Thursday, 30 October 2008


I received the following cartoons from an e-mail. I am not sure who are the creative artists who did it but credit goes to them nonetheless. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

And It Gets Louder

My family dog, is a very smart golden retriever. Each time when I open the automatic gate to drive my car into the driveway, he will try to dash out to the neighbourhood. I guess the desire for freedom and discovery is great. But he also fears heat. So, me being me, I decided to test my dog one afternoon by driving to the gate. I noticed his head popped up from his afternoon nap and he was looking at my car. He didn't move much really and from that distance and the glaring sun in between, it appeared that he is tied up.

But I know I was previously fooled by his antics so I waited. True enough, patience blew his cover when he stood up and moved near the flower pot. But he was standing right under the shade of the roof. And there was a standoff of sort. Luckily, I am not too stupid myself.

I got out of the car and called out his name. He came running to the gate. He was of course excited. I then clicked the button to open the gate. He quickly moved towards the opening caused by the parting gates. Just then as the gate parted wide enough for my hands to catch hold of him, I quickly grabbed him and pulled the collar. He struggled a bit as he tried his best to run away. At the same time, I had to remind myself not to look at his eyes. Just like those in the picture below.


After struggling for awhile, he gave up. So he quietly went with me inside so as I can put on the leash.

On other occasions however, he is quite smart too. He once hid behind a column which blocks my view when I drove and stopped just right outside the gates. I was unsure if my mom tied him elsewhere so I waited for awhile but he never made any appearance until I opened the gates.

I guess one cannot outwit a dog all the time and similarly, one should not underestimate a dog's cunning persistence even if it appears cute, innocent and innocuous at other times.

On another note, I notice of late MCA is becoming more vocal in raising issues. From supporting multi-lingual signage, demanding for abolishing the 30% bumiputra equity requirements and reviewing ISA, it seemed that they are not afraid of ruffling some UMNO feathers.


Of course when it comes to Uncle Kit asking MCA and Gerakan to sign a petition to support for a debate on ISA, we don't quite hear much from these loud speakers.

In fact, I am surprised that Chew Mei Fun also made known her stand in supporting the Selangor MB in appointing a woman to helm PKNS. Yet not too long ago, I remembered she once said this in Mandarin.

“If we do not have enough representation in the Barisan Nasional, then to the Chinese community, the lesson of 1969 is sufficient. I think we cannot afford another such scenario.”

It is interesting how lessons can be learnt from defeat. Just like how my family dog used wit and patience to achieve his run for freedom...:)

But of course, each time when I drive towards the front gate, I have made a mental note to myself that the dog would run out and may use all kind of "smart" moves to achieve his goal. Afterall, it is hard to change a dog, what more to deprive him what he truly desires after a long day running round the garden compound.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Azalina: Finance Minister Material...Not

So, why am I being so critical of our Tourism Minister? Surely being a qualified lawyer with masters in law, she would have chosen her words rather carefully right? To me, lawyers are quite concise and precise with their words and often, their choice of words are well suited to the occasions and all the many lawyers I know, almost all are pleasant speakers.

So anyway, this is not about lawyers. This is about why I think she is no Finance Minister material. Of course, one can say I am being hasty with my judgements as who is to know if she is capable unless she is tasked with such responsibilities?

I therefore humbly submit the following extracts from an article published on the Edge online on why I find her assessment of things are rather questionable if not downright silly.

Point 1, on the ministry's three-pronged strategy to boost tourism:

We want to increase domestic tourist activities to act as a buffer, in case there is a decline in foreign tourists. We can also encourage locals to spend more here than abroad.

The other plan we have is to define Singapore as a domestic market. The country is by far our most important target market, as a substantial number of arrivals are from there. Singaporeans’ shopping and travelling habits are similar to Malaysians, so it makes sense to include them as domestic tourists,” she said.

Azalina said the third strategy was to
emphasise on niche travel markets like eco-tourism.


Noticed something weird? How in the world classifying Singapore as domestic market will boost tourism? Aren't each and every one of the tourist entering and exiting a tourism site count the same? Just because one is labelled as Singaporean (foreign), it wouldn't count for two or three right if we designate as domestic?

And point 2, on whether the ministry was worried by recent reports that local credit card debts stood at some RM20 billion:

Banks are becoming prudent in lending, and this could translate into prudent spending habits among cardholders. If we look at what card issuers are saying, spending habits have remained somewhat steady, so I don’t see this as a problem,” she said.


How is a prudent lending policy translate into prudent spending habits?
This really made me wonder. Let's tackle this from the perspective of existing and new borrowers.

For existing borrowers who have been spending less than prudent but manage to service the minimal payments most of the time,
how is the lenders implementing prudent policy will make these people be prudent?

For new cardholders, how will the borrowers' prudent lending policy ensure that they don't have potential reckless spenders on hand? Assuming the lenders do manage to filter some of these who incurred huge credit card bills out, how will they filter the ones approved from turning reckless at later stage?

So, yes, based on this two points alone I wouldn't trust her with Finance Ministry. In fact, I often wonder why our ministers say the darnest things. Are they aware of the implications of what they are saying?

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Festival of Lights...


To all who celebrates this festival of lights, in remembrance of goodness prevailing over evil,

Happy Deepavali / Diwali!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Valuecap: Superior Fundamental Investment Research?

It seems information about Valuecap has been pouring these days from the media and one of the most revealing thing I read about Valuecap was reported by the Edge Daily yesterday entitled, "Valuecap in the black as of end-2007".

Basically much have been said and one of the thing highlighted was a wholly owned subsidiary of Valuecap, i-Vcap has felt the impact of drop in share prices i.e. the ETF established by this subsidiary has seen its NAV decreasing by 40% since its inception in Jan 28 this year.

But that is not my focus here. My focus is on the list of investees Valuecap has invested in (see my reproduction below). 20 companies below has been directly extracted based on the Edge revelation with the other 8 being extracted based annual reports published by these companies in Bursa Malaysia (look for the top 30 shareholders list though it is not necessarily show complete stakes held by the shareholders as they may use nominee accounts).

Noticed something perculiar? Valuecap actually invested in almost the same companies as EPF. The only difference is the amount invested in each counter (I guess that is why it is called on portfolio basis *wink, wink*).

Apparently Valuecap invested in about 70 companies listed in KLCI. I am not sure how many counters EPF has invested in but I would like to roughly gauge their exposures for comparison purposes.

But I need to add a qualifier though before we proceed: The table below is not an accurate representation as "these professionals investment entities" do trade from time to time and below is only a snapshot of what they have invested. The further the historical data is from today, the more likely it might change. Anyway, would any of us know for sure what they have today since they are not required to disclose to us? So... assuming the number of shares are the same since 31 December 2007 until today, you can see for yourself the value of these investments.

Note: Click on the picture to see it clearer

To be fair, the actual mark-to-market losses may not be as severe as we see above (just compare like for like columns which have been computed based on share prices on different dates). Yet, I am not surprised if both EPF and Valuecap are quite badly affected by the fall in these equity prices.

But what seemed to be quite odd to me is, if they do mark-to-market these losses, wouldn't EPF technically have more room to invest? Maybe they have been increasing the purchases over this period on their own and have hit the limit or they had have enough of the equity market. Oh well, who really knows right? Afterall, our paternalistic 2nd Finance Minister keep releasing press releases to assure us EPF just can't do it and they have to loan Valuecap monies to do it..:P

Again, using whatever superior fundamental investment research Valuecap possesses argument, are they truly free to sell the shares when they smell trouble? Take Maybank's shares for instance. If they sold half of it on 31 December 2007, they would have locked in RM300 million+ in cash. But that would have surely pushed Maybank's share prices down quite significantly due to the multiplier effect which the Govt is banking on to support the market.

So effectively, can Valuecap really exit from these investments? If not, how is Valuecap going to pay back? Via dividends from their investees???

Also, Nor Mohamed blamed foreigners for causing "fundamentally strong" companies value to fall plus the herd mentality exhibited by our domestic investors. So Valuecap is supposed to be one of those "instruments" employed by the state to "stem" this "irrational" phenomenon. But again, if these companies are so fundamentally strong, why can't EPF do it on their own?

Or better still, why don't the Govt employ and sponsor 3rd party independent research analysts to explain why are these companies so good that the general public should take out their savings to buy them rather than taking their retirement monies and getting questioned left, right and center?

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Why Big E? Why?

I am not sure what kind of signal EPF (or fondly called Big E by zewt) is sending to contributors like us. It seems Big E is quite generous because they have willingly provide a loan to the Govt to inject the proceeds into Valuecap Sdn Bhd to buy undervalued listed companies on portfolio basis based on superior fundamental investment research.


In my Value Investment??? blog entry, I mentioned based on whatever little public information I can find i.e. press releases from the Govt, Valuecap apparently only grew at the 4 years and 10 months CAGR of 4.7% per annum. Lo and behold, Malaysian Insider then reported sometime in the evening today quotes from our 2nd Finance Minister that....

He said this was based on the past performance of Valuecap which has grown its portfolio from RM5 billion initially to RM8 billion now.

Wow, I know it is just me but I felt like the Govt somehow connects to people like me who are obviously concerned about paltry returns like 4.7% per annum. To allay these concerns, he tried to justify Big E's decision by telling us how good Valuecap is.

"I believe that they (Valuecap) will do well and EPF will certainly get their returns.

"Valuecap has done well. It has a good infrastructure, good staff that know better about the market and have a knowledge on what is happening in the global market," he told reporters after giving a closing remark at the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2008, here today.

Aren't we all assured? I mean on the surface, using my 4 years and 10 months CAGR simple formula calculation to derive the growth of the portfolio, it grew by 10.2% per annum!

Isn't that great? It certainly is no Temasek (22% per annum) but it appears to be slightly better off than KLCI (8% per annum). Surely our savings in EPF are being well taken care in an efficient and reliable manner right?

Well, it appears not quite the case. I mean, look Big E, you have the monies, why don't you do it yourself? Afterall, you are a professional investment entity and you gave the assurance that you will seek optimum returns from your approved investments as what you said in your website.

Let's take a look at the yield currently derived from AAA papers or simply MGS, the staple of Big E investments.


From the above, assuming Quasi-Govt returns, the best Big E expects to get in 20 years horizon is 6.19%. That is 20 years ok. If we take a look at 5 years yield to try to match as close as what Valuecap is currently doing with its RM8 billion portfolio, the best they can hope for is 4.73%.

So Big E, are you happy with just 4.73% for a 5 years horizon? (Wait, this 4.73% is so eerily familiar... I wonder...) Anyway, is that THE optimum return you think the members are happily enjoying when you forsake the chance to make 10.2% per annum if you set out on your own?

Afterall, isn't your approved investment also include equity???

Don't you also have good staff that knows the better about the market and what is happening in the global market?

Makes one wonder isn't it?

Monday, 20 October 2008

Value Investment???

Honestly, since conception of this Value Cap Sdn Bhd back in 2003, I don't hear much about what they do, what they invest in and what is their performance like (except one small news about Value Cap making RM250 million for financial year 2003 (FY2003)). Though they are equally funded by Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah), Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) and Kumpulan Wang Persaraan Diperbadankan (KWAP), much of what they did remains a secret other than buying into "undervalued" companies listed in Bursa Malaysia on "portfolio" basis.


Originally it was envisioned to invest RM10 billion in KLSE but somehow, it only invested RM5 billion based on the limited information I have extracted from the press. And now the Government is happy to invest another RM5 billion to make it into RM10 billion. I wonder how much profit has Value Cap generated over the years and whether these returns have benefited the rakyat? No one knows and since KLCI goes up and down, values are created and lost.

So is propping up the KLCI the agenda of the government of the day? Or really seeking real value companies? Well, let's not be prejudicial towards the Government of the day. Let's just use a simple comparison to see how this policy has faired today shall we?

When Value Cap first started investing on 10 January 2003, the KLCI was at 625.76 points. Today's closing is at 909.51 points. That means over the course of roughly 4 years and 10 months, KLCI grew at about 8% per annum. Have Value Cap grew at that rate or more given it selectively chooses the undervalued investments?

Though this is not an exact science, using whatever little I have and assuming no distributions made by Value Cap to their shareholders, let's connect the dots and see what Value Cap made.

On 14 February 2004, Nor Yaakob was quoted by the Star Online that:

“ValueCap has used just RM4bil of the RM10bil it has,'' he told the media after the KLSE Corporate Awards 2003 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

As of today, the Edge Online reported that:

The government will invest an additional RM5 billion into Valuecap Sdn Bhd to double the latter's funds to RM10 billion, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.

So using simple Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) formula for a period of 4 years and 10 months, the annual return of Value Cap works out to be about 4.7% per annum. Now compared it to KLCI performance in the same period (see above).


Let's not look too far for other comparison, let's look at Temasek. Voila... you can download their latest annual report here. You know what is amazing?

From FY2004 to FY2008, Temasek made an average return of equity of 11.4% per annum, saw its profit after tax before minority interests grew by 25.4% and shareholders' equity grew at 22.2% per annum.

Yup, their shareholders funds grew from FY2004 at SG$ 64.5 billion to SG$ 144.1 billion during about the same period Value Cap was picking up under value companies in KLCI using RM4 billion to grow to RM5 billion.

Speaks volume isn't it?

In an age where converting a simple word document to PDF version is only a few clicks away and publishing it on the net is not a very complicated procedure, why don't the Government choose to be accountable and reveal what they have been doing for the rakyat to judge for themselves?

Afterall, wouldn't it be fair to the Government if we can have the figures (not just Value Cap, but its shareholders as well) to do a simple comparison with performance of the likes of Temasek?

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Lost And Uncertain

Well, that is only part of what I am feeling as I pen this down. Honestly, I feel bad but at the same time, I don't feel I am fully responsible. But to a person I care, what more can I say or do?

So here's the story.

I took leave on Friday to get some errant done. It included amongst other, conducting an informal interview, sending my car for servicing and submitting a financing-related application. Anyway, by the time I was done, I am tired and the weather didn't look too promising. All I was looking forward to was to get some rest and relax session in front of my TV, computer or book or simply, on the bed (depending on the mood).

That was when my wife called to inform me my friends asked if we wanted to have dinner together. I explained to my wife I don't feel like going without stating much reason but all I heard from her was "I want to go though." Sigh... it is that guilt trip feeling I am getting. I could have been more firm and insisted on not going but I relented. That was around 3.15-3.20 pm.


Anyway, I took the lift to go back to my unit and just as I stepped out from the lift, I heard the sound of heavy torrential rain falling. Shit... heavy rain. I think I don't want to inconvenient my friends so I made a call to my wife to cancel this dinner arrangement. I told her I don't think I want to go as it was raining cats and dogs. Besides, coming all the way to the condo will not be a good idea. She told me it would be ok as my friend's wife will be picking him up at the LRT station nearby. So it wouldn't be a hassle. Sigh... reluctantly I agreed to the original plan.

So, I walked around the unit and as I looked out the window, it is very heavy rain and I am dead tired. I really wanted my rest. Around 4 pm, I sent my wife a SMS to tell her I don't think I want to go and I will be taking a nap. I left it as that.

Around 5.50 to 6 pm, I was rudely awaken by my screaming handphone. My wife was frantically telling me that my friend is coming to the unit. I asked her why is he bothered to come since I sent her a SMS that I am not going? Apparently, she didn't receive it (Is this a common phenomenon?) and she was upset. She said I should have told her earlier or at least inform my friends that I am not going. Somewhat surprised, I told her that it has always been a common arrangement that one person liaise with the other and there is no need for everyone to call on another on these sort of impromptu arrangements. Being all upset, I cut off the line and tried calling my friend. His phone was engaged. So I sent a SMS to let him know I am not going.


Anyway, I was sleepy so I just slumped back on my bed. About 5 or so minutes later, my phone rang again. According to my wife, my friend is in the building. And he climbed up more than 10 storeys and rang the bell but no one opened the door. And he went down to call his wife to call my wife or something like that to tell us that no one open the door. I was surprised. I didn't hear a single bell ring. I told her I didn't hear anything and I couldn't reach him on the mobile. She then said it was because he didn't bring his mobile. She told me to wait at the door as he will come by the unit.

I presume he never did or maybe he did but I didn't hear the door bell being rung.

Around 6.20 pm, my wife came home and threw tantrums. She was upset and scolded me for not opening the door for my friend and she ran off to look for him. I was dazed. I tried to call her but I realised she left her handphone in the house. And my friend's wife called her mobile. I answered and she said she is waiting downstairs. I told her my wife is not around and she is looking for her hubby.

Anyway, it turns out later he went off to my in-laws business premise nearby. My wife was angry and scolded me for breaking the arrangement last minute. I told her I sent the message at 4 pm, only 1/2 an hour later from the first call she made about that impromptu dinner arrangement (is that last minute????). She said she didn't receive the message and I should have called them to let them know I am not going (which I find it kind of weird considering all other arrangements were made via a single person from this side to the other side out of ease rather than a formal meeting of sort).


So I called my friend. He sounded angry. I tried explaining the whole situation, where I sent a message to my wife thing and how she didn't receive it. He then mentioned he is disappointed I didn't bother to open the door when in the past I will open the door. I told him I was in the room sleeping unlike the past where I am at the study room (where the bell is just next to the entrance). Anyway, he said it has passed so he didn't want to talk about it and he will proceed with his wife to have dinner and they are now stuck in the jam. All I say is I am sorry even though to be frank, I am more sorry that he had to walk all the way (contrary to my understanding his wife is picking him up at the LRT station) and climb more than 10 storeys to reach my unit (my condo requires special access cards to use the lift but somehow the management forgot about locking the fire escape stairwells).

Looking at hindsight, there are many things I could have done like giving my wife a call at 4 pm instead of sending a message. But seriously, what is the point of sending a message and then giving a call? More so when she is busy with work and she may not pick up the phone? Anyway, am I suppose to doubt whether every message I send out will be received by the other party?

Based on hindsight again, I could have called my friends but our usual arrangement has always been 1 person from this side will contact the other side and vice versa. I don't see why I should change this arrangement unless I have premonition shit is going to hit the fan.

I feel bad but honestly, why is everyone pointing fingers at me when I pulled out from an impromptu arrangement merely 1/2 an hour when it was set? I also don't want my friends get caught in the jam, climbing 10 storeys of steps and feeling cut off.

Sigh... anyway, I am not sure how to invite my friend out this coming weekend. I know his birthday is around the corner. I am at a loss. Should I just call and pretend like nothing happened or should I just call and apologise again?

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

A Dream Realised Yet Remains A Dream

Imagine you have a dream, to own a house facing the beach or a home on a cliff at the edge of the sea. And you saved long and hard to realise your dream because you just want to spend the remainder of your life at your dream home.


Then you chanced upon an ad in the papers such a home is available. So it is not a house but an apartment / condominium. It faces the sea and you felt it is affordable. You decided to deposit and buy the house. You can't wait to wake up to smell the sea breeze or just stare out into the ocean. You can now strike out your wish list as you bought a home by the sea.

What happen next is really sad. You were passing by a notice board in front of your condominium / apartment and to your horror, a land reclamation project has been initated to extend the beach and there is a developer intending to build a condominium. It will definitely obstruct the sea view of your unit. To make matters worse, you might not be able to access the beach anymore as the land is now in private hands.

So now how brown cow? The apartment / condominium easily loses value because of this development. Buyers can never be sure the view with the sea they have today would be obstructed some day.

Where can the people turn to in times like this? Is this real in this country?


Perhaps what the state government in Penang is doing now is not undoing what the previous state government has decided on the Queensbay land. But one wonders what authority can the rakyat turn to protect the remaining shorelines and beachfronts for the benefit of everyone.

On technicality, it seems what the Penang state government is doing is legal by converting reclaimed land from leasehold to freehold. Yet the implications are great considering such loopholes which exist in the National Land Code opens up a tempting prospect to greedy developers which would have the means to ensure that they profit greatly at the expense of the helpless rakyat who just wants to have their view to the sea.

I hope Lim Guan Eng would see to it that the conversion of Queensbay land from leasehold to freehold will be the last thing every happen to all Penang foreshores and beachfronts. Perhaps the state government has the means to enact laws to prevent it. I am no legal expert but surely, land as far as I understand it, is under state jurisdiction.

Sigh... a sad day indeed for people like me. I do have a dream that someday I can retire by living in a home facing the sea. Yet will it truly be the sea I wake up to in the mornings or just another concrete building obstructing the view with only my imagination that there is a sea beyond it?

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

When System & People Mix

It is 14 October today, 1 more day left before the twice-a-month-official-claims-deposit-into-your-bank-account day. I have been anxiously waiting for this day as I have been paying my company expenses out of my own pocket. Given the nature of my work, it is a norm to use credit cards to pay for my accommodation and traveling expenses while I later claim it back from my company.

Why am I anxious? Well, the thing is all my big claims have not been refunded since I submitted my claim form back in late July / early August this year. According to my company policy, technically they will refund me within 6 weeks provided:

i) I submitted the necessary documentation (including supporting documents like receipts), and
ii) I fill in the form correctly.

I did item i) but I apparently didn't fill in item ii) correctly according to the HR who only informed me during early Sept (that is already 6 weeks by then). Apparently, I didn't fill in details on where, when and why I traveled in the correct boxes (despite the same information reproduced at the bottom of the form).


I was surprised as to why they took so long to send the form back to me (6 bloody weeks later!). For one thing, the processing of claims are done in a centralised location far away from my office. This of course involves internal mailing system which from what I experienced and was warned earlier, is rather slow. Also, it appears the letter was wrongly addressed and hence, the form dropped into general circulation pool which went round departments.

I felt very unhappy of course because the same company policy indicated any late claims charges arising from using credit cards are not their responsibility. And I am very disappointed that the same people who processed my claim form could easily call me as the form indicated my contact details (Read: telephone number).

All it requires is for the people in the claims department to make an extra mile i.e. call the claimant and inform them of the problems with their forms. Instead, because of the thousands of forms they have to process, they don't bother doing that. I wonder is it really that many forms for them to process. I was also told that because there are so many forms to process, it is possible to delay processing claims even if you did everything right.


Sigh... so yes, I am anxious about my claims. This never happen to me in all my other work places. Meanwhile, because of work, I have chalked up a big bill for the company. I am worried too if I will get my money for that claim. Given the rate things are going, I might not want to claim in future but instead do what my other colleagues did, ask for an advance.

Is it a system fault? Is it a process fault? Or is it just people who couldn't care because they felt overworked and they should only do the minimal and yet go back on time?

I don't quite know but I do know I will face cash shortage by end of this month if I don't get my claims. And yes, my company is not responsible for any late charges imposed by the credit card companies.

On my previous posting, I complained about Guan Eng and possible contravention of National Land Code. Apparently according to Guan Eng, the land in question is not considered as foreshore and this according to the him was deemed to be so by the previous state government.

I wonder how do a government decide whether which land is or is not a foreshore? Will two wrongs make a right? I seriously hope he doesn't conveniently close one eye just because the state government is strapped for money.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Eerily Familiar

My dad has always been very cautious of his words. To him, the fear of ISA is very great and understandably, the recent events further reinforces his views. He also reads MSM and regular subscriber of the Star. But there is one thing this cautious man always do since he is eligible to vote many decades ago.

Without fail, he will vote for opposition. You know about the pre-1999 election daily ads about unrests and disturbances? He voted for opposition. And Pak-Lah-is-so-nice-and-a-big-change-Mahathir-era 2004 election? He voted for opposition. Whether it is Ops Lallang or 1969 election, he voted for the opposition. In his views, thanks to the way the electoral system is shaped and the election machinery employed by BN (formerly the Alliance), the opposition stands little change of ever capturing the Federal government.

But he did one thing I never expected.

You see, on the Sunday Star frontpage, the headlines read, PM moots idea of direct membership. Basically, Abdullah felt that this can facilitate for people interested to be associated with BN but don't want to join any component parties.


My dad just remarked that this drive will fail. He said that this drive is akin to the 60s when the Alliance (consist of only 3 parties, namely UMNO, MCA and MIC) started a membership drive to cater for the same thing and importantly, they wanted to arrest the decline in popularity. My dad was apparently "recruited" by his friend to support another person's bid for some chairman position within the Alliance.

We all know what happened in the 1969 election and the fate of the Alliance since then.

So back to 2008, is Abdullah's idea really new? To be fair, there are no details at all about this BN "membership" or "club" drive so we would never know. But knowing how BN works, people like Shabery Cheek and Samy Vellu echo two important views that will ultimately doom this idea.

You see, people like Shabery Cheek don't see the point why the biggest component member with the highest number of MPs in BN should keep surrending what is rightly theirs when the command the biggest number of MPs with the highest membership numbers in a single party. And on top of that the existence of UMNO is to perpetuate the idea of Malay suzerainty over this land eventhough in reality everyone is created equal in the eyes of God. To surrender any powers to a single multiracial party like BN would end up diluting its voice as the big brother in BN.

As for Samy, well, his mindset perpetuate the idea that MIC is the only political voice in BN that can defend the downtrodden Indians. To similarly yield their numbers to BN directly would be no different from being drowned by a sea of voices of which 90% may most probably be non-indians. Nevermind the MIC track record to date is for all to see which also contributed to the rise of HINDRAF.

Yes, it is eerily familiar. BN will fail just as how the Alliance failed, simply because their platform of making one another bogeymen only ended up making them a big coalition of bogeymen. This is why Pakatan Rakyat, despite PAS being painted as an Islamic extremist party, DAP, being a chinese chauvinist party while PKR, an Anwar fanclub, appeals to the rakyat. These 3 at least showed their willingness to hear out from one another despite the differences and exhibits a level of trust working towards the betterment of the needy and downtrodden regardless of colour.

Are they perfect? Absolutely not. But at least there is an option now, a viable one at that. The other is just good at playing sandiwara, to entertain the masses when their audience are bored to death and wanting real change.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

What About Local Council Election?

To be honest, when I came across this issue on conversion of Queensbay project land from leasehold to freehold (a no no in the National Land Code) raised by the Sun yesterday, I thought it was done by the previous state government. Turns out I am wrong.


Apparently, the present CM, Guan Eng might have blundered in his zeal to try to revive a stalled project by defending the conversion. Anil Netto opined it might be because Penang is starved of monies (is it a surprise since BN is still in control of the federal govt?). But seriously, this is not really an excuse since the CM office should have lots of advisers to assist him. Even if it was not so, Guan Eng has been playing up a lot of previous mistakes done by the previous state government in relation to land in the past few months. Perhaps it is high time he apologise and think of a way to ensure compliance with the Federal law?

Of course if he is adamant about interpreting it like the way he cited:

..Section 76(aa)(iii) of the NLC which says land could be converted “where the State Authority is satisfied that there are special circumstances which render it appropriate to do so”.

despite Ms Agatha Foo, a senior conveyance lawyer stating that:

...Proviso in section 76 of the NLC, which Lim had overlooked in his assembly reply.

Foo noted that the proviso expressly prohibits the
state from disposing of “any part of the foreshore or sea-bed for a period exceeding ninety-nine years”.


Then my question is, to be consistent in defying federal laws, why don't he push for the local council election? I believe there are also ways to get round the Local Government Act 1976 based on some loopholes cited by planning lawyer, Derek Fernandez.

Pakatan Rakyat state governments have to make sure they are consistent and fulfill all its promises in the best ability that they can. But to cite oversight is something that shouldn't happen in the first place and all necessary corrective actions should be taken. Whatever the excuse may be, they must be accountable for their actions.

I for one don't want Pakatan turn into another BN when they take over the Federal government.

Good Manga For Outreach

Are you one of those who tried to read the Bible and got lost/fall asleep/not-reading-type person? Or are you one of those envious types where people can quote and relate stories from the Bible as though it is from the tips of their fingers?

In all fairness, you should pray and ask the Holy Spirit to aid you in getting to know the Lord deeper. It is afterall a relationship. There are many books out there to recommend on how to read the Bible (weird right?) to gain insightful and deeper understanding. It is not a difficult book to read actually but...for manga and/or anime addicts like me, imagine reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as well as Acts in comic strip format! Wouldn't that be amazing?

As you should be well aware, Japan has a very very small Christian community. I once read somewhere once that during Christmas, a number of curious Japanese actually went to churches conducting evening masses to take pictures as though it is a museum!

Anyway, in one of those days where I sense there aren't many things of interest to me to read from Kino, MPH or Borders, I would make a beeline to my usual Christian bookstore, Canaanland in Damansara Perdana to try to look for "things of interest".

Imagine my surprise when I saw this!


At first, I am skeptical because I thought it might just be one of those Western type manga wannabe drawings. Turns out to be quite authentic. The producers, are actually based in Japan and employs japanese artists to draw it. Take for instance:

The one on the left is Peter and the other is Andrew


Ever wonder what the scene was like when Jesus cleared the Temple which was treated like a den of thieves?


The best part is, it is all in colour and the paper quality is very good. And to make sure I don't simple recommend misleading representation of the good book, I made sure I read it page by page...:P

To me, it is quite close to what you will find in the Bible. Also, the names are more Jewish than Greek. So, it will be Yeshuah rather than Jesus and like the 3rd picture above, remember I mentioned den of thieves? They call it market which is correct but it only potrays half the picture. So for the complete picture, it is best to read the original stuff...:) But visual aid is not entirely a bad thing either...:)

And since it is only RM20 per book (there are 5 in total with Manga Messiah and Manga Metamorphosis being sold by Canaanland presently), I decided to by 1 extra for the winner of this year's annual bible memory verse competition in my sunday school. I hope the winner will enjoy it as much as I did. Can't wait for the 3rd manga!

Monday, 6 October 2008

No Idea And Just Couldn't Be Bothered

Have you ever wonder whether what you are doing is really the right thing to do for the rest of your life?

Probably it is the lazy me again but I have been daydreaming of retiring without a care of the world. Of late, I realised I have been asking myself a lot about "What's next?" Hmmm, am I having the tunnel vision effect here?

One of my good friend actually said this job don't seem to be worth it given the amount of time I spend doing work in weekdays and weekends. My "I want to resign" senses are tingling as well.

I guess I can't help but feel helpless in this job. I wonder too why I quit an easy going job for something challenging. And then quit and go for something easy going. And after awhile, quit again for something challenging. Talk about being insane... haha...


So anyway, that's my entry for the day. I don't really know what else to write. This country has gone haywire anyway. Nothing makes sense anymore since we are neither here nor there. Some say look at the pathetic state of the share market, others say hey, there are many other economic indicators worth looking. And what about those who predicted earlier this year KLCI will hit 2,000 points or something like that? Or others who predicted crude oil prices will hit USD200 per barrel?

And my favourite childhood candy being filled with melamine?


My, my how things have changed since August this year.

To distract myself, I will be watching my animes and reading mangas. I am trying so hard to leave the real world. No, no. No suicide (afterall I am scared of pain). Just tired of the real world. Tired of "what ifs".

It is afterall another working day tomorrow...:P

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Eid Mubarak!

Free Orkut and My Space Eid Mubarak Graphics Glitters

To all Muslims out there,

May the forgiveness sought be found, the ties lost be mended, that love and unity maintained and the strength and courage be with you each day.

May you have a happy Eid ul-Fitr!