Category: Event Coverage

To Arthur!

So my one-on-one interview with the Black Eyed Peas…


…didn’t actually end up happening. 🙁

My agent told me at the very last minute that they were not gonna do any one-on-one interviews due to their time constraints. It meant all that planning, thinking and plotting for what could have been the biggest interview I was ever gonna do all ended up in smokes. Obviously I was very upset.

However, I did turn up to the media conference to meet The Black Eyed Peas.

The reason why the Black Eyed Peas was here was because it was Arthur’s Day. The 25th September marks the 250th anniversary since Arthur Guinness signed the lease on St James’s Gate in year 1759, marking the birth of what is now, the world’s most popular stout beer.

A momentous occasion like this deserves a momentous celebration. A series of parties hosted by celebrities was held at five major cities around the world. Here in Malaysia, KL was chosen the only city in Asia to host this worldwide celebration by Guinness.

The only difference is, while other cities got some not-so-famous names to host their parties, we got the band that everybody wanted – The Black Eyed Peas!

As a result, everybody wanted to go Arthur’s Day.

Naturally some people thought I would be able to pull some strings and get them free passes to the event.

Why me? I don’t know. I mean, seriously, who do they think I am?

Arthur Guinness?




Ya. right.

Those of us among the thousands who were there that night at Sunway Lagoon definitely remember what a kickass night Arthur’s Day was. And not just because it’s the first time we saw the surf beach so tightly packed with over 18,000 human bodies.


It was so packed that even those with mosh pit tickets were unable to get in to the mosh pit area. But no one was complaining. Everyone was there to celebrate Arthur’s Day. Every time the emcees shouted “To Arthur!”, the 18,000-strong crowd all responded in unison.

Lucky for me, I got access to the VIP zone where not only did I manage to watch the show from a comfortable distance, it was Guinness free-flowing all night long.

That made Tey Cindy very very happy.

If it’s true that heaven exists, my guess is that it must be at the Sunway Lagoon Surf Beach inside the Arthur’s Day VIP tent.

The entire experience at the event itself was too damn awesome for words. Even the journey from the entrance of Sunway Lagoon to the Surf Beach was filled wth remarkable experiences.

We passed through a History Tunnel showcasing the life of Arthur Guinness, and even managed to get behind the bar and pour our own perfect pint.

But once we’re there, the party atmosphere was electric.


Everyone was in high spirits, sticking their hands up in the air and cheering non-stop. From the moment those inflatable robots popped up on stage, we were going crazy right up to the point Fergie,, Taboo and Apl all appeared on stage to their hit song Let’s Get It Started.


We were all so hyped up. Each and every song they performed, we were dancing, yelling and jumping energetically.

The Black Eyed Peas performed most of the songs for their latest album and some of their classic hits from the past. A Boom Boom Pow, an Imma Be and a Meet Me Halfway later, we were treated to something we have never witnessed before – an amazing showcase by on the DJ decks.

It was then that we realised how much of a musical genius is. He was just magic on the decks!

The crowd was already hot on fire, but with’s seamless blending of beats, freestyle rapping and impromptu track mixing, he managed to get every fibre on the ground rocking to his beats. rocks as a singer. But as a DJ – damn, he was GOD.

Just as we were beginning to feel exhausted from all that jumping and dancing, the Black Eyed Peas ended their performance with I Gotta Feeling – officially my favourite BEP song of all time. Immediately the whole entire 18,000+ bodies starting bopping up and down again in near unison.

And then, just as we were about to leave the place, suddenly the skies above exploded into a spectacular display of fireworks!


It went on and on and on for what must be like 15 minutes of pyrotechnics that left our jaws dropped in awe.

Just before we left the venue,
I raised my beer up into the sky and shouted out one last time – “To Arthur!”

I had fun. And it was indeed, a good, good night.

Arthur’s Day was truly awesome. But one thing I must admit – that celebration at Sunway Lagoon was not actually the highlight for me.

My highlight happened earlier in the day, at the press conference at Hilton KL.

After a series of serious questions by serious journalists asking them about serious stuff, suddenly a light bulb plopped over my head and I decided to do something completely out of the ordinary to lighten up the mood.

Let’s just say, they were very, very, very amused.

My highlight of Arthur’s Day = getting all four of the Black Eyed Peas laughing till they’re in stitches. 😉

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The Raya Open House That Never Was

Yesterday was the first day of Hari Raya.


My “granddaughter” Lainey (long story why I call her that, but she’s actually she’s my age) texted me early in the morning, nursing what she called the world’s worst hangover.

We were supposed to do lunch together, but I told her she better just stay at home to nurse her headache for her own good. That girl is very sweet though. She said, “lunch with ‘grandpa’ is the perfect antidote to the world’s worst hangover.”


So we made plans for lunch. Since it’s the first day of Raya, I felt like doing something different. So I came up with this brilliant idea – to crash our Prime Minister’s Raya open house!


I had done many Raya open houses before, but I have never visited our Prime Minister’s house. Since the PM has openly extended his invitation, I thought why not? Besides, I have never even step foot on Putrajaya before. My only experience with the government’s township really was whizzing past it back and forth on the train to the airport.

Suddenly, visiting the PM’s house sounds like something fun and exciting to do on a boring Sunday afternoon. Just so if people were to ask me how I spent my Raya weekend, I could tell them “I was hangin’ wit da PM yo!”


Then, in their head, they’d be imagining me with my arms on Najib’s shoulder, talking the cock, singing song, playing pool around the PM’s palatial home like longtime friends while Rosmah cooked lunch for us – most likely Mongolian lamb stew.

So the plan was set. After a bit of coordination through Twitter, Jaclyn, Cheesie and KY also decided to join us on our road trip to Putrajaya to see the PM.

Well, let’s just say the Raya open house at Seri Perdana wasn’t quite what we expected.


For a start, when we reached Putrajaya, we found out that the ramp to enter Seri Perdana was closed off by the police. So I wound down my window to have a chat with the officer.

Kenny: “Sir, I’m here to accept to the PM’s invitation to his open house on the first day of Raya.”
Police: “Sini tak boleh jalan, sini. You ikut jalan tu. This road is for V.I.P. only.”

He stressed on the word “V.I.P.”, which I thought I was. I was gonna reply “Abang, tapi saya orang V.I.P.! 1Malaysia. People first. Performance now. People first, jadi saya V.I.P.!”

But logic took over and instead of arguing with him, I decide to take the long way to Seri Perdana as instructed. That was when we arrived at the non-V.I.P. area.


Also known as the ORANG AWAM area.

Meanwhile, we parked our car at one of the very muddy fields nearby.


Already, Lainey was starting to regret coming with me.

We thought the Prime Minister would be there at the door welcoming us. Unfortunately, not only did he not turn up, he sent his hired guns to welcome us instead.


Gee, thanks, I feel so welcomed.

The PM’s “open house” for us Orang Awams was held at the Seri Perdana’s carpark. To be fair, there were lots of food being served.

The problem is, there were TOO MANY people there all chasing after the free food!

Despite having more than enough food to go around, the crowd were going after them free food like aunties during warehouse sales. That includes me.

I don’t care, man.  I have already come all the way here so I better have my free food or all hell’s gonna break lose! I mean I pay so much fucking taxes to the government every year. My tax money is what’s paying for those food!

If I cannot get back my money, I want something to put into my tummy!

O HAI. I is at da PM’s haus, stealinz all his free food! nom nom nom.

We waited for our host, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, to come out and meet up with us. But we waited in the carpark for a long time and still he didn’t make an appearance. What kinda lousy host is this?

That was when we realised there’s a separate entrance for us Orang Awams to enter the Seri Perdana to meet with the PM and shake his hands.


Unfortunately by the time we finished our food, they had already closed the gates. I think the Prime Minister must have gotten tired from all that handshaking.

So we didn’t get to meet the Prime Minister, the food wasn’t thaaaaat good (apart from the satays) and the venue was hot, crowded, wet, rainy and damn freaking noisy. I have no idea why the newspapers describe this Open House as “festive”, because it was as “festive” as a primary school canteen.


It  was a fun experience to do as a Malaysian though, and I think every Malaysian tax payer should go to the PM’
s crib at least once to claim back your money as much as you can through the free food.

But I must say the Open House ain’t worth the drive to Putrajaya. And definitely not worth squeezing through the sweaty crowd for. But for some reason, Kenny Sia came up with this genius plan to make his “granddaughter” Lainey feel better from her world’s worst hangover.

She hated it. She said she was nursing the world’s worst hangover listening to the world’s worst music in the world’s worst possible way. All thanks to the world’s worst (fake) grandpa.

Hey, at least these guys that tagged along all look very happy…

… kinda.

To be fair, when we first arrived, we actually did try to enter the Seri Perdana through the official V.I.P. entrance. We kinda fooled the first batch of guards by driving closely behind some important-looking black cars, until we managed to get right up to the main gates.

Unfortunately, the final batch of guards outside the V.I.P. entrance saw past our bluff and managed to stop our vehicle.

Police: “Sir, you have sticker? Where is your sticker? You cannot enter if no sticker!”
Kenny: “Sticker? Uhhh… yea, I got. I got sticker.”

I have no freaking idea what bloody sticker he was talking about, so I pointed to the only V.I.P. sticker I have on my windscreen.




He didn’t find it funny. 🙁

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ADV: The Black Eyed Peas Interview

The following conversation took place few weeks ago between my agent and I.


*ring ring* *ring ring*

Kenny: Hello?
Agent: Eh, Kenny ah. You free on the 25th September or not ah?
Kenny: 25th September ah? Can lah. What’s going on?
Agent: Something big, Kenny. It’s so freaking huge it’s not even funny. 25th September is Guinness’s 250th Anniversary and they are having a worldwide celebration on that day. Out of five cities in the world, only KL was selected as the sole Asian destination to host the Arthur’s Day. We want you to come to KL.
Kenny: Oh. Ok. What do I have to do?
Agent: Guinness is bringing The Black Eyed Peas to perform at Sunway Lagoon on that day. We want you to interview them. You interested or not?
Kenny: Oh. Can loh.
Agent: Ok sweet then I talk to you later kthxbai.
Kenny: Bye.

And so, I went home from a busy day at work just like any other day, curled up in my bed and prepared for a night’s sleep.

As I was lying on my bed, a small teeny weeny little voice crept into my head and went, “omg omg omg…”



“Do you even understand the magnitude of what you’ve just been told?”

“The Black Eyed Peas!”





Drenched in dripping cold sweat, I sprung out of my bed immediately and screamed, “AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!”

Is this really happening?! Am I really gonna be interviewing the Black Eyed Peas?! Seriously, if this one goes through, it is going to be one golden opportunity of a lifetime!

I couldn’t sleep that night. I was as excited as a teenager discovering porn on the Internet. All I did was staying up the whole entire night thinking how to act when I meet Fergie and the rest of the band. For sure I am gonna be nervous like hell. I think I might even cry. And Big Girls Don’t Cry.

How am I even gonna start the interview? I don’t even know what questions to ask!

“Hello Fergie can I have your number wtf?”

I don’t know. I really really don’t know. Which is why I wanna put this out to all readers.

Help me interview The Black Eyed Peas!

Please, please, please. If you can help me come up with some fun, creative and interesting interview questions to ask The Black Eyed Peas, leave me a comment in the box below. Surely, there must be stuff you’re always curious about the BEP?

When the band arrives here for Arthur’s Day, I will talk to them face-to-face. And I will ask those questions on your behalf. So you win, I win!

As a token of my appreciation, 5 of you who asked the best interview questions will be rewarded with two tickets to attend Arthur’s Day and watch The Black Eyed Peas perform live in concert.

So here’s your chance to ask, Fergie, Taboo and Apl.d everything that you ever wanted to know about them, The Black Eyed Peas or their music in general. Ask them anything you want.

Like, how did they come up with the name Black Eyed Peas?

What is the meaning of the lyrics to the song My Humps? (When they order char kueh teow, they don’t put clams)

So many questions, so little time.

Let’s all do this on Arthur’s Day

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A Merdeka Down Under

As wrong as this sound, I just had the best Merdeka Day celebration in Melbourne.


It all started when a friend of mine Ash, who is doing very well as a club DJ in Melbourne, e-mailed me and asked if I would like to emcee the Merdeka Day party he’s organizing over there.

At first, I was confused why he would want to fly me all the way to Australia just to do literally 5 minutes of talking and 10 seconds of counting down. But since he’s gonna pick up the bill and I hadn’t got plans for the long weekend, I thought why not.

I grew up on the other side of the country in Perth, Western Australia, but Melbourne always hold a special place in my heart. During my days as a student activist, many times I travelled alone to Melbourne to attend union meetings and such.

It was then that I learnt how to study maps, source cheap hotels and travel on an arse-tight student budget. I familiarized myself with Melbourne inside out. Those travel-planning skills I developed come in handy later in life when I finally earned enough to fly around and see the world on my own.

Coincidentally, quite a number of people I know were in Melbourne over the same weekend.

Ming, Tim and Audrey were all down to meet up with their team from Nuffnang Australia, and I also caught up with Pierre over hot chocolate at the newly-launched Lindt Cafe.

Heck, I even managed to re-live my student days by sneaking into Melbourne University and attending a Finance lecture for fun.

I was so nostalgic that I took a photo of the lecturer. But I don’t think he was too impressed.

Of course, the real reason I flew to Melbourne was because of the Merdeka party organized by Malaysians for Malaysians over there.

I was bloody hell nervous because:
1) I have never emceed an event before IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.
2) Would the crowd even respond to me?
3) WTF. I don’t even have the looks appropriate enough to advertise for a club event.

Seriously! The way they promoted my appearance, it’s as if my name was Paris Hilton.

I cringed when I saw my face on the poster alongside LapSap – two trendsetting DJs from Zouk KL and Kim Ong – a forever poised and talented speaker in her own right.

Talking rubbish on my blog is easy. On the mic I am absolutely hopeless. What should I say to hype up the crowd? There’s nothing else I could think of apart from the usual “Are you ready? I can’t hear you! I SAID. ARE. YOU. READY!?”

And that is just so lame and World Wrestling Entertainment.

Crowd started pouring in as soon as the doors opened. By 11pm, the two whole floors of CQ Bar were already filled to the brim by 1,500 crazy revelling Malaysians.


The crowd who attended that night was impressive. The evening in Melbourne beats any clubbing night in KL a hundred times over. Everyone was well-dressed, everyone was within the same age group and the gender proportion was so well-balanced.

No case of batangs more than lubangs over here.

Another thing I was pleasantly surprised was the amount of readers who attended the event. Had absolutely no idea I have THAT many readers in Melbourne!

Thank you to everybody that night who took the effort to take photos with me, stop and talk to me or buy me drinks. I was very, very humbled.

The highlight of the night was no doubt, the countdown to 31st August.

Kim: All the sexy ladies in the house make some noise!
Crowd: WOOOO!!!
Kenny: All the Malaysians in the house say “Yeah!”
Crowd: YEAHHHH!!!

It was electric.

The adrenaline rush I got when all 1,500 people cheered at the same time was just incredible. Together, we counted down to zero, chanted “Merdeka” three times a la Tunku Abdul Rahman 1957, then sang Negaraku so loud that my voice turned hoarse.

That 5 minutes on stage was quite simply, one of the best moments I had in blogging. There is no other way to describe it.

DJs LapSap and Kim felt exactly the same way. Those Malaysians in Melbourne were some of the most insane ones they had ever performed in front of. Many of those who attended thought it was even better than any Merdeka events held in Malaysia. Haha!

One thing for sure.




Not many people got home sober that night.

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ADV: Elecoldxhot

This is a picture of a guy trying to mop the floor with his hair.



That was actually one of the contestants from the recent F&N Freestylz Show Ur Moves street dance competition. He’s from the Johorian dance crew Move, who absolutely entertained the crowd and ended up winning second place at the Grand Finals.

It’s ridiculous watching these guys dance. It’s like these people have absolutely no idea of the meaning of the word ‘gravity’.


For third place winner Wakaka Crew, it’s like gravity never even existed. Throughout the entire dance routine, they spent more time spinning on their heads than they did walking on their feet.

I’m pretty sure if one day they don’t feel like using their feet, they can still lead a normal life going everywhere by spinning on their heads. Can you imagine them like, going to the supermarket upside down? That would totally freak people out.

Sometimes I just wish I could learn some of these move from Most Outstanding Performer winner, Muhamad Haslam.


Seriously, this move would come in handy if one day I lost my car keys underneath the sofa.

Anyway, last time when I watched Britain’s Got Talent on Youtube, I thought Flawless was one of the best dance crews in the world. Those guys did well because they move together so fluidly and in sync. At that point, I thought it would be impossible for anyone out there to replicate their style.

I was wrong.


Quite simply, Elecoldxhot is one of the most amazing dance crews I have ever witnessed locally.

They are a group of five 20-somethings who hooked up three years ago. But last week, they emerged champions after beating 103 dance crews from all over the country. With that, the five boys took home a cool cash prize of RM10,000 and a trip to Korea to train with Gamblerz Crew, Asia’s best B-Boyz team.


Despite not being able to pronounce their name, I think Elecoldxhot totally deserved the grand prize. By no means was the competition a walkover for them. One of the team members, Ooi Kok Wei told me they spent many hours practising for this grand final, and even had to scramble for a last minute replacement when one of their original members was badly hospitalized.

Competition was intensely stiff and when I watched the Grand Finale, it was obvious that every single one of the finalists put in a lot of effort in coordinating their dance routines.

Wakaka Crew demonstrated death-defying moves.


N Crew impressed the judges with their funky wardrobe to claim Best Dressed.


Others, like Project Elementz, turned their dance routine into a full-fledged theatrical show.


Deservingly, those guys won the award for Most Entertaining Crew.

Then there were those who were happy just making silly faces at the judges.


Of course, those guys didn’t win anything.

In the end, it came down to style, creativity, originality and coordination. And it’s obvious that only Elecoldxhot had the total package.

Just look at how well-coordinated and in-sync these boys were.

It’s almost like he put himself through a photostat machine and made multiple copies of himself!

One thing for sure, all the dancers that night were energetic and mindblowingly captivating.

So captivating that this uncle can’t help but to sit very close to the stage


Too bad he to had to stuff tissues down his ears to prevent the loudspeakers from pulverizing his eardrums.

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Tiger Translate Copenhagen: Work In Progress

Today is the third and final day of collaboration for Tiger Translate Copenhagen.


I’m updating this blog right now surrounded by 12 hardworking Danish, Chinese, Thai, Mongolian and Singaporean artists.

It’s like a United Nations meeting of artists here. All of them are putting their finishing touches on their respective artworks in time for the exhibition tomorrow.


The theme adopted for the Tiger Translate arts exhibition is “Change”. The idea is to present the artist’s interpretation of ongoing evolution of the world around us.

The Danish and Asian artists have been collaborating, and the past two days have been nothing short of interesting, even for those in our group who knew diddly-squat about art.


Song Yang, a comic artist from Beijing has been collaborating with Frederick “Clean” Dahl, a professional graffiti artist from Denmark. Instead of papers or brick walls, the duo was given a red rubbish bin to draw on.


Although they had only just met two days ago for the first time, the chemistry between the two is fantastic.

Song Yang started out sketching some very Chinese wushu comic book-style clouds and pagodas, and Frederick filled in the blanks with his own brand of Western-style graffiti.


Song Yang is also working alongside illustrators Miss Lotion from Denmark, Hrvrk from Denmark and Antz from Singapore on the 8-metre-long “Pass It On” wall.


The arts exhibition tomorrow isn’t just gonna be limited to those who knows how to use the paint brush. Rom Khampanya, an architecture student from Thailand came up with a multimedia art piece so incredibly unique that very few people seen it before.

To illustrate his interpretation of the theme “Change”, Rom created a series of “Before” and “After” pictures of different cities around the world.


This is the aerial shot of the Victory Monument in Bangkok as it is today.


This is what Rom thinks it would look like in the future – global warming causing the fall of civilization, trees growing out of buildings, massive flooding on the streets and the aerial shot of the Victory Monument looking as if it is crying.

What makes Rom’s artwork so special is that he’s not just gonna simply present them as a series of photos. That’d be boring.


Instead, he lets his audience holds a Nintendo Wii remote so that when they wave the remote over the “before” picture like a brush, it reveals the “after” shot stroke by stroke.


Le Fix is a group of Danish artists working together to build a physical art piece. At first I was wondering why they come to a studio carrying a pile of junk.

Then I was wondering how come they are building a house in the middle of the studio. Guess I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out that they’re trying to show us.

Hopefully it’s not a sign that they plan on living inside the studio.


The Mongolian artists are always the ones creating the most hype at Tiger Translate events, and it’s no exception for Copenhagen.


Sidsel Tuxen from Denmark and Bekheedei Bilguudei from Mongolia are both computer graphic artists who are collaborating to create an animated sand clock, using alphabets from various languages around the world as sand.


But the East-meets-West collaboration I am most looking forward this Tiger Translate is the one between Mongolian painter Ulziibadrakh Sonomtseveen and Danish photographer Liv Carlé Mortensen. And let me tell you why.


Ulzii speaks very limited English so the two are unable to communicate at length. But according to Liv, “you don’t need to speak the same language to communicate in art.”

On the first day of them meeting, the two of them showed each other their portfolio. Ulzii’s paintings are mostly mild but creative. But Liv’s portfolio on the other hand can only be described as intense and controversial.

One of the pictures she took was of her and her old mother standing in front of a car – fully naked.


Coming from a conservative Mongolian background, Ulzii was obviously shocked. But then, she popped him the question: Can she photograph him, nude?

He agreed.

The next day, the Danish photographer took the Mongolian painter to her church, met her priest and she photographed the both of them, lying in the middle of the graveyard – fully naked.

This East-meets-West thing is getting interesting. And I can only imagine what the end result of their finishing piece would look like tomorrow.


Would you ever pose nude in the name of art?

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Prelude To Tiger Translate Copenhagen

I am writing this entry in my hotel room at Copenhagen, Denmark.


My “secret project” (which is not so secret anymore if you subscribed to my Twitter updates) has been taking such a toll on me that my head has expanded into the size of China. As the deadline to my project looms closer, I foresee many more sleepless nights and restless weekends ahead.

This workaholic streak in me is gonna continue at least for the next few months. But before I resume this marathon rush to the finishing line, I decided to take a week’s break away from the office, just to clear my head and keep myself happy by doing something I enjoy.

And there are not many things I enjoy more than travel, culture, arts, and beer. Put them all together, and we’ve got Tiger Translate.


This is one of the most unique arts events I have ever witnessed.

To put it simply, it’s an initiative by Tiger Beer where they bring in a bunch of young upstart Asian artists into an angmoh country, lock them up inside a room, call in a bunch of more established Western artists to join them, then give them an empty canvas to draw on and see what kinda funky stuff they come up with.

It is East-meets-West cultural exchange done artistically live, often times with creative, wild and unpredictable results.


Last year during the event in London, they painted the classic black London cab into a kickass Tiger machine.

More recently, they begun selling limited edition Tiger Beer bottles that come with special artistically-designed packaging, and these are all done by talents they discovered through Tiger Translate.


The theme for this year is ‘Change’. Five emerging artists from Asia they’re flying over include illustrators from Singapore and Mongolia, a multimedia designer from Thailand, a cartoonist from China, and a graphic designer also from Mongolia.

Together, they will be collaborating with Denmark’s top professional artists in illustration, graffiti arts and photography.

Denmark is a great location for this because it is home to some of the most creative and artistically-gifted people in the world. One of Copenhagen’s favourite sons wrote that famous childhood fairy story that was eventually picked up by Disney and made into a movie – The Little Mermaid.

Who knows what’s gonna happen, when you put a bit of Asian in Copenhagen?





Let’s hope they come up with better artwork than this.

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How I Celebrated ASEAN Day

Last Saturday must have been one of the craziest Saturdays I’ve had in a while.


Surprisingly, it didn’t even involve a single drip alcohol.

Few people may know about this, but 42 years ago Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand got together and said, “Yo man, whassup? We be startin’ a GANG yo!”

And thus ASEAN was born.


From that day onwards, every 8th August was designated ASEAN Day.

The head honcho of ASEAN is this Thai guy named Dr Surin.


He’s that important-looking one in the middle.

This year, he decided to take the ASEAN Day celebrations to new heights. He meant that literally.

Dr Surin wanted to take his team of diplomats to visit several capital cities on ASEAN Day, so he enlisted the help of Tony Fernandes, who gave him this fully sick blinged up ride for a day.


Diplomats appear in the news all the time, but I always wondered what they actually do. Apart from acting important and diplomatic all the time.

Lucky I was invited to the ASEAN Day celebration as a guest of AirAsia.


Because I got my own cabin crew for a day. Hot damn.

Wish I could have them everyday.

From then on, I followed Dr Surin and had a glimpse into his life as a diplomat.


I flew into Jakarta from Kuching the night before, and the group of us started our celebrations very early in the morning at the ASEAN headquarters.

The flag was raised and the song was sung. Immediately, we were scooted off to the airport where our chartered flight was already waiting for us.


It was the first time I’ve ever crossed the immigration counter using the express lane reserved for diplomats. Makes me feel important. Makes me feel bad also for ‘cos I’m not a very diplomatic person.

From Jakarta, our flight scooted off to Kuala Lumpur, where the AirAsia boss was on hand to welcome us.


This is a photo of me and a very distracted Tony Fernandes.


He was probably laughing at someone telling a stupid MAS joke.

It was awesome meeting Tony Fernandes again though. We talked about the airport situation, and I also told him about my ‘secret project’. He was very supportive of it, even invited me over to the AirAsia Academy to see how they do it.


Our former deputy prime minister (no, not Anwar. The other one) was nice enough to receive us at the airport.

This is Tony playing his toy with Tun Musa Hitam.


Tony Fernandes: “Wheeeee eeekk ekk chkkkk chkkk TRANSFORMERS!”
Musa Hitam: “Piang piang piang! You lose! HEE HEE HEE!”

After lunch at the LCCT, we hopped on the plane once again.

This time, we’re off to Bangkok to visit someone very very VERY important. Someone so important that we had to travel to meet him in this Ah Beng zhng-ed up bus.


Dun pway pway ok got green light somemore.

So who’s this very important person that we’re meeting in Bangkok?

The Prime Minister of Thailand.


Yes, yes, I KNOW what you girls thinking. All the females at my table were thinking the same thing as well.

Calm down lah. I know he’s young and good-looking and all that. But he’s the freaking Prime Minister of Thailand ok? Not some MTV VJ.

Please behave yourselves.


Even I have to admit the Thai Prime Minister is so damn cool. Looking at him, I wonder why my own country’s Prime Minister cannot be as cool.

Off the top of my head, here are three reasons why the Thai PM Abhisit is cooler than our Malaysian PM Najib.

1. Abhisit sounds like Absinthe. Najib sounds like Nazi.
2. Abhisit has no gray hair. Najib has totally no hair.
3. Abhisit led angry people to protest and overthrow his previous government. Najib overthrew Perak and made people so angry they protested.

It was only appropriate that he received a portrait of himself in honour of his participation in ASEAN Day.


Check out that portrait of him posing so yau-yeng.

I wonder where he’s gonna hang it. If it were me, I’ll put it up in my bathroom so that every morning when I wake up, I can go, “Yo Abhisit. You looking too daaaaamn good, man!”


Throughout this whole entire journey, I realised one thing about being a diplomat.

As a diplomat, you must be able to eat lot. And I do mean A LOT.

My entire journey, they’ve just been feeding us like crazy. We had breakfast in Jakarta, lunch in KL, dinner in Bangkok.

It started at our hotel in Jakarta, where I had a full Indonesian breakfast. I thought we might have a long day ahead, so silly me whent and stuffed my face at the buffet tables.


Big mistake.

Barely ten minutes later, we were at the ASEAN Headquarters. God forbid diplomats get thirsty. More ‘refreshments’ were served.

When we took it to the skies, AirAsia thought those diplomats might get hungry during the 2 hour flight.


Solution: Free in-flight food for everyone!

We touched down at the LCCT airport in KL.

What did we saw? A whole suite of Malaysian food sitting there waiting for us.


Straight after lunch, we got back in the plane. This time, to Bangkok.

Tony Fernandes was afraid we might hungry, so he ordered the crew to bring out more food.



By this time, we were so bloody freaking full that we couldn’t even walk. When we landed, we had to ROLL ourselves out of the plane to meet the Thai Prime Minister.

Of course, as PM of the country, he ain’t gonna let his guests go back hungry. So?


Plates after plates of prawns! And fish! And dessert!


Instead of three meals a day, we got seven.

Life sure is good being foreign diplomat.

To top it off, the final dish was a piece of dark chocolate with gold leaf on top.


Damn. At the rate this is going, ASEAN should be renamed Association of Super EAting Nutcases.

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ADV: Possibly The Biggest Contest You Will Ever Wanna Win

A few months ago when I was in Ireland, I did what all travellers who set foot in Dublin do.

I made my pilgrimage to St James’s Gate Brewery, home of Guinness, also known by some people as The Disneyland for Grown-Ups.

The minions working for Guinness have set up an elaborate multimedia-style exhibition showcasing the origins of the black beer.

For some reason, a lot of their exhibits feature a man in blue shirt and gray pants speaking very enthusiastically through a projector screen about the beer.

I just would never have imagined that some four months later, this man would again appear right before my eyes.

Wearing the exact same blue shirt and gray pants!

It’s like he literally walked out of the projector screen. I didn’t know at the time who he is, or why exactly is he so important. Only much later did I find out his name is Fergal Murray.

That, and he holds the single most important job in Guinness Breweries worldwide.

You see, Fergal Murray is a Master Brewer, and the only Global Master Brewer in the world.

Much like how in the movie Transformers, The Primes are the guardians to the Matrix of Leadership, the recipe for brewing Guinness is also one closely guarded secret.

It is a 250-year-old secret which has been passed down generation to generation from its founder, Sir Arthur Guinness. It is a secret known only to an exclusive number of people they called The Master Brewers.

Fergal Murray is the latest in the long line of Master Brewers who knows all about the brewing of Guinness. Despite my best efforts asking him how to make my own black beer, he just wouldn’t tell.

The guy said something like he can tell me but then he’d have to kill me. Then I said he can kill me, but there’s already a beer called Kilkenny.

He didn’t find it funny. 🙁

To him, Guinness is serius bizness. Nothing satisfies the Irishman more than ridding our local bartenders of bad practices and educating them to perform the famous two-part pour, craft the perfect pint, and serve it with the same amount of love and care that he puts into brewing the 250-year-old beer.

Some people said that they don’t like the bitterness of Guinness. The truth is, a nicely-poured Guinness fresh from the tap shouldn’t taste that way. There’s the sweetness of caramel and roasted malt hidden amongst the flavour that can only be tasted when the bartender gets it right. When you can feel those flavours in your mouth, that’s when you know you’ve got good beer.

Anyway, the reason Fergal Murray was in town is because he’s here to launch the 250th Anniversary of Guinness.

When I first got the invite, I was curious.

It was the first time I have ever attended an event held inside Aquaria KLCC.

Why, of all places, Aquaria KLCC?

The reasons became clear when I arrived at the venue.

Guinness was experimenting how to feed fish with beer!

No, just kidding. The fish in Aquaria KLCC are not above the age of 21.

The launch was held in Aquaria KLCC because as part of its global 250th Anniversary celebrations, the brewery is running a HUGE global contest. The contest is so huge, that Guinness will be giving away three extremely remarkable once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

These prizes are so huge, unique, so jaw-droppingly amazingly, that quite possibly no other competition in the world would be able to replicate it for a long time.

Prize Number One is the Guinness Sea Experience.

First, the winner and two friends will be flown all the way to Norway. After enjoying an incredible four day stay on an island, they will board a purpose-built submarine that plunges deep into the depths of the ocean.

There, the exclusively-designed G250 Underwater Bar shall open for business for the winner to enjoy a pint of black beer while being surrounded by beautiful seascape.

It is
guaranteed to be an experience like no other.

Second, the Guinness Studio Experience.

For this one, the winner and two friends get to hangout with The Black Eyed Peas! Imagine having the world’s most popular hip-hop band performing live to you privately in their studio, then boast about drinking the black stuff wit The Black Eyed Peas afterwards.

You can ask where he got his body from (he got it from his momma).

Or Fergie whether or not she wants her Hokkien char kuay teow with clams (mai ham, mai ham, mai ham mai ham mai ham).

But if you think those two prizes are good, wait till you hear the third ultimate prize.

The third prize is so outrageous, so incredibly epic that it’ll make you wanna forget about those two prizes and sink the Black Eyed Peas into the depths of the ocean. Permanently.

The third prize is a trip into…


Yes, the third prize is Guinness Space Experience.

The winner and a friend flies off to New Mexico, USA – home of Spaceport America.

Here, you will undergo the three-day training course to ensure you’re physically fit for the space odyssey before you’re cleared to hop on the Virgin Galactic Spaceship.

You will have the privilege to become one of the first few non-professional astronauts in the world to jet off into space. As you exit the Earth’s atmosphere and float off your seat due to the weightlessness, raise your pint glass towards your friends back home on Planet Earth to give them one big yam seng!

Now, everyone can be an angkasawan. (If you are really lucky lah.)

This is Virgin boss Richard Branson telling more about the Guinness Space Experience.

The big question people might wanna ask is, how do you enter this once-in-a-lifetime global contest? The prizes are so big, it cannot possibly be that easy to enter, could it?

Do you have to take silly photos of you being kidnapped inside the back of a car?

Do you have to dress up as that frumpy old lady on Internet from Britain’s Got Talent?

Do you have to drink the whole brewery worth of Guinness?

Apparently not.

It’s damn easy one. For a chance to win a submarine trip to the depths of the Norwegian Seas, or a private performance by The Black Eyed Peas, or a flight onboard the Virgin Galactic Spaceship into space.

All you gotta do is answer this one dead simple question.

“True or False? Guinness is celebrating its 250th Anniversary since the signing of the lease at St James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin in 1759.”

Send your answer with the text “G250 ANSWER NAME IC” to 33212.

(Hint: The answer starts with ‘T’ and ends with ‘RUE’.)

Please take me to space if you win.

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ADV: A Day In The Life Of A KDU Hospitality Student

A few weeks ago, this was what the LDP highway looked like.


Notice anything different? No?

Just the usual traffic jam?

Wait, let’s zoom in a little closer.




Okay, that was actually a little publicity stunt by KDU College’s School of Hospitality, Tourism & Culinary Arts. The school was holding an open day last month and I was invited to be one of their special guests.


What does blogging have anything to do with hospitality? I don’t know.

Maybe they think is not hospitable enough, that’s why they decided to send me in for training.

It was certainly an honour to be invited onto their campus nonetheless. I had the chance to meet with several prospective students and had a chat with them during the Open Day.

Some of them were wondering whether or not hospitality and culinary is the correct career choice for them, especially since it’s not one of those “Parent Approved Career Choices” like Engineering or Business.

Personally I’d like to think of it this way. Everyone’s going into engineering or business and not all of them end up with jobs they wanted. But people are always gonna eat, and people are always gonna travel.

Flip open the newspapers and you’ll see thousands of vacancies in the services industry looking for people who have “a hospitable attitude” and can provide “good customer service”.

The hospitality, tourism and culinary industries are always gonna expand. People in it are always gonna be in demand.

The job security is there. If you are well-trained and possess the qualifications, it’s not hard to get a job upon graduation.

KDU College’s partner university is in Switzerland and students receive actual Swiss qualification upon graduation.

I was given a taste of what being a student there is like when I was asked to try my hands on cooking in one of their many professional kitchens.

To complete the look, the college was nice enough to even present me with my very own custom-made chef uniform.

Not bad for someone whose signature dish was 2-minute instant noodles.

So please, welcome to my restaurant.

Unfortunately, I cannot possibly cook anything on my own.

Luckily the college has kindly arranged their Culinary Arts lecturer and celebrity Chef Zam to show me the how.

We’ll be making and cooking pasta, and we’ll do that hopefully without burning the entire KDU College down to ashes.

To make pasta from scratch, first of all, you’ll need an egg, a bowl of flour and  permission from Chef Zam to make an absolute mess.

Start by mixing up an egg and pour it into the bowl of flour.

After some grabbing, mixing, kneading, and generally pulverizing the crap out of that  mixture, I end up with a yellow sticky ball of dough, like this.

It ain’t fun eating pasta shaped like a ball, so I send my dough to this pasta-making machine to flatten it out.

You gotta be careful with this machine though.

Because if not…

… accidents may happen!

And you may end up with a flattened (but delicious) hand.

After cutting it up into little strips of fettuccini (the pasta, not the hand), avoid the temptation of holding it up against your chin and do a horrible impersonation of Dumbledore.

“Hello, Harry Potter.”

Afterwards, it’s all up to Chef Zam to work his magic on the stove and cook the pasta al dente.

A couple of minutes later, dinner is ready to be served.

Behold, the Pasta a la Kenny Sia. (I totally made up that name.)

Surprisingly, it’s actually very very good!

In fact, Pasta a la Kenny Sia tastes like something straight out from Italiannies that costs RM19.99 + 10% service charge + 5% government tax.

Do You Smell What The Blog Is Cooking?

It was a fun experience making pasta, cooking pasta and most importantly, eating pasta.

After the stint in the kitchen, I bid farewell to Chef Zam before seeing what else the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts has to offer

The KDU College students were cooking up a storm.

Much to my surprise, there’s a full-fledged cocktail bar inside one of their training restaurants!

Kids these days. How often can you boast about eating pasta and drinking alcohol as part of your coursework?

When I did Engineering, the most exciting thing in my coursework was solving complex differential equations in my Calculus class. Something that I never even got to use later in life!

Later on, I joined Chef Kenneth Kam and his students for a mooncake-making session.

It involves slipping a latex glove onto my hand as if I were going for a rectal examination. That’s when I found out I’m not very good with latex. Because my gloves broke, twice.

I think it must be because I’ve got big hands.

And you know what they say about men with big hands?

They need big gloves.

Making mooncakes involves pressing the sticky dough into a wooden mould to give it the distinct mooncake shape.

Whatever you do, do not play with the wooden mould as if it’s a martial arts weapon.

You never know if there’s an angmoh behind you thinking you’re a total idiot.




The July intake for the School of Hospitality, Tourism & Culinary Arts is now open and all info are available on their website.

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