Sunday, May 31, 2009

Proton Bleeds

In my Strategy classes, I have always used Proton to illustrate their failed strategies because Proton represents all that is wrong in the application of Strategic Management. I believe Proton has erred in many of their strategies and this assessment is bolstered by the announcement made by Proton Holdings Berhad the other day that they had posted a RM341.5 million Q4 loss. Proton’s managing director, Syed Zainal Abidin insisted that Proton’s balance sheet remained healthy, despite the loss and that cash reserves at the end of the quarter (i.e. March 31) stood at RM899.5 million compared with RM1.17 billion last year (The Star, May 30, p SBW9). The facts of the matter are simply that they are incurring losses and that their cash reserves are diminishing. What more is there to say?

The Penanti by-election was easily won by PKR’s Dr. Mansor Othman with a majority of 5,558 votes – voter turnout was expectedly low (46%), since BN chose to be absent. Is BN being prudent.or cowardly?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

In the Doldrums

Yesterday, the New Straits Times carried Najib’s admission that our economy will contract to between -4.0% and -5.0% this year – in March, the government had persisted in insisting that Malaysia’s growth is between -1.0% and 1.0% (May 29, p 2). And in The Sun on the same day, Najib was also quoted to have said that Malaysia is already in technical recession (p 1). Now this is a reversal of positions, isn’t it? Please, let’s call a spade a spade! Stop the bullshit! Enough lah!

Just to put things in proper perspective, Bank Negara had announced worse-than-expected first quarter economic growth which shrank 6.2 per cent from a year ago, the worst quarter since it contracted 10.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 1998 at the height of the Asian financial crisis (The Malaysian Insider, May 29).

And today, The Star had reported that the US economy sank at a 5.7% pace in the first quarter as the brute force of the recession carried over into this year. It marked the second straight quarter where the economy took a huge tumble (May 30, p W41). So, we shouldn’t pay heed to the glimmer of misplaced optimism painted by some misguided economists that things are looking up. I tend to agree with this appraisal from UK’s The Telegraph: “A more clear-eyed assessment of where we stand is contained in the Bank of England's latest snapshot which warns that the world economy remains in ‘deep recession’ with output contracting and trade falling ‘precipitously’; the global banking and financial system remains ‘fragile’; the timing and strength of any recovery are ‘highly uncertain’.” (Webpage http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/5307610/Its-the-end-of-the-beginning-of-the-recession-not-the-beginning-of-the-end.html, dated May 11, 2009). Believe me, we are very much in the same boat too.

From my personal perspective, the cost of living is still rising and worse, I have to endure a salary cut, with effect from this month. I am trying to be supportive of Paul Chan and HICT. Let's hope this sacrifice has not been misplaced. Back to the topic of the economy, please don’t tell me to be upbeat about it. It is altogether a gloomy outlook – austere, bleak, and cheerless.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Barcelona Rocks

I recognized the pandemic glee over the radio this morning – I was tuned in to hitz.FM – listeners to the Morning Crew with JJ & Ean show were mostly Liverpool fans calling in to express unbridled joy at Barcelona’s 2-0 victory over Man U. I am trying not to gloat about it since I have many friends who are sadly Man U supporters and who are even now feeling down in the dumps. Anyhow, Barcelona is the better team!

I was reading a Spring 2009 copy of Strathclyde People (a University of Strathclyde magazine), and on page 14, I picked up something which is worth mentioning. University graduates are naturally anxious whether employment opportunities have dwindled and slumped – a direct outcome of the global recession – and therefore, they should find consolation in the words of Barbara Graham, Director of the University’s Careers Service: “…I’ve seen recessions before. They are part of the natural economic cycle, though it seems that we may take longer to come out of this one”. She believes that the endless media gloom has fed the fire, and even went on to say that graduate prospects have not been hit as hard as reports suggest. I hasten to add that irrespective of whether it is Scotland or Malaysia, jobs will be difficult to come by in these challenging times. But at the end of the day, it is the confident graduate who can bring with him or her, the right set of skills and competencies, who will secure that supposedly elusive job. Yes, there are still jobs; it’s just that employers tend to be extremely selective now.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

HICT Toastmasters Meet Again

This evening (oops, it’s yesterday now since it is already past twelve midnight), we had our first Toastmasters meeting in a new venue within HICT – i.e. Room SR13, to be precise. Area C2 Governor Chan Guan Leong, CTM CL was there to grace the event, and also performed a most helpful role as the General Evaluator. We also had 3 guests dropping in – all 3 are SNHU freshmen – and hopefully, if we can get new blood in, this can be the start of a second beginning for the HICT Toastmasters Club.

Altogether there were 14 of us at this meeting, and although the numbers were still smallish, it was still a very decent number. It was heartening to note that Wai How, Shireen, Mathew and Mike came forward to do their speech assignments, and it was even more praiseworthy that mostly, these speeches were rather stirring, if not absorbing. Wai How’s speech about “My Family” was pretty good because it was so well-written. Shireen’s speech was okay – admitedly, not as intriguing and engaging as her previous speech, but it was her honest sharing that spears our hearts. Mathew talked about “Change” and generally, he delivered his speech very well. He even embedded a 70’s song “Living next door to Alice” and sang so well, that I can still hear the melody echoing in my eardrums. Wow! Mike did okay as well, but he could have chosen a better and more appropriate topic. As for me, I did not make any speeches this time around but I performed multiple roles at this meeting – as the current President, as the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME), as a participant in the Table Topics session, and as an Evaluator (for Mike). Whoa, steady, ole boy – you really know how to surpass yourself! Oh yes, very special thanks to Edrickson and Francis for their show of support and especially their presence to encourage us.

Monday, May 25, 2009

More Work. Less Sleep

It was an interesting piece of news that appeared in The Sun today. A March 2009 online poll conducted by Royal Philips Electronics across the UK, Germany, the US, Japan, and the Netherlands, revealed that 40% of managers are losing sleep over the economy. And according to this survey, about 70% said their work suffered due to lack of sleep. Imagine that! And all this while, I thought it was work that made me lose my sleep – sorry, not just work, but an overflowing abundance of bountiful work! Indeed, my cup runneth over.

In the EPL Arsenal walloped Stoke 4-1, the scorers were Beattie (own goal, 10), van Persie (penalty, 16; 41), and Diaby (18). Liverpool beat Tottenham 3-1, the goals coming from Torres (31), Hutton (own goal, 64), and Benayoun (81). So, Liverpool finished second, and Arsenal finished fourth in the EPL standings. Ho-hum outcomes, predictable.results, unhappy me.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Football Bridesmaids

The Court of Appeal has now ruled (on May 22) that Zambry is the rightful menteri besar of Perak, and unanimously overturning a High Court decision on May 11 that Nizar is the rightful MB. On that same day, Najib was quick to claim that the Court of Appeal ruling proved that BN had acted within the law in the matter, that the authority to dissolve the state legislative assembly rested with the Sultan of Perak, and that it was left to the ruler to make a decision (The Malaysian Insider, May 22 at webpage http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/27378-bn-acted-within-the-law-says-najib). As Perak DAP secretary, Nga Kor Ming declared: “The ruling means that the Sultan can decide who is menteri besar and also that the Agong can decide who is prime minister. This devolves our system from a constitutional monarchy to an absolute monarchy” (The Malaysian Insider, May 23 at webpage http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/27430-nizar-sivakumar-on-hunger-strike-for-fresh-polls). Now, this is a worrying prospect, is it not?

Rangers defeated Dundee United 3-0 to top the table with 86 points from 38 games, and become the SPL champion. Celtic played to a goalless draw against Hearts, earning a single point and collecting a total of 82 points, to finish in second place. Someone at BBC Scotland mentioned that “Celtic huffed and puffed today” but nothing came of it. What a heartbreak – first, Liverpool and now, Celtic – both becoming bridesmaids this season.

Somebody asked how does the 12 teams/38 games played work out in the Scottish Premier League. The answer? All teams play each other 3 times, after which the top 6 teams and bottom 6 teams split to create 2 mini-leagues. This process is imaginatively called 'The Split'. So, that's 33 games out the way. Then the top 6 and bottom 6 play each other (5 games) reaching 38 games. Boy, I sure miss Scotland.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

SNHU and not ADP

Yesterday, I attended the D’Utama Advanced Toastmasters Club AGM at the Oriental Pavilion Restaurant, Jaya 33, PJ, and I must admit, dinner was scrumptiously titillating. And a new 2009/2010 EXCO was duly elected into office, and Foong Weng Tuck is the incoming President. That reminds me that I have to finalize the 2009/2010 EXCO for the HICT Toastmasters Club too.


Today, Shobana and I went with 20 SNHU (Psychology major) students to HUC (i.e. HELP Residency) for a freshmen lunch – we were the guests of HUC’s Dr. Goh Chee Leong and the Faculty of Behavioral Sciences. It was very gracious of Dr. Goh to invite us over, and even arranging transport for our students. As a side note, we are going to refer to everything that is labeled as ADP to SNHU - in fact, we are planning to go all out to promote Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).

As for work this weekend, my co-authors and I are rushing to finish a conference paper on Blended Learning, and we know we must complete it for submission on Monday. Writing an academic paper is pretty demanding - unlike preparing lecture notes for my students - I have to promote originality and maintain authenticity, to be very deliberate with my language, and precise in my intentions, and when we lift content whether from textbooks and/or journals, we cannot simply do it as a cut-and-paste job. In any case, this is a challenging experience, especially for college lecturers like me where we are more focused on teaching, than on research.

With all these activities keeping me busy - Life is never a leisurely stroll in the park.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Shamroz - My Student, My Friend

Shamroz is finally leaving us – to return to Pakistan – having finished his American degree program. Yesterday, eleven of us – colleagues and students – organized a farewell dinner at Tarbush Restaurant, Sunway Pyramid: Katherine, Eugene, Martin, Owais, Lynda, Edrickson Duane, Francis Siah, Grace Gan, Sufiyan, Mizan, and myself were there, enjoying each other’s company, having dinner (I ordered Dawood Basha - meatballs cooked in tomato gravy) and indulging in smoking the shisha (or hookah) - a water-pipe, in case, there are those who still didn't know.

Shamroz is a humble and thoroughly nice person – and yes, I am going to miss him dearly – his last class with me was last semester when he took OL421 Strategic Management & Policy. It's a great feeling to have when you know that he started as your student, but ends up as a friend - surely a reward that is immeasurable.
KLIA farewell, but I was not able to be there. Shamroz is 4th from left.

The Student Council Presidential elections at HICT yesterday was interesting insofar as it drew good response from the student body, amidst intense lobbying for support (and votes) for the 3 candidates. All of them are my students, but what cheers me up is that even at HICT, we are privileged to witness student democracy at work. Congratulations to Zechariah Kent who won handsomely, leaving Grace and Aaron to bite the dust. Well, now that the elections are over, the real work begins. Let’s see if the president and his team, and the newly-minted SSD know how to reach out to students, particularly my students. ADP students will carry on as usual unless it serves our interest to work with these new "groups". Faith and trust are rare commodities at HICT these days

Today, a band of us decided to visit Alan Tan at home, when we heard he had “crashed’ (not my words!). Besides yours truly, another 9 concerned friends – all of us are associated with ADP, save 2 – braved the evening Klang traffic, just so that we can spend some time with Alan. I could see Alan was speechless (well, at least for 6 seconds anyway) when he met us at his front gate. As always he is a very direct person, and in his own words, he told us he had “bipolar syndrome”. Now, as I understand from those who have studied psychology, it is not exactly an uncommon ailment. Essentially, it is “a psychiatric aberration that is a group of mood disorders in which an individual afflicted with it undergoes extreme emotional states from being clinically depressed to an elevated mood state (or vice versa), and/or a combination of these mood states” (Webpage
http://www.phobias-help.com/bipolar_disorder/Bipolar_Syndrome.html, accessed May 21, 2009). I am glad we all came, but I am also especially happy for ourselves that all of us cared enough to want to come and give support to one of ours! These nine caring people were Eugene, Martin, Owais, Lynda, Mike, Aaron, Edrickson Duane, Francis Siah and Grace Gan. Hopefully, we (and even others) can continue to show understanding and even reach out to Alan when he resumes his studies. If we do really care, we should be his pillars of strength. Let's be there for him, yarh?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Remembering Teacher's Day

Diana, Joanne and Cheryl presented me with a bottle of wine (a Kendall-Jackson 2002 California Zinfandel-Shiraz) and a card for Teacher’s Day (actually, it was last Saturday, May 16) – it was a very nice gesture from my SNHU students! Who says students don't appreciate their lecturers?

And also on Sunday, Liverpool struck the net twice against West Brom, winning 2-0, the goal scorers being Gerrard (28) and Kuyt (63). But it’s a little too late because Man U has already captured the EPL title. Yes, we lost the good fight, but next season, the Reds will be ready!


Meanwhile in Scotland, a spirited defensive display by Hibernian results in a 0-0 scoreline, meaning Celtic stay behind Rangers in the race for the SPL title. This is getting to be a wee bit worrying!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Music and Beer at Delucca

Yesterday, I couldn’t watch the Arsenal-Manchester United match, and I had to be contented with someone relaying the final score to me. It was disappointing news: I was told that Arsenal was toothless in their match against Manchester United (a game that the Gunners could have won but did not, and so the match ended with a 0-0 outcome), and this led the latter winning the EPL title. Perhaps, it was best I did not watch the game because I don’t think I could stomach watching and listening Manchester United celebrate, the pain would have been really unbearably painful.

I wasn’t glued to the telly, and not even on the computer screen because I was at Delucca last night. It is a nice Italian restaurant, tucked away in a little-known corner of KL, but we made the pilgrimage, strictly for the music and the beer. Well, at least, the music was great and the beer was reasonably priced. I did manage to forget the pain of Man U's victory, if only for a couple of hours!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Competent Communicator

I had very productive discussions the other day (May 12) with HUC’s James Kuake and Dr. Goh Chee Leong – and both of them extending timely assistance that is really heart-warming, if I may be permitted to get a little sentimental here. We are going to put together a framework of cooperation that is both meaningful and purposeful, and my ADP program is going to benefit. I am grateful for this outpouring of help, and certainly, I am most humbled by their kind gesture. What this means is that I do not have to worry too much about teaching resources for SNHU's Psychology and Communications degrees next semester as well as the semester after that. At long last, we are slowly but surely, planning ahead. Even first-time lecturers on this program are settling in well: Dr. Mohamed Omar (SCI211 Survey of the Biological Sciences), and Zailan Razak (FAS223 Appreciation and History of Music), not to mention second-time staffers: Dr. Cho Cho Wei (MAT130 Applied Finite Mathematics) and KY Leong (INT113 Introduction to International Business). When there's good teaching resources, life as a HOD can be less stressful!

Last night, I did my speech No. 10 which was to “Inspire Your Audience” – and I humbly believed that this speech, although very impromptu, was one of the best speeches I have made in a long time. The title of my speech was ‘To Be a Toastmaster”. After all, Bernard Louis (my assigned evaluator) had remarked that since I was the last of 4 speakers, this only made my job “a daunting task”. Bernard Louis was effusive in praise, and some of his complimentary remarks include: “so much energy”; “used voice to maximum effect”; “good conversational style”; “humor was added to engage the audience”; and “plenty of rhetorical devices”. Still, there were also points that he has rightly raised that I should consider, in order to further improve my presentation, and I solemnly promise I will take note of them. It was gratifying to have the support of 10 colleagues and students who made the 50-minute journey from Klang to attend this D’Utama Advanced Toastmasters Club meeting, and my thanks to Mathew, Mike, Francis Siah, Owais, Lynda, Martin, Shamroz, Grace Gan, Gift Jacob, and Mehala. Anyway, I felt a deep sense of relief that I had done this last speech in the Competent Communication series of assignments, and I can now consider myself a Competent Toastmaster (CTM). Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Bernard Louis celebrated his birthday, and Lim Lay Kun and me celebrated our Toastmastering achievements yesterday.

And the Andy McDonough CD sales have now surpassed the 728 mark.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Still a Stalemate

On Monday, the High Court declared that PR’s Nizar is the rightful Perak Menteri Besar, but on Tuesday (i.e. today), a Court of Appeal decision granted a stay on yesterday’s decision. So, it is still a stalemate – at least for now. And the police presence is still intimidating...

One interesting feature of this appeal - given the gravity of this case and political ramifications - is the remark that the court registrar should have ensured that Zambry's stay application was heard by a 3-judge panel, and not one of the most junior appeal court judges (The Malaysian Insider, May 12).

It is interesting to read that Tengku Razaleigh has described this Perak crisis as a comedy of errors and bad political judgment that reflects a failure of political leadership. Guess who is he referring to? But more weighty is his assessment: "Perhaps our political leadership has not understood how important it is that the people’s voice must prevail, and be seen to prevail, in the choice of their government" (Webpage http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/opinion/breaking-views/26259-the-courts-cannot-solve-perak-crisis-tengku-razaleigh-hamzah).

Arsenal played well, but it was Chelsea who took all their chances – and then won the game with a flattering 4-1 scoreline on a fateful May 10. What a gut-wrenching result! What an ill-starred disaster for the Gunners! Okay, the less said, the better.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What Gives?

Now that Hindraf leaders have been released from Kamunting – it makes everyone wonder what the issue was all about in the first place? Hindraf was painted as an illegal organization and their leaders were supposedly threats to national security. But now they are free! What gives?


Liverpool beat West Ham United 3-0; Gerrard scoring two goals (2, 38) and Babel providing the third goal (84). As Rafa Benitez said: “We have done our job. We have to keep winning, that's all we can do." As I have said, we can only hope for Manchester City and Arsenal to do their jobs and help Liverpool win the EPL crown.

But Manchester City didn’t even play football – and they let themselves to be soundly beaten by Man U today. Liverpool’s chances are getting slimmer by the day…

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Opposite of White

One color is taboo in Malaysia today. Wearing that color has been known to invite arrest. As Yeo Yang Poh (former Bar Council president) said, a good citizen like him will not even mention its name. He is admitting that he is sheepishly calling it the opposite of white. Read his article in the Malaysian Insider at http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/opinion/breaking-views/25937-the-opposite-of-white-1fear-malaysia-yeo-yang-poh, dated May 09. I was just thinking – does this mean that Limkokwing students and faculty must now live in fear of arbitrary arrest? They must quickly abandon their fave color. Can you imagine splashes of orange instead? What about strokes of red? Flourishes of blue? Touches of green? Bursts of yellow? Dashes of purple? Anything except that dreaded color! And what about other groups of people who insist on wearing this opposite-of-white color? Mourners? Lawyers and judges in their formal garb? So, from next year onwards, let’s remember to celebrate May 07 as an opposite-of-white day in Malaysia, the day color dictatorship came to Malaysia.

To those of you who are still blur about this color issue, the Malaysian Insider on May 06 had matter-of-factly warned its readers: "Wear black fashion, police will catch you" (Webpage http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/business/index.php/malaysia/25662?task=view). And the May 07 headline in a Malaysia Today news article said it all: "Police to arrest those wearing black today" (Webpage http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/21486/84/). Tut-tut, what is this country coming to?

Today’s Old Firm derby saw Rangers beating Celtic 1-0, and the Ibrox side moved two points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League. Celtic manager Gordon Strachan asserts: "But my team has to be disappointed with the result, but they can't be disappointed with their performance." Three matches remaining to decide who wins the SPL crown… And yes, I have no doubt that Celtic will emerge victorious - I do believe!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Do-Re-Mi



Siew Ling sent me this video. Since I heard the song, it keeps playing non-stop in my head. I love the video because it is incredibly infectious, exhilaratingly entertaining, and 100% pure, unadulterated fun. A brilliant demonstration of free spirited spontaneity. Watch it and you're hooked!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Perak Disgrace

Well, it’s not just my opinion – but a New Straits Times report carried the news from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Asia (especially the region’s wealthier but export-reliant economies) will see a “long and severe recession”. This is because of their heavy reliance on high-tech exports and extensive exposure to the global financial system. In fact, this IMF report singled out Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand as countries within Southeast Asia which would be affected more severely than other nations. Already, Singapore, it is also mentioned, is likely to shrink 10 percent this year. And even the massive stimulus measures unveiled by Asian governments were unlikely to help the region turn around strongly, and a rebound hinges on when the global upswing begins, so said Joshua Felman, an IMF assistant director (May 07, p B11). Although Malaysia is not as integrated into the global economy as say, Singapore – nonetheless our exports have spectacularly slumped, and we are unlikely to recover until exports have started to revive.


In Ipoh, the Malaysian Insider reported that traffic was gridlocked as police rolled out barbed wire and mounted road blocks in a 500-meter radius from the State Secretariat, allowing in only those with special passes and preventing hundreds of protesters clad in black T-shirts – the electoral reform group, Bersih had urged Malaysians to wear black today – from the Perak State Assembly sitting that was opened by the Perak Regent, Raja Muda Raja Nazrin Shah. As expected, inside the august hall, there was only pandemonium, with the Malaysian Insider describing today’s event as Perak’s day of infamy and bedlam (Webpage http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/25770-peraks-day-of-infamy-and-bedlam, accessed May 07, 2009). I reiterate what the Bar Council is also saying: "The best thing would be to go back to the crux of the problem and let the people decide who they want for the Perak government".

The other night (or early morning, really), in the Champions League semi-final second leg, Arsenal played a really lousy game, and Manchester United punished the Gunners by wrapping the match 3-1. This means the Devils sealed a 4-1 aggregate success, thereby putting them on the road to Rome. Only Barcelona can thwart them now!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Very Busy Semester

With the ADP semester coming into its second week, I am now buried mountain-deep in lectures and tutorials – let me see, I am teaching Critical Thinking; Foundations in Business Knowledge; Marketing Principles; Marketing Research; Introduction to Marketing; Principles of Retailing; Strategic Marketing; Multinational Marketing; Leadership; and Emerging Trends in International Business – that’s 10 courses across 4 programs, and that works out to be 37 hours per week. Let’s see if my personal Energizer battery can last the pace…

There are seven HODs at HICT – but only 3 are teaching. Some are privileged, and others are not. That’s Life, alright.


Liverpool vanquished Newcastle; the Reds scoring through Benayoun, 22; Kuyt, 28; and Lucas, 87. Also, no surprise here.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Deflation Worry

I am discussing economics again today. The rate of inflation is now close to zero in the United States and several other major countries. The Economist has already reported that economists it had surveyed predict that consumer prices in the United States and Japan will actually fall for 2009 as a whole, while inflation in the euro zone will be only 0.6%. South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand will also see declines in consumer price levels. Malaysia is not in this list of highlighted countries, but as a Malaysian, I know that prices are still ambitiously high.

The prospect of falling prices reflects the near-collapse of industrial production, the resulting lofty level of unemployment, and the dramatic decline in commodity prices. Indeed, industrial production is falling at double-digit rates in the negative-inflation countries, and the price index for all commodities is down more than 30% over the past year, according to Martin Feldstein’s article “Deflation doldrums?” that was featured in today's Star (May 02, p SBW7).

And so, Feldstein has warned us of the lurking danger that is deflation. To him, deflation is potentially a very serious problem, because falling prices – and the expectation that prices will continue to fall – would make the current economic downturn worse.

So, just because inflation has somewhat eased, and there are additionally some other so-called positive signs – this does not mean that we are out of the woods. Methinks, Feldstein is right.

Bleak news from a Freedom House study that reported that press freedom declined around the world in 2008, deteriorating for the first time in every region. Furthermore, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) unveiled its list of “10 worst countries to be a blogger’, naming Myanmar, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Tunisia, China, Turkmenistan, and Egypt to its “dishonor roll” (The New Straits Times, May 02, p 26). It's great to be a Malaysian...

In the SPL, Celtic bested Aberdeen 3-1, the Celtic goals coming from Caldwell (44) and McDonald (72, 90+2).

And of course, I had waited for an English miracle, but it was in vain. Man U expectedly beat Middlesbrough, 2-0. I can only look to their next match.

In the Arsenal versus Portsmouth match, the Gunners routed Pompey 3-0; their scorers were Bendtner, 13 & 41 (penalty); and Vela, 56. No surprise here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Grim News

More grim news on the recession. The number of company liquidations in England and Wales, the end stage of the process for companies, saw a continued increase in the first three months of 2009. There were 4,941 compulsory liquidations and creditors' voluntary liquidations. That was 7.1 percent more than in the previous three months, and 56 percent more than a year ago. Also, the number of people declared bankrupt saw a record 19,062 bankruptcies and 10,713 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs), as the deepening recession claimed more victims (BBC News at webpage http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8028386.stm, accessed May 01). And Britain’s economy shrank a bigger than expected 1.9 percent during this same period in question, and although there have been a few encouraging signs since then, most analysts think the recession will drag on for the rest of the year and even beyond (The Malaysian Insider, May 01).

Now, this is very different from the scenario in Malaysia where there seems to be continued prevailing optimism in our economy – it’s as if Malaysia is on cruise mode. Interesting, isn’t it?

On April 29, Man U won 1-0 against Arsenal – giving the former a slender advantage to take into the semi-final second leg at the Emirates next Tuesday. The Gunners had played listlessly, and the Devils should have scored a second goal to kill off the game – but didn’t. As I have told Grace (a Man U supporter), when you are off to war, your mission is to go for the kill. If you do not, then the next time around, you may be killed.

My advice is simple: “Go out to win, not simply survive. Take no prisoners. Aim for the kill”.

And of course, Arsene Wenger was quick to taunt Man U boss, Alex Ferguson: “You will pay for the missed chances”.