Yan's Corner - In Touch

Monday, February 28, 2005

Close to you

Posted by Hello

Close to Thee..

My CD spins the songs by the Carpenters. I especially like this one, Close to you. I am looking at the photo of Ballang Lasung, the Sarawak's SEA Games javelin hero and his wife in the church. It is reported by The Borneo Post that Ballang ever after being sick has been going to Church without fail. (Read my other posting titled "My Story" on Ballang Lasung)

The photo shows the closeness of Ballang to his wife, Susana and to the Lord.

Closeness is an encounter of spirit and a soul signature. It's also an emotional experience. A real experience in closeness makes two persons comprehend the meaning of love. It builds relationship. It confirms our identity. It leads to satisfaction and happiness.

The building of close relationship needs learning. It has to be nurtured. However, we are desperately lacking in close relationship. We put our whole being, time and thought after fame and wealth.

Have we paused and thought of a spiritual oneness with someone?

How many times have we paid attention to the needs of our loved ones?

How long has it been since we last talked to our spouse, parents or children?

How long has it been since we last embraced our friends and said words of praise and encouragement?

Who is the closest person in our life? Husband? Wife? Lover? Friend?

How long has it been since we last dined together with our loved ones?

How long has it been since we last have a heart-to-heart talk with your friend?

How long has it been since we last said to our partner "I love you"?

How long has it been since you last prayed to the Lord?

Do you long to be near to your loved ones?

We all have a desire to be close to somebody.

Are we so busy that we can't even take time to talk?

Start to work on a close relationship. You will be truly satisfied, beyond your expectation.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

You are a Gem

You are a Gem ...

These are the fourteen girls (one not in the picture) who have just promoted to Young Leaders in the Awards Day of Girls' Brigade, 1st Sibu Company yesterday.(Read here for more information about Girls Brigade in Malaysia).

They are Ivy, Jia Jing, Chuen Lu, Bik Ee, Grace, Ngiuk Hung, Yu Xuan, Winnie, Sherlyn Chuo, Zhong Weng, Connie, Joanne, Evelyn and Tiffany.

You are all gems...

Thank you for the shared moments - the fellowship - in the Girls Brigade for the past one year and more shared moments to look forward in the coming moments.

Thank you for walking alongside with me, the long journey of life has been much easier.

Thank you for the big smiles that have strengthened and energized me on many Saturday afternoons.

Thank you for the look of contentment on the projects completed that have encouraged me many a time when life becomes difficult juggling between work, family and Girls' Brigade.

Thank you even for liking the food that we prepared together. Do you know that eating together has always been an important part of fellowship and friendship? The word "companion" comes from a Latin word meaning "one to eat bread with." That I have just learnt, and I want to share with you all, gems!

My Story

I have not read Lim Goh Tong’s My Story though it was ranked top in MPH’s top ten books for 2004. But, I read My Story of Ballang Lasung published in The Borneo Post today. It’s written in plain language. As the editor’s note – His is a story of determination and self-discipline that should inspire young athletes of today.

But if you read Ballang’s plight in The Borneo Post on Thursday (24th February), you will be more inspired by story written in his own words today even if you are not an athlete. Ballang, a once national javelin thrower is sick. The Borneo Post reported, I quote –

He started to suffer dizziness and loss of bladder control, one of the symptoms of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)** sometime in 2001 before he was told by doctors that he was suffering from the disease in June 2003. Six months later, he could not walk or stand on his own anymore. Ballang, a lecturer at Batu Lintang Teachers’ Training College, has been on medical leave since January 2004.

A Lun Bawang from Long Semadoh, he won the National Schools javelin title in 1969 and eventually became a national athlete in 1973, competing in the Singapore Sports Carnival and the SEA Games.


Ballang has not written his own story of his illness. He has instead written one to inspire young athletes …

But The Borneo Post’s effort has not been wasted. Veteran journalists, athletes of yesterday and past sports administrators have suggested that the authorities to look into ways to help Ballang and his family. They all felt that the ailing Ballang should be given the morale support and encouragement through visits, prayers, recognitions or deserving rewards for his contributions to the country.

And the Chief Minister of Sarawak has said – “We will see what we can do.”

To the journalists in The Borneo Post – It’s a beautiful story. Get This quote by Pindar –

If one but tell a thing well, it moves on with undying voice, and over the fruitful earth and across the sea goes the bright gleam of noble deeds ever unquenchable.

**MSA is a degenerative disorder characterised by progressive damage to the automatic nervous system.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Good Book

I get this interesting statistics from MPH Midvalley last night. Here are some of the top ten books sold by MPH for year 2004:

1. My Story - by Lim Goh Tong (top)
2. Nyonya Flavours -
3. Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert Kiyosaki
5. Investing your savings
6. Complete pilates on mat - Jennifer Pohlman
7. Lilian Too 365 Feng Shui Tips

Nothing in the world gives me greater pleasure than to indulge in a good book. From classic to cookbooks, they are food for my soul.

If books are food for our soul. What are Malaysians' soul fed on based on the above statistics?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The heart's response

In the classic movie Shenandoah (read review here), there is a funny but thought-provoking scene. Jimmy Steward plays the role of a father of a farm during the time of American Civil War. When the family pray before their evening meal, he said this, “Lord, we give you thanks for this food. Never mind that we grew it, we harvested it, and we cooked it. We give you thanks for it anyway.”

You may have a hearty smile now because you have probably felt the same way. You work hard. Yet you have to give thanks to God for what you have.

Is it the same ingratitude that is in the heart of the 190,000 borrowers of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN)? According to the Star, they owe the corporation RM420 million.

Gratitude displaces whines and complaints. Thankfulness is a virtue that overrides and eliminates dark moods. Thankfulness overcomes worry, anger, and self-pity. Gratitude purifies a critical, judgmental spirit.

To be thankful is a choice.

Imagine the society with a sudden increase of 190,000 grateful people?

Monday, February 21, 2005

It's Love

It's Love... photo credit: The Borneo Post Posted by Hello

There's something heart-warming about the photograph (above) carried by The Borneo Post today on its front page. The paper said Atikah (right), eight-year-old, was like an angel sent down to help someone in distress. Atikah saved the life of her two cousins, Imun, aged 5 and Wandi, aged 2 from the fire that burnt down their house.

This picture makes the day!

There are many everyday scenes that never fail to send spine-tingling sensations up my back over and over again. Has your heart been warmed by the following scenes?

A mother and her grown daughter holding hands?
A sweet innocence when children play together?
A man and a woman lovingly gaze into each others' eyes?
A young man leading a blind man across the street?

Why does it warm my heart? It's Love.

Love between friends. Love between strangers. Love between parent and child. Love between lovers...

It's love that causes Atikah to run into the buring house, without even considering about her own safety, and brought her two cousins safely out of the fire ..

Isn't it love?

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Be wise

A prominent lawyer in Kuching was shot on Friday night. He did not make it.

As usual, there are many speculations, crude or cruel remarks. In the media, in the coffee shops, in the internet - we seem to applaud the remarks and label it witty.

It is not hilarious when you are at the receiving end of insensitive words. Whether from friends, strangers or media, we have, in one time or another, been painfully hurt by careless and thoughtless remarks.

King Solomon, a man of great wisdom said in the Book of Proverbs, "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." (Pro 10:19)

Be wise.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Fernandes' "third son"?

If you talk of Fernandes, it’s Airasia.

If you talk of Airasia, it's Fernandes.

Today, The Borneo Post carries the captivating smile of Tony Fernandes on its front page. The story carries the headline, “Fernandes joins list of 40 richest M’sians”.

Turn to the next page of the paper, a woman called Sweetie was warded at the Sarawak General Hospital, Kuching with facial growth. (see insert)

Sweetie Posted by Hello

There is no connection made by The Borneo Post. But my mind does the connection.

The woman traveled from Belaga to Kapit (three and half hours at RM35), Kapit to Sibu (two and half hours at RM20 for economy class), Sibu to Kuching (four hours at RM35). None of the sector she traveled is covered by Airasia. The journey took her two days by express boat. The Orang Ulu National Association paid for her traveling expenses.

According to The Borneo Post, Sweetie is suffering from Neurofibromaposis, a heredity disease caused by abnormality in the growth of nerve cells. She has been living with a big lump covering the left side of her face and having to endure the pain caused by the many lumps on her body for 18 years. She was supposed to undergo a surgery in 1986 but poverty and ignorance hindered her from getting the treatment. Sweetie is 26, a Punan.

The paper further reported that the consultant plastic surgeon, Datuk Dr Ahmad Ridzuan Arshad from Kuala Lumpur is expected to perform the surgery but it is not known when he would be coming to Sarawak General Hospital.

Yesterday, I wrote of Li Ka Shing’s third son in the “person” of Li Ka Shing Foundation. (read the posting below) Has Fernandes a “third son” to share love, care and compassion to Sweetie?

My mind wonders and visualize this beautiful picture –

Sweetie is boarded on Airasia and sent to Kuala Lumpur where she can have an early treatment by the consultant plastic surgeon. Soon after, Sweetie boards Airasia from Kuala Lumpur to Kapit via Sibu with a captivating smile. She lives happily ever after ....

All Expenses – paid in full.
(signed) Fernandes’ “third son”?

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Perdana Leadership Foundation.. open to members of the public who want to learn more about the country's former prime ministers, policies in their tenure and various literature. Posted by Hello

The Star reported today that Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been busy tracking down the contributions of the country’s prime ministers.

As honorary president of the two-year-old Perdana Leadership Foundation, he spends a lot of his time spearheading the research, documentation, dissemination and publicizing the intellectual legacies of the country’s past prime ministers.

Tun was quoted as saying this –

“I am busy, very busy. I have less responsibility but more work now.”

Responsibility is the word. Responsibility, authority and privilege are three words in the corporate world. It is like the three legs of a stool that should have the same length for it to stand.

Most people want authority and privilege, but not the responsibility.

A person with authority but no responsibility is unreasonable and demanding.

If a child is given privilege, but without responsibility, the child is spoilt.

If you have no authority and privilege, you can’t be responsible.

Less responsibility means less authority and privilege?
Less responsibility but still work towards the noble cause is commendable.

The "third son" of Li Ka Shing

The recent issue of Yahou Zhoukan (Asiaweek, the international Chinese newsweekly) runs the story of Li Ka Shing’s new journey. Reported journeying with him is his “third son”. Li Ka Shing, one of the world’s richest men, has two sons. Who is this “third son”? It is the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

Li likened the Foundation set up by him as his “third son”. He told Yazhou Zhoukan that if he leaves all that he has to his two sons, it only means a small addition to the two sons’ wealth. If he nurtures this “third son”, more will benefit and will benefit in a more significant way.

Treating the foundation as his “third son” will mean his equal attention to the Foundation. It means a labour of love and sacrifice – the giving of the best of his time, effort and personal desires…
Do you have a "third son"?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Seeing with your heart

Seeing with your heart. Photo Credit: The Borneo Post Posted by Hello

The Borneo Post today carries a photograph of the Head of State of Sarawak, Malaysia and his wife presenting gifts at the Children Cancer Ward of Sarawak General Hospital, Kuching. It was a catching photograph – no acting-up, but purely the tender loving care that fills the space.

I have spent many years working in the newspaper organizations. My first few years were spent in the news room. I remembered my immediate boss’ favourite words were “put your heart in it”. And he would “summon” me into his office for a slight mistake in my work. I also remembered getting a local dignitary’s name wrong. It was a disastrous one because his name turned out to read as a “dirty language” in our own dialect.

What turned out to be disastrous opened the floodgates of my world from “putting your heart in it” to “seeing with your heart”.

The mentor of my formative years introduced me into the inspiring works of Fanny J. Crosby. This included “Blessed Assurance” and “All the way my Saviour leads me”.

What’s so special about Fanny? My mentor said she “saw” with her heart. She was blind from the age of six weeks. How could she “see” the world and wrote such beautiful songs? She used her heart to see God’s creation. I believe Fanny saw with her heart. Therefore, she had the inspiration to pen over eight thousand gospel songs in her lifetime filled with praise, thanksgiving and trust in God.

See the things and people around with your heart today. Take a photograph with your heart.

**My immediate boss was Dato’ Clement Hii, who is now CEO of SEGi Group. My first mentor is Francis, my English teacher in my secondary school days.

Monday, February 14, 2005

The rose within

Roses are red... Photo Credit - Jocelyn T, See Hua Daily News Posted by Hello

It’s Valentine’s Day. Early morning, a friend sent me a SMS, it reads –

Love yourself. Love yourself for where you’ve come from and how you’ve arrived here. Love yourself for where you are. And when you leave here, love yourself for the process of moving forward. No matter what happens, just love yourself while it’s happening, this is the way to honour the truth of who you really are. You are loved by this wise lady called Barbara De Angelis.

One of the “must” for Valentine’s Day is roses. Yes, roses, roses, roses everywhere.

I have a group of journalists working with me in the same office. I took a survey just before the end of the day to see if there were roses around.

A young charming journalist had one young bud in a vase on her table. She excitedly told me that she picked up the bud from the street and said the bud would soon blossom.

One male journalist jokingly said, “How can any beautiful flower come from the bud with so many thorns?

“No, within every bud, there is a rose. You have to water it.” Another remarked.

As it is with buds that will blossom into roses, within every soul there is a rose also.

There are many people who look themselves and see only the thorns, the faults. They despair, thinking that nothing good possibly come from them. They never nurture the good within them.

On valentine’s day, love yourself, reach past the thorns of your life, and let the rose within blossom many times over…Yes, within every soul there is a rose…