Monday, December 12, 2011
(go and get YOUR MONEY but make sure you are genuinely qualified and wont get caught for cheating)
KUALA LUMPUR: Many came by bus, others by motorcycle while a few walked to sign up for the RM500 aid given to households earning RM3,000 or less.
At Inland Revenue Board offices and several schools and other designated places, it was all smiles for recipients under BR1M, the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia scheme.
Sivaranam Velayuthan, 61, said the money was very welcome, especially since he is now unemployed. He and his 60-year-old wife only get RM160 monthly welfare aid and depend on their two children to buy them food.
“We pay RM124 a month to rent our flat in Setapak, and after paying for electricity and water, we have nothing left.
Queue for aid: People lining up to register for their RM500 aid at the BR1M registration counter at the IRB office at the government complex along Jalan Duta.
“This RM500 will be very helpful. I feel relieved,” he said at the IRB office at the government complex in Jalan Duta.
Housewife Siti Rohani Mohamed, 37, said the money would help her take care of her elderly parents.
“They do not have any income. My siblings and I support them, and it is always nice to have some help,” she said.
Ken Tin Weng, a 43-year-old supervisor, said the aid would make it a happier Chinese New Year for him and his family.
“The money will help buy things to celebrate Chinese New Year next month,” he said.
Police officer Edut Bansa, 32, said the scheme would help her mother back home in Kapit, Sarawak.
“She's in her 60s and she raised us as a single mother. It's good that I can help her,” she said.
At SMK Aminuddin Baki near the city, single mother Tan Kim Neo said the money would help pay off her utility bills.
The 54-year-old NGO administrator said it would be better if the Government gave such aid monthly, but was happy nonetheless.
Former rubbish collector Yaakub Budin, 82, said the money would ease some of his financial burden, especially since he is living alone.
He said the cost of living had risen and, having lost his wife to cancer 15 years ago, the sprightly old man said he had no one to look after him.
“I live alone, so I also have to take care of my health,” he said.
Retired labourer P. Ramaya, 59, said the money would help supplement his RM400 pension, but added that it was not enough, especially since three of his five children were still studying.
His wife, S. Supperamah, 56, added that with her thyroid condition, money was tight for the family.
“I only earn RM1,000 as a road sweeper and we have to pay for our children's college fees, our household expenses and my medical bills,” she said.
Counters had been opened since yesterday to register Malaysians who qualify for the aid at all IRB offices. The registration will continue till Jan 10.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Update Foreign selling weighs on KLCI
Written by Joseph Chin of theedgemalaysia.com
Friday, 26 August 2011 15:29
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s stock market continued to be battered by fund selling of bank stocks on Friday, Aug 26 but more worrying was the selling was extending to other fundamentally strong and smaller capitalised stocks also.
Analysts said the selling was from foreign funds on concerns about the economy slowing, worsened further by the US and European economies. As for the recent corporate results, they said the earnings were not that impressive also.
At 3.21pm, the FBM KLCI was down 22.22 points to 1,442.52. Turnover was 602.32 million shares valued at RM1.39 billion. Losers battered gainers 661 to 99.
It was HL Bank and HLFG’s turn to come under selling, down 42 sen each to RM12.36 and RM11.72. CIMB was the most active, falling 23 sen to RM7.02.
Other big capitalised stocks fell, with GENTING BHD  down 33 sen to RM9.45 and KLK 24 sen to RM21.24 while Bumi Armada shed 26 sen to RM3.54 after its disappointing results.
Petronas Chemicals lost 22 sen to RM6.08, Airasia 16 sen to RM3.341 and MRCB nine sen to RM1.96
Friday, July 29, 2011
Most Asian markets down on US debt problem
By YVONNE TAN and JOHN LOH
PETALING JAYA: Market sentiment in Asia took a beating yesterday, tracking concerns in the advanced markets where in the United States, lawmakers are struggling to find a solution to the country's debt problem.
At the close, most key Asian markets were down by an average of 0.5% each.
At home, the 30-stock FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (FBM KLCI) managed to claw back some of its morning losses to finish 6 points, or 0.40%, lower to 1,551.91 after losing more than 11 points in the earlier morning session.
“The scary part of the story is the fact that markets have not priced in the US defaulting on its debt. Should the unthinkable happen next week, then a throw back to the chaos of 2008 would again become a reality,” CMC Markets analyst Ben Le Brun told Singapore's Dow Jones.
Down market: A man walking past a stock market indicator board in Tokyo yesterday. The Nikkei Stock Average lost 145.84 points, or 1.45%, to close at 9,901.35 in line with other Asian markets. — EPA
Essentially, should the United States fail to raise its borrowing limit before an Aug 2 deadline, it could default on its debts for the first time in history. On Wednesday it was reported that talks between policymakers on the matter had reached a stalemate.
“From now until a solution is found ... markets will remain jittery,” Danny Wong, chief executive officer of Areca Capital said.
Most stock markets around the world were climbing last week as a new help plan for Greece had eased some concerns that the other major debt crisis over in Europe, would get worse.
“But this US debt impasse has changed the whole equation. Unless the deadlock is broken, the risk on US sovereign credit will inevitably rise,” MIDF said in a report issued this week.
The first test of ratings on the US will be on Aug 4 when US$30bil in Treasury bills mature, it noted.
That said, fund managers are expecting Asian financial markets to enjoy a positive impact from the US debt issues, more so if talks between US policymakers fail.
“While we acknowledge negative knee-jerk reactions on a near-term basis, we believe Asia ex Japan could eventually benefit from a stronger inflow of funds, strengthening their currencies against the US dollar and boosting financial markets,” MIDF said.
Malaysia is also poised to enjoy the “positive effect”, the research house said.
Wong concurs, saying the spillover effect from the debt crisis in the United States would be positive for Malaysia as investors would look elsewhere to channel their funds.
“I am not overly concerned about any deep negative impact from the US crisis. However, if the United States goes into a recession, the global supply chain will be adversely affected,” he said.
MIDF noted that foreigners have been net buyers of Malaysian stocks in 15 out of the last 18 weeks
Local institutions turned net buyers last week, the first time in six weeks, while retailers were net sellers in the week that just ended.
----we should wait and see and be prepared to jump in, always remember play safe, play smart and never ever try to fight the tide
Sunday, July 24, 2011
FROM THE STAR
Bar Council: RCI 'suicide' verdict unfounded
Posted by: waynebwng
The Malaysian Bar, however, does not concur with the finding by the RCI that Teoh Beng Hock had committed suicide. Such a finding, in our view, is unsupported by the facts and the evidence.
Contrary to the statement made by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, forensic psychiatrist Professor Paul Mullen did not testify that Teoh Beng Hock had a “weak character” that had led to him taking his own life. Professor Mullen also did not conclude that Teoh Beng Hock had committed suicide; rather, his testimony stated that “in [his] opinion, what we learned of Teoh Beng Hock’s personality and behaviour do not suggest any increased risk of suicide”. He further opined that the context of the events that had taken place was not one “which, in [his] experience, leads to suicide in custody”, as he had not been made aware of anything “to explain panic and distress sufficient to drive [Teoh Beng Hock] to conclude his honor had been irreparably tarnished”.
This is in stark contrast to what the Minister reportedly stated during the release of the RCI’s report, namely that Teoh Beng Hock had “truly committed suicide based on his character that had changed from a low-risk group to a high-risk group for suicide after undergoing a continuous and aggressive questioning session”. Professor Mullen’s testimony does not provide the basis for the RCI’s finding of suicide, such as that described in the section titled “conclusion on forensic psychiatric aspects” in the RCI’s report.
It is noted that the RCI found the following:
(1) That the time of death had been between 7:15 am and 11:15 am on 16 July 2009;
(2) That Teoh Beng Hock had not been released at 3:30 am and been left alone sitting on a sofa after his statement had been recorded, as Hishamuddin Hashim had issued a written circular the previous month that “witnesses and visitors in the Selangor MACC office should be accompanied at all times”;
(3) That Teoh Beng Hock had been subjected to a fourth interrogation session after 3:30 am by Hishamuddin Hashim and his officers, which was aggressive and relentless. In addition, the RCI rejected the evidence of MACC officer Raymond Nion that he had seen Teoh Beng Hock lying down unattended on a sofa at approximately 6:00 am;
(4) That the fourth interrogation session was probably between 3:30 am and 7:00 am; and
(5) That the window from which Teoh Beng Hock is said to have fallen out was located conspicuously.
In view of the above, and that there was no evidence whatsoever produced at the RCI hearing of Teoh Beng Hock’s whereabouts or movements after 6:15 am, and the staff of the Selangor MACC office would have begun arriving by 8:00 am, to surmise that Teoh Beng Hock had committed suicide between 7:15 am and 11:15 am requires a leap in logic and an assumption of facts not in evidence.
The Malaysian Bar also notes that the joint expert psychiatric report of Dr Badiah Yahya and Dr Nor Hayati Ali – the experts engaged by MACC who were present during most of the court proceedings and had interviewed Teoh Beng Hock’s family members, housemate and work colleagues – stated:
We did not have any evidence on how the investigation was conducted as there were “no written questions posted to [Teoh Beng Hock]” or audio recording as to ascertain the amount of pressure that he experienced. It is not known whether he had experienced in his mind the effects of being possibly prosecuted on the allegations, whether it would have been devastating for him and/or his organisation. This should require more information on what was said and done in the period taken [sic] into custody until he was found dead.
It is very clear to the Malaysian Bar that full responsibility for Teoh Beng Hock’s death lies squarely and solely on the MACC, and that immediate action must be taken to hold the culpable officers accountable for their behaviour. In this regard, we welcome the reported statement by Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, that “appropriate action would be taken against the officers through the process of law without delay”. The authorities should investigate the relevant MACC officers for possible offences under sections 304 and 304A of the Penal Code, namely for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and for causing the death of TBH by negligence, respectively.
The Malaysian Bar also calls on the Government of Malaysia and MACC to consider:
* offering an unqualified written apology to Teoh Beng Hock’s family, and to the citizens of Malaysia, for his death; and
* making reasonable recompense to Teoh Beng Hock’s family in respect of his death. The Malaysian Bar extends its heartfelt sympathy once again to Teoh Beng Hock’s family and loved ones.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
THE recent arrest of Dr Jeyakumar M. Devaraj, Member of Parliament for Sungei Siput, on charges related to communism was most unfortunate.
Many of us have known Dr Kumar for years, some of us since 1976, when we were classmates at medical school in Universiti Malaya.
In those days the number of students was small and it was thus possible to know one another pretty well after five intensive years together. Most of us knew him first as a fellow university student, then colleague and more importantly as a friend.
In all our years of relationship we have found him an honest and sincere individual, concerned for the plight of the average person. He is a man of integrity and honour, an advocate for the down trodden and those without a voice.
Even as a medical student he was already very much interested in looking out for the interests and well being of the socially and economically disadvantaged segment of society.
Since becoming a doctor and now an MP, he has worked hard to champion the rights of the poor, the marginalised and neglected. Many individuals and communities in desperate need have benefitted from his involvement.
Never have we found him to espouse or communicate communist ideas. He has always stood for social justice. His lifestyle mirrored his beliefs. If anyone cares to trace his service record in the medical services, it will be easy to see that Dr Kumar’s principles and values in life have remained consistent throughout his career.
Unlike many people, Dr Kumar definitely walks his talk. He has shared his time, energy and what little wealth he has with the poor and neglected.
He comes from a distinguished family line. His father was also a very well respected physician and his uncle was the founder dean of the first medical school in Malaysia (i.e. Universiti Malaya).
He could have led a very comfortable life for himself, but he chose to make many personal sacrifices to help others lead a better life.
Many of us have admired Dr Kumar’s passion, determination, discipline and desire to help fellow Malaysians in need. He has been an inspiration to many people.
We appeal to the authorities to free him and others arrested with him.
This letter is signed by 50 concerned colleagues and friends
What can you do?
1) Write to the Press if you can write well.
2) Sign the online petition if you can.
3) Talk to anyone you know and ask them to at least sign the online petition.
4) Vote wisely in the next election.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Investors seeking safe haven bet on gold
By JOHN LOH
PETALING JAYA: Gold prices are on the way up again as concerns over debt levels in the United States and the eurozone prompt investors to move their funds to safe-haven assets.
Investors were also betting that rising agriculture commodity prices would mean higher food prices after the Standard & Poor's GSCI Spot Index, a measure of 24 commodities, rose for the third consecutive week.
Gold, also seen as a hedge against inflation and volatility, has seen gains since 2009 as an impasse over how to lower the US deficit continued.
Investor fears have also heightened amid concerns that deficit levels in eurozone members Italy and Spain could not be sustained in the long term.
A Bloomberg report said gold futures climbed for nine straight sessions to July 15, which is the longest rally since November 2009.
Analysts who spoke to StarBiz said prices would rise above the US$1,600 per ounce level in the near term due to inflation in China and the debt crises in the United States and the eurozone.
Singapore-based Phillip Futures Pte Ltd analyst Ong Yi Ling said gold was likely to rise to US$1,650 in the August to September period as demand was traditionally strong during that time.
She said that with Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke not discounting another round of fiscal stimulus, this signalled to the markets that the recovery in the world's largest economy could still be a drag on global growth.
Ong added that demand for gold in China was high as both an investment and retail purchase. Investors like it as a store of value and hedge against inflation while rising incomes have allowed retail customers to buy the metal, according to Ong.
She, however, noted that price volatility would increase as prices rose.
Meanwhile, a Singapore-based gold trader attached to a bank said gold prices would likely rise to US$1,615 in the next one to two weeks before the market rebalanced from the price rise.
“Funds are flowing to gold from securities due to the volatility of the US and European markets but may return to the US market as second-quarter financial results may beat expectations,” he said.
According to Brad Durham, an EPFR managing director, there was fear in the markets of a potential downgrade of US debt and more negative news from the eurozone.
“It was a good, old-fashioned flight-to-safety trade,” he said in a Bloomberg report.
Data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission also showed hedge funds and other money managers lifted their net-long gold position by 25%, which is the biggest jump since the week ended Sept 8, 2009.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Written by Chua Sue-Ann
Monday, 11 July 2011 11:38
KUALA LUMPUR: Many Malaysian-based property developers are now increasingly spreading their wings to developed economies after an earlier adventure to developing countries such as Vietnam did not pan out well.
In the past few years, larger Malaysian property and construction groups had flocked to Vietnam, once touted as the rising star of Southeast Asia. They include the likes of Gamuda Land (the property arm of Gamuda Bhd), S P Setia Bhd, WCT Bhd, IJM Land Bhd, Berjaya Land Bhd and Ireka Corp Bhd via its London-listed property fund Aseana Properties Ltd.
But now, there appears to be a growing trend for property players to invest in real estate opportunities in Singapore and Australia, and even as far away as Canada and the UK.
A property industry observer opines that earlier optimism on Vietnam’s real estate prospects were largely fuelled by expectation of strong take-up by the sizeable expatriate population in Vietnam — which has since shown to be unsustainable as prices were out of reach of the local population when demand from foreigners dried up.
Over the past two decades — since the “Doi moi” (renewal in Vietnamese) economic reforms initiated in 1986, foreign direct investments have been pouring into Vietnam.
These reforms have made Vietnam one of Asia’s success stories as it made its transition from a command to a more market-oriented economy, with a low-cost industrial base and a growing middle class.
Investors, including those from Malaysia, poured into its real estate sector, where prices and returns were unrealistically high due to a lack of supply of expatriate housing and international-class office space.
Since the 2008 global crisis, however, the euphoria has died as the economy faced economic woes, including rising inflation, a widening trade deficit, currency depreciation, declining foreign direct investments and high interest rates.
“The prices of the higher-end developments there are unsustainable. There isn’t a large middle class population base to support the supply, as prices are aimed at the limited expatriate market. It will take a long, long time for Vietnamese income levels to reach some of the asking property prices before the crisis.
“After experimenting with Vietnam, developers are now going to more stable countries such as Singapore and Australia,” said the observer.
“Local income levels relative to house prices are important, a factor which developers that went to Vietnam ignored during the euphoria,” he said, adding that developed markets such as Australia and Singapore see steady demand from a mix of local and foreign buying interest.
Selangor Dredging Bhd (SDB) is among the list of developers venturing beyond Malaysian shores, having planned several small projects in Singapore.
SDB has three property projects in Singapore, namely its mixed development Okio Residences on Balestier Road, a high-rise residential project Gilstead Two on Gilstead Road and Jia, a low-density residential development on Wilkie Road.
Recently, SDB ventured into London where its indirect subsidiary had in March acquired a piece of freehold land for development.
IOI Properties Bhd, a unit of IOI Corp Bhd, has been active in the Singapore property sector for a while. Together with its joint venture Ho Bee Investment Ltd, IOI Properties is developing the Pinnacle and Seascape at Sentosa Cove on Sentosa Island. It also working with Mergui Development Pte Ltd to develop a high-rise residential project at Mergui Land in Singapore.
Recently, IOI Corp announced its partnership with City Developments Ltd to develop South Beach, a mixed development project with total land area of 8.64 acres (3.46ha) located at a landmark site between Raffles Hotel and Suntec City and next to the Esplanade MRT Station.
But leading the charge in Singapore is UEM Land Bhd which is likely to play a key role in developing projects via its parent Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s tie-up with Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd.
The partnership between the two sovereign wealth funds to develop land parcels came after a land swap deal after Singapore and Malaysia agreed on the relocation of the Tanjong Pagar KTMB (Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd) station in Singapore.
UEM Land’s subsidiary Sunrise Bhd, which it acquired earlier this year, has seen very strong demand for its Quintet development in Richmond, Canada.
Located outside downtown Vancouver, Quintet comprises condominium units and townhouses with a total gross development value of C$400 million (RM1.2 billion) spread over two phases.
Investors snapped up almost all 300 units under Quintet’s Phase 1 late last year within a single weekend. This prompted Sunrise to bring forward the launch of Phase 2 to June this year, which saw 90% of available units snapped up within a weekend. With nearly 600 homes sold, Quintet has sold more homes in the lower mainland area recently than any other development and has broken numerous real estate records, the developer said.
Last weekend, Sunrise launched the final 100 units of the development in Tower E, which has premium mountain and park views.
Property analysts opine that Malaysian developers’ push abroad is in line with the growth trajectory to enable the companies to achieve their aspired scale. “For the bigger Malaysian property developers which want to grow their base and have high annual growth, Malaysia may be too small a market. They would have to go regional,” said one analyst.
Nevertheless, it may prove difficult for Malaysian property developers to go abroad in a big way unless the companies have already built up a strong following and brand, said another analyst.
“For overseas projects, Malaysians would prefer to buy from a developer they’re already familiar with, and can deal with easily here... rather than through long-distance phone calls and correspondence”, the analyst said.
He added that the developers’ plans to expand abroad were also to tap Malaysians who wanted to diversify their assets overseas.
The stronger ringgit also bodes well for Malaysian property groups wanting to venture abroad to buy land and start development, analysts said. Many analysts also pointed to Vietnam’s present economic uncertainties and the policy risks evident in China as the government moves to cool the residential property market in major cities amid fears of overheating.
Although many developed economies, with the exception of Australia, are still facing uncertain economic growth prospects, there are still opportunities to be tapped by property players, analysts said.
In a report last month, CB Richard Ellis (Australia) senior managing director Rick Butler said Australia’s property market showed a pick-up in activity in April after a slow start for the year as buyers began shifting focus towards other Asia-Pacific markets following the Japan earthquake.
“Australia continues to record a noticeable increase in enquiries from Asia-based funds looking to deploy capital previously earmarked for Japan,” Butler said.
Butler expects the pace and volume of real estate transactions in Australia to pick up in the coming months as more assets are made available for sale.
Last month, Magna Prima Bhd announced that it had entered into an agreement to purchase a freehold high-rise apartment project in Melbourne from its developer which had already sold about 62% of the project. The property, named Dynasty Living, is a 25-storey residential development with 320 apartment units which will commence construction in 4Q of 2011.
However, the latest giant to pit its fortune Down Under is S P Setia Bhd which recently launched its maiden Australian property project, the Fulton Lane high-rise apartment and commercial development in Melbourne.
S P Setia is also embarking on joint ventures to develop property in Hangzhou, China, and had recently acquired a project for development in Singapore as it continues its endeavours in Vietnam.
Fulton Lane is a mixed-use project comprising retail space and two blocks of residential units in the northern part of Melbourne’s central business district, with a GDV of A$470 million (RM1.5 billion) and is slated for completion in 2014. S P Setia released about 297 units under Fulton Lane’s Phase 1 launch while Phase 2 will offer over 400 units.
S P Setia’s Fulton Lane property saw strong take-up rates of 70% of its Phase 1 during a recent preview launch, which bodes well for the developer given its ambitions to expand its landbank in Australia.
Australia has managed to escape economic recession during the 2008 global credit crisis, thanks to its booming mining sector, making it an attractive investment destination in the Asia-Pacific region.
Australia’s growing population and a shortfall in housing supply, particularly in the major capital cities of Sydney and Melbourne, have also attracted the interest of investors from Singapore, Indonesia, China and Hong Kong.
Sam Nathan of independent Australian property consultancy firm Charter Keck Cramer noted that Melbourne had been attracting Asia-based property developers and investors in the last five years.
There are currently about 16 high-rise residential projects being undertaken by Asian developers in Melbourne’s inner city region, Nathan told reporters in a recent briefing in Melbourne.
To cope with population growth, Nathan said property players need to deliver 35,000 dwellings per annum but are only completing about 26,500 housing units annually in Melbourne.
Melbourne and Sydney are facing shortfalls in residential properties as demand continues to be driven by immigration-fuelled population growth, rising student population and lifestyle changes.
“This is not a speculative boom. This is a response by the property development community to the fundamental need for dwellings,” he said.
Nathan, however, concedes that prospects appear bright for now, given Australia’s economic prosperity on the back of its booming resources sector due to consumption by China and the Asia-Pacific region.
Like the Vietnam experience, only time will tell if the ventures to the developed economies prove a winning bet in the medium term.
This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, July 11, 2011.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Written by By Azam Aris
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 14:19
As a journalist, I like to revisit some of the issues I have written about. I have gone back to quite a few lately, mostly to update myself and the readers to see if things have changed for the better or remain the same. If there haven’t been any improvements and issues have not been resolved amicably, then there hasn’t been any progress and we are not moving forward as a nation.
Back in 2007, there were a lot of “walks”. Lawyers and their supporters went on a “walk of justice” to Putrajaya to seek the setting up of a Royal Commission to look into the VK Lingam tape. Bersih, the coalition for free and fair elections, was on the road to demand reform of the electoral system, while the Hindu Rights Action Force took to the streets to highlight the plight of the Indian community. Many others took to walking that year and some chose to because they had an occasion to celebrate, for example, International Human Rights Day.
All these demonstrations were deemed illegal by the government as they were not issued permits by the police. But let them walk peacefully, I commented, as there are ways to do it without the risk of havoc and civil unrest.
I quoted a New SundayTimes interview with elder statesman Tun Musa Hitam, the former deputy prime minister, who said as a nation celebrating its 50th independence (then), a multiracial Malaysia was more than ready for peaceful assemblies, and agreed that freedom of expression was not just a middle-class idea.
“Peaceful assembly relates to the right to free expression, the right that is given to human beings to express their views … Freedom in a democratic society is quite clear. People do have a right to demonstrate and they must be given the right,” he said.
In the same article, I pointed out that the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) had expressed regret that the government had ignored its repeated calls to repeal the law requiring permits for public assemblies and processions. Former attorney general Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, who was Suhakam chairman at the time, was quoted by The Star: “In London, you can hold peaceful assemblies and the police are around to prevent public disorder. But here, a group needs a permit even to submit a memorandum.
“The possibility of public disorder should be based on evidence, not speculation or imagination. Unfortunately, a gathering of three is an assembly under Section 27 of the Police Act. The intention is irrelevant. Suhakam wants Section 27 repealed because it goes against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and appears to be inconsistent with the spirit of the Federal Constitution.”
Nearly four years on, this issue about the right to peaceful assembly remains in a muddy quagmire, with no solution in sight. No permits, no rally, no demonstration and no walk. Progress has not been made on how to move forward. There are still no guidelines on how Malaysians can carry out peaceful demonstrations despite the numerous recommendations presented to the government, including proposals by Suhakam, and many effective methods implemented overseas that we can follow.
The right to peaceful demonstration is actually not a complicated matter if the government has the political will. If there were accepted guidelines and rules of assembly, many of the problems today, including parties antagonising each other and bringing up racial issues, could have been avoided.
Instead, the police have made more arrests and questioned Bersih organisers. The Home Ministry has even declared Bersih T-shirts illegal as they are associated with an illegal rally — developments that would not score well for us when it comes to our international human rights ranking.
But Bersih still wants to walk on July 9 — and it wants the police to identify the route — because it feels that since 2007, many flaws have persisted in in the electoral system. The group’s eight demands are reasonable enough, and these include a clean electoral roll, reformation of the postal ballot, use of indelible ink to reduce voter fraud, a minimum 21-day campaign period, free and fair access to media, the strengthening of public institutions to act independently and impartially in upholding the rule of law and democracy, the end of corruption by acting against all allegations of corruption including vote buying and an end to dirty politics.
The Election Commission says it is looking into the demands, but it did not help matters when it admitted to a major error in the electoral roll where six individuals were wrongly registered to the house address belonging to the mother of opposition Gombak MP Azmin Ali.
Malay rights groups Perkasa and Umno Youth also want to walk the same day to present their counter views and express their feelings — some of which have already been expressed in a very aggressive way. The police are perceived as being unfair as arrests have been made against opposition members and Bersih organisers but not against Umno Youth when it demonstrated without a permit in front of the PKR head office and allegedly threatened to burn down the building, ironically, just a few shophouses away from a police station.
Suhakam has maintained its stand and urges the government to allow Bersih 2.0, Perkasa and Umno Youth to exercise their constitutional rights in an orderly and responsible manner. At press time, the police are adamant about stopping the July 9 rally.
So where do we go from here? Let the issue remain unresolved without a workable guideline for many more years to come? Can we continue to deny Malaysians their constitutional rights? Can we become the developed and high-income nation that we aspire to be by limiting what is considered a fundamental right in all developed nations?
The history of the nation’s independence began with Malayans, notably Umno and the Malay pressure groups, demanding that their rights be respected. If not for peaceful street demonstrations, which the British colonial rulers allowed, the Malays would not have defeated the Malayan Union in 1948 — a new British administration that was aimed at further usurping the political power of the Malays and their rulers.
So what is so wrong about peaceful demonstrations today?
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Written by Insider Asia
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 11:48
Berjaya Sports Toto may have disappointed the market slightly when it announced a lower-than-expected dividend for the financial year ended April 2011. The gaming company is among the higher yielding stocks on the local bourse, a characteristic that has appealed to investors, especially in times of market uncertainty.
Indeed, high-yielding stocks, including real estate investment trusts (REITs), may be fairly good investments at this point with bank deposit rates staying near the lower end of their historical range and concern over slowing global economic growth dampening sentiment for the broader market.
Berjaya Sports Toto declared a final dividend of three sen per share in conjunction with its 4QFY11 earnings results. That brings total dividend for the year to 21 sen per share, compared with 25.2 sen for FY09 and 27 sen per share for FY10. At the current share price of RM4.43, shareholders will earn a net yield of 4.7%, still decent though not quite up to expectations. The stock will trade ex-entitlement for the final dividend on July 8.
On a positive note, the company’s gearing improved to 22% as at end-April 2011 with net debt totalling RM98.9 million, down from 40% in the previous financial year. The strengthening of its balance sheet should pave the way for higher dividends going forward, especially on the back of expectations of better earnings.
The company’s earnings for 1HFY11 were hurt by the increase in pool betting duties from 6% to 8% in June 2010. Net profit fell by more than 36% year-on-year for the first six months of its financial year. The negative impact was offset by the subsequent reduction in prize payout from RM200 to
RM100 for the 4D Big special prize in December 2010. Earnings recovered smartly, net profit was up a strong 21% y-o-y in 2HFY11. Nevertheless, net profit for the full-year was still down by some 9% at RM348.1 million.
The double-digit earnings recovery should continue into 1HFY12, given the low base effect, before tapering off in the second half of the financial year. Overall, we estimate net profit will expand to roughly RM406 million.
Dividends should rise in line with the higher earnings. Total dividend payout for FY11 was equivalent to about 82% of net profit. Assuming a similar payout level, dividends should total some 25 sen per share. That would raise investors’ net yield to a more attractive 5.6%.
Its valuations too appear fairly decent, estimated at roughly 14.6 times our estimated forward earnings. Indeed, its prices and yields compare quite well with the usual suspects for historically high yields.
The company recently launched a new 4D Jackpot game, previously offered only by rival Magnum, which has seen positive response from the gaming public. Market observers believe the new game is a much needed boost for the company to protect its market share, which has declined over the past two years.
Nevertheless, growth prospects for its underlying gaming business are expected to remain somewhat pedestrian. Turnover growth is expected to be in single digits. Thus we suspect its relatively high yields will continue to be the stock’s main draw, and should provide good floor support to Berjaya Sports Toto’s share price.
Note: This report is brought to you by Asia Analytica Sdn Bhd, a licensed investment adviser. Please exercise your own judgment or seek professional advice for your specific investment needs. We are not responsible for your investment decisions. Our shareholders, directors and employees may have positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, July 6, 2011.
Nice article to read and share as I owned some BJ Toto, may be times to relook at the fundamentals and buying in some more ?
Monday, July 4, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Who wouldn't want to be worth a million dollars? Many of us dream of achieving this goal, more often than not for the sake of the freedom financial stability would bring. So how can we get there? The answers are actually much easier than you might expect. Here are several easy steps to get you into the millionaires' club. (With a little discipline and the help of some powerful savings vehicles, anyone can hit this mark.)
1. Only Marry Once(haha, interesting!)
According to "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D and William D. Danko, Ph.D, the average millionaire is married with three children. The wives of these millionaires are good budgeters and most often described as even more frugal than their husbands. Interestingly, according to Stanley and Danko's survey, half of these wives do no work outside the home and of those who do, they are most likely teachers.
One upside of only marrying once is avoiding the costs of divorce and of subsequent weddings. The cost of a divorce depends on many factors including income, attorney fees, court fees, and the assets a couple has and how they are divided. The average wedding cost in the United States in 2010, according to The Wedding Report.com, was $24,070.
2. Live Off One Income
One of the advantages of having a life partner is the potential to pull in two incomes. If you are able, consider structuring your set expenses based on only one income, and save what comes in from the other income. Doing so strengthens your financial position in two ways: In case of an emergency or if one partner loses their job, you will not only have less set expenses to cover, but you will also have built up your net worth as a safety measure.
3. Choose the Right Career
According to The Millionaire Next Door, "self-employed people make up less than 20% of the workers in America but account for two-thirds of the millionaires." The book goes on to list an average of 45 to 55 hours spent working per week, so by no means is this the self-employed fantasy of playing golf while your business grows.
The idea of the "right" career can encompass a myriad of factors. Ideally, this would be a career you enjoy, otherwise you likely won't be putting in the dedication required to be successful. The right career would also coincide with overall working trends, or at least not work directly against them. For example, starting a career in typewriter manufacturing may be something you are passionate about, but it would likely suffer due to the current technological trends.
4. Put Your Money in Appreciating Assets
According to Stanley and Danko, the millionaires in their survey invested nearly 20% of their realized household income each year. Nearly 20% of the household's wealth is held in "transaction securities such as publicly traded stocks and mutual funds" and the millionaires tended to rarely sell their equities. Only a very small number of the millionaires surveyed had ever leased a car; few even drove the current year model. Half of those surveyed had lived in their homes for more than 20 years, which, as the authors point out, means they have likely enjoyed "significant increases in the value of their homes."
The end result? These people put a financial priority on assets that will make them money, from their homes to their businesses.
5. Don't Live the Millionaire Lifestyle
Warren Buffett's frugal lifestyle (especially relative to his net worth) is the go-to example for this point. The average value of the surveyed millionaires' homes was $320,000. The bottom line is, those who spend their money on non-appreciating assets cannot put that same money in an asset that will net them a return and increase their wealth. If it is important to you to build your financial worth, stop spending it on new cars, toys and clothes. (The Oracle of Omaha has a net worth in the billions, but his lifestyle is not as rich as you may think.)
The Bottom Line
Becoming a millionaire is easier than ever. While this is a dream that will take work and discipline to achieve, it isn't as far out of reach as you might think. Be smart with your money and before you know it, you'll be able to count yourself among the world's wealthier citizens.
This article is part of a series related to being Financially Fit
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Follow his frugal formula, and you too may wind up with a lot more money than you ever dreamed.
This week Financially Fit covers five tips to build wealth and success.
1. Live Below Your Means.
Being wealthy isn't just a product of your salary or investment prowess; it's learning how to save.
"We can make a lot of money, you can make a little bit of money, but the second you spend all the money is when people get into trouble. Saving is the key to preserving your wealth," says Ed Butowsky, managing partner of Chapwood Capital Investment Management, a firm that manages money for wealthy individuals.
As many Americans realized during the booming real estate market, just because you think you can afford something doesn't mean you should buy it. Keeping an eye on your bottom line will pay dividends over the long term.
2. Bounce Back From Defeat
With nearly 15 million workers unemployed right now in the U.S., it's easy to get discouraged. Don't! Most successful and wealthy people have overcome obstacles and failure along the way. Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple when he was 30. Today, he's a billionaire and a legend. Plus, after getting fired, he created another billion-dollar media company, Pixar.
"Bouncing back from defeat is something all great achievers have. They have this undying belief good things will happen and will continue to happen," says Butowsky.
Take Michael Jordan. "His airness" was cut from his high school basketball team. Motivated by the rejection, Jordan became a star the next season. The rest is history.
Regardless of the profession, the rich and successful tend to have a strong sense of self-worth — key to skillfully navigating an upward career path. Mark Hurd, who was ousted as CEO of Hewlett-Packard in August, couldn't be kept down for long. Using his business skills and connections, in September, Hurd was named president of Oracle. (Hurd and Oracle founder Larry Ellison are known to be close friends.)
4. Have Street Smarts
Bernie Madoff lived the high life for decades, scamming unsuspecting clients, with a money-making formula that proved too good to be true. Only afterward did we learn that with a little due diligence, most clients could have easily uncovered the fraud.
But it's not only the swindlers and the con men you have to watch out for. Many times, friends and family take advantage of the rich. Whether it's a handout or an investment idea, Butowsky advises his high net worth clients that in most cases, it's wisest to just say "no." The best way to do that: have someone else do it for you.
"You need to really set up a wall between you and your family," he advises. "If you don't want to give them (family or friends) money ... saying no is probably a good idea."
5. Buy Cheap
The rich can afford to splurge, but that doesn't mean they do.
John Paulson, a billionaire hedge fund manager, bought his Hamptons "dream house at a bargain basement price," according to Greg Zuckerman, author of the Paulson-based book, "The Greatest Trade Ever." The story has it that Paulson eyed the home while it was in foreclosure. Finally, on a rain-soaked day, he purchased the home on the Southampton town hall steps. He was the only bidder.
On New York City's Upper East Side, Michael's— The Consignment Shop for Women— has been a bargain-hunting destination for more than 60 years. "We have a good percentage of women who can afford to shop on Madison Avenue but really like the idea of saving that money," says proprietor Tammy Gates.
From Chanel to Gucci and Louis Vuitton, the store specializes in high-end designer merchandise for a reasonable price. Speaking of her clientele, Gates says, "they're wealthy for a reason. They recognize that bargains keep people wealthy. Paying top dollar when you don't have to doesn't make sense."
This article is part of a series related to being Financially Fit
Monday, June 27, 2011
And of course she didnot call back and I google and found out so many people got this stupid marketing call form AIA, read it
Subject: NINE Things That Will Disappear In Our Lifetime
Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part on how we adapt
to them. But, ready or not, here they come.
1. The Post Office
Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so
deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain
it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the
minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your
mail every day is junk mail and bills.
2. The Cheque
Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with cheque by
2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to
process cheques. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to
the eventual demise of the cheque. This plays right into the death of
the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never
received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of
3. The Newspaper
The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper. They
certainly don't subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may
go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the
paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet
devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine
publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and
the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid
4. The Book
You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your
hand and turn the literal pages. I said the same thing about
downloading music from iTunes. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly
changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the
price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same
thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and
even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than
half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start
flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that
you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and
you forget that you're holding a gadget instead of a book.
5. The Land Line Telephone
Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you
don't need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they've
always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra
service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers
using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes
This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music
industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal
downloading. It's the lack of innovative new music being given a
chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and
corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio
conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music
purchased today is "catalogue items," meaning traditional music that
the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also
true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating and
disturbing topic further, check out the book, "Appetite for
Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before
the Music Dies."
Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of
the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their
computers. And they're playing games and doing lots of other things
that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time
shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common
denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about
every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it.
It's time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery. Let the
people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix.
8. The "Things" That You Own
Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our
lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply
reside in "the cloud." Today your computer has a hard drive and you
store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on
a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of
that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up
their latest "cloud services." That means that when you turn on a
computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. So,
Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the
Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet
cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you
may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider. In this
virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your
whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That's the good news.
But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be able
to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?" Will most of the things in
our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the
closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or
open up a CD case and pull out the insert.
If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it
would be privacy. That's gone. It's been gone for a long time anyway.
There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even
built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that
24/7, "They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS
coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your
habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to
reflect those habits. "They" will try to get you to buy something
else. Again and again.
All we will have left that can't be changed are "Memories".
And then probably Alzheimers will take that away from you too !
Sunday, June 26, 2011
good stock bad stock- Finance and Investment through a skeptic's eyes has highlighted a good article for reading Value Restoration Project
Do give it a good read!
Run, Don’t Walk, Away From Forward P/Es
Posted on: 2011/06/20, In: Investment Philosophy, Secular Cycles
One of the most consistent messages I’ve heard throughout my career is that the market is inexpensive or at least “fairly valued” based on next years earnings. We hear it at heights of euphoria and the depths of despair. I don’t recall ever hearing the consensus or even a vocal minority calling the market overvalued based on forward earnings estimates. In fact, we rarely even hear perma-bears cite high P/Es based on forward estimates as the primary cause for concern. Over a decade with low and often significantly negative returns, how can that be?
A Flawed Exercise
What makes market calls based on forward P/Es so dangerous is that the concept makes such good intuitive sense. We know the market’s primary function is to look forward and discount the future back to the present. We know that valuation, as James Montier puts it, is “the closest thing we have to a law of gravity” in finance. We know that earnings, while flawed in many ways (another discussion for another day), are essentially what investors want to pay for. To confuse matters worse, when analyzing an individual company’s stock, skilled investors absolutely would want to forecast forward earnings, make pro-forma adjustments from GAAP and then estimate a fair value based on a P/E multiple of that estimate.
Valuing the market on forward earnings estimates is a flawed exercise which often leads to incorrect assumptions about future market returns. It just doesn’t work very well.the rest of articles
Saturday, June 25, 2011
By LEONG HUNG YEE
KUALA LUMPUR: Despite the sluggish performance of initial public offerings (IPOs) in major markets, investors and analysts are generally bullish on the IPOs of MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd and Eversendai Corp Bhd next week.
Analysts said the IPOs were expected to be well-received despite the perceived lack of quality offerings on the market recently
They said the two IPOs were “likely to garner attention” of large institutional investors given its size. “There's also a sheer diversity of companies being listed, which gives investors a better choice to diversify their portfolios,” an analyst said.
OSK Research head Chris Eng said MSM and Eversendai might be considered “small” to foreign investors and as such were unlikely to be affected by regional sentiments.
However, he said Eversendai would have to compete for funds not only with MSM but also Bumi Armada.
“We feel positive about MSM given its strong government ties, defensive business model and leading position in the Malaysian sugar industry. The fact that its shares are in demand and it has just reported a strong jump in profits points to a good debut,” Eng said.
MSM's net profit for the first quarter ended March 31 soared 416.5% to RM62.2mil from a year ago, mainly due to increase in sales and higher prices of refined sugar products.
Revenue for the quarter rose to RM503.17mil from RM497.75mil.
“The positive sentiment could be attributed to the better quality of these soon-to-be listed companies which have strong financial track record,” the analyst said adding that the recent strong financial results posted by MSM would attract investors.
He added that investors' appetite for these mega IPOs appeared to be returning after a dismal performance from few ACE counters recently.
MClean Technologies Bhd and XOX Bhd have been underperforming since it got listed. MClean made its debut on the ACE Market last month at an IPO price of 52 sen. The counter closed at 25.5 sen yesterday, half its IPO price. XOX fell 35% on its debut to 52 sen from its IPO price of 80 sen. A day before listing, the mobile virtual network operator announced it made a net loss of RM1.67mil for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. The counter continued to slide, closing at 41 sen yesterday.
“Not all the newly-listed companies are seeing bad performances in their stock prices. The perception is there because a few of the recent listings are not doing very well.
“But Focus Lumber Bhd, Boilermech Holdings Bhd, Asia Media Group Bhd and Benalec Holdings Bhd are performing well. So, it also boils down to the company,” said a local fund manager.
Analysts said Prada SpA and Samsonite International IPOs on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange did not get the type of reception they were looking for. Prada's shares were traded flat on their debut on the Hong Kong stock market yesterday. Samsonite, which fell 8% on its Hong Kong debut last week, has recovered its losses and was trading at HK$14.58 early yesterday - slightly higher than its listing price of HK$14.50.
Nevertheless, analysts did not expect the regional sentiments to affect the listing of MSM and Eversendai.
Year-to-date, Bursa Malaysia has received 16 new companies. Besides Eversendai and MSM, other mega IPOs this year are Bumi Armada and UOA Development Bhd.
Bumi Armada is expected to be listed this year while Old Town Bhd announced its plan to list on Bursa Malaysia's Main Market on July 11.
Eversendai IPO's institutional offering had amounted to more than 2.5 times the 202.04 million shares on offer to investors under the bookbuilding exercise, while the public portion was 7.3 times oversubscribed. The final institutional price has been fixed at RM1.70.
Still bullish?I can't remember when is the last time I apply for an IPO, even missing the not too long listing of PETROCHEM,why?Not in the mood to analyse all these IPO, it will take up too much of my time.I would to just do a follow-up of whatever exiting stocks that I owned.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
'Red-flagged' firms hit by investor backlash
by Goh Thean Eu
Kuala Lumpur: Companies that were red-flagged by auditors and those that reported stark difference in their audited net earnings, saw their stocks punished by investors yesterday.
The selldown in some of the companies was systematic, as investors were wary of their long-term prospects.
Since Friday, some 16 companies either had their books qualified by external auditors, or had revealed significant variance in their audited net earnings.
From the 16, eight companies saw their share prices fall, while two closed unchanged. Shares in the other six companies were untraded yesterday.
Sumatec Resources Bhd saw its share price fall by as much as 48 per cent to close the trading day 13 sen a share.
The Sumatec warrant, which also one of the top 10 actively traded securities fell by more than 50 per cent to 7 sen.
Sumatec's auditors SJ Grant Thornton was not convinced of the company's ability to secure new contracts.
The auditor highlighted that Sumatec did not impair goodwill on its subsidiary's consolidation and deferred tax assets of RM33.48 million and RM13.15 million respec-tively.
It also added that the company's trade receivables of RM5.91 million have been long outstanding and not impaired."
I think, in most cases, the auditors are just making sure that provisions are being made on uncollectable debts. The rule of thumb today is to make provision for debts that can't be collected in six months," said Jupiter Securities head of research Pong Teng Siew.
Other notable stocks that fell include DBE Gurney Resources Bhd and Alam Maritim Resources Bhd.
DBE's shares fell by more than 5 per cent after it reported an audited net loss of RM3.71 million, more than 17 times of its unaudited net loss of RM202,000.
Meanwhile, Alam Maritim's shares fell by 4 per cent after it announced an audited net loss of RM12.9 million for the financial year ended December 2010, as compared to its unaudited net profit of RM2.2million
According to analysts, these variance between unaudited and audited numbers will, to a certain extent, change investors' long-term view of the companies."
As you can see in today's selldown in some of the stocks, investors do take into account all these. Variations like these will make investors cautious of a company's sustainability and the credibility of its unaudited accounts," OSK Research head of research Chris Eng added.
While most analysts feel that most of these "incidents" are mainly driven by companies' misinterpretation of the new accounting standards, some feel that it could be a sign of more bad news to come."
I think we can't discount the fact that it may be a prelude to bigger adjustments later," said Pong.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Technology can never replace human touch
Monday Starters - By Soo Ewe Jin
COMMUNICATION is a two-way process. Someone wants to share information, and someone must be willing to receive that information.
Whether the information is sent via a smoke signal, like in the days of old, or through the latest technology, it is totally useless unless it is received, processed and acknowledged.
We may rejoice that we have lots of e-mail storage space, and that we can stay in touch with anyone, anywhere, anytime. But the reality is that you probably only want to stay connected with a handful of people, and the bulk of those connected to you are conveniently ignored.
If we choose to ignore e-mail from people we know, what more unsolicited e-mail?
The Internet works in a rather mysterious way. People hunt for information and if that proves interesting, it will spread like wildfire. Even a local video clip on how snatch thieves attacked a lone motorist in Section 16 has been watched by more than 350,000 people.
Security consultant Benjamin Seow is amazed how people have flocked to view this clip after he posted it online. But I reckon that if he had offered the clip to, say the police, for it to be uploaded on the official police website as a form of public education, it would not have generated such traffic.
A friend who works for a major airline was sharing with me the amazing viral campaign they did recently which was so successful that the system crashed and they had to postpone the launch by another week. It turned out pretty well in the end, with sales hitting record highs. He is now spending long hours trying to figure out the power of new media.
The Internet is full of such stories, which is why the big guys, even with their fantastic resources, generally cannot fathom how a seemingly unknown person can create a bigger impact than them.
I think at the end of the day, it is about making people feel special.
In recent weeks, I have received many thoughtful e-mail and letters from many people, near and far. You cannot template such forms of communication because everyone has gone the extra mile to pen those words to me. And so, my response is to do likewise.
People click when there is genuine communication, not because it is being forced onto them.
Back in 1996, during the great national blackout, I observed how the Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) staff worked non-stop to restore power. When they came to my neighbourhood, one person angrily told them that the food in his fridge had gone bad, he could not watch TV, and that it was too hot to stay indoors.
One of the workers replied, “Sorry for the inconvenience, but I have not even had the chance to go home and see my family for the past 48 hours.”
That effectively silenced the whiner and we all gave the TNB crew a round of applause after they finished their work.
I subsequently wrote an e-mail to the then TNB CEO Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali, thanking him for all the hard work his staff had put in. Those were the early days of the Internet and there were no Blackberries and IPhones that connected such senior people to the masses, so I wasn't expecting a reply.
But I did get a reply. A really personal reply where he expressed his thanks that he finally got one positive e-mail from the slew of thousands of angry e-mails and phone calls, especially from VIPs demanding their power be restored first. I was just an ordinary consumer saying thanks but the information was conveyed at the right time and at the right moment, and so it made a difference.
So, to those who want to communicate, be it to millions of people at any one time, or to just that one special person, remember that there is one thing that technology can never replace. It is called the human touch.
------this is another good article to share, I like the first sentense "COMMUNICATION is a two-way process. Someone wants to share information, and someone must be willing to receive that information."
------Those higher up, please remember communication is a two way traffic, never ever try to force anything on us, please!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Making money from hobbies
By EUGENE MAHALINGAM
A HOBBY can be more than just a pleasant past-time activity. With some effort and perhaps a little bit of luck, it can make you money. One famous example is Famous Amos, the popular US-based cookie company.
While not many will strike gold with their hobbies like the founder of Famous Amos, here are some examples of individuals who have managed to turn their favourite past-times into decent money churners.
Adelyn Koh currently owns and runs the Junk Book Store, which, according to the Malaysia Book of Records, is the biggest second-hand bookstore in the country.
But the idea of selling second-hand books actually started from a hobby, or rather passion for old books, says Koh.
“Yes, it started from a hobby of my husband's. He used to collect a lot of books and then one day we felt, why not try selling them?”
The rest, as they say, is history. Koh now operates from a three-storey shoplot in Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, which is just five minutes away from Central Market a long way from humble beginnings of selling books from a 600 sq ft room in Jalan Ampang.
Junk Book Store, established in 1990, today has an inventory of more than one million rare and used books, with the oldest book dating back to the 19th century.
Many individuals are known for “being good with their hands,” and don't realise its significance until someone else starts appreciating it.
For Ratnam, 58, who resides in Johor, tinkering with his 1967 Volkswagen Beetle when he was in his 20s was nothing more than just a weekend hobby.
“I started small, first just changing the engine oil and perhaps adjusting the brakes. Than I moved on to bigger jobs, like engine overhaul and transmission replacements. It was always a hobby and I had no intention of doing it for profit,” he says.
Then one fine day, a friend, who also owned a Volkswagen Beetle, couldn't get it started and went to Ratnam for help.
“I managed to diagnose the problem quickly and got it started,” he says, adding that he did not charge his friend in return for the help.
“My friend kept coming back for minor jobs and would occasionally introduce me to some of his associates (who also owned Volkswagen Beetles) and they started bringing their cars to me for repairs.
“I never asked for payment but many of them felt obliged to pay me. Now, more than 20 years on, I still get people coming to me to repair their (Volkswagen) cars for them and it provides me with some pocket money,” says Ratnam.
A retired postal worker, Ratnam says he's practically a full-fledged mechanic today.
“It started out as a hobby. Little did I know it would help me make extra money now that I'm retired.”
Khatijah, 64, from Kuala Lumpur, used to bake cookies for her son, a banker, and his colleagues. Soon, word spread and she was preparing food for the entire office.
“I first started baking them on weekends for the family. My son would take the remaining biscuits to work the next day. Initially, I started making extra because his colleagues also wanted to taste the cookies.
“Soon, I started getting requests from the bank manager himself. Some of them wanted the cookies for their family and friends and the orders started getting bigger,” Khatijah says, adding that she makes a “nice small income” from her cookies and biscuits.
Many individuals who are active in sports or just do it as a hobby have managed to reap more than just its “health benefits.”
Kepong Baru-based Universe Gym manager-cum-trainer John Anthony was just a regular member at the gym when it began operations in the late-80s. Then, it was owned and run by a close friend of his.
“I would go to the gym in the evenings to exercise, just like anyone else. I would help to take over whenever my friend had to leave the gym to attend to personal matters.”
Due to unforeseen circumstances, John's friend passed away and the gym was closed for about a month.
Fearing that the business would be sold off, John took it upon himself to reopen the gym and manage it on a temporary basis until a suitable partner could take over its operations.
“No one else wanted to take over and the gym was just idling away. I felt that it would have been a waste if it was shut down,” he says.
That was in 1996. Fast forward to today and John is still running the gym. What's more, business has grown and its members have more than tripled.
“We've also shifted to a bigger location and (we're) now the most hard-core gym in Kepong,” he says in jest, adding that he now mans the gym on a daily basis and earns a reasonable side income from it.
John says most of the money is used to maintain and upgrade the gym.
Khalid, 32, from Terengganu, aspired to become a professional football player when he was younger but opted to do something else when he realised that teaching was his true calling.
He still has a passion for the sport and on weekends organises football classes for kids.
“It was a hobby of mine (playing football) and it still is. As a teacher, my weekends are free and I thought, why not try to earn some extra income from it?”
Khalid says he started giving free football lessons to his siblings' children at a nearby field and soon “the group” got bigger.
“Today, I'm coaching kids from my entire neighbourhood,” he says, adding that he does make much from the lessons he gives.
“It's not much, but I don't really do it for the money. The money is just a bonus,” Khalid says.
----Reading through the star today and found this interesting article ---- making money from hobbies,wellsaid.I should start looking at my hobbies(so many half-hearted unproductive hobbies!) and see whether I can make something out of it.
Monday, April 18, 2011
why I say so? I missed the buying?No ! just read through the Hwang dbs comments, I am still not convinced to start parking my limited funds for the BURSA.
Today's Market Preview
Our Malaysian bourse will probably kick off the week on a positive footing today. Its benchmark FBM KLCI may rise to challenge the immediate resistance level of 1,530 ahead.
Essentially, investors who trimmed their positions last week due to uncertainties over the outcome of the Sarawak state election on
Saturday could make a comeback following the victory of the Barisan Nasional ruling coalition. If so, then Sarawak-linked stocks that were sold down last week – such as Cahya Mata Sarawak, Naim and Dayang – may get a lift today.
Other counters that are likely to be of interest include: (a) Proton, in response to a news report saying that the government could be setting up an advisory council to study a proposed merger with Perodua; (b) Tomei, which has just announced a single-tierdividend per share of 3.3 sen, translating to a dividend yield of 4.9% based on its last done price of RM0.68; and (c) Smartag as it makes its debut listing on the ACE Market this morning