When Scandal and Crisis are thicker than Stocks

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Jun 23 2008
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Whoa! I was out of town for a short break and when I came back there were so many happenings, not the same type of happenings you get during clubbing mind you. Some friends suggested we should try one more round of cheap foods before it disappears thanks to the recent 41 percent fuel hike. At first we thought of Penang food but we concluded that despite the tasty foods the prices are no longer cheap not to mention the shrunk portion. So we ended up in Ipoh, a town you can consider if you desire peaceful retirement because the houses and foods are still cheap, relatively. Not sure if it was the fuel hike effect but the journey was exceptionally smooth along the PLUS highway.

We tried Dim Sum at Fu-shan restaurant because it was highly recommended although some said the best is still at Ming Court. All the tables were almost full when we reached there at about 10:30am. Frankly there’s nothing to shout about but then I was comparing with Dim Sum from Concorde Hotel’s Xin Cuisine (I missed the Dim Sum Sifu who has since left Xin Cuisine). It could be that we were late but there were not many Dim Sum varieties left at Fu-Shan. The stuffings were quite generous and fresh but taste wise it was only so-so – maybe they changed their chefs or the fuel hike has indirectly affect it. Not satisfied we went to whack some birds, salted chicken to be precise. Not sure if they used kampong chicken because it was such a small bird but the herbs and spices stuffed plus the aroma made us hungry again.

Donuts Big AppleDonuts BoxDonutsDonutsDonutsLong story short we decided to push some western foods into our stomachs to stop our giant’s appetite and ended up with a dozen donuts instead, from Big Apple. Anyway, let’s stop talking about food because it only makes you hungry and that means you can’t save money for the fuel. Dow Jones plunged 220 points last Friday to below psychology level of 12,000. It’s still too early to say good-bye to 12,000 and the next couple of trading sessions would provide clearer direction if the U.S. is indeed heading for the worse. With or without Saudi Arabia’s increase in oil production, investors were running wild and scare of interest rate hike thanks to inflation. Although not many expect the Feds would do so (raise interest rate) until the fall or early next year, almost all believe the chances of Feds lowering rates is almost zero.

Locally, all the eyes are set on Bank Negara (Central Bank) but it appears the central bank’s governor Zeti might not be able to have a free hand in deciding the OPR (overnight policy rate) with the joker Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop around flexing his muscle. However for once I agreed with this guy who admitted that raising interest rate works only during “real” inflation whereby prices skyrocket due to increases consumption. It’s true that during such time when the prices of goods were caused mainly due to cost-pull factor (he dare not mentioned the recent fuel hike), any interest rate hike would only worsen the situation. Can you imagine your bank suddenly decides to slap you with higher interest rate on your existing housing loan? Provided you had chosen a fixed rate option, chances are your wallet could further drains you up on top of higher fuel hike, foods, entertainments, tyres, spare parts and almost 99% of other stuffs.

Rosmah AltantuyaBut the hottest news was the mind-boggling statutory declaration (signed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Wednesday) by RPK that the wife of Deputy Prime Minister, Rosmah Mansor, was among three individuals who were present when Altantuya was murdered on October 19, 2006. RPK claimed the other two individuals as one acting colonel Aziz Buyong, who is described as ‘a C4 expert’ and the latter’s wife, known only as Norhayati. RPK also claimed that apart from PM Abdullah and Khairy who have been given a copy of the military intelligence’s report, one of the Sultans (Malay Rulers) has also been briefed about the matter and is fully aware of the allegation. Wow! Now this is what I called “explosive revelation”. It appeared instead of waiting for the trial-day, RPK chose to strike and attack like a snake hoping to paralyse the Deputy PM. Damn! I can swear you can sell the whole plot to FOX Broadcasting Company for the next season of 24 and make good money out of it. And suddenly you hear and read all the analysts scrambled to declare the stock market is officially affected by political concerns. Heck, where are those earlier “Buy” calls from the stockbrokers?

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The stock market is always based on scandal and crisis. That’s why you have to be sure to make a wizetrade. That starts with extended knowledge.

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