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Are we just cheapskates? Why we keep posting on how much some dinners cost as if you are getting ripped off? Is there a Central Bureau of Proper prices For Local Food?




I think Soo Kee has the right to charge with whatever they can get away with. Why no one says rm350 pp is expensive at a nice over-decorated pretentious outlet? No like, go home n cook or go to mamak (as if it’s cheap). It’s about time to discard our silly attitude to cap people’s salaries. Why can’t a hawker make rm90,000 a month? We have a weird class n caste mind when it comes to food. Come on ppl.



You want another example. This was at Siow Tiow in Klang, better known as Klang Hilton. This was for a table of 9. The food was fantastic. Yes the prices were fantastic too. Everybody knows that they have been around for more than 30-40 years. You go don't complain.

Food is not a necessity, they are not a controlled item. There are controlled prices for basic necessities. Anything else, you don't like, don't go or cook yourself. Its like bitching why you bought a Camry for RM160,000... don't like, buy cheaper car la. 

It is not a must-have, that all Malaysians deserve the best-cooked charkuayteow at decent prices. 
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Most of us wouldn't know this. We take so many things for granted. Read and weep joyfully. This also bodes well for Thailand and Malaysia to continue to prosper as "tourism healthcare hubs". We are very close with Thailand on a competitive scale with cost being a strong factor for both countries. We win on language skills for sure. Need to see more capital being deployed in this growth sector. 



BEST PLACES By International Living January 22, 2019
6 Countries with the Best Healthcare in the World

Healthcare is one of the most important factors potential expats consider before moving abroad and in the right places overseas it’s possible to access world-class care for a fraction of the cost back home.

The six countries that take top places in our Global Retirement Index offer retirees first-rate care, the service is top-class–and its affordable.

Measuring the quality of healthcare is difficult, and it’s hard to put a number on it. We can, however, put a number on the price of medical procedures. And these costs (as well as quality) helped us score each of the 25 countries in the healthcare category of our 2019 Global Retirement Index.

Read on to learn more about the top countries in the world for healthcare. In each of these countries you’ll find clean, excellent hospitals, highly trained doctors, and affordable care.

Costa Rica and Mexico are tied for fifth place.

#5 Costa Rica (tie)

Healthcare in Costa Rica

As well as having a great climate year-round, neighborly atmosphere, and a no-hassle residence programs, Costa Rica also offers excellent healthcare.

There are two systems, both of which expats can access: the government-run universal healthcare system, Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, known as Caja, and the private system. Both health systems are constantly being upgraded—new hospitals, new equipment, and improvements in staff training.

Many doctors, especially in private practice, speak English and have received training in Europe, Canada, or the U.S. But despite the advancements, costs are low in comparison to those back home.

IL Central Valley Correspondent, John Michael Arthur, a medical doctor from Texas, has a lot of praise for the Costa Rican healthcare system.

“Having both the public healthcare system and the private healthcare system available to residents gives great options as you “shop” for care,” he says. “High quality healthcare—medical, surgical, and dental—is easily found and at about one third the cost of U.S. prices in the private system.

“For example, I recently had a new state of the art zirconium crown placed for about $275. And I had an echocardiogram for only $145 and I left with the complete analysis and report in my hands.”

For a more detailed look at the Healthcare in Costa Rica, check out: Healthcare in Costa Rica

#5 Mexico (tie)

Healthcare in Mexico

Mexico has a lot to recommend it, not least of which is its great healthcare. In general, healthcare in Mexico is very good—and in many places it is excellent. Many doctors and dentists in Mexico, particularly in the private system, receive at least part of their training in the U.S. (And many U.S. doctors have trained in Mexico, notably in Guadalajara.) Many of them continue to go to the U.S. or Europe for on-going training. Every medium to large city in Mexico has at least one first-rate hospital with the cost of healthcare generally half or less what you might expect to pay in the U.S. The same goes for prescription drugs.

Of course, the costs of medical care will vary by physician, hospital, and the gravity of your condition. On average, a visit to a private doctor—specialists included—will cost about $21 to $32.

In the major cities of Mexico, you can get good-quality medical care for serious medical conditions…including dialysis, major surgery…even live-in, 24-hour care…for a fraction of what you might pay in the U.S.

Plus, health insurance in Mexico costs much less than it does in the U.S.

Mexico has two national healthcare systems that expats on a valid residence visa can apply to join: IMSS (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, or Mexican Social Security Institute) and Seguro Popular.

Expats on valid residence visas for Mexico can join either IMSS or Seguro Popular if they wish, but they can’t belong to both. You must apply in the Mexican state that you live in.

Don Murray, IL Rivera Maya Correspondent says “Most doctors speak at least some English, with many quite fluent. Costs are significantly lower in all specialty areas and are often one-half to one-third the cost of similar services north of the border.”

For a more detailed look at the Healthcare in Mexico, check out: Healthcare in Mexico

#4 Ecuador

Healthcare in Ecuador

One of the great perks for foreign residents living in Ecuador is high-quality, low-cost healthcare. Healthcare in metropolitan areas is top-notch with costs a fraction of what you would pay in North America.

In the bigger cities, you’ll find hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment, as well as specialists in all fields and physicians with private clinics. But expats don’t need to live in a metropolis to take advantage of good quality healthcare. Smaller cities also have private clinics and modern hospitals. And in small towns you’ll often find private doctors who go that extra mile with some even making house calls if you’re too ill to go out.

“In February of 2016, Ecuador passed a law that all new residents must have some form of healthcare,” says Jim Santos, IL Salinas Correspondent. “However, the same law prevents all private insurers from denying coverage because of age or pre-existing conditions. This opened up the private market, although expats may still also choose to sign up for the state-run health plan, which covers all medical, dental, and eye care expenses (including prescriptions, testing, rehab, etc.) at IESS hospitals and clinics with no deductible and no co-pay.

“Expats are eligible to use the system after paying into it for the first three months.”

International Living Correspondent Donna Stiteler lives in Ecuador’s third-largest city and the economic center of the Southern Sierra, Cuenca.

“My husband, Rowland, who is a writer and not a carpenter recently “sawed” his index finger,” she says.

“The trip to the emergency room on a Sunday required a five-minute wait in the emergency room, where a surgeon stitched his finger for a mere $60.  This was walk-up pricing without using any insurance.

“However, we do have the government’s IESS plan which covers both of us for under $100, but we do most of our medical treatments out of pocket because healthcare runs about 80% cheaper than in the U.S., and you can just walk in and see specialists for $40 a pop.”


#3 Thailand

Healthcare in Thailand

There’s lots to love about Thailand— its beauty and budget friendliness, with welcoming locals and expats at every turn. Thailand is also renowned for its excellent healthcare throughout the country, taking third position on our index for healthcare.

“Thailand leads the way in medical tourism for Southeast Asia,” says Michael Cullen, IL Thailand Correspondent. “That means quality, international standard hospitals with well trained, English-speaking medics in all the major cities and regional towns right across Thailand.

“Dental and other health services are also well covered–and all to that same high international standard.

“For expats living in Thailand it is sensible to have health insurance as there is no national system within the country they can tap into.

“But with healthcare costs averaging from a quarter to less than a half of what they would cost in the U.S. the insurance costs will not break the bank.”

Although there is no public health insurance available to expats, there are several options to obtain private insurance from a variety of excellent companies, both domestic and international.

Thailand’s private healthcare system consists of a large number of well-equipped, state-of-the-art hospitals. A real plus is you’re often able to visit a specialist within a short time of walking through the front door—without booking an appointment beforehand.



#2 France

Healthcare in France

France has all the ingredients that we look for in a retirement destination: a good climate, unspoiled countryside, top-notch culture, colorful traditions and history, and, of course, the glitter and sophistication of Paris. So, it’s not surprising that France is the world’s favorite tourist destination, receiving approximately 80 million foreign visitors each year.

The low cost of health insurance and the superb quality of care means that France consistently receives high scores in the healthcare category of our Retirement Index. It’s also highly rated by the World Health Organization. This year France scores 93 points, placing it second in our index.

Life expectancy now averages 85.7 years for women and 80.1 for men according to the latest WHO data published in 2018, giving France a World Life Expectancy ranking of 5—the United States ranks at 34.

“There is a reason France is consistently named by the World Health Organization as having the best healthcare in the world,” says Stewart Richmond, IL South of France Correspondent. “It is accessible to all and affordable. Prescription medicine is heavily subsidized and is among the cheapest in the world. For those developing long-term illnesses such as cancer or MS, all healthcare and medicine is provided free of charge.”



#1 Malaysia

Healthcare in Malaysia

Scoring 95 points out of a possible 100, Malaysia takes the top spot in the Healthcare category of our Annual Global Retirement Index.

The healthcare in the Southeast Asian gem is simply world class with up-to-date and sophisticated infrastructure.

With 13 JCI accredited hospitals in the country and almost every doctor fluent in English. In fact, most doctors were trained in the UK, U.S., or Australia so communicating is flawless. It’s not surprising it’s a top medical tourist destination.

The Joint Commission International is considered the gold standard in healthcare assessment around the globe, and it certifies four hospitals in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s bustling capital, and two in Penang.

There are private and public hospitals and expats can choose whichever one suits their needs. The private hospitals tend to be a bit more expensive but are more up to Western standards than the public hospitals. Even at the private hospitals, the treatment is so affordable that for minor visits some people pay out of pocket.

Here, you don’t need an appointment to see a specialist, and you don’t need a referral from a GP. It’s as simple as registering at a hospital of your choice and waiting in line to see your specialist of choice.

Prescriptions in Malaysia cost a fraction of what you pay at home. But it’s not just the cost that’s attractive–it’s the service. The pharmacists, like the rest of Malaysia’s medical staff, are well trained and informed. Malaysians are friendly people, but it’s the genuine interest that they take which impresses.

IL Malaysia Correspondent Keith Hockton, who lives in Penang says, “Recently, I decided on a whim to have a medical. I’d never had one done before and as I had a free morning I decided just to pop in to the Lam Wah Eee Hospital. I was already registered and found myself sitting outside a GP’s office not five minutes after arriving. Within an hour, I had been examined by a doctor, had an ECG and blood and urine tests done…and I was on my way home.

“The total cost of the visit was just $44. The doctor who had examined me called me later that afternoon with the results. It’s this level of service that makes medical in Malaysia not only an attractive option but also a non-scary one. It’s all so easy.”


Healthcare in Malaysia

For years, many people from surrounding countries, like Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, have come to Malaysia for affordable, high-quality healthcare. All the doctors speak English and most were trained in the UK, U.S., or Australia so they are familiar with Western standards of care. Also, many of the hospitals in Kuala Lumpur and Penang are JCI accredited, meaning that they are considered to meet the gold standard in healthcare throughout the globe.

More than 800,000 foreigners seek treatment in the hospitals in Penang and Kuala Lumpur every year. There are specialists in every hospital, but unlike in the U.S., you don’t have to wait for months to get an appointment. Just turn up to the hospital, register, then take a number and wait your turn. If you are then referred to another doctor or need to get an X-ray or scan, that will also happen on the same day in the same place.

Prescriptions in Malaysia cost a third of what you pay at home. But it’s not just the cost that’s attractive; it’s the service. The pharmacists, like the rest of Malaysia’s medical staff, are well trained and informed. Malaysians are friendly people, but it’s the genuine interest that they take in you, no matter how small or large the issue, which impresses. It takes you back to a time when personal service meant something. That same service is alive and well here.

There are doctor’s clinics throughout the country, which are perfect places to get treatment for something minor like a cold, flu, or sinus infection. They usually charge $10 and because these are small clinics you won’t have to wait as long as you would in a busy hospital. But for anything more serious, it’s best to go to a specialist or general practitioner in one of the many top-notch hospitals in the country. A first-time doctor or specialist visit is usually between $15 to $65 with follow-up visits around $11 to $28. If you are admitted, the overnight stay will cost roughly $55 to $200 for a private room per night.

Many of the hospitals offer health screening packages which include a physical, chest X-ray, ECG, blood work (43 different tests), abdomen ultrasound, and a vision test. More specific tests can be added on but the basic package starts at less than $120.

Dentistry in Penang is just as high quality. Just like the doctors, most are schooled in the West and speak English. The technology is the same, and in some cases more advanced than at home, depending on the office you go to. Cleanings start at $22 at a modern office with state of the art equipment, and it’s only $29 for a filling. Porcelain crowns start at $400, all just a fraction of the cost in the U.S.

There is a two-tier healthcare system in Malaysia; government-run universal healthcare and a co-existing private healthcare system. Expats can choose whatever hospital they want and pay out of pocket if they don’t have insurance. Most expats choose to go to the private hospitals (which tend to be more expensive) instead of the public ones and will still save money when they pay out of pocket for most minor visits. Private health insurance is available, and many expats take out policies for any major health issues. International insurance companies like AIG, BUPA, and Cigna offer various plans for expats—some include medical coverage while you travel as well.


Great Health Care at a Low Cost in Malaysia

Penang-healthcare

There’s so much to love about island life in Penang, Malaysia, that it’s hard to know where to start. My wife Lisa and I spend just $1,719 a month to live here, and that’s renting with an ocean view and eating out regularly in the island’s amazing restaurants.

There are plenty of sandy beaches to stroll on, jungle trails to explore, and the historic colonial architecture is unique, seen nowhere else in the world. Plus English is widely spoken and there’s a friendly and open expat community.

But one of the things we are most grateful for is the health care, which is among the world’s best—and cheapest. It’s rare we need to use it, but when we do, it’s good to know we’re dealing with the very best doctors and at very low prices. There’s a reason four plane-loads of medical tourists land in Penang every day.

A visit to the dentist for an annual checkup was never a pleasant experience at home, but here it actually is. The staff are friendly, professional, and genuinely happy to see you. My dentist is a lovely Chinese woman who was trained in the U.S and the U.K. Her studio is state-of-the art and, as the seat reclines, a flat-screen TV showing Animal Planet episodes magically appears from the ceiling. Your mind is immediately someplace else as you feel yourself instantly relaxing.

A checkup costs $9, and if you include a cleaning, $15. The last time I was there I needed a filling and a cleaning, and that visit came to just $22.50. In the U.S. this would set me back around $180.

Prescriptions here cost a fifth of what we pay at home. But it’s not just the cost that’s attractive; it’s the service. The pharmacists, like the rest of the medical staff in Malaysia, are well-trained and informed. Malaysians are a friendly people, but it’s the genuine interest that they take in you, no matter how small or large the issue, which impresses.

It takes you back to a time when service meant something. When bank managers used to have a coffee with you and actually cared about your well-being. That same service is alive and well here!
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In a way, most of us are glad that Bill Watterson has shunned all proposals and attempts to commercialize

or put Calvin & Hobbes onto the big screen. There are actually no rights given to anything, be it keychains, tee shirts, etc... If you do get some, they are all fakes and just entrepreneurs trying to make a buck off C&H.

In a way, our memories are intact in a way that isn't rehashed or regurgitated via new waves of realistic graphics. Calvin & Hobbes stayed true only in our minds and imagination, without anyone showing us how to see, how to feel, how to experience life.

Which is why, reading this story is like receiving a long postcard from a very good friend, far far away. Telling us how he is doing.

A word of warning if you are a true fan of Calvin & Hobbes, you will cry. A brilliant writer just took a snap of Calvin as he prepares to live his final moments on earth. The story humanizes Calvin and yet made Calvin & Hobbes more than just a figment of our imagination. It is as if we actually grew up with both of them, even as adulthood set in ... a most wonderful, touching closure for all.


https://medium.com/@playmaker/in-the-final-minutes-of-his-life-calvin-has-one-last-talk-with-hobbes-4f6d76dc9cae


“Calvin? Calvin, sweetheart?”

In the darkness Calvin heard the sound of Susie, his wife of fifty-three years. Calvin struggled to open his eyes. God, he was so tired and it took so much strength. Slowly, light replaced the darkness, and soon vision followed. At the foot of his bed stood his wife. Calvin wet his dry lips and spoke hoarsely, “Did… did you…. find him?”

“Yes dear,” Susie said smiling sadly, “He was in the attic. “

Susie reached into her big purse and brought out a soft, old, orange tiger doll. Calvin could not help but laugh. It had been so long. Too long.

“l washed him for you,” Susie said, her voice cracking a little as she laid the stuffed tiger next to her husband.

“Thank you, Susie.” Calvin said. A few moments passed as Calvin just laid on his hospital bed, his head turned to the side, staring at the old toy with nostalgia.

“Dear,” Calvin said finally. “Would you mind leaving me alone with Hobbes for a while? I would like to catch up with him.”

“All right,” Susie said. “I’ll get something to eat in the cafeteria. I’ll be back soon.” Susie kissed her husband on the forehead and turned to leave. With sudden but gentle strength Calvin stopped her. Lovingly he pulled his wife in and gave her a passionate kiss on the lips. “l love you,” he said.

“And I love you,” said Susie. Susie turned and left. Calvin saw tears streaming from her face as she went out the door.

Calvin then turned to face his oldest and dearest friend. “Hello Hobbes. It’s been a long time hasn't it old pal?”

Hobbes was no longer a stuffed doll but the big furry old tiger Calvin had always remembered. “It sure has, Calvin.” said Hobbes. “You… haven’t changed a bit.” Calvin smiled.

“You've changed a lot.” Hobbes said sadly.

Calvin laughed, “Really? I haven’t noticed at all.”

There was a long pause. The sound of a clock ticking away the seconds rang throughout the sterile hospital room.

“So… you married Susie Derkins.” Hobbes said, finally smiling. “l knew you always liked her.”

“Shut up!” Calvin said, his smile bigger than ever.

“Tell me everything I missed. I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to!” Hobbes said, excited.

And so Calvin told him everything. He told him about how he and Susie fell in love in high school and had married after graduating from college, about his three kids and four grand-kids, how he turned Spaceman Spiff into one of the most popular sci-fi novels of the decade, and so on. After he told Hobbes all this there was another pregnant pause. “You know… I visited you in the attic a bunch of times.” Calvin said.

“l know.”

“But I couldn’t see you. All I saw was a stuffed animal.” Calvin’s voice was breaking and tears of regret started welling up in his eyes.

“You grew up old buddy.” said Hobbes.

“I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry I broke my promise! I promised I wouldn’t grow up and that we’d be together forever!!” Calvin broke down and sobbed, hugging his best friend.

Hobbes stroked Calvin’s hair, or what little was left of it. “But you didn’t.”
“What do you mean?”

“We were always together…. In our dreams.”
“We were?”
“We were.”
“Hobbes?”
“Yeah, old buddy?”
“I’m so glad I got to see you like this… one last time…”
“Me too, Calvin. Me too.”

“Sweetheart?” Susie voice came from outside the door.
“Yes dear?” Calvin replied.
“Can I come in?” Susie asked.

“Just a minute.” Calvin turned to face Hobbes one last time.
“Goodbye Hobbes. Thanks… for everything…”
‘No, thank you Calvin.” Hobbes said.

Calvin turned back to the door and said, “You can come in now.”

Susie came in and said, “Look who’s come to visit you.”
Calvin’s children and grandchildren followed Susie into the room. The youngest grandchild ran past the rest of them and hugged Calvin in a hard, excited hug. “Grandpa!!” screamed the child in delight.

“Francis!” cried Calvin’s daughter, “Be gentle with your grandfather.”

Calvin’s daughter turned to her dad. “I’m sorry, Daddy. Francis never seems to behave these days. He just runs around making a mess and coming up with strange stories.”

Calvin laughed and said, “Well now! That sound just like me when I was his age.”

Calvin and his family chatted some more until a nurse said, “Sorry, but visiting hours are almost up.”

Calvin’s beloved family said good bye and promised to visit tomorrow. As they turned to leave Calvin said, “Francis. Come here for a second.”

Francis came over to his grandfather’s side, “What is it Gramps?”

Calvin reached over to the stuffed tiger on his bedside and held him out shakily to his grandson, who looked exactly as he did so many years ago.

“This is Hobbes. He was my best friend when I was your age. I want you to have him.”

‘He’s just a stuffed tiger.” Francis said, eyebrows raised.

Calvin laughed, “Well, let me tell you a secret.”

Francis leaned closer to Calvin. Calvin whispered, “If you catch him in a tiger trap using a tuna sandwich as bait he will turn into a real tiger.”

Francis gasped in delighted awe. Calvin continued, “Not only that he will be your best friend forever.”

“Wow! Thanks grandpa!” Francis said, hugging his grandpa tightly again.

“Francis! We need to go now!” Calvin’s daughter called.

“Okay!” Francis shouted back.

“Take good care of him.” Calvin said.

“l will.” Francis said before running off after the rest of the family.

Calvin laid on his back and stared at the ceiling. The time to go was close. He could feel it in his soul. Calvin tried to remember a quote he read in a book once. It said something about death being the next great adventure or something like that. His eyelids grew heavy and his breathing slowed. As he went deeper into his final sleep he heard Hobbes, as if he was right next to him at his bedside. “I’ll take care of him, Calvin…”

Calvin took his first step toward one more adventure and breathed his last with a grin on his face.

Source: This guy just changed the way we see Calvin and Hobbes


Kashish
WRITTEN BY
Kashish





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You want the movie to succeed. After all its The Beatles. After all, we have Boyle and Curtis helming it. Well, it seems like talented musicians/performers' biopics are the way to go. It is getting a genre of their own. 

We had Queen, soon to be followed by Rocketman (Elton John), Blinded By The Light (Bruce Springsteen), Janis (Janis Joplin), Judy (Judy Garland) ... see a trend here. 

However, Yesterday was not really about The Beatles, it was asking the question what if The Beatles never existed. A brilliant coffee shop topic.

The movie's premise was simple enough. What if you are the only person who knows about The Beatles and you are an OK battling singer-songwriter. The concept was strong enough. You can cram all the jokes in over what would not exist without The Beatles: Oasis was a given..lol, but some other things I am not so sure.

I think the writers had a big problem with how to end the story. It was a bit forced and left many questions unanswered.

the nice twist was that there were two other people on earth who also knew about The Beatles' songs. It could have gone formulaic in a truth vs evil scenario, but it didn't and for very good reasons. The two basically were heartened that The Beatles songs live on somewhat and not just in their minds.


Enjoy the movie, stop your logical brain for a while. Because once you start asking questions:
- how and why did the memory of The Beatles only that got erased?
- if nobody knew about the songs, did they (members of the band) even existed, if they did what were they doing with their lives?
- the assumption that songs which were introduced in the 60s would have the SAME reception if it was released today

The Beatles are what they are now, not just because of the outstanding and timeless songs. The "new energy", the shift in popular culture, their influence on one or two generations of musicians that followed them, their personality and the issues they took up - these are among the many things that make The Beatles what they are. Hence to presume that just hearing their songs for the first in our present culture, may not yield the same results and aftershocks.


Still, it was a wonderful tribute to The Beatles, just to hear some of the songs being deftly sung in a cinema revealed so much deeper beauty and talent within the songs, in particular: The Long & Winding Road and Yesterday.

If you asked me I'd say, Eleanor Rigby, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Here There Everywhere and I Will as their strongest compositions.

Anyways, do go see the movie, at least the younger folks will get to appreciate that the older folks actually had much better music in their lives.

If I was the director, I will end the movie with a slowed down version of I Will ... the simplest of songs but therein lies the genius that is The Beatles.

Paul McCartney - I Will - YouTube
br />
The Beatles- Here There and Everywhere (lyrics) - YouTube
br />
The Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps - YouTube
span >




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Unlike my PM Mahathir, I am not anti-Jew. Alll I am interested in is the way they colluded with people in power to fuck the rest of the Malaysian public. Let me know if ANY OF THE WORDS I USED ARE NOT TRUE!!!!  I will gladly apologise.

There is a big difference if I can cosy up to Gadaffi .... or I can cosy up to Merkel. There will be a world of difference in terms of the things I can do, the things I can get done, and the things I can say "fuck off, don't bother me".

Now, we know the magnitude of the calamity from 1MDB, without Goldman Sachs help, where would we be???!!

My PM Mahathir said, Goldman Offered US$241 Million to Settle 1MDB,.... 

Harrooo, slap me in the face and kill my entire village please... same effect.

CBMF ... Goldman, either you were complicit or you weren't. If you weren't... cb go for zero compensation la.

But if you were a little bit complicit... CBMF (pardon the local expressions, please get your local office to explain)... the figure should be USD3-4bn, and not USD241m.

So, by the way of liability... you basically think GS is only liable for USD241m. Hmm... I would love to hear you justify that. I don't know what spreadsheet ypu will be pulling to justify that though. 

“Goldman offered RM1 billion but they made 10% from it,” Mahathir said. When asked by moderator Haslinda Amin, what would be a reasonable sum, Mahathir said that it would have to be at least 10% of the total US$6.9 billion.



If you asked my PM he says around USD700m, Goldman Sach, you better just pay that. Because from all calculations it should be around USD3-4bn.

Goldman Sachs, you know very well your share price has tried to DISCOUNT WHAT THE PENALTY SHOULD BE!!!!! Look at the timeline and newsflow, you lost almost USD70 per share based on the 1MDB linkages alone!!!!

USD 70 / USD 250 = 28%... the market has acknowledged you ARE FUCKING GUILTY and whacked USD20BN... dua puloh billion dollar Amerika Syarikat saha...(fucking) ja.

YOU WOULD RATHER SEE 20 BILLION USD BEING WHACKED OFF THAN COMPENSATE MALAYSIA 3-4 BILLION USD .... whackos. If you'd just step up early, admit liability, paid USD4bn, I guarantee you your share price would be higher than its current by 25%. Numbskulls... brains but numbskulls nonetheless.



https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-21/goldman-made-241-million-1mdb-compensation-offer-mahathir-says?srnd=premium-asia



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We can use the mantra that history is the best teacher... but we, rather, we the investors never learn. How long does it take to forget the important lessons of frugality, savings, discipline ... about 10 years it seems.

October 1987    The Dow had the famous one day 20% decline. Naturally, all markets were hit but Malaysia had our own bombs to deal with - the Pan El crisis. For the next few years, graduates were getting between RM400-600 a month for accounting jobs. Not even enough to pay rent. 

Of course, we need to decipher as all correction or crisis was brought on by an incident or event. It is usually not the sole incident or event's fault. A major correction can only be triggered by an incident or event when the market's way overvalued. If the markets aren't overvalued, the event or incident would have a muted impact.

Such as the failed leveraged buyout of United Airlines in October 1989. Or the July 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. These generally do not count as major corrections.

October 1997    Asian financial crisis, brought on by easy money from foreign funds, and the proverbial mess when funds exited. Asia was so over-geared. It also impacted the developed markets during this massive correction.

March 2000    Dotcom bubble. Noticed how well we change the industry - from dotcom to internet to internet of things. 

Almost all bubbles are necessary (even the tulips bubble). Bubbles are when funds go searching for the best returns over the most exciting new prospects, new invention, great innovation ... hence we need these funds surge to support and fund the startups or companies to search for the proverbial 'gold' in the new fangled industry.

This makes it easy to magnify the various business plans and R&D into the industry's nascent nooks and crannies. It is important for innovation and progress, and sadly we also have to contend with the massively high failure rate.

September 2001   Man-made catastrophe which dragged the world into a mini economic crisis. But cannot be categorized as a naturally evolving market correction due to market forces.



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Why Such A Big Discount For Ekovest-WB

It will be expiring within a month as shown in the circular. 25 June 2019 to be exact. However, the warrant is trading at a 3-4 sen discount, which is hefty considering there is still the leverage effect. Some might say that there is a negative sentiment prevailing, hence, the discount. Well, yes and no, there are always arbitragers ~ you buy and convert immediately and then sell, better still if you can borrow Ekovest mother share to sell first to lock up the difference for no risk return.

There is usually a few days to one week lag between the conversion and actual crediting of shares. Even so, the discount is a bit much.

Herein lies the difference between beginners and old hands. The savvy ones would know all the prior announcements and would know that there is a 10% share placement underway. The thing is, we do not know when the placement will be done. Once it goes ex-placement there will be a 10% downward adjustment in the share price.

Looking at that scenario, buying the warrants now to convert would be of high risk as you may fall in between the placement and the time you actually receive your shares. The only buyers of the warrant should be those who can/have borrowed the mother shares to sell to lock up the difference. Otherwise, it is highly risky on the downside. 


Market Outlook

It looks increasingly likely that the trade war dispute won't end anytime soon. The impetuous bravado by Trump means that he of small brain and hands will not back down soon. However, China has an upper hand in that Beijing does not have an election within 18 months. Already the farmers and the Midwestern belt of support has started to wane considerably. Soy beans plus rare earth (and potential banning of IPhone sales in China) most certainly would put a lot more pressure on Trump.

Their next meeting is the end of June. Until then, there is not much point to trade the local markets. However, one can easily consider corporate exercises of good companies, which to a large extent have a life of its own: cement mergers; Supercomnet bonus exercise; AirAsia special dividend; and ECRL plays buy on weakness.

The danger is not how long the trade war will pan out. The danger is major markets seem to be still not discounting sufficiently for the possibility of a protracted trade war. Just look at VIX indicator, a major risk and volatility indicator that did not show much volatility over the past few weeks - and that is worrying.

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Malaysia-Finance by Salvadordali - 2M ago

US & China Trade War: No, Trump, you are not winning it. The US$100bn thus far collected, had been largely from American consumers. The backlash in the US has been muted so far as they affected parts of a bigger product and some were absorbed by manufacturers. Any further tariffs will hit Americans more directly, as in final products purchased. The pushback and the looming second term could make Trump pullback on some of his silly "my gun is bigger than yours" mentality.

You'd think that Malaysia would be a natural beneficiary but the stock market has not been showing that at all. Because a trade war could be temporary, and it is difficult to make rash reinvestment decisions based on an escalating trade war. Who knows? A Democrat could defeat Trump next. That's the troubling stuff, business owners cannot make long term decisions on capital based on short term gyrations. But if the stalemate drags on and Trump wins again, then you can see real capital redeployment.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/08/us-china-trade-war-countries-in-asia-that-will-be-winners-or-losers.html


Air Asia / Mavcom:  AirAsia did the right thing to drag Mavcom to court over passenger service charges (PSC) dispute with MAHB. We somehow have TOO MANY regulatory bodies or oversight bodies, overseeing too many things, and not MAKING REAL DECISIONS. Trying to get AirAsia and MAHB to the arbitration table has and will be useless. The wounds and differences between the two have long been there, healing and split open again and again. MAVCOM, do your job. By dragging MAVCOM to court, this will make MAVCOM having to deal and make decisions every time there are disputes from now on. And trust me, there are one hundred and one niggling points of contention between the two ill-fated relatives.




Soh Chee Wen (Blumont, Asiasons, Lion Gold):  The proceedings there were just as interesting as Najib's current trial. The SG authorities had no choice but to act owing to the massive losses suffered by a significant number of the investing public.    ... Was there a collusion to move share prices higher? Yes. ... Was there a strategy to engineer a market collapse? Of course not. If there were, the main players would have jumped to Taiwan or Brazil when it happened, and not in offices in SG waiting to be apprehended. ... Did the SGX contribute to the fall by imposing trading restrictions and designations of securities? Yes by virtue of the "fears triggered", it compounded the fall.  ... Are Soh and his cohorts being made scapegoats? Well, a bit.. they did something "wrong and painted a fictional landscape for the shares they controlled, and should be penalised for those activities. But it looks like there is a bit of "witch hunt" and "burning of books" undertaken to skewer them for more than they deserve, so as to nullify the anger of the public.


Telenor and Axiata:  Obviously a plan drafted by Khazanah, rather than being mooted by Axiata. Could be the fact that Khazanah has been on the backfoot over its dismal performance in recent years, and needed to jazz up its portfolio somewhat. This deal looked to be a lot of trinkets and a bejewelling effort to distract from people asking "so, what are you doing with your portfolio??"  The synergies are seeming limited for a merger. Both companies have operations in Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In countries where Telenor does not have a presence, Axiata also operates in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cambodia and Indonesia. The savings from inter-connectivity is now much reduced with the rise of internet free calls. ...Axiata still left dangling with the NCell (Nepal) situation. ... Khazanah may benefit doing this by virtue of the valuation gap between Axiata (at 5-6x) vs Maxis at 13x. A merger may value Axiata closer to 10x. Show and tell time.
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Points To Consider:

- Net current assets of Seacera was RM838m, largely backed by its 501 acres of land in Semenyih.
- Current management and CEO proposed to do a jv on that land with Duta Skyline (OCR)
- Datuk William Tan is the single largest shareholder with a 16.4% block and has pledged to inject RM30m into the company to resolve the company's cash flow. Tan basically was against the jv.
- Seacera just defaulted on an RM25,451 payment for its Ambank Islamic loan, putting it into PN17.
- Tan also mentioned that if he manages to take over the company he will declare a 10 sen special dividend after minor asset sales.


Commentary:

- Obviously Tan has other plans to develop the 501 acres, apparently with strong China involvement (Country Garden). So who is to say which jv is better? The CEO has the right to call the shots here.
- However, the CEO and present management totally ignore their largest shareholder's pledge to inject RM30m. How to justify the "silly" missed payment of just RM25,451? Cutting the leg to get rid of an itch!!!
- Should the SC step in? In this instance, there appears that there may be a case that the CEO may not have been acting in the company's best interest. On that note, the board of directors should have a lot to answer as well.





Seacera now a PN17 companyKUALA LUMPUR: Seacera Group Bhd has become an affected listed issuer under Practice Note 17 (PN 17) under the Main Market Listing Requirements of Bursa Malaysia Securities.

It said on Friday that it had triggered the prescribed criteria after it defaulted in the payment of principal and profits to AmBank Islamic Bhd and it was also unable to provide a solvency declaration to Bursa Securities.

Trading in the securities of Seacera was halted at 11.48am on Friday. The tile maker's share price was flat at 31.5 sen before its request for voluntary suspension.

The tile maker has 12 months to regularise its financial condition. It also has to submit a regularisation plan to the Securities Commission if the plan will result in a significant change in the business direction or policy of the company.

However, Datuk William Tan Wei Lian (Chen Wei Nan), the single largest shareholder of Seacera with a 16.4% stake, pledged to inject RM30mil, or more into the company to resolve its cash flow and credit liability, if need be.

The company had attracted interest following Tan's move to call for an EGM to remove several directors.

In the latest development, Seacera announced that its application for injunction in respect of the notice of EGM issued by Tan and three others was heard on Thursday before the High Court judge.

Seacera had withdrawn the application on the undertaking provided by Tan and three others that "they will not jointly or severally issue any fresh notice of EGM until and unless they are members of at least 10% of the company".

Apart from that, Tan and three others had also withdrawn the notice of EGM dated April 15, which the company reserves its rights.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2019/04/26/seacera-suspends-trading-ahead-of-fresh-news/#lcjGHfAueZ0IkefT.99





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What's up with the headline? My dua sen on the KT (UBS) mini-series.

Was it a difference in opinion? The answer is no. KT can't seem to understand the difference between current account deficit and fiscal deficit. OK granted, maybe KT failed first-year Econs, we don't know. Maybe he didn't even take Economics, I mean we have law graduates and even engineering graduates entering financial services and investment banking all the time.

For non-finance readers, the above views by KT is like a so-called football expert coming on TV commenting that Pogba played so bad for Liverpool. You as a football fan would CRINGE no end. That's probably how Tony Pua, Ong Kian Meng and most of the financial community felt.

I asked around my older friends in the industry, two who have worked with KT at Jardines (HK) before,  anecdotally their comments ended with "...an absolute xxx#### who never has anything good to say about Malaysia.." (or something to that effect). Not my words but those were the words I heard.

How the hell does UBS allow someone seemingly incompetent to rise so high? Well, it happens in MOST industries and to most people in high positions. Some people are just lucky, some because their gift of the gab is better than their IQ, most get to their positions based on the sales-ability (salesmanship)... whether you are CEO, Senior Manager, I don't care what industry they are in, a lot of selling is involved. You sell the products and services to clients, but more importantly, you have to sell yourself to the decision makers in your firm ...
 In the end, ask people at the most senior positions everywhere... be it Bursa, GLCs, the top 20 listed companies in KLSE ... their one hidden fear ... it is the same for all of us... "I HOPE NOBODY FINDS OUT HOW AVERAGE I AM"

TONY PUA's article:
Current account surplus
Firstly, Tay argued that Malaysia had a current account deficit. This is quite scary as Malaysia has always prided itself as an economy with a current account surplus, with our value of exports well exceeding imports being one of the country’s key strengths. 
Any analyst worth his salt covering Malaysia should definitely know that.
For example, in 2018, Malaysia registered a current account surplus of 2.3 percent of the GDP. Given Malaysia’s very healthy trade surplus so far, the country’s current account balance will remain in surplus for 2019.
Malaysia does, however, have a moderate fiscal deficit which is typical of developing countries. For 2018, the deficit was 3.7 percent of GDP, while it is projected to fall to 3.4 percent this year. The finance minister has also projected the fiscal deficit to further decline to 3 percent for 2020 and less than 2.8 percent for 2021.
Malaysia is a diversified economy
Tay also claimed oil revenue made up 30 percent of Malaysia’s GDP.
This is completely incorrect. Malaysia is well-recognised by rating agencies and the investment community as having a fairly diversified economy with mining (including the oil and gas sector), manufacturing and services making up 7.9 percent, 23.0 percent and 55.5 percent of the 2018 GDP respectively.
Perhaps Tay was trying to highlight that oil and gas revenue is expected to contribute approximately 30.9 percent of 2019 government revenue. 
Even so, the UBS fund manager failed to highlight that the underlying contribution of oil and gas revenue as a percentage of government revenue is projected to be only 22.0 percent, after fully discounting the one-off special dividend from Petronas.
As announced by the finance minister in his budget speech, a one-off special dividend of RM30 billion is offered by Petronas with the specific intent of contributing to RM37 billion of GST and income tax refunds which were hidden and undisclosed by the previous regime.
In fact, oil and gas revenue as a percentage of the government’s total revenue has been declining over the years, with the peak being 44 percent in 2008.
Fiscal deficit target is intact, with pro-growth policy in place
As a direct result of Tay’s misguided understanding of Malaysia’s economy above, he went on to conclude that weak Brent crude oil prices – currently hovering at $71 per barrel – would negatively affect Malaysia’s growth since the Government was projecting Brent to average US$70 per barrel this year.
Tay failed to acknowledge the fact that every US$1 decline in crude prices will only affect approximately RM300 million of government revenue, and hence even with a US$10 decline, the overall revenue impact will only be RM3 billion.
Any such negative impact on government revenue as a result of weaker oil prices would be compensated by the new revenue measures which were announced by the finance minister in his budget speech, but has not been included in the government's official budget figures. The new measures are expected to raise an additional RM4 billion to RM5 billion of revenue for the government.
Government enjoys comfortable majority
Finally, Tay claimed a political paralysis in the country. This is untrue. On the contrary, most will certainly agree that Malaysia was paralysed by the 1MDB crisis before the change of government in May 2018.
However, with the change in power, Malaysia has now received a fresh renewal impetus, with the government pushing hard for greater transparency, improved governance, reduced corruption and increased competition. 
These reforms are difficult, will create short term headwinds and will take some time to demonstrate results. Nonetheless, the persistence of the new administration to carry out the reforms will certainly strengthen the country’s fundamentals to create continued economic growth when the global economy recovers its steam.
The new government commands a comfortable majority in the Parliament, controlling 63 percent of the seats in the Lower House. The fact the Malaysian government has successfully renegotiated the cost of multiple large high-profile infrastructure projects down proves there is no paralysis and indeed, the government is pressing on with various institutional reforms it promised to the Malaysian electorates.
Facts please
Bloomberg is a global media giant with humongous traction and audience. Tay’s ‘sensational’ interview with Bloomberg has been viralled widely on the social media to cast very negative aspersions of Malaysia. 
I would further like to state that we welcome fact-based criticisms and constructive commentaries. Malaysia, like any other country, isn’t perfect and is doing its best to recover from the damage caused by the previous kleptocratic administration.
Bloomberg, with the power it wields, certainly has a duty to fact-check information presented by their guests, especially when the mistakes were so elementary. If the information is outright false and damaging, they should be corrected.




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