Monday, October 15

Burung murai...

Tak banyak iklan khidmat masyarakat tahun ini berbanding dengan tahun-tahun sebelum ini, tapi Petronas yang cukup tersohor dengan iklan-iklan yang selalu membawa mesej penyedaran kembali dengan iklan yang cukup menyentuh hati...

Today - 2007

(Ayah duduk di luar rumah ketika waktu makan, bermenungan...)

Anak mengeluh tapi bersapa dengan lembut: "Abah, kenapa ni? Jom kita naik makan..."

(Bunyi burung berkicauan)

Ayah dengan ceria: "Burung ape tu nak?"
Anak tersengih: "Burung murai."

Ayah dengan selamba: "Burung ape?"
Anak mula rasa meluat lantaran menjawab dengan laju: "Burung murai, Bah."

Ayah 'testing' sekali lagi: "Burung ape?"
Anak: "Burung murai."

Ayah buat muka lawak: "Burung ape'"?"
Anak dah tunjuk muka meluat betul: "Abah, Abah ni tak dengar ke buat-buat tak dengar? Apa lagi yang Abah nak saya cakapkan? Burung murai, burung murai tu bah.

Ayah tersenyum sambil menyerahkan coretan arwah ibu si Anak: "Nah, kau baca apa yang mak kau tulis..."

(Anak menyambut dan membelek buku nota berjudul - Kenanganku - Milik Salmah)


26 JUN 1976

Ibu mengenangkan rasa bahagia memerhatikan bagaimana si Ayah tak jemu-jemu, malah begitu ceria sekali melayan karenah si Anak yang melontarkan soalan yang sama, berulang-ulang kali:

Anak: "Bah, ni burung apa ni Bah?
Ayah: "Burung murai...

Anak: "Burung ape?
Ayah: "Burung murai nama dia...

Anak: "Burung ape?
Ayah: "Burung murai, sayang...

Anak: "Burung ape?
Ayah: "Burung murai, man..."

(berulang-ulang kali sambil mengembalikan burung murai yang terjatuh semasa cuba terbang kembali ke sarangnya.)

Anak tersentuh dan terus sedar keangkuhannya dan terus memohon kemaafan daripada si Ayah.

Selamat Hari Raya AidilFitri, Maaf Zahir & Batin...

OK, dah abis bulan puasa ni, jangan sambung memurai pulak. cakap baik2 na.... don't play2.


Sedang saya promosikan video-video YouTube ini, saya nak war-warkan projek berkaitan terbaru saya dengan Pusat Penyelidikan Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) di bawah skim geran Universiti Penyelidikan (RU) untuk mengkomersilkan produk-produk kajian staf-staf dan pelajar-pelajar USM. Nantikan pengumuman tentang hasil kerjasama ini tak lama lagi.... Kalau semuanya berjalan lancar, ada sesuatu yang menarik bakal lahir dari industri ICT Malaysia untuk kemanfaatan sejagat. Doakanlah kejayaan kami, kejayaan Malaysia!

Saturday, October 13

Eid Mubarak from Balik Pulau...

A heartfelt Eid holidays greeting to all Muslims in Malaysia and elsewhere - may you have a festive celebrations and safe travel.... Congratulations for completing the full month of Ramadhan fasting!

Here's me today after trying tons of Penang delicacies (eg. nasi minyak, mee rebus, satay etc) and specialized drinks (eg. cendol, bandung, teh tarek) with Dato' Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya, Parliamentary Secretary to the' Finance Ministry of Malaysia, who's the local assemblyman for and from my town, Balik Pulau -- see, I'm about his height (but I'm with a much larger size of course!):

And our Malay traditional outfit (for men) looks comfy enough like pajamas -- we Malays indeed sometimes sleep wearing it, minus the 'kain samping' (skirt-type adornment that's worn during various events, both formal and casual).

The joint-venture 'open house' event was held at Balik Pulau Sports Complex, and hosted by three elected officials -- Puan Siti Faridah binti Arshad (ADUN for Teluk Bahang) and Encik Muhamad Farid bin Saad (ADUN for Pulau Betong) along with Dato' Seri Hilmi (also a former ADUN for Teluk Bahang).

BTW, a Malaysian citizen has been officially in space as of this week! After two days of rocket jetting, one of the first two Malaysian astronauts, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar reached the International Space Station along with fellow crews and astronauts from Russia and the USA on Eid night (the evening before Eid Day), as televised live last night. How many countries can claim that? Now, anything's possible -- not even space can be a limit!

If you have a dream, work on it. I know I will. See you when you get there... (ciplak daripada Coolio)

Salam Muhibbah,

Nasir Sobri
Country Manager,
Pajamanation Malaysia.

Friday, October 5

The future pajamanation...

We've been a bit slow in completing the next platform, but I can assure you that it's in progress, and we're hard at work at it....

Here's the screen clip preview:

The country managers are beta-testing it, and developers will continue improving it...

Thursday, October 4

Paypal Malaysia.... and in 190+ countries...

One of the major reasons being cited as a hindrance towards e-commerce in Malaysia is lack of micropayment facility for online transactions, and most of the times, Paypal as one of the most popular payment service (up to becoming a de facto standard, world wide!) , gets mentioned as not being supported locally. Well, you can now move that Paypal excuse aside aside, finally...

And you can skip those e-books given out for free or retailed for a price (~US$3-$10) recommending all kind of tricks that soon or later no longer work or simply too much of a hassle to pursue in the first place -- like:-
  • opening an etrade stock brokerage account in USA or Hong Kong
  • opening a bank account in countries like US, France, Singapore, Thailand etc
  • getting a virtual office complete with mail forwarding and Paypal account assistance in those countries
  • opening some tricky prepaid card account through a local provider
  • use friends or third party service to withdraw money (disallowed by Paypal).
  • and the list goes on...
GOOD NEWS: You've long able to send/receive Paypal fund, and withdraw those cash into a US bank account or used aforementioned tricks resulting in a slight progressive improvements in e-commerce in Malaysia these late couple years indeed. Now, you can now withdraw to a credit, debit, or prepaid card too, in the following countries too (in addition to 28 other countries that also support withdrawal to a local bank or receiving a cheque):-
  1. Bulgaria
  2. Cyprus
  3. Estonia
  4. Gibraltar
  5. Iceland
  6. Indonesia
  7. Israel
  8. Latvia
  9. Liechtenstein
  10. Lithuania
  11. Luxembourg
  12. Malaysia
  13. Malta
  14. Philippines
  15. Romania
  16. San Marino
  17. Slovakia
  18. Slovenia
  19. Turkey
  20. United Arab Emirates
With China, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia being in the Paypal-ready countries list today, look forward for a spike in online commerce in Asia from this year on.

Getting a credit card, debit, or prepaid card

CREDIT: It's no longer hard to get one or more credit cards in Malaysia today. With so many banks issuing these privileges, many people with a monthly salary above RM1,500 and with a decent credit history can already collect quite a handful of VISA and Mastercards from various banks. Even those with a bad credit history, but an active credit account (like buying a car etc, if you've been eligible in the first place) can still get those cards. If you're jumping from an employment to a self-employment, unless if you have a decent amount of money in the bank, make sure you obtain the cards first because banks don't like to give credit out to self-employed or freelancers. The good thing about these cards are their acceptance by the most merchants throughout the world compared to other cards and depending on the cards issuers, you may also use the 0% interest flexi-payment plan to spread your payments into 6 to 24 months.

DEBIT: If you cannot get a credit card, or refuse to get one, try a debit card. Here, they are normally called VISA electron (a sister to a VISA debit cards issued in US, Canada and Australia). Banks like Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN Matrix - about three millions in circulation in the country) and Public Bank (PB VISA Electron) offers them. Just open a regular savings account and request for one. The benefits of these cards are your potential to earn money-back (small but something is better than nothing) and an interest in your savings account (if applicable). Just be careful though, as with such an easy access to your money in the bank to be spent on shopping both online and offline, the temptations is as good if not greater than using credit cards. But Public Bank for instance allows you to restrict such free flow of cash from your savings or current account into its debit card, and BSN allows you to put a limit on daily spending for your card. Some online merchants however, especially foreign ones however does not accept these debit cards, which is where Paypal comes handy because it's accepted at over 100,000 online sites worldwide, plus by millions other Paypal users. On the other hands, some offline merchants prefer these debit cards due to its lower fees (under 1%) compared to credit cards (~3% and up).

PREPAID: The third alternative, a growingly popular one lately is Prepaid Mastercard by banks like Ambank (NextG), EON Bank (Impian and MOL Freedom - in partnership with MOL Accessportal Bhd) and Bank Islam (Tourist Friend). Even Tune Money is working to come up with their own Prepaid VISA soon. These can be loaded with cash up to RM10,000 through mail, FPX (bank transfer), MMwallet (mobile money), Pospay (Pos Malaysia) and at respective banks or participating retailers like 7-Eleven & Onepoint/ePay/MrKiosk outlets. Most of these cards carry a nominal annual fee (RM20-40/year but is normally waived if you'd use your card more than 12 times a year). A little setback is the joining/startup fee (RM25-38) but considering you'd be getting benefits like a Personal Accident coverage (if applicable), such fees sound reasonable. The most recent development on using these prepaid cards to receive money is MOL SafePay system that happens to be the closest we have in Malaysia for an online escrow service (at considerably low fee of just RM2 or 2% of transaction amount whichever is higher), which looks promising having been integrated with eBay auction site for Malaysia.

Ready for e-commerce now? So, what do you think about local contenders in custom consumer e-payment solutions like Pospay, MMwallet, and MOL Freedom? Do you use them or do you plan to use them?

[future topic: a review on past, present and future of e-payment systems....]

Monday, October 1

Orang kita tak banyak membaca?

Fakta dalam nombor:-
  • RM1.5B - nilai industri buku di Malaysia (lebih kecil daripada pasaran ayam pedaging)
  • RM27 - purata perbelanjaan untuk membeli bahan bacaan sebulan (kurang daripada kos harian akhbar)
  • 1.98 juta - jumlah pembaca Harian Metro (akhbar tabloid), mengatasi pesaing akhbar arus perdana termasuk Berita Harian (1.22 juta), Berita Minggu (1.45 J), Mingguan Malaysia (1.85 J)
  • 6,500 - judul bukul diterbitkan setahun (kurang daripada 20 sehari) - kurang separuh daripada jumlah yang sewajarnya.
  • 3,000 - jumlah cetakan bulanan untuk majalah Jurnal Pemikir
  • 1,000 - jumlah cetakan untuk buku ilmu.
  • 70% - peratus buku diterbitkan dalam bidang pendidikan (bandingkan dengan 70% buku bacaan awam di Korea Selatan)
  • 7% - peratus buku yang dibeli dibaca sepenuhnya. Lebih 40% langsung tak baca buku-buku tersebut.
  • 6 - bilangan pembaca untuk setiap edaran akhbar berbahasa Melayu, sekurang-kurangnya dua kali lebih banyak untuk akhbar berbahasa Cina atau Inggeris.
  • 3 - bilangan tahun untuk menjual 2,000 cetakan novel serius.
  • 1.5 - bilangan mukasurat buku dibaca oleh rakyat Malaysia setahun secara purata!!
  • 1% - sasaran jualan untuk majalah kepada remaja berumur 15 tahun ke bawah (7.6 juta orang).
Apa sudah jadi? Datuk Johan Jaafar menggesa cadangan untuk penambahbaikan nasib penerbitan berbahasa Melayu...

Hmm..., kalau tabiat membaca kurang, kerajinan menulis pula macam mana?

Ada sesiapa tahu kajian untuk budaya penulisan dikalangan rakyat Malaysia? Untuk yang kurang berminat menulis kerana gusar kurang hasil pendapatan, ketahuilah ramai penulis-penulis di Malaysia hari ini boleh menjanakan pendapatan melebihi RM10,000 sebulan hanya dengan menulis di laman blog atau memasarkan buku digital (ebook) mereka.

Tak reti menulis dengan bahasa yang elok? Penulis blog berbahasa Inggeris yang saya temui di pertemuan Webmasters Malaysia di Pulau Pinang baru-baru ini mendedahkan pendapatan melebihi RM7,000 dalam masa dua minggu dengan penulisan yang caca marba tatahabasanya - kata orang kita ("Manglish").

Takut tak cukup pasaran untuk penulisan berbahasa Melayu? Banyak terbitan buku digital dan laman blog begitu laris dan popular tampaknya, walaupun berbahasa Melayu sepenuhnya. Sekurang-kurang, orang kita rajin membeli walaupun tak rajin membaca... ;) -- lihat nombor 7% di atas.

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