Saturday, February 23, 2008

..JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur Wed 20th, February 2008

Some snapshots of the Asia Business Forum (ABF) conference on Employment Law & Contracts at JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur last week. There were, among the audience/participants, 5 chairmen of the Industrial Court of Malaysia. One of the chairman ( a Datuk) asked my professional opinion whether the mediation mechanism should be merged with the industrial court to help reduce the delays in dispute resolution especially of cases that have been escalated to YB Menteri (Minister). Since the IR Dept cannot initiate it (as cautioned by Datuk), I suggested that it should then be initiated by MEF (Malaysian Employers Federation). Afterall they are also an important stakeholder that is expected to shoulder the responsibilities in ensuring a harmonious industrial relations atmosphere in this country! heheh

of lessons (in) or (to) court?

Last week February 18, I was called to testify for the second time at the Appeals Court, Palace of Justice Putrajaya. I had a valuable lesson in court. The presiding judge screwed me up hahaha for responding with open-ended answers (well...I was reminded to speak less, just say yes or no, and not introduce any new infomation that could delay submissions by both plaintiff & defendant...hahaha). I learnt my lesson alright. I have great respect for this judge. Very English, very dignified, knows his stuff, exudes an aura of great wisdom. I saw him ticked off some rookie lawyers at another court hahaha not realising that eventually I got the same bashing from His Lordship! I was probably trying to apply the new malay legal term 'melinggam' (yang bermaksud menidakkan kebenaran walaupun setelah dikemukakan dengan bukti) hahahaha....

Sunday, February 17, 2008

..of british sense of humour..

I was reading some blogpostings on wordpress and came across this really clever, intellectual and comical letter to citizens of John Cleese, my favourite British Stand-up Comedian...much like America's Jay Leno..heheh. Let's see if Jay Leno has armed himself with a much livelier rebuttal....hahahaha. Enjoy......

John Cleese’s “Letter to America”15 02 2008

Dear Citizens of America,
In view of your failure to elect a competent President and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy), as from Monday next.
Your new prime minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
1. You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up “aluminium,” and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.
2. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour’, ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix “ize” will be replaced by the suffix “ise.”
3. You will learn that the suffix ‘burgh’ is pronounced ‘burra’; you may elect to spell Pittsburgh as ‘Pittsberg’ if you find you simply can’t cope with correct pronunciation.
4. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels (look up “vocabulary”). Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.
5. There is no such thing as “US English.” We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of “-ize.”
6. You will relearn your original national anthem, “God Save The Queen”,
but only after fully carrying out Task #1 (see above).
7. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday. November 2nd will
be a new national holiday, but to be celebrated only in England. It will be called “Come-Uppance Day.”
8. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.
9. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
10. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.
11. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric immediately and without the benefit of conversion tables… Both roundabouts and metrification will help you understand the British sense of humour.
12. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling “gasoline”) - roughly $8/US per gallon. Get used to it.
13. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call french fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called “crisps.” Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with malt vinegar.
14. Waiters and waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.
15. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as “beer,” and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as “Lager.” American brands will be referred to as “Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine,” so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
16. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors as English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in “Four Weddings and a Funeral” was an experience akin to having one’s ear removed with a cheese grater.
17. You will cease playing American “football.” There is only one kind of proper football; you call it “soccer”. Those of you brave enough, in time, will be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American “football”, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a
bunch of Jessies - English slang for “Big Girls Blouse”).
18. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the “World Series” for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable and forgiven.
19. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
20. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due, backdated to 1776.
Thank you for your co-operation.
John Cleese

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

...the other 90%

Nothing interesting or exciting really...these last few days...except for today's announcement of the dissolution of cabinet by the prime minister....heheh, Cooper (author of 'the other 90%') tells us that the four (4) keystones of human fulfilment are: trust, energy, farsightedness and nerve. And that we have three (3) brains (gut, heart and mind). He said, we only use ten (10) percent of our potential in the course of a lifetime. He shares a poem for his and other's children:

" lead by example,

love as if you will live forever,

work as if you have no need for money,

dream as if no one can say no,

have fun as if you never have to grow up,

sing as if no one else is listening,

care as if everything depends on your caring,

and raise a banner where a banner never flew."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

...of fishermen & smugglers in Lanunland

I am sure there are plenty of people who are like-minded, who chose not to travel during festive holidays where the highways are jammed up, the airports, hotels and resorts both in the highlands or at the seaside are overflowed with homo sapiens. My son has been asking me,, are we not going anywhere? and I said firmly NO! Then yesterday evening I thought...hmm...why not take a quick day trip to a place not soo far away? I browsed the internet to read what residents of this crappy island (Pulau Ketam..heheh) described themselves...hahaha...according to the island website...their main preoccupation are fishing and smuggling. I like that smuggling bit hahaha. Anyway, the last time I was there, we got stuck for a few hours at Kampong Lima with a lecturer from Nottingham in 1990! Little did we realise that the next boat or ferry was hours away, there wasn't a single soul around and that the only way to the actual pulau ketam is by boat! Both these places were separated by mangrove swamps! luckily a malay fisherman in small boat offered to send us to Pulau Ketam proper! OMG! the place really hasn't changed much since.
This morning, I looked like a white man ('Kwailo' as they say in Hong Kong hahaha) during the heidays of 'Plantation Malaya' in the 1930s...wif my white polo t-shirt, khaki shorts, white socks and a pair of yellow adidas track shoes. (more like a Japanese tourist actually..haha according to my wife!). And most oustandingly, was my australian riverine guard hat I bought in Freemantle in 2005 for RM550 (bloody expensive mate!)...and o ya clad in my latest golf agent XXX type sunglasses heehee.
I spent the whole day today at Pulau Ketam with my smuggler Teocheow, Hainanese and Hokkien khakis...juggling cautiously amidst the mangrove lybyrinth of lanunland at an alarmingly treacheous low-tide situation...I take my hat off to the taiko who navigated us safely out into the open sea back to Port Klang...Thank gawd I survived to blog you that experience hihi....
Oh I forgot ... incidentally that boat could probably be owned by the German Secret Service...heheh (note the word HERR on the name plate!...hahahahahahahahaha).

...of MBAs,basils & bangsarvillages...

Henry Brooks Adams, American historian-author (1838-1918) once said that a teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. I hope that is also true in my case...heheh. Last thursday January 31st, I had lunch again with my MBA students (who have since graduated with flying colors, congratulations!), Areehan and Aznirisa above. We have been trying to go back to this Thai eatery called Basil @BangsarVillageOne. The others in the same group, could not join us. Both Areehan and Azni are two of the 25 selected future leaders of Telekom Malaysia Berhad. They were all sent to do the MBA at International Business School (IBS), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) at the City Campus, Jalan Semarak, Kuala Lumpur. They were divided into four (4) groups. I was one of the advisers, teacher, mentor and examiner. Both Areehan and Azni are now in important strategic positions within the TM group. Watch out for them....they may be CEOs sooner than you think...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

...of sand-birdies

heheh...I think the foto above deserves some explanation for non-golfers. Yesterday I was invited to play golf with Labuan Re CEO, Best Re CEO (emirates) and another golfer. We were at the 16th hole (Par 3). My first shot landed in the bunker (the sand trap behind me). My 2nd shot as I sand-wedged the golf ball out of the rolled onto the green and whoala! right into the hole! In golf, if you get the ball into the hole in 2 shots, that's called a birdie shot. In my case, the shot came from the bunker or the sand trap...that's why it's called a sand-birdie...heheh. Even Tiger Woods don't get to do that often...I am not even sure if he has experienced it (perhaps he has...hihi). Majid, CEO of Labuan Re,took that historic shot with his pearl blackberry...heheh

Sunday, February 03, 2008

...of disputes and employment law upcoming speaking engagement with Asia Business Forum is 20-21 February 2008, JW Marriot, Kuala Lumpur. The conference is 'Avoiding & Resolving Disputes in Employment Law & Contracts'. And my specific topic is 'Practical and Cost Effective Solutions for Dispute Settlement'. Key words are 'practical', 'cost effective solutions' and 'dispute settlement' whatever that means hahaha. I will be chairing the afternnon session of February 20th as well. Which is great cos ...heheh as usual I will abuse my authority to cut short other people's presentation and push mine earlier and do a quickie so that noboby would realise that I am done with my mine...hahaha and oh ya...not give anyone a chance to ask me any questions. That's rather aweful and mean, right? But hmm macamlah tak pernah buat? hahaha. It will be from the HR perspective. Not from the legal perspective...though I suspect the LB inside me may be oozing out uncontrollably if nobody stops me hahahahahaha....

Friday, February 01, 2008

...bertepian pantai...jeng3x

Lately my writings appear sad, if you noticed. Well, in between great desserts actually...heheh. I met someone familiar today. She was at the office. She was forever the person she has always been for as long as I have known her...heheh. And to think that I was the only one around who is abrasive (with my words...hahaha). There's an old saying: you can't change a leapard's skin...ever...She made some not very nice remarks about my blog. I just smiled and said to myself...hmmm who asked you to read it if you don't like it? It's your choice, right? Anyway, there's again an old malay saying: "if you're frightened of tidal waves or tsunamis, why build a house by the seaside? "or another universal quip "if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen!" heheh. Well, when you blog, when you go online, you would have already considered the risks. right? Some will love you, some will hate you, some will sneer, some will jeer...some will be jealous too I guess. But the consolation would be for those who were motivated to start or create their own blog after reading mine (hihi), or those who read and learnt something from it, or got an idea or two from what they have read. Come on man, be honest...surely not all that I have written or BS? Don't worry, I won't lose sleep over such demoralising or degrading remarks. In fact, I feel much more motivated. If I can irritate 1 million people through my blog...hah...wouldn't that be great?! hahahaha... Anyway, tau lar my blog tak famous, uwaa uhu huu... never intended to take it to fame pon...just documenting stuff (even though you know that I am a minimalist at worst, and was never a documentarian, at best! heheh)....have a great weekend folks!
'People want to be a part of something larger than themselves. They want to be part of something they're really proud of, that they'll fight for, sacrifice for, trust.' - Howard Schultz, Starbucks