20 November 2016

10 Things a CEO Ought to Embrace



www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com





In whatever crisis, the first reaction suggested by the grey matter between your 2 ears is the Devil himself talking. Take a step back, break the monotonuous habits, escape your mind from the myopia of the crisis. Fly like a bird and view the issue as if a pilot is appreciating the semicircle horizon of the Planet Earth.

CEO is not just a job. It is a responsibility. It is a promise to stakeholders. It is also a burden to some.... no.... not some.... but large extent. I am an Accountant like many CEOs in this country. Not sure why but I guess people trust Accountants to handle money. Little do they know that Accountants are also ranked high in syphoning money. Anyway, my term as a CEO is coming to an end soon and a renewal, if any, is at the mercy of the shareholders. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for me to share my thoughts on how or what a CEO should be.

A conversation I had with an Architect today provides the conducive mindset for me to start that thinking process. The Architect asked me today, "Architects make great CEOs. Why do people always think Accountants make good CEOs?"

To be honest, anyone can be a CEO. All you need, to be an effective CEO, are:

1. Don't be calculative about your reward. Just do the damn job.

2. You do not need to be a genius. You need to get the geniuses to work for you. Be resourceful in managing your team. You are just a remote control. Your team is the motherboard with circuits and semiconductors.

3. Hide your emotions. Keep a smile on the face. Plan your plan of attack in your head. Then attack with no mercy when people least expect it.... still with a smile on your face.

4. When you talk, talk as if you know it all. People will actually think you know it all. Then go home and research on those matters you just realised that you do not know. You will only learn if you know the areas that you are weak at, which you need to learn.

5. Time is money. The more time you take to gather information and assess a situation, the more informed will your decision be. However, there is a point of diminishing return where extra work will be inelastic to the quality of decision. At that point, cut the crap and just decide. Wrong or right will be the consequence you will need to face, but at least it is more effective than sitting on your ass farting with no guts to make any decision.

6. Humility is not just a virtue, it is a strategy. Some may say you are a hypocrite but know this for a fact - Humility wins everytime you put it against Arrogance.

7. Train those around you to the extent that you are not indispensable. The day you can delegate 100% is the day you graduate from being a CEO and start doing some oil painting on the shores of Langkawi. Your 1st day of being a CEO is also your first day of succession planning. Have you heard of the slogan for Rolex? Or was it Patek Philippe? Whatever.... anyway.... it says, " You do not own a ______ , You merely look after it for the next generation". Go figure.

8. It is lonely at the top. No one said it will be a cheerful life. Embrace that loneliness. Accept it as a personal space. Use it to read. Read everyday without fail - even if it is 1 page of a thick and boring book. Who knows that 1 page has the answer for the sphere on Atlas' shoulders? In that loneliness, one day a staff will come by your room and invite you to lunch. That moment will be a joyous moment. No pain, no gain.

9. In whatever crisis, the first reaction suggested by the grey matter between your 2 ears is the Devil himself talking. Take a step back, break the monotonuous habits, escape your mind from the myopia of the crisis. Fly like a bird and view the issue as if a pilot is appreciating the semicircle horizon of the Planet Earth. You will see a more encompassing and robust solution that may not be the right one for a particular issue but a fair and balanced one for the sake of the organisation as a whole.... like an amber dawn enveloping that blue semi circle.

10. Drink coffee and eat oats for breakfast.


After going through the 10 points above, I see no reason why only Accountants (or Architects) can be good CEOs. In fact, last month I met a CEO who had no proper education and had years and years of experience as a fruit seller. Enough said.


* kopihangtuah





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27 October 2016

Music and Money



www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com




Yes, if people don't air your songs anymore, you don't get any money. Music is a very REAL revenue earner. People like, you become rich. People don't like, you become poor - Ahmad Izham Omar, Founder of Positive Tone.


MUSIC is an art. It is an art that is also an intellectual property. Not only it entertains, it also makes money. With it, its creators carry certain rights. This right is called Copyright, a subset of an intellectual property. A copyright means a song/recording has the following rights:

1) Mechanical right - right to produce the songs

2) Public Performance right - right to air the songs in public

3) Synchronisation right - right to synchronise the songs into videos whether in films or commercials or even karaokes

4) Print rights - right to put the song into notes on music sheets

5) Grand rights - right to have the song performed in a theatre production.

There are 3 bodies that govern these rights. They are MACP, PPM and PRISM who collect royalties from the copyrights.

MACP started with publishers/songwriters/authors/composers and they collect whenever a song is played - whether through the radio, or even a person singing the song in a pub.

PPM collects for record companies and they collect whenever a song is played - but only for the recording. Meaning, the recording is being played. So they can collect for songs being played on the radio but they can't collect for someone singing in a pub, because that doesn't come from the recording.

PRISM collects for artists who perform in the recordings. Which is why they always attach themselves to PPM - bcause both are based on the recordings - whereas MACP is the song itself, whether in recorded form or not.

The good people at these societies do an extensive sampling process - very much like Nielsen does the radio survey. But of course, if we can give them playlists from the radio and from our TV shows and from live concerts, their distribution would be more accurate.

If you as a songwriter keeps track of your songs, then you can also make sure MACP knows the playlists that you have. Usually the publisher does that for the songwriter.

Yes, if people don't air your songs anymore, you don't get any money. Music is a very REAL revenue earner. People like, you become rich. People don't like, you become poor.

(Credit to Ahmad Izham Omar, a song writer, and also the CEO of film and TV content production house, Primeworks Studio, who has taken the trouble to explain to me this invaluable knowledge)





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24 August 2016

Message to Entrepreneurs



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Once a Venture Capitalist told me, "If you have 2 potential investees; One with great product but not so robust management; The other has average product but superb management; I will go for the latter"


ENTREPRENEURSHIP is a noble cause. Even the Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. was an entrepreneur. What do you get from being an entrepreneur? Well, you grow your own business. From that business you provide offerings to the general public. At the same time you make money. That money can grow even bigger than a mere salaried income.

For many, entrepreneurship is the alternative to salaried income. For many as well, entrepreneurship is a last resort after everything else fail. It can also be a side thing where people with jobs do it on part time basis. For Gen Y, many do not like to "report" to bosses. They want to be their own bosses. Well, entrepreneurship is the right "religion" to be in for those lot.

There are many support given by the Government as well as the private sector in the name of entrepreneurship advocacy. In Malaysia, we have MaGIC, GEM, Teraju, Cradle, MDeC, Startup Malaysia, Impact Hub, Mind Valley, TeAM, MDV, KMP, MAVCAP, MyCreative, PNS, PUNB, MARA, SME Corp, SME Bank, MyIPO, SAME, MTDC and many more I cannot remember. The fact that I cannot remember says a lot about the magnitude of it. If you (entrepreneurs) have not heard of these entities, then you are not doing enough research.

So with all the support given, what do you as entrepreneurs need to do? Once a Venture Capitalist told me, "If you have 2 potential investees; One with great product but not so robust management; The other has average product but superb management; I will go for the latter". What does that mean? Well, it means your attitude matters.

What attitude are we talking about here? There are a few key qualities that makes an entrepreneur robust. I think it is only fair that entrepreneurs know what is it that the investors are looking for in them (entrepreneurs). For this, let me share my thoughts as follows:

1. HUMILITY

How do you convey the awesomeness of your product without being boastful? Well, for a start, do not condemn competitors. You condemn, you have no class. Just simply state what issues can be resolved by using your products. Share testimony from existing users. Share awards won. Choose your battle. You do not have to win all battles to win the bigger war. Lose some battles even when you know you are right. The trick is to win people's heart first. Have a sincerely proud intonation and not a Zues-Darth Vader type statements. In short, just be humble.

2. INTEGRITY

Do not lie. Do not omit important information. Do not have hidden agendas. Do not give or take kickbacks. Big No No to any form of corruption. Identify and avoid conflict of interests. Do not breach laws and regulation. Read all your legal agreements and honour the terms in it. If you do not have the answer, don't bullshit too much. Know the right amount of bullshit to save your face but not to the extent that puts you as a liar. In short, put honest effort.

3. RESOURCEFUL

Make sure you have all the information required. Full details of product. Know who your workers with right skills are and always work in a team. Know who your suppliers are. Know which market you are targeting. Do research on these things. Oh ya! Financial reports are very very.... very very important. An investor needs a robust financial perspective. Get your Profit and Loss Statements, Balance Sheets and Cash Flows updated on frequent basis. Have your sales performance report handy. Have your business plan, projections all in place. Make sure you tick everything in the checklist. Do not find reasons for investors to reject you simply because you are disorganised and show lack of commitment to meet their (investors) requirements. If you do not do all that, not only you are portraying that you are not resourceful, you are also not making the potential investors fully informed of your position. In short, do not leave empty glasses.

4. COMMITMENT 

There are a lot of motherhood statements that fill in this aspect. Continuous Improvement. Innovation. Creativity. Sacrifices. Make Things Happen. Just Do It. Skin in the Game. Make Time. Do R&D. "Dongibab" (don't give up), "Kipidap" (keep it up) and stand up every time you fall. As mentioned earlier, put honest effort. Don't just subcontract and outsource too much because you will just look like a middle man earning money "atas angin" (commission profits for being a middle man with no value added activities to the value chain). We have too many examples of "Ali Baba" (another expression for the middle man syndrome). Investors (Malaysian in particular) do not like Ali Babas because it is contrary to entrepreneurship. Look for encouragement, self esteem and motivation to drive. The list goes on and on; but all on the back of Commitment. If you do not have the commitment, you will not step foot on any of the earlier mentioned states of mind. In short, do not be "malas" (lazy).

There you go. In many organisations, these are also the key building blocks of performance appraisal although they are categorised differently such as the infamous trio People Skills - Management Skills - Knowledge. For many investors, these are like virtual, biological, natural, neorological checklist in their grey matter. If you pick any Venture Capitalists and ask them to write an article about What They Look For In An Entrepreneur?; I bet my bottom Ringgit that their views will be the same as mine if not more. I hope many entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-to-be will ponder on these messages from me and become the entrepreneurs we all want to see. Long live entrepreneurship.




* kopihangtuah





| mcmlxxv:viii:xxix |


07 August 2016

To Poke or Not To Poke? That is The Question!



www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com




I spent quality time with my wife, my 11 year old boy and my 5 year old boy today, going around my town (Shah Alam) hunting Pokemons. We did not managed to catch Pikachu! Darn!


POKEMON GO is the talk of the town these last few days. We have seen so many comments in the social media on this newly released game. In Malaysia, the debut was on 6 August 2016. Comments are both negative and positive. Supporters believe that it is an awesome innovation particularly those involved in technology, gaming and content industries. Of course, the die hard fans, who have now become the users of this game, will defend their obsession.

On the flip side, many raised concerns over its impact to society primarily from two major perspectives, security and productivity. On its first day itself (in Malaysia) we have had reports that car accidents happened due to sudden brakes by drivers as a result of Pokemon Go obsession. We can also see parents complaining how children waste their time almost, if not worse, than other social technology such as games and media networks.

In the end, a balanced view should be taken. Like other trends that mushroomed in our lives, we are always encountering both positive and negative impacts. I still remember the same sort of debate the society has engaged for previous inventions such as Game and Watch, Atari, Nintendo, Game Arcades, Snooker Parlours, YouTube, Angry Birds, Temple Run, and the list goes on and on.

Perhaps the users should do time scheduling like how you would do for badminton, jogging, jamming, movies and what not so that it serves as entertainment value that does not disrupt too much of productive time. On the safety measures, I think someone from the Government should meet with the makers of Pokemon Go to negotiate prohibited areas such as highways, edge of lakes, mosques, private areas and the list for this can be quite exhaustive, I would imagine.

I have to confess that this is a big dilemma for me. I strongly agree with the negative points and I am also an advocate of innovative products particularly in the creative and intellectual property arena. One thing is for sure, I would like to urge everyone to have a healthy debate over this and not to be emotional. After all, we are a society that is still debating about cigarettes since its invention 200 years ago.

The show must go on - and for this, I spent quality time with my wife, my 11 year old boy and my 5 year old boy today, going around my town (Shah Alam) hunting Pokemons. We did not managed to catch Pikachu! Darn!




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22 July 2016

How to Destroy a Country 101



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To shout negativity everywhere with conclusions that even authorities themselves have not yet reached is an utter irresponsible act by a citizen. It destroys the country, just like what the Economic Hitmen wanted.


HITMEN of the modern world works at a pervasive level. They sought to destroy countries. The 4 main methods used by economic hitmen to topple countries that do not entertain their wishes are:

Step 1: Destroy the country's economic livelihood via various tools such as currency attack, commodity price attack, international monetary aid that has unreasonable terms that breach the sovereignty of the country, masterminding excessive development funded by excessive debts and economic sanctions. The final objective is to get a regime change that installs a leadership team that is friendly to the hitmen's needs.

If Step 1 does not cripple the country or not easy to be implemented due to the country's strong leadership, then they will go for Step 2.

Step 2: Capitalise on local issue to create havoc and chaos with the main objective of breaking down the political landscape and an eventual change of regime to one of their choice. This is often targeted on key political figures and the subject matters used are often those very sensitive to the citizens of the country. Accusations are the fuel for character assassination. The accusations can be from various angles such as corruption, racial sentiments, religion, Government policies, sex scandals and many more. The more naive and angry the citizens are, the more effective is this method. It has the "zombie" effect to the citizens.

If Step 2 does not cripple the country or not easy to be implemented due to the country's strong leadership and/or the citizens' maturity, then they will go for Step 3.

Step 3: Engage in military action on that country either by single foreign country attack, or joint forces by multiple foreign countries, or via international pack such as NATO, or, most commonly used, gain access to the country's internal military force to takeover from inside. This is often done sugar coatedly behind ideologies such as to restore democracy or to stop dictatorship or to fight for humanity and many more as long as it has the effect of the Step 2 on the citizens. Of course the final objective is still to get a regime change to that of their choice.

If Step 3 does not cripple the country or not easy to be implemented due to the country's strong leadership, local military force and/or citizen's maturity, then they will go for Step 4.

Step 4: Hire an assassin to take out the unwanted person of interest, often the top leader of the country.

All Steps 1 to 4 is done concurrent with Step X. Step X is to nurture, finance and create an easy pathway for political progression of a potential leader of their choice that will eventually be that replacement for the unfavourable existing leader.

Many of these steps have taken place in many countries around the world. Some successful and some not. To name a few, whether successful or not, and not in any particular order: Step 1 was used on Panama, Venezuela, Argentina, Indonesia and Thailand. Steps 2 and 3 was used on Palestine, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Vietnam. Step 4 was used in Libya.

As the World unite to prevent wars and military activities, Steps 1 and 2 will become more and more effective now. Step 4 is a last resort, hence not many attempts. Libya had Gadafi sacrificed as he was putting in place a gold Dinar mechanism as potential pervasive currency. Saudi Arabia was mentioned earlier and many may be wondering why? Well, Saudi had its current rulers, the Saud family, put in place by the English after capitalising on a religious strategy that they, the English, had nurtured. The strategy was Wahabism. They even made a movie out of it called Lawrence of Arabia. Finally, under Step 1, we saw many countries gone bankrupt.

This is not a new phenomenon. It has been going on since before World War 1. In fact, World Wars 1 and 2 may have been ignited by the same people who wishes to control the world. We have heard of many conspiracy theories such as the dropping of the unwarranted Atomic Bomb, CIA operations to overthrow governments, the New World Order under Freemasons/Illuminati/Zionism and the like. There is no direct evidence to conclude but what we see happening to many countries does fit in nicely into the puzzle. Henry Ford, the car maker, once tried to expose all these. He lost his wealth doing so.

So what can we do? The first step, as a citizen of this beloved country, is to have a robust mind to consider all facts by all parties and to have a conscious mind to assess whether you can comfortably accept those facts. Accepting does not mean to conclude straight away. Accepting means to tag a status on it as either facts of the case, accusations, evidence, suspicions and/or propaganda.

To shout negativity everywhere with conclusions that even authorities themselves have not yet reached is an utter irresponsible act by a citizen. It destroys the country, just like what the Economic Hitmen wanted. The best way to react is to accumulate knowledge and digest and only let go its implications when you are axing the box for the General Elections. For the time being, let the authorities do their jobs. God help us all.



* kopihangtuah





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18 July 2016

Malaysia is Good for Global Digital Content Hub




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We can one more time be the international hub of the World - as we did it once as the World Spice hub in Melaka back in the 1400's.

DIGITAL ECONOMY is Malaysia's focus for the past couple of decades. The question is, how attractive is Malaysia for foreign content tech companies to come and set up HQ? Well, here is my list of the top 10 reasons:

1. Malaysia has, on average, 2 mobile devices per person totalling 60 million for a population of 30 million. This shows the potential high propensity to consume in the digital content world.

2. Malaysia has, on average, 5 debit/credit cards per household. More than 50% of the usage of these cards are for internet transactions particularly e-commerce. This psychological readiness amongst its consumers presents a good market segment for digital content. In 2014, the Malaysian music industry saw a shift for its highest revenue contributor from physical CDs to on-line downloads/streaming.

3. Malaysia will soon have full digital broadcasting landscape that can address the shortage of air wave spectrums. We can have as high as 50 to 60 TV channels. Currently, MyTV has rolled out approximately 60% to 70% of the Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) infrastructure.

4. Cyberjaya, a cyber-city in Malaysia, has numerous international data centres that service a whole lot of internet applications worldwide. It has potential to be the next Silicon Valley.

5. Malaysia is ranked No. 1 in the world for social media usage as gauged by it being Facebook's top 10 countries for average friends per person. Such enthusiastic community is a good market place.

6. Many international companies have opened their regional HQ/Office in Malaysia. In fact, Facebook has opened an office in Malaysia after realising that they need to service their No. 1 customers better, i.e. Malaysians. The game developer, Streamline, who is developing Street Fighter V and Final Fantasy XV has also moved its HQ from Amsterdam to Bangsar South. We had Rhythm & Hues earlier but its demise has got nothing to do with Malaysia.

7. Malaysia has a very strong regional presence for telecommunications (via Axiata) in Asean, one of the World's highest economic growth region. This is a ready platform for content to be distributed. In addition, its proximity to China and India, the 2 largest and fastest growing economies, can facilitate economic growth inter-regions further.

8. Malaysian Government policies are friendly for ICT, Entrepreneurship and Digital Economy as evident by its active entrepreneurship movements under the Ministry of Finance's Malaysia Global Innovative and Creative Centre (MaGIC) and Malaysia Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) under Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDeC).

9. Malaysia has the general conducive environment for prosperity such as strong economic growth at 5% even during recession, English speaking country, melting pot of cultures and good portion of Government budgetary allocation for infrastructure development as well as human capital development. It is an open democratic society with no adverse extremism ideologically or religiously. Despite some political turmoil, the political landscape is relatively stable compared to many countries where frequent regime change disrupts economic progression.

10. Malaysia is geographically save as it is on the Sunda Platform - which means, not exposed to volcanic risks. It has no extreme weather and its tropical climate attracts many tourists from across the World. Malaysia has some issues with traffic jams and floods but nothing as worrying as what you see in Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, Bangladesh, and the list continues.

Sometimes we (Malaysians) forget how pleasant our country is. It takes a foreigner to open our eyes. Mind you, the above points did not just come from my awareness alone. It was also significantly communicated to me by various foreigners such as Australians, Americans, Japanese, French and many more whom I have had the privilege to have technical economic discussions with. We have the country. It is up to us to nurture it. We can one more time be the international hub of the World - as we did it once as the World Spice hub in Melaka back in the 1400's.



* kopihangtuah





| mcmlxxv:viii:xxix |



14 July 2016

Understanding the Current Global Retail Market


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GLOBAL is the new buzz word for Malaysian businesses nowadays due to the internet of things. This is because internet goes beyond boundaries of geographical jurisdictions. When looking at Global retail market, in a nutshell, the following must be considered:

1. To understand the future of global retail, look at China.

2. Price is still king (even for high income earners).

3. Even though product research is mainly done online, consumers desire physical interaction with products.

4. In Malaysia, 53% respondents prefer purchasing products in-store while 37% prefer purchasing online for clothing and footwear.

5. The Malaysian attitude differs for books, music, movies and video games where 57% prefer online purchases as oppose to 30% in-store.

6. Retail talent gives positive impact towards sales.

7. The dimension of customer service is more sophisticated as personalised advice, special after sales services and deep knowledge on products are expected by consumers. Employee training is therefore crucial.

8. Mobile purchasing as online shopping tool of choice especially for Millennials (aged 18-34).

9. Goldman Sachs predicts that by 2018, almost half of all e-commerce will be accounted by mobile commerce.

10. Simplifying online checkout process motivates online purchases.

11. There is reliance on community in consumers' purchasing attitude.

12. Needless to say, social media remains as the "great influencer".

13. Reading reviews, comments and feedback scores highest to the question how social media influences shopping behaviour followed by receiving promotional offerings.

14. Malaysians are highly influenced by reading reviews, comments and feedback (this comes with no surprise at all).

15. There is room to innovate seamless integrated online shopping experience.

(Source of information is from PricewaterhouseCoopers Total Retail Report 2016).



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13 July 2016

Simple Math to Determine Number of Kids Per Household When Considering Education Insurance


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EDUCATION is an important element of a child care plan. Savings for the cost of a child's education should start early. One option is to buy insurance. The monthly premium for a child's education insurance (over 24 years) has the following inflationary trend (assuming redemption value of RM100,000):

2005: RM200
2010: RM300
2015: RM400

Every 5 years it goes up by RM100. That is RM200 in 10 years. Hence, averaging at RM20 per year, which is 10% simple average per year on the RM200 base. So if compounding, perhaps around 7% per year.

This should be the benchmark for salary increment. I don't see this happening in the near future. Tough times ahead. Hoping that insurance companies are not taking too much profits. To be fair, the insurance companies are offseting profits from life plans against losses from medical plans.

In any case, we must all put aside money for kids' education regardless of whether in insurance plan format or simply cash savings. So, please start cracking on your excel spreadsheets to work out your budget so that you can condition your lifestyle to be balanced in considering current expenditure versus future commitments.

However, don't be too stressed about it. Just make sure whatever your potential savings are on monthly basis, divide by RM400 and wallah.... that is the maximum number of kids you should have now. Any future addition (of kids) should be fine if incremental income can give incremental savings of RM400 plus RM20 per year from this year onwards.

But then..... is RM100,000 enough for education 24 years from now?



* kopihangtuah





| mcmlxxv:viii:xxix |



09 July 2016

Where Has PM Najib Brought Malaysia To?


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FASCINATED I have been with how people debate in the social media nowadays particularly on the subject matter "Malaysian Politics" involving PM Dato' Sri Najib and his opponents. Today, I came across one really good argument about how Malaysia has fetched (in the eyes of the international observers) vis a vis the premiership of PM Dato' Sri Najib versus his nemesis, Tun Mahathir. I feel compelled to share those valuable arguments to my blog followers so that they can avoid being zombies of fitnah on the social media. For this, credit should be given to Saiful Bahari Baharom, who is the author of the following Facebook status:

*****

A comment from an FB friend:

Wow! Everybody seems to be an expert here (Facebook), and playing God too. No matter what, you can't deny the progressive developments and the international respect Msia was accorded during Tun M's tenure. So what global recognition have we got now? Corruption, scandals and the 1MDB fiasco.

My (Saiful's) response:

You think time Tun M Malaysia was not criticised by global press for corruption and cronyism? Go and learn to google, my friend.

As for PM Najib's time, several international organisations have rated Malaysia highly in their global surveys. The Global Competitiveness Report 2014 to 2015, released by the World Economic Forum, ranked Malaysia 20th out of 144 economies, up from 24th last year.

The report also placed Malaysia 4th for Financial Market Development and 7th for Goods Market Efficiency.

Bloomberg declared Malaysia the world’s 5th most promising emerging market in 2015, and the Asian Corporate Governance Association has ranked Malaysia in the same league as developed markets such as Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

It is noteworthy that in this year’s Baseline Profitability Index, a ranking of investment-attractive destinations by America’s Foreign Policy magazine, Malaysia jumped 5 rungs - from 11th in 2014, to 6th this year. This ranking, in a survey which covered 110 countries across six continents.

Last year, Malaysia rose to 18th out of 140 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.

The World Bank ranked Malaysia as the 18th easiest place to do business out 189 economies in 2015.

And in the IMD’s Yearbook, Malaysia was ranked as the 14th most competitive country out of 61 economies surveyed.

The truth is, as the World Bank regional director for Southeast Asia said last December, and I quote: “The international community continues to have confidence in Malaysia. That's why Malaysia continues to attract interest from businesses - both domestic and foreign."



*****



* kopihangtuah





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25 June 2016

A Smile from a Malaysian to Another Malaysian


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PUSPAKOM Lady said, "Bang. RM95.50 ye"

I reached my wallet and there was only RM91.00. "Errr... hmm... boleh pakai credit card tak?"

"Tak", says the lady with an unfriendly face. She must be tired especially fasting in the hot small cubical with a small fan by her side. Out of desperation, I walked to the car behind me. The owner is an old Chinese uncle.

"Uncle, errrr.... so so sorry. Can I borrow RM5.00 please. This is my business card. I will transfer RM10.00 direct to your bank account now via Maybank2u...... Can lah uncle"

"Eiii.. lu gila ka? Gua mana ingat gua punya bank account number. Ni ambik ini RM5.00 gua kasi free sama lu. Kita Melayu, Cina, India tak kira bangsa semua kena bersatu lawan ini PUSPAKOM kasi pening kepala orang."

"Ahahahahahhah.... adoi... thank you lah Uncle", with my hand gently taking the RM5.00 from his rough hand and I offered him a smile. A smile from a Malaysian to another without any concern over the colour of our skin as long as we can help each other.




* kopihangtuah





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18 June 2016

Role of Oil and Gas in Economic Development of Malaysia



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ECONOMIC is something many people do not understand adequately to make sense certain Government policies such as a national budget. As a result, this lack of understanding, and the lack of the initiative to seek an understanding, has led many citizens to conclude inappropriate and distorted polical inclinations. The former can be addressed via sharing of relevant knowledge but the latter is a Zombism disease that requires a lot more political strategy, if not left alone to worsen like a cancerous cell. At this juncture, I shall share relevant knowledge with the hope of putting some sense to fellow citizens who have not yet been severely infected by evil Zombism.

I have written many articles concerning the economics of Malaysia or the World (in the perspective of how it affects Malaysia). Sometimes there are others who write good stuff worthy of being viralled in the social media. Recently I came across a really good short and sweet article by Samirul Ariff of Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) on the subject matter Oil Revenue and its Trading Currency, US Dollars. I feel compelled to share this, and this is exactly what I am doing for this blog post as reproduced below:

ROLE OF OIL AND GAS IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF MALAYSIA
By Samirul Ariff on 18 June 2016.

Oil & Gas plays a crucial role in the Malaysian economy, this commodity contributes to approximately 15% of export value and 30% to Federal Government’s revenue. Broadly speaking, there are two main categories, which are refined petroleum (downstream) & crude petroleum (upstream). A quarter of Oil & Gas exported is in crude form, the remainder refined. Malaysia is net exporter of crude petroleum, however she is a net importer of petroleum products.

Emerging markets begin to experience a situation of both declining commodity prices & exchange rates, since August 2014. In the case of Malaysia it is important to understand the structure of the market and structure of production to clearly understand how crude oil prices impacts the national economy.

Crude Oil is quoted in US Dollars as with other commodities, the implication being that some quarters allege that this benefits the United States, as its own currency (i.e., the US dollar) has become the de facto international reserve currency. One of the major obvious benefits is that the US would not face a balance of payments crisis, because it purchased imports in its own currency. This is referred to as “Exorbitant privilege”, the term was first coined in the 1960s by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, then the French Minister of Finance who served under Charles de Gaulle.

A common question among those in geopolitics is when China’s GDP overtakes that of the US, will the US Dollar share the fate of the sterling and Britain's historic economic dominance. There was a time when Britain was the world's largest economic power and her currency the global reserve currency. Some, however, do not think the dollar is about to be vanquished as sterling was, rather, a “multipolar” system of international currencies may emerge. This inspired Barry Eichengreen who teaches at the University of California to write the book “Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System” in 2011.



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09 June 2016

Traitors and Zombies Say Bad Things About Their Own Country




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An Idiot, would just run around like a mad dog shouting this and that is wrong without even considering that he or she may have reacted unnecessarily to lies or propaganda that was designed to create such idiots in the first place. We call this lot the Zombies. Lately, I do see the sincerity a lot. But no point when it is overwhelmed by the Idiots. Such idiots, or zombies, are traitors to the country. They have become the agent of 'Fitnah' (lies).

NEGATIVE comments given by fellow Malaysians about their own country have been mistakenly taken as a heroic act. I think people are confused. I think people do not understand the difference between raising concerns about issues arising versus spreading bad vibes about the country. The former is a genuine and sincere approach with the hope of correcting what is wrong, if any wrong doings are confirmed. The latter is simply shouting like idiots to everybody around the world on wrong doings that have not been confirmed and concluded. How do you tell the difference? Well, a sincere person would raise the issues he believes need attention and goes through the proper, legal and civilised channel. An Idiot, would just run around like a mad dog shouting this and that is wrong without even considering that he or she may have reacted unnecessarily to lies or propaganda that was designed to create such idiots in the first place. We call this lot the Zombies. Lately, I do see the sincerity a lot. But no point when it is overwhelmed by the Idiots. Such idiots, or zombies, are traitors to the country. They have become the agent of 'Fitnah' (lies).

The best platform to observe this confusion is in the social media. Yesterday I saw a status on a friend's Facebook account. He wrote something light and subtle with the hope that people understand that the last thing our country needs is the so called Zombies and Idiots, i.e. Traitors. To my surprise, that status attracted many comments, both for and against. It amuses me to see how many people fail to understand his (my friend) simple point and starts to give judgemental comments as if they know what is the truth and everyone else should accept what they have concluded as the truth even in the absence of evidence from their side. What a total nut case. An Epitome Idiot. It is to my pleasure to share those comments (both sides) here in this blog so that people can learn and start pondering. Here they are:


DUDE A FB STATUS:
A customer at restaurant asked the owner, "How is business?" The owner said, "No good lah" The customer then decided to stop eating at the restaurant because the owner said 'No Good'. So, stop giving negative vibes about Malaysia, or else investors will 'Cabut' (run away).

DUDE B COMMENTED:
What if business not good because the food is bad? Changing the cook would be the best option, no? There is a reason why business is bad. People talk and they can think. Then they can decide.

DUDE A COMMENTED:
We should sort out internal issues ourselves. We must not go around telling people what our issues are. The owner of the restaurant should just shut up and go deal with the cook. He need not tell people that his business is bad. People will look for reasons not to go there anymore. So we must not go around the world saying bad things about Malaysia. Investors will run away. It appears that you do not understand the spirit of my status. Basically, 'Orang nak masuk meminang and then we bad mouth our own daughter... bodoh lah tu' (Telling bad things about your daughter when someone is asking for her hand for marriage).

DUDE B COMMENTED:
Negative vibes alone don't move the markets. The market moves not because of negative vibes but because of the root cause, What gave rise to the vibes in the first place is what needs to be looked at. 'Tiada asap tanpa api' (No smoke if no fire). And those who are concerned would be those who has invested money in the country. Citizens have an obligation to the country not just the sitting Government. True leaders hold themselves accountable. True patriots hold their leaders to account. Doesn't mean you need to shout it to the world. But it also doesn't mean wilfully ignoring it.

DUDE A COMMENTED:
Yes I agree to some of your points but which part of 'We should sort out internal issues ourselves. We must not go around telling people what our issues are.' do you not understand? I am not talking about root cause. I am talking about those who conclude without evidence and starts shouting around. You are trying to argue with me on a different off tangent point here. Be focus. I am talking about the Zombies. Those who feeds on propaganda. Those who feeds on 'fitnahs' (lies). Market actually move on vibes. The vibes that rippled across the globe anticipating the US Fed to raise interest rates caused currencies to move. When the Fed actually moved their interest rates, the market had already priced it in. Yes patriots have the obligation you mentioned but nowadays perception is the name of the game. Does the citizen know or even have the capacity to understand the truth? Where is the truth when we have online purveyors of lies and slander? Lies and slander that catalysed so much hate that the citizen have chosen to be blinded from the truth?

DUDE B COMMENTED:
No one has the monopoly on the truth. Especially not the Government. That is why a free press is so important. In a civil society, you need to allow all voices to be heard especially the critics. It cannot be true that all criticism is unfounded. Equally it is probable that not all allegations are true. The way you get to the bottom of this is to allow debate and treat your citizens like adults, i.e. let them decide. You don't silence the voices you don't agree with. That is recipe for disaster. There is no growth or change without criticism but criticism does not need to be rude or vicious.

DUDE A COMMENTED:
Theory wise you are correct. Practicality wise, you are naïve. I have given up on freedom of press long time ago because of their propaganda approach. What more with the potential conspiracy that can happen with those who control media and use it to their advantage by spreading lies. It is like the economic hitman working their way legally while destroying the country. The power of 'fitnah' (lies) is so powerful that I would rather lose freedom of press than being destroyed by the lies spread by the press. Therefore, the invisible hand of market mechanism no longer work. Too much noise in the system. You talk about Government forcing the freedom of speech to be dampened. What about the DAP Chinese pressuring the MCA Chinese? They (MCA Chinese) have been threatened with all sorts of intimidation tactics and insults by their relatives, friends and netizens. They are intimidated into silence. Is that not a form of forced censorship? Truth is the truth. Others are perceptions or lies. For example, I built a school with my hard-earned net of tax money and people spread news about the money used was stolen. Who but I have the monopoly on the truth, Right?

DUDE B COMMENTED:
You are confusing truth with control. Truth is not something one person or group controls. It is universal. I am not party to all the different conversations but what is being discussed within the country is clearly not the truth, not when other independent parties disagree. You cannot hide the truth by denying it. You cannot turn the lie into a truth by calling it names. You can stop the press, the people, or create firewalls and censor what you like, but you cannot change the truth.

DUDE A COMMENTED:
In the end, I do not think the general public knows the truth. That is why we rely on the authorities. You yourself do not know the truth but you are giving statements as if you know the truth and starts accusing that truths have been hidden. I think when it is clear that there are parties who are determined to lie, the Government should, in their utmost care, shut those people down. This is the problem of a pure democratic methods. There must be some element of control. And I am not referring to Communists approach. I am saying that freedom comes with responsibility. If that responsibility is not maintained, then there should not be any freedom. What is the use of freedom when it is used to destroy everything? So if there is a website that continuously and persistently tell lies that can destabilise the country's financial and capital markets, impact the foreign direct investments sentiments, we should allow such a website to continue doing damage, do we? We cannot embrace freedom of speech to the extent that it rapes the very fabric of truth instead of advocating it. We must embrace it cautiously.




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19 May 2016

Imam Mahadi Sudah Lahir?



www.kopihangtuah.blogspot.com





Baru-baru ni aku sekat dalam conversation pasal Imam Mahadi. Gementar pun ada jugak. Anyway, ni nak share some conversation piece on the matter:


Ada orang kata Imam Mahadi Melayu.... I have read somewhere .... Bani Ta Mim kononnya. Also read that he will be born when a river dries... somewhere in Turkey or Syria... somewhere there.... I cannot remember the name. Anyway, that particular river dried up in 1975 because of some dam construction I think. 

So if he has been born, he would be around the age of 40 by now if we follow the Islamic calendar; and it was said that he will only know that he is Imam Mahadi at the age when Nabi Muhammad got his first revelation. Which means..... he himself probably just found out or about to find out that he is that messiah sometime in 2016. 

You can see all other signals Qiamat happening - eg. Middle East is already in a World War 3 mode when USA, Russia as well as China have already sent troops, etc. Also, aeroplanes are falling down everywhere. The latest one was an Egyptian plane that crashed yesterday. Then we have the tsunamia and the earthquakes. 

We can also see the prophecy of a Habshi ruling Rome (a metaphore for an African ruling the Western power).... i.e. Obama in the USA. We can also see Bedouins building tall buildings and many more. So we are close. Wallaualam.




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11 May 2016

The New Art Gallery by the New Straits Times Creates the New Vibe in Town



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07 May 2016

Malaysians Should Learn to Respect Time




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RUDE MALAYSIANS was the title of this article initially. I felt that it was too rude, hence I had decided to change it. I have lived in many countries such as Australia, the United States of America territories, the United Kingdom as well as Egypt. I have also visited over a dozen other countries for which I have made conscious observations on the subject matter 'Respect for Time'. I sincerely feel that we Malaysians can learn by benchmarking to the behaviours of the people of those countries. Of course, they too have their ugly characters but let us just learn a few good manners instead of highlighting their negativities. We should, however, look at our negativities and endeavour to address them. Here are my thoughts on the subject 'Respect for Time':

Time is valuable. You cannot turn back time. In Economics, the notion of time itself means the opportunity lost of making money, if not used in an economic generating manner. Recently I have wasted hours of my time to travelling through traffic jams and sacrificed other important meetings just to make sure that I arrive on time to an appointment. Not to mention that that intended meeting had also eaten up my personal time after office hours. What was the outcome? A disappointing one. I waited, and waited. I got irritated after awhile. I sent a WhatsApp message, "Hi there. I have arrived for our meeting. Where are you?" The answer that I got was, "Oh no,.. I cannot make it. I have an emergency matter to attend to outside town". The counterparts that I had while working in those foreign countries would never have left me in the dark. They would call me to apologise.

So I wasted my time when I could have scheduled other important meetings or spend time with my family. I have also wasted the diesel in my vehicle and I have also wasted my driver's time. I find it incomprehensible that people fail to use tools such as diaries to remind them of appointments. There are tonnes of electronic applications nowadays to do just that. Perhaps it is not the lack of technology or the use of such technology? Perhaps it is simply an act of "non-courteousness" for lack of a better English word. But hang on,... there is a word.... Rude!

This is something that Malaysians do again and again unlike the people that I have dealt with in those foreign countries mentioned earlier. In London, even the train arrives the station within a margin of 1 minute. Those Caucasians, they will leave a meeting at exactly the end time allocated so that they do not miss the next appointment. Unresolved matters for a particular meeting (due to insufficient time) will need to be addressed at a later meeting to be scheduled in due course. We can learn from this behaviour.

I am not denying that we human beings cannot control certain emergencies. But we human beings can be courteous to inform our counterparts that plans have changed. I am frustrated with such irresponsible character (non-courteousness). Of course, I too am guilty at times. I have decided to start adopting a courteous attitude when it comes to respecting time. Respecting other people's time as well as my own time. And perhaps I should not give face to those who cannot respect my time so that they too will learn to respect time. So, I sent another message to that fellow, "Too bad then. I am not free for another month. Please call my secretary to set an appointment within office hours. This time it shall not be after hours. Have fun." Hopefully that will teach people some lesson. I may sound arrogant but hey, I am an Accountant - the Economic rule 'Time Value for Money' applies without hesitation on my part.

As mentioned earlier, I too am guilty. I have the habit of trying to finish a particular task that I am doing even though I have passed way beyond the allocated timeline. This is my disease,... Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Often people will have to wait for me for the next session. I have to remind myself to control this OCD and not make people wait. Another reason to be late for a meeting is logistic. We Malaysians are doomed with traffic jams, heavy monsoon rains, road accidents and similar sagas which often result in the infamous Malaysian 'Rubber Time', an expression to describe the stretching of an allocated time beyond the acceptable punctuality. This has to stop.

For a start, I have asked my secretary to always consider travelling time from one meeting to another. For this, my driver is to communicate effectively with my secretary on my diary planning to include logistical time management. To drive from Damansara (my office) to Serdang (for a business meeting) yesterday took us one whole freaking hour because of the traffic and the rain when in fact, normal days would only warrant half an hour. Without a time buffer in the diary, this delay can result in many unwanted outcome. A Japanese client might just take a taxi back to the airport and you could have lost the business deal.

There are many aspects of time respecting that we ought to observe. Malaysian are blessed with multicultural and ethnic groups. With that comes various religious habits that need respect over its sensitivities. For example, calling people during Friday prayers is a big no, no. Asking a staff to work on a Chinese New Year eve night is a big no, no, as well. Whatever it is, regardless of your religion, you must always understand your counterparts and make their lives easy. Respecting other religion is a whole separate topic that I can write an article about but suffice to just talk about time management for the time being.

We must not forget that we owe the duty to respect the time that our family expects of us. We must plan our day, our week and so forth to ensure that we balance between the time for work, for family, for friends, for our own hobbies as well as for ourselves. Make sure that we have the time to interact with our kids. Talk about their school. Have dinner with the wife. Go visit our parents. Sometimes we have to work late. That is fine. Work late but do not make it a habit. We have friends whom we used to hang out with when times were less hectic. Do not let that friendship fade away. Catch up with friends over drinks once in a while.

Many of us abandon our hobbies such as reading, jamming, painting and what have you. Why? Live your life to the fullest. Do what you want to do. Do those things that you miss doing. Do the things that you have always wanted to do. This realisation was what made me climb Mount Kinabalu to its zenith! Finally, you ought to give time to yourself too. Have enough sleep. Do the exercise you need. Eat at the right time. These are all simple but important aspects of respecting time.

After going through the thinking process of what respecting time means, I realised that time is a profound element of the universe. We all know that without time, the world could not have existed - well at least this is what I understand from Stephen Hawking's The Brief History of Time. No wonder the English has the saying "Mother Earth and Father Time". Time is divine. Time is ours but yet time is not ours. Time is just given to us to live our lives but time is taken away from us when we meet our death. Time is magical. Time is indeed God's greatest gift to humanity far more valuable than life itself. Without time, there is no life. For this, we must not forget that above all, we must respect time for God's sake. God deserves our attention and for that we have to allocate time for God. At least one major religion had God revealing his commandment to man over the importance of time and I quote this below:

"In the name of Time. Indeed man is in loss, except those who have faith and do righteous deeds, and enjoin one another to [follow] the truth, and enjoin one another to patience" - Surah Al-Asr (The Time) of the Holy Quran.






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28 April 2016

Is ISIS a True Islam? (A Non-Muslim Asking a Muslim)



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NON MUSLIM:
Referring to the website- http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/ , I am interested in your view as to whether it could be true that ISIS is true Islam and everybody else is following wrong teaching? Or do you think the US and Israelis made this up?

MUSLIM:
ISIS is not true Islam. Israel is known to have done anything they want. I do not trust them at all man. USA is just a puppet for Israel. Billions of USD tax payers money goes to Israel. That is enough to raise doubts.

NON MUSLIM:
US aid to Israel you are right except that it is trillions not billions. But what you probably don't know is that Egypt gets very close to the same amount. How can you be so sure of who is in your good books when you may not have all the facts?

MUSLIM:
How can you be so sure?

NON MUSLIM:
I am not sure! That's the point! But I am not making definitive statements on Facebook or Twitter either!

MUSLIM:
Well I am making statements about the death of those innocent kids in Palestine, Syria, etc.

NON MUSLIM:
Yes. Nothing wrong with stating the fact that lots of innocents are dying. It's the conspiracy stuff that I keep finding amusing. How can you be so certain that what you are reposting on social media is true? Or do you not mind if you repost things that turn out to be false?

MUSLIM:
I read the article. Too long. Interesting but contains too many misconceptions that not only confuse Muslims but non Muslims too. Inaccurate conclusions on Muhammad, Quran and Islam as interpretations were cherry picked such as Islam allows slavery and concubines and such, instead of digested as a whole. I will tell you the whole story about the Great Lie of End of Times that specifically refers to ISIS and the 666.
NON MUSLIM:
Agree it is long. I have never read the whole Quran either, which is why I wanted your view. To be clear, ISS do believe that Islam and the Prophet allows slavery and concubines, etc. They have said so many times in their videos and speeches by leaders. So that part is not controversial. What was new to me is that a religious reading of the Quran supports this view. And according to them if you don't agree then you are khufir (non-believer) just like me.

MUSLIM:
I will tell you in what context certain things in Quran have been taken wrongly by this ISIS and why I think Israel and USA is involved. However, my explanation does not involve empirical evidence. It involves certain prophecies by Prophet Muhammad regarding ISIS. It is a matter of my spiritual believe.... that is why I am reluctant to have a conversation with you because you only accept empirical evidence based arguments whereas mine is based on my faith.

NON MUSLIM:
Okay. If it is belief then that's fine. No need to explain, you are right. Hard for me to understand those kind of answers but will accept them. This is not an inquisition. I am just trying to understand.

MUSLIM:

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