Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Zero fee for MEPS Interbank Funds Transfer (IBFT) service from 1 Oct 2015 to 31 Dec 2015

There are generally 2 ways to perform interbank money transfer in Malaysia using either online banking, mobile banking or ATM machine.

One way is using the Interbank GIRO (IBG) service provided by Malaysian Electronic Clearing Corporation Sdn Bhd (MyClear). The transaction will take time from a few hours (if the transfer is made early in the morning before 9.30am of the same day) to a few days (if the transfer is made over the weekend or holiday) for clearance. The fee per transaction is RM0.11 including GST.

Another way is using the Interbank Funds Transfer (IBFT) service provided by Malaysian Electronic Payment System Sdn Bhd (MEPS). Unlike IBG, IBFT money transfer is real time and does not need to wait that long time for clearance. The fee per transaction used to be RM1.06 including GST, and has been reduced to RM0.53 including GST from June 2015 onwards.

Now there is even better news for using IBGT. The transaction fee is completely waived, and therefore no GST incurred as well, within the promotional period from 1 October 2015 to 31 December 2015.

Note that this zero fee IBGT promotion is applicable to online banking and mobile banking only. The IBGT done using ATM machine still has a normal fee of RM0.53 including GST per transaction.

Currently, there are 15 banks that offer IBFT instant fund transfer service via their Internet Banking website. They are:
  • Agrobank
  • Affin Bank
  • Alliance Bank
  • Bank Islam
  • Bank Muamalat
  • Bank Rakyat
  • CIMB Bank
  • Citibank
  • Hong Leong Bank
  • Kuwait Finance House
  • Maybank
  • OCBC Bank
  • Public Bank
  • RHB Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
There are 6 banks offering IBGT instant fund transfer service via their Mobile Banking service through Android and/or iOS apps. They are:
  • Bank Islam
  • CIMB Bank
  • Citibank
  • OCBC Bank
  • Public Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
Source: MEPS zero fee IBFT promotion webpage.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Buying guide for computer power supply unit (PSU)

Time flies. My Dell Studio XPS 8100 is 5 years old now. It is still working fine, except of some occasional auto restarts during cold boot up.

I decided to replace its stock Chicony CPB09-001A 350 Watt power supply (PSU) as an attempt to fix this auto restart problem. So far, this problem doesn't occur again after I replaced the PSU.

After all, the PSU is a very important component of the computer that converts the AC current from wall socket into DC current of various voltage and distribute them to power up all the electronic parts of the computer. A faulty PSU might fry up the motherboard, introduce bad sectors and/or damage the harddisk, introduce error to memory, burn up the graphics display card, etc.

Not all branded PC can swap in with power supply of other brand, because of proprietary cabling or setting. Luckily, this Dell Studio XPS 8100 uses a standard ATX power supply, and therefore can fit in with another standard ATX power supply, regardless of the brand.

I looked for a low cost but reliable PSU, so that the computer can continue to serve me for another 3 years or so.

Initially I wanted to buy the Corsair VS450, but there was no stock in the shop I went to. I ended up purchased a Cooler Master B500 ver.2 to replace the stock PSU in my desktop.

I have made some study on how to choose a suitable PSU for my computer before I went to the shop, and would like to share the knowledge here with you.

Choosing Suitable PSU Wattage

The first thing to consider for a PSU is how many Watt of PSU is suitable for the PC. Choosing a lower wattage PSU increases the risk of system to become unstable and louder noise from PSU. Choosing a higher wattage PSU decreases efficiency at lighter loads, and the price is higher too.

You can refer to my article about calculating the recommended power supply wattage for desktop computer. However, this time, I used another website at to calculate for the wattage recommendation.

Typically, the CPU and the graphics display card (with GPU on it) are the 2 components in the PC that consume the most power, and high end GPU can consume much more power than the CPU.

For normal PC with normal CPU and one normal graphics display card, a high efficiency power supply of 400-500 watt should be sufficient. You might need more wattage if you have high end GPU, or multiple graphics display cards in the same PC.

PSU Efficiency and Certification

What is the efficiency of power supply? Well, when the PSU converts the AC current to DC current, certain portion of the electric will be lost in the form of heat.

If a power supply is 80% efficient, it can convert 100W of AC current into 80W DC, dissipating the remaining  20W in heat.

Therefore, a high efficiency power supply will waste less electric in the process of converting the AC to DC, produces less heat, and requires less cooling fan speed (and hence runs more silently).

There is a certification body called 80 Plus that will test and confirm if a model of PSU always has an efficiency of at least 80%.

There are several certification grades, from just 80 Plus, to bronze, silver, gold, platinum, and titanium. The higher the grade, the more efficiency is required, and normally the more expensive will be the PSU.

The Cooler Master B500 ver.2 is 80 Plus certified. You can click here for its 80 Plus verification and testing report.

Normally, the PSU has the highest efficiency when it is loaded with around 50% of its capacity. It has lower efficiency at lower load (eg. when the computer is at idle state) or higher load (eg. when all the CPU cores, GPU and memory are at high utilization state).

The 80 Plus test result of Cooler Master B500 ver.2 shows its efficiency rate as below:
  • 20% load - 82.75% efficiency, power factor of 0.97
  • 50% load - 84.55% efficiency, power factor of 0.99
  • 100% load - 81.51% efficiency, power factor of 0.99
You can find the list of all other brands and models of PSU that are 80 Plus certified in their website.

Beside 80 Plus, this Cooler Master B500 ver.2 is also ecoPSU certified. You can click here for its ecoPSU  Level 85 verification and testing report.

The test result with ecoPSU shows even better efficiency than 80 Plus.

Note that both the 80 Plus and ecoPSU also define the minimum power factor requirement in their certification. What is power factor then?

Power Factor Correction

The power factor of an AC electrical power system is defined as the ratio of the real power flowing to the load to the apparent power in the circuit.

In an electric power system, a load with a low power factor draws more current than a load with a high power factor for the same amount of useful power transferred.

The PSU has power factor correction (PFC) circuits to increase its power factor. The PFC circuits type is either passive, active, or dynamic. Low grade PSU uses passive PFC, better one uses active PFC, and dynamic PFC is just too expensive for use in computer PSU.

Therefore, "Active PFC" is probably one of the keyword you search for when considering a PSU. The Cooler Master B500 ver.2 uses active PFC circuits.

The +12v Rail

The Cooler Master B500 ver.2 has a single +12v rail with maximum rating of 38A, 456W. This is the most important rail that supply electric to the high power consumption components of the computer, including the CPU and GPU.

Some PSU has dual or multiple +12v rails to split out the current, especially those PSU with high +12v rail maximum rating of above 40A, so that you can use one rail for CPU, and another for GPU, to balance up the load on the +12v rails.

The Cooler Master B-series of PSU used to have dual +12v rails, but version 2 has switched to single rail design. You can click here to find out the reason why Cooler Master made the change.

Modular vs Non-modular

The Cooler Master B500 ver.2 is non-modular. All its cable rails are attached with the PSU and cannot be detached from its outlet. A PSU with modular cabling system provides a detachable cabling system, offering the ability to remove unused connections, which can reduce clutter and improve air flow in the computer.

Modularity isn't my main concern, as the chassis of Dell Studio XPS 8100 is pretty spacious.

Lifespan and MTBF

The life span of a PSU is usually specified in mean time between failures (MTBF). The Cooler Master B500 ver.2 has an MTBF of 100,000 hours.

This should mean that the PSU has a probability of more than 75% to survive more than 3 years (and therefore has about 25% of chance to fail within 3 years). Also, it has around 25% probability to last as long as 100,000 hours.

Protection Circuits

Modern PSU has protection circuits to prevent the computer components such as the motherboard and harddisk from being fried due to excessive current drawn, or overheat, etc.

These are the keywords you can look for a PSU protection circuits:
  • SCP - short circuit protection
  • OPP - overpower/overload protection
  • OCP - overcurrent protection
  • OTP - overtemperature protection
  • OVP - overvoltage protection
  • UVP - undervoltage protection
The Cooler Master B500 ver.2 has SCP, OPP, OCP, OTP and OVP. Its manufacturer doesn't mention about UVP for it.


The Cooler Master B500 ver.2 has the following connectors, which are sufficient for my Dell Studio XPS 8100 PC.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Visualized map of real-time air quality index and forecast of air pollution level

It has been for quite some times the haze resulting from huge forest fires in Indonesia has created a cloud of smog over itself and the neighbouring Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and southern Thailand.

Here is a website that gather official data of air quality index (AQI) or air pollution index (API) from all around the world, and publish the information in a visualized map and charts. Its URL is:

From the website, you can immediately know the current and also forecasted air quality level of a country, region or city.

The URL for Malaysia AQI map is:

(Screen captured on 15 September 2015)

The URL for Singapore AQI map is:
(Screen captured on 15 September 2015)

The URL for Kuala Lumpur AQI map and chart is:
(Screen captured on 15 September 2015)

Colour indicators in the map and chart:
  • Green = healthy
  • Yellow = moderately unhealthy
  • Orange = unhealthy
  • Red = very unhealthy
  • Purple = extremely unhealthy

Saturday, September 12, 2015

My Sharp IG-DC2E-B Plasmacluster ion generator (in car air purifier)

I applied a new HSBC Amanah Credit Card in March 2015 and was promised with a Sharp in car air purifier (worth about RM350) as signing free gift by meeting the required terms and conditions.

After waited for about half a year, I finally received this free gift from HSBC.

As a car ionizer, this Sharp IG-DC2E-B functions in my car to:
  • Purify air by settling airborne particles and dust
  • Disinfect viruses
  • Deodorize bad smell
  • Remove adhered mold and suspend further mold
  • Remove allergens from dead dust mites and dust mite faeces
The unit is cylindrical in shape, looks like a typical water container, and fit in the cup holder in the car.

Installation is pretty easy, just need to remove its back cover to plug in the power connection cable, route the power cord to come out from either one of its two outlets (one near its middle, and another near its bottom) , then cover back the back cover. Plug the other end of the power connection cable to the car's lighter socket, and it is ready to operate.

There are 3 available operation modes:
  • Low: ion density of 7,000 ions per cubic centimetre, quiet, consume less power (1.1 watt).
  • High: ion density of 25,000 ions per cubic centimetre, noisier, consume more power (1.8 watt).
  • Turbo: ion density of 50,000 ions per cubic centimetre, noisiest, consume most power (2.7 watt).
The IZ-C75CE Plasmacluster ion generating unit can be seen after removing the back cover of the IG-DC2E-B. It has a lifespan of approximately 19,000 hours (more than 6 years) and need replacement upon end of life.

Now my car has 2 ionizers, the existing Medklinn mobile ionizer (I've already made an upgraded to Medklinn Asens Auto from the one shown in the linked article) and this new Sharp Plasmacluster ion generator. The Medklinn claims to be able to produce much more ions (2 millions per cubic centimetre) than the Sharp.

I have no problem connecting both of them to the car's lighter socket, as I have an  HSC YC-401 Car 1-to-3 Cigarette Lighter Sockets with 2 USB ports in my car.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Khan Academy - the free online tuition website

I would like to share with you a great online tuition (e-learning) website called Khan Academy (, founded by Salman Amin Khan (a.k.a. Sal or Khan, born 11 October 1976) with the ambition "to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere".

Salman Khan is a Bengali American who graduated with multiple Bachelor degrees  (mathematics, electrical engineering, and computer science) and multiple Master degrees (electrical engineering, and computer science) from M.I.T. He is also an MBA graduate from Harvard Business School.

Khan is not only very knowledgeable in mathematics and science, but also very good in explaining and teaching things in a very easy to understand manner.

He started this venture in 2003,  tutoring his cousin Nadia mathematics over the Internet using Yahoo!'s Doodle notepad. His tutorials are so interesting and attracted more and more relatives and friends of Nadia to join in, until he established the Khan Academy channel in Youtube to upload his tutorial videos and made free access to everyone.

Today, Khan Academy website hosted thousands of educational video lessons, encompassing mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry,  organic chemistry, health and medicine, cosmology, astronomy, economics, finance, history, music, arts, computing, etc., from primary school level until college level.

These videos  have been viewed over 500 millions times.

As a non-profit educational organization, Khan Academy operates solely on donations. It doesn't charge you any money to access the website and all the content in it, and the content does not have any annoying advertisement too.

The Khan Academy website is simple, straightforward and easy to use. Parents and teachers can link their account with their own children and/or students to monitor and provide guidance for their learning progress in Khan Academy.

This is a very good online tuition website for yourself as well as for your children and/or students. It is fun to learn from its video tutorials. It is highly recommended by many people who has benefited from it, including Bill Gates.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

TPC Plus (TPC, 7176), will it be the phoenix rising from the ashes?

TPC Plus (TPC, 7176) is a high quality (mainly Grade A) egg producer in the poultry farming industry. It is based in Melaka and has been listed in Bursa Malaysia (KLSE) since 2003.

Among its range of products are TPC Lower Cholesterol eggs, TPC Omega eggs, TPC Organic Selenium eggs, TPC Golden Corn eggs, TPC Farm Fresh eggs, washed-sanitized-coated (WASACO) eggs, etc.

In spite of producing high quality products, its financial results were not so attractive, especially after 2006.

In 2010, London Biscuits (LONBISC, 7126) which is in the cake confectionery business whereby egg is a major raw material, acquired TPC by buying about 32% stake in TPC from its then executive chairman Yee Tiam Teck and managing director Jimmy E. Pian at the price of RM0.30 per share.

After that, LONBISC had made a voluntary takeover offer at RM0.30 per share for TPC, but the respond was not good. It ended up with 33.65% holding in TPC.

Shortly after that, LONBISC sold off all its egg business, comprised 23.29% of Lay Hong (LAYHONG, 9385) to QL Resources (QL, 7084) and this 33.65% of TPC to Huat Lai Resources (HUATLAI, 7141).

HUATLAI acquired the 33.65% stake of TPC from LONBISC at the price of about RM0.30 in 2011. After that, HUATLAI had made a conditional takeover offer at RM0.30 per share for TPC. It ended up with 51.05% holding in TPC in 2012, and TPC becomes a subsidiary of HUATLAI till today.

Since then, HUATLAI took over the management of TPC and replaced its board of directors with own management team. The managing director of HUATLAI, Mr. Lim Yeow Her is now also the managing director of TPC.

The management has undergone several restructuring exercises to strengthen the financial of TPC. We also see TPC expansion in production with new layer houses and pullet houses. The financial results of TPC gradually improves since HUATLAI's acquisition.

And the share price of TPC also gradually moves from the range of RM0.2x (when with LONBISC), to RM0.3x, and then to RM0.4x.

In February 2014, TPC was classified as a PN17 listed company after its auditors expressed concern over a net loss of RM4.1 million in the financial year ended 2013, and also took into account TPC’s shareholders equity as at 31 December 2013 was less than 50% of its issued capital.

Its share price dropped back to the range of RM0.2x immediately after the PN17 announcement, but gradually climbed back as seen in the chart above.

On 31 July 2015, TPC has obtained approval from Bursa Malaysia for its proposed regularization plan to uplift from PN17, which entails a proposed share premium reduction, proposed par value reduction, proposed rights issue with warrants, proposed capitalisation of amount owing to its holding company HUATLAI, as well as proposed amendments to its memorandum of association and articles of association.

TPC has called for an EGM to be held on 17 September 2015 to get shareholders nod on this proposal. Click here to read about the circular about this PN17 upliftment proposal.

Shareholders of TPC are proposed with Rights to purchase new TPC shares at the indicative price of RM0.20 per share on the basis of 3 Rights Shares for every 2 TPC shares held. For each of the 3 Rights Shares subscribed, the shareholders will get 2 free Warrants.

Under this proposal, TPC will be listing up to 180 million new shares for its proposed rights issue with warrants and proposed capitalization. Besides, a total of 80 million warrants with exercise price of RM0.20 will be issued pursuant to the proposed rights issue with warrants.

The proceeds to be raised from the proposed rights issue with warrants will be utilized by TPC for the purchase of layer houses, pullet houses,  equipment, working capital and expenses in relation to the proposed regularization plan.

TPC currently has 80 millions issued share listed in Bursa Malaysia. As reported in TPC Annual Report 2014, HUATLAI currently holds 52.91% stake in TPC. Only 54 shareholders own more than 100,000 shares in TPC after HUATLAI, which is equilvalent to 31.53%. About thousand over shareholders hold the remaining 15.56%.

As of today 10 September 2015, TPC share price closed at RM0.525. Its trailing 4 quarters EPS stood at 6.07sen, forming a PE ratio of 8.65. This is calculated based on its existing 80 million issued shares.

After the rights issue, its number of shares will immediately become 260 million, not accounting the 80 million warrants convertible to shares at the price of RM0.20. Not accounting for the result of share premium reduction and the proceed from rights subscription, its adjusted EPS will be 1.87sen. If taken those proceeds into account, the EPS figure will be higher.

TPC needs to maintain 2 consecutive quarters of operational profit in order to get upliftment from PN17. Will TPC be the phoenix rising from the ashes? Let's see.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for sharing of point of view only. It is not an advice or recommendation to buy or sell any of the mentioned stock counters. You should do your own homework before trading in Bursa Malaysia.

Monday, September 7, 2015

A family trip to Royal Selangor Visitor Centre

Located at Setapak Jaya, an outskirt quite some distance away from Kuala Lumpur city center, the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre is a modern building with built-up area of 40,000 sqft. It is known as the world's largest pewter factory and showroom.

The company was originally called Selangor Pewter, and was awarded with its Royal charter by the Sultan of Selangor in 1992.

Outside the building, there is a world's largest pewter tankard as recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. This is a nice place to take some photos.

We are assigned with a pretty guide after registration at the front counter. She accompanied us throughout the visiting tour, explaining about the displayed items and answering to our questions.

The first station we visited is a museum about the founder, Yong Koon, founded the company in 1885, the pewtersmithing tools used at that time, some of the products including the old tin currency in animal shape and money tree.

On the wall, there is a giant touchmark with the Chinese words "玉和足锡" (meanings Jade, Peace, and Pure Tin) which Yong Koon used during the early days of his pewtersmithing workshop.

There is also a giant weighting scale that can accommodate a few children to stand on it.

After talking about the history, the next station talks about the science of pewter. It explains that pewter is an alloy with majority of tin and some copper and antimony.

The next station is the Chamber of Chimes, where we can produce musical sounds with cast pewter cylinders of different length. There are also some other cylinders made of wood, hang down from the ceiling.

Then we entered into the Hall of Finishes, with a lot of pewter tiles with different patterns and textures displayed on the wall.

The next station is the Hall of Frames, with many pewter made photo frames displayed on the wall.

On another wall, there are hand prints of all the craftsmen who worked more than 5 years with the company.

There is also a replicate of the Petronas Twin Towers made up of many tankards, which is about 2 storey high.

The next station displays a giant container with 1,578kg of pewter swarf, and some pewter pots made by recycling the pewter swarf.

At the end of the tour, we have a look at the pewter factory with about 400 craftsmen working at their well organized workstation. Complimentary drinks of 100 Plus is served in pewter cup. Only limited workstations can be closely visited by visitors, the rest we can only see from the visiting bridge but cannot enter into their area.

There is a place for visitors to experience the process of creating a pewter dish/bowl using traditional tools of hammer and wooden mould. A fee of RM63.60 per person was charged for this session. Our children liked it very much. It took about 30 minutes for them to make their own dish with hard knocks. The finished work can be taken home, together with a certificate of completion.

Opposite, there is a pewter foundry for visitors to experience the process of casting, polishing and decorating a pewter accessory. The fee is RM159. We didn't try this one.

Entering the showroom, there are many pewter products available for sell. They told us the most famous type of product sold is the tea caddies, ideal as gift as well as for own use. There are also Star Wars collections which are pretty nice.

Beside the showroom, there is a café serving light meals and ice-cream.

If you plan to take a visit to the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre, you can probably take down their GPS coordinate here: 3.196, 101.724.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.