Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Sour Pack - Part 1 of 3

Another couples weeks will be our 2007 PIG CNY, and I started my cleaning and tidy chores at home. I picked-up and threw some of my old book collections and the ones I must keep are Ronald Chu’s comics book writing, which entitled “The Sour Pack” series. After long never read, yet much fun of reading them, I still finds his amazing pieces of writing is sharp wit, humour, entertaining yet realistically reflects our cycle of life, i.e. from being single to have partner, from loneliness to happiness, and from happiness to disaster… and which I categorized in several classes for fun reading…. I hope to get some inspirations from reading it and for those who enjoy reading it too.

As Ronald Chu writes:

  • GOD
    1. God says: “I created man and woman. What
    about you?” The Devil says: “I suggested that they marry.”
    2. God took a break after creating man and woman, but after that, woman never gave man a break.

  • MEN
    3. Men are luxuries of women
    4. All men are born equal. It is marriage that makes them unequal.
    5. Men should sympathise with women who cry and beware of women who smile
    6. No man is safe, except those who have put all their assets in your name.
    7. Stay away from men who can’t afford to pay for your drinks and those who force you to drink.
    8. Men like to fake drunkenness, but beware of women who are better drinkers than you.
    9. Since man lost his rib, he has been paying woman to get it back.
    10. Men are divided into those wanted and those unwanted by women.
    11. A married man has a wife but no money. An unmarried man has no wife or money.
    12. Man cannot forget his first love, just like the hunter who finds his first prey most memorable.
    13. If a man doesn’t know how to lie to a woman, he is not good enough to be someone’s husband.

    14. Women are necessities of men
    15. All women are troublesome, except those you have gotten rid of.
    16. Beautiful women are often surrounded by ordinary men. So stay away from beautiful women
    17. To a woman, her bank is a rich husband
    18. A woman’s “No” is more valuable than her “Yes”
    19. Women like honest men, but the line between honesty and stupidity is a fine one
    20.Most women are not realistic. If they were, they would have dumped you
    21.A quiet woman can often give the most unexpected and sarcastic remark in a quarrel.
    22. When a woman changes her style of dressing, she is tired of you, but if she doesn’t change, you may grow tired of her.
    23. The price of a woman’s clothes can only go up. So, the first dress you buy for her should be her cheapest.
    24. Woman need to live with men because they cannot live alone or with other women.
    25. There is always a woman to prove and point out the stupidity of a man.
    26. A woman wants love but she may not get if from any lover.
    27. Women like to believe their own lies and truth spoken by others.
    There are many women but only few lovers.
    28. A woman’s attractiveness always equals her resistance.
    29. Women spend half the time watching men, the other half looking at themselves.

  • MEN and WOMEN
    30. Men and women are equal before marriage. After that, man is lower at least by a grade.
    31. The truth about men and women is that they have no differences, yet they still hope to be different.
    32. There’re three kinds of people in this world: Man, woman and lover

    33. Romance is like life’s fertilizers. It stinks when there is too much.
    34. Romance is the past, marriage the present and a third party in the future.
    35. All lovers believe their romance is unique until they are married.
    36. The honeymoon is like the announcement before end of a romance.
    37. The shorter the time you spend with your date, the greater the expenditure.

  • LOVE
    38. Love all; it is easier than loving only your wife.
    39. Don’t be deceived by love’s promises. If in doubt, don’t marry.
    40. The lover who leaves you is often someone you love too much.
    41. All lovers believe their romance is unique until they are married.
    42. There is no theory in love because those with the theories are busy being in love
    43. Your ex-lover’s telephone call often comes on the first day your new girlfriend steps into your apartment.
    44. Love often blossoms among good friends. If you want a lover, you must give up your friend.
    45. Fear not when you lover appears, but whether her husband will appear also.
    46. Love is simply the condition before a man and woman satisfy themselves physically.
    47. Facts without theory are love. Theory without facts is marriage.
    48. The simplest way to cure your ill-tempered lover is to change your lover.
    49. To be a lover, you must be attractive. To be a wife, you must have a good money.
    50. Love is innocent. It’s those in love who do wrong repeatedly.
    51. Love is like the foreword in a book, often unrealistic and full of self-praise.
    52. Love is something you can’t see or smell but something you can feel. 53. Marriage is something you can see and smell but can’t feel.
    54. True love or marriage begins when silence creeps in between a couple.

    55. Those who object violently to marriage are often who are married.
    56. When someone is bored with life, they either get married or seek a divorce
    57. Love depends on one’s feelings. Marriage lives on the pressure from realities of life.
    58. The greatest enemy of love and marriage is not meanness but habits.
    59. In life, you have to choose between marriage and love because you can never have both.
    60. Love depends on one’s feelings. Marriage lives on the pressure from realities of life.

    61. The bridegroom is the final winner and the first lost.
    62. Marriage is not a destiny, it is a choice.
    63. If Snow White married the seven dwarfs, there will be no fairly tales in this world but true love.
    64. Love is something you can’t see or smell but something you can feel. 65. Marriage is something you can see and smell but can’t feel.
    66. The biggest discovery about marriage is: “You know it’s no big deal only after going into it.”
    67. A married man has a wife but no money. An unmarried man has no wife or money.
    68. Strangely, when everyone starts to believe in marriage again, the love of the century will disappear.
    69. Facts without theory are love. Theory without facts is marriage.
    70. If all your relatives support your marriage you’d better change your mind.


    71. Your girlfriend often cancels the date after you have bathed and changed.
    72. Your girlfriend is always a beauty before the both of you met.
    73. Even if you’re right, nobody will be on your side when you quarrel with your girlfriend.
    74. If someone ran away with your girlfriend, don’t despair because he will return her to you within three months.
    75. A good girl is someone whom man cannot find to marry and whom no woman will like to become.
    76. Whenever you have a disagreement with your girlfriend in the car, you’re bound to be in a traffic jam.

  • WIFE
    77. Shocks are the effect of seeing the little tag from your wife’s new dress.
    78. The angel is in all other women except your wife.
    79. Your wife will always have the last word after a quarrel.
    80. An old flame is better than a new wife.

    81. All husbands are the same; the difference is how they’re managed by their wives.
    82. If a man doesn’t know how to lie to a woman, he is not good enough to be someone’s husband.

CAUTION: Men and women, boyfriends and girlfriend, husband and wife are to take note on Ronald Chu's 82 rules before masculine vs feminine war happen!

REDtone philosophy of Excellent Management

"Management excellence is what we should pursue. Excellence does not come by saying it like a mantra, but excellence requires regular and consistent efforts to build core competencies that allow us to achieve excellence, to be able to benchmarks and move towards being number one…”

Mr Wei Chuan Beng’s profile

Wei is Chairman and Managing Director, REDtone International Bhd. Wei has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from University Technology Malaysia (1989); Diploma in Management (Gold Medalist Award Winner) from Malaysia Institute of Management (1995).

He established TQC Consultants Sdn Bhd, a software development and system integration company, in 1996. One of the founding members of REDtone International Bhd in 1996, he is responsible for the management of the group’s overall business and financial matters. Wei is also Council Member and Chairperson for Communication Special Interest Group for Persatuan Industri Komputer dan Multimedia Malaysia (PIKOM) and Vice President for the Kuala Lumpur/Selangor Darul Ehsan Telecommunication Association.

Wei’s REDtone Story

Mr Wei Chuan Beng, The founder of REDtone. When he first started his business, Wei had adopted this same philosophy on excellence, Wei feels that being a generalist is not enough as one knows only a little of everything, whereas being specialized crucially differentiates oneself from the being specialized crucially differentiates oneself from the others who find such in-depth knowledge difficult to reach.

Wei's parent were in business, but they encouraged him to go beyond what they did, knowing that with higher education their son could surpass them. Moreover, Wei himself had also wanted to do something which involved more intellectual challenges and greater automation, and to be a pioneer.

Previously, Wei had worked for Hewlett-Packard and he considers the founder of HP a great role model - the latter had graduated from Stanford and with a small capital, grew the company into multibillion dollar business. "Hewlett Packard literally built Silicon Valley as they spawned of the latent might of a company", Wei opines.

“Sometimes we tend to think that honesty and integrity are something we can naturally expect from others. Unfortunately, in the world this is not true,” Wei laments. During the past few years, Wei had come across low standards of business ethics, which included very blatant and corrupt practices in certain parts of community. "So the lesson I learnt is we must not assume that the other party we are dealing with would have the same standard of moral principles that we abide by," he clarifies.

REDtone’s Excellent Management theory

1. Specialised versus Mediocre Knowledge

Being a specialist is an important aspect of excellence. This is because specialization to gives one great in-depth insight from which one can attain excellence, I knew how vital it was to get into the depth of the market and the depth of an issue, for it is only by doing so that one can get the solution. This differentiates you from those who process only mediocre knowledge.

2. No Shortcuts, No boundaries, No end.

There is no substitute to acquiring wisdom and deep insight regularly; there is no shortcuts to excellence. Excellence has no boundary. It is not a destination; it is a stage. And at each stage, further refinement is required - there is no end to our journey for excellence.

3. Continuous sharpening

The level-headed, sharp thinking Wei observes, "There always someone who can overtake you if you stop. So you must continuously interact with people and the environment- be it the political or social environment - and must continuous sharpen yourself from there."

4. Mental Strength

Substantial physical challenges are not merely physical, but require judgment, thinking and prompt decision making, and similarly, leadership in real life involves facing challenges while being on the move. When one is physically taxed, one must process great mental strength to direct an already exhausted body.

5. Mentors

Companies need to have a system in place to ensure that there are continual checks and balances. In addition, companies need to ensure continuity, which is not necessarily by family members; just as one is advised not to mix family life with business life.

6. Lessons and hopes

Management excellence is what we should pursue. Excellence does not come by saying it like a mantra, but excellence requires regular and consistent efforts to build core competencies that allow us to achieve excellence, to be able to benchmarks and move towards being number one. We can achieve the state of excellent to be an example to others. It is my hope that Malaysia will see more companies and entrepreneurs that shine and bring multitude of benefits to the country. We can and must continue to do even better.

- adapted from MANAGEMENT magazine - Vol.41 No.3 Jul-Sep 2006, on leadership development programee - Malaysia Institute of Managemet.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Malaysian Banking On a New Chapter?

Adopted from Malaysian Business (Jan 16th-31th, 2007)- by James S

January 1, signified and historic occasion for the Malaysian financial landsdcape, with the collectively upgrading of Local Mechant Banks (MBs), Universal Brokers (UBs) and Discount Houses (DHs) transformed into Investment Bank (IBs).

To recap, in March,2005 Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) had announced that framework for the creation of IBs. Under it, an IB can be formed via various merger permutations, ie. via merger of:
  • A merchant bank and stockbroking company within the same banking group; or
  • Two stand-alone discount houses with one stockbroking company; or
  • A universal broker (UB) with the one discount house

On Dec 29 last year, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and Securities Commision (SC) annouced that:

  • All bank-backed discount houses now been absorbed by the merchant banks within thier banking groups. With respect to the rationalisation of merchant banks and stockbroking groups., all the entities concerned have obtained the neccessary approvals to transform into IBs.
  • KAF Kenaga Bhd, K&K Kenaga Bhd, Hwang-DBS and OSK Securities have obtained a merchant bank licences and necessary approvals to transform into IBs
  • The remaining universal brokers are still in the process of meeting the necessary pre-requisites to become IBs.

What really is an IB?

  • IBs - actually differ from the commercial bank, which mainly take deposits and make commercial and retail loans.
  • IBs - engage mainly in public and private market transactions for corporations, government, and investor.
  • IBs - also advise and assist clients with specialised industry expertise (such as technology and real estate.)
  • IBs- do securities businesses such as trading, securitisation, financial engineering, merchant banking, funding, investment, management and securities services.IBs earns fees, commisions and gains from the principal transactions.
What are the differences among the other bankings with new IBs introduction locally:
  • Merchant banks (MBs) - are allowed to take corporate clients deposit. Apart from investing the firm's own capital as well as funds raised from outside investor, MBs also do syndication loans and project financing for clients.
  • Universal broker (UBs) - are involved in corporate advisory business (such as corporate restructuring and M&As) and raising capital via equity and debt markets. They are also involved in equity and debt markets broking and underwriting businesses.
  • Discount Houses (DHs) - basically help clients to raise capital via the debt market, apart from being involved in the debt market broking business.
  • Niche brokers (NBs) - are involved in the equity market broking business. They are also allowed to undertake corporate advisory business with some restriction.

Type of IBs

To look into the future roles of the local IBs, one could perhaps look at how the IB industry has developed in US. Berfore Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) Act of 1999, there were basically two types of IBs:

  • The full-serviced IBs - offer clients a wide range of services including underwriting, M&A advisory, trading, merchant banking, securities services, prime brokerage, asset/investment management and research. (this large IBs such as Godlaman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns. In Malaysia context, AmInvestment Group-AIGB is likely classified under this category.)
  • Boutinque IBs - only focus on particular segments. Some specialise in M&As some in financial institutions and some techonology-base businesses. (e.g. Sandler O'Neill works on the financial institutions segment. Lazard specialises in asset management.)

Local IBs Challenges

Local IB industry will be facing intense competition forstered by:

  • Regulatory changes (e.g. the existing IBs will face keen competition from UBs-turn-IBs eager to get a shae of the pie)
  • Globalisation (local players facing competition from the full-fledged,foreign stockbrokers); and
  • Technology advancements

How to Make Malaysia Competitive?

It catches my thoughts when I read the Edge paper published on December 25, 2006 on “How to make Malaysia competitive” articles. I abstracted some of the quotes from the articles.

“Is Malaysia competitive today? Damaging policies remain entrenched. We can only regain our competitive edge if we are willing to abandon failed political ideas. Political leaders must be bold and courageous… must prepare to reject failed ideas and to accept the realities of the modern world. Maybe then Malaysia will regain its competitive edge.”

Abandon failed political idea- by Datuk Zaid Ibrahim (MP for Kota Baru)

“It is sad that the enormous success of NEP has had in eradicating poverty and removing identification of race and economic status as well as maintaining racial harmony is taken for granted. We are obsessed when we know, not least from watching the fallout following the financial crisis, that large equity ownership is often synonymous with unsustainable debt. We seem to ignore other more important measures of economic progress such as employment and net wealth measured on all assets classes.”

Review NEP, Judicial process – by Datuk Nazir Razak (CEO, CIMB Group)

“As it stands today, Malaysia is not moving fast enough to cope with the forces of globalization... the consequences of Malaysia’s sluggish response to a globalizing world are beginning to show. It has slipped down the ladder in terms of competitive edge in almost every aspect of economy. It is no longer a preferren destination of foreign direct investment (FDIs). According to the latest FDI rankings by Unctad, Malaysia is now in 62th place. In 1995, it was ranked sixth!”

Step up the change, Fine tune affirmative policies – by Anna Taing (The Edge)

Here read what our leaders advocate and their ideas to make Malaysia regain Malaysia competitive in global market again:

According to Tan Sri William Cheng (President, Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Malaysia):

1.Discard outdated policies, rules & regulation that discourage foreign and local investors

2.Improve the delivery system in Government department + services; means changing mindset of our official and civil servants.

3.Set up an effective “one-stop approval centre” to approve investment applications from foreign and local investors.

4.Prepare a skilled and well-educated work force to meet the market and industry requirement.

5.Revamp our education system and teaching method from primary to tertiary level, stress creativity and innovation.

6.Unite all the races in our country. We (Malaysian) can be more resilient and competitive in the global market with collective effort as united nation.

7.Place greater emphasis on R&D and application of new ICT (with tax incentive) and move up into capital and technology-intensive manufacturing to become truly developed country.

8.Adopt more open policies in trade and business. Provide incentives and aid our SME enterprises.

While, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam (President, Transparency International Malaysia), and his commented that the ways for making Malaysia competitive are:

1.The basic premise should be fair to all Malaysians, especially to the poor of all races and religions…. The NEP has enriched, maybe, 1,000 rich families, and often enough through some abuses in the system.

2.The education system must be revamped to go more for quality… we have to introduce more meritocracies at a faster pace or decide to withdraw from global competition. Perhaps reintroduce a kind of fair quota system for each race for entry into public universities and colleges.

3.The quota system reintroduced into public service. This will improve the efficiency of the public service through greater cross-pollination instead of the present inefficient inbreeding process.

4.Religious freedom and religious understanding should be enhanced considerably as a matter of top priority.

5.The equity ownership target under the NEP should be played down and instead human resource development, stepped up to improve the affirmative balance in our society.

6.Competition and meritocracy should be phased into our Malaysian way of life sooner rather than later and the subsidy syndrome should be steadily reduced.

7.Strong leadership and change mindset at all level of government and the private sector and a genuine change to face globalization.

I hope our policy makers and rulers will ponder all these vital areas! By changing their mindset and attitudes, practically implementing long term strategies to rejuvenate Malaysia’s sliding competitive edges. Not with plenty of rhetoric about what needs to be done to invigorate the domestic economy.