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27 November 2008

Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020

Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd (ASNB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), is offering 1 Billion additional new units of Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020 (ASW 2020) to be opened for subscription from 27 Nov 08.

To ensure a fair distribution to the investing public, a maximum investment limit of 10,000 units has been set per account holder during the offer period from Nov 27 to Dec 3. The maximum investment will be void after the offer period.

With these additional units, the fund size of ASW 2020 will increase to 10.42 billion units compared to 9.42 billion units currently. ASW 2020 was launched on Aug 28, 1996, with an initial fund size of three billion units. ASW 2020 is a fixed priced unit trust fund open to all Malaysians aged six months and above subject to a quota of 51 percent for Bumiputera and 49 percent for non-Bumiputera. Investors can also invest in the ASW 2020 using the Employees Provident Fund Member's Scheme.

Average income distribution for the ASW 2020 fund has been 7.74 sen per unit. This investment is a good child education saving.

For fund information

25 November 2008

Make the most out of your Money

Heard this on the radio this morning. Thought that this topic/discussion came timely during this financial crisis time. Some of the pointers:
  • Pay yourself first

When we received our pay check, we always pay our bills, settle loan commitments and obligations, etc. Come month end, we can only save whatever money left behind, if any.

We should pay ourselves first. Set aside a sum of money and save it in a separate bank account that we cant access ie those accounts without ATM card, wife, etc. Then, we only spend whatever left behind.

  • Mineral water is more costly that fuel price

A bottle of mineral water from petrol station cost RM1.60 whereas, a bottle of fuel only cost RM1.00. As such, boil your own water, bring your water bottle and drink boiled water and not mineral water.

  • Restructure your loan

Bank Negara has cut its benchmark Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) by 25 basis points from 3.50% to 3.25%. Do expect the interest on your housing loan to be lower unless your loan is on fixed rate. Settle the loan with the highest interest first or refinance housing loan for cheaper interest rate.

  • Cut down on credit card spending

Most of the bankruptcy is due to credit cards debt. Spend within your mean and cut down on the number of credit cards in your wallet that made it look like its going to burst anytime. Interest free instalment scheme and balance transfer sound attractive and affordable but basically, we are spending in advance of what we can't afford now.

  • Eat in more

Eating out is never cheap or healthy. Switch to sandwich and home cook meal. You can save time and money on travelling too.

  • Coffee chain

Coffee chain, a place to see and to be seen. Do you know drinking a cup of coffee there is sufficient for other people's one whole day meals? There's many cheaper options for good coffee. Ask your parents for hometown roast coffee.

23 November 2008

Get Cheesy Workshop

I attended the "Get Cheesy" baking workshop by Catherine Lau with Christina yesterday. This workshop was organised by The Star together with flavours magazine and Signature Kitchen. The workshop was conducted at Signature Kitchen factory at Kota Damansara.

When we walked into the workshop, to my surprise, the workshop was full with participants. I was told there were 70 participants despite this was the last minute additional workshop due to the over-whelming respond to the workshop.

The marketing manager of Signature Kitchen welcomed us to the workshop. The agenda for the afternoon were the 3 cheese baking workshop, afternoon tea and tour of Signature Kitchen showroom.

The entire workshop was video shot by this lady and the video will be posted on The Star TV online at

Christina and I sat at behind as all the good seats were taken. Luckily, there was a video shown on TV hang on the wall.

First, Catherine showed us how to bake Passion fruit Mousse Cheesecake. Judging from the ingredients ie passion fruit and no baking but chill in fridge overnight, I wasn't very keen on the cake. True enough, after tested all the 3 cakes that we learnt from the workshop, this is the cake that we like the least.
The 2nd cake that we learned was the Red Velvet Cheesecake. This red colour mixture from beetroot juice is to make beetroot sponge, which was used to form the 3 layer Red Velvet Cheesecake.

The beetroot sponge and cream cheese mixture were placed on alternate basis on cake tray to form 3 layers of cheesecake.

The remaining cheese mixture was spread over the cake evenly and down the side using a spatula.

One of the technique that I learned from the workshop is how to loosen and remove cake pan to obtain professional looking, smooth cake.

Catherine taught us to use hair dryer and under low speed, to blow surround the cake tray. Otherwise, we may use spatula as shown here to smoothen the sides of cake.

Using icing sculptor and glide the comb over the cake sides to create an attractive ridges, elegant sculpted look with beautiful professional finish.

The other technique that I've learnt from the workshop is how to dust cake with cocoa powder.

Catherine recommended using new socks or pantyhose to dust cocoa powder onto cake. The tiny hole from socks create fine dust of cocoa powder on cake.

The above photo displayed how to hold cake in order to dust the side of cake with cocoa powder.

Using sifting method to dust cocoa powder on top of cake.

Professional looking Red Velvet Cheesecake created.

This is how the cake look like from the inside. I like the layers and the colours (red, cream and brown) of the cake. This is the cake that I like the most. I like the colour of the cake, the presentation of the cake and of course, the taste.
The 3rd cake that we learned was the Bull's Eye Cheesecake. The challenge of this cake is to assemble the vanilla mixture and dark chocolate mixture to create the bull's eye look.

Above: One portion of vanilla mixture was poured into the centre of the cake pan and then another portion of chocolate mixture on top of it.

The third layer of vanilla mixture was poured into the centre of the dark chocolate mixture.

I was very amazed by how the vanilla mixture got right into the middle of the dark chocolate ring.

The 4th ring, dark chocolate mixture being poured into the vanilla mixture.

The 5th ring of vanilla mixture.

The 6th ring of dark chocolate mixture.

The 7th ring of vanilla mixture.

The 8th ring of dark chocolate mixture.

The 9th ring of vanilla mixture being poured into the centre of the dark chocolate ring.

Look at how the mixture expand proportionately into the other mixture.

Finally, the 10th ring of the dark chocolate mixture being poured into the centre of the vanilla mixture.

Look at this amazing result of Bull's Eye Cheesecake.

The look of the cake from the inside.

The closing remarks from the cheese queen, Catherine Lau.

The session ended with afternoon tea. Coffee and tea were served with savoury Swiss roll and a healthy snack of vegetable sticks with cream cheese dip.

I like this serving tray. Carrot, celery and cucumber with dip in the middle.

Toasted bread.

We got to sample all the cheesecakes. These 3 cheesecakes were put in a box and distributed to us before we left the workshop.

We also received this complimentary copy of flavours magazine.
I'm really glad that I attended this workshop. It was great! The workshop only cost us RM100 for:
  1. 3 cheesecake baking workshop + baking tips and techniques
  2. Samples of the 3 cheesecake (worth ~RM15)
  3. 1 year subscription of flavours magazine (worth RM53)
  4. A copy of flavours magazine Sep-Oct 08 (worth RM10.80)
  5. Afternoon tea
There was also a booth selling cooking book (ie Amy Beh cookbooks were sold at 20% discount, etc) and magazines. Purchase of 1 current issue of flavours magazine at RM10.80, will entitled you to free 2 old issues of flavours magazine. Christina bought 2 sets. One for herself and one for me. Thanks Chris for the magazine and just as you, I love them too.

Catherine Lau and her book "Cheesecake Seduction", retailed at RM39.90.

I read a number of her articles in flavours magazine. The next morning, I googled her name and got to know that she owns a restaurant in Paramount Garden on the ground floor and her baking school on 1st floor.
I took my family to her restaurant for lunch on Sunday. Met Catherine there and had a chat with her. There's no baking classes lined up for the moment as she's been busy with the last two Get Cheesy workshop and photo shooting.

Catherine looks better in photo. She's in her 50s with 2 daughters one in University doing her Master and another girl in Form 3. She had worked in Australia for 4 years and she's an accountant by profession.

19 November 2008

My first ACCA exam

I reserved all my 1st year annual leave entitlement with C&L for my ACCA exam in Dec 1989. In addition to annual leave, we were granted study leave of 5 days per paper. We could choose to use up all the 5 days for the first attempt or to reserve some days of study leave in case we fail the paper at the first sitting. On top of that, we were also allowed exam leave on the exam day.

To top it up, we could claim our tuition fee and exam fee upon completion of the course level. That was quite generous of C&L, considering that we were not on any bond with the firm.

I was on paid leave for ~ a month. That was good. I could break off from work and concentrate on my study. And yet, I had my salary on month end.

During study leave, I didn't study the whole day. I studied better at night, when everybody was asleep and the house was quiet. After dinner, I watched HK series with my family. Then, I would make myself a cup of Nescafe so that I could stay awake, usually till 3am, sometime till 5am, depending on how engrossed I was. Of course, I only woke up in the late morning. I couldn't study much during day time, I chatted on the phone, had nap in the afternoon, did study planning for the day or week, etc.

After exam period, it was a very good atmosphere at work when everybody went back to work. There would be no classes for the rest of the month as new term only started in January. That was the only period that I could join my colleagues for any gathering.

After 2 months ie in Feb, ACCA would post the results docket to our house. During those few days, we would call home to see if the result docket arrived home. The most intense moment was when I tore the sealed docket to see the results.

For my first sitting of ACCA exam in Dec 1989, I passed 4 out of the 5 papers that I sat. I failed Law paper. I never like theory, reading subject. That was my weakness. Even during secondary school time, I would either fail or pass marginally the History and Geography papers.

The seniors and my boss were impressed with my results. And I thought, I did ok only. I've forgotten that I sat for ACCA professional course on part time basis, and not normal study on full time basis. That should be quite tough. After all these reasoning and those compliments from the office, my feeling changed! I was happy with my results and my confidence level towards studying ACCA on part time basis increased.

18 November 2008

Get Cheesy

with cheesecake queen Catherine Lau
This is the workshop for cheesecake lovers featuring three new recipes from the author of Cheesecake Seductions. Be among the firsts to taste these glorious new flavours at our cooking class-cum tea in Signature Kitchen's brand new cooking studio in Kota Damansara.
Red Velvet
A stunning cheesecake with layers of beetroot sponge and Baileys cream cheese
Passionate Love
A glorious cheesecake with fresh passionfruit and a chocolate biscuit base.
Bull's Eye
A baked cheesecake using a unique layering technique to create a marbled effect.
Venue : Signature KitchenLot 24, Jln Teknologi, Tmn Sains Selangor 1,Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya
Christina called me and ask if I was interested to go for cheese baking class. Since everyone said I made excellent cheese cake, I wasn't keen to go for the class, especially I have to pay for it. So far, I've received numerous invitations from credit cards (Lady's card), my employer, etc to attend free baking classes and I always give them a miss.
Though Christina is an accountant, she's a real good salesperson. She managed to convince me to attend this baking class with her. We signed up for RM100 for workshop + 1 year subscription to Flavours.
Then, on last Tues, 11 Nov 08, Christina asked me excitingly to check out The Star paper, Metro section. There was an article on the baking workshop "Cookbook author to unveil three new cheesecake flavours at workshop".
There was extremely good respond to the workshop, so much so that the organiser decided to open up another class on this Saturday. Christina and I will be there. I hope to remember to bring camera and capture some interesting photos to share in this blog. Of course, I hope to learn more cheese cake, so that I don't just bake the same famous marble cheese cake for family and friends.

16 November 2008

Mamma Mia!

Songwriters: Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson

Writer: Catherine Johnson

Director: Phyllida Lloyd

A mother, A daughter, 3 possible dads!

MAMMA MIA! is the global phenomenon based on ABBA's timeless songs. 22 of ABBA's biggest hits are woven throughout the story.

MAMMA MIA! tells the story of a mother and daughter on the eve of the daughter's wedding. The sunny, funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. The fun starts when, unknown to the mother, the daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father invites the three men who could be her father, from her mother's past back to the Greek island paradise they last visited 20 years ago, to her wedding.

The official website of Mamma Mia!

I first attended a Mamma Mia! musical in Melbourne on Oct 2001. Hubby (my fiance then) and I were visiting Sydney and Melbourne. It was my first visit to Australia and also first time meeting hubby's brother, Jin and family.

Jin booked the musical tickets for us. The musical was held at Princess Theatre in Melbourne.

Jin bought the corporate package tickets which were inclusive of dinner (pre-show) with coffee and cake during intermission at the in-house restaurant at the theatre. It was a very good dinner with free-flow of Australian wine and good company. Before the show started, the waitress took our dessert order for intermission.

Just before the musical started, the waitress who attended to us ushered us to our seats. No queueing, no waiting time. The moment we sat now, the musical started. We got very good seats, 6th row from the stage.

During intermission we adjourned back to our table at the restaurant where our coffee (mocha, latte, etc) and cakes were ready on our tables. That was great! Hubby and I were very impressed with them. Even Jin was surprised. The entire evening was so well planned.

Hubby bought the above CD (AUD30 each) during the intermission. One for Jin's family and one for us.
When Jin was in KL last month, he bought the movie soundtrack for us. Now, I have the above 2 CDs of Mamma Mia!

It was a great evening ... good food, good musical with good company. Till today, hubby and I still remember that evening and as they said ... that was the best night out and musical that we've ever had!

I was thrilled when I heard about the Mamma Mia movie.

  • Amanda Seyfried - the bride
  • Meryl Streep - the mother of the bride
  • Pierce Brosnan - the father of the bride
  • Colin Firth - the father of the bride
  • Stellan Skarsgard - the father of the bride

My sister, Annie watched it 3 times at the cinema. According to her, it was a great atmosphere in the cinema and most of the people sang along the songs.

Yesterday, I watched the movie on DVD at home together with hubby and Aunty YC. I turned on the subtitles and sing along too. The feeling was great.

The Mamma Mia! musical will be here in KL! They will be performing at Istana Budaya from 17 Dec 08 to 1 Jan 09. I heard only limited tickets are available. My company bought 2 tickets of RM1,000 each for the opening night, which is also the Charity Night. Wonder who will be going for the musical.

MAMMA MIA! the ultimate feel-good show!

12 November 2008

Start Buying Equities Now?

Recently, there have been lots of news, articles, talks on the economy and of course ... share market.

Of all, I have the strongest impression of the article from iFAST Corporation co-founder and executive director, Moh Hon Meng. The following are the extracts of it:

It’s time to go back into equity markets

  • Warren Buffett bought in October
  • John Bogle said in this month that equity markets are too low; and
  • Bill Miller recently said that he sees great value in equities.

Has the market reached a bottom?

  • We have passed it. October could have been the bottom.
  • We are very near it. A lot of the bad news has been priced in. Given the very low valuations now, there’s not much downside, which makes the upside over the next two years very interesting.

Make sure you invest with money you can set aside for at least three years. This is because you don’t want to be caught having to sell at the wrong time and you need time for the markets to realise its full recovery potential.

The world's most renowned investor Warren Buffett had in his recent article titled "Buy American. I Am" published on 16 October 2008 in the New York Times, quoted the following in explaining why he began to invest heavily in stocks: -

"I can't predict the short-term movements of the stock market. I haven't the faintest idea as to whether stocks will be higher or lower in a month - or a year -from now. What is likely, however, is that the market will move higher, perhaps substantially so, well before either sentiment or the economy turns up. So if you wait for the robins, spring will be over. "

"Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is.
The time to get interested is when no one else is.
You can't buy what is popular and do well." Warren Buffett

The simple rules of equities investment are:
  1. Make sure you have the holding power ie money that you could set aside for medium term
  2. Do not be greedy. We can never buy at the lowest and sell at the highest
  3. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Spread your risk.

04 November 2008

I love to hear from you

It has been 2 months and 8 days since I created this blog. So far, I've posted 47 posts on variable topics ... family, friends, food, card making, scrap booking, Kuantan trip, etc.
This blog is meant for me to pen down and capture those special moments and to share them with family and friends, near and far. And that's the reason I named my blog "treasure memories".
I'm glad that there are constant visitors to my blog, not many but good enough for a 2 month- old blog. To my surprise, I do have fans too. Fans who visit my blog on daily basis and quietly reading them.
My fans are the shy type. They read my posts, enjoy what they read and they logged out. But ... I would love to hear from you!. Tell me what you like about this blog, what you like to read, suggestions, comments, feedback, anything at all.
Surprisingly, my sisters are my fans and read my blog too. One of them likes my posts on "My Life as an Accountant" and asked "Why there's no new posts on this label?".
Remember, it is you, my fans that keep me going and writing, albeit after a long and tiring day. I would love to hear from you!
Leave your mark behind!

Potato Cheese Cake

I just realised that lately, I've posted quite a number of posts on food. I'm lucky and glad that I'm surrounded by good cooks and good food.
This Potato Cheese Cake (doesn't really look like a cake but like a lasagna) recipe is from our Company's chef who did cooking demos to our customers. We liked the food greatly and requested the recipe from him, which he gladly obliged.
Again, I'm posting it here to share with everyone.
  1. 200g idaho potatoes
  2. 50ml heavy cream
  3. 100g cream cheese
  4. 50g grated Parmesan cheese
  5. 20g unsalted butter
  6. 50g leek
  7. 30g Shallot
  8. 1 bulb roasted garlic
  9. 5 nos whole egg
  10. 100g plain flour
  11. Salt and black pepper to taste


  • Boil and peel potatoes. Mash them and set aside to cool
  • Sweat shallots and leek over medium heat until soft
  • Add in cream and stir in cream cheese
  • Add in roasted garlic, followed by the mashed potatoes
  • Incorporate butter and stir in eggs
  • Add in flour and season to taste
  • Set in baking tray aligned with parchment paper and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top
  • Bake at 180 degrees for 45 minutes

03 November 2008

Rice Pilaf

Contribution from Auntie Jenny

Auntie Jenny is a very good cook. She is such a good cook that we will feel tremendous pressure to invite her home for dinner. If any, we would rather buy her dinner and eat out.

Auntie Jenny cooks very nice Rice Pilaf. This rice pilaf goes extremely well with "ayam rendang". I am very happy to have this recipe from her and also her consent to post it here on my blog to share it with everyone.

Happy cooking! Do leave comments once you've tried it.


  1. Chicken broth (can be made with chicken cubes)

  2. 4-6 tablespoons butter

  3. 3 tbsp oil

  4. 8 shallots (more if desired), sliced

  5. 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  6. 2 -4 cups basmati rice (do not use jasmine rice, its too sticky)

  7. 1-2 cup raisins or dried cranberries or both

  8. Toasted almond slivers or pine nuts (toast in oven at 140 C for approx 20 min, stirring every 5 min till slightly brown, or toast in bread toaster or pan fry, constant stirring, without oil over medium/low heat)

  9. Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Wash rice and put into strainer to drain off water, about 1 hr

  • Fry shallots and garlic till golden brown

  • Add in washed rice and fry till well coated with the oil

  • Transfer basmathi rice to rice cooker and add chicken broth

  • When rice is cooked, add salt, pepper, butter, raisins and cranberries and mix well

  • Keep rice in pot for another 10 minutes

  • Serve rice and garnish with toasted sliced almond or pine nuts.

02 November 2008

High School Musical 3

Mon, 27 Oct 08

My niece from Singapore, Qi Wen was in town over the Deepavali holiday.

Except for Jared, all my nieces and nephews are fans of High School Musical. My sister arranged for a movie together. Jared and I went along for the movie as we would like to spend some time with them.

As expected, Jared did not enjoy the show. During the show, he kept on asking me "Why so long?".

Anyway, the show is disappointing. According to my sisters, nieces and nephew, its not as nice as the last 2 seasons.

On the way home, I was asking my sister "When was the last time we watched a movie together?". I guess the last movie together was when we were single and did not have any boyfriends then.