Wednesday, December 24, 2008

In Memory of My Father: Hamzah Kusni 1933-2008




Monday 22nd December 2008. About 3pm Malaysian time. Allah called him, and he is no longer with us.
It was about 8.30pm NZ time. I had a call on my cellphone from Maslina, my sister cried on the phone and told me that my dad is no longer with us. Took me a few minutes for the words to sink in..
Few minutes later Maslina rang again and told me what happened. My father had been sick again, (his heart has been giving him trouble for the past few years)and my family was going to take him to the hospital. But his time had come.

One thing I regret, is that I didnt have the chance to see him.


Last Raya, I rang my parent, and I managed to speak to everyone, especially my parent. My father was chirpy enough, his voice was clear and he asked me when I would come back home. I told him that I was saving money to come home during Raya Haji. We were planning to buy a 'lembu' for korban, and father asked me to include my stillborn sister's name in the korban. I said, yes dad.
I sort of know that I had to come home then. I started looking for airfare prices on the internet. Yes I needed to save around NZD2000+ just for the return airfare, it is peak season in December.
Needless to say, come Raya Haji, I didnt make it. At least the korban that we planned was done. A couple of days after Raya Haji, my father was admitted to hospital again, his heart giving him problem, not pumping blood properly and legs, hands and most part of his body get bloated.
I knew I had to come home, and that was less than a fortnight ago. I still didnt have enough.
Now its too late.
I hadnt been back since May 2004.

Today I managed to secure a seat on Jetstar.com on the 30 Dec from Christchurch to Gold Coast (Coolangatta), and then on to KL on Airasia.com the next day. Thanks to Nadzri and Wahidah who gave me the money. I am most grateful.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Let GM, Chrysler and Ford Bankrupt.

Yes thats right. In the world where every one is calling to bailout the Big Three, I am calling to let them go bankrupt. There is no need for me to present the benefit of bailing out the Big Three. Three million job will be saved, Those states will save billions in unemployment cost yadda..yadda. Thats is absolutely true that a lot of jobs will be saved, and cities will continue to flourish instead of dwindling to economic oblivion.

For a country that preaches free market, the bailout is contrary to the principles of laizze faire. Free market also means consumer are free to choose what they want. If consumers have chosen not to support the Big Three, there is no point propping them up with a bailout.

My argument is, that bailout money will only prolong the inevitable, and propping up a dying dinosaur. GM, Chrysler and Ford had to change the way they do business long ago. The Age of Great Automotive economy has peaked long ago, soon as the price of oil reached its USD$80 a barrel and people found a better way of socializing on the internet and do business online. As soon as people's love affair with cars is over, the Big Three is done. Furthermore, the trend lately is for environmentally friendly everything.
Gas guzzler cars and SUV has been identified as least environmentally friendly.

Yes millions of jobs will be lost, but those newly unemployed would find new work niches or move to other cities, hence reallocating scarce human resources. Other parts of the economy might be given a lifeline chance to flourish.

Some of the bailout money would have been used to support the pension plan of automotive retirees, what are more than likely already rich from years of working highly paid jobs. Why would the rest of the nation, poor included, support those rich retirees?

On the capital value argument, those automotive plants would be valued at billions of dollars. A bankruptcy would wipe out most of that capital value of those factories as well as brand value and intelectual capital. Say if another entity headed by one Joe Blogg managed to buy those factories etc at say $1billion and restart those car firms, GM, Chrysler and Ford without the cost of pension for retirees etc hanging over the neck. Given that the unemployment rate is high and Joe Blogg Car Corp can hire autoworkers at much lower rate, the new entity would be much more competitive and lean. Now Joe Blogg Car Corp could sell their cars at much lower price, because the capital cost is low, at say, $1billion, as well as lower labour cost. Development cost of the cars that Joe Blogg produce would be low too, because much of it would have been written off in the bankruptcy.

There you go, America and the world would benefit with cheaper cars. Joe Blogg Car Corp might also change strategy to produce more environmentally friendly cars that doesnt guzzle as much gas.

This article from Bloomberg
Bush Says Verdict on GM, Chrysler Aid ‘Won’t Be Long’ (Update3)
Email | Print | A A A

By Jeff Green and Edwin Chen

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush said deliberations by his administration on whether to tap a bank bailout fund to keep General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC out of bankruptcy “won’t be a long process” because of the “fragility” of the U.S. automakers.

The president, traveling on Air Force One from Iraq to Afghanistan last night, said he “signaled” his administration is considering using money from the $700 billion fund. Bush said he’s “not quite ready” to announce any rescue plan.

GM Chief Financial Officer Ray Young met yesterday with administration staff seeking agreement on the size of the short- term loans, a person familiar with the talks said. A decision may not be made today, the person said. Bush is en route back to the White House today; his press office says he will arrive at 4:45 p.m. today.

Without an agreement, the world’s largest automaker and smaller Chrysler may be only weeks away from insolvency, both companies said in congressional hearings Dec. 4-5. GM is reeling from almost $73 billion in losses since 2004 and a 22 percent slump in U.S. sales this year. The automaker said last month it lost $4.2 billion in the third quarter.

Chrysler has been battered by a 28 percent plunge in U.S. sales through November, the most among major automakers.

The Bush administration agreed Dec. 12 to consider options after the Senate failed to reach a compromise on $14 billion in aid. Republicans objected to a House-passed plan that was backed by Bush.

Next Congress

GM and administration officials are still trying to agree on how much the automaker needs to survive until Jan. 6 when a new Congress takes over, the person said. United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger said yesterday on CNN that he hadn’t been contacted by the White House about the negotiations.

The dispute in Congress reflects the tension between Republican senators from Southern states that have plants owned by overseas automakers, and the Detroit-based union, which primarily supports Democrats in political campaigns, in efforts to craft a federal rescue plan. The next Congress will have a bigger Democratic majority.

GM spokesman Steve Harris said last night that there was no new information on the talks. White House spokesman Tony Fratto said “we’re not going to comment on our deliberations or timing.”

GM rose 23 cents, or 5.8 percent, to $4.17 at 9:40 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange trading. Ford advanced 13 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $3.17. GM fell 84 percent this year before today, and Ford slid 55 percent. While Ford also is losing money, the company has said it isn’t seeking short-term government aid.

TARP Funds

On Dec. 12, GM Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner spoke by telephone with White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson about the automaker’s needs, a person familiar with those talks said that day.

The talks followed a statement that day by the White House that it would consider using the Troubled Asset Relief Program to help GM and Chrysler. GM Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson also participated in the Dec. 12 discussions.

Senator Bob Corker, the Tennessee Republican who tried to broker the failed Senate compromise legislation, said Gettelfinger wouldn’t agree to move up the timing of wage and benefit cuts as part of a bid for government aid because the union was sure the Bush administration would bail out the automakers.

Corker said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he is urging the White House to impose similar terms on the auto companies to force bondholders to take losses, push through management changes and get union workers to have wages “competitive” with workers at non-union plants. The House bill supported by Bush left those decisions up to a so-called car czar or oversight board.

Gettelfinger’s Response

Gettelfinger responded later, saying he never told Corker that he was counting on the White House.

“Why would we run the risk of knocking this down in the Senate if the urgency is what it is?” he told CNN’s “Late Edition” program. “I did not tell him that.”

Gettelfinger also said yesterday it was a mistake for his union to conduct a detailed negotiation with Congress on the matter.

The failure of the talks with Corker shows “we should keep the Congress of the United States away from the bargaining table,” Gettelfinger said. “The bargaining issue should be handled between the companies and the union.”

Job losses from an automaker failure in 2009 would total 2.5 million to 3.5 million in 2009, including 1.4 million people in industries not directly tied to manufacturing, according to a Nov. 4 report from the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research, which conducts studies for government agencies and companies.

The job losses may be less than the center predicts, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Corp.’s Economy.com. “But over a million in the first quarter of ‘09, I think, would be reasonable to expect.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Jeff Green in Washington at jgreen16@bloomberg.net; Edwin Chen with the president in Afghanistan at echen32@bloomberg.net

Monday, December 08, 2008

my letter in malaysiakini

Economics, perception and deception
Noor Hamzah | Dec 8, 08 1:28pm
I refer to the Malaysiakini report Deputy finance minister's head in the sand.

Deputy Finance Minister Kong Cho Ha said in Parliament that “Malaysia is only feeling the pinch indirectly from the minimum impact of the sub-prime mortgage crisis cushioned by the strong domestic economy”.

Wow, that’s a mouthful. Malaysia has such a strong economic base that we are detached and independent from the goings-on in the world economy.

Klang member of Parliament Charles Santiago had this to say about it: “To say that we are detached from the world economy, is completely wrong.”

Santiago is right in saying that the deputy minister has his head in the sand. Yes, Kong has his head in the sand and purposely, too - for the government to open its eyes and take the problem head on may be too difficult.

If deputy premier Najib Abdul Razak can say that the economy is “strong” and there is nothing to worry about, and premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi can say that next year’s growth rate is projected at 5.5 percent, what else is there to say?

Who is Kong to say otherwise, that there will be a very rough landing, soon, maybe as early as March.

Given that exports make up a large proportion of our GDP, and a large proportion of assets in Malaysia are owned by foreigners, there is no way that we are not going to be affected.

Yet there are ways to minimise the impact of economic turmoil, but only to a certain extent. I can list some points:

1. Let the ringgit fall, this way our exports will still be competitive.

2. Reduce imports and implement a campaign for import substitution - grow our own as much as possible.

3. Minimise the impact of job losses in the exports and service sector by distributing our income fairly, i.e sharing our resources by unemployment benefits, pension for older people, etc.

4. Embark on new fiscal expansion initiatives to stimulate the economy.

5. Monetary expansion, i.e by reducing interest rates to effectively ‘zero’. And make borrowing easier, so entrepreneurs can embark on profitable ventures.

6. (Much as I don’t like to suggest it) Use our foreign reserves to prop up the ringgit and to pay for imports.


the last one, number 6 is a bit confusing, contrary to the first one. what i mean is, when you let the ringgit fall, it has to be gradual, not drastic fall. to have a gradual fall, you still have to buy the ringgit here and there.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Car 30 Sept 2008






yes one day before puasa.
my Mrs went out to town to buy something, and she came home without a car. Someone 2nd car in front stopped suddenly. The car in front of her managed to brake and stopped in time. But she didnt, she hit the car in front of her. a pregnant lady, whad to be driven to hospital in an ambulance for check up... to be sure. That car was a writeoff. our car was a writeoff.

The insurance company compensate us $3500, ie the sum insured, $3800 less $300 excess.

I bought this Honda Odyssey 1995 Auto from a Briton who are going back to London. Cost us $2500.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Economics, Perception and Deception

The Deputy Finance Minister Kong Cho Ha said in Parliament “it is only feeling the pinch indirectly from the minimum impact of the sub-prime mortgage crisis cushioned by the strong domestic economy.”

Wow, thats a mouthful. Malaysia has such a strong economic base, we are detached and independent from the going on in the world economy.

Charles Santiago has THESE WORDS to say about it.

To say that we are detached from world economy, is completely wrong. Charles is right to say that the Deputy Minister has his head in the sand.

Yes Kong Cho Ha has his head in the sand... PURPOSELY.

Because to for a Govt to open their eyes, and take the problem head on, maybe too difficult for the current Malaysian Govt. If Najib can say that Malaysian economy is strong and there is nothing to worry about, and PM Abdullah can say that next year growth is projected about 5.5%...
Who is Kong Cho Ha to say otherwise, that there will be hard landing, soon, maybe as early as March. Given that export made a large proportion of our GDP, and a large portion of assets in Malaysia are owned by foreigner, there is no way that we are not affected.

Yes there are ways to minimise impact of world economic turmoil, but only to certain extent. I can just list short points here.

1. Let the ringgit fall, this way our export would still be competitive.
2. Reduce import and implement campaign for import substitution, grow our own as much as possible.
3. Minimise impact of job losses in export and service sector by distributing fairly our income, ie sharing our resources. eg by unemployment benefits, pension for older people etc.
4. Embark on new fiscal expansion initiatives - to stimulate the economy.
5. Monetary expansion, ie reduce interest rate to effective zero for example. And make borrowing easier, so entrepreneurs could embark on profitable ventures.

this last one I dont like to suggest;
6. Use up our foreign reserve, to prop up our ringgit and to pay for imports.

Here is an example from New Zealand, a Govt that try to solve the problem head on. This is monetary easing in practice.
link HERE

Rate cut - don't expect too much
Page 1 of 2 View as a single page 4:00AM Friday December 05, 2008
By David Eames
Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard announcing a record one and a half percent cut in the OCR. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard announcing a record one and a half percent cut in the OCR. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Lowering the official cash rate will make mortgages cheaper, but don't expect it to cushion the impact of the international financial crisis, says one banking expert.

Massey University's centre for banking studies director David Tripe told the Herald yesterday's rate cut would reduce homeowners' mortgage payments and perhaps boost business confidence in the short term, but those effects "will be not necessarily huge".

Wider economic anxieties - not least the value of the properties on which they held mortgages - would continue to worry people.

"There still ends up being a significant problem in that people are concerned about economic events.

"They are no longer in a situation where they can count on continued increases in property prices to make them feel wealthy."

Reserve Bank Governor Allan Bollard yesterday chopped the official cash rate - the bank's wholesale interest rate - by 150 points, to 5 per cent.

The 1.5 percentage point cut is the biggest since the official cash rate was introduced in 1999 and follows the previous record cut - 100 points - in October.

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The rate has not been at 5 per cent since December 2003.

The move set trading bank lending rates falling, starting with ASB which cut its floating mortgage rate from 8.7 per cent to 7.95 per cent.

Repayments on a 25-year, $300,000 floating mortgage will fall by $150 a month.

The down side is that banks will also cut the interest rate they pay on savings.

Dr Bollard's announcement came with a warning to banks to be quick in passing the cuts to borrowers.

"We expect financial institutions to play their part in the economic adjustment process by passing on lower wholesale interest rates to their customers," he said.

Dr Tripe echoed his comments, saying present levels of bank mortgage rates relative to the official cash rate and the 90-day bill rate left significant scope for a reduction.

But Business NZ chief executive Phil O'Reilly said he became "a little annoyed" hearing others trying to tell banks what to do.

"We need to be quite careful about pressuring the banks to act in inappropriate ways ... potentially making them less healthy than they are."

Mr O'Reilly agreed in principle with Dr Tripe that the cash rate reduction was "not a silver bullet" to fix the economy.

He said many people might welcome lower mortgage repayments, but they could at the same time be anxious about their jobs, and less willing to spend any mortgage savings.

"They are going to be conservative about what they do."

He described the rate cut as "helpful, but not sufficient" in itself, and said the Government needed to be "mates" with the Reserve Bank by limiting its own wasteful spending.

Rate cut - don't expect too much
Page 2 of 2 View as a single page 4:00AM Friday December 05, 2008
By David Eames

Mr O'Reilly and Dr Tripe believe consumers will probably be careful with the mortgage reduction benefits, choosing to hang on to at least some of the savings.

And the same was likely to happen with the next round of tax cuts, in April, Mr O'Reilly said.

"When mortgage rate cuts and tax cuts take place ... what you tend to find is some people spend it all, but quite a few people spend a bit and save a bit."

The Reserve Bank also hinted yesterday that further cuts could be made to the cash rate.

In its December monetary policy statement, issued yesterday, the bank said "some further, but significantly smaller, reductions in interest rates may be warranted ..."

The statement said gross domestic product was expected to have contracted further in the September quarter, the third consecutive quarterly decline.

As well, further contraction early next year was "quite possible".

Dr Bollard said New Zealand went into a "very shallow" recession early compared to trading partners, and had been in a shallow recession throughout this year.

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Though the Reserve Bank believed New Zealand's recession had ended, there would probably be "very low growth" for the next year, he said.

- additional reporting NZPA

Two Malaysian nationals killed in NZ

this news in NZ newspaper

Deceased pair were on study trip from Malaysian university
December 4, 2008, 8:59 pm


Two Malaysian nationals killed in a car accident in South Waikato yesterday were in New Zealand on a study trip.

Shafiee Bin Ahmad, 51, the driver, and Mariyam Sakinah Binti Ahmad, 21, a passenger, both died at the scene of the crash at the intersection of State Highway 1 and SH5, east of Tirau.

Senior Sergeant Murray Hamilton, of Taupo police, said initial inquiries showed that the van carrying the Malaysians ignored a stop sign on SH5 and drove into the path of the truck and trailer unit on SH1.

Two of the van's other passengers remain in Waikato Hospital in serious conditions. The other two passengers were treated and discharged last night.

The truck driver was uninjured.

Mr Ahmad was the deputy dean of student affairs at the communications and media studies faculty at the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and Ms Ahmad was a second-year broadcasting student, the Kuala Lumpur newspaper New Straits Times reported.

UiTM assistant vice-chancellor of corporate and communications department Ahmad Redzuan Abd Rahman said the deceased were on a 10-day study trip. The group, of four lecturers and five students, left Malaysia on November 26 and were expected back tomorrow.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Minimum Wage Issue

As I said in my long ago postings, Minimum Wage is about EQUITY and ability to bargain. Those who have the much sought after skills would be able to extract most from the economy, ie get better pay. While those who are unable to bargain forcefully, or whose skills not highly valued, ends up with crumbs.

Role of a Govt is to enact laws that provide JUSTICE, EQUITY and FREEDOM for its citizens.

MINIMUM WAGE is about EQUITY.

You judge for yourselves, if the performance of Malaysian Government if dismal at best, or a total failure.

HARSH WORDS, but someone has to say it.

I have cut and pasted this letter from Malaysiakini.

Minimum wage now!
Michelle Lee | Dec 4, 08 4:15pm

I refer to the Malaysiakini report No minimum wage as yet.

Like many comfortable desk-bound employees, I often take for granted that there is no pungent smell of unwashed toilets floating around in the office. I take for granted that the dustbin in my room is emptied daily.

And mostly, I take for granted the men and women who are as essential to the company, as the managers, the supervisors, the officers and the clerks.

I was chatting with Kak Nur last week, at the end of a long day. I knew she worked two jobs, one as a cleaner with the company during the day, and the other making sushi during the night.

For her labour in the two jobs, totaling an ungodly 15 hours a day (enough to make any grown man faint from exhaustion) she takes home RM900 a month: RM600 from the day job, and RM300 from the night job.

I assumed she was unmarried. Who would have time or energy left? But I was wrong. She had three children. The youngest was just a year old. And to top it off, her husband had just left her six months ago, which was the driving reason for her taking up the second job.

I wanted to empty my bank account for her, but I knew that could not be the answer. The poor do not need perpetual hand-outs that make us feel good about ourselves, but which do nothing for their next generation, and the generation after them. We need policies that work for them.

One such policy which I believe is long overdue, is a minimum wage framework. Because when we allow private companies to pay pittance, we demean the work of another’s hands. By allowing it to go on for as long as it has, we have inevitably demeaned their personhood.

And we continue to scorn their dignity by saying that they are not worth that much. We say to them that they are negligible. That they are of little, or no value at all.

This is happening right here, in a multi-national company in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. I know for a fact that this is being replicated a thousand times over here in the city, and a hundred thousand times over in the rural areas, where plantation workers, tea leaf pickers and rubber tappers break their backs and give their lives for less than RM500 a month.

Minimum wage is not an ‘ideal policy’. It is a necessary policy that must be put in place to act as a check and balance on capitalism, which if left unregulated will and has manifested into uncontrolled greed, where the poor cannot afford a RM3.50 meal, and the rich pay RM200,000 for a two-seater sofa set.

So I say to this government and to the human resources Ministry, gor goodness’ sake, if you want to regulate something, regulate the right things. Impose a minimum wage now, because relying on the conscience of Big Business isn’t going to take the thousands of Kak Nurs out there very far.

And please, stop mouthing ridiculous statements like ‘Implementing minimum wages is not feasible’. Not feasible for whom? The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers? The Malaysian Employers Federation? I don’t think Kak Nur would have a problem with it though.

Finally, to you, the populace, who sit comfortably in your swept rooms. The tea-lady and the cleaner whom you meet everyday, her labour is as essential as yours is. Do not demean him or her by remaining silent.

Jerit, an NGO that has been petitioning for a minimum wage since the 1990s, recently launched a cycling campaign starting from Alor Setar and which will culminate in the handover of a memorandum to the prime minister on Dec 18.

Their goal is to raise awareness on the need for a minimum wage policy along the way. If you can’t cycle, go adopt a cyclist now.

Each of us can only do so much by giving hand-outs to individuals. One voice alone, while good, may not be as effective. As history has taught us, our government is a little hard of hearing. It took a collective jerit on March 8 to (hopefully) knock some sense in.

What is now needed is another jerit for those with no voice, a jerit for the implementation of a necessary policy to empower the poor, and to restore their dignity by affirming the worth of their labour.

My letter in Malaysiakini

link here
Wait a minute, can S'gor enact minimum wage law?
Noor Hamzah | Dec 2, 08 4:48pm
I refer to the Malaysiakini report No minimum wage as yet.

There has now been a proposal for RM1,000 minimum wage for Selangor. What are the implications? It would be good for Selangor, that’s for sure.

There are millions of Selangor residents currently earning less than RM1000 and some even less than RM400 a month. Just go to rural Selangor for example, and ask around.

Ask those pretty shop assistants wearing the tudung at the local mini markets in Tanjong Karang or Sungai Besar how much they earn in a month and most would readily say it’s RM400 a month.

Those who earn more than RM1,000 a month would probably be a supervisor. A manager would get about RM1,500.

If you work in the Klang Valley, then I’m sure that a factory worker’s basic monthly wage is about RM700 to RM800. Supplemented with lots of overtime, sometimes working 70-80 hours a week, then a factory worker could bring home over RM1,000 a month.

That’s a lot of money.

What if the Selangor government manages to enact a law requiring employers to pay at least RM1,000 a month? Let’s not get into the argument whether the Selangor government can pass a law stipulating a minimum wage of RM1,000 in Selangor.

They will have to go through that hurdle first. What is the scope of Selangor state assembly? Can they pass a law requiring a minimum wage fo RM1,000 for their citizens?

My prediction is that a lot of employers would want their employees earn their RM1,000. So if an employee's work is currently worth RM500 a month, the employer would formulate a new strategy so that the employee's work would be valued at more than RM1,000. Otherwise, why bother employing anyone?

Two strategies can be implemented - either charge more for services and/or products, or make the employee work harder. Both suggests increased efficiency in the economy. An efficient economy adds value, increases GDP and everyone would be better off in the long-term.

So, in the short term, we would see a lot of workers lose their jobs because Selangor employers wouldnt need as many workers as before. Incidentally, Selangor has the largest number of immigrant workers, legal or illegal, from Indonesia, Bangladesh and India. If enforcement is lax (for enforcement of the minimum wage), local workers would simply lose their jobs to their immigrant counterparts.

I would like to think positive.

That enforcement of the minimum wage is fair and being carried out. That workers, irrespective of whether they are local or illegal/legal foreigners get the same treatment, ie, they getat least the minimum wage of RM1,000 for a 48-hour week. (or is it a 40-hour week now?). And that local workers ie, Malaysians are given preference over foreign workers.

Soon, there will be no shortage of labour in Selangor. Malaysians from all over the country, who were previously badly paid elsewhere, would migrate to Selangor. And with a basic wage of RM1000, the hourly rate for overtime work would also be higher.

Given chance to do overtime, they would bring home RM1,500 or more. And the flow-on effect would resonate throughout the state’s economy as higher income would generate higher spending which would also lead to higher leisure spending.

Granted, all thing being equal, there would also be a higher GDP growth for Selangor. Higher income in the long run. The rural base in Selangor would benefit the most. Because most people living in the rural areas have their own land to grow some of their needs, and won’t have to pay rent, because they build their own houses. They also save a higher proportion of their income.

The question is still: can Selangor enact a law on minimum wage

Monday, December 01, 2008

RM1000 minimum wage for Selangor; What is the implications?

It would be good for Selangor, sure.

There are millions of Selangor residents currently earning less than RM1000, some even less than RM400 a month. Just go to rural Selangor for example, and ask around, ask those pretty shop assistants wearing tudung at local mini market in Tanjong Karang or Sungai Besar, how much she earns in a month, most would readily say its RM400 a month.
Those who earns more than RM1000 a month would probably be a supervisor. A manager would get about RM1500. If you work in Klang Valley then I would be sure that factory basic monthly wage is about RM700 to RM800. Supplemented with lots of overtime, sometimes working 70-80 hours a week, then a factory worker would bring home over RM1000 a month.

Thats a lot of money.

What if the Selangor Govt manage to enact a law requiring employers to pay at least RM1000 a month? Lets not go into the argument whether Selangor Govt CAN pass a law stipulating minimum wage of RM1000 in Selangor. They have to go through that hurdle first. What is the scope of Selangor DUN? Can they pass a law requiring minimum wage fo RM1000?

My prediction is a lot of employers would want their employees earn their RM1000. So if an employee's work is currently worth RM500 a month, the employer would make a new strategy so that the employee's work would be valued more than RM1000. Otherwise why bother employing anyone? Two strategies can be implemented, either charge more for services and/or products, or make the employee work harder. Both suggests increased efficiency in the economy. An efficient economy adds value, increase GDP and everyone would be better off in the long term.

So in the short term we would see a lot of workers lost their jobs, because Selangor employers wouldnt need as many workers. Incidentally, Selangor has the largest number of immigrant workers, legal or illegal from Indonesia, Bangladesh and India. If the enforcement is lax (enforcement of the minimum wage), local workers would simply lose their jobs to their immigrant counterparts.

I would like to think positive.

That enforcement of the minimum wage is fair and carried out. That workers, irrespective of whether they are local or illegal/legal foreign get the same treatment, ie they get the at least minimum wage of RM1000 for 48 hour week. (or is it 40 hour week now?). And that local workers ie Malaysians are given preference over foreign workers.

Soon there will be no shortage of labour in Selangor. Malaysians from all over the country, who are previously badly paid would migrate to Selangor. And with basic wage of RM1000, the hourly rate for overtime work would also be higher. Given chance to do overtime, they would bring home RM1500 or more. And the flow on effect would resonate through the economy, higher income would generate higher spending, which would also lead to higher leisure spending.

Granted, all thing being equal, higher GDP growth for Selangor. Higher income in the long run. The rural base in Selangor would benefit most. Bacause most people living in rural areas have their own land to grow some of their need, and doesnt have to pay rent, because they built their own houses. They also saves a higher proportion of their incomes.

The question is still:
CAN SELANGOR ENACT A LAW ON MINIMUM WAGE?

We May Have Reached The Bottom

I believe we may have reached the bottom, on the economic front. The fiscal stimulus by Govts all over the world has been succesfull in shoring up confidence in the economy.
Some economies has gone so far as lowering the interbank interest rate to ZERO, effectively. (If the Reserve Bank set the interest rate at, say 2.00 percent, and inflation rate for the country is also 2.00 percent, then that is zero effective rate)
We have seen that in Japan for a few years already. The Japanese Govt has been trying ro wake up their moribund economy. Now USA has Federal Rate at 2 something percent. Australia has lowered their interest rate to 5 something percent, and lower again in the next review. The same can be said of New Zealand. RBNZ is expected to cut the headline interest rate by 150 basis point, ie 1.5%.

Malaysia has cut interest rate to 3.25% a few days ago. A sure sign that deflation is utmost in their minds of the bank governors.

Yes when I see zero percent, and fiscal stimulus hand in hand, I am more confident in the economy.
True some sectors are experiencing bad times, like real estate and construction sector. But if you stick to essential consumer products for the time being, you would be safe. Everyone eat, and wear clothes, thats basic.

Let me highlight one stock that I have been watching.

AFFCO Holdings Limited Ordinary Shares (AFF)
Summary Charts Dividends News Announcements Price History Related Securities As at 6:15 pm, 28 Nov (20 min delay)
AFF 0.400 0 (+0.00%)
AFFCO Holdings Limited Ordinary Shares
As at 6:15 pm, 28 Nov (20 min delay) Bid 0.430 Volume 0
Ask 0.490 Value ($NZ) 0
Last Price ($NZ) 0.400
Change 0 P/E 6.82
Prev Close 0.400 EPS 0.059

Open Total Div Paid (last 12 calendar mths) 0.000
High Next Div Pay Date
Low Div Yield 0.000
Status
52-wk High 0.610
52-wk Low 0.320

Now the shares is selling around 40cents NZD. Giving Market Capitalization of around NZD200millions. Last years sales revenue was over NZD1billion. And profit of NZD60millions.
At that price of 40cents, its P/E ratio of 3+

Yeah, that cheap. furthermore the company product, lamb amd beef meat products are getting higher prices.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Rio Tinto is next, after Citibank, GM, Chrysler and Ford

Currently Rio Tinto'd debt stood at $42billions, and market capitalization, by value of shares stood at $36billion, and losing its value fast. True that Rio Tinto assets are quality during commodity boom era.
But things has changed for the worse in commodity sector for the past month. Commodity prices plunging, marked by plunging consumer demand in USA, Europe and now China and India.

this article was cut from bloomberg.

Rio Tinto’s $5 Billion Debt May Be Cut by Moody’s (Update4)
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By Jesse Riseborough

Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Rio Tinto Group, the subject of a failed hostile takeover from BHP Billiton Ltd., may have the rating on $5 billion of its debt cut by Moody’s Investors Service after a slump in prices for metals and raw materials.

Rio tumbled 34 percent in Sydney, its biggest drop in 21 years, after BHP yesterday scrapped the $66 billion bid, raising concern the London-based company may struggle to repay $42.1 billion of debt used to buy Alcan Inc. The “high-level” debt of Rio, whose market value has fallen to $36 billion, was a factor in the ratings review, Moody’s said in a statement.

“The fact that the debt is bigger than the market cap is a pretty nasty situation,” Evy Hambro, managing director of BlackRock Investment Management Ltd.’s $4.7 billion World Mining Fund, told reporters today in Melbourne. “Rio Tinto has got some world-class assets in its portfolio and they will obviously have to find a way of rebalancing the debt and equity mix.”

Rio Chairman Paul Skinner today said he’s “comfortable” the company’s debt position is manageable, paying an average interest rate of 2.85 percent. The company remains committed to asset sales following the Alcan transaction last year and doesn’t need to sell new shares, he said. Moody’s has an A3 rating on Rio’s long-term debt.

Weak Demand

“The review reflects Moody’s expectation that Rio Tinto’s mid-term performance is likely to be adversely impacted by negative market conditions for key metals such as copper and aluminum,” Moody’s said. “Given the slowdown in global steel production, greater uncertainty exists with respect to mid-term volumes and prices in iron ore, an important business segment.”

Rio Tinto fell A$21.89 to A$42.01 at the 4:10 p.m. Sydney time close on the Australian stock exchange. BHP rose 3.9 percent to A$27.25.

“In the last few weeks investors were already starting to focus on the Rio Tinto debt position,” Tony Robson at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, said today by phone. “That will become more and more of an issue in the weeks ahead.”

Rio Chief Executive Officer Tom Albanese is battling weakening world demand for aluminum that has pushed stockpiles to the highest since 1994 and set prices on course for the biggest annual drop in 17 years. Rio said last month it would review project spending and may delay $10 billion of asset sales to reduce debt from its purchase of aluminum maker Alcan.

‘Debacle for Holders’

The debt acquired to buy Alcan, “scuttled this deal and has cost Rio shareholders very dearly,” Charlie Aitken, head of institutional dealing at Southern Cross Equities Ltd., said today in a note. “For Rio shareholders this is nothing short of a debacle. Instead of a takeover premium they may well be forced to stump up more cash to restore Rio’s balance sheet.”

Moody’s today changed its outlook on $9 billion of BHP’s debt to “stable” from “negative” after the offer was scrapped, the ratings agency said today in a separate statement. Credit-default swaps on BHP tumbled 130 basis points to 320, according to Citigroup Inc. prices yesterday in London. Contracts on Rio jumped 50 basis points to 800.

The swaps, contracts conceived to protect bondholders against default, pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities or the cash equivalent should a country or company fail to adhere to its debt agreements. A rise indicates deterioration in the perception of credit quality; a decline the opposite.

Rio’s “high level of debt following the 2007 debt-financed acquisition of Alcan is also a factor in the review,” Moody’s said. “A key factor in the review will be the company’s ability to execute on its divestiture program and reduce debt over the next 12 months, including the $8.9 billion maturity in October 2009.”

Debt Finance

Rio had its rating outlook cut by Moody’s earlier this month to “developing” from “positive.” Australia’s mining and materials companies may face a cooling credit outlook because of the tightening availability of debt finance and the prospect of weakening economics, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said Oct. 2. BHP’s ratings weren’t immediately affected by the decision to ditch the Rio bid, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today in a statement.

“The balance sheet is not quite as strong as it could be,” Hugh Young, managing director at Aberdeen Asset Management Ltd. in Singapore, who oversees $45.1 billion in assets including about 1.4 percent of Rio’s London stock, said yesterday by phone. “So that is a matter of concern for all shareholders.”

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Ayat Ayat Cinta

I have been reading this Indonesian love story for the past week.

Its beautiful.
Its full of lessons in life, of love and of where we are going, to Allah.

here is a snip, and the link to download the story.

Ayat Ayat Cinta
Novel Pembangun Jiwa


Karya
Habiburrahman Saerozi
Alumnus Universitas Al Azhar, Cairo


1. Gadis Mesir Itu Bernama Maria

Tengah hari ini, kota Cairo seakan membara. Matahari berpijar di tengah petala langit. Seumpama lidah api yang menjulur dan menjilat-jilat bumi. Tanah dan pasir menguapkan bau neraka. Hembusan angin sahara disertai debu yang bergulung-gulung menambah panas udara semakin tinggi dari detik ke detik. Penduduknya, banyak yang berlindung dalam flat yang ada dalam apartemen-apartemen berbentuk kubus dengan pintu, jendela dan tirai tertutup rapat.
Memang, istirahat di dalam flat sambil menghidupkan pendingin ruangan jauh lebih nyaman daripada berjalan ke luar rumah, meski sekadar untuk shalat berjamaah di masjid. Panggilan azan zhuhur dari ribuan menara yang bertebaran di seantero kota hanya mampu menggugah dan menggerakkan hati mereka yang benar-benar tebal imannya. Mereka yang memiliki tekad beribadah sesempurna mungkin dalam segala musim dan cuaca, seperti karang yang tegak berdiri dalam deburan ombak, terpaan badai, dan sengatan matahari. Ia tetap teguh berdiri seperti yang dititahkan Tuhan sambil bertasbih tak kenal kesah. Atau, seperti matahari yang telah jutaan tahun membakar tubuhnya untuk memberikan penerangan ke bumi dan seantero mayapada. Ia tiada pernah mengeluh, tiada pernah mengerang sedetik pun menjalankan titah Tuhan.
Awal-awal Agustus memang puncak musim panas.
Dalam kondisi sangat tidak nyaman seperti ini, aku sendiri sebenarnya sangat malas keluar. Ramalan cuaca mengumumkan: empat puluh satu derajat celcius! Apa tidak gila!? Mahasiswa Asia Tenggara yang tidak tahan panas, biasanya sudah mimisan, hidungnya mengeluarkan darah. Teman satu flat yang langganan mimisan di puncak musim panas adalah Saiful. Tiga hari ini, memasuki pukul sebelas siang sampai pukul tujuh petang, darah selalu merembes dari hidungnya. Padahal ia tidak keluar flat sama sekali. Ia hanya diam di dalam kamarnya sambil terus menyalakan kipas angin. Sesekali ia kungkum, mendinginkan badan di kamar mandi.
Dengan tekad bulat, setelah mengusir segala rasa aras-arasen aku bersiap untuk keluar. Tepat pukul dua siang aku harus sudah berada di Masjid Abu Bakar Ash-Shidiq yang terletak di Shubra El-Khaima, ujung utara Cairo, untuk talaqqi pada Syaikh Utsman Abdul Fattah. Pada ulama besar ini aku belajar qiraah sab’ah dan ushul tafsir . Beliau adalah murid Syaikh Mahmoud Khushari, ulama legendaris yang mendapat julukan Syaikhul Maqari’ Wal Huffadh Fi Mashr atau Guru Besarnya Para Pembaca dan Penghafal Al-Qur’an di Mesir.
Jadwalku mengaji pada Syaikh yang terkenal sangat disiplin itu seminggu dua kali. Setiap Ahad dan Rabu. Beliau selalu datang tepat waktu. Tak kenal kata absen. Tak kenal cuaca dan musim. Selama tidak sakit dan tidak ada uzur yang teramat penting, beliau pasti datang. Sangat tidak enak jika aku absen hanya karena alasan panasnya suhu udara. Sebab beliau tidak sembarang menerima murid untuk talaqqi qiraah sab’ah. Siapa saja yang ingin belajar qiraah sab’ah terlebih dahulu akan beliau uji hafalan Al-Qur’an tiga puluh juz dengan qiraah bebas. Boleh Imam Warasy. Boleh Imam Hafsh. Atau lainnya. Tahun ini beliau hanya menerima sepuluh orang murid. Aku termasuk sepuluh orang yang beruntung itu. Lebih beruntung lagi, beliau sangat mengenalku. Itu karena, di samping sejak tahun pertama kuliah aku sudah menyetorkan hafalan Al-Qur’an pada beliau di serambi masjid Al Azhar, juga karena di antara sepuluh orang yang terpilih itu ternyata hanya diriku seorang yang bukan orang Mesir. Aku satu-satunya orang asing, sekaligus satu-satunya yang dari Indonesia. Tak heran jika beliau meng-anakemas-kan diriku. Dan teman-teman dari Mesir tidak ada yang merasa iri dalam masalah ini. Mereka semua simpati padaku. Itulah sebabnya, jika aku absen pasti akan langsung ditelpon oleh Syaikh Utsman dan teman-teman. Mereka akan bertanya kenapa tidak datang? Apa sakit? Apa ada halangan dan lain sebagainya. Maka aku harus tetap berusaha datang selama masih mampu menempuh perjalanan sampai ke Shubra, meskipun panas membara dan badai debu bergulung-gulung di luar sana. Meskipun jarak yang ditempuh sekitar lima puluh kilo meter lebih jauhnya
.


DOWNLOAD HERE


I particularly like the end.

Sampai ayat sembilan puluh sembilan aku berhenti karena Babur Rahmah terbuka perlahan. Seorang perempuan yang luar biasa anggun dan sucinya keluar mendekatiku dan berkata,
“Aku Maryam. Yang baru saja kau sebut dalam ayat-ayat suci yang kau baca. Aku diutus oleh Allah untuk menemuimu. Dia mendengar haru biru tangismu. Apa maumu?”
“Aku ingin masuk surga. Bolehkah?”
“Boleh. Surga memang diperuntukkan bagi semua hamba-Nya. Tapi kau harus tahu kuncinya?”
“Apa itu kuncinya?”
“Nabi pilihan Muhammad telah mengajarkannya berulang-ulang. Apakah kau tidak mengetahuinya?”
“Aku tidak mengikuti ajarannya.”
“Itulah salahmu.”
“Kau tidak akan mendapatkan kunci itu selama kau tidak mau tunduk penuh ikhlas mengikuti ajaran Nabi yang paling dikasihi Allah ini. Aku sebenarnya datang untuk memberitahukan kepadamu kunci masuk surga. Tapi karena kau sudah menjaga jarak dengan Muhammad maka aku tidak diperkenankan untuk memberitahukan padamu.”
Bunda Maryam lalu membalikkan badan dan hendak pergi. Aku langsung menubruknya dan bersimpuh dikakinya. Aku menangis tersedu-sedu. Memohon agar diberitahu kunci surga itu. “Aku hidup untuk mencari kerelaan Tuhan. Aku ingin masuk surga hidup bersama orang-orang yang beruntung. Aku akan melakukan apa saja, asal masuk surga. Bunda Maryam tolonglah berilah aku kunci itu. Aku tidak mau merugi selama-lamanya.” Aku terus menangis sambil menyebut-nyebut nama Allah. Akhirnya hati Bunda Maryam luluh. Dia duduk dan mengelus kepalaku dengan penuh kasih sayang,
“Maria dengarkan baik-baik! Nabi Muhammad Saw. telah mengajarkan kunci masuk surga. Dia bersabda, ‘Barangsiapa berwudhu dengan baik, kemudian mengucapkan: Asyhadu an laa ilaaha illallah wa asyhadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluh (Aku bersaksi tiada Tuhan selain Allah dan aku bersaksi sesungguhnya Muhammad adalah hamba dan utusan-Nya) maka akan dibukakan delapan pintu surga untuknya dan dia boleh masuk yang mana ia suka!’ Jika kau ingin masuk surga lakukanlah apa yang diajarkan olah Nabi pilihan Allah itu. Dia nabi yang tidak pernah bohong, dia nabi yang semua ucapannya benar. Itulah kunci surga! Dan ingat Maria, kau harus melakukannya dengan penuh keimanan dalam hati, bahwa tiada Tuhan selain Allah dan Muhammad utusan Allah. Tanpa keimanan itu, yang kau lakukan sia-sia. Sekarang pergilah untuk berwudhu. Dan cepat kembali kemari, aku akan menunggumu di sini. Kita nanti masuk bersama. Aku akan membawamu ke surga Firdaus!”
Setelah mendengar nasihat dari Bunda Maryam, aku lalu pergi mencari air untuk wudhu. Aku berjalan ke sana kemari namun tidak juga menemukan air. Aku terus menyebut nama Allah. Akhirnya aku terbangun dengan hati sedih. Aku ingin masuk surga. Aku ingin masuk surga. Aku ingin ke sana, Bunda Maryam menungguku di Babur Rahmah. Itulah kejadian atau mimpi yang aku alami. Oh Fahri suamiku, maukah kau menolongku?”
“Apa yang bisa aku lakukan untukmu, Maria?”
“Bantulah aku berwudhu. Aku masih mencium bau surga. Wanginya merasuk ke dalam sukma. Aku ingin masuk ke dalamnya. Di sana aku berjanji akan mempersiapkan segalanya dan menunggumu untuk bercinta. Memadu kasih dalam cahaya kesucian dan kerelaan Tuhan selama-lamanya. Suamiku, bantu aku berwudhu sekarang juga!”
Aku menuruti keinginan Maria. Dengan sekuat tenaga aku membopong Maria yang kurus kering ke kamar mandi. Aisha membantu membawakan tiang infus. Dengan tetap kubopong, Maria diwudhui oleh Aisha. Setelah selesai, Maria kembali kubaringkan di atas kasur seperti semula. Dia menatapku dengan sorot mata bercahaya. Bibirnya tersenyum lebih indah dari biasahnya. Lalu dengan suara lirih yang keluar dari relung jiwa ia berkata:
Asyhadu an laa ilaaha illallah
wa asyhadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluh!
Ia tetap tersenyum. Menatapku tiada berkedip. Perlahan pandangan matanya meredup. Tak lama kemudian kedua matanya yang bening itu tertutup rapat. Kuperiksa nafasnya telah tiada. Nadinya tiada lagi denyutnya. Dan jantungnya telah berhenti berdetak. Aku tak kuasa menahan derasnya lelehan air mata. Aisha juga. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raajiun!
Maria menghadap Tuhan dengan menyungging senyum di bibir. Wajahnya bersih seakan diselimuti cahaya. Kata-kata yang tadi diucapkannya dengan bibir bergetar itu kembali terngiang-ngiang ditelinga:
“Aku masih mencium bau surga. Wanginya merasuk ke dalam sukma. Aku ingin masuk ke dalamnya. Di sana aku berjanji akan mempersiapkan segalanya dan menunggumu untuk bercinta. Memadu kasih dalam cahaya kesucian dan kerelaan Tuhan selama-lamanya.”
Sambil terisak Aisha melantunkan ayat:
Yaa ayyatuhan nafsul muthmainnah
irji’ii ilaa Rabbiki
raadhiyatan mardhiyyah
Fadkhulii fii ‘ibaadii
wadkhulii jannatii

(Hai jiwa yang tenang
Kembalilah kamu kepada Tuhanmu
dengan hati puas lagi diridhai
Maka masuklah ke dalam golongan hamba-hambaKu
Maka masuklah ke dalam surga-Ku.
)
Saat itu Madame Nahed, terbangun dari tidurnya dan bertanya sambil mengucek kedua matanya, “Kenapa kalian menangis?”
Kaca jendela mengembun. Musim dingin sedang menuju puncaknya. O, apakah di surga sana ada musim dingin? Ataukah malah musim semi selamanya? Ataukah musim-musim di sana tidak seperti musim yang ada di dunia?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Apologies on previous posting; Description doesnt fit

Hadhrat Huzaifah (R.A.) says, Dajjal will be blind in his left eye. He will have very thick hair on his body and he will also have his own type of Jannat (Heaven) and Jahannam (Hell) with him: Although his Jannat will appear as Jannat, in reality it will be Jahannam and likewise though his Jahannam will appear to be Jahannam, in reality it will be Jannat.
(Hadith: Muslim)
Blind in left eye i.e two eyes like normal people

SIGN OF DAJJAL IN INDIA -- (this is not Dajjal, but a child born with Cylopian disorder)



Forwarded Message: SIGN OF DAJJAL IN ISRAEL -- Must see!!!!!
SIGN OF DAJJAL IN ISRAEL -- Must see!!!!!
Saturday, 9 August, 2008 9:37 PM
From: "rizzi riz"
To: mirmohsin_a@yahoo.com

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmathullahi wa barakathuhu, Dear Mohsin saab, hope u feel fine with the grace of Almighty Allah, please comment on the photo of a child with one eye in this mail, is that right to say that the child is masih-ad-dajjal.
Subject: SIGN OF DAJJAL IN ISRAEL!!!!!
(AS RECEIVED) - (MUST SEE AND READ) - (WORTH READING )
Alert Ummah, there is a 90% chance that we will see the Jewish Dajjal in our lifetime
(Sahih Bukhari: Book of afflictions, Volume 9, Book 88, Number 240)
Just look at the recent Map of Madinah city, if you find one, and you will see that there are 7 main entrances today leading to the city.
Posted on 10/18/2007 12:50:49 AM PDT
ALERT Ummah!!!there is 90% chance that we will see the Jewish Dajjal in our lifetime!
See attached photo of the child for proof.




Dear brethren and sisters, I draw your your attention to something very Important.
We are living at the end of times. we are already experiencing the minor signs of judgement day that preceed the appearance of the Major signs. Once these minor signs finish--know that 95% of these signs have already come to pass-- we will be encountering the Major signs immediately. One of these first signs amongst the Major ones is appearance of the Jewish Anti Christ or the Masih ad-Dajjal.
The affliction of this Jewish Messiah is so great that none from the times of Prophet Adam till the day of resurrection have or will create and spread that much affliction. His affliction will be so dangerous and so harmful that there is no Prophet of God who did not warn his ummah about the coming of this person. the Dajjal will be able to deceive the very elect, the very pious, the one who thinks he has faith in his/her heart. this generation is very very close to meet the Dajjal. Why? Because there are two specific signs that will appear in Madina as reported by our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam), which will mark that the time for the appearance of Dajjal, he will appear or be born in the midnight . And these two Signs have already appeared!!!! !! Here we provide to you the two specific traditions: Narrated Abdullah ibn Shafeeq who reported from Muhjin ibn Adraa who reported that the Prophet(saw) said,
"The End/finish/khalaas day, and What do you know what the khalaas days is--the prophet repeats the same statement 3 times..Some one asked him, "what is the day of Khalaas?". The Prophet then answered, "The Dajjal will come and will climb and will see Madina and then he will say to his companions, "Do you see that White Palace?That is the Mosque of Ahmad--another name of Prophet Muhammad--", Afterwards the Dajjal will come to Madina but will find that by its each entrance there is an armed angel ( who would not allow him entry)...... afterwards Madina will shake 3 times and there will not remain a hypocrite male or female nor will there remain a fasiq male or female who would not go out to the Dajjal (to join him), and that is the day of khalaas.
(An authentic tradition reported with a sahih isnad reported by Sheikh Mustafa Adwi in his work Al-Fitan wal Malaahim wa Asraatus S'aa) source: http://www.raddadi. com/madinah/ madinah.htm
During the time of the prophet the Masjidun Nabawi or the Mosque of Ahmad was very simple as it was built of mud bricks and had date leaves as its covering for the roof. It was just recently in our era that the Mosque of Prophet was expanded and was given a very grand and beautiful structure. Anyone who has travelled to Madina in recent times will confirm that upon reaching the vacinities of this holy city, the Mosque of the Prophet appears as a pearl or as a palace amongst other building from a far. Muslims take this as an awakening token, Wake and think seriously, the other sign the prophet fortold regarding the closeness of Dajjal's appearance is that Madina at that time--at the time of Dajjal's appearance --will have 7 main entrances:
The Prophet said, "The terror caused by Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal will not enter Medina and at that time Medina will have seven gates and there will be two angels at each gate (guarding them). (Sahih Bukhari: Book of afflictions, Volume 9, Book 88, Number 240)
Just look at the recent Map of Madinah city, if you find one, and you will see that there are 7 main entrances today leading to the city.
One road coming from Jeddah,
the other coming from Makkah,
another coming from Rabigh,
one from the airport,
another from Tabouk,
and two from surrounding areas.
Muslims get up, Know the Jews better, Avoid them, Be prepared to face them intellectually, politically and economically wise.
Please memorize the 10 first verse of surah kahf as well as the last 10 verse .
Doing such protects you from the affliction of Dajjal as the Prophet said. Always recite this Du'a or supplication in prayer when your are finishing after saying tashahud:
Allahuma inni Aoudu Bikka Min Adabil Qabr,
Wa Min Azabi Jahanum,
Wa Min Fitnatil Mahyaie wal Mamat wa mein fitnatil Masih ad
Dajjal According to the saying of the Prophet reciting this in prayer will protect one from the affliction of Dajjal.
Such were our Salaaf-Such were their reliance on God: Qays ibn Abî Hâzim says: I saw poison being brought to Khâlid ibn alWaleed, and it was asked, "What is this?" The answer was given, "It is poison." He said, "Bismillâh" and drank it. I said, "By Allâh, this is a miracle, this is true courage." Abu's-Safar says: Khâlid ibn al waleed stayed in al-Hîrah at the house of the mother of the Banû Marâzibah. They said, "Be on your guard against the Persians, lest they poison you." He said, "Bring it to me." He took it and said, "Bismillâh", and did him no harm.(Siyar Alaam an Nabula by ad-Dhahabi)
When Saad ibn Abi Waqas reached the banks of the flooded deep adDijla river he commanded his army to march. So his army began crossing on the surface the river as if it was crossing on land. The Persians did not believe their eyes and cried out"Diwan!!!, Diwan!!!By God we are not fighting humans but Jinns"They abandoned their capital Madaain to the victorious Islamic army.
Oh My Ummah rejoice and be patient for we are to be superpowers again! Imam Ahmad narrated that Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al-Aas said, "While we were around the Messenger of Allah) writing (the Hadith) the Messenger of Allah,(sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) was asked/ 'Which of these two cities will be conquered first, Constantinople or Romiyah ( Rome )?' He said, 'The city of Heraclius will first be conquered.' He meant Constantinople .'' [Al-Hakim, Al-Mustadrak, vol. 4, p. 508. Also, see As-Silsilah as-Sahihah, vol. 1] History is a witness that Constantinople or Istanbul was conquered by Sultan Mehmet al Fatih al Uthmani. However Rome was never captured. This will happen in the near future when once again Muslims will have prestige and glory.
Allah's Apostle said,"The Earth was shown to me until i saw the east of the east and the west of the west[cant recall the order], and the authority of my ummah dominated all what I saw."{Muslim-Ahmad] During the time of the prophet the east of the east was china and the west of the west was France . history is a witness that the Islamic conquest did not reach that far. However this will happen in the near future inshallah when once again God honors Muslims.

Taken From Sahih Muslim
Book 041, Number 7028:


Amir b. Sharahil Sha"bi Sha"b Hamdan reported that he asked Fatima, daughter of Qais and sister of ad-Dahhak b. Qais and she was the first amongst the emigrant women: Narrate to me a hadith which you had heard directly from Allah"s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and there is no extra link in between them. She said: Very well, if you like, I am prepared to do that, and he said to her: Well, do It and narrate that to me. She said: I married the son of Mughira and he was a chosen young man of Quraish at that time, but he fell as a martyr in the first Jihad (fighting) on the side of Allah"s Messenger (may peace be upon him). When I became a widow, "Abd al-Rahman b. Auf, one amongst the group of the Companions of Allah"s Messenger (may peace be upon him), sent me the proposal of marriage. Allah"s Messenger (may peace be upon him) also sent me such a message for his freed slave Usama b. Zaid. And it had been conveyed to me that Allah"s Messenger (way peace be upon him) had said (about Usama): He who loves me should also love Usima. When Allah"s Messenger (may peace be upon him) talked to me (about this matter), I said: My affairs are in your hand. You may marry me to anyone whom you like. He said: You better shift now to the house of Umm Sharik, and Umm Sharik was a rich lady from amongst the Anqir. She spent generously for the cause of Allah and entertained guests very hospitably. I said: Well, I will do as you like. He said: Do not do that for Umm Sharik is a woman who is very frequently vizited by guests and I do not like that your head may be uncovered or the cloth may be removed from your shank and the strangers may catch sight of them which you abhor. You better shift to the house of your cousin "Abdullah b. "Amr b. Umm Maktum and he is a person of the Bani Fihr branch of the Quraish, and he belonged to that tribe (to which Fatima) belonged. So I shifted to that house, and when my period of waiting was over, I heard the voice of an announcer making an announcement that the prayer would be observed in the mosque (where) congregational prayer (is observed).

So I set out towards that mosque and observed prayer along with Allah"s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and I was in the row of the women which was near the row of men. When Allah"s Messenger (may peace be upon him) had finished his prayer, he sat on the pulpit smiling and said: Every worshipper should keep sitting at his place. He then said: Do you know why I had asked you to assemble? They said: Allah and His Messenger know best. He said: By Allah. I have not made you assemble for exhortation or for a warning, but I have detained you here, for Tamim Dari, a Christian, who came and accepted Islam, told me something, which agrees with what I was-telling, you about the Dajjal. He narrated to me that he had sailed in a ship along with thirty men of Bani Lakhm and Bani Judham and had been tossed by waves in the ocean for a month. Then these (waves) took them (near) the land within the ocean (island) at the time of sunset. They sat in a small side-boat and entered that Island. There was a beast with long thick hair (and because of these) they could not distinguish his face from his back. They said: Woe to you, who can you be? Thereupon it said: I am al-Jassasa. They said: What is al-Jassasa? And it said: O people, go to this person in the monastery as he is very much eager to know about you. He (the narrator) said: When it named a person for us we were afraid of it lest it should be a Devil. Then we hurriedly went on till we came to that monastery and found a well-built person there with his hands tied to his neck and having iron shackles between his two legs up to the ankles. We said: Woe be upon thee, who are you? And he said: You would soon come to know about me. but tell me who are you. We said: We are people from Arabia and we embarked upon a boat but the sea-waves had been driving us for one month and they brought as near this island. We got Into the side-boats and entered this island and here a beast met us with profusely thick hair and because of the thickness of his hair his face could not be distinguished from his back. We said: Woe be to thee, who are you? It said: I am al- Jassasa. We said: What is al-Jassasa? And it said: You go to this very person in the monastery for he is eagerly waiting for you to know about you. So we came to you in hot haste fearing that that might be the Devil. He (that chained person) said: Tell me about the date-palm trees of Baisan. We &aid: About what aspect of theirs do you seek information? He said: I ask you whether these trees bear fruit or not.

We said: Yes Thereupon he said: I think these would not bear fruits. He said: Inform me about the lake of Tabariyya? We said: Which aspect of it do you want to know? He said: Is there water in it? They said: There is abundance of water in it. Thereupon he said: I think it would soon become dry. He again said: Inform me about the spring of Zughar. They said: Which aspect of it you want to know? He (the chained person) said: Is there water in it and does it irrigate (the land)? We said to him: Yes, there is abundance of water in it and the inhabitants (of Medina) irrigate (land) with the help of it, He said: Inform me about the unlettered Prophet; what has he done? We said: He has come out from Mecca and has settled In Yathrib (Medina). He said: Do the Arabs fight against him? We said: Yes. He said: How did he deal with him? We informed him that he had overcome those in his neighbourhood and they had submitted themselves before him. Thereupon he said to us: Had it actually happened? We said: Yes. Thereupon he said: If it is so that is better for them that they should show obedience to him. I am going to tell you about. myself and I am Dajjal and would be soon permitted to get out and so I shall get out and travel in the land, and will not spare any town where I would not stay for forty nights except Mecca and Medina as these two (places) are prohibited (areas) for me and I would not make an attempt to enter any one of these two. An angel with a sword in his hand would confront me and would bar my way and there would be angels to guard every passage leading to it; then Allah"s Messenger (may peace be upon him) striking the pulpit with the help of the end of his staff said: This implies Taiba meaning Medina. Have I not, told you an account (of the Dajjal) like this? "The people said: Yes, and this account narrated by Tamim Dari was liked by me for it corroborates the account which I gave to you in regard to him (Dajjal) at Medina and Mecca. Behold he (Dajjal) is in the Syrian sea (Mediterranian) or the Yemen sea (Arabian sea). Nay, on the contrary, he As In the east, he is in the east, he is in the east, and he pointed with his hand towards the east. I (Fatima bint Qais) said: I preserved It In my mind (this narration from Allah"s Messenger (may peace be upon him).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Politik Baru YB J dan Ratu Anjing; Yang Melengking Itu

I think DAP should Shut Up nad not jumping up and down about this sajak and cerpen that come up in Utusan Malaysia. Its only cerpen and sajak. PENA is right, that writers has the right to be creative.

Malaysiakini report.

Every one should have the right to say...anything. Without fear or favvoue

RATU ANJING; YANG MELENGKING ITU
- (Panggak Binasa Terlajak Kata)

I
Ratu anjing itu pun melengking, menyalak galak mengasah taring,
setelah lepas tersepit pengancing, lalu keluar dari akal yang sinting,
munci; Wajah yang sering berpaling dan sanggah yang polang-poling
menunjuk telunjuk berkait kelinking.
Makhluk juga; Takdirnya dia ... anjing
tabiat 'bagai melihat bayang di air yang bening'.

II
Masyarakat anjing itu pun riuh menyambut pulang seorang tokoh
dari paksina kedaksina gamat gemuruh menggoncang tulang-tulang tanpa roh
pameo pusaka dari benua jauh, panggak yang terlanjur angkuh,
alibi 'telur tembelang' di hari ketujuh, telah jatuh ke wajah ratu yang selingkuh
menggadaikan kabilah mudah diperbodoh

III
Suci suatu subuh itu terganggu, salak anjing antara azan yang syahdu
melihat kelibat siluman dan hantu, tawakal muazin menuju nawaitu
tertip titipan taqwa pada yang satu
biarkan ratu anjing itu menyalak waktu, bukit bukau tetap jitu
gunung-ganang tetap padu, manusia perlu berakal dan berilmu

IV
Alam maya bukan mutlak milik kita
dipinjamkan cuma sementara
dipentas ini kesempatan bersama
berjuta makhluk berbagai rupa
ketentuan anjing-anjing juga ada

V
Kok anjing biar menyalak
kok bukit diar berpuncak
kok terasa menyelar bijak
bumi juga tempat berpijak
padah kata bila kata terlajak

Dr Ibrahim Ghaffar, Bukit Kapar
Selangor. 22 September 2008

Petikan dari Utusan Malaysia 16 Oktober 2008

ARKIB : 12/10/2008
Politik baru YB J
PAGI itu resah YB Josephine, yang lebih mesra dengan panggilan YB J sukar dikawal. Sepanjang perjalanan menuju ke Dewan Perhimpunan Warga Cha di ibu kota, fikirannya terganggu. Tuduhan bahawa dia anti-Islam dan anti-Melayu sungguh-sungguh menghantui perasaannya sejak malam tadi lagi. Entah mengapa baru sekarang dia begitu, dia sendiri tidak tahu. Dia juga tidak pasti sama ada pemandunya, Ahmad, menyedari gelora jiwanya ketika itu. Kalau dia tahu pun, peduli apa, YB Josephine berbisik sendirian.

Pemandu itu memang sedia maklum pendirian politiknya tentang kepentingan kaumnya vis a vis orang Melayu. Dan dia tahu Ahmad menghormati pendiriannya, walaupun dilihat anti- Melayu, anti-Islam sebagai hak asasi tinggal dalam sebuah negara demokrasi. Bukankah kebebasan asasi itu dijamin oleh Perkara 5 hingga Perkara 13 Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Tetapi YB J akui demokrasi ada yang tidak sempurna dan kerap disalahgunakan oleh pihak yang berkuasa. Tetapi hakikat itu tidak menghalang rakyat menempatkan pembangkang di Dewan Rakyat. YB Josephine adalah salah seorang daripadanya.

Ah, tudahan dia anti-Islam, anti-Melayu tuduhan yang melulu bentak YB J seolah-olah mahu menyedapkan dirinya.. Ia juga tuduhan yang tidak berasas, hati kecilnya bersuara lagi. Dia meyakinkan dirinya bahawa kenyataankenyataan yang dibuatnya atas nama pelbagai kaum untuk memperjuangkan kepentingan kaumnya, bukan sesuatu yang rasis. Amensty International, organisasi hak asasi antarabangsa akan menyetujuinya. Begitu juga dengan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu. Ketua Pembangkang, di Parlimen pun tidak pernah menganggapnya rasis. Yang menganggapnya rasis hanya orang Melayu di dalam Parti Orang Melayu (POM).

“Aku juga bukan anti-Islam. Aku bukan anti Melayu,” pujuk hati YB J yang sudah dua penggal bergelar YB itu, mewakili Parti Bertindak Rakyat. Parti itu dianggotainya sejak berada di kampus lagi, walaupun Akta Universiti dan Kolej Universiti melarang para siswa membabitkan diri secara langsung dalam mana-mana organisasi siasah. Lagi pun penguatkuasaan undang-undang itu sekadar melepas batuk di tangga. Lebih dari itu, ia adalah satu lagi undang-undang lapuk, kata YB J.

Kata hatinya lagi: “Aku sekadar memperjuangkan kepentingan kaum aku, sama seperti pemimpin Melayu dalam POM memperjuangkan kepentingan bangsanya, sama seperti pemimpin Parti Orang Islam (POI) berjuang untuk bangsa menggunakan wajah Islamnya.”

Malah YB J berasakan kelantangannya memperjuangkan kepentingan kaumnya itulah yang telah membantunya menang kali kedua kerusi Parlimennya. Kali ini dengan majoriti yang lebih besar lagi. Apa yang membanggakan dia adalah perjuangan yang dianggap anti-Melayu dan anti-Islam itu kini turut disokong pengundi-pengundi Melayu di kawasan pilihan rayanya itu. Pada mulanya dia sendiri terkejut apabila dimaklumkan sebahagian besar pengundi Melayu yang merupakan 20 peratus keseluruhan pemilihan berdaftar dalam kawasan Parlimen Alam Maya telah memangkahnya.

Ini satu perkembangan luar biasa. Tidak mungkin mereka menyokong aku, bisik hatinya. Tetapi apabila dimaklumkan oleh para pekerja parti bahawa pengundi Melayu di semua peti undi telah beralih arah mendokongnya, dia menerimanya dengan fikiran terbuka. Baguslah kalau orang Melayu menerima perjuangan Malaysia Barunya.

Tidak puas hati bermonolog dengan perasaannya, YB J secara spontan berpaling kepada Ahmad, pemandunya yang sejak tadi tekun dengan tugasnya.

“Kamu fakir saya anti-Islam, anti-Melayu?”

Pertanyaan

Ahmad yang sudah menghampiri usia bersara itu tidak menjawab, seolah-olah dia tidak mendengar pertanyaan itu. Matanya tertumpu ke jalan raya. Tugasnya adalah untuk mempastikan YB J selamat ke majlis yang ingin dihadirinya. Dan tiba tepat pada waktunya. Majlis itu penting kerana YB J akan mengadakan dialog dengan generasi muda seketurunan dengannya yang belajar di luar negara tetapi kebetulan berada di tanah air kerana bercuti. Ahmad sendiri tidak pasti sama ada pelajar yang pernah mempersendakan lagu Negara Ku sewaktu menuntut di sebuah universiti di Seberang Laut turut berada dalam kelompok itu. Kalau pun ada, pemandu YB J tidak ambil pusing. Budak itu memang kurang ajar. Ada ke patut Malaysia dianggap sebagai Negara Kuku (ejaan Inggerisnya cuckoo) yang bermaksud gila. Dan kreativiti digunakan untuk menghalalkan perbuatan biadapnya itu. Cuma Ahmad berfikir kalau semua orang dibiarkan menghina lagu Kebangsaan dengan lirik yang memperlekehkan kehidupan orang Islam, dan atas nama kreativiti, maka kesannya terhadap perhubungan kaum adalah negatif.

Ahmad tidak tahu apakah yang sebenarnya mengganggu bosnya itu sejak dari tadi lagi. Dia jarang begitu. Ahmad dapat mengesan YB J lain macam sahaja pagi itu. Dia dapat membaca keresahan dan kegelisahan YB J. Seolah-olah ada sesuatu yang tidak kena walaupun apa yang sebenarnya berkocak di dalam diri YB J dia tidak pasti. Sepanjang ingatan Ahmad, YB J juga tidak pernah berbual dengannya tentang politik, apa lagi tentang isu-isu semasa - kecuali memberi arahan yang ada kaitan dengan perjalanan atau jadual kerja. YB J juga tidak bertanya sama ada dia mengundi pom atau parti apa pada pilihan raya yang lalu.

Lazimnya, sepanjang perjalanan, baik ke pejabat atau majlis-majlis rasmi dan tidak rasmi yang lain, YB J akan menghabiskan masa membaca akhbar atau membelek-belek fail. Tetapi pagi itu YB J lain macam sahaja. Dia kelihatan resah. Gelisah. Fikirannya juga seolah-olah tidak menentu. Apa yang dibuat serba tak kena. Sekejap dia membelek ucapan utama yang akan disampaikan sebentar lagi menghuraikan gagasan Politik Baru Malaysia Baru yang dipeloporinya. Sekejap dia membelek akhbar-akhbar yang memang menemani YB J ke mana juga dia pergi.

Ahmad cuba mencongak mungkin keresahan YB J ada kaitan dengan suhu politik negara sedang panas ketika itu. Bahangnya terasa di mana-mana. POM sendiri sedang menghadapi pergolakan yang hebat berkait dengan kepimpinannya. Pertarungan kepentingan puak-puak di dalam parti sedang mengambil tempatnya. Kalaulah tidak kerana kedudukan politik kerajaan agak lemah selepas kehilangan majoriti dua pertiga, sudah lama Operasi Lalang, seperti yang pernah dibuat pada 1987, dilaksanakan, agaknya. Mungkin juga tidak kerana di bawah kepimpinan sekarang, kerajaan mengambil sikap yang lebih liberal terhadap para pengkritiknya.

Ahmad juga terfikir mungkin perasaan YB J terganggu dengan tindakan kalangan yang tidak diketahui siapa mereka melempar bom petrol ke rumah keluarga ahli Parlimen Sepohon Beringin, Su Lan. Barangkali, fikir Ahmad, YB J, bimbang kejadian yang sama boleh menimpa diri atau keluarganya.

Mana tahu selepas keluarga Su Lan, bosnya YB J pula yang menjadi mangsa. Dan yang dilempar itu bom betul-betul. Meletup pula. Tidakkah nahas YB J. Sekonyong-konyong Ahmad terbayang kejadian letupan bom berani mati yang berlaku di Damsyik, Syria yang ditonton menerusi Buletin Utama di TV3 beberapa hari lalu. Kalau kejadian yang sudah menghiasi kehidupan harian di Iraq, Israel, Tebing Barat, Gaza atau Afghanistan itu menular di negara ini, alangkah malangnya bumi bertuah ini. Minta disimpang malaikat 44, Ahmad berkata sendirian di dalam hatinya.

Tetapi fikir Ahmad, amaran kalau tidak diendahkan berbahaya. Dia teringat apa yang diceritakan berlaku pada 13 Mei 1969. Bapanya menceritakan dalam tragedi selepas pilihan raya umum pada 10 Mei itu, orang Cina dan Melayu berbunuh-bunuhan. Perjuangan yang mahu menafikan hak-hak istimewa orang Melayu dan kaum bumiputera lain yang dijamin oleh Perlembagaan Persekutuan, tidak dapat diterima oleh mereka. Kata-kata kesat dan menghina orang Melayu oleh para penyokong parti-parti pembangkang sewaktu berarak meraikan kemenangan besar di Kuala Lumpur dan bandar-bandar utama lain pada pilihan raya 1969 itu tidak dapat ditelan oleh orang Melayu. Parang yang terbiar tumpul selama ini diasah tajam. Dalam keadaan itu tercetuslah pergaduhan yang dahsyat menyebabkan Parlimen digantung dan pemerintahan darurat diisytiharkan. Negara diletakkan di bawah perintah berkurung. Ahmad sendiri belum lahir ketika itu. Tidak lama selepas itu, peralihan kuasa berlaku daripada Tunku Abdul Rahman kepada timbalannya, Tun Abdul Razak.

“Mat, saya ni anti-Melayu dan anti-Islam ke?,” YB J secara mendadak mengulang semula pertanyaannya apabila tiada jawapan daripada pemandunya.

Ahmad, yang sejak tadi membisu seribu bahasa selamba menjawab: “Mungkin tidak YB.” Dia memberi jawapan berlapik. Maksudnya: Mungkin tidak, mungkin ya bergantung pada mata yang menilai.

“Apa maksud kamu mungkin tidak.”

" Ini soal persepsi YB. Persepsinya begitulah. Hakikatnya YB tidak membenci Melayu tidak juga membenci Islam. YB sekadar memperjuangkan kepentingan kaum YB. Tidak salah YB berbuat demikian. Kalau YB tidak memperjuangkan kepentingan kaum YB sendiri, siapa lagi. Tetapi cara YB itu barangkali disalahertikannya.”

“Maksud kamu?" Tanya YB J yang masih belum jelas lagi.

Bergantung

“Yalah, ia bergantung pada mata yang memandang. Bukan sahaja di kalangan orang Melayu, tetapi di kalangan bukan Melayu. YB kena ingat di kalangan bukan Melayu pun bukan semuanya menerima politik baru Malaysia baru YB. Kalau tidak masakan parti satu kaum seperti Parti Orang Cina (POC) masih boleh bertahan.”

“Apa maksud kamu. Saya tidak begitu jelas?"

“Yalah bagi YB perjuangan YB adalah pelbagai kaum. Tetapi dalam tindak tanduk, perjuangan pelbagai kaum YB itu tidak tertonjol. YB mahu menghapuskan tulisan jawi dan ganti dengan tulisan Cina . Bagi mereka itu bukan perjuangan pelbagai kaum. Ia perjuangan satu kaum. Kalau benar pelbagai kaum, YB patut mempertahankan tulisan jawi.” Ahmad memberanikan diri untuk memberikan pandangannya.

Mengesan bosnya ingin mendengar pandangannya lagi, Ahmad berkata: “Patutnya kalau YB benar-benar ingin menjadi pejuang pelbagai kaum, kepentingan orang Melayu jangan diketepikan sewaktu mengetengahkan kepentingan kaum Cina. YB perjuangkan kepentingan kedua-duanya sekali. Penerimaannya saya pasti berbeza. YB akan dilihat sebagai mahu menjaga kepentingan kaum YB, tetapi pada waktu yang sama tidak menafikan hak orang Melayu.”

Itu perjuangan POM dan POC, dengus YB J di dalam hatinya. Bosan aku dengan Si Ahmad ini, dia berkata sendirian. Aku penganjur politik baru dan tidak mahu terikat dengan kerangka politik lama, katanya lagi kepada dirinya.

Perbualan YB J dengan pemandunya habis di situ sahaja. Dia tidak mahu lagi mendengar pandangan karut pemandunya. Dia mahu terus melayan perasaan: Aku percaya pada Politik Baru Malaysia Baru, tegas YB J pada dirinya. Setiap warganegara, tanpa mengira apa keturunan mereka patut diberi hak yang sama mengikut undang-undang. Tidak ada bangsa yang patut diberi layanan istimewa. Tidak ada warga yang patut diberi darjat atau kelas kedua. Kita semua orang Malaysia.

YB J enggan melayan Ahmad lagi. Sebaliknya, dia membelek akhbar Utusan Malaysia yang secara rasmi diboikot oleh partinya. Perhatiannya tertumpu pada artikel berjudul Jangan Padam Rekod Negara yang ditulis oleh seorang generasi muda Cina yang menolak tesis politik baru Malaysia baru.

Ah, satu lagi propaganda yang memperlekehkan kaum aku, dengus hati YB J. Jangan-

jangan yang menulis artikel ini orang Melayu. Mereka masih menganggap kaum aku sebagai berketurunan pendatang. Tidak guna punya generasi baru. Dengus YB J. Bisik hatinya lagi: Betullah dulu nenek moyang aku berhijrah ke bumi bertuah ini untuk mencari kekayaan, membebaskan diri mereka daripada kemiskinan dan keperitan hidup di China. Itu dulu. Generasi Cina sekarang sudah menjadi warganegara Malaysia dan mereka hendaklah dilayan seperti warganegara Malaysia..

Dikejutkan

Sedang YB J asyik dengan lamunannya, dia dikejutkan dengan suara pemandunya yang memaklumkan, “Kita sudah sampai YB.”

Menunggu dia di luar ialah para penganjur dialog yang bakal berlangsung. Salah seorang daripada mereka membuka pintu kereta YB J, bersalaman dengannya dan memperkenalkannya dengan ahli jawatankuasa penganjur yang lain. Diiringi oleh mereka, YB J dibawa ke pentas. Menurut kiraannya ada 500 orang di dalam dewan pagi itu. Dia bangga dengan kehadiran begitu ramai anak bangsanya yang ingin bertemu dengannya. Apa yang lebih membanggakan YB J ialah mereka belajar luar negara dengan biayai sendiri, bukannya bantuan kerajaan.

Selepas ucapan-ucapan aluan oleh pengerusi penganjur selesai, YB J dijemput untuk memberi ucapannya. Inilah detik-detik yang ditunggu-tunggu oleh YB J. Gagasan politik baru Malaysia barunya akan dihebahkan kepada dunia bebas. Dia teringat buku Kee Thuan Chye yang berjudul 8 Mac The Day Malaysian Woke Up. Momentum rakyat Malaysia atau lebih tepat lagi warga bukan Melayu Malaysia yang sudah jaga dari lena itu mesti ditingkatkan. Pagi itu dia berazam untuk berbuat demikian.

Tetapi tanpa diketahui oleh YB J, di kalangan 500 orang generasi muda yang hadir pada pagi itu ada yang tidak setuju dengan pandangan politiknya itu. Salah seorang daripada mereka berazam untuk membetulkan penyimpangan politik YB J dengan caranya yang tersendiri.

Apabila YB J bangun untuk menuju ke rostrum ucapan, seorang anak muda dari belakang pentas berjalan tenang menuju ke arahnya. YB J tersenyum kepadanya. Dia menyangka anak muda seketurunan dengannya ingin mengiringinya ke rostrum atau bersalaman dengannya.

YB J menghulurkan tangan. Tiba-tiba YB J tergaman dan berdiri kaku. Dia tidak percaya dengan apa yang dilihatnya. Tergenggam erat pada tangan anak muda yang seolah-olah mahu membalas salam tangan yang dihulur itu ialah sepucuk pistol jenis Revolver yang betul-betul diajukan ke arah dada YB J.

Tanpa berkata apa-apa, anak muda itu melepaskan beberapa das tembakan. Salah satu daripadanya tepat mengenai jantung YB J. Dia rebah ke lantai.

Para hadirin menjadi panik. Mereka yang berada di atas pentas turut tergamam melihat apa yang berlaku. Kejadian menjadi hiruk-pikuk dan tidak terkawal. Pihak penganjur yang tidak menduga kejadian malang itu berlaku, tidak tahu berbuat apa-apa. Beberapa orang anggota polis berpakaian preman yang menjadi tetamu yang tidak diundang dalam majlis itu, meluru ke arah pentas. Rakan-rakan mereka yang berpakaian seragam yang berkawal di luar juga bergegas masuk ke dewan.

Tetapi belum sempat mereka berbuat apa-apa, kedengaran beberapa das tembakan lagi. Kali ini yang rebah adalah anak muda itu sendiri.

Apabila pihak polis tiba di tempat kejadian, kedua-dua mereka - YB J dan anak muda yang berpakaian kemas itu, sudah tidak lagi bernyawa.

Sewaktu pemeriksaan dibuat ke atas mayat anak muda yang tidak dikenali itu, terselit sehelai nota yang ditaip rapi, ditulis dalam bahasa Kebangsaan.

Ia berbunyi: YB Josephine adalah ancaman terhadap keharmonian. Lebih baik riwayatnya ditamatkan supaya masyarakat berbilang kaum boleh tinggal aman damai di negara bertuah ini. Saya berkorban untuk masa depan.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Financial Advice 101

Get out while you can. If you can. Thats my advice.

As the financial turmoil getting worse, we start to think what shall we do now? We might think we are not affected. Wrong. Everyone will be affected one way or another.

We might not have any financial asset like shares and fixed deposit at financial institutions. But we might have assets in the form of retirement funds and properties.

If you have assets in retirement funds, better rearrange the asset allocation if you can. Say if you have your retirement fund allocated a substantial amount in high growth (ie shares), contact your fund manager now and instruct them to reallocate to govt backed securities. There is very high chance that the value of these funds will fall in the coming days as the fund managers recalculate the values of those assets.

Same with ETFs (exchange traded funds). Cash in.

I am not suggesting that you keep cash under the pillow. That would be risky proposition.

Friday, October 03, 2008

That Cheap? Still, A Waste of Money.

YES, that cheap, USD$1.75 for a house. Probably less than the price for a Big Mac.

But if you dont plan to move in, and the house will cost you more money for back taxes and clean up, you end up wasting more money. After taxes and clean up, and real estate agent commission, would you make profit? Good luck!

As a friend said, the value of a house is as much as the next person willing to pay for it.

EREAD ORIGINAL NEWS HERE

US woman buys house on eBay for $2.60
2:27PM Thursday October 02, 2008

MICHIGAN - A Chicago woman has bought a house on eBay for an abandoned home with a bid of just US$1.75 ($2.60).

Joanne Smith's bid was one of eight for the home in Saginaw, Illinois.

"I am going to try and sell it," she said. "I don't have any plans to move to Saginaw."

Smith said she hasn't seen the property or visited Saginaw, which has been hard-hit by economic troubles in recent years.

There's a notice on the door of the home saying a foreclosure hearing is pending, the newspaper said.

She must pay about US$850 in back taxes and clean-up costs.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Tell Tale Sign of Recession

at this rate asset prices will be dirt cheap very soon. and why should american taxpayer be saddled with unperforming loan the the debtor has walkout and declared himself bankrupt anyway? to add to the injury, the mortgaged property have been sold at cheaper price, or would be soon. usa govt better of use that usd700billion to help the NINJA ( no income,no job, no asset) by increasing govt purchases (housing, training, public work, education etc). even if they provide interest free loan to homeless, poor people etc to get housing, training and education that would be better than the current plan. the economy would stand up again sooner.

you see the lesson here..
wealth is a mirage, we shoud strive for the Hereafter.

Money-Market Rates Climb After U.S. Congress Rejects Bailout

By Gavin Finch and David Yong

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Money-market rates in Europe jumped to records after the U.S. Congress rejected a $700 billion rescue plan for financial companies, heightening concern more banks will fail, and as lenders hoarded cash as the third quarter ends.

The euro interbank offered rate, or Euribor, that banks charge each other for one-month loans climbed to a record 5.05 percent today, the European Banking Federation said. Rates on three-month loans in dollars were as high as 10 percent as of 10:50 a.m. in London, said Ronald Tharun, a money-market trader in Stuttgart at Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany's biggest state-owned lender. The dollar Libor-OIS spread, a gauge of the scarcity of cash, advanced to a record. Rates in Asia also rose.

``The money markets have completely broken down, with no trading taking place at all,'' said Christoph Rieger, a fixed- income strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort in Frankfurt. ``There is no market any more. Central banks are the only providers of cash to the market, no-one else is lending.''

Credit markets have seized up, tipping banks toward insolvency and forcing U.S. and European governments to rescue five banks in the past two days, including Dexia SA, the world's biggest lender to local governments, and Wachovia Corp. Money- market rates climbed even after the Federal Reserve yesterday more than doubled the size of its dollar-swap line with foreign central banks to $620 billion. Banks yesterday borrowed the most since 2002 at the ECB's emergency rate.

Libor Rate

The two-month Euribor rate reached 5.13 percent today, also an all-time high, the EBF said.

The London interbank offered rate that banks charge each other for three-month dollar loans increased 12 basis points to 3.88 percent yesterday, the highest level since Jan. 18. Libor, set by 16 banks including Citigroup Inc. and UBS AG in a daily survey by the British Bankers' Association, is used to calculate rates on $360 trillion of financial products worldwide, from home loans to credit derivatives.

Funding constraints are being exacerbated as companies try to settle trades and buttress balance sheets over the quarter-end, balking at lending for more than a day.

The three-month interbank offered dollar rate in Singapore jumped to an eight-month high of 3.90 percent. The three-month rate in Hong Kong rose by the most in almost a week to 3.664 percent. The difference between the rate Australian banks charge each other for three-month loans and the overnight indexed swap rate reached 98 points, close to a six-month high. The gap has averaged 45 basis points this year.

`Counterparty Fear'

Dexia got a 6.4 billion-euro ($9.2 billion) state-backed rescue, according to a statement from Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme today. The U.K. Treasury yesterday seized Bradford & Bingley Plc, Britain's biggest lender to landlords, while governments in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg extended a lifeline to Fortis, Belgium's largest financial-services firm. Hypo Real Estate Holding AG received a loan guarantee from Germany, and Iceland agreed to rescue Glitnir Bank hf.

``Counterparty fear in the banking sector is at a new extreme,'' said Greg Gibbs, director of currency strategy at ABN Amro Holding Bank NV in Sydney. ``Credit conditions are as tight as a drum. Unless this settles down, central banks would need to cut rates globally to bring funding costs down.''

Futures on the Chicago Board of Trade show a 66 percent chance the Fed will trim its 2 percent federal funds target rate by 50 basis points in October, surging from zero percent a month ago. The odds of a quarter-point reduction are 34 percent.

Hoarding Money

Banks yesterday borrowed 15.5 billion euros from the ECB at the emergency overnight marginal rate. The ECB's marginal lending rate is 5.25 percent. The Bank of Japan injected more than 19 trillion yen ($182 billion) into the country's system over the past two weeks, the most in at least six years. The Reserve Bank of Australia pumped in A$1.95 billion ($1.6 billion) today and has injected more than A$2 billion a day on average since Sept. 15.

The Libor-OIS spread, the difference between the three-month dollar rate and the overnight indexed swap rate, stood at 233 basis points, showing cash scarcity is at a record.

The difference between what banks and the U.S. Treasury pay to borrow money for three months, the so-called TED spread, was at 331 basis points today after breaching 350 basis points for the first time yesterday. The spread was at 110 basis points a month ago.

``We can be sure that funding pressures are not going to ease while there is so much uncertainty,'' said Adam Carr, senior economist in Sydney at ICAP Australia Ltd., part of the world's largest inter-bank broker. ``Cash is going to be at a premium. There's really no end in sight.''

To contact the reporters on this story: Gavin Finch in London at gfinch@bloomberg.net; David Yong in Singapore at dyong@bloomberg.net
Last Updated: September 30, 2008 06:02 EDT

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Bailout Fails; House Reps Torpedoed the Plan

That is what I like about America. The President is not the Executive power. Maybe he is the executive, but the bailout is tantamount to interference of the market. Also this would create moral hazard, ie if big business take risk and fail, yet the USA Govt bail them out, them that create precedent, in the future big businesses would become reckless in taking risk. Because if you fail, USA Govt will bail you out.

So I am glad the The House of Reps vetoed this bailout plan, notwithstanding that this is good for the economy.

Why should taxpayers pay for the excesses of big businesses? You take risk, you reap the reward, vice versa.

This article from yahoofinance.


Dow posts biggest daily point drop in history


Reuters | Tuesday, 30 September 2008
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The Dow industrials plunged overnight in the blue-chip average's biggest one-day point drop ever after US lawmakers unexpectedly rejected a $700 billion financial bailout, spooking investors who saw it as essential to halting a global market meltdown.

The Dow lost about 778 points and posted its biggest daily percentage decline since the October 1987 stock market crash, while the benchmark S&P 500 also had its worst day in 21 years after the House sent the bailout plan to defeat by a vote of 228 to 205.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq had its worst day since April 2000 when the Internet bubble collapsed.

The failure of the bill, which would have let the Treasury buy up bad mortgage debt from struggling banks, added to serious concerns after the credit crisis claimed new victims, including Wachovia Corp and a bevy of European banks.

Fear was deep and widespread, as investors dumped stocks for the relative safety of US government bonds. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, Wall Street's main barometer of investor fear, jumped 39 percent to 48.40, a nearly six-year high, and was at 46.72 at the close.

"I am shocked. Credit markets were struggling even with the prospect this bill was going to get passed. Now the bill doesn't get passed and it just throws one more monkey wrench into the mix," said Bob Doll, global chief investment officer of equities at BlackRock Inc, one of the world's largest asset managers.

The Dow Jones industrial average sank 777.68 points, or 6.98 percent, to 10,365.45. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 106.59 points, or 8.79 percent, at 1,106.42. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 199.61 points, or 9.14 percent, at 1,983.73.

An index of financial services shares lost 16 percent, while Bank of America Corp fell 17.6 percent to $30.25.

Goldman Sachs slid 12.5 percent to $120.70.

"This is bad in a lot of different ways," said Bill Strazzullo, partner and chief market strategist at Bell Curve Trading, in Boston. "Short-term, the market is getting crushed, but more importantly, we are telling clients we could be at the beginning of a whole new down phase. There is the potential for the S&P 500 to go all the way down to 1,000."

The bailout's demise comes after US bank Wachovia was forced to sell most of its assets to Citigroup in a deal brokered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

That followed fast upon fresh signs that financial market turmoil was spreading around the world. European authorities in recent days were forced to step in and rescue a group of banks in Britain, Belgium, Germany and elsewhere.

Global money markets remained paralyzed, even as central banks, including the Federal Reserve, pumped cash into world markets in an attempt to boost liquidity.

Although there were doubts that the government's rescue package would be sufficient to shelter the economy and stem the spread of the turmoil, investors said it was a necessary first step to restoring confidence in financial markets.

"We know that whatever they do won't save all the ills from an economic perspective," said Kurt Brunner, portfolio manager at Swarthmore Group in Philadelphia. "But to sit and maintain this sort of limbo is not good, and financial markets are reflecting that."

Technology shares also took it on the chin with Apple Inc's 18 percent slide to $105.26 leading the way after several brokerages slashed their recommendations on the tech bellwether and maker of the iPod.

Shares of Google fell 11.6 percent to $381, near a two-year low hit earlier in the day.

The bailout plan met heavy resistance from Republicans, who balked at the price tag and voted against the bill by a margin of more than 2 to 1. A majority of Democrats voted in favor.

"The problem is the American public resoundingly said 'no,"' said Linda Duessel, market strategist at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh. "It's such a difficult, complex and unprecedented situation, and maybe the average American either doesn't understand it or accept the ramifications of what might happen if (Congress) doesn't come through."

Volume was heavy on the New York Stock Exchange, where about 2.02 billion shares changed hands, above last year's estimated daily average of roughly 1.90 billion. On Nasdaq, about 2.80 billion shares traded, well above last year's daily average of 2.17 billion.

Declining stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by about 30 to 1. On the Nasdaq, decliners beat advancers by more than 6 to 1.