Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008 ...&... Hello 2009

Another year gone and now looking forward to another brand new year ahead.

Another year to reflect on what we have done, should have done and could have done.

Another year gone by with the wink of an eye as we braces ourselves to move forward....

Come what may..... 2009, as we braces ourselves for what's in store for us in the future.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

EPF & Valuecap

My posting on November 12 on the same subject matter refers.

I suppose the truth will eventually comes out but for now, I'll give it the benefit of doubt. But coming from the DPM who seems to have a credibility issue, my perception on this is rather negative.

Having said this, my money is still stuck in the EPF. Damn, I can only withdraw 1/3 at 50 and the balance until I reached 55. I would rather splurge it on my own then to leave it in EPF to let someone else 'blown' it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pesta Blogger 2008 Indonesia, I wuz there!

I finally made it to the venue, BPPT Jl. Thamrin at about 11.20am where the event was held. Of course I was late after my mobile phone alarm rang earlier in the morning and I guess the snoozing bit was better.

Getting in was easy enough after finding Mbak Pasha with whom Unspun left my invitation ticket. I must admit that I can feel a sense of camaraderie among the bloggers as I walked by. With my eagle eyes scanning the auditorium, it was easy enough for me to spot Unspun. I moved over next to him seated behind YB Jeff Ooi and the other 4 invited foreign bloggers.

My first encounter with YB Jeff Ooi was indeed a pleasant one. Being Penangites, we clicked immediately. We chatted a bit despite Jeff being busy with his LG hand-phone text messaging.

In the course of our conversation, I managed to give him my 2 rupiah worth of opinion about the development projects that falls in the heritage zone of Penang. I opined that it is imperative that the heritage status must be protected at all cost and I am sure all Penangites like me will support the PR government to protect it. “The inflow of development funds will be good for the island but not at the expense of the status, do not be penny wise and pound foolish” I said.

The key difference between Indonesia and Malaysia about blogging is that the Indonesian government fully engaged and encouraged bloggers where not 1 but 3 Ministers were there to address them. This goes to show how far and matured the Indonesian have come in the democratic process and freedom of “responsible” speech in just 10 years after the new order regime. While in Malaysia, we still have Ministers who are the exact opposite and still in the slumber mode (…just like me this morning perhaps… ☺)

For this, Indonesia 1, Malaysia 0

Anyway, I did not stay very long and disappeared by about 2ish.

Pesta Blogger 2008

It's already 9.57am on Pesta Blogger day in Jakarta and yet I am still at home. As usual, wait until the very last minute to check at pestablogger blog for information and found out that the event is on until 5.30pm with lots of talk, interaction etc.

Better move my butt and go over to BPPT now, as I just finished smsing with Pak Ong since I am oh his invite list.

Looking forward to meet up with YB Jeff Ooi too.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Globalization Insights

Came across this video from titled "The New Rulers of The World" on the pros and cons of globalization and the hidden hands behind the economic power house and the profound effects and implications it created for Indonesia.

The bottom line is that the rich gets richer, the poor gets poorer. What a world we live in.

Go to the link. It is a must watch video.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

There goes my EPF savings

Damn, they are going to use the little money that I have left in my EPF for my retirement in a stock broking company. Why is the government toying around with my money? EPF itself has an investment team who has been doing a pretty decent job investing my money giving me between 5% to 8% yearly interest returns. I have no complaint about that.

But when the government is using my EPF money to put into some 'not transparent' company with the shareholders apparently owned by the government themselves, then I have a big problem.

If ValueCap is so good with their investments promising better returns, why take EPF money? take Petronas money lah. Being ignorant about stocks and investment, this deal certainly smells fishy.

Damn it!

If only I can withdraw all my EPF savings now, you bet, I will do so.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Old 1,200 square meter house selling for US15 million

It’s amazing, the house where the newly elect US President used to stay as a kid while in Indonesia was offered by several buyers for about US15 million, 5 times above the market price.

It was reported 6 months prior to the US election, there were several foreigners who are interested to buy the property on the condition that Barrack Obama wins the US presidential election. Amongst them are representatives for businessman in the US and Holland with the US Embassy in Indonesia joining in the bid 1 month before the US election was held as highlighted in Kompas.

However it was so unfortunate that the owner, Bapak Tata Aboe Bakar Soerono passed away just before the US election at the age of 78.

Till now, there wasn’t any news whether or not the deal was sealed or otherwise.

Abused of authority, power or what?

Grab this from NST online today, Nov 11, 2008.

Is the Home Minister saying (Police work is police work) and that is to be brutal by charging and bashing upon innocent people?
Isn’t the police being disrespectful of the country and King when they moved in to disrupt and brutalized the people while singing the national anthem?

As far as I am concerned after watching the videos in youtube and photos in some of the blogs, the Home Minister, IGP and the state police chief can say whatever they want, in my books, they are guilty as hell! They are just like little boys playing ‘masak-masak’ with the little girls and can’t ‘own up' to their mistakes.

Now, can I really depend on the Malaysian Police to protect and serve ordinary folks like you and me?

Either way, the “rakyat rugi” big time with the current bunch of so-called man in blue. Sad but true!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What's your perception?

Grab this image from Zorro-unmasked.

Now if Ku Li did not pay a single RM and can only secure 1 vote from his own division, what does this imply?

How ironic that the UMNO President and PM designate will be decided by just 191 division heads! What a 'pow wow' demoCRAZY concept!

Sickening, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sogo Big Sale - NOW ON until 9 Nov, 2008

Center spread print ad in Kompas on Oct 17, 2008. "MAKE SURE YOU GET WHAT YOU WANT"

New sale icon for Sogo, layout of the shopping bags to depict a cityscape = Large, Big

The new icon translated to in-store display. Erected at the right location, not over-doing, neither over kill. It has style.

Envy of the competition!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Undo by Amelia Ho

There are lots of things
That I want to undo
Like the death of a person
Or the thoughts of denial.

A ton of mistakes
I wish to undo
Like a miscalculation in a test
Or a crime like a lie.

So many mistakes
In so little time
How I wish to undo
These mistakes worth a mile.

© Amelia Ho, 2005

Friday, October 10, 2008

Seibu Lebaran '08 Ad

This is the ad in Kompas for Seibu Lebaran and the main image was used for below-the-line materials maintaining consistency.

Real Idiots are proud of the ranking

Grabbed this image from "the Malaysian Bar" website and I almost fell off my chair laughing when I read what this 2 clowns have to say about the ranking of the Malaysian University. What is alarming is that it came from the Higher Education Minister and the Vice-Chancellor of UKM.

One said "So while we won't stop any of our universities from being evaluated, we must remember that their criteria is not exhaustive" and the other said "How do I feel? There's no feeling here," she told the New Straits Times. To her, the world ranking is just that; a ranking."

Now, I wonder which country and university where they send their own children to? Tell me how you feel when your own child came in No.1 from the bottom!

With such mentality of the people entrusted to do their jobs, now we know why the ranking of our local universities are very much left to be desired. Shame on these people, or there's no shame!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sogo "Spreading the love for the country"

A full day at the studio to have all the shots taken using 9 talents with different pose and wardrobe. Then it took another 5 days just to have the shots touch-up and recompose for this layout. Nevertheless, this ad which appear in Kompas came out pretty good and the response for the Merdeka Sales was better than expectation

Seibu Merdeka '08 Ad

It was an exciting day when we shot this photograph for the ad. Despite the many shots taken by the photographer, the final shot selected was chosen on the very last few takes. Nevertheless, we were very happy with the outcome after a very tiring day.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Defying the law of gravity

CPO today went down below the USD90 mark. However, prices of goods are still on the upward trend. Why is it that when these prices went up, it never seems to come down? The argument was the high cost of fuel and the government cannot be ‘subsidizing’. In whichever case, the real deal is that the consumers like you and I are the real losers, the ordinary wage earning masses.

Whatever happened to the much talk about price mechanism? All talk and no action, as usual.


Introducing JB, wagging his tail proudly after his shower.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Real funny...this Achmed fella

Wakakakaka :)

Hmmmm, the name AchMAD does actually ring a bell, I wonder who could that be? "I'll Kill You" Hahahaha

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Selamat Idul Fitri

A time to reflect on what we have, could have and should have done.

For now, have a good holiday and visit old and new friends alike for the Hari Raya open houses.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Is it only me?

Why is it that every time when I read the speeches/statements made by the PM, DPM and in fact the entire cabinet ministers and their deputies, it just makes me want to puke? It seems to me that it is only all talk without any substance, just like the standard answer from any Air Asia’s check-in counter staff when asked if there would be any flight delay upon checking in.

My guess is that after 50 years of unchallenged rule, systematic control on the flow of information and perhaps power play has moved them into their comfort zone so much so that they take the goodwill of the people for granted. This by-product must have led them to be what they are today despite the signs of change sweeping the entire country after the March election.

Still suffering from the denial syndrome? When will they ever LEARN to CHANGE along with time in order to stay relevant? I wonder.

This is just a random thought that crosses my mind on 916. Happy Malaysia Day.

Update at 6.47 p.m. Pick this up from theStar online just moments ago of what Zaid Ibrahim said “But I could not translate what I wanted to do, particularly on issues such as equal rights for everyone as stated in the Constitution. I think I have failed to convince those in authority and positions of power to effect those changes which will allow this Government to move forward.”

This insights from the man who tried to change from within among the people who walk in the corridors of power confirms that the current UMNO/BN government just CANNOT change.

I personally admire Zaid Ibrahim for his courage and principles. A man who can walk with dignity which is so lacking in the current administration.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Please spare me the red face, Mr. Minister.

It was a rather an eventful Saturday, in a sense for commenting on several blogs about the arrest or RPK, Tan Hoon Cheng and Theresa Kok in Malaysia in one swoop under the orders of the Minister of Home Affairs using the all powerful, all mighty ISA.

Further reading just wanna make me laugh out loud, puke, geram, gemas, stressful, emo and what have you based on the reasons given by the Minister to justify his action. Funny, how the hell did I get the feeling that nobody in the right frame of mind will ever agree with the minister!

Please lah Mr. Minister, I am trying to make a living overseas and don’t lah make me a laughing stock for being a Malaysian. Don’t lah, don’t be like that lah! Malu tau?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Air Asia, Now everyone can be SCREWED, Part 2

Well folks, it happened again. Not only is the flight rescheduled to a later time, it was delayed for more than 2 damn hours.

My original booking was on February 23, 2008 as follows,

“QZ 7604 KUL-CGK, Fri 25 July 2008 Dep 18.10 hrs” Firstly, there was a SMS message on my mobile informing me about the flight re-schedule to 20.15. This was followed up by a phone call from one of the customer service of which the poor girl really got a piece of my mind so much so, she rudely slammed the phone on me. (I was not angry of her doing that, but relieved that I got the frustration off my chest). Anyway, I was at the airport early, checked-in, enquired and it was confirmed by the check-in staff at Soekarno Hatta that there is ‘no known delay’ yet.

Well, the rest is history. QZ 7604 finally took off after 2+ hours of agonizing wait. Although AirAisa served Hoka Hoka Bento, they do not even have the courtesy to announce over the PA the reason why the flight was delayed. No sense of public courtesy.

Of course my return flight on QZ 7603 on Mon, 28 July 2008, 9.50 hrs was re-timed as well. Nevertheless, I managed to change in advance to AK 952 departing at 7.00 am

The sad thing is that I have no choice in this instance but to fly since the tickets are been paid for. Are there any law savvy guys out there who can challenge AirAsia on their terms and conditions? Isn’t there a legal recourse for the passengers?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Have you?

Have you seen the sky,
During the sunset or sunrise?

Have you done a crime,
Unforgivable yet nice?

Have you thought of and done,
Something stupid yet kind?

Have you even tried,
To find yourself some time?

Have you asked yourself,
What your plans are for today?

Have you wondered why,
The sun shines so bright?

Have you asked anyone,
About what they did?

Have you gone away,
And wished you had stayed?

Have you seen a ghost,
And wished you could help?

Have you read a story,
So beautiful but sad?

Have you taken your time,
When you knew you shouldn’t?

Have you thought about yourself,
And wondered what to do?

Have you seen the moon,
And said that it’s nice?

Well, did you?
Have you…?

Written by Amelia Ho

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Malaysian Politicians, STOP IT!

I have been following and reading the RSS feed on the latest development in Malaysia and the whole of this week is just CRAZY. And I wonder what's happening to my country with both side of BN and PR politicians having a field day slugging at each other just like what one would expect to watch the World Wrestling Ferderation match on TV, for now without the violence, YET!

Reading all the bulls, claims, accusations and what have you, I felt anger, frustration, cheated, fear and uncertainty, all at one go. Where am I to direct this bad energy and feeling of hopelessness to? All this is happening day in and day out with no end in sight.

It has been 4 months since the last election and it seems that the country is on an auto pilot mode moving in the wrong direction. And now with recession looming over our heads, I find my hard earned money shrinking as the days gone by and these politicians are still bickering over their positions, power and personal interest. What happened to the oath they made after their swearing in?

I am sick and tired of such stand-up political comedy act, it’s a big joke! And the world is laughing at Malaysia. It’s actually SINFUL. What I need are real politicians who can act and perform their duties without fear or favor in tackling the economic woes of the country. For all I care, do the politicking at your own time BUT not on mine. Stop all these nonsense and stand up to be counted, you damn bloody politicians!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

AirAsia SUCKS BIG time

It happened to me before and it is happening again for this weekend, YES, I am talking about the ‘so-called’ re-timing of flights schedule so fondly practiced by AirAsia. When I booked my return KUL(09.50 for Jun 30)/CGK (18.10 for Jun 27) tickets in February 2008, I was so glad that at the time of booking, the timing was just perfect, after work, go to the airport, catch the flight and be home in KL before 12 midnight.

Then the big time shit came via 2 SMSs from AirAsia. The first SMS was on Jun 22 stating that the flight on Jun 30 departing from KL was retimed to 14.50. The second SMS came on Jun 25 for yet again another retimed flight from 18.10 to 20.15 departing from Jakarta on Jun 27. Can you believe this big time shit, on a single paid and confirmed ticket for a return trip both being retimed?

Of course, both messages came with the standard line “SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE CAUSED THANK YOU’. Hell ya! It’s damn inconvenient! The deal for the passenger is shitty. When you want to change your flight, you are slapped with a fee and the cost difference of the flight and if you missed the flight, then it is considered burned.

Obviously, I don’t bother to read their terms and conditions when I bought the tickets and I guess I would not be bothered reading it now. And since I have already paid for my all my tickets, the last one being in August, I guess I will have to sulk it up all in my own stride.

However, one thing for sure is that I won’t be making any bookings on AirAsia for my future travel as they can just change the flight schedule at their whims and fancies. This is just not on.

Now, everybody can be screwed!

I suppose this should be the new brand tagline that best describe what AirAsia is all about. Very relevant, compelling and truthful to the brand promise.

Friday, June 20, 2008

How Green is Green? – Property in Indonesia

Have you ever wondered how true are the claims by the various property developers that their properties are green as claimed in their ads? Or, is it just because they plant a few trees here and there and hence it’s green? Or better still, get their in-house graphic designers or ad agencies to ‘touch-up’ on the images with more trees and using green color fonts for their headline and there you have it, it’s green. Hmm… I wonder!

From what I gather, all the talk of going green amongst the property developer started feverishly after the UNFCCC talk in Bali back in Dec 2007 on climate change.

So I wonder on. Is there any property developer in Indonesia taking up this initiative of building really green homes? How much will it cost to build such a home? Can a single green home stand alone or it need to be built in clusters? Will there be any takers for such a green home? Is there a standards set by the authorities to classify such a home? What about harvesting the wind and sun energy in a hybrid home system? And the question goes on and on.

So far, I failed to find any information pertaining to green homes in Indonesia. The nearest would be in Singapore followed by Australia and New Zealand. Even so, it is not widespread. Nevertheless, there are a lot more information and green initiatives in the US.

At the end of the day, I suppose it will be more of a business decision to make more profit than to go about in building green homes. Unless and of course, if there is demand for such green homes selling at a reasonable price.

Is there any property developer out there that can build really green homes in Indonesia?

“My strategic proposal to this effect has now been adopted by my client and it is with the hope that the proposal is taken in full and not just on a meet me halfway tune” David Ho

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The reason by Amelia Ho

I post this in conjuction with Amelia having her new blog.

Written with the thought of a group of three orphans in mind [ with no specific reason ].

‘The tide waits for no man’, as they say

I stand by the ocean and


‘Why do these waves sound

The same…


So completely different from the ones I know?’

But no answer comes

And I figured…

If I keep falling into

The darkness of the sea…

…Why keep trying…?

Then a voice

‘Stop mopping, you silly!’

With a bob to my head

I look at them – one frowning

Reprimanding and the other

Grinning, amused

I smile again

‘It’s nothing,’ I hear myself reply

But at the same time

The latter that has yet to talk

Grinned, as if

Understanding my dilemma

And I realized…

My friends…

They are all I live for…


They are the one I keep trying for.

~ © Amelia, 3rd April, 2007.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

1 year service in MCJ EXCO

May 10, 2008 is the final day for me as one of the EXCO member in Malaysia Club Jakarta (MCJ) for the year 2007/2008. Although I was nominated to stay on for another term, I politely decline as I felt that a yearly change of the EXCO members is good for the Malaysian community. More so, for the club to be more vibrant and relevant with fresh ideas full of zest and life for the benefit of the community at large. Nevertheless, it wasn’t easy to serve in a non-profit organization on a voluntary basis. Granted that everybody have their work, business and personal matters to take care, but I suppose, with a little bit of passion here and there, the new EXCO will try to do their best for MCJ members.

I would not delve into what has been achieved or otherwise as the out-going President Mr. Ch’ng Chin Hon have given a full account which was adopted by the members at the AGM. What I would like to say here is to express my heartfelt appreciation to the previous EXCO that I’ve worked with. It’s been a joy and fun year doing my part as a Malaysian in serving the MCJ community. Thanks guys.

As an afterthought, if more Malaysian were to make themselves available and show just a little “Malaysianess” in them (obviously the more caring, concern and a sense of community living Malaysian minus the ahem... politics), I personally think MCJ will be a very much better club. After all, MCJ is for Malaysian by Malaysian.
With this, I wish the 2008/2009 MCJ EXCO all the best and success in their undertakings for the year ahead. You guys will have my full support whenever possible.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Annoyance - by Amelia Ho


A stupid feeling,

That makes you mad,

For some silly reason.

Getting rid of this feeling,

Is a dreaded task,

For it just comes back

When you thought it’s gone.

Time and time again,

The same sentence is repeated,

‘Shut up!’ or ‘Get lost!’ or something like that,

and you then realize, ‘It’s too quiet now’.

Therefore, annoyance

To me, a strange feeling.

What about you?

What do you think?

© Amelia Ho, 2005

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Friend in Need is a friend in Deed (corrected)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

It was definitely one of the most satisfying moments of my life this day when Chin Hon, Joey, Ben, Soo & spouse (son too, Denise) make a trip to Pegadungan. Credit is due to Chin Hon’s driver for bringing this up.

In our very first attempt, without knowing what to expect, we managed to collect some money to buy 5 x 10kg rice, KFC lunches for all the kids and sponsorship of 640 packs of snacks and 80 soft toys from David Chan of Pacific Food Indonesia.

We visited a welfare home “Panti Social Bina Grahita Belaian Kasih Pegadungan” catering for the mentally retarded and handicapped children in Jakarta. These kids were mainly picked-up from the streets in Jakarta by the City Council and placed in the care of the dedicated staff of the welfare homes.

Abandoned by their parents, of all ages (7 to 25 years old), of both sexes, mostly handicapped, mentally retarded and homeless. But, these kids found love, compassion, care and most importantly a shelter.

What was most heartfelt is the exuberance in the faces and smile of some of these kids when we unloaded the goods from the car while others extended their arms to shake our hands and one could feel their gratitude and appreciation without having to speak (mind you, being retarded, most have speech problems). Words can’t describe these feeling, it’s just that one have to be there to feel it. In my heart, I felt that this is one of the best thing I’ve ever done in Jakarta.

This center certainly needs more support and donations in the form of toiletries products like toothpaste, toothbrush, body soap, talcum powder and the list goes on. If you are reading this and would like to help; Jl. Peta Utara No.29A Pegadungan. Jakarta barat 11830. Tel & Fax : +6221 5445611

Monday, April 28, 2008

"Welcome" by Amelia Ho

Welcome to my humble abode,
Where everything's not as you are told,
Where Light could be Dark and Dark could be Light,
Where Shadows form their wicked souls.

Welcome to my humble world,
Of fantasies and of reality,
Of ups and downs and downs and ups,
Of safety or of emergency.

Welcome to my humble thoughts,
Of how naive people could actually be,
Of how stupid they could do their minds,
It's not like God let them be

Welcome again to my humble abode,
Where everything's not as you are told,
Where people could rest oh-so peacefully,
Sweet dreams, dear child, and awaken no more

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Welcome Home by Amelia

This is one poem my youngest daughter wrote for me back in 2001. It was early days when I came to Jakarta to pursue my career.


Dearest father, welcome home!
How nice it is whey you
Yes, you are back,

Dearest father,
You have a special place in…
My heart forever!!!
(Together with mum of course)

Dearest father,
What and where will
Yes, where will I be
Without you….

Without you,
There won’t be me
There won’t be amy
There will be only you & mum
Alone and sad….
Without children & a family
To love and care for….

Most fathers aren’t like you.
You work hard and care for
Yes, you care for your family.

The moment you left,
Emptiness fell in our hearts
So… we are happy that you are home
Even for a day or two
Our emptiness will not come so often
Thinking of the happy times
We’ve been together

Written especially for you by: Amelia Ho

Friday, March 14, 2008

WANTED - Art Director

My SOHO brand communications agency is in search for fresh blood who can inject new creative juices flowing in our very flexible system. We don’t really have any hard and fast rules to follow neither do we look at the time or day as long as the work gets done, of course it has to be well crafted using the heart and not just for the sake of getting it done and over with.

More importantly, we would prefer a like-minded person who can easily adapt and is able to fit into the ‘homey’ environment and the people here. But you may want to know that we sometimes work the shit out of our brains like there is no tomorrow when dealing with pressing issues and timelines…just to share some of the more exciting moments.

Well, if you think you know what I am talking about and would like to check us out, do write to me or email to You know the drills, don’t you?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sayonara, AT-San

I was busy with work and also updating website on behalf of the MCJ EXCO and forgotten to say a word or two about AT Chuan. I must admit that due to personal reasons, I did not attend the wake and this article in my blog act as a sign of my last respect to AT Chuan who passed away peacefully on March 11, 2008 at about 12.20 p.m. in Jakarta.

As far as I can recall, AT is one of the very first few Malaysian whom I’ve met during my early days in Jakarta way back in 2000 and it was during one of the MCJ monthly gathering. Thanks to my lovely wife who insisted that I get myself registered at the Malaysian Embassy, otherwise, I would not have met so many Malaysian in Jakarta.

The very first time I met AT Chaun, he was warm and courteous and he certainly knew how to make a fellow countryman feel welcomed in a foreign land. I recalled how we spoke and he later introduced me to the other MCJ members who were present then. The rest is history.
8 years on, now you’re gone, may your soul rest in peace. (bow once, bow twice, bow three times)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Vote on 080308, I will

As I scrolled through the numerous websites and blogs over the last few days catching up on the latest election news in Bolehland before deciding who shall I vote for, boy oh boy, it was full of information, comments, news and what have you. For starters, I can be classified to fall into the typical “silent majority” Malaysian category who would once in every 5 years exercise the voting rights enshrined in the Malaysian constitution.

After having lived almost as long as Malaysia being an Independent country, I was never at all interested in politics neither do I care about who governs the country as long as there is peace, security, jobs, economic stability and all that has blue skies and everything nice. As it was then, the only source of news I got about the well-being of the country is through the main stream media. And guess what, I concluded that I have been systematically fed with information which I would call ‘biased journalism and editorial’ political brain-washing by those who walk in the corridors of power. How naïve of me, but then again, I reckon it was never too late to learn and move on. This lasted until the past 3 to 4 years or so when I started to get more information from the internet, both local and international sources, so that I can make a learned decision.

Come March 8, I am going to vote with an objective mind-set and with learned information to who can best addressed the issues facing the country and formulate actionable action plans to address the problems. Even though this is just my 1 vote, it is important to me as I am voting for my children (and their children too) for a better and brighter future in our beloved country, Malaysia.

1) Inflation, my hard earned money seems to be getting smaller and smaller with the rising prices of essential commodities, goods and services, like wise spiral cost of living
2) Corruption, Cronyism and Nepotism, I would want to see transparency, accountabilities and responsibilities of those who served as a public servants in the government. The roots to all evils begin here
3) Judiciary, I have no faith in the current system and I will vote for Judiciary Independence that does not “kow-tow” to the Executives
4) Security, I would want to have peace of mind when people closest to me can safely take a walk down the street. The crime rate now is at the highest ever in the history books. A total revamp of the Malaysian Police Force will be needed, those who really know how to protect and serve the public and not the political (note: I did not use PDRM, to me using the word “Di Raja” is an insult to our beloved Agung)
5) A big NO NO to racism and race based politics. Gone are the good old “muhibbah” days, but now, I see a lot of pretentious faces among Malaysians wherever I go
6) Real democracy, not for the one and only reason I am allowed to vote once in every five years or so as implied by some of the Ministers. What a shame!
7) Freedom of expression and religion enshrined in the constitution. We enjoyed this before the last 2 administrations took over the governance of the country. Look at what is happening today!
8) I am saying no to ISA, the authority of this act lies in the hand of just one man who can only abused, manipulate and oppressed
9) A total revamp of the EC, total transparency needed ensuring fair play

The list would have been longer, but this is what concerned me most for now. However, I am worried come voting day or the day after, it’s just a personal thought, will there be a racial disturbance in the making? I sincerely hope and pray my feeling is unfounded.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What a shame, EC of Bolehland

Shock reversal: Indelible ink plan erased
Mar 4, 08 4:55pm
The Election Commission has cancelled the use of indelible ink for this general election, citing public order and security issues.The stunning announcement was made at a press conference in Putrajaya this afternoon - four days before polling.

Picking this news from, the reasons given by the EC is totally absurd and making me LOL. What a joke! If that is the case, then Indonesia will be in total chaos since indelible inks were used in their elections. The numbers of voters in Indonesia registered in the 100’s of millions as compared to Malaysia of less than 10 million. Does this mean that the Malaysian police cannot do their job? Smell fishy.

Monday, March 3, 2008

10 Commandments on Metro TV

Currently aired on Metro TV, this is one show that will definitely get the axed in Bolehland. Talking about religious tolerance and freedom of religion and practice, Bolehland can certainly learn a thing or two from Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Not only Metro TV, other free-to-air TV stations does the same thing too. This is what I would call, Respect!

But make no mistake, I am never a religious person, just wondering.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

14th MCJ ADD – Over and done

The dinner and dance organized by MCJ for the Malaysian community in Jakarta held on March 01, 2008 is now over and done with. I must say that the response from the Malaysian and Indonesian companies, members and friends were great.

Despite the generosity of these people, it is sad to see that there were some 30 odd % of the sits empty and that’s obscenely wasteful. And, why is this so? Why sponsor and not make their presence felt? Or is it because of the so called ‘give face’ factor for the club or committee member who approaches them? I really do not have the answer to these questions and I guess it’s not worthy to find out either. For me, I tend to look at the core values of MCJ and the sincerity of what I can contribute as a member, the little that I can, in making Malaysian feel at home in a foreign land instead of bitching about it.

I must give full credit to Raja Elona for her passion and energy that went into orchestrating the entire play. It was certainly a very pleasant experience for me to have collaborated with her on this project. (well, I played a very small but stressful role and have to rope in my Indonesian colleagues and my office resources to help me out)

Now back to the dinner, it kick-off behind schedule, as usual lah, people turning up late, duh! Come-on people! The Chinese dinner prepared by the hotel was nothing much to shout about, meaning, I would rather fly to KL for dinner at home prepared by my lovely wife :) As a result, there were quite a number of people going for midnight snacks after the dinner.

The lion-dance act was a little too long for my liking while the Wushu performance was just so-so, but it was alright. The Second Born Band started off a little boring and not funny at all in their opening comedy act (I could not help myself but to text Raja Elona about it) but they managed to pull their act together towards the second half and at the end of their performance. I was very impressed by the vocal control demonstrated by the almost bald singer. The MC, both JC (American) and Lily Mooncake (Indonesian) did what they had to do best and they were cool, complementing each other on stage.

After the last lucky draw prizes for the air tickets were announced, the ballroom was almost deserted, typical of any other event of this nature. However, there were about 40 to 50 close knitted buddies and friends including Dato and Datin who stayed on to party to the music of the mega 80’s. Thanks to Bram of Trans Production who happily compiled the music and re-mixes the songs, burned in a CD for MCJ especially for this purpose. I must say that the dancing, laughing and the photo sessions is the real deal of the ADD as I opted to stay back this time, unlike the previous ADD, to have a feel of the aftermath.

Overall, it was an enjoyable evening.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Advertising in sponsorship program book

Since I am an EXCO member of the Malaysia Club Jakarta and being in the ad industry, I was tasked to coordinate and compile the sponsor’s ads for MCJ 14th Annual Dinner and Dance program book, of which I don’t mind at all and being able to contribute my services to fellow Malaysian.

Having an earlier experienced with such a mess, I thought I was ready this time round to whiz it by. But no, that was not the case. Anyway, I am not going to talk about the tedious coordinating work that is going to be on my plate for the next few days in order to get the program book ready for distribution by March 01.

There are some 30 odd sponsors for the event, a very good job done by my fellow EXCO and ADD Organizing Committee members. Among the sponsors, there are many well known companies or brands as they know the real value of advertising, hence, there wasn’t a problem in getting their ad materials since they engaged the services of an ad agency.

However, there are many sponsors who doesn’t seems to have a clue of what finished artwork, color separation film and proofs are. And by simply sending via email a PDF or JPEG file, cut and paste the digital photos, insert their company logo and type whatever their company is doing and there you have it, it’s their ad! Huh! Let alone idea or concept. Nevertheless, the final result of what have been provided by these sponsors is not going to be pretty.

The point here is that irrespective whether it is sponsorship or a brand ad, as long as the piece of medium that carries the logo/name/brand of the company, that is a communications channel, and IT IS AN AD. No two ways about that.

The real issue here is not about having the budget to spend to have a good ad or not. Neither is the intention to buy the table and to support the course of the sponsorship or, even to think that the ad is a bonus if it manages to can catch some potential client. This is just unacceptable reasoning and is exactly the opposite of doing real injustice to the owners themselves.

Friday, February 1, 2008

What a HORRIBLY WET day in Jakarta

It would have not been so bad if today is April Fool's day, but no, it is only Feb 01.

It was raining cats and dogs that woke me up in the wee hours of the morning and I could not be bothered to look at the clock but tucked myself underneath the warm comforter in bed and continued with my slumber until, hmm, I guessed about 9'ish.
Happily got myself ready for work and to fly home later in the day to my ever so lovely wife and kids (oops, not kids anymore but grown up and teenage daughters) but sadly, that was not the case.

A brave venture out the front door from my SOHO was about a foot high flood water...and that was the order of the day until about now, 11.30pm. To make matter worst, the power was cut at about 12 noon where my art director was midway burning a CD for a full page congratulatory ad in Kompas the next day. No matter what, we have to get the ad material to Kompas in Palmerah. I must say we were lucky enough as my Brand Director has some 'connections' there and we were able to come up with a plan to bring our Mac G5 CPU there since there was no electricity in the office! Mind you, it was still raining and there was this 1 foot high floodwater. To cut the story short, my Art Director made it there safe and sound despite having to negotiate the massive traffic congestion and floodwater along the way. To the guys in Kompas, who were so helpful, a very BIG THANK YOU for your kind assistance.

Now that our one and only car was being used to send the G5 and my Art Director to Kompas, I had no choice but to go to the airport by a cab, given that we would have been in some serious "shit" if Kompas carry a full page blank without the ad, and costing about Rp200+ million, the next day.

There I was in a cab on the way to the airport and by the time I reached the junction in front of Mal Taman Anggerek, the traffic was at a total stand-still, smacked right in front of my face. I sat in the cab and waited... and waited..... for about an hour, and the cab hardly ever moved! By then, I had no choice but to change my flight and went straight back to my SOHO (pics showing me walking back and the guys in the office ready with the digicam handy, and I, of course gladly posed for them, keeping cool and not wanting to show my frustration and disappointment. Now that I am in the filthy flood water, I know what the feeling was like when I watched on TV what and how the poor folks of Jakarta have to endure everytime it rains). I SMSed my wife about the change of travel plans, knowing very well that she and the kids will be very disappointed. (As for me, I was devastated). Then again, and in a way, it was a small blessing in disguise as I found out that another Malaysian buddy who was also on the way to the airport at about the same time was stuck in the massive traffic congestion and he couldn't even get passed Mal TA. He was diverted out of Slipi by the traffic cops, heading towards Tangerang and was stuck at Puri Indah area for 1.5 hours ( it was 9.35pm when the SMS came in and he had been in the car for the past 5 long and agonizing hours).
And finally, at about 11.30pm, the power was back.

I supposed Fauzi Bowo's election campaign theme "Jakarta untuk semua" really do hold a lot of weight in water. Now it would probably read, "Banjir untuk semua", Macet untuk semua" and for the rest of the odinary folks like you and me out there, that theme should be translated to "RUGI untuk SEMUA".
Look, this is a known problem and issue for so long, year in and year out, the same problem persisted and it's getting from bad to worst. For Jakarta's sake, what are the elected officials, the city council and the government been doing?
Remembered my Malaysian buddy that was stuck for 5 hours? This's his SMS at 6.35am the next morning on Feb 2, quote and unquote:
"FYI, I never got to the airport & got stuck @ Puri/Rawa Buaya area and then turn back to hse. Reached home 6.15am or 14 hours after I started. U better check traffic flow and weather, till this morning tool rd to airport still closed".
To my buddy, I feel and share your frustration too. However, we should not let this stress us out too much but to try and try to be positive, afterall, we have no choice but to manage it well.
It a short-while, it will be a trying time for me to get to the airport as the toll road is still closed.
In view of the latest traffic and flood situation update I obtained from, especially on the toll road to the airport, I rang my driver to come in earlier to send me to the airport, as I intend to leave earlier than planned, using an alternative route with the this thought, "Yes it will be a longer journey but the journey will be smooth" Amen.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Just can't understand the copywriting

Just can't help it but to blog about this ad in Kompas on page 28 at the Metropolitan section today (Jan 25, 2008)

This is a half page full color ad that cost about Rp.150++million from a property project called "GRAND MATOA". Firstly the brand tagline 'The Genuine of South Jakarta Residence'. I was really scratching my head trying to figure out what the line is trying to say? Man! The tagline is supposed to do justice for the brand but in this case, it's the opposite.

Extracting word for word the headline and bodycopy of the ad :

Headline : "Discover the sophisticated things around...."

Bodycopy : "Grand Matoa, the private residence in South Jakarta that has been arranged seriously by taking friendly-environment into consideration. Besides the exclusive minimalist architecture, experience as well leisure time in your own home with a green haven surrounding you."

After trying very hard to make sense of what the ad is trying to say, I end up scratching my already bald head even further. What on earth is that all about? Perhaps, the only reason that I can think of is that the copy was done in Bahasa Indonesia and translated to English word for word. Well, my Bahasa Indonesia is not good at all but trying to read the copy in it gives me a rough idea but still, half baked. I supposed the main point here is to understand the idea behind the writing and then do the translation within the context.

Then again, this might not be a copywriter or an ad agency who created this ad but, the marketer of the property themsleves who are the wannabes of a creative person. Who knows, there are lots of them out there.

What a waste of good money.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

SIMPLICITY in Advertising

Reference is made with this book >>The 22 Irrefutable Laws of Advertising<< All advertising practitional should have this book to at least, be used as a guide in maintaining some decency in their work. Better still, the clients and marketers in MarCom should also be reading it as well so as to have a better understanding in the thought processes of their Agency. Although the book has been in print and copyright @2004, the case studies put forth are as relevant today as it was then when these ideas were first used.

The word 'simplicity' is so simple yet it is so hard to digest and be accepted when ads are created based on its philosophy. Perhaps it is the fault of the creative and the brand team in the agency who fail to sell the idea to the client. Then again, it might be the client who thought the idea was too 'simple' and hence unacceptable. Obviously there are many more arguments to it than just meet the eyes but, it is essential to have a strong and compelling reason in order to be simple. It's just not that 'simple' afterall.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Premier Lounge T2 Soekarno Hatta

With my ANZ platinum card, myself to make full use of the lounge FOC, Thanks ANZ despite having to pay the high renewal fee. Nevertheless, it was well worth it since I get to use this facility at least once a month, not to mention I can also get free 2 free drinks and snacks at Starbucks, only at Soekarno Hatta, Jakarta airport.

With about an hour and a half to spare before my flight, I thought might as well I blog about this. The Premier Lounge located at the far end of gate D had undergone some major renovation since the 4th quarter of 2007, if I am not mistaken, and I must admit that the modern minimalist decor is really a far cry from what the lounge used to be. Credits must be given to the management of the lounge to undertake such a massive uplifting for the place. It is now very well lit, nice combination of glass and wood panelling, a cool bar that serves soft drinks as well as some selected alcholic beverages. There were a few different sofa designs all in the shades of brown and beige. On the wall, they have several flat screen TVs. And the smoking room is now 1,000% better than the previous one with sofas and it is separated from the main lounge by a clear glass wall.

Right in the middle of the lounge is the food bar. Although it's just finger food, I must say that they have a lot of variety as everytime I am here, there seems to be new stuff. Also, they do serve some fried mee, at times fried rice and there is always 2 types of soups. Local soto and pumpkin soup today. They also have a rotating dispenser for the salads and desserts as well. My favorite is the coffee making machine, where I can just click on the button to make myself a warm cup of cappucino, what's more, there are 2 coffee making machines. Cool!

The whole place is wi-fi for internet connection and it's free too. For those who choose to travel light, just like me with just my backpack, they provide 8 PCs at the far end of the lounge (this is where I am blogging from now) neatly arranged 4 in a row facing each other with a translucent glass divider. Unfortunately, the speed is a little slow to my liking but then again it's free usage and internet connection. Can't complained though. The staff here are friendly too.

With such a set-up, I wouldn't mind the waiting time prior to boarding the plane. So, for those who like to cut it fine, to the very last minute, before leaving the office for the airport, the Premier Lounge might be the next best alternative.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Riding on the winds of change.

Some say that traditional advertising is going to get real tough in the next 3 to 5 years where there are no boundaries in this digital era. Agencies who do not re-invent themsleves will find it hard to even cover their operational cost let alone be profitable.

Is this a reality check for the people working in a small ad agency as opposed to the well established multi-national agencies that has the resources and manpower to change? How would a small ad agency weather the storm and overcome such turbulences?

I wonder.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Overpaid Maid's Cooking

This morning my creative head decided to mossy to the office after spending some Rp20,000 at the wet market getting her ingredients to cook in the office. Well, she's at it again, messing up the kitchen preparing to cook for 4 people including herself.
It was not the first time she cooks in the office, but the first time in 2008. Nothing new as far as the dishes are concerned. Well...just tauhu and tempe goreng with bayam bening. As for the rice, we have to get the maid to go to the warteg to buy it. Oh...not forgeting, the superHOT sambal terasi.
Simple yet appetizing for some, tambah and tambah especially my brand if she has nothing else to eat.. :)
I did eat some of it, taste not bad actually!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Hello to All

What better way to start blogging on a new year's day. Actually, I have been contemplating on blogging for a while now and finally did it. (Hmm..pat on the back!)
Being new to this, I envisaged there will be lots of changes on my blog. Still toying around and figuring out how to do this and how to do that...well....just got to keep on going, I supposed. Nevertheless, pointers and sugesstions most welcome.