Mother Earth

A Malaysia History of Petrol Prices

Here’s a table on Malaysia’s petrol and diesel prices for the past 3 decades.

Malaysia Price for RON97, RON95, RON92 and Diesel since 1984

Malaysia Price for RON97, RON95, RON92 and Diesel since 1984. Source: OSK188.com

Moving from A to B is only going to get more expensive if we are to continue our reliance on oil.

We need national policies that can reduce the cost of owning electric vehicles and also to encourage private sector to venture in sustainable logistics. There is so much upside for everyone if we can just stop our addiction to oil and take the leap.

In countries like China, Denmark and Japan, where the transformation is already underway, the government has made electrification a national priority. China has set a goal of becoming the global leader in the manufacture and deployment of electric vehicles, providing rebates of almost $9,000 for the purchase of each vehicle. Denmark has adopted a tax structure that strongly favors electric vehicles over gasoline models. And today in Japan, fully electric taxi cabs already take passengers to and from their destinations in Tokyo, as part of a project by Tokyo’s largest taxi operator, Better Place LLC – a leading provider of electric vehicle networks and services, and the Japanese government. 



Read the full story “The Beginning of the End of Our Oil Addiction”.

2010-08-01T02:38:48+00:00 July 31st, 2010|Daily Observations, Entrepreneurship, Mother Earth, Technology|1 Comment

Energy-saving Bulbs Hazardous to Health

Energy Saving Light Bulb by Pablo S Rios

Energy Saving Light Bulb by Pablo S Rios

Just in case you accidentally broke one of those curly bulbs be sure to adhere to the advice suggested by the British government, until they discover a substitute for mercury.

Mercury is recognised as a health hazard by authorities worldwide because its accumulation in the body can damage the nervous system, lungs and kidneys, posing a particular threat to babies in the womb and young children.

The risks are illustrated by guidance from the British government, which says that if a compact fluorescent lightbulb is broken in the home, the room should be cleared for 15 minutes because of the danger of inhaling mercury vapour.

Read the full story at www.timesonline.co.uk

2010-05-12T23:50:22+00:00 May 12th, 2010|Mother Earth|0 Comments

High-rise Farming: Project Rempah

After failing miserably on my first attempt (Project Popeye), another project was unexpectedly showing pretty good results. In less than 3 weeks, it has grown about 2 feet.

These are the chili plants when they are about 3 weeks old. They need all the sunlight they can get in the day.

These are the chili plants when they are about 3 weeks old. They need all the sunlight they can get in the day.

After about 6 weeks, the labor finally bore the first fruit.

Spotted the first chili from amongst the 6 plants Ive planted.

Spotted the first chili from amongst the 6 plants I've planted.

And here’s the same chili fruit after about 6 days it was first spotted.

Looking really healthy for the harvest.

Looking really healthy for the harvest.

Due to the fact that these chilies are grown in a rather ‘high’ altitude, it’s quite difficult for natural agents, such as bees or ladybirds to pollinate them. Hence, lots of the initials flowering withered without bearing any fruits. After doing some research, I realized that you can actually ‘self-pollinate’ them simply using an art brush.

Self-pollination is done either using your fingers to rub on these flowers or by using a small art brush.

Self-pollination is done either using your fingers to rub on these flowers or by using a small art brush.

And here’s an interesting picture that shows how the flower transforms into a baby chili.

Its amazing to see how nature transform. From what looks like an attractive flower a few days ago, the chili starts to form its way out from the very same place.

It's amazing to see how nature transform. From what looks like an attractive flower a few days ago, the chili starts to form its way out from the very same place.

Finally, after about 8 weeks since the germination, I harvested my first chili fruit.

You reap what you sow! But honestly, I remembered taking the seeds out from a red chili fruit. Hmm...someone hasnt been faithful...

You reap what you sow! But honestly, I remembered taking the seeds out from a red chili fruit. Hmm...someone hasn't been faithful...

Well, I can’t say it’s 100% organic, since the level of pollution in Petaling Jaya is not exactly at a very healthy level. But if compared to the chilies I get from the supermarket, this ‘home-made’ chilies definitely beats them hands down!

And who says you can’t start a farm in a high-rise apartment ;-)

2009-09-20T01:25:07+00:00 September 20th, 2009|Daily Observations, Hobby & Leisures, Mother Earth|1 Comment

High-rise Farming

If you have been getting your vegetable supplies from the supermarkets, you would have probably notice the surge of organic produce on the shelves of major supermarkets. You can find them in a special section, where I suppose the term special was reserved for the ‘price tag’. These so-called organic produce usually cost almost 2-3 times more expensive than their non-organic counterparts.

There’s generally no easy way to tell whether if you are really getting the real deal, since not everyone has the same definition of organic. Even if we can agree with what makes a produce organic, most of the products that I have seen so far on the shelves are not certified by the Organic Alliance Malaysia (OAM). I think OAM has to take a more active stance on protecting the consumers of organic produce by spreading the awareness on how to tell if the produce that we are paying 2-3 times more than the market price is truly organic.

If you are into growing things, you can also start your little farming project as an alternative to buying organic produce. Of course, unless you have a huge piece of land, don’t expect your hobby to be able to sustain your consumption. And if you are like me who lives in a high rise apartment, your available land for cultivation is even more restricted. However, if you really enjoy seeing seedlings sprouting into edible produce, these restrictions should not hold you back.

And here are some pictures from the first farming project: Project Popeye.

Overcrowded spinach sprouts.

Overcrowded spinach sprouts.

These spinach sprouts definitely looks very promising in the beginning...

These spinach sprouts definitely looks very promising in the beginning...

You can literally see life in these little seedlings.

You can literally see life in these little seedlings.

Unfortunately for these cute little spinach sprouts, the funding for the project was stalled and all these baby sprouts was exterminated. Just kidding.

Under the hands of an inexperienced farmer like myself, these little spinach sprouts will eventually meet their doom in the next couple of days.

Under the hands of an inexperienced farmer like myself, these little spinach sprouts will eventually meet their doom in the next couple of days.

Actually, the real cause of crop failure was very likely due to insufficient sunlight and soil issues…

In the next post, I will be showing you another project which I have managed to harvest just after 2 months.

2009-09-18T02:29:19+00:00 September 18th, 2009|Daily Observations, Hobby & Leisures, Mother Earth|0 Comments

More than just Cheap Water

Have a look at the chart, courtesy of PJ Utara’s MP- Tony Pua.

Source: tonypua.blogspot.com

Source: tonypua.blogspot.com

How is it that the water in Penang is 50% much cheaper than the water in Selangor? Whatever happened to economy of scale?

Also, observe carefully the rate at 35m?. If you are living in Selangor, the moment you used more than 35m?, you are paying at the rate of RM2.00/m?. Ouch!

It would be interesting to know what’s the usage of water for the average household in Selangor. I’m living in a high-rise condo, where the rate is RM1.38/m?. Sigh…and it was almost one year ago when SYABAS was announcing that they will provide each individual unit its own water meter, instead of the bulk meter that is currently used by most condominiums in Selangor.


Well, other than using the price as a metric, it would be interesting also to judge these water utilities companies how well they are managing one of the most important asset in the state. We have to realize that our water supply is not infinite. The state government should also impose a new ruling to check how much water these companies are treating in their plants and how much water end up in the public’s tap. This way, we can ensure the water pipes are not being ‘pirated’ and that leakages are not being subsidized by the public. The efficiency of the water delivery network is the responsibility of the private water companies. Isn’t this why the water utilities companies were being privatised in the first place– to ensure accountability and better quality control?

Also, the quality of water is getting from bad to worse, evident with the number of water filters installed throughout the households in Klang Valley. We are not even asking for these companies to deliver water that we can drank straight from the tap. We are only asking that the water comes into our taps without hazardous compound. Yes, low water tariff is good, but who is going to ensure that the quality of the water is safe for our consumption?

2009-03-03T12:44:56+00:00 March 2nd, 2009|Daily Observations, Mother Earth, Productivity|5 Comments