Thursday, December 31, 2009

Kita Bertemu di Fesbuk

Kita Bertemu di Fesbuk.


Malam malam di musim dingin itu sungguh panjang dan dingin sekali. Ahmad bertugas malam di sebuah hotel empat bintang di kota yang sunyi. Setiap malam hanya mereka berdua saja, Ahmad dan Misel, seorang perempuan muda keturunan Sekot. Ahmad sebagai kuli angkut beg, sekali gus sebagai pegawai keselamatan, manakala Misel menyambut tetamu dan buat akaun harian. Mereka akrab sekali, maklumlah tiada siapa yang Misel boleh harapkan untuk kalau kalau ada orang jahat malam itu, atau malam malam yang lain. Jika ada pesanan makanan lewat malam, dari pengunjung hotel yang masuk lewat, Misel akan meminta Ahmad ke dapur memasak dan menghantar makanan. Kalau ada orang mabuk, Ahmad lah yang Misel harapkan untuk menanganinya. Bila semua pengunjung hotel telah nyenyak kekadang Ahmad akan menemani Misel mengira akaun harian di pejabat, sambil Ahmad melayari alam siber.
Dari situlah Ahmad mula mengenali dunia Fesbuk. Satu alamat di alam siber yang merapatkan jaringan perkenalan kepunyaan Mark Zuckerberg. Zukerberg masa itu adalah seorang pelajar Harvard, masih belasan tahun, dan membina Fesbuk untuk mengetahui perihal kawan-kawannya di kampus. Mahu masuk Fesbuk? Kena ada jemputan.
“Aku tiada kenalan di Fesbuk.” kata Ahmad pendek.
“Biarlah aku jemput kau, kau jadi kawan ku,” kata Misel.

Maka bermula lah Ahmad ber fesbuk, dengan hanya berkawan dengan Misel. Mereka berbalas balas surat, walau waktu itu mereka duduk sebelah menyebelah di pejabat.

Kadang, Misel tidak bekerja malam, tapi selalunya dia keluar berfoya foya, minum minum sampai lewat malam. Waktu begitu dia akan singgah kehotel, dan akan meminta Ahmad menghantarnya pulang.

Masa berlalu.

Misel ingin melancong ke Oz sambil bekerja di sana. Berbulan bulan dia di Syurga Ombak bekerja sambil mengumpul duit untuk pergi Eropah dan Amerika. Halamannya di Fesbuk sentiasa di isi gambar gambar terbaru, sambil bercerita tentang pengalaman terbaru. Dunia terbuka luas, katak tidak lagi berada dibawah tempurung.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

GST - a consumption tax, What about its companion, welfare safety net

I notice a few facts are HIDDEN from the minister's statement about GST. True that we need to widen our tax base, and with GST, we can derive new tax base from foreign resident in the country, tourists and those groups who normally dont pay tax, eg black economy sector and low income group.

He said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) would not increase as a result of the GST implementation.
This is bulls, my apologies for my french.. I had the experience of going through the first year GST introduction in NZ, and CPI went up as much as the rate of GST. Retailers and service providers didnt reduce price, no discount to soften the impact of GST.

So brace yourself for 4% inflation in 2011.

Ah, for got to mention, that the last quarter before GST take effect, people would buy whatever they can, whether they can afford them or not, just because they dont want to pay GST to the government. So we can expect a surge in demand for consumer goods, people would stocking up on goods and services if they can do it.
That in itself would be inflationary.

Brace yourselves, if you are business owner, your administration cost would indirectly increase, because now you become indirect tax collectors for the government. Yes you would collect GST from consumers, and remit them to tax department. Although you would have a wee bit increase in cash flow, ie 4%, for the month, that is still not your money.

I have been supporting the concept GST ever since the idea was first mooted in 2005. It will net wider tax base, and force the black economy to pay taxes, indirectly. So soon the criminals, traders, illegal immigrants and poor farmers who normally dont pay taxes will have to pay 4%.

Fair enough if those people are rich, BUT if they are poor farmers and traders, its a burden and absolutely not fair.

WE should also think of social safety net, minimum wages and help for the poor.
How much Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat pay for every poor families? If they apply for help?
What is the minimum wage in Malaysia? NONE, no minimum wage.

Minister, your performance is dismal.

In Memory of My Father; Hamzah Kusni 1933-2008

It has been a year since my father passed away. My father passed away on this day last year, just 2 weeks after Hari Raya Haji last year. I wanted to come home last year for Hari Raya Haji last year, but I didnt. That is one regret that I would never be able to come to term with.
But my Allah miracle, a week after my father passed away, I was back in the village. I went to his grave, it was still fresh, under the shade of palm oil tree and only 30 meters away from the village masjid.

To this day I still regret and cry inside, why couldnt I come home sooner? Simply that I didnt have enough money for the airfare. I did call home that Raya Aidil Fitri, and I promise to come home for Raya Haji. I did try to save enough money for the airfare, and had enough days of annual leave. But in the end it wasnt enough, and whatever I had was spent on something else. In the end I couldnt fulfill my promise to come home for Raya Haji.
Thanking you in advance for reciting AlFatihah for my father's benefit.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Whats Wrong with Dubai World..

Its easy to find fault and do post mortem, especially on issues of economics. Yes there are lots of extravagant dreams and think big projects. By normal standard these projects are too big, and success hinge on slick marketing of finished or unfinished properties with a view of making more big fat profits for investors of the properties.

The trick might work, just make sure Dubai have a huge influx of immigrants and new residents who would eventually demand more properties.

But one thing we all Muslims must remember, all the ideas and hard work that we do, would still have to pass one standard test, that the investment or work done must be halal in totality. For Non Muslim, yes every hard work they do will get reward in this world, and as such thier investment and work will gain rewards and successes.
For Muslims, there is one more hurdle to pass, that the work and investment is halal.

Why do I write this?

Here is why;

Dubai World, the Gulf state's investment firm, is to take a 10 per cent stake in MGM Mirage, the world's second-largest casino operator, to become a major player in America's biggest gambling destination
Is casino investment halal? Of course not. And the wrath of Allah has come.