Written on 1/29/2009 11:29:00 am by sikapitan

We don’t need this…

It’s never a nice thing to hear about police brutality. It’s never a good time to know someone died in police custody. But the whole Kugan incident couldn’t come at a worse time for the government already battling cross-over members and getting whooped in by-elections. It couldn’t have come at a worse time for those fighting for his cause too, as a lot of people are just too worried sick about the economy to rally on his behalf. There’s never a good time for this sort of thing, but there’s always the worst time…

So maybe Mahathir is right after all…

You know, I was never one to truly believe in this World Order conspiracy theory whereby the whole world is under the masterful control of a select few – usually it’s the Jews who bear the brunt of this theory. But when I think about it, the Gaza offensive couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Palestinians and at a better time for the Israelis. The whole world is busy handling the mess created by the Jewish-dominated banking industry to be able to effectively render assistance to the Palestinians. It’s hard to help others when you’re saddled with unemployment and deficit budgets. If I were a strategist, it seems like a perfect plan, doesn’t it? The Quran didn’t declare the Jews to be the smartest people in the world, ever, for nothing.

Rafa’s cracking up…

On a lighter note, we’re on top of the league, and that’s a fact (in tribute to Rafa’s “Keegan-like” meltdown). Another 1-1 draw, against Wigan, has condemned Liverpool to 3rd place, with United still having a game in hand. Rafa’s probably distracted with the boardroom battles, and his own ambition to go back to Spain to head Real Madrid.

He’s probably pissed off that Juande “Hotspur” Ramos got the nod as interim coach, and definitely seething to see President-nominee Perez promising to bring in Arsene Wenger, of all people, if he wins. He’s probably thinking, “Haven’t I done enough?” But to truly understand why people are wary of Rafa, just see this convoluted piece of logic:

When he’s on top of the league, unbeaten, he says that Liverpool cannot win the league. When he’s second in the league, and United on a fine run, he says that Liverpool can win it.

Flash your boobs, Gerrard!

You just have to love football...


Some interesting, random, short observations:


Written on 1/20/2009 05:13:00 pm by sikapitan

Curious racial profiling

Why is there no Chinese working at toll booths as toll collectors? I’ve been told by my friend that he has seen an Indian doing this, but till today that cannot be verified with supporting evidence. Just drive through our highways and tell me if you find any.

Weird coincidence

Sime Darby’s recent aborted move to privatize IJN (after much public outcry, even though Pak Lah kind of gave his blessing) was linked to Khairy’s cronies’ last attempt to milk the cow before Pak Lah leaves.

Now, Sime Darby wants to undertake a massive private initiative to build a new airport for Air Asia Berhad. Now, Air Asia Berhad is partially owned by the Tune group of companies, famously led by Tony Fernandes. His close associates include Datuk Kalimullah, the former NSTP man most famously linked to Khairy in the whole ECM-Libra deal, and Jason Lo, the former rock star turned CEO who is a close friend of Khairy through their MyTeam for TV3 project.

And where is this KLIA-East project going to be located? Labu, Negeri Sembilan. Khairy is probably the most famous MP from Negeri Sembilan.

Long live the conspiracy theorists! At the end of the day, the people get screwed as all these GLCs (yes, even Air Asia, in a way) compete on politics.


Something about Pareto


Written on 1/14/2009 10:59:00 pm by sikapitan

I’m reading this book called the 4-Hour Work Week. In it, the author espouses a lean yet fulfilling lifestyle where wasted time on menial work is reduced. His mantra is “minimum effort for maximum result”.

His measurement of success is based on profit per effort. You could be earning RM 8,000 a month, and I’m earning RM 4,000, BUT if I only work an hour a day instead of your typical 9 hours a day, my profit per hour is more than yours many times over.

It’s a continuation of the Pareto Law (or better known as the 80/20 rule). This is usually associated with wealth where it has been observed that 80% of wealth goes to 20% of the population or a higher ratio than that. This can be applied to other aspects of life.

80% of your work output comes from 20% of your input. The other 80% of input you’re doing only contributes 20% of your total output. So the book practically explains how you can minimize all the unnecessary work consuming 80% of your time and focus on the 20% that actually leads to the majority of your profit/wage/output.

I won’t get into the whole wealth generation idea that he proposes. It’s mind-blowingly simple, but I’m just going to talk about handling e-mails, because I managed to try it for a few days (only, as we’re still a pretty top-heavy, hours-dependent organization).

In today’s age, everyone works through e-mail, especially in an organization like Maxis. However, this may lead to e-mail overload with unnecessary messages all coming in trying to gain our attention.

The solution? Never check your e-mails in the morning, because you’ll never get to the end of it. As soon as you reply in the morning, the response, even though it’s not important, will come soon after. So it’ll be a never-ending loop of e-mails over an issue that isn’t event .

Set your auto-responder to the following message: I am away and will only be answering e-mails from 12 – 1 PM and 5 – 6 PM. If it’s important and requires urgent response, please contact my mobile at *******.

I tried it for two days while I was away for site-surveys. Although it’s not really what the author meant (he probably wanted me to try it while I’m actually IN THE OFFICE), I realized that a lot of things get filtered through.

People don’t rush for a response, and nothing gets broken along the way. Sometimes a lot of people get all messed up over little things. I’m experiencing a lot of these unnecessary worry because of the top-down nature of the organization. “I want this done by yada yada yada” when the effect of the done deal is not going to manifest itself anytime this year or the next.
Why must everything be so tied to deadlines?

In truth, a lot of people are afraid to admit that their power is derived from their ability to turn every unimportant task into something so profoundly important that its non-completion would cause the whole world to collapse. It does not. The world keeps on revolving, and we have to decide whether we want to be a part of it and live our dreams, or worry about meeting that deadline.


Something about United winning 3-0


Written on 1/12/2009 04:39:00 pm by sikapitan

It has been a long while since I managed to catch a football game with my friends. This season has been a lonely one in terms of viewing a game as everyone’s getting caught up with work and other commitments.

I was determined to watch yesterday’s game between United (Manchester, of course... “There’s only one United!”). There’s nothing like the pleasure of watching a good game of football with a crowd of passionate football fans.

Especially if United wins. Me and my mate have been trying to avoid this supposed curse of United losing every time we watch a game this season. We only looked on in horror as the team sheet showed 35-year old Ryan Giggs against the likes of Ballack, Lampard, and Obi Mikel.

But what is it about United and unheralded players becoming heroes in important fixtures? I remember Alan Smith playing a blinder in central midfield against Chelsea or Darren Fletcher (who also started yesterday’s game, naturally, considering the luck he has against Chelsea) who has popped up with a couple of masterful displays against higher rated opponents.

The legend with the thinning hair proved he's still got it...

Last night, it was all about the forgotten 35-year old. Yes, Berbatov played a big part in the game, but both he and Ronaldo were on form only after United took the lead. Giggsy showed that, despite his slowing pace and dodgy touch, he could still be counted on for his passion and commitment to the cause.

I am a harsh critic of Giggs, but I must stand up and applaud his control of the game from the centre of midfield. His calm presence was the perfect foil for the ever energetic and combative Darren Fletcher. Last night, Ferguson’s tinkering with the team worked like a charm.

It probably helped that Chelsea were, to be kind here, below their best. To be quite honest, they were horrible. Too narrow in midfield, and with oversized egos not on the same wavelength, they offered an easy challenge for United’s defence.

Rooney through Ashley's if that doesn't make Arsenal fans laugh...

Despite the threat of their midfield overrunning United’s relatively weak centre, it never really materialized as Van Der Sar was a mere passenger.

On a bad note, I don’t think Cristiano Ronaldo is as effective this season trying to be an out-and-out winger with Ferguson preferring a traditional 4-4-2 since Berbatov arrived. With his freedom curtailed, he cuts a despondent figure on the wing. With the arrival of two young Serbians, one an out and out winger, is this the beginning of the end for one of United’s most explosive forward ever?


Something about Sharing


Written on 1/10/2009 12:51:00 am by sikapitan

People like to share. It creates a bond, apparently. Unfortunately, wives don’t really want to share their husbands.

Another thing that we value as personal more than sharing is our workspace. In the right company, a shared workspace can be a magnet for you to come to work. However, what is the probability of you getting a workmate that would match your personality? I suspect 1 out of 100.

It doesn’t help that workspace now has been reduced so as to increase the number of people companies can fit per floor. In the interest of increasing profit per square, they’ve tried to reduce whatever trace of individuality and privacy one can have in the office.

In exchange they promote “wide, open spaces” that has “no barriers between you and your colleagues” so that you can “improve relationship” and “increase productivity”. Yeah, it’s pure management bullshit.

I work on an open-concept floor where there’s no partition. Each island has about 4 individual seats and the islands are separated to each other by an arm’s length. It’s not really a bad environment to work with; other than the lack of privacy I pretty much find the arrangement quite comfortable...

This, hypothetically, could be spoiled by the existence of an obnoxious colleague. I can only imagine the horror of working in such an open space beside a colleague that talk loudly on the phone. I can only imagine cringing every time I hear another “hey, lookS...”. I can only imagine trying to filter out the annoying way that colleague is faking politeness in trying to close a deal. I can only imagine putting on a headphone as a colleague shouts about “you have to buy me lunch...” over the phone the 500th time of the day. I can only imagine shooting a colleague who wants to be my boss just to cover his/her own insecurities.

Don't lose your mind...

Alas, I can only imagine because I work in such a perfect, pristine office environment where everyone is intelligent, respectful, and most importantly, genuine. Go figure.


People always say that talking, or writing, is good for therapy. Just the act of sharing their thoughts will fulfil human kind inner desire to connect with people. But is that really true? Do we want to share just for the sake of sharing, or do we actually look for understanding?

I mean, I’ve been accused of clamming up on what I actually think/feel. In my defence, I don’t see why I should bother with working myself up to tell something, to get the emotion aspect of it right, to share what I think is important, only to be disappointed when no one understands my point.

Do you get the entry above? If you don’t, or your feed-back doesn’t respond to my expectations, would I not be disappointed? Why SHOULDN’T I be disappointed? So why put yourself up for disappointment, just for the sake of sharing...

Something about Sushi King and McDonald’s


Written on 1/07/2009 10:38:00 pm by sikapitan

I had dinner at Sushi King, Subang Parade with my wife and in-laws. She loves sushi, but I must warn her to avoid the really raw ones.

We frequent the outlet quite often previously. But tonight I found that the service level has dropped significantly. They couldn’t get the orders right, it was hard to get their attention, and they even served something that was wrongly described in the menu.

There was a point when I felt it was like at the mamaks, when I had to wave my arms frantically trying to get their attention while they were busy chit-chatting. The fact that there was only 6 other customers made it worse.

Since we’re on the topic of lousy customer service from food outlets, has anyone noticed how bad McDonald’s service level is nowadays?

I usually go to the outlet in Taipan. Despite the horrible traffic situation, I had fond memories of that restaurant. I used to go there for snacks after my guitar lessons at the now-defunct Yamaha. It was a vibrant, fun environment, and fast food really meant fast food.

But nowadays, the queue to order is so bad that I just couldn’t be bothered. Only ONE counter would be opened, and this is despite there being a significant queue. The rest of the crew would be busy making jokes and chit-chatting with the Home-Delivery riders.

In fact, the whole environment has deteriorated with the increase in the number of these riders. They would congregate outside, talking loudly, and then when they come to pick up orders, they would usually create a big scene that is so unprofessional and unruly.

I think McDonald’s has lost focus of the “ambience” of their outlets when they concentrate on the Home Delivery business model. Even then, it is not perfect.

Last Saturday, we wanted to order-in as it was raining. Gave the damn McD’s number a call, waited for a few minutes, then was told nonchalantly that they would NOT be delivering because it’s raining. Go figure.

All day, all night as long as the weather's perfect, there's no traffic jam
and I'm well enough to eat outside...which defeats the purpose of home delivery, duh

I called Domino’s and two hot regular thin crust pizzas reached my place in 30 minutes. Now, they’ve got my vote.

2009’s resolution: Reduce unnecessary anger by venting frustration out as soon as possible...

Something about Watching TV


Written on 1/06/2009 10:27:00 pm by sikapitan

I’m watching Grey’s Anatomy right now with my wife. She doesn’t like the fact that I comment a lot when I watch TV. But I only comment when it doesn’t make sense.

For example, we tuned in to Keeping Up With Kardashians over at E! and it just doesn’t make sense. Reality TV, in this format, never made any sense to me. This guy was walking along the hotel’s corridor when he suddenly proposed to Kim’s sister (the less ugly, but not the ugliest).

No, it wasn't him or her but I thought this would be a better photo, don't you?

It would have been kind of romantic if it weren’t for the fact that there’s a whole TV crew RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM! How anyone could be natural in that environment is beyond me.

Reality TV in its purest form is when one party or both is unaware of the existence, or the location of the camera(s). So I don’t consider Kardiashians, Run’s House (which is the most unreal reality TV I’ve seen) or whatever it is with Paris Hilton in it as reality TV.

Now, those players hitting the club in Keys to the VIP, they’re true reality TV guys. I love that freaking show...raise your glass!

2009 Resolution : One of my resolutions is to write shorter entries on a more regular basis in my blog.