Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hari Raya 2014 Mega Mall Concourse Display - Guess who's the winner this year

Only in KL u get to see the Hari Raya mall display. In other cities like Paris, London and New York - they don't have such a celebration like ours. If you take the LRT, and you stop at a station, you would notice a small little display to commemorate this festive celebration. Each station has a little display of its own, but looks too amateurish to be featured in my blog. But when you compare the small-scale display to a much larger displays going on at the large city malls, mainly in competition this year are: KLCC, Pavillion and Fahrenheit. These 3 megamalls are selected because they have been consistent in churning out festive displays every year and deserve at least a mention in my blog. Mind you, this blog entry is NOT paid or sponsored by any of these megamalls. To know the best Hari Raya display this year, let's start from the 4th place:


The biggest reason why it was in the fourth place is the common use of the Mosque-design on the main display. This design has been done to the death in nearly all Hari Raya paraphernalia - from greeting cards, gift bags, etc. It's too common and unimaginative to my taste. BUT the other reason why it deserves to get a mention in my blog was it's dance performance. Due to Sungei Wang Plaza's rather smaller stage space compared to other giant malls, the audience get to watch the dance performances quite intimately. I love the new and modern twist of the traditional Malay dance which now comes with shouts and quicker moves. In the past, Malay dances are much much slower and devoid of any unruly shouting. But the present day, I love the spirit and powerful dance numbers that captivates shoppers.


A) Main concourse area

B) Broccoli and Miso Soup

C) Stone Roses

D) Pop of Red

The reasons KLCC got 3rd placing is because the main concourse area design and concept remains the same year in year out. I remembered last year, the concept of the village house were also used, and this year were no exception. I do hope the KLCC management team would break out from this sae gigantic kampung house concept and use other more futuristic elements to portray such a traditional celebration such as Hari Raya. For the B) display of broccoli and niso soup, it's only my first impression - I won't mention the retailer's brand name out of respect and also because this blog entry is not sponsored by them. It carries the almost same theme of natural elements througout C) display and D) where flowery designs are extremely evident and might not be in tandem with Hari Raya. 
 Main concourse

The second place goes to Pavillion because of the sheer epic scale of their main concourse display. Upon entry of the mall, you are greeted with electric lights decorated at the top of the wide staircase leading down to the main concourse area. It's a pretty festive atmosphere, but I fear this element might fee too similar to Deepavali - the festival of lights. I applaud the Pavillion team of thinking ahead by highlighting their theme of "Weaving", where they showcase the songket weaving quite beautifully litted at the entrance of both sides. But again, this theme still feels too familiar, traditional and not quite original.


Surprise, surprise. Being the youngest mall of all, Fahrenheit managed to capture the more personal approach to Hari Raya. At the entrance, you are greeted with the Arabian-feel layout of furs, firs and green leaves of the oasis. When you enter, look above and you'll see the giant Turkish lamps. A surprise fountain pond surrounded by pebbles and stones to set the welcoming tone to the mall visitors. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

How to take Advantage of your "Holiday Blues"

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Calling anyone out there who isn't going back to their hometown (balik kampung) for the festive holidays. Hello? Are you the one? Welcome to the apocalypse of your mindscape - in a world where it seems like you're the only one not heading home for the festive season, where everyone else turned to mindless, brain-eating zombies in their hurried exodus heading back home. You'd rather stay in the city wherever you are. You may have got stuck in the city because the bus tickets are all finished - or maybe you're subconsciously letting this to happen so you can stay back in the city. Or you might have bad relationships with your family or estranged. Human beings are not all kind and forgiving, but you have to be forgiving of yourself and spare yourself from the blues. Not everyone is blessed with good family support, but that doesn't mean they're not blessed in other ways. You are not alone - married couples, single boys and girls, old daddies, cougars, movie stars like Jude Law (and Kris Law) experienced it too! Don't feel down or negative when others are heading back to their families and you're here alone. There must be a valid reason why you choose not to go back this festive season. The reason could be that you need some time away from others so you can grow as a person. Hey, that's perfectly valid and important too! Below are 3 easy tips you can do right now to turn your blues into meaningful growth:

1. Be thankful
This is the most wonderful time of the year. Think about it.The city is nearly and sometimes completely forsaken! You are free to wander anywhere without the fear of congestion or rush. I know for certain I would take advantage of this time to go everywhere I've always wanted to go in the city. The zombies are all gone! You can now sit back, take a few moments or as long as you want to just enjoy the serenity you don't always get living in the concrete jungle. Don't ever feel guilty that you didn't get to see your "loved ones" - who knows you might not even be missed by any of them. So just take your time...and be thankful that the whole city is yours!

2. Get productive
I know people who are inspiring and creative as opposed to others who behaves like mindless, complaining zombies going back home, just to fit in the crowd. Well, you're not one of them! You see an opportunity to get creative when others see only long, tiring journey in the bus or airplane. You can get productive NOW - start a project to clean your house or learn a new skill! (Artiste Training Coaching is one of them. Only RM99 per hour. If you take the 20-hour or more package, inclusive of ready made Portfolio, Invitation to photo shoot and casting opportunity to real film production. Serious candidates who wants to learn acting methods, modelling and strategies to succeed in local entertainment industry can contact or whatsapp 012-2350091 for a free consultationRead about my PERSONAL COACHING's TOP TEN success stories here:
1) Coaching You to Success
2) Full Attendance
3) Fashion Students Showcase
4) Bigger Class
5) Taking Students on Roadshows
6) International Students
7) Student on Magazine Cover
8) Student Casting Session for Real Jobs
9) Students Photo Shoot
10) Students Performing for Event

You can even earn some extra income during the festive season - I know certain call centre operators earned double in their hourly pay during this time. You might even take this festive holidays to save money, stay in and just watch movies at home or read books that you've left in the bookshelves collecting dust. Now's the best time to clear them off once and for all!

3. Contemplate and Rejuvenate
It is always in solidarity one learns about oneself more than when you're married or living with a spouse or family.That is because when you have others around you, your mind is occupied about them and not focused on yourself. What do I want to achieve in my life? Am I really happy now? A different perspective in life may suddenly hit you when you are not heading back to your hometown because you got so much time to be alone - and that's a good thing! Contemplate on your life and you may discover that you didn't commit as much as you should to your personal work-out or sticking to your plan in losing weight. I know I've lost 2 kilos just from sticking to my plan of workout. Or you may have not contacted a friend for so long, you simply need to pick up the phone and call. Remember life is short, so take your time slowly and enjoy. A cockroach lives longer than you. If you have a religion, use this time to pray and get connected with your faith again.

Monday, July 21, 2014


Monday, July 14, 2014

Why Germany's win of World Cup is so deserving. 3 life lessons re-learned and applied

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* BMW Film Awards Best Actor
* Jury Duty
Worldwide Photo Exhibit
Endorsement Value
World Cup KFC commercial
Controversial but Most-Watched Episode
The Golden Shorts Fame

It's rare for an artiste to analyse a game and see the parallel it has to do with his own life. Maybe it's only me. Personally, I love Japanese sumo wrestling more. Japanese sumo wrestling sport is between only 2 players, so you get to watch their strategy and movements more intimately and clearer due to the pull of focus that's more defined. Football on the other hand consisted of a very large field with many players, hence the pull of focus can get a bit fuzzy and unpredictable due to its massive scale. Unfortunately Japanese sumo wrestling lacked the mainstream appeal compared to football. Football attracts countries worldwide to its field. But why? To me, it is because football is perceived to be a very easy game to play, hence any Tom, Dick and Harry thinks they can control a ball and kick. The very structure of the football game is almost simplistic, say compared to sumo wrestling. All you need to play football is a ball. The simpler the game, the larger its audience and fans. Who wants a difficult and complex strategy game like sumo wrestling where the players gobbled truckloads of potatoes to keep their large bodies, when you can have sexy, fit and tall football players to ogle at on the field? Due to its macro scope, a football game always sheds light on the best and worst of a country. Look at last night's World Cup's Final between Germany and Argentina. The first half of the game no team scored even a goal - because these two countries were equally great at the game. But it only takes ONE goal to decide the winner. And the winning goal goes to Germany - to the most unexpected player, at least to my opinion - but also the most deserving.

Germany as a country is so vastly different from Malaysia. German laws are meant to protect human rights and freedom. Prostitution is legal in Germany. Same-sex marriage is legal in Germany. Even drug coffeehouses is legal in Germany! A lot of Malaysians would condemn all of these so-called "sin" and looked down on them like we were so much better than Germany. But don't forget who won the World Cup and who created world-class brand like BMW. I believed Malaysians' greatest weakness is our inscruptable distinction between right and wrong, and choose to see everything in black and white - to the extent of hurting our own humanity and freedom as a result.

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My brush with anything German was quite a number - BMW Film Awards Best Actor, that's one. I've also personally worked with Germans before - one in particular was the photographer Wolfgang Schwirtz who took some of the most beautiful pictures. Then the other was a short cameo in a German-language TV drama. I'm fascinated that how most Germans are alike in their working attitude, be it at photography or the football field. Allow me to share what I've learned and observed from last night's game:

1) Recover Fast from the Past
Each day is a clean slate. We must not bring back our past to stop us in the present. This point is extremely important to learn from especially if you're Malaysian. Like Germany, they had a dark past figure - Hitler. But they were quick to move on and recover from history. They don't get emotionally negative or stuck in their mentality about their past. I read in news of how other countries like to bring out their dirty past. But what did Germany do? They won the World Cup. In many ways, I can relate to them for a lot of times I've encountered certain people who "threatens" to bring out the dark past about me to bring me down. Thankfully, I recovered fast and move on. Most of the times, I simply showed these losers my middle finger.

2) Look Beyond the Superficial
As I was watching the finals and feeling almost too tired to watch on because it was late already, suddenly there was a goal! Who was that player, my curiosity got the best of me. He ran and kicked the ball right into the post swiftly and easily on a clear field! No other Argentinian players were there at that moment to stop him - and he took on that split second opportunity and turned it into World Cup gold. Amazing! So as I continued to watch on to find out his name - Mario Goetz, I was surprised to see how his height was shorter than his other team players. He's quite vertically challenged! I never thought shorter players were ever considered to be in a football team, but they allow that in Germany. They really know how to recognise and reward talent, despite the superficial limitations. Heck, I'm not saying I'm any better, my height is probably the same as Mario. That really encouraged me to cheer for him even more because he doesn't let his height stop him from going for the goal. All the other players were pathetically tall and fit, but it was this "short little man" that killed the World Cup Goliath.

3) Play fair, don't hurt others
This is the last and most important lesson I've witnessed happening during the World Cup finals. The parallel to my life as an artiste is so alike. I was hurt by others all my life, starting as a child to the times when I was working with talentless and unscrupulous racist director, producer, bosses, you name it (mind you, they're all Malaysians). Those who hurt others never wins. They may be in charge now, or the person acting as the boss. But they never ever win, even when they think they do. That's a universal fact. Industry may abandoned you after exploiting you, or your loved ones and friends left you for years without ever saying hi or invites you to any social gathering. Don't feel down. They only want to hurt you so they may feel better and secure about themselves. Look at how Argentina played against Germany. I was surprised at how the Argentinian players kicked and scratched at the Germans to catch the ball, with the extension of their legs, hands and butting heads to the point of hurting them unscrupulously. I see blood gushing out from the nose of a German player, heads were knocked, feets were cracked. But did Argentina win? As for the Germans, the way they played the game was never intentionally to hurt the other opposing players. People can read the way you play. That's why their win was truly deserving.