The Personal Blog of Benny Ong – bennyong.com » General
On The Ferry Back From Calais, France
The City Center
When I told my sister that I will return to London this year, I did not knew how or was even anywhere near the possibility of my company sending me there. With that said, I am now seated in the International Departure terminal of KLIA (proudly displaying that they are the winner of the Best International Airport 2 years in the row) awaiting my Malaysia Airlines flight to London. The point I want to emphasize here is that of the Power of Thought. If you have been there in the mind, your body will also.
I am returning to London this time around for a project roll out that I am more than excited about. Expectation wise from speaking to my new boss is that there are heaps to do as this is a pilot and I am expected to stay for a month with the possibilities of extension.
I will be staying at Marlin Apartments same as last time but the one near Mansion House instead of in South Bank. It is about three tube stations away from Globe House at Temple Place where I am working. I will walk to work daily and hope it will be able to offset the food intake during lunch. The office in Globe House is well known for its food and is provided free to the employees.
That’s all for now and let me see how I am going to kill the next 1 hour and 55 minutes. Since I haven’t leisure surf in ages, that will be a start.
P/S: This post is courtesy of the FREE WiFi offered at KLIA. Please note that most airports charge for WiFi Access. Kudos to Malaysia!
I was privileged to have been a participant for the past two days in a training called From Good to Great based on the book written by Jim Collins. The books highlights the distinction that make a company great which involves High Motivation and High Profits at a sustainable level.
Just Before The Training
Just Before The TrainingThe training was facilitated by Mr Simon Ng of Dynamic Team whereby he combined both the principles of the book with his own training known as the Bruce Lee Power Punch Shaolin. He has a wealth of experience and handles the whole course well.
whereby he combined both the principles of the book with his own training known as the Bruce Lee Power Punch Shaolin. He has a wealth of experience and handles the whole course well.whereby he combined both the principles of the book with his own training known as the Bruce Lee Power Punch Shaolin. He has a wealth of experience and handles the whole course well.Just Before The TrainingThe training was facilitated by Mr Simon Ng of whereby he combined both the principles of the book with his own training known as the Bruce Lee Power Punch Shaolin. He has a wealth of experience and handles the whole course well.The course was held at Bangi Equatorial which is a place that would never have been on my visit list. There were about 23-35 of us consisting of a majority of BTAs (GSD’s term for Management Trainee) and a good mix of managers.
Group Picture of Participants and Organizers
To me, the training came at a perfect time as I was getting a bit sidetracked in my performance at work. Being out of the office was something healthy and what was needed. The whole two day training course made me reflect on my actions so far and managed to change me in a certain level.
The BTA Participants
I will be selling you short if I were to reveal what was in the training program. This is simply to ensure that you obtain similar or even better results from the training.
Some of the portion of the course was similar to what I have picked up previously in Money & You which incidentally I will miss the upcoming one in April because of work related travel.
I will be off to London for a month starting this Saturday and with the learning experience at the back of my mind, I would definitely strive for excellence. Hopefully this will be working to my favor as my final evaluation is in roughly a month’s time whereby the outcome is whether I get to join the organization or I should try my luck somewhere else.
That’s all for the moment, till my next post. Do take care.
I heard about the Academy Award winning documentary by the ex Presidential candidate Al-Gore sometime ago. It also managed to earn him a Nobel Prize nomination for climate change. I manage to ignore it for a while because I thought it was just a cheap publicity stunt until recently when I kind of got hold of the video.
It was on a weekend evening and me being curious decided to watch it over my computer and what I saw was revealing. The funny thing is, we do realize it happening everyday but do we take any action to prevent or control the outcome?
For example, I can clearly tell you from growing up in Malaysia that the weather has gone bonkers with the heat reaching intolerable levels months after months.
Well, I use to be a skeptic of the effects of Global Warming but I will be lying to say that I have completely switched over after watching the documentary. I do sometimes question that maybe all of this is meant to happen after all? But at the rate it is going is alarming. If you do feel the same way and want to make a difference, never underestimate the power of one voice.
For starters, you may download the 10 things list which is a pdf file that describe the little things you do that can make a difference. Remember, every little helps.
For more details, visit http://www.climatecrisis.net/
Our company has large scale meetings twice a year called the Zone Meeting by location whereby the operations are separated geographically as follow; Zone 1 – Latin America and Caribbean, Zone 2 – Europe and Zone 3 – Asia Pacific. Unlike the previous zone meeting where it was to wrap up the year, this was to present the company targets and mission for 2007.
My First Attempt @ Rock Climbing
The office in Technology Park Malaysia where I am based is the largest of all the offices around the globe with a strong workforce of over 450 talented people. The perfect location to fit such a crowd was KL Convention Center which I took the opportunity to help out last night with the setup of the booths.
As usual, the day was a bit routine when it started off at 9.00 a.m. followed by a mimic of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Game with questions based on the company. Once the crowd was all warmed up, presentations started and followed by games. The first game that I managed to take part involves Rock Climbing. There was other games such as karaoke singing and dancing with Playstation 2, the traditional egg (ping pong ball used as a replacement) and a teaspoon race and throwing balls into targets like the ones in fun fairs.
In Roman Times.. The Quality Dept Booth
Another interesting part of the Zone Meeting was the introduction of the Trade Fair which is made of 12 booths from different departments of the company to present their effort and on going projects. The standard of the booths were very high and can easily match or be even better than any other Corporate Trade Conventions. The only thing I felt wasted was that it would have been nice if it our stakeholder were invited to participate. This will be a brilliant platform to showcase what are company are about and also maybe even squeeze in a recruitment even to get talents.
After Event Party @ SkyBar
To accompany the whole event, refreshments and a dinner was served before the proze giving ceremony which I almost took home the DVD Camcorder prize in the guessing game. I was just 3 number short of the correct answer. Well, better luck next time. Other prizes given out during the event was gift vouchers, 2GB SD Card and a Sony Playstation. There is still one outstanding prize which is an iPod video to be given out after the completion of all the Zone Meetings which Zone 1 & Zone 2 are awaiting. Fingers cross for that.
The next Zone Meeting will only happen sometime in November after a mid year review which is a health check to see how the company is progressing so far.
Well, that’s all for now, till my next post. Take care.
Today I was privileged to be invited to the official launch of Nusajaya “The World In One City” development by UEM in Johor. It is the key flagship zone of the Iskandar Development Region (IDR), a special economic zone under the 9th Malaysian plan.
The Center Stage of the Event
Nusajaya boasts 6 signature developments which are EduCity, International Destination Resort, Johor State New Administrative Centre, Medical City, Puteri Harbour, Residential Developments and SILC (Southern Industrial and Logistics Clusters). It is the largest ever private sector development in Southeast Asia covering 24,000 acres.
The Prime Minister’s Speech
It was officially launched by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah Badawi (Pak Lah) which arrived on time. The whole event proceeded as scheduled which is rare.
The Food Served at the Event
We were served a selection of food as pictured which consisted of Satay, Otak-otak, Bread Pudding, Scones, Murtabak, Spaghetti, Quiche, Mixed Fruits and some other local delicacies. The catering was handled by The Puteri Pacific, Johor Bahru and the food was selected specially to reflect the key developments of Nusajaya. For example, Spaghetti had this accompanying tagline in the menu “Who didn’t eat pasta at Uni?” which represent EduCity.
The Largest Tent in South East Asia
The tent that we were housed in for the event was apparently the largest in South East Asia and it could fit a Boeing 747. No wonder it could easily serve as a shelter for over 2000 guests in 200 tables. The launch cost UEM about RM2 million but I believe it could have been much more.
Another highlight was the goodie bag that everyone was given which funnily included a RM 5 preloaded Touch ‘N’ Go card. It would have been helpful if the amount covered the whole return toll fare for the journey from KL. I am also curious what was in the goodie bag of the VVIPs? A gold plated Touch ‘N’ Go card? Definitely one with bottomless credit for the honorable guest, our Prime Minister. ; )
Now I am all drained out from being in car for about 7 hours in total for a day trip to Johor. So, that’s all for now and until my next post, take care.
Iwould like to share asong that I kind of stumbled on watching on MTV Russia whilechannel surfing. I believe it will achieve cult statussomewhat like the crazy frog. The artist is called Holly Dolly and the songis the Dolly Song. It was at number 2 on the charts when I was in Russia, no joke. Enjoy themusic and video.
Here is another song which I was able to watch and remember the title of the song is “Columbia Pictures” performed by Banderos. A group of Russian rappers and a good quality video production.
Well, there is this famous male Russian singer I would term as the Russian Justin Timberlake. I did not manage to get his name but he is practically everywhere. On television, on the billboards and posters proudly showing that he won the awardof best Russian singer for 2005 and 2006. I promise that I will do a similar post when I get the name.
It was good to be able to discover music abroad as this reminded me of the time I first heard of Juanes about two year ago in Berlin before it hit our shores. Well, that’s all for now.
Benny Ong XXX
Chinese New Year reunion suddenly played a more significant role in my life. I use to believe that the cultural festival has lost its touch in my life when I was studying abroad. What use to be a week where I look forward to Red Packets stuffed with money (Ang Pows) and fireworks (which is banned in Malaysia now) during my schooling days meant more to me now. I use to dread to meet my uncle and aunts that would compare my cousin’s achievements with mine and question me about when I am going to get married.
The celebration this year meant even more with my Grandma’s 80th Birthday. We tried to get everyone to dress in RED for the dinner at Sea View Restaurant but somehow the message did not go across as planned. However, the dinner went on pretty well over three tables and entertainment by live performers singing famous Chinese New Year tracks.
Some Other Family Members
The biggest achievement of the night was getting everyone for a picture which is very rare in our case. Although we do occasionally meet up with some, it is very rare that a majority of us turn of for gatherings as such. Hopefully this will last for many years to come and this becomes a lifelong commitment.
The Whole Bunch
That’s all the report from Batu Pahat, Johor. Till next time, take care.
I am now awaiting my connecting flight to Malaysia via Amsterdam Schipol Airport. I do not know what to expect as the flight is a Malaysia Airlines code share with KLM. I flew KLM a few occasions when I was younger and for this trip to Moscow but it was never a long haul one. Well, I saw pictures in their in flight magazine earlier and hopefully I am not too disappointed with the in flight entertainment. Fingers cross for it to be on demand.
I am particularly excited this time to go home as I will be arriving on the first day of Chinese New Year and my family will be there to pick me up from the airport. I have already bought some candies which are nothing too special for my little cousins that I will be meeting back in Batu Pahat.
Earlier today in the Russian airport, I broke a bottle of Vodka belonging to my colleague which I really felt bad about. It was too late to get a replacement bottle because we were already about to board. Oh well, I just need to live with it.
Did I mention that an immigration officer approached me and my colleague to check our passports when we were queuing for our boarding pass? I believe it is an obvious reason why we are targets as Asians tend to stand out amongst a crowd of native Europeans. After seeing that all of our documents are valid, she told us to follow her. In my mind I was prepared for being questioning. She was carrying my documents in her hands and told my colleague to stand a distance away from me. Two further officers approach with a camera on their hands and the officer told me that they are going to take my picture. I immediately looked a bit puzzled and she proceeded to say don’t worry.
Using broken English and pointing at the signs which bare some English instructions on how to fill up the immigration card, I totally understood that I was suppose to pose as a tourist being helped by the immigration officer. That was most certainly a sign of relief.
Besides that, here is just a quick word or two about Amsterdam’s one terminal concept airport. It boasts of having the first ever museum in an airport (a Gallery in my own judgment) and a casino. I have been here about two years ago during my trip to Amsterdam but never had so many hours to walk around.
Back to this point of time, the crowd in front of the boarding gate is growing and the display board on top of the entrance of the gates keeps taking turns flashing the destination name as Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. Just overhead the person sitting next to my bench saying that the flight is full. A bit uncomfortable now as I hate crowds and crying babies on planes. I better stop visualizing and worry less now as it is not helping.
Well, that’s all for me now… till my next update. Take care.
Red Square Next To The Kremlin
Frozen River In Front Of The Kremlin
St Basil’s Cathedral