My neighbourhood suffered a blackout from 6:30pm to almost 8pm last night.So I took the opportunity making use of my free time to take a few snapshots around my house and experiment in night photography without using flash. A few turned out to be too dark to see anything,but the above looks okay to me.However, I welcome comments and suggestions to improve my photography.
By about 7pm,I received a text message from friend telling me that the Discovery Channel will be featuring his company "extreme engineering" work quite close to my house-The SMART Tunnel project. Luckily,TNB got their act together and I got my electicity back just before 8pm.
Immediately after watching the documentary film on SMART project,I sketched the x-section of the tunnel in my moleskine notebook. A few minutes later, another friend KA sent me a text message that the host was using a moleskine notebook for taking his notes while doing the show.What a coincidence;-)
In the world of business,especially when we talk about investment return,how long is long term? IMHO,it depends of the investor and the type/nature of business. Today,I learnt something from Ms Caroline Russell (CEO of Boh Tea) from the Edge's interview with her about long term.
Let me share some excerpts from the interview:
"At the heart of our core values is sustainability.The company takes an extremely long term view.I mentioned earlier on return on investment and it really stems from that.It is something of a plantation mentality;we donot anticipate short-term profits and are not really driven by what our shre price is going to close at 4:30pm today."
"We are not driven by short-term profitability but by ensuring that we are going to be around the next 75 years.That'is why we are investing back in the company".
The above statement changed my perspective of the meaning of long term.Boh Tea has been around since 75 years ago and I think it will be there in the next 75 years.
Looking back at my corporate days as CEO in the 80's,any projects with gestation period more than 10 years will be thrown out. My fellow directors and me wanted to make money as fast as we could. Among my peers during that period, no body that I knew was talking more than 15 years return on investment.The quarterly return to KLSE and the share price matter more. Many CEO's behaved that way because that was how the BOD and the shareholders measured his/her performance.
By the way,I love tea and below is a snap of my beautiful tea set I acquired at Bharat Tea,Cameron Highland.Let's have a cuppa:-)
I am pleased to blog today that one member of my family is learning Jawi.The book shown was bought yesterday while they were at Wisma Yakin.I cannot add any more words on the importance of Jawi to the Malays,especially in learning our religion-Islam.
To keep up with Jawi,I read Utusan Melayu once a week.Is jawi going global? Please read for yourself this week Utusan Melayu.
Today,my family members and me will be very busy at my next door neighbour's house.We are joining the couple to celebrate their 50th Wedding anniversary. May Allah shower His Rahmah to my best neighbour Abang Rashid and Kak Sham for more years to come...
I became their neighbour since 1984.My youngest son was not born yet.Abang Rashid has a grandson as old as my youngest son.They went to the same kindergarden school and the same primary school.For seven years,Abang Rashid sent and fetched my son from school!To my son ,Abang Rashid is his grandpa.By the way,my father passed away in 1980.May I take this opportunity to thank you Abang Rashid for treating my son like your own grandson and for being the BEST neighbour I ever had for the last 22 years.
A few days ago,we had two family meetings on what to buy as a present to Abang Rashid and Kak Sham.It was not easy to decide what to buy when it comes to a present like this.After much discussions and deliberations,yesterday my wife and our two sons and me went to a shop and bought a present.We hope to deliver it this morning.
Talking about wedding anniversary,it reminds me to plan my own 30th wedding anniversary next year,insyaAllah.More photos here.
Ma'asaalamah bi syahar Rejab,Walmarhaban bi syahar Syaban!
(Good bye Rejab,Welcome Syaban).
Yesterday was the last day of Rejab,1427 and today is the beginning of Syaban 1427. In one month's time ,InsyaAllah all of us will be fasting in the Holy month of Ramadhan al-Mubarak.
To my fellow muslims who took the opportunities to do as much ibadah sunah in the last thirty days,may Allah swt reward you with al-Jannah. To those who missed it, let us take this opportunity to do more ibadah sunnah as stipulated in our religion.
Last night ,our surau held a small kenduri to welcome Syaban. I was reminded by my elders to start reading Qur'an so that I will khatam before the end of Ramadhan.Most of us wanted to read the Qur'an but many had failed to khatam even once a year because we keep on procrastinate one day to another and one month to another.In the end ,many failed to do what they wanted to do.One of the ways is to plan,monitor and control of what we want to do and just DO IT.
Here is the link to what I wrote three years ago on Nisfu Syaban.
Yesterday,I read some witty remarks by Dato Seri Najib , our deputy PM when he officiated the Chess Festival.May I qoute,"Once you have made your move, you will have to live with the consequences..". I could not have added more wisdom to it but here is what I wrote on chess some eight years ago...
"Checkmate!,thanks for the game,Dad".Ok,that
is enough for to-night.I lost 2 to 1 to my 9 year-old son in three sets
of chess game.
To me,it is only a game-just a board
game to pass the time.It started two years ago when I bought a plastic
chess set for RM17.00 and taught my 7 years old son then how to play chess.
We continue to play the games just for the fun of it.Now,everyone of us
(three children and one adult) in our house play chess except my wife.After
two years,my nine years old son plays better chess than the rest of us,most
of the time.A recent friendly chess tournment organised by Putrade at PWTC
really motivate him to take up chess seriously.
For the past three weeks I have been
'managing' him to a friendly chess tournment at PWTC.He plays against his
peers and persons even three times his age and won a few sets of
game against his peers and a 15 years old girl.These few victories encouraged
him to learn more about the game and he even asked me to buy chess books.Hopefully,this
interest in chess may inculculate a reading habit in him.To me personally,chess
is ONLY just a game to enjoy and pass the time.But,not to my son and many
other people.He plays hard to win and when he loses to someone,his face
gets longer- some 14 inches long.Now,it is almost an obsession.May be this
is familiar to my friends who play golf and willing to wake up very early
in the morning just to tee-off at 7:05 am.
For the last three weeks,every
day,I HAD to be his 'sparring' partner.In one way,chess is like golf-it
is a personal challenge to some! On one hand,I am grateful that he enjoys
the *mind* games-a game that makes him plans and thinks before making
the next move,but on the other hand I have to be "father-in-waiting"
at the chess tournment.Quietly,I pray that when he grows up,he will remember
to apply the principle of playing chess,i.e plan and think before making
any move,every time.At the same time, quietly,he told his mother
that he would like to be a chess champion for Malaysia!I hope my prayers
and his wish are answered one way or the other.
Planning and thinking are very important
in our everyday life.Just ask ourselves how many times we told ourselves
that we should have done this instead of that.As in the game of chess,our
opponent moves are beyond our control,in the same manner as the external
factors in our everyday life. Nothing is static-everything is changing.In
the digital world of to-day,things or environments moves with the speed
of of light,some 186,000miles/sec. As in the case of Alice in the Wonderland,she
keeps asking where she is because her surrounding keeps on changing.Bill
Gates has been asking where do you want to go to-day?Now ,he knows where
he is-fighting DoJ in anti-trust laws. Our present economic situation is
also another example telling us where,who and what we are to-day and what
we have been doing before.This is a very valuable lesson that all of should
learn.I believe,a lot of personal and national mistakes can be avoided
if all of us plan and think ,at the same time know what and who we are
before we make the move,any move all the time.
As fathers,we sometimes are quite selfish
without realising that our children need our support and attention to pursue
their own interests.We have time for our friends,but neglect the attention
needed by our own family members.Most of us parent will go all out helping
our children to attend tuition classes,so that they can get all A's.I
think that is WE want,not what the kids want.They need to develop and enjoy
their personal talents as well,not just academic performance. Sadly,I
know only a few who will scarifice their golf session(as an example,no
offence to golfers out there) to attend to their kids hobbies like playing
piano, riding BMX bikes etc.
Looking back more than a decade ago
when I was an engineer at PWD,we did a lot of planning for our projects
implementation.As far as I can recall,I did not do much planning for myself.Most
of the time,our work on government projects override our personal needs.(Sound
fimilar to some of you who are still in PWD).I don't remember seeing anybody
sitting down using CPA(critical path analysis) or PERT(program evaluation
and review techniques) to plan their career,family financial needs etc.When
other people are successful,we say they are lucky.However, when we are
stagnant in our office or our company is not growing,we blame it on our
fate! Just ask:Did we really plan and think
how to be successful? If the answer is no (most likely to most people),then
be rest assured that 'lucky' people are those that had planned and prepared
when the opportunity knocks on their doors.
Well,chess is only just
but life is not.
Yesterday, I got an appointment to see a new friend Prof Wan Mohd Nor at ISTAC.Last night I also got his text message inviting me to attend his lecture on Ethics for his Ph.D students as a guest.That scares me a bit because I don't even have a master degree in Islamic knowledge/ Philosophy.
Our appointment was at 9:30am but I arrived earlier-just like an eager student to start a new class.While I was waiting for him a nice lady offered me a cup of milo and some cakes.It has been more than two years since my last visit to ISTAC. I used to go there on Saturday nights to listen to ex-Director Prof Dr Syed Naquib al-Attas a few times with my cousin Nazir Zihni. While waiting,I took the opportunity to walk around the Institute and took some photos and enjoy the scenery. Standing and looking around I felt some emptiness without the great Prof Dr Syed Naquib Al-Attas being at the helm of ISTAC. As I was walking around the Institute's courtyard and through the narrow corridors of well known professors,I could hear the walls weeping for his return.
Yesterday,I learned a few new terms and concept on Ethics.Thank you Prof Dr Wan Mohd Nor.I look to attend more lectures in the futures.
In Berita Harian today,I read the report that the Minister of Works has made a statement on the issue of delayed payment to contractors. According to the study carried out by CIDB on 330 contractors,273 suffered payment problems(delayed or not paid) and the amount involved was about RM877.8 million.
I have been involved in the construction industry for the last few decades and this is one of the major illnesses in the construction industry.Without payment from the clients, the works will suffer and will result in delays, bad quality,cost increases to mention a few. Cashflow is the life blood of the industry and this in turn will have a negative impact on the progress planned for each Malaysian plan. From previous record, about 60% of each Malaysian Plan will be spent in the construction of works/facilities.
I am pleased to note that the government is going enact an Act to ensure that the contractors will get payment from their work done on time.