Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Greet your NY with small changes

I got this from Oprah’s The “O” Magazine and since New Year has just begun, why not commit to these small changes for bigger results?

1. Eat an Apple...Less calories intake

New research from Pennsylvania State University found that people who ate an apple before lunch consumed nearly 190 fewer calories at the meal than those who'd taken in the same number of calories (125) in the form of applesauce, fiber-fortified apple juice, and plain apple juice. "All calories are not created equal," says Mark Hyman, MD, author of Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss. "A whole apple feels like more. It has more fiber and nutrients, and makes you feel full longer."

p.s. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. How true! I was told by my colleague, who suffer from quite a chronic acid reflux, that Washington red Apple is the best and a cure too because it is not as acidic as other types of apple. Somehow, it is quite difficult to find it nowadays. Perhaps, this could explain why many more people are getting acid reflux?

2. Brush Your Teeth with Your Other Hand…Improve your mood and memory

Using your non-dominant hand to do simple chores can improve your mood and your memory; that's because the action stimulates the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that encourages the growth of neurons linked to long-term memory and mood. "When you're depressed or under stress, your brain's production of BDNF plummets," says Moses Chao, PhD, professor of neuroscience and psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. (One of the lesser-known effects of antidepressants, he says, is to raise the levels of BDNF.) Anything unexpected—smelling rosemary first thing in the morning, for example—can activate BDNF.

p.s. I love writing with my left hand with my nephew’s drawing board and that’s one of the happiest moments.

3. Drink Filtered Coffee…Lower your LDL and cholesterol

A growing body of evidence is linking unfiltered coffee to higher levels of both LDL and total cholesterol. The reason, scientists suspect, has to do with terpenes—compounds found in the oil from coffee beans. Unfiltered coffees such as those made in an espresso machine or with a French press or a percolator have more terpenes, which interfere with cholesterol metabolism. "Filters catch surface oils," says Nancy Snyderman, MD, chief medical editor at NBC News and author of Medical Myths That Can Kill You: And the 101 Truths That Will Save, Extend, and Improve Your Life. "I learned the hard way that gold filters do very little. Paper filters are far more effective."

p.s. Wow, that easy aye?

4. Power Up Your Walk…Healthy body

If you've been anywhere near a gym lately, you've probably heard the word "core". Targeting the abs and back, core work develops supple muscles and decreases the risk of injuries. It also improves athletic performance and eases lower back pain, according to a 2008 review from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. You can easily slip in a little core conditioning while you're walking, says Michelle Demus, program director at New York's Pure Yoga studio. Take a deep inhalation, then, with a strong exhalation, pull in your navel toward your spine; hold for a count of five, and release. Do this 10 times while you're walking, take a short rest, and do two more sets. Another way to add core conditioning to your walk is to throw in a few lunges: Keeping the spine long and abdominals engaged, step about 3 feet forward with the right foot—the knee must stay directly above the ankle—and draw the left foot up, so you're balancing on the right leg for a moment. Repeat with the other foot.

p.s. Oh yes I fully agree on this because I never get myself to the gym or jog around KLCC park, so I do these while walking to and fro the office every single working day. It is simple to do because you pur more purpose to your activities…try them ok? :)

5. Have a Few Walnuts…Save your precious liver

If you're dragging, consider an unusual suspect: your liver. Thanks to the fatty, carb-heavy American diet, millions of adults are "increasing their odds of liver inflammation and putting themselves on the path toward cirrhosis—and they might never have touched a drink," says Jan Garavaglia, MD, host of the Discovery Health Channel's Dr. G: Medical Examiner and author of How Not to Die: Surprising Lessons on Living Longer, Safer, and Healthier from America's Favorite Medical Examiner. Fatigue and malaise are early symptoms of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; to help prevent or reverse it, try eating an ounce of walnuts daily; they contain liver-healthy omega-3s. In general, try to replace junk food with fruit, vegetables, fish, and whole grains.

p.s. I always suspect that my liver isn’t functioning properly or being ‘ overloaded’ with too many functions…kesian dia…an ounce of walnuts won’t burn your pocket right?

6. Pick Your Beat…Get motivated to excercise

Tempo can be a powerful motivator, according to Costas Karageorghis, PhD, associate professor of sport psychology at Brunel University in England, who studies how music affects people. Recently he reported in the International Journal of Sports Medicine that when musical beats per minute (bpm) roughly correspond to a person's heart rate during exercise, motivation dramatically improves. Costas suggests experimenting with music of different tempos to see what coaxes you into a more positive frame of mind. To get you started, he's created playlists for different activities with bpm guidelines. (You can determine a song's beats per minute by Googling the title with "bpm," or try sites like and

Meditation and yoga (50 to 76 bpm): "Albatross," Fleetwood Mac (66 bpm); "Evenstar," London Philharmonic (50 bpm); "Terrapin," Bonobo (76 bpm).

Walking (95 to 120 bpm): "Let's Get It Started," Black Eyed Peas (105 bpm); "Pon De Replay," Rihanna (100 bpm); "This Is How We Do It," Montell Jordan (104 bpm).

Running; elliptical machine (125 to 160 bpm): "Push It," Salt-N-Pepa (124 bpm); "Put Your Hands Up for Detroit," Fedde Le Grand (129 bpm); "Run to You," Bryan Adams (135 bpm).

p.s. I listen to music most of the time. Instead of making the music answerable to my moods, I make sure I select the right ones to get me into the desired mood. Like laughter, music soothes your soul! Ops…I don’t exercise but the music does make tapping my feet and wriggling my bums. Mr PT MACAM BAGUS, can they be considered a form of exercise? Oh, i listen to FlyFM nowadays coz it so HIP!

7. Time Major Decisions…Follow your hormones (Yikes!) for better YOU

During the week before ovulation, both estrogen and testosterone increase in order to help prepare the egg," says Rebecca Booth, MD, author of The Venus Week: Discover the Powerful Secret of Your Cycle…at Any Age. "Estrogen is going to make you more creative and emotional, while testosterone will raise your assertiveness and your self-confidence." So the week and a half after your period is the ideal time to work on projects that require insight and out-of-the-box thinking, or to tackle something you need courage for, like asking for a promotion. However, she cautions against making relationship decisions during this time. "The estrogen will make you sappy, and the testosterone can make you rash," says Booth. "So if you feel like doing something big and sweeping, give yourself a few days to think it over."

p.s. Men and women have both hormones, of course at different level. As a biochemistry-trained banker, trust me, your hormones affect many things that we do or say. Even to the extent of falling in love – remember pheromones?

8. When You Learn Something, Say It Out Loud…The smarter you are

The more actively you engage your brain in the process of learning, the more likely you are to retain knowledge, says Janet Sherman, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. In fact, researchers have found that repeating information—the name of a person, a phone number, anything you're trying to absorb—in different ways increases retention. You might try phrases like "So you're saying…" as an opportunity to go over the fresh information and build on it. Or when you hear a story, tell it to someone new; just thinking about it in a different situation will help your mind store the details.

p.s. Indeed, this method works effectively. If you have watched “China – Mad about English” on NatGeo, you know it works!
9. Wake Up with a Plan…Wake up for a Purpose

If you overuse the snooze button, try this: When the alarm goes off, get out of bed and into the shower. And while you're there, try to remember yesterday's headlines. The one-two punch of physical and mental activity will activate your brain, says Zac Unger, author of Working Fire: The Making of a Fireman. (This Ivy Leaguer learned a lot about waking up quickly when he started fighting fires.) He also suggests that rather than dwell on how awful you're feeling, you make a goal you want to achieve before lunch.

p.s. Like a love song that say “ you are the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning”, I do think we should be thankful that we are still alive to achieve our goals in this life, for us and our loved ones. If you guys have read the late Professor Randy Pausch book “ The Last Lecture”, you will know every second counts to live life to the fullest…

10. Practice the Phrase "I Forgive You"…Be in control

It's easier said than done, but after an argument, try thinking about forgiveness. "Choosing to forgive helps us see a situation through understanding and compassion," says Eileen Borris, director of training at the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy and author of Finding Forgiveness: A 7-Step Program for Letting Go of Anger and Bitterness. "By making a problem yours to forgive, regardless of the behavior of the other person, you're giving yourself a profound degree of control."

p.s . I practise this and I can say I’m ever cheerful – people think I have no problems with anyone or having any problems – by putting the beyond-control-matters to rest.

11. Chew Gum…Get smarter (again)

The jury is still out on whether gum stimulates the appetite, but it seems to improve the thinking process. Researchers recently reported in the journal Neuroscience Letters that chewing gum activates areas of the brain that improve both concentration and memory.

p.s. I chew gums if I can’t brush my teeth after meals. Wow, no wonder I’m so smart…hehehehheh

12. Purge Toxic Possessions…The happier you are

Dwelling on regrets and negative memories fuels depression, which is why clearing out the tangible reminders can give you a lift, says Peter Walsh, the organizer on TLC's Clean Sweep and author of Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?: An Easy Plan for Losing Weight and Living More. For example, if a certain dress played a critical part in a former relationship, get rid of it, no matter how beautiful it may be; each time you look at it, you're emotionally drawn back to that time. Likewise the year's worth of old New Yorker magazines you'll never have time to read, the photo of a friend who incessantly puts you down—toss!

p.s. I am so good at this and I do this semi-annually. Some may call me forgetful but I don’t ‘store’ any facts or memories unnecessary.

13. Stand on the Balls of Your Feet…You will be in touch with the reality

Simply shifting your weight to the balls of your feet will help you feel more grounded—whether you're having a tough conversation with a spouse or giving a presentation at work or a speech in front of an audience. Other tricks of the trade, according to Bill McGowan, CEO of the Clarity Media Group in New York City: "Pause to collect yourself before you start speaking. The wait will actually make you seem more sure of yourself," he says. Keep your pace even as you build to your point. And maintain eye contact. If that feels uncomfortable, look at an earring or a sideburn—the effect will be the same

p.s. Next time you watch people walking by, you will notice certain not-so-good character of those who sort of jump when they walk i.e. the balls of their feet hardly touching the ground…

14. Add Umami to Your Diet…Feel full, faster

Most kids can reel off the four basic flavors: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. But in 2000, a receptor for a fifth taste was identified: umami, which is loosely defined as a savory, meaty flavor derived from the amino acid glutamate. Umami is present in meat, fish, cheese, soy sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes, and green tea. And new research is showing that eating nonfattening—yet hearty-tasting—umami-flavored foods can trick your body into feeling full. The journal Physiology & Behavior reported this year that male rats that drank umami-flavored water ate less and gained less weight than those that were fed the same amount but without umami flavoring.

p.s. no wonder most japanese people are able to keep their figure in shape because they eat a lot of fishy stuffs. Hmmm I miss SY@SG…..

15. Take 10 minutes for Daydreaming…Be Brilliant

Science is now supporting what many brilliant people already do: When you're stumped on a problem, the best way to solve it is to let your mind wander. "The right hemisphere—the sensory part of the brain that's activated when you daydream—has more and wider-reaching branches, so it has the power to make the less obvious associations," says Mark Jung-Beeman, PhD, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University. One effective way to daydream, according to Jung-Beeman, is to go somewhere with as little outside stimuli as possible and think pleasant thoughts. Even if you don't solve the problem, you'll be calmer and more clearheaded.

p.s. This is my favourite pastime. Cool!

Modern Slavery

p.s. I have been meaning to post this last week before i headed back to my Kampungku Kota Tinggi for my brother's kenduri.


I had a small chat in the ladies with one of our office cleaners, as usual, and was informed that her employer i.e. the bank’s contractor is yet to pay their November salary. The boss apparently has been giving excuses that he will pay them tomorrow and that tomorrow never come and it's almost Christmas. Perhaps, after seeing my expression, she told me that she survived this far by borrowing money from her friends.

I can’t help but feeling mad. I don’t think my employer did not pay the boss but then again, when I was working with my previous employer, I was told by the mechanic who fixed the company’s car, it took as long as 6 months before they got their payments. Wow, that’s bloody long for a company ‘that issue Notice of Demand when you don’t pay your loan after 6 months’. These people are resourceful and she told me that her husband does odd jobs and ask me to let her know if there is any job he could take up. I will, I told her and I told myself that I would let my Admin big boss know about this issue, since I normally bump into him during lunch hour. I’ll do whatever it takes because I cannot stomach the fact that these people are not being paid for all their hard works and imagining how many people are affected by this – especially their loved ones.

I always tell my friends that everything I read always come to me – for a reason. So today (before my conversation with the cleaner), I was reading “Lured into Bondage” by George Wehrfritz, Erika Kinetz and Jonathan Kent in Newsweek April 21, 2008.

It tells about predicaments faced by many foreign employees ‘enslaved’ by ‘their masters’ – subcontracted factories to many big-named companies in the world. Malaysia, as one of the developing nations that are able to provide cheap labours, has been mentioned in the article too many a time. Yes, we provide cheap labour by ‘hiring’ desperate-for-better-future Indonesians, Bangladeshis and Burmeses.

So, you will ask – if these people are treated so badly, why don’t they quit? Why don’t they go back home?. The ‘masters’ are pro conmen – they tricked these souls to sign multiple-year contract and if they run, the ‘masters’ will report to the police f(a)rce and hey presto – they are called “PATI” and if they were caught by the f(a)rce, they will subject to arrest (RELA loves doing this), imprisonment and caning before being sent home. I am sure you will choose making a meagre pay to being locked up, right? These souls have few places to turn for help by law -provides them with no legal protections.

If you still remember, early this year TESCO Malaysia landed in a hot soup, after a report saying that it exploited its foreign workers, which by UN’s definition – they are, forced labour a.k.a. slaves.

International Organisation for Migration, which is based in Geneva, in its report, “singles out Malaysia as regional economic leader with the resources and government infrastructure to fight the trafficking of men, women and children into sex and commercial trades, but is making no significant effort to do so and has been ranked as worse as Burma and North Korea in terms of seriousness in combating human trafficking”. And our ex-foreign minister calls the report all false (huh liar liar pants on fire) and said that “Malaysia is a country that does not encourage trafficking in persons”. Yea right, Botak. Look what Gomen did to Madam Irene Fernandez when she published her report on how Gomen treated the immigrants at the detention centre way back in 1995. Alhamdullillah, justice prevailed after being ‘artificially’ denied for 13 years.

This article also says that human trafficking is a new chapter in globalisation story that a growing migratory work force trapped in conditions that verge on slavery. While I was typing this, I feel sorry for ‘the slaves I hired’ (indirectly) that assembles hard disk and many more components in my PC.

Should we detest globalisation? With no globalisation, I am sure we could not afford many things. By supporting globalisation, we are also giving them the opportunity to provide for their family – by job creations.

That’s what I like what Obama brings to us – he makes us believe that conscience, honesty, integrity and dignity should be part of our lives. Being a responsible social corporate is no longer a PR stunt – it is how we give back to the community. It is about taking care of people who work for us and makes this world a better place for our generation and many more to come.

I just wish that if we see injustice, we would do something about it. Let’s be a caring lot – not for reputation – but to ‘feed’ our soul. When we do good (no matter how small it is), we feel good. That makes us humans more ‘humane’.

p.s. Like Carnation, I just know that Snowdrops - one of my favourite flowers - signifies compassion

Friday, December 19, 2008

Causeway - No way

During my early months ‘learning’ in The Little Red Dot, I crossed the Causeway every weekend and as I never buy tickets there (because they are so damn expensive), I was running against time just to get on the bus. Friday evenings at the Woodlands Checkpoint are choc-a-block – imagine (the amazing race + kids) x 200 – even super efficient SBS Transit and CityLink buses couldn’t cope to ferry people over to JB.

Half of the time, I was one of those people power walking along the Causeway and not bad at all, I can say it took me at most 10 minutes to reach JB checkpoint. The same things happened at JB checkpoint. I would be walking with my backpack to Woodlands Checkpoint. No problemo monsieur.

But, now I will have a BIG problem. Since the opening of JB CIQ on 16 December 2008, the pedestrian lanes are no longer exist. Police was called in yesterday at the CIQ’s bus depot, after STB personnel and our immigration officers failed “to keep the bus commuters in check” because there were not enough buses to transport these people, who I believe trying to get to work on time, especially during this troubling global economic crisis (‘working’ with a Japanese FI for a year, I know what it means to be at work on time) that they were “pushing, shoving and beating at the bus doors”. My heart goes for them – what a frustrating start to the CIQ - so gigantic yet not at all systematic.

OK, I can’t get on the bus and if I walk along the Causeway, I am walking ‘hand in hand’ with death – praying that my dear life will be spared by the ever inconsiderate drivers! Read Scott Thong’s letter “CIQ Complex: Two warnings for pedestrians”.

Then, Gomen thinks they can make money by getting PLUS to sell their Touch N Go cards because it is cashless now at the CIQ. Again, long queue and caused much frustration to especially super-organised, civilised Singaporeans. Like any other 'failed' programs by the Gomen and its agencies, our PR skills suck BIG time. Most of these people just knew about this cashless thing when they were at the checkpoint. Can't they be pro enough to inform us beforehand? E like our Police F(a)rce and JP(irah)J, having a hobby of getting people when they are not prepared and most of the time, not duly informed. Shame on you CIQ, Imm(iss)gration and PLUS!

This makes me think hard – shouldn’t modernisation make us more civilised? Perhaps, modernisation done without ‘a soul’ is a total failure when its sole purpose is to serve human beings. Please la, I beg all engineers and architects, can't you guys do a good job?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Edhi Foundation

I came across Mr Abdul Sattar Edhi in NatGeo Sep '07 "Struggle for the Soul of Pakistan".

He is described as "a 79 year old man who routinely washed dried blood off bodies and fishes his clothes from a donation barrel, who egan serving his fellow citizens a few years after the founding of Pakistan 60 years ago". His one-man charity is now an acclaimed international foundation, that is solely supported by individual donations as it refuses to take any aid from the Government, religious groups or relief agencies to maintain its independence. Edhi is to Karachi what Mother Teresa was to the poor of Kolkata.

Visit him here, of course to know how we can help plus how we can be inspired to help others here.

Let me share with you my favourite quotes of his: -

"The sound of children laughing is my favourite sound on Earth"

"I am a muslim but my true religion is human rights"

Who says only intellects could shape this world? Mr Abdul Sattar Edhi is of little formal education but he sure has an enormous compassion and logic.

My heart is not for sale!

While most of us surfing the Internet do not have any problem checking into any private hospitals for treatment, especially those from GLCs (my sis, who used to work with a renowned private luxury hospital, told me these companies are their cash cows), there are many people out there that can't even afford to pay a bus fare to the nearest clinic.

The Gomen now wants to privatise IJN. I bet Gomen is running out of money to operate this establishment by selling it to Sime Darby. Hmmm..I wonder if Sime’s coffers are still full with plunging CPO prices and losses made at their China’s business venture. Guess, Najib cannot tap EPF for money (remember, Gomen’s proposed RM5.0 B ‘bailout’ to (under)ValueCap) and Sime Darby is the next best thing. Or, if you read Sime Darby Watch, is it Sime Darby trying to make money after losing many? Like many other establishment, Gomen sold them for a mere RM1.00 preference share – Gila Murah! Kalah Mega Savings Malaysia Sale!

Please read Puan MarinaM’s disappointment on Gomen’s heartless idea to sell IJN here. Also read Mr. P.Gunasegaram’s “Don’t privatise the National Heart Institute”.

After reading that, maybe we can say the Gomen has an inclination making money out of people’s misery. If they can do that high-class Bukit Antarabangsa landslide victims, what about us middle- and lower class people? Ops? Did I offend you by saying that, because you guys might be high-class in your own way?

Now, I summon you people to read this article from The Malaysian Insider – “So what exactly does the Government do?”

See how pathetic the Gomen could be and I love its parting words – “Where is our pride, our maruah? Being washed away by the rain like so many homes in Bukit Antarabangsa”.

So, people, heed to Najib’s plea OK – don’t sweet talk them because they cant say NO! Stupid idiot moron.

Ops, before I forgot…can I answer that QUESTION? The Gomen just sleep, sweet talk, s_x, spend and billed it to us the taxpayers! Damnnnnn…I have to wait for another 3.5 years before GE13! By then, i wonder what else Gomen might have sold under the name of privatisation, which we all know by now that since this concept has been inroduced to our Ibu Pertiwi during Che Det's era (that caused much 'errors' to us), can you name me one privatised company that benefits us all? or you want to name those that have gone down the 'drain'?

Politics Matter

I am reading TIME’s Commemorative Issue for America’s 44th President-elect dated 17 November 2008.

Here’s some excerpts from Richard Stengel, its Managing Director’s preface to the issue, which I think rings true to some people who have awakened to 08/03/08 GE: -

“The fact that people around the world woke up to learn that the new American President-elect is Barack Obama is in itself an enormous paradigm shift in their perception of the U.S. We will probably be a majority-nonwhite nation by the year 2024. In a very real way, Obama is the face of the new America.

But this was a signal and transformational election that transcended race. Amid the worst financial crisis in a generation, it marked a return of the idea that politics matters in people’s lives and the government has a necessary and positive role in making America a better place.

The fact that Americans have the right not to vote is one of the beauties of democracy – it is a sign of the true freedom that we have. But the fact that people turned out in record numbers suggests that our democracy is engaged, that people are taking their civic responsibility seriously. An it is a reminder, as Justice Louis Brandeis suggested, that the highest office in a democracy is not that of President but that of citizen”.

It hurts me when people keep commenting why do we need to bother so much about politics, because for them, as long they are still earning enough to support their lifestyle, why do we need to think so much about politics.

Perhaps, I met only those people are so blessed with they have. Perhaps, I shouldn’t think so much about the minorities who are being sidelined by the Gomen. Perhaps, I have to keep my emotions inside about seeing little kids enduring hours of walk just to get to school everyday or those who are left to fend for themselves in a shackled ‘hostel’ just to learn. Perhaps, I just make believe everything is a OK here in Malaysia.

For me, politics matter - Just like who you choose as your husband or your wife.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Conversion of Convenience?

This really saddened me. Why would you convert to another religion for a convenience to get married? Conversion to Islam doesn’t mean they will embrace being a Muslim. It is two different things. Why Islam is usually used to make things easy for them?

That makes me thinking (gosh, I haven’t used my grey matters critically for some time now) – why would one resist a divorce if your partner is not keen to remain in a marriage with you? Perhaps, the material things the man used to provide?

Of course, there is a children factor that you want them to have parents living under the same roof but do you think you would want your children subjected to continuous fighting and vulgarities thrown by their parents? Is that fair to them?

Why would one stay in a marriage for the sake of one’s children? Perhaps, one thinks that the other half will change their mind and be back home soon that they could live happily ever after. Is it all about possession (coz I can say I hate losing my favourite things)? However, why do you want to hold one down in a marriage when there are no emotions involved? Isn’t that sad? That’s pathetic, I feel.

What most perplexed me, the men always say that they are not happy with their marriage yet they still manage to ‘produce’ 6 kids, with the youngest one being 2.5 years old, for instance? Doesn’t copulation involve certain degree of attraction to each other that you feel that you make this woman as the mother to your children? Wait! Do they think while copulating?

I am glad I managed to realise, just in time, that love between a man and a woman is not everything in this world. Life is full of complex webs of relationship. A marriage should be made in perfect unison to the rest of the relationships we have built for many years.

I am glad I realise that to get married, to attain true love, does not give me rights to wreck another family, in particularly to break another woman’s heart. A second chance to marriage, for some, does not mean you will make good for what is not good in your first marriage. Most of the time, you will end up being the same old person, making another woman suffers as much as the first one.

Like Muslims, Buddhists believe that there are reasons unknown to us why one married to a certain someone. Here is one story I wish to share – a man was contemplating to leave his wife for another woman. He prayed for a sign from up above if he is embarking on the right journey of his life. In a dream he had one night, stopped him from marrying again – in another life, he was in love with the second woman. One day, while walking with his love, a stranger tried to stab him but he was still alive. Why? The woman, who looks like his wife, plunged her body, covering him from being struck by the knife. So, he is married to his wife now because – he wanted to pay for the good deed his wife has made in his previous life.

Please, think again….
p.s. Bergen's take on second marriage is soooo hilariously true. Read his "The Guy in the Middle" here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tasik Chini 'raped' by capitalism?

I am a true blue Pisces, who shares my birthday with Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Josh Groban, and we are water people. We are at peace around water and the news about pollution at Tasik Chini disturbed me, especially when I haven’t wet my feet at this magical lake in Pahang and enjoy the sights of its lovely lotus.

No wonder Pahang State Gomen is asking the Federal Gomen RM4.0 Million to ‘clean up’ magical Tasik Chini. Check out the *asterisks*.

Quoted from “Water Quality of Several Feeder Rivers between Two Seasons in Tasik Chini, Pahang” Studies Paper by Muhammad Barzani Gasim, Mohd. Ekhwan Hj. Toriman, Ahmad Abas, Mir Sujaul Islam and Tan Choon Chek from UKM’s Social Science and Humanity Faculty – 12 March 2008: -

Source of Pollution

The physical environment of the Tasik Chini is strongly influenced by total discharge and quality of the feeder rivers. Discharge from each sub-basin depends strongly on the weather condition and total runoff. The quality of the inflowing water is a function of the point and non-point pollutant sources in the lake. Based on the above criteria, the pollution sources were transported during heavy rainfall through water surface runoff along the different land use upstream into the lake. Several point and non-point sources of pollutions that were identified are listed as follows: (1) Direct runoff from cleared land activities such as logging, agriculture and cultivation; (2) Discharge from eco-tourism resort operators* and Program Latihan Khidmat Negara (PLKN*) camp wastewater without or with insufficient treatment and (3) Siltation from Sungai Pahang entering Tasik Chini through Sungai Chini during wet season”.

A blogger, Mohd Izaidi Ismail (presumably a Malaysian) commented on an Indonesian lecturer’s blog at School of life sciences and technology, Institut Teknologi Bandung, last March 2008. Here’s excerpt of his comments’ on water pollution that befalls Tasik Chini: -

“Another example of the tourist industry in being the cause of pollution is the water area. At Chini Lake (Tasik Chini), just so that ‘eco-tourists’ don’t have to get their feet wet, the Government built a dam at the river draining Pahang’s Tasik Chini. But now the dam has drowned thousands of trees surrounding the lake, threatening fisheries as well. In a cautionary tale of the times, Andrew Sia who won the ICI-CCM Environmental Journalism Award (Honourable Mention) for his 1994 story, Damming the Lotus Lake, revisit Tasik Chini to seek out the real picture behind the ostensible ‘tourist pampering’ rationale of the dam”. Check also his link here on “Welcome to save our Earth and Make a Difference”.

Hope this body of water will return to its once-pristine ecosystem, soon. For the time being, indulge your grey matters with some facts and myths about this magical lake.

Seated and Get 'Belted'?

Our car doesn’t have rear seat belts and it is not Proton, so who will pay if I want to retrofit ones in my South Korean car eh?

JPJ, at first, said that they will fine RM300 for those rear seaters who don’t wear seat belt. Then, they say they will fine if the car carries more than 5 people. These idiots surely ‘live’ somewhere else that they don’t get to see the reality on Malaysian roads. They say rear seat belts could save 200 lives. Eh, how many lives were lost last Ops Sikap 18? 89 lives in one Ops Sikap X 4 festive seasons in Malaysia = 356. Let's see if this number will reduce next year.

I chuckled because I think the Gomen desperately needs to make money as ‘Taukeh Minyak’ will be giving them less in 2008 when they are still spending like nobody’s business.

I have a suggestions for us Malaysians that will cost us more time but less fines?:

1. Buy old KTMB coach and convert it into a car?
2. Hook up a boat or trailer at the back of your car?
3. Come up with your own kereta berhias?

Read Chi Chang blogging on this untimely, so B(e)N(d) style of policy making and putrid law enforcement, here 5x higher chance of being robbed, 7x raped, 8x murdered .. and we're focusing on rear seat belts??!!.

Robbed during Broad Daylight

- The StarBiz, 15/12/08 by “Between the Lines” C.S. Tan

TNB has to pay close to RM1.0 B to Jimah IPP due to large energy surplus. Wow, TNB is only talking about Jimah IPP, I wonder how much this GLC is going to compensate other IPPs. Could I say that we are paying more for our electricity just because TNB didn’t do their job properly and still have the balls to increase their CEO’s pay by 100%? Damnnnnn.. Only in Malaysia, we reward mediocrity.

Traders and hawkers getting away with high food prices

– The Star central, 15/12/08 by “Valley View” with Tommy Lee

Believe me, there are a lot of people out there who worry every single day on how to put food on the table for their family. If you see me frowning in front of my PC or so much in deep thought that I didn’t notice you passing by, do forgive me. I have this tendency to succumb to such sadness when I see one – especially strangers for I do not know what to do lessen their worries.

Petrol prices have gone down (when they should go even further but Shahrir Samad is bad with Maths and Economics..duhhhhh), food prices remain all time high. I was thinking maybe we should set up hypermarkets that sell cheaper items to those who deserved. But then again, rich Malaysians are just so kiasu, they don’t bloody care to lose their ‘air muka’ queuing at these designated outlets as long they could save more.
How I wish this could be implemented in Malaysia. If these people of lower income remain to feed their infants with low-nutrients milks (or even pity, just condensed milks), can you imagine how much we have deprived these babies to become better intellectually than their parents?

Shahrir Samad, get your people moving la to check on the prices or you all have been 'kowtim' by the sellers?

To sum up my worries on these 2 issues, read Anil Netto’s “A chicken thief and Jimah Power Plant” here.

p.s. Please, I am not suffering from Monday Blues ok.. or shall I say I have that every day because I am always worried about others? Hmm...can you recall a Ladybird ads back in 80s? The jingles tell you what kind of kids you are depending on the day they were born. Those who born on wednesday, always worry it said. That's me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Let It Be Me

I bless the day I found you
I want to stay around you
And so I beg you, let it be me

Don't take this heaven from one
If you must cling to someone
Now and forever, let it be me

Each time we meet love
I find complete love
Without your sweet love what would life be

So never leave me lonely
Tell me you love me only
And that you'll always let it be me

Each time we meet love
I find complete love
Without your sweet love what would life be

So never leave me lonely
Tell me you love me only
And that you'll always
Let it be me

p.s. i love oldies songs and that makes Lite FM as my favourite radio station. However, as part of my strategies to 'let go of certain softwares in my CPU', i switched to Mix FM. Now that I am so under controlled (yes yes yes!), i hop from Lite to Mix to Hitz. Can I say I feel 'young' again?

The Everly Brothers have always soothe my soul...enjoy them on my playlist ok...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Wong Fei Hung

I have a confession to make – I have an eye for Chinese-looking men. And I have to blame it on Jet Li, whom I fall for head over heel ever since I first saw him in “Shaolin Temple 1” and even until now, when he is so blissfully married to an ex-beauty queen.

In addition, I have to profess that I can make a very good judgment on people when I first laid my eyes on them. Really, trust me and that is why I am single and available to this date :)

Jet Li is not only a kung-fu extraordinaire with a charming smile and oh so famous. His smile and his eyes show that he has a big, sincere, good heart.

I found this from Jet Li’s wikipedia and no wonder he is the perfect actor to play Wong Fei Hung:-

“According to Li, once, as a child, when the Chinese National Wushu Team went to perform for President Richard Nixon in the United States, he was asked by Nixon to be his personal bodyguard. Li replied, "I don't want to protect any individual. When I grow up, I want to defend my one billion Chinese countrymen!" which earned him much respect in his homeland”.

Then, I read about his article in Newsweek 13 Oct 2008’s Turning Point : A Wave of Love recently. 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami turned my favourite Wong Fei Hung into a dedicated philantropist under his One Foundation.

Here's some lines from his article that I love to share with you:-

“That day in the Maldives was a real turning point for me. I had spent the first 41 years of my life thinking about Jet Li first, wanting to prove I was special, wanting to prove I was a star. Everything I'd done was self-centered. In that lobby, however, I saw people of different colors, speaking different languages, helping each other. It was very much like in the movies, with people putting women, children and the elderly first, and I thought that if everybody helps, if everybody does a little bit, it will make a big difference”.

p.s. I wonder if we have to go through something tragic to start doing good, that I make a point to watch “Bersamamu” on TV3 (only this), to look beyond ordinary people I meet in the bus (a serious looking man with deep frowning lines on his forehead, thinking how he could make ends meet for his growing family, a tired looking lady, with callus hands holding a plastic bag to hold her earthly possesion, visualising things she needs to do once home afterstanding for many hours, a teenage boy, donning school uiform, one size smaller, looking forlonly at other teens whose parents sending them to school in big, flashy cars. Such grim reality makes me more human for I do not believe in spending much on myself, most of my $$ are meant for others – all in my pursuit to make people happy. I also believe that if you can feed a hungry man, you will give a clear mind and a strong will to help himself. Think again when we waste our food or eat excessively. There are people out there that survive on nothing more than plain water and watery porridge.

“I also realized that all the money and power in the world would not have saved me from the water. That night I decided that I couldn't wait until I was retired; I had to do something right away”.

p.s. I notice that some people will wait for others to join them to do something good or they won’t proceed. Some people say they don’t have time while another group thinks they are not rich enough to do good. My good friend PT MACAM BAGUS has his way of spreading love to others.

“Sure, governments and companies have responsibilities for ordinary people, but I want to spread the belief that every human being has a responsibility too. It's not just when you've made your millions, when you're a captain of industry or a star. It starts with everybody, with just a little help”.

p.s. I stand by this value that no matter how small our contribution is, it makes a difference. Never allow prejudice, selfishness and second thoughts conquers our good intentions to lend our hands to those in need. Always believe in your instincts to think and do good. Don’t feel ashamed to do good in this era where B(e)N(d) culture instill in many Malaysians that you only do good to those who would suck up to you or to people who will return their favour, no matter what.Do you know that thinking and doing good, no matter how small, is good for your health and mental being because it fulfills your basic subconcious need as a human being to alleviate pains or distress of others.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

To all the Queens of our Heart

My tears rolled down my chubby cheeks as I saviour the perfect emotions personified in this tribute to our Dame Marina Lee Abdullah, the other half of Uncle Pete, that was posted in The Whisperer’s blog last November. To make it even more poignant, “Let it be me” by The Everly Brother was on Lite FM.

Please, idolisation of an individual is not my forte but I idolise any woman who possess a strength to overcome obstacles, prejudice and injustice yet still as loving and caring to anyone who can feel with their heart. Dame Marina is one of them and of course, to top my list of my favourite women is my beloved Mak – a fine example of a strong woman. Just by mentioning her makes me want to cry. It is my cry of joy for I am thankful for she is my Mak.

I wish one day I have the opportunity to be that woman who stand behind her man, come what may. A marriage for me is more of a companionship through this walk of life...

Love is passionate and deep. It will drive you to do crazy things for each other, be it madness or being acrobatic. But loving a person is actually by knowing all the faults, knowing the good and the bad and still choosing to be together – that is love.

Many of us do not have first-hand knowledge of what married life entails. But I have thought long and hard about it. And I am ready for whatever it may bring – it brought me three wonderful children.

Many of us should consider ourselves insanely lucky to have found the woman who fits beautifully in our life.

The saddest moment in a married life is when we start to take each other for granted. What more when the little bubbling cutie arrives year after year? Time is stretched unbearably with the unending chores and the circle of friend dwindles to a miserably few. With the grace of God, we will live to be grandparents but most of us will see their children leaving the nest to roast on their own. This is when we have to learn to bear the silence each day without hearing their voices.

Any woman is an inspiration to the heart and gives meaning to all the things in life that are frequently left unexplained. The strength of a woman lies deeply within her soul and it is from the depths of that soul, where pain and frustration are often times hidden. So, men will have to salute women for their strength, their power, and the unique abilities that make them what they are. Marina Lee Abdullah is this breed of a woman.
It is futile to spend hours upon hours mulling it over in our heads, trying to make sense of it because she is right before our eyes.

When the inevitable moment comes which make it seems so hopeless and endless, just stretch out your hand in the dark and you will feel her beside you. Her warmth saturates in the lonely air, unseen but soothing. Then, lay your head between her bosoms and listen to the medley of her heartbeat vibrating into your ears. It will be a whole new world to feel the love of your woman to roam unbridled among the myriad of stars in your imagination.

Man will never be alone even in the most trying situation, because she is always there to stand by him. - Tribute from EyeSpy

EyeSpy is a freelance photographer who writes his stories through observation from the window of his camera. He is currently pursuing his stories passionately from the ground as part of his contribution to create awareness for the betterment of Malaysia.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Kiss of Deaf

Yicks, I never know this act of passion could pose such health hazard. So people, kiss at your own risk ok? ;)

BEIJING - A YOUNG woman in southern China has partially lost her hearing after her boyfriend ruptured her eardrum during an excessively passionate kiss, local media reported on Monday.

The 20-something girl from Zhuhai, in southern Guangdong province, went to hospital completely deaf in her left ear, the China Daily said, citing a report in a local newspaper.

'The kiss reduced pressure in the mouth, pulled the eardrum out and caused the breakdown of the ear,' the paper quoted a doctor surnamed Li from the hospital as saying.

The woman's hearing would likely return to normal after about two months, Li said. 'While kissing is normally very safe, doctors advise people to proceed with caution,' the paper said. -- REUTERS

When times are bad, prepare for good times

I have to produce this article from The Little Red Dot in verbatim because it shows that being virtuous is the call for this trying time. How i wish more CEOs thinks and believe just like Mr Liew Mun Leong of CapitaLand Group. Bottomline isn't everything, people.

Please read Mr. Hsu Darren's opinion on this article here.

Straits Times, Singapore, Dec 3, 2008 — He has vowed to shave costs rather than jobs. And the man twice voted CEO of the year is putting his money where his mouth is.

Starting next month, Liew Mun Leong will take the deepest pay cut of 20 per cent as president and chief executive officer of property and hospitality giant CapitaLand Group. Last year, he earned S$6.49 million, mostly in bonuses.

The company-wide salary reduction exercise of 3 to 20 per cent will affect mainly management and executives. Non-executives, typically earning below S$2,000, will be spared.

This is the same thing which happened at CapitaLand during the past two recessions in 1997 and 2001, when Liew also implemented a salary freeze and led management in taking a “significant pay cut”. No one was laid off then.

The 62-year-old CEO notes recent retrenchments here and decries them as “morally wrong”. He feels “very sorry” for those asked to go.

“When someone is retrenched, they lose their livelihood, their ability to support family, send children to school, pay their mortgages. There's lots of suffering,” he says.

It rekindles memories of how his late father Liew Luen Pong was laid off when the British began pulling out of Singapore in 1963.

The young Mun Leong was then 17 and doing his O levels at Queenstown Technical Secondary. He and his three siblings, his housewife mother and grandmother depended completely on his father, who earned S$100 a month as a lathe machinist for a contracting firm working on the British bases.

Home was a rented room in a terrace house in Serangoon, where seven of them crammed into a single bedroom. After his father got fired, he remembers how worried they all were. “No work, no money,” he sums up grimly.

“I feel it more because I went through this myself. Maybe that's the difference between a CEO who has suffered through this and someone who hasn't. I'm from the proletariat,” he says, not without pride.

For him, salary cuts for the majority are preferable to letting a minority go. “I believe in the theory of common happiness and common misery. In good times, give bonuses. In bad times, take a salary cut. If the cost savings of retrenching 100 out of 1,000 employees can be obtained by a wage cut, you achieve the same objective. It's a better way of maintaining viability, even at the expense of more people. It saves some jobs.”

Besides, he believes retrenchments carry an insidious cost — in loyalty dividends. They also erode management's moral standing.

“From our perspective, loyalty between company and staff is a two-way street,” he says. “Unless the company is loyal to its staff, they cannot be loyal to the company.

“You cannot treat people as dispensable items — in good times, we want you; in bad times, we don't want you. Our staff are an asset on our balance sheet and we must treat them as such.”

But many are asking: Does all this wage-trimming and cost-shearing apply to still-profitable companies? After all, CapitaLand recently posted a Q3 net profit of S$419.4 million, although that was 25.6 per cent lower than last year.

To that, Liew says: “Even if a company is profitable, cost management is important to set discipline. Not just to save money but to drive awareness that we need such discipline.”

The key, he says, is consistency in managing people, with the same rigour that companies manage their balance sheet. That means constantly pruning poor performers and foraging for fresh talent to plant.

“During bad times and good times, I still hire and fire. During bad times, I will still hire those who are good. During good times, if you're not doing well, I will still fire you,” he says.

“We manage our people the same way that we manage our balance sheet. If your balance sheet management is weak, in bad times, there's no way to save it. It's bo kiu (a goner in Hokkien).

“The same goes for human resource management. Talent management is about being rigorous but not ruthless. You cannot manage with one style during good times and a different style during bad times. If you are consistent, good and bad times, people will stay with you.”

He says he learnt the importance of “disciplined aggression” from the past two financial crises in 1997 and 2001.

When the former civil servant who was trained as a civil engineer took over Pidemco Land in 1996, it was a euphoric time. The Government was urging overseas investment. Other property players were bingeing on land in Thailand, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia. Tender prices shot sky-high.

“We were invited to invest in glamorous projects which everyone was jumping into but we did not commit to any,” he says. He did his sums, ignored taunts of timidity, sat it out and let the fever overtake others.

Then the Asian Financial Crisis came, prices tumbled and he charged in. In 1998, he picked up freehold Furama Hotel in Hong Kong's Central, then a toxic asset nobody wanted to touch, for HK$1.8 billion (S$355 million), half what the owners had paid.

In 2001, he took over the derelict Raffles City Shanghai project, “a big hole in the ground” abandoned by DBS Land. Today, the swanky mall is worth twice its investment cost of S$300 million and commands one of the city's stiffest rentals.

Crises, he learnt, are the best time to “build up your relative combat power”, provided you do not get swept away yourself. He arrived at this operating principle: “In good times, prepare for bad times. In bad times, prepare for good times.”

He observes: “The property sector is full of powerful personalities with large egos. They are super-charged when they see a good piece of land. They buy the land and hope the bank will lend them money.

“I go the other way. I ask: 'Can we afford it?' People are often surprised at our growth rate. They think we're very aggressive but we're very disciplined with investment criteria, risk assessment, budget allocation.”

He still personally scrutinises investment papers, blueprints and design details of housing projects, down to the type of taps used. To conserve liquidity, his standard injunction to employees is: “If you invest S$1, get me S$2. If you want to invest S$1 million, make sure you bring back S$2 million.”

That has been realised. Over the past two years, the group has monetised more than S$9 billion of assets, double the S$4.4 billion it invested over the same period. “This S$2-to-S$1 formula actually worked,” he says, sounding amazed.

In those better times, he was flayed for needlessly selling the family jewels, including Temasek Tower, Hitachi Tower, Chevron House and, before that, the Raffles Hotel. But it pared down CapitaLand's debt-to-equity ratio, making it one of the lowest-geared property companies here just as the credit crunch hit.

Today, some think his nick-of-time divestment was wildly intuitive. But he confides: “In all honesty, I had no premonition the crisis could happen. I just thought it was a good time to raise some cheap money. It was a contrarian thing to do, which needed guts.”

As a result, CapitaLand is now sitting relatively pretty with a healthy balance sheet and cash hoard of almost S$4 billion. He fears that many other companies, less disciplined in managing debt in good times, will soon be imperilled.

“I read this article on how you're damned when you're due. When you're due for refinancing, the bank will likely not extend your loan of S$100 million and ask you to find your own money. If you can't get it, you're staring at foreclosure,” he says. “It's become a liquidity game. If you want to borrow money from a bank today, you must have more money than you want to borrow.

“A lot of companies have not realised this yet. You need to look at surviving not just 2009 but the next three years — 2009, 2010, 2011 — unless the banking system recovers before that. During the Great Depression, the banking system was down for 10 years.”

The only upside, he says, is that since the global financial system collapsed so fast, it may revive just as quickly.

“In the modern world, with the support of information technology, more sophisticated monitoring tools, better trained central bankers making a coordinated effort, things will recover hopefully faster.”

Meanwhile, quoting US economist Paul Romer, he says: “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” He does not know when the meltdown will end, but he sure knows what to do with it. — Straits Times

Big Boys Don't Play Toys

We always think we have put everything under controlled when we have certain expensive equipments, especially when security and crime prevention are amongst our greatest concerns. I think that is noble - we believe that life is precious.

But it is so Malaysian value when we bought these things but we forgot to maintain them that makes us caught unprepared when peril or emergency occurs.What I dislike so much about our top cops is that they love buying big toys at our expenses but never use them to safeguard our interest and most importantly, safety and sanity.

Here are some of their 'skim cepat kaya' to protect us.

Selangor potshot cops said they need more CCTV
to curb escalating crime rates in the state. Don't they know installation of CCTV in London doesn't lower its crime rates? Singapore, being at the forefront of CCTV monitoring of its city state, still couldn't track Mas Selamat Kastari who escaped from its Whitley Detention Centre on my birthday this year. Alamak, no need la. Just get your people moving on the roads la.

Big Toys

I thought the Gomen will cut the pay for our underperforming cops when I read more and found out that the Gomen will shelve big tickets project under the 9MP. Duhhhhhhh…

Serve the cops right because if they ever purchased all those big toys, would the crime rate in our Ibu Pertiwi reduce considerably? With all cars and bikes they have purchased, languishing at the stations, what the heck they need to buy those things and copters? Duhhhhh…

What a joke la for these people to even think of using our moneys to buy their big dream toys. At the rate they are degrading their integrity and capability in preventing and solving crime cases, please la. Shame on you! Dont waste our money la.....

Change our perception on crime?

The IGP said that it was only a perception that the public safety situation here had spun out of control. Hehehehehe..lawak betul la pakcik ni, he thinks he can use the halp of David Copperfield's likes to change our perception on this important issue? It is really a joke we have this pakcik as our IGP just because he stormed into DSAI's house in 1998. Macho sangat la tu!

Read this article and you'll know that our Ibu Pertiwi is getting more dangerous the longer we put some idiots running this nation on autopilot mode or David-Copperfield mode? Eh eh...or like Chipsmore ads...sekejap ada sekejap tak ada (now you see it now you don't?) stupid and helpless can we be, people?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thick-thigh gals, rejoice (again!)

Gals, i came across this from Doctor2008's Weblog, in particularly the one in bold because frankly, i hate the bottom part of my body since i hit puberty - big bums, thick calves. Still, i appreciate what God has given me and i make the best out of what was bestowed on me. So, this article definitely makes me smile from ear to ear (again, as i've shared with you gals in my blog - "Beauty & Brains in an Hourglass").

Rejoice gals!

Hop To Your Hips…This is no Hip-Hop

Thick calves are a good sign of health, and this is not a song-and-dance statement. Having an increased waistline has long been recognised as a risk factor for stroke, heart attack and diabetes but latest evidence in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that, even more important, the measurement around the hip has a more significant impact than measuring the waist alone.

Previously, the Body Mass Index (or BMI) was considered the gold standard for measuring obesity. You can calculate your BMI here. The problem was that this figure becomes irrelevant when it is used in body builders or in the elderly (when muscle mass is much reduced), giving false readings on actual obesity.

Recent research, as revealed by the above study, now says that, by measuring the Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR), defined as the waist size at the navel divided by the widest size at the hips, a more accurate prediction of a person’s risk of death can be obtained. Calculate your WHR here. Men should not have a figure higher than 0.95 while women not more than 0.8.

The researchers discovered that if the ratio increased by as little as 0.1 even, the risk of death increased by 34%(men) and 24%(women).

Even among people of normal weight, men with big bellies had more than twice the death rate of the slimmest! So it looks like where the fat is distributed plays a more important role than the actual amount of fat. In other words, its not how fat you are; its how you are fat.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Risk Worth Taking

I am in awkward position to feel sorry for those people who have been blacklisted by Banks, who have been denied much life-changing financial assistance due to our bankers’ manic and panic depression, because I am working in a bank too.

Just look at how many families have been adversely affected by Alongs and ‘thuggish’ bankers, who happen to care much about their bottom line instead of understanding problems these people are facing.

This article by Mr Daniel Gross further strengthens my belief that helping the less fortunate, working class group of people would not deny financial providers good returns and not all subprime loans are toxic.

Perhaps all the big banks should adopt four principal virtues of Professor Muhammad Yunus' Dhaka-based Grameen Bank : discipline, unity, courage and hard work, as commented here.

And with this global economic crisis, why don’t we get them to pay for it? But how come they bring us down along with them? Shishhhhhh…

Don't trust anyone in a tie

I found myself reading an article published in Newsweek Nov 24 2008 publication, which featured Mr. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a Greek Orthodox trader turned philosopher, in “The Last Word” titled “Don’t trust anyone in a tie”.

It’s an interesting opinion. He advises that “we better learn to benefit from the fact the markets are manic-depressive, that we should stop taking advice from anyone in a tie (because they will bankrupt you) like don’t ask a general for advice on war and don’t ask a broker for advice on money”. Besides, “the world needs fewer economists in general as he believes in psychology, not economics”.

I came across a joke in Reader’s Digest saying that economists are the ones that tell you what went wrong with today’s economy, tomorrow.

I have to agree with that and it is rather sentimental issue to me because when I applied for PSD scholarship, I put psychology as my first option but sadly, I didn’t get it (blame it on PSD’s misleading foresight). You can be a great boss, team player or whatever you want to be if you have EQ, not just IQ for numbers and stats. Those without compassion and conscience are real disasters.

Ops, did I say he doesn’t trust bankers? ;) Check Newsweek’s “The World’s Worst Banker” for more glee pleasure.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

How I Wish This Could Happen in our Ibu Pertiwi

I read with much delight that Court dissolves Thai government for election fraud in The Malaysian Insider, which reproduced below in verbatim:

BANGKOK, Dec 2 — Thailand's Constitutional Court has dissolved the three biggest parties in the ruling coalition and banned the prime minister along with top party executives from politics for five years.

The ruling sinks Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat's coalition government, made up of six parties. It also raises hopes that thousands of protesters seeking the government's ouster will end their siege of the country's two main airports.

The court ruled today that Somchai's People's Power Party, the Machima Thipatai party and the Chart Thai party were guilty of electoral fraud. Somchai and other party executive members were found guilty and banned from politics for five years.

Court President Chat Chalavorn says the ruling will 'set a political standard.' — AP

See also Bloomberg report here.

With Lion of Jelutong calling for resignation of the entire Bar Council for keeping mum about CJ appointment, I pray our judiciary system will be propped back to its former glory, where we were once considered the best in the region.

Magical Bhutan - The Land of Thunder Dragon

In 1972, Bhutan’s poverty, illiteracy and infant mortality were amongst the highest in world – being one of the remotest nations in the world (read : no roads, electricity, motor vehicles, telephones, postal services) – which prompted King Jigme Shingye Wangchuck to redefine the meaning of development by inventing a phrase – Gross National Happiness (“GNH”).

For Bhutanese, this is their blueprint for survival. Gross National Happiness is based on four pillars – sustainable development, environmental protection, cultural preservation and good governance.

I guess GNH works in Bhutan as Business Week rated Bhutan the happiest country in Asia while University of Leicester’s survey showed that this nation was the eight happiest country in the university’s World Map of Happiness, both in 2006.

In response to accusations by a journalist from UK’s Financial Times in 1987 that development in Bhutan was slow, the King responded that GNH is more important than Gross National Product (“GNP”).

My fascination with this little nation, I came across this article published in UK’s The Guardian back in 2003. It is scary to note that even an introduction of TV and cable TV could lead to crime in various forms imaginable in Bhutan, as” they had never experienced serious law-breaking before”.

So, it took a TV to shake this nation. Hmm…I bet our B(e)N(d) politicians watch too much TV with current state of our Ibu Pertiwi. People, be selective on what you are watching on TV. For now, I’m going to stick to AFC, Travel & Living, NatGeo and Animal Planet.

p.s. What prompted me to write about Bhutan and learning more about this nation? I borrowed from my office library National Geographic March 2008 and read upon “Bhutan’s Enlightened Experiment” by Brook Larmer. Looking at those photos, Bhutan is magical.

The Smiling Moon, that is...

I texted my good friend in Menara Dion that I saw anak bulan cradling 2 stars on my way back home last nite.

I didn't know that i was gazing at the Smiling Moon, a phenomen where Venus and Jupiter aligned themselves close enough to the moon that happens once in 5 years, until i heard it over Mix FM on my way to work today. People in Asia and Australia saw this Smiling face while those in US will see it frowning.

I believe in signs and i take it as a good omen for all of us.. Amin 44X

Check this in The Star