Saturday, 11 May 2013

Sabah is 3rd highest in alcohol consumption

Sabah recorded the third highest consumption of alcohol in Malaysia, at 18.4% after Kuala Lumpur (20.3%) and Sarawak (19.7%).

State health principal assistant director (non-communicable diseases) Dr Nirmal Kaur said the statistics were based on a National Health and Morbidity Survey carried out between August 2011 and July 2012.

She said alcohol was present in most of the traditional food and drinks and a favourite among 95 percent of the indigenous community in the 20 to 60 age-group.

"According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), alcohol consumption should not exceed two glasses to avoid non-communicable diseases.

"A glass of alcohol is equivalent to one can of beer, 70ml of 'montoku' (a traditional drink of the Kadazandusun community), 100ml of 'tapai' or 40ml of whisky or brandy," she told reporters after a health-related seminar here on Saturday.

Dr Nirmal said habitual consumption of alcohol in excessive amounts could lead to heart attack, diabetes, stroke, cancer and liver damage.


Honda Civic Hybrid gets more features, price remain the same

Price of the Honda Civic Hybrid will remain the same at RM119,980 (On-The-Road) with 3 colour choices i.e. White Orchid Pearl, Frosty White Metallic and Crystal Black Pearl.

This is despite the few add-ons to its list of standard equipment - a Reverse Camera, and a Hands-Free Telephone (HFT) System.

These 2 new features will be integrated into the Civic Hybrid’s i-MID (intelligent Multi-Information Display) and will certainly be a welcomed addition to its current Smart Entry and Push Start button features.

The reason for these new add ons, as explained by Honda Malaysia, is that the company has received much feedback from their customers in looking for new and additional features when purchasing a Honda vehicle.

Hence, it has prompted Honda Malaysia to include these two new items in order to help maximise their customer’s joy of driving a Honda – specifically a Civic Hybrid.

This is also in a bid to help increase sales numbers of their Civic Hybrid, since their sales target was raised from 1,200 units in 2012 to 3,200 units for 2013; requiring them to sell roughly 270 units on a monthly basis.

Upon booking the Civic Hybrid, the current waiting period is between 1 to 2 months for this Completely Built Unit (CBU), which now hails from their a production facility located in Ayutthaya, outside Bangkok, Thailand.

Together with the Civic Hybrid comes a 5-year warranty with unlimited mileage including the IMA battery, an extension of preventive maintenance interval from 5,000km to 10,000km and free labour service of up to 6 visits for every alternate paid service until 100,000km.


8 steps to become Best Employer

There are many ways, but these are worth looking into:

8 steps to being Best Employer!

The first step on any journey is to seek to understand where your organisation currently stands. Having line of sight of your organisation’s current standing in the minds of your employees is crucial in determining what your current strengths and opportunities are.

Diagnosis can be in the form of employee surveys and focus groups ideally in collaboration with a neutral party to ensure confidentiality of employee responses.
Based on feedback collected during diagnosis, develop a plan to achieve your organisation’s goals. Taking the time to articulate where you want to be, and how your organisation will get there keeps the organisation and HR focused on strategic vision and tactical initiatives.
Build a business case to obtain buy-in from the organisation’s management team and subsequently, work to enrol the broader employee population. In best employer organisations, people practices are never solely HR’s job – but rather, every manager’s responsibility.
Once all plans have been set in motion and the organisation is feeling the impact and improvements, it would be a good time to take stock of the level of improvement. Benchmarking against the industry you operate in, or participating in studies that seek to identify best employers are a great avenue to see how well your organisation is doing in terms of engaging your employees and measuring consistency and improvement over time.
All organisations are unique in their own way – and any plan/initiative could always be reviewed and refined to better suit the changing needs of the organisation. There should not be hesitation to refocus efforts if a plan clearly does not work.
Measures of success not only provide an indication of how effective a plan or initiative is, they also help justify a business case for sustaining successful plans and programmes. Measuring the success of any plan/initiative would provide valuable insight into how you would like to proceed, by refining, refocusing or maintaining status quo.
Some people programmes/initiatives which impact the entire organisation may be a leap of faith. Instead of launching immediately, a pilot programme on a smaller employee group can be considered to assess effectiveness.
There is no single magical recipe to being a best employer. Getting there is actually as much about innovative people programmes, as about getting the basics (e.g. total rewards, performance management, talent development, career management, managerial effectiveness) executed flawlessly. More often than not organisations get caught up with new ideas and lose sight of the fundamentals of execution via people managers.

New: Olympus goes full retro with E-P5

This is new from Olympus.

In a change from the usual kit lens bundle which is usually a zoom, the E-P5 will be bundled together with the black M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8 lens for RM4,499. A body-only option will also be available for RM3,499.

OLYMPUS has gone full retro with its latest Micro Four Thirds camera, the Pen E-P5.
While previous Pen models already share a similar design to the original Pen half-frame film cameras, the E-P5 takes it a step further with a design and logo that looks very close to the classic Pen F camera.
However, in this case the design is only skin deep, and underneath the sleek exterior, the E-P5 features everything you'd expect from a modern mirrorless interchangeable lens camera plus a few features unique this model.
The E-P5 shares many features with the OM-D E-M5 camera, including the 16-megapixel Live MOS image sensor and excellent five-axis built-in image stabilisation system.
Also unchanged is Olympus' extremely fast contrast detect autofocus also taken from the OM-D, but now with a new "short release time lag" mode which will allow for faster shot-to-shot times, although at the expense of battery life.
New design, updated feature set
With the E-P5, Olympus has once again taken a look at the features of its previous cameras and improved on them.
In keeping with the sleek retro looks, the company has redesigned the camera to have no visible screws on the top and sides. In fact, the only screws are on the bottom plate of the camera.
More importantly, Olympus has also introduced a new LCD screen that is even thinner than the one found on their previous cameras - it now sits almost completely flush with the lines of the body.
Unfortunately, like in the OM-D E-M5, the LCD screen still only tilts forwards and backwards and cannot be rotated.
The E-P5 also comes with a new more reliable shutter unit, and now boasts a 1/8,000sec mechanical shutter speed.

However, the most interesting new addition to the E-P5's feature set is built-in WiFi, which allows iOS and Android device users to not only transfer images from the camera but also to obtain a live view image and snap photos.

While this in itself is not unique in the digital camera market, the method by which the smartphone or tablet pairs with the E-P5 is - when WiFi is turned on, the camera will actually generate a QR code which can be read using the smartphone/tablet camera and appropriate QR code reader.

If the smartphone or tablet does not yet have the Olympus OI.Share software, the user will be prompted to install it from Google Play or the iOS App Store.

If it's already installed, the OI.Share app will be launched and the camera and the smartphone/tablet will be paired together using information obtained from the QR code.


Nokia introduced RM296 smartphone in emerging markets

Pretty affordable,  the 3-inch screen, WiFi and Internet-enabled phone is expected to go on sale in India and Europe in June, 2013.

ENTRY LEVEL SMARTPHONE: Elop holding a Nokia Asha 501 at an unveiling ceremony in New Delhi. The 3in screen WiFi and Internet-enabled phone is expected to go on sale in India and Europe in June. - ©AFP/Relaxnews 2013
Entry level SMARTPHONE: Elop holding a Nokia Asha 501 at an unveiling ceremony in New Delhi. ©AFP/Relaxnews 2013

NEW DELHI: Struggling Finnish mobile giant Nokia unveiled Thursday a US$99 (RM295.96) touchscreen smartphone as it battles to gain traction in India and other emerging markets to reverse falling sales.
Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop released the Asha 501 in New Delhi, targeting users moving up from no-frills handsets, and said he believed the model would "reinvent the affordable smartphone" line.
Elop told reporters that analysts estimate the lower-cost Internet-enabled smartphone category could be a US$40bil (RM119.58bil) market globally by 2015.
Analysts suggest the once-dominant phonemaker's future may lie in selling budget smartphones in fast-growing emerging markets such as India, Africa and parts of Latin America where customer penetration is still relatively low.
"Global players are looking at price points below $100 where there are serious volumes to be had," independent New Delhi telecom consultant Kunal Bajaj told AFP.
The Asha 501 - Asha means "hope" in Hindi - borrows some of its looks from Nokia's higher specification Windows-based Lumia and offers an array of social networking content. It will start shipping to vendors in June and be available in 90 countries.
"There is a huge opportunity in the sub-US$100 (RM298.95) range in India and other emerging markets - that price is definitely the sweet spot for users," Anshul Gupta, analyst at global consultancy Gartner, told AFP.
Just 10% of the phones sold in India last year were smartphones but the segment is expected to grow by 45% to 50% this year, said Gupta.
Gartner's Gupta called the phone, which claims 17 hours' talk time - vital in a country such as India with chronic power shortages - "a leapfrog experience" and said it raised the bar for what was available at under US$100 (RM298.95).
Elop, fresh from a bruising meeting in Helsinki earlier in the week with shareholders unhappy over Nokia's earnings losses, said India is a "bellwether" for and a leading indicator of "new consumer requirements".
"People in India are gravitating to better-looking, more feature-rich phones," said analyst Bajaj.
Elop, who took the reins of Nokia three years ago, did not comment directly on the firm's finances. Nokia trimmed first-quarter losses to 272 million euros (RM1bil or $355 million) from 928 million euros (RM3.61bil) a year ago but sales fell 20 percent.
In India, the second-largest mobile market after China, Nokia faces a stark challenge with its smartphone market share diving to 13.3% in 2012 from 38.4% the previous year, according to Telecom Lead Asia.
Competition is cutthroat from Samsung and Apple as well as from Chinese, Taiwanese and Indian handset-makers.
The device will initially be a 2G phone "as 80% of the world operates in a 2G environment and 2G has the largest footprint in emerging markets," said Elop, but the range will expand to include 3G phones. - ©AFP/Relaxnews 2013

Credit: source