Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Our Visit To MAF of Jai Eng Methodist Church At Sibu Jaya - Part 1/2

MAF of Sibu East District made a point of visiting Jai Eng MAF at the beginning of the year and we did it on the evening of October 26.

Located at Sibu Jaya which is about 30 km away from Sibu town, the church is quite a distance away. But we took with joy to serve Lord in this manner!

The visitation was tightly programmed. We left at 5:30pm and on the way to Sibu Jaya, we made a detour to Charles Ling & Annie Yii's place for a dinner meet. This was at Annie's invitation to join her family celebrating her birthday which fell on that day.

We arrived at Annie's residence at 6:00pm. Along with us was a cake to wish her "happy birthday". It was a warm gathering with lots of fun and laughters. After cake-cutting, we settled down for a quick dinner at the car porch. It was a delicious homecooked meal. We were made to understand that Charles was the cook of the delicacies. We all gave him big thumbs up!

We moved on after a fulfilling meal.

We took a group photo after cake-cutting. Seating 3rd and 4th from right are Charles and Annie.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Talk On Currency Exchange Rates At Wang Ming MAF

Amidst rising tensions globally on currency exchange rates, I was invited by MAF of Wang Ming Methodist Church to share with them on currencies.

The 40-minute talk took the audience to 1944 when the Bretton Woods System was established and then back to the present when issues like worsening currency wars between the West and the Eastare confronting the globe. I also touched on the much-talked about internationalisation of Ringgit which has been hotly debated in the press.

G20 met in Korea over this weekend to try to thrash out this global burning issue. On one side is Uncle Sam and the other, China. The issue in the focal point is the greenback and Yuan. Expectedly, the meeting was not fruitful at all.

Is internationalisation of Ringgit that bad at all as claimed by Tun DM? Would Malaysia be vulnerable to speculative attacks if we let Ringgit be fully uncontrolled? Maybe we ought to go on gradual basis to open up our currency.

Certain stuff in my talk might be a bit tough to gobble. Anyway, I hope the fellowshippers had benefited from my talk.

The picture shows me taking question on currency investment in AUD, CAD and USD.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wesley MAF's 20th Anniversary Thanksgiving Night

MAF of Wesley Methodist Church celebrated its 20th anniversary this evening at 7:30pm in the sanctuary. More than 200 turned out for the anniversary service to partake of the joy in giving thanks to God.

The thanksgiving service was solemn and heartwarming. From the call to service to the benediction, the whole programme was smoothrunning to my appreciation. The Holy Spirit had got to be at work too guide the service through.

Rev. Tie King Tai was invited to be the speaker of the evening.

Quoting Romans 12:2, Rev. Tie provoked the celebrants into reflecting upon whether they are godly or worldly as adult christians. In his usual thoughtprovoking manner, he put it to the congregation: Have you passed your SPM test?

SPM is the acronym for sex, power and money. In short, what Rev. Tie asked was whether we have stood to the temptation of sex, power and money, and lived out our lives like Jesus Christ.

On sex, Rev. Tie challenged the adult fellowshippers to bear good testimony in marriage life.

On power, Rev. Tie reminded the congregation not to succumb to the greed and hunger for power in our church for fear that we might fall into the setup of Santan.

On money, the Methodist teachings on "earn all you can" and "save all you can" have been well received. But are we practising the third teaching "give all you can"?

Rev. Tie's sermon was well blended with his good sense of humour. His preaching has been known to keep congregation eye-opened and floor quiet to hear a pin drop.

Brother Wong Kwong Toh, the founder chairman of the MAF gave a recount of the formation of the fellowship twenty years ago.

This was then followed by all the past pastors, advisers and chairmen being invited to the stage to receive a gift as a token of appreciation.

After a duet (truly nice!) and a song-dance item (honestly a wonderful presentation!), the chairlady of Wesley MAF Shirley went on stage to give words of thanks.

Thereafter, DS Rev. Wong Koi Fo gave a benediction before the adjournment to a supper reception outside the hall.

It was a wonderful traditional Chinese vermicelli soup with hard-boiled egg plus some other goodies to whet our appetite. Set in long table style, the reception was well thought out to facilitate interaction.

My thumb up to the teamwork of Wesley MAF. Shirley (your leadership), Yong (your MC skill) and all the other Wesley adult fellowshippers, please keep up your good service to God!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Matter of Confidence Crisis In U.S.A.

The recovery in U.S.A. has become a concern. If you are keen on this issue, have a look at Greenspan's very insightful thoughts which touch on the factors undermining the growth recovery of the world's largest economy.

By: Dan Weil

It’s highly unlikely that ex-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan would call himself a Keynesian. But he obviously agrees with the legendary economist John Maynard Keynes that “animal spirits” represent a crucial ingredient of a healthy economy.

A crisis of confidence grips the economy, Greenspan says. That helps to explain why GDP growth slipped to 1.7 percent in the second quarter from 3.6 percent in the first quarter.

Capital investment should have climbed sharply in recent months, as corporate profits soared, Greenspan writes in the Financial Times. But that investment has fallen short, and that combined with a collapse of the consumer sector has depressed the economy, he says.

“These shortfalls (are) the result of widespread private-sector anxiety over America’s future,” Greenspan argues. “(And they) have defused much, if not most, of the impact of the administration’s fiscal stimulus.”

Moreover, the government’s intervention in the economy through that stimulus has itself increased the anxiety, he says.

“The instinctive reaction of businessmen and householders to uncertainty is to disengage from those activities that require confident predictions of how the future will unfold,” Greenspan writes.

Both the corporate and consumer sectors are unwilling to invest in illiquid assets, such as real estate Greenspan says. Instead there has been a massive move to the safety of Treasuries.

“It is this rapid rise in aversion to illiquid risk that explains a large part of the anemic recovery in the U.S.,” he writes.

Government intervention in the economy is a problem now, Greenspan says. “Almost all economists and policymakers agree activist government was necessary in the immediate aftermath of the Lehman bankruptcy,” he says.

But the $862 billion fiscal stimulus has been of questionable value, Greenspan notes. And he’s not too impressed with the new financial reform law.

“It is going to take years to address the unprecedented complexity of final rulemaking required in the massive Dodd-Frank bill,” Greenspan writes.

“The inevitable uncertainty engendered will inhibit financial innovation and intermediation, and render the rules that will govern a future financial marketplace disturbingly conjectural.”

Uncertainty will be the result, he says. “This is bound to have a significant impact on economic growth.”

Star economist Robert Shiller agrees with Greenspan about the confidence deficit, though he thinks more government intervention is needed to boost confidence rather than less.

“In a broad sense, damage to morale — which Keynes called “animal spirits” — surely ranks as one of the most important reasons for the American economy’s persistent weakness,” Shiller wrote in The New York Times.

Meanwhile, James Grant, editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, shares Greenspan’s wariness of government intervention, telling Bloomberg that regulators are looking behind at the last crisis instead of ahead at what dangers lurk.