Monday, April 30, 2018

A Trendy & Modern Food Court

All opinions are solely mine & subject to
my own discretion.

My wife and I often head to Cafes and Starbucks in our neighbourhood to meet up with friends and associates for discussions. Sometimes my wife would spend all day there alone to finish her thesis and project assignments without distractions like the comfy sofa and television at home. Recently, we discovered this exclusive and trendy food court. The developer is very thoughtful and had planned so well before they completed this new & popular shopping mall.

It is located on Level 3 of Starling's Shopping Mall. 
Get to this level and head to FOODIES' NEST.

The whole section is so spacious and well ventilated with natural lighting besides the chic and modern furnishing.

They have so much green plants and sitting areas with different seats & stools for your comfort.

They have so many private corners to bring your darling to sit inside the bird cage or chat with friends and do some classroom projects. Here my friend was with us and looked serious in rushing his paper work for us. You can order the delicious food and beverages from the food court to enjoy at any corner you fancy, without extra charges. You can sit all day without ordering and this has become a popular haven for many students to revise their studies with friends. The interior decor is simply fabulous.

This thoughtful developer has planted so many trees to liven up the whole vicinity & transformed it into a green hub. They tidied up and tiled all the pavements in order to create the bicycle lanes. Honestly, the whole area is very busy now with many more cars! They still double park or choose to park in the multi levels parking space below The Starling's Mall. That's a bonus.

I plan to ride my bicycle around the whole area and probably reward myself with ice cream at Family Mart after burning some calories. Come join me for a ride

Happy Holidays!


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

8 Tips To Be A Good Speaker

It was always a torturous routine for me when I had to attend seminars on behalf of my office. It might sound like a nice escapade from office for one whole day from morning till late evening. I would get to enjoy the luxury hotel's ambiance with buffet food spread and free flow of beverages. I have had enough of those pain when it was often an all day torture trying to stay awake. I realised many speakers are not good speakers in reality. Have you ever been tortured by similar occasions? Some speakers could be so boring and dragged his speech like a sad funeral's eulogy while I had to use toothpicks to keep both my eyelids opened!

The Majlis of Petaling Jaya hosted this seminar at the roof top of a hotel and invited selected participants from various media companies in Klang Valley.

This important event was graced by the Datuk Bandar (Mayor) who started off with his opening speech. He is a good speaker and has natural charms & humour. It was the first time there is a safety awareness seminar after seeing too many fatal accidents and careless mishaps that happened in the year 2017. They shared many real live videos of shocking accidents that were often due to human's negligence and oversight which could be prevented. Overall, I truly benefited tremendously from the safety awareness they have shared.

The all day event saw several speakers taking the rostrum to deliver their speeches. Some spoke too softly and one spoke all the way in Bahasa Malaysia using his slangs at top speed. Many of us including me could not catch what he rambled at the top of his voice yet no one raised their hands. The last speaker was simply the best because he was just so different and prompted me to blog it: 

1. He constantly made sure that his loud and clear voice was being heard by all the audience.
2. He made eye contacts with everyone and smiled warmly.
3. He frequently walked up and down the aisle between the tables which made the audience swing their heads away from sleepiness. It was a head swing exercise for us.
4. In between, he would scream suddenly and jolted everyone up to wake up.
5. He would frequently swing, raise and pound both his hands. Those little actions made the session fully alive.
6. He spoke precisely and delivered all his important points of safety measures.
7. He got all the audience to participate and interact in individual group discussions.

The individual group's meeting session made all the participants to get to know each other which broke the ice. They had to document all the minutes and email directly to the council, just like a real life interaction. A good practice!

How would you rank yourself as a Public Speaker? I would hoot my own trumpet that many people had applauded me as a stand up comedian instead, which in other words I am a confident and brave speaker who blabs all nonsense only. Relatives and friends would love to swarm around my table during wedding dinners and gatherings just to hear my mouth uttering the most juiciest gossips and scariest tales from the crypt. Anyway that doesn't label me as a Great Speaker at all. I am just brave and confident due to my upbringing. I went up to my school's stage to deliver my story telling at the young age of 8. From then on, I went on stage to deliver pantuns, poetry and grandmother stories until 12 years old when I directed my own "Graveyard Horrors" drama which received thunderous laughter & applause from the audience at my school. It was a very silly drama that drew so much laughter instead because my pontianak came running out with my mother's bed sheet over his body. That was my childhood history.

During my advertising studies, I had one semester of Business Presentation class that made me a wreck and gave me sleepless nights just days before I had to speak to a hall full of American students. I was the only Asian with chinky sharp eyes as they called. I had to speak behind the rostrum on certain given topic by the lecturer who would stand behind me throughout my presentations. I would be given marks scored from the evaluation after the toughest part where the American students would ask me the most nerve wrecking questions from other planets and universe. Phew! I would suffer instantly from fever and cold sweats but I survived always. I have successfully spoken many times at the various big property developer's companies during the open tender presentations after getting valuable tips from my ex Hong Kong boss.

This is my own 
8 Easy Tips For Public Speaking:

1. Start With A Bang - Even the most experienced speakers would still get cold sweaty palms and jitters. Drink some really warm water before you deliver your speech. Start off your lines with some entertaining topics to calm yourself with mild jokes like pointing out to the bad traffic or weather that morning.

2. Practice Makes Perfection - Read through your prepared notes many times and practice by talking aloud inside a room with a mirror to reflect your actions. This method would definitely assist you to eventually discard your stage frights.

3. Don't Memorize Your Lines - Write out your full script and practice reading the outlines many times. Do not read out your speech word-for-word which is a total failure.

4. Avoid Filler Words - Many local speakers had the habits of using words like "aah", "lah" , "errr", "hmmn" and the list goes on. That is terrible and should be avoided at all costs as the audience expects the speakers to speak flawless without grammatical errors and filler words.

5. Practice To Articulate - Speak loud and very clear with your lips moving. Do not mumble and stammer. The audience would give you Zero score in the evaluation sheet if they could not hear or understand you.

6. Dress Well To Impress - Wear smart attires that makes you very comfortable. Try to avoid wearing gaudy and shocking colours with big prints that could make you look like a clown instead. I would avoid using perfumes too as some people could have allergies or dislike my choice of fragrance.

7. Make Audience Work Their Brains - Prepare your speech with good topics that is new, interesting, unique and beneficial to the audience. When they start writing down all the notes and points taken from your public speaking, that shows you are on the right track.

8. Video Yourself - We have smartphones with sophisticated features today. Use it to video yourself while you speak and deliver your topics after many practices. Review the videos and it would give you better confidence as you progress by improving all your shortcomings. It would be helpful if your colleague could observe your practice and point out all areas for improvement.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Coffee Date with Actor Kenny Gan

I think I have suddenly become a paparazzi or crazy stalker for showbiz celebrities! My recent coffee date with Actor Fai Chen had progressed into going to see his next filming shoot which was held at the Endah Parade in Sri Petaling. I dragged my wife along to that half-dead shopping mall as we had to collect the leftover breads to feed the homeless later that night. 

When I arrived on the 3rd floor, Fai Chen smiled and welcomed me with cheeky words - "Does this place reminds you of the earlier days of your career?" His statement gave me a chilly surprise as that happened more than 15 years ago and he still remembered vividly. To cut my granny stories short, that shopping mall was launched by the developer who had engaged the best Property Advertising Agency from Hong Kong to handle their launching project which was a 100% sell out. That advertising agency was owned by the comedy actor Stephen Chow's best buddy - HKG Canto-Pop singer & actor Eric Kot Man Fai. Soon after, he was invited by the happy developer to set up a branch in Kuala Lumpur to handle all their future projects. Fast forward, I was being head-hunted as I had the exact long string of TV Post Production experience which all those Hong Kong bosses wanted. It was such a very bitter sweet agency yet I lasted for over 10 years there.

That night I met a fellow famous and very talented young actor Kenny Gan at the set. He is only 32 years old yet he holds amazing credentials in his brilliant acting career on stage, TV commercials and movie screens besides being producers for many movies.  I am honoured that I will be having coffee with him this evening to catch up some latest updates. Yes, I repeat this evening!

 To watch - Click HERE

He made the above short movie some years ago and I watched it. It is a story about himself losing his memory and how his loved one had to suffer by watching him deteriorate. It made me cry rivers of tears to recall how my late father had suffered the worst dementia and could not remember himself & his family. It was so painful as my father was feeling lost, confused and frustrated. Adoi! What a movie! I would give Kenny Gan 5 Academy Awards for breaking my heart into pieces!!

All opinions are solely mine & subject to
my own discretion.

Monday, April 16, 2018

How To Rent Your Property?

I am so relieved and happy that I have managed to rent out my condo at last. It was a very long short and stressful wait of 3 months due to the economic downturn and over supply of condos around the vicinity of Taman Desa. I also had a headache to encounter a few "bogus tenants" who were actually international scammers out to cheat which I had posted in my blog HERE (Beware of Scammers)

I would not hesitate to share about my greed & stupidity to advertise my unit over the Mudah.Com as advised by a friend. It positively attracted many viewers and the response was fast as so many desperate and hungry agents also wanted to help me to seek tenants too. So it took up my time to respond to all of the agents and would-be scammers.

The mistake I made was that I showed my real mobile phone number in the free advertisement online which the website had indicated that response would be faster than getting inquiries through their own chat box. I had hoped that I would get a tenant quickly and need not fork out one month's rental for the agent's fee but I was wrong.

Having a good agent saved all my precious hours to respond to so many potential tenants and driving all the way to open my unit for their viewing. Sometimes the potential tenants would be tactless and gave rude comments or opinion after seeing your unit. It would escalate my wife's blood pressure instead but not mine. I have many years experience and hundreds of encounters dealing with property agents and potential tenants. I am always very calm, very thick skinned and cool like a cucumber with ever ready words that could blast them back like missiles if they provoked me. You know TM's fiery lava mouth lah! Muahahaha

I need to share this good service by Ms Jun Soh (H/P: 012-3801780) from Chester Properties who was so patient and very different from all the agents I have dealt with. I understand that Chester Properties Group is very new in the local market but they are the most aggressive today with so many branch offices all over Klang Valley. They strive to please both the owners and customers (tenants/buyers) by going the extra mileage to offer their professional services. I had previously rented my unit to 2 other foreigners through another agent who just collected his fees & bade 'good bye'.

This agent Ms Jun had found me a tenant who is a diplomat from the Embassy of Korea. His wife had viewed 4-5 units in my condominium before seeing mine. She immediately confirmed on the spot when she saw the fabulous view from all my unit's windows that overlooked the million dollar bungalows on the hills of Taman Desa from my highest floor unit. I actually enjoyed my earlier years staying there and could see the KLCC Twin Towers, KL Tower and Genting Highlands from my bed. I could also view the big firework displays like 2-3 times a year around the KL's downtown. It was actually a big waste of money to burn away millions of dollars each year to show off the firework displays when our country's debts and hungry homeless people are increasing!

Just remember to engage a good and reliable property agent when it is not the right time to be a hero.

Happy Voting For GE14!
Ini Kali Lah!

All opinions are solely mine & subject to
my own discretion.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Weekend Flea Market @ Antiques & Collectibles

One Sunday morning, I went to visit this Flea Market when my wife was flying to Houston in Texas. I was very bored and decided to check out some antique tiffin carriers for my classmate who lives in Cayman Islands. He is the only friend on this planet who shares the same antique passions like me but he is far more serious with his collections since he was a child. I managed to broker and went to deliver a huge Peranakan Dressing Table to his empty bungalow house in Penang during the CNY. He lives most of the time in Cayman Islands, so his empty bungalow naturally attracted hundreds of wandering spirits who enjoyed relaxing on his mother of pearl Rosewood furnitures. He has too many antique pieces until all his dozen of siblings are so afraid to sleep overnight as many had encountered seeing ghosts walking freely like their own house.

What he scared me most were his collections of porcelain plates, bowls, golden hair pins, kerosang and jade bangles dated from the last Qing Dynasty!! I also have many such precious plates and bowls but his were differently sourced. My classmate hailed from a poor family who managed the vegetable farms where all siblings had to help out in the farm before dawn. After finishing his watering and harvesting vegetables for the market, he would be late for school everyday but he was grateful that I was the class monitor who always closed one eye without any disciplinary actions. Besides the farming, he would sell newspapers every night along the streets of Penang just to earn 5 cents for each newspaper sold. During the Qing Ming Tomb Sweeping Weeks, he would be armed with a parang and changkul to offer his services to help any families who wanted him to trim the overgrown tall weeds and cut down whatever tree branches. Whooaa!!!! That's where he often found many odd pieces of antique porcelain wares, jeweled hair pins, kerosang and jade bangles being thrown into the bushes. He told me the creepy stories that the grave diggers were the ones who often found them in between the ancient graves while digging the new plots for burials. The labourers were not least interested and had no idea of antique values therefore they picked them up and threw into the side bushes of overgrown lalangs. So my friend promptly adopted the "Finders Keepers" theory.

There is a very popular Weekend Flea Market at the basement of a popular mall in Petaling Jaya. It has been there for over a decade where you would see many people flocking there on Sunday mornings until late afternoons.

This is the popular tiffin carrier which was used by the Peranakan community of Bibiks & Nyonyas during the end of 19th century till 20th century. They are very colorfully made from Czechoslovakia and attracted the Nyonyas to carry them. Today they are easily worth over RM400 for a 4 tier piece. They are made of strong metal with glazed paints that could last over 100 years! Those days I believe they cost less than $1.00 each and that's how inflation makes the antique prices appreciate so many folds.

These are the colourful Nyonya trays which we seldom see nowadays.

It is very interesting to browse around and see how these ancient irons were made. They have different storage compartments for the burning charcoal to heat up the irons to press our clothes. What surprised me was several pieces even had compartments to pour water inside. I am not sure how the steam could ooze out to help the process of clothes ironing. Interesting!

This Ice Grinder machine certainly brought back many childhood memories where I always bought ice kachang and the Iced Balls with red & sarsi syrup. Have you tried those iced balls?

This was every child's favourite gambling called "Tikam Tikam" which often made my mother scream her lungs out at me for wasting all my pocket money to win so much nonsense and useless mini toys. I was happy and nothing could stop me! ha ha!

The crowd are always mingling around the stalls selling collectibles like old stamps, coins and bank notes. These American dollars are worth a fortune now!

These are the popular Nyonya's Dresser Tables which were all custom made by the wealthy Peranakan and Chinese families.

When I stood here to see all the ancient weapons of Malay warrior's Keris and Kempetai Samurai swords, my hair all stood up and ran away as fast as I could. There were hundreds of spirits around the table. My instincts told me that probably hundreds of victims had been killed or beheaded by these deadly weapons.


Friday, April 6, 2018

Fai Chen - A Famous Malaysian Actor

 Good things must share lah!

It was indeed a very hilarious evening to meet up with an old buddy while it was pouring cats and dogs outside the KFC. Earlier, we wanted to meet up many times since last year but it just could not take place due to both our busy schedules. Finally we met, gossiped & laughed so loudly until all other tables looked at us in utter disbelief.

My friendship with this famous face - Fai Chen dates back to many years ago when I just returned from US and joined the bitter-sweet advertising agency from Hong Kong. Fai Chen was a new face in the local acting scene. Our respective jobs made us meet up almost daily but not knowing, that we were both doing acting roles on freelance basis.

While he was a seriously pursuing his hobby into acting on stages and movie studios, I was an accidental stand-in actors during the TV commercial shootings which I was often involved. There was an incident when a real doctor backed out at last minute due to his fear that it was against his professional ethics to appear as a doctor inside his own clinic. The film director just passed the doctor's uniform to me to appear in this government's "No Smoking" campaign which was aired over TV1 & TV2 nightly for over 2 years!! Everyone including the public called me "Doctor" for a long time. One thing led to another and my small roles gradually appeared in several commercials and corporate videos of Putrajaya & MLM companies.

My friend Fai Chen is born a natural actor who has the flair and rubbery face to express himself in any roles. He doesn't need to enroll into TVB's acting schools as he is always a cool comedian to me. He is full of expressions and makes a good company to chat with. To me, he is truly Malaysia's version of the Hollywood actor Jim Carrey.

The above was a famous Peranakan Drama "Lu Diam" where Fai Chen (in black) was dead serious and not so funny.

Born and educated in Kuala Lumpur, he had come a long way in his life's struggles before landing into acting roles as his passionate hobby since he was a college student. His acting debuts on screen and stages have frequently brought him overseas to Singapore, China, Japan, Taiwan and others.

 To watch - click HERE

One night I was in the movies and this Air Conditioner's commercial appeared. It was like reenacting the Shanghai Beach's "The Bunds" where actor Sam Liu Leong Wai was chasing a thief along the streets of old Shanghai. The thief entered and hid inside a house. Suddenly, he remove his mask and I burst out into thunderous laughter alone inside the packed cinema. It was Fai Chen! Please watch all his silly commercials to get some laughs.

His face is always evergreen with his flawless complexion but he easily fits into many roles from a headmaster to Kopitiam AH Pek and even a young teenager.

 To watch - click HERE

I bet many had seen this Perodua Ad which was aired for sometime.

 To watch, click HERE

This Ibumie commercial was funny too. Who would fight with a fat girl for the last packet of instant noodle? Only Fai Chen does!

We chatted for almost 2 hours and had to part due to our busy errands. We will continue our next gossip session again next week...hopefully!

 Recently their stage dramas were well received by the audience in Guangzhou, China.

Whenever and wherever you see Fai Chen's face, just remember that he is a funny and humble friend of mine! He has appeared in countless and countless of TV commercials but I am only sharing a few random ones today.

Happy Weekend My Friends!


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Do Cats Have 9 Lives?

My sister and her hubby went away for a vacation to South Australia. She flew over to attend her good friend's birthday bash, whom she met when she was studying at the Norwood High School in Adelaide, South Australia. I don't think the stingy me, could ever fork out air tickets just to attend my Korean & Japanese room mates' birthday parties. Ha ha!

Anyway, my sister deserved a complete change of environment, to get over her recent loss, sadness and depression that was killing her brains.

My wife and I went over to babysit the English cat like how I had always done. Look!! There is just one cat left sadly. The other cat had died a tragic death unexpectedly! My sister and hubby were devastated to mourn that the other English cat had gone to Rainbow Bridge. I really do not think that cats have 9 lives. Do you??

This is how it happened exactly. I am sharing the actual photo from the kitchen's balcony where the English cat named Misty was believed to have sneaked out and tip toed over to neighbour's unit, but plunged down below instead! My head was reeling some nonsense whether this cat had committed suicide but Misty was a happy and pampered pet. She had only 1 life and will be greatly missed.

Squish!! The cat fell flat onto the ground one Friday and the blood splashed all over the walls below. The gardeners quickly removed the carcass but not the blood stains. My sister only learnt about it 3 days later after the frantic search, and heard from the gardeners who threw away her precious pet into the huge DBKL container dustbins. Bye bye!...

May Misty the English cat rest in Eternal Peace at the Rainbow Bridge.
Born: Reading, England - United Kingdom.
Departed March 2018: Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.


The Day My World Ended

At sunrise of 3rd August, my wife came to fetch me in her brand new car. She sped all the way through the morning traffic to Shah Alam. It w...