Thursday, January 31, 2008

International Conference for University Education

International Education Center (INTEC, UiTM), or fondly known as PPP or OPP or PPLN before, is my alma mater, when I did an American Degree Foundation Program (ADFP) in 2000. I was in ATU5 batch of ATU Program.

Came across a conference organized by INTEC - INCUE 2007 – International Education: Preparation, Policy, Implementation and Recognition at
Study Guardian December Issue

Below is the full article:-
The International Education Centre (INTEC) of Universiti Teknologi MARA organised the third ‘International Conference for University Education’ (INCUE) which was held on 4 December 2007 at Holiday Inn Glenmarie, Shah Alam. The event was officiated by Y Bhg Dato’ Prof Dr Hassan Said, Director- General of the Department of Higher Education Management, Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia.

The conference is held every two years with the most recent themed ‘International Education: Preparation, Policy, Implementation and Recognition’. The third INCUE focused on the business and possibilities of the effective implementation of international education.

The conference aimed to provide an appropriate avenue for interested individuals, educators, principals of institutions of higher learning and managers of education-related corporations to address, strategise and formulate plans for the efficient management of the rapidly-evolving, multi-faceted issues related to international education.

INCUE 2007 invited Assoc Prof Zita Mohd Fahmi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Quality Assurance) of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency to deliver a presentation entitled ‘International Education: LAN Experience and Direction’.

“Internationalisation is the process of integrating the international dimension into teaching and learning, research, staffing and services, and functions of the higher education institutions,” said Assoc Prof Zita.

International education is offered by public universities, private institutions, training centres, foreign campuses and partner universities that confer foreign qualifications. The demand isfueled by the lower cost of education, more flexible study mode, a greater variety of programmes and the attraction of obtaining a foreign degree locally.

She added that the Malaysian Qualifications Agency Act 2007 ensured quality education and incorporates international best practices. The Malaysian Qualifications Framework which specifies the levels, credits, learning outcomes and educational pathways of students will be implemented. Also, the Quality Assurance Model will monitor the nine aspects in terms of programme accreditation and audit .

American Universities Alumni Malaysia's 30th Anniversary Dinner

American Universities Alumni Malaysia (AUAM), which I am the Honorary Secretary, organized our 30th Anniversary Celebratory Dinner on 16th December 2007. Below is the report quoted from Study Guardian December 2007 Issue . To view photos and videos of the event, please go to the link above.


The American Universities Alumni Malaysia (AUAM) held its 30th Anniversary Dinner celebration at the Crowne Plaza Mutiara Hotel Kuala Lumpur on 16 December 2007.
The event was graced by Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Raja Muda Perak Darul Ridzuan, Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Ibni Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah and Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Raja Puan Besar Perak Darul Ridzuan, Tuanku Zara Salim. Also present was H.E. James Keith, US Ambassador to Malaysia.

The 30th Anniversary Dinner marked an important milestone for AUAM since its establishment. In conjunction with the momentous occasion, AUAM presented several ‘Outstanding American AlumnusAwards’ (OAAA) that night. The OAAA is the highest level ofrecognition and honour accorded by the AmericanUniversities Alumni fraternity to leading personalities for achieving outstanding entrepreneurial skills and leadership excellence in different industries.

Among the recipients was Y. Bhg. Dato’ Seri Professor DrIbrahim Abu Shah, Vice Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM). Dato’ Seri Professor DrIbrahim obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Master in Sociology atOhio University, USA and later pursued a PhD in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, USA. His contribution in the field of education has been tremendous, particularly in steering UiTMtowards becoming a premier university of outstanding scholarship and producing human capital of high caliber.

Another recipient of the OAAA was Y. Bhg. Dato’ Sri Tay Ah Lek, Managing Director of Public Bank. Dato’ Sri Tay also holds the position of Director in Public Bank, other companies in the Public Bank Group, as well as Cagamas, ASEAN Finance Corporation Ltd and Financial Mediation Bureau. He was President of the Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Malaysia and has been honoured by the club for his contributions to the banking industry. Dato’ Sri Tay attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, Boston and obtained an MBA from Henley, UK.

American Universities Alumni Malaysia (AUAM) is a non-profit organisation established in 1977. AUAM opens its membership to all who have attended college or university in the United States, or those who have been awarded American degrees through programmes conducted in Malaysia.

The main objectives of the association are to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas, organisation of educational and social activities, and the promotion of international understanding and goodwill.

6 New & 13 Relocated SJK(C)

Report card from MCA shows that MCA has successfully obtained approval for 15 New Chinese Schools and 74 Chinese Schools to be relocated since 1999 (A fantastic achievements for the past 9 years). That is a significant achievements, and these 89 schools would create a new capacity of 97,000 places, effectively means that total capacity of SJK(C) is hence increased by 16% (since currently total capacity is around 600,000 places).

This is definitely a significant move, especially for Education Minister to make these announcements at MCA Headquarter.

Since 1999, more than 40+ of these new and relocated schools have been opened and this has created a significant number of places for the Chinese Community. Not to forget, more than 60,000 non-Chinese are currently studying in SJK(C).

Read at MCA Website

Today marks a historical day for MCA. As an early Chinese New Year present, the Chinese community can look forward to more new and relocated Chinese schools. Education Minister YB Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin bin Tun Hussein today personally came to MCA Headquaters to meet MCA President YB Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting and other party leaders to announce a piece of much awaited good news to the Chinese community.

On 16 January 2008 this year, Ka Ting submitted an application to Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin to build 6 new SJK(C) and relocate 13 SJK(C) which faced the danger of being closed down due to under-enrolment in densely populated urban areas.

Today, Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin himself personally presented the approval letter to Ka Ting while witnessed by Gerakan Acting President YB Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon and other MCA leaders. Tsu Koon flew in personally from Penang to witness the historical moment.

Hishamuddin in his speech said he is grateful because he has a group of sincere colleagues in the Cabinet. He praised MCA and Gerakan leaders for being sincere in their effort to fight for the rights of the Chinese community and other races they represented.

“The friendship and trust that were built among BN component parties for so long will be continued and sustained,” said Hishamuddin.

Ka Ting in his briefing to the press thanked Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin for his understanding and reiterated that MCA never fails to voice out the Chinese community’s views and wishes to the government in the spirit of Barisan Nasional. He added that MCA and Gerakan always work closely together in resolving Chinese school issues. He also took the opportunity to thank Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Deputy Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak for their support and encouragement to MCA.

The 6 new and 13 relocated SJK(C) are located in Sungai Long, Kajang, Bukit Serdang, Rawang, Bandar Bukit Sentosa/Bukit Beruntung, Bandar Parklands (Bukit Tinggi 3), Klang, Lembah Maju, Ampang Jaya, Wangsa Maju, Sri Petaling, Danga Bay, Johor Bahru, Impian Mas, Mukim Tebrau, Johor Bahru, Eco Garden, Johor Bahru, Bandar Cemerlang, Johor Bahru, Crimson Krubong Jaya, Krubong, Melaka Tengah, Limbongan, Kota Melaka, Taman Perkasa Rembia, Rembia, Alor Gajah, Seremban 2, Alor Star and the last school where the site has yet to be finalised.

Until today, MCA has successfully fought for a total of 89 new and relocated Chinese schools since 1999. Earlier, the 70 new and relocated Chinese schools could accommodate 60,000 students. Once the 19 new SJK(C) are completed, it will be able to accommodate another 27,000 students.

Davis Projects for Peace Initiative


In its second year, Davis Projects for Peace, is an invitation to
undergraduates at the American colleges and universities in the Davis
United World College Scholars Program to design grassroots projects that they will implement during the summer of 2008.  The projects judged to be the most promising and do-able will be funded at $10,000 each.  The objective is to encourage and support today's motivated youth to create and tryout their own ideas for building peace

If you're interested in finding out more information, the website is and the Cornell contacts for the program are Judy Sherrer <> and Doris Davis
<>.  The deadline for application is Friday, February 1st.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Peace Malaysia Gaza Humanitarian Fund

Quoting from The Star

Hopefully some of my readers would contribute to the fund via:-
Cheques to Peace Malaysia at B-13-D2, Plaza Mont Kiara, No 2, Jalan Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur or bank it in to Peace Malaysia (CIMB-14209-0007389058).

KUALA LUMPUR: A seven-man team from Peace Malaysia is set to leave next week for the Gaza strip in the Middle East to disburse aid to the residents suffering there.

Peace Malaysia coordinator Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said the team would include three doctors to help the people living on the strip of land bordered by Egypt and Israel.

"Ever since the Israeli siege started, they have been suffering. They lack basic necessities such as fuel and medicine.

"The siege has reduced 85% of Gaza's 1.5 million inhabitants to total dependency on food aid which is the highest anywhere in the world," he said when launching the Gaza humanitarian fund on Tuesday.

Mukhriz said funds were needed to purchase food and medicine in Egypt which the team would then disburse upon reaching the border of Egypt and Gaza (Rafah).

"We have been in touch with the Red Crescent society in Gaza to find out exactly what they need. They have since emailed us their list," he said.

Mukhriz urged Malaysians, including corporations, to lend a hand in helping the residents there.

He said the organisation had a target of RM200,000 and that the public could send its cheques to Peace Malaysia at B-13-D2, Plaza Mont Kiara, No 2, Jalan Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur or bank it in to Peace Malaysia (CIMB-14209-0007389058).

Packet One signs deal with Alcatel-Lucent for WiMax

Packet One, a subsidiary wholly owned by Green Packet is going on high tempo to build its infrastructure for WiMax. It has just signed a deal of USD71 Million with Alcatel-Lucent to deploy and manage Packet One's large-scale commercial WiMax network, which the company said would be one of the world's first.

Packet One aims to reach 25 pct of Malaysia's population by the end of this year and 40 pct, or 10 mln people, by the end of 2010.

Within five years Packet One's network should cover 60 pct of Malaysia's population, Alcatel-Lucent said.

Wimax stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, and is an alternative technology for transporting wireless data to other technologies such as cable and DSL.

The post is adapted from Forbes

Northeast Malaysian Forum Sign-Up

Hope that more of you would participate in the Northeast Malaysian Forum. I blog about it here before.

Dear all, we are now open for registration.

Registration deadline is 23rd of Feb to
i) guarantee yourself a spot for the conference
ii) guarantee yourself accommodation if you need it
iii) guarantee your eligibility for transportation financial aid.

Email with the following details.



Class/Year of Graduation:


Hometown/Home country:

An email address that we will share with the rest of the NMF participants:

Accomodation issues:

Do you need accomodation?

If you need accomodation, what gender are you?


Eng Han
Dartmouth '10

ESUM Public Speaking Competition 2008

ESUM Public Speaking Competition 2008

The annual ESUM(English Speaking Union of Malaysia) Public Speaking Competition is back! As usual, two finalists will be selected to represent Malaysia in the International Public Speaking Competition in London in May.

The preliminary round and semi-finals will be held on the 8th of March. For the preliminary round, participants will have to deliver a 5-minute prepared speech themed "New Frontiers, New Horizons" as well as a 3-minute impromptu speech. For the semi-finals, participants will have to deliver a speech themed "If I could change the world…"

Interested participants must be aged 16-20. Watch out for the registration forms will in the upcoming Sunday Star Education pull-outs.

Commonwealth Essay Competition 2008

Commonwealth Essay Competition 2008

If you are 18 years of age or younger and possess a penchant for writing, perhaps you may want to enter the Commonwealth Essay Competition and pit your writing skills against students of the same age around the world.
Every year, the Commonwealth Essay Competition inspires thousands of young writers from all over the world. Organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Competition has been running for over 100 years and is firmly established as a highly regarded and popular international education project. With young people writing from all Commonwealth countries and territories, the Competition enjoys much esteem and support throughout the Commonwealth.

The aims of the Competition are:

to provide a unique opportunity for schools throughout the Commonwealth to take part in a global education project
to raise awareness of the ethical and humanitarian values which lie at the heart of the Commonwealth's ethos
to highlight important local and global issues and encourage their discussion
to promote the use of English as a leading world language in a fun and attractive way
to enable young people to compete on equal terms with their peers from around the world, whatever their social or scholastic background
to encourage young people to aspire to high standards of academic scholarship and creative writing
to stimulate young people into good utilisation of modern information technology and communication skills
There are four age bands:
Class A: born 1989-1991
Class B: born 1992-1993
Class C: born 1994-1995
Class D: born 1996-
Rules, topics, prizes and samples of past winners' essays can be found at here .

Entries may be sent by post to Commonwealth Essay Competition, The Royal Commonwealth Society, 25 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5AP, United Kingdom or emailed to by 1st March 2008.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Do it the way Steve Jobs does it

A good article to read.


10 tips to wow the crowd with your presentation!

Deliver a Presentation like Steve Jobs

Our communications coach breaks down the ace presenter's latest Macworld keynote. The result? A 10-part framework you can use to wow your own audience

by Carmine Gallo

When Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs kicked off this year's Macworld Conference & Expo, he once again raised the bar on presentation skills. While most presenters simply convey information, Jobs also inspires. He sells the steak and the sizzle at the same time, as one reader commented a few years ago.

I analyzed his latest presentation and extracted the 10 elements that you can combine to dazzle your own audience. Bear in mind that Jobs has been refining his skills for years. I broke down his 2007 Macworld keynote in a previous column (, 7/6/07) and in a chapter in my latest book. Still, how he actually arrives at what appear to be effortless presentations bears expanding on and explaining again.

1. Set the theme. "There is something in the air today." With those words, Jobs opened Macworld. By doing so, he set the theme for his presentation (, 1/15/08) and hinted at the key product announcement—the ultrathin MacBook Air laptop. Every presentation needs a theme, but you don't have to deliver it at the start. Last year, Jobs delivered the theme about 20 minutes into his presentation: "Today Apple reinvents the phone." Once you identify your theme, make sure you deliver it several times throughout your presentation.

2. Demonstrate enthusiasm. Jobs shows his passion for computer design. During his presentation he used words like "extraordinary," "amazing," and "cool." When demonstrating a new location feature for the iPhone, Jobs said, "It works pretty doggone well." Most speakers have room to add some flair to their presentations. Remember, your audience wants to be wowed, not put to sleep. Next time you're crafting or delivering a presentation, think about injecting your own personality into it. If you think a particular feature of your product is "awesome," say it. Most speakers get into presentation mode and feel as though they have to strip the talk of any fun. If you are not enthusiastic about your own products or services, how do you expect your audience to be?

3. Provide an outline. Jobs outlined the presentation by saying, "There are four things I want to talk about today. So let's get started…" Jobs followed his outline by verbally opening and closing each of the four sections and making clear transitions in between. For example, after revealing several new iPhone features, he said, "The iPhone is not standing still. We keep making it better and better and better. That was the second thing I wanted to talk about today. No. 3 is about iTunes." Make lists and provide your audience with guideposts along the way.

4. Make numbers meaningful. When Jobs announced that Apple had sold 4 million iPhones to date, he didn't simply leave the number out of context. Instead, he put it in perspective by adding, "That's 20,000 iPhones every day, on average." Jobs went on to say, "What does that mean to the overall market?" Jobs detailed the breakdown of the U.S smartphone market and Apple's share of it to demonstrate just how impressive the number actually is. Jobs also pointed out that Apple's market share equals the share of its top three competitors combined. Numbers don't mean much unless they are placed in context. Connect the dots for your listeners.

5. Try for an unforgettable moment. This is the moment in your presentation that everyone will be talking about. Every Steve Jobs presentation builds up to one big scene. In this year's Macworld keynote, it was the announcement of MacBook Air. To demonstrate just how thin it is, Jobs said it would fit in an envelope.

Jobs drew cheers by opening a manila interoffice envelope and holding the laptop for everyone to see. What is the one memorable moment of your presentation? Identify it ahead of time and build up to it.

6. Create visual slides. While most speakers fill their slides with data, text, and charts, Jobs does the opposite. There is very little text on a Steve Jobs slide. Most of the slides simply show one image. For example, his phrase "The first thing I want to talk to you about today…" was accompanied by a slide with the numeral 1. That's it. Just the number. When Jobs discussed a specific product like the iPhone, the audience saw a slide with an image of the product. When text was introduced, it was often revealed as short sentences (three or four words) to the right of the image. Sometimes, there were no images at all on the slide but a sentence that Jobs had delivered such as "There is something in the air." There is a trend in public speaking to paint a picture for audiences by creating more visual graphics. Inspiring presenters are short on bullet points and big on graphics.

7. Give 'em a show. A Jobs presentation has ebbs and flows, themes and transitions. Since he's giving his audience a show instead of simply delivering information, Jobs includes video clips, demonstrations, and guests he shares the stage with. In his latest keynote, the audience heard from Jim Gianopulos, CEO and chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, and Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel ((INTC). Enhance your presentations by incorporating multimedia, product demonstrations, or giving others the chance to say a few words.

8. Don't sweat the small stuff. Despite your best preparation, something might go wrong as it did during the keynote. Jobs was about to show some photographs from a live Web site, and the screen went black while Jobs waited for the image to appear. It never did. Jobs smiled and said, "Well, I guess Flickr isn't serving up the photos today." He then recapped the new features he had just introduced. That's it. It was no big deal. I have seen presenters get flustered over minor glitches. Don't sweat minor mishaps. Have fun. Few will remember a glitch unless you call attention to it.

9. Sell the benefit. While most presenters promote product features, Jobs sells benefits. When introducing iTunes movie rentals, Jobs said, "We think there is a better way to deliver movie content to our customers." Jobs explained the benefit by saying, "We've never offered a rental model in music because people want to own their music. You listen to your favorite song thousands of times in your life. But most of us watch movies once, maybe a few times. And renting is a great way to do it. It's less expensive, doesn't take up space on our hard drive…" Your listeners are always asking themselves, "What's in it for me?" Answer the question. Don't make them guess. Clearly state the benefit of every service, feature, or product.

10. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Steve Jobs cannot pull off an intricate presentation with video clips, demonstrations, and outside speakers without hours of rehearsal. I have spoken to people within Apple who tell me that Jobs rehearses the entire presentation aloud for many hours. Nothing is taken for granted. You can see he rehearsed the Macworld presentation because his words were often perfectly synchronized with the images and text on the slides. When Jobs was showing examples of the films that are available on the new iTunes movie rental service, one poster of a particular film appeared at the exact moment he began to talk about it. The entire presentation was coordinated. A Steve Jobs presentation looks effortless because it is well-rehearsed.

Try to use all of the techniques I describe above in your next presentation. Then let me know how it goes. You can e-mail me at with your feedback or post a comment below.

Carmine Gallo, a business communications coach and Emmy-Award winning former TV journalist, is the author of Fire Them Up! and 10 Simple Secrets of the World's Greatest Business Communicators. He writes his communications column every week.

Source URL:



Sunday, January 27, 2008

Suharto Passed Away

Finally, Suharto succumbed to illnesses and passed away this afternoon. This would be a sad news for Indonesia, as well as the rest of world community.

Suharto has been instrumental in ending the Konfrantasi, and also building the relationship between Malaysia and Indonesia. Suharto was President of Indonesia from 1966 to 1998.

Condolences to everyone in Indonesia.

A strong delegation from Malaysia, led by Deputy Prime Minister, YAB Dato' Seri Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak and Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir would be attending the funeral in Indonesia.

Google Considering Setting Up Base at Malaysia

Google is considering between Malaysia, India and Vietnam to set up its base in this region. Malaysia forms the biggest group of Search usage for Google in South East Asia.

This would definitely be a great boost for Malaysia's ICT. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google just had a meeting with Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at World Economic Forum at Davos!

This would be a good news for many in Malaysia, who would hope that the arrival of Google in big waves would transform our ICT scene.

This is definitely a boost before Malaysia hosts the World Congress of Information Technology (WCIT).

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Timedotcom 3G Licence Transferred to DiGi

Again, quoting Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Malaysia has approved the transfer of telecoms firm Timedotcom's 3G licence to the country's smallest mobile phone firm Digi.Com (DSOM.KL: Quote, Profile, Research), Communications Minister Lim Keng Yaik said on Friday.

"This is a promoted exercise. The cabinet has agreed to the exercise," he told reporters.

Astro CEO, Robert Odendaal Resigns

Quoting a report from Reuters


KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Malaysian pay-TV operator Astro All Asia Networks (AAAN.KL: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Friday its chief executive, Robert Odendaal, would resign on April 15, citing personal and lifestyle reasons.

Ralph Marshall, who is currently executive deputy chairman, will take on the responsibilities of the chief executive until the position is filled, Astro said in the statement.


"Thing" Out of the Box Talk

Lee Yee Dian, a fellow Mensan would be giving a talk :-

Topic: "Thing" Out of the Box.

Mensa Administration Office
Suite 635 Block A2,
Leisure Commerce Square,
9 Jalan PJS 8/9
46150 Petaling Jaya

Time: 3.00 p.m.

Yee Dian's talk is always interesting. So, hope that some of you could pop by for that!

The Sun, The Edge Owned by Tan Sri Vincent Tan

Tong Kooi Ong has fully divested his stake in Nexnews (the holding company of The Sun, The Edge etc) and Tan Sri Vincent Tan just bought 35.7% of Nexnews, which means that The Sun, The Edge, The Financial Daily etc are owned by Tan Sri Vincent Tan from Berjaya group.

Is this a good move? Would the quality of The Edge increases? Would The Edge highlights more of Berjaya? Would this bring in more subscribers or readers for The Edge? The Sun?

You can read more at Malaysiakini

EPF 5.8% Dividend

EPF has recently announced that the dividend for 2007 is 5.8%. Is that good? That's one of the best dividend in recent years. If we compare back to when we were a more under-developed nation, then this dividend is actually quite low.

Should we be satisfied by this dividend? Does it give us good returns? EPF guarantees a return of 2.5%, irrespective of market condition. That essentially helps us weather through inflation.

So now, we have seen that EPF has invested less than 1% of its portfolio abroad. Is it a wise investment? Should it be more? Should it actually follow the footstep of GIC and Temasek of Singapore, which took up stake at Citibank, UBS and Merrill Lynch. Should EPF bought up a similar size stake at JP Morgan or Morgan Stanley? Would we want to take a dip at such an investment?

Ivy League MBA Holders Job Available

Kornchanok Bhitakburi from EML-BNB Executive Search is asking me to help her to connect to those interested in the following positions:-

Total Hires: 10 people
Company: MNC in Malaysia
Type of Position: Leadership Program Special Track
Age: Below 30
Salary: RM12,000 per month with car allowance
Credentials: Ivy League MBA Holders (or its equivalent)

There are positions in London, Brazil etc as well.

If you are interested, do feel free to contact me. I will link you with her.

Holland International Living Center (HILC)

Being an ex-HILCers or fondly known as ILCers, I should definitely put in some plugs for a place, where I have spent 3 full years living in. That's more than 10% of my current life~! Especially since I was there during my time in Cornell, Ithaca, New York, US.

HILC, or its full name, Holland International Living Center, is a vibrant place at North Campus of Cornell University. It houses 145 people in the residence hall (Windi, if you happen to see this, I counted you too, as our beloved Residence Hall Director!) It has 4 units, with each unit has 6 suites and each suite has 6 people (2 single rooms and 2 double rooms).

I just came across the long list of activities that HILC had in Fall 2007. That really reminded me of my life there. There has been activities almost every day!

Among the activities over the 14 weeks in Fall 2007 include:-
The Plunge
HILC Jeopardy
International Dinner (Disney theme)
Halloween Carnival
Thanksgiving "Dinner"
Ultimate Gameshow
HILC Talent Show
Stephan Colbert show (Guilly)
Thanksgiving Guitar Hero Showdown (Jannine?)
Thanksgiving Trip to NYC (& play)
Winter Break Shopping Trip (to Wegmans)
Quilt Squares painting
Guitar Hero
Gingerbread House Making
Thanksgiving Postcards to Home
Apple Crisp??
Stress Ball Making
Cookie/Cupcake decorating
Chopstick Olympics
Spanish Language Night
French Language Night
Bahasa (Indonesia) Language Night
Korean Language Night
Swahili Language Night
Portuguese Language Night
USA Country Night
Brazil Country Night
Greece Country Night
(OH!) Canada......(eh?) Country Night
India Country Night
Indonesia Country Night
Panama Country Night
Spain Country Night
Hong Kong Country Night
Sunday Brunches
Dinner with David Powers
Ice Cream Nights
Coffee Nights

Delta Sigma Pi Professional Business Fraternity

Just post this, in case anyone in Cornell is interested.

Interested in Furthering Your Professional Career?


America's Foremost Business Fraternity

Professional Events:  Resume & Interview Workshops, Networking with top
recruiters across all industries including Goldman Sachs, Ernst & Young,
Aon, Procter & Gamble, among others

Service & Social Activities:  Blood Drives, Halloween Haunted Houses, AIDS
Ride for Life, Formals, Wine Tours, Intramural Sports, Etiquette Brunch


Monday,  1/28 in Goldwin Smith Kaufmann Auditorium from 5PM-6:30PM

Tuesday, 1/29 in Goldwin Smith Kaufmann Auditorium from 8PM-9:30PM

Questions?  Contact Elyse Feldman at

How To Ace An Investment Banking Interview

This is another event in Cornell that would really benefit the students there! Do make full use of the opportunities!


Interested in Investment Banking?

*Phi Gamma Nu Professional Business Fraternity *is hosting an event with
Citi Investment Banker and Wharton PGN Founder Shachar Golan to teach you "
*How to Ace An Investment Banking Interview *" as part of our Spring
Recruitment. Come to the event on *January 29* at *7:30pm* in *Sage B09 *to
learn what kind of questions to expect, how to give the strongest answers,
technical questions you should know about, what you can do to impress your
interviewer, and what exactly investment banks are looking for. Bring your
questions, and learn everything you need to be prepared.

Brief PGN info session to follow.

Phi Gamma Nu is Cornell's hottest new professional business fraternity with
a purpose to foster Professional Development, actively engage in
Philanthropy, and strengthen brotherhood ties through numerous Social

Other info sessions for Spring Recruitment will be held on:
February 5 - 7:30pm at McGraw 165
February 6 - 4:30pm at Statler 265
February 7: Rush Begins. See Where PGN Takes You.

All majors accepted. Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors are welcome to apply.

Join our facebook group "Cornell Phi Gamma Nu: Finding the Founders" at for more information.




Friday, January 25, 2008

A US Program Junior Got Lymphoma

Life is really unpredictable. Just barely a day after the funeral of my cousin, I heard of another bad news. This is of a junior of mine, from ATU 7, a JPA Scholar who went to study in U.S.

He has successfully graduated from U.S. and eventually managed to get a place for PhD to study in University of London.

During the medical check up, he was diagnosed to have lymphoma. Things are just so unpredictable. He is undergoing chemotheraphy now. Really hope that he would be able to recover from it. Life is really unpredictable. Really hope that he would stay on and fight determinedly against the battle of lymphoma!

(For privacy purpose, I do not disclose his name here. If you happen to be from his batch, do contact me via email, and I would share with you a little more.)

Cousin passed away due to leukemia

Life is really unpredictable, and often things just turned out not what we wanted to be. On 22nd January 2008, my cousin, Chun Chong lost in his determined battle against leukemia, and passed away on that day. There went the future of a very bright and determined youth, who had just a few years ago, was granted JPA Scholarships to study in Germany.

Eventually, he never managed to make that journey to Germany. He got leukemia when he was in preparatory program, and was hospitalized for many months. Managed to fight through the battle of sickness, he managed to go back to Multimedia University to do his foundation program. But unfortunately, his health turned bad again in May 2007 and finally lost his life on 22nd January 2008. He had been fighting determinedly to recover from his sickness.

I can definitely sense the sadness in my uncle and aunt, who really gave their very best in taking care of him. That's the beauty of parents' undivided love for their children. However, things are just not what we can predict.

He managed to write a will to his family before he passed away (The letter was only found after he passed away). He passed on his laptop and books to his younger sister. He asked his family members to eat vegetables, fruits and drink more water. He asked his family not to feel too sad about him.

Am very sad about this. Hope that my uncle, aunt and family would be able to go through this. I was able to be back in Parit Buntar for the prayers last night and the final prayers this morning before he was brought to Taiping for his funeral. Condolence to my uncle, aunt and family.

The link for Chun Chong's blog

Attached is an article on Kwong Wah Jit Poh

本报独家报导惊动各界 亲友纷往丧府慰问
二零零八年一月二十三日 晚上十一时四十四分






感激院方等热心人士 杨锡初铭感五中






Cornell Business President's Council Mock Interview

This is mainly for those in Cornell University

Dear Cornell Undergraduates seeking internships,

With interview season fast approaching, many of you are looking for
opportunities to prepare for upcoming interviews. The Business President's
Council is proud to offer mock interviews to any student interested in
finance or consulting. Mock interviews will be conducted from 12 - 3pm this
Saturday, January 26 in Statler Hall. All of our interviewers are seniors
who have successfully navigated both the internship and full-time
interviewing processes. If you are interested, please email Kur Robin at by 5pm this Friday, January 25. Please include a copy of
your resume and indicate your field of interest (S&T, IBD, or Consulting).


Kur Robin

The Business President's Council is an organization comprised of student
leader's of business organizations across campus. The Business President's
Council is proud to have representatives from the following organizations:

Delta Sigma Pi Professional Business Fraternity (DSP), Student Agencies,
Hospitality Students International, Cornell Ithaca Microfinance Alliance,
Mutual Investment Club of Cornell (MICC), Society for Women in Business
(SWIB), 85 Broads @ Cornell, Cornell Investment Club (CIC), Cornell
Hospitality Consulting (CHC), Minority Student Business Organization,
Student Assembly Finance Commission (SAFC), Minority Industrial and Labor
Relations Student Organization (MILRSO), Financial Management Group of
Cornell, Club Managers Association of America, Cornell Undergraduate
Consulting Club (CUCC), Alpha Kappa Psi, Society of Human Resource
Management (SHRM), Cornell Accounting Association (CAA), Cornell Hospitality
Advisors, Cornell Investment Club (CIC), Financial Management Group of
Cornell, CMAA, Student Assembly Finance Commission, Cornell Consulting Group

INSEAD MBA/EMBA Information Session in Kuala Lumpur - 12 February 08

INSEAD MBA/EMBA Info Session in KL

Date:- 12 February 2008
Time:- 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Venue:- Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur

To RSVP, go to here

Honda Dream Fund

This is an opportunity for a no bond scholarship for those from low income group.


Honda Dream Fund

The Honda Dreams Fund provides underprivileged youths with a full scholarship to pursue higher education at private colleges and universities in Malaysia. The selected candidates will have the opportunity to realise their dreams and full potential.

Submit your application to us today. If you are one of the shortlisted candidates, you will be invited to attend a 3-day leadership workshop conducted by trained professionals. It is a golden opportunity to hone your management and leadership skills, and thus broaden your horizon in life.

The Honda Dreams Fund will be awarded to 20 successful candidates who meet the selection criteria set by our panel.

Honda Dreams Fund is now open for 2008. Please send in all applications before 31 March 2008.

2. Terms & Conditions

Applicants must be:

1. Age between 17 to 24 years old

2. Have at least completed and passed the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) OR Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia examination (STPM)

3. Have a combined household income of RM1,500 or less

4. Medically fit

5. Not on bond or holding any other scholarship or receiving financial assistance from any other organisation

3. Application

A. Complete an application form.
Click to download form in PDF format: English version | Malay version

B. Complete an essay
In 500 words or less on A4 paper beginning,
"Honda Dreams Fund is the opportunity I have been waiting for to realise my dreams. Since I was young, I have always aspired to be ..."

C. Attach a photocopy of the required documents:

2. Certified true copy of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and/or Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM)
3. School leaving certificate (if any)
4. Other qualifications (if any)
5. Testimonial / referees (from schools/NGOs/Homes)
6. EA Form / J Form or any other form that verifies income (if any)

4. Send to ...

Please send your completed application form, your essay and all relevant documents to:

Honda Dreams Fund
"Human Resource Development through Education and
Training for Malaysian Youth" Project
P.O Box 12544
50782, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Or email:
(including relevant attachments)


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Total Applicants to Top US Unis

This year, total applicants (Early Decision + Regular Decision) to top US Universities have been increasing by quite a lot!

Harvard University increases by 19% to 27,278.
University of Chicago increases by 18%. (International applicants grew 23% to 1,826)
Amherst College increases by 17%.
Northwestern University increases by 14% to more than 25,000.
Dartmouth College increases by 10%.
Cornell University increases by 7.5% to 32,655.
Princeton University increases by 6% to 20,118.
University of Virginia increases by 4% to 18,776.

For Early Decision, Cornell University has 3,095 students (up 3%). Cornell has accepted 1,142 of them, representing 37 percent of the Class of 2012. The acceptance rate for Early Decision is 36.8%, matching thwe rate from last year.

For total applicants from Malaysia to Cornell University, as of now, there have been at least 55 people and am expecting this number to increase further, as not all applicants have contacted me. Last year was 45 applicants, so it is up by at least 22%.

Northeast Malaysian Forum

This is a great event to participate!

Dear fellow Malaysians,

The Northeast Malaysia Forum 2008 entitled "Changing Freedoms in Malaysia"
is happening on the 29-30 of March in Boston, MA. Below are the details.

*Northeast Malaysia Forum 2008 - "Changing Freedoms in Malaysia" *
Tentative Date : March 29-30, 2008
Theme : Changing Freedoms in Malaysia
Venue : Boston, MA
Admission: Free for all, including non-Malaysians.
Transport reimbursement: Limited scholarships might be available on a
strictly need-based basis.
Confirmed Speakers/Teleconferencees:*
*Invited Speakers* : Azly Rahman, Doctorate in International Education
Development at Columbia University
Meredith Weiss, Research Fellow, East-West Center Washington DC

*Teleconferencees *: Malik Imtiaz, human rights lawyer
Steven Gan, editor-in-chief, <>
Mark Chang, CEO Jobstreet
Jeff Ooi, blogger
Colin Nicholas, Coordinator, Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)

*Proposed Program* :
Saturday (Day 1)
Breakfast, teleconference with Malaysia speakers, lunch, speeches from
invited guests, dinner/networking reception
Sunday (Day 2)
Breakfast, workshop discussion, project proposals, lunch, departure

The Northeast Malaysia Forum is a network of Malaysian students and
professionals based in the Northeast United States. It is an offshoot of the
Stanford Malaysia Forum ( ), started in the San
Francisco Bay Area in 2002 with the aim of promoting discussion about
Malaysian affairs through media and public dialogue. We strive to engage
Malaysians and interested parties in discussion about and participation in
Malaysian development in every scope and field. Among our aims are to
provide networking opportunities for Malaysian students and professionals
based in the Northeast United States and to pool together valuable human
resources and contacts who are interested in nation building.

We, the NMF, like its predecessor, the Stanford Malaysia Forum, are a
non-partisan and non-profit entity. We seek to begin conversation through
the annual Northeast Malaysia Forum, a two day event that will bring
together academics, professionals and students interested in Malaysian
current affairs. We hope that this event will provide a proper, civil and
balanced discussion of issues and flash points occurring in Malaysia,
inspire civic consciousness among overseas Malaysians and provide
opportunities for collaboration between participants and speakers.

If you or your organization would like to attend or help out with the
Northeast Malaysia Forum 2008, please leave a message here. If you would like to learn more about the Malaysia
Forum, please email

Joe Liew

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Biomedical Talk by Harvard Professor - 19 Feb

This is yet another interesting event to attend.


Dear Sir / Madam,
We would like to invite you to a talk organized by Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR). The details are as below.
Title: New and Emerging Infectious Diseases
Speaker: Dr Stephen B. Calderwood, M.D. (Professor of Harvard University)
Date: 19 February 2008 (Tuesday)
Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Venue: UTAR (Auditorium 3, Block PB)
Admission is FREE. For registration, please contact Carol or Crystal at (03) 7625 0328.

Monday, January 21, 2008

CEO Series 2: Justin Leong

This is definitely a great talk! Hope that more of you would attend it!

My friends and I are planning our second CEO series featuring: Mr Justin Leong, Head of Investment and Strategy, Genting Group.

Date: Monday 28 January 2007
         7.30pm to 9.30pm

Venue: Rumah UKEC, 67 jalan u thant kuala lumpur

Justin Leong is also President of the Malaysian Investor Relations Association , a KLSE organization. In 2008, at 29 years of age, he is the youngest in the Genting Group Board of Management.

Genting Group is Malaysia's most profitable stock for many years running.

Hope to see u guys there. Please do let everyone know and bring your friends. If you are attending please RSVP me at this e-mail.


Khatijah Rahmat

For further queries please do not hesitate to reach me at this e-mail, or my colleague, Ilyas Jamil at .

You can also get in touch with Firdaus Fuaad at


Khatijah Rahmat
KRA Group
Hp: 012 3111177
Tel: 03-20940154
Fax: 03-20940116




Thaipusam - Public Holiday for Kuala Lumpur & Putrajaya

Prime Minister, YAB Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has announced that this Wednesdya, Thaipusam would be a public holiday for Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Putrajaya. This would mean that for Klang Valley folks, we would have one fewer day of working days.


Would like to wish everyone, Selamat Menyambut Thaipusam too!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

JPA Scholarships

Republished my earlier posts at ReCom and Tin Kosong on JPA Scholarships.

Since I wrote this in January 2007, a couple of new things have been changed.

1. Those with at least 10A1s and with family income of below RM1,500, would be guaranteed JPA Overseas Scholarship.

2. Proportion of marks for SPM results is now 70% and interview is 10%.

I would again want to mention that this is written with what I think the JPA Scholarships are. I'm by no way writing this with authority. Am just writing this as an ex-JPA Scholar. So, please read this at your own risk. Good Luck on your scholarship applications!


Are you students who have just taken your SPM a couple of months ago? Do you desire to further your studies abroad under a full scholarship from the Public Service Department (or fondly known as the Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA))? Do you have the aspiration to serve the nation? If your answers are yes for all the above questions, do read ahead!

I am writing this based on my personal experience of being a JPA scholar, my interaction with other scholars through and TinKosong in the past few years. Whatever that is shared below is in no way constituting the official information from JPA This is just for your guidance and if there is any discrepancy, always follow the information from JPA as the information changes frequently. I am writing this based on information gathered from batches up to SPM 2005.

To qualify for the scholarship, the current minimum requirement is A2 for all the core subjects. This would include Bahasa Malaysia, History, English, Islamic Education/Moral Education, as well as main subjects for your field. For example, for science stream students, it would be Mathematic, Additional Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

For each major, a distinct combination of subjects would be required as the minimum requirement. This is very crucial! Do not apply for courses that you do not fulfill the minimum requirements, especially if you do not take that subject in SPM. I can’t recall the exact combination of courses that are required for Economics but this is a very common pitfall where students who do not take those subjects in SPM would not even be offered an interview even though they attain straights A1s in SPM.

Based on past experience, getting a B3 in any of the subject mentioned above would most likely mean that you would not get the chance to even attend the interview. One thing to note is that typically, there would be more than 5000 SPM candidates who fulfill the requirement out of 400,000 SPM leavers.

For SPM 2004 batch, a total of 1,290 of JPA scholarships were offered. This means that on average, for 300 SPM takers, there would be 1 JPA scholar, or about 0.33% of chances for a typical SPM taker. About the same number of scholarships was offered last year, and if there is no change in JPA’s policy, we would expect the same number of scholarships this year.10,098 students applied for JPA scholarships for SPM 2004 batch, so on average, the chance is about 12.77%. Of course, the number of applicants would increase every year and bring down the chances.

Usually the application deadline for JPA scholarships is 10-14 days after the SPM results are announced. The interview process would normally happen in April. For those who apply for medical courses, you would be expected to spend a day or two in hospital, so that JPA can gauge your dedication towards medical fields. Usually, the scholarship decision would be known in May of June. For SPM 2005 batch, JPA offered scholarships for the following majors to the following countries. This list might very from year to year.

On the selection criteria, JPA focuses on 9 core subjects for academic results. This would constitute 65% (Edit: This should be 70% now) of the selection points. Based on past experience, it is very crucial to have 9A1s in these core subjects (there are hundreds, if not thousands of students with 9A1s for their core subjects), especially if you are applying for competitive programs.

Family income would constitute another 10% of the selection. Based on past year’s counting, those with family monthly income of RM5000 of below (majority of Malaysian family falls under this category. Monthly income of approximately RM1500 per month ould mean 10 points, RM5001-RM10000 would mean 5 points and more than RM10001 would mean 0 point. The other 10% would come from co-curricular activities.

There are 3 aspects for these co-curricular activities, i.e. uniformed bodies/clubs/societies, sports and other achievements. For each aspect, you are evaluated for your top 5 unique achievements. If you have achievements in only 1 sport, then you would receive zero point for the other 4 achievements in sports. For sports and other achievements categories, it would be based on your highest level of representation.

For past years, it doesn’t matter whether you win or not in the competition. It is measured based on your highest level of representation. So, it would be 1 point for representing the country, 0.8 point for representing the state, 0.6 point for representing the district, 0.4 point for representing the school and 0.2 point for representing clubs/societies. So, if you only represent your school in 1 report, you would get 0.4 out of 5 points. I am not too sure how the 15% is converted to 10%.

There are 2 possibilities of how it is done. Normalize that 15% to 10%, or choose the top 2 categories. I would think that the former method is done. For uniformed bodies/clubs/societies, this is based on your highest position held. Head prefect would most probably earn you 1% and the chain of point goes down as you move down the layer of positions, eg: President of Clubs/Societies, Prefects, Secretary, Vice President, Treasurer, Committee Member, Member etc. It is crucial for you to fill up the form with the optimum point in mind. You would need to show the certificates during interview, and that is just to verify that you fill up honestly.

A common misconception of applicants would be that they think that they have excellent co-curricular activities (especially if they are comparing with their friends in same high school). However, one thing to note, there are thousands of high school. Let’s put this into perspective. Assume that you are a prefect, president of 1 society in school, secretary in another society in school and a committee member of another society. Lets assume that we have only 1,000 secondary schools in Malaysia, and each school, has 20 prefects only (most schools have much more) and 20 societies only (with 1 president, 1 secretary and 5 committee members). This would mean that there are 20,000 prefects in Malaysia, 20,000 presidents of societies, 20,000 secretaries and 100,000 committee members.

The last portion of 15% (Edit: This should be 10% now) is interview performance. This is typically a group discussion of between 6-12 people, where you would get questions of a topic, eg: National Service, and you are required to discuss among fellow JPA scholarship applicants for 1 hour. For a long list of past-year interview questions, please go to The Worldwide Malaysian Students Network for it. During the interview, JPA officers would often let the group of you to discuss freely, where they just sit back and observe.

The most common pitfall is dominating the discussion. Often, students would come out from the interview room, thinking that they have done very well, since they provide more than half of the discussion content, and speak for like 30 minutes during the 1 hour. If you are doing this, your chance diminishes close to zero. What they are observing is your leadership abilities, communication skills, listening skills (This is crucial, most people just think of sharing your thoughts and not augmenting what others say), analytical skills etc.

If there are group members who are quiet, you should lead and guide them to share their opinion. You should try to lead the discussion into a framework, where you will not fall out of topic. It is very easy to sway from the topic of discussion. Try to summarize the discussion too. This would show your management and leadership skill, which is crucial for future civil servants. Provide solid arguments with convincing examples and not just mere loads of normal ideas. Quality matters. Do make eye contacts with the interviewers and other students.

If you are not successful in your application, you should definitely try your best to appeal. If you do not appeal, you stand zero chance of getting the scholarship. If you appeal, you would have a finite positive chance of getting the scholarship. So, why not try? Merely complaining that it is not fair would not boost your chance at all. JPA would have a specific form for you to appeal. Do submit your appeal directly to JPA, while providing a copy to various parties to help you appeal. MCA, through the leadership of YB Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting, has managed to help many students appealing to JPA. The same goes to Gerakan, UMNO, MIC as well.

I hope this sharing would benefit many of you, especially those of you who did your SPM in 2006. Good Luck to all of you! Hopefully you would share this resource with your friends. Explore all the information here in TinKosong, a site which is fully run by volunteers to help fellow younger generation of Malaysians, i.e. you! If you have anything to share, do write in to TinKosong so that you are be able to share with fellow Malaysians! Being one of the co-developer of The Worldwide Malaysian Student Network (Another site fully run by volunteers, with total web hits exceeding 8.8 million), I would encourage you to visit that site too (if you haven’t), to read through tons of sharing by many who have gone through the process of applying for scholarships, as well as questions by many of your peers. Do post your questions there (There is no stupid question!) and do share any information that you know with your friends. (The more you share, the more others are willing to share too). We are trying to inculcate the sharing and learning culture. For the past few years, hundreds of JPA scholars are members. Hopefully, we can see the same trend again this year. Good luck!


Youth '08 & MCA 9 Point Party Platform Expo

Since Friday, I have been at PWTC. Was helping out at the JPA Scholarships booth for MCA, to share some of my experience with fellow Malaysians who want to know more about the scholarships. Haven't met that many interested students. Occasionally, there would be interested parents coming along to ask questions.

Why I am doing this? To me, this is a good way for me to give back to community. I am lucky to get scholarships to study abroad, so now, it is a great way for me to give back to community. Why shouldn't I? After all, I have spent so much of taxpayers' money on my education!

MCA has put up 35 booths on the 9 Point Party Platform, to showcase various aspects that MCA has put in efforts over the past few years. A long list of MCA leaders have visited the booths, and often, they really spend time at the booth, chatting with us and try to find out more from us!

YB Dato' Seri Ong Ka Ting, MCA President led a delegate to visit the booth on Friday afternoon, around 5pm or so. Dato' Seri did spend a few minutes at the booth to know more about the JPA Scholars. Dato' Seri even told us that he had sent 1,773 emails to Chinese JPA Scholars to reach out to them! That's no easy feat! Dato' Seri Ong Ka Ting has definitely put in a lot of hard works in ensuring that JPA Scholarships are obtainable by fellow Malaysians, including Chinese community. He has brought up suggestions to Cabinet and eventually accepted, including the idea of providing guarantee JPA Scholarships for those students with at least 10A1s and with family income less than RM1,500. Dato' Seri Ong Ka Ting fought this policy, not just for the Chinese Community, but for all Malaysians, irrespective of races!

Besides Dato' Seri Ong Ka Ting, other VIPs who have visited the booth, included YB Datuk Liow Tiong Lai, YB Datuk Ong Tee Keat, YB Dato' Ng Yen Yen, YB Dato' Fu Ah Kiow, YB Senator Datuk Lee Sing Chooi, YB Wong Nai Chee etc.

Talking about this event, Youth'08, it is a great initiative by Youth '08 led by Joel Neoh. I got the opportunity to meet up with him during the Traffic Jam (the bloggers' gathering). Over there, Timothy Tiah, Founder of Nuffnang was there too!

Besides these celebrities, I got the opportunities to chat with Su Ann , whom I have chatted before on Gtalk several times, but never really chatted face-to-face. She reminded me that we have met before during Malaysia Student Leaders Summit. Sorry, Su Ann (or fondly known as pinkpau) for not able to recognize you. But hey, I did drop by your blog station at PWTC leh! :P Good Luck on your university applications~!

Christopher Tock from UKEC was there too, and had a great chat with him. Met Nicholas Chay, who was formerly from Accenture and is now with Nuffnang! Thanks to Ern Sheong for dropping by too! Saw Kenny Sia there, but didn't get the chance to approach him.

Guess I must have left out some names of people I have met. Really sorry.

I would also like to thank a long list of JPA Scholars who have willingly volunteered to be at the JPA Scholarships booth, as well as sharing on stage. Thanks a lot!

Thanks a lot to Kok Siong, as well as those from Lifelong Learning, led by Quek Ngee Meng, Sue, Hellen, Mavis etc.

Met Tengku Zafrul & Others at Youth '08

Finally, I managed to meet the guy who is on display in many RapidKL buses and in newspaper. Tengku Zafrul .

He is the CEO of Tune Money. One of the younger generation leaders who have made it big. If I don't remember wrongly from facebook, he is around 35 in age. Gosh, I am already 27, and I am no where near what I think I would achieve by 35.

Despite a small crowd at the Main Stage of Hall 4 when Tengku Zafrul made the appearance at Youth '08 Expo , he still spoke passionately. Together with him was a comedian, as well as another young CEO, Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of Air Asia X. Both are really new breed CEO!

They are very willing to share their personal experience and I managed to catch small chats with them. Was very surprised when Tengku Zafrul mentioned that he had been to my this blog, which is really nothing. Don't think my blog attracts much traffic, but having a CEO who even bothered to visit a blog of someone he never met before, really said a lot about the character of this CEO, who resigned from Citibank to be the head of this StartUp called Tune Money.

Tengku Zafrul has been very direct in admitting on mistakes or shortcomings of his product. He is not the type that said that everything is perfect. He takes feedback very well and he acted upon them.

A few days back, upon Firdaus's invitation, he gave a speech at Rumah UKEC. I had to miss it as I was in Singapore, but that is definitely a great experience for those who made it.

Tengku Zafrul blogs about that here

His full speech is reproduced here for those who are lazy to click on his blog and read it. :)

By Zafrul | January 16, 2008

The CEO series kicked off yesterday. There was a better turnout than I expected and some really interesting questions posed. Overall it was pretty informal, just me sharing my experiences, although I did notice that some people had their notebooks out and were scribbling furiously. I guess they haven’t quite kicked their university habits!

I would definitely recommend that you go to the next talk in the series as Dato’ Azman Mokhtar of Khazanah is supposed to be speaking.

Here’s my speech in case you’re interested:

When Firdaus contacted me on Facebook to do this, I asked him, what do you want me to talk about? He said, talk about how you got to where you are. So I thought about it.

Where am I? A little start-up called Tune Money. Some of you may have heard of it. Others may have been stuck behind a bus with my face grinning at you from one of our advertisements. Yeah, that one.

How did I get here? Firstly, there was an opportunity. I was in a comfortable job with a corner office and company car when it came along. I was not thinking of moving, but you know, opportunity seldon strikes when you are looking for it. It just strikes in its own time.

If it’s big enough, it will probably scare the pants off you and you’ll want to crawl back into your comfortable hole and hide. You do so at your peril! Opportunity doesn’t hang around forever. And you could be kicking yourself somewhere down the road for not taking it.

All it takes is a little courage and a lot of foolhardiness. You hold your breath; you take the plunge.

I notice that people an do so much more than they give themselves credit for. I once read the phrase: “throw your heart over the bar and your body will follow”. What this means is, take the chance and do your best. Somehow, you will find the resources to do it. Because if you were offered the job, it means someone, somewhere believed you were capable of doing it.

So now, what’s left, is for you to believe in yourself. And work your butt off to justify their faith in you.

So my first piece of “advice” if you will, is to take the opportunity. As I’ve said in my blog recently, if you have the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.

Secondly, never underestimate the value of good mentors. I have been very blessed in this way. I’ve always had good mentors. From my earliest days there was my grandfather, Atok, a brilliant businessman who practiced very simple principles, both in life and business.

Since then, I count among my gurus, Dato’ Tony Fernandes and Dato’ Nazir Razak.

If you ask me how one goe about looking for mentors, I would say, keep your eyes open. They turn up in the most unlikely places. Your mentor’s advice could even be buried in the next book you pick up. But you have to be humble enough to accept guidance. Don’t think you know it all or that you know better, because believe me, you don’t. And if you would just accept this, you would progress a whole lot quicker.

How do you evaluate a good mentor? Self evident. Look at his or her track record. What has he achieved? Do you respect her? Do you want to be like him? This is important as you cannot have a mentor you don’t respect and look up to.

When I helped start-up Tune Money I found it was a matter of managing the 3Ps -people, products and partners. That sounds like management-speak, doesn’t it? You know how management consultants always like reducing concepts to letters of the alphabet. Anyway it was about hiring the right people, designing the right products and working with the right partners.

Getting the right team together was probably the most challenging of the lot. I mean you can hire based on brilliant CVs and good interviews and still find that the person comes up short or is not the right fit for the company. Then it is my unpleasant job not to confirm them, or to let them go. I know I got some practice for this on The Firm but there is a difference beween real life and reality TV, however slight.

You see, large companies can afford deadwood or people who just chug along, not contributing 200 %. A start-up cannot. Our staff must be versatile enough to take on multiple roles. We throw you in the deep end and you do whatever it takes to swim to shore.

There’s no training ground like it but it’s not for everyone. And it helps if your colleagues are stakeholders, meaning they have stock options in the company. It puts them on their best creative incentive turning them into entrepreneurs rather than employees. They think and react in a different way.

Getting the product right is always a tricky one. You have to think of the end customer, who they are, what they need, and work backwards from there. Of course, this bit is always a work in progress and you keep modifying your offering based on feedback. so always be open to feedback and thank your customers for it, even if it comes in the form of rude or nasty complaints. I realise that while there are some people who just love finding fault with no desire to work towards a solution, others are genuinely concerned. I know that at Tune Money we have been very blessed in our customers. Many of them contact me directly via my blog and they are very patient and our best cheerleaders.

As for partners, this was a tricky one. When negotiating, especially if you’re a start-up, realise from the outset that you’re not going to get everything you ask for. The big companies you’re talking to have the advantage over you. Stand your ground and don’t let them bully you but be flexible enough to arrive at a compromise or the negotiations will take forever. And you really don’t have time for that as there’s too much business to be done.

When selecting your key partners make sure they are companies you can work with. Ask around for feedback from their present clients. Don’t go in with your eyes closed or you’ll have to pay for it somewhere down the line.

When we launhed our insurance products, there were technical glitches that we discovered close to midnight the day before. (If you want to read more about this saga, I gave a blow-by-blow description on my blog). I had to re-call the staff who had gone home and we did user acceptance testing until morning.

We went through the actual launch with no sleep and couldn’t go live at that point because the system didn’t work. It was an exhausting, nerve-wracking period and I spent most of my time, on the one hand, trying to push our technology partner for a quick resolution, and on the other, trying to manage perception. The blog came in very handy here. Eventually it was solved and everything was working but that was a harrowing few days, especially as it was our first product launch. Similarly, there are technical glitches with our prepaid cards as our customers write in to tell us.

The thing about problems, the 4th P if you will, is that you need to solve them. Don’t waste time pointing fingers or passing the buck because while that may relieve you temporarily, the problem still exists. So solve it and move on. Be sure as CEO to take personal responsibility for them, whatever they are. No one respects a CEO who needs to point the finger and blame his or her colleagues. If you’re a buck-passer, pass on this job as you’re probably not cut out for it.

From quite a few things I have already said you would probably get that our communications strategy is key. At Tune Money we have come up with a variety of ways to talk to our customers. There is my blog which I started two weeks before the launch of our first product, there is my column in the NST in which I talk about life, the universe and everything, Facebook, the hottest networking site at the moment, and our call centre. In fact, as I said before, Firdaus found me on Facebook and I believe that most of you here received your invites to this event through Facebook.

Understand that we’re in the era of Web 2.0. Nearly everyone is connected and if you want to communicate with the public you are going to have to use the tools they use. Blogs and networking sites are not “out there”. They’re the communication tools of the new age. And tomorrow there will be different ones. So talk to a lot of people, get a sense of the trends and always be willing to modify your strategy. The key thing is to communicate and you do whatever it takes.

A CEO today has to be hands-on. He or she cannot delegate and go out for another round of golf. That may have been what it was like before but that time has passed. You need to know what’s going on at every level. Things are likely to slip if you let them. It helps if you’re an insomniac especially when you find yourself in meetings at three in the morning. You have to learn to be a performer because most likely you will be the face of the company and if people like and trust you, they will like and trust your company.

Although you may be tempted to oversell, don’t! Try to keep it real. A little credibility goes a long way. You’re going to have to work harder than you ever have.

Being a CEO is not a glamour job.

It just appears that way.

Do you have the stomach for it?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Festival VidéEau

The Festival VidéEau is an international competition for video clips organized by the International Secretariat for Water (ISW), in preparation for the International "Water and Film" Events that will take place in Istanbul in 2009, within the context of the 5th World Water Forum.

The Festival VidéEau invites young people aged from 17 to 30, to submit 90 second or shorter video clips on the theme "Water, People and Sustainable Development". The winners of the competition will be announced at a prize-giving ceremony to be held during the World Youth Congress, taking place in Quebec, Canada, from 10 to 21 August 2008.

The winners of the Festival VidéEau will automatically be selected for the official competition of the International "Water and Film" events.

The prizes for the three winning clips will be:
First prize: 2000$US
Second prize: 1500$US
Third prize: 1000$US

For further information, see or contact:

Marianne Strauss
International Secretariat for Water

Cornell Contact Meeting in Malaysia

Thanks to Christine from UPenn for this great idea. Would do the same for Cornell.


Would like all applicants from Malaysia for Regular Decision for Cornell University, to kindly contact me via email ( Would like to arrange for Contact Meetings for Cornell University.

This is part of Cornell Alumni Admission Ambassador Network. This would provide Cornell Admission Office with greater understanding of you as an applicant, as well as for you to know more about Cornell University.

The Contact Meetings would be held on 26th and 27th January 2008 at 3rd Floor Starbucks KLCC. (Time to be fixed after I get email from you)

As of now, Cornell University is still processing your application forms, and hence, it might take another week or two before all applications show up in our system. And in view of Chinese New Year holiday, we would hope to be able to conduct Contact Meetings for almost all applicants on 26th and 27th January 2008.

Please kindly forward this to all applicants of Cornell University.

Please include the following details when you email me at :-
Name (As per your university application):
College/Major Applied:
High School Attended (As per your university application):
Phone Number:
Email Address:
(If you have any time within 26th and 27th January that you can't make it, please kindly let me know. Would try to arrange, but no guarantee.)


Chen Chow
Chairman of Cornell Alumni Admission Ambassador Network Committee 852 (Malaysia)

UPenn Interview in Malaysia

Helping Christine from UPenn to post this. Do email me and I'll link you to her.

Dear all,
The Alumni Secondary School Committee is running admissions interviews for freshmen applicants to the University of Pennsylvania and I would appreciate if you could forward this email to anyone you know who applied this year from Malaysia and cc me. We have not received the final list from Penn and want to be sure no one is left out.

The interviews will be held at the following dates and times:

Dates: Saturday, January 26 and Sunday, February 10
Time: 2pm or 3.30pm
Venue: Business Centre, Equatorial Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Dress code: Smart casual

Information required:

First Name, Last Name as per Penn application:
Current school (or as per Penn aplication):
Cellphone no:
Available dates and times (indicate preference):

The format will be similar to last year's:

1. You will be scheduled for a time slot at either 2pm or 3.30pm depending on available slots and your availability.
2. We will begin interviewing people in each time slot in the order of sign-in at the business centre and we'll try to match applicants to alumni by school so that we can be more helpful.
3. Each interview should take about 20-30 minutes so the longest you should have to wait is an hour.

Thanks in advance for your help,
Christine Lim

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Start-Up@Singapore 2008 - Stop Dreaming, Make Ideas Happen!

For those in Singapore, check this out!


It's Open Season here at Start-Up@Singapore (S@S) 2008!


After our Official Launch, CEO Unplugged, Youth Boot Camp and An Insider's View to Silicon Valley, it's reached that time of year when we start to kick off our nation-wide business plan competition.


S@S is now accepting online executive summary submissions all the way till midnight of 17 February 2008 . Take part and vie for a share of our S$300,000 worth of cash and prizes. Winners also stand a chance to take part in other international competitions like the Intel+UC Berkeley Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge and the Global Talentpreneur Innovation Competition.


In addition, we are also pleased to unveil the Interactive Digital Media (IDM) Award sponsored by BuzzCity. This award, worth SG$10,000 in cash, will recognize the most exciting and innovative business plan in the IDM space from amongst the numerous entries that we expect to receive. Mentorship opportunities and media publicity are also up for grabs!


Simply click HERE to register!


If you need help in creating that winning executive summary, get tips from Dr Bernard Leong here. Dr Leong is the Founder of SGEntrepreneurs, a former judge of S@S and a trusted advisor to the NUS Entrepreneurship Society.


Looking for talent to form a team? Click here to make use of our Team Matcher service.


A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Take yours today.




The Team

Start-Up@Singapore 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Blog Template

Need some help on my blog template..

Anyone knows how to move that orange line to the side? I extend the main area of my blog, but somehow fail to move that line...


MCA 9-Point Party Platform Exhibition

MCA 9-Point Party Platform Exhibition

Date            18-20 January 2008
Time            10am-10pm (Friday- Saturday)
                   10am-8pm (Sunday)
Venue          Putra World Trade Centre ( Hall 3 & Hall 4)


Activity at: HALL 4 

Program at 9PPP Pavilion Stage

18/1/08            Friday

11am-12pm The Malaysian Dotcom Youth Search - Main Stage

Time Slot





Business Funding 5c's Strategy English

Ching Chee Pun
- Chartered Accountant



Sharing by JPA Scholars On Their Experience  (English & Mandarin)

Yeoh Chen Chow
- Former JPA Scholar/ Management Consultant



Debt Management (English)

Gunasegaran Munusamy  (Segaran )

- Credit Counsellor  



Briefing on Recruitment of Civil Servant and

Police Force

Fong Tian Yong

-Adviser of Ministry of Housing and Local Government

Liew Swee Liang

-Director of Policy Division, KPKT



Law Of Defamation (English)

Ivan Chen
- Lawyer



Memory Power: Forget No More (English)

Anant Kasibhatla

- Recognised as "Man with the most phenomenal memory in India".



Quality Early Childhood Education And Community Service (English)

Doreen Lye B.H

- Registrar & Student Counsellor of Institute CECE Malaysia


19/01/08          Saturday

8.30am-6.00pm  The 1st National Youth Entrepreneur Convention 2008    - Dewan Tun Hussein Onn                                        







The 1st National Youth Entrepreneur Convention 2008

Presented by 13 Young Successful Entrepreneurs below age 30



How Do You Earn Extra Income Via eBay? (English)

Chris Chan

- Founder of, Education Specialist of eBay



Making Money And Adding Value Via The Internet (English)

Han-son Toh 

- Country Consultant for a renowned IT firm



Money Works @ Wealth Management (English)

Sean Lee

- CEO, Oscar Wealth Advisory Sdn Bhd 



Introduction to Blog Design (Mandarin)

Sean Tan

- Marketing Director, KPI Global Consultancy



Doors To Education Loan (Mandarin)

Lee Wei Kee

- Manager of Education Info Services Unit,  Kojadi



Modern Dance (15mins)

Presented by MCA Bentong Lifelong Learning Centre



Sharing by JPA Scholars On Their Experience  (Mandarin)


Yeoh Chen Chow

- Former JPA Scholar / Management Consultant



Painting With Your Brain: Mind Mapping & Creativity (English)

Liew Kok Chong

- Buzan's Licensed instructor accredited by Buzan Australia



Knowing What You Want And Getting What You Want (English)

Dr. Alvin Teoh

- Certified Practitioner of Hypnosis and a Certified Teacher in Speech & Drama  



Legal Talk: Intellectual Property (English)

Alex Kok
- Lawyer



Family Basic First Aid  (Mandarin)

Dr. Lai Kuang Choy

- Head of Medical Unit,CRSM



Reading Club: An Inconvenient Truth (English)

Wong Mun Heng

Robert Chong Wei Kuen

- Experienced volunteers for the Tzu-Chi Foundation

20/01/08          Sunday  

2.30pm-6.30pm            Treasure Hunt - 9PPP Pavillion







Entrepreneur Group Coaching: Turning Dreams into Deals  (English)


Jennifer Low

- VTalent & International Professional Certified Coach (PCC)




Mobile Community (English)

Joseph Chew

- Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Byte One Technology Sdn Bhd



Web Marketing (English)


Jeffri Shahul Hamid

- Founder & CEO, Teneo Technologies



Striving towards Job Excellent  (English)

Cheong Kwai Fong

- Professional Trainer



Empower 1st Move Entrepreneurship   (English)

Chung Muh Sha

- Senior Partner, Oscar Wealth Advisory Sdn Bhd



Sharing by JPA Scholars On Their Experience  (Mandarin)


Cheryl Yeoh

- Former JPA Scholar, Master of Engineering in Engineering Management



Managing Difficult People (English)


Cheong Kwai Fong

- Professional Trainer



Raising Up Upright Children by Upright Parents  (Mandarin)

Poh Seng Titt

- Founder of Mentor Publisher




Treasure Hunt




Autograph Session with Eddie See, Comic Artist  (Mandarin)

Eddie See

- Comic Artist



Reading Club: An Inconvenient Truth (Mandarin)

Tan Chee Wei

- Admin DirectorTzu-Chi Foundation (KL Branch)



Quality Early Childhood Education and Community Service (Mandarin)

Yap Kooi Siam

- Senior Trainer of Institute CECE Malaysia


For enquiry please contact:

Tel: 03-21618044 ext 420 (Ms. Hellen Tan)