blog v0.1.3, established: 26 Oct 2003
Circa year 2001 was when I registered my first attendance to an English Premier League match held at St. James Park. I remembered the whole lot of us pull together a huge sum for tickets and set a plan to buy the tickets from the ticket counter at St. James. In order to do that, we had to wake up and be there at an ungodly hour. It was at a time before the sun rises. We had to queue around the stadium for more than 2 hours before it was our turn. And when it was ours, the ticket attendant gave us some wry look when we wanted 9 tickets and asked the possibility of purchasing tickets of the visitor side. With a curt answer, no, we resigned to the fate and just agreed for a normal home side section.
I remember having some nap time in the afternoon after the gruesome queue before dawn. And in the early evening, the Toon Army turned the city into monotone. At every turn you make, you cannot fail but to surmise that, everyone suddenly has the fashion sense of a prisoner.
Our seats were as high as the stadium would go, and in front of us, are typical obese and burley Geordies. It was raining and visibility was poor due to the rain, our blocked view made of fats and the unfair distance allocated to Asians. Newcastle beat Liverpool 3-1 and on that night I wondered why we have to spend that awful sum for such an experience.
16-July-2011, Liverpool FC Asia Tour 2011. Legendary is a given. A historic night no less. Liverpool FC making their debut visit to Kuala Lumpur to meet their koppites from Malaysia.
Knowing that it was a sold out event, chaotic traffic is unavoidable. I planned to be there few hours earlier and to park my car at Sri Petaling with a brief walk towards Bukit Jalil. At every corner you see tons of fans in Jerseys marching towards the stadium. After meeting up with my friends and a quick lunch at Endah Parade, we too made our move.
The noise emanating from the stadium was unbelievable. It’s puzzling why the cheers and the Anthem is being sung few hours earlier from the match time. Upon reaching close to the stadium, it was madness. There’s a huge bazaar selling Jersey replicas for RM30 and scarfs for RM15. I wonder from where they were manufactured from. Vietnam, China, Malaysia? Shit, the quality of copying is astounding.
The hot sun had quickly drenched us in sweat and also we had to push through the crowd to head towards the turnstiles. With 2 hours in spare, the stadium was already almost half filled. We still have plenty of options to choose our seats. Stadium is spacious and the problem of the front row blocking your view eventhough the guy in front of you is standing does not occur. Took my time to let the atmosphere soak in and the sight of the sea of Reds packed this stadium is a sight to behold. The multi-racial crowd also made this a 1Malaysia moment as well.
The fans erupted at the sight of a Liverpool player emerging. Noise was unbelievably boisterous especially with the constant plastic horns. I could hardly hear the whistle.
The match was entertaining with a total of 9 goals. To their credit, Harimaus put up a good performance with notable performances from the captain. Number 7 and 8 stole the limelight. The free kick swerving to the side netting was just unbeatable.
Liverpool FC was gracious enough to change all 11 players for the second half. And with this, 22 players were showcased in this tour.
Joe Cole pulled a Harimau player’s shirt to catch up when he lost the ball and was rightly booed strongly by all. I somehow don’t quite see him fit in.
Adam was magnificent. In fine form and looked sharp. Absolutely dictating the midfield and has excellent devastating passes. He has sealed it as one my top 3 favourite players.
Carroll was slow and seem lost in the field. Everytime he ‘runs’ you feel you want to hit the ‘dash’ button to make him move faster.
Aquilani was dazzling with an array of mesmerizing passes and setup a few goals with his ability to read the game. He reminds me of Alonso.
Spearing, Meireles, Soto, Kelly wasn’t quite themselves and was poor on their touches. They also seem slow compared to Harimaus.
Maxi was always on the mark with clever runs.
Ngog showed speed where Carroll was obviously lacking. But again he’s not as clinical a finisher as I would have liked.
Flanagan showed clumsiness in keeping up with Gunalan and threw in some unnecessary rough tackles.
Kuyt was consistent, controlled the right wing of the field and showed fine technique when he collected a wayward ball at the lower right flank to thunderous claps from the fans.
Insua seems strong and his left crosses were decent.
The echoes of cheers from the stadium during the lap of honors after the match was nothing short but amazing.
The Anthem that was sung after the match was haunting and did not disappoint. Indeed Anfield was in Kuala Lumpur that night.
Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart.
And you’ll never walk alone.
You’ll never, ever walk alone.
See you again in year 2013. I’ll be there.
Today it is undeniable that property price is a huge concern for the Rakyat. The trend is not isolated in Malaysia but also in many other Asian countries. The other side of the world though is having a direct opposite situation. Now what has caused this situation? As recent as a few years back, there is a huge property glut. Pages and pages of advertisements can be seen in the newspapers. Options and choices are abundant.
The average price of a KL residential property is now about RM485,000, or roughly nine times the average urban household annual income of about RM54,000. The Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey rates markets, whose property prices are 5.1 times median income or more, as “severely unaffordable”.
Developers, bankers, agents are working in cahoots for their own vested interests. Friends and families of developers are loading up units for a good trade. Speculative plays also create artificial demand and further exacerbate the situation. Most worryingly, the people who are joining the speculation are over leveraging themselves with staggering loan to income ratio. Low and prolonged interest rates has always been the most commonly quoted source. But there are many more tricks under the sleeve. Creative packaging of 5/95, no SPA, Legal Fees, no Interest during construction, which in actual fact, is priced into your exorbitant swanky new home. All these sums up to be stoking artificial demand.
Supersized terrace houses, now the trend, is selling at figures near RM1 million. Some which are located deep into Sungai Buloh but conveniently rebranded as Damansara is now fetching RM1.4 million. Owners of such product at Desa Park City is grinning to see it’s going at RM2-4 million. And they proudly justify the valuations by giving one and only reason, that there is no other places in Klang Valley that has such a concept. Condominium units recently launched yesterday near Taman Pertama is asking for RM650k. But if I remember well, the erected board there says ‘Cadangan untuk membina pangsapuri kos sederhana’. Terrace houses nested deep in Cheras is asking for RM740,000 when that area is well known for robbery and cracked houses. Strangely enough the previous launch albeit being smaller units were sold for RM390,000 only. Condominiums in Mont Kiara is asking for RM2 million now.
Affordability does not seem to be having any impact. In fact, affordability today is much more worse than the years before yet the demand seen in the market clearly defies this logic. Rental yields are now fast becoming a laughing stock. Did our income levels gone two fold recently?
All in all, clearly it is a very frothy situation. I cannot for the life of me see the sustainability for this and where the actual demand comes from.
Bank Negara has raised OPR to another 0.25% and 1% increase SRR to 3% soaking up roughly RM7 billion of liquidity. The other policy of 30% downpayment for a third property purchase is also engaged to deter speculaction. It is widely anticipated that Bank Negara will do another round of this by end of the year.
Now this means higher mortgage payments and higher cost of fund for the commercial banks. Which means people will struggle to pay their mortgage and banks will be stricter in giving out loans thereby reducing demand. When more completion is delivered and the supply hits the market, speculators will start to flip and flood the supply. High mortgage payments will also trigger some to default and increase Bank Lelongs and also an increase of supply to the market.
I would hope to see an introduction of RPGT again with progressive tax brackets.
Cash out while you still can. Don’t buy into the cost of building materials is high story. Real actual buyers has the most to lose currently. But speculators will be burned.