Friday, August 29, 2008

Merdeka 51 & Ramadhan Al Mubarak

Soon it will be Merdeka 51 for Malaysians but looking back at Merdeka 50, the air of celebrations is so much in contrast. There were so many changes in terms of political stability and economical pressures. The current political landscape and economical downturns has created this somber looks among Malaysians. Everybody seemed to have something to complain be it at home, work or running of the country.

The reality is Malaysian has changed and majority of the Rakyat have changed their mindset in terms expectations and aspirations. Gone were the days when the Rakyat can be threatened or bought with subsidies and goodies. In fact they are becoming INDEPENDENT in determining their political affiliations and in pursuing the new Malaysia.

For those who fail to accept the change and reinvent themselves, they will become outdated and out of trends. Counting their demise and extinction. Although there are two schools of thoughts on the results of Permatang Pauh by election, but the verdict is clear beating BN will be the trends for the few years to come especially to the young voters of 45 years and below. In fact more then 35% of the older, felt this way too. I was surprised when a 57 years old taxi driver was all for the change during our heavy political chat this morning. He was so excited to convince me and even slowed down his taxi to prolong our chat.

Whatever it is, in the spirit of Merdeka 51, I really hope the storm that bashing the ship called Malaysia will eventually passed through without wrecking her and we will all arrive in the safe haven for the benefit of future generations. We may have to jettison few cargoes and personality to achieve this.

To All Great Malaysians Happy MERDEKA 51

To fellow Muslims I take this opportunity to ask for forgiveness for whatever wrong I did throughout of our friendship and encounters. May Allah give you strength, health and patience to observe the Ramadhan Al Mubarak. May our fasting and good deeds be accepted and rewarded by God Almighty. Amen.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Life after Retirement?

Time really flies, in a couple of years I will be retiring from current employer. I was avoiding the course on “Preparing for Retirement” for quite sometime despite good recommendation from many friends. Last week I changed my mind and attended the program at Melaka Holiday Inn with twenty others. Interestingly it turned out to be an enjoyable and very informative program and worth the money paid by my company.

There were so many things that I took for granted and neglected so far but finally became a priority to me and fellow participants. Some of the things that I have been practicing for quite a few years now are being reaffirmed as positive moves in preparation for retirement. The program was made very interesting by the principal trainer Syed Abd Aziz who used not only his knowledge but lifetime experience to drive in the points and reality of life.

I have never trust an insurance man nor unit trust sellers and the trainers reaffirmed my instinct that you need to avoid getting into the trap of these two salespersons. We need to understand how the two system works fully before committing to it, otherwise we will become the casualty of the system. I keep most of my hard earned savings in the ASN, ASP and ASB (fixed investment) and surprisingly the trainer who is master sellers in insurance and unit trust did the same thing with his savings.

Some of the learning objectives covered in the course are:

1. To take steps to appreciate phases of life retirees will go through upon retirement.
2. To take steps to be mentally, physically and emotionally prepared during these transition phases.
3. To explain step on how to make investment decisions and evaluate opportunities.
4. To identify wealth protection measures.
5. To identify opportunities where retirees can serve the society and nation.
6. To explore select areas of interest.
7. To develop a network and support group.

In the nut cell the programs covers: Preparation of Retirement, Financial Planning, Investment, Protection and Estate Planning, Entrepreneurship, Healthy Aging, Volunteerism, Hobbies and Leisure.

As the result from the program I am now changing my paradigm from dependence to independence, breaking away from the employee mentality to entrepreneurship. I am working towards replacing my existing perks and incentives with new suitable alternative choices such as:

1. My own medical and insurance program.
2. Program to protect my capital.
3. Choosing suitable investment vehicle to transport my wealth through final life phase.
4. Preparing myself with spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical stability to wage through the independence paradigm.

As for my investment direction it will be heavy on fixed instrument instead of equity based investment. There will be about 25% exposure on strategic properties to spread out my basket of investment, while knowledge and experience will be used heavily on business and entrepreneurship ventures. The knowledge, experience and network will be used to offset financial commitment in business ventures and hopefully it will minimize my financial risk.

I have to write a will now to ensure that whatever I have will be properly administered and distributed among my wife and children when I am not around. The last thing that I want will be for them to quarrel over my little properties and to ensue they will have a better future even without me.

I have set my new mission to be the role model to my family and society in wealth creations and sharing. To achieve balance life in spiritual, health and wealth. My KPIs have gone beyond me; it will be based on the performance and success of my children and people around me. It will be based on how much I give back to the people and universe.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fruits of Labor

My only rambutan tree

Ehemmm see the fruits

Remember the green rambutans in My Garden posting. Well it’s yellow now, sweet, juicy and delicious. Beside my neighbors and friends the musang, squirrels, bats and birds have been having a field day enjoying the fruits.

U Lee sorry x mail u's sweet, juicy and delicious

The single 18 years old rambutan tree has never failed to given me the coziness of plucking and eating rambutans in my own garden. You need to plant, care, nourish and the tree will never failed you. Just like a friendship.
You get what you plant no!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tribute to Wan Azizah Wan Ismail

Datuk Seri Wan Azizah

In September 1998 her husband was arrested, charged in court for abused of power and jailed. Although the main charge then was sodomy but it doesn’t stick, so they put him in on power abused. They thought Datuk Seri Wan Azizah will break down and fade away alongside his jailed husband.

But all the calculations and predictions were wrong, she fought like a wounded warrior. She even retained the Permatang Pauh seat when all the other PKR candidates went down on the BN onslaught in 2004. When the powerful ruling party was laughing at her seemed hopeless battle she kept her course with dozen of faithful lieutenants. Of course in 2008 she created history when PKR became giant killer and the Pakatan Rakyat almost outruns the BN at the Federal Level and captured five states. She became the first women opposition leader. She may be a reluctant politician but very good at it.

You may hate Anwar Ibrahim but it's difficult to dislike this woman. In fact she will become a legend in Malaysian history for a woman who not only stand by his husband but fight on against the mighty ruling party. She was more then a loving wife that gave up her seat for her husband, but a woman who willingly sacrifice her tears, blood and power for the love of the family. Right or wrong this hero deserved to be applauded and recognized as a testimony to women success in overcoming tremendous challenge in life and politics.