27 May 2015

How Not To Be A Zombie



www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com




Propaganda involves outright lies and in mild cases it involves reporting incomplete facts in an unfair context. As a result, many readers, the general public at large, have been infected with a disease that makes them believe propagandas 100%. This disease is akin to the infamous Hollywood myth... the Zombies


OLITICAL propaganda has proven, at numerous times, to be a powerful weapon, even more powerful than the nucklear bomb, in destroying civilisations. I can give many examples but to name a few, Hitler's Nazi and Zionism are two very good examples. In extreme cases propaganda involves outright lies and in mild cases it involves reporting incomplete facts in an unfair context. As a result, many readers, the general public at large, have been infected with a disease that makes them believe propagandas 100%. This disease is akin to the infamous Hollywood myth... the Zombies.

I fear that Zombism has reached our shores. We must act fast to battle this. Or else, our civilisation will be destroyed before our eyes. In my observations of this phenomenon, I have identified some guidances on how to protect (or recover) from the so called Zombism - 10 points to be exact. Let us try my methods. Hopefully we do not have to change the country's name to Zombisia. Here are my suggestions:

1. Adopt "Innocent Until Proven Guilty" mindset when assessing anyone. If we suddenly want to be Islamic then this is the best way to not Fitnah (Accuse Without Evidence).

2. Do not conclude when you do not have adequate substantiated and complete credible information that are relevant to the quest to conclude. That is mouthful but essential really: Adequate, Substantiated, Complete, Credible and Relevant.

3. Nobody is without fault. So, if you feel strongly that you cannot believe the Government 100%, you ought to also give the same skepticism to the Opposition. Why? Because both have the same mission and objectives - i.e. to gain political mileage. 

4. You need to acquire the relevant knowledge to put matters into fairly comprehensible set of information before making judgment. If you do not have the knowledge, then be resourceful enough to procure advice from those who do have knowledge. Go and consult bloody accountants, lawyers, bankers and wankers if you must. In most cases, the press conveys messages that do not adhere to the basic premise of a particular subject matter.

5. Always assume that the newspaper headlines are deceiving. I have worked in a newspaper company so I know that the editors will put whatever is necessary to attract readers. Often what you read in the body of an article portrays differently from the vibes that radiate out of the headlines. In many cases, even the body of the article is infested with off tangent and out of context statements. Internet and social media are even worse at this because there are so many Keyboard Warriors.... a.k.a. Zombies.

6. To give the "Benefit of the Doubt" is a virtue. When someone is chosen by the public to lead the people, surely the chosen ones are with essential characters worthy of being chosen in the first place. Yes true we do not have enough evidence to prove that the chosen ones are telling the truth all the time but are we with evidence to conclude that he or she is telling a lie?

7. Put yourself in other people's shoes. If you imagine that you are the accused, you will realise that there are so many ways to skin a cat... in this case, to skin a politician. Remember that it is him or her alone against the rest of the country. How would you have handled the situation?

8. We are not judges. We have long time ago delegated that role to the system we chose to govern our country when we tick our votes during General Elections. In our case it is the Constitutional Monarchy. Be clear and intelligent to understand this. The Parliament is the legislator that consists of representatives that you have chosen. The Government will then implement what the legislators have passed. When there is something wrong with the inplementation, the Judiciary lot will judge. This is the order we need to respect. Or else we will face chaos and possibly riots.

9. Think long term and not short term. Sometimes a policy does not have favourable effects on you but that does not mean that it is not the right thing to do for the country. Look at the future. Look at the larger scheme of things. Look at the spirit of why it was deviced. It is ok to lose a battle for the sake of winning the war.

10. Do not react to matters based on emotions, anger and the most common one, because you have embraced Zombism.































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23 May 2015

Manglish Kills Articulation




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The worst would be 2 languages in 1 sentence! That is unforgiveable...

 have attended many events, both Government related and private, and not to my surprise, many speech givers frustrate me. Why? Because they fail to identify the profile of their audience and hence, their delivery of the speech is rendered ineffective. At last, key messages are not conveyed. Perhaps I am not an expert content wise but I do want to point out certain salient observations that frustrate me.

In my opinion, speech articulation in Malaysia should follow these guidelines:

1. Decide whether the speech should be in English Language or Bahasa Malaysia.

2. If you want to suddenly say something in a different language, you must repeat it back in the initially chosen language per No. 1 above.

My observation is that many people use 2 languages interchangeably (for example, Malaysian English or "Manglish") but not "overlapping"ly. You must overlap so that messages intended are conveyed completely in the intended initially chosen language.

If you really have to speak in the other language, complete your speech in the intended language first, then talk in the other language with a view of driving it as a casual less formal component with an prior request to do so. For example, "Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan, benarkan saya berbahasa Inggeris". It is a courteous gesture that does not require you to get permission from the floor... unless of course... if you have a Sultan or Rais Yatim as your VIP... then you should wait for them to allow you.

The worst would be 2 languages in 1 sentence! That is unforgiveable... really. How can we expect others to listen to us when we cannot even speak properly? The so called "Manglish" kills articulation. We need to rectify this. Percakapan kita kena berketerampilan - Our communication needs articulation.



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22 May 2015

30% Women Power at the Top




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In 2014, 53.6% of the labour force (in Malaysia) is female with 24% at Senior Management level. When it comes to Board of Directors composition, only 10.2% are women. If there are no intervention, the regression analysis of such historical trend would mean that we will need another 84 years before the 30% target can be met.
 
 
ATO' SRI IDRIS JALA led the drive for more women participation at the top at an event, "Lead the Change: Getting Women on Boards" organised by Talent Corp and 30% Club Malaysia. He started his speech with some salient facts about the economy which includes statistics as a result of the Economic Transformation Programme. The more prominent one would be the Malaysian Cumulative Average Growth Rate (CAGR) for the economy of 15.9% for the years 2011 to 2015 vs 5.5% for 2010 to 2014. Although this is a general gauge of the economy, he believes that it presents lots of opportunity for women.
 
The Government, through the 10th Malaysian Plan, targeted 30% key decision making role to be held by women by 2016. In 2014, 53.6% of the labour force is female with 24% at Senior Management level. When it comes to Board of Directors composition, only 10.2% are women. If there are no intervention, the regression analysis of such historical trend would mean that we will need another 84 years before the 30% target can be met. We are not alone in this quest - The United Kingdom is now at 20%. Australia at 18%.  Hong Kong at 8%. Singapore on par with us at 10%.
 
Research proves that women are better in achieving educational results. However, the question that is still lingering would be, "Why are women's corporate executive participation low?" The usual answer would be: Raise Family, Lack Work-Life Balance, and the like. Efforts need to be put in to address this. There needs to be incentives such as child care support, career breaks and non-prejudice career progression. We ought to benchmark developed countries such as the ones in Europe where they have legislated women participation with penalty clause for corporations that do not adhere to the legislation.
 
Statistics also showed that organisations with more women participation at executive decision level achieve higher Return on Equity (ROE), Earnings Before Interest Taxation Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) and stock prices. Of course scientifically it is quite difficult to prove that women's participation do achieve higher results but empirical data strongly suggests so. One undeniable consistent observation would be the earlier mention of women performing better than men at educational level.
 
Dato' Sri Idris urged the business leaders, investors and shareholders to champion this advocacy of 30% Women Power at the Top. An honest effort of sourcing and identifying talented women of merit needs to be committed. This involves conscious efforts via Human Resources activities and conviction by the other Board of Directors, via their Nomination Committees, to take bold and affirmative steps in achieving the intended 30% target.  To demonstrate the leadership role of such effort, he shared his team's achievement at PEMANDU whereby they have now officially achieved 37.5% women on their Board of Director, namely Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, Ms Vimala Menon and Datuk Yvonne Chia.

All the attendees of the session that consist of Chief Executive Officers of Government Linked Companies, Public Listed Companies and Multinational Organisations were given a pledge card (See image below) to complete and to declare their commitment to achieve 30% women on their Board of Directors by 2016. Of course we (including me) we quite delighted to give such commitment but little did we realise that we were making that pledge to the Prime Minister, Y.A.B. Dato' Sri Najib Razak. The pledge cards were collected and tabulated. The results were: 98% committed with 23% Not Confident, 23% Somewhat Confident, 24% Confident and 30% Very Confident. As for me, the Company that I am managing is now at 25% - so all I need is just one more, then I will be sailing :)
 





















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Be Fair When Making Personal Conclusion on 1MDB



www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com



Tun Mahathir is getting strong public support because he speaks in lay men terms whereas people answering for 1MDB uses financial jargon.


HERE have been too much debates and accusations on the social media on the biggest financial scandal in Malaysia, 1MDB. It has reached a stage where too many are making premature conclusions or accusations that are not backed by credible information or substantive comprehension of the technical jargons surrounding the mechanism of financial transactions. I have been quite silent on this matter because of the wait for results from audit by the Auditor General. However, I fear detailed information from audit for lay men's consumption will come in too late despite the appropriate behaviour is to wait. People do not care about facts it seems. Only perception holds the game. Lay men need to be managed while waiting for the full details. Hence, my 2 cents worth of an attempt to promote a balanced thinking process as follows:

1. Audit is rigorous. Have you ever read Auditing Standards or at least look at an audit programme in an audit firm? Deloitte has damn good auditors from all over the world at senior level to come to Malaysia just to look at 1MDB - So I was unofficially told. I do not believe non-Malaysian auditors would cover up matters.

2. The Auditor General is very thorough. Please go read their reports on the internet. They crucify almost all Government Linked Companies (GLC) that they audit.

3. Time is of essence regardless of popular demand. We cannot simply address popular demand by compromising audit quality that needs time. We must hold on to "Innocent until proven guilty" to avoid fitnah (baseless accusations).

4. I have engaged many banks on due diligence and I have also been involved in many due diligences including power plant acquisitions. You need to understand variables before concluding error in valuation pricing, etc. Variables include technical useful life, power demand growth rate of 8% to 13%, discount rate of 10% to 12%. These are all not lay men terms. I know. So lay men need to trust people of technical knowledge to enlighten them and not some politician with no financial background. The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) remaining license period is irrelevant when the owner is 1MDB, a GLC. Instead, technical useful life is relevant. The uncertainty of PPA extension is mitigated by the guarantee by Ananda Krishnan (AK) for the premium in price - or in lay men term, the so called "over pricing". Premium in price represents that extension. When Tenaga Nasional did not give the extension, AK has to cover. It is a business deal. Not political in my view.

5. There are too many overlace of propaganda with political agendas. We cannot believe all that people say on internet especially those with motive of winning political mileage. You know who they are.

6. Those with proper knowledge must explain in an understandable way for lay men. For this I am dissatisfied with the Board members of 1MDB for taking a back seat and pushing the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to answer. The Board and Management should know better than MoF because MoF has hundreds of GLC to monitor.

7. If 1MDB has established treasury policy and the policy allows investment in unit trusts then where is the problem? It is a business decision and all business decisions are exposed to risks. But yes.. reply given earlier was inacccurate.... back to my point on Management did not give complete information to MoF. Many people do make mistake assuming treasury unit trusts as cash equivalent.

8. Those charged with governance must be responsible, which means the Board and Management. It is either they act intra or ultra vires. Oh sorry... I keep on forgetting that I am supposed to address lay men. It should be read "...act within or outside authority". The latter should face consequences by the court of law.

9. Tun Mahathir is getting strong public support because he speaks in lay men terms whereas people answering for 1MDB uses financial jargon.

10. The ultimate thing here is to give a list that adds up to RM42 billion because all the liabilities inclusive of shares in the company must be equal to assets. They just have to justify the assets and how it is valued when acquired giving a total of RM42 billion... which brings us back to No. 4 above :) - Go look for an Accountant to help comprehend all this.... I suppose?


There are too many overlace of propaganda with political agendas. We cannot believe all that people say on internet especially those with motive of winning political mileage. You know who they are.




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