Thursday, December 31, 2009

Farewell 2009...

Today is the last day of the year 2009. It has been a wonderful and prosperous year for me even though there were still some hick-ups here and there.
Well, I made some bad decisions and loose a few friends. But then again, managed to make some new ones and cherished the existing ones. Also met a few old friends through Facebook :)
What did I accomplish?
1. Managed to maintain my target of getting at least 1 IT Professional Certification every year;
2. Managed to fulfill my promise to promote one of my non-executive staff to Executive; a promise that I made when I first joined my current company.
3. Managed to get all my team ITIL Certified.
Any setbacks?
Health - Fainted twice in a day last weekend.
- Fainted 1st time when i was about to have my breakfast. Felt a sudden cold and dizziness and when I woke up, I was already laying on the floor.
- Fainted 2nd time as Doc was taking my blood for checkup. Even the Doc was quite surprise why. My blood test result all came out fine, except an increase in uric acid. But, gout should not have caused anyone to pass-out.
My hopes for 2010...
1. To see my beloved niece starting her university life;
2. To bring my mother to live with me. Now, she would not have excuse because my niece is going to university and she will be alone;
3. To complete my MBA;
4. To become a successful IT Manager.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a Happy New Year 2010 and may all your dreams and ambitions come true.
To all my friends and foes, kindly accept my sincerest apology for any mistakes that I've done as I've already forgiven yours. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sedarlah Melayu lupa diri

Taken from Utusan Malaysia 8 Dec 2009, very interesting to read. A good respond to those few ungrateful brats who are ashame to be Melayu.
MALAYSIAKINI baru-baru ini menyiarkan artikel seorang Melayu produk Mara yang menulis mengenai betapa kejamnya BTN, tajuk artikel tersebut adalah BTN: Divisive, racist, politically-motivated.

Oleh kerana ia disebut sebagai pendedahan berani oleh wanita "Maluyu" produk Mara, artikel tersebut disokong oleh bukan Melayu. Malah mungkin Mariam Mokhtar merasakan diri beliau begitu hebat sekali, begitu Malaysia dan jujur.
Oleh kerana ia artikel berbayar dan saya tidak mahu buang duit untuk membaca coretan orang kecewa, di bawah adalah sebahagian petikan artikel beliau;
"For me, the seeds of poison were planted decades ago. Just before I went overseas to study, I was sent for 'orientation' at a Mara hostel to ostensibly prepare myself for life abroad. That weekend was a blur, and I recall four things:
1) Blocked toilets and flooded communal bathrooms.
2) Basic food, thus a friend's sister dropped off much needed rations of chocolates and 'kacang'.
3) How to wash your 'smalls' (underwear) in a cold country and have them dry by the next morning.
4) We assembled in small groups for out-of-door talks, in the school grounds. We were told that the Malays were the most supreme race in the world, we were God's chosen few, that the others were insignificant. We were warned about certain elements in our society..."

Isu ini sebenarnya bukan satu perkara besar, kerana semua orang maklum akan modul dan tujuan Kursus Biro Tata Negara ini. Tetapi ramai juga "Maluyu" yang dangkal akan sejarah, yang bodoh to read between lines, dan bebal memahami tujuan asal kursus Biro Tata Negara ini.
Pemimpin Melayu terdahulu sedar akan kebodohan kaum Melayu yang dijajah selama 500 tahun tanpa penentangan. Bagai rela dijajah asalkan senang, Melayu telah dibangunkan dengan nilai khianati bangsa, dengki dengan saudara sendiri, gelojoh mengejar dan mengekalkan kuasa, malas berusaha, tiada cermin diri mewajahkan sejarah, tidak mahu bersatu, sanggup berkerjasama dengan Syaitan asalkan periuk nasi terjaga, visi yang pendek dan tiada perancangan dalam kehidupan melainkan menyerah kalah pada ilahi seawal minit pertama kehidupan.

Oleh kerana semangat Melayu ini halus seperti benang dan jati diri yang bacul, Melayu condong menjadi lalang menyokong siapa sahaja yang memegang senapang. Bagai hamba yang tiada maruah, Melayu menjadi balaci, tali barut, tukang jilat kasut Jepun, British dan komunis.
Sehingga hari ini Melayu masih selesa menjadi hamba kepada Cina dan India. Apakah yang terjadi ini sekadar kebetulan atau ia satu gerakan terancang si penjajah yang mahu melemahkan bangsa Melayu yang 99 peratus Islam?
Wajar kita menghargai, mencintai dan mengingati Tunku Abdul Rahman bukan hanya kerana kemerdekaan dan Singapura, tetapi juga kerana pengorbanan beliau untuk menyedarkan Melayu.

Waktu selepas merdeka adalah waktu yang amat sukar menyatukan Melayu yang telah berpecah kepada penyokong British, Jepun, Komunis, Melayu, pengkhianat, barua, tali barut, pencacai kapitan Cina, pekerja estet, penduduk kampung pedalaman dan saki baki Melayu-Indonesia yang lari bersembunyi daripada pemerintah Republik Indonesia.
Usaha berterusan ini tidak disedari oleh kita termasuk Mariam Mokhtar kerana apa yang "Maluyu" ambil berat hanya pada diri sendiri semata-mata. Bagi orang Melayu, perjuangan menyatukan orang Melayu yang tidak pernah bersatu sejak 500 tahun dahulu tidak pernah berhenti dan didokong oleh setiap Perdana Menteri melalui pendidikan, Penyata Razak, DEB, BTN dan banyak lagi.

BTN sebenarnya memang platform untuk Melayu menanam sifat perkauman yang tinggi seperti yang ada pada setiap batang tubuh Cina.
BTN mahu menyatukan Melayu, mahu Melayu cintakan Melayu, mahu Melayu kuat (dengan bersatu bukan bercerai), mahu menterjemahkan semangat Hang Tuah yang berkorban demi kesejahteraan Melayu, mahu Melayu sedar akan sifat baik dan perasaan peribadi Hang Jebat tidak memadai membadai belenggu lemah yang menyelubungi perasaan Melayu, mahu Melayu menyingkirkan perasaan "Ah, tak pe," "Cina memang pandai berniaga susah Melayu nak lawan," "Biarlah, Cina kaya, kita makan gaji dapat gaji dapat makan cukuplah."

Pemimpin yang baik mahukan kaum Melayu kuat semangat dan berniaga seperti Cina. Siapakah yang bertanggungjawab menyedarkan Melayu akan pentingnya perilaku sekarang, demi masa depan anak keturunan mereka?
Perkara sama yang telah diabaikan oleh nenek moyang kita sejak menggadai Tanah Melayu selama lebih 500 tahun!

Apakah orang Cina, India, British, Malaysiakini, Mariam Mokhtar, Sin Chew Jit Poh, The Star, MIC dan lain-lain yang akan mengingatkan Melayu supaya berjuang untuk memecah penguasaan ekonomi mereka?
Apakah Mariam Mokhtar yang begitu bangga menceritakan bagaimana BTN meracuni Melayu untuk sayangkan bangsa Melayu sendiri sebagai perkauman.
Sifat PHD (Penting diri, Hasad, Dengki) adalah sifat semula jadi orang Melayu yang ditanam oleh penjajah.

Kerana kebebalan nenek moyang kita, Melayu tidak pernah mempunyai gerakan terancang seperti Freemason, Kristian, Persatuan Cina Seberang Laut dan Parti Koumintang. Yang ada adalah parti politik UMNO, Pas dan PKR.
Untuk melahirkan Bangsa Malaysia tanpa kaum adalah perlu semua orang berkorban, Melayu perlu korbankan DEB, terima pakai meritokrasi (layakkah Mariam ditaja Mara ke luar negara jika bersaing secara adil dengan pelajar bukan Melayu yang lebih cemerlang akademik), terima pakai tender terbuka (mampukah syarikat Bumiputera menyaingi kekuatan kewangan dan mutu syarikat bukan Melayu), kuota perumahan (mampukah Melayu membayar tunai memiliki hartanah dan rumah potensi tinggi jika ikut sistem First Come First Serve), mahukah Cina korbankan Sekolah Cina yang menjadi platform menebalkan semangat perpaduan Cina tolong Cina mereka, mahukah India yang kurang serba serbi bersaing secara adil sedangkan kasta atasan mereka hampir pasti tidak akan membantu mereka.

Memang ramai orang "Maluyu" profesional seperti Mariam Mokhtar. Mereka bersemangat menawarkan diri menghapuskan nilai kaum Melayu bagi memberi laluan kepada bangsa Malaysia tanpa kaum.
Saya bangga dengan orang seperti Mariam Mokhtar tetapi tidak memadai hanya fikirkan diri sendiri sahaja tapi tidak anak Melayu 100 tahun mendatang.

MUSTAQIM ABDUL RAHMAN
Batu Caves, Selangor

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's ALOR SETAR, who dumb enough changed it to Alor Star?!

It was an eyesore driving back to my hometown in Alor Setar for Aidilfitri. All the signboard in PLUS highway displayed Alor Setar as "Alor Star". Who changed this? When did they change this?
Once again I would like to reiterate, it is ALOR SETAR and NOT something else!
From the information that I got, it was the previous MB that change it to Alor Star. For what? Sounds more commercial? How lame was that if he thought of leaving a legacy as the one who changed the capital town of Kedah to a more commercialized spelling. No wonder Kedah fell to PAS in the previous election. Serves him right!
I have lived for 32 years, Alor Setar is the spelling in my birth certificate, my IC, my parents' land title at Pejabat Tanah, registered in Pos Malaysia listing, in the text book, Malaysian maps, everywhere then suddenly one dude became MB and changed everything?
Hopefully DS Azizan, the current MB will change it back to what it should be. Don't let an idiotic former MB (who lost his own state and the worst of all Kedah's MB) inspiration to leave a stupid legacy destroyed everything which was preserved for so long.

Friday, August 7, 2009

7 wasiat raja Melayu

Oleh FAIZAH IZZANI ZAKARIA

KUALA LUMPUR 6 Ogos - Raja Muda Perak, Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah hari ini mengingatkan rakyat khususnya orang Melayu mengenai tujuh wasiat raja-raja Melayu yang menjanjikan kesejahteraan, kedamaian dan keamanan jika mereka bersatu dan berpegang teguh kepadanya.

Wasiat yang disampaikan semasa raja-raja Melayu menurunkan tandatangan persetujuan pembentukan Perlembagaan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu pada 5 Ogos 1957 itu ialah:

  • Kami namakan dan kami panggil akan dia, bumi yang kamu pijak dan langit yang kamu junjung Persekutuan Tanah Melayu (sekarang dikenali dengan nama Malaysia).

  • Kami isytiharkan dan kami simpan untuk kamu dan kami benarkan kamu isytihar dan simpan untuk anak cucu kamu, selain gunung- ganang, tasik dan hutan simpan, Tanah simpanan Melayu sehingga nisbah 50 peratus, selebihnya kamu rebutlah bersama-sama kaum lain.

  • Bagi menjaga kamu dan bagi melindungi anak cucu kami serta harta milik kamu, kami tubuhkan Rejiman Askar Melayu selain untuk membanteras kekacauan dalam negara dan ancaman dari luar negara.

  • Kami kekalkan dan kami jamin kerajaan dan kedaulatan raja-raja Melayu memerintah negara ini.

  • Kami isytiharkan Islam adalah agama Persekutuan.

  • Kami tetapkan bahasa kebangsaan ialah bahasa Melayu.

  • Kami amanahkan dan kami pertanggungjawabkan kepada raja-raja Melayu untuk melindungi kedudukan istimewa orang Melayu dan kepentingan sah kaum-kaum lain (kemudian ditambah kedudukan istimewa anak negeri Sabah dan Sarawak).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Take a break... pamper yourself with some good movies!

Today, I had the opportunity to watch the movie "Slumdog Millionaire"... a vendor of mine lend me his DVD (Thanks Arshad bhai...). Surprisingly, it's very nice! :)
Me and love story...
Frankly, I am not so into these kind of romance movies. Even the movie "Titanic" that everybody was excited about did not catch my attention... well, not that I totally ignored the whole movie though, certain scene did capture my interest ; you can guess which one, of course! Hahahaha! Guys will always be guys >:)
Ok, ok, back to the topic... I don't know how to categorize this movie, mainly it's about the struggle of a slumdog or a street kid to survive in a world of uncertainty. They inserted the element of romance which gave the story more colors and meaningful.
The last time I enjoyed this kind of love story when watching "Somewhere in Time" played by Christoper Reeves and Jane Seymore. Another one was "Stardust" played by Claire Danes and Charlie Cox. All of these 3 movies, the way they portrayed love is very nice, simple and universal. You should watch these movies for yourself to understand what I meant by that.
Nice story plus good line up of actors and actresses...
Of course, my favorite actor, Anil Kapoor starred in this movie. Then, comes this young chap named Dev Patel and the sweet Freida Pinto. Last but not least, the Gary Sinise look-a-like, Irrfan Khan which also contributed well to the overall story.
The story is quite simple, how a slumdog who entered the game show "Who wants to be a Millionaire" was accused of cheating simply because he did well. The rationale was that how come a slumdog like Jamal (the lead) was doing so well when lawyers, doctors, professionals failed to advance to that stage.
The uniqueness of the story was that, he was able to answer all questions not because he was a genius or educated, but, it was just simply because each question related to all his tough life experience he had to face since childhood.
Even the police officer who captured and tortured him during interrogation was speechless of all the hardship he's gone through. Love, brotherhood, humanity... we can see all of these elements in this one story. Now only I know why this movie won huge at the previous Oscar :)
Take a break and pamper myself...
Yup, it is certainly a very stressful month. A lot of dateline to meet, a lot of staff issues to handle, a lot of office politics to cast aside, a lot of job related assignments to take and study related assignments to complete.
Well, I did watched other nice movies like Transformers II - Revenge of the Fallen, X-Men Origin: Wolvarine and Punisher-War Zone, but, even I enjoyed watching these movies, it did not help to release my stress at all :)
Maybe I'm getting old, but nowadays, I would rather watch movies like this "Slumdog Millionaire" which is a non-violent, hahahaha. Next on the list, I am thinking of taking my two sons to watch Ice Age 3. Those two boys really love "Manfred the Elephant" because I bought them the Ice Age 1 and 2 DVDs.
Living up memories...
Going to see movies has been my routine activity since I started work. Lots of nice memories since then :)
1. My former colleagues back at PNB knew that I would always take MC on Wednesdays to see movie at KLCC because of the special rate
2. Shed tears with my housemates back then Alam and Rizal when watching "Kabhie Kushi Kabhie Gham".. we went to see it twice but still cried at the same scene :)
3. My wife got fed up because when we were dating back then, always watching movies, no other activities
4. I watched LOTR The Two Towers 5 times!
5. I sneaked out to watch Scorpion King during office hours (sorry Boss, ehehehe)
6. I watched Ice Age 4 times
7. Once, I watch 3 movies in a row! I did not exit the cinema, only change the theatre hall
8. Always went A.W.O.L with my colleagues to see movies at Alamanda when I was working with Shell IT back then :)
And the list go on and on...
To all my colleagues and friends, although there were times that we had our differences and arguments, but, I really cherished the nice things we went thru together. Thanks for being there.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Anak sulung aku melecur badan disimbah air panas!

Anak sulung aku melecur 10% bahagian depan badan dia terkena air mendidih! Kasihan sungguh anak sulung aku yang baru berumur 2 tahun ini. Even aku yang dewasa terkena api sikit kat jari, seminggu sakit tak hilang, tak sanggup aku bayangkan macam mana sakit anak aku ini.
Hari kejadian...
Selasa baru ni, pukul 4 petang, aku dapat phone call dari wife kat office yang anak sulung aku melecur disimbah air panas! Ya Allah! Panik aku. Nasib baik parent in law ada di rumah dan terus bawa anak aku ke Darul Ehsan Medical Centre (DEMC) kat Shah Alam. Aku dengan wife terus ke hospital dari office...
Masa sambut anak aku keluar kereta nak bawa masuk hospital, anak aku menangis teruk dan menggigil, menggeletar sebab terlampau sakit... pedih hati aku tengok keadaan dia macam tu. Kulit dah mengelupas, nampak isi putih kat dada, perut dan pinggang. Begitu seksa anak aku masa tu. Aku dah tak mampu berfikir time tu dan tak sempat bertanya pun macam mana benda tu boleh terjadi.
Terima kasih semua kakitangan unit kecemasan DEMC yang bertindak segera merawat anak aku. DEMC telah memberi rawatan awal dengan baik, tetapi tak dapat nak admit anak aku ke wad kerana DEMC tidak ada "Burn Unit". Kami di refer ke hospital kerajaan.
Anak aku masih menggigil, tapi dah berhenti menangis, mungkin time tu dah sedikit berkurang sakitnya.
What actually happen?
Masa kejadian, bapa mertua ku baru turun dengan anak aku dari tingkat atas. Bapa mertua aku ke depan tapi anak aku ke dapur. Bibik (maid) aku ada di dapur dengan mak mertua aku. Baru sekejap mak mertua aku masuk bilik nak solat, dengar anak aku menjerit. Bila dua2 mertua ke dapur anak aku tengah berdiri menggelupur nak buka baju sebab sakit.
Bibik claim anak aku cuba capai gelas berisi air panas dan tertumpah. Takde siapa pun ada nak buktikan. Mak mertua aku percaya saja. Wife aku pun percaya saja. The only thing mereka marah sebab letak gelas air panas terlampau dekat dan boleh dicapai anak aku.
Aku tak percaya langsung! Bull****! Anak aku tak pernah capai2 benda atas dapur. The only thing dia ke dapur, dia akan buka fridge cari vitagen kegemaran dia. Even doktor Hospital Sungai Buluh (hospital yang di refer) pun tak percaya. Kalau capai gelas dan tumpah, sure satu badan sampai ke kaki akan melecur! Ini hanya bahagian depan badan! Aku suspect dan even doktor tu suspect ini kes 'tertumpah' air panas ke badan.
I don't give a da**...
Really frustrated that both my wife and mother in law bought that story "capai gelas dan tertumpah". Dah lama aku bengang dengan bibik ni, sebelum ni, anak aku yang second jatuh terlentang dalam bilik air tingkat bawah sebab dia lalai tak jaga. Terhentak kepala belakang.
Kalau kau tak suka jaga budak, just say so, tak payah lah aku hire. Keje kat umah aku bukan banyak pun, aku expect fokus jaga budak dua beradik tu saja.
Aku tak ler kata dia sengaja curah air panas. Yang aku marah sebab lalai, and it was at the cost of my son! Kalau sengaja, confirm aku dah buat kes polis. Walaupun tak sengaja aku tak boleh tolerate kecuaian, dah lah tak mengaku salah. Nak expect aku simpan lagi maid macam ni? Hari tu jatuh bilik air, hari ni kena air panas, what next? I don't want to wait and take the risk to find out.
I fired the maid... get out of my house! Aku bukan jenis pemaaf... aku boleh bersabar kalau orang sakiti aku, tapi aku cukup pantang orang sakiti keluarga aku.
Latest follow up...
Pukul 10am hari Jumaat (semalam), aku bawak anak aku follow up dengan doktor pakar bedah plastik kat Hospital Sungai Buluh. Alhamdulillah, doktor cakap anak aku recovering well dan dia akan terus monitor. Doktor kata ambil masa 10 hari nak tengok kulit baru tumbuh, hopefully anak aku recover secepat mungkin, insyaallah. Kesakitan ni terlalu berat untuk budak yang baru berumur 2 tahun.
Terima kasih juga untuk kakitangan Unit Kecemasan Hospital Sungai Buluh. Tak dilupakan Dr Salina dan Dr Dinesh dari klinik pakar bedah plastik.
Peringatan ikhlas untuk semua...
Dear all, berhati-hati lah memilih orang gaji. Ikut luck juga lah, ada yang dapat elok, ada yang tak. Like in my case, my parents in law duduk serumah dan monitor orang gaji ni. Dalam monitor pun boleh kena jugak. Malang memang tak berbau. Hopefully, you all don't end up like what happened to me. Kesian kat anak-anak kita.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My tips on successful job interview... Part II

This is the 2nd week we interview candidates to fill up the 3 vacancies in my department. What interesting about this week is we have a few very quality and outstanding candidates we are considering to hire.
As promised, this is Part II of "My tips on successful job interview". So, here we go...
#5. Be prepared for IQ and Arithmetic Test
Some companies (mostly Banks and Factories) like to set an IQ test for the candidates. Don't worry, it's not quite to gauge how smart are you but it is more on how are you doing under pressure.
a) They want to know how you handle pressure - How many questions you can answer correctly in a limited time frame and in that stressful environment;
b) They want to know what kind of worker you will be - Are you carelessly try to answer all questions but failed in most questions in the attempt to do that? Honestly, no one ever managed to finish all the 100 questions in 1 hour or half an hour, so don't put too much pressure on yourself. Answer it carefully but quickly. The number of questions does not count but the number of the correct ones will be your benchmark.
c) They want to quickly eliminate the non potential workers from potential ones (this is due to the number of people turn up for the interview which is usually very high).
So, I would like to share with you a few tests that you may DEFINITELY pass if you know the twists and turns.
Sharing my experience - Number crunching test:
I went for an interview back in 2002 in one of the Japanese electrical manufacturing company. The test; every candidate was given 1 sheet of paper containing simple numbers 1-9. There was 50 numbers in each row and there were 100 rows.
The instruction was very simple, add the 2 numbers side by side but only write down a single number (1+2 = 3 write down 3, if 9+8 = 17 just write down 7). The exam was timed, and for every row they gave 30 seconds only. When time's up 30 seconds, they would shout "NEXT!" to answer the next line.
Interesting enough, people were very eager to answer at the beginning and starting to slow down as the test progressed to the 30th or 40th row. Mainly it's because your hands already tired and you could no longer think straight.
At the end of the exam, what the HR people did in front of us was; he took a marker pen and started to link the lines (last answered in row 1 down to row 100). Hahahaha! Busted! For those who already slowed down half way, they would get a declining graph. Interesting isn't it?
Myself, of course I scored handsomely because my Business Math lecturer back at the University, Prof. Razak (thanks dear Prof) had already shared with us in class his experience and how to tackle this kind of test. What you must do is, 1) start slow, take your time 2) then only start answering aggressively towards the end.
The philosophy behind it was:
a) People is expected to perform better (improve) when doing repetitive/routine work (answering row 1 to 100 requires the same method of calculation).
b) People is expected to maintain a good performance as time progresses (if you show declining traits, it gives the impression whether you are a quitter or easily loose motivation)
c) It is normal for people to get really enthusiastic during the early employment (aggressively answer the early questions and slows down towards the end).
Sharing my experience - Cue Card Role Play:
This was one of my latest 3 interviews which I attended (my current job, the Islamic Bank and this one). It is a multi-national shipping company. There were 3 levels, 1) you have to pass the written test; 2) you have to pass the cue card role play 3) then only comes a formal interview.
What I wanted to highlight is the cue card role play. You are given 1 situation, then you must act (role play) to handle the issue. If you succeeded the 1st, a 2nd card will come with more challenging problem but you still maintain your role.
In my case, the situation was, I was a Factory Manager of a chemical company. People around the area started getting sick and they blamed my factory for causing the problem. My factory had all the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) in place and we did not dispose any harmful material into the drain.
Card 1 : Villagers send their representative to talk to me and demand my company to pay for all their medical expenses.
Card 2 : The "green peace" demonstrate in front of my factory. They did not want to move until I meet their representative. All of them blocked any vehicle from entering the building by laying on the road.
Card 3 : The Y.B interfere and came with the Health Ministry Director. They demanded to close my factory for a week to do investigation.
Card 4 : An employee of my factory was sacked for disciplinary problem. As a revenge, he made up stories that my factory was polluting the drain with harmful material. The media is now covering the story.
Well, my tips to you guys is - defend your company at all cost! In fact, it's not like your company was involved in any illegal operation or anything. This was more towards 'crisis management' and showing your loyalty towards the company.
Of course, we will not just sit there and defend bluntly. Try to create something that was not mention in the cards i.e your company already got approval from Jabatan Alam Sekitar or complied with Akta Kualiti Alam Sekitar 1972 or anything you can think of that can give alibi to you. Be creative :)
After they were convinced with you, then only they would start with the formal interview (Level 3).
This cue card was fun though, looking at the interviewers' faces when you counter their facts with made up facts which were not mentioned anywhere in the cards, ehehehe!
Moving on ...
Well, my arwah bapak once said, "Jangan tamak, offer mana datang dulu, itulah rezeki kita. Bagi peluang orang lain pulak"... Even I successfully gone through all the 3 interviews I mentioned earlier, my current job was the first to be offered. This is an Assistant Manager position while the other 2 were Manager positions. For the Islamic Bank, we mutually agreed that there was no room for negotiation as long as the status "contractual" remains. As for the shipping company, the offer only came 1 month after I started working here, which was too late. I would never leave my current company just for the sake of a better offer; even I could easily tendered my resignation in 24 hours during that probationer period. In fact, I felt bounded by duty because my current CEO, Datuk A personally interviewed me before I joined.
Part III will be coming soon ...
I think, enough already for today's posting. Insyaallah my Part III posting of "My tips on successful job interview" will be coming soon. I'm glad that I can share it with my readers. And, I'm pretty sure others out there have many interview experience to share. Feel free to drop a comment here and share them with the rest of the visitors. I thank you in advance.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My tips on successful job interview... Part I

This week, I have the opportunity to interview candidates for 3 vacancies in my department which 2 of them will be reporting to me. The panels were the Head of HR, Head of IT (my boss), AGM Corporate Support (my big boss) and I.
However, I found it quite frustrating to see Malay candidates coming for interview with very few preparations, unsure and lack of confidence.
The situation...
It is such a waste because these people have the brains and the skills but were unable to 'stand out' from those many candidates or at least convinced the panels to hire them. I am not being racist; even though I have no problems working with people from any race but I feel that it would be much better if I can help my own race to get the job.
Sharing the tips on successful Job Interview...
For that particular reason, I will humbly share a few tips to be successful in your job interview. These tips had been given to me by Encik Salleh (my mentor and my Peers Counselor Secretariat advisor during my Universiti days) and Puan Sharifah (the Bank's HR Manager where I had my 1st job interview). In addition, I will also include the tips and tricks I picked up myself during my various interview sessions.
#1. Start early
This tip is specifically intended to those students out there. My advice, start sending your CV as early as possible. You can use your academic transcript or your result slips as supporting documents. You have to know that the recruitment process do not just happens overnight, the process normally takes about a few months. So, if you are in your final semester, then you should start sending your CVs now. The deal is that, by the time you graduated, the interview calls start coming in.
"Rezeki" is indeed one factor but, your timing to enter the job market plays an important role as well. If you waited until the time you graduates and then only apply for jobs... by the time you enter the market it is already flooded with fresh graduates like yourself. However, if you start early, the chance is that the competition for a post is not that much. Imagine this, if you start now, than you might only be competing with 3,000 other unemployed graduates (only a figure to illustrate my point); BUT, if you start later, then you will probably compete with a total of 3,000 unemployed graduates + another 3,000 fresh graduates like yourself. The probability ratio of securing a job has just shrunken about 50 percent!
#2. Do your homework
This is highly crucial - do the homework so that you are prepared to answer any questions the interviewer might probably ask. The most important thing is to know in depth of the position you are applying. If you are applying for an IT Security Admin post, better make sure you know roughly what the IT Security is all about. Then, you will not get caught speechless if being asked, "What are the IT Security standards that you will recommend for the company to implement". Or, another example is you have to know the difference between Finance Executive and Accounts Executive because the nature of the work is different between companies.
Also, do a background research about the company you are applying. Personally, I don't think this is mandatory. It is because, from my experience, there were 2 types of perception from employers:
a.) You have to know about the company to show how serious you are to join the respective company;
b.) You don't have to, that one can be learnt after you are being hired. They are more interested to know about you rather than how much you know about them.
#3. Come early for interview but not too early
Many people always advice us to come early for an interview; at least 1 hour or so. The reason being is to avoid you feeling restless and panic if any unanticipated event happens, i.e car broke down, traffic jams etc. You will have an ample of time to handle should any of this thing happens.
What I want to add to the above 'usual advise' is that; it is good to come 1 hour (or more) early, BUT only enter the interview place 30 minutes before the interview. 30 minutes will be sufficient for you to fill in any personal data forms or anything.
This is because; many companies do not like people 'flooding' their reception area. They might think that you have no respect for time. This rule only applies for scheduled interview. For an open interview, crowd is something normal and has already been anticipated. Therefore, if they ask you to come at 3.00pm, please don't come at 2.00pm. You have to understand that the company has made the necessary arrangements to make sure a smooth interview process. That is why only a certain number of candidates are entertained at a certain allocated session. By coming too early, you are becoming a liability to them and an 'eye sore' at the reception area. Respect the time, unless you are instructed by them to be in 1 hour early. If not, then 30 minutes will be just nice.
#4. Don't worry so much about your English
Yes, trust me, the employer is not hiring an English teacher, so don't worry so much about your English. What the employer is seeking is the way you express your mind, construct your argument as convincing as possible and how mature are you in responding to their questions. This is what most Malay candidates lack of. Candidates from other races would just "belasah jer even English tunggang langgang".
This is the most important tip I got during my 1st interview (thank you Puan Sharifah, wherever you are). Usually, Malay candidates took quite sometime in answering because in their heads they are trying to translate their thoughts into English. They are also trying to get the best English words for that matter. It is quite normal for those who are not using English for their daily conversation though.
So, this is where the negative perception arises. It is not so much about how Malay candidates failed to provide excellent ideas, but the time taken to convey the message is the main issue. The delay in responding to questions will give the impression to the interviewer that you are not confident enough or hesitated to answer. You may have plenty of bright ideas and top class arguments but if you are wasting time looking for the right words, then it makes you look bad... as if you are not prepared, not confident and emotionally unsecured.
So, what to do? "Belasah jer" as it was told to me by Puan Sharifah. She said that the interviewer is more interested in your thoughts rather than your grammar. It is because; your grammar is something that is fixable later by sending you to any English short course. So, my dear friends out there, guys and girls, please, "belasah jer" and make your opinions heard!
To be continued...
I think that is enough for today's posting. I will definitely share with you other tips in my next posting when I have the free time. As I said earlier, it is not wise just to leave everything to fate; you have to work hard for it. And, working hard alone is not enough without a proper strategy to 'stand out' from the crowd and get noticed by your prospective employers.
Until then, happy job hunting and all the best for your future undertakings.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Income Tax?

Yup, the title speaks for itself... the deadline is approaching, 30th April, to be precise. All I can say is that this year's Self Assessment result (2008 income) is the most shocking of all! I don't know about all of you, but RM 8,000 worth of tax-to-be-paid is ridiculously high.
Well, like we have a choice though. Of course the higher the income, the higher the tax you have to pay.
Combine assessment or separate assessment (with spouse?)
My personal advice to my friends out there, do it separately. Why?
1. A combined income will be greater in terms of number, so you might loose the following:
a) Personal rebate of RM 350;
b) Spouse rebate of RM 350
This is because, ONLY people with a taxable income of RM 35,000 and below is eligible for this.
2. For both working husband and wife, they will loose the EPF deduction because the maximum we can claim is only RM 6,000. So, if both of you, the EPF contribution exceed that RM 6,000, better split up, do a separate assessment.
3. By doing a separate assessment (for equal salaried husband and wife of RM 2,000 ++ per month), the chances are very high that you are not even qualified to be taxed (taxable income is less or insufficient). On the other hand, if you combine, your total income will be higher (RM 4,000 ++ per month), right? So, with limited number of deductions (EPF, Insurance, etc.), most likely your total income is taxable.
4. If you combine, your self exclusion will be RM 8,000 and the wife's will be RM 3,000. So, only RM 11,000 is deducted from your total income. However, for the case of a separate assessment, both of you will get a deduction of RM 8,000 each.
Tips on rebates and claims
1. Claim to the maximum for books and magazines (hahaha, who's going to check?);
2. Claim your parents' medical expenditure. See, it's not only 'barakah' to take care of your parents but it's also tax deductible as well. Never hesitate to serve your parents and take care of their well being.
3. For Muslims, I suggest you better make Zakat deduction for your salary. Not only that you will 'purify' your income by doing this Rukun Islam, but it will also contribute significantly to your tax outcome. This is because, other deductions only effect your gross income but Zakat give direct effect and solid deduction from the final amount of tax-to-be-paid.
Which one do you prefer? Pay Zakat which is wajib and be rewarded 'pahala' OR spend on paying Tax... which in the end, some 'moron' might use your hard earned money to pay 'ex-gratia' to the judges who are already receiving pensions. Or even better, another 'moron' who suggested to buy the capsule (one time use junk that is ready to be thrown as scrap metal) from Russia as a souvenir to remind Malaysians that we successfully sent a space tourist to ISS... ops!
In the end, it's still our money
When it comes to paying tax, every year I will curse those 'good for nothing' students who were sponsored by our money yet refuse to come home after graduation to serve the people. Same goes to my own cousin who can now brag that he can pay back in full whatever amount the government had spent to send him overseas. Have all these people forgotten their roots? Where are these people should the government did not sponsor their study back then?
In addition, I got furious when the 'morons' in power made stupid decisions and spend lavishly people's money (yours and mine) like their own. They should realized by now, why many people turned their vote to the opposition in the last election.
Moving on ...
I've just submitted my e-BE forms and yet to pay my tax (waiting for this month's salary, of course).
I used to be the 'unofficial tax reference' back at my old office. Most of the time, my friends and colleagues would asked me to complete mine first and used it as guidance to complete theirs. The good old days...
Even now, at my new workplace, I still carry the title 'unofficial tax reference'; but this time around is to my staff. Some of them even only starting to use the e-BE this year.
Well, it's not such a big deal. Glad that I can assist people however I can, within my capabilities.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday, My Son!

My 2nd son turns 1 today :)
I think he resembles me a lot when I was a kid. Emm, he might end up to be as chubby as me someday, hahahaha!
Unlike his big brother who is easily gets bored with the same toy, he is more focus and hardly distracted when he is doing something.
Happy birthday my 2nd son, daddy will arrange a combine birthday party for you and your big brother :) insyaallah!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday, My Son!

My eldest son turns 2 today :)
Time flies very fast, it seems like only yesterday we celebrated his 1st birthday. Now my beloved son is 2 years old.
Nothing much to update (been busy lately since my last post) only that today is a great day because of two things:
1. My son's 2nd birthday;
2. My MBA 2nd semester result is out... scored awesomely!
Until then, to all my friends and collegues, "Have a productive and cheerful day ahead"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Job Market: Is it now really the "Employer's Market"?

Employer's Market = Employer sets the terms and conditions while prospective employee just obey without question.
Frankly, the economic situation now might not give people like us (the workers) much of a choice or making demands in the interview. In fact, it's not even advisable for anybody to change job in this time of economic instability. The reason being is the tendency of big companies to shut down their overseas plant and to reduce their work force.
However, for the sake of 'testing the market', I went for an interview somewhere in December last year. Here is my story to share with you:
Terms and condition...
I went for an interview with this Bank for the post of IT Manager... it went pretty well, nothing much hassle with the interview though. The only thing I was not comfortable was the fact that they were offering a 6 month contract employment as a start. If I managed to meet the KPIs, then only a new Offer Letter with a permanent employment will be offered.
Me : What? Why did you put that kind of condition?
HR : Actually, it's not like we are going to terminate you after 6 months. In fact, the KPI that we set later is not something that impossible for you to meet.
Me : It's not about meeting the KPI, which I know that I will surely meet (ehehehe, ayat riak siut...). It's about principle. You are offering something that is uncertain. You can offer a permanent post with 6 month probation and still kick me out if I don't perform, right? Changing job is a big move, job security must be there. Just like when I worked with She** IT, it was even more strict because I had to serve a 1 year probation period. I had no problem with that condition because I knew it's a permanent position. In fact, I managed to complete my probation in less than a year.
Meeting Datuk CEO...
I thought at first, the interview was done for (judging from the way I criticized their policy). However, I got a phone call a week later to set an appointment for a 2nd interview with the CEO Datuk A. I said, if the terms and condition is still the same, then forget it, don't waste the CEO's time because I will not accept.
A few days later, I received another phone call; he said Datuk A wants to meet me the next morning. Huh? Are they serious?
The next morning I went to meet him. Then only I realized, the man who called me yesterday is the VP of Operations (hahaha, I thought it's same the HR guy I rejected a few days back). The meeting went well and both of them were very nice.
Me : Out of curiosity, Datuk, why in the first place you all came out with that policy?
Datuk A : Well, I don't want any 'passenger' in my team. If you didn't perform in 6 month, then bye bye, off you go. If I offer a permanent position with 6 month probation, I have to extend your probation if you did not perform. I cannot just dismiss you like that because then you'll go to the Labor Court complaining that you are not given enough chance and adequate training. I don't want to go through such headache.
Me : You got a point there Datuk, I agree. But, it's only good for the Bank. As for us, no security, we might be kicked out at any time due to contract status.
Datuk A : Hey, now is the Employer's market. A lot of people are looking for jobs. You cannot make demands, you have to concur with our terms and conditions. Economy is slowing down, large number of jobseekers are fighting to fill a very few positions. In fact, in your case, I should offer you a lower salary. (laugh)
Me : Hahaha, quite true Datuk, but, it goes back to the question, "Are you looking for a capable worker or are you looking for a desperate one?"
Well, we had our disagreement and decided to call off the interview. I did apologize for wasting his valuable time. In return, he gave me a few good tips to be successful in my career as he said I am still young and has very promising potentials. Thank you Datuk A for your kindness and golden tips :).
Moving on...
I believe in the amanah of carrying out your duties at your very best. At the end of the day, it's the money from our efforts being brought home to feed our family.
For those out there who are being retrenched by your company, I hope you will be strong to face this difficult time and I wish you all the best in securing a new job.
For those who are currently working, please strive hard and give your best because we'll never know if we might end up like our fellow colleagues from other companies.
For those graduates who are still unemployed, keep on trying and never to give up hope. Insyaallah, you'll be successful in finding your rezeki.
P.S : If I am still single, I think I might have grabbed the offer... and now is working at the bank, hahaha. But now, with a family to take care, the risks is just too high for me to take. A few of my friends said, "Rugi nyer tak accept" but all I can say is that, "takde rezeki, it was not meant for me in the first place".

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What a hectic way to start the year 2009...

Welcome 2009... alhamdulillah, I live long enough to see yet another year. So many things happened in December 2008 that it is dragging until this year. However, only now I have the opportunity to update my blog since I'm on a semester break.

Virus attacks...

Right before Raya Haji in December 2008, my company got a virus attack which was not that serious but it really pissed off the users. What the virus did was to set all the Words documents to hidden and creates a copy of itself with an exe file.

The cleaning was very tedious because Symantec only releases a counter signature after 6 days of the outbreak! Now, I am seriously considering to change our enterprise AV.

Due to Symantec was so slow in coming out with protection signatures, we got hit again; this time with a Worm early this year. Gosh! One down, yet another culprit showed up! This is even worse, the threat was low but the impact was very troublesome! It's obvious that everybody is trying to target Microsoft vulnerabilities, which this one also with no exception.

This Worm knows that everywhere in the world the AD (this one is the real Active Directory okay, not that "AD" I mentioned before, hahahaha!) protected the network by locking IDs after 3 to 6 times attempts to login with an incorrect password. The initial intention was to prevent unauthorized users from hacking into the account. But, this Worm is even smarter, it "purposely" triggered random password just to make the accounts to be locked. Bloody genius! Instead of trying to steal passwords, it generated fake ones to lock the account and caused Denial of Service (DOS). In other words, using the weapons (AD Security) against its own master.

Killing two birds with one stone...

What I did was, I called all of my team and the AV vendor of ours for a short incident resolution briefing. I listed down all that I wanted them to do and asked for feedbacks. As I went through, I did highlight that I am not just a new kid on the block. I was on the field before doing what they were doing right now. 8 full years as a System Engineer, which must count for something, not just any engineer but Certified to carry out my tasks... only now that I am doing a full time IT management at my current position.

I told them that whatever the process that they are so familiar of doing everyday is NOT necessary the right way. They had survived all these years merely because of luck, not because the process is correct. Now after the problem hit, then only they know that it was not the best way after all. I reminded them to keep an open mind because there are so many ways of getting a work done. Don't limit their selves just because they are comfortable with just one way of doing it.

Well, alhamdulillah, after the briefing the virus/worm cleaning exercise went smoothly and until today everything is running fine and no new threats detected.

Moving on...

This is what I learned from all this... you don't have to shout or raise your voice to make people realize their mistakes. You don't have to 'downgrade' people to prove how good you are. You don't have to react immediately when people pissed you off because in some cases it will just make things even worse.

It's a kind of "Reverse Psychology"... share your experience or achievements and be knowledgeable enough that eventually these kind of people will realize on their own where they stand. It works so far :)