18 January 2013

Economy Changing its Gender


Women account for income of USD18 trillion, an economy in itself larger than the gross domestic products of China and India combined

CONOMY as we all know it has always been male driven. This is changing. Economy is changing its gender. Many world leaders are female. Many heads of corporates are female. Even some reserve banks' presidents are female including our (Malaysian) very own Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Ungku Aziz. Are there emperical evidence that this gender shifting is happening? Well, perhaps Malaysia specific it is not so obvious but globally, females are forces to be reckoned with. It's a female economy!

So, are women significant to the economy? Let's see. Women account for income of USD18 trillion, an economy in itself larger than the gross domestic products of China and India combined. 90% of women reinvest their money into their families' well being. Unlike their counterpart (Male) that usually reinvest only 30% to 40% of their income. A child's probability of survival is better with his/her mother than with the father, at least by 20%. Mothers should take control of the household economics then. 55% of women are expected to spend less overall (Men at 37%). 46% of women are expected to spend less on-line (Men at 34%). 41% of women are expected to spend less for household essentials (Men at 30%). (Note 1)

Is this trend continuing? Well, some statistics show that men is and continue to fall behind in education. Education is the fundamentals of future economy. The ratio of female to male schooling has risen steadily for South Asia from 0.4 to 0.6 over the past 30 years since 1970 and women's share of tertiary enrolment has shown that half of the world's countries have more than 50% of tertiary enrolment from the female side - see purple world map on the right. More men are losing jobs when recession cycle returns and as a result, women are increasing their share of the job market to a significant ratio of 50:50 to men in the United States of America (Note 2) and 60:40 in the European Union. Also, about 60% of women are considered economically free (from relying on men). So are women significant? I think Yes.

If women are significant to the economy, maybe it's time women embrace entrepreneurship? Maybe it's time women become the forces that drive the economy. Hopefully for the better. This also requires careful management. Did you know that the first modern day economic recession was actually caused by women? Their craze over tulips caused many speculators in Holland to trade tulips until one day, they decided to stop the craze. Down went the economy and many who borrowed money to buy stocks of tulips became bankrupts. Wow!,.. but anyway, how do women embrace entrepreneurship? Let's take Einstein's E = MC Square as a guide but instead of the equation linking matter and velocity to energy, we link money to entrepreneurship. Where E is Entrepreneurship (E), let's take M as Money (M) and the C Square being the combined effects of Confidence (C) and Competitive Edge (C). Hence Entrepreneurship is a function of Money making via the synergy of Confidence and Competitive Edge [ E = MC Square ].

Confidence is a psychological state of fearlessness. It grows in tandem with the 4 letter word that starts with F, i.e FACK, which stands for Frequency, Attitude, Courage and Knowledge. All these are the recipe for Confidence. So say "What the Fack! I'm doing this!" The more you repeat (Frequency (F)), the more confident you will be in performing the same act. From entrepreneurship perspective, the more you think like a business women, the better you’ll be at it. On 11 February 2012, Phantom of the Opera played its 10,000th show on Broadway. The mere frequency made it one of the best theatre performances around.

In applying the Attitude (A), if you keep saying no, chances are, you’ll be saying no all the way. You need to break that monotonous trend. Say yes for a change like the Nike slogan 'Just Do It'. You will also need that leap of faith we call Courage (C). Don’t stop believing - sing that Glee song if you want to. Finally, Knowledge (K) is something you must have. Even if you don't have it, you need to be resourceful to find those with knowledge who can work with you - Accountants, Lawyers, Bankers, Marketeers and many more. Let's have an inspirational story about a Malaysian woman who grasped these elements (see below).

Malaysia’s first and only female jet fighter pilot: When she was young, her parents wanted her to become a piano teacher. But Patricia Yapp Syau Yin was bent on becoming a pilot and pursued her dream.

Confidence is probably best demonstrated by examples of precedent cases. So here are Top 10 females with LOTS of confidence!

#10. QUEEN ELIZABETH THE FIRST: She must have been one of the first female ruler in the European nations. In those days, you'll need quite a significant confidence to pull it through as a Queen!

#9. LADY GAGA: I'm not quite sure whether I like her songs but everytime she appears on the screen, I gravitate towards her. Nothing to do with the sexual presence. It is more of her guts! The guts to do those weird things she does.

#8. BARBIE: Well! whatever clothes you put on her she will continue to smile. That confidence is what girls adore. They take her as a role model.

#7. OPRAH WINFREY: Many women are inspired by Oprah's talk shows. She herself demonstrated many achievements that required confidence, including being the richest female celebrity at one point.

#6. DATUK SHEILA MAJID: I was told that Sheila was a bright student with straight A's. Her confidence in pursuing a career as a jazz singer was so strong that she actually became the Queen of Jazz for Malaysia, worthy of the title Datuk!

#5. DATUK SITI NURHALIZA: Another female Datuk worthy of the title. She had to stop herself from entering singing competitions. Enormous amount of confidence for a village girl from Pahang. I have seen her perform live in the Anugerah Juara Lagu in 2003 - it was effortless for her.

#4. SUSAN BOYLE: Words cannot describe. Wiser to watch and listen to her. Here's a link... enjoy: Britain's Got Talent 2009 Episode 1 found Susan Boyle

#3. AUN SAN SUU KYI: This magnificant lady is so confident of her country's support that she ended up in jail. I watched the movie The Lady that is based on her life story. Very, very inspiring! She even missed her husband's funeral for her commitment.

#2. MARGARET THATCHER: The first British Prime Minister that I know of when watching the TV as a kid. In fact, she is probably the first female premier that I know since childhood. This iron lady puts a punch into the male chauvinists of the British parliament.

#1. THE MOTHER ALIEN: Try to squash her eggs! You'll see the overwhelming confidence that she radiates!

Competitive Edge is the weapon you need to drive the Confidence. It is the ability to make an offer that no one can refuse, also because of values with the 4 letter word that starts with F, i.e FUCP, which stands for Financial, Utility, Coverage and Presence. In academia this is known as the 4Ps: "Price, Product, Placement and Promotion". On the Financials (F), you have to make everyone's business your business. Mind everybodies' business. Know your competitors' financials if possible. Know your suppliers' financials. Know your customers' financials and most importantly, know your own financials. Only with this awareness that you are able to ensure appropriate investments and pricing strategy. Your offerings must have Utility (U) value. Ask these questions "Is the product or services utilisable?", "Do you have a customer base? ", " What if the product is a 'Shock Sendiri'?" and "Do you think people will buy?". I have a Pepsi story to demonstrate this - below.

CRYSTAL PEPSI: Pepsi introduced this clear cola in the early 1990s. Unlike other clear carbonated drinks, this one didn’t have a lemon/lime flavor – yet it didn’t quite have a normal cola flavor either. Despite a very expensive media blitz, this see-through soda just didn’t catch on. “Pepsi lost hundreds of millions guessing at straws, and they have never recovered fully,” said Laermer, its Senior Executive.

Having identified your customers, you'll need to get the products or services to them. This should be done with adequate Coverage (C) of the intended market. A customer who can actually get what they want is a happy customer. Happy customer means $$$ and unhappy customer means !@#%. Once I went to a Mamak with my son to get Roti Canai. Guess what? The Mamak said, "Errr.... Roti Canai Tak Dak!". Hmmmm... not good for business. Finally, you'll have to show your offerings to the customers. People are busy. They just don’t have time to find out what is there in the market. Hence God created Advertising and Social Media. In the wise words of a Chief Executive Officer of a TV Station, Ahmad Izham Omar, “Tell people what they don’t know what they want”. Show them your Presence (P). So yeahh,... say "What the Fucp! (Silent the C), Let's do this!". So go do it, like these Top 10 females that demonstrated competitive edge:

#10. CLEOPATRA: Forget Queen Elizabeth the First. I just remembered a more ancient Queen that ruled a powerful civilisation of Egypt. So desirable she was that the Roman Emperor wanted to marry her to combine the two mega empires, Egypt and Rome.

#9. MARYLIN MONROE: There were many female actresses in the 60's to 70's but none are like Marylin Monroe. She has a unique appeal, perhaps sexually, but a unique appeal nonetheless. Only someone as desirable as her could have tackled the President of the United States of America, which she did.

#8. WONDER WOMAN: As far as I can remember, she was the pioneer female exploring the career as a superhero. Sure there were Cat Woman and Bat Girl but Wonder Woman wasn't shy to show her face!

#7. MADONNA: I have never seen any female singer that is current and contemporary even after over 40 years of performing and recording. Madonna never fail to produce music that is acceptable by the youngsters from the 80's all the way to the turn of the millennium.

#6. FARAH FAUZANA: The radio business was never commercialised prior to 2000. Only when Era came into the picture did it really become commercially driven. With the emergence of new talents, Farah Fauzana managed to top the chart as the highest paid and highest ranked Radio DJ while she was at Hot FM Morning Crew.

#5. DATUK NICOL DAVID: Another Malaysian female worthy of the Datukship. I think she won her 7th World Champion recently? Well, that must epitomise competitive edge!

#4. SMURFETTE: Well, she is the only female Smurf. If that is not competitive edge, I don't know what else is......

#3. TAN SRI DR ZETI AKHTAR UNGKU AZIZ: As mentioned at the start of this article, a female Governor of the reserve bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, is an evidence that females with competitive edge are taking the lead in the world economy.

#2. PRINCESS DIANA: This princess brought hope to many people especially female. She was adored and was larger than the British royal establishment itself. Surely someone who tops the Queen deserves a high ranking position in the Top 10 list for competitive edge.

#1. MOTHER EARTH: The largest female ever found and she is one of a kind. Scientists have been searching for her twin in the galaxy but to date, none are successful. If she cease to exist, there is no replacement. For that, we all love her and protect her from any destruction...... do we?

So, with Confidence and Competitive Edge, women are expected to generate Money. What is Money? Money is the economic value obtained from business activities via the 4 letter word that starts with F again , i.e FURK, which stands for Feasibility, Up Side, Return on Investment or better known as ROI and Kontinuity - Sue me, I'll spell the way I want ok! Now, how does all this work? You got to know whether the maths can actually show profits. Why bother if you know you are going to be in an unrecoverable loss position? Simply put, Feasible (F). What you sell must always be higher than what you buy so that there is an Up Side (U), i.e. profits.

That Up Side means nothing if what you get is just the same as what you'd get if you sit back and leave your money in a bank. You must earn higher than passive income such as interest income from fixed deposits (3% per annum) or dividends from unit trusts (7% per annum). Why start a business when the return is low? Aim high with a premium to compensate your efforts and risks taken. Go for double, say 15%? Now that is a true ROI (R). ROI must grow gradually. Your business can only grow if you allow it to grow. Aim long term. No such thing as quick money / rich fast. So Kontinuity (K) is key. If you build, the business will grow. If you kill, the business will blow! So, say to yourself, "What the Furk! (Silent the K), I can be an Entrepreneur!"

Money is probably best demonstrated by examples of precedent cases. So here are the Top 10 female brands by value!

Women are significant to the economy. It’s time you (women) embrace entrepreneurship. Remember [ E = MC Square ] and show me the money!!!!! Adios!

* kopihangtuah

Note 1: Performics Online Buyer Economics Trend Study, July 2009
Note 2: The New York Times

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17 January 2013

Allah and its Exclusivity


With that kind of attitude some or most non-Muslims have against the stereotyped idea of Islam, I'd imagine that they would not want to be associated with the word Allah.

LLAH is a sacred word said in prayers by millions of Muslims. Allah is also a trigger word monitored by the CIA, KGB, MI6 and many other intelligent agencies around the world when scanning the various forms of modern communications in the name of security. With that kind of attitude some or most non-Muslims have against the stereotyped idea of Islam, I'd imagine that they would not want to be associated with the word Allah. Amusing enough, here in Malaysia, we have some who fight to use the name Allah as if the word is so sacred to them that denial to use it has been taken as first priority political agenda and not using it is deemed not being able to practice their religion. In my mind, what a freakin waste of ink in the newspapers and efforts in arguing. In fact, bloody hell, I am wasting my freakin time writing this post. All blown out of proportion! Not allowing non-Muslims to use the word Allah is somehow equated to a denial from the freedom of religion?

I have read many articles in the past week by both Muslims and non-Muslims, both politicians and civilians, both religious group and hypocrites; and I find many are trying their very best to argue each other's points whichever side they are. They went as far as digging the history and various bibles for the use of the word Allah back in Arabian Jahiliah era or even the Hebrew context of the word. Intellectuals for religion, linguists and historians showing off their expertise like never before. All in the name of arguing for or against the use of this word. If there is an Alien from out of space visiting Earth, they'd be in laughter. It seems that everyone failed to address the main issue here. The issue is never about the religion's history or linguistic validity. The issue is the current state of acceptability by the nation. The issue is about whether the nation is offended.

If you translate it (Allah) into English or Mandarin or Hindi or Tamil or Cantonese or Hokkien or any other languages, it will still be Allah. Translating God from English to Bahasa Malaysia would give you Tuhan.

Who is the nation? It is quite impracticable to account for every single 30 million population of Malaysia. Therefore, we take the majority, i.e. the Muslims. Are the Muslims offended? Of course they are. One may argue that this majority approach results in the marginalisation of the minorities. Well, marginalised? Nobody is denying the minorities the freedom of religion. Neither is this denying the freedom of speech. In fact, freedom of speech has its conditions - the freedom is only valid if it does not breach national security. Toying the emotions of 70% of the population (assuming approximation of the Muslim population to equal the population of Bumiputras) is a trigger button to a breach of national security. Religion and race are the 2 most dangerous tools of political propaganda when breach of national security is concerned.

The whole debacle started when the word God in the bible is to be translated into Bahasa Malaysia for the Bahasa Malaysia edition. The word Allah is not Bahasa Malaysia. It is Arabic for heaven sake! The word is a special noun. If you translate Allah into Hebrew, it will still be Allah. If you translate it into English or Mandarin or Hindi or Tamil or Cantonese or Hokkien or any other languages, it will still be Allah. You don't need to pay lots of money to the liguists or historians or religious experts to conclude this. You just pay me RM20 for my Tutti Frutti and wallah! I give you the answer any moron can conclude. Translating God from English to Bahasa Malaysia would give you Tuhan. Gimme my RM20 please!

I think this (Allah in bible) and many other issues have been blown out of proportion, and manipulated by & for politics. Our country needs peace makers not destroyers.

I recently shared my opinion on the Facebook status. Someone replied by questioning why is it that offending the Muslims is a more important matter to be addressed than offending the non-Muslims who wants to use the word Allah? Well, really, do I need to answer this? What if some of us uses the names of other religions' gods or godesses? For example,.... errrrr, better not, coz I'd probably start an artificial offence by just trying to give examples.. See how sensitive it is to even use religion to demonstrate mockery? I may have been insensitive because I am a Muslim and I may tend to ignore the feelings of non-Muslims regarding this matter. To undo my insensitivity, I decided to sms my Christian friends for their opinions. My question was: Why would you, a Christian, be offended if you are denied to use the word Allah? The answers I received were:
  1. The word (Allah in bible) has never been sacred to Christians. I suppose they are just trying to preserve the rights for speech. But free speech should not condone religious intolerance.
  2. Honestly, I won't be offended if not allowed (Allah in bible) coz I will use the word Tuhan. But I am not your typical staunch Christian.
  3. Does not offend me if not used (Allah in bible). After all one must see that it is just a word. As long as you can address God, what is in the heart that counts.
  4. I just focus on my relationship with God and not be affected by human's doings, whether rightfully or wrongfully, whether Christians or non-Christians. Don't give a rats ass about whatever word to use.
  5. To be honest, it (Allah in bible) makes very little difference to me because English has always been my first language. Also I am educated enough to know that changing a translation where the meaning is the same is really no big deal. But for those Christians whom the word Allah really means God (not a Christian God or a Muslim God, but just God), it's a big deal.
  6. Allah has been used by the Christians in Malaysia for a long, long time. It has been used not as a name itself but as a translation for the word God. It was used as an accepted translation for many many years for many Christians especially those who speak Bahasa Malaysia as their first language the word genuinely means God. To now say that it does not really does not make sense.
  7. I think this (Allah in bible) and many other issues have been blown out of proportion, and manipulated by & for politics. Our country needs peace makers not destroyers.
  8. All issues pop up for political reasons. Why now it is an issue (Allah in bible) after so many years? I live in Malay dominated area. I work in a GLC. Best buddy with a Malay in the office, but when we read newspapers, we always see issues surrounding race and religion. But when we walk on the streets or shopping mall, it's different from what was reported by the politicians. I think it's only during this climate (election).
  9. The word (Allah) is sacred to BM speaking Christians in East Malaysia. Also used by Arabs & Indonesian Christians. It's the case of cultural lingua franca. I only use English and Chinese. So I don't care much.
  10. I am a Catholic. Well, in my opinion, it's not about the word. It's about the right to use the word. We keep on promoting 1Bahasa yet we can't use the word Allah. I believe religion transcends language but some people just like to make mountains out of mole hills.
  11. Quran never said that Allah is an exclusive word to Islam and can't be used by other religions.
  12. It (Allah in bible) does not offfend me if not allowed.
  13. Tuhan is closer to the word God.
  14. Perhaps it (Allah in bible) is important to those who preach in Malay?
  15. Errr..... we don't use Allah. We use God or the equivalent in Chinese / Tamil.
  16. I don't understand why the politicians want to raise the matter (Allah in bible). Whether Allah or Tuhan, if you do good things and have a kind heart, God will always bless you. Go read a good article on this (Allah in bible) by Wong Chun Wai in his On The Beat column in Sunday Star.
  17. It not being used (Allah in bible) does not offend me at all.
  18. The word (Allah in bible) is not sacred to me. It really does not bother most Christians (not using it).
  19. Does not bother me if not used (Allah in bible). Unfortunately in our so called 1Malaysia, we have groups that still feel we are Malay.
  20. I have no problem with any word (Allah in bible).

So, there you go. From the replies, there were some that believe that it (Allah in bible) is a norm in Indonesia and have been used for many years. Well, this is Malaysia. You can go live in Indonesia if you want to. I'm sticking around here. One of the reply from a non-Muslim! went to the extent of concluding what is in the Quran! Wow! That only deserve a laughter from me. As I said previously, history, linguistic studies or religion in itself, are irrelevant. The bottom line is that, is the majority of the nation offended? If yes, then we should have the remedy. Don't we?

History, linguistic studies or religion in itself, are irrelevant. The bottom line is that, is the majority of the nation offended? If yes, then we should have the remedy. Don't we?

* kopihangtuah

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04 January 2013

Burgess Gone Mad with Slangs in Clockwork Orange


.... probably the most difficult book I have ever read, so far, alongside with Hitler's Mein Kampf

Title: A Clockwork Orange
Author: Anthony Burgess
Genre: Fiction/Violence
ISBN: 978-0-141-19236-9
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year: 1972

ADMAN is who he is this bloody Burgess. I have no idea how to comprehend this piece of work. It is probably the most difficult book I have ever read, so far, alongside with Hitler's Mein Kampf. I struggled all the way. Burgess' obsession with creating his own slang drove me crazy. It took me quite a while to be accustomed to his new language. I wonder how the movie for this is? Haven't really watched it. Just to demonstrate how difficult it is to read this book, I list below some of the words he created. See whether you have heard of them:

  • droogs
  • rassoodocks
  • skorry
  • moloko
  • vellocet
  • synthemesc
  • drencrom
  • veshch
  • bog
  • deng
  • tolchock
  • veck
  • viddy
  • ptitsa

Mind you the above are just from page 1. Imagine how many of these weird new words I had to go through in the entire 165 pages. Madness! I could only get the grips of these after surpassing the 100th page. I suppose he (Burgess) wanted to create a new trend of slang. He did not succeed.

In any case, it is a weird book. Burgess wrote it for money and it was done in just a few weeks. It became famous in Britain post-war. It was also named as one of the best 100 novels in the English Language world for the last 80 years. Fuhhh!!!!! bloody man created a disaster that earned such acknowledgement. Not just that, they did a movie out of it. The director (Stanley Kubrick) got so disturbed by it that later he withdrew it from distribution. Amazing! Have a read. You will curse.

So pervasive were his crimes that they had to put him behind bars, changing his name from Alex to 6655321

In summary, the book is divided into 3 components. The first was on how a teenager aged 15, Alex, lived a very violent life full of crime. So pervasive were his crimes that they had to put him behind bars, changing his name from Alex to 6655321. Such psychotic boy was perfect for Government experiments. Hence, in the second part of the book, he underwent various tests. His mind was brainwashed via various techniques including medical and psychological methods. To that, a robot he was. More of a zombie I suppose. Listening to instructions by the Government. A human that only does good. Well, he was no longer human for he had no freedom of choice. His brain was programmed. What sufferings he had caused the public pre-jail period were as if simmetrically done onto him during his time in jail. He went through sufferings when tests and experiments were conducted on him. A psychotic creature he became but intended to be a good psycho. So was the intention of the Government. Having concluded him as a successful subject of such experiments, the Government released him back into the society. Little that they know that this little rascal is no joke. He surprised them afterwards in the third part of the book, attracting the attention of the Minister of Interior and the entire political landscape when they were at the eve of general election. The media, the opposition, the rebels, the police force and the general public found their eye balls focused at little psychotic Alex, or 6655321. You'll have to read on your own.... but what I do want to share, are the remaining weird words:
  • litso
  • pletchoes
  • cravats
  • kartoffel
  • devotchkas
  • malchicks
  • gullivers
  • dollop
  • chelloveck
  • slovos
  • forficulate
  • messel
  • mesto
  • goloss
  • ooko
  • farfarculule
  • rubadubdub
  • malenky
  • doddery
  • nochy
  • lewdies
  • poogly
  • skvatted
  • razrez
  • zoobies
  • wuf waf wof
  • goobers
  • tolchock
  • chepooka
  • shoomny
  • gollies
  • hen-korm
  • appy polly loggies
  • baboochkas
  • rookers
  • minoota
  • rozz
  • chasso
  • pooshka

There are too many of these words. I give up! Had to stop at page 10. Cheers!

* kopihangtuah

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