Just returned yesterday from a poor Internet access area. That should explain for our long not up-dated blog.
There was an invitation for a 'tahlil' in Ayer Hangat, Langkawi for last Friday, LIMA was to begin today Tuesday and dissolution of Parliment is expected to be around the corner before LIMA ends Saturday.
Before getting stuck in the bunker with the general election campaign and the maddening crowd for LIMA and school holidays trickle into Langkawi, we thought it is not a bad idea to go for a bit of R&R, visits and education in Langkawi.
When we arrived Friday, our F-18 and Sukhoi can be seen from afar lined up for LIMA exhibition. The airport tarmac is a secured area, so we can't get close enough for a shot. (See above)
There will be more Monday.
We had lunch and right after lunch, we went to sort out our "accomodation" at Tanjung Rhu resort.
The Tanjung Rhu was undergoing renovation and was supposed to be open for LIMA.
The staff are still working and kept on payroll. As told by the staff, other hotels or resorts would usually send away the employee on unpaid leave or some would retrench to rehire later.
What a considerate and generous employer.
In return, they pitched in to help spruce up the place. Though renovation is still on-going, the resort looks emaculate, clean and coiffered. Even the sands on the beach looks like it was raked for a long jump sand landing.
Guess that is why Tanjung Rhu is in the top 5 in Langkawi.
Since there is no guests and hardly much to do, friends in the management asked us to bunk there before the crowd trickled in. For the "good discount" and thrill of feeling eerie from being alone on the resort at night, we took up the offer.
After LIMA, we can't afford it. And during LIMA, it could be double. Malam-malam baca-baca sikit sebelum tidor. But hey ...what's wrong with a little thrill of poltergeist.
After settling in, we had tea with the resort management in the reading room. There we talked a lot about this resort and how it was built to look this beautiful.
When it started in the 80s, Tanjung Rhu was first a development by Promet meant to be as time sharing. It ran into a snag due to financial problem and the recession of the 80s. There was also some local issue.
It was open for bidding till current owner stepped in. He had the right formula and understood the sentiments of the local orang kampong.
There was a lot of hardwork put to make the place what it is today.
Real hands on work. No foreign consultant. No foreign resort or hotel management company. No foreign architect. No foreign planner.
It shows Malaysian management in their finest Malaysia Boleh spirit.
If we put a lot of thought and effort into doing things, we can be as good as anyone in the world. We learn a lot and built up that competitive advantage in knowledge economy that we have been talking about by doing it ourselves.
Off course, election was also in the conversation work. Our friends was sharing with us some information on an issue raised by BN that seemed to be in the vogue for the past one week.
Without telling much, BN people should do their homework before propagating a certain issue on the opposition. We should not be caught spinning incessantly like Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his PKR till any new revelation can be easily discredited when it is associated with him.
It was nearing sundown and time for Magrib and the Tahlil.
We went to the tahlil to read the Yaasin "mubin". The tahlil was for a specific well wishing for the general welfare of everyone involved. After isya prayers, all was invited for a feast.
And we returned after that. The host was obviously happy that we made ourselves this far to join them.
The next two days we were lazing around the resort. See some picturesque view of the resort in the early morning, below:
Some pictures of the resort:
|Notice renovation in progress|
Off course, we were eat right during R&R ....
|Always begin each day with a good breakfast|
|Another healthy breakfast|
For dinner, two nights of Ikan Gulai Hangat at the roundabout near the airport:
|Fresh fish in gulai with ulam and sambals ... heavens!|
Heaven, isn't it?
If it is not heavenly enough and El Nina was bothersome, there is always Alun-Alun Spa at Pantai Tengah, Kedawang to cool the overheated body and tone down the pain and knots in the body.
The massage services was offered in a menu with different treatment for different body parts like at a Mamak soup stall. In Langkawi, there is no worry of masseurs asking leading questions like "Yu kum ah lone aaa??"
On Sunday noon and Monday yesterday, we spent the day at the LIMA exhibition sites. Below are some shots of helis taken at the Porto Malai near Genting's Awana resort:
|The one with the red roof is APMM helicopter|
Boats can be seen doing their practise run before LIMA:
On Monday, we tagged along with media friends to hear the pre-LIMA briefing and for their walkabout:
|Conference room used for briefing|
|Boustead booth under preparation|
|Model of the Gowin LCS Tony Pua spinned as overpriced|
NADI's booth with their new display on civilian MRO:
Lepaking on the chairs before going to the Tarmac.
Interesting slogan for Sikorvsky ... It is as though they are no arming of helicopters.
At the end but not in the picture is Dato Mahathir Lokman and Dato Nor Ehsanuddin going through the schedule and script before rehearsal with the Minister of Defense.
"Alah... I can confirm some of what you wrote about ... is true," said Mahadzir. "Bahaya lah you bloggers" he teased us.
A view just outside Mahsuri:
Dato Zahid going through the rehearsal on the Tarmac:
|Two PASKAU forces ... love their berets. There is one batallion PASKAU in Lahad Datu ... hint hint|
|A series of jet fighters with someone familiar looking|
|Russian Blacknight Sukhois|
|US's C17 Globemaster transport plane|
|Anti submarine patrol aircraft Orion|
|Singapore's F16 and Apache Longbow D heli|
After getting fried under the El Nina sun, we gatecrash for PC and lunch with the Minister and Navy on board the KD Kelantan:
|Lunch was prepared and served by our men in white ... ooo sedap nasi lauk kampong!|
|Some went for ride on the CB 90 boats|
Some went on a ride on the CB 90 and some on the ferry for a view of ships exhibited on sea, which include a Russian Destroyer.
Something we picked from LIMA.
It is a useful and beneficial exhibition for the country. Not only the obvious tourism benefit of filling up the calender of event and tourism dollar, it promote the local defense industry.
It allows us to capture some of the marketing and promotional budget of the huge global industry. For them it is cheaper to participate in such exhibition than ferrying many decision makers required to see before deciding on purchases.
Military men get to come together to discuss on issues and build regional cooperation.
While the military men meet their counterparts, our greatest joy was to meet up old friends, especially the elderly ones.
We visited the former state assemblymen for Langkawi, Ismail Yaacob or popularly known as Cikgu Man Pen at his apartment in Istana Kondo.
A close friend of Tun Dr Mahathir and legend of his own in Kedah politics. In case the young do not know him, ... Pen is for "pendek."
He had been ailing with a bad asthma but, still got us in stitches laughing. We can't share all the jokes that he shared but he did ask all us to see You Tube below of him on the rostrum at 2009 UMNO General Assembly:
UMNO should be reminded of his seloka speech. True to his UMNO resolve, Cikgu Man request that we send out this message:
TERIMA KASIH BARISAN NASIONAL
Janji Mu telah ditepati
Budi Mu terpahat di hati
Insya Allah, akan kami bukti
Dalam petak kertas undi
* Edited 7:00 PM