Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Killing Song

Finally, this evening, I started the first of 10 speeches to qualify for the next level, i.e. Advanced Communicator Silver. At the D’Utama Advanced Toastmasters Club, I did a speech titled “The Killing Song” – speech assignment # 1 from The Entertaining Speaker manual. My evaluator was Area B1 Governor, Julian Gan, and he has generously described me as an entertaining speaker. He remarked that I am a stylish presenter, rendering vivid language and self-deprecating humor. In fact, he went on to add that should he has the opportunity to attend any of my classes, he is sure to thoroughly enjoy them. He is after all, a student at UNITAR. Sigh, I don’t think I am that deserving of such compliments because I don’t think my speech was all that great. Anyway, the immediate past District Governor, Joseph Gomez also commended me on my voice and my delivery, and he particularly liked my closing.

On the economic front, Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) executive director Dr. Mohamad Ariff had yesterday, highlighted that the Malaysian economy faces a bumpy road in its recovery from the fourth quarter of 2009. To quote him, “The road ahead is bumpy due to ongoing financial deleveraging, weak consumer and business sentiments and volatile commodity prices”. And interestingly, in support of my lukewarm attitude toward the 2010 Budget, he had also added, “Most of the 2010 Budget measures are below the expectations of MIER. Notably, there are no rigorous tax reforms or concrete measures to cut budget deficit”. This remark was made against the backdrop of the Malaysian 2010 Budget & Tax Planning Conference in Kuala Lumpur (The Sun, November 12, 2009, p 3).

Rafa Benitez continues to be in the limelight – after all, we are talking about Liverpool’s worrisome predicament here – although some would even describe this as deteriorating rather than worrisome – so, everyone (I mean, the many of us who support the Reds) is noticeably concerned. But today’s The Sun carried this headline on its back page, “Under-pressure Rafa upbeat”. And the Liverpool manager added, “People keep discussing our bad run, but previously we won six on the trot and we - some would even describe it as deteriorathave BEATEN (my emphasis!) Manchester United. It is a question of keeping going”. Yes, we must keep going. Keep believing. Keep the faith.

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