Finding A Cure For Snoring

I inherited a lot of qualities from my late father.

Ofs all the things I got from him, I also inherited his snoring.

It’s a Sia family thing. Every single person in my family snore when they sleep. It’s something we’re born with, and it’s something our partners have to live with.

My mother practically lived with it throughout her marriage with my father. After a while, she just got used to it.

For me, things are a little bit more difficult.

My ex used to pinch my nose whenever I snore. If it got worse, I’ll get a whack on the arm. I could never get a good night’s rest with her.

But it’s not just with girls. I travel frequently, and sometimes I share rooms with friends. They would be all cool with me at first, until the following morning.

The first thing they said to me when they wake up is not “Good morning!”, but “KENNY LAST NIGHT YOU SNORED SO LOUD AH!”

Hearing stuff like that hurt my feelings. Then again, I also realised it’s selfish of me to disturb other people’s sleep.

But it’s not like I can help it! If I can find a way to stop snoring, of course I would.

The problem is, I just about tried every solution there and nothing helped. Tablets, nasal sprays, tapes that cover my mouth when I sleep, tapes than open up my nose when I sleep, oxygen machines. You named it, I’ve done it.

Nothing works. In the end, I decided to seek professional help.

I went to see a doctor.

The first doctor I saw was an Ear Nose & Throat ENT Specialist at Sarawak General Hospital. I don’t know how to say this diplomatically, but it was possibly the biggest waste of time I ever had.

Firstly, just to see the doctor, I had to get a recommendation letter from my GP. Next, I need to make an appointment with the receptionist and put on a waiting list for 1 month before I can actually see him.

That’s okay – it’s a government hospital after all.

One month later, when I turned up for my appointment, I was asked to enter into a crowded waiting area. There, I waited for ONE HOUR for my turn – even when I had an appointment booked a month in advance.

When I finally got to see my doctor, he was clearly looking overworked and exasperated. After telling him my problems, the first thing he did was stick a camera through my nose – all the way down my throat.

It was really as disgusting as it sounds. I could smell the lingering odour of KY Jelly after he took the device out.

The doctor saw nothing wrong with my breathing passage. He asked me again what I wanted to do. I said I want to cure my snoring.

His response? Go for surgery.

“Would surgery cure my snoring completely?” I asked.

“Not necessarily… There’s still a risk you would be snoring after surgery.”

Obviously I wasn’t ready for something so risky, expensive and invasive. Some more there’s no guarantee of me curing my snoring problem. So I asked if there’s anything else he could do.

All I got was a very confused doctor looking at me quizzically.

I was rushed out as soon as I rushed in. In the end, I decided to forget about seeking a Kuching doctor for help.

I did some research of my own on how to cure my snoring, and came across a new cure for snoring of called “The Pillar Procedure”.

It works by inserting plastic implants into the back of your throat to stop it from vibrating. In Asia, one of the doctors who pioneered this procedure is Dr Goh Yau Hong from Mount Elizabeth Hospital, in Singapore.

It might sound like a ridiculous idea to fly to Singapore to see a doctor. Thing is, I really wanted to end my snoring once and for all – without invasive surgery if possible.

Earlier this year (after some arrangements with ParkwayHealth’s PR team) I made the decision.

I made the trip to Mount Elizabeth Hospital for my initial consultation with Dr Goh.

It was the best decision I have ever made. Believe it or not, seeing Dr Goh in Singapore was 1000 times easier than than making an appointment to see the ENT doctor at the General Hospital in Kuching.

nt Elizabeth Hospital is under the Parkway Health Group, Singapore. In Kuching (and other cities like JB, KK and KL), they got a Patient Assistance Centre that handles patient enquiries, appointments, doctor bookings and trip arrangements for their hospitals.

The hospital is widely regarded as the best private hospital in the region. Many people from outside Singapore, including our Sultans, travel here to seek treatment for critical illnesses like cancer, heart, vascular and brain tumour diseases.

Having somebody do the logistics for them locally makes it very convenient for the patients. And their Kuching office provides this service at no extra charge.

Anyway, I arrived for my appointment that morning. After waiting not more than 10 minutes, I was called in to see Dr Goh.

All I can say, it was completely unlike my experience at Sarawak General Hospital.

Unlike my previous experience where I was rushed in and out because the doctor had no time for me, Dr Goh was amazingly patient and considerate.

So patient that he didn’t even administer me any treatment during my first visit!

Instead Dr Goh examined my nose and palate to determine what exactly causes my snoring.

In the end, he said to me three things.

First, although I came to see him for the Pillar Procedure, it would not cure my snoring. The procedure works if my throat muscles were too relaxed, but I don’t have that problem. My throat is strong! 😀

The reason I snore was because I wasn’t breathing through my nose. I’m born in such a way that my nose was always blocked. All my life I had been breathing mostly through my mouth – and that is what causes my snoring.

Second, my snoring could indicate a more serious health problem called sleep apnea. It is when I completely stop breathing during my sleep – risky because it would cause a lot of health problems if not treated early.

And then there’s the weight issue.

This was me and Dr Goh, circa January this year.

I was weighing in close to 90kg, grossly overweight no thanks to my over-indulgence over the New Year. Dr Goh was blunt – if I want to stop snoring, I need to lose some weight.

He asked to come back to Singapore again.

I have to do a “Sleep Test” to determine if I have sleep apnea. Inreturn he promised to make my nose breathe better.


By using a procedure called “Turbinate Reduction”, Dr Goh will COOK the piece of flesh that has been blocking my nose all my life.

Literally, he’s gonna microwave my nose!

Have A Tiger With Rooney

I have been just contacted by Tiger Beer to make an exclusive announcement.

A while ago during the World Cup season, Tiger Beer ran a campaign titled “The Game Never Ends” in Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia where fans of International Football icon Wayne Rooney get to win a once in a lifetime experience so good that not even money can buy.

It’s the first time an Asian brewery has signed on with an international football superstar.

Obviously, anyone who is fan of Manchester United went crazy over the contest. After all, the winners of this contest from each of the three countries will fly to Manchester, England to meet with Tiger Beer’s Football Champion Wayne Rooney and have a little kick-about with him.

Now, here’s the exclusive announcement.

I have just been informed – and you’ve heard it first on – that Tiger Beer is allocating ONE MORE TICKET for that exclusive meeting with Wayne Rooney through its Regional Online Influencers’ Challenge across Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam!

The holder of the ticket will get the same exact treatment as the previous Tiger Beer contest winners: flights and accommodations in Manchester, a kick-about session with Wayne Rooney, lunch with the man himself and tickets to watch a Manchester United match at Old Trafford Stadium the following day.

If this ain’t what they called “an ultimate opportunity of a lifetime", I don’t know what is.

Now, I wish I could say I got that golden ticket to give out to you, and all you have to do is… I dunno, send me sexy photos of yourself? But I am really sorry I do not have it.

If I did then I think the amount of sexy photos I get from the male readers of this blog would be ridiculous.

The good news is, Tiger Beer has prepared to give that ticket out to one lucky person.

By now, about 50 specially-selected bloggers/online influencers from Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam would have received an invite from Tiger Beer.

These bloggers are pre-selected because they share the same values of excellence and a deep passion to win and are good in what they’re doing – just like the partnership of champions between Tiger and Rooney, both striving to bring the best football experiences to fans.

In order to determine who gets the golden ticket to go to Manchester, these pre-selected bloggers have to go through a simple contest, and prove to the referees (consisting of Tiger Beer representatives and myself) why he/she is the “Champion of Champions” similar to how Wayne Rooney as Tiger Beer’s Football champion.

The most worthy of all will win the trip to Manchester for the kick-about / have lunch / do cartwheels with Wayne Rooney this October.

The contest will be organized somewhat like a football tournament.

First, the pre-selected blogger has to submit a blogpost titled “Why I Am A Champion Like Wayne Rooney”

Apart from using his blog, the blogger can also post his entry via Twitter, Facebook or YouTube account and use these online medium to draw comments. Through words, videos, photos, drawings, or even songs –he has to show why he is a champion just like Wayne Rooney.

For example.

Next, will the blogger will have to act like a team captain.

He has to recruit the support of 10 teammates,  to form a team of 11 – like a football team. The role of the 10 teammates is to use their own blog/Facebook/Twitter/You-tube to rally for as many people as possible to comment on their team captain’s blog.

The comments can be anything. For example, words of support for the blogger, or even questions  to Wayne Rooney himself about the Tiger Beer TV commercial.

Tiger Beer will reward one commenter with the most interesting question to Wayne Rooney about his Tiger Beer TV commercial with merchandise personally autographed by Wayne Rooney himself.

And then, it’s all up to us – the referees.

Representatives from Tiger Beer and myself will judge the blog entries. We will select the winner based on two criteria: the creativity of the posts, and the number of comments generated. The more viral the entry goes, the higher the chances of winning.

The winner we select will then follow us to Manchester and have that football match with Wayne Rooney as promised.

But there’s more!

Upon the winner’s return, Tiger Beer will host a private party for him and his 10 teammates. Each of his 10 teammates will also receive an autographed memorabilia from Wayne Rooney.

All these, fully paid for by Tiger Beer!

I think this is the first time a contest so big is launched through the blogging medium in South-East Asia. The best thing is: everyone from the blogger right down to the commentor gets a piece of the prize.

The winning blogger gets to fly with us to Manchester to have a kick-about with Rooney. His 10 friends get to attend a Tiger Beer Private Party hosted by the winner, each receiving a memorabilia signed by Wayne Rooney, and those who comment also get a chance to win autographed merchandise from the Man Utd striker himself.

Here’s how you can be part of this contest:

1) Drop a note to any one of the contestants requesting to be in his/her team of 10. I shall keep you posted on who the selected 50 online influencers are. Heck, I may just opt in to join one of them just for the fun of it!

2) Or post your questions to Wayne Rooney about his Tiger Beer TV commercial on any of the bloggers’ comments box.

Meanwhile, I also have a prize to give away exclusively for readers. Just post your answer to this question in my comment box before 1st October.

“If you can meet Wayne Rooney, what will you say to him?”

Best commenter wins an autographed item by Wayne Rooney of my choosing.

ADV: Empire Shopping Gallery Grand Opening

When one thinks of a stereotypical Subang shopping crowd, this might come to mind.

Subang Jaya is a housing area where people are down-to-earth and generally live a thrifty lifestyle.

For the longest time, the Subang crowd struggles with the stigma that they are perhaps not as glamorous compared to their counterparts living in Damansara condos or KL area. Back then, it was a common sight to see aunties wearing shorts and slippers, speaking loudly in Cantonese, cruising around Giant supermarkets.

But that was before.

The opening of Empire Shopping Gallery, is a sign that the Subang crowd has actually grown to become… more stylo-milo and upmarket.

Empire Shopping Gallery is a brand new contemporary boutique-style shopping mall located in SS16 section of Subang Jaya.

The mall is located right behind Subang Parade and Wisma Consplant. Unlike the old buildings in its vicinity, the look and feel of Empire is refreshing with contemporary architectural details befitting an upcoming mall the neighbourhood style-makers would soon to call home. Even the skylight ceiling boosts mega style with splashes of red and stylish Chinese dynasty-inspired design for an event recently.

Don’t let the name fool you though. Despite being called “Empire”, the size of the mall itself is quite manageable. It’s large without being overly maze-like and complicated like Berjaya Times Square.

I was at the Grand Opening of Empire Shopping Gallery last Friday. The event was graced by some familiar faces I know in the local entertainment circles.

Former Miss Malaysia Elaine Daly was there.

It’s quite difficult for me to see Elaine in person again after seeing her pose in Singapore FHM like this.

Another former Miss Malaysia, Deborah Henry was there too.

Apparently she took time off from dancing and singing “you can pay your road tax and your car insurance online”.

Rounding up the celebrity presence are Bernie Chan, Atilia, Will Quah and Amber Chia.

Yes, even Amber Chia could not resist bringing her baby bump to the Grand Opening.

To be honest, she looks positively glowing. During the Grand Opening, we were treated to a fashion show by some of the mall’s tenants.

When the child models did their strut down the catwalk, I could see Amber’s face lit up. It’s like she really can’t wait to be a mom.

When introducing his mall, the managing director was upbeat about the prospect.

Apparently, Empire Shopping Gallery is a mixed development for the entire project called Empire Subang. The others are Empire Office Tower, Empire Hotel and Empire SoHo.

The shopping mall itself has already achieved over 90% tenancy, attracting premium lifestyle-brands like Guess, Fitness First Platinum, Ed Hardy, Italiannies, Jaya Grocer and TANGS.

TANGS in Subang? You bet.

Even in its home country of Singapore, TANGS wasn’t built in residential areas. It’s a sign that the Subang crowd is more affluent now compared to ten years ago.

Perhaps in times to come, your stereotypical Subang crowd will no longer look like this.



But more like this.


Kuching Food Festival 2010

The Kuching Food Festival is back, and this time it’s groovier than ever.

Much of the Kuching Festival is the same as previous years. Most people come here for the food, but as usual they have a couple of attractions on the side as well.

The trade fair is where you see the whole entire housewife population in Kuching coming in to check out what’s the latest in cooking or cleaning technology. Seriously, the average age of people here is like 50 years old.

Then you have the other end of the scale.

There’s a mini fun-fair filled with 5-year-old ADHD kids bugging their parents to spend RM3 on some stupid game that’s impossible to win – just for that soft toy.


Not wanting to lose out on the crowd, I got ourselves a booth there to promote the fitness centre. Honestly speaking though, the response aren’t all that fantastic.

People coming to the Kuching Festival are not interested in signing up for a fitness membership and getting fit. They are more interested in getting fat.

Compared to us, the food stalls in general are doing very well. All the best food in Kuching are gathered here for the 3 week festival and a lot of them get sold out before the night is over.

Still, there are like 101 different stalls selling Taiwanese sausages and they are all the same. But I think Kuching people don’t like Taiwanese sausages anymore because they are way too small.

Kuching people like Rudy’s German sausages. He got people queuing up every night for his big juicy sausages. And every night without fail he’d sold out because people keep coming for more.


Food stalls that sell slightly different items are also doing very well. Most people won’t think twice about spending RM2 on a slightly different-shaped potato.

One thing that definitely fascinated me about Kuching Festival this year is the… questionable displays they have.

You see, right on the front gate are three monstrous cats who can climb trees. It’s so scary. The cat on the left is PURPLE. And most likely it’s PURPLE because the sponsor of the festival is Xpax (which is also purple).

At the backgate is a kiddy ride that loops around the most hideous-looking dinosaurs ever.

They are so ugly they’ll scare real dinosaurs away into extinction.

Like they say: it is SO bad, it’s good.

Charming as they may be, NOTHING could quite capture the attention of the people like the display of this Western food stall called… The United Steak of Richmond.

The United WHAT? Doesn’t matter.

Hellboy is already rolling in Hell over the blatant misuse of his picture, alongside Captain Davy Jones and Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars on the top of KLCC.

You wonder if they actually put these up to make kids excited, or to scare them away.