Monday, June 30, 2008
July 12 2003
So, you think you got away with that little fib? Didn't smile or fidget too much, kept eye contact? Well, think again. The truth is, you can't hide those lies.
It has been estimated that we lie to a third of the people we meet each day. Lying is especially common when people are trying to impress each other, and that's why it's so prevalent in dating and courtship. Robert Feldman, at the University of Massachusetts, found that 60 per cent of the people who took part in one of his studies lied at least once during a 10-minute meeting, and that most of them told two or three lies in that time.
Research on lying shows that there is no difference in the numbers of lies told by men and women, but that there are differences in the types they tell - men are more likely to produce lies designed to make themselves look impressive, while women are more likely to tell lies intended to make others feel good. Women are generally more inclined than men to express positive opinions, both about the things they do and don't like. Consequently, when women are faced with the possibility of upsetting someone - for example when given a present they don't want - they're more likely to try to protect the other person's feelings by telling a white lie. Lying lubricates interpersonal relations; without them, our social life would soon grind to a halt.
Although lies form a large part of our exchanges with other people, we're actually not very good at telling why someone is deceiving us or telling the truth. This isn't for lack of evidence, because 90 per cent of lies are accompanied by tells which, like a criminal's fingerprints, leave behind traces of deception.
People often pride themselves on their ability to detect if someone is lying to them, especially when they know that person well. How often have you heard a mother announce that her children could never lie to her because she "knows them too well", or a young man claim that his girlfriend could never pull the wool over his eyes because he can "see right through her"? In fact, the research on lie detection suggests that both the mother and the young man are probably mistaken, because people detect only about 56 per cent of the lies they're exposed to, which is slightly above what you'd expect by chance. It's also been discovered that as people get to know each other better, their ability to detect each other's lies doesn't improve - it sometimes gets worse.
This happens for various reasons. One is that as people get to know each other well, they become more confident that they can spot each other's lies. However, their accuracy doesn't necessarily increase - it's usually just their confidence that grows. Moreover, when people get to know each other well, they're more likely to allow their emotions to get in the way of their analytical skills. Finally, as each person gets to know what type of evidence of deceit the other person is looking for, they're able to modify their behaviour to reduce the chances of detection.
Most people believe that gaze aversion is a sign of lying. They assume that because liars feel guilty, embarrassed and apprehensive, they find it difficult to look their victim in the eye. This is not what happens. First, patterns of gaze are quite unstable - while some liars avert their eyes, others actually increase the amount of time they spend looking at the other person.
As gaze is fairly easy to control, liars can use their eyes to project an image of honesty. Knowing that other people assume gaze aversion is a sign of lying, many liars do the exact opposite - they deliberately increase their gaze to give the impression that they're telling the truth.
Another supposed sign of lying is rapid blinking. It's true that when we become aroused or our mind is racing, there's a corresponding increase in our blinking rate. Our normal rate is about 20 blinks per minute, but it can increase to four or five times that figure when we feel under pressure. When liars are searching for an answer to an awkward question, their thought processes speed up. In this kind of situation, lying is frequently associated with blinking. But we need to remember that there are times when people have a high blinking rate, not because they're lying, but because they're under pressure. Also, there are times when liars show normal rates.
Fidgeting and awkward hand movements are also thought to be signs of deceit - the assumption being that when people are lying they become agitated and this gives rise to nervous movements of the hands. There is a class of gestures called "adaptors" which consists of actions like stroking one's hair, scratching one's head or rubbing the hands together. When people tell lies they sometimes feel guilty or worried about being found out, and these concerns can cause them to produce adaptors. This tends to happen when the stakes are high or when the liar isn't very good at deception. But most of the time the exact opposite happens. Again, because liars are worried about revealing themselves, they tend to inhibit their normal gestural habits. As a result their actions are likely to become more frozen, not more animated.
Movements of the hands, like those of the eyes, tend to be under conscious control, and that's why the hands aren't a reliable source of information about lying. Video research shows that when people are asked to tell a lie they tend to produce more signs of deception in the lower rather than the upper part of the body. Legs and feet are an underrated source of information about lying. It seems that liars focus their efforts at concealment on their hands, arms and face, because they know that's what other people will be watching. Because their feet feel remote, liars don't bother about them - but it's often tiny adjustments of the legs and feet that betray them.
One gesture that reveals a lie is the "mouth-cover". When this happens, it's as if the liar is taking precautions to cover up the source of their deception, acting on the assumption that if other people can't see their mouth then they won't know where the lie has come from. Mouth-covering actions can range from full-blown versions where the hand completely covers the mouth, to gestures where the hand supports the chin and a finger surreptitiously touches the corner of the mouth.
There is, however, a substitute for touching the mouth, which is touching the nose. By touching their nose, the liar experiences the momentary comfort of covering his mouth, without any risk of drawing attention to what they are really doing. In this role, nose-touching functions as a substitute for mouth-covering. It's a stealth tell - it looks as if someone is scratching their nose, but their real intention is to cover the mouth.
There is also a school of thought that says nose-touching is a sign of deceit quite separate from anything to do with the mouth. Two proponents of this idea are Dr Alan Hirsch, of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, and Dr Charles Wolf, of the University of Utah. They made a detailed analysis of Bill Clinton's grand jury testimony in August 1998, when the president denied having had sex with Monica Lewinsky. They discovered that while Clinton was telling the truth he hardly touched his nose at all, but that when he lied about the affair, he touched his nose once every four minutes on average.
Hirsch called this the "Pinocchio syndrome", after the character whose wooden nose becomes longer every time he tells a lie. Hirsch suggested that when people lie their nose becomes engorged with blood, and that this produces a sensation that is alleviated by touching or rubbing the nose.
When someone knowingly tells a lie they have to hide two things - first the truth, and second any emotions that might arise out of their attempts at concealment. The emotions that liars feel are generally negative - guilt or fear of being found out - but liars can also experience the thrill of pulling the wool over other people's eyes, what Paul Ekman, a psychology professor at the University of California, has called "duping delight".
When people tell small, innocuous lies they usually don't feel any negative emotions. However, when they're telling big lies, and there's a lot at stake, they often experience very powerful negative emotions that need to be concealed if the lie is to remain hidden. A negative emotion can be concealed by turning away the head, by covering the face with the hands, or by masking it with a neutral or a positive emotion.
The strategies of turning away and covering the face don't always work because they tend to draw attention to what the liar is trying to conceal. Masking, on the other hand, enables liars to present an exterior that isn't necessarily connected with lying.
The most commonly used masks are the "straight face" and the smile. The straight face requires the least effort - in order to mask their negative emotions, all the liar needs to do is put their face into repose. The smile is potentially more effective as a mask because it suggests that the person is feeling happy and contented - in other words, experiencing emotions that one doesn't normally associate with lying.
If you ask people how to spot a liar, they often mention smiling. They'll tell you that when someone is lying they're more likely to use a smile to mask their true feelings. However, research on lying shows it's the other way round - people who are lying smile less than those who are telling the truth. It seems to be that liars occasionally adjust their behaviour so that it's the opposite to what everyone expects of people who are telling a lie. This doesn't mean that liars have abandoned smiling - it simply shows that they smile less than people who are telling the truth. When dissemblers do smile they often give themselves away by producing a counterfeit smile. There are several identifying features of counterfeit smiles:
Duration. They are sustained for much longer than genuine smiles.
Assembly. They are "put together" more rapidly than genuine smiles. They are also dismantled more quickly.
Location. They tend to be confined to the lower half of the face.
Symmetry. Genuine smiles appear on both sides of the face, whereas counterfeits sometimes appear more strongly on one side of the face (usually the right side).
Most people believe that liars give themselves away by what they do, rather than what they say or how they say it. In fact, it's the other way round - the best indicators of lying are to be found in people's speech. Aldert Vrij, a psychology professor at Britain's Portsmouth University, suggests that when people try to catch liars they pay too much attention to their non-verbal behaviour and not enough to speech. This, he points out, is reflected in the tendency to overestimate the chances of detecting deceit by watching someone's behaviour, and to underestimate the chances of catching liars by listening to what they say. Several features of speech provide clues to lying:
Circumlocution. Liars often beat about the bush. They tend to give long-winded explanations with lots of digressions, but when they're asked a question they're likely to give a short answer.
Outlining. Liars' explanations are painted with broad brushstrokes, with very little attention to detail. For example, a liar will tell you that they went for a pizza, but probably won't tell you where or what kind.
Smokescreens. Liars often produce answers designed to confuse - they sound as if they make sense, but they don't. Examples include Clinton's response during the Paula Jones harassment case, when he was asked about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky: "That depends on what the meaning of 'is' is."
Negatives. Political lies are frequently couched as denials - remember Clinton's famous: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky." And during the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon said, "I am not a crook." He didn't say, "I am an honest man."
Word Choice. Liars use words like "I", "me" and "mine" less frequently than people who are telling the truth.
Disclaimers. Liars are more likely to use disclaimers such as "You won't believe this", "I know this sounds strange, but" and "Let me assure you".
Formality. When people are telling the truth in an informal situation they are more likely to use an elided form - for example, to say "don't" instead of "do not". Someone who is telling a lie in the same situation is more likely to say "do not" instead of "don't". That's because people become more tense and formal when they lie.
Tense. Without realising it, liars have a tendency to increase the psychological distance between themselves and the event they're describing. As we have seen, one way they do this is by their choice of words. Another is by using the past rather than the present tense.
Speed. Telling a lie requires a lot of mental work because, in addition to constructing a credible line, the liar needs to keep the truth separated from the lie. This places demands on the capacities of the liar, which in turn can slow them down. That's why people pause before producing a lie, and why lies tend to be delivered at a slower pace than the truth.
(This is an edited extract from The Book of Tells, by Peter Collett, published by Random House.)
This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/07/11/1057783343045.html
President Clinton, did you touch Monica Lewinsky's breast?
President Bush, did you have advance knowledge of 9-11?
11.03.06, 3:00 PM ET
In business, politics and romance, it would be nice to know when we’re being lied to. Unfortunately humans aren’t very good at detecting lies. Our natural tendency is to trust others, and for day-to-day, low-stakes interactions, that makes sense. We save time and energy by taking statements like “I saw that movie” or “I like your haircut” at face value.
But while it would be too much work to analyze every interaction for signs of deception, there are times when we really need to know if we’re getting the straight story. Maybe a crucial negotiation depends on knowing the truth, or we’ve been lied to and want to find out if it’s part of a pattern.
In fact, being able to distinguish lies from truth is important not just in our personal lives but in the economy at large. Trust lubricates virtually every transaction we undertake. In fact, trust may be worth as much as $12.4 trillion dollars a year in the United States alone, about 99.5% of GDP. (See: “ The Economics of Trust.”) It’s no stretch to argue that by reducing trust, liars make us collectively poorer...
Watch Body Language
Derrick Parker, a 20-year veteran of the New York Police Department and co-author of Notorious C.O.P., says to look for physical clues, especially sweating and fidgeting.
Liars' stories often lack detail, says Lindsay Moran, a former CIA officer and author of Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy. Her solution: Push your subject for particulars. The more minutiae a liar has to provide, the more likely he is to slip up.
"Liars are noticeably less cooperative than truth-tellers," found psychologists Bella M. DePaulo and Wendy L. Morris in a review of studies on deception. "Liars also make more negative statements and complaints than truth-tellers do, and they appear somewhat less friendly and pleasant," they write in The Detection of Deception in Forensic Contexts.
Observe Eye Contact
A subject's failure to make eye contact is often sign of deceit, say both former NYPD officer Parker and former CIA agent Moran.
Look for dilated pupils and a rise in vocal pitch. Psychologists DePaulo and Morris found that both phenomena were more common in liars than truth-tellers.
Listen for the Pause
Forced to make up a story on the spot, most speakers will take a beat or two to collect their thoughts.
Police interrogators often ask suspects to repeat their stories, and listen for inconsistencies to ferret out lies. But be careful: "Smart people maintain the consistency of lies better than dumb people," says psychologist Robert Feldman, a professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts.
Beware Those Who Protest Too Much
Someone who consciously is trying to make you think he's honest--for instance, by injecting the phrase "to be honest"--may be lying. Most people assume they will be trusted most of the time. If someone expects otherwise, take a moment to ask yourself why.
One reason liars succeed is that listeners don't really want to know the truth, says psychologist Feldman. So be honest with yourself about what it is you want to hear. You may wish to believe that a trusted employee didn't have his hand in the cookie jar. But does his story actually make sense?
Work on Your Intuition
"Good human lie detectors, if there are such persons, are likely to be good intuitive psychologists. They would figure out how a person might think or feel if lying in a particular situation, compared to telling the truth, then look for behavioral indications of those thoughts or feelings," write psychologists De Paulo and Morris.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Bluffing is one of those poker tricks that either makes you truly good or really bad. The difference frequently lies in knowing how and when to bluff. A poor player might as well just give you his money, not that he has a tell, but rather he just picks the wrong times to bluff. On the other hand, a great bluff is a thing of beauty. You don’t see it coming and if by chance you do, it doesn’t matter because the situation makes calling the wrong play anyhow.
Like any poker play, bluffing is properly all about overall expectation. You are not trying to win a picky hand, you are trying to make the play that offers you the maximum expected profits over time. Developing a strategy or total approach to bluffing is a key element in your overall game. Some tips and common mistakes will always help you in forming your own ideas on how and when to bluff.
Sometimes a kaput bluff is not a bad thing. You don’t have to win each and every bluff to make it worthwhile. Try to think of bluffing as risk vs. reward. In most cases, your risk in a bluff is one bet to win several. So a single successful bluff makes up for one or two unsuccessful attempts. Even when you do get caught, it may get you a few extra callers the next time over when you have a strong hand.
A Short Guide For Tells and Bluffs
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
One of them got to be bluffing. Is it Baldy or is it Smiley?
Find out in our final episode of... "Winner Takes All".
Altantunya Murder: All lies and I welcome police probe, says Najib
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today dismissed as “lies” the contents of a statutory declaration filed by a blogger that he and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor were involved in the murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu. The deputy prime minister said he welcomed police investigations into the allegation.
Describing the claim by online news portal Malaysia Today’s editor Raja Petra Kamarudin as a “fabrication and total garbage’, Najib said the police would record statements from those concerned including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
“My wife has given her statement,” he told reporters after chairing the special cabinet committee meeting on illegal immigrants in Sabah.
Najib was asked to comment on a statutory declaration filed by Raja Petra in the High Court on June 18, naming three individuals, including Rosmah, who were purportedly present at the murder scene of Altantuya in 2006.
Najib said he believed Raja Petra’s allegation was a “desperate and pathetic attempt to discredit and taint my political image”.
“I can’t see any other reasons,” he added.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Are you serious?
Trouble started when Dr Mahathir accused the former works minister for “exposing his deep racist sentiments” for sympathising with Hindraf (the Hindu Rights Action Front) in his blog Wednesday (18 June).
Mahathir is angry not only at Samy not only but also DAP lawmaker and chairman Karpal Singh and lawyer Param Cumaraswamy and accused all three of tarring him as a racist.
“Now Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu has joined Karpal Singh and Param Cumaraswamy in calling me racist,” he blogged.
“These three characters want the Government to free the Hindraf leaders from detention under the Internal Security Act”.
“They must know that Hindraf represents Tamil racists who still look to their old masters, the British, to protect them. They don’t believe in Malaysian institutions,” Mahathir blogged.
“And they speak not just of Indians but of Tamils as a separate race. They and their apologists are racist to the core”.
Seeing the death and destruction inflicted on Sri Lanka by the Tamil Tigers, they threaten to bring this kind of violent racial politics to Malaysia, Mahathir pointed out.
Hindraf orchestrated a massive protest against the government for its alleged mistreatment of Indians and is widely credited for turning the tide against the ruling coalition which lost heavily in the 8 March general elections. Both Samy Vellu and Palanivel and many Barisan Nasional leaders suffered shock defeats.
In a statement released Friday (20 June) in Kuala Lumpur, Palanivel said, “It is sad to note that former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is not aware of the fact that Hindraf, the informal activist movement, does not only represent Tamils but includes many non-Tamils and even non-Hindus.”
"He is wrong when he says Hindraf leaders only represent Tamil racists."
Palanivel said Dr Mahathir should not simply make statements that would further fan racial sentiments and hatred.
The former Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development went on to say: “He should remember his own roots,” without elaboration. The country’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, had described Mahathir as of Indian descent. His father was a school teacher of Indian origin having migrated from the southern state of Kerala, while his mother was a Malay.
“People also recall that PAS, PKR and DAP were all with Hindraf during the recent elections. His most recent statement on Hindraf as Tamil racists will only further drive away Indian votes from the BN to Pakatan," Palanivel said commenting on Dr Mahathir’s statement against MIC President S. Samy Vellu in his blog.
Palanivel described Dr Mahathir as …
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Sources said that several Proton officials are currently on “working holidays” in Shenzhen and Guangdong. It is believed that they are on a mission to sign an agreement with a top corporate strategist of a leading car manufacturer in China.
Analysts are closely watching this development. Valuation of Proton could be drastically revised if “Project VIVI” materialized.
Our intelligence team has uncovered the following information believed to be linked to the said project.
In China, there are contests for just about everything. Here is Miss Car Saleswoman of 2008.
Her name is Vivi, and she is 21 years old. She works for DongFeng-Citroen.
Using her apearance as an advantage, Vivi has been known to often stray away from normal sales tactics by “accidentally" dropping her pen and precariously bend over to retrieve it. If you aren't swayed by this tactic, another one of her favorite is to ask the purchaser to hold her stool while she reached up to the top shelf for sales brochures.
With sales tactics like this, it is very difficult to not buy something from her.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
First they blame it on the Chinese and Indians for being richer and consuming more. Then they said it's because of weaker US$ and speculators. Now they say they are not sure what it is.
If the big bosses are not even sure what hit us, looks like we're all gonna be screwed!
Business Times - 16 Jun 2008
G-8 FINANCE MINISTERS MEETING
Top enemy identified, but no bullet to kill it
No consensus on how to fight soaring inflation, so no plan of action spelt out
By ANTHONY ROWLEY IN OSAKA
FINANCE ministers from the G-8 countries ended their meeting at the weekend on a consensus note that galloping inflation - caused by soaring oil and food prices - has overtaken the sub-prime mortgage crisis as the biggest immediate threat to the global economy. But they were unable to agree on whether the commodity price surge is due to basic supply and demand factors, financial speculation or to dollar weakness.
Four wise men: (From left) Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank; Henry Paulson, US Treasury Secretary; Fukushiro Nukaga, Japan Finance Minister; and Alistair Darling, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, at a news conference in Osaka last Friday
In the absence of agreement as to causes, the ministers (from the US, Japan, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Russia) were unable to agree on common actions to deal with an inflation crisis that is provoking popular protest across Asia and the developing world. Instead, they handed the oil shock issue over to the International Monetary Fund and the International Energy Agency for further analysis and food issues to the World Bank and other agencies.
If the sub-prime crisis had slid from centre stage in Osaka, it was still ominously present in the wings. US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson warned that 'the financial system (in the US and in Europe) is still under stress and there will be more bumps in the road ahead'.
A report from the Financial Stability Forum said that 'term money markets in major currencies remain subject to volatility' while 'securitisation markets remain disrupted' and write-downs on sub prime-related losses 'will persist for some time'.
But compared to the sub-prime crisis, which so far has impacted mainly large financial institutions and made its wider effects felt only in the housing market, the dramatic surge in oil and food prices is having a much wider political and social impact. While this issue dominated the final communique issued at the end of the two-day meeting, the finance ministers seemed to be at sea over how the challenge should be dealt with.
The reports that they want from the IMF and IEA on oil prices will not be ready until the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in October and, by then, the fallout may have reached crisis proportions, analysts said.
The G-8 summit meeting in Toyako, Japan, next month may have to go into crisis management mode if the situation continues to deteriorate, they added.
The urgency of dealing with surging oil and food prices was not lost on...
Monday, June 16, 2008
Monday June 16, 2008
Housewife: We depend on God to help our family
PETALING JAYA: With three school-going children, housewife Joyce Tay is “depending on God” to make ends meet as her household income of RM3,000 is no longer sufficient.
Her children attend three different schools located distances apart in Penang, which adds to her burden.
The 47-year-old said her household expenses usually exceeded income, and her technician husband had to work extra hours to offset the rising cost of living.
“The last time petrol prices were increased we had to cut down on unnecessary items and be more thrifty. And with the latest increase in prices of fuel and foodstuff, there is nothing left for us to cut down on,” lamented Tay.
On average, Tay said she gave RM300 in monthly allowances to her children, with another RM500 or more spent on groceries and several hundred ringgit on utility bills.
As for petrol consumption, the family's previous usage amounted to RM500 per month, which has now increased drastically.
“We’ve cut down on usage of electricity and water, and even eating out now is rare.
“Sadly, I’m also forced to tell my children to cut down on their extra-curricular activities after school hours because we can’t afford to travel so often,” she added.
As for her eldest child who is in Upper Six, Tay expressed concern in not being able to finance her tertiary education.
“There is difficulty in managing the household income. My daughter will have to go to college or university soon.
“We truly have to depend on God to help us,” she said.
Inflation is also affecting insurance sales executive Nicholas Sage, who complained that there was “no quality of life” for his family.
“Whatever we earn, we are just spending it to run our lives. We are always in debt,” said the 37-year-old, adding that their monthly expenses worked out to almost RM9,000.
He and his bank executive wife, Tina Matthews, 35, who earn a combined income of RM6,000 per month, have three primary school-going children.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Suffer the children ... of some
By AZMI SHAROM
Without exotic foreign holidays, life will no longer be the same.
The sun was setting as the Proton Perdana crunched up the gravel driveway of the bungalow on Jalan Kia Peng. The man sitting in the back seat was oblivious to the gentle glow of dusk that bathed the large well-manicured gardens.
His heart felt heavy and his stomach was knotted.
He was going to break their hearts and there was no way out.
“We are here, sir.”
The voice of the driver shook him out of his deep thoughts. With a barely audible grunt of thanks, he stepped out and with leaden feet walked towards the door.
Before he reached it, the huge oak edifices swung open. A small woman in a blue uniform retrieved his suitcase and collected his shoes as he slipped them off. He hardly noticed her, either.
From within the house, there were sounds of a loud X Box game in progress and young children shouting. The man walked into the living room. Expensive Italian furniture was arranged around a 40-inch plasma TV, its sleek modernity a stark contrast to the gaudiness of the sofas and armchairs.
A boy and a girl were transfixed by the screen, watching monsters get beheaded. A woman lounged in an armchair, her diamonds glittering.
“Listen, everybody, I must speak to you,” said the man.
“Not now, Papa, we are reaching level five,” said the boy.
“No, now,” said the man.
The sombre tone of his voice cut through the shrill screams from the video game. The children and the woman looked to the man, their normal indifference suddenly replaced by unfamiliar concern.
Seating himself, the man leaned on his elbows and stared at the floor.
In a voice quivering with barely suppressed emotion, he started to speak.
“Darling, children, I am afraid we can’t go to Orlando Disneyland this year.”
“Where are we going then?” asked the girl. “England? Europe?”
“We can only go to somewhere in Asean.”
The gasps from the family just about drowned out the crack in his voice as he finished his sentence. Then the barrage of questions started. Why? What happened? How can this be?
As the voices rose to a crescendo, the man snapped, tears running down his face as he screamed, “The oil price has gone up and we can’t go on holidays around the world any more!”
“But, darling,” said the woman, “I already told the girls I would bring back for them oranges from Florida. How can I face them in Carcosa at our high tea tomorrow?”
“Papa, you promised Disneyland. I hate you! I hate you!” shrieked the boy as he stormed out of the room.
“Wait, boy!” he called out. “You must try to understand. The whole nation is suffering. We must make sacrifices. It is for the good of the country and for the future.”
But it was too late; the boy had…
… “We can all go to Hong Kong Disneyland!” he exclaimed excitedly.
The man broke down again and buried his face in his hands. Between his gasping sobs, he cried,
“Oh, my son, my poor, poor boy. Don’t you know? Hong Kong is not in Asean.”
“Arrrgghhh!” the boy screamed and ran back to his room, wailing, “I hate you! I hate my life! I want to die!”
The girl, unable to bear the pain any longer, stood up. She loomed over the broken shell that was her father and said, “I know we all have to suffer because of the oil price, Papa. But why do WE have to suffer SO MUCH?” Then she too stalked away.
The man stared into the middle distance.
His pain was almost too much to endure. The only sound in the room was the clinking of his wife’s diamonds as her bosom heaved with racking sobs.
It barely smothered the sound of his shattering heart, for without their exotic foreign holidays, life would never be the same again.
Jom Makan, the new tagline to lure tourists
By Sharif Haron
Jom Makan (Let’s eat). Jom Melawat (Let’s visit). That could be the new tagline to lure tourists to Malaysia (O: How bout “It’s a clean and safe country to visit”?). A dining experience at the newly-opened Jom Makan on Tuesday night left Datuk Seri Najib Razak convinced that Malaysian restaurants abroad could become great tourism ambassadors for the country. The deputy prime Minister said food outlets like Jom Makan had the potential to not only make profit, but help put Malaysia on the world tourism map as well.
(O: I still think it's easier to sell on “Clean and Safe”)
“They (local patrons) will know Malaysia, and then maybe visit Malaysia and buy Malaysian goods,” he told Malaysian journalists after the dinner. Earlier, he officially launched the restaurant.
(O: WaLau Eh! You’ve spent so much $$$ on the programme and you only wish for a “Maybe”?)
While acknowledging that neighbouring Thais had had a headstart in gastronomic tourism, Najib believed it was not too late for Malaysians to play catch-up and be just as successful.
“We have a wide variety of food to offer and appeal to a broad section of customers.”
He hoped that more Malaysian restaurant operators would venture abroad to take advantage of the opportunities.
(O: Let’s see if your Jom thing is still alive next year before you tell others to follow)
Jom Makan, located at Pall Mall here, is operated by JomMalaysia (UK) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Perbadanan Nasional Berhad (PNS).
PNS operates under the ambit of the Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Ministry, which has been given the responsibility to develop Malaysian restaurants, products, franchises and brands worldwide.
Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Noh Omar, PNS chairman Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin, Malaysian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Datuk Abd Aziz Mohammed and about 150 guests were present at the launch.
(O: Ooou…! A big party eh!)
Asked about the food he sampled at Jom Makan, Najib said among the dishes he liked were nasi goreng kampung, roti canai, rendang and mee bandung.
Wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who was seated next to him, quipped: “We had small bites of many things.”
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Najib in Britain on 4-day working visit
By : From Sharif Haronin London
DEPUTY Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will arrive here today on a four-day working visit to Britain, where he is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown (Don't forget to send our regards to Gordie!).
Prior to his courtesy call on Brown at his office 10 Downing Street late tomorrow, Najib will attend a working lunch hosted by the lord mayor of London, Alderman David Lewis. (Yeah! We heard the steaks there really requires hard work)
On Tuesday, Najib will attend a conference on "Reforms of International Institutions" at Marlborough House. (Try to learn something there. Many things need to be reformed back here).
Later, he will officiate at the launching of Jom Makan Restaurant. (Sure! This is absolutely a must)
The restaurant has been set up at Pall Mall East under the Malaysian Kitchen Programme. (WTF is this?)
Wrapping up his visit on a patriotic note (Hahahah!!!!), Najib, who is defence minister, will meet Malaysian troops at the Wellington Barracks.
He will then witness the changing of guards ceremony involving the Royal Malay Regiment at the Buckingham Palace grounds on Wednesday. (You musn't miss this. They are really that good! Remember to take lotsa pictures.)
Eight officers and 122 members of the Royal Malay Regiment arrived here on April 17 for a two-month-long ceremonial duties. Their duties have included guarding Buckingham Palace, Winsdor Castle and...
Najib: Government sharing the burden
PETALING JAYA: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the cost-cutting measures announced by the Prime Minister showed that the Government was willing to share the burden in facing price hikes along with the people.
(Oni: Hey! Jib! You have obviously forgotten that you're hired by the people to serve them. How can servants live better than their masters? Stop tokking kok!)
“It will not be appropriate or fair for the people alone to face this (Duhh...!) , as the Government has also taken the responsibility to reduce expenditure with its cost-cutting measures,” he told journalists in London before attending the Commonwealth Mini SummitNajib called on Malaysians to change their mindset and seek alternative sources of energy, and not just rely on petrol. He said they could consider electric cars.
(Oni: People have been anxiously waiting for this electric car tinggy for years. Where can one buy them if they want to? Proton?)
Cost-cutting to save RM2bil
By MAZWIN NIK ANIS and SIM LEOI LEOI
PM announces government cost cutting measures
PUTRAJAYA: The entertainment allowances of ministers and deputy ministers will be slashed and their paid holidays will now be limited to local and Asean destinations.
These as well as several other steps, including a freeze on new government posts and assets purchase, would save the Government RM2bil.
The slashing of allowances and limitation on paid holidays take effect on July 1. Even the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister will not be spared this new ruling.
The Prime Minister currently enjoys a monthly entertainment allowance of RM18,865 while his deputy gets RM15,015. Other ministers and deputy ministers are given RM12,320 and RM6,000 respectively.
(Isn't it true that VVIPs usually get entertained by others instead of the other way around? Who do they need to entertain anyway? Chicks?)
For the paid holidays, Cabinet members will not be allowed to claim for more than a week’s holiday.
(What? Don't tell me they have been abusing it all these while?)
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said these measures “will not be the first or the last; many other announcements will be made by the Government”.
(Good! they better be something more meaningful next time!)
“The savings will be channelled to subsidies for low-income groups,” he said after chairing the first National Inflation Council meeting at his office here yesterday.
(Where else do you think they should be channeled to? "Foundation of Poor Minister's Wife"?)
“We are sensitive to the hardship faced by the people as a result of the recent increase in fuel prices.
Everybody will have to be thrifty in these difficult times, including the Government.”
(Did you only realised it now? Isn't this what you should be doing with hard earned tax payer's money all these time? Duhh.... ! )
Besides the freeze on new government posts and the purchase of assets like cars, furniture and computers, other measures to be taken are limiting the number of workshops, seminars and conferences held at hotels and postponing all renovation works for government offices.
(Good! One thing though... you can actually save more money in the long-run by replacing those deadwoods in the office with more computers. Then again, computers can't vote in Elections. Tough!)
The Government will also cut down on the number of functions like the opening of offices, prize-presentations as well as disallow attire specifically made for an event.
“There is no point for a special outfit because it’s wasteful.
(You know what? You are a real genius!)
“In line with this, a 10% cut will be imposed on expenses within departments.
Much of the cut will involve....
Jun 5, 08 10:46am
On Fuel hike: 78 sen more to RM2.70 per litre
Kenny Gan: I don't mind paying market price for petrol provided I can pay market price for cars. Currently, our cars are anything but ‘market price’. We have one of the highest car prices in the world due to our abnormally high import duties on foreign cars.
I'm not talking about luxury cars either, half of what we pay for a basic family cars goes to tax. The tax component of a car will pay for the extra cost of unsubsidised petrol for the life of the car!
In a country where public transport is abysmal and most people have no practical choice but to own cars, middle-class families are being pushed to the wall. Subsidised petrol helps to offset the high installments car owners have to fork out monthly to pay for their overtaxed cars.
Many owners have to take a nine-year loan just to pay off a basic car. On top of that tolls are a heavy burden to motorists and threaten to keep going up due to one sided deals signed with toll concessionaires.
The government can do nothing about the world price of crude oil but high car prices and high tolls are definitely self-inflicted. Lack of investment in public transport rubs it in. Is this lack of urgency to improve our public transport designed to help Proton sell more cars?
The government has forced the public to own cars by mismanaging the public transport sector, inflicted a high prices for cars, burdened the motorists with extensive toll roads and now wants market price for petrol. Is this a caring government?
Tan, Joseph K: If the government would like to make fuel price as per the market price, firstly, it needs to reduce import taxes and excise duties for all passenger car to comply with the Japan- Malaysia FTA. At least, Malaysia can...
Monday, June 9, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Marki: Oni, too bad lah! Why didn’t they work harder in school when they had a chance?
Oni: but… but… but… these are also your fellow-countryman mah! They also need to feed their families like everyone else.
Marki: Well, we really sympathised them. Our government will come-up with some super safety net for poor losers like these. Oops! I mean “poor fellows” like these. While waiting for the super safety net, these losers… I mean these people can either do charity for the country by running their cabs at a loss everyday or stop work for a while lah. They say one can survive 7 days without food one. But they must drink water. Drinking water is very important.
Oni: But Marki… therse people needs to work and make money everyday to bring food home to feed their families wor! Like dat how can?
Marki: They must be patient lah! Wait lah! Our government will help them one… Oh! I was telling you about water… water is very important you know? Do you know how many types of water are there?… There are… …. Kok kok KOK! Kok… Kok koK! KOK KOK,,,,,, KOK!!!!!