Category Archives: news

How it feels to be on Bloomberg

I was interviewed by Bloomberg this week to talk about Netccentric. It was a surreal experience for me because I’ve always somehow engaged with Bloomberg for many years now.

The first time I heard about Bloomberg was when I did my internship at JP Morgan. There was this computer with two black screens there that a lot of my colleagues then used. I would later learn the magic that lay behind this Bloomberg terminal. Whereas in the past if you wanted to find anything about any listed company you would have to manually go through their announcements and annual reports, the Bloomberg terminal as they call it allowed you to search everything instantly. Digitally.

Then there was the channel on TV that my parents had turned on every morning since Bloomberg TV was available in Malaysia. My parents were active in the stock market and Bloomberg TV kept them up to date.  It’s funny how our parents’ habits stick to us because Bloomberg is the channel I have on when I have my breakfast every morning now too.

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So you can imagine how surreal it was when Bloomberg invited me for an interview. I was going to be one of those quick interview sessions they had in the middle of their programs when they talked to business people who have listed companies or fund managers or analyst.

Anyone who has some exposure or involvement in the equity or bond markets. I’ve done lots of interviews on TV before and a lot of public speaking but no matter how many times I do it, I’m always still a little nervous before it goes on.

Being on Bloomberg was a first for me, so it went up a little bit more when it came to the nervous-meter. I stood there as Han, the show’s host finished reporting his side of the news. I was briefed that it was going to be a short session and I had to answer the questions in a brief amount of time. Talk about pressure. Finally the lights came on and we were LIVE on air. My sister, my wife and Fighter was watching from home.

I later heard that Fighter at home watched me on TV and immediately asked the TV me to carry him. He then also tried to feed me a grape through the TV.

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Well overall I think the interview went alright. Something I gotta keep in mind though is when being on TV or radio I should speak a little slower. A lot of people tell me that I speak really fast in real life or when giving speeches but on TV and radio it becomes even more apparent.

I did feel the pressure to speed whatever I had to say up though and plus there was the fear that I might say something wrong and have it forever captured LIVE. But ah anyway, sometimes less is more and I think I gotta learn to speak slower in real life.

How it feels to be on Bloomberg? Well… the host and the crew did a great job making me feel warm. Really like a guest on the show… so overall, it felt really great!

Anyway here’s the interview guys tell me what you think.

Thank you for having me Bloomberg: Han, El Sen and Sam.

5 Great Quotes from Lee Kuan Yew

I woke up today to the news of Lee Kuan Yew’s passing today. I have always admired Lee Kuan Yew for how he has built Singapore and the one thing I often look out for are his thoughts and quotes on different issues.

So today, to remember his passing I decided to search the internet to find his quotes and put together a list of what I think were his best quotes of all time. Here they are.

1) “I am probably the highest paid in the Commonwealth if you go by official salary. But I am probably one of the poorest in the Commonwealth… I am one of the best paid and probably one of the poorest of the Third World prime ministers.’”

2) “Even from my sick bed, even if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel something is going wrong, I will get up.”

3) “I always tried to be correct, not politically correct.”

4) “I see no reason why I should impress people by having a big car or changing my suits every now and again to keep up with the latest styles.”

5) “At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up? My life.”

Rest in peace Lee Kuan Yew.

Sources: CNBCBrainyquoteAnything&WhateverBBC

To the Organizers of FMFA: Keep it up and don’t let another setback hold you back.

You guys remember how the Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) last year was canceled halfway through because of drug abuse that led to 6 people dying and another 16 people hospitalized right?

I can understand why the authorities in Malaysia had to shut it down. 6 people had died and 16 other people had been hospitalized… it wasn’t a trivial thing. Perhaps precautions had to be taken and there just wasn’t enough time to do it all before the party starts the next day.

My heart however went out to the people affected by the shutdown. No not just the party goers who had come from as far as Australia just for FMFA, but the entrepreneurs behind it. The entrepreneurs who saw a good event and put money and effort behind bringing it to Malaysia only to see it canceled and potentially losing a lot of money in the process.

As an entrepreneur I feel sad whenever I see other fellow entrepreneurs who do good work go through hardship because of things out of their control and in that moment I felt it for them too. Except that I didn’t know who “them” is. So I googled it and came across the name Iqbal Ameer who is the Group CEO of Livescape.

Livescape then went on to do other cool stuff. “It’s The Ship” being one of the other parties they did and then eventually news broke out that FMFA 2015 was going to be in Singapore. Perhaps they would have better luck then.

Then just a few days ago I saw this statement that they released:

FMFA15 OFFICIAL STATEMENT 7TH MARCH 2015

We are extremely disappointed that our appeal to the Ministry of Home Affairs to organise Future Music Festival Asia 2015 (FMFA15) in Singapore has been unsuccessful. We can confirm that we have received the official rejection of our appeal. FMFA firmly stands behind our goal of creating a drug-free event for our festival goers to enjoy. Despite having put in place a robust event, security, safety and medical management plan which has been developed alongside both local and international experts with a combined 50 years of experience in running similar large-scale events, our Public Entertainment License has not been granted. The plans that have been developed far exceeds international standards.We emphasise that the safety and security of our festival goers are of utmost importance and will continue to be our number one priority. Regarding concerns the authorities may have about the drug-related incidents that took place in Malaysia last year, we reiterate that these were isolated incidents that took place outside Singapore, which cannot and do not carry any implication that FMFA is linked to drug use or drug abuse.

In light of this development, we are assessing all options and formulating our next course of action, including options for ticket refunds. Full details of this will be made available over the next few days.

To the fans there are no words in this world that can describe our eternal gratitude to you. We called, and you answered. Your response to ‪#KeepFMFAAlive‬ has brought tears to all of us at FMFA. We are humbled, and we are grateful. In the last 48 hours you showed the world that music truly unites. Music has the ability to unite people from across different cultures, background and races. Music has the ability to forge unity, friendship and love. Music itself is noble. Music can be a change for good. And over the past 48 hours you have been a living testament to that very belief. We are doing everything we can to work out a viable solution to this issue.

 

and this

 

OFFICIAL STATEMENT 8TH MARCH 2015: FMFA15 CANCELLATION

Update, 6.55PM, Sunday, 8 March 2015: The organisers of Future Music Festival Asia 2015 are saddened to announce that we have had to cancel the festival which was scheduled to be held this Friday and Saturday, March 13 & 14, at the Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore.Full ticket refunds will now be made to all FMFA ticket buyers, details of which will be madeavailable by Monday evening. We are also aware of the many fans overseas that have made travel arrangements into Singapore for the festival. We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience you have been put through.At the moment, we have set up a care team to help answer your concerns directly. Our care team can be reached atsupport@futuremusicfestival.asia.

FMFA wishes to thank all artistes and event suppliers for their incredibly hard work and support during the last few days.

To the fans, we thank you for your patience and support.

 

I put myself in Iqbal’s shoes and I’m thinking “I can’t seem to catch a break here”. I don’t understand why Livescape failed to get approval this time round. I mean if an adult drowns in a public swimming pool, it’s a tragedy but what do you do? Do you ban all public swimming pools in the country?  Or do you add more lifeguards and take more precautions to prevent things like happening like that.

Was Livescape given a chance to take these precautions? To better police their own events to make sure it was drug free?

I hope the people at Livescape find better luck in any future projects they do. Keep it up Livescape… don’t let another setback hold you down.

How it was like to be in The Top 40 Under 40

When Prestige magazine first emailed me a few months ago about being nominated for the Prestige Top 40 Under 40 I wasn’t sure if they made a mistake because I had already been featured some few years ago. They came back though and told me about how this year was different. It’s their 10th year doing the Top 40 Under 40 and so this year they decided to do a Top 40 of all the 300-400 candidates that have made it in the past 10 years.

The process was a bit more stringent. Among all the candidates nominated we had to go for an interview with a panel of judges. They asked some pretty tough questions at the interview. Things about how our business will deal with the respective challenges we face in the current competitive business environments and corporate social responsibility ie what we have done back for society.

Then we were all invited to attend this huge Gala Dinner where they announced the winners. The Top 8 of the Prestige 40 Under 40.

Here we are.

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I’m happy that a number of friends of mine were in the Top 8 too. Bryan Loo of Chatime, Chan of Exabytes, David Lai the magician, Kenny Goh from Macrokiosk and Chung Lynn from Nandos.

Yes if you notice Shorty is on stage up there with me collecting a prize too. Haha… the story behind that was that Chung Lynn from Nandos wasn’t able to make it for the dinner so she asked me if I could have my wife represent her. So Shorty was there up on stage collecting the award on behalf of her… and everyone apparently was thanking her for bringing Nandos to Malaysia.

Here are some more pictures of the night.

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From left is David, me, Kenny and Bryan. Right before the awards were announced. We were all busy drinking and getting a little high.

To be honest by the time we got on stage to collect the awards I think we were all a little tipsy but we were on our best behaviour to make sure we don’t make a fool out of ourselves.

Here’s Shorty, me and Bryan and his wife who was the one responsible for getting me to drink so much.

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Chan from Exabytes receiving one of the prizes we got that night.

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We got so many prizes that it began to feel like Christmas. We got everything from luggage bags to watch winders from Mont Blanc. It was so fun.

Not sure what was happening at this picture.

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But it looked like Kenny was saying something .

After all the prizes were given out they announced another award. The RHB Business Excellence Award and I was super surprised they called out my name.

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The thing about awards for entrepreneurs is that they tend to honour one person. The truth is that no one person builds a business or a company on his own. It’s always a group of people that do it together. So this award is dedicated to my business partner and fellow Co-Founder Ming and the fantastic team that works with us in all the offices around the region.

And of course… here’s to my dear wife.

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Who has always been super supportive of me ever since she met me. The entire four feet nine of her. Thank you my love!

You can read more about the Top 8 here in this article:

8 Most Successful Entrepreneurs in Malaysia.