Friday, October 29, 2004

The Illiterate Messenger

Explore the various ways different people explain the meaning of this picture:

To an innocent 8 year old, This is plain and simple 'Rokok'

To smokers, this is pleasure, escapade, freedom, individuality, symbol of comraderie, simplicity, valid, status symbol...

To anti smokers this is destruction, cancer, arrogance, wasteful, loveless, selfish, idiocy, derogatory, immoral....

My point is, even for literate people in this age who's vocabularies are somewhat refined throughout zealous reading and listening, we can hardly begin to utter nor write what we feel in our hearts or what we have in our thoughts in words which perfectly express what's inside. Even when we express them through actions, they are hardly understood.
On the contrary, being literate (which also added with emotional influences) makes us capable of explaining things which reflects things we see only from our angle with certain degree of biasness.

The written and verbal expressions about the cigarette box above illustrates what I mean with the word 'angle'.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w is illiterate throughout his life. Yet the divine Al-Quran was brought to us through him; the perfect encyclopaedia, because it is not just about the past and His present but also about the future and sciences.

This is both for my collections and sharing. The divine Al-Quran that has never been altered by a single word.

Tariq Al Swaidan discovered some verses in the Holy Qur'an that mention one thing is equal to another, i.e. men are equal to women. Although this makes sense grammatically, the astonishing fact is that the number of times the word man appears in the Qur'an is 24 and the number of times the word woman appears is also 24, therefore not only is this phrase correct in the grammatical sense but also true mathematically, i.e. 24 = 24.

Upon further analysis of various verses, he discovered that this is consistent throughout the whole Qur'an, where it says one thing is like another. See below for astonishing result of the words mentioned number of times in Arabic Qur'an:
Dunia (one name for life) 115. Aakhirat (one name for the life after this world) 115
Malaika (Angels) 88 . Shayteen (Satan) 88
Life 145 .... Death 145
Benefit 50 Corrupt 50 People 50 Messengers 50
Eblees (king of devils) 11 . Seek refuge from Eblees 11
Museebah (calamity) 75 . Thanks 75
Spending (Sadaqah) 73 . Satisfaction 73
People who are mislead 17 . Dead people 17
Muslimeen 41 . Jihad 41
Gold 8 Easy life 8
Magic 60 . Fitnah (dissuasion, misleading) 60
Zakat (Taxes Muslims pay to the poor) 32 . Barakah (Increasing or blessings of wealth) 32
Mind 49 . Noor 49
Tongue 25 . Sermon 25
Desite 8 . Fear 8
Speaking publicly 18 . Publicising 18
Hardship 114 .... Patience 114
Muhammed 4 . Sharee'ah (Muhammed's teachings) 4
Man 24. Woman 24

And amazingly enough have a look how many times the following words appear:
Salat 5, Month 12, = Days 365,
Sea 32, Land 13 Sea + land = 32+13= 45
Sea = 32/45*100=71.11111111%
Land = 13/45*100 = 28.88888889%
Sea + land =100.00%

Modern science has only recently proven that the water covers 71.111% of the earth, while the land covers 28.889%. Is this a coincidence? Question is that Who taught Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) all this? Reply automatically comes in mind that ALMIGHTY ALLAH taught him this.

Frymysquid, this is your take and my take. When's our ever pending meet?

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Joe's Immortality

I can't believe there are people (new bloggers) who went through his (Joe's) whole blog to satisfy their curiosity and still connect to what he fought for. I get into his page and see it stripped down little by little, my heart crumbles as much, remembering the laughters and fighting spirit, the conversations that seemed coming outta my screen.
Therefore, I hardly visit it. Lucia and Lone, you guys are the real gems. Your effort is definitely appreciated by so many of us. I suggest, if there are advice that you need in addition to what you're rescuing, get in touch with Frymysquid. I wouldn't say more. Here's another interesting site on him published by his family members. Point44, if you read this, baru hari ni I knew about this site. Hazyr if you read this, was it you who emailed me right after the demise?

Larger than Life Characters.

In a span of one week after I discovered the weblog, Cyclist in Pink (no link here, I shall leave the group as it is), I have discovered something amazing, the writers with fantastic flow and seamless writing style behind their spanking English blog brand are really my race (I thought you were all Mat Salleh!). I've really been in a nutshell, I thought only those in PPS are Malaysian bloggers, there are thousands of people who actually do not require broadcasting their entries through PPS.

My recent weeks was so coloured by the characters with witty comments called Lisa, Berukboy, Izuan, Fade0, Yam, Hyelbaine.. and others. My Name is Fake just started his blog, I guess as a result of all the positive vibrations he's been getting, I'm your cheerleader! Eh Fake, the restaurant I meant is not Alberto, it is Gusto! By the way, Deutche Gasthaus 2 (Cuban n sth) just opened in Rahim Kajai.

I have just discovered too, my favourite commentator in Aizuddin's blog, Akutakreticakapomputeh also just started one. It's an all Bahasa Kelakar blog, I felt like I'm in a real kedai kopi reading his.
Encik Basikal, I publicly request for you to continue writing today!. Jangan nak mengada-ngada.

Trash Cash

I have yet to expand the article (Stop Nurturing this National Flower) to include how I imagined recycling should be in our country to reduce nature's primary enemy, plastics. Thanks for sharing your constructive experiences, they are truly inspiring coz I shall write to the newspaper regarding this long and thorough. By the way, it was just announced that Selangor needs a new dumping ground last Wednesday. Before we know it, each state needs to reserve one island or one mountain for its own garbage.

The idea that just came to my mind was, if liquid products which are fast moving that need to be stored in big plastic containers such as the softeners, detergents, can provide refills not by selling in sachets but by asking customers to bring back the bottles and refill it through cash operated drums. Just turn the tap, refill and go.

Supermarkets should start having a 'Refill Centre'.
It is understandable that packaging helps them with mind share, so be it, just make sure customers bring back actual container. It would be great if all soft drinks carry out the same thing too for big bottle purchases, that includes the various brand of mineral waters.Yes, we should start charging customers for plastic bag requests, the environment is more important than mind share in this case.

Daulat di sebalik Aksimu

Sultan Selangor didn't just carry out something to answer my cry to save the fireflies. My recent entry titled 'Publicize Guidelines when Awarding Datukship to Artistes' answered on a more across the board approach. I hope the Royal Website on Datukship conferred by himself and his late Ayahanda will be further used as a template or sample for the rest of the Sultans to follow. I am proud that again, it takes him to start something in order for the rest to wake up and follow. Continue leading the way!
The Sultan has never left any comments in my blog but instead made his actions published, Yang Mulia Tuanku I'm very touched! I wonder if my hint to get to know his son was heard too.
I'm also getting sick of my job, are you interested in getting a second PA (professional advisor)?
Ampun Tuanku Beribu-ribu Ampun.

(Hoping to be the first female Temenggung).

Monday, October 18, 2004

In Memories of the late Joe.

Some of late Joe's contributions while he's still with us by Lim Chong here.

People used to think that the only way man leaves an undying mark in this world is just through having descendants. But they too leave their marks through naming a building after their names, through writting books, through setting up foundations for good cause, you name it. In Joe's case, other than leaving Sophia, Sulyman and Shariman behind, there is his blog and there is also something for continuous learning which he had left with his fellow colleagues. Not forgeting, the mark he left in each of the hearts he had touched, be it in person or through Joe-Blogs.

Al-Fatihah buatmu selepas setiap solatku.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Fasting against sexy thang.

The one thing I will miss during puasa month is my short session on Sundays at TTDI park exercising to many remixed Malay songs (Gosh! The exercise instructor has so much passion for Siti Nurhaliza, even sad songs are bhangra-ed by him). Although it's just for 45 minutes not including jogging around three times before I get my teh ais and nasi lemak, it consumes me like hell. It's the one session I get to feel and breathe the Taman Tun around me.

Watching three Oprah shows after Sahur is quite fulfilling, it's more fulfilling if I have a jetplane to fly me there to physically watch her shows. Geeezzz, she gets to put the rarest species on her stage: The Sexiest Chef in the World, The Sexiest Male Interior Designer in the World, The Sexiest Male Models that got the audience jump and wiggle out of so much excitement. It's rare to see good looking men who are also successful and very passionate in what they do, I mean they really make use of their hands and legs when doing things and really break so much sweat. Oooooooooh! Embrace the gift!

Good looking men here become successful usually through the shortest route; passed down by daddy and you just need to sit in your leather chair and driven around in the Brabus or Beemer or whatever. The day daddy passes on, everything is yours. How empty it is to have premature decision makers who's minds are busier in deciding which branded stuff they should own everytime the salary comes in and which pretty lass should decorate the side seat. I'm stereotyping because I've seen or read about too many of 'em. Especially those of my own race, saaaaad to say.

Let's see, the best male chef in M'sia is definitely not sexy, he's more feminine than me as I don't even own a pair of stilletos. The best male TV newscaster is so pretty (Aznil), even my aunties don't yap as much as he does. The sexiest minister (probably throughout M'sian history), ousted, when the first two mentioned above are more likely to be the.... ehm!!. The sexiest male singer (M.Nasir)... okay luckily we have someone. The sexiest male actor, puhleease, Rosyam Noor is not sexy, Jalaluddin Hassan?? Geeet outta here! There's no sexiest male model here, I really really don't think so. Okaayh, maybe good looking men are just hardly born in M'sia.

Listening to: Through the Barricades - Spandau Ballet

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Kahwin Test

I read in Papi's blog that the late Christoper Reeve, after the horse ride accident, became a lobbyist for medical research especially in spinal cord injuries. And he believed that stem cell research is the answer.

I wrote about stem cells in my previously shut down blog before. It's worth another try.

We had a free health talk last year conducted by Healthcare M'sia in our office. See, I've promised myself that when I get a stable job, I will go for a full health check, but after hundreds of shoes, clothes, holidays, garbage magazines later (ok 4 years later!) it didn't happen. Till this visit took place and it educated us (all 5 bachelor gals). The nurse cleverly called it 'kahwin test'.

What we'll gain out of getting our blood tested (other than the fats, kidney, uric acid blaa, blaa) was explained, but I'll just zoom down to how we can use this to qualify whom we should marry or quickly breakup with or whether we ourselves deserve a quick proposal?!

I learnt that positive blood type is more dominant that the negative. Not talking about behavioral wise here.

Corrective measure is more often needed when the future husband is found to have (-) blood type and the wife to be's blood type is (+). There environment inside the womb will be (-)ly charged whilst the rest of the body which carries the dominant behaving positive ions will tend to reject the minor. This is one of the reasons women face miscarriages.

Conclusion: Boleh Kahwin. The corrective measure: The future mom just needs to take a jab or more to neutralise the (+) ions in her body before trying to conceive. One jab lasts a year.


1. Thalassemia. Noooow I know what it means, I thought it's a kind of crippling defect, it's not. When two Thalassemia carriers get married, their future descendants have very high possibilities in getting Leukaemia, or hole in the heart, I don't know what more. The speaker didn't say what should be done if this is discovered through blood test though, maybe she didn't know about cord blood cells bank, while I was hearing this, I didn't know it either till I go get my hair washed a few days after. There is largely no physical signs on any human being if they are a carrier as you can see at parents in most requests for hole in the heart donations etc.

2. G6PD. No physical signs on carriers too. The children at early age becomes allergic to Kidney beans and pesticides (Spiderman ke?). Signs such as passing out or nausea after eating kidney beans or inhaling pesticides will recede as they grow older. Conclusion: Boleh kahwin

I remember reading the papers about parents needing donations to treat their baby's hole in the heart condition, leukaemia and so on. If they had done a kahwin test, would they have saved the situations and be really prepared especially with regards to Thalasaemia?

Regarding my hair wash, I read about
Stemlife while reading a magazine while getting it done at the saloon a few days after the health talk. I discovered the best answer to Leukaemia babies as they always suffer from waiting for a compatible blood donor.

This was a year ago, month after month, I read that even breast cancer and diabetes may be cured using the cord blood.

"By having your baby's cord blood stored and immediately available, you will not have to wait until a transplant donor of compatible stem cells is found. Time is crucial and the chance of finding an identical matching donor is not always easy. Donor cells from bone marrow also carry the risk of contamination from viruses, a risk that is proven to be very low with cord blood. Cord blood also offers the possible chance of being used by other siblings of the same parents or the parents."

Here, to enrol for the program alone is RM750, the stem cells is stored cryogenically for exclusive use by your family. I think the full investment will cost each baby RM2,500. This is the right thing to do for those who can afford it, it's the best gift for the newborn... other than college funds, insurance investment, education insurance yada, yada!!

So four of us got well suckered into paying RM288 for 51 types of blood test results (hey! it's a damn good deal). The kahwin test works of course only if you get your other half tested too lah.

Of course people, these situations are quite rare. Although this is not a must, better be safe than sorry and pray for God blessings.

So roadie, is this adding more pain knowing that you'll have 4 kids? Heheeheee

Thursday, October 14, 2004

The Customer I Look Up To

It's been a month trying to install the bluetooth adapter I bought at Low Yatt and it didn't work. It was much easier to just go to the nearest handphone service shop and get the pics in my phone burnt onto the CD.

For the memories, this is a picture of one of only four gentlemen whom I look up to very much since I started working in my company. Mr. Dulles Krishnan, then the Resident Director of ICICI Infotech (M) Sdn. Bhd., second sunshiny smiling man from the left is someone I knew early last two years. He headed a team of a very well known software developers which specialises in the financial sector back in India which is brought here to M'sia.

For those who have been to the cities in India, you may have noticed their house brand, 'ICICI Bank'. Perhaps, the mind share it develops is way more thorough than Maybank and RHB in this country. And that explains why they won the Best Bank of the Year by Business India. Still not impressed? Well, ICICI Infotech, (the system provider of
ICICI Bank, also owned by it) is rated by IDC as being the top 3rd to 5th ERP players in various parts of MENA (Middle East North Africa region). Still not impressed? Their financial solutions is so powerful that they managed to generate leads out of just using telemarketing tactics.
Their first real deal in M'sia was last year with Takaful Ikhlas, mind you, the telemarketeers operates remotely from Singapore which calls out to even Brunei and Phillipines. They touched prospects through phone calls and while it's still hot a team is sent right over.

Of course, their Asia sales hub is here in KLCC. But isn't it a remarkable accomplishment? A brand new Malaysian organisation buying a software from India all started out from just a phone call? They went straight into 4th gear after that, winning projects in Phillipines, just recently also with Bank of Brunei and also with our Bank Muamalat to name a few. That's in a span of only two years.

Do you know if the IT systems used in Bank Negara or Maybank being used elsewhere? Our local homemade software developers are largely still very lost.

I am sorry to have stereotyped, but this organised structure does not match the picture in my head about the super cluttered country called India.

The first time we met Dulles and his team, I was explaining the ICI paint just to break the ice and he didn't break a single smile. So I quickly shut the hell up and when he started explaining their wins, market plans and company background, I literally applauded coz it blew my mind. They, on the contrary thought I just watched the circus. This is the first instance in 7 years I didn't have to explain how marketing strategies works with niche products with regards to both IBM and any ERP solutions. And Dulles showed nothing but professionalism. What do I mean by that?

Now I'll sound prejudice straight till the end. When a Chinaman company approach us, they'll ask first, for money, if possible, fund everything and they want it faster than lightning. A bit later comes the news that they need our resources to get the whole paper work done and better still, we are completely accountable for the results of the so-called collaborative marketing. Not done yet! There's a hardly any thank you even through the silent mode of emails even though sponsorship comes repetitively.

When a Melayu company approach us, they'll first ask if we have any T-shirts to give out. Tak cukup baju ke (not enough clothing)? And then they'd hint that they love to go for karaoke sessions. They'll speak a little bit about their products, and then a few weeks later it's forgotten... becaaaauuuse they are waiting for the karaoke or makan treat first, if not, it's hard for them to get inspired on how to kick start any marketing plans. Hell, I won't even bother to tell them how it should be done if they don't bother ask what not to think tank. It will mean I have to work with lazy blokes who wouldn't care to make ends meet.

Of course, not all of our partners are like that.

We treat our customers like super VIPs, a handful of fun events in a year, send diaries, sponsor their annual dinner gifts yet we're hardly even invited to any of their do's or handed anything in return. I guess it's just a suppliers' job to provide, therefore they only provide to their customers.

That's why our sponsorships were handed unconditionally to ICICI Infotech since. They are on their own for the rest of the actions as it's common sense that only they know their product best. To cushion things up, for every social events we held, we'd bring their representatives around to be introduced to other IT players.
Nevertheless, after every event, every cheque issued to them and even festive card they'd say 'thank you'. Most of all, we received unconditional loyalty in return to both our company and the IBM brand, it's literally uttered to us.
There's always well wishings for new years. Finally, the God blessings wish came right before he leaves for his homeland. It's such a pleasure treating this bunch of people who's truly such sincere sellers and at the same time sincere partner.

Lynn and me will really miss you as a very good business figure Dulles. I wish you'd write a book, not on how people should sell their software products in Asia, but just how you and your company simply did it.

I hope this too hampers the points I was trying to make in my article below

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Customer is NOT always right!

... yet the supplier is also not always smart!
For being with a distribution company for the past 7 years, here's what I have crystalised.

I have always kept myself so closely inclined to the services industry. Ever since I had to work in the supermarket in form 4 as a sales assistant during school holidays and had to handle many analistic customers made me wondered how I could make them be more reasonable and treat shopworkers the same way they treat their neighbours.

I really blame it on the Business books which taught us 'Customer is always right', which stupefy the believers, it discourages business owners from being creative and lose the chance of getting the credits they really deserve. I think the right way to put it is 'Customer is the King/Boss', which means he/she has a tendency to make mistakes too although the salesperson has made the best recommendations. Yet, they'll say nasty things to you for trying to be more intelligent than them but at the end it is not you who has to walk out of the shop, it's him!.

This world if full of minute innovations, new things constantly pop up and even wiped out, especially tech gadgets. And let's face it, customers (we) don't always know what they (we) want. Sometimes they think they want something, but when you give it to them exactly as they've requested, they're dissatisfied. Why? Because their decisions based on a lot less info than you (the salesperson), with your training and experience, have.

But we do realise how we develop loyalty towards certain suppliers or service providers; for sharing expertise, talent, judgment, passion to their work, helping us make informed choices and understand what we are getting, not only because they do as asked. Believe in the power of collaborative decision making, the key to it is communication.

Yes, you don't get smart sellers here often. But remember, most of the time, you get more by being courteous and inquisitive. It's not just the salesperson who always need to treat the customers with a smile. In our country the salesman is the one who always get nasty treatment from their customer. Do you know that most Bangla KFC workers are degree holders? Do you know that most taxi drivers worked in corporate companies? Part time pharmacy assistants are university graduates? Hey, the nasi lemak seller infront of my HQ is a Wanita UMNO member! But even if they are not properly qualified, treat them like you treat your neighbour. Hey! Especially when it comes to the sellers in your own neighbourhood which you rather visit often. Tell them how they can improve their business so not just you but the whole township benefits from it.

Carry yourself like a 'bodoh sombong', you'll be quickly dismissed with whatever it is in your hands. Carry yourself like a wise and courteous customer, you'll get a chance to feel like a real King in every shop you walk into by the salesmen whom you made them feel equally important, then, even if the salesperson is not that smart, they will try to provide the best thing for you.
After all, this is Asia, when we are kind to someone once, they'll be kind to you 10 folds more, if we are nasty to someone once, they'll pray that you'll die a horrible death! (Yeah, I thought of that sometimes)
If you want to learn more on strategies in communicating with customers, try getting a book written by Rhonda Abrams "Secrets and Strategies and Wear Clean Underwear".

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Pangkor Painted Red

It was my first 4 days away from maine-ideas. The first day felt quite weird, there were only Malay newspapers at the Teluk Dalam Resort and I was too lazy to plonk myself in its business unit, it's just not like home.

The resort was emptied for one day to prepare it for our group of company's visit. There were only about 20 people in there. The rest of my team decided to just laze and gossip by the beach but I decided to visit Pangkor town alone, get everything I needed to get so I'll have more time playing ball games once the 200 odd people arrives the day after.

Discovered Kim, Salun Muhibbah. The Ah Moi said hair wash and blow service is RM10 per person. Plonked myself there.... I tell yeah, it's more of down to the waist shiatsu than a hair wash!! In KL, I'd roll my eyes if they finish up in 15 minutes. Here, after 1/2 an hour, they still continue massaging - I was worried my private taxi would snap at me for waiting so long.

Oh! While rinsing my hair, the Ah Moi asked if I wanted a facial wash, she said it's RM2! After showing me a tube of Kao Biore scrub, I knew why it's so cheap, I agreed to the idea, another 15 minutes of facial massage there. Walked on the main shopping street and bought a couple of excellent fisherman's pants, just RM18 each. Stopped at the herbal tea stall for a cuppa. I already felt at home, my soul's at ease.

No party can be as big the group of company's after one leaves the college. The first nite, we had an excellent fire spitter we hired from the mainland just to lure some of us to the bon fire set up by the beach. He stood infront of one of the girls and flexed his chest muscles and asked her to do the same.

I'm still smiling by myself till today remembering how my wish came true. Piccadilly era was brought back by Raymond, the hired DJ who's also a friend. Back to Life, Snap, Gabrielle, I've Got the Power, Tevin Campbell, Don't Look Any Further... and one guy who could actually dance towards the beat so effortlessly puts me in such a great satisfaction. Nothing like the carefree years in school. Now, it's still R&B with RM40 cover charge and pretentious no rhythm party goers. Hmmmpphhhhh!!!

The last party night, we jumped into the swimming pool at 2 a.m while a bunch other played water polo. After a cup of coffee, walked back to our challets. At 4:00 am, all the windows were rattling due to strong wind. I switched off the air-cond, opened the front balcony doors and just let the sea wind in till morning. This is worth a journal entry.

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