Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Photo Gallery In Premier Hotel

We posed for a historic photo - (L to R) me, Liong, Steve and Philip.

The trio - Liong, Steve and Philip are all renowned locally.

Our Bell Captain Renang lent a helping hand to fix the photos.

A section of our lobby has just been turned into a photo gallery for the benefits of the tourism development in the central region.
Two years ago, we zoned this section for exhibiting tourism posters with a view to promote our tourist products to hotel guests.
However, tourism posters have been persistently scarce. As such, the tourism corner has been very much underutilized.
Then Steve, Philip and Liong came in with the idea of turning the corner into a photo gallery.
This brainchild of the three renowned photographers was well received by us. We worked it out on a smart partnership basis, with the trio contributing works to the gallery.
After some brainstorming, we launched the gallery on April 29. This marked a very humble begining, but we hope to do our bits to the local tourism.
If you happen to be passing by, you are welcome to pop in for a visit.
The photo shows Liong with his right-hand lady.

e-Filing Of Tax Return

It is time again for the taxpayers to submit their returns to Inland Revenue Board. As citizens of Malaysia, we are duty-bound to file our tax returns annually.

I popped over to Sibu IRB office to e-file my return this morning. Again, the officers on duty were helpful in giving assistance for me to e-file my return.

The urgency this year was much less in e-filing as most of the dividend incomes last year were single tier. Under the single tier system, the IRB has done away with tax refund.

The whole of the IRB office was jam-packed with tax payers on a last-minute rush.
The photo shows a section of the IRB office where taxpayers were spotted on full concentration e-filing their returns.
Photo: Miss Wong kin Hung of Sin Chew Daily.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Chat Over Our Government Sourcing For Funds

I had had a brief chat with Jessica Chuo, a reporter of United Daily News, on the current internal fund-raising measures by the Federal government to finance partly the 60- billion-ringgit stimulus package.

It was an interesting session of sharing and exchanging of views. Jessica would report it in the daily.

I offered Jessica our selling iced lemon tea, but the petite reporter prefered to take up cappuccino.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Visiting MAF Of Ai Ming Methodist Church

The fellowship was brotherly and sisterly and it was warmth in our hearts to partake of their gathering on April 25.

The visitation trip took us to MAF of Ai Ming Methodist Church to extend our caring hands to the fellowshippers there.

It was an evening of praise during which melodies were sung to fill up the hall. We clapped our hands, raised our hands to sing to our Lord.

The highlight of the evening was a topical talk on family education by a lay preacher. The topic was well touched on and covered by the speaker.

We were treated to some delicious snacks after the gathering. Cheers!

We posed for a group before parting.

Friday, April 24, 2009

MYAF Of Hwai Ang Methodist Church - Speaking Economically And Globally

The investors worldwide are apparently getting better in sentiment. The bullishness in global stock markets gave way to the popular belief that the world economy would be on a recovery path, likely to be at the year's end.

Notwithstanding some signs a global economic freefall might be starting to subside, there is still plenty for the finance chiefs worldwide to worry about.

IMF forecast this week said the global economy will shrink 1.3% this year and only slowly recover in 2010.

Amidst the impact of optimistic and pessimistic views globally, I was invited this evening by Methodist Young Adult Fellowship of Hwai Ang Methodist Church to share on the current recession.

My talk covered the underlying causes of the financial tsunami, the rise of Asia (notably China) in economic power, the path to recovery, the investments at the turbulent times etc.

The sharing session ended with a Q & A. The MC opened the time to the floor to feedback and question.

I concluded with a word of caution that there are still persisting downside risks, for example due to ongoing global deleveraging, continued pressures on financial systems.

My heartfelt appreciation to Rev. Sii How Chiong and MYAF of Hwai Ang Methodist Church for giving me this wonderful opportunity to share with all of you.

The picture shows IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn (centre) at a press conference.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ugly Raping Of Our Environment

It was such a big scale of open burning that the thick smoke took up half of the sky of Sibu. It took place this afternoon from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. amidst the heavily publicised love environment campaign by Sibu Municipal Council.
All the best to "Love Earth Day" on April 25 (Saturday) at Sibu Town Square.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stock Markets Worldwide - Bear Or Bull?

The rally of the stock markets worldwide led to the popular belief that the bull is back and the economic outlook is optimistic.

But the views on the stock rallying are seriously diverged, making investors helplessly directionless.

Heiko Seibel, a leading German stock strategist, believes the recent rally in equity markets is soon to give way to a gut-wrenching collapse that will push equities to shocking new lows, with gold prices reacting by rallying to new highs. Heiko Seibel correctly anticupated the timing and extent of the March 9th to April 3rd market rally. His latest dire warning is, therefore, noteworthy.

However, Ken Fisher, Fisher Investments CEO, views the rally differently. The stock rally is too big to be a bear! In his interview with Bloomberg, Ken Fisher commented," Stocks are cheaper compared to long-term rates than they have been in anyone's life".

The scenario now is one of the most difficult times I have faced, honestly!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Property Investments In KL - Bad Times, Good Times

The mantra that the bad times are the best times to invest always holds.

Uncertainties still prevail. To certain extent, cash is still the king.

If you happen to be sitting on piles of cash, the times is right for you to look for better returns with caution.

Properties in KL - they may not leap like those in Singapore, but they generate a better-than-FD return.

You may visit Desa Putra Condo for valuable information.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The New Economic Disorder - Our Economy In The End Times

It was a surprise, but it was wonderful!

This paperback book entitled "The New Economic Disorder - Our Economy In The End Times" was a gift from a reader of Chinese Methodist Message who reads avidly my column "Economic Trend" in the church magazine.

The book was entrusted to Rev. Wong Sing Ming of Chin Fu Methodist Church for the onward transmission to me.

I received it with heartfelt appreciation. After a quick browse through the book, I developed a liking for it.

Written in 1994, the author Larry Bates, an economist, attempted to expose the financial wipeout prophesied in the Bible and show how you could get your finances in order for the coming troubled times.

The giver remains anonymous. To this reader, I extend herewith my sincere gratitude for the lovely gift. This book is definitely going to give me a good reading!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Premier Hotel Wishing You A Good Day

It was a hectic day! The streams of guests kept us on our toes, making the day a really brisk one at Premier Hotel.
When our lobby was swamped by guests, I grabbed the opportunity to snap the bustling moments for sharing with my readers.
Have a good day!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

MAF of Sibu East District - District Ping-Pong Competition

MAF of Sibu East District is set to organise a districtwide ping-pong competition. This has somewhat become an annual event and it is scheduled to be held from 6th to 7th of July.

The main objective of the competition is to promote fellowship fraternity between Methodist Adult Fellowships in Sibu East District.

We sought the assistance of Sibu Division Ping-Pong Association in organising the competition. I called for a preliminary meet to thrash out the details this afternoon.

In the photo from left to right are: Ling Kah Nge, Sia Yiik Ming, Teng Hieh Ming, me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Power of Media & Information

Left to right: Steve Ling, Tiong Huat (in his yellow T-shirt which is now his trade mark) and Yong Sun.
Meng Lei (left) and Tiong Kii (right).

Hii Tiong Huat believes strongly that the opposition parties' papers worked wonder in the last general election which saw a dramatic change in the political landscape of Malaysia, commonly referred to as political tsunami.
DAP, PKR and PAS were believed to have penetrated extensively into all sectors through their party papers which brought the shady sides to light.
As such, Tiong Huat has been promoting the opposition papers vigorously in Sibu, hoping to enlighten a wider public.
At Ah Chiong's wedding lunch reception at Blue Splendour Restaurant on March 21 , we met Tiong Huat who was there on table -t0-table hawking video clips of the public debate between YB Dato' Tiong and David Wong.
The media and information are breeding a generation with maturity in thinking politically.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Senior Citizen Fellowship of The Masland Methodist Church - A Forum On Economic Trend

At the kind invitation of Senior Citizen Fellowship of The Masland Methodist Church, I gave a talk at its fellowship gathering this evening on the present economic trends and the timing of the likely recovery from the deep recession.

I penned an eighteen-page manuscript on the topic, covering the chief causes of the financial tsunami, the hastening of the shift of economic power from West to East and the likely timing on bottoming out of the present recession.

I was very much amazed that the senior group was also keen on this topic.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday 2009

Easter Sunday is when christians worldwide celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. It is typically the most well-attended Sunday service of the year for christian churches.

Jesus Christ came back to life, or was raised from the dead, three days after his death on the cross.

Through His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty for sin, thus purchasing for all who believe in Him, eternal life in Christ Jesus.

Therefore, Jesus Christ's rise from the dead gave out a ray of hope of eternity to all mankind, that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal living.

As such, the resurrection of Jesus is our living hope!

When I was in Australia as a student, I was very much amazed by the extensive commercialisation of Easter there. All the big shopping malls were lit up to usher in the occasion. Wide arrays of the Easter goodies were put on display to entice customers into buying. But there was a strong sense of emptiness with the loss of the true essence of Easter.

In Sibu, Easter is very much confined to churches. There is scanty presence of it in the commercial world.

Rev Dr. Su Chi Ann, President of SCAC, preached at The Masland Methodist Church this morning during Easter Sunday service. In his sermon, Rev Dr. Su quoted 2 Timothy 2: 8-13, calling on the congregation to remember Jesus Christ.

"Remember Jesus Christ as the Word being sent from God with fullness in human nature. Never forget that our Lord is our saviour who was raised from the dead. Bear in mind always that Jesus is in the centre of gospel," Rev Dr. Su said.

It was a wonderful Easter Sunday message, distinctively clear and concise, delivered by Rev Dr. Su.

A Happy Easter Sunday to all my readers!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chung Cheng Secondary School - Mr. Hii Lik Kwong

I bumped into Mr. Hii Lik Kwong this morning in the lobby of Premier Hotel.

Mr. Hii was a teacher of Chung Cheng Secondary School (now renamed as SMK Chung Cheng) when I was there as a student. Teaching mostly Science and Chinese, Mr. Hii was renowned for clarity in the subjects. He did not cover my class, but on a few occasions he stood in for our class science teacher. Mr. Hii Lik Kwong left me with a good impression.

Hii Lik Kwong had a mastery of fishing. During his spare time at Chung Cheng, he would paddle along Rajang River and fish on the way. From my memory, he seldom came back empty-handed. In fact, most of the times, Mr Hii's catch was quite plentiful.

We chatted for a good while this morning. The old days at Chung Cheng remain the most cherished memories.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday In Sibu

Good Friday is a public holiday in Sarawak and Sabah only, the two eastern states in Malaysia. This day has been solemnly observed by the local christians to commemorate the passion, or suffering, and death on the cross of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
Sibu East District of Methodist Church held a joint Good Friday service in Centennial Hall of SMK Sacred Heart at 8:00 a.m. The worship gathered together a congregation of 3,000 plus church members under one roof, solemnly to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Before the commencement of the service, torrential rain poured down, lasting for almost two hours non-stop. The heavy downpour again proved to be too much for Sibuians in the low-lying areas to bear!
The splashes of the rain on the roof of Centennial Hall were like a pounding on our hearts how Jesus Christ went through the suffering for the sake of all the sinners.
Why did Jesus have to die? 1 Peter 1:18-19 tells us: For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom He paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
Let's spend Good Friday in repentance and meditation on the agony and suffering of Christ on the cross.
Meng Lei took a few splendid pictures of the joint service. I conveniently copied them for my post.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Najib's New Cabinet Line-Up

Today has been proven to be equally exciting as the 3B by-elections! The highlight of the day was none other than Najib announcing his cabinet line-up at 3:00 p.m.
It was truly an excitement for all the political watchers. In fact it became the topic of the day for most of us.
My rough count told me that the most asked question about the new cabinet was: Would KJ be in the line-up?
After Najib released the name list, I received the breaking news from KL through mobile phone, informing me that KJ was out!
KJ seemed to be in the limelight for the whole of the day.
Photos: Malaysiakini

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Debt-Ridden Recession Worldwide

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I have been contributing regularly to The Chinese Methodist Message on current affairs and economic trends worldwide since January 2001.

It is a wonderful service to share on issues of great concern to us. Some may call them too worldly to talk about in a church magazine, but truly they are of global interest which we have to live with.

Lately it came to my mind to start another blog to share the past articles published in The Chinese Methodist Message. I am contemplating to supplement the articles with comments in English or Mandarin.

I hope the above idea would come to fruition.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Batang Ai By-Election - Malcom Mussen Emerged Winner

Malcom Mussen of PRS emerged the winner in Batang Ai by-election. A hotly contested seat, Batang Ai was widely viewed as a testing ground for PR in its ambitious political agenda to build extensive inroads into Sarawak.

A greenhorn or fledgling as you may call him, Malcom Mussen beat Jawah Gerang of PKR, a veteran, flat with a surprising majority of 1,854 votes.

Both BN and PR need some quiet time to plan for the upcoming state election.

Photo: Steve Ling

Monday, April 6, 2009

Visitors' Guide To Sibu & Central Sarawak

A few years ago, Sarawak Tourism Board came out with this visitors' guide with a view to spur the central region to tourism growth. The effort was laudable and the publication of this handy booklet filled up partly the information vacuum in this region of Sarawak.

Humble as it may look, Visitors' Guide is pretty informative and up to date. Visitors who are on tour in the central region would find the guidebook of great help. Even locals may find this publication a helpful source of information.

This guide was last updated in 2006. I hope a new edition incorporating some latest changes and developments would be forthcoming.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

SJK (C) Ung Nang - A Heart-Warming Dinner

It was a sumptuous dinner hosted by Mr. Wong Sieh Hie, the in-coming Chairman of SJK (C) Ung Nang's Board of Management. Mr. Wong threw the dinner generously after our first board meeting.

The dinner was a wonderful occasion for the board members and the teaching staff to get together. It was a good platform for some interaction which was conducive to mutual understanding.

SJK (C) Ung Nang is my mother school I feel a strong emotional connection with it.

We posed for a group photo before we started off the first course. Seating on the third from right is Mr. Wong Sieh Hie. Standing on the first from right is Mr. Wong Su Seng, the school's principal.

SJK (C) Ung Nang

Friday, April 3, 2009

Batang Ai By-Election - Bloggers At The Forefront

The whole Batang Ai is like a pot of boiling curry - it is sizzling hot and all minds are curious to get the latest updates of the drumbeat there, hoping to stay tuned in to the changing circumstances.

In short, Batang Ai is a hot spot now!

Besides a contingent of reporters from the local media groups, some committed bloggers are at the forefront to give first-hand news of the hotly contested seat.

Steve, Philip and the broken shield are the notable ones with their feet set on Batang Ai to give their readers a feel of the election fever.

Give them a big thumb up for a job well done!

The photo shows an interview session with DSAI by a freelance foreign journalist. In the middle is YB Dominique Ng. (Photo: Steve Ling)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Warm Meet Of Old Buddies

It was an exhilarating meet for Rev. Ting Lieng Tung and Mr. Tie King Hieng. They have been buddies since their school days in Sibu. King Hieng told he still cherishes the old days when they blahed over a plate of kampua.

Rev. Ting presently resides in Canada. He is now in Sibu for a sojourn, meeting up some old friends and recollecting the fading footprints.

Months before Rev. Ting flew back, he called me up to make arrangement for hotel accommodation. It was wonderful to be able to render hospitality to the faithful pastor.

Mr. Tie King Hieng was a senior teacher teaching Additional Maths. during my school days at Chung Cheng Secondary School. His missus Mdm. Ting Siew Chai taught me for one year in Geography and English when I was in Form Two. Both are respectable in the field of education.

We grabbed hold of the opportunity to pose for a group photo. L to R: Mr. Tie King Hieng, Mdm. Ting Siew Chai, Mrs Ting, Rev. Ting Lieng Tung, me.