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.

Wednesday 5 November 2008

History was made today

History was made today. I remember whenever I watch movies featuring an African-American President; I always wonder if such things can ever happen. Well, it did happen after all; and I think it is a healthy change. I believe his presidency will have a bearing on the world and since we are part of the world, it will affect us somewhat.

While America will soon welcome its first African-American President, will our country ever have a Prime Minister of… oh… I better not say it… some people might view it as seditious. That is how far we are compared to the world.

Having said that, a lot of things which people perceived will never happen have been taking place around the world. I believe this is a crossroad of not just for our country, but for the whole world… for humanity.

From a biblical perspective, I would say we are witnessing a time when “God is shaking all nations” as prophesied by the prophet Isaiah. I have been trying to relate all the events of the world to the book called Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth and it has been intriguing. Perhaps I should write about my thoughts from that perspective next week…

For now, I will take today’s event as a sign of hope. Things you perceive to be impossible today might just be possible tomorrow. As someone said to me over facebook… who knows… we might just have an African-Malaysian Prime Minister…

Now, that would be something, isn’t it?

Monday 3 November 2008

A matter of opinion and a significant tomorrow

Wow!!!! 60 comments at the time of writing! I have not had this amount of comments for quite some time already. And so I have gathered…

You don’t reply to a blunt comment… “Zewt, fark him lah… this fella no respect”
When you reply to a blunt comment… “Zewt stoop so low… Zewt turned defensive”
When you are sarcastic… “Zewt, you’re bragging”

What purple-mushroom said really hit the nail… opinions are like assholes, all of us have one. Some told me to just ask those who disagree with me to f*** off. Well, that is something I don’t promote in AZAIG. All are free to voice their thoughts.

One thing for sure, I am not a capitalist and will never want to be one. My colleagues and former colleagues who know me well enough will testify to that.


Tomorrow is quite a significant day. It will be a day when our incumbent finance minister will announce measures which are supposed to chauffeur us though these turbulent times. One most likely measure is the reduction of employee EPF contribution rate, with the intention to boost consumption.

Whatever it is, I will keeping a close eye on the announcement. It will affect all of us. And based on the 60 odd comments, I can conclude that many consider themselves mid/low income earner so perhaps you should also pay attention on what will be introduced tomorrow.

Another significant event happening tomorrow (or today depending on how you see it), is the final run up on who will be the most powerful man on earth. To me… that is the real match between a capitalist and a somewhat socialist.

Gonna be so interesting…