September 2018 - Sebrinah Yeo

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Friday, 28 September 2018

How To Choose The Right Kindergarten?

September 28, 2018 3
While looking for a Kindergarten around my area, I noticed that there aren't many tips online that shares what are the main things you should be looking out for and what types of questions you should ask. So let me share my experience here today.

1. VENUE
Let's start off with the venue, it's good to get a kindergarten that is nearby for ease of transportation etc, but not all kindergarten's nearby are certified by the Jabatan Pendidikan of Malaysia and not all allows a flexibility of choice for you to pick them up at evening after your working hours. And apart from everything else sometimes GOING THE DISTANCE can surprise you with a much better quality of education, guidance and care that your child can gain.


2. WHEN TO VISIT? 
Tip : Go on OPEN DAY and before/after
Most kindergartens are hosting an Open Day offer for all parents to come and consider them for next year. However, it is good to visit them twice I would say. One on a regular school day with your kids unannounced and another time on the Open Day itself.

Why?
Because Open day's are prepared to expect your presence and the questions that you may impose etc. Everything is well prepared and organized to please you and try to get you to register. If you were to go to the Kindergarten on their regular days where class is in session, the principal should be around to bring you on a quick tour or discuss things in their office while you get to see the Kindergarten in action LIVE. Let me share, I was at IMIKI Kinder Care in Bandar Kinrara myself, on a regular weekday, and I watched how the teachers taught the kids, how the kids were properly well-mannered, they greeted me when they saw me, they greeted the teachers, they smiled and the kids looked joyful even while learning maths! It was really brief but it made a lot of difference. On Open Days you get to enjoy extra rebates and freebies when you sign up on the spot and ask more questions or even hear other parents ask the questions an listen to the answer that you may benefit from.


3. QUESTIONS
What to ask the principal is also important; Here are some of the questions I asked IMIKI Kinder Care Bandar Kinrara and the answers that I received really helped to give me an ease of mind if I were to sign up at the said Kindy.

A) How long has IMIKI Kinder Care been around? 
IMIKI has been established since 2008 and IMIKI Kinder Care was launched since 2009 with over 30 branches nationwide where their HQ resides in Penang.

B) What's their Learning Methods, Subjects & Languages?
They cover all their learning methods stated below in 3 languages (English, Malay & Chinese) and covers them in 4-5 subjects (English, Malay, Chinese, Mathematics -from age 2 to 6 & Science -from age 4-6)



I like how IMIKI Kinder Care practice these 4 Learning Methods which are also in accordance to their workbooks.
Morale Teaching - Self-confidence, optimism thinking, good manners, respect (Eg. Students are taught to greet, remove their shoes and place them accordingly into the designated cabinets, etc)
Memory Teaching - To practise their memory in recognizing words, characters, colors, shapes and also hand eye coordination skills (Eg. Flash card once weekly in the morning)
Fun Teaching - Encourages role play, teamwork, learn while having fun, self-control, capacity to communicate and co-operate, and also encourage curiosity
Theme Teaching - Using actual product than relying on photo or DVD. Encourage the use of 5 senses (hear, touch, see, smell, taste) to observe, visualize, imagine, link, understand and learn. (Eg. Using red and green apples to differentiate the different colors and also for Mathematics to count plus and minus)


Overall, I feel that IMIKI covers a Balanced Learning method that is not too stressful for the young ones. Even for Mathematics for example, by age 3 usually towards the end of the year of Q4 (Sept-Nov) they learn plus minus with actual physical items (like using apples etc). Mathematics & Science is currently taught in English and it's not too stressful for the kids because it's very thematic and interactive where the kids participates actively in. (I wished I learned Maths & Science with IMIKI's method back then)

Another thing to highlight is the Chinese, because most schools gives you a choice for English or Chinese programmes. Where they will tell you if your kid can't cope in Chinese, you should opt. for the latter. However, in IMIKI, there's no such thing. Everyone learns the same thing according to their age and level. I believe it is the teacher's patience, understanding and skill-sets that is important to train our little ones and not give up too easily on them. Because all kids are capable of learning. I witness for myself some kids at IMIKI during their chinese class, they are able to recognize the strokes and characters without troubles! The principal did mention that the parents even commented that their child can literally read the chinese menu at the restaurant! Even I can't do that at my age, lolx!

C) What's their Philosophy & what do they emphasize on?
Their cute logo represents 3 core values where IMIKI emphasizes on and carries it in all their branches and in their teachings, such as Morality, Wisdom and Confidence.


Their Philosophy (kinda like their SOP-Standard Operating Procedures) are as the following :
-Discover & Explore each child’s potential
-Providing knowledge to the children
-Build self-confidence, independence skill and encourage optimism thinking in child
-Emphasize moral qualities aside from daily lessons
-Develop skills and abilities through play
-Non-academic enhancement through learning
-Enjoyable and relaxing learning environment

D) Achievements? 
(This is good to know because with a good recognition, means they are good in what they do and not some random new kindy popped-up without any recognition nor background which is kind of dodgy)
They showed a chart with their award trophy's for the following :
2013 : Asia Pacific Premier Award in Child Care & Education
2015 : Donated 1,600 books worth RM42,000 to AMITOFO Care Center Lesotho, Africa
2016 : 1st Talent Search Competition 2016
And most importanly, they are Certified with Jabatan Pendidikan Malaysia, Jabatan Bomba, Jabatan Kesihatan (basically got licence to operate lah)



E) Packages?
Like most kindergarten, fees are collected half-yearly.
IMIKI has 2 packages;

Half Day from 7.30am to 1pm = RM500 monthly
Includes breakfast & lunch.
Swimming freeplay session once a week on Friday Morning

Full Day from 7.30am to 6.30pm = RM800 monthly
Includes breakfast, lunch & tea time.
Swimming freeplay session twice a week on Tuesday Noon & Friday Morning


F) Additionals?
And again, like every other Kindergartens you must always ask if there's any other things you must pay for on top of the monthly school day fee.
IMIKI has additionals as such :

Miscellaneous Materials RM500 half yearly
(Miscellaneous materials includes things like arts & craft material, program materials etc)

Uniform Attires
RM30 a set of IMIKI School uniform
It's good to get 2 sets (For every Monday to Thursday)
RM25 a set of IMIKI Sports uniform
1 set is sufficient (For every Friday)

Textbooks/Workbooks/Puzzle/Flash Card RM310 half yearly
(You get a 2 sets every half year according to their age/level)


Every Quarter/3 months, IMIKI textbook/workbook/flash cards/puzzles will upgrade 1 level 
Example:
Level 1 to 4 is 3yrs
Level 5 to 8 is 4yrs
Level 9 to 12 is 5yrs
Level 13 to 16 is 6yrs

Books change accordingly :
Level 1 - 2 (Jan to June)
Level 3 - 4 (July to December)
Workbooks usually ends by November. 

In the event, a student starts school from 5yo, then they will start from Level 1, but subject to individual skill set and fast learning pace, your child may or may not complete the 16 levels of learning from IMIKI, but rest assured, they will have already gained the much needed basic guidance and level of education required to prepare them for primary.

Starting age to register: From age 2 to 6 years old
Basic Learning starts from 3 years old onward (Age 2 is more of sensory fun-play)
But I stress again that it's not stressful! I saw the workbook that they had it's quite comprehensive and easy to grasp.

G) December class/Year end class?
In December, kids comes to school as usual on a working day with a weekly holiday program in place at no added surcharge for existing IMIKI students. This is really good to know because you already paid for the school fee's right up till end of the year.

Most kindergarten's don't have any class on December (but you already paid for the fee, which goes to paying the teacher's salary etc) but rest assured, you can still opt. to send them to IMIKI Kinder Care Bandar Kinrara to join their weekly holiday programme!

DECEMBER PACKAGE (You Can Consider)
RM100 - 1 Day Programme RM100 (1 day)
RM500 - Week 1 : 3rd Dec to 7th Dec (5 days)
RM500 - Week 2 : 10th Dec to 14th Dec (5 days)
RM500 - Week 3 : 17th Dec to 21st Dec (5 days)
RM300 - Week 4 : 26th Dec to 28th Dec (3 days)

If you are not an IMIKI registered parent/student then you can still register for their December programmes only. And if you use my image as per below :

You get to enjoy Discounts this coming December!



H) Maintenance/Cleanliness/Upkeeping?
- Daily before school starts and after end, will spray and sanitize whole school premises, study material, toys and furniture.
- Everyone entering IMIKI Kinder Care will be disinfected with spray sanitizer that is approved by SIRIM (with cert) and rated Grade A1 by W.H.O.
- All students’ temperature will be taken before the start of school every morning. If any students are unwell, parents will be informed and they will be monitored and separated from the classroom and taken care of by another teacher.
- Swimming Pool is maintained and cleaned twice weekly.

I) Daily Routines? 
Every morning begins with circle time with everyone (warm up) before class begins.


Full day students (RM800) includes :
Bath
Activity, arts and craft
Breakfast, Lunch, Snack Time
Activity, Revision, Arts and craft
Nap time

J) What's on the menu?
It's good to know what your child is being fed at the kindergartens because your child is still a growing child!

IMIKI serves Nutritious Home Cooked Meal (cooked at the kindergarten on the spot)

Morning : bakery, pastry, cereals with milk, etc
Lunch : Variety of Noodles, Rice, Western & local Asian home cook with fresh food, fruits, veggie, etc
(Extra For Full Day Students only) Snack Time : At 4pm
Milk will be prepared for students before nap time. Students to bring own milk powder and bottles.
IMIKI also has a sterilizer for the bottles to be sterilized after wash.


K) Teachers availability, qualification, classroom/students quantity and school time?
There's 6 staffs in IMIKI Kinder Care (In the event any of the teacher staff are absent, there will always be backup teachers, so class will carry on as scheduled with no interruptions).\IMIKI has 4 classrooms upstairs (for age 4 onwards) and 1 classroom downstairs (for the younger kids age 2-3). Each class capacity holds a maximum of 15 students per class. The school is always open from 7.30am to 6.30pm every Monday to Friday and closed on Public Holidays.

4. CHOOSING
When you have gotten your answers and seen everything happening on ground for yourself. If you feel good about it and have a good impression about it, then the next is to sign up your child for it! So if you're looking for a Kindergarten in Puchong especially around Kinrara area, then look no further. Because after checking out this premise for my son next year; I will say that I am impressed by what they have to offer!

IMIKI Kinder Care Bandar Kinrara will be having an Open Day on 14th Oct 2018, Sunday!
If you can't make it on 14th Oct, no worries! Just screenshot/download this image below and show it to IMIKI Kinder Care Bandar Kinrara when you walk in anytime from 14th Oct to 31st December 2018 to check out the premises and register to get special rebates just for you!

For more details you can visit
IMIKI KINDER CARE BANDAR KINRARA
Waze/Google Maps : IMIKI KinderCare Bandar Kinrara
Address : 178, Jalan BK 4/2, Bandar Kinrara, Puchong, Selangor.
Tel : 0104278542
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Monday, 24 September 2018

NY Steak Shack New & Improved Menu

September 24, 2018 5
NY Steak Shack entices you with their new and improved menu that will keep you ordering for second servings! If you've never heard of New York Steak Shack in Malaysia, then you have no idea what you're missing out on! It's truly to most AFFORDABLE steakhouse that serves you with a wide range of premium choices of steak and meals for your choosing! That's not all, incase you don't already know, NY Steak Shack is the first steak shack in Malaysia to receive HALAL certification from JAKIM.

Now with it's new menu, you get to have more choice to choose for you and your family and friends! A New York City inspired fast casual restaurant concept where you can satisfy your cravings for the following :


Chicken Caesar Salad (RM16.80)
As an appetizer, it's good to have some healthy greens as a foundation or like a bed in your tummy. It's like setting the bed for the steak to lay on after this ahahaha! I like this salad, even though it may seem like nothing much to you, but with it's chicken breast and also cheese shavings with pepper, it makes this a really easy to digest appetizer to wet your appetite for the next meal!


Trio Apps (RM28.80)
A collection of NYSS most popular appetizers, the Chicken Tenders (RM18.80), Beef Meatballs (RM11.80), Shrooms & Onions (RM14.80) that is served with Homestyle Cajun honey mustard and Bistro sauce. If you don't know which appetizer to get to share with your family & friends, then just order this and it's settled, hassle-free!


Wait for it...............................
MAIN ENTRÉE


If you're a fan of POULTRY, you must try their Chicken Tenders (RM18.80), hand breaded chicken strips, fried crispy to perfection and drizzled with Bistro sauce, Sriracha Chicken Sandwich (RM22.80), fried chicken breast with homestyle batter and smothered in Sriracha sauce with cheddar cheese. 


I really enjoyed the Sizzling Duck Chop (RM29.80), it is tender, soft, succulent and juicy with every bite! It's been tenderized and marinated perfectly before it's grilled to perfection, with the brown sauce over it, it makes this sizzling dish piping hot and juicy to savour! 


They also have, Duck Chop Pasta (RM33.80), grilled savoury duck chop slices complementing linguine pasta sautéed with caramelized onions, mushrooms and brown sauce!

If you're a seafood lover, then you shouldn't miss their Seafood Board (RM32.80), a combo of fish fillet with four pieces of shrimps and four pieces calamari served with salad, fries and tartar sauce. Also their Sizzling Emerald Fish Combo (RM29.80) that comes in a combo of four different combination where you can pair your Emerald Fish with Lamb Cevapi, Chicken Cevapi, Garlic Shrimps or Smoked Beef!


If you enjoy eating burgers like me, then you will definitely enjoy their Smokehouse Burger (RM29.80)! Chargrilled beef patty (150gms) topped with cheddar cheese and sauteed smoked beef, caramelized onions, chilli flakes, served with fries and drizzled with Bistro sauce! Every bite is satisfying and surely keeps your mouth full! Trust me, you cannot eat "politely" with this burger, because it is HUGE! (Must open mouth big big lolx!)


"We would like to create an enjoyable and value for money experience for our guests. Our team are always on-the-go figuring out how to cater to what's best for our guests everyday! And thanks to their dedication and team effort, 60% of the items in this new menu are new based on popularity amongst our guests. After round of testing and due to the great response and high demand, we've also incorporated some dishes from our limited-time offerings from the past 7 months in this new menu." said Muhamad Adam Mah, Brand General Manager of  NY Steak Shack.


I really enjoyed their Sizzling Lamb Noisette (RM58.80), it's actually rolled boneless lamb at the shoulder part, tenderized and marinated, then grilled and served with your choice of 2 sides and sauce. I almost mistook this for Ribeye because of it's medallion shape! 

But it was so juicy and succulent! I'll definitely bring my family over again for more of this! You could hardly taste the mild gamey taste that most lambs would have, because it is well marinated and tenderized before grilling to perfection, and with the sauce over it, it's just a match made in heaven!


At NY Steak Shack, you most definitely have to order their affordable steaks! And some of their popular steak that is now permanent on their menu due to its popularity from a previous limited-time offering campaign, are the Pulled Beef Sandwich (RM26.80) that is made of hand-pulled smoked beef (150gms) with black pepper sauce and caramelized onions, their Sizzling Beef Brisket Steak (RM40.80, 200gms), Beef Meatballs (RM11.80)and Sizzling Darling Downs Wagyu (RM68.80, 200gms).


I love their Sizzling Darling Downs Wagyu (RM68.80, 200gms)! Ordered second servings of it because it's really yummy! Made out of Wagyu Striploin grilled to perfection and served with your choice of two sides and sauce. You can also choose your "Doneness" level, which my favourite are the Medium or Medium Well! Because every bite your teeth sinks into the meat, it actually unleashes a warm juicy and meaty beef that is marinated perfectly to suit your tastebuds! And if you love Wagyu and beef, for the first time ever, NY Steak Shack will be having a Wagyu Steak Eating Challenge where winners get to walk away with FREE meals at NY Steak Shack for an entire year! From now until 30th November 2018, customers who order wagyu steak at any NY Steak Shack outlets, will be given a form to register themselves for the exciting showdown of the Wagyu steak-eating where only ONE will be VICTORIOUS! So are you up for it?! 


Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts! And what better than to have some Red Velvet Cake or Carrot Cake here! Your kids will surely enjoy them as well! Sweetness was just right, it's sweet and tasty and definitely makes you wanting for more! Perfect to end your meals with!

Meet Sebrinah (me lah, siapa lagi, ahakz) and Sabrina (from NYSS HQ)


After indulging in all these delicacies, you would definitely wanna grab some delicious beverage to complete your meals with! NY Steak Shack also serves yummilicious;


Milkshakes (RM12.80-RM13.80) such as the Oreo, Red Velvet, Chocolate, Banana (this one sedap giler & good detox too!), Vanilla, Peanut Butter & Brownies Milkshake


If you prefer something more fizzy, you can opt. for their Mocktails (RM8.80) such as the Perfect Mix, Minty Lime Cooler (my all-time favourite), Orange Breeze and Lemonade Zest Mocktail.



I hope I didn't make you hungry haha! 
If so, then head to your nearest NY Steak Shack and feed your hunger now!

Selangor
AEON Shah Alam
Subang Parade
Sunway Pyramid

Kuala Lumpur
Sunway Velocity Mall
SOGO

Putrajaya
IOI City Mall
Alamanda
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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Top 10 About GCH LARGEST Distribution Centre Malaysia

September 19, 2018 13
GCH Retail Distribution Centre officiated the Country's Largest Supermarket & Hypermarket Distribution Centre right here in Kajang, Malaysia! This Distribution Centre worth over RM116 million, vows to bring consumers nationwide fresher products with more value for your Ringgit.

Being Malaysian, I usually get my groceries from Giant Malaysia because I like the freshness it has to offer and it's reasonably priced. Now with this huge distribution centre here, Malaysians will be able to enjoy a fresher product at all Giant, Cold Storage, Jason's Food Hall and Mercato's in Peninsula Malaysia.

Today I was taken on a short tour in the Distribution Centre, it was a fun experience and really chilly one too...brrrr...

There's actually more areas in the DC that I've yet to explore and may not want to (because it's COLD!) but here's what's in store :
Frozen (-20°C) stores processed foods, frozen vegetables, ready meals, desserts, etc.
Perishable (+1°C) stores milk, dairy products (cheeses, yogurts, butters), delicatessen, drinks, etc.
Processing of meats (+1°C) stores beef, buffalo and lamb, fish and poultry products.


Citrus fruits (+5°C) stores lemons, oranges, tangerines, pomelo
Produce (+10°C) stores fresh vegetables and fruits - from local farmers, imported specialty and seasonal produce



Local tropical fruits (+13°C) stores banana, watermelon, papaya



Produce (+25°C) stores onions, potatoes, garlic, ginger, dried chillies

Fun facts! Red onions make up approximately 12% out of the overall products that are distributed to stores in terms of volume! Followed by potatoes at 8% and carrots at 3%! (Malaysians love their ABC soup ke? I know I do, haha!)

There's are the Top 10 Things To Know About GCH's LARGEST "Gateway For Freshness" in raising the standard of "Freshness" in your groceries!


1. COMMITMENT - For 70 years, GCH has been committed to bringing innovative, value driven, fresh retail experiences to Malaysian consumers nationwide.
2. FACILITY - The state of art facility here at Kajang, represents a part of GCH continuing financial commitment and support at an organisational level to the idea of "Freshness".
3. THE BEST QUALITY - Getting the best local products from farm to table, while ensuring the highest standards of cleanliness at every point and bringing consumers value in every purchase.



4. VALUE WORTH - GCH always strives to bring consumers value in every purchase while keeping the price affordable, yet, maintaining a high standard of fresh quality.


5. LARGEST - This Distribution Centre houses the LARGEST fresh produce and packed goods of processing, packaging and distribution in Malaysia.


6. ENERGY EFFICIENT - You will be amazed at their energy efficient operations on rainwater harvesting, heat recovery technology, integrated and automated processes, temperature-controlled environments, improved handling and logistics processes that improves the overall quality and freshness of all the fresh produce and food brought in by GCH Retail to the country.
Rainwater Harvesting - Collecting rainwater from the roof areas to be re-used in the building services such as washing the dishes in the canteen and also rainwater recycled in the washrooms.
LED Lighting - Keeps the facility well lit and saves electricity simultaneously.
Heat-Recovery Technology - Recycle waste heat generated by the refrigeration plant to pre-heat water to be used in operations like rinsing vegetables.
Refrigeration System - Real time high efficiency technology to ensure temperature control with minimal energy inputs.
Digital infrastructure - Status of cold chain can be monitored remotely for optimum efficiency and product temperature control.
Doors - High speed doors to maintain temperature integrity.
Paperless - Basically, paperless operations with Radio Frequency technology.
GPS - Trucks fitted with GPS to monitor trucks' movements.
Processing - Integrated meat and seafood processing centre.


7. PEOPLE - With this Distribution Centre alone, it is able to create more than 200 jobs directly in the warehousing and food processing sectors at this facility. This includes also the management department of all sorts, such as the product experts, buyers, quality control professionals, distribution team and even indirect job opportunities through partnerships with local suppliers, logistics partners and vendors. This actively enhanced the economy of the surrounding areas almost immediately.

8. VENUE - Located in Kajang, which took 12 months to build and occupies 25,000 square metres of land. It's practically THREE (3) times the size of the current GCH operation in Balakong. Definitely the largest and most innovative fresh distribution centre dedicated to a single retailer in Malaysia! Kajang was chosen for it's strategic location between the field and the stores.


9. REAL TIME EFFORT - From the moment the food produce arrives the Distribution Centre until it reaches to all GCH Retail stores nationwide; With insights into the process that brings fresh produce from across the country daily, this centre is designed to ensure produce from over 200 vendors stored here are constantly maintained, while the digitally enabled infrastructure of the centre with it's temperature controlled facilities, ensures round the clock monitoring for optimum efficiency. The largest real time, daily supply chain operations of fresh produce in Malaysia means, GCH assume the responsibility when it comes to preserving and enhancing the quality of food.


10. FIGHT AGAINST FOOD WASTE - As the "Gateway For Freshness", it's more than just bringing fresh quality produces to consumers; It's also about ensuring as little food as possible is wasted, hence, GCH Retail has established processes to control the age, appearance and freshness of its in-store products. When products are kept beyond this period, they are then shared with The Lost Food Project to be re-distributed to those in need for free. It will then be distributed to charities home including underprivileged children, soup kitchens for the poor and homeless, as well as those with special needs. Another reason why I prefer to shop in Giant Malaysia, because they will also clear out any food produce that does not appear nice or may have 1 or 2 spoilt items (eg. sometimes a pack of tomato is cleared out for RM1 a pack where there's 1 or 2 spoilt ones in it, but the rest are still edible).


The launch of the fresh distribution centre (DC) is part of GCH Retail's on-going commitment which includes reviewing and renewing the way supermarket and hypermarket shopping experiences are brought into the nation and how it may support Malaysians nationwide. Incase you aren't aware yet, GCH Retail (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd is a subsidiary of Dairy Farm International. You will probably know them through Giant hypermarkets and supermarkets chain; Cold Storage, Mercato and Jason's Food Hall premium grocery stores. GCH Retail was awarded as Retail Asia-Pacific's Top 500 Gold Winner as Malaysia's Number 1 Retailer!

This pineapple super syok! Sweet, delicious, fresh and cold!

The perception on frozen food is that it is not fresh. Most aunties, would tell me to buy from the fresh market because they claim it's fresher, however, they are unaware of it's quality and actual freshness because some could be actually frozen and defrosted (on repeat) until it's sold. Nevertheless, I beg to differ; And I am right, because GCH DC has 32 state of the art docks that handle all deliveries with over 50 trucks everyday, going in and out, delivering the freshest products to customers. And all products are quality checked and assured before being accepted and made ready for delivery to stores nationwide.


That being said, all local products will be harvested, received and sent to stores on the same day! It's a round-the-clock service and the DC facility houses an on-site generator that can last up to 8 hours in case of power outage, equipped with CCTV's, fire suppression system and ammonia sensors to ensure the well-being of their workers and customers at the facility. Am sure fresh markets won't have such preliminary checks to ensure the person handling your fresh food produce is well and fit for duty. After all, the last thing anybody wants is to have their fresh produce contaminated by any unwanted strains of bacteria. So I rather be safe than sorry.

Met my ex-colleague, Darren, dulu with Samsung together.
Now he is attached with Shopper360 - Malaysia's Shopper Marketing Experts.

All in all, this NEW and LARGEST Supermarket & Hypermarket Distribution Centre by GCH Retail (M) Sdn Bhd is the ultimate "Gateway For Freshness" for Malaysians!
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