Collections of E-mail Blasts (Latest at the bottom)

3rd November 2011 – 14th November 2011

 

3rd November 2011 – Hippie Days!!

 

Folks,

More articles have been added to take your minds away from the toxic environment that is so pervasive in our society nowadays.

 

First up is a look at how some of our friends have changed over the years. You can see how some of the buayas and ayams (under Buaya and Ayam Club) looked like in the younger days and how they look now in their retirement days. Please ensure that your chairs are well anchored to the floor when you look at the photos, because you run the risk of falling off the chairs if you laugh too hard.

 

It is amazing that despite knowing someone for years, not only working with them, but also having regular lunches and weekly golf, you still sometimes discover new things about them. Never in a million years would I have guessed that my old buddy, Ang Ting Kang, was part of the Canadian hippie movement! He was so well known that they called him “The Hippie Sifu”. His reputation even crossed the border into the USA that Bob Dylan once invited him to be part of his back-up band. He did perform for a while, playing the bongo and tambourine, but unfortunately Mr Dylan had to drop him after a few gigs as he was stoned most of the time. Now I know why all his sentences start with four letter words and end with four letter words.

 

Next, a new buaya has been inducted into the Buaya and Ayam Club (in the Buaya and Ayam News). His name is Mr James (the ever smiling salesman) Kwai, NHS No. 257930. He is a former colleague of mine at VADS. As expected I have already received a note of protest from the good Mr Kwai, and I have also been told that I should be receiving a “cease and desist” letter from his lawyer, Mr Karpal Singh, soon. We all love you James!!! Especially the women.

 

Next, I took part in the PIKOM Annual Charity Golf Tournament last Tuesday at Glenmarie Golf Club. Whilst the golf wasn’t great, the day was thoroughly enjoyed while being burned by the hot sun. So if you see me walking around with my face as red as the crabs from Fatty Crabs Restaurant, you know why.

 

Finally there’s a guide to driving in Malaysia, but this is not meant for my Malaysian friends. This is for my foreign friends who are intending to visit Malaysia. My Malaysian friends must skip this, as reading it may result in sudden convulsion of the body that may result in severe abdominal cramps.

 

4th November 2011 – Selamat Hari Raya Qurban

 

Dear Friends,

I know by now, many of you would have wondered what has possessed me to become a blogger. Well first, I categorically deny that I am a blogger. I don’t like the term. It sounds like “bugger”, and I am not in the business of buggering people. That I leave to the politicians!! Like someone who has to go to court to defend himself. Jeez!!! Some people just cannot change. Despite the religious upbringing, still cannot change his habit. This is when “nature” sometimes still beat “nurture”!

 

I do not support any political parties, and I definitely will not in the future join any. I don’t even vote!!! Not because of apathy, but there’s just no one that I believe in to vote for.

 

I am doing this because like a lot of you, I am just tired of all the rubbish that you hear every day and how our society has become so fractious and polarized (nothing to do with the cute polar bear, ok!!!).

 

Is this the society that you want your children to live in? I don’t have children of my own, so I don’t give a shit. And if I have lots of money I would have migrated already!

 

We have been fed with a daily dose of conspiracies, and what not, and we just sit and complain. We are good at that, aren’t we? And we blame everyone!! But we are the ones at fault!! Don’t blame the politicians, when we are (not me!) the ones who voted them in. Don’t blame the Malaysian traffic when we are the ones contributing to the traffic jam. Don’t blame the civil servants, because we are the ones that pay their salaries. Blame ourselves!!! Because our level of apathy is so bad, that we just don’t care!!! We have failed as a society!!!

 

I know some of you are cringing when you read my articles. I make no apologies for it. I am not hurting your jobs, I am not hurting your family, and I am not hurting your bank accounts. I am just hurting your mind, but there’s a lot more out there that can hurt your mind a lot more than me. So too bad!!!

 

Neither would I apologize to some of the CEOs of big companies (that sometimes pretend to be my friend when they need my help). I don’t need your jobs (though I don’t have real job now), neither would I want to work for you. And don’t say you don’t have big egos. Every CEOs have big egos!! I was one of you, at one time and my ego was definitely much bigger than the golf balls that I can whack over 200 yards with just my 7 wood!!! And if you feel upset, it’s time to make way for someone else.

 

I don’t want to one day drop dead, and when I meet my maker and He asks me what  have you done for society, I just said nothing, I was too busy trying to make money (not that I have money either now).

 

So to those of my friends who have friends up there, tell them that they are screwing us all here. Malaysia belongs to all Malaysians, irrespective of race! We all deserve a lot better than this. Stop behaving likes apes (though I know some believe we evolved from apes but have we really evolved??).

 

I will not stop writing the articles, nor will I be bought over like some bloggers. If am offered money, I will still take it though, but I won’t change my views.

 

To my Muslim friends, Selamat Hari Raya Qurban, and to my non-Muslim friends, have a good holiday and please go and holiday outstation, so that I can enjoy traffic free KL and traffic free golf at KLGCC.

 

Cheers!!!

 

6th November 2011 – Fergie, Manager of the Century

 

Friends,

Before some of you get excited and think that the above Fergie is the buxom singer from the Black Eyed Peas, and expecting to read salacious details about her, sorry, I am referring to Sir Alex Ferguson (who?? I hear the non-football fans saying), my fellow Capricorn.

 

Why am I writing about him? One, simply because I am a long-time fan of Manchester United (boooo!!! I hear the Liverpool fans shouting), two, because he has done what no other modern English Premier League manager has done, being the manager of MU for 25 years and winning 27 major titles, and three, because he is what a manager/leader should be.

 

One who not only can harness talents, but also manage them, control them, and let them shine without taking credit for them. Good managers/leaders are hard to come by these days (even though we seem to have so many Ivy League graduates running companies nowadays, their managerial/leadership skills suck). There is a lot one can learn from this sprightly soon to be 70 year old man. So whilst, the article is about a football management genius, it is not just for football fans (MU fans, I mean), it is my attempt at subliminal messaging.

 

Big words for the philistine out there!! I wonder whether I can carve out a new theory out of this subliminal messaging thing and win the Nobel Prize, like that chap from Israel, Daniel Kahnerman, who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2002 for his “loss aversion” theory (See my tips on the stock market). For the Malaysians amongst you, loss aversion means “takut kalah”. That also can win Nobel Prize ar?? All of us in Malaysia are very familiar with that theory. And our neighbours across the causeway have been practising it for decades, except it is called “kiasu”.

 

I also talk about customer service by relating my experience dealing with my favourite broadband provider now, YES, and a little bit about transformation in the same article. Transformation as you all know is the rave now in Malaysia. I wonder whether the government had funded the movie “The Transformers”. I must say that I enjoyed watching the latest sequel of “The Transformers” more than the transformation efforts by the government.

 

On my weekly commentaries, I have decided to join the so called “heated debate” on the banned “Seksualiti Merdeka” festival. I have tried to be as unbiased and unprejudiced as possible. Suffice to say that at the end of the day, everyone is at fault and everyone should start singing R.E.S.P.E.C.T like Aretha Franklin. Too young to know who Aretha Franklin is or too old to remember??? I’ll send you my illegal MP3 if you want.

 

To my English friends who have been wondering what on earth is he babbling about and what happened to his Queen’s English. Well, my dear English, Scottish and Welsh friends, due to the Malaysian government policy, we are no longer allowed to speak Queen’s English (even though the most powerful person in the country now is the “Queen” with the Birkin handbags in all available colours), and we have to speak and write “Manglish”, a Malaysian version of English.

 

Why? Because we want to leave our colonial past behind. Sorry Ma’am (to HM Queen Elizabeth II). So, you will find many sentences ending with “la” and many questions ending with “ar”. And since winter is beginning to set, come over to Malaysia to enjoy the sunny and (eh) rainy beaches and 200 golf courses whilst everyone else’s freezes in the cold. And it is going to get much colder when Greece is finally declared bankrupt, and the Germans start invading the rest of Europe to prevent the collapse of the European Monetary System, and you will be forced to eat “sauerkraut” for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!

 

Please let me re-iterate that the website is not a “blog”, and neither is it a forum. So I will only comment once on any headline, and I will not be commenting again on the headline. As Mr Rene Artois (from “Allo, Allo”, my one time favourite British comedy) would say, “Listen carefully, I will zay this only wanz”.

 

And to my friends who find my web-site too “bedazzled” by the graphics on the site, my sincere apologies. I believe in visual presentation and the “shock and awe” method of General Colin Powell (these Americans still have some use sometimes, though it is beginning to look like the beginning of the Asian Renaissance). So you better wear shades!!

 

7th November 2011 – Tribute to Nicol David, The World Greatest Female Squash Player

 

Yup, you read it right, our “pocket dynamite”, Nicol David has become the greatest female squash player of all time. I think it is only a matter of time before she becomes the greatest squash player, male or female” of all time, when she beat Jehangir Khan’s record 9 world titles.

 

See, Malaysians can achieve world success (other than having the tallest flag pole, or the highest twin towers, or the most nasi lemak eaten at one gathering!!!), if only they put their mind to it, and have the right ATTITUDE!!! Attitude is everything, to quote the great Sir Winston Churchill. This is a man who used to be so drunk at social gatherings that he disgusted many of those “upper class” ladies in the British society. Nobody can forget his famous retort to a lady who said to him, “You are drunk Winston!!”, and he said “Ma’am, tomorrow I will be sober, but you will still be ugly!!!”, or something like that. Ouch!!!!

 

Yes, folks, attitude is everything, and it is Nicol’s right attitude that got her to where she is now. Never once she complained when she lost. Instead she kept saying how she needs to learn from her defeat and keep improving. As said by Josh Billings (who???), “Success does not consist in never making blunders, but in never making the same one a second time”, and Evan Esar (double who???), “Success is the good fortune that comes from aspiration, desperation, perspiration and inspiration”. I am definitely inspired by this little lady.

 

So to all my fellow Malaysians, let us all rejoice in this great achievement of a fellow Malaysian who has to be based in a foreign land (the Netherlands) and trained by an Ozzie (Sarah Fitzgerald) to achieve world success.

 

To my foreign friends, we may not have invented squash, but we certainly know how to squash the rest of the world!!!

 

8th November 2011 – PPTN Defaulters Just Can’t Be Bothered

 

Folks,

I know I have exceeded my quota of 2 commentaries per week, but I just can’t help myself when I saw the above headline in the NST today.

 

This is another example of bad attitude that is prevalent in our society today! The government has disbursed more than RM40 billion to date. That’s equivalent to about 9% of the size of the Malaysian economy!!! And how much has been collected? A mere RM3.7 billion, not even 10%!

 

Unbelievable, isn’t it? The CFO’s amongst you, I am sure will be shaking your heads!

 

Whilst the blame must go to these irresponsible former students, the government has got to be smarter about the collections. Otherwise one day, we will find students, especially from the lower income family, deprived of higher education. Here we are trying to make Malaysia an education hub by attracting “full-fee paying” foreign students (100,000 in the country now), our very own students are treating the government like their own piggybank!!

 

I am not trying to help the government, but I pity future students who will be deprived. Not only are they being kicked around like a football by the government (on the language issue), now they may also be deprived of higher education!! I know most of you can afford to send your children to higher education facilities without having to borrow from the PPTN, but many others can’t.

 

So if you know any of your staff or anyone related to you being guilty of not repaying their loans, give them a good kick up their arse!!

 

For the golfers amongst you, there are updates on your golfing “buddies” in the Buaya and Ayam Club.

 

By the way, I also want to thank some of you for the many nice comments that I have received. Someone also suggested that I start using Twitter to get more followers. I have to admit that I find Twitter rather unexciting and difficult for me personally. I just find it hard to convey my messages with just 140 characters. And what’s the verb for using Twitter, “to twitter” or to “twit”. Hmmm, I am sure my British friends can tell you that a “twit” is an idiot. And what’s the past tense, “twat”? That’s even worse! As my British friends will again be able to tell you, “twat” is part of the female anatomy. I am not going to say which one. Suffice to say that in this part of the world or more specifically in America, a furry cute domesticated animal is used instead to describe it.

 

9th November 2011 – Bunga Bunga

 

Folks,

Since I have already exceeded the quota on commentaries for the week, this week’s addition is on the English football team and not part of the Weekly Commentaries. Since there will be no EPL games this weekend, I don’t want to deprive the football fans amongst you of a good story.

 

I am not going to lambast the non-MU teams this week, but instead focus on the forever underachieving English football team. The story is about the decision by the English Football Association (FA) to choose a strip club as the base for the English team for next year’s “Euro 2012”.

 

Why would the FA choose a strip club (as their training base) to send 20 of the horniest footballers in England? Well, that’s what happened when you have an Italian (Signore Fabio Capello) as the manager. As we all know the Italian Prime Minister, Signore Silvio Berlusconi, is famous for his “bunga bunga” parties, and guess where her learn it from, Muammar Gadaffi, the dead former Libyan numero uno! Gadaffi, as everyone knows, loved being surrounded by women. Yet, despite his quirkiness, he actually treated women better than anywhere else in the middle-east!!! This is the only middle-eastern country where women actually thrived!!! Ironic, isn’t it??? It needed a crazy Arab dictator, to actually show that Islam is not prejudiced towards women!!!

 

Damned!!! Why didn’t I think about working there earlier??

 

For those who don’t know what “bunga bunga” is or think that “bunga bunga” means flowers (as in the Malay language), the term definitely do not refer to the plant type, but to parties that are definitely more colourful than flowers, sex parties!!!

 

The strange thing is,bunga bunga” is not even an Italian phrase. But it dates from 1910 or maybe even earlier and it refers to something that involved the English author, Virginia Woolf in Australia in 1910. Nobody knows why the phrase was used, and Virginia Woolf is long dead to explain why!!! And as for those who are into literature, Virginia Woolf was quite a neurotic woman (but then a lot of female writers are!). This was brilliantly depicted by the beautiful Nicole Kidman in the movie “The Hours” which won her an Academy Award (The Oscar, for the philistine amongst you), for best actress in 2002.

 

So, back to the English football team, it looks like it is going to be another underachieving year in 2012. What a shame!!! Oh well, better than the Malaysian football team who is ranked 151 out of 203 in the world.

 

11th November 2011 – SEA or “C” Games

 

So, the C Games (oops, SEA Games), is here again, this time hosted by Indonesia, and Malaysia sending the largest contingent ever to an athletic event, except that out of the 861 in the official contingent, 261 are not athletes. That’s 30% of the contingent. Mainly paid for by you, the taxpayers!!! Not my money, I am not paying tax!!

 

Oh, there will also be 338 others going (and probably also partly paid by you, the taxpayers), who have been classified as “VIPs” and “observers”, also known as the “kay poh chi brigade”!

                                                                                                                       

What’s the big deal? It’s only RM2.2 million!! Not even enough to replace my burned Lamborghini that I drove only during weekends! I hear someone say.

 

I know, with RM2.2 million, you can’t even get a couple of “His” and Hers” R8s! For the non-Malaysians, cars are damned expensive in Malaysia. Just an example, a Mercedes E200 CGI that costs USD49,000 in the UK, costs USD117,000 in Malaysia. More than double the price!! And the higher the car price, the bigger the multiples. So a couple of “His” and “Hers” R8s, will cost RM2.5 million in Malaysia, (or USD796,000), far higher than the USD276,000 they will cost in the UK!! And the modest new Mercedes CLS350 that I have been drooling at, which costs USD80,000 in the UK, costs USD234,000 in Malaysia!! Why??? Because Malaysia and Malaysians need to protect their national car, the Proton!! Yes, there are cars called Proton, though not with atomic powered engines!!

 

However it is not the amount of money spent that I am concern with. It is the fact that we are still wasting our money sending athletes to a biennial event that not only has failed is original intention of regional solidarity and providing a platform for regional athletes to shine, but has now become a tool for politicians to rouse patriotic fervour and for whatever other agendas that they may have.

 

On top of that, hosts have become so desperate that cheating has become so rampant, and the spirit of sportsmanship has totally been forgotten in the pursuit of worthless medals. And let’s not go into the subject of corruption. As with many of these events, the current one is also blighted by corruption allegations! But then, what isn’t, in Indonesia?? Where everything is “Boleh, Pak!”, as long as the right amount of money is also slipped into his pocket! We have a bit more class in Malaysia. We put the money in a red “ang pow” envelope or better still, we use on-line banking to transfer the amount!

 

Being an avid sports fan, I have not watched the SEA Games for many years. Why bother, when we are just aiming to be the best amongst the losers? Like the 151 ranked Malaysian football team, fighting it out with the 114th ranked Thailand team (which we beat 2-1), the 140th ranked Indonesian team and the 139th ranked Singaporean team (which are mainly filled with non-Singapore born players who have been given citizenships to represent Singapore!). Anyone in the top 100 of the FIFA Ranking???

 

And so, more than a thousand athletes, coaches, observers, and VIPs will be making the short flight to Indonesia (many of them paid by you, the tax payers), to bring home around 45 gold medals!!! And how many medals are on offer? 542!!!! Our target is not even 10 percent of the total. The flight of mediocrity!!!

 

So tomorrow night whilst some of you watch the opening ceremony in an unfinished stadium somewhere in Indonesia, I will be preparing my Weekly Commentaries (on the Games) for you to read while having your Sunday brunch.

 

13th November 2011 – Les Liaisons Dangereuses

 

For the Francophile amongst you, the title above is not in reference to the 18th century French play or the Hollywood movie, Dangerous Liaisons, starring the brilliant Glenn Close, the awesome John Malkovich, and the delectable Michelle Pfeiffer, three of my favourite people in Hollywood. Well, who can ever forget “Fatal Attraction” (I am sure a lot of men swear they will never cheat on their wives after seeing the movie). As for Mr Malkovich, you could never recall his movies, but every time you see him in a movie, you will be impressed by his performance and shouting “oscar, oscar!”. As for the beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer, whilst she has yet to win an Academy Award (despite being nominated before), you can’t help but fall in love with this sweet yet strong woman. She probably doesn’t need an Oscar, and being married to one of the most successful American television writer and producer, David E. Kelly, she hardly acts nowadays.

 

Ok, enough of the nice world of Hollywood. What I am referring above is the dangers that your children are exposed to on the internet.

 

For those who do not read the New Straits Times (because they are owned by the ruling party), the paper has been carrying a trilogy (which ended today) on the sad case of a seven year old girl raped by four boys age between ten and thirteen.

 

We don’t hear this kind of case in Malaysia. In fact crimes committed by children are a rarity in this country.

 

So why did the boys behave in such dastardly manner? They saw a porn video clip (downloaded from the internet) on a handphone, and decided to emulate the actors on the clip!!!

 

I am not going to go further into what these boys did. The few words in the three paragraph above is enough to make me sick, and I am sure many of you too. So let’s focus on why the internet can be dangerous for children and what parents are doing about it.

 

Many of you think that I am an internet neophyte because of my lack of twitter usage. Well, I have been using the internet since 1992, when Jaring first introduced the internet to Malaysia. That’s why my other e-mail is fathi@pop.jaring.my. You can hardly find people with that e-mail in the country nowadays. Well, I am not going to continue bragging about my internet knowledge but want to share my experience on the net that will most likely frighten some of you parents out there.

 

Sometime in the mid-90s, a few of us golfers decided to take part in what was once a famous chatting medium on the internet called, Internet Relay Chat (IRC). IRC still exists today, though I don’t know how popular it is now.

 

In the 90s, IRC was “The” place for socializing on the internet. It is like a big food court with thousands of stalls and people move from one stall to another chatting with everyone. In IRC, the stalls come in the form of “channels”. There are practically more than a million channels worldwide which can be accessed by anyone with  an internet connection and the “client” software which can be downloaded for free. In Malaysia, the most popular channels were “#Mamak”, “#KLSEX” and “#Sexmelayu”. On any given day, they will be hundreds on this channels, and coming from all over the world, and from every age group.

 

So, us golfers decided to start a “#Golf” channel, as a means to communicate and to chat with our fellow golfers. Channels are basically run by “Bots”, short for “Robots”, which are not the moving kind but computer scripts.

 

We of course have our own “Bot”, but before long we noticed that our channel was taken over by a “Bot” running from somewhere in the Scandinavia. Since the invading “Bot” did not bother us, we just decided to let it be.

 

But then slowly we noticed that there were other “Bots” trying to take control of our channel. After some investigation, we found out that these “Bots” were coming from local schools, one of it from the Garden International School. And before long there were “fights” between the kids running these “Bots”. And not only expletives were used during these fights, these kids could not have been more than 15 years of age!!! Hey, who haven’t heard of school yard fights during our schooling days, right? In fact I was involved in many, and that’s how I picked up the Chinese language!!!

 

But what was frightening is the fact that these kids were also in those sex themed channels, and God knows what else they get up to outside the channels and in the real world. And these are not children of “odd job workers and labourers” that those four kids above are!! These are children from middle-class families who have their own PCs at home. We are talking about the mid 90s here! How many kids have their own PCs then?

 

That was the mid 90s. Today every suburban household has at least one PC, and kids access them. What are they accessing? I bet most of you don’t know what your children actually see on the net. Let me share you some statistics. Below is the total number of web-pages on the net, based on subject.

 

 

Number of pages

Subject

1999

2004

2007

2009

sex

14,896,710

347,000,000

425,000,000

755,000,000

politics

2,996,060

62,900,000

247,000,000

486,000,000

wine

2,324,620

57,000,000

230,000,000

244,000,000

dogs

1,893,440

35,600,000

158,000,000

176,000,000

 

Before you start putting your PCs under lock and key, and stop your children from accessing the internet, think!!!

 

We are fond of blaming someone or something for everything that ails the world. In the sad case above, everyone seems to be blaming the fact that the kids had access to internet porn, since they are just children of “odd job workers and labourers”! This is like saying that only people with university degrees should be parents!!

 

To me parents are to be blamed!! I am not saying this because I am not a parent. Why blame the internet? Yes, internet porn is omnipresent. Just look at the statistics above. Many of us have accessed them (don’t lie la, and pretend to be innocent!!!). According to another statistics, USD3,076 is spent on internet pornography every second!!!! That’s USD11 million per hour!!! That’s USD266 million per day, and USD97 billion a year!!! Every second 28,258 internet users are viewing pornography!!! You want to lie some more????

 

So, it’s the internet to be blamed, I hear someone shouting!!! Well, there are illegal drugs at every corner of the street in the United States!!! Does that mean every American is a drug user? No!!!

 

Why, because we tell our children that drugs are bad.

 

But have you parents ever taught your children what not to see on the internet? How many of you installed “filters” on the PCs that your children use? These are not the filters you use for your piped waters, ok???

 

So while you read this, think carefully!!!

 

What happened to that seven year old girl is very, very, sad!!! She may never recover from the trauma. But what is even more sad, is the fact that the four boys may never be taught what they did is extremely wrong, not only legally but morally too. And the parents may regret it for the rests of their lives for not being parents that they should be!!! And before everyone declaring, I am a good father/mother, read again about my experience in the mid 90s above. Those kids could have been your kids!!!

 

14th November 2011 – The Book of Jobs

 

Before some of my Christian friends start shouting “blasphemy!”, the above is not referring to the “Book of Job”, (without the “s”), one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. Whilst Job is mainly known to the world as a Christian Prophet, and descendent of Noah, he is also known in the Quran, as the Prophet (Nabi) Ayub. Yes, folks, there are a lot more similarities between the two religions than differences, but as usual we humans prefer to focus on the differences!

 

Anyway, I am not here to discuss about religion, as I am not qualified to do so. The above refers to the book, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (the CEO of the Aspen Institute and former managing editor of Time magazine). I just bought the books after seeing the review in the Star a few weeks ago. I am not going to provide an analysis of the book (which I have just started reading), but to discuss the MAN that the world mainly knows as the creator of Apple (not the fruit!!! That’s invented by God, though I know some Apple fan thought Steve Jobs was god!), who unfortunately passed away recently due to pancreatic cancer.

 

A man who I have hated for many years, for producing “brilliant” products, none of which I can tinker with. Why, oh why, oh Steve Jobs?

 

He was a genius, no doubt about it. And like all geniuses, assholes as well, and very strange!! He did not bathe for a long time. Why? Because he only ate vegetables and fruits, that he believed that his body is so pure that he did not need to bathe. Until his friends and colleagues could not take it and threw him out of meetings a number of times!!!

 

He did not believe in modern medicine either. In fact one doctor believes that he died from pancreatic cancer because he preferred unconventional medical treatment and left it too late before seeking proper medical treatment!

 

So why do I hate him so much despite agreeing that he’s a genius and produced great products? Hey, who haven’t used the iPod, iPhone, and now iPad? I haven’t!!! And will never do!!!

Because these products whilst “brilliant”, were made for those who are computer illiterates, and the majority of computer users are actually computer illiterates. Sorry folks, I am not insulting you!!

 

Some people think they are computer literates just because they use e-mails, surf the web and use Microsoft office. Not to me, I am afraid. Even the djins (spirits) are able to surf the net nowadays, apparently, based on the report in Sinar Harian (a local Malay daily that I have never even heard of!). The paper reported that the Kelantan Islamic Medicine Association chairman said that djins are able to “connect” with humans through the internet, including Facebook. “Once I treated someone who became delirious because a spell had been cast on him while he was surfing the internet”, said the chairman, one Zaki Ya. Ya, right!!! I am sure the “victim” was delirious after stumbling onto the Playboy site on the net!!!

 

The above “computer savviness”  may make you the CEO of some listed company, and even carry an iPad around. But in today’s environment, the above abilities are basic necessities for modern men (and women). Though I do know of one or two CEOs who still do not know how to use e-mail, and needed the secretaries to type their e-mails!!!

 

But let’s face it, there are no product in the world that come even close to Apple products when it comes to their brilliance!

 

An Apple product is like a special car (let’s call it iCar), that all you need to do is, open the door, sit inside, switch on the engine and drive. You don’t need to even engage the gear, you don’t need to fill the car with petrol, you don’t need to pump air into the tyres, and you cannot open the bonnet to see how the engine looks like. Because the iCar rarely breaks down, and if it does, all you need to do is stop driving and send the iCar to the mechanics who will spend at least 15 days to repair it!! In the meantime, don’t drive or try to drive other non-iCar cars, because you may have forgotten how to use a car!! I HATE THAT!!!

 

I have been on the internet since 1992 (when the internet first came to Malaysia). I have used laptops since the same year, when laptops were rare, and when I first came up with my website in 2000, I had to learn HTML to write the website.

 

Yet in the last ten years, I have never sent my many laptops (all Windows based) to IT shops for repairs. Not that they never break down. Anyone who uses Windows based system knows that Windows breaks down on a daily basis, until now, with the introduction of Windows 7 (which I really like). I would know what to do when they break down. Either debugging the damned operating system (OS), having to defrag the hard-disk, or change the partitions, or if all fails, just reinstall the damned OS. And if any of the hardware fails, just open up the damned thing and buy a replacement part at Low Yat Plaza or at Digital Mall. YOU CAN’T DO THAT WITH APPLE!!!!

 

Steve Jobs was not just a brilliant inventor, he actually was a brilliant and “evil” business man, just like his arch enemy, Bill Gates! They both rely on domination. By having products that dominate, iTune (for music downloads), and Windows (which still has more than 85% of market share for OS), they are able to control a lot of things. No PC maker in the world would dare change their OS from Windows. Just ask HP, Dell, Acer, Toshiba, and many others. To the philistine out there, an Apple iMac is not a PC, ok?

And no music company can refuse to put their songs on iTune!!!

 

But both companies changed the world, and without them the world would have been far less boring. Whilst Steve Jobs has succumbed to cancer, Bill Gates has somewhat repented and become a philanthropist. Give me some of those money!!!!

 

And both did not finish university!!!! Sometimes I laughed when I see my friends scrambling every year to get their children into the best universities around the world, and deprived their children of real education!!!

 

Those two guys are no doubt born geniuses. But it is the environments they were in that nurtured them to become what they are.

 

Gates was no doubt had a privileged upbringing. After all his father was a prominent lawyer and the mother sat on the boards of many companies. But I bet they did not freak out when he dropped out of Harvard University (of all places!).

 

As for Jobs, he was born out of wedlock (to a Syrian Muslim father and a Catholic mother) and given away at birth. But he was adopted by a loving couple, a machinist and a book-keeper. He did not attend any Ivy League University, but went to Reed College in Portland and dropped out after one semester. After dropping out, whilst sleeping on the floor of a friend’s room, he returned coke bottles to earn money for food, and got weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple!

 

What do they have in common? The single mindedness and ferocious desire to succeed. Both were impossible to work with! And both were described as aloof, nasty managers!!! To quote a passage from the book, “Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair”. I would love to have worked for him!!

 

How many times have we heard about geniuses born in the country, only to disappear from the radar screen after a few years? Why, because the first thing everyone wants to do to these kids is get them into the best universities.

 

Remember, the poor Malay/Pakistani girl who went to Oxford to study mathematic at 13 years of age? She ended up as a prostitute after taking her final examination paper!!! Why? Her parents pushed her so hard, that she just crumbled in the end. What a real shame!!!

 

Even geniuses can become a social wreck if nurtured wrongly (I know that’s an oxymoron!). That’s why I still believe leaders are made, not born!!

 

What made Bill Gates and Steve Jobs into what they are/were (this is tricky as one is still alive and one is dead, and some of my friends are already questioning my grammar!) is not because they were born geniuses. But because they were nurtured by their parents to be the best that they can be without pushing them into a draconian life style that I sometimes notice some of my friends put their children through! Schools from 7 to 1, piano classes from 2 to 5, ballet/judo/karate from 6 to 8, homework from 9 to 10, and bed by 10.30!!! Sounds familiar??? It is worse than working and not getting paid for it!! Oh well, what do I know, I am not a parent!!!!

 

Back to the book, I have only gone through a few chapters, but I just could not put the book down. The only other time a book did that to me was when I bought Dan Brown’s “The Davinci Code”! I normally do my reading at night just before going to bed. The idea is to make me go to sleep. Not easy when you have an unquiet mind! But instead of making me go to sleep, I just kept going and going until my eyes could not take it anymore!

 

So if you are in MPH, look out for the book, except at Bangsar Village, as I took the last copy. There are other Steve Jobs books, but you can’t miss this one. It is all white, with just the photo of his face on it with “Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson” on top. It is amazing to read just why the book was written. Steve had actually requested it to be written, but unlike other autobiographies where the subjects asked for the books to be written, he gave Isaacson full control. He did not even read the draft before it was published, and he told Isaacson that he may not even read the book when it’s published. A truly “no-holds barred” book.

 

But I bet just before he died, he read the book and smiled to himself before his last breath.

 

R.I.P. Steve Job!! YOU’RE THE MAN!!!

 

 

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