Wednesday, December 31, 2008

PMR 2008 Results Analysis

Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) results were announced today, and I guess today is a happy/despair there for those 400,000+ students who took the test in 2008.

Synthesizing the results from Sin Chew Jit Poh night edition, I would try to make some analysis of the results.

In terms of % of students getting As in each subject, it shows a positive trend for most subjects (Ranked based on % increase/decrease compared to last year):-
Punjabi Language - Up by 13.1% (43.1% to 56.2%)
Islamic Studies - Up by 4.5% (22.0% to 26.5%)
Mathematics - Up by 3.5% (22.1% to 25.6%)
Bahasa Malaysia - Up by 2.5% (23.8% to 26.3%)
Arabic - Up by 1.4% (20.7% to 22.1%)
History - Up by 1.1% (15.4% to 16.5%)
English Language - Up by 1.1% (15.3% to 16.4%)
Iban Language - Up by 1.0% (29.0% to 30.0%)
Tamil Language - Up by 1.0% (18.2% to 19.2%)
Science - Up by 0.8% (16.4% to 17.2%)
Living Skills (Technical) - Up by 0.7% (29.4% to 30.1%)
Mandarin - Up by 0.2% (23.3% to 23.5%)
Geography - Up by 0.2% (16.0% to 16.2%)
Living Skills (Family) - Down by 0.2% (27.4% to 27.2%)
Living Skills (Commerce) - Down by 0.7% (29.4% to 28.7%)

If it is ranked by % of students who get A in each subject:-
Punjabi Language - 56.2%
Living Skills (Technical) - 30.1%
Iban Language - 30.0%
Living Skills (Commerce) - 28.7%
Living Skills (Family) - 27.2%
Islamic Studies - 26.5%
Malay Language - 26.3%
Mathematics - 25.6%
Mandarin - 23.5%
Arabic - 22.1%
Tamil Language - 19.2%
Science - 17.2%
History - 16.5%
English Language - 16.4%
Geography - 16.2%

In terms of % increase/decrease for students who passed:-
English Language - Up by 3.6% (71.2% to 74.8%)
Punjabi Language - Up by 2.5% (94.8% to 97.3%)
Mathematics - Up by 1.5% (85.8% to 87.3%)
Tamil Language - Up by 1.1% (74.5% to 75.6%)
Islamic Studies - Up by 1.0% (91.8% to 92.8%)
Bahasa Malaysia - Up by 0.3% (93.2% to 93.5%)
Living Skills (Commerce) - Up by 0.2% (94.7% to 94.79%)
Mandarin - Unchanged (87.1% to 87.1%)
Living Skills (Family) - Down by 0.2% (96.5% to 96.3%)
Science - Down by 0.4% (90.8% to 90.4%)
Living Skills (Technical) - Down by 1.1% (94.3% to 93.2%)
Iban Language - Down by 1.8% (94.5% to 92.7%)
History - Down by 2.5% (94.4% to 91.9%)
Geography - Down by 3.1% (94.3% to 91.2%)
Arabic - Down by 3.4% (85.5% to 82.1%)

In terms of % of students who passed:-
Punjabi Language - 97.3%
Living Skills (Family) - 96.3%
Living Skills (Commerce) - 94.9%
Malay Language - 93.5%
Living Skills (Technical) - 93.2%
Islamic Studies - 92.8%
Iban Language - 92.7%
History - 91.9%
Geography - 91.2%
Science - 90.4%
Mathematics - 87.3%
Mandarin - 87.1%
Arabic - 82.1%
Tamil Language - 75.6%
English Language - 74.8%

In terms of Urban vs Rural, unfortunately for all subjects, urban students still do better than rural students, although the gap seems to be getting closer over the years.

Below is sorted by % of difference in gap between % of students in urban and rural areas in getting As, starting from the smallest gap:-
Living Skills (Agriculture) - 2.1% (15.8% vs 13.7%)
Living Skills (Technical) - 4.3% (31.4% vs 27.1%)
Malay Language - 5.6% (28.2% vs 22.6%)
Living Skills (Family) - 7.5% (29.8% vs 22.3%)
Mandarin Language - 7.7% (24.7% vs 17.0%)
Geography - 8.2% (19.2% vs 11.0%)
History - 8.9% (19.7% vs 10.8%)
Living Skills (Commerce) - 11.0% (31.8% vs 20.8%)
Science - 11.7% (21.5% vs 9.8%)
English Language - 13.4% (21.4% vs 8.0%)
Mathematics - 15.3% (31.2% vs 15.9%)

Whereas % of difference in gap between % of students in urban and rural areas in getting pass, starting from the smallest gap:-
Malay Language - (-0.9%) (93.0% vs 93.9%)
Living Skills (Technical) - (-0.4%) (93.0% vs 93.4%)
Geography - 0.2% (91.2% vs 91.0%)
Science - 0.3 (90.4% vs 90.1%)
Living Skills (Family) - 0.6% (96.5% vs 95.9%)
Living Skills (Agriculture) - 1.0% (92.4% vs 91.4%)
History - 1.2% (92.3% vs 91.1%)
Living Skills (Commerce) - 2.1% (95.4% vs 93.3%)
Mathematics - 3.7% (88.6% vs 84.9%)
Mandarin Language - 5.2% (87.9% vs 82.7%)
English Language - 11.9% (79.1% vs 67.2%)

On another analysis, % of students who get As or Bs (from highest percentage to lowest):-
Punjabi - 82.3%
Iban Language - 64.7%
Malay Language - 61.0%
Islamic Studies - 56.0%
Living Skills (Technical) - 52.2%
Living Skills (Commerce) - 51.8%
Living Skills (Family) - 49.9%
Mandarin - 49.6%
Living Skills (Agriculture) - 42.4%
Tamil - 38.8%
Mathematics - 38.3%
History - 37.9%
Arabic - 36.8%
Science - 34.9%
English Language - 34.7%
Geography - 29.2%

For % of students who get As, Bs or Cs (from highest percentage to lowest):-
Punjabi - 94.6%
Iban Language - 87.3%
Living Skills (Family) - 82.5%
Living Skills (Technical) - 80.4%
Islamic Studies - 80.1%
Malay Language - 79.1%
Living Skills (Commerce) - 79.1%
Living Skills (Agriculture) - 70.7%
Mandarin - 64.9%
Geography - 60.9%
Tamil - 60.0%
History - 59.4%
Arabic - 59.4%
Mathematics - 54.8%
Science - 52.8%
English Language - 52.6%

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Subscribe to my blog

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

2nd National Youth Entrepreneurs Convention 2009

Youth '09 would be held from 9th to 11th January 2009 at PWTC.

As part of the Youth '09 events, it would be the 2nd National Youth Entrepreneurs Convention 2009 on 10th January 2009.

There would be 14 speakers, from 3 categories:-

For more details, go to here


Henry Goh, 27
Co-Founder & COO of Macro Kiosk BhdHenry Goh, founder of Macro Kiosk won the Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2006. Macro Kiosk was awarded MSC Status and an ASP Class license from the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) a year after he earned his Executive MBA via a long-distance study programme from the States. Henry is currently at the helm of a regional multi-million dollar business with operating offices in 10 major countries across Asia.

Aidan Aquinas Chew, 25
Director - TRAFFIXED
Winner Nescafe Kick-Start, Season 1Aidan bagged the grand prize for Nescafe Kick-Start's Season 1 and has since then brought innovation into life. He is the founder of Traffixed, providing innovative systems to help drivers look for parking faster and easier, thus saving time by guiding them to empty parking bays.

Ricky Wong Shee Khai, 27
Founder & CEO of Asia Media Sdn BhdRicky Wong is the founder and CEO of Asia Media Sdn Bhd, a media powerhouse that reaches 1.5 million viewers daily. Educated at Lancaster University in UK, he obtained a BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance with First Class Honours and was awarded the ‘best academic student’ by the faculty in 2003. Ricky, known as a “hands-on” manager leads a workforce of 70 employees with four subsidiaries and four regional office and under his stewardship, Asia Media’s growth has been exceptional and unparalleled in the industry.

Ganesh Kumar, 30
Founder & CEO of MOL Access Portal BhdGanesh ventured into the IT industry at the age of 15. In 2000, he co-developed an innovative first-mover business model for the global affiliation of cybercafes, the rapid success of which led to the listing of MOL Access on the MESDAQ, making him the youngest CEO of a listed company in Malaysia.

Jeffrey Ong, 30
Marketing Director of MarctensiaJeffrey Ong started with gaming professionally, dominating local gaming scene. Now, he has three full scale companies from various industries as he is a believer that one should venture into various business opportunities. He, and his partners, shaped Macera Technology, a mobile game and application company securing business deals locally and internationally. Amongst his other ventures includes Marctensia, a company that concentrates on full scale events and Global Asia Concepts, a hotel and restaurant tableware trading company.

Lifestyle Entrepreneurs

Joe Flizzow, 29
Founder of Kartel Records & Kartel ClothingBorn Johan Ishak, Joe is one of the Malaysian hip-hop duo, Too Phat. He founded Kartel Records, a recording label as well as the PhatCap clothing line and the State of Mind imprint on Kartel Clothing.

Ninie Ahmad, 26
Founder of Be Yoga SanctuaryNinie have successfully established herself as Malaysia's most known Yoga Instructor. Ninie first published Malaysia's first yoga magazine at age 24, and is the official yoga ambassador for Adidas Malaysia. As a finalist of Nescafe Kick Start, Ninie founded Be Yoga Sanctuary of which she is the director and principal teacher

Shan Tan, 25
Founder & Managing Director of Rockin’ ReptilesShan was a 23-year-old barrister at law of Gray’s Inn London when she founded Rockin’ Reptile International Sdn Bhd. Undeterred by the fear of failure, she launched Rockin’ Reptile’s very first collection in October 2005 to an overwhelming response. Rockin’ Reptiles now has presence in United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and has flagship retail and concessionaire outlets in Malaysia.

Anna Rina Rahim, 28
Photography EntrepreneurAnna-Rina worked as an Advertising & PR Senior Executive for a global sports brand. After deciding that life was too short to be second guessing herself, she took the big leap and left her high flying job to pursue one of her greatest passion - photography. Ever the optimist, Anna-Rina dedicates time and energy into pursuing her dreams and making those close to her happy.

Fiona-Jane Gomez, 25
Founder & Director of Talent HubSince she was a teenager, Fiona has been a learner of Latin dance, and not long after she became a teacher of the art itself. Graduated with a Degree in Marketing and Management, Fiona created a business proposal to set up a studio for something that she is passionate about. That is when Talent Hub was born, a place to learn dance, drama, music and martial arts for fun.

Media Entrepreneurship

Joyce Wong, 25
Blog Entrepreneur & Founder of Tongue In ChicJoyce is one of Malaysia’s top blogger and is fondly known as her screen name, KinkyBlueFairy. Joyce also the founder and Managing Editor of the fashion blog Tongue in Chic.

Aimann Faiz, 24
Co-Founder of Don’t PanicAimann is one of the founding members of Don’t Panic Asia. Starting in September 2006 with only one goodie bag in hand, no background, no experience, and honestly no clue about the advertising and media industry, Aimann, together with his partners shaped and led Don’t Panic Asia to carve a niche for itself as a ‘Youth Marketing Agency’ supporting campaigns by major international clients such as Nike, Levi’s, Petronas and Sunburst KL International Music Festival.

Khailee Ng, 24
Co-Founder of YouthSays.comKhailee co-founded the local indie music promoter Project Bazooka and socio- political webzine as a college student. His projects have won him various awards, including the KLue Blue Chilli Award and the Asian HSBC Young Entrepreneur Award 2006. A firm believer in the potential of young people in Malaysia, he now focuses on developing Malaysian youth communities, leading the technology and community building in through

Joel Neoh, 25
Founder of YouthMalaysia.comJoel Neoh started his first entrepreneurial venture at the tender age of 21. Coupled with the high zeal and passion to inspire young Malaysians to excel. Joel founded, an award winning NGO which promotes the empowerment of youths. In addition, Joel emerged as the winner of Malaysia's first corporate reality TV show, The Firm.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Subscribe to my blog

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Datuk Nadzmi new Chairman for Proton

Our National Car has a new Chairman today, and it is the former MD of Proton, Datuk Nadzmi, who is also our BAM Chairman. Hopefully, he would be able to play an effective role to help bring Proton back to its glory days.

For the full article, it is quoted from The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh has returned to Proton Holdings Bhd as its chairman and the appointment takes effect from Jan 1, according to a statement from the national car maker.

Proton said on Tuesday that Nadzmi, 54, was the managing director of Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd (PONSB) from 1993 to 1996. He was the deputy managing director of PONSB from Nov 2, 1992.

He was appointed as director and deputy chairman of Proton Edar Sdn Bhd, a unit of Proton with effect from Sept 22, 2005.

Currently, Nadzmi is the executive chairman of Nadicorp Holdings Sdn Bhd.

He has a Bachelor of Arts (economics) degree and a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry & Mathematics) degree from Ohio University. He holds a Master of Arts (Economics & Statistics) from Miami University.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Subscribe to my blog

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

8TV Mandarin News 8pm 27th December 2008

I blogged earlier on being on 8TV on 27th December 2008 8pm news here .

8TV has the catch up tv now, where all the past tv programmes are put up on their website. Do check it out!

The link for my slot is at here . Do check it out!

Hopefully, I could gradually improve my speaking ability and not fidgeting that much. :)

Thanks for the exposure to go on air.
Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Subscribe to my blog

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Tuanku Muhriz is new Negri Ruler

Quoting this from The Malaysian Insider .


Tuanku Muhriz is new Negri Ruler

SEREMBAN, Dec 29 — After a tense 24 hours and more than four decades since being passed over, Tunku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir, 60, was named the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan today in a ceremony steeped in tradition.

His appointment as the new Negri Sembilan Ruler put to rest speculation that he would be bypassed again by his cousin Tunku Naquiyuddin, the eldest son of Tuanku Ja'afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman, who passed away on Saturday.

In 1967, Tuanku Muhriz, who was then 18, was not chosen when his father died because of his youth.

Instead Tuanku Ja'afar, who was his uncle, was appointed.

In recent years, it had been widely expected that Tunku Naquiyuddin would succeed his father.

Tunku Naquiyuddin had even been named acting Ruler in his father's absence in recent years, lending weight to speculation that he would be the next Yang di-Pertuan Besar.

But today, as Tuanku Ja'afar was being laid to rest, the four Undangs, or territorial chiefs, who have the ultimate power to decide on succession, chose instead to vote in his cousin.

It had been a tense wait as the Undangs deliberated for hours a day earlier on who should succeed Tuanku Ja'afar.

The Malaysian Insider understands that there was intense lobbying over the past two days for the respective candidates.

It is understood several prominent Malaysians had backed Tuanku Muhriz to become the next Ruler as they felt he was a respected and even-tempered personality who had patiently waited his turn.

In the past four decades, Tuanku Muhriz was a corporate figure.

Bernama reports that the proclamation of Tuanku Muhriz as the new Negri Sembilan Ruler was made by Undang Luak Sungai Ujong Datuk Klana Petra Datuk Mubarak Dohak at the Istana Besar Seri Menanti in Kuala Pilah.

The ceremony, which was telecast live via RTM, was held at the throne room of the palace.

The appointment of the Yang di-Pertuan Besar was made according to the “adat perpatih” of Negri Sembilan.

Tuanku Muhriz was appointed as the new Yang di-Pertuan Besar from among the "Putera Yang Empat" (the Four Princes) in accordance with the state constitution.

The other three princes — Tunku Laxamana Tunku Naquiyuddin, Tunku Muda of Serting Tunku Imran Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja'afar and Tunku Panglima Besar Tunku Nazaruddin Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja'afar — were also present.

Yesterday, the four Undangs — Undang Luak Sungai Ujong, Undang Luak Johol, Undang Luak Jelebu and Undang Luak Rembau — together with the Tunku Besar of Tampin held a conference behind closed doors to elect the new Ruler of the state.

Born on Jan 14, 1948, Tuanku Muhriz received his early education at Sekolah Menengah King George V in Seremban and continued at the Aldenhem School in Britain.

He obtained his LLB from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, in Britain.

Tuanku Muhriz is the only son out of six siblings of the late Tuanku Munawir Tuanku Abdul Rahman with his consort Tunku Ampuan Durah Tuanku Besar Burhanuddin.

Tuanku Muhriz is married to Tengku Datuk Aishah Rohani Tengku Besar Mahmud of Terengganu and they have three children, Tunku Ali Redhauddin Muhriz, 31, Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin Muhriz, 26, and Tunku Alif Hussein Saifuddin Al-Amin, 23.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Subscribe to my blog

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Insead Knowledge

For all of you who are interested in Economics, Business, Finance etc, do check out INSEAD Knowledge.

It just gave out the list of Top Ten articles for 2008. Do check it out here .

Do check out Knowledge At Wharton too.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Subscribe to my blog

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Accenture Strong Results in Q1 2008-09

Accenture, my former company, has recently announced a very solid Q1 2008-09 (September to November 2008) results. This is done, despite the current weakening economic situation.

Full quotation of it is from here

Accenture announces strong results
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 14:49

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) has reported strong financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2009, ended Nov. 30, 2008, with net revenues of $6.02 billion, an increase of 6 percent in U.S. dollars and 9 percent in local currency over the same period last year.

Economy News, DEC 24:

Global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company Accenture - NYSE: ACN - has announced strong financial results for the first quarter of 2009.

Diluted earnings per share were $0.74, an increase of 24 percent.

Operating income grew 12 percent, to $815 million, and operating margin expanded 70 basis points, to 13.5 percent.

New bookings for the quarter were $5.80 billion, with consulting bookings of $3.56 billion and outsourcing bookings of $2.24 billion.

William D. Green, Accenture’s chairman & CEO, said, “We’re very pleased with our strong first-quarter performance, especially given the macro-economic environment. Demand patterns are changing but remain very active and positive looking forward. We drove revenue growth right to the bottom line, expanding operating margin by 70 basis points and delivering outstanding earnings per share. We also generated significant cash flow, and our balance sheet continues to be exceptionally strong.

Financial Review

Revenues before reimbursements (“net revenues”) for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 were $6.02 billion, compared with $5.67 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2008, an increase of 6 percent in U.S. dollars and 9 percent in local currency. Net revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 reflect a foreign-exchange impact of negative 3 percent, greater than the negative 1 percent to positive 1 percent impact the company had previously assumed. Adjusting for the actual foreign-exchange impact in the first quarter, the company’s previously expected net revenue range for the quarter would have been $5.9 billion to $6.2 billion. Therefore, Accenture’s first-quarter fiscal 2009 net revenues of $6.02 billion were solidly within the
expected range.


• Consulting net revenues for the quarter were $3.66 billion, an increase of 6 percent in U.S. dollars and 9 percent in local currency over the first quarter of fiscal 2008.

• Outsourcing net revenues were $2.36 billion, an increase of 7 percent in U.S. dollars and 9 percent in local currency over the first quarter of fiscal 2008.

Diluted EPS for the quarter were $0.74, compared with $0.60 in the first quarter of fiscal 2008, an increase of $0.14, or 24 percent.

• The EPS increase reflects $0.20, or 33 percent growth, from the company’s strong
performance, broken down as:

– $0.08, or 13 percent growth, from strong growth in revenue and operating income in local currency;
– $0.08 from a lower effective income tax rate and non-recurring final determinations of prior-year tax liabilities; and
– $0.04 from a lower share count.

• This was partially offset by ($0.04) from non-operating items, including lower interest income, and ($0.02) from unfavorable foreign-exchange rates in the first quarter of fiscal 2009 compared with the same period last year.

Operating income for the first quarter increased 12 percent, to $815 million, or 13.5 percent of net revenues, compared with $726 million, or 12.8 percent of net revenues, for the first quarter of fiscal 2008, an operating-margin expansion of 70 basis points.

Gross margin (gross profit as a percentage of net revenues) was 31.4 percent, compared with 30.1 percent for the first quarter last year, an expansion of 130 basis points.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses for the first quarter were $1.07 billion, or 17.8 percent of net revenues, compared with $970 million, or 17.1 percent of net revenues, for the first quarter last year. SG&A expenses in the first quarter of fiscal 2009 include a $72 million provision for bad debt as a reserve for collection risks, given current economic conditions. Absent this provision, SG&A expenses as a percent of net revenues would have been 16.6 percent.

The company’s effective tax rate for the first quarter was 26.6 percent, compared with 34.6 percent for the first quarter last year. The reduction was primarily a result of benefits related to tax-rate reductions taking effect in fiscal 2009 and final determinations of prior-year tax liabilities recorded in the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

Income before minority interest for the first quarter was $593 million, compared with $506 million for the same period of fiscal 2008, an increase of 17 percent.

Operating cash flow for the first quarter was $468 million, an increase of $499 million over the same period last year, and property and equipment additions were $72 million. Free cash flow, defined as operating cash flow net of property and equipment additions, was $396 million.

For the same period last fiscal year, operating cash flow was negative $31 million; property and equipment additions were $89 million; and free cash flow was negative $120 million.

Accenture’s total cash balance at Nov. 30, 2008 was $2.78 billion, compared with $3.60 billion at Aug. 31, 2008.

The difference reflects share repurchases and annual dividend payments in the
first quarter of fiscal 2009, as well as a $300 million reduction due to foreign-exchange translations on the cash balances the company holds around the world, partially offset by strong operating cash flow.

Days services outstanding, or DSOs, were 36 at Nov. 30, 2008, compared with 37 at Aug. 31, 2008.

Utilisation for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 was 83 percent, consistent with the first quarter last year.

Attrition was 13 percent, compared with 17 percent in the same period last year.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Subscribe to my blog

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Prof. James Maas - Cornell Faculty

As I was reading a lot of application essays and being bombarded by questions from a bunch of students, some of the conversations went to classes in Cornell.

I guess one of the Cornell professors - James Maas, would be someone that anyone in Cornell, within the past 4 decades would know.

This is an article about him and his course in Cornell. Too bad I never took Psychology 101, but I did attended one of his public lectures then.

This is cited from NY Times

Lining Up to Get a Lecture; A Class With 1,600 Students and One Popular Teacher

Published: November 17, 2000
James B. Maas, a professor at Cornell University, teaches a large class. A really large class. With nearly 1,600 students, it is one of the largest lecture classes in any American university, so big that no classroom is large enough to hold it. Instead, the class, Psychology 101, meets in the university's 88-year-old concert hall, with hard-backed wooden seats, bare floors and no desks.

It hardly sounds like a class that an Ivy League university charging nearly $25,000 a year in tuition would boast about. Lectures these days are generally looked down upon as money savers for colleges, the fastest way to put students to sleep.

But year after year, decade after decade, Dr. Maas's Psych 101 has been Cornell's most popular course. Students keep flocking, and when they finish, they send their friends and their children.

''My father went here in '74 and took this course, and he said be sure to take it,'' said Jennifer Basarab, a gum-chewing freshman biology major from Lancaster, Pa.

What makes the class the talk of the campus -- and an icon among psychology professors -- is a combination of show business and personal contact, traits students say they do not often find even in smaller classes. Dr. Maas crams the lectures with show and tell. He talks about his family. He shows clips from ''Candid Camera,'' demonstrating, for example, that people entering an elevator will face the back if three other people are turned that way. Although the course is a lecture, there is no blackboard in sight. And he tries to pull students in. Not by calling on them and putting them on the spot, but through exercises, games and a constant stream of slides and videos.

Last week, for example, he wanted students to think about memory. He challenged them to try to remember a list of about a dozen unrelated word pairs. Words like Locomotive-dishtowel. Jacket-asparagus. Oyster-telephone. Alligator-thermometer. He divided the students into two groups, asking the first group to try to remember the words by repeating them over and over and the second to associate them with pictures in their minds.

Then he tested them. A show of hands clearly illustrated that the group with the mind pictures did far better -- and that imagery can be a powerful memory aid.

Next was a demonstration of how paintings serve as a ''mirror of the mind.'' He flashed slide after slide of drawings by schizophrenics onto a large screen in the center of the stage, commenting on each as an art history professor might. There was a drawing of vases and columns by a 16-year-old homosexual boy with a fixation on choking his mother to death. Another was by a patient concerned about morality and sex.

''Far from being stupid, idiotic or retarded, these people are extremely bright,'' he told the class, suggesting they not easily dismiss such people.

Some professors try to squeeze as many facts as possible into their lectures. For Dr. Maas, the goal is to convey three or four concepts and entice students to seek more through the textbook and computer programs that accompany the course. For students who have questions, he uses a corps of more than 20 teaching assistants, available 12 hours a day. If students want discussion, they can sign up for a separate one-credit companion course that focuses on a topic in depth -- like psychology and the law -- but only about 150 have done so.

It is not unusual to find introductory psychology among the largest classes on a campus. It is a juicy topic for students seeking to understand themselves and the world. And it is often viewed as a gut course (though the average grade here is below a B).

Even the best universities run large classes, some by star lecturers, although large usually means a few hundred students, not 1,600. At Harvard, a course called Justice taught by Michael Sandel, a professor of government, has 779 students this semester. But few courses attain the near-mythical status that Dr. Maas's has achieved.

Educators are quick to point out that large classes do not necessarily mean bad teaching any more than small classes guarantee good teaching. Administrators at Cornell and elsewhere say that lectures may be appropriate for subjects that have no labs, do not require daily essay writing and are suited to a staged presentation.

''If this were the only mode of instruction, it would not be a great way to go,'' said Biddy Martin, Cornell's provost. ''But a good lecture is not just an educational experience, it can really be an aesthetic experience, too.''

Students talking about Dr. Maas often sound like groupies raving about the latest rock star.

''He is amazing; you're in for a treat,'' Keri Rodgers, a sophomore Spanish major from Columbus, Ohio, told a visitor before the class started one morning last week. ''Psychology is not up my alley,'' she continued from her perch on the edge of the stage before class. ''But I love this course. He's just funny.''

On stage, Dr. Maas, 62, looks more corporate than punk, dressed in a blue Oxford shirt and a striped tie, a slightly heavy, balding man with a mild, unassuming manner. He has taught the same basic course for 36 years -- he has not missed a year -- but still approaches it with the air of a boy in a candy shop. He spends hours preparing each lecture and refuses to go to a movie or party the nights before he teaches.

He comes to class 40 minutes early, unpacking slides, videocassettes and other props from a boxy legal briefcase. When he is sure that the projectors and sound system are working, he heads out to talk to students. By the end of a semester, Dr. Maas estimates, he knows perhaps 200 or 300 student names.

''What are you studying?'' he asked Adrien Desbaillets, a young, dark-haired hotel-management student hunched over a textbook in the front row of the mezzanine.

Mr. Desbaillets said he was preparing for the coming psychology test. Then he and Dr. Maas chatted about whether the professor might visit Singapore in the coming year.

Several other students cornered Dr. Maas to ask about the exam, one of three -- all multiple choice -- that are given. Teachers often dislike talking about the minutiae of exams, but Dr. Maas smiled amiably, as if there was nothing he would rather discuss.

He tries to get to know students in other ways, too. He invites them to brown bag lunches where they ask about everything, from what it is like to be a psychologist to questions about his family. He draws in students through research. (In the coming months, a squad of undergraduate research assistants will fan out to question high school students about their sleep habits, to help Dr. Maas on his next book about the need for sleep, which is his specialty.)

Still, being a student in such a large class can be daunting, said David Kaplan, a senior from Middletown, N.J., who took Psych 101 as a freshman and is now a teaching assistant.

''For me,'' he said, ''the course was definitely overwhelming -- to be in a class with almost 2,000 other students and the professor is a little figure up on stage.''

His strategy was simple: ''I'd try to sit as close up front as possible.''

He said, however, that Dr. Maas helped offset the feeling of distance with his open-door policy and willingness to talk to students.

About six years ago, four students who had worked for Dr. Maas said he had gotten too personal, kissing and hugging them and making suggestive remarks. Cornell reprimanded him and said he was ineligible for a raise that year. He challenged the fairness of Cornell's procedures for sexual misconduct inquiries, but lost in court. The episode, however, does not appear to have diminished his popularity as a lecturer. Last week, he called the proceedings ''absolutely unfair,'' but he said the experience had had ''no bearing on the course whatsoever.''

Dr. Maas's path to Psych 101 was serpentine. As a student, he planned to be a dentist. But premedical courses were difficult, while psychology was ''a piece of cake,'' he said.

The first hint that he might make a good teacher came during his senior year at Williams College in western Massachusetts, when he taught a psychology seminar and some of his fraternity brothers told him that he had really helped them understand the material.

His aim after earning his Ph.D. at Cornell was to return to Williams. But just as he was about to head back, Cornell asked him to teach for a year. Thirty-six years later, he is still there, teaching Psych 101 three days a week each fall and a seminar in the spring.

He has also written and edited articles and books, made numerous films and become a staple on television talk shows and on the corporate lecture circuit, where he often talks about the dangers of not getting a good night's sleep.

His biggest delight is still the Psych 101 course. He recounts with pride how two of his students helped thwart a suicide attempt one afternoon after a class in which he had talked about how people hesitate to be good Samaritans and the importance of not standing idly by.

Such tales become fodder for future lectures -- the kinds of anecdotes that keep students riveted.

''Students love hearing about these things,'' he said.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Subscribe to my blog

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Monday, December 29, 2008

"Corporate Confidential" by Susan A. Dephillips

Read this book "Corporate Confidential" by Susan A. Dephillips. It seems quite a good book for someone at my stage of career, where it shares with me various do's and don't for career.

What it shared is not rocket science, but it is quite a good read, to see the perspectives of those Senior Executives that she has interviewed. It was summarized as a whole, and I would say that it is quite an interesting read.

However, as I was looking through the review in Amazon, those readers are not giving as good a response. You can assess it here . Guess perhaps my standard expected is not as high, or maybe it is suitable for those who are at my stage of career.

Guess you can browse it and decide. I was reading it through at Borders at Queensbay mall.

Nearing the end of reading, I was surprised to meet Khye Theng and Victor there. :)

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Subscribe to my blog

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!


Got this email from Yang Jerng.
If anyone knows of any suitable place, do let me know.

I have a responsible senior colleague looking for a place to rent preferably within Bangsar, Brickfields, or the KL City Centre regions. (We work in Bukit Bintang. I can keep an eye on him for you :P)

He is male, 31 years old, with a housewife, and two sons, aged 6 months and 36 months.

His budget is RM1200/month, which seems fairly high. 

Related information: He has been living in a hotel for the past few months, and he has purchased a house in Kajang which he hopes will yield rent within a few months.  


Saturday, December 27, 2008

On 8TV News at 8pm Today

Just got a call from Ching Yee from 8TV (She was also from my alma mater, Jit Sin), that I would be on air at 8pm 8TV Mandarin News tonight (27th December 2008).

This would be my first time having my voice heard on news. Not sure how long it would be. Could be for some seconds only. Hopefully, my Mandarin won't fail me.

Thanks a lot to for the opportunity.

Do catch it if you are around. :)

Tuanku Ja'afar passed away

Our 10th Yang Dipertuan Agong, Tuanku Ja'afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman just passed away 2.5 hours ago.

Condolence to the Royal Family, as we Malaysians mourn the loss of our former Agong.
SEREMBAN: Negri Sembilan Yang diPertuan Besar Tuanku Ja’afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman, who was the nation’s 10th Yang diPertuan Agong from 1994 to 1999, died at about 11.45am Saturday. He was 86 years old.

State Secretary Datuk Norzam Mohd Nor confirmed this at a press conference at the Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital here.

Tuanku Ja’afar had earlier complained of dizziness and chest discomfort and was rushed to the hospital.

Born in 1922, Tuanku Ja’afar studied at Malay College Kuala Kangsar before graduating from the University of Nottingham. He then attended Balliol College in Oxford.

During the Japanese occupation, he served at the Seremban Land Office and as district officer of Rembau from 1946 to 1947. Upon his return from Britain in 1952, he held several posts in the civil service.

In 1957, he took up a special course for diplomatic services in London and was appointed Charge d’ Affaires in Washington DC, then as First Secretary with the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, and later was Consular and Deputy High Commissioner at the High Commission of Malaya in London.

Tuanku Ja’afar was later appointed the Malaysian Ambassador to Egypt and then High Commissioner to Nigeria and Ghana.

He was recalled by the Negri Sembilan state government after the death of his brother Tuanku Munawir, the state ruler, and was appointed Ruler in 1967.

Tuanku Ja’afar was the 10th Yang diPertuan Agong of Malaysia.

He leaves behind wife Tuanku Najihah Tunku Besar Burhanuddin, three sons and three daughters.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Subscribe to my blog

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Friday, December 26, 2008

World Vision East Malaysian 30-Hour Famine 2009

Thanks to Dixon for highlighting this to me.

This is for those of you in Kuching to do your bit for charity. This is for World Vision 30-Hour Famine in Kuching.

You can get the details here


Date: 21st March, 12pm - 22nd March, 6pm
Venue: Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre, Kuching

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

World Vision Malaysia Child Sponsorship

Thanks to Dixon for highlighting to me to go to World Vision's website. I found this plea as well.

Do check it out at World Vision


With the dawn of the New Year, we are working to find sponsors for 3,000 children in 3 months.
We invite you to the launch of the Campaign:
Date : 2 January 2009 (Friday)
Time : 10.30am – 12.30pm
Venue : The Millennium Ballroom, Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur

Celebrities Lee Sinje, Francissca Peter, Danell Lee, Royce Tan, Roshan and Siow Hui Mei will be sharing about their experience and commitment as Child Sponsors. Places are limited. Please call 03-78806414 for Silvia to confirm by 31 December 2008. Hope to see you there!

在这接下来的三个月, 我们会积极为三千名孩童寻找助养人。我们诚邀您前来出席“携手助贫童•让爱齐走动”推介礼。

艺人圈里的儿童助养人:李心洁、Francissca Peter、Danell李桀汉、Royce陈志康、Roshan以及萧慧敏将与来宾分享他们成为助养人的感受,以及身为一个助养人的责任和义务。名额有限,请在2008年12月31日前联络Silvia (03-78806414)。到时见!

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Cornell Early Decision Statistics

Cornell Early Decision details.
This is quoted from Cornell Daily Sun

School librarians could not stop John DeSantis '13 from celebrating his admission into Cornell's School of Hotel Administration last Thursday when he received his acceptance letter inside his high school's library.

"I was so excited and really nervous just to hear from Cornell and to get a decision," DeSantis said. "When I finally found out, it was crazy."

Last week, librarians across the country were confronted with similar expressions of happiness as admissions notices went out to all who applied to Cornell early decision, and the first students of the Class of 2013 found out their matriculation statuses.

Preliminary figures show an increase in the number of applicants and a steady percentage of acceptances. Although many expected the economic crisis to make high school students less eager to apply early decision, which comes along with a binding matriculation agreement, Cornell reported a 10-percent increase in the number of applications, from 3,094 to 3,405.

The University has compiled some statistical analysis of the Class of 2013; however, Doris Davis explained in an e-mail that the University "will provide a final and more detailed report on the early decision process for the Class of 2013 in January."

Early admissions statistics — which, according to the website, show that "the bubble that did not burst" — were predicted to show a decline in applicants this year as a result of many families' current economic constraints. However, a student poll published by the College Board and Art and Science Group predicted that the current economic downturn combined with the selectivity of college admissions would motivate students to hedge their bets by applying early.

While the increase in applications may have come as a surprise, it did not affect the University's distribution of decisions, the number of applicants offered admission barely fell from last year's 37 percent to 36.68 percent. While acceptances remained steady, there was a definite increase in rejections instead of deferrals. The percentage of applicants denied rose from 34.84 to 40.23 while the percentage of applicants deferred declined from 25.89 to 21.53.

Facts, figures and statistical breakdowns, however, were not on the minds of the 1,249 applicants offered admission to Cornell last week. As these high school students across the globe logged on to their individual accounts and received their acceptances, their emotions were overwhelming.

"It was such a huge relief to know that I will be going a college that I felt so passionately about," Jennifer Dilvell '13 said about her recent acceptance into the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "The school is such a great match for my interests and I think it will be a great place for me to figure out even further my passions."

Besides his career goals in the field of hotel administration, DeSantis hopes that being at Cornell will expose him to greater diversity as well as put him in closer contact with people who share his interests.

"Being from California, I hope to be exposed to a more diverse setting with a diverse group of people … and different weather," DeSantis said. "I also hope to be around people with similar interests, dreams and aspirations."

As for the rest of year, many students offered early acceptance will find it hard to keep up their academic excellence. The goal for many of them is to stay motivated.

"Senioritis has not really kicked in yet," DeSantis said. "I'm still in advanced courses and still have other extracurricular commitments. I'm just trying to keep focus and avoid the temptation to slack off."

Regular decision applications for the class of 2013 are due Jan. 2. Admissions decisions will be released between mid-February and early April, depending on undergraduate college.

2009 - The New Year Ahead

It's 26th December already!!! 6 more days and we would be in 2009!!! What do you think of 2009? Are you looking forward to it? Positive about it?

For me, I would say that I would try to be optimistic for 2009, although I know that at global front, we are facing a 1929-like situation. But isn't it that during tough time, we can build our character.

For me, 2009 would hopefully be another fruitful year...

I started the year of 2008, hoping that I can cut my weight, reducing it from 86kg to 80kg... I failed. I know I won't make it now. I am at 85kg, so unless I cut 1kg per day for the next few days, I am not going to make it. But I think, what is good is that, a number of my friends are telling me that I look healthier. With more blood in my face... hahaha.. :) That's good. It shows blogging at late night doesn't affect me...

For 2009, I definitely hope to reduce my weight down. I would keep my previous target of 80kg. I know it is no big deal to cut 5kg, but to me, it is still very tough. What I hope I would do in 2009, would be to exercise more. I think out of the past many years, 2008 is the year where I exercised the least. I do walk a lot, since I rely on public transport, but to really go out and sweat (I guess bowling doesn't count), I haven't been doing a lot of exercises. Yes. I do play a number of table tennis games, golf once etc, but I guess not enough to really make a difference in my weight.

That's on weight and exercise. On professional development, I am quite happy with my career change from management consulting to product development in a human resources company. I would say that I have learned a lot of new things at and it has been a very fruitful experience. The exposure to try out many new things, especially going on TVs, radios, magazine etc has been great learning. I definitely hope to be able to learn more at my work, and get to perform better, since I would be entering my 2nd year at, no longer a newbie. :)

Outside of work, I hope to develop myself, in learning more knowledge, soft skills etc. It would be great for me to try out new stuff. This is especially so, as I am nearing the end of my 20s, and going to reach the age of 30 already.

Hope to build up my relationship with family, friends etc too. Since I joined, I do have a bit more time, and it would be great to spend more time chatting, relaxing etc. Age is catching up for me too. :)

For my country - Malaysia, 2008 has been a huge year, where a lot of transformation happens. I definitely hope that we can move forward in 2009. A few of stuff in my wish list. All Malaysians (irrespective of political parties, races, religions, gender etc) would work together to develop our country and also be more united. Lets find our similiarities, rather than differences. It is good that our younger netizens are generally colour blind, but we hope to see more of such people. And also I wish to see our MPs can one day vote using their own conscience in parliaments or state assemblies. Today, neither BN or Pakatan Rakyat MPs are able to do that. I definitely hope to see that day to come!

Globally, we are plagued with the financial crisis, which to many, we are not yet "into the tunnel". Things are going to get quite ugly, but I hope that this tough time would help us to belt up and tighten our grips, reform, and we would all emerge a better world after this. In the midst of this crisis, would hope that the layoffs would not be as serious.

On personal investment side, I am still hopefully in my 3 main investments -, Accenture and Air . This year has been a bad year. I do lose quite significantly in my investment, but looking in the long run, I am hopeful on the fundamental of the companies. I invest in the people of those firms. The former 2 are the companies I am working or have worked at and Air Asia is a company that I admire. I still believe on the fundamental of those companies. Like Accenture, their Q1 for 2008-09 financials (Sep to Nov 2008) is positive, and that speaks volume of the company.

Now, with me having been a blogger for 15 months, I hope that this blog can help to inspire at least a few people. If not inspiring, I hope that it does at least bring across information etc to others, at least in the stuff that I care - education, youth, charity, career etc. I definitely welcome anyone who has interesting articles to highlight to me, so that I can share with more people here. Thanks a lot to all my loyal blog readers too. I definitely never expect the traffic to my blog could be at today's rate. Comparing December 2007 and December 2008, my traffic has gone up 5 fold. That's tremendous, if you look at this as a P&L. :)

And I would like to suggest that all of you start your day with Cool People Care . It is interesting to read their 5 minutes idea of how we can care about others, do something for the environment etc.

And they are kind enough to invite me to join other bloggers in asking you guys to share your comments in this post, helping to share on your 2009 plan and help to inspire others. They would be monitoring the comments of this blog too. The 10 most inspiring comments around the globe would be thanked with a copy of their new book - "Today is a New Day". You can find it here .

Would do a book review of the book above pretty soon! Stay tuned!

May I wish all of you have a great year ahead in 2009! Lets move forward!!!
Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Polarisation to be Elaminated

Read the news article on the speech by Pak Lah today. It is very encouraging and hopefully, we Malaysians can heed the advice and try our best to move forward, to be more united.

What I feel on this is that all of us, should take a step forward and try to reconcile. Try to find similiarities, rather than differences.

The news article is quoted from The Star

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has called for polarisation to be eliminated.

“We must promise God that we must do whatever we can to ensure all Malaysians will live in peace together, and we must make every effort to ensure there is harmony.”

Abdullah said that future generations could only grow when there is peace and harmony.

“Then our children will have the chance to live a life that is peaceful and successful. It is our responsibility that their life will be one of fulfillment.

“They must also be brought up without any sense of prejudice or bad feelings to one another, and differences in religion should not be a hindrance for them to develop friendship,” Abdullah said.

Speaking at the Christian Federation of Malaysian Christmas open house here on Thursday, Abdullah said he was aware that there were many problems that needed to be addressed.

“I have been talking to various people on what we need to do to solve these problems.

“I hope we can achieve some of the efforts that we are making today to ensure that this country continues to be better for all of us in terms of the social environment,” he added.

Abdullah said in this context, he would like to work together with religious leaders to develop a mechanism that could be used to solve problems or differences when they arose.

“I also know we have feelings of unhappiness and feelings of being marginalised.

“Such feelings should not be felt by Malaysians and there should be no feelings of being marginalised or feelings of being unhappy due to not having access to good opportunities.”

Abdullah said it was the government’s responsibility to ensure that all Malaysians regardless of race or religion had equal and fair access to opportunities.

He also called on all religious leaders to preach and emphasise religious tolerance and support freedom of worship.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

2nd Freedom Academy (16th to 18th Jan 2009)

Wan Saiful Wan Jan and Tunku Abidin Muhriz from Wau Bebas (under Malaysia Think Tank) would be organizing the 2nd Freedom Academy (January 2009). The 1st one was held successfully in August 2008.

The theme this time around is Globalization, The Free Market and Developing Countries. It would be held at Residence Hotel, UNITEN from 16th to 18th January 2009.

Sadly, I can't make it this time too, as it clashed directly with Malaysia Career & Training Fair that 3 days at MidValley Exhibition Center.

Quoting directly from the site:-

Globalisation and the free market are taking a bashing. The global economic turmoil has resulted in claims that we are looking at the end of capitalism. And, for many years we have been told that globalization, trade liberalization, and capitalism are bad for the poor and for developing countries generally. But what does free market capitalism really entail? Are the criticisms justified?

University students, graduates, and young professionals from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei are invited to attend Malaysia Think Tank’s second Freedom Academy which will be held on 16 – 18 January 2009 (Friday – Sunday) at Residence Hotel, UNITEN, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia.

At this Freedom Academy participants will study in depth the true meaning and morality of capitalism, how globalisation has brought prosperity to developing economies, and why free market capitalism is still the way for forward.

Speakers from India, Pakistan, China and the United Kingdom will provide thorough and detailed analysis of how free market capitalism has benefited developing countries.

We are particularly looking for those sympathetic to, or are curious about, libertarian and classical liberal ideas.

Come and enjoy the Freedom Academy! You will be challenged intellectually and you will get an invaluable opportunity to network with like-minded friends.
The Programme

Come with an open mind, and go back with a good understanding of the positive impact brought by globalisation and the free market to developing economies.

In this Freedom Academy, we will discuss important topics including:

The financial crisis: causes and solutions
The meaning and morality of capitalism and the free market
The role of government
The impact of globalization on developing economies
How the market works and can the market produce social justice for the poor
Case studies from other countries
This Freedom Academy will be conducted in English.

Attendance fee

Fees are to be paid in full before the start of the Freedom Academy.

RM325.00 (only RM195 for Kelab Wau Bebas members, i.e. participants of previous Freedom Academy) - which will cover all meals from Friday dinner to lunch on Sunday, lectures, books, delegates pack, and accommodation (shared twin room) at Residence Hotel.

RM195.00 (only RM175 for Kelab Wau Bebas members) – without accommodation.


The Malaysia Think Tank can offer scholarships to selected applicants. You can apply for full or partial scholarships to cover attendance fee. We do not pay for travel expenses. The Malaysia Think Tank reserves the right to determine the value of scholarship to be awarded.


All applications must be received before Monday 5 January 2009.

Successful applicants will be informed by as soon as possible, before Friday 9 January 2009.

Further information

For further information, please contact Noor Amin bin Ahmad via email


Professor Julian Morris, Executive Director, International Policy Network.

Julian graduated from Edinburgh University in 1992 with a degree in economics. After pursuing graduate work in economics (leading to two masters degrees), he worked at the Institute of Economic Affairs and in 1998 was appointed Director of the IEA's Environment and Technology Programme. In his spare time, he completed a Graduate Diploma in Law at the University of Westminster in 1999. In 2001, Julian founded the International Policy Network, a think-tank based in London that works on global policy issues relating to health, environment, trade, and development. In 2002, he was appointed a Visiting Professor at the University of Buckingham.

Dr Khalil Ahmad, President, Alternate Solutions Institute, Pakistan.

Dr. Khalil Ahmad studied Philosophy, History, Economics and Literature, and holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from University of the Punjab, and till 2006 taught courses on Philosophy and Education to graduate and post-graduate classes. During his college and university days, he had been an ardent Marxist, but two philosophers Sir Karl Popper’s and Frederick August Hayek’s ideas converted him to Libertarianism. Khalil founded the Alternate Solutions Institute, first free market think tank of Pakistan, and heads it. He frequently contributes articles on the current issues to various local/foreign newspapers including The News, Business Recorder, The Post, Pakistan Observer, The Frontier Post/Asian Wall Street Journal, South China Morning Post, Mint, Globe & Mail. He has published more than two dozen articles on the rule of law movement in the above-mentioned local papers. He has published a booklet (The Greatest Battle for the Rule of Law in Pakistan) on the rule of law movement in Pakistan.

Alec Van Gelder, Network Director, International Policy Network.
Alec van Gelder is Network Director at International Policy Network, a think tank based in London. Among other publications, Alec is author of "Dirigiste Divide; how Governments obstruct development and access to ICTs" and "Nashville in Africa" and his work on trade, health, technology and development issues has been published in many newspapers including: the Globe and Mail, Boston Globe, Business Day, Wall Street Journal and International Herald Tribune. Alec holds a Master’s degree in International Economics and Development from UCL in Belgium and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Lehigh University in the United States. He speaks English, Spanish, French and Dutch with fluency.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan - MTT Director General & Head of Libertarian Education Project (LEAP).
Wan Saiful is Director General of the Malaysia Think Tank and heads MTT's Libertarian Education Project (LEAP). He is also Editor of, a joint Cato Institute - Malaysia Think Tank project for speakers of the Malay language (Bahasa Melayu). Wan Saiful boarded at Sekolah Alam Shah, Kuala Lumpur, and then Tonbridge School, England. He went to the University of Liverpool, Northumbria University and Middlesex University Business School, London. He holds a BA (Hons) in Management and an MSc in Research Methodologies. Wan Saiful has worked for the British Conservative Party's Research Department, and, prior to that, the think tank Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit. He was also vice chair of his local Conservative Association, which oversees two parliamentary constituencies. In May 2007, he contested in the English local elections as a Conservative Party candidate. He is now Head of Policy for the Conservative Muslim Forum.

Barun S. Mitra - Director, Liberty Institute, India.

Barun is founder and Director of the Liberty Institute, a non-profit, independent public policy research and advocacy organisation, based in New Dehi. The Institute is dedicated to understanding the implications of contemporary public policy issues, and seeks to harness the power of the market to enhance the range and scope of individual liberty. The Institute has recently undertaken an initiative to make democracy more meaningful and participatory, with the objective of converting good policies in to good politics as well. Barun writes on a range public policy issues with a special interest in economic development, environment, entrepreneurship, trade, technology, democracy and related issues. He has been published in a wide range of national and international newspapers and magazines, and is a regular commentator on television channels in India.

Associate Professor Xingyuan Feng, vice-president, Cathay Institute of Public Affairs, Beijing, China.

Xingyuan is the co-founder and board member of Cathay Institute for Public Affairs as well as co-founder and member of Chinese Hayek Society. His research focus is economic and social order and is an expert in study on Austrian School of Economics, Freiburger School of Economics and Constitutional Economics. He has authored a number of books such as “The EMU and the Euro”, “Reducing Regional Disparities in the EU and Germany,” “Rural Enterprise Finance and Informal Rural Organizational Innovations in China.” Xingyuan has also co-authored the book “The European Constitution Making and Implication for China” and published dozens of newspaper articles and journals in China and abroad. Since 2006 he is Member of the Editorial Board of the Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development (EJSD), a joint venture between the University of Buckingham and International Policy Network, England. He is also Editor-in-chief of a new book series “Theory of Order and Economics Series”.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Name Cards for Rakyat Malaysia

Markus Ng , a fellow Malaysian, who is really passionate about bringing Malaysia towards greater heights, especially in terms of unity across races.

He has designed name cards for Rakyat Malaysia. You can see the sample on the link above. Do check it out! :)

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Donate to Yvonne Foong's Medical Cost

To all my blog readers, I would like to wish Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Time flies and 2008 is about to leave us.

In this festive season, I would like to call upon you to do a good deed. I just came across this from Kenny Sia's blog and he helped to highlight on a donation drive by Yvonne Foong to save her right eye.

Quoting it from her blog, which was posted on 17th December 2008:-
I had been feeling a little scared the past few days. I’m going to raise funds for Proton Therapy to save my eyesight. This is an advanced but rare form of radiosurgery, used to treat tumors involving delicate structures where slight mistake can cause irreversible damages. Since my left eye is blind, my ears deaf, we must save my right eye. But Proton Therapy is said to be very expensive. There are cheaper alternatives but not as accurate as this one. I was intimidated by the prospect of having to put myself out here again, raising funds for something most would consider a luxury, and get questioned again for my authenticity and as a moral person.

Yvonne Foong is diagnosed with NF2 tumours and her medical fees are very hefty. It would be great if some of you, my blog readers, could help Yvonne in any way you could. She has set up a trust to help her handle the donation. You can read about it here .

Some of the ways you could help:-
1. Donate. You can donate at here .
2. Blog about it and encourage others to donate.
3. Give her emotional support.
4. Any other ways that you could help!

Lets hope that Yvonne Foong could recover soon.

She has written a book too, "I'm not sick, just a bit unwell", and the proceed of that book would help her to cover her medical cost. You can get her book by going to Borders (Times Square), MPH, Popular etc. You can contact her too at yvonnefmn(at)gmail(dot)com . To see the book, go to here .

Hope that you can take proactive step to help!

To know more about Yvonne Foong and her condition, do read here . She was born in 1986, so she is just 22 years old, and unfortunately, she faced this situation.

I reproduced some of her medical situation here. Those were quoted from her link above.

1. Neurofibromatosis Type 2. (July 2002)

August 2002 - Multiple spine tumor removal
April 2003 - Partial Acoustic Neuroma removal - Brain.
September 2004 - Complete Acoustic Neuroma removal - Brain.
October 2006 - Complete Acoustic Neuroma removal - Brain.
November 2008 - Decompression of the right optic nerve.

1. Optic Nerve Sheath Meningioma.
2. Under-development of left eyeball and retina, causing small optic nerve.
3. Semi facial palsy.
4. Jugular Foramen Meningioma.
5. Multiple brain tumors.
6. Multiple tumors along cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.
7. Multiple peripheral schwannomas.
8. Absence of VIII cranial nerves - the vestibulocochlear nerves.
9. Usage of the Auditory Brainstem Implant to assist hearing.

Doctors involve in my health management
1. Neurosurgeon Dr. Gregory P. Lekovic M.D. (House Clinic)
2. Neurotologist - Dr. Rick A. Friedman MD. PhD. (House Clinic)
3. Neurosurgeon - Dr. Mark Schwartz MD. (House Clinic)
4. Neurosurgeon - Dr. William E. Hitselberger MD. (House Clinic) (past)
5. Neurosurgeon Mr. Johari Siregar Bin Adnan (past)
5. Neurosurgeon Mr. Mohd Saffari B. Mohd Haspani (past)

Hospitals frequently visited
1. General Hospital Kuala Lumpur (past)
2. Assunta Hospital
3. St. Vincent Medical Center, L.A.
4. Tun Hussein Oon Eye Hospital

Physical Limitations
1. Profound deafness.
2. Underdeveloped left optic nerve.
3. Low right visual acuity
4. Right central scotoma
5. Poor balance.
6. Semi facial paralysis.
7. Stiff Right Leg.
8. Slight Back Discomfort.
9. Tinnitus.

Do try to help her in any way you can!!! Despite her situation, she is forward looking and she is trying her best to do the best out of the situation.

Lets end 2008 with doing a good deed, or start 2009 with doing a good deed.

With each of us doing a little bit, this could bring together a real positive change. Lets do it!

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

1st Annual Cornell Asia Ski Weekend

Thanks to Shawn Tripp for the information.
1st Annual Cornell Asia Ski Weekend:  February 27 - March 1, 2009  Niseko + Japan
The response to our last mail has been excellent and we have a great weekend to which we can look forward.  Alums from Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong and Singapore have expressed interest in attending.  ITS OFFICIAL!
The core part of the weekend will start with cocktails from 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 27th and culminate with a banquet dinner on Saturday, February 28th at Freedom Inn in the Hanazono section of the Niseko resort.
The days will be centered on enjoying Niseko's famous powder snow, snowmobiling, hot springs and other winter pleasures.  The hotel is a quick walk from the ski lifts and the brand new Hanazono 308 day center, which houses shops, restaurants and the Niseko International Ski School.
The basic package for the weekend will include 2 night's lodging, dinner on both Friday and Saturday and breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.  Pricing will depend on room type and number of people staying together.  The main reference price is double occupancy in a Superior Twin/Double room, with the above package running at 29,000 yen / person.
For those planning to travel solo, please let us know if you would like to be paired up with another alumnus.  The hotel has only one single room.
Family plan options are available and children 6 years and under will carry no extra charge.  The hotel has a number of Japanese rooms which are ideal for family stays.   
A sample plan for a family of 4 (all children over 6) in a Family Japanese Room would be 66,000 yen for the entire family.
The number of rooms are limited and airfares are generally more favorable when made in advance, so we recommend making reservations early.  In the event that more alumni wish to attend than the available capacity at Freedom Inn, we will attempt to make alternative lodging arrangements nearby.  Prices may vary widely depending on the available supplemental lodging.
The hotel can arrange bus transfers to and from Chitose Airport (4,600 yen r/t, ski rental packages and special lift tickets at only 2,000 yen per day (advance purchase, usable only on the Hanazono and Hirafu lifts -- all mountain tickets can be purchased for 5,000 yen per day).
Some alumni have expressed a desire to extend their stay beyond the designated weekend, and we will be happy to accommodate any such request.  Currently, 15 rooms have been blocked out for the weekend.
Travel tips:  For those planning to travel from Tokyo, the best fares can obtained on SkyMark Airlines exactly (starting at 9:30 a.m.) 2 months in advance of the travel date, with some seats less than 10,000 yen each way to Chitose Airport.  These disappear very quickly.  The other airlines (ANA, JAL and AirDo) regularly have favorable fares just north of 10,000 yen if purchased 28 days in advance.
All reservation requests and inquiries should be sent to Bob Fernstrom '88 at or by phone to 0136-22-3322.
We look forward to a great weekend and a new annual tradition.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

SAT2 Score Analysis (Using Thailand Case Studies)

It's 2am. I would stop reading essays for now first. I know this means that for some of you, your essays feedback would be delayed by 1 day, but my brain is tired after reading essays for the past 4 hours. So, would do this for the rest of the night. :) (Not long more, before I called it a night).

Today, December SAT Reasoning Test/SAT Subject Test results were out. And there were happy and sad moments.

Thinking of how I should synthesize the importance of SAT Reasoning Test and SAT Subject Test scores, I decide to analyze it this way using results from the Thai scholars. You can find their scores here .

What I would do is that I would analyze based on the average score for those who get admitted, wait listed and rejected for each of the main universities.

Harvard University
Admit (2 students):- CR (665), Math (800), Writing (685) Essay (10), SAT2 (2400).
Wait List (2 students):- CR (585), Math (795), Writing (605) Essay (8.5), SAT2 (2350)
Reject (2 students):- CR (515), Math (790), Writing (575) Essay (8), SAT2 (2365)

Princeton University
Admit (1 student):- CR (710), Math (800), Writing (710) Essay (10), SAT2 (2400)
Reject (1 student):- CR (570), Math (800), Writing (640) Essay (8), SAT2 (2400)

Yale University
Admit (3 students):- CR (667), Math (800), Writing (657) Essay (9.67), SAT2 (2400)
Reject (5 students):- CR (570), Math (770), Writing (586) Essay (8.2), SAT2 (2248)
(there is one candidate who got rejected with SAT2 of 1960, if remove that candidate, the average for rejected for SAT2 is 2320.

Columbia University
Admit (7 students):- CR (569), Math (796), Writing (584) Essay (8.57), SAT2 (2347)
Wait List (6 students) :- CR (505), Math (787), Writing (533) Essay (7.33), SAT2 (2345)
Reject (2 students):- CR (455), Math (760), Writing (505) Essay (7.5), SAT2 (2180)

Cornell University
Admit (16 students):- CR (539), Math (785), Writing (568) Essay (8.5), SAT2 (2348)
Wait List (2 students):- CR (465), Math (780), Writing (510) Essay (6.5), SAT2 (2260)
Reject (11 students):- CR (477), Math (758), Writing (507) Essay (7.54), SAT2 (2205)

Brown University
Admit (3 students):- CR (543), Math (797), Writing (607) Essay (7.67), SAT2 (2370)
Wait List (6 students):- CR (519), Math (792), Writing (542) Essay (7.83), SAT2 (2318)
Reject (2 students):- CR (515), Math (740), Writing (535) Essay (8.5), SAT2 (2275)

Dartmouth College
Admit (5 students):- CR (600), Math (794), Writing (634) Essay (8.6), SAT2 (2356)
Wait List (1 student):- CR (530), Math (680), Writing (520) Essay (7), SAT2 (1910)

University of Pennsylvania
Admit (10 students):- CR (585), Math (792), Writing (599) Essay (8.6), SAT2 (2369)
Wait List (2 students):- CR (525), Math (770), Writing (570) Essay (8), SAT2 (2300)
Reject (3 students):- CR (487), Math (793), Writing (510) Essay (7.33), SAT2 (2227)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Admit (3 students):- CR (693), Math (800), Writing (727) Essay (10), SAT2 (2400)
Wait List (1 student):- CR (610), Math (800), Writing (580) Essay (8), SAT2 (2400)
Reject (11 students):- CR(551), Math (791), Writing (568) Essay (8), SAT2 (2359)
(1 of the rejected candidates score 2070 in SAT2, if taken that out, average SAT2 for rejected is 2386.)

Stanford University
Admit (7 students):- CR (633), Math (792), Writing (650) Essay (9), SAT2 (2400)
Wait List (1 student):- CR (600), Math (800), Writing (580) Essay (8), SAT2 (2400)
Reject (22 students):- CR (512), Math (777), Writing (532) Essay (7.78), SAT2 (2303)
(2 of the rejected candidates score 1910 and 2070 respectively, if taken those two out, average SAT2 for rejected is 2339.)

I know that these 10 universities are not complete representation, but I would stop here. If any of you could help me to churn out this stats for other universities, that would be much appreciated. I would quote you for your calculation.

Some points to note:-
1. Do note that the figure above are all average, which means technically about half of them got better than that score and half got worse than that score.
2. We see some correlation of higher SAT and admit rate, but it is not conclusive.
3. I would safely say that SAT2 is much more crucial. Do note the high score of their SAT2.
4. English score for Thais are a little lower, but their SAT2 are impressive. That's the case for SAT2 for most other students too. So, students from Malaysia need to buck up on this.

Please feel free to quote these figures to share with others.

Am hoping to conduct a similar analysis for Malaysia come this April 2009.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

"Hot Truck Bob" passed away

Ask any Cornellian the last few decades, they would definitely know of Hot Truck and most likely have tasted the food of hot truck.

Just got an email from Cornell University (my alma mater) that "Hot Truck Bob", Robert C. Petrillose Sr. has passed away recently.

Below is the link of the article in Cornell Chronicle

Cornell mourns the passing of one of its legends,
'Hot Truck Bob'

By Anne Ju

For thousands of Cornell students and alumni who ever stood shivering in line at the Hot Truck, a legend has passed.

Robert C. Petrillose Sr., known to generations of patrons at Cornell as "Hot Truck Bob," died Dec. 8 in Elmira. He was 77. For 40 years until his retirement in 2000, Petrillose owned and operated the Hot Truck on Stewart Avenue, where he served hot subs seven nights a week from 10 p.m. until as late as 5 a.m.

To the Cornell community, Petrillose was a familiar and friendly figure on many a late night when a Hot Truck sub was the only thing that would satisfy. Hungry, stressed-out college students relished the taste of quirky menus items. To name a few: the Poor Man's Pizza (French bread with tomato sauce and cheese), the MBC (French bread with two homemade meatballs, tomato sauce and cheese), and the Krazy Korean (garlic bread with homemade hot sausage, mushrooms, hot peppers and onions).

Remembrances of Petrillose and the Hot Truck piled up on Facebook at the news of his passing. One alumnus described how, five years after graduation, he proposed to his girlfriend at the base of Fall Creek and took her to Hot Truck afterward to celebrate.

"Took [the subs] back to our room and had one of the most memorable meals ever. I've owned restaurants for nearly 20 years and I still look to Hot Truck as a model of efficiency and customer service -- Where else would you stand in a foot of snow for 90 minutes in the middle of the night?" he wrote.

Petrillose started his career in the family restaurant, Johnny's Big Red Grill in Collegetown, where he was the chef and manager until 1981. He started his pizza truck business in 1960 while continuing his work at Johnny's. In four decades, Petrillose only missed a handful of nights.

After closing up in the pre-dawn hours, he would drive his truck home and immediately begin cleaning it and scrubbing his pans until they shone. After a few hours of sleep, he would wake and start grinding cheese, processing sausage and preparing vast quantities of meatballs. In his spare moments, Petrillose enjoyed working on his collection of antique cars and boating on Cayuga Lake with his old wooden Chris-Craft cruiser.

In the late 1990s, Petrillose was inducted into the Quill and Dagger Society, a non-scholastic honor society recognizing exemplary Cornell undergraduates. Petrillose was one of just a few non-Cornell students to receive the honor.

Petrillose was born Nov. 17, 1931, the son of the late John W. Petrillose Sr. and Ruth Goff Petrillose. He was a lifelong resident of Ithaca until his retirement. Since that time, he and his wife of 57 years, Sharon Follett Petrillose, had lived in Elmira. He is survived by his wife, sister, brother, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Friends are invited to call at McInerny Funeral Home at Water and Walnut streets in Elmira, Friday, Dec. 12, from 4 to 7 p.m. The funeral service will be held Saturday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 1054 W. Clinton St., Elmira. Interment will follow at noon in Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Ithaca.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to a scholarship, which can be mailed to The Robert C. Petrillose Scholarship Fund, c/o Tompkins Trust Co., Attention Sue Lason, P.O. Box 460, Ithaca, NY 14851.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

CSP 2nd Online Survey

Calling all CSPers, who have been to CSP1, CSP2, CSP3, CSP4, CSP5, CSP6, CSP7, CSP8, CSP9!!! Do take part in this 2nd online survey, which would help the CSP Office in planning and organizing our China Synergy Programme for Outstanding Youth's reunion in 2009.
The date of reunion has been fixed from 16th to 19th July 2009. And there would be a pre-trip to various destinations.
For those of you who are wondering what is China Synergy Programme, do check it out at It would be an experience of your lifetime. The deadline is now 15th January 2009. Do give it a good try!!!
For alumni, do fill up the survey below:-
Dear CSP alumni,

This is a link to the 2nd online survey for collection of ideas before the reunion online application is launched.

Would appreciate if you could fill out the survey by 29 Dec 2008.

Wish you a merry xmas and a great 2009!
CSP Office

Astrology Seminar

Dear Sir/ Madam,

We would like to invite you to a free talk "Astrology forecast for 2009 & how to create a home sweet home via Vasthu Sastra (Indian Feng Shui)" by Mr T. Selva. The details are as below.

Date: 10 Jan 2009 (Saturday)
Time: 9:45am-12:00pm
Venue: Auditorium, Centre for Extension Education
            UTAR PJ Campus, No.11 Jalan 13/6, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Admission: FREE (prior registration required)

The talk is open to all. We welcome you, your family members and friends to the talk. Enclosed herewith is the flyer of the talk.

For registration, kindly email us at

Secretariat, MMLM

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top 20 Homegrown Malaysian Sites for December 2008 by Guan Sin

Guan Sin blogged again on the Top 20 Homegrown Malaysian Sites for December 2008. You can go to his site to see the full details of the ranking.

He did the ranking based on Alexa and the ranking below is taken from his site. Last month's ranking is in parenthesis.

1. (2)
2. (3)
3. (1)
4. (5)
5. (7)
6. (8)
7. (4)
8. (6)
9. (10)
10. (9)
11. (12)
12. (13)
13. (14)
14. (Malaysia Today) (11)
15. (16)
16. (19)
17. (17)
18. (-)
19. (20)
20. (-)

Looking at it and based on Guan Sin's analysis, political sites like Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today have suffered a drop in visitors. Harakah Daily, which used to be ranked 15th have dropped out of top 20. NST, which used to be ranked 18th is out of top 20 too.

Malay newspapers, like Utusan and Berita Harian suffered a drop too. does suffer a drop as well from 6th to 8th rank, but we do see emergence of (its Malaysian site) pops into 18th rank. So, in overall, the traffic for may not have gone down.

On the flip side, the sites that improve in rankings, include e-commerce sites, like cari, mudah and lelong. All have improved. Sportstoto and Magnum have improved too.

In terms of consumer banks, Maybank2u and pbebank (Public Bank) have improved their ranking too.

To round up other sites that improve, that includes thestar, lowyat, airasia, harian metro, china press and tmnet.

Thanks again to Guan Sin for this interesting analysis!

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Monday, December 22, 2008

About 5,000 to be retrenched

The financial crisis is slowing waging its way to Malaysia, and today, our Human Resources Minister announced that about 5,000 Malaysians are going to get retrenched in the 1st quarter of 2009. And that's the planned ones. The actual number could actually be even higher.

For full article, read it here .

PETALING JAYA: At least 4,749 workers, mostly from the electronics industry, will be retrenched by 137 employers in the next three months, Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said.

He said this included the recent retrenchment of 1,500 Western Digital factory workers in Kuching.

“My ministry on its part will ensure that the workers get the compensation due to them from the companies.”

He said under the Employment Act’s Employment (Termination And Lay-off Benefits) Regulations, workers would be compensated a part of their salary for each year of work.

For workers who have been with a company for two years or less, compensation would be 10 days of salary per year of work.

For those between two and five years, it would be 15 days of salary per year and for those above five years, it would be 20 days of salary per year.

Dr Subramaniam said the Government would also look into getting alternative employment for these retrenched workers or put them into training before looking for alternative employment.

“So far, we have not held dialogues with these workers but we will be contacting them soon and setting up counselling sessions for them,” he said after a dialogue with Malaysian Training Providers Berhad.

Dr Subramaniam said he was not sure whether the number of retrenched workers would increase but added that some things were beyond the Government’s control.

“When a company is facing losses, we cannot force them to keep people. However, we will ensure the retrenchment is done fairly for the workers,” he said.

Dr Subramaniam also issued a statement that any employer intending to retrench, lay off, offer voluntary separation schemes or reduce salaries would have to inform the ministry 30 days before such action is taken.

“Employers that do not follow this can be fined up to RM10,000,” he said.

He added that the ministry would also be setting up operation centres at the district level to monitor the status of companies within their jurisdiction.

“This information will be passed on to the state level before being compiled at the Federal level,” Dr Subramaniam said, adding that this would allow the ministry to be updated.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!