Saturday, October 31, 2009

Run-Up To Sibu In Blue Ocean

"Sibu In Blue Ocean" promises to be an eye-opening public forum aiming to identify the prospects where Sibu may head to in its search of a direction.
Mr. Tan Kee Hian has been invited to speak on the subject at the forum.
Organised by MPI (Methodist Pilley Institute), the forum shall open up our mindsets to embrace new ideas to take Sibu out of the present trap.
If you are truly concerned about Sibu, I call upon you to set aside the evening of November 2 for "Sibu In The Blue Ocean".
See you at Kingwood Hotel!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dollar In Crisis

Weakening Dollar

Dollar has been under heavy thrashing at the international arena ever since the outbreak of the so-called financial tsunami in mid-September of 2008 following the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., a giant investment bank in the states. The meltdown of the whole financial system in U.S. was contagious, leading the major economies worldwide to sink into crisis.

The fundamental cause of the tsunami-scale financial turmoil was the burst of the subprime mortgage bubble. Following the bombshell, U.S. fast slowed down and subsequently slipped into recession at a critical level not seen since the Great Depression in 1930s.

The U.S. government reacted with quantum monetary easing, a measure tantamount to printing dollars to shore up the dwindling economic growth. By rescuing the technically bankrupt banks and stimulating the fast weakening economy, the government had to dip further into the debts to come out with trillion-dollar packages. Inevitably, downward pressure started to build up on the dollar value, with the resultant effect of the greenback having to face severe sell-down.

U.S. is already the world’s most indebted nation, with the outstanding public debts standing at a gigantic sum of 11 trillion dollars. As per U.S. National Debt Clock, the National Debt has continued to increase an average of US$3.9 billion per day. As such, the confidence the investors have in the dollar is thinning day by day as the gruesome debts pile up non-stop.

This mountain of debts is of grave concern to the world at large. Some economists have even predicted that the rising debts may be the next crisis!

Over the years, U.S. has been on worsening current account deficits, making the world’s largest economy practically dependent on funds mainly from the new emerging economies for survival. Notable among all the fund providers is China.

When U.S. ex-president George W. Bush took the helm in 2001, he gave strong hints of his preference for a weak dollar policy. This policy was generally viewed as Bush’s vow to trim the widening deficits of the current account.

The greenback embarked on a gradual downward trend from mid-2002. In his tenure as U.S. president, Bush’s weak dollar policy failed to shrink the debts. In fact, the ultra-loose monetary policy during Bush’s presidential terms had bloated the national debts through asset inflation, resulting in increased domestic consumption.

The rising national debts erode the investors’ confidence in the dollar. Way back in 2006, big gurus like Warren Buffet and Jim Rogers gave out wake-up calls, advising investors to diversify out of the dollar.

And now, with the whopping rescue and stimulus packages, the greenback has been suppressed further, making the outlook even duller.

It is little wonder that major creditor like China is getting more vocal on the dim prospects of the currency. The government of China has been harsh on the dollar’s credibility as the world reserve and trade currency.

G7 at its latest meeting pressurized U.S. to view seriously the falling dollar. Although President Obama reacted with a vow to keep dollar strong, he sounded pretty weak and empty. The fundamentals of the dollar just don’t measure up to the president’s call.

The latest figures show that the central banks have been moving their foreign reserves away from the dollar. This is really casting a chill over the prospects of the greenback.

The market talk has it that the States would just happily let its currency fall since it works to its advantage in contracting debts and expanding exports.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

We Are Social-Caring

We posed for a group photo after the session.
Chinese tops the statistics of the racial groups in Rumah Seri Kenangan. The figure is really ironical, considering that we Chinese have been emphasizing so much on filial piety!

The folks are seen getting ready.

I made a short address.

Rev Jonah Tang sharing the message of God.

The folks opened themselves up.

Peter Goh and Sia Yiik Ming led the singing.

Our gifts of love!
I tell you the truth,whatever you did for one of the least of the brothers of mine, you did for me.

MAF of Sibu East District reached out their caring hands to Rumah Seri Kenangan, an old folks' home at Mile 13.5 of Jalan Oya, this afternoon. This was our annual project aiming at sharing our love with the less fortunate group in our society.

Little as it might be, we did it honestly in the name of our God. As Matthew 25:31-46 spells it out clearly: I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of the brothers of mine, you did for me. Going together with us were Rev Jonah Tang, Peter Goh, Stephen Wong and the committee members.

It was a heartwarming session of singing out to God, praising Him and sharing. Peter Goh flung his fingers through guitar cords to come out with melodious music. Sia Yiik Ming led the session in dual language - Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia to suit the multi-racial audience.

Rev Jonah Tang shared the salvation of Jesus christ with the old folks. "Open up and receive Jesus Christ into your life," the speaker called on the audience.
The session ended with handing out gifts of love to the folk.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Back From Russia

My buddy Hock Lai is back from Russia for a brief vacation. As usual, we adjourned to Cafe Palmelia for a chit-chat session over our flagship beverage teh tarik.
May God continue to guide Hock Lai in his undertakings in Russia.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kee Ho & Yieng Ley Are Datuk & Nenek Now

Wong Kee Ho and Ling Yieng Ley are datuk (granddad) and nenek (grandmom) now!

We (MAF of Sibu East District) went at noon time today to their place to partime of their joy of having a grandchild born to their family. In an authentically Foochow way, we were served with chicken-soup long-life noodles. Kee Ho and Yieng Ley added in some side dishes to make it a more joyful occasion.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Visit By MAF of Xin Fu Yuan Methodist Church

The singspiration time.
A lively dance presentation given by MAF of Xin Fu Yuan Methodist Church.

It was such a lovely swaying.......

Dr. Alan Kok spoke on the modern diseases.
The talk was engrossing.
Morris Hii seemed to have a point to make.

A memento for Dr. Alan Kok.

A souvenir from MAF of Xin Fu Yuan Methodist Church.

A powerpoint presentation by the visitors.

MAF of Xin Fu Yuan Methodist Church came visiting us (MAF of The Masland Methodist Church) yesterday and joined us in our fellowship gathering. It was a heartwarming time and in a brotherly atmosphere that we worshipped God together.
The adult fellowshippers of Xin Fu Yuan Methodist Church are a lively group. They brought with them a dance item and a powerpoint presentation for sharing with us. It was thoughtful of them to present themselves in this manner.
The programme for this evening's gathering was a medical talk given by our guest speaker Dr. Alan Kok Kim Hing, a locally renowned Chinese physician. The speaker enlightened us on the six major modern illnesses encroaching us daily.
Dr. Alan Kok spoke with eloquence and clarity. His good sense of humour sent the audience to burst into rounds of laughters. As a whole, the talk was beneficial and educational.
We ended the gathering with a tea reception which was also time for mingling around.
The last photo shows the tea reception time.
Photos: Daniel Chew

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ben Niao - Steven Wong

Steven Wong is a journalist. He is a blogger too.

Ben Niao, as Steven calls himself in his blog, is a new recruit in the field of of journalism. He may be a little bit green, but his enthusiasm and dedication would keep you impressed.

That day he popped in Premier Hotel and sat down with me for a short chat. Over a glass of teh tarik and a plate of fried noodles, we had had a lot of blah.

Keep up your good work, Ben Niao!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Spiral Yam Puff (紫 晶 酥)

This homemade spiral yam puff is exceptionally good!
Covered with a flaky layer, it is stuffed with yam paste and a springy glutinous rice ball。With reduced sugar content, this homemade puff is certainly healthier.
You would love it on your first bite!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Sojourn In Kuching - Part 2

Taken in tHE Spring. This shopping mall is the latest addition to the shopping pleasure in Kuching.
Group photo at the lunch reception.
Allen at the entrance of tHE Spring.
Ming Hoo, Sing King and their two sons.
A jovial moment at the lunch.
The three nephews of Yian. First and second from left are the groom and bride. Not in the picture is the second nephew who was then committed with course assignments in Australia.

The hosts with the bride's parents coming all the way from Alor Star.

All the outstation guests were well received by the hosts. It was simply a thumb-up! The reception started two days before the wedding, making the hospitality memorable.

After landing on the day of arrival, Yian and Allen headed straight to a lunch reception at a local restaurant. The lunch gathering was both warm and joyous. It provided a good time of chatting over delectable foods.

Yian and Allen took the afternoon off to call on my sisters. It was hectic, but the afternoon was truly a wonderful one.

On the way to the dinner reception, they popped in to tHE Spring for some shopping. At Sugar Bun, they got hold of the enticing ice cream. This promotional item was like a hot cake. It became a crowd-puller for the shopping mall!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean

Essentially, "Blue Ocean Strategy" is to provide a new way to make competition irrelevant. This strategy of the 21st century aims to create an uncontested new market place. Put it in a nutshell, the whole idea is to create and capture new demand (hidden or even not existing).

Sibu is presently in the midst of searching for a growth direction. What can we possibly do to break the trap?

Towards addressing the burning issue, MPI again took the initiative to organise a public forum to enlighten not only Sibuians, but also those in politics.

Mr. Tan Kee Hian has been invited to speak at "Sibu In The Blue Ocean", a forum scheduled to be held on Nov. 2 at 7:00 pm at kingwood Hotel, Sibu. If you wish to get a clearer profile of Kee Hian, you may read my posts under the labels of Public Forum On The Outlook For Sibu and The 9th Methodist Convention.
I strongly urge you to spare the evening for this highly relevant talk.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Sojourn In Kuching - Part 1

A shot of Allen in my sister's living room.
Standing tall and looking smart - From left to right: Allen, Raymond, Lawrence.

On the right in the group photo is my youngest sister King.

Allen at the bar counter in my sister's residence.

Yian and King.
A wonderful time of eating out with my youngest sister and the two nephews.

A group photo taken in my third elder sister's office. Seating on the right is my fourth younger sister Ping. Seating in the middle is Hung (my third elder sister). Standing next to Hung is her only daughter Ling.

An array of enticing snacks.

At the invitation of Yian's eldest brother-in-law and sister Yiing on the auspicious occasion of the wedding of their third son, Yian and Allen made a trip to Kuching and took a sojourn there from 7th to 9th June.
When they shared with me their experiences, I found it engrossing. The duration was short, but Yian and Allen were much enriched. Deep down in their memories, the sweetness keeps flowing back.
The itinerary was really tightly packed, with time divided between pre-wedding reception, wedding banquet, visitations and eating out.
The last picture shows luscious cheese cake.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Henry Ting Chi Gick & Fong Chaan Lan Tied The Knot

A rousing welcome to the two.
A group photo of Ting's family.

We joined the bride and groom for a shot.

It came the champagne time.

It was time to give a toast. 5th and 6th from left are Sing Kwong (Yian's second elder brother) and Mrs.

It was a big day for Ting's family!

Henry Ting, a nephew of Yian, chose to tie the knot with Fong Chaan Lan on October 3 (or the 15th day of the eighth month of Lunar Calendar). The day was auspicious and the wedding was solemn. As they walked the red-carpeted aisle, we shared their happiness.
Henry and Fong beamed day-long on their great day. Their wedding brought all the relatives for a gather-together at the wedding lunch reception. It was heartwarming and joyous to chat away, mingling to warm up during that two-hour banquet.
Let's give them our best wishes!
The last photo shows Sing Seng (Yian's third elder brother) and Sing King (Yian's younger sister) on the stage giving a wonderful duet. They presented a popular Taiwanese number "酒 国 英 雄“。