Friday, December 31, 2010

Memoirs of 2010

I realized the blog has been deserted for quite some time. Combination of being busy with work and weekend getaways and plain laziness...what to do? And not to mention the lack of inspiration from recent bouts of mood swing. But im getting better now, no worry.



Hmm... so fast it has came to the end of year 2010! I remembered I actually had written a memoir of 2009, 1 year prior to today. So I guess its good idea to do a review for this year in similar fashion. Sometimes only when you glance back at your past, do u realize how far you have come, and from here chart the next goal in life, right?

The major milestone this year is non other than having found my very own place. I like the contemporary house design, the location which is near to city center, the excellent accessibility and of course, the affordable price. Granted its not located in the Greater KL at all, where house prices skyrocketing like no tomorrow, well at least I have a roof above my head now :)

In terms of work, I actually migrated twice this year! From the far away land to stud-land to hometown now. I miss the tantalizing fried rice and wanton mee in far away land, miss the springy lou-shu-fan and claypot chicken rice in stud-land! So far I havent found better alternatives here lor...Otherwise job scope has been pretty much redundant and its like sucking my life force little by little everyday. On the other hand I have been in this line for too long that it would take massive willpower and a fat bank account to even consider switching to another career...not to mention wasting all the time, effort and money sacrificed. The more I think about it the more depressed I get, hence the mood swings...



Some people say im money-minded. I don't mind to be labelled as such LOL. Its just that people crave for what they do not have, right? :P  But of course im not the type who would do anything for money either. This year's finance didn't grow much but its ok. Started researching and investing in shares. What about gold rush? Gold prices been steadily climbing up these few years. People are afraid of potential financial apocalypse brought about by fiat money, seeing how the western governments printing money out of thin air, the massive bailouts, the things happening in Greece and Ireland etc. Hence, they park their money in gold. Erm..still learning so didn't participate in it yet. I think gold is not as foolproof as it was claimed to be. Avoided mutual funds like plaque since got burnt in it previously. Also, bought personal insurance lately. In order to keep the premiums low and more coverage, insurance companies are promoting packages where the amount insured is getting abit ridiculous, i think. Imagine you pay thousands every year but when you died, your life is only worth the measly RM 80K? To think that your life is worth less than the midget Toyota Vios...sad isn't it?

How do your friends perceive you? I had someone commented that I am not versatile enough. Before you mind drifts further, I like to reiterate that what he meant was that I am not flexible enough in thinking. Open up your mind and you might see things in different perspective. I am tying myself up in various ways according to him. Well, I guess he has his reason for saying so and I should take it as a constructive criticism. I always teased him in return as in "I know you are definitely 'versatile' enough..." Bad me...LOL. Some say im sarcastic. But I think im not in real life lor. Haha..

Lazy to write more...so how has your 2010 been? I would like to hear your stories too!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011! :) 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

On giving Face "面子是別人給的"

Today I met the ex-schoolmate cum insurance salesman again. Prior to this, he already sent me a few quotations and given me his probably well-intentioned recommendations. Too bad I have already make up my mind of what I wanted, precisely.

Never mind that he kept sending quotations of additional insurance benefits and riders which I did not request at all, bear in mind that I have informed him clearly of the kind of coverage I want in the first place. But there is something he said that irked me.

I guess he was expecting me to sign on the dotted line today after he presented the product write-up. But I didnt because I needed to check on certain detail on the term and conditions. Appeared flustered, he said I have been delaying for quite some time and the policy is not really that expensive.

I can understand if he is desperate to fulfill his monthly quota or for closing purposes. But certainly this cannot be the kind of customer service expected in the 21st century? Since this concerns cash that you have to fork out on a repetitive basis, surely you cannot be too careful with all those wickedly written terms and conditions? Is it not the right of the client to fully understand the policy before signing up? Are you prepared to be sued by your client later on because you did not explain clearly the policy or you did not bother to clear up whatever doubts your clients have in their mind?

That was what I answered him, but of course in a less sarcastic manner... Like the chinese saying "面子是别人给的,脸是自己丢的" meaning respect or honour towards you is granted by others (sorry I do not know better way of translating this). Something similar happened while I was applying for housing loan whereby the salesgirl was busy hardselling and urging me to sign up without bothering to explain her product details. Im not obligated to even listen to their persuasions, let alone to sign up their offer, do I?

Customers are not always right. On the other hand, it is wrong to enforce your personal biased perspective on your clients. Let them do their own informed decision. At least they won't blame you if things do not go their way.

Ohh..and the expensive or cheap part? Thats my call to decide, im afraid :)

Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sunshine where art thou?


Have you ever wake up on a weekend morning but just don't feel like doing anything at all? Not the type that you actually enjoying the morning by lying lazily on your cosy bed, but the type that you painted the world so bleak eventhough the birds are chirping gayly as usual?

The breakfast doesn't taste nice. The family companion seem unexciting. You don't know what to expect. There is nothing encouraging in your mailbox either. The internet seems slower than usual. Everything just don't feel right. And somehow...you have no idea why...

I don't like this feeling...how to get rid of this?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Insurance. Have you done your homework?

Most people my age would have owned at least one or two insurance policies, whether sold by walk-in agents or their relatives/friends working as agents. Not me. Why? Simply because I never knew the value of insurance prior to this. Too young, too early. And I don't have kids, or never will..LOL

Not that I had never encounter near-death situations in my life before. In fact, there were quite a few. Considering this, I gave insurance a deeper thought recently when my ex-classmate tried to persuade me to buy policy from him...oh well..

As with any other big item purchases or redundant payments eg mortgage/insurance, I think its always good to do some homework before jump into the bandwagon. At least you don't get coaxed into unnecessary expenses or simply get conned by unscrupulous people.

So here im just going to share some information I found off the net regarding insurance. As usual, do your own homework and research. Isn't it ironic that we deal with money matters everyday and yet our education system never teach us about money? :D

Life insurance. The general overview.


Types of insurance benefits


Traditional insurance VS Investment-linked


Term or Whole-life?


More on TERM


After checking out the sites, I guess I roughly know what plan is more suitable for me now. Im sure you would too. There is no such thing as the best policy, only the one that suits you most :)

Btw, women can insure their boobs and legs...

What about men then? LOL..

Happy holiday and Selamat Hari Raya Haji to those not working tomorrow! Cheers!



Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mid life crisis/Herd mentality

Perhaps no one would even noticed, I have been absent from the blogsphere for almost 3 weeks now. As someone pointed out, I might be experiencing whats called the "mid-life crisis". Passing the quarter-a-century mark, anyone would be thinking im talking crap, too early for all those symptoms of hair loss, poor sleep, increasing life liabilities, declining libidos...


Rest assured I have yet to experience those stages of life. But I guess I am in fact, undergoing the process in a mental perspective. Questions like where to go from here...what am I doing...am I walking on a correct path...Get what I mean? And to tell you the truth, its certainly not easy to ignore the "herd" mentality and go against what most of your peers are doing or directions they are heading. You will feel inferior when they brag about their newly purchased luxurious gated and guarded castles, or that sparking new car, their marriage, newborn etc...its only natural to feel that way, i guess. Unless of course, you know EXACTLY what you are doing is indeed SUITABLE for you and you only, not betting an eyelid to other people's perceived IDEALS.


In the article entitled "Consensus decision making in human crowds" published in the current issue of Animal Behavior Journal, it sheds light on a behavior that is consistent among many species – that is, making decisions based upon the actions of others


Scientists at the University of Leeds believe they may have found why humans flock like sheep and birds, subconsciously following a minority of individuals. Researchers discovered that it takes a minority of just five per cent to influence a crowd’s direction – and that the other 95 per cent follow without realizing it.







Professor Krause, with PhD student John Dyer, conducted a series of experiments where groups of people were asked to walk randomly around a large hall. Within the group, a select few received more detailed information about where to walk. Participants were not allowed to communicate with one another but had to stay within arms length of another person.

The findings show that in all cases, the ‘informed individuals’ were followed by others in the crowd, forming a self-organizing, snake-like structure. 
“We’ve all been in situations where we get swept along by the crowd,” says Professor Krause. “But what’s interesting about this research is that our participants ended up making a consensus decision despite the fact that they weren’t allowed to talk or gesture to one another. In most cases the participants didn’t realize they were being led by others.”





Other experiments in the study used groups of different sizes, with different ratios of ‘informed individuals’. The research findings show that as the number of people in a crowd increases, the number of informed individuals decreases. In large crowds of 200 or more, five per cent of the group is enough to influence the direction in which it travels.



In the stock market, many inexperienced investors lose millions or even bankrupt because they buy shares based on hearsay and what other people are buying, without making their own informed judgement. They followed their generous neighbour/colleague/friends recommendations on some supposed "hot stocks" of the moment, not realizing that the "hot" period is in fact already passed. Hence they bought at peak price and have no choice but to brace ahead for the impending avalanche. 


People say, sometimes free advice are in fact the most costly! And so, some practice the contrarian approach in shares, of course with much research done on their intended investment prior. SO how does this apply onto our own life? 


Are we the 5% who influences the crowd's direction? OR are we the remaining 95% who follow the trend without even realizing it? The decisions we make everyday...from the kind of food we are consuming (think fast food)...to our spending behaviour (buying on credit card for that extra "classy touch")...to our future career path (to follow blindly what others are pursuing?)...to the latest fad (the luxurious iPhone anyone?)....


Which are you? :)





Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sundae sunday

And here I am, siting in a cubical room surrounded by yellow-colored walls, on a beautiful sunday morning. I heard raindrops outside my window panes while sleeping last night. Supposed to be able to sleep soundly, but apparently I didn't.

Gonna lock my ass on the chair for half day today. My first time doing overtime since started working. Well why would anyone wanna sacrifice their beautiful sunday for working, if not for the pennies? I don't really actually. Not that I don't have use for the extra dollars, just that I am far from a hardworking employee. :)

Since I don't have any pending dates or plans at all, might as well earn some extra money for the rainy days. Not that I actually enjoy spending sundays in such manner. So how are you spending your weekend away?


Rather than lying seductively like this guy above, I think I will look more like this later after work!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The mind boggling maths of mortgages

To learn mathematics is one of the core priority at school, and rightly so. You are bound to use your head to calculate whenever you make any purchases. The all-important gift to your love ones, the nasi bungkus for your lunch, the spanking new car parked at the porch, down to mortgages. The more expensive the item is, the more difference of 1% makes out to be!

Recognizing the fact that yours truly is not equipped with any advanced math or financial know-hows, I pore over the net for 2 nights trying to absorb as much as I can regarding mortgage. From MRTA vs MLTA, fixed rate VS floating rate, flexi VS non flexi, prepayment, early settlement penalty and other mortgage jargons to crucial questions to ask when meeting the loan officers. So as to appear less ignorant and dimwitted :P



If you are looking for the ideal housing loan, these are some of the points you might want to consider. Low interest rate is just one end of the whole spectrum. There are numerous articles online but this is sort of a summary I drawn from them.

Interest to be calculated based on daily rest
Most banks nowadays should offer daily rest instead of monthly rest. Daily rest means your total loan amount is deducted everyday, each time you made fresh installment or extra payment. As such you get to save on interest payment.

Allow to pay as much as you like (above minimal installment)
Its good to be able to pay more than the minimal required each month if you have extra cash and dont know where to put. You get to save on total interest paid or shorten your overall tenure. Alternately, you can just deposit into my account too! :P

Some banks offer housing loan paired with a current account. So you get to redraw your extra money anytime you like for your other commitments or emergencies. Also, it helps to offset part of your interest incurred. But some banks will charge RM 10 every month for  the current account. Always ask for the fine details!

Allow to pay as often as you like
Goes without saying the more often you put in money, the faster you settle your loan and save on interest.

No hidden charges or fees
Ask whether any additional charges apply. Need to pay bank loan processing fee or not. Several banks I asked offer redrawal facilities that will charge you RM50 per transaction.

Low interest rate
Obviously.. see latest BLR of Malaysian banks here

Minimal lock-in period
Lock in period means the number of years your loan is being 'lock' to the bank. Most banks offer lock-in period of 3 years currently, but Maybank is 5 years. If you choose to fully settle your loan within the 3 or 5 years, you will be faced with early settlement penalty, ranging from 2-4% of your total loan. Most banks current penalty rate is 3%. Of course the shorter the lock-in period the better.

Also, demand the lock in period commencement on the first draw down date (the first time the bank disburses the payment to the developer for property under-construction.
So beware.

Easy accessibility and online payment
Must be easy to find the bank outlets, preferably with option of online payment. Surely you dont enjoy the hassle of spending time looking for parking, paying your parking ticket, risk getting summons just to pay the bank!

Competent and reliable customer service
First impression counts, at least for me. There is this petite lady from C**B bank who rattles abit on her housing loan interest rate, maximum loan amount/tenure then straight to documents required to apply loan. Either she is too desperate to go for lunch rather than explaining her product to me or she just can't be bothered. Well, i can't be bothered to ask more too, in view of unattractive rates and atrocious customer service :)

Well, thats about all I could gather on the ideal housing loan. Do share more if you have ideas or your experience!

Also, thanks to Koala for pointing out about fixed housing loan vs floating rate. BLR is currently at all time low and thus floating rate offers lower interest compare to fixed for now. Last I checked, its roughly 4.1% floating VS 4.85% Fixed. There is some discussion about the rising BLR which makes fixed loan much more attractive than before and the benefit is you know exactly how much you got to pay each month, rather than relying on BLR-X.


Historical BLR rates 1980 to 2005


So as you can see, there is a risk of you paying mortgage rate in excess of 10% when the BLR hits 12%. Over the last 20 years, there were 2 periods when the BLR peaks. Once during the 80s economic depression where lots of people "jump aeroplane" (going abroad to work due to unemployment) and the 1998 financial crisis. They dont happen very often but im not god so I cant predict how the trend will go from now. Personally I think the BLR will rise but probably not exponentially in the very near future given the uncertainty in our present economic climate. 

So the question is Fixed or Floating? Frankly I don't know. It really depends on what you are planning to do with the house. Also, if you feel the interest rates are going up for most the time of your entire loan tenure, the fixed would be more suitable. My uneducated opinion is that:

If the house is for own stay and plan to settle the loan long term, saying 20-30 years. Go for fixed now to lock the lower interest offered currently.

If the house is for investment, go for floating. Take advantage of the 0% interest 1st year perks etc. Then sell it off shortly for a profit.

If the house is for own stay but you plan to settle loan within 10 years, then it doesn't make much difference between floating or fixed. But i would prefer floating for the sheer flexibility.

Just my humble opinion. What you think? Happy weekend from Bluey!! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Farming


Freshly plucked jackfruit (nangka) from my garden. Well actually not MY garden essentially since im not the one taking care of it :P 

See the whitish goo spewing out from the 'batang'? Yummy! LOL...

Im not a big fan of jackfruit myself. Do you know that despite the hardy shell it has, it actually becomes soft when its ripe? As in when you press the shell, the shell actually indents inside a little bit. 

You want somemore? Here you go.


See how 'fertile' the jackfruit tree is! Yat dai cao dangling there! (A whole bunch dangling). Its kinda fun. I don't mean fun in things dangling, but its fun to pluck fruits with your bare hands on a fresh weekend morning :)

By the way, see the new header pic with sunlight-backlit leave? Its taken from the a ciku tree, right beside the jackfruit tree. That is how ciku leaves looks like. Sorry for the poor quality picture because I just snap with my phone. A little description on ciku:


The ciku fruits

The ciku tree is evergreen, has a conical crown and can grow up to 30 m in height. Its bark is light-grey and becomes fissured with age. The plant with all its parts has a white latex. Young twigs of the plant are covered in a woolly layer. Its leaves are spirally arranged, dark green and pointed. It has a stalk measuring between one to three cm. Ciku flowers are white, fragrant, solitary and bisexual. They have six free sepals in two whorls on the outside. The petals are joined in a corolla tube with six lobes and six stamens and six staminodes. The ovary is superior and it has a single style. The flowers remain open even at night. The major flowering period for sapodilla in Singapore is in the month of May. Ciku fruits are brown, round or oblong, with a thin skin. The flesh is sweet, soft and reddish-brown. The fruits have very few seeds in them that are hard, black, elongated, flattened and shiny.


Interesting right? :P

Sis Mary has been lamenting about her work again. She is tired of working and living in the big city apparently. Tired of demanding job, tired of horrendous traffic jams, tired of being lonely, tired of losing herself in the midst of it all, I supposed. Her plan is to resign some time next year and get some time off. Does that even constitute a plan? I would advise her to at least find another more suitable job before handling out the letter. Or she could startup some low cost business or something. 

Im kinda fed up with my work too. Perhaps I should join her rank after another year of being cheap labour to the Malaysian gomen. Any low cost business idea, anyone? Gardening??? What would you do? Come shoot me with ideas!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thuan Chye Responds to “Orang Cina Malaysia, apa lagi yang anda mahu?”(Utusan Malaysia article)

This is too good to be missed. It portrays the exact sentiment of current Malaysian Chinese! Let us study it with an open mind. Article by Mr. Kee Thuan Chye.


Thuan Chye Responds to “Orang Cina Malaysia, apa lagi yang anda mahu?”(Utusan Malaysia article)

By Kee Thuan Chye  

Every time the Barisan National gets less than the expected support from Chinese voters at an election, the question invariably pops up among the petty-minded: Why are the Chinese ungrateful? 



So now, after the Hulu Selangor by-election, it’s not surprising to read in Utusan Malaysia a piece that asks: “Orang Cina Malaysia, apa lagi yang anda mahu?” (Trans. Chinese of Malaysia, what more do you want?) Normally, something intentionally provocative and propagandistic as this doesn’t deserve to be honored with a reply. But even though I’m fed up with such disruptive and ethnocentric polemics, this time I feel obliged to reply – partly because the article has also been published, in an English translation, in the Straits Times of Singapore. I wish to emphasize here that I am replying not as a Chinese Malaysian but, simply, as a Malaysian. Let me say at the outset that the Chinese have got nothing more than what any citizen should get. So to ask “what more” it is they want, is misguided. A correct question would be, “What do the Chinese want?” 



All our lives, we Chinese have held to the belief that no one owes us a living. We have to work for it. Most of us have got where we are by the sweat of our brow, not by handouts or the policies of the government. We have come to expect nothing – not awards, not accolades, not gifts from official sources. (Let’s not lump in Datukships, that’s a different ball game.) We know that no Chinese who writes in the Chinese language will ever be bestowed the title of Sasterawan Negara, unlike in Singapore where the literatures of all the main language streams are recognized and honored with the Cultural Medallion, etc. 



We have learned we can’t expect the government to grant us scholarships. Some will get those, but countless others won’t. We’ve learned to live with that and to work extra hard in order to support our children to attain higher education – because education is very important to us. We experience a lot of daily pressure to achieve that. Unfortunately, not many non-Chinese realise or understand that. In fact, many Chinese had no choice but to emigrate for the sake of their children’s further education. Or to accept scholarships from abroad, many from Singapore, which has inevitably led to a brain drain. 



The writer of the Utusan article says the Chinese “account for most of the students” enrolled in “the best private colleges in Malaysia”. Even so, the Chinese still have to pay a lot of money to have their children study in these colleges. And to earn that money, the parents have to work very hard. The money does not fall from the sky. 

The writer goes on to add: “The Malays can gain admission into only government-owned colleges of ordinary reputation.” That is utter nonsense. Some of these colleges are meant for the cream of the Malay crop of students and are endowed with the best facilities. They are given elite treatment. 

The writer also fails to acknowledge that the Chinese are barred from being admitted to some of these colleges. As a result, the Chinese are forced to pay more money to go to private colleges. Furthermore, the Malays are also welcome to enroll in the private colleges, and many of them do. It’s, after all, a free enterprise. 



Plain and simple reason

The writer claims that the Chinese live “in the lap of luxury” and lead lives that are “more than ordinary” whereas the Malays in Singapore , their minority-race counterparts there, lead “ordinary lives”. Such sweeping statements sound inane especially when they are not backed up by definitions of “lap of luxury” and “ordinary lives”. They sound hysterical, if not hilarious as well, when they are not backed up by evidence. It’s surprising that a national daily like Utusan Malaysia would publish something as idiosyncratic as that. And the Straits Times too. 

The writer quotes from a survey that said eight of the 10 richest people in Malaysia are Chinese. Well, if these people are where they are, it must have also come from hard work and prudent business sense. Is that something to be faulted? 



If the writer had said that some of them achieved greater wealth through being given crony privileges and lucrative contracts by the government, there might be a point, but even then, it would still take hard work and business acumen to secure success. Certainly, Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, who is one of the 10, would take exception if it were said that he has not worked hard and lacks business savvy. Most important, it should be noted that the eight Chinese tycoons mentioned in the survey represent but a minuscule percentage of the wider Chinese Malaysian population. To extrapolate that because eight Chinese are filthy rich, the rest of the Chinese must therefore live in the lap of luxury and lead more than ordinary lives would be a mockery of the truth. The writer has obviously not met the vast numbers of very poor Chinese. 



The crux of the writer’s article is that the Chinese are not grateful to the government by not voting for Barisan National at the Hulu Selangor by-election. But this demonstrates the thinking of either a simple mind or a closed one. 

Why did the Chinese by and large not vote for BN? Because it’s corrupt. Plain and simple. Let’s call a spade a spade. And BN showed how corrupt it was during the campaign by throwing bribes to the electorate, including baiting a Chinese school in Rasa by promising RM3 million should it wins the by-election. 

The Chinese were not alone in seeing this corruption. The figures are unofficial but one could assume that at least 40 per cent of Malays and 45 per cent of Indians who voted against BN in that by-election also had their eyes open. So, what’s wrong with not supporting a government that is corrupt? If the government is corrupt, do we continue to support it? 

To answer the question then, what do the Chinese want?

They want a government… 

a.     that is not corrupt; 

b.     that can govern well and proves to have done so; 

c.      that tells the truth rather than lies;

d.     that follows the rule of law; 

e.     that upholds rather than abuses the country’s sacred institutions.  

Because BN does not fit that description, the Chinese have learned not to vote for it. This is not what only the Chinese want. It is something every sensible Malaysian, regardless of race, wants. Is that something that is too difficult to understand? 

Some people think that the government is to be equated with the country, and therefore if someone does not support the government, they are being disloyal to the country. This is a complete fallacy. BN is not Malaysia . It is merely a political coalition that is the government of the day. Rejecting BN is not rejecting the country. 



A sense of belonging

Let’s be clear about this important distinction. In America, the people sometimes vote for the Democrats and sometimes for the Republicans. Voting against the one that is in government at the time is not considered disloyalty to the country. 

By the same token, voting against UMNO is also voting against a party, not against a race. And if the Chinese or whoever criticize UMNO, they are criticizing the party; they are not criticizing Malays. It just happens that UMNO’s leaders are Malay. 

It is time all Malaysians realized this so that we can once and for all dispel the confusion. Let us no longer confuse country with government. We can love our country and at the same time hate the government. It is perfectly all right. 



I should add here what the Chinese don’t want: 

a.     We don’t want to be insulted, 

b.     We don’t want to be called pendatang 

c.      We don’t want to be told to be grateful for our citizenship.  

We have been loyal citizens; we duly and dutifully pay taxes; we respect the country’s constitution and its institutions. Our forefathers came to this country many generations ago and helped it to prosper. We are continuing to contribute to the country’s growth and development. 



Would anyone like to be disparaged, made to feel unwelcome or unwanted? For the benefit of the writer of the Utusan article, what MCA president Chua Soi Lek means when he says the MCA needs to be more vocal is that it needs to speak up whenever the Chinese community is disparaged? For too long, the MCA has not spoken up strongly enough when UMNO politicians and associates like Ahmad Ismail, Nasir Safar, Ahmad Noh and others before them insulted the Chinese and made them feel like they don’t belong. That’s why the Chinese have largely rejected the MCA. You see, the Chinese, like all human beings, want self-respect. And a sense of belonging in this country they call home. That is all the Chinese want, and has always wanted. Nothing more. 



The Utusan Malaysia article: Orang Cina Malaysia , apa lagi yang anda mahu?



Dramatist and journalist Kee Thuan Chye is the author of ‘March 8: The Day Malaysia Woke Up’. He is a contributor to Free Malaysia Today. 

"To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards of people” - Emily Cox

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them" - Walt Disney  


============================================


p.s. Like to wish all Muslim readers Selamat Hari Raya and have a safe journey balik kampung! Happy holiday!





Sunday, September 5, 2010

Giant leap begins with a small step

Its no easy feat for all three of us to agree unanimously to something. That's me and my fastidious parents. But this one is pretty fast. Three visits was all it needed to sign on the dotted line for booking. Im surprised by their concerted taste, surprised by my own intrepidity.

The idea had actually been lingering in my mind for a year before finally settle on what I consider as attractive proposition. Its a natural thing to do anyway, sooner or later. What is more important than a roof above the head, a home sweet home?

*For illustration purpose*

On the other hand, this very milestone also marks the days when I have to start chomping on bread everyday...

Recap on a conversation in a park on a saturday morning:

Mum: The developer agent was quite a friendly guy. He agreed to the minor changes we requested at no extra cost. And he looks quite young too...

Bluey: Should be older than me right?

Mum: Of course la...He has worked abroad for years before coming back here...I think he is around 40+ years old...

Bluey: I thought you said he is young?

Mum: 40s not young meh? You also gonna be 30 soon lah...

*speechless...*

It felt like thousand needles piercing through my heart at the speed of bullet train.
我接受不到咯。。

 :'(




Sunday, August 29, 2010

Being unpopular

Popular..


Popular...even before stripping for charity cause


Popular...albeit in a slightly kinky way..



Plain unpopular, unlikable..

It is always amusing to have lunch with a bunch of lady colleagues, especially when you are the only male around. Amusing.. because you just cannot fantom how on earth do they have so much topics to uncover every day, every meal. Their gossips can range from the latest fashions to office politics to cosmetics to guy friends/boyfriends to rival girls to travel to food to .... well, just about anything under the sun.

Their topic drifted to an ex-lady colleague who was working in another institution one day. "Siew Keong" was the nickname they have given her. (Siew Keong literally refers to cockroach in Cantonese, as in these pest are so difficult to extinguish). 

"She....I just abhor her. She made me cried last time when we were working together. She...."

"Yeah, u know...she really knows how to protect herself all the time. Defense power grade A++. Pentagon should have hired her. Whenever there is these tedious work coming in, she will just have a way of making herself invisible to the naked eye."

"Not to mention she knows how to please the boss. Jilat the shoes until can use as mirror already..."

"Eh you know...her elder sister is also same type of people. She is called "Gat Zat" (another term for cockroach in Cantonese). I tell you, their evading techniques are to be reckoned with. You can't avoid them, you can't kill them. Indestructible species."

Well, coincidentally, this lady happens to be my ex-classmate too. She was one of the top students/top scorers in the school. Midget size. Coming from highly educated family. Both parents in education business. I always have this inferiority complex whenever I see her. Maybe because she is too smart. Maybe because she always mingle with the high achievers only. Maybe because im just not close to her. Its not pleasant to hear about these things about your ex classmates, eventhough we were not close. 

I knew of one or two people who fulfill such criteria. Highly competitive. Smart. High achievers. Untainted school/work records. But somehow just not likable. No one wants to be in the room with them. No one wants to share a plate of Char Kuey Tiaw with them. Mere mention of their actual name spells taboo.

This got me thinking. Is it worth it? A case of high IQ, low EQ? If there is only one person saying so, then its probably a case of envious and jealousy. But when most people agree with it, doesn't it mean something? Sadly, most of the time they don't have the slightest idea what is going on. Or maybe that they just pretend it doesn't exist.

Have you come across such cases? Or do you have such people at your work? 

I just hope I don't become the topic of discussion at another table elsewhere! At least not for the all the wrong reasons!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Question

QUESTION






Between staying with your family and travel outstation on weekends (for leisures) AND staying outstations and visiting your parents on weekends/fortnightly. How would you choose?


IF you could find job opportunities in your hometown, would you still leave your hometown?


Appreciate your comments! Have a great start of the week  :)





Friday, August 20, 2010

Meaning of Life (part 2)

I have written something on this about one year ago, see here. Hence, the part 2. Wow...how time flies. It seems the older u get, the faster the sands of time seem to be seeping out from your hand. Scary thought huh? One year ago, i said that i will try to live the actual moment, not thinking too much of the past nor the future because life is too short to worry too much. Hmm...looking back the past year, I think i have made some progress :D


Saw this nifty video in
facebook today. Well basically its a short video on what is the meaning of life. Here's the list:



  • Show up
  • Follow your heart..
  • FInd a new perspective
  • Have a sense of wonder
  • Find people you love..
  • Set goals
  • Help others
  • Dance
  • Pamper yourself
  • Face your fears..
  • Go to a museum
  • Exercise
  • Limit television (and internet) :P
  • Get in touch with nature
  • Lighten up
  • Get a good night's sleep
  • Read books
  • Get yourself flowers (or iPhone4) :P
  • Don't compare yourself to others
  • Don't beat yourself up
  • Be open to new ideas
  • Don't focus on negative thoughts..
  • ..Focus on creating what you desire..
  • Make time just to have fun!
  • Keep the romance in your life
  • Make a gratitude list
  • Love your Mother Earth
  • Want what you have
  • Be true to yourself..
I find some of it rather corny but some are really true. Im just a boring guy, no good at all in pampering myself and in having loads of fun. Anyone can teach me how? :P



我一個人吃飯旅行到處走走停停, 也一個人看書寫信, 自己對話談心, 只是心又飄到了哪裡, 就連自己看也看不清..

Monday, August 16, 2010

Is this the solution to our traffic jams?

Just come across this interesting innovation in public transport in cnet today, originally written by Victor Cheung. So after trains, LRTs, MRTs, and buses, now we are going to see a new type of "overhead bus" in China. According to its inventor, Song You Zhou (宋有洲), this bus is able to travel up to 80km/h, with carrying capacity of 1400 passengers. The new "bus" is green since it doesn't produce pollutant gases, and in fact it can generate its own power from solar. The cost of building one is only 10% of underground metro rail. According to reports, we will see the first overhead buses in Mentougou District, Beijing, in three years' time.

See video below for illustrations (in english) :





Interesting isn't it? Do u think it can work in our country? Everyone knows how sucky our public transport is..  :P

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My back is still aching. My legs are paralysed. Thanks to 1U, midvalley and gardens for providing plenty of walking spaces and for idling away my weekend. Didn't burn a big hole in my pocket, luckily. Time for my OSIM :P

Have a great start to the week, everyone~

Friday, August 6, 2010

男 士 不 該 愛 美 嗎 ? Men should not be vain?


Nowadays not only women are chasing after the elixir of youth and beauty, men do too. And in fact, some of the men can even be more "aggressive" in their endeavour! Cosmetics, body workout, plastic surgery, botox injections and laser treatment...u name it, they have done it. 

See for yourself. Warning: Please get a basin in front to collect either your vomitus or your saliva hehe...




Kevin in the video is already damn good looking and he still yearn to be more handsome by going under the needles and knife. This is just TOO MUCH!!! And his secondary school look and current look is like heaven and earth! TOO MUCH!!! He keep on saying its due to fierce competition in work, thus he need to look the part and go for all these things. Well i agree its advantageous to be good looking but this is just TOO MUCH!!! REALLY TOO MUCH!!!




Don above, on the other hand, is just outrageous IMHO. Plastic surgery since 22 years old? OMG....
His nose and chin reflects light like a mirror, as if its made of plastic and not bodily flesh. Just horrendous...

Are U the high maintenance type of person like them? Do u go for these rituals? Have u done any botch jobs on your body? Im definitely extreme low maintenance compare to these artificial gorgeous... :P

Monday, August 2, 2010

Plugs and Holes

So many holes and so little plugs in place, how to be not leaky? In fact it probably has becoming spurts now rather than droplets..

This is in the news today.


"360 MEDICAL OFFICERS IN PUBLIC SERVICE RESIGN EACH YEAR"


"KUALA LUMPUR: An average of 360 medical officers in public service have resigned yearly since 2005, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Rashid Shirlin said.



She said the ministry was aware of the number of resignations and was doing its best to retain the officers through various initiatives, including increasing the number of medical, dentistry and pharmacy graduates in the public service.
"As a result, the number of medical graduates attached to the ministry is expected to increase to 3,793 this year compared to 3,702 last year.
"The number of such graduates was 1,124 in 2006," she told Senator Pau Chiong Ung at the Dewan Negara here Monday......."
Now what is wrong with the above statement? Well the HOLES here obviously refers to the drain of medical officers and other medical professionals away from the country's public service. So now instead of  sealing the holes one by one and thereby reducing the total number of holes, our big bosses up there think its better to create more plugs (increase the number of medical graduates every single year). 
The obvious major disadvantage of this method is of course, U could only create so much plugs from time to time. Not to mention the faster u create these plugs, the worse quality these plugs are. No QC mah...like our Protongs. These plugs do not come cheap at all, mind u. We are talking about financing of at least RM 250,000 for each plugs. To produce these plugs, U gotta build more factories (universities and hospitals), which in turn cost millions. At the same time, the holes are getting more and more and bigger in diameter. 
How do u stop the leaking when u have 10 holes and 5 plugs....? Im not just talking about medical professionals in the country, but the whole braindrain situation in the country.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's a Monday morning

OMG guess what i saw today?

Just back from breakfast with parents at Wah Pan coffee shop, one of the old-timer kopitiam in old town. As I walked in, something strikes my vision like popcorn. 3 chinese guys and 1 black guy. All of them were at least 1.8m in height. At least one head length taller than me lor. All of them wearing those sleeveless basketball shirts. They were looking for a table. I was looking at them. LOL. Well actually the crowd in the kopitiam were staring at them too. Overheard an auntie saying: "Wah gam gou geh kui dei? Zhan hai gou ohh!" Haha...since when there is NBA tournament here?

Good looking not withstanding, the sleeveless shirts reveal their lean and fit biceps, triceps and deltoid muscles. Could u blame the lady patrons checking them out? Imagine a handsome black guy having breakfast with Daniel Wu, Wu Chun and Wang Li Hom on a table! OMG~我接受不到咯~

Am i being jealous? Hell yeah I am! LOL...

Btw, I also saw Mohan, a local Indian artist who sang chinese songs last time, sitting at another table. Here's one of his MV:



What a extraordinary morning :D