Monday, February 22, 2010

MAF of The Masland Methodist Church - Lunar New Year Visit

It was an occasion of thunderous laughters, good foods and lots of sharing. You had missed it if you were not there!

Lunar New Year Visit is a Chinese tradition. It fits pretty well into the Malaysian spirit of Open House.

MAF of The Masland Methodist Church set out to Lunar New Year Visits on February 22 at 7:00 pm. We gathered first at Lu Ming & Leh Ping's residence for a round of snacks, delicacies and endless chatting away.

Leh Ping's culinary skills are always a thumb-up. She whetted our appetite with her delectable dishes. There was a call to put aside calory-counting for the time being.

Rev. Wong Koi Fo, our pastor-in-charge, and his family took their time off to be with us for the evening of visit. It was a wonderful time to unwind ourselves when we gathered together like a family.

Before we proceeded to dip our fingers into the foods, Rev. Wong led us to give thanks to our God. The food session was a great time for us to tickle our taste buds.

After that, we moved on to Siew Ching (Ah Jing) & Ah Chie's place for a second show. Our group jammed the house so much so that I was almost immovable.

Ah Chie's pastry skills are renowned. When we took a look at the wide spread of her luscious cakes, we couldn't help making wow! wow! wow! The temptation took us to a great time of sampling them.

We captured this memorable moment with a few snapshots. Daniel Chiew voluntarily offered to take for us with his sophisticated camera. By the way, Daniel is a popular "Menteri" in the blogsphere.

Ah Huat & Kung Yeoh's house is just a stone-throw distance away from Ah Jing's. We moved over to Ah Huat's place for the third leg of our visit.

Ah Huat served us with refreshing lime juice and aromatic Chinese tea. We had had a heartwarming visit at Ah Huat & Kung Yeoh's residence.

A wide spread of luscious cakes to sweeten the evening.

Stewed Chicken Feet

Deep-fried Chicken Wings
Chicken Curry
Pig Leg in Herbs
Roasted Pork or Cha Siew
Too good to hold back!

Beef cooked in Malay style
Sweet & Sour Fish Fillets

Pastor Ting Ee Ling, our past pastor, set her evening aside to be with us for the visits.
We posed for a group photo in Lu Ming's house.
We jammed into Ah Jing's living room for a photo shooting.
Photos: Daniel Chiew

Sunday, February 21, 2010

China- A Bubble to Deflate or A Big Bang?

Ho Hua mailed it to me for my weekend reading. For those of you who are concerned with the rising China, I suggest you a moment or two to go through the following article.

Australian market news that matters, in 90 seconds or less
Money WeekendSaturday, 20th February 2010Melbourne, Australia
China - A Bubble to Deflate or a Big Bang? By Shae Smith
Dr Phillip Low, a senior member of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) recently announced that Australia's relationship with China has decades to run."For the next twenty years, on average, it is going to be a good 20 years for China and for us". Dr Lowe said.However, on the other side of the world Jim Chanos, famous for predicting Enron's fall, said "short sell China". So who's right? A multi billionaire that has made his fortune from foreseeing a corporation's demise? Or the RBA desperately trying to stave off Australia's impending recession?It's no secret that stimulus is responsible for China's current success. In fact, in an attempt to cool the overheating economy, the People's Bank of China (PBoC) demanded that banks increase lending reserves half a point up to 16.5% for the large banks.This is clearly a desperate move to slow down credit expansion.Dr Lowe from the RBA believes it's a good sign. The slowing down of stimulus and the tightening of monetary policy led him to say "...that is a favourable development in that it increases the likelihood that the Chinese economy is on a sustainable path. Time will tell though."It's strange that Dr Lowe was happy to say 'time will tell' when he openly admitted Australia's reliance on China's astronomical growth. "We are benefitting from high commodity prices and from our links with Asia." He said.He goes on to say "I'm quite optimistic that story [China] has decades to run and that underlies much of the positives for the Australian economy." That's doesn't sound like a twenty year plan, it sounds more like prayers.Especially when 70% of our exports are to the Asian market.But what about Jim Chanos? He's long been heckled for his bearish views on the market. Based on his blunt remark to 'short sell China', should you stop hoping China is Australia's white knight?Even if you push aside Jim's recent comments on CNBC that China is "cooking the books" and "faking, among other things, its eye-popping growth rates of more than 8%", what are the facts?Like many Western economy's today, China is running on stimulus. The fact that the banks tried twice last month to rein in lending is a sure sign of an economy about to burn out. Amazingly lending for January was ¥1.4 trillion (AUD $228 billion). This figure for January is nearly one fifth of the lending planned for 2010. In fact for all of 2009, the Chinese banks lent out over ¥9.5 trillion (AUD $1.552 trillion) to keep the economy humming - or burning in order to survive the 'GFC'. That's an enormous amount of credit to flood an economy.China's excessive stimulus and aggressive lending by the banks have created artificial demand, which has pushed our resource prices higher. When China announced their ¥4 trillion 'rescue' package in 2008, exact details of how it was going to be spent was unclear. Very little information was provided on where the money would be going. Any press release from China stated the stimulus was directed to 'infrastructure and social welfare'.To top it off, the Chinese government instructed the banks to 'loosen credit' and even encouraged the smaller banks to be part of a 'more proactive fiscal policy'. What these packages really told you, was China was going to spend, and it was going to do so in a big way.And that's exactly what they've done.But the side effects of all this spending is only just starting to become clear. The loose credit policies and stimulus have driven up property prices. In the major Chinese cities, house prices were up 9.5%, and land jumped a shocking 106% last year.Is slowing down stimulus too little too late for China?"Bubbles are best identified by credit excesses, not valuation excesses," Jim Chanos said in his TV interview. I like that definition. "And there's no bigger credit excess than China."So, will China be able to cool their economy and let the bubble slowly leak? Or are we waiting for a really big bang?Perhaps Dr Lowe unwittingly said it best with 'time will tell'.Shae SmithAssistant EditorMoney Weekend

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Wong Ai Kiew's 90Th Birthday

Psalm 128:1 puts it this way: Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walks in his ways. A devoted christian, Wong Ai Kiew has rich blessings from Lord in her passage through 90 years. I am sure in the years to come, the love of Lord shall continue to shower her.

Wong Ai Kiew is Tu Hock Lai's dear mom. The siblings put their hands together to organise a birthday dinner on this auspicious occasion for their mom. I went with Yian as invited guests and we felt greatly honoured.

At the dinner function, I asked Hock Lai and his family members to pose for a group photo with his mom.
Wong Ai Kiew with her offspring.
The family members presented a lovely hymn for Wong Ai Kiew.
We (fellowshippers of MAF of The Masland Methodist Church) posed for a group photo with Hock Lai. In the picture (seating L to R) are Ah Huat, Min Chon, Yian & me, Ah Chie & Siew Chin, Leh Ping & Yu Ming, (standing L to R) Toh Chiong, Thian Kieng , Hock Lai. It was such a fun time chatting over all the delicacies.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The 6 Biggest Investing Mistakes

All of us are investors, in one way or another. I am sure most of us have unpleasant experiences of investing mistakes. That includes me. Mistakes are certainly costly, but they can be minimised by way of learning from lessons. Alternatively, we may heed the advice of certain experts who are smarter than us.

G. MalkiBurton el and Charles D. Ellis of share with the readers "The 6 Biggest Investing Mistakes". I reproduce it herebelow for the benefits of serious investors.

Burton G. Malkiel, Princeton economics professor and author of 'A Random Walk Down Wall Street,' and Charles D. Ellis, author of 'Winning the Loser's Game,' have teamed up to write 'The Elements of Investing.'
We're both in our seventies. So is Warren Buffett. The main difference between his spectacular results at Berkshire Hathaway and our good results is not the economy and not the market, but the man from Omaha. He is simply a better investor than just about any other in the world. Brilliant, consistently rational, and blessed with a superb mind for business, he has managed to avoid the mistakes that have crushed so many portfolios. Let's look at two examples.
In early 2000, Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio had underperformed funds that enjoyed spectacular returns by loading up on stocks of technology companies and Internet startups. Buffett avoided all tech stocks. He told his investors that he refused to invest in any company whose business he did not fully understand - and he didn't claim to understand the complicated, fast-changing technology business - or where he could not figure out how the business model would sustain a growing stream of earnings. Some said he was an old fuddy-duddy. Buffett had the last laugh when Internet-related stocks came crashing back to earth.
In 2005 and 2006, Buffett largely avoided the mortgage-backed securities and derivatives that found their way into many investment portfolios. Again, his view was that they were too complex and opaque. He called them "financial weapons of mass destruction." When they brought down many a financial institution (and ravaged our entire financial system), Berkshire Hathaway avoided the worst of the meltdown.
1. Overconfidence
At our two favorite universities, Yale and Princeton, psychologists are fond of giving students questionnaires asking how they compare with their classmates. For example, students are asked: "Are you a more skillful driver than your average classmate?" Invariably, the overwhelming majority answer that they are above-average drivers. Even when asked about their athletic ability, where one would think it more difficult to delude oneself, students generally say they're above average. They see themselves as above-average dancers, conservationists, friends, and so on.
And so it is with investing. In recent years, a group of behavioral psychologists and financial economists have created the important new field of behavioral finance. Their research shows that we are not always rational. We tend to be overconfident. If we do make a successful investment, we confuse luck with skill. It was easy in early 2000 to delude yourself that you were an investment genius when your Internet stock doubled and then doubled again.
To deal with the pernicious effects of overconfidence, think about amateur tennis. The player who steadily returns the ball, with no fancy shots, is usually the player who wins. And the prudent buy-and-hold investor who holds a diversified portfolio through thick and thin is the investor most likely to achieve his long-term goals.
2. Following the Herd
People feel safety in numbers. Investors tend to get more and more optimistic, and unknowingly take greater and greater risks, during bull markets and periods of euphoria. That is why speculative bubbles feed on themselves.
But any investment that has become a widespread topic of conversation among friends or has been hyped by the media is very likely to be unsuccessful. Throughout history, some of the worst investment mistakes have been made by people who have been swept up in a speculative bubble. Whether with tulip bulbs in Holland during the 1630s, real estate in Japan during the 1980s, or Internet stocks in the United States during the late 1990s, following the herd - believing that "this time it's different" - has led people to make some of the worst investment mistakes.
Just as contagious euphoria leads investors to take greater and greater risks, the same self-destructive behavior leads many to sell at the market's bottom when pessimism is rampant.
More money went into equity mutual funds during the fourth quarter of 1999 and the first quarter of 2000 - the top of the market - than ever before. Most of that money went to high-tech and Internet investments, the ones that turned out to be the most overpriced and then declined the most during the subsequent bear market. And more money went out of the market during the third quarter of 2002 than ever before, as mutual funds were redeemed or liquidated - just at the market trough. Later, during the punishing bear market of 2007-09, new record withdrawals were made by investors who threw in the towel at record lows just before the first, and often best, part of a market recovery.
It's not today's price or even next year's price that matters; it's the price you'll get when you sell. For most investors, that's in retirement - and even at age 60, chances are you will live another 25 years and your spouse may live several years more. So don't let the crowd trick you into either exuberance or distress. Remember the ancient counsel, "This too shall pass."
3. Timing the Market
Does the timing penalty - the cost of second-guessing the market - make a big difference? You bet it does. The stock market as a whole has delivered an average rate of return of 9.6% over long periods of time.
But that return measures only what a buy-and-hold investor would earn by putting money in at the start of the period and keeping his money invested through thick and thin. The average investor's actual returns are at least two percentage points lower because the money tends to come in at or near the top and out at or near the bottom.
In addition to the timing penalty, there is also a selection penalty. When money poured into equity mutual funds in late 1999 and early 2000, most of it went to the riskier funds - those invested in high tech and Internet stocks. The staid "value" funds, which held stocks selling at low multiples of earnings and with high dividend yields, experienced large withdrawals. During the bear market that followed, these same value funds held up very well while the "growth" funds suffered large price declines. So the gap between overall market returns and an investor's actual returns is even larger than those two percentage points.
4. Assuming More Control Than You Have
Psychologists have identified a tendency in people to think they have control over events even when they have none. That can lead investors to overvalue a losing stock in their portfolio. It also can lead them to imagine trends when none exist or believe they can spot a pattern in a stock chart and thus predict the future. In fact, the changes in stock prices are very close to a "random walk": There is no dependable way to predict the future movements of a stock's price from its past wanderings.
The same holds true for supposed seasonal patterns, even if they appear to have worked for decades. Once everyone knows there is a Santa Claus rally in the stock market between Christmas and New Year's Day, the "pattern" will evaporate. Investors will buy one day before Christmas and sell one day before the end of the year to profit from the supposed regularity. But then investors will have to jump the gun even earlier, buying two days before Christmas and selling two days before the end of the year. Soon all the buying will be done well before Christmas and the selling will take place right around Christmas. Any apparent stock market pattern that can be discovered will not last as long as there are people around who will try to exploit it.
5. Paying Too Much in Fees
There is one piece of investment advice that, if you follow it, can dependably increase your returns: Minimize your investment costs. We have spent two lifetimes thinking about which mutual fund managers will have the best performance year in and year out. Here's what we now know: It was and is hopeless.
That's because past performance is not a good predictor of future returns. What does predict investment performance are the fees charged by the investment manager. The higher the fees you pay for advice, the lower your return. As our friend Jack Bogle, founder of mutual fund company the Vanguard Group, likes to say, "You get what you don't pay for."
We looked at all equity mutual funds over a 15-year period and measured the rate of return produced for their investors, as well as all the costs charged and the implicit costs of portfolio turnover - the cost of buying and selling portfolio holdings. We then divided the funds into quartiles. The lowest-cost-quartile funds produced the best returns.
If you want to own a mutual fund with top-quartile performance, buy a fund with low costs. If we measure after-tax returns, recognizing that high-turnover funds tend to be tax-inefficient, our conclusion holds with even greater force.
6. Trusting Stockbrokers
The stockbroker's real job is not to make money for you but to make money from you. Brokers tend to be friendly for one major reason: It gets them more business. The typical broker "talks to" about 75 customers who collectively invest about $40 million. (Think for a moment about how many friends you have and how much time it takes you to develop each of those friendships.) Depending on the deal he has with his firm, your broker gets about 40% of the commissions you pay.
So if he wants a $100,000 income, he needs to gross $250,000 in commissions charged to customers. Now do the math. If he needs to make $200,000, he'll need to gross $500,000. That means he needs to take that money from you and each of his other customers. Your money goes from your pocket to his pocket. That's why being "friends" with a stockbroker can be so expensive. A broker has one priority: getting you to take action, any action.
We urge you not to engage in "gin rummy" behavior. Don't jump from stock to stock or from fund to fund as if you were selecting and discarding cards in a game. You'll run up your commission costs - and probably add to your tax bill as well.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gold! Gold! Gold!

The gold superbull market took off in 2002 at the price level of US$200 per ounce. Malaysian investors sadly missed the bull because there were no instruments available in the market for investment in gold. I asked around, only to be told to go to foreign markets (Hong Kong, Australia, etc.) to buy gold certificates.

After a few years, some local commercial banks pushed out to the market Gold Investment Account, much to my delight.

The international gold price now hovers around US$1,100 per ounce. When you compare it with the start-off level, it represents a whopping 450% jump. At this price, is gold still a buy?

Let's take a look at the following report by Forrest Jones of Moneynews:

Investors should buy gold even if the price continues to dip, because the precious metal is merely in a correction phase of an upward trend, says investment guru Marc Faber.Gold could fall to as low as $950 an ounce from current levels of around $1,089 an ounce, Faber says.But prices will rise again as governments continue to print money to narrow deficits in moves that will ultimately pump up inflation rates, the building blocks of higher gold prices.The present correction, Faber says, is due to a temporary surge in the dollar's value.“The weakness that gold has shown recently is no reason for investors to get out of gold investments,” he tells Commodity Online.“I still believe gold should continue to be part of every investor’s wise investment portfolio.”Concerns about Greece's budget deficit woes have sent the euro on a roller-coaster ride and have some investors running to gold as a safe haven.

Last year when the gold price reached US$850 per ounce, my friend asked me where the precious metal was a good buy at that level. I asked him to go in with no hesitation. If he had taken it up, he would be laughing his way to bank now!
We posed for a group photo in front of Dewan Undangan Negeri Complex. Snapping for us was a policeman stationing at the entrance check-point. Our visit to DUN Complex was a memorable one. The courtesy of the policeguard who guided us around deeply impressed us. The photo shows (L to R) Tiong, Michael, me and Ngui.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Simply Keep Printing!

Economist Joseph Stiglitz has the following views on the state of financial well-being of US and UK. He provided us with some insight into this currently hot topic. I encourage you to take a look at this Julie Crawshaw's report in Moneynews.

Economist Joseph Stiglitz thinks the United States and the United Kingdom should keep printing and spending money because there's no chance they will default and the world needs more stimuli.“The likelihood of a default is so small, particularly in the US because all we do is print money to pay it back,” Stiglitz told an audience at the London School of Economics.Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate and a former chief economist at the World Bank, said that the idea of a default by the U.S. or Britain is "so absurd, it’s another reflection of the absurdities in the financial markets.”"What we need now is a second round of stimulus" to encourage more recovery, he said, the U.K. Telegraph reports.Federal Reserve Governor Kevin Warsh says “the U.S. economy runs grave risks if we slouch toward a quasi-public utility model," The Wall Street Journal reports.Speaking at a meeting of the New York Association for Business Economics, Warsh added that "The most valuable asset that the Federal Reserve had a generation or two ago and today is our credibility.”"We have a $2.3 trillion balance sheet and people think the source of the power comes from the ability to grow your balance sheet, to run your printing press," Warsh said. “But that's wrong, because the real power is consistent behavior and "our credibility to live up to our dual objective, both in respect to price stability and employment.”

The picture shows the magnificent Dewan Undangan Negeri Complex. It is open to visitors to promote tourism. I took it during our recent 2-day official trip to Kuching.

Chu Yi, St. Valentine's Day, My Birthday

Chu Yi is the first day of Chinese New Year. This year it coincided with St. Valentine's Day. And my birthday happened to fall on this day also.
It was a trio occasion for me.
When I cut the Oreo Cheesecake made by Yian, I thanked God for the joyous birthday celebration.
My message to Yian on St. Valentine's Day - You are my love!

Allen Back For Lunar New Year

Yian with Allen - Standing tall at 185cm, Allen has overtaken his mom in height!
Allen and his buddies - I snapped a shot for them when they came for New Year visit.

The mandatory military haircut at National Service camp left Allen with no choice but to put on a cap during his Chinese New Year break back in Sibu.
With suntan and the first degree military hairstyle, it took us a while to get used to his new look.
Allen has a lot of camp life to share with us. We are glad that he is taking NS very positively.
They posed another time for a group snapshot - (Left to right: Thou Yaw, Chan Lik, Chiong Sheng, Allen, Joo Yew, Hiong Ik and David)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Our Reunion Dinner On Lunar New Year's Eve

It was a home -cooked reunion dinner and it was pretty sumptuous. It took Yian a good while to come out with the delectable dishes. We said a thanksgiving prayer before we settled to the reunion dinner.
Fish is a must for Lunar New Year's Eve reunion dinner. This king-sized white pomfret made a wonderful dish.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ushering In Lunar New Year - Rush Hours

It was a last-minute rush for new-year shopping amidst the rising festive mood. I spotted this rush-hour scene at Premier Departmental Store, Sibu where the jostling crowds queued up at the payment counters.

There seems to be a lot of excitement in last-minute rush for festive shopping.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Reunion

Hock Lai just came back from Russia for Lunar New Year. I was delighted to learn about it and, over the phone, invited him to Premier Hotel for some chit-chat over teh tarik. He brought along Chiong Ngieu, a long-time buddy, for some heartwarming moments. Then, all of a sudden, we spotted Toh Chiong passing by in quite a rush. Hock Lai called Toh Chiong in to join us for a tea time.

We had got a lot of topics to blah-from Perak's MB to Adorna Properties case. It was a warm reunion.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Next 14 Days!

If you think the following striking message makes no sense to you, then just cast it aside.

ACT NOWIf you think the last 14 trading days have been tough, my friend, you haven’t seen anything yet.
The next 14 trading days could make you 50% richer or 50% poorer, as Wall Street reacts to barrage of negative economic reports that are coming next week.
Mark my words—if you fail to adjust your assets accordingly, as I’ll show you, you could lose more money in 2010 than you lost in 2008.
However, if you simply follow our lead, you’ll profit handsomely—no matter what happens in the overall market.

The picture shows the big bikers in front of Premier Hotel getting ready to move on.

Dollar & Other Currencies

If you are very concerned about the prospects of the dollar, then the following news is definitely relevant to you. Star economist Nouriel Roubini put forward his views and Dan Weil reported on them yesterday for the concerned investors.

The dollar’s recent rally, which has taken it to a six-month high, will soon fade against Asian and commodity currencies, says star economist Nouriel Roubini.Commodity currencies include the Brazilian real, Canadian dollar and Australian dollar.He anticipates a 15 percent to 20 percent drop by the greenback against these currencies in the next two to three years.And what will cause the move? “I see anemic recovery of economic growth in the U.S., and the U.S. current account (deficit) is still very large,” Roubini, a professor at New York University, said at a Moscow conference, according to Bloomberg.“In the next two or three years, the dollar has to weaken further on a trade- weighted basis.” As long as commodity prices remain high, countries whose economies are based on commodities will see their currencies rise, he says.As for the U.S., “There’s going to be better economic news for a couple of quarters due to temporary factors, such as restocking, fiscal stimulus, and base effects,” Roubini said.“In the second half, economic weakness is going to reappear again. On a trend basis, the dollar has to weaken.” If Roubini is right about the dollar dropping versus the renminbi, the U.S. will benefit, hedge fund legend George Soros told CNBC.“It would help by making U.S. exports more competitive to China, but also would help to introduce an element of inflation in the U.S. In the current circumstances that would be very helpful.”

The picture shows some big bike travellers who were on 21-day touring Borneo Island last year. The group stopped over in Sibu for one night and stayed in Premier Hotel. When riding through the town, the team was escorted by two traffic policemen.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Why Go To Church?

Ho Hua sent it from faraway Australia for me to muse over the weekend. Share it with your friends if you like it. Personally I have been very much touched by the message.

If you're spiritually alive, you're going to love this!
If you're spiritually dead, you won't want to read it.
If you're spiritually curious, there is still hope!A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. 'I've gone for 30 years now,' he wrote, 'and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.'This started a real controversy in the 'Letters to the Editor' column. ; Much to the delight of the editor, itwent on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:'I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this... They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, Iwould be spiritually dead today!'When you are DOWN to nothing....God is UP to something!Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible!
Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!All right, now that you're done reading, send it on!!!
I think everyone should read this! When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say,
'Jesus, could you get that for
me...... while I forward this message to your children?'

The picture shows the newly extended The Masland Methodist Church, Sibu. Photo: David Ling

Friday, February 5, 2010

See You At 8,800!

Ellen Chang has an exciting stock analysis to share with us. Take some precious moments of yours to read through.

The market could see a huge correction in a few months, says Dan Cook, senior market analyst at IG Markets.Investors are not buoyed by positive earnings reports, he says.“There’s still a lot of confusion in the market. We’re looking at a pretty positive earnings season overall, but as we saw (recently) it was basically ignored due to political conflicts and we’re likely to see more of that,” Cook said.Cook predicts there to be a 20 percent to 25 percent correction in the markets by April or May.“It wouldn’t surprise me to see a range of 8,800 to 9,000 on the Dow. There are a few individual stocks I like, but sector-by-sector, I’m definitely more bearish than what I am bullish,” he told CNBC.
The picture shows our lovely Sibu.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 51

In response to Councillor Robert Lau's views on the next developmental cycle for Sibu, Tan Kee Hian offered his personal opinions in respect of the points being raised. Kee Hian's reply was posted to MPI Forum Website. I reproduce it herebelow for the benefits of more of my readers.

Robert,It's really good to see your article, sharing your personal dream and vision for Sibu. Chang Yi (Sarawakiana2), among others, has posted many excellent ideas and comments, and she must have felt rather "lonely". Rather than comment directly on your thoughtful ideas now, I hope your article provides further encouragement to those who have logged on to this blog to also contribute their own ideas and views. Of course, I hope more people will log on to this and Tony Hii's blog as a result of the interesting postings. To those you are shy, rest assured that there are no right answers and no one has the monopoly of good ideas. I do want to comment on the final sentence of Robert - "All the above industries require plenty of capital, time, energy and the willingness to take risk. Can Sibu take up the challenge?" I don't think Sibu has any choice but to take up the challenge. From where we (Sibu) are today, a sunset city/town, business-as-usual will undoubtedly take us beyond sunset, towards oblivion! The risk to the citizens of Sibu, of doing nothing is far greater than any risk associated with change. To me the challenge is not in finding the right ideas and strategies, but in mobilising the leaders of Sibu (from business, political, community, religious, etc) to step up to the plate. I am confident we can succeed if we have with the right leadership and the political will. How can we encourage those people in positions of power, influence and financial wealth to create a brighter future for Sibu? What can we do to motivate them to get out of their comfort zone? I believe the citizens of Sibu have voiced their concerns with the current trend, and nothing much have changed. I have now made three public attempts in the last 12 months to "stir the pot" and will raise the temperature further. Trust me to do it! We also need ideas on how to mobilise resources for Sibu. This need not necessarily be restricted to people currently in Sibu, but includes people living and working outside Sibu - anyone who cares about Sibu! Regards,Kee Hian
The picture shows a light moment we were sharing with Tan Kee Hian at Cafe Palmelia of Premier Hotel. Picture: Liong