Tuesday 30 December 2008

The annual corporate battle

The end is near. The end of the year I mean, and to say that this year is an eventful one is certainly an understatement. As the year comes to an end, it also marks the beginning of an annual affair in the corporate world. No, I am not referring to the annual year-end reporting period… I am referring to a battle… a domestic one… one that is going to be even more intense this year…

I am referring to the battle for bonus allocation…

31 Dec is a very common year-end period for a lot of companies. But unknown to many, that while the accountants slave it out to report the numbers, there are those in the corporate world who will commence their battle to justify their “performance”.

In a big corporation, it is common to have more than 1 unit or department that generates revenue. For example, a big corporation like General Electrics have manufacturing business, aircraft servicing, capital, etc. Sometimes, a single company can have multiple revenue centre too. Take a bank for example, it has the corporate banking unit, consumer banking unit, debt capital market, treasury, etc.

Sometimes, when a business deal is struck, it can be difficult to ascertain which revenue centre is to be recognised for the credit. It may be easier if the company is a product-based company, though still possible. But it becomes messy when a company is service-based. Mind you, being recognised is crucial as it converts to increment and bonus at the end of the year…. $$$$$!

A very real example, which I think many are aware is this thing about how that little mp3 device called iPod… is dying a slow death. And do you know who or what is killing iPod? It’s none other than the… iPhone.

I heard (which means it could be untrue) that the iPod unit in Apple is blaming the iPhone unit of killing their own kind. It may not be the case in Malaysia but people around the world prefer to buy an iPhone instead of an iPod, which makes perfect sense really. And due to this, iPod is not doing as well as it used to be. Come payment of bonus, guess who in Apple will be pocketing a fat pay cheque?

Trust me, the “battle” to get oneself recognised for the credit can be a bloody affair. You have absolutely no idea how one is willing to go just to make sure one’s bonus is secured, even at the expense of others. And due to the current economic turmoil, the bonus pool is much smaller, which in turn will intensify the battle.

In the place where I work, I have already witness small battle happening since months ago. As the accountants need to separate the bonus provision between departments, this is going to be a bloody war.

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Blessed Christmas

For unto us a Child is born...
Unto us a Son is given...
God is with us...

We were the reason He gave His life...
He is the reason for this season...
Blessed Christmas to all...

Tuesday 23 December 2008

The current hypocritical trend

There is a current phenomenon that is sweeping through town. And when I said town, it’s really about people in the Kland valley. You hear people making this particular remark rather often, particular in the last 2 months or so.

When someone is stuck in a traffic jam…
When someone fails in getting a car-park slot in the mall…
When someone sees a whole load of people at the mall…
When someone has to queue to pay after shopping…
When someone had to queue to get a table at a restaurant…

These people tend to now just make a very quick judgement…

“Who say got recession ah? Where got recession? Tell me… where got recession?

Most of the time, such remark is made because one is frustrated. One believes that the rest of the world are supposed to stay at home and eat maggi mee during these tough times while that someone can enjoy the mall and road for oneself.

But one must not forget, the fact that you are also out on the road queuing at the counter or waiting in line for a table or jamming the car park means you are also one who in the crowd of people who is making this recession doesn’t look like a recession. That person standing right behind you on a queue can also say the same thing.

We are all contributing to this phenomena… myself included.

Sunday 21 December 2008

The reality of reality shows

I recently had the privilege to have a conversation with someone who participated in a local reality show. Consider that we don’t really have that many reality shows here, I am sure some of you would have managed to guess which one. Yes, it’s our very own version of apprentice. I think it’s called The Firm or something.

Anyway, this person (let’s call him Jack), quit after 1 episode as the show was taking too much of his time. It takes 4 days of filming for just 1 episode. So if you don’t have an extremely understanding boss, no way you can make it.

Naturally, I asked him about all those drama and how real is the reality show. I am sure you know what I mean, all those bitching and crying and internal fighting, how real are all those stuff. How real are these reality shows?

Jack response was… “It’s reality as in, there is no proper script. That’s basically it”

So, it’s just a show with no proper script? How do they generate all the drama and bitching and crying stuff?

“A combination of casting and editing”, Jack answered.

Apparently, during casting, the production team doesn’t really rope in the best people for the show. But rather, they cast in people based on their personality, personalities that will create the “drama” needed. I reckon it’s simple. Just cast in a jerk, a bitch, a dumb-dumb, a blur punk, an ambitious soul (both male + female), a joker and put them all in a group, you will have the reality you want. Don’t you think so?

Well, taking all the drama aside, I think reality shows somehow illustrate a disturbing element. I think it shows that we are no longer interested in “acting”, or at least we are heading that way. Tears and laughter in an acted scene no longer interests us, we want to see the real thing. We want to see real tears, we want to see real arguments. When there is a struggle, we are intrigued by real suffering.

It makes me wonder, whether we humans will one day move towards real killing. And you know what? It’s all in the name of entertainment…

Impossible? Too drastic? Well, what things are we not capable of?

Thursday 18 December 2008

An analogy of an organism

There is this organism. Just like any living thing, it needs to grow. And with the proper nutrients, it will certainly grow. As it lives in a very competitive environment, it will need to take it the best food in order to absorb the best nutrients for its body. It may be a struggle at first but soon, with the right approach and being wise in selecting the food it needs, the body can have the proper nutrient.

As this organism grew with the proper nutrients, it began to develop strong muscles. At one point, this organism kept putting its muscles into training in order for it to be one step ahead of its competitors. Sure enough, with the right training and more good nutrients, this organism with its strong muscles and a smart mind managed to defeat some of its competitors.

But just like any living being, as time goes by; this living organism became complacent. Lapse in concentration while selecting the right food, top up with a tendency to take things easy having achieved good strength, fats began to form around its body.

Fats can be essential, as fats support the muscles by providing muscle with energy. But no matter what, fats are always bad; it can cause diseases in the long run. But since everything looks fine, the competitors are not showing any sign of improvement and the unhealthy food tastes so good, the organism just have to bear the fats.

But then, there is a sudden change of environment…

Some other organisms in the community died due to disease that they had without knowing. So this organism begins to go for check up to see if it has any disease and found out that it is in the pinkest of health. But then, the wise mind of this organism thought that this would be the best time to get rid of the fat; using the outbreak of diseases as the reason.

You must realise that over time, the muscles have gotten lazy and the fats, though have not caused any disease, is certainly causing inefficiencies in the body. On top of that, it’s making the organism looks bad!

And so the organism puts its body through tough diet regime. No more lavish food and relaxing approach to things. The muscles need to exercise and the fats have to be trimmed away. The body is fine, no disease and in fact, the body is at its pinkest of health but still, due to the change in environment, this is the best time to get rid of the fats and get the muscles to work efficiently again.

This organism is called… unscrupulous opportunist corporations…

So do you think you are the muscles? Or are you the fats?

Monday 15 December 2008

A theory of 2 companies

Imagine there are 2 companies, Company A and Company B. Both companies are in the same business in town, and their business is rather specialised. This means the workers in this business can only work in Company A or B in this town.

Both companies are actually doing quite well despite the current economic condition. But one day, the big boss of Company A decided to downsize the company. Certainly, with the bad economic state, it’s not that difficult to obtain regulatory approval.

And so Company A retrench say… 30% of its personnel. Of course, they don’t really call it retrenchment. Packaging is important so it’s usually called voluntary separation scheme, flexible separation scheme, this scheme and that scheme. No matter what the call it, people will lose their job. The 70% remaining people in Company A will then become fearful thus will not dare to demand for increment or bonus.

With this, then Company B suddenly went on a recruitment drive and recruited the 30% workers in the market that only Company B can employ, due to their specialised skills. Of course, these 30% workers will employed by Company B at a much lower salary than before. Well, they have been retrenched, not much choice right?

Interestingly, Company B then retrench 30% of its original staff strength. These 30% being retrenched are not the newly employed ex-Company A workers, they are the existing ones. Made sense right? You employ all the ex-Company A workers cheaply, you can then get rid of those in current payroll who are getting much higher pay. Naturally, this also sends a chill to existing Company B workers thus they too do not dare to demand for increment and bonus.

More interestingly, Company A too went on a recruitment drive and employ the 30% retrenched ex-Company B workers. Of course, they are employed at a much lower salary compared to their previous employment in Company B.

In conclusion, 30% of staff changed working place between Company A and Company B resulting in massive reduction in staff cost. The non-retrenched staff paranoid about losing their job thus will not ask for increment and bonus resulting in an even more massive reduction in cost. Since both companies are actually doing well despite the economic crisis, there is a sudden increase in profit.

The big bosses of the 2 companies claim credit for the profit increase and pocket a fat bonus…

It’s just a theory… anyone got a morale of the theory?

Sunday 14 December 2008

Losing my vigilnity

I was late as I needed to cook dinner. I parked my car and as I walked across the park, this was what I saw…

I think the crowd strength was about 200, or more. I saw a lot of young people, and a lot of girls too. Where are the guys? Someone went up to speak and the first request was… “no video recording please”. Obviously that somoene does not intend to be seen in youtube. He then went on about Shakespear and ISA.

So, anyone wants to lose his/her vigilnity?

Friday 12 December 2008

A new criterion

Looks like the metamorphosis of slaves is really beginning to take its toll on some slave masters. Apparently, the rise of “The New Breed” is causing problems in companies which thrive on squeezing the very last bit of life out of modern slaves. Well, with the rise of The New Breed, they don’t really fall within the definition of modern slaves anyway, no?

And so some companies are actually taking some measures to ensure that they recruit at least “The Transitional Generation”, and try to avoid The New Breed as much as possible. How are they doing that?

Apparently, they have included an unwritten rule in the recruitment policy. They believe that this particular information in the CV will somehow help them segregate the The New Breed out.

And this particular criteria is…

Cheras… Can consider…
SS2, PJ… This is a tough one…
Mont Kiara… Only select if we have no choice…
Seremban… definitely can consider…
Malacca… definitely can consider…
Penang… HIGHLY potential!
Ipoh… HIGHLY potential!
Taiping… MUST recruit!
Subang/Sunway… hmmm, another tough one…
Damansara Heights / Tropicana…. BAN!!!

Get the drift?

P/S: Zewt did not intend to offend anyone, just in case.

Steven Lee, who is a professional photographer based in London is organising the KL Photo Awards 2009. He is calling for entries and deadline is 1st March 2009. All DSLR enthusiasts, time to flaunt your harvest…!

Wednesday 10 December 2008

The number mystery

A few of my friends either sms-ed or called me that day asking whether I am affected as I am currently residing quite near “ground zero”. I told them I was fine as I am actually based quite far away from the scene. However, I am based near enough to the highway leading to the scene to know that there ambulances and fire engines heading there as I could hear their sirens.

Around afternoon, I sms-ed a friend of mine who lived there and he replied that he happened to be in Singapore and will probably need to extend his holiday. 5 minutes later, he sent me another sms. It was a text from his neighbour who was there at the scene. My friend’s neighbour described the scene as … “very very very very tragic” and interestingly, he said… “many died”.

In the evening, when the news came out that the death toll was only 4, I sms-ed my friend telling him it’s not as tragic as his neighbour described. Maybe his neighbour was in a shock or something.

But then it struck me… the landslide happened at 4am and it covered a few bungalows and only 4 dead? A bit bizarre I must say, not that I was hoping more people are dead, not at all.

Today, the most controversial website published
an interesting article about rescue workers and more interestingly, there was this particular comment which made a peculiar claim. Referring to comment made on December 10, 2008 13:33:09, the commentor claimed that the death toll was a covered up.

More interestingly, the 4 unfortunate victims made up of a Chinese, a Malay, an Indian and a Sri Lankan. No disrespect to the dead but, the combination is just a little, too interesting. I can't find a better word for it without offending the dead.

So who do we believe?
What did my friend’s neighbour mean when he said “many dead”?
If there are more dead, why the need to hide the real figure?

Only God knows… only God knows…

Tuesday 9 December 2008

Our type of rescue

It’s always an eye-opening experience talking to old uncles, be it a conversation at the traditional coffee shop or any random meetings. I had such a session yesterday evening after joining a few of them for badminton.

Naturally, our conversation centred on the current talk of town, that particular landslide. And apparently, one of the guys there was working in his office when the baby landslide took place 2 days before the major one. He was referring to the version which happened in Jalan Semantan, 2 days before the Bukit Antarabangsa version.

“It was just outside the windows of my office”, he said.
“All the Bandaraya and police were there. 2 days later, all moved over to antarabangsa”

It was then that one of the uncles made a statement…
“Of course lah, plenty of things to find there, so many rich people”

That uncle was actually referring to rescuers going to the scene to look for money. After all, all the buried properties are bungalows own by very rich people. Shadowfox has done some research and found that bungalows there were selling at the region of RM6.5m. What kind of fortune do you think are buried beneath the earth there?

Honestly, I have never thought about it. Only the uncles are aware of such thing.

I know it can be over-judgemental to think of the rescuers in such a manner but when you read news reported today about how
a victim was given a hoe and asked to dig and look for his wife himself, one can't help but think how “efficient” our rescuers are. And let’s not kid ourselves. We are all painfully aware of the possibility of such things in this wonderful country.

Monday 8 December 2008

Light Monday read

Hope everyone is having (or had depending on when you read this) a good break.

Anyway, I received this a few days ago and thought it’s good to share the laughter. While they mainly depict the state of economy in the US, things aren’t that different here in Malaysia.

Click to enlarge…

Friday 5 December 2008

A truly interesting encounter

Well, well, well… Ya’ know what? I had a very interesting encounter 2 days ago which is very in-line with what AZAIG readers have been debating for this whole week. Wanted to pen down the experience immediately but never got the time to do it.

Anyway, I was supposed to go for my badminton training at 4pm on Wednesday as I was on leave but I spent more time than expected at the hospital visiting baby Z. Oh yes, baby Z is doing well right now. He seems alert and responding well to the surgery. Let’s continue to pray that his vision is at 100%.

Coming back to the story…

Because I was late, the 5pm training session was a joint-version with another person, a 12-year-old kid. The coach remarked… “Zewt, this boy is crazy about badminton”, and left me to warm up with him.

Hello, I’m Zewt
My name is Mohd Afiq” (name has been modified)

I must say this boy is quite confident about his ability, quite talented too. Guess that’s why he will be competing in a local tournament middle of this month.

Long story cut short, it was a fun training session which included the coach asking me to have a single match between me and Afiq where I have to give him a 10-point handicap plus him having only half-court to be in-play while mine will be full single-playing court. I know… I know… you all want to know won right? If I lost, do you think I will be telling you this part of the story? Hehehe…

And so, the training was over and both of us were sitting down to cool down.

“Want to play another game?” he asked, obviously not satisfied
“No, think I’m too tired”
“Anyway, where do you stay Afiq?”
“I stay in name-of-a-very-rich-community”

It was then his phone rang and he took out a very sophisticated looking phone. Right, that shouldn’t be a surprise right?

“My driver is going to be late” he said after hanging up his phone.

It was then he did something which I never thought will ever happen to me in my lifetime…

He took out his wallet and upon withdrawing 50 bucks…

“Hey Zewt, you want any drink? Come, I’ll buy you a drink”

Now tell me, how often do you get a 12-year old offering to buy you a drink? I was so stunned that I was left speechless for a while. I politely declined. Perhaps I should have asked for a whiskey coke instead.

Anyway, his ambition is to be a national player. Well, if he does make it, at least we know money will not be his motivating factor.

P/S: No, I am not going to tell you what car came and pick him up. You have to guess.

Wednesday 3 December 2008

Loved vs Pampered vs Spoilt

A real life encounter…

I was at a restaurant a few years ago and sitting next to my table was this truly “blessed” kid. I reckon he was around 8 – 10 years old. His ears were shut with earphones connected to an iPod. At the same time, his eyes were glued to a PSP. Sitting next to him was a maid trying to feed him ice-cream. Occasionally, he will pause from his game and take sip from the milk-shake already on the table.

On the other side of the table was his mother who said (if I can still recall correctly)… “Boy, your burger cold already lah…” The prince just ignored her.

He may be 8 or 9 or 10, but he already had a tummy as big as a 40-year-old man. His specs were also thick for his age, though that is not uncommon nowadays. However, I don’t think his poor eyesight was due to over-reading judging from what I saw. Judgemental yes, but would you disagree with me?

I am also currently witnessing a close relative who has been showered with so much toys, he now needs a room just to house all his gadgets. Barely 3-years old, he is already demanding presents on a daily basis and is capable of operating the DVD player on his own. Hence, he will also demand new DVDs about 3 times a week. Pampered? Spoilt? Some call it “smart”. And I have not even gone in to details into other things he is capable of.

It is only natural that parents will want to provide the best for the children. I am not a father yet, and I know for a fact that I will want to give my children things I could not enjoy when I was young. However, I think there is a limit to things; and I sincerely hope I know how to control myself when the time comes.

On a related note, some of the “younger generation” have not been pleased as we working class people are seemed to be taking a sweep at them. In all honesty, I think most of us are in a way, referring to those who are obviously spoilt, oblivious to the current financial crisis, only know how to spend luxury goods, do not know the value of money and certainly those who don’t need to lift a single finger and money will just drop on their lap.

Are you one of those? Siapa yang makan cili, dialah yang rasa pedas. And if some of you claim that you respect and look up to us working class people, shouldn’t you pause and ponder why we take a sweep at you? And having said all that, I did mention that the generation condemnation cycle would probably keep going so you might just be in our shoes in 5 – 10 years time.

Finally, I have to say that it is indeed not a crime to be spoilt or spend if you have the means to do so. It’s good for the economy anyway. But I think it will not be right when pride steps in.

Just like how I always maintain that is it fine to be a
Type-A Chinese, i.e. those who do not know how to speak their mother tongue; but when a Chinese is proud that he/she doesn’t know how to speak Chinese (and there are such people by the way), then it is not right.

Similarly, when one is proud to be spoilt… when one is proud that one has never taken bus before… when one is proud that one only buys designer clothes… when one is proud that one can change handphone like one changes underwear… when one is proud that one only goes ‘mamak’ at Starbucks… and this one person has never earn a single dollar in one’s life before, then I think it’s not quite right.

But then again, to each its own…

Monday 1 December 2008

Generation condemnation

I don’t think I came from a rich family and enjoyed a lavish childhood, but my Mom always seemed to think otherwise. She used to talk about how my siblings and me are so spoilt for we have the luxury of television and RM5 pocket money for a week during my primary school days.

Of course, I always disagree. When I go to school, I see some schoolmates whom I considered rich because I never had what is now an extinct gadget called “game and watch”. Remember those colourless gaming device such as “Western Bar”, “Battleship”, “Donkey Kong” and the likes?

As I progressed to college life, my Mom continued to nag about how fortunate I am that I can take bus to college while she can't even afford to have a bicycle. But as I looked around during that time, so many of my peers were already driving cars! And some of them were already carrying handphones, something me and most of my friends never had until we graduated.

Now that I am all grown up and has been in the modern slaves rank for a while now, I see how the younger generation having the time of their life and somehow, I feel that they are spoilt and pampered.

And ya’ know what? Friends of mine who had the privilege of driving during college days while most of us took bus or KTM Komuter and have probably changed 3 handphones when most of us were about to get our first are also of the opinion that the current younger generation is spoilt to their skin.

What does that tell you…?

My previous entry drew a healthy level of debate. Blogger CiNDi even
dedicated an entry in reply to all who commented against the “younger generation”. But while she has her point, reading her rebuttals pointed out that she didn’t go through the hunky-dory childhood that most of people do. Something happened while she was young and I think it did her good.

No matter what, a generation will stand for their generation and somehow, the previous generation will condemn the next. Some may call it progression perhaps? Will people like CiNDi and EC grow up and comment the next generation? Perhaps… perhaps not… we shall see…

Having said that, I do believe that that working part time in whatever capacity while you are a student so that you have that additional pocket money to spend, whether to window shop, really shop or sipping what you think is a well deserved cup of Starbucks is still… no mater what… very different compared to people who work so that they can pay their mortgages, pay their bills and put food on the table for the family.

And that is something that most (please note the word MOST) of the younger generation will not understand until… they are no longer the younger generation…

Friday 28 November 2008

When one has yet to earn

First and foremost, many thanks to all who prayed for baby Z. The surgery took slightly more than 4 hours with a shunt inserted into the brain though I don’t really know what exactly that means. He is currently in ICU under observation. The dad told me baby Z is awake and feeding has begun. Do continue to uphold him in prayer.

Coming back to the economic scene, The Edge had a very interesting article last week about the fate of white-collar workers ahead of the imminent recession. It did a few analyses on increment rate and salary rate of Malaysians and I must say, it’s quite saddening. It also supports my argument that we Malaysians are the
‘cheap labour’ in this region.

One very peculiar part of that article states that the shopping complexes around town are actually rather empty these days, something I find very hard to believe. It also said that it is easier finding car parks nowadays compared to before.

With this in mind, I went to 1 Utama new wing and you know what? That article is… wrong! Parking is still horrendous. I don’t know what made that journalist thinks that the shopping malls are empty these days.

Walking around the shops, I saw that the shopping culture is still very much alive. But then, I can't help but noticed one thing. I would say 90% of those who are shopping and happily stocking up on clothes and accessories are… not salary earners, at least not yet.

Did anyone read
this letter written by a student to TheStar earlier this week? A friend was mine was absolutely furious about what the student wrote. For someone who has yet to earn her own money and telling us adults that we should appreciate the level of prices now are really quite… ridiculous.

I guess that is why most of them are still happily shopping, holidaying and sipping coffee at coffee bean. No offence to students out there but until and unless one comes out from the ‘pocket money’ phase, one will never appreciate how hard it is to make one’s own money.

Thursday 27 November 2008

Prayer request

I wish to call upon all AZAIG Christian readers to pray for my friend's baby; named Z who suffered from brain hemorrhage a while ago and will be goin into surgery at 4pm today (27 Nov) due to fresh bleeding in his brain. The baby is about 5 months old.

Please pray for a successful surgery, peace and calm for the family and that baby Z will grow up to be a healthy normal boy.

God Bless.
All glory to God.

Wednesday 26 November 2008

Did all the money suddenly just disappear?

Many people have been asking me about the current financial crisis. How did it all begin? What exactly happen? Why so many companies suddenly go bankrupt or near collapse? Why suddenly so many countries in recessions (except for almighty Malaysia)?

Did all the money suddenly just disappear? It can't be, right?

The textbook answer to such question is blame the most talked about things in the world… “sub-prime”. Now, to understand what exactly happen will be very technical and I will probably have to write pages. Even that, I may not have written it accurately. So let’s leave that aside.

In addition to that, I believe sub-prime is not exactly the cause. I am of the zewtpinion that sub-prime is merely the point at which the real cause of the finally spill over. I believe the real cause to the current financial crisis is that there is a flaw in the law of wealth generation. Yeah, a pretty bold statement from a person who isn’t exactly an economist.

Generally, the law of wealth creation sounds rather simple. Tom has 10 bucks, he spends it on Dick’s restaurant for lunch. Then Dick spends the 10 bucks he earned on Harry’s restaurant for dinner. Harry then spends it on Zewt’s bar at night for a drink. In that single day, 3 persons recorded an income of 10 bucks; 3 persons can declare they made 10 bucks that day. 30 bucks will be recorded as GDP (correct me if I am wrong) and probably, 30 bucks will be taxed. But in reality, how much is there in the first place? Only 10 bucks.

That may seem rather simple and some may argue that perhaps Dick and Harry will have to record 10 bucks as expenditure. That is true, though not entirely accurate. But then again, the complexity will come when money is placed in the bank and then the same amount of money is lent out by the bank to another person. Top that up with business being carried out on credit terms, things just turned into one whole big mess.

Consider this…

Tom has 100 bucks, he places it in the bank.
The bank lends it to Dick for his business.
Dick shows his 100 bucks to Harry and purchase 100 bucks worth of goods from Harry.
But Dick tells Harry he will only pay him in 3 months.
Harry record 100 bucks worth of sales.
Harry pledges his business to another bank and to lend another 100 bucks.
Harry buys a 100 bucks house.

In reality, how much money is there in the above scenario? 100 bucks? Maybe 200. But Tom will claim he has 100 bucks in deposit. Dick has 100 bucks in cash. Harry has 100 bucks in receivables and another 100 bucks worth of assets. Do you get what I mean?

If you open up the published audited accounts of any profitable listed companies and if a company shows that it has a net profit of RM10m. Do you seriously believe that the company has got RM10min cash? Most probably not.

This is a signboard located in New York called the US debt clock. It records the amount of national debt of America. It has just been adjusted to add an additional digit as the amount keeps increasing and has not hit US10 trillion. And the amount will only keep increasing, indicating that America will never be able to pay off these debts.

In short, many people out there in the world, could be individuals, banks, companies or even countries have got receivables (i.e. debt) worth US10 trillion which will never be repaid. But these people think they have money as their deposit book or accounts show they do. But in actual fact, they don’t.

2 days ago, US announced
a US20b bail out for Citigroup. In that announcement, it was also said that they will guarantee “hundreds of billions of risky assets”. So suddenly, these “risky assets” aren’t so risky anymore; all because the US govt said so. But how much these “hundreds of billions of assets” now worth. Try and go ask around…

So if you think only Malaysians like to swipe the credit card, then you are wrong. The whole world have been swiping on a giant credit card and “sub-prime” somehow caused a malfunction in the credit card chip causing the whole mechanism to fail. Suddenly, the world realise that many people who claim to be rich aren’t exactly rich. And all these I guarantee this we guarantee that is just to make sure the world continue to believe that everyone is still rich, please continue to spend.

Did all the money suddenly just disappear? No, the money was never there in the first place.

Thursday 20 November 2008

Any difference?

I had a very good argument conversation regarding a while ago. At the end of it, no conclusion was made. Can't help it really. Such discussion seldom comes to a conclusion.

I know it’s Friday but I am sure many, if not all of you would be interested in the subject matter…

Is there a difference between…

A girl is in love with the guy’s money.


A girl is in love with the guy because of his money.

Most girls are of the opinion that there is difference between the two. Their argument is that former is purely because of money while the latter; there are feelings and emotions involved. Of course, they back it up with the girls-have-family-sense-and-the-money-is-for-the-children-and-future argument.

As for my take, there is absolutely no difference. Either way, once the bloke losses his $note, the girl will be gone.

I am sure you have something say… debate away…

Wednesday 19 November 2008

Part 3: The Great Tribulation

Part 1: How will the end begins?
Part 2:
To Capture the Rapture

I have always wondered… if one day, 95% of the Christians around the world just vanish from the face of the earth, how will the world react to such phenomenon. Aliens have suddenly developed an interest in Christians perhaps? And what about those who are left behind?

The time after the Rapture is called The Great Tribulation (“TGT”), and it’s not a pleasant period based on interpretations. In Matt 24:15-22, in which scholars have interpreted that it gave a glimpse of how tribulation times will be; Christians are told to “run to the hills”, “woe to those who are pregnant” and “great distress”.

It is a time where most Christians are believe to have been taken to the clouds and the anti-Christ will be allowed to rule the world. I guess it puts life to the saying… “all hell breaks lose”. Perhaps there will be people who will actually enjoy life during this period. After all, “all hell breaks lose” sure sounds more fun than being lifted to the clouds right?

It was also interpreted that TGT will stretch over a period of 7 years. You may
>read here on how the interpretation is derived. Quite deep and I have to read it twice before being able to digest it. Again, it is just an interpretation by people. How long will it actually last… only God knows.

During the first half of the period, presumably 3.5 years; mankind will enjoy prosperity. Assuming 95% of Christians gone and then mankind enjoy prosperity, speaks a lot about the existence of Christians on earth huh? [grin]

Lo and behold, the second half of the TGT, as read in Revelation 13:5, the ruler (i.e. anti-Christ) will break the peace and bring chaos to the world. It’s like “all hell breaks lose” level 2. Some interpreted that those who defy him will be beheaded, literally. Maybe after that, the body will be c4-ed. Just joking. But the headed part is real.

It is at the end of the TGT that things will be so messed up where some actually predicted nuclear war, God will come back and clean things up. Then a period interpreted as the “1000 year Christ rule” will take place. It will be a time of peace where satan will be imprisoned.

Sounds boring eh? Imagine Jesus ruling the world, physically, for 1000 years, I am sure many will think… where is the fun? Will talk more later in the next instalment.

TGT has got many interpretations and some are pretty scary. One thing for sure, it is a time where I would rather not be in. I would rather be lifted up during Rapture and stay there happily playing the harp with probably a ring on top of my head.

Anyway, I have this burning question…

I have shared these series of event to many people and more often than not, I am being laughed at. Of course, these are not Christians. But let’s say… let’s just say… if suddenly a peace deal is successfully brokered in middle-east and the very next day, you wake up to a breaking news that a whole load of Christians have disappeared…

Will you go just shrug it off and continue with your life?
Will you brace yourself for the good “all hell breaks lose” times?
Will you head to church and try to save your soul?
What would be your reaction?

P/S: Don’t ask for my reaction cause I will be playing my harp up there already :P

Monday 17 November 2008

Same shield, different usage

I think about a month ago, news broke out about a 10-year-old being detained under ISA while accompanying her mother to visit her father in Kamunting. Some said she was trying to hand over a Deepavali card to her daddy and a whole load of them got themselves arrested.

There were mixed reactions to that. The usual left wing people started condemning the police. I thought that was normal. But, there were also some quarters which argued that people should not use children as their shield to achieve hidden agendas. Fair enough, I believe they had a valid point there.

I saw this cute picture of a little girl wearing the forbidden tee while attending the latest candlelight vigil in
Zorro’s blog. She probably wouldn’t understand that exactly she is wearing and definitely wouldn’t understand what is going on in such vigils.

Honestly, I don’t know how it feels to bring a child to a vigil as I am not a parent yet. The repercussions are further amplified after the FRU incident 2 weeks ago. And I am sure many loving and protective parents out there will condemn such acts.

But to those who have been refraining from doing anything simply because they believe they are protecting their children…. those who continue to vote “the party” in an attempt not to rock the boat for the well-being of their children… those who prefer to have “stability” for their children’s sake… aren’t you also using your child as shield to keep yourself from doing anything?

Children may not understand what is going on and why things are happening. But when they finally understood, will they say… “thank you mommy for not doing anything?” or will they ask… “Why did you use me as a shield against the critics?”

I was… once a child… never understood a thing… but now I do…

Friday 14 November 2008

An answer in the 400th

I really can't believe this is the 400th entry for AZAIG. Feels as though I just started blogging yesterday. Ok, that’s exaggeration. More like I feel I just started blogging a month ago or something.

Anyway, lately; I have been getting mails asking me things like… “zewt, you don’t write Friday Frolics anymore?”

Honestly, it’s not easy to write genuine real life experiences that are funny and tickle you to your bone. Maybe they are deep down in my memory bank somewhere and I need to do a search but it usually don’t pop out just like that. And of course, I don’t get “pick up” in the gym every week so gym experiences are not a constant thing.

So for this Friday and in conjunction with AZAIG’s 400th post, I shall answer one question readers never fail to ask me… “Actually ah… what does Zewt means?”

I have actually written this before on my first century entry so, allow me to reproduce it here…

Zewt is of course… me… haha! Ok… crap aside, zewt actually evolved from my Chinese name. It was originally yewt. Right… now everyone out there is screaming… what is yewt? Yewt was derived from the following methodology…

Lau Tuck Wah = tuckw
Chow Yuen Fatt = yuenf
Chan Li Lian = lil
Lee Chong Wei = chongw
Tee Bee Ean = beee

Catch the flow? … Yeah, am sure you did. Well done! So yeah, it was derived from my Chinese name.

So how did yewt become zewt? Well, it just evolved that way… thought ‘z’ is more glamour than ‘y’. Besides, someone commented yewt sounds like nude, not very nice.

So now that you know how did zewt come about, and if you’re a Chinese… what is your zewtvolution name?

Wednesday 12 November 2008

If your boss wants to axe you...

Seems like Development Bank of Singapore (“DBS”) has taken the lead in wielding the axe. Last Friday, it was reported the DBS Group is cutting 900 jobs in an effort to control escalating costs in the light of the current economic crisis. With so many investment banks in Singapore, such trend is expected to continue.

Just today, I was told via an e-mail that a particular Big-4 accounting firm in Hong Kong will be lining up similar fate for their non-performer. It is expected that such activities will begin to pick up pace this month as I was told job-cutting usually will not take place in December due to Christmas. Talk about empathy…

What about Malaysia then? Are you afraid that you will lose your job?

If you look at this side of Asia, one would consider that Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia are somewhat the financial hubs. Of course, Malaysia is very far away compared to the former 2 with Shanghai not too far behind. This would mean that a lot of big multinational corporations have operations in HK, Singapore and Malaysia.

Now, if such corporations want to cut jobs, I think they will attack HK and Singapore first and probably spare Malaysia. Why?

Say you have a senior finance manager in the Malaysian operating unit, his pay is probably RM10,000? A similar position in Singapore will probably dollar to dollar if not more. Let’s say it is SG$10,000. A similar position in HK will be a killer. I would say someone earning RM10,000 in Malaysia will be securing at least HK$60,000 for a similar position there.

Can you see what I am trying to get at?

Most, if not all multinationals consolidate their results using US$ as the common currency. So when they convert RM10,000, SG$10,000 and HK$60,000 into US$, they will realise that Malaysians (those residing in Malaysia) are the cheapest of the lot. So if you are looking to cut cost, where should you attack first?

Like the saying goes… someone has to do to job, unless the company goes bankrupt. So don’t be surprise if suddenly, Malaysians are promoted to regional roles overseeing this part of Asia. After all, it’s quite economical solution. But while we may get to keep our job, that doesn’t mean we will get a raise though…

So if your boss wants to retrench you and if your company has got operations in Singapore and HK, you may want to ask him to promote you instead.

Tuesday 11 November 2008

To capture the Rapture

When I was still in my teenage days, me and my friends who are mostly Christians used to joke about how if any of us wakes up one day only to find the rest of us have gone missing, we should be pissing in our pants. I remember how we used to laugh about it and talked about a few scenarios how that could happen and how we would actually react to it.

You must be wondering what is this disappearing joke all about…

Well, after
peace has been bestowed upon middle east, it was interpreted that the much anticipated “second coming of Christ” will take place. Trumpets will sound where the whole earth will hear and His glory can be seen throughout the earth. He will then come riding a horse in the sky.

What about the disappearing act then, you may ask…

Well, it was interpreted that Christians, alive and dead, will be lifted up to the clouds to join Him. But not all Christians will be lifted up; some will left behind. Some quarters said that one must have faith to join Him in the clouds, while others believe that the decision is ultimately with God. I believe that one must have faith.

So there you go, with some being lifted up to the heaven and some left behind, Christians should be pissing in their pants if they wake up one day only to find out that a majority of Christians have disappeared… don’t you think?

This part of the prophecy is called… Rapture.

There are of course many interpretation of Rapture but like I said earlier, this is the version of eschatology that I subscribe to.

Though peace in middle-east is believed to be the final jig-saw, there are also many signs prophesised in the bible which will lead to Rapture. One of it which I wish highlight is that “many will bear the mark of the beast”. It was also prophesised that the mark will be on one’s forehead. I am not sure whether it was also prophesised that it will be on one’s forearm. Anyone care to enlighten.

You must be wondering right now that is this “mark of the beast”.

In the book of Revelation 13:18, it was stated that the mark of the beast is a man’s number. It is 666. Now, I am sure many will be thinking that no one with a sane mind will have 666 glamorously tattooed on one’s forehead. Will it be possible then?

Some quarters believe that the bar-code is the mark of the beast. Now, if you look at the bar-code carefully, you will see that there are 3 significantly longer lines compared to the rest. One right at the beginning, one right at the centre and one right at the end. Can you see it?

Some argued that the significant longer line should carry a 6 as the code. So 3 significant longer lines mean…? There is a 6 at the bar-code shown there. Decipher yourself.

Still, will anyone actually put a bar-code on one’s forehead?

You know the new wave credit technology? I was told that there is currently a new technology being developed where one can implant a chip into one’s body and that will actually remove the hassle of carrying a credit card. This new chip will have information of everything, something like what our MyKad originally intended to achieve. I was also told that research have shown two best places to have this implant… the forehand… and the forehead. Interesting isn’t it?

Coming back to why Christians should be pissing in their pants if they failed to capture the Rapture… Well, the next event based on this interpretation of eschatology is the “7 years tribulation”, something the bible didn’t portrayed as “pleasant”…

And you think the bible is all about telling you to do good and Jesus’ life huh?

P/S: Zewt is not a bible scholar and the above is purely personal opinion.

Sunday 9 November 2008

How will the end begin?

We all like to know what is going to happen in the future. That probably explains why Nostradamus was so famous. I never really dwell into what he wrote but people have told me that Nostradamus has successfully predicted quite a bit of significant event.

It was 1994, the year where I attended my first Christian camp. It was then I learnt about this thing called “end times”, or more famously known as Armageddon. No, the story is not about an asteroid heading towards earth and some oil drillers went up and blow it up from the sky.

According to the most accepted interpretation based on the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth manual (“BIBLE”), end times will come following a sequence of events. As the end draws near, the bible predicts that there will be chaos in this world. But of course, I understand that this is also prophesied by a few other religions.

Nevertheless, there is one significant event which will trigger it all. Before I continue, I would like to reiterate I am not a bible scholar, nor am I an theologian expert and whatever I have written here is based purely on my understanding.

This single significant event; which many Christians called as “the final piece of the jigsaw” is that someone will bring peace to the middle east. One needs no reminder and one only needs a small dosage of knowledge to know that middle east is the most chaotic region in the world. At any one time, there will be war and conflicts happening there such as America’s war on terrorism in Afghanistan and the never-ending conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Can anyone ever bring peace to middle east? Yasser Arafat continuously tried, and continuously failed. Some people argued that America will never allow peace to be bestowed upon middle east as it means America will lose its grip on the lucrative oil trade there. Many tend to agree.

So coming back to the million dollar question, can middle east ever enjoy peace? Can anyone have the power to bring peace to middle east?

A close friend of mine said that if anyone is to bring peace to middle east, it will not be accomplished using military supremacy. It can only be achieved from an economic perspective. Basically, for someone to bring peace to middle east, that someone must be rich, incredibly ridiculously and obscenely rich. I tend to agree with him.

Many things are happening in the world at the moment in the light of what many seen as the next great depression. Some of these things, you can read in the news. But many of these things which are happening, you and I don’t know. Due to the industry I am working in, I have the privilege to know a little more than you but I am afraid to tell that I can't share them here.

Many people are getting poor and their wealth wiped out. But there are also people out there who are making tonnes of money behind the scene. You just don’t know it.

When peace is bestowed upon middle east, it was interpreted that “rapture” will then occur; follow by “the 7 years tribulation”, the “defeat of the beast”, the “1000 years Christ rule” and then finally “Armageddon”.

Those will be stories for other days.

Thursday 6 November 2008

More keywords splendour

The “keyword analysis” function under StatCounter has always been fascinating. Having observed the function for a while (again), I realised sexual related stuff is still the most searched for items in the cyber-world and some of them happened to land in my blog.

Before I show those sexual driven searches, here is one non-sexual keyword which I think is rather… well sad…
Whoever you are, I feel for you man. But you know, it’s never too late. The sooner you realised you have made the professional mistake, the better.

Right… now that we’ve got that one out of the way, let’s get to the hot stuff…
I have absolutely no idea how groping a piece of cloth can give you any sexual pleasure but hey, whatever makes you happy man. Can't help but think some rempit made the search. But then, someone went one step ahead and did…

Whoever you are, I don’t know what have gotten into you. Perhaps you were really looking for some really out of this world orgasm or something. I hope you didn’t find the ‘sticky’ type. Ya know, you don’t really want to be stuck with one who wouldn’t leave you.

Now that what’s we’re talking about, a more sensible one. I wonder if he ever found an answer as simple as … “hump me please” in the web. Whoever you are, if you manage to find what is arguably the ultimate answer to life, you might just land yourself a very profitable business.

Imagine… “I am… I am… Ohhhhh… ohhhh….”
And then… “honey, what’s that smell?”
Must have been hard for you. Maybe you should check whether you hit the right hole or something…
As far as I remember, I don’t think AZAIG provide any penis enlargement services. But I think I know why people search for such thing… I wonder the same dude hoping to enlarge his pole searched for this…
Girl… does size matters? It certainly does for that this dude’s gf.

OooOOOooo… someone got into some big trouble huh… say, is there a way to discover this? Men are going to hate me for this. But no worries… while men are bastards… women have their evil side too…

Maybe you can graciously forgive your husband after discovering he had a one-night-stand. Otherwise… anyone has any idea on how to “re-deem your-self?”

Ya’ know what? While some keywords have been quite sick… it can never beat this…

Talk about keeping healthy!!!!

Do read… the original Keyword Splendour.