Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mind Mapping & Creativity and Memory Skills

This could be something for those interested to check out.


Dear Sir / Madam

Greetings from Centre for Extension Education, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman.

We take pleasure in informing you of two upcoming training programmes offered by the University. I am pleased to invite you and members of your esteemed organisation for participation. The details of the programmes are as follows:

1       Programme:      The Buzan Techniques: Mind Mapping® and Creativity
       Date / Day:     1 & 2 December 2008 (Monday & Tuesday)

2       Programme:      Memory Skills
       Date / Day:     16 & 17 December 2008 (Tuesday & Wednesday)

       Time:   9.00am -5.00pm
       Fee:    RM600* per participant / programme
(Fee includes course materials, lunch, refreshment and Certificate of Attendance
awarded by Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman)
       Venue:  Centre for Extension Education, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (PJ Campus)

* 10% discount for a group of 3 or more participants from the same organisation

We are pleased to enclose brochures providing the course details. Should you require further information, please contact: Hema / Joleena at Tel: 03-79572818, 03-79555181 ext 8266, H/P: 016 223 3563, Fax: 03-7957 3818 or

We look forward to your participation.

Thank you

Yours sincerely

Dr Prudence Goh
Centre for Extension Education
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman

PhD Scholarship in NTU for Mechanical Engineering

This is open for those who intend to apply for PhD with Scholarship in NTU for Mechanical Engineering.

This ad is quoted from

Graduate Student Recruitment for 2009 Admission (Malaysian Students)

The School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore invites applications for PhD studentship for the year of 2009. With a faculty strength of about 150 professors, the School of MAE is probably the largest Mechanical Engineering school in the world. Our professors' expertise covers a large spectrum of research areas, including Micro Systems & Bio/Nanotechnology, Mechanics of Nano/Bio-Materials and Structures, Virtual Reality/Robotics & Intelligent Systems, Systems & Engineering Management, Clean Energy, Sensors and Actuators, and Aerospace Engineering. Further information about the School can be found at the link

A. Basic Requirements

A Master degree or a Bachelor degree (First or Second Upper class) in a relevant field from a reputable university.
Minimum TOEFL score of 570 and minimum GRE score of 1200/3.5 (for those without these test scores, see Section D below).
Passing an interview given by an NTU/MAE professor (see Section D below).
Published (or in press) international journal papers will be a plus.

B. Research Scholarship

Successful applicants will receive the following:

Full tuition fee worth up to S$44,000.
Monthly stipend of S$2,000.For students who pass the PhD Qualifying Examination, the stipend can be increased to S$2,500, subject to good performance in courses and research.
The maximum period of the award is four years, subject to good performance and progress.
Overseas conference support.
C. Application Procedure

Submit an online application to:

Mail the hard copy of the application package to the address listed on the application form including (a) two recent photos, (b) scores of TOEFL/IELTS/GRE/GMAT/GATE if available (if unavailable, you may still submit your application, but see Section D on how to satisfy the test score requirement), (c) official transcripts of Bachelor's and Master's degree and official English translations, (d) copies of Bachelor's and Master's degree certificates and official English translations, (e) two recommendation letters, (f) research proposal, CV, publication list, and any other supporting documents.
D. English Proficiency Test (EPT) , Technical Proficiency Test (TPT) and Interview

For those applicants who satisfy the basic requirements stated in Section A but without TOEFL and GRE scores, you may be invited to take the EPT and TPT in NTU on Friday, January 16, 2009. EPT and TPT scores may be submitted in lieu of TOEFL and GRE scores for your admission application. Invited students should come to Singapore (at own expense) and take both tests on site in NTU on the specified date above. Please email Ms Soh Meow Chng (address given below) as early as possible if you wish to take these tests.

An interview may also be given to students who take the EPT and TPT in NTU. Students with TOEFL and GRE scores may also be interviewed by phone.
Should you have any inquiry please feel free to contact Ms Soh Meow Chng at

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

ReComers Gathering at Youth '08 (10th January 2009) 3pm to 5pm at PWTC

Youth Malaysia will be organizing Youth '09 from 9th to 11th January 2009 at PWTC.

Quoting the write-up of the event
YOUTH'09, Malaysia's largest youth lifestyle event is a 3 day festival to be held on 9th-11th January at the Putra World Trade Centre, bringing together youth communities from all over Malaysia for a range of exciting activities. Themed "Malaysia's Largest Youth Lifestyle Revolution", 50,000 young Malaysians aged 16 to 28 from different backgrounds and youth communities will be coming together to organize and participate in over 100 activities involving fashion, dance, music, entrepreneurship, personal growth, career and other youth interests.

You can view the trailer, event details, and meet youths who are going at Youth '09

What is much more exciting is that Youth Malaysia is offering to give a slot for - The Worldwide Malaysian Students Network to organize a grand ReComers Gathering there at Youth '09.

I have tentatively submitted a booking with Youth Malaysia for our ReComers gathering to be held on Saturday (10th January 2009) 3pm to 5pm at Putra World Trade Center.

Now, a mission for ReComers would be:-
1. Gather all ReComers who are interested to attend!
2. Come out with an event plan on what we want to do during that 2 hour slot.

Please throw any idea you have here ! Lets make this our largest gathering of ReComers!!!

Ideally the activities could help us spread the words of to others, as well as create funness for the members to have a gathering!

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008 Ranks 19th Most Valuable Brand in Malaysia again defies the odd to become the first online company to be awarded the prestigious 4As and The Edge Top 30 Most Valuable Brands in Malaysia Award.

This is definitely a significant breakthrough for, to be able to squeeze into this list of Top 30 and not only that, it actually managed to win the 19th position! That's fantastic news, and it is great that the hard work by entire and also all the 5 Million job seekers registered in, are recognized! brand equity is being valued at RM391 Million, which is about the same amount as its market capitalization! That's awesome!!!

Some of you might be wondering where would Air Asia be placed? And interestingly enough, Air Asia is ranked no. 21, and that means does beat Air Asia in the brand value!

The full list of Top 30 Companies are as follow:-

For full news article, do read here from The Edge

26-11-2008: Maybank is M’sia’s most valuable brand for 2nd year running
by Emily Tan, Kathleen Tan & Aznita Ahmad Pharmy

PETALING JAYA: For the second year running, Maybank has been ranked as Malaysia’s most valuable brand with a brand value of RM9.3 billion in a valuation study commissioned by 4As (the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia) and The Edge.

The Malaysia’s Most Valuable Brands (MMVB) 2008 study, conducted by leading brand consultancy Interbrand, also ranked Public Bank, with a brand value of RM6.8 billion, as Malaysia’s second most valuable brand, followed by CIMB, with a brand value of RM6.3 billion.
The three banks, together with Genting (RM4.5 billion), Parkson (RM4.2 billion), and Celcom (RM3.9 billion), make up the six most valuable brands. All six had a brand value that exceeded US$1 billion (RM3.6 billion) each.

The total brand value of Malaysia’s 30 Most Valuable Brands was RM61.8 billion, up from RM56.6 billion last year.

The top 30 brands were honoured at a gala event here last night. The guest of honour, Tan Sri Amirsham Abdul Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, handed out the awards.
“Brand valuation is a step in the right direction. Brands build trust. With the economic situation, branding has become even more important,” said Amirsham.

According to the study, despite a small drop of 3% in value, Maybank still tops the league table. Its acquisition in Indonesia has not affected the results as the study was based on year-end 2007 financials.

Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar, president and CEO of Maybank who received the award last night, said he was happy with the ranking even though the brand value had decreased slightly. “So as we move forward locally, we will aim for the Maybank brand to be recognised, not only in Malaysia, but also in the Southeast Asian region.”

On the other hand, CIMB’s mergers and acquisitions in 2006 and its unifying brand strategy saw its brand value jump 83% to RM6.3 billion from RM3.4 billion last year, the highest increase among the top 30.

“This is a testament to our investment over the last year, We will continue with our long-term strategy as it has proven effective,” said Effendy Shahul Hamid, head of group corporate communications, CIMB Group.

The brand value of DiGi, which moved up one notch from No 10 last year, grew 35% despite a highly competitive and licence-restricted marketplace, said Interbrand in a press release issued yesterday.

Maxis is not in the rankings this year as it has been delisted from Bursa Malaysia. One of the criteria for MMVB is that the brands must be owned by listed companies as the study is based on publicly available information. Brands must also be consumer-facing and Malaysian-owned or originated.

National icon Proton saw the biggest fall in brand value of 37%, causing it to drop from No 23 last year to No 28 this year. The study noted that Perodua’s brand value now stands at more than 15 times that of Proton.

Interbrand’s methodology values brands in the same way that other corporate assets are valued, on the basis of how much the brands are likely to earn for their owners in the future. “Interbrand uses a combination of analysts’ projections, financial reports, and its own analysis to arrive at a net present value of those earnings,” said Interbrand group CEO Jez Frampton.
Interbrand noted that global turbulence roiling the markets had not fully impacted, except for falling margins and the increase in provisioning in general. The brand risk factor has also increased, it added.

4As president Datuk Vincent Lee said the study put Malaysia among the few Asian countries that currently recognised the value of brands as business and economic assets. “It helps the growth of business and celebrates the true heroes of economic value generation, the brand builders of a nation,” he added.

Ho Kay Tat, managing director and editor-in-chief of The Edge, said the study “creates a platform for discussing the role of brand-building, ensuring business health and earnings continuity”.

“Through all this (economic turmoil) it has been very clear that brands are a powerful driver of recovery. Fundamentally, brands are there to enable consumers to choose. They mark out one offer from a company from somebody else’s. They are the reason why people will buy, and the reason why people will repurchase. They are a driver of demand,” said Frampton at a press conference earlier.

This year, three new brands made it to the top 30 — Sin Chew (No 27), (No 19) and Ogawa (No 29). is the first online brand to make it into the list.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share

Invitation to HPAIR 2009 Harvard Conference

Thanks to Jing Pei for highlighting this!

Want to:
PARTICIPATE in Harvard's largest annual student events,
ENGAGE in discussions regarding critical trends that Asia and the global community face today,
INTERACT with students, professors, and professionals from around the world,

at Harvard?

Then apply to be a student delegate of HPAIR 2009 Harvard Conference!

Date: 19th to 22nd February 2009

Starting in 1991, Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations has organized the largest annual student conferences in the Asia Pacific Region. In 2008, HPAIR Harvard Conference became a new exciting addition to the already existing academic conference and business conference. The HPAIR Harvard Conference, to be held on Harvard's Campus in February 2009, brings together students, professors, and professionals to the Harvard campus for dialogue and exchange on topics spanning development, globalization, public health, and cultural transformations, among others.

Please refer to these attached documents for more detailed information regarding the three HPAIR Conferences this year.

1. Fact sheet for HPAIR 2009 Harvard Conference []

2. Fact sheet for HPAIR 2009 Academic Conference []

3. Fact sheet for HPAIR 2009 Business Conference []

4. HPAIR 2009 general brochure []

To apply, please visit
For questions, please contact us at

Employee Confidence Index is Dropping

Malaysians, Singaporeans, Filipinos and Indians are getting more pessimistic and the Employee Confidence Index are expected to dip this month.
Fully quoting it below.

With only six days to go before the end of the month, the indication we have from our monthly employee confidence index (JECI) that we run separately in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and India is that we are seeing an erosion in the measurement of job seeker confidence in finding a job.

In Malaysia, the ECI has declined to around 47.5 which is a drop of about two points from October. India's ECI will likely drop by about 1.5 points to around 61.0 while in the Philippines, the ECI will also shed about two points to about 56.5.

We see Singapore as the hardest hit among the four countries that we run this monthly poll with a decline of almost 3.5 points to 43.2. Of course, while this is still not as low as the last recession in 2005, the steep decline from the 57.0 recorded only in February this year gives cause for concern that the global recession will have a significant impact on Singapore and the rest of this region.

We shall be giving the latest ECI data here by early next month. Stay tuned.

US Application Talks in Penang by MACEE

Thanks to Wiz from for highlighting this talk here .

It is kind of last minute, but hopefully, it would be able to benefit some of you there in Penang.

It is fully quoted below.
To Penangites/people living near Penang/people can or willing to come to Penang at the dates below and who are interested in U.S. universities/colleges:

MACEE - Malaysian-American Commission On Educational Exchange (to be exact, Ms. Doreen John from MACEE) is coming to Penang! Hurray!

Here are the details of the workshop:

Dates and Time:
November 26th, 2008 (Wednesday) AND/OR
November 27th, 2008 (Thursday)
exact time will be notified by Ms. Doreen through e-mail correspondence

Yet to be ascertained (but will be on Penang Island)

Free of charge (RM 0.00)

This is really a great opportunity to learn about U.S. universities, colleges and the application process. I would encourage all secondary school students who are interested to also participate.

Please help disseminate this information to all your friends who may be interested. Thank you very much! Spread the news! Good things must be shared and passed around!

If you would like to attend, please contact Ms. Doreen via e-mail at to confirm your attendance. (Please provide your full name, cellphone no. (or home telephone no.) )

P.S. special thanks to Kai Sheng for organizing this wonderful event!

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sudoku Challenge 2008

Thanks to Yee Dian, Secretary of Malaysian Sudoku Society for highlighting this.
For anyone who knows anyone of the target group, do check out this Sudoku Challenge!
at Mines Shopping Fair, Seri Kembangan
Open to all children ages 7 to 12.
Win cash prizes, this Sunday!!
Date: 30th November 2008 (Sun)
Time: 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Venue: Mines Shopping Fair, Level 3
(in front of Best Denki electrical outlet)
To participate, please register with
Customer Service (03-8949 6333)
by 29th November.Places limited,
first-come-first-served basis.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Check Out Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School

Sally, who is a first year student at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School. She graduated from Duke University with a bachelor degree in biology in 2007 and chose to attend Duke-NUS because of the curriculum and the financial aid package that they offer to international students. This is a truly unique opportunity for those who are considering medicine after a first or second degree.

She is helping her school with admissions and she thought that this school would interest a number of Malaysian students, especially those who have completed a BS, BA, master or PhD and are thinking about entering medicine now.

For those of you who would like to contact her, please just drop me a message/email and I'll link you up with her.

You can visit Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School here too!

Below are more information that she had shared with me.

Dear Students,

As you consider your medical school options, let me take this opportunity to suggest that attending Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School could be one of these exciting possibilities. The newest of the National University of Singapore’s graduate schools, and the first American-model medical school in Singapore, Duke-NUS is the brainchild of Duke University School of Medicine, NUS and the Singapore government. The Times Higher Education rankings places NUS in the top 30 universities world wide and one of the leading universities in Asia. At Duke-NUS, we seek outstanding individuals with strong passion for medicine and dedication to scientific learning to become physicians, physician scientists, and academic physicians. You could be one of them. Our class would be enriched by the perspective you have to offer as an international student.

Why come to Duke-NUS?

Using innovative team-based learning methods and Duke's distinctive integrated curriculum, our rigorous four-year Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program prepares students for entry to the medical profession. With Duke as the key education partner to NUS, we are privileged to be at the center of knowledge exchange between two prestigious universities. By the time next year’s class matriculates here next August, we will have moved into our new campus at Outram, with its impressive on-site research facilities and proximity to the clinical infrastructure at Singapore General Hospital (SGH). SGH is the largest tertiary care medical center in Singapore and is a highly rated, JCI approved facility. Additionally, our research-focused education will appeal to those who see themselves becoming both medical practitioners able to care for patients and physician-scientists engaged in biomedical research.

These considerations aside, what is most important about Duke-NUS is the superlative quality of the students themselves, and the opportunities for each person’s professional and intellectual formation. With only 50 students in each cohort, each student is assured of faculty attention and ample access to educational resources. Our emphasis on learning in teams helps foster strong relationships in an already close student community. Duke-NUS is also a school with a strong global character. This year’s class includes students from 13 countries. To give you a quick peek at some of the achievements and new happenings at our school, we are sending a copy of our most recent newsletter, Vital Science.

A note about Admissions

Applications for the school year beginning August 2009 are open until 1st December. We invite you to visit our website to learn about our school, our curriculum, the admissions requirements, and, if you are interested, to begin the online application process.

We look forward to your application. Join us in 2009!

Best regards,

Dr. Stenberg
Associate Dean, Student Affairs and Admissions


What is Duke-NUS?

Duke-NUS, or the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, is an innovative new medical school in Singapore co-founded in 2005 by Duke University and the National University of Singapore. The school offers students from around the world the singular opportunity of receiving an American-style medical education while studying in one of Asia's most vibrant centers of biomedical research.

At Duke-NUS, students pursue the same rigorous, research-focused curriculum pioneered by Duke University School of Medicine. To this curriculum, moreover, Duke-NUS has added its own distinctive emphasis on Team Based Learning (Team Duke-NUS) as the primary mode of instruction. In the third year, mentored by distinguished researchers, Duke-NUS students undertake independent research projects. In their clerkship years, they care for patients in leading Singapore teaching hospitals under the guidance of dedicated clinical faculty.

Duke-NUS aims to prepare outstanding physicians and physician-scientists for careers in biomedical research, academic medicine, and patient care.

Graduates will receive an MD degree jointly conferred by Duke University and the National University of Singapore.

How do I apply to Duke-NUS?

Duke-NUS and Duke School of Medicine are closely affiliated, but the two schools have independent admissions processes. As Duke-NUS does not participate in AMCAS, you will need to complete an online application at the Duke-NUS application portal. The good news is that we do not charge an application fee.

We encourage interested students to visit the Duke-NUS Admissions website for more details about the application process and admissions requirements. Duke-NUS has a rolling admissions policy. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to submit applications as early as possible, in any case no later than December 1st of each year.

Are International students welcome to apply?
Certainly! We welcome applications from qualified applicants of all nationalities, and there is no quota on the number of international students we accept. They are also eligible for financial aid.

Will I need to interview in Singapore?
Interviews will be held at various locations in the US (Duke is one of those locations), as well as in Singapore. If you are shortlisted, the Admissions office will contact you with information about interview locations. Students who are able to attend an Applicant Day will be able to participate in a Team Duke-NUS session where they will have the opportunity to experience for themselves the distinctive educational methods of Duke-NUS. We encourage any students who are admitted to come for a visit to Singapore.

How will the final disposition of my application at one school affect the other?
Admissions decisions for Duke and Duke-NUS are made independently. The outcome of your application at one school in no way prejudices your application at the other. Please be aware that Duke-NUS has a rolling admissions policy, so a student who has agreed to matriculate at Duke–NUS is expected to withdraw from any other schools they have applied to.

Is there an MD/PhD program?
Yes, there is. Students do not apply directly to the MD/PhD program but must be admitted to the MD program first through the normal application process. They may apply for entry to the MD/PhD program at the end of their second year, and if offered a place will commence with PhD research from their third year onwards. After completion of the PhD requirements (typically 4 years) students will continue with the final year of MD training.

To learn about the MD/PhD program at Duke-NUS, please visit our website here .

What are the requirements after graduation?
Upon finishing the MD degree, Duke-NUS graduates must complete a one-year internship at a Singapore public hospital to fulfill the requirements for Medical Registration (Licensure). Thereafter, in return for the tuition subsidy provided by the Singapore government, all Duke-NUS graduates are expected to fulfill a Service Commitment (SC) with the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH). Duke-NUS graduates may satisfy the Service Commitment requirement by serving their residencies in Singapore’s public hospitals or by taking research positions in biomedical research facilities affiliated with MOH or the Singapore government. This commitment lasts for four years for Singapore citizens and five years for international students and Singapore permanent residents. Graduates will be paid during the one-year internship and the period of service commitment. MOH has also indicated that a select group of outstanding students may be able to complete their residencies in the US before returning to Singapore to complete their SCs.

I’m interested! Where can I learn more about the school?
The best place to start learning more about the school is here.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

A1GP Team Malaysia would start 4th for Feature Race Tomorrow 3pm at Sepang F1 Circuit

Tomorrow, 23rd November 2008, at Sepang F1 Circuit, Malaysia A1 GP Team would be going into the race as the leading team, with 28 points after the first two races. The next contenders are Ireland and France at 23 points, and then New Zealand and Netherland at 20 points.

For tomorrow, Team Malaysia would start at position 13th for Sprint Race and 4th at Feature Race. We were unlucky not to have a good placing for Sprint Race, due to the Red Flag that was out and also traffic.

For feature race, 3pm tomorrow the grid looks like the following:-
Pos A1 Team Time
1 Ireland 1'47.124
2 Great Britain 1'47.340
3 Lebanon 1'47.645
4 Malaysia 1'47.648
5 Portugal 1'47.680
6 Netherlands 1'47.825
7 India 1'47.848
8 USA 1'47.866
9 France 1'47.993
10 China 1'48.126
11 Monaco 1'48.242
12 Brazil 1'48.323
13 Australia 1'48.586
14 Indonesia 1'48.839
15 New Zealand 1'48.866
16 Switzerland 1'48.980
17 South Africa 1'49.061
18 Mexico 1'49.537
19 Italy 1'49.885
20 Korea -

The Sprint Race, 11am tomorrow the grid would be as follow:-
1 Switzerland 1'47.154
2 France 1'47.747
3 New Zealand 1'47.779
4 Portugal 1'48.930
5 Italy 1'49.007
6 Great Britain 1'49.076
7 Ireland 1'49.197
8 Mexico 1'49.293
9 Netherlands 1'49.323
10 India 1'49.350
11 South Africa 1'49.528
12 USA 1'49.650
13 Malaysia 1'49.753
14 Australia 1'49.998
15 Brazil 1'50.085
16 Monaco 1'50.171
17 China 1'50.274
18 Lebanon 1'50.382
19 Indonesia 1'51.423
20 Korea -

The full standing after the first 2 races in Netherlands and China are:-
Malaysia - 28 Points
Ireland - 23 Points
France - 23 Points
New Zealand - 20 Points
Netherland - 20 Points
Portugal - 18 Points
Switzerland - 17 Points
Great Britain - 16 Points
Australia - 13 Points
South Africa - 9 Points
Monaco - 8 Points
USA - 6 Points
Korea - 4 Points
Lebanon - 3 Points
Italy - 2 Points
India - 2 Points
China - 1 Point
Indonesia - 0 Point
Brazil - 0 Point
Mexico - 0 Point

Malaysia is obviously the only Asian countries that are really fighting for honour in this A1 GP.

Quoting from

The A1GP race weekend consists of two separate races.

Sprint Race
The Sprint Race runs from 11.00 local time on the Sunday morning for a maximum of 24 minutes (plus one lap) with a rolling start. The race contains one mandatory pit stop.

Points are awarded to the top eight finishers as follows.

First Place – 10 Points
Second Place – 8 Points
Third Place – 6 Points
Fourth Place – 5 Points
Fith Place – 4 Points
Sixth Place – 3 Points
Seventh Place – 2 Points
Eighth Place – 1 Points

Feature Race

The Feature race is a maximum of 69 minutes (plus one lap) in duration with standing start and two mandatory pit stops. The Feature Race runs from 15.00 to 16.10 local time on the Sunday afternoon. Points are awarded to the top ten finishers for the Feature race as follows:

First Place – 15 Points
Second Place – 12 Points
Third Place – 10 Points
Fourth Place – 8 Points
Fith Place – 6 Points
Sixth Place – 5 Points
Seventh Place – 4 Points
Eighth Place – 3 Points
Ninth Place – 2 Points
Tenth Place – 1 Points

A bonus point is awarded to the fastest lap achieved by a team during the Sprint Race and Feature Race.

Based on that calculation, if all teams maintain their standing as of today's qualifying, they would be ranked as following.

Ireland - 41 Points
Malaysia - 36 Points
France - 33 Points
Great Britain - 31 Points
Portugal - 29 Points
Switzerland - 28 Points
New Zealand - 26 Points
Netherland - 25 Points
Australia - 13 Points
Lebanon - 13 Points
South Africa - 9 Points
USA - 9 Points
Monaco - 8 Points
Italy - 6 Points
India - 6 Points
Korea - 4 Points
China - 2 Point
Mexico - 2 Point
Indonesia - 0 Point
Brazil - 0 Point

With that, the gap between the top 8 countries would be even wider with the rest, with Ireland, Malaysia, France, Great Britain, Portugal, Switzerland, New Zealand, Netherlands. 6 of those are top European nations, with Malaysia and New Zealand make up the rest.

This really shows our Malaysia Boleh spirit! Lets hope that Fairuz Fauzy would do Malaysia proud tomorrow. To know more about him and Team A1GP Malaysia, go to here .

So, why wait? Tomorrow be there at Sepang F1 Circuit to support our Malaysia Team there. I'll be there by 8am wearing Team A1GP Malaysia shirt with and

Don't forget to wear your yellow shirt there, as that's our National colour! The Sprint Race would be 11am and Feature Race would be 3pm.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share! reports 30% Increase in Q308 y-o-y Growth in Profit After Tax & Minority Interest, the no.1 online job board in Malaysia, has once again reported a fantastic results for Q3 2008, despite the uncertain economic situation.

For full details of the financial figures, you can refer here .

Revenue for Q308 grew year-on-year by 26.8% from RM21.766 Million to RM27.590 Million.
Profit before tax for Q308 grew year-on-year by 25.2% from RM10.555 Million to RM13.212 Million.
Profit after tax for Q308 grew year-on-year by 27.8% from RM9.436 Million to RM12.063 Million.
Profit after tax and minority interest for Q308 grew year-on-year by 29.7% from RM8.953 Million to RM11.613 Million.

For all the 4 aspects (Revenue, Profit Before Tax, Profit After Tax and Profit After Tax and Minority Interest), it is record high quarter for . To see all the quarterly results, do go to here .

For cumulative of first 3 quarters of 2008, compared year-on-year, the figures are:-
Revenue grew by 33.6% from RM59.930 Million to RM80.096 Million.
Profit before tax grew by 39.4% from RM26.056 Million to RM36.322 Million.
Profit after tax grew by 40.9% from RM23.292 Million to RM32.819 Million.
Profit after tax and minority interest grew by 40.3% from RM22.177 Million to RM31.121 Million.

This has been a fantastic consistent growth for .

2 sen tax-exempt interim dividend is declared for too! You can read it here .

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The 10th China Synergy Programme Applications Are Up!

I have blogged about China Synergy Programme several times before here .

It is definitely a very memorable programme, and next year, 2009, I am going back to attend the Reunion for CSP, which coincides with the 10th China Synergy Programme. Time flies. It would be 5 years since I went in 2004.

The applications for China Synergy Programme is now open. It would be from 2nd to 19th July 2009, and the deadline for application is 30th December 2008.

Check it out here

Good Luck!

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

GSC European Union Film Festival

Thanks to Yean Chern for highlighting this with me.

The European Union Film Festival is back with the 9th edition in Kuala Lumpur from 13th to 23th November 2008. For those who love international cinema, the 9th EUFF will be a fantastic opportunity to discover Europe's best recent productions as well as the past years award winning movies. The movies will be screened in 3 venues in Kuala Lumpur: at the GSC Mid Valley, at the GSC One Utama, and at the GSC Pavilion KL.

Below is a list of movies that have been selected for this year's festival:
9 And 1/2 Dates (Hungarian)
Arabian Nights (French)
Beetje Verliefd, 'n (Dutch)
Bombay Dreams (Swedish/English)
Colorado Avenue (Finnish/Swedish)
Efter Bryllupet (Danish/Swedish/Hindi)
Firmin (Flemish)
How to Cook Your Life (German/English)
It's A Free World (English)
Kicks (Dutch/Arabic)
La Febbre (Italian)
Mozart In China (German)
One Day in Europe (Multiple European Languages)
Paris (French)
Quand La Mer Monte (French)
The Ride (Czech)
The Snowboarders (Czech)
Som Man Baddar (Swedish)
Vete De Mi (Spanish)

For more details, go to GSC

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Free Online Lectures from Reputable Universities

Thanks to Kelly Sonora for sharing this with me. This series of 100 Online Lectures by Harvard, Yale and Princeton are definitely fantastic.

You can visit those lectures at their sources too, eg Harvard @ Home , Princeton University Web Media Lectures , Open Yale Courses and MIT Open Courseware .

Kelly shared with me the compilation of 100 selected lectures from those sites above, particularly from Harvard, Princeton and Yale by

Enjoy learning my blog readers!

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Bukit Gasing Youth Leadership Camp

Thanks to Jing Pei for highlighting this event.
The Selangor State Legislative Assemblyman, Y. B. Edward Lee Poh Lin, of
Bukit Gasing would like to invite you to take part in the above 3-day
2-night Youth Camp.

The camp is primarily about enhancing the leadership skills of young
adults (ages 18 – 25) and helping them come to a better understanding of
Malaysian realities.

The program consists of sessions that are very activity based. The
frequent use of games and other energizers will help create an
environment that is both fun and one which facilitates discussion and
learning. Ample time will be allocated for participants to think and
speak their mind on a series of contemporary issues. Time will also be
allocated for outdoor activities - an important component in team
building. Also, participants will be sleeping in tents so as to enhance
the experience and appreciation for nature and to foster ties and bond
with other participants.

*Details of the Program *

1. Title: *"Bukit Gasing Youth Leadership Camp"*

2. Date: 28^th , 29^th and 30^th November 2008 (Friday, Saturday and
Sunday) *//*

Please note that 28^th November (Friday) is a working day and if you
intend to come for the program you will have to apply for leave. The
Youth Camp is a live-in program and those who wish to take part are
required to stay in throughout the camp.

3. Time: The workshop will commence at 9.00 am on 28^th November 2008
(Friday) and

conclude at 1.30 pm on 30^th November 2008 (Sunday). All participants
are requested to be at the workshop venue by 9.00 am on 28^th November 2008.

4. Transport: Transport to the camp will be provided. Participants
are required to be gathered

at Pejabat & Pusat Khidmat ADUN, Stadium Hoki MBPJ, Jalan Selangor
(opposite Assunta hospital), 7:30am *sharp*. Bus leaves at 8:00am *sharp*.

5. Venue: Hutan Lipur & Tapak Perkhemahan Sungai Chongkak, Hulu Langat.**

* *

6. Dress code: Casual (decent). Participants will also have to bring
along clothing and

footwear that is necessary for outdoor activities.

7. Registration fee: There is a registration fee of RM20 and the rest
of the cost will be sponsored.

However, participants are expected to take the camp seriously. Please
note that due to limited places, registration will be on a
first-come-first- served basis.

8. Registration / Contact Person: Please complete and forward the
attached reply slip and fax / email

attention to Simon C. H. Lee at 03.7782.1182 (fax) /
simonleechunghsin@ (email) by 21^st November 2008 (Friday) or
to make enquiries please call 012.633.2349.

Amnest-DEMA Human Rights Camp Penang

Thanks to Jing Pei for highlighting on this event.

Calling all youths out there!!

Amnesty International Malaysia and DEMA will be organising a 3 day human rights youth camp for the first time in Penang from the

29th Nov - 1st December.

Come and learn about fundamental human rights, the Malaysian human rights realities, movie, games, exposure trips to see and speak to human rights victims and how they stand up for their rights, discussions, sharing session by human rights activist and many more!!

Fees: RM 30 (inclusive of meals, accommodation and transportation for the exposure trip)

Venue: Yayasan Aman, Permatang Pauh, Penang.

Hurry register quickly as we have limited places!!

For more information please call yohen at 03-7955 2680 or Ti Hui at 017 666 3855.


9-10am - Registration
10-11am - Ice breaking / introductions/ expectation checks
1pm - Introduction to human rights
2pm - Lunch
4pm - Analysis of Malaysian Human Rights Situation
4- 6pm - Sex and Gender
6- 8pm -
Bath / Dinner
8.30pm - Exposure Trip briefing
8.30 - 11pm - Human Rights Movie sharing
11pm - supper / end

8- 9am - Breakfast
9- 4pm - Exposure trip to 4 different issues locations
4- 6pm - Group discussion and preperations for presentation
7pm - Telematch
8.30pm - Bath / Dinner
8.30 - 11pm - Group presentations
11pm - Supper / end

7.30- 8.30am - Breakfast
8.30- 11am - Case Study
12.30pm - Activist Sharing session
12.30- 1.30pm - Lunch
1.30- 3pm - Youth participation session
3.30pm - Introduction to AI + DEMA
3.30- 4pm - Conclusion / end
5pm - Tidy up / Depart

*Issue and locations of the exposure trips will be informed to the participants at the venue itself.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Malaysian Mensa & Sunway UC Forum On Intelligence

Malaysian Mensa Society and Sunway University College are organizing the Forum On Intelligence on "Research on Memory And Intelligence", with seminars on several topics:-

a) Does knowing who you are make you intelligent?
b) Indiana Jones and the Secret of Crystalised Intelligence.
c) Should Intelligent People Lead Our Society?
d) Does today's education really care about what we know and can do.

It would be held on 22nd November, Saturday, 9am to 2:30pm at Auditorium 2, Sunway University College.

It would be RM30 for Mensa members and Sunway UC Staff/students. For general public, it would be RM50.

It would include a sumptuous lunch, a tea break and also notes.

There would be a Malaysian Mensa Admission Test there too at 1pm.

This event is brought to you by Malaysian Mensa Society and Sunway University College.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

International Baccalaureate gained recognition

International Baccalaureate (IB) is recognized for its challengingness by UCAS. This was an article back in 2006, but I think it is a great information.

It has been given a great comparison score, compared to A Level.

The equivalence matching is like:-
30 IB Points = 3.5 As in A Level
35 IB Points = 4.5 As in A Level
38 IB Points = 5 As in A Level
40 IB Points = 5.5 As in A Level

Am definitely amazed by those few who managed to get 45 Points in their IBs!!! Just can't imagine how they can do it!!! PC, you want to share how you do it?

For full article, please go to here

Full article is as follow:-

The International Baccalaureate won the first official recognition yesterday of its academic superiority over A-levels, the exam it is beginning to replace.

A new points tariff announced by Ucas - the Universities and College Admissions Service - made a relatively modest IB score of 35 points (out of a maximum of 45) equivalent to four and a half A grades at A-level.

An IB score of 38, the average achieved every year by more than 200 pupils at Sevenoaks, one of the first independent schools to adopt the exam, was deemed to be equivalent to five As at A-level. Oxford and Cambridge typically ask for 40 points, equivalent to five and a half A grades.

Even 30 IB points is judged equivalent to three and a half As at A-level, sufficient to secure entry to most academically selective universities.

Katy Ricks, the head of Sevenoaks, welcomed the new tariff as a "just reflection of the IB's breadth, depth and coherence".

She said: "Ucas has clearly taken account of the fact that in the upper mark bands students reach a significantly high level of knowledge and skills and that studying six subjects is demanding."

Other heads will see the premium Ucas has attached to the IB as confirmation of how far A-levels have slipped from the "gold standard". That can only hasten the rate at which state and independent schools switch to the IB, as widely admired for its stability as for its academic rigour.

Among the 87 schools that have adopted it are two of the most academically successful, North London Collegiate and King's College School, Wimbledon. The majority, though, are state schools.

IB candidates take three subjects at higher level and three at lower. They are also required to write an extended essay, take a course in the theory of knowledge and fulfil the requirements of a component called "creativity, action and service".

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

2 Malaysians Among 10 in UN Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System

United Nations (UN) today formed the Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System.

United Nations General Assembly President, Miguel D'Escoto, announced the list today, which would examine possible reform of the global financial system, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, in the wake of financial crisis.

Chair: Joseph Stiglitz (US), Nobel Prize for Economics for 2001

The rest of the committee:-
- Jomo Kwame Sundaram (Malaysia), Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and the UN Department of the Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
- Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz (Malaysia), Governor and Chairman of Malaysia's Central Bank
- Jose Antonio Ocampo (Colombia), Former Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
- Jean-Paul Fitoussi (France), Professor of Economics at the Institute d'Etudes Politiques de Paris in France
- Avinash Persaud (Barbados), Chairman of Intelligence Capital Limited
- Yaga Venugopal Reddy (India), Former Governor of India's Reserve Bank
- Eisuke Sakakibara (Japan), Professor at Waseda University
- Chukwuma Soludo (Nigeria), Governor of Nigeria's Central Bank
- Yu Yongding (China), Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics

Great to see 2 Malaysians in this commission of 10 experts to solve this global issue!

For full report, do read here from United Nations

Full article is as follow:-
General Assembly President unveils details of panel probing global financial system

14 November 2008 – General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto today announced the full composition of a high-level task force he is setting up to examine possible reform of the global financial system, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, in the wake of the current economic turmoil.
Joseph Stiglitz, who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001 and is a former chief economist at the World Bank, will chair the Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, which will suggest steps that Member States can take to secure a more stable global economic order.

Jomo Kwame Sundaram, the current Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), and José Antonio Ocampo of Colombia, who is a former Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, were also named to the panel.

The Commission’s other members include: Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the Governor and Chairman of Malaysia’s Central Bank; Jean-Paul Fitoussi, Professor of Economics at the Institute d’Etudes Politiques de Paris in France; Avinash Persaud of Barbados, who is Chairman of Intelligence Capital Limited; and Yaga Venugopal Reddy, former governor of India’s Reserve Bank.

Also on the panel are: Japan’s Eisuke Sakakibara, who is currently Professor at Waseda University in Tokyo; Chukwuma Soludo, the Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank; and China’s Yu Yongding, the Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics.

When Mr D’Escoto announced the formation of the panel last month, he noted that “there is growing recognition that the current turmoil in the financial system cannot be solved through piecemeal responses at the national and regional levels but requires a coordinated effort at the global level.”

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Federer to Meet Tennis Fans on 18th Nov 2008

Roger Federer would be meeting Malaysian fans at lobby of Petronas Philharmonic Hall, Petronas Twin Tower at 11:45am on 18th November 2008.

This is quoted from Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 (Bernama) -- Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer is scheduled to meet fans at the Petronas Twin Towers here on Tuesday in conjunction with the Showdown of Champions Kuala Lumpur 2008.

The men's singles World Number Two has allocated 40 minutes to meet his fans at the lobby of the Petronas Philharmonic Hall between 11.45am and 12.25pm, said Adlan Zabri, the Chief Executive Officer of LD Sports Sdn Bhd, the promoters of the event.

"This will be a chance in a lifetime for Malaysian tennis fans to get this close with Federer. He has agreed to sign autographs for the fans and this is indeed a rare occasion," he said.

He said as the turn out would be huge, fans are advised to assemble at Petronas Philharmonic Hall's lobby area early and to follow instructions issued by security personnel at the location to avoid disappointment.

Federer, together with James Blake, and legends John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg will be participating in the Showdown of Champions at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil on the same day.

Meanwhile, one lucky fan will be driving home a Proton Satria Neo if he or she catches a golden ball hit by the players prior to the start of the second match between Federer and Blake.

Aside from being thrilled by the skills of world class tennis players, spectators of the Showdown of Champions will also be entertained by the countrys leading divas like Jaclyn Victor, Ning Baizura and Ella.

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Buffets Advice - "Read Everything You Can"

Thanks a lot to Chia Yee for highlighting this. This is a very good piece of article for anyone who would like to invest!


Excerpt from Budding Buffets: Where to begin  :

.......The question that is asked most frequently comes from younger members of the audience.

The question is, "What should I do to become a great investor?" and it is asked for the first time by an earnest 17-year- old from San Francisco who says he is attending his tenth consecutive meeting.

Buffett's emphatic answer is simple and straightforward: "Read everything you can," he says with finality.

This is advice that Buffett has been giving for years, and it is advice that he will give in different ways throughout the morning and afternoon, for he strongly believes - and Munger concurs, calling Buffett "a learning machine" - that it was the reading he did in his formative years that shaped his approach to investing and prepared the groundwork for the next 50 unprecedented successful years.

And Buffett isn't kidding when he tells the young man, "Read everything you can."

"By the age of 10," he goes on, "I'd read every book in the Omaha Public Library with the word finance in the title, some twice."

Buffett's reading habits did not stop when he was 10. He still reads literally thousands of financial statements and annual reports each year - as he has done for each of the last 50 or more years that he's been investing. Friends and acquaintances who are invited to share a jet with Buffett report that he'll chitchat briefly and then start reading. Andrew Kilpatrick, author of the massive Buffett hagiography - Of Permanent Value -- reported that Buffett once mentioned, while the two were at a book signing, that he had 50 books at home, waiting to be read.

Buffett does not advise the 17-year-old from San Francisco to read any particular books, although he does mention the profound impact that value-investing guru Benjamin Graham's "The Intelligent Investor" had on him when he read it for the first time. "What I'm doing today, at age 76, is running things through the same thought process I learned from the book I read at 19." Nor does he steer the budding Buffett toward any particular investment style. Instead, he advises reading everything possible to find the style that suits the individual. "If it turns you on, it probably will work for you," he says.

Buffett also recommends doing something else besides reading: "Invest - on a small scale - don't just read."

"Charlie," he says, "you have anything to add?"

Munger stirs from the implacable position he maintains throughout - seated stiffly in his chair, arms folded, eyes distorted by Coke-bottle-thick glasses - and leans slightly forward toward the microphone on the table before him. He suggests a logical approach that's typical of almost everything he will say during the session.

"Ask, 'What do you own and why do you own it?'" Munger says. "And if you can't answer that," he declares with absolute finality, "you aren't an investor."

Buffett concurs, and repeats for the budding Buffetts in this crowd what he has told shareholders and students alike over many years (Buffett taught an investing course at the University of Omaha in the 1950s and speaks to as many as 30 student groups each year): "If you can't write an essay describing 'why I'm going to buy the entire company at the current valuation,' you have no business buying 100 shares of stock."



Yang Jerng offers to work for anyone

A friend of mine, Yang Jerng, an alumnus from Bates College, is making his own job advertisement at here .

If you need some form of help that you are willing to pay for his service, do contact him there!

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

GMAT Malaysia Blog

For those of you who are applying for GMAT, especially in Malaysia, this blog could be useful. Go to Here .

It is set up by a couple of people - Soon Chern and Jimmy Low, who have experienced taking GMAT and would like to share with fellow Malaysians on that!

Great job, Soon Chern & Jimmy Low!

Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!


A public lecture in Mandarin by Tsing Hwa University





日期:23-11-2008 (星期日)




地点:Pyramid 1,  Level CP3  (Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre), Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa









清华大学校务委员会副主任 清华大学教育基金会副理事长杨家庆致词













二、主持:亚太清华总裁工商联合会创始会长    胡瑞连


        清华总裁同学联谊总会名誉主席 著名经济学家  艾丰教授





        马来西亚华校校友会联合会总会, 马中友好协会, 马华终生学代表













     电话:03-21618044 分线418-421







协办单位:马来西亚中华工商联合会,马来西亚留台校友会联合总会,马来西亚华校校友会联合会总会, 马中友好协会, 马华终身学习

Bain & Company Hong Kong Recruiting (Associate Consultant Intern Position)

Bain & Company Hong Kong are hiring!


       Our Hong Kong office would like to invite undergraduates and
non-MBA master's students in their penultimate years of study who are
interested in pursuing a consulting career in Asia to learn more about

       We offer Associate Consultant Intern (ACI) positions to
candidates in their penultimate year at school and we are currently
recruiting for ACIs to work in the Bain Hong Kong office for summer of

       We will host a company presentation in early December (by
invitation only) in our Hong Kong office, with more details to be
announced later.

       1)     For those interested to attend the company presentation,
please submit your application via email at
<>  by November 26, 2008.  Please include
the following in your email:

               Cover letter
               Indicate your GPA and Mandarin capability on your CV
               Indicate whether you will be interested to attend the
company presentation
               Indicate when and whether you will be in Hong Kong
during the Christmas and New Year holidays
               Email subject heading "ACI Winter Reception Hong Kong"

         2) For those who will not be able to attend the company
presentation but interested to apply to the ACI program, please submit
your application online at Join Bain by December 12, 2008

               Link to apply:

               When applying to the Hong Kong office, please ensure you
note the following:

               *       State Mandarin capability on your resume
               *       List Hong Kong as your 1st office location

       Should you have any questions about Bain & Company, please visit
our website at <> .  For any questions
specifically related to Bain Greater China practice, please contact
Sammy Chan (recruiting coordinator) via email at

       Kevin Chang
       Associate Consultant
       Bain & Company (Hong Kong)
       30/F, One International Finance Centre | 1 Harbour View Street,
Central | Hong Kong
       tel: +852 2978 8800  fax: +852 2978 8801 | web:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Speech by McCain

A great loser is someone who acknowledge the loss, bring everyone back to the team and work together for a better tomorrow.
Below is the speech by McCain after conceding defeat to Barack Obama.

Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you for coming here on this beautiful Arizona evening. My friends, we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly.

A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him. To congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love. In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.

This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight. I've always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too. But we both recognize that, though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation's reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.

A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters. America today is a world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States.

Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth. Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer him my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day. Though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.

Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain. These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face. I urge all Americans ... I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that. It is natural. It's natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again. We fought as hard as we could. And though we feel short, the failure is mine, not yours.

I am so deeply grateful to all of you for the great honor of your support and for all you have done for me. I wish the outcome had been different, my friends. The road was a difficult one from the outset, but your support and friendship never wavered. I cannot adequately express how deeply indebted I am to you.

I'm especially grateful to my wife, Cindy, my children, my dear mother and all my family, and to the many old and dear friends who have stood by my side through the many ups and downs of this long campaign. I have always been a fortunate man, and never more so for the love and encouragement you have given me. You know, campaigns are often harder on a candidate's family than on the candidate, and that's been true in this campaign. All I can offer in compensation is my love and gratitude and the promise of more peaceful years ahead.

I am also, of course, very thankful to Governor Sarah Palin, one of the best campaigners I've ever seen, and an impressive new voice in our party for reform and the principles that have always been our greatest strength ... her husband Todd and their five beautiful children ... for their tireless dedication to our cause, and the courage and grace they showed in the rough and tumble of a presidential campaign. We can all look forward with great interest to her future service to Alaska, the Republican Party and our country.

To all my campaign comrades, from Rick Davis and Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter, to every last volunteer who fought so hard and valiantly, month after month, in what at times seemed to be the most challenged campaign in modern times, thank you so much. A lost election will never mean more to me than the privilege of your faith and friendship.

I don't know what more we could have done to try to win this election. I'll leave that to others to determine. Every candidate makes mistakes, and I'm sure I made my share of them. But I won't spend a moment of the future regretting what might have been. This campaign was and will remain the great honor of my life, and my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude for the experience and to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Senator Obama and my old friend Senator Joe Biden should have the honor of leading us for the next four years.

I would not be an American worthy of the name should I regret a fate that has allowed me the extraordinary privilege of serving this country for a half a century. Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone, and I thank the people of Arizona for it. Tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama. I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history. Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you all very much.

The competition for Ivy League admission intensifies

Thanks to Mark Lee for this article. This is a timely reminder to everyone to work hard for your applications, as it is getting more and more competitive.

Colleges scour China for top students

A star search that may affect US applicants

By Tracy Jan, Globe Staff  |  November 9, 2008

BEIJING - Don't be fooled by the teenager's slender frame and wire-rimmed glasses. His name is Tiger - and he's an American high school student's worst nightmare.

The 16-year-old junior, as adept at proving geometry theorems as he is at defending a soccer shot, has set his sights on Harvard University. And Harvard, on him.

Just last month, Tiger and dozens of China's brightest students gathered in a five-star hotel blocks from Tiananmen Square for the final round of a math contest that planted the Crimson flag firmly in the world's most populous nation. They competed under the watchful gaze of William Fitzsimmons, Harvard's admissions dean, who has handpicked undergraduates for three decades.

Students such as Tiger, or Li Taibo in Chinese, represent the future face of elite American colleges, their greatest hope as they vie to maintain international dominance. It's especially true for Harvard, as it tries to elevate the profile of its math and sciences to be on par with its legendary humanities program.

Eager to cultivate generations of students in this new frontier, admissions officers from premier American universities are scouring China to recruit top high school students who may dismiss such colleges as out of reach and unaffordable. In last month's campaign during the contest, Harvard, Brown, and Stanford representatives touted liberal arts education, research opportunities, and American dorm life to students and their parents - even promising full scholarships.

"There are no quotas, no limits on the number of Chinese students we might take," Fitzsimmons told a standing-room-only crowd of more than 300 students during a visit to Beijing No. 4 High School. "We know there are very good students from China not applying now. I hope to get them into the pool to compete."

That message is disconcerting for American students toiling to land a coveted spot in Harvard's 1,660-student freshman class - and controversial among some educators. But Fitzsimmons and others say they had better get used to the idea. Applications from China have exploded in recent years as the Communist country opens up to the world, and they're only going to increase.

Even fifth-graders in Wellesley, Newton, and Brookline, who as adults will face international competition for jobs, should begin beefing up their academic résumés if they want a shot at an Ivy League education, Fitzsimmons said.

"We're trying to send a message to young people, as young as primary school, to make the most of their studies," he said, "because they'll be competing with students around the world later on."

The first Shing-Tung Yau High School Mathematics Awards, named for the Harvard math professor who organized it, drew more than 900 students from all corners of the country. The 40 finalists who assembled for three days in Beijing had spent the past six months preparing to shine - not only for the judges, which included three Harvard professors, but also for the admissions deans they would meet.

"This is a historic event," Fitzsimmons said. "We're trying to get out the word that Harvard is world class in math, science, and engineering, not just in the humanities."

The stakes were clear for the Chinese students and their families at the contest. Nervous parents and teachers, barred from the hotel conference room where each team presented their projects, knelt outside, snapping photos of contestants and judges through the glass doors.

Down the carpeted hallway that reeked of cigarettes, students in school uniforms adjusted their ties and huddled among teammates, practicing their presentations in hushed murmurs.

"It might change my life, my whole life, I think," said Tiger, ranked in the top 10 of his 750-student class.

Raised on an army base on the outskirts of China's capital, Tiger lives at school in a spartan third-floor dorm room with five other boys. He has never set foot in the United States. But he visits Harvard often - on the Web, imagining himself crossing the historic brick campus to class or, perhaps, to a party.

"Harvard is so beautiful compared to the campuses of Chinese universities," said Tiger, who crams for the verbal portion of the SAT from his lower bunk bed. "I want to go because it is said that schools in the United States inspire you to think, instead of just teaching you what to do."

The competition served as a vivid reminder of how the global economy is hitting college admissions, much like it's hitting US corporations. Many US universities have begun recruiting in China in recent years, but those efforts have tended to focus on high school visits or university fairs, and none have generated the slew of Chinese media attention that Harvard garnered last month.

And while universities are seeking applicants throughout the world, China's rising influence and the academic devotion of students there make it especially appealing.

Ushered around Beijing from luncheons to evening meetings during his five days here, Fitzsimmons played the role of a diplomat.

In speeches to students and dignitaries, he predicted that Harvard's outreach to Chinese students will foster improved US-China relations that will ultimately benefit the world. Harvard-educated Chinese, he reasoned, will probably return to the fast-growing country to help shape its development as new neighborhoods of high-rise apartments, megamalls, and whole financial centers spring up on what was once farmland.

The number of Chinese students applying to Harvard has swelled from only 10 two decades ago to nearly 500 last school year. Fewer than 8 percent of all applicants are admitted. Thirty-five Chinese undergraduates are currently enrolled.

Applicants from China will increase even more if the Chinese government allows students on the mainland to take the SAT without having to jet off to Hong Kong or Taiwan - a mission Fitzsimmons pursued during private talks with high-ranking party officials.

Professor Yau, chairman of Harvard's math department who conceived of last month's competition, has returned to his homeland to not only spur the improvement of math education in China through the contest, which rewards students for creativity and collaboration, but also to help funnel a generation of Chinese high school students into America's premiere colleges. He even vowed to pay personally for the travels of needy students to conquer the SAT.

"I want to help the very poorest students in China make their dreams come true," said Yau, who won the prestigious Fields Medal and is considered one of the world's greatest mathematicians.

But that's a difficult prospect for some of his colleagues in Cambridge to swallow. While he supports international admissions, Harry Lewis, a computer science professor, worries that Harvard is making it harder for American students to get in.

"There's a real tension here," said Lewis, former dean of Harvard College who sits on the admissions committee. "We get tax exemptions not so we can help build the economy of China, but so we can help contribute to the economy of the United States."

That being said, Lewis acknowledged that "we're not alarmed enough in this country about the lack of interest and motivation we're giving to math education here."

During the contest, in impeccable English, Tiger explained to the judges his team's research into maximizing the amount of air that flows into a room by adjusting the angles of the windows.

But he is no math geek. Tiger plays badminton and soccer, heads the Model United Nations team at one of China's best public high schools, belongs to its literary club. And in the midst of the math contest, he was elected president of his 4,000-student school.

Tiger's competitors were just as well rounded, even though extracurricular activities do not help them get into Chinese colleges, which weigh only scores on a two-day national exam.

Wang Shun Zhi, whose team devised an algorithm to ease traffic on Beijing's famously congested streets, leads his school's debate team and founded the humanism club, in addition to competing on the math and physics teams. Qin Yipeng, who invented a mathematical model for snow sweeping, was able to read more than 300 Chinese characters by age 3 and has won prizes in math, physics, chemistry, and English.

And Li Zhoujia, who equalized water distribution in sprinkler systems to prevent students from getting soaked through their open classroom window, is a lead spiker on her school's volleyball team, an accomplished singer and actress, and editor of the student newspaper.

All envisioned a future at an elite US university. The teenagers passed out résumés and personal biographies at a reception with the admissions deans, whom students addressed as "your excellences" and "preeminent deans."

"Just have fun reading it," Li urged Sarah Clark Donahue, Harvard's director of financial aid, as she handed over her two-page dossier.

In the end, Tiger's name was not called during the awards ceremony.

"It's OK. It's OK," he said softly in the surreal setting, a drafty, 600-year-old ancestral temple just outside the walls of the Forbidden City. Women in traditional dresses ushered dignitaries and academics down the red carpet as a chorus of ancient bells tolled.

"I just want to know how I can improve," he said. "I expect there will be a time when my name will finally be called."

The next morning, a Saturday, Tiger showed up at his school's weekly math club and spent three hours learning about number theory - "just for fun," he said.