Friday, December 28, 2007

Old Year To New Year: Resolutions

It's only a few more blinks before 2008 ushers. And that means 2007 is about to come to an end.

As much anticipation to the new year, I am currently enjoying the last few days of 2007. Of course it helps with the Christmas season and festive mood - parties & dinners with friends & relatives... and even the shopping discounts, where the malls give some of the best bargains of the year. The post Christmas, pre - New Year sales are really good with huge discounts.

But more so, this is a time to reflect our journey for the year - the ups and the downs. It is also the time to sort things out before we start planning for the next year. This is a good time to do so, where the mood is calm & less hectic, giving time to lots of time think, reflect, and strategise.

And doing so is important as then it creates a space that is clear and 'empty' for the past is then set aside (with good points noted). And now, this space is ready to be filled up with new ideas & new things, basically for our resolutions & goals for the new year. It's just like 'having thrown the old paper, and now having a clean white sheet to start upon'.

Some may set new directions, while others set new higher targets. This then gives a feeling of excitement & to an extend, butterflies in the stomach. Whatever it is, this gives a good feeling of joy, happiness & a sense of power (of being able to achieve).

This mood transition from calmness to excitement sets the right pace to then usher the coming year with a bang! :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

School Of Hard Knocks

Im just taking an English phrase describing a conversation with a friend recently.

Friend: "People like challenge."
Me: "People actually like success."
Friend: "Through challenge, people succeed."... How true indeed.

I doubt people actually like challenge, but more so the sweetness of success. But like my friend mentioned, success normally comes well after lots of challenges.

And for people to taste success, some have to endure the hard knocks, to which some refer like banging against the wall a couple of times before finding the right path.

We may need to endure the knocks. Just an example, the works I'm doing (mainly The Malaysia Page & Malaysia Book) still has me reeling from the lil 'bruises' from the so called knocks. Many works & ideas have been bounced, tried & tested - of which many have been turned down or didn't have that spark bright enough. However, there seems to be a lil more light, with a new set of ideas & direction, and though this changes the initial idea quite a fair bit, but it most likely will see it through.

Although challenging, I take heart at real life lessons. For example, looking at Colonel Sanders who started his first restaurant business next to the gas station with 1 table and 6 chairs. His first knocks came by his many different jobs which just didn't seem right - from railroad fireman, insurance, lawyer, secretary, etc before he decided to have his hands on the restaurant business. And even while he had his restaurant which he started at age 40, he kept perfecting the recipe for years. The hardest knocks came by when he was securing franchises - going from restaurants to restaurants. And after lots of perseverance from the knocks, he had more than 600 franchised outlets and to which he finally sold his company to a group of investors.

So, a question posed - "Is school of hard knocks well worth it?"... Well, the answer, yes, as we should finally taste success.

*Info on Sanders found on various sources online.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Good Year End

This 2 weeks we have 4 prominent festivities - starting with Hari Raya Haji, Tang Yuan (Dong Zhi), Christmas & the New Year. All these bringing ties closer and giving thanks to what we have... awaiting for the new year to usher.

It is heart warming to be able to celebrate these occasions with family members & friends, sharing the moments together. The muslims get-together for the sacrifice; the Chinese celebrates & eat the glutinous rice balls... christians have turkeys & other goodies.

This is the season to also forgive, forget the past and to have an open heart. It may sound cliche, but if we just be open and let our heart heal the scars, and let it be filled with joy and warmth, we can experience a nice beautiful magic. One that fills it up with love & thankfulness, and the confidence to move forward. For once the heart is healed, our hearts are light and without worries, and then we can fully embrace the present & future. Some call that the magic of Christmas! :)

I would like to wish everyone a good year end. Do enjoy your parties, dinners and get-togethers... and the many special moments with your families & friends.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Chicken And Egg

I've noticed that this saying 'Which came first - the chicken or the egg?' is rather apparent in the business world, or in fact in our everyday lives too.

One example in business is that without any experience/ previous projects (or credits), this may limit the potential for future businesses or sales. This is one of the barriers of entry for new companies, and is one of the most challenging one.

Another example is when business associates take a wait & see approach, basically waiting for other associates to do the same. And this 'chicken & egg' process is repeated, which may cause lots of delayed time.

In our daily lives, one of the most apparent place where the 'chicken & egg' scenario may appear is during job applications, where past experiences are good for the resume. The 'chicken & egg' here would be, without securing a decent/ good job, how is the applicant to prove himself & get the experiences he/ she needs?

Well, here is a 'one catch all' solution for situations like these. The idea is to continue doing what we do best, and slowly, but surely move forward. This may require us to take longer routes, or more difficult & challenging paths. But the idea is to continue moving forward and improving ourselves, even though our march forward could sometimes just be an inch. And though it may take time to build up the reputation & credentials, but it will be well worth it.

I've realised this by reading the biographies of successful businessmen or even star personalities. We may think that the huge MNCs are built overnight, but in fact, the people behind them have had hard times prior, especially in selling their ideas. Just read the success stories of Bill Gates, Google, and the rest, and you will see how perseverance & continuous building of good works/ products see them through.

In the entertainment world, some singers have entered numerous singing competitions while they were young kids, and are spotted only later when they are teenagers or some even in their 20s. And now, they are huge big global stars. Take a look at Hollywood - the stars have mainly dabbled in TV kids programs before being signed as recording artistes later on. And though many no longer become hosts, but their singing career has taken off.

So, when faced with such scenario, let's not care which comes first, but to continue striving, and success will come eventually :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Inspiring Destination: Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok isn't a destination most people would be aware of. Like many beach lovers of South East Asia, I am more aware of the other islands like Bali, Langkawi, Phuket and the many other beaches in Thailand & Malaysia.

It was a suggestion from a family member about the island, and I thought, why not give it a try. Afterall, it is the sister island to Bali, and in fact, has been recently promoted together with Bali as tourist destination.

The first impression about Lombok is that it is less crowded as compared to Bali. This in a way affects the tourism industry, with some resorts not doing too well.

However, don't let those turn you off, as at the flip of the coin, is an island that is less crowded compared to the other beach islands, and this can best be felt when you drive along the roads, where you will encounter more locals than tourists. At some point, you can be the only tourist on the road!

One of the many beauty of Lombok is its resorts at very affordable rates, which mainly are located at the beach tourist strip of Sengigi. These boutique resorts have the sea as its view for picturesque sunsets and strong breeze. For the price, they are a good bargain.

For those into sea sports like snorkeling & diving, the Gili islands are recommended. And for those who are a lil more laidback like myself, I head to the black sandy beaches (yes the sand is uniquely black) for a good evening swim.

A drive along the island took me to beautiful views from the cliffs, and witnessing local lifestyle of farmers & fishermen. I got a chance to witness the fishermen as they pulled up the shore. This was a rare sight, with family members all waiting anxiously to see the catch. There were some happy faces, while others were rather glum, depending on their catch which then affects their living for the day. These fishes are then brought to the market for sale.

The people, who are mainly Sasaks are rather friendly, and exudes the Balinese warmth. Of course it helps with a lil Bahasa Indonesia, although many of the service staffs being able to speak English, as some come from Bali.

The town of Mataram, which is similar to the other small Indonesian towns is very busy & crowded, and may not appeal to those seeking to relax. This was however still a nice experience of seeing the colours of the town.

Ikat & Songket are hand woven works that are popular here. These works which may take up to 1 full month to complete are mainly used as cloths for decorations or sarungs. Apparently, the motifs have a meaning and are used for different occassions. Some are from the weaver's dreams. The ikats & songkets are more popular than batik here, though there is a number of workshops of the latter too. These painting are mainly on the lifestyle of the farmers with nature as backgrounds.

For holidaymakers who like a good budget holiday of staying at good resorts with friendly staffs... and who don't mind a different beach (black sand), then Lombok will be the place to head to.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Season's Greetings

Time really flew by... and now, we are already in the month of December!

What I particularly like about this month is that it's the Christmas season, which is celebrated nearly everywhere worldwide... and even here in the tropics!

Though there's no snow, but the mood here is high. It's that time of the year that people seem a lil more relax inwards - after all its already the year end, and its time to take some time to rest or relax.

Minus the snow, but we have rain here, which gives that chill cool effect, and that only makes the warmth with family and friends better.

The mood is usually very high, and the shopping centres play a big role. In Singapore, the famous shopping stretch of Orchard road is decorated, adding to the atmosphere. Apparently, this year, Malaysia is also having a competition for the 'best dressed' shopping centre! The music backgrounds of Christmas carols, the Santa's hats people wear, the chocolates & presents all gives this season a big celebrations feel!

So, it is time for the parties to roll, the non-stop dinners, shopping, and simply enjoying the company of our loved ones.

Here's to a great season :)

(Just see how the tropics here celebrate Christmas. Pic 3 shows shops afters shops selling Christmas goodies - from trees to decorations & ornaments & even Christmas CDs... What a lovely sight! :) )

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Great Music Video - KISS

One of the phenomenal Korean video clips riding (or in a way creating) the Korean wave is a song by 3 member Korean girl group, K.I.S.S - 'Because I'm A Girl'.

Created back in 2002, this song is rather sad, but however, the music video is done in a very unique way, turning it into a rather touching clip.

Just like the lyrics, the video shows about a building relationship to be broken... but the twist is towards the end of it, where the guy sacrificed his career & love for the girl by donating his eyes to her, and for her to live on well. This shows the strong love & the big heart of the guy for the girl.

This music video is falls in the rather typical imaginary-romance of 'beautiful love' Asian pop music is known of. However, its bold storyline has created a big fanbase, and I'm sure has touched the hearts of many.

To one extend, the song itself has been translated to a few different languages - with the more notable ones in Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese & Tagalog.

There is also an English version by Jini, one of the original members of the band.

Orignial Korean Version

Mandarin Version

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Inspiring Destination: Langkawi

I have always been in love with Pulau Langkawi, or Langkawi Island, since my first trip many years ago. And ever since, I've returned to the island every once a year, simply to enjoy nature at its best.

Every turn & corner on the island is like a postcard view - from paddy fields, hills, sunsets, and waterfalls. The island is really best enjoyed with a car, which can be rented at affordable rates.

Owned by state of Kedah, Langkawi is strategically located in between the Andaman Sea & the Strats Of Malacca, and just 2 hours from Penang by boat. There are also flights from KL & Singapore.

And just like the rest of the beaches and islands at the Andaman Sea, Langkawi too has its white sandy beaches - the popular Pantai Cenang famous for its long stretch of white sand & water sports, plus beautiful sunsets (I fully recommend a walk during sunset here & even a swim); the upmarket Tanjung Rhu Beach which houses the big resorts or the lesser known Pantai Tengah & Pantai Kok (more quiet, but still very beautiful).

The yatchs & boats along the island also gives a beautiful sea view. One of them is at the Telaga Harbour Park, which is the parking area for the yatchs/ boats. It also houses a few fine dining restaurants.

Locals are involved in farming, but there is a growing number of people involved in the tourism industry which has been improving, ever since it has been promoted since the lates 80s/ early 90s. Many tourists shops selling local souvenirs & crafts can be spotted at Pantai Cenang and even in Kuah town.

The town is more of like the business centre - with banks, shopping centres & local businesses. Many duty free shops are also available here with relatively cheap chocolates & liquor (as Langkawi is a tax-free zone).

There is also a growing number of batik workshops on the island, as it begins to become popular with tourists. It is here that I managed to meet with a local artist & his family, who does beautiful batik paintings with local themes - of both Langkawi & Malaysia. Though deaf, he is very humble, and his skills can be seen from his artworks.

Just like the artist, most people of Langkawi are rather friendly, and most are willing to strike a conversation with you... adding to the beauty of the island.

Ever since Langkawi has been opened up for tourism, there has been quite a number of resorts & man-made visiting places popping up. One of the recent additions to Langkawi island is the cable car, which goes all the way to the top of Gunung Machinchang, giving visitors a good view of the island.

Another part where I saw a good view of the island is from the top of the Seven Wells (Telaga Tujuh). This however require a climb of over hundred steep steps. But upon reaching the top, there is that sense of achievement... And visitors can chill out swimming on the top!

If you have more time, then I would suggest the island hopping trips where the tour guides will bring you to the nearby islands - Pulau Payar, Pulau Singa Besar, Pulau Tuba, Pulau Dayang Bunting & Pulau Beras Basah. This trip was very refreshing, and I managed to swim at the fresh cool water of the lake at Pulau Dayang Bunting, watch eagles at the eagles sanctuary and even go snorkeling & diving. The waters are clear blue!

Together with its 99 other 'magical' islands, Langkawi gives a tourist everything they can bargain for. A good 4 days will enable you to see Langkawi in full, but of course, if you have more time, you could simply spend weeks here... And as for me, I'll definitely be back again to the island for its beautiful scenic nature, shopping & warm people :)

Cheap Offers To Langkawi!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Inspiring Book: Dream High by Conway Stone

Author Conway Stone is a dreamer entrepreneur who has made dreams come true. And he hopes to share it with everyone to achieve their dreams too in this book of his.

This step by step book is similar to lots of other motivational books about making it big, but written in a very humble approach. Unlike other books which may sound rather arrogant and be a put off to some, Conway's writing style of humility will appeal to a wider audience.

He shows that he is just like any other average person who has realised his dreams.

These dreams need not be very big dreams, but instead dreams that everyone is capable of achieving with vision & proper planning (eg. leading a happy comfortable retirement). That is the key message he seems to drive.

This book will serve a wide audience because of his approach that can touch not only big dreamers & entrepreneurs, but any other individual who wants a happy fulfilling life. And this is the magic behind his book :)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Movies Review Blog

Movies are really fun (& to one large extend, inspiring) as we get to see a different world, without having to be physically there, or to be through what the characters experience.

It could be a past period story, a present fiction, or even something in the future.

Movies allow us to see beyond our lives, and be brought into the many different lives of others - like the soldiers in war, a President's life, a gypsy's world. The list goes on, even more so if it is an animation (like the most recent I watch, into a bee's hive, or into the under water world, etc).

What I like most is the mind is able to expand and ideas & imagination flow while watching movies. These could be direct ideas, or indirect, which may pop up in the near future. There are times too I watch movies for the pure relaxation. Somehow or rather, whenever I watch a movie, I get a lil inspired thereafter.

To capture all movies that I watch, I've created a review blog - Movies Review Blog.

These are movies that I watch during leisure, and includes all types of movies - inspiring or less.

Only the most inspiring movies (& the meaningful ones) will be reviewed on this blog - ensuring this blog remains truly inspiring :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Last week would be a witness whereby a star shares her light - that is when Datuk Siti Nurhaliza, Malaysia's pop princess visited heart-transplant recoveree, Hui Yee at the hospital.

Hui Yee first announced her intention to meet her idol, and when the news got to Siti, she did like a true Star - giving Hui Yee a very memorable moment.

It is admirable of such a huge star, most probably South East Asia's biggest, to be humble enough to grant the request of her fan... but that is Siti, and that is why people just love her.

Siti's story is most admirable. Coming from a humble background, her career has been a great success. Her fanbase is solid, with a huge following of fans in Malaysia and regionally, especially in Indonesia. Even the Singaporeans recognise her. Siti has bagged many awards, being the singer with most awards in the Malaysian Book of Records.

Siti's Malaysian girl image, plus her strong vocals is one of the reasons for such a huge success. However, the most unique thing about Siti is her Star personality - her good PR & her still remaining humble despite her success. This is very relevant in her interviews, which puts her at most ease, but which might have made most people in 'self-defence' moments.

*Siti's interview - you can see how Siti 'brushes' difficult questions, with still a smiling face :) (See at 03:19)

And here's a video of the singer's first big hit. Over the years, Siti has transformed herself from a young new-commer to such a well-respected, well-mannered Star.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Age Is No Barrier

Age normally 'defines' someone. True enough, the older someone is, normally, he/she has more experience, and to some extend, wiser.

Saying that, we should also not be disillusioned by age... This thought came recently, when I was talking to a younger person, and I was surprised to be able to draw some ideas from the conversation.

Take a look at some of the examples in the world - Facebook, Google, Dell - these people started global companies, whilst still relatively young. Mark, from Facebook, is born only in 1984.

Look around you, and you will notice young entrepreneurs making their mark. Some have done it much better than their peers despite their high stable incomes. Some has even bettered their counterparts who have been in business for many years. These people have crossed the mark of being young means 'I don't know much'. Instead, they took the challenge to learn & be sharp in their decisions, making right choices.

Saying that, another point to note, is that age too should not be a barrier entry to living our dreams. Though wiser, there may be some that may sometimes feel less secured and capable at times. This mindset has to be changed, if they are to live a fulfilled life.

Sure, wondering into the unknown seems uncertain, but with what you know, and what you will learn along the way, plus lots of passion & drive, age is not a barrier here.

Another part of age not being a barrier is when we see the more matured folks doing extraordinary stunts - though some could be simple ones like jogging - which is perfectly fine, in fact very good indeed. Some don't look their age as they have all the mind and spirit in them, living a good healthy life.

So going back, age is relative. Being older or younger is not better, nor is it worse.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Inspiring Book: The Tipping Point

This bestseller talks on how epidemics & phenomenas in the world are created - from medical epidemics up to psychological-behavioral ones (eg. increase in suicides, decrease in crime rates, etc) and more interestingly on how big brands make it big... simply by the word-of-mouth.

The loads of examples all leads to show one thing - the point when something (or anything) can become 'big'. That is what is the tipping point. Part of the reason is the 'cool' factor people associate with.

In between, Malcolm also shows some other interesting theory like the 'Broken Window' - which describes how one broken window can affect the whole road of houses to eventually have the same. I would like to put it as another term - maybe 'Bright Window'. Like when one shop is beautifully renovated, the rest in the road will eventually follow suit, turning some roads far beyond recognition (for the better). He also talks on the 21 days ritual and turning that into habit.

A little hard to read as there seems like no ends of examples at times, however, this book is a must read for marketers who has big visions, and for others who would like to know how the world works. Though the author doesn't particularly conclude what really works, his insights to his vast knowledge is still well worth the input. My conclusion falls back that to have a tipping point, you need to make it 'cool' :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

See Red - Positively

Most of us, I believe, throughout our lives, would in someway or other have had some people seeing red on the things we do.

We could be students, working adults or even in our old age. Each stage of life, there might be some groups who are envious. For example, as students, others may be jealous of your results, or your sports performance; in office, others may be envious of your high position or salary; while in old age - others may be envious of your good health or children's success... the list goes on.

The question is how do we move on from here, when we know others may not seem too happy with our works? In a positive manner, I take that because we have something special that we are being noticed. This will eventually lead to jealously.

But the point is, others only take notice of us when we have something unique in oursleves... and they may feel lack or even not getting it.

To the extreme, some will go the distance up to copying our works. That is of course not very nice if it's a direct copy, similar to that of piracy.

And I'm also surprised we recently have another company copying our idea of The Malaysia Page fully, up to the graphics! Though they have taken the copied down, I agree with my friend's comment that this only makes our idea much more special and unique... and that it does work :)

So, there goes, when others see red in us, let's take it in our stride and just move on with our lives :)

Friday, October 19, 2007

China's 40 Richest

The Forbe's list for China is remarkable and to one large extend stunning! It sees all 40 in the list being billionaires, an up from 15 the year prior. And their their total nett worth also tripples from US$38b to US$120b. This is a remarkable showcase of why the awaken Dragon is gaining so much attention.

Property is the no. 1 listing with a total of 14 spots and some congolmerates taking some spots in between. Apart from the property, again, B2B seems to be the key here, with many companies involved in manufacturing, though there are 2 internet companies - Baidu & Tencent Holdings.

The majority of the list also resides in the province of Guangdong, and only a handful living in Shanghai & Beijing. This is rather a huge contrast to the list in Malaysia, who mostly have offices in the capital city.

What makes this list powerful is how China's richest has grown so much so fast. As a comparison, just a year ago, their worth was just US$10b more than Singapore, or US$12b more than Malaysia. But now it is 4 times more than Singapore, and 2.5 times more than the Malaysian list.

This again goes to show the big potential in this populated country with demands in nearly every good imaginable - from mass to high end products. And truly a country not to be missed by any company seeking grounds in Asia, if not the world.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Inspiring Book: For One More Day

When I was first passed this book, I was a little hesitant. I've read Mitch Albom's previous best-seller before, Tuesdays With Morrie. And though it deed seemed inspiring, but I felt that that book was a little let down towards the end.

However, I thought, why not give this a try... afterall, this is a best-seller too!

This story is written from the narrative of a third party, a former national baseball player who wanted to commit suicide because he felt life was not going the way he wanted... his wife left him, and his daughter too, in one way by not inviting him to her wedding.

And whilst he was in the verge of going to the other world, he met his mother, who has already passed away. Uniquely, they were together, with him tagging her throughout the day along with her chores.

As he follows his mum, he remember the times he didn't stand up for his mother, or let her mother down. There were lots of flashback to his childhood days up to his adult days and even up to the day before his mother passed away.

In between, there are moments when he also mentioned how a 'hero' his mother is to him, championing him, despite his flaws... just like most mums do. These flashbacks are very heart warming, as we can mostly relate to in someway or rather.

He even shows his mother's care through the journey on the present day with his mum, which makes feel our mother's love.

Mitch has written this book very well, inspiring others on a mother's love - which is true, sincere, and everlasting. This book is truly recommended for everyone, especially those whose mothers are still around - as it will show us how to treasure them now :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

My First Comic Strip :)

Ok, this week has been of quite a few firsts... Firstly, my first YouTube video. And today, I've been experimenting with a new web based application. I've always liked comic strips - and cartoons... and would later love and hope my company would do some too :)

Here, I would like to show my first strip... well it's not really funny, but it is a form of my love for my country, Malaysia :)

I thought it is lovely to have in a way celebrating my website, The Malaysia Page & Malaysia 50 Years there! :)

Selamat Hari Raya

As Muslims start to balik kampung and the atmosphere and mood continue to build up for this special occassion, I would like to sincerely take this opportunity to wish all the Muslims a Selamat Hari Raya. May you guys spend this special occassion with your family members and friends!

It's that time of the year to strengthen the family ties, partake the delicious rendang, lontong and the variety of kuih rayas...! :)

It's also a nice time to hear the Raya songs - especially the famous Saloma's song, which explains the whole Raya in 1 happy song... from the meaning of 1 month fasting, to the glitters on Hari Raya - and to forgive the past, and best wishes to everyone :)

Selamat aidil fitri
Kepada saudara serta saudari
Setahun hanya sekali
Merayakan hari yang mulia ini

Di masa bulan Remdan
Kita berpuasa hingga sebulan
Pabila Syawal menjelma
Hari raya disambut dengan gembira

Miskin kaya memakai baju baru warna-warni
Mengunjungi sanak kaum famili
Sungguh hebat pemandangan di hari raya ini
Tua muda wajah berseri-seri

Selamat hari raya
Pada saudari saudara semua
Marilah dengan gembira
Merayakan aidilfitri yang mulia

Di sana kelihatan
Bermacam kuih ketupat dan rendang
Mintak bu kuih sepotong
Saya mahu makan kerna perut kosong

Dam dam dum bunyi mercun
Kanak-kanak segera datang berduyun
Dam dam dum mercun berdentum
Semaraklah hari raya ini tahun

Maafkanlah jika ada terlanjur perkataan
Diharap supaya jangan disimpan
Kuberdoa selamat panjang umur murah rezeki
Semoga Tuhan akan memberkati

Selamat hari raya
Hari untuk kita bersuka ria
Selamat mari ucapkan
Untuk kita hingga sampai tahun depan

Selamat hari raya !

*For those who would like to know more on the meaning of this occassion, do visit my other post at The Malaysia Page Blog

Monday, October 08, 2007

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Malaysia 50 Years Book

Yes, that is the new idea I've mentioned :)

Now, let's see how this idea of the book came about. Firstly, over the months of promoting The Malaysia Page, we found that many Malaysian based companies have given us the feedback that they would like something that they can feel & touch - basically, a book/ magazine. Although this came as a lil surprise initially, but we took their feedback.

And then, we thought, that we wanted to actually do some souvenirs for Malaysia 50 Years too... a gift that people will keep even in years to come, and hopefully will be something very precious. Afterall, this is an important year for Malaysia, and she will only celebrate it once!

Next, this idea ties in with my hope of giving something back to Malaysians - a souvenir for them, as we plan to give some books free.

So, after some discussions, I am proud to announce that we are going to publish the book, Malaysia 50 Years: The Commemorative Book, this year.

This book will be unique, as it will feature contributions from anyone in the world on anything about Malaysia - from photographs, writings/ stories, and drawings. Hence, become a book that is truly from the viewpoint of others and not from just a perspective of the author or publisher.

Finally, I would like to request that if you have anything you would like to contribute in writing/ drawing/ photo of Malaysia, please email us. It would be nice to be part of this history :) Just imagine, in years to come, say even in 2057, the future generation will look up to us and say, now that was Malaysia, and how she has grown!

More details are at Malaysia 50 Years: The Commemorative Book.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Flock Together

'Birds of a feather flock together'... we know that phrase very well. But let's see how we can apply that in life.

If you see around you, our circle of friends are of similar activities, behaviour and mindset. I've read before, we are the closest to the 10 closest people we have.

I recently watched a program on TV on school dropouts and all 3 of the students queried mentioned that it was due to their friends 'recommendation'. This shows how positive the people we mix with can influence us.

Hence, this makes it very important for us to select our friends properly. I know of some entrepreneurs who even mentioned that 'we may need to find new friends'... like if we want to be a 'xxx', we have to mix with those in the circle of 'xxx'. Like if we want to be a billionaire, we may need to leave the millionaire mentality; if we want to be a good worker, we need to mix less with other clerics who continue to simply complain on their work.

These entrepreneurs have a point, though I'm not suggesting we leave our friends, but to know our boundaries, and to find new 'boundaries'.

So, though being inspired may need lots of courage for us to look beyond the familiar circle, but I believe it will be a decision well worth it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Inspiring Destination: Krabi, Thailand

Amazing Thailand. I'm sure many of you have heard that tagline.

Thailand has never failed to amaze me, ever since I set foot on this beautiful country with one of the most friendliest people.

This time, I would like to share about a little destination, the province of Krabi. Located south of Thailand and known for its beautiful white sandy beaches of Ao Nang and of course, its famous island of Kho Phi Phi, where the movie, The Beach was filmed.

The scenes are exactly like postcard like, and I get the feel of walking into a photograph. The long stretch of white beach and coconut trees, plus its facing the Andaman Sea makes Krabi a beautiful beach destination.

Tourists can laze at the beaches or go to the national parks, or simply take a stroll at the many tourist shops where you'll get handicrafts, souvenirs and t-shirts & 'branded goods' from mid range to upper. A lil laidback, with activities buzzing more towards the night, Krabi is rather quiet and serene.

And like many other Thai destinations, you get to see world class resorts & hotels at affordable prices. Of course, the many budget hotels gives budget travellers more options as well, especially those who would like to stay for a longer period... in fact, I wouldn't mind doing staying there for more than 1 week (a rare for Asians!), as these hotels do come with good facilities.

What makes Krabi more unique is the people - Thai, and although many are Muslims, but they treat everyone equal, and still has that Thai friendliness and humble behavior. One of the lady at the stalls was very pretty and though she spoke lil English, but she gave that charming Asian smile, making tourists feel comfortable and at home.

Some restaurants serve good local Thai food as well, and the lemon grass drink is simply refreshing!

For a short break, Krabi serves as a good-value-for money destination :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Being No. 1

My friend sent me a newsletter from one famous USA entrepreneur, who he is a big fan of.

In his letter, he mentioned that in whatever we do, we should aim to be number 1.

It striked a chord with me. I have always believe that it doesn't matter what job or position we do, but if we are to do it, we shold be number 1.

Some people have the entrepreneurial spirit, and they have their business ventures. They could be just starting out, or with vast experiences and many successful businesses.

Just see how this applies by taking a look at the top 500 Fortune companies. They are mainly all top of their fields! And with such a huge gap to their other competitors!

Even in country specifics, it's those entrepreneurs who aim to be the best in their field achive the highest positions in their own turf.

This principle works because our actions will follow our vision and dreams, hence eventually, we will succeed in it.

This can be applied to all aspects of businesses. For example, that is why we have wonderful blockbuster movies which are done to perfection and which are in the top movies lists up to today - Starwars, Lord Of The Rings; legendary songs which can be a few decades old, but still sings in our hearts - from singers like Elvis, Beatles; or any other products which continue to be part of our lives (maybe enhanced versions - like the TV or computer). Also just look at luxury resorts or condominiums, the beautiful buildings with superb architecture or finance companies in the world who all want the big finance pie... the list just goes on!

Now this can also be applied to other parts of our lives too. Even if we are employees, we can have this goal of being number 1 in our field. And that needn't need to be any specific position, or only in high management for that matter. WE could just be holding normal positions, but we enjoy what we are doing. Again, when we do this, we will then take our job with more fun and enthusiasm, and productivity increases... and most importantly of all, we will enjoy & not find it burdensome to go to work! And our clerics or clients will be able to 'feel' us differently and would leave a lasting inspiring impression on them :)

So, again, when I read that newsletter, it once again got me back on track on my belief of aiming nothing than the numero uno position! :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Good Debate

I mentioned in my last post on the friendly debate with my friend. We were discussing on business.

The conversation were quite heated at times, as we had different ideas of business, and to those that we have the same idea, there was a different way of approach. Hence, some disagreements.

Though initially at the discussion, I couldn't see his opinions fully, but we ended well, acknowledging that we both had the same vision of growing a successful company. Besides, no idea is fully right or wrong and I believe with proper vision & passion, things will work.

What got me excited was after the discussion, I just had such a beautiful idea for my work! I couldn't sleep the next 4 hours as ideas kept rushing in. My heart didn't beat so fast for such a long time - in fact, maybe since the batik book!

I acknowledge his challenge to me to think out of the box paid beautifully, for now I have a new idea which is really exciting just to even write about it! Though this idea was mine, but it was his discussion and interests in helping that got me inspired.

I will be announcing the new work within a couple of days, and I would like to take this opportunity to my friend who has in a way, woken me up from my 'slumber'! haha :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Staying With The Dream

I had a conversation with a friend last night. In fact, it was more like a friendly debate.

I would like to share some part of it.

Briefly, there is a mention that books are hard to sell. Speak to industry players in this region and they will tell you the same stories. To one extend, I agree.

When I published my book, I didn't know anything about the industry. All I had was this dream of seeing a beautiful coffee-table book, with outstanding photographs taken in beautiful backdrops. I had this dream for 1 year before the published book.

Hence, later, the book was published. It met all of my criteria from beautiful photography to the design & layout. I fell in love with it, literally.

Then came the wakening call. What am I to do with the printed copies?

Hence, started my rounds of promoting the book from participating in events, trade fairs, liasing with bookstores & distributors and making this book a high-end corporate gift to those companies that can afford and look the value into it.

I must mention, there were many times when I felt like giving up. At times, the mention of the book scared me, as I just couldn't figure a way to get the books to sell. This especially so when as an independent publisher, funds were limited.

Add that with friends & relatives who just seem to not understand the passion I have behind my works. Some were skeptical and at times their words do seem to give a blow, especially when the going already seems tough. It was like going into a battle alone.

However, the good thing was, I followed my heart to stay on promoting the book. And finally, I managed to see some light now. I couldn't imagine if I've given up on this hope & dream of sharing the beauty of batik, Malaysian lifestyle & interior, plus beautiful photography to the world.

It was that little voice in me that said to continue staying with the dream, and I'm glad I followed it as now, we can share this book with our overseas customers.

I'm inspired by writers like J.K.Rowling from Harry Potter series who was a struggling mum who lived on state benefits writing in cafes, and whose first Harry Potter was rejected by 12 publishers, before it was first seen to print.

Similar to that, Paulo Coelho, whom I've mentioned in one of my previous post, too only had 900 copies for his first run of his book, The Alchemist. But now, it's a worldwide bestseller with over 60 languages translated and over 40 million copies sold internationally.

These people believed in their dreams and though some may call it luck, I call it perseverence. And as you can see, these people have succeeded despite all the obstacles they faced.

You and I can too, simply if we continue to stay with the dream.

My Dream Book - Batik Inspirations

The book I mentioned by Paulo:

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Gemilang Songs - Glory Songs

3 popular songs with the same title have been released in Malaysia over the past 2 decades. Gemilang which means glory in Malay seems to have a positive impact on these singers, as they are amongst Malaysia's most popular & longest lasting singers of all time. And to add, these are the rare singers who are more known by all races in Malaysia.

The positive meanings in each song, though slightly different, all go along the lines of not giving up despite the hurdles & obstacles seem to be deep rooted with them, bringing these singers a large number of fans who continue to support them, and if I may say continue to bring them from glory to glory.

Firstly we have Malaysia's 'queen of rock', Ella, who holds the all time record of best selling album of 350000 units in 1994. Her Gemilang song is a love song which talks about wanting to achieve the glorious moment together. The postive part about the song says that their dream is getting closer, especially after facing all of the obstacles so far.

The other Gemilang song was sung by Sheila Majid, who the local press calls the 'queen of jazz'. This is the singer who has broken many firsts records in Malaysia, like being the first artiste to perform & release albums in Japan, performed in sold out concert in UK, having solo concert in The Esplanade (Singapore) and to have 10000 fans attending her Lagenda concert in Malaysia (a very rare feat for any singer in Malaysia - local or foreign). Known for her soothing songs with meaningful inspiring lyrics, her Gemilang song is also a love song. The meaning & objectives of the lyrics are similar that to Ella's Gemilang. I particular like the lyrics whereby she mentions that 'all seems like a wonderful dream coming to reality... and now they are heading to glory'.

Finally, the final Gemilang is rather recent and is very popular as well, as it was the song for the finals for the 1st Malaysian Idol which was won by Jaclyn Victor. Her performance in the new song simply showcased her strong vocals as she was able to streched to the high notes. This song is the one that touched me most as I find the melody the most dynamic and lyrics closest to my heart. It is very suitable like the journey of the winner, as she says 'that she is just like the the other stars in the sky and that the moment is here, right now, to make it (her dream) become a reality'.
Just to add, this song, also won the Asian Music Festival award and the prestigious local award - Juara Lagu (Champion Of Songs) - Best Song of The Year Category. Jaclyn has also won numerous other awards in her still new singing career.

Here I attach the songs & their lyrics. May you be inspired - and here's wishing you to achieve Glory in your dreams & wishes :)

Gemilang by Ella

Terjagaku dari tidur yang lena
Melangkah malas menuju jendela
Kabus menyelubungi subuh
Mengimbas segala kenangan yang lalu

Lautan luas telah ku renangi
Segala onak ranjau yang berduri
Tak kenal dan tak ku peduli
Ku terus mencuba
Kecapi hingga kini

Bersama-sama tempuhi segala
Walau jalanan masih jauh
Hanya kau dan aku yang tahu
Saat gemilang yang aku nantikan
Hampir menjelma di depan mataku
Ku percaya saatkan tiba
Hanya menunggu tika dan masa

Tempuhi segala
Saat gemilang akan tiba
Kan kita kecapi bersama
Sungguh aku berjanji
Dengan diriku sendiri
Untukku menggenggami
Ikhlas, sabar, benar

Gemilang by Sheila Majid

Tiada nestapa
Merintangi pertemuan
Mengusik perasan yang tenang

Dikau yang pertama
Menusuki sanubari
Tika merasa
Seolah di hamparan cahaya

Bagaikan impian yang ternyata
Kita bina keteguhan cinta suci abadi

Segera mendatang mimpi indah
Kita berdua menuju gemilang

Menharungi ruang
Percintaan berpanjangan
Seiringan bersama merentasi

Seluas angkasa di ruangnya hati
Di jiwa ku terasa bahagia

Gemilang by Jaclyn Victor

Berjuta bintang menyanyi
Ku di antara yang satu
Mungkin cahaya dan impianku
Di sini... Gemilang

Lalu ku redah onak duri
dan lautan api
kemuncaknya ingin ku tawan
aku jelajahi

Kini gemilang itu
semakin pasti ku genggam
gemilang suara keyakinan kian dalam
gementar harus jangan
jiwaku harus bertenaga
mungkin kini
menjadi realiti

Lalu ku redah onak duri
dan lautan api
kemuncaknya ingin ku tawan
aku jelajahi

Friday, September 14, 2007

Maria - 200 Pounds Beauty

I mentioned before about this Korean movie which was very inspiring (Beautifully You).

I love the songs on the album too, especially this one which has been on my mind since Ive watched the movie - Maria.

Just love the tune, which melody is inspiring - mix of rock & pop, and sung with a beautiful voice of Kim Ah Joong. Her singing is not hoarse, but more towards melodious pop adding the special touch to this song :)

And here, the lyrics in case you would like to sing-a-long

자 지금 시작해 조금씩 뜨겁게
우 두려워하지마
펼쳐진 눈앞에 저 태양이 길을 비춰
우 절대 멈추지마
Maria Ave Maria
저 흰 구름 끝까지 날아
Maria Ave Maria
거친 파도 따윈 상관없지

기적은 이렇게 내 눈앞에 펼쳐있어
우 절대 멈추지마
Maria Ave Maria
저 흰 구름 끝까지 날아
Maria Ave Maria
거친 파도 따윈 상관없지

멈춰버린 심장전체가
걷잡을 수 없이 뛰어와
Maria Ave Maria
저 흰 구름 끝까지 날아
Maria Ave Maria
거친 파도 따윈 상관없지
Maria Ave Maria
저 흰 구름 끝까지 날아
Maria Ave Maria
거친 파도 따윈 상관없지

ja chigeum shijakhae jogeumsshik tteukeop ke
u duryeowohajima
gwelchyeo nunape jeo taeyangi kileul bichwo
u jeoldae meomchujima
Maria Ave Maria
jeo hwin gureum kkeutddaji nala
Maria Ave Maria
keochin pado ttawin sanggwan eopji

ki jeokeun ireohke nae nunipe gwelcheoisseo
u jeoldae meomchujima
Maria Ave Maria
jeo hwin kureum kkeut ttaji nala
Maria Ave Maria
keochin pado ttahwin sang gwan eopsji

meomchwobeorin shimjangjeoncheka
keotjapeut su eopshi ttwieowa
Maria Ave Maria
cheo hwim kureum kkeutkkaji nala
Maria Ave Maria
keochin pado ttahwin sang gwan eopji
Maria Ave Maria
cheo hwim kureum kkeutkkaji nala
Maria Ave Maria
keochin pado ttahwin sang gwan eopji

She moves like she dont care.
Smooth as silk, cool as air.
Ooh, it makes you wanna cry.

She doesnt know your name and your heart beats like a subway train.
Ooh, it makes you wanna die.

Ooh, dont you wanna take her?
Wanna make her all your own?

Youve gotta see her!
Go insane and out of your mind.
Maria ave maria.
A million and one candlelights.

Ive seen this thing before.
In my best friend and the boy next door.
Fool for love and fool of fire.

Wont come in from the rain.
Sees oceans running down the drain.
Blue as ice and desire.

Dont you wanna make her?
Ooh, dont you wanna take her home?

Youve gotta see her!
Go insane and out of your mind.
Maria ave maria.
A million and one candlelights.

Ooh, dont you wanna break her?
Ooh, dont you wanna take her home?

She walks like she dont care.
You wanna take her everywhere.
Ooh, it makes you wanna cry.

Shes like a millionaire.
Walking on imported air.
Ooh, it makes you wanna die.

Youve gotta see her!
Go insane and out of your mind.
Maria ave maria.
A million and one candlelights.

*lyrics translated from various sources online.

Knowing What You Want

One key difference I notice from successful people & the rest is that those who are sucessful always know what they want - it could be a dream, a desire, a goal or an ambition they have deep inside their hearts.

These are not vague ideas, but very specific. The very successful ones can describe their whole dream to the very detail.

It could be their dream house for example, where they can tell you how and building looks like, the architecture, the location of the home, number of rooms, the interior styles of each room, the types of furniture, and the list goes on.

There are others in business who can point directly their dream business - what it does, how big it wish to grow, the concept of the business, etc.

On a smaller scale, there will be times when something crops up, and we just need to make a quick decision, as whether we want to do, and what to do. Again, the statement of knowing what we want is important.

Ive experienced a few friends who just did things because they don't exactly know what they want. Their actions will take a lot of their time and energy and yet not at all bringing them closer to their goal of achieving success. It's a pity because some of them are very talented and ambitious, but have diluted their energy and resources.

Some examples could be going for meetings and seminars which don't add value; or others don't do what they are asked for hence not making actions or decisions complete.

I learnt about this principle and realised that it works for us once we master it. Then, we will have more free time and at the same time achieving our goals - big and small.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Inspiring Book Review: The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

The story revolves around the main character of a shepherd boy, Santiago whose desires to travel lead him to rare sheeps, walking from town to town selling his wools.

However his care-free life changed when he first wanted to meet again a merchant's daughter after a year. But before he could do that, he stops and met an old man (King of Salem) who then told him to follow his heart (and dreams) - where he is to find treasure in the pyramids.

Along the course of his journey, the boy meets with very intersting characters like gypsies, crystal shop merchant, the caravan & an Englishman, a desert woman - Fatima whom he later fell in love, and finally the alchemist.

These characters played a part in bringing the boy closer to his dreams, and more importantly shaping the thoughts of the boy who began to 'live his dreams' and follow his heart.

Written in a easy to read, and simple way, this book will inspire us to follow our dreams and gut feel. And the thoughts of the boy are well explained which are sometimes similar to our own thoughts - about others and oneself, gives a reflection on our lives as well.

Paulo Coelho is known for his inspiring books. This book is the Brazillian author's second book, which at first only drew 900 copies, but for his determination went on to be a bestseller with now over 61 languages translated and with 40 million copies sold worldwide.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Forbes: Malaysia's 40 Richest

The Malaysians have been having a roaring time, especially with the stronger Ringgit (RM) and surge in stock market. The list compiled by Forbes shows an astounding increase of USD17 billion, from a previous USD26b to USD43b.

The cream of the crop, the richest ten has businesses in shipping, real estate, media, telecommunications, broadcasting, gaming (casino & 4D), resorts & hotels, plantation, shopping malls, banking, manufacturing, port, construction and plantation.

Many of them have been in business for years, with a handful in their forties.

This list clearly shows that Malaysia is a thriving place for business, and that the pie can be shared for all races under the umbrella Malaysian :)

Friday, August 31, 2007

A Meaningful Merdeka

Being a relatively young nation, Malaysia has done well the past 50 years. It is not easy to have many races living in one nation, with each race still being able to practice their own tradition and values.

Malaysia has also progressed well, embracing modernisation - with both the government and private sector playing a role in shaping Malaysia to where it is today.

It also makes me proud to see Malaysian companies expanding and going abroad, and exporting Malaysian made products overseas. In addition, it is nice to see talented Malaysians contributing to the nation.

However, despite all these, it is sad to see the inferiority & lack of confidence to our local products. I assume one of the reason is because some 'bad apples' have spoilt the image of made-in-Malaysia products.

Quick and easy money, graft, lack of vision, contentment with the local market and other factors have given bad publicity for some Malaysian goods and services. This then looses the confidence of the 'rakyat' (the people), and of course from our friends abroad. Over time, this also affects all other made-in-Malaysia products including those that are genuinely good, making it harder to expand and grow. And when this problem is not solved, the vicious cycle continues.

The worse part, this spoils the 'Malaysia Boleh' dream and spirit to one large extend – the free spirit we are so proud to have.

I'm not saying that the nation is not supportive, but I believe more can be done for us to celebrate Merdeka more joyously.

My dream and vision would be a time when all Malaysians would come together and do their very best for the nation, with other nations from both first & third world will look up to for ideas, products and services. Malaysia will then join the ranks of other big nations whereby the people fully support their home works just like the Japanese, Koreans, Americans, British or Germans – countries whom we now look upon now.

"Is this possible?" you may ask. Again, it goes back to our vision of what we want for Malaysia and how meaningful we want our Merdeka to be. It may take a change of mindset and approach to some of the way of doing things, but if this can be achieved, I'm sure, it's a job well done and then we can truly celebrate Merdeka!

Let's all play a part in shaping this country for a next glorious 50 years to come.

Im still proud of Malaysia and its achievements, and here's wishing you all a Happy Merdeka! :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Forbes: Singapore's 40 Richest

In some news, it is reported that Singapore has among the fastest growth of millionaires in Asia.

And over the top end, there is the list of the top 40 of the richest people in Singapore. Done by Forbes, this research shows shareholdings in publicly traded companies as well as in private company filings.

Through the list, they both deal with a mixture of B2B & B2C - with businesses in property/ real estate, hotels, banking, palm oil, and even in school business making the top 10 list, which is lead by Ng Teng Fong with a net worth of USD 6.7 billion.

The total net worth of the top 40 is USD32 billion.

It is very interesting to note how a 'tiny' island, with not much natural resources is able to produce so many people in the rich list category. This continues to live on the forefathers ambition of the 'Nanyang Dream' who came here from China for greener pastures.

Though many started off here in Singapore, and with huge investments and business in the island, however, with limited population, some have expanded overseas, only to grow their business bigger.

Again, this shows that background is not a determining factor (or limiting factor) in being able to achieve one's current status/ ambitions.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Inspiring Book Review: Jump In!

This book authored by Mark Brunett, the producer who popularised reality TV, not only in USA but throughout the world - beginning with Survivor and his other hit series, Eco-Challenge.

This book accounts of his journey mainly on these two TV series which he produced. Survivor fans would be most pleased to read the insights on what went behind the scenes to set up each Season's series - from location scouting, logistics and negotiations, not to mention his dream and passion. And this is where it comes in handy and useful for us, who want to learn the art of negotiation, and to be inspired by how a simple British who made good in the American dream.

Mark also shares his insights on how to continue to be creative and re-invent the Survivor series, plus his other hit reality TV series, which shows that we should not rest on our laurels.

There are a lot of interesting points in the book which are highlighted in boxes, giving emphasis to us readers. These are helpful pointers to note what Mark wants us to pick-up and learn.

There is one particular interesting section of the book which he mentioned during his training days where he and his mates were trained to do somethings 'impossible'. Of course they succeeded, and that truly inspires that nothing can stand in between us and our dreams!

Another inspiring part is where Mark mentions about how he met idol Donald Trump, and finally even worked with him on The Apprentice. And then, he also went on to how he met with Martha Stewart too.

In all, this book truly inspires those who inspire to be in the entertainmenmt industry especially TV producers, Survivor fans, and even those who just want to read an inspiring book.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Inspiring Movie Review: Ratatouille

I love good animated movies, and this is no exception. About an unordinary rat, Remy, who unlike his other family members & friends, adores food for its flavour & taste - and walks on 2 feet to not dirty his hands (a clean rat! haha)

He watches the cooking series on TV by his idol chef, Auguste Gusteau, and is inspired by his words 'Anyone Can Cook'.

Someway, the rat ended up in his idol's old restaurant where he (yes, the lil rat) becomes the main chef.

It's interesting to note how a lil rat can command the kitchen and the restaurant diners just by his passion for cooking. He turnaround the now not-too-popular restaurant around, by being able to create tasty delicous dishes.

If you love animated movies, this is an above-average one. The 3D effects are great especially in the kitchen where there are lots of action... And, this movie plays well with Paris being the backdrop.

I find this movie inspiring as it shows how Remy stood by his belief of wanting to help & contribute, and not succumbing to his colony to be simply ordinary and 'useless', and with lots of hate by the 'humans'. So instead of facing the pressures like what most people (or rats for that matter) would do, he instead showed his worth by helping the restaurant turn around.

Also seen here, Remy's passion (of cooking & good food) which brought him to his dreams. Said by so many time and again, passion really is one of the key to success :)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Inspiring Movie Review: Hairspray

Hairspray revolves in a town in the 60's where this rather overweight girl, Tracy Turnblad who love to sing & dance, getting all the exposure & inspiration while watching a local television series.

As this is a small town, the show consisted of some students from her school, including one of the lead dancers, Link Larkin, whom she likes and eventually falls in love.

Of course, in all Hollywood style, she ends up on the show, and that is where the drama begins.

Well co-ordinated, wonderful music score, hence leaving no boring moments in between. And unlike other musical film (eg. Phantom), this had speech and was not all sing & songs only, which makes it much more fun to watch. The 60's setting was well done too, with puff up hair for the ladies too.

All the actors & actresses played their roles well - especially Nikki Blonsky. And nice surprise by John Travolta, wonderful character by Michelle Pfeiffer and the lovable Queen Latifah!

What makes this movie inspiring to me is that it shows that we can achieve our dreams despite our background, or where we come from, or even our current state. It's about being positive and just wanting to live the dream :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Malaysiaku Gemilang (My Glorious Malaysia)

This year's theme for Malaysia's National Day is Malaysiaku Gemilang (My Glorious Malaysia). A song with the same name is also chosen for this year's Merdeka (Independence) Celebrations.

It is clearly seen here that it gets its inspiration from the national flower - the hibiscus. And of course, the colours from the national flag - 'Jalur Gemilang'.

This is a new theme, and it has changed from the previous theme which has been used for years - 'Keranamu Malaysia' (Because Of You, Malaysia). As it is a new theme, hence, it was no surprise when many were unaware of the new theme (up to 90% - reported on Aug 8 2007) - a research done by Synovate Malaysia.

But I guess as the National Day approaches, and so many events being planned, more will be aware of it now :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Negarku (My Country)

There is currently a big buzz on this song, creating waves in the region - from Taiwan to Singapore and of course in Malaysia.

Im not going to dwell into the issue. However, as Malaysia is going to celebrate it's 50th Years Of Independence, I would like to share the lyrics of Malaysia's national anthem.

The Malaysians would know this song well at heart, and it's time for us to just appreciate the song :)

Seeing this video, Im sure Malaysians can all come together with full pride. And despite there being certain issues in the country which could be handled better, however, Malaysia is still HOME to us - a beautiful one that is :)

Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku,
Rakyat hidup, bersatu dan maju,
Rahmat bahagia, Tuhan kurniakan,
Raja kita, selamat bertakhta.
Rahmat bahagia, Tuhan kurniakan,
Raja kita, selamat bertakhta.

In English[1]:

Oh, My Motherland,
The Land where my life began,
Where people live in harmony and prosperity,
With God-given blessings of happiness,
Our King reigns in peace.
With God-given blessings of happiness,
Our King reigns in peace.

A more literal translation would be:

My country, land where my blood was spilt,
The people live united and in progress,
Blessings of happiness, may God grant,
(And that) our King may reign in peace.
Blessings of happiness, may God grant,
(And that) our King may reign in peace.

*Lyrics from Wikipedia

Monday, August 20, 2007

'Dream' Poster

In a workshop I attended sometime back, we participants were asked to do a cut-&-paste of our dream poster, taking pictures from magazines, newspapers.

Apparently, it is known that if we see (& believe in) our dreams everyday, it will come true someday. (This was also shown in the DVD The Secret).

I must say, some of the things on that poster have already come true for me... among them, my interests in lifestyle photography & modeling resulted in the Batik Inspirations book. There are a few more pictures which are in the process of being realised :)

And another strong one is just simply putting the picture of the dream car... and that was realised too. How powerful.

One of my friends mentioned, as long as we have something we want in our mind, it will most likely be done. And I believe so... and it will be more powerful when it is done with having something to visualise.

Im now looking to get a few other pictures to create a new 'dream' poster :)

Melody (Melodi)

A time when racial ties seems to be a lil tensed, it is nice to see what makes Malaysia unique - its main strength of the multi races living in peace.

Let me share a duet by Malaysian singers - upcoming singer, Lin Yu Zhong & veteran 'jazz queen' Sheila Majid. 'Melodi' just proves the racial unity in Malaysia.

Enjoy :)

Kau melodi yang indah
Menusuki jiwa
Hidupku tak bermakna

多么實在的感覺 望著你的臉
pinyin: duo me shi zai de gan jue // wang zhe ni de lian
這一刻 我到了被人遺忘的永遠
pinyin: zhe yi ke // wo dao le bei ren yi wang de yong yuan

Pertemuan yang tanpa diduga
pinyin: xiang mi lu de ren zhao dao hui jia de lu xian

Engkau bak lagu dan aku bagai irama
Bersatu kita mewarnai hidup bersama
Tanpamu hilanglah nadi kita berdua
Menderita tiada haluan
Woo~ 在我心里最動聽的melody
pinyin: Woo~ zai wo xin li zui dong ting de melody

Kau melodi yang indah
Menusuki jiwa
Hidupku tak bermakna

多么實在的感覺 望著你的臉
pinyin: duo me shi zai de gan jue // wang zhe ni de lian

這一刻 我到了被人遺忘的永遠
pinyin: zhe yi ke // wo dao le bei ren yi wang de yong yuan

Pertemuan yang tanpa diduga

pinyin: xiang mi lu de ren zhao dao hui jia de lu xian

Engkau bak lagu dan aku bagai irama
Bersatu kita mewarnai hidup bersama
Tanpamu hilanglah nadi kita berdua
Menderita tiada haluan

Woo~ 在我心里最動聽的melody
pinyin: Woo~ zai wo xin li zui dong ting de melody

Engkau bak lagu dan aku bagai irama
Bersatu kita mewarnai hidup bersama
Tanpamu hilanglah nadi kita berdua
Menderita tiada haluan
Woo~ 在我心里最動聽的melody
pinyin: Woo~ zai wo xin li zui dong ting de melody

Menderita tiada haluan
Woo~ 在我心里最動聽的melody
pinyin: Woo~ zai wo xin li zui dong ting de melody

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Adding Colours To Celebrations

I love the independence months, especially in Malaysia during the month of August where the national flags (called 'jalur gemilang') are hanged outside shops and office buildings. And in each state, the state flags will also be seen sometimes together with the country's flag.

Though its a symbolic of patriotism, but this also adds colours to the celebrations, adding more life to the streets and making it a nice drive around the roads :) This really brings up the spirit of Merdeka (Independent)!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Turning 1

What a surprise... it's been now just a few days away to this blog turning 1 year old! 18 Aug - an auspicious date for me was when I did my very first post... another reason for this month of Celebrations!

How the blog has changed - the background feature has changed a few times, but I remember it's been blue all the while. And of course the side bars has been ever changing - now with sponsored ads and also email subscribes.

I must admit though a year passed, Im still learning the ropes of blogging. Ive enjoyed sharing my thoughts and also inspiring words I learnt from others. And now, Im also sharing beyond just words, but also music and anything else which falls under 'inspire'.

Of course all these couldnt be done without you readers. Let's continue this inspiration building :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Continuous Improvement

With recent surge on our Batik Inspirations website, and as I've been reading some books on improving the outlook of websites, I've done some minor changes to the site.

Moving away from the red/ brown to a more soothing blue, hope this website will be more pleasant to users.

And with some free articles, we hope to continue to promote this ancient art in any way possible (PS: Check under 'Articles').

Hope you enjoy & get some useful information :)

Monday, August 13, 2007

'Bendera' - Indonesia's Inspiring Song

I chanced upon the finals of Indonesia Idol 4. Was very impressed with the finalists performing the song, 'Bendera', in a group on stage, swaying their national red-white flag with full of pride.

As Indonesia celebrate's its coming national day this 17th August, I felt this song was timely (PS: This song was sung by a group Cokelat prior).

Though Im not Indonesian, but it was refreshing to listen to this song which has a very nice modern tune and inspiring lyrics (though simple). Truly love the chorus :)

Here, I like to share the lyrics (in Bahasa Indonesia):

Biar saja ku tak sehebat matahari
Tapi ku slalu mencoba tuk menghangatkanmu
Biar saja ku tak setegar batu karang
Tapi ku slalu mencoba tuk melindungimu

Biar saja ku tak seharum bunga mawar
Tapi slalu kucoba tuk mengharumkanmu
Biar saja ku tak seelok langit sore
Tapi slalu kucoba tuk mengindahkanmu

Kupertahankan kau demi kehormatan bangsa
Kupertahankan kau demi tumpah darah
Semua pahlawan-pahlawanku

Merah putih teruslah kau berkibar
Di ujung tiang tertinggi di Indonesiaku ini
Merah putih teruslah kau berkibar
Di ujung tiang tertinggi di Indonesiaku ini
Merah putih teruslah kau berkibar
Ku kan selalu menjagamu

Friday, August 10, 2007

Pleasant Humble Surprise

A few recent encounters have left me rather unamused. Some people Ive met have been rather rude while others have been rather boastful, blowing their trumpets - both online & offline.

So, when there was a meeting planned earlier this evening, I was a lil hesitated.

The schedule of the meeting 945pm - rather late, but I was thankful that the clients made time for the meeting after their work.

The meeting went on for slightly over an hour. The clients were very humble throughout, with no airs at all. I was bowled over by their friendliness and humbleness. What makes it more pleasant, they didn't expect any return at all.

And to end it, I didn't know that they have yet to have had their dinner! They really went all the way to give in - another pleasant surprise!

The meeting really left me inspired again that there are nice people around :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Month of Celebrations

This month 3 nations I admire - Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia are celebrating their independence days... Wow!

It's a nice feeling to just feel the atmosphere in each country.

In Malaysia, in conjunction with the 50 Years of Indpendence, there have been so many contests & events since the start of this year, and especially this August month.

In Singapore, the national day parade have been having the buzz as well, with this year's parade taking place in a new venue - beside the Esplanade! Hence, there will be water shows! What a view :)

And in Indonesia, I just heard a song 'Bendera' - a rather patriotic song just released by the finalists of Indonesian Idol 4!

Such nice atmosphere really keeps me inspired :)

Happy Birthday, Singapore!

As the lion city, and among Asia's richest nation celebrates its 42nd birthday this 9th August, we would like to take this opportunity to wish Singapore a big Happy Birthday, and that may this island city continue its legacy.

Really a magnificent piece of story - from how this island has transformed and still continues to change & incorporate new ideas... and the past few years has seen Singapore adding more and more vibrance which will only make the future better.

Looking forward to the integrated resorts & formula one :)

Truly something we can learn from this city.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Celebrate! Singapore

Here are 2 clips of other Singapore national day songs which some of my friends liked... Again, Im sure it is inspiring in a way or rather, whether you come from Singapore or from anywhere else :)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Reach Out For The Skies

As Singapore's National Day is approaching this 9th August, Im looking back at some of the inspiring national day songs.

One particular song that touch & inspire me is this 2005 song. I find it both the melody and lyrics very inspiring... Love the part of the lyrics - 'Our dreams we all achieve, let's reach out for the skies' :)

And in the video clip, there is a smart use of the national colours of red & white.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007


The Malaysia Page project has gotten me back and forth on the drawing board. Since its first input from late last year to its conceptualisation early this year and production from February, I've never had so many meetings, researching, brainstorming and learning!

Not to mention, lots of adjustments and edits. Reminds me just like how some businessmen who made it big time, though looking back, they too went through lots of trials.

But, whatever it is, and whatever it takes, I just have this good-feel about this site for Malaysia and also for the sister site, The Singapore Page :)

Somehow, I think this is what most people need - to just believe & eventually all will fall nicely :)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Beautifully Refreshing

I love beaches - sea. sand. sun haha :) Was really looking forward to a holiday break and it was timely then my friend planned a trip to Pulau Redang.

What a beautiful experience to this beautiful island, which was made famous by the movie Summer Holidays starring Sammi Cheng and Richie Ren.

It was nice to get a break, to get connected with friends again, and to be on such a wonderful island.

Holidays - any type, are very refreshing and gives the mind time to relax and get new ideas. With this trip, all I can say, there will be more to come! flights destination link

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Shinning Star

My friend read me my star the other day... Though I rarely read them, but this one is a good one to be shared - "In this situation, the best is yet to come. Really - believe it. Stand wholeheartedly behind your plans for the future and you will soon see that your certainty pays off. What you want will come to pass if you have faith."

Even if the star didn't say so, but Im sure, if we just follow these words in our everyday lives, we will be able to see our dreams through.

I spoke to a friend recently and mentioned to him about it - bout first 'dreaming' and next to 'follow through'. And though the roads can be rather bumpy, but just like the star said, we got to just keep believing :)