Friday, October 27, 2006

The Other Malaysia: Farish Noor's new site

Come one, come all.

Malaysia's resident thinker Farish Noor has started off his own website aptly called
"The Other Malaysia"

Have a good read. I love his articles.

Technorati: Farish Noor, Malaysia

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Surely not EVERYTHING can be sold via Direct Marketing!

The next time a long-lost acquaintance calls you up and says he/she wants to meet up with you, be on your guard. The one time that I did it, I ended up being propositioned to join a network marketing group to sell, of all things, massaging showers!

Massaging showers. What more invasive and taboo-inducing product could these direct marketers think of!

In fact, my so-called long-lost acquaintance had invited me over to his apartment for tea and then when I was there, suggested that I take a shower to experience the benefits of his miracle equipment!

I declined of course, being freaked out in so many ways at the thought of a) having to shower at a stranger's apartment and b) being held at ransom mid-shower and asked to sign on the dotted line.

I can't imagine him or his uplines having much success in this business, especially if you need your prospects to take a shower before they decide!

Tags: direct selling, network marketing

Happy Deepavali & Selamat Hari Raya

I know I'm a little late, but it comes from the heart. Happy Deepavali & Selamat Hari Raya to my fellow Malaysians. Hope everyone has a good break and comes back recharged and refreshed.

Friday, October 13, 2006

"Malaysia’s Ethnic Reality Under Scrutiny"

Read all about it here.

I love the concluding remarks. Couldn't have expressed it better!

"Many people, Malay, Chinese or Indians, who make up the third of Malaysia’s main ethnic groups, complain among themselves that the NEP resulted in a gilded superclass of bumi corporate figures who do nothing but collect their salaries and stock options and let others do the work. The rank-and-file bumis, they say, remain at the lower end of the economic spectrum, living in rural communities or ramshackle parts of the cities.
But that is a subject no official seems willing to discuss. "

The Asian Sentinel, from which this quote came from, is an independent online news platform helmed by respectable former journalists and editors. Kudos to them for wanting to keep news independent and unbiased.

Technorati: Malaysia, race, NEP

Thursday, October 12, 2006

ASLI's head of Research resigns over bumi equity report: Quick download before it's taken offline!

It had to happen.

Unable to agree with ASLI's President Mirzan Mahathir's statement that "there were shortcomings in assumption and calculation" in the equity report, the think tank's Head of Centre for Public Policy Studies Dr Lim Teck Ghee has done the honorable thing and resigned.

Although our resident rabble rouser and self-proclaimed race champion has decided to use the haze as his latest political platform, it is obvious that the powers-that-be have exerted some pressure on the think tank to take some sort of action for daring to speak out against that most hallowed of rice bowls, the NEP.

If I were you, I'd download the report for posterity NOW before it's taken offline.

Technorati: Malaysia, politics, NEP, race

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Why Malaysia must change - the global demand for Talent

Yet another reason why I think Malaysia has little or no choice but to change its economic policies, New or otherwise.

Talent is the world's most sought after commodity and if our country continues to put up artificial roadblocks to our brainiest and most talented in the name of social restructuring, then we can wave goodbye to our competitiveness forever.

Read this quote from the Economist article:

"Even governments have got the talent bug. Rich countries have progressed from simply relaxing their immigration laws to actively luring highly qualified people. Most of them are using their universities as magnets for talent. India and China are trying to entice back some of their brightest people from abroad. Singapore's Ministry of Manpower even has an international talent division."

McKinsey estimates that the number of American jobs that emphasise “tacit interactions” (complex interactions requiring a high level of judgment over the past six years has grown two and a half times as fast as the number of transactional jobs and three times as fast as employment in general.

"These jobs now make up some 40% of the American labour market and account for 70% of the jobs created since 1998. And the same sort of thing is bound to happen in developing countries as they get richer."

The sooner our governement wakes up to these realities the better.

Technorati: talent, Malaysia.

Monday, October 09, 2006

ASLI says bumis already own 45% of Corporate Equity in Malaysia

When the legitimacy of your government has been established by making your majority voters believe they need you to protect their rice bowl, you will do everything you can to defend this position when it is called into question.

Worse still when it threatens the well-oiled corporate machinery of patronage and rent-seeking from which a minority have obviously benefited.

So it is with this country.

When an independent think tank comes out and advises the government that they should seriously review the way they measure wealth distribution, you will do all you can to call into question the viability of that think tank’s findings.

As part of his defence against a report by ASLI, that bumiputeras already own 45% of corporate assets in this country (and therefore have far exceeded the NEP plans) the PM declared that Malaysian Government Linked Companies (GLCs) should not be considered bumiputera companies.

Oh right, and just last year this is what he has to say about the programme to transform our GLCs:

"The programme [to transform GLCs] will promote many national development priorities including the development of a more competitive and resilient Bumiputera enterprise community to the creation of better skilled Bumiputera managers and employees, more capable Bumiputera vendors and suppliers and the like," he said.

I don’t see how a GLC can be seen to be anything other than upholding the interests of the bumiputera community when the PM himself links the community three times in one sentence with GLCs.

Do we ever hear of how a GLC will help ensure that non-bumis preserve their 40% entitlement of the economy? Nada.

As our economy falls down the rungs of world competitiveness and our universities continue to plummet in global rankings, our racial equity restructuring policies must surely be reviewed to make them relevant in this day and age.

Technorati: Malaysia, competitiveness.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tesco versus Bill Gates

UK Supermarket giant Tesco plans to challenge Bill Gates in the packaged software business.

Major Tesco stores in the UK will soon sell Tesco Software which has been developed by Cambridge-based Formjet PLC. Interestingly, Formjet has also announced a partnership with a Malaysian company, Celframe Information Technologies to market its products in the Asian Region under the Celframe brand. I would laugh my head off if it was any other company, but Tesco has been powering on with recently declared profits of £1.15 billion, and showing strong growth in non-food sales, which increased by 12.6% to £3.5bn.

Maybe our UMNO-led government was right in being worried about the ever expanding presence of hypermarkets in our country. One can imagine what damage they would do to their rent-seeking support base.

Technorati: Microsoft, Tesco, software, supermarket

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Corporatespeak pet peeves

Reading Jeremy Wagstaff’s blog about his most hated ‘buzzwords’, I thought I’d share my own list of cringe-inducing corporatespeak for your reading pressure.

  • Ecosystem
    I’m always told about how we should create an ecosystem for our products, supposedly so they can thrive in a so-called ‘autopilot’ mode. Well, the only ecosystem I know is dying and we’re all going to die in floods and mudslides.
  • Offline
    As in “let’s take this offline”, meaning let’s deal with this after the meeting. Since when have we ever gone online in meetings? Does going offline mean we’ll ever take action on it or is it going to be conveniently forgotten in the graveyard of corporate to-do’s?
  • Pencil in
    As in please ‘pencil in these dates in your diary’. How many of us still use pencils in the office – I mean seriously. I suppose this is for those of us who can’t stand commitments and will cancel at any given opportunity.

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