Monday, 28 September 2015

Is perception a reality or should we question more?

Should we, in the age of information, ever question leadership? Are we right that once elected, we should then abdicate responsibility for our well being, leaving only history to judge those that harm us? Are events ever as they seem? Not sure that I will make much progress with this blog as it may even be too subjective and perhaps a little controversial even for me.

However, here goes:

Human psychology somehow opens us up to a great deal of suggestibility i.e. we believe what we see, we take direction from our leaders trusting their judgement. But are we right to do this, to take blind faith

For example; If we go back in time, a Silk air flight crashed in Sumatra December 1997, on discovering the black box voice recorder, the recorder had been allegedly deliberately disconnected. To the US investigators the controls were set  for a high speed nose dive and therefore, it was their perception that the pilot committed suicide, killing 104 passengers and crew.  What appeared to compound this theory was the pilot's personal circumstances which spoke of gambling debts and several on record disciplinary actions. However, such extreme action points to another bizarre activity that of the co-pilot.  It would appear that the co-pilot sat by without question as the pilot followed this maneuver, failing to question his leader as this would be disloyal.  However, Indonesian investigators opposed the US version saying the plane was at fault opening the door to lawsuits on Boeing.

Another example: Was Lehman's closed down as a result of poor governance or was it closed as a result of a Hank Paulson alleged vendetta emanating from the time of his employ at Goldman Sachs, better known as "Government Goldman".  By causing the collapse of Lehman's they effectively caused the bailout of such firms as AIG to be 7 times more expensive, Merrill 2x, GM 3x, Chrysler 2x.  Oddly AIG's liabilities rose 5x.

The economic recovery was indeed made worse by allowing such debt to burden the world's economy. Which, brings me back to my first question was it let go due to poor governance or was it something more sinister.

We all know the story of WMD's and the justification of the Iraq invasion. It almost speaks of desperation, desperation to go to war with Iraq.  We know all was not what it seems! But did we know that by removing the Iraq regime that we would create a foe more evil, more vast than Saddam and his despots could even imagine.

Back in the day there were of course many "protagonists" such as George Galloway, who tirelessly, controversially campaigned against the war.  Of course, George is no shirk when it comes to controversy.  Perhaps, given the rapid expansion of IS maybe we should have heeded his, what was at that time ludicrous advice.  Bear in mind, for some reason history will show that the more left of the tiller you are the better an orator you are. 

However, were we strategically aware of such carnage to come, where they/we perhaps banking on this carnage as some bizarre way to create havoc in the middle East, after all the West have been held to ransom for many a year by the hypocrisy emanating from the authoritarian leaders from that region.

So should we ask not only what's real, but, should we just accept it or should we question the path we're being asked to take.  For many years I have believed that everything happens for a reason, therefore the events that follow must be deemed part of the greater scheme of things.  But, I also believe we make our own luck as the only ingredient that you need is work. So we can not accept action as being correct unless we at first question its impact as for sure it will always have an impact.

That aside, there is a real and growing human tragedy emerging as a result of our current inactivity.  These are real people with real families who had real jobs and they have contributed to the "Globalization of their's and the world's economies". These are people that we have in some instances shared meetings with, conferences, discussed sales figures, growth forecasts, they are every bit like us.

I agree with David Cameron that these people need to be able, safe and in their own homes not in refugee camps scattered across Europe.  However, David Cameron's reasons portrayed as humanitarian may only be and I suspect a perception, but what the hell it's right.. 

To go further; interesting that Russia will not house or re-home any refugees so perception is not only have they prevented a solution they have enacted revenge on Europe for the Ukraine stance.

We must question everything, if we are to learn anything from history, then complacency is no longer acceptable.   More from the pages of

Thursday, 24 September 2015

The Future is Now

In line with my company mandate, mission statement, whatever glorious techno phrase we like to use to dress up as a soundbite to captivate potential clients.  So here goes my "Elevator Pitch" being English we know it as a "lift".  However I digress as we hypothetically pass 2 floors so not a good start, I'm assuming we're in Petronas towers so plenty of space.

The world needs a Paradigm shift pretty much as when we arrived at the aircraft age or CAD/CAM even mobile telephony.

Here are my thoughts:
  1. Robotics
  2. UDT (Undersea Defense Technology)
  3. Bio Technology
Perhaps we are not as in need of of ideas as we thought.  These Industries appear to be at a point of substantial growth.  Growth that may lead to Jobs, Innovation, creativity that satisfies the adventurer in us all.

Let's deal briefly with the 1st point as we have all seen the examples of Robotics installing, spray painting cars and such like.  We've seen the marketing that show robotic arms looking perplexed and lost as they make sense of the advertisement caption of which they are portrayed.

But imagine:
  • As we move into our dotage and our lives once active are no longer able to perform the many tasks required just to bring basic hygiene.
  • Hotels where the check in staff are well groomed individuals with looks that we all aspire to.
  • Care homes where staff are on hand with the strength of Sampson assisting baths, moving beds plus other such heavy lifting activities.
  • Exo-skeletons. transforming each of us into superhuman beings available to perform far above our capabilities in areas such as:
    • Warfare
    • Firefighting
    • Construction
    • Removals
    • Care Homes
      • The list is endless.
Let me throw another area into the mix, UDT (Undersea Defense Technology).  Over recent years there has been a little publicized but major shift in our capabilities: 
  • Deployments of Submarines, 
  • Spatial capabilities, 
  • Airborne Lasar scanning systems, 
  • Unmanned undersea systems, 
  • Marine Renewable Energy mix for hybrid power generation
  • Under water tourism (after all few of us have ventured further than a snorkel)
  • Sea floor mapping and sonar systems
    •  To name but a few
Underwater warfare is moving East bringing with it a need for defense systems, tracking devices and Mine technology.

Third area which is gathering momentum is of course Bio Technology which is a subject in its own right and for another day and time.

What I have captured here is just the essence of the few opportunities that are abound and ready to be seized upon for the intrepid Entrepreneur, (Pengusaha to use an Indonesian term as much of this will evolve for I'm sure off the coast of Indonesia)..

Statura will continue to drone on about better Leadership, greater understanding of the myriad of procedures surrounding proper governance of companies, people skills and projects.

More from the pages of   

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Indonesia the road to prosperity and rail and sea and air

The Investment Opportunities of the 21st Century

Indonesia a South East Asian nation of many picturesque Islands consisting of thousands of active volcanoes.  Home to many cultures, many languages as well as varying religious doctrines which are dominantly devout.

Indonesia is famous for beaches, sun, surf and vast jungles. Jungles of which are rich in themselves; sheltering Elephants, Tigers, Komodo Dragons etc..  Indonesia is steeped in traditions; mythology, legends, gods which grace us with their mysterious presence by wandering this vast archipelago. magic, Susuk (the most powerful charm needles in Indonesia), potions, healing powers, spiritual enlightenment, yoga, spas and sensual massage are freely practiced often in sumptuous surroundings.  

Java Indonesia' main island plays host to Indonesia's capital Jakarta, by all accounts a sprawling modern metropolis of rich with opportunity, activity as well as providing a breath taking journey of adventure.  Indonesia a nation that until 70 years ago was colonized by the early Dutch settlers.  Monuments, museums, statues and icons depicting their struggle for independence. 

Yet I romanticize this vast archipelago, which if placed on Europe would stretch from London to Tehran.  
  • 250M people and growing, a burgeoning middle class which is vastly increasing, 
  • 2006 6M households were deemed middle class, 
  • 2015, 13M households
  • By 2020 this is expected to reach 30M families.
Jakarta Skyline
Indonesia is today the growth story of the world, vast potential as this archipelago modernizes, bringing wealth, expansion, hope, prosperity through employment to the far flung reaches of this vast volcanic set of fiefdoms.

Tenders are out, projects are defined:
  • Road expansions, new tolls, highways and municipal byways are defined, set out in ink by the planners of this nation.  
  • Water is in focus, dams are defined, reservoirs mapped and waste will be efficiently managed.  
  • Power plants are abound, designed to be environmentally friendly driven by HSD (High Speed Diesel), Marine fuels as well as LPgas.  Bali has recently introduced a new power plant design as specified above.  This Power station produces 200Megawatts of clean energy full filling the needs of a Paradise (Paradise being the Bali brand) on earth. 
  • New Power Station Bali
  • Sea Ports, deeper, bigger, more mechanized, further linking this vast archipelago, bringing economies of scale (Today a bag of cement in Java costs $4 in Papua $12 approx).
Investors are encouraged to participate! This is not a public exercise more the expectation that the private sector will participate.  A sector that will assimilate with the once in a life time opportunities that are available in one location.  Participation is mandatory as we recognize the world is already saturated with such modern services.

Telecoms are strong, mobile networks utilize state of the art technology, 4G roll out has been defined. Braodband and Satellite Internet providers are in abundance which care for the Internet speed requirements.

Factories will flourish the middle classes will upgrade. Luxury brands will be adorned.  Brands long being the staple of success for an Asian to show their wealth.
Sea Ports in Jakarta

This country is undergoing a renaissance, it is blessed with an honest government which has emerged from a history of Cronyism, graft and self serving.   The government of Joko Widodo has embarked on ambitious project to weed out the archaic self serving elements.  The Governor of Jakarta  a man of equal stature to that of the President, a man who shares the same values and aspirations of Indonesia has indeed made significant inroads and successes curtail the historic poor governance.  Rivers are clean, Shanti towns are cleared municipal homes with modern facilities are provided for previous destitute residents.

Regulations have been relaxed, land acquisition laws have been drafted, submitted and passed through the government unhindered. 

The risks are of course there but where would we be without risks.  It is the entrepreneur that thrives in such an environment, grasping perhaps in this case the low hanging fruit as this nation emerges from what we would call the dark ages.

Early Adopters:

New Airport Toll Road Bali
China Railway Construction Corporation signed an agreement to invest in the 30-kilometer Sunda Strait Bridge project linking the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java. And last year, Japan’s J-Power consortium won the bidding to build a new power plant in Central Java, which would provide electricity for 8 million people by 2016. 

An eminent quote: 

"The progress in infrastructure development in the last two years has been much better than expected,” says Shobana Venkataraman, IFC Principal Investment Officer. “Indonesia’s economy has improved and its sovereign rating has been upgraded to investment grade, making infrastructure investments more attractive to investors and lenders."

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Sunday, 20 September 2015

Is the world headed for choppy waters.

Forget Oil, forget gold, forget copper in fact throw the commodities rule book away.  What is the last resource you could ever imagine that would be in short supply? Is it:

Rare earth metal- nope
Gold, Silver - nope
Oil - nope

Whatever you might think it's not the regular items that are traded on the commodities indexes of the world.  So significant is the shortage of this fundamental resource that the world, as a good friend of mine indicated, may even go to war for it.

The answer is staring us all in the face; it is clean fresh water.  Fresh water is fast becoming extinct!  All over the world's underground aquifers have been depleted at a rate that is no longer sustainable.  California, specifically the USA more generally, France, China, India have all passed their points of no return.  Storage which has taken thousands of years to build are being depleted at an alarming rate. Indeed, the world has 37 large aquifers, 21 are now beyond their point of sustainability, 13 of which are at critical levels.

Water is consumed at significant rates to grow crops to allow us to continue our ever increasing expansion. Deforestation has changed our weather patterns, our oceans through pollution have dead spots.   In short our behaviour will ultimately be our undoing.

Oddly, our orbiting satellites are experiencing periods of lower gravitational pull as the aquifers which are heavier than air, are drained.

Why is this, water has no place to go, surely there is the same quantities here now that were here 10,000 years ago, the earth cannot simply have sprung a leak?  I guess the answer is simple, we consume more, we waste more and we spread it around more, indeed mining practices in western Australia have significantly depleted the Canning basin aquifer. California's central valley aquifer is in serious trouble as it has been drained to irrigate farmlands.

Continents are becoming drier, oceans are becoming fuller, icebergs are melting weather patterns are changing.

Israel and Jordon are seeing the dead sea recede by 1metre a year. This depletion has gone on for some 25years.  In doing this underground fresh water aquifer along the coast are receding at the same rate.  In addition to salt deposits are eroding the ground and 60 foot sink holes are appearing swallowing up prime arable lands.

Should we be worried, yes of course we should, we urgently need debate we urgently need action and above all we urgently need a cohesive strategy.  Perhaps it's time to curtail the ever increasing population and bring the planet back to sustainable levels.  This may in itself open up a religious debate, but get real.

More inspiration from the pages of the web site.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Vast Indonesia the time is right.

Get with the program: Yesterday Morgan Stanley came out and declared that the Rupiah is; well, oversold to say the least.

"Morgan Stanley Investment Rates Ringgit, Rupiah Top Picks"

The Rupiah this year, along with the Malaysian Ringgit has faced tough devaluation, the worst in 17 years.

I consistently witter on about the size of Indonesia both in physical distance, a country that spans the equivalent of London to Tehran, but also its religious and cultural diversity as well as having 250M and expanding population growth. It is predominantly Muslim, the biggest Muslim community in the world.  But as a country, it is also home to many Hindus and Christians all of which appear to co-exist in a relatively harmonious way.

As a country, it has its issues as well as perhaps a poor global reputation as a corrupt endemic race. However, apart from the stupidity from a few pockets of archaic individuals.  Such as the Kuta Police, pistol whipping Australian tourists prior to marching them to an ATM in order to force-ably relieve them of AUD$23, 000 or the tourists will face trumped up charges of Indecency,  More recently, this week, in fact, the Immigration officials who allegedly refused to apply a stamp to a Taiwanese tourist passport unless he paid and then followed the same tourist to the bus area attacking him whilst he was relieved of US$2, 300.  All of which was caught on CCTV by a traveling tourist who was also allegedly attacked to remove the video.  All of this needs to be dealt severely with and the individuals involved receiving a custodial sentence, apart from the gravity of the crime they are sullying the image of Indonesia.

That aside, the country is on the whole a peaceful environment rich in resources, labour and skills, all of which come at a vastly reduced cost not just because of the Rupiah's slide but also the lack of opportunity for several decades etc..

I have been involved with Indonesia for some 20 years and at times have sat in, the board room of some of the worlds largest mobile telcos, such as Telkomsel and XL  I have also been unwittingly caught up in the 1998 downfall of the 40 year Suharto government as I navigated my way to the airport through Marauding masses.

In my opinion and clearly the opinion of Morgan Stanley; never before has the opportunity presented itself to be so ripe for Investment.  The current government is determined to stamp on corruption and has to date removed many 100's of officials from their posts.  Few places in the world give rise to an emerging middle class as that of Indonesia. A country that is predominantly moderate and cohesive, has a determination to evolve into a sophisticated Internationally established entity.  It also has a homegrown market, which is ripe for the picking, both through consumerism as well as masses of infrastructure projects linking this vast archipelago by land and sea.  Couple that with a currency that has been reduced by 55%, for me this country is now a must place to be involved, adding that when; Morgan Stanley alert its investment community of Indonesia's vast potential then now is definitely the time.

The world, conversely is saturated, all the toys have been purchased and all the labour exhausted as well as being financially savvy.

Where better; more inspiration from the pages of

Friday, 11 September 2015

Corruption versus Radicalisation

Some years ago I read an article which accompanied a podcast commentary by Fuller Money.  By all accounts a remarkable man, economist & visionary. y. 

Fuller predicted that the world would experience a growth the likes of which would have not been seen before.  In theory, he is right, the statistics alone prove this theory out.
  • Population 1950 2.5Billion, Population today 7.5Billion, Population projected 2050 11.5Billion.
  • Population expansion has predominantly been within the Asia Pacific region, where half the world's population resides.  Although China is expected to stagnate through 2050 and remain at much the same level as of today.  India and South Asia on the other hand will near double its population.

Given over the last 20 years that we have seen wealth swiftly move around the globe, of which Asia has been a big beneficiary, why have we not seen the growth which has, was so eminently predicted. Particularly as so many families have the potential to move to the middle classes.

In my view and please don't categorize me as a socialist, capitalist or even, as a good Chinese friend of mine reminded; when I paid tribute to China's remarkable growth considering it is a communist country, he pointed out that such terms are from yesterdays era and don't belong in today's language.  I have to say, I think I see why he said that and to use such terms stigmatizes and prevents debate as to how best to move forward in these modern times.

Capitalism is, however, alive and kicking, but that too now belongs in the annals of an era past.  As one of Maggies children I embraced all that money and opportunity can offer.  So why; given that the world's population has and will continue to expand are we not experiencing and enjoying the explosive growth, particularly as human nature strives to better itself.

I offer my thoughts, theories backed in some way by statistics which will allow you the opportunity to consider my rationale.

For sure the wealth has flowed around; so where has it gone:

  • 8% of the world's population have 82% of the world's wealth.
  • By 2050 9Billion will share 18% of the world's funds and resources whilst 1.8Billion share 82%
However, I do not necessarily see this in itself as a debilitating factor in driving the world economy forward.  I do however see concerns with regard to another endemic unchecked virus which claims the lively hood of so many and it does this with impunity.  I refer to Corruption, Graft, Backhanders, Under the table gifts and favours.

Significant funds are spirited away robbing countries of hard earned cash, pushing inevitably the poor into oblivion. With the remainder reaching a state of apathy thus denying the world of its growth potential. However, please note; In the developing world armies of children lack the funds to achieve something other than an infant education.  Children are lacking the nutrition to develop their well being and consequently their intelligence.

My chart focuses on Asia as for me Asia has the biggest potential to drive the world forward and make it a better place  Instead money or life is at best extinguished by the rampant greed of so few.

Couple this with a more serious consequence; this is no longer about money, this is about masses of people who are disenfranchised. Young people and let's face it the world's population is predominantly below 30.  These children if you like are becoming radicalized, trained an spirited away, causing mayhem across the globe.  These people will undoubtedly return to their origin and will undoubtedly create chaos at home.

So all credit to David Cameron for raising this issue as it is in no one's interest to receive bribes and its in no one's interest to pay them no matter how it is dressed up.  Please do not consider this as an isolated issue as this is a global problem with global implications.

Please do not make the mistake of believing this is just a developing market issue this issue is across the globe.

I will leave you with another thought if I use antiquated terms then what you have is a progressive state.  That state being Capitalism will evolve into Communism and then to Anarchy.. So just how far along that curve are we?

Sobering thought look to the pages of for more inspiration.



Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Why is Brainstorming so difficult.

Success a Scientific Art

I would wager that nothing, nothing at all is insurmountable, everything can be done, you just need to explore ways in which to do it.  Before you scream at my blog and start to quote biblical terms at me like well you can not walk on water.  I will caution you to refer to a recent magician who did exactly that as he traversed part way across the Thames. So in all sincerity anything can be achieved, it just needs thought creativity and ingenuity.

Often a problem can be significant and a solution can only be found if there is a collective desire to unlock potential routes in which to fix the issue.

To do this you need to unleash all the creative juices you can muster.  There is no better way to do that than in a closed room where the collective Ramblings of many are allowed without reprisal to unleash the infectious, often irrelevant ways in which to resolve an issue, a process more commonly known as: "Brainstorming".

  • Brainstorming is simple you literally spout the 1st thing that comes into your mind, you make a note and you move on.
  • Brainstorming can be done by freewheeling in a room of several, or by passing from one to the next.  Personally, I believe in freewheeling with a facilitator who brings in the less active members of the group
No matter how you dress it up issues are best solved in this way.

So; Why is this so difficult:

1) Look to my 1st point "you make a note and you move on"  This has always been difficult to achieve as there is always one who wants to question the ramblings of another thus stymieing the creativity of the group.

2) Sure egos are ever present as is peer pressure.  You may have 99% of all suggestions that are worthy of a comedy sketch.  But 1% will not be and that 1% will not have emerged without the unbridled creativity of the other 99%.

In today's environment I wonder just how issues ever get resolved, I have all too often witnessed egos that just want to harness others and only prove their individual worth at the expense of others.  These are not useful traits in the true team environment.  They make good TV but are not conducive to an innovative cohesive progressive company. 

So in short the next time you take this approach always contain critical discussion, at least until the end.  Remove criteria and allow the creative juices to flow unhindered.  Nominate an individual as a scribe, and assign a facilitator to foster the creative spirit of these powerful interactions.

I will leave you with another thought; you may have a superstar amongst your employees, but if that person is a drag on the others then he or she has no place in any company.

Perhaps for future discussion, we should look at such tools as Paratos analysis as a problem may require several solutions; in which case it is necessary to prioritize along the 80 - 20 rule. Food for thought.

Again much can be seen from the pages of: