jinping has to deal with,” he added, pointing to a gradually slowing economy, a looming debt crisis and the possibility of a nuclear conflagration on its doorstep. “He now has the power to do it. But how he deals with these challenges will be one of the most important indicators of whether or not he is able to stay on for the term that he feels he deserves.” Additional reporting by Wang Zhen. What 'Xi Jinping Thought' Stands For https://www.forbes.com/sites/salvatorebabones/2017/10/22/what-does-xi-jinping-thought-mean-and-how-does-it-compare-to-america-first/#2bfee5ab3262 Xi Jinping is universally regarded as China's most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping, and perhaps since Mao Zedong. Both Deng and Mao left their marks in the charter of the Communist Party of China, and the rumor is that Xi will be their first successor to do the same. Mao's "mass line" and Deng's "seeking truth from facts" have become official tenets of Communist Party dogma. Xi's "socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era" may soon join these august concepts as official truth. But just what does "Xi Jinping Thought" really consist of? To answer that question, it helps to compare Xi's governing principles to those of the four preceding "paramount leaders" of China's Communist Party. Xi versus Mao Xi Jinping is most often compared to Mao Zedong, China's revolutionary leader, red emperor and communist theologian. Mao's political maxims were collected in the Little Red Book once read by leftist college students and Latin American guerillas. Mao Zedong thought is not all that bad, if you happen to be planning a people's revolution to overthrow your government. Unlike Lenin and most European Marxists, Mao taught that revolutions had to come from below. And unlike most revolutionaries, he still fought to overthrow the government even when he was the government. The infamous Cultural Revolution that rocked Chinese society from 1966-1976 was the result. Xi is no revolutionary, and he is certainly no Mao. Xi'sChinese Dream is a "moderately prosperous society," not a communist utopia. Xi does talk a lot about "national rejuvenation," but that's really just a way to avoid using the Western word for what he really means: renaissance. Xi's Chinese renaissance is all about China's space program, high speed rail network and high technology parks. But a real Chinese renaissance requires the reversal of China's long-term brain drain to the United States and other English-speaking countries. The problem? Most Chinese scientists are unwilling to give up their tenured positions overseas to take a chance on a permanent return to China. Barring a reversal of epic proportions, in 2021 Xi will preside over the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party. That will be as good a time as any to finally lay Mao Zedong Thought to rest for good. If Xi has his way, they may just take the opportunity to bury Mao along with it. He's been waiting long enough. Xi versus Deng Soon after the death of Mao, his long-time frenemy Deng Xiaoping put paid to the Cultural Revolution and started China on the path to opening and reform that it has followed for the last 40 years. Famous for saying that it was OK for some people to get rich before others, Deng was repeatedly condemned by Mao as a "capitalist roader" -- which, as soon as Mao died, is exactly what he turned out to be. To facilitate his economic reform agenda, Deng urged that China should "keep a low profile" in international affairs, biding its time while building its strength. Xi'sstrive for achievement strategy couldn't be more different. In his landmark Communist Party Congress speech, Xi pledged that China would have a "world class" military by 2050, in line with his policy of relentless maritime expansion in the South China Sea. Xi has departed radically from Deng's advice on foreign policy, but what Xi shares with Deng is a staunchly conservative preference for order over chaos. Deng ruthlessly suppressed the Tiananmen Square democracy movement in order to preserve the rule of the Communist Party. Xi has much more subtly turned the screws on political dissent using the more discriminating but perhaps more effective tools of online surveillanceand selective imprisonment. As the ever-quotable Deng said himself, "it doesn't matter whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice." Xi versus Jiang Deng Xiaoing's successor Jiang Zemin is perhaps best remembered for the fact that everything done under his leadership was done "with Chinese characteristics." Deng may have coined the phrase "socialism with Chinese characteristics" to justify his introduction of the market into China's planned economy, but under Jiangthe phrase became a standing joke. Jiang Zemin codified these Chinese characteristics into the "Three Represents": the idea that in addition to the poor, the Communist Party of China would also represent China's business and cultural elites. Under Xi, this has evolved into the Two Represents, and if China's new rich get their way it may soon degenerate back into a novel kind of One Represent. Xi versus Hu Hu Jintao's major contribution to the intellectual life of the Communist Party was to bring Confucius back into the fold. Long prescribed under Mao as the reactionary idol of the pre-revolutionary patriarchy, today Confucius is back in China, with no small thanks to Hu, who rehabilitated Confucian thought, reopened Confucian temples, and chartered the Confucius Institutes to become China's cultural ambassadors to the world. Hu's trademark slogan was the "harmonious society" -- i.e., trust the government and don't complain and everyone can live in harmony. No word on what thenotoriously cranky sage, who got himself successively kicked out of ten different countries for criticizing their poor leadership, might have thought of this. Hu later extended the harmonious society to the harmonious world (i.e., trust China and don't complain and the world can live in harmony). With his One Belt, One Road expansionism and South China Sea island building, Xi seems keen to continue Hu's expansive foreign policy program, only with even less emphasis on the "harmonious" part of the equation. "Party First" Xi Jinping Thought, in a nutshell, seems to boil down to something resembling "America First, with Chinese Characteristics." By all accounts, Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump got along surprisingly well at their first meeting in April, perhaps because at a level deeper than mere speech they spoke the same language. If Xi's political philosophy isn't exactly China First, it is something close to it but at the same time distinctively Chinese: something like "Party First." And putting the interests of the Communist Party first is one thing he shares with all of his predecessors. Like Deng, Xi is a pragmatist who will stay on the capitalist road so long as it leads to much greater wealth than any other. Like Jiang, he is very happy to lead a ruling party dominated by his country's business elite. Like his immediate predecessor Hu, he is crafty enough to use patriotism and ethnic pride as tools to keep ordinary Chinese (if not necessarily China's minority groups) on his side. And like Mao, Xi seems to be ruthless enough to succeed in making his own Chinese Dream a reality. As long as he continues to put the Party first, Xi is likely to maintain his grip on power -- and the Party's loyalty. And as long as the Party puts Xi first, he is likely to have no cause to complain. Xi Jinping Thought may not sell as many books as Mao's did, but come 2021 it will be Xi who sets the course for the next 100 years of the Communist Party of China.
  5. Any bros bought any travel packages from them? http://www.wanbao.com.sg/local/story20150523-55466#local 乐乐假期旅行社突停业 500旅客受影响 营业13年的乐乐假期旅行社,昨天突然关门,贴通告宣布停业,超过500旅客受影响,单本周末就有近300名学生和旅客受波及。 rough translate; Asia-euro holidays travel agency closed down suddenly yesterday, which has been in the travel-related business for years. Notices were put up on their shops at Chinatown Point and is believed that more than 500 customers were affected, including close to 300 students planning for trips this weekend.
  6. Do you agree? What are your thoughts? Systems in Spore are generally very efficient from buses (not so for MRT now) and roads and one of the best airports we are having. your thoughts? ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Finland has emerged as the happiest nation in the world in the sixth World Happiness Report. Norway, which topped the list last year, finished second in the 2018 report, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland. The report, prepared by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations, ranks countries on six key variables - income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity. The 2018 report focuses on migration within and between countries and was released on March 14, a week ahead of the World Happiness Day. It surveyed 156 countries for their happiness levels, and 117 countries to determine the happiness of immigrants. In Asia, Israel finished first occupying the 11th spot, while United Arab Emirates came second at rank 20, followed by Qatar (32) and Saudi Arabia (33). In Southeast Asia, Singapore was found to be the happiest nation at rank 34, followed by Malaysia (35) and Thailand (46). China is lagging behind its Asian neighbours at 86 in the happiness quotient, while its fellow billion citizen peer, India is seemingly even more unhappy at rank 133. Among other Asian nations, Mongolia was ranked at 94, Vietnam at 95, Indonesia, 96, Bhutan - which was once the happiest - at 97, Nepal at 101, Laos, 110, Bangladesh, 115, Sri Lanka, 116, Cambodia, 120 and Myanmar, 130. http://www.asiaone.com/singapore/singapore-happiest-nation-southeast-asia
  7. Anti-Bardahl Asia Pacific I'm a business man also a victim for selling Bardahl Asia Pacific' s Products, in the past 10 years my company have trading with Bardahl Asia Pacific (BAP). Till now, I have found out something strange and make me feel sad about doing business with BAP. Everyone need to know about it and be careful. First off, BAP's Products and sales service is bad. We have some oil burning issues with a lot of car and they just push all the responsibility to us. they said that the oil burning problem only happen in our place we need to figure it out by ourselves. secondly, we hear the conversation between BAP and different suppliers. BAP sent out a low-price quote to every suppliers and ask them to produce what BAP need with the suppliers standard. That's mean the only standard is cost. Moreover, they are not the real Bardahl branch in Asia and owned by Bardahl Mfg. Co.(BMC) as they told everyone. BAP just an agent under Eric H. Fletcher (another agent appointed by BMC). Please let me to explain to everyone below. In 2015, Bardahl India(http://www.elvibardahl.com/) independent from BAP. I feel a bit weird about how can a distributor go deal with the headquarter and kick BAP out. They should be in the same system and no conflict. Thus, I go to check on the website and did a company search about BAP. In the report, we saw BAP capital is only Singapore Dollar 50K and without any investment from BMC. BAP Shareholders is all individual with ID no. that mean BAP and BMC is not the real relationship as they said. (See Below) BAP have not own any oil factory or warehouse in Singapore, BAP is a trading company only and they trade with everyone without principles. BAP have not got the right to produce oil and additives, they can do trade with imports, exports and local sales only. (See Below) And we did another company search for BMC. We can only see there is a person call Eric Nicolaysen, the COO in BMC. Eric H.Fletcher said he is the the managing director have not showed anywhere in the report, he is cheating us. BMCs' division showed in the report is OCD Nederland B.V.(Bardahl Euro). That's mean BAP is also laying to everyone about they are BMC division and owned by BMC. BAP is not the one they said. BAP and Eric H.Fletcher cheat everyone in Asia. They can cheat everyone for a while but they can't cheat us forever. It is too late for me to knew this fact. My sales manager has betrayed me and take everything from the company to join BAP. BAP have contact my sales manager to offer him a better salary to take over everything. After everything they have done to me and BAP sent me a message that their business principles is 'I want everything from you.' Everyone who dealing with BAP, they will take all your investment in Bardahl. BAP is a trading company only. And they do not sign any contract with everyone, even they have sign something. They will overthrow what they sign and make a lot of argue to deny everything they said. These things are not happening in me only. In Asia, BAP is doing now to everyone. In Philippines, BAP open two distributor and make them imports stock from BAP as much as they can. When the two distributors cannot import any more, BAP will appoint another distributor again and repeat the same things to them. In Taiwan, I knew there is a same case. Taiwan distributor worked for BAP around 10 years and kicked out by his sales manager Mr. Tang, BAP using a similar method to cooperate with Mr. Tang and takeover the market that the original Taiwan distributor have developed. BAP afraid their lies will be expose. Thus, BAP need to keep changing distributor and setting unreasonable target to distributor to ensure their lies would not be expose. In the right timing, BAP will get into that market when it is well developed. Original Taiwan distributor with red and the new one in yellow is the sales manager under the original. Photo took in Phuket Retreat 2013 We can see BAP take over Taiwan and dealing with the sales manager in 2016. I have find out the original distributor are noticed by BAP that BMC(Eric Hoy Fletcher) need to change the distributor based on their work is not doing well but no details. We can also see thing was happened in Korean. Above are the original distributors in Korean in 2014. However, BAP was selling expensive products and pushing them to keep importing oil. After a year, Korean distributor have a lot of stock with high cost. They cannot sell it based on the cost of imports is the retail price in Korean, then BAP ask them to quit and handover all the market with no cost to the new distributor(see below) in 2016. BAP also promise the original distributor will give him back the profit after they sold the products. But the result end up that Korean distributor haven’t got his money back. I know it now that is happening in China right now. Since 2014, Singapore open a joint venture with a Chinese company and make them invest 2 million US dollar. China market have developing normal in these 3 years. Because of BAP keep interfere the business in China. BAP appoint 3 to 4 national distributors and selling to them directly from Singapore and ask the joint venture to bear the cost and support them for developing China Market. BAP promise for 15% Profit to the joint venture when BAP selling to different national distributor. 3 Years ago, BAP use the power in the joint venture and keep stocking for the national distributor. But none of them buy from the joint venture, BAP selling them directly from Singapore. Furthermore, there is an additives national distributor open by BAP. BAP sold him 2 containers of additives and they cannot sell it out based on the cost, BAP would like to disqualify their national distributor without helping them to recover their investment. When BSZ want to help them to clean up his additives to recover some of his investment. BAP just stop BSZ and tell BSZ that BAP and BSZ have no responsibility to help anyone sell their stock. In 2017, BAP ask the joint venture to transfer all the assets to BAP and close the joint venture based on the order of Eric H. Fletcher and BMC. BAP said everyone should following the order from Americans. Otherwise BAP will ask their lawyer team to take everything from the joint venture. Bardahl Shenzhen(BSZ) haven’t surrender and following the contract they have sign with BAP, so BAP open another company in Guangzhou (BGZ) and ignore the contract they have signed and producing everything locally. BAP and BGZ keep telling everyone BSZ is no longer exist and BSZ have compensate a few millions dollar to BMC for their action to confuse who dealing with BSZ. We are not a fool, this world is fair enough for everyone to do business by following the rules. BAP want to take everything from you and your friend, the examples above has showed how BAP cheat people and We should stand up for anything unfair nowadays, fight for the right. We know BAP haven’t got their word, we are not the one who need to obey Americans order as a slave. We are organizing more group to stand up for these. So please pay attention for this and stop buying product from Bardahl Asia Pacific.
  8. We aim at constant expansion of range of services we render to our customers and at enhancement of our Customer Service quality. Guided by this principle, we provide visa issuance, Residence Permit, Driver License, id card, medical insurance services and documents to our customers. Applying for a visa may entangle complicated procedures, but our company staff will guarantee you all-round assistance in completing these procedures and documents. Visa support service includes completing 2-years multiple entry visa application which requires the customer to provide the minimal package of documents. In case of property purchase, we also assist our customers in applying for a Residence Permit. Another vital service we offer our clients is providing them with medical insurance required for visiting a particular country. Visa support service and registered documents along with other aspects of our business operations ensures highest quality and shortest time of service and guarantees best results. email: (weuniontrack at gmail dot com) or via telegram::....... registered12
  9. Just got quote from DA for my renewal ($140 cheaper). They cover LTA compliant mods! Well done DA!
  10. Thaiyotakamli

    Best and Worst airport in Asia

    http://www.relax.com.sg/relax/media/617732...ts_in_Asia.html crap, some quite good like beijing one, almost on par with changi, nice roof and huge airport, clean and neat. Bali one really bad lol this one i must agree. Jakarta one old http://www.relax.com.sg/relax/media/621872...t_airports.html this one, taoyuan airport is one of the worst airport i ever been, where got rank 8 and thai one i dun like, look not nice the design how about u? which best airport u ever been and which worst airport u ever been? pls dont say Changi lol
  11. SHANGHAI—LaSalle Investment Management has raised $1 billion this year to invest in real-estate assets in Asia, in the latest sign that investors are making bolder bets in areas that are still enjoying strong growth. LaSalle, a unit of JLL, said that of the $1 billion, $585 million was raised for its fourth Asian opportunity fund, which is targeting industrial real estate in China and commercial property in Japan and Australia. The remaining amount raised is for institutional investors with separate mandates. "Asia has become a lot more appealing," said Mark Gabbay, co-chief executive officer of LaSalle Asia Pacific. "The underlying fundamentals are attractive: Demographics, job growth and liquidity conditions are still good." In the real-estate private-equity world, opportunity funds typically buy challenging properties, not trophy buildings. Managers of the $1 billion that LaSalle raised say they are looking for buildings that aren't completely leased that they can refurbish, boost occupancy and rental rates and then sell to a buyer with less appetite for risk. LaSalle, which manages $50 billion of real-estate assets globally, is looking for shorter-term investment deals in Asia, and hopes to hold these assets for about three years on average. In 2012, for instance, the fund invested 7.8 billion yen ($76.8 million at current exchange rates) in an office building about 20 minutes from the central business district in Osaka. It plans to sell the building to a Japanese real-estate investment trust. Some investors are now willing to take on more risk by allocating more money to such buildings, whose returns can reach as high as 20%. Returns from high-quality buildings with high occupancies tend to be lower, but so is the risk, Mr. Gabbay added. Economic growth in some parts of Asia has been slowing, but its growth rates are still stronger than those in the U.S. and Europe. Beijing on Wednesday is expected to report that gross domestic product growth reached 7.4% in the second quarter, in line with GDP growth in the first quarter, according to a median forecast of 21 economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. The economy of the 18-nation euro bloc grew less than 1% in the first quarter of 2014, and the European Central Bank forecast that GDP growth for the euro-zone economy will reach 1.2% for 2014. Investors in the LaSalle fund include sovereign-wealth funds and pension funds from the U.S., Middle East and Europe. These investors typically avoid risk, but some are getting more adventuresome. "Investors are concerned about their real-estate investments in a persistently low interest-rate environment," said Mr. Gabbay. He also noted that some are questioning if some high-quality buildings in Asia's gateway cities are overvalued. San Diego City Employees' Retirement System, which has committed $50 million to the fund, says this is its first real-estate investment in Asia, and that it is "an attractive area in which to invest." "The fund is pursuing opportunistic real-estate investments in Asia, which is one of the fastest-growing regions," said Christina Di Leva, communications manager at SDCERS, in an email. But opportunistic investors are taking on risks by banking on construction activity. According to data tracker Preqin, average returns from such Asia-focused funds with this opportunistic investment strategy lag behind their peers. Since 1998, the net internal rate of return for such funds averaged 8.1%, compared with 13% for other Asia- focused funds with less-risky investment strategies. Also, distressed properties are harder to find in Asia than in other parts of the world, such as Spain and Italy, that were hard-hit by the financial crisis. "Asia's economy has done relatively well in the past few years, so there aren't as many distressed assets within Asia compared to other markets. Most Asia-focused opportunistic funds which closed in the past few years are China- or India-centric; these are fast-growing countries undergoing building booms," said Preqin spokesman Nicholas Jelfs. Other fund managers also have been raising opportunistic funds, making the playing field more competitive. Late last year, Secured Capital Japan raised $1.45 billion to invest in all types of property in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. Hong Kong-based Phoenix Property Investors raised $750 million to invest in office, residential and retail property in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  12. Like that also can? Social media stuff can track our happiness? [laugh] From CNA: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sin...1261028/1/.html S'poreans appear to be happiest people in Asia Posted: 19 March 2013 1921 hrs
  13. Mockngbrd

    Asia Hotel Bangkok?

    So what's the backstory on this hotel? Initially read/heard it was the hotel with a big fire, but after digging, found out the hotel with fire wasn't Asia at all, but a nearby one called FIRST Hotel, which is still there today. It seems lots of ppl mistake the First hotel's fire for Asia Hotel. Link to First Hotel fire story: First Hotel Bangkok Hauntings So anyone with any backstory to why Asia is so creepy? map of Asia / First: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=first+hotel+...mp;t=m&z=17
  14. EF INDEX: Beats Singapore to place 11th in overall ranking MALAYSIA'S improved ranking worldwide in terms of English language proficiency shows that government is on the right track, said Deputy Education Minister 11 P. Kamalanathan yesterday. A survey conducted by Swiss international education company Education First (EF) showed that Malaysia had the highest English language proficiency level in Asia. The nation also climbed two notches up to 11th place from 13th position last year in the EF English Proficiency Index, which saw more than 60 countries surveyed. "As far as the command of English is concerned, we are happy and of course, this is good news," said Kamalanathan The results also showed that Malaysia, which was placed in the "high proficiency" category, had overtaken Singapore, which fell to 12th position in the ranking. Malaysia scored 59.99 points in the survey while Singapore received a 58.92. Kamalanathan said the Malaysia National Education Blueprint 2013-2025 would continue to strengthen the level of English language proficiency. "We will make sure the standard is raised to meet global requirements and to make Malaysia the choice destination for foreign directi investment and services." EF, in a press release entitled "The World's Top 60 Countries in English according to the EF English Proficiency Index" posted on its website on Tuesday, said this year's country rankings were based on tests taken by 750,000 adults from 60 countries last year. It said the seven countries with the strongest command of English were all small European nations, "whose size compels them to adopt an international outlook". The analysis of evolving English proficiency over a six-year period (2007 to last year) uses test data from nearly five million adults. Sweden topped the list of the "very high proficiency" category, with Norway and Netherlands trailing in second and third places respectively. Other countries listed as among the best were Estonia, Denmark, Austria and Finland. The survey also concluded that some Asian countries, such as Indonesia and Vietnam, have improved on their English proficiency over the six-year period. Source: http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/malaysia-no-1-in-english-proficiency-in-asia-1.395773
  15. Greatbirdlegend

    The hard truth: People in Asia dislike sex

    This is just too funny that I had to post. ----- Mon, Apr 04, 2011 The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size The hard truth: People in Asia dislike sex by Nury Vittachi A newly-wed bride on honeymoon put on her sexiest clothes. Her husband reacted in the obvious way
  16. SINGAPORE'S Central Provident Fund (CPF) system ranks top among similar social security systems in Asian countries, but it is Denmark's well-funded pension system which has emerged the best globally. The 2014 Mercer Melbourne Global Pension Index identified Singapore's CPF is a "sound structure, with many good features, but has some areas for improvement that differentiates it from an A-grade system". The Singapore retirement system continues to score a grade of B, but is expected to be upgraded once shortcomings are addressed, said Neil Narale, Mercer's Asean Retirement Business Leader. "The lack of tax-approved group corporate retirement plans and retirement savings for non-residents continues to isolate Singapore from other highly-graded countries on the global scale," he said. http://www.globalpensionindex.com/country-summaries-2/singapore/ http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/singapores-cpf-system-ranked-top-in-asia-denmarks-system-leads-globally-mercer
  17. Hi guys any story/experience to share driving in other asian countries/cities other than MALAYSIA? Let me share mine first, since I am relatively young, I have driven in Thailand and Indonesia before, driven car friend in bkk for half day only but was unlucky as traffic really jam. Drive around the sathorn area as well as sukhumvit area 3-4 years back in his CRV. Really pain in @ss driving in bkk as had to wait long in traffic light. Then in indonesia i have driven before in Surabaya, Bali and. Batam before through car rental. In Bali it was challenging as roads very narrow and gps somehow brought me to small road for one car only for shortcut BUT that road is for 2 ways. So when there is oncoming car, I had to keep the most left, ask my gf to check out left side of the car and then i fold the mirror, think left and right less than 15cm! Then also managed to drove to kintamani mountain for 3-4 hours drive from the denpasar city. Its tiring but fun Then in Surabaya, i rented an Innova and went to Taman Safari Prigen about 1 hr drive from the city. The fun part is that the safari is like jurassic park, lions and other animals is at ur car window as we drive in to see those animals using our own cars. Unforgettable experience indeed. Think if u watch one of the Running Man episode in Indonesia, its exactly the same. U can feed some herbivores food by opening ur window slightly. Its fun! Last but not least in Batam, rented a car drive to barelang bridges. Not much experience but fun part is when u cross the first bridge. Then i think in 4th or 5th island drive through viets village. Thats all about my Asia Driving experience
  18. Seems like the North Koreans are the best as far as 2014 is concerned. In SG, hardly see any female soccer matches. http://www.japantoday.com/category/sports/view/n-korea-beats-japan-in-womens-soccer-to-win-gold-at-asian-games INCHEON — North Korea upset defending champions Japan 3-1 to win the Asian Games women’s soccer gold on Wednesday—and again it was all down to leader Kim Jong-Un for sharing his wisdom. Kim Yun-Mi, captain Ra Un-Sim and Ho Un-Byol were all on target as the North Koreans totally outplayed World and Asian Cup holders Japan to avenge their loss in the final four years ago. The North’s players squealed with joy, some bursting into tears, at the final whistle as around 60 of their flag-waving comrades in official tracksuits hopped with delight in the stands. After the match, their coach dedicated the gold to North Korean leader Kim, a big sports fan who is reportedly ailing. “This was an inevitable result as the North Korean players trained with dedication and never stopped fighting to return the warm love of our dear leader Kim Jong-Un, who watched over us” Kim Kwang-Min told reporters. “Our respected leader visited our training camp on July 11 and gave the team valuable instruction on how to win the gold medal at the Asian Games. This victory reflects the boundless feelings of the players for our dear leader.” South Korean fans chanted support for their neighbors from north of the border throughout, many waving unification flags showing the Korean peninsula in blue on a white background. The North’s players sprinted over to the main stand after a celebratory team hug and unfurled their country’s flag as thousands of local fans seated behind huge unification banners with the same design serenaded them with: “We are one At the medal ceremony, local fans and the delirious North Korean delegation continued to chant the same mantra to each other from opposite sides of the pitch. “When our team was being cheered on by South Korea I felt we are one nation,” said coach Kim. “We are all brothers and sisters. I could sense a feeling of Korean unification.” North Korea took the lead after 12 minutes when midfielder Kim stabbed home from close range following some dreadful Japanese defending. They produced a moment of true class to double their lead seven minutes after the interval, Ra latching on to a long diagonal from Jon Myong-Hwa to finish with a clinical right-foot shot.
  19. Camrysfa

    In SG, the ATMs spits out GOLD!

    Asia's first! ATMs that sells gold . . . http://www.straitstimes.com/news/business/more-business-stories/story/asias-first-gold-dispensing-atms-installed-singapore-20140 SINGAPORE - Singapore now has its first automated teller machines (ATMs) that dispense gold. Two such ATMs were launched on Wednesday morning at Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands.The custom-built machines will dispense a variety of pure gold items that produced by top Swiss refiner, PAMP. The gold products - available in a variety of sizes from one to ten grams - will have different prices daily, pegged to the day's global prices. Singapore now has its first automated teller machines (ATMs) that dispense gold. -- On the day of the launch, a one gram pendant cost $100 while a ten gram one cost $660. The company behind the machines, Asia Gold ATM, says it intends to launch two or three more machines "in the near future" as it looks for more locations to base the ATMs.It also touted its ATMs as Asia's first. - See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/business/more-business-stories/story/asias-first-gold-dispensing-atms-installed-singapore-20140#sthash.GFBbOuXR.dpuf
  20. Commercial real-estate yields in Asia are the lowest in the world, forcing investors to pay top prices for the highest-quality buildings, take on more risk or consider property investments outside of their regions for the first time. Yields for centrally located office buildings are just 2.2% in Taipei, 2.8% in Hong Kong and 3.5% in Tokyo and Singapore. By comparison, they are 4.7% in New York and 3.8% in London's West End, according to CBRE Group Inc. Pension funds, sovereign-wealth funds and other institutional investors have been willing to accept such low returns because they look attractive in a low interest-rate environment. But it also means that buyers are exposed to a loss in value if interest rates rise and demand for such low yields cools. Yields have fallen so far in Taiwan that financial regulators last year instituted a new rule that limits domestic insurance companies' investments to properties that offer a rental yield of 2.875% or above. Authorities also have allowed insurance companies to buy real estate outside the country's borders for the first time. Investors are modifying their strategies. Terence Loh, executive director at China-focused investment fund CDH Investments, said he has been investing in development projects in cities such as Beijing, Hangzhou and Xi'an rather than buying existing buildings. "The risk-reward is more compelling," he said. Yields are an important measure of commercial-property values because lower yields typically mean higher prices. They are calculated by dividing the annual income by the price. Traditionally, yields in Asia are lower than they are in Europe and the U.S. because often there are more buyers chasing fewer properties. Pension funds, sovereign-wealth funds and other institutional investors favor fully leased, well-located buildings and there are fewer of these in Asia. Also, many of these investors, until recently, have been reluctant to venture outside the regional markets they know best. But lately yields in Asia have fallen to unusually low levels, along with the rest of the world. Buyers can tolerate smaller yields partly because they can borrow at lower costs and the lower returns still look attractive compared with the debt market. Yields also have been falling in many countries because the annual incomes of properties aren't keeping up with rising prices. Prime office rents in Beijing and Shanghai, for example, have stayed flat over the past two years, according to CBRE, while those in Hong Kong and Taipei rose 2.3% and 1.1%, respectively, in the past year. In some Asian cities, including Taipei and Beijing, yields are at or near historical lows, according to CBRE. In Hong Kong, they are at similar levels to the last major property boom in 1997. In Tokyo, the yields are at their lowest levels since 2005, CBRE says. In Taipei, for example, Mercuries Life Insurance Co. Ltd. in April bought almost 8,000 square meters of retail space in the podium at Taipei TiT Tower Square for 3.95 billion New Taiwan dollars (US$131.5 million), with a rental yield of 3%, according to Real Capital Analytics, a real-estate data firm. The seller, Homax Group, acquired the same property in June 2011 at a price of NT$2.8 billion for a yield of 4.5% at the time. In Singapore, a group of local companies in May bought a 93% stake from Keppel REIT in the Prudential Tower in the city's central financial district for 512 million Singaporean dollars (US$409.3 million). The deal boasted a 3.5% yield, according to Real Capital. By comparison, Keppel REIT in 2011 bought the Ocean Financial Centre, also in the heart of Singapore, for S$2.0 billion in a deal that offered a 5.3% yield, Real Capital says. Investors have started to leave their comfort zones to find higher yields. Some have targeted Australia. Yields are at 6% in Sydney's and Melbourne's main office districts. Singapore-based real-estate company Hiap Hoe Group bought an office building in Perth for 90 million Australian dollars (US$84.8 million), at a yield of 8.3%, according to research by property firm JLL. Other investors are seeking distressed properties, hoping to boost yields by increasing revenue. Gaw Capital Partners, a Hong Kong-based private-equity real-estate firm, earlier this year paid US$30 million for the Hyatt Regency Osaka in hopes of turning around a hotel that lost US$10 million in the year ending March. "We saw a lot of quick fixes that we could do and cost-cutting that would make the hotel cash-flow positive right away," said Christina Gaw, managing principal and head of capital markets at the firm. Some real-estate experts say investors are willing to accept low yields because they feel that property incomes are poised to rise after years of stagnation, especially in Japan as it emerges from a long slump. They point out that commercial property often benefits from rising inflation because it allows landlords to raise rents. "Investors are going into Tokyo with the expectation of rising rents," said Alistair Meadows, international capital group head at JLL. But others say investors accepting low yields are walking a thin line. Many of them have been trying to boost returns by adding leverage, a risky formula that exposes investors to default if rents or values decline. Also, if interest rates rise faster than inflation, owners could get squeezed, especially if they have floating-rate debt, experts say. "These tight [yield] rates will have a very small margin of error," said Nicholas Wilson, research manager for capital markets in Asia Pacific, at JLL.
  21. Date / Time: 21 -23 Mar / 11am - 9pm Venue: Singapore Expo Hall 5 More details at http://www.smartkidsasia.com MyCarForum will be there to give out freebies to its members. Premium Members, simply send an SMS* to 84502687 with your MyCarForum username as the message body. If you are not yet a Premium Member, upgrade here for free. We will then send you a SMS coupon to take part in our sure win lucky draw. Simply show this SMS coupon at our booth, H15. Totally no gimmicks. This is a pure rewards program for our premium members. *You must SMS from a number that matches the number registered for your Premium Account. Our sure win lucky draw prizes as below.
  22. Gibbs to build Humdinga amphibious truck in Asia
  23. A Singapore Insurance Company Working 24/7 For You DirectAsia.com allows consumers to purchase insurance products directly from them via two means - online or over the phone. The Singapore insurance company pledges to be in touch with clients with better understanding of the marketplace, as well as the local consumers. The result is insurance products and services that are more suited to clients’ needs. With their staff based in Singapore, customers will not have to be transferred to overseas call centres – and they are always on hand 24/7 to provide valuable help no matter where the customers are. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDZeeAgkzSs&feature=youtu.be Robin Hood – Getting You a Fairer Deal on Your Insurance Robin Hood – the mascot of DirectAsia.com - has become a familiar figure on our local shores. It stands for the firm’s commitment towards providing high quality, low cost insurance through simple and direct communication. It also adds a sense of fun to an industry that has been relatively plain and restricted in advertisements. The face of DirectAsia.com’s car, motorcycle, home, travel, personal accident and term life insurance, Robin Hood has made numerous appearances on TV, billboards and online. He reminds Singaporeans that high quality insurance and excellent customer service is available at a low price – and is easily accessible. WE Put An Emphasis On Customer Service Because happier customers is what makes our team happy Our team doesn’t talk to you using service scripts , we treat each caller uniquely Our Customer Satisfaction Score is 98% ( the industry averages below 80% ) Our insurance experts go through a 6 – 8 week comprehensive training Roughly 90% of auto quotes can be done over the phone in less than 10 mins 8 out of 10 calls are answered in 20 seconds or less Our team is in Singapore , so you’ll speak to someone who understands local culture , needs . Our Promise : Local , Genuine And Professional Service We treat customers like our family and friends At DirectAsia we always put you first in everything we do – from creating policies that put you first , to the service you receive when you call to buy or make a claim . We believe insurance is more than a piece of paper you keep in your vehicle or filing cabinet , it’s a relationship . And like any good relationship , we promise to be there for you when you need us most . DirectAsia Named Top Brand in Direct – To – Consumer Insurance Category in 2015 Asia’s Top Influential Brands DirectAsia.com 88 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058716 Phone: 6665 5555 Website: http://www.directasi...randing_LeadGen