ADV: My Black Challenge

The words on the pamphlet challenge me, “Could this be your big break?”

This isn’t a game of ordinary pool. They called it the 9-ball speed pool.
The rules of the game sounded simple.

This is a game of speed and accuracy. Nine balls are placed on the pool table like that: six close to the pocket, and the other three evenly spreaded out across the centre.
To start, you can place the white cue ball anywhere you want.

The clock starts as soon as you strike the cue ball. The clock stops when you pocket your last ball.
The person who pockets all 9 ball in the fastest time wins.

This competition is put together by GUINNESS® in search for the best amateur 9-ball speed pool player in Asia.
GUINNESS® Black Challenge team right now are touring the whole of Malaysia, running speed pool challenges across 112 nights in 56 outlets in search for Malaysia’s fastest speed pool player.
The fastest in each outlet advances to the regional playoffs. The winner in the regional playoffs advances to the national finals held in Genting Highlands this 31st May.

The winner of the national finals will then go on to represent Malaysia in the International GUINNESS® Black Challenge to be held in Jakarta this October in conjunction with GUINNESS® 9-Ball Tour Grand Final, Asia’s most prestigious pool championship. All expenses paid, of course!
Anyone can join the challenge. The only condition being that you purchase a pint of GUINNESS® Draught or Foreign Extra Stout bottle at their participating outlets during contest days.

Even if you don’t feel like playing speed pool, you could still dip your hand in the hole to win RM100 cash or other exclusive limited edition GUINNESS® 9-Ball Tour merchandise.

Me being me, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a shot at Greatness.
Besides, how difficult could speed pool be anyway? I mean, 6 of the 9 balls are already close to the pocket so all I gotta worry is the other 3.
It’s been a while since I practised playing pool, but I think I can still aim with my stick.

I chalked my cue stick and took it to the table. Time to put my pool skills to a test.
By “pool skills”, I meant “poor skills”.

Speed pool isn’t as easy as it looks. Time is critical so I can’t spent too much time pondering my next move.
The worst thing is, I panicked.
And because I panicked, I had trouble holding my stick still.

My balls kept bouncing all over the place.
In the end, I only managed to pocket all my balls in 2 minutes 33 seconds.
Surprisingly, the official told me that I had made a new GUINNESS® record!

Record for LONGEST time taken to complete a game of speed pool.
Another participant that night fared slightly better than me. He completed the game in 1 minute 2 seconds.

The guy ended up becoming the fastest player of that night. As a reward for his efforts, he won 10 pints of GUINNESS® Draughts, limited edition GUINNESS® 9-Ball Tour merchandise and on top of that, he will be advancing to the regional finals.
This guy has gotta buck up if he wanna go any further though. The fastest time achieved thus far in the Malaysian leg of the tour is just under 40 seconds.
Whoever that guy is, he must be really good with his stick and balls.

The preliminary rounds of the GUINNESS® Black Challenge is gonna continue on from now until the end of May at the official outlets above.
It will be tough to beat the current top marks of 40 seconds in a game of 9-ball speed pool. Whatever it is, take comfort in knowing that no matter what you do, you’re gonna easily beat my pathetic time of 2 minutes 33 seconds.

Just remember to hold your stick steady.

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This blog entry is dedicated to the stubborn Raja Petra of, who refused to post bail for his sedition charge, and chose instead to sit in jail.

It’s amazing how one election could change so many things.
Before the elections, bloggers were condemned by government officials as if they were scums of the Earth on par with child rapists and mass murderers. One guy named Khairy even compared bloggers to monkeys.
After the elections, suddenly we have monkeys invading the parliament along with his friend, Big Foot.

Before the elections, politicians who blog are mostly those from the opposition parties. Most famously, leaders Lim Kit Siang and Anwar Ibrahim.
After the elections, even those big shots in the ruling party jumped on the blogging bandwagon.

These past two months alone, we have seen an ex-Selangor MB, the current Malacca CM and the current UMNO Information Chief all starting their own blogs.
The biggest news last week is that our former Prime Minister himself Tun Dr Mahathir has turned into a blogger as well.
So now kids, if anybody tries to tell you that blogging is a waste of time, feel free to say, “But Dr M also does it leh!”

Of course, there is a huge difference in the way these political heavyweights blog compared to the way that we from the younger generation do so. For example, these political leaders don’t talk about what they have for lunch, which celebrities they met up with, or how many pink stuff from Juicy Couture they bought. These people tackle the big issues, using head-spinning words like “judicial appointment” and “press freedom” and “rising crude oil prices.” Younger bloggers like us simply don’t write much of such stuff at all.
What I am saying to these politician-turned-bloggers is, they should really lighten up themselves. Blogging is not just about “changing the political landscape” and all that. It’s also about meeting new friends, doing crazy things and having fun. And these people don’t do enough of that at all.

I mean, you are never gonna see Lim Kit Siang camwhoring like this on his blog.

Or stupid commenters like this in Dr Mahathir’s blog.

Most definitely you are not gonna see Anwar joining some silly “I Sleep Better With Chipster” blog contest.

Still, I welcome these politicians joining our blogging community.
Because previously, when you say “bloggers”, you immediately think bored teenage boys or attention-seeking schoolgirls putting 101 camwhoring photos of themselves in skimpy outfits. As early as 2 years ago, parents used to really hate their kids blogging.
But now, we have old politicians whose average age is 60 years old calling themselves bloggers!
I think that’s a good thing. Old people using new technology is always cool. I just wish they could be more like friends with us younger bloggers, you know? Stop bashing your political rivals for once, and start coming to our blogger gatherings for a change. There’s so much that we can show you.

Maybe sign up with Nuffnang or something.
Whoa, if that happens, then maybe next year’s Nuffnang Bloggers Pajama Party is gonna look like this.

Ok, maybe not.

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Three Years

Dear Papa,
Today is exactly three years since you’re gone. How have you been?

A lot has happened since I last wrote to you.
Kuching has changed quite a fair bit here and there. There’s been a lot of development, especially on the retail side. Yes, I know. 😉 But don’t you worry, Papa. Competition is always healthy and we’ve been doing many things to improve ourselves.
There’s a lot of new things to try out in Kuching now. Guess what? Even your favourite coffee Starbucks has opened up two outlets here. If you’re around, I’m sure you’ll be ordering takeaways from there everyday.

Do you get to read newspapers up there? Do you see the tribute I wrote for you in the papers. I hope you like it.
I wonder what kind of news they publish in the papers you get up there. I certainly hope they are not as biased as the ones we have here. 😉
Have you heard? BN lost heaps of seats in the last general election. Anwar’s wife is now Opposition Leader. Lim Guan Eng has gone from jail to Penang Chief Minister. And Chong Chieng Jen is still the only DAP MP from Sarawak. Wonder what you think about that?

The government are kinda blaming bloggers for the political change. Although since the elections, people are paying more attention to us. Many of the older people have started blogging. Even Dr Mahathir himself has hopped on the bandwagon. Can you imagine that? Haha.
Sister and her family is doing fantastic in New Zealand.

We went over to visit her during Chinese New Year. It’s been such a long time since we had a family reunion. We used to do it so often when you’re around. I really miss those times.
Baby Lecia is growing up just fine. She seems to cry a lot though. But she’s very cute even when she cries. Won’t you love to hold her tight?
Don’t worry about Jayden and Kirsten. They are goofy as always.

As for me, life has kinda turned on its head lately. Lately I’ve been getting a lot busier than ever. In the office, I’m diligently learning the ropes from my seniors, learning all the tips and tricks they use in business, learning how to negotiate a deal, as well as understanding all the legal and accounting terms involved.
Since the beginning of the year, I’m also getting invites to speak at various events left right and centre. There’s a lot of job opportunities that have come in for me, so much so that I had to turn down most of them either because I don’t have time, or because I couldn’t take leave off work.
I guess the good thing is that I’m getting a lot of recognition for what I do. On the downside, I am in danger of turning into a workaholic. As soon as I got home from the office, I’m in front of the computer again, replying e-mails and keeping up with my deadlines.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy what I do very much. The income is great and the people I’ve been meeting are wonderful. I just think that it is difficult being a 25 year old and having to juggle so many responsibilities at the same time.
But then again, who am I to complain right?
I’m sure life for you was even more difficult back then you were 25. I know, I know. 🙂 Back in those days, there were no mobile phones, no internet. You have to take care of your siblings when Grandpa and Grandma were at work. We don’t have to worry about those things now. We are incredibly lucky. And of course I appreciate it, Papa.
Thank you for working so hard when you were young. Else, we wouldn’t have enjoyed the life that we have today.

The more I think about it, the more thankful I am to you. In a lot of the interviews I did, people ask me who my biggest influence is, and I never hesitated a bit to say that it is you.
Come to think of it, I started blogging indirectly because of you too.
Now that I’ve found success in what I do, I stay motivated with you as my inspiration. Sometimes when I’m pulling my hair out stressing over the things I had to do, I think back at the image of you sitting alone at the study room at 1am, cigarette in hand, carefully looking through all the paperwork you pulled out of your briefcase.
That image of you is still so vivid in my head. And suddenly, it seems like my worries are all so incomparably small.

As I face new challenges each day, I look back at your life knowing that you have faced far greater challenges before, and that you never let them bring you down.
Sometimes I wonder how you managed it.
How are you able to find a woman like mom, who is so incredibly loving and supportive of what you do?
You spent so much time at work, yet everytime you come home, mom has given you the best home possible. I find that difficult to comprehend sometimes. A lot of women these days don’t like workaholic career-minded men. They think they would always be competing for their time and attention, yet they don’t seem to understand that a lot of what we do are for a better future.
I guess I knew why you married mom. Women like her are indeed rare these days.

It has been three years since you left us. The world has changed a lot around us.
Papa, the one thing that has remained unchanged is my admiration and adolation towards you as my father. Eventhough I feel sad sometimes that I don’t have a father to go to when I’m lost, I am grateful that you have done so much for us already when you were around.
Thank you for all that you have done. Thank you for all that you have taught us. I want you to know that you are the guiding compass in my life. And you are the perfect blueprint of the man I want to be when I grow up.
Don’t worry, papa. I will take care of mom. I will be humble. I will respect and treat my friends well. And I will keep my feet firmly on the ground as my hands reach for the stars.
You have my word on that.
Until next time, please take care of yourself. Stop smoking so much already and eat more healthy food, alright? 🙂

We love you always and we miss you very much.

Lots of love,
Your youngest son Kenny

CLEO Bachelor Bashed

It was such an honour.

Thank you to everyone who voted me to become your 2008 CLEO Most Eligible Bachelor of the Year.
I also would like to thank my fudder, my mudder, my brudder, my sistur and all my flengs out there. Without your support, I would never stand on stage as one of the finalists in this beauty contest for men.
Unfortunately I did not win.

That title deservingly went to Bachelor #8 Brian Lau.

Of course lah, I never expected to win anything anyway.
Everyone was out to put on a good show and have a good time, and we’ve certainly achieved that. Everyone had a rocking evening at Zouk last Friday. Not to mention, the girls who came that night were all superbly hot and dressed to kill.
The unofficial dress code for the night were tight dresses and very very very very short skirts.

Kudos to the coordinators from CLEO magazine for putting together this fantastic show.
For one, it’s not an easy task getting 50 grown men listen to you. When you said “LINE UP!”, you get 25 bachelors obediently lining up, while the other 25 bachelors were just laying around without a care in the world.

When you said, “Odd number stand to the left. Even number stand to my right”, you get questions like “Har? What odd? What even?”
It was worse than giving instructions to a bunch of kindergarten kids.

I kept remarking to the guys backstage about how unmanly it is that a bunch of straight guys like us are joining this beauty contest for men.
All the bachelors have this ridiculous facial expression when they put on make-up.

Bachelor #1 Bonnie Arthur de Souza

Still, the guys were great fun to hang around with. Despite the fact that we are all fighting to become Malaysia’s Most Beautiful Man, the atmosphere backstage was like one big frat party.
It was really weird.
One moment, you see us macho men doing girlie stuff like putting on make-up, foundation and lipstick.

Bachelor #10 Afiezan Shah getting his hair done

Next moment, you see us flexing our muscles, talking about masculine stuff like paintballing, mountain-climbing and drunken sex parties overseas.

Bachelor #10 Afiezan Shah, Bachelor #15 Jasvinder Singh and Bachelor #29 Afshin Helmitabrizi

But seriously though, and I say this in the most non-gay way possible, the guys in the CLEO’s 50 Most Eligible bachelor list are all really hot.
One look at this bunch and I know I have no chance of winning.

Look at those CLEO hot knockouts getting ready to put on a show!
I thought I might have a chance against Bachelor #42 Johann Lim with his funny moustache.

But most people would still say he’s better looking than me.
Anyway, Johann didn’t tell me exactly what character he’s playing that requires a funny moustache like that. Maybe it’s for a Malaysian version of The Godfather. In that case, the official title of the show would be “Ayah Angkat”.

Last year’s winner for CLEO Most Eligible Bachelor of the Year, Christian Neal Capes, came up to me backstage and gave me his personal stamp of approval.
It’s quite an honour to be endorsed by last year’s winner, but I told him there’s really no chance I am ever gonna win despite my large readership. There are 49 other guys all so much more beautiful than I am.
If there’s a category for Most Cuddly Bachelor, I will win for sure.

This is the editor of CLEO Malaysia, Lynette Ow.
I half-expected the editor of Malaysia’s most popular female magazine to look like some middle-aged high-school teacher barking out orders every 2 minutes. What a surprise to see her holding such a stressful job, yet still managed to look so young, hot and sassy.

Babes galore!
Stephanie Chai and Christy Yeoh dropped by for support. With hotties like that in attendance, we’re all winners already.

Emcee of the evening and DJ Serena C with her pouty lips dangerously close to mine.
Christian Neal Capes in the background making sure there’s no contact.
I seriously have no idea why he pulled a face like that. He looked as if somebody stepped on his balls.

Cheesie, fresh out of the Malaysian Dreamgirl house after losing quite a bit of weight, but still looking better than ever.

Su Ann is so on the roll! She came to support me for CLEO Bachelor Bash on Friday night, left for Bangkok early next morning, returned to KL only on Tuesday night just in time to support me again for our Malaysian Dreamgirl Grand Finale!

There were cheesy one liners aplenty throughout the evening.
During our opening gambit, each bachelor has to go up on stage to introduce themselves, followed by some corny pick-up line. My favourite was Adam Lobo’s, “You know the reason for global warming? That’s because I’m too hot!”

Musician bachelors #3 Ebi Kornelis and #6 Adam Lobo chilling backstage

My line was “I know I’m a little bit chubby… but that just means there’s more of me to love!”
Dry humour, I know. But that’s Kenny Sia for ya. 😉

For those who were there, thank you for the defeaningly loud cheers that night, especially to naeboo who virtually screamed her lungs out.
That girl went all out and screamed “KENNY SIA! YOU MADE ME WET MY PANTIES!!!!”
It made me even more nervous ok.

Renee, my MMU Melaka prom date, knocking me out

Anyway, like I said, I didn’t go home with the big prize or win any subsidiary titles.
I know this sounds loser-ish, but it’s not all about winning. The important thing is that everyone had a good laugh watching the bachelors making a fool out of themselves with their stupid acting and their bombastic dance moves during the interactive games they play with the audience.

The game I had to play was called “Private Video”. I have no idea why I was assigned for this game, but that’s probably my punishment for making fun of Chua Soi Lek. In this game, I had to dance with a girl from the audience to Madonna’s Vogue, in the most ridiculous fashion possible.
Anyway, I tried searching online but I couldn’t find any photos of me dancing. Must be because I did so badly until people are too horrified to react.
Still, a friend noted that I got the loudest cheer among the crowd. Whoa! That in itself was a big enough reward already. At least I know there is now hope for fat boys like me joining beauty contests.

The fantastic night ended pretty early around 12 midnight. One thing for sure, I’d like to see more bloggers joining CLEO Bachelor next year!
Nomination for the 2009 CLEO 50 Most Eligible Bachelor is now open, and I’m pretty sure there are heaps of good potential in the Malaysian blogging community.
Like this guy right here.

HINT: Timothy Tiah. You should join.

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