Thursday, July 28, 2005

Standing In A Parking Lot With A Camera In My Hand

The Clock Chimes 8

I was sitting in a parking lot one night, waiting for my other band members to show up to begin our practice session.

"Hmmm...8:00 pm and still no one in sight"

Bored, I got out and began playing around with the different settings on my digital camera. The pictures below are the result of a guy having too much time on his hands.

To all the petrolheads, my lights are from Aura, an Australian HID brand. You can Google them.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Are The Malays Able To Catch Up? part II

Why, why, WHY?

Alright, I know in my previous post I said that I'll touch more on how we can help the Malays and our country as a whole. However, after talking to certain people and reading certain blogs, I've realised that there are still a lot of Malaysians out there who are asking, 'Why even bother implementing the NEP/NDP in the first place? Why do the Malays need help since they are perfectly capable? Why did Tom Cruise ditch beautiful Nicole Kidman for plain-jane Katie Holmes?'.

Oh the questions!

Faced with such questions, I think it is my duty as a patriotic, Negaraku-singing, flag-waving Malaysian to share a little on why I think it is crucial to help the Malays increase their overall standard of living. And how by doing so, we can help our country avoid obsolescence in todays globalized world.

Ahhh...I like the sound of that last sentence, Joseph Stigiltz would have been proud.

Crash, Bang, Boom - A History Lesson

In order to understand why help is needed, let's take a little detour.

Anybody remember the Great Depression of 1929? Call it what you want - Black Friday, the Great Stock Market Crash, the Great Depression - the fact is, it happened and it wiped out more than one third of America's wealth and equity. This severely affected not only America, but the world as a whole.

The Great Depression can be attributed to several factors. The after effects of World War I, over-protectionist policies by the US Government and an over-inflated stock market being some of the factors. However, one of the main factors which caused the Great Depression, in my opinion, is this - the unequal distribution of wealth. The huge gap between the have's and the have-nots. When a country faces such a situation - as America did during the 1900's and Malaysia, during the mid 20th century where less then 30% of the country held 98% of the wealth - it risks becoming an economic basket case.

Why is that so? Basically because for a country to grow, it needs to rely on 2 basic drivers, or catalysts if you may. One would be an export driven growth, and the example would be Japan which grew at an astonishing pace during the period after World War II due to its amazing ability to manufacture and export must-have goods such as the walkman, colour TVs and soiled female underwear. The second would be growth driven by domestic consumption, as exemplified by the USA. A country which by the way, is famous not only for its horrendously obese population and ostentatious, gas-guzzling, environment polluting SUVs; but for its population's insatiable appetite for all things material.

These are the 2 main drivers of growth, however history has taught us that in the long run, it is better to rely more on domestic consumption than on exports. I won't go into the details on why it is so, but if you need proof, just take a look at what happened to Japan during the 80s and 90s. Not pretty indeed.

So okay, we've decided that growth via domestic consumption is desirable. What has this got to do with the gap between the rich and the poor? Look at it this way, a person who earns RM1 million a year can't be expected to consume 100 times more than a person who earns RM10,000 a year. He can't be expected to eat 100 times more rice, to buy a hundred times more clothes and accessories and to buy a hundred times more cars. Makes sense right? So what happens when all the wealth in the country is concentrated in the hands of a few groups of people? The consumption of the poorer segment of the country will decrease, but the consumption of the richer segment cannot be expected to rise in tandem. The result? A country which consumes less and less as time goes by.

Malaysia in the 1950s and 1960s

Now that we're done with the history lesson, lets just imagine for awhile that you are the Prime Minister of Malaysia during the fragile era of the 50s and 60s. Your finance minister approaches you with a socio-economic report, and it doesn't look good. The income gap between the top 20% with the bottom 40% of the country is growing ever wider. Not only will this affect the domestic consumption of your country, making it an unattractive destination for foreign capital, but you also fear (rightly so) that it will lead to social and political unrest. You feel your head begin to ache as you struggle with the situation. You know that if this continues on, all Malaysians irregardless of race and wealth will be screwed in the long run. You realise that you in your capacity as a Prime Minister, have to create a sustainable and viable middle-class society in your country, and to do so, the living standards of the bottom 40% have to be increased.

After further discussions with your advisors, and countless hours spent poring over demographics charts, you realise that the bottom 40% of your country was made up almost entirely of Malays. Past records show that this trend isn't improving.

You can feel it now, a tightness in your chest. It was never going to be easy. You have two options to choose from. Either you leave things be, and risk your country becoming an economic backwater in a few decades time, or you take steps to rectify the situation.

Imagine if you are put in that situation. What would you do?

I know what you would do, and frankly speaking, you know it too.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Tengku Mahaleel is out, because of Me?

(above : Without Proton, I feel this small)

It's about time!

Imagine my surprise when I opened the newspapers this morning and was greeted by the headline "Tengku Mahaleel Ousted". Finally the board members of Khazanah Nasional came to their senses. Oh Joy! How my heart leapt with gladness! The hills are aliveee...with the sound of music! Alright, the 'hills' I am referring to is actually Bukit Gasing and that's not the sound of music, that's just the Mat Kool jingle being played at full volume by the neighbourhood ice-cream man.

Ah well, close enough.

Was it me?

Suddenly, it dawned on me. It was just a few days ago that I posted yet another Mahaleel- bashing post on my blog. Coincidence? I think not! Could it be that the senior management of Khazanah actually read through my blog and agreed with my views? Or, or...could it be that copies of my blog were photostated on Double-A paper (made from farmed trees no less) and circulated during one of their super-duper strategic, management meetings?

Is it possible that maybe Badawi (Da Man himself!) actually got hold of a copy of my humble blog and after reading it, decided that "This dude is so right yo! Down with da Tengku!". Yes, I am aware that Badawi has never spoken like that before in public, but for all we know...he might be an avid listener of 50 Cent and is superbly well-versed in the fine art of ebonics and gangsta rhymin'! Betcha never thought of that eh.

With great power comes great responsibilities

I now realize the power I hold in my hands. The power which flows from every stroke of the keyboard and with every click of the 'Submit Post' icon. This is heady stuff! I can only pray that I will not succumb to the seductive power of...ermm...power. I will remain upright! I will maintain my integrity! I will! I must!!

For Freedom!!!!

With that last cry, I picked up my pitchfork and together with my fellow scottish peasants, began charging down the hill towards the Anglo-Saxon army below. Wish me luck.

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Monday, July 25, 2005

Are The Malays Able To Catch Up? part I

NEP = Nine Elegant Potatoes

As of late, the newspapers have been plastered with reports regarding UMNO's general assembly. Why, you can't even turn a page without coming across yet another article on yet another reason why the NEP should be revived, why the Malays are still lagging economically and on why there's no way a 62 year old woman could have possibly given birth at the age of 10.

Ahhh, the NEP. The source of such controversy, the catalyst for endless debates and the reason why Malaysia is stagnating/progressing (depending on which camp you're in). What are my thoughts on it then? Before I begin, let me just share with you a quote by Benjamin Franklin which I feel is really relevant to our current situation (politicians take note).

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results"

Benjy Franklin sure knew what he was talking about.

NEP = Not Enough Panadol

Just how far are the Malays lagging behind the other races? Pretty much, if the local newspapers are to be believed. It seems that on average, Chinese earn a monthly income of RM4,200+, with the Malays only averaging RM2,800+. That's a pretty big gap by any measure. Also, Malays make up more than 50% of the population, yet only 18% of our nations equity are in their hands. Even after almost 30 years of 'specialist' policies tailored to assist them.

What about education then? Surely all races are on almost equal footing since we came from the same primary schools, the same secondary schools, have access to the same libraries, facilities and colleges/universities? Not quite so, according the The Star, Malays are beginning to disappear from our colleges/universities ever since meritocracy was introduced. There is even talk of setting up a local medical university which caters solely for the Bumis (a pretty dumb idea if you ask me, but more on that later).

Please bear in mind that I'm saying all this not to 'hentam' the Malay race. I'm merely repeating what was reported in our local (government sanctioned, mind you) newspapers. Sooooo, after so many years of help from the government, after billions of tax payers money have been expended and after numerous contract hand-outs, we find that we are still struggling with the same problem as our forebears.

I wonder why?

NEP = Now Enjoy Protein

Let me first state that I do not truly believe that Malays are an incapable race. I do not believe that they suffer from any genetic disposition which prevents then from learning, working and succeeding in life. I do NOT believe that they do not harbour dreams and ambitions, just like any other race, or any other human being for that matter.

I believe that all these articles in the newspapers (although sprouting from good intentions) regarding how badly the Malays need help are just plain detrimental to the race as a whole! I know the government wants to highlight the socio-economic situation in our country, but please be careful with the words that are used and the tone in which they are presented.

Imagine with me....

Imagine this for a moment, you were born in a loving family up north in Malaysia. Your childhood was a blissful period. A happy period spent in the company of your siblings, parents and relatives. As you grew up, you began harbouring dreams and ambitions. Being young, you thought that the sky was the limit. That there's nothing that cannot be attained if you worked hard enough. However, as you grew older, you also began to notice that not everyone shared the same optimistic outlook on life as you do. You read in the newspapers that the your race is languishing behind, that the only way that your race could succeed was by relying on government hand-outs. You hear your parents whispering about it in the dark of the night. In hushed voices, they talked about how unfair the situation is, about how other races are striving forward at the expense of your race.

Needless to say, your confidence takes a hit. Your dreams and ambitions begin to look like silly, diaphonous childhood fantasies. You begin to develop an inferior mindset. Your drive to succeed fades away as you grudgingly accept this so-called reality which is shoved down your throat. You find yourself thinking, it must be true if everyone is talking about it, it must be true that my race is somehow lacking compared with others. You begin to feel defensive towards to other races. You suspect that they look down on you, that they are laughing at you behind your back.

Imagine if you grew up in this kind of environment. What would you be today?

It affects all races

If I were put in that situation, I definitely would not be as optimistic as I am today. The above scenario which I just described can apply to any race. However, due to the well-meaning but misguided speech and actions of some of our promiment politicians today, the Malays are the ones who are affected the most by it.

I believe that what the government should and must give to the Malays more than anything else, is a sense of self-worth, pride and confidence. Yeah, they try to put individuals such as Nasimuddin and Nazir Razak on pedestals, hoping that they would serve as a beacon of hope for all the Malays. But what about the Malays who are not as well-connected as these individuals? What do they have to hold on to?

I don't mean to imply that all Malays are suffering from self-esteem problems. I believe that by nature they are a very optimistic, positive and proud (in a good way of course) race. What I am saying however, is that no matter how confident an individual intially is, being exposed to such things will definitely take its toll. I know it will definitely take its toll on me. To say that you are not affected at all by such things is just pure denial.

So how do we go about helping the Malays and our country as a whole? More on that in my next post. Watch this space...


Friday, July 22, 2005

Whatever Happened to Malaysian Politics?


The past few weeks have certainly been quite eventful for a handful of our 'towering individuals'. We should be proud really. For way too long, Hong Kong has boasted about their Heavenly kings (Andy Lau, Aaron Kwok bla bla bla). Now we Malaysians have something to be proud of as well. Presenting *drumroll*... our AP Kings!

Alright, our AP kings might not exactly send the girls into delirious fits of passion, but hey, we gotta start somewhere right? Who knows, in time maybe girls (and even guys...*shudder*) might begin throwing their undergarments at them.

Well, that's only one of the several interesting events which transpired recently. Just think, when was the last time you saw a top minister break-down and began bawling like a baby? And when was the last time you saw the CEO of one of our local car companies get reprimanded for speaking rubbish? Alright, the second one happens pretty often...but hey, it's still good for a few laughs.

And laughing I am...Ha Ha Ha

They Are All So Mean To Me!

As we all know, Rafidah Aziz broke down and cried. She wept. She shed bucket loads of tears. She opened her mouth and verbally cursed her detractor's father, grandfathers, great-grandfathers and the 2nd cousin from the 4th uncle removed.

Ok, the last point is false. But the rest are true, and 3 out of 4 ain't too bad.

Ahhh, but isn't a person allowed to express his or her feelings? Not really. To me, crying in a public meeting is equivalent to shouting, screaming and banging your fists on the table. They are all forms of expression, but a person who has to resort to that just ends up making him/herself look extremely unprofessional and weak.

There are exceptions though. Shedding a few tears is permitted if (a) your country has just suffered the worst terrorist attack in history, resulting in 6,000+ civilian deaths; (b) your country has just been ravaged by a tsunami, leaving 200,000+ of your countrymen dead and millions without a home; and (c) you've just listened to the latest Britney Spears single.

When our dear ol' Rafidah was asked why in the world was she crying, she replied in a hoarse, croaking voice..."Because they accuse me". Oh wow, so you've been accused of being rude to a former prime minister. BIG DEAL!! The worst thing is, The Star stated that Rafidah Aziz is 'now facing the most pressure of her political career'. What in the world?!

So in all the years she has been a minister, she has NEVER EVER faced a greated problem than what she is facing now? Oh my goodness. Imagine if she ever wrote a personal memoir. I am pretty sure chapter 3, page 101 would go like this, "The greatest stress I ever faced in my whole entire life was when I was accused of being rude". How utterly tragic. It really goes to show what uneventful careers a lot of our local politicians lead.

AP Kings = Apple Polishing Kings

Reading the headlines of our local newspaper a few days ago, I was suddenly enlightened. I remember thinking to myself, "So this is what professional butt-kissers look like". Amazing! From their outwardly normal appearance, you would never have suspected a that they possessed such talent and skill!

Jokes aside, am I the only one who feels that it is utterly unreasonable that such a big portion of our country's APs are given to a select, handful of individuals? Have we forgotten why APs were introduced in the first place?

APs were basically implemented in order to increase Bumi involvement in the automotive industry. I fully support that, and I believe that the underlying basis behind the concept of APs is sound. However, somewhere between the concept and the execution, some serious cronyism and corruption took place.

I really do want to see the Bumis get ahead in this world. I want to see them pick up new skills, start new businesses and discover new opportunities. As a nation, we need that. What I dislike seeing however, is a few well-connected Bumis get extremely rich while the majority of the Bumi population is still languishing in rural areas and surviving on below average incomes.

What does Rafidah have to say about all this? Well, nothing substantial really. She was too busy bawling like a baby.

Mr. Proton

Tengku Mahaleel, CEO of Proton also recently got into a bit of hot soup for mouthing off. Basically, he accused the government of being unfair and anti-proton with regards to its policies. He went on to say that other national car makers only need to source 40% of their materials locally, whereas Proton is being held to an unreasonable quota of 80%. He said that because of this quota, Proton is forced to source from crappy local suppliers who provide shoddily built parts at extravagant prices.

Well boo hoo Mr. Tengku Mahaleel. Yes, while it is true that most other national car makers only need to adhere to a 40% local content regulation, most of them don't benefit from 300% protectionist tariffs! What do you think Mr. Tengku Mahaleel? You think that the government is giving you all this protection in order for you to pocket all the profits and live a lavish lifestyle? The reason why the government even instituted a national car program was so that other ancilliary industries (spare parts manufacturers, rubber/plastic moulders etc) could thrive as well.

The reason why the government levies such high tariffs on automobile imports is in the hope that our automobile industry as a whole will benefit from it. Yes, Mr. Tengku Mahaleel, the WHOLE automobile industry. In case you're unclear, the WHOLE automobile industry does not refer solely to Proton. So let me put it straight to you, you dont want to be forced to source from local suppliers? Fine, then be willing to accept a reduction in automobile taxes.

What's that you say, you still want government protection? Then be willing to support the other struggling Bumi businesses out there you ^@%#$@.

Phew, my fingers are beat. I'll continue with my rants and raves about Malaysian Politics/Economy in the next post.

If for some reason my next post never comes, you'll know that I'm most probably locked up in a detention cell somewhere deep in the heart of Proton's headquarters. So please come look for me yah.


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

A Passionate Concert for Passionate People

Put Your Hands In The Ae-Yeah!

Alright, hands up those of you who love a good concert. Wow, beribu-ribu tangan. Well, there's good news for all you concert luvin' folks! My church is organizing a concert this weekend at the location shown in the poster above, at the date shown in the poster above and at the time shown in the poster above. A concert called 'Passion' (yup, again as shown in the poster above). Oh, and did I mention that this concert is free of charge? Yup, FOC, a Malaysian's favorite acronym.

Ahhh, I can't wait.

Wave It Like You Just Don't Cay-Yeah!

I still remember one of the recent concerts we had (the F.R.E.E concert). It was amazing, with around 1400+ people jam packed into the auditorium, singing and screaming their hearts out. The auditorium was pitch black as the doors were thrown open and the crowd began streaming in. The psychedelic neon beams from the swiveling strobe lights acted as guiding beacons, guiding the people as they made their way to the front.

Then silence.

Lights twirling and flashing.

A chorus of electronic distortions, manic drum beats and running synths began to rise in a crescendo, reverberating throughout the auditorium. The sound levels shot through the roof.

The crowd went wild.

You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet..

As good as that last concert was, I know there are even greater things in store this time around. How can I begin to describe it?

You'll have to be there to believe it.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Jazzers Unite

The poster above says it all (click on it for a close-up). Read my friend's post about it here.
I'll be there, will you?


Monday, July 18, 2005

Amazing Times At B2B

B2B 2005 Camp at Genting Permai

My church organized a camp for the fresh graduates and young working adults (acronym of FGCC, cool huh) last weekend at Genting Permai. All in all, around 170 people attended the camp, and it was absolutely amazing! In fact, I've had so much fun that I am still knackered from the experience. In fact, I'm just gonna cobble together some pictures which I obtained from my friend's online photo album, add in some lame captions and voila, instant blog post! Enjoy!

(above : Genting Permai. A resort set amidst the lush forests and muddied, dark brown waterfalls of Genting. Ahhhhh... I can just about smell the fumes from the Express Buses trawling the twisty routes. Ok, actually the place is pretty nice. The only complaint I have is with regards to the food they serve, and by food I mean 'weird-mushy-looking-lump-thingys'. Urk!)

(above : Yo Wassup y'all! Da camp is da shitz yo! Yes, I'm the one wearing red and No, I don't look spastic all the time. Only when I feel like it.)

(above : To the guy with the red cap, "The mean bully who snatched your lollypop is right over there")

(above : The peace 'V' sign is still happening I tell ya! Its usage is not restricted to only ah lians and generals who are about to send their pilots on a bombing run in Germany**)

(above : I hereby knight thee, Sir Dan The Man. You may now rise and kiss the bride.)

(above : Look at me! I'm a little birdie! This demon possessed dude really believed he could fly if he flapped his arms fast enough.)

(above : This is what we did in our spare time. * Warning : the above picture may contain elements which are deemed disturbing to some people. Viewer discretion advised.)

(above : Here's a nice ol' Group shot.)

The End

** : For those of you who are unclear about the general and pilot bombers bit, too bad!..hahah

Note : A reminder again, you can view my friends collection of B2B photos here

Friday, July 15, 2005

Weekend Getaway

A Journey

The day draws to a close. The sun begins its slow descent beneath the horizon, dipping ever so slowly till there's naught but a sliver of gold in the air. The sky takes on an ever darkening hue, shrouding the city and its surroundings in perpetual twilight.

As I gaze out over the moon lit landscape of the city, with its looming buildings and cold, shimmery lights....I'll know that the time has come. The time has come for me to bid farewell. Farewell to all the things I hold dear, things which I can't bring with me as I begin my ascent into the mist covered peaks of the peninsular mountain range.

A journey to the majestic mountain tops. A journey which will be gruelling like no other. Miles and miles of jagged, twisting ominous tarmac lay between me and my final destination. A gauntlet which I must overcome, come what may. My body will be shakened, fatigue will set in, my resolve will be weakened. Even as an inky darkness envelops my senses, threatening to overwhelm me; I know I must persevere.

To sacrifice, is divine.


Oops, I got carried away. Alright, all the above sentences can be summarised into one.

Tonight after work, I'll be driving up to Genting for a Retreat and I'll have to be without an Internet connection for 3 days. Oh yah, and since my drive begins quite late, I'll be sleepy as well.

Make that two sentences.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Mines Are Good

Such Talent!

I hereby proclaim myself to be the undisputed Minesweeper Flags King of the World! Don't believe me? Just take a look at the picture below

Oh, and do take note of the score line...hahahah. 26-0! Such an unprecedented feat!

Sad to say, the person on the reciving end of my crushing talent is a friend named 'Bincent' (his name has been concealed in order to protect his identity and to spare him from lifelong shame).

Bincent always thought that he was 'da bombz' when it came to Minesweeper Flags, but it was on one fateful day in the office when he made the fatal mistake of challenging me to a round of Minesweeper Flags. Defeat came swiftly as I uncovered mine after mine, after mine. His strategy lay in ruins! His ego was shattered and cast to the wind! Tears began rolling down his cheeks!

Oh sweet Joy!

My Name Is Bernard Yong and I Am A MinesweeperFlag-a-Holic

I admit, I am addicted to Minesweeper Flags. You know, the free game which can be played via your MSN Messenger. Time which should have been spent working were instead spent hunched over my keyboard, eyes glued to the screen, watching the little blue squares which may or may not conceal a mine. Truly captivating stuff.

But enough with this post! I've already wasted enough time typing this as it is. Minesweeper Flags beckons.

If you, like Bincent, think you are 'Da Bombz' at this game, feel free to challenge me at

I'll be waiting. *evil laughter*

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Would You Pay For Someone's Fats?

Wash Yer Hands!

Look closely at the bar of soap shown above. Looks pretty normal doesn't it. Well surprise surprise, that particular bar of soap was made from Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's fats. Yup, you heard me right. His FRIGGIN FATS!!

Turns out that the Italian Prime Minister is one vain dude, what with his face lifts and liposuctions and all. Anyway, the clinic where he goes to have his blubber removed was approached one day by a fellow who wanted to buy the prime minister's sucked out fats. The reason? Nothing unusual, hejust wanted to use it to make a bar of soap. Ahhh...that makes perfect sense.

The even crazier thing is that someone found it fit to pay USD$18,000 for that fatty soap. I think I'm gonna throw up. Imagine rubbing yourself with that thing...ugghhh. What is this world coming to..sighhh. You can read all about it here.

Monday, July 11, 2005

It's the Saudis Stupid!....and the Chinese too.

Conspiracy? What conspiracy?

Let me say this first, I find conspiracy theorists to be very..ermm...'ignorantly' amusing.

Why is that so? Basically because most of the conspiracy theories floating around out there were formed with no fundamental grounds whatsoever. I'm sure you've come across such people before in your lives. Think about it, when was the last time you heard someone say this about the plunging price of a particular share,

"Aiyah, sure syndicate play the price wan lah"

Sounds familiar eh. The funny thing is, when you prod further and ask what are the supporting facts, you'd most probably get shot back with a cocky, you-are-so-gullible look and a dismissive, "Sure like that wan lah, don't you know our stock market always let the big syndicates play kau kau wan?"

Well, sorry for sounding like a wet blanket, but I wouldn't want to base my investment strategies on some mamak-stall gossip, if you know what I mean.


Here's a second amusing point. Try asking these conspiracy-theory-spouting folks about the details of their stock portfolio. You know, the usual information on the companies industry, business segment, management characteristics, PE ratios, NTAs, gearing, gross margins etc.

Surprise surprise, most of them don't know squat about the companies they are investing in. I am not saying that syndicate play has nothing to do with the prices of shares, but to blame the fluctuations of the stock market entirely on syndicate play? C'mon, that's purely misguided.Pick up an issue of Time and Fortune, or heck just turn to Astro channel 90; I'm sure you'll find some morsel of information as to why your portfolio did a olympic beating, swan-breasted-nose-dive into the pool of shattered ROI.

Fine and Well, But What Has This Got To Do With The Saudis?

Ok, back to the Saudis....and Chinese.

I was chatting with an individual recently about the run up in the price of oil. To me, the reasons why oil prices have been so high lately (past USD$60 a barrel at the moment) are pretty clear cut. First of all, we can thank China for significantly contributing to the global growth in oil consumption. Of the total worldwide growth in oil consumption for 2004, China was responsible for 45% of it, amazing...or madness, depending on how you look at it. As stated in Economics 101, high demand + limited supply = bite-yer-arse prices.

Secondly, terrorism continues to wreck havoc in the countries of the middle east. Coincidently, these countries are also responsible for producing most of the oil you and I use to power our gas guzzling, enviroment polluting vehicles to get us to the gym, or the grocery store, or wherever. It goes without saying, where you have instability in the supply, there you will have high prices.

Thirdly, all the members of OPEC sans Saudi Arabia are already pumping oil at their maximum capacity. Only the Saudis have an additional 1.5 million barrels of unutilized production capacity per day. When this happens, it means that there is basically no 'slack' in the supply chain to cope with any disruptions or increase in demand whatsoever. This has certainly caused a lot of people to begin bolstering their oil reserves (thus driving up prices), just in case.

Last of all, we all know what happened to Yukos (The largest oil company, or at least it used to be, in Russia) in Russia right? It's CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky was jailed on tax evasion charges, and the company will subsequently be broken up by the government and sold in itty-bitty little pieces. That certainly wont help keep the oil prices down.

All the above make sense right? These information are not well-guarded secrets right? You can spot them anytime you open up the newspaper, or an industry magazine right?. So it came as a surprise to me when the above mentioned individual summarised the entire global oil industry into one sentence,

"Oil price is high because let the Americans play up mah"

I could write another post on why America would not want high oil prices, but I think you get what I mean.

Anyone for more helpings of conspiracy theories?

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Friday, July 08, 2005

Blasted Terrorists!

A Sad Day For Us All

Another day, another bomb attack on innocent civilians. We hear about it in the news so regularly that we run the risk of being desensitized towards it all. Let us, in the face of such a cowardly and barbaric attack, never lose our ability to care for our fellow men.

I truly feel for the people who were affected by this act of terrorism. That such an attack happened in London is truly shocking, but let us spare a moment's thought for all the innocent people who have died (and who are still dying even as we speak) in Iraq as a result of such attacks. Hail from a rich, advanced country, they might not ; but they deserve our compassion all the same.

I condemn the sick neanderthalic bast@rds who were responsible for carrying out this attack.

What About the Economy?

The instability brought about by such attacks will definitely hurt us all economically, and even politically for some.

Our status as a Muslim nation will certainly not be enhanced through such acts. If foreign investors start feeling jittery about investing in Muslim nations, our hard earned FDIs (Malaysia has received around USD$1.2 billion so far this year) will begin drying up, and that is definitely something we CANNOT afford.

Also, as London's stock exchange takes a nose-dive, you can expect several of the regional bourses to do the same. The European economy has already been languishing for the past few years, and this certainly won't do anything to help it get out of the rut its in. How will this affect us in Malaysia? When a country (or a region) faces a period of instability, it will most likely begin hoarding up on commodities such as, surprise surprise, oil; driving the prices up to even more stratospheric levels.

To all Malaysian motorists, it looks like high oil prices are here to stay.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

With Looks Like That, Who Needs To Be Desperate?

And I'm a Desperate Husband

I've been hearing a lot about this show recently. Initially, I brushed it off as another Sex And The City clone, but after while my curiosity got the best of me and I made time in my busy schedule (10:00 pm : Cut toe-nails, 10:30 pm : Empty my dustbin, 11:00 : Decide which pillow cover to get the idea) to catch the pilot episode of Desperate Housewives on 8TV last night.

The show was pretty good, which doesn't come as a surprise actually. Those bloody Yankees have always been the masters at making sex-themed shows..and everyone knows that sex plus pretty girls always sell! Just ask Aaron Spelling.

Westeria Lane

Basically, the show pokes fun at the ironies and idiosyncracies of middle-class, suburban life; albeit in a dark, sexually charged kind of way. The characters featured in the show are believable and likeable in their own weird way, the story line is riveting enough to keep you interested, the filming is.........

Arghhhhhh, enough already! I'll come clean! I MUST reveal the truth!!

The REAL reason why I'm watching the show is because of....

Eva Longoria.

C'mon, just look at the picture below. Isn't she lovely?...ahhhhhh

I'm smitten.

Next Tuesday, at 10:30 pm, you know what I'll be doing.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Let's Dance!

Dancing Queen (and Kings)

A group of my friends and I went down to the KL Performing Arts Centre to catch a performance which was organized by MyDance as part of their Dance Festival 2005. The centre was located somewhere in Sentul, quite near to Segambut.

Getting there was an adventure in itself, due to my friend (Dan the Man)'s error-prone navigation. Ironically, he was the only one of us who had an inkling as to where the place was, and as we all know, knowledge is POWER! So with my POWERFUL friend directing us, we managed to brave the harsh KL traffic conditions with its psychotic motorcyclists and arrive there in time, with a few minutes to spare even! Miraculous!

Break a Leg

The centre is very new, from what I've heard....and trust me when I say it looks pretty good! Too bad I forgot to bring my camera...darn it. Anyway, the building is located on a sparse piece of land and features glass-and-steel prominently in its architecture. A fusion of modern and classical, with a tinge of bohemian elements if you may. Needless to say, I was impressed.

The show consisted of several (7 I think, I lost count) separate sets featuring ballet, modern and tap dances. I had several friends who were involved in the performances, with one of them even choreographing an entire set! *wahhhhhhhh*

The dances were really good. I was really impressed with the ballerinas ability to twirl and spin so gracefully, not to mention their abiliy to stand for hours on end on their toes! Ouch! It hurts just looking at them. For me, I can stand on my toes for a grand total of 10 seconds before I collapse into a sobbing pile of quivering-legs and shattered-ego.

The modern dance was good was well, courtesy of a production/dance house known as 'Switch'. Also, due to the presence of a suitably '
powerful' female dancer, a lot of guys were left screwing their eye-balls back in after the modern dance performance, if ya know what I mean ;) As for the tap dancing, well, what can I say? Staccato beats coupled with fancy dance routines will appeal to me anyday.

Encore, encore

All in all, I really had a good time at the show. The festival is set to go on until mid July if I'm not mistaken. Anyway, try googling for it, I'm sure you can get the necessary information if you're interested.

Oh yah, at the end of the performance,we were all required to rise to our feet and sing along to our national anthemn. I don't know about the rest, but I thought that it was way cool. Sighh, I miss Negaraku.

What a great way to end the night.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Weekends without Mr.Sandman

Sweet Lullaby

Weekends have always been a time of hectic activity for me, and who can blame me? Weekdays offer precious little time to devote to the things I WANT to do... I'm sure all you working folk out there will agree with me. Anyhow, it is because of this that I always make it a point to cram as many activities as possible into my fleeting weekends (usually at the expense of sleep), often resulting in me dragging myself back to work on a Monday with severe symptoms of sleep deprivation. Ah well, that's the price you have to pay to... ZZZzzzZzZzzzzZZZzzzz