Saturday, April 26, 2008

...mushroom management anyone?

Asm. wbt & greetings fellow bloggers, peminat, casual visitors , die-hard supporters (hehe) and accidental visitors too...huhuhu...

I know it is a saturday're not to be disturbed by boring blogposts...hahaha but really...I won't apologise. You must bear (bare?) with me for a few minutes. I can't wait to share them with you. I just bought this book and as I browsed through it, I like that bit where the authors crystallized the seven (7) perspectives on management which are:

classical (1910-1950);

human relations (1940-1970);

decision theory (1950-1970);

work activity (1970s);

competencies (1980s);

critical (1990 - present); and

learning (1990 -present)

-management research, 3rd edition 2008, Mark Easterby-Smith, Richard Thorpe, Paul R Jackson

Then at the concluding page of chapter 1, a new term called 'mushroom management' was introduced. Anyone knows what mushroom management is? hahaha...ok ok..the authors having described the seven perspectives of management above and contend that there are other schools of thought about management and that 'mushroom management' is where you keep everyone in the dark and every now and then you open the door and drop a pile of shit on them!...hahahahaha...sounds familiar at your workplace eh? I'd be very interested to know, lets see how many Malaysians practice mushroom management...hahaha...cheers folks...enjoy the rest of the weekend!...

Friday, April 25, 2008


The world's a stage, men & women merely actors....sounds familiar doesn't it? I have not been blogging for about 4 days now? Much has happened. Food crisis is now a global concern. Premier Brown of Britain is under tremendous pressure from peers. Tun Mahathir was interviewed on Hardtalk BBCworld. We had our audit and board meeting yesterday. There was still news on the case of a former minister alleged to have hug a woman in the mainstream media today. The ex-minister apparently is still overseas...hehe. Well, that's the way of the world, I guess. Someone must be after his jugular vein, poor fellow. Let us wait for the parliament to be in session and listen to the queries, questions, and/or demands of the 82 new opposition MPs. Then you will know or at least get a feel...of what we are really going to be up against. Being upset, disdained or totally fed-up with with BN MPs (inclusive of UMNO, MCA & MIC) and the state assemblymen and displaying that fury at the ballot table, can have its share of flaws and risks & rewards hehe. It is easy to say, oh if we don't like someone or if he or she doesn't deliver, we will remove him/her at the next PRU. Easier said than done. The damage caused could be worse than the subprime mortgage debacle in the US...hehe. Let us wait a little bit longer, when all dusts have settled..hihi. Problem is, the dust will never settle, cos even as I blog, at this very moment...some asshole is kicking up dust all over the place...everywhere and anywhere....and where art thou oh romeo?...

...and he who filches from me my good name

Robs me of that which not enriches him,

And makes me poor indeed.


have a great weekend folks! cheerio...

Monday, April 21, 2008

...a tribute to raymond earnest brammah

Raymond Earnest Brammah or fondly known as REB, was my ex-boss when I was with OUP. John Arthur Nicholson (JAN) who succeeded him was not as cunning as he (REB) was. John married a local tunku and his name became Johan Arthur Nicholson. JAN is around somewhere I think. When he retired from OUP East Asia, he set up his own publishing company called Falcon Press. Many people in the Press in East Asia have retired and probably some are not even around anymore. God Bless their souls. REB saw the need to set up PFB, meant for publishing in the local language, Malay. And the first imprint was 'Buaya Mati Dua Kali' translated from 'A Crocodile Dies Twice' (first published by Oxford University Press). This North Yorkshire English gentleman had influenced alot of my thinking. It was a privilege to have been associated with him, intellectually of course...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

...asam di darat, ikan di laut, di dalam kuali bertemu jua

Yesterday morning at about 1030AM I was asked to be spokesperson for a friend's wedding at TTDI. The male entourage was from Malacca and I would have thought that OMG (oh my Gawd!) they will drown me in soo much pantun that I would be down with pantun fever soon afterwards..haha. No, they didn't. This must be the folks from a no pantun zone..hahaha. It was swift, they came they saw, they conquer! (veni, vedi, veci in latin). The groom came swiftly, sat on the dais, repeated after the kadi in one breath...and whoala they were husband n wife in a jiffy! Much like KL drift (the malaysian version of Tokyo drift..hahaha). The food was great. I am still blurred as to how nasir and bib could have coaxed me into being the wakil pengantin pompuan ..ish ish. and the only pantun that I googled to sober up the majlis was:
malam berinai disebut orang
memagar diri dari jembalang
supaya hajat tidak terhalang
supaya niat tidak tergalang
supaya sejuk mata memandang
muka bagai bulan mengambang
serinya naik tuah pun datang
adat tuan adat beserah
mari datang membawa puan
adat bersirih adat sejarah
untuk tuan kami sembahkan
That was the wedding ( well, nikah ceremony) of noni shamsila bt osman and marikh azahari bin ramley at 64 athinahappan 7, ttdi...... in you're wondering, noni reads the bernama news on ASTRO. Marrying people off, being wakil tuan rumah or spokesperson...hmmm makes one feel 'old', retired and having come of they say.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

first class infra, third class maintenance mentality...

I notice the flowers on the trees, yes, its that time of year again. I took my morning brisk walk this morning at the SS7 lakeside. They have done it quite well, with jogging tracks and all. The lake cleaned and placed with water sprouts and a row of shop/office lots (mostly unoccupied yet) adorn the lakeside. The developer named it Plaza Kelana Jaya. I can't imagaine what will happen to the lake when the plaza is fully occupied. We have this famous mentality...first class infrastructure but third class maintenance mentality. As I walked, I couldn't help noticing these signboards put up presumably by MBPJ...thinking that all's done and that everything will be ok. No, no, no.....absolutely NO. It has to be managed, supervised, and constantly monitored...wastes, rubbish need to be taken care off at least every other day. Wannabe fishermen leave behind styrofoams, plastic drink bags, and yes, there is a park management office nearby, under the local council. So? what do you think these guys do? eat nasi lemak, then I was told, one tan sri walking with me this morning, it seems like a typical almost all local councils throughout the nation...lack of supervision...hmmm sounds familiar. Anyway, about time malaysians really become much more civic-minded...hehe take a hike and enjoy the weekend folks....

Friday, April 18, 2008

...amanah saham week & the conspiracy theory?

I normally get invited to almost ALL of PNB's events. Well, probably because I am still named secretary of a PNB company so to speak (even though after the IPO, PNB's remaining stake at HTP is less than 19%, I think...hehe and the fact that I have not retired, I guess I am still on the invite list...hahaha. But no, wait a minute, I used to get an invitation card far all the opening and closing of minggu amanah saham PNB...until 2 years ago...suddenly no invite no card, nothing. I find it rather strange because, the the recent 30 year anniversary celebrations, I got invited to all the events, tahlil, dinner and all...heheh. They even sent me a whole stack of invites for me to distribute but this minggu amanah saham...I got nothing...I find it strange...not that I want to be invited, but like there 's some kind of conspiracy, like someone is blocking me or like there's a conspiracy well, sabotage to put it worries...I will definitely not lose sleep over it. Hehe. Saves me the trouble of driving to Malacca...hihi Lets put it this way, many young men in a hurry, and if one puts white mice in a small container, soon it will get crowded and the mice becomes aggresive and start eating each other! If you know what I mean...hehe...hahahaha

Sunday, April 13, 2008

...success-an overate virtue..or is it?

Some people act and think as though they had not been born mortals as others were, but had been carefully lowered from heaven - Sean O' Casey. Life is such a rat race that in some societies, nothing matters more than success. Need I tell you more of what the motivating factors the likes of success can do to people like Sufiah? Yes it can rear its ugly head, it can be devastating to so many people, but to some, they use it to make a joke out of it...coining terms like prostitutes galore and implicating a whole ethnic group at that...ish ..notti notti RPK. I won't agree or disagree here, really its a matter of opinion and interpretation but I'd rather stick to my notion I have held close to my heart the last 30 years...of what success really is. The poem inscribed on that wooden photo above, given to me by someone 30 years ago, still hangs in my study until today. Whenever I take time off to reflect, I read the words...anonymously written. Comforting me, giving me a self-adjusting mechanism so I don't hate the world, be too sad at others' failures or brood excessively over my own shortcomings or failures or grudged others of their successes. The words speak by itself. It is soo therapeutic and if it has put me in good stead all these while, I don't see why it should not do the same to you, well, at the very least....hehe. I speak truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little more as I grow older - MONTAIGNE, Essays III

Ceramics: elitist or egalitarian passion?

First published in Peking in 1938, Early Ming Wares of Chingtechen became the standard work on the wares of the reigns of Yung Lo (1403-24) and Hsuan Te (1426-35). The author Brankston, brought to the subject a rare combination of taste and enthusiasm, documentation from Chinese sources and knowledge gained in the field. It remains an important pioneering work.

Legend and Reality was originally published as a catalogue for a series of exhibitions in European cities in 1977 (the year I joined OUP) & 1978. It has been included in the Oxford in Asia Studies in Ceramics series because the publishers feel the material presented wil help bring about a wider appreciation of, and stimulate an increasing interest in the earl-y ceramics of SEAsia in general and of Thailand and Khmer in particular...

nothing like stacking them up for posterity...hahaha....

The Tao Shuo, or Description of Chinese Pottery, by Chu Yen, was the first work written on the subject of chinese ceramics. It has been described by Bushell as a series of extracts gathered from a vast field of native literature, loosely strung together and accompanied by a running commentary by the author, and has come to be regarded no less in China than in the West as an important work of reference on the subject. The Tao Shuo, translated for his own use by Dr S W Bushell, physician to the British Legation in Peking, was completed in Peking in 1891, and published by the Clarendon Press Oxford in 1910. Being an unrevised and unedited posthumous work, it suffers from deficiencies and defects, as the only complete western-language translation of this importance treatise, the value of the Tao Shuo as a work of reference to the original sources of the literature is indisputable...

Amongst the wealth of ceramic ware from south east asia, the ceramics of the Khmer empire of Angkor are probably the least well-known, just as this aspect of the art and culture of the great civilisation is also the least explored. In this important contribution to the growing body of literature on the ceramics of the region, the author presents the first comprehensive study of the Khmer ceramics. The study examines the backgound, influences, characteristics, shapes and uses of this branch of the ceramic industry and provides the reader with a composite picture of the Khmer contribution to the craft. The volume is lavishly illustrated with twenty-five colour plates and more than 100 black & white pictures and drawings of examples of Khmer ware, providing examples many of which are in private collections and therefore not accessible to the general public. Dr Dawn Rooney is an art historian and reside and works in Bangkok...

This book brings to the attention of collectors, ceramicists and historians a virtually unknown group of kilns that have previously been considered, if at all, as poor country cousins of the well known ones at Sukhotai. It is understandable that so little is known about Northern Thai ceramics and its importance...

The above books are my most prized collection which I have kept for 30 years now. My ex-boss Raymond Earnest Brammah, MD & Publisher, or OUP Travellers (as we were known those days..) was the first North Yorksire Englishman who first opened the OUP office in Malaya in 1954. I picked up a liking and an interest (not so much a passion cos you gotta have deep pockets to start collecting antiques and ceramics..heheh) in ceramics during my travels with him to all the antique shops in Pekan, Kuala Trengganu and Kota Baru in those good ole days. We somtimes do it together with T Kawawaki, his confidante and close friend, manager of OUP Tokyo. It has been a while since I last met Kawawaki san...I hope he is still alive...

This ceramic legacy of asia's maritime trade is a catalogue of the Song Dynasty Guangdong Wares and other 11th to 19th century Trade Ceramics found on Tioman Island, Malaysia. It is a catalogue of the second members; exhibition of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society, West Malaysia Chapter, held in Muzium Seni Asia, Universiti Malaya, April 1981.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend folks...if I have triggered an interest in ceramics to any of you reading my satisfaction par excellence enough for know what?...don't you get bored with management, leadership, board meetings and all that stressful stuff? hehe... take a break, pick a book, new hobby...rejuvenate yourself...hehe..

Saturday, April 12, 2008

...of mugs and muggings..hehe

This very special hardrock cafe mug was brought back for me by Datuk Prof Zawawi when he was last in Silicon Valley, California, attending a VISA international meeting. He thought that starbucks mugs were boring and got this hardrock one instead...hahaha. Cool man! thank you prof!

Some of my prized collection of starbugs collectors' item coffee mugs in my study, coming from from as far as New York. Lausanne, Korea, Tokyo, Geneva and that one from the Emirates was courtesy of Noriswadi (thanks bro..hehe). I have this strange love affair with mugs. Not that I was a mugger at school nor do I enjoy mugging people in the dark corners of Lorong Haji Taib Satu, Kuala Lumpur! hahaha. But yes, it's one of my pet likes, my unconscious hobby/pastime if you may. If someone is travelling and I have not been there or that I missed picking up a starbucks mug, I'd ask a friend in the airline sector to pick it up for me..heehee. I am well towards recovery from this dreadful no heavy blogging stuff this time around. Enjoy the rest of the weekend folks!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

...the sunday that never was....

ya ya who would be interested in my health anyway? I thought I was recovering...hurmm suddenly I get these sneezes..owh shit! last sunday I was shivering away again. Second bout of the dreaded flu. So much so I was unable to attend MNRB Holdings Berhad President & group CEO, Anuar Hassan's daughter's wedding reception. He is on my board. I had planned to attend together with Datuk Peng ( petname among frens hehe) retired SIRIM CEO. And I had also planned to attend our alumni (University of Hull Malaysia) AGM at the Royal Lake Club at 3pm. Well, Murphy's Law...if anything is to go will go wrong...heheh. I text a message of apology and regrets to the outgoing committee and you know what? 2 hours later a text message came in, congratulating me as the new President of the The University of Hull Alumni Association in Malaysia! wow...another thankless job? hehe. I had pledged to regroup, rebrand, restrategise and re-energise the alumni and lead the new exco to bring back glory and dignity to the alumni. If you know of anyone who had studied at Hull University,UK would you kindly redirect them to me please? cheers folks...time for my antibiotics and beauty sleep again...hohoho...

Saturday, April 05, 2008

..of PNB's 30th anniversary dinner and Datuk Raof's Son's wedding reception

You would have probably noticed that I have not been updating my blog as frequently as I used to. Well, for one, I am still 'under repair' still 'a bit under the weather' as the British would say. I missed the I-SAFE committee meeting in Stuttgart on April 2 and the Aber Easter Reunion in Cardiff this year 4-6 april. I will miss the coldest easter in 95 years I was told. No...absolutely enjoyable pastime blogging has not waned...despite some deregatory and highly unmotivating remarks that I got...I will continue to document my thoughts and selected events perhaps for posterity for some, to be shared with those others who are like-minded for others...hehe

Last nite I was at PNB's (National Equity Corporation) 30th ANniversary Dinner at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC). The PM was late...his aircraft could not take off from Kuching because of bad weather and heavy rains...well at least that's what he told us during his speech. We only got to have our dinner at 945pm! Thank gawd, I had an omelette sandwich after friday prayers...and at about 6pm had this tummy-a-calling that I should get hold of a hot lemon tea and fried bananas balinese style at ASEANA cafe, Suria KLCC...hehe. I was seated next to Dato' Dr Mohd Ariffin Hj Aton (former CEO of SIRIM) and old fren and we live in the same neighbourhood. Discussions moved from political issues, post-erection analyses and menopause...hahaha. I am tempted to share with you those discussions but ...hehe...let me do that when I retire...or when I am no longer gainfully employed (wink). We left early about 1030pm...and realised we were not alone...hahaha. It would have been nice if we had spotted YAB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's presence...hehe but we did hear his name mentioned by PNB chairman, Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji.

At 1245pm today (that's about 2 hours ago) I attended a wedding reception of Datuk Raof''s son at Shahalam. There really has been quite many weddings over the past week. Hmmm can be a strain, this OBE (off or unbudgeted expenses!). Not to be confused with OBE (Order of the British Empire) or I prefer the other one OBE (One Ball Extra...hahaha). One good thing about weddings and I say this again and get a chance to meet long lost buddies. Tadi I met Ali Derus my UPM classmate, he is now with JPN Labuan. Bumped into Datuk Ahmad Dahan Royal Military College mafia hahaha. Spotted, former Educaton DG Datuk Shukor, current DG Datuk Alimudin (he was also at the PNB dinner last night). Also met my wife's current boss. Her ex-boss Tuan Rusli Rashikin. Said he has read my blog and complained that I got his name wrongly spelt...heheh thousand apologies tuan sahib! I hope I got it right this time around sir? hehe. Thank you for reading my oxymoronic rantings...hahaha. The food was great, just nice, not to much... well, that's about it for now...enjoy the rest of the weekend folks...