Monday, July 27, 2015

What makes me happy?

My colleagues and I were recently asked this question: What makes you happy? 
I'll admit I took a while to respond. Not because I didn't know what makes me happy but because I couldn't decide what makes me happy most

I was going back and forth between family, friends, food, sleep, my bed, holidays, chocolate, music... But after a while I realised what makes me happy is this - 

All my favourite things and all my favourite people are located on this one little island. Just for the record, my friends from uni also make me happy (Nat, Isabel, Charlotte, Clarissa, YW and all my other KL people this one is for you, pls don't merajuk). 

And it is because all my favourite people and things are back in Penang that I can't ever imagine myself living away permanently. I know lots of people don't understand it and lots of people are super doubtful that I will go back, now that I am in Singapore. I mean, I've said it before and I'll say it again - the money/exchange rate is great here but nothing beats being home. I hate to break it to you guys, but money really doesn't and really can't buy happiness. The way I see it, if you're just earning to live, you're not really living at all. You could be the richest person on the face of the earth, you could be super successful in your field, but it would all mean nothing if you don't have family and friends (and God) to share it with. 

Trust me when I say I've heard so, so, so many stories from people about how they "didn't plan to stay in Singapore for a long time" and then ended up staying for 5, 6, 7+ years. Every time I hear that, all I can do is fake a laugh and suppress the very strong urge to roll my eyes and snap back with a snarky comment. 

Because Penang means so much to me, whenever I get the time to be back on the island, the way I choose to spend my time is extremely precious. Friends who always say, "Wah come back never say. Ask you go out, you say don't want," please understand that family is always my priority so as much as I love and want to hang out with you guys, most of my time will be spent at home or with my family. It is no easy task to live away from your family, especially when you come from a tight-knit one like me. Most of the time, I am only back for less than 2 days. Give chance pls. Lol. 

I suppose I should say that Malaysia, in general, makes me happy. Not just Penang. I don't know about others but being out of the country, I get a very strong sense of pride being a Malaysian. 

When I was in KL, I only ever felt homesick once. I'm not kidding. Three years in KL, the one time I felt so badly homesick was some time in my final year there and it was because I was tired and stressed as heck; I remember telling my mom how much I wanted to go home. It's different here in Singapore. I get homesick more often than I thought I would. It's not easy, guys. It really isn't. For those of you who willingly leave Penang, who willingly leave Malaysia, I hope you've put a lot of thought into it and I hope whatever decision you make, you will be happy with it. For me, leaving Penang again was not an easy decision to make. Some of the people closest to me can testify to this. 

Everyone complains about how bad Malaysia is, how the economy isn't great, how the government is so corrupt, how the pay elsewhere is so much better. What I do not understand is why people can't just choose to look past those "material" things. Hey, I am not oblivious to the state of Malaysia right now, okay. Just because I choose to not comment on them on Facebook does not make me sheltered. I have opinions and thoughts about the shit that's happening ok. Trust me, I do. I just don't see how complaining all day everyday will make any difference whatsoever. When things get bad, I like to (try to) focus on the things that are good. You guys should try it sometime. I think I always just gravitate towards happy things/people/songs/colours/feelings - I swear 60% of my lifetime has been spent laughing (loudly). 

I know that Malaysia is not in good shape at this moment, but there is still good in this land. Despite the politics, Malaysia is beautiful and Malaysia is blessed. I hadn't thought of it before till it was mentioned to me in Singapore but Malaysians, do you know how lucky you are to be a country of 14 different states with over 40 different islands? Singaporeans do not have that same luxury. Think about it. Someone could ask you, "Which part of Malaysia are you from?" and you could be from any one of the 14 states. In Singapore (and other similar countries), you would only be able to say which area of Singapore you're from (East, West, Central etc). Singapore is definitely a top-grade country, and it's been going alright for me here so far, but it's not perfect. 

Penang may be small but it has so much to offer. Penang may move at a slower pace, but what's so wrong about that? Why does Penang need to move fast? I love the fact that Penang is still laid-back even though it's gone through so many changes and development over the recent years. I mean, do you know how tiring it is to have to walk like you're sprinting all the time? I love that Penang, at the end of the day, is still Penang. The food, the infamous reputation of Penang drivers, the heritage, the street art, the culture, the Hokkien, the mamaks and everything that makes Penang what it's home. So, say what you want about Penang and about Malaysia; I'm not changing my mind about going home. Penang makes me happy and there's nothing you can say or do to make me feel otherwise. 

If you made it through this incredibly lengthy post (wow, I like you), I have a question for you - What makes you happy? 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

FAQs: Singapore & I

Some of you would know that I recently left Penang for Singapore for work. And if I haven't already answered them personally, some of you would have questions about the move. Hopefully this post will answer some of them. 

"Where are you working in Singapore?"
In a local/boutique PR agency within Singapore's central business district.

"What are you working as?"
I'm a Junior Account Executive but I am not an accountant nor does my job involve anything to do with accounting. In the PR industry, accounts = clients/client work.

For example: "What account are you working on?" "Oh, I'm working on the product launch of Brand X." 

"Where are you staying?"
Not far from town, not far from where my office is. But then again nothing is really that far.

"How did you get the job?"
By my damn self. I googled, I updated my resume, I wrote my cover letter, I sent out emails to companies and then I waited for replies. 

I am actually really proud of this fact because I like to think of this fact as a slap to the face for all those who thought that I'd have it easy because a) I'd just work for my dad or b) Get a job through one of my dad's connections. 

"Why Singapore? Got boyfriend in Singapore?"
First of all,
Why do I have to have a boyfriend in Singapore (or anywhere else) for me to want to work there? I mean is it really that hard to comprehend a girl moving somewhere for her own damn self? I think not having a boyfriend at all actually made the decision to move easier. Less strings, less feelings to worry about. 

In all honesty, a few years ago I told Dharm that I could see myself working in Singapore more than I could see myself working in KL. Till today, that rings true still. Being in KL for the last 3 years has definitely changed my perspective of the city in good and bad ways. Unfortunately for me, the bad outweighs the good. The biggest factor in choosing Singapore over KL is that Singapore is so much safer than KL. Not many people will understand it but the feeling of having to live in constant fear is incredibly tiring. Having to watch over your own shoulder 24/7 is not fun. Brisk walking to your car in the parking lot while clutching your bags tightly is tiring. Going to sleep at night wondering if you've turned on the house alarm is tiring. Even stopping by the petrol station to fill the tank got my eyes darting all around to make sure no strange man somehow crawls into my car or something of that sort. All these fears, while they may seem irrational to most, are heightened by the fact that I was robbed during my first year in KL. The incident traumatised me, badly. After 3 years of living like that, I've had enough. It is way too tiring.

"Why not Penang? Why not work for your dad?"
Right now, what I want to do is PR. Shocking as it may seem, I actually quite enjoy it. PR in Penang is a no go, to put it simply. While I could work for my dad, I really want to dip my feet in the PR industry at this moment. I could do marketing comm for the hotel but I learnt from my lecturers and friends that when starting out in PR, it is always best to start in an agency. That way I get exposure to different types of clients which will enable me to learn a lot more than I would if I were to work in-house. 

Working for my dad has always been at the back of my mind since I was young and that hasn't changed. For now, working elsewhere to gain as much knowledge and experience as I can is what I think I need. So that in the future when I do work for my dad, I will be of way more use.  

"Not coming back to Penang already lor like that!"
Wrong. I know most people who move to Singapore don't come back because of all the $$$$ they make (especially now when the exchange rate is like OMG WHAT!) and that's good for them y'know, for having a successful career in Singapore. But family is and always has been way more important to me than anything else. Penang will always, always, always be home. Nothing is ever going to change that. That said - I will be back. 

Also, nobody does "Penang food" better than Penang.

Please relax - I am not blogging in the office. This is a scheduled post.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Go big or go home

If you told me three years ago that I would graduate university with a CGPA of 3.92 out of 4.0, I would've probably laughed in your face. I'm not trying to brag about my CGPA, don't get me wrong. I'm just very proud of myself and a little surprised too because I was never a straight A student - not in high school, not in college. Even in Taylor's I had my share of Bs. In my first year I was at 3.67 and I was perfectly happy with it because in college I walked along the 2.5-2.7 line. When I entered uni, I constantly reminded myself to "go big or go home" when it came to assignments and exams. I even wrote it on a post-it and pinned it up in my room. I was all the way in KL and getting my degree so I didn't want to waste the money and years there by getting subpar (in my own standards) results. So for three years, "go big or go home" was my motto or mantra or whatever you want to call it. You might find it funny and strange but it actually helped fuel me through study sessions whenever I felt lazy to rewrite my notes or when I just felt too tired to continue. 

A LOT of people tend to think that a degree in communications is easy peasy. In all honesty, it isn't and the assumption that it is always annoys the heck out of me. It was tough and tiring at times and some assignments really took up a ton of hours. I will, however, agree that it is way easier than a medical degree or actuarial science or law and the like. But then again, everything is just that little bit easier when you have an interest in the topic isn't it? I had an interest in PR and journalism which made it a more enjoyable course than if I had taken a business or accountancy course. If I'd taken anything else, I probably wouldn't have gotten the same kind of results. Of course it also depends on whether or not you set your mind to working hard and giving your best so there's that too. 

Communication students put in just as much effort into our assignments, our classes and examinations as any other faculty. So if you think a 3.92 CGPA is nothing because my course is "easy", please get off your high horse and think again. Until you can a) Put together a newspaper within three weeks, b) Research, plan & execute a full-blown event and PR campaign, c) Film a short film/documentary, d) Put together an advertising campaign and e) Design & print materials using the right kind of paper/colour/size, don't think for a second that being a comm student is all rainbows and unicorns. We have just as many group assignments and presentations as anyone else and we have our fair share of disagreements and arguments especially when you put 5 creative minds together. Just because you can perform surgeries, calculate (is this even the right term? lol) foundations upon which our houses are built upon or keep a company's finances in check, it doesn't make you more atas than us ok? We might be really bad at math (let's be honest) but we can do other awesome stuff like design a press kit so badass, the media would beg for an invite to our event... HAHAHAHA shut up it could happen ok. 

I worked hard for my degree and I worked hard to graduate with First Class Honours and I am so damn proud of myself and of the rest of Taylor's SOC's graduating class of 2015. 

To my friends and coursemates, see you girls (and guys) in a week! We did it! :) 

Thursday, April 02, 2015

It's official - I'm getting old

It's come to the point where I find myself having conversations like this with the younger kids (who aren't really kids anymore) from church: "How's school? Wait - how old are you? YOU'RE IN COLLEGE ALREADY?"

And it's not only that. I watched Ah Boys to Men 3 (I'm a big fan of the franchise - don't judge me please) with Sofia and I swear apart from this one older couple sitting behind us, we were the oldest people in the cinema. We were surrounded by school kids. PLUS, there was a funny line about how one of the characters intends to work in KPMG after his army stint but I was the only one who laughed. I didn't laugh because I think working in KPMG is funny okay. I laughed because I found it so random. Anyway, Sofia and I laughed again near the end of the movie when KPMG reps showed up on screen supposedly recruiting talent for the company. We were the only ones who found it funny. I figured we either laugh at things extremely easily or everyone else just had no sense of humour. But I realized later that it was probably because nobody understood what KPMG is, because all they need think about right now is PT3 and SPM.

I guess the fact that I am no longer a student and am about to start my first real job soon also makes me feel older. Having to think about salary, savings, rent, taxes and the whole shebang... suddenly, being in a Media Law lecture doesn't seem so bad. Conversations with my girl friends have gone from "What did you get for that mid-term?" to "How many days of annual leave do you get?"

You guys, it is apparently time for me to be a big girl but like, can I not?

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card for your selfie

How to win?
Snap a picture of yourself with the words “I Love Kreydle”. It can be a selfie, mugshot or group photo. Upload to Instagram or Facebook. Include " Win $100 Amazon Voucher for Your Selfie! #ilovekreydle" in the description.

Submit your photo permalink to Kreydle by 9th January.
It will be uploaded to the Kreydle Facebook page on 12th January for voting.

Win $100 Amazon Gift Card 

The top 10 most popular entries win the contest.

Your Amazon gift card will be emailed to you within a week of the contest end date, on 20th January 2015. You can spend it immediately on all the things you love.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Be the next ChiChi & ChaCha Star

In my last post, I said my next update would be a happier one. Well I'm making good on that promise and bringing you happy/good news, especially if you like watching children's TV programmes. We've all heard of Hi-5, we've grown up with Barney & Friends and Sesame Street. All those were fun and all but none of them were Malaysian-made. But now, that draught is over with the arrival of ChiChi & ChaCha and their friends Atan and Hujan! 

ChiChi & ChaCha is the first Malay edutainment show in Malaysia that combines 3D animation with real life hosts. Together, they teach children through song, dance, story time, arts and crafts and interactive problem solving. ChiChi & ChaCha or more simply known as CC2, is an edutainment brand that creates 360 content for children. The show is only 30-minutes long and airs three times a day, every Monday to Friday on Astro Ceria (Channel 611) and Astro MayaHD (Channel 135).

I don't know about you but for me, learning anything at all is so much more fun when there's music. You might think I may be a little too old for CC2 but I managed to catch an episode on TV while I was back in Penang and it was actually pretty interesting and it also made me realise how rusty my Malay is now after 5 years of not using it daily. The set of the show is full of colours (I am very easily attracted to bright colours) and the songs and dance moves are catchy and easy to learn. Your BM will also most likely improve from watching this show since it is entirely in Malay, which is good because then, "Hello 'A'!" in UPSR/PMR (do they still have this exam?!)/SPM. The hosts of the show (there are five of them) are a talented bunch of actors/actresses and singers and they're still so young, all below 20! 

Harris, Leen, Afeiq, Sweet and Farisha

ChiChi & ChaCha are tiger siblings while Atan is a monkey and Hujan is a...Tarzan? Hahahah that's the first thing that comes to mind when I see him. He's probably based off Sarawakian or Sabahan heritage though as he carries a blowpipe around with him. The animations for the show, while they are no match for Pixar, are still adorably cute and lovable. And just to be clear, ChiChi is the male tiger while ChaCha's the female tiger/tigress - that purple flower in your hair, girrrrl, you got style. 

See? Quite cute, kan? Atan's hair is so damn stylo and Hujan's hair looks so bouncy like, I can't even take it... Animated characters have better looking hair than me. 

So okay, anyway, here's where things get even better. Following the recent premiere of the series on Astro, there's going to be a star search for kids and teens happening very soon

In collaboration with and Big Fish Media (who are the brains behind the show), proPassion Communications has organised "Be The Next ChiChi & ChaCha Star" for anyone aged between 6 to 18 years old. Yes, you read that right. 6 to 18. If I was four years younger and had more confidence and less stage fright and way more talent, I would totally jump at this chance. Winners (one boy, one girl) of the search will walk away with RM1,000 cash in their pocket okay! They'll also get the chance to train, choreograph and perform with the CC2 hosts during the show's roadshow next year! If that's not a good enough deal, I don't know what is. Your 90-seconds of fame on stage will be extended to next year and it might even lead you to be picked up and signed by talent companies or music labels. Ripple effect, people, ripple effect...

It's super easy to join, alright so there's really no excuse for any of you talented human beings who are interested in taking part. All you gotta do is 
  1. Register here -
  2. Take a video of whatever your talent is (you can sing, dance, play a musical instrument or even act) in 15 seconds or less and upload it to your Instagram account (make sure it's public!) and then share it on your Facebook account. 
  3. In your video, be sure to shout out "Saya nak jadi bintang ChiChi & ChaCha!
  4. In your Instagram post, tag one of your favourite CC2 hosts (@afeiq, @farisha_iris, @jazashazleen, @harrisalif, or @fqisminaa) and @chichidanchacha. 
Ain't it simple, now? 

From the entries, 30 participants will be chosen to move on to the Challenge Round on Saturday, 15th November where they will get 90-seconds to perform live for the audience and the judges. Only the Top 10 contestants will proceed to the Grand Final the next day, 16th November. There, finalists will be given a total of 4 minutes to showcase their talent one last time and dance to the CC2 theme song. If the song doesn't get stuck in your head after watching this, you are my hero.  

If you're too shy or if you know of someone who you think should give this competition a go, you have the option of taking part in the nominating contest. This special contest provides a special reward for the nominators where they have to nominate ONE talented person around them and showcase the person’s talent within 15 seconds or less. Should the nominees be selected as a finalist on the Challenge Round, he or she will win RM100 in cash and a free autographed ChiChi & ChaCha T-shirt.

You have till the end of TODAY to submit your entries so hurry and get recording/nominating! :) 

Not interested in joining the competition? That's alright! You're still invited to watch the contestants battle it out on stage on the 15th and 16th of November which is next Saturday and Sunday at Main Place, USJ. You might even get the chance to meet some of the hosts and ChiChi & ChaCha too! 

OH and if you'd like to know more about CC2, visit their website at
For contest updatates, like proPassion Communications' Facebook Page at and follow them on Instagram at @propassioncomms

Saturday, November 01, 2014

What I've learnt of leadership

FYI, this picture is only related to the first few sentences of the first paragraph. Hahaha.

I have officially 30 days left to being a university student. It's quite a bittersweet feeling knowing that I will be leaving the place I've completely and publicly detested for the past 3 years. As much as I hate the administration at Taylor's, I realise that the memories I will be taking with me won't be so much of the physical place but of the people I have met and worked with IN Taylor's. Granted there were (and there's still time for more) bad experiences and frustrating incidents but I know that some day down the road those instances will be of benefit to me in the sense that I'll know what NOT to do. Does that make sense? Lol. I have learnt so much from just this semester alone and it's not even done yet. I've learnt/discovered new things about people, about how to deal with people and about my own self. I've made more new friends this semester than I have in the last two and a half years of being in uni. Anyway, the point of this post was really to remind myself of what I've recently discovered about leadership.

Don't get me wrong though. I am in no way claiming to be a good or perfect leader. I myself struggle with the very same things I am about to mention.

A leader is defined as a person or thing that holds a dominant or superior position within its field, and is able to exercise a high degree of control or influence over others. Before this, I wasn't really aware of how much impact a leader has on his/her followers or team. When a person is put in a leadership position, that person instantly has the power to set the tone of whatever he/she is put in charge of. I don't mean it in a "I demand all of you to be excited and happy" way but more of a latent or concealed kind of power. I'm not quite sure of how to describe but I just hope you get what I'm trying to say. If a leader is excited over something, it is only a natural response that the rest of the team will be just as excited. If a leader isn't thrilled or happy, the team will only reciprocate in the same way. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the attitude of a leader has an effect on the rest of the people involved. Basically, leaders need to be a good example to their followers.
Titus 2:7-8 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

A good leader cares about his followers/team. Compassion and patience - it's important, and also getting to be somewhat of a rarity, sadly. Leaders should guide and not just instruct, and when they guide, they should be patient. I think it's sometimes difficult to remember that everyone learns and progresses at different rates, some slower and some faster. But good leaders will help their followers become better. Bad leaders leave them hanging.
Isaiah 4:10 He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.
2 Timothy 2:24 God's servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. 

Good leaders are good followers. This is something I've always kept in my heart and in my mind. It is simply not enough to have the ability, skill and influence to lead a group of people. Leaders need to not only be able to give orders but to also follow them. I suppose it's got a lot to do with ego and pride and humility as well, to be able to come down to a lower level and not let power go to one's head.
Mark 10:43-44 ...whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. 

I am still trying to apply the Word to whenever I am put in positions of leadership in uni. Being a leader, in whatever capacity, is not simple. But I am super thankful that this semester (which is arguably one of the toughest ones), God has surrounded me with numerous beautiful, like-minded and God-focused people who encourage me and my faith each day (whether or not they realise it).

I promise a happier update next time. Lol.