29 March 2010

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com



bsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is not just someone's psychotic preference of 'Order vs Chaos' in their lives. It's a decease often haunting their lives, as well as others surrounding them, to the extent that it may become intolerable. What is OCD? Ever heard of people washing their hands a zillion times? or arranging toiletteries in a perfect chronological order of the intended sequence of use? or having multiple locking systems on a single door? These are all examples of OCD. It drives people to the realm of madinsanity.

In a New Straits Times article on 23 March 2010 (pages 16 - 17) titled Having an Obsession by Kasmiah Mustapha, it seems that psychiatrists from hospitals confirmed that OCD is a disease within the category "Mental Illness" and there are medical remedies. Medical remedies? these people with OCD just needs a punch right in the middle of their nose to wake up from their dream of a perfect world. Sorry, that was just a joke. I declare that I too, have OCD - Does it make me a mental patient? So go ahead and punch me!

To share my life with everyone, here are my top 10 OCD's ranked by order of severity (measured by the level of my wife's intolerable screams):

~~~~~

No. 10: Neat but Not Necessarily Clean
A lot of people like to keep things clean and tidy. For me, I don't mind not being clean but tidiness is a must. The clothes may be dirty but as long as they are arranged nicely, I am O.K. The papers and envelopes may be junk but as long as they are neatly piled up, they are good to stay that way. The car may be full of dirt but as long as you don't leave those Mars Bars wrappers in my car, I am cool.

No. 9: Inability to Accept Failure
Failure does not necessarily means failing exams or some big deal undertaking. It's rather those menial routine simple things that we do everyday. For example, If I am sending an email and there is a connection problem, I will be going all over the configuration just because I need the email to go out regardless of the importance of the email or its content. Sometimes I sit and stare at the monitor until the email completes its process of delivery. At home, with the slow broadband connection, this can be a pain.

No. 8: Let the Greens be in Order
This is quite common. Like many others, I can only accept notes in my wallet to be arranged by order of value and the correct side facing each other.

No. 7: The Reminders
I remind myself all the time in various methods whenever I want to make sure that I carry out an intended task in the future. Mental note is good but it ain't a reminder unless it's carved on stones! I email myself so that I read the emails tomorrow morning. I also have it on diaries which is perfectly normal. I sms myself! Little notes in the wallet, and God knows what else I'd do when more medium is being introduced to me. In the end, I end up with loads of lists. List of books to read, list of movies to watch, list of blogs to write, list of things to buy, list of images to paint, everywhere lists of everything under the sun.

No. 6: "Can I wake up tomorrow?"
Staring at the alarm clock for a long time to be sure that it is not on "silence" mode and that the alarm is set at a.m. rather than p.m.

No. 5: Bloody Accountant
I update my 'actual' versus 'budget' personal expenditure almost on daily basis on a spreadsheet fearing that I may be financially uncontrollable when I don't know my current state of financial affairs.

No. 4: "God, please don't reject me"
I am a Muslim. A Muslim washes his/her face, hands, feet, head, etc with water before they go for prayers (the "Wuduk"). In my case, its multiple wash. When I am ready to pray, I'd be dripping with water all over. When a Muslim starts a prayer, he/she recites a declaration of the intention to pray ("Niat"). Yup, you've guessed it right - multiple Niats until I am sure that God Himself is bored of me.

No. 3: Maximum Resolution of Outstanding Matters
I hate outstanding matters. If I have a genie, my no. 1 wish would be to have the energy to complete all outstanding matters while everyone else are asleep. Like a bionic man almost. People at work may get annoyed with me because I am persistent in getting things done.

No. 2: "Did you hear what I just said?"
It annoys me to death when I don't get at least a facial expression from my audience when I am saying something. I love acknowledgement. Please acknowledge what I am trying to convey. Do whatever as long as I get the message that you acknowledge. Give a nod, a smile, say "Yes" and best if you ask me again "Sir, can you repeat that again". If you don't give me that acknowledgement that I seek, I will be the one asking you over and over again until I am satisfied that you get what I am talking about.

No. 1: State of the Art Security System
Well. Not the system, but the user really. Inherited from my mother, I lock my car numerous times to the extent that the whole family had to wait at the lift of a shopping mall while I am still a metre away pressing that lock and unlock button on my car keys over an over again. Chronic OCD I'm telling you. Once, I broke the handle of my car door as a result of repeated checking of whether the door is locked or not. I even force my 4-year old son to stand in front of the car to count how many times the Honda Civic orange lights had blinked.

~~~~~

Kasmiah uncovered that 2% to 3% of the world population suffers OCD. These people's behaviours normally badly affect their lives as well as their families', friends' and work colleagues'. I guess it must be a painful experience for Victoria Beckham to tolerate David's obsession about symmetrical order at home. He even has 3 refrigerators to store food, salad and beverages separately. Cameron Diaz seems to become spastic when it comes to opening doors - she uses her elbow out of fear of germs. Alec Baldwin cleans repeatedly and DiCaprio refuses to walk on a cracked pavement. Jessica Alba likes to be in control - I wonder in what sense.

According to medical discoveries, OCD is caused by neurotransmitter defects. Whatever it really means, only doctors know - my understanding is that one part of your brain does not communicate effectively to other parts of the brain. For example, you have locked your doors but somehow that acknowledgement of you locking the door does not get registered. So a few metres away from the door, you turn around heading back to the door to check whether it's locked or not. Some may say that that is simply being forgetful. Well, that may be valid but what would you say if that relay (of walking away and back to the door) happens multiple times in that one occasion? Now that's OCD - a state of excessive anxiety and doubtfulness, which, in most cases, consumes time and causes other detrimental effects such as lack of sleep, lack of concentration or even nervous breakdown.

Kasmiah, in her article, ended her piece with a recommendation that OCD sufferers should seek medical treatment. Well, in my case, I tend to fall back on her earlier statement in the article:

"...in Malaysia, there is the stigma that seeing a psychiatrist means you are crazy"

I ain't going to fall under that category, that's for sure.




* kopihangtuah


| mcmlxxv:viii:xxix |

26 March 2010

Kelantan, a 'Country' of its Own


www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com



he last time I’ve been to Kota Bharu (KB) (or New Castle!) was probably 10 years ago as a short trip when I was working in Kerteh. This year I made another short business trip. It has changed tremendously. I remembered back then there were only 2 hotels worth considering, Perdana and Temenggung. Today, KB is vibrant surpassing its closest competitor, Kuala Trengganu.


The first thing I noticed about KB is that there wasn't much green. Well plenty of green flags everywhere but you know what I mean. The development over the past years must have destroyed all those big trees in the town and it has now become like one of those Australian towns in the middle of the barren region. Very warm, very “concrete” and not much emphasis has been put in fitting in trees and gardens. I hope YAB Dato’ Nik Aziz and his administration notice this lack of green. They call KB “Bandar Islam” (Islamic Town) on banners everywhere. So, in my mind, they ought to follow the Quran where trees are given special mention and importance in the gardens of heavens.

All they need to do is to implement necessary policies via the necessary government department or the Local Council – remembering a quotation once read in Gila Gila magazine years ago: “Dato' Ishak dari Jabatan Perancang Bandar dan Desa (JPBD) menggesa semua bandar di Malaysia mendedahkan 40% ruang terbuka untuk tumbuh-tumbuhan dan taman” (Dato' Ishak from the Town and Country Planning Department urges all towns in Malaysia to reserve 40% open areas for trees and gardens). Why it appeared in Gila Gila, God knows - they must have linked the quotation to a joke somehow. Anyway, that was my first impression of KB. The enthusiastic Islamic spirit should also include some natural greens to complement those green flags.

Whenever I leave the Central Business District of Kuala Lumpur and surrounding Selangor, I’ve always aimed to be observant over surroundings that matter to the main stream Malaysia. Kelantan, the state where KB is in, in my mind, has to be one of the most significant “main stream” Malaysia. Why not? The federal government lost the state to the opposition for donkey years and never to recover. So I went to an orphanage run by the state government. A simple hostel-like establishment with 185 orphans aged up to 17 years old.

The best way to understand what the “rakyat” (citizens) goes through in their daily lives is to understand their struggle. Unlike many other states in Malaysia, Kelantan only has 6 orphanages. Yes, 6, and even that, only 2 are registered. What is worse, the largest one is the one I visited, YAATIM of Jalan Pengkalan Chepa – with only 185 orphans, it qualifies as the “largest”??!! What is worst, Kelantan has thousands of orphans – approximately 5% of Kelantan population are orphans. (Note: These statistics are merely estimation and no imperical evidence has been presented. However, they are from reliably sources).

These orphans’ education is often neglected by their families to the point where we, Malaysians, deserve to be chastised. A normal 12 year old Malaysian strives for 5 A’s in their Standard Six Examination (UPSR) and gets frustrated when they get B’s. These orphans get 5 E’s for heaven’s sake. Some of them don’t even know how to read at the age of 13, both roman alphabets as well as Arabic! For an Islamic state like Kelantan, we would have imagined that at least Arabic literature is addressed.

I am not accusing the state government. I am merely stating the fact how neglected these poor children are. The Headmaster Y Bhg Dato Dr Abdul Razak and his team of 20 or so wardens employ special teachers to do one-on-one teaching to at least, ensure minimum level of literacy allowing these children to live a decent life when they reach 18. This is a very admirable effort.

There is hope, by God’s will. The orphanage established in 1994 has produced capable citizens contributing to the productivity of Kelantanese economy. Some of these orphans managed to go to local universities and graduated as engineers, teachers and one is in the process of completing medical studies. Of course a huge chunk of them did not excel but they are not without any useful skills. After being pushed into vocational institute in Kelantan, Kolej Bistari, they later become good technicians, mechanics and semi-skilled factory workers. Had such efforts not materialised, we’d probably have a bunch of new generation drug addicts and criminals.

In the night, I wanted to roam the town for some excitement but the best suggestion I got from the hotel concierge was Wakaf Che Yeh. It seems that people of Kelantan, or KB in particular, have not much of a night life other than night markets. I wanted to watch a movie just to catch up with the latest releases – to my surprise, no movies available after dusk. Anyway, the night market at Wakaf Che Yeh, in my opinion, a perfect sample of what can be extrapolated to represent the majority of the night life in KB.

On normal nights, things are quite uninteresting but on that particular night, folks from the villages came down to KB to attend their first ever family carnival hosted by a national TV channel. When a taxi driver was asked, he revealed that no such event has ever occurred in KB as far as he can remember (..and this taxi driver was probably in his 60’s). This cannot be true? Can any of you readers who are from KB or Kelantanese please correct me if I’m wrong. I swear a taxi driver vouched this for me.

Wakaf Che Yeh, at first glance appears to be like any other Pasar Malam (Night Market). With a chicken burger on one hand and a ciggy on the other, I did my walkabout. When observed, there is a peculiar feeling unlike the Pasar Malams in the other states. I began to notice that the economy is pretty much self contained - or in a more positive words, self sufficient. Clothing and kitchen ware are mostly from across the border (Siam). Food and beverages are unique to the state and the currency seems to have been converted to a Kelantanese "Ria" rather than Ringgit.

What surprises me more is the music industry. You would have imagined that familiar national faces such as Siti Nurhaliza, Mawi or Faisal Tahir appearing on the covers of the CDs (original or imitation) - but No! - none of these artists are those that appear on our TV. These artists are Kelantanese. At that point I realised that Kelantan can survive on its own without depending on the other states, well, perhaps not politically correct to say that but at least, from music point of view, it is apparent.

Kelantanese CDs everywhere, male and female, in the Kelantanese dialect complete with video clips and all - Dang Dut being the preferred genre. A famous example would be the girl band Jagoh 7. This Kelantanese girl band seems to be at the top of the chart along with 9 other Kelantanese artists giving no room for the national artists that we see on the TV. Guess what? They even have cartoons and animation of Kelantan folks in Kelantanese dialect! (Link to an example of a Kelantanese animation). Here I am thinking that Malaysia had just beginning to explore this in labels such as "Keluang Man", "Upin & Ipin" and "Lat"; I see a Kelantanese animation! Wow! I left Wakaf Che Yeh thinking "Kelantan, a 'Country' of its Own".




* kopihangtuah


| mcmlxxv:viii:xxix |

20 March 2010

A Concept by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?


www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com



stumbled upon an interesting blog post on the subject "Outsourcing" of archiving of confidential documents in the private and public sector - Is Your Personal Information Safe? Maybe Not. My reaction was - what the heck is going on? Why wasn't public trust at heart? Anyway, I have no way of validating the truth of the information contained therein. But what I do want to share is my comments left for that blogger as follows:

~~~~~

Dear Jebatmustdie,

This is very bad (the outsourcing). I used to be an auditor. If I ever have to audit these agencies, their core responsibility of upholding public trust is already at the top of the audit risk list. For all you know, 'Outsourcing' is just another concept created by The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to control one of the important elements of mankind civilisations, ie communication.

They have created other concepts which was used as tools to control the world, example, the creation of "second hand market" which was used by them to distort current (at that time that is) economy that was directly derived from industrial supply and demand mechanism particularly during the industrial revolution era.

Second hand market had the power to destroy the production side of the chain. There are a lot of other concepts. To name a few: Globalisation, Freedom of Speech, Communism, Free Market, Level Playing Field, etc. The list is so long. You'll have to read a book that compiles articles by Henry Ford on all the agendas of this old protocol - which aims to control the 3 most significant areas: COMMUNICATION, FINANCIAL & POLITICS

Link to Henry Ford's published work:
The International Jew

Link to the secret document unleashed to the public by Henry Ford:
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion





* kopihangtuah


| mcmlxxv:viii:xxix |

Accounting for Dummies Part 2


www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com



WARNING: If you have studied accounting, business, economics, finance or banking; please by all means, ignore this post because it will bore you to death.

ello there scholars. Before you read this, you ought to read the prerequisite post titled "Accounting for Dummies Part 1" where we discussed about how the performance of a business is captured, measured via the following indicators, ie the components of Profit and Loss Statement a.k.a the Income Statement, that are normally recorded for a financial year of 12 months:

• Revenue
• Gross profit
• EBITDA
• Depreciation and Amortisation
• Profit Before Tax (PBT)
• Profit After Tax (PAT)
• Earnings Per Share (EPS)
• PATAMI

At the end of a financial year (most companies use 31 December as the end date for a 12 month period of 1 January to 31 December), a take stock of the wealth position of a business helps you to decide what course of actions you need to take. This 'take stock' is presented in what we call the Balance Sheet.

What is a Balance Sheet? Using our example of a sandwich parlour, we probably have the below in our Balance Sheet:


BALANCE SHEET AS AT 31 DECEMBER 2009

EQUITY

Share Capital = RM300
Profit Reserve = RM500

TOTAL EQUITY = RM800

Represented by:

ASSETS

Tangible Assets - Toaster
~ Cost = RM100
~ Accumulated Depreciation = (RM50)

Intangible Assets - License
~ Cost = RM100
~ Accumulated Amortisation = (RM33)

Investment in a Subsidiary = RM100

Cash = RM588

TOTAL ASSETS = RM800



Based on the initial example in Part 1, you have invested RM300 (contribution as Share Capital) of your money to start the business: RM100 on toaster(s), RM100 fee for a 3-year license and say RM100 for the bakery of which, these are recorded as Tangible Assets, Intangible Assets, and Investment in a Subsidiary respectively. Having spent all these and operated the business for a year, you achieved Profit After Tax of RM500. So your wealth is now at RM800, ie the Invested amount of RM300 plus the profits of RM500, referred to as EQUITY. EQUITY is an accounting jargon. For a non-accountant like you, what does that really mean?

Well, what you really want to know is what you have now in your hands that make up that RM800. You own toaster(s) which cost you RM100 but since you have depreciated RM50, the net book value is now RM50. You also have the right to conduct a sandwich business by virtue of obtaining the 3-year license that costs you RM100 but now at net book value of RM67 after amortising RM33. You also invested RM100 acquiring a bakery business. As a result of selling sandwiches, your profit after paying all expenses, taxes and charging depreciation and amortisation stood at RM500.

Bare in mind there are 2 expenses which really did not result in you paying hard cash - they are depreciation of the toaster(s) and amortisation of the license. So really, the cash that you have is the RM500 profit plus RM50 depreciation and RM33 amortisation, giving you actual hard cash of RM588 which you really got from collection from customers less payments for expenses such as bread, tuna, cheese, electricity and rental. The 4 assets that you have, ie toaster(s), license, bakery business and cash adds up to the RM800 = the EQUITY you have to date. So this equation of ASSET = EQUITY, a perfect equilibrium, is what transpired the name "Balance Sheet", ie A sheet that balances!

That was an illustration of a simple Balance Sheet for our sandwich business. In real life, it's more complicated than that. You'd probably have your cash in a bank and some in hard cash. You'd probably have some customers who still owe you money that was not yet collected as at the Balance Sheet date. You'd also probably have some suppliers whom you have not yet paid such as electricity whereby the bill may still be unpaid as at Balance Sheet date. All these will make your Balance Sheet looks more extensive. What is even worse, you will classify these items between 'Current' and 'Non Current'. The former normally gets settled (collected or paid) within 12 months and the latter is the opposite, ie beyond 12 months. The typical components of a Balance Sheet are as follows:

EQUITY (E)

• Share Capital
• Share Premium Reserves
• Asset Revaluation Reserves
• Foreign Currency Translation Reserves
• ESOS Reserves
• Warrant Reserves
• Retained Earnings / (Accumulated Losses)
• Minority Interests
• Equities and Reserves Attributable to Shareholders


Represented by:


NON CURRENT ASSETS (NCA)

• Investment in Subsidiaries
• Investment in Asscoiates
• Investment in Jointly-controlled Entities
• Other Long Term Investments
• Intangible Assets
• Property, Plant and Equipment
• Long Term Prepaid Lease
• Long Term Receivables
• Long Term Deferred Expenditure
• Other Long Term Assets

Add CURRENT ASSETS (CA)

• Cash on Hand
• Cash at Financial Institution
• Short Term Investments
• Trade and Other Receivables
• Inventories
• Short Term Prepaid Lease
• Short Term Deferred Expenditure
• Assets Held For Sale
• Tax Recoverable
• Deferred Tax Assets
• Financial Derivative Assets
• Other Short Term Assets

Less CURRENT LIABILITIES (CL)

• Trade and Other Payables
• Overdrafts
• Tax Payable
• Deferred Tax Liabilities
• Borrowings (payable within 12 months)
• Hire Purchase and Leases (payable within 12 months)
• Short Term Deferred Income
• Financial Derivative Liabilities
• Other Short Term Liabilities

Less NON CURRENT LIABILITIES (NCL)

• Borrowings (payable beyond 12 months)
• Hire Purchase and Leases (payable beyond 12 months)
• Long Term Deferred Income
• Other Long Term Liabilities


The above Balance Sheet components sound more advanced and complex. For your purpose, I will, later, guide you on what are the critical ones that you really need to know and what you can get away with by saying "have no idea,... am not an Accountant". The earlier equation of ASSET = EQUITY now seems to have unbundled into more components, which, in general, is as follows:

E = NCA + CA - CL - NCL

Note:
E = Equity
NCA = Non Current Assets
CA = Current Assets
CL = Current Liabilities
NCL = Non Current Liabilities


Current Assets less Current Liabilities gives you Net Current Assets or Net Current Liabilities depending on whether you are in an asset surplus position or deficit. Another name for this net current position is "Working Capital" suggesting that these are the immediate Balance Sheet items that you manage within a year as and when you proceed in your daily business operation. From overall perspective, really, your Equity is in fact the net of all your Assets and Liabilities. Henceforth, these equations listed below can be used interchangeably:

E = NCA + Net Current Asstes/(Liabilities) - NCL

E = NCA + Working Capital - NCL

E = Total Assets - Total Liabilities

E = Net Assets/(Liabilities)

E + CL + NCL = NCA + CA

E + Total Liabilities = Total Assets


We shall continue analysing Balance Sheet in a more micoscopic manner in Part 3 and subsequent Parts. Until then, I hope Part 1 & 2 of "Accounting for Dummies" serve as a catalyst to your interest in learning further.




* kopihangtuah


| mcmlxxv:viii:xxix |

18 March 2010

Accounting for Dummies Part 1


www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com



WARNING: If you have studied accounting, business, economics, finance or banking; please by all means, ignore this post because it will bore you to death.

any of us went through college, university and started a good career (I hope). Malaysians being Malaysian somehow have this 'thing' about Science-oriented faculties particularly the Malays. My observation is that the sons and daughters of the working class during the 50's and 60's were encouraged to take up Science stream studies. This was heavily influenced by the nations need to produce more doctors, engineers, chemists, architects, .... - The list goes on and on but I think, it may have failed to have 'Accountants' - or if it did, it was probably at number 113 out of 120.

These scholars, the Baby Boomers, I think, grew and progressed into professionals and senior management of the mainstream corporations you see today. Unlike their younger competitors (Generation X - who seems to favour Business and Economics), they struggled in their role as senior management simply because they cannot relate their expertise to what appears in the financial statements. Imagine Senior Engineers, Specialists in Hospitals and Architects sitting in the Board of Directors of ICT Companies, Hospitals and Property Development Companies. They cannot escape exercising their responsibilities as Directors which, among others, includes approval of the financial statements - a judgement call by them on how the Company has performed financially.

So, to all you engineers, architects, doctors, quantity surveyors, chemists, microbiologists, pilots, computer programmers - you ought to know some 'Accounts' before you progress further. Some of these may sound like I am explaining to a 6-year old but you'll be surprised on how many professionals and senior management have no clue on some of these things.

First things first. There are a few indicators that you ought to know. Not so much of trying to be smart, but to appreciate the achievement of your Company. These are the key indicators:

• Revenue
• Gross profit
• EBITDA
• Depreciation and Amortisation
• Profit Before Tax (PBT)
• Profit After Tax (PAT)
• Earnings Per Share (EPS)
• PATAMI

Revenue

Cash that you obtained from selling goods and services or cash that you are entitled to receive, ie people owe you when you have completed your delivery. This is really how much of other people's money you can exchange in return to what you can offer them.

Gross Profit

Getting other people's money is only good if it increases your cash. What you spent 'directly' in delivering to your customers has to be less than your revenue, giving a surplus, ie Gross Profit. Notice the word 'directly'? Well this is best explained in an example. Say you sell sandwiches. The cost of bread, tuna, chillies and cheese would be the costs incurred directly in producing the sandwich that sell to your customers. However, the electricity bills and the rental for the shop are not 'directly' related to the sandwiches. Why not? well, I don't see your sandwiches glowing like a light bulb nor do I see red bricks and cement stuck in between two bread. Do you?

Overheads

Costs that are not directly attributable to the production of the sandwiches. For example, the lectricity bills and the rental expenses. Don't under estimate overheads. It can be huge! Think of other expenses that you have to incur regardless of whether you are making those sandwiches or not. To name a few, telephone bills, dish washing liquid, wages for your helper in the kitchen whom you agreed to pay weekly regardless of the volume of sandwiches to be produced. These are all overheads. Imagine McDonalds the fast food chain, who are in the same business as our sandwich outlet. How much does McDonalds have to pay for their employees? Huge.

EBITDA

EBITDA is actually one of financial analysts' favourite indicators - they use EBITDA when they are assessing a company. It does wonders for a whole lot of valuations that no one can understand. Well, for your purpose, I will just explain what it represents. EBITDA is the abbreviation for Earnings Before Interest, Taxation, Depreciation and Amortisation. So taking the sandwich example again. You sell to get revenue, then you offset against what you have spent directly in producing the sandwich; and you get Gross Profit.

Then, At month end you get electricity bills and the landlord is waiting at the door for the rentals - ie Overheads obligation. You pay them and your Gross Profit becomes smaller. Now at that point of time, things can turn out differently depending on individual's state of affair. How did you start the business? Did you get the money from your Dad free of interest? or was it from the bank that charges you 7% interest per year? Did you sacrifice your savings to but the toasters or did you just rent those toasters? Do you fall within the income bracket that warrants the Inland Revenue officers to go after you or do you fall within the low income earners who does not have to pay taxes?

You can answer YES or NO and each answer gives you different commitment. Before you even consider paying taxes or interests or start thinking about whether you have recovered the savings sacrificed for the toasters, what you have in your wallet is basically your EBITDA.

Depreciation and Amortisation

When you set up the sandwich business, you had to buy the toasters. The toaster is probably made in China and will fall apart after 2 years. So you tell yourself "What the heck, I spent RM100 and it only lasts 2 years. Now I have to find another RM100. Ooopss wait,.. the price in Tesco for toasters is now RM150". So really, your first toaster costs you RM50 per year (RM100 divide by 2 years)and your second toaster will cost you RM75 per year (RM150 divide by 2 years - assuming the same brand and type of toaster that is expected to fall apart in 2 years time as well). That RM50 and RM75 is your depreciation.

Amortisation is just another word for depreciation but instead of referring to objects such as toasters, cars, machines and buildings, it is used for other more complex belongings such as intangibles. Now hold on there. Don't you worry about intangibles just as yet. We will get there but not here. Just to give you a flavour of what items you use the word amortisation instead of depreciation, I'll give you an example within our small sandwich business. Say in the town that you live in the mayor only releases licenses for sandwich business to selected parties. Your company happens to be one of the companies who got the license which expires after three years. To get the license you need to pay RM100. So you now have amortisation of RM33.33 per year (RM100 divide by three years).

Profit Before Tax (PBT) and Profit After Tax (PAT)

Really it means what it means. Your profit after deducting the costs of sardines, cheese, bread, electricity, rentals, interest payment to the bank, the depreciation for the toasters and amortisation of the license gives you Profit Before Tax. Then you fill up your tax returns and submit them to the Inland Revenue. As usual, you eventually have to pay taxes which reduces your profit further to Profit After Tax. This should be the final profit. Would be good if the accountants call it PAE, short form for Profit After EVERYTHING!!.

Earnings Per Share (EPS)

Well, now I am going to get a bit technical. When you set up a company, or buy a company, you buy the 'ownership' units in the company. Say you and your mate have RM50 each and the two of you invested the total sum of RM100 into the company so that the company can buy the toaster. That RM100 is the 'Share Capital' often measured as RM1 per each share. Since you invested RM50, you own 50 units of the share capital representing 50% of the business. Say your Profit After Tax is RM500 for the year - you practically grown your wealth by RM400 from that RM100 initially invested. You actually got a surplus of RM4 for every 1 unit of share capital that you put into the business. That my friend, is your Earnings Per Share.

PATAMI

PATAMI stands for Profit After Tax And Minority Interests. This I think is quite difficult to explain to you bloody engineers. Nevertheless, I need to explain this now because it belongs to the same family as Revenue, Gross Profit, EBITDA and the other indicators above. Imagine that in your town, there is only one baker who makes bread. You find it difficult to produce your sandwiches because sometimes the baker won't wait for you and sells all of his bread to the early customers. To ensure that your bread supply is not interrupted, buy bought 70% of the baker's share capital in the bakery - thus having control over the supply of the bread because you are a majority shareholder. The baker now becomes a minority shareholder since he only owns 30%.

The bakery somehow makes profit, say, RM1,000 for the year but you don't really own that RM1,000! You ought to give 30% of it (RM300) to the baker. So now, you have Profit After Tax of RM500 from your sandwich business and RM1,000 from your bakery, giving a total of RM1,500. Then you pay Mr baker RM300 leaving behind RM1,200, which is your Profit After Tax And Minority Interest a.k.a PATAMI.

This will do for Part 1. See you again in Part 2 and subsequent Parts.




* kopihangtuah


| mcmlxxv:viii:xxix |

Roman Alphabets: An Inefficient Convention


www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com



ome of the most magnificent creations by mankind are the tools used in the art of communication. This has always been on par with other scientific development such as engineering and medical. Communication refers to language, literature, art, documents, records, etc. I don't intend to cover all of these areas but what I will do is to highlight the lack of simplicity in English.

English texts are usually written in its current modern form, ie Roman alphabets (eg. Aa, Bb, Cc, etc) and Arabic numbers (eg. 1,2,3,etc). What was referred to as ‘lack of simplicity’ applies to the Roman alphabets - my attempt to criticise the syntax and convention used in applying the Roman alphabets in its representation of the intended phonetics. To illustrate, let us observe the following:

The letter ‘C’ is intended to have a phonetic sound of ‘Che’ as how it would sound in the word ‘Chance’. While the name for this letter is ‘Si’, the phonetic sound for ‘Si’ has already been addressed from the existence of the letter ‘S’. However, in the modern day application, the letter ‘C’ is also used for phonetic sound for ‘Khe’ as how it would sound in the word ‘Car’. It is ironic that the letter ‘C’ is used for this phonetic sound when we already have the letter ‘K’.

In addition, there are cases where the letter ‘K’ has been used for the phonetic sound ‘Khe’ but the letter ‘C’ appears as a silence letter such as the words ‘Back, ‘Lack’ and ‘Sack’. Why bother using the letter ‘C’ when the letter ‘K’ is independent to represent the intended phonetic sound? Another example is the phonetic sound ‘Che’. The letter ‘C’ would suffice to give adequate representation but instead, the letter ‘H’ is used to strengthen this representation as how it is used in the words ‘Chance’, ‘Latch’ and ‘Scratch’.

What simplicity seeks to achieve is to align the application of Roman alphabets to its proper and rightful phonetic sound - hence, establishing a convention far more logical than what we have been practising today. Only when human beings learn to simplify matters and discard the unnecessary, will they be able to embrace the concept of efficiency and effectiveness truly.

At the moment, we have the following Roman alphabets which are widely used for the respective phonetic sound (See below). You will realise that there are a lot of duplication in application that we can do without.

• Aa: ‘AA’ as in ‘Arm’ or ‘Car’; ‘AE’ as in ‘Ambush’ or ‘Care’
• Bb: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Ball’
• Cc: ‘CHE’ as in ‘Chance’ or ‘Latch’; ‘KHE’ as in ‘Car’ or ‘Rack’
• Dd: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Doll’
• Ee: ‘EE’ as in ‘East’ or ‘Free’; ‘EA’ as in ‘Empty’ or ‘Bear’
• Ff: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Fall’
• Gg: ‘GHE’ as in ‘Girl’ or ‘Log’; ‘JHE’ as in ‘Knowledge’
• Hh: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Hall’
• Ii: ‘EE’ as in ‘Italy’ or ‘Relic’; ‘AI’ as in ‘Science’ or ‘Italic’
• Jj: ‘JEH’ as in ‘Jog’ or ‘Major’; ‘YEH’ as in ‘Johannesburg’
• Kk: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Kenya’
• Ll: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Lizard’
• Mm: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Mocha’
• Nn: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Nasal’
• Oo: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Orange’
• Pp: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Poppy’
• Qq: Same phonetic sound as ‘K’, eg ‘Queen’
• Rr: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Rose’
• Ss: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Snow’
• Tt: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Trumpet’
• Uu: ‘YOO’ as in ‘United’; ‘’AA’ as in ‘Umbrella’, ‘IU’ as in ‘Bureau’
• Vv: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Voice’
• Ww: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Wall’
• Xx: ‘ZHE’ as in ‘Xylophone’ and ‘AKS’ as in ‘X-ray’
• Yy: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Yolk’
• Zz: there is only one phonetic sound used for this, eg. ‘Zest’

Then, we have the combination of alphabets to achieve certain phonetic sound such as the letter ‘P’ and ‘H’ where, if coupled together, we will get the phonetic sound for ‘F’ as how it would sound in the word ‘Physics’. The following table shows the combination of alphabets (ie. trace alphabets vertically and horizontally) for such cases.


The following examples will illustrate how the above table works:

• The letters ‘C’ and ‘H’ gives the sound for ‘C’ as in ‘Chance’
• The letters ‘E’ and ‘A’ gives the sound for ‘I’ as in ‘East’
• The letters ‘E’ and ‘U’ gives the sound for ‘Y’ as in ‘Europe’
• The letters ‘H’ and ‘O’ gives the sound for ‘O’ as in ‘Honest’
• The letters ‘K’ and ‘N’ gives the sound for ‘N’ as in ‘Knowledge’
• The letters ‘P’ and ‘H’ gives the sound for ‘F’ as in ‘Phone’
• The letters ‘P’ and ‘S’ gives the sound for ‘S’ as in ‘Psychology’
• The letters ‘S’ and ‘C’ gives the sound for ‘S’ as in ‘Science’
• The letters ‘S’ and ‘T’ gives the sound for ‘S’ as in ‘Tsunami’

There may be numerous combinations other than what have been highlighted above. The fact of the case is that, there are combinations of alphabets to achieve a phonetic sound of what another single alphabet could or can achieve. In many cases, we see that the combination ended up silencing an alphabet as what happened to ‘H’ in ‘Honest’ and ‘P’ in ‘Psychology’.

What this study aims to achieve is a structure that eliminates unnecessary application as what we have observed earlier. To give readers a flavour of what this means, let us observe the below:

Original vs Suggested Solution
Chance = Cans
East = Ist
Europe = Yurop
Honest = Ones
Knowledge = Nolej
Phone = Fon
Psychology = Saikoloji
Science = Sains
Tsunami = Sunami
Rack = Rek
Car = Kar
Ambush = Embush
Latch = Letc
Free = Fri
Empty = Emti
Care = Ker
Relic = Relik
Italic = Aitalik
Major = Mejer
Queen = Kuin
United = Yunited
Umbrella = Ambrela
Bureau = Biro
Xylophone = Zailofon
X-ray = Eksray

The attempt to logically apply the original phonetic representation of the Roman alphabets, as what is transpired above, was once done by a nation called Malaysia. They called the concept ‘Baku’. Malaysia has Bahasa Malaysia as its national language that progressed from its ancient origin of Bahasa Melayu. This language was originally written in Arabic characters rather than Roman (or was it in Sanskrit? Can't remember my history). The socio-transformation of its society and civilisation that was heavily influenced by the British Empire had resulted in Bahasa Malaysia being written in Roman alphabets in both formal and informal engagements (eg. Government documents, School medium, letter writing, etc).

Whilst Roman alphabets are used in these two different languages, the most important difference between Malaysian use of Roman alphabets and its counterpart in Britain is that, they, via their ‘Baku’ concept, had applied the logical use of Roman alphabets synchronised to the phonetic sound - as demonstrated below


As a result, there are only 24 letters left for the application of Roman alphabets in whatever language it may be used. These 24 alphabets should now have their own unique phonetic representation. There should not be any cases of silent letters and the spelling convention will be that of phonetic influence as suggested above. To give readers the final illustration of how this would look like if applied in a more comprehensive manner, a translation is done for a full sentence as follows:

“ Thank you everyone for reading this paper. It has been a pleasure sharing my radical thoughts with such worthy readers. Cheers !”


Translated into a simplified application as follows:

“Tenk yu everiwan for riding dis peaper. It has bin a plesher shering mai redikal thots with sac wordhi riders. Ciers !”





* kopihangtuah


| mcmlxxv:viii:xxix |

17 March 2010

And look at what my wife got me into: Salsa


www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com



ifey got me into a Salsa school. It was something different. Something that I would never have tried if it wasn't for her. All she had to do was say "..errr they pair you up with other girls you know". So I joined,... because in my mind it sounded like "..errr they'll pair me (wifey of course) up with other guys you know"

Anyway, Salsa is good. It's refreshing. You don't hurt your muscles but you sweat a lot and burn those fat to the ground. It stretches your body, forces you to master your movement and coordination; and for some, it actually eliminates homophobic. It's funny that a lot of Malaysian guys fall into the trap of labelling dancing as anti-macho. In their mind, it has to be Rugby, Football, Wrestling and plenty of beer. I am a huge Rugby fan but I do poems, fine arts, music and have "tried" Salsa. If there is a chance, go to Brazil - those rough and tough footballer muscles,... huh.. they all dance Salsa fantastically. What is ironic about it is that, they really looked macho! - contrary to our (Malaysian guys) shallow believes.

Me and my wife used to practice at home in front of an audience (well, it was just our son who seems to enjoy watching us - back then he was only 2 years old). I sometimes got bored of the Beginners CD and ended up playing Santana's pieces. We managed to complete Stage 2 at the Salsa school in TTDI but decided to take a break for it was fasting month. That break became perpetual somehow - work and other commitment found their way in our schedule and what is left are just memories and my Salsa shoes in the store room. Sometimes I try those steps when Santana is in the air but I think it will remain as memory. I have prioritised to pursue my real passion in life - enrolled for guitar classes.

What triggered me to write about this is my Salsa notes that I accidentally found on my desk top. It's a waste if I don't share them with others. Readers would probably have no clue of what they mean but I am sharing it nonetheless:

SHINES

• Mambo
• Cucaracha
• Tempo Espana
• Victory Walk
• Right Turn
• Left Turn
• Joby
• Crossover
• Son
• Enchufla
• Hook Turn
• Suzy Q
• In/Out
• Flare
• Cuban break

ABBREVIATIONS

• w = with
• F = Female
• M = Male
• RT = Right Turn
• LT = Left Turn
• CB = Cross Body
• RtR = M right hand to F right hand
• LtR = M left hand to F right hand
• RtL = M right hand to F left hand
• Alrd = Alarde

PARTNER WORK: GENERAL

• Close Mambo
• Open Mambo
• Open Mambo LtR – F RT
• Open Mambo RtR – Alrd – Close Mambo
• Open Mambo RtR- Son break M left leg – F RT X 2
• Open Mambo LtR – Let go – F & M owns Shines
• Open Mambo – change hands to ballroom handhold at 1 – indicate flare at 7 – F does shines - CB when F flare

PARTNER WORK: RT + SURPRISE TURN + ALRD

• Open Mambo LtR
• F RT
• M RT
• F Surprise Turn
• F Alrd

PARTNER WORK: HAMMER LOCK

• Open Mambo RtL + LtR
• F RT – Hammer Lock
• CB LT

PARTNER WORK: ALRD ON M & F

• Open Mambo RtL + LtR
• CB Change RtR
• CB + Alrd on F + LtL + F LT
• M right hand on F right shoulder
• Alrd on M

PARTNER WORK: HAND FLIP + BUTTERFLY

• Open Mambo RtL + LtR
• CB LT w 2 hands
• F RT w 2 hands
• Flip F right hand
• F right hand on F left hand
• F RT w 2 hands
• Butterfly alrd

PARTNER WORK: HIGH 5

• Close Mambo
• CB LT
• M RT – hands High 5 w F
• Push from High 5 for F RT

PARTNER WORK: CB BLOCK

• Open Mambo RtL + LtR
• CB LT w 2 hands – F back facing M front Block position
• Tempo Espana Drop F left hand - F RT

PARTNER WORK: ROTI CANAI

• Open Mambo RtL + LtR
• CB LT w 2 hands
• M half RT w 2 hands overhead to right shoulder of M
• M right leg hook – F LT w 2 hands

PARTNER WORK: COPA

• Open Mambo LtR
• Change RtR
• LtL while RtR
• M left leg Son – F half LT
• M right hand on hips + left hand out reach w F left hand
• F LT X 2 - Both rotate 90 degrees to left

PARTNER WORK: TITANIC

• Open Mambo RtL + LtR
• CB LT w 2 hands – F back facing M front hands in Titanic position
• M hands on F shoulders
• F RT X 1 and half

PARTNER WORK: SLINGSHOT BLOCK

• COPA
• CB M right hand on F shoulder + M left hand Alrd on M - RtL
• M half RT w 1 hand overhead to right shoulder of M
• M right leg hook – F half LT w 1 hand – F back facing M front Block position
• Tempo Espana Drop F left hand - F RT

PARTNER WORK: BACKHAND DROP & PRESENTATION

• Open mambo LtR
• Son break M left leg – F RT – M ½ RT – F hands on M hips
• M another ½ RT grab F hands with the other hand
• M L hand grab F L hand – The RtR hands over F head to a “presentation” position
• At 6, F LT X 2 – F hands on her left shoulder
• At 3, F RT X 2

PARTNER WORK: CRADDLE

• Open Mambo RtR
• Grab LtL
• Son break M left leg – LtL hands overhead – F move forward – M cross to the other side w R leg first (couple now has done 180% turn)
• Both M & F Flare on left leg
• Break at 5 pull F hands at 6 – F free spin LT X 2




* kopihangtuah


| mcmlxxv:viii:xxix |

15 March 2010

Nasi Kandar: A Peranakan Legacy


www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com



asi literally means rice, a staple food of the Far-East-Oriental and Kandar is the act of carrying goods on the shoulders - a short description of food sold by traders carrying buckets of rice and curries on their shoulders, though you don't get to see this anymore.

Nasi Kandar has been a phenomenal attraction to Penang for many years. This is a perfect example of culture assimilation as a result of immigration policies introduced by the colonial masters (Portugese, Dutch & British) of the Malay Peninsula. This is typical of the development in the straits settlement such as Malacca and Temasek (Singapore) since the trading days of the Malacca Entreport Empire in the 1500's where Indians, Chinese, Arabs and the Malay-Indo travellers travelled via sea to meet and trade.

This combination of steamed white rice and various curry dishes took its origin from the Indian taste evolusionised into the Malay environment. A legacy of the Jawi Peranakan or "Mamak" (Malay-Indian descendants predominantly Muslims). Unlike its counterpart, the Malay-Chinese "Baba Nyonya" sweet sour hot chilli dishes, Nasi Kandar offers a unique explosion of spices on the taste butts - a blended sensation of cloves, anise stars, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods (together referred to as "Empat Sekawan" or the Friendship of Four); as well as fennel, cumin, mustard seeds, onions, garlics, chillies, tamarind and a whole lot of other spices cooked with veggies, fish, meat or poultry.

These spices seemed to have been the Gold commodities for the Europeans as food preservatives. In the absence of a refrigerator 500 years ago, spices were regarded as the new age technology equal to that of the mummification preservatives of the Eqyptians - a technology sufficiently advanced to have pursuaded the Europeans to invade the East, inclusive of India, the Malay Peninsula, surrounding Islands of Indonesia-Philippines and Indo-China.

Nasi Kandar is accepted by a whole wide range of ethnic group in the Malay Peninsula. So you do get these various ethnic groups to venture into food business that involves Nasi Kandar. Hence the existence of Nasi Kandar Kampung Melayu. In urban areas, the Peranakans sell Nasi Kandar with the Chinese selling drinks alongside, like the ones at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. Nasi Kandar is one of many examples of how the different ethnic groups in Malaysia lived in peace and harmony, a culture worthy of being applied continuously in the spirit of 1Malaysia. It's sad that some has forgotten how to do this. However, with the uprising of new businesses based on shared heritage, such as Kopitiam, we see encouraging frontier for our Country. There are plenty of heritage to be capitalised in this manner. We just have to open our eyes.




* kopihangtuah


| mcmlxxv:viii:xxix |

Hang Tuah is Chinese?


www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com



ang Tuah the epitome patriot. Is he a Malay? If he is not, does it matter? History has always fascinated me. All these questions we have at the back of our heads are catalysts to dilemmas and the urge to comprehend the current state of affairs. Through history, we have what we have today. Everything that we face now is the consequence of what had transpired in the past. Who are we Malaysians? We could have been Indonesia Raya if Tun Razak had lost the country to Sukarno during the 'Konfrantasi'. Worse still, we could have been nothing other than a jungle full of monkeys had the Mongoloids not travelled southward from Yunan to the Malase-Polynesian archipelago, the "Nusantara".

Tun Dr Mahathir, in his defence against the validity of Bumiputra status, argued in his "Malay Dilemma" that the Malays are regarded as the first ethnic group that established an effective majority government in the Malay Peninsula, or if I may, the Nusantara at large. Who are these Malays? The sultanate that originated from regional pirates of Palembang, Majapahit, Srivijaya and Langkasuka? But who the hell cares? Even the Kings and Queens of England came from the barbaric lines of William the Conqueror - if not the Norman tyrant, King Arthur himself, in my opinion, is no where different from the barbarians of Celtic and Vikings. The fact is, something happened in the past,.. history!, that led us inherit this country we now enjoy, Malaysia.

The early effective government I was referring to is the Malaccan sultanate. It was an economic success. They traded with China, India, Arabs and later, Europeans. This was a formula that worked back then... and who would have thought that it works today? i.e. Singapore is an entreport, just like what Malacca was - a parasite of the fundamental commodity barter and trading (although they like to regard it as a "paradise" rather than "parasite") - its wealth is derived from the economic activities of others who transit. My God, did Lee Kuan Yew read some sort of chronicles written by Parameswara? Anyway, Malacca was a huge success with only one common language that all traders communicate in,.. yes,.. it was,.. the Lingua Franca, the Malay Language. But today, we argue amongst ourselves whether we should glorify English or Malay.

Malacca was visited by the Chinese (mostly from the Hui and Ma Heng stock who are predominantly Muslim, I was told) led by an Admiral Zheng He (Cheng Ho). Cheng Ho, a respectable General, sent across South China Sea to be the life-time protector of a beauty, Hang Li Po - A perfect example of an early diplomatic resolution to address cultural differences and economic based disputes. This is not uncommon. The Malaccan sultanate often married the princesses of nearby kingdoms to ensure survival of its government. But marrying Princess Hang Li Po of China is a different story. China is a super power today - correction - China has always been a super power since back then. The strength of Emperor Qin that united the vast land of the orientals must be stronger, if not on par, with the likes of Genghis Khan, Constantinople, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great and Salah Al'Din.

This was a strategic decision - although nowhere in the records can we establish who initiated it. Sultan Mansur Shah had plenty queens and concubines from the neighbouring kingdoms (including Tun Teja of Pahang and Puteri Gunung Ledang of Majapahit) but something extraordinary had to be established to secure an international standard entreport such as Malacca from being conquered by the hungry super powers - namely China, the Maharajas of Hindus continent, the Siamese Sovereign and Arab Caliphates. The Europeans were not a threat at that time as they were busy figuring out a way to penetrate the Ottoman stronghold over the Silk Road.

A Malay ruler was united with a Chinese princess and it only makes sense to conclude that such union constitutes a diplomatic solution given that Hang Li Po was probably not a Muslim like her contemporaries who were Hindus from Majapahit. A political acrobat turned into a socio-evolution. Fantastic. If I were to tell my parents that I want to marry Lim Goh Tong's great grand daughter or a beauty from the Sugar King family, I would have been slaughtered in the name of religion or more prejudicial, in the name of race! I am pretty sure that the 'rakyat' of Malacca followed the example of their Sultan - if not, we wouldn't have the Babas and Nyonyas.

The point I am trying to make is this: We cannot survive alone in this universe. We need synergies. We need strategic alliances. We need to break away from the taboos of culture and religion (but I am not saying that we should denounce our religion). Biologically, if a black and white mouse mate, the possibilities of qualities are magical. You can have a black baby, white baby, grey baby, black and white stripped baby, marbled greyish baby, white with black mark on the forehead baby,... and who knows,... a blue baby. Imagine the impact it can have economically, sociologically and most importantly the self-actualisation of mankind as a whole.

In the spirit of Dato' Sri Najib's 1Malaysia, this is the way forward, which is really the extension of Tun Mahathir's Wawasan 2020, Tun Abdullah's Hadari, Tun Hussein's Harmony, Tun Razak's Development agendas and Tunku Abdul Rahman's Independence manifesto. BN or PR, really, either way, we must not lose sight of the common purpose of being the citizen of this country - if not, like others who left previously, you might as well migrate to Australia or any other Western countries who seem, or perceived to have offered, the liberty that many of us desire - only to realise later that whilst they escaped from the racial prejudice of their homeland, they live to face the prejudice of their promised land.

Mansur Shah married Hang Li Po - that is the historical fact. Mansur Shah formed an alliance with the Chinese Emperor - that is the political fact. Hang Li Po embraced the Malay culture - that is the sociological fact. Mansur Shah secured Malacca as the superior entreport regionally as well as internationally - that is the economic fact. Malacca survived as a multiracial establishment - that is the humanity fact. Little that people realise, if you breach all these facts, the building blocks of survival, you will get a down fall. The Portuguese destroyed what history has built. They refused to assimilate culturally, sociologically and oppress their subjects to realise unshared economic wealth and regional political presence in the rich empire of spices. They went against humanity. So Malacca collapsed.

The multiracial society that we have today, in Malaysia, is a treasure that we do not realise. We often accuse and blame others for making us this way. The truth is, it is unavoidable - no doubt that the colonial masters could have managed the country differently like what they did in Hong Kong and Gibraltar, we could have ended up backwards like some of the African countries. Major successful economies are multicultural and multiracial. They are so diverse that the word "multiracial" and "multicultural" seem to be invalid when national pride and patriotism emerges. Surviving alone is difficult and has higher risks - it could only have succeeded if we have the courage and determination like the Japanese.

Do you think if the Malays were given the chance to develop their country with no coalition with their Chinese and Indian counterparts they could have succeeded? God knows. But one thing is for sure, in this whole wide world, as far as Asians are concerned, I can only give the Japanese such credit - Note that China and India are so huge that these countries actually are multiracial given the diverse culture along its borders with neighboring countries. The fact is, this hypothesis is impossible. History is history. What has happened has happened. Why stop the accusation at the British colonial era? Why not we trace it back all the way to the Malaccan sultanate? or to be scientific, why not blame the Mongoloids who travelled southward from Yunan in the vast land of China to this beloved Nusantara of ours? After all, the Malays, Chinese and Indians are, biologically, Mongoloid based, with a pinch of Negroid and Caucasian. We survived long enough to make a distinction that negated our common origins.

I admit, I am proud of being a Malay - but it is not wrong though. What is lacking in our community is 'Muhibbah', the sense of belonging to a country. The past should not be the source of accusations. The past should be the source of inspiration - the vision of how to proceed forward for a better life. A Malay can say that to be a Malaysian, you need to embrace the Malay culture. Question is: Is the Malay culture free of inter-cultural contamination? Is contamination or purity important? Who are we to say that the Lingua Franca used in the Malaccan sultanate era is pure Malay? Maybe Lingua Franca is the product of synergies from various languages? I am quite sure there is some truth in this - perhaps a lingual professor from University Malaya can verify. The fact I am trying to put across here is that: Nobody is right and nobody is wrong. We just have to find a common purpose to live alongside each other until the end of time - (I am not a preacher, but if the Muslims read and comprehend the Surah Al-Kafirun, they will realise that it is not about differences, it is about living together)

History shapes culture. The Malay history shaped the Malay culture. The Malays were never alone in this part of the world. They had always accepted visitors over the past centuries. These visitors no longer appear to be visitors. Hence they should not be called visitors. The so called visitors should not continue to alienate themselves from the rest - they should assimilate - they should embrace, whatever is within their ethical and cultural heritage and limits - only then we can truly be 1Malaysia.

Admiral Cheng Ho travelled all the way from the "All Under Heaven" land of united China to Ptolemy's Golden Chersonese (the Malay Peninsula) with the hope of starting a new life with a purpose of assimilating Hang Li Po into a foreign establishment. In my mind, after so many rumours, Cheng Ho may have brought with him five warriors who seem to have been assimilated rather well in the Malay culture and history: Hang Toh Ahh (Tuah), Hang Joo' Bhat (Jebat), Hang Lee Kew (Lekiu), Hang Lee Keh (Lekir) and the last one may have changed to a Malay name almost immediately to Hang Kasturi - demonstrating acceptance of the Malay culture. These five warriors were so skillful in their Kung Fu that the Sultan himself appointed them as the Panglimas of Malacca - a trust that a Malay gave to the Chinese. Of course this is just my imagination - of the five Panglimas being Chinese. But if it is true and no evidence exists to deny its possibility, it may be the single most controversial evidence that we have done it (ie. "1Malaysia") in the past. So the onus is on us to repeat history.




* kopihangtuah


| mcmlxxv:viii:xxix |

Say "Tidak Apa" to Everything?


www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com



Dear Readers and Bloggers,

opihangtuah is a blog which I have been postponing to set up for quite some time already - have been busy changing jobs and attending to family matters - as well as managing my other blogs on art and music. It has always been my intention to share my thoughts with the world, particularly Malaysians, on various matters that affect our daily lives, our future generation and the way we perceive others. This encompasses current and sensational issues such as politics, media coverage and business world; as well as interpretation of historical events/records and random thoughts worthy of being shared.

Why * kopihangtuah? Well, as you can observe, the title to my blog comes with a brief introduction to what had inspired the name:

....and they say 'Tidak Apa' to everything that happens in their lives. Little do they know, when they sit and reflect, they'll realise that so much has been wasted. And soon they will regret not acting upon it and say ".. I should have thought about it when I was with my mates having a sip of that strong black kopi Hang Tuah..."

What does this really mean? Well, it's simple really. There are a lot of things we Malaysians take for granted, particularly the Malays. This had led to a complacent attitude that causes deteriorating ability to think and to develop further - be it individually, by race or the nation as a whole. Often, when we have the time to relax, say at a 'kopitiam' or 'gerai', with friends and family, we tend to boast, complaint, swear and blame others for all the misfortunes.

What if,... that valuable time is used to reflect on ourselves as individuals, a race and a nation? I have the feeling that we will encounter 'realisation' that we could have done much more in the past and could have saved all the trouble of blaming others. Hence, will it not make sense to start now? To change our attitude and help shape the world we live in? I am sure the late Michael Jackson, whom I share the same birthday, would have agreed with me (a tribute to his "Earth Song", "Man in the Mirror" and "Heal the World")

... whilst we continue to sip the strong black kopi Hang Tuah to rebel our very own depression, we might as well think of ways to rationalise the world we live in....




* kopihangtuah


| mcmlxxv:viii:xxix |
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