Monday, February 22, 2010

12 Roses at Bangsar

Today, the KL Advanced Toastmasters Club met at a new venue – in Bangsar to be precise. I was the Grammarian as well as guiding newbie Nurul when she took on the Ah Counter role. I participated in the Table Topics session, and predictably, I took the Best Table Topics Speaker award with my impromptu speech on “12 roses”. I also received permission from the Toastmaster-of-the-Evening to solicit for funds for the HICT for Haiti Fund, and I am grateful to be able to collect RM100 from club members and also RM6 from a guest Toastmaster from the Bangsar Toastmasters Club. My thanks to fellow members who have made cash contributions this evening.

And of course, talking about this Fund, we collected another RM115 at the college today. So the grand total aggregated so far is RM653, including the RM106 received from Toastmasters today.

By chance, I read in The Sun today that on February 04, 2010, Martin Walker of US-based AT Kearney’s Global Business Council had suggested in the Bangkok Post that the recovery from the 2008-2009 global economic crisis wasn’t due to the vigor of the BRIC economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, but to a group of countries which he labeled The Ten. With remarkable speed, these 10 middle-income emergent economies – comprising Mexico, South Korea, Turkey, Poland, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Iran, Argentina, and Thailand – are becoming a new motor for the global economy, Walker wrote (p 14). What is most alarming is that Malaysia is not in this list! Our two neighbors – Indonesia and Thailand – are in this grouping, and this only serves to underscore the fact that for foreign analysts, Malaysia is already off their radar screen. Malaysia is no longer competitive! I remember those cruises that used to depart and return to Port Klang without a port of call (known locally as “cruises to nowhere"). Yeah, Malaysia is in that kind of limbo – we are in motion, but we are heading nowhere! Now that's sad!

Liverpool and Manchester City played out a tedious stalemate as both sides failed to stake their claim on fourth place in the EPL. A disappointing result for the Reds – more so because Tottenham and Aston Villa won their respective matches. Sigh!

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