Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Palm Jumeirah - Catatan Profesional (Lima)

'Steering Committee'

Mesyuarat mingguan 'steering committee' projek integrasi rangkaian sistem IT & Telekomunikasi Dubai World bermula sebaik solat magrib yang diimamkan oleh Hamid selesai.

Ahli-ahli dalam 'steering committee' yang dipengerusikan oleh Hamid sebagai COO/CFO, ialah Adel (Secretary General), Suhail (CIO- Dubai Ports, customs and Free Zone Corp), Jamal (pengarah khidmat korporat), Dr. Osama (ketua projek - IT specialist), Viviek (Ernst & Young) dan saya sebagai, hmm, konsultan telekomunikasi.

Di bawah 'steering committee' ini adalah kumpulan projek yang terdiri dari dua pengurus Dubai World, seorang penganalisa kewangan dari Ernst & Young dan tiga orang mamat Jerman sebagai pereka rangkaian telekomunikasi.

Dalam mesyuarat 'steering committee' kali ke 4 tersebut, dua perkara utama dirumuskan. Pertamanya, projek ini akan menjadi asas kepada penubuhan sebuah syarikat IT & Telekomunikasi baru yang dengan kod, 'babytel'.

'Babytel' akan memberi khidmat kepada semua anak-anak syarikat Dubai World.

Dr. Osama akan menjadi perancang organisasi dan strategi. Manakala saya membantu dari segi ko-ordinasi dengan pasukan projek serta memantau jadual. Selain menulis lapuran untuk lembaga pengarah.

Untuk tujuan itu, satu presentation korporat akan dibuat kepada lembaga pengarah Dubai World dan saya diarahkan untuk menyiapkannya dalam masa seminggu. Hanya 5 slides untuk pengerusi, tetapi saya kena menyiapkan sebanyak 20 slides untuk Hamid membuat suntingan.

Hamid ini memang digeruni, garang, cerdas, cekap dan cukup tajam otaknya. Waktu di DIC, sebagai CEO yang dipinjamkan dari Arthur Andersen (dia pengarah urusan serta tuanpunya untuk Arthur Andersen Dubai, selepas itu Ernst & Young), dia membuang tiga orang sekretari kerana mereka tidak dapat mengikut rentak kerjanya.

Tidak semena-mena, dia melantik saya sebagai 'sekretari' sementara selama 2 bulan, walau ketika itu saya menjadi pengurus IT & Telekomunikasi dibawah Dr. Osama.

Katanya kepada saya, "Sekarang kamu sekretari saya, ini kunci pejabat saya, kamu mesti datang sebelum saya datang dan hanya balik rumah selepas saya balik!"

Barulah saya faham kenapa sekretari beliau sebelum itu tidak boleh ikut rentaknya. Hamid datang kerja jam 6 pagi tepat (selepas subuh, sempat joging dan baca quran lagi) dan memang punctual dalam jadualnya, pernah menghalau mat saleh yang datang lambat untuk mesyuarat.

Dia balik jam 10 malam, bekerja selepas solat jumaat walau hari cuti. Dia mengajar saya buat kopi yang mesti sama rasanya setiap pagi atau setiap kali diminta dan menyediakan sarapan (buah-buahan) yang segar sebelum dia masuk, juga menempah makan tengahari dan malam dengan penghantaran mengikut menu yang dia sediakan. Untungnya pula, saya makan apa yang dia makan, jadi jimat belanja makan.

Dia cukup serius sepanjang waktu rasmi bekerja, iaitu 7.30 pagi ke 4 petang. Sebaik 4 petang 1 minit, Hamid jadi seorang kawan, bukan bos, siap boleh letak kaki atas mejanya!

Saya banyak belajar dari Hamid dan sebagai 'sekretari', mengenal dia secara peribadi. Selama bertugas dibawah Hamid di DIC, kami berkongsi banyak suka duka, termasuk krisis korporat yang menyebabkan dia meninggalkan DIC. Kemudian, Dr. Osama juga mengikut beliau dan kami kembali dalam satu pasukan untuk projek di Dubai World.

Keduanya, kami diberitahu yang syarikat Palm Development akan jadi sebuah syarikat gergasi dunia hartanah bernama Nakheel. Bermakna, saya ditugaskan sepenuh masa di Palm Jumeirah dan membantu perancangan masterplan untuk lain-lain projek baru yang akan dilancarkan.

Lantas saya teringat drawings tender prasana telekomunikasi Palm Jumeirah yang mesti disiapkan besok, by hook or by crook.

(Bersambung)

Prosperity and Rich do not mean Happiness

A good friend left our company today. He has been a great colleague with a father-like figure as he is 60 years young. A Polish man, Aussie by citizenship with polished life.
He is contented with his life and very generous with his knowledge.
He has been transferring his expertise to me in various utility and infrastructure fields, as well as civil and mechanical. He is a walking encyclopedia. It is an honour to know this gentleman.

With him around, the office atmosphere has been very electrifying and alive. We have had numerous fights on various issues but at the end of the day, were all in a day's work.

He always reminds me about life in different perspectives. He is an avid Anwar's supporter and very much fond of Wan Azizah's strength in facing hard time during the reformasi days.

More prosperity and happiness for him in his new phase of life.

And there was a good report on BBC channel today regarding the world's prosperity index.

The ranking:-
1. Australia
2. Austria
3. Finland
4. Germany
5. Singapore
6. United States
7. Switzerland
8. Hong Kong
9. Denmark
10. New Zealand

Down the list
28. United Arab Emirates
29. Malaysia

More HERE

What about the most happiest nation?







Recently, a poll was conducted and those polled were asked just two questions to assess their contentment.
1. 'Taking all things together, would you say you are very happy, rather happy, not very happy, or not at all happy?'
2. 'All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?'

According to the world map of happiness,

TOP 10 HAPPIEST COUNTRIES

  1. Denmark
  2. Puerto Rico
  3. Colombia
  4. Iceland
  5. N. Ireland
  6. Republic of Ireland
  7. Switzerland
  8. Netherlands
  9. Canada
  10. Austria
Find Malaysia in the ranking below.


Prosperity does not necessarily mean rich and wealthy.
Here is a top 10 list of worlds richest countries according to CIA World Factbook

10. Switzerland - $39,800 (GDP per capita)

9. Equatorial Guinea - $44,100

8. Ireland - $45,600

7. United States - $46,000

6. Singapore - $48,900
This country tiny country consist of 63 island and some mainland with a total area of only 270 square miles (704 sq km). With Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan it is considered one of the Four Asian Tigers.
Singapore has the busiest port in the world and is the 4th largest foreign exchange trading center in the world. Singapore is widely believed to be the most business-friendly economy in the world.

5. United Arab Emirates - $55,200
This oil and natural gas rich country has a highly developed economy which makes it one of the most developed in the world. Having more money than they know what to do with, they have built numerous artificial islands and are currently building the worlds highest structure - Burj
Dubai
. When finished it will be 818 meters tall, being about 2 times as high as the Empire State Building in New York. It is estimated that about 1/4th of the total construction going on in the world is taking place in Dubai - the largest city in United Arab Emirates.

4. Kuwait - $55,300
In Arabic Kuwait translates to “Fortress built near water”. In addition to being on the coast of the Persian Gulf this country has well known neighbors like Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Kuwait has the worlds fifth largest proven oil reserves - about 10% of the worlds total. Being a country without taxes, about 80% of the government's revenue comes from exporting oil. Having the the second-most free economy in the Middle East, Kuwait has one of the fastest growing economies in the region.

3. Norway - $55,600

2. Qatar - $75,900
This Arabic speaking country has less than million people and gained independence from Great Britain only in 1971. Qatar used to be a poor Islamic country but since the discovery of oil and natural gas in the 1940s, it is completely transformed. With no income tax it is one of the least taxed countries in the world, while still offering most of its services to the population for free. (Who needs tax when you have all this oil and gas money coming in)

1. Luxembourg - $80,800

This tiny country with a total population of less than 500,000 is a true European miracle. By tiny we mean the 8 smallest country in the world. From top to bottom it’s only about 50 miles and at its widest about 30 miles.

'Expats feel very lucky to be in the UAE' - Dh120 billion pumped in!

While our opposition leader is crying for blood in Parliament for new fresh 2009 budget to be tabled by the new Finance Minister in the wake of the ongoing global financial crisis, the UAE is already making immediate bold steps to address and overcome the crisis.

In Malaysiakini, Anwar also criticised Najib for allegedly being more preoccupied with approving projects worth billions of ringgit without tender instead of concentrating on efforts to tackle the economic situation in the country.

Among the projects, he claimed, were the RM11.3 billion high-speech broadband project, the controversial Maybank-PT Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII) deal and the purchase of 12 helicopters worth RM1.5 billion from Eurocopter.

ARE WE IN THE STATE OF DENIAL?

Latest news splashing all around the UAE few minutes ago:-
Shaikh Mohammad orders Dh70b fund transfer to pump liquidity into banking sector

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has ordered a Dh70 billion transfer to the Ministry of Finance to pump liquidity into the banking sector.
The new transfer brings the total emergency funds for the UAE banking sector to Dh120 billion, WAM reported on Tuesday.
The decision to transfer the fund came after guidance from President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

As per today's Gulf News, expats feel lucky to be in the UAE:-

Dubai: Gulf News readers welcomed the government announcement to guarantee bank deposits across the UAE.
The decision has reassured UAE residents about their financial situation, at a time when people around the world are worried about their savings.
Canadian expatriate, Philip Norman, believes this makes a strong statement about the government's commitment to ensure financial stability in the country. "Banks take a risk when they spread operations in different countries," Norman said.
"By making this announcement, the government is giving out a message that we are safe. Even if things go wrong and we are facing problems, we have all the support from the government. It is an extremely generous step," he said.
Abu Dhabi-based Salvadorean, Jaime Samour, also echoed the sentiment as his concerns about the spiralling economic situation were put to rest.
"My friends who live outside the UAE have been severely affected by the crisis. We were all concerned about our savings with banks closing down across the world," Samour said.
"The announcement has come as a excellent news. It gives us security that we can stay in the UAE and not worry," he said.
Malaysian expatriate, Radhika O'Sullivan, received e-mails from her friends from across the world, telling her that the UAE is the best place to be in during the global crisis. She feels the government's reassurance has made a world of difference for the average resident.
"I feel very lucky to be living in the UAE," O'Sulllivan said. "The government has supported us in this difficult time. Whatever savings I have are extremely important for me as I plan for my son's future. He is going to start college in a few years time, and it feels good to know that my deposits are safe," she said.
For Sharjah-based Indian expatriate, Mohammad Ameen, the announcement was further reassurance of the security he enjoys while living in the UAE.
"I have a deposit in the UAE and I am fully satisfied with the safety. I was always confident in the government's commitment towards our well-being," Ameen said. "With this announcement, we are further reassured that the leaders are always concerned about the residents in the UAE and their sense of security," he said.

Malaysiakini Reports on Zulkifli Noordin rumoured Defection

Political life is intriguing and some times full of surprises.

I can never be a politician. Period.

Anwar: Zul will not ditch us
Oct 14, 08 1:44pm
PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim today dismissed speculations that one of his parliamentarians Zulkifli Nordin from Kulim-Bandar Baru would soon be defecting to rivals Umno.
"There is no basis in the speculation," Anwar told reporters in a press conference in Parliament.
The opposition leader said that he was in constant contact with Zulkifli and that there was no imminent risk of losing the first-time MP to Umno.
Meanwhile the man at the centre of attention himself dismissed talks that he would be joining Umno soon.
"I am still with PKR. I am still seated on the PKR seat. The question of defection doesn't arise at all," he told reporters when met at the Parliament lobby.
Zulkifli was not present at the Anwar press conference which took place just minutes before he spoke to the media.

U.S. is confirmed a Banana Republic Status!

The world is in financial meltdown, that's really frightening but we are already further slipping in turmoil.

Here, the impact is already felt, Gulfnews today reports, UAE banks 'safe haven for foreign deposits'.
Bankers and economists are predicting a big boom in foreign deposits in the UAE following the government's decision to guarantee deposits in national banks regardless of the amount.

In terms of assets, the UAE banking system tops the list of Arab countries and other countries in the region. At this point in time, people urged not to listen to rumours that cast doubts over the credibility of the UAE local banks.

However, some mind boggling figures on our life-time Financial "Armageddon."

This is to confirm that US is a Banana Republic State.

Somebody sent an email of a list of the losses in market capitalization for 25 of the biggest financial's since their rough peaks in October 2007. Keep in mind that these companies were once the darling blue chips in the market.


These losses include:

  • A I G -Then: $178.8 billion... Now: $5.46 billion. Down 96.95%
  • Bank of America -Then: $236.5 billion... Now: $123.4 billion. Down: 47.82%
  • Citigroup -Then: $236.7 billion... Now: $76.34 billion. Down 67.75%
  • Merrill Lynch - Then: $63.9 billion... Now: $30.2 billion. Down 52.74%
  • Fannie Mae - Then: $64.8 billion... Now: $0.45 billion. Down 99.3%
  • Morgan Stanley - Then: $73.1 billion... Now: $41.1 billion. Down 43.78%
  • Wachovia - Then: $98.3 billion... Now: $19.44 billion. Down 80.22%
  • JP Morgan Chase - Then: $161 billion... Now: $130.2 billion. Down 19.13%
  • Capital One Financial - Then: $29.9 billion... Now: $16.9 billion. Down 43.48%
  • Washington Mutual - Then: $31.1 billion... Now: $3.64 billion. Down 88..3%
  • Lehman Bros. - Then: $34.4 billion... Now: $0.80 billion. Down 97.6%
  • Goldman Sachs - Then: 97.7 billion... Now: $40.6 billion. 58.7% Down
  • Wells Fargo - Then: $124.1 billion... Now: $111.25 billion. Down 10.35%
  • National City - Then: $16.4 billion... Now: $2.8 billion. Down 83%
  • Fifth Third Bancorp - Then: $18.8 billion... Now: $7.9 billion. Down 57.6%
  • American Express - Then: $74.8 billion... Now: $37.5 billion. Down 49.87%
  • Freddie Mac - Then: $41.5 billion... Now: $0.16 billion. Down 58.7%
  • Suntrust Banks - Then: $27 billion... Now: $16.07 billion. Down 58.7%
  • BB&T - Then: $23.2 billion... Now: $18.4 billion. Down 20.69%
  • Marshall & Ilsley - Then: $11.6 billion... Now: $4..48 billion. Down 61.3%
  • Keycorp - Then: $13.2 billion... Now: $5.68 billion. Down 56.97%
  • Legg Mason— Then: $11.4 billion...Now: $4.96 billion. Down 56.49%
  • Comerica— Then: $8.3 billion...Now: $4.74 billion. Down 42.89%
  • Countrywide Financial: Then: $11.1 billion...Now: $0.00 billion. Down 100%
  • Bear Stearns— Then: $14.8 billion...Now: $ 0.00 billion. Down 100%
Together these 25 companies alone have lost investors a total of $992,690,000,000 over the last 12 months... or nearly 1 trillion dollars.

The Americans had them too good for too long.

Reuters provides the gory details in "Canada Rated World's Soundest Bank System: Survey."
Canada has the world's soundest banking system, closely followed by Sweden, Luxembourg and Australia, a survey by the World Economic Forum has found as financial crisis and bank failures shake world markets.
But Britain, which once ranked in the top five, has slipped to 44th place behind El Salvador and Peru, after a 50 billion pound ($86.5 billion) pledge this week by the government to bolster bank balance sheets.
The United States, where some of Wall Street's biggest financial names have collapsed in recent weeks, rated only 40, just behind Germany at 39, and smaller states such as Barbados, Estonia and even Namibia, in southern Africa.
The United States was on Thursday considering buying a slice of debt-laden banks to inject trust back into lending between financial institutions now too wary of one another to lend.
The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report based its findings on opinions of executives, and handed banks a score between 1.0 (insolvent and possibly requiring a government bailout) and 7.0 (healthy, with sound balance sheets).
Canadian banks received 6.8, just ahead of Sweden (6.7), Luxembourg (6.7), Australia (6.7) and Denmark (6.7).
UK banks collectively scored 6.0, narrowly behind the United States, Germany and Botswana, all with 6.1. France, in 19th place, scored 6.5 for soundness, while Switzerland's banking system scored the same in 16th place, as did Singapore (13th).
The ranking index was released as central banks in Europe, the United States, China, Canada, Sweden and Switzerland slashed interest rates in a bid to end to panic selling on markets and restore trust in the shaken banking system.
The Netherlands (6.7), Belgium (6.6), New Zealand (6.6), Malta (6.6) rounded out the WEF's banking top 10 with Ireland, whose government unilaterally pledged last week to guarantee personal and corporate deposits at its six major banks.
Also scoring well were Chile (6.5, 18th) and Spain, South Africa, Norway, Hong Kong and Finland all ending up in the top 20.
At the bottom of the list was Algeria in 134th place, with its banks scoring 3.9 to be just below Libya (4.0), Lesotho (4.1), the Kyrgyz Republic (4.1) and both Argentina and East Timor (4.2).
RANKINGS
1. Canada
2. Sweden
3. Luxembourg
4. Australia
5. Denmark
6. Netherlands
7. Belgium
8. New Zealand
9. Ireland
10. Malta
11. Hong Kong
12. Finland
13. Singapore
14. Norway
15. South Africa
16. Switzerland
17. Namibia
18. Chile
19. France
20. Spain
--------------------------------------------
124. Kazakhstan
125. Cambodia
126. Burundi
127. Chad
128. Ethiopia
129. Argentina
130. East Timor
131. Kyrgyz Republic
132. Lesotho
133. Libya
134. Algeria

SOURCE: World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009.
(For the full World Economic Forum report click on:
here )