Islamic Widget

Sunday, February 2, 2014

OPPORTUNITY AND RISK TAKING

Been a long time indeed since my last posting.

I've been involved in several business ventures since I can remember when.  Profitable?...Yes...but not that much.

Middle of last year, another business opportunity came along by chance.  Not very convincing then.  But what the heck...here is the part where I took a risk.

I parted with almost RM5k in late July last year.  Money changed hands at a foodcourt.  TawakkalAllah....

It turns out to be very legit and most profitable.

 
 
The investment I made is for a one year contract to post 5 ads for a company based in the USA.  For each advertisement posted I get paid USD20 per week.
 
 
It only takes about 5 minutes to post all 5 ads per day and I get paid USD100 per week.  Pretty neat eh?
 
 
After 52 weeks I will get a total of USD5200 for an investment of USD1425.  Do the maths!
 
 
Risk?
 
 
Ofcourse there's a risk.  There's always a risk in whatever business we venture into.
 
 
For this particular investment, I've already crossed that threshold.  After 3 and a half months, I've got back my USD1425.  I'm now reaping the profit from this simple yet very rewarding business.
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tracing the Roots of Sabah Claim - Part 2

By Dr Paridah Abd Samad

THEN Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos made a dramatic move towards normalisation of bilateral relations in 1976, just prior to an Asean summit meeting, when he stated that the Philippines no longer intended to press its claim to sovereignty over Sabah, though he did not officially drop it. The pronouncement, however, was never followed by any concrete action.

The dispute dragged on into the Corazon Aquino administration, which tried to resolve the problem through revising legal and constitutional provisions to drop the claim. The Philippine Constitution of 1987 no longer includes the phrase "by historical and legal rights" as part of the definition of the national territory. Also, Senate Bill No. 206, redefining the archipelagic boundaries of the Philippines, called for amendments to Republic Acts 5546, and it particularly excluded Sabah from Philippine territory.

However, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III's denouncement of Aquino's government for endorsing the bill without consulting him and bungling by the newly installed administration kept the bill from getting through the Senate, denying Aquino a diplomatic victory of the Asean summit in December, 1987.
The Philippines cannot just drop its claim to Sabah to patch up differences with Malaysia, as it must first consider the repercussions of such a decision on the politically unstable Sulu Archipelago. Sabah and Moro are interrelated in prolonging settlement of the dispute and in deepening the security concerns of the Philippine government.
The transmigration of mostly Filipino Muslim refugees to Sabah has put the Philippines in a favourable position because this has significantly contributed to reducing the Muslim population ratio and its resistance strength.
In 1970, Tunku Abdul Rahman played an important role in promoting international support for the Moro cause. As secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (now Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), he endorsed the Moro case submitted to him in 1972 and asked King Faisal of Saudi Arabia and (Libyan) president (Muammar) Gaddafi to help in persuading other OIC member states to support it.
But Malaysia's optimism and hope for a new and brighter chapter in Malaysia-Philippines relations remain unfulfilled. While the Aquino administration made the effort and took the initiative to drop the sovereignty claim on Sabah, it was unable to push through its initiative because of stumbling blocks. Senate Bill 206, which excludes Sabah from Philippine territory, remains unenacted.
Since no law has yet been passed on the dropping of Sabah claim, the Philippine government still has the option to actively pursue the claim through internationally accepted norms. By pursuing the claim, the Philippine government could promote the Philippines' historic rights and legal title over Sabah, as well as the proprietary rights of the heirs of sultan of Sulu.
However, the 1930 treaty between the United States and Great Britain drew a precise boundary to separate their island possessions off the northeast coast of Sabah. The allocation of islands defined in these treaties was enshrined in Article 1 of the Philippine Constitution of 1935.
The Philippine claim has no known international support while Malaysia is morally supported by Great Britain and the Commonwealth of Nations in rejecting this claim. Even the US has assumed a position of neutrality. The other Asean countries, though discreetly distancing themselves form the issue since it involves two of their fellow members, also seem to silently acknowledge Malaysia's right to the disputed territory.
For the Philippines to drop its claim to Sabah without concessions would mean outright recognition of Malaysia's sovereignty over Sabah. Taking this position might also jeopardise the proprietary rights of sultan of Sulu. In general, choosing this option appears to be damaging the national integrity.
Malaysia gave a solemn commitment to satisfactorily resolve the proprietary claim with recognised Sulu heirs once the sovereignty claim is legally and finally dropped. It sees no linkage whatsoever between the two claims. Malaysia has always insisted that sovereignty and proprietary rights over Sabah are two separate questions.


The writer is a former lecturer of UiTM Shah Alam and International Islamic University Malaysia, Gombak

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Malaysia-Philippines unnatural relations - PART 1


By: Dr Paridah Abd Samad


THE level of irritation in the relationship between Malaysia and the Philippines is considered unnatural for two immediate neighbours who belong to a common regional grouping. The Philippine's claim on Sabah, one of Malaysia's 13 states, is an issue that has remained unresolved for nearly 50 years.

Once a part of the Sultanate of Sulu, Sabah's land area exceeds 29,000 square miles, smaller than neighbouring Mindanao by about 8,000 square miles. Its centuries-old ties with the Philippines are indicated by the fact that inhabitants of both came from the same racial stock and have similar customs and traditions.

The Sultan of Brunei originally ruled this part of Borneo, but in 1704, the Sultan of Sulu helped suppress an uprising there and, as a reward, North Borneo was ceded to Sulu. Subsequently, Europeans came to Southeast Asia for the valuable minerals, spices, and other rich sources of revenue, and in 1878, two of these enterprising merchants leased North Borneo from the sultan. Soon the British North Borneo Company was formed and awarded a royal charter.

In the course of laying the groundwork for Philippine independence, the treaty signed in 1930 by the US government and the British Crown, circumscribed the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippine Republic. It did not include Sabah within the boundaries of Spanish, American, or Philippine jurisdiction.

Six days after the Philippines was granted independence (July 10, 1946), the British North Borneo Company turned over all its rights and obligations to the British government, which in turn asserted full sovereign rights over Sabah through the North Borneo Cession Order.

There was no advancement of Philippine claims to Sabah from 1946 to 1962. Within that period, successive Philippine administrations conducted low-keyed investigations on the merits of such a claim, and a study of these and other documents convinced Diosdado Macapagal, then chief of the Legal Division of the Philippines' Foreign Affairs Department, that a claim on North Borneo could be filed.

The first official Philippine act on the matter -- House Resolution No. 42 adopted on April 28, 1950 -- stated explicitly that North Borneo belonged to the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu and authorised the president to conduct negotiations for the restoration of sovereign jurisdiction.

But it was June 1962 before the Philippine government notified the United Kingdom of its claim on Sabah, and the following December the two agreed to hold talks on the issue. The promulgation of the claim brought the Philippines into diplomatic conflict with the British, who regarded it as a nuisance in relation to their own plan to change the status of North Borneo from a colony into a state of an expanded federation of Malaysia. The British government rejected the Philippine position in view of the overriding need to form the Federal Republic of Malaysia, ostensibly to contain communism in Southeast Asia.


Sabah Chief Minister of Sabah, Mr. Donald Stephens (second from left), in national Kadazan costume, being sworn into office by the Chief Justice at the Malaysia proclamation ceremony in Jesselton, Sabah, on Sept 17, 1963. On the right is the Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, representing the central Federal Government.

Meanwhile, since Sabah has a total land area of 74,398 square kilometres and is only 16km from Sulu, it was a Philippine security concern. Such concerns, may have moved President Macapagal on April 20, 1963 to write to President John F. Kennedy stressing the importance of North Borneo as vital to the security of the Philippines.

At the first ministerial conference on the claim, held in London in 1963, a joint communiqué was issued by the foreign ministers of Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines stating that the inclusion of North Borneo in the Federation of Malaysia "would not prejudice either the Philippine claim or any right thereunder". This joint statement was ratified by the leaders of the three countries when they met later that year in Manila, and Macapagal's participation in it, jeopardised the Philippine claim to Sabah.


In any case, the Federation of Malaysia came into being on September 16, 1963, and due to the physical possession of Sabah by Malaysia, the Philippine government refused to accord diplomatic recognition, contrary to its solemn commitment in the Manila Agreement. When Soekarno started his "confrontation" against Malaysia, Manila reduced its representation in Kuala Lumpur to consular level.


The claim was relegated to the sidelines when it became entangled within the wider context of the Republic of Indonesia's "confrontation" with Malaysia and the Sukarno regime's threat to resort to military means to crush the fledgling nation. Upon termination of the confrontation, the dispute over Sabah was carried to Bangkok, where bilateral negotiations aimed at its resolution were abruptly aborted. In the United Nation's General Assembly, the disputants exchanged contentious charges and countercharges.


Various unsuccessful efforts were made to reconcile Philippines and Malaysia until the two finally agreed to restore full diplomatic relations in June 1966. Ironically, President Ferdinand Marcos recognised the formation of Malaysia, after he took over political power in the Philippines.


With the inception of the five-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), there was a tacit agreement between Malaysia and the Philippines that the issue be shelved in the interest of regional solidarity, and they agreed that it should be finally resolved through Asean.


In March 1967, the Philippine government was invited to send observers to witness the first direct elections in Sabah, but Manila refused on the ground that this might prejudice its position on the claim. The refusal did not, however, impede the participation of the Philippines and Malaysia in the formation of Asean in August 1967, and the following January President Marcos and his wife paid a state visit to Kuala Lumpur.


But deterioration in bilateral ties, again involving Sabah, led to a rupture in relations in 1969. The Philippines's institutionalisation of the claim through enactment of Republic Act 5546, incorporating Sabah as part of the territory of the Philippines, triggered Malaysian suspension of diplomatic ties. However, in the spirit of regional cooperation, relations were restored on Dec 16, 1969, during Asean's third ministerial conference.


***Dr Paridah Abd Samad is a former lecturer at UiTM Shah Alam and IIUM Gombak

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

WANG UNTUK KECEMASAN!


Oleh: Irfan Khairi
Minggu lepas ketika saya memberi ceramah kekayaan di sebuat intitusi pengajian tinggi dan satu soalan yang diajukan oleh pelajar kepada saya adalah "En Irfan Khairi, apakah yang dilakukan dengan sejuta ringgit pertama yang diperolehi?"
Teringat saya lebih 10 tahun lalu bila pendapatan perniagaan Internet saya mencecah RM1,000,000. Untuk memperolehi untung sebegitu bukannya mudah, dan mengambil masa lebih 2 tahun juga. Oleh kerana mengenangkan masa dan tenaga yang telah dilaburkan untuk mencapai keuntungan sebegitu adalah tinggi, amat sukar untuk saya belanjakan secara boros.
Walau bagaimanapun, jawapan kepada soalan yang diajukan oleh pelajar tersebut dapat menjelaskan prinsip kewangan yang amat penting. Jawapan saya, "Saya membeli sebuah kereta tempatan kecil dan sebuah apartment kecil secara tunai"
Mengapa yang kecil sahaja dan tidak yang besar? Itulah silapnya ramai usahawan kita. Bila mendapat durian runtuh, terus membeli kereta mewah dan rumah yang indah. Pastinya, membeli secara berhutang dengan bayaran ansuran bank bulanan yang tinggi. Yang penting, standard mesti kena jaga supaya orang lihat kita nampak gah!
Tetapi, berkali-kali saya terdengar kisah usahawan yang hutang keliling pinggang oleh kerana ingin tampil hebat cuma, apabila perniagaan gagal, kereta kena tarik, rumah kena lelong. 
Amat penting untuk kita melindungi diri kita terlebih dahulu. Mengapa saya membeli kereta kecil dan apartment kecil? Oleh kerana ingin melindungi diri dan keluarga sekiranya rezeki tidak berpihak pada diri saya, dan perniagaan gagal, sekurang-kurangnya sudah ada kereta dan rumah- walaupun kecil!
Prinsip kewangan yang disebutkan adalah untuk melindungi diri kita daripada apa jua kecemasan yang mungkin berlaku. Dalam hidup, malang tidak berbau. Berbagai-bagai perkara boleh terjadi yang akan mengakibatkan masalah kewangan. Tugas kita yang pertama sekali adalah melindungi diri kita.
Pastikan kita mempunyai simpanan kecemasan yang boleh digunakan sekiranya sesuatu terjadi. Berapa banyakkah simpanan kecemasan yang diperlukan? Jawapannya adalah, hitung perbelanjaan bulanan anda, dan gandakan dengan 6. Angka tersebut adalah simpanan kecemasan minima yang perlu anda miliki. Sekiranya perbelanjaan bulanan anda adalah RM1,300, maka simpanan kecemasan anda perlu ada adalah sekurang-kurangnya RM7,800. 

Berapakah jumlah simpanan kecemasan anda kini? Sekiranya tidak mencapai 6 bulan perbelanjaan anda, anda adalah dalam keadaan yang amat merbahaya!


Friday, December 14, 2012

RM100 to clean a Proton Satria!

One Sunday I decided to get my newly painted yellow Satria cleaned because grey streaks had began to form on the sides of the car.  I planned to send it to this car wash in Sek. 7 Bandar Baru Bangi because of its location which is opposite Restoran Hasan which is famous for its ayam kampong goreng.

Soon as I drove into this car wash, one of the staff appeared asking for a minute to demonstrate his service.  I was hesitant but he was persistent.  So, he smeared some liquid on the hood and wiped vigorously.  This went on four times and the result was a square patch of shiny yellow.

I told the guy that I only wanted a regular wash and did not plan on spending more than RM10 on getting the Satria cleaned.  He explained that they don't do regular wash at weekends.  They only do packaged service!  It was then quite late for lunch and I was starving.  I also did have a few other things to get from the shops nearby. So, I chose the cheapest package they had, i.e. RM40 for washing and something to do with "nano" that's supposed to remove any odour in the car.

After about half an hour later, after I've completed all the task that needed done, I went back to the car wash to collect my car.  I was very shocked to find that the car did not look like its been cleaned and there's this square patch on the hood.  To top it all the interior was NOT odourless as the service claimed!  I was very angry and demanded to see the towkey.  I told the staff I'm not going to pay.  He pursuaded me to wait for his towkey to return.  I told him I'll give him 10 minutes.

The towkey did return and I told him off for the quality of service offered.  I paid him RM40 and told myself to never again go to this particular car wash.  I was still pissed off so I went to another car wash in Warta.  I spent another RM60 on wash and polish.  It was well spent because the car was then really cleaned.