Friday, August 27, 2010

It is All Over! I am a New Self and I’m Single!

The Tiger Cub

The Champ in the Making

A Youthful Amateur Champ

With his Father, the Late Earl Woods

With his Beloved Son, 18 month old, Charlie

THe Classic One Wood Tee-Off

The Classic Follow -Through

Hear Ye, Listen Up!

Shh....I'm Single and I'm Back!

The good news is (if it can be considered good news) is that Tiger Woods has put everything behind him. His marital problems have now been resolved. His divorce has been finalized. The settlement amount has been agreed upon and matters relating to visiting rights for his children ( 3 year old girl, Sam and 18 month old boy, Charlie) have now been determined.

Tiger the numero uno of golf has seen the worst. His position threatened, his game on the low, his swing coach no more with him, he missed the cut in a recent tournament and his home life shattered.

What is there then for him? A lot! What is his future now? Great! How is his golf going to fare? Interesting! Yes, He was down but not out. The only way to go is up.

We look forward to good things and good news coming from the Tiger camp. He has to. He has to prop up his game and win tournaments. This will show to the world that he is now a new man, a new player going into his old self. Show those who withdrew his endorsements before ( a lucrative USD120mil ) that he is of sterner stuff. He need not go back to them or rather they need not bother him now. He does not need them. He can get others. There are so many other products that could do with his magical touch.

The only thing he needs to do now is to win tournaments and he has that opportunity at the Barclays this week where he is playing ( The Barclays Classic at Ridgewood Country Club, Paramus, New Jersey, 26 – 29 Aug 2010)

What a turn around! From early reports, we are seeing what we used to see before, that Tiger is jointly leading the pack! His first round score is 65, which is his best this year. Now the old Tiger is on the prowl again!

Give him space, he needs it. Tiger from now on remember, the only way to go is up. Others have problems too, marital problems, still simmering, and not in the open.

You are now done with it! You’re now single! We crave for good golf. You are there to provide it. We crave to see the maroon T-Shirt leading the pack as before! Go for it!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hari Raya Cards – A tribute to KJ

The First Hari Raya Card received this Year from OP KJ

For Your Valuation Needs OP KJ is at Tel : 603-2698-5522, email :

Today, the 12th day of Ramadhan I received my first Hari Raya Card ( the equivalent of a Christmas card for the Christian faith)

This card is special! It comes from KJ. No. not that other KJ but OP KJ. OP KJ has always been the 1st to send, nobody else beats him to it. It is special because OP KJ has been sending me a Hari Raya Card for the past 30 over years, I think. I don’t really recollect, may be more.

To be sure when was the 1st one, it should relate to the day OP KJ first joined W.M. Malik and Lee. That year would have been the first Hari Raya Card that I would have received from OP KJ. I’ve been receiving it every year ever since – faithfully without fail!

‘Thanks OP KJ!. Before retirement I had acknowledged your card with a similar card from the Bank . However, since retirement, I had replied with a commercially printed card a couple of times but not in recent years. Apologies for the missed replies of recent years.’

Since the card is from the company I would immediately detect the progress of OP KJ in the company from the name change of the company’s name. It is now W.M Malik and Kamaruzaman, meaning OP KJ is now a Senior Partner of the company. This change has been there for quite some while.

Likewise from the card I could also detect OP KJ’s progress at home. It was first signed with just KJ and Asmah Ibrahim, a wonderful couple! However now, it includes Fadli, Hairi, Aizat, Faez & Zulqarnain.

‘Keep it up buddy! You are not alone with only boys! It is ok!’

Great! OP KJ has now lined up his potential golf partners for many years to come.

Note: The card I received today has the old address. However, we are still in the vicinity and the postman is aware of both addresses. I will email my current address forthwith to you.

While still on the subject, I notice that a Hari Raya Card is now a rare commodity. We used to send out hundreds of specially printed cards to our Bank customers and received a fair share in return. Most would have been received during Ramadhan but there were odd ones also that came after Hari Raya.

This was the culture then. A card is sent out for every festive occasion every year, be it Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Divali and Christmas. If that's not all there were also Season’s Greetings for the New Year together with the accompanying New Year Diary. But not anymore!

Nowadays, the culture has changed greatly. We now receive and send out text messages via the ubiquitous mobile phones. It is sure to reach, it is at real time, convenient and cheap. It can do wonders for communication ( audio/text/cyberspace) images (photos and video) music, time management and some others in the pipeline. Yes, the computer geeks will come up with something new all the time.

The mobile phone has certainly revolutionized our lifestyles in more ways than one!

As for me I’ll still await for the Hari Raya Card from OP KJ every year. There will be a time when it would most probably be the only Hari Raya Card that I would ever receive for the year!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

How Safe is it?

I did not think much of an episode that happened about 2 weeks ago until I saw a news item this morning about a 'Gated Community' guidelines.

I was parked by the road-side in front of the Standard Chartered Saadiq and Public Bank in Taman Tun Dr Ismail ( TTDI ). It was around 1530hrs (3.30pm ) and there were people in the streets. I was just reading an old magazine in between one of my ‘errands’. The car windows were wound down half way and traffic was moving from behind me and passed me by.

Suddenly, a man peeked in at the left car window and mumbled about something to me. He was smiling all the while.He showed his hand-phone, mentioned something that sounds like ‘no money’. His language didn’t sound English or Bahasa and it was garbled. He looked like Chinese but did not sound like one ( more like one of these foreign workers or something) My worry then was that it was just a ploy to make me open the car door.

Mentioning hand-phone and no money sounded weird. Was he trying to sell his hand-phone or what. Nobody sells hand-phones on the streets, watches, may be yes but not hand-phones. I thought it was odd. I just said thank you and waved him away. He was still smiling when he walked away. I didn’t think anything just glad he didn’t insist but just watched him walked past.

He then walked to the car parked in front of mine, a Kancil. He peeked in like he did before. Suddenly he froze. He was not smiling anymore. He hesitated. The car driver made a move to get out of his car. That was when the man bolted. He tried to cross the road, a van screeched past nearly knocking him. He then retreated and ran through between the parked cars to the shophouses. He must have been really terrified of the Kancil driver.

The driver in the meantime switched his car on and started the chase in his car. He was lucky traffic stopped for the red light behind us. He sped off unimpeded. I had also wanted to join in the fun and started my car to follow but I couldn’t. The traffic light behind me turned green and cars started speeding by me again.

What was that all about? The man had met the Kancil driver before? Yes, definitely yes, otherwise he shouldn’t have bolted. But what were the circumstances?

That’s the point! They must have met before but not on the best of terms. The man could have been a criminal, snatch thief, a gangster, swindler an along debtor or any shady character. The Kancil driver could have been a policeman, a gangster ( of a rival gang) a victim or an along debt collector or anybody at all. At that point of time they both recognised each other and desired to settle scores straightaway.

One time not too long ago, a woman driver who stopped by the roadside was slashed by 3 hoodlums on motor-cycles. The same trio apparently had terrorized those walking to the shops, brandishing parangs and robbing them. There were occasions fellow motor-cyclists were also robbed at knife-point. All these happened in TTDI, a relatively affluent township.

Some concerned citizens apparently tried to get the grave security situation under control.

This came about lately , may be a few months back, when we were suddenly stopped by security guards manning make-shift barriers when moving around within TTDI. Back-lanes were sealed off much to the chagrin of early morning walkers, joggers, housewives bound for the shops and motorists taking short-cuts.

Will these barriers and security measures ( which appear to be temporary) become permanent features? The need is there but the way these have mushroomed in the various townships and housing estates are causing much inconveniences and frustrations. There must be some form of standard security measures as done for gated communities. This means townships in future ought to be built with such thoughts in mind to avoid half measures which might not be effective.

By a sheer coincidence all is not lost therefor. Am I glad then to see the item in the news today about the cabinet having approved a ‘ Gated Community’ guidelines. It is now being considered by the National Council for Local Govt before implementation.

By doing so we would at least have some semblance of consistency of policies. Otherwise, the developers have been known to include ridiculous items under ‘ security fees’ and the rates being charged were exorbitant to say the least and varied so much between communities.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Year After And The Sovereign’s Parade 1961

Image:1  The 'G' Coy 1961. The Company Commander Capt Jim Bradley and Company Tutor En Azman (seated from left 4th and 6th respectively)

Image:2 The DYMM the Deputy Yang DiPertuan Agong ( the then DYMM Sultan of Trengganu ) inspecting the Guard of Honour

Image:3 The DYMM the Dy Yang DiPertuan Agong taking the Royal Salute

Image:4 March Past in Slow March by the Junior Cadets

Image:5 The March Past by the Boys Following Closely behind the Cadets

Image:6 March Past in Quick Time by the Senior Cadets followed closely by the Junior Cadets

Image:7 March Past in Quick Time by the F, G, and H Coys

Image: 8 The Senior Cadets Marched Off as commissioned officers to the strains of the Auld Lang Syne

Image: 9 The DYMM the Dy Yang DiPertuan Agong being taken around the Boy's Wing complex upon completion of the Parade. The entourage was just getting out of the Dining Hall (foreground on the right). In the background is seen the Classroom Block with the QM's office on the ground floor.

Image:10 Some of the guests in front of D Coy.

The Big Move

The Big Move to Sg Besi ( SB ) from Port Dickson ( PD ) went off smoothly without a hitch in April 1961. It was then the First Term school holidays. On the Big Day we found ourselves already up and about in the wee hours of the morning, overly excited bent on the Big Move, the Big Shift to our new home.

The convoy of 3-tonners (the Military lorries) left early in the morning. Heavily ladened these lorries went on a pleasant and somewhat reasonable speed. It must have taken us about 2 hrs, maybe more,,I could not quite recollect. We approached SB town along the old winding Sg Besi road from the south, thus avoiding the city.

There was a tinge of sadness upon realizing that we were going to miss the fresh air and the breeze of the sea in PD. We were earlier briefed that SB was not that much different from what we were used to. The new FMC ( later RMC) was to be at the far end of the huge Field Command of the Armed forces just outside SB town ( a modest tiny town comprising a few rows of shophouses ) We conjured a picture of smog and din, typical of an industrial environment but not so. Industrial SB was there but only along both sides of the road from K. Lumpur before reaching the SB town.

While our new complex was quiet and peaceful it was small consolation as we missed the tranquillity of the seaside and the sea breeze. There were attempts to equate the sea that we missed to the old mining pools that were dotted around but it was futile. We had some semblance of the sea breeze though only because we were situated atop a hill and we had a fair share of a light breeze most times.

Physically the Boy’s Wing was isolated up the hill away from the Cadet Wing down below. We shared some facilities ( the Dewan Templer, the Covered Concourse and the sports field) but otherwise we did not bump into them as often as before ( when we shared also the faculty teaching staff ) Even when we came down to the Administrative Block ( next to the Cadet Wing) to have our hair-cut or encash our cheques we did not get to meet them either.Aside from that, all our other facilities were within easy reach atop the hill

Incidentally, each one of us received a monthly allowance of between RM30 to RM60 (depending on age ). This was the quantum 50 years ago and it was big money then. Some of the more frugal ones were known to regularly send small monthly sums to their parents. There were some moving stories that we knew of poor parents who successfully managed to see through their other siblings with such help.

We could withdraw the stipend through cheques drawn against our accounts at the Paymaster’s Office at our own time ( as long as we had a credit balance) Our cheques styled like any other bank cheque-books were valid at the Paymaster’s Office and nowhere else. It was most convenient as we did not have to queue up every payday to get our money.

Unlike in PD where we were housed in single-storey wooden barracks, in SB we were in 2 blocks of a 4-storey building. The A Block housed the A,B,C, and D Coys (Coy stands for Company) with the A Coy at the top. The B Block housed the remaining 4 Coys ie the E, F, G and H Coys with E Coy at the top. The Dining-Hall and canteen were just in front of the A Block. There were 2 other blocks which housed the Class-rooms, Library, Science Labs, the Administration and the Q ( Quarter Master which supplied the uniforms and military equipment).

All told, the various facilities were within a 50m radius, except for the Dhoby ( Laundry ) which was way down near the sporting field. We sent to the Dhoby all those items supplied to us, our uniforms, comprising the PD Green shirts, long pants, shorts, long green stockings and socks ( what we heard in the later years the Puteras had to do their own washings)

At the Dorm, we were given a Dunlopillo mattress each instead of the ‘coconut husk’ types as in PD before. We had a wardrobe each but no more the 3’x2x1.5’ ‘ heavy green boxes’ to keep our ‘knick-knacks’. In its place, we had a 2-tiered plywood box which was smaller in size but served the same purpose.

The utilities (bathing and toilet facilities) were an improvement in that we now had showers unlike before ( where we used dippers from a big and long cement tub) For those who still preferred ‘dippers’ a smaller tub was still made available for them.

Another big change was in the Prep facility accorded to us.Prep was from 1915hrs(7.15pm) till 2100hrs. In PD Prep was done in the Class-rooms at our own desks and separated from each other. In SB however, Prep was in a big room at the end of the corridor where we had to sit on long benches next to each other with the desks attached to the wall. We got into each other’s way initially but somehow we managed.

In a way the change of location also meant that we had to make a number of adjustments. This was particularly so for those who had experienced PD with its luxury of ‘space’ but found some ‘restrictive’ changes in SB.

We somehow could adjust better as our military training every Saturdays kept us fit and alert. Our week-end and Annual Camps further taught us that adversities and harshness experienced in a jungle environment strengthened our resolve that given any others were considered a luxury. So SB was a luxury, no doubt about it!

The Sovereign’s Parade 1961

The Sovereign’s Parade was to be the closing event every year where the Senior Cadets would receive their commissions from the King, the DYMM Yang DiPertuan Agong in a Passing-Out Parade. It marked their entry into the Armed Forces as a young subaltern officer for a full-time career in the Army, Navy or Air Force. In 1961, the Sovereign's Parade was graced however with the royal presence of the DYMM, the Deputy Yang DiPertuan Agong, the Sultan of Trengganu.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Giving Pledge

In a show of an alliance of purpose, 2 of the world’s richest came together and showed the world theirs are not just on profit motive mode this time around. There is the compassion of wanting to give back to society what they had been privileged with.

A news report today Aug 06,2010 carried the commitment of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to donate part of their riches, as much as 50% ( did I hear right?) yes, half of their fortune to charity.

The Giving Pledge was apparently announced 6 weeks ago by both billionaires - that they should think other American billionaires should also emulate them in a similar way.

Within that short space of 6 weeks, both managed to call 70 to 80 of Fortune magazine’s list of over 400 billionaires. It was such an encouraging move. Half of those contacted, ie 40 of them agreed to the worthy cause. It would be a loose arrangement on how the funds are to be channelled with the emphasis for projects on health, education, and the arts.

Almost all of those who agreed were self-made billionaires worth US$1bil or more each (though there are notable ones who had the good fortune of inheriting their riches from their wealthy families)

They comprised among others, Ted Turner ( CNN founder) Michael Bloomberg ( N York Mayor) Larry Ellison ( Oracle founder) George Lucas ( Film Director) and David Rockefeller who inherited the Rockefeller fortune.

The 40 may have on their own been philanthropists all along previous to this. However this time it is going to be a concerted effort where the aggregate will be on a larger scale and enormous.

There was no indication of the amount envisaged nor the distribution ( domestically or to the world at large) But it is not important. What we know is that for the next foreseable future, donations for charity would be enhanced.

Let's take our sights back home. We also have our own 40 Richest Malaysians ( also based on Forbe’s 2010 list) I just wonder if there’s any move towards a similar direction.

According to news reports released by Forbes on May 27, 2010 , they as a group are worth US$51 bil (RM168bil) , up from US$36bil a year ago. They made an additional 42% increase of combined wealth from the previous year spurred by Malaysia's economic expansion. This is matched by the 32% rise in the KLCI and the Ringgit’s 11% gain against the USD over the past 12 months.

A pledge to donate would not therefore cause a dent to their vast fortune. We certainly do not expect them to match the Americans' 50% pledge but just a pledge, maybe.

40 Richest in Malaysia ( as of Feb 17, 2010)

This is the list as published by a local business magazine. The numbers are based on public assets only and are valued in US dollars.

1. Robert Kuok – $10 billion
2. Ananda Krishnan – $7.2 billion
3. Lee Shin Cheng – $5.5 billion
4. Teh Hong Piow – $3.5 billion
5. Lee Kim Hua & family – $3.4 billion
6. Quek Leng Chan – $2.4 billion
7. Yeoh Tiong Lay & family – $2.1 billion
8. Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary – $1.8 billion
9. Vincent Tan – $1.3 billion
10. Tiong Hiew King – $1.1 billion
11. Azman Hashim – $700 million
12. William H. J. Cheng – $660 million
13. Lee Swee Eng – $495 million
14. Ong Beng Seng – $470 million
15. Lim Kok Thay – $345 million
16. Vinod Sekhar – $320 million
17. Lee Oi Hian – $300 million
18. Yaw Teck Seng – $295 million
19. Anthony Fernandes – $290 million
20. Mokhzani Mahathir – $285 million
21. Kamarudin Meranun – $280 million
22. Jeffrey Cheah – $275 million
23. Lee Hau Hian – $250 million
24. Chong Chook Yew – $245 million
25. Yaw Chee Ming – $240 million
26. G. Gnanalingam – $230 million
27. Lim Wee Chai – $200 million
28. Kua Sian Kooi – $195 million
29. Lau Cho Kun – $185 million
30. Abdul Hamed Sepawi – $180 million
31. David Law Tien Seng – $165 million
32. Tiah Thee Kian – $163 million
33. Liew Kee Sin – $160 million
34. Ahmayuddin bin Ahmad – $155 million
35. Eleena Azlan Shah – $150 million
36. Lin Yun Ling – $145 million
37. Ong Leong Huat – $130 million
38. Lim Thian Kiat – $115 million
39. Khoo Kay Peng – $110 million
40. Nazir Razak – $100 million

Forbes' 40 Richest in Malaysia ( as of May 27, 2010)

This is a more recent list published by Forbes. There are some differences between the two presumably owing to changes in the market and of shareholdings.

1. Robert Kuok
2. Ananda Krishnan
3. Lee Shin Cheng
4. Lee Kim Hua
5. Quek Leng Chan
6. Teh Hong Piow
7. Yeoh Tiong Lay
8. Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary
9. Vincent Tan
10. Tiong Hiew King
11. Azman Hashim
12. Lee Oi Hian & Lee Hau Hian
13. Yaw Teck Seng & Yaw Chee Ming
14. Lim Wee Chai
15. William H. J. Cheng
16. Goh Peng Ooi
17. Lim Kok Thay
18. Jeffrey Cheah
19. Anthony Fernandes
20. G. Gnanalingam
21. Kamarudin Meranun
22. Chan Fong Ann
23. Shahril & Shahriman Shamsuddin
24. A.K. Nathan
25. Chong Chook Yew
26. Mokhzani Mahathir
27. Ahmayuddin bin Ahmad
28. Lau Cho Kun
29. Chen Lip Keong
30. Lee Swee Eng
31. Liew Kee Sin
32. Nazir Razak
33. Eleena Azlan Shah
34. Ong Leong Huat
35. Rozali Ismail
36. Kua Sian Kooi
37. Lin Yun Ling
38. David Law Tien Seng
39. Abdul Hamed Sepawi
40. Syed Mohd Yusof Tun Syed Nasir

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Chicken and the Egg

The chicken is here first!

No, the egg is here first!

Which is which now, tell me!

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This had been the age-old question often times asked but those asking were not really expecting an answer.

It was asked at times of exasperation, when things didn’t work out or when frustrations rein in over something not done well. It never got responded at all with a proper answer. It can even result in unnecessary arguments and disagreements.

In any case which came first, anyway? There was a news feature a few days ago and the question has now been answered. In case you missed it, here goes,

The chicken came first! Yes, the chicken came first.

The logic was - a chicken can lay an egg but not the other way round,
- a chicken can create an egg but not the other way round

Having come to this premise, scientists would then have to provide an answer that is scientifically acceptable. It has to be proven that it is scientifically possible for ‘ a chicken to create an egg shell to prove it was there first’

Researchers at the Universities of Sheffield and Warwick did just that. They said ‘the answer lies in the egg shell itself’. How so? Specifically it was the discovery of a vital role played by a chicken protein in the formation of the egg shell.

Scientists already knew that the protein vocledidin-17 ( OC-17) plays a part in egg shell formation. The breakthrough came only with some new technology that ‘allowed the team to demonstrate how the protein makes it happen’

In a computer simulation:
1. The OC-17 protein acted as a catalyst to create the formation of crystals that make up an egg shell by clamping itself to some calcium carbonate crystals ( an egg shell is made up largely of calcium carbonate, apparently )
2. The OC-17 protein then drops off when the crystal nucleus gets large enough to grow on its own. It frees the protein to start the process all over again.

Egg shells are created when this is repeated many times. So in conclusion the ability of chickens to create egg shells has proven chickens were there first. The chicken came before the egg.

But nary a while , just wait a minute . Somehow it still leaves one nagging question unanswered and it is very perplexing.

Just where did the chicken come from in the first place?

It beats me!