As the year is coming to an end soon, it’s time to revisit major events in 2018.


Year 2018 is going to end soon and it’s a usual practice for me to write a post to highlight some major things that happened in a particular year when it is almost coming to an end. It’s is something like a year in review or a flashback. 2018 is no exception. This year, I’m categorizing 2018’s landmark events into 5 sections;

2018, Year of Multiple International Sporting Events

There are a total of 5 major international sporting events held in this year alone. They are:

a) Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea) – February to March 2018.

Norway topped the medal tally with 14 gold, 14 silver and 11 bronze. Germany and Canada came in second and third place. Malaysia didn’t secure any medal.

b) Commonwealth Games (Gold Coast, Australia) – April 2018.

The host country, Australia topped the medal tally with 80 gold, 59 silver and 59 bronze. England is in second place while India is in third place finish. Malaysia is at 12th place with 7 gold, 5 silver and 12 bronze.

c) FIFA World Cup (Russia) – June to July 2018.

Heavyweight contenders like Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Spain and the previous champion, Germany all lost out in earlier rounds to everyone surprise. France becomes the champion after defeating Croatia in the final.

d) Asian Games (Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia) – August to September 2018.

China topped the medal tally with 132 gold, 92 silver and 65 bronze while Japan and South Korea came in second and third place respectively. Malaysia is at 14th place with 7 gold, 13 silver and 16 bronze.

e) Summer Youth Olympic Games (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – October 2018.

Russia topped the medal tally with 29 gold, 18 silver and 12 bronze. China is in second place while Japan took the third spot. Malaysia is at 38th place with 2 gold.

2018, Year of Kim Jong Un going out of North Korea

Known for being very secretive, disobedient and insular, North Korea leader, Kim Jong Un surprises the world by going all out (including leaving his country for the first time) to meet several important world leaders like the unexpected meeting with China President Xi Jinping on March 28, historic crossing over the Demilitarized Zone at the border between North and South Korea to meet South Korea President Moon Jae-in, and landmark meeting with US President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12th (first ever meeting between US and North Korea leader).

2018, Year of Unfortunate Events for Indonesia

2018 has been a year full of challenges for Indonesia. Indonesia is struck by multiple huge natural disasters this year such as a 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Sulawesi that leads to a tsunami which killed over 2200 people and the most recent tsunami caused by undersea landslide from volcanic eruption on December 22 that killed over 400 people at Sunda Strait. Also not to forget the saddening plane crash of Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29 that killed all 189 people on board. The plane crashes on Java Sea 13 minutes after take off from Jakarta en route to Pangkal Pinang.

2018, Year of Historic Change for Malaysia

2018 is certainly a history-making year for Malaysia. The country’s 14th general election took place on Wednesday, May 9 and it saw the first ever defeat of the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional (led by Prime Minister Najib Razak) to the opposition pact, Pakatan Harapan (led by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad). This is the first downfall for Barisan Nasional in over 60 years of its reign in Malaysia’s government and it is mainly caused by the unpopular GST, 1MDB scandal and massive corruption. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is reelected as the Prime Minister of Malaysia for the second time following the historic election win and at age 93, he is the oldest living Prime Minister in the world currently. Although I didn’t manage to vote (should be my first time voting) as I am working in Singapore and the voting day is on a normal weekday, but I’m certainly very excited and happy over this result. Next, we also observed royal pardon granted immediately for Anwar Ibrahim and seeing Najib brought to courts for charges multiple times this year. Dramatic yet positive political news. A New Malaysia from 2018 onward.

2018, Year of Huge Transitioning for Me

2018 in review is never complete without a mention of my personal memorable events of the year. I called this year a year of huge transitioning for me as it marks the first year that I’m moving on from being no longer a student anymore in my entire life (been a student for over 18 years! from kindergarten years to my postgraduate years) to a full-time working adult. I finished my postgraduate study end of last year in Perth, Australia and returned to Malaysia for a long break and Chinese New Year vacation at Zhangjiajie, China in February. I went back to Perth before the vacation in early February for my memorable graduation ceremony (my last ever graduation as I no longer planning to venture further in study at this point). Then, I moved to Singapore on May 2018 for my career as an architectural executive. Moving around from various countries in that span of a short few months and finally settling in Singapore after that successful job interview that leaves a huge impact to my future ahead. So yeah, 2018 is a year of huge transitioning for me personally. On the other hand, I also visited Universal Studios Singapore for the first time in July this year and had an awesome and crazily fun time over there from the exhilarating attractions the theme park have.

(My graduation ceremony on Curtin campus; officially graduated with Master of Architecture this year)(Scenic view captured during my Chinese New Year trip to Zhangjiajie, China)

(My working station, this is the place I’m spending most of my time on beginning October after my office moved to new location)

(Had an awesome time with friends at Universal Studio Singapore in my first ever visit to this theme park)

(Singapore, the beautiful country where I kicked off my career this year)

So that’s my year 2018 in review. What’s your best memories in 2018? What are the biggest international news or events in 2018 that caught your attention?

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

Advertisements

Top 10 tallest buildings to be built in 2018


2018 will be another great year in worldwide achievement on building skyscrapers. China is again leading the way in building supertall buildings. My capital city, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia will also be included into this list for the first time after so many years due to the projected completion of 492 metres tall The Exchange 106 Tower mid of this year. So, what are the top 10 tallest buildings to be built in 2018? Here’s the answer:

  1. Goldin Finance 117 Tower, Tianjin, China (597 metres, 128 floors). The tower is now nearing the stage of topping out with the construction of the diamond-shaped crown to commence shortly. However, there are news that this project is put on hold due to budget constraint and may not be completed this year. If it is managed to be completed this year, it will be the world’s 5th tallest building. It is only 3 metres shy from 600 metres mark.

2. Tianjin CTF Finance Centre, Tianjin, China (530 metres, 97 floors). The tower has topped out and is set to be completed this year while fate is still unknown for the Goldin Finance 117 Tower mentioned above that is located in the same city; Tianjin. When completed, it will be among the world’s top 10 tallest buildings.

3. China Zun Tower, Beijing, China (528 metres, 108 floors). The tower has topped out. When completed, it will be among the world’s top 10 tallest buildings.

4. The Exchange 106 Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (492 metres, 106 floors). The tower is now nearing the stage of topping out with the construction of the glass crown to commence shortly. This will be the first building in the country to have over 100 floors and will be the country’s tallest when completed.

5. Lakhta Center, St Petersburg, Russia (462 metres, 86 floors). The tower has topped out and will be the tallest building in Russia when completed. First time seeing Russia join in the race to construct building of this height.

6. Changsha IFS Tower 1, Changsha, China (452 metres, 94 floors). The tower is nearly completed with all exterior cladding already installed.

7. Suzhou IFS, Suzhou, China (450 metres, 98 floors). The tower has topped out and its exterior cladding is almost completed.

8. Wuhan Center Tower, Wuhan, China (438 floors, 88 floors). This one also has topped out. Another higher skyscraper, Wuhan Greenland Center is also rising quickly in the same city and when completed in 2019, the 125-storey tower will have a height of 636 metres.

9. China Resources Headquarters, Shenzhen, China (393 metres, 67 floors). Topped out. Shenzhen has been seeing record-breaking number of skyscrapers completed in recent years.

10. Shum Yip Upperhills Tower 1, Shenzhen, China (388 metres, 80 floors). Topped out. Another one in Shenzhen.

Out of the 10 building above, 8 are in China, 1 is in Malaysia and 1 is in Russia. We seldom see any supertall skyscraper completion in Russia and 2018 will be the year for that to happen. China dominated the race to build skyscrapers again from its cities like Tianjin and Shenzhen. United States, which is once known as the country of the origin of skyscrapers did not make it to the list. The first 8 in this list will have final height of over 400 metres respectively while the first 3 even exceeded 500 metres mark.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Last walk in KLCC for the year.


KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) is an area that I love to visit once in a while because that’s the area in Kuala Lumpur with the most prominent skyscrapers. I think I have been there for at least four times this year including my most recent trip to that area yesterday to have lunch with my friend. Earlier trips to that area were due to my task to do a site analysis for a location selected for my thesis project. One instant thing that I will do once I reached the train station there or in the Suria KLCC shopping mall, I will head out to the KLCC Park and gaze up to the sky to admire and view all the tall buildings around. Although the Petronas Twin Towers will soon no longer be the tallest buildings in the country, but they remains as the most iconic towers in my heart. By the way, they are still the tallest twin buildings in the world! Their beauty is timeless.

I’m fascinated that more and more tall buildings are popping out in that region. The exterior cladding for the already topped out 343 metres tall Four Seasons Place building looks almost completed. The same goes to the 235 metres tall W Hotel & Residences building. Both buildings that are right beside the iconic Petronas Twin Towers are to be completed and opened next year.

In the meantime, I am also disappointed with the very slow progress happening at the construction site for the Fairmont Towers development that claimed part of the KLCC Park. I have been seeing the ground works happening for several years and the towers are still not rising yet. How I wish that the construction speed of this project would be as fast as the Exchange 106 Tower. The Exchange 106 Tower which is projected to complete next year at a height of 492 metres has already reached 450 metres and made a bold visual impact to the city’s skyline already although it hasn’t been completed yet.

And lastly, it’s great to see the landscaping growing well all over the twin towers of the Le Nouvel Residences but they are still apparent enough. This complex has been completed for around 2 years already.

I noticed that there are still some empty plots in the region (within or around the perimeter of KLCC masterplan) and I’m hoping that they would be taken up for great developments soon so that the area will be more dense with awesome skyscrapers to enhance the overall city’s skyline.

(Copyrights reserved to all images in this post)

Exciting supertall projects to enhance KL’s skyline soon.


The city skyline of Kuala Lumpur has dramatically changed in recent years. More skyscrapers are being built in the city, dwarfing over older buildings and populating remaining low-rise areas in the city. Here below are some of the on-going skyscraper projects in KL along with their latest updates:

The Exchange 106

This 106-storey office tower is currently dominating the city’s skyline although its construction has not completed yet. Some sources revealed that the tower has now reached about 450 metres in height, making it as tall as the city’s current record holder; the 452 metres tall iconic Petronas Twin Towers. The Exchange 106 Tower by Mulia Group is expected to top out and complete next year with projected height of 492 metres. This tower is rising very quickly and it is now starting to work on its upper portion’s central core. The highlight of this design is on its crystalline-like crown. Hence, the tower now looks very massive yet plain (boring glass cladding all over) at this stage.

Four Seasons Place

After experiencing multiple delays and changes of design in the past, the Four Seasons Place has topped out this year and will be completed next year. It now stands tall besides the Petronas Twin Towers at a height of 343 metres (65 floors). It is the second tallest hotel building in the world and also the second tallest building in Malaysia (after the Petronas Twin Towers). Some criticized the building for leaving huge visual impact to the twin towers as the building is only slightly lower and is very close to the twin towers. Well, we have to accept the fact that the twin towers will soon be dwarfed by more taller buildings in the future (they can’t be the tallest in the city forever, right?!). But the twin towers would still remain iconic for the city. The ‘Four Seasons’ logo will be nicer if it is bigger in my opinion.

Merdeka PNB118 Tower

This project receives a lot of criticism earlier due to allocation of national funding for this huge skyscraper that is thought to be much more useful to be spent on other resources, the impact it leaves to its surrounding historical area, and the absence of need for another supertall tower in the city. Anyway, the project is back on its track now after setting aside those criticisms and also after some issues with its structural foundation. It is now set to rise quickly to be the tallest building of the country by 2021 at a height of 630 metres (118 floors).

(Renderings for Merdeka PNB118 Tower)

Oxley Towers and Fairmont Towers

Construction has been slow especially for Fairmont Towers that sit right besides the KLCC Park. The Fairmont development consists of three towers with the tallest one to reach 380 metres in height with 78 floors. They are projected to complete by 2020 but that is highly unlikely looking from its current construction progress. Work is still at the ground level at this stage which is very slow. The same situation goes to the adjacent Oxley Towers development. Once completed, the taller tower in Oxley complex will be 341 metres tall with 79 floors. I estimate their completion would be around 2022 or 2023.

(Oxley Towers’ development in rendering above)

(Fairmont Towers’ development in rendering above)

(Construction site on the left is the Oxley project while the construction site on the right is the Fairmont project. Four Seasons Place is in the middle in this picture above)

Angkasa Raya Tower

This project has been approved years ago but there is no sign of its construction yet in a plot of land adjacent also to the Petronas Twin Towers. I wonder what is the problem that is delaying this project now. Designed by famous architect, Buro Ole Scheeren, the tower has 65 floors and will have a height of 268 metres. Let’s hope that this project with kick-start very soon.

(Images and information in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Top 10 Tallest Buildings in the World (as of April 2017)


The two cities that witness the birth of skyscrapers are Chicago and New York City in United States. That was over a hundred years ago after the introduction of steel framed construction and passenger elevator that enables buildings to be built much taller. Now in 2017, only one building in United States that is placed within the top 10 tallest buildings in the world currently. The other 9 are generally all located in Asia. Here below is the current top 10 tallest buildings in the world as of April 2017. The list only includes completed buildings and does not include television towers, observation towers, masts, antennas or buildings with very little percentage of habitable floors.

  1. Burj Khalifa, 828 metres, 163 floors, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (completed in 2010).

2. Shanghai Tower, 632 metres, 128 floors, Shanghai, China (completed in 2015).

3. Makkah Royal Clock Tower, 601 metres, 120 floors, Mecca, Saudi Arabia (completed in 2012).

4. Ping An Finance Center, 599 metres, 115 floors, Shenzhen, China (completed in 2017).

5. Lotte World Tower, 555 metres, 123 floors, Seoul, South Korea (completed in 2017).

6. One World Trade Center, 541 metres, 104 floors, New York City, United States (completed in 2014).

7. Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, 530 metres, 111 floors, Guangzhou, China (completed in 2016).

8. Taipei 101, 508 metres, 101 floors, Taipei, Taiwan (completed in 2004).

9. Shanghai World Financial Center, 492 metres, 101 floors, Shanghai, China (completed in 2008).

10. International Commerce Centre, 484 metres, 108 floors, Hong Kong, China (completed in 2010).

This list will change drastically from year to year due to rapid increase of construction of supertall skyscrapers in the world in recent decade. More and more new buildings are reaching further to the sky. Out of the current top 10 tallest buildings in the world, half of them are in China (this doesn’t even include Taipei 101 in Taiwan). 8 of them soar above 500 metres in height respectively too. Also noted is that every buildings in this top 10 tallest list has over 100 floors respectively. The tallest in the world, Burj Khalifa has been on the top of the list for over 7 years now. By 2020, it is expected to be defeated by Kingdom Tower, a skyscraper currently under construction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. That tower is projected to soar above 1000 metres (1 km!) when completed in 2020.

The oldest supertall in this list is Taipei 101 which is only 13 years old by now as it is built in 2004. More and more new buildings are joining the list with two newcomers this year; Ping An Finance Center and Lotte World Tower at No.4 and No.5 placing respectively. Former world’s tallest buildings and still the current world’s tallest twin buildings, the Petronas Twin Towers are kicked out of the top 10 list this year as they are now placed at No.11 (and 12) with height of 452 metres. Too bad…my home coutry’s famous twin towers are now out of the ranking. Anyway, in few years to come, Malaysia will have another new supertall; PNB 118 Tower that will certainly join this top 10 list with a height of over 600 metres.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

The last tuition-free week of the semester is over. And a drama review for ‘The Last Healer in Forbidden City’ (TVB 2016)


It’s wonderful to have tuition-free week somewhere in between the semester. It is a much needed break to relax for a while before continuing to the last half of the semester. Too bad, it’s almost the end of Friday by now and my last tuition-free week of the semester is over. In this break, I get to chill, having a lot more rest, and do assignments slowly…I mean very slowly. After this, there is no such thing as ‘slowly’ anymore as more important deadlines are around the corner before the end of my first semester.

The coming Monday is ANZAC Day, and is a public holiday here in Australia. Yup, my holiday would be extended for an extra day. Searching up the web leads me to learn that ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served. Oh, now I know. It’s a memorial day. We have no such holiday back in Malaysia. I only remember April 25 every year as my second sister’s birthday.

anzac-day-turkey-2016

Recently, I had concluded watching a new TVB drama entitled ‘The Last Healer in Forbidden City’. It is a Hong Kong historical fiction period drama of 20 episodes which revolves on the account of a physician played by Roger Kwok, of the Guangxu Emperor mysterious death at the age of 37. The story tells mostly before the Emperor’s death and how the very talented physician make his way and contribution into the palace. The drama is actually partly based on true events (real history) and partly fictional for the drama purpose. I’m happy with this mixture as I’m quite interested in the history of the late Qing dynasty and I’m happy to see how it mixed with the fictional storyline to create this series.

lasthealer

It’s a short series and I quite enjoyed it overall. Roger Kwok is excellent as the main male lead while Tavia is also steady as the first female lead. The supporting cast consisting of Pierre Ngo, Jonathan Cheung and veteran actress, Helena Law as Empress Dowager Cixi were all fantastic in their respective roles. The story, despite not the best I have seen (I expected better) and also came with several plot-holes, is acceptable in current TVB’s standard. However, the very ending of this series left me frustrated. They just kept showing the two main leads suddenly staring at the sky for almost a minute long in the very end of the drama’s 20th (final) episode when Roger Kwok asked Tavia Yeung whether she managed to find her love. I knew the way the scene was done is to make it an open-ending but I absolutely didn’t find it right or necessary here. Keeping it closed and everything resolved would be be a better conclusion in my opinion. Anyway, I still enjoyed this drama but will be quickly forgotten by the year end before the awards season. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Healer in Forbidden City’ a total of 7.3.

1458627533aod_lasthealer_02

UgFXFo5

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Recap of 2015: Major world news or events in this year.


When it’s almost the end of December, it’s as usual the time for me to write a post about the major events or news we all heard of for this year that is going to an end very soon. This is like a recap or flashback to major happenings in 2015 and it’s something that almost all newspapers would do too on the last day of the year. I prefer to do this a bit earlier instead, so that I felt I’m the first one to cover this hot annual topic every year. Okay…here it comes for the 16 major events that were important to be a part of the history for year 2015:

Happy-New-Year-2015-14-421x300

January 3 – 7, 2015

A series of massacres in Baga, Nigeria and surrounding villages by jihadist group, Boko Haram killed more than 2,000 people. Local media reported that only about 150 people were killed in this mass killing, in a huge contrast to the figures reported by Western media. Boko Haram later became allies with IS militants beginning March 2015.

March 24, 2015

An Airbus A320-211 operated by Germanwings crashes in the French Alps, killing all 150 on board. The crash of the flight named Germanwings flight 9525 which was a scheduled flight from Spain to Germany was deliberately caused by the co-pilot who intended to commit suicide.

lupica27n-1-web

April 2, 2015

148 people were killed, the majority of them students, in a mass shooting at the Garissa University College in Kenya, perpetrated by another militant terrorist organization named Al-Shabaab which has link to Al-Qaeda. The gunmen took over 700 students hostage, freeing Muslims and killing those who identified as Christians. The siege ended the same day, when all four of the attackers were killed.

April 25, 2015

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake strikes Nepal and causes over 9000 deaths in Nepal (most affected with over 8800 deaths), India, China and Bangladesh. It was the worst natural disaster to hit Nepal since 1934. The earthquake also triggered a massive avalanche on Mount Everest that killed 19 people. Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless with many villages flattened while multiple centuries-old buildings were destroyed at UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu Valley. Few weeks later on May 12, another massive earthquake at 7.3 magnitude struck Nepal again and killed additional 218 people.

nepal-earthquake-2015_1

May 1, 2015 – October 1, 2015

Expo 2015 was held successfully in Milan, Italy for a period of 6 months. It is an universal exposition held once in every five years at different major cities across the world. The theme of the expo is ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ with food being the principal focus. The expo which had participation of about 145 countries, 17 organizations and 21 business partners attracted over 22 million visitors.

Expo-Milano-2015-Il-tramonto-su-Expo

June 25 – 26, 2015

IS militants claimed responsibility for four attacks around the world during Ramadan period including the Kobani massacre at Syria, Sousse attacks at a tourist resort in Tunisia and a mosque bombing in Kuwait. These various attacks resulted in approximate nearly 300 deaths.

June 30, 2015

A Lockheed C-130 Hercules plane operated by the Indonesian Air Force crashed into a crowded residential neighborhood in Medan shortly after take-off from Soewondo Air Force Base, killing 143 people including 22 others on the ground, marking the second-deadliest air disaster to ever occur in Medan and the deadliest crash in Indonesian Air Force peacetime history.

July 14, 2015

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft performed a close flyby of Pluto, becoming the first spacecraft in history to visit the distant world. It is also the first time the world is offered a clearer view of this small planet, Pluto.

nh-pluto-in-true-color

September 11, 2015

A crawler crane toppled over onto the Masjid al-Haram, the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The tragedy killed 111 people and injured nearly 400 people. That was the time when the mosque was preparing for the Hajj pilgrimage. It is the deadliest crane collapse in modern history.

5760

September 24, 2015

A stampede occurred during the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and the tragedy killed at least 2,200 people and injured more than 900 others, while more than 650 were reported missing. It is the deadliest Hajj disaster in the history. The annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca turned awful this year with this crowd collapse tragedy.

September 28, 2015

NASA announces that liquid water has been found on Mars, one of the biggest discoveries and revelations regarding this planet.

October 10, 2015

A suicide bomb killed at least 100 people at a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey, and injured more than 400 others. The attack was the deadliest of its kind in Turkey’s modern history and was suspected to be linked to the IS militants.

October 23, 2015

Famous English singer, Adele released ‘Hello’, the lead single for her latest studio album ’25’. The song received critical acclaim with praise to the song’s lyrics and Adele’s vocals. The song broke multiple records and attained international commercial success while its Vevo video on Youtube has been viewed over 600 million times. The song had also been extensively covered, and even made into parodies, becoming a global hit in a lightning speed. It ultimately becomes the most famous song released this year.

October 26, 2015

A major earthquake of magnitude 7.5 hit Hindu Kush region and caused nearly 400 deaths in Pakistan (affected the most with nearly 280 deaths), Afghanistan and India.

October 31, 2015

Flight KGL9268, an Airbus A321 airliner en route to Russia from Egypt, crashes near Al-Hasana in Sinai, killing all 217 passengers and 7 crew members on board. Shortly after the incident, IS militants claimed responsibility to the attack while early investigations revealed that bomb by terrorist is highly likely to be the culprit behind this crash.

download

November 13, 2015

Multiple attacks claimed by IS militants in Paris, France that killed about 132 people. This coordinated terrorist attacks were done in various locations across the city including nearby a stadium, a cafe, a restaurant and inside a music venue. The attacks were the deadliest on France since World War II. Besides that, the country had already been on high alert since the January 2015 attacks in Paris that killed 17 people, including civilians and police officers.

It’s sad to see another year filled with many tragedies from the unavoidable natural disasters to the ones caused by the people themselves which should be highly condemned. I also felt annoyed with the increasing number of attacks done by the extremist terrorist groups across the world in recent years. Whether you like it or not, it is a fact that these violent groups were mostly linked to Islam. Islam is a good religion but these groups have brought the name of the religion down. I’m not against any religion but these groups (IS, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, etc) should be eliminated fully as soon as possible to prevent them from bring chaos and terror again to this world. On the other hand, we also witnessed quite a number of plane crashes again in this year. Very heartbreaking to see all these news. Let’s hope that 2016 would be a much better year with more positive events.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)