Wednesday, April 29, 2009

... and then there are the Independents

An article by Hafiz Noor

APRIL 29 – The concept of duality is helpful in understanding the context a particular issue is set in.
Without the idea of cold, how does one define the idea of hot? Without evil, how does one appreciate good? Without tyranny, how does one taste the sweet nectar of liberty? While such monochromic perception has its advantage in rationalising the world, one must not take it too far lest one becomes a victim of false dichotomy.

to read more click here

Related article - How to decide without being partisan - click here

Monday, April 27, 2009

Refreshing - Nurul Izzah and Nik Nazmi

I find Nurul Izzah and Nik Nazmi refreshing. Do read their article “Working for Malaysia’s future”

What I find most pertinent in this co-written article is its ending. Usually it is the ending of a letter or note that conveys the innermost message. They said, I quote, “Keadilan will continue to fight for change. The first battle is to fight to change ourselves for the better.”

While I may not agree with how they wrapped up certain issues within the article, but the fact that the two of them finished it with ‘changing from within’ I see hope. They will still need to learn to unlearn the need to judge others using the ideal, but judging their own self with reality, behaviour usually embedded in NATOs – No Action Talk Only type of people.

If they take this route, they will remain as an opposition, where the world is always wrong, they are always right. Putting the blame of their inadequacy and inaction to external factors ie lack of resources or being blocked by an evil enemy.

But, as I said I sense hope and potential. In the business world we call young talents like these Hypos – ie. High Potentials.

For Malaysia to grow and succeed, we need good people both in Government and the Opposition. It is not enough to have good people on either side. I think these two young MPs represent the future of their party, and if they mature further may even lead the country.

I like the idea that the younger generation in PR from the various component parties actually find joy in working together. Spirit of fellowship is of utmost importance in making things happen. Something BN Hypos should seriously work on, too.

I deal and assist my clients with their Hypos usually within the context of implementing the organizations Mentor-Mentee program. Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet really good and potential young minds. I see hope and keenness in their eyes. They need polishing and definitely guidance in areas that requires a big picture conceptual worldview and the need to be even keeled. But, most of them have the capacity to reach their potential.

CEOs and Top management some knowingly while others by intuition basically pick and build young talents via 4 criteria. We have made it easier by coining the Acronym CAPI (also featured in our Xmas 2007 advert ).

So what to look for in Top Talents?


A person’s capacity is the basic foundation of his or her ability to deliver. No amount of training or exposure can bring out what is expected from a talent if he or she lacks the capacity. Like a car engine, capacity determines the ability to perform under different circumstances. The larger the capacity, the greater the propensity to deliver.


True performance is about results, not efforts. Top talents do not play the blame game. Instead, top talents focus their energies on where the results are; they make things happen, they deliver. They are career oriented, not job oriented, delivering over and above what is required.

People Skills

Top talents deliver through working with and through people. They harness and focus the energy of others toward common goals. They are team leaders. Talent who prefers working alone are specialists, they are great support for top talents. Those who get results by stepping on the others lack the fourth criteria and must not be considered.


Leadership must come with integrity - there is no compromise. Without integrity talent is a liability. No matter how brilliant, knowledgeable or successful, lack of integrity disqualifies any and all talent for any managerial position.

I have strong convictions that if we use these 4 criteria to choose our MPs and ADUNs as well as leaders, this country will reach greater heights. I hope Nurul and Nik will use it to judge both their own people in PR and their BN counterparts. Purge all those who fail in any of the above criteria. Check your own people, and ask them to leave.

Both BN and PR for example must choose integrity and vote against party hopping. In that way the country will remain stable for five years even if either party won the general elections with just a simple majority (as opposed to two third majorities).

If the Hypos in PR (and BN) have the capacity to see the big picture conceptual framework, they will be able to see the wisdom in this idea. So even if for example PR wins the next General Election with just a majority of 5 seats, they will have the stability to prove themselves for 5 years – and Malaysia is stable and would have graduated to a two party system – my goal.

As I see myself as neither BN nor PR, I see myself belonging to Middle Malaysia – a third voice if you must, please do listen to my feedback. Nurul and Nik correctly stated in the article, “ Malaysia’s leaders need to always listen and learn from the people, and this is something that we, the young leaders of Keadilan and Pakatan pledge to do”.

And do remember,

Reshape yourself through the power of your will …Bhagavad-Gita (6:5)

To conquer others need strength;To conquer oneself is harderTao Te Ching – chapter 33

Though one should conquer a million men inbattlefield, yet he, indeed, is the noblestvictor who has conquered himself.The Buddha (Dhammapada 103)

Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your owneye, and then you will see clearly to remove thespeck that is in your brother’s eye.Matthew 7:5

Verily never will God change the fate (condition)of a people until they change it themselves.Quran 13 : 11

And Guru Nanak said, to conquer the world, we must first conquer our own mind.

All the best young Malaysians potentials, in politics, government and businesses.

Cheers and Peace, anas

Friday, April 24, 2009

Child Conversion?

The Cabinet made a decision that a child's religion must follow the common religion of the parents at the time of marriage even if the child’s mother or father later embraced another religion. Jakim on the other hand suggested that a child's religion can be decided by either parent.

I am okay either way as long as the law allows the child to choose his religion when he turns 18 and the law is equal on both sides, be they a conversion into Islam or out of Islam as the Quran says,

WOE UNTO THOSE who give short measure: those who, when they are to receive their due from [other] people, demand that it be given in full, but when they have to measure or weigh whatever they owe to others, give less than what is due! Do they not know that they are bound to be raised from the dead? [and called to account] on an awesome Day (Quran 83: 1-5)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I confess, I was once a gambler too...

This blogpost is now featured in the book, The Quran and I :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Have A Meaningful Vaisakhi

Below is zubedy’s Vaisakhi message - an ad we will feature in the Star on Vaisakhi day this Tuesday. This ad is the third of the " What Malaysians Want " series .

The previous ones are :

Have A Meaningful Vaisakhi

What Malaysians Want :

Politicians who cooperate and compete to make Malaysia a better place.

Politicians on both sides oppose one another but they are not enemies.

Both sides are working for the same cause—a better Malaysia. Both sides are entrusted by the rakyat to ensure an improved future for a peaceful nation.

It is about the rakyat and the country not party politics.

Politics is neutral; it is politicians that make it good or bad.Political parties are just platforms. If politicians do not practice good values, the rakyat will be disillusioned with politics. If politicians practice good values the rakyat will view politics positively. Politicians, please act with care.

There must be a spirit of cooperation within the framework of competition. Work with the legacy passed to you, take the positives and negatives without attachment and *Define what you need to do. Envision a better future and take necessary Actions. Reflect and provide hope.

Do not blame others, do your job and above all else, make sure your own people are first-rate. Focus on internal organization and don’t poke holes on the other side. Great leaders win by strengthening their own team.

Giani Zail Singh helped the poor by eradicating economic disparities.

He was the first Sikh to be the President of India in 1982. From his humble beginnings till his death, he worked and put people and nation first.

At zubedy, our programs draw strength from shared values and traditions. We believe at the heart, all Malaysians want good things for themselves and for their brother and sister Malaysians, simply because our nation cannot prosper as a whole if some of us are left behind. Regardless of race and politics, all Malaysians want our politicians to cooperate and compete to make Malaysia a better place.

Brother and sister Malaysians, let’s work together to create competitive politics within the spirit of cooperation.

Let us add value,
Have a meaningful Vaisakhi

*This advertisement is based on the concept of the DEAR Cycle (Define, Envision. Act and Reflect) taught in our Making A Difference program.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

In-House Talk - “Malaysia: One Year after the 12th General Election"

I am attending the following talk this Saturday, come to agree, disagree, listen, ask questions or just reflect ... but, I dont think they will be serving food ...haha! But it is very near to Sri Pandi ...

Title - "Malaysia: One Year after the 12th General Election"
Speakers - Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, Dr. Shad Faruqi, and Dr. Arujunan Narayanan
Date : April 11, 2009 (Saturday),
Time : 10:00 AM - 12.30 PM
Venue: JUST Office
No. 3, Jalan 11/9, Section 11,
46200 Petaling Jaya
Selangor D.E. (near University Hospital)
Contact JUST office for further details at:
03 7960 3207 or

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tri-Election and Pendulum Swing

By now a good number of voters would have voted in Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau and Batang Air by-elections.

Last night while chit-chatting at Mont Kiara with some friends, one of friends suggested that Nizar will win at Bukit Gantang. My response was a little more checked.

In my opinion, this election will depend much on the Chinese voting behaviour commonly known as ‘The Pendulum Swing’. Historically, the Chinese voters will swing their vote between BN and the opposition from one General Election to the other. It has been a little more than one year since March 8th. Would there be a swing to BN yet?

Accordingly, the Malay votes would likely bias toward BN this time around. So even if 50% of the Chinese sway back to BN, Barisan will win comfortably. If the Chinese voters remain pro Opposition, either side will win with a thin majority, and we will see counting and recounting of the ballot papers and PR crying foul play if they lose, etc. We will have to go through a merry go round., sigh...

(It was a tactical mistake on PR’s side in choosing Nizar to run for Bukit Gantang. They should have listened to Nik Aziz earlier. If he wins, PR is back to square one – arguing for legitimacy which is already taking place through the courts. If he loses, he loses BIG)

I am hoping that whichever side wins, it would be with a clear margin, so we are spared the irritation of having to face another childlike display.

As for the other two other seats, especially Batang Air, quite likely BN will win. If PR could upset BN in Sarawak; the credit is to Anwar Ibrahim, but quite unlikely lah...

My biggest hope is that the winner whether BN or PR does not try to suggest that this is a referendum of the entire nation. I have enough of these arguments. They may however factor their winning to a better momentum in winning the next General Elections.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Topics like Man-Made Global Warming, You and I

Here is my method of making decisions especially on matters like Man-Made Global Warming, Malaysian Politics, Religious Beliefs etc try it please :)


SWOT analysis is one of my favourite management tools. It forces us to deliberately look for the good and bad side of an issue or problem with no emotional attachments. S is for Strengths (positives), W is for weaknesses (negatives), O is for opportunities (future positives) and T is for Threats (future negatives).

It helps me make better decisions.


John Maynard Keynes is one of my favourite economists, the other being Friedrich List. Keynes showed that the market left on its own, may not make the best of decisions. He suggested government should use fiscal and monetary measures to moderate the undesirable effects of economic recessions, depressions and even booms.

One of Keynes favourite quotes that I keep to heart is “When the facts change, I change my mind, what do you do sir?”


LA2D is short for “let’s agree to disagree”, a talk show I hosted last year. We are shooting the second season soon. It is a talk show that introduces to teenagers the concept of ‘agreeing to disagree’. I thought that it is good to start them young, a mature way to deal with differences of opinions.

It is a good project except that for reasons I cannot figure out yet, RTM 2 decided to air it at 6 am in the morning! Which teenager will wake up that early to watch a talk show? Duh! So I have some makchiks and mamak stalls waiters coming to me asking if I am the chap on TV every Thursday morning. Ha!ha!


I teach and consult in Negotiation Skills. Actually, my area specifically covers ‘how a brand can negotiate a price increase’... hehe! In negotiation, we talk about leverage; positive leverage, negative leverage and finding common grounds.

The hard-knock negotiators usually like to use the negative leverage approach, as Donald Trump puts it, “Leverage is having something the other guy wants. Or better yet needs. Or best of all, simply cannot do without”.

However, I usually stress on the ‘finding common ground’ approach, as competition that is rooted within the spirit of cooperation always bring better profit at the end – for both parties.


When confronted with important topics like these, best if we look at both sides of the arguments. Do a SWOT with both sides. If you have heard from those who are pro Al Gore, go listen to those who do not agree with him and vice versa.

For example you can watch the two documentaries (at minimum) that stand opposed to each other. One is the popular “The Inconvenient Truth” narrated by Al Gore. The other is the one produced by WAGTV.

Both are not without flaws, but good enough to give us a feel on the subject. Further investigation is recommended.

Unfortunately I cannot find you a link to the Al Gore video clip. If any of you can, pls post me the link. The good news is that it is also easily available in the stores.

As for the other it is titled “The Great Global Warming Swindle” - click here .

Watch both before you make your decision.

If you find that facts from the other side to be more compelling, you can do a Keynes and say “When the facts change, I change my mind, what do you do sir?”

But, should you remain unchanged, we can do an LA2D, we can agree to disagree.

Going further we can always find common ground. People who agree with Al Gore are not saying that the other CO2 producers are not to be blamed, too. And, those who do not agree with man-made global warming are not saying that we should not take good care of mother earth.

We must not ape President Bush’s “If you are not with me, you are against me” approach. That would be shallow and childish. Both sides can care in differing ways.

Now, let's turn off the lights if it is not necessary, not just because of Global Warming, but because we should not be wasteful. Earth history has shown that the world may just switch quickly into a global cooling period, too. Waste not during both circumstances.

The goal is good conduct; not about keeping the world cool or warm.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

George Carlin is hilarious!

My BlogBrother Jahamy ( ) recommended an interesting link in his comment for my previous blogpost. You may or may not agree with him, but George Carlin is hilarious.

I suggest you watch this (be mindful of his four letter words, and it is not LOVE!)