Friday, 20 June 2008

Corners to cut

Yesterday, a saleslady came to my school to sell some health books. She was going around and managed to get some queries but the common complaint was the books were expensive. Then she came to me. I joked to her that I couldn't buy because my budget for books has been diverted to petrol.

No, I don't have a budget for books and I admit I don't buy books much, in fact I can't remember when was the last time I bought a book but I know of some people who do make it a point to set aside a certain amount for books and for that matter many people set aside a certain amount for some kind of hobby or whatever.

Well anyway, That episode in school got me to thinking whether book buyers are similarly hurt with the recent hike of everything accept or salary of course. I refuse to believe that only the rich buy books. I know of parents who buy books often for their children if not for themselves. Do they still buy as many?

With everything going up its only a matter of time that the price of books would go up too though it should not actually be the case. The appreciation of the Ringgit against major currencies should witness a corresponding drop in the price of imported books but I haven't heard any euphoric cry from avid book buyers to testify to this.

Besides books, what about magazines? Do you buy as many magazines now as you did, say, one year ago and would you buy as many next year as you would today? These are questions to which I have no answer which only you who have. As I have said, I don't buy books. Come to think of it I don't buy newspapers and magazines too.

If you are thinking that I am talking about the call to change our lifestyle, you can bet your bottom dollar I am. I mean you don't expect a Malaysian to feed his/her children only once a day, though with the way things are going, that notion is not that far-fetched. As far as putting food on the table, I am sure Malaysians would do their very best to not change much which is going to incur a hell of a lot, so they will have to definitely cut corners but the million dollar question is what corners do they cut?

One avenue of course is books, next could be CDs and VCDs or DVDs which should be fine for us but not for the producers. Do you buy newspapers as often? I don't know, that's why I am asking you, then maybe I could get a better picture.

Just a moment ago something crept into my mind. I wonder if ASTRO would cite fuel increases to justify a rise in their subscription prices. I am not saying they would, I am saying I wonder. Who knows they would say, they have to pay so much more for fuel to send all those tankers to space to refuel their sattelites?

I am done with fucking the government about this so now lets face reality, what is it that we could and should do different to cope with the shrinking power of the ringgit? The above are some. Holidays could be another. Travel locally and not abroad, but then a round ticket to Langkawi from Penang is more expensive then one to Haadyai? I am not included here because I don't go for holidays anywhere.

The way you use the phone should be another way to cut expenses. Call only when necessary. Call Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia and Nepal more then calling local because they are cheaper. Hey I have got many sms from Maxis saying that calls to Thailand is only about 30+ sen a minute. That's cheaper then calling KL. Now all I have to do is to ask my son or daughter to go live there so that I could get to make calls cheaply.

Seriously, do you need underwears? I mean no one is going to see it? You are not Superman who wears his underwear on the outside?

See what happens? I started out all serious and stuff and ended talking about underwear. Before I go on to endorsing public nudity which I know I have a supporter in Kerp, let me stop here. Seriously, if you do have any suggestions, please share them.


fergie said...

Good morning cikgu,
Sorry but I have absolutely no idea how to cut corners anymore. No corners left to cut. However, I note you and your family have "auspicious" birth dates :) Any of you having a birthday on September 16? If not, then I shall just have to wait til next "season" .. he who lives on hope dies starving??

Kata Tak Nak said...

he who lives on hope dies starving??

Sadly the above is so true and like you, I too have no more corners to cut. Everyday is a challenge.

No, none on sept 16 but my late bro was 26 sept.

Hmm may I ask whats 'next season'?

fergie said...

Next season United will win trophies when you, your son and daughter celebrate each of your birthdays. At least I have something to look forward in these depressing times.

Kata Tak Nak said...

I hope its going to be a treble.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

like avid bookworms, i do set aside some amount for my hobby but unlike them, i buy audio CDs. nowadays however i can only limit myself to only buy CDs of bands that i enjoy listening to the most. so far prices of imported CDs has yet to jack up. and i can foresee that whether i like it or not i may have to swtich to albums that are locally distributed. maknanya ada sticker pengesahan dari KDN & HEP melekat kat cd sleeve, which makes it look ugly.

Kata Tak Nak said...

For all you know those cds were burnt together with the pirated ones. Who knows?

Anonymous said...

Personally, I have lost confidence on the Government!

I believe the petrol increase will be be the catalyst to the fall of this government.

I think I had tolerate with the government for quite sometime already.

At RM2.70 per liter, I came to know that there is no subsidy ever given by the government. I am buying my petrol at the global price when the country itself is producing oil. The government use Petronas to divert the identity but the government has a big part in the profit!

Therefore, what is the point of being called a Rakyat (citizen) when the government is not a Rakyat caring one.

Is this government GOVERNING good governance?

I have become disillusion on how they govern the country.

Kata Tak Nak said...

I think many share the same sentiment. They lie to us, the rob us and ask us to bare with them while they rape us. They must go.

Ydiana said...

Cikgu, why buy books when most information are available online? You just have to google for it. I just discovered how to plant a papaya tree the right way just before I decided to hit the bookstore for some gardening books. I will share with all in my blog.

Nowadays I will only buy books after I can't find what I'm looking for on the net. Or if I need in hard copies to keep for future reference. Reliable news can be easily found online too, so I am contemplating of stopping my newspaper subscribtion. They're one sided anyway.

muteaudio said...

Kalau ASTRO naik harga I think its becoz of me! I asked for 'production surcharge'. Kos utk shooting abroad dah naik sebab airlines imposing fuel surcharge.

Rakyat Malaysia said...

This gomen aledi prove that they cannot govern.

Very openly and glaringly aledi is the petrol increase.

Oil in the country RAKYAT give them to manage. RAKYAT give them power to govern this natural resource in the country. Instead, they ask RAKYAT to pay bcos they give to Petronas to manage.

Aiyah! Not only oil. Many other things we ENTRUSTED (amanah) to them, they give to others so that like what Cikgu said, "They lie to us, they rob us and ask us to bare with them while they rape us."

How to TRUST this gomen anymore?

Just look at the recent politicians who said they will stand behind their leader.

Aiyoh! This means all those politicians no understand the RAKYAT sentiment?

Petrol and diesel increase means EVERYTHING WILL increase. Yeah, it is easy to say use public transport, car pooling or other alternative transportation. Have they thought also about the ALTERNATIVES to other things that will increase. Example food i.e. Rice, vegetables, fruits, milk powder, mee, cooking oil etc

So what alternatives they are proposing towards food price increase? Change LIFESTYLE? Eat less so be healthy?

How about house price increase due to materials cost increase? Change LIFESTYLE? Stay smaller house? Stay in flats?

Bottom line, are they good GOVERNORS? Are they capable? Are they intelligent? Are they wise? Are they synergy in thinking? Do they really follow thru what they implemented? Are they SINCERE?

Kata Tak Nak said...

You are spot on about the one sided news and they expect us to believe them.
I stopped buying the papers so long ago.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Is it unrealistic for people to demand more payment when their cost have gone up? Of course it is a reasonable demand so before they raise the price of fuel they must think of all this effect. Awat lah Dollah ni? Dia betoi punya dol la.

Kata Tak Nak said...

rakyat malaysia,
They can ask us to eat less but can we ask our growing children to eat less? What kind of idiots are those people I don't know la.

cakapaje said...

Salam Cikgu,

Apologies for the lateness here.

Hmm...while the majority of the rakyat have no or very little corner to cut - lah! But knowing the Sarkas, even if they do have 'reserves', they will still menciluk!

tokasid said...


I manage to find ways to cut corners,wvwn b4 the ridiculous fuel hike by a ridiculous gomen lead by a ridiculous sleepy guy.

As for books(fictions) I get the discounted ones or from 2nd hand bookstores.Just last week I bought several books at 50% discount at Tesco.

As for audio CDs, I go for pirated ones.Just RM5/=.Then in convert it into mp3 or aac format and download into my hp.

I have cut down eating out(not that dulu selalu makan
I don't go to banks in the afternoons now.Just tumpang to my friend who goes there daily.That saves about 50km trip(to and fro).

Usually when Hafiz wants to comeback over the weekend I have to drive to Kajang.Today,he took the Komuter to Seremban and the bus to Melaka.Sudah save 300km trip and RM30/= for the fucking toll.

AS for Asstro, I think there is already and increase.I might be wrong but I think the latest bill there an increase by few RM.

Maybe we should start playing Jim Rummy again and stop watching TV.Or play monopoly or Old Maid or checkers.

bayi said...

Sad to say, I am bankrupt of ideas ( as I am of dole) on how to cut more corners. I am doing some really deep sea mining ploughing through the net to see what the others have to say to benefit from their experience and wisdom.

The internet is a much appreciated solace for my misery. Damn the government!

Kata Tak Nak said...

I am in the same boat as you. Right on, Damn the Gomen

Kata Tak Nak said...

Talking about sarkas, I wonder if even circus tickets would go up? But then again, we are enjoying free sarkas show everyday what? Come to think of it, is the sarkas show really free?

Kata Tak Nak said...

I see that you have taken steps to lighten up the load put on your shoulders. Tu la saya kata kat depa dulu, don't tell us to change lifestyle, itu kita sendiri tahu, depa tu yang kena buat dulu.

monsterball said...

Yes.....kata tak nak...everywhere I go..traveling by taxis....all taxi drivers .of all races...told difficult lif3e is ...right now.
My hokkien mee a smart bloke. HE did not increase prices!! He simply reduced the plate with less meat and vege...and I told him off. Then he gave me ...what was charge me 15% more. is tough in Malaysia,
That's why I went to the jungle for 10 days....hahahahahahaha

Maverick SM said...

I do agree with your views on cost cutting to make ends meet. Holidays, phone calls, books, travelling and lepaking, birthday celebrations, Astro, etc; all will be things we had to reassess and evaluate if money for food and essentials are problems.

As for me, I will continue to buy books as it is a hobby for me; I will cut down on drinks, entertainment, celebrations, limits for clothings and shoes, and possibly reducing expenses such as holidays and computer gadgets.

I don't buy CDs or DVDs. Underwears? Ya, I think I will reduce the usage...

ali allah ditta said...


Got your SMS,but my phone kaput. As U asked...there must be a time frame before any crossover to proceed. How long it takes its beyond my imagination but things are moving slow & steady coz the elements of sincerity and trust involved. So keep your fnger cross......


Kata Tak Nak said...

Then we should suggest that malaysians should appreciate the jungle near us than the city so far away. It saves.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Yes, its about time we do something about getting our budget right. Of course in the mean time we can shout and curse the powers that be for putting us into such a tight situation but we must not forget to move forward.

Kata Tak Nak said...

I understand. I am having a tough time fielding questions. During the last staff meeting, I asked the Pengetua why is Koh Tsu Koon's picture up on the wall with those of the Agong and the Governor? He coyly got the office boy to bring it down. Its a risk, a risk of alienating myself with the bosses but a risk that I am willing to take.

Petrol said...


In the first place should the price of petrol be increased?

We do not buy petrol from other country. So why must we pay according to global price? Oil already provided here. All we need to do is pay for the cost to produce. Further more, our oil has excellent gred and fetch good global money. Therefore, when we import lower gred petrol, the contra provides profit already.

Besides, our production is a surplus to our own consumption. The surplus sell at global price means clean profit already.

So, back to square one. The culprit to the increase cost to EVERYTHING is because the raise in petrol and diesel price.

Now, the 'mind boggling' question is whether the price of petrol and diesel should be raised in the first place when we are not actually 'buying' from another country?

Kata Tak Nak said...

Very good and legitimate question to ask but they would of course spin the whole thing with the help of their media and make it look like they are helpless.

Petrol said...


Abraham Lincoln said; 'You may deceive all the RAKYAT part of the time, and part of the RAKYAT all the time, but not all the RAKYAT all the time.


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