The general counsel & company secretary of UOB Bank told me that TopHat restaurant at Kia Peng had one of the best oxtail stews in town. After several failed appointments (hahaha) we managed to check it out today. Maria Danker, the owner was there to greet us. I have not been there for quite sometime now. Must go back there again. They always have great food. Ya Ya and I forgot to capture that great stew with my new toy LG KU990 viewty camera phone (5MPixels)..hahaha. But just the same, in order not to disapoint you...enjoy the desserts we had hahaha. I had my favorite apple banana crumble with vanilla ice-cream while my host had that ermm chocolatey whatever it was with orange ice-cream topping...heheh. Met another general counsel & cosec of another public-listed company there as well...hihi.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
I was in the car this morning on the way to the office, and as usual the route will take us near Tan Sri Megat Junid's hollywood bungalow at SS7 just opposite Kelab Golf Negara Subang (KGNS). I happen to share the neighbourhood and my little cottage is just metres or yards away from his house. As I got near the house there was a little detour and I saw alot of people. I asked someone and they said to me Tan Sri had passed away this morning at about 5 am. Innalillahi wa inna lillahi rajiun...I stopped to join streams of politicians, pensioners, others who were roaming the corridors of power as well as those still haunting those very corridors of power...hahaha. Minutes later Tun Mahathir our immediate past prime minister came out of the house only to be swarmed by the media. Many common people and dignitaries came to give their last respects to the late Tan Sri. I met many people, too many to list them down, as they say...only at childbirths, weddings, or funerals do we sometimes get the opportunity to meet long lost friends. We must always be thankful to Allah almighty of our good health and being able to wake up the next morning to continue contributing in whatever little way that we can for mankind's greater good....still...one really never can tell...
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
"Broker's clients detail web of dashed dreams"
"When Marcia Neilson couldn't qualify for a home loan in early 2006 because of poor credit, her mortgage broker, Nicole Lyder, had an unusual solution: Add Neilson's daughter to the loan application.
"Neilson's 21-year-old daughter had just lost her job, but Lyder remained undeterred. 'That wasn't a problem,' Neilson recalled her broker saying.
"Neilson's real estate agent said Lyder enlisted him to drive Neilson and her daughter to Brockton City Hall. The pair filled out a business certificate that claimed they owned a hair salon in Brockton.
"The Neilsons qualified for a mortgage and bought a Dorchester house in June 2006 for $565,000. Last fall, Marcia Neilson learned from state investigators looking into Lyder's business practices that her loan application was padded in other ways: a statement for a $25,000 bank account in Neilson's name that she had no knowledge of.
"Fake documents, a phantom borrower, and other irregularities were common features of five subprime mortgages brokered by Lyder between November 2005 and June 2006 that were examined by the Boston Globe. Lyder's clients ranged from the barely employed to struggling working-class couples; one had just left a homeless shelter and two others gave up government-subsidized housing to buy homes. They said Lyder arranged loans that they later realized had monthly payments that far exceeded their means. All five loans are now in foreclosure." (courtesy of tompeters blog)
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Jan 17th 2008 From The Economist print edition
Sir John Harvey-Jones, manager extraordinaire, died on January 9th, aged 83
IN THE winter of 1946-47, when ice and snow lay thick across Europe, John Harvey-Jones found himself in charge of bands of Germans and Russians dismantling Wilhelmshaven docks. The docks were to be shipped to Russia as war reparations. Naturally, the two squads of workers hated each other. Every advance was followed by slippage and obstruction before, at long last, the job was done. Mr Harvey-Jones, then a young naval lieutenant, was there because he spoke both languages. It sowed the seeds of a career in man-management.
He was born two years before Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) was formed in 1926, and died within days of the disappearance of ICI as an independent company after its takeover by a Dutch competitor last year. When he became chairman in 1982 the company was making a loss, bleeding heavily from the harsh effects of Margaret Thatcher's economic policies on British manufacturing. Industrial customers for its plastics, paints and pigments were shrinking or going bust. Sir John knew whom to blame, once describing the prime minister as British manufacturing's greatest handicap.
That got him noticed. His biggest impact, however, came when he presented “Troubleshooter”, a pioneering BBC TV series that aimed to interest the general public in the nitty-gritty of running a business. Before long he became the best known boss in the country. Cameras in tow, he would breeze into a company, dispensing blunt criticism, bonhomie and brisk advice in equal portions. The series attracted 3m viewers, outshining stodgier business programmes, though with none of the cruelty attending “Dragons' Den”. Sir John was sharp in order to be kind.
He did not always get it right. Had Morgan, a specialist maker of old-fashioned, hand-built sports cars, taken his advice to modernise and expand, it would have gone bust in the recession of the early 1990s. Instead, it largely stuck to its niche market and thrives to this day. Sir John combined his TV career with dozens of non-executive roles, including—from 1989 to 1994—chairman of The Economist. When he took up that job, he invited the then CEO out to dinner, asked him what his vision was, and mauled him until, by coffee time, some sort of grand plan for the future had emerged. The Harvey-Jones mantra, both in management and in media, was the need to confront change as the only way to survive.
The hunter, not the hunted
Sir John's climb up the ICI ladder began in the 1950s, as a time-and-motion man at the huge petrochemicals complex at Wilton on Teesside, in north-east England. This site, the very symbol of post-war British industry with its dramatic floodlit skyline by the Tees, was the beating heart of the company, taking in oil and gas, brewing up and piping out the potions that supplied other ICI factories around the country. Later, as deputy chairman for petrochemicals, he tackled sour industrial relations and disjointed management at the plant. If workers at Wilton downed tools (and Sir John was quick to spot the stirrings of industrial unrest that were to lead to the “winter of discontent” in 1978-79), the whole company would grind to a halt within days. His job was to keep the site humming.
He was never an obvious candidate to lead this champion of industrial technology. He was neither an accountant nor a chemist; the only time he donned a white coat was in his early years at Wilton. Before that, he might have been a sailor. He went straight from Dartmouth College in Devon into the Royal Navy during the war, was torpedoed twice, and then went into submarines, typically opting to become the hunter rather than the hunted. After the war, with his German and Russian, he spent some time in the intelligence service “driving small boats in the Baltic”, as he put it. But management soon became his first love.
By the time he reached its boardroom, ICI was rapidly becoming less imperial, less chemical and less industrial. The days of sprawling chemical companies were over; investors wanted more focused, individual businesses. The firm started to unravel less than ten years after Sir John's departure, when a threatened bid from two corporate raiders exposed its weaknesses. An expensive foray into speciality chemicals loaded it with too much debt. Even Wilton had to be sold off to Americans. ICI dropped out of the FTSE 100 list of leading British companies, and may survive only as a brand. The bellwether of British industry, and the man who symbolised it, went out together.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
1977 : Long hair
2007 : Longing for hair
1977 : KEG
2007 : EKG
1977 : Acid rock
2007 : Acid reflux
1977 : Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
2007 : Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
1977 : Seeds and stems
2007 : Roughage
1977 : Hoping for a BMW
2007 : Hoping for a BM
1977 : Going to a new, hip joint
2007 : Receiving a new hip joint
1977 : Rolling Stones
2007 : Kidney Stones
1977 : Screw the system
2007 : Upgrade the system
1977 : Parents begging you to get your hair cut
2007 : Children begging you to get their heads shaved
1977 : Passing the drivers' test
2007 : Passing the vision test
1977 : whatever
2007 : Depends
Friday, January 18, 2008
Guests from left: Dr Sharifah Mariam, Assoc Prof Dr Shakila Yacob, Dr Khatijah Khalid (all three from the International Institute of Public Policy and Management (INPUMA) Universiti Malaya, Datuk Saein former Deputy Director-General of Inland Revenue, MOCCCIS Secretary, Hj Yusra, Hj Razi, YBhg Tan Sri Datuk Seri (Dr) Abdullah bin Ayub (partly hidden) & Datuk Dr Zaini Ariff
The Main VIP table: clockwise YBhg Datuk Rafiah Salim Vice-Chancellor Universiti Malaya, YBhg Datuk Seri Ibrahim Shah Vice-Chancellor UiTM, Allan Blewitt Chief Executive ACCA Global, Tan Sri Arshad partly hidden, Puan Sri hidden, Datuk Khalid, Nik Hasyudeen and Datuk Abdul Samad Alias the 2006 recipient of ACCA global achievement award
Tan Sri Arshad delivering his acceptance speech
well of course, the photos would normally not be complete... if it does not include a pose of me...hahaha... seated next to Dr Sharifah Mariam Deputy Director/MPP Coordinator, at the International Institute of Public Policy & Management (INPUMA) University of Malaya
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
YBhg Dato'Hj Salamat Wahit CEO Puspakom, Hamdan of AmAssurance, yours truly and Zazali Mohd Yatim of Takaful-Ikhlas before boarding bus in front of Tulip Hotel Portsmouth, UK
Group shot with Groupama Insurance Management, Portsmouth, UK
Freak shot of yours truly with British Bobbies, in front of Lloyds of London..heheh
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person. When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Monday, January 07, 2008
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Friday, January 04, 2008
Topic: Leadership and Organizational Studies
Reprint 49214; Winter 2008, Vol. 49, No. 2, pp. 23-27
Observers are often amazed when executives with impressive track records are mysteriously transformed into corrupt and tyrannical monsters once they become chief executive officers. In truth, these executives often had serious character flaws that were either hidden or ignored for years. Corporate boards and search committees are not likely to detect personality problems of promising CEO candidates simply by examining their resumes or by conducting standard job interviews. This raises the question of how corporate boards or CEO search committees can penetrate the facade of an upwardly mobile executive who is, in reality, a wolf in sheep's clothing.What danger signals do these individuals exhibit and what measures can be taken to reduce the likelihood of hiring a dysfunctional CEO? The author identifies eight potential danger signals including: an obsession with acquiring prestige, power, and wealth; a proclivity for developing grandiose strategies with little thought toward their implementation; and a fondness for a data-driven management style that overshadows or ignores a broader vision. Even sterling CEOs occasionally exhibit one or more of the danger signals described here. Potentially bad CEOs, however, usually possess several of these characteristics, and they exhibit them repeatedly.There is no ideal method for selecting a CEO, and there may be no executive position that provides a true test of a person's fitness to assume the top job, but there are several ways that a company can limit its risks when deciding on a CEO. Boards are usually cautious when looking at CEO candidates from outside the organization. They are more likely to be lulled into a sense of complacency, however, when considering an internal candidate. Some suggestions for screening prospective CEOs include disregarding the time-tested rule that past success is a predictor of future success, performing a thorough background check that focuses on a candidate's integrity and interpersonal skills and using experience-based interviews to test CEO finalists.
Terry Leap is a professor of management at Clemson University. He is the author of Dishonest Dollars: The Dynamics of White-Collar Crime (Cornell University Press, 2007). Comment on this article or contact the author through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Please do visit visit the youtube url below and enjoy the cosmic surreal and owh sooo therapeutic feel:
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
No, the first picture above is not taken with an astronomy telescope heheh...it was captured about 5 hours ago with a 3.2 Mega Pixel K800i sony-ericsson mobile phone at Felda Perdana Ballroom, Kuala Lumpur. Looks like outer space at night, isn't it? Like a scene from one of those science fiction movies...heheh. And why not? That was specially done by Felda Perdana Ballroom as a theme for the wedding of the son of my good friend Datuk Dr Daud Mohamed, Director-General of Academy Nukliar Malaysia (formerly Malaysian Institute of Nuclear Technology or MINT in short). I knew Daud when he was Dr Daud (or DD as his staff would passionately refer to him) Deputy Director-General of MINT at the time. I came to be close to him when he attended one of my speaking engagements at Marriot Hotel, KL. It was a performance management tingy KRA/KPI stuff for government sector where I presented a paper. That began my professional/personal relationship with YBhg Datuk. Since then, I have been invited to speak at a number of their conferences, led a strategic direction session with the senior management of MINT at Pan Pac Hotel KLIA and had given a 2 hour lecture at one of their inter-research institutions training program on knowledge management (whatever that means...hahaha). Thank you Datuk for placing me just now, at the VIP table together with UTM vice-chancellor Tan Sri Zulkifli and UUM former VC Datuk Mohd Nor Salleh. Next to my table was Prof Fauzi, Dean of Economics, UKM. Others spotted were, Tan Sri Tajuddin Ali, Chairman of UEMWorld, Datuk Habsah VC UKM, Datuk Dr Rais, retired MAMPU Dir-Gen and until three(3) months ago was VC of Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI). He told me he is now Chairman of MQA (formerly LAN or Lembaga Akreditasi Negara). The last foto was of course everyone's favourite...hahaha. Weddings at Perdana Felda Ballroom would be utterly and incomprehensibly incomplete without the signature dessert of tapai (fermented glutinous rice) with vanilla ice-cream...ummmph...yummmy!! hahaha. Tan Sri Zul related to me that at one of the weddings he had attended, they served caramel instead of the usual tapai and knowing my ex-boss Tan Sri Arshad....he got away with his naughty request...they did serve him the tapai with vanilla ice-cream! hahahaha...hmmm talk about the power of persuasion huh? NEW YEAR resolutions? hah plenty...i must say..but we will discuss that at a later blog perhaps? hihi....meantime wishing everyone a joyous and prosperous 2008!