Sunday, March 31, 2019

WSD-KL 2019 Car Decals

For WSD 2019, we produced this car decal (left).

BTW, this was our maiden World Speech Day event in Kuala Lumpur and we believe it has been a success. 

As mentioned previously, we recorded a total of 205 registrations – and 132 spoke for 3 to 5 minutes at the said event on March 15:

And we gave out the said car decals to all one hundred and thirty two speakers:

Thank you everybody for a successful WSD-KL! Your kind support is deeply appreciated! 

We will do even better in 2020!

#unexpectedvoices #worldspeechday

Children Too Spoke @ WSD-KL

At World Speech Day – Kuala Lumpur 2019, children from 5- to 12-years-old too were at UniRazak to lend their voice and speak about World Citizenship:

Children were seen and heard. And they filled the event space with an exuberance that made WSD an engaging and enriching experience for all. Without a doubt, these kids had endeared themselves to the audience! 

I’m sure WSD-KL 2020 will continue to see more children participating!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

MEF Dispute BNM's Salary Figures

The Malaysian Employers Federation have clarified that the starting salary for fresh graduates in the private sector in the country had been gradually increasing from 2010 to 2018 – contrary to the picture painted by Bank Negara Malaysia. 

(Check out yesterday’s blog post titled “Fresh Grads' Salaries in Decline, Says BNM”). 

The employers grouping data showed that a basic degree holder could earn a salary of RM2,393 in 2018 compared to RM1,993 in 2010 and a master’s degree RM3,267 as opposed to RM2,923. 

MEF Executive Director Shamsuddin Bardan (left) said the data was based on the MEF Salary Survey for Non-Executives and Executives 2010 and 2018 with data collected from participating member companies and published by MEF. 

He pointed out that Bank Negara Malaysia had analyzed and adjusted the MEF salary data to “real” terms, by taking into account factors such as Consumer Price Index – and this has put the Malaysian employers in a bad light. 

“Malaysian employers were blamed for not paying the newly employed enough starting basic salary”, he lamented. 

The Bank Negara Malaysia analysis of “real” wages may be useful for policy formulation but caused distrust and disharmony among employees and employers, he maintained. 

Hello Shamsuddin, I happen to believe that BNM are correct! We should look at real wages!

I was at the Lemongrass Café in WP Hotel in Jalan TAR, KL for TMIKL Toastmasters Club's Saturday morning meeting – and I presented my Ice-breaker speech titled I Don’t Know Victor Ong, which was for my CC Round 57. 

I was also an Evaluator for a Pathways Level One speech.

Third Defeat for Theresa May's EU Divorce Deal

British MPs yesterday rejected Theresa May’s EU divorce deal for a third time, opening the way for a long delay to Brexit or a potentially catastrophic “no deal” withdrawal in two weeks. 

Lawmakers in parliament’s lower House of Commons defied May’s plea to end the political deadlock that has plunged Britain into crisis, and defeated her withdrawal agreement by 344 votes to 286. 

It is yet another blow to a prime minister (right) who has all but lost control of her government and the Brexit process – particularly after she offered to quit if MPs backed the deal. 

May’s dead meat! 

And in the UK too, the Financial Conduct Authority has fined Goldman Sachs’ London unit £34 million (RM182 million) for misreporting hundreds of millions in transactions. 

According to the Financial Times, the FCA adjudged the US investment bank to have improperly reported over 213 million individual transactions between 2007 and 2017. 

Anyway, the 1MDB bond-issuer had cooperated with the investigation and even agreed to a settlement of the fines – the payoff carved 30 percent off the original penalty of £49 million. 

More punitive action awaits Goldman Sachs.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Najib Razak's Day in Court

On Tuesday, former Asian International Centre for Arbitration (AIAC) director Sundra Rajoo Nadarajah was charged with criminal breach of trust involving over RM1 million of the entity’s funds. 

He claimed trial to the three charges and repeatedly told the court he is not waiving the legal immunity he claimed to possess, LOL!

Fresh Grads' Salaries in Decline, Says BNM

Bank Negara Malaysia Annual Report 2018 revealed that degree holders are facing a double whammy as they stare at shrinking starting salaries coupled with a declining demand for high-skilled jobs. 

When adjusted for inflation, the starting pay for graduates with a basic degree was RM1,993 in 2010, whereas the amount dropped by RM10 to RM1,983 in 2018, while a Master’s degree holder faced a bigger decline in the same period from RM2,923 to RM2,707. 

Between 2010 and 2017, the number of diploma and degree holders in the labour force increased by an average of 173,457 persons per annum, much higher than the net employment gains in high-skilled jobs of 98,514 persons per annum. 

This suggests that the economy has not created sufficient high-skilled jobs to absorb the number of graduates entering the labour force. 

The cost of education keeps rising skyward but starting salaries have regretfully, not kept pace. 

The report also cited a study by Khazanah Research Institute which found that 95 percent of young workers in unskilled jobs and 50 percent of those in low-skilled manual jobs were over-qualified for these occupations. 

“If left unaddressed, this could reduce the incentive for the younger population to pursue higher levels of education and potentially exacerbate the ‘brain drain’ issue in Malaysia”, the BNM report said. 

However, for those without a tertiary education, the implementation of the minimum wage has supported increases in the salaries of lower-skilled workers. This has allowed the starting salaries for those at the bottom-end of the education attainment spectrum to catch up. 

For sure, this presents a frightening prospect indeed for Malaysian graduates. 

Yesterday, I was at the EcoWorld BBCC Sales Gallery in Jalan Hang Tuah, KL to attend their Toastmasters meeting.

And I was the Toastmaster-of-the-Evening. 

Kindly check out the photos taken at the said meeting: