October 31, 2009

More sights and faces at Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards 2009

We actually didn't know there was an official photographer who could take the picture
so we took one ourselves

My wife with an Australian blogger

 Our picture taken by BossMing's mom
(he is the co-founder of Nuffnang)

The appetizer, and yes, they are Pringles (one of the night's sponsors)

The red is the original (nyums); the black/brown is the wild something (I like...); the pink is shrimp (er....) and the green at the back is seaweed (not my cup of tea)

As I was hungry, I ate everything in sight...

The wife with her souvenir book

My wife with one of the Malaysian Nuffies,
Actorina (yes, she is supposed to be an actor)

The souvenir that night, some sugary thing which I ate halfway by the time the food arrive

Met Jojo Struys and talked with her about a comedy show
where she was also in the audience a few nights before that
(I tweeted her during that show and she Direct Message me but we didn't talk, weird huh)

...to be continued. Gonna milk this award show for all its worth. Too lazy to blog about anything else

October 30, 2009

Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards 2009

When we arrived in Singapore the evening of 23rd October, due to some mishap at the immigration (due to some bloggers who just couldn't follow instruction), we only have 2 hours to get ready. As the bus would arrived at 6pm, we had to be ready by then. The check-in took nearly 45 minutes as it was a group check-in with all of the bloggers from Philippines and Australia checking in with us.

As the Nuffies were busy with checking in, my wife was busy asking around whether there are any manicurist around as she consider her nails were not good enough. It was also only then I also realised I forgot my cufflinks. After all the drama, we managed to dress ourselves and joined the other bloggers albeit 5 minutes late.

Here some pictures of the bloggers waiting to be sent to the Pan Pacific Hotel, Singapore where the event was held :

Some of the Australian bloggers

Dustyhawk was dressing himself as he hates to be late

By 6.15pm, the lobby was crowded and people were waiting anxiously for the buses

Boarding the bus

In the bus

 The place for you to take picture and show people you were there

The crowd

Some famous faces in blogsphere

More famous faces

The ballroom

The nominees

The tired wife waiting for the last bus which was very, very late

Actually, during the event, I neglected to really take any picture except for these few pictures. If you want to see better postings, especially those dedicated to certain aspect of the awards, here are some of them :

How Pink Stillettos saw it
- The nominee Red Mummy reporting
- Madam Kwon reporting
- Swee San's reporting on the food

- My table buddy Julian Hopkin's blog which include the whole tour
- And this one by Shazwani has a picture of my wife - Picture galore

I was sure that I have quite a few pictures missing but still looking for them. I think you can get the gist of what happened during the dinner at the blogs I linked above. It was a great event and for something which involved massive logistics like that, it was a success. Congratulations to Nuffnang and hope they will make it annually so that more people can come and see what it is all about. Maybe one day it can even be telecast live!

October 29, 2009

Another milestone for Nuffnang and blogosphere

On Friday 23rd October 2009, Nuffnang hosted the Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Bloggers Awards. I was there thanks to Nuffnang who decided to choose me after I posted 2 posts on their sponsors, Pringles and Tourism Singapoer. I guess that was why the awards night was held at the Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore.

There have been a lot of postings already on the awards night. Mostly showed who won what and the pictures of themselves in the event. I actually took pictures of others more than pictures of me. My wife has more pictures than me. I didn't even took the complimentary picture where you can pose and get the sponsors like Canon, Tourism Singapore and Pringles plastered somewhere on your picture.

As I am still enjoying the day I am not blogging which have reached 7 days in total, let me leave you with some teaser pictures of the place, sight and people on that night. Historic? Hmmm...

The Australian bloggers at the hotel before the Blog Awards

At the Blog Awards

My wife bought herself new shoes for the night...

Been away for nearly 1 week

This is very rare for me as I have never really been away from blogging for so long since September last year. I did not even update or commented on any blog since one week ago which was one day before I went to Nuffnang Awards in Singapore. I know some of you have had enough of that award show but I do want to tell my side of the story. Let me give my perspective of it and it may not be as beautiful as some of the 'sponsored' post try to make it be. Heck, if you look closely between the line, you may even find a few disgruntle updates here and there.

Some of the post I need to put up is :

1) The Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards on 23.10.09;
2) The tour of Singapore courtesy of Tourism Singapore on 24.10.09;
3) My stay in Tune Hotels Kuala Lumpur a day before the Nuffnang's Singapore trip on 22.10.09;
4) The disastrous Comedy Club Kuala Lumpur show outing on 21.10.09;
5) The free show at the new Actors Studio Kuala Lumpur on top of Lot 10 a week before that;
6) The launch of the Bob Dylan Oris watch;
7) My 3 days getaway at Pulman Putrajaya Lakeside;
8) My listed company's ambition to explore new business in China and diversification into another business;
9) How my book is coming along;
10) Why everyone need a supportive spouse when they venture in new business/career)

That is the 10 that I can think of right now. There are still 3 hours before I have to check-out from this hotel in Putrajaya. I am going to make the most of it and catch on my blogging later. See you guys in a few...

October 21, 2009

My Budget 2010 wish

This year's Budget Day, which always fall on Friday in Malaysia, is a bit weird. People seem to be uncaring that it will be tabled and there seem to be little coverage on what the man on the street could expect from the government of the day. People seem to put more emphasise (too much?) on the need for powerful but cheaper broadband. I know it is quite important nowadays for people to have high speed internet but of all the issues to solve, is that the only thing that we need to concentrate on?

I think corporate tax and how lawyers are tax is still the bane of my business existence. There is no such thing as a pioneer status for lawyers, no matter how small a legal firm you are. All are tax like any other business that offer service. We are expected to pay our taxes the moment we issue a bill like all other business. We have been given some leeway until next year to get our act together as many lawyers have been paying tax only when they received payments from their clients and not when they billed them.

I know some will go "What?" hearing that we have been paying taxes the wrong way since forever but lawyers themselves needed nearly 5 years to understand that we did it wrong. They rarely get their money upfront especially when dealing with corporate clients. Our clients will always asked for the bill and then they promise us they will pay us Tuesday (to borrow a Popeye phrase). As most lawyers love these corporate clients that all those other 'retail' clients, we let them step on our head and after 6 months to one year, we will be wondering why we have a big dent in our wallet. Our attitude is then are also extended to how we pay our tax.

So, now we starts to feel the burden of paying tax. Of the millions that we billed, only hundreds thousands are paid (not my one firm but all firms) and when we need to pay according to the millions, we were flabbergasted at the sheer amount of it. Now, we realised why people are angry when wastage happens in government day after day.

As such, that is why my wish is for cheaper corporate tax which they say may not be forthcoming as the Malaysian government is running a very high deposit nearly 7%. Maybe that internet thingy is a better deal as I can at least air my grouses on the internet....

October 20, 2009

Sometimes business just walks through the door

In the olden days, business is as easy as setting up an office and wait for business to come to you. Actually, when I started business 10 years ago in a small town, I still managed to get 20% of my business in that way. People just walked into the office, asked to see the lawyer and we would be discussing whatever that was ailing them that particular day.

In my current office, that rarely happens. It was more than rare. I do entertain a few cases from some neighbouring office but in two of the cases which I did handled in 9 years I have practised in Kuala Lumpur, both cases were companies which share the same lift as us. I was even in trouble for one of the case when the authority discovered they were selling snake oil of the government contract kind (Luckily that ugly episode has passed).

So, on Tuesday, when my secretary told me there was a man in the reception waiting to see a lawyer, I personally handled his grievance (as I was also the only lawyer at that time). And lo and behold, it was a genuine case which involve them being sued for a very strange case, which is another matter.

When my senior associate asked him that evening as she was interviewing him to get more data for the case, she asked why did he choose our firm over a few other legal firms, numbering to 5, within the two blocks our offices are located.

He answered simply that, there were a few times he takes a smoking break, people who were looking for our office asked him for direction to our office. As we are actually opposite of each other, he just need to point our office to those who asked. Those episodes are the reason that our office became his choice that Tuesday morning.

You get all kind of clients but how you get it is very much a story of its own....

October 19, 2009

Why Corporate Open House is important for lawyers like us

If anyone of you follow my twitter, you will see that every other day for the past 3 weeks, I have been going to one after another open house. Yesterday, which was a Monday, 19th of October was also the final day of Syawal. Syawal is the month which eid is celebrated on its first day. In Malaysia, we use the whole one month as a reason to celebrate non-stop (Heck, I was even told just now, there is going to be another open house by a client on the 29th October, way past Syawal).

Why do I go to all these corporate open houses? If it was just about the food, why would I need to crash any open houses. Just by going around my neighbourhood, I can eat as much food as I want. After some times in the business, I realised that corporate open houses are the place to meet corporate bigwigs either they are the top management of the host company or those who came to enjoy their hospitality.

Being Malaysian, I was rarely turn away when I want to approach them, sit with them or introduce myself. Usually the top management at these open houses are more than willing to say hi, have a quick chat and ask us what we do. Usually we will whipped out our business cards, give them over and say that we are one of their panel of lawyers. Although people put little weight on the exchange of business cards, we did managed to get calls from CEOs of these companies asking us to do a few personal work for them.

So, as much as my own weight goes haywire thanks to eating too much good food, I just have to attend all these corporate open houses and press some hands...

October 18, 2009

MACC is not as threatening as I thought

The poster

When I first got the invite from Kuah Jenhan, a member of the Young Comedian of Malaysia, I thought he was writing some funny episodes on Facebook in which I had added him to my friend list thanks to a chance meeting at the Twestival KL recently. He was actually flattered as I can recognised him as I had seen him doing a skit in the second Comedy Club KL gig last August. He added my name on Facebook there and then. Since that day, I have actually seen his updates which is kind of funny in a way. I did once said that comedian are actually serious people in real life and I still believe we need them to see the wrong in our daily life.

The place

MACC is actually an acronym for Malaysia Association of Chinese Comedians in contrast with the usual usage of the acronym for Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission. They were actually inviting everyone for their 1st EGM which does not mean Emergency General Meeting but Easy Going Meeting. Their invites have been tailored to be funny and even the price of admission is funny. At RM33.88, which is quite cheap for a show with 3 comedians, it also has the word 'Chinese Mah!' plastered on their poster beside the price. The three comedians in order of appearance are Phoon Chi Ho, Jenhan Kuah and Douglas Lim.

I have actually seen Douglas Lim and Jenhan Kuah in action when they were one of the act in the Comedy Club KL for July and August, respectively. They had managed to connect with the audience in their own respective way as stand-up comedian is not that popular in Malaysia. We do have the Actors Studio which tries to promote it but the comedians there seem recycled and has been in the theater and comedy scene since forever. These guys are a breath of fresh air (I only just got to know that Douglas has been in the business for 14 years and I actually wonder maybe I have seen him somewhere before)

I will not go into detail about their jokes but my report of this event is that it is funny. You will laugh and it actually hits your own nose. All does not discriminate. All got a dose of laughing at ourselves which is just the message they try to get across. Politics. Racism. Entertainment. Some songs performed (which are surprisingly good and who need Beyonce?). Malaysians being Malaysians. Our slogans which they ridiculed at no end. Our food. Our culture. Where we comes from. What we do for a living. Waited for a lawyer joke to come on but none forthcoming (maybe we are not the butt of joke yet here in Malaysia).

Most of the audience were Chinese and we thought it may be performed in Chinese

They had performed for 3 shows on Saturday night, a matinee on Sunday and I was at the last performance of the week which was at 9pm on Sunday. The place is in Petaling Jaya Live Art Center (known as PJLA) and it is in PJ One. They will be having the same performance next week at the same time (and yes, their final show will be competing with Beyonce concert. Don't have money, go to this show. It is cheaper and funnier and there are songs!). Support Malaysia product. Malaysia Boleh! and Want Malaysia! (You'll get it if you go). Go to their Facebook page to learn more.

October 17, 2009

What Whiteout?

Living in a tropical country such as Malaysia, where the cold comes in the form of rainy seasons and the threat of flood, for Whiteout to happen, which is the title of the new movie by Kate Beckinsdale, was something I cannot imagine happening to me. Whiteout is like snow blindness where you can only see is white (which of course from the snow). It is so harsh that you can lose a limb just if you forgot to wear a golve.

The movie is about Kate Beckinsdale character who was introduced going through a kid of a building which is where people on science expedition in Antartica live. She is a police on her final leg of assignment. She has 72 hours before the last plane leave to a retirement back in the normal world. The place was also closing for the winter (as in a harsh winter in contrast with just a normal winter). She has a friend who is an older doctor who is her friend and she confided in him on many things.

The opening scene saw her walking around before going into her room and then she stripped to take a shower where we can see her silhouette through the shower door. My wife asked me, why do they need to have that scene? Any relevance to the movie? Actually no, except maybe to show how many layer of clothing you have to wear in Antratica as it is a very cold place - Not really a good answer huh? So, someone may want to show off her body - A better Hollywood answer.

Anyway, 2 minutes in, a radio call comes in and it was about a dead body found somewhere our there. They flew in to go investigate it. When the doctor checks the body, the only explanation they can come up with is that he was murdered. That sets the tone for the movie as there never have been any murder in Antartica ever. Before you know it, there were more than 1 murder. Then a few other character were introduced and the whole movie you will have a kind of a guess-who-is-the-real-murderer kind of thriller.

The movie is only okay as you cannot actually do an action thriller much in a place as cold as Antartica. I remembered a movie where Robin Williams was a police trying to solve a murder in Iceland where the season had changed to 23 hours of sunlight and in that one at least there was a real town. In this, all you can see is ice and just by looking at it you can feel the cold. Kate Beckinsdale still cannot carry a thriller like this yet although she had been the main character in Underworld. What I know is horror movie such as The Thing and that vampire movie in the Arctic worked well in the cold.

Go watch Whiteout if you want a change of weather. See the extreme cold and harsh weather. Someone in the film said "Welcome to the desert of a different kind".

You can fund a legal suit?

As a lawyer in Malaysia and as an owner of a legal firm, telling someone NOT to sue will be the last thing from my mind. However, in reality, lawsuits can be very expensive. Sometimes, there are clients whom I just know couldn't afford to take someone to court although they have been aggrieved. Most of them will start the conversation, nervously asking how much the lawsuit will cost. If you take someone to court over certain issue such as trespassing and you want to stop the person whom you are suing from doing whatever it is that aggrieves you, you usually have to deposit some money into the court.

As a plaintiff (the one who sues) you may again scratch your head when you hear this.  You may ask why you need to pay some money when you think something wrong is done to you. But you must remember that there are two sides to every story. The court cannot consider you to be in the right just because you are the one who starts the lawsuit. That is why the court has to ensure that you are really sure about suing someone  and ask for some money to be deposited with them. If after the trial it was found that you are the one in the wrong, the money deposited can be forfeited as you have just wasted the court's time.

When you read the paragraphs above, you will understand how much a lawsuit can cost you. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you can have someone to finance your lawsuit? Orchard Funding, LLC was formed to help direct plaintiffs, attorneys and medical providers on the web to the information they need regarding lawsuit funding. Lawsuit funding is a non-recourse cash advance on a pre-settlement lawsuit. This means repayment by the plaintiff is only necessary should the case be settled.

Cash advances are given so that it can help you go through the lawsuit. Orchard Funding, LLC  have the ability to provide you the financial means necessary to cover your living and other expenses during the course of your lawsuit. The cash can be used to pay for bills and expenses such as medical bills, rent, mortgage payments, car payments, legal expenses and other expenses.

Try Orchard Funding today and you can now get the funding for your lawsuit that you have always wanted. But remember, it is a funding. Not free money...


October 16, 2009

Xpax for Blackberry Party

Everybody knows that I have a Blackberry. As a lawyer, it is one of the essential tool I  need to connect to the internet and plan my day ahead. Especially those who knows me through Twitter. What they didn't know is what type of Blackberry I have. I am actually is so comfortable with my Blackberry Storm that I snubbed the chance to change my Blackberry for other PDA especially when Maxis started to offer iPhone, which is quite cool, no matter how you view it.

I just love the ease for me to connect to Twitter, Facebook, check email and with my wife having a Blackberry, we can actually message each other even if I am halfway across the world for free. Yes, exchange your BB Messenger pins, then you can message each other for free. Did you know you can get unlimited Blackberry prepaid from as low as RM1.00 per day! More information here

So, when Nuffnang offered me 2 VIP passes to the launch event of Blackberry package made special for XPax (prepaid package by Celcom), I quickly jump on the chance to see what it is all about. The event's name was the launch of XPax Blackberry Curve 8520 and it was held on last Friday at The Republic, Sunway Pyramid. There was a burst of excitement leading to the event which was made viral through Twitter. You can read what happened in Twitterverse by reading a report by Julian Hopkins titled Visualising a monetised Twitter network. He is doing a PhD paper on blogging and monetisation, so it is only natural for him to see this event as a money making opportunity.

The event was quite good as we can actually walk just a few meters to the stage and after the show by DJ Lapsap, Joe Flizzow and Twilight Action Girl, among others, we can actually mingled with them. I made a few new friends that night while catching up with a few of those who I haven't meet for awhile. Here are some pictures of the event :

The place and the party

The stage with performers (third picture is actually a rap competition between the 2 girls in green. They really can rap)

October 15, 2009

15Malaysia in Pusan

Where is actually Pusan? I have been hearing (reading actually) the news about Packet One Networks (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (“P1”) and ruumzNation Sdn Bhd (“ruumz’) sponsoring the 15Malaysia short films' directors with their casts and crews to attend the 14th Pusan International Film Festival in Korea from 8th Oct till 12th Oct 2009, I was intrigued. So, I googled it. It is actually in South Korea and is more known as Busan but pronounced as Pusan by Koreans. It is a port city and is quite beautiful.

The Malaysians who were sent by P1 actually was vying for some trophies and they were also there to showcase Malaysian films. During the time they were there, this itinerary was the basis for their presence : 

Day 1
-          Trip to Pusan
-          Red Carpet

Josh Harnett and Lee Byung Hun were there

Day 2
-          15Malaysia screening
-          15Malaysia Party where white balloon was released to commemorate Yasmin Ahmad

Day 3                                                                      
-          Screening of Talentime by Yasmin Ahmad

Day 4
-          Screening of At The End Of Daybreak by Ho Yuhang
-          Screening of My Daughter by Charlotte Lim

Pete Teo has all the reason to smirk like that

Isn't all this great? I mean, you get to mingle and promote Malaysia through film. Go to http://www.ruumz.com/15Malaysia if you want to see more photos. Rummz now seems to be growing day by day.

When I did my take on the 15Malaysia project, even my blogger friends from other country 'gets' the shorts. These films transends boundaries. If you want to catch them yet again, the links to my blogs are here, here, here, here and here. You will laugh, you will cry, you will sing, you will smirk, get angry, understand some and scratch your head to some other. Enjoy!

October 14, 2009

Tree planting for political mileage?

The picture above is the face of a local politician within my area. There are 2 others in Shah Alam and I am not sure by hierarchy whether he is the top-most one but he is always seen at ceremonies around here. He is  the Selangor state executive councillor in charge of environment. So, other than this event being within his constituent, it is also his job scope to officiate the event. The tree he is planting is just a few meters from my house. I actually walked (which I usually do every Saturday) to the tree planting ceremony last Saturday. That is how near the ceremony was.

The weird thing is, there are so many trees within the area already. My housing area is adjacent to what is labelled in the map as the Botanic Park. Heck, when they construct my house, one of the biggest headache for the developer was to relocate the natives who was living there. They have now become my neighbours (seriously!). They got terrace houses right in front of my house and within a few months, I hope the bungalow they were promised will be completed.

At the ceremony, there were many familiar faces from the local authorities, Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam (Shah Alam City Council). Most are Head of Departments. Some I know personally and some are known to me. I mingled, chatted with them and asked them whether there are really a reason to plant trees just 30 meters away from a forest and makes a ceremony out of it. I know that you need to replant forest once in awhile to sustain a good area or it will be swallowed by development. Some of them did say it needs to be done but some did smirked. Their body language do say that all these are done for political mileage.

Whatever the reason, it is good to know they are not going to go inroads into the forest and destroy the reason I really love my housing area. I always love getting the fresh air and seeing the beautiful sight that greeted me everyday when I drive in and out of it.

The banner announcing the ceremony (still hanging there)

The speech which drowse some to sleep

Like a funeral, they gathered around the area for some picture opportunities

The local authority, Shah Alam City Council (who has to work on a Saturday) had some fun together

The native's head (orang asal) who lives in front of my house

One of the tree properly labelled with the name of the tree and the supposed VIP who planted it (symbolically, whatever that means)
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