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  1. #1
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    Smile Con∑trar∑i∑an Jo∑h∑or

    Hi guys,

    I have learned a great deal just by reading this forum. A big Thank You.

    I have just moved to Johor and am new to this forum. Hope to learn more and hopefully in time share ...

    I have currently just moved to the northern part of Johor. Things are slightly cheaper here than in JB itself. To be a true Con∑trar∑i∑an Jo∑h∑or, I have given up all links to sg. I even have a baby boy but totally not registered with sg. People around me have been telling me that I should have registered him to sg and enjoy some baby bonuses and tax rebates, thereby enjoy the great education that sg has to offer.

    I stronger believe that the sg education is poisonous to the young mind. It doesn't teach what is morally good. It doesn't teach how to survive as a normal human being. It doesn't teach how to live among people. It simply doesn't teach what is life.

    I am against drinking shit water. Too many of my relations by blood have gotten very serious illnesses due to poor living conditions.

    I am against human engineering. A true life should be allowed to live freely (hopefully). My generation has already been done in, I just hope for the next generation to be better.

    One might detect bitterness in my writing. But, it is not true. I have long past the bitter stage and am now trying to enjoy life to the fullest.

    I don't wish to offend any sentiments here but to share a different but possible path.

    in metta ...

  2. #2
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    Smile A Generations Game

    Thank You, Moderators for accepting my post.

    I shall do my best to contribute.

    A Generations Game

    It is never easy for me to restart and throw away everything I know and treasured dear.

    I have worked in many white countries. I even sent my kids to these countries hoping that they too have a choice. But, in the end, each of these experiments failed. White countries are never friendly towards yellows or browns. They might outwardly be friendly, but when it comes to promotions, I was never considered. Even the semi-whites (yellows that have been to these countries long time ago) were extremely hostile towards me. Why? You asked. Because I was considered fresh meat. They got extremely angry when they realized I couldn't be sponged. They mostly couldn't make great money other than basic minimum pay from their semi-white food store employers. They were mainly screwed badly by their earlier semi-whites. So, their only way is to try to skin freshly landed immigrants for food.

    In a way, one can conclude that for every dragon that crosses the big river, one invariably ended up as a worm on the other side. Why? Again you might ask. Because when we land, we have no contacts, no resources, no family to rely on in times of difficulties, which happens immediately after landing. Every one would be extremely protective about their turf and one simply cannot try to win any thing, like good jobs or good trades.

    If one were to talk to any Johorians, one would confirm that each and every one of their forefathers were once-upon-a-time rubber tappers, who rises at 3 a.m. and tapped till 8 a.m.. This is the price paid to the generations game.
    [to be continued]

  3. #3
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    Default A Generations Game (con't)

    After 3-4 generations, most of these Johorians now owned freehold lands, established food stores, shophouses and kopitiams. Their livelihoods were never better. The minimalist cars they drive are the toyotas and hondas.

    There is truly no shame in restarting if one concludes that the previous place they landed was deemed a mistake. By all means, restart and take that humble pie and work from the bottom once again.

    Now, I don't have to climb stairs to my house. 50 m away is a guardian and 7-11. Banks everywhere. Eateries (although not all are nice, some are not bad) everywhere. Super malls 5 minutes away. A car each for every member of the family. Free parking lots for 10 cars. 200 monkeys stealing my food. 10,000 trees supplying oxygen to me every morning. No more shit water. Friendly neighbours who feed my dogs every day. Free python biles. Mozzies everywhere but I managed to defeat them all.

    This is not a showing-off post. But, I am a person who is totally contented with my humble new life and a new sound beginning.

    I believe in each and every one of us here in this forum to have the same if not superior powers than me to achieve much higher objectives.

    IF we can cooperate in a foreign land, then I am sure we would be a force to reckoned with.

    in metta ...

  4. #4
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    Smile A New Restaurant Tale

    3 months ago, nearer to the north of Johor, a restaurant with the same name as the pet shop next door was opened for business. For more than a year now (I have just moved here), I have been buying all kinds of dog food and cages from the pet shop. The pet shop owner was friendly and the prices were equally reasonable.

    Then suddenly, next door to it, a restaurant of high quality renovation was opened. Since that day till now, the restaurant was packed. I couldnít even dine there till much later. The menu was unique and the service excellent.

    For a simple dinner for 5, I paid RM400, meaning rm80 per pax. That price can easily match any top-flight restaurant in Johor, yet this restaurant, better ranked as a zi-char store, was mob-crowded till this day.

    The tale goes like this (I can only conjected, no one would have told me the absolute truth anyway):

    The pet shop was run by 2 owners. For the better of the last 35-40 years, they have humbly slogged for their family of two boys. In time, they managed to buy their shop unit and the unit next to it for rental income, maybe for the price of 10-thousand-ish.

    Being a hobbyist shop in a developing economy, where food on the table is more important than keeping an ornamental fish alive, making a living by selling hobbies, cannot be easy. But, the shop managed to pass through the sands of time.
    [to be continued ...]

  5. #5
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    Smile A New Restaurant Tale (con't)

    Being a hobbyist shop in a developing economy, where food on table is more important than keeping an ornamental fish alive, making a living by selling hobbies, cannot be easy. But, the shop managed to pass through the sands of time.

    Now with valuation of rm1m each, the 2 sons must have asked dad for a break. They must have visited TW/HK/China & come across this amazing food idea & they wanted to try it in Johor. Everything is available. The tables (just pap), chairs (just pap), cooking furniture (just pap), dinning sets (just pap), the concept (just lift it off the Chinese), manpower (self-helped), place (existing locality located at the most busy boulevard of town) & the money (mom and popís financing) are all success factors. Entrepreneurship cannot be made simpler. (Maximum respect is due lah.) Who knows they might finally succeed & drop the apron strings altogether. The idea only cost rm200k. It's only a small cut of the shophousesí valuation, all banks would finance this venture easy. On top of that, the sons would be helping to pay for the loan repayments.

    Bingo Ö They got the money, they got the concept, they got the market to say yes. Just these 3 months, I would have expected them to have recovered at least 50% of their initial investment.

    This is again the generations game at play Ö

    (This is only a conjecture, the actual circumstances might be different, but largely, the conjecture should be quite sound. I meant no offence to whosoever, if I have, please send me a pm and I will change or take down the post.)

    It is obvious that the mom and pop had paid for the rubber tapper's role, by blood, sweat and tears. It is therefore time for the next generation to shine through. I guess this is the stage I am in right now, the rubber tapper's role.

    If I am the current gf of 1 of the ahsiakias, I will be laughing all the way to the bank.

    in metta Ö (477 words, if I may humbly ask if I could get a higher quota for each essay, TQ.)

  6. #6
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    Smile A Developerís Curse

    Once upon a time, I bought a condo unit for rm200k near the centre of KL. 10 years later, I only managed to sell it for rm100k. I lost in exchange rate. I lost in actual value. I lost in investment opportunity (time factor). During that time, the swimming pool dried up with no water and the maintenance dropped from minimal to below zero. The management committee collects rates but not a single ringgit was dispensed to upkeep the condo. A 5-star condo has dropped to minus-2-star.

    Originally, I might get a couple of tenants renting at bare minimum, after the fifth year, not a single tenant appears. In short, I have gotten hit by the developerís curse.

    A KL friend of mine, who owns at least 10 very large properties, also fell into the same trap. He bought 2 different condo units, 500k each. After 10 years, he still couldnít sell them off for a profit even though the property market has improved by more than double. He cursed the condos every single day and said that he could easily leave the landed properties alone and let them rot, but yet still can sell them off at a great profit, nevertheless not his condo units. He has since converted them into chicken shops for his own private pleasure.

    A Developerís Curse


    If one were to check the developerís price, it is always at least 50% higher than the existing market. Since the area for sale is also tinier than the existing ones, the increased quantum is normally not felt as much. At the same time, with new tiles, new air-con and new kitchen cabinets, the developer can easily fool oneís eyes.

    Since most buyers are normally cash poor (maximum loan from banks) (no pun intended), one would not contemplate the extreme option, i.e., buy an existing dilapidated one and use the 50% to renovate it into a palatial home. The end result is one of a great space and own-designed living. But, how many buyers can do that?
    [to be continued]

  7. #7
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    Smile A Developerís Curse (con't)

    In the end, buyers, being disorientated by sgís high-rise units, continue to buy high-rise condo units, without realising that Malaysia is a big country and land price is not going to move much. Maintenance would not be as tight because they have plenty of choice to move around.

    Many buyers will reject my idea and claimed that a condo unit or a g&g landed is safer. I cannot deny the interpretation. But, instead of shelling out millions just to be safe, why canít one do the following:

    1. Install an auto-gate. Open it to move the car in and close it before disembarking from the vehicle. Robbing always comes during returning to house, but not so much for going out. Our backs are always blind but great for the robbers.
    2. Keep some big dogs. Before I kept dogs, my compound was broken into, not once but many times. My shoes, chillers, bricks, ladders, gas cylinders, cabinets, machines, tools and what-have-you were stolen whenever I leave the house. After I kept the dogs, not a single thing went missing. On top of that, some of my smaller dogs are great ratters and monkeys chasers too. Cost-wise, I didnít even bother to feed them, the dogs find their own food. I only feed them once a while on treats. My cost for these 24/7 live-in guards is zero. Malaysia Boleh! If you want to save further, keep only a few female dogs. The male dogs always roam the street for free fucks at night and not guard the house.
    3. Keep good contact with neighbours. Get their numbers and display them prominently near the phones. Once detect anything suspicious, just give them a call or vice versa.
    4. Install tall stainless steel gates and fences. You donít want them to easily climb right in.
    5. Install auto-flood led lights. Based on motion detection, these lights will flood the area once motion is detected and shine for at least 5 mins. The dogs will complement your flood lights.
    6. When travelling, keep some lights on and off during the nights and inform your trust-worthy neighbours about your absence.

    [to be continued]

  8. #8
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    Smile A Developerís Curse (con't)

    1. Always keep one car in the porch. In Malaysia, cars are cheap and therefore, it is possible to own 2 or more cars per person. One can get a working car 12-15 yo for rm6k. road tax is only rm300 per year. For older cars, insurance is cheap, rm500-800? Just leave a car behind.
    2. Keep some weapons in the house.

    Even in the States, house break-ins are just as common as in Malaysia. So please donít define Malaysia as a bad place.

    Back to the developerís curse, if one were to scan the Malaysian websites for great second-hand properties, one would come to a conclusion that for a million bucks a pop, one can own a palace in Malaysia. So why settle to pay the developerís curse and not venture out to see what the market is providing.

    Renovation is just a joke. With a palatial place, one can take oneís time to renovate. Visit Ayer Hitam, one can get rm1500 toilet bowl for rm600. Visit Pontian, one can get rm1000 doors for rm300. Visit low-cost housing estate, one can get rm300 per day contract worker for rm100 per day. Visit Ipoh, one can get rm60 psf granite for rm10 psf. Just take oneís time to do the work of thousands. (878 words)

    in metta Ö

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A Developerís Curse (con't)

    Quote Originally Posted by ikani View Post
    In the end, buyers, being disorientated by sg’s high-rise units, continue to buy high-rise condo units, without realising that Malaysia is a big country and land price is not going to move much. Maintenance would not be as tight because they have plenty of choice to move around.
    Thanks for sharing your honest views here on living in Johor.

    With respect to your views as quoted above, what is your opinion of buying high-rise condo units in Johor, around Bukit Indah and Medini areas?

    Have a great day!

  10. #10
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    Smile Re: A Developerís Curse

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcount View Post
    ... what is your opinion of buying high-rise condo units in Johor, around Bukit Indah and Medini areas?
    I must first apologise for not being clear. There is a limit on me in writing my essays (2000 chars), so in the end, the essay has to be truncated into 3 parts. Interestingly, only parts 2 and 3 were approved by the Moderator(s) for publishing, but not part 1.

    In part 1, I fully explained what my definition of a developerís curse is and how it arises.

    Your question was substantially answered in my part 1.

    For your convenience, I shall repeat a little of the argument here (as I am limited very much by the 2000 chars):

    ďNobody makes any money from investing in a condo unit. Each condo unit comes with great cost of continuous maintenance and one simply cannot leave it alone to rot. The management disallows it. If so allowed, the value of the condo unit shall drop substantially to negative value. Strata title means owner of the air which implies worthlessness.Ē

    But, lots of people in sg felt that they profited from ďenblocĒ sale and declared great vision. This is because the developer looked at the low heights of the old apartments, implying some residual land value still to be extracted, and offered to take them to much higher floors. If you have noticed, none of the 20-storey high HDB 5-rooms were ever ďenblocĒed, only the shorter 3- and 4-roomers. Why so?

    In Malaysia, it is a lot different. None of the roads leading to big residential areas were ever widened. Perpetual jams everywhere. So it is not good to look at the dense condo developments without first look at the final traffic conditions.

    The current most happening place is no longer Bukit Indah, it has moved to Mount Austin. There, big spenders are everywhere. Huge g&g bungalows, semi-ds and clusters are the order-of-the-day. I see the way they eat Japanese food, I must say I am humbled totally. A bowl of plain noodles costed me rm17 (not yet adding the nuts, tissue, service and gst) only provided me with a portion equivalent to a s$4 bowl in a sg hawker centre.

    Yet, my friend who owned a Mount Austin condo unit which she bought at below rm500k, cannot find tenants or sale even near that price. She has already been at it for a good 3 years, empty and paying good money from her wages from sg to service the loan.

    In the humble opinion of a rubber tapper (me), a wise investment must have qualities like preservation of investment capital and certainty in income return. Lack these, the investment is no longer wise.

    in metta ...
    Last edited by ikani; 25-12-2016 at 02:04 PM.

  11. #11
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    Smile Re: A Developerís Curse (con't)

    Quote Originally Posted by ikani
    A Developerís Curse
    Part 1
    Once upon a time, I bought a condo unit for rm200k near the centre of KL. 10 years later, I only managed to sell it for rm100k. I lost in exchange rate. I lost in actual value. I lost in investment opportunity (time factor). During that time, the swimming pool dried up with no water and the maintenance dropped from minimal to below zero. The management committee collects rates but not a single ringgit was dispensed to upkeep the condo. A 5-star condo has dropped to minus-2-star.

    Originally, I might get a couple of tenants renting at bare minimum, after the fifth year, not a single tenant appears. In short, I have gotten hit by the developerís curse.

    A KL friend of mine, who owns at least 10 very large properties, also fell into the same trap. He bought 2 different KL condo units, 500k each. After 10 years, he still couldnít sell them off for a profit even though the property market has improved by more than double. He cursed the condos every single day and said that he could easily leave the landed properties alone and let them rot, but yet still can sell them off at a great profit, nevertheless not his condo units. He has since converted them into chicken shops for his own private pleasure.

    A Developerís Curse

    If one were to check the developerís price, it is always at least 50% higher than the existing market. Since the area for sale is also tinier than the existing ones, the increased quantum is normally not felt as much. At the same time, with new tiles, new air-con and new kitchen cabinets, the developer can easily fool oneís eyes.

    Since most buyers are normally cash poor (maximum loan from banks) (no pun intended), one would not contemplate the extreme option, i.e., buy an existing dilapidated one and use the 50% to renovate it into a palatial home. The end result is one of a great space and own-designed living. But, how many buyers can do that?

    In the end, buyers, being disorientated by sgís high-rise units, continue to buy high-rise condo units, without realising that Malaysia is a big country and land price is not going to move much. Maintenance would not be as tight because they have plenty of choice to move around.
    I have repeated Part 1 here. I hope the Moderator(s) approves this banned Part 1.

    I have not much idea about Bukit Indah and Medini Iskandar areas, most of these developments are priced way-beyond me. So I didn't think about them.

    If we try to emulate Warren Buffet here, notice he doesn't go for fanciful, loud and shiny technology firms, except of late, he only goes for companies that are time-tested. Applying the same principle to real estate, quieter older dilapidated properties are larger in land size, much better located, great amenities such as buses, trains and roads, post office, govt bodies and eateries, and most importantly super rentable. Just look at Taman Universiti, that's a gold mine for property owners, each 3-room landed property was further extended and subdivided into 7-8 rooms, each commanding about rm350-500 per room. Every real estate agent knows it and each has properties in that taman.

    In Taman Universiti, each 3-room landed (1000sf) costs at least rm120k (cheapest), the same thing elsewhere only worth rm30-50k. Even with doubling of cost, there are always takers, because each buyer knows they can get rental income of at least rm30k per year.

    That's why real estate agents don't like me, the rubber tapper.

    in metta ...

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Con∑trar∑i∑an Jo∑h∑or

    Quote Originally Posted by ikani View Post
    Hi guys,

    I have learned a great deal just by reading this forum. A big Thank You.

    I have just moved to Johor and am new to this forum. Hope to learn more and hopefully in time share ...

    I have currently just moved to the northern part of Johor. Things are slightly cheaper here than in JB itself. To be a true Con∑trar∑i∑an Jo∑h∑or, I have given up all links to sg. I even have a baby boy but totally not registered with sg. People around me have been telling me that I should have registered him to sg and enjoy some baby bonuses and tax rebates, thereby enjoy the great education that sg has to offer.

    I stronger believe that the sg education is poisonous to the young mind. It doesn't teach what is morally good. It doesn't teach how to survive as a normal human being. It doesn't teach how to live among people. It simply doesn't teach what is life.

    I am against drinking shit water. Too many of my relations by blood have gotten very serious illnesses due to poor living conditions.

    I am against human engineering. A true life should be allowed to live freely (hopefully). My generation has already been done in, I just hope for the next generation to be better.

    One might detect bitterness in my writing. But, it is not true. I have long past the bitter stage and am now trying to enjoy life to the fullest.

    I don't wish to offend any sentiments here but to share a different but possible path.

    in metta ...
    Thanks for sharing with us your new found joy of life in Johor. So you are staying in Kluang or Kulai area? Mind sharing where you are living? All the best and have a blessed Christmas!

  13. #13
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    Smile Re: Con∑trar∑i∑an Jo∑h∑or

    Quote Originally Posted by Frodo View Post
    Thanks for sharing with us your new found joy of life in Johor. So you are staying in Kluang or Kulai area? Mind sharing where you are living? All the best and have a blessed Christmas!
    Merry Christmas to you and all.

    Yes. I stay around Kulai area.

    in metta ...

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