A rose is a rose by any other name

(Related post: Time on Lina Joy )

The scene is a Starbuck outlet in Petaling Jaya.

Three friends were enjoying coffee while chatting about almost anything, about latest gossips and also about the latest postings in Malaysiakini .

Muthu: Beng, you are a Buddhist but  your son married a Christian. How do you reconcile with that? Are there any problems?

Beng: No lah! He is a big boy and has his own thinking. I cannot force him to be a buddhist if he does not want to. I told him, as long as at the time when I go to Norvana, he will participate in Buddhist rites to bury me, and then as long as he comes to visit me every QingMin , he can follow any religion. I told him his God will forgive him for being filial to me.

 Paul: Ya. We Christian also have an All Souls’ day to remember our ancestor. That should not be a problem.

Muthu: Have you tried to change his mind?

Beng: Even if I force him to be a Buddhist, I cannot change his thinkings, I cannot change what is in his heart and his mind. Even If I force him to read Buddist Sutra, or go to temple to pray , and force him to adhere to Buddhist way of life, I cannot change his faith. I also cannot stop him from going to church. He is a big boy and I cannot watch over him 24 hours a day.

Religion is something he believes in , not something that I can force upon him.

Muthu: So you don’t have any problems with that?

Beng: A rose is a rose by any other name. A Christian will be a Christian even you force him to be a Buddhist.
Paul: Faith is something between an individual and his God. You can change policies, you can change landscape, you cannot change a person’s thinking, and a person’s belief. That is inside him and ony he knows what is inside him.

Beng: By accepting him as what he is, I gain the goodwill of my daughter-in-laws. I also defuse a potentially confrontational and family-splitting problem between us, between he and his wife, and between his wife and I. By accepting what they are, everyone is happy.

Muthu: Starbuck will be Starbuck even if we call it by another name. Call it Moonbuck, Sunbuck, but as long as it practices same management style, offer the same coffee at the same standard, we will still patronise it.

 Paul: Ya. Shall we come again tomorrow?

(This is a repost. The original posted this morning disappeared for no apparent reason. )

(The original post disappeared from my web, What happened)


Stock market, will it rise further?

Malaysiakini  ‘s news-in-brief reported that Malaysia ‘s economy grew at 5.3% in the first quarter of this year which is better than expected.

How is the outlook for the rest of the year? A lot of us are asking how will the stock market perform?

KLCI has gained almost 46% over the past 11 months. Ringgits has strengthened to 3.39 and is expected to strengthen further to about 3.24 by the end of the year.

The stock market valuation is now quite high, with prospective PE at 18 X, higher than Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines., and is on par with Singapore’s valuation.

Despite this, Bloomberg reported that many analysts are still bullish.
But I think investors have to be careful at this stage, bearing in mind that China’s market has gone very high and any crash there would have a big impact on the world stoclk market. I normally look at the figures but do not believe totally what the analysts say.

On the plus side, government is going to spend 200 billion ringgits on road, bridges and other infrastructure until 2010.

The recent hefty pay increase will also spur growth and of course inflation too.

Palm oil is doing very well, and is expected to fetch high prices as China is incresaing its import of palm oil. Companies are expected to report higher earnings .

To qoute Bloomberg:

 Malaysia stocks, Southeast Asia’s most expensive, are the only ones in Asia that have risen for 11 straight months. The rally may have further to run as rising government spending and wages lift earnings.

Malaysia’s economy grew by 5.3 percent in the first quarter, the central bank said yesterday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News expected 4.7 percent, based on the median forecast.

“The domestic economy has been improving,” said Mark Jolley, Deutsche Bank’s regional equities strategist in Hong Kong. “It’s also been one of the best markets for upward earnings surprises.”

Global funds doubled their net purchases of Malaysian stocks to 18 billion ringgit in the first quarter compared with the preceding quarter, central bank data showed today. That’s the most they have bought since the bank started keeping records in 1991.

A cheap currency, earnings upgrades, foreign buying and a potential interest rate cut as inflation eases are all reasons to remain upbeat on Malaysia, Christopher Wood, CLSA Ltd.’s Hong Kong-based global equity strategist said May 23.

“Malaysia has been outperforming since the fourth quarter of 2006,” said Wood. “While it’s already had a considerable rally, I think it’ll be a good market all year.”

For the full article on this quote , p[lease go to the bloomberg link: Malaysia Stocks Have Record Winning Streak on Ringgit

Time on Lina Joy

Related post: A rose is a rose by any other name

I refer to the piece of news on Malaysiakini this afternoon on Lina Joy’s case and the comment by sisters-in-Islam:

Sisters in Islam, a rights group for Muslim women, said it was disappointed the constitution had not been upheld.

“For us, the dissenting judgement is significant,” said the group’s executive director, Zainah Anwar.

“The Federal Court, the apex court of the country, is divided over this issue, as the country is divided on this issue,” she said

The following is  a post from Time.com 1 hour ago, which is almost immediately after the verdict was known. This shows the importance the Western Media is placing on this case, and the view in the article may represent what the Westerners look at this case.

Posting this article from Time.com which publishes the Time Magazine:

 Malaysia’s crisis of faith

In what has been dubbed a blow to Malaysia’s religious freedom, the country’s highest court on Wednesday denied an appeal by Christian convert Lina Joy to make her switch from Islam recognized by law. A multi-ethnic state comprised largely of Muslim Malays, Christian and Buddhist Chinese, and Hindu and Sikh Indians, Malaysia has long prided itself on its diversity of faiths. To safeguard this religious heterogeneity, the country’s constitution sets out a dual-track legal system in which Muslims are bound by Shari’a law for issues such as marriage, property and death, while members of other faiths follow civil law.

But the parallel system has occasionally faced snags. Joy is a Malay originally known as Azlina Jailani, and by Malaysian law her ethnicity automatically makes her a Muslim subject to Shari’a law. In order to make her 1990 conversion to Christianity legal, she needed permission from the Shari’a courts, which consider a renunciation of Islam a major offense. But, since she is still classified as a Muslim by the state, Joy was not allowed to have her case heard by the civil courts. Her six-year-long campaign to convince the civil system to legalize her conversion failed, prompting her appeal to the Federal Court, after the Court of Appeal rejected her claim in September 2005.


Good performance – if there is a will, there is a way

After a few posts on politics which were also carried in Malaysiakini‘s bloggers’ corner, it is time for a piece of financial news. MAS, which was almost hopelessly losing money, has turned around in a shorter time than expected , thanks to the stern and prudent management style of Idris Jala. (See my earlier post: Success Story of a Bumi CEO).

This proves that if there is a will, there is a way. This achievement also gives hopes for other money losing GLCs.  If such a company can be turned around in such a short time, we can achieve similar feats with other GLCs. What we need is just a clean and prudent management and a good work culture, free from politicians’ interference.

I will post an article from Bloomberg news on MAS:

Malaysian Air May Make Highest Profit in 18 Years on Job Cuts

By Soraya Permatasari and Angus Whitley

May 28 (Bloomberg) — Malaysian Airline System Bhd., the country’s largest carrier, may make its highest profit in 18 years after it axed money-losing routes and cut jobs.

The airline expects to hit the upper end of its 300 million ringgit ($89 million) to 700 million ringgit profit target range this year, Chief Executive Officer Idris Jala told reporters outside Kuala Lumpur today. The carrier posted a profit of 132.7 million ringgit, or 10.23 sen a share, in the three months ended March 31, compared with a year-earlier loss.


About cats, mice and giant leaders

Related posts : This is how politics should be played

                           About Leaders of diferent sizes

                           Beware of double standard

                            Old wine in new bottle

This is a continuation of my 2 above posts published in Malaysiakini ‘s bloggers corner the past few days.

Many readers commented about the lack of stateman-leaders in our country.  I would like to cite a few examples of great leaders first,  then talk about cats and mice:

The giant of WW II,  Winston Churchill who, at the gloomiest hour in the 2nd world war, came forward to motivate a whole nation to fight the Germans, when all seemed lost with the fall of France, and the retreat at DunKirk. He used his words, his oratory skills and his deeds to motivate a whole nation to stand up and fight.  With motivation, the British won the Battle of Britain, which was basically an air battle, and stalled the German invasion, buying time for US to come into the War.

Another GIANT leader is of course the late Deng Xiao Peng, a  minuature sized person but a giant in his deeds. 

He advocated that ” it doesn’t matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches the mouse , it is a good cat.”

 So to achieve his aim to make his country  strong and improve the lives of his people (that should be the aim of any politician), he used capitalist ways, even though he was a true and true communist,  to advance the economy.

Imagine the risk that he was taking in opening up China….The whole country was full of hard line communists, waiting to pounce on him should his exercise fail… any leader of lesser statue and resolve would not want to take the risk  and would want to maintain the “Status Quo”.

Why risk to rock the boat? But Deng Xiao Peng being Deng Xiao Peng, he did it his way and China has never looked back.

If Deng was interested just to maintain his position, he could just maintain status quo. That would be the easy way, and that was the way most emperors adopted….Why take the risk?

That is the Hallmark of a great  leader….To risk himself and lead in a way that he thinks is right for the country , even at personal risks,….. to take the first step where no one has treaded before.

What we have are too many “followers” masquerading as leaders. They  follow, without any question, what  the top leader of the ” Tong” (society or parties) says. Why risk your future when you can play safe, be in the good book of the top leader of the organisation…and be rewarded later on….

There are just too many of these leaders, in ruling parties, in opposition parties, in NGOS  who are in, to borrow IT lingo, Safe Mode. Perhaps they have to play safe in order to guard their own personal interests, which may include posts, positions , other types of KangDao( opportunities)….They cannot afford to lose all that lah.

That is why, many of our good cats have been grabbed by other countries to catch mice in their countries. Those who use our cats have very little mice left, like one of our neighbours.

With very few good cats in our country, the mice are running around , “curi makan” ( eat stealthily)  in bright daylight, no more under the table, but on the table….some  even staring at you, daring you to do something…come and catch me if you can.. where is your cat???

With these mice running and eating without fear of being caught, can our economic cake grow? … A small kid can answer that lah….mouse likes cakes!!!

About Leaders of different sizes

On Saturday, I posted an article “This is how politics should be played” on my blog. It was listed in Malaysiakini Bloggers’s corner and hence received many hundreds of hits. Thanks to Malaysiakini ‘s listing, it was tagged as one of the top 100 posts of the day in WordPress.com for 2 consecutive days.

For those who have missed it, please go to the link: https://hsudarren.wordpress.com/2007/05/26/this-is-how-politics-should-be-played/

Many of my friends asked me to comment more on this sort of topics. I will post today on an  old write up on:

“leaders come in many shapes and sizes”.

Just like there are many types of man, leaders also come in many shapes and sizes.

In the pre and post merdeka days, there were many leaders who did what they believed was good for the country and their people.

They were the idealists. They fought for their ideals and ideology. They sold their properties and took out their own money to fund the causes that they believed in.  They did what they thought was the noble things to do. They fought for independence , they fought for racial harmony, they fought for a just society, they fought for excellence.

These were the good leaders. Their kind has certainly dwindled. There are of courses still many good leaders around, but not all are being appreciated in the present culture where most people care more for themselves rather than their ideals or their own conscience.

Some leaders, sad to say, dont even have any ideals or belief, they are where they are because they want to be there.

Some leaders built houses like  palaces without even having to apply for any permits. When this was exposed, the excuses was somebody else (blame the architect) did not submit plan.

 Other  leaders who are caught in the same predicament would say that they are just following other people’s examples; since others are doing it, why can’t they?

They don’t realise that as leaders, they still have to follow rules and regulations. They do not realise that their power and position is given to them by the people. They dont realise that the people are the actual bosses of the country.

This is an absolute abuse of their power. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Abuses and corruption actually go hand in hand.

To prevent abuses by these so called leaders, corruption must be wiped out. There is no other way to do it.

The most urgent thing facing our country Malaysia  is actually to change the culture of corruption, nepotism, abuses of power.This of course will take time and may not be accomplished overnight, but there must be a first step. For a change in every culture and custom, someone must be bold and farsighted enough to take the first step.

 In my opinion, the first step must be the establishment of an Independent Commission against corrupt practices, not only against the police and civil servants, but also against anyone, in public or even private sectors, who indulge in corrupt practices and misconducts.

Younger generation must be taught to be honourable, to be polite and couteous, to pursue excellence and to know what  shamefulness is. A lot of leaders do not know the meaning of ”shame” any more. They don’t feel shameful to use public funds for their own purposes . They do not feel shameful to be corrupt as long as they benefit from it. They don’t feel shameful to tell lies about other people in order to character assassinate someone else. They don’t feel shameful to solicit  charity donations and use the donations for their own purposes.

These people are so numbed by their power, prasies and adoration from their supporters that they no longer know what  “shame”is .

They need to go back to basic…….learn the stuff they were taught in primary schools.The basic is actually very  simple:  be honest and follow the rules.

Funny Pics

Came across some really funny pictures which I would like to share with my readers.

Perhaps media sites like Malaysiakini should start a column “funny pictures” for its readers to posts funny pics – for a laugh as well as relaxation….. All work and No Play makes Jack a dull boy. …..Just a suggestion.


can you spare a change?


chick magnet? motherly love perhaps.

blow_up_doll.jpgHow you doing?

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