My LASIK Surgery

14 December 2009 was the last day I’ve worn my glasses.


It was the day I’m finally going to receive my laser eye surgery, and be free from the constraints of contact lens and prescription glasses forever.

I happened to be in KL for another engagement, so I requested Optimax to pen me down for my laser eye surgery at their headquarters at Wisma AHP, T.T.D.I.

My surgeon was Dr Stephen Chung. Dr Chung is one of the pioneering laser eye surgeon not just at Optimax, but in the whole of Malaysia. When opting for a procedure to be performed on something as vital as my pair of eyes, obviously I wanted the best of the best.

With Dr Chung, I knew I was in good hands.


I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.

The truth is – I was a complete nervous wreck!


I was so scared I didn’t even sleep a wink the night before. All night long I was tossing and turning in my bed while a million thoughts went through my head.

What if something went wrong? What if I couldn’t hold still during the surgery? What if the doctor made a blunder? What if I go blind and never get to see again?


The morning of the surgery, JacJac was nice enough to take time off her extremely busy schedule (doing absolutely nothing) to accompany me to Optimax.

I wouldn’t be able to see properly afterwards – just so I don’t have to spend the night sleeping on the streets of TTDI, I thought it’s a good idea to bribe a friend to become my personal driver + tongkat for the day.

That’s me wearing a sweater to Optimax.

One thing I was afraid the MOST is if I suddenly sneezed while the laser surgery is still in progress.

Later I end up with laser burn marks all over my face, how?

Anyway, the nurses at Optimax are experts at calming people down. Obviously, they dealt with patients a lot more nervous than I was.


No, they did not tie me up in a straight-jacket. But they did try their best to tell me in advance what to expect, and how to take care of my eyes later on.

I was given this gift pack which includes detailed instructions of do’s and don’ts, as well as a collection of anti-biotics, painkillers and heaps of eye drops for post-surgery care.

The centre also booked me in for a series of eye check-ups 1 day, 1 week, 1 month and 6 months after the surgery, all free of charge.

(I mean, it’s gotta be free of charge after you paid so much money for surgery, right?)


After some last minute eye check-ups, I was led to the waiting room.

This was when they put me inside this blue-coloured protective suit.


And a white-coloured cap over my head.

I think essentially, they tried to convert me into a smurf.

I handed my glasses to JacJac after that. It was the last time I ever had to put them on.

Dr Chung came out to meet me shortly afterwards. He was also dressed in his smurf outfit.

From this point onwards I was not allowed to take photos, so I’ll try my best to use words to describe what happened.

Dr Chung led me onto a machine and did a final round of checks on my eyes. After that, he dropped some anaesthetics to numb my eyes. Then it’s time to enter the operating theatre.


I was asked to lie down on the operating bed that looks like this.

I was still very nervous. My eyes were open and I was conscious at all times. To make sure that I do not blink, Dr Chung taped my eyelids open then use a “cup” to secure my eyeball. It was weird seeing a foreign object coming down to my eyeball. It was an uncomfortable yet bearable sensation. I could somewhat feel the cup gripping into my eyeball but I couldn’t feel much pain because my eyes were numb.

Moments later, Dr Chung pl
aced a LASIK machine over my head. This time, I was told to focus on a ring of white light and that I should not move my eyeballs under any circumstances.

I did as I was told.

When the ring of white light appeared over my eye, I suddenly felt a sensation of vacuum suction in my eye. I could hear Dr Chung talking and buzzing noises in the background. Gradually, the ring of white light comes closer and closer towards my eyeball, until all I can see was total darkness. For 30 seconds, I could see absolutely nothing while the LASIK machine did its wonders. At times, my eyeballs flinched slightly, but it wasn’t that bad.

He did my other eye. Before I knew it, it was all over. As Dr Chung lifted the machine away from my head, all I could see was blurry images of the surroundings. Dr Chung said the first step was a success, and I was led to an adjacent operating theatre nearby.

The first step was to create a flap in my eye. The second step was to re-shape the cornea. The procedure was similar to the first one – extremely fast and virtually painless.

Dr Chung said I might smell something burning at this point of the surgery. I guess I was too relaxed to smell anything.

I was so relaxed that if someone passed gas in the operating theatre, I still wouldn’t be able to smell it.

20 minutes after I entered the surgery, it was all done.


As I slowly made my way out to the waiting room, I saw a blurred vision of JacJac in the corner. I asked for my sunglasses because the lights were glaring.

I also heard the nervous voice of a patient talking to me.

Kenny: Not really. On the scale of 1 to 10, probably only 1.
Patient: REALLY AH?
Kenny: Yeah. I’ve sat through dentists a lot more painful than that.

The truth of the matter is, I was all smiles. It was done! I don’t have to wear my glasses or contact lens ever again!

My vision at this point after the surgery was blurry. It’s like wearing a fogged up glasses when you exited from an air-conditioned car into the hot weather. I could still see, but only the vague shape of things.

JacJac dropped me back to my place, and I had the longest sleep ever.


When I finally woke up after 6 hours, I instinctively reached for my glasses. That’s when I realised… NO, I DO NOT NEED MY GLASSES. Because I could see my room so clearly without the need for glasses!

I was ecstatic. Alone in my bed, I screamed for joy like a little boy. I was excited because finally, after 15 long years of wearing glasses – Dr Stephen Chung cured my eyes!

The moment I opened my eyes and saw the surroundings of my room so clearly was definitely one of the most magical, miracle experiences in my life.


It has been 2 months since my LASIK surgery at Optimax. My vision is now officially 20/20.

Aside from the usual dryness during the first couple of weeks, I was doing great. The periodic check-up at the Optimax branch in Kuching reassured me that I was recovering fine.

I’m enjoying my new lease of life.

Life is so much easier without glasses or contact lenses. Nowadays I can wake up without the ritual of putting on contacts in the morning; don’t have to carry along a bottle of solution all the time; can do sports without glasses and swim without worrying about the water washing away my contacts.

I had absolutely no regrets. Going for LASIK was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life.

And it’s all thanks to this man.


Thank you Papa Smurf.

How I Inspired A TV Commercial

Not many people can claimed that they inspired a TV Commercial.

But by some bizarre twist of fate, I did.

Friend of mine Alwyn is a film director who recently secured a deal to produce the TV commercial for Dahfa Fish Snack. The director was very much tickled by the fact that I’m a big guy, yet I compete in 42km marathon races around the country regularly. Based on that, he conceptualised the TV commercial and invited me to play the lead role in it.

Next thing I know, I’m on a TV commercial for the second time round.

All I had to do was munch on a packet of Dahfa fish snack while running.

Perhaps, being round and jolly is a good thing after all.

Happy Chinese New Valentine’s Day

Happy Chinese New Year, and Happy Valentine’s Day.

I’m gonna celebrate this double-whammy special a little different this year by disappearing for a few days to do my own things and plan for the year ahead. Before I leave, here’s a little goldie from my Twitter a few days ago when I asked a question, and @euveng replied.

“If Chinese New Year + Hari Raya = ‘Gong Xi Raya’, then what do we say on Chinese New Year + Valentine’s Day?”


Gong Xi Fuck Cai.

Zhng My Eyes

I had been wearing glasses for about 15 years.

I suffered from a myopia of –6.00 on both eyes. It all started back when I was in Primary 5. Even though I had awesome vision back then, I thought wearing glasses was damn cool.

Because a couple of my classmates wore glasses, I actually felt left out due to the fact that they had four eyes, and I only had two. What the heck, right?

It’s because of this jealousy I had that I did something very stupid thing. For days afterwards, against my mom’s advice, I deliberately did all I could to destroy my perfect vision.

Sat in front of the TV as close as possible.

Read books while laying on bed in a dark room.

Wear my dad’s funny glasses that make me look like Harry Potter.

Eventually, my vision deteriorated to the point that my mom had no choice but to send me to the optometrist.

I had to start glasses. My mom was disappointed. I was overjoyed. Until puberty hits and I began taking interest in girls.

It was then that I realise wearing glasses does not make me look cool. Glasses make me look like a nerd. Unless your last name is “Gates” or “Jobs”, no girls would be impressed going out with a nerd.

So I started wearing contact lenses. But even that brought about its own set of problems.

The problems with wearing contact lens is the same with wearing bras: I can’t swim with them on, I kept having to remember bringing them along for travel, and I gotta buy a new pair every few months.

This is what I did when I forgot to pack my contact lens case on my trip to Bali.

I used bottle caps.

Anyway, now that I am running around a fitness centre, I find it even more inconvenient to wear either contacts or glasses. I hated wearing glasses so much that it motivated me enough to seek that One Solution To End All Problems.

Laser Eye Surgery.

To be honest, I’ve been thinking about doing laser eye surgery for a long time. The only reasons I hadn’t gone ahead earlier were the same as everyone else.

1) I thought it might be expensive.
2) I thought it’s dangerous.
3) I thought if the doctor isn’t careful, I might end up with eyes like The Terminator.

With the advancement of technology, all these are of course, exaggerated concerns.

These days, it’s possible to get laser eye surgery done in many parts of Malaysia, including Kuching. One of the country’s best-known eye specialist centre, Optimax, has a branch here and it is located near the Simpang Tiga flyover.

This is where I had my pre-surgery consultation done.

Optimax contacted me to fill the role as their ambassador. I gladly agreed after ensuring their reputation is solid.

They have experts doing the check-up and consultation in Kuching. Their doctors fly in here from KL on a scheduled basis to perform the actual surgery.

In KL, some patients even had their eye examination and treatment done on the same day. In a way its save up more time and patients do not have to lay off lenses for so long.

This is my lovely consultant, Ding. According to Ding (“AccorDing?”), there are different types of laser eye surgery.

The cheapest and most common one is LASIK surgery, which cost around RM1,500 per eye. Next step up is EpiLASIK, which does not use sharp blades to cut open the cornea. The most advanced form of is Custom All-Laser LASIK, which cost around RM3,000 to RM3,500 per eye, but utilizes the safest and most precise equipment ever brought into Malaysia.

Before I went for my eye check-up, Ding told me not to wear contact lenses for 3 weeks. So for 3 weeks, I was the nerdiest-looking gym owner in the history of Kuching.

She went ahead and did some weird eye tests on me: flashing alphabets on the wall and asking me to speak “ABC” as if I was back in kindergarten.

Next, she asked me to put my head into this bizarre-looking machine.

That machine looks like it’s gonna hypnotize me and make me do the Jai Ho dance. Naked.

Funny thing is, I complied.

Kinda disappointed that all it does is showing scan my eyeball.

Ding proceeded to perform more tests on my eyes.


“Gimme all your cash. NOW!”

“Here, let me take a look at the cleanliness your eye… OH MY GOD!”

At one point, she dripped some anaesthetic into my eyes, which felt funny. Then she dripped something to dilate my pupil.

My eyeball dilated so big until it became like this.


But the effect did last for so long that I wasn’t able to read small printed words till the next day. The good news was that my eyes were all good for laser eye surgery. I was about to get a new pair of eyes!

My laser eye surgery was scheduled to be on the following week. As you perhaps may have noticed, the surgery was a success and Kenny Sia lived to tell the tale.

I’m gonna talk about my experience inside the operating theatre on my next blog entry. Suffice to say, it wasn’t really THAT bad.

All I ended up was looking like this.


A Case Of Mistaken Identity

A couple of days ago, I accidentally dropped my 10-month-old Apple iPhone.

It resulted in a White Screen of Death and a trip to Maxis service centre where my iPhone was diagnosed with Permanent Head Damage, and I was charged with first degree murder.

The iPhone is now in the ICU. I’m not sure how fast Maxis works, but I probably won’t get it back until a few months later.

The iPhone to me was the king of phones. It is capable of doing so many things that other phones are not able to. I find myself so dependent on it that I don’t even know how I’m gonna function without an iPhone.


I was half-tempted to find an excuse to get myself the latest Apple iPhone 3GS. But I know I’m gonna get my original phone back eventually and it wouldn’t make sense to hang around with two Apples.

As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Too many apples suck your wallet dry.


I figured it may be healthier to have some variety in my fruits.

There’s a lot of hype over the Blackberry and a lot of my friends have been egging me to go towards The Black Side. Even until now, I never understood what’s so god damn fantastic about the Blackberry – the iPhone can pretty much do everything a Blackberry can do. I don’t think I’ll ever switch to using the Blackberry.

But ladies and gentlemen, this is called “peer pressure”.


It’s too difficult to explain why I did it, but I got myself the Blackberry Bold 2. The biggest advantage Blackberry phones have over others is something called the “Blackberry Messenger”, or BBM. To put it simply, it’s like Windows Live Messenger on mobile.

If you have a Blackberry and you have another friend on Blackberry ANYWHERE in the world, you can give him your “Blackberry PIN” and send messages to each other free of charge.


I’ve got about 20 of my friends on Blackberry Messenger. Then one day, a total stranger by the nickname of “Rock Star” suddenly added me on BBM.

I had no idea who she was, but I accepted her request anyhow and we started having a conversation.

Kenny: Yo, who’s this?
Rock Star: Hi, is this Reuben?
Kenny: No, it’s Kenny here.
Rock Star: Really? What is your last name?
Kenny: Sia.
Rock Star: You mean I’ve got the wrong person?
Kenny: Yes I think so. I’m in Malaysia.
Rock Star: Oh sorry. I’ll delete you straight away.
Kenny: It’s okay. 🙂

And that was that.

If this were a fairy tale, “Rock Star” and I would continue chatting, we would fall in love, she would fly all the way to Kuching to meet up. Then we would kiss, marry and have three beautiful little kids together.

Unfortunately, reality is not as kind.



This is how she looks like.



ADV: KDU College Open Day

A couple of weeks ago I was invited back to KDU College as part of their Open Day.

The college told me that I had to speak to a couple of Form 5 students about what to expect after high school.

I had no idea what to talk about. So I asked my Twitter followers what is the biggest thing that happened to them after high school.

One person said “losing his virginity”.

Well, I can’t possibly say THAT in front of parents and students!

Instead, I told them how instead of choosing something traditionally “safe” like medicine or engineering, it is more important to do something they like. When choosing a college course, it is vital to think of it as something they don’t mind doing for the rest of their lives.

Nowadays people can become “celebrities” in not just entertainment, but also in cooking, interior design and *cough* blogging. As long as they have the passion for it, success and money shall naturally follow.

“The moral of the story is. Choose something YOU want to do. Not something your parents want you to do.”

A couple of parents in the audience were giving me evil eyes after I said that.

But it’s true what! How many of us regretted engineering because our parents never told us how incredibly boring it is!

Obviously, if you get a kick out of problem-solving and looking at electrical wires, then this career option is for you.

But if you’re clumsy as a clown like me…

Then you might wanna go for something safer.

Anyway, it was nice to enter an engineering lab again after studying it for 5 years at university. It’s been so long, I’ve forgotten how to use a multimeter already.

This one doesn’t work. I think spoil already.

If engineering is not for you, you might wanna do other fun stuff.

Like mass communications.

Or even law.


At KDU College, the law lecture theatre is designed like a courtroom. The lecturer who showed us around is a hot chick lawyer who carries around an LV handbag.

Personally, I can never do law.

Some people are born to do law. Some people, like me, can only do this.

I dunno what I was doing but I’m pretty sure it’s against the law.

KDU College’s biggest strength is still in its School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts.

Previously, I only had the chance to discover a bit about what they have to offer. This time round I got to learn so much more.

The culinary arts course at KDU is still very popular and it’s not difficult to see why.

The college employs very experienced ex-chefs as lecturers.

Their culinary arts course is unique in the sense that it’s a marriage between cooking and science.

That’s why not just prospective students enrolled into the course, but also housewives who wanting to brush up on their cooking skills.

Of course, some of the stuff they did goes beyond what a normal household kitchen is capable of.

The KDU lecturer introduced me to this thing called “vacuum cooking”.

Normally, with stuff like meat, a lot of its juices and flavour are lost if you pan fry it. So what they do is vacuum pack the marinated meat first, then throw the whole thing into boiling water to cook it.

True enough, when these prawns are finally served, they are as juicy, tasty and succulent as… umm… Edward Cullen.

Not that I know what Edward Cullen taste like.

And I’m sure those prawns taste better than a vampire from the movie Twilight.

Anyway, there’s also this thing called “molecular cooking”.

This is actually an ice-cream
dessert the chef at KDU college prepared for me. In some expensive fine-dining restaurants, they would offer this as part of their dessert menu.

Once you order it, they will ask the chef to come in front of you.

Yes, the chef will literally take out a spoon and squirt out a bit of cream.

Whipped cream.

Next, he takes out a liquid nitrogen and freezes his cream right in front of you.

You take the frozen cream into your mouth.

It’s cold. You bite into it.

Next thing you know, your mouth explodes with ecstasy. You are high in delight and wonder, “Damn! How on earth can something like this feels so good. So pleasurable!”

You are satisfied. The chef is satisfied. Then he’d charge you RM50 for the experience.

This blog entry is sponsored by KDU College. If you’re a student fresh out of high school looking to further your studies, a working professional hoping to brush up on your skills, or even a simple guy who just wanna learn how to cook to impress your girlfriend this Valentine’s, head on to and check out their range of long and short courses on offer.

Hannah Tan did.

Hannah Tan graduated from KDU College, with a degree in Beauty and Brains.