Good News, Bad News


Bad news: the recession is still around (I think).

Good news: it hasn’t managed to kill me (yet).

Recently I stuck my head in the sand and when I emerged to have a quick look around, I found that there were hordes of people out there who were shaking their collective defiant fists at the big, bad recession. Huh? Did I miss a meeting?

I guess I must have!

And what I saw made me smile. I think I know who the winner of this spitting match is going to be: people like you and me! Recessions come and go; people like us will still be around. OK, we’ll be a little battered and bruised for the experience, but that’s to be expected. After all, this is the real world – not Heaven! So I’d better just shut up and quit moaning.

I may have joined the ranks of the unemployed but I’m glad – at least, to my mind – I am NOT unemployable. But at my age, employment may not be an option that’s wide open. That’s OK, though. I’m off to chase my dreams as a self-employed person.

So, as they say – in sickness or in health, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer – I’m back.

And I hope this is not bad news!

34 thoughts on “Good News, Bad News

  1. Salam Mat,
    GREAT to hear from you again Bro.! Yes, come what may, if we have the gut to weather it out, inshaallah, we can do it!

    Dhahran Sea

    t’s good to be back, bro! Feels a bit awkward, though. But I’ll get over it

  2. Bro Mat B

    The great news is that you’re back in the blogosphere. We’re all so much the richer for your return. I rued having missed out on the long list of farewell comments when you entered blog hibernation. Now, I’m happy to join everyone in welcoming you back. And, I await your usual wit and sardonic humour laced with naughtiness 😀

    de minimis

    Thanks, mate! I look forward to being with friends again

  3. Hello?? So delighted you’re back. We all miss you Mat..recession tak recession you light up everybody’s life!


    You are too kind, ma’am. I appreciate what you said. Thanks!

  4. Dear Bangkai,

    Great to have you back! Sorry to hear of your current predicament.. but as they say, when the Almighty closes a door, he opens a window (something like that). So I believe that there is a silver lining waiting somewhere.

    Anyway, I was just reading this week’s issue of The Edge (Netvalue Pg 5) and chanced upon this interesting item that may be of interest to you. Go check it out:


    Thanks for the heads-up, ma’am. I appreciate it.

    I’m off to find that silver lining now – wherever it might be.

  5. aaah, you are back! Welcome back, tak apa – satu pintu tutup, banyak pintu buka, Insyaallah.

    Kak eh

    Amin, amin, Ya Allah! Amin, ya mujjeebassaa-ileen

  6. Salam MatB,

    Selamat kembali berblogging.

    Yes, times are tough, my friend… but we are built tougher. We shall pull through.


    We shall, my friend! We shall!

  7. Self-employment, yes, don’t we all, ultimately, want that?


    Eh? Right now, self-employment is looking like a very scary proposition, ma’am. But a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

    Good to hear from you again QOTH

  8. Hurray! You’re back. I knew you’d be back 🙂

    Even earlier today I was thinking that we need people like you to make the blogosphere a fun place to roam again. I was wondering who’d be able to fill the void and I couldn’t think of anyone. And now I read this – yay! Welcome back!


    I think you just made my day, ma’am. No! Make that my week!

    Thank you, Theta.

  9. I commented in your last post that you’re not coming back. I was wrong…8)


    You’re a sly one, sir! You always knew I’d be back – but you weren’t sure if I knew it, too!

    Thanks, mate!

  10. Salam MB,

    So, this is the reason for the cheerful voice the other day eh? Well, good for you bro.

    Btw, I lost my hp and hence, all the numbers in it as well. But since you moderate comments – mine, at least, I think – I guess its safe to put my number here but only for your eyes: (Truncated to protect cakapaje’s privacy)


    Will do, bro!

  11. Hi Matt,

    Boy, am I glad u r back, not that I’ve any doubt u would. Funny how I miss u more than I miss Sex………. (err as in my dog lah). Anyway I believe in u, bro!

    Honestly, I’m secretly happy that this recession happened. I meant lives had its ups & down, and this recession acts as a reality check especially for the younger (computer age, virtual world) ‘Y’ generation who have had it good for the last 10 years. I sincerely hope that they’ll see this challenge as a character building exercise.

    Yes, it’ll be much harder for ‘older’ guys like us too but heck we’d been thru’ this before and had always come up stronger, what’s with our Plan A, B & C in order.

    Yes, Matt, I hope all will turn out well for u & the family like all the above commenters said. U know, it’s good karma when u have so many people rooting on for u.


    P/S – Now how about some more nen nen postings, yeah it always brighten up one’s day, ahem, mine at least, I don’t know about the others…heheh.


    Yes, this downturn is one big character-building exercise. This is s good way to look at it.

    Thanks for the kind words, Tommy – especially about the karma bit.

  12. Phewh! Welcome Back.

    I took up VSS last November and still wondering what to do. It has been 6 months… Still waiting for one or two “pintus” or “tingkaps” to open.

    BTW, just glad you’re back.

    Siti the Mom

    Don’t worry, ma’am. The pintus and tingkaps wil open soon.

    Meanwhile, enjoy your break from working life. Things will sort themselves out.

  13. Mat-san,

    Welcome back!

    Yeah, things around may seem a bit groggy for you right now, after that hiatus, but don`t worry, you`ll find your feet again, and sooner than you think.

    If I may, my dear friend,let me offer a tiny bit of advice.Please put away those thoughts that one is just too old to merit serious re-employment, etc.It`s all crap, that line of thinking.Put it this way, Mat-san…to an employer(and I`m talking the private sector here), anyone who can actually contribute towards flattering the bottom-line, will surely and seriously, merit serious consideration to be hired.OK, at this age, maybe on contract basis, but I know of so many people who are working on contract basis for more than one and a half decades, and they get so comfortable with it they don`t want permanent employment ever again. It`s the higher pay, plus that feeling of not really being tied-down.The closest analogy I can think of is a couple so deeply in love, opting to live together and have kids and lead a perfectly normal and reponsible family life, save for that certificate.

    Meantime, if you`re seriously thinking self-employment, go for it, my man.Forget about the notion that you need big capital to start something.Just 2-nights ago, I was having a business dinner with the owner of the biggest transport company in this country, which is public-listed.He told me he started about 2-decades ago, with just RM7K in his pocket…he used up RM2K as down payment for a 2nd hand van,financed the balance RM6K of the price of the vehicle, and used the remaining RM5K in his pocket to pay the deposit for his office rental and the first month`s salary of his 2-staff plus something for operating xpenses for that 1st month.Ad he would be running goods delivery for just about any party,just about any cargo, as long as they pay him within 2-weeks.He drove the van himself, to cut costs.Today, he is sitting pretty on a fleet of almost 2,000 commercial vehicles and a string of warehouses, etc.and he is not even 60-years old yet!

    And I know of this Malay chap, in his esrly 40-`s, whose business hardly anyone really notices, but he`s laughing all the way to the bank.He started it 5-years ago, again with a seed capital of about RM10K.What does he do? He started a “franchise” or chain, rather, of road-side burger stalls in the Klang Valley(only, so far).One burger stall,complete, costs about RM 5K to order, he confided in me.He started with two stalls, found operators to run them, finance everything initially including the food supplies and sauces, vegetables, etc. for the first month but still splits the day`s taking 50:50 with the operator, and from the 2nd month, they split the day`s taking 50:50 but they also split the payment for the supplies 50:50.A day`s taking, he tells me, is “busuk-busuk” pun, around RM 200 per stall,after deducting the cost of supplies for the day.That`s RM 100.- net /day for him.Today, he has more than 300-stalls in operation, and that`s RM30K net cash income per day, Mat-san, believe it or not.And no one can see the value ofthis very simple business!That`s what I call smart and out-of-the-box entrepreneurship!

    Good Luck, Mat-san!



    The people you talked about are inspirational indeed. God knows I need some inspiration right now.

    My plans? Funnily enough, they don’t really need much capital in the conventional sense: I intend to do training stints and write for newspapers and/or magazine. Pretty modest plans I must say. But I’ve never had the inclination to be a business tycoon anyway. Thus, capitalisation is not going to be that big an issue.

    I reckon all I need to to is meet enough people who require trainers and/or writers and then let the law of averages take it from there. I know, sophistication has never been my strong suit 🙂

    Good to hear from you again, my friend.

  14. Entah-entah engkau balik bertapa di gua hantu. eh apa pasal dalam cerita-cerita lama orang-orang bijaksana ni janggut panjang dan bertapa atas gunung

    syed zul tojo

    Mana ada bertapa, beb! Masuk gua hantu adalah. Bertapa tu cuba juga – tapi fail!

    Sebab tu lah gua tak ada janggut panjang 🙂

  15. Mat

    Delighted that you are back. My humour somewhat dried out when you went black.

    Tried to be poetic it didn’t even rhyme.
    Must purify myself and become sublime.
    Will learn to love politicians prime and non-prime.

    Self-employment affords a lot of independence, my friend. Somehow it involves sales/ money transactions; remember, “A sale is no sale until it is paid for.” Needs prudence in selection of clients. Also in spending; Lim Goh Tong makan bubur for a long time before he built Genting Highlands.

    Best of luck to you, mon ami. Cheers.

    Dry Humour

    Good to be back, my friend.

    And I really appreciate the reminders you posted here – especially the bit about a sale not being a sale until the payment is collected. Mademe wake up and smell the coffee.

  16. Yo brader,
    Gua ingat lu betul2 dah kantoi…

    Good to know that you’re alive and kickin’. Many lucky ones amongst us goes thru’ that ‘phase in life’ once or twice. Life wouldn’t be complete if one is only blessed with the good life……

    Stay safe.


    Belum kantoi, beb! Tapi cemas-cemas…

    Yes, sir! You are right. Once in a while things will go wrong – so that they can get better.

    You’re a smart one, sir!

  17. heh heh dramanya.

    and i’ve also just jumped onto the unemployed bandwagon, at full speed.



    Drama habis, ma’am! Goes to show that drama isn’t the sole province of women, eh?

    Welcome to the club. Now lets make the best of this.

  18. It`s me again, Mat-san.

    Training is a wonderful idea.Nothing like dispensing knowledge and know-how to others, and get paid for it at the same time.

    You mentioned that bit about marketing your training programs.How about starting with the blogging faternity,which is your territory,and sound out Rocky and Dato`”Pahit Manis” …they`ve just recently made good, career-wise, in the publishing industry. I`m sure they know you;I mean, you`re a heavyweight blogger yourself in my book(and a lot of other people`s books,I`m sure, plus you`ve never stepped on anyone`s toes in your blog postings).

    And, who knows, you`ll kill 2-birds with 1-stone(the writing part, I mean here).Well, there`s the Media Prima stable, and that includes the NST and the MM, and not to forget, TV3/NTV7/ TV9.What a market potential for your new biz!

    Seriously think about it, Mat-san, and give it a go!

    All the best! Cheers!


    I will probably go down the path you suggested. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    Thank you, my friend.

  19. mat b,

    i was just about to delete the bookmark to your blog and i thought why not try again and voila! here you’re. welcome back.

    please don’t do this too often ya? my poor heart might not be able to take it next time. i was pretty depressed when you decided to stop blogging.


    Kassim Ahmad

    To be frank I was depressed when I stopped blogging, too: it was the depression that made me stop 🙂

    But its good to be back, sir! And good to hear from you again.

  20. Welcome back..

    Najib’s double stimulus not doing much to tickle you yet?Either,you are one immune guy or our PM tooo busy merangsang the wrong groups?

    Anyway,can I suggest that you produce a TV miniseries ala Jimmy Stewart “uplifting movies” post depression movies..Ur just perfect for the job of uplifting the morale of the country via ur creativity and communication skills.Others have tried but they just end corny..somehow your ideas always strikes the better chords.

    Pls do it for the country,


    I am flattered beyond words, sir! I’m not sure if what I have to say is any good. But it feels good to know that you think otherwise.


  21. Mat,

    Don’t worry. You will find success. You will succeed. Just keep at it.

    We all have our difficult times. Though not at the same time.

    Some are born great; others have greatness thrust upon them. Some are born not so great but have the thrust of a giant. You belong to the latter.

    I made sure I put a semi-colon up there!

    Best of luck, mate.

    Dry Humour

    ROTFL. Thrust of a giant? I hope my wife thinks so 😀

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, my friend.

  22. Welcome back. I’ll be in the same boat. Sort of.


    Good to be’am. Being unemployed is not so bad – as long as it doesn’t last too long 🙂

  23. berat mata memandang, berat lagi bahu memikul.. hang in there brader.. InsyaAllah, where there is a will, there will be a way..


    Thanks for the kind words, ma’am. They are a great comfort.

  24. I’ve been seeping in & out unnoticed longing for more wise words from you but seems I’m slow these days..

    Am glad you’re back! I never had a way with words like you bro. Maybe by being here, some of your charms cud trickle in me some day.. I heard someone saying some banks could do with some tutoring on some court procedures – maybe you could help them out? Wanna have coffee?

    Dak Ah Bau

    I’m sure you write like a dream – you just don’t know this yet.

    Sure! Now I am self-employed, I suppose I could slip out easily to coffee. Email me at – we’ll try work something out

  25. Bangkai,

    Just glad and happy you are back at blogging Sir. All the best in whatever venture you plan to do.


    Thanks, Noor

  26. Excellent!! Sorry i got wind of this so late. I hardly trawl the blogs anymore. 😦


    Good to have you here again, ma’am

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