Friday, May 06, 2016

Borneo Asian Food by Sugarbun (Opens 9 May2016)



Let's be honest here, most of us who have visited East Malaysia find it hard to get good food there. Its not that they do not exist but rather we do not know where they are located. Sugarbun has had a long history and footprint in East Malaysia. However it is not the usual Sugarbun outlet that is opening here. Its the holistic approach to present very good East Malaysian food types in the form of a multi station restaurant concept, Borneo Asian Food.

I had the opportunity to taste almost every single item on the menu the other day for "food tasting". Here I have to say that I have not been paid to write this and actually they did not even ask me to blog about this.

A lot of thought and planning has gone behind the dishes, though most are simple stuff but the ingredients are well sourced with plenty from eco farms in Sabah. Let's drill down:


CHICKEN

This is from Sugarbun's original kitchen. Suffice to say their Broasted chicken is excellent, seriously better than KFC. they also have a sambal fried Chicken which is not bad. A popular chicken dish is their Kano chicken, which may have been very popular among East Malaysians but may not suit the taste buds of West Malaysians as its a bit tomatooey, but I am sure some may like the taste.
Broasted Chicken 9.5/10
Sambal chilli Chicken 9/10
Kano Chicken 7/10




FISH

Their fish section should be the most popular once patrons get a taste of the fish. The garoupa fish soup is outstanding - taste of the sea and the garoupa tasted better than even live fish (if thats possible). According to the manager, all their fishes are "blast-freezed" which is technically the best way to preserve fish caught from the sea. Killing it while alive actually may cause their flesh to tighten up. You can have it with meehoon or served with soup of just fish and soup - all outstanding. Seriously the whole shebang is among the best "fish based soup" I have tasted. Its a lot like the fish head meehoon but better - you can see why as they do not need to fry the fish at all (which is a masking tactic for lack of freshness).

They also serve a milky version of the fish soup, which to me clouds the freshness of the soup a bit but that version would be closer to the local fish head meehoon.

But seriously, if you go to a full service Chinese restaurant, be prepared to pay 3x for these dishes. Great value.
Garoupa Fish Head Soup 10/10
Group Fish Head Milky Soup 8.5/10

ECO FISH

This deserves a separate mention as they are very proud of their Eco farms for this fish. Its actually tilapia, which has had a lot of bad viral news of late. However, these tilapias are from their eco farms in Sabah. It has to go with rice as its fried to a crisp, the meat is juicy and sweet, and goes so well with their two chilli sauces - both made in house with distinctive Sabahan flavours.
Eco Fish with Rice 9.5/10



BEEF

Here they have the buffalo beef balls, kneaded by hand, which may explain the higher price for this dish. Its a simple dish with soup and meehoon. But the beef balls gave a robust taste of beefiness. It may not be as 'bouncy' as the usual Chinese beef balls, probably due to not using metal sticks to whack the mince. Still its a good beefy dish. Not your usual cows but buffalo which is more expensive.
Beef balls meehoon 8/10




OTHER NOTABLES


ASSAM FISH HEAD - A very decent version. 9/10



MUSHROOM CHICKEN SOUP - Don't be fooled by the common sounding dish, this surprised me on many levels. Together with ginger, it comes together very well, much like Drunken Chicken Ginger broth but there is no wine here as its halal. Still, the broth presents a flavour that reminds me of that dish and more. I guess I do not have to go to East Malaysia to get this dish ... as I certainly haven't found it in West Malaysia ever. Great find.  10/10



SARAWAK LAKSA - Unfortunately I did not get to take a picture of the dish but its more than excellent. Certainly not watery like some of the other versions we get here. Has depth of flavour in its soup base. Might not be the best Sarawak laksa I've had but this will do.  9/10

FRIED CABBAGE with DRIED PRAWNS - This is a simple dish but they do it oh so well. Must be the dried prawns, which is not that salty but very aromatic. Just a simple cabbage with fried prawns, you didn't know it could be so tasty. Best way to have it is with fried meehoon. Spectacular yet simple.  10/10


SABAH SEAWEED - Its a popular product in East Malaysia, and they have introduced it as a refreshing salad, or you will also come across it in their luxurious "ice kacang" - its got a good crunch to it. Btw the ice kacang is pretty good too and they use "attap (palm) sugar" which is aromatic but less sickeningly sweet.

SEA SALTED MACKERAL/SARDINES - We go to East Malaysia to try their seafood , just try these two dishes and you get really fresh seafood, now at decent prices without having to go to a Chinese restaurant with live aquarium. 9/10


OPENING DAY MONDAY 9th May 2016
Menara Hap Seng,  Level 1
Jalan P. Ramlee
Monday-Friday    7.30am-8.00pm
Saturday              10.00am-2.00pm
Sunday                 Closed




Sunday, May 01, 2016

Eye In The Sky - Must Watch

This has to be one of the best films I have watched for the last few years. Not only was it entertaining, it had so much more to offer the audience.

Firstly, kudos to Malaysian government for not tinkering with the movie, heck if it was banned... most would kinda understand. To allow the movie in says a lot, in a good way. That we understand fanatics and we are against them.

The premise of the story is simple enough. Kill off a few on the top of wanted list, who happens to be radicals sending suicide bombers all over. Hence the subject matter is already relevant. But the movie brought it home to us in terms of recklessness, sheer insanity of the motive, and the depth of collateral damage.

Its kinda like James Bond except there is no James Bond. The acting was superb. What was supposed to be a simple target and kill turned into a humanity vs military professionalism vs diplomatic mess. Very real indeed.

How critical decisions cannot be made in a committee. What is responsibility, what is reprehensible. There is the commander, there are the politicians, the pilot who pulls the trigger ... you replace them with a different person... each will have differing levels of "humanity vs professionalism" that they bring to the job. 

Its a MUST SEE because it is highly entertaining, gripping ... yet make us all rethink the sheer madness of fanatics, and the awful collateral damage. As someone said about the recent suicide bombings ... it is no longer adequate to call them "suicide bombers".

Go watch the bloody movie.

btw .. Helen Mirren was outstanding.




Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Pink Elephant In The Room

Why not just elephant in the room, why need to be pink ... cause its more significant than just being an elephant in the room ... ITS PINK as well!!! And the bulk of developed countries are ignoring it, for their own benefit. Tharman is saying something very important, something that needs addressing and redress. My comments in blue.


SINGAPORE (April 7): The world economy needs something like a modern-day Plaza Accord to safeguard growth against currency market volatility, according to Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

The remarks by the Singaporean official, who is also a former finance minister, come a week before Group of 20 officials gather in Washington to discuss the state of the world economy. Similar calls ahead of a G-20 finance ministers meeting in Shanghai six weeks ago were rebuffed by top officials who said the world economy isn’t on the brink of crisis.

“We can’t keep hoping that the US Fed will postpone normalization of interest rates,” Shanmugaratnam said on Thursday in Mumbai. “But we have to have some way of preventing that eventuality from also meaning significant instability in exchange rates and capital flows at a time when Japan, Europe and China are facing very different economic conditions.”

While central banks including China, Indonesia, the euro area and Japan have pumped more stimulus into their economies since the Shanghai gathering, the moves haven’t been part of a coordinated push. Shanmugaratnam said an agree- ment modeled on the Plaza or Louvre accords would help boost growth for emerging markets as the world economy gets stuck in “second gear.”

Tharman is saying something thats critical to the global economy. We need an accord, in particular an Asian accord, because globally the world has a few trillion in debt!!! - WHO THE FUCK DO WE OWE? ... bulk of debt is from developed countries printing press, the debt is a book entry and the printing press goes into overdrive overtime the developed economies encounter a crisis - be it oil crisis, internet exuberance, sub prime mess, etc... and every single time its the smaller, more disciplined economies that get whacked.

All the while, smaller economies had to accumulate reserves that kinda backs the currency, and all the while the developed nations create book entries to pump more money for themselves to get out of trouble. After the hoo-hah, the smaller economies come out worse every time. There is no reward for discipline but the system rewards big bullies.

Market ‘short termism’
“Imperfect, doesn’t guarantee stability, but it is better than leaving it untidy to the short termism of the markets and the self-reinforcing expectations of the market,” Shanmugaratnam said. Coordination on exchange rates would include intervention operations and involve “an understanding as to the zone in which we would like the major exchange rates to be,” he said.

Shanmugaratnam made the comments while sharing a stage with Indian central bank Governor Raghuram Rajan, an outspoken critic of unconventional monetary policy. In an interview on Wednesday, Rajan called the global economy “un- stable” and worried that a reluctance to return to normalcy would lead to “ QE infinity.”

While Rajan didn’t comment directly on Shanmugaratnam’s proposal on Thursday, he said they agreed on many issues.

“The question we have to ask ourselves is are we moving in the right direction, is there a better way, could we at least try and make sure that we don’t impose costs on each other as we try to co


me out of our own difficulties?” Rajan told the conference. “Certainly there’s a lot of room for discussion.”

‘Constant volatility’
The G-20 finance ministers ended a meeting on Feb 27 with a commitment to use all policy tools to strengthen growth. The officials also pledged, for the first time, to consult closely on foreign exchange rates.

At the Plaza Hotel in 1985, the US, UK, Japan and Germany agreed a deal to bring down the dollar through concerted sell- ing on the currency market. They came together a year and half later in Paris with the aim of stabilizing the greenback after successfully engineering its decline.

“It has to be on the table for us to think about and not expect perfection,” Shanmugaratnam told reporters on Thursday. “But the alternative is one of constant volatility, and the emerging countries especially at the receiving end.” — Bloomberg LP 

Friday, April 01, 2016

Deciphering Business Talkingcockology

I read an article from The Edge which piqued my interest in how our minds are numbed by the business talkincockology. This is all in jest but it would help if we all are a bit more blunt and straight forward with our views. My comments in blue.



SINGAPORE (March 30): Sembcorp Industries plans to manage costs tightly and optimise operations and resources while maintaining flexibility through prudent financial management, says CEO Tang Kin Fei in the company’s annual report for 2015. 

("manage costs tightly and optimise operations" - both notions were non existent before ??... yea, we used to spend flagrantly and never bothered to switch off the lights or aircon ... " 

This one gets me all riled up, "optimise operations and resources" ... THIS WAS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WERE HIRED FOR in the first place!!!, why tell us now??? Its like a choir boy from a Catholic church saying "I am supposed to be good, God is love". Fuck me silly.

"maintaining flexibility through prudent financial management" - to all fresh grads, when you can say something by coating the bad news in flowery extended words, you are on your way to be CEO - basically maintaining flexibility, what kind of flexibility, .. its sacking of staff of course... we are flexible to reduce staff, thats what you are really saying.)


Tang says the marine, energy and water engineering group must overcome the near-term challenges of the global down- turn in the oil and gas sector and a competitive power market in Singapore. “Our strategy is sound and as a group, we are in this for the long haul,” says Tang.

(err ... which listed company IS NOT IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL??? "Strategy sound"... if it was, you would have anticipated or prepared for the huge correction in oil prices and downturn in global shipping business better. I am still waiting for someone to be honest and say that the oil price correction was much more severe than anyone can prepare for, at least then I know we are dealing with brutal honesty top-down.)

Sembcorp’s marine unit has been hurt by the sharp fall in oil prices. Sembcorp Marine, one of the world’s biggest marine and offshore engineering company, reported its first ever quarterly loss last month. Geographically, Tang sees India and China utilities operations growing into major profit contributors in the future. 

 Tang says it is important to build Sembcorp’s future as a global company.
“This means taking advantage of value-enhancing, strategically attractive opportunities that may arise, and also building platforms for growth.”

(Wow! the last line takes the cake, how to say a lot of words that are basically numb-skulling and brain-freezing. Saying a lot that is obvious without saying anything. Basically its like me saying:

Lubricate your posterior's cavity as we will propel a cylindrical shaped object through the orifice = Fuck your ass.)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Why US Election Matters - Why Global Investors Keep Looking To United States For Guidance

I am sure some will say, look into your own backyard when it comes to politics. Well, the average Malaysian is intimately involved and knowledgeable about our local politics. We are swimming against a huge tide but we know where we are and we can possibly see the light at the end of the tunnel (I hope).

But why bother about US election? I have always maintained that the US government is so well structured, with sufficient checks and balances that it is very hard for an idiot President to ruin the country... e.g. two terms of George W Bush would testify to that. But somehow, the thought of Trump being POTUS is quite unbearable - its like sending one of the privileged Kims (from North Korea) to head Unicef.

But to even consider that he could have enough nominations by the delegates is a major point of contention. How can an average person vote for him? That would indicate that there are sufficient rednecks, racists, with IQs below 90 around ... and thats scary. 

Are we suddenly back in 1901???

It now looks like a forgone conclusion that Trump will get the Republican nod. Thankfully Hilary will get the Democratic nod. Thankfully many of the Democrats who sided with Sanders will eventually vote for Clinton. Thankfully there are a substantive number of Republicans who got out voted in the primaries who will vote for Clinton so that Trump does not get in. 

To get an idea of the "value" Trump brings ... even Putin endorses him. What gives? Next thing you know Kim junior of North Korea will also endorse him.

Obama's election saw a huge turnout by blacks which helped him substantially. Trump has offended so many, blacks may still turn up but not as much as for Obama (mind you Obama will be campaigning too for Clinton) ... all minorities will turn out in droves to vote against Trump. Spanish speakers dominate many states, its just that plenty of them are not aligned to any party officially to make a dent in the delegates.

Why is POTUS important? Read below. But more, how is Trump going to deal with other world issues with his "summarise the arguments in two sentences" and just pick an option and go with it strategy. His proposed solutions are populist leaning, racist, over generalised opinions that border on stupidity ... 


WHY AMERICA MATTERS ....

Thats the first thing you learn when you step into an investment career, but do we know why. I mean, we know its big, but just how big? This map shows clearly why. It dissects out the states of the United States and correspond that to a country with the similar GDP for that state. 

Its an incredible map as it puts into perspective just how important that entire economy is ... its like over 50 countries .... That may partially explain why most Americans do not travel much, they have most of what they need there. For us, we may need to travel for business, but for them traveling within a few states there is like making business contacts with a few countries.

We also give Americans a hard time when we find out how few actually travel outside of America ... but just trying to cover a few states is already like covering a few countries, and each of the states are actually quite different in their make up and essence.





Thursday, March 10, 2016

Oil @ USD25-USD40 For The Next 2 Years








The Premise - Oil like other commodity has been in a sharp down cycle, as in any commodity cycles, they are bound to turn up. Usually the the U curve of these commodity plays lasts anywhere between 2-5 years. If we look at the basic commodities, they have been on a downcycle since the subprime crisis in 2008 - since there had been easy money and over investment in particular by China. However oil held its own and in fact went to as above USD110 in 2013. Since then it has fallen to USD30 as of early February 2016.

Picking Bottoms - It is hazardous to say the least but at USD30 we are probably in the last quartile of correction. The justification being the cost of production. The cost of production below was in 2014, as of today we can impute a higher cost of between 10-20% based on weaker economies of scale and USD strength. 




Cost of Production By Country - We can surmise that Saudi Arabia wanted to crush Iran and the latter’s cost of oil extraction is between USD15-16, which would indicate some downside could be in store. Iran has received a lifting of sanctions which would see their current export of 500,000bpd to escalate to 2 million by April/May 2016. At below USD30, the number of players still operating profitably will just be among the Middle Eastern producers. 
















































If you were to look at The following two charts above, it will tell you that the surge in oil prices above USD110 over the last 4 years have largely been by increased US production. By and large, we can argue that Saudi’s move to weaken oil prices was two pronged: to kill off the shale producers and weaken Iran’s power - the former has been well achieved and the latter has also shown to be effective. 

The Rebound Limit - Yes, we are probably in the last quartile of the trough but one thing is clear there will be a limit in a rebound as Saudi will not want the shale producers to restart their production easily again. Hence if you look at cost of production chart, that objective can be attained by keeping the rebound range to USD45-60 over a sustained period.

Since the fateful November 2014 OPEC decision to maintain output, defend their market share, and kill off high-cost producers around the world, particularly North American shale and oil sands - we are left with Saudis crushing Iran being the last objective. However since the lifting of sanctions for Iran the Saudis would know that it is almost fruitless to continue doing so. As the cost of shale is at least USD60-70 on average, most have closed shop and declared bankruptcy.

Consensus Estimates - If you were to look at the average consensus estimates by EIU, IMF and other international agencies, its between USD60-65 over the long run. They could all be wrong, and even if you were to discount their estimates, it should still be in the range of USD50. That should be where we should be looking at over the next 2-4 years.






The Breakeven Factor - On the first page we have looked at the extraction cost of oil per country. But that is not the key factor, every country have differing needs and diversification of industries. The more reliant you are on oil, the more it will be impacting the country’s budget. Hence even when Iran have their sanctions lifted, and technically it can ramp up to 2mn-3mn barrels a day, plus their extraction cost is below USD20 per barrel - it does not mean they are laughing. Iran needs oil to be at USD140 to balance the budget. If you think (like me) that part of the reason the Saudis are letting oil price crash is to hurt Iran, then the Saudis are in no mood (yet) to let oil price rise at a time when sanctions has been lifted. 

Hence almost all the Middle Eastern countries have very high breakeven levels, but some have ample reserves to see this through for sometime still. Namely Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and UAE. The rest are finding it very tough.

Saudi Arabia's net foreign assets have been dropping at almost $8 billion per month meaning the company has only 5-6 years of reserves left. While the company's Saudi Aramco IPO might raise much needed cash, it is a show of desperation that might not be best for the country.













More so, compared to other countries, Saudi Arabia has the best situation. Other countries like Libya, Venezuela, Iran, and Nigeria are in much more need of cash. Non OPEC producers such as Russia might be looking to get in the action and make a deal to cut production. A relatively minor production cut of 1-2 million barrels per day could easily push oil prices back up to $60 or more barrels per day.

Saudi Arabia might call it a day since the sanctions has been lifted for Iran as it probably not much use to keep oil prices below USD30 for a persistently long time. Saudis’ strategy now lies in achieving its other objective, to dismantle the US/Canada shale oil production infra. But you can see that US oil production is still high and is taking its time to reduce, hence I think the Saudis will wait a few more months to see further declines in US production before reversing oil price trend.



The Big Picture - Why are we in the present predicament? Global capital spend for big miners was just US$4bn in 1991, that went to US$14bn in 2001. China was a key factor after it entered WTO in 2001. Global mining capex went from US$14bn a year in 2001 to US$125bn a year in 2012. The over investment largely by China has to work itself off. In a slowing global economy and a substantive slowing in China growth can explain a large part of the commodities down cycle over the last 5 years.





The Decisive Factor - Besides the Iranian factor, the Saudis likely will not feel comfortable about the chances of a US output boost until production in the United States falls to 8.5 million barrels per day. But it could be next year before US output hits that level. US oil production has fallen to about 9.2 million barrels per day, according to preliminary weekly EIA data. Until there is shock and awe in terms of bankruptcies and super-low prices, there is going to be unrelenting selling pressure in this market.


Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Have You Met Her

Friends have been complaining that I don't post much nowadays. Tired la after 9 years on the net. Don't feel like talking about stocks cause you get no credit and just get whacked whether a stock goes up or down - up (oh he works with syndicates), down (he is useless). Of course I can take the high road and say I couldn't care what haters say, but at the end of it, why do it at all. Might as well keep quiet. 












I do not allow adverts so I don't get paid a cent no matter how you cut it. Plus certain authorities do monitor what you post (on stocks) and its not to give me a prize if you know what I mean. So its not worth it.



Then my friends say that I should at least go back and do postings which got my blog popular in the first place - i.e. good selection of pretty Asian girls' photos. So here's Sabina Altynbekova. I know we would all be volleyball fans if we can just watch her play for Khazakstan. She is 20 this year and stands at 6 foot.










Saturday, February 20, 2016

Ola Bola ... Talking Points

I watched it the first day it came out. How much was hype? I will say more later. Social media is abuzz with talking points. I was there, though very very young... so I can relate a bit better. My views in blue.

Below were excerpts of online comments:


> “It should be Eric Yong (James Wong,) the pride of Sabah, to score the historical goal, never understand why Ali is the scorer.... Why change the proud history of Malaysian football.... a very poor presentation of Malaysia football history...OlaBola....u can never cheat history.
Strictly speaking, IT IS NOT A DOCUMENTARY ... why don't you hit out on how good looking Keong was, supposedly to be Soh Chin Aun (tauke), I respect Chin Aun a lot as possibly the best defender Malaysia has ever produced but he is no looker. BUT if its not a documentary, it was BASED on real life events... it was, and they actually went as far as going to Sabah taking the train to talk to a supposedly ex-Sabah national player ... so obviously Eric in the movie was James Wong's "character somewhat" .. I know its not supposed to be accurate but you go all the way to try and replicate the FEELING OF MUHIBBAH, the Malaysia Boleh spirit, the fight for nation spirit ... why tamper with the scores and the scorer??? If it does not matter, why tamper??? Obviously its to make a deliberate attempt to balance out the racial focus of the movie - the tauke had a large portion of it, followed by Muthu's (Arumugam) family ... and in trying not to leave out the Malays, ...Ali became the scorer?? When do we have to be politically correct in creative arts, I guess thats why its called creative. I supposed the film maker would have wanted to stay true BUT look at the humungous number of advertisers and sponsors behind the film - I am sure THEY HAD A FUCKED UP say in it. The director/writer gets the brunt of it but somehow I think its NOT HIS FAULT. 
> Don’t waste your money and time to watch the movie, OlaBola! I was going to watch it few days ago in KL due to rave reviews but my bro-in-law and friends confirmed that not Eric but Ali who scored.
Again, to boycott the movie because of that one fact is just silly. It is not a historical documentary, in as much as Titanic was based on real events but you know there was no fucking Jack shouting "I am KING OF THE WORLD" in reality. But most of us enjoyed it. I can see the stupidity in having Ali scoring the goal - the biggest discredit is to have a whole new generation NOT knowing that it was James Wong who scored. But thanks to the uproar in social media - like it or not, now EVERYBODY KNOWS King James Wong scored the fucking goal!!! 

Imagine a film based on real events about Malaysia's independence, BUT NOT A DOCUMENTARY and you have Sinnapiah Samy shouting "Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka"...  at the stadium - you can do that but people will cringe at how far you went beyond real life events. 
Its a reprehensible fault but not big enough to detract from the overall good movie and execution.

> The younger n future generations MUST know the TRUE facts of Malaysia football.
> All of us here have a very strong feeling about being a Sabahan and the way we have been treated by our West Malaysian counterparts.
OK, don't be overly sensitive my beloved East Malaysians. The film actually shot a lot of scenes in Sabah, its beautiful. We get too sensitive about that ONE THING that distracts from the overall. Yes, I believe East Malaysians have been "mis-treated" in many ways. Look at Malaysia Day, when did it actually became a holiday? But we are still a young country and these things evolve and we learn. Our parents who live in West Malaysia rarely got the chance to visit East Malaysia during their heydays - but I think it would be fair to assume the majority of us below 40 have done so nowadays. Some things are NOT TAUGHT at school, we learn as we go along. Of course its largely the government's fault.
> The movie is not a documentary or biography. Names and storyline can be changed and also altered for the big screen. The movie’s main theme is about the true spirit of 1Malaysia. That’s the main message of the movie if we look at it from bigger picture.
Overall, the movie is a 7/10 ... not a 9 or a 10. The storyline is mushy and predictable. The acting was pretty good though I must say. The best thing about the film, the cinematography, the lensing and framing of scenic shots were superb. Who knew Malaysia was so pretty. The other good thing was how the team stayed true to the 70s in terms of the dressing, artefacts, ... the 70s fun-fair was exactly the way it was. Plus the theme song was fantastic.

I wondered why didn't the team stick to the truth and obtain permission from players to get at as close to the truth in the movie. 

Another thing is that the movie will gross a lot of money, as of last week its passing RM12m, a lot for a local film. BUT look at the power of advertising and commercials. Can someone tabulate how much would it cost to have that many advertisements on Astro??? Maybe RM12m also. I can safely say, without the powerful sponsors, Ola Bola would just be a middling success in box office locally. I am sure there are many struggling local film makers who would have balked and vomitted at the incessant deluge of commercials and song plays on Ola Bola. Imagine the brilliant local movie JAGAT, who only had a few days at the local cinemas before being pulled - how they could do with just 1/10th of the commercials Ola Bola had. Fair/Unfair ... pls vote now!!!

While it is all good to remember the team that got the second Olympic qualification, I am quite sure that they HAD ALL THEIR AMBITIONS, TENACITY and INSPIRATION from the earlier team who ACTUALLY got to go to the Olympics. The 1970s team ... did not get their deserved accolades as well. In fact the 80s team, I am sure would say their heroes were the following 1970s superstars (I may have left out a few):
SYED AHMAD
WONG CHOON WAH
ALI BAKAR
ISA BAKAR
SALLEH IBRAHIM
M CHANDRAN
MOKHTAR DAHARI
LIM FUNG KEE
SHAHARUDDIN ABDULLAH
M BAKAR
HARUN JUSOH
UMAPARAN
REDUAN ABDULLAH
WONG KOU FOU
BAKRI IBNI
SHUKOR SALLEH


These are the players that paved the way... that allowed the younger Malaysians to dream of the possible.


Life is not fair. As corporations with a heart, as a government who may start to have a heart ... do what is right, support good efforts fairly, as equitably as you can. Political correctness has no place in a true blue Malaysia.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The "Kong Luoi" Debate




















This phenomena not only dominates HK social scene but seems to be just as pervasive in Malaysia and Singapore.

A few years back,  there have been a huge backlash and debate on the Internet and even mainstream media on the unacceptable attitudes of some HK girls. Girls who fit the description are called "Kong Luoi" (short for HK girls but with a derogatory sideswipe at them). Its a generalisation and not all girls will have all the attributes, but you will recognise them immediately.

"Kong Luoi" (KLs) phenomenon was started as the 63.8 incident. What started as a first date went horribly wrong when the couple went into a store, and the girl bought some stuff and it came to HK$63.80. The girl expected the guy to pay but he did not and she ended up paying HK$63.80. That was not the end of it. The girl recorded a video and uploaded it on You Tube ranting and bitching what an asshole and cheap the guy was for not offering to pay HK$63.80. Her berating video pissed a lot of guys off and started the HK guys compiling things that they find unattractive in certain HK girls.

Some of the common traits:
1) "ying fun" - girls who think that they are doing guys a favour by allowing the guys to date them, hence the guys should appreciate the opportunity, thus do not expect them to go dutch or pay for anything during the date. "ying fun" = deserved to be treated well. Did you know that the trend is for girls to never even bringing their wallets with them when they go on dates.

2) "ying koi" - girls who think that it is manners and politeness for the guys to foot everything on a date just because they are girls. Very close in meaning to "ying fun" but has an element of "should have" - i.e. guys should do those things without having the need to be even discussed.

3) "tiu tik" the girls are great critics on what the guys have, what he does not have, how he carries himself, whether he is a good conversationalist, not good looking enough if they don't like anywhere close to Andy Lau, making a summation of his prospects as a future boyfriend and provider by just looking at appearance, making a minor thing into a big character flaw, etc... thus relegating all guys as also-rans.

4) "hau but thoui sum" what she says never ties in with what she really wants. Ask her what she wants to have for dinner, she will say "Mow sor wai, see tharn le" (I don't mind, anything will do), but when you suggest Japanese, she will say too much raw stuff, you suggest Indian, she will claim its too spicy, you suggest Cantonese, she will say its too oily.. and still say "kei sart, ngor mow sor wai ke, mutt yeah thou tak" (Actually, I am quite easy, whatever is OK)... you suggests steamboat, she will say it is heaty and make her have pimples ... naturally for these kind of girls, I will tell them, "lei sick chee kei le" (Go eat yourself bitch!).

5) control - she always want to be in control of the relationship, once you move from dating to a steady relationship, one of the first question she will ask is if you would mind to give her all your pay for her to manage the finances when they get married. I think its only ok in Korea and Japan, but to even entertain such a question to me shows a complete wanting of control and to see how "far they can manipulate the guy to her liking". "Kong Luoi" justifies the line of questioning as that would allow them to see how much the guy sees them as a partnership and how much he trusts her. In my words, Bullshit Baby!!! Its a control issue.

6) KLs have a very strong penchant for branded goods and wouldn't want to be caught dead with last year's bags or shoes. They are never slim enough, even though guys keep telling them they are skinny enough. Its not enough for the guys to say so, its their fellow girlfriends that have to say that they are skinny enough, and baby, girlfriends will never ever say their fellow girlfriends are skinny enough. You are in a dead end cycle.

7) KLs are hard to court even though they do not come with great credentials. The usual 5Cs (car, cash, career, credit card, condo) as so basic that many girls would never ever consider going out with someone without at least 3Cs.

8) places too much importance on outward appearances. Ever wondered why there are so many slimming clinics in HK, and also skin whitening, tummy firming, breast firming, blemish reduction laser therapy, cellulite therapy, cosmetic plastic surgery to have double eyelids, botox... The girls will claim that a large part of why they are doing this is for the guys. Eeerrr, bullshit again, maybe so if the guy is very shallow, all these things to make up for outward inadequacies stem from a dire lack of self confidence and self belief, and that is one big character flaw in KLs. It has a lot to do with the culture and upbringing values instilled, either deliberately or unconsciously.

9) expect presents and celebrations with presents on these following days: her birthday, anniversary of the mundane kind, Christmas, Valentine's Day, some even chocolates during Easter, even New Year... and

In my view, its not just in HK but in many places as well. Its an equality issue whereby many females now can earn a good living and can dictate their own lives better. Before, girls grow up to be married off and thats that. However, with the desired equality status, in relationships, many still hang onto traditional roles of males and females. But the demands on those roles are so very different now. Everyone must come into a relationship knowing full well what each other's expectations are, if not they will never be met.

In HK, there is this quite silly phrase which sums up why girls in HK are generally very spoiled ("chung whai saei"). The phrase is "low pour hai lor farn lei sack" ( the reason to have a wife is to make sure she is well taken care of and loved). There does not seem to be much wrong with that phrase except when you think about it, its a passive thing for women, and it appears to be their divine right. My quibble is if I get married, am I marrying a loving partner or a passive piece of art for me to dust and vacuum and wipe. To take care as in taking up responsibility as a man of the house, yes, that I totally agree. Hope the nuances there is cleared up.

There is a limit to what is due care and concern by the guy, and what is absolutely reprehensible behaviour. Go to HK and you will see many guys carrying ladies purses and hand bags walking with their girlfriends on dates. I am ok, in fact I think its proper to carry the purses and hand bags if they have to go to toilets or have to go and try out some clothes when out shopping. But to have the guy carrying the stuff walking all over town, is demeaning. If a guy wants to carry a handbag, he should go and buy one himself. Its not a show of how much love and concern a guy shows the girl, its for the girl to show to everyone how much control she has of him. Why not make him wear a dress as well? Thats the crux, to the KLs, its always "if you love me, you will do it" mantra, always having to prove and reprove their affections.. "if you love me, you will buy it for me"... worse "if you love me, you will buy it for me without me having to tell you"... GAWD!!!

At the end, they morph into what I like to call "high maintenance" (HM) women. HM women are not just those who require a certain monetary sum to maintain their lifestyle. To me, HM women are HM because of how their minds torture you and in turn torture themselves. I will give you a classic HM woman, the wife will ask the husband just before they go to sleep "why did you give your 2nd uncle 3 boxes of mooncakes, but you gave my brother only 2 boxes"... that my friend, is HM!!!


p/s photos: Mandy Lieu & Elanne Kong

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Bobo - For Magical Nights

There is a new place in town and its possibly the best new place to be. Judging from the concept and the people behind it, I believe this will be around for  a very long time as their concept is hitting all the right spots.

Its situated along the now famous Jalan Bangkung @ Bangsar. Strangely but fittingly, Bobo occupies the 1st and 2nd floors only. The small entry door next to Lucky Bo reminds you of possibly of an old jazz club back in the swinging 30s in New York.

The first floor is the dining area with a beautiful couch area, and another partially more intimate dining area separated by sheer curtains. The ambience is inviting, modern yet clean lines in design. Love the many art pieces, cleverly chosen to exude a visually pleasing environment.  








The Food

Modern European, nothing too complicated but most were pretty good. My favourite by a proverbial mile is the divine polenta truffle fries, light crunch on the outside, soft and creamy in the middle with truffles aroma lingering all over.

The prices are decent as well.















































The 2nd Floor - Performance Hall

OK, NO SMOKING!!! Even though I smoke cigars, I think its very important and more conducive in an intimate performance arena to be totally smoke free. The ladies love it, I like it.

To go to the second floor, you have open a very heavy sound-proofing door. You won't hear a bleep of the performances when you are dining.

It opens to a snazzy tiny bar where people can mingle prior to the show starting, and its basically to serve drinks to patrons inside the hall.

There will only be performers from Tuesdays to Sundays. Only Fridays and Saturdays will feature special performers which you will usually have to pay a RM40-60pp cover charge (well worth it).

As for other days, you could just head along there, grab a drink and listen to the quite brilliant resident pianist, David Gomes.

When you dine there on Fridays and Saturdays, you get the privilege of booking a "reserved table" for performances at discounted rates.

Knowing that they are catering to the 30-70 crowds and being in a suburb, the performances usually start at 9.30pm sharp and the second set will end way before midnight thus allowing all to get home earlier.



The Acoustics

Designed by a expert, the sound proofing and acoustics are fantastic. It creates warm notes and resonating tones. The open-thatched roof is a sight to behold.


















Performers

The invited performances are curated by the ever popular, our own Broadway star, Malaysia's Buble ... Sean Ghazi - who will somehow jump onto the stage every now and then to surprise audiences.


Things To Improve

Double your wine selections, more good single malts and a more extensive "gastrobar" please.



Conclusion

Good food, great music or comedy, in a classy setting ... what a magical night out!!!








On the left is the balcony on first floor for smokers to take a break, its very very nice ... and when its raining outside, I can think of no better place to be than here smoking a cigar and getting a G&T, it really is quiet, just watching the world drifts by. On the right is the amazing polenta truffle fries.