Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Scholarship Opportunity - Faculty for the Future 2007 (Specially for Women Academics)

Obtained this from a friend. This might be useful to some of you.


Schlumberger Foundation is now in the fourth year of the Faculty for the Future program. Since inception, it has funded PhD or Post-Doc studies in science disciplines for 67 women from 25 countries.
We look forward to bringing more women academics in to the Faculty For The Future community this year. The program opens on September 15th and closes on November 30th.
We need your support to let potential candidates know about this opportunity. To this end, please find enclosed booklets to disseminate as effectively as possible.
The goal of Faculty For The Future is to support role models and facilitate gender balance in science and engineering faculties at key universities in emerging economies.  Potential candidates would be typically finishing a Master's or PhD program and may already be in junior faculty positions in their home country. They would be planning to pursue further study overseas, PhD or Post-Doc, to develop their academic careers with a view to teaching in their home countries. As teachers, they will contribute to the ultimate vision of the program which is the attracting of more talented young women into science and engineering careers.
For many women the biggest obstacle to overcome is obtaining funding to start their PhDs.   This is why most of our Faculty for the Future grants focus on those critical first two years. After the first two years it is expected that the candidates will have proved their research worth and will have access to more conventional forms of funding or paid teaching assignments.
Candidates may come from a range of disciplines within engineering and the physical sciences[1]. The disciplines do not have to be directly relevant to the Schlumberger oilfield businesses as this is a long-term capacity-building initiative.
Please find attached a poster outlining the Faculty For The Future program. Additionally, in the next few days, we will send you booklets. We would be pleased if you would use them to openly inform potential candidates from your university.
If you need additional materials, please don't hesitate to contact Monica Messina or myself.   A web page with guidelines and application forms is available at

With kind regards

Johana Dunlop
Executive Director, Schlumberger Foundation
[1] Awards in biological sciences are limited



Monday, October 29, 2007

Busy Life

Sigh...Sigh....Why I am sleeping late at 1+am on Sunday night? Why I am waking up early at 6am on Monday morning? Why can't I have a real sleep at night? Why should I keep on waking up here and there?

Been thinking on work and been quite stressed up on work...That's really a frank statement. Don't worry too much. I am fine, but the current project is definitely very hectic. This has been the most hectic month I have been since I join Accenture, but it is also the month that I learn the most. There is just so much to learn and leverage on the network of Accenture that I could utilize.

Those very senior Senior Executives, some who hold position at Global level are all so nice to respond to cold calls / cold emails from young analysts like me. It is exciting that they are willing to spend time sharing with us.

Those are the nice parts~!

On yesterday, had a nice time at Malaysia Festival of the Mind. Thanks Steven and Audrey for taking care of Mensa booth, when I went to attend the Memory Talk by Anant.

Thanks Sue for providing me with the VIP ticket to watch the 50 years merdeka celebration performance of Malaysian Chinese at Stadium Bukit Jalil. It is definitely magnificent. Thanks to Quek for allowing me to get very good seat! It is definitely very nice view sitting and watching from the 3rd row, in a crowd of 50,000.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lecture Notes on Webcast/Youtube

Since my earlier highlight of UC Berkeley Lecture Notes on Youtube , it seems that the trend has swept around.

Since then, University of Southern California (The Trojans) has also followed suit. USC Lecture Notes on Youtube .

Found out of this webcast of UC Berkeley as well! It is here

EPF Interest Rate

EPF has announced that their interest rate would be paid daily, instead of monthly.

This would mean possibly some additional extra interest amount to us, although technically, I would look at it, more like having the system to be more correct, rather than a mean to provide more income to EPF contributor.

So, for instance, currently, if a RM100 contributed on 15th of a month, the additional interest obtained would be RM100 * 5% * 15/365 = RM0.20 extra. This is assumed 5% interest rate.

While this amount might not be a lot, but compoundedly and over a long period of time, it could be significant.

Rapid KL Monthly Pass

Since recently, a few developments of the RapidKL charges has happened.

Since 2 months ago or so, Daily Pass for buses could be done via the Touch N Go. So, it is kind of advanced, where you just need to touch on the Touch N Go at the bus, and then if you happen to go up the same type of bus within the same day, the system would detect and you don't need to pay again. Not sure how they do this though.

Then now, you can use your Touch N Go to buy Monthly Travel Card for RapidKL. You just need to bring your Touch N Go to the counter and they would load it up. For 31 days of unlimited Putra LRT, Star LRT and all Rapid KL buses within entire Klang Valley, it is RM135. So, right now, you can buy the monthly pass any time of the month, and not just from the 1st of the month.

For the unlimited LRT ride, it is now RM100. For the unlimited bus ride, it is now RM80.

It would be great if more fellow Malaysians are taking it!

The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate

Went for The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2007 this morning. It is definitely a fantastic session!

Some of the speakers include:-
1. Allen See, Managing Director, Regroup Associates Sdn Bhd
2. Ang Kok Heng, Chief Investment Officer, Phillips Capital Management Sdn Bhd
3. Ho Chin Soon, Director, Ho Chin Soon Research Sdn Bhd
4. Kumar Tharmalingam, President, FIABCI Asia-Pacific Real Estate Federation (moderator)
5. Datuk Richard Fong, President, International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) Malaysia and Executive Vice President, Glomac Bhd
6. Lai Voon Hon, President/Chief Executive Officer, Ireka Development Management Sdn Bhd, Executive Director, Ireka Corporation Bhd.
7. Previn Singhe, Chief Executive Officer, Zerin Properties Sdn Bhd
8. Dato' Alan Tong, Group Chairman, Bukit Kiara Properties Sdn Bhd
9. Dato' Michael Yam, Managing Director, Sunrise Berhad.

This is pretty much one of the best gathering of real estate experts in the country, to share with fellow Malaysians. Of course, Ho Kay Tat, Group Managing Director, Nexnews Berhad, Group Editor-In-Chief, The Edge/The Sun was there too.

It is provided for free too, for all of us.

Some of the lessons learned:-
1. KL Real Estate is really underpriced. Top-notch service apartment/condo in Singapore would cost about S$5,000 (RM11,500) per square foot (psf), whereas in KL, the maximum is at about RM2,000. Even in Ho Chi Minh, the high end condo cost is more than Kuala Lumpur. So, it is definitely great opportunity for us in Malaysia to invest (of course, I am not sure from where I'm going to cough up this RM1-2 million for such a property). But I think it is a great lesson to learn about the situation.

2. Properties in Malaysia definitely offers very high yield. Those by Sunrise in Mont Kiara definitely lead it with a yield of 11% to 13%. On average, high end properties in KL would generate 5%-7%. In Singapore, the average yield rate is at around 2.55%.

3.In Shanghai, a total of 240,000 units of housing is being sold annually, whereas Klang Valley only does around 80,000 units. In Singapore, it is doing around 30,000 units a year.

4. Currently, there are about 4,000+ units of high end condos which was sold at above RM500 per square foot (that's a little more than USD140).

5. Investment in real estate is high in gearing. Essentially, we can borrow money to invest, and that means the returns is very high, counting into the fact that the yield can support the interest rate. There isn't much information on property, which means that the industry is less efficient, and hence, more opportunities to make a profit out of it. Prices of real estate is more stable (i.e. less volatile). It would follow a long run up trend as well, just like stock. Except that for real estate, the variability is much much lower.

6. There has been sort of consensus that Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu and Johor Bharu (Iskandar Development Region) area are very good for investment! There has been significant growth in enquiries for those areas.

7. Correlation between stock and property is also very low, at 0.02. This means that the cycle of boom and bust for stock and property is not essentially the same. This is good for investment!

8. Dato' Alan Tong shared on the conception of Mont Kiara, which started from O.G. Heights. The area was like a very hilly area, and it was really unaccessible. But Mont Kiara is within a few km from City Center and eventually it managed to get developed. O.G. Heights was initially sold at RM110 psf in 1985. Mont Kiara Pines (the first development in Mont Kiara) was sold for RM190 psf in about 1990-91. Currently, it is more than RM600 psf in Mont Kiara.

9. Dato' Michael Yam shared that on average a bank branch manager would need to work for about 16.2 years in Malaysia to afford a 1,800 sf luxury condo. For Bangkok, they need to work on average of 19 years to do so and in Singapore, they need to work 26.5 years to do so. So, essentially, for Malaysians, it is still underpriced.

10. Ho Chin Soon stressed that 3 mantras for real estate: Location, Timing and Branding. He stressed a lot that we should look for established developers.

This talk definitely opened my eyes a lot more on real estate. Of course, I hope that they shared more on those investment for those with lower budget. The ones they share are all high-end.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Air Asia Conquering Singapore?

Finally....Finally... Air Asia is finally allowed to fly into Singapore Changi Airport. That is definitely a breakthrough for the 6-year-old airline, which has been trying so hard to break into the target of Changi Airport.

I am sure it would be great news for travellers, especially budget travellers. It would be great for business travelers too, since some of those seats at MAS and SIA would be freed up by those who choose to take Air Asia or Tiger Airways.

Great news for our country!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Anti Corruption Agency

Finally....Finally, we have seen ACA been launching their teeth around, to take actions against many whom the Auditor-General report has highlighted as being having possibility of corruption. I am sure many Malaysians are happy that many potential corrupted people are being detained.

Hopefully, the law would take its place and take actions against those people. Hopefully, it would be a deterrent to many others who may one day commit corruptions.

Hope that many of us, as fellow Malaysians would avoid getting into corruption!

Fewer and Shorter Post

Sorry for not being writing much, and been writing on more serious stuff, as I have been pretty or rather very busy at work.

It has been great learning experience for these past few weeks at work. Work is definitely much more compared to what I used to have and definitely the deadline is tighter. It has been steep learning curve, but I would say that I am definitely enjoying the learning curve. It is great to build up my experience, especially as a senior analyst. Hopefully, lady luck would smile at me, during the next promotion cycle.

Would definitely not want to bite the dust again. Failure to get promotion for September 2007 has been a tough moment for me. I am putting all those behind and am working hard to justify a promotion for the next cycle. Would keep my fingers' crossed!

Due to work, I have not been able to spend much time on AUAM and Cornell Club of Malaysia. Sorry that I have to miss the meetings nowadays. Not that I wanted to, especially with important dinners to be organized. Really sorry!

Condolence to family of Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong

Our country's number 1 tycoon, Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong passed away peacefully yesterday. It must be challenging for his family members to accept this, especially Justin Leong, who was abroad, when Tan Sri Lim passed away.

Condolence to family of Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mensa Admission Tests

There would be additional 7 sessions of Mensa test this week, in conjunction with Festival of the Mind, organized by Malaysian Mental Literacy Movement.

It would be held at University Tunku Abdul Rahman campus at Jalan SS13/6, PJ.

The Malaysian Mensa Admission Test slots would be as follow.

25 Oct: 2-3 pm
26 Oct: 10-11 am, 2-3 pm
27 Oct: 10-11 am, 3-4 pm
28 Oct: 10-11 am, 3-4 pm

It would cost RM30 only for these 7 sessions.

UC Berkeley Lectures in Youtube

Came across this in Sin Chew just now. Just check it out. It is definitely fantastic. Hundreds of University of California, Berkeley lectures are being shown online at youtube. This is definitely one of the best ways to share knowledge with fellow citizens of the world.

UC Berkeley Lecture Video in Youtube

Do make full use of this information and spread the info to your friends.

Busy Life

Been a tough day at work.... A lot a lot of work, although I have to say that the learning curve is definitely very steep

Would try my best, although it has been very stressful life lately, especially with the very heavy workload and it is very hard for me to squeeze out time for other commitments too.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

To Enhance Memory Power

Found out about this event in The Star. It would be a good event to attend too!

UNIVERSITI Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Centre for Extension Education will be organising a public talk entitled Forget No More at its Utar PJ Campus on Nov 10, from 10am to noon. The speaker is Anant Kasibhatla. Admission is free. For details, call 03-7957 2818, 03-7955 5181, or 016-2233 563; or log on to:

Mind mapping workshop

Lifting this from The Star Education, 21st October 2007

UNIVERSITY of Technology Sydney (UTS) Alumni Malaysian Chapter is organising a learning programme entitled The Buzan Technique of Mind Mapping on Nov 3, from 10am to 12pm, at Taylor’s Business School, Third Floor (KT1), Subang Jaya.

Sussanne Lee, a certified Buzan Licensed Instructor and founder of MY BrainPower Sdn Bhd, will speak on up-to-date understanding of the brain and developing thinking skills using Tony Buzan’s mind mapping techniques.

This hands-on workshop will give participants ample opportunities to practise new techniques to maximise learning impact and retention.

The event is open to members of the public.

Admission is free but seats are limited, so please register early.

To register, SMS your name, mobile number and e-mail address to 016-686 0281 or log on to:

Essay Competition

Came across a competition in The Star Education today. It is definitely something fantastic for those aspiring writers out there. Do try to take part in it.

In conjunction with Malaysia's 50th Merdeka celebrations, The Royal Thai Consulate-General of Penang, in collaboration with Universiti Sains Malaysia, is organizing an essay writing competition.

It is open to Malaysians above the age of 18. The length of essay is between 1,200 and 1,500 words, entitled Malaysia-Thailand: Celebrating 50 years of friendship and neighbourliness.

It must be in MS Word, Times New Roman (size 12), double spacing and 1-inch margin on all sides.

Entries to be submitted on hard copy in A4 paper and in soft copy or either email ( or on CD.

Need to have full name, IC number, address, telephone number and email address.

It should have a letter that states that the essay is the participant's original work, not a translation and has not been previously published.

First prize is RM1,200. RM800 for 2nd prize and RM500 for third prize.

All essays to be submitted by 2nd Nov to
Orasa Awang,
Center for Languages and Translation,
Universiti Sains Malaysia,
11800 Minden, Penang


Wasin Dhammavasi,
Royal Thai Consulate-General,
1 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman,
10350 Penang.

Prize giving ceremony at Evergreen Laurel Hotel, Penang on 27th November.

Enquiries, call 04-6533888, extension 4125 .

Busy working

It is Saturday night and I'm not going anywhere and stuck at home....Sigh..Sorry friends that I couldn't make it to Velvet with those BUM Activities team people, as well as to Laundry (Sorry Jien Sern, Rashid etc for your birthday party)...

Had to work.. Shouldn't have to sound so negative. After all, it is very interesting work.. To those who want to know what I am working on... Nice try :) I can't tell you :P

Today lunch time, went to Ifi's open house. It was nice there, meeting a bunch of colleagues from my previous project. Nice to enjoy the delicacy and also iSqueeze. That is a good relaxation.

Munir, sorry that I couldn't attend your open house. Have too much work to work on.

Sunday - working in KLCC office... of course, would have lunch..Thanks Chiew Yen and Kem Wui for coming all the way to KLCC to accommodate me.

Cornell Dinner Talk - Prime Minister

After the meeting today, everything is clear. Dr. Yusof, our Cornell Club of Malaysia President has successfully obtained the green light from YAB Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, our Prime Minister to speak to Cornell alumni and guests.

This would be a unique event, where we hope all the movers and shakers of our Regional Development Corridors would come together under one roof to share and learn for the development of these corridors.

The topic of the talk would be "The Regional Development Corridors : Impetus for Economic Growth, Investment Opportunities and challenges for implementation under the RMK9 and beyond."

And we are having none other than the Prime Minister, the brain child of these corridors to speak.

We are hoping to be able to get the CEO/MD of Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Petronas and Sime Darby to attend as well. That would make one of the biggest gathering of our corridors intellectuals.

This would happen on 10th November (Saturday). Yes, that's 3 more weeks. 8pm at Putrajaya International Convention Center. That's a very prestigious hall.

Hope to see more people can attend.

For those corporate who can help to sponsor a table, it would be at RM2,000 a table.
For Cornell alumni, it would be RM1,000 a table.
If you would like to purchase a seat, it would be at RM100/seat.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Oil Prices

Oil prices touched USD90.07 last night... Finally, it breached USD90 barrier. Looks like it is going for USD100 barrier...

Would economy tumble?

Dow Jones droped 2.64% or 366.94 to 13522.02.
And even Accenture droped 4.34% or 1.78 to 39.27 last night.

Shivering of economy crisis....

Calling for Malaysian Ivy League & Oxbridge Alumni

If you are Malaysian?
If you are alumni or current student of Ivy League (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, UPenn, Dartmouth, Brown) or Oxford or Cambridge?

A fellow Malaysian author, Mansor Puteh is hoping that you could help to write a 2,000-word mini essay, to share your experience in getting to those institutions and your experience there.

These collections of essays would eventually be used to motivate fellow Malaysian youth who hopefully would apply after you.

If you are willing to help, do contact me and I will link you up.

Dessert Buffet at Hilton

After a long week (actually it's just a 3-day week for me), but been very busy at work.

So, decided to wind off with Tee Yau, Lee Szee, Jacky and Debbie at Hilton. They came across a buffet of RM50++ at Hilton KL. That's a good deal at Hilton, right? It is a Chocolate buffet! So, to those chocolate addict, that's a good place. It has a very wide spread of chocolate stuff, from chocolate drink to various desserts. They have 3 hot food too. Prawn with chocolate, beef with chocolate and chicken with chocolate...

We had a good time chatting till about 1am there. A good place for dessert and wind down. They have a wine buffet at RM88++ too.

What works in education: the lessons according to McKinsey

Obtained this from Jiin Joo who sent this out through Stanford Malaysia Forum Mailing List.

Hope to see this trigger at least some thought processes among the readers on the Education System. What could we take the lessons here and how can we apply to our society. What are we doing right and what are we doing wrong. What can we, as normal citizen helps to improve on.

How to be top

Oct 18th 2007
From The Economist print edition

What works in education: the lessons according to McKinsey

THE British government, says Sir Michael Barber, once an adviser to the former prime minister, Tony Blair, has changed pretty much every aspect of education policy in England and Wales, often more than once. "The funding of schools, the governance of schools, curriculum standards, assessment and testing, the role of local government, the role of national government, the range and nature of national agencies, schools admissions"—you name it, it's been changed and sometimes changed back. The only thing that hasn't changed has been the outcome. According to the National Foundation for Education Research, there had been (until recently) no measurable improvement in the standards of literacy and numeracy in primary schools for 50 years.

England and Wales are not alone. Australia has almost tripled education spending per student since 1970. No improvement. American spending has almost doubled since 1980 and class sizes are the lowest ever. Again, nothing. No matter what you do, it seems, standards refuse to budge (see chart). To misquote Woody Allen, those who can't do, teach; those who can't teach, run the schools.

Why bother, you might wonder. Nothing seems to matter. Yet something must. There are big variations in educational standards between countries. These have been measured and re-measured by the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) which has established, first, that the best performing countries do much better than the worst and, second, that the same countries head such league tables again and again: Canada, Finland, Japan, Singapore, South Korea.

Those findings raise what ought to be a fruitful question: what do the successful lot have in common? Yet the answer to that has proved surprisingly elusive. Not more money. Singapore spends less per student than most. Nor more study time. Finnish students begin school later, and study fewer hours, than in other rich countries.

Now, an organisation from outside the teaching fold—McKinsey, a consultancy that advises companies and governments—has boldly gone where educationalists have mostly never gone: into policy recommendations based on the PISA findings. Schools, it says *, need to do three things: get the best teachers; get the best out of teachers; and step in when pupils start to lag behind. That may not sound exactly "first-of-its-kind" (which is how Andreas Schleicher, the OECD's head of education research, describes McKinsey's approach): schools surely do all this already? Actually, they don't. If these ideas were really taken seriously, they would change education radically.

Begin with hiring the best. There is no question that, as one South Korean official put it, "the quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers." Studies in Tennessee and Dallas have shown that, if you take pupils of average ability and give them to teachers deemed in the top fifth of the profession, they end up in the top 10% of student performers; if you give them to teachers from the bottom fifth, they end up at the bottom. The quality of teachers affects student performance more than anything else.

Yet most school systems do not go all out to get the best. The New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, a non-profit organisation, says America typically recruits teachers from the bottom third of college graduates. Washington, DC recently hired as chancellor for its public schools an alumna of an organisation called Teach for America, which seeks out top graduates and hires them to teach for two years. Both her appointment and the organisation caused a storm.

A bias against the brightest happens partly because of lack of money (governments fear they cannot afford them), and partly because other aims get in the way. Almost every rich country has sought to reduce class size lately. Yet all other things being equal, smaller classes mean more teachers for the same pot of money, producing lower salaries and lower professional status. That may explain the paradox that, after primary school, there seems little or no relationship between class size and educational achievement.

McKinsey argues that the best performing education systems nevertheless manage to attract the best. In Finland all new teachers must have a master's degree. South Korea recruits primary-school teachers from the top 5% of graduates, Singapore and Hong Kong from the top 30%.

They do this in a surprising way. You might think that schools should offer as much money as possible, seek to attract a large pool of applicants into teacher training and then pick the best. Not so, says McKinsey. If money were so important, then countries with the highest teacher salaries—Germany, Spain and Switzerland—would presumably be among the best. They aren't. In practice, the top performers pay no more than average salaries.

Nor do they try to encourage a big pool of trainees and select the most successful. Almost the opposite. Singapore screens candidates with a fine mesh before teacher training and accepts only the number for which there are places. Once in, candidates are employed by the education ministry and more or less guaranteed a job. Finland also limits the supply of teacher-training places to demand. In both countries, teaching is a high-status profession (because it is fiercely competitive) and there are generous funds for each trainee teacher (because there are few of them).

South Korea shows how the two systems produce different results. Its primary-school teachers have to pass a four-year undergraduate degree from one of only a dozen universities. Getting in requires top grades; places are rationed to match vacancies. In contrast, secondary-school teachers can get a diploma from any one of 350 colleges, with laxer selection criteria. This has produced an enormous glut of newly qualified secondary-school teachers—11 for each job at last count. As a result, secondary-school teaching is the lower status job in South Korea; everyone wants to be a primary-school teacher. The lesson seems to be that teacher training needs to be hard to get into, not easy.

Teaching the teachers
Having got good people, there is a temptation to shove them into classrooms and let them get on with it. For understandable reasons, teachers rarely get much training in their own classrooms (in contrast, doctors do a lot of training in hospital wards). But successful countries can still do much to overcome the difficulty.

Singapore provides teachers with 100 hours of training a year and appoints senior teachers to oversee professional development in each school. In Japan and Finland, groups of teachers visit each others' classrooms and plan lessons together. In Finland, they get an afternoon off a week for this. In Boston, which has one of America's most improved public-school systems, schedules are arranged so that those who teach the same subject have free classes together for common planning. This helps spread good ideas around. As one educator remarked, "when a brilliant American teacher retires, almost all of the lesson plans and practices that she has developed also retire. When a Japanese teacher retires, she leaves a legacy."

Lastly, the most successful countries are distinctive not just in whom they employ so things go right but in what they do when things go wrong, as they always do. For the past few years, almost all countries have begun to focus more attention on testing, the commonest way to check if standards are falling. McKinsey's research is neutral on the usefulness of this, pointing out that while Boston tests every student every year, Finland has largely dispensed with national examinations. Similarly, schools in New Zealand and England and Wales are tested every three or four years and the results published, whereas top-of-the-class Finland has no formal review and keeps the results of informal audits confidential.

But there is a pattern in what countries do once pupils and schools start to fail. The top performers intervene early and often. Finland has more special-education teachers devoted to laggards than anyone else—as many as one teacher in seven in some schools. In any given year, a third of pupils get one-on-one remedial lessons. Singapore provides extra classes for the bottom 20% of students and teachers are expected to stay behind—often for hours—after school to help students.

None of this is rocket science. Yet it goes against some of the unspoken assumptions of education policy. Scratch a teacher or an administrator (or a parent), and you often hear that it is impossible to get the best teachers without paying big salaries; that teachers in, say, Singapore have high status because of Confucian values; or that Asian pupils are well behaved and attentive for cultural reasons. McKinsey's conclusions seem more optimistic: getting good teachers depends on how you select and train them; teaching can become a career choice for top graduates without paying a fortune; and that, with the right policies, schools and pupils are not doomed to lag behind.

Friday, October 19, 2007

AUAM & Cornell

Today, got 2 pieces of news while I was working.

First, a message from Mr. Raja from American Universities Alumni Malaysia. Duli Yang Teramat Mulia, Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah has confirmed that he would be able to grace the 30th Annual Dinner of American Universities Alumni Malaysia (AUAM) on 16th December 2007. That would be fantastic. Raja Dr. Nazrin is famous for his speech during the recent Malaysian Student Leaders Summit, and he would be making another speech on AUAM Annual Dinner.

So, right now, there would be a lot of hard work, to get all the necessary details ready, from booking the hotels, to prepare the invitation cards, to encourage people to purchase tables etc. It would be tough work to do the preparations.

The second piece of news. This one is even more sudden. After Cornell Club of Malaysia been in dormant for some time. Suddenly, got an email from Shahrizal, that Prime Minister has just agreed to speak at Cornell University Alumni Dinner and the date is within 3 weeks from now. Wow. That would be mad rushing, to welcome Prime Minister at the function.

These two would swarm me, especially with my current project is also very tiring. Am based at Technology Park Malaysia. It is a fantastic project and great learning experience, although it is quite hard work too. Just got back just now at almost midnight.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tzuo Hann Cycling from Los Angeles to Taiping

This is high time for me to help pitching for my friend, Tzuo Hann, a fellow Malaysian who has just graduated from Duke University. He decides to cycle home from the United States of America to Taiping, Malaysia (his hometown). That is a significant feat, of cycling through all terrains in 30,000km. That's 100 journeys from Kuala Lumpur to Penang for those who want to imagine how far it is. And he is not driving. He is cycling alone.

Tzuo Hann is cycling through various continents to raise fund for charity and non-profit organizations. All proceeds would go to:-
a) St. George's Institution (his alma mater)
b) National Cancer Society Malaysia
c) MAA-MEDIcare Kidney Charity Fund

He would be cycling on his own fund, so all donation would go to charity.

This is also a ride, where Tzuo Hann hoped to inspire our Malaysian youth to have the Malaysia Boleh spirit! He proves that he can do it!

There are a few ways to follow up on what he is doing:-
1. His journal is here
2. His photos are here
3. His fund raising page is here

Hope that you would all take action and donate to this worthy cause.

To donate, just go to here

Total donation has crossed RM50,000. And Tzuo Hann hopes to raise RM1 Million.

Action! Do help to spread the words around!

Chuck Feeney '56 Cornell

Got this email from Cornell, my alma mater.

Again, this shows me another Cornell philanthropist, Chuck Feeney '56, a good almost 50 years older than me. It is so selfless of him to donate billions to the world, yet he is still living in relatively below-average.


CEN hosted this presentation in New York City and it was a smash hit, especially among those of us whose blood runs Big Red. We hope you'll join us here in Ithaca to hear this fascinating story. No need to register or pay – just show up!

Cornell University is proud to host one of Ireland's most revered reporters and authors, Conor O'Clery, who has graciously agreed to come to Cornell to share one of the most extraordinary stories in the university's history.

Mr. O'Clery devoted two years of his life to researching and writing the biography of one of the world's most generous and secretive billionaires, Chuck Feeney '56. Mr. Feeney is a Hotel School graduate, co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers (the world's largest duty-free retail chain), and philanthropist to the world. How Mr. Feeney built and sold DFS is a fantastic topic in and of itself. But the more amazing lessons come from what he did with the billions he made and how he went about putting his wealth to good use.

Today, Chuck Feeney, who wears a $15 watch and travels coach, would be one of the wealthiest men in the world – except he gave away his fortune to endow Atlantic Philanthropies. The foundation has made donations totaling $4 billion and will give away another $4 billion over the next decade. Incredibly, nobody, not even Mr. Feeney's business partner, knew the extent of his generosity, as all of his gifts were anonymous.

Mr. Feeney's support through Atlantic Philanthropies has enriched Cornell in numerous ways – allowing the university to maintain its need-blinds admission policy, launching scientific initiatives, and transforming residential life. It has also touched the lives of people in need around the globe in profoundly meaningful ways.

At this special event, you will have an opportunity to hear Mr. Feeney's trusted biographer and award-winning journalist Conor O'Clery talk about the secret life of one of the world's most benevolent entrepreneurs. After his presentation, Mr. O'Clery will join us for a wine and cheese reception, book sale, and signing at the Terrace Restaurant in the Statler Hotel.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
4:00 p.m. Uris Auditorium, Uris Hall
5:00 p.m. Reception and Book Sale/Signing, Terrace Restaurant, Statler Hotel
Cost: Zero!
Questions: Amy Russ, 607.254.7123 / or Jennifer Cunningham, 607.254.7174 /


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor

Our Astronaut, Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, has been at International Space Station for 1 week. He was shot from earth 170 hours ago at Baikonur.

Lifted this from Su Yuen's blog. She found out about the blog of our angkasawan. It would be a good way for fellow Malaysians to read about it, especially on his training regime. He really made it a point to share what he learned with fellow Malaysians. To read it, go here

MIT 2007 Commencement Speech

Read about this and found this MIT 2007 Commencement Speech enlightening. I always like commencement speech. Would share a few more here from time to time.


Below is the text of the Commencement address delivered by MIT President Emeritus Charles M. Vest at MIT's 141st Commencement held June 8, 2007. Vest will become head of National Academy of Engineering in July.

Before I begin, I must tell all of you that I have listened to more commencement speeches that you can imagine. I have also invited more commencement speakers to campuses than you can imagine.

From this I learned that students usually feel that they were short-changed.
Hypothetically … just hypothetically … they might say things like "Jeez. Harvard got two Bills and all we got was one Chuck."

But it's okay, because I want to speak to you … not to the world. And, because this is MIT, I am going to talk to you about Big Things - namely Opportunity and Service.

Here are two things I know about opportunity:

First, MIT is the greatest place on the planet when it comes to radiating education, opportunity, and service.

Second, you never know when or how opportunity will materialize. Don't try to plan it or predict it because you'll undoubtedly be wrong.

How do I know these two things about opportunity? I know them because of the two letters I received from MIT during one 22-year period. I received the first letter from MIT in 1968. It informed me that the Institute was not interested in my application to become an assistant professor.

So in Ann Arbor I happily taught, did research, wrote a book, painted the house, helped Becky raise our children, and above all else avoided committee assignments.

But 22 years later in 1990 a second letter came from MIT … this one asked me to serve as MIT's president. Not in my wildest dreams as a young faculty member, could have imagined that one day I would be called to serve as president of this remarkable institution.

So always read your mail from MIT. There is an outside chance that instead of asking for an alumni donation, it may ask you to be president … or perhaps commencement speaker.

Being president of MIT brought me experiences that I could barely have dreamed of. Because of the opportunities created by education and by the place of MIT on the world stage, I would come to meet, know, or work with the kings, queens, presidents, premiers or prime ministers of many nations; with the first human to set foot on the moon; with great artists and musicians; with the leaders of huge corporations; and with remarkable young entrepreneurs.

So what happens when you're with the powerful and famous?

Well, in 2001 my wife Becky and I had tea with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.

Would you like to know what she said to me? She asked what I thought about Harry Potter. Thank goodness I knew enough to mumble something about muggles and Hogwarts, but believe me, it was a close call.

Or consider this: In 1994 I found myself in the East Room of the White House when all living Apollo astronauts came together to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first moon landing. As I was leaving that event, both Carl Sagan and the President of the United States sought me out to shake my hand and thank me personally for a small role I had recently played in our space program.

With swelled head and adrenalin rush, I floated out of the White House to catch a taxicab. Then I heard someone on the street call my name. I turned around to find a former MIT graduate student, who proceeded to berate me with a five-minute litany of pent-up complaints about some aspects of her experience here. She was certain that I had been personally responsible for all of them.

There's nothing like encountering an MIT graduate to keep your head out of the clouds and your feet on the ground!

The opportunity to serve
But my real point here is that education - and MIT - opened amazing doors of opportunities to me - opportunity to learn, opportunity to teach, and opportunity to serve a greater good.

Indeed, the opportunity to serve is what I have valued above all else. I had the opportunity to serve as a voice for science, engineering, and higher education, and for the importance of our nation being open to scholars from all over the world - at a time when America sorely needed to think about these things.

And I want you to know that the people I have most valued knowing and working with are not the leaders of nations, or corporate titans… they are my faculty colleagues: the intellectual leaders, the teachers and scholars who are the essence of MIT, and who give you and gave me the opportunity to literally change the world.

The opportunities for which they have prepared you will be as breathtaking as they are formidable ... and most of them are beyond today's imagination. One reason is that they are mostly global in scale and very complex. Another reason is the continuous acceleration of technological progress. The future is rushing at us more quickly every year. Just consider this:

After the automobile was introduced, it took 55 years (in essence a lifetime) for 25 percent of the U.S. population to have a car.

It took 35 years (the length of a typical career) for the telephone to reach 25 percent of the U.S. population.

It was 23 years for radio, 16 years for the personal computer, 13 years for cell phones, and only 7 years for the World Wide Web.

Do you feel the acceleration? This exponential growth?

Well we'd better get used to it. Three thousand new books are published every day. And the amount of technical information is doubling every two years.

Leading world transformation
But along with all this acceleration and exploding information, you have entirely new tools. Many of these new tools come from information technology or from 21st century life science.

Your generation … is already leading us into a new domain of global interaction. I am convinced that your way of communicating and working: Second Life … Wikipedia …YouTube … social networking, social computing … open innovation … these things reflect a fundamental transformation.

You can and must guide this transformation. You can use it to make money. You can use it to revel in catching politicians and movie stars making stupid mistakes. Or you can use it to bring what James Surowiecki calls "the wisdom of crowds" to work together to solve important problems and to build a more inclusive, engaged, and more egalitarian world. It's your choice.

That's about information. What about the life sciences?

We are barreling along three great frontiers of 21st century life science and biotechnology - frontiers that present extraordinary challenges and opportunities:

The first is to realize the promise of genomic medicine - to put a powerful base of rational science beneath the practice of human medicine, and to tailor medical treatments to each individual patient.

The second challenge is to dramatically advance our understanding of the human brain and mind … of memory, learning, and communication … and to attack the mental and emotional illnesses that today wreak havoc on so many lives.

The third is to revolutionize much of engineering, using the stuff of life as templates. And using biological mechanisms to design and grow new materials and to create new production techniques that mimic the efficiency of nature - thereby greatly reducing the environmental footprint left by industry.

Or to cite a more prosaic example: last year researchers announced they had cloned pigs that make their own Omega-3 fatty acids. Imagine, on the horizon, sausage as health food.

But there is more. Already the term "biohacking" is heard along the Infinite Corridor.

"Biohacking" … just think about the significance of that term! It of course heralds the advent of synthetic biology … the fusion of engineering and biology to design and build novel biological functions and systems.

Will these new capabilities of information science, life science, engineering, and their combination be used for good or ill? How will you grapple with the ethical and legal questions that will come along with these new powers? How will you influence the public discourse and action on these questions?

These are enormous challenges - in large part because technological advancement usually outpaces social advancement.

For example, the design of the Internet that forms the basis of so much opportunity in the world today was predicated on mutual trust … trust that you are who you say you are and are doing what you say you are doing. But now we have viruses, worms, and phishing. (That's p..h..i..s..h..i..n..g. You have to explain to your parents what that means.)

These human-developed technological evils can be serious. Just a couple of weeks ago, hackers brought down the cyber-structure of an entire nation, Estonia. This is a highly wired country, and its government, business, and economy were very seriously impacted.

Because of all this, colleagues tell me that the Internet must now be redesigned with security -- rather than trust -- at its core. And we are all aware of the debates around genetic counseling, stem cells, and genetic modification of crops and food.

Such redesigns and such debates are a necessary part of life in a free society. But you must be prepared to engage in the public dialogue and bring to it your own moral compasses and your commitment to applying the rationality of science and engineering to improving the human condition.

Hold on to optimism
But let me turn the clock back 50 years.

Each of us has a few moments of seemingly random moments of the past that from time to time spring into our minds with full clarity of sight, sound, and feeling.

One such memory for me is simply of walking to high school on a sunny morning in 1957. I lived only two houses from the school, so if I left home when the first bell rang, I could make it into my seat before the second bell.

Be that as it may, I remember on that day a feeling of absolute joy, wellbeing, good fortune, and optimism. The air was warm and clear; the American flag was fluttering in front of the school; the sky was blue - and the sky was the limit.

Life was good. The fact is that joy, wellbeing, good fortune, and optimism were the right things for me to feel. Life indeed was good … if you were a boy growing up middle class and white in an American college town in the 1950s.

Much water has flowed over the proverbial dam in the years since then. But you know what? I still believe that my optimism was well founded.

You may say "Yes, but when you were young your world was much simpler and certainly more insular than ours."

"Today, we face incredible global challenges.

"We have to improve the world's health, economies, security, and quality of life.

"We have to provide water and food for the burgeoning peoples of the earth.

"We have to give them clean air to breathe and clear blue skies to make their spirits soar.

"We have to provide the energy that they will need to lessen their burdens, integrate them into the world community, and give them economic opportunity.

"We have to cure their ills and safeguard their wellbeing.

We have a much harder road than you did. Why should we be optimistic?"

Well, in some ways you are right. But let me leave you with another perspective.

When I was young, I sat in our comfortable home in front of a black-and-white television and watched an interview with Dr. Tom Dooley, an American medical doctor serving people in Asia in the midst of unfathomable poverty and dire living conditions. Dr. Dooley held up in front of the camera a tiny, ill, starving child with a distended belly. Now, I have to explain that in the 1950s, such sights were never seen on television, or even in magazines. It was shocking, and I recoiled emotionally.
But then he calmly said, in essence, "When you look at this child you see something horrifying, but I look at this child and know that I have the knowledge and the skill to make him well."
I believe that simple statement is a metaphor for what the graduates of a great university, especially one with the focus of MIT, can and must do - make the world well.

Yes, you do grasp the complexity of the world and you understand the enormity of its challenges, … but you also have the new tools to resolve them.

In the end, I believe that knowledge and skill trump ignorance, and that optimism trumps pessimism. If you believe this and if you embrace the opportunity to serve, you will find personal happiness and fulfillment beyond expectation, and you will benefit our world and your fellow men and women beyond measure.

Good luck, and Godspeed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

U.S. Universities Applications

This is a very good collection of articles on U.S. Universities' applications by Tin Kosong.

Do check it out at Tin Kosong

Monday, October 15, 2007

Carelessness Or Apathy

Two incidents happened over the Raya break, might have marred the Raya celebration that is permeating in Malaysia.

The first one is the unfortunate tragedy that happened in the boat of Seagull Express to Tioman Island, one of the major holiday escapades in Malaysia. The boat suddenly caught fire and 4 people died and 4 were injured, with 3 more were still missing.

This is unfortunate, especially the boat operators loaded too many passengers into the boat. There weren't even sufficient life jackets within the boat. So, as the fire engulfed, a number just had to jump into the water, without life jackets. It was a mad rush. Luckily only a few lost their life, instead of the whole boat. But this is still quite a tragedy, as this shouldn't have happened.

Luckily, the prompt actions by passing boats, managed to save majority of them.

The second incident was in Penang, my home state. The newly-launched Rapid Penang. One of the passengers died after falling through the emergency door. Somehow, the bus was packed and suddenly the emergency door was opened and a passenger fell down and died. It was quite a tragedy.

Life is precious and hence, we really need to treasure it.

Hopefully, the public transport operators would take greater caution on all these issues. It is better to be careful, than to be sorry. Hopefully, this would not impact the number of takers in public transport too.

Malaysian Mensa Admission Testing Dates

There have been questions on when next Malaysian Mensa Admissions Test date would be. So, here it is:-

28th October 2007 (National Science Center)
10th November 2007 (Malaysian Mensa National Administrative Office)
24th November 2007 (Special Session at Sunway University College, in conjunction with Mensa Forum On Intelligence. Time to be determined later, would be around lunch time)
8th December 2007(Malaysian Mensa National Administrative Office)
30th December 2007(National Science Center)

For all testings (unless stated otherwise), testing time would be at 3:00pm. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before testing time.

Malaysian Mensa National Administrative Office is located at B-2-10, Dataran Glomac, Jalan SS 6/20, Kelana Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

National Science Center is located at Bukit Kiara.

If you have further questions, do go to Malaysian Mensa Society's Website to find out.

Mensa Admissions Test would be 40 minutes long (for the actual test itself, with another 10 minutes or so for briefing before and after). There would be 36 minutes allocated, with all questions have 9 multiple choice selections.

Your IQ would be compared against all those who are same age as you. So, don't worry if you are too young or too old, and feel that you would be disadvantaged. Minimum age to take the test would be 14 years old.

Cost to take the test would be RM35.

Maximum IQ would be 180. Minimum IQ score to qualify for Malaysian Mensa would be 148, which means top 2% of world population.

Even if you get below 148, you would get to know your actual IQ score and know where you stand compared to the rest of world population. So, even if say you get 120, it still means that you are better than maybe 70% or 80% of world population. Average IQ is 100 (Which also means you would be better than 50% of world population, if your IQ score is 100).

On what Mensa members would do? There are often many networking dinners, where Mensans and friends dine and sometimes wine together. Often, there would be some brain teasers or wine quizzes or other fun activities too. Some of those dinners are pot luck, which means you bring some food each. Some are at some unique restaurants. Some are theme dinner, where members dress up, like African, Alice in Wonderland, Sparkling etc.

Recently, there is also a trip to Kuala Selangor to watch firefly, as well as have a dinner there. There was also a recent waterfall visit trip. Occasionally, there is also hiking trip. There is also some Makan-Makan trip. Last year, there was one which head up north, where Mensans in KL met up with members in Penang and Ipoh, while having food all the way up north.

Other more intellectual events include forum on intelligence, sudoku, scrabble, treasure hunt, as well as a bunch of talks, like scholarships talk, career talk, mining talk etc.

And of course, there is a Mensa monthly magazine, where the members can write on anything. from travel, technology, to their life etc.

You can check out the PDF version of magazine here

Experience sharing on writing

Got this notice from a Mensa mailing list. I haven't heard of this author before, so I am not sure how this session would be like, but just decide to share it anyway. It might be something some of you would like to check out.

Take note budding writers of sci-fi, fantasy, horror and other
fiction genres, this talk on step-by-step to getting your stories
published is not to be missed!

Local author Ti Chin Han will share this experience on becoming a
writer and his journey towards getting his works published,
particularly his recent novel "Trumation Nation".

The talk will cover:
1. What does it take to become a writer?
2. Genre – fiction & non-fiction
3. How I started
4. A reading culture
5. The publishing environment in Malaysia
6. Gaining confidence
7. My experience in writing a full-length novel
8. Winning and getting published
9. The Publishing Agreement
10. The editing process
11. Selling the book
12. Writing the next book

Date: Saturday, 20 October 2007
Time: 7.30pm to 10pm, inclusive of dinner with speaker
Venue: MySciFiFan Outpost, function room
Lot 208ii, 2nd floor (next to cineplex),
Cineleisure Damansara (next to The Curve),
2A Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara
47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Participation Fee:
Rm 15/- per pax, inclusive of set dinner served between 7pm to 8pm.

Please register for this talk by e-mailing your name and contact
number to, or calling 03-77100562 between 12pm to
10pm, by Friday 19 October.

About Ti Chin Han
+ I, Fridge Horror (Highly Commended – 2003 / 2004 Commonwealth Short
Story Competition);
+ Trumation Nation (First Prize – 2005 Utusan Group Literary Prize
(sponsored by Exxon Mobil)
Other Awards & Notable Works:
+ First Prize - 2005 / 2006 Utusan Group Literary Prize
+ Prize winner - article in The Star - Is War On Iraq Justified
+ Short story published in StarMag
+ Poetry published in The International Library of Poetry


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ten of the Keys to Success in Wall Street

I come across this article, which I think is quite useful for those who intend to go to Investment Banking, or what we call Wall Street.

Besides those in IB field, I think it is quite useful for those in other fields too.

Check it out Information Arbitrage

The article is on "Ten of the Keys to Success in Wall Street"

1. Be Honest
2. Be the kind of person that people want to work with
3. Find a mentor at each stage of your career
4. Hire people smarter and better than you
5. Be a good listener
6. Don't be afraid to go for it
7. Always be moving forward
8. Work in and foster good culture
9. Comport yourself with integrity
10. Be passionate about your work and have fun
Extra. Be hyper-analytical

Asian Youth Leaders Climate Forum

I pick this up from Tin Kosong If any of you are interested, do sign up for it.

Are you a Malaysian between 18 and 30 years old? Are concerned about climate change and are committed to tackling it either through individual or collective action? Can you demonstrate participation and achievement in activities related to climate security or community projects?

We are looking for three candidates to represent Malaysia for the Asian Youth Leaders Climate Forum in Bogor and Bali from 3 to 10 December 2007.

What is Asian Youth Leaders Climate Forum (AYLCF)?
The AYLCF is a forum attended by 30 young people in Bogor, Indonesia from the East and Southeast Asia countries looking at what young people can contribute for climate security. AYLCF will provide a platform for these young leaders to demonstrate to the world that, not only are they taking an interest in what is happening around climate security, but they are willing and able to play their part to reduce the threat. AYLCF will build an agenda for young people in Asia and create an action plan which will be presented at the COP 13 in Bali in the form of a communiqué and then implemented across the region with support of in-country as well as regional partners. The youth will be working closely with different partners involved in this initiative including the British Council, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and Intergovernmental Forum on Forest (IFF).

What is COP 13?
COP13 which will be held in Bali this December will see the gathering of government leaders under the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCC) to reach agreement on the various adaptation and mitigation strategies available.
Facts about the AYLCF:

  • The forum will be held in Bogor (Nr Jakarta) on 3 to 7 December 2007 with a smaller representative group going on to Bali COP 8 to 10 December 2007
  • This will be a five day workshop in Bogor with participants from up to 13 countries.
  • Participants will be identified through an open selection process involving the British Council and partners in each country.
  • Participants going to Bali will be identified during the forum and agreed within the group in Bogor.
  • We are looking for emerging young leaders who have already shown potential for critical thinking and finding practical solutions to problems, experience of intercultural dialogue and engagement, willingness to work in teams to the common good, and the ability to express themselves effectively.
  • The conference will be a mix of plenary sessions, discussion and action planning. There will be some fieldwork around carbon off-setting and at least two visits to projects in the Bogor area.
  • The forum will be led by experienced facilitators and there will be a number of specialist informants on hand to help discussions

To apply, please log on to The application deadline is 22 October 2007.


International Space Station

With our Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor reached ISS, it seems that our Angkasawan mission has finally come true. Seeing the photo of our National Science Agency's Director, Prof. Dr. Mazlan Othman's tears of joy, I can definitely see that we have come so far.

Going to space is definitely a fantastic experience. It is something that none of us would forget and I am sure many of us would love to be there, although the challenge is going to be very high. it is not easy to go through all those G-Force. I can't even take the simulator at Epcot Park at Disney World, Florida. So, I really don't think I could take this swing. The physical endurance of our cosmonaut is definitely very high.

October 10 2007 would be always a historical day for Malaysia.

For myself, I do have a few encounters with space before. Back in my high school days, there was this Sumurwang Aerospace Exhibition. I can't remember when it was. Should be in the 90s, but it was a great experience. I knew literally nothing about space, but that did give me and many Malaysian youth a close-up view of those spaceship (I'm not sure what was exhibited, as my knowledge is definitely limited). Now, that place is what Selangor MSC area - I-City.

Looking back 4 years ago, to be specific on 4th September 2003, I got a rare chance to pose a question to Ed Lu '84 NASA Astronaut on board International Space Station. Then, it was the 7th Expedition member. Our astronaut went with the 16th expedition. So, things have move on quite a bit.

I still remembered in late August, when Cornell tried to make a connection to space, and they need to have a few volunteers to speak to those astronauts. I jumped at the chance. Ed Lu was a Cornell alum. One of the coverages is here . I was the guy holding the microphone waiting for signal to pose a question to Ed Lu in ISS.

Then, on 11th June 2004, Ed Lu came back to Cornell, to give a talk on his experience in space at Bartels Hall. That was a fantastic experience. You can read it here . It was a fantastic experience for me to meet the guy in space that I spoke to earlier. It was a dream come true. I managed to get a postcard signed by Ed Lu from ISS. It is certainly a fantastic momento from space. Managed to take a photo with him too.

Just realize from wikipedia that Ed Lu has left NASA to join Google. The news article is here

Tonight, our Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would make this connection with our astronaut, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, who is at ISS. It would be a historical moment for Malaysia.

Hopefully, this venture to space would encourage many Malaysians to learn more about space, to really appreciate science and technology and hopefully, this would help us to propel further in the realm of space.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

University Interview, Cornell

I have been getting emails from fellow ReComers who always had the misconception that having to seat for interview for U.S. universities would reduce their chance.

In fact, in reality, it is definitely not true. It provides you with another opportunities to impress the university. This interview or called by other names for various top U.S. universities would have its alumni to take a look at you, and if you perform well, the alumni would be able to provide feedback to the universities about you.

Application is a win-win situation. And hence, it must be where the university would benefit having you in the university, as well as for you to benefit. it is not a one-way traffic.

So, do definitely try to attend the interview, and impress the university alumni, who can help to pitch for you. It allows you to highlight things that you can't really highlight using papers. It allows you to show the alumni unique stuff that you have, for instance your art work, design etc. It allows you to explain a unique situation that you are in etc.

All these would be possible in the interview and do definitely make full use of it.

After all, every little bit that you can work on to improve your chances of getting into a university should be making full use of.

For those who are applying for Cornell, definitely hope that you would make full use of the opportunities. Definitely look forward to more people applying to my alma mater, as well as more people getting admitted!

Cornell is a very diverse place, with 3,000 international students from 130 countries, more than 4,000 choices of courses each semester, more than 1,000 clubs/societies etc. It would be a paradise of choices.

Good Luck~!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Have been in Singapore for the past 3 days...

Came in Singapore on Monday, and supposed to stay for 3 nights, but end up would stay till Friday! My 1st overseas over-night trip! It is quite exciting, although i would say quite challenging, especially in terms of the work that I am working on. I won't go into it - not only that I am not supposed to go through it, but also guess no one would be interested to know about it.. :P

Came in through a limo on Monday with Mei Mei and Li Li. It was a nice and smooth ride. Walked into my Accenture HQ in Singapore for the first time on Monday. It was very nice... and it consists of several floors. Looks pretty nice, with even soft drink machine.. :)

Monday had to miss Bill Green's talk. Guess, it's ok lar... Would get to see him one day in the future.

Met up with Jiin Joo and Lin Lee~! Thanks, Jiin Joo for the ride. We had dinner at Kopitiam at Vivo and thanks Jiin Joo for showing me around there! Then, we met up with Lin Lee at one of the hawker stalls for dessert. Jiin Joo dropped me back at Somerset and thanks to Li Li who opened the door for me.. I reached back past 11pm, and the guard is on.

Tuesday been a busy day at work too. After work, met with Munir and Su Yuen at vivo.. We had dinner at Swenson and then fruit juice at an Indian restaurant at the outdoor of Vivo.

Today, Wednesday, historical day for Malaysia. Our astronaut has just blasted to space at 9:23pm Malaysian time. It is definitely historical. Too bad, I couldn't watch it. Was having dinner with Moh Ngee, Jian Sern and Li Li at Sze Chuan Kitchen at Raffles City Shopping Mall. Quite good food, I have to admit!

Have been back at my room for couple of hours... Still trying to finish what I am doing....looks like a long night....hehehe... :(

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Hands Percussion Performance at KLPAC

Yesterday (Friday night), went for an interesting Hands Percussion performance, where Xue Fen (a fellow Accenturian whom I knew through BUM... for those who do not know what is BUM..... it is Business Unit Meeting... not some bumming stuff..) performed.

It was definitely an interesting and fantastic performance. I enjoyed myself thoroughly, where the performance is definitely tip-top. It has 7 parts and each of them used quite some unique aspects. It has definitely fantastic creativity.

One of the parts use water as an element, as in real water. So, the dancers were dancing with perhaps half an inch or 1 inch of water, and they even did some acrobats on water, rolling around, flipping across people etc. It looks very neat.

One of the performances do not use any equipment, except 2 of the drum sticks each.. (not the KFC drumsticks, but the thing to wack on the drum...i don't have proper language to write on it, so gonna call it drum sticks lar..) it was fun and they got the audience to clap with them, and introduce chaos to it... where different part of audience would clap at different tempo. It made a nice fun music.

Other interesting elements, include like playing fast-tempo music, when they bring out the equipment, have the performers planted around the crowd etc etc..

My personal opinion... Am wondering how Fong able to train on this very high quality performance, while keeping a full time job with Accenture. He trained every night for the past 3 months. It is certainly amazing!

This is also my first time to KL Performing Arts Center. It definitely looks good. Really made me feel even want to buy an apartment there. Developed by YTL, and they managed to transform the Sentul area from a backward area, into a very high end area. The garden definitely looks good!

Mensa 61st Anniversary Dinner

Tonight, at the Peninsula Residence Hotel, 59 Mensans and friends gathered to celebrate the 61st Anniversary of Mensa and it is also the 23rd Anniversary of Malaysian Mensa.

We had the honor of Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon, CEO of Royal Selangor Pewter attending the event. Tan Sri Yong is also the founder and first chairman of Malaysian Mensa. It definitely brought back deep memories of many Mensans who have been around for a long time. Another founder member, Lee Loy Fatt was there too, as well as many other Mensans.

Our Chairman, Low Keng Lok was giving his speech to fellow Malaysian Mensans. Keng Lok has been instrumental in getting many Mensa members to attend the dinner~!

It is definitely heartening to see other Mensans there and see how everyone catch up with others. It is a great way for Mensans to keep in touch with one another.

As usual, Yee Dian brought out his mind games. Those are definitely fun. This time around, he brought around 10 objects, which he collected from around the world, and all of them do look very wierd. And fellow Mensans' job is to guess what its use is for.

Eventually, it is won by the pair consisting 2 of our ex-chairman, Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon and Mr. Lawrence Hie. They got 7 out of 10 correct. It really brought out the best out of Mensans! And more importantly, have fun!

As a personal reflection, since I joined Malaysian Mensa Society 11 years ago, it has brought me a lot of fun. This time around, managed to see a number of new Mensans attending. A couple of my friends, David Khaw Teik Keong and Alex Chia went and they really had a good time!

For those of you who wanted to sit for Mensa Admissions Test, do check out the website above or just contact me.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Historic Day at IJN

Read in Sin Chew just now on a historic event that happened yesterday evening and today. I am not talking about the astronaut, but rather the family of a fellow Malaysian who has met with accident has graciously agreed to donate his heart, lung and a few other organs to needy Malaysians.

This ha enabled one of our "mechanical heart girl", Hui Yi, to finally manage to get her heart. It was historic act, where Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) experts manage to operate from the brain dead donor last night at 8:15pm in Ipoh Hospital and managed to brought the organs back at IJN at 1:15am this morning and the operation was successful.

With this, hopefully, Hui Yi, who has waited for more than 1 year for a heart, has managed to get her dream come true. So do another Sarawakian guy who managed to get the lung.

It is really the spirit of caring Malaysian, where we see people donate the organs of their loved ones to other fellow Malaysians. The donor chooses to stay anonymous. It must be tough for the family of the boy to donate, as he has just got into an accident and was pronouned brain dead, but this act, has given hope to Hui Yi, the other guy and other needy patients.

This would also mean the next in line patient would have his/her hope brightened.

I would say kudos to the team from IJN, and as what Marina Mahathir put it at her blog

But one of the doctors said to me, "Do you know what a historic day this is?" I said, "No I don't." And she said, "It is historic because the man who started IJN, your father, is in here at the same time as two transplant patients, patients who would never have had this chance had IJN not existed." She went on to say that as exhausted as they were the heart and lung team were happy to be able to show to my Dad firsthand that he was right to have faith in them, that Malaysian surgeons are just as capable of such sophisticated surgery as anyone anywhere. We should all be SO proud.

Syabas! Malaysia Boleh!

Malaysia Festival of the Mind

Got an email today on Malaysia Festival of the Mind. It is organized by Malaysian Mental Literacy Movement (MMLM).

It would be held on the 25th to 28th October 2007 (Thursday to Sunday) at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), 13, Jalan 13/6, 46200 Petaling Jaya. The event would be from 9:30am to 4:30pm. Admission is free.

There will be a bunch of demos, talks, exhibitions etc, to create awareness on mental literacy.

For more info, can contact MMLM at or call them at 03-76250328.

In my opinion, this is a fantastic event, where we can learn on various aspects on mental literacy. I haven't been to any MMLM event before, but am going to check this out this round.

I have obtained the talks schedule and it seems pretty interesting!

All sessions are at Auditorium 3, except otherwise specified.

25th October (Thurs)
11:00am-11:45am - Master your life through the power of your mind
11:45am-12:45pm - Developing openness to new ideas for enhancing creative thinking
2:00pm-3:00pm - Management Tools - 6 thinking hats
3:15pm-3:30pm - Live demonstration on trained memory
3:30pm-4:30pm - Face & Destiny - Understanding yourself and others

26th October (Friday)
10:00am-11:00am - Feng Shui for wealth, education and career
11:15am-11:30am - Live demonstration on trained memory
11:30am-12:30pm - Do you use only 10% of your brain?
2:00pm-3:00pm - TRANCEform your MIND
3:15pm-3:30pm - Live demonstration on trained memory
3:30pm-4:30pm - Thinking out of the box
3:30pm-4:30pm - Master your life through the power of your mind (Seminar Room 4)

27th October (Saturday)
10:00am-11:30am - Boost your brain power for breakthrough results
11:30am-12:30pm - Speed reading
11:30am-12:30pm - Master your life through the power of your mind (Seminar Room 4)
2:00pm-3:00pm - The creativity mind in management
3:15pm-3:30pm - Live demonstration on trained memory
3:30pm-4:30pm - Ba Zi: Your destiny & career

28th October (Sunday)
10:00am-11:00am - Brain learning for the 21st century
11:15am-11:30am - Live demonstration on trained memory
11:30am-12:30pm - Date Selection - doing the right thing at the right time
2:00pm-3:00pm - Painting with your mind
3:15pm-3:30pm - Live demonstration on trained memory
3:30pm-4:30pm - Intuitive Intelligence

There is also another talk, which is a prelude to the actual event:-

Talk by Mr. Anant Kasibhatla, who would be talking on Dynamic Mind Aerobics. It would be on 20th October (Saturday) 9:45am to noon at Auditorium, Center for Extension Education, 11, Jalan 13/6, UTAR, PJ.

For reservation, do email or call/sms Shreen/Foong Yi at 03-76250328/ 016-2233559.

There would be a Mensa booth there too!

Going To Singapore

Today, during around lunch time, I got the confirmation that I would be going over to Singapore next Monday to Thursday for a 4-day project over there! It would hopefully come true, so that at least I would have a little of Regiional Exposure, rather than merely local exposure.
It would be hardwork, but I guess it would argur well for my development within my firm. It is a proposal on a strategy work, which would be new for me, but hopefully would be a good exposure to prepare me for my next project at a media conglomerate in Malaysia.
This would hopefully be able to provide me momentum in my preparations towards the next promotion session, to move up from analyst to consultant. The last despair I had in late August 2007, would hopefully be over, and I could strive hard to move further.
The cons of this trip would be that, I would have to miss the opportunity to meet up with Bill Green, our CEO. It would be my first time meeting him, and yet I won't get the chance. But guess, it would be a good sacrifice!
Will keep everyone updated here!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Test Posting from Email

This is a test post from my email. Just to test whether it could actually be doable~! Just marvel at all this fantastic technology that Google provide!!! No doubt their share is touching USD600 now!

A short while after I wrote the first post, but guess maybe because it is still new, so I am quite "excited" about it...

What should I blog about?

Maybe on what I am going to do this weekend...hehehe.. :P

Friday night at KL Performing Arts Center, a colleague of mine, Xue Fen (known as Fong) would be performing a Hands Percussion...So, it might be good to check it out... I had a sneak preview of it, when they came to perform at the opening ceremony of 30 hour famine camp!

Saturday would be at South City Plaza Lifelong Learning Center to attend a class... Quek Ngee Meng, Acting Director of Lifelong Learning (you can check out his blog at here would be sharing on Constitution, especially on rights as a citizen. That's a good lesson for all of us to learn.. Anyone want to go, can still call up 03-21618044 to Lifelong Learning Center to reserve a place..Hopefully, they still have a place. It's 2pm on Saturday till 6pm.

Then, for Saturday night, would have 61st Mensa Anniversary Dinner. This year, gonna have a large crowd...close to 60 Mensans and friends. Would be interesting. We are going to have it at Peninsula Residence! A new place... So, check it out! Anyone, even if u r non-Mensan and want to go, do let me know~! It's RM55, and RM10 cheaper for Mensans..

A busy Saturday...

Sunday...should be a rest day, but guess there are some who are applying to US unis want me to talk on it...So, viola...Sunday noon at Mid Valley. Would meet at MPH and then go from there... Expecting just a few students, but guess a good way for me to give back to community..

Talking about today...BJ Corp runs wild..went up from 63 cents to 76 cents and then subside to 71.5 cents...That's still quite a bit.. I sold 4 lots at 45 cents last week....sigh...

Had a nice lunch at Westin today...Thanks to my project manager! Eest or some name like is quite nice..Fried rice with roast duck, crab (i don't feel the crab at all) and a lot of longans!!!

Tun Dr. Mahathir is recovering well. Hope he would fully recover soon...

Welcome to my blog~! Decides to just start this new blog fresh, rather than going back to my old xanga, which I haven't updated for ages...

With internet at home right now (while the quality is not tip-top, boo boo iZZi ), it allows me to go online a little more (that also means, sleeping time ----> drops...)

Being a non-pictorial person, guess my blog would be mostly using words... Hope you guys won't mind..

What should I blog about? What would interest people? But I guess since it is my blog, and I am going to call it "My thoughts". It is going to be about what I think, right?

Would try to instill a discipline in me to write often!

Okie, keep this first one short! Enjoy!