Friday, February 25, 2011

Dare to Change

On Wednesday (23/2/11) I was glad to obtain an autographed copy of Dr.Frank Kiong's motivational book entitled " Dare to Change" in Kuching. So far I know this book is one of the very few written in English by a local Sarawakian author on the subject of motivation and self-improvement. Dr. Frank is a young professor-cum director of Open University Malaysia branch campus in Kuching.
The book published in 2010 (107 pages) engages me the moment I laid my hand on it. Reading it slowly over two days period have kept me reminded of my DBA pursuit. To undertake a Doctor of Business Administration journey is not every one's cup of tea but I have decided to pursue it since early 2009 with Asia e University at a ripe age of 60. At the time I have just crossed the river i.e. after completing the mandatory course work consisting of 10 core business and management subjects, the book came handy as I begin to walk through the intellectual jungle before reaching the top of the hill - my final destination of academic success. From above the hill I figure I'll be holding a placard written with these words " This DBA is mine!".
The book is reminding me of the champion I'm always is - a person who is success-driven and having control of my life. Remember the entrepreneur's motto - If it is to be, it's up to me.
The diamond is within you says Dr. Frank. This echoed what one of my friends in school said to me a long time ago. She wrote that I'm a pearl among the pebbles. This strong belief in my special ability to excel has been with me since. But the book encourages me to keep on digging and enrol with the DGU university i.e. Don't Give Up University. The setbacks and failures have to be constantly changed to success. " The only way to find diamonds is to dig deep inside the mine of the soul". Forget about FEAR ( False Expectations Appear Real). Do not fear changing your steps, moves, experiments etc because you have a mission, a vision, a dream - follow your heart's passion. The book have dozens of relevant anecdotes and quotations to capture your interest and imagination.
The book is inviting me again to enrol with the Successful People Club ( Read : It is not all about money, it's all about Success). A useful tool offered by Dr. Frank is how to become a ' Focus Master'. Thus even though there are a dozen of goals and objectives that I'm faced with for example , the priority now is to get my DBA research work going. Now that I 've crossed the river what's next? I cannot crawl anymore I have to run and even spread my wings and fly. Why should I fly? According to Dr. Frank if I want to be the winner I have to become a purposeful winner by aggressively moving towards achieving my goals and objectives. A purposeful winner is one who believes that if there is a will, there is a way to achieve greatness and success. Remember Ray Kroc ( MacDonald's founder) formula :
1. Never Give Up
2. Always persevere
3. Do not forget No.1
Remember to persist until you succeed. Thus I have to take control ( read: take responsibility, sacrifice, obligation) rather than let the next two years of my life run on auto pilot.
This DBA adventure is fun for me despite the problems and setbacks of doing it on part-time basis and on personal funds. But I have learnt to close the door of negativity behind and shun away from the ' BUTS, and BUT'S cousins such as NO, IMPOSSIBLE, MAYBE and worse of all you will get , BUT'S uncles - EXCUSES and lots of them' reminded the book.
The book though tiny comes handy and has impacted me. I have placed the highest value in achieving the DBA. I know I'll make a difference to the world with my DBA and that would make me a very happy man. In the words of Alber Schweitzer," Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful".
I'm Possible!
( Read again: not IMPOSSIBLE)

( Note : Those keen in getting copies of the book can call or sms Dr. Frank Kiong directly at 0128762864. Price is RM35 per copy.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Drunken Sailor crawls up the ceiling

View of my Kuching garden looking south, today.
Ahoy! Who's up there? ... Oh, my darling Drunken Sailor has been a little naughty recently. He's seen hugging tight to the front garden's porch ceiling ( see inset). Good gracious what's he up to next?
It was a Dutchman who gave the name 'Quisqualis' to our adventurous climber. Rumphius came across a native who called the plant " Udani" which sounded like " Hoedanig" to the Dutchman's ears. "Hoedanig" in Dutch means " What is it ?" and when translated into scientific Latin became ' Quisqualis'. Not bad for a notorious drunken personality who is now well-known the world over.

Above: The Drunken Sailor seen a year ago creeping over the front garden fence.
The Drunken Sailor is also referred to as the Rangoon Creeper. It likes the full sun and for this reason I have provided it with the best location facing the west in order for it to enjoy more hours of daylight. He starts the day early with a whitish pink face but turns crimson or red towards the evening hours. For the Malaysian Kambatik Garden I strongly recommend that you open your heart to the Drunken Sailor. He's after all a harmless guy. You'll be handsomely rewarded by its bunchy flowers which are fragrant and blooms throughout the year.
Look ! there were no buildings over the south fence more than a year ago.
Picture taken : 15 July '09

The Drunken Sailor has noticed from a commanding view of the changes at the south area of our garden . Compare this picture to the above top picture and the difference is obvious says the Sailor. There are now 43 additional units of terraced single-storey housing nearly completed nearby. Soon I'll be not alone. Many people will occupy these houses, probably towards the end of this year. Indeed two years is a fleeting moment especially in this age of the Internet. Think of the Drunken Sailor if you have not done so. A minute , a day ... has just passed....... but "I'm patient " so says the Drunken Sailor..." Just guide me and I'll trail wherever you want me to."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Will you love me?

The Normah Orchid ( Phalaenopsis bellina) - is fragrant and is the state flower of Sarawak.

If a pretty lady by the name of Orchid tempts you with this question, " Will you love me?", think a zillion time.
Was it not Confucius ( circa 551-479 B.C.) who said:
' The tse-lan grows in the valleys and does not withhold its fragrance even though it is not appreciated by man'.
( Note: ' tse-lan ' is the Chinese name for the Cymbidium orchid species)
She may be called the Queen of the Jungle, a Dancing Lady and blooms in colours of white to black or acquire the rarest and seductive scent of a wildly sexy lady but hold your breath. Before you pluck your bravery and sink or soar your life with her , think of these things:

" You can get off alcohol, drugs, women, food, and cars, but once you're hooked on orchids, you're finished. You never get off orchids.... never".
( Joe Kunisch,quoted in Orchid Fever, (2001) by Eric Hansen)
( Inset : Close-up of the Black Orchid ( Coelogyne pandurata)

The " Lady Slipper Orchid" ( Paphiopedilum spp.) is one of the most sought after native orchid species of Sarawak. Its resemblance to the slipper or Chinese tongs is clearly seen in the above picture. Note the labellum ( lip) which takes the form of a shoe-shaped pouch.

To see more orchids of Sarawak, click here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Images of Kuching Today

Young Malay girls at Kota Samarahan.
A group of young Malay girls posing for the lens. They are part of a large crowd gathered at the Dewan Suarah's open ground to take part in the State-level Prophet Muhammad's birthday celebration held at Kota Samarahan, near Kuching. Click here to see more about a Malay wedding couple.

The " Ketapang " tree ( in Malay) changing leaves.

This Sea Almond tree belongs to the Combretum family (Combretaceae). Typical of the Combretum family, it has branches with upturned twigs. Another peculiar habit of the Sea Almond is its seasonal deciduous behaviour when its leaves turned red and fall before the next generation of green leaves takes over the crown. To see more flowering trees of Kuching and Sarawak, please click here.

The Square Tower was initially built as a fort. In the 1920's it turned into a dance hall. Today it is a tourist attraction.

Kuching is the home of the Brooke's ( 1840's onwards) and later British colonial-style architecture in Sarawak. No other towns in Sarawak has the colonial buildings heritage kept in well-preserved conditions like Kuching. A dozen or more of these colonial legacies can be found within walking distances from the Kuching Waterfront and other major international hotels here. To see more of British colonial architecture in Kuching , click here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thoughts on Kuching Garden city

Satok flyovers in flowering splendour of Bougainvillea glabra blooms.

" Cityzens" - are we citizens of Kuching city? What is the zen of a living city? Is Kuching garden city image good enough?
If Kuching were to make me come back for more, I think the city councils here have to do more abstract thinking about Kuching's future even in planning form to kick the ball rolling.

I feel a cold absence of vision for Kuching's future city concept I know the city authorities are hard pressed to solve immediate waste problems like polluted water and effluents, urban smoke, noise, heat , urban squalor etc., BUT isn't somebody thinking about making Kuching an eco-city?

Kuching main tourist attraction - the Kuching Waterfront.

Sarawak can draw from its rich past from the Srivijaya empire era, Brunei Sultanate days, the Brooke's rule and colonial heritage. Yet, the future is a creative adventure of synthesizing the old with the new values. Have we developed a balanced and self-sustaining city of the future in Kuching?
Where are the monorails, electric trains and underground transit networks? Kuching is slowly becoming another Bangkok? Unless of course ...........
Kuching City South corporate headquarters building with a magnificent avenue.

Kuching Reservoir park green lung - a colonial park heritage.

Imaginative use of colour schemes in urban aesthetics.

Surely, Kuching is more than a walk in the park, a confluence of minds and a living testimony of Sarawak's modernism.

Kuching has ways and means to be an icon of the future eco-city today.
Think on these things.
( Inset : a Hibiscus hybrid at Kuching Reservoir park area)

Shade, colour and proper highway system makes Kuching City north area a welcome garden space in Sarawak's every day evergreen, humid and tropical rainforest climate.

More parks makes city living healthy. Above is a part of an extremely large park surrounding the Kuching South corporate building. Kuching needs more green lungs than concrete jungle.