Sunday 29 August 2010

Some discoveries after 3 months in Singapore

Hello world… ! This is arguably the longest break I have taken from blogging. Work being the main reason, with laziness being the combination when time permits.

As for work, many have asked whether I am struggling with my Mandarin. Well, in the team that I work in… there is a Japanese, a Korean, an Indian, an American, an Australian, a Pakistani, a Mexican coming on board soon, 3 Malaysians including myself; and 3 Singaporeans… do you think I will be struggling with my Mandarin?

Anyway –

My working life in Singapore has almost reached 3 months. And indeed, it has been a revolutionary experience for me.

When I was in Malaysia, I was already quite senior in the function that I was in. Back then, I was already able to see issues and happenings in the corporation and the industry that I was in from a nationwide perspective. And since it is a prominent industry, I was also able to see things happening within the government agencies and get to know things that will never appear in the news.

And because I could see all these and was involved in a lot of the major in-country transactions, it did gave me a sense of achievement and as time goes by, the feeling of I-can-conquer-the-world began to creep in.

Metaphorically speaking, I was swimming very well in the Malaysian rivers and possibly, straits of Malacca. These were my territories. I knew I would be thrown into something deeper when I come to Singapore. I thought it would be the South China Sea.

I was wrong, I was thrown right smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

It’s like how you once felt strong and mighty after graduation, ready to take on the world only to find out that you knew nothing about the modern slavery world. Multiply that by about 50, and that’s more or less about my current feeling.

From a country function, I now have to look after the business stream that I am assigned to… globally. I realised that what I used to look after in Malaysia was just so tiny.

And when I was in Malaysia, I used to make some noises to head office about the issues that I had and how attention must be paid or else, something might just blow up. Back then, I was often left perplexed as issues escalated by me seemed to have landed on deaf ears.

Don’t they care? If something blows up, it’s going to cost the corporation a lot of money. Why no one seemed to care?… I wondered…

Now I know why…

Again… metaphorically speaking…

If Malaysian operation is on fire, and help is sought from head office, the first thing people in the head office (i.e. where I am now) are supposed to do, it to ask whether countries like China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, UK, Middle East whether there’s any fire there. If there’s fire in these jurisdictions, we’ll put it out. If not, we will check whether there’s any potential fire hazard in these countries first, to protect the operations here. If there’s no such hazard, we will put mitigating steps to ensure such fire does not happen.

And all these will take place while Malaysia operation is on fire.

Priority is to protect major operations first before coming to Malaysia’s rescue. China, India, Hong Kong, UK, etc. are where all the big bucks are. And by the time those major operations are well reviewed, Malaysian operation already put out the fire themselves (i.e. what I used to do).

And during meetings or discussions, I have tried to bring Malaysia into the picture, things that need to be looked at. But I have since learned that I should look at the “bigger picture”.

And this is not just in the corporation that I am in. Some friends of mine who are in high positions in their respective multi-national corporations also experienced the same thing. And lately, I can tell you that Indonesia is coming into prominence. There have been instructions that Indonesia is to be “guarded”.

In effect, it does give a broad idea of where Malaysia stood in the eyes of multi-nationals, and I am experiencing it… first hand.

You might say that I keep bashing Malaysia because I am out of the country, etc, etc… Well, you can say anything, but this is reality.

1 year ago…
Who rang the doorbell?I was spotted

2 years ago…
10 vs 1The game

3 years ago…
Keyword splendourOne night on the wrong stand

Monday 9 August 2010

Things I just found out about Singapore

I am not working today, it’s a public holiday here. The occasion…the Singapore National Day.

I didn’t know Singapore National Day is different from Malaysia’s. Did you?

I have always thought the Singapore’s president is a Chinese, because ya’ know, it’s a racist country… but it’s an Indian.

The national anthem of Singapore, is in Malay. Some of my friend’s say that’s the only Malay they can speak. But national anthem in Malay? Ok lah, not so surprising…

Watching the national parade (while blogging), I noticed the slogan above where all the VIPs sat showed… “Majulah Singapura”… interesting…

When the parade commander gave his command to the contingent… I thought he was going to shout “Attention!”. But instead, he shouted… “BARIS… BARIS SETIA!”… This apparently country conducts the national parade in Malay.

The Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade are in the marching contingent here. They used to be in the Malaysia national day parade too, but these Christian based uniformed organisations have since been removed from harmonious 1Malaysia national day parade.

I asked someone, a Singaporean… “National Day… independence from who?”
“From you guys la…”
I guess he meant Malaysia.
“Haha… you guys are damn proud right?”
“Of course! Otherwise, we will all end up like you”

Don’t know whether I should be sad or laugh at that statement. But I suppose he has a point. It’s ok lah, like so many anonymous fellas who commented… Malaysia is so much better than Singapore because Singaporean drinks processed pee water.

1 year ago…
Story from Jane

2 years ago…
It was just an ordinary day

3 years ago…
Henry Suckers and the 4 schools of magicWhat’s with the name?

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Why I like watching such videos

Because it reminds me that there are so many people who are willing up to put their ass on the line in the name of justice… like 300 people in the whole of Klang Valley.

Because I get to see some of my friends appearing in video… hello Tricia, I see you!

Because it tells me that despite all the complaints, Malaysia is actually a very safe country. Just look at the amount of police deployed to protect our shopping malls from potential fire hazard and possible looters. It’s just so comforting.

Anyway… jokes aside…

It also reminds me of why I left my country, and that no matter how much I miss the nasi-lemak, char-kuey-teow or bak-kut-teh… even if I am drinking processed pee water as someone commented… no matter how much I miss driving… I most probably made the right decision.

P/S: Video minit 7:10 --- Kepada saudara yang berkata “kita nyalakan lilin bersama-sama, kalau kena, kita kena bersama-sama, demi kejuangan…” Tabik kehormatan Zewt kepada saudara.

2 years ago…
Between myth and truth

Monday 2 August 2010

The speechless left me speechless

“Honestly speaking, it is not easy to reach this level of damage. In order to get this, you must have heavy objects, piled on top of each other and moved around consistently in a circular motion within the same area. I just can't seem to picture how it ended up like this.


Seriously, this is beyond my comprehension; which is why I am really thinking hard on how to fix this. I am speechless looking at this…”

He was a contractor, whom I called to look at the damage on the floor in my apartment. He came with dirty boots… un-tucked polo t-shirt… with paint stains on his trousers… he looked like a typical contractor…


He gave the above assessment, in perfect English spoken in perfect pronunciation…

He is an epitome of “don’t judge a book by its cover”. I supposed you would never encounter such a contractor in Malaysia…

He was left speechless by the damage on the floor… I was left speechless by him…

3 years ago…
From the spoon to a cat

Sunday 1 August 2010

Walk talk

If you ask any Malaysians currently residing in Singapore – what is the thing that they hate most about Singapore, you will most probably get one common answer… “need to walk a lot lah…”

Using “poor public transport” as an excuse, many Malaysians evolved into car addict. Walking became secondary. To some, not owning a car (which is very rare in Malaysia) and having to walk means you are of the lower class.

Try asking a girl for a date and tell her you will meet her at the LRT station, see what reaction you will get…

I personally know a friend who said… “The only reason why I will not work in Singapore is because I can't stand not having a car”… Wow…the “only reason”.

Admit it, we are all car whores. Even if the Malaysian public transport system improves tremendously, many will sill drive. Being one where my car used to be less than 20 steps from my door, and it takes less than 5 minutes to walk from my parking lot to my former office… not being able certainly did worry me quite a bit…

But things took a twist…

As you know, I had ACL reconstruction surgery due to a football injury. I was bed-ridden for almost a week, with very limited mobility via the walking frame (not even the crutches). Only after a week, crutches came into the picture. And the crutches stayed with me for a month, with another week of limping before I can finally walk normally.

During that time… believe me when I say… I long to walk… when I finally can get up from my chair without having to get hold of my crutches and immediately take a step forward to wherever I want to go… it was joy beyond description.

We are so pampered by various means and we forget that walking is not a torture, or low class… it’s a gift. Ask those who are without limbs, and they will tell you they would love to walk rather than to be wheeled around in a chair.

Are you able to walk and complain about it?

2 years ago…
Who thou seeketh in thy sadness?Live your best life

3 years ago…
The sponge and the dirty spoon