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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Family Day Out 26.01.08 - Police K-9 Unit


Family Day Out for January 2008 started off with a bang - or should I say WOOF! at the KL POLICE K-9 UNIT near lake Titiwangsa. Though extremely hard to find, we finally all made it there with many thanks to Sargent Ramasamy who escorted all 7 cars from 3 different locations into the camp and to the training facility!

We were met by Corporal Ravindraa who gave us a very thorough briefing before the show started.

We learnt that Malaysia launched its' POLICE DOG PROGRAM in 1968. In 1969 it acquired 6 dogs from the UK. By 1972 Malaysia purchased another 6 dogs from the UK but this time sent 6 trainers to the UK to get them specially trained together with the dogs.

The police dogs were mainly used as 'RIOT DOGS' during those days.

September 11 brought about a major change for this department and its' program. The Government of the USA and the ATF sponsored 11 EXPLOSIVES DOGS and 11 officers and men from Malaysia to be trained in Virginia, USA.

In 2007 Malaysia made its' largest purchase ever, obtaining 30 dogs from China. 27 for its' CRIME Unit, and 3 for its' NARCOTICS Unit.

Dogs are purchased 'Green' ( as in 'freshies' ) at 12-14 months of age. They undergo a 16 week training which includes OBEDIENCE, SEARCHING, TRAINING etc.. They are then tested to see if they are able to work with the 'public'.

In KL alone, there are 34 dogs in service. ( 15 in CRIME, 11 in EXPLOSIVES and 8 in NARCOTICS ) There are 10 dogs in every other state in Malaysia.

The Police K-9 Unit consists of a few different breeds of dog. GERMAN SHEPERDS - The King of Dogs ( as Corporal Ravindraa puts it ) heads up the CRIME DEPARTMENT. (Belgian Sheperds have been recently purchased too, but are still in training) BORDER COLLIES, SPRINGER SPANIELS, WIMERAMAS AND LABRADORS - NARCOTICS and LABRADORS - EXPLOSIVES

We were also surprised to know that Police dogs only get fed ONCE a DAY at 3pm.

We also learnt that different dogs required differing methods of reward. EXPLOSIVES Dogs who are only HAND FED ( never from a bowl ) receive a treat from the officers' hand as a reward.

CRIME DOGS - relish PRAISE and NARCOTICS DOGS work for a rolled up towel.

Crime Dog training. Note how he sits perfectly still while his handler searches the suspect.

Bapsy, Nelson and Jack ( Narcotics Dogs )

Bapsy the Black labrador above, receives NO OBEDIENCE training as an EXPLOSIVES dog. She works very keenly to find bullets, firearms and any other form of explosive, all for a reward of a treat from her master's hand.

You may be interested to know that it is one Officer to one dog from purchase to retirement ( either the dogs' retirement or the officer's! whichever comes first! )
If a handler is on Medical Leave, the dog gets a well-deserved break! If an officer were to retire before the dog, a new handler is selected, and dog and handler go through 16 weeks of training ALL OVER AGAIN!

Contrary to popular belief, NARCOTICS Dogs are NOT addicted to drugs or narcotics. They only work for their rewards. Part of their training includes trying to distract them by lacing drugs with curry powder and belachan ( a pungent local prawn paste ) This however cannot trick the NARCOTICS dogs, who have a sense of smell more than 100times greater than that of an average human. Heroin is the main drug found in KLIA and Ganja on buses.

Jack sniffing for drugs.

Jack the NARCOTICS Dog sniffing for drugs in a row of bags. He didn't find any.

I was asked to volunteer to place a drug-laden briefcase amongst the original bags, just to prove the dog is not trained to trick us!

Searching Once more..

Correct Briefcase! TRIPLE-PACKED Marijuana and Jack sniffed it out!

One of Catherine's girls getting a good sniff from Bapsy.

Rebecca getting Up Close and personal with Bapsy the Explosives Dog after the Show.

All in all, despite getting lost initially, and the heat ( which is generally unavoidable in this beautiful country ), it was a very interesting day. It certainly was different and was great especially for those amongst us whom are dog lovers, as we discovered that all retired dogs are kept on the property in a retirement village, where they are well taken care of, walked and played with every day, till the end of their days.

The Police Officers were equally as impressive and gave me a new found respect for the much maligned Force. These guys were SO FRIENDLY, they were playing with all the children, bringing us drinks, and chairs and answering all our questions. The best answer of the day was to the question (which was made in jest) - " What can we do to train our children like this?" and the answer was "What do you think is the main component of Dog Training? - Its PATIENCE! So, the same goes for your children -PATIENCE!" Wise words Corporal Ravindraa.. wise words indeed!

Written by Karen Loong-Thomas ( Activities Coordinator)

Mums On The Run 24 Jan 2008

Starting off the New Years culinary adventures, we find ourselves at MOUSSANDRA. Tucked away on the sleepy side of KL Plaza ( one of the older buildings in the City ) is this slightly offbeat but intimate Spanish / Greek restaurant. Step inside and you are immediately transported to another city .. Established in 1996, Moussandra is a proven favourite with locals and visitors alike.

Only 6 Mums managed to 'escape' tonight for this Mums on The Run. However, the conversation flowed as easily as the Sangrias did!

Moussandra's assortment of artful Spanish Tapas and Greek Mezes is a great way to become acquainted with the cuisines of Spain and Greece.

ibu was offered a 30% discount off the set menu which included Tapas/Meze , Main Courses, and Dessert. The portions were more than generous and we all left feeling stuffed. The dessert - Creme Brulee, was especially good!

Having experienced the excellent food and the professionalism and friendliness of the staff, I would personally go back to Moussandra again - especially for the Lamb Shank which was almost big enough for two!

Do join us next time we go out for dinner and catch up with old friends - or make new ones! Bring your spouse too ... as from next month, this outing is being renamed PARENTS' NIGHT OUT!

From left to right ( clockwise ) Amelie ( Tuesday afternoon ibu YogaKids Instructor ), Chystel, Melissa ( ex Chairperson ), Wai Kuan ( ex Secretary ) , Karen ( Activities Coordinator )and Kate (new Chairperson )

Amelie - Your Friendly YogaKids Instructor posing with her Moussaka before diging in!


Paella - A House Speciality. Yummy!

A Wonderful Sea Bass.

The Lamb Shank - Huge Portion and Delicious!


Lot B-8
Mezzanine Floor
KL Plaza
Jalan Bukit Bintang
Tel: 03-21440775

Written by Karen Loong-Thomas (Activities Coordinator)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Family Day Out - Dec 2007 - Eye On Malaysia


On a hot, humid and hazy morning in December, 22 ibu members and staff braved the traffic into town and ventured up the massive Ferris Wheel structure aptly named EYE ON MALAYSIA at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa.

One member had come with her husband and children and had originally not intended to go up due to a fear of heights. However, she braved up at the last minute and decided to go on the ride after all!

Due to pre-purchased group tickets, there was no trouble with queues, something the Eye is famous for.

We were allowed 6 ppl to a car instead of the usual 8 which can often be too crowded. The structure is massive but the cars quite small. It's a bit scary at first but you get used to it pretty soon if no one is rocking the car!

There was not much of a view because it was hazy, but the view is pretty impressive regardless. You get the feeling the KL Tower and KLCC are right next to you!

The Eye goes four rounds ( 12 minutes ) per ticket, however, after about two rounds most of us had had enough. Some of the kids however, couldn’t get enough and squealed for more.

After the ride we all gathered together to have a drink and take pictures at the Eye Café.

The day out was an enjoyable one, a nice change of scene. A chance for old friends to catch up, and also to make new ones. The Eye is now being dismantled as its’ tenure in Malaysia is over. So those who missed it in 2007 may have to visit London in the future to experience the Eye Experience!

On December 7th 2007, 22 kids and their parents enjoyed discounted rates to a beautiful play entitled Aesops Fables by booking in advance with ibu, enabling us to get great discounts for the best seats. Look out for future offers, and book EARLY!

Written by Karen Loong-Thomas ( Activities Coordinator )