Category: Re-discovering Myself

It’s Been 8 Years Now

Dear Papa,

  Here I am writing to you again.

  You left us 8 years ago, after a brave but painful fight with cancer. Here I am, remembering you once again.

  Yes, I still remember how it felt like 8.5 years ago, when you sat us down in our living room after a visit to the clinic, and told us the doctor had found cancer cells metastasised to your lungs.

  You didn’t know how you got them. You didn’t know how long you’ve had it. All you knew was that the doctors gave you 6 months to live.

Some call it the calm before the storm. The lull before the tsunami. The feeling of unease because something big was gonna hit very hard very soon.

  We didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t know how to handle your illness. All I knew back then was that a major chapter in my life was about to end.

  Something was about to change. I must get a dose of manhood. I must grow up real fast. Whether I like it or not, that was what I must do.

  And that’s the reason I started this blog – to document the changes that I was going through that particular phase of my life.

  Eight years since then, things have been falling into place more or less like a routine. Found some success in blogs. Started my business. Found a girl. Things has more or less become very… predictable.

  Until now.

  Papa, that feeling of unease is coming to me again.

  I’m in the process of starting a new business concept. So far, things has been exactly smooth-sailing. If anything, the project has been continuously delayed by contractors and impracticalities in design.

  I’m feeling uneasy because although I’m optimistic about my project, I do wonder if others share my optimism.

  How I wish you were here to guide me!

  Two, I am very, very happy in my relationship with Ming. And I understand eventually I must settle down and start a family. At the same time, I know being in a relationship is so different than having to provide and care for a family.

  How different will things be when I eventually settle down? Truthfully, I don’t know. I just hope I have the ability to be a good husband and father, just like you are to me.

  The Elections is tomorrow.

  Although I think the current administration is doing a decent job thus far, the response from the ground is overwhelmingly pro-Opposition. It is almost as if the only people left supporting the Najib are those related to the candidates, rural folks or Bangladeshis.

  The Opposition-led rallies night after night have been crazily massive. If these sentiments were to translate into votes, I think we’ll be seeing something quite unprecedented in history. Never thought I would be seeing a two-party system ever happening in Malaysia in my lifetime, but after tomorrow, who knows?

  I can only hope that whoever leads our country tomorrow is able to restore our confidence in the education system, so we can happily send my children to school here, and stay as a family in Kuching. Last thing we want is to see our family unit split apart again because of the lack of opportunities here – like the way it had split ours.

  What they say is true. Tomorrow, we’ll be voting not for ourselves, but for our future generations.

  Papa, all your life, all you ever wanted is a better future for us. How I wish you were here to see change happening right in front of our eyes.

  I miss you, Papa.


Love from your youngest son,



29 things I did when I was 29.


1. Received 5 stalks of roses.

Then got blindfolded, bundled into my own apartment and had the most romantic 29th birthday dinner intricately planned by my girlfriend. 🙂


2. Began my adventure fleshing out my bare apartment.

Buying an apartment is only part of the cost. A huge part of the expenses is fleshing it out with bits and pieces of furniture.

I’m proud to say that the first piece of "furniture" I got was actually a super-comfy large-sized bean bag sponsored by Doof!


3. Won an award for Best Micro-Blog at the Nuffnang Blog Awards 2011. – So much love in 140 characters or less.



4. Started my Invisalign treatment with to straighten my teeth. Last time my teeth looked like this.

And now my teeth looks like this!


Still got about half a year left to go, though.


5. Gave a kiss to this pale ass dummy.

Thank goodness I got a First Aid certificate from the Red Crescent in return.


6. Spent Valentine’s Day with my girlfriend at the upmost luxurious beach resort I have ever stayed at in my whole life.

It’s called Sri Panwa, and it’s located at Cape Panwa in Phuket, Thailand.

To call it a hotel or a resort would be an insult. Sri Panwa is a village and a Hollywood celebrity favourite – Jeremy Renner and Gordon Ramsay all stayed here before. Room rates normally go for USD2,000 a night, but if you buy it through Luxe Nomad, the rates can go to as low as RM800 a night.


7. Won the top prize at an entrepreneur development challenge organized by MillionaireAsia magazine.

The prize was a RM20,000 Lalique trophy and 2 directors box tickets at Liverpool Football Club’s stadium. But the real prize I got was some extremely valuable advice from my mentor Marcus Luer of Total Sports Asia.

When I put his advice into practice, it really enabled my company Level Up Fitness to grow.


8. Made a wish and released a floating lantern into the air.

Thank you, Club Med Phuket!


9. Saw the Taj Mahal.


Seeing Taj Mahal means I have successfully visited half of the New 7 Wonders of the World.


10. Witnessed the cremations at the holy Ganges River of India.

Varanasi is a pain to get to, but it is one the most unique and unusual sightings in the world.

I spent only half a day there. No, it’s not the cleanest cities in the world, but the experience was so much more worth it than the crowds at the Taj Mahal in Agra.


11. Slept in an overnight train in India.

Despite so many horror stories I hear about trains in India, my experience was nothing like it at all. Although it was rather cramped, the train was extremely clean and I felt safe the whole way through.

The local middle-class Indians were quite surprised to see a Chinese face amongst the crowd and attempted to have conversation with me despite the language barrier.


Unfortunately, I smelled like coconut oil for the next 24 hours.


12. Had my first volunteer travel experience.

With my dentists Dr Melissa and Dr Foo, we participated in Operation Smile: Vietnam.

Volunteer Travel is so different but so spiritually fulfilling from all my other travel experiences. We went up to central Vietnam and even travelled to Vinh Long, a tiny village deep in interiors of the Mekong Delta just to give dental treatment to the local kids. There really is no better way to experience a foreign land’s local culture and not just spend money and buy souvenirs, but also give back to the local community.


13. Suffered from frequent bouts of excruciating stomach pains.

Went for an ultrasound scan and discovered I have stones in my gallbladder. The pain persisted for the next 3 months, but I changed my diet to mostly vegetables and water. Eventually the pain stopped (but I think the gallstone is still inside there.)


14. Facing increasing competition in my business!

Before I started Level Up Fitness 3 years ago, there wasn’t much options when it comes to gyms in Kuching. Suddenly, 3 years after I started business, everyone and their doggie wants to run a gym.

Someone told me that to have competition in the business is to have validation that the industry I chose to be in was right. If there were no competition and I was the only player in there, it could only mean that nobody have faith in the industry.

Oh well, bring it on.


15. Became an American Council of Exercise Certified Personal Trainer.

Then trained some of my gym members to run their first half-marathon!


16. In Sri Lanka, climbed a sacred Buddhist / Christian / Hindu / Muslim mountain called Adam’s Peak.

Got a local dog as our guide who followed us from the foot of the mountain all the way up then all the way down.



17. Rode an elephant for the first time.

Got splashed.


18. Stuck my head out of a moving train.

There’s a inexplicable feeling of childlike-glee when you are able to stick your head out a moving train.

I realised I have done a lot of train journeys this year – in India, Sri Lanka, Japan and China.

Nothing comes close to the experience travelling 9 hours by train from Colombo on the west coast of Sri Lanka, to the town of Ella in the mountainous interior. The smiles on the faces of the locals, the ability to access little towns untouched from mass tourism – it all adds flavour to the travel experience.


19. Stuck religiously to my marathon training routine, even throughout all my travels.

I packed my running shoes whenever I go. Some of my training runs took me off the beaten tracks. My running shoes have brought me to places I would never have gone myself and meet people I would never have met otherwise. My most memorable run was through a poor tiny Indian village hidden from the riches of the Taj Mahal.

My girlfriend never understood why I enjoyed running in foreign lands so much until I took her for a run through a tea plantation in Sri Lanka.

Halfway through our run, she was tickled with glee as half of dozen of curious village kids followed her behind, all screaming "HELLO! HELLO!"

I say, don’t be afraid to get off the beaten track when you travel. The enrichment of the soul far outweighs the fear of getting lost or getting mobbed.


20. In Sri Lanka, rode the most crowded local bus I have ever boarded in my life!

I was literally hanging off the side of the sardine-packed bus with one foot in the bus, another inches off the moving road.


21. Signed the papers to open two more outlets of Level Up Fitness!

After three years, it’s time to expand the business.


22. Definitely my biggest source of pride this year.

Ran my sixth full 42km marathon. This time I did it in Gold Coast, Australia and achieved my new personal best of 5 hours 28 mins!

That’s like a full one hour off the first time I did my marathon. My 4 months of religious marathon training has definitely paid off.


23. Dived the Great Barrier Reef.



24. Lost my Australian Permanent Residency.



25. Did an authentic Japanese homestay at a place called Hirayu Onsen, high up in the Japanese Alps.

Using Google Translate, I managed to make my reservation with the homeowner and completed the stay without being able to speak a word of Japanese.

And what a lovely experience it was! We ate the yummiest pieces of Wagyu Beef (called Hida Beef), bathed in an outdoor onsen, and even took the home owner’s dog out for a walk.

Highly recommended!


26. Went hiking in a place high up in the Japanese mountains called Kamikochi.

Saw the most beautiful autumn colours in the nature.


27. Became a calendar model.

Unfortunately it’s not for Men’s Health, but for the Sarawak SPCA to raise funds for an animal shelter.


28. Survived one week in China without getting cheated from the locals.

Considered an achievement because everytime I travel to China, I get cheated by everyone from taxi drivers to market merchants to money changers.

29. Lost 12kg of weight!

No secrets. No shortcuts. Just blood, sweat, tears and no fried food.


Today, I turned 30 years old.

My Gallbladder

Today marks 3 months since I last experienced a painful gallstone attack.

Not only did my adherence to a healthy eating keep my gallstone attacks under control, I lost a whopping 11kg in the process.

When I first found out that I had gallstones in my system, every single doctor I met asked me to cut out my gallbladder. They said my gallbladder is a not an important organ and I could live without it.

If I don’t cut it out, I’m gonna continue getting gallstone attacks for the rest of my life.

I may not be the most religious person in the world, but I figured if I don’t need my gallbladder to survive, I wouldn’t have been born with it.

Maybe I should name my gallbladder Gotye.

Now you’re just a gallstone that I used to know!

It’s Been Seven Years

Dear Papa,

  How are you doing up there?

  Today is the seventh year since the day you left us. Time does fly, doesn’t it? I remember you telling us that our time on Earth is like going overseas for a holiday. We may have lots of fun while we’re here, but we all have to go home eventually.

  That’s a nice analogy papa. I guess the big difference is that when we come home from for holidays, we can always go for another one next week. When we leave Earth, we cannot go back even if we wanted to, isn’t it?

  Unless you are “Ironman” Tony Stark lah.

  Aiya, but it’s true some things are not meant to last forever.

  Last week, I had my Australian permanent residency revoked by the Australian Immigration. They said I did not manage to stay there for even 2 weeks in the past 5 years, so why should I keep my permanent residency? I was given a chance to appeal, but I don’t think my chances are high.

  I felt like it was such a loss. I remember how much effort you went through in 1996 to get that PR. I wanted to keep it, partly because the Australian PR was one of the few things you left for us, and partly because I thought it might be useful for the education of my children in the future.

  The Malaysian education system is so hopeless now. Can you believe they just reverted the teaching of Maths and Science in English back to Malay? Such a joke isn’t it? While the rest of the world is moving forward, our education system just flip-flops like that.

  At least mom is happy. Now that she knows I no longer have my Australian PR, at least she is certain that one of her children will be by her side.

  There is nothing to worry about me here, Papa. Things at work are getting more hectic, but manageable. Things with Ming are going really well too. She is very supportive in everything that I do and I am very lucky to have her.

  Did you know, Papa?! I recently won an award for my business!

  Ever since you left, the thing I worried the most is who to turn to for business advice when I need them.

  Recently, I joined a contest called the Enterprise Development Challenge, organized by a magazine in Singapore. They paired start-up entrepreneurs like myself with veteran businessmen as mentors. Over the course of 6 weeks we worked together to improve several aspects of our respective businesses.

  Some of the other young entrepreneurs are like CEOs of big hotel chains and famous websites!

  My mentor is a charismatic sports marketing agent called Marcus Luer, who heads a company called TotalSportsAsia. He is so passionate and knowledgeable. I learnt so much from him and have so much fun applying the things I learnt into my running of Level Up Fitness.

  Against much formidable contestants, I surprised when I was named the winner! I may have won a couple of awards for my blog, but this is the first time I won an award as an entrepreneur. I am so happy!

  Even the prizes are quite amazing, like Director’s Box tickets to Liverpool Anfield and a trophy worth RM20,000. But none of those are as valuable as the knowledge I gained from my mentor over those 6 weeks.

  Is he a guardian angel you sent to watch over me!? Haha!

  If you are capable of sending guardian angels, Papa, I think I may need another one really soon.

  As much as I have been taking care of my health by exercising and eating right, I went to the doctor recently and discovered I have stones in my gallbladder measuring up to 1cm. How the stones get in there, I have no idea. I swear I haven’t been swallowing rocks for fun!

  Anyway, doctor advised me to remove my gallbladder to reduce complications, but I’m having second thoughts about that. I noticed if I don’t drink alcohol or eat curry during the day, I won’t get stomach pains at night. Since I can live without alcohol and curry, I’ll just stop doing those.

  The doctor also found a lesion in my liver measuring up to 2cm. I have no idea how it get there. I’m gonna do a CT scan next Tuesday to find out.

  Please watch over me from up there?

  Anyway, I better stop here. It’s getting late and I have a 6am flight to catch to KK tomorrow.

  Papa, remember when I was really young, you like to call me from overseas? You always like to ask me if I missed you. I never answered you back then, because I was always too shy to answer it in front of Mom.


  I know it’s too late to answer this now, but yes Papa – I miss you very, very much.



Lots of love from your youngest son,


Interviewed By The Star

Every now and again, I get interviewed by newspapers or magazines.

Interviews come and go, but very few of them I put aside for keepsake.

Having said that, I must say I particularly like the feature that the Sarawak edition of The Star did on me last Monday. I thought I can describe myself pretty well, but my interviewer Yu Ji articulated my thoughts in a much more eloquent way than I could ever do myself.

This is also the first time my face appeared on the front cover of a newspaper. Having just celebrated my 29th birthday, that came as a very timely gift. 🙂

Much-travelled man in transition


At 29, Kenny Sia certainly has gone through a lot, having been a blogger, a television personality and now in the midst of trying to make a name for himself in the business world.

YOU might think Kenny Sia, 29, needs little introduction, but you’d be wrong.

He was Malaysia’s best known blogger, who is now trying to re-establish himself as a businessman. He was a television personality on shows with the country’s top models, but Sia secretly believed he was overweight.

Kenny Sia: Blogger turned fitness nut and entrepreneur, speaking to The Star recently.

(KS: Check out my ‘Movember’ mo)

Sia is more famous in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, but calls Kuching his home. He believes in remaining non-controversial, but has in the past used his blog to put forth his political views.

He is in transition now. “I’ve grown out of the blog in a way. Everything happened because I was at the right place at the right time. I do not think of myself as creative. I used to put any silly photo of myself on the blog, and perhaps that was what attracted people in the first place. Now though, when I write, I think several steps ahead. I like to think I’ve matured a little.”

A little over two years ago, Sia embarked on a new phase in his life. He stopped blogging as his main source of income. He launched Level Up, a fitness centre. Sia has never taken the easy way out in life. When he could have worked in Australia, he came back to Malaysia.

When he could have worked at his family business — he made something as new as blogging a revenue earner.

Here, Sia talks frankly to The Star about ending his 20s with a new chapter.

Question: You speak of yourself as a businessman these days but most people would still probably think of you as a blogger first. Is that a label you are keen to change?

I’m spending more time on business. People knew me as a blogger first, but now I take blogging as a hobby, kind of like how I enjoy cycling. Hobbies have taken up a lot of my time. I’m not saying there’s no future in blogging, but I’ve grown out of it. Saying that, I am glad that I made my name there. It’s made business easier. Blogging is not going to be a full time thing for the rest of my life. I don’t write because I have to any more.

The blog has grown in phases. At first, it was rather childish, then to content about my travels around the world and now it’s more “settled”, just like how I’ve become.

The first time I noticed that your blog was getting serious was during the 2008 general election. You interviewed DAP strongman Chong Chien Jen, who was then seeking re-election as Bandar Kuching MP. Would you consider that a natural evolution of your views? You were always interested in politics but just never made it clear on your blog?

I’ve always been politically aware since my university days in Australia. In 2008, I wanted to get young people to vote. Young people were not and are still not paying attention to these things. I don’t blame us youths for being like that though; most of us are disillusioned with the state of affairs.

I was surprised by that interview, given that you were better known as an “entertainer”. To take up something that serious, were you concerned about backlash?

I studied here until Form Three at a Chung Hua school, then I left for Australia. I was exposed to politics that was very much based on ideologies — rather than race based. History is history. How the country came together, I get it. But being a member of this generation, racial matters are not the way of the future.

All these racial groupings are so superficial. The way I run my business is absolutely based on merits.

Which part of Australia were you at?

Perth, Western Australia. I was there for eight years; two years at high school, five years at university and I worked there for one year.

So why did you come back to Malaysia? And why choose Sarawak and not Kuala Lumpur?

There’s a misconception Sarawakians have. Sarawakians love branded stuff. They love franchises from Peninsular Malaysia and beyond. Taken from that perspective, people assumed that given my blogging activities, I had to be in KL.

I was always in Kuching. What happened was that after the 2008 general election when the Opposition won by a large margin, there was a sudden boom of interests in blogging.

They were looking for a non-controversial blogger. I think people at that time really didn’t want another Jeff Ooi or Rocky Bru. Certainly, the companies I did work for wanted a “lifestyle” blogger. I just happen to fit the profile.

But you did take sides. I remember you were very much on AirAsia’s side when the company wanted to build its own airport called Terminal Rakyat, much to the unhappiness of the Government.

I was very supportive on the basis that, had I been in the position AirAsia was in, I would have lobbied to have my own airport as well. In the private sector, you’re always finding ways past obstacles.

If the best solution past an obstacle was to build your own airport, then I’ll support that. But I should say that I don’t blindly support everything AirAsia does.

Put it this way, at the time AirAsia came up with the proposal, I thought it was a smart move. It was a “screw you” to the bigger players. I thought that was great. I definitely take sides in that kind of situation.

It’s “too easy” to get controversial in Malaysia. Did you ever feel you had to limit the extent of your opinions?

It’s true. It’s like this: If I feel I can’t handle the consequences, I don’t write about it. I like to think that’s a process of maturity.

Obviously you know how to grow your own brand. You were doing so well in KL, I’m sure people ask you all the time: Why come back?

On the media side of things, yes, I would have done better in KL. But you know what? Kuching is not such a bad place. There’s an abundance of opportunities in Sarawak. You just have to find them and be patient.

As for setting up Level Up Fitness, if I were in KL or Singapore, I would be facing a lot of competition. I might even go out of business before I break even. Having the business in Kuching means that I’m
offering something relatively new and different. I don’t think there are other gyms similar to mine right now here.

That goes two ways though. There are challenges in under-developed societies. No?

For sure, even hiring people, for example, it’s hard. Look at the people at Starbucks, they greet everyone with a smile. That’s something, really! I mean that’s great for any working environment. People need to be more exposed.

It’s also true that people don’t end up in the area of expertise they studied for in university. I’m hiring engineers as gym trainers! Unfortunately, say you are good in maths, society will expect you to study something like engineering. People in the arts sector are somehow considered “not as good”.

Throughout the whole 1980s and 1990s period, there was an overemphasis on academic education. I went through that. I got very fat.

Hence your business, right?

[Laughs] Ya! I came back from Australia and realised people here just don’t seem to have the right idea about fitness. When I started Level Up, people weren’t coming in. The awareness of fitness was just not there, and it’s not really a cost thing. People here spend a lot on cars and drinks.

The Health Ministry now says Malaysia is the fattest nation in South East Asia. Singapore is more developed, but its people are fitter than Malaysians; Indonesia is poorer than Malaysia, but its people are fitter than Malaysians: So where did we go wrong?

You look at our policies: We are subsidising sugar, flour and oil. The Government is subsidising the wrong things. A salad is about RM10; sugar is RM2 for a big pack. So there is a greater role for the fitness industry to play within Malaysian society.

Are there any government incentives for the fitness industry?

No, no. There’s absolutely no incentives for those in the fitness industry. It is incredibly expensive to start a fitness centre, the equipment cost so much. It’s very expensive to educate trainers. For those reasons, Malaysians are where we are today. By the way, don’t forget that Physical Education (PE) isn’t emphasised enough in Malaysian schools. You have PE teachers who are trained in Maths.

Do you feel Malaysian youths have enough say on things like how we move forward?

Not at all. You attend official events and you also end up listening to endless salutations — “Tan Sri, Puan Sri, Datuk Seri, Datin Seri, Datuk, Datin…” blah blah blah — and then the speakers are like in the 60s. At the risk of sounding selfish, you have older people making decisions, talking about things, planning things that will determine how things are for the next 20 years.

Youths need to play a greater role. We need people who are more aware of what youths of today want for the next 20 years.

That’s a healthy democratic system, isn’t it?


28 things I did when I was 28 years old:

1. Celebrated my 28th birthday alone in Auckland Airport.

I was meant to fly from Auckland to Singapore on the eve of my birthday, but my flight never arrived because the entire runway lights in Auckland Airport blew up, leaving some 10,000 passengers grounded.

While I was sleeping on the airport floor, my friends in Singapore were at a restaurant waiting for my arrival to celebrate my birthday.

In the end, they didn’t wait. They ate my birthday cake. 🙁


2. Had my first Club Med experience.

Club Med is an all-inclusive resort, meaning all the food and fun are included in the room rate. Thanks to Club Med Bali, I was fully fed after 3 days. And I swear I gained an extra 3kg by the end of the trip.


3. Became a judge in the Malaysia Spa & Wellness Awards.

It was the best job ever. All I had to do was visit the best spas in Malaysia, receive their best treatment, and rate their performance.

My favourite was the Borneo Spa at Nexus Karambunai Resort in Kota Kinabalu. I visited the place in March. A few months later, a fire broke out from the men’s sauna.

Maybe it’s because I’m too hot.


4. Ran a full 42km marathon in less than 6 hours.

I started running marathons 5 years ago after accepting a challenge from a friend of mine.

Since then, I have ran in five different marathons, one each in KL, Penang, Singapore, Kota Kinabalu and Los Angeles. Although I finished slightly better each time, I have never ran within my targeted time of 6 hours.

At the 2011 Seoul International Marathon, I finally reached that target.

The race started under the worst weather conditions possible. It was raining throughout the first half and the temperature was close to zero. I was soaking wet and absolutely freezing my nuts off.

Unexpectedly, I managed to overcome all that and finished the 42km in 5 hr 37 mins – my best time ever.


5. Flew inside a helicopter for the first time.

Before that, the last time I flew in a helicopter was in a computer game called Battlefield.


6. Visited the Grand Canyon Skywalk

Despite how commercialised the Grand Canyon has become, it is still an absolutely awe-inspiring sight. The Skywalk, however, is ridiculously over-rated.


7. Drove a Ferrari on a Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Wished I could say I "raced" the Ferrari F430, but that machine goes so fast and is so expensive that I was afraid of crashing it.

In the end, all I did was 4 laps around the Speedway doing 140 km/h – well below the Ferrari’s true potential.


8. Went on long-distance road trips every country I travelled to.

In the past, my travel plans mostly involved exploring the city where the international airport is located. With globalization taking place, it’s unfortunate that more and more capital cities are beginning to look the same: there’s always a Starbucks and a McDonald’s every corner of the street.

To have a real taste of a destination, I felt the need to venture out of the capital city.

When I was in California,  hired a Ford Mustang and went on an impromptu road trip, driving 300km from Los Angeles all the way up to Monterrey with the top-down on my convertible.


9. Visited the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.


10. Became a certified RPM Instructor.


11. Dropped 12kg and got in the best shape of my life.


12. Visited Penghu Island, an unexpected romantic little volcanic island located between China mainland and Taiwan.

Penghu is to Taiwan what Bali is to Indonesia, what Hawaii is to USA. For now, it’s still very much a hidden gem, attracting mainly only Chinese-speaking visitors. Let’s hope it remains that way.

I hereby declare my top 3 favourite destinations in the world as: Bali, USA and Taiwan – in that order.


13. Went on a solo bicycle-riding trip along the east coast of Taiwan.

14. Bought a racing bike first thing after I returned from Taiwan.


15. Flew in a private plane for the first time.


Thanks to Johan Farid Khairuddin, who runs the best-value flight tour in KL.


16. Received the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Hotel experience.

Woke up like a prince every morning.


17. Re-visited Stephen Shum, the fortune teller at Temple St in Hong Kong.

When I first visited him when I was 24, he said I will get married at age 28 or 32.

I didn’t get married at 28.

This time I visited him, he said I will have minor surgery in the future. WTF. Maybe it’s because I bargained and paid him less money.


18. Trained a friend to run her first 21km half-marathon

When I run, I run for fun. Although I knew I am not an elite runner, I never expected one day I would be helping others to achieve the same goals I did.

Vix is a radio announcer for hitz.FM in Kuching who asked me to help get her started running for fitness. Problem: the last run she did, she was still in high school.

So I took up the challenge to get her ready for the KL International Marathon. With only 8 weeks of training, Vix went from zero to hero, beating 21km with a better-than-average record of 2 hours 50 minutes.

Kenny Sia, Personal Trainer. Who would’ve thought? 🙂


19. Kena GOTCHA! on hitz.FM

A direct consequence becoming friends the crazy people at the radio station!


20. Personally trained a bunch of fitness instructors to become certified.

Since starting my fitness business, I have met and interviewed heaps of young graduates who have lots of passion in the fitness industry, but not necessarily have the right qualifications. It’s not their fault, ‘cos there aren’t any educational pathways for them to become fitness professionals in Kuching – because all the emphasis here seems to be for accounting and engineering and so on.

In the end, I have to learn and research every thing myself, before teaching and grooming them into qualified fitness instructors themselves.

I am so proud to have achieved this year alone, 11 instructors at my gym successfully passed their certification requirements.


21. Began my Invisalign treatment at

So, I thought my crooked teeth was already beyond renovation, but Dr Foo at was determined to prove me wrong.

I believe Invisalign is gonna do to my teeth what LASIK did to my eyes. Everyone who went on it swore to me it changed their lives.


I’m gonna write a more detailed experience of myself and the Invaslign treatment once I got some results to show.


22. Attempted cliff-jumping for the first time.

The adrenaline junkie in me didn’t do any bungee jumps this year. Instead, I attempted cliff jumping for the first time!

This was at Nusa Lembongan in Bali. The cliff was 20 metres high and the cost was a mere 50,000 Rupiahs (or RM18) – a bargain compared to some RM900 I spent bungee-jumping off Macau Tower!

The adrenaline rush was the same. The only difference was… my ass hurts and I’m probably gonna drown if I didn’t swim back to the ladder fast enough.


23. Scored a contract to operate and manage a private gym for a GLC.

At least that’s gonna put food on my table for the next couple of years.


24. Rescued some stray puppies.

Felt bad separating them from their mother, but in the end they found comfort at the homes of their new owners.


25. Organized dozens of fitness events all around Kuching.

Doing my best to get people excited about exercising, instead of contributing to Malaysia becoming the fattest nation in South-East Asia.


26. Became a certified Balinese masseuse!

While we were in Bali, Ming thought it would be a great idea to learn how to give, rather than receive massages. We took up a one-day Balinese massage course, and got a certificate in the end.

Since then, I have "attempted" to give massages, but I always give up ‘cos after 10 minutes my hands were damn sore! In the end, the masseuse have to be on the receiving end of the massage!


No wonder spas are so expensive. Being a masseuse is damn hard work, ok!


27. Bought my own apartment unit

This is without a doubt, the biggest purchase I have ever made in my life, and one that’s gonna put me in a big debt over  the next 10 years. The choice of real estate available in Kuching isn’t fantastic, but with prices rising so rapidly what choices do I have?

Besides, I’m probably too old to still be living under my mother.


28. Fell head over heels in love.


Today, I turned 29 years old.

Nuffnang Blog Awards, Here I Come

Apparently, Nuffnang just announced their 2nd Bi-Annual Asia-Pacific Blog Awards.

If you’re not in the blogging scene, you probably won’t care about this as much.

For the rest of us active in the blogging or Twittering scene, like myself, it is the only time of the year we get recognized for the time and effort we put into our hobby.


This was taken from 2 years ago, when my double chin still have a permanent residency on my face.

Singers get recognized at the Grammy Awards, actors get recognized at the Academy awards. Bloggers get recognized at the Nuffnang Blog Awards.

On the 16 December, it is expected that close to 500 bloggers from all across the Asia Pacific region will be flying into to KL for the Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards at the Putrajaya Marriott Hotel.

Sponsored by Volkswagen Malaysia and Putrajaya Marriott, not only does the Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards honour the region’s best bloggers, but also bring together blogger communities from across Asia Pacific.

We’re talking Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Australia, China, Japan – the whole gamut. All the who’s who of blogging and all the up-and-coming stars will be there.

Of course, I wanna be there not just for the glitz and glamour, and not just for the fact that I haven’t attended a single social event from the blogging fraternity since many years ago, but also for the fact that 2 years ago at the inaugural Awards in Singapore, I was nominated in like 3 categories, but then all the trophies kena sapu-ed by Xiaxue.

I’m pretty sure this time round there’s a ruling saying you cannot win the same award twice in a row, so I’m glad at least I don’t have to go against such a stiff competition! 🙂

If you are a blogger on Twitter-er, this is an event you do not want to miss. In fact, invites to the Nuffnang Blog Awards is so exclusive that they are not even available for sale. The only way to get them, is by clicking on this link right here.

If you are not active on the blogging scene, well – I guess you can always nominated me for one of the following categories.

I’m not sure which one of the above categories fits. There does not seem to be a Best Last-Time-Used-To-Update-A-Lot-But-Now-It’s-Updated-Once-In-A-While Blog. Based on my past few entries, I suppose I can qualify for Travel Blog?

Let’s see how I go this time round. 🙂 I know I can’t wait for 16 December.

It’s Been 6 Years Since You’re Gone

Dear Papa,

Has it already been six years already? Why is that every year, on the anniversary of your departure, emotions overwhelm me – as if you had only just left yesterday?

Yes, it has been six years since we last bid goodbye. Yet, the images of our last moments together still flashed through my head so vividly. Ah, I remember so well.

It was very early in the morning. I had a long night taking care of you, and I was sound asleep in my bedroom. An annoying phone call from a salesman woke me up. I was still bleary-eyed because I hadn’t slept the entire night. Almost immediately, our maid knocked on my door frantically and interrupted me. She asked me to rush down to your room immediately. I knew then that you must have left after saying goodbye to me last night.

I could never forget the sight of you lying on the bed, finally finding peace inside you after struggling for so long.

Papa, I always feel sorry for you. You worked so hard to build this immense business empire from scratch. And yet, just when you were about to retire and savour the fruits of your labour, you decided to go on a permanent vacation on your own.

6 years later now, I am walking in your shoes. Big shoes to fill, but I’m never going to give up. It was such a struggle because it involved so much time and money investment. Uncle said "failure is not an option" and I completely understand. If I were to fail, not only would I be losing lots of money, I would be letting down so many staff who put in their blood and sweat while I chase my dreams.

I was gonna say, "you had no idea how many sleepless nights I had" but who am I kidding? Of course you’d understand. 🙂 You had been through the struggle yourself.

Mommy and Koko are so mean! We just returned from a trip to the US and we went to Disneyland. Remember? You brought us here 18 years ago. And I cried because I got angry at you for not realising Disneyland closed early in the winter months.

I am so glad I did not cry this time round. At 28 years of age, that would have been rather embarrassing. Instead, it brought back bittersweet memories of our annual family trip.

It seems like the only time we were able to properly bond together. And it warms my heart to see there’s somebody always next to Mommy.

Jiejie’s 3 kids are so cute! Jayden is taking the role of big brother very confidently. Kirsten is particularly smart and she does really well in school. And little Lecia just smiles non-stop showing off her little dimples.

Their actions just makes everyone around them smile. I think you’ll like them a lot, Papa. Jiejie said I am not doing anything particularly special, yet I am like a magnet to the kids. I am flattered.

These days, I am feeling a lot of love and support from the people around me. Perhaps, it has always been there. Perhaps I was too engrossed doing my own thing to open my eyes and appreciate their presence. It’s so silly to think that when I was younger, I was depressed for no apparent reason and even contemplated suicide. How stupid was I?

Seeing Jiejie’s children and being around people who love me made me feel life is worth living. They are my sunshine. My time on Earth is worthwhile if I succeed in making the people around me live a little better.

Papa, I just want you to know that I am very happy now, and that I appreciate the people and the things around me. In very small ways, I am upholding your legacy even after your departure. I wanna let you know that I am proud to be doing so, and I am very proud to be your son.

Life is beautiful. I wish I could share it with you, but that’s okay. Thank you for sending me angels to take care of me in the meantime.

Till we meet again, please have a nice and relaxed rest. And have some Pike Place Roast Starbucks coffee. It’s the bomb.

By the way, if you see Osama bin Laden, tell him he’s in the wrong floor.

I miss you so much.


Lots of love,

Your youngest son.