Monday 26 October 2009

A sip before trip

Will be flying off tonight to the city I consider the Rome of the east. Understand the weather is getting rather cold, so I hope it’s cooling to walk around the Forbidden City and not so sweaty when scaling the Great Wall.

A word for fellow devils… the word was written all over the wall since last week. Whenever the media play up a team’s profile against a team in crisis, the latter will surely prevail. Happiest people yesterday were neither devils nor scousers, but the bookies.

In case you don’t know, the national budget was announced last Friday. Plenty of goodies (so it seems) for individuals. If you go into detailed calculations, it amounts to nothing really. And the general feel in the tax circle is that it is a boring budget. Should I dissect it still?

Alright, have a good week ahead and catch you guys next week…

1 year ago… Have you ever tried this before?

2 years ago… Living: Malaysia vs. Hong Kong

Thursday 22 October 2009

Sex and the office

Since corporate slavery and life in the professional world have been the notion of AZAIG of late, I reckon it would be interesting to look at the sexciting side of it for instalment of Friday Frolics. The title is enough to entice you, isn’t it?

Indeed, there are many sexciting stories that float around when I was in one of the big-4 firm. The most famous was about this particular partner (boss of a professional firm) in this particular firm who would always ask sweet young juniors to clear issues with him in the middle of the night.

It will be done behind closed door and there are stories about how these sweet young juniors will come out with bra missing, panty missing, bra unclip, etc. etc. I did try to verify this with my friend who was working in that firm and he told me that it was true as he has witnessed it before.

I have also heard stories from this particular department where the shorter your skirt is, the faster your promotion will be. And this was relayed to me by a girl. Sexciting, isn’t it?

There was also one particular incident in my department when I was still there…

It involved this couple who just started going out. As the firm practises casual Friday, the girl was one who would “fong pun lap” (release half her boobs) and wear black G-string beneath a thin tight white pants on Fridays. So when this good looking hunk started going out with her, we were all speculating that they will “tiu do luin sai loong” (fuck till kingdom come).

Hey! It’s not a sexist remark as this sentiment was shared by both male and female colleague alike. And ya’ know what? They lived up to that expectation.

On a cosy afternoon during one particular peak period, someone found the lovebirds in the pantry; with the guy’s pants down. The girl was, well… hmmm……

To cut the long story short, the girl resigned and the guy followed suit after a few months, being victims to the don’t-eat-and-shit-at-the-same-place curse.

There are plenty of lonely souls, particularly auditors, in the professional accounting firms. Stuck in the office in the middle of the night while your bf/gf are sound asleep at home, and with your equally stressed and lonely colleague sitting next to you, that empty pantry or meeting room or quiet stairwell sure looks like a comfortable quickie getaway.

Have you heard of any?

I am sure some of you are wondering… has Zewt done anything sexciting in office? Well… I … now, why would I want to share with you… hehe…

2 years ago…
For richer or poorerIs smoking an addiction?

Wednesday 21 October 2009

Between saying nice things and facts

About 5 years ago, I attended a wedding ceremony of an ex-colleague. It was a Christian wedding ceremony held at the garden of hotel before the wedding reception. I must say, it was rather romantic ala Hollywood style.

Just like any other Christian ceremony, there was the bridal march-in followed by a brief worship session and of course, a short sermon by the officiating pastor. As usual, the pastor spoke about the usual wedding stuff and then he mentioned something which caught my attention. He said something to the effect…

“… what a truly beautiful couple, truly match-made in heaven. I am sure God put them together in a wonderful way. It’s truly God’s plan for them to be together…”

Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with those words. In fact, one would expect these words to be typically uttered during a wedding ceremony. But to me, it’s odd. It’s very odd. I am sure you are wondering why…

It’s odd because I was aware of how the married couple first got together. It wasn’t exactly heavenly. When they first started seeing each other, both were still attached to their respective bf/gf. It went on for almost a year before they broke the news to their respective bf/gf, which led to a very ugly confrontation.

Speculatively speaking, I wonder if this so called match-made-in-heaven-which-God-put-together-in-a-wonderful-way were sleeping with each other and with their respective bf/gf at the same time. Scandalous isn’t it, do you think?

Don’t get me wrong. Whatever they did doesn’t concern me at all. They can have all the affairs they want and screw around for all I care.

Just that when the pastor started going on a verbal diarrhoea about all the nice things that you can ever imagine about the married couple and particularly, saying that God put them together in a wonderful way, it was just so odd for me and a few others who know the history.

No disrespect to pastors. But I just think they should know more of the history of the married couple when preparing the sermon of their ceremony and not just go all flowery and say all the nice things. And that is why I like my pastor. His sermon during my wedding covered mostly about all the “challenges” we will be facing as married couple. Now, that’s reality.

On a related note, an emcee at this particular wedding dinner made the biggest boo-boo ever. She proudly announced that the married couple are finally tying the knot after so many years of courtship. What the emcee didn’t know was that the wedding happened because the bride was 3 months pregnant. And, she only met (focus on the word “met”) the groom 3 months earlier.

1 year ago…
Why you should want the inflation to be up

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Life in a Professional Firm vs. Life in a Commercial Firm – Episode I

Companies in the business of providing professional advice, typically known as “consultants”; they are the so called “professional firms” (“PF”). Common within this category are legal and accounting (audit, tax, etc.) firms. They are often considered as companies that will squeeze every drop of life from you. I was from one of them.

Other companies not in the business of providing professional services are known as “commercial firms” (“CF”). They can be doing any type of business but due to governance requirement, they most probably have legal and finance functions within the operation. I am currently in one them.

A lot of my ex-colleagues who are still working in the professional world used to ask me how life is like in the commercial world. There are indeed plenty of differences. Let’s start with the 2 very light differences…

Composition of colleagues

Ask anyone who is currently slaving in PF why he/she still going through the shite and most probably they will tell that they like their colleagues. As I’ve said, most slaves in PF are first job slaves. And since most are fresh meat from universities, they are of the same age group.

This means that you can share the same conversational topic during lunch time. You can hang out together and do stuff that your age group does during their free time, if they have free time. You can share problems amongst your colleagues and you understand each other because your problems are most probably generic.

The hottest babes or hunks around are also within your age group. And you can always look forward to new babes and hunks because recruitment is done in big batches. And they are mostly available. At most, they are attached to their colleague sweetheart but people breaking up with college sweet heart only to go steady with colleagues is a norm in PF.

In CF though………

You truly get people from all walks of life. If you leave PF after 5 – 7 years to join CF, you will be wondering how to join a lunch conversation that revolves around people talking about their babies; the type that they give birth to, not those who spend the weekend with you doing bedroom exercise.

The hottest babes or hunks around are… wait, what hottest babes? If you are lucky, there may be 1 or 2 babes or hunks around. Chances are, they are married. And don’t bet against having children already.

What I am trying to say is that the colleague composition between PF and CF is very different. It may take a while for you to adapt. Some just fail to adapt and leave. I am blessed though. My colleagues are still within my age group, plus minus 5 years.

Promotion vs. progression

In PF, juniors are “promoted” every year, or should I say; made to think that they are “promoted” every year. Juniors as young as 7 months are “promoted” from say, associate-2 to associate-1 (numbering varies depending on PF).

As most juniors are fresh meat from universities, being “promoted” is an orgasmic experience. Telling parents or friends about their promotion and getting remarks such as “Wow! So fast, you must be good!” is akin to getting multiple orgasms. The feelings beat getting straight distinctions in exams anytime. They feel so good, till they are willing to slave even more for the PF. It’s a very good strategy.

These so called “promotions” usually come with a standard increment and interestingly, absolutely no change in job scope. There is a change in title though, from associate-2 to associate-1 or senior-2 to senior-1. Worse, I once heard a partner (the real big boss) of a PF said that a “director” is just another “senior manager”.

And ya’ know what? For the juniors, every Tom, Dick, Harry, Mary, Jean and Jane got promoted too! Yay!!! Promotions list comes up to pages long! It’s easier to ask who didn’t rather than who did got “promoted”. Sounds familiar, isn’t it?

In my personal zewtpinion, the initial phase in PF is more of a progression rather than a promotion. Certainly, there are people who will not “progress”. But as long as you do what is required of you and don’t screw up, you will progress. To me, the real promotion in PF is when you are promoted a managerial position, when you are required to sign-off documents.

In CF though, getting a promotion is like finding a virgin nowadays (guys or girls)… it’s very tough and rare. During promotion season, there may only be 1 or 2 chosen souls, not a list of names. Sometimes, none. It’s a big thing. In most cases, a promotion in CF will result in a significant change in job scope and responsibilities.

Working in a PF, you would expect to “progress” on a regular basis. But when you are in a CF, don’t expect the same kind of treatment. It is a whole new battleground as far as promotion is concerned.

These are 2 minor differences. We shall explore more hardcore differences in coming episodes.

1 year ago…
The pouring that’s been keeping us alive

Monday 19 October 2009

How were times before e?

136… that’s the amount of e-mails I have when I opened my inbox at work this morning, after taking last Friday off. Taking away personal mails, the number came to about 131. It took me almost half a day to clear all of them.

I am sure most of you will agree that working life nowadays evolve around answering e-mails. As I was clearing my inbox and answering some of the so called “urgent” e-mails, I wondered… how was working life like before the days of e-mails?

On any given day, there will be a few mails coming in at the same time inquiring about different situations which require my advice. And in a typical corporate scenario, these inquiries demand immediate reply. And it’s not any ordinary reply. It requires thinking and sometimes, some level of research.

How are these done before the time of e-mails? Through telephone? If it’s through phone, at least you will be engaged on one line if there are 2 inquiries coming in. But with e-mails, you can have up to 10 inquiries in an hour.

And inquiries are the light stuff. It can be agreements, contracts or any form of documents being sent over which require my review and comments. And as usual, everything is urgent. If you take more than a week to reply, it means that you are slow.

Without a doubt, the existence of e-mails has accelerated the pace at which we work. We are now required to provide answers, provide comments, review documents and meet all other unreasonable demands at light speed. It’s really crazy.

One can say that we have become more efficient. But I just think we have been made to work like robots. I really do wonder, how was it like during the times before e-mails came into the picture.

2 years ago…
Turning your eyes from oil to ferryFrom shitty good news to gym and a penis song

Friday 16 October 2009

Modern slavery anniversary reflection

Warning: Rather long read ahead…

I entered the modern slavery world exactly 9 years ago today. 3 years ago, on the exact same date, I joined my current company. Quite a unique incident, isn’t it?

I didn’t spend 6 years with my first employer though. I spent 5 years there, a time when I witnessed the collapsed of a major accounting firm which followed by a merger. Thereafter, I had a short stint in China and a 6 months break where I watched all world cup matches on that year before joining the company I am currently with.

Today marks the completion of my 9th year as a modern slave and due to the unique coincident, today also marks the completion of my 3rd year with my current employer. It has been a journey of many ups and downs, filled with extreme eye openers and a time where I was forced to feast on the hideous realities of the working life.

Overall, it has been an incredible learning experience…

I would term my initial 5 working years as a “Corporate Symbiosis” --- the company got me to work almost non-stop for a meagre salary while I ride on them to build my knowledge and experience reserves and finally able to put this so called “professional firm” in my CV. You scratch my back, I scratch yours kind of thing.

The collapsed of the company (some of you could guess which company is this already) and subsequently, a merger was my first eye opener to the reality of the corporate world. People being forced out, heavy dose of office politics, power struggle, people flexing their muscles in their territories… survival was the name of the game.

I still remember some antics of my ex colleagues during the first few weeks of the merger. It was really like a civil war. The battleground… pantry! It was a race to see who “conquers” the pantry first during lunch. Looking back, it was all so silly and to a certain extent… entertaining!

The decision to leave after 5 years was not easy, as I have already developed a comfort zone. Besides, I was resigning for the first time, from my first job, a lot of uncertainties. But it was something I had to do. My time as a cheap labour was over.

I then spent a short time in China earning USD, which then allowed me to spend 6 months as a leong-dei-goon (unemployed). I shall blog about this separately. It was another great eye opening experience.

There are many things that I do not like and do not agree with in the place I currently work in. However, this place has given me the platform to truly expand my career. Being part of an international conglomerate, I am able to see many things from an international perspective. One thing in particular, Malaysia is always viewed as a dumping ground… I shall let you interpret that yourself.

Being promoted to a level where I had to recruit an additional person for my team also gave me the opportunity to conduct interviews and… a quite fun experience…going through CVs. I find it absolutely astonishing that people can submit their CVs for managerial position in an international corporation with atrocious English. Do they seriously expect to get an interview?

Also, I was very surprise at the level of salary people are getting. I thought it was only applicable in my industry but after exchanging information with some of my friends within the human-resource industry, I found out that if you are earning above RM6,000 a month; you should be counting your blessings. It is a sad reflection of this country’s economic health.

The slavery and exploitation are still there, and they will always be there. Just that it is a bit toned down here. Despite all that, I must extend my gratitude to my current employer. Last year during the peak of my health scare, the company paid for it. Specialist consultations, x-rays, ultrasound scans, scope, CT scan, MRI, tests after tests… all in a private medical centre and I did not fork out a single cent.

Though I am thankful, I still believe that one should never fall in love in one’s company. A line should always be drawn between you and the company. Even if you don’t draw it, the line is already there; drawn by the company without your knowledge. And when the line is finally revealed to you, the situation is often brutal.

This is why I never refer to my employer as “my company”. Firstly, I don’t own it. But the more pertinent reason is because I am painfully aware of the fact that companies hide things from their employees. There will always be a servant and master relationship in the corporate world. Hence, it is not “my company”. I only refer to it as the-company-I-work-in, or something along that line.

Last but not least, let me conclude the reflection of my 9 years in the modern slavery corporate world with 3 points:-

Telling you boss that you are happy with your salary is the most stupid thing that you can ever say to your boss. Do note that I am speaking both as an employee and a boss. Be ready to kiss your increment goodbye if you do that. A simple smile, or a short yeah-it’s-ok should suffice when being asked about your satisfaction level towards your pay. The same goes to displaying
your love towards your work.

Being good at your work will get you noticed. Getting things done will help you climb the ladder. But to really reach the top, the skill required is to get others who are good at their work to get things done for you. That is the formula to success. In short, one must make others slave for you to move up the slave food chain.

The saying “The head you step today may be the ass that you need kiss tomorrow” is viciously real. Fortunately though, I learned this notion in a pleasant manner as I am now the ass that needs to be kissed. I guess now, I have to be careful on the people I step on. Or, best not to step on anyone at all.

P/S: A lot of people asked me about the difference between working in a “professional firm” vs. working in a “commercial firm”. I suppose there will be another trilogy ahead…

1 year ago…
Different breed, different reactionJapan got hit

2 years ago…
Let us be remindedThe price to drive

Wednesday 14 October 2009

They said the same thing, will you?

It started off with an ex-colleague. He told me during one of our lunch together

Then, someone from another unit in my current department said the same thing.

Then, I realised I am being referred to as “that name” by everyone on another floor in my workplace.

When I walked into my fiancé’s (now wife) room when she was doing her make-up before our wedding photo shoot, the make-up artist looked at me and said the same thing.

My hairstylist also joined the club.

While doing the make-up for my wedding dinner, the make-up artist paused half way through and said she had to tell to me. She told me the same thing.

When I was part of my friend, Peter’s heng-dai contingent during his pick-the-bride ceremony, all his wife’s ji-mui said exactly the same thing!

Having seen me at my sister’s wedding dinner, my sister’s ji-mui also… guessed what… said the same thing!

My wife’s colleagues who have only seen me a few times in someone’s wedding dinner said that too!!

littlepolaris, who has only seen me in photos has also joined the bandwagon…

They all do not know each other. And they all said…

… that I look like

Till today, I disagree.

Tuesday 13 October 2009

You are going..!!??

Upon disclosing that we will be heading to Beijing for holiday, we often get this remark….

“Huh, both of you don’t speak Mandarin and you are going to China?!?!!!”

Indeed, me and Jules hardly speak any Mandarin. Maybe I can still go about asking for direction and order a simple meal but that would be it. As such, many are showing concerns on our survival probability when we head to Beijing later this month.

I find it really strange, really really strange. Ya’ know why?

If you hear of people going to Spain, do you hear rhetoric such as “Huh, you don’t speak Spanish and you are going to Spain?” ¿Habla usted español?

If you hear of people going to Italy, do you hear people remark “Huh, you don’t speak Italian and you are going to Italy?” Lei parla italiano?

If you hear people going to Japan, do you hear people say “Huh, you don’t speak Japanese and you are going to Japan?” あなた日本語を話せますか?

Do you?

Anyway, I will be heading to Singapore this weekend for some games. Should I have any concern?

1 year ago…
3 comparisons, 2 awards, 1 interview

2 years ago…
A very personal sharing

Sunday 11 October 2009

Dissecting the brain… braindrain

“How old if Dr. F?”
“Oh, Dr. F is past his 50s already…”

That’s what I asked the nurse while I was at the nephrologist clinic during my last kidney check-up. Just to recapitulate, a “nephrologist” is a medical specialist for kidney function. It is a very rare discipline. When I first discovered my kidney condition, I had a hard time looking for one, let alone booking an appointment.

And it’s worrying…

If you’ve noticed; most medical specialists… or should I say, most “known-to-be-good” medical specialists are in the 50s, or late 40s. Hence, some friends and I share a common concern, i.e. when the current batch of good medical specialists finally retires, will there be a competent batch to take over?

Of all my friends who are doctors and are finishing or have completed their respective specialised discipline, none of them are in Malaysia. There are 2 surgeons, one in US while the other in Australia. There is an orthopaedic consultant and an A&E specialist, both in Singapore.

They were all top students during their educational years, who obtained entry into top notch medical school on credit (not on quota). And they have decided not to return to this country.

As of now, I know of 2 doctor-bloggers who are currently pursuing their respective specialised discipline overseas and they don’t sound like they will return “home”. Worse, some of my other doctor friends who are currently here are looking at migrating.

15 or 20 years from now, who will be the next batch of medical specialists looking after our health, or our children’s health? Will they be the top notch doctors who have gone through the right kind training? Or will they be the kind of
doctors who cannot even read simple x-ray films? If I am to stay, will I need to travel to Singapore every 6-month for my kidney check up in the future?

Brain-drain, is a big word… a very BIG word. It is so big, that I think most Malaysians have not fully grasp the frightening repercussions that come with it. If you think brain-drain is only going to cause the economy to crumble, please think again. You have no idea what is upon you.

I can go on and on, linking the economic elements to this worrying medical issue, clasped within an often over-looked concern. But I am sure you know what I am trying to get at.

But if you are unable to digest, or if you still believe that all these will not affect you; you better pray you can afford good private medical care when you have all sorts of medical problems from eating all the good nasi-lemak, bak-kut-teh and char-kuey-teow. That is, if there is still “good-private-medical-care” around.

1 year ago…
The chronicles of holes and poles

2 years ago…
Modern colonisation

Thursday 8 October 2009

Perils of direct translation

I am sure many of you have read last Friday’s post regarding an unfortunate banana. And there appears to be a debate on the true definition of a “banana”. We all have our very own interpretation. Some are of the opinion that knowing a Chinese dialect means one is no longer a banana. Ability to read or write is irrelevant.

I tend to disagree. In my zewtpinion, inability to read or write the Chinese language makes one a banana. If you know a particular dialect, it only reduces the degree of your banana-ness. Hence, I am a banana too; just that my banana-ness is within control. You may disagree.

But anyway…

June is a true blue banana. She grew up in an English speaking family and attended international school. But unlike some bananas out there, she knows that she should learn up the language and constantly makes effort in reducing her banana-ness.

During her college days, June often mixed around with a bunch of Cantonese speaking friends. This gave her the opportunity to buck up her Cantonese.

One fine day, June and her friends went to a coffee shop for lunch. Out a sudden, June asked her friends…

“How do you say breast in Cantonese?”
“Lin-ku lah, hahahahaha!”
(It’s called lin-ku) A friend replied.

June then stood up, walked to the chicken rice store and said…

“Aunty, ngo oi kai lin ku fan”

I am afraid you must know Cantonese to appreciate this…

1 year ago…
Are you still chasing?

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Perils of facebook

By now, I am sure many of us have received the forwarded mail regarding an employee who lost her job because she complained about her boss in facebook (“FB”), not knowing her boss is in her friends list. Of course, there is the more erotic one where a woman proclaimed that a particular guy’s d*ck is forever welcomed in her love canal after a sexciting night together.

While we may all laugh at these victims, we should not discount the fact that FB is getting increasingly dangerous. To-date, I have heard of 2 real-life situations where people have been dismissed due to FB.

The first is very much similar to the forwarded mail. The victim explicitly expressed her fury in her status update. Though her boss is not in her friends list, someone captured the screen of FB status and sent it to HR. Though the logical speculation is that a fellow colleague (now ex-colleague) did it, the culprit remains unknown to-date.

The second story is pretty much due to the stupidity lack of reasonable care on the victim herself. She told her office that she was not well and will be on medical leave, which is of course, not true. She attended a party during the day and took lots of photos and happily posted those photos in FB. Someone in her office saw the photos; I don’t need to elaborate further.

Notwithstanding such mishaps, I think FB can be quite an intrusion to one’s privacy. Do you know that a google image search of your name will most probably reveal your FB profile photo?
Of course, there are people who find it glamorous to have their faces plastered all over the web and have people recognising you everywhere you go. The web has indeed given a great sense of celebritism to these people. What used to be only achievable via excellence in acting, singing, sports or other artistic/specialised skills can now be achieved with just a click of a button.

And this sense of celebritism is exactly what online advertisement companies are thriving on. By creating this feel, they can harvest a large number of cheap online advertisement platform for their business expansion. Anyway, I have digressed… let’s come back to FB…

And so, if you are someone who wants to have your face plastered all over the web and have a sense of internet stardom, then FB is a fantastic platform (besides blog). But if you are not, then I think it’s an intrusion of privacy. I am referring specifically to the “photo tagging” function.

Worse, FB even allows tagging of photos for non-FB user. So your face could have been tagged somewhere in someone’s photo. If you are a private person who wants to remain anonymity, FB will screw that all up.

And of course, it also exposes you to a certain degree of risk. Just like the second situation I mentioned above. If you fake a medical leave and got your photos taken somewhere, someone else might post your photo up and tag you as a non-FB user. So even if you are smart enough not to post any picture of yourself, you may still be at risk.

And referring to the first story I mentioned above, you just do not know who are your enemies within your FB list. I know some people will happily add anyone who makes a FB request. Perhaps one should think twice before randomly adding people.

Certainly, those are very specific and perhaps isolated situation. But no matter what, the fact that FB allows visual identification without one’s knowledge and the proven vulnerability of one’s exposure to public is something we should all think about.

1 year ago…
From far and near, they all flock hereAnd you think the big pays big

Sunday 4 October 2009

Maybe reality could be or should be

“Ringgggggggg”, the alarm signalled the start of a brand new day.

After a good stretch, you head towards the bathroom. It’s a big bathroom, with hotel-like big mirrors and above average quality fixture. After washing-up, you made your way to a walk-in wardrobe to select your outfit for the day. Yes, a big bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe, you can afford one.

You then made your way downstairs for a good breakfast, prepared by your housekeeper. Sipping the last drop of coffee, you made your way to your car.

Car selection was a dilemma. Besides the BMW 3-series that you have, the brand new Proton Mega was delivered last Saturday. Mega is the 2.8 litre engine luxury model under Proton which won the Asian Car-Of-The-Year award, beating the likes of Honda and Toyota. You bought it for RM48,888. You decided to try your new toy today.

The roads were relatively clear, as usual. On the way, you saw the latest model of high-speed train being put to service. If not because you wanted to try out your new car, you might have taken the train too. After all, the local train system is now one of the best in South East Asia.

There were also no motorbikes on the road. Almost all Malaysians can afford a car now. Riding bikes is now a weekend activity. Mat-rempit is a thing of the past.

Coming out of the highway, you drove past the barrier-less e-tag lane. Toll charges were automatically deducted from your e-tag, which you placed near the windscreen. You don’t have to worry about e-tag theft. In fact, it has been months since the last crime was reported.

As you got into your office, you checked your latest payslip as you just got promoted to the role of manager. RM33,000… that’s accurate, your latest salary. That’s a fair increase from your previous role as a senior executive of RM25,000.

Oh yes, ever since the massive clean-up in national governance, liberalisation of the economy and accountable spending of national expenditure, there have been a massive inflow of foreign direct investments and economic development. Malaysia is now ahead of Hong Kong and Singapore in terms of professional and financial services. This led to a huge boost to income-per-capita of all Malaysians. Hence, an executive earning RM25,000 a month is a norm.

As a reward to yourself for this hard earned promotion, you planned to go for a holiday. You paused to ponder which of your friends overseas could accommodate you. Unfortunately, you couldn’t think of anyone. Ever since the economic revelation, all of your friends have returned from abroad.

And so you started to check out some of the hotels’ rate. You have not been to Hawaii and so, you checked out this resort in that wonderful beach paradise. It cost USD200 a night, which translated to be about RM280 a night. With proper utilisation of resource, better governance and improvement to practically everything, the exchange rate is now RM1.40 to 1 USD. Ohh… it was also RM0.77 to 1 SGD. How about that!

Having finalised your accommodation, you went on to book your flight. The price in the website showed RM3,500 and that was what you have to pay. Airport tax is no longer relevant because the govt has exempted all Malaysians from paying airport tax.

After all the logistics were settled… you then commenced your day at work with a big smile, looking forward to your wonderful holiday…

Sounds like a fairytale, isn’t it?

The Malaysian Mirror made reference to the Global Corruption Report which states that
Malaysia bribe money amounts to USD40b a year. That’s USD40,000,000,000 or RM140,000,000,000 a year!

Assuming corruption started 15 years ago (which is an understatement), simple mathematics without taking into consideration time value of money means RM2.1 trillion, or more specifically RM2,100,000,000,000 was wasted as corruption money.

Imagine that amount of money together with wastages from things like PKFZ or teh-tarik-space-tourist or whatever not being put to good use. Imagine that. Oh, ya’ know what? You don’t have to imagine much. Because the fairytale story above is exactly what will happen if all those money have been put to good use.

1 year ago…
And you think they have no life

2 years go…. Metamorphosis of slavesAn erotic lunch and a traumatic locker experience

Friday 2 October 2009

Joseph, the unfortunate banana

Joseph is a typical “xiang-jiao-ren” (banana). For the uninformed, a “banana” usually means a Chinese who does not know how to speak the Chinese language. And Joseph is one of such, able to only converse in English.

One day, Joseph returned to his home after work, just like usual. As he walked towards his home having parked his car, Joseph was stopped by 2 men. These 2 men began to ask Joseph some questions in Mandarin.

As they were smiling and appeared to be polite, Joseph tried to respond to them. Of course, he couldn’t really understand what these 2 men were asking and tried to explain himself in English instead. Hence, for a good few minutes; there was a classic chicken and duck talk situation.

After a while, these 2 men became rowdy. Joseph could see that they looked irritated. All of a sudden, one of the men pulled out a “parang” (long knife) and started threatening Joseph. But still, Joseph was unable to comprehend what they wanted as they were speaking in Mandarin.

Instinct came upon him that he was being robbed and hence, he took out his wallet and mobile-phone and gave them to the men. To his surprise, those men threw away his wallet and mobile-phone and continue to threaten him with the “parang”, shouting at him in Mandarin.

Poor Joseph, he just couldn’t make up what those men want. Worse, the 2 men got so annoyed, they started to attack him. They kicked, punched and slashed him with the “parang”. This went on for a while, till Joseph was floored.

As Joseph was rolling on the ground trying to block kicks directed at him, he felt a small bulge in his pocket. It was his car key. It was then that it dawned upon Joseph that the 2 men wanted his car. In a flash, Joseph took out his car-key and desperately handed it to the 2 men.

One of the men grabbed his key, shouted something to Joseph (in Mandarin of course) and drove away his car.

For all those bananas out there, particularly those who are proud that they only speak English, do take note that your banana-ness may just get you killed. In the land of sumptuous food, criminals tend to only speak everything but English.

And ya’ know what? Criminals and sumptuous food in this land share one similarity… there are plenty of them out there…

2 years go….
Can you take it easy?A state of many people