Thursday, 26 February 2009

A new trend with the couples

There is currently a growing trend amongst us. I noticed that there are quite a number of couples around who are registered but not married. Yes, you heard me right… registered and not married. When you pose the question “Are you married?” to them, their answer will not be a straight yes or no but rather… “registered”.

And no, I am not referring to those who get registered with a wedding ceremony in the pipeline. I am referring to those who have registered with no immediate plan of a wedding ceremony.

So is getting registered considered married?

Apparently, the answer is yes and no, depending on the situation. It can be confusing.

Firstly, being registered doesn’t mean you’re married, at least not during Chinese New Year. Apparently, registered couples do not need to give ang-pows. Why? Well, they are only registered and no wedding ceremony has been performed yet. Hence, they are not married. And… some registered couples even expect married couples to give them ang-pows!

So no, registered couples are not considered as married during CNY.

Interestingly, the answer will be a ‘yes’ when you are talking about married couple activities. Yes, I am talking about sex. Registered couples can officially move in together, bonk in the kitchen and then talk about it and that’s perfectly fine. “Registered already mahhh…” will be their respond to any query. Yes… post-registration-sex does not fall within the ambit of pre-marital sex.

Strange enough; after about a year or so and you ask them…
“So when are you going to have a baby?”
“Where can, not married yet lah”

And so, while post-registration-sex is not pre-marital-sex, post-registration-pregnancy needs to be avoided, just like pre-marital-pregnancy.

But you know what the best part is? It’s when you want to refer to this person’s partner…

“Hey Jane, how are you? How is your husband doing?”
“My husband? Ohhh… no lah, he is not my husband yet. We’re not married lah”
(But do note, they are bonking)
“So how is your errr… boyfriend? Err no… fiancĂ©? Wait, what is he then?”

“Just call him John”

Any Janes and Johns out there?

1 year ago…
The significance of non-voters


Some readers mailed me or commented; asking me about my urinalysis. I guess it is only appropriate if I provide a little update on the check up.

The urinalysis went well and though there is still protein leakage from the kidney, it is not leaking at an alarming rate. It has also not leaked to a rate where I need to undergo a biopsy. Hopefully that will remain for the longest time. As for now, I just have to continue to look after myself... sufficient rest, a healthy diet and exercise, something even a perfectly healthy person should do. Next check up in 6-months time.

Many also mailed me asking me about sub-prime. Even my friends who are not in the corporate world asked me to explain to them. And when I did explain to them, they often gave me a blank stare or a reply saying "Thanks, but I still don't understand". Therefore, I hope
The story of Mr. Suck Plime will provide some light to this highly technical subject.

Have a good Thursday.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The story of Mr. Suck Plime

There was this piece of property, owned by Mr. Dog. However, he didn’t buy it to stay. His sole intention is to look for a new buyer and make a quick gain from the sale. One day, a Mr. Suck Plime came and inquired about the property.

“$1,000,000 and it’s yours” Mr. Dog said.
“What the…! This is just a tiny piece of shit!”
“Yeah, but that’s the going price. Don’t worry, you can sell it for $1,200,000 in no time.”
“How can you be sure?”
“Mr. Cat sold it to me for $800,000 just a few months ago. And before that, Mr. Cow sold it to Mr. Cat at $600,000. And before that, it was Mr. Goat who sold it to Mr. Cow at $400,000. All that happened in less than 2 years!”
“No shit!” Mr. Suck Plime is obviously intrigued.
“Yeah, just look for a Mr. Sucker Plime and he will buy it from you for $1,200,000. Then Mr. Sucker Plime and sell to Mr. Suckest Plime at $1,400,000. Piece of cake!”
“But I am just a garbage collector, how am I going to get a $1,000,000 mortgage?”
“Don’t worry, the bank will lend it to you. You just have to pay higher interest. That’s all. No worries, Mr. Sucker Plime will come before you even need to pay the first instalment!”

Indeed, all these small banks and mortgage houses were more than eager to lend money to the likes of Mr. Suck Plime, Mr. Sucker Plime and Mr. Suckest Plime. It didn’t matter whether all these Plimes are toll collector, garbage collector or even unemployed. As long as they are willing to pay higher interest, they will get the mortgage they want. If a lawyer is paying say 5% interest, all these Plimes might be paying something like 30% interest.

While all these Mr. Suck Plimes are selling to many Mr. Sucker Plimes, all the banks and mortgage houses also wanted to make quick money. So they all brought their accounts to the financial magicians a.k.a. investment bankers and told them that they have thousands of Mr. Suck Plimes who owe them money. And the beautiful thing was that all these Mr. Suck Plimes will be paying incredibly high interest to these banks and mortgage houses.

Lets say a bank claimed to have 10 Mr. Suck Plimes owing them a total of $10m and they will be making $3m per annum for the next 10 years from these Mr. Suck Plimes. In simple mathematics, this bank will have about $40m in 10 years time.

“10 years is a long time. I don’t mind selling all these debts and future income worth $40m for $25m right now” the bank told the financial magicians a.k.a. investment bankers.

But ya’ know, these banks and mortgage houses underestimated the financial magicians. They are not the usual bunch. They are the top grade magicians from companies like LaiMun Brudder and Goman Sex. In similar comparison, we are talking about footballers from Manchester United and handbags from Gucci. Get the drift?

These magicians not only can turn 1 + 1 = 3, they can turn 1 + 1 and then look to you and ask… “How much do you want it to be?” And so… jili jala bingling bonglong hocus pocus estrocious petronius woosh woosh and voila… the $40m worth of debts and future income can now be sold at… $50m! Of course, the magicians took a big chunk of it from that.

But the question is… sell to who?

And so, these magicians went to some big banks like ZeeTee Bank and KongKong Bank and told them about these “good stuff”. You must be thinking, if ZeeYee Bank and KongKong Bank are big banks, surely they not simply purchase investments.

Now imagine if Alex Ferguson comes to Malaysia and told the Malaysian team coach that Zewt is the best striker in the country, what do you think the coach will do? If Gucci picks up a bag from Petaling Street and then put it up in its store and tell you, that’s the current design, what would you do?

Yes my friend, reputation is important. And all these big banks happily bought all the debts over, which have been magically transformed into wonderful investments. Not only that, these big banks also summoned their internal magicians to do another round of magic and try to sell some of the investments to other people. Many went for it.

While all the above are happening, let us not forget, all the big $$$$$$$ depends on whether Mr. Suck Plime can sell the property to Mr. Sucker Plime and then sell it to Mr. Suckest Plime.

Lo and behold, to many Mr. Suck Plimes, no Mr. Sucker Plime appeared. To those Mr. Sucker Plimes, Mr. Suckest Plime was not forthcoming. That’s when the bubble burst. Now if you recall, all the Plimes are merely this and that collectors or unemployed, they are very low income earners. There is no way they will be able to pay off millions in mortgages.

What happened?

They ran… cabut… MIA… woosh… gone with the wind. Those who didn’t run away just go to the small banks and mortgage houses and said “Sorry, no money”. When all these happened, big banks like ZeeTee Bank and KongKong Bank who bought over huge investments originated from Mr. Suck Plime borrowings which supposedly guaranteed huge profit suddenly realised their investments now worth nothing… zero… kaput… kantoi!

And that is the story of Mr. Suck Plime, purely fictional of course.

Did you enjoy the story? Or would you want a more detailed and technical version?

1 year ago…
A piece of humour in the current light

2 years go… Go with the flow vs. blog for a showA close encounter with the rempit kind

Thursday, 19 February 2009

It felt like shite

Most of you would remember that I went on secondment to London for more than a month last year. And it didn’t snow then, darn it!

Anyway, my London office appointed a consultant to help me with my temporary work permit. And so this consultant mailed me one day asking for my details in order for her to process my work permit. Details required by her were the usual name, address, gender, etc. Amongst all that, she also asked for my annual salary in £. And so, I converted my salary to £ and mailed it to her together with other information that she required.

Ya’ know what? A few days later, she replied my e-mail…

Dear Mr. Zewt,

Thank you for your prompt response. The details that you sent are in order except for 1 item. Please send me your annual salary.

And she actually bold the word annual.

It really felt like shite when I replied to her that the number I gave her was indeed… my annual salary.

Ever felt shite before?

1 year ago…
Thoughts from govt talk

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

“Doh Yu”

Today, I would like to teach everyone a very famous Chinese saying. As you’ve noticed from the title, the Chinese saying that I would like to teach is:-

Doh Yu (directly translated as “extra fish”)

It simply means doing or getting something extra but that extra bit is totally useless. Something like… buying pads for a guy. Get what I mean? It’s meaningless… it’s useless… it’s futile.

Some other very good examples of “Doh Yu” are:-

Blogging an entry to make fun or criticise a certain toyo politician in retaliation of the Eli saga.

Making comments in blog (particularly anonymously) to make fun or criticise a certain toyo politician in retaliation of the Eli saga.

Blogging or making comments in blog that circles around the notion “don’t-resign”.

Blogging an intellectual entry to reason out what is right and what is wrong and who should be responsible regarding the Eli saga.

Signing online petition for someone to intervene.

When you see situations mentioned above, you can safely say… “DOH YU”! Can you think of anymore examples?

Chinese saying previous taught… “
Sam Jiu

Monday, 16 February 2009

Eli and Poli randomness

My thoughts are everywhere today after reading what has been circulating around. For those who are currently residing overseas, please note that there is another scandal today; though scandal may not be the right word to describe the case.

Elizabeth Wong, a PKR Selangor State exco is said to have her pictures taken while she was asleep and such pics are circulating around. Mainstream media Comics are saying that those are nude pics, to which she described as “intimate”. After what happened in Perak in the past weeks, I can't help but think that Eli Wong is being marked for doom.

Oh, ya’ know what? Rumours are going around saying the most hated figure in Perak at the moment, Hee Yit Foong needed the money as her husband was in some gambling debts. If this rumour is true, can't help but think it is the same modus operandi that brought down the once great Lee Lam Thye. Co-incidence? Only God knows.

A friend of mine said that PAS has earned his respect. I can't help but agree. You can hang millions in front of a PAS-man and they won’t even move. Put the same millions in front of PKR fellas and the rest is history. And we have not forgotten about how sex being offered should be taken under a PKR fella’s definition.

PAS, I salute you. PKR… sigh…

Above all, I must also salute BN. We all criticise the current boss and calling him a sleepy head and always do nothing. We can now see that the soon-to-be boss is someone who puts life to the saying “action speaks louder than words”; or in our case… “action speaks louder than sleep”. The differences between the 2 are beginning to show.

When he takes office, we are definitely in for an exciting ride.

Last but not least, RPK wrote what seemed like
a suicide note. It’s sad to see him go. But ya’ know what? I thoroughly enjoy reading the comments on the note. RPK has got so many supporters. So many said… “I am with you”… “My prayers are with you”… “I will stand beside you” and… that’s basically it. I wonder how RPK feels from all these “supports”.

My thoughts are just so everywhere today. What about you?

2 years ago…
A readership dilemma

Sunday, 15 February 2009

You better give youself a choice before...

Last week, when I blogged about people dropping dead due to stress; KGC, someone in his early 30s left this comment:-

“Hi Zewt, I have been diagnosed by a qualified physician that I am under lots of work stress – been having difficulty breathing and high BP. When I produced the letter to the HR in my office, they just refused to accept the diagnosis. Can you believe that?”

Firstly, my answer to his question would be a plain and simple “yes”. I have actually heard of a case from my friend where her boss denied my friend MC when my friend was diagnosed with suspected cancer. With such story, how surprising can KGC’s story be?

When you are face with such situation, it is no a matter of whether how you are treated is believable or not. I think a more important question would be… what are you going to do about it?

My next follow-up check up is due and I am staying home the whole of today to collect my urine for my 24-hour urinalysis. Yes, I have a kidney condition and the cause, till today, remains unknown. Was it my diet? Was it genetic? Or was it due to over-work? I don’t know. Some have more probability than the others.

While I don’t know the cause, and probably never will; I know that if I don’t look after myself well, I can expect the worst. And then, I know what I need to do to look after myself… watch my diet, have enough rest and exercise regularly. Having enough rest and being able to exercise regularly means I will not slog in the office till ungodly hours. I am sure you know what I mean by ungodly hours.

With that, I have actually made it clear to my superior and the people I work for and work with. People will sympathise initially, but when they see you going off at 6.30pm almost everyday while they have to stay and slog till ungodly hours, the sympathy will soon disappear. You will begin to hear things. Perhaps your increment, bonus and promotion possibility will be affected. That’s reality.

So am I supposed to slog it out like the rest? Slogging the hours means I will not be able to exercise after office. This tends to lead to me skipping dinner and eating mamak food just before I sleep. All in the name of career?

Indeed, in most times; we have no choice. For the sake of your pay, your bonus, your increment… you have no choice. Indeed, you have no choice, or so you think.

Hey… ya’ know what? I have no choice too. For the sake of my healthy… my life… I am also in a position where I have no choice. But it is a different type of “no choice”. It is a kind that you would rather not be in.

Hence my friend, before your type of “no choice” becomes my type of “no choice”, you better give yourself a choice.

1 year ago…
Absolute boleh-nessA take at the E-scandal

2 years ago…
No topic?

Thursday, 12 February 2009

An original pick-up line

Was talking to a good friend of mine and one thing led to another, he told me that he once met this girl with quite a peculiar name. We have heard of girls with names such as April, May and June. But this one is different, her name was July.

Well, if you ever met someone with such a name and you intend to pick her up, let me give you a good pick-up line. And this pick-up line is zewt-original.

July: Hi, my name is July.
You: Hi, my name is August.
July: Oohh?
You: Yes, I always make sure you cum first before I do.

Have a nice weekend. Maybe you’ll meet a July… who knows?

P/S: I am up for my next kidney check up and will be doing my urinalysis again. Do pray for me!

1 year ago…
A London Chinese New Year discovery

2 years ago…
No time?

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Is the new Honda Civic Hybrid price reflective?

A lot of people; myself included, were jumping for joy when the govt announced last year that the tax exemption will be given to hybrid cars. We all know ridiculous taxes are levied on foreign cars in order to keep Proton competitive so this exemption, perhaps we can all own a good quality car and play a part in preserving the environment at the same time.

Many eyes were on the Honda Civic Hybrid, which I believe is the only hybrid model available in Malaysia the moment. The Civic Hybrid was priced at RM160,000, rather expensive if you were to ask me.

Alas, Honda announced the new price yesterday taking into consideration the tax exemption given by the govt. The new asking price is RM129,980.

But I am curious. Does this price truly reflect the exemption given by the govt?

Before I proceed, I would like to say that this is purely my own calculation based on simple mathematics.

If I am not wrong, the taxes levied on a completely-built-up (CBU) cars with engine capacity below 1,800 cc such as the Civic Hybrid prior to the exemption are as follows:-

Import duty – 5% (assumed CEPT, otherwise 30%)
Excise duty – 75%
Sales tax – 10%
Reference: Customs Act 1967 / Excise Act 1967

Hence, total taxes levied on the Civic Hybrid should be 90%. This simply means the original Civic Hybrid price of RM160,000 has been inflated by at least 90% due to taxes. With this, we can deduce the pre-tax cost price of the car using simple mathematics as follows:-

(160,000 / 190) * 100 = RM84,210

So the price of the car before being levied any taxes should be approximately RM84,000.

The govt announced that full exemption from import duty and 50% exemption from excise duty is given to hybrid cars for a period of 2 years. Following this, this taxes now levied on a hybrid cars should be as follows:-

Import duty – nil
Excise duty – 37.5%
Sales tax – 10%

Hence, the amount of taxes levied on a hybrid car after the exemption should be 47.5%. If that is the case, shouldn’t the new price of Civic Hybrid after the exemption be:-

RM84,000 + (47.5% * RM84,000) = RM123,900?

On the basis that profit has already been factored into the pre-tax price of RM84,000, what happened to the additional RM6,080 (RM129,980 – RM110,625) which was originally taxes but have now been exempted?

And, if the Civic Hybrid is not assembled within ASEAN thus making it falling into non-CEPT import duty rate of 30%, the pre-tax price of the car would actually be RM75,000 and post-tax exemption price of RM110,625 based on the formula above.

Of course, the above is based on my very limited knowledge and very simple minded mathematics. I could be wrong.

1 year ago…
2 true remarks

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Lost hope

A lot of people have been asking me why I have not touched on politics for such a long time. They are of the opinion that I should utilise my “influence” to spread more awareness amongst Malaysians.

Firstly, I don’t think I command such great influence. Secondly, I have not blogged on the social and political front because I have given up. Honestly, I am truly fed up.

Initially, I still keep a very close eye on the happenings in the country but as time goes by, I realise I have grown more and more numb towards those developments. Perhaps it’s because I know I have an escape route underneath my sleeve. Maybe… maybe not.

But seriously, don’t you think events in the past 2 weeks indicate that this nation is beyond the point of salvation? We not only have a govt that is… well, you know what I mean. And then we have a police force which… well, you know what I mean. And if you get into some legal trouble, our judiciary is… well, you also know what I mean, right?

Ya’ see, that is exactly the point. The whole freaking country know what the hell is wrong this country but they only freaking thing that the people in this freaking nation want to do is to get some so called “influential” bloggers to continue to do the dirty work.

But ya’ know what? These No-Action-Talk-Only souls do not annoy me that much. Those who really get to my nerve are those who still live in fantasy land, like one of my friend whom I talked to today where the conversation went something like this…

Friend: Zewt, this is a beautiful country. Life is good here.
Zewt: How so?
Friend: Things are cheap.
Zewt: A country should not be judged based on cheap stuff.
Friend: Just don’t think too much.
Zewt: What about the govt, education, the police and the judiciary.
Friend: Just stay out of trouble. Education… still have twinning programme. I have never met any corrupt police. If you stay out of trouble, you don’t have to deal with the judiciary.
Zewt: And what is cheap? Our economy sucks.
Friend: Roti canai is cheap. Teh tarik is cheap.

Some of you must be thinking… Zewt, you should educate her. Well, I am a person who happened to blog… not a saint.

Monday, 9 February 2009

More ‘drop dead’ stories

I went and play badminton with some uncles today. I don’t usually join this group due to my work commitment but since today is a public holiday, I was able to make it.

As I was resting after a game, I managed to catch up with Daniel (not his real name), a 59-year-old man who is still; as far as I am concern, very fit. Our conversation somehow travelled to the notion I mentioned in my previous entry… people dropping dead.

Daniel has got… not 1, not 2… but 3 friends who dropped dead while playing badminton. As far as Daniel is concern, these people are quite fit souls; and certainly not overworked of sleep deprived because they were all retirees.

What happened then?

Apparently, these retirees pushed their body over the limit playing badminton against younger opponents. Daniel, being a senior citizen himself said that many “old” people out there still carry a very big ego and since they can play very well when they were young, they think they can still triumph when having a game against the youngsters.

Lost the first game; push and push to win the second game and challenge the youngsters for a rubber set. The rubber set happened to be the last game they will ever play. They pushed their not-so-young body so hard, the heart just stopped. That’s it.

What can we draw from all these stories?

I know the human body is an incredible creation by God where out body allows us to push it to the limit. But I also think that God does not intend to have us push it so hard till the stage where we are abusing it. When you are not so young anymore, your body should not be running around the court at high speed like a young soul. It cost the lives of 3 friends of Daniel.

The same principle applies to we young people (if we can still consider myself young). I know the older generation always tells us…

“Work hard when you are young, that’s when you have all the energy to carry on”

But have you ever pause and think about the definition of “work hard”? During the time of the older generation, no matter how hard they work… they never work till 3 – 4 am, they never work till they skip lunch and dinner… they certainly don’t have a computer at home which some to work round the clock. It’s never like that.

Unfortunately, the demand of work has evolved so much, the term ‘work hard’ has been amplified multiple folds. I think we must realise that though our body is an incredible anatomy that seems limitless at times, it is still not designed to only sleep 3 hours a day… not designed to take in food once every 10 hours… and certainly not designed to work 12 – 16 hours, 7 days a week.

How hard are you pushing your body today?

1 year ago…
An enlightening beer-less encounterSome blogging thoughts

2 years ago…
The SculptureRespect for Malaysian drivers

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Such stories are getting closer

We have all heard about it. In fact, I have even blogged about it. I am referring to cases where people work so hard, they ended up dead. There was a case of a Romanian. And closer to home, there was a case of this Singapore girl who too, lost her life due to over-work.

I have actually heard a real life story from a friend where her hard-working boss went to toilet prior to a meeting but never came out from there. The boss died of heart attack while relieving himself in the toilet.

And now, right before my very eyes, there is someone from my church who joined the Church History Class in my church just who passed away in his sleep 2 days ago. After a post-mortem and discussion with the doctors, it is believed that the cause of his death is “acute stress”. He has been working non-stop for the past few weeks, sleeping only 3-4 hours a day. He was 24.

Out of respect to him, I am not going to go into his details. When I blogged about the 2 stories which I mentioned earlier, many agree that work is not life. How many of us actually follow that motto till today?

May we all realise that there is more to life than work before it’s too late.

May this person who just lost his life rest in peace in the company of angels in heaven.

1 year ago…
The 3 seeksJust another day of work

2 years ago…
Morons of the same brain park together

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

High what?

Did you notice something lately? Perhaps not lately, this new phenomena has been happening for a few years now. A classic example of this phenomenon is when you see an uploaded picture of boys in white shirt and dark blue pants or girls in pinafore and they labelled the photo as…

“My high school days” or “Me and my high school mates”

I don’t know about you but to me, “high school” is not the right term to refer Form 1 to Form 5. I have never referred to any of my school friends as “high school mates”. Based on my possibly out-dated understanding, schools for Standard 1 to Standard 6 are categorised as “Primary school” and those for Form 1 to Form 5 are categorised as “Secondary school”.

Unless one’s school’s name has got “high school” in it, such as Catholic High School, there isn’t exactly this thing called “high school” in Malaysia. Even that, it is still debatable as school name and schooling system are 2 separate elements.

So what exactly is “high school”? It is actually part of the school system in the US. I understand from my friends in the States that their schooling system mainly made up of:-

Elementary School (Kindergarten to 5th grade / age 5 – 11)
Middle School (6th to 8th grade / age 12 – 14)
High School (9th to 12th grade / age 15 – 18)

Here in Malaysia, we do not have “middle school” or “low school” and certainly, we do not have “high school”. What we have is primary and secondary school. Why then more and more people are referring to secondary school as “high school”?

A very good friend of mine said… “It is the westernised thinkers who refer to it, without basis, as high school”. I tend to agree. What about you?

At this juncture, some of you may say…”Zewt, what’s the fuss? It means the same thing”.

I will have to ask… do these “high school people” use that term to sincerely refer to the same thing or do they use as that term sounds more western… more cool? Besides, how are you going to refer to your first year in “high school”? 9th grade, or Form 1?

1 year ago…
What’s with the awareness fuss?when our instincts fail

2 years ago…
The tail to the tales