Does Your Home Have Mojo?

If I have not been all together blogging much, do forgive me. I’ve been tied up with website projects and recently with all manner of stuff related to our new apartment.
Well, it’s not exactly new as in brand new but it’s finally some place we can call Home. Which is very surprising to most friends who’ve visited our present place – they think we own it because we spent a lot of time decorating this apartment as if it weren’t rented. Even the postman had to get a closer look the first time he delivered our registered mail to us!
I must say that no matter where we are, rented apartment or not, Nic and I strive to make each place as cosy and comfortable as we can even when we were on a limited budget in the early years of our marriage (let’s see, that was about 10 years ago!).
Especially when I know I married an Artist-Geek-Designer-DIY-Hobbyist.
It’s easy to take things for granted when I have had so much decor fun with the art we have at home, the knick-knacks we’ve collected from our trips abroad, our diverse hobbies and our sense of what we like, rather than what convention or styles dictate.
Nic’s art hangs on most of the walls of our current place. His Sarawak bric-a-brac and native craft (dayak parang, dayak war shield, sarawak pottery, sarawak lamps) inhabit nooks and crannies. It’s very Sarawakian, and the very ethnic look is a testament to how much he loves his home state!
On the other hand, we both love our Chinese and Buddhist roots which account for most of the Oriental leanings in the apartment – from our Kwan Kung figurine (love his fierceness!) to our very special Buddhas (one was handcarried back from Bangkok a decade ago and the other was from Burma, also handcarried by a good friend!).
We used to have a skull of a cow (a real one!) hanging above our aquarium! Yes, it scared half our friends to death. We have realistic looking plastic geckos on the wall which again scares half my gecko-fearing friends. I don’t mean to scare people but they’re crazy fun additions to an otherwise regular apartment, though rented!
But what I am getting at is this – a lot of house redesigning is about accommodating personal tastes. And since Nic and I have been poring over decor magazines, I see that half or most of the homes featured are too contemporary for our eclectic tastes! One exception though – pick up DWELL – it’s fantastic! Chockfull of practical, simple, easy home design ideas.
Like fashion togs, a home must reflect the owners and their likes. Mixing and matching is a must, something new, something old, something inherited maybe.
I don’t want my home to look like a showroom apartment! They’re too cold and clinical, too lifeless. A home must have some oomph, some pizzazz, some mojo. It has to have a soul of its own. It has to be an extension of the owners.
More to come in the next few weeks on our new home! Even Margaret’s excited!

Win Professor Gerard Bodeker's Book

If you want to win a beautiful and informative book written by an expert on Malaysian herbs, then this is the contest for you!
Professor Bodeker, the author of “Health and Beauty from the Rainforest: Malaysian Traditions of Ramuan” is a senior faculty member in public health at Oxford University, an Associate of Oxford’s Institute of International Development, and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University, New York. He holds a doctorate from Harvard and is editor of the WHO’s Global Atlas of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
His book, “Health and Beauty from the Rainforest: Malaysian Traditions of Ramuan” is a celebration of Malaysia’s traditional healthcare and beautycare, collecting the best of Malay, Chinese and Indian healing systems and putting them into one book.
This book was launched about 2 months ago so it’s still new and it’s still hot!
(Pssttt….Actually Paul saw this book when he was browsing in Kinokuniya KL and was so impressed that he bought copies of the book direct from its Singaporean publisher to give out to his friends and distributors! That’s why he thought, why not give it out to his blog readers too? That’s how the idea bloomed. That’s how YOU too can win this book for free.)
To win this book worth US$30 (approx RM100), you don’t need to write any slogans or buy any product to qualify.
All it needs is some quick words on your behalf – just tell Paul Penders Company what you feel about its blog , if you have any suggestions, if you want the Paul Penders team of bloggers (Shirley and Steen) to write about something which you feel has not been covered before in the blog, or if you just have something you want to say about the Paul Penders blog.
Yup, Paul Penders Co. is giving away this glossy book to those who write in with their ideas, suggestions or even give their two bits about what they think about the official Paul Penders blog.
I can’t win the book because I’m going to help Paul and Steen pick the winners when the contest ends on 16 August.
But you can! That’s why I’m hollering to the world on this blog of mine.
Spread the word around and get family and friends to join this contest.
Better still, if you can, tweet about this or put this on your blog. You’ll be giving your readers a chance to own a gorgeous piece of Malaysiana!

How To Prepare For Ivy League

We’ve worked together with Chen Chow before, and have organised 2 highly successful talks (under the auspices of Mensa Malaysa, Penang branch) when he came to Penang in the past 2 years to talk about getting a scholarship to study in the USA.
He is formerly from Cornell University (2005), and a former JPA scholarship recipient so he definitely knows what he is talking about. Oh and he is also the head interviewer for Cornell scholarship applications in Malaysia.
What I most like about Chen Chow is his helpful and humble nature. You don’t see much of this any more.
Yet despite his busy life (and yes, he does hold a full-time job in KL), he is still willing to travel to Penang with his own money so he could speak to parents and youths about what it takes to get a scholarship to study abroad.
He can hold a room captivated with his 3-hour long talk and still, parents and youths cannot get enough of him. Chen Chow is so engaging and so full of ideas and tips that people still want to linger on after the talk to pick his brains!
But what makes it all worthwhile is that Chen Chow sms-ed me a few months ago and told me that 2 of the youths who attended his Penang talk managed to secure JPA scholarships for study abroad! It was a fantastic feeling!
I felt really happy for these 2 students – one will be studying engineering and the other, law. And it all happened because Chen Chow shared what he knew about aceing scholarship interviews, what to write in a scholarship essay, how to stand out in a roomful of potential scholarship candidates, what candidates ought to write in their application forms and lots more.
I mean, I’m way past applying for scholarships (hey, I’m 35 and I left school a LONG time ago) but even I got excited. I bet the parents and youths were more delirious after hearing the inspiring stories of Malaysian students who have made it to Yale, Harvard and other Ivy League unis. This is really Malaysia Boleh spirit!
He does not come to Penang often although he is a Bukit Mertajam local. So if you want to study overseas, get into the top US universities without burdening your parents, the best way is to find out where Chen Chow is speaking next and listen well.
His upcoming activity is a 3-day workshop for students only at Taylors University College, from 1 to 3 August. The maximum number he is taking is 250 students so don’t miss out if you want to learn how you can get a US scholarship.
With a stellar list of facilitators (current scholars and previous alumni of Ivy League universities), it’s worth every bit of your RM25 for the 3 days! (YES, can you believe it? Only RM25! That’s not a typo.) You’d get to mingle with these scholarship recipients, get firsthand knowledge and learn what it’s like to study abroad.
But hurry as Chen Chow told me seats are really filling up fast!
(The college application resources are worth a look too!)

Seeing Through Holes

Can’t see without them. 90% of what we get from the world we get through our eyesight.
When I was at St Nicholas Home for the Blind recently, I was truly grateful for my vision though I wear contact lenses. It’s like, sure, I don’t have perfect vision but these children are blind. Some of them don’t even know what a rainbow looks like.
Actually right about this time, we’re also involved with a new website development project for a new client from The Adventist Hospital. Coincidentally, this division deals with laser eye correction surgery or what we all know as LASIK.
As we’re also involved in producing copy for the website, I’ve been researching about laser eye surgeries from PRK to LASEK and then to the newest technology called iLASIK. I’ve read so much about the pros and cons of these vision correction surgeries that it’s eye-popping (pardon the pun).
I’ve had friends who have had this corrective eye surgery done and they’ve been raving over the results. Finally they say, they can see without glasses and what a change in lifestyle it has been!
I’ve been so tempted to try this laser surgery myself but I’ve still got so many pairs of disposable contact lenses. I would need to wait till my stock is finished.
But then Nic, who is all about natural healing, tells me to try the Bates Method. Apparently, your eyes can heal themselves. The issue is, they can’t heal if all we ever wear are glasses and contact lenses (which are like crutches for your eyes). Bates is the name of the man who popularised this method of training the eyes to heal by wearing pinhole glasses.
Bates pinhole glasses - not the most fashionable eyewear in town!
So Nic decided last week that he wanted to try the natural way of bringing back his 20/20 vision. He got out and bought the Bates pinhole glasses. They’re not cheap. A pair of this costs RM78. It’s just a pair of dark glasses, much like your plastic sunglasses, but with pinholes scattered on the area where the lens are.
I was a bit of a skeptic but I tried them on anyway (had to remove my contact lenses first). I could actually read the words on some books about 3 feet away!
I have shortsightedness and since 11, have been wearing glasses till I found contact lenses when I was 19. Although my prescription has stabilized at 4.5 diopter and I can use contact lenses now (and I don’t have dry eye problems unlike most lens users), I still want good vision. Vision without spectacles. I’ve done a lot of stuff wearing contacts lenses such as swimming and other outdoor activities but I still wished I didn’t have shortsightedness.
Back to the Bates glasses.
Can it cure my shortsightedness?
The idea is to train your eyes to heal themselves naturally. I’m supposed to wear the glasses while watching TV or reading.
The first time I wore them, it was a bit annoying. My eyes have to get accustomed to the pinholes. I have to focus correctly otherwise I will see overlapping images. Once I get the correct focus, I can actually see well! I can watch TV clearly and read the subtitles without squinting. I can see most objects clearly without problems.
The only thing I didn’t like was reading with the Bates spectacles. As I am shortsighted, I usually don’t read with my normal glasses on. I usually take the glasses off when I look at near objects like books. If I read with the Bates spectacles, it is also irritating. Maybe it works for people who have longsightedness.
I can’t bear to wear them when I work on the PC because it’s just too weird for close objects. For me it works best on objects about 3 feet or more away. Anything nearer and it makes me giddy looking at double images!
Accordingly, it is best to wear and ‘train’ one’s eyes for a few hours a day. This way, our eyes can adjust and correct themselves. I should be seeing an improvement in my eyesight after 2-3 weeks of using them.
Let’s see what happens over the next few weeks or whether I need LASIK surgery after all!

Can You Change A Life?

Medalin called me this morning, to thank me for spending time talking to her 20-something son. He had taken over the family business just a few years ago.
He’d come around yesterday to our office and we shared with him our beliefs and philosophy of running a business. Actually he had come to ask our opinion about something he wanted to do but in the end, it became more than that.
We spoke to him for almost 2 hours.
Perhaps it was the first time he met 2 highly positive people who think that business is not about making money. Business is about serving others, bringing them value, giving them a reason to buy from you. Business is about sharing knowledge, helping each other unconditionally.
Medalin called to tell us that her son was inspired by our words.
That he felt grateful for our advice.
My philosophy is simple – I am here to help other people help more people. If I can share an idea and get them thinking to do more good or touch someone’s life positively, my time on earth will be worth it.
And I’ve been lucky to have known a number of inspiring people who inspire me to work on myself so that I can play a role in creating a better world.
I know people who work tirelessly to help create a better environment by recycling and being green. They are the most hopeful people I know.
I know people who are genuinely kind and happy, willing to lend a hand without asking for anything in return. They just want to be of service.
I know a person who will travel all the way to Penang just to give a 3 hour talk so that other youths can have a chance to apply for a scholarship and lessen the burdens of their parents. Recently I was very pleased to know that 2 young people who attended this talk (which I helped put together) had received scholarships to study in the USA.
I know of people who with the handicapped and disabled, teaching them patiently. And when these teachers see their young charges sing, dance and perform onstage, it’s all worth it.
I know of a successful millionaire who was terrible at school. He used to be the last in his class because everyone called him dumb and stupid. No one cared for him. He was poor, had very low self esteem and always failed in class. His life changed a teacher showed she cared by buying him a bowl of hot noodles. In that small simple act, he felt the world wasn’t so bad after all. He decided to study hard to repay his teacher’s kindness. Today, he is a multi-millionaire and he has never forgotten that lesson.
If you care, you can change lives.
Can you change a life?
Of course you can.
It doesn’t take money sometimes. It could be a kind word, a few minutes of your time, a phone call, a letter, an email out of the blue. You just have to show you care.
Far too many people are selfish these days and will only do something for others if they get something in return. These people will never get anywhere in life with their limiting beliefs.
But when you show you really care (and it cannot be faked), you give hope to another human being.
You never know where that might lead.
The other person might go and infect others with this positive ray of light.
If we have more positive rays of light and love in our community and gradually the world, don’t you think that it could create a more peace-loving and harmonious world?
If it has to start somewhere, it has to start with me.

Look What I Bought for RM87

books from the secondhand bookstore
Didn’t mean to buy so many books but I could not help myself when I went to my regular secondhand bookstore.
If I didn’t stop myself, I would have bought more. And a few more old issues of the O magazine by Oprah. And In-Style, too.
One of the most exciting finds was this tiny booklet by Gustav Verbeek, a comic artist who lived at the turn of the old century (he died in 1937).
What’s interesting is he only drew 6-panel comics. If you read it one way, you get half the story.
If you read the comic panels the upside down way, you get the other half of the story!
His comics are mainly about the silly adventures of two characters called Lovekins and Muffarroo. Both are odd in their own way. But it is simply amazing how creative Verbeek is because once you turn the picture upside down, a totally new ‘scene’ appears!
You can take a look at what I mean by looking at this drawing of his. First you see how Muffaroo is attacked by a big fish in his canoe but when you turn the comic upside down, you see Lovekins being caught by a giant bird. How amazing is that!
And the story does make sense. And this Dutch-American man did this type of comic every week for the 64 weeks that he was drawing for The New York Herald newspaper.
It’s like the ambigrams made famous by Dan Brown in Angels & Demons. Ambigrams are graphic art where the word reads the same both ways!
Of course, Verbeek’s booklet of 6 stories were a complete steal at RM1.50. I don’t think you can get it anywhere even if you had pots of money.
The things one can get at the secondhand bookstore!

My Time Is Expensive, You Know!

Today, I’ve got a rant. A big one.
I start it with “My time is expensive, you know”.
Hear me out while I tell you why. I am sure you want to know why I’m suddenly so uppity.
Most people don’t think about the time they spend. Yah, we all know we start the day with 24 hours and then we minus out 8 hours for sleep so what do we have left? Some 16 hours right? Then let’s say we work for another 8 and then what do you have?
Another 8 right? Cut out time for makan, bathroom time, travelling time and in my case, some blogging, some facebooking, some other stuff which always pops up in the most crazy moments and there goes the final 8 hours. Oh, don’t forget the crucial stuff – sitting in silent contemplation. My reprieve from the world. Some journalling. Reading. Watching Desperate Housewives.
Now the 8 hours that I dedicate to work – I dedicate to work. But here’s something totally Malaysian which I still cannot fathom till now.
What is it with people who want to meet up ALL the time? I mean, clients especially. Just this week, 3 different people told me, “Maybe we should meet up and discuss this.”
Why do people want to force meet-ups on others when we can do this easily without needing to meet up face to face?
Look. I’m all for meeting up if there’s something conclusive to say and discuss. I do this all the time when I need meetings to help others make a tough call, convince decision-makers, finalize stuff, get people to sign contracts, go for business walk-throughs at the start of new web projects. I mean, I get it when a meeting is really needed because sometimes you just can’t conduct a walk-through without being there in the flesh yourself. That I get.
What I don’t get is when meetings are just a plain lazy way of doing what can be done easily, quickly and effortlessly online.
What I don’t get is why people cannot think straight and ask themselves, “Is a face-to-face meeting really needed? Can I be smart with my time and use a method which saves everyone the trouble of driving over, cursing as we cannot find parking, going round and round the damn lot for 15 minutes and then going up to the meeting room only to have the damn discussion done in 10 minutes? Is this a good use of my time and other people’s time?”
I’ve been in client servicing and I know the kind of people who hope you can drop everything you do and jump into your car and drive to see them just because they are the ‘client’. And most client servicing executives follow their clients’ “instructions” blindly.
I always think – what bloody good is Technology if we cannot use it to make our lives easier? Look, there’s Skype. There’s the phone. There’s email.
If something cannot be described via a Skype call, phone call or email, I don’t think that something can even be discussed in a face-to-face meeting.
If you cannot explain or describe what you want, what do you hope to achieve in a meeting? Sit around and twiddle our thumbs? Chat about the weather?
Most people think money is the scarcest resource. It’s not, babe. You can make all the money you want if you have talent, skills, creativity, brains.
The scarcest resource?
It’s TIME.
We all start with an equal amount of it and if we’re not smart about using it and allow others to dictate how we use it, we deserve to lose time. We cannot get more of it if we waste it.
So while I love face-to-face networking (and that’s why I started WomenBizSENSE with a friend), I know there are times when meetings can be easily conducted with technology. You want to see my face? Use Skype with a webcam then. Want to speak to 3 other people at the same time? Use multi-party conferencing. That’s how we, who volunteer for The Pixel Project, discuss what we need to do.
I’m terribly selfish with my time because people are naturally too lazy to find an easier alternative. And perhaps it’s also easy to justify that “Oh I’m busy. I need to go for a meeting.” The number of meetings you attend do not correlate with the outcomes. You could be running around in traffic jams only to accomplish nothing because you’re too exhausted to even know what’s discussed.
The thing is, don’t let people dictate how you use your time. Not even Clients. Particularly Clients because they think they own you just because you are doing work for them.
I’m in business because I want to decide how to live my life. And sometimes you just have to stand up to people who mess about with your time and essentially your life.
Standing up and saying no is a great practice in assertiveness anyway. Try this the next time someone asks for a meeting in the flesh.
Most likely, when you tell them no and suggest meeting online via Skype, they’ll agree!

My List of Must-Read Books For Business & Life

This started off as an exchange of lists between Vern and me. (Vern – this is for you!)
She gave me a list of must-watch movies because I’ve basically missed out on a lot of good stuff over the years. So in return, I am giving her a list of must-read books in case she ever thinks of starting her own business and wants to get a really good head start.
1. The E-Myth books by Michael Gerber
I wished I read his books way back when we first started our business. Michael Gerber’s books tell you all you need to know about owning a business and running a business. There’s a distinction between working IN your business and working ON your business. If you work IN your business, the business can never grow. If you work ON your business, you may end up happier, freer and richer. Once you read these books, you must take action or it will be such a waste. Start with The E-Myth Mastery and then go on to The E-Myth Revisited.
2. Small is the New Big by Seth Godin
If you know me well, you know I absolutely love this bald man called Seth Godin. His ideas are more than just revolutionary, they’re funny and sometimes worth a think. Small is the New Big talks about small little things that make a big difference whether it is customer service, marketing or R&D. His writing is highly readable and he stays clear of jargon and gobbledegook. I always rethink the way we do things around here in Redbox Studio each time I re-read his book.
Also check out The Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside and Unleashing the Idea Virus.
3. The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
I absolutely reach for this book when I need to boost myself. Yeah, I’m not the chirpy bird all the time. I love the way Jack illustrates his success principles one by one. If there ever was a book that could literally pick me up from the doldrums, this is it. I can read it over and over and still NOT get tired of it.
4. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
Now Blink is the kind of book that you read if you’re curious about intuition or what intuition really can do in everyday life. Blink is about how you know things you cannot explain. This book allows me to re-think gut instinct and pay more attention to that gut feeling we all sometimes have but don’t really bother about. I wrote about it too so if you want a pseudo-review that piques, go here.
5. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
Warning – if you are a staunch Catholic or Muslim or a faithful believer of any of the world’s oldest religions, reading this book will do 2 things to you. Either you fall off your chair laughing because the writing’s so funny and sarcastic or you will toss the book aside because it attacks all you’ve believed in. I’m the first type. I’m Buddhist you see so I don’t really believe in God (oooh, being blasphemous here!) and I believe way too much in karma and past lives so I had good fun reading Dawkins’ atheist outlook. Of course he can be annoying in some parts but for most parts, he really makes me see how questioning religion opens up … ta-dah…. more questions! He’s really fiendish and totally British so read Dawkins with an open mind. Or he really will open your mind.
6. Influence, Science & Practice by Robert Cialdini
I’m the geeky type in a way and I love research especially scientific research and their outcomes. Cialdini’s book is a fantastic journey into the psychology of influence. Social influence, that is. I once took a class in Psychology during university and enjoyed new ways of looking at things so this book was perfect in telling me why humans behave the way they do, the words you can use to get them to do what you want them to do and how you can use them in your life. For good outcomes of course. Each story is backed by real-life research that had been carried out. So expect nothing less than social science at work here.
7. Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker
This is a tiny, thin booklet. It’s not even a book and it was expensive. But the quality of a book lies not in its thickness, this much I know over the years of reading. You can find crap even in thick tomes. People can still write about nothing although they think they’re elucidating a point. But Drucker is Drucker. He is concise and precise, locking in his best ideas about self management (one of the important keys of business) in this tiny book with a cover that’s as plain as can be. It is an essential reminder that success starts with oneself first.
8. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne
One of the most popular books of its time and what a splash it caused for the business community. It was the MUST READ book of the century. While most business books talk about being on top of the competition, this book told you to get out and eliminate the competition and make them irrelevant! As it is written by 2 academics, the book tends to be brittle and dry in some parts but me being the “I-can-wade-through-any-academic-reading” person (thanks to doing my MA and being taught never to be afraid of text or citations), I found this book brilliant in its insights. It tells why Cirque de Soleil is in a class of its own apart from other famous companies like Samsung. Ever wondered why suddenly there’s a Korean wave/revolution all across the world? They use the Blue Ocean Strategy! (Did I mention Kim is Korean? But duh!)
9. A Whole New Mind by Daniel H Pink
If you haven’t read this book, man, where have you been? Besides being the kind of book you can feel pretty smart after you’ve read it, Pink’s book gives you clues and tips about how you can conquer the future. Yup, using both sides of your brain. The left and the right sides. Pink basically says that to survive in the future, you not only need IQ (very important in the past 40 years or so) but you also need EQ (very relevant now). The future belongs to people who can harness both IQ and EQ, creating products and jobs no one probably has heard of until they were created. I mean, did you know about Facebook before it appeared? Or about how essential iPods are now that you know what you missed before they came to the market?
10. Getting Things Done by David Allen
You can’t go through life if you haven’t organised it. And getting things done is one of it. Allen’s book teaches how you can overcome the eternal busyness of work to focus on what really matters – a.k.a your work! I mean, the real stuff. The stuff that you are paid to do. His method is practical with an aim on clearing away the messy stuff so you can focus on real stuff. Getting things done is almost cultish. Never have we had so much of technology but also never have we had so much to do so Allen’s book teaches you how to slice away at time-wasters and truly be productive. Everyone needs this book from freelancers, businesses to stay-at-home moms. I wrote about this too.
Another list coming up soon. I’ve got a pile of fave reads and this is just half of them.
Now’s your turn to share. What is your favourite book and why?

Why The Rainforest World Music Festival Needs to Change

I’ve been a big fan of the Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival for a long time now. I got to know of it in 2002 and even attended for 3 years in a row (2002, 2003 and 2004). In those early days, not even the Penang tour agencies knew what it was.
But then we stopped going.
I did say I loved it. I still do.
I came home and spread the word about this fantastic event happening in the Sarawak Cultural Village, some 40 minutes by car from Kuching city.
Many friends, upon my enthusiastic (OK, mad is more like it) response, would be so envious. I’d come home, rave about the musicians I’d met, the people I’d spoken to, the air in Sarawak, the CDs I bought, the live jamming sessions, the different cultures and languages.
Of course, I’d tell them, “You HAVE to go. It’s one of those things you must do in your lifetime because it’s so much FUN!”
And bless their souls – they did take my advice and go. And they loved it to bits too.
When I am at the Rainforest World Music Festival, I feel I am in another country. It’s not Malaysia any more. It’s laidback, it’s international, it’s cool. It’s also open air, no seats (just bring a mat), informal and come-as-you-wish.
As it’s held in Sarawak (a world totally removed from Peninsular Malaysia), there’s a lot of leeway and freedom. People strut about in bikini tops, Caucasians and locals alike hang out at the beer gardens within the festival grounds.
There’s an insouciant air, irreverent and bohemian.
But the crowd gets bigger and bigger each year, thanks to rabid fans like me. I go and tell everyone because I’m so freaking excited.
Unfortunately, the Sarawak Cultural Village grounds aren’t meant for humongous crowds.
The nearby hotels cannot accommodate the crowds either. And the prices of hotel rooms keep skyrocketing yearly. And it’s alienating the very crowd which helped popularised the festival! In the early days, the crowd was fun, looking for cool music. In fact families came with kids. I could still get a room at the Holiday Inn Damai Beach by calling up my Kuching tour agency. It was a music festival for everyone.
Over the years, I see the party crowds who are into booze are coming in packs. They get drunk, they party like crazy, they are a hazard to other festival goers. Some look like they’ve been on some substances too. They’re NOT there to appreciate the music; they just want music. I bet you they don’t even know who’s playing on the stage!
And let me talk about prices. From those days in 2002 when I could pay less than RM1000 for a 4D/3N at Holiday Inn Damai Beach which included the festival ticket for 3 days, now I have to pay lots more.
I am talking about being a domestic traveller.
I am travelling to Sarawak, another state in Malaysia, dammit. If I have to pay RM2000 plus just to attend a 3-day music festival locally, why don’t I just go to HK or Thailand? Or wait for the Singapore music festival and just take a Jetstar plane down south?
Maybe RWMF just caters to the ang mohs and the Singaporeans.
If it is about the venue, why can’t it be held somewhere centrally in Kuching city? Then the crowd control can be better and there’s no shortage of hotels.
I think RWMF is a great tourism draw but it is losing some of its appeal by alienating the very fans who have raved about it. I am lucky I can get to attend the Penang World Music Festival if I choose not to go for the RWMF.
I just wish Sarawak Tourism Board realizes that lots of die-hard fans are just appalled at the way things are done and the way prices keep going up.
Perhaps we Malaysians aren’t the target audience they want. They’d prefer US Dollars to our measly Ringgit.
More stuff you can get your hands on:
What to prepare if you are going for the RWMF 2009.
If you’re in Kuching, you might as well sample some local food.
If you’re in Penang, try Penang World Music Festival. This year, it is from 20 to 22 November.