maiStories

maiCSR – Precious Family Home

It was once a lovely old folks home where each of the elderly was pampered with a television connected to an Astro. The elderly, with their own TV, enjoys a relaxed life watching whatever they wanted during their stay there.

However, a case of fund abuse had caused the elderly to lose all their privileges and luxury, to the point where they were sleeping on the floor instead of beds. The previous manager who was hired to manage the home, had misappropriated the funds in the blind trust of the owner who was also managing several other homes at other places.

The pathetic condition of the home was only known when the owner received notice about the house owner’s intention to evict all tenants of the home due to the failure of the management to pay the monthly rent of the premise. The owner, by then who had lost one leg due to a motorcycle accident, came back and decided to stay stationed at this home, to make sure that the elderly are all well taken care of.

maimai was introduced to this home by House of Hope, another charity organisation for very poor families. House of Hope had come to know of this place and decided to step in and help, at the same time sharing the photos of the home to maimai with a silent plea for help. It was in a really pathetic state, where the floors were covered in sticky dirt, broken furniture, exposed kitchen area, and many broken wheelchairs “donated” by people who seemed to have taken this home for a dump storage area. While House of Hope worked on some aspects of the home (the hygiene and the food), maimai ventured to seek for more help outside.

Precious Family Home
The owner, Mr Timothy, had an accident and one leg was amputated. He used his insurance money to recover this home. This is a typical day at the centre, as they watched tv together.

This time, maimai decided to make cabinets for the elderly. They were using those flimsy plastic cabinets and maimai drew the design of a vertical cabinet approximately 5ft high. Then the owner, Mr Timothy, requested for a storage cupboard as well. Apparently, since the home was in seclusion, there may be unkind people who came in pretence of being relatives of the old people and stole things from the elderly or the home. Timothy requested for a storage cupboard so that he may lock items such as oats, beverage and other things that are important for the home. Yes, people even stole MILO from them!

Besides the cabinets and storage cupboard, maimai observed that the kitchen was exposed in the open area at the back of the premise. All the pots and pans and dishes were on open shelves and make-shift tables, so maimai designed an U-shaped kitchen set for them. Not big, but a useful design to allow for more comfortable cooking and hygienic storage.

Hence, with these plans in mind, maimai contacted Chow Choon (M) Sdn Bhd who was willing to sponsor the accessories to create the furniture and kitchen set to the home. Ms Vanessa Tan gave the sponsorship without giving it a second thought, which is a very sincere gesture of compassion in this effort. Thank you, Ms Tan.

What resulted was 3-times delivery due to the staggered production of the items. A total of 12 vertical cabinets, 1 storage cupboard and a kitchen set was delivered to the home on 11 October, 25 October and 14 November. In all these three instances, maimai was also blessed by the kindness given by Long Express, who had performed all these deliveries including the help of carrying the items for free! It was not an easy delivery too, Long Express had to collect the complete furniture from our Lunas factory the day before actual delivery (kudos to the team for such handicraft and making those highly durable furniture for this purpose) and to send them over in the morning all the way to Penang island. This process was repeated 3 times since we made 3 deliveries. Thank you very much, Long Express!

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While most of the items can be used immediately upon arrival at the centre, the kitchen set had to be installed on-site. 3 maimais were deployed for this purpose and did a really good job with it. As a token of appreciation, Timothy offered Yakult to all our maiAmbassadors for the day!

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The result is satisfying. Not much, but at least we know that the elderly is able to keep their belongings in good, vertical cabinets instead of flimsy plastic drawers. The kitchen can become neater with the utensils kept in the cabinets instead of exposed to the possibilities of crawling lizards, cockroaches and rats. Timothy was happy too, and we hope that all the elderly staying there, including Timothy and his staff, will be blessed with excellent health and great happiness always!

If you wish to watch the video of this story, click here: https://youtu.be/TeAf62pqM9s

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maiCSR ARCHIDEX 2017 – Report

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Fri, 11 Aug – The maiCSR ARCHIDEX 2017 activity has finally come to a perfect close with our representatives visiting the House of Hope this morning for the long-awaited photography session. The total amount collected for this charity fund raising programme is RM7,000.00.

This programme is in conjunction with Maica’s integration of the UNICEF’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, goal no 1: No Poverty. While many people think that there should not be anymore poor people in the country, we have discovered via House of Hope that there are still many families who have problems making ends meet even when they are merely living with the bare necessities.

There are many untold cases. There may be cases where the children abandon their aged parent(s), and their parent(s) may face eviction of their rented rooms and risk being starved to death had it not been for the intervention of House of Hope. There may also be families where the sole bread winner may have become unfit for work and the family consisting of elderly parents and small children were hardly surviving day to day without income. There are also some children born with very little luck as their parents abandon them in favour of addictions.

Knowing such hardships exists right here in our country made us spring into the blossoming thoughts of continuous actions to help the unfortunate. The maimai team came up with ideas, and gathered whatever resources that we may have to make things possible. The result was the maiCSR ARCHIDEX 2017 fund raising programme for House of Hope, consisting of 2 parts of the charity programme. These two activities had been shared in our previous blog post about the ARCHIDEX 2017.

However, let’s recap on the 2 activities:

maiMushroom Chairs – DIY chairs made from paint barrels, sprayed and decorated with colourful seats. These are sold for a minimum of RM80 per chair, after we did a survey and found that such similar chairs are sold for as high as RM250 each elsewhere.

maiRM1 Charity Chance spinning game – RM1 for every spin, and stand a chance to win a maiTravel Pillow, maiCoaster made from maiCompact, and maiT-Shirts of various colours! Earlier, there is also maiKeychains, but these items were sold out as staff members decided to purchase these keychains and some of the travel pillows the moment they knew we were going to do this for charity!

It was fun! We saw a lot of good people, and we are glad that we did this programme. As for our beneficiary, House of Hope, they are really grateful that we think of them, and that we raised the amount for them dollar-by-dollar.

So, to complete this whole segment, we have also made a Video Report and uploaded into our YouTube Channel.

Thus, this ends our blog report of our maiCSR programme. We are sure that we will do  this again in the near future. If you would like to contact House of Hope by yourselves to see how you are able to help, please contact:

House of Hope
49-U Lorong Sempadan 2,
14000 Air Itam, Penang.
Tel: +604-826 4826

ARCHIDEX 2017 – Completed!

 

Tue, 1 Aug – The ARCHIDEX 2017 exhibition has ended last week with a tired but satisfied Maica crew back to the office the following week to complete all kinds of paperwork and to follow up with the enquiries from the exhibition itself.

Maica’s booth this year holds the trending style of Industrial Warehouse Café design. The team of designers at Maica Laminates happily created this design, putting in their worthy ideas and picking up what they think is the best among the ideas as details for the booth to give a different experience to visitors. So, it is not surprising that this year, the booth brings the feelings of “Hygge”, comfort and fun.

The fun comes especially from the fund raising charity activity at the booth. Unlike previous years where fund raising activities are only restricted to the sale of furniture items at the booth, this year there is an additional wheel-spinning game that requires only RM1 to be able to do charity! Winners of this wheel-spinning game are also eligible to winning a maiTravel Pillow, maiT-shirts of various colours and maiCoaster made from maiCompact product, all of which are special edition items that will not be reproduced after the event.

The idea behind the RM1 Charity Chance game is to encourage charity, and let it begin with the idea of RM1. RM1 is a small amount, but without the RM1, there will not be RM2 or even RM1 million. It may mean nothing to many people especially in this modern day, but it will mean a lot to the beneficiaries of the donations. (More coverage about this charity event later in another blog post.)

There is also another charity item, the maiMushroom Chairs, each sold at a minimum RM80 with the full proceeds donated to charity. The team of maimai researched online and found that such similar chairs are sold at RM250 each on average elsewhere, and so the team DIY these chairs, with extensive sourcing by the Procurement department to make this possible.

This year too, the booth has broken the tradition of beer offering. Instead of offering beer, maimai decided to move to a healthier option: Coffee is served. This suits the Industrial Warehouse Café design concept very well, and the aromatic smell of coffee fills the booth that visitors find enlightening especially since most of them need the energy boost given that the exercise of walking the exhibition halls can be pretty tedious.

Overall, this year’s visitors are given the opportunity of fun and enjoyment. The tasks of exhibition becomes light hearted instead of being pulled down by the gravity of seriousness.

And we look forward to next year’s exhibition. Thank you very much!

maiCSR for House of Hope – 2

20 Apr, 2017 – Maica Laminates Sdn Bhd had performed a 2nd CSR activity to House of Hope as the beneficiary of the programme. This time, it is the sponsorship of 14 table tops made from maiCompact to replace the original, existing ones.

The existing table tops were made of MDF boards and due to wear and tear, some of the edging and the boards itself were damaged. When maimai first saw these tables, maimai examined the steel legs and they were still in excellent condition. So, the next thing we did was to place in the instruction to cut 2 sheets of maiCompact (size 6ft x 12ft x 13mm) into the specific sizes of the table tops!

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On 18 April, maimai received the good news that the panels were ready, along with CNC-made holes for the screws. Once the panels were there, the excited staff from House of Hope received the panels and one of them started to learn about what to do on YouTube DIY channels. By the next day, he started work.

When maimai visited House of Hope on 20 April 2017, maimai was pleased to see that the staff had successfully installed some of the table tops. So, we took some photos and made a video to celebrate this success: maiCSR Q2 2017 – House of Hope 2

For more photos, please visit Maica’s website at the maiActivities section or our Facebook profile. You may also watch maiVideos on our Maica’s YouTube channel.

maiInvisible-T: A Product To Ease Your Life

Carpenters share the same anguish worldwide: What can you do to wipe off the finger prints for black colour laminates?

Black is a very stylish colour. It can represent many different characteristics of the owners and the designers:

a. Black as a representation of elegance: It is not surprising that a lot of formal dinner wear is black. Black tuxedo, black dress… and there is always that simple guide about girls making life easier with a “little black dress” as a must in the wardrobe for formal functions. The colour is simple. It will flaunt the appearance, but not really screaming for attention, hence there is always the opportunity to pay attention to important conversation and have good eye-contact for a good conversation in the formal functions.

b. Black as a representation of sophistication: Black is the colour of the Public Relations sector. We are talking about the real PRs, those that lobby at the governments and create situations to garner news attention. Usually, we see them as sophisticated people with high intelligence and also regard them as people who knows exactly what they are doing. In this current era, black has become the colour of professionals, including architects.

c. Black as a representation of power: Black is magnetic. It symbolises power of a higher authority. Priests wear black because it represents the submission to God. Black makes things look powerful.

d. Black can easily match with other colours: In terms of designs, black is a colour that can easily match with other colours. Sometimes it may hide in the background, and suddenly it may also become the highlight itself.

With all these advantages of Black colour, it is no surprise that black is a favorite among designers. However, fabricators and carpenters experience the anguish of cleaning before the handover of the project to customer because all that finger prints come naturally during renovation works. It is very rare that a project using solid black colour will not experience the struggle of cleaning.

Even after the handover, the maintenance by the user is also a problem. Very often, retails and high traffic areas will prefer to use white, because all that public finger prints are not so obvious on a white panel. Hence, they are usually forced to adopt the “clean”, “white” image that may not reflect the brand image. Or they may opt to just spray paint black instead of using laminate, knowing very well that painted surface can be easily damaged with high traffic visitors.

maiInvisible-T to the rescue!

We have a product coming to the rescue. Launched in 2015, we did a demonstration at Maica’s booth at the ARCHIDEX exhibition where thousands of visitors witnessed the following characteristics of maiInvisible-T, without any tricks or magic up our sleeves:

a. Anti-Finger Print – Wiping off finger prints, oil and grease with just water and a soft cloth.
b. Scuff Resistance – Using a fork to create accidental scuff effects, something common that may happen especially during renovations. Then drip a few drops of water on the scuffed surface, covered with a piece of cloth, and then the placement of a hot iron on the piece of cloth for approximately 30 seconds. Once the iron and cloth had been removed, the water on the surface starts evaporating. After the water fully evaporated, the scuffing marks were no longer visible on the surface.

c. Heat Resistance – Experiencing water and hot iron on surface, and yet undamaged.
d. Water Resistance – Most cleaning made with water and cloth, without causing damage to the surface.

Applying maiInvisible-T into your life

So, what is the best application for maiInvisible-T?

  1. Kitchen. The kitchen is the place where there is a lot of grease and oil, finger prints and spilled juices, sauce and many other food stuff. The cleaning of the kitchen is usually the most painful process, which makes most of us opt for eat out in this modern times.
  2. Dining table. The dining table can be a pretty demanding surface that requires a lot of cleaning, especially if you have little children. Children have a tendency to wipe their fingers on table surfaces, or any other surface that they can find. It is not a rare thing to find the marks of greasy little fingers on dining table tops. Thus, make cleaning easy by using maiInvisible-T for the table surface. You will be amazed by the amount of time that you save.
  3. Wall Panels. Especially for high traffic public areas. You cannot stop people from putting their greasy fingers on the wall while they talk, but you can make it easier to clean the surface with just water and cloth at the end of the day.

There are a lot more creative ideas for the use of maiInvisible-T. The only limitation is that the application will need to be a flat surface as this product does not bend to any radius profile. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing, since a flat surface is usually timeless in terms of design and trend.

If you need more information about maiInvisible-T, do visit Maica’s Official Website.

Merlyn Green – M10911 – New Product

We have recently sent out a newsletter to alert everyone of our new colour, which is available for order.  The name is Merlyn Green, with code number M10911. It is available both as a maiLaminate (6ft x 8ft & 6ft x 12ft) in Expose surface finish and a maiCompact (6ft x 8ft & 6ft x 12ft) in Texture surface finish.

Why Merlyn Green?

The name “Merlyn” was derived from the name of the wizard featured in Arthurian legend and medieval Welsh poetry, Merlin. Our version of Merlyn Green comes from the fact that this green hue is special, not really blue, nor is it green, and not exactly turquoise. This gives it a soothing effect to the person looking at this green, almost mesmerised by the magic of this colour itself.

merlyn green

The Merlyn Green is an adventurous colour. It is one of the many beautiful hues of the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. While the Aurora is caused by collisions between electrically charged particles released from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere and colide with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen, Merlyn Green is a collision of a designer’s mind and the mysterious world around us.

So much can be achieved using the Merlyn Green for your interiors. The only limit is your imagination.

2017 maiCSR – St Nicholas’ Home, Penang

08 Mar, 2017 – Maica Laminates Sdn Bhd had sponsored 4 writing tables and 8 shoe racks to St Nicholas’ Home in Penang with the items being delivered to the home yesterday morning at 11:00am.  This CSR programme sees the sponsorship of Maica’s premium custom print product, maiConcept, for the table tops and the racks of the shoerack, in collaboration with Shini Furniture & Decoration for the workmanship and Shini’s customer, Mr Goh (who prefers to be anonymous but allows the publication of his surname only for reference) for the sponsorship of the wood materials for the table’s legs and shoe racks’ wooden support beams.

St Nicholas’ Home Penang is a non-profit, non government organisation specifically catering to the needs of the blind and visually impaired. They have noble visions of a nation “that is free of barriers, where blind & visually impaired persons are not discriminated against; to have the same rights and responsibilities, share equal opportunities & the quality of life that is available to their sighted peers”. They have good facilities to provide education training and employment opportunities, and they accept donations in cash and in kind. Each year, they will also have a food fair to raise funds for their home.

The tables and shoe racks are intended for their guest rooms. The rooms are tidy and clean. Maica’s initiative to use maiConcept for the sponsorship of these tables and shoe racks are based on the considerations that the product is anti-microbial, hence it helps to ensure minimal maintenance of the table tops and shoe racks.

We will be doing this again. It feels good to be able to help. This is our 2nd maiCSR programme, and our first was with House of Hope, Penang.

 

2017 maiCSR – House of Hope

24 Jan, 2017 – Maica’s maiCSR programme for 2017 started with the collection and delivery of old clothes for a non-profit, non-government organisation in Penang, House of Hope.

Below is the original article published in maiMAG Q1 2017 edition:

maiCSR @ House of Hope, Penang

It was a week before Chinese New Year. Everyone was talking about all that rush because CNY 2017 happened too soon in January. Many people had the opportunity to at least clean out their closet, and soon maimai started requesting for the old clothes to be collected for a special NGO.

This NGO is called “House of Hope”. It is stationed near the Rifle Range residential area in Air Itam, Penang. Originally, the NGO provided physical aid to underprivileged families living in the low cost flats of Rifle Range, but had since spread its coverage to other families in Penang.

To date, the NGO is serving approximately 1,800 families. Since it started its first missions in 2006, the NGO currently has:

  • subsidized monthly flat rentals for needy families
  • provided monthly food subsidies (rice, oil, bee hoon, milo, oats, milk powder)
  • been running a soup kitchen daily for lunch and dinner. There will be tiffins with cooked food provided free of charge for those who are elderly or disabled, those who cannot cook for themselves and do not have family members living with them.
  • facilitated applications for social welfare aid
  • conducted health and medical screenings and provided basic medical follow-ups.
  • conducted pre-school, tuition, arts and crafts, computer and music classes for children
  • had children’s outings
  • organized ‘gotong-royong’ to maintain the cleanliness of common areas of the Rifle Range Flats
  • provided monthly public bus fares (Rapid Penang) to school going children.

Their efforts will continue to help transform communities economically and socially, to help the underprivileged in the areas of education, healthcare and financial assistance. Their aim is to break the cycle of poverty and indirectly, crime, thereby transforming the community at its core.

Their selfless assistance will definitely make a difference to the society. For one, we are touched by their continuous efforts, and this triggered our old clothes collection activity to bring them to the NGO a week before Chinese New Year.

Somehow, it feels good to give. We will do this again.

A Balanced Mix of Work and Play

21 January 2017 marked the company’s annual dinner event at Hotel Equatorial Matahari Ballroom in Penang. It takes a special kind of dedication to be able to bring together 4 different groups to perform during the annual dinner for dances representing different generations: 1950s, 1970s and 2000.

The Opening Dance group consists of 7 members who had been dancing in the company’s annual dinner for the past years, and this year they have challenged themselves to a more difficult dance for the entertainment of the dinner guests. After all that crash courses and dance lessons, this group finally named themselves #RunFire. And here is the final result of their hard work:

Other than the #RunFire team, the company’s Management had also taken the initiative to participate in an individual dance, carrying with them the name #ShortCircuit. The Management team dancers consist of Assistant Managers and above, and their participation is very much appreciated as they had taken their time to learn and practice despite their heavy responsibilities and hectic schedules. Here is their performance:

Since the managers are able to let their hair down to entertain for the evening, the Executives jump into the band wagon and volunteered to perform their own dance. #ShockWave was born, and consists of 10 Executives who made themselves available at any opportunity to practice because they wanted to deliver the best performance for the evening. The result was fantastic!

The workers are not to be left out! The motivating enthusiasm of this whole dance movement had also triggered the participation of 3 volunteers of the Workers group from Nepal, who had given a lot of thought and dedication to choreograph their own dance performance based on a medley of their own choice, hence the birth of “GORKHELI” group, meaning “the Best”! You may watch their energetic performance here:

The night would not be complete without a performance by the company’s very own belly dancer, CY Choo. She had professional belly dancing performance experience, and thus the night must include her in the picture to make it really magical.

Well, 2017 saw the team setting a standard for the future annual dinner performances. It is going to be tough to surpass the delivery of that night, especially with the limited time available based on everyone’s hectic schedule for the year.

We shall be back… .

How colourful can laboratories be?!

A lot of people are getting confused over quality vs aesthetic when it comes to laboratory designs. For sure, a professional laboratory table top will be either white, grey or black as these are the colours that can help the happy scientists to work without distraction. If you wish to be creative, you may add colours but only to the body of the cabinets and the drawers, not on the table tops.

Let us share with you a few examples, in which our customer professionally added maiLab Chem in either white, grey or black, together with our maiLab Bio 15 colours range to add some colours to an otherwise pale and dull laboratory.

Remember, the basic guideline of a laboratory is “Worry Free, Safety First”, which is our maiLab Chem’s creation philosophy that we carry to our customers. We care for our customers’ well-being, especially in the laboratories because of the constant contact with dangerous chemicals. Keep the table tops simple with the three plain colours of white, grey or black from maiLab Chem collection to avoid any  distractions, while making the laboratory workspace vibrant and happy with maiLab Bio.

Safe testing!