Saturday, December 30, 2006

My first Wikipedia Entry

I just written my maiden Wikipedia entry at It elaborates the role of a tuition agency, the differences between a tuition agency and a tuition centre, and also the problems faced by tuition agencies nowadays.

No wonder some people get addicted with Wikipedia.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Taiwan Earthquake victims vs Internet Connection disruption

Don't you find that the world is so funny at times. Take a look at the recent major earthquake in Taiwan which caused the Internet Connection in parts of East Asia to be disrupted or slowed down.

When people realised that the disruption was caused by an earthquake in Taiwan, they were panicked over the economic impact and the impact of the disruption on their daily routine. People were swearing over the slow connection and bombing the Internet Service Providers with queries and complaints.

What about the victims and casualties of the earthquake? Are they second to the symbol of the digital age?

Sometimes it just leaves one pondering whether human beings are going into the right direction.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Beauty of Katong Laksa

I simply can't forget the bowl of noodles. I believe I am addicted to it already. Yes, that's the Laksa of Katong.

You can find it in some Katong Laksa stalls situated along the shophouses near Katong Mall. There are several stores lining the shophouses. Several shops come with newspaper articles and photos with celebrities.

I went crazy over Katong Laksa when a friend treated me to a bowl over lunch recently...

Katong Laksa is served with just a spoon. The secret recipe lies in the making of the curry and the chilli. I learnt that Katong Laksa was originally a Peranakan dish and it didn't come with cockles. The present Katong Laksa includes cockles if you request for them. I like the taste of the laksa with the cockles. It is a great blend of taste.

A nice cold barley drink would be great to go along with Katong Laksa. I also enjoy an additional Otah.

No wonder Katong Laksa is a Singapore delicacy. I lived 20 years to discover this. Haha.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Siloso Beach Resort

Siloso Beach Resort is situated in Sentosa island of Singapore. It faces the Siloso beach where girls are clad in bikinis, people lying down enjoying a good tan, the sporties playing beach ball on the sand, where the preparation of the New Year Countdown party is going on.

As you stroll along the corridors of the resort, you can see lots of greeneries and enjoy the nature and the breeze that comes with it. I believe the resort is quite a new one. It is clean and natural.

The architecture of the building is unique in a certain sense. To preserve certain trees, the building was built in a way such that the trees are in the building. The blending of nature and man-made structures make the whole concept a very unique one. It gives visitors a unique experience when they see a tree out of nowhere.

The swimming pool is a scenery. The swimming pool is cascaded into the baby pool and the adult pool. A man-made waterfall looms over the baby pool, where some young kids are wading and playing on the 2 slides. Parents sunbathe nearby, seeing that their children are entertaining themselves.

In the resort suite, one will be mesmerized by the view from its window. It just reminds you how close you are to Mother Nature. If the accomodation and the environment have been perfect, wait till you engage the room service. My experience with the staff at the hotel had been a splendid one. They react fast to demands and are willing to go out of the way.

Kudos to Siloso Beach Resort and staff

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Touring Internet Cafes

Internet Cafes litter the streets of Katong. After a sumptous appetizing wonderful bowl of laksa, my companion and I visited the cafes.

The Internet Cafes faced intense competition among each other such that they have reduced their prices to S$1/hr. They provide solely the computers, with headsets and cameras, with satisfactory comfort. There is no difference whether you visit this or that cafe. There is no differentiating factor. This competition had led to a price war, which is the worst thing that could happen.

At Burlington Square, the Internet Cafes were more comfortable and conducive. Of course the rates were slightly higher, but the higher price is worth it. And yes, there was also price war but not as bad as seen from Katong cafes. The two Cafes across the street of one another around Burlington Square were competing against each other.

Generally, the receptionists in the cafes were cold. There isn't passion within them. This makes the users feel that they are really there only for the computer and the Internet. There is no experience factor in it.

Had a discussion with some friends over a business plan on an internet cafe. The discussion went well. I hope it really comes out into reality.

Returning the Blessing by Goddess Guan Yin

Went to the the Kwan Im Thong Temple at Bugis in the morning to return the blessing by Goddess Guan Yin.

My Aunt had asked for the Goddess to bless me for my two years of National Service. As it drew near the end of the year, Aunt got me to return the blessings.

The rain was heavy for the whole day. Luckily the temple wasn't that crowded.

We bought 5 apples, 5 oranges and 1 Fa Kuay (Prosperous Cake) to offer for prayer. The offerings were placed on a tray borrowed from the temple and then placed at the table in front of the altar.

Then I said my prayers. After a while, I collected the offerings and donated some money to the temple.

Learnt a new ritual.

Monday, December 18, 2006

We Care Tuition Agency AGM Preparation

Soon it will be the Annual General Meeting for We Care Tuition Agency. This means preparation for materials to be shared during the meeting has to be done.

The AGM is going to signify the end of the work year 2006, and the embracement of the new year with fresh goals and new directions setting. Everyone will be sharing their ideas on expanding the agency.

I have my agenda too. I find that I may have too many. I will be also taking this opportunity to share my new business plan, hoping that some of them might be interested in it and join me.

And if everything goes well, by next February, I'll be able to become a Director of my own firm. This is simply exciting.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Business Opportunity Fair -- EAP Graduation

The Business Opportunity Fair at Le Meridien Hotel started at 1300hrs, 16 December 2006. About half an hour prior to the commencement of the Fair, our CRE-ACTION team went out of the hotel to start giving out our specially designed flyers.

Giving out flyers in shirt and tie is quite a fun experience. Beside me was an Indian man also giving out flyers. After seeing me approaching people and giving out more flyers than he had given, he came to me and asked for one flyer. 1 hour later, I returned to the Margaux Ballroom where the event was held.

On the way back, I met my Mother and my Aunt who had just visited my booth. Got two leads from them.

Worked through lunch at the booth, entertaining visitors to the booth. More than half of those I entertained were full-time national servicemen (NSFs). One visitor conversed with me for a long time, telling me about his plans to sell his health products. From various interactions, I gained quite a lot of insights into other's activities.

The whole event ended at 1700hrs. We generated around 50 leads, and S$80 profits for our team in the event. Overall, we earned ourselves S$9.85 each after weighing in the costs for setting up of booth.

Even though our team did not clinched the champion award, we enjoyed ourselves. When we retire back at one of the team member's office, we did a little of debrief and after-action reviews. We also agreed that we should meet bimonthly to keep each of us updated, as well as a possible discussion of team effort in starting up a business opportunity.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Handphone Number turns out to be TOTO number

Soon after reaching Singapore, I received a news that every digit of my handphone number turned out to be the winning numbers of TOTO (Lottery). The lucky person who bought would have earned S$40,000.

Luck is coming to town.

KL, Genting Trip 2006

This is the second trip to Malaysia in a month. However it is a different feeling altogether, perhaps, because of the companions that went together.

The trip started with an unpleasant incident whereby I forgot to collect one of the gift from the cab's boot. It was meant as a birthday gift for one of us. The dull moment dissipated as hours passed.

Even though it was a Monday, the Tuas Checkpoint was flooded with coaches. Just as we thought it was bad enough, we encountered the next major jam in Kuala Lumpur. We moved off at 0800hrs and we reached the destination at 1800hrs. 10 hours of journey is totally uncool.

We reached Royale Bintang Hotel, checked in and quickly had a dinner at Swensen's. The price of the food is half compared to that in Singapore. We noticed something interesting as well. The baked rice is wet in Malaysia but dry in Singapore.

Browsed a brief while in Sungei Wan Mall. Then, split up with the girls to return to Swensen's to get a birthday cake for the birthday girl.

Went back to hotel for some Mahjong sessions. Began to appreciate the game a little bit more. Then at midnight, one of us went to get the cake and came in to surprise the birthday girl. It had been a long day, so the cake went into the freezer and we closed in for the night.

The next day, we went up to Genting Highlands. The birthday girl got to know an economical way of getting there by taking a train and then a bus to the peak. Cost us less than RM10

We took this little ride as a kickstart. When I got down, I felt a little dizzy. The queues were long and we ended up with some brain twisting riddles to kill the time. Managed to solve some while still puzzled at the rest.

Luncheon is at Kenny Roger's. Affordable rate. Went on to a Ferris Wheel ride. From the ride, I noticed that the whole mall is decorated with some global significant buildings such as the Twin Towers of KL, the Big Ben of London, The Statue of Liberty of New York.

We also went for the bumper car. In the queue, most of them were small little kids. Some observations made were that there are actually kids that don't bump, but rather drive their way out to safe spots, and then encircling the rest

of the bumping cars.

Near evening, we went to the ride that defined the whole experience we had over there. It was a life-changing experience. An experience that emboldens one.

The ride is the tallest structure in Genting Highlands. It stood about ten-storey high. Each time, 12 brave souls are sent up to the top, given 10 seconds to view the scenery from above, and then scream as they drop all the way down within 3 seconds and get back up and down and up and down.

In the queue, I didn't think much of the ride. As I sat on the carriage, I began to ponder why in the first place did I place myself there. Soon, the park staff checked our safety belts and sent us up. I looked down. Nice scenery. You can practically see the whole Genting Highland from the top. Spectacular view. The 10 seconds of waiting was punishing in itself. Hugging the strap real tight, I awaited for the fall.

It occured just like that. My legs were raised up as the countering force pushed them up. The most terrifying moment I believed was only the split second when we drop. Because the 3 seconds are too fast to cause an impact. Felt some wobbly-ness when I alighted from the ride but I thought that was awesome.

We went for the ride again later on. All the same but just that this time the mist was thick. And I could feel the water condensing on my face on the way up.

Just when it was our turn at the roller coaster, the ride was closed due to the mist and rain. After some shopping and browsing, we took the bus back.

The next day, we went to Petaling Jaya thinking that Petaling Jaya was a shopping mall. It turned out to be a location. So we took a cab to 1Utama Shopping Mall and spent the rest of the day there. Evening, we went to Berjaya Times Square via a cab.

The cab driver was an interesting uncle. He shared with us his 20 years experience of driving a cab. He mentioned that most policeman aimed to be a traffic police because of the bribe amount that can be collected off the road. So most policemen will give their superior a few thousand ringgits to get their superior to post them to the traffic department. He also know of some top official at the traffic division that earns up to RM50000 just by collecting bribes.

Also, he shared with us the dangerous part of the life of a cab driver. He says a driver who have driven for 10 years will definitely face at least one burglary case in their career.

We watched the latest Bond movie, Casino Royale, at the Times Square. It was a midnight show. And then we made our way back to the hotel to continue playing mahjong before we slept for two hours.

The way back was a short one. Great trip, Great trip.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Art of Selling

Just discovered someone replied to my online ST forum letter. And he agreed to my point of view. Great kind of feeling now.

At the Exec-Directions office today, I attended a lesson on sales. Sales and marketing are the most profiteering division in any organisation. If you have the best idea in the world, but you do not have the sales knowledge, the idea will forever be only in your hands. Sales is useful in many areas of our life, so it is very important to know more about it.

Everyone was sent up on stage and to repeat some sentences showed on the projector screen. The purpose was to train up the versatility of the individual in tackling others with different characters.

I discover that I am not a very good sales person. There is much more to be improved on.

Yesterday, I got involved in a car accident. There was an old car parking at a turn left filter. So our car nearly hit it. Then, as we were turning right, the driver saw a taxi coming our way backwards, so he instinctively drove forward a little, but we still got bumped at the back.

We came out from the car. I stared at the car in front with vengeful vision. The car then drove off, knowing that he was in trouble. Useless figure.

The taxi did bump into our vehicle but it did not cause a single scratch or dent. Whew, what a ride.

Experience gained through selling Christmas Cards

After 3 weeks of sale of Christmas cards, I have received a considerable sum of profits. The profits weren't that crucial but it is the learning process that had occured.

It is my first major lesson in leveraging on other people's time and money. The power of leverage is immense. Wonders can be created from leverage. It is the fundamental principle in moving towards creating a successful system of business.

Another lesson is that accounting is a basic knowledge and skill that one will need when entering the business field.

Opportunities are abound.

Friday, December 08, 2006

EAP Flyer Design

This is the flyer design by my team CRE-ACTION. We were pressed for time and I came out with the idea of the Christmas tree. The idea of it all is that our team will be placing the cash and opportunities there, would you be the one receiving it at the bottom?

We clinched 3rd position, gaining S$50 for the team. Our very first profit in the the programme.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Getting Sponsors for Cre-Action Business Opportunity Booth

After being tasked from the meeting to source for sponsors for the team (named Cre-Action) booth, I set off with an open mind.

Big companies websites do not include their marketing and communications branch contact information. So therefore the only way to get to them was via the tele-operator. And so the chain of command starts from the operator, then being directed multiple times to other call recipients and finally reaching the yes-no person.

Sometimes I hit the voicemail. And I suspect the voicemail had not been checked for ages, or it had replaced a tele-operator whose sole purpose might just be to reject calls. Automation replaces the need for human at times.

Then I reached a staff who bothered to listen after some convincing words. I managed to email her a proposal for sponsorship. The odds of getting it is small but at least I got the message across.

Later, a friend of my Father returned a call handled by his secretary when he went to a meeting. I respect him a lot from what my Father always say about him. My respect for him is even higher when he even bothered to find out exactly what the business opportunity fair was about. Even though he's quite skeptical that his bank company could actually sponsor for such a private function, he said he will still put in effort in helping me.

And so, the excitement builds up...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

1st EAP meeting

The first EAP meeting went on very smoothly. The meeting place was in the Wee Luk Office where one of our member worked in. There were many timber products such as furniture around.

My eyes were drawn to one piece of artwork called "Ping2 Mu4" in Mandarin. I believe in English, it's called a screen. In the ancient history of China, families place screens to block the view from outside into the house by situating them facing the doors. I was especially drawn to this artpiece because it is a creation based from "Romance of the Red Chambers", a classic Chinese novel. In it there were the characters of the novel and also some poetries. It is not for sale. Too bad.

The other team members looked quite dreary from their day of hard work. 2 of them just came from a meeting. But everybody got focused on the agenda of the meeting and voiced out useful pointers. The Entreprenurial spirit.

Everybody was given his/her roles and responsiblities. We set off with the lethargy of the day but with the refreshed mindset of the evening.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Mayor's Dialogue on Aging Population and GST

The Mayor of North East CDC, Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed gave the Grassroots Leaders (GRLs) an insight into the government's view on aging population and the reasons behind the GST hike. It was a very easy-to-understand kind of presentation and it enabled the GRLs to have a clearer picture of the current situation.

Upon registration, I sat with some YEC members at the registration table for some chit-chats. All of the GRLs that I met were friendly and returned smiles and greetings. Overall, it was a warm feeling that they exude.

Soon, the mayor arrived and he then get the people at the registration table to actually introduce ourselves. He arrived on time. And then we went in to grab a seat.

The mayor signalled us to sit in the front row, where it was reserved for himself and some other senior GRLs. When I went to the front, he extended his hand out again and clarified my name with him. His effort in getting my name right impressed me. He could have simply thought he knew me and carried on his speech.

The Q&A went on after his speech. At 10.35pm, instead of asking for the last question, he requested for 3 more questions. This, I believe, is a very tactful way of managing the time issue. At the end of the dialogue, he stayed back for further queries.

This is an interesting Mayor.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Entrepreneurial Action Programme

This is a 2 day programme conducted by Exec-Directions.

I used to be doubtful of entrepreneurial programmes because I believe that entrepreneurship is either an innate character or it can be attained through real-life business practice and experience. However, this programme proved me wrong. EAP actually brought me through the idea of entrepreneurship through real action and sharing of experiences by successful entrepreneurs.

Through the course, there are many lessons that I've learnt. These include penning a good USP, sales and marketing techniques, how to start a business with no cost at all, and last but not least, the correct mindset of an entrepreneur.

EAP also provided a good oppurtunity for like-minded people to gather around and network with each other. I was glad to meet people of various positions such as CFO, Directors, Consultants, Designers. I also met a young boy named Luke. He had just taken PSLE and expressed interest in attending the course. I find his way of thinking rather mature and that made me the third youngest in the whole programme.

The programme ends on 16 Dec when every teams will set up booths at a business oppurtunity fair at Le Meridien Hotel.

It is always to start young, as many I met told me. Seems like the best part of your life is still being young. "Learn Learn Learn and you will Earn Earn Earn".