Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Short on Ringgit?

Ringgit expected to fall to RM3.50 against USD........

27-08-2008: Ringgit falls to 10-mth low

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit fell to a 10-month low of RM3.3910 against the US dollar yesterday, as it slid for a second straight day on concerns a global economic slowdown could hurt exports and after Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) kept interest rate at 3.5% on Monday.

The ringgit slide came amid soaring inflation at 8.5% in July, the highest in almost 27 years. BNM, however, decided to maintain the overnight policy rate (OPR), seeing the economic downturn as a greater risk than inflation.

In a research note, Goldman Sachs said that although the country’s strong current account surplus and undervalued currency would support the ringgit in the medium term, BNM’s interest rate reaction could hurt the ringgit’s value further.

“The risks associated with sluggish central bank responses as well as the unsettling political landscape could further hurt the ringgit’s sentiment in the near term,” it said.

Meanwhile in a Bloomberg report, CIMB Investment Bank Bhd rates and currency strategist Suresh Kumar Ramanathan said: “The focus has shifted to slowdown concerns and the bias is for a weaker ringgit. Investors are also keeping an eye on the risks associated with the by-election.”

In Singapore, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp analyst Tetsuo Yoshikoshi said the ringgit was expected to fall further to RM3.50 versus the greenback by year-end, against a previous forecast of RM3.295.

“I would say 80% of the decline in the ringgit is in line with other Asian currencies, due to the perception that the global economy and Asian economies will slow down.

“The other 20% is the perception that the central bank is behind the curve in tackling inflation. You can compare the ringgit with the Singapore dollar. There’s been some loss of confidence,” he said.

He added most Japanese investors were now not interested in Malaysia, as the political situation was “quite bad”, affecting the country’s economic success story.

Reuters data showed the local currency has been among the worst performers in Asia in the past four months, falling more than 7%. On the offshore market, it slid to RM3.389 to the US dollar in six-month non-deliverable forwards, against RM3.371 on Monday.

Permatang Pauh: Winners and losers

Who are the Winners and Losers selected from the Malaysian Insider?

Must Read....

AUG 26 Every election produces winners and losers. Here is The Malaysian Insider's take on who emerged from Permatang Pauh with credit and who should hit the soul-searching button.


- Anwar Ibrahim The Barisan Nasional threw the kitchen sink and everything in it at him but by next sitting he will take his place in Parliament. This all but completes his rehabilitation from a political has-been 10 years ago to possibly the next prime minister of Malaysia. He now faces the near impossible task of persuading at least 30 BN MPs to cross over to Pakatan Rakyat and forcing the collapse of the Barisan Nasional by Sept 16. But for today at least he can savour the taste of victory. And yes, the debate on who should be the prime minister-in-waiting is over.

- Pakatan Rakyat For the past two months, there have been serious questions over the future of this alliance. Some Pas leaders seemed keen on joining forces with Umno, concerned that Malay rights and the position of Islam were being diluted in Pakatan Rakyat. DAP and Pas also disagreed publicly on who should be the prime-minister-in-waiting and squabbled over the spoils of Election 2008. Guess what? All the differences were forgotten as members of PKR, DAP and Pas descended on Permatang Pauh. They outwitted and outfought the formidable BN machinery.

- Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat When others wavered, the Pas spiritual leader stood firmly beside Anwar, campaigning tirelessly and defending the Opposition icon against the sodomy charge. By far, he was the single most powerful antidote against Saiful Bukhari Azlan swearing on the Quran that he had been sodomised by Anwar. He has emerged with reputation and image among PKR supporters burnished.


- Umno The charade is over. This is a party without spirit. This is a party without a leader. Ministers, deputy ministers and other senior party officials all campaigned in Permatang Pauh but it was more out of duty than anything else. There was no fire in their bellies. Some could not care less how Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah performed in the polls. They showed up in the constituency to canvass for support in the upcoming divisional elections in October. One former menteri besar, eyeing a top position in the party, holed up in a hotel and dished out cash to streams of divisional officials. This is a party made of politicians who are consumed with their own interest and completely detached from reality. This could be the beginning of the end of this once powerful party.

- The Barisan Nasional machinery There was a time when the Opposition used to shudder at the prospect of facing the formidable machinery, the women who used to campaign tirelessly from dusk to dawn, the men who braved the elements to tear down Opposition posters and ferry voters to the polling station. Not anymore. Dispirited, they just did the bare minimum in Permatang Pauh. In fact, it was the Pakatan Rakyat machinery which caught the eye. Their workers displayed the spirit of volunteerism which was once patented by the BN. How the mighty have fallen.

- Abdullah Ahmad Badawi He was not in charge of the BN by-election team but the president of Umno and the chairman of the BN will not be able to absolve himself of blame for this dismal showing. The unvarnished fact is that he has not been able to inspire his party or the ruling coalition since March 8. If his party workers are listless, it is because they do not see him as a general capable of galvanising the troops in the face of an enemy's onslaught. If his coalition partners are feeble, it is because they do not see him as a leader capable of reviving the BN. In all likelihood, there will be calls for him to speed up the transfer of power.

- Najib Razak Without a doubt, the deputy prime minister is hurting. The uninterrupted stream of attacks on his character, his wife and allegations that he was involved with the murdered Mongolian model Altantuya Shariibuu have damaged him in the eyes of the public. His words once used to carry weight but now they ring hollow. His decision to swear in a mosque that he was not involved with Altantuya did not find popular support. Still, he remains best placed to take over from Abdullah. But he will need much repair to his image before he can claim to have the support of Malaysians.

- Saiful Bukhari Azlan He claimed it was a coincidence but his decision to swear on the Quran on the eve of nomination day that he was sodomised by Anwar does not look very clever now. A snap poll of 544 Malay voters by the Merdeka Centre painted him as a pawn in a political game. He should stay out of the limelight till the trial begins.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Breaking News: Anwar Ibrahim is leading in Permatang Pauh

According to the various sources gather from malaysiakini and babble fish, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is leading now by huge majority in Permatang Pauh.....

7.45 pm For Seberang Jaya, KeADILan just took 1834 votes and BN 416. In Kg. Pelet, 930 votes went to KeADILan while BN got 485. In Permatang Tengah, Anwar got 1522 votes while Arif Shah got 519 and Tuan Haji Pi had a surprising 8 ballots. In Permatang Pauh, Anwar just had another 1179 voters supporting him while Arif got 291 and Haji Pi got 1 more vote.
Now, unofficially, PKR is leading at 12,451 votes, BN is 4,824 and AKIM has a miracle 21. More cheers from the PKR supporters here!

7.25pm: There are signs of significant swing to PKR despite the lower turnout. In the state constituency of Penanti, which PKR won at the March 8 general elections, the party has bagged the sole polling station, Telok Wang, it failed to win five months ago.
March 8 result: BN - 261 votes, PKR - 227Aug 26 result: BN - 232 votes, PKR - 260
Anwar is also making gains in the state constitutency of Seberang Jaya, where PKR had lost to BN candidate Arif on March 8.
7.25pm: Anwar's press conference at 9pm is believed to declare his victory. The press conference was rescheduled to 9pm from its original time of 7.45pm.
7.20pm: Unofficial results so far: Anwar 5,855; Arif Shah 1,910

Breaking news: The BIg Freddie Mac

McDonald's Corp. held a press conference today to unveil its latest sandwich: the Big Freddie Mac. Priced at 50 cents, the Big Freddie Mac is the first fast food hamburger to be subsidized by the federal government."The economy - not that there's anything wrong with it - is causing Americans to cut back on eating hamburgers," explained McDonald's spokesperson Donald McDonald (no relation). "Washington has decided that the burger is too big to fail, so the Treasury Department has agreed to kick in three bucks for every Big Freddie Mac sold."The Big Freddie Mac, while similar in appearance, is significantly different from the McDonald's mainstay - the Big Mac.

Big Freddie's bun is inflated to look twice as large as it actually is, while the two all-beef patties are actually one all-beef patty sliced in half width-wise and pumped up by puffy lettuce. The "special" sauce is French dressing which is this week's "special" at the dollar store next to McDonald's headquarters.

The number of sesame seeds has been reduced to one with a promise of more in two years if the burger market bubble continues. Each Big Freddie Mac comes in a special wrapper printed with suggestions on how to "flip the burger" for profit by selling it to people who are new to fast foods or kids who haven't learned to read yet."The Big Freddie Mac program does not mean we will be bailing out other fast food menu items," said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. "As they say in the business, it's for a 'limited time only'."

However, he did not rule out a similar plan to help Starbucks, which has recently been forced to close 600 stores. Rumors out of Starbucks headquarters in Seattle hint that the company is about to roll out a government-subsidized coffee called the Frappe Mae.

ha ha the above is just a joke.......

The most beautiful Olympian Champion in the history


He Wenna was dubbed as one of the most beautiful Olympian champion in the history.

What say you?

Monday, August 25, 2008

China mulls 370b stimulus package

When everyone was expecting China government to come out with measures to support local stock market during the Olympic month, the expectation was fade away as no action was taken by China's leader. Today, the Standard Hong Kong reports another news of China's leader considering an economic package about 370 billion Yuan...... Can we trust the news source?

HSI is up 500 points now........


Monday, August 25, 2008

China's leaders are carefully considering an economic stimulus package of about 370 billion yuan (HK$420.7 billion), including a 220 billion yuan new expenditure and 150 billion yuan of tax cut plan, that may ease the government's monetary policy by the end of the year, China Business News reported.

"Although the details are yet to be sorted out, there is such a plan, and it has been approved by a central finance planning team," state-run Xinhua News Agency said in a report yesterday.

The expenditure part will include the spending of 45 billion yuan on social welfare, 46 billion yuan on agriculture, 38 billion on education, 35 billion yuan on construction, and 28 billion yuan on import of energy and commodity products.

The package will also propose tax cuts of 150 billion yuan in total, including measures to raise the threshold of personal income tax, export tax rebate, and preferential tax packages for small and medium- sized enterprises.

However, concerns over whether to launch the plan within the year rose because officials aren't certain if the country has planned enough budget for it.

This year's snowstorms in southern China and earthquake in Sichuan have already cost China 35 billion yuan.

In the first half, China generated fiscal income of 3.4 trillion yuan, running a fiscal surplus of 1 trillion yuan.

Last week, JPMorgan released a report saying Chinese authorities were considering an economic stimulus plan of at least 200 billion yuan to 400 billion yuan. The controversial news, although unconfirmed by the authorities, helped boost the A-share index by nearly 8 percent in a single trading day.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Najib, Please do not threaten us............

Again, we have seen an arrogant Umno leader publicly threatens rakyat that the BN government will withdraw fuel rebates if rakyat never appreciate its initiative to reduce fuel price yesterday by a meagre 15 sen.

Najib, please go out from your air-cond room and go to the ground. How can rakyat appreciate when the policies implemented in June has deeply hurt rakyat ? Don't you know that rakyat have been struggling to make ends meet since then. I bet you don't know because you politicians only work in air-cond room and only go out once every four years.

Najib, please do your homework before threatening us. It is because of enormous fuel hike implemented by BN that has caused Malaysia's inflation rate surging to 8.5% now compare to 3.25 % in March 08. Please do not forget that we are net oil exporter. Net oil importer countries like Hong Kong and Singapore only recorded inflation of 6.5% and 6.6% respectively.

BN government always said that by reducing the fuel subsidies, they can allocate more money to other areas which will benefit rakyat. Sadly, they are good in talking only. No concrete measures or plan has come out so far. For example, the government has promised so many times that they would improve public transport system in KL. However, nothing has been done so far. Pak Lah, who has a feel of our public transport system few days ago, has shown his dissatisfaction publicly.

Najib, you have no right to threaten us. BN government is just a custodian for this country's natural resources and wealth. We have the right to complain if we feel that the policies implemented has not benefited rakyat.

Najib: No more fuel rebates if you don't appreciate them


PEKAN: The Government might reconsider issuing rebates if the people did not appreciate its initiatives to help reduce their financial burden, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

His response came about after a question noting that some people felt that the prices of diesel and petrol that had been reduced between eight and 22 sen a litre from Friday was too little.

Najib, who appeared to be a bit annoyed, said the people must understand that for every litre, the price was subsidised 30 sen.

He also said they have forgotten about the RM625 rebate given to owners with vehicles up to 2,000cc that was announced in June.

“The rebate, if translated, will cost between 35 sen and 40 sen a litre. If the people do not appreciate the rebates, it is better for us not issue any more in the future.

“It is better for us to transfer the allocation for the rebate to reduce the fuel price,” he told reporters after visiting an education and career exhibition here on Saturday.

Najib added that the decrease was not the market price but only a further reduction in the fuel price.

To another question, Najib said if the people still viewed the fuel price as high, the Government could always transfer the rebates to pump prices.

“However, we do not resort to such measure because if we transfer to pump prices, people driving big cars such as Bentley, Jaguar and BMW 7 series will also enjoy the subsidies.

“Is that fair?” he added.

On whether the reduction in fuel price would result in lower food prices, Najib said the Government hoped that the inflation trend would decrease.

He also said there would be further reduction but it would depend on the world fuel price.

In June, the Government announced the rebate payout to private vehicle owners. For motorcycle owners with engine capacity of up to 250cc, the rebate is RM150.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Jim Rogers Says Oil Price Rise to Continue for Decade

Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Jim Rogers, who in April 2006 correctly forecast the oil price would reach $100 a barrel and gold $1,000 an ounce, said he expects oil to continue to increase over the next decade.

``Over the course of time, it's a bull market,'' the chairman of Rogers Holdings said today after an investor conference in Kuala Lumpur. While the oil price could fall to $75 or rise to $175, the market will continue to increase over the next 10 years, he said.

Crude oil futures have dropped 22 percent since touching $147.27 a barrel on July 11, the highest since trading began in 1983. Oil slid more than $6 a barrel yesterday, falling the most in percentage terms since December 2004, as the rising dollar curbed demand for commodities as an inflation hedge and BP Plc restored shipments on a Caspian Sea pipeline through the former Soviet republic of Georgia to Turkey.

Rogers said Aug. 21 in Bangkok that declines in commodity prices from record highs represented a temporary reverse in a bull market that will last for several years.

David Cohen, director of Asian forecasting at Action Economics in Singapore, said the rise in the crude oil price ``was a recognition'' of the growing demand of emerging economies like China and India.

``Those countries will continue with their development process and continue to outpace global growth,'' he said.

Dollar Gains

Soybeans, copper, platinum and crude oil have dropped from all-time highs after a rally in the dollar curbed demand for raw materials as a hedge against inflation and concerns increased that economic growth will slow. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index plunged 10 percent in July, the biggest drop in 28 years.

Crude-oil futures for October delivery fell $6.59, or 5.4 percent, to $114.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday. Crude oil may rise next week because of a weakening dollar, rising tension between the U.S. and Russia, the world's second-biggest crude exporter after Saudi Arabia, and falling gasoline stockpiles.

Sixteen of 29 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News, or 55 percent, said prices will increase through Aug. 29. Seven of the respondents, or 24 percent, said oil will be little changed and six said there would be a drop in prices. Last week, 63 percent expected prices to increase.

`` I can certainly see crude continuing above $100 a barrel for the longer term,'' Cohen said. ``The fundamentals of supply and demand should be supportive'' of prices.

It 's frightening!!!!!!!!!!!! Inflation hits 25 year high of 8.5% !!!!!!!!

What a shocking news !!!!!!!!!!!

Malaysia 's annual inflation has soared to 25 years high i.e. 8.5% in July, no thanks to BN stupid policies of drastic petrol and electricity hike in June 08.

Again, this has proved that stupid BN government has failed people with a poor measurement and the damage is already done. Inflation will easily hit 10% and some drastic measures need to be taken immediately to tackle this woes. A meager 15 sen cut in petrol price will not help people at all.

Look around, rakyat have been struggling to make ends meet, consumer spending was hurt and businesses has been sluggish .

Just ask yourself a simple question. Are you a happy Malaysian under current administration now or do you want to see a change?

If yes, please do something now......

You people have a power to change to country

Permatang pauh voters, it's all start from you............

22-08-2008: July inflation surges 8.5%, fuel prices cut

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian's annual inflation soared to 8.5% in July, way above analyst forecasts for 7.8% in a Reuters poll, and sharply up from 7.7% in June.

The July data was the steepest rise since 8.5% in December 1981 and the government also on Friday announced that the price of petrol will be cut to RM2.50 per litre from RM2.70 effective Aug 23, a move which will dampen inflation.

It was unpopular petrol price hikes in June and electricity price rises in July that catapulted inflation from 3.8% in May.

The cuts in fuel prices were brought forward from Sept 1 and will now take effect before a key by-election in which opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim challenges the government.

Despite the surge in inflation, Bank Negara Malaysia, alone in southeast Asia, has kept interest rates unchanged for over two years at 3.5%.

Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz has said slower economic growth and weakening commodity prices would help reduce price pressures ahead, especially next year.

Bank Negara Malaysia meets again on Monday to decide on rates after it surprised markets in July by leaving rates unchanged.

According to some economists, that decision damaged its credibility and showed it had buckled under government pressure to refrain from a hike at a time when the ruling coalition felt threatened by an opposition alliance which has surged in polls. -- Reuters

Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu: I was set up

News that you will not get to read in Umno controlled news paper....

Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu has told his side of story in the interview with Guang Ming Daily ..




















“我的房間內只有一張床,第二天, 我因為背痛,所以就向警員要求換房,最後被換到一間擁有一張雙人沙發的房間,晚上就睡在沙發上。”






Thursday, August 21, 2008

PM now you only know ah.........

PM unhappy with City rail services

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took rides on the commuter and Kelana Jaya rail line from Serdang to the city centre Thursday to get a feel of the transportation problems faced by the people and came away less than satisfied.

Throughout the one-hour journey, during which he switched trains, the prime minister noted the congestion, especially during the peak hours, and spoke to his fellow passengers to get their feedback.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi taking a ride on the KTM Komuter from the Serdang station to the City yesterday to gauge the effectiveness of the train services in the City. The Prime Minister came away less than satisfied.- Bernama

Speaking to Bernama after disembarking at the Masjid Jamek LRT station, he said he was not satisfied with the rail services and wanted immediate improvements to be made.

He said the existing services were not systematic, there were not enough coaches and coverage was not comprehensive, leaving many areas not serviced.

“I just saw the plight of people using the trains to get to work every morning. They were jostling to get on board every time a train arrived. There appeared to be no system.

“I’m not happy with this because the people are not getting satisfaction from riding the trains. This, we must fix,” he said.

“I found the trains really packed with so many passengers. Some had waited for three trains and yet could not board. “There’s no queue. People push their way in, women with children and old people are pushed aside,” he added.

Abdullah arrived at the Serdang Komuter KTM station at 8.15am but could not get on board the first train that arrived because it was packed.

He got on the next train, which arrived 15 minutes later, and headed for KL Sentral, the modern transportation hub for the various rail services.

There he also had to wait a while to switch to the Putra LRT service to get to the Masjid Jamek station because again, the first train to arrive was full.

On both the trains that he took, the prime minister had to stand although the passengers offered him their seats.

Upon arrival at the Masjid Jamek station at 9.15am, he chatted with members of the the public and bought several types of local cakes from the sellers there before leaving.

“There were many more suggestions given me by the passengers for my attention. I will strive for improvements, I will propose changes,” he said. – Bernama

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Anwar has '40 MPs ready to cross over'

According to the latest news reported by the Singapore's Strait Times, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (DSAI) has 40 MPs ready to cross over. But first, DSAI has to win the mother of all the by-election in Permatang Pauh first....

Malaysia's de facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (C) and his party leaders wave to supporters as they leave after submitting his nomination papers for the Permatang Pauh constituency by-election in Permatang Pauh, 370 km (230 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur, August 16, 2008.
The Straits Times

PERMATANG PAUH AND IPOH, Aug 20 - Once Anwar Ibrahim wins the Penang by-election next Tuesday, he is expected to reel more than 40 government MPs into the opposition coalition within weeks, sources close to the three-party alliance suggest.

The Straits Times learnt that the 40-plus ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs who are ready to jump ship include 'several federal ministers'.

They also include MPs from Umno, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and Parti Gerakan, a source said.

"Some of the Umno MPs will jump once they see that their branches are about to snap," said another source.

BN leaders however pooh-poohed the plan, saying it is part of Anwar's mind games to destabilise the government.

"If he is about to do this, we certainly haven't detected anything," said a BN leader who recently visited Sabah and Sarawak to keep tabs on potential crossovers.

The only obvious potential defectors were two MPs from the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), which is well known for its criticisms of the Abdullah administration.

The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition is mulling one of three legal means to oust the BN administration, including directly approaching the Malaysian King with signatures from the 82 opposition MPs and 40-plus defectors.

"The plan is definitely still on, and Anwar keeps stressing the country's stability in doing this," said one source.

Adding to the rumour mill, the Sabah-based vice-president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, said yesterday that 13 MPs from the state - two from SAPP and 11 from Umno Sabah - will jump to PR after Anwar wins the by-election.

"We speak the truth. I am talking about the 13 MPs who will join Pakatan Rakyat after Anwar wins this by-election," he was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency.

Anwar has just 28 days left from today to pull in the defectors by Sept 16, which is midway through the Muslim fasting month.

The date was picked because that was the day Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak agreed to form Malaysia in 1963, as the two Borneo states form a big part of Anwar's plan.

Singapore left the Malaysian Federation in 1965.

The pressure is now on Anwar to deliver this audacious promise. But views are mixed on how much credibility he will lose if he fails to do so.

Said an Umno leader: "We will whack him on the head if he can't do it because he will lose all credibility."

Political scientist Agus Yusoff of National University of Malaysia said, however, that due to Anwar's charisma, people would still believe that the promised big changes have merely been delayed.

"Politics is about giving hope and if he fails to deliver on that date it should not have much impact as people would still believe that changes are coming soon."

But Anwar has to watch out for investor concerns, because since independence Malaysia has always been ruled by BN and its predecessor Parti Perikatan (Alliance Party).

The former deputy premier is expected to win the Permatang Pauh election in Penang easily, and return to Parliament for the first time in 10 years.

On Monday evening, he repeated his promise and even described how this could be done.

"Once Anwar is in Parliament, we will see the Agong (Malaysian King) and get him to appoint Anwar as prime minister," he told a crowd of about 500 people at a village in Permatang Pauh.

The PR consists of Anwar's multiracial Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), the Chinese-led Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS).

Together, they won 82 seats in the federal Parliament in the March polls. The opposition coalition needs defections from at least 30 MPs to replace BN as the government in the 222-seat Parliament.

But big challenges remain even if Anwar manages to grab federal power.

He would have to pacify Malays in the peninsula and those in PAS who worry about the dilution of Malay-Muslim political dominance in Malaysia.

"I don't know if PAS would remain in Pakatan if there are only a few Malay- Muslim MPs who defect," said a top PAS leader.

In the meantime, BN and Umno are not expected to sit still in the face of this Anwar-led onslaught.

Rather than see itself losing power, BN is expected to approach the King to dissolve Parliament and call for fresh elections.

Only then would the people's real wish be seen.

Property Prices in Hong Kong Shrink.......

Property prices in Hong Kong also suffer a setback.....It seems that Cash is King now......

18 Aug 2008: Sales volume, prices shrink in Hong Kong

The residential real estate market in Hong Kong is showing chinks in its armour. The sales volume and prices in July continued to fall from June after a slight rebound in May, according to the July property market report by Vigers Research.
According to the Hong Kong Land Registry, 8,930 sales and purchase agreements were filed in July, down 24.8% from the previous month. Transactions also dropped 19.7% on a year-on-year basis. Sales volume was valued at HK$32,697 million (about RM13.91 billion), representing declines of 43.1% month on month and 14% year on year.
July figures are less than half those in November 2007, during which 18,105 sales contracts were signed. In November 2007 alone, total sales volume was worth HK$32.7 billion, already down 4.3% from the previous month and down 14% from the previous year. A combination of inflation, weakening stock market, expected higher mortgage rates and the worldwide credit crisis have hit the local market hard, says Vigers.
Entering 2Q2008, the real estate market began to soften after five years of steady growth. As early as in March and April this year, the market was already showing signs of sales slowdown, with home prices having declined by 5% to 8% off their 2007 peak. It is expected that home prices will bottom out in the summer of 2009, by which time they will be 20% off the peak, with no appreciable gain in prices for another year.
According to the Vigers report, it is reasonable that after a 25% surge in prices between 2Q2007 and 1H2008, the marketplace would correct itself naturally and slowly become a buyer's market.

The highlights
Of the sales pacts filed in July, 7,433 were deals done for residential properties, amounting to HK$25,139 million in transaction volume, down 27.7% from June and 19.1% on a y-o-y basis. Total consideration dropped by 50.2% m-o-m and 12.5% y-o-y.
Prime residential locations, such as the Mid-levels, held up better than most other places due to limited supply. But neighbourhoods on the island side, where the inventory pool is bigger, like Taikoo Shing and South Horizons, have been hit harder, as are some developments on the Kowloon side and The New Territories. It is expected that the housing market will weaken measurably over the remaining months of this year.

Mass sector
Looking closer at the four developments indicative of the mass-market performance that Vigers Research has tracked, the upward trend was sustained in July but at a slower pace, beginning early 2008, with average capital values dropping 1.11% from 2Q2008 to HK$5,575 psf during the month. Taikoo Shing and Whampoa Garden saw mild growth of 1.35% and 0.88% compared with 2Q2008, reaching HK$7,500 psf and HK$5,700 psf respectively. Residence Oasis in (TKO) and City One Shatin prices were recorded at HK$5,000 psf and HK$4,100 psf in July respectively, seeing declines of 5.66% and 2.38% from 2Q2008.

Luxury market
The number of transactions of prime properties saw a sharp fall between June and July, with 332 deals struck worth about HK$10 million in July - a 70.8% dip from June and 17% from last year.
The median capital value of the tracked properties was HK$12,350 psf as of July, down 1.79% from 2Q2008. The Arch and The Waterfront were respectively priced at HK$14,700 psf and HK$10,300 psf in July, representing a decline of 3.92% and 1.9% from the previous quarter. Sales prices at Residence Bel-Air (Phase 3) were down 1.6%, falling to HK$12,300 psf in July, but in Hong Kong Parkview, they were up 0.83% to HK$12,100 psf in capital value.

Grade-A office market highlights
Sales and purchase agreements intended for office property transactions totalled 209 in July, down 14.7% from June. In terms of transaction numbers, July saw a 17-month record low since February 2007, in which 193 deals were registered for office property sales. This is mainly attributed to fewer transactions recorded for commercial properties, worth less than HK$50 million.
However, in terms of transaction pricing, July saw deals with a combined valued of HK$2,349 million, surging 35.9% from June, mainly because of the more active transactions in the high-priced sector with valuation of above HK$50 million.
For the sector below HK$50 million, transaction numbers and values fell to nine and HK$305 million respectively, down 40% and 34.9% from the previous month. Transactions in the range of HK$20 million and HK$50 million saw the most significant decline.
For the lower-priced sector of between HK$10 million and HK$20 million, the month saw 11 transactions with values amounting to HK$1411 million, up 83.3% and 199% from June.
Notable deals of Grade-A office properties of the month are a full-floor space in 9 Queen's Road, which fetched HK$250 million; two full-floor units in Cosco Tower, sold for HK$227 million and HK$223 million respectively; and three consecutive floors in Silver Fortune Plaza, sold for HK$211 million.

A mother's grief.................

Heartbroken gorilla cradles her dead baby

Holding the lifeless body of her dead child like a rag doll, this female gorilla stares at the corpse in shock and bewilderment, unable to accept that her baby is dead.
It is a picture of pure grief. Inconsolable, hers is the raw pain of any mother who has lost a child.

While nature may indeed be red in tooth and claw, this moving image of Gana and her dead son Claudio seems to show that members of the animal kingdom can feel the pain of loss just as deeply as we humans.


Gorilla Gana, aged 11, distraught and grieving over the sudden death of her dead three-month-old baby Claudio

Eleven-year-old gorilla Gana was holding her three-month-old baby in her arms on Saturday in her compound at the zoo in Munster, northern Germany, when it suddenly died.

Initially puzzled, Gana stared at the body, bewildered by its lifelessness.

For hours the distraught mother gently shook and stroked the child, vainly seeking to restore movement to his lolling head and limp arms. Visitors to the zoo openly wept as they witnessed her actions.

Hours passed, during which Gana continually prodded and caressed the dead child, to no effect.


Baby Claudio is believed to have had a heart defect

But still she refused to give up hope. Gently placing it on her back and slowly walking around the compound, she stopped every few paces to look back and see if her much-loved son had returned to life.

'Claudio died in his mother's arms - we think from some heart defect,' said zoo director Joerg Adler.

'On Wednesday he didn't seem well. On Friday he wasn't eating or drinking and was growing weaker. We were keeping a close eye on him but suddenly, on Saturday morning, he died.'

The death is a double tragedy for Gana. For some inexplicable reason, Gana had previously rejected her six-week-old daughter Mary Zwo last year.

The baby was moved to a zoo in Stuttgart where she is now one of the star attractions.

Yesterday, zookeepers were still unable to get to the body of Claudio, so fiercely is Gana guarding him. ('In the wild, a gorilla mother can keep hold of a dead baby for weeks,' added Adler.)

This behaviour could be attributed partly to the gorilla's long pregnancy.

The gestation period of around 295 days - compared to 266 for humans and 108 days for lions - coupled with a high infant mortality rate, mean female gorillas successfully rear an infant only around every six to eight years.

This makes the loss of a baby even more poignant and goes some way to explaining Gana's apparent behaviour - as well as making her previous abandonment of Mary Zwo even more mysterious.

Gorillas usually have a strong attachment to their own kind. Like other apes with a well-developed social structure, gorillas mourn the death of loved ones.

They exhibit both care for the dead and sadness at their passing - even keeping the body close until it begins decomposing.

On occasion, gorillas have also been known to 'bury' their dead, by covering the body with leaves.

Most mammals show only a rudimentary interest in the bodies of their dead, with species such as lions pausing only briefly to sniff a fallen comrade before setting about devouring the body.

But gorillas are not the only animals who mourn their dead.

Both dogs and cats have been known to become 'depressed' by the death of their own, and dolphins have been known to spend weeks mourning the loss of a loved one.

A few years ago in a facility in the U.S., two out of the centre's nine dolphins died within six months of each other. On both occasions, the other dolphins refused to eat for a period, would not play and would make distressed sounds, as if in mourning.

The animal most profoundly affected by the death of their own is the elephant. They become highly agitated when they see other dead elephants and seem to demonstrate near ritual-like behaviour by swinging their trunk and prodding the bodies with their feet.

And even when confronted by the bones of long-dead elephants, other elephants will pay a form of homage by gently touching the tusks and skulls with their trunks and feet.

While such behaviour was once considered uniquely human, examples such as these and Gana's show that the gap between us and the animal world is not as wide as many believe.

'Many of the visitors were terribly shocked,' said Munster zoo director Joerg Adler.

'This, perhaps, is one of the greatest gifts that a zoo can bestow - to show "animals" are very much like ourselves, and feel elation and pain.

'Gana lost a child, but I think in that loss, she taught people here so much.' (By Marcus Dunk -Daily Mail)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Go ahead, sue me: Selangor MB

Tan Sri Khalid we salute for your stand.....Malaysia can only advance if we have a true politician like you.......

SHAH ALAM: Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has welcomed Universiti Teknologi Mara’s (UiTM) decision to take legal action against him over his statement calling for 10% of the varsity’s intake be opened to non-bumiputras.

Khalid said he welcomed the suit announced by UiTM Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Abu Shah last Saturday as it would provide an opportunity for the truth behind the statement to be highlighted to the people.

He said the suggestion he made on Aug 9 was not something that was altogether new and had been raised even before this.

“I feel the Malays and Malaysians as a whole are more matured and they know that such efforts (to open the intake to the non-bumiputras) are needed as we head towards globalisation.

“The openness in education is necessary to raise the skills of each member of the workforce in Malaysia as a means to ensure the country can effectively compete with other nations,” he said.

Khalid had on Aug 9 asked for UiTM to open 10% of its intake to the other races to raise the level of integration, competitiveness and the quality of graduates.

Prof Ibrahim and the student body council later slammed the Mentri Besar over the comment as the state government had no jurisdiction over the university and this was followed by student demonstrations in several states.

Khalid had on Wednesday defended his statement and said he would not apologise for his suggestion and the university then decided to initiate legal action against him.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Money Not Enough !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Very disheartening when I read a news in the Star website regarding a malaysian who earns RM5,000 a month has to struggle with their daily life now. If I remember clearly, there are about 40% of the Malaysian population earn lesser than that amount. Just cannot imagine how they have managed their daily life especially the married couples with kids.

One just wonder a country blessed with natural resources such as petroleum and palm oil which are fetching very high price now, has seen their peoples suffering in their daily hood.

Seeing a change in leadership will be a good solution to tackle the woes. We need someone who is capable to manage the economy of this country.

May be a solid combination of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (DSAI) and Tan Sri Dato Zeti Akhtar Aziz will be the answer to all these woes.

Permatang Pauh's voters, you have the big responsibility now. We need your votes to send DSAI to the Parliament.............................................

Malaysians tighten their belts as cost of living goes up


LESS then five years ago when public relations executive Ng Mei Lai (not her real name) was finishing her course in a local private university, the Ipoh-born lass had envisaged living the city life with a starting pay of RM2,500.

Now, she earns about RM5,000 a month, plus bonuses and over-time. For a while, the going was good.

Cost conscious: Zuraimi giving his mother-in-law Rianah Said Abdullah a birthday peck during a party at home to cut down expenditure.

The 26-year-old used to go shopping with friends on non-working weekends, and was saving up to buy a house and even travelled overseas once every few years.

She also gives her parents about RM500 each month after paying her rent and car and study loans which amounts to about RM1,500 monthly.

However, with the rise in the cost of living, she has joined the chorus of many Malaysians saying, “money not enough!”

My company pays me about RM1,000 in transportation allowance. That seems a lot, but after the fuel price increase, I really use up that amount because I need to travel to visit clients daily, and parking in the city is not cheap either,” says Ng, who is renting a house with friends in Damansara.

She has cut down on weekend restaurant treats and shelved plans to visit Australia this year.

As for her work, Ng says it is fulfilling but time-consuming. As assignments are erratic, she dares not plan social engagements ahead.

This frustrates her because Ng believes there is more to life than just work.

”I am re-evaluating my life to see if the price to pay for work is too much, no matter how enjoyable the work is.

“I see my seniors struggling to juggle their family time with the long working hours and, quite honestly, the pay is nothing to shout about,” says Ng.

Worse still, the annual increment at work had been minimal at around 5%.

"Even the inflation rate is higher now. I feel employers should feel some solidarity with us and have a special salary revision to cover the increased cost of living,” she adds.

Ng is now thinking of purchasing medical insurance. She already has a life insurance and wants to add on medical protection just in case she decides to become self-employed.

A survey conducted by AXA Affin Life Insurance in 2007 revealed only 36% of Malaysians, like Ng, were satisfied with their careers.

However, this dissatisfaction was fleeting because 51% of the interviewees felt they would be confident of their careers in the coming 12 months.

Zuraimi Mansor, a young father in Cheras, says life in the city is challenging with three children aged between five and nine.

The 33-year-old businessman says he really needs to be creative to stretch the family's RM10,000 monthly income, a combination of his earnings and his wife’s salary as an assistant manager.

There is the RM1,200 monthly payment for the house loan, another RM600 for the car, and RM800 for the two younger children in kindergarten.

“The amount is just nice for us, with some savings for the future. But the fuel price hike really hit hard.

“Now, I can easily spend RM50 on fuel a day because I travel to many places across the city,” says Zuraimi.

Like all parents, Zuraimi wants the best for his children.

The family also pays for life and medical insurances in monthly instalments.

The AXA life outlook survey showed that 69% of their interviewees felt giving their children the best education was the only way for them to succeed in life.

Many were willing to trade off their current living standard to give their children a better education.

However, the interviewees acknowledged many challenges coming their way especially in the next five years – they were concerned about the rising cost of education, additional expenses such as higher tuition fees, and the need to save for tertiary education.

In the pre-fuel hike weekends, Zuraimi usually treated his family to meals in restaurants and took his children to the playground at shopping malls, often spending up to RM150 on each weekend outing.

Now, Zuraimi says, the family eats at home before going shopping and the children only get to play inside the playground twice a month.

“In such pressing times, we must improvise. The money saved can be used to buy household supplies or food.

“Also, no more impulsive shopping. We make a list of things we really need and we shop accordingly,” he says.

He adds that adjustments have to be made because the increase in the price of oil and certain foods was a global phenomenon.

Zuraimi says it is time to be self-reliant, but adds that he is looking forward to measures by the Government to help lessen the financial burden on the man in the street.

“I am open to suggestions. However, I feel there should be a bigger fuel subsidy because it directly helps Malaysians,” he says.

Malaysian, are you ready for the Clash of the Century tonite?

I don't want to say much regarding the big match between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan in the Olympic Badminton final tonite. Have selected two articles from the chief editor of the Star and Sinchew, words for Han Jian , former China Badminton great for sharing.

Let's forget about politics in Malaysia. Let's us pray for Lee Chong Wei and Hopefully he can bring back first Olympic gold to Malaysia.

Lee Chong Wei, you deserve our praise ........You have shown us what is the true meaning of "Malaysia Boleh".

Date : 17.08.2008

Time : 8.48 pm

TV Live telecast : Malaysia :RTM 1 & 2,Hong Kong : Pearl TV and ATV, China :CCTV 5

Internet Live :

Live Results:

Historical Record of Lee Chong Wei vs Lin Dan-4 win 8 loss


2008年湯杯半決賽(Thomas Cup) --李宗偉 (勝)(Lee won)
2008年瑞士公開賽(Swiss Open) --林丹(勝)(Lin won)

2007年香港公開賽(Hong Kong Open) --林丹(勝)(Lin won)
2007年日本公開賽(Japan Open) --李宗偉(勝)(Lee won)
2007年中國公開賽(China Open) --林丹(勝)(Lin won)

2006年香港公開賽(Hong Kong Open) --林丹(勝)(Lin won)

2006年澳門公開賽(Macau Open) --林丹(勝)(Lin won)
2006年台灣公開賽(Taiwan Open) --林丹(勝)(Lin won)
2006年大馬公開賽(Malaysia Open) --李宗偉(勝)(Lee won)
2006年全英賽(All England) --林丹(勝)
(Lin won)

2005年香港公開賽(Hong Kong Open) --林丹(勝)(Lin won)
2005年大馬公開賽(Malaysia Open) --李宗偉(勝)(Lee won)

Lee is our true Malaysian patriot

On The Beat

Lee Chong Wei and Misbun Sidek are showing how Malaysians can do so much if we put aside race and religion and focus on commonalities instead of differences.

LEE Chong Wei has to be the true Malaysian hero as the nation prays that he will deliver the first Olympics gold medal for the country. That would be the best National Day gift!

At a time when some of our politicians are spewing racist and intolerant religious views, watching our badminton hero keep the national flag flying is so refreshing and motivating.

Our champ: Lee has proven what sheer grit and training can do if we set our hearts and minds to doing something.

On Friday night, the nation cheered as Lee made history by becoming the first Malaysian badminton singles player to reach an Olympics final.

The 26-year-old Penangite is now assured of at least a silver medal following his victory over South Korea’s Lee Hyun-il. The last Olympics medals were a silver and a bronze, won by badminton players Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock in the men's doubles and Rashid Sidek in the men's singles respectively at the Atlanta Games in 1996.

But it was the front-page picture yesterday that said it all – a victorious Lee hugging his coach Misbun Sidek.

There is so much Malaysians can do if we put aside race and religion and focus on commonalities instead of differences.

We can talk of being a global player only when we can devote our attention to competitiveness and excellence. The world waits for no one; and on the international stage no one will have the patience to hear any kind of whining.

Like Rashid, Lee has proven what sheer grit and training can do if we set our hearts and minds to doing something. They prove that Malaysians, regardless of their race, can make it at the international stage where the rules are the same.

Lee is now one step away from achieving greater history. Certainly, we all believe that the gold medal is on Lee's mind, not just the RM1mil incentive.

When he steps into the court today to face Lin Dan - currently the world's no 1 - he knows the whole of Malaysia is behind him.

For a moment at least, no one would bother to listen to the negativity expounded by some of our politicians.

Lee is our champion - not the self-declared champion of their races, the very same people who extolled the virtues of our education system in the name of nationalism and yet packed off their children overseas, even at primary school level.

Not the ruffians who cannot tolerate a divergence of views and forcibly broke into the Bar Council forum.

Or the self-proclaimed heroes of our respective communities who talk about patriotism but whom we suspect of squandering the nation’s wealth.

Then there are the self-appointed moral guardians who decide for us what we can hear or see from their narrow perspective, and they haven’t even become the government.

If Malaysians are disgusted by our politicians, they have plenty of good reasons for being so, and since Aug 8, many have been seeking refuge by following the Olympics.

From fencing to equestrian, where we have little knowledge of how the scores are awarded, these sports are making more sense to us than the silly antics of some politicians and activists.

Together with my family members and friends, we are ready with our Jalur Gemilang to support Lee and we fervently hope he will beat China’s Lin Dan.

We are Malaysians, and like the rest of ordinary Malaysians, we want him to bring back the best Merdeka gift for all of us.

Let’s set the mood for National Day by celebrating our diversity as an asset for unity and achievements.

Chong Wei, thanks for what you have done. Malaysia is proud of you; you are a true patriot!













我沒說他們打假球,倒是國際評述員一連說了三聲“strange, strange, strange”(奇怪,奇怪,奇怪)。











韓健:匯集力量速度技術 決賽值得期待