Thursday, December 29, 2005

Understanding Religion

Note: A financial consultant called me up the other day, told me of a product that can bring 15% interest per annum. As a bumiputera in Malaysia, guaranteed unit trust like the ASB gives at least 7% a year and savings within Tabung Haji gives at least 5% a year. Also, this investment is in real estate, and because I'm in this line, I can foresee real estate earnings in Malaysia within the next 2-3 years, and it's not on a positive note at all. Since he's very adamant to see me, I think he'll shut up when he can't convince me coz' I'm very sensitive to investing money on risky ventures.

It's not really my liking to write about religion, coz' three topics that I definitely do not want to get involved in any debates are about religion, politics and female vs male. However, this time I have to because I think that there are times when the respect for other people's religion need to be really appreciated or else you might just end up depressing someone.

In my workplace, and in some friend's workplace, religious issue has came up. Because I'm a muslim and so far stories I've heard from my friends who are muslims, therefore the only thing I can talk about in this post is about Islam. Nothing too distressful like those news/rumours happening in Iraq, but still, there is lack of respect from what I see.

Issue 1: One colleague, during the fasting month, was required to attend a meeting and site evaluation with the directors in another state. This was on a Saturday. Reaching there, they had to walk several miles for the evalution under the hot sun and while yes, we do need to do work as usual even during fasting month, but these people really have not even the least decency to at least acknowledge that our friend here is fasting. At lunch, all was called and have had food and drinks served. Being really thirsty, my colleague still fasted till Maghrib. But he ended up in bed after that till midnight.

Issue 2: One driver, a malay, is asked to drive the boss around no matter the day, no matter the time. He has missed Friday prayers many times and only prays about once in five weeks. This is from a boss who does not have respect for another person's religion.

Issue 3: Top management people, in a bid to secure a deal, demands that a Muslim marketing employee join in the dinner at a restaurant. Problem is that the meal ordered is non-halal, and was pressured to join in the dinner so as not to ridicule the 'guests'.

This happened in just the past 3 months. I'm not saying this only happens to muslim. I'm sure there are other issues whereby a muslim manager mistreat his/her buddhist staff or christian staff. The fact of the matter is that I think it's high time that everyone is given a basic understanding of religions around the world, so that we know what is right and what is wrong.

To mistakenly insult a culture can still be forgiven, but it's harder when it's a religion as it's more close to heart and faith.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Secret Meeting of two Entrepreneurs

A long time ago, before there were colleges and universities, the advanced countries produced the same kind of graduates from high school, with the same knowledge. None the wiser, none the dumber. One of the first company owners who hit the $1 million mark in assets met up with the first owner of a university. The conversation was documented and lost, until it was found during an excavation for a new condominium. The conversation went as follows: -

Company Owner: I'm rather sick and tired of these kids coming out, and without the skills I need to properly run my company. I can just pick any Tom, Dick and Harry and they'll do the job, but they just can't think for themselves. They don't have the strategic thinking I need in my fellow employees. Can you do something??!

University Entrepreneur: I tell you what. I'll start a new education system, something to begin creating different skill sets in these kids, so that they can work for you, and other companies as well. Let them think that they're so smart having different skill sets from other people that they will be very vain and proud, earning 'high' income.

Company Owner: I love how your evil mind works! Haha... 'high' income indeed. I can foresee by the year 2000, these so called 'smart' and 'skilled' people will earn $2000 - $15,000 not realising the minor shareholders of a company who plays golf and go on holiday most of the time earns $50,000 per month.

University Entrepreneur: You have to help me then. Let's create some education categories that sound smart. We'll leave doctors and lawyers out since we cannot control them, because their core competency can already make them own a business with minimal capital. Hey, how does 'economics' sound?

Company Owner: Woo hoo... that sounds bombastic man! Hey, how about erm... 'finance'? Make them think that they can be a money expert! I foresee that in the year 2000 there'll be "Financial Advisors" who seem to be expert in finance, but why the hell are they working as "Financial Advisors" instead of owning a company since they're soooo good in making money?! What else?

University Entrepreneur: There are tons more ideas, I'll compile them for you to see. We'll have skill sets placed in different erm... let's call it 'diplomas' shall we? There'll be so many different diplomas of skill sets that I will create, so that they can all work for you and other entrepreneurs.

Company Owner: Urm... well, don't you think that out of 1 million kids, and if there are 10 different diplomas, entrepreneurs like me will still face 100,000 kids with the same skills and mindset!?

University Entrepreneur: I have an outlet there. 'Degrees'!! We'll bring them up to a different degree and give them a 'degree'. This will create more so called advanced 'smart' people. And those who wants to be smarter so that they can earn well in a company, and totally blind them from being entrepreneurs, we'll give them Masters. Haha... Masters... how does that sound like?!

Company Owner: That sounds good, my master! Hahaha.... oh god, I'm having cramps in my stomach. Masters... haha... wait, lemme get some tissue to wipe my tears.

University Entrepreneur: Get this.... after Masters, I'll create Doctors! Highest standard of them all! But to differentiate them from medical doctors, I'll call them Philosophical Doctors instead. What do you think?

Company Owner: That's good. That's good. I have to be running along soon. I wish you good luck in your attempt to blind the world. Oh,.. please do have an excellent marketing strategy! Ensure that nearly everyone in the world wants to take up these 'degrees' or 'masters' thingy, that they're totally blindsided from being entrepreneurs. By the time they get these 'degrees', ensure that they're already in debt from buying cars, renting houses or buying them, so that their money is tied down from putting any capital into a business. I don't want knowledgable people to own businesses, not people dropping out before they're in debt.

University Entrepreneur: That would not be a problem. We don't want another drop out to be rich and famous like what happened to Einstein. But, Nostril-damus actually predicted that there will be one, before the year 2000, a high-level education drop out will actually create one of the most successful company in the world! How do I prevent that?!

Company Owner: I'll be dead by then. I don't give a damn. Just make sure that in the future, there are so many blind people chasing after papers they forgot that the papers are actually handcuffs from being an owner of businesses. The 'bigger' they are, the 'bigger' things they'll buy, cars, house, and then the 'bigger' their debts will be. Do this for us, the entrepreneurs!

University Entrepreneur: It will be done, I assure you. We, the higher education entrepreneurs will make sure that humans crave papers with ink, that they will forget to see what can make them earn real money. We will ensure 80% of the world population will fall within this collective. We will ensure that they will make people like you earn more money, twofold, threefold even, while they tehemselves are rewarded with just a 10%-25% increase of their income a year. Muahahahaa......

Friday, December 23, 2005

First Day Out

Lil Steven told his mama, "Mama, I think I'm finally old enough to go out exploring with the other ants to search for food. Can I go, mama, can I can I?" Mama ant and looks at Papa ant. He said nothing. Then mama ant looked back at Lil Steven and said, "I guess it should be alright, go get ready first!"

"Yay!!", Lil Steven exclaimed. He rushed to his room and took out a nice set of new clothes and shoes and then rushed to have his bath. Singing in the toilet, he overheard papa ant saying to mama ant, "You sure he's old enough to go out alone?" and mama ant replied "In the insect world, the female is supreme, so don't you dare question me on my decision. You're lucky I'm not a praying mantis or a bee."

Lil Steven got out of the shower, dried himself, put on his new clothes and looked in the mirror. Mama ant was looking at him and said, "You look smart! Come have breakfast first and then you can go." Then the three of them had breakfast.

After breakfast, they hugged and as Lil Steven prepared to go out of the anthill, mama ant said "Don't forget your backpack and your shovel." Lil Steven went to the closet, took out his bag and shovel and smiled at his mama. "It looks bright out there, mama."

"Yes", mama ant exclaimed. "Enjoy yourself!"

Lil Steven crept out of the anthill and smelled the fresh air for the first time outside his habitat. Then he saw the trails of ants and puffing his chest out, proceeded to follow the troops. "I'm gonna be a hard working ant, yeah, I'll be!".

Three meters from the anthill, he turned back to look at his home. Mama ant was there, standing proud and waving at him bye bye. And bye bye it was. He was just in time to see mama ant shout in disbelief when the world turned dark around him.

Splat!.... Mr Javalier's shoes squashed Lil Steven as he brings his family for a walk at KLCC park.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Humans and Zombies

No disrespect to the zombies who wish to remain zombies.

A common question related to obesity. Do we live to eat, or eat to live. The former shows tendency for obesity, while the latter shows logical human needs. Heck, I do both! At times I eat to live, at times I really eat what I want and enjoy, no matter the calories no matter the cost.

Zombies roam the earth. They're the ones who grow up with the mindset of "cycle of life", meaning they succumb to society's rule of 80% population works to make the other 20% richer. So these 80% are happy (or brainwashed to be happy) living in constant debts, earning a low salary and facing high demands for performance. Darn, I'm a zombie too, aren't I? A zombie looking towards humanity.

Zombies follow Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to the dot. Who's Maslow? Maslow's the King of Zombies. Yes, zombies wants to eat, and then finds a shelter, and then when some humanity comes in, they want friends, they want recognition and then wisdom. A friend asked "Why do I live? What's the meaning of life?" Another friend answered "God give us life to enjoy life." Then why are there so many who chose not to enjoy life?

Zombies work to get money. Money buys food (Maslow's Tier 1). Money buys house on high debt for 30 years (Maslow's Tier 2). Money buys friends (Maslow's Tier 3). Money... you get the point. The meaning of life of a zombie is... "We live to owe. To pay the owe, we find money. To find money we work. We don't want to risk being an entrepreneur because Maslow's Tier 1 must be met and we're already stuck there. Money is now precious and sacred."

I am a zombie wishing to be a human. Are you already a human? If you're not, are you with me, seeking humanity, or you wish to remain a zombie forever?

It's close to midnight, and something evil's lurking in the dark. They're out to get you, to make you owe and owe and owe till you die.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Newbie at Expert's Place

A friend of mine and I used to donate blood at blood drives and also at hospitals. When I was in Kedah, I went to the Kedah hospital and he went to Klang hospital. Now that I'm back in KL, we go donate together, at least can catch up with stories and news over lunch or makan-makan or while donating.

So, well, this time we decided to go to THE place to donate blood, where else but Pusat Darah Negara (trans: Country Blood's Bellybutton). No, it's Nasional Blood Bank. The place is nice. You even have to take a number and sit down awaiting for your number to be called. Interestingly enough, there's only three of us, so why waste paper to print the numbers?

Without needing for me to give a story about the process to donate blood, I will skip directly to the blood donating room. Just to give a visual here, the room is like those army bunkers with at least 15 beds at one side and another 15 at the other side. So, anyway, on with the main story.

The lady came to me, swab my arm with alcohol to look for the elevated vein. She took a few moments then told me to hold on. She called her supervisor and both of them came, and the supervisor said "correct lah, there lah". Wha?! First sign of danger. Then she proceeded to do the necessary. Checked my blood pressure and squeezed on the biceps area, and then proceeded to put in the needle (there are more processes before needle go in, but I'm not story-ing that). Then, standard operating procedure (SOP), to release a bit of the squeeze from blood pressure thingy to allow blood to flow back into the arm freely.

The needle went a bit too far in (as compared to my usual blood donation at other times) before it punctured a blood vessel. Then, usual SOP, she will tape the tube (that's attached to the needle) to my arm so that the needle does not come out. The tape, she taped on her glove as well, so when she pulled her hand away, the tape followed her gloves and nearly pulled out the needle. Wha crap?!

My friend faced similar situation with another 'nurse'. Looks like the expert blood 'extractor's are all out on blood donation drive. Anyway, about halfway through, due to the bad placement of the tape on the tube (should be nearer to needle, not 3 inches away on the arm), the needle started to get pushed out of the blood vessel. Less blood got pumped into the bag. I found this out especially at the end when they took some sample into a test-tube from the cut tube (ya, they cut the tube after successful filling up the bag). My blood was practically just dripping and not flowing.

We left the place saying that we won't come back to Pusat Darah Negara and opted instead for blood drive (best preference) or normal hospital.

A day after my donation, the following happened to my arm. I believe when the needle got pushed out from the blood vessel, some blood still entered the needle, and some spilled into my inner dermis. And then blood clot happened, and ended up clotting another area as well. Below is a picture of my arm

I had no choice but to massage the blood clot area (especially the big one) with Minyak Gamad and then two days later, it became like this....

Today it looks a lot better already. Still some sign of the small blood clot. The rubbed blood clot is almost gone.

Note to self.... find the expert, not the place that people think experts are supposed to be at.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Toy With Sound

Again, a post on our luck as someone who can log on to the internet, and read a blog.

No matter where we stand, there is always someone unluckier than us. No matter where we stand too, there's always someone luckier than us. Too many people nowadays prefer not to look up, because they'll be humbled by someone more successful than them, and prefers instead to look down and feel almighty by "I'm driving a Merc, this guy a Kancil... hmmph".

In a standard human world with compassion and integrity, people should look down and feel humbled, and look up for motivation. That's the purest way to improve one's life as well as other people they come in contact with.

What's the title gotta do with the post?! Christmas is coming, and lotsa kids are asking Santa Claus for many toys. Most of the kids in orphanage are asking for very simple items, that any executive can easily fulfill their dreams. The items asked are the likes of t-shirt, dolls, soft toy and shoes. Of course there are a couple of exception who did ask for walkman, discman and small radio. I think small radio is ok to ask for, looking at the cheap radios nowadays that can be bought for RM19.90. Better than Harry Potter's cousin asking for 20++ toys for Christmas which is crazy! Or better than current lucky people asking for handphones, new car, computer and the likes for Christmas.

From these children at orphanages, there are further unlucky ones, probably sent there by cruel and uncaring parents. These are the blind ones. Nearly all of them ask for one thing only, a toy with sound. At least if they can't see the colours on the toy, they can hold it, appreciate it, and enjoy the senses of touch and sound, compensating for the loss of sight. And there I was at 9 years old asking for Micro Machines when another 9 year old somewhere is elated enough to receive any toy with sound.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Hospital De Javu

I went back to the hospital in which my wife gave birth, to collect a document. I went back to the maternity ward area. As it's a common place for visitors, I was not asked what I'm doing there. Just approached the door to the ward we were in. Door was closed, but I could hear voices inside.

Funny thing was, the voice was so familiar that I actually opened up the door. Curtains were still drawn so I can't see who it is. Table with food not yet eaten was right before the curtain. The voices can still be heard. It was the mother talking and singing to the baby. When I peeped from beside the curtain, I could finally see who it is. Got a big shock of my life when I saw my wife holding and cuddling my baby. I can see the luggage we had there. The fluffy green blanket in which I slept on the floor.

I choked, couldn't say a word, and before I could draw the curtain open, the toilet door opened. It was me. But how can that be? Memory energy? When I gasped I covered my mouth with my hands, not to disturb what I saw, but they didn't notice me. But I did see my other self looking at my direction eventhough the curtain was closed. Then the baby made a sound and he looked back at the baby.

At this time I left the room, lucky that the door didn't creak. The nurses looked at me, saw my pale face I guess, because they asked me who I am and am I alright? I said I'm ok, just visiting the room we were in after the delivery of the baby. She asked which room, and I pointed to the room right near the end of the hallway to the right. "And you went in?!", she asked again. I nodded and she shook her head.

She said that I couldn't have possibly enter the room because the door is locked. It's now used momentarily as a storage area while three other rooms are being given a cleaning overhaul. I laughed, told her no, the door can be opened and I went back to the room with her, and she was right. The door was locked. Not wanting her to find me a whacko and place me in a psychiatric ward, I told her I entered the wrong room and pointed to any other room.

I then thanked her and walked out of the maternity ward back to the lift. As I stepped away from their view, I heard a nurse say "Treasure every memory with your loved ones close to your heart, for they are the foundation on which family love and relationship grows. - Javalier"

- In dedication to my wife and firstborn.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Lembaga Kemajuan Ikan Malaysia

With totally no disrespect to the government, and to the individual, I write the following parody.

I was heading to lunch at my old office today when I saw a sign saying "Seminar oleh Lembaga Kemajuan Ikan Malaysia". My first thought was, "man... there's just so many departments in the government that I dunno who do what?! Literally translating the sign, it will say "Seminar by Malaysian Fish Development's Shadow". Kidding, it's Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia.

Then I wondered, is there also a "Prawn Development Authority, Squid Development Authority, Worm Development Authority, Frog Development Authority, and what have you's." Not planning to visit any website on the department, I assume the following.

Our vision is to be the best in fish development in the world.

To enhance the growth of fishes in the Malaysian industry, as well as the development of the fish's skill.

Wawasan 2020 Objectives
1. We plan to research on growth serum for our fishes, so that they will grow at least ten times from 1995. Mid-way 2005 report shows tremendous progress in our research, findings and experimentation.

Exhibit A: Our fishes in 1995

In 1995, our ocean condition was so bad with all the oil leaks on the Straits of Malacca that our fishes could only grow to the size of a 1 cent coin.

Exhibit B: Our Fishes In 2005

Due to our extension research in growth hormones, we are proud to report that our fishes has grown to the size as shown in the picture. Please bear in mind, this is not the limit to the growth. It will only get bigger.

2. We also plan to reseach on skills to integrate with the fishes. Our skills development team was was divided into five groups; Language Team, Music Team, Aviation Team, Diplomacy Team and Taste Team. In 2005 now, we cannot yet disclose our success in the teams other than the aviation team.

Exhibit C: Flying Fish in 1995

We have always wondered why God created flying fishes. We pitied looking at them flying out of the water only to fall back in. It seems that there are bigger plan for these fishes, with the intervention of humans into their development. Thus the Aviation Skill Development Team was created.

Exhibit D: Flying Fish in 2005

In our attempt to make these fishes feel useful to community, we have researched and taught them aviation skills to propel humanity to greater heights. By Wawasan 2020, we expect the newly acquired Airbus by airlines corporations all over the world will be obselete with our new Flying Fish Airlines. No fear of crashes into the sea as the airline is also sea friendly.

To properly educate and create awareness to the public on our activities, we have decided to follow the marketing strategy of most major companies by hiring an ambassador. In 2003, we approached Situ Nurhaliza and Amberry Chia. Situ was too expensive for the government to afford and too busy, and Amberry Chia does not like to eat fish. Other candidates just would not do.

We have decided to create our own ambassador. From our research on the growth serum and the combination with cloning technology as well as transformation technology, we have created the perfect Ambassador, Fish Leong, grown directly at our Kuala Pilah research site! We hope we made the right choice.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Compensation Claim

The story: A company was to take up some space to rent. The agent has given a letter stating that the company has confirmed their intentions and wish to sign. The company came on signing day, said to hold a few days and didn't sign. Two days later, the agent called saying that the company is no longer interested. Bye bye.

The retribution: Because there is a letter stating the confirmation the company is sent out, there is legal proof to justify a lawsuit. I am instructed (along a few others) to claim for compensation for all processes that includes man hours, over time, logistics and processes claims. I am to detail every bit of cost to the company to charge for compensation. I have done so.

The compensation: They include the following (and nearly include some of the following)...
(note: The costing is changed to protect real confidential information).

Process Claim
1.Viewing Conducted - Five viewings in total.
Hours personnel involved = 30 hours X RM50 per hour
Hours directors involved = 15 hours X RM150 per hour

2. Documentation - Three proposals, one offer letter, one tenancy agreement
Hours personnel involved = 10 hours X RM50 per hour
Hours directors involved = 5 hours X RM150 per hour

So far so good?? Check out my logistics claim.

Logistics Claim
1. Travel Cost
To and Fro Agent's Office = 120km X RM0.50 per km
To and Fro Lawyer's Office = 20km X RM0.50 per km
To and Fro Director's House = 100km X RM0.50 per km
To and Fro two offices = RM80km X RM0.50 per km
Car tyre wear and tear = 320km X RM0.08 per km
Steering, clutch and gear oil used = 1.4 litres X RM50 per litre
Accident risk compensation = 320km X RM2.00 per km

2. Material Cost
Paper for proposal = 60 pages X RM0.30 per page
Paper for offer letter = 30 pages X RM0.30 per page
Paper for tenancy agreement = 100 pages X RM0.30 per page
Binding cost = RM10 X (3 proposals + 1 offer letter + 2 tenancy agreement)
Ink cost = 190 pages X RM0.10 per page
Shoe wear & tear cost (to and fro desk and printer) = 6 trips X RM5 per trip
Body energy = 25 joules X 6 trips X RM2 per joule
Name card given = 8 cards X RM0.50 per card

3. Phone Charges
To landlord = 50 minutes X RM2.00 per minute
To agent = 150 minutes X RM0.60 per minute
To lawyer = 60 minutes X RM0.60 per minute
Accidental wrong number dialed = 8 calls X 1 minute X RM0.60 per minute
Saliva used = 430ml X RM0.10 per ml
Ear pressure = 200gm X 165 phonecalls X RM0.02 per gm
Finger pressure (from dialing) = 100gm X 210 phonecalls X RM0.02 per gm
Arm energy = 10 joules X 165 phonecalls X RM2 per joule

Being rather frustrated myself, I included the Name Card Given in the real claim I submitted.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Wash your hands

I used to quarrel a lot with my parents whenever they ask me to wash up or change clothes after playing in the field. I understand the need to wash my feet so that I don't dirty the house, but my clothes? If I lied down on the grass, I'm with nature, and nature is clean and pure, why do I need to change clothes? I believe running in the sand at the beach cleans my feet better than any tap water can.

Anyway, the topic is about washing hands. I do wash my hands when I wanna eat, especially after doing quite a lot of house work. When I was helping mum with gardening in the past, even when I run in sports, or after a nice hike in a forest trail, I do not wash my hands before eating something. It is my belief that the current 'hygiene' business is doing our body more bad than good. By not washing hands and letting germs or bacterias or worm eggs (eewww...) get into the body, it tests our immune system and make it stronger, not weaker.

I'm bringing this up because of my kid. (Yes, KB, I'm bringing my kid into the blog again). He would have touched tons of things, the blanket, bedsheet, milk bottle, the crib, my wife's and my clothes, the coolant cap of my engine when I asked him hold it, any many more.... and then the fingers goes into the mouth for cleaning. I am totally alright with this, except for the coolant cap lah. It's good for him rather than having him suck chlorine all the time.

I have a colleague who ensured that everyone bathes when they come home, before touching the baby. While it's more hygienic this way, I think it's good to bring the outside environment into the house and in close contact with the baby. I have no scientific proof, but really, I think the more dangers babies are face with (not superbly dangerous lah, don't pulak let him fall down the stairs to teach him balance), the better they are in adapting to them as they grow up.

High School Reunion

In 12 days from today, I will be attending one of the biggest reunion of my high school year, class of '95. We have always been a close knit group or 200 friends, and hopefully many will make it this year being the 10th year since we last met with each other. It brings back memories to the yesteryears where you grow up being good friends with one another, some people you have a crush on, some people you feel like crushing, teachers who are strict, teachers who are linient, teachers who dunno how to teach, many more of those good ol' days stories will come up.

The venue, interestingly enough will be at the school itself. Talk about being nostalgic. We'll make sure we do a site visit to the 'haunted toilet', 'haunted hall', bla bla... those stories we always hear when we do a camping at the school field. Since teachers are also attending the reunion, it makes it all the better. However, those 'gangsters' who were in a lot of trouble with the teachers might not attend due to their uneasiness being with teachers, cannot shout out loud, act violently and no vroom vroom of cars.

Recalling my secondary days, mine was superbly pathetic. I had a crush with a girl for four years and got rejected twice. I would have been considered a nerd, playing chess for school, joining clubs like nature club, BM club, geographical club, school yearbook committee and the likes, but save due to being active in school sports as well. I have had my shares of admirers, one in particular that I just have to look back and laugh is when I was in Form 4 and a Form 2 japanese girl (she is pretty) actively trying to make me talk to her.

It was in a school trip to Terengganu I believe. She made someone beside me changed place with her, sat beside me, and later even nonchalantly leaned against me. But being a duh-duh fella that I am having a crush on someone who don't give a dime about me, I totally ignored all signs of intention. Another admirer joined the taekwondo club to befriend me. This one is interesting. I find her interesting and attractive when she is just a school girl from far, but it was kind of a turn-off when she joined taekwondo. I wonder why. Anyway, her taekwondo lasted only 1 month. Darn, I wish I have more shares of memories of me admiring someone, but this cuckoo bird was stuck in a stupid crush that he's practically oblivious to everything else around him.

If there was one thing I can be impressed with myself in my school days, it'll have to be my hair. Being good friends with all three discipline teachers, I get stopped by prefects after assembly too many times to have a meet with my discipline teachers. What I get is just "Just sit down like 5 - 10 mins, then go to class." Well, would you consider that as 'using' your friendship with teachers?! The only dude in school with back hair covering collar and front hair's fringe up to the chin.

One tribute I'd like to give is to a Mr Morais, a very keen maths teacher who calls nearly all his students 'monkey'! He is small size but very strict. My first impression, actually, my only impression of him is that he used to be in the army as a mole, not the spy, but the ones who crawls into ditches to plant bombs. He passed away peacefully in 2004. He's the true definition of a teacher, who measure his own performance by how many students gets A from SPM, and he stays back everyday to give free tuition to anyone who wants, free of charge. A good man, hard to replace.

There certainly will be no photos of the reunion that's going to be posted here. This is more like a diary entry for me.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Sack Of Stuff

1. Lawyer Killing My Company
Everyone knows that when a company rents an office space, at the end of the tenancy, should they want to continue tenancy, the rental will either go up, or go down. Therefore, a lawyer of ours had this to write in the clause.

"The new rental shall not exceed ten percent (10%) of the prevailing rental or at the prevailing market rate, whichever is lower".

While the clause above seems to be nicely worded in law terms, it kills the company. Just say the company is paying RM4000 now, when the new tenancy comes, we cannot ask them to pay anymore than RM400! Because "new rental shall not exceed 10% of prevailing rental". That lawyer got a nice screw from my director for his mistake. The word "increment" is missing.

2. Lying on back to lying on tummy - My Kid
This date, 1st December 2005, marks the first time my kid is able to turn from a lying down position, to a meniarap (lying on tummy) position. This happened in the afternoon about 12:30pm.

3. Watafak?! RM2000 for allowance?!?
Anyone reading The Star Section Two of 30th November would have read about expenditure of youth nowadays. Most of them mentioned that RM300 is not enough. One dude even said that he put aside RM150 for one date, just in case it's a materialistic girl. Whoa!! Man! I'm only 26, so how can in 8 years, a date that costs me only RM15 to RM30 per night (plus movies and food) jumps to RM150 per date?!

One dude that I cannot tahan even suggests that parents give RM2000 for allowance, because "kids nowadays need to pay for a lot of things, like food, coffee at Starbucks, fuel, phone, etc...". Wah lan! A girl mentioned "I cannot ask more money from my mum because she'll ask me to stay home instead of going out, so that I can save on food, petrol and not buy anything." Well, if money not enough, stay home lah.

You got see your parents going to their employer saying "Eh, not enough money lah. I got 3 teenagers who asks RM2000 per month from me, can you give me triple raise ah?!". Crap! Eight years ago my friend lived on RM50 per month! I think the RM2000 dude must be totally spoilt or totally crap for not realising that if he gets RM2000 per month, his college education is about RM800 per month (RM2400 per semester) and his internet at home, his breakfast and dinner, his stay, his laundry being done, etc.... his parents need to earn RM6000 just to support him, coz' RM4000 goes to the son, RM2000 goes to both parents plus household items, plus both parents fuel, phone and food. Really got me worked up reading that story.

4. We forgotten what is a need and what is luxury.
Following up with No. 3 above, I think most Malaysians have forgotten what is luxury and what is a need. There are a few reasons why I don't even want to try two of the new franchise in Malaysia, which is "Chicken Rice Shop" and "Only Mee". Their concept is this. "Let's take a normal Malaysian meal and franchise it and triple it's cost!" and taadah, both those franchise is born! But come on, asking a few friends, the taste is nothing to shout about at all. Can easily get a tastier chicken rice at food courts that will cost only RM3.50 - RM3.80. One franchise I left out if Laksa Shack for one reason, their variety of laksa cannot be found in normal food courts in town. It makes me feel like creating a franchise called "Nasi Goreng Village" that serves all type of nasi goreng at RM10 per plate. Or maybe "The YTF Gourmet Kitchen - Your One Stop Luxury Yong Tau Foo Restaurant". Please lar people, food in franchise restaurants that you can find within the vicinity of a stone's throw anywhere in Malaysia is a luxury.

Also, Starbucks, Coffee Bean, Gloria Jeans and others are also a luxury. Make your own nescafe at home lar. If you go to Starbucks, get a coffee, open your laptop, tap their electricity source and internet, then it's a need. At least you spread your cost into several areas, not just a drink. Driving a car IS a luxury in Malaysia. I myself would say that I AM living in this luxury of driving a car. It's expensive not only on fuel, but on toll and parking as well. Using LRT or bike is cheaper. I think people really properly need to do a budget. Everyone should do a budget to be reviewed quarterly, though is sounds so much like a business practise, it saves you a lot of money. Or else you'll end up every month concentrating on reducing debt, but still spending a whole lot.

Notwithstanding the generality of the sentences I have written (too much reading agreements lately), I have left out luxury of a family because I am just beginning to face the needs vs luxury as a parent and husband with a kid.

(The remainder of this page is intentionally left blank)