Monday, April 8, 2013

Where did the RM7 billion go?

The government announced in February (specifically, quoting the International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed) that there will be a 'further reduction in prices' with a gradual phasing out of import duty on CBUs from Japan and Australia over the next 3 years.


I heard that many Japanese makes are already enjoying the 0% import duty as CBUs are mainly from Thailand and Thailand is under the Asean FTA.  CBUs directly from Japan is minimal quantity and not to mention, Australian makes are negligible.  So there you go, a little 'sweet' from the government pre-GE which if you really do the math, is NOT a sweet at all.  Would you buy an Australian make at this point in time?  Wait... can you even see a Holden on the road?  At all?  -_-" And get this, what's really hurting our wallet is the excise duty.

The thing that really caught my attention though was, excise duties contribute about RM7 billion a year to the government's pocket, which is essentially about 4% of total federal government revenue of RM208 billion.

As a concerned citizen, I'm just curious, where and how did we spend this RM7 billion?  Each year?

If I was the Ministry, maybe I'd use the 7 billion to:

1) Trim my ministry head count but to those who stay, they are properly and competitively compensated - not a fat cheque reserved for the upper few
2) Build the industry, building world-class competitive young talents in the automotive business to ensure a sustainability in a thriving industry
3) Encourage open source R&D as a step to making Malaysia a SEA hub for all-things automotive tech
4) Donate to Road Works so that we have better roads
5) Making road safety a compulsory quick subject in school that doesn't need to take an entire year or 12 years as a matter of fact, for students to 'study' -_-

Of course I don't have an inkling of an idea on how to run a ministry.  I just thought some practical measurable visions could work as a binding beacon for everyone to follow.

7 billion.


Oh well.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

How to break rules.

As if we, human beings, need any lesson for this.  It's in our nature to break rules anyway.

But when it comes to creating memorable, impactful, unique ads, one very practical way of doing so is to list down words that are category predictable - buzz words, words, taglines, copylines, visuals, graphics, designs, colours, mnemonics, contexts, stories.  And then tell the story without using any of the words that you've written.  Challenge, don't cheat.

Happy breaking em' rules ;)

Datuk datuk, datin datin.

Been flipping The Edge and came across cover stories.  These people with their photos taken on the page, who obviously are the 'talking heads' of their organisations.  Sometimes they come with a title and sometimes they don't (but most of the time they do).  Got me thinking.  Or questioning in fact, how much calibre do these people have?  Cause I've met a few (obviously not enough to warrant a proper qualitative) but some that I really question the information they provide and trends they spot.  If they are who they claim to be, then the most immediate result would be how the company runs, the products or services that are put out, the marketing that goes with it and most importantly, the people behind who make all these happen.  Just so Datuk so and so and Datin so and so can say something on The Edge's cover story.

Just wondering.  No harm done.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The first CSR you can adopt in an advertising agency.

Everyone has been calling me to ask if I have any planners to recommend.  Well, here's my answer:

1) If the planner works with me then HELL NO, you can't have them!
2) If the planner doesn't work with me and I'm hiring, then BACK OFF.
3) If the planner doesn't work with me and I don't want to hire, you can have them but at your own risk.

So. There you go.

The lack of talents in the industry is so great that seriously, to all you agency owners and managers - do us all a favour to create a win-win situation in 3 to 5 years time.  Let us all hire fresh grads and commit to train them.  So that in a couple of years time, we can exchange them and there will be a fresh flow of new ideas in our stagnating blood stream.  The situation is a stuffed sewage and is in code red now.  I know it's a hassle to train especially if you're bogged down with day-to-day stuff, but is there any other solution to avoid all of us getting into a salary war?  A bloody lose-lose situation?  And you and I know that, that doesn't help building skills and careers either.  If planners' rate grows double to the ability to do the job, then what do you think will become of the quality of work we will be producing by mid-decade?  

So.  There you go.

I'm in.  First, I've signed up to be a mentor to fellow RMIT soon-to-grad students who might be interested in planning.  And next, I'll be looking out for a freshie.  So if you're interested and know someone who's interested to be trained by sticks and stones, apply here today.  Now, how about you?