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Every Friday since December 2012, business weekly, Focus Malaysia has been hitting the streets with its insightful perspectives of the corporate world. Recently, it published its 200th issue. Taken from my Facebook on 5 October 21016:


Clement Hii Published by HCK Capital Group Like This Page · 5 October · Edited · 200TH ISSUE AND STAYING FOCUSSED: The team members at HCK Media Group were in a celebratory mood last week, as the 200th issue of weekly business publication Focus Malaysia hit the streets. The 1st copy made its debut on 8th Dec 2012 and since then, Focus has published some 200 exclusive cover stories, 50 Focuslists, 1,200 columns and 600 Focusviews, among others. Group Editor-in-chief Chong Cheng Hai gave credit to his deputies Toh Lye Huat and Charles Raj and the entire team for their “tight teamwork and selfless contributions.” He promised the editors and writers would continue to “try harder and dig deeper.” I envy my peers who, with their spare funds, went to buy private jets, football clubs and racing teams. Rightly or wrongly from a commercial perspective, I chose to put my money where my mouth was, as I’d always, as an ex-journalist myself, advocated fair reporting and the public’s right to know. It doesn’t hurt, for public perception, that a corporate group like HCK has a media company in its stable. I think lasting competitiveness of a business comes from a steady investment in strengthening its overall brand.


Selected followers’ comments:

Stephen Sesaiah: From the start I was very confident this paper would do well. The timing of the introduction was just perfect. I feel one very important aspect of this paper is the fact that the reporting is not bias to anyone. They do not take sides when it comes to politics. It gives very objective views on issues without taking any sides. This is something very rare in this country. As most of us are fully aware most of the newspapers or magazines in this country are linked to some political establishments. I always give this as an example in my Media Law classes, Malaysia needs more papers like this, media should be run as business without any political influence. Way to go Tan Sri………..

Dennis Ting Tan Sri, congrats on the milestone achieved by you and the team. I remember how hard you all worked to get the first issue out. Your personal attention to detail and dedication in leading the team play a big part in the weekly’s success.

Rajah Murugaiah: Congrats Tan Sri! Like they say, once a journalist, always a journalist. And Foochows, especially those from my hometown Sibu, are good in managing and owning successful newspapers. I can say that because I have worked for Foochow-owned newspapers since the late 70s. You can never beat a Foochow in the newspaper business ! 😀Focus Malaysia, The Borneo Post, Utusan Borneo, Sin Chew Daily News, See Hua Daily News, Oriental Daily, China Press and a host of others are owned by successful Foochows. And I remember you helped start The Borneo Post in 1978 which is now East Malaysia or rather Borneo’s largest circulated English paper.


My other Facebook postings between 3 Oct 2016 and 9 Oct 2016:

3 OCt 2016


THE GOOD LIFE ISN’T JUST ABOUT WEALTH: I’ve received numerous emails from FB friends asking, among other things, how to “live the good life.” I must have been seen as an “old wise man” to be asked such a philosophical question (I’ll protest vehemently to any such description). 🙂 Living the good life can mean different things to different people. It depends on what really matters to you – your values, priorities or goals in life. I think it occurs when there’s a satisfaction in us that grows stronger as time goes on. Most people wrongly think it has everything to do with personal wealth or material possessions. You and I know money can’t buy us happiness. It makes sense to re-prioritise some areas of our lives now and then. The things and people we value may change over time. As an entrepreneur, I would put productivity as a main component that constitutes a good life. You won’t be happy if you don’t produce. The name of the game isn’t just about rest and sleep. Besides, there’s a good reason for having a family, friends, work, the rain, sunshine and the miracle of life. They’re there to let us build around them the good life we want to have.


Selected followers’ comments:

Teh Lawrence: Life is so ironical. When we are able to help others , be they strangers, friends or relatives, there is great sense of satisfaction and fulfilment. And by that I don’t necessarily mean giving money. A healthy body and mind is the powerful engine to do just this.

Shenna Dot: I think we can also live a pampered life on a limited Budget if we know how and have loving family and friends.

Philip Lim: I may sound religious and philosophical here but as I am getting older and wiser, I came to realise that living a good life basically means “Don’t steal, don’t cheat and don’t lie. Always stay humble and kind!”. Tan Sri, you are spot on to say good life has nothing to do with personal wealth or material possessions. Many are so wrong to equate good life with the lifestyle of the rich and famous.


4 Oct 2016


LONG-HAUL FLIGHTS USUALLY AREN’T FUN: Most people enjoy going on overseas trips but not all will enjoy the flying itself, especially on long-haul flights. It takes a lot of patience and imagination to keep a person’s sanity intact when he’s trapped inside an aircraft for a couple of days. I travel a fair bit, but fortunately mostly for short distances. 2 to 5 hours on a flight can go by in the blink of an eye, especially when I do my reading, catch a movie or write some notes. But anything beyond 8 hours can make me restless, and the flight will seem to drag on forever. I don’t envy my SEGi international marketing team who crisscross the globe most days of the year. I won’t know how they can acclimatise to places like China, Middle East and Central Asia within short spans of time. I guess long-haul flights can be intimidating if you travel infrequently, but it’s not nearly as bad if you fly to faraway places very often. Thankfully, like all those tough times in our lives, each and every long-haul flight does eventually end.


Selected followers’ comments:

Jerrie Yeap CH: Rule no. 1 when travelling, expect the unexpectable. Many unexpected things can happen during travelling eg flight is delayed for a day, luggage didn’t arrive left you frozen without any sweater, didn’t sleep for couple of days, lost wallet (without any credit cards and cash on hand), bought wrong date of flights, forgot to take passport and etc. All these are nothing, compared to your plane landed safely.

Tay Raymond: You are right about that. Just got back from US. Somehow going was quite a breeze as the tail wind helped to arrive in shorter time but coming back was quite a drag may be because of coming back with the tired body after 10 days of time zone change and different kind of foods body has to adjust. As age advances, traveling long haul is not as fun. Thanks for sharing Tan Sri.

Andrew Chan: My longest flight is from Kuching-KL-Dubai-Moscow n took me like eternity trapped inside a Boeing 380 ! Yes, life is like the long haul flight n needs lots of patience n perserverance; the flight can be pretty unpredictable as there r occasional turburlences too. Like a flight take-off ie our foundations in life ( education n characters ) matters much n the trophies, goals, achievements n accolates is the smooth flight itself ( our careers/ working life ) while the safe n smooth landing ( our legacy for having made it in life ) n guess what the pilot ( God’s blessings ) is utmost important too. Some folks fear travelling on aeroplanes n this is akin to folks who dare not venture in life, so they remain but ordinary. Cheers n let’s have a safe n blessed flight/ life for we live once only.


6 Oct 2016


GETTING ORGANISED & TAKING CONTROL: I cringe each time I pass by untidy desks or reception counters in my office. It’s a reflection of how disorganised those staff are. You might know a few disorganised people among your colleagues and friends or are probably one yourself. If you’re not an organised individual, you’re likely someone without a career or life plan, and merely going with the flow. Neither would you be great at planning and executing your work or business. I know of friends who can lose 3 or 4 iPhones before a new model comes out. They would regularly check with you what day it is, and that’s irritating. I’ve employees who always have problems finding important files or documents because they rarely put them back in the right place. I would like to think I’m an organised person now. It wasn’t the case early in my career. I didn’t even have a solid business plan because I was too disorganised to even bother making one. I’ve learnt that to become more organised, you’ve to examine your own habits and behavioural tendencies, and create an action plan around them. That’s when your routines can become more structured, and you can start to take full charge of your life.


Selected followers’ comments:

Cherie Tan: I would love to politely disagreed with your thoughts that link messy desk with incompetent in planning and execution. It’s so happened i am one of the messiest people on earth but i know exactly what i am doing and have been planning and execute a few successful projects in works that received the recognisation from bosses/colleagues and in my own personal life. I also met people/managers in my life who are the most tidiest people on earth, is good at talking or even planning but are not good at execute the plan as cannot stand the thought of things getting messy in their planning.

Sharing some funny quotes here 🙂
1) When cleaning my place : 20% cleaning and 80% looking through and playing with stuff I’ve just found.

2) A cluttered desk = A cluttered mind;
An empty desk = ?

P.s sometimes messiest people are getting their priority right if you found them to be happy most of the time 🙂

Frankie David Chieng: Planning and organising are tools to succeed. They said if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. Most of us started learning to organise when we realised that high prices were paid in forgetting and disorders. I find the naturally organised people are mostly some sort of perfectionists in their own terms.
Aging seniors need a system of keeping dairies and records. This serve to keep track of our memories and stories to yourselves and children.
Thanks to modern day technologies, this mobile gives us a handy gadget to record and getting organised.


7 Oct 2016


NO TIME TO HAVE A LIFE: The demand for costly watches continues unabated, despite the economic slowdown. The top brands are in most high-end shopping malls, and they should be doing well to be able to afford the high rentals and expensive ads campaigns. I plead guilty to owning a good number of luxury watches, but then I’ve realised that they’ve become more an accessory rather than a timepiece. Most times, we’ll be using our smartphones to tell the time. From the crowds in some of the opulent outlets, the spending power of the well-to-do remains strong. Anything that costs less than RM30,00 isn’t considered a branded watch anymore, I think. The more pricey ones would be worth hundreds of thousands, and we sometimes get to see them on the hands of politicians and businessmen who probably are incredibly busy people. We have expensive watches, but we have no time to really live.


Selected followers’ comments:

Bruce Lim Aun Choong: Agree that watches today are more than mere tools to tell time, as there are alternatives that are cheaper and more accurate (a RM10 quartz watch is definitely more accurate than a tourbillon costing a few hundred thousands). There are also electronic wristbands that can track heartbeats, steps taken, GPS, etc at a fraction of the price of a well made watch. You are right that well made watches are an accessory and maybe a luxury item. There are stuff like diamonds, precious stones and metals that do not do much on wrists on women…and men but costs a bomb too. Art pieces do little than to make a wall look pretty. The point is – there is a difference between value and its use.
Buying watches just to show off is wrong, which is why I avoid timepieces with diamonds and stones just to make a statement that says “I’m rich”.
However, appreciation of watches for timepieces as an art and technology – the history, the micro-mechanics, materials engineering and the sheer human passion put into it…does produce an emotion. Always believe one need not own a piece to appreciate it.

Cherie Tan: My first watch i remember is Casio when i was in primary school. Till now i still have a sweet feeling for this brand. I have always willing to spend money on travelling instead on branded items. Cause i know 10, 20 years from now it does not matter what car i drive or what bag i carry but what experience/memories i have gained through my spending. Sharing another quote here 🙂 Every experience, good or bad, is a priceless collector’s item. – Issac Marion

Liong Ming Ling: I have stopped wearing a watch since the day nokia arrived. No watch ever lasted more than a couple of years on my sweaty wrist. Yes, you are very right, we use the hp to see the time of the day. The watch is just for show.


8 Oct 2016


THIS MEAL HAS HUMBLE BEGINNINGS: If the food is good, I wouldn’t mind if the surrounding is a little wanting. The best bak kut teh spots are found mainly in coffeeshops or roadside eateries, so that’s where I would get my regular bowls. When you need a fast breakfast or lunch, BKT is a good choice. It’s difficult to resist the piping hot broth, with choice of pork meat, bones and intestines. It’s often referred to as a comfort food, which basically means it gives a nostalgic or sentimental sense to the person eating it. Indeed BKT and most of us go back a long way. It was originally a simple Chinese dish eaten by the poor for centuries, but today the poor and tycoons alike enjoy it for its taste, texture and aroma. If BKT has provided nourishment for our forefathers for centuries, it’s good enough as my occasional meal to give me the energy to push ahead in the day. Like many entrepreneurs, this dish has a humble beginning, evolving into a popular and exciting gastro entity of its own.


Selected followers’ comments:

Tay Cheow Hwang:


Every meal we take,
There’s story behind,
History does tell,
Evolution of mankind;

Every person we know,
There’s untold story behind,
Sentimentality can tell,
Resolution of many kinds;

‘Bak Kut Teh’ a.k.a. BKT or bone broth,
A place in Chinese of ‘Nanyang’,
Ancestors braved the turbulence,
Settling there for livings;

Melting pot of broth,
A pot to include old and young,
Actors and actresses crave for glamour,
Protruding there to earn a living;

BKT has humble beginning,
Left-over bones and spare parts,
Cooked with Chinese and local spices,
Serving warmth to ‘sinkeh’ or immigrants;

Every success has its humble belonging,
Left-overs once upon from main parts,
Braised with right ingredients and devices,
Yielding form of success in every gram;

BKT has evolved,
Into popular and exciting,
Gastro entity of its own,
Unique brand to carry;

We can too evolve,
Into brand and branding,
Charismatic popularity of own,
Extraordinary name to carry;

We’re humble yet simple,
In our undertakings,
Humility and simplicity,
Found in another success stories.

James H K Ooi: It reminds me of my hometown. Also makes a great dish on a cold winter night. Of course I only get to cook the prepackaged bkt herbs which I ‘sneak’ in every time I go back to North America.