Friday, September 17, 2010

Knowing new friends

On 12th September 11.30pm, I received a call from my friend (President of MyPSA). He asked if I could help to guide two students from Bangladesh as they were coming to Penang. For most instances, I would say yes. No exception this time too. Then I asked for the student's number so that I could know where and when to fetch them.

11.45pm. Messaged them. "Could you let me know where and when to fetch you tomorrow?"

Message replied. "We're now on the way to Penang from Malacca. Would be reaching Penang at 5.30am."

My instant response. "What? 5.30am?" Meaning to say I needed to wake up at 4am and drive to Penang by latest 5am. Gosh, this shouldn't be happening. I only had 4 hours left to sleep in fact during this break, I normally slept at 2am. Quite impossible for me to sleep at 12am and wake up at 4am. But what to do? Promise is a promise. I wasn't not happy. Just that I felt it's a sorrow not to sleep more than 8 hours. At the end of the day I'd been the tour guide and driver for around 18 hours from 6.30am to 12.00am though, it's a pleasure journey.

Met two new friends from Bangladesh, Rajiv and Siam from Pharmacy Students' Society for Bangladesh.
Rajiv and Siam
Nasi Beryani. Something that could be found in their country too

Snake temple.

Batu Ferringhi
Floating Mosque
The first mosque that I entered in Malaysia
I had my first experience entering a mosque too. I was ashamed. I've been living in Malaysia for 23 years but it's foreign tourists who brought me into a mosque and explained the essence of Islam and the prayer. Rajiv zealously explained me the steps of performing the ablution and then led me into the praying hall and told me how the prayer should be carried out. Then I just stood behind the hall and observed Siam doing his prayer.

Again, it's a way to get myself closer to Malaysian culture and understand more about our national religion.

After that brought them to a Malay seafood restaurant to try out some Malay cuisine - Ikan bakar with Su Ee. That called a day off and it's already 12.00am. T.T I still had to drive back home. Haih~

BlogFest Asia in World Heritage, Penang

It's exciting to hear that BlogFest Asia is now boarding in Penang. I've been always complaining that why those exciting events always happen in KL but not in Penang and every time I have to think twice, thrice or even more before I've made my decision to attend (Almost pokai traveling here and there, to-and-fro).

And yeah, BlogFest Asia is finally satu-satu kalinya held in Georgetown this time and it's FREE! Totally free including free lunch, free dinner, free workshop. Walao, what a big frog hopping on the street. The FREE dinner is going to be held at QE II somemore. It's too much! My experience. This is seriously a great restaurant with great ambience and great food.
QEII, a 360 degree restaurant on the sea
But I don't know why. I'm really sui...really really sui! This time it's my turn not in Penang. Argh~! I'm Kelantan...why?!!!

Nevermind, still this kinda "kap la" I have to share with you. Penang deserves more excitement. Please go and let me know what happen there. Click the link to know more.
BlogFest Asia 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


This is a very delicate relationship between "we" and "me" in determining one to be a Grade A leader or Grade B and C. I think it's somewhat so real as I feel these changes occurring in phase deeply within myself over the last few months.

These are the 4 essential phases in shaping one into a leader. And the border line between 2 phases is so subtle that most of people might fail to notice. Some might have even gone through all these 4 phases without realizing it at all.

Let's take a simple example and you will know what I'm trying to say.

Everyone has ego. When new thing's introduced to you, you might think that it challenges your comfort zone. So the first thing that strikes your mind is NO. It's normal anyway. Not much worries. This is true when you're in a new community or organization. You find it very hard to blend yourself into the new environment. You retain the element "Me".

When time goes by, you adapt yourself gradually to the community and to a certain level, you will develop an intrinsic sense - sense of belonging. You feel that you're part of the community and you will always put the benefits of the community in front of you. Most of the people will remain at this stage because it's always fun to work with a bunch of your friends. Not much responsibilities in this level.

Somewhat in every community, there will be always someone to offer himself or herself to take the leadership role. They want to contribute. They think that they could actually do something for the community. But there's always a specific norm in our community that when such person offers himself, there will be murmur behind the scene. "His face's so thick-lah", "people don't choose him, he offers himself" etc. Is this bad? Those who are not that mentally strong will be scared away as they always want to be accepted by his own group, trying not to be odd. But this is where opportunity comes in (as I mentioned in my last post). These people who offer themselves are termed as leaders.

But again, somehow when you are alone at different level, you see things with your limited perspective as most of the time your mental activity works in your own style. Egoism unfolds again. So your perspective tends to be originated from only one point - you. If a person remains at this phase for too long time, he will develop into a kind called dictator. Yup, they are leaders too but not everyone favors this kinda leader.

If one's exposed enough to the external stimuli, then he will slowly realize that his previous style might not work anymore as he thinks that he could not work based solely on his own perspectives anymore but team's perspective. He needs to work as a team. He needs to work for the people. At this phase, the element "we" will be growing stronger and stronger as the element "me" diminishes. He will then start to inspire people rather than just leading the team. And that is the most important quality of a real leader. He inspires.

Me-We-Me-We is a forward process but it doesn't happen spontaneously. It is much dependent on one's mindset, exposure and also his internal filter system - positive thinking. Positive person sees opportunity in every difficulty whereas negative person sees dead end.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Inspiring Journey - YLA

YLA - Youth Leadership Academy by McKinsey & Company, Malaysia. Yes. It's McKinsey & Co. It's one of the best management consulting firms in the world. It's been ranked No. 1 for 6 consecutive years in the list of top consulting firms.

Having been selected as one of the YLA-ers is definitely an awesome thing. I'm so lucky, to be honest. Actually I wasn't that confident when I was interviewed on phone because I didn't really prepare for it and I just blah out whatever in my mind. I just sent in the form spontaneously when both Khai Sheng recommended this to me and at the same time, I received a circular from another friend of mine. I even failed to recall back what essay I'd written in the application form.

But this doesn't matter much anymore, as now I'm part of YLA. Kaka. YLA is a series of 3 workshops with the theme: Leading self, leading others and leading Malaysia. This is indeed an awe-inspiring program, providing you a lot of useful management tools and most importantly the McKinsey way to solve problems.

Practicing pyramid principle to synthesize the governing thought
Besides, in every workshop there will be a prominent leader to give us an inspiring keynote speech. So far, Datuk Vinod and Mr. Seelan.

Datuk Vinod shared his experience on how he started to be an entrepreneur when he's still a university student in the States. He kicked start his T-shirt business with only 50 bucks and at the age of 20, he sold his company off and turned into millionaire. He became Datuk at the age of 26 and dramatically he went bankrupt at 32. But today, he got back his millions again. Lesson from him: "Do what you think is right and it'll never go wrong".

Mr. Seelan shared with us the 5 crucial qualities to be a leader.
1st quality: Dreams that scare yourself
2nd quality: Take stretch opportunities with discipline
3rd quality: Find yourself caring mentors and partners
4th quality: Giving - giving makes us think from different perspectives
5th quality: Mental renewal and resilience - living the unfamiliar
Tips from him on how to know when there's an opportunity. Opportunity occurs when everyone keeps themselves away from it. He highlighted that YLA couldn't make us into a leader, neither does he, but only we ourselves could make us into a leader. And yeah, this is definitely true. Many people are expecting someone to bring them to where they want to be and in fact, they could only guide and direct you. At the end of the day, it's you yourself to walk to your destination.

And yeah, every YLA-er will be assigned a mentor and my mentor is Mr Megar Ardian. He's the Officer of MAS Transformation office and personal assistant of MAS's CEO. Besides my own mentor, I did learn a lot from other mentors too. They could provide you different perspectives to look into a matter and thus to solve it based on their experience.

YLA-ers during Dinner with Mentors at Le Meridien Hotel

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Press conference

Press conference? Yup. That kinda thing with a lot of mics and cameras in front of you. Then the reporters will throw the questions to you and expect you to answer right on the spot. I saw that scene numerous times on TV. But this time I would be in that scene. Awesome!

Excited but at the same time scared too. Not many people have this kinda chance. And I was glad enough to not only have one, but two in my university life. At least I did something different, I suppose, didn't I? Hehe

Ready? Mics on, ca~~mera!
Typical press conference wasn't like this, instead they expect you having tons to start your conversation. And normally they will start with, "Can you talk a little about your project?" They said "a little", in fact they expect "a lot". Or else, trust me, the situation would be uneasy.

For a birdie like me, first experience did really freak me out seriously (Too bad I don't have photos to share with you). If you said me noob, yeah I'm noob. Imagine, almost all major medias were in front of you. TV3, Sin Chew Jit Poh, The Star, Berita Harian, Bernama and whatnots. What you are about to say will be broadcasted on TV or on papers. Indirectly you're talking to millions of people.
From the Star
When the camera rolled, I tried not to look into the lens because.
..I was scared. Haha. Still my eyeballs would uncontrollably sweep over it. The feeling was like somebody's peeping at you. So uncomfortable.

I stuttered. And you know what came into my mind that time? Nothing. Yes. Nothing at all.
I didn't even know what I was talking about that time. Luckily that time Prof Rahmat was beside me. He helped to cover up a lot. Or else doom. Anyway this was my first debut. So okay lah..haha..

Second time.
This was more official. Look at the picture and you'll know what I mean.
Scene behind PC
I did talking
Cool right? I think so too. :D This time, improved. Still I was scared. I just felt uneasy in front of camera because it's like you are talking to someone that you don't know who you are going to talk to. Get it?

This time at least I could control my speech flow. Reason? Because I had aid on the table. Hehe.. So when I really didn't know what to say, the notes would assist me.

Anyway, it's just another unusual uni experience that I wish to share with you all.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


When my friends looked at my iTune song list, they said i'm somehow disconnected from the pop world..yeah, I admit that I don't have lady gaga or dunno-what-bieber
So what? I just love oldies.. :p

Share with you Besame Mucho by Nat King Cole