Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Eid Mubarak

Kepada semua Muslimin dan Musliman sekalian,

Selamat Menyambut Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Maaf Zahir dan Batin

P/S: Agent called, "ticket" to grassy land has been granted... :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Monday, 29 September 2008

Why I prefer it to fail

A few weeks ago, the US financial market was reaching a near collapse, threatening a possible global economic recession. Everyone was in a panic mode until the US govt announced a USD700b bail-out plan. Then things sort of picked up a bit, with stock markets around Asia region rallied for a while.

Now, it appears that the bail-out plan may not happen, triggering another major shake up in the market. It sent out a chill to a lot of people late last week as a few more banks in the US failed.

Well, if you were to ask me… I would say… let the bail-out plan go bust!


I’ve been talking to a lot of people about the world’s economic health and I noticed one thing… most, if not all of the people who dread a crash in the market are usually the ‘richer’ ones. These are the people who are currently driving big cars and living in high-class condos, not to mention having a few other units around the region as… “investments”.

They are all very stressed now. They are stressed not because they are afraid of losing their jobs, but because a crash in the financial market will result in them losing their rather luxury lifestyle. These are the people who have been making heaps while the rest of the workforce remain at the bottom of the food chain.

Of course, I am sure you are thinking right now that a global recession will also result in people like us losing their jobs.

That is very true, our jobs may or may not be at risk depending on the nature. But have you been spending beyond your means, regularly swiping that piece of plastic called credit cards and buying things that you do not need to impress people you do not like? If you have not been doing so, you should have amassed for yourself a certain amount of savings to survive.

Put it this way… at the end of this year, your boss is most definitely going to announce something like…

“Don’t worry, the company is doing well. But due to the current economic climate, we have to be mindful of our spending to ensure costs do not escalate. At the same time, I trust that we will all work hard to ensure that this company continue to grow”

But then, it effectively tells you…

“Times are bad. If you still want your job, please work extra hard to ensure that the company stay alive. And while you’re at it, don’t expect an increment or bonus this year.”

Some companies are already drilling this message to their slaves.

The rich has gotten too rich while the poor are not getting any better. Inflation is soaring. It needs to come down. So many of us cannot afford a decent property in town because property prices have been jacked up by people who not only buy one, but a few properties as “investments”. Developers prefer to build high-class condos because they know there are people out there who will buy these expensive condos with an intention to sell or rent.

And who are these people? They are those who fear a recession most.

When recession is here (and yes, it’s definitely coming), crude oil prices will fall, car prices will drop, property market will burst… prices of everything will come down. Some of us may lose our jobs. But if you are willing to take a pay-cut and have not over-committed yourself financially (i.e. buying a car and a house within your income capability), you should be alright as prices of most things will drop to an affordable level.

Perhaps I am being naïve, and I may not have been sensitive to the impact of recession to you. But I personally don’t really fear recession that much. Time for the rich boys and girls to face the music and sell off their stuff cheap to poor people like me. And like I said, our bosses are going to screw us one way or another.

Last but not least… let me leave you with this…

Recession is bad for poor…
Recession is worse for the rich…
But recession is worst for those who are poor but think they are rich…

Which category are you in?

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Singapore snippet

It has more than 5 years since I last went to Singapore and I must say, it has changed a whole lot. For a start… heck, it has so many cars now. And they are not just any ordinary cars, they are all very new and very nice cars, goes to who Singaporeans are really reaping the fruits of their economic prowess.

Although they have introduced Electronic Road Pricing (“ERP”), there are still many cars in the city centre. For those who are unaware, ERP is a payment system where cars will be charged “toll” for entering the city. The rates are different depending on the time of the day. It is something I wish KL will implement but I know it will never happen, because we will always have to look after the interest of the motorcyclists, something almost non-existent in Singapore.

Prices are quite reasonable, if you don’t convert. I went for coffee at a reasonably good café and it was SGD3.90 for an iced chocolate. Imagine if you earn SGD, everything is almost half prize. I guess that is why so many of my friends are trying to get a job there. Yours truly included.

Bunked with a good friend of mine and we went dinner with some of his colleagues. You know what? They are all Malaysians. And he told me… 80% of the people in his office are Malaysians. Like what I told one of his Malaysian colleagues, who ‘buka puasa’ with us… “it’s brain drain at the highest level”.

Oh… I found out one thing. You know how Singapore cars entering Malaysia must have at least 3/4 of their petrol tank filled? All these working people in Singapore have been going to Johor to fill up their tank for more than a year already. Apparently, no one really check their petrol-meter when they enter into their country. And we thought we have been denying Singaporeans cheap petrol all these while…

Orchard Road is just fantastic. Over very own Bintang Walk is nowhere near the kind of atmosphere and aura that Orchard Road generates. Perhaps some of us know that already. Personally, I find Orchard Road quite comparable to the famous Champs-Élysées in Paris. If people say Paris has got the 4 seasons advantage, then these people have to go see how successful Orchard Road is.

Overall, Singapore is a country where everything works. If they want to implement something, it will happen. And the people will support it.

There are also many Malaysians who make fun of Singapore… calling it sillypore and calling the Singaporeans kiasu and kiasi or whatever not. But you know what? Deep down, I feel we are just jealous… deep down, we wish we can be something like Singapore. Clean… low corruption… fantastic economy… strong currency. I know I am one of them.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

We need a new law

I can't take it. Seriously, I can't take it anymore. There is a limit to how much my little brain can take. I can still take oppression, intimidation or even brutal injustice. But seriously, there is only so much of stupidity that I can take.

For those living overseas, someone in Malaysia (no prizes for correct guesses) just
lodged a police report against an opposition MP for… insulting eggs. Yes, you read that correctly. Egg… telur… ‘ji tan’… ‘kai tan’…

I relayed this to a friend currently working in HK and her reply was… “So damn embarrassed to say we are Malaysians”. I couldn’t agree more.

I remember during the Namawee saga some time last year, we learnt of this law called the National Anthem Act. So now, we have an Egg Protection Act sitting somewhere? Akta Perlindungan Telur 2008, not a bad name I must say.

If you ask me, our country desperately need a new law called… Akta Kebodohan Maksimum… Maximum Stupidy Act… just to make sure morons are kept at bay.

I can't take it. I need to leave… Off to Singapore for the weekend…

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Will all these turn into another futile call?

Do you still remember during merdeka period last year when there was a call for us to wear yellow as a sign of ‘civil disobedience’? It was to show that we the rakyat are loyal to the king. Many dropped comments in Malaysia Today (MT) claiming that they will put on a yellow shirt and show the world that we are united.

As far as I remember, I was the only one in a yellow t-shirt when I went out that day.

Then there was a time when MT was distributing car stickers for a particular reason and comments flooded in to ask where people can get it and how many claimed they will put it up in support of MT.

Until today, I have yet to see a single car with MT car sticker. Heck, I don’t even know how it looks like!

Now that RPK is in jail, some quarters are asking the same kind of ‘civil disobedience’ to show our dissatisfaction towards the detention. Some have gone bald and have actually put up their bald heads in their blog. Kudos to them!

Then there is the call to
drive with the headlights on during the day. Relatively easy I must say, I am sure we can all do that. But deep down, I wonder, if I will see cars with their headlights on during the day in these few weeks.
The bravest call is to ask people to
wear the ‘Free RPK’ T-shirts. Now, if you look at the comments that have been flooding in to MT in the last few weeks, you will see that people are totally entirely wholesomely behind RPK. But will people actually let their action speak louder than their words? Or will this end up just like another call to wear yellow or the MT car sticker fiasco?

Personally, I don’t think all these driving cars with headlights on during the day or put on a specific t-shirt is going to achieve anything. In fact, I don’t even believe in the online petition, they are all a waste of time to me. What have all these achieved? Anything fruitful? I know… some will say, don’t give up just because we have not seen any result. Fair enough… why don’t you try our public transport and don’t drive? Don’t give up just because you have not seen the public transport turned good!

And, let’s just admit it. When it comes to the crunch time. A lot… and I mean a lot of us do not have what it takes to get down to real business. We are still a bunch of people who only know how to talk big. And even that, it only happens on internet. Therefore, I think all these are just going to fail, miserably yet again. If you think I am wrong, then prove it!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Hypocrites aplenty

I once talked about a friend of mine whose ex-fiancé called off the marriage 3 months before the wedding date because she fell for another bloke. “Maybe she has her reason”, “maybe the guy treated her badly” were the notion of the comments from girls. And sure enough, during that ordeal, the girlfriends of that girl stood by her side.

Was my friend a bad person?

Well, he was once branded the “model boyfriend” by the ex-fiancé’s sister. And when I said model, it’s role-model, not one who graces the stage. He was also once said to be the nicest guys around. I do not need to elaborate further. But I know, girls will still have the “maybe there are things we don’t know” ringing in their mind.

Allow me to quote the exact word said to me by one of the ex-fiance’s friend (girl of course). She said… “Yes, what she did was wrong, but as her friend, I will support her”.

I cannot elaborate this story further because this friend of mine drop by AZAIG occasionally and I do not want to bring back the hurtful time he went through during that torturous ordeal, not to mention the clean up of the wedding stuff that he had to do… by himself.

Leave this story aside for a while…

A friend of mine just got divorced. The reason is that ex-wife decided to stay in the land of greener pasture while my friend has a business here and is unable to fulfil the migration dream. It was a mutual agreement.

Now, this friend of mine has got a new gf. Lo and behold… girls are bombarding my friend with comments such as… “shame on you”… “what happened to graciousness and respect?”

Before I continue, I would like to reiterate that I do not condone what this friend of mine did. The timing was indeed a bit too rush. Nevertheless, there is nothing technically wrong in what my friend did.

Further, some of us found the comments made by the girls very hypocritical. In fact, it’s damn hypocritical. Do you know why?

Because, the person who made the “shame on you” remark is the ex-fiancé of the friend in the first story, the one who dumped my friend a few months before the wedding to go with another guy. And she wants to talk about shame.

As for the one who talked about graciousness and respect, she is also an ex-gf of another friend of mine. While this friend wasn’t the best bf around, she too wasn’t the most respectful gf during their time.

Jesus said, let those who are without sin cast the first stone. This is why I neither support, nor condone what my friend did.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Money frenzy

Currently £1 = RM6.31, making it the most expensive currency in the world. Do you know why the British £ is so strong? No, it’s not because they have Manchester United or Liverpool. And honestly, the British economy is not exactly one which is booming. But why is the £ so strong?

To cut the extremely long and complicated story short, all currencies are supposedly backed by gold, or at least they used to be. This means if you want to print money, you either destroy some of your old notes or you have more gold reserve. And since the once great British Empire conquered so many continents, they have amassed quite a substantial amount of gold reserves.

Someone once told me that Britain is actually surviving on her war reserves. Come to think of it, that wouldn’t be to far fetch, isn’t it?

But anyway, that’s the basic principle of money, it needs to be backed by gold. This principle does not apply anymore.

But the big tai-ko in the world just like to do things differently. First, they owe a lot of countries a lot of money. Then, when they needed money, they just get some paper, went to the printer and started printing money… US$.

Now, the American govt wants to bail out some leading investment banks at the verge of collapsing. The bail out plan is said to be around USD700b. Makes the bail-out of our very own Port Klang Free dunno dunno what zone such a dwarf.

How are they going to do it? Are they going to it? Are they going to take USD700b out of their coffer? Are they going to conjure up USD700b worth of gold? Makes me wonder.

But why is the USD still stands at a relatively strong rate then? That is a story for another day. One thing for sure, the USD is backed only by faith and that faith is quickly depleting.

But the news of the day has to be the call by our International Trade and Industry Minister asking the govt to study on
re-pegging the Ringgit. I don’t care what the exporters are saying about pegging it to minimise hedging. To me, if the pegging is against the USD, then it is a very bad idea.

Last but not least, because America owes so many countries so much money, other countries will not let her sink. The morale of the story… if you want to start a business, borrow big, the bank will not let you die.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

If you want to fuck have sex

The very least that you must do is to strip, that’s assuming that you already have a willing partner. Thereafter, you must get into the mood. The guy must be hard aroused while the girl must be wet well lubricated. Otherwise, things might get complicated.

Assuming that you got that right to that stage, the guy has to make sure he thrust it at the right hole entrance. Wouldn’t want to end up in another sodomy case, would we? Then, when you want to cum reach orgasm, you must keep fucking thrusting for at least a few minutes before it happens.

It freaking takes time…

Now, how easy do you think one can change fuck screw the govt?

Whose clock is ticking?

And so Project 916 turned out to be only a press conference where he announced that he is trying to meet up with the PM and thereafter, the Agong. And so he kept going like a broken record… “we have the numbers”, “we have the numbers”, “we have the numbers”, “we have the numbers”, “we have the numbers”, “we have the numbers”, “we have the numbers”….

Do you believe him? The other contingent certain don’t as they too go like a broken record… “Anwar is a bluff”, “Anwar is a bluff”, “Anwar is a bluff”, “Anwar is a bluff”, “Anwar is a bluff”, “Anwar is a bluff”, “Anwar is a bluff”…

To me, he has really taken things to the limit. I sat down and thought to myself, what would he gain if he were really bluffing? Absolutely nothing. Does that mean we can believe him? And I wonder why the sudden change of portfolio between Badawi and Najib?

Whatever it is, time is running out and if there are a few more such NATO gatherings and NATO press conference, I believe many, in true Malaysian fashion will begin to turn on Anwar.

The clock is certainly ticking, but one would ask…. Whose clock?

Just to digress a little, Alternate Investment Group (AIG) is also currently under distress, joining the likes of Lehmann Brothers and Merrill Lynch. With this and our wonderful political blockbuster, our stock market is going to have a wonderful diving trip. Time to pick up some cheap blue-chip counters perhaps? I most probably will.

And by the way… crude oil hits below USD90 per barrel lately… when is petrol going to come down!!!???

P/S: For those who don’t know, NATO = No Action, Talk Only.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Immaculately random

Someone asked me if I have been ISA-ed via sms. If that’s the case, I wouldn’t be able to reply the sms, would I? Hehe…

Anyway, I have not been feeling too well for the past few days; top that up with 2 weddings over the weekend means blogging activity has to be restricted to only reading. Also, things are happening so fast; blog topic in my mind just kept changing.

By the way, I was so busy till I missed the match between Liverfool and Man U. And I am too numb to feel the pain.

And so we are here on “the” day, the self-imposed deadline by the so-called “messiah”. Everything seems to be rather quiet. I don’t feel the excitement that I had a few days about Project 916. Is it going to happen? I am sure we all have that burning question in our minds now.

Someone just told me that the process has started, that thing are already moving as we speak. We need to be patient. But put it this way, I personally think that the rakyat has seen enough that even if Project 916 fails to materialise, most will still be behind the “messiah”.

If nothing concrete happens by the time the clock strikes 12 tonight, the comics newspaper will literally crucify Anwar tomorrow; as some are already doing it today. But then, the sentiments now are such that… anything and everything the govt does is wrong while anything and everything that Anwar does is right. As irrational as it may sound, but that seems to be the way for now.

I am not going to make a big fuss if Project 916 is revised, are you? Nevertheless, I have a feeling that Anwar knows, if he fails to deliver today, the repercussions might be damaging.

Amidst the current political blockbuster, some of us are keeping a very close eye on things happening across the globe, one that will most probably impact our wallet. The US govt announced they are going to bail out Freddie and Fannie, once reported to have 2/3 of US’ mortgage portfolio. Those in the financial market will know that US is going to do this by just printing more $$$ and according to some reports, this is going to caused massive inflation.

Sorry I don’t have articles to back-up my claims. You can always try to google it.

But the one that takes the cake has to be Lehmann Brothers, they just filed for bankruptcy yesterday. A 150 year-old investment bank, one of the best in the world, is now bankrupt. Coming in as first-runners up is Merrill Lynch, which has just been taken over by Bank of America. The collapse of these 2 giants is causing a market meltdown across the globe.

Just to put things into the right perspective for those who are not familiar with the financial world, we are talking about the collapse of companies like Microsoft and Apple.

The reason behind the collapse?… Sub-prime, a phrase which many are familiar with now.

But if you were to ask me, it’s all about the middle class trying to make it big by helping the rich to get richer. To achieve this, the middle class squeezes the poor to make them poorer and when the bubble finally breaks, when the poor cannot be squeezed anymore and just run away; everything collapse.

And all these bail-outs, bankruptcy cases, take-overs are just going to protect the interest of the rich while the middle class will be out of jobs and the poor… totally screwed. Welcome to the real world.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008


It smells like the dark side is trying to execute Order 513(v2) to counter Project 916 (or could it be Project 920 now?). And will the cinema be showing “The Return of the Weed Operation”?

Yes, it’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes, not your fist; or any other thing for that matter.

This is not the time to show that you have had enough. This is not the time to show that you are not afraid. This is not the time to be emotional and all.

This is a time to use your intellect, which you all claim to have as compared to the rest. This is a time to see what is beyond. So please use your brain. Exercise discernment and don’t do anything stupid.

Just continue with our daily lives while keeping an eye on the show. After all, it’s quite a blockbuster. Whatever it is, just don’t react unwisely.

P/S: Besides Taxy Driver, are there any tax professionals out there reading A.Z.A.I.G.? I plan to start a tax blog. Just ranting, nothing too technical. Drop me a mail if you are interested.

Monday, 8 September 2008

My glimpse on the budget

This is going to be a rather technical write-up and not the regular sounds-funny-make-you-laugh kind of entry. If you are a Malaysian, it will directly or indirectly impact you so, read on if you care to know. Otherwise, you may choose to go… oh, I am not an expert, these are just my thoughts.

What was announced during the Budget Speech 2 weeks ago is not the complete picture of what is to be implemented. Behind the speech, there is a piece of document called the Finance Bill, one which documents all the changes to the law. 90% (or more) of the changes are tax related. It goes to show that Malaysia still heavily relies on tax initiatives to drive the economy, although it is quickly becoming a thing of the past from the global view.

As an ordinary rakyat, our attention is mainly focused on the changes and incentives given to us as individuals, such the reduction of tax rate, tax exemptions of meal and transport allowances and others.

But we must not be oblivious and forget about changes in law that affects the corporate world. Make no mistake, without these modern slavery masters, we will not be getting our salary or allowances, rendering all the reduction in tax rates and tax exemption on allowances absolutely futile. If they get a raw deal and are screwed, so are we.

One amendment made to the tax law is the tightening of this particular tax incentive known as “Reinvestment Allowance” (“RA”), the most common tax incentive enjoy by companies in the manufacturing industry. I am not going to go into the details as it will probably bore you but in short, a manufacturing company can effectively reduces its tax liability by as much as 70% under this incentive.

Putting that into numbers, it simply means a company with tax to pay of RM10m can reduce it to as low as RM3m under this incentive. This incentive is attractive and is rather easy to claim. I would say it is one which is keeping the already depleting number of factories in Malaysia.

Nevertheless, the govt, via the latest budget changes has now placed multiple restrictions into this incentive; making it extremely difficult for manufacturing businesses to claim it. The reason for the tightening of the rules was “to avoid abuse”.

Based on my experience, I do not deny that there are some over-aggresive companies out there in terms of claiming this. However, this can be dealt with via proper enforcement of rules, more proper tax audits for instance. You do not punish the entire industry and risk affecting the economy while at it.

This certainly will not bode well with highly manufacturing driven states such as Penang and Selangor. What happened to making this country business friendly? And is it a co-incident that Penang and Selangor are Pakatan states?

Another measure introduced is this concept called “thin capitalisation”. It basically restricts tax deduction on interest in companies which have small amount of capital. In a nutshell, it simply means that if a company is funded mainly by loans from related companies, it will have to pay more taxes.

In the last year or so, I have personally witnessed foreign investments coming in under my watch as Malaysia does not have thin capitalisation rules. No doubt, thin capitalisation is not foreign to countries such as Australia, UK, America, Canada and Japan. But then again, they are Australia, UK, America, Canada and Japan, while we are… Malaysia. Economically, I think the country is not ready for this new measure.

Just to make matters worse, in true Malaysian fashion, our law-makers intend to govern the entire thin-cap rules with just 2 new sub-section (not even one whole section by itself) in the Income Tax Act, 1967. I was told that thin-cap rules in Australia stretch to about 40 pages.

This has caused a lot of anxiety for a lot of businesses and the industry which will be impacted most is the industry which forms the bread and butter for a lot of nation… the banking industry. I am talking the about the industry which is pushing the economy of America to a near collapse as you read this.

Although it will not cause the economy to fall by just introducing this rules, but it has certainly created a lot of complications in doing businesses in Malaysia. On one hand, the govt may be trying to promote more fixed capital injection in Malaysia. On the other, it might just drive a lot of foreign investors away. As long as the economy is not solid, I think we are just not ready for this rule.

The other new proposal which I think is not very business-friendly is the introduction of withholding tax on “other income” to non-resident. It is very technical to go into the details and you will certainly fall asleep if I am to dwell into it. In short, Malaysia’s treaty partners will not be very happy about this rule.

In addition, it also creates a lot of confusion among Malaysian taxpayers (both individuals and companies) as it is rather difficult to interpret “other income” under this rule. And if this rule is not adhered to, it’s the Malaysian tax payers which will be penalised.

It’s not all gloomy, there are some new tax goodies given to companies. But I feel these goodies only benefit a small portion in the corporate world. Like what I have mentioned in my earlier post, if you want to encourage more tourists to buy more “nasi lemak”, do you give incentives to the tourists, or the “nasi lemak” seller?

In an effort to apparently encourage more foreigners to get listed in Malaysia, tax exemption will be given on corporate advisory fees rendered to foreigners. It means income of the local company providing corporate advisory to foreigners will be tax exempt. And apparently, this will encourage more foreigners to be listed in Malaysia.

Just to digress a little, can someone tell what ECM Libra does?

People always say we only know how to condemn, only know how to criticise. Instead of doing that, we should provide solutions and genuine ideas to improve things. I cannot agree with that more.

But there is one big problem. Do you think they will listen when we sincerely present our ideas to them? Genuine brilliant ideas to improve things, when put forward, tend to end up just like this blog-post… be read, perhaps attract some comments… and be forgotten.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

No apology... no worry...

The name is Ahmad Ismail, and he carries with him the title Datuk. Many Malaysians, and it does not only conform to Chinese and Indians, are pissed with him. And the thing he did? … … he openly labelled the Chinese and Indians as “penumpang”. By the way, did he also ask us to “balik tong-san”?

He has
refused to apologise for what he said. He said… “Why should I apologise? I didn’t do anything wrong. Those who do wrong should apologise but I haven’t don’t anything”

Ya’ know, I think all us Chinese and Indians should just let this fella go… for now. Why do we need to get so hyped up about something we all know will never see the justice in this country? And by the way, he does have a point when he said he didn’t do anything wrong. Since when calling Chinese and Indians “pendatangs” is an offence in this country?

I know, it’s something that can be rather difficult to stomach. But think about it… did what he say cause your “char kuey teow” to be less tasty? Did what he say cause your wallet to be a little lighter? Did what he say give you sleepless nights? Did it severely affect your life?

Perhaps it did raise your blood pressure a bit but I am sure the pressure is all normal now. If it’s not, it might that “char kuey teow” you had, too much cholesterol. And it still tasted very good by the way, right?

So, let’s focus on the bigger picture, on things yet to come. Let us not be upset but channel our energy on more important things like the Auditors General report which (again) showed unworldly wastages. Let us focus on how to deal with inflation, which the reduction of petrol price didn’t really help at all.

Let us not also forget what Zulkifli Nordin, what that PKR (yes… PKR) MP did at the Bar Council forum.

But above all, let us just wait and see how Project 916 unfolds and do not react in any manner which might jeopardise it.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Guess the 6th

It has been a while since I last posted a riddle and for some strange reason, I have been getting some guess-the-answer-and-open-the-file-and-fill-in-your-name kind of forwarded mails.

These mails basically has an excel spreadsheet which has been password protected. There will be a riddle attached to it and the answer to the riddle is the password to the attached spreadsheet. Once you managed to break the code, you can then open the spreadsheet and fill in your name and you can also see those who managed to break the code before you.

I have gotten a few and I am just going to let you all in on a simple one, just to stimulate our very slow brain on a Friday.


What’s the 6th number?

Happy guessing and have a wonderful weekend… It’s Matta Fair!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Selfishness aplenty

In a seminar organised by the Malaysian Institute of Taxation yesterday, the Director General of Inland Revenue, basically the biggest boss in the income tax department said that the goodies given by the govt are effective immediately, so utilise it. She was referring to the various tax exemption given to employees in relation to meal allowance, travelling allowance, hand-phone allowance and some other stuff.

Yes, some of the allowances that you used to be getting are now tax free, you don’t need to pay tax for it. But not everyone is fortunate enough to get all these as some companies are pretty stingy and squeeze their modern slaves to the fullest thus, they will try to reduce the allowances payment.

The income tax department boss echoed what our PM said last Friday, that all these exemptions are to encourage employees to give more of such allowances to the employees in the light of the current rising of inflation and rough times.

But what do you think all these modern slave masters will do? Do you think they will have the poor modern slaves’ welfare close to heart and begin increase the modern slaves’ allowances?

What the top management is interested in is … “So now, how much lesser tax am I going to pay?”… “Please make sure the allowance paid to me is now excluded from my EA Form”

Without a change in attitude and mentality, goodies given out to the rakyat, together with all the other proposals made… will fail.

P/S: If you are a boss, what are you doing to improve the welfare of your staff?

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

A caring budget... for who?

“Any goodies for me?”

Almost all my colleagues posed me that question last Friday and I am sure that was the first thing that came to mind for most of you as soon as you mentioned about the National Budget 2009 tabled in parliament last Friday.

The answer is yes… terms and conditions apply.

First, if you are rich, you get to taste a little bit of sweets as the highest rate for individual income tax reduced from 28% to 27%. For you to enjoy this, you should be earning about RM280,000 and above in a year. Are you one of them?

There is also a drop of marginal tax rate of 13% to 12%. This is for those who earns between RM35,000 to RM50,000 a year. If you’re lucky to fall within the RM35,000 chargeable income, you get an additional RM50 rebate. This RM50 together with the 1% decrease should give you additional money of circa RM500 a year to spend. Are you one of them?

Frankly speaking, those are the 2 prominent goodies for individuals. So unless you’re earning above RM280,000 a year or between RM35,000 and RM50,000 a year, there isn’t much. The rest are just crap not very relevant.

Of course, a lot of us are pretty excited about tens of billions of ringgit allocated to improve the public transport system. That’s a lot of money allocated… but won’t you wonder how much will actually… I mean actually be used… as in actually… aiyah, you know what I mean.

Now, allow me to just divert your attention to goodies given to companies. I know… I know… they don’t concern you but just read for information sake… can or not?

There are a lot of goodies given to bus companies. Toll reduction… road tax reduction… not bad really. But I wonder, who is the owner of bus operators in town?

Let me ask you a question… if you want to encourage tourists to buy nasi lemak, do you exempt the nasi lemak seller from paying tax or exempt the tourists from paying tax (say service tax)? In a move to apparently encourage foreign companies to list in Bursa, the company that provides advisory services to the foreigner will get tax exemption. It didn’t really make sense to me until one of my friend asked me… “who owns one of the biggest corporate advisory firm in town?” I dunno lah… which one ah?

There is one I like best, and I am sure most if not all of you are also drooling over the proposal. I am talking about the 100% exemption on import duty and 50% exemption on excise duty on hybrid cars. Will take make the Honda Civic Hybrid sells like hot bread? I am definitely going to get one. But then I am also wondering, who will be getting the AP for it… hmmm….

Last but not least, do you know how much money will be spent to develop Sabah and Sarawak? Billions and billions ringgit! Makes me wonder why…

Monday, 1 September 2008

I am thankful

This entry has been long outstanding…

I am thankful to God because…

I have perfect eyesight despite abusing my eyes with hours in front of the tv and computer screen.

My hearing has now become so sensitive that I am having tinnitus without any organic cause.

I still have good functioning kidneys despite having abnormal urinalysis and clinically diagnosed with nephropathy. Thank God for a very favourable result in the latest urinalysis.

I still have normal blood pressure despite my not very healthy diet and clinically diagnosed with nephropathy.

I have a healthy nose and throat after multiple scans despite having chronic throat irritation and occasional bloody phlegm.

I still have a perfectly functional right arm despite developing chronic tennis elbow after over-using it during badminton.

I still have a clear and healthy esophagus despite years of bad acid reflux.

… that I am still alive despite all that. Not only alive… but alive and well. It’s a miracle that I am still alive.

When I look at some people around me, I know I am definitely blessed and well sustained.

Thank you God.

“I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done”
Psalms 118:17

P/S: Anything that you are thankful for today?