Friday, September 26, 2008

Kesian Dia (KJ)

Dari Malaysiakini, I'm being sabotaged, says Khairy
Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin believes that he is being sabotaged by certain quarters who are preventing party members from meeting him.
The Rembau parliamentarian, who has expressed his desire to contest for the Umno Youth chief post, claims he has proof of this.
According to him, at certain functions which he attended, there were those who had asked Umno members not to attend.
"I have proof that there are those trying to stop Umno members from getting to know their leaders," he was quoted as saying by Bernama.
"For me, all party members have the right to get to know their leaders and approach me, so there is no need for such preventions," he added.

Untuk KJ, teringat lagu Sudirman.


Kesian dia, kesian dia
tiba-tiba menjadi gabra
belum sempat apa-apa
dalam gamat peralihan kuasa
sudah terkena menjadi mangsa
budaya ameno yang porak peranda

Kerana dia, kerana dia
pak mertua dibuang kerja
dibenci dan dicerca majoriti warga
dalam tempoh tersisa sebagai memanda
yang banyak terlena bersukaria
dari bekerja untuk negara

Kesian dia, kesian dia
mahu jadi PM sebelum 40 usia
baru bertanding ketua pemuda
sudah disabotaj kiri kanan
biar wang berkepul-kepulan
dan ijazah oxford berasap-asapan

Kesian dia, kesian dia
sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga
baik terus cabut segera
ke australia atau singapura
bawa juta-juta dan harta
selamanya tidak perlu bekerja!

Political Prisoners : Malaysia and The UAE

The UAE values freedom of expression and has safeguarded it by banning imprisonment of journalists.

While Malaysia government under UMNO/BN leaders has been using all sorts of draconian acts to repress and detain its political opponents and critics, a senior UAE security official confirmed that there are no political prisoners in the UAE and no political crimes have been registered.

You may have doubt about this statement. For one, I have no idea on political movement here as well as do not really care, UAE is a free country with enough wealth to provide good life for all its natives. I am only an expatriate trying to earn enough money for living. My concern is about my own beloved country.

We need strong government which will not abuse its powers to opress its rakyat for some politicians survival.

There are no political crimes or prisoners in the UAE: official

"There is not a single person imprisoned in the UAE because of his opinion, and no political crimes have been carried out here... Our government supports all UAE nationals in their search of an honourable life in their country," Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police, told a press gathering during a Ramadan Majlis held on Monday night. It was organised by Dubai Press Club.
Al Mazeina was commenting on some reports in the international media which raised the issues of political prisoners and the restrictions on the freedom of expression in the UAE.
"What has been reported by some foreign media organisations might have been raised to serve the interests of some parties with certain orientations, therefore we do not pay much attention to these claims, and because we believe in the freedom of expression we do not put restrictions on what they write," said Al Mazeina.

Al Mazeina pointed out that a clear indication of the importance the UAE attaches to press freedom is the decree issued by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to not allow the imprisonment of journalists.
"There are some reporters and news editors who have their own interpretations of the rules and these interpretations make them not publish reports on certain labour protests and we are not concerned with such interpretation as we do not oppress the press and they merely state their interpretation," said Al Mazeina.

Abu Dhabi - Rags to Riches

I have been residing in the UAE since year 2000 but not a frequent traveller to the capital city, Abu Dhabi. Over the years, I have seen Dubai progressed so much as well as involved directly with Dubai developments but not the same can be said about Abu Dhabi, one of the richest state in the world with oil reserves to last for the next 100 years.

Only recently, this sleeping giant is catching up with the neighbouring as well as most popular emirate, Dubai. Abu Dhabi has made big news recently by taking over Manchester City Football Club. But that was not only Abu Dhabi's latest moves to move the earth with shattering leaps.

Abu Dhabi has more resources in terms of monetary and wealth to overshadow Dubai any time soon. But looking back, this rags to riches story has more to learn from the past to move forward to the future.

No, this is not about my 'rumoured' impending move to Abu Dhabi any time soon, it is just about a city of the future based on the present vision.

It is instructive to consider what happened in previous oil booms to try to understand what may happen in the near future. Booms always go bust. It is never a question of if, but always as matter of when, the party ends.

In his brilliant book 'From Rags to Riches, the story of Abu Dhabi', Mohammed Al-Fahim (whose son in control of Manchester City FC) outlines much of the early history of the UAE. And he explains the nature of the first great oil boom in 1973 which followed the Arab-Israeli war and Arab oil embargo.
'No sooner was the brief war over than the oil began to flow again and we found ourselves in a tidal wave, awash with money. The income of the government soared with the increased oil revenues, the majority of which were funneled right back into the economy. '

Land prices skyrocketed to unheard-of levels, even by today's standards, and the price of goods, materials and services went through the roof.'
However, this massive boom was soon over.

'By 1976 the well had run dry. The demand on our financial resources was much greater than even our vast oil wealth could sustain. We found ourselves out of money and in a recession, from boom to bust in only a few short years.

'Of course, we had never experienced anything like a recession before. Businesses were left with their goods stranded at the port or at the airport because there were no funds available to clear them through customs. Major projects were left unfinished because of a lack of capital.'

This recession of the late 1970s lasted two-and-a-half years until the last half of 1980 when the Iran-Iraq war broke out, and oil prices again headed upwards, filling the national coffers.
Sheikh Zayed introduced a generous compensation scheme for Abu Dhabians that injected spending into the UAE economy and set it booming again. By 1982 the collapse of the Kuwait stock market and lower oil prices once more brought an abrupt end to a wave of oil-driven prosperity, and the mid-1980s were a tough time for many UAE businesses, in particular the local banks which went through a wave of consolidation.
For those who think prosperity is forever, Mohammed Al-Fahim's story is well worth reading. Times are very good now in the Oil States, at least from an economic perspective.
But nothing lasts forever and economic cycles can be shorter than expected. It is to be hoped that the lessons of the past have been learned, and certainly the UAE is a far more financially solid, diversified and better organized country than it was in the early days of the federation. But over-optimism and a tendency to loose sight of reality is a human characteristic that no system has ever managed to keep in check.
Gulf News today published an interesting article, We saw Abu Dhabi growing.
And enjoy these promotion videos that present a bit of Abu dhabi in very near future.

Dubai Bubble to BURST soon?

I read the news recently that construction projects across the Gulf, worth at least USD2.4 trillions, are facing major delays due to a severe shortage of skilled project and programme managers.
One industry player said, a lack of engineering specialists is sparking huge salary increases for technical professionals, while jeopardising many projects. That means a lot of opportunities to Malaysians to join the current boom that could last few years more down the road.

“Developers are already being squeezed by higher concrete and steel prices, but with escalating salaries on top, many projects are already being delayed with profit margins eroding considerably,” he said in a statement.

The number of active projects in the GCC is close to 3,400, representing a combined value of $2.4 trillion, and the scale of construction activity is placing "severe strain on the viability of some projects."

Expert opinion has converged towards the view that supply will exceed demand sometime in 2010. Indeed only the endless delays in the delivery of completed units have kept putting back this evil day of reckoning.

Being personally involved in this industry as part of a world leading developer, I have my own concern about the so-called 'bubble waiting to burst' symptom that has been predicted again and again by the doomsayers and skeptics. According to some people, that is only a myth as well as not relevant in Dubai context.
Around the world, the property prices are already down especially after the subprime mortgage crisis that hit USA.

Booms go bust
Yet some are confident that this will happen as sure as night follows day. Real estate booms always go bust. It is just a question of when and not if it happens.
However, there lies the dilemma. Some people thought global property looked too hot in 2000 and yet many of these real estate markets are still booming today. And it has to be said oil prices are still high in the region and there is still plenty of liquidity.
But you could say the same about the regional stock markets and yet they got carried away with themselves and crashed. Property is just the same, and an excess of supply over demand usually means a correction.

My own Group CEO, an Australian with years of experience in the real estate development and the one who has successfully turned Nakheel into a world-class company with USD100 billion worth of projects around the world, dismisses the bust to happen anytime soon.

Of course, I believe him optimistically, not because he is my boss.....yes, this is Dubai my friends!

Nakheel chief dismisses idea of Dubai property crash

PROPERTY VIEW: Nakheel chief executive Chris O'Donnell.
Dubai’s property market is unlikely to crash but a maturing market will separate the winners from the losers, Nakheel’s chief executive said on Thursday.

“Dubai has certainly entered the next phase of property development whereby the consumers can intelligently and confidently shift through the myriad of property offering,” Chris O’Donnell said.
“The word ‘correction’ has been often misused in the property sector as a crash.”
As the market matures, prices in projects that do not offer value for money will fall, but the value of quality developments in the right locations will continue to increase, as a result of more regulation, consumer protection and transparency.
“If one wants the best product in the best location by the most reputable developers, the project will attract the right type of buyers who are more than willing to make that investment,” he said.
With 70,000 units expected to come on stream in 2009, analysts have said prices are likely to soften in the second half of the year.
But the city’s property market has exogenous factors that will help to propel property growth organically, O’Donnell said.
“Recently the New York Times ran an article about the region's young people wishing to make Dubai their new home to be part of the growth and in the process to re-affirm their self identity.

“I believe his typifies what is happening, in a small yet tangible way, around us in Dubai,” he said.
“What is important is not the state of the overall market, rather, how one reacts to the changing conditions. I believe that this is the time to be strategic and remain cautiously optimistic,” he added.

Property prices set to slump up to 20%
EFG-Hermes predicts 15-20% drop by 2011 in Dubai market as housing supply outstrips demand.


I would like to borrow the term “creative destruction” from a great economist Joseph Schumpeter, who argues that for the economy to be healthy in the long term, it needs cycles of “destruction”, whereby new technologies “destroy” older and obsolete ones; more efficient methods “obliterate” lesser efficient ways, and so on. On the same basis of argument, he also argues that the same thing should also be true to the politic process of any nation. After a group of ruling elites that dominates and hold power in a nation for a prolonged period of time, then there will come a time that they will be “destroyed” by new political forces that will replace them; and new sets of people and systems will dominates the arena for years to come. Such things happen not because of coincidence, but rather it is a healthy and necessary part of the life cycle. This is exactly what is happening in the Nature: forest fires engulf a whole section of forest, only to allow a new set of saplings that eventually grow and becoming a forest again.



When the roots of a tree is rotting, in matter of no time, the tree will die. Unless drastic action is taken to stop the rots, nothing can be done to save the tree. This is the exact predicament that UMNO is currently undergoing. When I joined UMNO in 1995, I already saw the rotting of UMNO right at the grassroots level and it rise up all the way to the top echelon of the party. I have spoken in various occasions of the need for UMNO to revive its struggle, and redefine itself, to continue to be relevant in the society. All of these talks fall on deaf ears. This was during Mahathir's era.

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