(First Uploaded in Facebook Notes)

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Dateline: 14 November 2010

Time: 0740 hours

Mother, if you had been born 21 years ago we would be celebrating your personal freedom whence you would be given the symbolic key to the house. But alas, you left us 21 years ago. Instead of singing with joy and celebrating each moment, how do we remember you by?

Though it only seems like yesterday, your last smile is only a memory. All we have are memories. Memories which will make us smile, or make us cry, because no matter how good they are, we do not have your presence.

A mother’s love is instinctual, unconditional and forever.

How today’s mother adds up to this is sometimes a big question often left unanswered as a modern mother has gone through a completely different paradigm in life to sometimes forget the virtues their own mother instilled in them.

Again, how do we want to remember you by? How do you want us to remember you by?

I had only married 10 years when you left us. Those were hardly enough years to get to know my wife. We had gone away 2 years to New Orleans, USA. So that left only 8 years. We brought you a little gift from New Orleans in the form of our lovely baby daughter.

But my wife always remembered that you had to attend many weddings and we used to take you to a shop in Ampang Park. The shop was called Phoenix. It was one of a few gift shops in those days in KL. Of course, my wife acted as the negotiator to bargain for the gifts or she would look for gifts which had been discounted but still were thoroughly good value.

I remember you most for the smile on your face. It never disappeared! Are ladies of your generation so hardy as to accept everything in their life with such grace? What has happened to that? Have our new mothers less? Whenever I felt down, I never got the chance to wallow in the problem when I was with you. Your smile instantly glowed and would lighten up everything that was bothering me, off from my shoulders.

Our little daughter then kept you listening to her stories! Yes, she is a good story-teller! If it was not about what she did at kindie, it was questions time! “Why is that person’s face so sour?”, she would ask. She would also conjure up her own answers! When your plane landed that fateful day, she was so eager to see you that she followed to board the aeroplane. The moment she saw you she was already telling you what she did while you were away. Little did she know you could not hear her?

I was extremely sad as I remember in the afternoon as she was leaving for Jakarta for a holiday, I had a terrible thought that she would leave us all. So, when the children and her grandchildren were saying farewell by shaking her hands I kept away. In my thoughts I figured she will not return alive if I said farewell to her now. As I was thinking, this farewell would be forever. Maybe I was right as she came back alive but suffered a stroke on arrival at the airport.

I miss you very much. I often think about all the good you did in life. How loyal you were to your husband. Think of all the things I miss of you. Time is suppose to heal but does it really?

My siblings, nieces, nephews and everyone else, share with me your thoughts about her.

Al Fatihah.

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Advice from my father

My father often gave me tips on leadership. I guess he was keen for me to be a leader! His children call him Bapak.

Bapak always told me, when I was growing up, that leaders do not abdicate, but they delegate work or tasks. A good leader explains exactly how work is to be done. He entrusts the person to do it in whatever ways he deems fit. He will not micro-manage. He sets targets and judge the result based on these. His catch words also shows the importance of trust. He would tell me this, “If you want it done your way, do it yourself.”

The underlying factor here is trust. When there is trust, work goes a long way. But often, and particularly in Malaysia, we do not trust our subordinates enough. When I was working in a local bank years ago, a fellow manager commented that I was too close with them, in his own words. I told him I was not being close to be liked but to understand them better. If I did, there would be trust. And we could get them to do things willingly for us. Of course he was sceptical.

I proved this to my superiors and colleagues, many times. It was not just the clerks and non-clerical, but even for our juniors. In the bank branch I was in, we had several sections, with unofficial section heads. These section heads lead their groups due to their extensive experience and sometimes, unwittingly they do not know anything about another section. As the bank was expanding, instead of recruiting new staff, I suggested we provide these section heads the opportunity to become branch managers. I entrusted them by allowing them to be reallocated to other sections for three months. Thus in one year we had retrained enough officers to understand all the different aspects of banking. They became capable of leading a new small branch.

So as Bapak always told me as an early advice is to delegate work by giving trust, not abdicating and not micro-managing.

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My dad

When people write about their father, they are bound to write every and only good things. Would you tell everyone if your father was a wife beater? A womaniser? Surely not. But I thank Allah, that I had a good father. No, I had a great father. Yes. From family and others who spoke to me about him, I can safely say so. I feel pressured sometimes to live up to him. He made me believe that everyone can be trusted. He sees good in everyone. I have never heard him say a bad thing about anyone. Even when he was implicated in a corruption trial in the late 1960s.

I shall dedicate a section in my blog to note his thoughts and words which inspired me, growing up. Though his words are rare, they are certainly gems! I plan to call it Thoughts & Words of a Father. If my dear readers have other ideas to name this section, do write in.

In all my articles, reference is only made to the male gender, though it applies equally to the female. So when I say, he is doing something, it also means, she is doing something.

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Business is a team game

Business is a team play, i.e., all areas in a business must be properly taken care of. There will be many functions within businesses such as production, operations, marketing, sales, accounting, human resources, logistics, etc. In a small business these functions could be handled by just one person with some services being outsourced. However, each function must work together with one another. If any process is ignored or incomplete, the business will not run smoothly.

Businesses that do not fulfill this technicality, tend to fail, unless changes are quickly made. Even one man shows, such as a fledgling legal practice require an assistant to handle documents, court papers, court appointments, banking transactions, and many more.

The most basic of any start up must at least have a bookkeeper to keep accurate track of all incomes and expenses, failing which the company could within a year, fall into bad times.

If a business start up is based on a single person’s idea and he or she is passionate about his or her idea, and feels it is a viable business to venture into, he or she ought to find some like minded people to talk it over before pursuing the idea. This is for them to discover other factors for which they may not have thought off. It is so easy to ignore possible red flags in one’s desire to start a business. Another person will help, even if he or she is not of the same mindset.

To grow a business, one must build the team carefully. A prerequisite in taking a person in is, he or she must be a team player, willing to listen to other opinions and accept differences. Even if just one person does not pull his or her weight for the team, the business is doomed.

Remember all you budding entrepreneurs, always be on the look out for team members.

Good luck!

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Starting a business

Ever since humans discarded hunting for food, commerce has prospered to support us in all areas of our life. Some choose to work for others, while some work for themselves. Many will find starting a business an attractive proposition. There are many businesses one can begin and each industry has its uniqueness. But one of the aims of each one of these is to provide sufficient income for the business owner to pay for all the commitments of the business and to provide for his personal expenses.

Is it easy to start a business?

The answer is of course it depends on what type of business you venture into. Small businesses and big businesses differ in many aspects. The complexity increases as the business gets bigger in terms of financial requirements, staffing needs, infrastructure, promotion, and many others.

The smaller businesses will be the easiest to start. Being easy to start means, competition will be plentiful. The person who provides the best value for the products or services will eventually survive. Thus many businesses fail in the first year of operations, regardless of the size of the business.

How do we ensure the success?

Business is a team play, i.e., all areas in a business must be properly taken care of. There are many functions within businesses such as production, marketing, sales, accounting, human resources, etc. In a small business these functions could be handled by just one person with some services being outsourced. However, each function must work together with one another. Thus it is technically a team play.

Other success factors include sufficient back up by financially strong parties to help tide matters until profitability is attained. These may be individuals or financial institutions. Many forms are financing are now available. Experts in finance will also be a team member.

How do we put all these together?

A business plan will certainly come in handy. Do not believe anyone who says he has it all in his head! Many other factors must be covered. Some businesses require licensing. Requirements of town councils may sometimes be a necessity. Environmental safety could also be a factor.

Starting a business is easy but ensuring its success require more work and a professional business plan writer would certainly assist.

Good luck!

27 October 2014.

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Ramble On – The beginning

I am a quiet person. I do not easily speak to strangers. Basically I am an introvert, though I have often wanted to be prolific at blogging. I have a lot to say and this is a slight paradox really. I started this site just to do that. However, I did not manage to write and post regularly. Often, I have written articles and found that I could not finish them. I have many half completed pieces in my computer. Thus, I am creating this section to allow me to upload short pieces quickly so that my thoughts are not wasted. I will try to complete some of them soon.

Ramble on is inspired by Led Zeppelin’s song from their second album in 1969, in which they sang about rambling on to find their girl wherever she has gone. Although the meaning is not accurate. The title is. So I ramble on.

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The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

1 January 2019

Let me start with what I did from early today. I have a lovely granddaughter who turned two in November. She and her family were flying off to Melbourne this morning and we sent her off as early as 7:00 a.m. The flight was from KLIA2. There was a huge crowd, although much has been automated such as check-in and printing of boarding passes and baggage tags. The flight left safely at 10:35 a.m.

There were two girls maybe 5 and 6 years-old who were singing, “The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round….” My granddaughter pulled my hand in the direction of a train cut out on hearing these kids singing and posing in the train’s windows. She’s heard the song before many times on television.

I was surprised when my granddaughter asked me to take photographs of her posing at some cut out train, though she was too short to stick her face up properly like these girls she had noticed. She had actually seen the older girls being photographed by their mother. See the photograph below.

She is not tall enough.

Usually we would have to suggest to her where to stand and how to pose in order to take photos of her, but today it was she who did so. Often when we wanted to photograph her, she would be playful, making faces at us or not looking at the camera at all, but today, she was such an angel.

At the end of the train.

We shall miss you while you are in Australia.

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Petaling Jaya, 1 January 2019

Welcome 2019.

I am planning to journal everyday as a form of therapy! I know it will be difficult, but I like to challenge myself. Instead of only writing journals privately, I have decided to occasionally write short daily blogs.

I will see whether I can sustain this or not. But I would be happy even if I just end up writing once-a-week.


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The website is back functioning the way it should. So I will continue posting blogs written previously which I could not upload, previously. Some are old. I will try and indicate which are old and which are recent ones .

I hope they are interesting enough but they would have written dates as much as I can remember.


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Happy New Year 2018!!!

The new year is already a few days old and I have not wished my readers a prosperous, healthy and wealthy new year. An oversight I beg your forgiveness for. I wish for all of us, a very good year indeed.

For Malaysians, we will have a general election soon. Could it be the most hard-fought elections ever? I pray that we as a nation have a safe and uneventful election. For whatever it’s worth, my advice has always been to study the incumbent and choose according to their ability to serve the electorate fairly, and without any racial or religious bias.

Malaysia is a small peaceful country and its citizens wish to continue living in peace.

To a wonderful year ahead.

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