Sun Tzu - Art of War

''Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness" - Sun Tzu

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Information that will change the society.

It is not just any information. There must be something inside
that information that can really change the society.

The latest New Yorker article is interesting - it demonstrates how
"information can even shape the industry of the information itself!"

Now you see - information is a powerful weapon.

Again, it is not just the information - The information must have
some 'killer' substance. We will leave it to the reader to discover.

Hints on killer substance:

1) The ability to build interest (the power to attract) - current up-to-date and quality info
2) To serve relevant material (what people are most likely to be looking after)
3) To hit the target immediately with just few words (or powerful illustration)
4) Immediately identify the issues/subjects to the viewer (for quick absorption)
5) To trigger the human mind (break the barrier). and capture their heart (love).

Perhaps the last killer substance is the most important.
Human are known to do amazing things when they love something.
This is what we are after........

Consider this simple story with a powerful message:

The King and The Astrologer

Once upon a time, an astrologer went to a King’s Palace.
Accidentally, he saw one of the Palace’s woman, she looked tired
and sick............

He said to her: “You will die soon”

And that is what happened. She died few days after the date that the
astrologer appointed it. The King grieved on her death.

The King knew and heard about the astrologer. He decided to take
revenge on him, therefore, the King ordered two powerful and strong
men to hide themselves in the room. Whenever he signaled them, they
would attack the astrologer and carry him and throw him out of the
window to die. This way the King will be good and recover from

One day the King called on the astrologer, after he managed the plan
mentioned above and said to him: “You know the future of all the
people, and of course you know your future too, so tell me when you
will die?” The astrologer realized the critical situation, and the
king wanted nothing from him but to beat him down.

The astrologer looked at the ground for few minutes, then he lifted
his head and said with a voice full of confidence and accuracy: “I
will die three days before the King’s death.”

Therefore, the King had no chance to do anything except he allowed the
two strong men to leave the palace.

Finally, the astrologer lived a good life.

The following write-up by Leslie Lopez is a good example of
writing with substance:

Mahathir's last stand

Saturday, 12 April 2008


LAST month's stunning election results have once again thrust former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad into the country's political mainstream.

He has resumed his spirited campaign to oust his successor Abdullah Badawi, whom he accuses of being incompetent and chiefly responsible for the ruling Umno's poor showing in the elections. But there is a growing view that the government's defeat in five key states and the loss of its customary two-thirds majority in Parliament represented in fact the final verdict on the 22 years of Tun Dr Mahathir's rule. That rule was pockmarked with assaults against independent public institutions, rampant corruption, racial tensions and economic fiascos.

While there is widespread anger within Umno towards Datuk Seri Abdullah over the recent election results, party officials say that his main fault was that he attempted to restore confidence in the institutions Tun Dr Mahathir emasculated, but did not have the political will to push ahead with the much-needed overhaul.

Indeed, the political mudslinging and blame game stemming from last month's polls have reopened the debate on Tun Dr Mahathir's legacy. In response to his attacks on the government, politicians from both sides of the divide have lashed out at the former premier.

In recent days Umno leaders, including Datuk Seri Abdullah, have chided him for his alleged abuse of power when in office. Opposition leaders have also weighed in.

'The opposition doesn't need the unsolicited support of Dr Mahathir to ensure that the Barisan Nasional government is kept on its toes,' said Mr Karpal Singh, the chairman of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP).

No stranger to controversy, Tun Dr Mahathir is insisting that he did nothing wrong. 'My conscience is clear. I have done what was my duty and I owe no one an apology,' he was quoted as saying in a letter to Mr Singh, made public this week.

For years, Malaysians have viewed Tun Dr Mahathir's autocratic political style through a soft-focus lens because he presided over a period of heady economic growth. For example, his crackdown on more than 100 government critics in October 1987 was defended as a necessity to prevent the country from descending into chaos. His assault on the judiciary was justified because large segments of the Malaysian public embraced his argument that judges were interfering in the business of government and were challenging decisions by his administration. Even his sacking of former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim in 1998 was often justified on the grounds that it reflected the realities of Malaysia's take-no-prisoners political culture:

Datuk Seri Anwar paid the price for challenging his boss. But those views are fast dissipating.

As Malaysia grapples with its worst political crisis in decades, Tun Dr Mahathir's legacy is coming under a not-so-forgiving spotlight. In fact, many analysts and politicians are now blaming the election debacle suffered by the ruling Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition on the overhang of the Mahathir years. Umno's sycophantic culture, the confidence deficit in the judiciary and security agencies, and widespread corruption are now viewed as elements framing his legacy.

Many Malaysian politicians believe that Datuk Seri Abdullah's position as Premier and party president is now untenable and the big question is whether he will be able to engineer a dignified political exit before Umno holds its own party polls some time in December. But his exit will not help rehabilitate Umno, and many party officials close to the Premier blame this on Tun Dr Mahathir. They say the party's decline began two decades ago after the High Court declared Umno illegal following a bitter leadership contest which almost unseated Tun Dr Mahathir.

He and his allies created a new party, but the democratic procedures that characterised Malaysia's oldest political organisation were removed. New rules made it virtually impossible to challenge the party leadership. That, say many Umno officials, sowed the seeds for the current disillusionment in the Malay community towards the party.

Tun Dr Mahathir's assault on the judiciary was the direct result of his problems in Umno. He led a campaign to sack the country's top jurist after the judge called for a full sitting of the country's highest court to hear an appeal by his political opponents.

They were seeking an order to overturn an earlier High Court decision declaring Umno illegal.

By removing the top judge and installing more compliant jurists, Tun Dr Mahathir removed potential political threats to his rule, lawyers and Umno officials say.

In all these battles, he won easily because he laid the ground rules and often moved the goal posts to get his way. But one fight that he has not been able to bring closure to is that with his former deputy, Datuk Seri Anwar.

The former premier's handling of Datuk Seri Anwar's sacking from Umno and the government in late 1998, and the subsequent imprisonment of Datuk Seri Anwar, ranks as one of his biggest political miscalculations. Even though Datuk Seri Anwar could not stand in last month's polls, he is widely credited with engineering the non-violent shift in the Malaysian mindset away from the divisive race-based politics that Tun Dr Mahathir promoted.

The public endorsement the opposition received can be viewed as a sharp rebuke to Tun Dr Mahathir.

Tun Dr Mahathir has challenged Datuk Seri Abdullah to carry out an international investigation into the alleged misdeeds of his years in office.

Some Umno leaders close to the Premier think that would not be a bad idea. They say it would provide a diversion from BN's political muddle and allow Datuk Seri Abdullah to proceed with rehabilitating his party and government.

The Mahathir years were Malaysia's most tumultuous. They will require careful examination to bring about the reforms Malaysia must undertake to move ahead.


Internet is the future of news: The death and life of the American newspaper

You can see from that article that the young generations and the
'most politically engaged' are moving away from the main stream media.

"Taking its place, of course, is the Internet, which is about to pass
newspapers as a source of political news for American readers. For
young people, and for the most politically engaged, it has already
done so. As early as May, 2004, newspapers had become the least
preferred source for news among younger people. According to
“Abandoning the News,” published by the Carnegie Corporation,
thirty-nine per cent of respondents under the age of thirty-five told
researchers that they expected to use the Internet in the future for
news purposes; just eight per cent said that they would rely on a
newspaper. It is a point of ironic injustice, perhaps, that when a
reader surfs the Web in search of political news he frequently ends
up at a site that is merely aggregating journalistic work that
originated in a newspaper, but that fact is not likely to save any
newspaper jobs or increase papers’ stock valuation.

Among the most significant aspects of the transition from “dead
tree” newspapers to a world of digital information lies in the
nature of “news” itself. The American newspaper (and the nightly
newscast) is designed to appeal to a broad audience, with conflicting
values and opinions, by virtue of its commitment to the goal of
objectivity. Many newspapers, in their eagerness to demonstrate a
sense of balance and impartiality, do not allow reporters to voice
their opinions publicly, march in demonstrations, volunteer in
political campaigns, wear political buttons, or attach bumper
stickers to their cars."