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 :)