A Tale To Tell & Remember

I'm very much inspired by the words of Thomas L. Friedman in his book "The World Is Flat" which renders about the influence of bloggers in this new age. I want to keep the highest integrity and honesty in posting my words to the world. This blog act as a testimony to my alacrity of sharing information with the borderless world. Hope we can share a high regards of veracity and chivalry with this blog because that's why it is here. So help me God!

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Sunday, 29 June 2008

Alangkah indahnya hidup di bumi Malaysia tanpa mereka ini...

30th June 2008 - Pemimpin segolongan pengikut samada pembangkang ataupun kerajaan, dua tiga purnama ini sibuk mempertahankan kepentingan peribadi dan keluarga mereka dari kepentingan rakyat yang jelas dicengkam dengan pelbagai tekanan dan masalah baik kewangan mahupun keselamatan. Alangkah indahnya hidup di bumi bertuah ini tanpa mereka-mereka yang haprak ini.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Aah!~ Letter from Alan Greenspan...

Letter from Mr. Alan Greenspan

27th June 2008 - I received a letter from Mr. Alan Greenspan yesterday. Yess, the one that once presided the Chairman post of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. I shared with him my views and ideas on the poverty trap in South East Asian countries and the much needed ways of a very strong government policy in rectifying the economic imbalances between major races in Malaysia.

I will keep writing letters to Mr. Greenspan in the future to come.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

100 days of foul administration under Prime Minister Abdullah

25th June 2008 - I need to blog on this so that everyone will know what happened in the year 2008. 100 days have passed after National Alliance won the recent election, but the yardstick of unsuccessful administration are everywhere to be seen:-

1. The payment of ex-gratia to Judges who had been removed by legal Tribunal set up in 1988 (not to consider the issues of Judicial is none to do with the major loss of National Alliances in recent election);

2. Khairy Jamaluddin is still standing strong and still considers himself as the Malay champion despite the clear cut loathsome feeling among Malaysian towards him (not only the Malays but all major races in Malaysia);

3. The no confidence motion by one of the National Alliances coalition parties (first time in the history of Malaysian democracy);

4. The failure of economic management by the Malaysian government (shocking oil price hike, neglecting of the sub-prime crisis in U.S. and the transferring of the burden which should be shouldered by the government were put on the shoulders of the citizens); and

5. The unclear decisions and planned projects by the government which haven't yet prove to be felt on the ground (since 2004). Ask everyone about this!

My frank assessment is that this administration will end up in the freaking toilet sooner than 2013. Period!

Saturday, 21 June 2008

What comes around goes around comes around goes around... never ends

10.33 pm - Just came back from KLCC... I'm not ready yet for Ayn Rand's... but I promise myself there will be time for me to delve it. I swear!~

22nd June 2008 - I just came back from Penang. The love is gone for now and I wonder will it come back... What's left for me is something inexplicable... should I kept it in my heart and wait for the same God's work done by the devil... just like before... or should I just forgive and forgo... and restart back again? Ya Allah please help me with this one.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Off to Penang

20th June 2008 - I'm off to Penang today for a two day break. I'm interested going to visit the P. Ramlee house tomorrow before coming back. Wish me well.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

P. Ramlee the musical

15th June 2008 - Yesterday (14th June 2008), all of us went to Istana Budaya for P. Ramlee the Musical. I'm compelled to blog on this one. The show was excellent and accolades for Tiara Jacquelina for her lots of efforts in the performing arts. The show was almost faultless.

Musly (P. Ramlee) was outstanding and he is one of the most contributing factor for the achievement of the P. Ramlee the Musical success. For once I thought P. Ramlee was alive last night and suddenly I find myself in tears. Melissa Saila (Norizan) was excellent and standing ovation for her performance. Last night show was the greatest ever theatre I have ever seen before in Istana Budaya. If only my “Azizah” from Bukit Mertajam could join us… oh Azizah!~

Thursday, 12 June 2008

No more

13th June 2008 – I’ve cancelled Berita Harian daily deliveries and change it to Utusan Malaysia instead. My mother thought to just cancel off the daily deliveries of any papers but I differs and adamant of giving Utusan Malaysia a chance to prove one’s worth for a month. Berita Harian was totally “dry” and seems to report incorrect news everyday not to mention deviation of Malaysian real problems and turn it to some figures personal newsletter. The clear intention of provocateur and disparage news on Tun Dr. Mahathir really knocks my nerve off.

By the way, tomorrow we [all the family members] will be going to Istana Budaya for P. Ramlee the Musical. Can’t wait for it and the show time is schedule at 8.30 pm. See you there and cheerio!~

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Oil Price Stagflation - Where should we be heading (Part 2)

By: Ahmad Syah Ejaz Hj. Ismail

Where are we heading?

I believe that some of us are still in the precept that there will be time for the oil price to recoil and sell at the previous rate of RM 1.92 per litre or even lower. But the real trend is unlikely where global demands for crude oil are increasing. The oil price hike that was felt around the world still has a long way to go. The rise of emerging economies of China, India, Vietnam and Russia as major global economic players which requires these countries to consume more oil is inevitable. To say no for these nations to use after we ourselves have build up our robust economy from oil would be preposterous.

What was needed to mitigate the global effect of spiking crude oil prices is the flexibility of the market economies. The beauty of the market forces which requires consumers to change, adapt and reform surely would be a major factor in mitigating future disaster. The problems with Malaysian economy is that, such drives that was needed for it to be flexible are absent even amid the global fears of rocketing oil prices. Malaysian economy is not flexible enough to absorb any shock for any unseen debilitating factors [we do see it happens many times such as 1970s OPEC cartel of oil shock, 1997 financial crisis], but we ourselves never learn from past occurrences.

The irrational exuberance of spending unnecessarily in the year 2004 – 2008 are a stark evidence of sheer ignorance of what might happen especially when the global crude price begin to increase even in the year 2000. Globalization and market interdependent had caught Malaysian unprepared for the worst time such as this. One of my good friends Lino pointed out a very good suggestion of the importance to build our own oil inventories to absorb any anomalies such as the oil shock or terrorist attack that will contribute to the energy uncertainty and to give an ample time for Malaysian consumers to reform, change and adapt.

As far as I’m concern, Malaysia still hasn’t had any oil inventories for emergency time even though we are also one of the producers [correct me if I’m wrong on this]. Such management technique of dealing with uncertainties can be seen during the war. There would be fuel dumps at various place for the war effort and such military tactics can be adopted in Malaysia and as matter of facts, United States itself were building its own oil inventories despite its abundant reserves of crude oil well.

According to Greenspan - consider had prices not risen owing to the anticipatory buying by investors, oil consumption would have increased at a faster pace, bringing forward the time when demand would smack into the supply ceiling. At that point, world consumers would rapidly run through their inventories, and prices would rocket sharply higher, with severe consequences for world economic stability. Instead, in response to higher prices induced by investors demand, producers have increased production measurably, and some consumption has been discouraged. Even though crude-oil production capacity remains inadequate, it too rose in response to higher prices. The bottom line is that without the build-up of inventories owing to speculation, the world would surely have eventually experienced a far more precipitate and severe oil shock than actually occurred.

There are some arguments by an economist and government leaders that the current oil price increase phenomenon is due to speculative and hedging by speculators. Even the infamous speculator Mr. George Soros who makes money from market speculations and donate some profits of it to charity claims the same way. But to say that oil price hike phenomenon is merely due to speculation would be foolhardy. There are some factors contributing to it, but much of the cause was fears and classic market economies price drive which is demand and supply.

The oil price was forecasted by some economist to reach at the peak of $250.00 per barrel in 2030 but one need not to worry if “creative destruction” took place before it thus ensuring market flexibilities and forcing the world consumer not only to adapt, but also to innovate for the future well-being. I still remember watching Mr. Greenspan giving testimonials before the U.S. senates in Capitol Hill coolly saying that the world need not to worry due to the price hike phenomenon when the market economies itself will self-adapt and self-corrected through innovation and changes. But I guess, he is not there anymore to help in decision making and fiscal policy in dealing with the energy crisis.

For us, Malaysian economy depended mostly on oil for its growth. This is a stark reality where there is not much alternative in replacing such a latent threat to growth and if there are any anomalies in domestic economies, Malaysian would be at the losing end. Amid the global energy crisis, there are some calls by the public for the government to halt and stop some “mega projects”. It would surely be a popular decision for the time, but one also needs to take into account of the consequences that will follow suit if Malaysian is not provided with the much needed infrastructure for future growth. The way that I know it, there is no real terms of the so called “mega projects”.

Such terms was only coined by the person who didn’t get the contracts thus frustrated with it. To ensure that nobody gets the coveted trophy the “mega projects” were created to bedevil it. A project that was proposed before by the government must be ensured to promise a positive long term effect. Either it on a big scale or small, amid the global tension of oil shock, there must be some projects implemented by the government to ensure our economy not at the stagnating mode.

My suggestion is that we must prepared Malaysian with some alternatives to driving internal combustion engines vehicle by “go ahead” with some big infrastructure projects such as Putrajaya Monorail, Double railway track and Bakun Hydroelectric. Such projects will not only give an alternative for Malaysian not to rely heavily on oil but also at the same time cutting budgets on increasing government expenditure on energy that are based on oil. Some economist would suggest for world nations to turn Nuclear through nuclear power plants for generating electrics. Nuclear technology is clean, but some studies also must be done to ensure no negative effects towards the populations due to the depleted uranium. Even though some argues that such incidents never occurred before but studies need to be taken without bias or prejudice.

For some dynamics entrepreneurs, current oil tension is an opportunity for them to innovate and drives for new market niche. As such there will be an impetus for consumers for a plug in electric hybrid cars. The Toyota motor company had announced that 2010 would be the year for them to unveil new plug-in hybrid which don’t relies on oil for internal combustion engines. For Malaysian to accept such drastic changes would be difficult, but one first steps need to be taken in achieving the same goals as the Japanese are trying to do.

To anticipate a decrease of an oil price would be wishful thinking and put Malaysian at the losing end. Consider had prices not risen owing to the anticipatory buying by investors, oil consumption would have increased at a faster pace, bringing forward the time when demand would smack into the supply ceiling. At that point, world consumers would rapidly run through their inventories, and prices would rocket sharply higher, with severe consequences for world economic stability. Instead, in response to higher prices induced by investors demand, producers have increased production measurably, and some consumption has been discouraged. Even though crude-oil production capacity remains inadequate, it too rose in response to higher prices. The bottom line is that without the build-up of inventories owing to speculation, the world would surely have eventually experienced a far more precipitate and severe oil shock than actually occurred.

The prices oil also is much determined by the refineries built operated. The facts show that there are more crude oil that were produce daily rather than the refineries that were turning the crude oil at the ready mode of consumption. The obligations from these big oil companies that are currently reaping the profits of high oil must be supplanted to its R&D in building refineries to meet the global demand and also R&D in venturing into new source of energy. Refining-capacity pressures have opened up refining-market profit margins, which have added to the prices of gasoline and other refined products.

Some Malaysian argued that PETRONAS is making a big bulk of money due to the global price hike. Some say that PETRONAS must use its profits in subsidizing the Malaysian citizens for a cheap price of petrol. Yes indeed PETRONAS is making huge profits from the global price hike and I do agree with above point to an extent of using PETRONAS money (only how it differs). PETRONAS money must be used to help Malaysian dealing with the global energy crisis. But I disagree with the motion to use the profits for Malaysian in keeping them to buy cheap petrol. The PETRONAS money must be used to prepare Malaysian with alternatives for oil. Public transport must be enhanced not just only through soothing promises. There must be a clear schedule of public transport infrastructure with clear amount of expenditure using PETRONAS money.

As far as I’m concern, Tun Dr. Mahathir had been building Putrajaya from PETRONAS profits itself thus turning it’s profits into a real estate investment powerhouse through Putrajaya Holdings. Not to spent the money would surely be a stupid move. An amount of PETRONAS money must be well planned to help Malaysian with alternatives for mobility and energy. PETRONAS is owned entirely by the government and its action should be dictated by the government itself without jeopardizing its future of innovation and progress.

In 1908 Henry Ford introduces the Model T, and thus creating a massive market for crude oil. If Henry Ford is still alive, he would be disappointed to see the future vehicle is still run by the oil and not new type of energy such as lithium batteries or hydrogen fuel. The drives for creative destructions and alternatives for vehicles must keep pace with the latent threat of oil depletion. We need to change our transport vehicle from internal combustion engines which required carbon oil to a more friendly energy sources such as plug in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cells. But of course, hydrogen fuel is impossible without nuclear reactor for it to be produce. In the history of energy that was based on oil mankind needs for constant change. For the past 200 years, oil displaced coal despite still-vast untapped reserves of coal, and coal displaced wood before our forestlands were denuded.

To be continued…

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Oil Price Stagflation - Learn from Miyazawa Plan (Part 1)

[I’ve been getting phone calls on the night the government announced to lift up the subsidy expressing concern on the food products necessities, text messages and email on the same matter asking what’s are my opinion about the decision by the government to increase the oil price from RM 1.92 per litre to RM 2.70 per litre. Actually I’m not very much interested in giving my opinion about the matter, but I do would like to express my disappointment on certain decision pertaining to the nation preparation amid the global tension of oil price hike and I do think that some people need to be blame on the decision making process which put us on the bad situation not to mention future jeopardy of progress and Vision 2020 (if some people still keen to achieve it). Here are my opinions on the subject matter whether you like it or not.]

Malaysia was caught unprepared

The Global trend of the oil price hike were felt not in 2006 when the government decides to increase oil price to 0.30 cents but as early as 2002 when the price of oil changed from USD 19.00 per barrel reach to USD 30.00 per barrel. After experiencing a boring mode of the price curve ranging from USD 17.00 to USD 19.00 per barrel, the year 2003 saw the major changes in the curve mode where it start to reach USD 30.00 per barrel which saw an increase of USD 11 – 12 dollar per barrel in just one year. Never before the world saw the impact that might once again change the way of “civilized” human life affected by the price change on it’s addiction for oil since the Arab-Israeli War in 1970s. But the world has yet to learn from the recession precipitated from the OPEC cartel decision on the oil price in 1970s.

For Malaysian, in facing such a latent threat of nation’s recession taking place due to the price hike, some measures had been put forward to ensure there will be no glitch in domestic economy from the price hike if the government decided to review the subsidies on oil [sooner or later looking at the oil price curve such day will surely come]. Just to name a few some of the projects proposed was the Putrajaya Monorail, Double railway track and the purchases of the renowned Italian excellent motorcycle companies the MV Agusta in keeping Proton technology savvy of the small engines technologies amid the global demand of the small cars that will consume less oil when the price hike of the oil is un attainable. Unfortunately, those three projects that were supposed to prepare Malaysian for public transport and less oil consumption were cancelled without review and MV Agusta itself was sold at Euro 1 far below the market price to a buyers who are unknown without any track records or open biddings [I personally believe Encik Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar was behind the decision].

Those measures were conceived to help Malaysian in coping with the increase of the oil prices and sustaining the consumer and its economic mobility at the same time in keeping pace with the needs for “creative destruction” just like the Japanese manage their economy and economic impetus. The problems with the Malaysian domestic economy and Malaysian way of life is that our addiction for oil is too much to bear amid the global demand and much more worse than the American consumers in as such Malaysian economic activities were based on oil in terms of transportation and production of products [plus the usage of energy in keeping the supply of the raw materials].

The decision of the government to lift up the subsidies leaving Malaysian consumer with no alternative is never a good policy. Plus the shock of the oil subsidies innoculation applied [at .80 cents per litre is too high for Malaysian to absorb] as such it was not adopted gradually which put Malaysian on a bad mode of absorbing the debilitating shocks and another shock of economic self-correction in terms of spending and consumer preparation. What the current government is applying is the classic IMF economic text book of facing recession and inflation - punishing the consumers for global economic problems. The decision to sell MV Agusta, and the cancellation of the double railway track and Putrajaya Monorail will come at a very high cost where Malaysian will be at the losing end. My worries are that consumers spending will stop to a complete halt, bringing down thousand of workers and the economy will be at full stagnant when the shocks is too much to bear at short notice.

Not to mention the increasing of the inflation rate (that had already forecast to happen at 4 %, personally I believe the real rate were at 8%). Methods to deal with this inflation should applied in an unorthodox way when the Keynesian methods are not the only methods of economic management to be applied when inflation and stagnation is moving in tandem. According to Alan Greenspan, under the prevailing Keynesian view of the economy, unemployment and inflation are like kids on a seesaw: when one goes up, the other goes down. To oversimplify, it was argued that the more people there are out of work, the less upward pressure there is on wages and prices. Conversely, when unemployment falls and the labour market gets tight, wage and price increases are likely.

But the Keynesian economic models failed to account for the possibility that unemployment and inflation could climb in tandem. This phenomenon, which came to be called stagflation, put policy makers at a loss. The forecasting tools that had made government economist seem too prescient a decade before were in reality not good enough to let the government fine-tune the economy. With the oil price increase there will be inflation and high rate of jobs retrenchments. The economy will surely will be in recession and methods need to be applied where education is keeping pace with the problems solving methods that will leave Malaysian with an alternative to choose especially in sustaining the current mobility.

The lift up of certain rate of oil subsidy is acceptable, but one need to bear in mind that Malaysian need to prepare beforehand in facing an economic downturn. It is impossible for the current government to revoke its decision, but there are methods that can be applied to help domestic consumer keeping pace with the global recession precipitates from the oil increase. One of the way to deal with such problems I suggest we adopt back the “Look East Policy” and learned how the Japanese deal with its longest historical recession ranging from 1990 to 2005 when it endures the longest stagflation the world had ever seen at the same time preserving and keeping pace with the Japanese way of life, social mobility, kaizen methods of “creative destruction” and nurturing the domestic consumer spending.

To be continued…

Faces of Tun Teddy

Faces of Tun Teddy