Sunday, July 19

A Lecturer from Japan Speaks At SMK Katibas

Dr Kumiko Date in action. This quiet, gentle & humble lady is hiding a big & generous heart inside.
During this session, she shared about the Japanese language & culture.


In July, Dr Kumiko Date from Tokyo, a lecturer of the Japanese language at the University of Malaya, visited SMK Katibas to meet & deliver a talk for the wonderful children at my beloved jungle school. She had only been in Malaysia for 3 months when she embarked on this adventure to the hinterland of Borneo. All because a colleague showed her this which moved her.

She wanted to meet me & my students. I found a perfect speaker to inspire my students. We exchanged emails & she agreed to visit my school & deliver a talk to all the students. In turn, we provided her with food, lodging & a once in a lifetime experience.

She came at little to NO COST to the school. Not only did she pay for her own return flights from KL to Sibu (during the peak-priced Raya season), she actually bought Pilot pens, super cute erasers & origami paper from Japan & had it shipped to Malaysia for each of my 350+ students! What an unbelievably generous soul!

She also left us books about the Japanese language & culture, a Japanese fan & flag as well as a deep impression in the hearts of my students. I could tell that she really loved the children in the way that she interacted with them. It was all heartfelt. Her love was so great that it humbled me.

My students were mind-blown & overjoyed that someone from Japan would come all this way to visit them! They experienced Japanese fever in the days after Kumiko sensei's talk. Often speaking to me in Japanese & bowing. Cute.

Check out the pictures of what she did during her visit!

Saturday, July 18

Pictures Of My House In The Jungle

Even in remote areas, you have these standard JKR quarters
so it's really not that bad if the living quarters are well maintained.


If you want to be a teacher in Malaysia, you can expect to be placed in a rural or remote school for your first posting just like I was. But it doesn't have to be a complete torture. It's actually a wonderful opportunity to experience the best part of being a teacher = changing lives & making a real difference. Believe me, there is no greater sense of satisfaction than when you see a child you've worked with so hard & so long excel in their examinations. There are no tuition centres here so you can go to bed with a smile knowing that the achievement has it's roots in you. Let's not forget the beauty of nature & the fresh smog-less air.

When I arrived here many years ago, I knew that I had to root myself at the school for at least 4 years in order to see the change that I can make in the school. That's exactly what I did. I didn't run off home every weekend like some of my colleagues did. I stayed back some weekends to spend time with the children. It's a better use of my time anyway because my school is very far away from home.

Every year, I spend 300 days out of 365 days at school. Since I live here most of my days, I invested heavily in turning this bare quarters into a swinging bachelor's pad. I bought thousands worth of furniture & household items from places like IKEA in KL & furniture/lamp shops in Sibu to make the place reflect my ideal evil-genius HQ. My home is a reflection of my personality. I needed a place which feels like home & just being there recharges my batteries.

Without further ado, I present to you the pictures of my house in the jungle:

Friday, July 17

New 150KVA Generator At Jungle School = 24 hour Electricity

Mechanic & team at work assembling the new generator.
With great pleasure, I would like to announce that there is currently 24 hours of electricity at SMK Katibas!

A brief timeline of events: On 24 April, the sole-functioning generator at my school broke down causing the school to lose both electricity & water supply. 4 weeks later, on 20 May, that generator was overhauled & running again at school supplying 13 hours of electricity. 4 weeks later, on 23 June, the water pump was functioning again supplying river water to the buildings at school twice daily. 3 weeks later, on 15 July, a new 150KVA generator was brought to school & fully functional. Rotating with the current generator, there is now 24 hours of electricity!!!

I would like to express my appreciation to everyone involved in materialising this new generator so quickly. Thank you to the local district education officers, the state education officers, the federal education ministry officers, the assemblymen, & the ministers who made this happen. I may not know who you are or be able to repay your kindness but God knows & He will reward you greatly!

Let's not forget, all of you who helped spread the news to make this a matter of utmost importance. Thank you all so much! God bless you too!

Now, we can catch up with the mountains of clerical paperwork & push harder to achieve our academic goals! The students, teachers & staff can now live in greater comfort too! What a wonderful Hari Raya gift!

How To Reward The Brightest PT3 Students & (Hopefully) Uplift A Community

The iconic photograph of this programme.

Last weekend, I brought 5 top-performing PT3 students from my remote school on a trip to Sibu as a reward for their diligence in the exam. At the same time, my hidden agenda is to influence them to think bigger for themselves & also for their rural Iban community. A trip to Sibu might not be much to many of you reading this but to my students from extremely humble backgrounds in ulu Song, it is likely the equivalent of a trip to Singapore for someone from KL.

When I first started running this programme in 2011, it seemed to me like just a simple reward for students who achieved As for English PMR. But, it inspired them & the subsequent cohorts to work hard for an A in PMR English so much so that I decided to do it again in 2012, 2013, & 2014. The As just kept coming! Also, we were soon getting our first PMR 8A students so I decided to up the ante with a trip to Kuching for them in 2013 & 2014.

Soon, I recognised the potential of this programme to influence the future leaders of the rural community & turned it into a leadership programme where they could gain valuable insights from notable individuals.

Check out the pictures of the trip!

Thursday, July 9

How Your Students Can Study At Oxford University @ Leaps Of Knowledge

Disclaimer: To keep the blog runningI have received monetary compensation for writing this blog post. Nonetheless, this is still my honest opinion & I will only write about products or events which are beneficial to you, my readers.
Yup, representatives from St Anne's College of the University of Oxford will be in Malaysia to talk about how to get accepted. Also, you'll get the chance to meet & learn from your future professors.

I was pretty excited when I first heard of this conference. Since it would cost too much to bring even one of my students to this event, I wanted to attend myself so that I could coach my students & share with the teachers I'm mentoring. Alas, I've got a super fun programme planned at school which will take up that entire weekend.

Therefore, I'm sharing about it here so that you have a chance of getting your students there! They'll get a nice certificate too. Lucky accompanying teachers might be able to sneak in, soak in the intellectual atmosphere & return speaking like Arry Potter. If you do attend, do share what you've learned with little ol' me!

Leaps of Knowledge Conference 2015 @ Garden International School
9am, Saturday, 25 July 2015.


Isn't it super tough to get into Oxford? Why should I even try?

Think. What would a successful person like Tony Fernandes do?
It's likely that he'll find out what it takes someone who has done it before or EVEN BETTER learn from someone who is actually PART OF THE ADMISSION PROCESS. This is precisely why you should attend this conference.

At this conference, Oxford representatives AND current Malaysian undergraduates will speak to students to aspire and apply into the University of Oxford. If you are serious about your education or getting into Oxford, there's no better opportunity to meet someone FROM Oxford as well as others like you who ARE STUDYING in Oxford in the flesh & all under one roof! It isn't impossible to get into the world's best and get an educational advantage that will help you in your future career! Carpe opportunitatem!!!

Saturday, July 4

How I Proposed To My Wife

She kept silent. With one hand, she held my hand while the other held back her emotions. It was long awkward silence. I started to wonder whether she was going to turn me down...
On 7 May 2015, I proposed to my girlfriend, Michelle "Noelle" Ng. This is the story of how it happened & how I came to the decision. It's full of ups & downs, mystery, romance & drama: a story worth telling.

I'm sure that when you look at the date, you'll remember that it was during the power outage at my school. You see, I was at the lowest point in my career. At that time, I had just written a viral blog post &, after the ensuing media frenzy, I was deeply disturbed at the possible consequences. Having worked so hard & given so much for so many years in the jungle, I was distraught at the thought that it could be dismantled & discredited in an instant by the powers that be. It was so bad that I had sleepless nights & emotional breakdowns.

Friday, July 3

Want A Beautiful Website That Designs Itself?

**Update** DO NOT PURCHASE THIS COMPANY'S SERVICES

They have over-promised & under-delivered. I will not be renewing my subscription with the company. When I have time, I'll show you what their horribly amateurish website builder functions.

When you have an AI that does all the coding & design ground work for you, all you have to do is focus on the overall vision & tweaking instead of spending hours coding & getting frustrated when the codes don't work out the way you want it to (speaking from experience).
I first learned about The Grid from a video interview of Startups To Watch during the 2015 Social Media Week in New York. I was immediately attracted to it because, for a long time, I have been wanting to modify the design of my blog &, until that point, I was still willing to pay for someone to do it for me. Thank God I didn't because I might not have the know-how to modify my blog post-designer! At the pre-launch price of $8/month for life (after launch: $25/month), it was a good bargain compared to the hundreds I had to pay for one-off work by a website designer.

Still, it sounded too good to be true so I looked it up first. Firstly, I looked for any information on whether it was a scam. So far so good. Then, I checked the reviews. Looks okay. I was convinced when I found that they were featured on major websites like Entreprenuer.com & TechCrunch.com. Finally, I scoured it's entire website. I also watched a video of how it works & it's Beta version before I committed & became a Founding Member.

Templates can be a headache when something you saw from another website could not be included in your template.

If you don't know how to design a website or if you dread the thought of messing with the complicated coding on your website, this is the thing for you: a beautiful website that evolves according to your content & needs. Most of the work that goes into designing a website is automated so all I will have to do is tweak according to my liking. Imagine every blog post being completely unique if you want to! It is also promising to be as easy to use as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

When purchasing, help support my site by using this link: #25687. Thanks! =)
If you know someone who is looking for a website design solution like I was, SHARE this post with them NOW!! They're still able to get it at $8/month. If you wait, they'll have to get it at $25/month when Beta testing is over!

Need more information? I made some screen-captures off it's website, check them out:

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