Thursday, November 27, 2014

KopiSusu ... The Musical

Its about Nanyang music ... the era of 50s-60s ... Nanyang basically referring to Southeast Asia. The influence of the music from Shanghai's decadent years and HK's frolicking years meshed with the local musicality of Chinese emigrants to Southeast Asia.

Hotline: 016 238 6513

The Road Is Long .. and Many A Winding Path

Let's be clear here, I am not criticising the planned road name changes. Just offering suggestions on why and how things could be better. It does not matter if the changes were to recognise the past rulers of our beloved country.

a)  We can and we should and we have recognised many historical figures including rulers of our nation. Let's re-examine if naming roads after them is such a good alternative. Roads are meant to describe and place a location. If its too long, it adds enormous difficulty in remembering, mentioning to friends and other practical uses. It becomes impractical which defeats the purpose of naming roads. Jalan Tun Perak is great, so too Jalan Sultan Ismail or Swettenham Road or even Birch Road. But when a name gets too long, it becomes self defeating - the very intention to honour becomes an opportunity to ridicule.

b) By all means, recognise our past historical figures in other ways, such as buildings, statues, gardens, fountains, mosques, bridges ... its not so cumbersome.

c) Now when we use Waze of Google maps, before the wonderful lady can finish the instruction... "in 50 meters turn left into Jalan xxx xxx xxx..." we would have passed the exit before she can finish her instructions.

d) We seem to have a huge chip on our shoulders. We should never attempt to re-write history, it happened. A road's name need not be "all good and dandy", so what if its Jalan James Birch, whether the guy was good or bad, he was part of our history Thats where our confidence, self sufficiency in our nation's history stands on ts own ... be him/her a 'bad person historically' is besides the point. We learn and acknowledge the history, the good and bad, we cannot and should repaint history or worse, only SHOW the new generation and the future "the nice side of things about Malaysia".

e) WE ARE NOT SHORT OF NEW ROADS, heck we are never short of new roads ... there are dozens new ones every month, all over... we are not closing down roads. Why touch Jalan Duta??? Why do we try to complicate things? Why don't we prioritise other more important stuff? What if we change the names of the top 20 major buildings every 5 years, can you see the value in that???

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Wayang Kulit Behind Oil Price Gyrations

Is there a puppet master, I mean nothing much has changed for much of 2014, so why the sudden drop in oil prices over the past two months? One can cite US production of shale oil but thats not like something happened overnight. All knew the numbers coming on from shale oil. So what gives?


Opec divided on oil output
LONDON: The Organization of Pe- troleum Exporting Countries (Opec) oil producers cartel will hold one of its toughest and most significant meetings in recent years as, faced with sliding prices, its members must contemplate whether to cut output.
Ahead of Thursday’s Opec meet- ing in Vienna, its dozen member countries are split on what direction to take after a 30% drop in crude prices since June has slashed rev- enues.Opec’s poorer members, led by Venezuela and Ecuador, have
called publicly for a cut in output, while Iran has hinted at a need to reduce production.
But the cartel’s Gulf members, led by kingpin Saudi Arabia, are rejecting calls to pump out less oil unless they are guaranteed market share in the highly competitive are- na, according to analysts.
“The minimum consensus that appears likely to be reached at Opec’s meeting is a commitment to better comply with the official production target of 30 million bar- rels per day,” Commerzbank ana- lysts said in a note to clients. — AFP 

As you can see OPEC is almost toothless... not really toothless but rather that Saudi Arabia is not brandishing their big stick. So whats their motivation?

Apa Lagi Saudi Mahu?

Some cynics might say that its Saudis' way of trying to curb or trash the US shale oil's viability. That does not hold much water though nice conspiracy theory for a Hurt Locker movie script. 

Much of US shale oil can cost between $50-100 per barrel just to get the oil out. That is official figures fro International Energy Agency. The IEA confirms that ONLY 4% needs oil prices to be above $80 for it to be viable, though some analyst reports put that at as high as 20%.

It is very hard to displace shale oil as their wells are much shallower, which is to say they will move to more viable wells and will only tap harder to get at shale oil till prices move back above $90. 

Plus politically, it does not make sense to screw with USA while they are an important ally in the current 'war' against Islamic State.

It also does not make sense to screw with shale oil as their production costs will never be competitive against their own oil extraction cost. Saudis (and North Africa) cost per barrel is closer to $10 per barrel, though some areas may reach as high as $25 per barrel. Hence in actual fact it would make more sense for shale oil to continue as a base for oil prices, plus adding sufficiently to a resource that is limited. Its pointless to push oil to $200 per barrel, even if they can. The fallout to the global economy, and making themselves more a 'future target' for war for oil.

This Is Why Saudis Are Letting Oil Price Slip

Saudis can easily move oil prices back above $90 if they reduce their output and they can do so as they have the reserves to do so. Saudi Arabia has about 260n barrels in reserves and about 9-13m barrels a day. So what did the Saudis do in recent weeks... they actually increase their daily output by 0.5% to 9.6m a day. Strange isn't it? Not only that, the Saudis in recent weeks even offered discounts to big Asian consumers thus depressing oil price further.

Financially Saudi Arabia has over $700bn in cash/bonds reserves , so they do not need the money and can stay at this status quo for a couple of years if need be. The worst country to be affected is their 'enemy' Iran, which actually needs oil to be above $120-140 for it to break even. Russia needs $100 per barrel or else its budget loses $2bn for every dollar below $100... hence for now Russia will need nearly $40bn to watch the hole in their budget this year alone. 

It is also an important way to make life very tough for rogue nations in the Middle East supporting the IS as the funds are necessary to fund the war and terrorist acts.

The unfortunate nations who get steamrolled from all this include Venezuela and to a lesser extent Malaysia. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Canto-Mando Movie Reviews

Time to bring up some movie recommendations cause there are a couple recently that piqued my interest. The first is Kung Fu Jungle, its a badly titled movie in English, sounds so much cooler in Chinese. Its a great kung fu movie but its significant for a lot more than just entertainment. 

If you remember the comedy classic Kung Fu by Stephen Chow Sing Chi, where he tried (successfully) to incorporate the many popular kung fu techniques and "fantasy kung fu stuff" into a well woven comedy. In many ways its a great tribute and acknowledgement to the discipline in movie making.

Well, KFJ is like Kung Fu except that it took the more serious route, and the kung fu is a lot more realistic and authentic. Besides entertaining audiences, KFJ roped in as many as possible the HK kung fu movie stars from the late 60s, 70 and 80s and gave them roles in it. In many ways, its an excellent tribute, as the story goes about a guy wanting to be the ultimate kung fu master and he goes about it by seeking out the top masters in each genre of kung fu, but he has gone a bit cuckoo so he not only wants to beat them but kill them as well for no apparent reason.

Donnie Yen was amazing and so were his co stars. 

The second recommendation is a romantic comedy. Its part 2 of Don't Go Breaking My Heart, you need not have watch the first to watch this, but it would help a lot in enjoyment. When masters such as Johnnie To and Wai Kar Fai decide to ditch their usual gangster-police-shootout hats and go into rom-com, it usually leads to pretty watchable stuff.

The interlinking relationships between the main stars were fantastic. The energy and believability, the characters all fleshed out properly and you would feel for each of them. Gao Yuan Yuan was adorable and sublime. Koo Tin Lok, Miriam Yeung and Daniel Wu were great. Storyline was solid and layered. No kiddie mushy stuff here. Great movie, watch both parts.

There is a running theme and its more for those jaded but yet still looking for love in the modern world - love is not so much determined or predestined... its in your own hands, you have to take it, grab it, or let it go. I think I can use the word "satisfying" here for a really good romantic comedy.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

So Bad, Its Good ...

“Chick Chick” by Chinese pop group Wang Rong Rollin from China I think. Its Old McDonald's Farm on acid ... Its pretty ridiculous but fun and hypnotic. A kick ass music video... I predict this will be very big globally for a few months. Being different makes people sit up and take notice as we all get jaded with what is out there. Of course some will say that its a ripping off from Ylvis' What Does The Fox Say ... if you put the two side by side, you can say some parts were similar but 'greatness' often results in copycats, and Chick Chick is a lot more fun, really makes you smile. I think this will go viral globally in a big way.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Apa Lagi Amerika Mahu

For my life I could not understand why the US mid term election came to be a snub against Obama... I mean although he is not a big fanfare guy, he has "righted" the many wrongs from the Bush administration, if you can call it that.

Stock markets at all time highs, gasoline low, interest rates low, did not go to war, best OECD growth, hunted and killed Osama, inflation benign, jobs up and up...

Sunday, November 09, 2014

New Board Game - How Big Is Your Pond

I blogged about this about 5 years ago. Its a fun game. As investors or banking/finance professionals in the markets, we need to get a grip and look at where we are in the whole scheme of things. No matter how"great" we are its only in a very tiny pond. Of course I am not belittling ourselves here, big pond small pond, still a pond ... but don't let it get to our heads when it comes to why we are only a small boat in a sea storm whose waves could sometimes overwhelm our tiny boat, no matter how well built it is.

As things stand, just the US markets alone is as big as the next 7 markets COMBINED: Japan, China, HK, UK Canada, France and Germany all totaled up.

Hence thats why we mainly look to the US for direction. The blog post below on how big each state's GDP is in terms of another country would show beyond a shadown of a doubt why America is the world in business, trade and finance.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Why Global Investors Keep Looking To United States For Guidance

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.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Low Oil Price Providing a $1.3 Trillion Fiscal Stimulus

You cannot just be focused on one side of the equation. Yes, lower oil prices may affect the revenues of oil exporting nations. It may even be a reflection of the oversupplu, maybe brought on by rogue nations milking oil for funds for war and terrorism. It could also be a strategy by OPEC to decapitate shale oil production ventures which needs oil to be safely way above $80 to make it feasible.

Whatever it is, lower oil prices will also mean savings for almost all nations, and in actual fact may go a long way to boosting demand and improve savings for reallocation of resources t

o other areas of the global economy. The report below from Bloomberg pegged stimulus at $1.1 trillion, now it should be $1.3 trillion. Thats a whole lot of QE in a different form and manner. Not all news is bad, the pendulum may swing but there is always a counter balance.

The lowest oil price in four years will provide stimulus of as much as $1.1 trillion to global economies by lowering the cost of fuels and other commodities, according to Citigroup Inc.
Brent, the world’s most active crude contract, closed at $83.78 a barrel inLondon yesterday. That’s more than 20 percent below its average for the past three years, amounting to savings of about $1.8 billion a day based on current output, Citigroup estimates. Savings will climb to $1.1 trillion annually as the slide cuts costs of other commodities, leaving consumers and companies with extra cash to spend and bolstering growth, according to Ed Morse, the bank’s head of global commodities research in New York.
Crude prices are plunging amid signs that OPEC, supplier of 40 percent of the world’s oil, won’t act to eliminate a surplus as global growth slows. Combined supplies from the U.S. and Canadarose last year to the highest since at least 1965 as producers tapped stores locked in shale-rock formations and oil sands. The global economy will rebound next year, with growth quickening to 2.98 percent, the fastest since 2010, according to analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg.
“A reduction in oil prices also results in a reduction in prices across commodities, starting with natural gas, but also including copper, steel, and agriculture,” Morse said yesterday in an e-mailed response to questions. “All commodities are energy intensive to one degree or another.”

Commodity Prices

Regular gasoline averaged nationwide in the U.S. dropped to $3.163 a gallon, the lowest in more than three-and-a-half years, Heathrow, Florida-based motoring group AAA said on its website yesterday. The Bloomberg Commodity Index slumped to a five-year low, about 50 percent below its peak in July 2008. Copper, natural gas, coal and iron ore are all far below their peaks.
“Cheaper oil is an advantage for both consumers as well as industrial and manufacturing operations, especially as winter approaches,” Myrto Sokou, an analyst at Sucden Financial Ltd. in London, said by e-mail yesterday.
As lower energy prices help reduce commodity costs, they can push down the inflation rate. While freeing up more money for consumers, outsized declines could become a concern in places likeEurope, where policy makers are trying to stave off deflation, which can exacerbate an economic slump.
The euro area will have inflation of 0.5 percent this year, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Consumer prices globally will increase by 2.47 percent in 2014, about the same as last year, the forecasts show.

Oil Analysts

Brent rebounded from the lowest level in almost four years today, rising 47 cents to $84.25 a barrel at 1:13 p.m. in New York on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.
“Lower prices, for most economies, reduce the cost of doing business and support economic growth,” the International Energy Agency said in a report Oct. 14. “Lower prices offer a cushion of sorts against an otherwise vulnerable macroeconomic backdrop.”
The Paris-based adviser to governments said in the same report that oil demand will expand by about 650,000 barrels a day this year, half the pace it anticipated in July.
Nations in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may resist cutting output in response to the slowing demand growth to try and test the prices at which some North American supply is profitable, Antoine Halff, head of the IEA’s oil industry and markets division, said.
A decline to $80 would cost OPEC $200 billion of its recent earnings of $1 trillion, Morse said in an analysis on the topic that was published yesterday in the Financial Times.

Big Chunk

Oil prices rose to a record in 2008, boosting revenues for nations including Russia as well as Middle East states such as Saudi ArabiaKuwait and the United Arab Emirates. It also increased prices for consumers in industrialized nations.
“It is a big chunk of stimulus,” Seth Kleinman, Citigroup’s head of European energy research, said by phone from London. “The macro economic analysis of higher oil prices was always that it is essentially a wealth transfer from leveraged spending U.S. consumers to saving Middle East sovereigns, so ultimately it reduces the global velocity of money significantly and it’s a net drag. Now a price fall reverses that.”

Monday, November 03, 2014

Markets - What Was That?

Most investors were surprised by the way the local bourse performed today. Most of the popularly traded stocks went down for no reason. A look across other regional bourses saw Nikkei on holiday following its already massive gains late last week. Europe and the US both had strong closing on Friday. Only HK went down together with Malaysia today. The US dollar's strength was the only common factor. For HK its pretty bad because their currency is tied to the USD and a 7 year high for USD would curtail many areas of their economy in terms of competitiveness. 

But the case couldn't be more different for Malaysia, we thrive on a weaker dollar. I guess some people just took it as an excuse to take some profit after quite a sustained run for second liners over the last week or so. I expect things to return to normal quickly.

Stocks To Watch

NiHsin - Announced that Pelaburan Mara was the 5% buyer of NiHsin at 52 sen. If you just follow what happened to PDZ and Sanichi, well the short term trend looks pretty awesone trading wise.

IFCA - Apparently corporate results is due soon and would surprise on the upside in a big way. Expect this to continue its rerating process upwards.

SMRT - A nice research report boosted interest before clipped in the heels yesterday by a strange market, This should resume its uptrend as well.


Is punning fun, funny or despicable-showing-off ... maybe all three. Puns are funny and some say is the highest order of comedy because its literal and literally funny. You have to be somewhat well versed sufficiently in the language to find puns funny. 

81 Cantonese Proverbs In One Painting


阿塗(Ah To), a graphic designer and part-time cartoonist who concerns about the survival of Cantonese in Canton and Hong Kong, has just published a comic called ” The Great Canton and Hong Kong Proverbs” on Hong Kong independent media “Passion Times“. The cartoon contains illustrations of 81 Cantonese proverbs.
“The Great Canton and Hong Kong Proverbs”
In 1559, Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel created the oil painting “Netherlandish Proverbs” which illustrates many Dutch proverbs to praise the Dutch culture. In 2014, Ah To imitated the idea and created “Great Canton and Hong Kong proverbs” illustrating 81 Cantonese proverbs to propagate the Cantonese culture and defend Cantonese.
81 Cantonese Proverbs 
(The 2 extra proverbs are the bonus given by the author. And audio clips only work on PC.)
1.cantoneseproverb67上山捉蟹 [séuhng sāan jūk háaih]
(To catch crabs on a hill)
Harder than hard, almost impossible
2.cantoneseproverb1鬼揞眼 [gwái ám ngáahn]
(A ghost covers one’s eyes)
1. To fail to see something
2. To fail to find something
3. A freudian slip
3.cantoneseproverb2有錢使得鬼推磨 [yáuh chín sái dāk gwái tēui mòh]
(if you have money, you can make a ghost push a millstone)
Everything is possible with money; money makes the world go round
4.cantoneseproverb6鬼畫符 [gwái waahk fùh]
(A ghost draws a talisman)
Illegible scribble, poor handwriting
5.cantoneseproverbs3鬼拍後尾枕 [gwái paak hauh méih jám]
(A ghost slaps the back of one’s head)
To let out a secret unknowingly
6.cantoneseproverb68多個香爐多隻鬼 [dō go hēung lòuh dō jek gwái]
(An extra incense burner would attract an extra ghost)
Creating chance for someone to share your benefit. The tone of the proverb indicates a foolish act to invite losses.)
7.cantoneseproverbs4呃鬼食豆腐 [ngāak gwái sihk dauh fuh]
(To trick a ghost into eating tofu)
1. To lure someone into a trap, to trick someone
2. Used to express scepticism or disbelief, “you’re kidding me!”
8.cantoneseproverb5扮鬼扮馬 [baahn gwái baahn máah]
(To masquerade as a ghost and as a horse)
To play a role to deceive somebody, to play a part to trick someone
9.cantoneseproverb7放飛機 [fong fēi gēi]
(To throw a paper aeroplane)
To break a promise, to break a commitment; to fail to turn up for a date
10.cantoneseproverb37樹大有枯枝 [syuh daaih yáuh fū jī]
(A big tree has some dead branches)
There are good and bad people in every group
11.cantoneseproverb69床下底吹喇叭 [chòhng hah dái chēui laa bāa]
(Blowing a horn under the bed, implying speaking at a kowtow position)
In a begging / humble tone
12.cantoneseproverb10佛都有火 [faht dōu yáuh fó]
(Even the Buddha gets inflamed)
To a degree that is intolerable, “that’s the limit!”.
13.cantoneseproverb11老貓燒鬚 [lòuh māau sīu sōu]
(An old cat burns its whiskers)
An expert who makes a careless mistake in his/her own expertise.
14.cantoneseproverb15拉牛上樹 [lāai ngàuh séuhng syuh]
(To pull a cow up a tree)
A vain attempt to do something
15.cantoneseproverb14豬乸會上樹 [jyū ná wúih séuhng syuh]
(Female pigs can climb trees)
When pigs fly
16.cantoneseproverb12開籠雀 [hōi lùhng jéuk]
(A bird in an open cage)
Someone who chatters all the time
17.cantoneseproverb13兩頭蛇 [lèuhng tàuh sèh]
(Two-headed snake)
1. someone who works for both sides in a deal
2. A servant of two masters
18.cantoneseproverb70床下底劈柴 [chòhng hah dái pek chàaih]
(Chopping wood under a bed. If someone is hiding under a bed but moves vigorously, very possibly he would bang his head against the wooden plate above him.)
Epic fail; A method that doesn’t work
19.cantoneseproverb84玻璃夾萬 [bō lēi gaap maahn]
(A glass safe)
Something that looks good but is not practical.
[séuhng mihn jīng sūng gōu,
hah mihn maaih lèuhng fán]
(Steaming sponge cake on top, selling cool powder below.
Cool powder is glass jelly in English)
It usually describes women who wear heavy clothing on top but barely cover their legs with mini skirts/short shorts during cold winter.
21.cantoneseproverb19掛羊頭賣狗肉 [gwa yèuhng tàuh maaih gáu yuhk]
(Hang up a sheep’s head and sell dog meat)
Try to palm off something.
22.cantoneseproverb21大石笮死蟹 [daaih sehk jaak séi háaih]
(A big stone crushes a crab)
An unequal contest
23.cantoneseproverb20倒瀉籮蟹 [dóu sé lòh háaih]
(Spilled a basket of crabs)
messy; troublesome
24.cantoneseproverb72賣魚佬洗身 [maaih yùh lóu sái sān]
(A fishmonger washes his body – 冇晒腥氣 “no stinky smell”, which sounds like 冇晒聲氣 “no news”. )
To have yet to receive a positive response
25.cantoneseproverb16煲電話粥 [bōu dihn wá jūk]
(To boil telephone congee)
To talk for hours on the phone.
26.cantoneseproverb17冬瓜豆腐 [dūng gwā dauh fuh]
(Winter melon and tofu)
1. An emergency, a crisis
2. An unfortunate event, especially death.
27.cantoneseproverb71倒吊沙煲 [dou diu sā bōu]
(A pot hanged upside down, implying that there is no rice left)
Poverty, penniless
28.cantoneseproverb62十個茶壺九個蓋 [sahp go chàh wú gáu go goi]
(ten tea pots and nine lids)
demand out numbers supply; not enough
29.cantoneseproverb18刀仔鋸大樹 [dōu jái geu daaih syuh]
(Use a little knife to saw down a tree)
Use little capital to make big profit
30.cantoneseproverb66賊佬試沙煲 [chaahk lóu si sā bōu]
(A thief is testing a pot. A burglar tests if there is any one home by breaking a pot.)
Test the waters before doing bad things
31.cantoneseproverb31冇柄遮 [móuh beng jē]
(An umbrella with broken handle)
To fight to the bitter end, to refuse to admit one is in the wrong
32.cantoneseproverb22a甩繩馬騮 [lāt síng máah láu]
(Loose string monkey)
1. A very naughty child
2. Someone no longer under the control of their superior or guardian.
33.cantoneseproverb83馬騮執到桔 [máah láu jāp dóu gāt]
(A monkey got a tangerine)
Someone looks very happy as if he has discovered treasure.
34.cantoneseproverb23運桔 [wahn gāt]
(To ship tangerines)
To visit a shop or a person without any particular purpose, to be “just looking” in a shop; to waste someone’s time
(*Gang members extort money by forcing shops to buy pots of tangerines)
35.cantoneseproverb24鬼食泥 [gwái sihk nàih]
(a ghost eats mud)
to slur your words
36.cantoneseproverb63盲公食湯丸 [màahng gūng sihk tōng yún]
(A blind man eats glue pudding)
Know the score
37.cantoneseproverb27b食拖鞋飯 [sihk tō háai faahn]
(To eat slippers rice)
Used to describe a man who is supported by a woman, i.e. he can keep his slippers on, because he doesn’t have to work; a man who sponges off a woman
38.cantoneseproverb64食人隻車 [sihk yàhn jek gēui]
(To have eaten someone’s cart)
To exploit or expropriate the belongings of others (a reference to the rules of Chinese chess)
39.cantoneseproverb28食碗面反碗底 [sihk wún mín fáan wún dái]
(To eat from a bowl and then turn it over)
Go back upon somebody. Play somebody false. Betray a friend.
40.cantoneseproverb29食死貓 [sihk séi māau]
(to eat a dead cat)
1. To take the blame for something one has not done
2. To be a scapegoat, to “carry the can”
41.cantoneseproverb82放葫蘆 [fong wùh lóu]
(To throw a gourd)
Self-boasting, bragging
42.cantoneseproverb81放飛劍 [fong fēi gim]
(To throw a flying sword)
To spit
43.cantoneseproverb80企喺城樓睇馬打交 [kéih hái sìhng mùhn tái dá gāau]
(To watch a horse fight from the top of a fort)
Observing from the sidelines
44.cantoneseproverb8飛象過河 [fēi jeuhng gwo hòh]
(An elephant flies across the river)
1. To break a rule
2. To reach across the table for food (a reference to the rules of Chinese chess)
45.cantoneseproverb40事急馬行田 [sih gāp máah hàahng tìhn]
(In a crisis, a horse can move in the field)
To be flexible, to adapt to circumstances in an emergency (a reference to the rules of Chinese chess).
46.cantoneseproverb9過橋抽板 [gwo kíuh chāu báan]
(To pull up the planks after crossing the bridge)
To betray one’s friends once the crisis is over, to abandon one’s friends once one is safe
47.cantoneseproverb38和尚擔遮 [wòh séung dāam jē]
(A monk holding an umbrella – 無髮無天 “no hair no sky” , which sounds like 無法無天 “no law no heaven”)
No respect for law and order; unruly
48.cantoneseproverb39牛唔飲水唔撳得牛頭低 [ngàuh m4 yám séui m4 gahm dāk ngàuh tàuh dāi]
(If a cow doesn’t want to drink, you can’t force its head down)
If someone is unwilling to do something, it is not possible to force them; you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.
49.cantoneseproverb55冇鞋挽屐走 [móuh hàaih wáan kehk jáu]
(When there are no shoes, grab the clogs and run)
To withdraw hurriedly from an awkward situation
50.cantoneseproverb45馬死落地行 [máh séi lohk deih hàahng]
(when one’s horse dies, one has to walk)
To rely on oneself, to have to get oneself through a difficulty without help.
51.cantoneseproverb57捉到鹿唔識脫角 [jūk dóu lúk m4 sīk tyut gok]
(Got hold of the deer but can’t get the horn)
To be unable to make best use of an opportunity.
52.cantoneseproverb56一竹篙打一船人 [yāt jūk gōu dá yāt syùhn yàhn]
(Hitting everyone on a boat with a punt pole)
To overgeneralise in assigning blame, e.g. to blame a whole group of people for one person’s mistake. Get tarred with the same brush
53.cantoneseproverb85缸瓦船打老虎 [gōng ngáh syùhn dá lóuh fú]
(Hitting a tiger inside a boat full of potteries)
To risk everything on one bet; to gamble everything on one plan
54.cantoneseproverb50船頭尺 [syùhn tàuh chek]
(Plumb line on a ship)
Someone who is always asking others for money (since 度水 dohk séui can mean either “to borrow money” or “to measure water”).
[hāk gáu dāk sihk,
baahk gáu dōng jōi](The black dog gets the food, the white dog gets the punishment)
Somebody benefits by their wrongdoing, while another person gets the blame.
56.cantoneseproverb51豬籠入水 [jyū lùhng yahp séui]
(Water enters a pig basket)
To have many different ways to make money, to have money coming from many different enterprises or sources.
57.cantoneseproverb52濕水炮仗 [sāp séui paau jéung]
(A damp firecracker)
1. Useless
2. Someone with a calm temperament, who doesn’t lose their temper
58.cantoneseproverb34菠羅雞 [bō lòh gāi]
(Pineapple chicken)
Someone who takes advantage of other people; an exploiter
(*Pineapple chicken is the mascot of the Pala Temple in Canton,
which sounds like pineapple temple in Cantonese.
The mascot is made by gluing feathers on cardboard.
In Cantonese, “glue” can also mean “sponging off one’s relatives or friends”.
As the whole chicken is made by gluing,
it becomes a symbol of someone who loves to “glue”, sponging off people.)
Pineapple Chicken
59.cantoneseproverb65單眼佬睇老婆 [dāan ngáahn lóu tái lòuh pòh]
(One-eyed man looks at his wife)
Too few/simple/obvious that one can see/understand everything in a “second”.
60cantoneseproverb75狗仔抬轎 [gáu jái tòih kìuh]
(Puppies lifting /carrying a sedan chair – 不識抬舉 not knowing how to lift/carry things)
Fail to appreciate others’ favours / flattering
61.cantoneseproverb73畫隻耳上牆 [waahk jek yìh jái séuhng chéung]
(Draw an ear on the wall)
Words treated as unimportant, advice that is ignored
62.cantoneseproverb36摸門釘 [mó mùhn dēng]
(To scrape the door nails)
To go to visit someone but not find them at home, to arrange a meeting with someone but not to find them.
63.cantoneseproverb33狗咬狗骨 [gáu ngáauh gáu gwāt]
(A dog bites another dog’s bones)
Fighting among members of the same group
64.cantoneseproverb25死雞撐飯蓋 [séi gāi chaang faahn goi]
(Using a dead chicken to push back the cooking-pot lid)
To fight to the bitter end, to refuse to admit one is in the wrong
65.cantoneseproverb26炒魷魚 [cháau yáu yú]
(To stir-fry squid)
To dismiss an employee
66.cantoneseproverb41劏白鶴 [tōng baahk hohk/hók]
(To slaughter a white crane)
To vomit, to throw up
67.cantoneseproverb76風扇底傾偈 [fūng sin dái kīng gái]
(Talking under a fan – 風涼話 a chilling talk )
Saying something rude upon others’ mistakes or misfortune, inconsiderate to others’ feeling)
68.cantoneseproverb77風吹雞蛋殼 [fūng chēui gāi dáan hok]
(Wind breaks an eggshell)
Don’t worry about losing money. Be at ease with less fortune.
69.cantoneseproverb30打蛇隨棍上 [dá sèh chèuih gwan séuhng]
(To hit a snake and it crawls up the stick)
To exploit a situation to one’s advantage, to ask for something or something extra by seizing a particular opportunity.
70.cantoneseproverb58禾稈冚珍珠 [wóh gón kám jān jyū]
(Rice stalks covering pearls)
To pretend to be poor, to hide one’s true wealth (e.g. residents of public housing estates who are too wealthy to qualify for public housing)
71.cantoneseproverb78雞食放光蟲 [gāi sihk fong gwōng chúng]
(A chicken eats fireflies)
To know in one’s heart, to fully understand, to not need to think further (As the chicken eats fireflies, its belly lights up)
72.cantoneseproverb59冇掩雞籠 [móuh yím gāi lùhng]
(A doorless chicken coop)
A place where you can come and go as you wish.
73.cantoneseproverb60籠裏雞作反 [lùhng léuih gāi jok fáan]
(The chickens are fighting inside the coop)
Dissent withing an organisation, an internal rift, factional fighting; infighting
74.cantoneseproverb46一雞死一雞鳴 [yāt gāi séi yāt gāi mìhng]
(One chicken dies, one chicken crows)
When one person leaves a business or an occupation, another will take it up.
75.cantoneseproverb49老鼠拉龜 [lòuh syú lāai gwāi]
(A mouse pulls a turtle)
At one’s wits’ end
76.cantoneseproverb48扯貓尾 [ché māau mèih]
(To pull a cat’s tail)
Two people supporting each other’s stories in order to avoid a problem; to lie one’s way out of a problem.
77.cantoneseproverb47捉黃腳雞 [jūk wòhng geuk gāi]
(To catch a yellow-legged chicken)
To catch someone having illicit sex; to arrange a trap or “set up” in which someone is blackmailed after being lured into having sex, to set a “honey trap”.
78.cantoneseproverb44貼錯門神 [tip cho mùhn sàhn]
(To paste up the door gods wrongly)
To become hostile, to turn aggressive and nasty (since the door gods are normally pasted up so that they face each other, put if put up wrongly they face away from each other).
"Gwailo Door God" of Hong Kong. Credits: here
“Gwailo Door Gods” of Hong Kong.Source
79.cantoneseproverb79龜過門檻 [gwāi gwo mùhn láahm]
(A tortoise passing a sill, implying someone who can’t get on or get off)
Unable to solve a problem or escape from it. A stalemate.
80.cantoneseproverb43騎牛搵馬 [kèh ngáuh wán máh]
(To ride an ox looking for a horse)
To be working one job but looking out for a better one
81.cantoneseproverb42執死雞 [jāp séi gāi]
(To pick up a dead chicken)
1. To take something which someone else has lost or thrown away
2. To take advantage of a situation
3. To start off a relationship with someone who has been rejected by their former lover
4. To get the benefit of someone else’s hard work
5. To score an easy goal after a shot has been blocked by the goal keeper.
82.cantoneseproverb54水過鴨背 [séui gwo ngaap bui]
(Water off a duck’s back)
To make no impression on (the memory), to forget (a lesson); like water off a duck’s back
83.cantoneseproverb32咁大隻蛤乸隨街跳 [gam daaih jek gap lá chèuih gāai tiu]
(such a big frog hopping around the street)
too good to be true

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