Tuesday 28 December 2010

Letter to thyself – Round 3

15 people entrusted me with their letters in the first episode.  2 years ago, only 6 subscribed to the idea with 2 asking me to send the letters back to them only after 2 years. I hope they are surprised by what they have written 2 years ago.

As another new year looms, I reckon it’s time to resurrect this again. 

It’s a pretty simple exercise…

You write whatever you want to write to yourself in a word document. Typically, people tend to write about their new year resolution but you should use your imagination.

You save the word document and password protect it (and remember the password).

You send it to me via e-mail telling me how long you want me to keep it.

I will send that e-mail back to you after your prescribed time.  Preferred time is 1 year, have received 2 and I am hoping people will send me asking me to keep it for 5 years.

The best effect is that you have forgotten you have sent me this e-mail and when I return it to you, you will be in utter shock reading what you wrote to yourself years ago.
For the first blog entry about this exercise, read here.

Hope to receive many many many mails… and Happy New Year!

1 year ago… The squid storyChicken ass

Monday 27 December 2010

Social Network - Christmas version

Spent some quality time catching up with family and friends back in KL during Christmas break... Dread going back to work tomorow but one must face reality...

My pastor showed this video and I think it's really cool... thought you should watch it too...

Saturday 11 December 2010

6 months post-mortem

6 months have passed since I arrived here in Singapore.  If I have to go through probation, I will be facing the moment of reckoning.  But since it is somewhat an internal transfer, I am a confirmed staff the moment I arrived in Singapore. 

And you know what? I am actually quite glad I don’t have to go through probation…

When I first got the job, and knowing that you were selected from a rather big pool of people both internally and externally – top that up with a bit of self-belief that I was above average in terms of thinking outside the box, a relatively fast thinker and fairly technical, I did felt a bit almighty about myself.

But, I was in for a shock. 

Like I mentioned earlier, I was swimming very well in the Malaysian waters and Straits of Malacca, and I thought I would definitely survive if they decide to throw me into the South China Sea.  Instead, I was thrown into the Pacific Ocean.  

And now, I found one something else… everyone who was thrown into the Pacific together with me seem to be able to swim and float much better than me!

What I am trying to say is… the world outside Malaysia is freaking big, much bigger than I imagined it to be.  The working individuals around me are a collection of crème-de-la-crème.  Everyone is good at what they do, everyone is efficient, everyone works hard. I do not like to use the word “competitive”, because I don’t think my colleagues are such.

Somewhat sad to say… the knowledge, expertise and experience I gained while in Malaysia is not that useful in the international scene. Even in certain situation where it was useful, the knowledge and expertise of those gained by people from Europe and America seems to carry more weight.

For a few months, I was struggling just to keep my head above the water, trying to avoid being drowned not by the quantum of work given to me, but rather the complexity. 

And while trying to solve these issues, I am often left amazed by my colleagues.  Everything that I thought I was fairly good at, most of them are better than me.  And those one level above me are really geniuses.  I dunno… maybe I am just dumb.

I am beginning to find my footing in this new world, or should I say… building enough muscles and stamina to swim and float in the Pacific Ocean.  But certainly, there is plenty to be learned.

1 year ago… Read

2 years ago… To capture the rapture

3 years ago… Appreciating life

Sunday 21 November 2010

The cab ride to KLIA

The cab driver who took me to KLIA when I was in KL 2 weeks ago was quite an interesting character.  For a start, he spoke English with me.  As far as I can recall, I have never encountered any Malaysian cabbie who does that.  He may not be very proficient, but deserved 10 points for effort.

From the initial stage of the conversation, I found out that he used to work in a corporate environment.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it as he doesn’t have any paper qualification and his boss… “that bastard ahh… makes me work day and night.  But pay me chicken shit”.

He then asked me where I work and why I am going to Singapore, etc.  Naturally, the conversation led to discussion on brain-drain and politics.  That’s when he popped me a very straight forward question…

“Eh sir… you ahh… govt supporter or opposition supporter? Tell me please!”

I must say I was caught off-guard.  He asked me with such gusto, I had to pause and planned my words carefully.  Further, he had a special permit which allows him to pick up passengers from LCCT, a rare case.  I wonder if he was a connected individual or something.

But at the same time, I didn’t want to lie.  Hence… “I believe Malaysia needs a change” was my answer.

“That’s right sir! Actually ah… me and all my friends ah… my generation ah… all wants to change” – I reckon he is in his 30s.

It was then that he said something rather inspiring… I will never forget it…

“We all ahh… not very smart people, but we also know. If change govt, economy sure affected.  Maybe I will lose this permit to drive taxi. But nevermind… must still change.  For the future, we must change”.

He went on to say about life being tough but everyone must be prepared to suffer so that we can be better.  To me, that’s quite amazing. 

Here is someone who is willing to risk what is possibly his entire income for the betterment of the nation.  But many out there are not willing to risk that simply because they are afraid that they might drive a Honda instead of a BMW… they might need to move from a luxury link house to a condo… that they might no longer be able to fine dine.

I guess when one has too much too lose… one will become selfish.

2 years ago… Any difference?

Sunday 14 November 2010

Voting tales

I was back in KL last week for a conference and met up with some interesting people. And as usual, we talked about our work and where we are from in the first lunch and moved on to our hobbies and interests in our second lunch and by the third lunch… the usual topic crept in… politics.

2 particular sharing stood out…

There is this person who said that her father would ask everyone in the family to register as a voter as soon as they hit 21.  What great parenthood eh? 

Not quite…

While everyone is expected to register and vote, everyone is expected to vote in accordance to the father’s business connection’s needs. Her exact words were… “You know which party lah…”

And that’s reality. To the Chinese businessmen, it doesn’t matter if everything is screwed up. As long as the money keeps flowing in, that’s all that matters.

But… there is a silver lining…

“My father retired already… now we are free to vote whoever we want. So now very different already lah…”

I never asked whom she will vote, I respect her privacy.

The second sharing is a pretty straightforward one but certainly worth mentioning…

The sister of this particular person flew back from US to vote in the last election. And, her sister will be flying back again in the next election to vote.  Obviously, this person I spoke too will also be voting.

I told this to a friend and the comment was… “Aiya, rich mah… that’s why can fly back to vote. Not everyone is that rich lah”.

Well, how many of us where the voting station is just a drive away and yet, we don’t vote?

Sunday 31 October 2010

Putting two and two together

Some are saying I am getting lame with all these Malaysia bashings.  Well, not sure if I want to admit to that.  One thing for sure, Malaysia is just so bash-able.

And here is another thing which I think every Malaysian should take note of…

Last Thursday, an umno MP said this as reported here

For the un-informed, Warisan Malaysia is a 100-storey mega tower costing MYR5b Malaysia intends to build.

Anyway, interesting to note that MP saying it will not be govt money which will be building the tower. I totally agree with him, the govt pocket is empty. 
And more interestingly… on the very same day… this was reported in TheStar:-

Apparently, EPF contributors are asked to withdraw our money only when you hit 75.  And… note that EPF said this…

“We will also transfer the money to the govt if it is not claimed when contributor reaches the age of 80”

Can you put two and two together?

P/S:  Thanks Redbabe fore the “Versatile Blogger Award”.

Monday 18 October 2010

The teleo vs. deonto thinking

I have been doing quite a bit of reading lately and the above notion intrigues me a lot. Don’t be overwhelmed by those sophisticated terms. They are merely the processes our brains go through in making decisions.

Essentially, a teleological approach in making a decision centres on the consequence(s) of the decision.  You can call that a ‘result driven’ approach.  The what-is-the-benefit-of-this will be ringing in your brain.

The teleological approach is then segregated into 2 different components. 

The egoist teleological approach is the branch that focuses on the consequence(s) on the decision maker. You will only think about the consequence(s) to you, the benefits to you and you alone.  No benefits to you, no go.

The other branch is the utilitarianist teleological approach where the focus of the consequence(s) is on everyone else, probably people affected by the decision.  You will only make that decision if it benefits others.  Kind of like a selfless approach, isn’t it? 

The deontological approach in decision making is one that does not focus on the consequence(s), but the action of the decision itself.  Result doesn’t matter, the focus is on the process, the focus is on the action of the decision.  This approach too, is segregated into 2.

The first is the deontology with the “right” element.  “Right” here represents ‘privilege’.  Based on this, you will make a decision because you believe it is your God-given right to do it.  How it affects you or the people around you does not matter.

The other side of the coin is the “justice” element.  Here, a decision is made because it is the right (i.e. correct) thing to do, without considering whether there is any benefit.  One may conclude that this is the noble approach.

And now, to paint a better picture (apology for using a guy’s perspective)…

If you sex a girl with a condom because you are afraid of infectious disease… you are an egoistic teleologist.

If you sex a girl with a condom because you are afraid you will make her pregnant… you are an utilitarianistic teleologist.

If you sex a girl, with or without condom, because you believe your very existence is to f__k around, you are a right-based deontologist.

If you sex a girl, with or without condom, because the girl is your wife/bf and she was there naked and asking you to do it and you feel it is the right thing to do, you are a justice-based deontologist.

Now… what are you?  Tell me ok…
Off for a business trip… have a good week ahead.

Friday 15 October 2010

Randomly Friday

I gave up my seat to a pregnant lady in the MRT just now… and everyone stared at me as though I tried to detonate a bomb in the MRT…

I guess that’s not a surprise… when I first arrived and had to move around in crutches, I was ignored entirely in the MRT.  One even went into instant slumber as soon as she made eye-contact with me.   You should have seen how she did it… quite outrages.

There were 2 occasions where a seat was offered to me… and both were from Caucasians.

Anyway… have been very busy at work.  Brain seems to tire down quickly here.  Maybe I use my brain more here, or maybe I just don’t have the brain to catch up hence over-worked my brain.

Will be travelling next week… Up… down… meeting… up… down… meeting… meeting… up down… back to office… up down… attend wedding dinner… going to be crazy.

Heard Malaysia just announced in the national budget that a 100-storey tower is to be built.  More money to be spent!  Actually, I already heard about this 6 months ago… someone said it’s another election money raising scheme… oh well, I am just glad I am no longer funding it.

Since import duty on handbags, perfumes and lingerie has been removed… time to go shopping!

Have a good weekend…

Thursday 7 October 2010

Without a car

Besides throwing me with this question, another common query I get from people (as some of you might have guessed from the title) is whether I am suffering from not having a car.  Yes, in case you don’t know, I don’t own a car here in Singapore.

Objectively speaking, this no-car issue is an epitome of half-glass-empty vs. half-glass-full argument.

Indeed, as a typical Malaysian – suddenly not being able to just hop behind the wheel and go to where you want to go is quite a severe loss of convenience, or “perceived” convenience depending on how you see it.

There were days when it rains in the morning, where I felt a car would be nice because the walk from my place to the MRT station is not entirely sheltered.  There were nights where I would like to meet up with my friends for drinks or ‘teh-tarik’ but that is not possible.  There were days when I am standing next to people in the MRT who will release aroma as though they have just dipped themselves in shite… and I felt that I should have been sitting in a car.

And many more…

But hang on…

The walk from my condo to the nearest MRT station is at the most, 5 minutes – actually, 3 to sheltered underpass leading to the station.  I’ve timed this. My office is located right above the MRT station.

Rain or thunderstorm, I know I will only need to be in the MRT for 10 minutes – the duration of my journey.  This also means that when I sms my wife Coming home now… she can begin to heat up dinner and I will be back sitting at the table enjoying my meal within 25 minutes, max – rain or thunderstorm.  How long does it take for you to get home, in a non-rainy day?

I can always walk away from people with “those” aroma.  And because I am not that short, I don’t have to endure the projection from the armpit of those people who lift up their hands to hang on to the handle-bar.  Maybe others had to endure mine, but I haven’t noticed anyone walking away from me.

And all these, cost me SGD2.02 a day, about MYR100 a month – less than 1 full tank that I had to fill weekly in Malaysia.  And I am not paying for a car which is a depreciating asset.

Right, I can’t have my teh-tarik or nasi-lemak or roti-canai at night but seriously, I can live with that.  And if MRT doesn’t go to the places I want to go, I can take the bus from the bus-stop right in front of my condo – which is clean, on time and takes me to a lot of other places.  Alternatively, I can take the cab – which is reasonably priced, charges based meter and safe.

If all fails – I will take it as God telling me not to go out.

Certainly, I will not say that I will never buy a car.  But at the moment, it is more of a “want” instead of a “need”.  Am I tempted to buy one?  Hell yes! Car prices are cheap if you compare dollar-to-dollar.  2 months ago, a fellow brain-drain digger just walked-in to a dealer and bought a 4-year-old 5-series for less than SGD90k.  I checked out a few 4-year-old 3-series and most of them are below SGD70k.  I am fighting temptation on a daily basis.

Another point – my boss who probably earns double my salary does not own a car. I know another unit-head within my function who probably earns 4 times my salary does not own a car either.  Hence, it is the Malaysian in me who wants a car, not the Zewt in me who needs a car.

Just want to touch on the “convenience” of having a car in Malaysia… a friend of my mine said he cannot work in Singapore because he cannot stand not being able to “just hop into the car and go to wherever he wants to go”. 

I think that statement is grossly incomplete.  Yes, you may be able to go wherever you want to go.  But can you get there on time?  Is it peak hour and hence jam?  Is it raining and hence you will be sitting in your car cursing in facebook?  Can you get a car-park at your destination?  And depending on the time of the day (something which is getting increasingly worrying and I have stories to tell), is it safe to just drive out? 

So is the car-less situation a half-glass-empty or half-glass-full for me?  A bit of both depending on the situation; but more towards half-glass-full… for now.

Sunday 26 September 2010

To Dubai and back

For all the environmental talk that I have spoken, it’s ironic that I landed myself in Dubai in my first official business trip.  This piece of land is a desert not too long ago. Today, Dubai is a full fledge metropolitan city.

I was told the temperature has come down a bit but coming out from an air-conditioned shopping mall to catch a cab in the open, I felt as though a fireball was thrown at my face.  It was really hot!  Moving in between the hot open space and the winter chilled air-conditioned building can make you sick, literally.

Do you know… that 99.999999% of the working population in Dubai is foreigner?  My colleague told me the Emiratis don’t work, or more accurately… don’t need to work. They are freaking rich already.  He said even the govt agencies and police are foreigners! 

Well, I saw 1 Emirati who worked though… the guy who stamped by passport at the immigration.  He made up the 0.000001%.  For the rest, money comes out from the ground for them… literally.

Throughout my stay here, I have been having meetings with Jordanians, Lebanese, Pakistanis (yes, a lot of high flyer from this nation), Indians and some Brits.  Oh… one Lebanese I met looked exactly like… I kid you not… Takeshi Kaneshiro!  A very nice guy and I am working with him on some transactions.   Any girls want his number?

I went up the Burj Khalifa, the pride of Dubai.  This building makes the Petronas Twin Tower look like a dwarf.  The lift which took us up was amazing… 124 floors in less than 30 seconds. No kidding.  124th floor is not the top by the way.

The view from the top? Well... everything just look small…

Don’t think I like being here but my colleague who is based here said it will take a while to settle down and once settled, this is quite a nice place to live.  I am not sure if I can agree with him. This place is an insult to mother nature, the amount of electricity used is beyond comprehension… they built an ski-mountain in the middle of a desert!!!!!!

You know the news about buildings being empty and all because the economy collapsed and there is an oversupply of real estate?  Well… somewhat true… I see a lot of construction and yet, a lot of buildings are vacant.   Rental has crashed… what used to be Dhs120,000 (SGD45,000) a year is now Dhs70,000 (SGD26,000) a year… and you can even get a bigger place!

Being a city born into metropolitan state, there is no cheap coffee shop type of food here.  A meal will easily cost you Dhs40.  Well, the guys here (those who worked in the same company as I am) are all paid in USD and they don’t need to pay tax so… no problem for them.

And so… my first business trip…

Oh… being flown in business class and at arrival, chauffeured to my hotel in a Lexus… and the same tomorrow morning to the DIFC… I felt like a small kid who just got his first taste of candy… and I guess this is why I became a modern slave.

2 years ago… Hypocrites aplenty

Tuesday 14 September 2010

How does it feel to be in my current modern slavery position

Obviously, the initial feeling is pretty good. I mean… moving into a head office position, it does gives you a glamorous feeling.

When I first arrived in the office, almost all the administrative and logistic matters were already settled… gadgets were cool and they gave me an i-Phone!… linked to my work mail server of course. But still… very cool. So yeah… it was a good feeling…

Next, the composition of colleagues within my team is quite over-whelming. I am the second youngest guy in the team and the only person without international exposure, the rest are all very experience people in this function I am in.

Sometimes, during discussions; the level of conversation is so high level and so corporately intellectual, I am left thoroughly amazed. I would like to believe that I am quite a quick thinker but man… these guys whom I work with are way too fast for me. I am like a small child feeding off the experience and knowledge of others.

And then, there will be days where I do feel quite powerful. With just 1 e-mail, I can (if I want) send chills through some people’s spine. With just 1 e-mail, I can instruct people to do a lot of things involving quite a lot of $$$. The details are beyond sharing boundaries but yeah… such are the days when I feel powerful.

Then there are days where I feel I am being put on the spot. Today – was a classic example. I was thrown with about 15 slides and was then asked to do a presentation… 10 minutes before a meeting. Fair enough, I am fairly familiar with the stuff but shite… 10 minutes preparation!

I think my boss did it on purpose because he has put me on the spot several times. Maybe it’s a training process, I should ask him the next time we have our 1-to-1 talk. Anyway, I have to say enjoy it. It’s actually very satisfying when you pull it off.

Apart from all that…

I have to admit that it can be quite frightening being in this position. I would even go to the extent to say that there were times where I really felt very fearful. I am fully aware that this organisation has very low tolerance for mistake. If I am fucked… I am really fucked…

Yeah… it’s glamorous to feel powerful and all but if I made a wrong call, I know my job is on the line.

Life is like that… I guess…

1 year ago…
The unforgettable accident experience Part 3Are you racist?

3 years ago… Whack it over the weekend

Sunday 12 September 2010

My Singapore working hours

“So what time do you knock-off?”
“How late do you work till?”
“Are the hours crazy?”

I have been bombarded with the above questions or the likes for the last 3 months by my Malaysian friends and ex-colleagues. All are under the impression that people here work non-stop and I will be drowned in it.

Remember the conversation that I had with my boss on
why he hired me? In that conversation, he also told me this…

“You want to come in late, you come in late. You want to go for 2 hour lunch, you go for 2 hour lunch. You want to go back early, you can just go. But whatever you do… make sure you don’t fucked up in your work. If you’re fucked, I’m fucked. Staying back late to show me that you work hard doesn’t work here”

I guess that pretty much sums up the trend in my office. The big-boss generally leaves at around 6.45pm because he needs to pick up his kids. Of course, certain days he will have to stay for con-calls or other urgent matters. But it’s not very frequent.

There are a few days where my direct boss will leave between 6 – 6.30pm for his sports activities. Generally, he won’t stay past 7pm.

As for me… So far, there was only 1 day where I stayed on past 9pm because I had to rush something. On average, I will be having dinner at home by 7.30pm.

So to answer all those questions…

I do not stay late because my boss has made it very clear that it’s the quality and not the quantity that matters. I believe that’s the general principle here in Singapore, it’s all about performance. The if-you-go-back-early-means-you-don’t-have-enough-work theory doesn’t apply here, though that theory is very prominent in Malaysia where quantity is often perceived as performance.

As for getting into the office, I get in at around 9 – 9.15am. There were a few days where I have to come in early for calls with people from USA but that is not an everyday thing.

During my recent kidney check-up, I told my boss about my appointment and that I will be coming in late. He (fully aware of my kidney situation) looked at me funny and said…

“You don’t have to tell me these things. It’s a very matured working environment here, and you are not a junior person. If you have to go, you have to go”.

That’s pretty much my Singapore working hours.

3 years ago…
A trip of co-incidencesA thought from an overloaded brain

Thursday 9 September 2010

Raya Greetings

I wonder if Perkasa will lodge a police report against me for wishing my Malay friends in English (as per picture). Have a good holiday!

1 years ago…
Satu peristiwa berkenaan bahasa

Tuesday 7 September 2010


I was going to blog about something else but having read about the Semenyih water treatment plant has been closed due to contamination … I felt it was time to blog about this topic

Taking a step back, a lot of Malaysians are making fun of Singaporeans because here, the water coming out from the tap is actually processed from the sewage, hence the you-drink-processed-pee-water jeers…Actually, I thought there was a scandal a few years ago about a contract of water sold to Singapore for cheap. So I can't really make up why water here is processed from sewage.

Anyway… Scientifically speaking, and as pointed out by bro Johnson, the reverse-osmosis processed water is one of the purest ever.

Yes, Malaysians do not need to drink processed pee-water. But how sure are you that the water in Malaysia is clean?

A doctor friend of mine once told me he has patients who can't drink KL water because it is so dirty and they have to take water from Ipoh or Johor for consumption purposes. Indeed, the pipes carrying water underneath KL is rusted beyond recognition. If you don’t have a water filter, you will be literally drinking rust.

Coming back to the news on the Semenyih treatment plant… when such things happen in Malaysia… I can't help but think to myself…

How long has it been before the contamination was discovered? Are the engineers inspecting the plant of the same quality of the MACC lawyer? And if you remember, the head of the Malaysian meteorological department once said something to the effect… “There’s haze doesn’t mean it’s hazy…”

And when they declare the water is safe consumption… is it really safe? I am sure many have heard about stories about how chocolates and biscuits were not withdrawn from Malaysian shelves during the China melamine scandal but the same goods were withdrawn from the shelves of other countries.

In a country where money equals “boleh”, it really made me think…

In the past 5 years, I have also observed that there will be news about certain consumer products (particularly bread) being found to contain dangerous amount of chemicals… and a few days later, all will be forgotten with no follow up.

Yeah, me together with other people here in Singapore may be drinking processed pee-water, but I think it’s definitely cleaner and more importantly, safer than water back home.

Sunday 5 September 2010

See... I am still reading the news

Someone asked me am I slowly phasing myself out of Malaysia news. My answer is definitely not. To proof that I keep myself very much abreast with what is happening in Malaysia, let me tell the news that I have been reading…

I read about a headmistress in Johor called Siti Inshah asking her Chinese students to Balik China and the Indians looked like “dogs” when they wear prayer strings, but no action was taken against her.

I read about Namawee wrote a new song condemning this Siti Inshah’s action and he instead, will be charged for sedition.

I read about a police report being lodged against a church and the pastor because the church staged a church play during Ramadhan.

Just as my friends were joking about whether a police report will be lodged against them for eating during Ramadhan, a principal up north advised Chinese pupils in her school to go back to China because AirAsia flight is cheap – after the Chinese pupils were “caught” eating in the canteen during Ramadhan. And of course, no action was taken.

See, I didn’t lie… I am still reading Malaysian news.

And the crown jewel has to be this news about 2 guys who were on their way to watch “merdeka” celebration fireworks ended up being bashed by a bunch of kids and after dispensing their punches and flying kicks… they wrapped their adventure by telling the 2 guys to Balik ke negara asal (Go back to your country of origin).

This piece of news got hot with people from different quarters claiming that the victim is a liar and only wanted to seek attention.

I found out on Friday that they victim, the one who needed stitched on his head is an ex-classmate of my church-mate. What a small world eh?

But most importantly, the bashing is real.

People said Australians are very racist and if you are not careful, the whites there will bash you up for being Asian. They say such things will not happen in Malaysia.

Well, I don’t read Australian news so I don’t know anything about that. But as I am still reading Malaysian news and those are the news I read.

See… I am still reading Malaysian news… are you?

1 year ago… The unforgettable accident experience
Part 1Part 2

3 years ago…
Grass thoughtsThe reason evolution

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Those videos shouldn’t make you laugh

By now, I am sure many would have watched the now famous video clips of how the MACC lawyer questioned Dr. Porntip in court. If you have haven’t watched, go have a good laugh here.

I am not going to make any jokes about the clips, as I think there are already a multitude of jokes cracked in respect of the lawyer who represents the MACC, who represents the govt.

If you are a Malaysian, and having watched that video… besides laughing your ass off, I am of the zewtpinion that you should be very afraid.

Such is not the only quality of lawyers in the country; such is also the quality of teachers, nurse, doctors and probably a host of other professionals produced by the current Malaysian administration.

Hence, you should be very afraid because…

Such is the quality of the teachers that are teaching or going to teach your children…

Such is the quality of doctors who are going to treat you or your family…

Such is the quality of the engineers who are going to build your home…

Such is the quality…I have personally attended a conference in Malaysia where the Minister (he is still at his post) pronounced “property development” as… I kid you not… “poverty development”… he repeated that again and again… “poverty development”, till giggles started getting obvious. On hindsight, perhaps that’s the secret agenda of the ministry.

Of course, if you are rich and able to afford private services, you can escape from the system. But how many of people out there who are rich enough to afford that? Remember, it’s “poverty development”.

I have previously blogged in a subtle manner that the Malaysian public healthcare system is near collapsed or is already collapsed (safe for a few quality doctors still available). The education system is heading there, if not already there.

So after laughing at that moron, and Malaysians really like to laugh at such things at mamak while eating that nice roti-canai and nasi-lemak, you might want to think of the quality that you are going to get in Malaysia If the country doesn’t change.

I seriously do think… “poverty development” is going full blast.

1 year ago…
What a timely reflectionDid they pour oil on it?

Sunday 29 August 2010

Some discoveries after 3 months in Singapore

Hello world… ! This is arguably the longest break I have taken from blogging. Work being the main reason, with laziness being the combination when time permits.

As for work, many have asked whether I am struggling with my Mandarin. Well, in the team that I work in… there is a Japanese, a Korean, an Indian, an American, an Australian, a Pakistani, a Mexican coming on board soon, 3 Malaysians including myself; and 3 Singaporeans… do you think I will be struggling with my Mandarin?

Anyway –

My working life in Singapore has almost reached 3 months. And indeed, it has been a revolutionary experience for me.

When I was in Malaysia, I was already quite senior in the function that I was in. Back then, I was already able to see issues and happenings in the corporation and the industry that I was in from a nationwide perspective. And since it is a prominent industry, I was also able to see things happening within the government agencies and get to know things that will never appear in the news.

And because I could see all these and was involved in a lot of the major in-country transactions, it did gave me a sense of achievement and as time goes by, the feeling of I-can-conquer-the-world began to creep in.

Metaphorically speaking, I was swimming very well in the Malaysian rivers and possibly, straits of Malacca. These were my territories. I knew I would be thrown into something deeper when I come to Singapore. I thought it would be the South China Sea.

I was wrong, I was thrown right smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

It’s like how you once felt strong and mighty after graduation, ready to take on the world only to find out that you knew nothing about the modern slavery world. Multiply that by about 50, and that’s more or less about my current feeling.

From a country function, I now have to look after the business stream that I am assigned to… globally. I realised that what I used to look after in Malaysia was just so tiny.

And when I was in Malaysia, I used to make some noises to head office about the issues that I had and how attention must be paid or else, something might just blow up. Back then, I was often left perplexed as issues escalated by me seemed to have landed on deaf ears.

Don’t they care? If something blows up, it’s going to cost the corporation a lot of money. Why no one seemed to care?… I wondered…

Now I know why…

Again… metaphorically speaking…

If Malaysian operation is on fire, and help is sought from head office, the first thing people in the head office (i.e. where I am now) are supposed to do, it to ask whether countries like China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, UK, Middle East whether there’s any fire there. If there’s fire in these jurisdictions, we’ll put it out. If not, we will check whether there’s any potential fire hazard in these countries first, to protect the operations here. If there’s no such hazard, we will put mitigating steps to ensure such fire does not happen.

And all these will take place while Malaysia operation is on fire.

Priority is to protect major operations first before coming to Malaysia’s rescue. China, India, Hong Kong, UK, etc. are where all the big bucks are. And by the time those major operations are well reviewed, Malaysian operation already put out the fire themselves (i.e. what I used to do).

And during meetings or discussions, I have tried to bring Malaysia into the picture, things that need to be looked at. But I have since learned that I should look at the “bigger picture”.

And this is not just in the corporation that I am in. Some friends of mine who are in high positions in their respective multi-national corporations also experienced the same thing. And lately, I can tell you that Indonesia is coming into prominence. There have been instructions that Indonesia is to be “guarded”.

In effect, it does give a broad idea of where Malaysia stood in the eyes of multi-nationals, and I am experiencing it… first hand.

You might say that I keep bashing Malaysia because I am out of the country, etc, etc… Well, you can say anything, but this is reality.

1 year ago…
Who rang the doorbell?I was spotted

2 years ago…
10 vs 1The game

3 years ago…
Keyword splendourOne night on the wrong stand