The Festive of Forgiveness… But Do We Forget?

Wow. I just realized that this is only my second post in 2013. Wooowww… It has been awhile since I’d be selfish and only talk about myself. Workaholic much. Or maybe I just have nothing interesting to share. Oh well, it’s better than nothing right???

 

How time flies. Today, Muslims around the world will leave Ramadan once again. I still remember when I was little, these are the most exciting times of the year. Balik Kampung and meeting all my cousins. Usually we play football together until iftar and at night we’ll play fire crackers. Exciting times. When Syawal arrives, we Muslims in Malaysia are custom with Duit Raya, asking for forgiveness, visiting others, and the best is the FOOD. Man… ketupat rendang and if you’re Johorian, it’s the Lodeh. Fuh… Lodeh oh Lodeh. Few more hours, you’ll be in my hungry belly.

 

Forgive and forget. People always mentioned this during Eid Festive Season. Selamat Hari Raya. Maaf Zahir Batin. Kosong Kosong ok. Does that sound familiar? I wonder how many people really mean what they said. Have you heard of the song Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word? Less the gay part, personally I think it’s really hard to say sorry. What more to forgive? It’s sad isn’t it? When you said sorry, do you really mean it? Can you just say sorry and think it’s going to be alright? Yes Allah is the most forgiving. He will forgive you when you repent. But when you did something wrong to another human being, can he/she forgives easily? Even when he forgives, can he forget? What is the true meaning of forgiveness? What is it? 27 years of living in this world and I still don’t understand the meaning of forgiveness. What is forgiveness when you still have grudges to others? What is the meaning of forgiveness when you still can’t meet eye-to-eye? What is the meaning of forgiveness??

 

I’m sorry. It’s a little bit emotional. I guess what happened around me really affected me a lot. I’d really want to know how do you forgive and forget the person you trusted the most and betrayed your trust. After all the hard work you’ve put into. After all the sacrifices you’ve done. All your work were destroyed in just few seconds. How do you forget? If anyone has the answer, please… tell me. I’d really like to forgive and forget but I don’t know how to do it after what has happened.

 

This festive season, I would like to ask for forgiveness from all who are reading this post and I hope that you don’t keep any grudges on me. If I’ve ever betrayed your trust, I guess there’s nothing I can do than to just keep asking forgiveness and I will try my best to become a better man. If I’ve ever written anything wrong, or it touches you, I would like to ask for your apology. It’s not meant to degrade anyone nor to embarrass anyone but it’s a lesson for myself and for others. I hope this Syawal we will open a new book and make our friendship closer than ever before. InshaAllah.

 

Selamat Hari Raya. Maaf Zahir Batin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2013 & It keeps Getting Better

Happy New Year!!!

New year’s resolution vs New year’s revolution. Which is more important? What differences does it make to some person who really understand these terms? I’ve been having new year’s resolutions for the past 10 years I think and I can tell you, by April, all these resolutions will be gone like the Monsoon season. So, instead of having another resolution which will only contribute to nothing, I’ve decided to change the term “resolution” to “revolution”.

Revolution. What does it mean? I’ll define it as a step forward which makes myself a better man to my family, my country, and my religion. I’m not going to bore everyone by what my revolution is going to be but what I’m trying to stress here is how young generation of Malaysia can be the the changing spectrum for the future of Malaysia. While Malaysian political parties are in the limbo, we as a young Malaysian can shape and re-shape the country on how we wanted it to be. Stop the corruption and make Malaysia a better place.

Something interesting that I wanted to share with everyone when I was attending World Islamic Economic Forum in Johor, Malaysia last couple of month. I was in the CEO Panel session where we have successful entrepreneurs around the world to share their experiences with the audience. It was a breathtaking 1 and a half hour session. I don’t remember the last time I pay that much attention to a talk. One thing that keep running in my head was during the Q&A session where one of the audience asks that how did they manage the “grease hand” in the government? In another word, how did they deal with corruption? Well, how did they? If you’re the kind of person who has been dealing with the government, you know what they mean. This includes the policeman, government servant, GLC employees, private employees, politician, etc. Well, don’t blame me for pointing fingers. I saw those accusation on youtube, newspaper, and TV. It’s the media who’s pointing out all these things. Let’s go back to the Q&A session. How do you manage corruption? The answer that the panel gave was very simple. If you stop giving, then they’ll stop asking. That’s it. That’s all. Is it really that simple? Correct me if I’m wrong but the way I see this is that we as the people are the one who’s holding the power to stop corruption. So, if the young Malaysian wants to see a better Malaysia, I guess all they have to do is to stop giving. Well, this is easier said that done but I believe step by step we can change this. That’s a revolution. I believe that this revolution can be done by the young Malaysian. I don’t put hope too much on the older generation as they have been molded in this system.

There you go. Revolution of 2013. I hope more young Malaysians will have the urge to be part of the silent army that will stop the corruption. Kudos to you and cheers to the new wonderful year!

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One Way Street

Oh my sweet November. You are back to haunt me. You are the final stage of a reality check every year. Whether I’ve achieved my mission this year or did I slack? You are the final push for the year. Back in college, you’re the month where I spent most of my time in the library… or being awake at night. It was cold back then. High speed wind from Canada goes straight to my room. Every night you go below zero and makes my nose red whenever I light my cigarette. Cheer me up whenever I saw the first snowfall of the year. You are both cruel and beautiful. Oh my sweet November, it’s you again.

Part of being a young entrepreneur is the day-to-day challenges that were thrown at you. Yada Yada.  That’s the boring stuff that you’ll hear in most of “Entrepreneurship” talk in Malaysia. People wants you to work hard and they’ll tell you that they are on your back. Don’t worry. Work hard. Work 7 days a week and you’ll be rewarded for your hard work. What they don’t tell you is that if you fail, no one is there to hold your hands. You’ll get screwed from left to right and top to bottom. You won’t have enough money to pay for the bills. You won’t have enough money to buy groceries. Forget about having a girlfriend. If you have a wife, consider yourself is lucky if she doesn’t leave you. I saw families fighting because of money in front of my eyes. I saw a brother shouted at his sister. I saw a mother asking for more money. I saw a son suing his father (I actually read about it). Everyone will fight for every single cents. Have you heard anyone talking about this in the “Entrepreneurship” talk anywhere?

 

Reality Check

If you’re a Malaysian and you’re between 22 to 30, you’re probably stuck in between a rock and a hard place. Houses are expensive. Weddings are expensive. You’re trying to move out from your parents house but you couldn’t afford it. Parents are not letting you out. Families are asking, “Where are you working now? When are you getting married?” For a guy, you’re probably spent half of your monthly salary or even more to impress some woman you like. Some even take up personal loan to do that. Let’s stop for awhile and think. Why are we doing all this? Why is there a need to spent RM 100k for a wedding? Why is there a need for a stupid Hantaran-Based-On-Your-Qualification? If you’re a college graduate, you need to spend RM 15k – RM 20k for Hantaran? Which idiot came up with this double-standard idea? Aren’t you about to start a life? You do realize that average per capita income for fresh graduate in Malaysia is RM 3k. Aren’t marriage supposed to make your life easier? How did you justify to go through thick and thin together while your future husband is earning RM 3k per month and you’re asking RM 20k for a wedding next year? That’s not going through thick and thin together. That’s more or less trying hard to impress others by making your husband “thin”. No wonder one married couple in Malaysia get divorced in every 15 minutes. Who’s to blame? Government? Family? Society? or should you blame yourself for getting in this situation. You think?

Remember those days when we were young. There’s this thing called “INFLASI SIFAR”? I never knew what it meant until recently. Well, I know what SIFAR means since everything is so expensive and usually that’s what you have in your wallet. INFLASI or Inflation is the worst enemy for developing countries. I’m not gonna go in length about inflation and what causes it. What I’m interested is about how is it possible to live with RM 300 per month before and now I can’t live with RM 3000 per month. I remember those days whenever my mother and I do groceries in Giant, we’ll have two trolleys and it cost us RM 300 – RM 400. Now, even with one trolley will cost us RM 400. That’s just the basic needs for us. Weekly needs. That actually made me want to start my own business… becoming an entrepreneur and earn millions. However, as good as it sounds, its not that easy when your resources are limited.

 

One Way Street

I had a choice back then… whether to stay in the US or coming back to Malaysia. Both of my parents asking me to stay in the US. Earn a living there. Enjoy live in America. However, I decided to come back. I decided that I want to become the most successful young Malaysian entrepreneur and I want to show the world that Malaysia has a platform to become a millionaire before age 30. So far, 3 years after graduation, I’ve learnt so much about businesses. I’ve learnt so much about politics. I’ve learnt so much about many others. I wish I can share with the world but somehow somethings are meant not to be told. Do I miss a cold November in America? Yes. Do I ever want to come back to the States? Yes. Do I want to achieve my dream of young successful Malaysian entrepreneur? HELL YES! It’s a one way street for me and I’m not looking back. It’s a learning process and I’m glad I’m learning it at a very young age. Some people went through what I’m going through at age 40 or above. I have an extra 20 years to make all the mistakes that I want to make and learn from it. November, you don’t scare me anymore because I’m gonna make it happen no matter what happen. So, world… bring it on.

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Facebook – Life without It

8 years ago, we thought that we’re done with online social network such as Friendster and Myspace. We’re done with ICQ, MiRC, and Myspace inbox messages of “Hello” and “May I get to know you.” We start socializing with friends and bring our bulky Nokia phones around trying to fill it with new numbers. Life was good back then. We communicated like a human being. We gathered friends every night. Feelings are being shared. Thoughts are being heard. Jokes are being laughed. We did all that with real friends who has feelings and actually know our real personality.

What changed? Instead of picking up the phone and meet up with our friends, we decided to post our feelings on facebook wall. What changed? Instead of laughing at jokes with friends, we read 9GagReader and post it on facebook and twitter. What changed? Instead of sitting down in mamak stall and chat, we switch on our smart phones and start replying messages online.

Personally, I think facebook is awesome. Myspace is awesome. Twitter is awesome. I can spend hours on the sites just reading other people thoughts. I can spend hours on YouTube just watching funny videos. I first started using facebook in 2006 and enjoyed their presence ever since. I was in the States at that time and all of my friends’ lists are either American or European. No Malaysian just yet. A year later, Malaysians started to use facebook and I was so happy to be connected back again with my old friends. They started to post old pictures which reminded me of the memories we had back then. Good times.

What happen next? Random people started to add us as our friend. As this is a social media, I would assume that we’re supposed to socialize. Right? So, we added random people just to get to know them. What happen next? – Blackmail, spam messages, annoying newsfeed with their hatred splashing around the network, etc.  Others complained. For me, I just delete those annoying friends. I respect your opinion. However, you have to respect my space of not wanting to hear your opinion. Right? I’m not your government nor I need your vote to survive. So deal with it.

Don’t you feel that it’s annoying how people are fighting over a single statement over your facebook wall. People start to interpreting things on their own way and believe the whole world should listen to them just because they have a facebook account? Where have the scholars gone? Don’t you need to further your studies and do lots of research before posting or publish something? People started to copy and paste all kinds of things on facebook and believe that it’s true.

I believe there’s much more privacy if you have life without facebook. Life will be much more meaningful. Bonding will be strong again. Absence will make the heart grow fonder. So, does it worth USD$100 billion to get back the life that we used to have?

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Gold Investment – View from Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

I was surprised by the overwhelming respond on my previous blog post about gold investment. Thank you for all who reads it. It’s just my personal view as a gold analyst and I believe that I should share the information as much as possible. For those you read my last blog entitled “Gold Investment in Malaysia – Learn About the System & Risks” who might want to reassure your confidence on gold investment from the view of Tun Dr. Mahathir, kindly check out the video below. His answer to my question is exactly the same as the one in the interview below. This lady should really improve on her appearance and communication skills as a journalist. (My personal view)

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Gold Investment in Malaysia – Learn About the System & Risks

Average joe Malaysian would agree that they first heard about Gold investment from Gold Dinar currency that was introduced by our beloved former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. I believe that it happened few years back. The idea was to pack or to change Malaysian Ringgit to Gold Dinar. That’s what everyone thought. At least, that’s what I thought. Just imagine if we’ve packed Malaysian Ringgit to Gold Dinar few years back. We would’ve been a rich people now. One ounce of gold is currently worth USD 1,652.00. That’s RM 4,956.00 per ounce. It is more than average income per capita in Malaysia.

I did think about this for couple of years now. It bothers me since I learn about these things in college and I still cannot connect the dot between gold and currencies. I’m very much interested to know how it happens and the effect of switching to Gold Dinar. Lucky enough, in 2010, I had a chance to personally asked Tun Dr. Mahathir regarding this subject during Malaysian-Europe Economic Conference in KL. My exact question was, “Tun, do you think Malaysia should advise and lead all the Muslim countries to use Gold Dinar as their currencies? Do you think the currency will be as strong as Euro and will it be able to compete in the global market?” As Malaysian, we are used to Tun’s direct answer. He does not beat around the bush. I think he was mad at me since (I believe) he answered a lot of similar questions before. Anyway, he mentioned that he’s been answering the same questions before and I should get my facts right. Oppss. Takut jugak lah bila dia cakap macam tu. I was already shivering when I asked the question. Nervous weyh. So, he mentioned that it’s not the currency that needs to be change to gold. It’s the reserve that needs to be gold. Banks should put more gold as their reserve as compared to foreign exchange paper money. People should keep gold in their investment portfolio because gold is a commodity. People turn to gold whenever they have lack of trust in paper money.

We do hear gold market increases in Malaysia since then. More people are trading in gold and buying gold as investment. True enough, gold prices went on upward trend. Those people who actually listened to his advice would already benefit by now.

Malaysian monetary regulator (Bank Negara) does not regulate the gold market in Malaysia. You can check my previous blog entitled “Gold Investment in Malaysia – Email from Bank Negara” which clearly state that gold investment does not fall under the purview of Bank Negara. This means (I assume), Bank Negara does not regulate Maybank Gold Account, Kuwait Finance House Gold Account, Public Gold, as well as others. To add, Bank Negara does not issue any license to any company who wish to conduct selling or buying gold. This also means (I assume) that Maybank Gold, KFH Gold, Public Gold and others do not have any license to sell or buy gold. (Please double check with the banks as I only make this assumption based on the reply email from Bank Negara). I’ve checked with Securities Commission Malaysia and verbally they mentioned that they do not regulate gold market as well.

When the government does not regulate the gold market, it means that there’s a loop hole for scam. It’s good to learn about the gold system in Malaysia. Gold is a good and risky investment. We have to prepare ourselves with knowledge and understanding of gold market. There are two types of gold market in Malaysia. Firstly is the physical gold. Basically buying physical gold is like buying a coffee. You’ll pay the price and you’ll get the gold right away. To prepare ourselves from being cheated by scammers, Bank Negara has advise us to check pertinent issues regarding the company such as the source of the gold, body that certified the gold purity, and verify the gold purity with goldsmith. (You can check the rest in my previous blog.) Second type of gold market is gold trading. It’s an investment scheme that offers investment opportunity by collecting deposits from public and investors. The public and investors can invest a certain amount of money to the company for the company to trade in gold. Basically, this is a paper gold. You won’t actually see the gold available in front of you because the money is traded in gold market. It’s similar to stock market but instead of investing in companies, you’ll invest in gold. It’s basically the same thing. From what I understand, this is legal in Malaysia. If it is illegal, please correct me. What is illegal is when the company uses that money invested by the investor to camouflage its activities. Which means, the money that the public and investors invested was not used for gold investment. This contravenes with section 25(1) Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 (BAFIA). You can check the black listed companies that have been taking deposit in the email from Bank Negara. If you still have doubts, you can email Bank Negara at bnmtelelink@bnm.gov.my for more information. It’s better to get the right information from the right source.

Gold is an upward trend investment. It has been an upward trend for a long time. If you’re still in school, upward trend means the price is going up. Check out the picture below.

Image

If you bought a physical gold in 2008 and sell it on 2011, you’ll make approximately USD 900 per ounce. That’s an increase of more than 100% in your investment in 3 years. Good enough for me.  The risk is lower as compared to gold trading. Gold trading companies buy and sell gold in the international market. They’ll invest your money in the gold market. They’ll buy gold at lower price and sell at higher price. Of course, you’ll have to pay the regulatory fees and the company’s charges when you invest. That’s the charges that enable you to trade gold. The profit of the investment will go to you in a form of cash.  You can also get the actual gold but there will be transportation charges, etc. It really depends on you. The system is quite technical and I’m not going to elaborate here. If you’re interested to know and invest in gold trading investment, I’ll give you a personal consultation. Just email me at aminurasyid.fauzi@gmail.com to schedule an appointment. Gold trading is a risky business. Even though the gold market trend is upward, public and investor should understand that they could lose all of their invested money in the gold market if they choose the wrong company or the wrong trader. It all depends on the gold market and how the trader trades your money. The better the trader, the better returns you’ll get. Generally, gold trading companies offer 2 – 4% of return of investment per month. So that’s 24% return per year. Sounds good right? Investor has to remember that this is a high risk investment with high return. We often forgot the high risk part and only look at 24% return per year. Again, this is very technical. If you’re interested to know more, you can contact me via my email. Hope this helps.

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Gold Investment in Malaysia – Email from Bank Negara

It has been awhile since I write anything. Well, now I just want to share the reply email from Bank Negara Malaysia regarding my question about gold investment investment in Malaysia. Kudos to Bank Negara for replying with such length to my simple question.

 

Here’s the reply…

 

 

Sir,

 
We refer to your email dated 02 April 2012.
 
First of all, we would like to inform you that:
 
  • buying and selling gold or silver is not under the purview of Bank Negara Malaysia (the Bank); and
  • the Bank does not issue any license to any company who wish to conduct such activities.
However, if the gold/silver trading – investment scheme clearly offers investment opportunity by collecting deposits from the public and investors are promised investment returns/profits within a certain period of time, whereby the original investment will be refunded or in other words if a company appeared to be involving in illegal deposit taking by using gold/silver to camouflage its activities, it maybe contravene section 25(1) Banking And Financial Institutions Act 1989 (BAFIA).
 
We have investigated and charged numerous instances involving companies having illegal deposit-taking and trading in gold as their underlying products that might contravene Section 25(1), BAFIA such as Genneva Sdn Bhd, Bestino Group Berhad, Gold Label Sdn Bhd. For your information, we also monitor these activities very closely and we will not hesitate to conduct investigations should a company appears to be involved in illegal deposit-taking using gold to camouflage its activities. 
 
However, the company has fulfilled all requirements and has been given letter of acknowledgement by the Bank as Scheduled Institution under Section 21(1) of the Banking and Financial Institution Act 1989. For your information, a scheduled institution has to notify the Bank for its operation under Section 21(1), Banking and Financial Institution Act 1989 (BAFIA 1989). However, we do not regulate its activities. The notification is to conduct leasing and factoring businesses. Genneva does not require the Bank’s approval to conduct the gold bar trading as gold trading is not under the Bank’s purview as mentioned above.
 
Warning
 
Thus, again we would like to take the opportunity to inform members of public that gold trading is not under the Bank’s jurisdiction. Members of public are to be reminded to be more cautious and scrutinize the risk associated with the gold investment before joining any investment scheme which promise higher returns in short-term period especially when the company gives an undertaking or guarantee the repurchase of the gold products sold to its purchasers (buy back guarantee).
  
Tips for Consumers
 
1.       Investors are advised to check the background of the company and legality of its activities with the relevant authorities to ensure compliance of laws. For example, investors could check with authorities such as Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) with regard to the registration and company business activity registered with CCM; and
 
2.       Investors may also like to check the company’s financial track record including its sustainability to pay return on investments. Investors may obtain such information from CCM and/or from the company itself through below documents:
 
i)        Audited Annual Reports
ii)       Memorandum of Association
iii)      Article of Association
iv)      Form 49 – List of Directors
 
3.   As a gold investor, he/she is advised to check pertinent issues regarding the company gold operations such as:
 
i)        The source of the gold – where does the company obtain its stocks?
ii)       Body that certified the gold purity
iii)      Verify the certification by contacting the party who issued the certificate
iv)      Verify with goldsmith on the gold purity
v)       Why does the company sell the gold at premium?
vi)      Is there any return promised to the investors?
vii)     How does the company generate profit from its operation?
 
Investor may report to Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operative and Consumerism (KPDNKK) if investor has evidence regarding the poor quality of the gold bought by them as it is under the ministry’s jurisdiction for any dispute on products quality.
 
Secondly, we would like to inform you that Bank Negara Malaysia only give license to financial institutions to conduct forex trading activities in Malaysia. Members of the public should not participate in any online forex trading as it is not licensed by the Bank and is illegal.

 

Reminder
 
Members of the public are also reminded that consumer protection afforded under the laws administered by the Bank will not apply should the public choose to deal with the illegal financial service providers. Members of the public who participate in the unauthorised financial activities can also be charged under the law as abetting to the illegal activities.
 
For more information on financial fraud alert, please visit:
 
 
 
Please be guided accordingly.
 
 
Enclosed are the tips for consumer on the financial matters for information. 

 

 
 
 
For more information on banking, insurance & takaful, please visit
 
Thank you.

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