You know you are a 70s baby when…

1. You grew up watching He-Man, MASK, Transformers, Silver Hawk, and Mickey Mouse. Not to forget, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony and Smurfs.

2. You grew up brushing your teeth with a mug in Primary school during recess time. You will squat by a drain with all your classmates beside you, and brushed your teeth with a coloured mug. The teachers said you must brush each side 10 times too.

3. You know what SBC stands for.

4. You paid 40 cents for Chocolate or Strawberry milk every week in class.

6. You find your friends with pagers and handphone cool in Secondary school.

7. SBS buses used to be non-air conditioned. The bus seats were made of wood and the cushion is red. The big red bell gives a loud BEEP! when pressed. There were colourful tickets for TIBS buses. The conductor would check for tickets by using a machine, which punches a hole in the ticket.

8. Envelopes given to us to donate to Sharity Elephant every Children’s Day.

9. You read Young Generation magazine. You know who ‘Vinny’ the little vampire and Acai the constable is.

10. You were there when they first introduced MRT here. You went the first ride with your parents and you would kneel on the seat to see the scenery.

11. Movie tickets used to cost only $3.50.

12. Strawberry ShortCake and Barbie Dolls fascinated Gals.

13. You learned to laugh like The Count in Sesame Street.

14. You longed to buy titbits called Kaka (20cents per pack), and Xiao Ding Dang (50 cents per box), that had a toy in and it changes every week not forgetting the 15 cents animal crackers and the ring pop, where the lollipop is the diamond on the ring.

15. You watched TV2 (also known as Channel10) cartoons because SBC never had enough cartoons for you.

16. Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, The Three Investigators, Famous Five and Secret Seven are probably the thickest story books you ever thought you have read. Even Sweet Valley High and Malory Towers.

17. KFC used to be a high-class restaurant that serve food in plates and let you use metal forks and knives.

18. Catching was the IN thing and twist was the magic word.

19. Your English workbooks were made of some damn poor quality paper that was smooth and yellow.

20. CDIS was your best friend.

21. The only computer lessons in school involved funny pixellised characters in 16 colours walking about trying to teach you maths.

22. Water bottles were slinged around your neck and a must everywhere you go.

23. Boys loved to play soccer with small plastic balls in the basketball court.

24. Teng-teng, five stones, chapteh, hentambola and zero point were all the rage with the girls and boys too.

25. Science was fun with the balsam and the angsana being the most important plants of our lives, guppies and swordtail being the most important fish.

26. Who can forget Ahmad, Bala, Sumei and John, eternalized in our minds from the textbooks. Even Mr Wally & Mr. Yakki. What about Miss Lala??? And Zaki and Tini in Malay Textbooks?

27. You carried out experiments of our own to get ourself badges for being a Young Zoologist/Botanist etc.

28. Every Children’s day and National Day you received pins or pens with ‘Happy Children’s Day 1993’ or dumb files with ‘Happy National Day 1994’.

29. In Primary six you had to play buddy for the younger kids like big sister and brother.

30. You wore BM2000, BATA, or Pallas shoes.

31. Your form teacher taught you Maths, Science and English.

32. The worksheets were made of brown rough paper of poor quality.

33. You went to school in slippers and raincoat when it rained, and you find a dry spot in the school to sit down, dry your feet, and wear your dry and warm socks and shoes.

34. School dismissal time was normally around 1 pm.

35. There would be spelling tests and mental sums to do almost everyday.

36. Your friends considered you lucky and rich if your parents gave you $3 or more for pocket money everyday.

37. You saw Wee Kim Wee’s face in the school hall.

38. You freaked out when the teacher tells you to line up according to height and hold hands with the corresponding boy or girl.

39. Boys liked to catch fighting spiders.

40. Collecting and battling erasers was a pastime for boys.

41. Autograph books were loaded with “Best Wishes”, “Forget Me Not”, and small poems like “Bird fly high, hard to catch. Friend like you, hard to forget”.

42. Class monitors and prefects loved to say, “You talk some more, I write your name ah!”

43. There were at least 40 people in one class.

44. Large, colourful schoolbags were carried.

45. You brought every single book to school, even though there was one thing called the timetable.

Money Laundering

 

Washing dirty money involves three basic steps: placement, layering, and integration.

In the first stage, the dirty money’s illicit origin is attempted to be hidden by changing its form by having this money invested in cash-intensive businesses. Next, a number of shell companies are set up in countries known for strong bank secrecy laws or for lax enforcement of money laundering statutes. Then the dirty money is circulated within these shell companies until they appear clean.

For circulating this money, two age-old methods are used. The first is the loan-back system and the other the double invoicing system. With a loan-back, the criminal puts the funds in an offshore entity that he owns and then ‘loans’ them back to himself. According to researchers, this technique works because it is hard to determine who actually controls offshore accounts in some countries.

In double invoicing – a method for moving funds into or out of a country-an offshore entity keeps the proverbial two sets of books. To move ‘clean’ funds into say, Singapore, a Singaporean exporter overcharges for goods or service. To move funds out of Singapore, a Singaporean importer is overcharged.

Other ‘layering’ techniques involve buying big items like stocks, luxury cars, travel tickets. The integration stage is the final point when the money is moved into mainstream economic activities – typically business investments, real estate, or luxury goods purchase.

Money laundering is said to have potentially devastating economic, security, and social consequences. It provides the funds needed to finance drug dealers, terrorists, illegal arms deals, corrupt public officials, and others to operate and expand their criminal enterprise.

Because money laundering relies to some extent on existing financial systems and operations, the criminal’s choice of money laundering vehicles is limited only by his or her creativity. Money is laundered through currency exchange houses, stock brokerage houses, gold dealers, gambling houses, automobile dealerships, insurance companies, and trading companies. Private banking facilities, offshore banking, shell corporations, free trade zones, wire systems, and trade financing all can mask illegal activities.

Memories of Murder

This is a true story.

1986 to 1991.

In a small town outside Seoul, over the course of six years 10 women were raped and murdered in a 2km radius. Korean society’s first serial killer took the lives of 10 victims, ranging from a 71 year-old grandmother to a 13 year old schoolgirl.

As time went on, the methods of the killer grew more bold and well-planned. One victim was stabbed 19 times in the chest, while another victim was found with nine pieces of a peach embedded inside her.

Other than the victims, the killer left not a single shred of evidence. Over 3,000 suspects were interrogated. At least 300,000 police took part in the massive investigation. But not a single person was indicted for the crimes.

This is a story about the detectives.

At a time in Korea when a murder investigation only meant grilling those who knew the victim, for these officers everything was a new experience.

There was no profiling mechanism, nor any idea of preserving the crime scene for forensic investigation. Only search and interrogation based on the detectives’ sense of duty and persistence.

In this age of ignorance, two detectives at the bottom of an ill-supported police force, have only themselves to rely on to face this horrific series of events.

The film reminisces about a time of innocence when the inability to comprehend such heinous acts led to unbelievable mishaps and harrowing nightmares.

Goldman Sachs Business Principles

 

The Goldman Sachs business principles reflect a set of ethics that has become ingrained in our firm’s character. They serve as the bedrock of our determination to provide clients with the industry’s best service. The business principles characterise not only the high standards and aspirations of the people who built this firm, but of our people today.

  1. Our clients’ interests always come first. Our experience shows that if we serve our clients well, our own success will follow.
  2. Our assets are our people, capital and reputation. If any of these is ever diminished, the last is the most difficult to restore. We are dedicated to complying fully with the letter and spirit of the laws, rules and ethical principles that govern us. Our continued success depends upon unswerving adherence to this standard
  3. Our goal is to provide superior returns to our shareholders. Profitability is critical to achieving superior returns, building our capital, and attracting and keeping our best people. Significant employee stock ownership aligns the interests of our employees and our shareholders.
  4. We take great pride in the professional quality of our work. We have an uncompromising determination to achieve excellence in everything we undertake. Though we may be involved in a wide variety and heavy volume of activity, we would, if it came to a choice, rather be best than biggest.
  5. We stress creativity and imagination in everything we do. While recognising that the old way may still be the best way, we constantly strive to find a better solution to a client’s problems. We pride ourselves on having pioneered many of the practices and techniques that have become standard in the industry.
  6. We make an unusual effort to identify and recruit the very best person for every job. Although our activities are measured in billions of dollars, we select our people one by one. In a service business, we know that without the best people, we cannot be the best firm.
  7. We offer our people the opportunity to move ahead more rapidly than is possible at most other places. Advancement depends on merit, and we have yet to find the limits to the responsibility our best people are able to assume. For us to be successful, our men and women must reflect the diversity of the communities and cultures in which we operate. That means we must attract, retain and motivate people from many backgrounds and perspectives. Being diverse is not optional; it is what we must be.
  8. We stress teamwork in everything we do. While individual creativity is always encouraged, we have found that team effort often produces the best results. We have no room for those who put their personal interests ahead of the interests of the firm and its clients.
  9. The dedication of our people to the firm and the intense effort they give their jobs are greater than one finds in most other organisations. We think that this is an important part of our success.
  10. We consider our size an asset that we try hard to preserve. We want to be big enough to undertake the largest project that any of our clients could contemplate, yet small enough to maintain the loyalty, the intimacy and the esprit de corps that we all treasure and that contribute greatly to our success.
  11. We constantly strive to anticipate the rapidly changing needs of our clients and to develop new services to meet those needs. We know that the world of finance will not stand still and that complacency can lead to extinction.
  12. We regularly receive confidential information as part of our normal client relationships. To breach a confidence or to use confidential information improperly or carelessly would be unthinkable.
  13. Our business is highly competitive, and we aggressively seek to expand our client relationships. However, we must always be fair competitors, and must never denigrate other firms.
  14. Integrity and honesty are at the heart of our business. We expect our people to maintain high ethical standards in everything they do, both in their work for the firm and in their personal lives.

Record HK$116m to take Buddha home

SCMP Sunday, October 8, 2006
BARCLAY CRAWFORD and FELIX CHAN

After splashing out a world record HK$116.6 million for a Chinese work of art, a mysterious mainland businessman claimed the bronze Buddha was a bargain and he would happily have paid double.

A beaming Cai Mingchao, manager of the Xiamen Harmony Art International Auction Company, outbid fierce competition to secure a rare Sakyamuni Buddha at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong’s Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday.

Mr Cai refused to reveal the source of his funds and laughed off suggestions he was a Beijing official in disguise. The short, plainly dressed man from Xiamen claimed there had been no central government involvement in the purchase. All he would say was he was part of a “group”.

Mr Cai said he wanted as many people as possible in China to see the 72.5cm tall Buddha. “As long as I am alive I will not sell this and it will not leave Chinese soil again,” he said. “We will exhibit it in a gallery or maybe a temple in Xiamen in about one year. I am not buying this for myself, I am buying it for everyone.
Continue reading Record HK$116m to take Buddha home

Quek Leng Chan

Wall Street Journal: Who gave you the best business advice?

Lillian Too: Quek Leng Chan, the head of the Hong Leong Group, of course. He said that in business there are no friends and there are no enemies and one must not become emotional. I remember on one occasion when I disagreed with him over something and I told him I was prepared to resign over this. He told me straight off not to be dramatic. I still remember his words:

“We are not a political party, we are a business.”