Tuesday, February 27, 2007
On one hand, you read of terrace houses in (even faraway places like) Bukit Jelutong being sold without problems at RM700K and RM2-3 million for a semi-d in Kiara. Lifestyle gyms with minimum RM120 monthly fees are sprouting everywhere. EVery young kiddo in church seems to be driving either a Vios or a Honda.
And yet, my colleagues, bloggers and family-on-the-street (the family version of man on the street, not families living on the street) are talking about how expensive milk powder is, electricity and toll (esp toll) charges going up and the cost cutting measures they have to take.
Lulu is not sure what to think or believe anymore.
SO, Lulu is very thankful for Khoo Kay Peng, and those like him, who are learned and trained, analysing the situation, verifying what they have learnt and understood, and blogging about it for the comprehension of Lulu and others like her. Khoo Kay Peng (shorten to KKP cos his name is going to be repeated a few times on this entry and Khoo Kay Peng is just too long to type, and not on 1st name basis, so cant do a Kay Peng, Kay or Peng) is the Executive Director of SEDAR Institute, a local think tank associated with Gerakan.
In his entry, Economic Sentiment , KKP checked how the foreign and domestic investments had increased to give a combined figure of more than RM42 billion, gave an insight on who else is buying our property, and what to make out of the drop in the vehicle sales.
Lulu likes his ending, "If yes, the government should encourage employers to increase the salary of their workers as a gesture of their appreciation." I want! I want!
for this particular entry's comments, there is quite an interesting intellectual sparring between KKP and Elanor, one of his readers. Lulu with hampir-0 intellect, reads with great awe. I did want to leave a comment, but thought that it would sound so lulu in between their sparring.
Do drop by his blog, and i hope that you'd enjoy it as much as i do. And if you're a lulu too, you'd probably learn from his entries too.
Friday, February 23, 2007
The share price was going up and up. The employees were concerned that it was fuelled on cheap Japanese yen, not because of the fundamentals. If it crashes, what would become of their ESOS, they wondered. As usual, the CEO didn’t quite understand why, but never mind, it sounds good.
The CEO had been running the company for 3 ½ years now. On his third anniversary, he set up a CPI group to improve the functions of certain departments, and unlike himself after three years said that it’s too soon to judge his performance and he needs more time, he gave them 6 months to clean up their act. Of course the employees noticed the double standards and had a good laugh at it at the warongs near the office.
Anyway, the CEO was in a good mood today. Nothing could spoil his mood, not even the stupid thing his son-in-law did in announcing that the election of the new office bearers would not be so soon. He has repeatedly said it, but it looks like the employees didn’t buy into it until the son-in-law said it. Kind of strange, especially since the son-in-law wasn’t even part of management, just an assistant manager at one of the subsidiaries.
But never mind. Good mood, good mood. After all, darling girl aka precious baby aka Noreen was taking him out for lunch today. Ah… sweet Noreen, looking more and more like her late mother by the day. Noreen who stepped up and took over her mother’s role in the social events of the corporation. Noreen who moved in when Edith was sick, and stayed on even after her passing, just to keep papa company. Noreen, who could do no wrong…. Except the big one where she married the ambitious Harry.
Noreen did sound a bit distressed on the phone. Wonder what’s wrong?
They met at his favourite restaurant in a private room.
Noreen’s eyes looked puffed up. It broke the CEO’s heart to see his little girl looking like this.
“It’s Harry, papa. It’s true. All the talk about him and Korean woman. Him and pan-Asian actress. It’s true. Boo-hoo-hoo”
And she layed on the table photo evidence.
And cried and cried and cried.
CEO’s heart was broken looking at his little girl all broken hearted. How could Harry do this to her? He had tolerated so much of Harry’s nonsense, but this, this despicable act, and being caught was too much.
“Don’t worry sayang. Abah will handle it for you.”
And the CEO left, in rage, asked the driver to take him straight to Harry’s office.
Noreen had never seen the CEO in this kind of rage. She got into her car and asked the driver to follow the CEO’s car.
The CEO reached into his briefcase, and took something out. Put it into his pocket. And headed straight to Harry’s office. Harry was in a meeting with the CEO’s advisors. CEO’s anger burned deeper upon seeing HIS advisors in discussion with HIS son-in-law.
“Enough is enough. You have cause Noreen enough pain. I’ve tolerated your ambitions. I’ve tolerated your arrogance. But you CANNOT break my baby’s heart.”
And with that last sentence, the CEO whipped out the gun from his pocket, and shot Harry continuously.
As Harry’s body crumpled to the ground, the CEO heard a loud scream of anguish. Noreen was behind him, and she had seen it all.
Bangun sayang. Bangun.
You were having a nightmare. It’s okay. Mimpi-aje. Come sayang… let Harry peluk you.
Noreen looked blurly into Harry. The she gazed around her. She was in bead, at home. It was just a dream. Papa didn’t shoot Harry. None of it is real.
Or is it?
Does it get better? Does it get worse? Lulu's not telling yet. But stay tuned to
Lulu Fiction - The CEO Series
the CEO series is a fiction work from whatalulu. In today's chapter, not only is it fiction, it is a dream in a fictional setting. It could not bear any semblence to real life as no CEO would be so daft.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
from the Bru,
I confess. When NSTP and the 4 others filed the defamation suit against me last month [here], I felt alone. When I was editor at the Mail and the Business Times, we got sued by corporations and individuals all the time but I was never worried. After all, I had the mighty NSTP behind me. But now the NSTP was suing me and I had no one behind me.And Rocky continues about how his friends, both the long-time and those from blogdom came up and eventually banded together, forming Bloggers United, rallying support for him and JeffOoi.
It's been only a month but we have come a long way. Hundreds of blogs are Bloggers United logo carriers. Thousands will do the same. On Thursday the 22nd of February, at Wisma Denmark at 2.30pm, I go back to court to face NSTP and 4 Others. I don't feel alone anymore. I've got Bloggers United behind me.[and indeed, he did not walk alone. We all hung around the corridor as his lawyers were in discussion with the judge in his chambers.]
It made Lulu think of MGG Pillai. For those of you who considers JeffOoi as the father of blogging, think of MGG as the grandfather of socio-political commentaries on the net.
MGG and Bala Pillai (it just crossed this lulu mind that they are both Pillai's. Were they related?) ran the online newsletter group known as Sangkancil. Lulu was hooked on it since '97, reading his analysis and commentaries on what's REALLY happening in the country. Those were the exciting days... Economic crisis, Anwar Ibrahim, Reformasi protests, Keadilan, not forgetting judge and lawyer holidays and all those wayang kulits in UMNO.
While politicians may have reviled him in public for his hard hitting, anti-establishment views, privately, many maintained good personal relations with Pillai, to the extent that he became a confidant to politicians in both the government and the opposition. With all his inside informers, Lulu and the sangkancil gang were kept abreast to whats happening behind the scenes. Lulu realised that there is certainly more to it than meets the eye in Bolehland, a phrase coined by him. haha Bolehland still reigns, post-Mahathir!
When he was the featured speaker for Promuda's Kopitiam series, Lulu made it a point to attend. Lulu learnt that his relationship with Tan Sri Sanusi Junid was real as it was affirmed and spoken fondly of by his son, Akramsyah.
Mind you, MGG wasn't right all the time. He predicted in the last General Elections that [if i remember correctly,] Kedah, Perak and Pahang would fall into PAS hands. And there were some postings which Lulu did not agree with him. But MGG has this ability to write and make you think a bit more. As it was a forum, he stirred debate and allowed us to give our opinions. He hardly had to tell the community at SangKancil to toe the line. We all learnt from it. And we are richer by it.
Along the way, he wrote something about Vincent Tan in the Malaysian Industry magazine which cause VT enough grief (?) to sue him. VT won the suit in '94, and MGG's loss was RM2million.
MGG appealed the judgement in the Court of Appeal and later, the Federal Court, but failed on both occasions. Maintaining the truth that he wrote, not giving up, he made a rare application in 2002 for the Federal Court to review its earlier ruling claiming that there was a suspision of biias on the part of the then Chief Justice who was known to have close ties with VT's lawyer. The Federal Court ruled that the judgement delivered by the judge on June 12, 2002 breached MGG's sustantive rights as one of the judges who heard the matter had already retired.
The decision was a landmark case as no review had ever been granted prior to that.
"It is easier to draw blood from a stone than RM2million for Pillai," he had stressed.
In those days, we weren't so connected. There was not so much networking online. Lulu wonders if MGG had to walk alone. I'm glad he had Karpal Singh with him. I hope that her had his supporters to walk down the court corridors with him. Wait with him. Shake his hand. Give him an encouraging thud on the back.
It was a long battle. MGG passed away in April last year. The suit, as far as Lulu knows, has not been settled.
And so, when Lulu saw Rocky's reminder, Lulu knew she'd have to walk this one with him and Jeff, at least once, in person , to replace the walk she should have taken for MGG.
MGG, this one's for you!
For further reading,
The SangKancil archive. This one's a bit tricky. Can't find the general site, so, you'd have to play around with the dates to change the month and year.
Wikipedia entry MGG Pillai
Malaysia Today's tribute. Do read the readers tribute to him on the comments section
PAS rakam takziah kepada keluarga MGG Pillai - Harakah. MGG was a regular columnist.
A pupil's tribute to the guruji
active SangKancil participant, Lucia, pays tribute
did you notice there no "lulu" in the title? Lulu thought that MGG deserves solo billing. And Lulu thinks, this is Lulu's longest entry to date. Hope you managed to read right till the end.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
This was clearly going against the election code of ethics which prohibits candidates and their party or election workers from using government buildings for campaigning unless written permission has been obtained. They are also barred from using vehicles or communication devices belonging to the state or government.
HOwever, the Election Commission said it cannot disqualify the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Batu Talam by-election because it has no power to act on complaints based on its election code of ethics. “The code of ethics is just a guideline for candidates contesting in the election, we can’t disqualify anyone based on that,” returning officer Abdul Kadir Awang Bakar told malaysiakini.
Last week, BM was very upset that 85% of bumi projects flowed to other groups. Two days later, Finance Ministry came up with a solution to curb these practices - an official declaration (akuan rasmi).
PUTRAJAYA: The Finance Ministry has made it compulsory for Bumiputeras awarded government contracts to sign an official declaration (akuan rasmi) not to sell the contracts to others.The contractors must sign the declaration before the letter of offer is issued.
Lulu wonders if this declaration will end up like the election code of ethics - no power to act, just a guideline, can’t disqualify anyone.
This was soon followed by statements like
Don’t link economic growth and other related “good news” as an early sign of elections - Home Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad
Ini tidak bererti pilihan raya sudah hampir tetapi kerja Wanita UMNO perlu bermula sekurang-kurangnya setahun sebelum itu. Kita hanya ada masa lebih sikit. Ketua Pergerakan Wanita UMNO, Rafidah Aziz
The government's efforts to spur strong economic growth are not an indication that the general elections will be held soon - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Lulu [and people like her] tend to pooh and paah at these statements, continuing to hold fast to our belief that this "feel good" brainwashing preceeds the GE announcement.
but when the non-government but yet governing Khairy says it, "The government is unlikely to call for a general election anytime soon", hmmm.... let's put it this way, if Lulu were a betting person, Lulu would not bet that it is coming anytime soon.
kinda worrying isn't it, not to say that Lulu trust KJ an ounce, but that Lulu thinks KJ has more power and say to what happens compared to the word of the ministers and even the PM.
If you go on Federal Highway from Subang heading towards KL, you will see a big flyover just before Nanyang Siang Pau. That's Majlis Link.
It cuts from Federal Highway-Nanyang, and you come out at the LDP/Western Digital Underpass. Construction started in 2005(?) and the road was open in Oct last year.
I've pasted a wikimap for your reference, but unfortunately, it's a bit small and blur. Tried to get it a bit bigger, but tak jadi.
the landmarks, starting from the top.
LDP/WD underpass (further up, towards the left is the Motorola/Sunway cable bridge)
X traffic lights, ref pic [a]
new road divider put up ref pic [b]
nanyang siang pau
from Subang/Shah Alam
to Subang/Shah Alam
[a] this is the traffic light junction
left will take you into the free trade zone.
The right turn would take you out onto the ramp which will take you out to federal highway.
But dunno why, the right turns are not allowed.
In the early days after the opening, what some motorist did was to take the left turn, then do a-U. Quite dangerous. MBPJ put a stop to it by extending the existing road divider. You can see the extension by the "whiteness" of the new block. Pic [b]
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
d> have to finance the expenses of his daughter, who was studying accountancy at UiTM Sarawak, and his son, enrolled in a primary school here.
Sessions judge Akhtar Tahir said he did not want the children of both Datuk Mohd Amin Sidek, 56, and Mohamad Shafie, 57, to suffer the consequences.
Akhtar said he had considered that one of Mohd Amin's children was studying medicine at University of Dublin in Ireland and that he also did not want the future of Mohamad's children to be affected.
When Pak Lah first took over as PM, it was no secret that the funds for the 8th Malaysia Plan had already run dry. for Pak Lah,
no Money = no Contract = no "Respect" = no Power
so kesianlah, the old man.
Pak Lah with empty coffers, had nothing to offer in exchange for the party's loyalty. Hence, we ended up with the same old oafs when the "new" cabinet was announced. Worse still, he supersized it in his attempt to appease those within his fold and give them additional income and glamour titles.
but boy has Lulu been bodohwe-ed!
Datuk Kadir Jasin rightly pointed out that Peruntukan RMK9 Sumber Kuasa PM. For those, both in and out UMNO who are hoping that he will retire and do the leisurely things he enjoys so much, Lulu thinks you can forget it. Looking at the way Bapa Mertua is spending, he is definitly building his power base and is here to stay.
And since today is Wed, Feb14th, Lulu wishes you
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
10plus years ago, the plant had moved from KL to somewhere else which will remain nameless. Soon after they moved, the local majlis workers paid them a visit. Kononnya, "spot check" the kebersihan.
Surprise! surprise! They failed-la. The multinational FMCG with all their ISO standards failed the check. My friend told me the silly reasons they gave, can't remember what it was, but the one and only that I remember is that they cannot have the dumpster within their compound. This dumpster was placed in a far corner of the plant. The management played blur on what the majlis workers actually wanted. SO, the majlis guys left empty handed.
The next month, [but of course] the majlis fellas visited them again. It was more like a raid then a visit, looking really intimidating [like those respectable chaps who were surrounding Z's mansion when the protesters were protesting], went straight to the manufacturing floor and demanded the factory shut down their machines. Because it was so sudden and really carried like a raid, the technicians were caught by surprise and switched off the machines in fear. All the work in progress materials had to be dumped, thrown away. It was a standstill in the plant.
And the "negotiations" started.
The head raider "pointed out" all the non-conformence to local council regulations. And of course he had a solution. A friend who is in the cleaning business who can solve ALL the factories problem. Left with little choice, the management agreed.
My friend told me that the cleaning contractor appointed had to get the company to buy the equipment and cleaning liquids. And because the equipment was highly advanced and the cleanliness standards were very high, the plant continued to do their own real cleaning for the manufacturing floor. For RM20K/month, the cleaning contractor got a few foreign workers to sweep and clean the general area.
And the dumpster? It's still in the far off corner of the building.
Last week's biggest spin was the trillion RM news. Lulu was not sure what to make out of it, and reading the press reports, Lulu suspects that the reporters didn't either. Just that the RM1.069trillion probably sounds impressive to the potential voters out there.
How does it impact you and me, Lulu don't know.
Local "support", additional "help", eye patches to "tutup satu mata", Datuk "Ada Jalan", Encik "dokumen tuan sudah hilang", Mr 5% loan approval guaranteed...
we get all this no-value added, but removes-roadblock-that-they-sendiri-put-up additional taxes [this really gives new meaning to SIN tax], let Lulu assume it to take up 2% of the total trade value. It happens both on the imports and exports.
RM1 trillion x 2% no value added = RM 20,000,000,000
That RM20billion folks, if Lulu is doing the math correctly.
They may sleep comfortably on their very expensive mattresses in an airconditioned room in their mansion, but some day, they'll have to answer to God.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Remember how DrM, just one day before he sacked Anwar described their relationship as "good". and Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford took out a full-page advertisment in The Times to confirm they remained "very married" and "we both look forward to having a family" only to go separate ways 3 months later.
All this daily attempts of indoctrination... and a lot of Berita Harian readers out there are going to fall for it, hook, line and sinker.
So, amidst all this uncertainty and uneasiness, Lulu's going to indulge in something more lulu instead.Ever since Lulu saw it online, whenever Lulu's friends go abroad, Lulu tumpangs them to keep an eye out for it, and to buy it if they see it. So far, no one's seen it in Australia or Singapore. So, Lulu was like so-so happy to hear that Wilton was getting stock of it the coming week last week. Coming week last week = today. so, Lulu went over to get her copy.
Don't the happy smiles and open arms make you feel happy, even if it's just for a moment?
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
from their website,
We opened our first branch located at the Ground Floor, MNI Twins, Tower 2, 11 Jalan Pinang, Kuala Lumpur on 8 August 2005. The branch is equipped with Automated Teller Machine, Cash Deposit and Cheque Deposit machines to cater to all your daily banking needs. To underline our commitment to expand in Malaysia, we will be opening new branches gradually to serve you better.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
The byline (or whatever it is called) below it stated, "Statistics show it's stronger now and more resilient than ever."
sure or not?
"statistics show" - those are two very worrying words.
Heard of this saying, "there are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics" ?
"Malaysia is now in better shape to withstand any mega surge in liquidity that could potentially destabilise the country," said OSK Research economist Sia Ket Ee.[note: this is an untrained lulu's opinion]
KLSE has been going up and up the past few months. This is mainly due to foreign funds coming in. I asked a friend who is in this business what makes us suddenly so attractive. She said that it's possibly a combination of reasons, the main one being a stronger ringgit against the usd.
so, lulu thought a while, and remembered another conversation with another friend who is here on the M'sia My 2nd Home Program. One of the criterea is to deposit a large sum of money here in our banks. Lets say he puts in RM100,000 last year when the exchange was say, usd1 = rm3.65.
last year, rm100,000 = usd27,397
if he withdraws that money today and converts to usd [using usd1=rm3.52] , he would get back usd28,409 , about 3.7%gain, just on forex.
applying this to the foreign funds in KLSE plus the chicken and egg bull-run, if the foreign funds decide to realise their gains, hmm... lulu doesn't think that we can tahan the surge in liquidity.
lulu views these foreign funds more as speculative, than an investment.
speaking of investments
"Private investment is seriously languishing and the country lacks skills," said Mathur.
In the pre-China, Vietnam and Thailand days, Malaysia used to be one of the first choice for American multinationals. Lulu used to work for a harddisk manufacturer. In those days, Malaysia was the leading manufacturer for both hardisk and all the components. Since then, a number of manufacturers have closed their M'sia sites and moved to those three countries. We need a plan and MITI needs to work harder and formulate better to make ourselves attractive again.Lulu really wants to see the nation be "darling of foreign investors" again. That is what Lulu thinks would count in this game of a healthy nation. Not a KLSE going up and up due to foreign speculation. They could withdraw anytime, and how they choose to "invest" their money is not within our control. Let us not con ourselves and start celebrating whilst our opportunities run dry.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Lulu has utmost respect for the normal, regular firemen. They risk their lives whenever there's fire [or other life saving exercise) for very, very low pay. Unlike the police, they have very little opportunity for side income. Sometimes Lulu wonders, why out of all the uniformed bodies, they choose to join Bomba. Lulu's guess? passion.
Personal encounters with the firemen? The nearest encounter was when back in '91 when one of the neighbour's house was on fire. The firemen arrived within a respectable time frame and got the fire under control. My sister chatted with them for a while. Turned out these men have been working for the past two continuosly on the Bright Sparklers explosion in Sungei Buloh. They were dead tired, but responded to the call of duty to put out a kitchen fire.
My friends once watched the bomba work 2hours plus, to pull out 2 accident victims from a smashed up car. They told me that it was hard work, but the men did not slack, and never gave up.
If Lulu's house was on fire, Lulu would sure that the Bomba will be well equiped with the best-est machines. Hope you feel the same way too.
Lulu thinks that if BM were an ex-firemen, all they'd have to do is have a majlis makan malam, invite BM, the ex-fireman and wait for his announcement of a more that generous allocation.
a lulu thought from Lulu on a VERY slow Monday
Sunday, February 04, 2007
afterall, when his predecessor announced his, one of his bigger dont-give-face, show-no-respect today was shedding crocodile tears, at that time, we all thought, kononnya for him.
and I'm sure, paling minimum, the guys at KMU would give you a standing ovation.
the cartoon is from Mike Luckovitch, reprinted in Newsweek Jan29th
Friday, February 02, 2007
Afterall, look at the airtime he has received this past two weeks in the papers.
Transferring Inefficient District Council Chief
As for the new Sabak Bernam district council chief, Dr Khir said the deputy director of Selangor Religious Department Samaon Ishak had assumed the post.
The post was vacant after the incumbent Ahmad Samuri Mohd Dahlan was transferred out for “overlooking” the existence of an illegal gambling den in Sekinchan.
CHEQUES with forged signatures, insubordination and approvals given through unethical means are some of the disciplinary issues that saw 25 staff in local authorities and government departments being hauled up, transferred or sacked over the past six months.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo said the administration will not tolerate such subversive behaviour.
“Situations of this nature have to be nipped in the bud. We will drag those found cheating the government to court or remove them. It has to be done, or else it will shake public confidence in the system,” he said.
Exposes Those Who Ponteng Kerja
Armed with flowers and fruit baskets, Dr Khir has visited the homes of some supposedly ill employees and caught them out fishing, visiting their in-laws or running personal errands.
“Cheating using MCs is not the way out. If you genuinely need time out to attend to urgent family matters, tell your bosses.
Municipal and District Councillors to “walk the talk”
Municipal and district councillors in Selangor have been told to “clean up” their act to better serve ratepayers.
In asking them to “walk the talk”, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo singled out those whom he said did not even bother to find out the problems faced by residents in their respective areas.
He criticised local councils for not informing the public when action had been taken on their complaints.
People like them
The title of the song, 半斤八兩 (translated "half a catty is 8 taels"] refers to two different presentations of the same thing
半斤八兩 - Sam Hui
Working folks like us
Getting sick, running ourselves ragged
Making peanuts, but always broke (less than nothing)
Always ending up in hot water
Worse of all, the boss is breathing down our necks (crazier than a chicken)
Barking at us without cause, yap yap yap
Always pulling a long face (throwing tantrum)
A raise? No way
Half catty, Eight Taels, working like mad
Half catty, Eight Taels, a wet firework will not flare
Half catty, Eight Taels, if you have enough guts, go and rob
Put in half catty of work, can’t get back eight tael of wages
Times are hard to cari makan, things just aren’t that way
Working folks like us
Slaving for peanuts whole life through
Look at the state we are in (it’s killing us)
Don’t say it’s nothing
(Half catty, Eight Taels) Even if the money comes, you ain’t got a share
(Half catty, Eight Taels) It’s so bad, all we get is noodles boiled in water
(Half catty, Eight Taels) Even the crumbs we chase after
Put in half catty of work, can’t get back eight tael of wages
Times are hard to cari makan, things just aren’t that way
i wanted to post the video here, but dunno what's wrong with youtube (or maybe it's me), it's perpetually "fetching your blog information ... please wait) . i'll post it up later if i can get it work.
the link is here. click it, and enjoy!