<bgsound src="http://www.ijigg.com/songs/V2BFBCGCPAD" > My Big Big Adventure: April 2006

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Long Awaited Saturday Holiday

It has been a while since I last took off on Saturday. I am so glad that I was offered a day off from my routine (actually sort of a compesation of having to work late on roadshow somewhere out there). Anyhow, Yippie!

Early morning, I cooked myself a sumptious yet delicious continental breakfast for a change. Been having yogurt since my mom has this craving for buy-yogurt-free-tupperware frenzy, which I do not comprehend though has taken cooking classes. (Come to think of it, it's a good way to be on diet)

My brother was unfortunately having a meeting at his office and his boss was waiting downstair with his two-door three-series BMW. So, no breakfast for my poor brother.

Savouring the high-calory breakfast while watching "Kikenna Aneki" was a great luxury if you asked me on this wonderful morning.

Call up my dear friend, S, for lunch at 1000 hours. He had to make himself handsome with some hair-cut at the barber just down hill from his apartment. We met at around 1130 hour at his apartment. I was kind of runnign late as I don't know what to wear. Maybe it's time to clean up my closet.

Lunch at Ritz-Calton Kuala Lumpur's LiYen Chinese Restaurant with fulfilling dim-sum, such luxury during lunch. To me, it's the company that counts, of course food too (however, my dear friend has his priority of difference compared to mine).

Gone back to his apartment for a short introduction of a card game called "Hanawari" (not sure of the name). It's a matching game of flowers motives on the card. To me, it's sort of similar to fishing game when I used to play when I was young, but slight variation to suit Japanese's needs. S said it's a good way to kill time, as this game only allows for two person max.

My stomach was stuffed. Can feel that my breathing was not that regulated. Come to which, it's still half an hour away for my next dinner appointment near S's place.

To kill time, do some reading at S's place while he went for Tennis. So, temporary "rent-a-place" for rest. Thanks, S!

At punctually 1600 hours, I went to N's place as promised for the dinner appointment. S was so kind that he gave permission for me to take 10 cans of beer and his miniature whisky. Thank you! Once arrived, he was busy preparing the curry dish. I, for sure, not of much help as I have butter fingers and not good in cooking. Anyhow, I did extend my hand to his warm hospitality.

For starter, a nice salad with cheese; and of course with chilean wine (his favourite) and my Boh tea. We chatted quite cheerfully and exchanged a lot of ideas too.

Around 0915 we had our dinner, a late one. I offered to do the washing as a gesture of appreciation to his kind dinner preparation. And guess what? He fall asleep, soundly. I have not the heart to wake him up, so I switched off all the lights and left quietly.

Tired night, but I did enjoy myself.

Thank you very much!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tokyo Night

Courtesy from Kok Wah in Tokyo

I was wondering what it is like to revisit Tokyo, especially from a close range to Tokyo Tower, a favourite landmark that marks the cosmopolitan of Japan. I bet it will be something like this if I am not mistaken.

I was in Tokyo May last year. The night was bright, bright with skylight from the skyscrapers surrounding this cold and warm city at the same time. I do not remember what memory I have had of Tokyo except for the cold weather filled with pollen due to its spring season; yet no one except for the landlord had given me a warm welcome to her inn in Shinjuku.

That was what I have in mind of Tokyo, such cold and uninviting.

Despite this, I still enjoy walking around in the night, on Tokyo street, where the hustle and bustle could be found. Food outlets getting filled with people after work, like hot air balloon filled with instant helium; street baskers playing their latest tune; entertainment outlets and red zone peddlers honking the street like no one's business. Quite a remarkable scenes to see at night of this beautiful yet solemn Tokyo that I have in mind.

Tokyo, such modernity that I do not comprehend. Yet, so marvellously its economy has grown to its current state. How I wish the city will never sleeps.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Happy Birthday to my dearest friends

Yesterday evening, my friends and I have had a gathering at Just Thai restaurant in One Utama shopping centre. It was an evening of getting together and of course a be-early birthday celebration for our dear friends, Chee Wei and Carol.

26 years old, gosh, how time flies.

Both the April babies in our group came later than expected due to the inaccessible parking space available within the mall.

Happy Birthday to Carol (left, in pink) & Chee Wei (right, in white)

We went on to have our dinner and chatting playfully the whole three solid hours there. We burst out laughter, doing stupid things, and of course sharing our latest convention on starving ourselves with the small portion of thai food offered by the restaurant. We did have a great time.

Happy Birthday Carol & Chee Wei!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006



一大早要南下會客,所以用了平時不用的道路。怎麽知道,來到了Abdul Samad十六區的交通圈那裏,被一架客貨車撞到車后。真的有夠倒莓!





Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My first encounter

I have a secret to confess.

I was introduced to a colleague of my friend at his cosy apartment, whose status is single at the point of meeting. To be frank, I was nervous prior to this strange yet bizarre meeting. My heart was pounding really hard. It was my first, and hopefully not the last.

We had quite a conversation, though most of the time, I have difficulty of understanding and conversing due to differences in cultural background and language for both of us. With some help, I did manage to speak my mind. Thinking back, I did say something rude, which I felt most apologetically about. I wanted to apologise, but I hold back my tongue. It's a disaster!

Will I be able to see him again? I felt so lost and confused. It just happened so fast.

Sometime I wanted things to go smoothly, but in the end, it spells T-R-A-G-I-C.

How I wish this could be all well end well.

Eight Below - The Movie

Inspired by a true story, EIGHT BELOW is an action-adventure about loyalty and the bonds of friendship set in the extreme wilderness of Antarctica. The film tells the story of three members of a scientific expedition: Jerry Shepard, his best friend, Cooper, and a rugged American geologist, who are forced to leave behind their team of beloved sled dogs (Maya, Max, Old Jack, Buck, Shorty ...) due to a sudden accident and perilous weather conditions in Antarctica. During the harsh, Antarctic winter, the dogs must struggle for survival alone in the intense frozen wilderness for over 6 months until Jerry came back to seek for his beloved heroes of dogs. (some parts from Yahoo! Movie)

It is a touching story strongly recommended for dog lovers and also to people who are willing to take the risk for things that really matters to them. Truly enough, it's another successful inspiration by Disney, which has a moral value behind every story it unfold. I personally love it very much.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Drinking with good friend

Yesterday went drinking again with S. For a not-so-good drinker, I definitely have had my toast to this: mohijo cocktail, red wine (1 bottle shared between us), tequila pop, sip of white wine and water to conclude with.

What has gone into me?

S has been a very good friend. I didn't know talking and sharing with a person who is almost the age of my father could be informative and yet interesting. I definitely learnt a lot from this fine soft-spoken gentleman. I gather that I will be looking forward to more of this activity in the coming future before he undertakes for a greater task awaits him in a foreign land.

It just made me wonder: how come suddenly I am so acquainted with this good friend, not from the beginning, but from the time I know that he is leaving for good? From total stranger to mutually good friend in just weeks. Wow, I wonder in awe myself.

I was once told that good friends are like old wine, the longer it's cherished, the more it tastes. I like that feeling.

A toast to our friendship! May our good friendship lasts forever.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Tired Thursday Morning

0845: Woke up late, just in time to see my mom is ready to go, and without alarming of how late I was running. Arrrgh~ It does simply mark the beginning of a bad day!

0915 am: Coming to work, running late but just in time to catch my boss to handover the cheque for me to capture a sale, before he dashed off to something more important.

0930: Send in documents to CCD. Collect stationeries. Helped ex-colleague to collect EA form for this month's tax submission.

1003: IRB is setting a booth at KSS clubhouse. Went down to check on the e-filing which is going to be implemented compulsory next year.

1045: Checked-out from office; rushed to lawyer's office in DU to get forms stamped and photocopied documents.

1055: Suspected air-con broke down as no cold air coming out. Panic. Winded down window for polluted air.

1102: Delivered S&P to Opal customer in TTDI. Got lost and sought help. Got there and rain started pouring.

1130: Packed lunch; to site office.

1219: Lunch

Starter: potato soup from yesterday's culinary class
Main course: mixed rice with bittergout, vegetable, fried tofu and butter-fried fish
Dessert: honeymelon

1230 - 1320: Checking mails and made calls.

After that: work

Morning is always a hectic time for me. Not only it's short, but it consumes my energy for the day before it ends with either a smile or tear.

Oh, what a tired Thurday morning!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

June is back from the UK!


This morning I received a call from Chee Hooi. "June is back in town, want to catch up for dinner?"

Gosh! Finally she is back! I really missed seeing her petite figure and her big smiles!

She has been gone for almost nine months since last June. It was an incredible journey that she had embarked on. See her blog for more info. It was a road well-travelled. I am so so envy on her journey.

Tonight there is a reunion dinner, unfortunately I could not participate.

Will see you soon, June!

Welcome back!

Malaysian Companies and Marketing (Adapted from Adam 4/4/2006)

I have a theory why many Malaysian companies are not innovative.It is probably because accountants and engineers run many of them. If you don't believe me, just check.

Both of these professions train people to be methodical, logical and use reasoning, which doesn't leave much room for creativity or artistic expression (unless of course, you count creative accounting). Add to that, the 'budaya suap' or spoon fed culture existing in our educational institutions starting from the primary schools where questioning the teacher/lecturer is frowned upon and students are tested based on how much they have memorized from a few select books.

However, this post is not about accountants and engineers but about marketing.

I remember one time I was discussing what Marketing was all about with some MBA students, which included managers of a few companies. And yes! Many of them had engineering and accounting backgrounds.

To gauge their understanding of the topic, I simply asked each of them to define marketing, according to their understanding.

I received so many definitions but I could classify them into two broad categories:
1. Selling the product/ service and
2. Advertising.

It was shocking for me because some of these guys were marketing managers in their respective companies.

Looking at it from the perspective of a marketing historian (is there such a thing), it is clear that the concept of marketing (as practiced by many Malaysian companies) is still in the production or selling era.

From talking with friends and acquaintances in various industries, I learnt that the Research and Development (R&D) guys (mostly composed of engineers) rarely consult with other departments (or customers) before coming out with a product. Many companies don't even have an R&D dept. and it is up to their head guy (often the CEO) who comes up with the ideas.

They would then pass it to the production/ operations people to "build" the product and finally leave it up to the sales and marketing department to "sell" it to the customers.

If the product fails, it is due to bad marketing (blaming the sales and marketing dept.). In a way it's true but not because of the marketing guys (some of whom don't know what marketing is all about). Rather it was doomed right from the start. The customer didn't need it nor do they want it and any amount of marketing won't help.

The concept of marketing has undergone drastic changes over the past three decades, evolving from the production era: produce products fast and cheap.

Remember Henry Ford's “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black."

It then moved through the sales and marketing era - the concept that many companies in Malaysia are following now: "If you have a good product, then everyone would buy it. You only have to let the customers know".

The change in marketing focus from the product to the customer occurred during the marketing era, which appeared around the 1960s in the west. Effectiveness and efficiency in meeting customer demands, needs and wants were identified as the key elements in determining companies' long-term success.

Now it has moved beyond market segmentation of customers based on their demographics. Researchers are now looking at the attitude or lifestyles of consumers- psychographics. However, this field has been largely unexplored in Malaysia.

Why do companies carry out such studies?

It is because companies need to understand the customers before coming out with a product or service. It would eventually help them in framing their marketing strategies including advertising campaigns (which is actually only a small part of promotion).

Consider that companies have done everything right. Carried out extensive research. Consulted the experts, the customers and the suppliers. Had a grand launch in a expensive hotel with representatives from the media taking down every optimistic forecasts sprouted by the CEO and of course the VIP. This was preceded and followed by attractive promotions including some very memorable and convincing ad campaigns.

But is that enough.

I am sure that all of you have at least one personal experience, where you were treated like a King or Queen BEFORE you bought the product are service. And then treated like dirt afterwards.

The relationship era, which emerged during the 1990s in the west, shifted the focus to the establishment and maintenance of mutually beneficial relationships with existing customers and suppliers.

Now, we are not talking of just making a sale. We want loyal customers who would come back for more and bring along others with them at the same time. We are now talking about long-term relationships.

Now are Malaysian companies in the relationship era?

I hear people involved in Multi level marketing (MLM) raising their hands. I hate MLMs.

What's my definition of Marketing?

I think the best one was that given by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in the UK: "management process of anticipating, identifying and satisfying customer requirements profitably".

Other related links:- 4 Ps of Marketing- AIDA concept

Friday, April 07, 2006

Happy Graduation & Happy Graduation

First of all, congratulations to Huai Heng & Woei Ming upon their graduation from their respective universities. May the doctor and pharmacist enjoy their journey in the working world! Also, not forgeting a belated birthday celebration for Qi Yuee, who has just come back for a three-week elective in General Hospital KL.

Yesterday was sort of a reunion dinner for the 5Sc1 gang after our last gathering during CNY. It was nice to see them in good shape after two months.

The roundtable knights including king arthur (Qi Yuee) forming a ten-person reunion at King Crab restaurant at Kelana Jaya. Everyone was at their refreshed mode, except, Tow Guan, Hong Yeo, Carol and me, who came just straight from work. It looks like we were the busy lots compared to others (it's nice to know we are working hard for money and job satisfaction).

Huai Heng, being the host, ordered some mouthful and delicious dishes for us (the guests) to savour. Some of the dishes include: tofu with minced meat, fried french bean, deep fried mantis prawn, asam dipped talapia, fried chicken with sweet and sour sauce and honey pork pieces. I must say, the dishes are sumptious and taste good!

After a long time not meeting up, there were lots of gossips and latest happenings in lives to exchange. It was really delightful to see familiar faces too. Qi Yuee was on short trip to Berlin, Germany; Tow Guan promoted to senior engineer; Kim Yew is moving from Exxon to Ambank to seek a new career path; the sixers, Woei Ming, Hong Yeo, Chee Wei, Huai Heng, Carol and Tow Guan will be embarking on a 8-day journey to Hong Kong commencing 8th April; me, sharing latest news on my recent trip to China, Macau & Hong Kong. It was fun to know that everyone was well and alive with the conversation.

Dinner was over, next was the dessert - a 1kg Black Forrest birthday cake from King's Confectionery. "Happy Brthday to you, Happy Birthday to you..." were the only few words that resonnated in the restaurant, with on-lookers from others staring with envy. Qi Yuee, Woei Ming and Yee Li turned 25. Happy Birthday to you all!

Presents exchanged, heated arguments on how to go to the low cost carier terminal (LCCT), Hong Kong fun trip itenery, and lots of exciting happenings were discussed and debated, of course all with bursting laughters. In this short two-and-half hours, it seems so short, but yet a historical event was shared with every familiar faces. Don't you love happy moments with sweet endings all the time?

Thank you very much for the lovely dinner, presents and laughter from all of you. May our friendship last forever. Good luck with your future undertakings and keep in touch!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

After reading your blogs...

Today, I don't know what had gotten to me. Was it because today is April Fool, or I just feel like a fool myself.

I was reading everyone's blogs, all of which I have missed. It took me quite a while to complete the whole series of fun and exciting adventures that my dear dear friends had gone through. I must say, it has been entertaining, and I of course enjoyed every bit of details shared. Thank you very much!

It made me wonder in awe that everyone is on their path to achieve their goals in life. I am too grateful that everyone is progressing well as expected. Continue your journey for your wonder years and cherish every sweet moment of these special moments. It will turn out to be rewarding in years to come.

Happy April Fool, everyone!