Saturday, 26 April 2008

Car Boot Sale at Glasgow

My first experience in car boot sale at Glasgow. Very interesting. Something like bundle in Malaysia, but with way way off better quality. From toys, cookware, glass item, crystal, clothes, etc etc.. Good place to find branded stuff at cheapest price.. But it was a second hand. Hey.. who cares, if it means value for money. After all, the quality still as pristine as brand new. If you are lucky, you can get a yr old calvin klein jeans or prada hand bag for less than 10 pound... ;;)
The best item I bought at this place definitely books (50pence per pc) and Celtic jersy for my kid (1 pound)... and my wife off course her crystal.. a set of 6 nice crystal for a 5 pound.. What a bargain...

Circle of Friends - HP Office Mate

This is another my great circle of friends. From right, Pak Ali, used to be my relative.. Husband to my cousin. Surprisingly, I never know this fellar till his second week after joining HP.. What a bad urbane life nowadays.. Never keep in touch with relatives... :-( The second from right was Ayup, a plain bachelor who very determined.. But wait not determined to improvised but instead to craft a big hole in his pocket, dreaming for ah beng Perdana Turbo and keep nagging to get a personal loan.. Poor guy.. hahahaha (Jgn marah Ayup), followed by me, then Ashar (Left HP for greener pasteur at Seagate - Good Luck to you Ashar), Zairi, another my close 'talk cock' friend.. This guy was a real savvy, Hj Bakhil last time before he hooked at Toyota Wish recently after joining one of financial program. His Wira I can consider as reban ayam, with all sort of rattling noise came out from every angle and aircond which blasted your face with hot succulent air.. hahahahaha... Amran, my neigbourhood. Another guy with entrepeneur spirit. Owned and run a tuition center at night for fun (This is at least what he mentioned to me). Ali Buang, the most serious face on earth.. (Do you have a problem Ali..??? Are you problems still not solved..??? hehehehehehe)... And the last one Fauzi Khalid.. Happy go lucky guy.. His biggest project ever will blow Malaysian economy you know... hehehehehe...

This is my boss. Used to be my closest friend since I joint HP. The only sole survivor from HPM's first batch.. Can't say too much because he was my boss... hehehehehehe.. Anyway, kind of very detailed guy... That's all I can say.. hehehe

Too Much Politicking..

Politics - I hate this word... But like it or not, we have to live with it.. Honestly, I am not too sure if there are still genuine politicians out there who devoted their life in politics for the sake of people, race and religion. To me, genuine politicians are those borned in post world war 2, politicians who fought hard for Malaya independence, Tun Sambanthan, HS Lee, Tuanku Abd Rahman. And after post independence, the leader like Tun Razak to named a few. People indulged in politics nowadays with hidden agenda, for money and fame.. Anyway, that is the reality of modern politics... Not only in Malaysia, our neighbours and around the globe as well. But..., the sad thing was, unfortunately, we as Malay, playing politics around too much..., opps, I mean Malay politician. Post PRU 12 was a slice of proof. Bickering, finger pointing, backstabbing.. Yes, they are very much concerned about the only asset we had in this beloved country was political power... But.... Looked back what our leaders has done to us Malay..? Mindset changed..? Nope. Wealth equality..? Far from achieved. Produced more professionals among Malays..?? Yes, in certain extent but not at great numbers compared to what it suppose to be. We are still lacking.. Still under par compare to our fellow friends -Malaysian Chinese.. To me the only thing need to change.. really change are mindset of Malay folks and mindset of our politicians. Mindset of Malay folks in the sense of hard work, commitment to jobs no matter what profesion they are.. start accumulating wealth and to politicians, only one, serve with fully hearted..

Thursday, 24 April 2008


Savings. When you hear that word, do you feel a clutching sense of guilt and inadequacy? If somebody told you that 75% of 100 respondents interviewed said they knew that their savings, specifically for retirement, were insufficient, do you believe it? That’s shocking, but not as remarkable as their discovery that how much you save has very little to do with how rich you are. But hooooow, you whine? How can you save a cent when you just barely live on what you earn? Well, since this is a question, so.., this is its answer : Saving is a two-step process. First you retrain your brain, and then you find all kinds of clever ways to live on less Step 1: Retrain your brain.. Saving money is a state of mind. Before you can start, you have to renounce the spending...., and stop believing you actually need all the stuff you’ve been spending money on. Just don’t. Spend, that is. Sure you want it, but that’s no excuse for buying it. The next time you want to buy something, take the 50 bugs or 100 bugs out of your wallet, and stash it somewhere. See? That's second step already.. and that’s called saving. You don’t end up with stuff; you end up with MONEY..


This mid range MPV club members are among my best circle of friends I ever had.. Not only just a plain car club associates. We are not talking about cars, modification, after market accessories, but beyond that, friendship was the one we appreciated most. I am quite closed with some of them, Jag (Cabin Crew leader), Dee (big head in one of manufacturing co in Klang), Hj Irlan (Biz owner), Captain Apandi (HTO futsal owner and VW lover - This guy owned VW GTI and newest VW EOS), Mie (my closest associate in JB), Pak Den (Apek Ganu who owned a laundry), Azlan (The Photoshooter)...

Jakarta? Batavia? Djakarta? Sunda Kelapa

Well, forget about which name is correct. My first time at Jakarta. Jakarta was a nice metropolis. Considerably on par with other metropolis like Shanghai, Tokyo and London to name a few cities around the globe which I had visited. Owh, much much bigger than KL. But bigger in the sense of people density, not high rise building and gleaming statures.. except many squatters sandwiched by the megastores, bungalows and high rise towers. Disparity among richest and poorest was sooo huge.. I was in a perception that, the disparity of standard of living in ASEAN countries still very much a concern. Not so much in Kiasuland, Bolehland and Thailand, but obviously in Indonesia, IndoChina and Philipines.

Anyway, Jakarta was a nice city. It was known as Sunda Kelapa among old folks, Batavia in imperialism period as well as Djakarta..
Moving around Jakarta for a day with chauffer driven will cost you from 350k rupiah. That was considered reasonable. Started with famous Indonesian Miniature Park.

It has an area of about 250 acres. The park is a synopsis of Indonesian culture, with virtually all aspects of daily life in Indonesia's 26 provinces encapsulated in separate pavilions with the collections of housing architecture, clothing, dances and traditions are all depicted impeccably. Apart from that, there is a lake, cable cars, museums, a theater called the Theatre of My Nation (Theater Tanah Airku)

Another great spot was Ancol Theme Park. It was very very big indeed. Much much bigger than Genting Highlands. Jakarta's own theme park with over forty main rides and attractions. The theme park is divided into eight regions, Indonesia, Jakarta, Asia, Eropa (Europe), Amerika (America), Yunani (Greece), Hikayat (Fantasy) and Balada Kera (Monkey Parody). There were a seaworld, gondola rides etc etc.. Seaworld was just like our own Aquaria. Our trip ends at Monas, Monumen Nasional.

Shopping and entertainment are plenty there.. I managed to hang around at Mangga 2 and Plaza Indonesia.


Even though this is my wife's experience, but, some of the pics taken by her are so nice.. Beautiful Amsterdam..

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Saving Money Tips For Fresh Graduates

It can be tough when you're just starting out. Here, some creative survival strategies and tips for eating, going out and living well when money is tight.

Take heart, folks. A lot of people who are prosperous now started out just like you -- broke and looking for ways to save a few bucks. But still, you have a guts to try and save money at least…

It may seem hard to believe, but that banker in the sharp suit once recycled cans for nasi lemak outing money. That engineer who now vacations in New Zealand furnished his first home with yard-sale finds.
So if your bank balance is near zero and your next paycheck seems like a mirage shimmering on the far horizon, here are some tips from folks who have been there and lived to tell the tale:

Cheap eats
You probably already know that a RM9-a-day latte, twice a week habit will cost you more than RM864 in a work year, and bringing lunches from home a couple times a week can save you more than RM500 a year.

You’ll need to find other ways to cut costs, however, or you can easily spend as much on food as you do on rent. Some ideas:
• Co-op your dinners. If you are single and shared renting a house with few others friends, gets together with them who take turns cooking for the gang once a week. It is almost as cheap to cook for four as it is for one.
• Watch the grocery ads. Get notice what grocery stores are touting on the front page of their sale flyers each week. Normally they had a value for money items to buy..
• Freeze some assets. Any time you cook, make twice as much as you’ll eat and store the leftovers in your freezer.
• Have an emergency stash. Stowed instant soup, noodles-in-a-cup in office. So you minimized your trip for tea break and breakfast which could fork you more money.

Cheap dates
Dinner and a movie may be all right for a first date, but the routine gets old -- and expensive -- fairly quickly. Some alternatives:
• Stay on campus. Universities have everything from fine dining places, garden park and most are cheap, if not free.
• Used Student IDto watch movies. Normally, cinemas offered student’s price in any weekday.. This is great to save more. Sometimes they even offered 50% discount.
• Picnic in the park. What could be more romantic than a jug of lemonade, a loaf of bread and thou?
• Get physical. Hiking and camping are great ways to get to know someone. Other ideas: roller skating, Rollerblading, a trip to the beach or renting a rowboat, kayak or canoe for a couple of hours’ float at a nearby lake instead of persistent trip to starbuck coffee..

Cheap style
Entertaining your friends, furnishing your apartment and updating your wardrobe for adult life can cost a mint -- unless you’re smart. Here are some ideas for living cheap with style:
• Haunt yard sales. You don’t need to go into debt to furnish your apartment when your neighbors are practically giving away their barely-used furniture.
• Branded Clothes, watches etc etc. It’s not the brand that matter, It is how much you save money in your bank account. Chances are you’ll find gently used clothing that’s perfect for an office environment, and you’ll probably see some designer labels as well. If the brand still matters, heads on to Reject Shop, FOS or buy during sales… You will get flashy padini trousers and shirt at 70% discount…

The key to getting through lean time, was to focus on what you have: friends, good times and a bright future. Not having lots of money can seem like a pain now, but you wouldn’t be the first to find yourself growing nostalgic about these days when your fortunes improve.

Turn RM1 to RM67,815???

The coins rattling around in your pocket can add up to big savings over time. Don't you believe it..??? PLS BELIEVE IT!!!
Want a foolproof way to turn RM1 a day into RM67,815? It doesn't take a lot of money or time or personal sacrifice. There's no magic, no multilevel marketing salesman, no get rich quickliest on earth scheme salesman will call at your door or your cellphone.
In fact, it's the simplest and most-proven way to get richer, and if you extend this concept to other parts of your life, you could end up with an enviable retirement nest egg.
To start, all you have to do is take your pocket change at the end of the day and drop it in a piggie bank or 'tabung buluh'. If you can do that, and you put away about RM1 a day, that's just a humble RM7 a week. At the end of the month, you'll have about RM30.., still humble isn'it..??
Since this is money in your pocket, you've already paid taxes on it in the form of withholding from your paycheck. (If you're self-employed, that's not true, but we'll ignore that to keep things simple.) Every month, deposit your savings in a legal high divident saving account/ platform, where it can grow and be withdrawn in the future. High divident platform can be an ASB, ASN, private unit trust funds or any co-op share funds, i.e felda (if you are son of felda settlers, lembaga tabung angkatan tentera (LTAT) if you are son/ daughter of patriot or Bank Rakyat..
What's a paltry RM30 a month going to do for you? Growing tax-free (Remember, it was tax free bcs from your own pocket money/ salary) for 30 years, with a 10% annual return, your investment account will be worth RM67,815.
Not bad for pocket change, but that's just the beginning.
Here are some other ideas for saving a few bucks here and there that can add up to big dollars over time. Now, you can do a lil' bit of analysis work. Owh no!! Haha, you might be a lazy folks aite... Let me call you Mr A, you fork out RM500 every month do to these things;
>> RM100 (Dining out with families)
>> RM50 (DVDs/ VCDs/ CDs)
>> RM120 (Car wash or car detailing)
>> RM150 (Branded clothes)
>> RM80 (Indulge yourself with branded coffee at flashy boutique cafe)
I am pretty sure with some guts, Mr A can knock RM123 out of his monthly budget to be like this for the next 6 months,
>> RM55 (Dining out with families)
>> RM35 (DVDs/ VCDs/ CDs)
>> RM102 (Car wash and car detailing)
>> RM40 (Indulge yourself with branded coffee at flashy boutique cafe)
You know what, at 10% it RM123 a month it will grow to RM278,040 in 30 years. Mr A have practically financed your retirement with just a few small sacrifices.. How to cut this budget..???? I will tell you more next... And how bloody 10% can grow RM123 a month to be mounted at 6 figures..???? That is thepower of compounded interest (Which I will tell you more.........)

Life In Phnom Penh

Chance in a life time... Had an opportunity to visit Phnom Penh, Cambodia after managed to achieved target in UT sales... This is my first trip to IndoChina and haunted by a little sceptical. After all, heard a lot of Khmer Rouge history and its brutality when in power. Anyway, that was in 70's time frame. Cambodia has changed from poor country and now progressing to race with its ASEAN neighbour particularly Vietnam.
We flown in 11 April touched down after about 2 hours flight, its airport remind me to Senai Airport.. good enough to cater a couple of domestic and international flights in and out. China, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore were those country who had a carrier services in and out from Phnom Penh.

We choosed a taxi services to Phnom Penh down town. It took about 20 minutes to city center. My scpeticism about Phnom Penh diminished when I saw how it progressed nowadays. Even a taxi that I opted was a posh brand new Camry. But still, the disparity between poor and rich was still huge.. Along the way from airport to the hotel, we saw plenty of beggars (especially when the taxi stopped due to heavy traffic). Many people moved by motorcycle (motor cub to be precised). People not really obey to the traffic law. No helmets and no limitation of how many passengers should ride on it. I saw 6 people max in a single motor cub.. hahaha.. amazing.. Owh, the transaction in Cambodia was in USDollar. And they used their own money which was called Riel for a samll change. 2000 Riel for about USD0.5 Luckily dollar was at it lowest point when we made a trip there. USD1=RM3.2
Well, first night at the serviced apartment in Norodom Street.. Nothing much, just watched Khmer peoples getting busy with their preparation for Khmer New Year.. Same festival as Songkran in Thailand, where people get attacked by the water cannon.. (I am not the victim, thank God..) Owh, we had an opportunity to attend the new year party at roof top of the hotel with invitation of its owner.. What a nice thing... But the sad thing was none of the food I could sample though. There was a roasted pork, stewed pork internal parts, cockle in chilies (This one was nice) and plenty plenty wines with ice.. (They drink wine with loads of ice.. Weird stuff!!)
First day, we went to Russian market, also known as Phsar Toul Tompong. We opted to went there by tuk tuk.. A honda cub motocycle which pull a 4 seater cabin. Vehicle known elsewhere as an auto rickshaw or cabin cycle, yeah I can say motor cycle rickshaw as well.. Easily can accomodate 4 adults on it. Similar to those tuk tuk in Bangkok but quite comfort compared to bajaj at Jakarta. It cost us USD2 for 20 mins ride.
Back to Russian market, kind of all in one market, one stop center. You can find wet stuff, fish, meats, vegetables, crafts, souvenirs, shirts, silk items even you can find spare parts for vehicles here.. Very messy but very very cheap indeed. I bought couples of t shirts, silk items and postcards. Great deals.
Then we walked around and watched Khmer people doing a last day preparation for New Year. Second spot, Toul Sleng Museum.. This time we opted for moto.. Very cheap option, only 1 dollar.
In english, the word tuol sleng is recognized as the location where khmer rouge regime, set up a prison to detain individuals accused of opposing Angkar. They will tortured and finally murdered.. Thousands of dead faces are at its wall. And photos of tortured prisoners made us thinking how bless we are in Malaysia for not being in the same faith as them, cambodian peoples.
After spend almost hour and half, we went to National Musuem. I am not really fancied by the displayed, because loads of buddha statues, but what made me amazed was how passion khmer people to their culture and religious.
Then we had a chicken pho' dish at the restaurant nearby to Mekong riverbank. I knew it was not halal, but no choice.. Chicken pho' basically likes a soto. With flat rice mee, kueytiaw and chicken soup, nice with couple of chili cut and light soy sauce. Accompanied with kopi beng, ice milk coffee.
In the afternoon, another place to visit was Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. The Royal Palace of Phnom Penh, Cambodia is a complex of buildings which are the royal abode of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Its full name in the Khmer language is Preah Barom Reachea Vaeng Chaktomuk. The Kings of Cambodia have occupied it since it was built in 1866, with a period of absence when the country came into turmoil during and after the reign of the Khmer Rouge.

The palace was started after King Norodom relocated the royal capital from Oudong to Phnom Penh after the mid-1800s. It was gradually built atop an old citadel called Banteay Kev. It faces towards the East and is situated at the Western bank of four divisions at the Mekong River called Chaktomuk (an allusion to Brahma).
Many division of its palace. First, The Throne Hall is where the king's confidants, generals and royal officials once carried out their duties. It is still in use today as a place for religious and royal ceremonies
Second, Silver Pagoda. It is a compound located on the North side of the palace complex. It features a a royal temple officially called Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot but is commonly referred to as Wat Preah Keo. Third, The Preah Thineang Chan Chhaya ("Moonlight Pavilion"). It is an open-air pavilion that serves as stage for Khmer classical dance in the past and present. It is one of the most notable buildings of the palace as it easily seen from the outside as it was built alongside a section of the palace walls.
At night we had a luxurious dinner at Topaz, French restaurant at Norodom Street. I had a nice bake snapper with salt sauce and mango milk shake. Second day, we will fly to Siem Reap for a visit to the famous Angkor Watt.
At Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, 40 mins fly from Phnom Penh, 6 hours by bus. Angkor Wat is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia, built for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation—first Hindu, dedicated to Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is the epitome of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors.
Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the gods in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 km (2.2 miles) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs and for the numerous devatas (guardian spirits) adorning its walls.

We flown back to Phnom Penh in the afternoon for a Mekong River cruise..
Mekong River, famously known around the globe for its famous agriculture contribution - irrigation. Rate per person for an hour + cruise was just USD5. Very cheap. We started at river front, Sisowath Quay. We cruised along Tonle Sap River until at end of it. Enjoyed Phnom Penh setting under sunset with gleaming Royal palace and high rise building. We cruised at the starting point of Bassac River and turned to Mekong Up and Down River. At Mekong Up, we passed by poor Cambodian settlement. Villagers stayed nonhygienically at river bank. Worst casing, we saw couple of families who stayed on the small boat.. It's kind of made us think how they could survived, cooking, fishing, sleeping under small boats.

I took couple of nice pictures as well. We stayed at Sisowath Quay for a while, had a dinner at FCC then had a drinks and played pool at Love's Pub and Cafe.
Tomorrow, time to relax before pack and fly back.. Amazing experiences in Cambodia..