Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Halloween is this Friday, and given my involvement with the American Degree Program students at HICT, there is the “Bloody Hell” show that is being scheduled on this day itself. I am told it will be a grand show, and much credit should be attributed to 3 special people: Pek Kuan, Toh and Brandon (a.k.a. Wee Han) who are the main movers and shakers! Like all these activities, proceeds from ticket sales go to clubs and deserving organizations (in this case, it is MAKNA this time around) – it is very heartening to know that students are indeed, a caring lot. I am really proud of them. My only complaint: HICT staff is not always supportive, although I recognize that there are those who do support the students generously. .Of course, it can also be said that there are students too who don’t give a damn. Sigh. Apathy lurks everywhere… Can I throw them out of the window? Tempting, kan?
As is now the norm, I go through blogs to read up on views expressed by different people on different issues. Today, when we consider the US Government’s bailout of the troubled financial institutions, we too, cannot but think of the Malaysian Government’s bailout antics – MAS and Proton are illuminating examples. Of course, like everybody else, it is easy to conjure up a long list of reasons to justify such foolhardiness, but as I always ask, At what cost?
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
As a customer, a company's promise that is made, is sacrosanct because we are not talking about any other company, but Unilever! In fact, Unilever's corporate purpose (according to its website as at October 23, 2008) mentions about "treating all stakeholders with integrity". And it declares in the same paragraph that "consumers, employees, suppliers, competitors, shareholders… we apply the highest standards of ethics and consideration to all". But of course I beg to differ. Unilever Malaysia, it seems has become so successful that it forgets an individual consumer like me.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I had the fortune to be invited to a farewell B-B-Q party yesterday. The occasion? Jai Harpalani is finally leaving us and returning to a sorely-missed place called Dubai. I used the word "fortune" because it was not your typical B-B-Q fare since I had my fill of oyster mushrooms and corn-on-the-cob. And as Jai would have put it, vegetarian food is not only simple, but also nutritious and healthy. I must confess that I am a carnivore (surprisingly, my teeth wasn't gnashing at the thought of meat yesterday evening), but after last night, I must admit too that vegetarian food is alright! So I must thank Jai (he is a herbivore, isn't that right?) for this introduction and especially, his concoction of salt, curry powder, and lemon juice to be had with the common corn-on-the-cob. When I had my first bite, I thought it was "uncommon" (to put it politely), but when I progressed into my second corn-on-the-cob, I could happily describe it as "unique" (this was a tad more positive). And by the time I was into my third corn-on-the-cob, I was (dare I say it?) relishing it even. So, thank you, Jai! And Jai, if you read this, thank you for your friendship, and ahem, keep reading this blog, okay?
Today's mainstream newspapers trumpeted the dip in petrol prices (15 cents for RON97) – the third in so many months, which won't be appreciated much, believe me. After all, other prices have already gone up in tandem with the steep 41% increase in petrol price announced by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi sometime in July 2008, and prices of many essential goods and services are not likely to come down because of this foolhardy act of political myopia. So, the cost of living continues to remain high and Life continues to be very difficult for many people, especially the low-income and average-income wage-earners.
I am currently immersed in two books - the first on Globalization, called The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman, and the second, The Fiefdom Syndrome by Robert Herbold . Both are interesting reads, very topical, if I may say so. The former reveals that the world is flattening, but that this 'globalizing' phenomenon can be a force for good - whether for business, the environment, and people everywhere. Well, that's Friedman's perspective, which is predictably ultra-positive. The latter deals with how turf wars and bureaucracy are undermining companies. It's very political because of destructive individuals (The Sun newspaper calls them 'little emperors') who have their own agendas that, for sure, are at odds with their organizations' goals. Reading it made me realize that many Malaysian organizations are afflicted with this syndrome, and I am talking of personal experience here! In fact, this particular book is a real bargain, because this hard-cover was priced at a very affordable RM19 at MPH Subang Jaya - part of a small collection that was on promotion that day.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Anyway, I am happy doing this because I can feel my creative writing juices flowing at a stirring pace. And I am writing again.
I am preparing for my maiden Speaking Project 1 this Thursday, at the D'Utama Advanced Toastmasters Club meeting, and I am cool about it. This speech is an ice-breaker - so it'll be interesting to see (or rather, hear) how it will turn out. OMG, finally, I will be speaking, which is not exactly something that is as exciting as writing. But then again... something I had wanted to do, I suppose. Steve Jobs comes to mind: “One can learn to become a great speaker but one needs to have both great content and great delivery. This is not an easy thing to do”. This is precisely why I joined Toastmasters. If the speech is about me - obviously there is content. I mean, I know what to talk about - it's the delivery that I must be able to do with flourish. I want to impress. Didn't Francois de La Rochefoucauld said, "We speak little if not egged on by vanity"? Methinks, it's a rhetorical question - so I won't even attempt to answer it.
I am also trying to fill up all my empty time slots to do additional teaching. It's about the money, y'see. I am seriously contemplating to do another Master's, and since it is a UK qualification - it's going to be darn expensive - but I have set my heart to do it. So now I have to work and work tirelessly to raise money for the fees. At this point in time, I am shaking my head and grinning from ear to ear because I just remembered another quotation that has just popped up in my head: "Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else", said James Matthew Barrie. And so I work but it is not called work, therefore, I am not really working! What a refreshing perspective!
For those who had posted their comments, I say "Thank you" for I am grateful to hear from you. By the simple act of reading my blog and giving me feedback - you have touched me! Terima kasih. Xie xie. Nandri. Merci. Gracias. Dankie. Arigato. Salamat po. Khwap khun. Chezu tinbade.
At 1730 hours, I am signing off... Cherish the peace and quiet for now