Thought of the day

I thank whatever gods may be / For my unconquerable soul. / I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul. ~William Ernest Henley, Invictus

Government's promises are like the Ringgit, they depreciate with time.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Malaysia Budget 2013

The Malaysian Budget 2013 can be viewed/downloaded here.
Najib's administrator had been swift in updating the Najib Razak facebook page to announce the budget on Sep 28. And there were a torrential flood of grateful citizens flocking to thank the Prime Minister cum Finance Minister for the rakyat friendly budget and pro government politicians went all out to sing praises with their usual 'Ya! Betul!' attitude, gullible and oblivious to some outright illogicality in the budget and the after effect.
While many were jubilating upon the 'durian runtuh' budget 2013, I have some queries on few glaring issues and hoped that someone can enlighten me:

1. On the PR1MA, it's stated that RM500mil will be used to build 50,000 units of houses which will be sold between RM100k to RM400k. Ya! Betul! Affordable housing for the people!
If it only takes RM10,000 to build one house, why is it sold to the people for more than 10 times the cost?
2. On BR1M 2.0, RM30mil allocated for households earning less than RM3,000 per month and single Malaysian above 21 yrs old earning less than RM2,000. Estimated 4.3mil households and 2.7mil single Malaysians to benefit from BR1M. Ya! Betul! Cash for the needy to alleviate their burden!

If the 4.3 milion households consist of 4 family members (Assuming the parents with two kids, but based on our understanding of the privileged Earth Prince and Princesses who can't practice birth control due to the intervention of some Almighty mysterious power, this is a very conservative estimate.), we are talking about 19.9mil (17.2mil + 2.7mil) Malaysians, a whopping 71.1% of our population to benefit from BR1M 2.0! 
Now, some may think that RM3,000 monthly earning for a household or RM2,000 monthly salary for an unmarried individual above 21 year-old does not mean that these people are living in destitution. Then my question would be, if one can live comfortably with a household income of less than three grand, why does the government need to pay a 'one time' RM500 to ease their burdens? In addition, how, and to what extend can a 'one time' RM500 ease their burdens?
Yes, they may not be considered as extremely poor, I think, neither could they be labelled as the middle class. These people are sandwiched in between a band which may not die of hunger, yet will never be full. And if they are not careful financially, they can easily plunge into the abyss of poverty.
But it's really unimaginable that this group constitutes more than 70% of the 28 mil Malaysian population today after 55 years post independence. If the number is correct, apparently the NEP, NDP, NEM or whatever socio-economic restructuring in the past have failed miserably. Then, we may need a whole lot more of stimulus for these people and give them monthly BR1M instead. And if the number is exaggerated, then I fear that a huge portion of the RM30 mil may vapourize into thin air. 
3. I do not know if it is normal for a country to use only 20% of its budget for development whereas the other 80% for administrative expenses. If this scenario is present in the P&L of any public listed company, I think investors will question the corporate governance of the management. Why aren't we spending more on development to spur income growth? Is it because we have too many mouths to feed in the public sector? With government servants amounting 4.68% of the total Malaysian population, one of the highest ratio among Asian countries, it looks like we are joining the PIIGS in time to come with this kind of spending. By then any austerity measure will be futile. 
I as a commoner in Malaysia, really don't understand the logic behind Budget 2013 except that it is crafted merely for the sake of vote fishing. But for sure, this is going to exaggerate our deficit. And may I ask, who's going to pay the bills in the end? The 5% individual + 15% corporate taxpayers?
How is this going to be sustainable?
And yet with the prevalent herd mentality, some people are revelling in the 'feel good' sensation not knowing that the government can slip their hands into your own pockets and steal as easily as they doled out the goodies, i.e via GST, inflation due to subsidy cuts, cronyisme and corruption. In the end, we Malaysians, are the one who will be shouldering the debts, our children and grandchildren will pay dearly for the mismanagement of some douchebags, while they will be gloating at some foreign coast sipping Martini.
Does this still look like a coveted budget to you now?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Shila Amzah (Asian Wave 2)

See how powerful Malaysia can be with the truly One Malaysia spirit... Not to be confused with the lame 1Malaysia concept ya.

Proud of you Shila!

Shila Amzah - All performances (combined and reuploaded) at Asian Wave 2...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Intouchables

It's been some time since I last saw a good movie, so good that I am excited to share with my friends and family - "The Intouchables (無法觸碰 / 觸不可及) "

Monday, June 25, 2012

TMNet is the best service provider in Malaysia

Of course the best lar, other telcos can't lay land cable what.

This my friend, is the benefit of protectionisme. Note that I signed up for a 4Mbps package, and I am no better off than dial-up 1515 in those Jurassic era.

Wonder why we have to pay twice the amount for an imported car....hmmm.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

For more information on lung cancer, keep smoking

We were having dinner at one of our favorite eateries few weeks ago. Half way through the feast, a couple arrived and occupied the table beside us. Within minutes, the guy whipped out his cigarette and started puffing. What is most annoying is that, the smoker would exhaled the smoke senselessly in all directions wherever he faced. Normally, smokers with conscience will attempt to blow the smoke upwards so as not to disturb the public.
So I turned around and told the guy, "If you want to smoke, can you please do it elsewhere? There are so many people eating here, and we have to bear with your smoke...."
Upon hearing my complaint, the guy intuitively extinguished his cigarette and throw it away (Again, very inconsiderate act littering in public) and murmured, "Sorry...sorry" before I could finish my sentence. Apparently, he knew what he did was improper and he was unaware that his act was displeasing.
But guess what? Before I could turn around to finish my meal, the lady sardonically replied, "This is public area, if you don't like people smoking, then don't come here la!"
Now, let's examine her statement and ponder.
Yes, you have the right to smoke in public, because our Health Ministry is incompetent in implementing rules and regulations to restrict smoking in public area. I wonder why the Health Ministry failed in the anti-smoking campaigns, one reason could be the Health Minister himself is busy bidding for the WWW15 car plate number. Moron.
Countries like Singapore and the UK restrict smokers to smoke in public areas such as public toilets, hotel lobbies, apartment lobbies, bus stops, MRT stations, restaurants, shopping malls...etc. Limited number of tables are allocated for smokers at open air eateries, and these tables are reasonably distanced from the others.
But for Malaysia, we have failed so badly that the smokers here do not even have the littlest sense of guilt for causing displeasure in public. They even have the guts to retaliate, stare you in the eyes while they exhale more second hand smoke in your face. And that is why, we always walk into smoke filled public toilets after watching a movie, as if we are in a twilight zone. Your aromatic coffee or teh-o is often laced with cloud of tobacco substances at kopitiams. And hell, I even had to endure second hand smoke all night long in express buses traveling from JB to Penang. Reason being, the bus drivers need to smoke to stay awake.
Let's go back to the lady's earlier statement. "This is public area, if you don't like people smoking, then don't come here la!" I didn't get myself into a petty argument that night, but I would like to tell her the following:
  1. If this gentleman here truly loves you, he wouldn't be smoking in your presence.
  2. And if you truly love your man (and his manhood), you would persuade him to quit smoking.
  3. If you understand the effect of passive smoking, and you care for your health and children's health, you would agree with my act.

Apparently, she acknowledged that her dude doesn't love her enough to care for her health, she doesn't love him and even least care for his health, and she doesn't care how second hand smoke could affect her health, her offsprings' health as much as it affects others in public. And this is why I kept my cool, finished my meal and walked away that night. Because they truly deserve each other, and together they will surely form a happy family, and live happily ever after.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Some people just never learn

After my post on the horror Ferrari crash at Rochor Road less than a month ago, there was a second driver who hit the red light and caught on camera. This makes me sad and angry, what are these selfish bastards thinking? Unfortunately, this bugger did not die on the spot, so I hope that he will be slapped with a severe punishment for his deed. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Photos from my iphone


CM was the female MVP of last night's bowling competition. Fuyoh! Beh tahan.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Potholes: Pimples on the Road

Driving on Malaysian roads is a daily challenge. Somehow most of the roads have cracks and potholes all over and motorist have to choose either to accept the premature demise of their vehicle's suspensions or to drive with extra care. And with extra care, the flow of the traffic will definitely be disrupted. Some gungho drivers with skills like Vin Diesel would choose to swerve and veer to avoid those chuckholes, it's like playing TV games. And god knows how many motorists (especially motorbikers) have lost their lifes due to this road defect.

I don't know if anyone realise this, the road surfacing work done by prestige housing developers tend to last longer than JKR's. This is a serious issue because the quality of work by the government body or its contractors is really disappointing. And I notice that the way they patch the potholes are superficial as they merely fill up the hole with fresh tar without reinforcing the gravel base. So potholes at the same spot will always appear after a few months. And this is one of the tactics the government plays on us whenever the general election is approaching. Road surface will be freshly treated to demonstrate the will of the ruling party to improve our lifestyle, but deep down inside we know it's a big fat lie.

We do not want well-tarred roads for a few months only once in every 4-5 years! We do pay our road tax annually and so our vehicles deserve much better road condition all year long, like those in Singapore and Australia. And seriously, Malaysian government should strive to provide this basic infrastructure to all Malaysians and revise their SOP of road construction and maintenance.

Enough lamenting. Let's roll over to to see how the humorous and creative ang moh uses the potholes to produce art. 

The Way We Park

Labour Day One Day Trip

Thanks to BT for the whole day activities, impromptu, but very enjoyable.

Dimsum for breakfast.

Visit to Tebrau Industrial Park, Cemerlang Industrial Park and Pasir Gudang Industrial Area.

Karaoke session was the climax and CM and I were awed by your vocal.

Dinner at 有记XO.

And the night concluded with dessert at BlackBall.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Saw this waning gibbous moon two days ago on our way back. It was an opportunity I've been waiting for to test out my 200mm zoom lens. Too bad, this is the best shot I got, but it is more than enough to bring me back to my secondary school days so many, many years ago. Yes, am an old man now.

I don't know how many schools back then have an astronomy club in Kluang, I am grateful till this day that my alma mater did. I remembered we invited the members from the Starhunter Magazine to our school for a night observing session. The event cost a hefty RM3,000, but somehow, we were able to accumulate the sum via peddling fruit juice during Hari Kokurikulum and selling coupons for the event. There were so many uncertainties and hurdles back then and till today I still don't know how we overcame them, but we were very fortunate that the Starhunters arrived in time with their awesome telescopes, it didn't rain that night, the sky was clear and the participants had a great time.

Oya, and we also had an informal session to observe the Leonids and the ring Sun eclipse within a year! Now, where is my photo on the Sun eclipse I risked my eye taking....hmm.

And this reminds me that I am deeply indebted to my dear friend, Ca Non, who supported me relentlessly all along, in each and every event held that year. Those SJM students (1998) will not be able to witness the beauty of planet Jupiter and Saturn without his determination. Thanks Ca Non, you may not see this, but I am truly grateful and glad to be able to work with someone like you. 

Also, the club owns a refracting telescope with a focal length of 400mm which can only be used to observe the moon. I had the priviledge to loan it from the school to observe the moon privately. And no, I didn't use it to peep at my female classmates staying next door (too innocent back then, haha).

I don't know what others felt when they see through the eyepiece of the telescope. For me, I felt an immediate quietness and solitude with the celestial object surrounded by darkness. Then, tranquility sinks in as if I am being sucked out into space. It's like electricity (Okay, I copied this from Billy Elliot, haha). The feeling is similar to swimming with the whale shark when I scuba dive. Unforgetable.    


Monday, May 7, 2012

Invest in REITS

What is REITS?
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) - pronounced as R-I-T-S, not R-A-I-D-S, are trusts that are set up specifically to invest in real estates. So, you're actually investing in a property management listed company, so to speak. REITs invest their capital into various types of real estates.

Type of REITS
The REITs in Singapore can be broadly classified into the following types [1]:
  1. Retail REITs - CapitaMall Trust, Fraser Centerpoint Trust, LippoMall (Indonesia Only)
  2. Residential REITs - Saizen REIT (Japan Only)
  3. Hospitality REITs - Ascott REIT, CDL Hospitality Trust
  4. Healthcare REITs - Parkway Life REIT, First REIT
  5. Office REITs - Frasers Commercial Trust, CapitaCommercial Trust, Keppel REIT
  6. Industrial REITs - Ascendas REITs, Cache Logistics Trust, Cambridge Industrial Trust, Mapletree Logistics Trust, Mapletree Industrial Trust, Sabana REIT.
  7. Hybrid REITs - Mapletree Commercial Trust, Starhill REIT, Suntec REIT
In summary, ranking by various qualities [1]:
  • Defensiveness (From Highest to Lowest) – Healthcare, Retail, Retail/Office Hybrid, Industrial, Office, Residential, Hospitality
  • Dividend Yields (From Highest to Lowest) – Hospitality, Residential, Office, Industrial, Retail/Office Hybrid, Retail, Healthcar
  • Weighted Average Lease Expiry (WALE) (From Highest to Lowest) – Healthcare, Industrial, Retail, Retail/Office Hybrid, Office, Residential, Hospitality
Why invest in REITS? [2]

Great way to diversify your portfolio.
REITs solely invest in real estates and make money from leases and other forms of rental income. Such income has a very low co-relation with economic cycles as compared to other industries. Thus, this is an alternative vehicle to build a source of relatively stable, regular income. A must for long term investors to diversify their investment portfolios.

Fixed income and capital appreciation.
The income earned from rent and leasing out of real estate assets is passed on to investors through dividends. Typical dividend yield for Malaysia and Singapore REITs counters are in the 6%-8% range on average. Moreover, any increase in the value of a REIT’s real estate investment portfolio or increase in distribution per unit (DPU) leads to an appreciation in the market value of the REIT. Stable.

Convenient way of investing in real estate
  1. Lower cost & Diversification: It will cost a bomb for retail investors to invest in real estates individually, and by doing so, it's like putting all your eggs in one basket. Via REITs, one is spoilt for the variety of real estates he/she can invest in at a lower cost.
  2. Liquidity: One can invest in REITs and pull out anytime by selling off their units in the market fast. Selling off a property takes months to complete.
  3. Professional Management: REITs have professional management teams to manage, maintain and upgrade the real estates, and also to collect rental incomes. Investors do not need to worry about late payments, plumbing problems...etc, and all the paperwork involved. 
How to invest in REITs?
Some pointers in assessing REITs [3]:
  1. Competent management.
  2. Ever increasing dividend payout.
  3. It should be actively acquiring new assets or upgrading their existing assets.
  4. The properties under management must be located at strategic location.
  5. It should have sufficient and variety of tenants.
  6. Must have promising long-term tenancies.
[1] Calvin Yeo, Making Passive Income,
[2] Stock Investing 101, "3 Reasons Why You Should Invest In REITs",
[3] Personal Finance Money Tip, "How to invest in REITs",

Disclaimer: This is a self-learning article for the author and the references are cited accordingly. This is not an invitation to buy or sell. I do not guarantee the accuracy or validity of the information above. Do your own due diligence before investing and invest at your own risk.

It's all about the driver

I remembered some character in a street-racing action movie once said, "It's not about the machine, it's all about the driver."

And I totally agree with that.

More than ever, I encountered drivers manoeuvring their kancil like ferocious lambo on the road. I think this is just another verson of mat rempit. You know, some people just have an ego larger than their pockets, balls outgrowing their brains. 

Now, if a vunerable vehicle can cruise around like it is the mother of all roads, it's no wonder the trucks or express buses are driven like battle tanks on the highway these days. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pandan from Kluang

Dear Mom,

The first one didn't make it. Nonetheless, the second one not only survived, but flourish like anything as can be seen from the picture on the left. So now it is ready to be harvested for culinary flavoring and as cockroach repellent in the wardrobes.

Will need to segregate out the young stems from the pot in near future :)

"It is an upright, green plant with fan-shaped sprays of long, narrow, bladelike leaves and woody aerial roots."

Keywords: Pandan leaves, pandan wangi, Pandanus amaryllifolius (Scientific name)