Sunday, September 25, 2011

it's raining girls

Liverpool beat Wolves 2 - 1 :)

The Kitchen Musical

No matter how much I love my life right now; there are always moments where I feel absolutely suffocated and choked in it. I guess it’s the same for everyone else. Since September 11 – I have been feeling very down, lots of negative energy inside of me, my motivation is zero, my morale is low, I can't focus, every day is a struggle to go through…I don’t know…maybe I see that there are just too many flaws, weaknesses and imperfections within me, I know what is the root of the problems are but I just have no idea on how to overcome them. You know the drill – the feeling of being rotten at relationships, awful taste in men, downright terrible at my job, no friends in keeping me semi-sane & grounded and the remedy for every failure & every humiliation there is. I feel under-achieved too. I remembered that I used to envy the rich man's daughter in school, the friend I had who could afford everything which I couldn't. I am never exactly poor, but I still compared my life and what I didn't have to what they had. The branded designer clothes that I could not afford. The branded cars that they drove, that I didn't have. The glamorous job that they attained, which I failed to get. The big house that they are staying which is beyond my reach. The perfect life that they are leading. You know, things like this, eventually they drive you crazy! Because then you start to blame life, blame God, the universe, karma, and then you start counting your birth dates & birth times and to look at horoscopes & palm readings to find an excuse for your own miserable life.

The truth is, I have been feeling a bit…unfulfilled…of late. My life is truly a blessing in every way, GOD is in my life doing wonders...but they are also very, very time consuming and challenging. It has been getting easier and easier to lose sight of how lucky I am. I try not to think about it, about anything, about everything that's happening in my life right about now. Actually, that is a lie. I think about it all the time, every waking moment. It's part of me. It's what makes me who I am, and that has always been a problem and a solution in itself.

Maybe the first step is to face my dark side and acknowledge that it exists. I don’t think I’m allowed to be happy. It’s as though I’ve been slotted into this category on earth where I’m meant to be sad and miserable.

Well, tomorrow is another brand new day :) I will try again tomorrow. Good, Better, Best.

Protect Our Pockets

Recently, all of the major Telcos in Malaysia decide to impose a 6% tax on prepaid lines. Then it got rejected due to the government’s intervention…which I strongly support.

Why add the additional burden to the consumers? Especially now. When times are not that good. Majority of the prepaid users are students, children and those from the lower income group. These groups of customers pay as they use and the users have to pay upfront for it. If the 6% tax is imposed, the customers will have to pay more…a reload top-up of RM 5 will cost RM5.30, a reload top-up of RM10 will cost RM10.60, a reload top-up of RM30 will cost RM31.80, a reload top-up of RM50 will cost RM53 etc.

The only parties that will gained financially from all of this are the Telcos themselves because prepaid users represents the biggest customers group. According to national statistics – DIGI’s prepaid users represents a total of 83% out of their 9.3million customers, Celcom’s prepaid users represents a total of 77% out of their 11.7 million customers and Maxis have a total of 12.8 million customers of which 74% are prepaid users. That’s a lot of money to be gained. The Rakyat is already paying for all kinds of taxes – so please no more taxes! And paying taxes for prepaid lines is totally ridiculous!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

War and Peace – 9/11

Remembering September 11 ten years on.
September 11, 2001 changed the world as we knew it.
Almost 3,000 people lost their lives, and many more were injured in the terrorist attacks that struck America. With the tenth anniversary of that terrible day approaching, tributes are being held across the US. I think it’s very important for everyone to reflect, to remember and to unite on their way of life and their relations with others.

10 years back, when the event took place – I can’t exactly remember where I was when the incident happens. Maybe I was at home. I don't know. I can't recall. I was 19 years old at that time and was still studying at Olympia College. But I take notice that for the past 10 years, this one single event has changed the world’s political, social, economic & religion landscape dramatically every year since then. And I find that there are more negative impacts out there. And there are more to come.

"I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world" – Socrates.

The Manhattan skyline before the terrorist attacks took place on the morning of September 11, 2001
More than 3,000 people were killed in the airline attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and in the crash of a fourth hijacked plane in Pennsylvania

Desolation after the collapse of the 2 towers

The Tribute In Light Memorial has shone behind the Statue of Liberty since 2002

New York's skyline today

The White Knight

The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced and co-written by my favorite film-maker Christopher Nolan. In 2008, I didn’t have the chance to watch this Batman movie; I only have the chance to catch it late last night. I think Christian Bale is the perfect Batman of all time, better than Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer & for sure George Clooney. Not only in the looks department but also in the acting prowess.

And Heath Ledger – is the perfect villain. The Joker even outshone the Batman & Two-Face in this movie. The late Heath Ledger plays the Joker’s character to perfection - a psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy. And Heath even went one step further by generating a very distinctive voice and body posture for the Joker, unlike Jack Nicholson’s colorful character in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film. Heath's Joker is more scarry, more chilling. A great actor of his generation. Unfortunately, Heath Ledger’s life was cut short…he could have go on to make great movies. The Dark Knight - 2 thumbs up!

Simple Man Do Simple Job

Work Tales – no, I didn’t manage to close my portfolio positive for August MTD & YTD. I thought I would. I thought I can close at least August MTD positive and narrow the negative gap for YTD. Instead MTD was still negative and the gap for YTD just got bigger :( The culprits – it was due to the calendar effects because 2010 Raya was in the beginning of September (therefore, the Malay communities start to shop at the end of August) where as 2011 Raya was in the end of August (and the customers already bought their items in the middle of August) and my consignment counters in Subang store let me down by RM100k. It’s depressing not being able to achieve what I want. But that’s life I guess. But when you feel like you are working hard, negotiating hard with the suppliers to get the best price in town & the stocks, pushing the Store Team hard to do the sales by communicating with them on a everday basis and being a professional on the job, and then for some reason you are not getting the results that you want, it is difficult. I braved the rain and the cold, but somehow it was just so not worth it this time around. I’ve seen so many things, met many different people, experienced different emotions and grew different mindsets. So I’m working really hard by not putting the pressure on myself and the key is to keep the focus in whatever I’m doing. Therefore, I will try again tomorrow. Life is complicated and long.

If you're lost, hurt, tired or lonely
Can't control it, try as you might
May you find that love that won't leave you
May you find it by the end of the day
You won't be lost, hurt, tired and lonely
Something beautiful will come your way

By Robbie Williams from Something Beautiful.

On another hand – Aurora has joined the French on Tuesday, yup; that nasty Aurora from M13…one of the strong pillars in Boss’s camp together with Thor, Joachim & Guillermo. This is going to be so interesting to watch :) Boss is still attached with the English, Thor is a GM in a NGO, Joachim have joined Watsons and Guillermo is with Houz Depot. If all 5 of them were to make a come a show it will be. But for now, one Aurora is already enough and is capable of creating fire for everyone :)

Nostalgia Bash

Madam Kwan’s, Empire Shopping Gallery – Madam Kwan originally started out as Sakura Restaurant along Jalan Imbi which was very famous during my parent’s dating era. A few years back, they rebranded and opened new outlets under the name of Madam Kwan's which offered old favorites from the Sakura menu plus new ones. What stood out with these restaurants were their interior designs as they were all done up in ultra modern contemporary and clean lines design. Suddenly, it was hip and happening again :)

I was looking forward to the dinner. Trix just came back from Singapore, so I organized a small dinner for Trix, with Miss Klein, Damian, Celtic, Mel Jag & Torres in attendance on Tuesday night. It was a fantastic gathering. At times during the dinner, I stop mid-sentence, I gaze across the table and think; these people are absolutely perfect for me. For my heart, my soul, my everything. I am truly blessed to have these friends in my life. We have a great time, good food, good laughs, good jokes, good catching-up with each other - basically everyone was taking it easy and having a good time together :) I just love it when we smile & laugh together. It’s adorable, infectious and it makes my heart crumble into a thousand happy pieces. I am inspired that day by lots of love, laughs, good times, thoughts, talents, silence, profundity, confidence, big hearts, passion and giving. There will be heaps of more ‘adventures’ ahead of us, I’m sure.

Giant Slayer

Liverpool was beaten by Stoke City 1 – 0 :( Aargh…we lost 3 full points, it was only Stoke City and yet we can lose to them. Or not, we would have secured those 10 important points and be on par with Chelsea. Other teams also buy strikers, we also buy strikers but why can’t our strikers be as good as Manchester City’s new boy Sergio Aguero or Wayne Rooney from Man U? Look at our Andy Carroll. He comes into Anfield with a very hefty price tag on him but until now, he has yet to make a very significant impact in scoring the goals. This year EPL race is definitely a very tight one. The real contenders that I see so far are Man U, Man City and Chelsea. The Reds need to get their acts together, win every games and not to drop a single point at all. It’s a neck-to-neck battle.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Lady Castle

I’ve got to jot this down. Log into YouTube and types in Public Bank’s 45th Anniversary and watch the video. 5 years down the road, when the bank is celebrating their 50th Anniversary, I can make a comparison between the two events and laugh myself out loud all over again. (This clip is very heavy for me to upload in here at this moment of time). I’m sure a lot of money has been invested into this event, the hall was huge, there were big flags & little flags everywhere and I think that the corporate figure himself is in too much of self-indulgent no?

Have you seen the video on YouTube on Public Bank’s 45th Anniversary grand dinner with Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow? If you have not, you have absolutely no idea what you’re missing. Your life is not complete until you’ve watched the extravagance that went into a bank’s birthday celebration.

If you’re stuck on Streamyx and not UniFI-ed like lucky me and the video doesn’t load no matter how many times you refreshed it, I’m going to do you a favor and describe to you in great detail what is in the 7min 50sec video.

Entrance shot zooms into The Mines Hotel so the event must have taken place there. Lots of colorful costumes — both cosplay and cultural. Entering a large hall with a stage up front and hundreds and hundreds of dinner tables at the back. Police escort with their big bikes enters the premise, their blue lights and sirens blaring. All dinner guests were standing up and waving their little flags in the air. A group of singers were at the stage with the costumed peps, singing these words to the tune of K’naan’s Waving Flag:

Oh oh oh oh, Welcome Tan Sri Teh
Oh oh oh oh, Welcome Tan Sri Teh
Cheering loudly for Tan Sri Teh, Man of honor, a living legend
Let’s rise up now and sing out loud, He’s our champion, make us feel proud
He gives us mission, gives us fire, Gives us vision, takes us higher
Celebration it surrounds us, Jubilation all around us
Forthy-fifth anniversary, We celebrate our victory
Come cherish this splendor night, Lift our hearts with great delight
We’re getting stronger, We’re living in fame
We’re here together, Welcoming you dear Tan Sri Teh
Welcome Tan Sri Teh, Welcome Tan Sri Teh
Today is your day, We welcome you.

You get the gist…

Tan Sri Teh in his tux enters the premise standing at the back of a slow-moving white truck with the car number plate ‘PBB 3′ accompanied by 2 young ladies behind him. If you watch carefully, there is a chair in the truck too. A throne-shape-chair. More girls walked next to the truck. He waves to the 3,000 strong manically cheering employees.

It was like watching Singapore’s orchestrated National Day Parade. Ranks up there with any major games opening ceremony. Only thing that was missing was the torch of flame. All that’s lacking is the fireworks show.

Tan Sri Teh reached the stage. He looked around at his huge empire. Waved. Smiled as the last lyric of “WE WELCOME TAN SRI TEH HONG PIOW” was sung out.

An alien spaceship was lowered to the centre of the stage. Hot young girl bent down and told Tan Sri Teh about the alien spaceship. It came in peace and bearing a huge cake.

Tan Sri Teh was chauffeured nearer to the stage because the few steps he could have walked would have screwed up the choreography.

Then came the most awesome part: in a bid to welcome Tan Sri Teh to go on the stage, all costumed people went on their knees…both hands stretched out facing the Tan Sri as if asking for donations or holy water.


Okay I’m going to stop narrating because I just told you the best part.

Want to guess how much time the PBB employees took to learn the lyrics to the amended Waving Flag and Happy Birthday tunes? I don’t know but it must have been one minute too much. And I wonder who came up with the lyrics? The big man himself?

OK I’m jealous; I really wanted to be at the dinner, heh. It’s good to be Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow.

Oh look, fireworks. I wonder how their 50th Anniversay will be like...

sharing from within to better and beautify the world

A few months back, I bought a Robbie Williams CD – In And Out Of Consciousness. Greatest Hits 1990 – 2010. Robbie is one of my favorite male singers of all time, due to his unique and powerful vocal & his good song writing skills, churning life meaningful lyrics that touches your heart. Plus also his cheeky-bad-boy-cocky looks too. He was also my favorite Take That member, although during that time, the majority of the band's material was written and performed by Gary Barlow. Mark Owen, Howard Donald & Jason Orange were just the supporting cast. This CD contains all of my favorite songs – Come Undone, Something Beautiful, Sexed Up, Rock DJ, She’s The One, Strong, No Regrets, Millennium, Angels, Old Before I Die, Mr. Bojangles and even Everything Changes (an old track from Take That) – but this CD left out 1 favorite and important song of mine – A Better Man. I love the words :( How can the recording company be so careless to leave this track out?! Nonetheless, this is still a very strong and good compilation album for all of the loyal fans out there or to any newbie who wants to hear the greatness of Robbie Williams.

And this is how the new 2011 Take That look like.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

above & beyond

Check this out - Adidas came out with their very own Jeans Collections recently. I have yet to see the actual product in the local market yet…but certainly this new fashion development is very interesting. Not only that this new collections serve as another avenue of money-making for the international company but it also reinforce their valuable brand name further. It’s also the right time to launch their denim assortments since Adidas have diverted a little for some time now by producing many casual lines for their apparels and shoes range. So how is Nike going to re-act? Launch their very own Denim Collections too? How about Reebok Jeans in the near future? This business move will be very exciting because it’s entering into Levis, Gap, and other traditional brand name market territory. But it’s also not the first time; since many years ago, well-known fashion designers such as Armani, Versace, DKNY, CK who designs fashions for the catwalk also enter into this foray. Actually, for any brand owners out there, to own a general fashion line like jeans these days is very easy, just go to mainland China and get a local & reliable manufacturer to do OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and just sew your brand name on it, mass produce it and voila – your merchandise is ready to be marketed. That is what Nike and Adidas is doing. They don't manufactured their merchandises, they only own the brand name, they just provide the designs, have strict quality control inspection and initiate their own advertising, marketing & promotions plan. Anyone with the money can do this by themselves too. Hmmm...

Friday, September 02, 2011

100s & 1000s

Lunch with S – since it was Raya, all of the eating outlets in Shah Alam was closed, so the both of us hang out at McD; like how we used to do when we were in high school. Hanging out with my good friend is a nice reminder to myself because sometimes people forget that I am a NORMAL PERSON! I do have a life. I do have a personality outside of my work. And I DO like talking about things that are not work related. I’m a good friend, faithful, funny & a little bit clueless :) Friendship is a very strong theme for me, especially over the last few years where I have gained and lost a number of friends and so-called friends. My take on friendship:

(1) Different friendships represent different parts of our lives. Some parts may not even be present before we develop this friendship.
"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive" – Anais Nin.

(2) Real friendships grow with you. They know you and accept you at all stages of life. And, they never ask you to stop evolving.
"A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently invites you to grow" – Dianne Hales.

(3) Although it may seem easy to find friends when good times come along, it’s actually when bad things happen where you’d find your REAL friends.
"In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends" – John Churton Collins.

(4) Real friends survive the test of time, distance, and long periods of silence.
"It’s been said that friends can go for long periods of time without speaking and yet never question the friendship. These friends pick up where they left off like they just spoke yesterday, despite the time and how far away they live from each other. They don’t hold grudges; they understand that life is busy and that you will ALWAYS love them" – UnKnown.

Final words on friendship in this post:
(5) I’ve been told by people who know me well that whilst I have learned to enjoy big social interactions and gatherings, I’m actually really choosy with whom I spend my time with. So, if I spend any significant time with anyone, chances are, I really like them :)
"I just do not hang around anybody that I don’t want to be with. Period. For me, that’s been a blessing, and I can stay positive. I hang around people who are happy, who are growing, who want to learn, who don’t mind saying sorry or thank you and are having a fun time" – John Assaraf.

Friday Five

I have to go back to work on Monday :( Oh boy, my 1 week break should flies very fast.

I hope that the team, all of them returning back from their break will be rejuvenated, with fresh motivation & energy and will try to set an exclamation mark for the coming major festivals such as the Deepavali, Christmas & CNY 2012 where these are the peak season to do sales. OMG, another 5 more months and we will be celebrating the Chinese New Year! Ushering in the Year of the Dragon.

As for me, I will be facing...perhaps my biggest career challenge ever – something that makes me break into cold sweat and I know that all eyes will be on me to see whether I can turn a negative into something very positive. Not to mention, I will be receiving the August sales report, then I will know whether my furniture portfolio manage to close positive or negative for MTD and YTD. Yeah, I’m a little bit anxious about the whole outcome...its exhausting on an emotional level. What I do is I try to work hard, I try to enjoy what I do and that’s it. I have no dreams of being a Director. In fact, I feared promotions at times because it usually means I would have more responsibilities, and more responsibilities equal more stress. More stress equals the more time invested in solving problems. More time invested at work is less time living a life :) I just want to indulge myself a little in my search for knowledge. I have this dry well that thirsts for a bottle of pure distilled information & experience. I want to be able to laugh at my own incompetencies and mistakes. I just hope for the ability to keep working, to continue contributing. I love what I do, hope that I’ll be able to continue working for a very long time in the retail industry. I just got to the point where I realized the only way to look at life is to believe that everything that ever happens to you, is the best thing that’s ever happened to you :) Thank you GOD for always holding my hand and walking beside me.

But this Raya holiday is indeed a definitely time for a pause. I’ve been blessed with weekends crammed with family & friends activity, tasks to be done and a bit of lazy relaxation here & there. Plus spending some time alone with my own thoughts. I like to keep things balanced. I know how to enjoy my life; in my own way of course. Let me share with you a secret to making your life that little bit more fantastic, which is to applaud yourself on a regular basis (nobody has to know) and reward yourself with things you love every time you’ve done something commendable :) Of course, everyone has a different view on what is commendable and what is not. But hey, it works :) We have to accept that life sucks. Sometimes. We have to accept that hurt, pain and disappointment is part of our life. But do remember that at the end of the day, there is always a colorful rainbow waiting for us. This year was also the time when I had to strip things down to the core and learn to trust that if I do things that I love and things that make me happy, sure enough, even though it was once again a rough year, it was also a time when I was most attuned to my happiness. My bliss. I for one certainly believe that life could be a lot more pleasant and happier if I wasn’t so pessimistic and cynical. It was a nice little reminder to Be Positive.

These violent delights have violent ends


I have a Meal Fast this morning – my Prayer Points were Pastors & Leaders, Unity, Organizational Leaders, Religious Liberty and Missional in the Church.

Prayer Points:
(1) GOD to give the Pastors & Leaders the grace and divine ability to grow and to cope with the rising demands of the Ministry.

(2) Needs of their families to be well provided so that they can devote their service to the Word, Prayer and His Flocks without any distraction.

(3) The Congregations is to raise their prayer shields for them.

(4) The raising of the next generation of Shepherds to meet the future need for shepherds.

(5) Healing and restoration of fellowship between the spiritual leaders and among the churches.

(6) Greater collaboration between Pastor-elders, Churches and other Denominations.

(7) Vision and passion for the transformation of the Church and the Nation.

(8) Boldness, wisdom and discernment from God to speak on behalf of the Lord and the Church in Malaysia.

(9) Favor before the Rulers and the Government.

(10) All religious restrictions and harassment to end.

(11) Religious bans such as those on the Al-Kitab and the usage of ‘Allah’ to be lifted.

(12) Christians to be given the rights to construct their own church buildings.

(13) Christians to remain strong & prayerful in the midst of harassment.

(14) All religious liberty to be honored and upheld.

(15) Churches to be involved in community & economic development and to promote & preserve all racial & religious harmony.

We are living in interesting times, politically. In the olden days - the 50s, the 60s, the 7os; things were simple but in today's new era, the landscape have changed...and when it comes to politics and religion, all I can say is that, it have become worst. I‘ve always felt we need to transcend our ethnic divisions & special privileges and unite as a nation under a one true 1Malaysia concept. We simply need to get this country moving again in the right direction, instead of constantly squabbling among ourselves. This will takes time but we have to for our future generation sake. We cannot move backwards. We have great talent here. We Malaysians can achieve anything if we put our minds into it – and move forward as one. But it is only being united as Malaysians that we can take our rightful place on the global stage. The world is moving at warp speed. Our nation is blessed with abundant natural resources; we are a country blessed with talented people who are a match for anyone on the planet. Yet instead of building on this foundation we seem to be dismantling it instead. So, stop all the prejudice, all the harassment and all of the restrictions against the minorities. We need each other.

I have and always been proud to be a Malaysian. That’s all I ever thought I am. I don’t know anything else.