Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Celebrating Coolness this Malaysia Day

Once upon a time, I took up Karate.

And no, I didn’t do so because I watched too many Bruce Lee’s movie.

Although the Korean Fighter in the Wind might have worked wonders; it’s highly stylized moves and all.

Nope; as is usually the case, I joined the College’s Karate Club since a female student I was attracted had signed up earlier.

I managed to get to the first rung (Green belt) and then decided that Karate was not for me.

And the female student had also given up anyway.

I managed to nonetheless participate – if you call losing in the first round as such – in an inter-Karate-club tournament and it was fun while it lasted.

And then, one of my friends convinced me to take up Silat instead.

I have always been cynical and have this vision that Silat equals Mantras equals I don’t wanna be there.

(Blame this on P Ramlee's "Pendekar Bujang Lapok." Heh.)

He said there was nothing of that kind of shit and the one he’s joining is all physical, typical martial arts type.

Against my better judgement, I joined.

Lo and behold, the “class” was held at night and in open field.

Coolness personified
While there was no Mantras – at least in the stage I went in – we did have lime juice eye drops to "clear our vision".

The way the class was conducted was also different in that while my Karate sessions are filled with exercises to strengthen your physicality, the Silat had a lot of repeat techniques with a Partner in tow.

Did I go far?

Nahh…. As before I quit half way and so did my friend.

Why? We found it so bleeping hard to score with the female exponents with mosquitos buzzing around even as we practice the moves.

These days?

I’m contended with reading about Matt "Daredevil" Murdock karate chopping the baddies and the occasional kungfu movies.

Selamat Hari Malaysia everyone. 

Let’s not Kuntau each other, shall we?

Remember, martial arts are for self defence and also, looking cool.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Hands Dirtying Act

And here we thought that Najib is on swell terms with Goldman Sachs.

Maybe there is a pouting moment here, what’s with the whole controversy swirling around 1MDB and Goldman Sachs' role.

Anyway, I digress.

This is in relation to the supposed reactivation of govt equity investment firm , Valuecap, “to shore up the country's stock market”.

The amount – while certainly more than, urm, RM2.6 b – is pretty small when compared to the money pumped by the Chinese government to “prop up (its) plunging stock market.”

Of, course China’s equity market have tumbled like an unstable pack of cards line atop each other to start with.

Didn’t do much help and the bigger fear would then what if the government then decides to stop hoarding and pull out.

Our stock market have seen better days, but as is forever the economic cycle, there will be bulls and there will be bears.

So why the RM20b injection?

And where is this fund coming from?

Why the selected stocks and who decides?

At what point which Valuecap stop, urm, propping and starts selling again to recoup?

Or is there going to be no recoup?

Can Najib simply, simply take RM20b from the national coffers to pump into the share market which is supposed to be market driven without the Parliament's okay?

RM20b is not exactly peanuts and last generations.

Why is the govt getting its hand dirty again with such a commercialized move? Doesn’t 1MDB provide any experience on the folly of doing so?

Or are we missing a bigger picture here?

Not us, of course.

Friday, 11 September 2015

The Disgustingly New, Normal

Are we seeing the so called new normal with regards the Ringgit vis-à-vis the major currencies?

I hope not especially since we are so looking forward to an overseas trip early next year.

Still some time to pray that the current levels are not “the new normal”, Amin.

Anyway, to continue on my light ranting: the weakened Ringgit will push the comic book price up summore.
Out soon. Can't wait.


How I wish I am working and earning in Singaporean Dollar where this is concern.

Imagine getting Brian K. Vaughan’s acclaimed “Saga” - the compilation la – for less than 25 units of the currency.

(I’m using this NOT in relation to 1MDB’s “Units, just units” ya. Please.)

Here, you’re paying something like 80 or thereabout units per volume.

Imagine if both you and your Singaporean comic geek counterpart is earning the same amount of units in monthly salary of say 3,500 units – a realistic figure for a slightly experience junior staff.

That would mean if you happen to the whole set currently available – Volumes 1 to 4 (5 is out soon, Yay!) – you’re gonna be spending 9.15% of your monthly salary while the dude across the Causeway spends 2.86% of his.

Crossing over use to make some sense those days of the old  normal (is there such a word?) as even converted, comic books prices are still on the lowish side compared to buying over here.

Unless Borders / Kinokuniya go the Big Bad Wolf Super Duper Sale’s route, that is.

Now, the cost differentials from conversion is almost equal or worse.

Every now and then, I continue re-reading my old, loose issues, comic and you can still see the price tags – I’ve gotten copies at RM1.80 and RM2.50 mint - pasted on the covers.

Ooh, I so hate this new normal thingy.