Friday, February 29, 2008

Poh Ling & Bee Bee Registered for Marriage

Would like to take this opportunity to congratulate two of my fellow Jit Sin Teens-Belia (current name of Jit Sin KRS) for their marriage registration tomorrow at a historic day of 29th February 2008. That means they would only get to celebrate their anniversary once every 4 years.

They are Tan Bee Bee and Lee Poh Ling. Wish that they would have a fantastic marriage life!

Congrats again!

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Vision 2020

28th February 1991 - a historical day for Malaysia. Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir (then YAB Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohammad) announced our ambition to join first world nation, through the Vision 2020. That was a good 17 years ago. Time really flies. And now, we are slightly less than 12 years from our goal. Are we there yet?

Do you think Vision 2020 is important? Do you think we talk too little about it nowadays? Are we still targeting at 2020? Would we be a developed nation? How is it like in a developed nation?

As I am talking, we just chalked up a 7.3% growth rate for our 4th Quarter of 2007, and a whole year of 6.3% growth rate for 2007. That's a huge growth. But, the question is can we sustain our growth?

Our foreign reserve right now is about USD100 Billion. Our trade figures is around RM1.1 trillion. Our stock market capitalization is around RM1.1 trillion too. And our Ringgit stands very strong against a weak USD. It is now about USD1 = RM3.20.

So, are we on track? Which of the 9 challenges of Vision 2020 that seems to be the most challenging for us to meet?

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5th CEO Series of Talk by Young Corporate Malaysians

The 5th CEO Series of Talks organized by Young Corporate Malaysians. Below are the write-up invite of the event.

Dear All,

First of all on behalf of my friends the organisers of the CEO Series, I would like to thank all of you who attended the event on Tuesday with Seelan Singham of McKinsey and Company Malaysia speaking. I hope that all of you benefited from it as much as we did.We were very happy to see around 59 people attending the event!

on another note, moving on..

we would like to inform you that we will be organising the next CEO Series No.5 as per the following:

Speaker: Syed Naqiz Shahabudin,

Managing Partner,Naqiz and Partners
Founder of Florsheim Shoes Malaysia and Brunei

Date: Wednesday 5th March 2008 (next week)

Time: 7 30pm to 9 30pm

Venue: Rumah UKEC, 67 Jalan U Thant Kuala Lumpur

To confirm your attendance and if u need the map to Rumah UKEC, please email to

For all our lawyer friends out there ( chambies included!) this is your chance to meet one of the top young corporate lawyers in town!

For our non lawyer friends, you should still attend as Naqiz is the embodiment of what we would call a dynamic person in the corporate scene, being able to balance a corporate and entrepreneurial outlook.

And all this, while he is only less than 35 yrs of age!

Read more about him below.

Naqiz is founding partner of Naqiz & Partners, a boutique corporate law firm based in Damansara Heights. He graduated from the Australian National University in 1997 and is admitted to practice in Australia and Malaysia. He was formerly practicing in Skrine and Co and Wong and Partners Baker McKenzie Malaysia. He started his own firm Naqiz and Partners in January 2005 with his other partner, Tan Hon Yik, and today the Firm has grown to 13 lawyers with three additional branches in Johor.

The Firm handles mainly corporate and commercial transactions, capital markets, intellectual property, technology and communications, real estate and property, conventional and islamic banking and finance, employment and private client matters. Although a relatively new entrant in the Malaysian legal landscape, the Firm has already been listed in the Asia Pacific Legal 500 Recommended Law Firms in Malaysia in five categories due to the experience of the Partners and the nature of the Firm’s portfolio. Some of Naqiz’s notable transactions include transactions involving the automotive industry, highway concessions, listing and delisting exercises, defence contracts, contract farming initiatives, sale of substantial equity in PLCs including financial institutions, shipbuilding and repair activities, franchising involving multinational franchise owners and various complicated telecommunications based transactions.

Naqiz is a highly sought after speaker. He speaks on a wide variety of legal and commercial topics for multinational corporations as well as local companies and organisations. His speaking engagements have taken him as far as Boston and New York. Naqiz is also an arbitrator for the Regional Centre for Arbitration Kuala Lumpur and a panelist for the World Intellectual Property Organisation where he has written numerous decisions on domain name disputes. He has co written various legal publications including the books “Intellectual Property Laws of Malaysia” and “Brands: The Need to Be Legally Strong”.

Apart from his legal practice, Naqiz is also owner of Premium Leisure Sdn Bhd, a joint venture with Florsheim Asia Pacific Ltd. The company is the exclusive distributor of Florsheim shoes and accessories in Malaysia and Brunei. The history of Florsheim can be traced back to 1892 in Chicago when the brand was given its lease of life by Milton Florsheim. Today, the brand has worldwide presence and appears to have outlived its founder, a key element of Naqiz’s business principles. Under Premium Leisure, the brand is being “repositioned” in the Malaysian market.

Naqiz has always been a Florsheim user and when the opportunity to participate in this business presented itself, he leapt in almost immediately. He firmly believes that good shoes are important for two reasons: they must appeal to the users’ emotive and physical needs. In terms of style, quality and comfort, which is essentially everything you need in a shoe, Florsheim wins hands down.

Naqiz also believes in strong family values. Being a good parent is not enough. He strives to be a good son, husband and father. This means toiling equally as hard at work and at home. A part of growing older is accepting responsibilities for this life and the life hereafter. Once you appreciate the magnitude of this responsibility, only then can you embrace it. Naqiz has a loving wife and two beautiful daughters.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Scientific Journals International

Would like to encourage all my readers, especially those who are interested to help peer-review international journal to join the Editorial Review Board of Scientific Journals International. It would be a great way for you to have access to tons of international research articles, which are of open source and help to conduct peer review of those articles.

Do sign up at here

To look at the list of existing Editorial Review Board members, go to here

To read those free online open source journal, please go to here . There are a lot of fantastic articles there.

Do spread the words around!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Seelan's Talk for 4th CEO Series of Talk

Thanks to the Young Corporate Malaysians for organizing the 4th CEO Series of Talk. This 4th talk on 26th February at Rumah UKEC featured Mr. Seelan Singham, Managing Partner of Mckinsey & Company, Malaysia.

Seelan brought with him 15 years of exposure at Mckinsey & Co, besides 18 months at restructuring ANZ Bank in early 1990s, when it was saddled with $600 million of losses. Seelan went to MBA at University of Chicago and before that, he was in Investment Banking.

Seelan talked about Leadership as the most crucial issue facing Malaysia and he mentioned that we currently lack about 4,000 leaders here in Malaysia.

Seelan shared on 5 Things that he thinks are crucial for someone to be a leader. He says that it is our obligation to ourselves, to our family and to our nation, to be a good leader.

The first quality is to have dreams that scare yourself . He talked about big dreams. One of the guys he showed is Sir Edmund Hillary, the first guy to climb Mount Everest. And Sir Edmund Hillary was a 6 feet 5 inch guy. Very hard for him to climb. But he managed to do it with sheer determination. So, we should really have very scary dream. Dream that we are scared for ourselves to even think about it. Dreams that make us shiver.

Seelan talked that those who are old, are those who look behind and talk about history. However, those who are old biologically, but young mentally, are those who continue to look forward. His father is one of the example. He is still working very hard, looking forward, although he is already 81 years old. He talked about courage to fail. We really have to try our best. At our age, especially for those of us in our 20s, there is nothing much for us to fear. We have the least obligation now. So, we should just go all out to try things that we might not try it later. No harm try and fail. He talked about how we should go against the flow and try things that no one wants to try. He turned down a Mckinsey offer after his MBA, although that's what he really wanted to do. During that time, the then CEO of ANZ Bank called him to do a turnaround for ANZ Bank when it is saddled with losses, and Seelan took it as a great challenge and learned through the experience.

He talked that it is very easy for us to achieve goals, if we know what is the goals. What is tough, is to determine the right goals. He shared about a 15-year-old American who listed down 127 goals, and many of those are really crazy goals. But as of now, he has achieved 110 of those goals.

This brought us to his second point Stretch Opportunities . He wanted us to really pursue those opportunities that others are running away from. We should go for those kind of opportunities, as it is the best training ground for us. He talked about how in his 2nd year of Business School at University of Chicago, he really wanted to go for Mckinsey and they are using point bidding system to get interview. He put all his points for Mckinsey. Then, when he went for his 1st interview, he really flung it. The partner told him that he flung it very badly, but they are giving him chance, and it is their first time doing so, as he put all his hope on Mckinsey only. Eventually he got it.

But he turned it down after a few months of thoughts, as he took out the opportunities to turn around ANZ bank. After 18 months, he joined back Mckinsey. He just contacted back the partner and asked for it, and he got in. Seelan thinks that it is not mere coincidence. Over hte past 15 years, he does not always just choose the safe path. Sometimes, he would take the toughest path and he has failed several times. In his annual performance review, he has gotten all 4 types of ratings. Distinctive, tracking plus, tracking and issue. In fact, he got "Issue" twice and those are potential time to get sacked, as Mckinsey practices Up or Out. He cited that those periods when he went through hell, the support that he got is tremendous and he learned from those failure. His quote is that "Fall that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger".

The third point is caring mentor or partner . Mentor is somebody who thinks that you can accomplish more that what you think you can do, and the person would tries hard to motivate you. In Business School, he has always wanted to go into Investment Banking. However, his mentor told him that he is much more suitable to be consultant instead of joining Investment Banking. At that time, Seelan was very upset with his mentor, but his mentor really cared to advise him, although it might hurt his feeling. Seelan said that the best way is that for us to see our dream, and from there, assess who should be the best person to mentor us. We should really go out to pursue our mentor.

The fourth point is giving . Seelan says that giving would make us keep things in perspective. Eventually, the world is a very small place, and everything would come around. If we give, we would get back the reward one day. And if we do bad deed, it would come around too. He talked about how his 8-year-old son wanted to donate all his ang pows away to others in need, although he himself won't be doing exactly like what his son does.

The fifth point is Mental Resilience . It is that when things are very tough, are we able to stand and not give up. Seelan talked about how he tried to influence his 4-year-old daughter, but she has very strong mental resilience. On advice of how to develop mental resilience, he said that one aspect is on intellectual curiosity. The urge to find out why things happen. The second aspect is on divine intervention, as 50% of things are beyond our control. If we think so, then whenever things go wrong, we can always say that 50% of it is beyond our control, but it is so too, if things go right, it could be just beyond our control and it turns out fine.

Seelan asked about how many does mental exercise vs physical exercise, and interestingly 50% does physical exercise vs 10% who does mental exercise. That shows that we lack mental exercise. Our mind is very powerful and we focus a lot. But we need to work on our subconscious mind. He showed us a video and asked us to count how many ball passes went through. All of us just keep on counting, and we didn't even realize a furry guy who walked through it, and it was just so obvious. I miss it. In total, only 1 person found it.

He also said that we tend to go through failures very often, but we tend to lack to spend time to go through our successes.

He leaves us with 5 questions.
1. Are we exercising our mind enough?
2. What more can we give?
3. Have we identified the right mentor? Are we pursuing our mentor?
4. Are we putting up our hand when we see stretch opportunity?
5. Does our dream scares us?

After that, it is Q&A. I asked on 3 major pitfalls for young management consultants, since there are many from management consultants there. Accenture, BCG, Mckinsey & Co etc. The 3 pitfalls given are:-
a) We fail to convince the junior clients. Often, too much focus is on the more senior clients.
b) We often tend to just think that we are doing glamorous job and just try to do our best and deliver and close the project. But we should actually be enjoy the work and be excited about it and make transformation for the client.
c) We should not assume that we are smarter than our client.

Some other aspects touched during Q&A.
1. We should move, when we are no longer stretched.
2. We should take huge risk at this age, as he asks us to imagine what is the worst can happen to us.
3. He talked about his scary dream of moving back to Malaysia from Australia, when others are going there.
4. Mentors like the new idea, especially the passion and drive of younger people. Good mentors would like to see their mentors improve and look forward, and mentors enjoy to have priviledge to make difference in their mentee's life.
5. He talked about leaders as not input-based, i.e. whether a leader is charismatic, smart, visionary, is not important. What is important is output-based, i.e. achieve breakthrough performance. He quoted 2 very good leaders are Tan Sri Hassan Merican and Datuk Seri Idris Jala.
6. When we approach mentor, we should be flexible in terms of expectation, and start with low expectations first.
7. For education in Malaysia, his opinion is that two most important aspects are teachers' quality and the interactions between teachers and students. He quoted Dubai, Singapore and Korea as those successful ones.

Above are what I capture in the talk. Do feel free to share if you were there and I miss out anything or interpret anything wrongly.

Really appreciate Seelan's sharing and hope to see more people attending future CEO's Series of Talk. Congrats to Firdaus and gang for organizing this too! This talk has the biggest attendance as of now. I guess more than 50 people were there! Maybe even 60 people.

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PKR RM1,500 Monthly Wage Ridiculous Idea

With the 12th General Election coming up, I would like to share some of my opinion/thoughts about some of the issues brought up!

One of it is the suggestion to provide a RM1,500 minimum wage for all jobs in Malaysia, suggested by Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

Lets try to put on our thinking cap. Would this RM1,500 minimum wage makes sense? I'm sure they think long before coming out with this figure. So, it must be solid.

But, lets think about it. Hundreds of thousands of Malaysians do hire maid. And I am very sure that majority, perhaps more than 90% of the maids are being paid less than RM1,500 per month. If this minimum wage applies, it means that all of them have to be paid RM1,500. Would fellow Malaysians, especially the middle class who have maid too, can afford it? Maybe yes, but that also means that their monthly expenditure would go up by a lot, perhaps even by more than RM1,000 a month. That's worse than any form of inflation.

Bad idea.

Lets look at other sectors. There are many other sectors, whose current wage is less than RM1,500. Just to name a few, petrol stations attendants, construction workers, waiters and waitresses etc. Especially foreign workers, most of them are not paid RM1,500. So, if everyone is made to pay RM1,500, would our economy be stable? Can Malaysia continues to be competitive?

I definitely don't think so.

To put it in a nutshell, the idea of RM1,500 per month is ridiculously stupid. Ideally, yes, it sounds good. But, would it work? No! That is just kind of idea that the party, who has no ambition of ruling the country. They are just intending to grab a few seats and fill up some spots in parliaments. So, they have nothing to lose to come out with such ridiculous manifesto. After all, they know that they won't be held accountable. They are not going to win the election. So, they are just trying to gain some votes from those who are blinded by their ridiculous idea.

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theCICAK YouTube Challenge

Below is a challenge by theCICAK at here

Challenge politicians to respond to YouTube videos!
About COMPETITION | February 25, 2008

We at theCICAK want to conduct an experiment in bridging the gap between Malaysian politicians and youth.

And we're making a RM100 bet.

Post up a video of yourself on - with a short message for any local politician. Ask a question. Raise an idea.

Don't just say your piece - Seek a RESPONSE.

We'll give you RM100 if your video is the first YouTube video to get a YouTube recorded response from a local politician.

Let's find out if a local politician responds before the general election and you'll know who's really listening to the youth of Malaysia and engaging us on OUR terms.

To take up the bet, email us the YouTube video you created. If you get a video response, email to us as well… thecicak (at) gmail (dot) com

NOTE:You must be a Malaysian 35 and under, based in Malaysia or even out of the country. theCICAK will not be held responsible for any content hosted on the network. The bet expires after elections.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Mahathir Science Award for 2008

Thanks to a blog reader who sent me this link from The Star . It is quoted fully below.

The Academy of Sciences Malaysia is inviting nominations for the Mahathir Science Award for 2008.

This award is bestowed on any scientist, institution or organisation worldwide in recognition of contributions and innovations towards solving problems in the tropics through science and technology.

The categories for the award are Tropical Medicine, Tropical Agriculture, Tropical Architecture and Engineering as well as Tropical Natural Resources.

One award will be conferred each year, covering any of the four fields. The prize is RM100,000, a gold medal and a certificate.

The deadline for submission is March 31. For details, call 03-2694 9898.

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THE International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences (IATSS) Forum

Thanks to a link from one of my blog readers.

The full article is here at NST

THE International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences (IATSS) Forum is a great programme where participants get to meet and live with people from other ASEAN countries as well as the Japanese.

The programme runs every year and is fully sponsored - Honda Corporation pays for airfare, board, lodging and a daily allowance.

It is open to Malaysian citizens below 35 years of age, with at least two years of working experience, sufficient English skills and cultural adaptability to live and study abroad.

The 45th IATSS Forum will be held from April to June while the 46th IATSS Forum will be held from September to November for 57 days.

Applications for both forums must reach the Malaysian National Committee office by April 30.

For more information, write to The Chairman, IATSS Forum Malaysian National Committee, P.O. Box 1221, No. 16, Lorong Maarof, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, e-mail or visit the IATSS Forum Alumni Malaysia web site at or the main IATSS Forum Japan web site at

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IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for Young Malaysians 2008

Thanks Gabrielle for highlighting this event.

Event Update: IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for Young Malaysians 2008

The IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for Young Malaysians 2008 essay-writing competition is now open to all Malaysian students aged between 14 and 18 as of March 31.
This topic for 2008 is "Tomorrow's World", and the essay should be between 800 and 1,200 words. Factual and fictional accounts are both accepted.

The best overall essay will earn the writer and parent a trip to Dublin to attend the gala ceremony of the world's richest book prize, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

The contest, held for the sixth consecutive year, is organised by the Irish Embassy, IMPAC, The Star and the National Library of Malaysia with support from the Education Ministry.

The sponsors are the Irish Universities and Medical Schools Consortium, the St Patrick's Society of Selangor, Exchange Trade Centre International and the Malaysian Irish Alumni Association.

Entries must be submitted by March 31.

For enquiries, call 03-20959513, or e-mail

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Scholarships Talks on 1st March 2008

If you are post-SPM 2007 candidates, I would strongly urge you to attend the following talk at Malaysian Mensa Administrative Office.

If you have already obtained a scholarship before, would hope to see you come forward to share with other potential Scholarships candidates.

I would focus mainly on JPA Scholarships, as well as other scholarships like MARA, Bank Negara, Petronas, Security Commissioner and Khazanah.

All the best!

Are you seeking to obtain a scholarship in your pursuit of a higher education?

Come to the Malaysian Mensa Administrative Office on Saturday 1 March 2008 at 3pm. Mr. Yeoh who have gone through the interview, application processes and was successful in obtaining scholarship will share his experience and insight.

This talk is free for Malaysian Mensans who have renewed their membership for 2008. For non Mensans, a nominal fee of RM5 would be charged.

As places are limited please book your place with an email to Mr. Yeoh Chen Chow

We welcome Mensans who have successfully gone through these scholarships process to step forward and share during the talk.

Light refreshments would be provided.

Malaysian Mensa Society Administration Office
Suite 635 Block A2,
Leisure Commerce Square,
9 Jalan PJS 8/9
46150 Petaling Jaya

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Support Charity by Malaysian Youth at UWC

Lets support initiative by 3 Malaysians at United World College.


Dear Sir/Ms,

We students of the Mahindra United World College of India are organizing a fundraiser to support the Deep Griha Medical Clinic in Pune, India. This clinic provides medical care for patients who are suffering from HIV and are not able to afford treatments.

The Girls Go Bald. On March 3rd, twenty girls from sixteen different countries, including three from Malaysia, will shave their heads to raise awareness and to show their commitment to Deep Griha. People from all over the world will be able sponsor these girls who are sacrificing their hair to help provide essential medical care to individuals in Pune who are HIV positive. The hair will be sent to an organisation called 'Locks of Love' in the United States of America where it will be used to make wigs for cancer patients.

For more information about the cause, or how to make your donation, please visit our website at: here

Help us reach our goal!

Thank you for your support,

Flora Wong, Phoebe Kulasegram & Nadhira Abdul Halim

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MCA's Report Card

Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) has announced its Report Card to showcase what are the achievements that MCA has done over the past 4 years since the last General Election.

Quek Ngee Meng, Acting Director of Lifelong Learning has scanned all those 9 Report Cards of 9 Point Party Platform in his blog. Please kindly refer to the links below:-

Platform 1: A Healthy Political Culture
Platform 2: Lifelong Learning Campaign
Platform 3: Revitalising Education
Platform 4: Chinese Language Education
Platform 5: Economic Competitiveness
Platform 6: Development and Promotion of Culture
Platform 7: New Villages Development
Platform 8: A Just and Caring Society
Platform 9: Rakyat Malaysia

Do help share the links of these MCA Report Cards of its performance.

To all voters out there, do go in and read through the report cards and decide for yourself, on whether MCA, and Barisan Nasional, has played its parts in fulfilling its responsibilities.

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Check for Election Registration

For all Malaysians to check on your registered election areas, please go to here .

Lets all fulfill our responsibility as a citizen of Malaysia to vote in the upcoming 12th General Election.

Personally, I would persuade you to vote for Barisan Nasional for this upcoming election for the stability of our nation.

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International Young Music Entrepreneur

Quoted the below from - The Worldwide Malaysian Students Network


The Malaysian winner will travel – fully-sponsored by the British Council – to the UK to network with music industry professionals, attend music events, and be in the running for £7,500 (RM 51,000) cash prize

The British Council is looking for that outstanding individual making ripples in the Malaysian music industry to send to the UK and take part in an international competition with the ultimate goal of being selected as the International Young Music Entrepreneur (IYME).

Open to music entrepreneurs aged between 25 and 35, IYME recognises extraordinary achievement and potential of young creative entrepreneurs working in the music industry.

The national winner will travel to the UK in June 2008 to take part in a 14-day tour of the UK music industry. This will include visits, meetings, and gigs in London and Manchester, London Calling trade exhibition, and a showcasing event to promote their national music scene.

The IYME 2008 winner will be announced at an awards ceremony during the UK visit. The prize will consist of a financial award of £7,500, which will be linked to the UK and tailored to the winner's specific needs. The winner of IYMEY is decided based upon a presentation made by each candidate to an elite judging panel from the UK music industry.

Candidates must already be active professionally in the local music sector, as defined below:

--Record companies; Artists & Repertoire (A&R); producing, recording, engineering; music licensing, and distribution
--Venue and/or festival programming and management
--Artists management and agents
--Music broadcasting
--Music journalism and publishing
--Music development & management
--Music marketing; public and media relations
--Music retail; online (including digital) and high street outlets

"We recognise that a participant may be active as a musician or DJ, however their work as an artist should be secondary to their focus as an entrepreneur in the promotion of music in their country," explained Sunitha Janamohanan, Arts Manager for the British Council.

"Musical talent will not be factored into the judging procedure – finalists will be judged solely on the merit of their entrepreneurial abilities in the music business."

This is the second year that Malaysia is participating in this programme. Last year, recording artist and entrepreneur Jason Lo fended off stiff competition to be selected to represent Malaysia in the UK by a distinguished panel of judges consisting of some of the country's most influential names in the music industry including Ahmad Izham Omar (CEO of 8TV), and Jennifer Thompson (President of Persatuan Akademi Industri Muzik Malaysia).

Lo said: "IYME 2007 was a fantastic experience for me. Many doors were opened and I managed to get a glimpse of the UK music industry from many interesting angles. There is definitely something in the journey for everyone. And the bonus, or the icing on the cake is the fact that you're together with winners from all over the world, all of you with something in common, something to share and something to aim for. Our interaction within the group was educational and exciting, even now I am still in touch with them and we regularly explore possibilities to work together."

"I've never been big on awards because well, they're just awards. This was different, this one let's you put all your work and ambition into perspective, take yourself out of the context of the Malaysian music scene, assess yourself and open your eyes."

Among the finalists last year were Moots! of local hip hop rock band Pop Shuvit and Administrator of Shuvit Management and Adrian Yap, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of KLue and Junk magazines.

A participant must:
--Be aged between 25 and 35
--Already work in the music sector (as defined above)
--Be entrepreneurial and have shown their ability and innovative approach to the promotion of music in their country, particularly in a commercial context
--Through their character, drive and abilities demonstrate their potential to be a future leader of the sector in their country
--Have a reasonable command of the English language

A panel of judges comprising leading figures in the local music industry will interview short-listed candidates, selected on the strength of their applications, to identify the best Young Music Entrepreneur from Malaysia. Successful candidates will have a passion for their creative sector; display originality and confidence in their work, and an entrepreneurial drive to succeed in their field; they will be risk-takers and forward-thinking leaders, striving to make a difference in their field and for the local music industry.

"It's not about how much money you've made in the music business, but about having a wider understanding of the potential in this market and what your role could be in building it," added Janamohanan.

Candidates will be judged both on the evidence of their existing entrepreneurial skills and their potential to be an agent of change.

How to applyApplicants need to fill out an application form that can be downloaded from the British Council's website British Council . Closing date for applications is Wednesday 19 March.

For further queries, email the British Council at or call 03 2723 7931 or 03 2723 7988.

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Congrats to Wei Lin for Wedding

Congrats to Dominica Ng Wei Lin for her marriage.

Sorry for only realizing it now.

Check out her posts on 26th Jan 2008 and 3rd Feb 2008 for her marriage posts here

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Housing Loan for Malaysia

Thanks to Andre Ooi for the link.

For those of you who are looking for Housing Loan in Malaysia, this is a very good source of information. Click here for more info.

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Cornell Spanish Speaking Country Study Abroad

Obtained this from a Cornell University International Living Center mailing list from Windi Sasaki, Residence Hall Director (RHD) of Holland International Living Center (HILC).

If you are interested, do apply!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you are studying Spanish and would like to improve your language skills and gain confidence speaking the language, if you are a medical student and would like to work with real doctors and real patients in a Spanish speaking country , if you are looking for volunteering opportunities, if you are interested in Spanish culture, or if you are looking for something fun to do this summer in an Spanish-speaking environment, THIS OPPORTUNITY IS FOR YOU!!!!!
Six-week study abroad program, all included even round-trip airfare, housing, trips, classes, and much more for only $2850.
For details visit:

Hurry!!!! Enrollment is limited!!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For further info, contact:-

Brisa Teutli
Associate Chair for Language Instruction, Department of Romance Studies
FIR, High Rises
Cornell University
403c Morrill Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Tel. (607)255-1377

Click here for Brisa Teutli's Website

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Friday, February 22, 2008

12th General Election - MCA Parliament Seats

For this upcoming 12th General Election, Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) under the leadership of YB Dato' Seri Ong Ka Ting would be fielding 40 candidates for Parliamentary Seats. This is 18% of total 222 Parliament seats available in this upcoming election.

Below are the list of MCA Candidates. Hopefully, MCA , with its fantastic track record of servicing the public, would be able to garner more than 31 Parliament Seats this time around.

Of those 31 existing MCA MPs, only 16 would be contesting in Parliament Seats again this time around. This is part of MCA process to provide fresher and newer blood, to ensure that it has a good continuation of new leaders.

Out of those 4 MCA Ministers, 2 would be contesting in Parliament Seats this upcoming election -
1. YB Dato' Seri Ong Ka Ting (P163 - Kulai)
2. YB Dato' Seri Fong Chan Onn (P135 - Alor Gajah) .

Out of 9 MCA Deputy Ministers, 7 would be contesting in Parliament Seats this upcoming election. -
1. YB Dato' Kong Cho Ha (P074 - Lumut)
2. YB Dato' Dr. Ng Yen Yen (P080 - Raub)
3. YB Dato' Fu Ah Kiow (P083 - Kuantan)
4. YB Datuk Liow Tiong Lai (P089 - Bentong)
5. YB Datuk Ong Tee Keat (P100 - Pandan)
6. YB Dato' Donald Lim Siang Chai (P105 - Petaling Jaya Selatan)
7. YB Datuk Tan Chai Ho (P124 - Bandar Tun Razak) .

Out of 4 MCA Parliamentary Secretaries, 2 would be contesting in Parliament Seats this upcoming election. -
1. YB Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun (P106 - Petaling Jaya Utara)
2. YB Yew Teong Look (P116 - Wangsa Maju)

Lets hope that all these candidates would be able to win their elections convincingly. In any case, if MCA obtains back its allocation of 4 Ministers, 9 Deputy Ministers and 4 Parliamentary Secretaries positions (assume no addition or no reduction), then we would see at least 2 new Ministers, at least 4 new Deputy Ministers (assuming that the new Ministers are from the Deputy Ministers), and perhaps 4 new Parliament Secretaries (assuming that both the Parliament Secretaries get to move up to Deputy Ministers or even Ministers position).

We would be seeing a new Deputy Speaker of Dewan Rakyat as well, as YB Datuk Lim Si Cheng did not seek re-election this time around.

There are a number of ex-state exco or ex-ADUN who would be contesting in Parliament Seats this time around, including several very senior politicians. So, it won't be a surprise if some of them made it to be Ministers/Deputy Ministers/Parliament Secretaries/Deputy Speaker.

There are 3 former MCA State EXCO who would now be contesting in Parliament Seats.
1. YB Dato' Koay Kar Huah (P051 - Bukit Gelugor)
2. YB Dato' Ch'ng Toh Eng (P110 - Klang)
3. YB Datuk Yu Chok Tow (P128 - Seremban)

There are 7 former MCA State Assemblymen who would now be contesting in Parliament Seats.
1. YB Boey Chin Gan (P017 - Padang Serai)
2. YB Dato' Yik Phooi Hong (P065 - Ipoh Barat)
3. YB Datuk Lee Chee Leong (P070 - Kampar)
4. YB Dato' Hoh Hee Lee (P102 - Serdang)
5. YB Datuk Lee Hwa Beng (P104 - Kelana Jaya)
6. YB Dato' Dr. Yeow Chai Thiam (P130 - Rasah)
7. YB Wee Jeck Seng (P165 - Tanjong Piai)

There are 5 existing MCA Parliament Seat holders who would continue contesting in Parliament Seats.
1. YB Dato' Chor Chee Heung (P009 - Alor Setar)
2. YB Wong Nai Chee (P138 - Kota Melaka)
3. YB Dr. Wee Ka Siong (P148 - Air Hitam)
4. YB Ling Ban San @ Teng Boon Soon (P158 - Tebrau)
5. YB Tan Ah Eng (P162 - Gelang Patah)

Above are those 26 existing MCA YBs who would be recontesting in Parliament Seats.

MCA Secretary General Datuk Ong Ka Chuan, who has significant experience in being in Perak State EXCO for several terms earlier would contest in (P077 - Tanjung Malim).

YB Senator Datuk Dr. Lee Chong Meng would give it another try at (P120 - Bukit Bintang).

The other 12 MCA new candidates for Parliament Seats are -
1. Sharon Song Choy Ling (P043 - Bagan)
2. Ong Tang Chuan (P045 - Bukit Mertajam)
3. Ooi Siew Kim (P052 - Bayan Baru)
4. Liew Mun Hon (P064 - Ipoh Timur)
5. Cheah Yoke Can (P066 - Batu Gajah)
6. Ling Hee Leong (P071 - Gopeng)
7. Lee Li Yew (P097 - Selayang)
8. Carol Chew Chee Lin (P122 - Seputeh)
9. Jeffrey Goh Sim Ik (P123 - Cheras)
10. Chua Tee Yong (P142 - Labis)
11. YB Senator Tay Puay Chuan (P145 - Bakri)
12. Dr. Hou Kok Chung (P152 - Kluang)

It looks refreshing of this great list of MCA candidates. I would say that MCA Leadership should be given credits for preparing a very solid list of candidates.

Out of the 40 candidates,
2 of them age 30 or less (5%)
9 of them age 40 or less (22.5%)
16 of them age 45 or less (40%)
18 of them age 50 or less (45%)
31 of them age 55 or less (77.5%)
36 of them age 60 or less (90%)
The oldest among them is Ling Ban San @ Teng Boon Soon, who is 67 years old.

This shows that MCA is really prepared to send in young candidates to stand in the 12th General Election.

Mean Age of the MCA candidates of Parliament Seats are 48.6 years old.

I sincerely urge all readers of my blog to vote during this 12th General Election! And do hope that you would support MCA Candidates, as well as BN Candidates, to ensure that Malaysia would continue to grow steadily towards Vision 2020.

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General Election - PAS and its empty promise

As General Elections come nearer, I would include some selections of articles related to this 12th General Election.

Quoting from Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA)'s website for this article of empty promises by PAS.

As usual, another empty promise by PAS to the voters

It was reported in Utusan Malaysia dated 21 February 2008 that PAS themselves admitted openly that they are unable to fulfill their promise to set up a welfare state in the country if they come into power come election on 8 March 2008. This just shows how unrealistic the party can be in giving out promises which they are incapable to deliver in the end.

PAS Vice-President Datuk Husam Musa himself admitted openly that they could never form a government with the party contesting in only 60 Parliamentary seats in the 12th General Elections, far fewer than the 84 seats it contested in the last polls. This figure is a far cry from needing to secure at least 112 out of the 222 Parliamentary seats being contested to garner a simple majority in Dewan Rakyat.

According to Husam, the welfare state which was championed by them earlier in their election manifesto is only aimed to persuade the voters to accept the party. He added that as a start, PAS does not have the intention to rule the country and their main goal is to reduce the 2/3 majority which was garnered by BN during the 2004 General Elections.

We could see clearly that PAS is trying to dupe voters into thinking that they have their welfare and interest at heart, whilst their ultimate aim is to garner their votes for the coming election to achieve an Islamic state in the country. Husam even has the cheek to say that the welfare state concept was offered to the voters to enable them to make a choice.

We firmly remind PAS to set their foot on the ground and feel what voters really want this coming election for a better Malaysia. They should follow BN which comes out with a clear set of election manifesto and plans to be offered to the voters. BN always places the voters’ interest and welfare at heart and will continue to outline specific mechanism on their policy implementation.

Voters should question PAS and other Opposition parties that ‘Talking is one thing, but how to implement the promises is another’. PAS must make known to the voters how they are going to implement all their unrealistic plans which were offered as part of their election promises.

Nowadays, even BN is well aware that voters are more informed on current issues due to the increasing number of people resorting to the Internet to obtain the latest news and information especially in urban areas. At the end of the day, voters must not be emotional and be swayed by the Opposition rhetoric election promises which they know that they are not able to deliver. Voters must make an informed decision before casting their vote to only capable ‘wakil rakyat’s who will serve them whole-heartedly in their constituencies.

- MCA Online -

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Young Corporate Malaysians 4th CEO Series Session 26th Feb

Hope to see more people interested to participate in the Young Corporate Malaysians CEO Series Session.


We are happy to inform you that we will be organizing our 4th CEO Series session, next week on Tuesday 26th February 2008. Details are as per below:

Speaker: Mr Seelan Singham, Managing Partner Mckinsey and Company Malaysia

Date: Tuesday 26th February 2008

Time: 7.30pm to 9 30pm

Venue: Rumah UKEC 67 Jalan U Thant Kuala Lumpur.

To confirm attendance and for more information, email : or or send a text to 012 3902877

Do bring your friends along!

Kind regards




Seelan Singham
Managing Partner, Malaysia
McKinsey & Company

Since joining McKinsey & Company 13 years ago, Seelan has served clients in Asia, Australia, Europe and America in the financial services and telecommunications sectors. Seelan also leads McKinsey's Organization Practice in South East Asia, where he is an experienced practitioner in performance management, leadership development, and performance transformation. He has worked with several of Malaysia's leading government-linked companies, establishing board governance guidelines to catalyse their improvement, and developing a blueprint to help them significantly improve performance and their contribution to the country's development.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning via its South City Lifelong Learning Centre has been very active in organizing classes to help the community to learn new skills. As of now, 580 learners have registered with the center.

The contact details of the center is 03-89438186 or email to .

For the upcoming programs, it would be:-
MS Excel (Mandarin) - 8 Weeks (8pm to 10pm Monday) RM80 per course, starting 18th Feb
MS Word (Mandarin) - 8 weeks (8pm to 10pm Friday) RM80 per course, starting 22nd Feb
Yoga Workshop - 2 weeks, 11am - 1pm, Free, starting 24th Feb
Chinese Painting, 7:30pm to 9:30pm every Monday, RM100 per month, Starting 4th Feb
Yoga, 8:45pm to 9:45pm every Monday, RM50 per month, starting 20th Feb

Do hope more people would make full use of the lifelong learning campaign.

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World Vision One Life Revolution!

World Vision's ONE LIFE REVOLUTION's exhibition, where you would get to hear, see and experience the tragedy and triumph lived out by real children affected by AIDS and child trafficking.

5th to 8th March - Monash University, Petaling Jaya
15th to 16th March - NAPEI, the 23rd Malaysian Education Fair, Midvalley Exhibition Center, KL
10th to 12th April - KB Mall, Kota Bharu
1st to 4th May - Sarawak Tourism Complex, Kuching

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Education Fair for UK

Useful info for those who plan to further studies to UK!

You may be interested to know that LSE - together with Imperial College, King's College and University College London - will be holding a graduate exhibition presentation and information evening and a mini exhibition in Kuala Lumpur in March to provide information and
advice to prospective students and applicants. The exhibition will take place as follows:

Dates: Tuesday 11 March 2008 Opening hours: 18.30 - 20.30
Venue: British Council, Kuala Lumpur Centre

Staff from four of the leading institutions in London will be holding information sessions in Malaysia to present study opportunities available at masters and graduate research levels, the application process, academic standards required and student life in London. Please register in advance with the British Council: here

Dates: Saturday 15 March and Sunday 16 March 2008
Opening hours: 11.00 - 17.00
Venue: Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur

Representatives from the four colleges mentioned above will be available throughout the stated opening hours to talk to prospective students and to answer questions about their institutions. There will be a range of presentations covering popular subjects as well as two sessions on the UCAS application system. In addition, each college will also give a presentation on study opportunities at their institution, followed by a question and answer session.

The exhibition will run on a drop-in basis, so there is no need to register your interest or book a place in advance - please just come
along during the opening hours.

For further information, please visit our website at:

With best wishes,

Phil Wood
Phil Wood
International Student Recruitment Administrator
The London School of Economics
Houghton Street
United Kingdom
tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6133
fax: +44 (0)20 7955 6001

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Cornell Engineering Alumni Association

Just realize from the Cornell Engineering Alumni magazine that a decision made in April 2007 (I know that it is a long time ago), that Cornell Engineering Alumni Association (CEAA) has now abolished all of its dues collection. With that, all of us, Cornell University College of Engineering Alumni would automatically become its members! Hurray!!!

This is definitely great news for Cornell Engineering Alumni like me. CEAA definitely is a sentimental organization for me, since I served for a year in CEAA Board of Director, representing Engineering Undergraduates in it. Karl Miller was the President then. It was then that I got chance to have my voice heard by CEAA fellow Board of Directors, whom many of them consisted of distinguished alumni, who might either own a company or in senior positions in various companies. That one year is a great learning experience for me, and it always amazed me seeing how those much more senior alumni listening to an undergraduate like me on how alumni could play a bigger role to support undergraduates' experience.

Hope to see more Cornell Engineering Alumni play a bigger role in our alma mater. For each year, we have about 700 Engineering graduates, so easily multiply that by 50 years, we have about 35,000 living Engineering alumni and I believe the actual number could be bigger. Of course, I assume that there were 700 Engineering graduates too 50 years ago (I don't have the stats then).

Thanks a lot to CEAA committee, led by Jaclyn Spears.

For more info on CEAA, go to here

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NTU Scholarships

Thanks to the link from one of my loyal blog readers.

Quoted fully from The Star .

Post-grad awards

NANTAH Education and Research Foundation is offering post-graduate scholarships to pursue programmes at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) of Singapore.

The scholarships are for science and technology, business studies and arts subjects.

Candidates can pursue these subjects at the masters or PhD level. The scholarships cover tuition fees and a monthly allowance. Applicants for the masters programme should have, preferably, at least a class ll honours degree.

Successful candidates will not be bound by the foundation.

All applications must reach the foundation's office on or before March 25. For details, call 03-2148 3053; or fax 03-2148 3049; or email:

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Merck Young Scientist Award 2008

Thanks to the link from one of my loyal blog readers.

Quoted fully from The Star . Hope to see more fellow young scientist of Malaysia participate in this.

Search for young scientist

MERCK Sdn Bhd, in collaboration with US-based HMD Chemicals Inc, has launched its inaugural nationwide Merck Young Scientist Award (MYSA) 2008.

The objectives for the award are to encourage and honour home-grown research and development excellence in the biosciences.

Higher Education Department director-general Datuk Prof Dr Hassan Said has expressed his support for the initiative.

"The involvement of the private sector is most welcome and such a programme is certainly aligned with and supports the government's objective to develop the biotechnology field.

"This award will further add impetus to the commitment from local institutions of higher learning in their research efforts for the advancement of biosciences in Malaysia," Prof Hassan said.

The competition will accept only published research papers or researches that are due for publication in selected speciality areas of bioscience study.

Another key condition for entry acceptance is that the research must be conducted at local institutions of higher learning. All entries must reach Merck by April to qualify.

Originality, quality and impact of the research on the future development of the biosciences in Malaysia are expected to be among the key elements driving the judging.

The top five finalists are required to present their research papers to the panel of judges for the final winner to be decided.

MYSA 2008 posters and entry form leaflets will be made available at selected universities and university colleges. You can also visit the websites Merck , MOHC and Biotek to view details and to download the entry form.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fong Po Kuan quits Batu Gajah

Fong Po Kuan, MP of Batu Gajah has announced that she would not be standing there as a candidate for the upcoming 12th General Election.

This definitely showcases even more internal problems among DAP. Earlier, DAP has been having internal problems with a lot of "parachutes" from other states going to be selected as their candidates in Penang for the upcoming General Election.

I guess voters would know better which party has been consistently able to deliver. Lets select based on the track record of the service of the party that has delivered.

For more info on Fong Po Kuan's quitting, go to Malaysiakini

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Volunteer in Rural China

Call for Application: VOLUNTEER IN RURAL CHINA

2008 summer, May 26 . June 28 | Learn, Inspire, Teach, and Serve in Rural China

Apply at Dream Corps | deadline: March 02, 2008

Dream Corps, an innovative nonprofit student organization, is recruiting 30 to 40 highly motivated volunteers who are interested in education oriented community building projects in rural areas and urban migrant communities in China during summer 2008.

This program is an exciting opportunity for students, researchers, and young professionals interested in international development, rural education, and the non-profit sector in China. Although spoken Chinese is not strictly required, it is highly preferred.

Additional information about the programs can be found at Dream Corps or contact with any questions.

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Past Election Results

For past year's Malaysia's General Election Results (in particular 1999 10th General Election and 2004 11th General Election), the results can be obtained from

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Contributing Articles to Online Journal on Malaysia

Obtained this from ASLI's CPPS. This would be a great way to get your voice heard. Do check it out at CPPS's website

Invitation to Contribute
The Entrepot: Trading Ideas, Mobilizing Opinions

Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI)'s Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) is pleased to announce its latest publication project: an online journal geared towards fostering dialogues on Malaysian matters.

What sets this journal apart from many other journals is its main objective: to bridge the opinion gap between communities who are invested in the study of Malaysia. The aim is to expose the general public to scholarly works, while offering them the opportunity to engage with the academic discourse. We will attain this main objective by bringing together essays on a particular topic from both published and unpublished writers, from scholars to students, from businesspeople to religious leaders.

In our efforts to nurture the voices of young Malaysians, we would like to invite you to submit a research and analytical paper on democracy in Malaysia for publication. Our inaugural issue will examine what democracy means in postcolonial, post-Mahathir Malaysia to see how Malaysia's political system has successfully managed or even failed to manage class and interethnic differences.

For this inaugural issue, we are inviting scholars like Khoo Boo Teik, Ariffin Omar, Eric C Thompson., Barbara Andaya, Wang Guwu and Joel Kahn to discuss various aspects of democracy in Malaysia. We believe that this would be a good opportunity for you to participate in and contribute to a dynamic and innovative discourse on Malaysia.

If you are interested in contributing to our inaugural issue, please contact:

Leong Yin Peng
Editor, The Entrepot
Centre for Public Policy Studies
Tel: 03 2093 5393 ext. 203 or 03 2093 4209

We look forward to hearing from you by 29 February!

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Malaysia Think Tank London

Anyone interested? Got this from Wan Saiful Wan Jan.


The Malaysia Think Tank London seeks a Research Secretary for its Kuala Lumpur office. For further information, please click here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Malaysia Sudoku Society

Malaysia Sudoku Society will be a having monthly Sudoku meeting on every 3rd Saturday of the month at 4pm.
Mr Lim Teck Guan, who authored a nice compact book on Sudoku recently, has kindly agreed to the the first speaker. The schedule for the next six months:

16 Feb   Lim Teck Guan   Sudoku Clinic
15 Mar   Philip Khew   Sudoku Clinic
19 Apr   Lee Yee Dian   Talk on Shendoku (2-player Sudoku game)
17 May   Lee Chen Hsieng   Sudoku Clinic
21 Jun   Ismail Omar   (topic to be decided)
19 Jul   Yeoh Chen Chow   (topic to be decided)

The venue is at Leisure Commerce Square in Sunway, or more commonly known as Bali, across the Federal Highway from Motorola. We meet in Block A2 Room 635, which is the Malaysian Mensa office. The room can hold up to about 20 people. After the clinic, which lasts about an hour, we proceed downstairs for teh tarik.
Do bring some friends to attend. Attendance is free.
Hope to see more sudoku enthusiasts to attend.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Election on 8th March

Nomination date for the 12th Malaysia General Election falls on 24th Feb 2008 (Sunday).

The 12th General Election falls on 8th March 2008 (Saturday).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Free College: Scholarships and Financial Aid

Thanks for the link from one of my blog readers.
A link for college scholarships/grants <a href=""> here </a>


Parliament dissolved

Prime Minister, YAB Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Deputy Prime Minister, YAB Dato' Seri Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak has announced that parliament is dissolved.

The 12th General Election is coming!

Talk on PhotoReading

Dear Sir/Madam,
We would like to invite you to a talk by Ms Sussanne Lee on "Discover the Secrets of PhotoReading® at 25,000 words per minute". The details are as below.
Date: 1 March 2007 (Saturday)
9.45 am – 12.00 noon
 Venue: Auditorium, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Section 13, Petaling
Admission is free but prior registration is required. 
Best regards,
Malaysia Mental Literacy Movement (MMLM)

Morten Lundal resigned

CEO of DiGi, Morten Lundal, has just resigned. His replacement is Johan Eric Dennelind.

For more info, go to <a href=""> The Star Business Section on 13th February 2008 </a>.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Check on latest list of Malaysian Voters

The new list of Malaysian voters have been gazetted on 5th February 2008. This would most likely be the final list that would be used in the upcoming 12th General Election, if the election is going to be held within the next 3 months.

Do go to Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya (SPR) or Election Commissioner (EC) Website to check and make sure you are a valid voter at the right voting parliament and state seat.

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Cornell Board of Portfolio Managers Recruitment

Cornell Board of Portfolio Managers is doing its Recruitment


I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the Cornell Board of
Portfolio Managers (CBPM), the only organization in Cornell University
established to cater exclusively to personal portfolio managers. CBPM is
currently seeking talented and experienced investors to join our group.

CBPM comprises of experienced undergraduate and graduate student investors
who actively manage their portfolios. Our members range from students who
day-trade based on technical analysis to students who invest based on
their own quantitative and fundamental strategies across multiple asset
classes. We seek to benefit from our collective experience by exchanging
innovative investing methods, trading strategies and market views to
maximize their portfolio returns. CBPM is unique in that we do not run a
club fund; all our members run their portfolios individually.

To join CBPM we require the following:

•At least one year of active personal investing
•Active tracking of the market and personal investments
•Verification of a personal portfolio containing multiple securities

If you meet these requirements and would like to be involved in CBPM,
please respond by Friday, February 15th at 4 pm with your resume attached
and a description of your investing experience.

Thank you for your interest in our organization.

Best Regards,

William Warner
Cornell Board of Portfolio Managers

Start-Up@Singapore 2008 - NLB Series: Start-It: From Ground Zero

Another interesting talk in Singapore


NLB Series: Start-It: From Ground Zero

Start-Up@Singapore (S@S) and the National Library Board (NLB) are proud to present the NLB Series! Comprising 3 events for aspiring entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs-at-heart and supporters of entrepreneurship, this series aims to educate the general public through interactive and insightful events and seminars conducted by past winners and top performers in our yearly S@S business plan competitions.

Start-It: From Ground Zero is the 1st event in our NLB Series. In recent years, interest in entrepreneurship has grown significantly and we've witnessed the emergence of many new and exciting start-ups. As such, this event is targeted at budding entrepreneurs interested in starting their own businesses. The event will begin with a revealing sharing session by winners and performers from past years of Start-Up@Singapore. Following this session will be a fun and interactive quiz segment in which members of the audience will fill up questionnaires while our invited guests share their thoughts and opinions one-on-one with audience members. What are the key issues entrepreneurs have to consider when starting a new business? What practices could make or break a new start-up? All your burning questions and more will be answered in this exciting event brought to you by Start-Up@Singapore and the National Library Board.

16 February 2008 (Saturday)

10.00am to 12.00noon
          Registration starts at 9.30am

Venue: Programme Zone
            Bishan Community Library
            #01-01, 5 Bishan Place
            Singapore 579841

Attire: Smart Casual

Speaker Panel:

Carlos Fernandes
is the CEO of PerceptiveI (pronounced 'Perceptive Eye'), a global CRM strategy consulting and software product company. It provides vertical-centric solutions for a wide range of sectors including automotive, financial services, government, insurance and telecom sectors. Its flagship product suite, 'One to Won' was being voted as one of the Top 4 Business Intelligence and Customer Interaction Application of 2002 by the California-based RealWare Awards. PerceptiveI SiteVision has also won awards for Eastman Chemical Asia Pacific, Great Eastern Life and Ministry of Manpower. PerceptiveI was the runner-up in Start-Up@Singapore 2001.

Darius Cheung
is an NUS Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate who co-founded tenCube with his other partners Rishi Kumar and Varun Chatterji. TenCube started off with delivering high value unique services such as synchronization, anti-theft and p2p content sharing, as well as provide middleware service modules such as proximity server, web control and Bluetooth explorer. The platform provides immense value for enterprises, consumers and developers in the next evolution cycle of mobile devices. WaveSecure, a mobile security device launched by tenCube, is a revolutionary Singapore technology that is designed to protect users' mobile phone plus the data inside it in the event of loss or theft. It is a comprehensive mobile security product for Smartphones today. After winning Start-Up@Singapore 2006, tenCube is currently establishing key partnerships with Nokia and Symbian.

Wong Chee Kong
has successfully set up a business since his participation in Start-Up@Singapore 2002. He is one of the founding partner of Unusual Ideas, together with partner Wong Yew Mun. Unusual Ideas is an educational program that trains children in mathematics and sciences. It also aids teachers in better educating their students. In addition, they also boast a Holiday Enrichment Program.

The S@S Team

Friday, February 08, 2008

Interesting Interview on Lifelong Learning With Quek

Below is an interesting interview on Lifelong Learning by Quek Ngee Meng, Acting Director of Lifelong Learning.

The full interview is at here










“终身学习号列车在2004年10月8日开动,到今天已经跑了3年多,说到其所发挥的影响,举个最鲜明的例,第9大马计划就拨出Chapter II推介终身学习,全民贯彻,提升第一世界思维,落实有素质人力资源的发展。此外,2006年、2007年、2008年财政预算案都拨款充作终身学习活动资金。而2007年8月高教部拟订发表的高等教育蓝图,其中主要发展纲领就以终身学习途径之一。”


“至于有组织发动,当时的教育部长Tan Sri Musa就成立了‘社区学院’,让群众也参与学习,可惜表达功能不尽如人意,不了了之,后来的高教部长沙菲益提出另一蓝图,供参考,再然后高教部改由慕斯达化作主,他又修改了有关蓝图,把计划进一步策划,目前还在研究阶段……”
























“总会长演说时举两个例都很生动传神,一是华人小贩传统炮制的鸡饭很好吃,但不会包装美化卖相,是学习现代化的好机会;二是辍学生,许多念到Form 3考试落第便出来闯世界,制造社会问题,这些都是继续学习的好人选。我听了十分信服,也立定志向,要为终身学习出一分力。”




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Hotmail Founder to get married in Langkawi

Hotmail Founder, Sabeer Bhatia would be getting married in Langkawi Island on March 9. This is definitely a great news for our tourism industry, where his wedding in Langkawi would bring upon attention from around the world.

As a Malaysian, this would be a great boost to the image of Malaysia. And who knows, Sabeer would get the chance to take a peek at our General Election, which is expected to happen then too!

Quoted in full from Bernama
Hotmail Founder Sabeer To Marry In Exotic Langkawi

By P. Vijian

NEW DELHI, Feb 6 (Bernama) -- Hotmail founder, Indian-born Sabeer Bhatia, who became an overnight millionaire after selling his web-based e-mail service to Microsoft, plans to get hitched in Langkawi Island next month.

Sabeer, 40, chose Langkawi as his preferred venue to wed Tania Sharma, on March 9, and dignitaries from far and wide are expected to bless the marriage at the Taj Rebak Marina Resort located on the world famous island.

"We wanted an exclusive island for the wedding. Sabeer wanted to have it in Hawaii but it would be too far for our guests. We were thinking of Phuket, Bangkok or Koh Samui (Thailand) but decided on Langkawi," R.K. Sharma, the father of the bride-to-be, told Bernama.

About 270 dignitaries including bigwigs like Indian steel king Lakshmi Mittal's brother Pramod Mittal and India's Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel are on the guest list.

"Langkawi is an exclusive island and we have booked the entire hotel for our guests. The event is for two days, the first day is for the sangeet ceremony (pre-wedding ceremony of dance and music) and the wedding is on March 9th," added Sharma.

The Langkawi cable car is also said to have been booked for two hours on March 9 for the wedding party, where the guests will be entertained by musicians, deejays, and singers specially flown in from India.

The computer wizard, who sold Hotmail for a whopping US$400 million in 1997, just before his 30th birthday, was once engaged to a US-based Indian corporate lawyer in 2004 but the three-month engagement fell apart.

Sabeer, the son of a military officer, was born in Chandigarh, Punjab and graduated from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in India and later completed his Masters programme in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University.

Sabeer got engaged to Tania, a Mumbai-based businesswoman and the heiress of the Baidyanath Group, one of the largest manufacturers of ayurvedic medicine in India, last December.

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Allocation via MCA for Sabah Chinese Schools

MCA, through its President, YB Dato' Seri Ong Ka Ting, has once again been able to deliver surprises to support the Chinese community. Dato' Seri has always been working hard behind the scene, and only announces it when it has finally become a reality.

Today, on the 2nd day of Chinese New Year, YB Dato' Seri Ong Ka Ting, was able to announce a RM300,000 allocation (RM100,000 each for Tshung Tsin Secondary School, Kian Kok Middle School and Kota Kinabalu High School.

For full information, go to The Star

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Dance Marathon to Support AIDS Foundation

Obtaining this from a friend. Hope to see more people would take the step to help out in this:-

> Quoting Andra Mihali:
>> Every child deserves a lifetime.

>> Dear Friend,
>> Join me in making a difference in the lives of children worldwide!
>> This semester, I will pledge to stay on my feet as a participant in
>> “Dance Marathon” -- and as a supporter of the Elizabeth Glaser
>> Pediatric AIDS Foundation. As part of the Foundation’s Caring for
>> Kids program, Dance Marathon participants dance in an effort to
>> represent the mental and physical challenges faced by children
>> suffering from HIV/AIDS. I am writing to ask you to lend a hand as
>> I take on this personal challenge. Help us surpass our
>> fundraising goals!
>> There are an estimated 40,000 new HIV infections in the United
>> States each year, the majority of them in people under the age of
>> 25. Globally, approximately 39.5 million people are infected with
>> HIV and 2.3 million of those are children. The Elizabeth Glaser
>> Pediatric AIDS Foundation seeks to prevent pediatric HIV
>> infection and to eradicate pediatric AIDS through research,
>> advocacy, and prevention and treatment programs. Its innovative
>> research programs, collaborative training initiatives, advocacy
>> efforts, and rapidly expanding international programs are
>> bringing dramatic changes to the lives of children worldwide.
>> While great strides are being made, there are still many questions
>> that remain unanswered and much work is yet to be done. This is
>> why your help is indispensable. By supporting me, you are also
>> helping support these organizations' vital pediatric programs
>> throughout the world. Together, we can make a difference and end
>> this pandemic.
>> Again, many thanks for your support… because every child deserves a
>> lifetime.
>> Login to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to
>> support Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

The link is here

She is hoping to raise USD500 and as of now, she has raised USD95. She is going on a 28-hour Dance Marathon at Columbia University!

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Dato' Johan Raslan - CEO Series of Talk

After the first two CEO Series of Talks by Tengku Zafrul and Justin Leong, the 3rd speaker is:-

Speaker: Dato Johan Raslan
Chairman, Pricewaterhouse Coopers Malaysia

Date: Wdnesday 13th February 2008

Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm

Venue: Rumah UKEC, 67 Jalan U Thant, Kuala Lumpur
(Turn left at Palestine consulate along Jalan U Thant)

Pls rsvp to Khatijah Rahmat at

Hope to see many young professionals would attend this talk!

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Former Chief Minister Sues Current Chief Minister

As far as I know, I think this is the first time happening in Malaysia.

Former Chief Minister of Sabah, Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat is suing the current Chief Minister of Sabah, Datuk Musa Aman for halting Ma Zu or Goddess of the Sea statue project in the northern Kudat district.

This is an interesting case, especially since Tan Sri Chong has been widely believed to have resigned due to his protest on this issue last year.

Now, the problem has turned from bad to worse.

Lets hope that the religious tolerance among all Malaysians would prevail.

For more info on this, read The Star

Full quotation of the article:-
Former Sabah chief minister sues successor


KOTA KINABALU: Former chief minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat is suing his successor Datuk Musa Aman and three others over the halted Ma Zu or Goddess of the Sea statue project in the northern Kudat district.

Chong, Kudat Thean Hou Charitable Foundation chairman, filed the suit through his lawyer Ansari Abdullah at the Kota Kinabalu High Court at about 10.25am Wednesday.

Others named as defendants in the suit were former State Secretary Datuk K.Y. Mustafa, the Permanent Secretary in the state Local Government and Housing Ministry Datu Ujang Selani and the Kudat Town Board.

Among others Chong sought to declare that Musa had abused his powers in issuing directives and orders to the other defendants with regards to the Ma Zu project.

He also asked the court’s declaration that a fatwa or religious decree by the State Mufti on the project was unconstitutional and infringed upon Article 11 of the Federal Constitution.

This was the second such legal action filed by Chong of the Liberal Democratic Party over the stalled Ma Zu statue project. On Dec 12 last year, Chong sought to declare null and void the Kudat Town Board’s letter on Nov 17, 2007 withdrawing the Feb 8, 2006 approval for the construction of the 36m-high statue.

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Prime Minister's Chinese New Year's Message

Chinese New Year Address by Prime Minister, YAB Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Pak Lah)

Quoted directly from Prime Minister's Office's Website


Tahun 2008 merupakan tahun yang amat bermakna kerana ia merupakan tahun pertama selepas kita meraikan ulang tahun kemerdekaan Negara yang ke-50 pada tahun lalu. Kita sesungguhnya amat berbangga kerana dalam tempoh hanya 50 tahun, Malaysia telah melangkah jauh, mencipta begitu banyak kejayaan.

Walaupun kita sewajarnya berbangga dengan segala kejayaan dan pencapaian cemerlang selama ini, kita tidak harus berpuas hati apatah lagi leka untuk terus melipatgandakan usaha dalam menempuh hari-hari seterusnya. Hakikatnya, cabaran dan persaingan dunia hari ini begitu kompetitif. Untuk terus melangkah maju ke hadapan, kita perlu cukup segala prasyaratnya agar terus mempunyai daya saing dan daya tahan yang tinggi. Kita perlu terus mempersiapkan dan memperkasakan diri dengan segala elemen yang perlu agar segala cabaran dan halangan dapat kita hadapi dengan tabah dan dengan jayanya.

Kerajaan telah menyediakan pelbagai asas yang perlu bagi menghadapi cabaran-cabaran ini, bukan untuk tempoh masa yang singkat malahan melangkau satu jangka masa yang panjang. Koridor-koridor wilayah ekonomi bersama dengan projek-projek pembangunan di bawah Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan, akan membawa Malaysia ke arah pembangunan yang baru; yang lebih pesat, seimbang, dan memberi manfaat kepada lebih ramai penduduk, baik di bandar mahu pun di luar bandar. Berpandukan kepada lima teras Misi Nasional, saya percaya bahawa kita berada di atas landasan yang betul untuk mengorak langkah ke takuk pembangunan yang lebih gemilang.

Sebagai rakyat Malaysia, kita bersyukur kerana dapat meraikan pelbagai hari kebesaran dan perayaan masyarakat yang berbilang kaum dan agama, bersama-sama dalam suasana meriah dan harmoni. Sememangnya kita amat bertuah. Apatah lagi, jika kita lihat keadaan sekeliling, tidak banyak Negara dengan rakyat berbilang kaum seumpama kita, yang mampu mengacapi apa yang kita nikmati. Namun kita harus insaf bahawa kestabilan yang wujud dalam Negara ini tidak datang dengan mudah, bukan tanpa usaha dan pengorbanan. Kita harus insaf bahawa ianya berjaya kita kecapi hasil daripada perpaduan dan kebersatuan yang kita pupuk buat sekian lama. Justeru, saya menyeru semua rakyat Malaysia untuk terus memupuk dan memelihara sikap bermuafakat, bertolak-ansur, bersatu padu dan saling menghargai antara satu sama lain kerana semua ini adalah kunci keamanan dan kemakmuran kita. Sesungguhnya Malaysia ini bukan milik mana-mana individu atau kaum, tetapi adalah milik kita bersama, setiap rakyat Malaysia.

Sebagai Perdana Menteri, saya komited dalam mewujudkan masyarakat Malaysia yang dinamik, maju, hidup secara aman dan harmoni, berkeyakinan dan berdaya saing, serta berpegang teguh kepada tradisi kebudayaan bersama. Saya akan terus melipatgandakan usaha agar kita dapat terus melangkah gagah dan perkasa serta disegani dunia dalam segenap perkara. Namun saya juga yakin, dengan semangat bersatu dan bersama yang dipegang selama ini, kita pasti boleh membawa Malaysia ke mercu yang lebih terbilang.

Selamat Menyambut Tahun Baru Cina kepada semua rakyat Malaysia.

Pejabat Perdana Menteri
Perdana Putra

6 Februari 2008

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Overtime Rates for Doctors get a huge boost!

Doctors in Malaysia are further in luck.

Overtime rates for doctors would be RM80 an hour from the usual RM30 while for the elective surgery component, the specialists will receive RM200 hourly and medical officers will be paid RM80 per hour.

This is definitely another boost for them.

This new incentive was prepared during Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek's tenure and is brought up to cabinet by YB Dato' Seri Ong Ka Ting. And it has been given green light.

Hopefully, with all these incentives for doctors, we would be able to look forward to see more capable and senior doctors stay on in government service to serve the public.

For more info, go to The Star .

Full quotations of the articles:-
Medical officers to get incentive to work overtime


PUTRAJAYA: Monetary goodies will be given to medical officers as an incentive for working overtime at health clinics selected to operate after normal hours to ease the overcrowding of patients at hospitals.

The Health Ministry will also provide benefits to medical specialists and officers who will now have to perform elective surgeries on Saturdays at 19 hospitals from 8am to 1pm to ease the backlog of cases.

Its director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said the rates for the doctors would be RM80 an hour from the usual RM30 while for the elective surgery component, the specialists will receive RM200 hourly and medical officers will be paid RM80 per hour.

The annual allocation from the Government is RM12.31mil and RM6.9mil for both components.

Both ideas had been discussed during former Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek's tenure and now acting Health Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting has brought the issue to Cabinet for approval.

"There have been complaints of patients coming after office hours and crowding the emergency services. A lot of people are not happy," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"We heard of emergency cases not being seen. They were seeing only those with coughs and colds. We cannot send them away. So, now we open up clinics, instead of them thronging the hospital; and get doctors to work after office hours."

He added the move would also lessen the waiting time of patients.

He said it was hoped the decision would enable the people to obtain health services quickly and easily after office hours and lessen the burden on emergency units at hospitals so staff would be able to concentrate and provide more efficient services to critical and emergency patients.

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Rapid Penang Back On Road

For the Rapid Penang that I blogged earlier here , it seems that the buses are back on road again by 1:30pm on 6th February 2008, on Chinese New Year eve.

Hopefully, that this series of strike would not happen again in Malaysia.

For full details, read The Star

Rapid Penang buses back on the road


PENANG: Thousands of bus commuters sighed in relief as Rapid Penang buses resumed operations on the island after a one-day strike by its bus drivers.

Rapid Penang Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Azhar Ahmad said the 93 buses left the company’s depot in Sungai Nibong in batches from 7am with services back to normal by 1.30pm.

On Tuesday, thousands of commuters rushing for work and last minute Chinese New Year shopping were left stranded when the bus drivers went on strike to demand better pay and perks.

Azhar, who apologised to Penangites for the "unexpected turn of events'', said there was a possibility that the drivers had been instigated by "certain quarters".

“However, it has definitely nothing to do with anything political,'' Azhar told a press conference Wednesday at the Rapid Penang office in Lorong Kulit here.

Azhar said the company had recorded losses of RM50,000 due to the disruption of services on Tuesday.

He said some of the issues which the drivers were not happy about had been "ironed out''.

He said more than 80 drivers have signed an agreement with the company not to strike again.

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US is pushing for Subang Airport Reopen

United States is again trying to meddle in our internal affairs, apparently due to some fine prints within our Open Skies Agreement with US.

US is trying to get Subang Airport reopen for any airlines that want to fly there. While I am not an expert in this, I still think that this kind of decision of which airport is open, it should be an internal affair.

After all, Air Asia is still having significant growth at LCC-T. We should take into account those people who stay near Subang Airport, or if not, those restaurant operators, like La La Cheong and other seafood restaurants near Subang Terminal.

So, I'm definitely against US Government trying to push us to open Subang Airport for commercial flights, be it for passengers or for air cargo. It is not cost efficient to do so, and I still feel that it is the rights of our country to dictate which airport to open. Perhaps, I just don't understand the details. :(

Full articles quoted from here.

Malaysia's airports under US scrutiny

06-Feb-2008 : AN Open Skies argument between Malaysia and the US could force Malaysia to reopen its Subang airport.

The US alleges that Malaysia is in violation of the agreement by barring all but a few airlines from using the city airport, relocating them to Sepang’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport mid-January.

Subang airport is currently used for charter aircraft and there are plans to turn it into an aircraft maintenance and exhibition centre.

However, if the US continues to pressure Malaysia it could be reopened to all international carriers. There are fears that low-cost airlines, established at Sepang, will want to move to the city airport.

AirAsia, JetStar Asia and Tiger Airways recently launched from Sepang, where a new low-cost terminal is being completed for expansion.

Malaysia Airports will turn the existing low-cost terminal into a cargo transportation hub when its new LCCT is completed in the next three to four years.

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Rapid Penang

Within just a few months of Rapid Penang in operational, it has hit problems, with the drivers went on strike. This is really ala the UK Tube Drivers, who went on strike from time to time, to get their demands.

Lets examine whether the bus drivers got a good deal?

Previously, they got RM700 basic pay, plus a daily allowance of RM25. Lets assume that they drive for 25 days a month, then, their monthly take-home would be RM1,325. Would that be sufficient pay in Penang?

After this negotiation, the management has agreed to increase the pay to RM900 and daily allowance to RM30. With the same assumption of 25 days a month, then their monthly take-home pay would be RM1,650. Is this decent?

If I am not wrong, drivers for Rapid KL are paid RM2,000. Would the living cost in Penang be about 20% lower than those in KL? If yes, then this new pay offering is fair. Or in the first place, is the RM2k offered in Penang fair?

This kind of wage issues is always chicken and egg. Paying too much, the city/company is not competitive. Paying too little, then there is no incentive for the drivers to drive.

I'm wondering whether a bonus/incentive for the drivers could be based on the total earnings of the bus. That could "push" them to deliver better service and attracts more people to use the bus.

On getting Rapid Penang to pay for their previous summons, I think that's a definite no-no. Perhaps, Rapid Penang could provide them with zero interest loan to help them settle the summons, but I don't think it is fair for Rapid Penang to take the summons up.

To get the full details of this strike, read it at The Star

Bus drivers on strike


PENANG: Thousands of bus commuters rushing for work and last-minute Chinese New Year shopping were left stranded yesterday when striking Rapid Penang drivers brought transport to a standstill.

The commuters were left standing for hours at bus stops and terminals as the 100-odd bus drivers refused to start their engines after reporting for work at 6am yesterday.

Many commuters were late for work when 120 of the 150 Rapid Penang buses did not leave the depot in Sungai Nibong and bus terminals at Komtar, Weld Quay and Balik Pulau. However, Rapid Penang bus service in Seberang Prai was unaffected.

The drivers decided to go on strike after management rejected their demands for better pay and perks.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon asked the two parties to solve the matter immediately.

Rapid Penang board member Ong Thean Lye said the drivers were holding the company to ransom.

“We had a table talk with about 100 drivers.

“We agreed to increase their daily allowance from RM25 to RM30 but that was not enough. They wanted a salary increase of RM200 to RM900 a month,” he said.

He said they were all asked to go home and those still interested in keeping their jobs were asked to report to work today.

In a statement, Rapid Penang corporate communications assistant manager Yap Lee Ying said certain drivers were pressuring the company to settle their traffic summonses amounting to RM12,000.

“We refused to do so as the summonses were issued to them when they were not working with us,” she said.

Yap added that the company hoped to resume the bus services by today.

Rapid Penang started plying various routes in the state with 150 buses on Aug 1 last year and carries about 40,000 passengers daily.

Bus driver Idris Noor Mohamad, 37, said they felt short-changed by the company as their counterparts in Kuala Lumpur had better salaries and benefits.

“A RM200 raise is not too much as everything from food to apparel has gone up in price.

“All of us will turn up for work as usual but whether we drive the buses or not will depend on the company’s response to our demands,” he said.

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