Thursday, March 29, 2012

Decisive when the time comes

While average performers are timid and lack confidence in their own judgment, champions are known for their ability to make decisions, especially under pressure. 

The difference is courage and confidence. 

Even the best leaders are uncertain about their decisions in an environment of unprecedented change. 
I know this for a fact, I've been down this road a couple of times.

The difference is their willingness to make a decision and take full responsibility for the outcome.

Amateur performers habitually play not to lose and procrastinate because they fear making a mistake. 
The great ones know mistakes will be made and can be corrected. 

Their willingness to assume full responsibility for their decisions eliminates the need to gather more input than is absolutely necessary. 
Developing a sound decision-making process, while understanding every decision is somewhat a gamble, is the foundation of superior leadership. 
Professional performers can lead people and organizations effectively under such high-pressure constraints because they possess the self-trust necessary to make decisions without fear. 
Generally speaking, the higher the leadership position, the greater and the deeper the leader’s self-trust must be. 
Courage, self-trust and the willingness to assume full responsibility for the outcomes of their decisions are mandatory traits of competent and effective leaders.

Action Step for Today:
Take a decision you have been putting off for a while and decide on a course of action within the next 24 hours.

Decision-making skills are like muscles: they can only be built through use.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pass the Books. Hold the Oil.

Perhaps we should take heed of this article. The real resource of a nation isn't it's natural ones, but rather it's people.

Pass the Books. Hold the Oil.

Thomas Fuchs
Published: March 10, 2012

EVERY so often someone asks me: “What’s your favorite country, other than your own?”

Josh Haner/The New York Times
Thomas L. Friedman                           

I’ve always had the same answer: Taiwan. “Taiwan? Why Taiwan?” people ask.       
Very simple: Because Taiwan is a barren rock in a typhoon-laden sea with no natural resources to live off of — it even has to import sand and gravel from China for construction — yet it has the fourth-largest financial reserves in the world. Because rather than digging in the ground and mining whatever comes up, Taiwan has mined its 23 million people, their talent, energy and intelligence — men and women. I always tell my friends in Taiwan: “You’re the luckiest people in the world. How did you get so lucky? You have no oil, no iron ore, no forests, no diamonds, no gold, just a few small deposits of coal and natural gas — and because of that you developed the habits and culture of honing your people’s skills, which turns out to be the most valuable and only truly renewable resource in the world today. How did you get so lucky?”
That, at least, was my gut instinct. But now we have proof.       
A team from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or O.E.C.D., has just come out with a fascinating little study mapping the correlation between performance on the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, exam — which every two years tests math, science and reading comprehension skills of 15-year-olds in 65 countries — and the total earnings on natural resources as a percentage of G.D.P. for each participating country. In short, how well do your high school kids do on math compared with how much oil you pump or how many diamonds you dig?       
 The results indicated that there was a “a significant negative relationship between the money countries extract from national resources and the knowledge and skills of their high school population,” said Andreas Schleicher, who oversees the PISA exams for the O.E.C.D. “This is a global pattern that holds across 65 countries that took part in the latest PISA assessment.” Oil and PISA don’t mix. (See the data map at:       
As the Bible notes, added Schleicher, “Moses arduously led the Jews for 40 years through the desert — just to bring them to the only country in the Middle East that had no oil. But Moses may have gotten it right, after all. Today, Israel has one of the most innovative economies, and its population enjoys a standard of living most of the oil-rich countries in the region are not able to offer.”       
So hold the oil, and pass the books. According to Schleicher, in the latest PISA results, students in Singapore, Finland, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan stand out as having high PISA scores and few natural resources, while Qatar and Kazakhstan stand out as having the highest oil rents and the lowest PISA scores. (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Bahrain, Iran and Syria stood out the same way in a similar 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, or Timss, test, while, interestingly, students from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey — also Middle East states with few natural resources — scored better.) Also lagging in recent PISA scores, though, were students in many of the resource-rich countries of Latin America, like Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. Africa was not tested. Canada, Australia and Norway, also countries with high levels of natural resources, still score well on PISA, in large part, argues Schleicher, because all three countries have established deliberate policies of saving and investing these resource rents, and not just consuming them.       
Add it all up and the numbers say that if you really want to know how a country is going to do in the 21st century, don’t count its oil reserves or gold mines, count its highly effective teachers, involved parents and committed students. “Today’s learning outcomes at school,” says Schleicher, “are a powerful predictor for the wealth and social outcomes that countries will reap in the long run.”       
Economists have long known about “Dutch disease,” which happens when a country becomes so dependent on exporting natural resources that its currency soars in value and, as a result, its domestic manufacturing gets crushed as cheap imports flood in and exports become too expensive. What the PISA team is revealing is a related disease: societies that get addicted to their natural resources seem to develop parents and young people who lose some of the instincts, habits and incentives for doing homework and honing skills.       
By, contrast, says Schleicher, “in countries with little in the way of natural resources — Finland, Singapore or Japan — education has strong outcomes and a high status, at least in part because the public at large has understood that the country must live by its knowledge and skills and that these depend on the quality of education. ... Every parent and child in these countries knows that skills will decide the life chances of the child and nothing else is going to rescue them, so they build a whole culture and education system around it.”       
Or as my Indian-American friend K. R. Sridhar, the founder of the Silicon Valley fuel-cell company Bloom Energy, likes to say, “When you don’t have resources, you become resourceful.”       
That’s why the foreign countries with the most companies listed on the Nasdaq are Israel, China/Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, South Korea and Singapore — none of which can live off natural resources.       
But there is an important message for the industrialized world in this study, too. In these difficult economic times, it is tempting to buttress our own standards of living today by incurring even greater financial liabilities for the future. To be sure, there is a role for stimulus in a prolonged recession, but “the only sustainable way is to grow our way out by giving more people the knowledge and skills to compete, collaborate and connect in a way that drives our countries forward,” argues Schleicher.       
In sum, says Schleicher, “knowledge and skills have become the global currency of 21st-century economies, but there is no central bank that prints this currency. Everyone has to decide on their own how much they will print.” Sure, it’s great to have oil, gas and diamonds; they can buy jobs. But they’ll weaken your society in the long run unless they’re used to build schools and a culture of lifelong learning. “The thing that will keep you moving forward,” says Schleicher, is always “what you bring to the table yourself.”       

A version of this op-ed appeared in print on March 11, 2012, on page SR1 of the New York edition with the headline: Pass the Books. Hold the Oil

Friday, March 23, 2012

From housemaid to Harvard

“For those who want to live, the sky is the limit”. ~Dr. Jin Kyu Robertson who has had the pleasure and privilege of being around Jin Kyu Robertson has often been impressed by her warmth, strength, determination and ability to inspire others through her example of leadership. She is a rare individual who makes everyone around her want to be a better person.
From inauspicious beginnings, her story is about the power of perseverance. She was the child of a tavern owner, and neither of her parents ever attended school. During her early teen years, she helped her mother with endless house chores. She also had to look after her baby brother who was a special child. She said that her brother’s condition caused her mother to turn to drinking, and that added more nightmares to her childhood. Reflecting anger for her sad fate of being a woman, mother used to yell at me, “Girls are useless! You are useless!” Over mother’s heartbreaking wails, I heard the louder voice of my silent anger: “Why? Was it my fault to be born a girl?” all of this troubles and mental stress, she excelled in her studies, and her parents agreed to let her complete middle and high school. There was no money for college, so she worked in a factory, as a waitress and housemaid. One day, she saw a newspaper ad for a housemaid in America. She decided to apply for the job, over her family’s objections.
I was 22 years old, and I didn’t speak much English at all,” she said. “So what I did was, I practiced words, like ‘good morning,’ ‘good afternoon,’ ‘this way please,’ and ‘enjoy your meal,’ and those were all the words you needed,” she said. The job she came for had been filled by the time she reached New York, but she eventually found work as a waitress and moved on to become a hostess in a Jewish restaurant in Wall Street.
She eventually met and fell in love with a guy from Korea, got married and had a kid. But, she later found out that he was an abusive husband and she was a battered wife. With all this trouble around her, she chose to escape to the US Army and ended up becoming a private.
Her English was poor and she was 10 years older than most of the other recruits. Basic training was grueling, but she persevered, and finished first in her class of 200. She says she has always confronted her weaknesses head-on. She was afraid of heights, so she enrolled in an Army Airborne program that forced her to parachute from a helicopter. She found other opportunities in the military, and she pursued one she thought was tailor-made for an immigrant from Asia. Army employed regional specialists known as foreign area officers, and needed one in Japan. She applied, but was rejected. She says that did not stop her. ” But I liked the program. I wanted the program so bad, so I went to Washington D.C., the decision makers, and I asked them, why was I turned down?”She says, Army officials worried a woman officer would face problems in a male-oriented country like Japan. She disputed the idea, and asked if Japanese officials looked down on Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of Britain. Of course not, was the reply. “So it took me one day, and they reversed the decision,” she said. Because of her perseverance, Jin Robertson is the first woman to represent the U.S. Army as liaison to the Japanese Self Defense Forces.
She also kept her focus on education. She decided early that the key to her dreams was education. She started college while working in New York. While in the Army, she completed a master’s degree at Harvard University in East Asian studies, and enrolled in a doctoral program, focusing on relations among the United States, Korea and Japan. After retiring from the Army with the rank of Major, she returned to Harvard to finish her Ph.D. she finished her doctorate, she started getting requests to give motivational speeches. “I didn’t know I was able to speak in public, really,” she said. “Always, whenever I thought about speaking, even giving briefings in the military, my heart was pounding so badly and I was so nervous, I couldn’t even drink water.” She says again she persevered, and found her confidence growing as the audiences responded. “I found this amazing great exhilarating feeling, and I said, wow, I love this public speaking,” she admitted.
Jin Robertson says one of her proudest accomplishments was raising her daughter, Jasmin. Also a Harvard graduate, Jasmin has followed in her mother’s footsteps and serves as a captain in the U.S. Army.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Some Things You Keep

Some Things You Keep

(This applies to friends,too!)
by Sheri Sobek

Some things you keep. Like good teeth.Warm coats.  Bald husbands.
They're good for you, reliable and practical and so sublime that to throw  them
away would make the garbage man a thief.
So you hang on, because something old is sometimes better than something new, and what you know often better than a stranger.
These are my thoughts, they make me sound old, old and tame and dull at a time when everybody else is risky and racy and flashing all that's new and improved in their lives.  New spouses, new careers, new thighs, new lips.
The world is dizzy with trade-ins. I could keep track, but I don't think I want to.
I grew up in the fifties with practical parents - a mother, God bless her who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then re-used it- and still does.
A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.
They weren't poor, my parents, they were just satisfied.  Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away.
I can see them now, Fifties couples in Bermuda shorts and Banlon sweaters,
lawnmower in one hand, tools in the other.
The tools were for fixing things - a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. 
Things you keep.
It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, re-heating, re-newing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant there'd always be more.
But then my father died, and on that clear autumn night, in the chill of  the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any 'more'.
Sometimes what you care about most gets all used up and goes away, never to return.
So, while you have it, it's best to love it and care for it and fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick. That's true for marriage and old cars and children with bad report cards and dogs with bad hips.
You keep them because they're worth it, because you're worth it.

Some things you keep.

Sheri Sobek

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The 4 keys


by Bill Bachrach

In coaching advisors for more than 17 years, I’ve observed a key distinction between those who succeed at a high level and those who operate at a more mediocre level.

Successful advisors are willing to do uncomfortable things.

I’m talking about things that are uncomfortable for everyone. Successful people manage to do them, while those who aren’t succeeding at a high level will do just about anything to avoid the feeling of discomfort. I can understand why advisors don’t like to make cold calls; they’re uncomfortable for just about everyone (and we don’t recommend making them).

But I’ve noticed that many advisors are reluctant to do something even as simple as asking for, obtaining, and following up on referrals.

Recently, I took a week off to go on a very long bike ride. While my friends and I were logging over 100 miles a day and pushing ourselves up one hill after another, it occurred to me that very few people deliberately do things that make them uncomfortable.

In fact, most people are so self-conditioned to avoid discomfort that they think people who seek discomfort are stupid, reckless, or gluttons for punishment.

I often get just this kind of feedback when I tell people about my “vacation.”

When confronted with something uncomfortable, most of us just won’t rise to the challenge, even if it means failing to achieve our goals.

However, when we’re forced into an uncomfortable situation with absolutely no choice in the matter, we human beings have an incredible ability to rise to the occasion. People successfully move beyond being fired, going through divorce, and dealing with life- threatening illnesses, or surviving the death of a loved one.

Often they tell us, “It was the best thing to ever happen to me. I’m stronger, better, and more equipped to live a more productive, successful, and happy life.”

This is great news because it means we all have the capacity to handle discomfort.

We simply have to choose to harness it to achieve our goals.

So why do we avoid deliberately putting ourselves in “controlled” uncomfortable situations to make ourselves stronger, better, and achieve higher levels of success and happiness? More important, how can we do this on purpose so we can be stronger, better, more successful, and happier?

At the 1940 convention of the National Association of Life Underwriters, a gentleman by the name of Albert Gray said, “The common denominator of success—the secret of success of every man who has ever been successful—lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.” Gray’s words are often quoted within our industry, yet even more significant are the lines he spoke next: “The things that failures don’t like to do are the very things that you and I and other human beings, including successful men, naturally don’t like to do. In other words, we’ve got to realize right from the start that success is something which is achieved by the minority of men, and is therefore unnatural and not to be achieved by following our natural likes and dislikes nor by being guided by our natural preferences and prejudices.” In other words, successful people push themselves beyond their natural discomfort to do whatever is necessary.

When it comes to asking for referrals and following up, for example, I look at it as a necessity—you can’t build your business without it. As far as I can tell, there’s no comfortable method for filling your appointment calendar. But if you don’t have any experience doing the things that are optional and uncomfortable, you’ll probably tend to avoid them.

What discomfort are you avoiding that needs to be faced in order for you to be the success you’re really capable of being? Are you asking yourself “what if” questions that discourage you?

•What if I hire the staff I really need, but it doesn’t work out? (Implication: I’ve wasted time, effort, and money.)

•What if I confront a staff person who isn’t getting the job done and they quit? (Implication: I’m stuck doing paperwork for a while and I’m forced to go out and find the right person for the job.)

•What if I ask for referrals and I offend a client? (Implication: The client fires me and tells everyone in the community what a bad person and advisor I am.)

•What if I follow up on a referral and they don’t appreciate my call? (Implication: They call my client because they’re angry. Then the client gets mad that their friend is mad so the client fires me and tells everyone in the community what a bad person and advisor I am.)

]•What if I make that investment in my business and it doesn’t turn out like I hoped? (Implication: I’ve wasted my time, effort, and money.)

•What if I give a client bad advice? (Implication: The client fires me and tells everyone in the community what a bad person and advisor I am.)

If questions like these are standing between you and your success, stop asking such lousy questions and try these four ideas instead!

1. Ask better questions.

Maybe you’re focusing on the wrong bad things. The consequences of not asking for referrals and following up are much greater than the worst-case scenario your imagination can conjure up.

Instead of focusing on all the bad things that might happen if you do what needs to be done, ask yourself what will happen if you don’t do it. Here’s one answer: You’ll end up being mediocre. Which is worse: being mediocre or dealing with the discomfort required to be successful?

Mark Allen, the six-time Ironman Triathlon world champion, asks the question, “Are you willing to do the work that the goal requires?” If you’re not succeeding at the level you really want, you might want to spend some time thinking about that question. If you want to be a successful financial advisor—someone who has the right number of ideal clients to generate enough gross business revenue to live the life you want—are you willing to do what it takes?

2. Give yourself empowering answers.

As long as you’re talking to yourself anyway, why not focus on the positive? What are some amazing, incredible, fantastic things that could happen? What might happen when you consistently and effectively ask for referrals and follow up? What might happen when you have the right staff doing the right things? What might happen when you make that investment in your most valuable asset—yourself?

3. Stop making excuses.

It’s amazing how often I hear advisors say, “That successful person was just in the right place at the right time.” No, the truth is that nearly every successful person has worked hard and taken uncomfortable actions consistently and diligently over a long enough period of time to become successful today. Stop making excuses and choose to face the uncomfortable situations that will lead to your success. Instead of criticizing the people who have become successful, choose to do the work and join them.

4. Make it a habit to choose discomfort.

The next time you find yourself avoiding something just because it’s uncomfortable, do it anyway. This applies to both personal and business decisions. Have you been putting off a preventive or diagnostic medical procedure because you know it will be uncomfortable? Have you been avoiding a personal issue or uncomfortable conversation? Schedule that doctor’s appointment, mammogram, or colonoscopy. Visit that friend in the hospital. Talk to that family member about how you really feel. Make an appointment to draw up your will or trust. Join the gym and go workout, even if you don’t look perfect in your shorts! Yes, these things may be uncomfortable, but do them anyway. Practice choosing discomfort. It will eventually come more naturally to you and the results will inspire you.

Here’s the bottom line. To become an even more successful financial advisor, you’re going to have to do things that are uncomfortable. Remember the advice offered by Albert Gray and Mark Allen. Don’t let discomfort be the deciding factor in determining what you do or avoid doing. If you’re going to do anything significant in life, you must push past the discomfort. In doing so, you’ll also set a great example for people around you and earn their trust and respect.

Don’t be a salesperson. Be a Trusted Advisor.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Is it really going to be June 13th?

Then we don't have much time.

The current disruption and opposition to the ABU movement is the best illustration to date of what BN's Malaysia looks like. 

It is a Malaysia where the lawless, unaccomplished, ignorant and incompetent rule. 

It is a Malaysia where those who have sacrificed nothing, pillage and destroy the lives of those who have sacrificed greatly. 

It is a Malaysia where history is rewritten to honor dictators, murderers and thieves. 

It is a Malaysia where violence, racism, hatred, class warfare and murder are all promoted as acceptable means of overturning the Malaysian civil society.

It is a Malaysia where humans have been degraded to the level of animals: defecating in public, having sex videos screened in public, devoid of basic hygiene. 

It is a Malaysia where the basic tenets of a civil society, including freedom of faith, family, a free press and individual rights, have been rejected. 

It is a Malaysia where our founding documents have been shredded and, with them, every person's guaranteed liberties.

It is a Malaysia where, ultimately, great suffering will come to the Malaysian people, but the rulers like Najib, Pak Lah, Dr. M, miseducated professors, union bosses and other loyal BN members will live in opulent splendor. 

It is the Malaysia that BN has created with the willing assistance of the judiciary, police, unions, universities, other enforcement agencies and numerous foreign entities.

BN has brought more destruction upon this country in the past thirty years than any other event in the history of our nation, but it is just the beginning of what BN and it's comrades are capable of. 

The current disruption and opposition to the ABU movement is just another step in their plan for the annihilation of Malaysia.
"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."

-  Samuel Adams, 1780


Thursday, March 08, 2012

Time to go to war

King Henry V

In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood.

 - William Shakespeare, "King Henry V", Act 3 Scene 1

Thought of the Day

To be blind is bad,

but worse is to have eyes and not see.

 - Helen Keller

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

A poem for Malaysians

Saw my friend, Hafiz, having poetic fun at his site
So I'll have mine too!

Father, must I go to work? 
No, my lucky playa
We're living on Easy Street
On subsidy from Putrajaya

We've left it up to BN
So don't get exercised
Nobody has to give a damn
We've all been subsidized

But if BN treats us all so well 
And feeds us milk and honey
Please, daddy, tell me what the hell
They are going to use for money

Don't worry, bub, there's not a hitch
In this here noble plan
They simply soak the filthy rich
And helps the common man

But father, won't there come a time
When they run out of cash
And we have left them not a dime
When things will go to smash?

My faith in you is shrinking, son
You nosy little brat;
You do too damn much thinking, son
To be a BN autocrat.

Monday, March 05, 2012

School system debate

There are people out there baying for a one-school system.
That, at least to me, would be the death knell for what is already an ailing education system.
My opinion, and I sure am entitled to it, is that the vernacular schools outperform the national schools in almost every factor.
That is the main reason I'm sending all my children there.

In a post by Din Merican, which was an opinion by the academic Farish Noor, the argument was that vernacular schools are a factor against national integration.

Populist Democracy made cowards of us all

Which was laughable.
Because the Chinese don't get less Malaysian as they go to a Chinese vernacular school.

I argued my point there.
But there were a few detractors who could not see the woods for the trees.

I'll post the comments chain here.
You let me know what YOU THINK.

  1. It is true that Malaysia is unique in that vernacular schools get government financial grants. Nowhere else do you find that.
  2. Finanicial grants? Hahaha.
    Pittance compared to national schools.
    Most vernacular schools have to get addtional funding via other channels.
    But I digress.
    The real issue here is integration vs existence of vernacular schools.
    1. Integration is an issue not because of different school systems. It is because of our stupid politicians who harp on race.
    2. Vernacular schools have better methods and more dedicated people than national schools.
    I’m not knocking those hardworking teachers in national schools. My father was a teacher in Darul Ridwan for 28 years.
    I’m just saying I’m astounded by the amount of effort the teachers in vernacular schools put in and I have to say they’re better.
    Also, let me state 2 reasons why my 2 boys are in Harcroft:
    1. I believe it’s important to know their mother tongue. It will help them when China becomes the no.1 nation in the world in 10 years time.
    It will also help Malaysians of ALL races if they know Mandarin. Imagine Malaysia being the no. 1 trading partner with China.
    2. Like I said, I like what I see in the school. The teachers are organising additional classes. Robotics, Computer etc. Sure, I have to pay a little extra, but I know my boys are also getting extra knowledge and it’s worth it.
    I was educated in SM King Edward VII, possibly the greatest school in the history of Malaysia.
    My classmates are percentage wise the same ratio as our Malaysian population.
    Until today, I keep in touch with them regardless of their ethnicity.
    But I have 1 regret. The Mandarin classes those days was not sufficient to give me a proper grounding in the language.
    If I did read and write Mandarin well enough, I would have been accepted by that company to work in China and earning RMB 1 million annually.
    I passed everything in that interview except the language factor.
  3. Harcroft, where is that?
    Since they have al this over here too guess what, the Asians are taking over in studies over here but there ares till very very clever Australians we cannot discount that.
    M’sians , poor, poor Ms’ians have benn cheated over what an excellent education can do to one self esteem, holistic develiopment and outlook adn help one participates in ones community effectively. Poor poor M’sians, cheated.
  4. I was told by a Malay gentleman friend of mine that recently his child started in a new 1 Malaysia Smart School…and he found out that the children were made to assemble by race…and Bahasa Malaysia only was to be used in school. He promptly removed his child from the school.
    Din, quite obviously, the Wisma Putra is not the only establishment that requires closer scrutiny.
    Bobby is right …the fear among parents is that the standards will be lower in national type schools as compared with vernacular schools. Why should we accept this? It is not from lack of funds!
  5. let me say my bit; my father was a headmaster in a vernacular school and I have taught for a couple of years. for the chinese from vernacular schools it is no problem getting a job in the private sector because there are many chinese companies. now they can easily get jobs in China. which is not the case for others.
    a pupil who goes to a tamil school and excels would do the same if he goes to a chinese or national school.
    here, we are concerned about Malaysia. we should not prepare our students to go to China, India or Australia; on the contrary we should give them an education that is proper, to BUILD malaysia – attract investment, research and development, new job intensive companies. businesses and a service sector which give jobs to OUR unemployed.
    once and for all, get rid of vernacular schools. malay and english should become the main languages keeping the arts subjects in the national language and science subjects in english. make Pupils Own Language(POL) compulsory. wether you are chinese, indian or malay should not be a problem for the education department. make sure. the education minister is qualified for the job. get more non-malay teachers, they can do a lot of good for the future of this country.
    once and for all GET RID of MCA and MIC who are making use of this theme for their own profits, splitting the people further.
    Malaysia should be for Malaysians, there should be no chinese or indian politics.
    Education should be non-political and non-racial so there can be only ONE TYPE of school. jibs would start 1School soon?
    in germany they have extra schools for trees!! (Baumschule) ;)
  6. “The real issue here is integration vs existence of vernacular schools.
    1. Integration is an issue not because of different school systems. It is because of our stupid politicians who harp on race.” – Bobby
    Firstly, politicians who harp on race are not stupid. They know exactly where their bread is buttered. The very existence of vernacular schools will ensure that Malaysians will never be united. Exactly what these “clever” politicians want. Is that what you want, Bobby?
    “2. Vernacular schools have better methods and more dedicated people than national schools.” – Bobby
    True. These better methods and dedicated teachers will be doing their good work in National schools once vernacular schools are abolished. Win win.
    “1. I believe it’s important to know their mother tongue. It will help them when China becomes the no.1 nation in the world in 10 years time.
    It will also help Malaysians of ALL races if they know Mandarin. Imagine Malaysia being the no. 1 trading partner with China.” – Bobby
    I repeat my call for English medium schools with compulsory Malay language passes. Mandarin and Tamil to be optional language subjects. This way, no child will forget their mother tongue – if the parents opt for the mother tongue, of course. The great thing is that they don’t have to. As Malay is already compulsory, I would hope that more Malay parents will choose either Mandarin or Tamil for their kids as their second language choice. It’s a lovely dream, isn’t it?
    “2. Like I said, I like what I see in the school. The teachers are organising additional classes. Robotics, Computer etc. Sure, I have to pay a little extra, but I know my boys are also getting extra knowledge and it’s worth it.” – Bobby
    This is achievable in National schools too.
    What we need is national unity.
    And, dedicated teachers.
    Vernacular schools will always divide us – no matter how good they are.
  7. The U.S. is a melting pot of cultures, of languages etc Everybody is from somewhere else. However, nobody comes to the U.S. to set up ethnic schools so they could send their children to learn their native languages and get an education in their native languages. They compete to get into schools administered by the local school boards and financed by state and federal governments.
    But Malaysia has had to be different. Why? Was it because national schools are not good enough? In that case Malaysians should be given the choice of sending their children to state schools or private schools for their education. Until recently, private schools are limited to children of expatriates serving in Malaysia.
    The existence of vernacular schools is grounded in history. In Malaysia the colonial administration had allowed vernacular schools and these have continued to this day. Recently Chinese vernacular schools gained popularity with some Malays who lacked the confidence national schools gives them.
    In terms of a national education policy and objectives the existence of vernacular schools is an aberration. Where do graduates of these schools go to get their tertiary education?
    As for the learning and teaching of Mandarin, it is increasingly popular with Americans today as it never was. It is just reality. On the other hand we have Chinese nationals from China coming here to complete the course to become attorneys and be admitted to the Bar here in the U.S. and then return to China. The world has become a lot smaller and borders don’t mean the same thing as they used to.
    To Bobby
    KE VII ? Yes, I remember leading the school chess team in the late ’60s. The school had a strong chess team. But we trounced them.
  8. Wow, to be able to elicit responses like that from my own simple heartfelt opinion.
    1. Harcroft is a relatively new school in Puchong. It’s almost privately funded by Tan Sri Lee, since government funding cannot cover a proper curriculum.
    Which is a good and bad thing.
    Good that there is someone like him concerned enough about education to take charge and my children will benefit from a well-funded school (and that’s why Harcroft is over-registered 3 times each year)
    Bad, because I can imagine more than a few schools that could do with that kind of funding.
    2. Tony, it’s not a fear that vernacular schools are better. They ARE better and that’s a fact.
    I would accept with all my heart for my boys to go back to my alma mater, KE VII, if it was still as good as it was 20 years ago. Unfortunately, the Education Ministry has managed to screw it up, together with all the missionary schools in the country.
    3. Actually there is a solution but it will never be implemented due to politics.
    I will agree to abolishment of vernacular schools with the condition:
    Put some Chinese in charge of revamping the Education Ministry. We Chinese have always prioritised education above all things for the past 3000 years, from the time Officials were selected based on their examination results.
    Let’s put meritocracy at the top of everything.
    Also, it doesn’t help if 40% of the syllabus is about a racial agenda. Why is there 5 chapters in Sejarah about Islam civilisation? We never had this in the 80s. Why start now?
    Islam is a great religion, but certain Muslims in Malaysia make a mockery of it. We should learn about ALL civilisations, at least our children will be better informed and well-rounded instead of just knowledgeable about 1 religion.
    4. It seems the proponents of the 1 school system here are also pro-PAGE.
    The PAGE people are dreaming if they think they can achieve progress. As long as the DPM is more concerned about Malay votes, PAGE is dead in the water.
    People like Ai Tze are too idealistic and have their heads in the clouds.
    Science and Maths in English is possibly the ONLY good thing Dr. M did in his 22 years. But as we all know, politics takes priority instead of the country’s future.
    So in the meantime, we parents have to be PRACTICAL and send our children to the best school possible, which is Harcroft and co.
    This is called DOING SOMETHING within your means. Not fighting for some idea which may not happen in your lifetime.
    Why do you think the government allowed private schools to flourish? You would be stupid if you can’t figure it out by reading my analysis.
    Which brings me to the last point, Mr. Bean.
    An aberration?
    5. The Federal Constituion provides for the freedom of vernacular education.
    As for Malay parents who admit their children to vernacular schools. I spoke to my son’s classmates’ parents. They are happy their son is there. They know it too that this school is better. So what if he speaks Mandarin instead of BM? Doesn’t make the boy any less Malay or Malaysian.
    Footnote: Mr. Bean, KE VII was not known for it’s chess team. We were the best in rugby, football, hockey, tennis and managed the time to get the prettiest girls too.
    You won because I was not there to play you. ;)
    Fancy a game?

Thursday, March 01, 2012


It's March 2012!
Well, 60 days to go.

Success is about working towards what you want to achieve.

            Conrad Hilton, the founder of the Hilton chain of hotels, said: “Success is made to order.”

He was right.

An achievement is a sum total of many things – talent, aptitude, knowledge and desire.
If you analyse each of your achievements, you will soon discover that it all started with the goal that you wanted to achieve.
Well-defined goals, tackled with competence and confidence through a proper plan of action, are the building blocks of achievements.

They are our escalators to tomorrow, a vehicle that takes you to success.
What are some of the important points to remember when you go about setting goals and planning for them?

The worst bankrupt is the person who has lost enthusiasm, lose everything but enthusiasm and you will come through your trials and find success.

Most people have no idea how much stress they can create through indecision.
If you are the kind of person who cannot decide between two courses of action, afraid that the course you choose might turn out to be a mistake, bear in mind that indecision is expensive and nearly always the worst mistake you can make.
Some decisions require a great deal of thought and plenty of information.

But once all the facts are available, the successful individual will reach a decision and stop thinking about the various pros and cons, so that he can devote all his energy and effort to making the decision work.

Procrastination is the greatest disease that afflicts mankind.
Successful people do not procrastinate, especially in matters they know are important to them.
As someone has rightly said, “People don’t fail because they intend to fail.

They fail because they fail to do what they intent to do”.

" The hero is an ordinary person with extraordinary level of commitment "