Friday, May 28, 2010

A recommended read for today's young people

Written By Mark Egan

NEW YORK: Author John Robbins knows a thing or two about living a simple life -- he's had millions and lived without millions, not once, but twice.

At 21, Robbins walked away from his family's Baskin-Robbins ice cream business and fortune and spent the subsequent decade living largely off the land in a tiny cabin on Salt Spring Island off the coast of British Columbia.

Robbins became wealthy writing best-selling books telling Americans how to live simply and healthily. He earned millions of dollars, which were then stolen by Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff.

Robbins lost 95% of his net worth after investing with Madoff via a friend who pooled their money and who was also defrauded.

"It was Dec 8, 2008 -- I will never forget the date when I got that call that our life savings had gone," Robbins, 62, said in an interview to promote his new book. "I was absolutely terrified and horrified."

Robbins had remortgaged his home to maximise his investment with Madoff, who is now serving a 150-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to defrauding investors of as much as US$65 billion.

Robbins tries to live simply. He says his millions were saved for retirement and for large medical bills for his two grandchildren, who were born extremely premature and have special needs as a result.

After an initial bout of depression and anger, Robbins returned to what he does best -- writing self-help books.

In "The New Good Life, Living Better Than Ever in An Age of Less" -- published by Random House's Ballantine Books imprint -- Robbins says materialism is bad for the soul and urges people to focus on their quality of life.

The New Good Life provides a philosophical and prescriptive path from conspicuous consumption to conscious consumption.

Where the old view of success was measured by cash, stocks, and various luxuries, the new view will be guided by financial restraint and a new awareness of what truly matters.

A passionate manifesto on finding meaning beyond money and status, this book delivers a sound blueprint for living well on less.

Discover how to :

- create your own definition of success based on your deepest beliefs and life experience

- alleviate depression, lower blood pressure, and stay fit with inexpensive alternatives for high-cost medications

- Develop a diet that promotes better health--and saves you money

- Plan for--and protect yourself from--future economic catastrophes

- cut down on your housing and transportation costs

- live frugally without deprivation

- follow in the footsteps of real people who have effectively forged new financial identities

The New Good Life provides much-needed hope and comfort in a time of fear and uncertainty

Downsizing can be good?

Just when Robbins lost his fortune, America suffered when the credit crunch of 2008 brought a steep recession.

"I don't think the economic turmoil that we are experiencing is short term and I don't think things will return to normal," Robbins said.

Against that backdrop, he says Americans should reassess how they live their lives.

"The kind of economic assumptions that we have lived by are not credible any longer," he said. "We have entered a completely new economic situation."

Robbins says Americans should get to know their financial situation intimately and actively decide how to spend money.

The book covers everything from the finances of deciding how many children to have to making your own dish soap to assessing the real cost of working -- assessing things from the real cost of commuting time to the price of buying lunch out.

Robbins says as long as people earn enough money to sustain the basic needs of their family, suffering economic stress can have a healing effect if approached the right way.

"Downsizing can actually be life affirming," Robbins said.

When people become less entangled with materialism they can work less and spend more time on relationships and hobbies and things they love to do rather than working so much just to keep

a larger house than they really need.

After all, he says, kids don't need fancy, big homes.

"What most kids want is quality, positive time with their parents and if the parents are working two jobs trying to make that mortgage payment for the big house, that's not family values, that's materialism," he said.

After Madoff stole his millions, Robbins had to reassess his own life, taking steps to stay afloat financially including taking tenants in his home. But he says he has done his best to move on, even if he still has the occasional nightmare.

"Madoff stole our money, I wasn't about to allow him to steal the rest of my life," he said.

- Reuters


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MBMB Warns Public On Forged Parking Coupons

MELAKA, May 18 (Bernama) -- Motorists are reminded to beware of forged parking coupons being offered for sale in the Historical Melaka City Council (MBMB) area under the 'buy one, free one' offer.

MBMB said in a statement here today that the council had detected a syndicate offering the public a free book containing 10 parking tickets when they buy a book containing 10 parking tickets.

Each book contained coupons worth RM0.60 for a period of one hour and RM5 for one day of parking, the statement said.

It said that the syndicate tried to deceive the public by printing the forged coupons which were almost similar to the coupons issued by the MBMB.

Members of the public are advised not to purchase MBMB parking tickets from individuals but to buy them from the ticket booths located at the carparks and registered agents with the MBMB.


Monday, May 17, 2010

I hope in the future there will not be a need to look back into postings such as the one below and find out that the writing was prescient about the coming days; as i remember reading back into the life of some of our old melakans in 1920 and recalled how from the vibrant 1920 right up to the rolling 1940 no one contemplated war as a possibility. Many a good life was destroyed by the avarices of war.)

Global Research

URL of this article:

Those of us making the "radical" claim that wars are the result of economic/corporate interests pushed abroad, were recently given a nod of approval from a typically unfriendly source, The New York Times. 

The corporate controlled New York Times published a revealing article about how U.S. foreign policy really works, and why.  The motive behind the sincerity is that China's foreign policy was being attacked. However, the article soon made it clear that China's policy is the same as the U.S.'s:  dominating regions that are of "economic (corporate) interest" — raw materials, cheap labor, shipping lanes, markets, etc. — through military buildup. 

Dangerously, the article discusses how China's economic expansion —and the military buildup used to protect it — is coming into conflict with the U.S. overseas militarism.  For example:

"The Chinese military is seeking to project naval power well beyond the Chinese coast, from the oil ports of the Middle East to the shipping lanes of the Pacific, where the United States Navy has long reigned as the dominant force, military officials and analysts say."
Why is China expanding militarily?    
"Chinese admirals say they want warships to escort commercial vessels that are crucial to the country's economy, from as far as the Persian Gulf to the Straits of Malacca, in Southeast Asia, and to help secure Chinese interests in the resource-rich South and East China Seas."  (April 24, 2010).    

Shen Dingli, a Chinese intellectual, recently argued in favor of creating the first Chinese Overseas military bases (the U.S. has 909 military facilities in foreign countries):  

"With the continuous expansion of China's overseas business, the governments are more accountable for protecting the overseas interests... the guarantee of smooth trading; the prevention of overseas intervention

(January 28, 2010 -  

Typically, the U.S. military is in charge of policing most of the global shipping lanes, so that corporate goods are unhampered by pirates or hostile nations, etc.  But China is no longer content with this situation, and wants protections of its own.  But why? 

One reason is that China has been listening to the increasingly hostile attitude of the U.S. corporate elite, who have expressed the view that China's economic rise is inherently in conflict with or in competition with the profit-making ability of U.S. corporations.  Obama's recent provocations against China — arm sales to Taiwan, the visit to Washington by the Dali Lama, threats about Iran, currency, etc. — are all proof that China's economic rise will not be met with friendship and cooperation.  

The above-mentioned New York Times article admits "...there are few indications that China has aggressive intentions toward the United States or other countries."  Nevertheless, the whole article intends to scare and frighten. For instance: 

"Of particular concern is that elements of China's military modernization appear designed to challenge our [U.S. Navy's] freedom of action in the region," the admiral [Willard] said.

"Japan is anxious, too..." and "Lee Kuan Yew, the former Singaporean leader, reflected widespread anxieties when he noted China's naval rise and urged the United States to maintain its regional presence."  

These scare tactics are intended to steer public opinion into a hostile stance towards China, which the U.S. government views as a possible war target.  This eventuality was made clear later in the article:

" reaction to China's growth, the United States has recently transferred submarines from the Atlantic to the Pacific so that most of its nuclear-powered attack submarines are now in the Pacific... The United States has also begun rotating three to four submarines on deployments out of Guam, reviving a practice that had ended with the cold war..."  

And most alarmingly:  "American vessels now frequently survey the [Chinese] submarine base at Hainan island, and that activity leads to occasional friction with Chinese ships."  

China's economic and military rise is pushing up against territory dominated by the U.S. military, which is pushing back.  Military "incidents" are increasingly likely in this situation, which can be used as a pretext for war.  

Behind the military jockeying for power are economic interests.  Controlling the U.S. economy are powerful corporations, who rely on the U.S. military to ensure them super profits overseas, including domination over whole regions — the Middle East, Latin America, the Pacific — that are viewed as the "exclusive economic zones" of U.S. corporations.  The fact that China is now declaring itself master of its own zones is intolerable for U.S. corporations, which will stop at nothing — including war — to maintain U.S. military dominance over the globe.    

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (

To: All MTA Members

Re: Pertandingan Boling Jalinan Mesra 1 Malaysia Piala APM On 21 May 2010
We would like to inform that Akademi Pelancongan Melaka will be organizing the above event to be on 21-5-2010 (Fri) at 8.00 p.m. At Melaka International Bowling Centre (MIBC) ; prizes to be won for 1st prizes ,RM600.00 cash and hampers and many others.

Therefore, we are pleased to extend our invitation to our members to participate at an entry fee of RM300.00 per team. Attached herewith is the entry form and look forward to your participation and send in your entry form by 19 May 2010 to the secretariat office: 199A, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka and  please contact Miss Cheong at 06-2848234 if you have any queries.

Thank you and kindly give your support.


Madelina Kuah, 
Persatuan Pelancongan Negeri Melaka

Monday, May 3, 2010

Government To Go Ahead With Security Guard Pay Hike Ruling
MELAKA, April 27 (Bernama) -- The government will go ahead with the security guard pay hike starting July 1 even if there are security companies not able to do so, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam.

He said any problems arising from the implementation would be resolved by the ministry and the Home Ministry.

"The new pay scheme will be implemented from July 1 as it had been gazetted and issues that cropped up will be resolved," he told reporters after delivering a keynote address at an international conference on dialogue between cultures here last night.

Announcing the pay increase last Thursday, Subramaniam said the take-home pay for workers in the sector after the increase would range between RM1,100 and RM1,450 per month, starting July 1.

Following the announcement, a number of security companies asked the government to provide a mechanism to assist the less able companies to provide the new salary.


Blog Archive



"Rojak " Video By The Suleiman Brothers

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The Malacca Story (Chinese version)

with courtesy to asmaliana-BPP

The Malacca Story (part 2)

The Malacca Story (part 3)

With courtesy to Asmaliana-BPP