March 23, 2015

Pinjam adalah Bestseller 2014 di Pesta Buku Antarabangsa Putrajaya 2015

Dengan nama pena 'Anuar Shah', saya telah menulis dua buku. 

Buku pertama saya, Pinjam telah diterbitkan pada 2014 di Kuala Lumpur Alternative BookFest. Kali pertama saya memegang buku Pinjam adalah ketika saya pergi ke Pesta Buku Antarabangsa Putrajaya di Pusat Konvensyen Antarabangsa Putrajaya. Saya hanya memegangnya tetapi tidak memiliki satu pun buku Pinjam itu sehingga seminggu kemudia di KL Alternatif BookFest 2014, yang kali terakhir diadakan di Annexe Gallery di belakang Pasar Seni Kuala Lumpur.

Pegang je, tak boleh nak belek pun sebab penjualnya adalah MPH, bukan Fixi
Tahun 2015, semasa saya sibuk hendak melancakan buku kedua saya dengan Fixi, Pentas, tiba-tiba saya mendapat WhatsApp daripada rakan satu sekolah saya, saudara Zaid, yang tinggal di Putrajaya. Dia telah pergi ke Pesta Buku Antarabangsa Putrajaya beberapa lebih awal daripada masa yang telah ditetapkan untuk saya pergi ke sana. Dia menghantar WhatsApp yang menunjukkan Pinjam adalah Bestseller 2014 di Pesta Buku Antarabangsa Putrajaya itu.

Gambar-gambar WhatsApp daripada rakan saya, Zaid
Saya menjadi tidak sabar untuk Sabtu, 21hb sampai. Semua yang bakal berlaku pada 21hb Mac 2015 itu telah saya cerita di blogpost ini.

21hb Mac itu, saya telah dijemput sebagai salah seorang daripada penulis-penulis True Wealth, penerbit buku siri Ask the Lawyer saya untuk memberi sedikit seminar percuma terutama yang berkaitan dengan buku-buku saya. 

Saya menjadi lebih teruja untuk ke sana kerana saya ingin melihat sendiri buku saya sebagai Bestseller 2014. Ia menjadi cukup nostalgia kerana itu lah tempat pertama saya melihat buku Pinjam itu sendiri.

Saya menjadi lebih bangga dan berterima kasih kerana staff MPH yang ada mengenali saya dan meminta mengambil gambar dengan saya. Seorang kedengaran berkata "Aku dah cakap, kat Pesta Buku ni kita dapat jumpa ramai orang terkenal."

Dengan pekerja-pekerja MPH pagi itu
Dalam hati sendiri menyebut "Wah, penulis Fixi dianggap sebagai orang terkenal."

Selepas saya habis memberi seminar pendek itu, terjumpa dua rakan se-universiti saya yang berkahwin sesama mereka dengan anak  mereka yang sudah boleh dikatakan 'anak dara'. Saya sudah lama tidak berjumpa mereka. Sempat mengambil gambar dan kemudian di dalam group WhatsApp kami rakan saya berkata anaknya telah mengedarkan gambarnya dengan penulis Pinjam kepada kawan-kawannya (walaupun masa berjumpa tak minat untuk saya menandatangani buku Pinjam yang ibu bapanya tawarkan untuk beli untuknya).

Memang cukup bersyukur dan gembira dengan pencapaian novel sulung saya, Pinjam, itu.

p/s : Jika minat nak baca Pinjam boleh beli di website Fixi ini dan jika mahu mengikut perkembangan novel Pinjam dan novel-novel indie oleh Fixi, boleh ikut di sini

March 20, 2015

Kuala Lumpur Alternative BookFest 2015

It is happening tomorrow and Sunday, 21st and 22nd of March 2015 at Dataran Underground (below Dataran Merdeka).

I always have a sentimental attachment to Kuala Lumpur Alternative BookFest. My first novel, Pinjam, was launched there last year and of course, it was the first place it was sold. I have always visited it before I was involved in any direct way with it. Kuala Lumpur Alternative BookFest is always held together with Art for Grabs, which is a flea market for artworks and small time vendor.

Here is a video of the launch of Pinjam last year where Amir Muhammad, the owner of Fixi interviewed me.

It was always been held at the Central Market Annexe Gallery which made it even more nostalgic for me as Central Market was the place I lepak when I was in high school. Not that I was schooling anywhere near Central Market or Kuala Lumpur for that matter (My boarding school was in Labu, Negeri Sembilan), but it was where we, non KL-ites followed our brethen from KL when we alighted from the Seremban-Kuala Lumpur Ekspress. Yes, Central Market was the place I remember well.

Annexe Gallery, a building behind Central Market was one of the first cineplex in Kuala Lumpur. This was before cineplexes are a norm like nowadays. We were quite jakun seeing a cinema with multiple screen. I was from the generation where we went to one cinema to see one movie. The joke among my younger friends is I am so old I watched Superman (with Christopher Reeves) and Star Wars in cinema. Even when I said I watched the first Die Hard in cinema they had a laughing fit.

Anyway, this year, my second book will be out (it is sold as eBook since Friday the13th of March - I asked specifically for that date) and the printed version will be sold today, Friday, 20th March 2015). For the eBook, it can be bought here :

The printed version can be bought at most major bookstores within a week and can be ordered at Fixi's website. And of course, at the Kuala Lumpur Alternative BookFest 2015.

Pentas is about magic and 'real' magic. It is based on some story found in the Quran and how the magicians were judged when an incident happened on stage while they were performing. It refers to so many well-known magician including Houdini, David Copperfield and even the street magicians who are quite popular today. It has a bit of courtroom drama at the end and in true Fixi's books form, it has a twist.

This time around, Kuala Lumpur Alternative BookFest will be held at a new venue. It will be at Dataran Underground which is an event space under Dataran Merdeka, the place facing an iconic building no one shouldn't know if you are Malaysian or if you ever been to Malaysia. It has a nostalgic connection to me too, but enough of that. This place will be featured in my next novel, Persona, which I need to finish writing first.

Come over to Kuala Lumpur Alternative Book Fair and here are some links for you to check out in order for you to get an idea what it is all about.

Kuala Lumpur Alternative BookFest 2015 reviewed in the Star and Both listed full schedule of the BookFest.

Here are some other events you can find at KL Alternative BookFest 2015. Fellow alumnus of my high school, Nasron Yassin is launching his Karya Agong, released by Dubook Press, at 3.30pm the same day.

Here's another event by Fixi much earlier at 12 noon (quite interesting but I can't be there as I am in Putrajaya Book Fair)

Check out their Facebook event page here

March 18, 2015

Equinox, Book Talk and Book Launch

Who else sells book if not the author?

That's what I have been told long ago when I wanted to write.

On 21st of March 2015, the day of the equinox (the phenomena when the sun is exactly on the equator) and which is expected to be scorching hot unlike any other (for that, please drink lots of water), I will be at two places (at different times, of course) and will be promoting my books. Two different books from two different genre. I am hoping to pull it off by having a change of clothes in between.

Hey, if all those American artistes and even Malaysian artistes can change their clothes in the middle of their show, why not me.

My first event will be at 11am on that fine 21st March morning at Putrajaya International Convention Center, where BookerVille, Facstory, Putrajaya International Book Fair 2015 under the MPH Bookstore. Click here for more details.

Other than me, here are the full schedule of speakers from my property book's publisher, including Azizi Ali :

​17 Mac 2015 (Selasa) ​4 ptg-4.45 ptg
​Jamilah Samian - ​Pelancaran Buku 'Ajaibnya Kebaikan'
18 Mac 2015 (Rabu) 4 ptg-4.45 ptg
​Zamri Aminuddin - ​Rahsia Menjadi Jurujual Berjaya​

19 Mac 2015 (Khamis) ​4 ptg-4.45 ptg
​Zaid Mohamad - ​Strategi 7S : Ibubapa Bijak, Anak Hebat​

20 Mac 2015 (Jumaat) 11 pg-11.45 pg
​​Dr Noor Hayati​ - Rahsia Menulis Buku Bestseller

​21 Mac 2015 (Sabtu) 11 pg-11.45 pg
Khairul Anuar​ - Tanya Peguam Anda! - Apa Yang Anda Patut Tanya Peguam Anda Sebelum Membeli Rumah Di Malaysia

21 Mac 2015 (Sabtu) 1 ptg-1.45 ptg
​Azizi Ali - Mencipta SPP (Sumber Pendapatan Pelbagai)

​22 Mac 2015 (Ahad) ​11 pg-11.45pg
Norsa'adah Ahmad​​ - Bicara GST - GST Dari Perspektif Peniaga & Pengguna
​22 Mac 2015 (Ahad) ​1 ptg-1.45 ptg
​Azizi Ali - Bagaimana Melindungi Diri Anda Daripada 'Scam'

Although I am listed to speak in Bahasa Malaysia as most of my books are in English, I will be using more Manglish than anything, depending on the crowd.

Follow my updates on my Ask the Lawyer series in my Facebook page here. My Ask the Lawyer series can be bought at bookstores across Malaysia or buy it online at All my books (and other books ) at Book Planet are being sold at a discount due the new revamped Book Planet website until 23rd March 2015. 

At 5.30pm, on the same day, I will be heading to Dataran Underground, the active-again below-ground space under Dataran Merdeka, where the KL Alternative BookFest 2015 is going to be held.

There, I will launch my new Fixi book, PENTAS.

What I would like to do is to invite EVERYONE that is reading this to come see me either to hear me talk (for free) or buy my book(s) or just hang out at these awesome places/events. If you are around and see me, pictures below, at least introduce yourself and say hi...

Follow me on my Facebook page for Pinjam (my first book with Fixi) here. My Fixi books can be bought at Fixi's website.

March 13, 2015

PENTAS, my new fiction book with Fixi is out!

I may have never announced it in this blog or most of my professional-related channel. 

As a lawyer who owns a legal firm, telling the world I am writing Bahasa Malaysia novels for an imprint such as Fixi, which is known to sell edgy, uncensored, witchcraft-laden, mind-fuck, transgender-friendly, adultery, fill-with-murders, science-fiction books unlike the at-least-200,000 copies love story cum religious-undertone type of stories sought by most Malaysians, may not be a good idea.

So, although I have a nearly-one-year book with Fixi, Pinjam, I never really promoted it here. Here is Pinjam's cover :

Me holding Pinjam for the first time at Bookerville, Putrajaya Book Fair 2014 on 21st March last year
Pinjam is now in its fifth print run and is selling quite well.

So, today, on the second Friday the 13th of 2015 (there was one in February), the eBook of my second fiction book, Pentas is out and can be bought at Google Playstore, Kaki Buku (Appstore), E-Sentral and Bachabooku.It is priced at RM9.90 as an eBook.

It will be released as a physical book next week on 20th March.

Pentas' release was delayed because of certain objectional content in it but all is good now.

There will be a launch event on 21st March 2015 at Dataran Underground with Pentas being one of the other 2 novels by Fixi launched that day. Do come over to buy, talk to me or just hang out.

March 12, 2015

40 Questions You Should Ask Your Lawyer Before Applying Housing Loan in Malaysia

This book of mine is already out in bookstores across Malaysia and can be bought online at my publisher's website since December 2014. My publisher's website can be access here : Book

This book is the continuation of my other books : 40 Questions You Should Ask Your Lawyer Before Buying A Residential Property in Malaysia, published in 2010; and 40 Questions You Should Ask Your Lawyer Before Buying A Residential Property in Malaysia, published in 2013.

All the Ask the Lawyer series books

I also have the books in Bahasa Malaysia with 40 Soalan Yang Anda Patut Tanya Peguam Anda Sebelum Membeli Rumah di Malaysia being sold as a physical book since 2011 and 40 Lagi Soalan Yang Anda Patut Peguam Anda Sebelum Membeli Rumah di Malaysia sold as eBook. The link to my eBook is aptly named Lawyer Hartanah (Property Lawyer) and can be access here :

I am currently writing the Bahasa Malaysia equivalent for 40 Questions You Should Ask Your Lawyer Before Applying Housing Loan in Malaysia named 40 Soalan Yang Anda Patut Tanya Peguam Anda Sebelum Memohon Pinjaman Perumahan di Malaysia which will be released soon.

Here are some previews of the book :

March 6, 2015

Time to Dig In and Reassess Your Investment

The new year 2015 has brought a new landscape to the investment scenario, either to the property market or the investment market as a whole.
2014 can be called as the year where most investors had expected to make less money but surprisingly, most can claim it was not too bad of a year after all. Most investment funds such as Amanah Saham Bumiputera, real estate unit trust, unit trust and Employee Provident Fund have declared good returns more than what were expected from them. The stock market had climbed to new heights. Property market did return to a semblance of the good old days.
Alas, it didn’t last. By the end of the year, the stock market had turned southward, the oil prices started its sharp decline, the property market started to go soft and the fun is lacking in funds. If statistics are to be trusted, we are expecting 2015 to be a bad year. To add salt to the wound, we are expecting a period of ‘adjustment’ due to the introduction of the Goods and Sales Tax (GST) starting this 1st April 2015 in Malaysia. The words ‘uncertain’, ‘not going to be much impacted’ and the favourite ‘…going to pick up’ are keywords which are being used extensively when the experts are asked what lies ahead. No one will commit that we are heading for a bad time.
For those who had lived long enough, they recognised the next few months as the time to dig in and to reassess their investment. It’s not as if they have never seen it before. Right?
How about the young ones? The ones who had just start their work lives and are just starting to invest in places they thought were good enough for them to get good returns? Should they keep on investing? Should they cut their losses and wait until the market stabilised? Is property still a safe bet?
The answer is simple: It is time to dig in and reassess your investment. It is good to do this every once in a while. You need to understand the concept of holding power and the time to cut your losses.
There are a few rules all property investors or any other type of investors should always keep in mind:
Understand the concept of investment, know the product, and know how much you are spending and what your exit strategy is. Before jumping into the water, you should know whether it is cold, warm or hot.
One of the lessons I’ve learned about investing in property is how important it is to know the seller, be it the property development company, the bank auctioning the property or the seller of the property. Most people do not research properly the seller especially if they buy a property from a housing developer. Past success (or lack thereof) does not ensure future success.
This advice is redundant of the advice No. 1 but this goes to the specifics. This is when you research the place and the type of property you are buying instead of knowing about how to invest in property. As an example, if you shunned areas such as Nilai or KLIA a few years ago, it might be of interest to you to know that the property investment landscape in those areas has changed. People are starting to buy in those areas. If you are looking for deals, this may be a good time but not for long.
People who buy properties should ask a lot of questions until the sale person who handles the queries starts to hate you. In all my years of being a lawyer, I find people are indifferent when it comes to the fees a lawyer can charge and why he/she is charging that much. They only look at the total amount and only care about how much discount they can get from the lawyer without asking why there’s a separate cost for disbursement and what each disbursement is for. I also find people are surprised at the idea of paying monthly charges, quarterly charges and annual charges for their strata properties to pay for monthly maintenance, sinking fund and assessment rate, respectively. When they sell their property, they are again ignorant of the fact of the Real Property Gain Tax that they will have to pay.
Everyone wants to make a quick buck. As PT Barnum had allegedly said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” These two rules have made a few enterprising spirits into crooks. The modus operandi maybe different but the rules have never change. There is no easy money. Period.
Read the news, read about the change in law, read about the change in the interest rate regime, read about the debate on the implementation of Goods and Sales Tax, read about the debate on lowering of the prices of goods and, finally, read the fine print. Read every single thing. And understand it.
If you have invested, surely you have read the fine prints and you have planned your exit strategy. Even if your debt is as simple as a credit card, as you aged, wouldn’t you want to close all those cards that are eating up your disposable cash and start to be smarter? If you had bought a property which you planned to rent but it is giving you negative cash flow, shouldn’t you check the market value and see if you can sell it for a good price? Why must you have debts that are not helping you to gain more money?
Yes, the oil prices dropped, the ringgit is at its lowest and the economy is going to be bad. Foreign investors are leaving in droves. People are not buying as much as they did a few years ago. If you have kept some money for such times, this is the time to buy properties. There are so many choices in the market. People rather rent than buy. If you had wanted to rent your property, you can start now. If you get good rental, don’t sell the property yet. Check your tenant properly, make sure you have an ironclad tenancy agreement and make sure you can sell the house when you get a good offer.
As you reassess, exit your investment, recuperate, change tactics and reinvest your money somewhere safer, try to look for opportunities that are less risky. I’ve met so many people who insist in investing in properties but do not have any investment at all in safer portfolio such as ASB or unit trust. They rather take the high risk, high return route as if the winner-takes-all attitude is the only way for investors to live.
Remember the time when even the government allows for its staff to have business? This happened a few years back. As much as you rely on your salary and allowance for your livelihood, why don’t you make money from what you do in your spare time? If you are a traveller or a cyclist, invite others to join you and you can charge them for organising the tour or event. Make sure you really know what you do and do it well so that the word of mouth will spread. It might just be your next career move.
This was first published as an article with Property Insight Magazine, March 2015 edition
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