2009 Reviewed

I can really, really say that I’ve never had so much fun in a long, long time. Or rather, in my life! ๐Ÿ™‚ The last 2 months have been sky high for me. And looking back, Year 2009 has been the greatest year for me to date.

It had been challenging. It had been exciting. And I gained a lot of new experience in so many things I would have never even thought of trying, or getting into.

It’s easy to understand why when I review and reflect again.

January 2009: Trip Around the Country!

Spent the first month of the year going around states in the country!

Went to Genting Highlands. Went to Desaru. Started my first life-changing Forex journey with Orange Roshan and the SRDCโ€™ians in KL. Relatives came over to visit us in Johor Bahru. We also paid our Singaporean relatives a visit during Chinese New Year.

February 2009: Visit Sydney, Australia!

Met up with my online marketing friend Aurelius Tjin. Attended the Sydney online entrepreneurs gathering. Climbed the Harbour Bridge. Visited the Three Sisters. And did a whole lot more fun stuff while I was here for one whole week!

March – April 2009: Gadget Pimping and GIS Penang

This was probably the most challenging time for me. Broke up with my ex-girlfriend and as it is my first relationship, well, I took it rather badly and bitterly. Got back in… and got a strike-out again! ๐Ÿ™ Sucks to the max.

I was still primarily based in Johor Bahru at this point, and I wanted to start anew. Figured being busy with something else would keep me occupied from heartache so I went on a personal โ€˜make overโ€™. Hmm… found out shopping isnโ€™t such a bad thing either. ๐Ÿ™‚

Pimped myself up with new gadgets โ€“ Playstation 3, new custom suit, got my own car (and gave the Myvi to my mom). Plans were underway to move to PJ to start anew.

Right about the same time, I was invited as a main speaker to speak for the Global Internet Summit event in Penang.

May 2009: Mega Red Packet and Moving to PJ

Pulled off the mega product launch finally, after six months of working on the Mega Red Packet project! ๐Ÿ™‚ More than $300,000 in total sales in 10 days! It was exhaustive, but I had to move on to the next phase of life: moving to PJ on my own.

Settled in, bought new furniture and had a house warming party to celebrate with friends a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wild Goose Chase!

Hah! This is another interesting, HUGE highlight of 2009. From the time I met Elle Wong, itโ€™s been a wild goose chase for riches! It almost felt as if we were casted into a movie of our own, like the Indiana Jones version for racing to make lots of moo-lah!

Am I making this up? You decide.

Started off with attending the Millionaire Mind Intensive 3-day seminar in The Mines, KL…

The very next day after the seminar, we pulled off Brand Dynamics PLR launch together โ€“ making this the first Private Label Rights product to have both male and female voice over. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hey, we didnโ€™t stop here though. We hosted the IM Weekend Workshop next. My first time hosting a workshop of my own. Iโ€™m so used to working from home. ๐Ÿ˜›

We didnโ€™t stop here either. NEXT… (how many times did I use that word? LOL)

We went to Singapore to attend a follow-up seminar on MMI called Guerrilla Business Intensive by T Harv Eker.

Oh, not forgetting we met up with Calvin Woon, Patricia Lin and Maritius buddy Jonathan Teng. ๐Ÿ™‚ Jhong Ren tagged along too.

THEN… we pulled off a bigger launch than Brand Dynamics โ€“ called the 7-Day PLR Sale. Did above $50,000 in sales in 7 days in November. Woo Hoo! $ $ $ $ $

Iโ€™ve done better launches but for the work we put in, it was well worth it. Not to mention I was pulling off my โ€˜last minute kingโ€™ here. ๐Ÿ˜›

WE DIDNโ€™T STOP HERE… early this month we went to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah to attend the Orange Roshan SRDC Bootcamp!

WOOOOO HOOOOOOO…! ๐Ÿ˜€

July 2009: Bought My First House!

Lakeview house for Mom and Ashley in Johor. ๐Ÿ™‚ We never had a property of our own before. Where my father had failed to do so for my family, Iโ€™m glad Iโ€™m able to provide!

Right about the same time, I also formed my own company in Malaysia called AMLOH CORPORATION SDN. BHD. Hey, paperwork is insane and I nearly went crazy when I first started it out. The procedures to set up, pay taxes and handling the legalities were highly frustrating and later got the hang out of it.

Oh hey, also visited Bangkok, Thailand ๐Ÿ™‚

August 2009: Jungle Warfare

I think I will be doing this for a long, long time. ๐Ÿ™‚

November 2009: My First Halloween Costume

Thanks to Ashleyโ€™s incredible work in helping me out a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚ Elected best costume at the Mindvalley Mischievious Midnight Minglers!

December 2009: Orang Asli Trip, Ex-DJian Gathering and RYM Xmas Party

The best month was saved for the last of the year! Rejoined the church I used to go to when I was a teenager, I went on a trip to the Orang Asli settlement in Kuantan, Pahang.

Also reunited with old school friends from SMKDJ…

Mmmm, couldnโ€™t find a more suitable pic to describe the gathering in one picture. But hey, Iโ€™m not complaining. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also the RYM Xmas Party towards the near end of the year…

All in all… itโ€™s been amazing for me. I hope itโ€™s been for you too this year. And I know 2010 holds much more in store for all of us.

Happy New Year (and also congratulations for surviving into the first 10 years of the 21st century LOL)! ๐Ÿ˜€

Partay Partay

This is one of those moments I wished I could be in two places at the same time!

27th December 2009. I attended the Ex-DJians 2003 gathering at Marche, The Curve.

It turned out well. It’s been… what? 6 years since we left high school? ๐Ÿ™‚ Although I was probably the only one who left SMKDJ prematurely… that’s a story you can read in my ABOUT page. ๐Ÿ™‚

Amazed how many have changed and how some remained the same, even after all those years! One of them mentioned that we could have repeated high school all over again, so that’s how long it had been!

Okay picture time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wished I stayed longer โ€“ was having so much fun catching with a lot of old friends and ex-classmates. Then, had to run off to the masquerade / Xmas party by RYM & St. Ignatius Church in Aman Suriaโ€™s community hall.

So I left around 1.5 hours later for the next function. Missed out the games unfortunately, but the food remained intact! Yes I know, Iโ€™m greedy. ๐Ÿ˜›

Another 70+ pax here too. OK More pics, more pics…

Thanks for making it a wonderful year and awesome meeting old friends again, and making new ones. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! ๐Ÿ™‚

Trip to Orang Asli Settlement

Location: Kuantan, Pahang
Date: 11 & 12 December 2009

Call it coincidence. Call it chance. It was 6 years since I last saw my Sunday School friends.

Debbie Lai, Justin Lee, Christopher Khaw, the Charles twins

If not for attending my ex-Sunday School teacher’s wedding I wouldn’t have met them.

And I definitely wouldn’t have been on this road trip to the rural areas of Kuantan, Pahang.

The RYM (Revolution Youth Ministry) organized a 2-day trip to the Orang Asli settlements to spend time with them, preach the word of God, sang songs, and also bring gifts and supplies for the Christmas holidays season.

It’s been a long time since I was last active with the church, so why not? When Debbie invited me, I jumped at it right away. Besides, up until then I have been rather ignorant of the Orang Asli (Aborigine Malay).

I do know they are around and I’ve read about them in history books, but that’s just it.

The Trip to the Settlements

Friday morning came. Met up with the group for the excursion. Mostly new faces to me, so I got acquainted with the youth. (gotta admit I felt rather ‘old’ and ‘senior’!)

We convoyed in 4 cars and drove to the St. Thomas church in Kuantan, which took about 3 hours to get there. We were to spend our night there.

The RYM met up with Father Danny and one of his Sunday School students, Dominique.

Then we drove for another 2 hours to reach the Orang Asli settlements Batu 3 and Batu 8.

Upon reaching the settlements, it felt like I went back in time. The children would shy away even though I’m sure they get visitors like us every now and then. Probably ashamed of their humble home.

However the ice quickly broke with hand shakes and smiles. The church contributed supplies like rice, cooking oil, food, etc. to each of the settlements. Also, a mass service in Bahasa Malaysia was held in each settlement.

After the mass service was concluded, the RYM spent time with the children, bearing gifts and goodies.

Of course, not to forget snapping pictures of those lightened up smiles. ๐Ÿ™‚

Orang Asli: My Initial Impression

Don’t laugh though; when I heard we were going to visit the Orang Asli I actually thought we were going to be seeing this:

Or something like that.

As you can see from the photos now, the Orang Asli appears totally different from what I thought at first. ๐Ÿ™‚

Orang Asli Exposed

After lunch, a few of the RYM members and I listened to one of the nuns at the St. Thomas church about her experience with the Orang Asli.

Even though the Orang Asli are said to be the first people to walk the lands of the Peninsular Malaysia centuries ago, to this day the Orang Asli are denied of many basic rights, and are often seen as the lower rung of the society.

In the 17th to early 20th century, it was common for Malays to raid the Orang Asli settlements and enslave the people. The Orang Asli were considered ‘sub humans’ or ‘savages’. Reminds me of the show Pocahontas when John Smith and his crew of English men met the Red Indians for the first time.

While this is obsolete in practice, the negative impression and label on the Orang Asli by the modern society is far from being worn off.

The needs of the Orang Asli often fall into the blind spot of the local government. The children are teased in school for being and looking ‘different’, so as a result most children drop out after primary school. The lucky ones finish high school.

The Sister went on to tell of a case when a team of land developers were excavating a forest, affecting the Orang Asli nearby. The Orang Asli tried to appeal to the court to stop the developers from ‘disturbing’ the land, claiming that they see visions and dreams of their un-rest ancestors.

Today is the 21st century, but the lifestyle of the Orang Asli hardly changed, if any at all, for decades. And their belief system is no different from their forefathers from centuries ago.

However I was pleasantly surprised to find the Orang Asli faring considerably well when I met them for the first time with the RYM group.

By ‘considerably well’, they have their essentials covered. I was told we visited the ‘higher class’ settlements; the deeply impoverished ones are deep into the woods and we didn’t have the means to reach out to them.

Although Catholic Christians by religion, the aborigine malays speak only Bahasa Malaysia (BM). Father Danny told us many more tales of the Orang Asli.

All in All…

This 2-day experience reminded me to be grateful for every blessing I have. I came to realize many things I took for granted in life – my essentials coming to the top of my mind right now.

And to think that there are many other people in the world living without them!

We had a great experience bringing some joy to the kids and families at the settlements, and I sincerely hope and pray they fare better through generations. ๐Ÿ™‚