Monday, 21 April 2014

Level 4, Perpustakaan Tuanku Bainun, UPSI Tanjung Malim
I was at UPSI Tanjung Malim last week. That was my second visit in many years, and oh boy, Tanjung Malim in general sure has changed a lot! However, I'm quite pleased with the air quality of Tanjung Malim which is still fresh and fragrant. 

When I was a little boy, UPSI was known as SITC. The colonial feel there last week reminded me very much of the pioneer, Mr. R.O.Winstedt, whose book entitled "A History of Malaya" was my favourite history book in the early '70s.

My 2-days training programme there was attended by approximately 55 participants. I said 'approximately' because there was 1 particular participant who did not attend the first day training, and when he did attend the second day it was in the afternoon, and even then he kept on going in and out as he pleases. When we were 'blessed' with his 'few-minutes-stay' he kept on making unsolicited remarks which was quite a nuisance. It was to most people's relief that he took off before the end of the programme. How do I know that they are relieved when he left? Because I read their body language...yes! I was there to share with the participants on the secrets of body language for better communication.

I am pleased to put on record here that that was the only tiny blotch in our 2-days programme entitled "MEMAHAMI BAHASA TUBUH UNTUK KOMUNIKASI LEBIH BAIK".

I genuinely enjoyed participation from all the rest of the participants who were very active in taking part in the activities. They also pose really intelligent observations and raise a barrage of questionnaires which provide me with the kind of intellectual challenge that I would always welcome. I remember very well a Puan Zainab whose contributions of ideas and questions allow me to learn more from the participants than they from me. A Encik Faizul was kind enough to guide me on a tour of the museum during lunch break, and I discovered that he was as passionate as I am about history. 

Another senior lecturer, on the other hand, asked about the correct posture and body language for a lecturer. My response was that, first and foremost, a lecturer should not hide behind his table. Leave your comfort zone and be seen as an easy going and an approachable person by using an open-palm gesture. Besides that it is also imperative that a lecturer should look, however briefly, into the students' eyes. If your lecture is attended by more than 100 students, how do you ensure they know that you're looking at them? Easy. Just look at their foreheads in a zig-zag fashion across the lecture hall! They'll feel like they are being 'personally approached' by you.

I have also been privileged enough to enjoy the immense contribution from other participants which are too numerous to mention here. Overall, I'd like to thank all residents of UPSI who has made my stay there so pleasant beyond words. Hope to see you again!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014


Yesterday I trained a group of very interesting and full of potential Tatsui Malaysia employees on how to be effective at work. The key principle that I shared with them is actually very simple: DECIDE WHETHER WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO DO IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. If it is, WHAT IS THE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT. That's it.

In time management, for example, ask ourselves: IS THIS THE RIGHT THING TO DO TO SPEND MY TIME AT WORK? If yes, how can I do it correctly in the shortest possible time without compromising on the work quality?

In communication, for example, ask ourselves: IS THIS THE MOST ACCURATE WORD TO SAY IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES? If yes, how can I deliver it so that it has the greatest impact that I want?

In relationship, for example, ask ourselves: IS PICKING UP THE PHONE AND CALLING THIS PERSON THE RIGHT THING TO DO, CONSIDERING THE LIKELIHOOD THAT IT'LL OPEN UP OLD WOUNDS? If it is not the right thing to do, under the circumstances, then don't do it no matter what people say about you.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014


When it comes to appointment and meeting, make it a habit to be punctual. Better still, come 5 to 10 minutes early. Malaysians have a very weird habit of being late when it comes to appointments, interviews and meeting. Make punctuality your personal and business principle. If you want to know whether a person will be a good friend and business partner, watch if he arrives on the appointed time when you set a date or meeting. An interviewee who is late for a job interview will not make a good employee later.

Monday, 7 April 2014


Do not make excuses to cancel appointments just because you think the person is not important.

Sunday, 6 April 2014


Employ a person or make business with a person whom you can trust. If you do not trust them; don’t employ and don’t make business with them.
So far I've been gentleman enough to forgive people but not stupid enough to trust them again. Ever!

Saturday, 5 April 2014


Don’t purposely make enemies by stepping on other people's toes. Although this unhealthy practice seems to be quite a norm in the business and corporate world, do not play the game. People who do this will not last long. People who take short cut will have their success short lived. Sometimes people say that this can’t be avoided. That it is unintentional. That it is "collateral damage". Well...may be, may be not. Anyway try to stay away from it.

Friday, 4 April 2014


Be polite, humble and respectful to others. If you can rub shoulders with tycoons, politicians and high officials, ask yourself, can you get along well too with hawkers and manual workers? Often times, success goes to our heads and we forget where we came from and our hardship seems to be a forgotten past.

Thursday, 3 April 2014


Lim Goh Tong (LGT) could not speak or write in English. When the need arose, he hired an English-Hokkien translator. He spoke Hokkien in his native land China, and after coming to Malaya, he learned Malay, Cantonese and Mandarin. Language barrier had never stopped him from negotiating the biggest business contracts in the country.

What's your excuse?