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I thank whatever gods may be, For my unconquerable soul – I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

Posted: March 8th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Experience, Happy | No Comments »

Over the past few weeks, William Ernest Henley’s poem “Invictus” has kept repeating at the back of my mind. I especially like these four phrases:

I thank whatever gods may be,
For my unconquerable soul.
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

As I write this, I think about how I’ve been back from Singularity University (SU) for more than a month. It was my decision and a leap of faith to travel 13,000 km away, for the first time, for something I was not entirely sure about. I thank whatever gods there may be that I have been able to meet a group of highly successful friends in both career and personal life. We had an alumni meetup yesterday at Rubato, and it was really great to catch up with my fellow SU friends back in Singapore. We talked about life, work, ideas, trends, etc. However, what dawned on me was the blurry path to my future.

Sometimes, life is about managing risks and uncertainty and being totally responsible for whatever path you choose. I chose to be where I currently am two years ago, and the journey had been full of learning, growth, excitement, depression, anxiety, enlightenment, appreciation, and gratitude. I would not have exposed SU if I hadn’t decided on this journey 2 years back. SU was not the place where I found out my why, but it was the place that has connected those missing pieces within my why. Coupled with what I have learnt at work and my travels, I would like to share them in three quotes below:

  1. In technology, if done right, engineers can save more lives than doctors. I want to make a positive impact on people’s lives. And I believe through technology and engineering, I can achieve that.
  1. Love is what makes humanity worth surviving. Heaven is already all around us: the cry of the baby, the courage your friend shows, and the love a mom gives. Have faith even when there is no hope, for hope is needed when there is none.
  1. The stone age didn’t end because we ran out of stone. Disruptive technologies happened so quickly that the industry that was being disrupted couldn’t make necessary change to the disruptive force. The spice industry, which was a huge industry, was then replaced by the ice industry, which was then replaced by the refrigerator. What industry are you in?

In order to predict the future trend, just look around what had been failing for the past 20-30 years. Future is already here, and I’m glad that I’m part of it. What’s more satisfying is to be one of the pioneers for the future technology, and I know I’m on the right track. Again, I thank whatever Gods may be, for my unconquerable soul, I’m master of my fate, I’m captain of my soul.

Singularity University Campus

At Singularity University Campus at NASA Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley, CA.

The second most important day in your life – the day you found out why

Posted: September 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Experience, Happy | No Comments »

Mark Twain once said, “The two important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

I found my why in August 2014. It was not a single event where I found my why. It was a series of things that happened in my life so far, especially those that happened in 2014. I would like to share them in 3 parts.

This first part –  A sense of responsibility.

In March 2014, I attended an alumni event at Hong Kong. It was my first time in Hong Kong. Having been working for about 1 year and 3 months, I believed it was time to bring my mom for a vacation. It was the first time I brought my mom for a vacation, and it was the first long-distance vacation we had in 10 years after my dad had left us 8 years ago. We grew up with TVB Hong Kong drama series, so Hong Kong is a place that I had wanted to visit for so long. Though I had not stepped on this land before, it has a special place in my heart, and I like Cantonese. Seizing the opportunity while attending the alumni dinner here, I decided to grab the opportunity to tour around the city of the Pearl of the East.

There were a series of talks and networking events during the alumni event. No doubt there were many intellectual discussions and debates going on. Two particular events stood out among the rest. The first was the mindfulness session, the first session on the second day in the early morning. I was seated beside another alumnus, Wu, and we partnered with each other throughout the session. The moderator of the activity brought us through a conscious practice by just feeling a raisin. The raisin was just a tool; the real purpose was to let us have a taste of what mindfulness is all about—being truly conscious and being truly curious about the world around you. I think it was the best opening that any event could have. I held that conscious thinking and deep curiosity throughout my three days at the alumni event. And that’s when I started to ask myself more questions, life questions.

Another event that stood out was the University Gala Dinner. I was seated beside Professor Roger Goodman during the dinner. The food that night was great; what made it even greater was the speech by Lord Patten (or Chris Patten). His speech, coupled with what Professor Roger told me, almost brought me to tears. Let me try to summarise both the speech and the table conversation I had with the professor. The education that we receive is a privilege; the intellectual discussion that happens throughout our education is an honour to our life. We as global citizens should utilise what we have learnt to improve the standard of living of our society. The true value of the education that we receive is a sense of responsibility. The responsibility is to the people we are dealing with and the world in which we are living. Whatever we are doing, we should push the boundaries of human limits and push humanity forward.

That resonated with me so much. I felt that I had finally found that missing piece in my life. I landed a great job in a FORTUNE top 3 company upon graduation. I loved what I was doing—life had never been greater—but I always felt I had a bigger calling: Pushing Humanity Forward. This is the beginning of a greater journey.

Lee Chon with Lord Patten (Chris Patten)

I took the opportunity to take a photo with this man: Chris Patten – the last governor of Hong Kong.

The second part – Push Humanity Forward – Where the journey begins.

Fast forward to June 2014. I attended Awesomeness Fest, organised by Mindvalley, at Phuket, Thailand. It was a combination of TED Talk style lectures, self-development sessions, including yoga and mindfulness, and a lot of parties! People from all walks of life were there. There was a wide age group there as well, ranging from people in their sixties to the youngest participant, who was 19. Everyone paid for themselves. Most of them were entrepreneurs who believed in making positive changes and impacts on the world. I was one of the odd ones out there – an engineer. Nevertheless, we all shared one common belief – we wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and push humanity forward.

Never before had I met such a diverse group of people— 40 nationalities were present— that talked so much about wanting to push humanity forward. At the end of the event, I was inspired to make a positive impact on the world. However, I knew that I needed to acquire some skills first before doing something major. True, I can always start something now to do good for society. Four years ago, I started Children Provision Charity. I still mentor junior committees from this charity. What I mean is a real impact that will eventually push humanity forward. Gandhi, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Christopher Columbus, and John D Rockefeller have all changed the world in a unique way. I want to change the world like they did. Ultimately, our quality of life was improved because of all these visionaries.

There were so many inspiring lectures during the four-day event. People are amazing in their own unique way too. But what really attracted me was Singularity University’s vision. There were no talks or promotions about Singularity University during the event; I just knew that organization through my informal table talk with Vishen, the founder of Mindvalley. Again, I had never stepped foot on American land before, and it was so far away that I was trembling when I made my decision to go to the US for this programme. It was an uncertainty to me, but I knew Singularity’s vision is what resonated with me. I want to impact a billion lives and ultimately push humanity forward. The event will be in January 2015 at NASA Ames research center at the heart of Silicon Valley, and at the time I’m typing this, it’s about four months away from the event. And the journey is just about to get started.


One of those amazing nights at Awesomeness Fest.Four days with 40 nationalities truly opened my eye to the world of possibilities.

The third part – Pass it on

“If you’re asking me what to do with all this knowledge you’re accumulating, I say, pass it on … just like any simple cell, going through time” (Professor Norman, played by Morgan Freeman in the movie “Lucy”).

I watched “Lucy” during an unexpected visit to Bangkok after I was denied entry to Myanmar. (I re-entered Myanmar after I obtained a Visa in Bangkok the next day.) It is a movie that describes the concept of human potential. The movie was not that well received by the public in general due to its strangeness and the conflict of ideas about the usage of our brains. Some even saw it as an anti-drug movie. It didn’t matter to me. What mattered to me was the message, that I think came at just the right time, narrated by Morgan Freeman: “If you think of the very nature of a life, it’s to pass it on.”

I have learnt a lot throughout my life, most of which revolves around studies, volunteering, humanitarian projects, and work, and I will be going through more experiences that will teach me more lessons. The knowledge that I have accumulated, I wish to pass it on. The ultimate purpose is to die empty, not only in terms of financial standing but also in knowledge, love, kindness, and happiness. I will accumulate more and acquire more along the journey to achieve what I wanted to in my life. At the end of the day, I won’t be able to bring it all with me but will pass it on to the next generation. I thought that was a great and noble idea.

My visit to Yangon surprised me. The city, one of the poorest in Asia, is surrounded by colonial buildings and looks as if it has not developed much since the British colonization. This brought me to a bigger problem at large: 36% of our total population still relies on traditional biomass energy for cooking, and roughly 35% of the total population does not have access to adequate sanitation. This bothers me a lot. I want to make a difference. Though I currently lack management skills, I will find a way to acquire them and to help humanity at large. I have had the opportunity to lead many teams in my life. Those are all valuable, but I need more experience tackling more issues among the many issues we face in the company and in the country. Now, I have a direction.

Having access to clean energy, clean water, and electricity changed my life. It is the core, or basic, need before we even talk about education. I wouldn’t be able to learn and have conversations with incredible people without almost free, or mostly affordable, energy and water in my daily life. Now that I found my “why,” I want to make this world a better place to live in.

The Spiritual Visit at Bangkok and Yangon – A truly serendipity experience

Posted: September 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Experience | No Comments »

It was unplanned and unexpected, but it was a beautiful journey.

Some of you might have already read my previous entry on how I was denied entry at Myanmar Airport immigration. Because of that, I landed in the land of smiles: Thailand. I was flown (by a Myanmar immigration officer) to Bangkok. I reached Bangkok around 7pm local time. I had made accommodations less than an hour earlier. I told the taxi driver to send me to a hotel at Silom called The Heritage Hotel. I checked in, and my friend Jop arrived not long after that. I told him what had happened. We then visited a night market called Patpong. He was helpful; he was the one who had helped me find a place to stay. I bought a ticket to Myanmar for Saturday morning, so that I could  make it to the Oxbridge dinner that night and tour Yangon in the afternoon.

The next day, I woke up early and arrived at the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok at around 7 to get the front of the queue (the office opens at 9). There were already 3 people queueing in front of me. Sometimes at a foreign place, when you are going to the same destination, regardless of your nationalities, you become friends. One was from the UK, doing quality assurance stuff; another was an American, just graduated, a programmer; and the other an English teacher from India. Then, a retired man from Sweden joined us. As much as I wanted the visa to be processed faster, I was suddenly immersed into conversation with these new friends. And by the time the office opened at 9 pm, we had already talked about politics in America, the job market in the UK, the caste system in India, and how one can travel around the world after retiring.

The visa can be collected only in the afternoon, at around 3.30 pm. I was keeping Suriya, the organizer of the dinner in Yangon, in the loop. He seemed to be the imaginary support for me throughout this journey.

Since I had a little bit of time, I decided to explore the city a bit. The first stop – Erawan Shrine, more commonly known as the Four-Faced Buddha. It was not a huge temple like what we normally see; it’s just a small place in the middle of the city. Nevertheless, Erawan Shrine has attracted devotees and tourists from around the world. I was attracted too, of course.I went to The Four Face Buddha. I made a wish. Just one wish. I hope that it will come true.

I then visited Siam Square, got a Thai foot massage, and went back to the Embassy. I got my Visa! I shared the good news with Jop, and we decided to meet up that night as well.

Just when I was on the way to meet Jop, I saw a ceremony going on in the Hindu Temple, not far from where I stayed at Silom. I decided to drop by and pay some respect there. I went through the ceremony, and since I was already there, I made a wish too—the same wish I made at Erawan Shrine.

I met up with Jop that night, and we went for a movie in IMAX. The auditorium was huge. And what surprised me was that everyone had to stand up for the national anthem before the movie started. The movie Lucy was not bad. There are many haters around for this movie. There are many interpretations of this movie too. My key takeaway from this movie was, really, to pass it on. I like this message very much.

I caught the earliest flight to Yangon on Nok Air at around 6:40 on Saturday Morning. I arrived there pretty early and checked into the Park Royal Hotel. I made a visit to the city’s oldest Pagoda: Shwedagon Pagoda. I had a guide to lead me. I stood in front of the Pagoda where the Buddha’s Relics are stored. It is one of the holiest place in Yangon. Devotees, mostly locals, go there often to pray to the Buddha to cleanse their souls.

I then visited some other places, like Scott Market and Chinatown, and walked around the city near my hotel. I went back to the hotel to prepare for the dinner that night.

photo 4

Botatung Temple.

The next day, I met Suriya for breakfast, and he told me that he was going to a temple. I decided to go with him. It was Botatung Temple. This was the last temple that I visited during the trip. It was a short but sweet journey. I learned about what Suriya is currently doing. He is in his early 60s, and there is so much wisdom that I can gain from him.

Like what Suriya told me that my journey had been a blessing in disguise. First, I was denied entry at Myanmar immigration, but because of that, I managed to visit the Four Face Buddha and Hindu Temple in Bangkok and Shwedagon Pagoda and Boatong temple in Yangon.

An Unexpected Bangkok flight – Denied entry at Myanmar Airport

Posted: September 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Experience | No Comments »

I attended Oxbridge Alumni Dinner (South East Asia version) in Yangon, Myanmar last Saturday night. I planned to arrive 2 days earlier on Thursday so that I can visit the city (as I had never been to Yangon before), and it had only recently opened in 2011, making it easier for tourists to enter the country. A little bit background about me: I’m holding a Malaysian passport, and I have travelled to ASEAN countries like Thailand, Singapore (currently I’m working here), Indonesia, Brunei, and Asian countries like Taiwan and Hong Kong. I have to confess that I have taken for granted that I don’t have to apply for a visa to any ASEAN country. Little did I know, I was wrong. It was an embarrassment, but I decided to share it as I see it as a challenge and, ultimately, an adventure.

My flight was at 1:35 pm (Singapore time). At Singapore Changi Airport on Thursday afternoon, I showed all my documents, including the invitation letter from Oxbridge Alumni for the dinner to the officials before boarding. Everything seemed OK. I thought that I would be qualified for Visa on Arrival, too. Three hours later, I reached Yangon International Airport. I was then denied entry as I didn’t qualify for Visa on Arrival. The officials were actually quite helpful; they called their managers to deal this issue, and I explained to them that I had an invitation letter. We called the organiser of the Oxbridge alumni dinner, and the person in charge, Suriya, tried his best to explain to the officials, as well. Thirty minutes had gone by, and it was a fruitless attempt. I had to get a visa. The officials wanted to fly me back to Singapore or Malaysia (as I’m holding Malaysian Passport). It was a devastating moment, but I stayed calm and started to think of a strategy. It was roughly 5:30 pm (Singapore time), or 4:00 pm (Myanmar time).

I remembered having a conversation with someone who mentioned that I can get a visa in the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand in one day. I also remembered that I will have to wait for another day to collect my passport if were to do it in Singapore. Singapore is 3 hours away from Myanmar, whereas Thailand is about an hour away from Myanmar. I have never been to Bangkok in my life before, but I decided to fly to Bangkok instead of Singapore or Malaysia. The officials agreed, and within 15 minutes, I was already escorted to the boarding gate. The flight will take off in 30 minutes, at 4.50pm. I have about 30 minutes.

I have a good friend in Bangkok–someone that I knew from Afest 2 months ago. With the slightly unstable wireless at the airport, I quickly send him a message. We couldn’t talk on the phone as it was quite unclear, so I told him about the whole situation. I arranged my accommodation, somewhere nearby Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok. I also asked about transport from the airport to the hotel. Thanks to my friend Jop, the good friend of mine in Bangkok, we found a place near Silom. I had my hotel address ready and had the timing from airport to the hotel ready. We decided to meet up in Bangkok. Before I departed from Yangon Airport, I had already sorted out my accommodation and transportation, thanks largely to Jop who was so helpful. I believe that it was his office hours that time.

At 4: 50 pm, 1 hour and 20 minutes after I had arrived at Yangon immigration, I was in a plane heading to Bangkok, a place I have never stepped foot on before, a place in which I was there only for a purpose: to get a Myanmar visa.

There is a Chinese saying: Once you are here, just be comfortable with yourself in a new place. I decided to visit Bangkok that night (Thursday night) and the day after (Friday, the whole day). I will blog about my Bangkok (really unplanned and unexpected!) trip in another post.


At the end of the day, what is your purpose of your life? #WilliamPao

Posted: June 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Experience, Review, Self Image | 2 Comments »

Dr. William Pao is my final year supervisor. He graduated from Swansea University and then became a lecturer in Manchester. Later, he was recruited by Shell regional manager after he gave a talk at a CMS event. He then spent over two years working in Texas and moved to Nederlands afterwards. He came back to Malaysia to join UTP last year. Yesterday, we spent nearly three hours talking about life and its reflections. I thought it was really a thoughtful and meaningful conversation. There were a lot of key takeaways, and I would just like to share three of them in this post.

  1. At the end of the day, what is your purpose in life?
  2. Monetary reward can only bring you so far. You won’t go too far without knowing what you really like to do. Keep finding.
  3. There are five things that you really have to take care of in your life. They are your relationship with God, your relationship with your family, your relationship with people, your finances, and your health.

He also told me about his Ph.D. life, his collaboration with oil and gas experience to complete his thesis, how Shell recruited him, why he came back to Malaysia, why he joined UTP, Harold Vinegar, how a CEO got fired, life with love, and many more that I can’t remember now. Deep in my heart, I keep asking myself, What’s life? What do I really want to accomplish? You know, money, fame, and ego are not always the answers.

Shell Management Skill Game – Engagement between UTP Students and Shell officers

Posted: February 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Experience, Happy | 6 Comments »

It’s our final year, and many of our friends are starting to hunt for jobs. I looked for opportunities around me. Shell came into UTP today to have a Management Skill Game with UTP students. I never regretted attending it. I learned more then than during the graduate application process in Shell. The intrinsic part and hidden message throughout the games are the main key takeaways that I want to share with all the friends here.

Shell Management Skills Game

Shell Management Skills Game

With my team members. Another girl went missing. lol

We played four games to gather the reward points to purchase the materials for the Grand Prix Game at the end of the day. There are four games we played for that purpose. Every game took 15 minutes.

Game 1: Finding out who are driving the Ferraris and the one who drinks water.

What happens on the spot? Everyone reads and goes through the statements. Everyone tries to grasp what is happening and who is doing what, driving what car, and staying in which house. At the second half of the game, we decided to draw a matrix out to fill in the blanks. But we were too late in doing this. We got both questions wrong.

Key takeaways and reflection: I think we should know what the actual problem is before moving to the statements. Focus on the problem that we want to solve instead of going through the statements without direction. Human resources can be distributed to two groups too to solve each of the problems. In that way, we can check within the groups to confirm that the answers are correct. Analytical skill and logical thinking are one of the most important skills here. At the same time, the ability to deliver within a constrained timeframe given a load of information should also be properly managed.

Game 2: Puzzle and naming the island.

What happens on the spot: Everyone figures out which puzzle connects with which puzzle. Then we did trial and error here and there to complete the map. (It was an Australian map). Nobody answered correctly what the island beside Australia is. The island is actually Iceland (which they purposely moved there to confuse you).

Key takeaways and reflection: The puzzles scattered around the table are like the information scattered around us, i.e., the internet, libraries, the human experience, social media, and so on. All these are meaningless when they are fragmented. Our values come in when we gather all the information and put it in one place. Integration is where our value is. Also for the island naming, I believe that we should have a global view and wider horizon of what is actually happening around us. Not just what happens in our own campus, not just what happens around our friends, but also the current issues that are important in our world now. What are the latest updates in the energy and oil and gas industry? What are the issues that are pressing and affecting our world?

Game 3: Counting 1 – 10 in other languages.

What happens on the spot: We thought of some really interesting ways to remember 1 – 10 in Croatian. It was a really fun activity, I would say. If you were my teammates, you know how much fun we had!

Key takeaways and reflection: Working in real life later needs a lot of team work, especially when you are working in a company with diverse backgrounds.

Game 4: Arranging words to form a sentence (customer focus).

What happens on the spot: Trial and error, focused on grammatical errors.

Key takeaways and reflections: Instead of focusing on grammatical errors or trying here and there, we should take a step back and look at what “customer focus” really means. You can’t expect the merchants to exceed the expectations before meeting the predictable results! The sequence and logical thinking should be applied; it is not just bumping any random words. At the end of the day, we were wrong only in 1 word.

That’s all from my review. If you have better reflections, please comment below. Thanks, and I look forward to applying what I have learnt today to real life.

p/s: Thanks to all the Shell-UTP campus ambassadors who came today!

Engineering Economic Analysis

Posted: December 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, Entrepreneurship, Experience | 3 Comments »

I have recently finished a project related to economic analysis on an engineering project. It’s done together with Foo Piew and Wong Ning. Among the key takeaways from the project for me are as follows:

  1. Depreciation reduces tax incomes. One day, when I started earning money, I would first find a way to reduce my income tax than any other things.
  2. Software marketing is the hot thing now. It has one of the highest returns of investment. Things that I can relate:
  3. McKinsey, one of the leading consulting companies, has 21 software products. Having said that, McKinsey would be a very profitable company even without their consulting services.

Other related Softwares news, you might relate Deccan Herald.

Interesting Entrepreneur Project – Interview with Azran, CEO of Air Asia X

Posted: November 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: CEO, Entrepreneurship, Experience | 1 Comment »

I’m engaged with a very interesting entrepreneurship project. Guess I will postpone my Silicon Valley workshop experience to 2 posts after this. For this entrepreneurship project, first I interviewed Air Asia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani. Then, we as a group interviewed CEO Khailee Ng and General Manager Sam. In this post, I provide the contents and everything about Air Asia X. The answers in “quoted” form are the answers given by Azran.

1. What motivated you to start AirAsia X?

a.       AirAsia X is not my own business or my original idea. It was Tony’s. He had the vision to set up low-cost long-haul, but his fellow Directors and Shareholders at AirAsia felt it was too risky. So he set up AirAsia X as a separate stand-alone company to pursue the business idea. He was the one who searched for me and convinced me to lead the project and bring the idea to fruition.

b.      Tony wanted someone outside of Aviation and outside of his AirAsia team, because he knew that low-cost long-haul was going to be different. He didn’t want someone to lead it with pre-conceived ideas on how the airline should be run because there is no proven model for low-cost long-haul. He wanted someone to come in fresh, and challenge all the conventional wisdown of aviation and build up a new aviation model from scratch. He was attracted to me because of my (a) start-up experience from starting new media businesses in Astro, and (b) experience in multiple international markets, including living and working in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, India, etc.

c.       I was attracted to join Tony because it was an idea that was completely unproven, yet if we succeeded, we could revolutionise the entire global aviation industry. There aren’t opportunities where Malaysians can work on truly groundbreaking ideas – so I felt this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to try to prove something new. Plus it was my first opportunity to lead an organisation from scratch as CEO – where the buck stops with me, and I had to build a team from scratch and take full responsibility.

2. What are the key challenges you faced when you first proposed the idea to your teammates and to the potential investors?

The biggest challenge to recruit new people and new investors (Virgin, Orix, Manara) is that we didn’t have a track record, and there wasn’t even any proven successful models – all previous attempts at low-cost long-haul were failures. But Tony believed in the vision, and I was determined to find a logical business model to make it work, because fundamentally, i saw the same opportunity from price elasticity – that if you could offer low fares, more people would fly – the trick is to find how we could operate at a radically lower unit cost to support the lower fares.

3. How do you grow the business from a small start-up to what it is now in about just 4 years time?

Tough! Not only did we have to deal with all the typical start-up challenges, but we also had to battle the Global Financial Crisis, high oil spike, H1N1 epidemic and other natural disasters. The main thing is getting the organisation to fully understand and get excited about the mission/purpose of the organisation, and empower the teams to deliver results.

4. As I know, AirAsia X focuses on long-haul flight. How do you attract customers and keep them loyal to AirAsiaX?

1. Lowest Costs; 2. Attractive Destinations; 3. On-Time Performance Reliability; 4. New Planes and comfortable Seats; 5. Responsive Customer service.

5. Who are the competitors in the region and how do you direct your team to outcompete them?

For now competition is full-service airlines: MAS, SIA, Cathay, Thai, Qantas. We beat them on price, and have the same reliability/on-time performance and customer service responsiveness.

6. How’s the culture in AirAsia X? What are the most important qualities that you think an employee should possess?

Culture is one of 1. Openness and Sharing; 2. Boldness and Willingness to Try new Things; 3. Disciplined Execution; 4 Growing and nurturing young talent. Qualities: Must live these culture values.

7. Is that possible if you can share with us your direction for AirAsia X in the future?

To be the dominant low-cost long-haul airline in the world – world’s lowest unit cost, best on-time performance and safety reliability (better than Cathay and SIA), and service responsiveness as good as Cathay and SIA.


Besides, Some interesting facts and Business Model that Air Asia X  is using:

1. Air Asia X emphasize very much on cost control, even more intensive than the parent company Air Asia.

2. Air Asia X fully optimize aircraft utilization by planning different times of landing in London on different days.  Over 16 hours/day utilization of each plane.

3. For each flight, the water is not filled to maximum level, but to the level each  journey needs. This decreases the weight and decreases the total fuel needed for combustion.

4. Air Asia X did not revolve from the existing low-cost long-haul model, but they unbundle the full-service long-haul model and figure out which places that can cut cost and make more money. I think this is the reason why Tony (refer to Question 1.b. above) wanted someone fresh in aviation industry. Newcomers are willing to question the tradition and not taking things for granted.

5. Air Asia X charges low and transparent fares. It fills the planes to maximum passenger’s capacity. In short, moving the maximum amount of passengers at the minimum cost.

6. Developing Ancillary Revenues.

7. Frills (IFE, food and drinks, more comfortable seats) available to pre-book or purchase (value added to customers and company earn money)

Latest News:

The latest news (as of 7th November) is the share swap with MAS where Tun Mahathir urges this process to be taken quickly. Another key consideration for Air Asia X would be Singapore’s Airline recent launch ‘Scoot’ with similar models as of Air Asia X.

And next, I will be posting the interview with’s Khailee Ng and Sam!



One Day Entrepreneur – The Real Business behind the Scene

Posted: October 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Entrepreneurship, Experience | 1 Comment »

Zac, Calvin, Kitlung, and I made a one-day trip to Capital Square today for an entrepreneurial experience and class.

The speaker was really great, and the way both theories and games were integrated into the presentation made it even more interactive. I would give it a 7.5 out of 10. It’s overall a great experience.

We played a game where we started with 25k and had a bank loan of 100k. The goal of the game was to earn the most money considering stuff like products, factories, employees, salaries, branding (marketing and advertising), RnD, and other costs, such as taxes and bank interests. The lesson from this game: don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Among the key takeaways from this one-day trip are as follows:

  1. Very interesting stuff that I learned today. Many companies’ main revenue streams do not come from what they appear to in public. Air Asia’s main core revenue stream is commodity trading (fuel gas). Dell’s main core revenue is commodity trading too (chip).
  2. These are things that I can relate. McDonald’s core business is real estate investing.
  3. Another thing that I can relate is what Robert Kiyosaki (writer of Rich Dad Poor Dad) wrote in ‘Unfair Advantage,’ which is that the most brilliant way of earning is earning using other people’s money. What AirAsia or Mutal Fund does is to find a way to collect money from the shareholder/public and reinvest them into the market. What happens after that, I will leave to you.
  4. If you have a brilliant idea, share it with as many people as possible. You might afraid of people stealing your idea. Increase your barriers of entry. (This is similar to what I have heard at the ‘Silicon Valley Comes to Malaysia Top 100 Team Camp,’ which I will blog about in my next post.)
  5. The market now demands instant results. Users might not be the ones who pay for it. Both parties have to be well taken care of. Parents and Kids. These are things not written in the presentation slides. I learn and really enjoy learning the real things happening behind, not known by majority. Next post will be my experience selected as one of the Top100 for the ‘Silicon Valley Comes to Malaysia’ program.

The Lucky Cookies – My imaginary encouragement

Posted: September 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Experience, Happy | 1 Comment »

When I was in Oxford, I used to visit this restaurant called Noodle Bar (Now renamed to Noodle Nation). My friend in the lab introduced me and we always have our lunch or dinner together.

One of the things that is very special is that everytime you have finished eating, they will give you lucky cookies, with each one per person. Inside these cookies, there will be a lucky note for you. (I remembered I ate the cookies + the notes the first time without realizing it until my lab partner told me! :p)

These are among the notes that I have kept with me. Some I have already thrown it away or misplaced it somewhere already.

Lucky notes in Lucky cookies in Noodle Bar. 🙂

Among the notes that I still keep are:

1. You’ll earn a lot of money in the future

2. Fortune Cookies will give you good health

3. A favour to a friend will be repaid in the future

4. Be direct, usually one can accomplish more that way

5. Fate has dealt you an unkind blog, but there is a bright and happy future ahead. Thought for today: Better be alone than in bad company

6. Your life will be happy and peaceful

7. Don’t worry; prosperity will knock on your door soon

8. Your companions will bring you luck 🙂 hehe

9. When you combine reflection with action, you will get good results

10. It’s not what we do but how we do it that matters (*And I personally think why we do it is even more important)

11. Adjust finances, make budgets, to improve your standing

That’s all notes I kept. Hope you guys learnt something out of it. 🙂