AirAsia X jumps on bandwagon to fly Malaysians abroad home for Elections

Written by William Ng

AirAsia X, the international arm of AirAsia has jumped on the bandwagon to shuttle Malaysians abroad back en-masse in what is seen to encourage Malaysians to vote in the upcoming 13th Malaysia General Elections.

The Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia X, Mr. Azran Osman-Rani in a comment to “JomBalikUndi” (literally translated as “Let’s Go Home and Vote”) Facebook page stated that “AirAsia X will make available some seats on our flights at low-fares (even if last minute booking) for registered Malaysian voters in our destinations to fly back to KL to vote.”

Malaysia is currently gearing towards its 13th General Elections where it has been said by international media that it will be a nail-biting battle between Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ruling coalition government, Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat being led by Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, the Opposition Leader who was once the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia under Mr. Mahathir Mohamad’s administration.



Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will see a few more new addition to its hotel brands with the opening of Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur late 2012. This year, aloft™ Kuala Lumpur will debut in Malaysia early March 2013.

The Artist Impression of the Harrods Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Image 1)


In my previous post dated 4th July 2012, I have noted that the World’s so-called 7-star hotel, Harrods Hotel will debut in Kuala Lumpur and this has been firm.

Tradewinds Corp Bhd and Qatar Holding LLC will jointly develop the world’s first Harrods Hotel in Malaysia, which is estimated to cost around RM1 billion.

Qatar Holding, which owns Harrods Group, also has on the drawing board to build Harrods Hotels in London and Italy.

The Artist Impression of the Harrods Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Image 2)

The seven-star Harrods Hotel Kuala Lumpur, which will have more than 30 floors, will feature 250 to 300 hotel rooms and several floors for serviced apartments and retail space.

Two other luxury hotels under construction in Kuala Lumpur are St. Regis at KL Sentral by the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and the 65-storey Four Seasons Place near the Kuala Lumpur City Centre which many of us have heard of its rumours few year back has become a reality now.

It is understood that the cost to build each Harrods Hotel room is RM2.5 million to RM4 million, depending on the size and finishing.

A six-star hotel room costs an average RM2.5 million to build and for five-star hotel rooms, it will cost about RM1.5 million to RM2 million each.

The World’s First Harrods Hotel To Open In Kuala Lumpur

YES, you see it right. While we all know Harrods is a huge British luxury retailer from London, now the brand has another huge dream which is to turn the Harrods brand into a global brand.

What’s more of having a store like Harrods within the hotel itself? The experience can never be the same when the British luxury brand wholly owned by Qatar Holding and Malaysian-based company Jerantas Sdn Bhd will invest RM2 billion (approximately USD$ 635 million). Construction will start next year on the world’s first Harrod’s hotel in Kuala Lumpur, in the Bukit Bintang shopping district, says Bloomberg.

The building will house 300 hotel rooms, apartments, and, of course, retail outlets—most likely full of stuff we couldn’t afford back in London and probably still won’t be able to afford. But it’s still fun to look!

Qatar Holding has long-term plans to open Harrod’s hotels in London, New York, Paris, and Sardinia. And if that last one has you scratching your head, it’s because Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda in fact belongs to the company. And for now, the idea is to develop hotels only on land they already own.

P.S. I just miss my shopping in Harrods in Knightsbridge district in summer last year. Now, I can even shop in Kuala Lumpur itself.

Chatime takes off into the skies

Craving for Chatime? Flying AirAsia lately? Now crave no more as you can now skip all the long queues to wait for your cuppa Chatime.

Imagine sipping your Chatime 30,000 ft up in the air and choose from Roasted Milk Tea with Red Bean or Mango Green Tea with Rainbow Jelly at only RM8!

I know it is a wee bit expensive than your normal ones in the store but nothing beats enjoying your favourite Chatime brand up in the skies.

Skip the usual Chatime queue and have it on board instead from 1st July 2012!

*Available on Malaysia AirAsia (AK) flights only.

Aireen Omar names AirAsia Berhad Malaysia new CEO

Photo: A new chapter for our new CEO, Aireen Omar! :-D

AirAsia Berhad Malaysia, on Monday (18th June 2012) appoints its new chief executive officer (CEO) and executive director for the Malaysian based office. She will assume the role effective 1st July reporting directly to AirAsia Group CEO, Tony Fernandes.

“I am delighted with the appointment of Aireen, who has consistently demonstrated her capabilities and commitment in propelling AirAsia to new heights. She has long been an invaluable part of the senior management team of AirAsia and possesses the vision and leadership qualities crucial for the company’s growth in its second decade,” Fernandes said in a press statement sent to “Of Travel and Food” media team on Tuesday.

Aireen, was Regional Head of Corporate Finance, Treasury and Investor Relations. She joined AirAsia in January 2006 as Director of Corporate Finance. Aireen was, among others, instrumental in securing the financing for AirAsia’s fleet expansion, a vital component of AirAsia’s success. Her role included handling the negotiations with Airbus for the record purchase of 200 Airbus A320neo aircraft that was announced at the Paris Airshow in 2011.

Muar’s Glutton Street 贪吃街

Muar, or Bandar Maharani Muar (the Empress Town) as it is popularly known amongst the locals and tourists alike is famous for its “T’am Cjia Kuay” literally “the glutton voracious eating street” by the Chinese befitting its reputation as the food haven of the town.

Located along Jalan Haji Abu, it stretches for approximately 100m from the junction of Jalan Meriam and ending on Jalan Ali. Being a Muarian myself and my late grandparents house is located just along Jalan Haji Abu (upstairs in one of the shoplots), I can’t be ever proud to be in the midst of the food haven in Muar Town.

Did I say Pork Satay? Yes, indeed! Here you will find the Muar’s famous Pork Satay and mind you that queuing is essential and waiting for your turn. How about some pork intestines satay on skewers? It is also one of its delicacy in this stall. You will be amazed by its variety of choices served there.

Pssst. Sometimes the order mounts up and the owner not knowing where the original customers are, just admit that it is your plate if you did order it slightly later. My dad has done it and I know it does work.

Muar is also famous for its otak-otak (乌达). It is a cake made of fish meat (usually mackerel) and spices. Traditionally wrapped in a banana leaf, it is then grilled on top of a charcoal fire.

In my opinion of being a Muarian, your trip is incomplete without first savouring the mouth-watering otak-otak. Trust me, it is worth the try before you hit the roads leaving Muar town.

How about a plate of “O Chien” literally means fried oysters. However, this dish is just more than just a plate of fried oysters. The oysters are fresh, juicy and huge fried with omelette and starch. You will find a slight variation with the O Chien found here in Muar and of other places as it is usually the softer type as to compare to the ones with crust.

Are you feeling bloated yet? Still on the same Glutton Street, you will find yourself eating “Wan ton mee” (Noodle tossed in the black soya sauce with slices of char siu (BBQ pork), veggies and a bowl of wanton (dumpling) soup).

You will also realized that the Char Siew served on your plate is not of the normal charcoal roasted darn brownish colour but it is red roasted colour. This is the trademark that you will find it in Muar only.

After consuming all these food, why not stop by for a glass of herbal tea – it is a mixture of herbs that is believed to quench your thirst and “heatiness” from within your body.


Muar’s Glutton Street
T’am Cjia Kuay” (贪吃街)
Along Jalan Haji Abu (between Jalan Ali to Jalan Meriam junction)
Muar 84000
Johor Darul Takzim


AirAsia X flying to the City of Churches

Low-cost carrier AirAsia X will soon have a newly-added route in Australia – the City of Churches, Adelaide. The route has been mooted as the next logical AirAsia X destination in Australia, as the airline already flies to the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

In an email to the “Of Travel and Food” blog, the spokeswoman for AirAsia X said that “this will be in line with the demand of more flights to Kuala Lumpur especially it is one of the gateway to Asia.”

LATEST UPDATE from AirAsia via Facebook (3rd June 2012):

Watch out for Tune Hotels, a “limited service” hotel chain owned by Tony Fernandes, founder and Group CEO of low-cost airline AirAsia as it plans to expand its wings Down Under especially Carlton (possibly on Swanston St.) in Melbourne CBD and also in the vicinity of Sydney Airport.