Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cornell University Commencement

Time flies. It has been 4 years since I left my alma mater - Cornell University. Below is the commencement ceremony write-up, as well as the commencement speaker - David Plouffe, Election Campaign Manager for Barack Obama.

Those are quoted from here and here .

Skorton urges graduates to focus on public service, not an uncertain future
By Susan Kelley

The 6,000 Cornellians who graduated today (May 24) have far fewer employment opportunities than two previous generations of alumni. But rather than dwell on their own uncertain futures, they were encouraged at Commencement ceremonies "to realize that the world stands in desperate need of your skills and talents."

Speaking under sunny skies in Schoellkopf Stadium, Cornell President David Skorton began his theme of service by congratulating those graduates who have joined such service organizations as the Peace Corps, Teach for America and AmeriCorps, and the 18 ROTC cadets commissioned May 23.

He departed from his prepared remarks to 32,000 family, friends, faculty, trustees and other university leaders to also congratulate a few seniors who could not attend Commencement: members of the men's lacrosse team. They are in Foxborough, Mass., preparing to take on defending NCAA champion Syracuse University on Memorial Day. It will be Big Red's first fight for the NCAA title in 21 years. "Somehow," Skorton said, "I think they would rather be there today than here."

The Class of 2009 faces daunting economic challenges, Skorton continued. Nationally this year, less than 20 percent of graduating college seniors who applied for a job actually have one, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers -- a decrease of more than 30 percent from two years ago. Nonetheless, he urged the graduates to embrace optimism. "I have no doubt that virtually all of today's graduates will find satisfying jobs -- and that many of you will do it by a road that will be distinctively your own."

Cornellians have the advantage of a liberal arts education, perhaps "the most useful and versatile education of all" especially in a time of national and personal economic uncertainty, he said. A liberal arts education offers five important "habits of mind": critical thinking, self-expression, a nuanced view of the world that comes from exposure to the arts and humanities, a sense of ethics and cross-cultural understanding, he said. "The depth, the richness and the diversity of our ideas inspire cross-fertilization and originality."

At the term "cross-fertilization," one section of soon-to-be veterinarians gave a rousing cheer. The audience applauded as Skorton ad-libbed, "If it has to do with nature, folks from CALS and the Vet School will be there."

But the audience offered its strongest applause when Skorton talked about the importance of ethics. "Indeed," he said, "some would argue that a lack of an ethical foundation is at the root of many of the problems we face in our society."

One thing is clear despite the uncertainty of the future, he said: that building a path to a better tomorrow will require the deep knowledge, skills, ethics and habits of mind that come from a liberal arts education. "The world needs what you have to offer now more than ever."

"I urge you to be creative and forceful in bringing your skills to bear on the problems we face, including the current economic dilemma, 'to be more useful' to your country and to humankind."

He continued: "We need your creativity, your courage, your optimism. We need your clarity of purpose. We need you to volunteer in your communities, to serve on school boards, to participate in the political process. We need you to contribute to nonprofit organizations. Most of all, we need you to put those hard-won skills and habits of mind to use not only in your professional lives, but in service to your community and to the world."

Sending seniors on way 'with passion,' Obama's campaign manager salutes young for historic election
By George Lowery

Barack Obama would not be the 44th president without the votes of people under 30, observed the president's election campaign manager David Plouffe, before giving his address to Cornell's Senior Convocation in Schoellkopf Stadium today (May 23).

Plouffe, whom Obama called "the unsung hero" of the campaign, added, "We would not have won the Iowa caucuses if younger people had not turned out at historic levels that no one thought was possible, and that happened time and time again" during the campaign.

"One thing I learned in our campaign was that this generation of young Americans need not wait 20 or 25 years before they take the stage," Plouffe continued. "They're ready to lead right now. They're ready to innovate. We need them. We need their leadership. They helped determine the course of history in our campaign, but I think they can determine the course of history in ways large and small, right away."

It was a theme that Plouffe continued in his convocation address, telling the graduating seniors they "are now prepared to play a large role in shaping history for generations to come, who will be studying their accomplishments in these hallowed halls." But, he warned them, "You must have passion for your work. And you'd better really treasure and get the most out of your non-working hours ... those are the increments of time that will define your life."

At a meeting with the media before entering Schoellkopf, the slightly built, boyish-looking Plouffe, 42, noted that for the first time in decades the share of votes cast by people over age 65 in a presidential election declined, "not because older voters turned out in lower numbers, just because younger people participated." Of 5,000 people working in the Obama campaign, he said, "probably 95 percent of them were under 25."

He said: "I'm excited to be here because I'm excited about this group of people who are beginning to enter leadership roles in our country, and I couldn't be more excited to watch the work, talent and dedication they're going to bring to improve our country and our world in the years to come."

Credited with running one of the most effective and innovative presidential campaigns in history, raising $500 million on the Internet alone, Plouffe said grass-roots outreach, particularly in battleground states such as North Carolina, Ohio and Indiana, was equally important. "Change is never going to emanate from Washington; it's got to come from the country to Washington," he said.

"So many people in our country -- not just young people -- live most their lives through technology. Why should their interaction with politics or our campaign be any different? No matter who you are ... you have to realize how people are living their lives. You've got to reach them at their doors, in their e-mail boxes, on their Web pages, on their radios and TVs, and I think we did a good job of that."

Young volunteers helped shape the campaign's electronic strategies. "I think one thing that's never been properly appreciated is how many people -- parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts -- supported Barack Obama because their children felt so passionately about him. I think millions of people voted simply for that reason alone," Plouffe said. "It's a very powerful thing."

At Senior Convocation, it was announced that the Class of 2009 raised $36,655 for its class gift. The gift will fund the Class of 2009 Stephen H. Weiss Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of the late Cornell trustee, to benefit Cornell seniors. Trustee Martin Tang '70 matched the class gift, presented to President David Skorton on a giant check for $85,654.

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Tun Daim Zainuddin's Lecture - L4T

Attended the 2nd L4T Leadership Series given by our former Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin. Today's lecture attracted more than 100 youth, with some had to stand throughout the lecture, due to limitation of the seats. It was a sold-out crowd!

Among the attendees include Dato' Mokhzani, Dato' Amrin, Syed Naqis etc. It is a platform for Malaysian youth to interact with captains of industry.

Tun Daim Zainuddin does not need further introduction. He has served as Minister of Finance twice and Minister of Special Function. He was a MP for several terms. He has owned many businesses in various regions. He is founding Chairman of The International Commercial Bank Group (ICB). For his introduction, do read up in Wikipedia .

For today's lecture, Tun Daim would share on "Jaguh Kampung: A Personal Perspective on Business Outside Malaysian Shores".

The sharing below is based what I jotted down during the lecture. So, if there is any error on my part of misquoting what Tun Daim said, please kindly let me know. The purpose of this is just to share with others who might not have the chance to be there to listen first hand from Tun Daim.

This is the 1st time since 2004 that Tun Daim has spoken in Malaysia. Since his retirement from Malaysian politics in 2001, he has only spoken once before in 2004. So, it was our honour to have the chance to listen to him to speak. Tun Daim mentioned that it took him some serious thinking before accepting this invitation. He has great faith in young people and that was the reason he accepted this invite. He hoped that the youth can grow and succeed in the future and become "Leaders of Tomorrow".

Tun Daim thanked Tengku Zafrul for the invite and highlighted that the topic is interesting.

He first highlighted that the term Jaguh Kampung has been too often used to suggest failure, where people like to use that term to portray people who fail overseas. It used to be used in sports, but today it is used in business as well. Tun Daim questioned how one could succeed globally, if one can't succeed locally. So, local success is a starting point for us to learn, hone our skill and learn from mistakes, before we embark on overseas venture.

Tun Daim mentioned that Malaysians are often too comfortable. For Malays, often they claimed that when they venture overseas, there is no NEP to help them and they don't have history of business. However, Tun Daim highlighted that among many non-Malays who succeeded locally, they were helped by government too. And some of those fail overseas. We have to know why we succeed and why we fail.

Tun Daim used his personal experience to illustrate and see how one can grow from a kampung boy to global stage. Tun Daim grew up in a small kampung in Kedah, where his kampung produced 3 doctors (including Tun Dr. Mahathir), 2 veterinary surgeons, 1 dentist, many civil servants etc. But there is no lawyer, and hence Tun Daim's father wanted him to be a lawyer.

Tun Zahir helped him with his admission to Lincoln and he learned politics from many people. Tun Hussien Oon shared with him on political history. Tun Daim was saying that his first offer of standing in election was by PAS.

At the age of 28, Tun Daim had the privilege to go to Cabinet meeting to brief them. Little did he knows that 18 years later, he would be attending cabinet weekly.

Before he made it, he used to write to Prime Ministers, often unsolicited advice and often ignored.

Back then, he once got RM60,000 loan from MARA. He put some in doing up his office and spent the rest in stock market. He lost most of it in May 1969.

Later in his life, he learned to invest in quality stock and made $ through his law practice. Believing that he needs to succeed, he needs to go beyond being a lawyer.

His first business was an investment into a saw mill business. It didn't turn out well. Tun Daim mentioned that luckily it didn't work out, or else he might end up losing even more money.

He then went into property, where he paid premium to get a piece of abandoned mining land in Selangor, where he had to fill up many lakes, before even can construct.

Tun Daim highlighted that failure is a great teacher. Never give up and be determined.

"Success is not final. Failure is not fated. It is the courage that counts" - Winston Churchill.

Tun Daim became a millionaire in his 30s. When he was offered to go into Cabineet, he had to let go of many of his investment. And that time, he owned a few factories and stakes in many companies. Tun Daim shared that his sharing of his achievement is not to show off, but to show his journey.

He has to sacrifice to join the government to do national service. He has to sell his stakes at cost to bumiputera (despite getting much higher offers from others). He gave up his wealth, carefree life and more importantly his privacy. Before, he had no one to answer to. It took him more than 1 month to decide on whether to take up position as Finance Minister. He pointed out that sometimes we need to look beyond wealth and personal interest. There was call for service then, and his father wanted him to serve the nation and do what is best for the country.

During his term, Malaysia succeeded from being an agricultural country to an industrialized country. The only regret he has was his loss of privacy. The friends and networks that he built earlier is very useful. We can't be successful if we are just hermit. In anything, networking is important, just as the Chinese term guanxi.

Tun Daim pointed out that he is not suggesting that we make friends with ulterior motives. If we are using others, it can't be for long term.

Tun Daim has the habit of writing to others in those countries, when he visited the countries and meet up with them, to keep up with his friendship.

After his retirement, he has no ministry or company to take care of. He spent his time at Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University reading books. After several months, he became restless.

He felt that if he do business and be successful in Malaysia, people will question him. So, he tried to do it overseas, and he owes it to Malays to prove it to them that they can be successful abroad too.

Tun Daim started his bank in Eastern Europe and it was tough to do it. It is tough too to get Malaysians to work there. And he has to drive home the point that businesses are to make profits. When he ventured into Africa, it is even tougher.

Most African Presidents/Prime Ministers knew Dr. Mahathir and Malaysia, and Tun Daim credited Tun Dr. Mahathir for the good name of Malaysia. That definitely helped Malaysian companies to venture there. Petronas is a potential beneficiary of that too.

On Africa, Tun Daim highlighted that there isn't much discipline, and little expertise. Not many are with experience. And the ones with experience would leave the continent to work elsewhere. It is even tougher to entice Malaysians to work in Africa. He has to start from scratch.

Tun Daim stressed that team work is very critical and he is determined to succeed. Money and reputation is at stake and they have left the comfort of home. Without a good team, he can't be there. The bank has even won the Eurobank award. And has a good reputation in Africa, where most of the Presidents/Prime Ministers/Finance Ministers/Governor of Central Bank knew of the bank and happy with the performance of the bank. It did business fair and honest. He treated them as partner of equal and trained the local (who ended up being poached). There were a lot of requests to open more branches in more cities/countries, but limited by resources. Quality is important. It is in 10 African countries, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Laos.

Tun Daim highlighted that it is crucial to start with business plan, but do need to reassess and reevaluate it. Business cannot be static.

Tun Daim' advice for those who want to differentiate between success and failure is that we have to make sacrifice and defer immediate gratification and leisure. Be the first to arrive at work and last to leave, and plan, execute and change the plan.

"It is not the strongest person nor the the most intelligent person to survive, but most adaptable " Darwin.

Tun Daim stressed on reading up a lot and keep up with the latest trend. If we did not venture out, we did not gain. There is no embarrassment, and we shouldn't be too proud. Don't follow blindly either. We should know ourselves.

"Choose jobs that you love and you don't have to work a day in your life" Confucius.

You are your best asset and you are your master of your destiny. You should be disciplined, determined and work hard.

Tun Daim's advice for the Malays are that they shouldn't be too afraid of competition and don't believe in handouts. Handouts don't guarantee your success.

Tun Daim's advice for non-Malays to not find excuses when they fail, and don't be afraid to fail and take chances.

When one door closes, another door opens. Move on and look for the open door.

Be confident and look for opportunities, but don't compromise. Do face the mirror everyday and make sure you have your conscience. Have faith in yourself and don't live in extravagance and arrogance. Don't rest on your laurel too. Be humble and reach out and success means we have obligation to give back.

Tun Daim ended his speech with leave your kampung, and go where you want to be and claim your future.

Below are some of the responses for Q&As.

Tun Daim commented that it is the right time to open our banking sector, but currently no bank has money to invest.

On what drove him to success, he highlighted that many people in his kampung succeeded and everybody knew everybody. So, he has to be successful.

Tun Daim aid that he used to sleep in office and 1st to go there and last to leave.

On Proton, Tun Daim shared an insider story which is much untold of. It was an Iraqi who came to approach Tun Dr. Mahathir to start up Proton. After the idea, the Iraqi went missing and Tun Dr. Mahathir worked to start Proton. From the start, the agreement was one-sided, where Proton can't export, and if it does, it has to pay commission. So, during recession, it was hard to sell the car. Tun Daim tried to negotiate with the Japanese, but didn't manage to get much support from Proton.

Tun Daim highlighted that we need to penetrate American markets to succeed. Tun Daim highlighted that recently he found opportunities for Proton in Africa, but they are not interested. The question is that Proton should make money back for the public.

When Tun Daim was first became Finance Minister, 80% of government companies were making losses. He hoped that KPI would work. it is crucial to make money, even though it ended up with smaller percentage of stake. If lose money and own 100% stake, would have to absorb all the losses. This can be enhanced with some common sense.

Looking back then, Malaysians were more friendly, and races were more together. There are more in common among all races in Malaysia. We should be more understanding and work together.

We shouldn't take things for granted. All of us can succeed, if we are prepared to work hard.

Tun Daim highlighted that he has written to Dato' Bandar several times giving views on how Kuala Lumpur is developed and he felt that there should be a lot more green lungs and planning.

Africa is changing and there is tremendous opportunities. It is right time to go in now. China is spending lots of money there, and in every African state, there is a Chinatown there. China people work very hard and often in shift, to make it 24 hours a day. Labour is cheap, productivity is high and the people are very hardworking, as well as with government backing.

When Japanese and Korean companies go abroad, their governemnt gives them interest-free loan.

In 2007, Tun Daim highlighted on the recession coming, but it was not published.

Tun Daim pointed out that Morocca, Algeria, Angola, Nigeria are doing well. South Africa current President understand the needs of people.

On Iskandar, Tun Daim highlighted that any development is good, provided that the local interest is taken care of. For housing projects, we perhaps have relaxed the rules too much.

Tun Daim also highlighted that the approval process still takes too long. Comparing our own Security Commission vs Singapore's or Hong Kong's, ours is still very slow. Connection is still crucial in Malaysia.

On the RM40 Billion investment in Iskandar, Tun Daim hoped that it is well managed. The new CEO highlighted that they need local support. Tun Daim's suggesetion is that we take the best idea and move on.

On affirmative action, as long as whole exercise is to help the less fortunate to do well, then it is good. The main issue is implementation. NEP is to eradicate poverty, irrespective of race. It started off well, but its implementation was not perfect after that. NEP was meant for every Malaysian.

The ruling of 30% for Malays stake in listed companies, that is not part of NEP.

On how to move forward, good education would be a solution, where people can stand on their own. At that juncture, Tun Daim said that our education system has failed.

He also commented that at any point in time, 30,000-40,000 people are studying religious studies in Middle East. But there are only limited positions as imam.

We need to ask are we producing the right type of people for Malaysia. What is the problem of our education. Know the ground issues and solve the problems with real solutions.

Tun Daim highlighted that education, security and economy should be the top 3 agenda for the country.

Tun Daim said that Dr. Mahathir is not a dictator. He used to debate with Dr. Mahathir with logic, and Dr. Mahathir appreciated that. It is just that a lot of other Cabinet ministers are not on par in terms of intelligence and they preferred to keep quiet.

Tun Daim ended with saying that Malyasia has tremendous potential, and we need to have intelligent people, and that can be done through education.

The sharing is based what I jotted down during the lecture. So, if there is any error on my part of misquoting what Tun Daim said, please kindly let me know. The purpose of this is just to share with others who might not have the chance to be there to listen first hand from Tun Daim.
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BarCamp Penang - Youth Entrepreneurs Malaysia

For those of you who can make it to Penang, there is Bar Camp in Penang on 6th and 7th June 2009 at Inti Penang. Do check out the website at . AGM has its Annual General Meeting today and the 2008 Annual Report can be obtained from here . You can get quarterly reports there too.

Below is a news by Business Times covering today's AGM. It is quoted from here .

JOBSTREET Corp Bhd is negotiating with a few parties for a possible acquisition.

Its chief executive officer, Mark Chang Mun Kee, said with a cash reserves of RM70 million, the company was in a good position to buy a good quality firm.

"The company has received a few enquiries for partnerships but nothing were concrete yet," he told a media briefing after the company's annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur today.

Chang said the company might consider increasing its stakes in 104 Corp (Taiwan) and Recruit Group Ltd (Hong Kong).

Currently, it owns 6.6 per cent equity interest in 104 Corp and 8.47 per cent in Recruit, he said.

"During recession, it is good to reinvest in the countries that we are in. However, this will depend on the share prices of the companies," he said.

He said the company was also looking at expanding its operations overseas.

Currently, it has operations in eight countries, he said.
He said its Thailand operations would start in a few weeks and were expected to start contributing to its revenue after two years.

"Malaysia continues to be largest contributor with about 50-60 per cent in revenue, followed by Singapore and the Philippines. - Bernama

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Air Asia mulls fund raising through share sale

Saw this news in Business Times on Air Asia looking to raise fund through share sale. It is quoted below.

For its financial results, do look for here . It is great that Air Asia continues to grow during this tough time.
AIRASIA Bhd, Southeast Asia’s largest low-cost airline, said it’s considering raising about RM500 million (US$143 million) to fund expansion in the Malaysian company’s biggest share sale since listing in 2004.

“We’re looking at it,” chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said in an interview today. “If our growth requires us to raise more cash, then we’re not averse to it.”

AirAsia, which has ordered 175 Airbus SAS planes, may raise the money in a stock sale or a rights offer to shareholders, Fernandes said. The timing or the structure of the transaction hasn’t been decided, he said.

The airline’s shares have surged 50 per cent this year in Kuala Lumpur trading, providing currency to raise funds as debt markets wither in the financial crisis. Fernandes expects Airbus to deliver about 24 planes annually for the next three to four years as the airline adds routes to India and boosts flights to China.

“Raising debt would be much cheaper, but I don’t think companies have a lot of choice these days,” said Raymond Yap, an analyst at CIMB Investment Bank Bhd in Kuala Lumpur with an “outperform” rating on AirAsia. Yap issued a report earlier today saying AirAsia may be considering a rights issue.

The carrier had a fleet of 74 planes at the end of March 31, it said in a statement yesterday after reporting its highest quarterly profit since the final three months of 2007. AirAsia had 59 Airbus A320 aircraft and 15 Boeing Co. 737s.

Based on AirAsia’s profit-growth forecasts, a RM500 million share sale won’t necessarily dilute earnings, Fernandes said. The Sepang, Malaysia-based company had RM224 million of cash on its books at the end of March 31.

AirAsia today rose 4 per cent to RM1.30 at the 12:30 pm break on the local stock exchange, set for the highest close in more than a year. Malaysia’s benchmark Composite Index added 0.3 per cent.

AirAsia’s second-quarter passenger traffic is headed for a 21 per cent jump, matching last quarter’s increase as budget- conscious travelers look for cheaper air fares, Fernandes said.

“For the moment, things are rosy,” he said in a Bloomberg Television interview. The “second-quarter demand looks good.”

Profit at the airline climbed 26 per cent in the first quarter to RM203.2 million after the company flew more passengers and added routes, the company said yesterday after the stock market closed.

The carrier’s surging traffic contrasts with slumps at regional rivals including Singapore Airlines Ltd, which is cutting routes and capacity. AirAsia, which expects to fly 24 million people this year, is increasing its capacity by about 20 per cent each quarter, the chief executive said.

AirAsia, which flies to one destination in India, will fly to at least six more airports in the South Asian nation before the end of 2009, Fernandes said. -- Bloomberg

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Free Participation in the Memory Competition

Dear Sir/ Madam


Wish to win RM 3,000/=? Then take part in our memory competition! The details are as follows:


            Date     : 28 June 2009 (Sunday)

            Time     : 9.00am to 1.00pm

            Venue   : Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)

                          No. 13, Jalan 13/6, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Admission: FREE



The written Memory Competition is open to all. This competition consists of 4 categories. The categories are:


(i)                  Dates & Events

(ii)                Random Numbers

(iii)              Random Letters of the Alphabet

(iv)               Random Words


Interested participants may take part in one, two, three, or ALL four categories. For each category, there will be three winners selected.


1st Prize: RM 3,000/=

2nd Prize: RM 2,000/=

3rd Prize: RM 1,000/=


Enclosed herewith the registration form and the rules and regulations for the competition.  Photocopied registration forms are acceptable.


The Registration Closing Date is 22 June 2009


You could help to disseminate the information to your family members and friends. For registration or further information, please email to or fax to (03) 7955 8170. Alternatively, please contact Samantha / Li Yin at (03) 7625 0328. We look forward to your participation.


Good Luck!


Secretary, MMLM

Monday, May 25, 2009

Read Malaysia 2009 - 29th May - 7th June

Read Malaysia 2009 is the inaugural of an annual event where all the publishers, booksellers, academicians, professionals, artistes, authors, software and multimedia suppliers as well as educational institutions such as preschool education, colleges and universities meet together.

The fair offers more than 12, 500 meter square of exhibition space with a huge variety of books including English, Malay and Chinese. About 200 exhibitors from local and foreign countries are expected to occupy the 600 booths set up. Read Malaysia also serves as a platform where regional publishers and distributors can meet and establish partnerships.

Read Malaysia is looking to bring in 400, 000 visitors and it is a highly dedicated event that provides students, parents and educators with educational products and services to expand their horizons over the years.
Its objectives are:-
  • To promote READING amongst Malaysians
  • To promote local publications industry
  • To provide a business matching platform for local and international publications
  • To provide a platform for working adults to improve through re-education
    Name : Read Malaysia 2009
      Date : 29 May - 7 June 2009
      Time : 11am - 10pm
      Venue : Malaysia International Exhibition & Convention Centre (MIECC),
    Mines Resort City

    Foreign varsities prefer those who excelled in extra-curricular activities

    Thanks to my loyal blog reader for sharing this news.
    This is quoted from


    PETALING JAYA: Foreign universities are looking beyond a string of As in SPM as they prefer all-rounders who also excelled in extra-curricular activities.

    British Council education director Peter Clack said some British universities were put off by the number of As which Malaysian students boasted about.

    He welcomed the Government's move to limit the number of subjects students could take in SPM.

    It is worrying to see that the academic side is seen as more important than the mental and emotional sides of education.

    Hence, parents put a lot of emphasis on the exam results. This should be discouraged in any way possible

    Jerry Tan, general manager of education advisory body Studylink Sdn Bhd, agreed with Clack.

    Foreign universities are sceptical about the number of As Malaysian students are achieving. The admission depends a lot on interviews, "he said.

    He said the universities would offer scholarships to students with 10As if they were all-rounders.

    Tan hoped the Government would end the open certificate practice as local colleges were raising the bar in offering scholarships.

    Coordinator of the Malaysian-American Commission on Educatio-nal Exchange (Educational Advising Centre) Doreen John said US universities looked for all-rounders rather than just excellent SPM results.

    "Were they head prefects before? Did they do something for the community?", she asked.

    Generally, US universities require students to sit for entrance examinations after SPM, such as the SAT Reasoning Test, while British and Australian universities require students to complete a foundation course before commencing a degree programme.

    Star Education Fund Unit manager Richard Foo said that as an alternative to Public Service Department scholarships, many local universities and colleges offer scholarships, often covering the entire tuition fees.

    He said scholarships are also offered by many organisations including Petronas, Shell, Khazanah Nasional, HSBC Bank Malaysia, Astro and Bank Negara.

    Sunday, May 24, 2009

    The Canticle Singers

    Do check out The Canticle Singers ! It will be an exhilirating evening of choral music from pop to Broadway.

    They will be having performance on 30th and 31st May at Universiti of Malaya. Within their repertoire, one of the numbers will be dedicated to the life and memory of Markus Ng. Markus's parents would be present at the performance on 31st May 2009.

    If you are able to make it to the performance and are willing to support it, do get your ticket at AXCESS Ticketing.

    Hopefully, you will be there!


    BE OUR GUEST will be staged on Sat 30 and Sun 31 May 2009 at 8.30pm each evening at Auditorium Perdanasiswa, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.

    BE OUR GUEST is a feast of lush choral music and other vocal selections selected from the realm of pop, jazz, folk rock, gospel and Broadway. Spend an evening with us, enjoying selections such as The Winner Takes It All from Mamma Mia, Nella Fantasia from the epic movie The Mission, Baba Yetu from Civilization IV, Ralph McTell's Streets of London, Wind Beneath My Wings from the film Beaches, a West Side Story duo, a medley of Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway hits from The King and I, South Pacific, Oklahoma, Carousel, etc., a Sweeney Todd suite and our very own favourites.

    Our chorale of 19 singers and guest soloist Tan Wei Han, Tenor; will captivate you with an exclusive collection of harmonies and melodies. Journey with us, with music from the 1950's to the present day and you will rediscover songs and tunes that you hummed and grew up with and discover new ones along the way; all selected from award winning independent music releases, film and stage productions.

    In 2008, TCS's musical A Grand Night for Singing at Lambang Sari, Istana Budaya enjoyed packed houses for eight consecutive performances and amongst others played before Duli Yang Maha Mulia Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Bainun binti Mohd. Ali, DK, DMN in aid of her charity Malaysian Children's Aid Society. The group was nominated for Best Group Performance - Voice, for the stage musical "Do You Hear the People Sing?" under the Boh Cameronian Awards.

    Theatre Venue
    Auditorium Perdanasiswa, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Directions will be provided at the Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur security gate entrances to University of Malaya on the evenings of the performances. Click here for location map.

    Dates and Times
    8.30pm on Sat 30 May and Sun 31 May 2009. Doors open at 8.00pm

    RM58 & RM78 (inclusive of RM3 AXCESS fee) available from Thursday 23 April 2009 via AXCESS Hotline: +60-3-7711 5000, the AXCESS website at and all AXCESS outlets.
    In an exclusive arrangement between VISA and AXCESS, a 20% discount off the price of tickets is being offered to select premiere Visa credit card card holders via the AXCESS website during the first two weeks of commencement of ticket sales.

    BE OUR GUEST ticket stubs may used to obtain a 15% discount off regularly priced products from any CRABTREE & EVELYN store in Malaysia until 15 June 2009, subject to terms and conditions.

    Win Free Tickets for BE OUR GUEST
    During the month of May, Top Hat Restaurant, one of KL's top fine dining establishments, will be helping to promote the BE OUR GUEST. Every week Top Hat will offer diners who spend a minimum of RM100 and answer two simple questions, an opportunity to win a pair of tickets for the choral concert. Four pairs of tickets are up for grab. Top Hat's website is at

    Lucky Draw
    Members of the audience attending BE OUR GUEST will also be entered into a lucky draw and may win vouchers to dine at Top Hat or gifts from CRABTREE & EVELYN.

    Student Tickets
    In a special effort to encourage and promote choral music and the variety of music which their parents listened to, amongst school and college students, there will be a limited number of Student Tickets at RM25 for students aged 21 years and under. As a valid student ID and/or national identity card stating the date of birth must be produced, Student Tickets are only available through AXCESS outlets. Each student is entitled to purchase a maximum of 4 Student Tickets only and student IDs will be checked for each person being admitted on a student ticket.

    Access for the Physically Challenged
    Seating for the physically challenged is limited to the Stalls only and access will be via the rear entrance of the theatre. Please contact AXCESS directly for more details.

    Free parking is available at the Auditorium Perdanasiswa car park. Additional parking is available at the car park of the University of Malaya Library, directly opposite the auditorium.

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    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 will be more than happy to post it to share

    Feel free to quote any post within my blog, as long as you link it back here. Sharing is always a good virtue. :)

    Saturday, May 23, 2009 Wiki - Malaysian Education Encyclopedia

    Do you care about Malaysians?
    Do you care about education for Malaysians?
    Have you been complaining about the education system?

    If you answer yes to those questions above, I would like to invite you to come together and lets build a very comprehensive encyclopedia for Malaysian Education. This will be in the form of a wiki, which would be similar to the concept of wikipedia.

    Whatever you share is public information and it is for the benefit of everyone.

    Do check out ReCom Wiki - Malaysian Education Encyclopedia here .

    To get started:-
    1. Step 1: If you are not yet a ReCom members, do sign up for a quick account.
    2. Step 2: Go to Wiki and start updating!

    This is the Facebook group here . Please kindly help to spread the words around.

    This is a fully community project. So, lets make a difference for the future of Malaysians!

    Chen Chow's Other Posts
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    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 will be more than happy to post it to share

    Feel free to quote any post within my blog, as long as you link it back here. Sharing is always a good virtue. :)

    Project What's After SPM

    Project What's After SPM ( is still hunting for young Malaysians (age 18-35) to share on post high school life. You could share on your education, career, activities, charity, travel, hobbies etc. Essentially, anything.
    What we hope this project would do, would be to have a bunch of articles (Hopefully, we can get 100 of those) to share with fellow Malaysians, on what they could do post SPM. We are seeking for diverse Malaysians to share on your experience, hopefully that this would be able to guide fellow Malaysians who are at the crossroads.
    The length of the article is 600 to 800 words, and once it is done, do email to .
    This is a fully community project, where none of those involved (editors, authors, translators etc) would get a cent.
    Thanks for your support!
    p/s: As of now, more than 80 articles have been collected. So, we are hoping to get the remaining ones soon.

    Thursday, May 21, 2009

    Volunteer with World Vision


    Volunteer needed:

    Visitation to Beautiful Gate at SS2, PJ (3/6/09 Wed): 1-3pm (Security: 2 persons), 7-8.30pm (Security: 6 persons)

    Press Conference, KL (4/6/09 Thurs): 8am onwards (Set Up: 2 persons & Security: 4 persons)

    Please reply before 25/5/09. Have a nice day!

    Warm Regards,

    Jennifer Ting
    Promotion & Communications
    World Vision Malaysia
    Office Address: 106 & 108 Ground Floor, Block A, Kelana Centre Point, Jalan SS 7/19, Kelana Jaya,  47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
    Tel : +603-78806414     Fax : +603-78806424
    Our vision for every child, life in all its fullness;
    Our prayer for every heart, the will to make it so.
    World Vision is an International Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    CSP10 and Reunion Postponed

    Dear CSP Alumni,

    The CSP office has been closely following the development of the Influenza A (H1N1) outbreak since its first occurrence in Mexico in late April 2009.  Currently the virus has spread to over 40 countries worldwide and with the emerging of new cases within Asia in the past week, we are concerned with the potential health risk our delegates will be taking in the upcoming CSP10 and Grand Reunion.

    Furthermore, the CSP office has also been paying attention to the measures taken in different countries against the outbreak and the related problems it can bring for the CSP journey.  With confirmed cases in Hong Kong and mainland China proven to have been imported from abroad, the immigration departments are tightening their screening of visitors.  Anyone (especially those from known affected countries or areas) found with fever, signs of respiratory infections or any other flu-like symptoms will be immediately sent to the hospital, and fellow travelers will also be put under a 7-day quarantine.  These measures are necessary in order to contain the spreading of the virus, but at the same time will be a factor affecting the risk and feasibility of the CSP10 trip.

    Having considered this matter critically, the organizing committee of the China Synergy Programme has reached a decision to postpone the upcoming CSP programme with the interest of the well being of our delegates.

    We regret to have to make such a decision but the health and safety of our delegates is of utmost importance and the organizing committee is not prepared to put this at risk.  Therefore the 10th China Synergy Programme and Reunion will instead take place in 2010.  The exact rescheduled date will be announced in due course, but should remain within a similar period of the year as currently scheduled.  Alumni registered to take part in the Reunion this year will retain their current status and will not be required to reapply to take part in the programme next year. Arrangements will be made for payments received for the reunion to be returned for the time being.   Detailed information will be sent to our delegates via email next week.

    If you have any further queries, please feel free to contact the CSP secretariat at:

    The Organizing Committee,
    China Synergy Programme for Outstanding Youth
    Tel: (852)21170326
    Fax: (852)25360605









    BRAND'S(R) Sudoku Challenge 2009 Asia Pacific Open is back!





    BRAND'S® Asia Pacific Sudoku Challenge 2009

    A Battle of the Best

    Plus new segment

    "BRAND'S® Sudoku Challenge 2009 Students' Challenge"



    April 27, 2009, Singapore – Industry leader BRAND'S®, known for the world's only scientifically proven Essence of Chicken, Bird's Nest Range and Health Supplements, is proud to announce that BRAND'S® Asia Pacific Sudoku Challenge 2009, Asia's largest Sudoku competition, is back for its third consecutive year.


    Stemming from the overwhelming response of last year's competition, the highly anticipated BRAND'S® Asia Pacific Sudoku Challenge 2009 returns with a bang. With a whopping $100,000 in cash and prizes to be won, it's no wonder that Sudoku whizzes in Singapore and across the region are clamouring to be part of the action.


    "We're very excited about this year's BRAND'S® Asia Pacific Sudoku Challenge 2009. The skill-level of the contestants last year was very high. We're expecting a substantial number of repeat participants this year. They've had a whole year to hone their skill and it won't be a surprise if the calibre of this year's participants will be even more remarkable!" states Josephine Soh, Marketing Manager of Cerebos Pacific Ltd, South Asia.


    She continues, "Sudoku remains the world's most popular puzzle that challenges and strengthens the mind. Having BRAND'S® Asia Pacific Sudoku Challenge 2009 is thus fully in line with BRAND'S® Essence of Chicken's distinguished position as the only scientifically proven Essence of Chicken to have a positive effect on mental performance."


    And indeed, the 2009 edition of the BRAND'S® Asia Pacific Sudoku Challenge promises to be nothing less than a Battle of the Best – between the best, for the best! After all, it is a quest for the finest minds in Singapore – participants will not only have to test their skills at solving the world's most popular logic puzzle, but also have to prove their mental alertness as they get past the grueling rounds of preliminaries and semi-finals in order to reach the final stage.


    BRAND'S® Sudoku Challenge 2009 Singapore Open

    Seasoned puzzlers will find the format for the BRAND'S® Sudoku Challenge Singapore Open 2009 familiar. The top 1,000 fastest Challengers to submit accurate puzzles on the preliminaries online portal STOMP will proceed to the Semi-Finals. 100 of the fastest Semi-Finalists will then move on to battle it out in the Finals for a shot at becoming the Singapore champion and the top prize of $7000 cash and a year's supply of BRAND'S® Essence of Chicken products.


    As icing on the cake, anyone who registers for the BRAND'S® Sudoku Challenge Singapore Open 2009 on STOMP will also automatically qualify for BRAND'S® Sudoku Challenge 2009 Weekly Lucky Draw for a chance to win additional cash prizes totaling $3000.


    BRAND'S® Sudoku Challenge 2009 Asia Pacific Open

    Singapore will yet again play host to the crème de la crème of Sudoku whizzes in Asia in the BRAND'S® Sudoku Challenge 2009 Asia Pacific Open. This segment is open in puzzlers throughout Asia who have been ranked top three in their respective country's national Sudoku competition, or have been nominated by a recognized national Sudoku or puzzle association to represent their country, or represent recognised national IQ or mathematical associations. 2008's Asia Pacific Open champion was 13-year-old Sarah Jane Cua from the Philippines. Will this year's winner, who will walk away with a $10,000 in cold hard cash, be just as tender of age?


    BRAND'S® Sudoku Challenge 2009 Students' Challenge

    Speaking of tender ages, BRAND'S® is also pleased to announce a whole new dimension to the BRAND'S® Sudoku Challenge that caters specially to student population in Singapore. Appropriately split into three levels – Lower Primary (for primary 1-3 students), Upper Primary (for primary 4-6 students) and Secondary (for secondary 1-4 students, the Students' Challenge will provide a new platform for young budding Sudoku talents to compete against others within their age group. Representatives from primary and secondary schools across the island will get to vie for the championship title in this prestigious battle of education institutes.


    Sign Up Now!

    Online registration for the Singapore Open segment of the BRAND'S® Asia Pacific Sudoku Challenge 2009 is open. From now till 3 June 2009, Singapore Citizens and Residents can log on to and enter the unique 7-digit code found in all BRAND'S® Essence of Chicken Sudoku Challenge Promotional Packs to sign up for the Singapore Preliminaries. Details on the BRAND'S® Sudoku Challenge 2009 Weekly Lucky Draw may also be found online.


    Friends from neighbouring countries who would like to take part in the Asia Pacific Open can also log onto the same website for details on how to enter the contest. 


    Some of you might have checked it out already.
 . It is a great search engine, where it is able to do computation and find out about facts, website details, stock prices etc. It presents the info you need in a very structured way. Looks very good!
    You can try out the examples at .

    Monday, May 18, 2009

    Tun Daim's Talk postponed to 29th May

    Postponement of Tun Daim's talk to 29th May
    We would like to extend our sincere apology to all who have RSVP and to those who are keen to attend the L4T lecture by Tun Daim Zainuddin's on "Jaguh Kampung: A Personal Perspective on Business Outside Malaysian Shores", as we would be rescheduling to a later date.
    As informed earlier, the lecture that was scheduled to take place on The 26th May 2009 will be rescheduled to 29th May 2009 due to the availability of our honorable speaker.

    Itinerary is as follow:
    7.45 pm: Guest Arrivals/ Registration/ Refreshments
    8.15 pm: Welcome note & introduction
    8.20 pm: Tun Daim Zainuddin to speak on topic
    8.35pm: Q&A session
    9.15pm: End of session 

    Your constant support and attendance in making these lectures successful will be very much appreciated. Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience caused.

    Afiah Hafiz, 
    on behalf of Leaders For Tomorrow. 

    Complimentary Talk: R U Thinking Enough?



    We cordially invite you to attend a free talk on ?R U Thinking Enough?? by Dr. Alex Ow. The details are as below.


    Date    : 23 May 2009 (Saturday)

    Time   : 9.45am to 12pm

    Venue: Centre for Extension Education

                Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman

                No.13, Jalan 13/6,

                46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor


    The admission for the talk is FREE. Enclosed herewith is the flyer for the talk.


    The talk is open to all. Feel free to bring your family members and friends to the talks. Please drop us a note ( if you are coming so that we can ensure comfort for all.


    Please ignore this email if you have registered with us for the above talk. We look forward to meeting you this Saturday at 9.45am.



    Secretariat, MMLM

    Sunday, May 17, 2009

    ReCom Wiki Launched - The Worldwide Malaysian Students Network has just launched ReCom Wiki today! Do check it out at here at ReCom Wiki .

    Hopefully, this will be a great resources for Malaysians who would like to learn about education/scholarship in Malaysia and hopefully, this will be great learning resources for Malaysians too!
    For the Facebook group of this wiki, do go to

    Malaysian Mensa Society Silver Jubilee

    Press Release of Malaysian Mensa Society Silver Jubilee held from 15th to 17th May 2009.
    PENANG:  The Malaysian chapter of Mensa, the international high IQ society celebrated its 25th Anniversary in grand fashion here today in a convention that brought 60 members together. Members from all over Malaysia travelled to Penang to attend the Malaysian Mensa Society Silver Jubilee, including the founding Chairman, Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon, Managing Director of Royal Selangor.

    In the finale gala dinner, Tan Sri Yong gave an insight into how he brought Mensa beginning from 1979 and finally getting the society officially registered on 28th May 1984.

    Among the many activities held during the 3 Day 2 Night convention were talks in various topics by its own members. The diversity of the topics really show the diverse interest of its members, ranging from French, treasure hunts, philately, scuba diving, invention, e-commerce, education, management, philosophy, sci-fiction to travel. The members also engaged themselves in Sudoku, Scrabble, photo and puzzle competition.

    The 25th Annual General Meeting was also held during the convention. Malaysian Mensa current chairman, Low Keng Lok said the venue for next year's convention will be in Kuala Lumpur.

    Malaysian Mensa Society has more than 1,000 members in Malaysia.  Internationally, more than 105,000 people are Mensa members, with 40 national Mensa chapters.

    Mensa only admits those who score more than 148 in the Cattell Scale, which is equivalent to 98 percentile in the supervised IQ test. The tests are held regularly every 2nd Saturday of the month in Kuala Lumpur and every alternate month in Penang. Malaysian Mensa also conducted the test at schools and colleges as well.

    For more information of Malaysian Mensa Society, do refer to

    Friday, May 15, 2009

    PSD Scholarship Selection Criteria

    Thanks to my loyal blog reader for this article.

    No review of PSD scholarship selection criteria: DG

    This is quoted from here .

    PUTRAJAYA, Thurs:

    There will be no review of the selection criteria for Public Services Department scholarships, PSD director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam said today.

    He said he had not received any directives to reconsider the criteria.

    Unsuccessful applicants for scholarships had until Monday to appeal, he added.

    MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee said on Wednesday there would be a review of the PSD criteria for giving out scholarships.

    Ismail denied there was a meeting among Barisan Nasional component party leaders, the Chief Secretary to the Government and himself, as claimed by Ong.

    Ismail also refuted Ong's claims on the current selection criteria.

    Ong was reported to have said that the selection is based on four criteria - merit (20%), race (60%), Sabah and Sarawak citizens (10%) and students from underprivileged groups (10%).

    "I think he may have gotten confused with the distribution of scholarships,” Ismail said.

    "As it stands, we still very much practise a meritocracy system with the criteria: academic (75%), co-curricular activities (10%), family background (10%) and interview (5%)."

    Ismail also said he had been answering questions on the PSD scholarships "forever" and reiterated that choice of courses played a crucial role on whether candidates were awarded a scholarship or not.

    "For those who want to study medicine, they will have to understand that the field is extremely competitive.

    "And because we have to also take family background into consideration, there may be cases where students from very poor families with fewer A's, may be awarded with the scholarship," he said.

    He said since the results of the offer were announced last Friday, his department had received more than 2,000 appeals.
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    Feel free to quote any post within my blog, as long as you link it back here. Sharing is always a good virtue. :)

    Thursday, May 14, 2009

    JPA Scholarships Appeal Cases

    For those who failed to get JPA scholarships, and if you have a deserving case, you would have the chance to get the scholarships through the appeal process.

    here .












    Chen Chow's Other Posts
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    Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM) - participating in 2009 ICM

    Thanks Sebastian for highlighting on Amnesty International's International Council Meeting on 9 - 14 August 2009.
    Dear Members

    The International Council Meeting will be held on 9 - 14 August 2009.
    AIM would like to invite one member to assist us in the preparation
    and join us for the meeting. This would include to collectively
    determine and facilitate discussions among members, share information
    on key ICM decisions and participate actively in discussion prior and
    during ICM. More information on ICM can be found on

    This years ICM will be focusing on key accountability and growth
    issues as well as the upcoming Demand Dignity Campaign, hence we seek
    to establish a stronger presence on the Dignity Campaign from your
    participation.To learn more about the Dignity Campaign, please click
    on the link below.

    Therefore,the AIM member who want to submit application must be
    experienced in ESCR campaign activities and actions as in providing
    policy direction and involved in managing or initiating ESCR campaigns
    and must have good knowledge in HR and ESCR issues both on key
    regional and international frameworks and policies. Please send in
    your personal details and please describe in 500 words or more how AI
    can engage and decide on ESCR issues and please provide key
    recommendations and solutions. The closing date for submission is 24
    May 2009.

    We hope to hear from you.

    Best Regards,

    Nora Murat
    Executive Director
    Amnesty International Malaysia

    Tel: 603 7955 2680
    Fax: 603 7955 2682 & Marketing Partnership

    If you would like to check out hotels in this region, do check out .

    The news of partnership between and is at here .
    Kuala Lumpur, 13 May 2009--, The Pan-Asia Online Hotels And Travel Reservation Service, And, A Leading Online Recruitment Company In The Region, Today Announced A Marketing Partnership To Make Available’s Full Range Of Travel Products On A Co-brand Website To’s Regional User Base Of Over 6 Million.

    The co-brand website will offer the most compelling range of travel products in the marketplace for users. in turn will drive traffic to the co-brand website. In addition, Asiatravel will develop best deals and special packages to be extended to's user base.

    Said Mr. Boh Tuang Poh,’s Executive Chairman, “We are very excited to enter into this agreement with’s reach of more than 6 million registered users represents a huge market for our full range of compelling and competitively priced travel products. We’re confident that our partnership with JobStreet will drive new users and increased bookings to "

    According to Mr. Mark Chang, Founder and CEO of, this partnership with will be mutually beneficial. He said, “ is always focused on bringing better job opportunities to its member base. However, with this collaboration, we can now also bring them value-added leisure opportunities though some great travel products that they can take advantage of when they are not working.”

    About is a pan-Asia online travel and hotel reservation service provider with network of offices in 8 countries. It is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. Asiatravel has direct contracts with over 5,000 hotels in its core destinations in the region and integration to various hotels computer reservation systems giving instant access to over 50,000 hotels' inventories worldwide. All these hotels offer last minute availability and instant reservation confirmation. Asiatravel offers online last minute availability and instant reservation confirmation on air tickets from multi-departure points by all major airlines.

    Asiatravel ensures that travellers get to enjoy great value, last minute availability and instant reservation confirmation on its products and servcies. The ultimate goal is to enable customers to make hotel and travel reservations with instant confirmation anytime, anywhere giving travellers a comprehensive One-Stop-Service with choice and convenience.


    The ( online recruitment websites presently cover the employment markets in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh and Thailand. The Group has a subsidiary in Japan and investments in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The Group currently services over 50,000 corporate customers and over 6 million job seekers throughout the region. is listed as JobStreet Corporation Berhad on the Main Board of the Bursa Malaysia Securities (Stock Code: JOBST)

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    Feel free to quote any post within my blog, as long as you link it back here. Sharing is always a good virtue. :)

    Admission Stuff Blogspot

    Got this URL of blog from Kich of South Africa (Kich, I hope I get your location, right). It is on Admission Stuff .

    It is still a new blog, but I have read its first few posts and would say that it is written with great care and great passion to share. Would recommend you to check it out!

    Chen Chow's Other Posts
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    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 will be more than happy to post it to share

    Feel free to quote any post within my blog, as long as you link it back here. Sharing is always a good virtue. :)

    Wednesday, May 13, 2009

    Malaysian Mensa Society 25th Annivesary (15th-17th May, Penang)

    Malaysian Mensa Society 25th Anniversary Convention

    Friday 15 May 2009
    3.00 pm onwards Check-in Hydro Majestic Batu Ferringhi Penang
    4.00 pm – 6.00 pm Ice-breaker session (venue in hotel lounge area)

    Saturday 16 May 2009
    9.00 am – 9.30 am SPEAKER 1 & 2
    9.30 am – 10.00 am SPEAKER 3 & 14
    10.00 am – 10.30 am SPEAKER 5 & 6
    10.30 am – 11.00 am Coffee Break
    11.00 am – 11.30 am SPEAKER 7 & 8
    11.30 am – 12.00 pm SPEAKER 9 & 10
    12.00 pm – 12.30 pm SPEAKER 11 & 13
    12.30 pm – 2.00 pm Lunch
    2.00 pm – 3.30 pm AGM
    3.30 pm – 4.00 pm Coffee Break
    4.00 pm – 4.30 pm SPEAKER 12 & 4
    4.30 pm – 5.00 pm SPEAKER 12 & 15
    7.00 pm – 10.00 pm Gala Dinner

    Sunday 17 May 2009
    9.00 am – 11.00 am Sudoku & Grabble competition
    11.00 am – 11.30 am Prize Giving & END

    Gala Dinner Program
    7.00 pm – 7.15 pm Organising Chairman (Jay) & Chairman (LKL) Speech
    7.15 pm – 8.15 pm Dinner is served
    8.15 pm – 9.00 pm Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon’s Keynote Address
    History of Malaysian Mensa with Q & A
    9.00 pm – 9.30 pm Recognition
    9.30 pm – 10.00 pm Free and Easy


    1. Low Keng Lok Mensa International - Governance
    2. Ismail Omar Why You Should Learn French
    3. Lawrence Hie Treasure Hunts
    4. Heah Kok Soon Life Cycle of a Business
    5. Datin Dr PW Yim The Table
    6. Datuk Dr TC Chin Licking Good - Philately
    7. Lim Eng Hoo Scuba
    8. Yeoh Chen Chow Finding a Job in Turbulent Times
    9. Lee Yee Dian The Lighter Side of Inventions
    10. Low Keng Lok Dubai – The Fastest Growing City in the World
    11. Jayaram Crossword Puzzles
    12. Nick Miller Boldly Going where no one has gone before(1 hr)
    13. Nic Sim (e commerce)
    14. Sim PC Introduction to Non-Doing Mind and Insightful
    15 Fintan Ooi How Not to Climb a Mountain

    Anymore people who would be attending it?
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    Feel free to quote any post within my blog, as long as you link it back here. Sharing is always a good virtue. :)

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    Journalism Scholarship

    Thanks to my loyal blog reader for sharing this.

    This is quoted from here
    Guest blogger Brian Boyer is a hacker journalist who writes about the intersection of technology and journalism. He's worked at public-interest journalism site ProPublica and is now at the Chicago Tribune, building their new News Applications team.

    It's not news that journalism is in crisis. CNN turned newspapers into first-day fishwrap and Craigslist killed the business model. Solutions are scarce, and our democracy is at risk. I don't have a chart to guide our way through the darkness to Citizenry 2.0, but there are some who can navigate the singularity.

    Journalism needs great hackers. Not just nerds, but programmers who care -- about the values of journalism and the power of a free press to hold government accountable. Luckily, hackers are a freedom-minded bunch. The free software movement is rooted in many of the same principals that guide journalism. But news organizations aren't very sexy places to work -- especially now, as layoffs, bankruptcy and closures plague the industry. So how can we bring nerds to the news? One old-skool school is trying.

    Free beer school!
    Tell your programmer friends: The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University is giving away full scholarships, plus expenses, to software developers.They can get a masters degree in journalism, gratis, from one of the most prestigious J-schools around.

    I recently graduated from the year-long program, during which I studied with with one other hacker and ~45 brilliant 'normal' journalism students. I interviewed lawmakers, farmers and shopkeepers and wrote stories about agriculture, waterways, and the diabetes epidemic in Illinois. It was difficult to shake my introverted, google-first, face-to-face-as-a-last-resort programmer nature. But it was also thrilling.

    Journalism is an info-geek's dream. You're constantly learning new topics, speaking with experts, and distilling real-world issues to their essence -- all in the mission of informing the folks who don't have time to soak up all that data. It's like being paid to write a new Wikipedia article every day.

    We also wrote some software. My programmer colleague and I banged out enviroVOTE in a frenetic weekend of coding and coffee in the days preceding the election. The night of, we were tied to our keyboards, tallying results and tweeting updates while the rest of the world was watching TV. Such is the life of a journalist.

    For our final project at Medill, the two coders and four non-coder new-media students built NewsMixer, an experiment in integrating social networks with news coverage. It was one of the first applications to roll out on Facebook Connect, and remains one of the only apps that explores its full potential. All the code is GPL'ed and has already spawned other open-source projects.
    This is the time to remake journalism

    Programmers have been making an impact in the news world for some time, but until recently most innovation in this space has been in creating new ways to present the old style. With a few shining exceptions like the datavisuals by the New York Times, most online news could have been written on a typewriter and mailed to Google for indexing.

    Then, something amazing happened: Software won a Pulitzer Prize. Created by hacker journalist Matt Waite and other fantastically clever folks at the St. Petersburgh Times, PolitiFact is form of news that could only exist online. Aron Pilhofer, leader of the innovations team at the NYT, put it perfectly:

    But is it journalism, some people asked? There's no lead per se, no narrative and no pyramids anywhere to be found, much less the inverted sort.

    Journalism is about helping people make sense of important issues, and how those issues affect them personally. It's about uncovering that which someone wants to keep hidden. It's about holding people we place in high public office accountable. And by those definitions... PolitiFact more than meets the test. It takes a traditional form of newspaper reporting -- fact-checking what politicians say -- and scales it up in a way only possible on the web.

    The NYT's Represent and its open-source cousin, Repsheet, are innovations much in the same vein, and their existence is a sign of the times. The tools now available to hackers are so great that we can think far beyond content management systems. The moment has come when a couple of great hackers can knock out a fully-fledged new form of media in a matter of weeks. Tell the Twitterati: there are lights in the distance.

    Hackers wanted
    The news is waiting to be saved. We have the technology, all we need is more nerds. So ditch your boring corporate gigs and come to journalism! Democracy is one hell of a fun problem to hack.
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