Not So Peaceful Now In Taman Aman, P J                             

I’ve been jogging/brisk-walking in Taman Aman in the early mornings for a couple of years now. It is close to my house from where I would take about ten minutes to walk to the garden. It has a big lake in the centre and its environment is peaceful and serene. But things have changed lately when a walker clapped her hands loudly when in the park. I confronted her and told her to stop! Hopefully her civic consciousness would stop her from continuing disturbing the peace in the garden.

… more (coming soon)  





The Arduous Lombok Trek

(11th – 14th July 2014)

Kenny, K C and I flew to Mataram, the capital of Lombok on 11th    July. From here we were transferred by car to Senggigi where we put up for a night.

Early the next morning, we were transferred by car to Sembalun Lawang where we met up with our Guide and three porters and commenced our trek.

We trekked to Sembalun & Crater Rim and reached the campsite of Plamangan II and stayed in tents.

At 3am the next morning we were to start our trek to Rinjani Summit. It was drizzling the whole night long. As I did not have a good night sleep and my back was aching, I decided to forgo the trek to the summit.

It was a good decision. Kenny & K C returned to the camp by 7am because the ground was wet & slippery and the sky was foggy. They did not reached the summit! more  


       A couple of unexpected events in our resent sojourn in Queenstown

My wife & I left for NZ on 6 April 2014. The flight, 3K 686, left for Singapore on schedule at about 14.30 and arrived at Changi Airport at about 15.30. We were to continue with our journey with flight JQ216 departing at about 18.50.

We did not proceed with our journey until the next day! We finally arrived at Auckland Airport in the late afternoon, a delay of more that 24 hrs!

In Queenstown, we stayed in our apartment in Scenic Suites. But the mountain bike I left in the apartment's store was missing together with my half golf-set! - Read more



A short sojourn of doing-nothing slowly in Queenstown, NZ

My wife & I were in NZ from 3 to18 of Aug, 2013. We spent most our time in our apartment in Queenstown, relaxing and practising the fine art of doing nothing slowly!

As the weather was cool but sunny, I decided to do some cycling in the evenings along the shores of Lake Wakatipu which is quite close to our apartment. - See attached  


Articles Published in The Star


On June 5, 2013 Star 2 published two articles about me.

The first is High on life, depicting my life, in particular after my retirement: - on my involvement in managing a small oil-palm plantation, travelling, mountain trekking and scuba diving….. read more

The second is At home in a heritage site, depicting my visit to my ancestral home in Fujian province and also to a number of Hakkak Tulou ……. read more

Many thanks to Ms Majorie Chiew of Star 2 for publishing the articles.   

Book 1



(An exceptional & varied life of an engineer)

Book 2


(A collection of jottings to The Star, NST, The Sun & Malaysiakini)

Book 3


Volume 1 – Off the beaten track

Volume 11 – Mt trekking & scuba diving


The launching of the above three books was first carried out on 03 March 2013 in The Orchid at the Royal Lake Club in Kuala Lumpur.

The launch was attended by my friends, ex-BR staff, neighbours, relatives and some invited guests. At the launch, 45 sets of the above 3 books were sold. The total amount collected (RM9,000.00) was donated to Kewanis Down Syndrone Foundation in which my son, Wei Ming & his father-in-law, Mr Yong Kar Kwee are Council Members. The price of each set of 3 books is RM200.00.

The book-launch event at The Lake Club was published in The Star Metro on 12/03/ more

Another launch was held in Canterbury Pub on 13/03/13 inconjunction with the latter's charitable event in aid of two orphanages.

Some of the photos taken during the launch at the Royal Lake Club are shown here... see photos

Some of those taken at Canterbury Pub are shown here .... see photos

Many thanks to those who have purchased the books.


In Pictures – Exploring Jordan’s relics

(14th to 19th Aug 2012)


Four of us – K C, Kenny, Kok Peng & I arrived in Amman from Nairobi after our safari-tour of Kenya. We spent five days touring Jordan.

The places we visited are: Madaba, Nebo, Kerak, Petra Wadi Rum, Dead Sea and Amman. The most fascinating place we visited was Petra……..

read more    

In Pictures – Safaris In Kenya

(5th to 13th Aug 2012)

Five of us, 4 Malaysians – Kenny, K C, Kok Peng, me and an old American friend, Larry were in Kenya from 5th to 13th Aug 2012. We visited Massai Mara National Reserve, Lake Nakuru National Park and Amboseli National Park.

We traveled in a 4x4 vehicle driven by our guide, Wilmis. ….

read more!!!3A110_!7E2-72a71a0eda97eca009e500_0&save_file=true&&/syabastap.jpg

Tussle Over Water Supply In  Klang Valley


The resent tussle between the Federal and the Selangor government started when the former announced that Langat 2 Water Treatment Project would be implemented now to avoid the impending water shortage in the Klang Valley.

However, the Mentri Besar of Selangor disagreed and contented that the state would have sufficient treated water by restructuring the water services, reducing NRW, tapping into ground water and steeping up water conservation efforts….. read more

A long and Tedious Road Journey in East Java


Five Malaysian couples toured East Java by road from 03 to 12 April 2012. We visited Banyuwangi, Muncar Fishing Port, Baluran National Park, Ijen Crater, Bromo Crater and Batu Highland.


The most interesting places we visited are the Ijen and Bromo Craters. But the journey by road is the worst in all my travels. ….. read more

The sad End To My Professional Career

Though I touched on my professional career in my write-up on bringing new technologies to Malaysia; I had not disclosed how I ended my professional career as a consultant engineer.

In early 1990s there was an immense distrust by the three other shareholders against me in the financial management of the company. After a short period of harrowing encounters, I finally sold off my shares in the company and quit.

It was the saddest turning point of my life… read more  

            The OLD........

      The NEW.... & MORE!

Epiretina Membrane


This is my life’s latest episode. It depicts my traumatic encounters with many medical practitioners in Malaysia and Singapore, including a Chinese physician in a T&CM centre in KL for a minor dizziness problem.

During this period from early Feb to June 08, my liver was damaged due to consumption of Chinese medicines. My dizziness problem persisted even though I was advised by eye specialists that I had to adapt to wearing multi-focal glasses.

Part A – A Wild-Goose Chase…read more

Note: An abridged version of the above was published in Star Two on 2nd Sept 2008 ….read more

But after trying to adapt to my new multi-focal glasses for more than four months my problem deteriorated. Finally, as luck would have it and in the nick of time I found the solution to my problem and averted a serious damage to my left eye. My lens implant in my left eye was found to be dislocated and my dizzy vision was due to its movement.

Part B – Light At The End Of The Tunnel.….read more

After the new implant was installed, I recovered from my dizzy vision. But my Left eye's vision was not as good as before.

Six months after my new lens implant was installed in my left eye, I went scuba diving in N Sulawesi. After I returned I went for a follow-up examination and was shocked that the vision of my left eye had deteriorated and I had a “swollen” retina! Further tests by a couple of retina surgeons confirmed that I had “Epiretina Membrane” in my left eye’s retina!

Part C - A Long & Tortuous Tunnel ..... read more more

My Life's Recreation & Escape

In life, one must have recreations and escapes to enhance one’s life in order to live it to its fullest. I am glade that I’ve many of these throughout my whole life and also have reasonably good health to perform and enjoy them… more

* "Simple pleasures" Star Two 28/04/09 -- read more


This is an episode in my life depicting my involvement in taking over and managing a small plantation in Pagoh, Muar from 1997 to 2005. When I first took over from my second brother, it was my dream to spend a major part of my retirement away from the hustle and bustle of the city life; in a quite and peaceful countryside reliving my carefree and happy childhood years.

What happened during that period was something totally unexpected and my dream was almost completely shattered. It was the most dismal turning- point of my life.

Prologue ... read more

Chapter 1. The First Hurdle - The Saddest Epidode In My Life ... read more

Chapter 2. Bad Encounters With Fruit Farmers ... read more

Chapter 3. Daunted By Pests And Incurable Palm Diseases ... read more

Chapter 4. Other Unpleasant Episodes ... read more

Epilogue ... read more

My Life’s Happy Hours In Watering holes

After more than four decades of socializing in watering holes, I’ve many unforgettable encounters with their proprietors, some good and some bad.

Two extreme cases are narrated here – the worst in my working life and the best in my twilight years. CHEERS!!…. Read more

Bringing New Technologies To Malaysia

Looking back at my whole professional career from 1965 to 1994, I can still cherish a few of my achievements, which have contributed to the advancement of civil and structural engineering practices in Malaysia. But not all were plain sailing. I encountered some obstinate resistance from authorities and private enterprises who were reluctant to innovate for some dubious reasons.

<--Bota Bridge photo taken in 2008

Chapter One - My Professional Career --- read more

 Chapter Two – Pre-stressed Concrete Post-Tensioning System more;

 Chapter Three – NRW Control & Water Distribution Rehabilitation --- read more;          

 Chapter Four - Pipeline Rehabilitation Using "NO-DIG" Techniques --- reab more and

 Chapter Five – PE Pipes, Electrofusion fittings & Automatic Butt Fusion --- read more


Introduction || Thrills & Spills of Travel || Trials & Tribulations of Travel


A Fine Grand Traverse Guided Walk

This is my second guided walk in NZ’s South Island conducted by Ultimate Hikes.

This spectacular 6-day guided walk covering 73km came with all meals, lodging and conveniences.

The Grand Traverse is a combination of two tracks – Greenstone Track and Routeburn Track.

This NZ adventure is indeed the ultimate hiking experience! …. Read more

Scaling Mt Kinabalu & Exploring Sandakan

This is my second attempt to scale Mt Kinabalu; the first was in April, 2000. Though I made it to Low’s Peak this time, it was a tough expedition to me as compared to my first attempt. This could be due to bad weather and also my age!

After the climb, we went to Sanadakan and spent a couple of days exploring in and around the town … more


Fascinating Liveaboard Diving In Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat (four Kings) is located northwest of West Papua and comprises over 1,5oo islets and shoals spread over an area of over 40,000 sq km. Raja Ampat is the last frontier of diving in the world and its marine life diversity is the highest recorded on earth.

We spent 10 nights in a dive boat exploring some pristine dives sites in Raja Ampat ….. read more

<---Wobbegong shark

A Fascinating Sojourn In The Lost World – Tana Toraja


Tana Toraja is a highland located in north of South Sulawesi. The uniqueness of its people’s culture and custom, the shape of their ancestor house, Tongkonan, graves in rocks and caves are all fascinating.


Also the funeral ceremony, the hanging graves  and baby graves in trees are only found in Torajaland –read more

Milford Track – A Fine Tramp Marred by a Traumatic Fall

Five of us, Kenny, KC, Gk, Larry & I were in NZ in early March to tramp the Milford Track. It was a 4-day luxurious guided walk with sumptuous meals and comfortable accommodation provided by Ultimate Hikes. But towards the end of the tramp, I had a fall and landed with my face on a rock!........ read more



Introduction ||  The Institutional Setup || Water Woes Under JBA || Water Woes Under PUAS || Water Woes After Privatization


The water authorities have finally realized that due to the undue delay in implementing the Pahang/Selangor interstate raw water transfer project, Selangor, the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya would face water shortages from year 2009... read more

The water tariffs in Selangor, Federal Territory and Putrajaya will soon be raised. The only basis for this tariff revision was that Syabas had reduced the NRW by more than 5% since taken from PUAS on 1/1/05. But many issues, like services and water quality still have not been dealt with and still remain poor. Two letters have been written on this. They are:
1. "Leakage control not the only criterion" (NST 18/08/06)
2. "Wrong to base tariff revision on reduction of NRW" (The Star 19/10/06)




It is heartening to note that the traditional Asian culture which emphasizes respect for the elderly is still quite discernable in the midst of the hustle and bustle of daily life in Malaysia. ... read more

I sympathize with the businessman who had recently been threatened and humiliated by debt collectors because of a bill dispute... read more

Lately I learnt that one of my regular groups of pub-friends who frequented one pub in PJ for over a decade had moved to another joint because they had been badly treated by the lady boss and her cashier. I am not surprised as the bad treatment is mainly due to familiarity breeding contempt! From bitter experience, I do not patronize just one pub. Read more... read more



It's that time of the year again! After all the drinking is done, and the hangovers have finally worn off, the start to a new year is the opportune time to reflect on one's experiences of yesteryear so as to plan positive changes in one's life for the new year... read more

A sad experience where I encountered a fraudulent con artist disguised as a damsel in distress plying the North South Highway. read more


I refer to the article by P. Gunasegaram "Toll concession and traffic lights", (The Edge Malaysia, March 20) and am surprised to learn that the traffic lights at the junction between Jalan Damansara and Jalan Datuk Abu Bakar and also at Jalan 17/1 are controlled by the highway concessionaire SPRINT... read more

Harry Belafonte's letter "Driving is such a pain in Malaysia" (The Star, 23 Sept) certainly helps to ease the frustration and stress of some two to three million drivers who struggle their way daily to work and back in the Klang Valley, that is home to some seven million people... read more

Our Works Minister recently stated that our highways and those in many developed countries have been deigned based on British Standards. Therefore the designs of our highways can be said to be equivalent to world standards... read more


With IWK blatantly polluting our waterways and the authorities closing their eyes to its malpractices, it is no wonder that the privatization of sewerage services in Malaysia has gone sour.

It is most heartening to read in The Star’s reports of April 2 “Khir: IWK main polluter” and April 25 “IWK the biggest polluter”. From the statements in these reports by the respective Selangor state and Federal governments it is clear that the authorities have finally woken up to the stark reality that IWK, a privatisation in Malaysia mired in controversies, confusion and consumer dissatisfaction, is a complete failure... read more





Malaysia is the biggest palm oil producer in the world. But I am shocked to find out that there are a couple of oil palm diseases, identified more than 50 years ago, that still remain today deadly and incurable... Click on the following articles to read more:

"Vital to purge oil palm cancer before it is too late" (The Star, 27 July 2006)

"Ganoderma threat to oil palm industry" (Malaysiakini, 3 March 2006)

"Under Threat" (Star Two, 7 Feb 2006)


Recently, Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo commented that many local councils in Selangor had performed below the expectation of ratepayers. He also proposed that a state executive council member would be appointed to "oversee the operations" of each council... read more


The recent failure of numerous public infrastructure projects has a lot to do with the current system of awarding contracts... read more


Collection of images from my travels:

Offbeat Travel Photos

In my travels to out-of-the-way places for mountain trekking, scuba diving or adventures and escapades, I captured a lot of exotic scenery in my cameras. But sometimes when I noticed unique and mind-boggling signboards and posters, particularly in some rural areas in non-English speaking countries, I also tried to snap them. This post contains some of the snaps I took during my recent travels. …. See more

Canvas Series





The Master's View on Modern Capitalism

The Master's View on Modern Love

The Master's View on the English Language

The Master's View on the Modern Family

The Master's View on the Modern Military Commander

The Master's View on the Modern God Of Thunder

The Master's View of the Modern Manager

The Master's View of Modern Train Station Language

The Master's View on Modern Life and Work 2008