Monday, 27 June 2011

Roy Orbison sings “Crying” in a duet with KD Lang

                                 Roy Orbison at his younger day
                         
‘Crying’ won a coveted Grammy award for best country collaboration vocals for Roy and KD in 1989; it was also the theme song for the movie ‘Hiding out’ shown to public in 1987. Amidst critical acclaim by popular song writers and musicians, fans and followers, ‘Crying’ placed the two powerful songsters with their individual distinctive style to their career height of their time in the 80s. The song was sung and played in a melancholic tone, with a slow beat in its rhythm that culminated to a gradual stronger vocal to captivate listeners with superfluous elements of infatuation between two lovers. It certainly echoed the sentiments of two persons entwined in passionate love, with stunning effect.  Older fans would have flushed with fever over their cheeks in reminiscence of their younger days when they were courting and wooing their sweethearts. Roy Orbison, who composed this master piece invited Canadian national treasured songbird KD Lang for a duet to present this song in a unique, opulent way to reach the hearts of millions of listeners.

Click the URL of the Youtube video clip, sit back and enjoy this song made popular by these two great artistes:
                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-EiKPrAOHA


                                  Roy during his youthful days

                           4 times Grammy award winner KD Lang of Canada
                                                                                  
4 times Grammy award winner Kathryn Dawn Lang, better known as, and preferred to be known KD Lang by the singer/composer and sometimes actress herself, was born in 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where she was raised. Her father, a drug store owner, left home when KD was 12 to a younger wife, leaving her and three other siblings, 2 sisters and a brother to her mother. KD was a known gay and had a live-in lesbian woman companion to whom KD introduced to others as ‘my wife’. She loved to dress up like a man as always when she performed on stages; despite she portrayed some glamour when she was younger with a little bit of feminism. KD Lang had been a gay rights activist, a campaigner for AIDS victims and a Tibet human rights supporter, as well as a fervent vegetarian. She was so elated when being invited by Roy Orbison for the duet that she accepted the role right away. She described Orbison as one person who was very humble and obliging, and extremely polite. That guy was a rare gem amongst established and famous artistes who were top class of their own standard. KD continued to talk about Roy’s idiosyncrasy: I was so glad to know him and we were close to chat like old friends; but when he went up to the stage to perform, he was the super star that’s very much above us. There he was singing with his unique baritone voice, barely opened his mouth, hardly moved his body, yet the vocal was so powerful that it sent a chill down everyone’s spine on the stage when he sang.

Roy Orbison (April 23rd 1936-Dec 6th 1988) could easily be identified with his pair of large framed Ray-Ban sunglasses which he wore most of the time; he was rarely seen without his signature spectacles. His other well-known masterpieces includes Pretty Woman, Only the lonely, In Dreams, That Loving you feeling again, Blue Bayou and many more. His contemporaries who had worked with him when touring, back up musicians who themselves were super stars, extolled him unreservedly to a heavenly high, branding him a legendary singer/songwriter of all time since 1957 for rock and roll, and rhythm and blues. In 2008, Orbison was rated as no.13 in their list of 100 greatest singers of all time by the authority pop magazine Rolling Stones. He, after all had been winning Grammy Awards multiple times. The singers/songwriters, rock stars and musicians who praised highly on Orbison’s works were many, read like a pop magazine’s who’s who; they were: Pat Boone, Elvis Costello, Bee Gee’s Robin Gibbs, Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles, George Harrison and Paul McCartney of The Beatles, Bono of U2, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen (Roy’s longtime admirer), Beach Boys, and Mick Jagger etc. Their comments and compliments could fill the contents of a 300 page book. Bruce Springsteen, known for his moniker ‘The Boss’ had this to say on Roy’s performance: 

Sometimes it is hard to tell is she a lady from her dressing
                        
                                           
                                      KD Lang in men's outfit looking imposingly

“I wanted to sing like Roy Orbison. Now everyone knows that no one sings like Roy Orbison……” Springsteen was concluding his speech in initiating Orbison’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987. Glenn Campbell, Bruce Springsteen, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris etc recorded songs of Roy Orbison’s composition and they all achieved high rating in the radio charts. No wonder praises out of gratitude were abundant to Orbison as he felt ‘validated’ at a time when he suffered some tragedies and health problems. He was at his career decline to the ebb though there was a revival 1969 onwards till his demise.  

                         Record cover for his wonder hit "Pretty Woman"

Roy Orbison lamented that he did not have a manager to promote his image and to groom him into a pop idol. His large pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses (Roy and all his siblings had bad eye-sights), his dark black suit and a heavy Gibson duo cut-away guitar were his usual trade marks when he performed. Occasionally he used a twelve stringed Epiphone acoustic for his strumming while rendering those tremulous, lovelorn ballades. Though he was a natural baritone to a tenor, he could deliver his vocal to a range of high 3-4 octaves, and that was amazing and a God-sent gift. 

An impersonator of Orbison
doing Roy's jig

In 1963 Roy joined the Beatles in UK for a top billing tour after he flew in from The US; He was surprised at the massive popularity the quartet enjoyed. Since he was not the main draw he performed first. The audience went wild with his mastery of the guitar works and was mesmerized by his sumptuous rendition of romantic ballades he composed. The Beatles at the backstage were dumbfounded into complete silence as they watched him performing from a short distance, song after song as he sang. After responding to 14 encores amidst shouts of ‘We want Roy, we want Roy!’ John Lennon and Paul McCartney physically restrained Roy from going back to the stage the 15th time! The Beatles were shocked and concerned that their premier act could be overshadowed by this American guy from Tennessee (He was born and raised in Texas though). Ringo Starr remembered Roy’s act very vividly. He recalled: In Glasgow, this chap was out there singing in his black suit, completely motionless, his lips hardly moved, yet he received such tremendous applause with his natural flair. Eventually Orbison and The Beatles formed a strong kinship as they admired each other’s work. Particularly in George Harrison, Orbison found him to be friendlier as they were both distinguished guitarists.
               
             
                     Two good friends Roy & Bruce Springsteen
                      playing guitars and singing 'Pretty Woman'

Roy Orbison’s life had been marred with tragedies and ill-health in his later part of life. In November 1964 he and his wife Claudette divorced because of her infidelity, perhaps due to his long absence while touring, and the fact that she was young and feeling bored. She was having an affair with the contractor who was engaged to build their dream home in Hendersonville, Tennessee. In 1965 Roy broke his leg while riding a motorcycle in front of thousands of screaming fans. He performed his evening act in a cast. Claudette visited him in UK and they reconciled and remarried in the same year. However ill-fate destined that they could not be together for long as she died during a mishap when they were riding home in Tennessee on their motorcycle. During that June 1965 tragedy, their motorcycle was hit by a semi-trailer truck, and Claudette was killed instantly. In 1968 while touring in England, Orbison’s two elder sons perished in a fire that burnt his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee to ashes. His youngest son with Claudette was raised by his parents. In March 1969 he married a German teenager Barbara Jacob who gave birth to his two other sons in 1970 and 1974.
                 
                                Roy and his young wife Barbara Orbison
Roy Orbison had been a chained smoker since his youth and he could not quit it even at a time when his health was sliding downwards. In 1977 he underwent triple bypass surgery and upon recovery, he continued to smoke. His weight fluctuated for the rest of his life. In the month of December 1988, Roy Orbison was back to Tennessee from UK for a break of few days from his hectic schedule, as there seemed to be a strong indication of his resurgence of stardom. He was accepting endless interviews by radio stations, TV channels, magazines and was producing videos of his performance in UK. Roy was quite apprehensive and was looking forward for a revival of his prime just like during the 60s-70s. Unfortunately he suffered a major heart attack at his mother’s home in Tennessee on December 6th 1988. Roy Orbison died of work related exhaustion at the comparatively young age of 52.

Roy Orbison left an indelible legacy of brilliant song writings and numerous unforgettable performances. His poignancy in merging voice, simple yet touching lyrics, and crafty guitar playing captivated throngs of fans and admirers; these were the profound elements that stood testimony for his timelessness. 

Article written by
Alan CY Kok 

Roy Orbison's biographic facts were obtained from Wikipedia


Click this URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-EiKPrAOHA to enjoy this evergreen song of a hopelessly infatuated love.

Lyrics for “Crying”

I was all right for a while, I could smile for a while
But I saw you last night you held my hand so tight
As you stopped to say hello
Oh, you wished me well, you couldn't tell
That I've been crying over you, crying over you
And you said, so long
Left me standing all alone
Alone and crying, crying, crying, crying
It's hard to understand but the touch of your hand
Can start me crying

I thought that I was over you
But it's true, so true
I love you even more than I did before
But darling, what can I do
For you don't love me and I'll always be
Crying over you, crying over you

Yes, now you're gone and from this moment on
I'll be crying, crying, crying, crying
Yeah, crying, crying over you






                                                  

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Dream Analysis


                       Haunting scene in a pale moonlight lit ambience


Being chased relentlessly, unable to find a toilet, falling down from a high-rise building, losing a tooth, etc. is something we dread of in our daily life. Yet it is common amongst millions to have their dreams in such menacing situations that they would have awakened in sweltering shock and discomfort. What could we say about the dreams, what did the dreams tell us, something going to happen? Good or bad omens, were they avoidable? Or were they just predicting a déjà vu kind of scene that one would experience later? Nightmares and bad dreams could be analyzed and explained, fairly easily and accurate, according to well-known psychologist Wally Arthur of England, as reported by The Daily Mirror, UK.

     Fairyland like dreams are portrayed in "Alice in Wonderland"

Arthur had studied and analyzed more than 100,000 dreams for the past 30 years. He discovered that dreams were very much related to reality lives; it was important to understand and be able to know the cause of the dreams, so as to solve any forth coming danger, crisis or untoward predicament.


                     The worst nighmare kids could have dreamt of,
                         but moms would never believe their stories
                           
It meant that one was in dire straits and was not bold enough to face the challenge in real life if he dreamt that he was chased down the road to an abrupt end! How frightening! Arthur explained that the dreamer should sort out his problems, find the cause, and face the challenge upfront to remove hurdles. The final straw lies in the dreamer; he should seek redress on his own effort and make positive moves before more challenges come confronting him.

                  Undisturbed sleep with sweet dreams entices good health
               
How do you like it to find yourself naked with nothing on to cover your modesty in the public? That is going to be downright embarrassing and absolutely perplexed. Mind you, this happened to lots of people, but few dared to confide in friends’ because they worried being ridiculed or mocked at. This awful dream could be analyzed that the dreamer did not possess sufficient sense of comfort and security, especially in new work place. One should be daring enough to share with others his own opinion, like making suggestion or even when making decision in a company, even he was just one newbie. One must not harbor inhibition to express his idea or view pertaining to decision making in a corporate entity.

                  Animals also dream of good life with plenty
                  of food and booze,  hoho! You believe that?

Loosing a tooth or growing a pair of vampire canine teeth? That was common alright, according to Arthur. If one dreamt that one of his teeth was loose and shaking from the gum, well, it meant that he had lost confident in his own self; losing the tooth altogether? It meant that he was quite shaken and worried about the worst yet to come. Growing a pair of Count Dracula’s signature canine teeth? It was not too bad, instead it just meant one relied too much on others for sense of security.

Dreaming of impending, imminent accident scene? Trying to slow down yet the vehicle could not respond to your braking! The dream could be analyzed that the dreamer was in a cross road, uncertain what to do next, he was always puzzled and lost, and was in dilemma. It was always linked to one’s prospect in a work place or when one was pondering to start a new life elsewhere. The analyzer suggested the dreamer should face the challenge upfront to do what he deemed fit to do; he must not yield easily without endeavor.   


Missing the toilet thing so badly? Oh my, that was too crucial! Needing to queue for use of the toilet? Lots of the lady folks dreamt that. Wally Arthur explained that the dream often meant that it was some secret the dreamer dreaded to reveal. Dreamt of queuing meant one put own benefit ahead of others. He should place his need behind other’s so as to gain peace in his sleep.


A real nightmare is going to happen!

Falling down from higher ground did happen to lots of high positioned people like bosses and CEOs. It was a sign the dreamer harbored fear of losing grip of control over his company. Arthur advised that the top brass persons who had these perennial dreams should learn and apply the corporate senses. They should know how to share burdens, work loads, and to delegate functions to trustworthy staff; not to over encumber himself with unnecessary pressure. Relaxation was paramount to good health. 

Release oneself from pressurized situation; find solace in spiritual environment, emulate the birds’ free-flying in one’s thinking and though-shapes. Seek new opportunity from release of suffering, one would find immense success. Subsequently sound sleep and total annihilation of bad dreams would follow.  

Article translate by Alan CY Kok
From a report published in the Oriental Daily News, Malaysia.

One biblical story tells: The Egyptian Pharaoh dreamt that he saw 7 healthy cows in his garden, and shortly after another 7 emaciated, skinny, dying cows at the same ground. He dreamt that over and over again. The Pharaoh demanded his dream to be analyzed and interpreted. Eventually one dream analyzer risked his life to tell the king, in a soothsayer’s tone:
                        
                          
              The Pharaoh went berserk after learning that famine
                   and disaster would soon besiege his kingdom

                                             
It meant that the past 7 bountiful and good harvest years of the Pharaoh’s rule would be followed by 7 years of draught and famine and thence widespread hardcore poverty befallen upon the people under his regime. The Pharaoh was utterly vexed and flew into a rage. Unfortunately that was the true picture as analyzed and predicted by the soothsayer. The dream analyzer’s life.... was he spared? Your guess was as good as mine.

The short anecdote was portrayed in a captivating movie in 1962 named:
                  Joseph and his brethren”

Alan CY Kok

Saturday, 11 June 2011

夢醒時分 The moment a dreamer is awakened......

鄭丁賢夢醒時分

                               
                                It's unthinkable to see Malaysians leaving desperately
                                          the country  they love so dearly like this


你是否和我一樣,發覺身邊的親戚和朋友,似乎少了許多。
I wonder you feel the same as me ; all the sudden I realized friends and relatives around me seems to get less and less.
以往接近過年時,各種聚餐排得滿滿的,而今年,似乎沒聲沒息。
Those years when the New Year drew near, all sorts of gathering appointments almost completely filled the diaries, but this year seems so quiet.
即使是平常日子,電話少了,與大家見面也少了。
Even in normal time, phone calls become less and less, face to face meet up also become much less.
也許,大家各忙各的;或者,目前流行宅生活,儘量避免出門。
Perhaps, everybody is busy with their own things, or perhaps, nowadays people prefer to stay in.  
也不盡然如此。再想一想,很多老友和親戚,已經不在了。嗟!大吉利是,他們都還好好的,只是離開了馬來西亞。

However, it is not entirely like this, thinking further, actually old friends and relatives are not around any more. God bless, they are still alive and well, they just left the country, Malaysia.

             
                                    
                                         Neither do we like to see thousands of desolate
                                                 boat people arriving at our shores

 去了中國大陸開工廠;王子不做工程師,移民到澳洲開小食檔;阿風離開本地大學,去香港做講師;青蛙去了台灣,開展事業第二春;還有的到了美國、英國,唔,還有去印尼的……
They have gone to
China to set factory; ah Wang quit his engineer job and migrated to Australia to set up his little food store business, ah Fong left the local University went to Hong Kong as a lecturer. 'Frog' went to Taiwan to pursue his second career life. Others went to Americia , England , even Indonesia ...起初,以為這只是個別現象,逐漸的,旁人也有同樣發現;原來,這不是個別現象,而是社會現象;這不是少數,而是相當大的數目。

                        Millions of Indonesians toiled hard at Malaysia's
                                    construction worksites to earn their living

At first, I thought these are individual cases, but gradually, people around me realized the same, these are not individual cases but a general symptom of our society. they are not small numbers but the pretty big indeed.
累積下來,已經有超過200萬大馬人移民,接近今天印尼外勞在大馬的人口。
Cummulatively, 2 million Malaysians migrated, this figure is close to the number of Indonesian workers in
Malaysia today. 不同的是,移居他國的大馬人,多是專業人士、中產階級。
外交部早前披露了一個數字,說明這個現象是多麼真實,多麼貼近。
Department of Foreign Affairs released the figures earlier, it confirmed the situation is real.
從去年3月到今年9月,已經有30萬大馬人移民他國;其中20 人是今年1月到8月出走的數目。
                           Generally foreign immigrants' children are not 
                           neglected, they attend schools for thir education

                                
From March 2008 thru September 2009, a total of 300,000 Malaysian migrated to other countries, among them 200,000 left between Jan - Aug 2009. (in 8 months)

                                                              
           Most Asian professionals make
            it good on foreign soils  
      
The difference are, those migrated are mostly professional and middle class people.
他們有很多出走的理由,追求事業發展,為了孩子前途,尋找個人更大空間……,概括一句:對馬來西亞失望。
They have many reasons to leave: pursue career development, for the future of their children, in search of better life and environment.. In one sentence, they lost hope of
Malaysia .

                         An Asian lady professional was 
                               welcome on arrival in Canada    
 
50
年前,大家說,馬來西亞真好,好過香港,甚至日本。
50 years ago people said: Malaysia is very good, better than Hong Kong and even Japan ..

30
年前,大家說,馬來西亞還不錯,比得上韓國、台灣(不提香港和日本了)。
30 years ago people said: Malaysia is not bad, comparable to S. Korea and Taiwan . (No mention of Hong Kong and Japan any more).



                           If benefits for all citizens are assured, 
                       there will be fewer migration out of country 
                                                          

20
年前,大家說,馬來西亞還可以,至少超越中國、泰國(不能和台、韓比了)。
20 years ago people said: Malaysia can do lah, at least better than China and
Thailand (Cannot compare with Taiwan and Korea lah)

10
年前,大家說,馬來西亞再差,還不至於像越南、印尼(中國已是不同級別)。
10 years ago people said: No matter how bad Malaysia is, cannot be worse than


                        
                         I dreamt that I was shanghaied to Malaysia
                                         to work as a maid

Vietnam
and Indonesia ok-lah. ( China is already in a different category).今日,越南和印尼的經濟成長率遙遙領先大馬, 社會活力和知識發展也勝過一籌;距離愈來愈近了。
Today, the economic growth rate of Vietnam and Indonesia already far exceeded Malaysia , Social activity and intellectual development of the country is also better, the gap between us and them is closing up.
怕甚麼,還有菲律賓和柬埔寨、緬甸。
Why worry? there are still Philipines ,
Cambodia and Myanmar behind us.但是,一位經濟學家最近到菲律賓考察之後,認為再過20年,大馬可以取代菲律賓,出口馬籍女傭到全世界了。
          
                    Malaysia may export maids to other Asian nations if  
                           economic situation warrants it in the future      
                       
However, according to an economist who recently surveyed Phillipines, he think in 20 years' time, Malaysia can replace Phillipines to become the World exporter of Malaysian maids. 半個世紀以來,馬來西亞是在大宅院裡,用封建方式,分配祖宗家業,消耗社會資源,浪費和逼走人才;不談競爭力,忽略生產力,討厭績效制。
Over half a century, Malaysians live in the big old imperial housing complex, closed up and survive on properties left behind by the ancestor; continued to consume up social resources, wasteful, and drove away talents; they never talk about competitiveness, totally neglected productivity, and hated meritocracy.

亞洲金融風暴來襲時,大馬把門關起來,以為避過一劫, 有人還自我陶醉,自以為是天才策略。
When Asia economic storm hit in 1997, Malaysia closed their doors, thinking we beautifully avoided a disaster, they even think of themselves as genius, being able to handle the situation so well.
然而,其它國家面對風暴,走出風暴,進行體質改革,跨步向前,登上另一個水平;大馬卻還在原地踏步。
However, just look at other countries in our neighbourhood ; they stood up, faced the storm, and walked out of the storm. They overhauled their system, improved the processes and marched forward ; they moved up to a new level. And Malaysia , still walking on the spot . . !
馬來西亞,該醒一醒了。
Dear Malaysia , it's time to wake up !  We are very very late now !



The article 夢醒時分 was penned by 鄭丁賢 TH Tay, deputy Chief Editor of SinChew
Press, a vastly popular Chinese vernacular newsprint of Malaysia.

The article was obtained from the net via e-mail received. The identity of the translator was not known.


Alan CY Kok
.
                            to work as a labourer

Monday, 6 June 2011

Jangan Ada Dusta di Antara Kita

                    Broery Marantika - Legendary singer/actor of Indonesia


It is time to sit back, relax and rejoice for what we have in life, and enjoy one wonderfully melodious ballade brought to us by some distinguished songsters from our neighboring country – Indonesia.

          
Broery's Music CD covers

Yes, Indonesia not only provides Malaysia an enormous supply of human resources in the fields of construction and development projects, domestic services as well as entertainment varieties too. Broery Marantika and Dewi Yull are the two immensely popular Indonesia artistes I will like to highlight in this post for my blog. Since most of the Malay populace claim akin to Indonesia as having same ethnical root, Broery and Yull’s phenomenal acceptance by Malaysian fans does not constitute a surprise to our pop scene. After all it was their exuberant and vibrant display of showmanship that stunned the audience.

The matching pair of Indonesian song birds

Broery Pesulima, (1948-2000) more popularly known as Broery Marantika, hailed from Ambun, Maluku where he was born; though throughout his musical career, he was active in and around Jakarta. Broery who died in 2000, left an indelible legacy of charismatic songs to millions of his fans in South East Asia, like Widuri, Jangan Ada Dusta di Antara Kita, Senja di Kuala Lumpur, and Mengapa Harus Jumpa and many more. Broery Marantika was once married to Malaysian pop diva Anita Sarawak but their union did not last. He was a handsome, popular actor and singer of Indonesia during the 1970s and the 80s. Unfortunately he died at his prime at age 52. Critics commented that his rendition of ‘Widuri’ was stronger and more impressive than Bob Tutupoli’s, who first sang the wonder hit. Broery delivered the super hit song ‘Widuri” as solo and as duet with Dewi Yull with a soothing background of orchestral musical works. He had the ‘Matt Monroe’ singing style of the 60s and 70s for which the audience were mesmerized by his natural and smooth presentation.


                                A middle aged looking Dewi Yull

Dewi Yull (Born 1961) had been the regular stage partner of Broery whenever they teamed up for their performance. She hailed from West Java and had been singing since 1977 when she was 17. Perhaps it was their tacit stage understanding and feeling for each other, when they sang the immensely popular song ‘Jangan ada dusta di antara kita’ we could see that they displayed blatantly their passion for one another. That augurs well as the song had strong elements of romantic ambience. As the song went by one could see Broery gazed at Yull lovingly as he delivered the ballade flawlessly. Yull meanwhile had no inhibition in touching him lingeringly, holding his arm and even rested her head on his left shoulder while he continued singing. They ended the duet with perfect timing and were seen holding hands to acknowledge the applause from the audience. They were already in their middle age when they staged this performance; Broery was in his 50s as he spotted a suave, well trimmed moustache. We do not see such stage shows with blaring body language in Malaysia anymore. Perhaps Indonesia is more liberal in the artistes’ rhetoric for live performance.

                         Dewi Yull at her prime presented in a poster

Broery and Yull sang Jangan ada dusta di antara kita with the backing of a full board band. However one must not forget to acknowledge the superb melody work played by a cool bespectacled acoustic guitarist; especially during the interludes, the classic notes were striking more distinctively that the listeners would have cried for more. It had always been a joyous pleasure to watch and listen to this video clip. So sit back and relax, just click on this URL, you will love it:



Alan CY Kok


The Lyrics:-


Jangan ada dusta di antara kita

Ketika pertama kujumpa denganmu
Bukankah pernah kutanyakan padamu kasih
Takkan kecewakah kau pada diriku
Takkan menyesalkah kau hidup denganku kasih

Memang kau bukan yang pertama bagiku
Pernah satu hati mengisi hidupku dulu
Dan kini semua kau katakan padaku
Jangan ada dusta di antara kita kasih

Semua terserah padamu aku begini adanya
Kuhormati keputusanmu, apapun yang akan
Kau katakan, sebelum terlanjur kita jauh
Melangkah, kau katakan saja

Brief Translation:

The first moment I met you
Didn’t I ask you my love
Please don’t be disappointed with me, my love
Please don’t regret your living with me, my love

Surely you aren’t the first love for me
Ever the one love that fills my life
And right this moment whatever you say
In between us, let there be no lies, my love

All I leave them to you like this love we have
I respect whatever decision you make
Whatever you say, before we proceed further
What you say does matter most.





Friday, 3 June 2011

The Paradigm of change

                            Happy working Environment is desirable

OKT was just about a year to retire from the holding company he headed as managing director for the past 10 years. Knowing very well the board of Directors might not renew his tenure, he wanted to leave an indelible mark to his service track before he left the company for good. It was going to be a stunning, impressive and long lasting policy that all the departments of the company would follow even after his departure. After calling his foreign friends and consultants with monies spent on company account, he launched the ludicrous program of “The Paradigm of Change”. He ordered that all staff - 300 strong, had to take turns to attend a session that would last for 2 days; the trainer and one and only speaker was none other than OKT himself.

“Paradigm of Change” what’s that? The managers, executives and the officers scrambled on their feet promptly to find the meaning of the words from the internet dictionary. ‘Nothing much…it just meant a need to change, what to change and how to change.’ Bernard Chan, one of the branch managers exclaimed loudly from one end of the office so that his team of middle aged sales executives could hear him. Nobody raised their heads as they continued their desk work, ignoring him. They knew too well that their section manager was a notorious loud mouth and nerdy nincompoop who had always disgraced himself and his department in meetings with the GM and the MD. The following week the sales and marketing staff would begin their unenviable rendezvous with the MD for his propagating of “The Paradigm of Change” session.

                                  Solidarity means to remain united
                                            for a common interest


After an awkward introduction by his personal assistant, OKT took over the floor as the only speaker cum trainer. He painstakingly inculcated loyalty to the silent listeners, knowing very well most of them had been with the company longer than him. Loyalty would only be solid as it was commensurate with a reasonable amount of raise everybody was hoping for. One foreman stood up and asked him bluntly: “Are you going to announce a revision of salary scheme soon?” OKT was quite embarrassed and mad. So he deviated very quickly away from the sensitive issue of salary adjustment for the staff. He told them that more than 10 years ago, he and a group of top management staff shut themselves out of the city and their respective homes for a sojourn at Fraser Hill, a cool mountain resort; to find a way for the corporation to enhance their market share for their products-the heavy machinery. After 5 days, the group of exhausted think tanks was back to their headquarters after they found the solution collectively for a healthy path the company would adhere to. “And the rest is history….” OKT proudly arrogated his achievement.

Group discussion to reach a collective solution is vital

The rest of the day went fast and smoothly as all the listeners were quiet in tacit protest that the MD was deviating away from the main topics. He was harping about his contribution and the many in-house awards he received from the holding company etc. The main issue “The Paradigm of Change” was superficially and briefly explained in 10 minutes. OKT did not invite any question from the floor; neither did he want anyone to suggest some changes in his management policies. He underrated his subordinates’ thinking power, intelligence, insight of the market trend, and their contribution for the past many years. He was so conceited that he was the one at the helm single-handedly built up the strength of the company as he was the MD for the past 10 years.


The 2 days of special session of “The Paradigm of Change” ended without conclusion and a dismal show of blurry direction. The managers and executives were shaking their heads unbelievably how they wasted 2 days of precious time. Inevitably they discussed amongst themselves and concluded that the Paradigm of Change session was just a platform to give OKT a final chance to display his oratorical skill. Imagine he got to repeat his hogwash and cant talk from Monday to Friday, for 2 weeks to 300 staffers. Wouldn’t he himself get fed up?


                                Some staff would just love to kick the
                                     ass of their self-centred boss.                             
                                                   
OKT left the considerably large company a disappointed man the day he reached his 55th birthday. His request in a letter to the group chairman for another year of tenure was turned down, citing normal procedure of the company rules.

Alan CY Kok


Thursday, 2 June 2011

A little burnt biscuit never hurt any one

                      Kids won't know the load of responsibility
                            exerted on parents at early age

When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then.  And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.  On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad.  I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed!
Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school.  I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit.  He ate every bite of that thing... never made a face nor uttered a word about it!
                             
           Mom spent so much effort in baking the biscuits
                        a little bit burnt is okay

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits.  And I'll never forget what he said: "Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then."
Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned.  He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired.  And besides - a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!"
As I've grown older, I've thought about that many times.  Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people.  I'm not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries  just like everyone else. But what I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's faults - and choosing to celebrate each other's differences - is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

                          
    Father telling son what's right and what's life ahead

And that's my prayer for you today... that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God.  Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn't a deal-breaker!
We could extend this to any relationship.  In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!
"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket - keep it in your own."
So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine.
And PLEASE pass this along to someone who has enriched your life.  Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Story obtained from the net via e-mail.

Posted by

Alan CY Kok