Saturday, December 08, 2007


Many in Malaysia describe "the problem", analyze the root of "the problem", the urgency of a solution to "the problem" nauseam.....
Yes, the first step to any solution is realization and defining the problem.

Then, comes the "how" part- the actual solution itself in the form of plans, strategies, policies etc.

If you're not careful, you'll be stuck in the "paralysis by analysis" stage, so get off your arse and and DO SOMETHING.

Thai your luck

I'm starting to crave food that I've never liked before. Never liked Tom Yum, especially when it's not a clear soup (versus all natural tom yum where all you can see is just lemongrass, galangal, bird's eye chili and kaffir lime leaves in the soup plus the seafood). I'm a purist. So sue me.

This one's obviously made from some generic paste from a jar. (But I'm not picky these days.)

So, with a pregnant craving to satisfy, we went to Chao Phraya at Star City on a hot Sydney weekend afternoon that was infested with flies. Yeah, everyone who has been to Australia in the summertime know what I'm talking about when I mention those damn flies. Arrrgh.

Glad we were indoors, not like the poor people out there. They eventually moved in because the flies were out of control.

Spicy food and Singha beer (for him, not me, dammit!)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Once in a while, I do the rounds and read Malaysian news.....

I read BOTH Malaysiakini and TheStar. Why I bother with TheStar, is because you need a point of reference for each side of the spectrum. Then I read the blogs. To get the opinions of the people.

From where I stand, a few things stand out:

  • Nurin Jazlin, the 8 year old Malaysian girl who did not deserve to die the way she did. Looks like a lot of bloggers felt the loss hit a little too close to home. This is happening in Malaysia. And pretty often, too- from what I can tell from a little session with Google. So, Malaysians, what are you going to do about it? I trust that there will be lots reactive responses from the powers that be, that's for sure. Anything proactive at all?

Perhaps something blindingly simple like keeping your children within your sight at all times? This may not be realistically possible for many parents, as angry Malaysian mums might cry out- but there's such a thing as relatives, friends, babysitters and maids.

Dumb it down a bit more for for those who need it: EDUCATE your kids about the dangers that lie out there in big bad old KL (no, this is NOT about which neighbourhood you're in). Sickos and perverts exist. This isn't the same innocent world that we grew up in. DO NOT let your kids out of your sight, hold them close to you. Don't let Nurin die in vain, LEARN from this. May she rest in peace.

I feel pretty lucky that I live in a country where I feel safer than I would in Malaysia, but I would never, never take it for granted for one second.

Are law enforcement officers in Malaysia paid enough to care about people who don't bribe them? Pigs will fly before anyone addresses that little ditty of a question.

Will there ever be education campaigns in the media that target average Malaysian about ways of keeping kids safe from sexual predators? Will it ever be politically correct to show this openly on TV the way anti-dadah campaigns were shown? Will any money be spent on this?

  • Zainuddin Maidin, Malaysian Information Minister, trying to halt the progress that technology (eg. blogs) brings into all our lives. Let's not forget that there are people out there who voted for this man, who will listen to this man because they have no idea what bloggers actually do. Isn't this typical of what Hofstede's research suggests about high power distance countries like Malaysia?
  • Malaysian bloggers. Intelligent, proactive, socially aware, articulate individuals who are making more of a difference than politicians ever will. How? Social networking and engagement. It's just like viral marketing but not quite. Unfortunately, despite the difference made, the Malaysian government still largely consists of neanderthals. Voting isn't compulsory in Malaysia, so it all boils down to who fights the traffic jams, queues up, registers to get to the polls on election day. Anecdotal evidence suggest that most affluent Malaysians couldn't be stuffed to move their arse off their comfy couch away from ASTRO or their laptops to make a REAL difference. Supporting and campaigning for the candidate that you want to represent this country is the most effective way.
It'll be a while before I bring myself to read the same old same old shit again.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Kevin Rudd. The face of the future.

Well, well, well. Call me an optimist. Or call me psychic. *EDIT: I actually predicted it all, and even blogged about it in 2005. It was so long ago I actually forgot about it*

Flashback to the 2004 elections: Kevin Rudd was just the shadow foreign minister, I, just was just a project architect who had just started her MBA in a local university. In a pro-ALP conversation (we are in the construction industry after all) with (let's call him "Macca's"), one of the directors in my firm, I said "Kevin Rudd should really be running for Prime Minister instead of that *#$%@ Mark Latham! Besides standing for a lot of good values, he's a master at the art of strategic marketing...for policies, the ALP and himself, of course" he said "The ALP will win the election as soon as they find the right leader." Macca, being an old timer, then went on and on about the ALP's glory days.

We also agreed that the then-NSW Premier, Bob Carr was also a fantastic candidate, but as fate would have it, he later resigned, presumably before the Cross City Tunnel shit hit the fan. He is a good leader. He might be an evil Macquarie Banker now, but that's because his business skills are unparalelled.

Kevin Rudd's election campaign is an excellent example of Blue Ocean Strategy.
What is Blue Ocean Strategy? In short, it's innovation that involves creates your own markets, all encompassing leadership and ensuring justice for all.
  • He reached out to the younger generation (this demographic values education, environment and healthcare- no surprises to generation x, y and z) and the migrants (the rising demographic that John Howard has alienated) an untapped market for the ALP. And at the same time, he has maintained the union vote and the ALP old-boys' club (you know who you lot are, you chardonnay swilling, Northern Beaches dwelling, yacht sailing bastards) vote.
  • K-Rudd now says things like "mate" and "fair dinkum"..... he never used to do that before hitting the campaign trail. He often refers to being born and bred on a farm, this subtle (or not) change in language is a symbolic way of reaching out to outback Australia.
  • In the pre election debate, he kept his cool and stuck to the facts. He was the first one to walk over to John Howard to shake his hand. A very dignified thing to do. Or maybe he knew the cameras were still rolling, as K-Rudd is VERY media savvy. The media is great tool to manipulate perceptions. Joe Hockey and K-Rudd had been regulars on Channel Seven's Sunrise programme, they've even recorded an MTV style spoof.

Anyway, small little disclaimer here: I'm Asian Australian and that's part of my mental model.

K-Rudd is a former diplomat, speaks mandarin, markets himself in Asia very well and his daughter married has an Asian Australian man.
Bob Carr's wife Helena is Malaysian.
It's great to write again. It's a welcome break from being knocked up. LOL