That's what Shaun said.

I blog about my country Malaysia and everything else that goes on in my head. You will occasionally stumble upon references to food too.

by liewshn

Sometimes I feel over the moon when I am with friends, throwing gossip from one end of the table to the other over dinner; when I am with my loved ones, embracing the unconditional warmth they shower me with; when I am alone, and my thoughts take their own time to align themselves to reason and logic. During these moments I wish I could stay in them for as long as possible, because forever is after all, a fraud. I wish I could delay for as long as possible the end of these precious times that always come by so rarely, like a nice sunny cloudless day during winter. I wish I could absorb all their goodness left within them like a sponge before they come to a permanent end, never repeating themselves ever again. You could hopelessly wait for an encore; but why not savour every second of it while engraving it in the deepest valleys of your mind, like drawing all the good things that your heart could see on a piece of paper with permanent ink. We attempt this through the lenses of our cameras, believing that we could capture every moment with technology and hang that one instant of the whole experiences on the wall. If that is not good enough, we film the whole scene, involving everyone and their childish, stupid and unforgettable actions within the limits of a frame and a 16-second period. If 16 seconds is not good enough, we could extend it to an hour. If an hour is not good enough, we could extend it to five; but, what is the worth of that when you leave yourself out of the picture the whole time? That’s when the tripod of the DSLR comes into place, an argument of the disagreers. An argument that would probably reach the point where they say CCTVs can help you capture those moments. That will be quite creepy. How much time would it take for you to go out and feel alive again, instead of waiting, waiting and waiting to seek validation from faceless commenters that you are actually in a good place, having a good time. We do not need others to confirm that what we are doing is making ourselves feel good. We just need to feel it, that is all. Nothing else. No amount of ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ will help you confirm what you feel. You just feel; and, that is all that matters. 

You say there’s nothing wrong with recording videos of special moments. So I say do it with your heart, not your bloody phone. 


by liewshn

Last September, we were trying to get used to being in a long distance relationship.

Last October, we were struggling. With all our late night/early morning arguments and talks about not spending enough time together, shifting priorities and hours spent on doing laundry, we thought it could have been the end of us.

Last November, we were still struggling but everything got easier. The occasional misunderstandings happened but there were less of those. We knew we needed to change as individuals if it meant keeping us alive.

Last December, I was so happy to see you again in person.

Two days ago, we argued about something really stupid. Causes? Me not being sensitive enough with my words and me thinking you were too sensitive with your assumptions. It made me think you doubted us. It made me doubt us. I needed trust and that’s what you needed from me too to make the relationship work. After two hours of unpleasant tension, we made up to each other and started laughing about our silly, foolish behaviours. Let’s not show that side of us to our friends, we might not have any left if we did.

Ten minutes ago, it was the day that marked our twenty-five months together. We both had forgotten about it. Well, I wished you through a WhatsApp message at the last minute of the day but you were already asleep. It doesn’t matter now. It doesn’t make any difference because we both know that we have each other close to our hearts, with or without a message.

At this moment, my fingers smell like a mixture of salted egg and black pepper crabs. I found out when I was picking my nose in the car on the way home. I knew you would appreciate it if I told you about this in person with the usual ”Shaun, please”. I know you like that weird, disgusting side of me. I like yours too so I am going to protect your pride and leave out the part where you love making rather strange bird-like noises, in which I always respond with stranger bird calls. This always continues until the point we can’t further raise the pitch anymore. Yes, I still love you for that and I know you love me for being me too.

There’s a harmonious understanding that we have our own lives. It’s fine that we don’t get to spend as much time as before anymore. It’s all good. Things change, people change, we changed; but I’m still so in love with you and that’s all that matters now.

by liewshn

Dear friend,

At this moment you must be feeling that a large part of you is missing. It was once there, it was once a significant part of your days, it took your emotions to new heights; but, now it’s missing. I don’t know if I felt the same as you after the end of my first love but I can understand how difficult it is to overcome those overwhelming waves of sadness, those pangs that you can’t avoid, those stupid feelings you can’t deny. They’re stupid because they make you tear up and as men we don’t like crying. However, it happens especially at turbulent times like these when your feelings become uncontrollable, sane thoughts scattered all over the place. While people be it friends or family look at you and think ”This is not the person I know”, you might feel that everyone is starting to consider keeping a distance from you. Insecurity. After she left you to drown in your wicked pool of crushed hopes and unfulfilled dreams, what now? Insecurity. Hopelessness, despair and the list goes on and on (…and on *cue Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing). ”I’ve never felt like this before,” you may think. It is a new experience. An extremely pathetic one for you, but still new. Remember, what’s new will eventually become old. So, as for anything else that’s unfamiliar, this too shall pass. 

Be sure to not blame anyone, especially yourself for whatever happened to you and her. Maybe it was the things you did or the words you said but who could blame you? It’s the first time that this has happened to you. I remember what happened to me arose from my own wrongdoings. I also remember after my first breakup I became very emotional and started posting song lyrics on Facebook, usually those that ‘discreetly’ let the world know that I was in a bad position. Usually, other people (her friends and yours) had already found out prior to the status update. They might speculate about the true causes or the final decision maker. Fuck ‘em. You are out of your comfort zone and now is the time to learn tolerating anything that makes you uncomfortable. Eventually those people, those thoughts and those hurtful words you have heard will be within your comfort zone. The time where you are capable to leave them behind will arrive too. The whole problem is that it will take some time for you to acknowledge this not as the worst experience you ever had, but as the biggest and most significant in your life. Weird, I know. Strange things always happen.

Remember to live your own life too. You may have discovered the passion you had to sustain something wonderful with her was powerful. It might have overpowered you at some point during the period. DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF . Who could have taught you what you should have done with all the love you had for her? People like you and me make mistakes; and, they learn from mistakes. Take a step back and breath. Clear your thoughts and think logically. You don’t give everything to someone because you love her. You share. <<< Will come in handy maybe not right now but in the near future as days get brighter.

Lastly, the past is the past. All you can do at this moment is differentiate the good from the bad. Not everything was bad. Some are good. Make use of the good things that occurred during the relationship.. Keep them close to your heart as lessons that you want to pass down to the future generations someday. 

The pangs of your sadness will pass. Don’t worry. I can guarantee that they will but countless hours will pass before they do. Time, in this situation, is the enemy but it is ultimately your friend. Be patient. This too shall pass.



A humbling encounter.

by liewshn

Today I was overwhelmed with great humility at a Malaysian’s youth conference. It was called Projek Amanat Negara.

I can’t remember whether it was Mahathir or a student leader talking about societies in UK universities under the names of political parties such as UMNO, DAP and PKR. However, I remember hearing “Club UMNO” and bluntly uttering “That’s bullshit” without much thought to it. Then, the person sitting in front of me turned his head and kindly explained to me why it was called Club UMNO. I could tell he was a supporter of the government from his stern face and serious low pitched voice; but at the same time, I knew he was trying  his best to maintain his composure with the arrogant, know-it-all boy who was sitting directly behind me.

Yes, I genuinely felt like a prick. It turns out that these clubs are sponsored by these political parties and the name of the club was just a way of them of returning the favour as though providing a means of advertisement for sustainable financial support in return. It was such a humbling experience having him remind me some words and expression need to be filtered if you don’t know much about the topic of interest. 

Good night. 

What Executives Really Need to Know About the “Emerging Markets Crisis”

by Harvard Business Review

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

As currencies and stock markets have tumbled in emerging markets, the business media has been dominated by cries of an “Emerging-Markets Crisis.” Corporate executives would be well served to turn off the television. Multinational companies do have their work cut out for them, and should take a second look at their 2014 plans — but this requires separating the signal from the noise to focus on their most important management challenges.

The media uses “emerging-markets crisis” as shorthand, but recent market turmoil was actually about relatively few countries.

For those of us who work on the ground in emerging markets, or who follow them closely, few of the headlines were all that startling. Yes, there are real reasons for MNCs to be concerned about political instability in Turkey and Ukraine, and economic policies in Argentina and China – all of which have occupied front pages recently. But these risks were…

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What I think about a girl who complains to be a Singaporean.

by liewshn

This is the video:

I wouldn’t make a video like Steph Micayle about why I hate my own country of origin because I would be too grateful to be in a country like Singapore/Malaysia compared to a place struck with terrorist threats like Russia or Syria where Assad’s Muslim Brotherhood is still ruling. It doesn’t make you a better person to be brutally honest. Being who you are does require courage to reveal the truth but without tact, without understanding how good of a life you already have, without knowing how many people would kill to be in your country, to live in it as a proud citizen, will just make you sound like someone spoilt for choice. 

Criticising your own country’s education system is not going to improve it. Criticising your own identity (no matter how sound the argument is) is not going to make you improve. Too often people/critics amplify the problem, but not the solution. Steph amplifies the problem; but, the whole video is meaningless without a solution. 

Also, being Singaporean is part of your identity. In a way, it is saying you’re not proud to be yourself.

This post emphasises on how some people will never be happy with ‘just enough’. Although chasing your dreams demands you to cross unseen borders, you should always treasure what you already have and not put down your own identity. Most importantly, if you want to address (or like Steph Micayle, AMPLIFY) a problem, do yourself and everyone a favour and come up with a solution.


Four news stories on a Monday evening.

by liewshn

Besides Deutsche Bank’s fourth quarter loss of €1.15b from litigation expenses and the recent valuation of Dropbox at $10b after increasing its number of users tenfold to 200 million, Arianna Huffington (editor-in-chief of Huffington Post) is going to launch a new website called World Post, featuring articles from ‘the elites’ such as Tony Blair and Bill Gates.

In Malaysia, Astro is expecting a 40 per cent increase in earnings due to higher average revenue per user and B.yond decoder-related expenditure cuts.

Three news stories on a Sunday evening!

by liewshn

In the U.S, police officers in cities such as Detroit and two Californian cities (Stockton and San Bernardino) start to play dirty against local politicians as police pensions costs are being cut after having filed for bankruptcy two years ago. Larger cities like San Diego and San Jose are also forced to cut retirement benefits and alter pension agreements to preempt bankruptcy.

In South Korea, six farms are being quarantined as an outbreak of the avian flu H5N8 was detected. Movements are being restricted in the North and South Jeolla provinces and Gwanju Metropolitan City, just 240km away from Seoul. The first was outbreak was confirmed on the 17th of January and since then 90,000 birds have been culled.

Last but not least in Malaysia, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of PKR was denied access to Japan. Withstanding previous entries in years 2006, 2009 and 2012, the leader was ordered by immigration authorities in Narita International Airport to take the next flight home. It was because of a ‘latest report’ that rendered his arguments were invalid.

*Anwar Ibrahim was invited by Mr. Sasakawa, chairman of the Nippon Foundation to present a paper on Muslim democrats.

Last night’s post

by liewshn

Today is the second day I used fermented black beans in my cooking. To be frank, it smelled foul when I opened the lid; but, when I used it in my stir fry dishes it tasted of salty goodness. It was a different kind of salty, the kind you can’t get from even the best sea salt in the world. You know what’s salty and whets your appetite? Soy sauce. Soya sauce. Whatever. I’m going to use soya sauce because that’s what I call it when I am cooking at home. Say it with me! SO-YA sauce. I reckon I am a little Cinapek so imagine me emphasising on the YA when I say it. 

I’m Chinese, SO-YA.

Besides that, I got my home pull-up bar just now and it’s working well so far although Kate (the flatmate) had some serious doubts about it. I foresee a day when I could do 15 pull-ups at one go. All I have to do to accomplish that is fail as many times as possible. You all need to watch Brian Tracy’s video:

He talks about the probability of success. I know you want to watch it. If not, just watch the first 10 minutes and you will know what I am talking about.

You should read the news.

by liewshn

Recently I have been collecting news stories from several resources. It’s a joy to see people get to know the world better in the easiest way possible: by going to Facebook. It can be taxing at times as there are so many things in the world we struggle to wrap our head around; and to add oil to fire, a new story pops up every second of the day. 

We are living in interesting times. Don’t you think so? How does one catch up and stay up-to-date all the time? How does one know about everything in the world when there are millions of ecosystems on this planet we try to understand. No one ever does so. It may sound depressing for the perfectionist who craves to reach the finish line first but there’s a brighter side to this. 

Historians learn from the past and impart the knowledge onto others. History is what analysts use to try to look into the future and make risky bets on what the world they think will transform into. This is like reading the news. Learn from the past and understand the present. Understand how people are like, understand why people do certain things and most importantly understand that we’re all different. 

Arguments arise from misunderstanding and the person who barks the loudest, most sound logic try to win it. Why must we always win arguments and make other people look from our point of view? What happened to looking from the stranger’s point of view? Isn’t it much easier to understand instead of creating more conflict to selfishly retain a huge chunk of self-pride and ego.

I used to disdain opinions of Barisan Nasional supporters. Some of them argue that our country’s economy is doing well because of them. I used to say to myself, “Is the economy that important to you? Are you seriously prioritising the economy and abandoning the general welfare of our society?” Well, I am a first year undergraduate in the University of Leeds studying International Business and Finance and this is what I have to say:

The economy is bloody important; and, money makes the world go round.

Haters do not understand. Before you start dissing, learn business. Learn business, learn economics, learn finance. Those fields are specialties of their own like engineering, law, microbiology and graphic designing. We have different opinions but hating is never an option. You can stick passionately to your own opinion but it would not be wise to think that his or her opinion isn’t true, isn’t more important, isn’t more significant than your own.

I do not think inequality is NOT a major issue and that pollution, animal abuse and the like are flash points of alarming concern. However, I do KNOW the economy is that important to disregard, too important to ignore and is at times, if not all the time, ruthless. 

It doesn’t mean you should hate it. Study business (not as a degree or whatever la). Study what finance is and how economics shapes your entire life so you can understand others…

…and prosper. 

p.s. I can’t wait for Chinese New Year.


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