Friday, June 23, 2006

All your EPF data for just RM5

An ex colleague of mine who has become a unit trust consultant met me to to discuss investing my EPF. When I told her I didn't know how much I had available in my Account 2 for investment, she said that it doesn't matter, she can get someone to find out for me. Huh? I asked, how was that possible since sensitive data like this can only be requestedby the EPF member? Turns out that some unscrupulous EPF staff are asking for RM5 per name from unit trust consultants (or any other financial salesperson) to check out members investible amounts. They do this without blinking an eyelid, proving how cheaply our country's civil servants treat personal data, turning it into their own twisted little enterprise.

I am so shocked I don't even know what to do next!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Using Runners? JPJ wants you to deal with this company

This week's print edition of the Edge comments on the endorsement of a relatively unknown company, Konsortium Wawasan Klasik Sdn Bhd (KWK), to act as the go-between for all financial institutions and the Road Transport Department (JPJ).

Banks who up to now, have been used to paying a small fee for independent runners to deal with the notoriously bureaucratic JPJ, now face having to work with a potentially monopolistic KWK who may charge higher fees for a more 'professional' service. This, says the Edge will crowd out the famously entrepreneurial runners who have carved out a business niche by taking the headaches out of dealing with a lumbering government organisation.

The current laissez-faire system isn't perfect but it works, and the Edge asks why fix something when it ain't broke?

Most of the runners I know are bumiputra. If the government's agenda is to assist bumis, I struggle to understand how these kinds of 'arrangements' will benefit the majority who need help most.

Technorati tags: malaysia, bumiputra, entrepreneur

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

SMH: Mahathir's grand vision for Malaysia turns a little sour

Ooh - I couldn't resist posting this article from the Sydney Morning Herald about Dr. M. .... Ouch sounds painful...!

Here's an excerpt:

"One of the two great symbols of his rule - the Petronas Towers where Mahathir keeps his retirement office - was topped by Taipei's 101 Tower last year and has never enjoyed full occupancy anyway. Neither has the new airport. That other Mahathir symbol, the National Car Project that spawned the Proton, genuinely runs the risk of collapse."

Read on..

Saturday, June 10, 2006

World Cup: South American economies set to lose half a billion US$ in productivity

South American economies are set to lose half a billion US$ in productivity during the World Cup season says UK-based Centre for Economics & Business Research (CEBR).

Unfortunately for football crazy Latins, the matches will be played during working hours, while over here bleary-eyed employees will struggle to keep awake during the daytime.

When things were the other way around 4 years ago in Japan/South Korea, CEBR
estimates that Europe suffered a staggering €8.7bn loss of GDP through absenteeism!

Here, civil servants in Kuantan have been warned not to let their productivity be affected because of too many late nights. Yeah right. If employers or the government are so affected by this, they might like to take Kam Raslam's advice in his Talking Edge piece this week - hire an all female workforce.

technorati tags: World Cup, productivity, business

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Singapore launches "Identity Card" No. for Businesses

Our progressive southern neighbour has announced plans to launch a "Unique Establishment Identifier" (UEI) for all establishments. This Computerworld Singapore report states that currently, the more commonly used identifiers are the numbers issued by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority to registered companies and businesses, the ROS number issued by Registry of Societies to registered societies, the Central Registration (CR) number issued by the Department of Statistics to various categories of establishments as required for survey or statistical purposes, and the CPF employer number issued by the Central Provident Fund Board to all employers.

(From memory alone, Malaysian establishments require SSM (ROC) numbers, LHDN (IRS) numbers, EPF numbers and SOCSO numbers.I wonder when some rent-seeker will successfully lobby our government to embark on a UEI system too.)

With the UEI, I'm sure conspiracy theorists will say that Big Brother will now have an easier time making sure Singapore businesses pay their dues. From my angle, I feel it will be even easier to do business in a country where efficiency is already a trademark.

Contrast this with Malaysiah where a World Bank report says it takes an average 225 days to set up a business.

Oh, and yes, Singaporeans have a single Passport & IC number. Rumour has it that we will soon have to change our Mykad again because the current numbering system doesn't comply with international passport standards? Can anyone confirm this? If it's true, then Iris Corp can look forward to another few years of easy money.

Technorati tags: singapore, malaysia, business

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Entrepreneurship - it's literally in your BLOOD!

This study reveals that being entrepreneurial or having the propensity to be self-employed, may actually lie in the person's genes.

By comparing self-employment in 609 pairs of identical twins, who share all the same genes, and 657 pairs of non-identical twins, the researchers discovered that identical twins increased the odds of their twins following the same path more than non-identical twins, which suggests genes are important. Incidentally, the rate of entrepreneurs among twins is the same as in the general population which makes the findings directly relevant to the rest of us.

This might explain why if you come from a family of entrepreneurs, the likelihood is that you would either venture out on your own or inherit that family business (lucky sod).

Technorati tag: enterpreneurs, family business

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Happy? Fathers Day

Ever think about how insidiously private enterprise shapes our personal lives? Well sometimes, all subtlety is lost - especially in this country.

Case in point: Father's Day in Malaysia will be celebrated next Sunday June 11th. While Mothers were feted with carnations, perfumes, jewellery and fashion on their day last month, guess what one advertiser felt would be appropriate to celebrate Fathers' Day?

Here's the ad (from Saturday's the Star newspaper) for you to have a long hard look at:

Yep, fathers, read it and weep. Among the items suggested as suitable gifts for us are a deluxe wheelchair, adult diapers and above all... an "ERECAID ESTEEM VACUUM THERAPY system", no doubt to make the Mrs. happy as well!

Happy Father's Day!

technorati tags: Fathers Day

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Singapore daily says: Disney likes us better, so there!

TODAY reporter Ansley Ng practically spits contempt all over UEM's claim that it is in talks with Disney to set up theme park in Bandar Nusajaya, Johor.

See for yourself:

"The American company has now crushed those rumours, even as a new possibility takes hold — could Disney be coming to Singapore?"


"So, is this the end of the Disney dream in the region? Not quite. Unlike the flat denial on Malaysia, Disney was far more open-ended when asked about the possibility of opening a theme park in Singapore. "Singapore has long been a good market for Disney and its position as a hub in South-east Asia continues to develop," said Ms Alannah Goss, director of communications of the Walt Disney Company in Asia Pacific. "We continue to evaluate the market but do not have anything to announce at this time."
Yes Ansley Ng, we know that in Singapore's eyes, Malaysia is never good enough to attract world class attractions such as Disney, not like Singapore which has managed to bring in world class attractions like Hooters.

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