Sunday, 29 April 2007

Is it worth it?

Unless you’re a certain pastor, you must be feeling the Sunday evening depression (a.k.a. pre-Monday blues) or… you’re already into your Monday blues, depending on when you’re reading this. Well, you shouldn’t be… remind yourself that you won't be working this coming Tuesday and Wednesday and… you should be have some element of Friday bliss.

But! Yeah, there’s always a but… some of you may have to work. You will probably have your usual it’s-my-peak-period or I-have-some-urgent-work reason. Or maybe, you really have something to do, you genuinely need to finish some stuff that if you don’t, your ass is on the line.

Well, whatever your reason may be, I think you should read this piece of news which was sent to me by my friend last Friday. Oh… being a responsible blogger, I google-d her name and actually found that she is all over the news and is also mentioned in some Romanian blogs. Have a read…

Romanian media debates death of E&Y "exhausted" young manager

Romanian media on Thursday debates the death of Raluca Stroescu, a young manager for Ernst&Young (“EY”) Romania, whose passing was blamed by a newspaper earlier this week on exhaustion at work. Raluca was buried at a cemetery in Ploiesti, north of Bucharest in the presence of the family and hundreds of young people yesterday.

Experts could not provide clear information on the causes of her death on Tuesday and Wednesday and that the necessary data will be available within weeks, but told reporters that she might have died of heart failure.

The Evenimentul Zilei <http://www.evz.ro/> newspaper on Wednesday reported that the background cause of the death was physical exhaustion as she was working too much for a salary of a couple of thousand euro, which is a very good salary in Romania.

Gardianul <http://www.gardianul.ro/> on Thursday quotes Raluca's former colleagues who say that prior to her death she "was looking like a ghost. She was in a hurry. She had to put up a report". According to the newspaper, "Raluca had worked so hard to become somebody until she collapsed. Still, who is to blame?

"Is it worth dying for a salary of 2,000 euro?", Evenimentul Zilei <http://www.evz.ro/> wonders in its edition today. The newspaper reports that Raluca's death has sparked a huge public response about the conditions of work Romanian employees have to cope with and whether is it a good thing to abandon personal life for the sake of money and career.

The issue of career opportunities and what one can do to seize them is very hot in Romania where economy has been booming for years and salaries are still low compared to other countries, prompting major companies abroad to relocate businesses here.

Gandul <http://www.gandul.info/> quotes a doctor who examined the woman's body, according to whom Raluca was underfed as she weighed less than 40 kilos. "She was not eating or she couldn't assimilate food" the doctor said, while others said she also had problem s with her heart and hormones.

Raluca, 31, had been working for EY Romania for two years and a half. She previously worked for Vodafone. E&Y's only manager that could be contacted by Cotidianul <http://www.cotidianul.ro/> yesterday refused to comment the tragedy.

I found this blog and seems like the blogger knows her in person. The blogger has this to say…

“She (the deceased) was a loner, who buried herself in her work, a workaholic if you will. She was ambitious, but ambition is not a sin. She had wishes, which naturally followed from her ambition. She may have had heartaches, quickly smothered, buried beneath files, forgotten in front of the computer or left wandering on the side of the roads she travelled. And in search of what? The desired high social status with everything it entails? A certain happiness? Whatever she was looking for, she paid the price and was way overcharged.”


Have you been working so hard till you feel like you’re a loner? Do you find yourself buried beneath work? Are you searching for high social status with everything it entails?

Yes, I know, success has its sacrifice. But do you know what are you sacrificing? In trying to increase your bank account, did you also increase your cholesterol and blood pressure? Ask yourself… is it worth it?

Friday, 27 April 2007

Friday get-away

It’s Friday!!!

First, I think I owe all of you the answer to this riddle. Well, there are many version to it but I like this answer the most…

RESTARTED
RESTATED (remove R)
RESTATE (remove D)
ESTATE (remove R)
STATE (remove E)
SATE (remove T)
ATE (remove S)
AT (you know remove which one right?)
A (need I say more?)

Secondly, I check my stats counter and note that there are actually readers coming from kinja.com, under username gracie0709… see below….





No, no, no, don’t get me wrong. I am certainly not complaining. But I just want to thank whoever that’s going it. So… gracie0709… whoever you are… thank you!

Last but not least… have to leave you all with another riddle… Ok… it’s not exactly a riddle but just a question….

And the question is…


















Without checking google or refer back to any newspaper…







Can you tell what is the name of the new Agong? Quick... who can say it first... but please don't make fun of the name of our king ya...


Have a nice weekend all of you and Daulat Tuanku.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Why is the rum gone?

Yes! Tell me why!!! Damn it! Of all things, why must they choose rum? Don’t they know that it’s freaking important? Oh man, I don’t have the answer, I can't tell why is the rum gone…

*Zewt opens google talk and msn and asked around* … Why is the rum gone? Here are some of the reasons why the rum is gone when I asked my gchat-mate and msn-mate….

"What rum?" - all time favourite answer

“It’s gone cos Malaysia stopped giving us as much water, so we decided to drink rum instead” – Singaporean sigh.... opps...

“Because rum's mama ask rum to go away?” – rum got mama? Papa still around?

“It’s here la, but damn long never drink till high d, miss party days, ahahahahha” – I think she is still high from it.

“Must be act of god, or samy velly ran out of todi” – hahahahahahahaha!

“Wat's a rum? The alcohol drink? Rum jungle? U always amuse me” – what has rum gotta do with me amusing you?

“Because nuffnang took it for themselves” – someone knows what is going on…

“My dog (row row) drank it. Here’ why.Please find where the “R”, “U” and “M” is “H”idden.
Row-Row ran to ride his ‘bone’,
Hid it well beneath a stone,
But Row-Row’s ‘bone’ doesn’t hot when its cold,
The ‘bone’ grows ‘hore matured when old.” – what kinda answer is this???? And I still dunno why the rum is gone!

“Is it? I didn’t know. Wait, what rum?” – go drink some and you’ll know.

“becos u drank it all la, what else?” – did I? but I am not drunk yet.

“Coz Julia drank it. I’ve been trying to warn you, but do you listen? noooooooooooooo” – Oh shit, she took the rum????


Sigh…no one can give me a good answer. How am I going to answer to these fellas?

Tell… why is the rum gone? Tell me now! And dont tell me you dunno what rum is!

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Ever wondered... ?

I receive tonnes of videos everyday in my inbox and some of them are really cool. But I try not to post any of the video here. If I do, I will be a "thinking blogger" no more, right Kenny?

Anyway, I find this video very interesting and it is something we should all see. Like what the person is saying... wonder what happen to them inside our tummy.... no, it's nothing gross, but informative.




Happy holiday to those who are off tomorrow... like me! hehe....

P/S: I have taken down my comments on the article from Mr. Wong Chun Wai because I read the article again and thought I may have over-reacted.

Tax and cheap

I was at the MICCI taxation committee meeting today and all the members were discussing about our proposals on the 2008 National Budget when someone talks about the tax regime in Malaysia as compared with our neighbour known as Sillypore Singapore. Well, some of you may not be paying taxes for now but I think you will find some of the things I have to say useful to a certain extend.

A little background information for those who are not aware, the National Budget is the time when our Pak Lah appear on TV talking about how much money the gomen will spend on this and that and this and that in the following year. It’s also a time when he will probably announce stuff like reduction in road tax or passport renewal fees. If you are a smoker or a drinker, it’s a time when you will find out that your ciggies and alcohol will be more expensive, because taxes on these 2 items always increase. And before that happens (usually in September), all the professional bodies are asked to submit the respective proposed amendments to tax laws or equivalent.

So it was during the discussion on our proposals when the notion about individual taxation here in Malaysia vs Singapore cropped out. So how much taxes are we paying as compared to our neighbour, who we always make fun of? Check out the following tables (please click to enlarge):

A quick glance and you will know that the highest rate for Sg is much lower compared to us. Further, you will only be taxed at the highest rate in Sg if you earn above SG$320,000 while in Malaysia, RM250,000 is the top band. Maybe some of us will want to be taxed at such high rate, because that means we are earning so much money. But I think if you are that rich, you won't be spending time reading blogs.

Therefore, we poor souls have to look at the lower ends. In our beloved country, earning RM2,500 a year and you will be subject to tax already (based on the schedule). However, there is an individual rebate of RM350 if you annual chargeable income is RM35,000 and below. In layman terms, it simply means if your chargeable income is RM35,000 and below in a year, your tax will be reduced by RM350.

I am sure many is asking what is chargeable income. On normal circumstances, chargeable income means “all” your income minus your individual relief of RM8,000 and minus all your other deductions like EPF, medical insurance, parents medical, life insurance, purchase of books, etc. It is your net income. By the way, your money earned from your Adsense and PPP, chances are you may have to report it. Those of you who happily and proudly declaring all your income in your blog… one day those fellas from the gomen see your blog and realised you never reported them… then… good luck!

Back to our taxes… with the rebate of RM350, effectively, we are only paying tax if our chargeable income is RM20,000 and above. From this aspect, we are on par with Sg, as they only start to pay tax when their chargeable income is above SD$20,000. But, look at the schedule… if our chargeable income is at RM35,000, our tax rate is already 7%, while in Sg, it’s only at 5.5% at a chargeable income of SG$40,000. If I continue, I might just confuse some of you so I leave it to your intelligence to analyse the 2 schedules.

One thing to ponder, our maximum deduction available for EPF contribution is RM6,000, and life insurance is included in it. This means if we more than RM6,000 of EPF is deducted from our salary in a year, and we have life insurance, we still only be able to claim RM6,000. Sucks right? Well, tell ya’ what… in Sg… understand that full deduction on their CBF (equivalent to our EPF) is allowed. This means… lower chargeable income for them… higher chargeable income for us.

Now, most of you will know that slaves workers in Malaysia are paid lower as compared to our equivalent Singapore counterparts. This simply means we are underpaid and over-taxed. It’s as simple as that.

Right, I hear some of you saying, Sg has got GST. First, I’ve blogged before, GST may also happen in Malaysia. Secondly, taking GST consideration… how much are Singaporeans paying for their goods and services. Let’s take the so ever famous you-and-I-must-have-one-if-not-you-and-I-are-not-cool… and i-Pod. Many of my friends travel to Sg just to get one… they said it’s cheap, even after conversion. This simply means, if i-Pod is sold at RM1,000 in Malaysia, it’s being sold for less than SG$440 in Sg.

What does this mean? A person earning RM here and a kiasu-ian earning SD$ there… with a dollar to dollar comparison… it means we are not only underpaid and over-taxed… we are also paying almost double for our goods.

You know we always we are one of the cheapest country around?... Particularly our petrol. Well, you know what is truly cheap?.... us.


P/S: I got the “how much your blog is worth” thing up at my sidebar… wow… really worth so much? Yay!! I am rich!

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Signs of times…

Today marks the exact one month since mom was cremated. As I pause to remember mom, I suddenly recalled how mom will look at me and say wrinkles are slowly building around my eyes. To my mom, I was getting old, to which I always disagree, and sometimes, a small argument will break out. But as I see my days when I can still tell people I am in my 20s slowly diminishing, I can't help but say… age is indeed catching up…

Remember those times when you opened a forwarded mail and it talks about things in the 80s and 90s and you laugh at them, and how you can really relate to them. And at the end of the e-mail, you feel you’re really old? Well, let me present you with my version of those I-feel-old situation. It’s so true to me and I wonder if it will be true to you. For those who were born in the 80s and 90s… well… you will only feel this in about 10 years time.

I remember those times when I was a die-hard Real-Time-Strategy (RTS) games. It all started with Dune II, Command & Conquer, Red Alert and my all time favourite… Starcraft. Do you used to play them? I love them and would spend my time in front of the PC religiously jus to crack my head on how to get pass a level. I still love playing computer games, but I just couldn’t find the energy to play RTS game anymore. Now, I just want to play something that shoot and shoot and kill and kill and “bang bang bang”… all die. Ok… game over. Too lazy to think, just want to shoot something.

I remember those times when I can really eat. You know the leng-jai colleague who hails from UK whom I mentioned earlier? Man! He can really eat! We once went to a nice chicken rice and siew-yok store and after all of us have tamed the glutton in us, he raised his hands and ordered an additional plate of char-siew rice just for himself. I used to be like that… where buffet operators fear the sight of me. Those who are close to me will know… Zewt is always hungry… and if Zewt is not hungry… something is wrong. But you know what, that’s no longer the case… I just can't eat that much anymore and I can't help but relate that to … age. It’s true you know.

I remember the time I used to hate dislike playing badminton with uncles. They are so slow and always fail to pose any challenge. Badminton games are bored with them. Now on the other hand… playing with uncles made me feel good. It’s the only time I can win… ok la.. maybe not that bad. But you get the flow… and soon, playing with me will not be “challenging” anymore. Also remember those days when pain is not in my vocab in a game of football. Now, I can remain contact-less in the entire game and yet the next day… some parts somewhere will hurt.

There has also been a change in my figure of speech. I will naturally refer to a person in their teens as kids (no offence). And of course, the ever dreaded situation of your friends asking their children (yes, my friends have children) to call me uncle instead of ‘go-go’. Well, there are still people who calls me young, ya’ know… those people in their 40s. And oh… those young college girls used to be hot chicks. Now… well… let’s just not go there.

I remember the time when I can't wait to finish school and have a taste of college life. But now, every Sunday when I go back to school for my football game… I never fail to feel a little… nostalgic. Those days when I used to wear the white and green are so so so long ago. Meeting up with former school mates is getting increasingly difficult. And strange enough… every single time that we meet up… we will talk about the exact same old thing, and we never fail to laugh silly to it… to the exact same old thing.

Those forwarded mails did mention about this and while I am trying to stay original, I just have to bring this point in. A few years ago, the comment that I gave to my peers who are getting married is “so soon?”. Now… it’s “when is your turn?”. Yup, marriage is a common thing now and if you’re not married, something is wrong with you. If you’re still single and available… well… let’s just not go there too.

And yes… a pick from those e-mails… my friends will panic if they tell me their girl is pregnant. An abrupt wedding dinner will soon follows. Now on the other hand… I will usually have to wish my peers congratulations when they blow up their girl’s tummy.

Last but not least… I remember when life was simple and I don’t have to deal with those painful facts of life… death. While I have always been independent, mom’s passing made me apply E=mc2 into my maturity velocity. I have to force myself to grow up. I have to see many things from a very different perspective. And ya’ know, while it has been painful, it has also been rather fulfilling.

Some years ago, when me and my friends met up, and we asked about so and so… the answer goes something like “Oh that guy… graduated already lor”….

Some years passed, we met up, we asked about so and so… the answer goes something like “Oh that guy… become boss already lor”…

Now, when we meet up, we ask about so and so… the answer usually goes something like “Oh that guy… married already lor”…

Add a few more years into the future, the answer probably goes something like “Oh that guy… become father already lor”…

And don’t be surprise if the answer that follows a few years later goes like this… “Oh that guy… die already lor”….

Yup… that day will come…

P/S: Mom, a month has passed but there has never been a day where I ceased to think about you…

Monday, 23 April 2007

Is the world going faster?

Gee! Can you believe it? It’s going to be Monday tomorrow! (or already Monday depending on when you read this) Like a flash, the weekend is over. And for those of us who are in the slavery working world, we know what that means… Sunday night depression with imminent Monday blues. But hey… look at the calendar, besides being Monday tomorrow, it also shows that we are already in mid of April. Soon, half of the year will be gone and some of us will actually have to sit down and reflect on what we have achieved in the first half of the year.

Are you one of many who thinks time seems to pass quickly as we journey longer and longer in life? Did the last few years sort of run past you without you knowing it? Do you still remember your younger days? When a day seems to have lots to offer, a week is rather eventful, a month is a long journey and a year… seems like eternity… well… almost eternity.

But things have changed isn’t it? Living in this modern era, 24 hours is certainly not enough to make up a day. Ahjohn left a comment in one of my entry saying how he fails to find the 25th hour in a day. But honestly, when we have that 25th hour, will it be enough? We always seem to run out of time now, always fail to find time to do anything. Weekdays are too short t complete our assignments and weekends are too short to take a breather. Time… seems to just keep accelerating.

How so? Have you ever sat down and think why time seems to be going faster and faster? Quite some time ago, someone told me that time to a child seems slower. This is because they have no deadlines to meet, lesser things to accomplish. We, as adults or coming into adulthood, have so much in our hands, that we always need time to accomplish them. So it’s a case of having too much to do… is it true?

I spoke to a few children to find out more, and I found out that the child-finds-time-slower notion is nothing but a myth. A few of those who are under the age of 10 told me that they don’t have enough time to finish off their homework. After homework, there’re piano classes and tuition classes. Having done all that, children nowadays needs more time to complete a particular computer games. Some of them wish for more time so that they can complete more ‘levels’ in a game. They may not have deadlines, but they certainly have a lot to accomplish. Time to them is still short, just in a different perspective.

I recalled someone telling me about this book called “McWorld”. No idea who wrote it but it’s about how we are trying to beat time in almost everything. It talks about how we are trying to make the world goes faster by applying the “fast food” methodology of McD in our lives… turning our globe into McWorld. To a certain extend, it’s true. Don’t you agree?

Day after day, we are striving to make cars go faster, planes fly faster, computers function faster, banking transactions faster, internet connection faster, make our first million faster, retire faster, be a ‘tai-tai’ faster (for girls), etc. With the exception of orgasm for the male species, we want everything to happen fast, don’t we? We just want to get things done fast so that we can move on to the next agenda. Having moved to the next agenda, we rush ourselves to the next and the vicious cycle continues.

Having said that, I do believe that in the midst of this fast moving world, there are some occasions when we do find time crawling. It’s something that’s very rare nowadays. Do you know what it is? Such phenomena can happen anytime, anywhere. It is called… “WAITING”. When one is waiting for something, time seems to take forever, no?

Having said that, when was the last time we have to “wait” for the day to be over? I can’t recall really, we have so much to do… TV, internet, sms-es, shopping malls, blogs, our jobs and many other things. If all things fail… there’s sleep! Almost every single human being lacks sleep nowadays and therefore, sleeping seems to make time accelerates. As soon as you shut your eyes last night, you’re already at your snooze-until-the-cow-comes-home act right?

Anyway, back to waiting… when was the last time you have to wait for your day to be over? First, we don’t want our days to be over, because we want to do so many things. And if we really have to wait… we can always find something to fill our time. The ever convenient sms is a very good way to kill time. Watch a dvd perhaps? Or maybe, drop by As Zewt As It Gets. If you have to wait for your bus or LRT, there are MP3 players and of course, sms again. All these things take away the agony of waiting, and thus takes away the opportunity for us to taste time.

You may say you always have to wait for your next salary. But if the month is shorter, do you think you have enough time to finish off our work? How many late nights do you have to put up?

As the chance of us waiting for stuff slowly depreciating, so goes our opportunity to appreciate the motion of time. Of course, nobody wants to wait for things to happen. Patience is virtue that not many people possess. But ya’ know, the waiting game is the only door out of this fast moving world, so to speak. It is the only opportunity for us to feel the presence of a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year… time basically. Don’t let it slip away from our grasp because time… is in a way… our life! If time keeps going faster, life as they say… will indeed be short.

Is the world going faster? Well, I think it is, simply because we made it faster.

(I posted this to TheStar blog and it was published on 28 July 2006. But they shorten it a lot, and I thought I should share the full version here, and took the liberty to enhance it)

Friday, 20 April 2007

What keeps me going?

It’s not easy really. First, we have the gomen telling us to shut up, to which we ignore. Then there’s a possibility of getting all of us registered so that we are well ‘watched’. Well, do you think they are not watching us now? Next, the gomen realised they can't get us registered, top that up with some brave souls setting up the National Alliance of Bloggers, so our biggest boss said existing law is enough to put us into trouble… translate… keep “telling lies” and you will be ISA-ed, sent your sorry ass to some hidden camp in Kamunting till you’re so scared your balls will fall off your crotch. Are you afraid?

Closer to home, I have to juggle the time between spending time with Jules, blogging and reading blogs. Trust me, it’s not easy. Some said I should just blog and don’t really need to read so many blogs. Hey… I dunno why but I have really developed a knack about reading blogs. I believe I am a people person. Why my line of work doesn’t really allow me to meet so many people and communicate with them, blogging and reading blogs have given me the opportunity. Therefore, I have to manage all that in our limited hours we have in a day. And did I mention work?

Next, blogging has caused me to lose quite a bit of sleep. This means very bad eye bags and of course, the much dreaded hair-loss. Consider that I already am putting up a “departing” hairstyle, that is quite an issue. Of course, then comes the usual I-am-sleepy-at-work feeling, to which I… ok, that’s not quite an issue. Never like my work anyway.

My friend kenninaz is certainly very surprise that I lasted this long. When I first told him about my intention to start a blog, he looked at me as a boring accountant and since he, being an IT person can't even keep his interest in his blog… how can I?

So, what exactly that keeps me going?

Well, for one, I love writing, I really do. But honestly speaking… all these really encourage me and kept me going…

Things like this, this and this.

I spoke to someone in my firm today, for the first time actually because he left a condolence message in those entries relating to my mom and I wanted to thank him. He told me As Zewt As It Gets is his favourite after kennysia and xiaxue. Wow, it certainly is very flattering.

Then I spoke to one of my ex-colleague and she said she now reads my blog ahead of mainstream news… wow! She also told me other flattering words but I think I shall not mention them.

On top of that, I also inspired 2 of my ex-colleagues to start their own blog. One has chosen to remain anonymous and has been actively blogging lately. The other just started, not sure if it will last.

Well, I will certainly continue but everyone burns out… and I certainly hope I don’t. Having said that, there will be a time where I will stop… or slow down.


P/S: Hmmm... just been awarded the "Thinking Blogger Award" by Kenny Mah. Wonder who I should award next.... anyone?

Thursday, 19 April 2007

An accent mystery

I have always dread tele-conferences with London, which is quite frequent in my line of duty. First, it’s the timing of those calls. 7 or 8 hours ahead of them means I will have to wait till the end of my “office hour” before such calls take place aka unpaid-forced-overtime. Secondly, it’s the language. Communicating on a speaker phone with those Brits who carry over-loaded English accent always end up with me saying “Could you please repeat that?” one time too many.

But if you think that is bad, you’re wrong. My workplace has a hub in India where we outsource most of our processes. Tele-conferences with them are also pretty common. While timing is not exactly an issue since we are only 2.5 hours ahead of them, communication certainly is. Have you ever spoken to anyone from India before? I am not making fun of them but they do have a certain authentic ‘flair’ when it comes to their command of the English language.

Firstly, I have discovered that superman is not the only thing faster than a speeding bullet. In fact, when a native Indian reaches top speed in his speaking, even superman may have to give way. Of course, at top speed, the only thing you will hear probably goes something like “I-le think-le we-le think-le I-le I-le think-le we-le think-le”. Trying saying that at supersonic speed and you will know what I mean. So you will only know they are thinking something but will not know what they are thinking.


Secondly, when you ask them to slow down, the conversation will evolved from English to … “Indlish”. If you think our very own manglish is unique, please think again. One thing though, while we have our very own ‘la’, ‘ler’, ‘lor’, ‘mah’, etc as part of our manglish vocabulary, there is no additional words added in Indlish. Just that the way it is spoken, mimics very much of how Tamil or Hindi are spoken. Of course, the easiest way to describe it is… a-very-heavy-Indian-accent.

Indeed, I do find that all these make the Indian people rather unique. How so?

When I was in London, I was surprised that Indians dominates most of the stores in Totenham Courtroad, one of the shopping hearts of London. Having spoken to some of them, I realised that they too speak the way those native Indian speaks… at a rather super-sonic speed and a rather obvious ‘Indian accent’. What I find unique in these people is that no matter where they are or where they have been, they will always speak the way they do… well, most of them at least. No matter who they speak to… they will always carry that Indian spice in their English language. No matter where they are… they will always shake the heads gracefully when they speak.

Now, the same cannot be said of Chinese. Spending just a few months in America, England or Australia alone is enough for them to catch the ang-moh accent and forget about how manglish is spoken. Pretty amazing huh? Of course, I am not saying that one should speak manglish. But to actually lose the way you speak over the last 10 years in just a few months is quite out of this world. Don’t you think?

By the way, I mentioned before about a colleague being sent from UK on secondment here who sits right in front of me. He is a Chinese by the way, quite ‘leng-jai’ and of course, being born in the UK, he speaks with an English accent. This morning, there was girl who spent almost an hour talking to him in (I think) Australian English at its fullest glory. From the way I see it, she probably has got the hots for him as she was trying very hard to make an impression. Then, a colleague of her walked past and amidst those powerful Australian English… she replied to her colleague…

“hah? Em ho yi cho seong toi ka?” … in a rather… not so powerful figure of speech.
(Huh? Can't sit on the table?)

Typical huh? Just like the people I once bumped into here.

P/S: No, she was not wearing a mini skirt.
P/S/S: The templates that I quite fancy are here and here, but they're in html and not xml.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Does it look good zewt?

A Brand new look for As Zewt As It Gets. I am still thinking on how to turn the background of the main blog black, the colour of the title white, and change the colour of some other elements. But for now... it's Man Utd vs Sheffield!!!

What do you think?

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

A trap on both sides

"I like it cooked this way, more delicious.”
“I know. I prefer this way as well. But your aunt will complain if I cook it this way”
“What’s the difference? It’s still cooked with black bean sauce (min si), it’s just the way it’s being cut!” (referring to a particular bitter-gourd dish)
“Now you know how difficult it is to be your mom, I have to satisfy everyone”

It’s really not easy to be in my mom’s position. I do have my complaints, but I will eat whatever that’s on the table. But my aunt will totally leave the food untouched, and then make passing remarks to my dad, who can also be quite a fussy eater, being a typical canton he is. Then there’s my sister who is quite a health freak. My brother is the best, not a word from him. He is always quick to make mom happy.

Of course, things are different now. There’s no qualified chef around to make everyone happy. Most of the time, the kitchen is left idle. And those few occasions when me or my sister cooked, there was absolutely no complaint from aunt nor dad. They will just eat whatever we can conjure up on the table, and they will even say it’s delicious. Perhaps it’s true. Or perhaps… they realised mom was no longer there to “serve” their individual needs.

One of the ugliest elements of being a human… we are so quick to take things for granted. It is something that we all openly declare that we will not do… is it true? If it is, for how long? How long will it be before we are back into our unappreciative ways?

My mom was kind enough to cook for everyone day in day out, but that’s not enough, we all just have to set our standards and make her life so ever difficult. Now that she is gone, look at us, scrambling our spoons at the pit of a tiny bowl just to have a spoonful of ajinomoto-filled soup, bought from a nearby store. When mom spent hours and hours boiling us love-filled healthy soup, did we even render a word of appreciation? No, we didn’t, we said it was not delicious enough.

Such ugly human scenes happen not only in families, it’s everywhere, be it our working place, our relationships, amongst friends and of course, our country.

Take work for example. Under normal circumstances, we slaves employees in this country seldom gets to leave our office “on time”. Most of us tend to stay for a while, perhaps to clear our work or just do our own research to further equip ourselves. Trying doing this on a regular basis and what do you get? Bosses will then “expect” you to stay back everyday. Yes, you will most certainly be taken for granted such as, work will land on your desk at 6pm and you’re expected to deliver the next morning. Bosses, please do not take your employees for granted. Employees, please do not pamper your boss on a regular basis. Else, you will only have yourself to blame.

In relationships, the word compromise is often abused. In my zewtpinion, there can never be compromise, or at least, there can never be a balanced compromise. One party will tend to give in more, and the other will take it for granted. Try observing the relationships of your friends and you will notice that there will always be a party that will always give in. That’s because one is willing to love unconditionally, and the other is willing to dictate all the conditions. The key is not compromise, it’s acceptance.

The same can be said of friendship. But of course, the scale may be smaller compared to friendships. But I have a friend, he is always the Mr-Nice-Guy, the one who is always willing to fetch every single soul from north, west, east and south just to meet at mid point. What does he get? Calls from everyone to give them a lift whenever there’s a gathering. Perhaps it’s not that apparent now, but I believe it can still happen.

Taking someone for granted and being taken for granted is a trap on both side, and we are all equally guilty in setting those traps. If you be too nice and give in once too often, you will most probably be taken for granted. If you always get your ways, you will most certainly take things for granted. Will we ever stop falling into those traps?

Well, take a knife and slice your hand… if you feel pain and bleed, then you will realise you’re flesh and blood… you’re human and thus, we will always fall into these traps.

Have a good day.


Sunday, 15 April 2007

KFC or starfish?

It’s been a really long time since I last visited KFC. I am not exactly a fan of fast food and will only go if my colleagues fancy it for lunch. However, when I do go for a meal there, gluttony tends to set in and I can whack quite a lot of chickens. Can't help it, I mean, I know it’s bad as deep fried stuff is fattening but those original recipe crispy skin (which is the most unhealthy part) is just too tempting. Dip that into nice chilly sauce… wow, absolutely yummylicious. So, do you fancy KFC?

Some friends of mine are really health conscious freaks and they will never touch fast food. Well, what they don’t know is that KFC is not any other fast food. KFC is ‘the’ fast food around in town! KFC not only give your taste bud orgasm… it can even make this happen. I am not sure if it’s true though, since you know, all bloggers are liars after all. So that could be a lie. Read with discernment.

Extracted from there:
“A woman told me she and her husband received RM100 each. Another Indian man said he will have KFC tonight.”

For those who are not didn’t go over to that blog to check what happened… basically, someone(dunno who la) was said to have given some money to some people in Machap so that those people in Machap will vote certain people (also dunno who la). And some fellas in Machap, the first thing that comes to their mind when they received money is… KFC!!!

Wow! See how influential KFC is? Next time you wish to get things done, just buy barrels and barrels of KFC, you might just get a lot of things working your way!


So… are you a fan of “KFC”? Are you going to have KFC when the time comes?

You may have heard this story before but it’s good to hear it again….

A man was walking on the beach with his son. As they were walking, they stumbled upon a starfish which has been washed ashore by the strong waves. If let onshore, the starfish will most certainly die. The son, knowing that the starfish will die, picked it up and threw it back into the ocean. Witnessing this, the father said…

“Son, that’s a good deed. But why bother, hundreds or thousands starfish are washed ashore in any day, you can't be picking all of them up everyday”

“Dad, yes, I can't. I may not be able to save all of them. But I saved that starfish that I threw in the ocean today. To that starfish, I made a difference”

You’ve heard of the story before right? But… can you fully grasp what is the true meaning behind it?

Many of us have our own beliefs, our own ways of doing things. But I am sure almost all of us at some point of our lives, wanna make a difference. But after seeing the real world, we all tend to drown in the sea of reality, and it breaks us. Top this up with our infamous “tidak apa” attitude, there’s no more motivation for us to make a difference.

But really, the choice is yours. No one will is going to force a KFC and stuff it up your arse if you don’t like it. Nor will anyone point a gun at your head and ask you to throw starfish back at the ocean. But I have to tell you, if all of us throw a starfish back at the ocean… then it will make a difference.

Friday, 13 April 2007

Give you a 5

Number 1:
I’ve registered under Advertlets in my second attempt to get paid through blogging. Help me complete the 4 questions at the side bar.

Number 2:
26 April 2007 is a bank holiday and since I work in the bank… I get a holiday! Don’t be jealous.

Number 3:
Finally found a date for my wedding dinner in a very nice hotel. Congratulate me la!!

Number 4:
The famous 5Xmom interviewed me and then… this happened. And if you agree with her, you can also vote for me at the sidebar here.


Number 5:

Another riddle for you guys if you are up to it….

“What English word (not Manglish ok!) that is 9 letters long, and each time you remove a letter from it, that word will still remains as an English word… from 9 letters all the way down to a single remaining letter”.

(One reader commented saying its too easy, just have to google it. Well, this is just for fun, not for heavy thinking, like the one last Friday)

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

A very misleading document

Much has been said about the toll concessionaire agreements, about how they have led to bias treatment of highway users. But if you think toll concessionaire agreements are very misleading, then you’re wrong! Not to say those documents are perfectly and wonderfully drafted but that’s not the notion today.

Do you know what is the most misleading document existing today? Friends, bloggers, readers… may I present you… the most misleading document ever exist…




















Your employment letter!

It’s the document that grants you entrance into the slavery working world, the document that breaks your career virginity, it’s also the document that blatantly lies to you. I know a majority of my readers are still students, and still a career virgin, but before you get screwed… let me highlight some dick that may eventually screw you.

In the employment letter:
“Annual leave = X days”

In reality:
You will only allowed to take leave if you manage to clear all your assignments, or you are able to find a sucker to baby-sit your work while you’re away. If you somehow miraculously managed to finish your assignment, your leave is still subject to the approval of your boss. If you somehow need to take more than X days in a year, you will not be paid. But if you happen to take less than X days in a year, your leave may be burnt.

Some companies may allow you to carry forward your leave, but you will probably have to clear them by a certain deadline. Again, your application is subject to conditions mentioned above. Also, if you take (e.g.) 5 days off, rest assured you will have 5 days of work (or more) waiting for you when you return. This will most probably result in you having to do 10 days work in the next 5 days to make up for your “annual leave”.

In the employment letter:
“Working days = Monday to Friday”

In reality:
Mondays to Fridays are your official working days, but you are unofficially required to work officially on Saturdays and/or Sundays if you are unable to finish your official work on Fridays, particularly if your deadline falls on the following Monday (which is very often the case). After spending your first year working unofficially on Saturdays and/or Sundays, Saturdays and Sundays will unofficially become your official working days.

In the employment letter:
“Public holidays”

In reality:
Public refers to the common community at large. Being an employee of the relevant company means you are now part of an elite group of people, which makes you special. In the eyes of your employer, you are officially separated from the “common” people. As such, when the need arises, your employer may consider you not part of the public during public holidays. I am sure you know what it means. But always remember, you are special.

In the employment letter:
“Working hours = X a.m. – Y p.m.”

In reality:
You are highly encouraged to arrive in the office before X a.m. If you do so, you’re just doing your job. But should you intend to leave your office at Y p.m., a valid reason is required. You are unofficially required to officially leave work at Y p.m. + 4 hours. And mind you, that is considered early.

In the employment letter:
“Over-time meal/transport allowance”

In reality:
Claiming over-time allowances may result in long ‘lecture’ by your superior. If you insist on claiming, your appraisal may be at stake. Also, if your colleagues of similar level are not claiming those allowances, you are unofficially disallowed to claim. In any case, please refer to “working hours” mentioned above… over-time?

In the employment letter:
“You will be paid performance bonus on xxx date”

In reality:
Performance here does not only mean your performance. Even if you work till Y p.m. + 10 hours, you don’t take your annual leave, you don’t claim your over-time allowances (naturally since you don’t have over-time), and your work is excellent, but if your company is not performing well (which is usually the case particularly near bonus paying time), your performance bonus is in jeopardy. But always remember, you are special because you are an employee of ‘that’ company.


Those are some of the ‘dicks’ in the employment letter that will screw you up in all work-masutra positions possible as soon as you pen your name. Sounds pretty sad isn’t it? Worry not; there’s one thing in the employment letter that is absolute truth. It is your…

Salary – you will be paid EXACTLY what is written on your employment letter.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Prioritise life

On first day I returned to work after my compassionate leave, there were many people who came to talk to me and asked me how I was doing, so kind of them. One conversation that hit me was…

“Hey, how are you?”
“I guess I am ok, thanks.”
“Well, suddenly everything else is no longer a priority huh?”
“Yeah, I think you’re right.”

Priority… what is priority? What is your priority? Is work, your priority?

Not too long ago, I’ve talked about how we employees are all nothing but slaves in the modern society. And it’s ironic, many of us are just so willing to enslave ourselves in this deadly system. Honestly speaking, how many us have told ourselves countless times that we should leave the rat race?

But let’s face the fact… we can't. We have gotten ourselves too deep into race, so much so that it is close to impossible to leave it. I mean, who is going to pay for the bills? And your car instalment… and to some, your house instalment. Indeed, we can't leave the rat race, we have to work. Even if you don’t have a car and a house, you will also need to feed yourself, to survive.

But what lies in our struggle to survive, is the hidden trap of letting work run our lives… letting work become the priority in our lives. When that happens, work supersedes everything else. What’s worse, we work so hard thinking that our lives will be better in the future, not knowing that work has already begun to wreck it. Many perceive that health is the cost in our search for wealth. That is true. But, health is not the only thing we will lose. We will lose so much more, we just don’t realise it.
So often I have let work take centre stage. It has cost me quite a lot. Did my health deteriorate? Well, my hair did drop quite a bit, my tummy did receive enough fertiliser from those late nights at the mamak before heading back to work. But generally, I think my health was and is still very much in control. But I lost so much more. When work was my priority, everything else was secondary. And those secondary things slowly but surely, departed from me, and I will never be able to recover those things anymore.

We are made to believe that when we finally make it in our career, we can then focus on enjoying life. The typical Chinese saying of…”when you’re rich, you’re gonna have all the girls (or guys) you can get, you’re gonna be able to buy your dream car, dream house”. Honestly speaking, that is true. I couldn’t agree more.

I don’t come from a rich family. I have always needed to share room with my brother. My mom told me that if I worked hard and able to buy my own place, I will be able to have my own room. But you know what? I will never be able to know how it feels to have my own room when I am say… 10 years old. I will never be able to know how it feels like to have a computer in my own room while I was a teenager.

Similarly, you may be able to buy your dream car and dream house when you make it in life, but you will never be able to know how it feels to have a decent car and a decent house at a younger age. Indeed, if we don’t work hard, we will never be able to get our dream car and dream house and dream girl (or guy). But how sure are you that by working hard, you will get be rewarded accordingly? Those who have been in the working world long enough will testify that not everyone is rewarded accordingly.

You may be showered with the magical word… “sacrifice”, that if you don’t sacrifice, you will never be rewarded. 3 questions you should ask yourself… 1) Are your sacrifices worth it?... 2) Are you sure… very sure your sacrifices will pay off?… 3) When will your sacrifices pay off?

I think I have deviated a little, because what I am trying to say is that we should never make work the priority in our lives. There are so many other more important things that should take precedent. It took my mom’s death to finally made me realised that. That conversation with my colleague made quite a big difference… indeed, suddenly, everything else is no longer a priority.

Have you ever been asked to prioritise your work in order to meet deadlines? But did you ask yourself… is work a priority to begin with?

Have you ever missed anything, perhaps a friend’s wedding, or someone’s birthday due to “work commitment”? Well… should work be a commitment?

In a book titled “First Thing First”, the very first sentence in that book reads something like…

“No man at his dying bed wishes he had spent a minute more at work”

How many hours have you spent at work when you should have done something else?

I’ve realised that I should live life by living, not working. Perhaps you should too.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Of an annual headache and another kick ass video

It’s the time of the year, a lot of people are complaining of headache. The other certainty besides death is here… and it spells… T…A…X!

Most of my colleagues are having this headache. The guy who sits in front of me was having a real tough time because he is from UK and filling up the tax return form in BM is certainly a big challenge for him. My company is kind enough to invite some officers from the Inland Revenue Board to help its employees filling up their tax returns. But for this guy who hails from UK, he had some… communication problem with those officers.

Well, I was kind enough to offer my help… it took me… 5 minutes? Hehe…

Oh… someone sent me a link this morning. It’s a blog by a person who talks about how the e-filing system erroneously disclosed your personal information. Well, since all bloggers are liars, he could be lying. But! Check out the first 2 comments to that blog. The entry is
here. You may wish to stick back to the good ‘ol manual filing.

By the way… you need any help in filling up the form? I can help… but maybe I will have to charge you… haha!!

On a totally unrelated note, a friend of mine highlighted me a video, it’s on youtube. After viewing it, I was contemplating on whether I should post it up here. Certain part of the video is a bit… err… direct… but it’s just too good not to be shared. It’s produced by the same fellas who put this up.


Decided not to put it up and you can view the video here. By the way, if you don’t understand Mandarin or Cantonese, don’t fret… be patient you will understand the later part of it… Enjoy! Oh, if you wish to comment... wait till after the video ler ;P

P/S: Call it co-incidence, a butterfly appeared from no-where. Certainly a weird feeling after what I posted yesterday.

Monday reflection and an out of this world experience

It’s exactly one month before my vege days are over, which means it has been 19 days since mom left us without any warning. Over the last 19 days, I have had more people asking me “how are you?” compared to my entire life, to which, I don’t really know how to answer. But thanks, really, I appreciate all your concern.

Over the last 19 days, I was severely hit with the “the-last-time” phenomenon… In my mind, the following thoughts kept hitting me…

The last time I went to work… mom was still alive. The last time I went to the gym… mom was still alive. The last time I went to the church… mom was still alive. The last time I played football… mom was still alive. The last time I played badminton… mom was still alive. The last time I spent a night at Jules… mom was still alive. The last time I went shopping… mom was still alive. Every single thing that I do, I just thought of the time when mom was still alive. It was killing me, but I tried my very best to hide it all.

The full wave of the fact that mom’s passing was a sudden one began to slowly sink in me; sometimes I just tear in silence. There will be more “the-last-time”, and I will have to face them all. It will be tough and I hope I will be able to find a smile amidst those tears.

Anyway… something happened in the first 7 days of mom’s passing that I really wanna share with all of you. It may be a lil… creepy…

On the night when mom was cremated, I was sitting right here blogging. To the right of me is mom’s temporary altar. It’s set up on a mahjong table and mom’s picture is on it. She is smiling at me right now as I type. This altar will stay for the 49 vege days before it’s being transferred to the altar table. Yeah, I am the only Christians in the family.

At about 11pm, I can suddenly smell a sweet fragrance, so sweet that it actually captured by attention and I started to locate the source of the smell. As I walked around the house frantically sniffing everywhere, I noticed my cousin was doing the same thing. Indeed, we were both captivated by the sudden appearance of this sweet fragrance. You know what is the best part? Only cousin and I could smell it, dad, brother and sister couldn’t smell it. Cousin said… “Ni de ma ma hui lai le” (mom is back).

That’s not the end of it yet. The 7th day after one’s passing is known as “wui wan yat” (the day when the spirit of the dead will return). On that day, all of us are not supposed to roam around the house past 10pm, and that everyone should sleep at 10pm. It’s silly really, if mom is back… I am more than happy to stay in the living room and wait for her. How I wish I could tell mom how much I love her.

Anyway, I was in my room downloading something and it was about 9.55pm when I shut down my computer and since it’s not 10pm yet, I decided to go to the toilet for one last time. As soon as I stepped out of my room… yeah, you guessed right… I could smell that sweet fragrance again. The fragrance was with me… all the way from the living room to the toilet. As I stepped out of the toilet… I paused… took a deep breath and said…

“Ma, lei hai mai fan jo lei?”
(Mom, are you back?)

As soon as I said that, I got goose bump on my entire body. It’s a strange feeling, but there was no fear. I cannot say for sure that I could sense mom, but something out of this realm happened that day.


“Ma, ah tuck weng yun do wui kam sek lei, weng yun do em wui mong kei lei”
(mom, I will always love you and always remember you)

As soon as I said that, my goose bump disappeared completely… I cried for a while before I returned to my room and called it day.

P/S: I have disclosed some of the solutions of the riddle in the comment page of that entry already. As for the solution given to me… it’s really ridiculous I am not sure if I should tell you all that. You might all laugh at me.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Baptised!

I got baptised today! Finally! A lot of my friends are actually very surprised about the fact that I am not a baptised Christian. Well, for a person who has been a believer for more than 15 years, who used to be very active in church activities and was involved in a few church musicals and plays… perhaps it is indeed a surprise. Well… I had my reasons.

Anyway, it was a good feeling. For such an old timer Christian, I thought it will just be another occasion where I will get my head wet… but as I kneel down for my baptism, my heart was actually pumping quite fast… like meeting a girl for the first time! I guess it does mean something. And it was also nice to be able to get baptised together with Jules.

Oh… my pastor told me that I am not the most famous blogger in my church. Someone who got baptised together with me is the most famous blogger in church. I suspected her to be a blogger… she is none other than minishorts! I bet she doesn’t even know me.

Ok… it’s getting really late and I just want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Belated Easter. May we remember His resurrection today!

P/S: I know you all wanna know the solution to the riddle… but let’s just keep that open a little longer…

Friday, 6 April 2007

Find the "buck" over the weekend

While I was working as a temporary barista in Starbucks before I went to UK, someone told me this. It’s very interesting…

3 friends went to a hotel and rented a room. At the check-in counter, the receptionist said the room rate was $30 for a night. The 3 friends agreed and they each paid $10 for the room.

3 friends X $10 each = $30 for the room

After leaving the counter, the receptionist realised she made a mistake, and that the room rate was only $25 for that night. Therefore, she asked the bellboy to return the $5 which has been over-paid to the 3 friends.

$30 originally paid – $25 actual rate = $5 refund

As the bellboy walked to the room to return the $5, greed sets upon him and he decided to ‘steal’ $2 from the refund of $5 and thus, only $3 were refunded to the 3 friends.

$5 total refund – $2 ‘taken’ by bellboy = $3 refunded to the 3 friends

Are you able to follow? If you can't, scroll up and read again. If you still can't, take out your SPM cert and whichever grade you get for Mathematics, over-write your grade with a capital “F”… stands for F*cked-up.

Back to the story…Those 3 friends happily accepted the $3 and they divided the $3 among themselves. Naturally, each of them got $1 each. Since each of them originally paid $10 for the room, their individual cost is now $9.

$10 paid per person – $1 refunded per person = $9 paid per person

Now that the 3 friends have been refunded $1 each, they each only paid $9 for the room (as shown above). This would mean, the total amount paid by them is $27.

3 friends X $9 each = $27 paid

Since the 3 friends now effectively only paid $27 in total, and the bellboy has ‘stolen’ $2, this would only amount to a total of $29.

$27 paid + $2 ‘stolen’ by bellboy = $29

Now… Ladies and genitalman… the room rate was originally $30 and those 3 friends originally paid $30 (i.e. $10 each). But…$27 paid + $2 ‘stolen’ by bellboy = only $29!

Where is the missing $1?

This is not a trick question.


Zewt is chef again...

As mentioned in my previous entry, I was on leave yesterday as I need to pay a traffic summon and also get my teeth fixed. Oh yeah, really wanted to blog about this teeth thing… how unethical dentist can do something and left you in the dark and then cost you a bomb to get the problem fixed. Perhaps a story for another day.

Anyway, I am chef again yesterday… and the menu is….


Pan fried bean curd with soya sauce. Very oily… must use less oil next time.


Fried yam and sliced black mushroom with ‘lam yu’. Almost over-cooked… if over-cooked, will look like a pile of sh**.


Fried potato leaves with cili-padi and ‘fu yu’.


And Zewt’s all time favourite…. Fried oyster mushroom with cili-padi.

I am really getting the hang of it. And the desire to be a chef, the feeling I had when I was still studying in UK is fast re-appearing. For new comers... perhaps you wanna check out the first time I was chef.

P/S: For those who are not aware, Zewt is on 49 days of vege in remembrance of mom.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Are you aware of its existence?

I am on leave today and woke up to a few sms-es. A few from some liverfools who reiterated Roma’s victory, 2 from my gf fiancĂ©, first one telling me about her ring and the second telling me about the sudden influx of long comments in my GST entry. Woooahhh… as Economist said… since when my blog turned into a mini Malaysia Today?

After reading them, decided to delete a few and still contemplating whether I should delete a few more. What do you all think?

Anyway, had this for breakfast… cheese crackers with “hot and spicy” cheese. Absolutely yummy-licious! That “hot and spicy” cheese was bought by my friend in Amsterdam. Cheese at its best! Thanks KA!



I just got back from a trip to DBKL, Jalan Raja Laut to pay a traffic summon. For those who are not aware, DBKL is the Kuala Lumpur Municipal Council. And you know what? I was quite surprised at the existence of this….


Call me oblivious, but I never know DBKL has a drive through pay-counter. Honestly speaking, I am impressed! The fella at the booth was friendly, but when I wanted to take a picture of him….

“Tangkap gambar boleh?” (May I snap a pic?)
“Untuk apa?” (For what?)
“Masuk blog” (Blog entry)
“Blog! Eh, tak boleh tak boleh…” (Blog! Cannot cannot…)

Well, looks like blog is fearful place to be in.

Basically, there are 2 booths for you to pay, and I think it’s really convenient. How long have this been in operation? Perhaps good law obliging citizen like me who seldom gets summoned will not know about the existence of the drive through pay-counter.

Also, ya’ know when you go to gomen offices to pay bills or renew passport or make MyKad or other things, there will always be a lot of counters, perhaps 20, but probably only 5 or 6 will be operational. The others… they will have the ‘tutup’ aka ‘saya pi minim’ sign. Worse, some are just empty. So that’s like only 25% - 30% counters operational.

But hey… this drive through pay-counter is much more efficient! Out of 2… 1 is operational, that makes 50%! So much higher than the regular gomen offices…. Don’t pway pway! So next time you get a DBKL summon, check them out!

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

What's with GST?

You know the time when you walked into McD or KFC, and you order a combo meal which costs you RM7.90… you’ll end up paying RM8.30. Ya’ know, you have to pay 5% gomen service tax. Ok right? Cause we are all used to it.

Now, imagine you walked into Kedai Kopi What-Fatt-What-Fatt, you order a “Char Kuey Teow” which usually costs RM4, and you end up paying RM4.20? How about that? Do you know it may be happening?

Now, a reader told me today that reading all my ‘serious’ entries made her ‘fall asleep’, she prefers my entries regarding my views on life. Fair enough, but before you fall asleep… imagine all the new blouse, new pants, new bras, new panties that you’re gonna buy may all be subject to tax? Would you like to know more?

Ladies and genitalmen (term stolen from Wingz), the name of the game is Goods and Services Tax (“GST”). Just a brief introduction, the gomen announced some time in Sept 2004 (during the 2005 Budget announcement), that GST will be implemented in this country. The supposed implementation date was 1 Jan 2007.

Why it is not implemented yet? Apa jadi? Well, the gomen announced some time in early 2006 that implementation of GST will be postponed. What’s the reason for this act of generosity? No one knows for sure. And for the sake of being a responsible blogger, I shall not speculate.

Now… the keyword there is ‘postponed’… the gomen didn’t say GST will be abolished. So there will be a time when you and I may need to pay tax for our ‘chee cheong fun’, roti canai, bak kut teh, condoms, vibrators, etc. The million dollar question is of course …. When?

Tax experts have dubbed GST as an ‘efficient tax collection’ tool. Ya’ know, all those fellas who don’t pay every year, those fellas who make money from those ‘cannot-see-light’ activities, all have to pay tax when GST is implemented. I mean… all have to eat roti canai and bak kut teh right? And all have to buy condoms also right?

Jokes aside… what does GST means? GST is a tax levied on ALL goods and services (except those exempted by law). Therefore, to me, GST means more money out of my pocket because every time I spend, I need to pay tax. GST means all those vultures out there who are looking for opportunities to increase prices of their goods will do so at a flash, because they have to pay tax when they buy their raw material. They may be able to able to claim back their ‘input tax’ but that’s too technical to be discussed here. In a nut shell, GST means poorer you and me, unless you are freaking rich already till you don’t care if you have to pay tax when you buy condoms.

Back to the million dollar question… when will GST be implemented? A story was once told about a guy who will treat his gf extra nice when he wanted sex. Basically, before he wanna screw his gf, he has to treat her nicely.

Last year, during the 2007 budget announcement, gomen announced that corporate income tax rate will be reduced from 28% to 27% and subsequently to 26%. Last month, gomen announced that RPGT will be abolished. Can you see any screwing coming? Well… maybe, maybe not.

On a related note, reducing corporate income tax means companies will have more money from tax savings and they are “supposed” to use those savings to pay better salary/bonus to their employees so that the employees can survive GST, if GST is implemented. Well, do you think companies will do that? Hmmm… employers are a different species from the guy that I mentioned earlier. That guy will treat his gf nicely before he screws… as for employers… they just screw us. Period.

On another related note, did you feel pissed when gomen increased toll charges? Every Tom, Dick and Harry and Mary, Jean and Jane were pissed, some even went and protests and shout vote out the gomen la, vote this vote that la. Judging by this, what do you think will happen when all of us have to pay tax for our roti canai, bak kut teh, chapatti and condoms? Who will you vote?



Therefore… perhaps, just perhaps, the gomen will not implement GST until election is over. And since gomen said election will not happen till 2008 or 2009, then I guess we are quite safe la. But… just but… if there is a snap election… get your ass ready for a royal screwing.

Monday, 2 April 2007

3 Zewty months

How fast does time passes?... very Incredibly fast.

It has already been 3 months since I started this blog, and it has been an incredible journey. I made this blog my new year resolution and I am proud to say I am still keeping to it, with no sign of stopping. I made it a point to “launch” this blog on 1 Jan 2007 and I actually asked Jules to remind me to “launch” my blog. She so willingly complied.

I remember I was very excited when Patrick Teoh dropped me a comment, and a lot of people were wondering if it was the real Patrick Teoh. Well, how many Pat Teoh are there anyway? Then I remember the time when comments started rushing in when I blog about a romantic tale and asked readers to guess the ending. 20 comments for that entry and I was feeling rather ecstatic.

Next, I bumped into the first blog that linked to As Zewt As It Gets… it was Huei’s Dead Boredom Seeking Freedom. Thanks Huei, you didn’t know you were the first eh? By then, I also installed my first html code… the hits counter. Thanks everyone for giving me my 10,000+ hits thus far.

It led to the first time I posted an entry of pictures I took in my everyday life, what an interesting picture indeed. Then I sort of recycled an entry I posted to TheStar earlier regarding Malaysian drivers and it hit a new high with 24 comments. The blogging interest began to take off and I sort of did a series on blogging, talking about time, topic, readership and overall blogging. Thereafter, I had my first tag!

Next, I posted the infamous entry on Chinese and it currently holds the highest record for comments with a total of 74. It prompted me to do a few entries on Chinese and Chinese culture which led to some really intellectual comments, which excites me.

Then I attended the Bloggers Gathering organised by Wingz and it was a very enjoyable time indeed. Managed to meet up with some fellow citizens in the blogosphere and I don’t know why… many people think Zewt is a girl.

Next were the 2 entries I did on top scorers in the SPM and again, it managed to attract some really interesting comments. Co-incidentally enough, one of the readers here is actually a friend of one of the top scorer in the country and he gave his insights on the issue, the view from his side of the world.

It was then that arguably the most significant event of my life took place. It was then my mom suddenly collapsed and left me without a word. It was then that I found out mom was hiding something from us. It was then I learnt so much about mom, and how mom has already planned her departure. I pondered on why mom acted in a certain manner and how successful mom was. It was also the time when my blog hit a phenomenal level of readership, with an average of 336 unique readers during that eventful 8 days.
It was then Nuffnang secured As Zewt As It Gets’ first advertisement. Thank you guys!

I know it may sound like some oscar speech but all these will never be possible without you guys (and gals)… seriously! And oh... I was featured in this blog and Nuraina was kind enough to mention me in her blog which lead to Zewt being mentioned in Malaysia Today. It has only been 3 months, but where do I go from here? Well, let’s just say I will try to keep those interesting entries going… Meanwhile, Happy 3 months old to As Zewt As It Gets!

P/S: That picture was just for kicks… hehe…

Happy with no RPGT?

I was talking to Politikus, a political blogger the other day. As usual, when you talk to a political blogger, the topic tends to be… well… somewhat political. Was talking about election and some hero calling us bloggers liars and stuff like that when I mentioned the gomen is really giving out lots of goodies… one being the abolishment of Real Property Gains Tax (“RPGT”). Politikus’ reaction was…. “Huh! What is RPGT?”. Well, can't blame Politikus, after all, Politikus graduated with a degree in law and politics, not the usual boring accounting and finance.

For those who are not aware, the gomen announced that RPGT will be abolished effective 1 April 2007 (If I am not mistaken). This means, when you buy and sell property and make a profit, you don’t need to pay tax anymore. Prior to this, you need to.

No need to pay tax ya’ know… don’t pway pway… No tax… Nice or not? Well, nice if you have a lot of property, nice if you are a property tycoon. But for you and I who makes just enough to pay car instalment and housing instalment… by the time we clear our credit card bills, we are already praying hard for next month’s pay… how to be happy at such news?

When the news first came out… wahhhh… everyone was saying… very good oh, sell my house, make some money, no need to pay tax. They talked as though they have 10 or 20 house to sell. I think people shouldn’t be throwing party at the abolishment of RPGT because:

1. You and I don’t have many properties to sell;
2. As an individual, RPGT rate is 0% when you hold a property for more than 5 years, i.e. you and I don’t need to pay any tax if we sell our property after 5 years.

Well, looks like it’s not exactly very good news now huh? Well, the sky is not all dark and gloomy. If you happen to be a super rich dude with very the many properties, then ok la, you can now throw a party to celebrate… make a lot of money no need to pay tax.

If you own a company that holds property(s), then you can also be happy la. This is because corporate property owner needs to pay 5% tax despite holding a particular property for more than 5 years. So companies with property(s) can now do something noble and perhaps give their employees more bonuses. Imagine those property development companies sell a piece of land and make RM10m (it’s possible by the way)… that’s like RM500k worth of tax saved! But will such companies treat their employees in such a nice manner?
Another fella which I think (just think only la) will benefit from this are the famous toll concessionaires. You know la… they are very pitiful ya’ know, build toll for us, and then they claim they made losses, they claim they spend a lot of money repairing those highways, and then they have ungrateful toll users protesting against toll hikes… really not easy to be toll concessionaires. Since so difficult to be toll concessionaires, perhaps they might decide to dispose those highways. And if (just if) they do… then no need to pay tax lor.

So basically, if you have a lot of properties and make money from those properties… no need to pay tax. But if you earn more than RM2,500 a month, you have to pay tax. Nice or not?

On a related note, my friends in the tax industry said they are waiting for the official legislation to confirm the abolishment. Perhaps it’s not as simple as it seems. Ya’ know, the thing with our gomen… sometimes… they give you A… you have to fulfil B, C, D, E, F, G, H….. X, Y, Z before you can get A.