Saturday, May 26, 2007

5-35% increase , 10% increase , 10 cents increase ... POOR !!!

Yes yes . Let's rewind back against time .

At first , world prices for oil goes up . Petronas earns big bucks . Airlines increase prices . Fuel prices shoot up . Malaysia joins the hoo - haa in raising prices .

Samy says ... or perhaps the agreement says it is time to raise prices for highways . So yes . All the concessionaires raise and raise the prices . Yes yes . Then another round of fuel hike i think ? Inevitable you know . It might seem harsh to argue that Petronas' profits can be used to maintain the subsidy . But ... I don't know ... not an economist yet .

Then , nasi goreng naik harga . Sambal naik harga . Ayam naik harga . Ikan naik harga . Day and nite we sleep in our beds crying out "naik harga ... naik harga" .

I sure hope one day AF or Malaysian Idol dish out a "Naik Harga Bagus" song .

Now civil servants get pay rise . Not bad I think . Then , teh tarik naik harga . Tomorrow , poultry prices will shoot up . The next day , beras pun naik . Roti canai naik , ini naik itu naik .

HELLO !?? Mana ekonomi negara !? Nasihatlah sikit . Is this the case of spiralling inflation !? Are you losing control ? One day you speak out loud in the microphone across 22 million Malaysian pairs of ears saying that the pay rise will not give any advantage to traders to push prices up . Yes . Naik petrol doesnt mean must naik harga . Yes , dont worry I will make sure the chickens in the market are still cheap ...

"CHEAP" you mean !?? Are you guys losing control of the country ? Spiralling inflation !? A 10% increase for someone who earns RM3000 . Makes it RM300 . I drink teh tarik 3 times a day that costs 10 cents per cup more . I eat nasi goreng 3 times a day that costs 50 cents per plate more . I rent a house that costs RM 100 more . I drive a Kancil that uses petrol which cost me RM 1 more a day . I use electricity and water that costs RM 1 more a day . Lets see . The extra costs are RM 214 . That is just calculations for a single person . What if I have a family ? A family that consists of a wife , 2 kids , parents . RM 214 x 6 ? RM 214 x 6 = RM 1284 . So If I have a 10% pay increase , to cover costs and live without being worse off than before , I need to be earning RM 12840 . Otherwise , I will be worst off .

Sigh . What can I say ? I can just sigh . Everyday I see news of price increases . Perhaps all of us should flood the food industry . It seems to me all levels of food processes are making money and making use of every opportunity to increase prices . Maybe we need a Commission ( maybe we already have one but I don't know ) .

Get a Commission assembled like the Australian version of ACCC . All prices that are changed will need to be justified at the commission . Otherwise , you break the law . There . No one will simply raise prices ... no traders will raise prices at their own will when the govt has said that there should not be any price hike in food loudly using the microphone .

Sigh . Whatever .

Monday, May 21, 2007

World Interest Rates Table

Let me share something with you . The world's interest rates . Not all countries , but definitely the significant ones .

Major Central Banks Overview
Central BankNext MeetingLast ChangeCurrent Interest Rate
Bank of CanadaMay 29 2007May 24 20064.25%
Bank of EnglandJun 07 2007May 10 20075.5%
European Central BankJun 06 2007Mar 08 20073.75%
Federal ReserveJun 27 2007Jun 29 20065.25%
Swiss National BankJun 14 2007Mar 15 20072.75%
The Reserve Bank of Australia Jun 05 2007Nov 08 20066.25%

CountryCurrent Interest RatePreviousLast Change
Egypt8.75%8.00%Mar 29 2007
South Africa9.0%8.5%Apr 12 2007

Asia Pacific
CountryCurrent Interest RatePreviousLast Change
Australia6.25%6.00%Nov 08 2006
China6.57%6.39%May 18 2007
Hong Kong SAR6.75%6.50%Mar 15 2007
India7.75%7.50%Apr 24 2007
Japan0.50%0.25%Feb 21 2007
Korea4.50%4.25%Apr 12 2007
New Zealand7.75%7.50%Apr 26 2007
Taiwan2.88%2.75%Mar 30 2007

CountryCurrent Interest RatePreviousLast Change
Czech Republic2.50%2.25%Mar 29 2007
European Monetary Union3.75%3.50%Mar 08 2007
Hungary8.00%7.75%Apr 23 2007
Iceland14.25%14.00%Dec 27 2006
Norway4.00%3.75%Jan 25 2007
Slovakia4.25%4.50%Apr 24 2007
Sweden3.25%3.00%Feb 14 2007
Switzerland2.75%2.50%Mar 15 2007
United Kingdom5.50%5.25%May 10 2007

Middle East
CountryCurrent Interest RatePreviousLast Change
Turkey17.50%17.25%Jul 21 2006

North America
CountryCurrent Interest RatePreviousLast Change
Canada4.25%4.00%May 24 2006
United States5.25%5.00%Jun 29 2006

South America
CountryCurrent Interest RatePreviousLast Change
Brazil12.50%12.75%Apr 19 2007

Good and Bad News Are Friends

Manchester United will be coming to Malaysia . By the word of our Prime Minister of Malaysia , any cooperation with FIFA to ensure the success of the Asian Cup elsewhere at the same time is all doomed .

And there are reports coming up that if indeed Man Utd gets to play in Bukit Jalil , it will spark a series of legal proceedings .

Yes . That's right . Not one but a series . I have "nothing" against Man Utd . I have "nothing" against our PM . But I hope Malaysia , the organizers and Man Utd can work something out as we are having the Asian Cup going on . It is like the European Cup . Though Asian soccer is not as progressive as Europe or South America , but we hope that enough respect is paid to other residents of the Earth as well .

So please . It is not difficult to fix another date . It is not difficult to renegotiate just like what Malaysia and Singapore is doing ( I HOPE ! )

All right . Perak's Raja Muda has already married a prominent figure's daughter . Well , to me I would think that Raja Puan Besar is prominent too . As I'm a Perakian , I would like to congratulation the royal family of Perak and say the words , Daulat Tuanku .

Ok . TDM really must cut down on public activities . Tun can do the same thing that he is doing now i.e. passing the message of leadership to the people , in many ways . You can either do it in many activities or choose a few but make it extremely high quality . Our country still needs the knowledge and expertise of Tun , well at least me and perhaps a few million other Malaysians .
But anyway , glad to hear that you are well .

Now . Proton wants money from the government for some dealerships are shutting down !? Hello !!! What on Earth are you guys doing with Proton !?

I remember I once read months ago that Proton was suppose to choose a partner at a certain date . That date passed many days many moons ago !!!! And now you are telling me dealers are shutting down ??

I am seriously beginning to buy the story of which once gave a forecast or perhaps an insider tip of what is going to happen to Proton . RPK said that the "leaders" of Proton are conspiring to devalue the Proton because they have a massive asset and land banks or something like that which will be dirt cheap for the "leaders" or whoever that walks in the corridors of power . So yes . Is RPK right !?

There are not many countries that produce their own car . Our country undeniably subsidizes the automobile industry heavily . So did the British , the Americans , the Koreans , the Japanese in the early days . So are they in the many other sectors !!!

Let me remind you Proton is not 100 years old , not 80 years old etc . Proton is less than 30 . Ok !? We have to build a country of 22 million that consists of multi racial communities . We need a balance formula and a leadership who can satisfy all sides . We needed to build a country . And we had Proton to progress hand in hand with our country . Malaysia is just 50 this year . We are no way the same as Ford or GM in the States !

So firstly , dont argue with me Proton should wind up . This is directed to those readers who have this in mind . And if the management of Proton tells me this , I hope Dr Mahathir or somebody can lodge a legal suit against the management of Proton .

Secondly , this is to the management of Proton and those that make the decisions of the so called strategic partnership . Orders were given in the Mahathir administration . Orders were given by Pak Lah . Guarantees were given by Rafidah . So dont give us a 50th Merdeka celebration gift with Proton's logo wrapped up to be incinerated . Dont give us this !

I don't want to celebrate any Merdeka with that gift . Don't ever give me that . If you cant manage , let Tengku Mahaleel manage . Or at least change the management !!!

All right then . Nothing else for now . Guess we all have to look back and ponder the many smiles we had in the past . Low prices , low costs , comfortable pay , happy lifestyles , Proton shipping out models after models , leaders were all decent and good instead of being sexist and rowdy .

Good old days . Whenever we say good old days , does it mean that we are heading towards the worse end ? Perhaps . No wonder we always say we look forward to a better future .

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cold Warm Cold and Marglin vs Adam Smith !? Huh ??

Yes . That's the weather cycle in a day here in Canberra . When you wake up in the morning , it is so cold that you will either need to wear a thick jacket ( if your heater is not on and that is basically what I do) or you can shiver all morning long . Around noon , it is cool ... more like warm to me . When it gets to evening... it is cold again .

This was not the case last year . Hmm . I wonder why . Anyway , the weather in Australia (southern areas) are always unpredictable .

Tun was admitted in Langkawi and transferred to IJN . Was shocked initially to read Tun had difficulty in breathing in Langkawi . Thankfully subsequent updates from blogs confirmed that Tun was well and Sufi released a press statement . Well well , that's the power of blog !!

You know , I would prefer to equate the blogs in Malaysia to the CNN in the States . The blogs here are so fast in passing news around , especially in Tun's events . The papers are always slow . Ok I understand the slow process in printed media . But in the online version ?? It is slow as well . That is why we refer to blogs . Fast , "accurate" , precise , interesting , juicy .

Though some Ministers and Deputy Ministers or perhaps Senator claimed that blogs are spreading rumours about certain people in the upper echelons . Oh yes . Pak Lah did not faint at all . He just "almost fainted" . That was the term used by the mainstream media . Don't make me laugh guys . This is ridiculous . In debating terms , utterly preposterous .

Hmm . All right . I hope Tun gets well as soon as possible and be healthy always . I pray for the health and safety of our beloved former Prime Minister that has served in the public service for many years with Distinction not only in the local arena but also internationally where he leads the voices of the Third World impoverished and Western-discriminated countries .

Long live to our former PM . No . Perhaps our PM . He will always be the PM of Malaysia . Yes . That's the proper term . A leader will always be a leader to me :)

So yes . I did an argumentative essay on Marglin's arguments . Professor Stephen Marglin is a Harvard staff and he holds a Chair there I read . Anyway , in his article , Marglin argues that the organization of work in the firm was not shaped by technological superiority but that changes in technology were driven by the capitalists' desire to impose control over workers . He aruged that the change of systems from guild to "putting-out" to hierarchical factory was driven by the great desires of capitalists' to grab a greater share of the pie at the workers' expense .

In his paper , Marglin also criticized Adam Smith's division of labor theory . Interesting huh .

His arguments seemed good but some are still arguable . Hmm . You can always read up on what Marglin wrote . Interesting stuff . Takes time to understand though .

His paper was published under the title "What do bosses do?" , Review of Radical Political Economics .

Check it out . Have a good day everyone .

Saturday, May 12, 2007


The title seems weird ? Let me tell you my side of the story . On Monday , after I made Nasi Goreng I sat at my table in front of my laptop . Was thinking of watching The West Wing . When I first open my mouth to put a spoonful of rice in it , I had a muscle pull at the left side at the end of my lower jaw (location is just beneath the ear) .

So I massaged it and continued eating but it started swelling !! There was a huge swell there . I was certain that it is going to be a muscle issue there . So nothing much to worry . But the swelling did not go away and I couldn't eat or chew .

I knew I had to do something with the swelling and since I'm under insurance , I might as well see the doctor . Went to ANU clinic and they told me the next available appointment is on Thursday but there is a slot for me to see the Nurse . I chose that . The nurse said it looks really swollen and referred me to a doc . Dr Christine was nice enough to fit me into her schedule .

She examined me and did not want to take any risk . But the examination outcome was shocking . I was told to do a blood test to eradicate the possibility of mumps , and also to go fix an appointment to do an ultrasound to see what is going on there !!!!

I was stunned . All I wanted was something to reduce the swelling and I will be fine . So yeah ... had to go to the Ultrasound private clinic at University Avenue near City . I was told the next available appointment is 23rd of May . I looked at my watch and it says 7th May . I told myself this is nuts !!

Went back to Dr Christine and she rang NCDI to fix an urgent appointment for me . NCDI fixed 8th of May in the morning for me . So I went for my ultrasound . The report came out saying that I'm normal but there's a asymmetry look on my left side but it is nothing to worry about . The cost ? $109.10 . Thankfully my insurance pays for this partially at 85% .

Anyway , the ultrasound for something at my thyroid which needed further consult . So yeah . Another ultrasound or biopsy test on the way for me on 25th May . Damn it . What's happening !! Well ... never mind then . Just to keep my readers informed , I have an Econometrics assignment due on Monday , a course which median and mean mark was around 50 in the Mid Semester Exam . I have a assessable tutorial needed to be handed in on Tuesday for Microecons 2 and a Honours stream Economics "not more than 1000 words" essay on Marglin's arguments against Adam Smith's theory that is due on Wednesday .

So yes . I'm busy with weird variables running in my head , Marglin's hoo-haa and the Econs assessment coming up .

All right . Looks like back home there's alot of things going on . Ranging from sexist remarks from the ever famous Jasin MP and the ever active Kinabatangan MP . I wonder why Fong Po Kuan who is so well respected in Batu Gajah always get into troubles like this . The last time I think was with the Taiping hero - Datuk Kayveas . Haha . Yeah right ... hero .

Hmm . Lets see ... the range goes into Dr Mahathir's comments on Najib and Pak Lah . Read the analysis by RPK . Wonder how true that is but I know Dr Mahathir's actions . Many are surprising and well calculated moves . Just like a movie script . Good politicians will direct the script well . So far in 22 years of administration , things went well . I wonder how this episode will end .

Well well ... a challenger to Anwar's position in PKR leadership ? We all know that PKR is something like Parti Kerana anwaR . Yeah . More or less . So if the challenger wins , where's PKR heading to ? The Anwar factor is not that . With the biasness (DSAI) removed from the model (PKR) , what will happen to the variables (members,objectives,success rate etc) ? One wonders what will happen if ....

Reminds me of the literature I read in high school . The road not taken . Mmmm . Well well . In my life there are not many regrets . But till this day , I regret not having a look at the Tan Sri Datuk Wira Abdul Rahman Arshad National Champions challenge trophy . Had just a glance but it was erased from my memory cause I was too heartbroken .

Nowadays we see so many national debating challenge trophies from Taylors College to Help University College trophies etc . Perhaps the government should limit these and allow the Ministry's challenge trophy to be the sole leader of debating competition as this competition involves all schools in Malaysia .

To tell me that I lost because my teammate raised a point of information when that Convent Bukit Nanas 3rd speaker was talking ? Well it was actually like this . That Miss allowed the POI . So my pal asked the question . Not even given the chance to complete the question , she cut him off !! And of course my pal insisted in continuing , but she insisted in him taking the seat and they both started talking at the same time .

The August house had to be called to order and the Speaker raised a point that "only one speaker at a time" . My team had to be penalised for that ?? 2 points deducted you say ??!? Where's the logic my expert judges who hold PhDs ?? This is one bitter point in my life that I still think till today .

It all became more frustrated when I saw the TVB Series Dicey Business . There's this top Poker player who plays against the top players in the world . He is too crazy over trophies . For every match he wins , he want the opponent's challenge trophy that they won in the past .

How I wish I can get all of you CBN girls for a rematch . For it is one that I am not satisfied with .

Hmm . I'm set on buying a new laptop . Highly considering the Sony Vaio SZ44 version . SZ48 has the best specs but it is way beyond my buyer value . I wonder how good the quality of a Vaio is . Ash says it is good . But not many people use Sony laptops huh .

Yeah . Kinda hungry now . Making porridge (congee) . I seem to have a huge appetite for porridge these days (more accurately , after my $109.10 jaw examination) . Haha . Chicken or fish porridge , with fried dace fish , perhaps some spam .....

Yummy . Not luxurious ... not really normal ... can be said as slightly inferior goods (canned foods) . But it is still my favourite . Speaking of food I was talking to Jimmy about the Ang Mohs . They are brilliant in making fries . I told him I wonder why didn't our forefathers make fries instead of steamed hot potatoes during the Japanese occupation .

One thing I didnt think of was the usage of cooking oil . Was cooking oil a scarcity and luxury good at that time ? Sigh . It is really sad when we try to put ourselves into those era . We definitely do not want to be under the rule of any foreign forces anymore INCLUDING SINGAPORE ... be it directly or indirectly .

There were many hints that the bridge will be built . If that is built , I hope those who attacked Dr Mahathir and those who believed in the importance and significance of the bridge will bite their own feet and hands and remain silent . Perhaps the ProUMNO user who left a comment attacking the bridge issue will be dumbfounded ?

Perhaps .

All right . Back to my assignment . Tata .

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Coin Merchant , BTN and many more

I can almost guarantee that I have more coins that any other rational students in ANU . Irrational cases are of course coin collectors . Haha .

Man . I have too many 5 cent coins . Maybe I will bank in those coins after I graduate . Haha .

Lets see . Congratulations to AC Milan ( my Italian league team that I support ) ... but sadly it wont be an English final . So yeah ... and of course not forgetting Mr Parthiban of BN for winning in Ijok .

I guess it will be bad to say that the Chinese voted against the BN ... let me stress that this does not apply to all Chinese in Ijok . And secondly , why are we doing the racial composition again ?

In this blog today , I shall reveal and speak the truth of BTN . Biro Tatanegara . INTEC students went for this camp .

And I asked some questions that weren't sensitive of racism but they were questions of leadership and history issues like Dr M vs Tunku , why the government provides a small amount for students to purchase books that cost RM 100 per copy at the PRE U level , etc .

But there was this friend of mine . He asked questions like Tongkat Melayu that Dr Mahathir wished to see removed , the issue of army taking over the country's leadership (junta style) . The then Deputy Director of BTN attacked us the students and created a racial commotion in Kem Ulu Sepri Negeri Sembilan .

He said that the question was trying to instigate the possibility of Malays killing Chinese etc . I even had a Malay friend who challenged the chances of success in Vision 2020 where there will be one united race . The Special Task officer and Deputy Director hit back saying that will Malays go to a Chinese restaurant to eat , will Indians or Chinese go to another race's stall to eat etc . The issue of pork etc comes up again . And many other examples of racism brought up .

And my pal raised up from his chair annoyed and said that does that mean our Vision 2020 will never be achieved ? I had the same idea .

The BTN course was bad enough . I had friends telling me that their group briefings ( we were separated into groups ) had issues as well . There were cases where the officer in charge ask a Malay student whether she is happy that the Malays will not get special rights one day , that the Social Contract allows non Malays to stay in their land ... there were instances where the officer even provoked non Malay students asking whether they were happy with the special rights issue .

Come on . We should utilise BTN to promote loyalty to the nation as united group . You can call it a multi racial society or one united race ... however you like . But please use BTN as the proper channel to promote unity among students and forge together ahead in bringing success to our Contender Country status ... improve it into a developed nation .

Racism should be dumped out of BTN . Sack all officers that are racists . A camp full of tension is not a camp . It is a war zone .

So again . The issue in Ijok where the ruling party BN wants to know why the majority Chinese populated areas voted against Mr Parthiban . We should look at the whole scene as a picture instead of racially segregated matters .

Here I call upon the government to not only sing the tune of unity , multi racial success and developed nation . The upper echelons should send in spies into BTN camps . Recruit students . Let them report to you the hell in BTN camps .

Do not blame the students for asking questions in BTN because it was a free for all to ask session ... it was a forum . I even heard that students can ask about the tudung issue though I will not touch on that due to various opinions and I'm not a Muslim . But to be fair , I'm all right with tudung or no tudung . All are friends to me .

So yes . Whoever is in Parliament , whoever walk the corridors of power ... check on certain organizations and department . If this goes on , I believe my explanation of "Dynasty of Racism" in one of my blog entries will continue for years to come ... perhaps for the infinite time .

Well then . That's all for now :)