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Internet: The Democratic Offense

We haven’t written anything for a while now. Why? Because it’s been crazy. It is chaos across all platforms of the media. The world is filled with landmines. From the Israel-Gaza situation, MH370 and MH17 all the way to the Commonwealth, local politics, KIDEX and the ever controversial Brazil World Cup.

There are hundreds of thousands, millions, maybe even billions of people talking and saying things on the net. Some of them ridiculous, some of them intelligent and some of them controversial.

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Now that’s democracy.

And it is a beautiful thing to see people uniting to a common cause under these issues and pledging their allegiance to a particular side of each issue. There is a policing system in the works here. People are educating each other and improving the communication system of the Internet by empowering each individual speaker. Simply put, everybody’s learning from each other. Even if it’s by force.

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Behind every unjust act committed by a/an organization, body, movement, party or government, there will be the ones who oppose. If the cause is just, it will gain momentum and create pressure on the people involved. Boycotts, Trolling and shares. It scares big organizations to see when the public unite against them. The internet is proving to be a useful check and balance against injustice in the world. Why is this you ask? Because the internet represents public opinion, and public opinion decides how much money they make.

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And then there was the steering lock incident, followed by many others. For a long time now, the people’s voice has been silenced. They were quiet when they saw somebody being intolerable. They were quiet when they saw cruelty. The concept of community was slowly fading.

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It’s back, even though it’s taken on a different mantle. No longer would you see somebody verbally reprimanding an act in public. The next thing you know, you’re viral. Peer pressure takes on a new meaning when it involves hundreds of thousands of people at the least. It’s a stronger deterrence, which can be a good thing, but it can also be very dangerous. With democratic justice comes a brand of vigilantes and zealots who tend to take things too far. However, as with everything on the internet, we leave the judgement of this issue up to you.

How To : Bela Jambang.. LIKE A MAN!!

Yes. I said it. Those of you clean shaven boys can beat it.

I’M KIDDING.

Different people right?  So what am i going to write about today? I’m going to write about how to grow your beard and make sure it looks good. I’ll be providing images on the most popular beard styles, care methods, matching hairstyles and other tips.

But first let’s get down to why beards are so cool.

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Why Are Beards So Bad-Ass?

There’s something about facial hair that appeals to us. It’s a self grown male fashion accessory. We can’t wear ribbons on our hair and put on lipstick. But We can Grow A BEARD! Guys will do it even if their SOs try and stop them, so they’re not doing it to look purrty. It’s more like we’re doing it to appeal to our inner manly Lumberjack/Biker for some reason. Anyways, I can’t think of a better reason. Beards are cool. It just is.

Growing A  Beard

If you thought growing a beard was going to easy, you may leave. This is because growing one is extremely difficult, time consuming and requires more discipline than you originally thought.  So Let’s Start.

1. Keep It Neat

The one rule to growing a beard is to keep your cheek line and neck line neat. This is so you don’t get self conscious during the start of the growing period. It’s going to look and feel awkward. Keeping your hair short and well groomed while always shaving the neck and cheek line lets people know that you didn’t forget to shave.

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2. Keep It Clean

Shampoo, moisturizer and facial cleansers are essential because you wanna keep your face as healthy as possible to clear out the blocked hair follicles. This also helps distribution of the beard.

3. It’s Going To Take Ages

Be patient. If you want to grow a full beard, it will take up to 5 months before it starts to show its potential. If you’re looking for a scruff, you might have to experiment a number of times until you can grow one without patches or bald beard spots. It will be worth it, trust me.

4. Grow It Before You Shape It

Keep your neck line low and cheek line high to allow for more modifications in the future. You never know what style suits you until you grow out your beard.

5. Keep your hair neat lookin’

Your beard is going to seem 100x more messy in your head if your hair is long and messy too. If you want to keep a beard, keeping your hair neat shows you’re in control and limits your messiness.

 

Beard Styles

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So let’s debunk this korean pretty boy myth once and for all and show the world how awesome facial hair is. #realmenhavebeards . Ah well, at least we try. 

Kickass Tuesdays: The Lego Movie (2014)

Introduction

If you never played with Legos as a kid, there is something wrong with you. The magical multicolored blocks that allows you to translate your dreams into reality. No Ipads back then right? So when i saw the trailer for The Lego Movie, I couldn’t help but be shake in my seat for the next two weeks until i could see it! Anyways, I’m going to write a full review that is actually a set of brainwashing series of texts that’s designed to get you to watch this MOVIE!!

 

Synopsis

An ordinary guy named Emmet (Chris Pratt) is mistaken as being the Master Builder, the one who can save the universe. With the aid of an old mystic Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), a tough young lady named Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), and Batman (Will Arnett), Emmet will fight to defeat the evil tyrant Lord Business (Will Ferrell) who is bent on destroying the universe by gluing it together. With characters like Batman and Spaceman, you’re gonna be laughing your ass off for the entirety of the movie.

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Critic

I know it seems like a cartoon for a child (and you’re a big boy now right? ;)) but this is not the case. The Lego movie is actually a comedy that is enjoyed better as an adult. While it is called The Lego Movie, the movie hides a tear-jerking session that is not drawn out by LEGOs but real HUMANS! The movie forces you to look back into your time as a child playing innocently while not understanding the world of adults around you. Even if you’re not interested in that, watch The LEGO Movie for the barrel of laughs that come with it. The strength of this movie is the sheer ridiculous conversations that happens throughout the movie. 

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Notes

If you want to be pleasantly surprised, watch The Lego Movie. If you want to laugh your guts out, watch The Lego Movie. If you’re stressed, watch The Lego Movie. If you’re happy, well, you get it already. Anyways, have fun watching the movie. Yes, the brainwashing is complete. MUAHAHAHAHA! :p

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My Top 5 Songs Of The 90s

Well, no one can say that the 90s was not one of the most glorious decades in the music industry. Going back to the roots of the Top 5 (High Fidelity), I’m going to give you my Top 5 for the 90s, because the songs in the 90s shaped my childhood and i feel like taking a walk down memory lane. The rain does that to me. So here you go. My top 5 for today. Not of all time. I have a million songs i would put in the list, but for today, these songs describe what I’m feeling perfectly. :) Enjoy

5. Radiohead – Creep

4. Sixpence None The Richer – Kiss Me

3. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Under The Bridge

2. Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way

1. Foo Fighters – Learn to Fly

How To Dress Dapper (Although It's Ridiculously Hot In Malaysia)

Us men wants to dress nice too, or dapper as according to this picture below. But we’re too lazy to do it. But i’ve been getting a severe case of wannawearasuititis lately. So to those of you with the same affliction, feel free to suit up. I’ll keep saving up.

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The truth is we’re not that bothered by the weather. However, if you’re the armpit stain kind of guy or don’t have enough chump change, feel free to simplify your style. Want a suggestion?

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Kickass Movie Review : One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

My favorite word for the week is “romance”, though not in the way you would think of it. Don’t think romantic comedies. Think heroism and writing using a typewriter. That kind of romanticism. Anyways, nothing screams romanticism more than this movie right here. Without arguments Jack Nicholson’s best character, i think you would enjoy seeing Jack in his younger rebel self. For those of you not familiar with his acting skills, get familiar. 

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Synopsis

McMurphy has a criminal past and has once again gotten himself into trouble with the law. To escape labor duties in prison, McMurphy pleads insanity and is sent to a ward for the mentally unstable. Once here, McMurphy both endures and stands witness to the abuse and degradation of the oppressive Nurse Ratched, who gains superiority and power through the flaws of the other inmates. McMurphy and the other inmates band together to make a rebellious stance against the atrocious Nurse. The line between insanity and reality is expertly blurred through the portrayals of the actors.

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Critique

Now this movie might seem slow to some, but that’s because it’s one that you need to savor. The movie is a real movie where the hero is also the villain and McMurphy’s character has that gritty bad boy feel to him. This movie combines a strong story line, powerful acting by great actors (Danny Devito and Chirstopher Lloyd) and powerful scenes. If you liked Patch Adams and Good Will Hunting you would love this movie. If you’ve never watched the two, you’re wasting your time watching the movies you’re watching now.

Recognize this guy?

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Kickass Movie Quotes

 Tagline – If He’s Crazy, What Are You?

‘Get out of my way, son, you’re usin my oxygen’ – McMurphy

‘But I Tried, Didn’t I? Goddamnit, at least i did that’ – McMurphy

I’m not just talking about my wife, I’m talking about my LIFE, I can’t seem to get that through to you. I’m not just talking about one person, I’m talking about everybody. I’m talking about form. I’m talking about content. I’m talking about interrelationships. I’m talking about God, the devil, Hell, Heaven. Do you understand… FINALLY? – Harding

 

The Porcine Problem : Cadbury Is Halal (Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan)

Let’s not beat around the bush anymore. It was a confusing time for everybody in the country. Muslims and Non Muslims alike, everybody was reading and giving opinions and comments and critics. Let’s get one thing straight: You Should! Whenever an issue comes up, it’s important to get dialogues out and strive to be informed about what is happening in the country. I’m here to tell you that the issue has been resolved. No, Cadbury Chocolate is NOT HARAM. No, Cadbury should NOT be boycotted. Relax fellow Muslims, keep the mud water and blood transfusion kits in your bags and breathe a sigh of relief. 

This is because the Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan has issued a statement saying that the Chocolates are not Haram. Why? Because it happened outside of the manufacturer’s control. It was a contamination. For all we know, it could’ve been a sabotage.

Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Fatwa Majlis Kebangsaan Profesor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Abdul Shukor Husin berkata ia termasuk dalam kategori keadaan ‘Umum al-Balwa’, iaitu keadaan musibah atau kesukaran yang berleluasa dan sukar dielak.

“Dalam kes produk siap diproses dan telah dipasarkan kepada pengguna yang pada asasnya telah dihasilkan melalui pemprosesan serta menggunakan bahan-bahan yang suci dan halal, dan juga telah disahkan sebagai HALAL tetapi kemudian didapati telah berlaku kontaminasi DNA babi pada sebahagian produk (kelompok tertentu sahaja), maka dalam keadaan ini, Muzakarah telah memutuskan bahawa ia adalah dikategorikan sebagai ‘Umum al-Balwa'” -Bernama

To understand the details, please read the article issued by Bernama at this link : CLICK HERE .

I know a lot of people would disagree, but Islam as a religion is not an oppressive and unreasonable religion, quick to pass judgement and sentence an individual or corporation. By that extension, Muslims shouldn’t be either. However, the situation we have been seeing is not so. Muslims have been demanding for boycotts and Non Muslims have been criticizing and ridiculing these minorities. While we’re busy pointing fingers at our neighbors, understand that we now have serious problems of our own. Racial Unity is a thing of the past. We call for an abolishment of race based political parties and we yell bloody murder at racists but religion and race are the two things that constantly makes headlines.  If we want it, better act like we deserve it. Show that we’re ready for it.

Make a conscious effort to try and educate the people around you to be more tolerant and increase understanding about each other. No matter what religion you belong to. Muslims are not the only ones being dismissive. It’s an epidemic of ignorance. 

How To: Go Shopping!

Today we’re going to go through a step by step process on how to go shopping. You’ll go “But I know how to Shop! That’s one thing I’m sure I know how to do.” We’re gonna talk about how to reduce impulse shopping and buying things you’ll wear once before you throw it into the dustbin. These are some cool shopping tips for those of you who wants to make full use of your money to make sure you look good. 

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Step 1 What Do You Want To Buy? 

Identify the things you want the most. Think about it and only buy the things you’re planning to use this month. If you’re shopping for a dinner two months from now, chances are you’ll find another suit/dress that looks way better by then. Then you’ll curse yourself and that “new” dress/suit will look so ugly you’d never put it on again.

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Step 2 Research Type

Look up the samples and pictures of the type of dress/suit you’re looking for. This is to help you get a clear idea of what you want instead of spending hours and hours window shopping that ends with you buying something completely unrelated out of frustration. 

Step 3 Research Malls

Locate the mall that has the brands you like. Plan which shops you’re planning to go to and leave room for about 3 more. 

Step 4 Browsing and Testing

The next step is to look at all the ones that appeal to you and compare prices. It’s not about buying the cheapest one. It’s about getting one with the best value. 

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Step 5 Don’t be Lonely

Come on, Shop while you spend time with somebody you should be spending time with. Ask a close friend, SO, sibling so you can make the most of that time. 

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Notes

I know this seems basic, but it’s important you keep this in mind. This will help eliminate the clutter in your closet, keep your wallet/purse thick and guide you on spending shopping time productively.I know all of you girls know I’m a guy, but this helps too right? 😛

Our Backyard: GST 101

What Is GST? 

Goods & Service Tax (GST) is a taxation system to broaden and significantly improve the current SST ( Sales & Service Tax). GST will replace the SST by April 1, 2015. GST is a tax on domestic consumption. It is charged and accounted for at a rate of 6%. It is charged on goods and services that are supplied in Malaysia and imports. 

GST is collected by traders and businesses who has registered with the Customs. For importation, GST is collected by the Malaysian Customs at the point of importation. 

 

A majority of countries have also implemented GST around the world. Like them, Malaysia has also taken the step to exempt a certain category of goods and services from the GST. The exempted goods and services will be explained in “How Does It Work” segment below.  

 

How Does It Work? 

GST, once implemented, will be split into three categories. 

 

1) Standard Rated Order (6%) 

6% flat rate charged on goods and services other than those listed in Zero-rated supply and Exempt Supplies  Order. Input tax is claimable. upon payment of output tax. 

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2. Zero Rated Order (0% GST)

 

In this order, GST is not applicable on all levels, which means no GST for the following categories:

1) Basic Foods: Rice, sugar, poultry, eggs, fish, prawn, meat, mutton, vegetables and etc.

2) Utilities: 300 units a month to residential users (Electricity and etc)

3) Supply of treated water to domestic users

4) Exported Goods and Services

5) Port and Airport Services

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3. Exempt Supply Order (0% Output tax, Input tax non claimable)

The Exempt Supply Order applies to:

1) Healthcare Service

2) Education Service

3) Childcare Service

4) Passenger Transport Services

5) Toll

6) Financial Services

7) Land For Agriculture/ Residential Use

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Why GST? 

GST is implemented because of two basic ideas. The first one is to overcome the weaknesses in SST while the second one is to enable a more comprehensive and transparent taxation system. 

 

Weakness Of SST

1) Double taxation

2)Easy to Defraud

3) Collection Of taxes not as projected

4) Not transparent

5) Narrow tax base

6) Tax embedded in goods exported

7)cascading effect due to multiple tax 

8) pyramiding effect

 

Advantages to GST 

1) Self policing 

2) Transparent ( Charged at Every Level and Seen in Invoice)

3)Makes it harder for corporations to transfer the taxation costs to the people

4)Efficient Implementation and Collection

 

The Price That We Must Pay

Compared to the SST, GST has a lower rate ( 6%). So in an ideal world, we would be enjoying a significant decrease in the amount of money we spend. However, we also have to be realistic. The cost for companies to implement this taxation system will be taken into account. Compliance software, registration, fines, rising electricity for non residential areas and upgrading to products that are GST compliant would mean a possible increase in prices for several categories. It is however, not a price hike that cannot be afforded by the Malaysian citizens. We are, realistically, looking at a small price hike for several products. A majority of it will be absorbed by the large difference of rates between the GST and the SST.

The first thing we have to consider is that spotlight must be on how the corporations will deal with GST. If they act responsibly, we will be able to enjoy a much better economic environment than we have ever had. Any unfair hikes in prices could be dealt with. This is why we have consumer associations and other kinds of bodies.

The second thing is that we can clearly see that the GST will enable the government to have more resources at their disposal. With the implementation of this system that increases their revenue, they will be more liable to create more infrastructures and be more answerable to the people. Getting more people to pay their taxes would make the country contribute more to the government, and that allows the people to expect to see bigger changes and more significant improvements in the country. 

 

Comments & Critics

The time has come for Malaysians to grow up. The difference between an armchair critic and an active participant and citizen of the country is the knowledge we have. The more informed we are, the more we can strive to improve conditions. In this modern age where information is at our fingertips, it is too much of a waste to be ignorant.

Read up. Validate. Provide constructive criticisms. Be intelligent and reasonable in rebukes and rebuttals. Educate others. Let’s not point fingers and blame while we do nothing but talk. Let’s work together to make this country a better place.

Information and a deeper understanding of GST came from interviewing the following persons:

 

 

 

 

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Jacob Kumar is a professional with over 21 years of experience in finance, accounting, administration and operations. Jacob has strong technical knowledge and management skills obtained through experience in working different multinational industries. He has attended a number of courses on GST organized by the Royal Malaysian Customs.

Jacob Kumar is currently the Principal Manager specializing in GST. He is actively involved in numerous GST implementations for large and small enterprises. He has also been to Taiwan, India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, France, Netherlands and USA and is well versed in VAT of the respective countries in his capacity as APAC Financial Controller in a leading multinational company.

Jacob Kumar has conducted various public seminars and in-house training on GST mechanism and implementation. Jacob is also a certified accounting and finance manager (FCAM, UK).

 

Richarichardrd William is the founder and lead partner of RW William, a chartered  accounting firm based in Petaling Jaya with branches and affiliates in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Seremban and Johor Bahru.With over 23 years of extensive experience in audit assurance and corporate advisory, Richard has advised local and international clients across a broad range of industries – including financial services, consumer products, industrial products, real estate, and oil and gas amongst others.

Richard has been actively involved in advising various clients in GST Mechanism, Concept and Implementation since mid 2013. He has conducted various in house training for clients on GST matters. He has successfully completed the GST Training module and exam conducted by the Customs Malaysia.

He is a member of The Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA), Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA), Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia (CTIM) and Institute of Internal Auditors of Malaysia (IIAM).

 

To contact RW William, the chartered accounting firm, please visit www.rwwilliam.com.my for their established services.

 

 

Top 5: Toys Of All Time

Well, the one thing kids will forever have in common are toys. Toys are the things you use to entertain yourself and communicate with others. It’s a common ground. it’s a tool to reach out when we didn’t have pick up lines or the ability to hold a conversation. Kids talk about the things that delighted them the most. So we decided to make a top 5 toys of all time. What’s your favorite toy? 

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5. Nintendo 

Nintendo consoles, ranging from Wii to the Gameboy is a modern form of toy. Those were the days when kids would immerse themselves in mario and pokemon. Trading Pokemon, exchanging cheat codes and competing to see who could do it the fastest. These games may be electronic, but the relationships we owe them were completely real.  

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3. Monopoly

We all secretly love board games. We all secretly want to crush the other players in the game so badly they admit to your superiority. We all take it too far. For a game that was created to teach us simple economics, this game sure brings out the worst in us sometimes. Well, it’s still addictive though. It did teach me how to be a sore loser though. 

 

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3. Bicycle

This is a classic. Bikes are the first form of vehicle you get your hands on. Feeling the wind pushing your hair back, the thrill of speed and the customization to your bike, you somehow think that the bicycle is an extension of yourself. Your bike was part of your identity. It’s like a mechanical horse isn’t it? Hey ho Silver!! 

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2. Lego 

Who can forget lego? This awesome invention, for me, was a mini movie in the works. I would build buildings, characters, vehicles and monsters so i can produce a movie in my mind and act it out. Lego gives you the ability to invent anything you want. Imagination runs wild in a child. Having the means to exercise gave me more good than i thought at the time. 

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1. Stick

Never underestimate the stick. Cheap and versatile, you can transform a single piece of dead plant into a sword, bow, gun and even a tractor. If you’ve never had fun with a stick, you’re missing out. Something as simple as clashing sticks with a friend can turn you into Darth Vader and Luke in your mind. If you still don’t see the value of this fantastic toy i leave you with one word. Slingshots, or as we say here in Malaysia, Lastik. Well, that’s not one word isn’t it? 

 

At the end of the day, it’s not about the toys. I bet you got that from reading everything i wrote above. It’s about imagination. Kids today have an excess of stimuli and need to nothing to add onto the amazing experience they’re already getting from modern games. It leaves less to the imagination. It’s their loss. We, however, cannot forget to exercise the little buggers we have inside us. Imagination is what allows us to see beyond what we have already achieved and the mistakes we’ve made before. Don’t be a bored little critic. Be an optimistic curious eager doer. In other words, be a kid. Growing up is subjective. 

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