June 30, 2009

Journalism is dead?

Journalism is Dead

When I heard about the death of Michael Jackson, I read of it through Twitter, then through websites and blogs and finally, just for the heck of it, I turned on the television. It was more out of habit than trying to really see whether there are new developments and more as a compliment to the news that I have already known. Just imagine, the image of those prisoners doing dances which are associated to the King of Pop, I managed to catch it way before the 8 o'clock news on one of the premier network station in Malaysia. It shows how I finally changed my way of trying to catch news through the way that we have been thought to do. Read newspaper and turn on the tele. 

Over the weekend, 2 articles try to analyse the issue of how journalism is a dying career. In that articles, the writers, who are journalists, wrote about how even newspaper have realised that they cannot filter news like they use to. I wrote yesterday about how the media themselves think that they need to embrace the supposedly new media. The bosses, which are mostly editors, have asked their reporters to humanised themselves by twitting, blogging and telling the news like it is. Journalists are now humans, not just a name, which is a kind of a signature and when you get to know one of them, you will relate them to the stories or articles that they have written. Not they themselves.

In Malaysia, changes in the government of the day has resulted in a few journalists, who some of them were promised higher positions, were fired in mid-term. They ran off to write their own blogs and became more powerful with these new voices. Some even say they were the ones who brought down the old government. They are their own editor. They were sued but their fellow journalists rallied and formed associations in order to let their voices be heard. When the leaders changed (not the government), they were called once again and are currently head television stations and even newspaper. As they realised the losing battle the old media is fighting  against the new media, they asked (no, commanded) their reporters to have theior own blogs.

The question I am really asking is, has journalism is dead due to the advancement of new ways for you to access news like Twitter and such or is it dead due to bad quality of reporting?

I ask questions but there is this one site which discuss this real well. You can access it here. Let me know what you think the future of jounalism is.

June 29, 2009

The media bloggers at the PJ Challenge Bloggers 'K'arnival

If the first person who did the presentation was a celebrity blogger, the next blogger is what I would label a media blogger. His name is Niki Cheong and he is a journalist. He has a blog called the Niki Cheong.com and he manages the Youth section of one of the biggest newspaper in Malaysia, the Star. It was quite surprising that he still manages to blog as other than doing reporting, he has a column in that newspaper. I mean, this guy writes nearly 24/7. It can be said that he really writes for a living.

Here's a picture of the handsome Bangsar Boy

However, his presentation was more on the part of balancing your time as a journalist, a columnist and a blogger. He told us of how in one assignment in which he had to travel to Laos for an assignment he used the same idea on all his column, his write up and his blog. Only the approaches were different for each articles that he churned out. One was for a whole section of the newspaper, a kind of an expose of the plight of people in Laos. As for his fortnightly column is the beauty of the country. And finally, for his blog, he puts up the travel itself in which he told us that one of the surprising thing that he experience was when they had to drive on the left side of the road which felt so wrong for an Asian country (we mostly drive on the rightside of the road as mostly were colonised by British one time or another).

It was enlightening to see a journalist using blog to actually practise his craft though there was a lot of hoopla about journalist crossing the invisible line which made the humans in recent time in Malaysia. Journalists are supposed to be read, not seen and when one reporter was thrown out of State Assembly, she started twitting and it became a big news. It was supposed to put faces to the those who wrote those articles in the newspaper. I do have some thoughts on this which I will write my thoughts on the issue of the death of journalism.

Oh, and that hat? That is his trademark...

p/s - I am actually trying to really recall what each presenter was presenting as they had slides which are not available for us to download or access to. Although these bloggers told us tales of how they became bloggers and how they blog every other day, no one realised they are actually telling a very soft science which if collected can be a guide to those who wants to make this a supplemental income or even a career

June 28, 2009

Blogging and Law II (and I was the moderator)

I have just came back from Penang, called the Pearl of the Orient, in which I was the moderator/speaker for an event called :
I was asked to be the moderator for the event and talk a bit about what is the meaning of being a lawyer and a blogger.

I actually am to tired to blog as I drove nearly 6 hours for a drive that couyld have been 4 hours as I was asked to stop at many stops. I brought my mom and my wife you see as Penang is also known as a food haven and shopping heaven for a few things, which are mostly food related too.

Anyway, I was asked to talk about blogging from a lawyer perspective which I did try my best to give and I was not sure, even now, what was the reaction to the talk I did. I think when I was giving the talk, telling about how I became a blogger, my perception of bloggers before I became one, the type of bloggers that I got to know, how it gave a satisfaction of its own and how it actually started off by eLawyer owner, Eddie Law himself, I saw a few reaction from the audience. Some were connecting but some seem to expect more.

Then at the end of the session, in which I gave the floor to two persons, a lawyer by the name of Foong, who is also a blogger, who talked about blogging and intellectual property and another lawyer, by the name of Stephen Tan, who talked about blogging and defamation, I was surprised to have a few of the members of the audience approached me, asking for my card and telling me, maybe if they ever held some event, they might ask me to come. And then, one of the person who seemed bored told me, he actually want to hear me telling the life of the blogger. Maybe, it came from the fact I told him I blog everyday in 2 blogs. Maybe that is a feat in itself, which I found to be not really a problem.

Anyway, after the 2 presentations, there were quite a lively Q&A session. I think it was a good session as we actually had this group called citizen journalists within the audience who were there to know how to skirt around the law when writing about sensitive issue.

I want to write a more comprehensive post later as what Foong and Stephen Tan presented were really good as they both have the experience of their own on the matter they presented. The Q&A was also something else as we gave them our frank opinion on certain matters. Too frank perhaps.

As the last blogging and law was made into a CD for sale, which you can order here, I hope this one will be available too.

The auditorium

June 27, 2009

Hints for those who haven't seen Transformers 2

A diorama of Transforners at the cinema
So that I honour the request of a few of my friends who don't want me to reveal anything and knew I have watched Transformers : Revenge of the Fallen on 24.6.09, two days after it's premiere in Malaysia, this is my hint review of the movie. I am going to relate it to other movies which have ever graced the screen and you can understand it when you see the movie. 

And one more things, those who wants to see deep movie or things that most who love this movie and the first one, should understand something. This is a movie about ROBOT ALIENS and was inspired by a line of toys. The second name which came after SKG in the movie was Hasbro, the forgotten toymaker. They made millions from this franchise. So, please understand the IQ you need to appreciate this movie. It is supposed to be for kids or the kid in you. Or that man who still awaiting puberty when you see Megan Fox. Period! Do not go deeper than that. And those who thinks that Michael Bay is racist due to what he did to a few characters in it, I think is thinking WAAAAYYYY to much...

Go watch DEPARTURES which you can find the review here, if you want deep.

Here is the review in hints (not in chronological order) :

1) Indiana Jones : The Last Crusade;
2) The Matrix;
3) Baywatch;
4) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory;
5) Star Trek;
6) Night at the Museum 2;
7) 10,000 B.C. or Year One (depending on which you like)

8) Donald Duck nephews
That is it. If you cannot place the movie I mentioned and a scene you can ask me about it. I may answer your comment a bit late as not to spoil those who still haven't seen it. Or I may miss certain nods to other movies. Do tell...
And I am gonna watch it again, and this time on IMAX. (do not scroll down if you don't wanna read spoliers)

Bumblebee ask you to watch this movie
My only complain is that when Devastator came on, he only said :

He is supposed to say :

That was how I remembered it when I watched it back then. That is my favourite part...

June 26, 2009

The celebrity blogger at PJ Challenge Bloggers 'K'arnival

This posting and a few other will be a proper dissection of all the presenters at the Bloggers gathering which happened on the 20th of June 2009 called PJ Challenge or Bloggers 'K'arnival. For the postings on the happening of the whole event itself, you can check it here. As this is my first dissection, I am not sure how many part will this posting be. I have a few other events to post and if I dissect all the events according to speakers, as I attended or attending  many event which has to do with business or blogging, I am not sure how many posts I will do, yet. Just keep on checking this blog as the 411 class on blogging at the PJ Challenge was a very good event.

The Blogging 411 was started off by the well known Malaysian celebrity blogger, Kenny Sia, who owns and operates Kenny Sia.com and was delayed by his flight for nearly 2 hours as he transitted in Singapore before coming to the event. It was great for him to come from his hometown, Kuching, Sarawak, which was another island altogether from West Malaysia. I think he had done a few of this blogging talk but the audience that day was one serious crowd. We wanted to know what is his take on blogging and he did not dissapoints (unless those who were there wants to say otherwise)

The problem with blogging and real life, people tend to think that what you write is you. Sometimes, they saw something you write 2 or 3 years ago and think that you are just some punk who knows how to write and is popular among the girls. This was what happened to him.

He started off by putting up a slide of the lifecycle of a blogger, which I can't remember (they should have provided a printout or posted it one the web). He did say that when he started blogging, he hid the fact from his family. Due to this, we he was 'discovered' he had a few conflicts with them who couldn't understand what blogging was all about. I bet nowadays with cases like Raja Petra and a few others, bloggers will all be label as deviant and threat to society as even in Parliament they are discussing about bloggers.

Anyway, Kenny did show the audience a few dark side of blogging like the issue of Comment Flame when he was arguing in one of his post about an accident which he was one of the first person to arrive and the person was badly injured. There was also the issue of bloggers fighting in cyberspace and he used 2 bloggers from our neighbouring country as an example in which one accuse the other of plastic surgery which started off the war. There was a term for it, which again, I forgot.

He was informative and what I like is the fact he presented his talk like a class. I mean, I never though blogging as something you can teach but seeing that presentation and reading a lot of blogs, it actually can be a course in itself.

That was the start of the class and the others were actually paired together. It was a great start...

June 25, 2009

How not to launch a new car... (BMW Z4 post)

This is the post about the launch of the new BMW Z4 at the Pavilion Mall on Friday, 19.6.09, which was one day later than the official launch date of BMW Z4 in Malaysia. I managed to tag along although I was not invited. Although I hold a valid lifestyle card which coincide with BMW. My business partner got the invite and I tagged along. Just to see what the difference did BMW made to the James Bond car. The invitation gave a choice for us to come on 18th or 19th and as 19th was a Friday night, we chose that date as we can straight away go paint the town red afterwards.

The problem with the launch of a car, it is always not that exciting. I have seen a few BMWs or other cars being shown for the first time but this one really takes the cake in being unimaginative and boring. The launch. Not the car. Give me the car any day, and I know how exciting my life will be...

Z4 was launched in German with a partnership with a street artist by the name of  Robin Rhodes from South Africa. He use things to paint while people can interact with the art and in this case, he used the tyre of the BMW to paint on a very big canvas. See the BMW on top with some supposedly paint at its tyre? That was how the painting was done. I got to know of this fact thanks to the BMW magazine I received 2,3 days before the event. 

So, that was what I imagine how the event will go on. How wrong can I be. There were food, which were excellent. Adoring crowd which I bet were full of who's who if only I can get my hand on the guest list (Malaysian VIPs tend to want to not be recognised). There was the car (3 of it in which 2 were for the crowd to play and take picture with). There were the door gifts, which I will recycle for my staff. There was the fashion show. And was it. Oh, and a speech by one of BMW people.

Where was the art in the whole equation? Oh, I bet they think it was too dangerous to do that in a mall. Can't they at least call some artist which can imagine something up? I mean, this is a roadster which James Bond totalled in one or two film. Have some imagination guys. You are supposed to be the ultimate driving machine.

If I ever buy the car, it wouldn't have been because of this 'exciting' event...

June 24, 2009

Megatron vs. Optimus on the highway of Malaysia

 Where art thou, Megatron?

This is what my wife hopes to see everytime she is stuck on the infamous Malaysian highway, especially if it was bad. I mean, an hour an inch is bad. Real bad. Especially if you are trying to chase your timesheet at the office at 9am or better yet, those who are chasing an appointment. 

Traffic jam is a fact of life in big cities, the whole world over. They say in Asian cities like Jakarta and Bangkok, it was even worse. The problem is, I am always at these cities on holidays and my experience does not give a fair view of the morning drive situation there. I bet, if I do work there, I may think that it is just another daily routine. 

A car by the roadside can even cause a traffic jam

As I own my own business, I am rarely caught in traffic jam but when I do need to get somewhere fast, I will be cursing whatever causing the jam. 

That is why when you passed the place where the jam started to ease and see that at that point, there is no credible explanation (like Optimus fighting Megatron) to explain why there was a jam in the first place, it fustrate you. I know and use radio (nowadays Twitter) to keep track of jams around town but usually, it will be over by the time you reached the place where the jam was supposed to be. By that time, either you have been stuck there for quite some times or you never know whether there was a jam or not as you have paid and used a toll road to get to your appointment. 

Just another cost of living which you have to take into account to live in a city like Kuala Lumpur.

p/s - On another note, watched Transformers : Revenge of the  Fallen, just now and they still fight on streets which would have cause one hell of a jam if it ever happens

June 23, 2009

Clients that became friends

I have a lot of these. People who started off as clients and then due to spending too much time with them, we became friends. My first big client was also that. He is a man who had vision but lack execution. He is no more a client but if I had not met him, I may not be what I am today (which I considered as enough to make myself proud). He has migrated to China, according to what he said the last time he came to my office after being MIA for nearly 4 years. I wish him luck and hope he does not make another blunder when he has another business eureka! moment.

If not for a client, I might not had the chance to tour Europe and even drove into and around Paris in a brand new Mercedes 500E. That client was introduced by another client when I went to Amsterdam the year before that happened. He became a friend during that tour but now he is on the run due to some unpaid bad debt. That is another long story but I know he is a good man who was involved in too many unsavory business deals. No, not criminal deals but more of trying to sell something out of nothing deals. The type you wouldn't buy but people like Maddox, the one who sell nothing to people who were willing to hear him out in the United States and now is in prison.

As the two above can be considered as 'bad' friends, I do have a few gems as friends. They have been successful way before I met them. There is this former mayor of a town. A former politician. And a still successful businessman. To name a few (not naming names, but they are prominent in their own field). They taught me a lot and I also taught them a few things. Mostly about law and technology (Twitter anyone?). Anyway, I love being in their company, when they do give me the time of the day as they have heard, seen and done it all. Their travels stories are enough to be booked or blogged, except that they don't do these things. Maybe, I will be the conduit to the blogging world for them. Which they have never known I do, yet...

These friends/clients are priceless. And hope to be their friends forever. And I think I have met one who is not that old, as you may have guessed from me saying the one I listed above as having wisdom and all. This new friend seems to be genuinely friendly, good hearted and even accomplished in his field. I think it is always good to widen your circle of friends as you grow older. You might never know whom you will meet...

June 22, 2009

Advice from a millionaire client/friend

I have this one client who can be considered has made it at a very young age. His office is just a stone throw away from mine but I rarely met him or sit with him until recently when he opened a small cafe (called kopitiam in Malaysia) in which I frequented quite often as the food there is quite good. Nearly 3 times last week I met him accidently there as I was having my meal. Each time he found me there, he will join me and we would talk for a while. Rarely it was about work as I usually let my staff deal all the relevant issues with his staff, although I always kept abreast of the latest development as I wouldn't want to not be able to update him on his cases.

Anyway, I like to sit with him as he is very young and his age is of my eldest brother. He is also a self-made millionaire who is always supportive of my legal firm since we were introduced by a late friend who died recently due to cancer. That itself made us close as we hold vigil a few times together by this friend bedside when he was in his early stage of cancer. The cancer took nearly three years to eat him up before he passed on early this year. I actually was out of the loop that he died as he passed away too fast. I have just recently known from my client that he had passed on.

His cafe

Back to this client. One of the advice which he imparted to me was how one have to go beyond one's profession in order for the profession to be meaningful. He said, a housing developer, in which he is one, among other thing, sould be able to know whether he should kept any of the house he is selling or sell all that he has developed at the time the houses are being completed. In Malaysia, it is under the law, a housing developer can collect 10% first then build the houses and bill the purchaser according to how much of the property has been completed. He said, a housing developer should always keep the valuable units for himslef and sell it at a latter stage. 

I only half agree with his assessment as he has just recently been delving into housing development. I actually bought one of the 1st phase of housing development and it has actually double in prices by the time comes for me to get the key. This shows that buying early and selling late can generate you profit. This is where his wisdom shows. However, if he sell all and keep developing, to me, one can always buy some other property at a different location, as when you sell everything which made money in your business, sooner or later you will have enough money for anything. On the other hand, holding on to some can help show that you are confident enough in your own products. Unlike some other developer I know...

The house that we bought

June 21, 2009

Z4 launch and PJ Challenge Bloggers 'K'arnival

I have a few pictures to share from both events but will only do a proper postings later.

1) BMW Z4 Launch was in Pavilion on the 19th of June 2009. The cars are there until 25th for people to take pictures with (that was what most people do) and drool...

The stage at different angles

 The new Z4 roaster, hardtop...only RM411,+++ (USD114+++)

2) PJ Challenge Bloggers 'K'arnival was at Jaya 33 Mall, Petaling Jaya, and was on the 20th June 2009

The place, Jaya 33

The stage

A few aunties and a man, doing line dancing

Colouring contest

Face painting


Infamous bloggers doing what they do best

The presenters for Blog 411

In this slide, my face is there (see it? 2 faces from the Amanda's face)

That is it for this post but will do more real posting in a few days. Wait for it...

June 20, 2009

Is eBook the way to go?

I am in the middle of writing a book. I am writing a book about questions you should ask your lawyers when buying a property. Especially your first property. It will only apply for property in Malaysia. It will be when you buy a property from a developer. I know this is too revealing which make it easy for anyone to just write the same thing but I am not really concern about that. The same like I don't mind if my writings or the pictures suddenly turn up in another person's blog. If you want readers and you have a blog, expect it to happen. I don't have time to fight a losing fight like a man trying to fight Devastator (which you will meet in the coming Transformers : Revenge of the Fallen).

This book has been written halfway, I have finished nearly all the questions. The answer part, that is the problem. My problem in writing is trying to write facts. I always write on the fly. Even in my thesis and my assignments for my degree and the current Masters degree. Hey, it got me where I am. I think even when I still write my own affidavit, I hate referring to books, especially those which falls under the title textbook.

However, while I have written this book to be published by publishing houses, which are mostly still in negotiation with me (which made me ecstatic as someone wanted to publish a book I written), I am thinking of publishing differently. This idea comes as I start written blogs. I have new respect for bloggers and the way people disseminate information through them. I have hanged out with the bloggers who are bordering towards the academic and those who did it for fun. Both have their own motivation. Heck, just now, I was at a bloggers carnival (the first in Malaysia? It claimed) and I was blown away how these bloggers becomes what they are. I will write the full story on it tomorrow.

So, any ideas on eBook? Anyone ever read them. I don't. I only read blogs. I work full-time as an entrepreneur and this is enough to fill my 24 hours. My wife has just understand this whole bloggers thing and before this was kind of critical of my blogging hobby. eBook will be another step for me. Either to read them or to publish on them. I have even approached a friend who does publishing on eBook. I might just go that way. Here is a link for some eBook if you want to check it out or you are looking for some good read - eBook Search Queen.   



June 19, 2009

Don't know why I need the morning paper...

...and 8 o'clock news.

a better use of television

I was born in the 70s and had seen my father bringing back newspaper and watching television at 8 o'clock every night to catch the latest news. I have been brainwashed, not sure by who, to accept that news in the newspaper I read is the truth. That really remind me of this book by Terrt Pratchett called Truth about a guy who runs a newspaper printer. Discworld was never the same again.

The weird thing is, if it came from my parents, I am not reading the same newspaper as what my parents are reading. They read 2 newspaper and I only buy 1. I don't even subscribed. My wife, on the other hand, has to have her Garfield and Calvin & Hobbes though the latter are recycled over and over again for the umptenth time in that particular newspaper. And, yes, we both know the illustrator is already dead. 

Anyway, I like to consider myself to be ahead of the curve with Twitter, Facebook and blogs as my daily fodder. But, I will still rush to see what is on the news at 8pm or if was out at that time, the English version at 12am. And if there are news I already know from the morning twit, at 1.30pm. 

Even though I cursed of their one-sidedness. Of being bias. Of not reporting what has been going on in Twitter-verse or internet-verse. 

I guess, that really show my age...

p/s - seems I got the facts wrong here, thanks to Lin who commented. Both Jim Davis (Garfield) and Bill Waterson (Calvin & Hobbes) are still alive and well. Bad researcher (me!). If they did discover this blog (as if), hope they forgive me...

June 18, 2009

Does LASIK reduce the cost of seeing?

Yes, did you know that LASIK is an answer to spending quite a lot of money in wearing spectacle? As a bespectacled person since I was 8 years old, I should know. I have destroy a few spectacles since I have had to wear it. Even now, I am known to do that. Although I manage to stop destroying my spectacles, I do damage the lenses more nowadays as I love the one with coatings and all. In short, spectacles do not last long with me. 

Do any of you did what has been quite a rage for the past few years? Doing Lasik treatment? I am asking this question as I have seen a few of my friends who did it and seem to be satisfied with the result. There was even this one VIP whom I know did it when he was celebrating his 40th birthday as a present to himself. Then he went too far when he whiten his dark skin to too white and became a laughingstock of the whole nation. The LASIK part was very interesting as he is of a medical background himself. Who else would you take as a successful example if not the person who knows what it entails and did it.

There is a lot of talk about its effectiveness and the safety of the procedure. Actually, comparing doing a LASIK surgery and most of plastic surgery (as a comparison, not saying LASIK is plastic or vice versa), it is quite safe. Lasik is fast, and your eyes heal easily. Compare to skin grafting, liposuction et. al. 

I think I want to do it after seeing those who did it now can wear those aviator glasses which a person who has high powered index and estimatism like me cannot wear. And I will look cool too...


June 17, 2009

One-sided agreements

They are everywhere but why do people still get into them?

This is when one party insist on the opposing party to follow what the first party has set. Usually, the opposing party has less say as the first party has the advantage of holding something which the second party wants. It can be a valuable contract to building something like highways. It can be due to the power that the first party has like what government has when it wants to award a tender. It can also be banks which are offering credits to the consumers.

Usually, the second party has resigned themselves to be dictated by the first party in the first instance. There are also cases in which the second party know of cases in which they can get out of it if ever they need to. 

For the first one, the people who don't mind getting themselves into a one-sided agreement like taking a bank loan in which its agreement can't be amended is that they are willing to lose everything if ever they cannot repay the loan. They consider it is a calculated risk which they are willing to take at the then and now. They are willing to be a bankrupt, and even lose their collateral which can be their homes or their other assets. That is why banks usually do a lot of due diligence before they lend something to a company. They will the potential of the business and its future earnings.

As for the second scenario, there are a few who manipulates the loopholes or is willing to take the risk of fighting back if ever they need to. This can be those who knows of certain clauses in the agreement and will use lawyers to fight back with flimsy arguments if their back are push to the wall. These people can be those who took study loans, credit cards and even hire purchase loan. During my early days, these people were my main clients before I moved to the other side when my main clients are bank, like now.

It takes all kind to make the world...

June 16, 2009

The trigger that makes them decide

I have a friend who was laid off from her job due to something which we found to be so absurd. We are taking the matter to the labour department and will be making sure she gets her due. We believe that she does not want to work back at that place as the way she was terminated was like a slave being shot before anyone investigate what was accused of her. She was terminated 24 hours and although she asked for clemency as she had two sons to support, they arbitratily sack her without any regards to these facts. She was devastated and was drifting aimlessly without work for quite some time. As she was a very good friend of my business partner, I was involved too in a way in trying to help her out. Hearing what happened to her made everyone angry.

My business partner was very supportive of her and was trying to find her a job which suited her. She was very good at what she does and she had the contacts and the know-how. The problem is that her industry is one of those which needs you to know-who more than know-how (isn't all industry like that here?). So, it was quite some time before she managed to land a gig. She did a good job at it that the organiser asked her to handle the event again next year. However, as the pay was quite miniscule, she did need a job to fill her coffer in between gigs. So, she joined a friend who was looking for someone who can market his second-hand car business. A simple job but she had to contend with the prejudice which comes in working with second-hand car dealers.

Then, she braved herself and had a discussion with the second-hand car dealer owner who is also a friend. They struck a deal, albeit one sided but she was in charge of everything on the business and that include the account. It was not a perfect deal but she partly owns the business and she will make a bit of a profit before she was given more if she can prove the business can really makes money. What was surprising was the fact that nearly all of the clients that she contacted (which she plans to 'steal' from her former company) seem to be giving her a try and she may even signing up a few within the month.

As we were having some drinks a few days ago, my wife commented on this fact and she actually said that she should have tried it way before. Before what happened to her happened. For me, if not for what had happened, she wouldn't have the guts and she wouldn't have done what she did.

I call that the TRIGGER.

June 15, 2009

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009

I volunteered to join this :

in which it was held in Malaysia for the second time after last year's success. I did not aware of that succcess and only knew of it when I went to TEDx Kuala Lumpur (you can read about that here) in which, the founder of this movement in Malaysia, a certain Dash, briefed us on what is GEW is all about. This year, it will be held on 16 to 22 November. Although that is the official date, all event can be considered as a GEW event if the company (called a partner) register and follow all the rules on the website of GEW. So, it can be done the whole year, right up to the date of week itself.

It may seem that it was targetted at youth and entrepreneurs but there was no hard and fast rule on who or how one can contribute. The best thing about it, it is all around the world and is supported by the Kauffman Foundation in USA. Dash went for a kind of a world congress which was a kind of a host country. Oh, by the way, no one gets any money, including the host country, even the partners. So, what do one get out of it? It seems that the benefit is the exposure one gets as you will be known through the websites and all the media the event is publicised.

I have a few ideas on how to approach this event which is a bit complicated and need another institution as legal firm in Malaysia has very strict rules which it has to follow on advertisement. This even include any good cause a legal firm is involve in (I tell the ridiculousness of it in another post). I am hoping to tap this event for exposure it can give me. As for now, I need to refine the plan and present it to a client of mine which I know is always involve in matter like this.

Sponsors and participating companies

The briefing last Friday the 12th of June

The man who is in charge of it all, Dash...

The breakout session where we contribute our ideas...

June 14, 2009

"Fight!' at Help University College...

It was a very bad incident especially when it happened at a university ground. The language used was beyond bad and if any faint-hearted people heard them, I bet they will close their ears in the first few minutes. When it was over, those who were involved in it was quizzed and then finally let go. All of them had their picture taken and some have made it to the internet.

It was not real fight that had taken place. It was fights that happened on screen with regards to schoolgoing children. It was a movie of epic proportion but has limited release. I managed to catch it thanks to an invitation by a friend who booked the seats for my wife and I.

Yes, it was the premiere of the movie 'Gadoh!' or Fight! which is an independent film by a talented directors and writers. Their background hailed from theater and the realism that they have been associated with was brought to the screen and it translated well. However, due to the nature of the issue being presented and this realism, it may never be shown to the general public. Yes, we are still a conservative country which censor our films as we still control what our citizen should or shouldn't see or hear. Although we never censor our internet. Which is basically where everyone get their dose of whatever nowadays.

The uniqueness of the event of this screening was the Q&A session after the showing of the movie between the audience and the cast and crew. It was a unique opportunity to hear the audience telling their own experience in school and even some who criticised the movie directly to the writers, directors and producers. The cast was actually given a clean endorsement, which I tend to agree, as they were amazing in it.

As they seem reluctant to bring the movie to general public, I urged them to go the way of a few other shunned film directors who went out and show it at film festival across the world and gained recognition and fame. I just hope some of them will realise this.

It was a movie on the racial divide facing children in schools  in Malaysia which tries to integrate them but due to the authorities, their parents and society itself, they thought that they are supposed to be like what they are. That was until one of their teacher realised that they need guidance and she used theater as the approach. Through this theater class, they learned to accept each other and the finale where they staged a play was priceless. However, they still fell to human prejudice in the end and that was what hit the mark as their fight was just beginning.

All I can say is Bravo and hope they can go far with this movie. They are making their rounds in universities in Malaysia and if they do arrive in your campus, do not, I repeat, do not, miss it. You will be amaze of how much it reflects the reality...

The poster of the movie
The cast, director and producer answering question
It was lighthearted although the subject was heavy
The joker in the cast, a hippy, Pan-Asian man...

June 13, 2009

Heard of Panerai watches before?

This is not a Panerai but an Ulysse Nardin, which cost millions

I had a few experience in going to events showcasing expensive watches and I had the chance to see even a wristwatch worth nearly the price of a house. Costing nearly a cool million USD, that watch is more of any investment than a watch you where to work or play. You can see that posts here about a RM3.7 Million (USD$1 Million) wristwatch.Of course, that watch by Ulysse Nardin do comes full of diamonds and all.

However, for quality wristwatch, you cannot go wrong with Panerai. That is the most quality known watch which does not rely on precious stones or in some cases, the casing which it comes in. Some watches are put into Faberge egg just so they can sell it higher. For Panerai, it is all about movement and you can bet that the complication of these watches will be the best in the market. For afficiandos, owning a Panerai is the ultimate dream. It does not cost you an arm and a leg but it can set you back into the region of RM50,000-00 and above (or USD$10,000-00 up), but the quality you get, it may be the best investment of a luxury item you will ever make.

Although, as most seasoned bloggers would have guest, this is a paid post, I have a dream of owning a luxury watch as one of my investment. I have set my first investment to be between RM5,000-00 to RM10,000-00 (USD$1,400-00 to USD$3,000-00) and I am hoping to buy it within this year as I reach the middle of my 30s. Hey, a guy can always dream right....

This coming month also see me going for an unveiling of another collection which I never heard of and I am hoping to learn more about luxury watches. Or I might just buy it here at watchuwant.com.

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Can I have some asbestos with that?

John Grisham had published a few books which specifically dealt with tort malfeasance and class action suits, among other. The title of the books, among others, are : The Rainmaker, which was about  an insurance claim; The Runaway Jury, about a giant tobacco company which was sued and then utilized a consultant  group which manipulated jury; and The King of Torts, about a guy who specialised in doing tort cases and signed up plaintiffs in order for him to represent them in various class action suits. Not all book was written by him. There was this book and film regarding Erin Brockovich (who was played by Julia Roberts in the film) in which the title character brought down a power company which had contaminated the drinking water of a town. Another bestseller book was A Civil Action, which had been turned into a movie , in which John Travolta acted as a lawyer, who fought a company which dump toxic waste and affected a whole town.

All these are tort and class actions cases. Some are fictionalized and some are true. Those movies and books I mentioned are just some which had dealt with it. And now, one of the most dangerous tort which is being pursued by most legal advocates is the contamination by asbestos.
Asbestos is toxic. Anyone who inhale it can be infected with various diseases. These diseases can include malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. Asbestos is so dangerous that a few countries have banned the use of it.

Why it can be found in a lot of construction of building is due to its resistance to heat, electricity and chemical damage, together with its capability for sound absorption and tensile strength. Asbestos are what contractor and builder have used since the 19th century although it was discovered way earlier in ancient Greek. Due to being cheap and its effectiveness in being a fire retardant, it is popular as coatings, concrete, bricks, pipes and fireplace cement, heat, fire, and acid resistant gaskets, pipe insulation, ceiling insulation, fireproof drywall, flooring, roofing, lawn furniture, and drywall joint compound. That is why it is everywhere and there are nearly more than 100,000 people who have been affected by it and have died or will die from it.

Have any of your love one been diagnosed by it? If you do need consultation, why don't you try this link - Mesothelioma Lawyers which are collecting as many plaintiff as possible to make a strong case. Unlike in Malaysia where class action suit is very rare, in the United States, the case became stronger if there are enough plaintiffs to build up the case. It is good that a group of lawyers can ban together to fight for a good cause. My advice is to use it to your advantage...


June 12, 2009

Am not the only 'old student'

Yesterday, I blogged about chambering students in general and the one in our firm. We have had 3 chambering students who graduated from the firm since it was established and I had the luck to have one of them as mine. However, due to the place which she had chosen to practice which is a good 300 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur, she was called to the Bar by someone else in the court of her hometown, Kota Bharu. I was invited but the call being on a working day, unfortunately I was not able to attend.

One day before the event of the call to the bar, I also had a bit of good news myself. I got the result of my three final papers in order for me to finish the theoritical side of my Masters degree. I was supposed to finish 14 subjects and this last 3 which I took at the end April were the last three to complete the number. I actually had a very nervous time taking the exams and was even apprehensively thought I just couldn't make the grades.

That was why I was ecstatic, at the expense of my office staff having to hear me shout and jumping in joy in the middle of the office when I found out I had passed 2 subjects and scored a distinction in one. It was the best present I could present myself, ever. It was kind of a test for me (which I like to do) to see how far can I go in taking an exam without really studying. I know, I know, it sound arrogant but the test was supposed to be for me and if I do fail, you will still hear it here.

What brought me down to earth was what happened during the call-to-the-Bar.

There were six chambering students including the girl I had mentioned yesterday who caused a commotion due to her being the daughter of the current Prime Minister of Malaysia. Two of them were men who were passed retirement age. I mean, they are old. As in more than 55 years old. I think one was 58 years of age, had 3 or 4 grandchildren and one was nearly 65. Okay, I know, there are a lot of senior students out there but achieving something at those ages are still something to be proud of. 

Being in the middle of 30s and thinking learning something new is way pass me, I never thought I will be joining their rank. At all. I was feeling safe owning a business and had felt safe in a place where I thought I could gain knowledge through experience. It was when I met a friend who is the same age of my father, which is north of 70s and was enrolled to learn at my university, I was inspired to enroll in my course. With Islamic finance being a passion and a growing industry, I knew that I didn't make the wrong choice.

To all the old students out there, KEEP IT UP and graduating is a reward in itself....

This was where called to the Bar was done in the old day, 
the Sultan Abdul Samad building, Kuala Lumpur's lamdmark

June 11, 2009

The admission of lawyers to the Bar

 I came back today from being spectator at a call-to-the-Bar of a chambering student of my firm. Being part owner of the legal firm, I was invited for the ceremony in one of the court in Kuala Lumpur. The ceremony of interns or chambering students being admitted as an advocate and solicitor to the High Court of Malaya. Or easily being the equivalent of doctors finishing their housemanship. From practising to real practise. 

I was not the Master for the chambering student at my firm (master being the teacher who is supposed to teach her the way of lawyers, whatever that means). It was my associate who is actually much older than me as she was the one in need of someone to help her with her works. Admittedly, some lawyers in Malaysia, albeit controversially, called chambering students as cheap labour. In my firm, we do try to educate any attachment student (which are basically students who are still in university but are asked to be attached to legal institutions such as a legal firm like mine). We take them to court and sometimes give them task to finish to give them the experience of finishing a legal task.

However, the particular call to the Bar which I attended this morning was memorable due to a few reasons. There was a special chambering student who was admitted together with the one from my firm. She was the daughter of the current Prime Minister of Malaysia (although she was from his first wife). Being from that lineage was something as her later grandfather, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia was a lawyer. Her uncle was also a lawyer. She was the first from the new generation. 

So, her grandmother (which is the wife of the first Prime Minister) was there and her famous uncle (which I blogged about once and you can find the link here), a banker, were both there. As it was the grandmother's birthday, there were 2 people who broke normal convention in a courtroom by wishing her a happy birthday. One was the judge and one was the representative of the Bar Council of Malaysia, whose job was to say "No Objection!" to the admission of the girl to the Bar.

It was also memorable due to the facts which I will blogged tomorrow. Here is a picture of Norleen, the girl from my firm and a group photo of the attendees from my legal firm...


from left : The Master, Nily; Khalil, the lawyer; 
Yaqen and Mira, the attachment students from UiTM

June 10, 2009

Bending words like Neo in Matrix

I think the best ability that a lawyer must have in his arsenal is the ability to bend words like what you see Neo did in the Matrix. I mean, words are nothing if you cannot convince people of you being right or at least makes people say, I just hate to argue with that guy, he always know how to get on my nerve. That is the best compliment a lawyer could get and I have been known to do this even if that person happens to be my mother or my wife or my business partner. 

My family was just talking about it on why I became a lawyer over the weekend when we were on holiday in Singapore.They tend to agree as they know how argumentative I can be and how I always like to win in any argument. None of them was really surprised when I managed to graduate as a lawyer although everyone in the family know how lazy I was when it comes to learning anything. But they know I love reading and writing. Especially if the writing have elements which need the reader to be convinced of my arguments. 

Anyway, as a rule, the skill that is needed by all lawyers is the skill to bend whatever words that came out of their mouth. It does not necessarily mean that they have to be able to recall every facts that were presented. It is the skill of dissecting facts and storing it somewhere in the mind to be recalled back when needed. I mean, this skill is the one which can be used to crumble the resolve of any witness. Then, you have an opposing party which will object to everything that you have been saying. Then you have to contend with the judge. Outside of the courtroom, if your client is famous enough, you will have to be the suave public relation man who will douse any problems for your client.

With all these, bending words is the least skill that a lawyer must have...

June 9, 2009

Like a virgin, again... (and get paid for it)

Contradictory, No? I mean, from what I know (unless it is through miracle of science) you can only be a virgin, once. But, I have pop my cherry, so to speak, again. This time, it is about getting paid from blogging. The first time is always the most memorable one.

Yes, I have been paid by a advertisement platform called Adgitize although I did not request a payout. I was waiting for the amount that will show my earnings for the month of May to appear in the report for earnings to come out. When it was nearly the 10th of the month, I thought they have reneged on their promise to pay and then suddenly, I got an email from my Paypal account telling I was paid by Adgitize.

I went to the Adgitize website and then I checked the earnings again. There it was, my earning of USD$16.98 being paid into my Paypal account. Their payout earning is also very low at USD$10.00.

To get to that amount, you have to spend a bit. I spent USD$14.00 for a 31 days advertisement on their network and they brought me traffic and some moolah. I did not plan to spend on anything, ever but seeing other bloggers who have blogged longer than me doing it, making me wanting to see the benefit. So, I did. I managed to gain USD$10.60 for half month of advertisement and with the other month where I did not know how to gain the money and traffic, I managed to get that USD$16++.

Here is a screenshot from my earnings page :

I hope it is clear enough to see (as I also rarely do this)

If you do want to join, just click the link below, but you do have to spend a bit and do a bit of work (which involve clicking and reading some interesting blogs). I think I write about that another time.

Just remember that, Nothing Venture, Nothing Gain...

June 8, 2009

Online life v. Offline life

I have been meeting a few people recently whom I wouldn't have met have I don't start a blog nearly a year ago. I met them through gatherings which did not have anything to do with blogging but I know them as I frequented a few events by bloggers and I introduced my self as a blogger. Most of the time, they are quite an important figure in their field and this has helped me break the ice. I mean, by having blogs, it was a good ice-breaker and I easily find common ground to talk with them.

However, blogging also takes time and the first person affected is the spouse of the person who has a blog. Especially if the spouse does not has a blog or has a blog but is not into going for events which have anything to do with blogging or does not blog seriously. One other thing is the attitude of considering having a blog is like a stigma which one does not want to be associated with making them not introducing themselves as bloggers. 

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a celebrity blogger wife who said her husband's life is 24 hours online. My you, this is one busy man who has project every other day and does not really has any free time. He is a big Twitter advocate and after meeting him 2 weeks ago, I have become close to him due to Twitter. In one part of the conversation yesterday, as the celebrity himself joined me, his wife and my wife kind of interviewed us on what is Twitter is all about. We told them that nowadays, if you subscribe to certain news Twitter service, you might get news earlier than any other media as the reporters use Twitter to tell a breaking news even before they file a report at their station. I quoted a few event like French Open, the David Carradine death and a few others which I knew through first before other news media.

So, I believe, although many bloggers who blog constantly and prolificly like me may tend takes too much time online, especially if, like me, you have a Blackberry or any device capable of taking you online anywhere, there are still many other benefit which you can gain if you know how to take your online life to your offline life. It will even be beneficial to your work. 

If you know how to use it properly...

June 7, 2009

Life is what happen while you are busy

I heard this somewhere in a film or a song, which I cannot remember. I think there is some truth in it as you put your shoulder to the grind or when you try to be a part of the rat race in one of those place where people do just that to get by. Or it can also happen when you are jetsetting all over the world, trying to chase deals or making sure the company you owned or work for will be turning a profit. You will be lost in just trying to have what you are doing makes real meaning to you. Sometimes, you even just go through the motion of doing what you are doing everyday just to get by.

So, as you are busy doing all these, birthdays happen. Weddings. Deaths. Fall in love. Fall out of love. Friendship. All the normal things that happen to human. Some you are well aware of. Some you just don't care. Some are those you bring around, wearing it on your sleeve and becomes a part of you. Some you just discard and put it far away in your mind.

As much as these social things are not a priority to some, they will intrude once in a while. Then, you will know the real purpose why you give your all to the work or to whatever you do to get by. So, don't let them pass you by without savoring the moment. Whatever or  whoever or wherever it is.

June 6, 2009

Malaysia Airlines is really trying hard

Still on the subject of Malaysia Airline System after 3 days, I just got a letter from the Malaysia Airlines Travel team which was the team that held the talk by their CEO on Tuesday which I had blogged about. You can check that post here.

And now, I got a thank you note, which of course is a by-the-book public relation must do. It was very surprising as I had been attending a few events (thanks to my work and blogging) which were held by conglomerates either by local companies or foreign ones and their hospitality rarely extend outside of the event. Some even are trying to sell things to me but the personal touch is not there.

Maybe a company which handles million of passenger per day has to be this good in PR. Whatever the reason, it was nice though...

Here is the letter :

Keep up the good work...

June 5, 2009

The philosophy of an airline CEO

The man himself briefing and answering questions before playing the guitar (that picture can be seen here)

If you have read my post 2 days ago, it was more about a personal overview of this guy, by the name of Idris Jala who turned around the fortune of Malaysia national airline, called Malaysia Airline System or MAS. MAS was long in existence before there was THAT other airline, which now seems to compete with MAS, by the name of AirAsia. I was one of the many audience 2 days ago who wanted to ask his thoughts on his closest rival. It was the elephant in the room which was brought forward by this one guy before I had the chance to ask it. The person who post the question did try to be tactful but Idris himself named names. So, it was quite candid.

Basically for that question, he tactfully said that they should work together on certain matters and compete on certain matters. He brought forward an analogy on how he did the same thing when he worked for Shell in Sri Lanka in which one of the place he was managing was so small that the Shell and a rival company shared a storage tank but compete once the oil in it was send to each other's station. This was just one of the example in which he compared his tenure with MAS to his old job.

Some of the other thing that he told us was about what philosophy he holds dear such as telling everyone how one should always try to do the impossible. And do not hide the fact from anyone else. When enough people say that it is impossible, try to do it. If you did not succeed, it is okay as it was impossible in the first place. If you succeed, you have managed to attain a place in doing the impossible. He also quoted 2 books which everyone should read. One is a book by somebody called -something- Goss (a lady) which is where he got the idea about doing the impossible and one is by Paulo Cuelho, the Alchemist which is known throughout the world. I can relate to the Alchemist as I believe in what that book tries to tell (which I should blog about another day).

The question and answer session went on for nearly an hour as they were letting anyone answered anything and he gracefully tried to answer each one of it.

The Q&A session, with him sitting on a stool

All the senior management of MAS were there which I knew a few of them by reputation or through the mass media. It was rare to see senior management coming to an event in which their CEO is speaking. I think it was more due to the event being held by MAS itself and they did invite the airline's Facebook group, among others. There were college students and bloggers. 

However, although he did show his soft side and everything, I saw the look in all his staff which shows that he is quite tough on them. He did say, he believe in keeping his staff on their toe all the time and he did this by buying 10 Blackberry on the first day he was in office. He also said he is the most dangerous when he was on holiday as he will be shooting 'sharp' email all day long (and night).

I believe, to be a good CEO, you must be a taskmaster no matter how people hate you and if they managed to love you, then that is a bonus. If you work well, then you will get your bonus. He did pointed out that the share of MAS has risen from RM2++ when he came in to nearly RM6++ recently (which is quite decent by Malaysian standard). I bet a lot of the employees who are eleigible for their ESOS had managed to gain some money out of it. If not that, I hope they did get some bonus.
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