Virgin killer was adored


‘Unloved’ killer was adored

For someone who felt unloved and wanted revenge for that, Elliot Rodger was a much-loved child.

His Malaysian-born mother Ong Li Chin thought the world of her children, her good friend from Penang, Helen Yap said.

Yap, a well-known music producer and composer, knew Ong from their days together in Pulau Tikus on the island.

“Li Chin would always sign off her name as well as her children’s names in Christmas cards,” she said.

Foreign wire reports stated that Ong hurried to try to stop her son from carrying out his death wish. She searched frantically for her son after he posted a 140-page document “My Twisted World – The Story of Elliot Rodger” on Friday.

In it, he had lamented about how women did not like him and wanted to take revenge on them. The 22-year-old also expressed frustration at still being a virgin.

Elliot RodgerkillerElliot Rodger in a picture taken from his Facebook page.

He later went out and stabbed three people to death before gunning down three others.

“We were all devastated upon learning about the tragedy. It came as a shock,” Yap added.

Yap also said Rodger would have been a hit with the girls had he grown up in Malaysia.

Although Ong and other schoolmates grew apart over the years, Yap said they had always felt a special attachment towards each other.

She added that they only found out through the media that Elliot had been seeing a therapist from the age of eight.

Another of Ong’s schoolmates, who did not want to be named, said that like most children, Rodger wanted to do things his way.

Elliot rodgerkiller-mum-sisOng Li Chin with Elliot’s sister Georgia.

She recalled that the boy had refused to take his shoes off when he was entering a house in Penang.

Rodger, who was born in England and grew up in United States, was not accustomed to the Malaysian culture of being barefoot in the house.

“That is all I remember about him when his mother brought him to Penang for a holiday when he was about 10 or 11,” she said. (According to his own document, Rodger was 13 when he visted Penang).

Ong, now 53, had brought her son and daughter to visit Penang many years ago.

She then posted in a Penang website about her visit to Penang with her children, Elliot and Georgia.

“After being all around the world, having lived in the UK and now in Los Angeles, working alongside famous Hollywood figures – I can truly say you guys over there in Pulau Tikus still have … my fondest memories,” she wrote.

Contributed by Sira Habibu The Star/Asia News network
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Five steps to business success for 2014


Biz Plan_2014Preparations: A well-crafted business plan is like a roadmap for the year.

How to develop a business plan for the new year

Here we are at the end of another year. For many business owners, it’s the right time to map out a strategic plan for next year. A well-crafted business plan is your roadmap to success and an easy way to stay on task for future growth, projected income and increased profits. Take one or two days now to develop a plan and you will save time, energy and maybe even a few dollars. Here’s how to develop a business plan for 2014 in five easy steps.

Set projected income

The very first thing you need to do when creating a business plan for the year ahead is to decide how much you plan on earning and what specifically you are looking to achieve. Setting these goals is only the first step, because outlining your plan for future months describes how you will get there and is the true blueprint for success.

Reflect on your current business models and income sources to help you determine your ideal income. If you’re having difficulty, evaluate these factors:

  • ·Do you need to identify a different profile that can spend more?
  • ·Would including a recurring element to your business increase profit?
  • ·Should your pricing be re-evaluated?
  • ·How is your marketing plan? How can you expand it to achieve more?

Set incremental goals 

The key to success in creating a business plan is detail and consistency. And every goal needs to be broken down into smaller tasks and objectives to ensure you are reaching your target audience and you have a plan for how to obtain your new income level.

Even the best plan is useless without milestones and success at reaching large goals comes from knowing how to create smaller, more attainable objectives. Simplify your income goals by this equation: Income per client x number of clients x frequency of clients = income. Clearly defined and manageable objectives- six months, monthly and weekly- will give you the momentum you need to reach difficult milestones while keeping a larger goal in view. Besides, this process gives you a bird’s eye view of exactly what income level needs to be reached within a certain time frame to stay on track for success.

Map out marketing

After determining what your income stream should be, it’s time to create a formula for acquiring the clients. The most effective way to reach a target audience and the only way to secure new customers is through marketing. After all, if no one knows you exist, no one will buy your products or services.

Take a long hard look at your current marketing activities and decide which strategies are effective and can be reused, even expanded, and which should be discarded. The right marketing can bring a steady stream of new clients, as well as build brand loyalty and solidify trust with existing customers.

Here are the most effective and commonly used platforms for acquiring new clients. Make sure to allocate sufficient time and budget for each:

  • ·Strategic Print Advertisement (Appear in front of your ideal prospects)
  • ·Online Marketing Strategies (Content to educate and entice)
  • ·Media Recognition (Position yourself as the expert authority)
  • ·Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+)
  • ·Networking and collaborations

Develop your team

Now that you have clearly defined, obtainable goals and a strategic marketing plan, it’s time to start thinking about how you are going to make it happen. It’s nearly impossible to achieve all of your goals by yourself and the best plans are always complemented by a strong team. Decide who you need and how they will help you achieve your milestones within your deadline.

Virtual teams are always an option, and can execute elements of your business plan simultaneously. On the other hand, you can also evaluate a current team or bring in someone new to free up time for you to execute growth campaigns.

Evaluate expenses 

Unfortunately, like everything in life — business costs money. However, by carefully evaluating all of your marketing activity and tracking return on investment stringently, you’ll have a better idea of where the money is going and how best it should be spent. Many business owners make the mistake of looking exclusively at gross profits, neglecting net profits. Make certain to record everything and be very clear about profits before taking on any new activities. This disciplined approach will help ensure that your ideal income is indeed profits.

Crafting an effective business plan is easy with a few good tips and the right information. By defining incremental goals, developing a marketing strategy, building your team and keeping an eye on expenses, you will be more than ready to charge into 2014 with spirited enthusiasm as you watch your business transform.

Contributed by Pam Siow

> Pam Siow is the founder of ThinkSpace. A renowned business coach within the region, Pam helps hundreds of business owners and corporations gain true success and profits with her knowledge and real-world experience. Find out more at ThinkSpace.com.my/ Internetbizownersclub.comnow.

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Life is not meant to be lived alone


care groupAunty is not just talking about any Tom, Dick or Harry. It’s husband material she’s looking for!
 
– Life is not meant to be lived alone. No matter how many friends and relatives you have, there is nothing like someone to grow old with.

MY daughter just changed jobs. I called her at the end of her first day to enquire how it went. She started telling me about how pleased she was with her new office and her immediate supervisor.

I couldn’t contain myself and interrupted her: “Okay good, but are there any nice guys around?”

That stopped her in mid-sentence and after a moment of silence, she sighed and said, “Oh Mum, give it up, will you?”

Yes, I was more concerned about my daughter’s dating prospects than her job prospects.

Why am I worried? Because she’s 25, single and not dating. As my friend intoned: “If they don’t meet the right guy in college or university, it will be very hard for them to do so later on.”

This may be true once but it is now debatable since women overwhelmingly make up the number of undergraduates in our public universities.

So London mayor Boris Johnson couldn’t be more wrong when he said Malaysian women were entering university in droves because “they have got to find men to marry”.

He made the quip upon hearing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak say women make up 68% of the latest public university intake at the launch of the World Islamic Economic Forum.

And that is really the biggest obstacle to the dating-mating game – this changed power structure between men and women.

As I have said before, thanks to education, job opportunities and contraceptives, women have the means to shape and control their own destiny.

They are on the rise and taking over in many fields. I attended a meeting recently at a top local bank to discuss a project and in the room were representatives from the bank, the advertising agency, a TV station and my own media company – all women except for one chap who didn’t say a word throughout the meeting. I never found out who he is and what he was doing at the meeting.

That meeting wasn’t the only one I have attended that was dominated by women; it happens all the time.

Women are so high-achieving at a relatively young age – VPs or senior managers before they are 35 – that they are leaving the guys in the dust, both in the career and marriage stakes.

A dear friend who is very pretty, has a great personality and just turned 40 is a top manager in her company. She is single and, over coffee, she agreed that dating in the 21st century is complicated for this very reason.

Because she is able to more than provide for herself, she isn’t willing to settle for just any guy. And she doesn’t think it’s worth the effort.

And really, where have all the men gone? They can’t all be chefs or mobile phone salesmen and repairmen, can they?

According to a 2011 report, globally, attitudes to sex and marriage have changed under the pressures of wealth and modernisation.

In Western society, it has led to divorce and illegitimacy; in Asia “later marriage, less marriage and (to some extent) more divorce”.

The Economist goes on to say that in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong, women were marrying later (at 29-30 years old) and more and more are simply not marrying at all. In 2010, it was found that one-third of Japanese women in their 30s were single.

Not only that: 37% of all women in Taiwan aged 30-34 were single, as were 21% of 35 to 39-year-olds.

“If women are unmarried entering their 40s, they will almost certainly neither marry nor have a child,” said the report.

It went to say that the “Asian avoidance of marriage is new, and striking” because 30 years ago, just 2% of women were single in most Asian countries. Now it’s closer to 25% among women in their 30s.

Basically, Asian women are quite content to stay single because they don’t see a lot of benefits in getting hitched. They seem to take quite well to the celibate life too. At least that’s what the Economist says.

And it shows no sign of levelling off, according to Prof Gavin W. Jones of the National University of Singapore. In an April 2013 report, he says this East Asian trend in singlehood has accelerated in Japan and South Korea over the past decade, leaving the governments “nonplussed” as to how to reverse it.

In Malaysia, the situation may not be so dire but I am anxious for my daughters (my other daughter is 22 and not dating either) who, I think, are just not trying hard enough. They would rather chill at home than party or go clubbing.

I thoroughly irritate them with my attempts at match-making but I persist. After much prodding and telling them they were getting fat and unhealthy, they both joined a gym. It hasn’t helped in getting them dates though. Maybe most of the guys who love working out are not into girls.

Why do I persist? It’s not because I have no faith in my girls to take care of themselves; they are well educated and already hold decent jobs.

It’s because I believe life is not meant to be lived alone. No matter how many friends and relatives you have, there is nothing like having someone to grow old with and to be there for you no matter what.

True, marriage may not be for everyone and it doesn’t always work out. But I want my kids to have a shot at it. Like the wife of the protagonist in the movie, Shall We Dance?, says: We need a witness to our lives. There are a billion people on the planet … I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage … You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.’”

Where have all the young men gone? 

SO AUNTY , SO WHAT? BY JUNE H.L.WON

> The writer confesses she would be a much better witness to her own spouse if she didn’t spend so much time at work. Feedback to junewong@thestar.com.my or tweet #JuneHLWong

Women coax men to seek help for ‘manhood problems’


MEN who seek medical help for sexual dysfunction are usually forced by their wives to make the doctor’s appointment, clinical andrologist Dr Mohd Ismail Mohd Tambi told Metro Ahad.

He was quoted as saying that the men would try to avoid consulting medical experts over “manhood problems” because of their ego and fear of embarrassment.

“More women are making the appointments on behalf of their husbands,” he said. “Even on the rare occasions that men themselves seek help, it is because their wives forced them to.”

Men who faced such problems, he said, made matters worse by opting for “short-cuts” by taking pills and other products to “boost their energy”.

These so-called medication, if taken without a doctor’s advice, could even lead to death, Dr Mohd Ismail warned.

Quoting statistics from the latest H4rd Poll by pharmaceutical company Pfizer Malaysia, he said more than 40% of Malaysian men, including those in their 20s, suffered sexual dysfunction.

“Even more shocking, the majority of them can perform for about a minute only,” he said, adding that some wives then resort to divorcing their husbands. “Others have extramarital affairs to satisfy their needs.”

The Star/Asia News Network -Other News & Views
Compiled by NG SI HOOI, P. ARUNA and and A. RAMAN

Ad strategy wins sweethearts


Valentine-day-teoh

Proposa l placement: Xteven and Rachel looking through The Star.

IPOH: A 29-year-old company manager proposed to his sweetheart by declaring his love through a newspaper advertisement.

Xteven Teoh Hoe Seong (sic), from Gunung Rapat here, said he got the idea after finding out that one could place an advertisement in the Celebrations page in The Star.

Teoh, who works in Shah Alam, Selangor, said he believed the advertisement was more romantic than going down on bended knee to propose to the love of his life, Rachel Choo Lai Ying.

Teoh and Choo, 27, who have been courting for nine years, will marry on Sept 15. They first met when they were cadets with St John Ambulance in their respective schools.

“About three years ago, we broke up for about six months due to some misunderstanding, but deep down we knew we were made for each other and got back together.

“At that time she was studying in Australia, and during the mooncake festival I sent her four pieces, ” he said here yesterday.

On Feb 10, the Sunday Star published Teoh’s advertisement with the couple’s photograph and his proposal to Choo: “Will you marry me? Let me take care of you for the rest of our life.”

Teoh also made a short video-clip on his Facebook page declaring his love for her.

The clip starts with Teoh coming up with the words “Most of the Chinese newspaper companies are shut, and the only newspaper I can find in 7-11 is The Star, so go to page 47 and Rachel Choo you will find this” (referring to the ad).

Choo, a sales executive working in Puchong, Selangor, said she was shocked to see the advertisement in The Star.

“I was a bit suspicious when a few friends persuaded me to look out for an advertisement. After flipping page after page, I saw the ad. I was so touched by the proposal that I immediately said Yes’,” said Choo who is from First Garden, near here.

By MANJIT KAUR manjit@thestar.com.my

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Substance and character are created within and emerged in form


Creating students of substance and character

substance_women SOCIAL science subjects undeniably play a vital and pivotal part in harnessing the full potential of our young.

It is precisely through such courses that students broaden their horizons and thinking.

The most suitable place for young minds to be developed and cultivated is undeniably at university.

A university is where we pursue excellence, character, harmony and wisdom.

It has been said that truly outstanding minds are usually cultivated from within, and emerge from, a conducive environment.

They take shape when their intellectual capacity and potential is supported, encouraged and cultivated.

An intellectual is a person who uses thought and critical or analytical reasoning in either a professional or a personal capacity.

These people are involved in abstract, erudite ideas and theories.

They are also in professions which involve the production and dissemination of ideas.They could also be people of notable cultural and artistic expertise whose knowledge grants them intellectual authority in public discourse.

There is no doubt that among intellectuals are philosophers, teachers, writers, poets and artists.

The French philosopher and revolutionary, Jean-Paul Sartre pronounced that the intellectuals are the moral conscience of their age.

He passionately believed in this, as he himself lived his life the way he wrote and taught.

The task of the intellectuals, he said was not limited by merely observing the political and social situation of the moment, but undeniably to be involved and engaged actively in all of society’s issues and concerns.

Finally, he also maintained that part and parcel of the duty of an intellectual was to serve as a voice of the marginalised, the oppressed, the idiots, the exploited, the lowest members of the society and indeed to speak out freely, in accordance with their conscience.

Standing up for truth

Philosopher and activist Professor Noam Chomsky, like Sartre also subscribes to the belief that a true intellectual must not be silenced nor cowed.

They must always stand for the truth and condemn all the injustices and inequalities in the world.

An intellectual therefore is not only a member of a community, but a citizen of the world. Intellectuals are truly necessary and indeed important in any society or political community. Their ultimate function is to serve as the critic of their society’s malaise.

It is not an exaggeration to state that intellectuals are precisely the eyes and soul of the community.

As such, universities should encourage critical thinkers who lead and are responsible citizens in society.

Hence, we must engage in a two-pronged programme which involves the development of the mind and cultivation of the inner spirit. These two elements must concur in order for us to mould and create students and citizens who have substance and good moral character.

By JOSE MARIO DOLOR DE VEGA

The writer was previously teaching Philosophy, Ethics and Anthropology at an institution of higher education in the Klang Valley.

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Personal finance: what rich Asian women want for their money?


Starting today, StarBizWeek features a column on personal finance called Money & You, which will focus on money matters as they relate to YOU. Our two writers will take turns every fortnight to shed light on personal finance matters.

■ Yap Ming Hui is an independent financial advisor and author of five best-selling books on personal finance. He is the managing director of Whitman Independent Advisors, an independent financial advisory firm licensed by Securities Commission and Bank Negara Malaysia. Since 2000, Yap and his team of licensed independent financial advisors have successfully helped numerous clients achieve financial freedom. Yap believes that all Malaysians can fully optimise their wealth using a holistic wealth management approach

Carol Yip, founder of Abacus For Money, believes that if people understand their money mindset, behaviour and money psychology, they can be financially happy and successful. She actively promotes financial literacy and intelligence within families and for women, youths and retirees.

MONEY & YOU By CAROL YIP

WOMEN in Asia are building and inheriting more wealth than ever before. According to Boston Consulting Group (BSG) 2010 report, the percentage of wealth controlled by women in Asia (ex Japan) is rising nearing 30% annually and total wealth controlled by women reached RM2.8 trillion in 2010. Their heightened visibility in financial circles can be traced to more women achieving success in the workforce and a greater number of women actively managing family finances. Kim Sung-Joo recently made her debut on the inaugural Forbes list of Asia’s Power Businesswomen in celebration of International Women’s Day recently. She is the youngest daughter of an energy conglomerate tycoon in South Korea and created her wealth from luxury fashion.

The increasing number of wealthy women is also partly because they are inheriting wealth due to their longevity. Puan Sri Lee Kim Hua, 81, widow of the late casino magnate Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, is one of the 40 richest Malaysians on the 2012 Forbes Asia list.

Without a doubt, Asian women are creating significant financial visibility. But are bankers and wealth advisors paying sufficient attention to this alluring segment of the market?

Women of wealth

Based on research conducted in 2011 by the Family Wealth Advisors Council, a network of US-based, independent fee-only wealth management firms, the financial services industry has a long way to go if it wishes to provide the kind of service wealthy women say they want. The title of the study of high net-worth American women says it all: “Women of Wealth: Why Does the Financial Services Industry Still Not Hear Them?”

Involving 551 women across the United States with a net worth of US$1mil or more, the study collected survey questionnaire data across marital status, employment status, age and net worth. The research looked at what worries wealthy women:

About 86% of working women surveyed consider obsolete careers and eroding earning power as risks to their financial success;

Married women believe health challenges present a greater risk to their financial security than the death of a spouse;

About 96% of women want their unique circumstances and their entire life picture understood by their financial advisor;

About 80% of women (either married or divorced) believe that they will be called on at some point to help one or more of their children in a crisis;

About 81% of retirees see a potential decline in the economy as a major risk, versus 45% of full-time working women; and

About 57% of married women feel that divorce poses a significant risk to their financial well-being.

With women’s economic clout in the workplace and purchasing power in all consumer and commercial markets increasing, their dissatisfaction with the financial services industry is also growing. The study clearly showed that women do not like to be considered a monolithic group, but want services tailored to their specific circumstances. Evidence suggests that wealthy women in Asia Pacific are also having similar experiences.

Different women different needs

As more women call the shots on money, they also want their wealth advisors to do a better job of meeting their needs. They want the same attention, advice, terms and deals that men get with advisers who provide investment recommendations. But, at the same time, women want advisors to tailor services to them because they have very different needs and expectations than men.

In the BSG survey, women said advisors tend to assume they have a lower risk tolerance than men, so advisors provide only a narrow range of investment alternatives. Some women claimed that advisors for women are too quick to focus on strategies that don’t emphasise on performance, assuming that women are more inclined to make investment decisions based on social issues. With these and other study insights, wealth advisors who service female clients should foremostly recognise that women want to be treated differently. Some suggestions come from the findings:

Women want to be understood as unique individuals. They want an advisor who listens to their needs and is trustworthy. A fiduciary advisor who knows how to create strategic investment allocations based on a women’s situation, goals and risk appetite will stand a better chance of securing their business.

Women are looking for advisors who can provide advance planning, relationship management and investment advice a one-stop boutique financial centre.

The wealth advisor’s gender plays an important part of the financial planning process for wealthy ladies. Female wealth advisors will be able to relate better to their situations and challenges than men.

Women’s investment attitude

It’s no surprise that women’s behaviour as earners, investors and savers is the subject of a large and growing body of behavioural economic research, which has yielded important findings. Women prefer to focus on long-term investment goals and seek holistic advice. When women invest, they tend to look for informed advice and better rate of return than men. Women can be too conservative in their approach, especially given the fact that they tend to live longer than men. Ultimately, from the way they seek financial information and advice, to their understanding of the long term, women’s financial behaviour holds crucial lessons for all financial advisors.

Women may also tend to limit their trading far more than men do. They prioritise by protecting principal rather than taking risks to grow their assets. A study by the University of Michigan’s Retirement Research Center finds that men frequently and unnecessarily trade their holdings. All other things being equal, the male participants trade 56% more than their female counterparts, and the more they trade, the worse their performance becomes “a result of a too-rosy estimation of their own investment skills,” the researchers write.

The landmark study on gender differences in stock investing also finds that men tend to sell too early, or to swap assets for new ones that underperformed what they havve sold. By contrast, women are more inclined to take the long-term view and understand that performance in many cases are best measured over time.

Huge potential

Women’s financial behaviour and preferences across varied situations show major differences from men’s. Women’s financial strengths are significant. So are their challenges.

The provision of tailored wealth management services for wealthy women is much needed. There is a unique opportunity for the financial services industry to design investment, insurance, trust and estate planning products and services that better address women’s needs, psychological preferences, life values and different life stages.

Wealth is a “means of life planning rather than a goal in itself” for women. The one-size-fits-all concept is no longer appropriate. Customised fitting is always the preferred choice to make wealthy female clients happy. Wealthy female clients will be loyal customers when wealth advisors deliver the results they want. A long-term trusting client-advisor relationship will be the result.

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