Sunday, January 29, 2006

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Wishing you all a year full of progress and achievements. Gong Xi Fa Cai!!!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Give Me A Break!

Sometimes, people just have to learn to be more considerate. Next week is Chinese New Year week, filled with loads of holidays. Isn't it time for some festive cheer and spending some quality time with family and friends while getting some good rest? Apparently not!

If you do not know, I'm giving tuition and the only time I can rest is on the weekends since I have classes Mondays through Thursdays. I've been looking forward to next week not only because it's Chinese New Year but it's like a long week of holidays. I was really looking forward to getting some rest and relaxation to replenish my batteries but I guess it's all just wishful thinking.

Sunday and Monday is Chinese New Year. Tuesday Wednesday is the replacement for Sunday while Wednesday Tuesday is Awal Muharram. All these are public holidays! Shouldn't I at least get the week off? It's not like they are losing any lessons or anything! They are getting four lessons in January and the same goes for February too! They are not short-changed in anyway whatsoever! In fact, I teach longer by 15 to 30 minutes every single class! I go early for classes and leave later than expected. It's unbelievable really. Even if they want to squeeze every ounce of juice from me, at least think of their own children! How will they feel having lessons during Chinese New Year?!? Isn't it only fair that they get a break to enjoy the festivities too?

I was just shocked that they could even sound startled that I'm not going to have classes next week! The children were so looking forward to a break next week and so was I. The break can only do wonders to all of us by getting out batteries recharged. The only solution to the situation was me giving replacement classes and the only day possible is Friday. That would mean a full working week for the month of February and shorter time to rest on the weekends!

Although the reason for me giving tuition is to generate some needed income, I've not once shirked my responsibility as a tutor. My students are my utmost priority and they always come first regardless of what happens. I even drop students who aren't progressing well enough and I feel I'm not in a position to help, just so the parents do not waste more money on me. If I'm just thinking of making a quick buck, I wouldn't give a rat's ass if the student was progressing or not, as long as I get paid, no? Unfortunately, I'm not that type of person. That's why I will stay on after my designated teaching hours which can only benefit my students. I even buy workbooks for them and not claim back!

As long as I know my students are doing better now compared to before I taught them, I'm happy even if it means extra hours without extra payment but since the parents are being so calculative about this, I think I'm not going to be so benevolent anymore. I think it is only fair. If they would to ask their children, I'm sure they will tell them I'm not doing a bad job at all. In fact, they are way ahead of their schools now and can grasp the subjects quite well. I'm really thinking of slowing it all down which will only impede on their children's progress. To be fair, I've been thinking of slowing things down a few notches but I guess my hand's been forced now.

If you want to be calculative, I can be more calculative! Come on man, the least you could have done to reward me was give me that one week off! Is that too much to ask?!?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Sickly Thin

I was just going through some photos taken recently with my labmates during a makan session. I had wanted to upload it to Flickr and probably change my profile picture too but I've decided otherwise now. I look so damn sickly thin!

I weighted myself the other day using the scale used for the lab class I teach and I was shocked that I've actually lost that much weight! 57kg?!? That's new! I guess it's about time I pile on the weight again to achieve that 'meaty' look that so many people seems to like. I don't mind that meaty look at all. The only problem is, the meaty look comes together with a big belly and I so hate having a big belly!

I guess the only way for me to gain that meaty look without the big belly is to work out. But the thing is, do I have the luxury of time to work out? Whatever it is, I've to start growing some meat...FAST!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Driving Myvi

I'm driving my aunt's Perodua Myvi today. Although I'm very fond of this car, I can't say I'm trilled at the thought of me finally being able to drive one. I just don't feel too comfortable driving somebody else's car. I mean, I don't mind driving someone else's car and have no problems at being able to maneuver the car or anything but I just don't feel nice driving someone else's car if I had other options. In this case, I was doing her a favour by bringing her spanking new car for its first service.

My first impression about the inside of the car is how high the seats are and how low the handbrake and gear control are. I found it a bit difficult to shift gears as I had to make an extra effort to reach either the handbrake or gear control. Next was the radio. I just couldn't find the on/off switch. I must be blind or something since this car has HUGE labellings for its audio system. I decided to poke my finger around the controls and finally got the radio to work.

The air-conditioning is good but that's what you should expect from a new car, no? I like the display panel technology which is borrowed from Toyota, which is in collaboration with Perodua. Really adds that touch of class to it. I also like the auto-locking function of the doors the first time you step on the brakes after ignition and the auto-release function when you switch off the engine. I've always wanted that function in the cars I drive. Another thing I like about the car is the silent indication that your car is locked and the alarm is armed. I hate all those "tooit...tooit" sounds. Another touch of class here by Perodua although I know of some people who would rather hear some sound indicating their cars are already locked.

Driveability-wise, it still feels very much like driving a Perodua car, something like driving a Kenari or Kancil. I still prefer the driveability of larger sedan cars which gives you a better feel while driving. The suspension is not as good compared to the Gen-2 my mom drives but this could be due to air pressure since my aunt is not quite known for inflating her tyres to the appropriate range. The pedals are really tiny (same as the handbrake and gear control). I feel very uncomfortable driving a car this size with such small pedals. I can tolerate using such pedals on a Kancil but I expected larger and sturdier pedals for this car.

I still love the servicing done my Perodua. It's doesn't take forever like Proton. It took them less than an hour and the estimated time of completion given by them is very accurate. When I took my Kancil for servicing previously, it was also this fast and hassle-free. They even provide free ice-cream this time! I wished I knew of this offering earlier. I only found out after the car was ready. :(

Will I get myself a Myvi in the future? I do not know. It seems to be the most affordable and acceptable car to me at the moment. If I do get the Myvi, I would definitely get the automatic transmission instead. Maybe I'm just not used to driving this car yet but it seems that you have to put in some extra effort just to drive the car. I do admire the Toyota Vios and other more expensive marques a lot but I guess I just have to be reasonable. For now, I will still be driving my SLK. :P

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Meet My Wife

No-lah, not my's my friend's wife. I myself will be shocked to hear I had a wife hidden somewhere that I didn't know of. :P I took him to the airport yesterday to greet her wife who had spent the whole day flying from Shanghai including transit at KLIA. He's one lucky guy as from my first impression, I find her to be an intelligent and attractive lady.

I've seen her in photos before but I guess what they say is true. Someone will look totally different in person compared to photos, videos, television and so forth. I don't know if I look different since I've been told that I am photogenic *ahem* but I do know that I sound different on voice recordings but I'm getting used to it now. ;) She's really quite tall and you really can't see this in photos. Fortunately, my friend is tall too. Hehehe...

Yesterday was also a day of treats. They took me out for dinner to thank me for my 'taxi service' although I had plans to have dinner at home. In fact, I promised to go home for dinner yesterday since it has been a week since I ate at home but the only courteous thing to do is to accept their offer. I was actually shocked when the wife handed over a bag of treats (sweets/chocolates/sweets) which is suppose to be quite popular in China. Haiz....paiseh la....

Oh yeah, I call it a day of treats since earlier yesterday, I was even treated for lunch! It was totally unexpected but I guess the best treats are always those that you don't expect, right? She gave me a treat since I was repairing her computer. Actually, there's still work to be done since I found out there's something wrong with her hardware too! I had initially diagnosed her software causing the problem. Well, she need not have bought me that treat seriously but I'm grateful for her gesture nonetheless. :)

Hmmm....some other people owe me some treats especially one particular person. I wonder when will someone start treating me since he owes me a long list of treats by now and it always keeps increasing! :P

That reminds me, I also owe some people some treats but I've decided on the treat and also the time for the treat already. Hmmm....maybe the more suitable title for this entry is "All About Treats" or something like that. :P

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Being someone who frequents McDonald's everyday nowadays (well, at least for the whole of this week!), something caught my attention. Some of the items on the menu were plastered with the sign "SOLD OUT!". Sold out? Is business that good? Some of the items that I could remember are the Peach Orange Sundae, the Peach Orange McFlurry, and the Ayam Goreng McD. Hey, what's happening here? I didn't even get a chance to taste them yet!

I first saw these "SOLD OUT!" signs during my trip to Sungai Petani yesterday. My first impression was that it might not be available there due to the town being small or there might not be demand for such items there. Little did I know that today when I visited the Sungai Dua outlet here near USM to purchase my usual lunch/tea/dinner (call it what you want...), they had the same "SOLD OUT!" signs on the very same items! Huh?!? What's going on? Is there a shortage of peaches and chickens in Malaysia or are these items that unattractive that the only economically sound thing to do is to take them off the menu!

I'm really curious. Can somebody in the know tell me what's happening here? Doesn't McDonald's want my cash? I'm dying for some Peach Orange Sundae right now! I'm so not lovin' it now...

The Amazing Vanishing RM3.20

I just can't figure out why I'm short of RM3.20. Maybe I've been a tad more busy and a little bit tired nowadays but I'm sure I should be able to recall spending RM3.20 for something in the past couple of days! I truly cannot explain why I'm short of RM3.20 and the amount is so strange. It's not RM3 or just 20sen, it's RM3.20...exactly!

Yes, if you must know, I do keep track of my expenditure. It is so that I do not go overboard when spending my money. I can be very spendthrift if I want to. :P What I really do not understand is how is it that I'm short of exactly RM3.20. It's like I spent it on something but have no recollection of it now and this can only be from expenses within the past couple of days!

Am I really getting so forgetful? Maybe I did leave it on some desk or something thus doing some charity for the person who finds it. The lab was a bit crowded the past few days and I could have left the money on the bench or something without realising but it's truly amazing that I could have done such a thing.

Even if I would to have dropped it or something, why such an odd amount? Coins are kept in a zipper bag just so I can prevent them from getting lost! I would have understood if RM3 was missing as maybe I dropped the bills or it flew away or something but the thought of missing RM3.20, either an accumulative or a single amount, it's really bizarre.

Anyway, after trying to figure this out since last night, I've come to accept that I've done some 'charity' with the RM3.20. I hope whoever that fortunate person may be would put the money to good use although it can be considered as just a paltry amount. :(

Monday, January 16, 2006

Au Revoir Helmet

Since coming back to Penang a few years back, I don't think I remember a time when I put on the helmet that I used during my undergraduates days where my friends will bring me around on their motorcycles. Today, however I bid my helmet farewell as I've 'loaned' it to someone that I'm not quite sure if he will return it to me or not. You see, I'm still quite attached to the helmet and it brings back some memories, good or bad.

True, that it has been collecting dust for awhile now although I've kept it as clean as possible while storing it somewhere but recently, I decided to bring it out from isolation and put it in my lab in case I might need to use it. You see, the walking to and fro the Aquaculture Centre has taken its toll on me, so I would gladly hitch a ride on any motorcycles if the opportunity presents itself. Unfortunately, not even once did I manage to use my helmet in campus.

I was quite hesitant in parting with my helmet but I guess it's for a good cause. I'm helping a friend out so I do hope he appreciates it but I'm not telling what's it for although it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out! :P Although it has quite a few scratches but I guess that's what gives the helmet character, no? It's a sporty black helmet that has a visor (razor for some but I seriously don't understand why they would call the visor a razor).

I didn't exactly get to say my goodbyes to my helmet. He just came to collect it and zoomed away into the sunset (figuratively speaking) and my helmet was gone. I didn't even get to wear it one last time! It might sound real silly but it's true. I'm somehow that attached to the helmet that I've asked for it to be returned when he was done using it eventhough I'll probably not need it anymore. It's just one of those things that you can't explain. I've learnt through the years to part with my stuff more easily but this has proven to be quite difficult, I do not know why.

I don't know if I will see my helmet again but I really do hope my friend will grant me my wish to at least let me wear it one last time and take me on a joyride just for old times' sake. *sniff*

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Webcam Karaoke

It seems like it's such a fad nowadays. Internet users have found a new route to fame and glory. karaoke!!!

OK, I admit that I do sometimes lip-sync to the music I listen to either in front of the computer, in the car, in the shower or some other place but it's always when I'm alone or with people I'm comfortable with (which means usually alone la)....NEVER in front of my webcam, not when it's on, not when it's transmitting those humiliating scenes to the whole wide world!

However, some people just love the attention and they have achieved fame and glory after successfully going through the shame barrier that is stopping everyone else from doing the same. The most famous of all has to be Gary Brolsma doing the Numa-numa. Since the release of his performance, there has been so many variations and probably the next most famous version of the Numa-numa dance is this one by some students in Malaysia. The Numa-numa dance has caught so much attention that it is even featured in Chicken Little! Although I've not watched the movie, I've been told by many it is indeed in the animated movie. It's even thought to be the theme song! Hmmm....look what I dug up! :P I was actually promised a version by a certain group of people but till today, it has not seen the day of light! *ahem* ;)

The next most popular act has got to be The Dormitory Boys - two Chinese guys that perform right in their dormitory to the tunes of Backstreet Boys hits and other popular songs. Their facial expressions are seriously funny. Their best performance has got to be BSB's I Want It That Way. Hmmm...I wonder what does BSB have to say about this rendition of their music video. :P They are really damn lawak (funny) and you can just lift your day by watching them lip-sync your favourite tune. Their motto is after all "Life is short, make fools of yourselves while you can!"

I wonder...who will be the next Webcam Karaoke Idol? :P

Friday, January 13, 2006

Bad Luck Comes In Threes

There's this saying that bad luck comes in threes. Truthfully, I've not heard of it until just recently when I was personally struck with some setbacks of my own, all within a 12 hour timeframe. I'm not exactly the superstitious type but I was really amazed at how 'accurate' it was.

I was explaining to a friend of mine concerning one of the setbacks (#2 to be exact) and how unfortunate I was to be strucked with another setback so soon after such a major one. She suddenly popped the question, "So, what's the third?". I was dumbfounded that she actually knew there was a third (setback #1)! I pressed her to tell me all about her amazing psychic skills only to be disappointed by the revelation that she believed bad luck always come in threes. What a letdown! Here I was thinking I had a friend who had a future with crystal balls. :P

So, do I believe in this saying? I dunno but I think it may have some substance after all. Ever since the third setback, everything has been going well for me. I mean, I've had my share of misfortune already, right? It's only fair that fortune start streaming back to me, no? Looks like that's the case now. :)

Today is Friday the 13th, a day many regard as unlucky or bad. Since I've already gone through my share of misfortunes earlier than expected, I suppose I've nothing to fear (not like I've ever put special attention on this day or anything). So, are you a friggatriskaidekaphobiac?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Nobody Knows

by The Tony Rich Project

"Nobody Knows" music video by The Tony Rich Project

I pretended I'm glad you went away
These four walls closin' more every day
And I'm dying inside
And nobody knows it but me
Like a clown I put on a show
The pain is real even if nobody knows
And I'm crying inside
And nobody knows it but me

Why didn't I say
The things I needed to say
How could I let my angel get away
Now my world is just a tumblin' down
I can say it so clearly
But you're nowhere around

The nights are lonely, the days are so sad
And I just keep thinkin' about
The love that we had
And I'm missin' you
And nobody knows it but me

I carry a smile when I'm broken in two
And I'm nobody without someone like you
I'm tremblin' inside and nobody knows it but me
I lie awake it's a quarter past three
I'm screamin' at night as if I thought
You'd hear me
Yeah my heart is callin' you
And nobody knows it but me

How blue can I get
You could ask my heart
But like a jigsaw puzzle it's been torn all apart
A million words couldn't say just how I feel
A million years from now you know
I'll be lovin' you still

The nights are lonely, the days are so sad
And I just keep thinkin' about
The love that we had
And I'm missin' you
And nobody knows it but me

Tomorrow mornin' I'm hitting the dusty road
Gonna find you wherever, ever you might go
I'm gonna unload my heart and hope you come back to me
Said when the nights are lonely...

The nights are lonely, the days are so sad
And I just keep thinkin' about
The love that we had
And I'm missin' you
And nobody knows it but me

Indeed a very old song but it reflects exactly how I feel right now...down to every single word of it...the lyrics are just so talking to me...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Internet Is For Porn

There were a few interesting things I wanted to blog about today but I find this far more interesting and entertaining. Wasn't exactly a smooth flowing day (nothing too nasty or serious though) but this video my friend sent to me through an offline message just made my day and I just had to share it. Thanks a million!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Is This Right?

Everyone's just going crazy with The Star's Power of 9 competition. Although I'm participating in the competition too, I think some people are just taking it the wrong way.

IT consultant aims to win the biggie

KUALA LUMPUR: Call it the kiasu attitude. Not to be outdone by others who submit multiple contest forms, IT consultant Hiew Keng Soon snapped up 200 copies of The Star yesterday to increase his winning chances in the final week of the Power of 9 contest.

Hiew, 28, who hopes to win the prize for the highest number of entries, has submitted 500 forms and is still going for more.

He bought the 200 copies at The Star Road Show at the MPH bookstore in Mid Valley Megamall here.

"I've made several attempts on the weekly contests but still have no luck. I guess Malaysians are the same, a bit kiasu when it comes to things like this. To me, buying numerous copies is a sort of investment and still a lot better than gambling," said Hiew. [...]

Is this right? I understand that people are trying to increase their chances in winning the grand prize of RM199,999, the nine special prizes of RM3,999 and vying to be one of the nine contestants with the highest number of entries, but have they thought of the implications of their actions? This is not being helped by The Star promoting people to buy more newspapers just to get the entry forms by holding roadshows, lucky draws and offering prizes for the nine contestants with the highest number of entries.

Yes, The Star wants to increase revenue, readership, awareness and all that but how about the impact on the environment? Has anyone thought about that? To purchase hundreds of newspapers just for a single entry form which takes up just a small section in the last page of each newspaper while the rest of the newspaper is of no use and discarded just like that, what damage is being done on the environment? Even if those newspapers were to be recycled, have they thought of the cost and the damage on the environment? Have they thought of the deinking process that is nothing short of damaging to the environment? Have they thought of the energy costs involved especially when fossil fuels are on the decline?

I do hope they realise the repercussions of their actions. We might have increased our chances in winning the competition by purchasing such insane number of copies but in the end, all of us are losers when we neglect this world of ours time and again.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Google's Surprising Find

Usually I will use Google to check for my spelling and search for some phrases that I'm not sure of. I was looking for the term "bend over backwards" but I just couldn't remember it, so I googled. Look what Google came up with when I searched for the term "bend my back over" (without the inverted commas).

I was just perplexed at the first result Google offered. Google is well-known for coming up with the best search results and usually the top results are what you are looking for. How is this related to what I was looking for? I read the snippet and soon realised how it was connected. I had a good laugh at that find. Considering that Google indexes webpages quite frequently and webpages are reranked and rearranged after each round of indexing, this find might not be available in the future but I'll always have this screenshot to prove it. I wonder what will Google come up with next? ;)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

RM7,250 A Day

If you were offered RM7,250 a day, would you take the job? I believe anyone in their right mind would since it's a whopping RM200,000 a month! Now, add that amount with other incentives, allowances and bonuses...only a very small fraction of the world population will ever not want to take up the job. Even if there were no allowances or bonuses involved, it's still a very lucrative amount.

Chris Andrews, the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) consultant that is reported to earn RM7,250 a day has resigned. Can you believe the amount MAS is paying this guy? RM7,250 a day...not a week, not a month....A DAY! If anyone wants to find the reasons for the current predicament Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is in, this is one good example. I don't know what kind of consultation he's doing for Malaysia Airlines but I bet he's not unhappy with what he's been paid! What advice does he offer that cost RM7,250 a day? Advices that make Malaysia Airlines so heavily in debt now? Advices such as the purchase of three paintings worth RM1.55 million when they are already facing financial problems? It is interesting to note that Mr. Andrews was formerly attached to Air New Zealand which went bankrupt in 2002.

I believe it can only be a good thing that Mr. Andrews has now left MAS and relieved them from having to cough up RM7,250 everyday for his services. For the national airlines to turn its ship around, the management needs to take some tough and aggressive cost-cutting measures. I do hope MAS does not follow in the footsteps of Air New Zealand after receiving the 'magic touch' from Mr. Andrews. For context, read this and this.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Who Owes Who Now?

There's a saying that you should never borrow money from your friends as it will complicate matters. Realistically, most of such 'friendly' transactions are safe and you as the lender will be able to get back your money. Sometimes (only sometimes but unfortunately one is bad enough) some of these transactions turn sour.

I've had my fair share of such 'soured' transactions. I am hardly a borrower as I try my very best not to do so unless really necessary. However, on many occasions, I do become the lender. Previously, I would just leave the matter to rest or even consider the bad debt as a 'gift' to my borrower friends. I mean, how do you tell them that they owe you money? It will be such an awkward moment, no? As the person who made the decision to borrow the money, you should at least have the courtesy of remembering and make it a habit to return the money as soon as possible. I will always feel very uncomfortable if I had to borrow money from someone. It will be my first priority to return the money as soon as possible or I'll feel as if there's this weight on my shoulder all the time.

I understand that sometimes you will forget as I probably would have on numeral occasions but if it was ever pointed out to me that I had forgotten to repay my borrowings, I will feel so ashamed that I will find the quickest way to return the money, whatever it takes even if I would to incur some sort of loss or inconvenience. I mean, it's only fair since I've actually inconvenienced my lender friend and I'm not even being charged interest, right? Unfortunately, not everyone thinks this way.

Awkward moment or not, nowadays I will remind my debtors of their borrowings. I'm not in a position to be charitable now, you see. Although the amount might be small, I just find it wrong that you do not feel it is something important. Worse still, when you are reminded of your debts, the least you could do is to pay up immediately. Please remember who is the debtor. Please remember who owes who. I believe the borrower has an obligation to cater and accomodate to the lender in this case and not the other way around since you have clearly erred. In this technologically advanced age we live in, there are so many possibilities, so many options to choose from. I feel it is only right not to inconvenient the lender anymore.

It is bad enough that you expect me to wait in campus till so late just so I can accomodate to your time. It is bad enough that I have to come up with the money in the first place when I'm unemployed. It is bad enough that I have to wait three months for my money to be returned (IF it is returned). I'm not asking from you a single sen more than what you had borrowed and now you are making such a fuss about the minimal service charge for each online transaction? You got to be kidding me!

Of course I'm not going to be so stringent like financial institutions and all but I have limitations too. It seems that I have to accomodate to his schedule and not the other way around. If I'm not able to be around at his designated time then that's just too bad for me. WTF?!? I've taken the extra effort to stay behind way after when I would usually have gone back when the one that should put in the extra effort is him! It is as if I'm the one owing him something! Now it's my fault for not being able to accomodate to his schedule? Outrageous!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Smart Card

I collected my new student card this morning. I was the first to collect since I was there before 9am (the official time they start operations). I thought we could collect it during office hours which started at least an hour ago but I was wrong so I had to wait awhile before I could collect the 'smart card'. I wonder how smart it is, can take MENSA test ah?

USM Smart Card

Although I had applied for the new student card later than someone that made such a big fuss about applying early get early, applying late get late, I still got it earlier than him. HA! What do you have to say now? The fact still remains that I didn't get my student card later than him as he had predicted and I was not at any disadvantage from not being able to use the new smart card features compared to others like him who had applied earlier. In fact, I have the chance to use it earlier than him! So, go shove your male ego and flawed hypotheses up your sorry ass!

USM Smart Card

You have to exchange your old student card for the new 'smart' version. Apart from the smart card, they also provided a new plastic holder and landyard to protect your new student card. It has this zip-lock feature to ensure your card is protected from water and all but although the idea is a novel one, it doesn't really work that well. Maybe mine is faulty as it doesn't close fully all the time but it really defeats the purpose especially when you have to take your card out to run some transactions, no?

USM Smart Card

The chip lies at the front of the card along with a picture of you, your name, your designation and your student ID. I have to admit this card is way nicer than the previous card which was not exactly that pleasant looking. Yes, this was the picture that the person had to take multiple shots before releasing me. For context, read this.

Behind the card, there is still a magnetic strip but no more barcodes. There is also a Bank Islam account number imprinted on the back. Hmmm...I don't recall applying for a bank account at Bank Islam so how did they manage to open an account at Bank Islam for me? What is this account for anyway? Of course, I'm not complaining if they are planning to give me free money through this bank account. ;)

All in all, I'm pleased with the new 'smart' student card. Let's see how useful it really is...

Close Account Charges?!?

When you open a savings account with a banking institution, you are actually giving them money to do business. Without your money, they are not able to offer loans to loan applicants and that's their core business - lending money. As such, not only are you the customer, you are also the boss, unless of course if you are taking a loan from them then you are the customer but you can't be considered their boss. In return for your savings that enabled them to run their business, they offer you interest calculated on the amount you have 'invested' in them.

I've always hated Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN). They offer sub-standard services although they offer slightly higher interest compared to other banking institutions and the Government guarantees your savings but this is no longer relevant as every account is assured up to RM60,000 after the recent ruling by Bank Negara Malaysia. I've always had problems when dealing with BSN and I've been dealing with most if not all the banks available in Malaysia. BSN is one of the worst if not the worst!

What I do not understand is why you are being charged if you close your account with them. Since I don't need a BSN account anymore, I decided to finally close the account. Actually I've wanted to close it a few years back but was scared off by the RM5 administration charge for closing the account. It's like a goodbye 'gift' to say "thank you very much for letting us f**k you". Worse still, they didn't even pay me interest for the whole of last year!!! If you have been offering excellent service all these while, I might even close one eye on the administration charges but how can you charge someone for doing nothing? That's totally absurb!

Whatever transactions you want to do at BSN (especially at it's main branch) is a real hassle. You have to wait next to forever before you are served at the counter. When I wanted to open this bank account, I spent the whole day with them! This time it was not that long but still I could walk quite a distance to another bank (which is well-known for having the largest customer base but still able to serve its customers promptly) and run through my transactions with them, walk back and still had time to wait for my turn at the BSN counter. The employees are not helpful either. All I needed was a pen to fill up the withdrawal form when I was at the counter but he declined to lend me one and instead ask me to go all the way to the back to fill up the form. What kind of service is this? They know they have so many customers waiting (over 40) and they only opened up TWO counters?!? What's wrong with them?

People close their accounts for various reasons and nothing will justify punishing them with the RM5 administration charge. This is daylight robbery indeed. Bank Negara, you want to find a bone to pick with banks that charge unscrouplous service and administration fees? Look no further.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Pak Guard Wants Tuition

On the way to tuition, I was questioned by the security guard on my purpose being there. Of course I told him the truth which was I'm there to give tuition to some tenant's kids. To my surprise, he enquired further about my giving tuition! this guy interested in having tuition? Hahaha...

Apparently, no. He's looking for a tutor for his kid. It's amazing where opportunities can pop up. In this case, it was at a parking lot with a security guard. Although it's not a sure shot yet but at least it shows that opportunities can surface at any place, at any time. It's up to everyone to answer when opportunity knocks. Very often, I don't quite answer to them but I'm learning to do more of it now.

There's this one somewhat potential 'customer' I still have to convince that my services are good enough and my charges are not exorbitant as she claims. I will bend a little but if her demands are too much, then that's the end of the story. I will not bend over backwards just to please her and put myself in a spot.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Wishlist 2006

Here's what I wish for in 2006 (in no particular order):

  1. to progress further in my self-initiated 'anger management' program which has been largely successful so far *ahem* :P (for context read this)
  2. to achieve ground-breaking results in my research
  3. to finish my graduate studies (largely dependant on #2)
  4. to be gainfully employed (after achieving #3)
  5. to stay healthy and maybe gain a little weight (been getting too many comments on being so skinny now)
  6. to stop being a self enforced hermit
  7. to visit the cinemas for at least one (good) movie (which I've successfully avoided the whole of 2005)
  8. to blog more from the heart and not so much from the brain
  9. to include more pictures in my blog
  10. to make an impact in at least one person's life (my lifetime wish actually)
  11. to reply emails more promptly (can't they just read my blog? :P)
  12. to start my pet project on podcasting
  13. a world without conflict (or at least less of it)
  14. no major flu pandemic or the like
  15. Manchester United to win the EPL
  16. McLaren Mercedes to win the Constructors Title
  17. Kimi Raikkonen to rule the F1 tracks
  18. Malaysia to be more Malaysian
  19. Penang to be more developed (in the right way)
  20. an affordable but powerful Intel iBook (wouldn't mind if someone gives me one)

Disclaimer: This is neither a complete list nor an indication that the author promises to fulfill all the wishes above.